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Aledo Times Record - Aledo, IL
  • Marketta Gregory: Teach faith

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  • Mama used to joke that Id be the only bride who registered at junk stores for wedding gifts.
    I think that started after I found a pair of wooden theater seats tucked away in a store that looked like a chaotic indoor flea market. Or, now that I think about it, maybe she said that after I drug home that old Army chest.
    Regardless, no one was surprised when I bought what looks like a shallow wooden basket and put it chipping paint and all on our coffee table. I, however, am surprised by how helpful it has been in talking with our family about faith.
    I started by filling the basket with seasonal items and stringing a tiny banner made out of scrapbook paper across the handle. Within minutes, I found out that this was prime real estate in our house. Anything I put in the basket would be touched and read and rearranged by our boys. So, I started using the basket more purposefully.
    In the spring I scoured the house for anything bee related and brought it to the coffee table, along with books on God and animals. Soon Im planning to borrow the wooden fruit and vegetables from the boys pretend kitchen and talk about what we learn about God from watching seeds grow and be harvested.
    Eventually I want to pull together quiet bags that inspire questions and conversations much the same way the basket does only in a portable fashion for those times when we find ourselves waiting or needing to be silent.
    I also mix in storybook bibles and other faith-related books with the stacks of Star Wars and train titles we read, and religious music is in the rotation for family dinners. I write scriptures and prayer requests on the chalkboard in the kitchen.
    If I want faith to be at the center of my familys lives, it helps for faith to be at the center of our home. So, I use what I have even a wooden basket with chipping paint and crumbs of chalk to teach and shape, to question and invite.
    And I pray that God will take my chipped and broken efforts and use it all for his glory.
    Marketta Gregory is a former religion reporter who now shares her own journey of faith with readers. She lives in Rochester, New York, with her husband, their three young boys and one very vocal Pomeranian. To contact Gregory, email markettagregory@yahoo.com or write to her at P.O. Box 12923, Rochester, NY 14612. You can also visit the Simply Faithful page on Facebook and follow her on Twitter (@MarkettaGregory).

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