Katie (9 years old) is tackling the entire Bible this year. She's reading five chapters a day on top of going to school, doing homework, and playing. It's a big time commitment. She has been frustrated a few times already about the necessity of fulfilling the reading assignment each day so it doesn't pile up and become a hopeless task. (This is actually something we're all struggling with - it's hard to find a new rhythm.)
Last Friday we had a pizza and movie night. All the kids invited a friend and it was a full-on party at the Stilp house. Shortly after we started the movie, Katie singled Curt out to talk to him. "Dad I feel torn. I want to watch the movie but I haven't read my Bible yet. I really don't want to have to read ten chapters tomorrow and I know if I watch the movie, it will be time for bed when it's done. I don't want to be rude to my friend, but can I go read my Bible instead?" Seriously? We were blown away.
She came back downstairs 30 minutes later with a huge smile on her face to tell me about her "good choice." Putting God first filled her with obvious joy, left her feeling capable of tackling the challenge the following day, and enabled her to enjoy the rest of the movie night with her friend. Way to go Katie! She's also been highlighting verses she likes and sharing them with me. I'm always surprised at how much the kids actually grasp from what they're reading.
Grant (10 1/2 years) is tackling the Bible for a second go-round this year. Last year he jumped around a bit and the lack of structure wasn't very fulfilling. Always the logical one, Grant looked at me last year and said, "Mom. I just don't get it. I already read the entire Bible. Every word. Why do I have to read it again?" It prompted good discussion about how the Word of God is living and active and never returns void. He could read it a million times and learn something new every time. Now that Grant is starting to understand this concept, he's committed to the Bible reading plan for this year. He's been getting up 30 minutes early every school day to read, but hasn't had a lot to say yet about what he's learning. I know he looks forward to the battle scenes and all the detailed architectural plans.
Paige (5 years) is begging off this year since she only learned to read a few months ago. At the rate her reading is progressing, she'll be joining us next year in the New Testament though. She brings her Bible to church every week though and tries to follow along. She loves memorizing the Bible verses and is starting read her picture Bible more and more. It's pretty cute how even as a five-year-old, she still follows Jesus.
Alli (7 1/2 years) is reading the New Testament. She refused to start reading until she had a paper chart to cross off the chapters on each day. The only problem with this idea was that she didn't get a chart until January 7th, meaning she started the year with a seven chapter deficit. She sat down on Sunday afternoon with her Bible and an audience of baby dolls and read out-loud the first seven chapters of Matthew using drama and character voices. It was the full shabang and it was really cute.
The next day, Sarah overhead Alli and Grant talking. He was about to ask me what was for dinner. Alli, armed with her new knowledge of the sermon on the mount - particularly the part where Jesus reminds his followers to not worry about what to eat or wear - confidently instructed Grant. "We are not supposed to worry about what to eat or drink, so don't ask mom what we're having for dinner."
How about you? What is God teaching you through His Word? Happy reading.