Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Love for Reading

Since the beginning of the school year I've made a clear effort to read with my children, especially with Stella who will be entering kindergarten next fall.

In the past, I've demonstrated my love for reading through example. I always have at least a book on my night stand that I read but they hardly ever see me reading, because I chose to do it after they go to bed.

My biggest struggle has been finding age appropriate books that would be worth reading.

At the suggestion of a friend, I've discovered a great blog titled "read aloud revival" that posts lists of books every month to read to your children. There are also book recommendations for older children to read aloud.

During our seven hour car ride to southern California last month, the kids did not have any DVD or other electronic devices in the vehicles. We had downloaded songs to listen and checked out several audio books from the library.

The audio books were the best! My kids would not trade riding in our friends car because they were so enthralled with the story.

In the few months that I've dedicated myself to reading, my fight to cut back screen time has almost disappeared. Instead, my kids will pick up a book and read it.

Some of my favorite books this week were:"I know an old lady who swallowed a pie" and "Too many turkeys."

My absolute favorite was "Last Stop on Market Street" by Matt de la Pena. It is the story of a boy who leaves church with his grandma on the bus and travels to a food kitchen to feed the less fortunate.

The boy questions having to ride on the bus instead of having a car, and having to serve instead of doing something he likes. His wise grandma points out the wonderful things he gets to experience instead of acknowledging what he is missing out on. As they arrive to the poor part of town where the food kitchen is located the boy noticed how run down and dirty the area is.

The grandma points out to the blue sky and says: "Sometimes when you are surrounded by dirt, you are a better witness for what's beautiful."

Today, of all days on Election Day we are placed in a hard position having to vote between two candidates that many people see as unworthy to hold the position of Commander in Chief. We are surrounded by crime, wars, sickness, corruption and all kinds of things that can bring us down.

On those days, we can recall this quote and focus on our living God who blesses us daily and whose light can bring beauty in a world that becomes more and more dirty every day.