Tiny boats and teaching bouts or: Sitting, walking, lying, and rising

Parenting is hard work. If you have kids, you would undoubtedly agree. I don’t know anyone who says that being a parent is easy.

Here is one of the texts that most clearly lays out our job as a parent:

Deut 6:4-7 “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.

If you read this text and despair, you can take comfort that at least other parents are despairing with you!

God wants us to

  1. Know Him (v4)
  2. Love Him (v5)
  3. Meditate on Him (v6)    and…
  4. Speak of Him (v7)

I believe that he is not just throwing out a random list of things that should be done, but that  He is actually showing us the proper order for discipleship. We first and foremost must know Him. If we do not know Him truly, we will not love Him deeply. When we love him, we will naturally meditate on him, as anyone who has been smitten by Cupid can attest in their own temporal love relationship. However, God does not want us to stop there. Again, as any truly love-struck person will quickly reveal: one´s passion will be one´s praise. Whether it is sports, grandchildren, 4×4 trucks, or a relationship. We talk about what we love!

This is not meant to be just a quick devotional at breakfast or before bed. The Lord God designed this to be:

  1. intensive – with great purpose
  2. extensive – at all times.

The words: sitting, walking, lying down, and rising, are not referring to just four moments in the day when we should teach our children (although that would be a big improvement in many cases). Our Father´s wise plan is for us to talk about him all the time. These four words are a figure of speech, much like our phrase “Sun-up till Sun-down” meaning all day long.

Since we live in the jungle, and there is quite a lot of water around us, my boys decided that they wanted to make a tiny boat. There are lots of plans for plywood one sheet boats on the internet (like these). They are not large, but for two little boys, the idea is thrilling!

However, we decided to modify, combine, and adapt several different plans we found to make our own little flat stern canoe.

So here is a pictorial history to date:

We purchase some 6mm plywood (about 1/4 inch)

We marked two lines at 10″ and 20″.

We cut off these pieces, and then trimmed the ends (twice, actually), ending up with a triangle about 4″ on one end down to nothing on the other end.

We cut a small piece of wood at a roughly 45 degree angle, and then sanded it.

We temporarily screwed the angled ends of the 10″ plywood pieces together with a small piece of wood, and then flexed them together at the back, putting stretchers in the middle (there were two more installed after the photo), and then temporarily screwed those there as well.

We flipped the boat over, and then covered the bottom with the piece of leftover plywood (under the boat in the previous picture). We proceeded to trace the outline on that piece, and then cut it out.

Finally we lay the cut out piece back on top of the boats walls to see how it fits.


This is as far as we’ve gotten so far. It is possible that the idea will flop, or that the boat won’t float at all. In any case, we will keep you posted.

The point of this work is to do a father-son project (about 90 minutes so far), drawing us closer together, and giving me more opportunities to speak to my boys of my wonderful Lord as we are sitting, walking, lying, and rising.