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the Word

It seems like every single day DanO and I have a moment where we realize ‘Whoa. OBaby understands that.’ A word we use here and there in conversation, the way he wipes everything when we hand him a paper towel, that groceries go in the kitchen when we get home from the store, how he always wants to blow his nose if Mommy or Daddy are doing it, that dirty diapers go bye-bye into the wet bag, how Mommy always makes him and Daddy hot cocoa when they come inside from shoveling snow…

He gets it. He gets a lot more than I know.

So what does he know about the Bible? I could say things to him like ‘It’s the most important book in the world’ or that ‘It’s God’s Love Story’ or ‘Mommy and Daddy use this book to know what to do and how to live’… but would he really understand that?

Would he see it? Does he see it?

No. No, not really. Sure we read stories during breakfast, but to a great extent, I see that as a check mark in my day. Maybe even a check mark in my Christianity. ‘Read the Bible to your kids?’ Check.

But throughout the week, OBaby doesn’t see Mommy sit down and read her favorite book very often (if at all). She’ll pick up the novel she’s reading, the book about theology, the laptop, her phone, her knitting… but very rarely her Bible. OBaby would have little reason to see the Bible as a special and important book because he’s not seeing it modeled.

Ouch.

I am not trying to beat up on myself here, just trying to be realistic. OBaby is at the age where he is absorbing how our lives work – what our routines are, what our perspectives are, what we do regularly. And perhaps it’s not realistic of me to think that I could be sitting in front of my toddler son reading the Scripture on an almost daily basis. There are seasons of life, I get that, and I also get that this is a full-blown chaotic one.

But I find time for other things.

In five minute increments, sure. Pick up my knitting, knit 1 purl 1 knit 1 purl 1 kni… hear a thud, set down the knitting, go console toddler. Send a tweet on my phone, get kicked in the bladder from the inside and rush to the bathroom. Open the book I’m devouring… be asked to help build a tower, set book down. So I have time for things, but in a very weird staccato kind of way. And Bible reading is supposed to be reverent and set aside, right?

Wrong.

I think this is it. This is my obstacle. Something about the chaos of my day feels incompatible with reading Scripture, but really, is there anything more compatible? So I don’t know. I don’t really know where to go from here, but I do know that I need to come to terms with the reality that reading my Bible is not regularly going to be a ‘find a peaceful place, light a candle, take off my shoes’ kind of event for the long foreseeable future. And that’s ok. Reading my Bible might just be a ‘leave it open on the dining room table and make it through a few verses a day’ event for a while.

Whatever it looks like, it needs to be visible. It needs to be an important part of my week and my life so that OBaby can understand that God’s Love Story is for all people, it is for everyday.

It is for him.

25 Responses to “the Word”

  1. Jessica

    I totally get this and it is most definitely a new season that I’m not quicte adjusted too. (Even though it’s been, um, like…two years.)

    Reply
  2. Amanda

    You have a beautiful heart, Allison. :) I’ve been working to memorize Colossians in 2011, and it’s been amazing to see what J picks up! It’s also an easy way to incorporate scripture into our day, wherever we are. This week we’ve been working on a new verse – “Do everything without complaining or arguing”! :)

    Reply
  3. Aly

    A really great entry! You have written what many women realize, yet do little about (including myself). It is great that you are thinking this through and being intentional….. for your baby, and FOR YOU!!!!!

    Reply
  4. Karey

    First? For a long time kids thought that any BIG book is a Bible… so whenever I was reading a novel – they thought I was reading my Bible (oops… or awesome!). ;)

    Also? My three and a half year old (Jack) was sitting on my lap when I watched the (adorable!) video of OBaby. This was his string of sentences:

    “Mommy, that boy has a Bible! What is his name? I like his Bible – it’s like Carter’s (our 6 year old). Why doesn’t he turn the pages for us to see? He’s learning about Jesus, Mommy! Carter has that same Bible you know. Carter reads it, too. I like Bibles. And I like that little boy on the movie.” :)

    Reply
  5. Ashlie

    Love your transparency!

    My hubby just reminded a group of us he was teaching about how we should be reading God’s love letter to us…well, like a love letter. Nevermind just making it through the Bible in a year. We should think about reading it like we would take the time reading something from our sweetheart or our kids (he does that with letters we send him for his travels away from home). Was a good reminder for me.

    Oh, you may already know this book, but you’ve GOT to get the Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd Jones. AMAZING because it weaves O.T. and N.T. together as a story about our Rescuer.

