The reality of reading to children isn’t always (as I used to say in my classroom) skittles and rainbows. Sometimes kids have bad attitudes. Sometimes kids even say they don’t want to read or be read to. My Emerson gave me this over the weekend as I settled down to read another chapter of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. I always take these things personally (did in the classroom as well), simply because I know what is coming and I suppose I am assuming they should too. But they don’t know what’s coming. It would have been easy for me to give up. We were on a chapter that was long and although integral to the overall meaning and end, didn’t really capture anyone’s attention. I let Emerson off the hook (Reese wanted to finish) and took my book and did what I always did as a teacher. I edited the chapter to fit the need of my daughter. Sorry Mr. Lewis, but I crossed out some of your passages… I changed a few of your words so that Emerson could understand them better. I re read the chapter to her… we made it through. Whew!

Last night, as I read chapter 12, I was reminded why I push forward when I’m feeling like giving up. We heard of Aslan in chapter 8 BUT we MET Aslan in chapter 12. Oh what a great conversation we had. Reese sat straight up in her bed with excitement to explain to me that they are entering into battle. We discussed the upcoming battle between good and evil… who we thought might win… how that might be like another story we know.  I still was uncertain as to how Emerson was taking it all. She tends to internalize more and keep her thoughts to herself. I could tell she was afraid though as I read about the battle between Peter and the wolf. But it ended with a chuckle from her when Aslan bopped Peter on the head with the sword and told him to never forget to clean his sword after battle.

This morning as we were preparing to leave home for the day, Emerson showed me that what she heard in chapter 12 had really sunk in. I had a worship song on my phone playing. Emerson walked up to the phone to watch the video. She became enthralled, immersed. The song displayed a picture of Calvary, of Jesus on the cross. She asked me if the cross was like the stone table in Narnia. YES! This led to me asking her to predict what might happen to Aslan. She asked if he was going to die. I told her that if Aslan does die, and he is like Christ, he will….. (I waited for her to fill in the blank)… he will ARISE!

Through tears (mine and Reese’s – we are the sensitive ones) we three girls praised Jesus this morning for His awesome sacrifice. My six and seven year old daughters wanted to know how Jesus died… If they were mean to Him… If He hurt. So I told them. I made it clear to them just how painful and sacrificial it was, that death on the Cross. They were heartbroken. But we ended our morning conversation with rejoicing. We are filled with joy knowing that Jesus died for us in the way that He did so that we may have LIFE everlasting!

The lyrics below are what Emerson listened to so intently to this morning. Please click the link below to hear how powerful the lyrics are with music behind them. This morning, I hope you will be blessed, as we were!

On a hill called Calvary

Stands an endless mercy tree

Every broke and weary soul

Find your rest and be made whole

Stripes of blood that stain its frame

Shed to wash away our shame

From the scars pure love released

Salvation brought the Mercy Tree

In the sky, between two thieves

Hung the blameless Prince of Peace

Bruised and battered, scarred and scorned

Sacred Hands pierced by our thorns

It is a finished watch  his cry

The perfect Lamb was crucified

The sacrifice. Our victory. Our Savior chose the mercy tree

Hope went dark that violent day

The whole earth quaked at love’s display

Three days silence in the ground

This body born for Heaven’s crown

On that bright and glorious day

Heaven opened up the grave

He’s alive and risen indeed

Praise him for the mercy tree

Death has died. Love has won!

Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

Jesus Christ has overcome.

He has risen from the dead.

Death has died. Love has won!

Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

Jesus Christ has overcome.

He has risen from the dead.

One day soon We’ll see His face

And every tear, He’ll wipe away

No more pain or suffering

Praise him for the mercy tree

Death has died. Love has won!

Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

Jesus Christ has overcome.

He has risen from the dead.

Death has died. Love has won!

Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

Jesus Christ has overcome.

He has risen from the dead.


I have always imagined that paradise will be a kind of library


I was downright depressed when I realized that we were moving to Houston and I would be leaving behind my beloved literature curriculum that I helped create in fifth grade at Madison Crossing. I was on the roster as a Reading/Language Arts/Social Studies teacher, but I have always considered myself a literature teacher primarily. Reading is my love. But beyond that, sharing great books is where I truly thrive. It’s always an emotional experience for me when I see young minds immersing themselves in the worlds of the characters I introduce them to.

I felt I was giving up a great deal when I agreed to leave it all behind. I thought that it would be years before my own children were ready for thought provoking literature. I was wrong.

Until now, Emerson has only been drawn to juvenile chapter books such as Junie B. Jones, Ivy and Bean, Judy Moody, etc. I see now, that she needed those stories to engage her interest. She has become a lover of literature just like her mom. She carries a book with her everywhere. She loves fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. And I love her for it. Don’t get me wrong…Reese doesn’t not like to read. She just hasn’t entered into that stage where one reads for pleasure and seeks out literature that interests them. She is still learning the foundations of decoding. But she loves to listen to a good story. In fact, her deep thinking, analytical skills may surpass Emerson’s.

We began The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe last night. I hesitantly began reading, what I feared might be a story that wouldn’t hold their interest. I feared they might not be ready for it.

I had to hold back laughter as I read the first two chapters to them. Their eyes were wide with anticipation over the land of Narnia that Lucy stumbled into last night. When I finished reading the second chapter, Emerson asked me to give her a list of books by C.S. Lewis. For he is her “new favorite author.” Reese is most enthralled right now with the Professor as he reminds her of Santa… Just wait until she meets Father Christmas. Emerson is most curious about Mr. Tumnus and how in the world he can have half a human body and half a goat’s.

I am just thrilled to begin this adventure. I still miss my fifth graders and the discussions over Lois Lowry literature. But I look forward with anticipation to the discussions I will have with my children. I have a list a mile long of all the books I can’t wait to share.

Encouragements of the day:

“So please, oh PLEASE, we beg, we pray, Go throw your TV set away, And in its place you can install, A lovely bookshelf on the wall.”

— Roald Dahl, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

“Children are made readers on the laps of their parents.”

— Emilie Buchwald

“There are many little ways to enlarge your child’s world. Love of books is the best of all.”

— Jacqueline Kennedy