Friday, September 20, 2013

The Meal Scene: feeding little souls

Don't you just love a good rainy day?  Sigh.  It always makes me want to tear open my bible, light a candle, drink mass amounts of coffee, wash my sheets, and blog.  So, hi there! Hope you are enjoying this weather as well!

I wanted to share something that has been on my heart for awhile.  We transitioned our boys out of private schools and into public this year.  I can't tell you how much we prayed about it and how often we questioned if it was the right thing.  In the end, we all had peace and moved forward.  The boys have transitioned well. 

What I miss the most about private education is the bible curriculum.  They were constantly learning and memorizing God's word.  Eric and I have always believed that it is our responsibility as parents to be the ones responsible for teaching them who God is and what the Word says.  But, boy, it was nice to have reinforcements at school, as well.

Now that they no longer have that at school, we have tossed around offering some sort of bible curriculum at home.  We still don't have answers.  With mass amounts of homework, school projects, sports, and well, life, there isn't a lot of time for more "work."  We believe the bible should be top priority but we need wisdom on how to integrate that into our new "normal." Of course we go to church and the boys sit in "big church" and hear deep teaching, but again, we know we are the ones to answer to God in the end.

One thing we know that works in feeding little souls is the table setting.  For us, this can take place in the mornings or the evenings.  I was encouraged by a commentary that was talking about the book of Luke.  It said, "Many key discourses happen in meal scenes which recall Greek symposia where 'wisdom' is presented." (ESV study bible)

Feed their souls while you feed their bodies.

I want you to know that here at moop and saba, I never want you to feel inadequate, judged, belittled, or condemned.  I want you to know that I don't have it all together.  I mess up.  I yell.  I cry.  I scream at God.  I fall on my knees and beg for fresh mercy.

It is a daily drowning in this thing called grace.

That said, these are things that have worked for us in the past.  Sometimes we do a couple at a time.  Sometimes, we do just one.  Sometimes, when in a funk, we neglect everything.  Why can't we see that they need spiritual bread even more than physical bread?

One thing we try to do every morning while eating is read the Proverbs to the boys.  How perfect that there are 31 proverbs!  If Solomon wrote them to teach the people how to live--how to act in every circumstance, then it makes sense that our boys should hear these everyday.  Often, something I am praying about will make itself clear when a verse provides insight into my situation.  Pass the bread, thanks!

Something else that works well around the table is the book "Operation World" by Jason Mandryk.  There are many different ways to use this book, but we mostly read about a country and take turns praying for that country (prayer ideas are included.)  Nothing makes you as proud as when your little boy is pleading for people in Eritrea to have religious freedom.  This book is great at opening the hearts of boys and girls to a world beyond Entitled America.

Another thing we strive to do at the table is our "thankful book."  We started this before Cade could even write well.  More than anything, we want to cultivate gratitude in our boys when our culture screams materialism and greed.  Sometimes I want to bang the thankful book on the boys' heads when they "can't think of anything to be thankful for."  How sad that we have to purpose to praise God for all things...I wish so much that it would flow freely.  Our hope is that the more we purpose to praise, the more it will flow!

A final thing we are starting to do is read whatever passage of scripture to the boys that we know our Pastor will be teaching on the upcoming Sunday. 

Like I said, sometimes we are more disciplined than others at getting these things done, but we can testify that the meal scene is a great place to feed souls as well as bodies.

Another way we are trying to be more intentional about the Word is to talk about it in everyday life.  One of the best talks/sermons Eric and I ever heard was from a Canadian named John Patrick.  It was even before we had kids, but has remained with us!  He spoke on Deuteronomy 6:4-9 "You shall teach them diligently to your children and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.  You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.  You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates."

Patrick stresses the demand:  a heart that totally loves the Lord.  One way to cultivate that love in our children is to be talking about Jesus all the time.  When you are eating, when you are driving them to soccer practice, when you are shopping and see someone in need, when you are welcoming guests in your home, when you getting ready to go to in constant communication about the Savior and His Word to us.

Our hearts are to be so bent towards Him that He consumes every single thing we do.

I would love to hear things that have worked for your family...this journey of knowing the One True God.


Bugs and Sunshine said...

Girl, you know I LOVE this post!!!

So good!

Another fun little book we have is called Conversation Starters. It gives you questions to ask-it is fun to get the mealtime conversation going. (not spiritual, but fun!)

You are doing a great job with your boys!!!

Anonymous said...

God's definitely been dealing with this in our lives too. In fact, that very scripture has been in the forefront of my mind the past few days. Good ideas. No better answers here, but just teaching them to love God and love others. I think the girls and I are going to make bracelets that either say that or LGLO, then wear them like it mentions in that verse--just a constant reminder.

Shannon said...

I love this Becke' and really needed this! I haven't read blogs in ages but someone mentioned your post about school! You know we are in the same boat! So miss the extra bible teaching they got a CCS! We are trying to incorporate extra bible into Noah and Ally's day but you k ow it can be hard with all the other stuff. Thanks so much for all the great ideas! One thing that our family has been doing for awhile is praying before meals for other families! We keep Christmas cards on our kitchen table from the past year and the kids get to pick a card and we pray for thy family! Another reason to keep all the pretty Chrostmas cards! Your writings are a blessing sweet friend!
Shannon Foster