God daily is telling us of Himself through Creation. It's an ongoing tune that plays much like the background music in a restaurant. My husband always hears the music. But, I am usually oblivious to the background music until he points out a tune he likes!
Nature is where I hear the undertones of "background" music. God's voice is subtle and soft, but it laces it's way through gardens, forests and tundras. His voice is in "surround sound" everywhere we go in nature. God is singing love songs through all He has made. We just need to look and listen.
God wants us to know His heart. And quite often He uses nature. Because, my heart has become emboldened to teach and declare all I see through Creation. I want kids and families to encounter God through art and nature. I am beginning to write an "A to Z Animal Character Study Where Science and Art Meet".
"How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?" Romans 10:14
"Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made." John 1:3
I feel like I am about to leap off a cliff with only a strong and powerful bungee cord of God's love and Spirit. Because what started in my mind as something exciting and fun is expanding to have more content than I originally envisioned. It's hard to whittle down all the information I am gathering. I honestly don't know how it will all fit in one book. I think that is good problem though.
But for now this is the basic outline: A to Z character qualities that I believe are important for myself, my son and all the precious kiddos God will bring into my life; an animal that shows the character quality for each letter; basic facts and then lots of interesting facts about each animal; pre-recorded art lessons of each animal (a simple lesson and a lesson for older kids); and a scripture about each character quality (I personally will be working on memorization with my son). I am going to try to also have a scripture passage that shows Jesus showing this character trait.
My goal is to make this suitable for a tier of ages. Not everyone just has elementary aged kiddos. I am going to teach this as if I were a homeschooling mama of kids staggered from elementary age to high school.
I think I will take it a step further, and teach art lessons based on the natural environment of each animal and how they help the ecosystem. It will be a sort of nature journaling based on research. I want to emphasize how God provides for animals as well. In some instances I may talk about the nutritional value of the plants, fruits or veggies if it is something people can eat as well. The nutrients in all the food we and animals eat, is an expression of God's love and tender care for us.
If this is too much to grasp. Here is very basic example:
A - Attentive
They are attentive to their young. They must be attentive to one another and surroundings to survive.
They live in the forests, inland wetlands, shrublands, grasslands (including Artic tundra), etc.
Practice drawing: blueberry, raspberry & lingonberry bushes, grasses and pine trees
(The above is just a sample of one of the lessons I have started. Each child can create their own journal for writing and art throughout the study. The blank space can be used for journaling the questions asked in the study to help kids apply what they learn.)
It is not expected or required for kids to be involved in the art. It is optional. The emphasize will not be on "perfect" drawings but on having fun while practicing and learning new skills. Scripture memory will be encouraged as a way to know God better and to be prepared to fight off the lies in their heads.
And if this isn't too much to fathom in one study, prepare yourself! I want kids to play a role in the final books. I will use quotes from kids and use some kid's artwork as well.
If you're a parent, grandparent or caregiver to kids whose deep desire is to raise up confidant Christ followers, you are the reason I work endless hours. By the time I wrap up the study on Z, I anticipate hundreds of hours will go into this project through prayer, research, writing, creating art, recording art lessons and the list goes on.
I want to join hearts with you to raise up a generation of confidant Christ followers who are attuned to God's heart speaking and teaching them through creation. I want to see kids who love God's word, believe in themselves, have unwavering faith in God's existence and who look to creation as part of the undeniable proof of His faithfulness and love. Last but definitely not least, I want to challenge them to share what they have learned about God's love.
Soli Deo Gloria,