Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Filling the Bookshelf...and them...

We were talking in our mom's group the other day about our favorite time of the day.  Mine is just before I fall asleep--when everyone else is sleeping soundly and there is peace in knowing that we are all well and all together.

But my other most favorite time of the day is when I'm reading with everyone "snuggled" around. 

"Caught" listening to a book-on-CD together.

We devour Magic Tree Houses in a day and then they beg for more.  We read entire re-usable shopping bags full of library books in an afternoon (That of which was quite heavy when I returned them, oh, 4 days late, today--I am definitely helping to fund the library.;)

We're working through The Jesus Storybook Bible for the third or fourth time at bedtime.  And re-reading the That's Nat! Series (Natalie is just starting kindergarten, too.).

One thing that I'm always looking for are stories that will capture their hearts and minds with real life examples of people who have lived "radical" lives.  People who took great risks to follow the passions that God placed in their hearts.

There is definitely a pull between protecting them from the dark parts of this world and exposing them to real-life tragedies with the hope that in the end Good will triumph over Evil--especially because they are guaranteed to walk through difficulties in their own lives.  I want them to "see" how to do that well and that they are not alone.

We recently read about the life of Corrie ten Boom.  Heavy, hard stuff.   We read Corrie's story in two days.

Then we read the story of Gladys Aylward.  I can't believe I had never heard of her before.  Her life was AMAZING--like crazier-than-a-movie, on-the-edge-of-your-seat amazing.

M cuddles under a blanket while we read, T is a much more "active" listener--a flip-off-the-couches and play-with-guy-figures listener.  Except during the exciting parts.  There was a lot of silence during Gladys' story.

Just a few examples:

She knows she HAS to go to China.
She gets "kicked" out of missionary school.
She goes on her own by train--from England, through Siberia.
She walks 30 miles down the train track--alone--in Siberia--when her train gets stuck because of a war.
She is held "hostage" by communists--in Siberia.
She escapes on a ship by distracting the soldiers by throwing her only piece of money.
She arrives in China--speaking only English.
She is hired by the mandarin of her "village" to help stop the practice of foot binding.
She is so good at that job, that the mandarin orders her to stop the revolt at the prison (which she does).
She becomes a mom to children being sold on the street.
She is famous for sharing her story during the atrocious invasion by Japan. (Time Magazine Article from 1949.) 
She rescues over 80 children from a Japanese attack by leading them through the mountains and escaping on a coal train.

There is so much more--her life story is incredible.  God definitely used her passions to save many, many people.

This is the book set that we've been using (recommended over at  A Place Called Simplicity -- here).  

M and T talk about the ten Boom family and Gladys like they're good friends :). 

Praying that as they grow, they, too, will have the courage to follow their God-given passions.

Blog Announcement:
Next Tuesday my mom will be guest posting about my very special youngest sister (Thanks, Mom!).

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