“Do you know what we do on 9/11?

‎I asked a preschooler “Do you know what we do on 9/11?” He thought for a bit and said, “Yes, we look for number 10.”

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The preschoolers in my school were not alive when 9/11 happened. Many of their parents were not even married at that time. 9/11 is something that is hard for a preschooler to understand. It is hard for adults as well to understand.

The nation often takes a moment of silence on this day to reflect and think about what 9/11 really means. Maybe as we are thinking, we can do what my preschool friend suggested and look for number 10.

May we embrace the end of Psalm 10 that says, ” You, Lord, hear the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry, defending the fatherless and the oppressed, so that mere earthly mortals will never again strike terror.”

In 2013, 47 million people used 9/11 as a day of service to do good deeds. My own preschoolers are partnering with an agency to bring food to the elderly to honor this day.

Will you too consider doing an act of service for someone else?

Instead of the usual reflection questions offered in these posts, we may all do well to be silent and look for number 10…….

” You, Lord, hear the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry, defending the fatherless and the oppressed, so that mere earthly mortals will never again strike terror.” Psalm 10:17-18

“The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.” John 10:10

 

 

 

Which is your favorite Easter Egg?

I asked a preschooler, “Which is your favorite Easter Egg?” He quickly looked at the basket, and said, “My favorite one is not there. It is the chocolate one I sneaked out of my brother’s basket.”Which Easter Egg is Your Favorite?Preschoolers are impulsive. If they see something they want, they are often tempted to act on that feeling. A chocolate Easter egg in another person’s basket may just wind up in a preschooler’s stomach. Preschoolers can be very selfish.

However, that is not what happened in this case. The preschooler went on to share that he hid his brother’s chocolate egg, and he is going to let him find it on Easter. His favorite egg will be the one he will help a brother find.

We often make assumptions. We often look at someone’s actions and think we know their motives. We often are wrong. We are not perfect. We make mistakes.

The story of Easter is full of assumptions. Jesus was a liar. Jesus was trying to overthrow Jerusalem. Jesus was a good guy with good stories, but certainly nothing else. Jesus came to this earth to start a new religion. Jesus could not really have power or he would have not allowed someone to kill him. If Jesus was really the son of God, God must be terrible to allow death. Jesus has no relevance for me in my life. I don’t need an invisible spirit to be involved with me.

Many people spend their whole life with assumptions that may or may not be true. Seeing the bigger picture is something we might not see. We might not get to see a preschooler offering candy to a brother. We might end the story at looking at a thief who had no good thoughts. The end of stories are up to us. Easter is never the end. It is only the beginning of a journey that will take you to places you may never knew existed.

  • What kind of Easter egg is your favorite?
  • What is an assumption you have made or someone has made about you that was wrong?
  • What is the best way we can live our life without letting assumptions control our thoughts?

Q: What do Easter bunnies get for making two baskets?

A: Two points, just like everyone else!

(Can I assume you didn’t see that one coming? 🙂 )

Happy Easter to everyone who celebrates that holiday!

“What does your daddy want for Christmas?”

I asked a preschooler, “What does your daddy want for Christmas?” She smiled and said, “He wants to buy me a Tinkerbell and an Elsa dress and a Snow Globe Elsa doll, but it’s a secret so don’t tell him”

What is on your Christmas list?

What is on your Christmas list?

It is easy to think of children as greedy during the holiday season. There is a lot of “I want” and “I have to have” type phrases that come from their mouths. We try to share that it is better to give than to receive, but that is a hard concept for young children.

As much as I do a lot of servant oriented learning and helping preschoolers think beyond just themselves, this little girl’s request for her daddy for Christmas just had to make me smile. Fathers in their purest form are altruistic and generous beyond measure. They provide what a child needs without question. They allow a child to form a level of trust that helps them build toward self actualization so that other healthy needs are met. Without a foundation of trust, Maslow’s hierarchy of needs can lead to despair and depression all through adulthood.

