Childhood

Review: Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing

We've long been fans of Sally Lloyd-Jones' The Jesus Storybook Bible, so when I saw Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing, a children's devotional book by the same author, at TGC's Women's Conference, I snagged a copy for our oldest daughter.

Since she recently became a Christian, I wanted to give her something to help foster her growing relationship with the Lord. In the week and a half since her baptism, we've read an entry in this book every single day, and it has sparked lots of conversations about what God is like, who we are in relationship to him, how to pray, and what it means to be His person.

Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing is a beautifully written and illustrated book, and I love that it's simple enough for my almost-first-grader to understand without watering down profound spiritual truths. Lloyd-Jones is a master wordsmith. In a recent interview for Christianity Today, she said that she writes with her niece and nephew in mind, seeking the best way to describe spiritual truths honestly yet simply.

Here are just a few examples of her beautiful prose in action:

Describing Sin: "God made his children's hearts to join together in the wonderful Dance of Joy—orbiting and circling around him. But we put ourselves in the center instead of God. We put ourselves in God's place—which is what sin is."

On Praise: "God didn't create us so he could get joy—he already had it. He created us so he could share it. He knows it's the thing your heart most needs to be happy. When God says, 'Glorify me!', he's really saying, 'Be filled with Joy!' He's inviting us into his Forever Happiness."

God's Timing: "Does it seem like God has forgotten about you? If God is delaying, it's not to make things worse. It is always only so he can make things better."

I may or may not be finishing off my own quiet times with a page or two from the book. It's a keeper. I mean, just look at some of these pages.

Gorgeous, right? It's been a great tool for us to help teach our daughter some spiritual disciplines in this early stage of her walk with Christ. If you're looking for a child's devotional book, I can't recommend Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing highly enough. You won't be disappointed.

Until next time, grace and peace.

He Was Always There

fathers-day-dad-me-and-stacy-msu-game

Gotta love being a child of the eighties. I have no idea what made me make that face - probably the visor that my mom shoved on my head, but whatever. This was a position that was quite familiar in my childhood. Propped up on my Daddy's knee while he watched the Bulldogs play.

So today, on Father's Day, I wanted to thank my Daddy for the countless things he's done for me over the past 30 years. Our family wasn't perfect by any means, but now that I'm all grown up, I appreciate what we had all the more. He held it all together.

He used to work full days, come home long enough to change clothes, and then take me out to the softball fields, where he would hit hundreds of ground balls for me to practice fielding. He worked and traveled a lot, but he was always there to watch my games. Whether it was a volleyball game or a choir concert at church, he was there. Every time. For that, I'm grateful.

Thanks, Dad, for being my biggest fan and my strongest advocate. I love you and can't imagine who I would be without you.

"It's only when you grow up, and step back from him, or leave him for your own career and your own home—it's only then that you can measure his greatness and fully appreciate it. Pride reinforces love."

—Margaret Truman

Love you, Daddy.

Adventures in Childhood: Micah at Three and a Half

micah-on-the-swing

This is Micah. Believe it or not, she's three and a half. I honestly cannot believe how quickly the past year has flown by. One minute, I was writing all about her adventures as a rambunctious little two and a half year old, and the next minute an entire year had passed. How is that possible?

At any rate, since I devoted an entire post to Kendall the other day, I figure it's only fair to devote another one to Micah. Attention hog that she is, I'm sure she would agree.

micah-all-dressed-up-and-ready-to-go

My little girl loves, I mean LOVES playing dress up. The tackier the better. Most days, as soon as she's finished with breakfast, she heads for her dress up bin and starts piling on the layers. In case you were wondering, as long as it matches your tutu, a Santa hat is always in season.

micah-jumping-full-of-energy

She's one big ball of energy. The girl never slows down. If I get a decent picture of her, it's nothing short of a miracle. She's constantly on the go. She's a girly girl, for sure, but she's not afraid to get sweaty either. She loves playing outside, kicking the soccer ball, and running hither and yon.

micah-and-her-dolls

Unless of course, she's zoned out watching Sofia the First with her babies, which, by the way, is one of her favorite pasttimes. She's been playing "Mama" for a long time, and she thinks she has it all down pat. I learn a lot about myself when I hear her talking to her babies. The girl repeats verbatim things I say to her all the time. Which means that she does, in fact, hear me, even if she pretends that she doesn't.

mich-best-big-sister-ever

She's a really good big sister. She loves Kendall, and she gets a major kick out of making her little sister giggle. No one can make Kendall laugh like Micah. Kendall adores her big sister, and for good reason. Micah can be so sweet when she wants to be. Fortunately, most of the time she wants to be sweet to her sister. That will probably change in years to come :)

micah-coloring-a-picture

She loves drawing, and, recently she's actually started to draw pictures instead of just scribbling on the page. For a long time, she refused to attempt to draw anything. She would hand me a crayon and ask me to draw a picture of a house...or a little girl...or a flower...or a sun...but she wouldn't even attempt to do so herself. Then all of a sudden one day while I was filling some orders in the etsy shop, I looked up, and she had drawn a picture of the two of us, complete with a rainbow over our heads. She never ceases to amaze.

micah-big-blue-eyes

I love this little girl. She thinks I'm amazing, but I know the truth: she's far more amazing than I will ever be. I pray that she never loses the sparkle in her big blue eyes - that she never takes herself too seriously - that she will always be her sister's protector - and most of all, that she would grow into a young woman who loves and serves the Lord with all of her heart.

This little lady makes me laugh daily. She reminds me to just let go and live a little. She has brought such joy into my life, and I love her so.

Until next time, grace and peace.