Can childhood ever be uncomplicated? I certainly thought so when I was a child. Even with homework and planned activities, there was always time to play outside or pull out the Childcraft to make something from stuff around the house. That is what Simple Kids reminds me of… the days before play became something that toys “do” for us. This is a clever website with activities and ideas we can use at home or at church. Check them out!
Psalm 133 is a meditative psalm that celebrates the unity of those who share spiritual life together. Though the psalm was originally designed to celebrate the unity of a group of pilgrims heading toward the temple in Jerusalem, it quickly came to be used to express the unity of the whole people of God around the earth. As you read it, imagine the possibilities for children to connect with this through their senses.
Look at how good and pleasing it is
when families live together as one!
It is like expensive oil
poured over the head,
running down onto the beard—
which extended over the collar
of his robes.
It is like the dew on Mount Hermon
onto the mountains of Zion,
because it is there that the LORD
has commanded the blessing:
everlasting life. – Psalm 133 [CEB]
Parents Magazine is focusing on making the holidays meaningful. One moment that is shared around the world in some shape or form is welcoming the new year. As Christians, our new year begins with the season of Advent. Each spring, the sights of the vivid reds that blanket the Chinese New Year are not easily forgotten. A shofar represents Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year which is celebrated in autumn. In all of these traditions, the new year represents a time of reflection on the year lived and a focus on the year to come. It is a ritual that inspires hope.
The time between Christmas Day and New Year’s Day can be an opportunity to capture children’s memories that can become a part of your story – your church or your home – that may inspire hope for those to come. Although Parents Magazine suggests capturing this on camera, you may also consider journaling with children or drawing pictures or writing songs to answer these questions about their year. Adapt them to fit your family structure.
- What was your favorite thing that our family did together this year?
- Who are your best friends? What do you like the most about them?
- How is school this year? Why do you like your teacher? Which subject do you enjoy most and why?
- How is Sunday school this year? What do you like most about Sunday school?
- What do you like to daydream about?
- What is the nicest thing that a friend or someone in the family has done for you this year?
- What was your favorite thing that our church did together this year?
“Let me be full, let me be empty.
Let me have all things, let me have nothing.
I freely and heartily yield all things to thy pleasure and disposal.
And now, O glorious and blessed God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
thou art mine, and I am thine.” – from The Wesley Covenant Prayer