A child who can trust her father and know him well enough that he will provide for her needs is a fortunate child. (Now the difference between needs and wants is a whole other blog entry. What do you really need for Christmas?   🙂 )

For those who celebrate Christmas, we have the opportunity to look at the most generous father in the universe. The creator of the universe is someone who gave the entire world his most prized asset as he sent his son as a baby. Earthly fathers do not always provide every need, but a heavenly father can give without ceasing. Kings love making little girls feel like a princess.

  •  How can we ask for our desires without sounding like we are selfish? (Desires do not have to be kept a secret.)
  • Who do you put your most trust in?
  • What do you think your heavenly father wants to give you for Christmas? 
  • What is something you could offer back in return for your daily gift of life?

“Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.”

Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

“Could it be MY baby too?”

I had a group of preschoolers dress up like the people in the Christmas story. I asked Mary and Joseph to sit near their baby. The innkeeper looked at me with sad eyes and said, “Could it be MY baby too?”

A gift for everyone

A gift for everyone

That is EXACTLY the story of Christmas! That baby born was not just Mary and Joseph’s baby. He was born for the innkeeper and the shepherds and the wise men and all the people who are reading this right now. Of all the ways I have heard Christmas explained, this simple question from a preschooler told the whole story in 6 simple words. “Could it be My baby too?” For a moment, think how God must feel when a preschooler asks to be apart of His life. How must he feel when anyone any age asks to be apart of his life?

Preschoolers are good at saying “Mine!” They want everything to belong to them. If they are playing with something, it belongs to them. If they were playing with something an hour ago and someone else picks it up, it still belongs to them. If they think they like something, it belongs to them. For a preschooler, “Mine” is a very big deal.

Christmas can be hard when presents are opened and children want what someone else got, or they open something they really don’t want.  However, the one true gift at Christmas is truly for everyone. The true gift of Christmas really is “mine.” It is now just up to the people to decide if it is a gift they want.

  • For a moment, picture a newborn baby that will change the world. Could this really be your baby too?
  • Could you really be given the power that this baby will have?
  • What will you do with that knowledge?

“
Christ was born in the first century, yet he belongs to all centuries. He was born a Jew, yet He belongs to all races. He was born in Bethlehem, yet He belongs to all countries.” George W. Truett

Merry Christmas to all who read this, and Merry Christmas to all who you share this with. Anything that is “mine” that is shared is now multiplied. Nothing you give is ever really given away as you always hold memories in your heart. May you find the baby and all of its power that belongs to you this Christmas. What is mine is yours too.  Sheila Halasz

The Power of a Preschooler can change your life…..if you let it.

“What is Advent?”

I asked a preschooler, “What is Advent?” He said, “Santa likes snow at the North Pole. It is really cold there. When he gets ready for Christmas he needs to ‘add vents’ to his sled so he can stay warm. It takes a few weeks to do all that vent adding, but when it is done, it is Christmas.”

What is Advent to you?

What is Advent to you?

Advent is supposed to be a time of preparation for the coming of Christ. We prepare our hearts to receive hope, preparation, joy and love. It is often hard to prepare our hearts while so much commercialization happens around us. Things in stores can distract us. “To do” lists get longer and longer. There are so many good causes that are looking for resources and time. It can be quite an overwhelming time if we are not careful.

What we often need is a breath of fresh air in this busy season. Maybe we do need a new vent to blow on us and clear out the clutter in our lives, a vent that will provide us with warm, clean, unpolluted air. Imagine the summer when you sit on the beach and the warm winds blow at just the right speed and temperature. Imagine the calmness that you feel. Imagine the relaxing peace that a gentle breeze can bring.

Maybe, just maybe, we do need a new venting system each Advent season. We need a source to receive hope and preparation, joy and love. If we can just stay calm and let that Holy breath of fresh air wash over us, we may find the peace we are looking for. As for that Santa guy, maybe, just maybe he too also needs some new vents to blow fresh air on him as he prepares for Christmas. Maybe he is only able to do what he does because he has taken the time to add vents to his sled.

