What’s in a Name

Tell me your full name. Allow a child to answer. Do you have any other names that people call you like a nickname? Allow child to answer. Continue on with several children (all if possible). Your name is important! It’s a part of who you are! When I hear the name ________ (name a person in the congregation…perhaps the pastor) I automatically think of someone who is _________ (name some attributes of that person).

Your parents thought carefully about what they would name you. Did you know that some names mean something? If your name has a meaning, use that as an example or choose the name of someone else in your congregation that is well known to the children. Nowadays not everyone’s name means something, but in the time of the Bible parents thought very carefully about what a name meant before giving their child that name. Today we are going to listen to a story about a baby named laughter! That’s a funny name, isn’t it! Let’s read to find out more about this story. Read Genesis 17:1-8, 15-19 from Ralph Milton’s Lectionary Story Bible Year B.

People connect your name to who you are. Just like my example earlier, when I hear the name _______ I think of someone who is _________. In this story God changed Abram and Sarai’s names to something different. God gave their lives a new meaning by giving them new names. God even gave them an idea of what to name their baby! Isaac, which means laughter. That name reminded Abraham and Sarah to always keep laughter in their lives.

You don’t have to change your name to do something special in your life. It’s how you choose to act and what you do that give your name meaning. People connect your name to who you are. When people hear the name ___________ (name a child in the group) they think of someone who is…? have the child answer what people think of when they hear his/her name. Go around and ask several more children to answer (all children if time allows).

Your name is important! It’s a special part of who you are! Your actions give your name meaning!

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Every Wednesday I share a lesson based on the lectionary. These lessons are meant to be used for a children’s moment (aka children’s sermon, children’s liturgy, children’s church, etc), sunday school, or even as a family devotion in your own home.

I have taken the lesson above and written it into a lesson plan format. I have also added a Respond and Extend section to the downloadable lesson. These are additional ideas for the children to respond to the main lesson and then an extension activity for them to do at a later time. The extension activity includes a handout to send home with directions.

All of this can be yours for less than a dollar!! Just click the Add to Cart button to download your copy today! Payments can be made with Paypal, Google Checkout, or you can enter your credit card as a Paypal guest (no account required). Once you have made your purchase an email will be sent to you with download directions.
Add to Cart
Cost: $0.99

Please note: all images and PDF files are my creation. You may use them in your home and with your church family. Please give credit to ChildhoodSpirituality.com. You may not sell these items in part or in full, or in any way claim them as your own. Thank you!

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Mindfulness Monday {Gettin Doodley}

Last week I took a webinar on doodling. Now I love to get crafty, but I don’t often just doodle. This week I did, and painted a bit as well. I just had so much fun. As parents I know we’ve all sat down with our kids and colored with them in their coloring books, but when was the last time you just sat and doodled? I encourage you to take some time this week to simply doodle…for fun…yep fun!

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Let’s Get Real

Here at Childhood Spirituality I have one main rule…this is a guilt free zone. Parents, and women especially, are GOOOD at guilt. As you read my blog I don’t want to you doing any shoulda, coulda, woulda kinda stuff. No regretting what you haven’t done or didn’t do with the kids in your life. This website is all about enriching our lives from this moment forward.

In the interest of full disclosure (ask my boys, they will be honest with you), there are definitely days that my family does no spiritual practices what-so-ever. Sorta, like maybe all summer long last year. It’s never too late to start a routine, and it’s never to late to re-start a routine. When school started back up, I started back in with our nightly spiritual practice…and my son Parker said, “Mommy we don’t do prayers anymore.” And I was like, “yes we do! We just got out of the habit over the summer, and now we are going to start doing them again.” And there have been times since then that we have gotten out of the habit…again. And restarted our routine…again.

I share lots of ideas on this site. And I do all of this stuff, at some point or another. But, believe me, I don’t do all of it every day. I do some of it…sometimes…on some days. That’s life! Don’t think that I’m some super mom with a spotless house, perfectly balanced meals, and brilliant children who never complain and always clean up after themselves while simultaneously praying to God and spouting scripture. UHHH, NOT EVEN CLOSE! Well, I am a super mom. But it’s because I love my kids with all my heart and try, the best I can, to live a Christian example.  Some days I do, and some days I don’t and that’s ok! Whatever level of spiritual practice you do with your children, the fact that you are here means that you strive to live a Christian example! And that is what counts!

So if I, the author of a blog on spirituality, am here telling you that some days I do this stuff better than others, then that should give you permission to do and be the best you can and not beat yourself up for what you don’t get done!  No guilt here!  Just fun, and living this spiritual life together!  Deal?

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A Rainbow Reminder

As you walk to the front (if you are doing a children’s moment at church) or begin this lesson (if you are using it at home) call the children to you by singing the song “I Can Sing a Rainbow.” If you prefer not to sing you could also use this video, although I like to sing it a bit more upbeat. Once everyone is gathered together begin the lesson. I don’t know about you, but I just love seeing a rainbow! It always feels like such a special moment because they don’t happen all the time. Have you ever seen a rainbow?

