"We've already talked about this. The books get more and more intense as the series progresses. Each book is a little darker and a little scarier."
"But I don't mind scary."
"I'm sorry. But you are going to have to wait to read it until much later. When J.K. Rowling wrote that series she intended her readers to grow along with Harry, so the later books are intended for older kids. You're just going to have to be patient."
"grumble, mumble, sigh ..."
"What are you reading?"
"Uh ... this."
"The Berenstain Bears? Is that really challenging for you?"
"No. I don't have anything else to read right now."
"What happened to that Ranger's Apprentice book? The one Dad brought home from the library?"
"I finished it."
.... silence ...
"You finished it? When?"
"At school. It was really good."
"You had it for less than 24 hours. Did you really comprehend it?"
"Yeah." Begin detailed retelling of the entire story, complete with battle scenes from the war in Skandia.
"I can read my school book to you."
"Great. Come sit with me."
"Good. Turn the page."
"Okay. Let's get to the story."
"Here I am on my skateboard."
"Good. That's like Aaron's skateboard."
"Here I am on the ground."
"Oops ... He fell hard. Ouch. Your Daddy fell off a skate board when he was a little boy."
"Here I am in the ambulance."
"Uh-oh. This isn't good. Daddy broke his arm falling off that skateboard, too."
"Here I am in the hospital."
"Yep. Daddy had to go to the hospital."
"Here I am in the x-ray room."
"That little boy even looks like your Daddy when he was little. He has the same freckles and the same bowl cut."
"Here I am in the cast room."
"I wonder if Daddy knows they wrote a story about his accident. He had a cast on his arm, too."
"Here I am at home."
"Oh my ... look at that pouty lip. Poor little fellow."
"Look what I have!"
"Oh good! His daddy brought him some elbow pads and a helmet. Good job, Sweetie! You'll have to read that story to Daddy later. The only page missing was the 'Here I am in surgery.' page."
"I pick book, Mommy?"
"Sure, you pick out the book and then come sit on the couch with me."
"I pick it out!"
"Great! Oh. No ... not this one again."
"Can't we read something else? I can't read this 'My Little Pony' story again. All those names: Cheerilee and Toola-Roola and Pinkie Pie and Razzaroo ... they make my head hurt."
"But it's such a silly story. What pony is going to be able to ride on a scooter?"
"And in the end they end up make all those things that they rescued out of the trash can. I know it's very 'green', but it's also kind of annoying."
"Peas. Mom. Meee."
"Okay. But this is the last time. I definitely need to slip this one into Daddy's bag to take back to the library."
It makes my heart so very happy to see my kids buried in books. To see just the tops of their heads peeking out from behind the cover of their latest literary find brings me great joy. Of course, we've had our fair share of not-so-great books, but it has also been a thrill to share some of my favorite childhood treasures with my growing readers.
But with as much as my kids read, it is still a challenge to get them interested in reading the Bible. And I can't blame them.
I remember making the commitment to read the Bible on a regular basis and jumping into Genesis. That went well for the first several pages as I read about the creation of the world and later Noah. But then begins the long lists of numbers in the book of Numbers and my commitment would slowly peter out.
It wasn't until just a few years ago that my commitment to read through the entire Bible actually came to fruition. And even then, there were still chunks of the Old Testament that I plodded through without any real comprehension or retention.
Such a challenge of discipline ... but so very good for the soul!
I think if we can keep in mind that this book is a love letter from God ... the history of His enduring love for us ... then the words in this book will come alive for us. Some of that comes through making regular Bible reading a habit and some of that comes from not rushing through the passages, but taking the time to study and savor the verses. As our habit of being in God's Word becomes established and as we discover the treasures of wisdom and hope on those pages, we begin to look forward to our Bible time as a time in which we encounter the living God. And that's time well spent.
There are a number of resources out there for helping you to be in God's Word. Here are a few to get you started:
YouVersion - A variety of reading plans available either by topic or with the intent of reading through the Bible. I am currently following the plan Project 345 which takes you through the New Testament in a year. Take a peek ... I'm sure you can find something to feed your soul.
BibleGateway - This is a great online resource! A comprehensive concordance and reading plans to help you delve deeper into God's Word.
For a simple daily devotion, I would recommend "Jesus Calling". There is a kid's version that we are reading with our children, too. They also have an app for that. :)
Whatever you do, you will see the benefits of spending time in God's Word - getting to know Him better and discovering another wonderful book worth reading.
"May my children grow to find Your Word
more precious than much pure gold
and sweeter than honey from the comb."