  •  What does Advent mean to you?
  • What areas in your life do you need to have a vent blown on you?
  • Do you have any issues you need to vent?
  • Will you take some time to be still and feel a warm breath wash over you?

“A human being is only breath and shadow.” Sophocles

“God is ever present. He’s in every breath, in every step. He’s here, always, always.”        Jill Scott

“I wanna be thankful”

We sang a song at preschool that said, “I wanna be thankful.” The music had a refrain that sang this over and over and over again. After the song was finished, I asked the group, ‘What do you wanna be?” One child shouted, “I wanna be GOD!”

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

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Preschoolers can have high heights. They are unpredictable and do not stop when we think they should. Being thankful and grateful is something we want all preschoolers and adults to be. Gratefulness is the beginning of greatness.

If we believe that God is great, than we can also believe that being more godlike would be an ultimate goal. If we are more godlike, we are more thankful. Maybe being thankful is not our final destination. We need to go even further. Maybe thankfulness is a nice pause on our way to greatness.

  • What do you “wanna be”?
  • What would your world look like if you were thankful for everything?
  • What can you do to use your thankfulness to bring greater greatness to your life?

“I want to know all Gods thoughts; all the rest are just details.”

Albert Einstein

Video of my preschool friends giving thanks. (Click on the blue words)

If you would like to hear the “I wanna be thankful” song we were singing, it is here. I hope you wanna be something great today.

 

“Who do you think is the winner?”

I sat in a Bible lesson today for preschoolers. The story was about Elijah and the prophets and the strong competition they were having. The teacher asked, “Who do you think was the winner?”  Without a hesitation a child shouted, “The Blackhawks!!!”

A WIN!!!!!

A WIN!!!!!

Living in the Chicago area, the Blackhawks are much more popular than Elijah. The story of Elijah was being told in a Vacation Bible School setting, and hours upon hours had been put into decorations to make the scene look like Mount Everest and also Mount Sinai where Elijah heard from God. The first day as the preschoolers looked in awe at the mountain scenes, one boy looked at it all and said, “It’s very nice, but where are the Blackhawks?”

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Sometimes we get so engrossed in the current sport’s event, or the voices on the radio and the crimes we see on the news, or the politicians in our area that we are not able to fully focus on other topics that come our way. The “Elijah stories” of our lives get too hard to notice.

However, if we want to be able to embrace the “Elijah stories” in our lives, we need to step away from the loudness of the Blackhawks’ win. After the win in Chicago, fireworks went off, and people all over the area started tracking the location of the Stanley Cup. Wrigley Field and bars emptied, and the celebrations continued.  Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Chicago will host a ”world class” celebration for the Blackhawks in the coming days to celebrate the team’s Stanley Cup win over the Tampa Bay Lightning. Winning the third Stanley Cup in only six years is a big deal, and the Hawks are being considered a “dynasty.”

Now getting back to that story of Elijah, Elijah was scared of the big deals in his life, and he hid in a cleft in the side of a mountain. He heard a tumultuous earthquake, booming thunder and lightning in a windstorm and a raging fire. All three of these were impossible for Elijah to miss. However, the god he was searching for was not in any of these larger than life occurrences.  God was in a whisper.

Sometimes life gets noisy. Circumstances around us are like gongs. It is all we can concentrate on. However, if we can remain still, there are still whispers that are speaking to us. There are still ways for us to be loud by being quiet.

  • What is something in your life right now that is taking up a lot of attention?
  • In a perfect world, what dream would you like to have happening loudly and boldly in your life?
  • What is stopping you from resting in a quiet place and working on a way to help your dreams become true?
Stay quiet and just listen....

Stay quiet and just listen….

