Raising a Bible Reader

As adults we know how important it is to read the Bible frequently. In a recent sermon, our pastor asked –

“What if we treated our Bible like our cell phone? What if we never left home without it?”

I thought of another question – what if our children saw us treating the Bible like we do our cell phones?

At 4 my daughter is too young to be reading the Bible, but she’s not too young to develop a connection with the Bible. Here are some ways I’m using to make that important connection:

  • I found that grouping my Bibles together and keeping them in a special place intrigues my daughter. Having Bibles of different sizes and colors creates curiosity and makes them fun to explore.
  • At this young age, the best way I can encourage Monkey’s interest in the Bible is to let her see me reading and enjoying the Bible on a regular basis, which is more incentive to read it often.
  • When I’m reading my Bible, Monkey often gets out her ‘Beginner’ Bible. Then together we read a story from her Bible aloud.
  • After we read out loud from her Bible, I give her some time to look through her Bible alone while I read from my Bible alone.
  • This time reading alone doesn’t usually last too long since Monkey is curious about what I’m reading, and asks for me to read to her from my Bible. I like to read a story to her from my Bible and then read the same story again from her Bible.

Monkey Says The Most Precious Things

Talk of possibly having another baby has been flying around our house for the past few months. Should we be blessed enough to get pregnant again, I’m fine with another girl or a boy. Hubby is definitely ‘Team Boy’ while Monkey has firmly planted herself on ‘Team Girl’. For a while she was excited for a baby brother, but has recently become quite certain she will have a baby sister:

“Can we name my baby sister ‘Mermaid’?” Monkey asked. 

“I don’t think so. Besides, we don’t know if it’s going to be a baby sister or a baby brother. God decides,” I answered.

“God told my heart it was going to be a baby sister,” she told me with absolute conviction.

“And He said it’s alright to name her ‘Mermaid’?” I was skeptical.

“Yes. He told my heart,” she affirmed.

Well, color me happily surprised. Reading a Bible verse every night and saying our prayers together really seems to be affecting my little angel (perhaps not as much as the movie ‘The Little Mermaid’ has affected her, but close enough).
It was at least a month ago when I explained that God always listens to our prayers and He speaks to our hearts. I haven’t really talked about it since, but on many nights we have read this short devotion from Really Woolly Bedtime Prayers by Bonnie Rickner Jensen:


I praise the Lord because he guides me. Even at night, I feel his leading. (Psalm 16:7)

[God] goes ahead of you,

To guide you with His love.

He helps you when you ask Him to,

With wisdom from above.

And when you say your prayers at night

He’s listening –it’s true!

He whispers to your little heart,

I am taking care of you.

~ (RWBP)

Mommy Moments: Poop in Prayer

It’s bedtime. Freshly bathed, smelling like Johnson’s baby shampoo, my daughter is snuggled close to me. We’ve read a story and now it’s time for our prayers. I cherish these special moments where we thank God for all He has given us and done for us throughout the day. Usually we thank God for all the people we love and care for, but on this particular night, Monkey decides to give thanks for something unexpected.

“Anything else you want to talk to God about?” I ask my soon-to-be four-year-old.
“Uh…yeah! Thank you God for poop!” Monkey explodes into a fit of giggles.
“Poop?” I ask in shock. Hearing the word ‘poop’ was surprising, and in my opinion, completely inappropriate.
“And pee!” She adds before collapsing into another giggle fit.

Stunned, I pray silently for a way to handle this situation, which is quickly getting out of my control. I don’t want our peaceful prayer time to degenerate into potty talk! Calmly, I say, “You’re right. Thank you God for poop and pee because if we didn’t poop and pee we would be really sick.”
“Thank you God for poop!” Monkey once more exclaims, but only lets out a small giggle.
She settles down once more and I’m able to close our prayer time with a whispered, “Amen.”

Have you ever been in this situation? How did you handle it? And please, someone tell me that potty talk is just a phase!

Chasing Shadows

 

Today was simply beautiful. The temperature was warm in the 60s with no wind and the sun shone brightly in the baby blue sky -perfect conditions for a lovely fall run with Monkey.

On the track today we ran together holding hands and crossing the finish line together so we both ‘won.’ We chased our shadows, stepped on each other’s shadow, and merged our shadows into one ‘monster’ shadow. Monkey also picked the few remaining dandelions.

On our way to the creek, she fell asleep and napped for maybe 15 minutes. She woke up in time to stop at the creek and toss sticks into the water.

I got a great workout pushing Monkey in her jogging stroller up a hill because our regular route was blocked by big tree limbs that fell down during the snow we had a week ago.

