I've been fascinated by mothers of great men in the past couple years. I went to a lecture about Tolkien last year and was struck by how instrumental his mother was in shaping who he became. And, at the book shower my family threw for Isaac last summer, my aunt gave me the book Moms Who Changed the World. It has been sitting on my bed-stand for sometime, neglected, not for lack of interest... but because there are so many books that catch my interest. Anyway, I've just begun it and have enjoyed the first half. The thing that struck me the most in the first few chapters was the amount of memory work these moms (Susanna Wesley, Margaret Ruskin...) did with their children. And they weren't memorizing a verse here or there out of context, they were memorizing passages. Memory verses are great, but I am often annoyed at how some of the most popular 'memory verses' are memorized without thought to the greater story they are placed in, leaving them bereft of the meaning they are meant to convey.
I've been amazed at the speed my boys (and small children in general) memorize. So as we play with the story of the good shepherd this Lent we are memorizing the 23rd Psalm. I wrote it out and illustrated it and made copies for school and dinner time readings. It is fun to hear Rowan recite the first lines and comforting to know that he is internalizing that 'The Lord is [his] Shepherd." And in this time of change and unknowing I'm really needing these words too.