Don’t Make Me Count to Three

The pleasure I find in reading literature has grown as I have grown.  There is now a sense of overflow.  Please do not misunderstand me.  I can never be full of literature and come to a stopping point.  What I mean is that I want others to enjoy reading the written word as much as I do.  We can all benefit from a good story.  That is why I want to share with you Bookworm Mama.

In this space, I am going to overflow a bit and send some good reads your way!  I have no intention of bashing authors or a style of writing or someone’s story.  Primarily, what I say here will be about books I have read and think others will enjoy reading as well.  In each Bookworm Mama review I will provide a synopsis followed by 2 reasons I think you should check it out also.  Nothing fancy, just my thoughts.  I hope you enjoy!

Title:  Don’t Make Me Count to Three
Author:  Ginger Plowman

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A mom’s practical approach to biblical parenting.  Shepherding a Child’s Heart by Ted Tripp definitely made me rethink the way I look at parenting.  In my opinion, Don’t Make Me Count to Three takes Tripp’s book and puts “feet” to it.  Plowman addresses many “issues” that I as a mother struggle with or have questions about.  She addresses these “issues” with scripture.  It was extremely encouraging and a great resource!  Reading Tripp’s book first, was very beneficial for the reading of this book.  However, it is not necessary.

2 reasons

Practical.

I like theory, philosophy, foundation, etc. but when it comes down to it I am a practical girl.  I want things black and white, yes or no, up or down.  This book is practical.  As I said in the synopsis, in my opinion, it takes the foundation of Ted Tripp’s Shepherding a Child’s Heart and puts “feet” to it.  Plowman gives examples of how to handle certain situations in the home.  She literally writes out conversations between parent and child.  It is so very helpful!  Probably my favorite part is in Chapter 8 she provides a resource in the form of a chart for addressing certain sins in your child’s life.  The chart includes questions to probe the child’s heart and scripture to use in reproof and encouragement.  This has been great for B and I to work on together so that we ensure we are using God’s word in correcting and teaching our little ones.

Connection.

Plowman points out the connection between how training our children to respond to parents is preparing them for a future relationship with Jesus.  Noel Piper also addresses this in her book Treasuring God in our Traditions, “When we train our children in godly patterns, godly traditions, we’re helping them to get ready to move with the responsibility into adulthood.”  (Piper, 2007) When we teach them to obey immediately, completely, and with a joyful heart we are teaching them to respond to God in this way also.  This doesn’t have to be a secret we keep to ourselves but we can share this with the child as we teach them.  God uses his Word to discipline and guide us and so we must do the same with our children.

Favorite quote

“Children will rise to the standard that the parents set.”

Click here to learn more about Bookworm Mama

image credit

Plowman, G. (2003). Don’t make me count to three. Shepherd Press eBooks.
Piper, N. (2007). Treasuring god in our traditions. (pp. 17-18). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

The question is the engine

Catechism.

This is a word you probably don’t use on a daily basis.  You’ve heard it, I’m sure.  But what does it mean?

A catechism can be defined as a “series of questions and answers that systematically teach a body of information” (Hunt & Hunt, 1999).

What does this matter to me or even to you?  Well, I’m a parent.  And you possibly are a parent (or will be someday).  Deuteronomy 6 makes very clear that I should teach my children diligently His words.  Ephesians instructs us to bring our children up in the instruction of the Lord.

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I don’t know about you, but to me this is an intimidating task.  God has entrusted B and I with these children to teach them about God and point them to Him.  Noel Piper, in her book Treasuring God in our Traditions (I highly recommend it!) says, “God can only be inherited from God.”  This takes a lot of pressure off of me as a parent.  She goes on to say that, “We only become God’s children through our faith, not through our parents’ faith.” Again, some weight falls off my shoulders.  I cannot “save” my child.  I can’t force them to be God’s children.  God doesn’t expect me to do that and He knows I can’t do that.  However, I can, as Noel Piper says, “help them know him and understand him in ways that prepare them to believe in his name.” (Piper, 2007)

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So, what does this have to do with the catechism?  Well, I have found that a great way to focus my home is by teaching the catechism.  Let me tell you what this looks like for us.

I start with one catechism question.  There are several questions in the resource I’m using and there’s no exact science on which one I started with.  Honestly, I just started with the ones that seemed easiest for my kiddos.

Question:  “Who made you?”

Answer:  “God made me.”

I repeat the question numerous times to my children.  When I first start asking, I say both the question and the answer.  Eventually the children start answering it on their own.  This question is the engine for other activities that go on in our home.  Once I have a question that we are focusing on I tailor the books I read, the songs I sing, what I pray aloud with them, even the scripture I speak aloud.  Here’s some examples.

Song: God Made Me by Randall Goodgame (All of the slugs and bugs cds are wonderful!!!)

Book: God Made Me by Roger Priddy

Scripture:  Psalm 139:13-16, Genesis 1:27

A neat idea for older children when talking about the catechism of God creating us– would be to travel to the Creation Museum.  There are so many ways you can teach your children about this one question.  (P.S. After I wrote this post I found these preschool activities about the creation story) 

My kids are two years old so I have set a goal of teaching them at least five questions and answers throughout the year.  Each child is different and obviously depending on their ages you can even set a goal to learn one a week or one a month.  Below I am posting some other ideas, some of the resources that I use both in book form and websites. 

I am learning more every day how difficult it is to focus our children on God’s truth in the midst of the hustle and bustle of life.  But it is critical, non-negotiable.  So we have to find ways that work best for our families on how to execute this task.  I’ve included suggestions in this post–just ideas that I thought some might find helpful.  Sisters in Christ, fellow moms, we’re in this together!  If you have ideas please share by commenting on this post.  I would love to know what other moms are doing!

Ideas on how to reinforce the question

  • Post the question and answer somewhere in the home for all to see.
  • Plan a writing activity where the children have to express what they think about the question.
  • Provide an opportunity for the children to share the question and answer to others.
  • Create a hands on activity where the question takes the form of a visual to help them remember.

Resources (books)

Resources (websites)

Hunt, S., & Hunt, R. (1999). Big truths for little kids. (p. 5). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.
Piper, N. (2007). Treasuring god in our traditions. (pp. 17-18). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

Hudson’s Two-rrific

Two years ago I wasn’t at the hospital laboring for my son.  I didn’t hear his first cries or change his first diaper.  I didn’t bundle him up in a “coming home” outfit or tuck him into the crib down the hall.  Two years ago I was in my home thousands of miles away from Ethiopia, Africa laboring for my son.  I was painfully awaiting his arrival into our family.

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The word labor means “work, hard physical work”.  In scripture, God said that women would have pain in bringing forth children (Genesis 3:16).  Pain and labor are most definitely associated with extending our families through children.

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While my labor and pain may not have been physical, there were still very difficult, anxious moments in bringing him home.  Over two years ago we started praying for this little boy, praying that God would grant us to extend our family.  During this time we have shed countless tears, prayed lots of prayers, and had many difficult days.  But today we are celebrating!  Today we are celebrating God, who has given Hudson Lee Wilson life and allowed him to be a part of this earthly family.

“Through him we have birth and life and every thing and every person in our lives.  So God is the reason we have anything to celebrate.  He is the ultimate source of any of our celebrations.”  -Noel Piper

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is not variation or shadow due to change.  James 1:17

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