A metaphorical tree limb fell in my path on Friday and rather than turn to God for the strength and wisdom to navigate, I panicked. I’m deeply ashamed to admit that I blamed God for putting the tree in my way as punishment. I stumbled over the limb, tripped and got trapped in the tiny branches. Only when I was completely helpless did I realize that I was blaming God because I didn’t trust him as much as I thought.

It’s a challenge for me to trust God when something bad happens, but I desperately want to trust in God as Job did – “In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly” (Job 1:22). I have to stop obsessing over what has happened. I’ve been living with it, enduring it, but not accepting it and trusting God to take care of it. It’s time to stop chasing shadows of why, what if and what will. It’s time to start admitting my own powerlessness and recognizing who is all powerful.

WIML Thursday

I sat down to type up my Thursday WIML post three hours ago, but got sidetracked by a cute font, which lead me to this tutorial on creating blinkies, making me play around in Photoshop, eventually leaving me revising my blog logo! This happens too often: I sit down to blog, but end up spending time on design and not content. In any event, don’t be surprised to see a revised header on Pocketful of Playdough soon, although I don’t think that would really surprise my regular readers.

Enough with my rambling. Let’s talk about Thursday! It was another rainy day, but luckily the rain held off and I got in 7 dry miles of running. After stretching and cooling down, I walked one block from the church to the CVS drug store to pick up some Sudafed. On the way back, the sky opened up and I was soaked within seconds. Major bummer!

I really wanted to go home and take a hot, steamy shower, but on Thursdays after preschool I take the girls to the library and couldn’t disappoint them.

Normally, the girls go straight to the toy bin and spend the time running around the library playing, rather than looking at the books. Then no sooner do I get them home, then they are pulling books off my book shelf. This week for the first time, they wanted to read books! Hooray!

Memorable conversations of today:

First thing after waking up, Monkey took her blankie, ‘Bobo’, held him in front of her and said, “Bobo. Bobo. I’ve got something to tell you. Don’t jump out of the car when I go Bible school. Wait for me in the car.”

@Library –

*Monkey looked so cute trying to protect ‘Bobo’ from the rain as we walked into the library, I said to her, “I’m going to hug and squeeze you.”

She replied, “Not till we get home.”

*The first thing Monkey said to Zoey once they picked out their toys: “I princess. You doctor.”

*As I was taking notes on the morning while the girls played in the library, I heard, “Mommy! Mommy!”

“What?” I asked.

Monkey said, “Not you. I’m talking to that Mommy.” She then pointed to Zoey. (They play a game where they take turns being the ‘Mommy’ and the ‘Honey’, aka [baby].)

Dinner Time

For supper I made rigatoni with my MIL’s homemade spaghetti sauce. As it warmed, the flavorful aroma filled the house.

Just a side note: My MIL makes the most delicious spaghetti sauce! My FIL is the family ‘chef’ but my MIL gives him a run for his money when it comes to spaghetti sauce!

Monkey agrees, at least I think so. She gobbled it up! And of course dropped a few noodles on her dress.

“Well.” She paused and took a breath before continuing, “That’s okay. It’ll dry. The sun will dry it.”

“The sun will dry it?” I asked.

“Yeah, it’s okay. Sun will dry it.”

She was so confident! I even believed her for a second even though the sun wasn’t out all day :)

Notes on the day:

I took a lot more pictures.
I still haven’t captured any Daddy/Monkey moments, though.
I still need to set the correct date on my camera!

Weekend Plans

No WIML Friday post.
Possible WIML Saturday post -if I can get Monkey/Daddy time covered.
WIML Sunday post scheduled for Monday.

***
This post inspired by WIML host by Melissa @ Adventuroo.

WIML Wonderful Wednesday

Wednesdays are ‘Wonderful’ around our house. This week was no exception, despite the pouring rain outside. From the middle of September until the week before Thanksgiving, our church hosts an evening meal followed by Bible studies for adults and programs for the children. My writing group, 1st Writes, started out as a Wednesday night Bible Study and we continue to meet on ‘Wonderful Wednesdays’. This is the first year that Monkey has been able to attend the Bible study for preschool children. She really looks forward to it!

So far she’s learned:

  • God wants her to help others.
  • God keeps his promises.
  • God keeps her safe.
  • She can do what God wants her to do. (I still need reminded of this Bible truth.)

Because of the rain, I took the day off from running. I normally do between 40 and 45 miles a week with two days off. One day a week I do a 30 minute free-weight workout and I do two yoga sessions a week as well. Today I did yoga, but didn’t get any pictures, which is a shame because Monkey likes to do it too and she’s pretty funny in her poses.

Before yoga, I posted Tuesday’s WIML and worked on my lesson for the 1st Writes meeting (It was my night to lead the group).

After yoga, I did some housecleaning. I vacuumed Monkey’s bedroom and mine before I realized that I had forgotten to put the canister back in the vacuum! This was my ‘duh’ moment of the day.

