I remember the first time I realized that part of teaching my children was going to include teaching them how to converse. My oldest daughter was just starting to try to have conversations with us at the dinner table each night. At first, it started with her just talking over us. Then after telling her she should ask questions, it switched to a single question over and over, “What did you do yesterday?” Why yesterday and why always the same question? I still don’t know. However, in that moment I realized that we would have to coach her a bit in having a conversation. If prayer is a conversation with God, we will have to coach our kids in the same way...
We hear about prayer in our churches all the time. We hear our priests preach about its importance. We hear reminders to pray regularly. We hear invitations to communal prayer opportunities within our parish setting. We are encouraged to come and pray in front of the Blessed Sacrament. However, amidst all of this talk of prayer, many find themselves asking questions like, “what exactly is prayer” and even more importantly as parents, “how do you teach a child to pray.”
Our newest book is finally here…and what and adventure it has been! In what I have found to be a continual trend with God in my life (and in particular with our business), God has reminded me that He is in charge and has given me an opportunity to trust in Him and not myself. And now through it all I can joyfully say, My First Church Tour is now available to purchase! Preorders have gone out today and orders are now live! So what is this adventure that we experienced? Let me take you back just over 2 weeks ago…
The applesauce might not have really hit the fan, but looking at our kitchen floor, you would have thought it had. Earlier that day I had posted my previous blog on 3 Tips for Finding Joy in Family Life, and I had been thinking of a way to share practical examples of how the three tips can be lived out. Suddenly God had given me a perfect opportunity with a floor covered in applesauce.
Life can be crazy! As I try to sit down and write this blog for what feels like the tenth time, I have a 9 month old crying at my feet to be held, a 3 year old asking for help with toys, a 5 year old calling down from upstairs that she doesn’t want to go potty and brush her teeth alone, and to top it off a random beeping somewhere in the house that is driving me insane. The vocation of a parent can be a challenge to say the least, yet in it all, we are called to be JOYFUL.
“When God calls, you respond!” We hear things like this all the time. We sing it in our hymns; can anyone say “…Here I am Lord…” It always sounds so easy. He speaks, we get to work. However, when I have heard that call, I have not always been so quick to respond. I often drag my feet. I doubt myself. I give in to fear. I let comfort win. Not to mention questioning if something is from God or not (but that is a topic for another day). When God calls, my actual response is often something more like, “here I am, your idea sounds great, I’ll sit with that for a while.” I’m not saying that discernment should be fast, but often I discern and have then been slow to action.
I decided it was time to more fully utilize all the features of our website. Regularly writing blogs isn't necessarily in my comfort zone, but the more I think about how we can best support families in raising Joyful Little Catholics, the more I think this is a worthwhile venture. So...here goes nothing. Welcome to the Joyful Little Catholics Blog!
Zack Hinger is a husband and father of 3 girls. He worked in parish ministry for over 8 years in all ages of formation from preschool through adulthood. He has a B.A. from the Franciscan University of Steubenville in Theology and Catechetics. His passions are God, his family, and helping others journey towards a closer relationship with Jesus Christ and His Church.