Blog’s 5th anniversary and 5 answers

When did you realize you wanted to blog?

When I finished writing Child-Centered Spirituality but before its publication, several smart people recommended that I start a blog so that I’d have a place to raise issues around the subject.

How did you feel when you started writing?

Nervous. Unsure. I wondered if there would be enough to write about and whether anyone was going to read it.

What did you learn from the past five years?

I learned that child-centered spirituality is of interest to many families and to (almost) all children.  Once adults realize that we don’t talk about religion here, but matters of the spirit, their guard goes down and they focus on understanding a child’s own special way of relating with God, supporting and resourcing it, even when it’s different from the adult’s style.

Who helped you along the way toward this 5th blog anniversary?

  1. Tara Miller, coauthor of Child-Centered Spirituality,  read all the posts and offered suggestions. She’s been a guest blogger on occasion.
  2. Alisha Ule provided technical support and set up Instagram, a Facebook page, and Twitter account. She contributes the art ideas, creates the posters for quotations  and more.
  3. Michelle Coe steered the book launch and designed the book cover.
  4. Annette Schalk did the German translations for four years.
  5. Robert Logan provided major funding for the project.
  6. Readers gave ideas for discussion through their questions and comments.

Why did you decide to offer Child-Centered Spirituality Workshop events?

blog anniversary bookAfter the book came out in November 2017 (Amazon & Kindle) I was impressed with an idea that wouldn’t go away:

Through the book’s message, families can recognize the great need to pay attention to children’s spiritual development to the same degree that they encourage intellectual, social, emotional and physical growth. The book describes the big picture issues with age-appropriate aids for adults to utilize with kids. But how does this happen in the ordinariness of everyday life? How does a child form a bond with God?

blog anniversary evebtThe workshop uncovers seven styles people use to connect with God in their most natural way, with emphasis on children.

The first workshop was held in April 2018 in Pasadena, CA. Since then, it’s been in Nashville and Colorado Springs, with more coming in 2019. Contact janet@childcenteredspirituality If your faith community, service organization or parochial school wants more info.

Tweetable: Book now for a Child-centered Spirituality workshop to come to your service organization, faith community or parochial school. Go here for details. Click to Tweet.

My Christmas-Hanukkah story

hanukkah celebration“Who can tell us what Hanukkah means?” asked Ms. Simon my third-grade teacher one long ago December day. My hand shot up eagerly and I started into the story of how Judah Maccabee led a revolt against the Syrians. I continued with descriptions of the dreidel game and the nine candles on a menorah. She was impressed enough by my knowledge of the holiday that she mentioned it to my mother at the next parent-teacher conference. That’s when Ms. Simon admitted her astonishment that we are not a Jewish family.

A seed planted: Respect

During the four years we lived in that Los Angeles neighborhood, I assimilated both Jewish and Christian traditions into my childhood spirituality. You know how kids are: I thought this was something every family did. For me, it wasn’t a matter of learning to respectRespect for a different tradition was the norm in my home so I did it.

A seed planted:  Find the common denominator

Hanukkah-Christmas candles In my teen years my mother, a gifted teacher and storyteller, decided to offer a holiday program to area churches which were planning a December social event for their members. Her theme was common ground. I remember only five points in her outline — significance of light in both holidays, back stories, gift-giving, use of traditional foods, for instance, latkes or eggnog, and music.

My guitar and I went along to these popular events to entertain. But more was going on in my spiritual formation during these Christmas-Hanukkah programs. I caught the importance of a focus on how we are alike rather than different, though our theological differences are not insignificant.

Seeds sprout into Child-Centered Spirituality

It was a natural outgrowth of my upbringing to envision a book for families of any religion or no religion. In it, my coauthor Tara Miller and I pass along practical ideas and suggestions to assist family members in the spiritual development of their children to the same degree that grandparents, aunts, uncles and parents encourage emotional, social, intellectual, physical development.

Childhood spiritual development is occurring for the children you love during this 2018 holiday season. What part do you want to have in facilitating it?

Tweetable: My parents’ choice to celebrate both Hanukkah and Christmas planted a valuable seed of respect in me. Read the positive effects here. Click to Tweet