Keep on coloring kids!

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I recently had to take an emotional look at what it looks like when my kids sit in worship with me.  Very rarely, since Brad is often the one preaching, do I have help with the kids in worship.  In fact, by the time the kids get up on Sunday morning, Brad is already out the door and off to the office.  Sunday mornings are tough.  It’s a lot of work to get everyone up, fed, pottied, dressed, brushed, shoed, coated, buckled, driven, and across the mammoth parking lot on my own week after week.  Often times I’m frustrated and exhausted before I ever even walk in the door.  Sadly, I honestly dread the Sunday mornings when one or both of the biggers say that want to go to worship with me rather than Sunday School.  Sad, but honestly true.  I want worship time to recharge, refuel, and honestly provide a break from an already busy morning.  It has become more and more regular lately for the biggers to want to join me though.  For quite a while, I would grab a Children’s Bulletin for each of them, and let them work on that during the sermon.  Unfortunately though, I was fielding questions about “what do I do on this part now Mommy?” and “Mommy, is this right?”  It’s really hard to catch much of the sermon while this is happening!

I knew something had to change, but what?
I have worked with kids for years, I have study child development as I obtained an elementary education degree, I taught elementary school, I have been a parent for 6 1/2 years – I have a pretty good understanding of kids and what is and isn’t age appropriate at different ages.  Sermons (even those preached by their father) are not geared towards kids.  Many kids are able to focus better when actually doing something rather than just sitting like a lump on a log.  Also the learning style of a teen or adult is different than that of a 4 or 6  year old.  In my opinion kids coloring in worship IS GOOD!  There had to be something better than the Children’s Bulletin though.  Within days of my emotional mess of a day over this, the Lord provided me with a new way of allowing the kids to color which would be much more beneficial to them and myself!

I could not be more excited to pull out the Crayola Twistable Colored Pencils each week now – they actually join me more frequently now, and I actually mind less than I use to.  I know that many blessings will result from my kids being allowed to color during the sermon each week.

Here is a glimpse at what Nate (age, 6) has done over the past few weeks:

{during a sermon on Acts 18:24-28}

{during a sermon about “God is Vast”}

{during a sermon about God is perfect}

{while at the International House of Prayer in Kansas City this weekend}

(on  the right, all of the people are thinking about being with Jesus – I had to ask what all the black circles where – thought bubbles of course!)

It is such an incredible blessing to ask Nate after service to explain his picture.  It’s even more of a blessing to know that by allowing him to color, he is able to express the truths that God is teaching him.  Adults take notes (and doodle) during sermons, he takes notes with pictures.

How does it work?  I went to Target and bought both Nate and Jilly a sketch pad book along with a pack of Twistables.  Neither the books or the Twistables are allowed to be used outside of a worship setting.  They are to listen to what is being talked about during the sermon, and draw a picture that relates to what they hear.  I always date the page, and they are limited to the front and back of one page to help teach self control.  Obviously, Nate has a better grasp on this than Jilly does.  Most of Jilly’s colorings are completely random and abstract at this point.  I know though, that she will grow in this as she gets a little older.  My expectations for her vary from what I expect from Nate – as they should.  Seriously though, this often time frazzled each Sunday morning momma is just a little more at peace now, and lot more blessed!
LET THEM COLOR!!!

 

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