Tips for Scripture Reading with Little Ones

I like to read Scripture to my children while they eat lunch. This is not Bible “study” time. This is just them hearing the Word (and a little commentary from their mother because they just don’t get enough of that during the day!) I do this during lunch because they are all together, seated, have full mouths and are unable to interrupt. For those of you working outside of the home, you could do this at breakfast or dinner or bath time. Now, before you become too impressed, please know that I have been doing this for several weeks now and we are only on Genesis 16 and this is with me skipping the part about Noah getting gassed and naked because, well, who has time for that?kitchen bible

The fact is that there are days when I get about three verses read before the baby cries or someone steals their sister’s pickle or the 3 year old falls out of her chair. At first, this stressed me because I had this vision in my head of a chapter each day. I am a list maker and a list checker offer, so I have to guard my heart against making Scripture reading just another to-do item to get done.

I started the lunch time reading because I wanted the Bible, God, Christ to not be compartmentalized. Sure, we study Bible during school. But I don’t want it to be just a subject that they have between math and Science. I encourage them to have private time with the Lord during the day. But I don’t want their relationship with God to just be something they do at the end of the day in their beds. I want Christ to be what their lives are all about. I want their faith to be as natural and as necessary as their next breath.

So, I read – and here are some things I am learning along the way.

Tips for Scripture Reading with Little Ones

  • Have a designated Bible that stays in the kitchen.  If you have to run and find a Bible each day, it will never become a lasting habit. At first, I kept one on the window sill. It was a little out of sight, though, so I would often forget. Now, it sits in a bowl in the middle of our table.
  • Don’t have a preconceived notion of how much you will read each day. If you only get two verses read before someone has a meltdown, don’t sweat it. Smile, close it up and know that tomorrow is another day.
  • Point out interesting facts that they may miss. For instance, point out that Abraham was promised a child when he was 75 years old. Issac, however, was not born until he was 100 years old. No in depth study here. Just an acknowledgement that, sometimes, we must be patient as we wait for God’s promises.
  • Don’t be afraid to paraphrase. We are not having seminary classes here. If you think the words or content are beyond your little one’s understanding – use your own words.

Just have fun with it. In twenty years, your kids will not remember that you could not pronounce the name of a city or person. They will, however, remember growing up in a home where God was honored and His Word was read.

Happy Wednesday, y’all!

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You may also find these Bible Study Tips for Busy Moms helpful!

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me and buxStacy Edwards (@sjedwards) is a trucker’s daughter and a pastor’s wife. She is a freelance writer and a homeschooling mom to four fabulous little girls. Stacy blogs at Servant’s Life where she uses her words to point others to the hope and encouragement found in Christ. If you need her, she’s probably hiding in the bathroom.

There’d Be Days Like This, My Mama Said

I had three crying kids before I could even brush my teeth. The three year old wanted to be in the school room with us, but did not want any part of schooling.  I found where someone had been playing in the Desitin and, then, wiped their hands on the carpet. If you have ever tried to clean that stuff up, you understand my pain. Interruption after interruption and I knew this school day was going nowhere. walmart

I decided we would go to Walmart – where the floors are always sticky, the buggies are always squeaky and the cashier is sure to roll her eyes when she sees your stack of coupons. Because, after all, isn’t that what any mother would do when her kids are all tired and whining and fighting. Okay, so maybe it wasn’t my best idea ever.

I’m not saying that the baby was unhappy, but three different people stopped me to say they thought my little one may be tired. The suggestion here was, Please take your screaming baby home. I was determined, though. I went down the cereal aisle and, as my children began fighting over who could get the Pop tarts off of the shelf, an older lady handed me a box of granola bars and asked if I could read the ingredients to her. So, I did. It was a long list, y’all. After every couple of words I would look around, count the kids (1, 2, 3, 4 – okay), and continue.

Next, she handed me another box of granola bars and asked if I thought they were also fiber bars. I just didn’t know. She explained her dietary issues to me and turned slightly away from me to scan the other options. I was still holding the items she had handed me. I didn’t really know if I was supposed to leave or continue to stand there. Eventually, she thanked me and took her items and we moved on.

Two aisles later, the baby is still crying, one kid is walking backwards and one is insisting that I pretend she is a new kid whom we don’t know. Another lady walks up and says that she is new to this store and can I show her where the milk is located. Not tell her, mind you, but show her. So, off we go to the opposite corner of the store.

At this point, I knew that this grocery shopping trip was a wash. I looked at my buggy: some toothpaste, brown sugar and Pop tarts. Surely, I can make a meal out of that. 20120903-130942.jpg

As we are leaving, my eldest looks at me and says, ” You helped two people in there, mama. I guess that’s why God wanted us to go there.”

I just hope everyone remembers that when I’m serving Pop tarts for dinner.

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me and buxStacy Edwards (@sjedwards) is a trucker’s daughter and a pastor’s wife. She is a freelance writer and a homeschooling mom to four fabulous little girls. Stacy blogs at Servant’s Life where she uses her words to point others to the hope and encouragement found in Christ. If you need her, she’s probably hiding in the bathroom.

