I'm sitting here, at my desk, working. And as I work, I am very aware of the emotional pull to succumb to the worry and fear of the day. There seems to be a nervousness in the air all because of a virus that is beyond our total control.
But who, actually can control most things in this world? We can control our choices & reactions, but have very little power over outside influences and surprises.
So, here I am, at my desk, working. I am very aware of the emotional pull to succumb to... NOPE!!! I choose life. I choose trust. For I serve God who is love, light and life. He is in absolute control over the bigger picture of this season in His creation! My hope is in Him, Jesus, the one who came to this world personally to come to our rescue.
With all these thoughts and more, I take a sip of coffee and am reminded again, that God is here with us. He is in the thunder and in the quiet. He just is.
And my heart rests.
And the KiDs that look up to me, can rest as well.
"It has felt so unnatural asking the kids not to sing praises to Jesus because of the virus..."
Maybe you resonate with this statement. Maybe you've had to make these asks of those you lead in public settings. That's OK, you're not alone. We live in most unusual days and because of that, so much feels unnatural and so out of place!
I had the privilege today to go and meet outside with a grade 1 class from a Christian school. The kids were so happy to get outdoors and, because restrictions are somewhat different outside, we were able to sing and laugh and dance in their class bubble in these not-so-normal times.
It was fun!!!
As we paused between songs, we talked about how things have been a bit strange over the past few months and, that we can be certain God's love has remained normal! He has not gone on vacation or lost sight of us all here on planet earth. He is very aware and very present in these abnormal times. We can be sure of His constant love -- love that is all around us, no matter what circumstances life brings.
I don't think I've ever heard myself say 'normal' when describing God before!
It felt weird for sure! When I heard it come out of my mouth I thought, yeah, He is the only normalcy in life, the only always faithful, unchanging, perfect and consistent one. He is the standard of the perfect normal that heaven is.
So, for us still here on this God created earth, we can lean on the ever-present, ever-real Spirit of God, knowing that beyond any shadows in dark places, His love is with us and always for us even when all else feels so not normal and so not right!
Even if I walk through a very dark valley, I will not be afraid because you are with me... Surely your goodness and love will be with me all my life.
Psalm 23:4a & 6a (ICB)
With soooooooooooo many fun songs out there, maybe there's an opportunity in front of us. By being strategic in the songs we choose to use with KiDs, we can give them the fertile soil they need to root their values and convictions in.
We home-schooled our kids for two years when they were in elementary school.
One of the modules we purchased for geography had songs included to help students memorize the continents and oceans of the world. They were extremely repetitive and yes, I have to admit they felt like the song that never ends!
...BUT THE SONGS WORKED!
Our kids are now adults, raising their own children, and I bet that if you asked them, they would still be able to sing those songs!
“Give instruction to a youth about his way
God encourages us to engage in conversation, to teach, train up and instruct our children about their ways and where it could lead them. We are not only to act out our faith but talk about it, share our stories and life lessons, and God’s miraculous interventions and salvation.
Wisdom is meant to be both taught & lived or it will fall like a kite with no wind or a seed without nourishing soil. You see (and kids always do see :) words just seem to fall short when the messenger isn’t living by them. Our actions can do the same if we don't take the time to explain the why behind the what.
There are definitely times in life when we are limited to what a circumstance would dictate - as in, sometimes silence is the only appropriate option. But, for our children, those in our homes, churches and schools, we have the responsibility over time, to train and instruct through what we say and what we do ... through who we are.
That’s why I love the opportunity music gives us! By creative repetition in lyric and song we have an immense window for a positive impact in a young child’s life. One that may continue on a playlist for life.
They will be forever grateful - - not to mention that you’ll be totally blessed as you watch them follow the path you’ve led them in.
This is what happened almost 2-years-ago-to-the-day.
I was already excited that Jude was coming over to write! We weren't sure what we'd work on, but I knew it would be fun!
