This year for Lent, instead of giving something up, I added something. (Didn’t know you could do that, did you?) Yesterday was Pentecost, so why am I talking about Lent again? Because the habit I picked up during Lent… I’ve kept! (It’s helpful to focus on a new habit for 47 days with a bunch of other folks united by One Spirit.)
During Lent I wanted to start devotional reading, something I admittedly hadn’t done in a long time. I tried out a few different readings, but I landed on one that I originally bought for my cousins’ children—Sally Lloyd-Jones’s Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing. This 101-readings devotional is written and illustrated by the same folks who crafted the widely celebrated Jesus Storybook Bible. And just like the JSB, it’s beautifully illustrated, exceedingly well-written, plugged into the overarching narrative of Scripture, and spiritually and theologically enriching… for grownups just as much as for kids.
One of the great things about Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing is that the readings are really, really short! Good children’s literature is very much like good poetry in the sense that every word counts. With economy and simplicity we do not lose depth or power, and short, single-focused readings leave me with more energy to contemplate, meditate, remember, pray.
Another great thing about this book is that it encourages us not to take ourselves too seriously, or put pressure on ourselves to be “super-spiritual.” It’s a devotional, a testimony of faith, that hasn’t lost its sense of humor. Adult devotionals are often heavy and serious. There are times for seriousness, but the joy of pure laughter is an essential part of what it means to “let Thy kingdom come.” A part of our calling to be “like these little children” includes not taking ourselves too seriously. Reading through this children’s devotional has helped me do this in my own life.
I don’t know about you, but it’s really easy for me to get into ruts. Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing has helped me think outside the box and engage from a different angle, and so I wanted to pass it along.
I’ll leave you with one of my favorites:
|Copyright Sally Lloyd-Jones
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“Satisfy us each morning with your unfailing love, so we may sing for joy to the end of our lives.” PSALM 90:14 (NLT)