We have really enjoyed the introductions to biblical themes and theology in R.C. Sproul’s storybooks.
The Donkey Who Carried a King gives us a purposeful way to spend time thinking about Easter with our kids. I love storybooks like these, because they are so useful, and not only offer an opportunity to hold my kids close while I read to them, but they also help me be intentional to center around a biblical worldview.
May your Easter be marked with the truth of the gospel, and filled with adoration for and worship to the Risen King!
“Oh taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!” Psalm 34:8
“You shall therefore lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.” Deuteronomy 11:18
God has given me the desire to know his true word, keep it in my heart, and use it to inform my life. But memorizing scripture is so difficult for me. Remembering my childhood experience with G.T. and the Halo Express led me to seek out other scripture put to song.
Seeds Family Worship music has been an enormous blessing to our family. The music is scripture put to song, which I have found to be on of the most influential ways that God has used to plant his word in my heart.
God has used Seeds to have an incredible impact on our family, aiding us often as we instruct our children, encourage one another, worship God, and seek to love and serve others with God’s truth. So grateful for this wonderful ministry!
G.T. and the Halo Express had a memorable influence on me as a kid. Bible scripture is put to song and weaved into stories about topics foundational to the Christian faith, like love, faith, and salvation. It was so fun to start listening to the audio episodes with our kids. Since “all Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,” (2 Timothy 3:16), we’re regularly referencing the Biblical truths we’ve memorized from G.T. and the Halo Express.
We’re singing scripture all the time, and Shae recognizes passages when we read them from the Bible. (But it is REALLY hard not to sing them, at times when I’m trying to read…like around other adults!) Having the scripture to music is such a wonderful and helpful tool for our family to keep God’s word in our hearts and minds.
We LOVE Life at the Pond radio shows – they entertain us with wholesome humor and promote biblical wisdom during our day.
They are super entertaining for all of us, holding to the belief that the entire Bible is God’s word. The humor is clever, and the lessons are built around character, wisdom and godliness. We crack up when Shae uses remarks from the Pond in our everyday life. (Oh yes, and he has developed an occasional lisp from listening to Bill the Duck…)
“For from him and through him and to him are all things.” Romans 11:36
Our family just loves the Jesus Storybook Bible. Every story points back to Jesus. It not only teaches and reminds our kids about God’s plan of redemption, but reminds us as well. It is so helpful and gospel centered.
ME: Do you have any strategic ways of planning and preparing for days and weeks to come (food, hearts, cleaning, activities, etc.)
RACHEL: Haha! Probably not! I am not really a schedule oriented person. It would not make me happy to know what I was making for dinner a week from tomorrow, and if I wrote “leftovers” on a dinner plan somewhere my husband would probably swing by the store for something to grill on his way home. If I think of something that I want to make for dinner, I’ll add it to the menu. Bad news though – sometimes the menu is just in my head. My problem tends to be too many ideas of things to do, so the places that I have had to work to improve has been finding satisfaction is just getting it done, rather than doing it the way I would ultimately like to do it. I have joked with friends that I don’t look at Pinterest because I do not need more inspiration, I just need more time to follow through! For example, I love to cook, used to cater, and still really enjoy planning and making good food. But the reality of this time of life is that I often don’t have the time to make everything the way I would like to. So I have had to actively shift my source of satisfaction from making something that interests me, to feeding people in a prepared and timely manner. I have found a happy medium where I always have the stuff to make some quick dinners in the freezer/pantry, but I plan a more fun menu right on top of that. That way when the day isn’t working out like I may have hoped, I can pull out one of the quickie dinner options and still feed everyone on time. I keep grated mozzarella and parmesan in the freezer so I can almost always make a couple pizzas fast. I always have stuff for spaghetti. Pasta, rice, frozen veggies, chicken, etc. It’s not exciting food but it is food! I do the same thing with activities for the kids – lots of stuff on hand to do (lots!), but no real plan. Sometimes I do something above and beyond, but for the most part I let them do what they want to with it.
Rachel has kindly given away a copy of Loving the Little Years: Motherhood in the Trenches. The winner has been chosen and contacted. Thanks for your interest!
ME: With children who are old enough to understand what you’re talking about, and once spelling out the occasional word in an effort to communicate is no longer an option, do you have any ways you find helpful and enjoyable to communicate with Luke regularly about what is going on with your and the kids’ hearts?
RACHEL: I am super blessed that my husband and I really enjoy each other. So it is very natural for us to communicate. For example, I often text him while he is at work – sometimes only something like “blahahahaha!” and he would text back something like “Woop doggie?” and then we would conclude with “love you!” Not exactly formal communication, but we keep in touch and make each other laugh with these sorts of things. He is a great and very involved dad, so he talks with the kids about how they are doing, and with me about them, etc. He really is the best!
ME: Considering that “Christian childrearing is a pastoral pursuit, not an organizational challenge” (from chapter 10, Know Your Sheep), are there simple ways you have found that are helpful to you to keep some sense of order around your home?
RACHEL: I am constantly engaged in trying to keep our house orderly, but I don’t have any one big trick or strategy. I have found that it changes through different seasons of life. I have done lots of different things – laying clothes out the night before, and emptying the dishwasher before bed in one phase. Setting the table for dinner in the afternoon in another phase. I tend to be a bit artistic with the kids (meaning they can cut, color, glue, tape, paint, sew, knit, make things out of shoeboxes, etc. whenever they want.) Our messes can be big! But it is reflective of the life being lived in it. We’ve been working with the kids on taking responsibility for things that you yourself didn’t mess up – chipping in without being asked, helping out with general cleaning, etc. We have lots of room to improve here, and I hope we keep improving! As I said in the book, the biggest kind of order that we are striving for in our home is fellowship together. So in that sense, the answer is really keeping short accounts. My Dad was always fond of saying that the difference between a clean house and a messy house is not how many things were dropped, it is how many things were picked up. We try to pick up bad attitudes and disagreements quickly. The best practice in this is of course for mom to not be leaving these kinds of messes all over the house. And when you do mess up, pick it up right away!