The Jesus Storybook Bible -- and told a story. I chose David and Goliath. It's funny how little ones can wiggle and fidget around while you are reading, making you think they aren't listening or getting anything at all, but indeed they are. I remember that with my own children when they were young -- that's God refreshing my memory. Anyway, after we read that story we read the story of the Nativity, "He is Here!" The way Sally Lloyd-Jones tells the story is just so amazing to me. It's so heartfelt, so simple, so easy to hear, and so true. Listen to the end of the story from the nativity, "Mary and Joseph named him Jesus, 'Emmanuel' -- which means 'God has come to live with us.' Because, of course, he had."
After I had finished reading, Peach decided that she would like to read a story to me (and to her little sister). She always finds the very smallest, old books of mine that are far over her head as far as reading goes, but they are the perfect size for four-year-old hands to hold and they have lots of words written in them which she loves to see. This little girl does not really know how to read, of course, but she makes up her own stories to pretend-read, and I love to listen to her stories. The story she told was about how God changed a mean lady into a nice lady because He wanted to. Woven into the story were words like, "God always wins" and "He loved her and wanted her to be nice" and "God loves people and wants to save them from their sins." I doubt Peach knows what sins are, but she knows God can take them away. Another story she told incorporated the shining stars (from the nativity) and how "God makes everything because He loves us." Spirit-words soaked into her spirit, and life-words spoke through her lips. I thought to myself, "Truly, out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise... (Matt 21:16)"
As I thought about this sweet time, I called back to the days when I read God's Word to my own children. Even to this day they have each told me how they loved that time together, and my youngest who is now 20 years old tells me how he misses that time with me. I always prayed quietly that God would plant the seed of His Word into my children and let it grow and produce fruit. Now I am seeing again through new (older) eyes God planting seeds again -- this time in my grandchildren -- and it's a beautiful thing.
If you have Littles in your life, I highly recommend this paraphrased version of Bible stories for children. I sometimes read it for myself because I like it so much and always, always God shows me something new or something beautiful. It would make a wonderful Christmas gift for a family, for a grandparent, or for a special child. It's The Jesus Storybook Bible (Every story whispers his name) by Sally Lloyd-Jones. Enjoy!