"Read your Bible and pray every day and you'll grow, grow, grow." That's how the children's song goes. But how often do we actually encourage it? In our own lives as well as those of our children?
Our home congregation is working on having a revival year this year. Growing closer to God and each other. One of the ways we're doing that is a daily Bible reading. Try to read the Bible at least a little each day.
But, for those who can't do that, or don't want the pressure of reading the whole Bible in a year, they're also doing monthly challenges. One month it was to read the four gospels. One month to read Acts. This month is Psalms.
My children are "church babies." It means they're growing up where the church building and the people in are another home. There are no strangers in church. Even if it's somewhere we're visiting.
For instance, a few weeks ago, when we were in West Virginia, we attended a Wednesday night Bible study where I spoke that Saturday. There were a few other kids there, though none of them exactly the same age as my children. And no other girls. My friend introduced my kids to their Bible teacher and they went. No questions asked. No worried clinging to my husband or me. They went to class.
It does a mama's heart good to see that. Especially since when they were younger, we did go through the phase where they clung and cried and didn't want to leave me.
Are you still singing Christmas songs in your house? Is it because your children are still singing Christmas songs? That's the way it is here. Ugh. I'm over it.
But it keeps an issue in the forefront of my mind, too. You see, this year my children actually paid more attention to the lyrics. Know what is in the lyrics of quite a few Christmas songs?
I have a water bottle with lines on it. The lines have various times of the day and encouraging little phrases supposed to help me drink more water. I can normally fill and empty it about twice a day if I pay attention.
The other morning, it was sitting on the table at breakfast and still had some water left in it from the night before. My kids studied it while downing their toaster pastries.
"Mommy, did you not drink enough water yesterday?"
Have you ever made resurrection rolls? If not, let me explain a little about what they are and how they work.
Basically, it's a fun recipe to do with your kids around Easter to help explain the story of the resurrection. It's a cinnamon-sugar covered marshmallow inside a crescent roll. The marshmallow represents Jesus and the roll the tomb. When they bake, the marshmallow disappears, leaving only an empty tomb.
Here's an easy recipe we've been using.
Except this year, something went wrong.
From the very first moment he could pay attention to his surroundings, my son has been obsessed with vehicles of all shapes and sizes and types.
When we lived in Texas, the town we were in wasn't a railroad hub so the trains that went through were very small, maybe five or six cars. Middle Tennessee is a whole different ballgame. Trains go through with over a hundred cars and you have to wait a while if you get stuck at the crossing.
But, there are also more bridges to go over and under the tracks, too. Which led to a game we started playing when the kids were smaller.
Have you ever read through the Bible? When's the first time you did it?
I'll be honest. I sludged through most of it one year in college. Since then, it's been hit or miss some years, but I've gotten to where I try to read it at least once a year. One year, I did it in three months with a friend. That was intense, but it was also doable.
Why is it so hard to make time to dig into God's word and learn the story of how we got to be where we are? Shouldn't we want to know all we can about the God we serve and love?
My six-year-old does.
How hard do you work to achieve your dreams?
My daughter is tenacious.
She decided at the beginning of the year that she was going to learn how to do the monkey bars.
Does that sound daunting? Probably not. But it was to her. Those three metal bars that separated the ladder from the playhouse of our swingset looked like a huge gulfing expanse to her, especially when she couldn't get past the first bar without dropping the short distance to the ground.
Here's a tip.
If you ever feel your faith is weak and needs a boost, talk to a four-year-old about God.
Let me give you some examples of conversations my son has been holding lately. And he talks almost constantly, so this is only a sampling. :-)
Every night, we gather our two children on the couch, read a Bible story, sing some songs, and then say a prayer together. But before the prayer, each kid gets a chance to say something he or she is thankful for from that day to include in the prayer. This works two-fold. It helps them remember good things from the day. And it reminds them that everything good comes from God.
Well, as you can imagine, with a six- and four-year-old, the answers can be varied and/or monotonous some weeks.
This is a place for me to share thoughts and ideas not just related to writing. Thoughts about what's going on in my life, about an idea I got that I thought shareworthy, or just a funny anecdote.