For supper, Monkey had peach cobbler -homemade? yes; made by me? no. Dessert was delicious and the main dish was very tasty. Our church is awesome because they take our vegetarianism into consideration and include a meatless option. Tonight’s veggie dish was quinoa salad, which I enjoyed, but Monkey did not.

After supper, Monkey ran around the fellowship hall as usual. Normally, there are other kids running around too, but Monkey finished early. I ran behind her trying to get some good pictures. Unfortunately, I didn’t get any really good shots.

I do love that last picture because her cheeks look especially squeezable!

During her Bible study tonight they watched Veggie Tales – Big River Rescue. Monkey is just starting to enjoy Veggie Tales. She and Zoey especially like watching Veggie Tales on the TV at the local Christian Bookstore.

After a quick bath, Monkey was ready for bed and fell asleep pretty quickly.

For Thursday, I’m hoping to take more pictures and capture some Monkey/Daddy time.

***

This post is inspired by ‘Week in my life’ hosted by Melissa @ Adventuroo.

WIML Tuesday

I am happy to report that Tuesday started off on a dry note -no pee spills to clean up! This put me in a very good mood. Amazing how the simplest things can make me happy these days.

On Tuesdays and Thursdays Monkey and her cousin Zoey go to the preschool in our church. Thankfully, Monkey was up around 7am so I didn’t have to wake her. She takes after her father when it comes to sleeping habits and can be a real bear if I have to get her out of bed before she’s ready. Immediately I asked what she wanted to wear because Monkey is very picky and getting dressed can sometimes take an hour or more. Of course she wanted to wear a dress and unfortunately, I haven’t put away her summer dresses yet.

“I wear that one,” Monkey said and pointed to a lightweight purple, flowery dress.

“No. It’s too cold for that one.” I shook my head.

“Well,” Monkey put her hands on her hips and a finger to her bottom lip as she looked in her closet. “I wear this one,” she pulled out another purple sundress.

“No. Too cold.” I really need to make time to go through her clothes and switch out summer for fall.

We repeated this process until I eventually couldn’t take it anymore and pulled one of her favorite dresses off the hanger.

“You can wear this one,” I said.

“But, but, but…” Monkey never just says one ‘but’; she says a string of them.

“It’s got pockets; you love the pockets don’t you?” I felt smug. Monkey never turned down a shirt or dress with pockets.

“Okay!” Monkey agreed – maybe too quickly.

Since it was going to be in the 70s, I didn’t spend too much time arguing over whether she had to wear tights or not and in a reasonable amount of time, Monkey was dressed and ready to go.

“Fill pockets now,” Monkey announced and began stuffing her pockets with princess figurines.

“Oh, no you don’t. You can’t take toys to preschool.”

“But, but, but…”

“No. You’ll lose them or fight over them. Toys stay home.”

Crying ensued. I knew she had agreed too easily and that there’d be a tantrum at some point. I ignored her crying, which sounds mean as I type it, but ignoring her little fits is the best way to put an end to them.

“What do you want for breakfast?” I asked.

“I don’t want breakfast.” She sniffed.

“Fine.”

I made a big bowl of oatmeal and sat down to eat it. Sure enough, here comes Monkey. “I have some?”

The trick to getting Monkey to eat when she says she doesn’t want to or to get her to try something new is to not offer it to her, but to just eat it myself. It never fails that she wants what I have, but if I give her a plate or bowl of her own, forget about it. Toddlers.

After breakfast, it was time to leave and pick up my niece, Zoey. The ride was uncharacteristically silent. Usually the girls are talking and laughing, but not this Tuesday.

With the girls in preschool for 2 1/2 hours, it’s easier (and saves gas) if I just run from the church in town rather than drive home, run, and drive back. It’s a nice change in scenery and encourages me to vary my pace, which is good. As the wind blew, leaves trickled from the tree tops, gliding softly on the breeze and landing gently on the pavement where they were then stirred to a frenzy by passing cars. As the cars drove by, the leaves trailed behind them the way tin cans tied with string  trail behind the cars of newlyweds.

The run was great. My knees didn’t hurt and I wonder if maybe the stroller is putting too much stress on them. The weather was perfect, maybe even a bit too warm, but I’m not complaining. At one point, on the busiest street in town, I tripped on the uneven sidewalk, but managed to catch myself before falling flat on my face. My face flamed with embarrassment, but then I quickly reminded myself that I don’t care if drivers laugh at me; at least no one honked!

This post inspired by Week in My Life hosted by Melissa @ Adventuroo.

*Note to Self*
Capture Monkey and Daddy playtime! Tonight I really goofed and didn’t take pictures or photos of their outside time together!