P.S. The first picture of the boys hugging was not a picture of boys excited about the Blackhawks winning. It shows two boys being told to hug one of their friends. These two boys spontaneously hugged each other and did not want to let go. In my opinion, two boys showing love is a huge win. They may not receive a Stanley Cup, but they have the ability to change the world.

Today is the National Day of Prayer

I shared with some preschoolers that today is a special holiday when anyone can talk to God. It is called the National Day of Prayer. A preschooler looked strangely at me and said, “Maybe grown-ups should know that every day is a day we can talk to God. We don’t need a holiday. We could use another Christmas, but we really don’t need a holiday to be told to pray.”

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As the leaders of our country all stand together and use prayer as a tool for betterment, it is interesting to look at the history of this day. According to Wikipedia, the National Day of Prayer shares common roots with the celebration of Thanksgiving; both were national proclamations establishing a day of prayer, but in the New England Colonies under British rule, traditional observances in late fall called for prayer and thanksgiving, while observances in the spring or summer called for prayer and fasting. The fall observance was established by President Abraham Lincoln as the official Thanksgiving holiday in 1863. The spring observance was established by President Harry S. Truman in 1952 as the National Day of Prayer.

For over 60 years, we have been using the first Thursday of the month of May to offer prayer as a whole nation. This year, the theme of Day of Prayer will be “Lord, Hear Our Cry”. Prayers from any person in any religion or belief are encouraged by the Senate to turn to God and pray.

I have no idea how many people actually follow through with the Senate’s request. One day, one request, and no consequence that we can overtly see if we don’t follow through may be hard to track.  If one day is so hard to get a majority of people to gather around, I can only imagine how hard it would be to join together each day.

However, as my preschool friend shared, we really don’t need a holiday to pray in America. We are fortunate to live in a free country that allows us to pray each day whenever we can. Often we hear that you need to use things or you will lose them. This may be one of the times we follow an axiom.

  • If your family celebrates Thanksgiving each year, do you also celebrate the National Day of Prayer?
  • What could you do to make a day of prayer something meaningful to you?
  • What could be different if people would pray more than one day a year? 
  • Will you consider being like a preschooler who just cannot understand why one day of prayer  is enough? Will you let God hear our cry?

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“Tell me about your Easter dinner”

I asked a preschooler, “Tell me about your Easter dinner.” He said, “My tummy was really, really empty, and then I ate a lot and was really, really full. My Grandpa said he ate enough so that he will never need to eat again, but I don’t know if that is true. What is true?”

Easter Dinner for a Preschooler

Easter Dinner for a Preschooler

Wow! Should we ever make a grandparent out to be a liar? What is the truth for a preschooler? The truth about eating is someone really should be eating again after a month, or there will be a big problem.

The preschooler was eating on Easter though, and Easter can be a holiday with special rules. The true Christian story about Easter can be told simply with an equation of only four words.

It’s empty = We’re full

An empty tomb is something that allows people to be filled to capacity so that they too may live forever and need nothing ever again. The grandfather may have just explained the entire theological concept of Easter by explaining he has been given something that will last him a lifetime and beyond. His needs are met.

When a preschooler asks you, ‘What is true?” I would suggest you choose your words very wisely. There is often more to truth than meets our eye or our stomach.

  • Think about a time you ate a lot and totally filled your stomach.
  • What feelings do you have when you eat a lot?
  • What is the truth of Easter for you?
  • Is your truth something you share with others as a dish to pass or do you keep it to yourself?

“And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.”                1 Corinthians 15:14

 

“Why did Jesus Die?

A preschooler was asked, “Why did Jesus die?” He replied, “Because the bunny bit him!”

Bunnies can have big teeth

Bunnies can have big teeth

Preschoolers and Easter are a complicated situation. Easter is filled with bunnies and candy in the stores, yet the true story of Easter is so complex and filled with death, life from death, angels, forgiveness and the weight and sin of the world. Those concepts are complex for an adult let alone a three year old!

