Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Bible Story Interpretations

Eliza has a nightly routine or a rotina  as she calls it in Portuguese (pronounced "ho-chee-na"). This consists of changing into pajamas, drinking a final cup of water, brushing her teeth, reading books, singing songs, and saying prayers. She loves to list the steps of her routine and check off what we have done. She is definitely a planner already.

Reading books is, without a doubt, her favorite part of the night. She always tries to get me to read 10 books instead of the allotted 3, and I usually give in because who doesn't love to read and want their child to love books? Recently, though, Eliza wants stories in addition to books. I make up some pretty amazing tales involving "Princes Eliza," but lately, I have been telling her Bible stories. 

A couple of weeks ago, I told her the story of Jonah and the whale. I began by saying that God asked Jonah to go to Ninevah, but Jonah did not want to go. Instead, he tried to run away from God and ultimately was swallowed by a whale (or a really big fish according to some scholars...I let Eliza know about that theory, too).  Eliza was highly entertained. I showed her pictures of the story in her children's Bible (which neither of us like because it is so simple that it doesn't really tell a story at all!), and she stared in disbelief and amazement at Jonah inside the whale. The next night, she asked me to tell her the Jonah story again. She listened intently and seemed satisfied after hearing it for a second time. Since then, we have moved on to other Bible stories and she hasn't asked about Jonah again.

And then today, she brought up Jonah again, and thoroughly surprised Nathan and me with her intelligence and ability to apply concepts. I know all parents think their children are geniuses, but this particular conversation with Eliza made me say "seriously!?" out loud several times.

We have a pretty strict policy that no children are allowed to touch the DVD player or DVD's, and Eliza knows that only Nathan and I are supposed to start movies (we have had far too many disks ruined). Today, I was bouncing Ezra, singing to a crying Elliott, and trying to get The Little Mermaid to play all at the same time. The boys needed to go down for a nap, but I wanted to get the movie started first so Eliza was entertained for the 10 minutes I was gone. As I leaned down to press "play," Eliza hurriedly mashed buttons. She was tired of waiting and thought she was helping. The screen instantly went blank, and I told Eliza she was going to have to wait until I put the babies down in order to watch the show. I didn't have time to skip through all the advertisements again, and she needed to know there are consequences when directions aren't followed (I feel like such a mean mom after reading this, but I really don't want all of the DVD's ruined!).

As I put Ezra and Elliott into their cribs, I could hear her crying. I went through our nap routine as quickly as possible and ran back to the playroom where she was. She looked up at me with tears in her eyes and said, "I didn't go to Ninevah! I didn't listen to you! I don't want to get eaten by a whale!"

I didn't know what to say! I just stared at her and asked, "Did you just say Ninevah?"  How did she remember the word "Ninevah?" I only said it twice, and it was just a detail of the story. I assured her that she wouldn't be eaten by a whale and gave her a huge hug.  I don't think she actually thought she was going to be swallowed by a whale for disobeying--she just did not want to be in trouble.  I then reminded her that it would be a good idea to listen to me because I just want to help her when I make rules. I let her know that God knew what was best for Jonah, and sometimes, I know what is best for her. She seriously said, "I can do that, Mama. I can listen." She is so wise, this little one.

Popcorn and lemonade were a good peace offering. I love Eliza. She is such a good little girl and friend. 


  1. They are smart long we give them credit for being so. My children amaze my every single day! What a joy to be a parent (well most days amyway).

  2. Oh my gosh, that is so sweet and adorable! And she is SO SMART.
    Also, check out the "Action Bible."
    It's Bible stories illustrated like old school comic books:

  3. Uh, being swallowed by a whale and then living it, starting to be a worst fear. I don't blame her for being scared.

  4. Ummmmm, HOLY FREAKING WHALE! That child is a genius. It's one thing to be able to remember details of a story, but to apply actual almost 3. What the what now? I seriously think this girl will be able to skip a grade or two when the time comes to it.

    Am I being overly biased because she my super adorable awesome niece? .......................Naaaaaaah!

  5. She is seriously a genius. What a smarty pants girl!! Can't wait to see her (and you guys, I guess).

  6. oh my word. i seriously laughed so hard when i read this that i then proceeded to read it again to my husband. We both got a kick out of it.

  7. Genius!!! Send her to Mensa!

    Also, my husband loved this story so much (he's had times when he didn't follow) that we named our son Jonah! I hope my boys are as smart as Eliza when they're the same age!


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