    Love the idea of having a Bible (or Bibles) around the house. Billy Graham does that so he can “get a little snack” when he’s able to move about his home. :)

    Reply
  6. Marlea

    i was thinking something along these lines this morning so its ironic to read your post about it! i try to read in the morning before owen wakes up. today i realized that almost always turns into reading scripture as fast as i can while he’s already making noise upstairs. so all the while i’m thinking, “i should really go get him.” sigh.

    Reply
  7. Rachel at Team Ev

    Great post! I have been thinking about how to model walking with God for my son as well. Granted, he’s only 3 months right now, but I need to get in the habit of it. And so, so true, about trying to set up reading scripture as a sacred event, so much that we “don’t have time” for it.

    Reply
  8. Laura

    Thank you for writing this. It was wonderful and really made me look at this in a whole new light. I have a blog post similar to this just about ready to go for tomorrow but your post has made me rethink it. I am just trying to find the time and the place for quiet time with God and with His word. At the moment, I am trying to consistently do it when my son naps. I’ll be going back to work in two weeks and I am thinking about finding quiet time during my lunch break. But none of this is visible to my son. He is only one, but I know that he is already absorbing so much.

    Reply
  9. McKt

    This is something the Lord has been working with me on. Letting my kids see mommy take time in the Bible. Letting them know that even in their chaos and needs this is most important. I have split up my study time so I do some of it (the less think really hard part) in the morning with them around and still have quiet study time during nap or the evening.

    Reply
  10. Allison

    My life isn’t quite as packed as yours, but it still busy! :-) I was so busy and felt like I needed all this extra time to sit down and read the bible. Then, I subscribed to Magnificat (which is Catholic, and you may not be interested, but thought I’d tell you nonetheless- and there are probably others like it!) It comes once a month and has a daily morning scripture reading, the service reading for the day, and an evening reading for each day as well as some other prayers and meditations. It’s small enough to go in my purse and I keep it on me all the time so when I have a few minutes I can pull it out and read. I don’t always do the morning prayer in the morning or the evening at night, but I usually get through the whole day at some point. Its really helped me. Good luck!

    Reply
  11. Annie

    We have that same bible and my 5 year old son LOVES it. And this makes my heart feel so full! I have been working on how to read the bible as a family and am currently reading “Making Sense of Scripture”. I’m only on chapter 2 (because I’m reading with a working mom’s group from my church), but so far it is helping me explore and figure out how I can have this be a part of my family’s life.

    Reply
  12. abby

    A friend of mine and I have recently been talking about how hard it is to actually read the Bible. It shouldn’t be so hard, but it just is. We’ve started doing a Bible study to keep eachother accountable. I love how honest you are on here and really appreciate your openness. It helps to know that we are all working at the same issues. It’s so hard to find a minute after work in between dinner, nursing, bathtime, and bedtime. But you are right… Somehow in there I watch a DVD (after pausing it a billion times) or in the mornings some days I have time to eat my cereal to the Today show. I need to stop making excuses and just DO. Thanks for the reminder! And that video was absolutely adorable!

    Reply
  13. R's Mom

    Really insightful post. The Bible is a big, daunting book. Even for those with the utmost faith (which I strive to have, but know that I am no where near), the Bible is not an “easy” read. We have that beginner’s Bible as well, which I think is a fantastic introduction to the Bible and really love. And I think that sharing that with OBaby is a wonderful start!

    Reply
  14. Michelle

    That is so stinkin’ cute!

    I believe children learn more by what we do then what we tell them. You are right on with teaching OBaby to read the bible by reading it yourself then telling him how important the bible is! You’re a great mommy! Keep it up.

    Reply
  15. Jamie (@va_grown)

    Great post. We’ve gone through the same thing before. I like to have quite, to-my-self time to read my bible, which was normally nap time or before everyone gets up. They never see that. I also found that if I stuck it on our “bible shelf” that it would stay there until it was time for church on Wed or Sunday.

    So I’ve done just what you mentioned. When I read in the morning I leave it out open on the counter in the kitchen. Then we read from it over the kids eating breakfast and I can read it any time I’m clipping coupons or making dinner or have 5 seconds while they’re eating snack…they see me reading it AND it’s right there for us to go to if we need some help, have a question, or have a discipline issue. The kids will page through it if they’re wait for a snack or for me to get off the phone too.

    But it did take several weeks to adjust to it, because someone was inevitably closing it and putting it back on the bible shelf to “clean up.” :)

    Reply

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