At my preschool we reenacted the story of Easter including the events of Palm Sunday, the Last Supper, the Garden of Gethsemane, the cross, the resurrection and how our current lives intersect with the story. Again, all are in-depth concepts that theologians interact with. However, preschoolers can amaze us at their depth of thinking.

Be ready to see their depth…….

While drinking the grape juice with our bread, a preschooler shared, “Hey, I need MORE juice here!” It is a good Christian theologian who says, “Yes, we do need more blood of Jesus in our lives here!”

Another preschooler took the little communion cup and said, “This is my medicine.” It is also a good Christian theologian who says, “Yes, Jesus can be the medicine I need.”

We shared that when Jesus was here, he told people to take the bread and drink and always remember Him. One preschooler refused to take either. She looked at me and said, “I remember Jesus everyday. I really don’t need to eat anything to remember Him.” Only the deepest spiritual lives remember their source of power at all times without any reminders. IMG_2571

When we passed out the bread, one preschooler shared, “I love honey on my bread, but if this is bread from Jesus, it probably is already really sweet.” Another thing a Christian theologian knows is that everything that does come from Christ is meant to be sweet in your life.

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Easter is complex, but it truly is a story that young preschoolers can interpret. A young three year old shared this with his mother today, “Once upon a time, the soldiers took Jesus and put a sharp crown on Jesus’ head and He died. They put him in a cave and they wrapped him up in a big blanket. A lady came and visited Jesus, she was a magic lady and she gave him muscles. The soldiers moved a big stone in front of the cave and then he was locked inside. But He was super strong and moved the Boulder and then he’s not dead. He is, he is alive! He is alive! The people LOVE Jesus. That’s it.”

The first thing I contemplated was the “magic lady” in his version. In talking with his mother, she wondered if the holy spirit resembles magic to a three year old. I have known plenty of adults who do not understand the holy spirit and the true “magical” power it holds. However, the final essence of this Easter story version has a powerful ending. “He is alive! The people LOVE Jesus. That’s it.” I truthfully have never spoken to a theologian who could offer the story of Easter in a more succinct sentence.

By the way, the preschooler who thought Jesus had been bitten by the rabbit, walked out of my school singing the song in the following link. I don’t know if a rabbit was there when Jesus died, but I do know he would have been surprised by an empty tomb.

Click here to see a message from some of my preschool friends.

  • What part of the Easter story is hardest for you to believe?
  • How would our world be different if ALL people would LOVE Jesus?
  • There are a lot of people who only think of a bunny at Easter, is there anything you would be able to do to change that? 
  • If you could have “magic lady” at your disposal, what would you ask for this Easter?

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Who does God want you to love today?

I sat in a church with a group of preschoolers and asked them to be very still and ask God, “Who does God want you to love today?” We sat in silence as I thought about the profound answers I may hear. The first boy to eagerly raise his hand blurted, “God talked to me, and he said he wants me to love my TV and watch it all afternoon.”

If you can't name this girl, you may not know enough preschoolers.

If you can’t name this girl, you may not know enough preschoolers.

Wow, my ideas of God telling the preschoolers to love their family and friends and teachers and pets was derailed by the first child sharing he needs to love his television and watch it all afternoon. The percentages of children watching screen time is increasing in alarming rates. According to the Neilson Company, children are watching television 3.5 hours a day. 54% of children ages 4-6 would rather spend time watching television than spending time with their father.

Studies have shown that television viewing is associated with learning problems and language delays in preschoolers (Tanimura, 2007). Television viewing promotes attention problems (Christakis, 2004) and interferes with academic performance (Strasburger, 1986). More than 1,000 studies have shown an association between exposure to violent television programming and aggressive or violent behaviors in children (Strasburger, 2002), including early exposure as preschoolers and later antisocial behavior (Christakis, 2007). It is estimated that the average child views 12,000 acts of violence every year. Most network broadcasted shows for children contain 20 violent acts per hour.

