Joy in Your Journey

My mentor, Jo Bevington, sent me a letter recently.  I am sharing it with you so you can hopefully capture her  passion for establishing God’s Word in children, and you can feel the joy she possesses in her life.  Keep in mind that she is 85, never had children of her own,  has been a widow for about 40 years, and had a stroke recently which has left her unable to see very well and unable to walk without a walker.  The only thing she has expressed regret about her situation is that she just had to give up teaching her preschool Sunday School class because her walker was too much of a distraction and safety hazard for the children.

Dear Sheilah,

What joy it has been to talk to you on the telephone!

These are the preschool Bible thoughts I was telling you about.  What joy it is to me to make me a pocket verse everyday and by the end of the day I have memorized it…..So I think what fun it would be for families of preschoolers to make their child a “pocket verse” every day.  Since young children are concrete learners, the words of the Bible might become valuable to them if they carried around a little Bible thought each day.

Today was a fun day for me.  Rebecca, who cleans my house, decided she wanted to learn to play piano.  And it has been great joy for me to teach her.  We just take time out from her work and have a lesson.  I am trying to play again, even though it is very hard to see.  I can only do it a short time each time I try.  But the Lord is Good!  I can still play.

I love you, Sheilah!

Jo

Jo’s joy, in spite of her circumstances, comes from her daily contact with God through His Word.

Listed below are some of the Bible thoughts she mentioned.  If you want to see more,  please contact me.  Deuteronomy says we are to be ready to share God’s Word with our children as we go about our daily routine.  I liked Jo’s idea of putting it on a card and giving the child something tangible to hold on to all day.

God called the light ‘day’ and the darkness he called ‘night’   Genesis 1:5

God made all kinds of trees to grow.  Genesis 2:9

Love your father and mother.  Exodus 20:12

A friend loves at all times.  Proverbs 17:17

Everything God made is beautiful.  Ecclesiastes 3:11

The birds have nests.  Matthew 8:20

Help one another.  Galatians 5:13

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Food, Fireworks, and Family

Reading Around the Firepit

Pyrotechnics

We had the best Fourth of July ever!!! Yes, we had food; yes, we had fireworks; yes we had watermelon. We had Wii games, bocce ball in the backyard, and conversation around the fire pit. There was the usual Daws family movie quoting and the constant playing of patriotic music and movies throughout the day. There were even a few non-mother-approved displays of pyrotechnics; however, I can’t complain because everyone did sit long enough for the reading of the “Declaration” and “The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere”. But none of these alone are what made it a spectacular 4th. It’s the fact that our entire family was at our house along with some of our favorite extended family.

Nothing can compare with family enjoying each other. What a gift from God!!! It is interesting that the author of the Declaration of Independence understood the importance of family. Thomas Jefferson once said, “The happiest moments of my life have been the few which I have passed at home in the bosom of my family.” I wonder if he had any idea that one day the celebration of what he had a part in would be a family fun-filled holiday.

As my heart rejoices over the day we had, it also hurts for those who couldn’t have that for whatever reason – the recent loss of a daughter, a father near death, discord in the family, or a family member in another country actually defending the right to have a fun-filled 4th.

The first institution God established was the family. No matter what your family situation, always remember – if God so valued the family, so should we. Your family is a gift of God to you, as you are to them.

I hope you will take the time to listen to the following song by Gary Dunham A Happy Family. It was in the top 10 Christian songs in 1981 so it is a little dated, but It has been special to our family through the years. Several years ago one of our children accidentally recorded over our only copy of the song, so you will hear him at the end, but you will get the message of the song 🙂

A Happy Family

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Sing, Sing, Sing!!!

He has put a new song in my mouth– Psalm 40:3

Do you have a new song to sing each day? I have to admit that lately I have not had a song in my heart or in my mouth because of negative circumstances in our lives. But singing can bring physical, emotional, cognitive, and spiritual refreshment to individuals of all ages, even beginning in the womb. The unborn child’s ears at 20 weeks are structurally equivalent to an adult’s ears and the amniotic fluid is an excellent conductor of sound.

God knows what He’s doing when He encourages us numerous times throughout Scripture to sing. He desires our songs of praise to Him, but He also designed music for our good – to promote our wellness, to help us manage stress, to encourage us to express our feelings, to help enhance our memory, and to help us improve communication.

It is easy to sing when all is right in our world, but we should not sing only when things are going well for us. My mentor that I mentioned in a previous post, Jo Bevington, is recuperating from a stroke, is almost blind, and is now unable to work with children, but she always has a new song in her heart and mouth when I talk with her. She recently sent me this scripture: I will be glad and full of joy because of You Most High God. I will sing praise to You.” Psalm 9:2

Scriptures gives us examples of ways God used music in difficult times. In 2 Chronicles 20, God instructed the singers to lead the way as the army marched toward the enemy which lead to their ultimate victory. In 1 Samuel 16:23 David’s harp playing soothed the troubled spirit of the king.

