Our family loves to read and there are times when our life resembles some of the storylines that we have enjoyed!
"Would you, could you...read in a tub? hanging from a tree?"
This is one of my all time favorite pictures. It is from2 006. Diana, forever creative, hung an old washtub from a tree and sat in it with Josiah to read her little brother a book....two bookworms in a tree...well, almost!
The other day I was in school in the afternoon and Alejandro came in. The following conversation ensued:
Alejandro: Mom, do you have a band-aid? (OK, so what Mother gives their kid a band-aid without investigating why they need a band-aid?)
Me: Alejandro, who cut themselves?
Me: How did he cut himself?
Alejandro: On a nail.
Me: Was the nail rusty?
Me: Bring me the nail. (OK, so what Mother asks the kids to bring her the nail instead of the bleeding child? Judging by Alejandro's demeanor I came to the conclusion that the bleeding was not life-threatening and we could first resolve the issue of the rusty/not rusty nail.)
Alejandro: I can't.
Me: Why not?
Alejandro: The nail is attached to the board.
Me: Then bring me the board.
Alejandro: I can't.
Me: Why not?
Alejandro: The board is attached to the scooter.
(OK, so this is the point at which this conversation began to remind me of the storyline of: “The House that Jack Built”...you know the one! “This is the house that Jack built. This is the malt that lay in the house that Jack built. This is the rat that ate the malt that lay in the house that Jack built, etc..." My little ones love that book because I always read the last four or five pages, which are the last run through of the entire list of “this is the whatever that did whatever of the whatever that whatever the house that Jack built” in just one breath, which means that I end up reading really fast and agitated to get done without fainting! OK, back to our version of “This is the Cut that Miguel Made”.)
Me: Then bring me the scooter (laughing out loud.) No, please just go bring me Miguel. (My motherly instinct finally kicked in and I remembered the issue here was not the nail, but my son's bleeding finger.)
Alejandro: I can't.
Me: (thinking to myself) He can't bring me Miguel? OK, so he couldn't bring me the nail because it was attached to the board. He couldn't bring me the board because it was attached to the scooter. He couldn't bring me the scooter because it is too big. Now he can't bring me Miguel? Why not? (out loud) Please tell me that Miguel is not attached to the nail that is attached to the board that is attached to the scooter that you can't bring me!?
Alejandro: No (I don't even remember now the explanation that he gave me as to why he couldn't bring me Miguel!)
Me: Alejandro, go to the downstairs bathroom. Under the changing table is a clear plastic box with a pink lid. There are band-aids inside. Tell Miguel to wash his finger with water and soap and put on a band-aid.
Then, I turned my attention back to Diana and her Word Building homework.
"Would you, could you...read in the living room with a whole bunch of kids, including little ones playing round about?"
This is back from 2009 (I think) when we homeschooled in the house. This is our read-aloud time...the Narnia series!
Earlier that morning (I think!) we had had another storybook morning. Victor and Angie were still gone on crusade, the ninth day, and Diana and Martita had done excellent jobs of helping me with the cooking and even a good deal of the cleaning. This morning Martita was in the big kitchen reheating leftovers sent to us by the youth group on Sunday, but they weren't going to be enough. We needed to make some additional scrambled eggs with chorizo (a Mexican sausage). The only person available and capable of such a task was Diana. The problem was she had already gotten three of the little ones ready that morning (while I had been on the phone with my mom) and had worked a ton all week helping out. But, I had no other choice than to ask for her help....again! So, I approached Diana:
Me: Would you, could you, (this is the point where “Green Eggs and Ham” by Dr. Seuss came to mind) would you, could you make scrambled eggs and chorizo...in a train, with a goat, in a boat, in our kitchen for your siblings?
Diana: (laughing) Yes, Mom, I will make scrambled eggs and chorizo.
Whew! Dilemma solved and breakfast made!
"Would you, could you...read in a hammock?"
So, you see, we truly do live a storybook life....just probably not the storybook you first had in mind, is it?
There is a storybook that we do desire to live out each and everyday and that is the story of the Bible! It is a story of redemption, of restoration, of hope, of love, of salvation. It is a story on which we depend...for our own salvation and for the wisdom to work restoration, love and hope into the lives of our children. At the same time, our own story is being written and it is a story like none other, just as your story is like none other. However, my greatest peace and rest is in the fact that I personally know the Author of our story: (“All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” Psalm 139:16) and He has promised me that our story has a happy ending (my favorite kind!): (“For I know the plans (the storyline) I have for you, “ declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11)
Our prayer is that our life, our children's lives and the ministry that the Lord has given us, serves as a letter, (“You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everybody. You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.” 2 Corinthians 3:2-3), as a story, that gives testimony to the world of the one and only true Word.....Jesus Christ! (“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” John 1:1)
Let's get to writing some stories....the story of each of our lives, with Christ as the Author and the world as the audience! I can guarantee you that the end is the best part!
"Would you, could you....read at bedtime?"
"Would you, could you....read outside?"
This is our read-aloud time during our homeschool day now. If it is nice out, but not too warm in the sun, we love to read outside! Here we were reading "Mrs.Frisby and the Rats of NIMH" in Spanish.
"Would you, could you...read at naptime?"
OK, so after looking for "reading" pictures I realized that maybe I am the one who likes to read and everybody else just gets dragged into this! In general, when our children first join our family they have had few reading experiences and generally don't like to read. I thank the Lord that it is becoming more and more common to find them stowed away with a book and, lately, writing their own stories! (Is there such a thing as "adoptive genetics"? Or maybe the same reading/writing bug that has bitten their Grandpa and Mom has now bitten them!) One of my hopes and prayers is that they each fall in love with the written word, but, even more so, that the fall in love with the Living Word!