the “unpretty” calendar as launchpad

My joyful daughter enjoying her map search

My joyful daughter enjoying her map search

I have been seeing that educating my daughter at home is a FLUID PROCESS. There are sudden springboards that appear out of nowhere each day–and off we go, LAUNCHED in an unexpected direction.

I want to share a little thing that we are doing each morning after our Bible reading. I have a calendar from The Voice of the Martyrs ministry that gives a daily prayer suggestion for the Christians around the world who are being persecuted for their faith in Jesus. (Here, I will ADMIT something. I usually don’t use these calendars. I like ART calendars! Garden calendars! Flower calendars! Pretty things! Shame on me for cringing from the pictures of the “unpretty” reality for untold numbers of my brothers and sisters in Christ.) Being ever-gracious, the good Lord seems to have prompted me with an idea that has helped me to START PRAYING and that has unexpectedly enhanced our learning at home.

My daughter (age 5) has been learing the calendar. She has memorized the months and days. I started this with her this year when she was driving me crazy, in the fall, asking about up-coming holidays and birthdays. I could see she had a need to understand the calendar! So, each day, we take a look at the calendar together. Thus, when 2013 came around and the new VOM calendar arrived in the mail, the idea came to use it–and I mean REALLY use it. We read the prayer suggestion and then pull out the world map (or sometimes the globe). We find the nation that we are to pray for. Suddenly, calendar work has morphed into GEOGRAPHY work which morphs into CHRISTIAN LOVE as we pray for these precious, hurting souls.

Yesterday, we were praying for CHINA. My daughter had earlier thrown her paper airplane onto the top of our biggest bookcase. Standing on a chair to reach the plane, I noticed the dust and decided to do a little cleaning. I had to move the heavy, giant atlas and the American painting book and THE BOOK OF PICTURES OF CHINA that we had bought during our three-year wait while we tried to adopt from China! (Not what God had in mind for us, however. That is another story!) So, then, the calendar time morphed into a walk along the Great Wall, a boat ride down the Yangtze River, a time of rest in a peaceful garden decorated with strange rock formations, and an admiring look at the terra cotta soldiers. We saw mountainsides terraced for farming and talked of the large population of China and how they need all that farming for their food and how so many Chinese had starved to death when there wasn’t enough food grown. We learned that those fierce lion sculptures with the curly manes were symbols of power for the emperors.

This made for a good morning in our home as we snuggled on the couch, oohing and aahing over the book’s glossy, panoramic photos!

Thank you, Lord, for the free VOM calendar and the help it is to us. I pray that you will bless our brothers and sisters around the world who suffer for Your Name’s sake. Meet their needs and fill them with Your presence. Amen.

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