Children and their stones are inseparable! They love gathering these precious objects for their unending collections! Rock collecting is a great hobby for all ages! The stones can also be comfort objects to hold and manipulate, to help focus and feel calm during trying times.
For David, his sling and stones could bring down BIG problems, such as an animal attack on his flock or even a giant named Goliath who was definitely a giant with an attitude. The stone that David used was probably a whopper of a stone found in the Valley of Elah according to Biblical Archeological information.
Many of us try to battle our giants on our own instead of sharing with loved ones and especially looking to the power of God for guidance. In addition, there are times children and youth have a difficult time opening up and expressing their thoughts to others even within their own homes.
As we journey through this well known story of David and Goliath, we’ll discover that families can use Holy Listening Stones designed by LeAnne Hadley, rocks or even Duplo/Lego blocks to create spiritual conversations, talk about feelings and experience faith talks in the home and on-the-go.
Make sure you place your Bible (Bibles) and/or Bible Storybook in visible locations around your house, like on the coffee table, the desks, or beside your beds as a symbol of your commitment as a family to share the scriptures with intentional faith practices, even if they are mixed in with the everyday routines and chaos of life.
Since the home is intended to be the primary place where faith is lived, expressed, discussed and nurtured (Deuteronomy 6:4-9), this post is designed to give parents/grandparents ideas for engaging in family faith-at-home moments. These holy moments are reminders that parents and caregivers are partners with Jesus and the church when accomplishing God’s powerful work with our youngest disciples. They are essential listening companions for those spiritual conversations. We are all “fire carriers” passing on the Light of Jesus.
Family Faith Together in Holy Moments
Find your Sacred Space in your home or even on-the-go.
READ: Read the story from I Samuel 17 in the Bible or from a Children’s Bible Storybook.
- As you listen to the story, tell me what “movie” you are creating and seeing in your mind as I read the words?
- I wonder if the stones David was carrying were heavy?
- Pray and thank God for giving us strength in times of need. Breath Prayer: Inhale: “You are our refuge” Exhale: “and our strength”
FAITH ON THE GO THIS WEEK:
Let’s Talk: In the story of David and Goliath, we learn that we don’t need to face difficult times alone. God will give us the strength and the courage to “face our giants”. I wonder how David was feeling as he faced his foe in the battlefield? I wonder who else can help us to face difficult times?
Let’s Discuss a few questions during the week as we “Wonder Together”.
- I wonder how this story is challenging all of us to live life today?”
- I wonder what part of the story you can relate to?
- I wonder what we all can learn from the story?
- I wonder what you would change about the setting or the main characters?
- What is something you don’t want to forget about the story?
Here are a few of my “Listening Legos”
(I borrowed a few of the signs from LeAnne Hadley)
Let’s Notice & Experience-on- the- Go:
- It’s Spring! Let’s go outside and search for some smooth rocks or stones. What is special to you about these stones? Do the shapes remind of of a feeling or another object?
- When you turn out the light at bedtime, do you ever feel afraid? What helps you to feel calm?
- When the children are playing with legos or duplo blocks, (you may draw symbols on a few blocks with a permanent marker) use those for “building faith talks. They can help everyone retell the Bible story using the stones or blocks. If you use the stones, take a moment and hold them and talk about how they look and feel.
- Before bed or at dinner, use the “Holy Listening Stones” or “Listening Legos” that have the symbols mentioned in the article on Holy Listening Stones. Pick out 3 or 4 to talk about your day and “show me” your feelings. You can “build the story” with legos or lay out the stones on your table or rug in the order of happenings during the day. Can you show me, using stones or Legos how David may have felt facing his giant using the stones. How do you think his feelings changed during the day (beginning of the story on the bottom and build up)?
- How have your own personal feelings changed during the day? (build legos with beginning of the day at the bottom) Parents/grandparents can begin and model these powerful conversations when describing and “building their own day”. (Click on “Holy Listening Stones” resource at the bottom of post for more information)
- When older children are coloring, sit with them and draw on paper (or even use a Magna Doodle) some of the simple symbols on the Holy Listening Stones. Draw the ones that describe your feelings or events in your day or the way you are feeling at this moment. Give the children an example as the adults share faith and feelings of the day with family members. Then they can feel free to “show you” about their day.
- Sometimes biscuits burn in the oven at my house (faith moments in the chaos) and they are “as hard as a rock”. This is a great time to talk about the strength of David and the strength of Jesus, Peter or other Bible characters. Or, you can talk about a “hard” decision you had to make or a “hard” task that was very difficult. They seemed “hard” because of being so difficult to “break through”. Jesus helps us to break through the hard times and see us through the hard times.
Choose a Blessing each day and night. It may seem difficult to find time to do this at first, but decide to make it your HABIT. It will become one that you will not want to give up! Put you hand on their shoulder or head as you bless your children. Here are a few ideas.
- A Morning Blessing for Each Child: “May the God of hope, fill you today with joy and peace.” “May you always marvel at God’s miracles of life on this new day.” “May you be filled with God’s grace and love so that it spills out to others.”
- On the Road Blessings for each Child when leaving the home-place your hand on their shoulders and say: “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.”
- Anytime Blessings: “Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 5:16).“May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” 2 Corinthians 13:14 You may decide to make these Blessings a bit shorter.
- A Night Blessing for Each Child: Place your hand on their head or arm with this gentle blessing: “Pray God makes you strong and Christ lives in your heart.”
- Pray the Lord’s Prayer on some evenings: “When you pray, what part of the prayer reminds you of the story of David & Goliath? When you pray, what part of the prayer was needed the most for you on this day? (forgiving others, help with temptation…?)
In our daily routines, always remember that God can take our upended plans for a daily devotion in Holy Spaces and miraculously turn them into moments of deep reflection or a new spiritual conversation, even in the mess and the chaos. Watch out for these moments you may find! They happen! Don’t miss these times to share faith together with your family!
The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come; thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the Kingdom, the power and the glory forever Amen.
(Permission granted by LeAnne Hadley)
There are many references to stones in the Bible. In some places in scripture a stone is used to describe strength and resiliency in a person’s character. More about this topic will be available in an upcoming post.