Thursday, April 5, 2012

One way we memorize

My Mom bought the girls "See It - Say It Bible Storybook" a few years back.  The girls loved it. It was a Rebus picture book Bible for kids.  This Rebus way of telling a story set me to thinking that I could do that for the girls to aide them in memorizing some Bible verses. So These pages are one of the first ones I did. We have since moved on to whole chapters memorizing verses this way. It has worked fantastically well. It makes it fun.  It also lets me learn a skill that I didn't know I was capable of and am now enjoying....drawing. So a win all around. 

What am I filling up on?

When the girls were babies I would make up songs to verses of scripture and I would teach it to them when I tucked them in at bedtime. We have also been very careful about what they see and hear as far as TV shows, movies, and music...especially music.  We are also very careful about what our eyes and ears hear and see too...not just the girls.  Shaun and I are both very aware of those little lies that Satan whispers in our ears that can either be deflected and fall dead to the ground with God's words OR can be planted into our souls and take root and destroy us.  
Actually this whole idea is a massive topic.  But after reading a friend's blog today I have been pondering one part of it...the hiding God's word in my heart part.  You know there's only so much room in my heart.  When I fill it up with music that has words that don't edify Him or me, garbage movies, garbage TV shows (don't get me wrong here, I love watching shows the same as the next girl and all shows and movies aren't bad...but there are those things that I don't need to fill my mind with...remember, this is a big topic...trying to narrow it down to the part I was thinking about ;), etc. I don't have room in my heart to think about God.  I don't have room to ponder His words.  I don't have room because I'm all full...on junk food.  
Shaun and I have been changing our family's eating habits.  We have also been changing our family's spiritual eating to speak.  While we have been going for the nutritiously dense foods and pretty much taking junk food out of our body's diet...we have also been taking out the junk food of our spiritual diet more and more.  We have been turning off the TV...just that one thing...frees up SO MUCH mental space.  What's been the most interesting thing about that is...the girls rarely watch a show now...on their own initiative. In fact, over spring break they informed me "We used to watch a lot of shows, Mom.  But now we prefer to play." And it's true!  I see their creativity shining through.  They get along better.  Their thought patterns are clearer. Their curiosity is alive and vibrant...and that's just the girls.  Shaun and I have noticed that when we read our Bible, we're able to take it in.  It's not just one more input into our overtaxed brains.  We think about God's word. We ponder it.  It is changing us.  We talk more. We get more done. We have more time for the things that refresh and fill our souls.  For us we have to be pretty disciplined to keep it that way because our default mode, at the end of the day, is to flop on the couch and turn on the TV because we are so tired.  We are always so much better off when we go about our life this way, though that the being disciplined part isn't hard.  
Let me give you an example of TV taking up our mental space.  Shaun and I watched 2 seasons of Downton Abbey a few months back every evening until we were done.  Great show, by the way! But we found ourselves (bot of us) dreaming (literally) about Downton Abbey, talking about Downton Abbey, perseverating about Downton Abbey! It's a TV show for crying out loud...not real people! But it felt real to us.  We were completely obsessed!  about a TV show.  I think you get the point.  If we had put 1/2 that amount of thought and energy into something that really mattered...
So after de-cluttering our hearts we are also starting to notice that memorizing God's word is a breeze. It stays in our hearts. His words are powerful. When Satan is up to his old tricks His words rise to the surface and deflect.  They protect us.  They inspire us.  They calm us.  
Shaun does the tucking in now and every once in awhile I'll peek in, undetected, and see his snuggled in with the girls saying the current chapter of the Bible that they are working on.  We've been at it now for about 3 years and they have 4 or 5 chapters memorized. 
A few months back Papa was over for a visit and tucked Mercedes in...Shaun peeked in on them and Mercedes had her Bible out and was going through all the chapters she has memorized and was explaining them to Papa.  *tears*.  Often, if we peek in on her after she's been tucked in, she'll be reading her Bible.  It's awesome! 
Portia, from time to time, is scared in the night.  Over the years she would come into our room quite beside herself with fear and would crawl into bed with us.  So we started teaching her verses about fear and that it's not from God. We started teaching her that she has a weapon against those little (or big) whispers from Satan...the word of God. About 6 months ago she got it!  In the night she would start to pray and quote those verses.  One morning she said to me "Mommy, I was afraid last night and then I prayed to Jesus and said those verses and I wasn't afraid anymore."  Massive massive deal in our house! Our wee daughter, at 6, is learning to fight her enemy. She's learning warfare...and winning because she has the God of the angel armies, the King of kings and the the Lord of lords, on her side.  
Just thinking about all of this makes me want to do the happy dance. What a difference.  Yes, life still has its moments...but we have HOPE! We know those are just moments that will pass. We have hope. I don't know about you, but I need hope.  I can't live without it. The good thing is...I don't have too. 
These verses stuck out to me today from my friend's blog posting
"The Lord's unfailing love surrounds the man (or woman!) who trusts in him." (Ps.32:10) 
"But the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear Him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love." (Ps.33:18)