Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Teach them….

Ok this blog post is going to be a journal entry of what the Lord has placed on my heart lately. I have thoroughly enjoyed my summer with the girls. One thing I have been thinking about is how I can use my gifts and talents to bring glory to God and my primary ministry which is to my family. I got the awesome experience and privilege to paint  with my dear friend Melissa during an amazing sermon at church a few weeks ago and it was such confirmation that God has created me this way for a reason. 






So after this experience, my prayers have become specifically focused on showing me how God wants me to use my love of art and teaching to glorify Him. Melissa encouraged me to use art as a way to serve my own family. She is the sweetest friend, and always using her creative ideas to serve others and her own family. Weather its making an adorable bouquet of flowers from the yard and setting the table with handpainted name tags and personal notes on napkins, or decorating bags of home made cookies for random acts of kindness care packages for friends and family members….this girl has got it down!

A few months ago God hit me with a very clear reality…my first ministry is to my own family..

It says in 1 Tim 5: 8   If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

More important than teaching the kids at Buffalo Creek Elementary, or anyone else are my own kids. Ministry is about relationships and who do I interact with the most, but my own family! My prayer is that I can teach them the scriptures, continue to pray for them, and teach them how to overcome the temptations of sin, and ultimately know how to have a loving and intimate relationship with their creator God. Making them happy is my least important job, but making them content in the Lord and able to put on their armor and have faith to get through the hardships that WILL come their way would make me the most successful teacher and mother I could be! I want to leave a spiritual legacy for my children to pass on to their children and so on.

In the old testament it says In Deuteronomy 11:19,  to teach children about God's law "when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up." In Deuteronomy 11:20, the Bible even says to write God's laws "on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates." Proverbs 22:6 says Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.

In the New Testament it says in Ephesians 6:4: "Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord."  The manner in which we treat children is a powerful lesson in itself.

The Results..

Teaching a child the Bible can lead to the best results of all - the salvation of your child’s soul. 2 Timothy 3:15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

Monday we had an awesome time visiting with our new Pastor, Jonathan Williams and his wife Jessica. Jessica was telling me that during the day she has bible lessons with her 16 month old daughter. They are currently going through creation. They learned that God created light and they ran around the house with flashlights! I LOVED this idea. Kids learn through play. So, yesterday I read the story of Noah’s ark to the girls and we talked about how Noah loved God and was obedient. We talked about how God wants Shelby and June to be obedient too. Then we made it rain with spray bottles and acted like animals and ran inside the tent “ark” to get out of the “rain”! Then we painted a large painting of the ark and Noah and the animals!  June loved it and after our lesson, she was able to answer questions about the story and even tell Jimmy about it when he got home! 

Today we learned about Adam and Eve. First I read them the story out of the Bible and summarized it. We talked about the garden and how Adam and Eve got to name all the animals and walk with God in the beautiful garden. We talked about how God gave them one rule not to eat the fruit from one tree. We talked  about being obedient again and how God still loved Adam and Eve after they disobeyed God and ate the fruit. June totally understood because she likes to climb up on the table and get fruit out of the fruit bowl and take one bite out of it and get in trouble. I always tell her I have to give you the fruit. Then we drew and cut out Adam and Eve from cardboard and the girls painted them. June said, “don’t forget to make the snake mommy!”

First they painted the grass..



June was sooooo focused,,,I was very impressed. We sang the song, “trust and obey” while we painted.


Then they painted the snake together


At this point Shelby went down for a nap and Junie finished up the grass with some stamped flowers while I glued it all together.


Then we took a basket around the yard and cut some roses and other flowers to make the beautiful garden!



June was so excited about making the garden!! She was so careful and meaningful with placing every flower in the garden.






My prayer is that in the business of life; work, cleaning, caring for two toddlers, constantly working at maintaining a  loving and successful relationship with my husband, and of course my own personal walk with the Lord, that I would be able to constantly be nurturing my children’s spiritual growth, preparing them for the future, and teaching them about God’s word. I want them to be ready to fight off the “serpants” of this world when temptations come along to try to pull them away.  I pray that I will be consistant. I am so thankful that God gives us second chances; that He loves us when we fail just like he loves Adam and Eve after they disobeyed Him. I am so thankful that he gave me these precious two girls and actually entrusted me with leading them and teaching them about His AWESOMENESS!!


Andrea Ream Ellwood said...

You have absolutely positively inspired me with this!!! I've felt like I've just been floating about and not in a good way and it's been so unsettling to me. My department head told me last year, "Ministry starts at home." And I (shamefully) forget this all too often. But in the times I don't I feel like I have no idea where to start with teaching my daughter how to understand scripture! (She is three.) Sometimes I'm so hard headed though because I read what you wrote and looked at the pictures and it's like a light just went on and made me say, "Why haven't I done that already with my little girl?" Even with blogging the way you have, you are ministering and I am so very thankful for you. Thank you for this great moment of much needed inspiration. Thank you SO much!

Billie said...

Nat, I am so proud of you!!! I wish I had thought of these things when you were a child so I could have done them with you. I guess God blessed you with a grandmother that taught you alot about the bible that I missed. God is pleased and proud of you too!!! My granddaughter's are so blessed to have you as their mother!!! Keep up the good work!! Love you dearly!!! MOM

Beth said...

Hi. I know this post was a long time ago. I found your blog and photography website from your art teaching blog.

I am going to be using your one-point-perspective project with my 6th graders this month.

Anyway, as a wife, mom, artist and art teacher who also loves the Lord I just wanted to say Hi and that it was encouraging to see your blog today.

I have two little boys (I have a hard time getting the older one to focus on art) - you've inspired me to try some new things. Specifically, "story art" - with Bible stories. I'm excited for this summer now :)


Ligia Vasquez said...

Natalie. I am Diego's mom, many thanks for your posts. I logged in the web site you gave me , to see your school projects and I just found this wonderful surprise: your post about your family, and the way you have found to use your creative talent for worshiping our Lord Jesus Christ. You have answered me many questions I had today regarding my role as a mom and my concerns about raising Diego in faith and love. Thank you, thank you , thank you! It was worthy to visit you today. I felt a need in my heart to stop by to greet you, God's ways are infinite and unique!
I am teaching catechism to kindergartens in my church on Sunday's and I would definitely apply some of your art ideas to teach God's words. Here at home, I do crafts with Diego, but honestly, I had not considered the idea of talking about God's creation, the bible and religion troughout Art. You will be my inspiration from now on!