Is That Silence I Hear?

One of the items on our Summer Bucket List was to make quiet books for the boys.  I remember growing up with the original quiet books at church- the books made of cloth with pages of activities ranging from tying knots to matching shapes or snapping eyes on odd looking cloth children.  Although the idea of making one of those books appealed to me because I thought the boys would like it, I didn’t relish the many hours and cost that would need to be invested.  I put the idea on the back burner of my mind, but when I found this tutorial at I Am Mama, Hear Me Roar, I knew I had hit pay dirt.

A quick trip to Walmart provided everything we needed.  It took a little bit of looking to find the Crayola Dry Erase Crayons- we finally found them a little further down the aisle with the dry erase markers.  They were a little pricey at $4.99/8 crayons, but if they provide as much entertainment as I’m predicting they will, it will be $5 well spent.  I also noticed a nifty contraption dubbed the “Lap Board”. A small white board with spaced lines for practicing letters on one side and a blank slate on the other. Another worthy investment when Payton is a little older I think.

Our Walmart list included: 1 inch binder, sheet protectors (I made sure to get the clear ones, not the semi-clear), a pencil holder that can snap into the binder, and two packs of the dry erase crayons.

Payton and I had previously set down at the computer and printed off copious numbers of free printable alphabet worksheets, mazes, puzzles, and colouring sheets.  There are many good websites that provide free printables, although I got most of ours from the website.  As the seasons change, I plan on adding in different sheets that reflect what we are celebrating, or ones that reflect what Payton is learning in Sunday School.  I also grabbed old copies of High Five magazine to snip out some of the puzzles and stories.

Payton had been waiting patiently all day to work in his new quiet book (which he usually referred to with shrieks, usually accompanied by arms raised over his head and an awkward victory dance), and as soon as I had put the worksheets in the protectors he grabbed the crayons and got started.  Of course, Lightening McQueen was the first to be decorated.

After Payton went to bed (after many assurances that he could work in it again in the morning), I pulled out my scrapbooking papers along with my Cricket to decorate a cover page for Payton’s book.  I had just purchased a new pack of glitter paper, and it added a fun dimension to the letters and the frog.  A couple swipes with the glue stick, and we could check one more item off our Summer Bucket List.  Here is the final product:

Payton is quite taken with his new book, and it looks like I’ll have to make another one for Devin sooner, rather than later.  Hopefully this means that I will be hearing a little more silence during church services.


Benefits of an Intentional Home

This past week we’ve been blessed with lots of ideas and suggestions on how to be intentional in parenting so that we can give our children the best possible environment in which to develop spiritually.  By recognizing the need to be intentional in our parenting, we open ourselves and our children up to many benefits.

1.  We will develop lasting relationships with our children.  Monique mentioned how often she ran across students in her middle years classroom that were treated more like afterthoughts than the focus of the parents.  By choosing to be intentional and deliberate in creating opportunities to get to know our children and to enjoy common experiences, we can develop relationships with our children that will last through the tumultuous teens, the college years and beyond.

2. We will give our children the best possible foundation for their spiritual lives.  In her bible study, Believing God, Beth Moore relates how hard it is for people raised in the Jewish faith/culture to leave it due to how their faith pervades every last part of their daily life.  By modeling to our children how our faith pervades every detail of our lives, and inviting our children to share in those details with us, we will show them how integral faith is to a life lived in abundance.  Don’t be afraid to show your children that life isn’t always pretty or that you struggle; discuss with them how to deal with the inevitable issues of life and show them how Christ will walk through those circumstances with them.

3.  We will develop our own faith.  Nothing makes one learn something deeper or better than having to teach it to someone else.  I can remember many details about Medieval times and the Roman empire because I had to teach it, not because I read it in a book.  By purposing to teach our children about our faith through direct teaching and indirect modeling, we will focus on and continue on our own faith journeys.

Thank you so much to those who share their thoughts and ideas this past week.  If this week has encouraged you or challenged you to think about developing an Intentional Home, feel free to leave a comment or send an email to me at glasspej~at~gmail~dot~com.  Blessings!

What is an Intentional Home?

There are many labels that can be slapped on a home or family.  We’ve all heard other families, or perhaps even our own, described as chaotic, well behaved, God-honoring, lazy, peaceful…I could go on and on.  Families are labeled in a dozen or more different ways every day, or even every hour.  One of the labels that I have been studying is that of “intentional”.  What does an intentional home mean, what can it look like, and of what benefit is it?

Those are the questions we are looking at this week as five guest authors /bloggers share their experiences and wisdom with us.  Are these individuals better at parenthood or Christianity that everyone else?  They would be the first to shout an emphatic “NO”.  But they are succeeding at honoring God in how they live their lives, and this is translating into how they raise (or have raised) their children.  My goal is that once I’ve established for you what an intentional home could be, the other pieces written this week will give you added perspective on what an intentional home could possibly look like in your home.  These pieces aren’t meant to be prescriptive, meaning that the ideas are not meant to “fix” anything in your family, but are ideas that you can weigh as to whether or not they can help lead your family closer to Christ and to each other.  Let’s look at the first part of the equation- what is an Intentional Home?

What is an Intentional Home?

An intentional home is one where the parent(s) have, as Joshua did in 24:15, declared that “as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Once the goal and focus for a home has been set- serving God- then steps can be taken to ensure that what takes place in the home is honoring to that goal.  Just like a journey without a destination can lead to lots of detours and wrong turns, so can a family without a common goal lead to the chaos of competing dreams and goals.  One of the foundations of an intentional home is that the parents recognize the importance of living their personal relationships with Jesus out in front of their children.  Our children need to see that we love Jesus and that our relationship with Him is integral to our daily lives.

In Deuteronomy 6:1-9, Moses instructed the Israelites to  teach the words of God “diligently to your sons (and daughters) and talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.” (verse 7).  Creating an intentional home means creating a home in which you are intentional in teaching and training your children to love God, love others, and love themselves.  We cannot assume that our children will pick up these lessons in Sunday School, in regular school, or by simply adhering to “do as I say, not as I do”.  By ignoring the importance of our teaching, we are abdicating our responsibility and offering it to whomever, or whatever, has the loudest and most persuasive voice in our children’s lives.  If we want to see our children emerge from our homes as adults who are secure in their knowledge and understanding of God and others, and who have a sincere desire to know and serve God, we need to chart a course with that goal in mind.

Each day this week you will be able to read a new post regarding one idea for creating opportunities to engage your child in discussion about his/her and your relationship with God.  Ideas will range from how to disciple your child in Scripture to going on mommy/daddy-child dates to develop your relationships with your children.  At the end of the week I will try and wrap up what we’ve learned with what are the possible benefits.  It is my prayer that this week of posts will be both an encouragement and a challenge, and that we will all be better parents with homes that are oriented to honoring God even more at the end.  Thanks for joining me on the journey!