With all this in mind, we should sing often with our children. Don’t worry if you are like me and can’t carry a tune . . . God nor your children will care. It will bless God, your children, and you. God has designed children to give Him the best praise and you as their parent get to have a part in that as you guide them to sing. (Psalm 8:2 Nursing infants gurgle choruses about you; toddlers shout the songs that drown out enemy talk, and silence atheist babble.)

Here are a few examples of songs that you can sing to familiar tunes. One mother recently wrote me that she was learning to make up songs each day with her children…what fun! Let’s all keep singing

Blow, Blow, Blow the Wind (Psalm 147:18)

(tune of Row, Row, Row Your Boat)

Blow, blow, blow the wind

Gently through the trees

God causes His wind to blow

How I like the breeze

A Helper I Will Be(1 Corinthians 3:9)

(tune of The Farmer in the Dell)

A helper I will be

A helper I will be

I will help my mommy

A helper I will be

Be Ready to Share (1 Timothy 6:18)

(tune of 3 Blind Mice)

Be ready to share

Be ready to share

It’s more fun when we share our toys

So let’s share with the girls and the boys

Be ready to share

Be ready to share

It is Better to Give Than Receive (Ephesians 4:28, 2Cor. 9:7)

(tune of Mary Had a Little Lamb)

It is better to give than receive

Give than receive

Give than receive

It is better to give than receive

Giving makes us glad

Brush Your Teeth

(tune of Row, Row Your Boat)

Brush, Brush, Brush your teeth

Brush your teeth each day

Then you’ll have a pretty smile

And healthy teeth to stay

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Summer Fun on a Budget

It seems that God has always had us in “tight times” so we were always motivated to make the most of our situation and to enjoy the simple things.

Here are some things we have done that are very inexpensive or even free.

Play with Flour- Go outside with a cheap 5 lb. bag of flour.Sift it, pour it, mix it, throw it.

Sock wars- Save your old socks and roll each into a ball and throw them at each other

Run through the Sprinkler

Water balloons and guns

Sidewalk chalk

Mustard and Ketchup finger-painting – (to keep this from being messy, you can put a few squirts of mustard and ketchup in a baggie and seal it with tape and then press it around in the baggie)

Play dough – Just for fun or let children illustrate with play dough something from a story you just read

Goop (non toxic) –Mix 8 oz. of white glue and 6 oz. of water.Separately combine 1 tsp. of borax and half cup of water.Pour borax mixture into glue mixture and mix with hands until all liquid is absorbed and texture is smooth.

Lava pitTake all the pillows in the house and place them around on the floor and you can only get from one place to another by stepping on a pillow.

Avalanche – Take all the pillows again and build a high tower, then take cover as it comes toppling down on everyone

Nature walk – Take a walk and discover some of God’s toys like Maple tree seeds or as we called them twirly bird seeds.

Build tents inside and out with sheets and blankets

Camp out in the backyard

Picnicking with cookie cutter peanut butter sandwiches in backyard or at a park or under a sheet draped over the kitchen table

Play with Cornstarch – Mix one part water with one-and-a-half to two parts cornstarch, adding a bit of food color for fun.It is like a thick liquid; you can sink your hand into the mixture slowly, but it will not give if you punch it quickly.

Rubber band guns – Nail a clothes pin to a stick of wood to make the gun and use rubber bands to knock down army men or whatever.

Create with masking tape – Use masking tape on the floor to make roads for cars or use it to make a pretend boat for you all to get in…just use your own imagination.

Popcorn in the backyard If you have an electric popcorn popper, take it outside and place it on a sheet.Start it popping with no top on it and watch the popcorn fly.

Invent your own fun –Just recently our family invented a new twist to playing catch…every time we caught the ball, we had to say a movie quote.

Don’t be hesitant to make a mess.Sure there will be a lot of clean up, but you will be making memories together.Last year when my oldest son turned 30, he gave me a card for Mother’s Day with 30 reasons he was glad I was his mom; one was that I always let them make messes.

Don’t ever get too old to have fun as a family.Our children are all adults now but we still enjoy acting like kids.Jesus said that we must come to Him with the humility and faith of a little child (Luke 18:16-17, Matthew 18:1-4)…I think He wants us to approach all of life with the wonder and enjoyment of a little child.

Side Note: Deuteronomy 6:6-7 says to speak of God and His word as we go:

And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are away on a journey, when you are lying down and when you are getting up again.“

Everything doesn’t have to be related to a Bible verse, but as you play with play dough you could share, “God tells us ‘work with your hands’ (I Thessalonians 4:11).”Or while discovering things on your nature walk you could say, “Think of the wonders of God” (Joel 2:25, Job 37:14, Psalm 40:15)

HAVE A FUN FILLED SUMMER!

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