Our beloved college friend Brenda recently started a blog in and this post she shows why Mark and I have always kinda wished we were in the Andrus family. (Also, you can spend an entire happy day listening to the soundtrack from Brenda's blog.) Brenda's daily devotional is such a great way to keep gospel teaching at the forefront.
With little Haley knowing very little about the gospel and Roscoe ready for more advanced doctrine, gospel study in our house has become a bit complex. One thing that's been working for us is little lunchtime scripture stories. Lunchtime is a good time to focus on the little kids while the big kids are away. While they sit at the bar munching on pb&j, I:
* Tell a story about Jesus, with lots of dramatic pauses and hammy dramatics: "And then guess what happened?... There was a BIG STORM!" [We widen our eyes and gasp at each other.]
* Whip out a picture from the Gospel Art Picture Kit, which every Mormon family should have, and just talk about it. Each picture has a little cheat sheet on the back should you get fuzzy on the details yourself.
* Let the kids choose one of the Book of Mormon action figures. Then we talk about that person and what they did.
I've also really been enjoying doing the Friend's Book of Mormon challenge with Levi and Haley. When they're in bed, I come sit on the floor and read for a while, slowly, with lots of emphasis: "Laman and Lemuel...murmured." [We shake our heads sadly at each other.]
But really the most challenging part of teaching children the gospel is living the gospel, being the gospel. I'm a bit obsessive about nourishing myself with sufficient sleep and exercise and a bit of evening relaxation, but it's all because every day I'm trying to be a bit more than I really am. To have enough peace and light inside me that it pours out on the kids, so even discipline is filled with love. To draw on the wisdom of the Master to know how to balance love and limits, justice and mercy, and to discern the underlying needs behind the kids' behavior. To be strongly enough centered on Christ that there I can stay even when fits rage, tempers flare, schedules collide, bread burns, and husband leaves.