Train up Your Child- reprise

>> Tuesday, July 14, 2009

I am going to BlogHer!!! I am super excited for the mommy-blogger conference in Chicago next week! But, I must pause to say a thank you to Tyndale House Kids who has generously sponsored me and made it possible for me to attend. The Bibles and books they have sent us are some of the daily staples in our house. Here are a couple of our favs:

We are constantly on the look out for tools to help us parent Lucas. He is my highly-verbal, ultra-smart, very inquisitive boy who always has a million questions about everything. When he was just shy of two, we would be driving in the car and he would demand that I "talk about" whatever we saw... "mommy, talk about about grass... talk about cranes... talk about gas stations." He just wanted to know the facts, the scientific truth about the things he was experiencing and learning about. While his desire to know everything has not changed, his questions have gotten much more complex. At nearly 3 years old, he now wants to know about how a space shuttle launches and how it gets to the moon. Tonight he asked me "How did God talk to Noah? Did Noah hear God with he ears?"
When I was offered the chance to get advanced copies of two new books for kids by Tyndale House Publishers, I was pumped. We always love new books, and anything that helps me teach my little sponge is gladly accepted. To say we love these new books is a huge understatement. We adore them... and I would love to share them with you.

When I heard the title of the first book, I was immediately sold! Questions from Little Hearts... sounds perfect for us. And it is. The book is divided into four sections: What is God Like? What is Prayer? What about Heaven? and Are Angels Real? I have written before about Lucas and I's conversations about Heaven. He knows there are people there that he loves- Micah, my grandmother - and he has very real questions about what it is like there. I love that this book poses the questions that a toddler would really ask and then gives the answers in a way that keeps their attention and satisfies their curiosity.

"Is heaven a place that is near or that's far? can I get to heaven by boat or by car?
How will I find it? Who'll show me the way? Does heaven have nighttime? And what about day? ...
Though heaven's a place that you can't see from here, It says in the Bible that heaven is near. You don't have to know how to fly or to swim. The way is with Jesus, believing in him."

At the end of each section, the author lists the scripture references for the answers they suggest. Lucas loves it. We read at least one section a day and he often asks for the one he wants. "Mommy, let's read about prayer today." And we always read the scriptures at the end and he has started asking me to show him where to find "those words" in the Bible. So we pull out the Bible and flip to a couple of the verses and read them there too. It is precious, teachable moments like these that make me feel like maybe I am capable of training my child the way God has called me to. I highly recommend this book for anyone whose little one has questions, lots of questions, like mine. It is easy to read and has sparked many really great conversations with me and my curious toddler.

When I was pregnant with Lucas, we received many Bibles geared toward babies and toddlers as gifts. We have one that we have read cover to cover many times (not in one sitting) that tells all the great stories and has been a good tool for introducing him to the Bible. But several months ago, Hubby commented that we needed to find a Bible for Lucas that was the "next step up." Still meant for kids, but one where the words read a little more like Scripture and a little less like a board book. Kenneth Taylor's Classic Bible Storybook is just that. This Bible has less pictures, more text. But my favorite thing about it is the 4-5 questions it lists at the end of each story. Tonight we read story 5 (we skip around)- "Noah is Safe in a Boat." The questions at the end of the story really help reinforce what we just read (How long did it rain? Why did God send the Flood?) and sparks even deeper questions (like how did Noah hear God talking to him?). I also love that because it is a little more like a regular Bible, it includes stories that most children's Bibles leave out. We are studying Elijah and Elisha in the Bible study we go to and I love that we can open "his Bible" and read about these prophets (stories 51-54) that he is learning about. It makes it seem more like we are reading the Bible, if that make sense. Lucas asks to bring "his Bible" to church and that warms my heart.

It is a daunting task, at least for me, to feel responsible for my child's spiritual up-bringing. I don't want to miss this stage of his life where he is soaking in his world and starting to form his world-view. I am trying to build things into our days that help me teach him about God and prayer and the Bible, etc... We are working on memory verses, talking about spiritual things, and reading books that help guide our conversations and our lives. And these two books have become a big part of that. I can't recommend either one enough. These are books we will read for many years and will hopefully become cherished parts of our boys' early spiritual development.

This post was originally published Feb 11, 2009.

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Just Me July 14, 2009 at 9:34 PM  

I regularly struggle with faith based questions:

who is God's daddy?
how did he make people?
recently she was concerned about dying. that was a fun conversation

I typically struggle with the Christian interpretation, the science interpretation, other cultures, etc.

It is so daunting!

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