I have been attending a women's bible study through Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) since the beginning of September. If you aren't familiar with BSF, I highly recommend checking out their website: https://www.bsfinternational.org/. The Bible study is a weekly, intense study of a particular Bible book (this semester, it's Matthew) and the bible studies are offered all across the world (hence BSF international). I attended the introduction to BSF last May, while I was still undergoing radiation treatment, so that I could get enrolled and get a spot in class for the kids for the fall semester. BSF is pretty popular, especially the day program, so there are not necessarily always vacant spots for the kids. But, I was willing to be on the waiting list. Surprisingly, I received a phone call the week following my attending the introduction class. They had openings in the children's program for both Luke and Abbey. The problem was that Abbey NEVER handled the "drop off" with other caregivers well. Inevitably, every Sunday at church, we would see Abbey's number flashed on the screen, which meant she was unconsolable in her classroom and we needed to come get her. With all of the months of being cooped up in the house during cancer treatment, Abbey wasn't keen about receiving care from outsiders. So, I decided to just try to start the BSF study in the fall (since the Spring semester study was finishing up anyway). Well, by September, things still had not changed. But, instead of fretting about it and trying to deal with it alone, I asked for prayer. I prayed. My BSF leader prayed. The other girls in my BSF study prayed. The first couple of Wednesdays I stopped by the hall to check on Abbey. The first week, Abbey was screaming. So, I ended up staying in the classroom with her that day. I got to experience first-hand what these little ones (18 months-2) were learning. I was shocked at how much even these little ones learn about God. They have bible story time, they hear bible verses, they sing songs. And, of course there is also snack time and play time. I was surprised to find out they even have a "quiet time" to think about Jesus. The purpose of the quiet time is to get them into the habit of having a quiet, meditative time of prayer and conversing with God. Five different women that work in the children's program came up to me and told me they were praying for Abbey....every day. (not just on Wednesdays, but every. single. day).
The next week, I stopped by Abbey's classroom in between my own classroom time and the lecture. I hoped that she wouldn't be in the hallway, inconsolably screaming. Prayers were answered! One of the volunteers in the program came right up to me and said, "Abbey is doing so well. It is such an answer to prayer. You should peek in her window and see." So, I did. She was sitting in circle time, listening to a Bible story, eating a snack and looking happy. Happy tears came streaming down my face. I was just so overwhelmed with joy by seeing such a visible, tangible answer to prayer. And folks, let me tell you--this was OBVIOUSLY an answer to prayer. The next week, I checked on her. Again, she was doing so well, so I just had to snap a photo:
|Abbey is in the light pink shirt in the middle. :-)|
As a part of day women's classes, loving, well-trained and committed leaders teach little ones about God and the Bible in age-appropriate ways. The leaders pray for the children and encourage them to continue learning with their registered adult throughout the week. (The preschoolers' curriculum is based on the lessons the adults study.) The children also learn other important life skills, such as how to obey instructions, cooperate, sit and listen — all taught in an atmosphere of love.
To find a women's daytime class, which includes the preschool program, click here.
I think it is pretty precious that one of Abbey's teachers noticed she loved reading books, and so she brings some specific books that she thinks Abbey will enjoy. Of course, I am loving the Bible study as well and I am learning so much, even though I have read the book of Matthew many times. If you want to know more about BSF, just ask me. :-)
A couple of weeks ago, I spoke at a local church's women's ministry event. The only anxiety I had about the speaking engagement was whether Abbey would stay in her classroom, and if not, what would happen (since I would be speaking for an hour)? So, I asked for prayer again. Our time there went perfectly. God provided the words for me to speak, and he comforted Abbey in her class. In fact, she actually enjoyed it. So, I am writing the post to make this point: God answers our prayers--he truly cares about every detail of our lives, no matter how small. I never asked anyone to pray before about things like Abbey enjoying her class (instead of screaming), because it didn't seem like a big enough request. But, the ladies at BSF really encouraged me to list it as a prayer request. Prayer is so powerful and it is the primary method God uses for communication with us.
You already know what is coming next. I am going to end this post with some recent photos of our precious little Abbey. :-)
|waiting for daddy to get home from work.|