Archives for July 2013

Water Music

That moment when you hear the exhilarating tunes emanating from the bathroom when you realize your little one is singing with complete abandon on the potty! I don’t know any parent who would not dive for their smart phone to capture that pristine solo and keep it in a memory bank for recall at any given moment.  It’s a memory glued together with the music.

jason potty2

Music has the ability to move our child’s heart away from their natural preoccupation with self and transport them to a place of beauty, imagination, praise and worship.

I often wonder what symphony that God was orchestrating when He created my babies and wonder if the angels might have been singing along!  I will be the first to admit that as a mommy, I wanted my children to pop out as amazing musical prodigies.  I was “that mom” who would play various genres of music during my pregnancies in hopes of raising their creativity, IQ and well-rounded little people.

The wonderful thing about music is that you can take it with you … ANYWHERE!  In the car, around the table, during family devotions, in the bedroom during nighttime prayers, and even in the bathroom (great acoustics when the bathtub is full of water).

Each month, we will give you a fun, catchy tune in keeping with the Catching Fireflies theme.  Take a listen, play it for your child, sing it with them and let me know what you think!

“Music My Heart is Light”  (.pdf file)

 

Chasing Fireflies YouTube Channel

Caroline’s Angel

Three years ago, on a warm summer evening, our two year old little girl disappeared. We had been sitting on our side porch while Abbey, our second oldest, was training for cross country. Caroline had been going in and out of the house grabbing toys when we noticed we had not seen in her a little while. Little did we know, she had seen Abbey run by and decided to follow her.

After a frantic ten minutes of running around screaming her name, having multiple neighbors help in the search, and even a phone call to 911…our baby girl was found safe and whole! A precious Grandma neighbor of our’s, whom we had not met until that evening, had found her! It was truly a God story at how the Lord prompted her to go outside to her backyard because she had heard “thundering loud footsteps” and had to see who they belonged to. When she saw Caroline’s bare feet running quietly down the middle of the street, she followed her until she was able to catch up to her two blocks later.

This story has become a defining moment of Caroline’s life and she is beginning to understand the watch-care of the Lord. It has helped her to know that even when Mommy or Daddy can’t be with her, God is with her. She now lovingly refers to our neighbor as her angel.

We don’t know much about her story, but we do know that her husband passed away about a year ago and she must be lonely at times. So, Caroline had the idea to take her some flowers. We ran by a flower shop on the way home and grabbed some white peonies. Seemed like the perfect flower for such a beautiful southern lady. We trimmed the stems and placed them in a blue mason jar. We walked over and knocked on her front door and she was home! We told her we had been talking about how grateful we are that she saved Caroline’s life. She will forever be Caroline’s angel.

Is there an older lady or man who lives close to you that you and your children could bless by going to visit them? There is something so sweet about the way older people react to children. There is so much to be gained when spending time with older and wiser grandparent types and you just might brighten their day, too!

Caroline & Will

Caroline & Will

Water in the Park

Author:  Emily Jenkins
Illustrator:  Stephanie Graegin

walk in parkHorn Book Review
On a warm day, just before six a.m., a city park starts to stir: turtles laze on rocks by the pond, and dogs arrive, owners in tow, for an early-morning swim. Next, a few kids and their caretakers show up; at eight, the sprinklers are turned on, and by mid-morning the playground is mobbed. And so the day goes: small children come and go per naptime schedule, grownups take their lunch breaks on park benches, and the ice-cream truck arrives, along with another surge of delighted kids. By five o’clock, people start to trickle home. Six o’clock sees the sprinklers turned off, and by seven, the dogs have returned for an evening swim — until a much-welcomed rainstorm at eight causes the heat to break and sends everyone inside for the night. Jenkins’s introductory author’s note (on the copyright page) sets her story in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park, where she was inspired, because of “many ninety-eight-degree days,” to think about the various ways the park’s water was used. It’s a very narrow jumping-off point, but one that nearly every city kid will appreciate. (The author’s note also acknowledges Jenkins’s debt of 0602-bks-JURIS-1-articleLargegratitude to Charlotte Zolotow and H. A. Rey’s The Park Book and Alvin Tresselt and Roger Duvoisin’s White Snow, Bright Snow.) Graegin’s pencil-and-ink-wash illustrations (digitally colored and assembled) beautifully reflect the changing light, the shifting population, and the various activities throughout the day; some of the pictures play up the quiet expanse of nature, while others are jam-packed with people enjoying the outdoors. The constant, in both text and illustrations, is water — pond, drinking, sprinkler, puddle — and a subtle message about urban community.

Moments: Nature of Godmoments

IMG_8540Talking to our kids about God can sometimes feel intimidating.  He is all powerful and all knowing. He has always been and always will be. He is the Great I Am. The one who commands the wind and the waves; who holds all of eternity in his hands and yet in Matthew 11:28 He describes Himself as gentle and humble in heart. Considering the magnitude and complexities of who He is, how and where do we begin to teach our kids about God?  Often we start with the story of creation, and continue with the stories of Noah and Moses, David and Goliath. We explain how man was unable to make themselves right before God so our savior Jesus came as a child to pay the price for our sins.  These are all important lessons and begin to paint a picture for our children of God.  Over the next few months I want to talk about using parts of scripture we may not commonly use with our young kids to go deeper with them to help them better understand the nature of God.  Like David, the writer of many of the Psalms, our kids can grow in their courage and sense of who they are in Him as they understand who He is.

Psalms 139 is one of my all-time favorite Psalms. It speaks of the amazing intimacy in which God knows us and leads us.  There are many verses that truth could be pulled from but today I thought we’d focus on verses 17 and 18. They read:

17 How precious to me are your thoughts, God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand—
when I awake, I am still with you.

Here is an idea you might find helpful whether you live by a beach or plan to visit one this summer. Or maybe you have a sand box in your back yard or in a nearby park. Even just a IMG_8686cup of sand will give you a great opportunity to demonstrate how incredible this truth is and this idea plays into young children’s love of counting. Ask your child to count the sand around them, going as high as they can. Then when they’ve counted as high as they can ask them to guess how much more than that there is in the cup or box or on the beach.  Then explain to them that the Bible tells us God thinks about them more often than the grains of sand on the whole earth.  He is always thinking of them and all His thoughts are of love for them.

Enjoy your week and keep looking for moments each day to speak to your kids about the nature of God.