With statistics like that, it no longer surprises me that television is on the minds of children. Movies like “Frozen” are very popular with my preschool friends. They talk about watching favorite things over and over while they also act out parts with great detail. The balance we all need is to help make the priorities of our hearts equal the priorities of our actions.

The average adult is worse than a child, we spend over 5 hours a day with a television which equates to a full 9 years of our lives trying to be entertained. If you start adding the screen time of going to the movies and looking up things on the internet, the numbers escalate.

We all have free will. (Any parent of a preschooler KNOWS that children will not always obey their parent.) We all can make choices. On this Valentine’s Day, let’s try to let our actions match what is really in our hearts. It is never too late to get out some glue and paper and make a Valentine for your loved ones. Also, remember that whoever you do love, you may want to spend some time with them.

My homemade Valentine given to me by a four year old.

My homemade Valentine given to me by a four year old.

  • On an average day, how much screen time do you have?
  • Will you bravely ask God who you should love today?
  • What are two things you could do today to better show how your heart aligns with your actions?

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I just have to share….

A preschooler told me, “Mommy says its good to share so I just have to share my Christmas list with you. Be ready, it is a lot to remember. ”

I want to share something...

I want to share something…

I had a mother come to my preschool office this week and say, “I just have to share something and maybe your blog could use it.” (Luckily it was not too long for me to remember!) She shared she is very early in a pregnancy and has fears of losing the baby like she has experienced in the past. She has been busy praying for a healthy baby or a quick miscarriage before she bonds too closely with the child or the stamina to see the good in whatever happens. In her heartfelt prayers, God has been silent. She has felt like there is no sign of what will happen. Her prayer to hear God was answered through her preschooler. About two hours after her prayer for a message, her daughter sat by her side and said, “Mommy, did you know that when you are sad, God is sad too?”

With tears in her eyes, this mother shared that the Holy Spirit spoke through her preschooler and comforted her in her time of need.  Preschoolers are powerful people. They have only been in this world for a short time yet have the ability to change lives in profound ways. Fetuses also have the ability to change lives. If they are in the world for a week or a month, a few months or are delivered full term, lives surrounding them may never be the same.

The tip of a pen is quite small but it can create anything we can imagine. The little tip of a pen is the same size as a fetus as it begins to grow, but small can do big things. It is as if the fetus is saying, “Love me as I grow, I have things to do. I may be small now, but I will always love you.”

After only five weeks, the fetus is the size of a sesame seed which seems still very small, but he has a brain and a spine, and his heart is beating. The sesame seed gives a lot of oil for people all over the world to eat even though it is one of the smallest seeds. Small can do big things. That fetus is still saying, “Love me as I grow, I have things to do. I may be small now, but I will always love you.”

Small things can love a lot. No matter what the size of a creation, it can give and receive love. No one knows how long our children will live. The only thing we can know is how long we can offer love. Emotions are up to us.

The God I know who creates new life knows the joy that life can bring. He also knows the sadness that can come when we are not as close as we want to be. Closeness brings joy and distance brings pain. Whenever you can, get as close to love as possible. If it involves sitting close on a couch with a preschooler as she shares words of comfort, smile and know you are loved.

  • When you are sad, do you typically suffer in silence or do you share with others in your world?
  • What would look different if you would accept the love that a small thing can offer you?
  • If you are a person who prayers, will you take time to ask God to show up for you, and wait in holy anticipation at how you will hear an answer? (Make sure there is room for a preschooler in your life in case that is how your ears will hear a message. They just may also have their own long list to share with you.)

God said, “You don’t have to worry about love. As long as I’m existing, you will be loved.” Anonymous

“Love me as I grow, I have things to do. I may be small now, but I will always love you.” Quote from every child who has ever been conceived

 

What would Good Friday look like if you were there?

