Sunday Scripture and Book Talk
Slightly hard of hearing in his Sunday suit and tie, the smiling usher boomed a greeting into the cold and cavernous narthex.
“You forgot to set your clocks ahead, right?”
Immediately, the disjointed pieces of that chaotic Sunday morning fell into place. The full parking lot, the prevailing hush — yes, we were an hour late for church, which meant we had arrived just in time for the sermon conclusion and the last amen. Wearing our awkwardness like ill-fitting choir robes, we exited as discretely as two people wearing dress shoes can manage in an echoing church entryway, and we rode in silence across town to our tiny apartment on Middle Street — an address that had become an accurate and stinging summary of our entire lives in that season.
A career change for my husband had put our workplaces over two hours apart, but we’d cheerfully split the difference and settled in neutral territory exactly halfway between, telling ourselves it was temporary and a good test of our independence within this new marriage of ours. No friends, no family, no church ties anchored us in this new home base, but we were optimistic, so . . .
Let the church hunt begin!
I’m sharing the story of that crazy season of our life together over at The Perennial Gen today, and my hope is to encourage you, whether you are living in the on-ramp toward faithful church attendance or standing still in a world where it doesn’t seem clear to you that in-person worship is worth it after all.
Finding community can be a long and challenging process, but the rewards are worth the wait. Thanks for joining me for the rest of the article, and while you are there, take a minute to browse the work of other writers in that community of faith, connection, and friendship.
Finding community can be a long and challenging process, but the rewards are worth the wait.Tweet
I’m experimenting with the idea of posting just once a week here at Living Our Days. Because so many of you respond to the Sunday Scripture post, I’ll be keeping that timing, format, and biblical content, but will follow it up with reviews of whatever I’ve been reading recently. I hope you’ll let me know how this new format works for you!
Forming Resilient Children by Holly Catterton Allen
People of faith frequently need both language and license to say what’s true, even if it’s not a commonly held belief in the broader culture. For decades, the importance of the spiritual nurture of children has been questioned, particularly since most twentieth-century psychologists operated from a secular materialist worldview. If matter truly is all that matters, it’s hard to make a case for the primacy of the spiritual life, particularly in a context in which spiritual realities are deemed irrelevant—or non-existent.
Given that children are spiritual beings AND given that children need resilience to manage life on a fallen planet, I couldn’t have imagined navigating the growing-up process with my four sons without a worldview that recognizes the sovereignty and the goodness of God. Fortunately, the work of Holly Catterton Allen is building a bridge between resilience studies and real life, and in Forming Resilient Children: The Role of Spiritual Formation for Healthy Development she argues that children need spiritual strength in order to cope, particularly in these challenging times.
Since nurturing spirituality does, indeed, promote resilience, parents, grandparents, and educators need strong support in preparing children to survive both the routine disappointments of life and also the more severe adversity, trauma, and grief that befalls even the most well-established families. Allen demonstrates how routine habits of holiness as part of a child’s life and exposure to a thriving faith community can help to strengthen and support the God-bestowed spirituality that is key for living with resilience in the growing-up years.
Since resilience in children is interconnected with spirituality, Allen makes a case for fostering children’s spirituality in public education settings and defines spirituality in terms of the three relationships everyone experiences with self, with others, and with God. Coming from a Christian perspective of spiritual formation, the church is the ideal support system for the home in providing tools, encouragement, and accountability for building resiliency in our children. Like us, our children are on a path of transformation into Christ’s image, and Forming Resilient Children provides case studies and dozens of examples of how we can nurture spirituality in our children, and, in the process, also contribute to their resilience.
It’s a joy to come alongside you with resources to strengthen your faith-walk, your parenting, and your confidence as a Christ-follower! Thank you for reading and for sharing this resource with others.
Holding you in the Light,
“When I teach the Bible to children, my long-term, ultimate purpose is to help them know God… to foster that ineffable child-God relationship.” ~Holly Catterton Allen, Forming Resilient Children via @ivpressTweet
… to the truth that women can become confident Christ-followers and students of God’s Word. If that’s your goal, I want to provide strong support for you through my regular email newsletter. To subscribe, simply enter your email and click the “sign me up” button.
I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program and an affiliate of The Joyful Life Magazine, two advertising programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees. If you should decide to purchase any of the books or products I’ve shared, simply click on the image, and you’ll be taken directly to the seller. If you decide to buy, I’ll make a small commission at no extra cost to you.
Many thanks to InterVarsity Press for providing a copy of this book to facilitate my review, which is, of course, offered freely and with honesty.