Tag Archives: my littles

Jesus, The Sparrows and The LITTLES

 

We’ve been having some wonderful times in the big, sunny classroom in the upstairs right hand corner of Laws Mennonite Church.  The LITTLES and I have been working our way through the Spring Quarter of the Shine Curriculum that has been produced by MennoMedia for early childhood.  I have enjoyed the ideas and lessons put forth there, but often it is a spring board for my own take on the lesson, or ideas as to what we can do with the particular lesson that is proposed for a given Sunday.

Two weeks ago, we had the lesson about the birds, and how God cares for the birds.  Part of the lesson was what Jesus said in Luke 12:6: “Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God.”  I looked into their open, beautiful faces after we had sung our opening prayer, and I told them the story of God’s wonderful care over the birds.  We talked about how five sparrows were sold for two “pennies,” and I asked them why they thought that someone would sell sparrows.  Of course, they had no idea.  And so I told them that in Jesus’ day, people were terribly poor, and they would buy sparrows to eat.  And they could get these five sparrows for only two pennies and it would give them a little bit of meat for their hungry tummies.  And then I went on to emphasize how God said that He noticed each one of those sparrows, though they were worth so little money, and how he noticed when even one of them died, and that Jesus said that we weren’t to ever be afraid or think we weren’t important, because we are worth MANY sparrows.  And He watches over us and cares so much for us.

I had made them each a sheet of paper with the cutout of an outline of a child on it, had gone into my photos, printed out a picture of each child and cut out the face to fit on each paper and had printed, “I am special to God”  at the top with their names on the bottom.  Middle Daughter and I had come up with a bag of fabric scraps that I took along to class.  And so, we talked about how special each child was to God and they each picked out some fabric and we cut out clothes for each child’s outline and glued the clothes onto the picture.

And what a mess that was!  Second Oldest Girlie wanted a dress, Oldest Girlie wanted a shirt and jeans.  Oldest Boy was observant and chose carefully, but then scribbled his face into obscurity while Youngest Boy didn’t much pay attention to anything except to use his glue stick indiscriminately over the whole thing.  Then Oldest Girlie got way too much glue on her paper, and made a terrible mess, Youngest Boy wanted to get up and find something more interesting to do, and it was pretty wild in there for about 15 minutes.  All the while, I kept coming back to the lesson, about how special they were to God, and how God cared for birds, but He cared even more for them!  (There was much exclaiming and goings on about this principle while I tried valiantly to stay ahead of each child’s requests for help and to finish in time.)

And then the first bell rang.  “What about my snack??!!??” Wailed Oldest Boy, looking in dismay around the cluttered table.

I took a deep breath, looked at where we were in finishing up, and said, “Okay, kids, let’s get things put away and you can have a quick snack.  We don’t have much time, but if we help each other, we can get this all done!”  And they helped remarkably well.  (When there is a snack coming, it’s easy to be motivated!)  And before I knew it, things were cleaned up, they were munching on fruit snacks and pretzels and drinking their juice.  It was a good time to review the lesson.

“Okay, kids,” I said cheerfully, sure that they would easily remember the lesson.  I mean, I HAD been reviewing all morning.  “What was our lesson about this morning?”

My question was met with blank stares.  They looked at me, they looked at each other and then there were shrugs and general dismissal of the question.  But I didn’t want to let this go.  We had an important lesson and I thought they should remember!

“Can you think?” I asked, just as brightly.  “What about the sparrows?  What did Jesus say about the sparrows – – – ?” I left the question hanging in the air expectantly.

And then a hand shot up.

“Oh, I know, I know,” said Oldest Girlie.  “The poor people ate’m!”

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Filed under The LITTLES Sunday School Class, Uncategorized

Going through life on a slippery path

She came after church, hugged me and spoke encouraging words.  She had no idea how desperately I needed to hear the very words she said.  It made me cry, but it put a song in my heart that lasted through lunch and cleanup and filling bird feeders and now to my chair.

Through this week, as we’ve dealt with weather, Our Gal Audrey’s medical procedures, stomach viruses, concern over Blind Linda’s ongoing health issues, another fall of Sweet Mama’s, relationship issues, and disappointment over the choices of people we love, I’ve needed (many times over) to sing this song from our renewal meetings:

“If He hung the moon,
I KNOW He will help (me).
And if He holds the sparrow in flight,
He’ll hold (me), too.
Consider the lilies of the field —
How much more He loves (me).
In the beginning of time, (I) was on His mind —
When He hung the moon.

This afternoon, the ice is hanging from the leaves of the Magnolia tree, and trailing from the bird feeders, encasing the branches with a brittle sheen and making it very unattractive to do anything but stay inside.  But I sit here in my chair beside the fire, and there are so many blessings to count.

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*Three little people in my Sunday School Class who make me laugh, inspire me to prepare, and cause my heart to swell with love whenever I think about them.

*That good, good husband of mine who has looked after the affairs of not only our own house and land, but that of others as well this past week.  This morning he gave me a compliment on an outfit that I’ve been insecure about ever since my Sweet Mama told me that it didn’t “do much for you.”  He also called someone to fill in for him at church duties so he could stay home with the sick and afflicted and I would have a chance to get out and to teach my littles and be with our church family.  How very much I needed that!

*This afternoon, for the first time since MONDAY, Blind Linda picked up her own spoon, fed herself, cleaned up her plate and drank her sweet tea by herself and kept everything down.  This is a blessing of monumental proportions.

*Because Certain Man stayed home this morning, his friend Gary rode to church with me.  The roads were precarious driving home. I was slow.  Gary spoke not a single murmuring word.  He acted glad that I was going slow.  All the way home, I wondered how in the world Gary was going to motor up the walk to his house with the slippery conditions, his cane and his Bible, and I was trying to think how I could assist our tall friend into the safety of his front door.  I dreaded the cold  and ice and being responsible for his safety, because if the truth be told, this old gal is a vain thing for her own safety under such conditions.  We pulled up to his back walk and I looked at the expanse betwixt the van and the door and my heart sank.

“Gary, how are you going to get in there?”  I asked with great reservation.

“Oh, I’ll be alright.  Just let me off here, and then you can go on out there and turn around and go.”

“I know, but Gary, it’s slippery.  I don’t think you should walk that alone!”

He opened the door and started to unfold his lanky self.  “I’ll be okay,” he reiterated.  “If I can just get myself out of here–” He struggled with getting his feet over the edge of the door because the knee he had replaced just doesn’t work right.  “I’ll be careful!”

He got himself out and collected his Bible, and planted his feet firmly in the snow, supporting himself with the dependable cane.  I held my breath as he took one baby step after another.  I could just see him crashing down in the wet, cold snow.  How would I explain to Elaine?  He inched his way along and finally made it to the front door.  Relief swept over me as I saw him grasp the handrail on the steps leading into the house.  He struggled a bit with the knob, but then it opened.  Whew!  He made it!  This also made my heart sing!

So there are ample reasons on this wet, cold, dark evenig to offer grateful praise.

So this, then, I will chose.

A grateful heart.

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Filed under Praise, Uncategorized