My mind has been captured by the book; In the Midst of Chaos by Bonnie J. Miller-McLemore. It discusses the whole concept of raising children as a spiritual practice and I think she is right on, addressing how we live in families and how this needs to be an expression of our spiritual lives. Parents in busy families – “in the midst of chaos” – don’t get much time to develop spiritual lives in silence and solitude. But is everyone called to the practice of solitude and silence. Where is God in the midst of our busy lives, rushing to work and then kid’s activities? Unless a parent sets aside the responsibilities of the family to spend time in quiet and prayer, is there a way to connect with God? Does spending time with God take precedence over family duties, and if so, what does the parent left with the children’s care do to nurture their spiritual life? This author takes a different take on the subject. She considers the raising of children in a home where they are taught spiritual values to be prayer and not the cause for a hiatus in one’s “real” spiritual life.
To me this book gives legitimacy to the role of Christian parents and supports them in the often difficult choices that must be made about how to incorporate Christian practice into the chaos of family life. Maybe part of the reason I like it is that the book does not tell what to do so much as why – what one should take into consideration into those many questions that arise over time management, choosing where to raise a family, where to send them to school, etc.
Over the next few days, I want to share a few of the things that I learned or saw in new ways as I read through this book.