Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Outside with our Children - continued

A MOPS Talk...
A Conversation with Young Moms – Part II
{A Conversation with Young Moms - Part I
{A Conversation with Young Moms - Part III
When you asked me what I did in school today and I say, 'I just played.' Please don’t misunderstand me. For you see, I am learning as I play. I am learning to enjoy and be successful in my work. Today I am a child and my work is play. ~ Anita Wadley, 1974.
The physical, mental and emotional benefits to being outside with your children are truly a good thing as we discussed in Part I.
But most important is the Spiritual benefit to being outside with your little guys.  My friend Marcia often encourages parents to get outside with their children: 
In nature, we can begin to wonder about our creator and the love he shows through the natural world he provided/continues to provide for us...It requires slowing down.  Removing the clock.  Straying away from plastic the natural world unencumbered... 
She shared a resource with me to share with you from a book, Walking in Wonder: Nurturing Virtues in Your Children by Elizabeth White. 
If we refuse to nourish ourselves on what is edifying and elevating, we will inevitably be fed by what is not, as the popular culture of American, in all its shallowness and falseness, seeps into our unguarded hearts daily.  If we do not counteract it, if we fail to set the loftiest things before us, we will inevitably let our souls remain choked with artificiality and cheapness.  We will remain mired in the fatal shoddiness of our world and ourselves. 
As our children grow and as they enter our system of education which is information-focused and performance based…most of our children will “know all about” things, but without a broader perspective that you as moms can bring to that.  Many will never “know of” things which begins as you foster the wonder they have now and introduce them to the created world and the God who created it and them (see C.S Lewis’ essay on Meditations in a Tool Shed).  You see they, and we, are in danger of knowing ‘about’ God, but not really knowing Him personally. To really know, we must have a relationship and it must be personal to be true; it can’t be someone else’s understanding to be meaningful; it can’t be something we repeat in a report about things we have studied… it must be integrated into our lives and be part of what we know and who we are!  Our relationship with Christ only comes this way.  Our children are coming to know God through hearing His word in Bible reading, but also as we speak of and introduce them to the things he made—the created world.
For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them.  For his invisible attributes, namely his eternal power and divine nature, has been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. ~ Romans 1:19-20
They need to be in the created world to see, observe, learn and know—to be taught by the Creator Himself.  
Lift up your eyes on high and see: who created these?   He who brings out their host by number, calling them by name, by the greatness of his might, and because he is strong in power, not one is missing. ~ Isaiah 40:26

When our children observe and wonder in and about nature, it brings to them that sursum corda—our hearts lifted in praise—an understanding and declaration of the praise due our Creator God.