Rainbows are pretty special. Usually we have to wait for the weather to be just right to create a rainbow in the sky. But sometimes, if you hold things just right…you can see a rainbow anytime. Fill a shallow bowl about half full with water. Place a mirror inside the bowl at an angle. Shine a flashlight at the part of the mirror that is underwater. Hold a white piece of paper or poster board above the bowl. Adjust the angle of the mirror or poster board until you see a rainbow. Be sure you practice this experiment ahead of time, before doing it with the children! Did you know that there is a story about rainbows in the Bible? I bet you’ve heard part of this story before, but you may not know how it ends. Our story begins with Noah and his ark. Read Genesis 9:8-17 from Ralph Milton’s Lectionary Story Bible Year B. Prior to reading the scripture begin by reading the intro included with the story. Do you remember what the word covenant means? Allow children to answer. A convenient is like a promise. Whenever we see a rainbow it is a reminder that God is always with us, forever, and loves us more than anything!

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Every Wednesday I share a lesson based on the lectionary. These lessons are meant to be used for a children’s moment (aka children’s sermon, children’s liturgy, children’s church, etc), sunday school, or even as a family devotion in your own home.

I have taken the lesson above and written it into a lesson plan format. I have also added a Respond and Extend section to the downloadable lesson. These are additional ideas for the children to respond to the main lesson and then an extension activity for them to do at a later time. The extension activity includes a handout to send home with directions.

All of this can be yours for less than a dollar!! Just click the Add to Cart button to download your copy today! Payments can be made with Paypal, Google Checkout, or you can enter your credit card as a Paypal guest (no account required). Once you have made your purchase an email will be sent to you with download directions.
Add to Cart
Cost: $0.99

Please note: all images and PDF files are my creation. You may use them in your home and with your church family. Please give credit to ChildhoodSpirituality.com. You may not sell these items in part or in full, or in any way claim them as your own. Thank you!

————————————————————————————————- 

View Cart

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Mindfulness Monday {Making Warm Memories}

One thing I remember from my childhood is walking home from school on a snowy day to find that my mother had baked fresh cookies for snack. Every thing about that memory feels warm and cozy to me.

This week we had a snow day. I had lots on my to do list! But I decided that making a memory was more important. While my kids were outside playing in the snow I was inside making fresh cookies and hot chocolate. They came in and were so giddy to see cookies and hot chocolate waiting for them. Seeing the smiles on their faces was another warm and cozy moment for me. I was reminded that while getting things done is necessary, so is taking the time to create warm memories with your children!

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A Peaceful Place

Help your child determine a place in or around your home that is their personal place for peace.  A place where they can relax, be still, pray, or just be present with God.  Allow your child to make a sign to let others in your home know that this is a peaceful place.  Decide on a house rule that when someone is in his or her peaceful place that all other family members respect him or her and leave them alone.

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Roll, Shape, Mold…God

Get out some clay, play dough, or model magic with your child.  Tell them that you are going to create something that is like God.  Ask your child, “can you make God’s love with your clay?”  If they say, I don’t know what that looks like let them know that it looks different to everyone.  They can make anything that looks like love.  Work together to make representations of God’s love.  Then talk with each other about why you made what you did.

Other things to try:  Can you make God’s peace?  What is God like?

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Loving Community

We’ve all been sick before. What happens when you are sick? Can you be with other people when you are sick? Allow children to answer. Help children realize that you may have to stay home from school/church/activities when you are sick, but that they still aren’t totally alone. In our community, when we get sick there are people to help us. Like our parents, or grandparents, doctors and nurses. You usually have to stay home from school/church/activities when you are sick so that you don’t spread germs, but your family is still there to take care of you. But in Jesus time if you were sick you weren’t allowed to be around anyone. You couldn’t be a part of the community anymore.

This week’s bible story is about a man who was sick and wasn’t allowed to be around anyone in his community. He was by himself all the time. I bet he felt really lonely. Let’s read about what Jesus did. Read Mark 1:40-45 from Ralph Milton’s Lectionary Bible Year B. It was a big deal that Jesus stopped and talked to Rufus. It was an even bigger deal that he touched him. Can you imagine being sick and having no one look at you, or talk to you, or touch you at all? No hugs? No smiles? All alone. That would make me very sad. But Jesus stopped and helped Rufus feel better.

Why do you think Jesus asked Rufus not to tell anyone that Jesus had made him feel better? Allow children to answer. This is a tricky question to answer…even for grown-ups, but I’ll tell you what I think. I think that Jesus felt his most important job was to tell people about God’s love. And when people like Rufus started talking about how Jesus made them feel better when they were sick, that was all people could think about. They wanted Jesus to make them feel better too. The story tells us that there were so many people coming to Jesus that he could hardly move sometimes. All those people asking Jesus to make them better made it hard for Jesus to teach about God’s love.

Which makes me think…perhaps the most important part of this story isn’t about how much better Rufus got. I think the really special part is that Rufus was finally able to join his community again. Because he was better he could be around people. Having a community of people in our life is really important. Because he had been sick, Rufus knew what it felt like to be all alone. Now that he is better, I bet he will be more able to help others in his community that feel alone. 

That is what Jesus teaches us. To love others in our community. Especially those that feel all alone

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Mindfulness Monday {Basketball Grandpa}

It’s often the little things that mean so much. A year ago, my Dad suffered a massive stroke. Since then, so much of his life is different. My Dad, a man who would have been at most every one of my son’s games has been to none. Until Saturday. My Dad was more focused and attentive than he often is. And my son was so excited to have him there.

It’s a little thing…attending a 6 year old’s basketball game…but for us, it means so much!

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