I was telling talking about Easter with a group of two and young three year olds this week. When I got to the thorny crown, a girl quickly interjected, “and that was definitely NOT a princess crown!” When we got to the part about the mean guys coming to take Jesus away, a boy quickly wanted to share, “I need to be a Power Ranger and get those mean guys who hurt Jesus! I need to get my power stick!” Story over!

The Power of the Cross

The Power of the Cross

The story of Easter is the most profound story in all of christianity. It is the only story where a savior dies for all the sins of humanity and then comes back to life only to then leave again to prepare a place for everyone. It is so far beyond what an adult mind can comprehend, which makes it even harder for a preschooler to grasp. Yet grasp they do.

Preschoolers understand concepts like getting punished for doing something wrong. They understand “mean guys” wanting to hurt people. They understand that a thorny crown is nothing like the princess variety. They understand people crying when they are sad. They understand people being happy and excited when a cave is found empty. They understand how to share exciting news with others so that everyone can continue to pass on a legacy. They understand the desire for unconditional love.

What preschoolers also understand is that they like to DO things. They don’t like to just sit and listen; they are doers. The love waving a Palm branch and shouting “Hosanna!”. They love going outside in a garden to look for flowers and a spot to pray like Jesus. When they hear about some friends sleeping instead of being with Jesus as he was taken away, they enjoy falling to the floor and acting as if they are sleeping. Preschoolers DO.

A young child visualizing morphing into a Power Ranger to protect someone he loves is just what makes God smile at Easter. God is in the business of morphing people’s hearts. To morph means to be transformed completely in appearance or character. As Christians we believe that only God has the ability to transform character. We all fall short of the glory of God which is the whole point of Easter. We all need some morphing power; power sticks are optional.

  • If you were present at the first Good Friday, what do you think you would have done?
  • What in your life needs some transformation?
  • If you are alive on THIS Good Friday, what will you DO?
  • Are you willing to say, “It’s Morphin’ time” and wait for God to do some work?
  • While you are busy Doing, also please remember there is a time for just Being. They can go hand in hand quite well.

“Everyone is like a butterfly, they start out ugly and awkward and then morph into beautiful graceful butterflies that everyone loves.”

Drew Barrymore

The power of a preschooler will change your life….if you let it. Be prepared to Morph! 🙂

 

What does a speck of sawdust and a plank in your eye really mean?

I was reading that Jesus said, “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?” I asked a preschooler, “What does a speck of sawdust and a plank in your eye really mean?”   He said, “Wow, that means a carpenter forgot to wear his goggles!”

A speck and a log

A speck and a log

I have heard ideas that being judgmental is a form of being human, and we should not look at others without first looking closer at ourselves. All that makes sense. The world would be a kinder place if we would not judge so quickly.  I have never before heard the virtues of a good carpenter wearing safety goggles.

Preschoolers can often give the new twist that can make us think deeper. If we had goggles that would protect our eyes from sawdust and big planks and all the knotholes that carpenter’s deal with, we would be much safer. Goggles would also give us clearer vision. We would be able to see the world without the fear of injuring our eyes. We would be free to look at things that could previously have hurt us or have made us turn away. We would be able to take more chances and be bolder in our moves. We would not blink so quickly and really be able to study what we look at.

We have no real photos of Jesus. We only have artist’s renderings.  Jesus may have had a whole different image if someone would have drawn some goggles around his eyes.

  • What could happen if you really could wear glasses that allowed you not to judge?
  • If you placed goggles on that protected you and gave you boldness, what would you do differently?
  • Do you have someone in mind that you would like to purchase goggles for?

“To judge between good or bad, between successful and unsuccessful would take the eye of a God.”  Anton Chekhov

 

What were you doing at the end of the sidewalk?

I had the pleasure of speaking with Wally Armstrong on the phone this week. Wally is a former touring golf professional and uses golf to help people understand life. However, his preschool aged grandchildren may be teaching him more than a golf game could.

