Sunday, August 28, 2011

LOVE GOD - Get to know God so you can love Him most of all.

Major Concept:              Love God.
This Week's Concept:    Know God so you can love Him most of all.

Background:  Young children think(and act) in the here and now.  Teaching them to love someone they can't physically see can be challenging.  Teach them to love God by teaching them to know and interact with Him throughout the day in various ways.

Activity:  Have your child choose a couple of his/her favorite things to show you.  Talk about why they are favorites.  Then talk with your child about his/her favorite people.  Ask, "Do you like to have your favorite things with you?, Do you like to talk with/spend time with your favorite people?"  Then explain to him/her that the Bible tells us we are to love God most of all - more than our favorite toys, friends, etc. and we do that in different ways (reading the Bible, prayer, etc.)  Get out a children's Bible and look at it together.  Tell your child that this is one way to get to know God better - read what He says to us.  You may want to compare it to a letter, text message, e-mail, etc. from a friend, loved one.
Note to Parents:  Children are great observers.  They are constantly watching and listening.  Our actions will speak louder than our words - if we want our children to want to know God through His word, they need to see us in His word!

Bible Verse:
           Mark 12:30 - Love God with all your heart, mind, and strength.
           Psalm 119:  57 - I promise to obey your words.

Lunch Notes:  Notes this week can remind your child to love God with all of his/her heart, mind, and strength throughout the school day and beyond. 
                       Dear _____________, 
                       Day 1 - Love God more than anything.
                       Day 2 - Love God more than anyone.
                      Day 3 - Love God with all your heart.
                      Day 4 - Love God with all your mind.
                      Day 5 - Love God with all your strength.
After school take the time to talk with your child about how his/her love for God was shown through words, behaviors, attitude, etc. during the school day.  Look at verses together that tell us how to do each of these.

Prayer:  Spend time with your child in prayer this week telling God how much you love Him and teaching your child to do the same.  Pray for opportunities for your child to get to know Him better through Bible verses and Bible stories.

Book:  I Can Say to God, I Love You by Catherine Mackenzie and My ABC Bible Verses:  Hiding God's Word in Little Hearts by Susan Hunt

Sunday, August 21, 2011

I LOVE YOU - You are a gift from God.

Major Concept:             I LOVE YOU!
This Week's Concpet:   You are a gift from God.

Background:  Children are taught from a young age to say "thank you" for a gift. They are also taught to accept the gift graciously.  As a precious gift from above, make sure your child knows your unconditional love always!  It is a simple, "I love you - PERIOD!"  What an opportunity they are and what opportunities they bring.

Activity:  Place a mirror or picture of your child in a shoe box.  Wrap the box in paper.  Talk with your child about gifts and how we take care of them.  Let your child unwrap the box and peek inside.  Discuss with him/her what a precious gift he/she is.  Assure him/her that as your gift from God, you will love him/her always (no matter the circumstance). 

Bible Verse:
              Psalm 127: 3 - You are a gift from God.

Lunch Notes:  Remind your child everyday this week that he/she is loved in a lunch note by simply saying, "I love you."  If you choose creativity, you might even draw an eye, a heart, etc. on different days.  This message is simple but carries a huge meaning.  Remember, your child needs to know he/she is loved unconditionally.  When a note says, "I love your eyes,"  or "I love the way you get ready for school,"  your child may doubt your love when he/she does not look a certain way or act a certain way.  Be careful!

Prayer:  During your prayer time with your child this week, thank God for your precious gift.  Thank Him for the opportunity to care for His treasure.  Ask God for His guidance in loving your child always!

Book:   God Gave Us You by Lisa Bergren

Sunday, August 7, 2011

GOD LOVES YOU -- There is only one you.

Major Concept:                GOD LOVES YOU.

This Week’s Concept:    There is only one you.

Background:  Young children are egocentric.  It is who they are in the early years.  This week you will have the awesome opportunity of helping them celebrate their uniqueness!  (Don’t panic – there will be plenty of opportunities in later weeks to celebrate others’ uniqueness as well!)

