Gracee and I have started to read Little House on the Prairie. She wraps herself in her Princess pink blanket and curls up next to me. She reads a page, and then I read a page. And we talk about what we read.
The enormous lake stretched flat and smooth and white all the way to the edge of the gray sky. Wagon tracks went away across it, so far that you could not see where they went; they ended in nothing at all.
“What does enormous mean?” I ask.
“Close your eyes and picture what we just read. What do you see? What does it mean when Laura says the wagon tracks went away and ended in nothing at all?”
“I want to camp, now! I’m so tired,” Laura said.
Then Ma said, “Laura.” That was all, but it meant that Laura must not complain. So she did not complain any more out loud, but she was still naughty inside. She sat and thought complaints to herself.
(I wonder what I’ve done wrong. Neither of my kids ever responded to nor does Gracee respond to a quiet one-word reprimand.)
After we read the first chapter, we turn to her Sunday School devotional calendar and choose to read and discuss Psalm 19:14 from her Kid’s Quest Study Bible (NIrV.) (That’s for September 1, but we’ve already done some of the “easier” ones like counting the books of the Old Testament and the New Testament.)
And we don’t know then how well it’s going to tie in with what we just read.
Lord, may the words of my mouth and the thoughts of my heart be pleasing in your eyes. You are my Rock and my Redeemer.
After I recover from my “wowness,” I ask her if she knows what “redeemer” means, and she doesn’t. So I tell her how in Bible days a redeemer was someone who bought a slave and set that person free. And how she and I were once slaves to satan and sin, but Jesus bought us with His life, and now we “don’t gotta do what we gotta wanna do.” Now we’re free in Jesus, and He helps us do what pleases Him and helps us become more like Him every day.
And she says she understands, but I know she doesn’t grasp it all, because I’m not even sure I can wrap my head around the depth and breadth of it.
And we talk about how rocks are strong and sturdy. And how the stone foundation helped our old barn to stand for over 100 years through all kinds of storms before it finally crumbled so badly that the barn collapsed. But how Jesus is a foundation that will never crumble and how we can build our lives on Him and how He’ll always hold us up through any bad things that might happen.
And then we talk about Laura and about how one word, her name, from her mother’s lips caused Laura to stop complaining. And how if we listen, we can hear Jesus say our names when we are saying something we shouldn’t.
And we can stop.
But then we talk about how Laura continued to think complaints to herself. How she continued to be “naughty” inside.
And I ask Gracee what she does when she gets upset with her mom, and she says goes to her room or runs outside to “cool off” or take a time out. And I ask her if she’s thinking good thoughts then, and she says no. Except for the day the deer ran around the corner of the house and got her so excited she forgot what she was mad about.
I suggest that maybe during her time out, she could ask Jesus to help her think good thoughts, and maybe she could think of some happy things about her mom (or me when she’s upset with me), some positive things that would be more than the negative things, good things rather than bad–like how her mom makes her laugh and how she helps her bake cakes and how they like to snuggle and watch movies together. And how I’m the best grandma in the whole wide world.
And Gracee is kind of surprised that she can do this. And I’m kind of surprised that I’m thinking of these things.
So then I tell her about Philippians 4:8.
Finally, my brothers and sisters, always think about what is true. Think about what is noble, right and pure. Think about what is lovely and worthy of respect. If anything is excellent or worthy of praise, think about those kinds of things.
And I tell her that another time we’ll talk about what each one of those words means, but she likes the word “noble.” She says it makes her feel like a princess, and I tell her she is. That the King of everything is her Father.
And I tell her that she can “frisk” her thoughts like a police officer searching a prisoner. For instance, she can ask herself if her thought is lovely or ugly, and if it’s ugly, she can pull it out and throw it away and think of something lovely in its place.
And she thinks that’s pretty cool.
And I think it’s pretty cool, too.
Unwrapping Tuesday with Emily and friends at Chatting at the Sky.