Parenting is Hard – For Everyone

I have read many blog posts and articles regarding the “mommy wars.”  It’s the silly notion that there is a chasm between working moms and stay-at-home moms. Now, more recently, I’m seeing some posts on working dads vs. stay-at-home dads. sophia2

Could we just speak truth for a moment? It does not matter if you work outside of the home or inside of the home. You might be a single mom/dad or a two person team. You might have babes that grew in your womb or grew in your heart. Maybe you are a boy mama knee deep in army toys and dirt. Or, like me, maybe you’re a girl mama that has more Barbies in your house than the law should allow. Then again, bless your sweet heart, maybe you have a foot in both gender worlds. If so, my friend, I salute you.

Working parent, I applaud you. I did it for years and it is not easy. Stay-at-home parent, yay you, I’m doing it now and it is not easy. That is what I want us all to realize. This parenting thing is dang hard – for everyone. There is no time for us to be dragging each other down. We have to quit shooting our own wounded. I, for one, do not want to be the reason another mom or dad feels beaten down at the end of the day.

You and I, we are the same. We love our little ones. We pray for their futures. We clip coupons, pinch pennies and, sometimes, forget to shower. We have all made that midnight run to Walmart for gas drops or cough medicine. Each of us has had that moment where we felt one mistake away from our kids ending up in therapy. Admit it, you have sniffed a pair of socks to see if they could be worn just one more time.

I have felt the sting of those claiming they would never send their child to daycare. My blood has boiled at those wondering what it is that I do all day now that I “no longer work.” Whatever your average day happens to look like, mom or dad,  I think you are a rock star. You are not the only one with a sink full of dirty dishes. You are not the first parent to call a peanut butter sandwich dinner because the thought of cooking was just. too. much.

I have worked full time. I have stayed home full time. I have worked part time from home. Whatever you do from nine to five, I am a huge fan of you.  I won’t judge you when I see you at the store in pajama pants. I won’t shake my head when your kid is screaming and you’re frazzled.

There is no condemnation for those up to their necks in parenthood. Deal?

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me and buxStacy Edwards (@sjedwards) is a trucker’s daughter and a pastor’s wife. She is a freelance writer and a homeschooling mom to four fabulous little girls. Stacy blogs at Servant’s Life where she uses her words to point others to the hope and encouragement found in Christ. If you need her, she’s probably hiding in the bathroom.

Resurrection Activities

“If you stop at the crucifixion, your child misses the glorious resurrection. If you start at the resurrection, your child misses Christ’s payment on the cross for our sins.” — “I Love to Tell the Story” by Jeff Land (HomeLife, March 2013)

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Yesterday I saw this great post about discipling kids in the midst of hectic lives. The author suggests practical ways to teach kids about Jesus using the head, heart, and hands. With Easter just around the corner, now is the perfect time to put these into practice with some hands-on activities that illustrate the resurrection for kids in tangible ways.

Resurrection Eggs

You can do this activity with your kids over the 12 days leading up to Easter or as one longer activity. To start, print this Resurrection Eggs printable: HomeLife Resurrection Eggs Printable

You’ll need an empty egg carton, 12 plastic eggs (Target’s dollar section has these as do most dollar stores), a permanent marker, a Bible, plus these 12 items:

1. palm branch – a small branch, leaf, or clipping

2. silver coins – nickels, dimes, or play money

3. bread – a small piece of bread, a cracker, or a crouton

4. whip – a piece of rope, baker’s twine, or yarn

5. purple cloth – a piece of ribbon or a square cut from an old T-shirt

6. thorns – from a rose or bush, or you can break a toothpick into small pieces

7. cross – whatever you have on hand, such as a sticker, jewelry pendant, or you can make one with toothpicks or sticks

8. nails

9. sign – write on a piece of paper “THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS”

10. spices – whole (not ground) spices, such as cloves or nutmeg

11. stone

12. empty – Jesus is risen!

Get creative and use what you have on hand.

Let your kids decorate a cover for the egg carton. (The resurrection eggs printable above has one your kids can color.) Label your plastic eggs 1 to 12. Using the printable, cut out the 12 Scripture readings to go along with each item. Then fill each egg with the appropriate item and corresponding Scripture. Have your Bible ready for more in-depth discussion.

Want to do this activity but are short on time? You can find a resurrection eggs kit here: http://www.lifeway.com/Product/resurrection-eggs-p005430542

Resurrection Cookies

This activity appeared in HomeLife’s April 1995 issue, and it’s been a favorite ever since. Try it with your kids the night before Easter. HomeLife Resurrection Cookies

Resurrection Rolls

These tasty sweet rolls make a great Easter morning breakfast, and you probably already have these ingredients on hand! HomeLife Resurrection Rolls

Easter is the most important holiday for a Christ-follower. Don’t let it slip by without being intentional to teach your kids the good news.

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Dawn Hollomon is a minister’s wife, mom to a preschooler and a teenager adopted from Ethiopia, and the editor of HomeLife magazine.

Looking for Real-Life Dad Heroes!

Update: Thanks to all of you who have already sent your real-life dad hero stories! If you haven’t yet, it’s not too late. We’re accepting submissions until Monday, March 11th.

We’re celebrating dads in our June issue!

Do you know a dad who’s an everyday hero? Maybe he doesn’t have thousands of Twitter followers or isn’t leading a Fortune 500 company, but he’s a hero at home. We want to honor him!

Here’s the info we need:

1. Your name and contact information
2. The dad’s name and contact information
3. An email detailing why you think this dad is a hero in his home (200 to 400 words)

Share your stories at homelife@lifeway.com. We’ll contact you for more info if we choose to print your story. You may see this dad in our June issue!