Wally shared the story of his two twin grandchildren, Brooke and Parker learning to ride a two-wheeled bike. They were crashing and falling. One child is a crier and the other a pouter. As the crier was on the ground, the pouter was down the sidewalk with his head hung down for a long time. As he stood back up, he got on his bike and pedaled with ease all the way back to his sister. When asked, What were you doing at the end of the sidewalk?Parker explained, “I was praying for Jesus to help me ride my bike, and now I can ride.” Then he asked his sister, “Do you want me to pray for you? Jesus can help you ride a bike too.”

My Bike on the sidewalk

My Bike on the sidewalk

Can life really be that easy? You talk to Jesus, and then He helps you? For Wally’s grandchild, it was that easy. As adults we often complicate things. We keep trying things on our own, and when we fail, we blame others or we give up. Some of us have a hard time asking for help. We think we need to do everything ourselves. We feel guilty asking friends for help and we certainly don’t want to bother any higher power with our little life. We suffer in silence, and we miss the joy of riding a bike down a sidewalk for the first time.

I love that this child used his faith and then also wanted to share it with his sister. If you have something that is wonderful, it is always best to share. You can do great things when you ask Jesus for help, and then you can pass it on by helping others. I can only imagine this cycle being repeated over and over again as more and more people gain power in asking for help. It is often in asking for help that we gain our real strength. It is then that we can ride down the sidewalk of life with a proud smile on our faces.

  • When was the last time you asked a friend for help with something?
  • What do you do when friends don’t show up to help you?
  • If you believe in Jesus, how can you encourage the little sisters in the world to trust in Jesus when they feel like giving up and crying?
  • What will you do when you get to the end of your sidewalk?
  • Imagine sitting next to your bike. What would you like to ask Jesus? (He just may be listening just like he was for Wally’s grandson!)

“I have played alone for too long. On the golf course and in life, I have not let anyone be a caddy for me.” Wally Armstrong, taken from his book The Mulligan.  Check out more of Wally’s books and thoughts. Also check his story out at a free presentation at a Lifetree Cafe near you the week of June 9th. 2013. Lifetree Cafe: Could a conversation with God change your life?

The Power of Preschoolers can change your life…..if we let it.

“How was your Easter?”

I asked a preschooler, “How was your Easter?

He said. “Jesus got killed AGAIN! I feel sorry for him having to carry that heavy cross up the hill. It must be ‘esausting’!  Next year I want to tell him, ‘Come on Jesus Christ, you can do it! This year will be the year you do not get killed!'”

Keep trying. Don't give up!

I love this preschooler who is so full of confidence. He is hopeful he can encourage the Son of God to keep trying.

This child comes from a loving family that instills the quality of never quitting. They are a team together and let their children know that giving up is not an option. At four years old, this preschooler knows that not only can he keep trying for himself, he can encourage others. We all need someone like this in our lives. We need to keep trying and not give up.

We can often feel like a loser in life. People all around us have more things, closer relationships, better jobs and more money. None of that should change how we keep trying. We need to keep an attitude like this preschooler that will not give up even on an age-old story that has a concrete ending.

April 14th, 1434 was the day the first foundation stone was laid for St. Peter and Paul’s Cathedral in Nantes, France. That cathedral was not completed for the next 457 years! We do not always have to know what our end result will be when we start something. We just can’t give up. We have to pass that same attitude on to the next generation so that they too can continue projects we may start. Even if it is “esauting”, we need to keep trying.

Come on friend, you can do it!

  • Who in your life encourages you when it doesn’t even make sense?
  • When in your life have you needed to persevere and not give up?
  • What challenge are you facing right now that you need to keep up your persistence?
  • Will you encourage someone this week by saying, “Come on friend, you can do it!”?
  • Will you read this link to see the best way to help children in success? http://www.sharecare.com/news/praise-kids-for-efforts

” Never, never give up. ”

Winston Churchill

The Power of Preschoolers will change your life…..if you let it.