Monday, September 22, 2008

"That's a gun."

I have the joy of teaching the 2 and 3 year olds in Bible class every Sunday. I have always loved teaching this age group most of all, perhaps because it is the first thing I ever taught, my introduction into my life calling. This past Sunday I had six sweet kiddos. No one was crying and no one had a potty accident...two signs that it was a going to be a good day! As we began class, I sang a song about getting ready to go to worship on Sunday. The children were looking at the flipchart pictures and singing along to their own music. One picture in the flipchart was of several people walking into the church building and greeting their friends. A little girl in the picture had a Bible under her arm. One of my two year old girls pointed to the Bible and adamently declared, "That's a gun." I hesitated at first. Did she really just call the Bible a gun? Then she repeated it several times. I explained that it was really a Bible. The people in the pictures are taking their Bibles to worship God. She never acknowledged that it was indeed a Bible. It blew me away to think how quickly the idea of a gun came to her mind. This story has stuck with me this week because I think of my own two year old. To Miriam any book at all can be a Bible. (She's been carrying around a German dictionary for months, claiming it's a Bible!) The Bible is so familiar to her. I wonder how familiar it is to the other girl in my class?

This story hurts my heart as I wonder about her home and her experiences. It also reminds me of the the time I sat in an apartment holding a two year while he watched a horror film. No one who lived there seemed to be concerened about what he was absorbing. I feel so ready to march for world peace when I think of these children. What kind of world have we created for them? How are we making the world better, more peaceful? And, of course, it also reinforces my passion to teach even these very little ones to love the Bible. We're going to keep singing about our Bibles, holding them, patting them, hugging them, and learning stories from them. Stories about Jesus, the good shepherd, the peacemaker, the one who turns swords into plowshares.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Miriam funny

I feel like so many funny things Miriam does are funny only to Mama and Papa, or at least only funny in the moment, but this one seemed entertaining enough to actually share after the fact. We recently checked out a c.d. from the library, "All you need is Love: Beatles for kids". Miriam loved it a lot - yellow submarine, Dear Prudence, Octopus garden - all the classic hippie songs. :) But the song she has sung most is, "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da". The words to the chorus are, "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da, life goes on rah, la, la, how that life goes on..." Miriam's version: "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da, life goes on, rah, la, la, put my clo-thes on!" She sings it at the top of her lungs. Aah, the joyous abandon of childhood singing!

Thoughts on Ike

For those of you who keep up with our Contact teen girl happenings, you know that our girls took a much anticipated trip to Houston this summer. Being so close to the beach, they also got to enjoy Galveston. A couple nights ago two girls were over at our house working on their scrapbooks of this trip. While chatting, we started talking about Hurricane Ike, wondering what effect it had on the all the people they met and places they went. The girls got on the interenet and starting reading and looking at pictures. They were awed by what they saw. Houston and Galveston were places they felt connected with, and now much of it is gone. It is truly devestating to look at the pictures and imagine how many lives have been effected. As saddened as I was by it too, I was also touched by the two teens in my kitchen. They felt an empathy for the people in the Houston area that was greatly increased by their own experiences there. Now these girls care about more than just Tulsa, they see Texans as their brothers and sisters too.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Service day

Today a few of the teen girls got together to do a service project. They filled gift bags for new babies whose moms are involved in Contact's "Mom's in Touch" program led by Mary Lasarski. Young women who choose to participate in this program go through a series of lessons with Mary about different aspects of parenting. As they participate in the lessons (usually done at their homes) and as they attend church regularly, they earn points. They can then use the points to "buy" baby items. Some items are small (diapers, clothes, books), but there are also larger items as well (strollers, cribs, and car seats). This is such a neat program, as it addresses major parenting issues right at the beginning, or even before, the new babies are born.

Today our teen girls decorated onesies with cute iron-on pictures, and then filled gift bags with the onsies, diapers, pacifiers, and washcloths. It was great to see their creativity as they worked, and to see their desire to bless these unknown babies with something special during the first days of their life. The particular group of girls that gathered today get along well. They laughed as they worked, and ran around the auditorium to burn off some of their youthful energy. Watching them, it occured to me that some of the moms who will receive the gift bags will be about the same age as these girls. How greatly parenting changes a teenagers life! As we prayed over the gift bags, I prayed silently over our teens. "Dear Lord, help them as they navigate these difficult teenage years. Help them to learn to serve others. Help them to keep their beautiful, playful, creative spirit that I see today. Help them wait for motherhood." Please pray this prayer with me!