Encouraging parents in their efforts to raise their children to be enthusiastic servants of the Lord.
Author: Thereasa Winnett
Thereasa Winnett is the founder of Teach One Reach One and blogger at Parenting Like Hannah. She holds a BA in education from the College of William and Mary. She has served in all areas of ministry to children and teens for more than thirty years and regularly leads workshops for ministries and churches. She has conducted numerous workshops, including sessions at Points of Light’s National Conference on Volunteering and Service, the National Urban Ministry Conference, Pepperdine Bible Lectures, and Lipscomb’s Summer Celebration. Thereasa lives in Atlanta, GA with her husband Greg, where she enjoys reading, knitting, traveling and cooking. Their daughter Katrina, who has been an integral part of their service adventures, attends Pepperdine University.
When our daughter was about four or five years old, we decided we wanted to make sermon time more relevant and not just a quiet play time. Realistically, she was not old enough to listen to or understand an entire sermon. We wanted her to learn however, that the preacher was trying to teach Bible lessons during sermon time.
I went to the school supply store (I believe you can find them in office supply stores also) and found a spiral notebook that has story paper in it. The top of the page is just white space and then there are a few lines in the last third to use for writing.
During sermon time, whoever was helping her “take notes” would draw pictures about the story or theme of the sermon. My daughter could then spend the rest of the sermon coloring and adding to the drawings if she knew the story.
Our daughter is currently working on her Silver Award project for Girl Scouts. She is collecting hundreds of books and setting up libraries and a reading incentive program for the children in a children’s home in Mexico. Although the award only requires a service project of 40 hours, her completed project will take probably three times that amount of hours to complete. Yet she is excited and has managed the project with a flair and maturity well beyond her years. I believe this is not only because she has a passion for the project, but because of her love for the recipients.
When our daughter was two years old, she went on her first mini mission trip. We were vacationing in Mexico and went for the day to encourage a missionary family we knew in another town. Since then, we have been on numerous full length mission trips to help with a children’s home that was established in that city. Our daughter would move to Mexico in a heartbeat to help with the mission. The worst punishment we could give her would be to lengthen the time between our visits. In fact, we often joke that one day she will live with her future husband in Mexico as full time missionaries.
When I gave birth to my daughter, I kept thinking about the Bible story of Hannah. Like Hannah, I was having my first child later than many women. I meditated on the verses in I Samuel chapter one. I marveled at the grace of Hannah as she not only dedicated her young son to the Lord, but later left him to be raised by Eli.
I longed to have the attitude of Hannah. While I have no desire to send my child to be raised by someone else, my husband and I wanted to dedicate her to the Lord. I prayed to the Lord that He would give us the wisdom to train her heart and mind to long to follow His path for her.
Over the years, I have studied scripture to glean wisdom on training children. I have quizzed women who have adult children who love the Lord. I have used what I learned while studying for my degree in education to write Biblical lessons for my daughter that were fun, exciting, real and practical.
I hope to use this blog to encourage parents who embark on the journey of raising children they have dedicated to the Lord. I don’t claim to have all of the answers as I am still on the journey. I only know what has worked for us (so far) and what I have learned from more experienced mothers whose children are still actively faithful to the Lord.
I pray you will join me on this journey. May God bless each of us as we attempt to raise our children to be enthusiastic servants of the Lord.