Build an Imagination that doesn’t Stop

Ink on Pastel paper – Words: Strickland Gilliland

I remember being read stories at bedtime. We had a chair where a parent and child could sit and read, cozy, supported and loved. I still have that chair in our living room and find myself reading there often. it looks s a true treasure and blessed habit to read each day. It is a habit my parents instilled in us from a very early age.

I read to a group of high schoolers each morning, it was 7:30 am so you can imagine how enthusiastic they were about being there. I read a novel about spiritual warfare. Sounds like a heavy topic yet they loved it. One of the students was hospitalized for several weeks, her mother called me as her daughter wanted permission to read the book in the hospital so she wouldn’t miss the end of the story. When she got back to class she was bubbling for conversation about the plot…at 7:30 am…and the rest of the class chimed right in. That is when I understood that people of any age enjoy the experience of being read a good book.

Books are a gift no one can take away. They bring curiosity, magic, imagination and the ability to bring life, creativity and endless possibilities to a child’s world. Developing the habit of reading is the gift that keeps on giving. Sure it takes time and may seem passé in this electronic world, and yet I have never heard a kid say ‘not tonight’ to an adult who wants to read them to sleep.

The next generation of our family is now having their own children. These new eyes and souls deserve the same gifts we were given, the gift of reading, imagining, dreaming and believing that anything is possible. Investing in the minds of children, making the time to put down the device and open the cover of a book is a miraculous gift. It tells them they are important and that love means focusing on developing their good habits and creative spirit.

Find a child or teen in your world, an older friend or budding creative and read a book out loud together. Talk about it, imagine together, let the words build an imagination that doesn’t stop. The time and talking will make you both rich indeed, rich beyond what anyone can take away.

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