I don’t know about you, but the fact that snowed here this week just seems plain wrong. Where is the sunshine and warm weather? My kids want to be outside (and I want them to be outside!) and none of us are very happy about this recent backtrack to winter. Enough complaining though, I’m sure it will be warm again before we know it!
For the week leading up to Easter, I decided we would use the book If Jesus Came to My House by Joan G Thomas. I thought it would be a perfect way to include Jesus in our week while preparing for Easter. It’s a beautiful book that has a young boy imagining all the things he’d like to do if Jesus showed up to play one day. He then realizes that he can do all these things with Jesus by treating those around him the same way.
We actually sat down and read this book more than most of other Before Five in a Row books. It lead to a lot of really great conversations with M about Jesus and how we can make him happy by treating others around us the same way we’d treat him. Here’s a peak at how this book transformed our week…
“I’d run downstairs to meet him, the door I’d open wide, and I would say to Jesus, ‘Oh won’t you come inside?'”
After reading the book, I asked M what she would want to do if Jesus came to our house to play. She listed off some of her favorite activities – playing Magiclip Princesses and Barbies and playing outside – that they would do.
“I’d show him all the places that are nicest in the house, the hole behind the stairs, where I pretend that I’m a mouse”
We talked about her favorite places in the house that she would want to show Jesus. She picked her room, the backyard and our playroom.
“And then I think I’d show Him the corner in the hall, where I’m sometimes frightened by the shadows on the wall.”
One afternoon we played with making our own shadows on the wall. We used our animal shadow puppets from a previous activity and had then dancing on our walls.
“And if the flowers I’d planted were blooming on that day, I’d pick a bunch of all the best, for Him to take away.”
Every few months, our homeschool coop visits with the residents of a local nursing home. This book coincided with our trip this month and M put the ideas in the book to good use as she made Easter cards to give out to the residents. I didn’t catch a picture of M making her cards, but she was very focused on making sure she had plenty of decorated cards. It always amazes me how excited she gets handing cards out, she is never timid about it and makes sure everyone we pass gets something. This time, even J got in on the action handing out cards instead of wanting to hold my hand the whole time. I can’t believe how big he’s gotten.
I will say, the routine of visiting this nursing home and seeing the joy it brings to both our family and the residents reminds me of how important service is on our lives. I really hope to cultivate this desire to serve others in my children while growing it in my own life at the same time.
Nothing makes me happier/prouder than to hear M ask as we were leaving, “Mom, do you think I made Jesus happy today by visiting here?” It just warms my heart.
“And with my bricks I’d build for him a palace of His own, and He should be the little King and sit upon the throne.”
After reading the book, we dumped out our bin of blocks and took this passage literally. M got to work and built a house for Jesus just like the little boy in the book. Since Jesus couldn’t actually play with the house, her dolls took advantage of the new digs for the day.
“But I can go to His house and kneel and say a prayer, and I can sing and worship Him and talk with Him in there.”
As we were reading, M connected that the little boy went to church to talk to Jesus, just like we do on Sundays.
Even though M enjoyed this book, I don’t think she’d pick it as her favorite. Personally though, it was one of my favorites though since it lead to such amazing connections for how we can bring Jesus into our daily lives. It can be hard to make such big ideas tangible for this age and this book was a perfect start to our Easter celebrations.
Don’t miss our next Before Five in a Row adventure… up next, Caps for Sale.