This year I am learning the importance of resting while waiting for some circumstances to change.
As parents and grandparents we will have times in our lives when we don’t understand what we are going through. It is in those difficult times when we need time to be still and rest in knowing that God cares for us and at the right time we will get the answers to our questions.
How do you feel when your children or grandchildren come to you and ask you a question? I know for me it makes me feel happy to know they trust me to give them an honest answer. Our heavenly Father loves for us to come to Him with questions too.
This year my Christian’s Writer’s Group is writing on the topic of rest. Due to certain circumstances, I have not yet written on this topic, but I am practicing living it out. In preparation to write I have been brainstorming and doing research on people in the Bible who had to rest in the waiting.
In the process of doing this research God has spoken to me about the importance of being still and knowing that He wants what’s best for me and those who come to Him.
Read more here.
“Sam kept a diary—a daybook about his life. It was a cheap notebook that was always by his bed. Every night, before he turned in, he would write in the book. He wrote about things he had done, things he had seen, and thoughts he had had. Sometimes he drew a picture. He always ended by asking himself a question so he would have something to think about while falling asleep.”
(Excerpt from p. 5 of The Trumpet of the Swan, by E. B. White)
As I listened to the reading of this part of the audiobook, I was inspired to share with you about how meaningful journaling is to me.
Like Sam, the young character mentioned above, I like to write about things I have experienced or thoughts I have had. I also like to show my ideas in the form of sun bursts or mind maps as I brainstorm ideas about topics. I like to write poems and prose. Often, I record my prayers and expressions of thanksgiving and praise.
There are special times when my writing flows on the paper as God inspires me to write. My best time to write is usually in the morning when I am alone and it is quiet and peaceful. But sometimes it may even be in the middle of the night. When this happens, I try to record the time because even the numbers may bring further meaning to what I have recorded on paper. What about you? Do you ever have special times when you are inspired to write or draw?
Today, listening to this excerpt of the audiobook, I was challenged to write more at the end of the day. The idea of writing a question to think about during the night intrigued me.
I feel led, however, not to just ask myself a question to ponder, but instead to spend a little intimate time in the evening asking my Heavenly Father a question and trusting that He will reveal the answer in His perfect time and in His creative way.
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.” – Matthew 7:7-8 (NKJV)
What questions do you have?
I believe our Heavenly Father wants us to know we can come to Him for answers.
I’d love to hear if you keep a journal or diary. Let’s encourage each other too as we share our testimonies of answered questions.
I hope that we always remember to allot times in our busy weeks to read aloud to our students, or to share meaningful stories with them, even personal testimonies. When I taught, my time reading aloud with my students was never wasted. Also, some of my most precious times was sharing stories from my childhood experiences.
There are many proven benefits from purposefully planned Read-Aloud opportunities. The Read-Aloud Handbook, 7th edition, by Jim Trelease and The Read-Aloud Family: Making Meaningful and Lasting Connections with your Kids by Sarah Mackenzie founder of Read Aloud Revival are two books I highly recommend as resources for discovering the value of reading aloud to children. Also, these guides include lists of age appropriate books and brief summaries to help you quickly select suitable books to read aloud to children, no matter how young or old.
If you are teaching writing skills, picture books are excellent as mentor texts. I mentioned last year, that I had participated in Reforemo. This month, I am participating in Reforemo (Reading for More Research) for the second year in a row. As an aspiring picture book writer, I find this to be a wonderful opportunity for me to discover new mentor texts, plus it is a good way to connect with people in the child literature community. As a teacher, you may benefit greatly from the new Reading List. Here is a link to that list. ( You may want to print this list for future reference.)
On the first of March, we were introduced to recently published picture books which are helpful to use for bibliotherapy. I was introduced to the book, Giraffe Problems by Jory John.
It is a humorous story about a giraffe and turtle who are self-conscious about the size of their necks. Anyone who has ever battled with self image problems could relate to this story.
Teachers, please comment regarding your favorite Read-Aloud Books or Mentor Picture Book Texts. Or you may like to share about a special read aloud experience…how a child or student was impacted.
Boys and Girls,
Do you like to wait? When are times you have to wait? What is something you are waiting for? Have you ever learned something while you were waiting?
In this new year, I have been thinking a lot about the topic of waiting and what we can learn when we wait. I plan on writing about this topic for a future blogpost or in a children’s book.
Before I write on a topic, I often like to brainstorm my ideas about the topic in a journal or notebook.
I often put the topic in the middle of a circle in the middle of the page and then link that topic to related subjects placed in other circles. Sometimes, for fun, I will add color and related pictures.
This way of brainstorming is often referred to as mind-mapping. It has been proven to be a good way to unlock creativity about a given topic.
Next time you are asked to write about a topic at school, try doing this on a piece of paper first. See if it helps you like it helps me.
Oh! By the way, I’d love to hear your answers to the questions I asked you about waiting. Your answers may help me as I write about the topic of waiting.
Also, if you want to share a mind-map you’ve made, ask your parent or guardian if you may take a picture of it and post it for others to see how creative you are.
Another way I like to explore ideas for writing is to see how other authors have written on that topic.
E.B. White, the author of Charlotte’s Web, The Trumpet of the Swan, and Stuart Little, is an author of children’s books whom I admire greatly. His style of writing helps me to picture the scenes and to experience the emotions of the characters.
Recently, I was listening to an audio book with E.B. White reading from one of his books. This is a portion the story from Chapter 3 (See if you can guess which book he was reading.)
“Days passed, and still the swan sat quietly on five eggs. Nights passed. She sat and sat, giving her warmth to the eggs. No one disturbed her. The boy was gone—perhaps he would never come back. Inside of each egg, something was happening that she couldn’t see: a little swan was taking shape. As the weeks went by, the days grew longer, the nights grew shorter. When a rainy day came the swan just sat still and let it rain.”
Did you see how this excerpt from The Trumpet of the Swan was focusing on the topic of waiting? Could you picture the mother swan sitting on her eggs waiting patiently? Without coming right out and telling you, the author let us know it was spring, What clues did he use?
If you want to write good stories, practice showing the reader without telling. E.B. White shows us the waiting process of the swan in spring.
He doesn’t just tell us that the swan had to wait a long time for her eggs to hatch in the spring.
I would love for you to share excerpts from some of your favorite books where the character(s) had to wait for something.
It’s fun to learn together!
Boys and Girls,
When you read a picture book or storybook, do you like to cuddle close to someone you love? Maybe you like to read books by yourself in a special place or with your pet.
Recently, I read the picture book, How to Read a Story, by Kate Missner and illustrated by Mark Siegel. I hope you will get to read this book this summer.
See how many picture books or other books you can read this summer. I’d love to hear about your favorites.