I got things set up while she changed from hockey practise. All of a sudden I found myself humming a new, little tune. I thought it sounded like fun, so recorded it quickly to work on at a later time.
Jude came out and we started to work... she took the couch and I took the chair.
We decided to ask God what He'd like us to work on. I thought we'd pull up something that Jude was already writing. As we waited to see what He would say, Jude started humming the line that I had just recorded. I was surprised that she had even heard it as she was in the shower when I popped it onto my computer! We knew, in that moment, that we should press into this.
I had already been looking for a theme song for our local Christian school - Brantford Christian School - and this seemed to fit. We found a fun beat and started hashing out words and melody lines. It felt so great and so silly all at the same time! We laughed until we cried -- well, at least I did. Ha! These pictures tell some of the story.
Aside from being very purposed in teaching Biblical truths, I am convinced that God wants us to know that He has a smile on His face way more than we think He does.
As Jude and I laughed and created, I felt His pleasure.
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KiDs speak it.
They love making noise and mess. They love repeat story telling and surprise. They love spontaneity and discovery. They love play and laughter. In short, they love fun!
I believe that fun is one of their love languages.
KiDs resonate with laughter.
I have a loud laugh! It used to get me in trouble when I was a kid, like, when I had friends for a sleepover and it would be past curfew. Guess who would often be pinned as the instigator? Yup, the one that my parents could hear laughing. I was the only evidence that they had. Ha! So funny to think of now!
I actually have a conversation with God recorded in my journal about my laugh. It wasn't a planned conversation, at least not planned by me.
I had asked Jesus how He saw me and was expecting to hear something from the usual (great) answers (you know, the 'Who I am in Christ list') but this time was a bit different. Here is a piece of the conversation of what I felt to be His response...
"Ha, so full of joy, so full of life! I love your laugh! It rings out in a room. I made it that way on purpose ... to permeate the atmosphere with joy ... with laughter ... with kids. They resonate with that and need your thoughts and encouraging words and songs. They need to dance and know that all is well with me and that I really am life! There is a serious tune within them so watch for those moments, but mostly they still live in the land of joy. That's what they are made for."
KiDs need to dance and know that all is well with God and that He really is life!
We can give children this! We can give them the joy of God through our demeanor, words and music. We can give them songs that teach and speak their language, ultimately leading them right to the Father's lap. Yes, it's in that place they will discover a Daddy / Abba Father who is:
God loves joy!
Still not sure? Check out this sampling of verses: Deuteronomy 12:7; Psalm 100; Philippians 4:4; 1 Chronicles 16:33; Psalm 95:1; Hebrews 12:22
"Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up."
All Around is an upbeat song inspired by Psalm 23.
The line 'only goodness and kindness pursue me' was jumping out at me.
Where did it come from?
All Around came from a morning time when I was reading Psalm 23. This chapter has long held a special spot in my heart, possibly stemming back to a difficult season in our family's life when my dad was really sick, so it was no surprise when God started talking to me again, reminding me of His always present love and kindness.
My journal that day
KiDs Need to Know
KiDs need to know that God is personal and that He is love. He is not just capable of love, He IS love and cannot be otherwise. Love is in every aspect that flows from Him. Jesus is our amazing personal Lord, displaying Himself to us even when all of hell is watching and waiting for opportunities to destroy. When we feel the impact of trouble, God is always present, defending, protecting and comforting us as we keep holding on to His heart & ways.
Children follow those they look up to.
Let's give them Jesus through our life's example.
May our personal shepherd and companion emulate through everything we say or do. May we be people who give KiDs something great to follow!
Prep with Prayer And don't Stop.
If people could see inside my head...
while I was leading, they would literally see a moving conversation of prayer!
Get on Their Level.
Lead by Example.
Don't be Shy.
Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus... Hebrews 10:19
Use their Language.
Don't work Alone.
Hold your Plan Loosely.
Bottom line... follow the LEADER.
If we aren’t being led by the Holy Spirit, we will never have the impact & influence we are hoping for.