The Real Reason We Should Read with Our Kids

It has nothing to do with those reading logs in their homework folders

Every single momma knows that we should read with our people regularly–teachers tell you beginning in preschool, posters and programs and the public library proclaim it, and for those who actually watch live television, there are even public service announcements about reading to your children.

Reading equips our children to be better communicators and thinkers–I agree, wholeheartedly, with every read to your kiddo campaign–I am an english major after all. But, I’d like to add a reason to your list that the library and your child’s second grade teacher won’t tell you.

You should read with your children because stories are powerful. For generations, Christ followers have struggled with what to do with literature–they have banned it, burned it, and called it a waste of time. Though, these concerns are not often associated with children’s books, I want to assert that as mommas who are raising arrows for the kingdom, it is essential that we create habits of regularly taking in excellent stories at a young age.  My argument, even though I’m an english teacher, has little to do with our children being advanced readers or better writers at school, but rather because I believe that we “…were created in the image of one who expressed his inmost nature from the beginning as the Word” (Donald T. Williams).

Of all the ways our Father could have chosen to reveal Himself to us, He chose words–He chose story.  The Bible is many smaller stories all telling the greater story of God’s love for us and what He would do to preserve the chance at a relationship with us, His beloved.

So, yes, we should fill out our students’ reading logs for school, and participate in summer reading club at the library, but not just so we raise smart kids.  Let us do this so we raise great storytellers. I would agree with Donald T. Williams when he writes, “…for people are most like God the Maker when they create a world and people it with significant characters out of their imagination.”

Imagine what might happen if instead of just proficient students, we were to raise up a generation of storytellers.  What might happen to the music industry? What kinds of truth-filled movies might be produced that are not shallow or filled with mediocre acting, but rather stories so captivating the world can’t ignore them? What blogs might pop up? What kinds of novels and poetry? You may be raising a pastor who will help capture people’s hearts for Jesus by the use of story–Jesus sure loved to use stories.

So, read stories, tell stories, let the Bible be a BIG, glorious story in your home — let us raise up a generation who knows how to tell a good story and captivate those who don’t know our Creator.

Screaming or submitting

Sitting next to my sister-in-law’s hospital bed, in the leukemia wing of MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, my grief for her suffering became suffocating. I wanted to walk out into the hallways, command the attention of every doctor and nurse and yell, “Do something! Fix this! It’s been too long!”

I wanted to bust her and my tenacious brother-in-law out of that hospital and bring them home to have dinner and play card games. My heart screams–it’s been too long, too much.

“For God alone my soul waits in silence and quietly submits to Him, For my hope is from Him. He only is my rock and my salvation; My fortress and my defense, I will not be shaken or discouraged.” Psalm 62:5-6‬ ‭AMP‬‬ [emphasis mine]

David’s psalm pleads with my screaming soul to wait.

To quietly submit.

Because He ONLY is our rock and salvation (also translated hope).

So, for me and for you–I know I’m not the only one wanting to bust out of a situation–this is what I pray.


By faith, I agree with Your Word–You only are our hope. I tell my soul to stop being agitated and to accept the free gift of peace that you promise me regardless of circumstances. As you give that peace that is unlike any the world can give, I choose, by your Holy Spirit’s power, to quietly submit. I choose to trust Your love that sent your only son to the cross. Help me in my screaming, agitated, unbelief.


Amen, sisters.



A New Year or a New Day?

A brand new planner, all different colors of Sharpie pens that I got in my Christmas stocking, a stack of books I’m itching to read–all of these things stir up some tiny butterflies in my stomach for the beginning of a new year.

In the past, I have set a list of goals to accomplish in the new year.  Sometimes the goals were far too lofty, sometimes they were measurable and attainable, but I neglected to plan the steps to accomplish the goal. This year, rather than setting goals for the year (which I still think is a wonderful practice when it is done with prayer and planning), I have set some goals for the next eight weeks as part of an accountability group I am leading. I am not asserting that this kind of goal setting is by nature superior to year’s worth of goals.  However, as I have prepared for this 8-week period, it has made me realize that if I had to choose between a new day and a new year, I would choose a new day.

Bill Gates is often quoted for saying, ““Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years.”

While I believe this is absolutely true, I am absolutely convinced that most of us also underestimate what we can do in one day. I am guilty of writing off a day before it has begun– a sick husband, a terrible night of sleep because one of my kids was up coughing during the night, or even a to-do list that is just too long can make me call the day a loss before I even eat breakfast. Or, I do imagine that I can knock out my to-do list for a day, but underestimate, then, my ability to be patient and gracious by the time evening rolls around.

I know our days are full, mommas, and they can be incredibly unpredictable.  The direction of your day can change dramatically simply because your easy-going two year old has molars coming in that no longer make him easy-going. But, I have a few steps to help us stop underestimating our days.

  1. Measure correctly: if you’re like me, you may be underestimating what can be accomplished in your day because you’re measuring your to-do list against your strength rather than His.  Zechariah 4:6 tells us, “‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty.” Be sure you have the correct measuring tape.
  2. Plan Prayerfully: take a few minutes in the evening, if you can, or when you wake up in the morning to prayerfully make some plans for the day–let the Holy Spirit guide you.  Sometimes, our plans fall to pieces because they are our plans and we’re asking God to equip us for something He didn’t call us to today.
  3. Accept Small Steps: this is so difficult for me–accept that something is still something and is, indeed, better than nothing. R. Collier said, “Success is made up of the sum of small efforts repeated day in and day out.”  Small efforts, don’t knock them!

Here we go, mommas — by His strength, under the Holy Spirit’s guidance, we will make small steps of progress and stop underestimating what God might do through us today.