Fresh Language, Quotable Kids {Preserve Your Story ~ Day 10}

We’d read the book so many times that our two-year-old boy had the thing memorized, every line of Duck in the Truck. He’d look at the pictures and recite the story in happy sing-song toddlerese. He’s got the gift of good memory and we’re steering it the best we can. Tonight, our now five-year-old came home with the big handbook from Awana, ready to add a whole slew of verses to the few Psalms he knows by heart.

Growing up, I had the lock and key memory, too, hiding God’s words in my heart that I might not sin against Him. But when I memorized Psalm 119:11, I did so in Shakespearean English…thy word, mine heart, thee. It was a beautiful tongue, but it wasn’t my natural one, and as the years went on the words started coming out rote and rehearsed.

But in college, I came across a fresh read of the Scriptures in The Message and felt the scenes coming alive and deepening my understanding. It took a new style of language to show me there was more reading and digging to do.

Sometimes I feel that way when my kids speak holy mysteries in their plain language. They are no tabula rasa. They have eternity in their hearts with the key of the Word to open the door to full knowledge.

In their simple, unfiltered words, they share the beauty of faith:
“The world is beautiful even though it’s broken.”
“But I thought I was going to learn about God at school.”
“I pray Jesus will come at our house.”
“Jesus growed down into a baby.”

They bellow out innocent love:
“Everytime I see you, I start to hug you.”
“You make me HAPPY!”
“You HAVE to see her jump. She’s AMAZING!”
“Someday I will be strong enough to pick you up.”

And sometimes they are just plain silly:
“Oh, books! These are very good books. It smells like books. But we will not eat them.”
“It’s so grouchy in my room.”

Some of your captured quotes will stay in the journal, little keepsakes only for you, but with excitement and effort, some may turn into full stories that reveal timeless truth afresh to a wider audience.

{I keep track of my kids’ quotes by writing them in my planner on the days they say something noteworthy. It makes it easy to flip back through for a verbal history of the last several months. How do you keep track? What quotes have taken your breath away? What specific ones can you work on developing into a full story?}

This is Day 10 of my series 31 Days ~ Preserve Your Story, linking up with The Nester’s annual 31 Days of Change.

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Spotlights, Spider Silk and Self-Reflection {Preserve Your Story ~ Day 3}

It happens sometimes when I walk into a friend’s house to the sight of pots and pans criss-crossed on the counter and dust bunnies floating near air vents. I get this urge to grab the dishcloth and the mop. I could go on mission to find the counter top again, ready the pans for the next meal, scrub down to the grooves in the ceramic tile. Coming at the scene fresh, I get a vision for its full potential and my part in taking it there.

This past week at my own house, I sat on a step helping a little one with her socks and shoes. Half a flight below, milk coagulated in cereal bowls huddled near the sink. I hardly gave them a second look even when I was near. Same for the toys that had migrated throughout the house. And the proverbial piles of laundry. Maybe I am too much at home in my own home. Or maybe there is too much to see.

But that afternoon, through the stairwell windows, the sun shifted a fraction of a degree in its arc across the sky and all of a sudden I saw something that was invisible just a moment before. Bold rays bolted through and traced a single silvery strand. It floated, a long lock of gray in a gentle breeze, a renegade ribbon of cobweb. I studied it for a moment, how the light beaded up on spider’s silk.

And then I moved my feet to the laundry and pulled out a duster. This one task I could do. I could tackle the thing in the spotlight.

Maybe you’ve had the experience of opening up a book and finding yourself or one of your relationships in the story you read. Through the distance of the page, you see your own struggle in a new light and take what you learn back to your life and relationships.

I have found that writing can do the same. By putting a struggle into words, you find yourself on the page, at a distance, and the story spotlights things that were just a few moments ago unseen.

{Even in a simple post like Danger Is Not My Middle Name, I was able to explore my penchant for physical safety and to think about how to challenge myself in that area. In Back Up to the Waterline, I discovered more about what drains me and what fills me as a caregiver. Share an example below of something you’ve learned about yourself in the writing process.}