Giving Up Possesions

I like the story of Jesus calling over the disciples after a widow gives two cooper coins that equal a penny at the temple (Mark 12: 38-44). Before this took place the scribes came in and made a big production of giving money, making sure all were aware of their large donation. He tells the disciples that the widow gave more because she had less to give. The scribes gave a lot but still have even more at home. However she gave all she had. And that is what Jesus asks of us. Not that we should become destitute in our giving but to give with our heart.

I read of a story were a man was sharing on this subject and he stated that he gave away his most prized possession, his books. A woman cried “why your books, I could see money or food but I could never get rid of my books they mean too much to me” and her friend turned to her and told her that is precisely why.

I have a tendency to put too much importance on “things”, and as all who know me would tell you it would especially be my boots. So could I go into my closet and give away my most prized possession, my boots? I’d like to think I would but honestly I don’t know if I could! The woman in the story probably gave her last two coins but trusted so completely in God that she didn’t even hesitate.  She did this without being aware she was being watched, and more notably that it was her savior watching her. Unlike the scribes who made donating a huge production, she did what was asked of her without pomp and circumstance.

During the homily on Sunday regarding this reading the priest at my church stated that not only is it important to give financially, but of our time as well. After Hurricane Sandy blew through the Jersey shore it was amazing to see the outpouring of resources, financial and physical, that came pouring in from all across America and beyond. It reminds me how caring people really are and in dire circumstances we all band together as a community. They helped not for the recognition but because they care.

So back to the question could I give up my most prized possession and yes I can, because I do it all for the glory of God. It is what He asks of me and nothing, not even my boots, is more valuable to me than my relationship with God.

God Bless!

Reading to Your Child From Miles Away: Be There Bedtime Stories

We recently posted about teaching your child to read here on My Catholic Blog and this post is also related to that topic. Teaching your child to read is truly important to their growth as a person. If you are a parent, grandparent, brother, or sister reading with a younger member of your family is not only a good chance for them to learn, but also a great opportunity to bond and spend time together. Cherish the time that you get to spend together and never turn down a request from a young child to be read a story.

Catholic Mom featured a post written by Jennifer Gladen recently about Be There Bedtime Stories. These books let you record yourself reading a story so that you can send it to a loved one. This is a great idea for parents who travel a lot, or grandparents who do not live close to their grandchildren. There is something special about hearing somebody’s voice that makes me feel like Be There Bedtime Stories would be a big hit with kids.

What do you think about Be There Bedtime Stories? Would you ever send one to a son, daughter, or grandchild?

Teaching Your Children to Read: What Methods Have You Used?

Parents teach their children to do a lot of things throughout life, some of them intentionally and other unintentionally. It is safe to say that young children are always watching, taking things in, and learning from life’s experiences. Teaching your child to read is a very big deal. Getting them even a small head start before they attend school can make a huge difference in their development and learning process. In my opinion, giving your child a head start can be as simple as reading them stories every night before bed. Instead of letting them watch TV getting into the habit of reading a book can be a really great thing. It not only teaches them words and sounds, but also reinforces a positive habit they will hopefully continue doing on their own some day.

A recent post on Playground Dad talked about teaching your baby to read. It goes over the methods of two individuals who teach very young children to read. I felt the methods discussed in the article were somewhat interesting, and would be curious to see them in action.

How did you teach your children to read and at what age?