Kindness through Imagination

A Year of Being Kind blog – Tuesday, December 2, 2014

favorite children's books

favorite children’s books

Kindness through Imagination

Have I mentioned that I love to read out loud? I am so happy that I am able to read out loud to the preschoolers and kindergarteners who attend Kids Academy at my church. This is a separate preschool, but housed in the same building.

I enjoy the children being excited about my reading to them. The teachers tell me they regularly, eagerly ask when I am coming to read to them. Every Tuesday, at 11:00, is the answer. Even though I had a cold today, I still came and read to the girls and boys. (I just made sure I stayed a good distance away. I don’t want anyone to catch what I have!)

I read two books today that involved imagination. The first book had a girl who imagined all of the stuffed animals and toy creatures in her bedroom came to life. (All this imagining kept her from cleaning her room!) We enjoyed seeing her have fun with each creature, in turn.

The second book was more involved. (The girls and boys got very much invested in the story!) This story had a more timid boy who wanted to go to the playground, but a pushy boy kept scaring him away. The timid boy would go home, where he and his father talked about the different situations and what he might do. The timid boy and the pushy boy finally made friends and started playing together in the playground. Imagination was a big part of this book too!

I’ve always had a marvelous imagination. I love to encourage this in people, any chance I get. (Especially in children!) This ability is such a gift, and such an opportunity. Almost like a muscle, imagination almost always just needs to be used to get stronger, quicker, and easier to use.

I’m happy to oblige! I am so glad that the children are so excited about reading. God bless these girls and boys, and help them develop their imaginations further. And especially, help all of these children to develop a lifelong love of reading.

@chaplaineliza

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Being Helpful on the First Day of School

A Year of Being Kind blog – Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Back to school, circa 1950

Back to school, circa 1950

Being Helpful on the First Day of School

I love the start of a new school year! The children, expectant, excited, beginning their new classes. Since I am the mother of four (growing and grown) children, I remember it well. New backpacks, new pens and pencils, new notebooks. New school clothes and new shoes. (The less said about the occasional school physical before the beginning of school, and the inoculations and booster shots, the better. Although, none of my children were deathly afraid of shots, thank goodness!)

The preschool and kindergarten at the church where I work started their school year today, too. The students who were in preschool? They moved to kindergarten! Exciting! And the children in the three year old classroom? Moved to the four year old classroom! More excitement!

Since today is Tuesday, today was my day to read to the four and five year olds. And, when I went to the library several days ago, I chose picture books about the first day of school. Talking about getting ready for a new school. Fears about a new school. The adventures of the first day. How excited and nervous and pleased children are about the first day, and how everything turns out well. I really think the children enjoyed hearing these books, as much as I enjoyed reading them.

This is my way of being helpful, being of service to the preschool at my church. I love children. I love to read (and am good at it, too!). And, the children enjoy it when I bring them special books, and we share them together. Since my youngest child is now seventeen, it’s been a while since I’ve read picture books to an appreciative class of children. I do enjoy it, very much! And I love the relationship I’ve built up with the children over the past months. They call to me, say hello in the hallway, when they’re standing in a line outside of their classroom, or while they are playing outside in the playground. That’s a wonderful thing, in and of itself.

We’re starting a new season at the church, too. New midweek bible study starting tomorrow! New Sunday School year beginning this Sunday. Our summer sermon series on prayer is over, and it’s back to the lectionary readings and sermons for fall. Plus, we have a new intercessory prayer ministry ready to start this Sunday, too! It isn’t quite the same as getting a new backpack filled with new notebooks, pens, erasers, scissors and markers. But it is all new stuff. (Or, mostly new stuff.)

Yes, I’m getting ready for a new fall program. I have fears. I’m excited, nervous and pleased about the prospect of a new season. And, I hope everything turns out well here at church, too. God willing, it will!

@chaplaineliza

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Serving By Choosing Books

A Year of Being Kind blog – Wednesday, April 23, 2014

kidsbookopener

Serving By Choosing Books

For those of you who don’t know, I have four children. My youngest child just turned seventeen years old today. So, I can still remember those days of diapers and bottles, teething and banged-up knees. It’s just those days are getting further and further away. But I still remember, and as I revisit those days, I find I still enjoy being with small children. Happy for me, since there is a preschool onsite at my new job.

Yes, I am a mom. This was the way I used to describe myself. Up until a dozen years ago, that was the primary activity or purpose I used to associate with me. In fact, on occasion, when I’d go to parties or get-togethers at my older sister’s fancy house, her friends and acquaintances would sometimes ask me, “And what do you do?” Truthfully enough, I would be somewhat embarrassed. My answer would usually be, “My sister—and my older siblings? They have advanced degrees. I have children.” I’d say this in a humorous tone, and the people who asked me would often laugh.

But not any more. A dozen years ago, I started a master’s degree program, and three years later I received a master’s in divinity degree. Since then, I have had exciting and interesting experiences in the church, in hospitals and care centers, and at inpatient detox units and rehab centers.

However—I am still a mom. I still love my children very much, even though God has led me through a variety of challenging experiences. Now, in my current position as interim co-pastor, I find I have the opportunity to interact with preschoolers and kindergarten children each week. I read to two of the rooms of children yesterday. I was surprised to see that there were not too many books for the children to read. Of course, I tried to choose the very best of what was there. And I enjoyed being with the children, a great deal! That was the most important thing, of course.

This evening, I took the opportunity to go to a local library in the next town. They have a lovely used book area, where the Friends of the Library sell gently used books for only a small amount of money. This way, the library gets some badly needed money, people get really nice books, and the cost is really quite economical.

I went to the children’s section of the book area. I haven’t looked extensively at children’s picture books for some years. Such colorful, interesting books! I chose eleven (only fifty cents apiece!), and I’ll be more than happy to present them to the preschool director tomorrow, when I go to the church to work. I suspect the children—and the teachers—will be very pleased to have a fresh supply of books.

Yay, God! Thanks for the good idea, to go to such a place and get books. I’m so excited! I can hardly wait to see the faces of the boys and girls. It’s so wonderful to be able to bring a happy surprise with me.

@chaplaineliza

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