Where Did I Come From? Answering the Question From Guest Author Danika Cooley

Preschool-aged children are naturally curious. I mean, really, how many questions do you get asked each day? Why is broccoli good for me? What is this for? Can I pour that? Fielding twenty thousand questions a day is all part of the preschool parenting experience.

There's just one question that has made parents queasy for centuries. Where did I come from? It's this question that has caught parents off guard, and brought about a plethora of strange and fantastic tales. For centuries parents in Europe answered the question by telling children that they were delivered by storks. The tale was so established in European mythology that Hans Christian Andersen based his 1838 moralistic tale The Storks on it. My own mother answered my questioning by allowing our cat to give birth to a litter of kittens and then having me "assist" the cat in giving birth.

"Where did I come from?"

The question Where did I come from? is an important one. Our answer to that question has theological, scientific, and relational ramifications for our kids. It's not something we should brush off or gloss over. In fact, it's a question we should plan for and consider answering before our children even think to ask it.

When my children were small, I used to tell them the story of their beginnings, detailing how they grew in my womb, or in the womb of another (I have two bio-kids and two heart-kids). I'd explain that God planned them from the very beginning, talk about their development, and then explain (non-graphically) their birth. It was such a special time, and a favorite tale in our home. Instead of Where did I come from?, I often heard Tell me again how I grew inside of you! or When did my heart start beating?.

It was this special time with my kids that inspired my new book Wonderfully Made: God's Story of Life from Conception to Birth. As much as I enjoyed sharing the story of life in the womb with my kids, it would have been wonderful to have had a readily available visual aid, Scripture verses, and exact scientific information. I thought this special time was so precious, that I wanted to be able to share it with other parents--with you!

What about the S-E-X question?

How did I get into your womb? is an important question, and it deserves an answer. I found, though, that my kids didn't ask about the road to conception until a little later. Wonderfully Made is all about life in the womb, and while it briefly touches on the beginnings of life (created by God as an expression of love within marriage), the book isn't about that. Wonderfully Made is all about development within the womb. You can see the very first page addresses the conception issue succinctly. Of course, parents can add their own dialogue as appropriate. Likewise, the birth process is not detailed.

Wonderfully Made: God's Story of Life from Conception of Birth is a lovely story of life for kids from ages 5-11, told from the perspective of a mom with science and Scripture.

A lasting memory...

One of my fondest memories of the preschool years with my boys is the time spend answering the question Where did I come from?. Now in middle school, my youngest two still sometimes enjoy listening to the story of how God took the time to form them, purposefully and intimately. They smile when I talk about how anxious I was to meet them. May your children, too, never doubt just how wonderfully made they are!

Wonderfully Made Giveaway ~ Ends 3/21/16

Wonderfully Made: God's Story of Life from Conception of Birth is a lovely story of life for kids from ages 5-11, told from the perspective of a mom with science and Scripture.
Wonderfully Made: God's Story of Life from Conception to Birth (Christian Focus 4 Kids, 2016) is a science- and Scripture-filled picture book for kids ages 5-11. It can easily be broken into two or three sittings for preschoolers! The book is told from the perspective of a mother telling her child about his or her development in the womb week-by-week. You can learn more about Wonderfully Made and download free resources like posters, Scripture memory cards, and a fetal development lapbook over at the Wonderfully Made book page.
Wonderfully Made: God's Story of Life from Conception to Birth {Preschoolers and Peace}
Void where prohibited by law. Must be at least 18 years of age. This giveaway is in no away associated with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest. No purchase necessary for entry. Odds are determined by the number of entries. Selected winners will have 48 hours to respond to email notification to claim their prizes or another winner will be drawn.
Danika Cooley is the author of When Lightning Struck!: The Story of Martin Luther, Wonderfully Made: God's Story of Life from Conception to Birth, and Bible Road Trip.   Danika Cooley is a mother of four, none of whom were delivered via stork (though two were dropped off on the front porch). She and her husband live in the Pacific Northwest where they homeschool their youngest two children. In addition to her new book, Wonderfully Made, Danika is the author of When Lightning Struck!: The Story of Martin Luther (Fortress Press, 2015), and Bible Road Trip.   Image: The Stork, 1885, Carl Spitzweg (1808-1885), Public Domain

Grateful for Grace

 

So many of you are writing and tweeting and posting your thoughts on living in grace and freedom, and it has been a total blessing to me. Thank you. Linda emailed me last night and I loved her words:

 

Thanks for all the posts on grace. Not like I'm ancient or anything, but the older I'm getting, the more I realize how much I need grace and how it allows me to be a grace-giver.

I don't need legalism and judgement. I just need Jesus and his grace. I'm finishing up Grace for the Good Girl and downloaded Give them Grace. Learning so much, little by little and tasting freedom.

I think a lot of it started when we brought our daughter home from China. Raising her has turned my parenting ideas upside down and forced me to focus simply on loving her with grace and freedom. Discipline, anger and neglect left her as merely a shell of a person. I've wrestled with how my heart has led me to parent her versus the way I've always done it and worried about what others might think. I finally had to shake all that off and listen to the grace of the Spirit. In turn, it has made me do a lot of personal soul-searching along the way.

I'm sure there are some, even some family, that think we've turned into heathens and our children are surely going to hell now, but instead we are slowly learning the freedom and joy that comes from being released from the oppressive burden of legalism.

Again, thanks for having the courage to speak up. People need to hear grace and sometimes they just need someone to give them permission to be free.

 

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