Monday, November 26, 2012

Biblical Devotions For Child-Training; Week 4 Pride

The last few nights I have been talking with my kids about pride.  I have been reading to them as a devotional from this book I was given, "For Instruction In Righteousness A Topical Reference Guide for Biblical Child-Training." They didn't quite understand the meaning of the word pride, so we discussed how it meant to put more trust in yourself and your abilities over God.  A proud person looked for compliments, praise and glory for themselves instead of God.  This book really helped me with ideas of how to explain bible verses on a kid level.

As I was reading this I began to think about blogging.  This is where I have a problem with blogging, for me.  I don't want my blog to be a place where I am looking for compliments and praise for my sewing, writing, family or whatever.  I struggle with this.  I would love to have a blog that was able to share my creations and point to God all at the same time.  I am so thankful for the ability God has given me in sewing.  It calms me and having a project makes me so excited for each day.  I can't wait to share what I am working on right now.  I hope my creations inspire others to create too.

So I talked with my kids about how we shouldn't be looking for praise all the time and praising ourselves.  The kids are always looking for attention and when I give one a compliment the others are jumping around trying to get compliments too.

Proverbs 27:2 (NKJV)
"Let another man praise you, and not your own mouth;
A stranger, and not your own lips."

Thanksgiving Dinner
The kids took turns praising each other and saying again how thankful they are for each other.  I also lavished praise on each of them and how amazing and important each of them are to me. It is better to receive praise from others than to praise yourself and they learned how great it felt to hear good things about themselves from their siblings.

Proverbs 25:27 (NKJV)
"It is not good to eat much honey;
So to seek one’s own glory is not glory."

This verse was easy to discuss with Halloween still fresh in their minds.  We talked about how eating lots of candy makes your tummy hurt so seeking glory and praise is not good for you either.  It is like being sick in your soul.

Psalm 73:6 (NKJV)
"Therefore pride serves as their necklace;"

Proverbs 18:11 
"The rich man’s wealth is his strong city,
And like a high wall in his own esteem."

Wurzburg, Germany
I told the kids to imagine having a chain around them.  I had each of them wrap their arms around themselves and imagine they are chains.  How easy is it to move and do things?  They quickly realized how little they were able to do when they couldn't move because of their arm chains.  Then I said imagine you are still in chains and in your own castle with high walls all around you.  Now you have a hard time accomplishing anything and you can't ask for help because you have high walls all around you.  And that is what pride does to you.  You have so much confidence in only you and your abilities and thoughts that you can't possibly think you could be wrong so you can't ask for help.  They all understood this and had a great conversation over it.  They started remembering many times when they were full of pride and couldn't believe they had the wrong answer which led to arguing and anger and separation from each other.  This is what sin does to us.  It puts us into our own castle and steels our joy and friendships.  And we can do this without even realizing it until sometimes it is too late.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Jacob's Space Quilted Wall Hanging

It has been months since I have sewn anything.  I have been so busy with therapy for my youngest Jacob that I haven't had the energy to sew.  I finally found some inspiration when I found this cute Benartex Googlies panel.  I have been wanting to make a wall hanging for Jacob with his name on it with some rockets ever since I made Brian's Star Wars Quilt!  I wanted his corner of the room to match Brian's space theme, but still be fun for a toddler.  So I added some applique rockets, aliens and planets along with his name to this cute panel!  I love it!  Very happy with it and all the bright colors.  Jacob loves it too.  I am just hoping he doesn't pull it off the wall!  

Biblical Devotions for Child-Training; Week 3 Complaining

Romans 9:19-20 (NKJV)
You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault? For who has resisted His will?” But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed say to him who formed it, “Why have you made me like this?”

This bible verse was a lesson that has really stuck with my kids.  I told them to imagine drawing or paining a picture and when you were finished with it you were so proud of it.  You thought it was perfect.  It was the best piece of art you have ever created.  And then the picture started to talk to you and complain about how you drew it and the colors you chose.  How would that make you feel as the one who created the picture?  That is how it is for us to complain to God.  God created us in His image to do what He made us to do.  We each have our own individual purpose.  We need to be thankful for our abilities and understand that others may have been given different abilities.  Even when it is hard to understand we need to be thankful.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NKJV)
"In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Biblical Devotions for Child-Training; Week 2 Complaining

Philippians 2:14-16 (NKJV)
"Do all things without complaining and disputing,  that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world,"

This is a bible verse I have been repeating to my children since my oldest turned 3.  I am always telling them that they need to do all things without complaining and arguing because this pleases God and Mommy.  But I think these words are starting to just be words to them and no longer mean anything.  So this devotion was to remind them about why complaining is wrong.  Complaining is a sin.  And all sin needs to be disciplined.  Why exactly is it a sin?

What is in your heart comes out of your mouth.  If you have a heart full of complaints then you have a bitter and selfish heart, a hard heart, a heart that can't learn and be changed to be more like God wants you to be.

How did God discipline His people when they complained?  Look at the story of Moses and his people made to wonder the desert for 40 years.  They forgot God's blessings.  They forgot what it was like to be slaves in Egypt.  All they could remember was the good food they used to eat and now they were only eating Manna.  They were tired of eating the same thing everyday so they started to complain.  Poor Moses was so tired of their complaining that he started to complain.  Complaining can become contagious!

Numbers 11(NKJV)
The People Complain
"Now when the people complained, it displeased the Lord; for the Lord heard it, and His anger was aroused."

I recommend reading all of chapter 11 with your children and discussing it as you go.  It may take a few days to do this because as it sinks in to their hearts and minds they start bursting with questions.  At least my children seem to ask a crazy amount of questions and a few verses can take us 30 minutes to get through.  This is why I love doing this with my children though.

