Saturday, September 14, 2013

Saturday Night PK

Around 8 Tonight my daughter Gracie broke down crying because, “Mommy!   I just want to serve and I’m too little to do anything! Everyone at church says, “No you’re too young.  I don’t want to be a kid anymore- you don’t get to do anything!”  We began talking about how tomorrow we start planning our revamp of Children’s Church.  We will have a rotation of volunteers and a rotation of children taking turns leading different things (just like at school- line leader, etc.)-- she excitedly began planning-- "Yes Mommy- one week someone can read scripture, another person can give a short sermon, someone can be an usher,  another person be the musician….AND  we’ll have our own bulletins!”   We already have the coloring children’s bulletins in service- but we’re going to be making a basic bulletin with pictures to go with each section (Prayer, offering, Song, etc.) and laminate them for weekly use.  She went on, “And we’ll have our own computer with a screen….. but Mommy!  We don’t have candles!”  Me- “We’ll make a little chapel area with an altar and candles and everything.”  “Awesome!!!” she said.  She was then so excited she decided she would “prepare” by practicing in her room.  She turned her dresser into her own “altar” and put a picture of Jesus (the laughing Jesus picture) and sat her “Jesus books” all up around the dresser. 

Watching her was overwhelming and powerful.  And I could see myself—overcome with passion and frustrated that I can’t always do all my heart yearns to. 

9- She’s been restless…unable to go to sleep because she wants to play music – (she got a recorder at the church yard sale) and wanted to play it in church tomorrow – “Mommy, I just want to play it to praise God.”
No I told her—you can play something in church when you’ve practiced.

9:30 She walked into my room- picked up the hymnal and said—“I’ll just read these hymns then! And it will be like a lullaby to go to bed.” 

That didn't work--She started reading the Psalter and shouted! "Mommy - I know this!  We read this in church!  We could use this when we plan our Children's Worship!" 

I'm sitting here- desperately needing to finish my sermon.  

Begging her- "Please Gracie- you really need to go to bed now. Your eyes are getting purple underneath. I know you want to be at your best tomorrow and you can only do that if you are well rested.  (I'm talking to myself there too!)

(Her Daddy is with the other daughter getting her down.) 

Lord, Thank you for my beautiful, wise, grace-filled, deep daughters.  Thank you for their passion, joy, and precocious sense of wonder.   Give me energy and strength and motivation to bring the word you've placed on my heart and head and which I am seeking to still get down on paper this evening.  May you be glorified in all I do, Amen. 


Thursday, September 12, 2013

Holy Moments

Holy moments- tonight Gracie handed me her bible and asked for a story.
We recently got her the "Jesus Calling Bible Storybook" 

As I was searching through to pick one she said, "Can you tell a bible story that is like a lesson you taught us today?"  It took me awhile to figure out what she was asking and she was getting frustrated but we stayed with it.

And I finally got it and said, "YES! We talked about patience earlier-- and not rushing through your work, but taking your time.

She said, "Yes MOM!  So is there a bible story about that?"

This children's bible included the story of "Patient Job"

So I read this story to the girls.  (This is my version)  Much of this is paraphrased in my Mommy Storytelling. 

Job loved God.
Job had lots of awesome stuff.
He had a big family.
Land, animals, and everything he wanted.
He praised God.

The Bad stuff in the world said to God, "Job only loves you because he has lots of stuff."

Gracie shouted-- "That's not true!  He does love God!"

Job lost all his fancy stuff.
His land, big house, all the cool things he had.
He even lost his family.
Things weren't so good.
But Job still loved God and he praised God.

Job's friends were not helpful.
They said- "You must have done something bad to lose everything."

Gracie shouted-- "No!  He didn't!"
 Me-- "That's right.  He didn't do anything.  Sometimes bad things happen.  Sometimes life is hard.  And its not because God doesn't love us or because we did anything.  Sometimes bad things just happen."

Well.  Things didn't get better for Job.
He even got sick.  He felt really bad.
He did not like being sick.  He was sad.
He prayed to God.
-------------------At this point Sophia says, "Mommy, hold on - I want to pray to God now."
                           We stop and she prays, "Thank you God for this day.  Thank you God for our food.   Thank you God for Mommy letting us sleep on the floor tonight.  Help us to sleep great and have a good day tomorrow and sleep good tomorrow too."  Then she just looks at me and I whisper "Amen" and she said, "Yes! Amen!"

And Back to story----(my poor husband- how hard it is to be a parent and be ADD!) 
His wife said, "Why do you even still believe in God? Believing in God isn't doing anything for you?  Just give up!"

Gracie sat up-- "That's not a good thing to say!" God still loves him!"

Me-- "You're right Gracie- she wasn't being encouraging there, was she?"

Gracie- shaking her head no.  (finally getting a little tired-- Sophia is listening and looking at other books in the corner).

Finally God spoke and reminded Job of all God had created.
God scolded Job's friends for their bad advice.  (stopped to discuss what "scolded means")
 God reminded Job of how God always loves and his always with us even when times are hard.
Because of Job's faithfulness God gave Job all that he had lost and more
Job lived a very long life and praised God every day!

 We all have problems and there is lots of stuff in this life that will make us turn away from God- especially when we're hurting.  The best praise you can give God is to trust in Jesus when you're having a hard time.  God is always here for you to talk to about your problems and God will help you with them always.  Jesus always wants to give you peace.

Then we talked about examples of being patient.
How could we be patient with things-- like school work, toys, etc.?
How could we be patient at school?
How could we be patient with our family?
-----------this was the best part-- talking about ways we could all work on being more patient with each other.  Waiting to brush teeth -- (i.e. not pushing your sister off the stool).  Sharing toys.  Patiently listening for folks to share their story at the dinner table.
When I ask Daddy to to something - like take out the trash- I have to wait until he has time.  (that was my example- that sometimes he's in the middle of something else and I need to wait.)
Kevin was so sweet and said, "Mommy does a lot of things for us that we don't ever notice.  So we can show patience by thanking her and waiting for what we want, speaking kindly rather than whining."  

They kept raising their hands and thinking of ways they can work on patience.

We had such great discussion.

I am so thankful for these moments.  For holy conversations that will lead to more conversations.
For moments that build foundations of faith.

Here they are- asleep on the floor-- (how is that supposed to be fun?  If I were 5 or 6 I would remember)