Activity:   Have your child look at his/her hands, feet, eyes, etc.  Let him/her describe what he/she sees.  Now have your child compare these to your hands, feet, eyes, etc.  Discuss what is similar and what is different.  Talk with your child about the uniqueness of each of us.  Be sure to emphasize that there is no one else exactly like him/her.

Bible Verse:

Psalm 139:14 – “I am wonderfully made.”

Lunch Notes:  Think about the different parts of the body that you and your child compared.  Remind him/her  throughout  the week of how wonderfully created he/she is  by including each of these in a lunch note.

For example, “God made your hands.” 

Include your child’s name in the lunch note.  This helps him/her feel special, and it is great for younger children as they are learning to recognize their name in print.   (Dear ______________ is a great way to begin your note.)

Prayer:  Spend time this week thanking God for how wonderfully made your child is and praying with your child to say thank you to God for his/her hands, feet, eyes, toes, etc.

Books:  I will include book titles as I find them.  I encourage you to read through them before sharing them with your child.  As books are often a personal preference, you need to share those that reflect what you believe.

                Max Lucado:  God Thinks You’re Wonderful

                Dandi Daley Mackall:  God Loves Me More Than That, When God Created My Toes

Monday, August 1, 2011

THERE IS ONE TRUE GOD - God created the world.

Welcome aboard for a school year’s worth of learning opportunities for little ones written on lunch notes and lived through the sharing of ideas, activities, books, etc.  But most importantly, the opportunity for your child to know he/she is loved by you and by God.  Take these and make them your own.   I am writing with younger children (4-7) in mind, but you can easily adapt them for older children.

I have identified eight major concepts that I will rotate throughout the year.  Within these concepts, you will find ideas to share with your child throughout the week to help him/her understand and live each of them.

Major Concept:       THERE IS ONE TRUE GOD.
Today’s Concept:   God created the world.

Background:  Young children think in very concrete terms.  Seeing is believing!  How does one see God? 

Activity:  Go for a walk with your child.  Talk about all the things you see that God has created.

Bible Verse: 
1.      Genesis 1:1 – God created the heavens and the earth.

Lunch notes:  Mine were usually written on a napkin, but anything will work.  Stickers and/or artwork make them even more fun.  “I love you” at the end of the note will matter to your child.  As an adult helps younger children read the notes at lunch time, you can be assured that this is also a great opportunity for your child to begin developing reading skills or practice them daily.

Think about what you and your child discovered on your walk.  Include each of them on a lunch note throughout the week.
(Ex., God made the trees.) 


Two memories are vivid in my mind as I recall the birth of my first child.  When the nurse gently placed her in my arms for the first time, I immediately thought, “What a precious gift.  What an awesome responsibility!”   Shortly afterwards, my mother strolled in and wisely commented, “Don’t miss a moment.  The time will go so quickly.”  My daughter will celebrate her 25th birthday in a few weeks.  Her sister will be 22 this year.  

My mother was right.   The time has gone quickly.  I am so glad I have had the honor and privilege to be part of God’s plan for my daughters’ lives.  I am so glad He gave me the wisdom to make the choice to be involved in their daily lives.   When they first started school, my husband and I wanted some way to stay connected with them throughout the day.  This happened in the form of lunch notes.   We continued to write them through elementary school, middle school, junior high, and even into high school.  Shortly after my younger daughter left for college I found myself sitting in her room thinking of all the joy she had brought to our lives.  I saw a shoebox she had left behind.  As I carefully lifted the lid, I discovered hundreds of lunch notes. 

I am a teacher of young children.  More importantly, I am the mother of two incredible young ladies.  And, most importantly, I am a child of God.  Combining three passions does not make me an expert in any of them, but rather an active participant in seeking to make a difference in the lives of my own children and in the lives of children everywhere.   Join the journey as lunch note messages are shared and memories created throughout this school year.    And, in the years ahead, may your family be blessed as you look back and remember when….