This afternoon I picked up a book- one in a stack of books I’m hoping to read during my 52 books in one year challenge-The Artisan Soul by Erwin Raphael McManus. I’m only on page 7 and so far I love the book. I can’t say I recommend it yet- since, yeah, only on page 7. But pretty sure this is going to be a keeper.
I had a thought I had to share. Before the weekend services start and we launch into another time of doing what we do.
McManus says, “To deny our creative nature is to choose a life where we are less and thus responsible for less. We see ourselves as created beings, so we choose to survive. When we see ourselves as creative beings, we must instead create.”
I love this.
How many of us are just choosing to survive in kid’s ministry or as parents? We were created to do this so onward we go with the task. Trying to do it and survive.
What if instead of surviving we create? What if we look at this Sunday (or Sat night or whenever you have your big event) as an opportunity to CREATE an experience for kids? To CREATE an atmosphere where they will connect with Jesus and with each other? To CREATE a venue that is safe and fun. To CREATE memories that they will carry with them.
Each of us is a creative being. We can all create in some way. The way we help kids develop relationships. The new administrative skills we use. The eye-popping props or sets that grace the kid’s ministry area. The energetic dance steps and moves we celebrate with. The stories we weave into imaginative minds. Whatever it is that is your strength, use it to create this weekend.
My desktop on my mac says simply, “CREATE” as a daily reminder. I don’t want to forget that I’m made to create. I don’t want to just survive.
How are you creating a space for kids to connect with Jesus and to each other?
Day 1: 25 Days of Christmas Ideas.
Picture via Rosie Pandolfo
When my kids were young, we loved reading so instead of a traditional advent calendar we read a Christmas book each day of advent. I wrapped all their Christmas books- buying a few new ones each year-and placed them under the tree. Each morning the three boys would take turns choosing a book to unwrap. We would snuggle together on the couch, turn on the Christmas lights and read the story.
Some of our favorites:
Snowmen at Christmas by Caralyn Buehner
The Grinch Who Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss
The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey by Susan Wojciechowski
Llama, Llama Holiday Drama by Anna Dewdney (giving theme)
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson (chapter book)
The Mitten by Jan Brett
Find more advent ideas on our Pinterest board.
What creative idea have you used for advent?
1. Learn the Bible verse “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.” Psalm 56:3 Repeat it each day. Pray at night having your child repeat after you: Jesus, When I am afraid, I will trust you. Amen.
2. Read Llama, llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney. The llama in this book epitomizes the fear a child feels at night. The book will help preschoolers put into words what they feel.
I wish this book was around when my kids were preschoolers. The emotions the llama feel are so spot on. I love the sequence of events that take place as the little llama’s fear increases.
3. Make a “I’m not alone” pillowcase together. Start off with an inexpensive plain white or tan pillowcase. Decorate it using permanent markers or fabric paint. Draw pictures of the family on the pillowcase or anything that helps the preschooler feel calm. Write the verse Psalm 56:3 on the pillowcase and point to the verse each night to remind the child.
4. Read from a Bible Story book about Jesus calming the storm at night (Mark 4:35-40.) Act out the story with your child. Draw a picture of the storm and Jesus in the boat with the disciples. Put the picture in the child’s room as a reminder that Jesus protected the disciples during the storm and calmed the wind and the waves.
5. During the day, role play going to bed. Act out different situations and how to handle them when the child is scared.
Above all, be patient. This won’t last forever. It might seem like it will, but it won’t. Hugs, verbal reassurances and listening to the child’s concerns will go a long way in helping them deal with fear.
And truthfully. . . most of my kids went through a period of time where we had a sleeping bag in our room on the floor. They would crawl in when they needed reassurance. This period never lasted long and kept us from some sleepless nights.