After the discussion we talked about how we should be thankful for all the things we have.  We started listing all the things we could and should be thankful for.  This was great to do because Thanksgiving is right around the corner and we had already been talking about being thankful.

Colossians 3:15 (NKJV)
"And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful."

Complaining is a big issue in our house so it will continue the next day.  I pray that reading these bible verses with your children blesses you and them.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Biblical Devotions for Child-Training; Week 1 Arguing

My husband and I have been reading Children's Bibles to our kids since my oldest was born.  Every night we would sit with him, even as an infant, and read the bible to him.  We continued to do this as best as we could with each of them for the last 8 1/2 years. We just finished, a few weeks ago, My First Hands-On Bible.  I loved this one because it had great questions after the story, activities you could do, a Jesus connection and a prayer.  I recommend this one to families with pre-school to 3rd grade.  My 3rd grader still really enjoyed answering the questions and doing some of the activities.

Before we read this bible I was reading The Jesus Storybook to them.  This one is an amazing Children's Bible!  I think my favorite!  It even made me cry a few times while reading it to my kids.  This one was great for me to read personally and the kids enjoyed it too.

However, I am starting to get tired of reading the Children's Bibles and have been looking for other devotional type books to read with them at night.  I think they are ready for more and I am trying to figure out a way to teach them about the meaning of what we are reading.  I want them to take what they are hearing from the bible and learn to apply it to their own lives.  I know they are ready for this and I understand that my 4 and 2 year old wont be getting much from these nightly devotions just yet, but maybe just hearing the words will make them more familiar as they get older.

So where to start?

I decided it had to start with their issue of complaining and arguing.  I was exhausted by all the complaining going on and we were stuck in our house for a few days because of Hurricane Sandy.  So after the storm was over we went for a long walk in a wooded area by our house.  They got all of their energy out and were able to sit and listen to my first off the top of my head devotion.  These devotions are actually changing my children's thoughts and actions.  So each night after I have a devotion with my children I am going to try to record how it went here.  I pray these posts will remind me of our answered prayers through God's word, help me in the future with my younger two, and help other moms out there looking for ways to teach their kids more.

So complaining and arguing went first.

Proverbs 21:19 (NKJV)
"Better to dwell in the wilderness, Than with a contentious and angry woman."

For my kids I changed woman to child.  I told them that I would rather sit in the middle of the forest we just walked through than sit in the house with them and all of their arguing and complaining.  That is what this verse is saying and it was how I was feeling.  I would rather be in a nice quiet place all alone than listening to their constant fighting and complaining.  I talked with them about how God doesn't want us to want to be separated by arguing and complaining, but that is what sin does to families.  And arguing and complaining are sins.

Mark 3:25 (NKJV)
"And if a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand."

If our house is divided and we are all running away to our own rooms to be away from each other and away from all the arguing and complaining our house will fall apart.  If you build a house out of legos and then cut it in half can it still stand?  If you build a house out of graham crackers and then cut it in half can it still stand?  It can't and neither can a family if everyone is divided in it.

My husband and I talked with them about how we want to have good relationships with them as they grow up where everyone wants to spend their free time together.  Where we would all rather choose playing games together over playing alone.  And all of this division is caused by the sin of arguing, complaining, whining, and fighting.

Then we discussed how sin separates us from each other, ruins relationships with each other, but it also separates us from God.  I asked the kids who came to save us from our sins and make it so we didn't have to live a life separated from each other and God.  This is when light bulbs were going off all over the place.  They knew it was Jesus and they then understood what it meant to be separated from each other because of sin.  Now they were understanding that because of Jesus they were able to be forgiven, forgive each other and no longer be separated from God or each other.  We prayed, they each asked for forgiveness too, from God and from each other.  We also talked about how to love each other with thoughtfulness and be thankful for each other.  I had each of them tell the others what they loved about them and what they were most thankful for.  We did this for the next few nights and it really made them all smile and laugh and hug without being asked.

I would love to say there is no more complaining and arguing in our house now, but I can say that there is less.

Hebrews 13:1 NKJV)
"Let brotherly love continue."

The next night I focused more on complaining...

Monday, November 5, 2012

C is for Camping

This week Haley is learning the letter C.  This week has also been a crazy week because of Hurricane Sandy and the Presidential Elections so my other two kids have been home most of these past two weeks.  I decided to include them into Haley's preschool lessons this week.  The first day, when the weather was finally nice, we went outside camping.  We talked about the word camping and how it started with the letter C.  We set up their princess tent and put their sleeping bags in it.  They even gathered some sticks for a pretend fire. They had a lot of fun out their pretending to camp.  It kept them busy for about an hour.

When they came inside we talked about where people live and where animals live.  That we don't live outside we live in a house and that animals all have their own special home outside.  I showed them an animal home chart and we played a memory game to go along with it.  We talked about each animal and their home as we played.   It was a fun game that they all played a few times.

We also played a Cozy Campsite matching game that we have.  This is for Haley to learn the difference between more and less.  She had to pick the most items out for the bear.

The next day I had my older two write a sentence about camping and Haley practiced writing the letter C.

When they finished their work I gave them their snack which turned into lunch.  I gave them a knife full of peanut butter, 4 graham cracker halves, 7 marshmallows, and a handful of pretzels.  They also got some lego people from Brian's lego collection.  I told them that with these items they needed to make a campsite.  I told them to use their imagination with the items and that the peanut butter was their glue.

For learning to follow directions I told them where to place their lego people.  For Brian I said 2 inside and one on each side and one in front.

For Haley I told her to put one lego camper inside, 3 on the side and one in front.

When Haley was done with hers she made her lego people dance.

Kylie was told to put one lego camper in front and one inside and one to the side.

Then it became a play with your food day.  Here is her lego camper on his canoe.

Brian had his lego camper on a canoe in a river while another one is fishing.