Monday, March 17, 2008

"Save the Phillips" Seal of Approval

Time for another "Save the Phillips Seal of Approval"......

This past fall I made a commitment to do a devotional time everyday with Isaac (and eventually with Evelyn). I felt like it was something that would really help set the tone and focus of our day. Since then every morning at 9am, while sister sleeps, he and I crawl up into the famous (or infamous, I suppose) "rock-rock" chair and have our time together with God.

We discuss the ins and outs of the Bible (basic concept of what it deep theological discussions occurring quite yet), read the daily selection from the One Year Book of Devotionals for Preschoolers, read a bible story, and then close in prayer.

One never quite realizes the extreme death and destruction dealt with in the "typical" bible stories shared with children until the time comes to share such stories with your own child. It is a struggle to express the stories of our God's greatness and not worry your two year old will dwell on such facts as a fish swallowing a man, lions used as punishment, water covering the earth and drowning quite a few folks, and a mother forced to hide her baby on a river to prevent his death. Tough subject matters, these "kiddie" bible stories.

This is where I have come to rely on the Read Aloud Bible Stories by Ella K. Lindvall. There are four volumes in this series which tell in good detail some important stories of the Bible. The language is simple, the violence is toned down a bit, and the message of God shines through. I highly recommending scooping these up to add to your personal library. There are other books we use as well, but these are Isaac's favorite by far.

If you don't already, I encourage you to carve out a small piece of time to share God's word with your child each day. Some days we only have about 5-10 minutes for our devotional, other days we have thirty. We choose to do ours in the morning because I only have about three brain cells left at bedtime. There are also days when Isaac's two year old attitude comes out in full force and he does not want to be a part of devotional time. Despite these occasional days of resistance, I make Devotional time a requirement, just like other things in our day (eating, sleeping, brushing teeth) are requirements. He can obey and come to devotional or he can go to time-out (and then come to devotional when he is through there). This might sound harsh to some, but it works for us. He always comes and his attitude changes within 3.6 seconds of climbing into the rock-rock chair (another aspect of being two).

Evelyn and I also share a devotional time each morning before her morning nap. We practice hugging and rocking her baby doll (I feel very strongly about encouraging nurturing habits very early on in girls), read a book, read a poem about God, say a one-two sentence prayer, and then off to bed. This is quite the short devotional, but I hope it is establishing a pattern.

Saturday at lunch I could tell Isaac had paid attention to our devotional that morning, which had been about the Crucifixion of Christ and discussions of the cross. At lunch that day, he was making intentional straight lines on the table with his spoon while Evelyn fussed next to him in her highchair, impatient to be fed (She has started signing "Bottle" now, along with more, which doesn't seem to help the impatience).

He quite calmly looked at her and said, "Please don't cry at my cross, BabyEvin. It is the cross."

There you go, another Seal of Approval given to the Read Aloud Bible Stories and daily devotional time with your kids.


Jennifer said...

I agree that it's so important to have this time with your kids. We do our devo at night, as one of his 3 books. We are reading "Devotions for Preschoolers" and it's great. It has a story, verse, and prayer. It's worked out well for us because this way Jason and I can take turns putting him to bed and he gets this experience from both of us.

Once we are finished, I'll have to look at the ones you mentioned. Thanks!!

Paige said...

I will have to check out some of the recommended books! Thanks for sharing. We don't have a specific time but do have intentional lessons throughout the day.

JenniferReinsch said...

The Karyn Henley Day By Day Bible Readers are excellent too.