Praying for Your Kids (and giveaway)

posted in: Books, Shepherding Children | 5

I Prayed for You

Let’s be honest for a second, sometimes (in the midst of temper tamptrums and bouts of continued disobedience) it is hard to be really thankful for our children.

But, God has given them to us as a blessing and should be one of the greatest gifts we’ve ever been given – and they need to be told over and over again how thankful we are for them.

One of the times i usually love the most, is when I get to lay down with my older one and pray over him as he goes to sleep at night.  He has some sensory delays in his development, so he absolutely loves to sleep in the floor.  We’ve made him a soft palette and pile on his stuffed animals and his night night (the blanket he has slept with since he was a few months old).  He always wants either me or his Daddy to lay beside him until he falls asleep.  And as soon as I lay down with him, I pray aloud over him with my hand on his back or his face.  Such a sweet time.  I pray for his little heart to be turned to God because God would be calling him, giving him a new heart.  I pray that he would be obedient and that he would love God.  I also finish each prayer saying how thankful we are for him, bubba, mommy, daddy, and most of all Jesus.

It is so important for our children to hear us praying for them – not just telling them about it.  I learned from my mentor the importance of writing down prayers and journaling for future generations.  I admit that the discipline has been a struggle for me in these early years, but I do it some.  And it is such a treasure for me when I do journal and write out my prayers for them to my great Heavenly Father who listens to our prayers.

Tommy Nelson sent me Jean Fischer’s new book I Prayed For You – and I love it.  A cute board book complete with cute illustrated bears.  Tells of prayers a mama can pray for her cub as he grows up.  And yes, like any good mom I cried as I got to several of the prayers.

This will be a book you can treasure reading to your little one – even until he or she is 5 or 6.  Treasure the time.  Treasure the prayers.  If you want to have a chance to win this book – leave a comment with something you pray for your children.  That’s it!  I will pick the winner on Wednesday.

Teaching Kids Theology Through Books (Book Giveaway)

posted in: Books, Shepherding Children | 2

Win or Lose I Love You

I love reading to my boys.  It is definitely one of the highlights of being a mommy.  I love the fun pictures and the cute rhymes.  I also love it when the books I’m reading with our boys teaches them good theology. It is never too early to start teaching them good theology.

Two things I definitely want to teach the boys early on (we are already doing so) is Jesus is everything and they need him because they are sinners.

I get to review books and usually I love them – but even if I don’t love everything about them – I want to introduce them to you, give you some wisdom hopefully in how you can read the books to your kids (whether you agree wholeheartedly or not), and tell you what I do like about them.  Tommy Nelson is great about sending me books each month in exchange for a review (and all thoughts are my own) and also giving a copy to one reader!

Lysa Terkeust, of Proverbs 31 and the Best Yes fame, put out her children’s book (ideal of young school age) Win or Lose, I love YouIt is a book about woodland farm animals and some best friends.  I love her use of imagination – I definitely want to instill imagination and creativity in my boys.  It teaches some good encouragement to how to deal with competitiveness and greed and self-centeredness among friends – which I see in my boys already. I love the verses that Lysa encourages parents to read over and instill in their kids.

Here is my problem with this book – and there really is only one, but its a big one: Coyote doesn’t get his way and smashes all the pies.  His response to Lulu (one of the main characters) is “I’m the worst animal in the forest.”  Lulu said “Coyote, you behaved badly, but you aren’t bad.”  ALERT!  FALSE THEOLOGY!!  This is when, if you choose to get this book with all its great other qualities, you can teach your children about what the Bible says.

Human beings aren’t born good.

Romans 5:12-14

Romans 5:19

Psalm 51:5

Romans 3:9-23

Here’s the good thing: if we know the problem – and there is an answer – then the Gospel can become clear to our children.  If we always tell our children that they aren’t bad (inherently, they aren’t born good), then why would they ever need a Savior?

Question: how do you teach your kids theology?


Family Ministry Book: Pass It On

posted in: Books, Shepherding Children | 0

Pass It On

How do you lead your family to know God better and to dwell in the truth of the Gospel?

As Christian parents, we know that is our chief goal as parents – not to save them (because only God can do that) – but to introduce them to the Gospel and to pour the Gospel into their lives so they will have every chance to respond to the Gospel before they are out of our homes.

But, it is much harder to do.  We usually want a play by play or some ideas to help us achieve said action.  Some of us struggle to know how to incorporate the Gospel into our every day lives, every day conversations, mini van rides from soccer games.  And we also struggle with knowing how to plan special events that will hopefully be a supplement to our every day conversations – but will help drive home the Gospel into our babies’ hearts!

The new book, Pass it On, by Jim Burns and Jeremy Lee, is a special one to me.  One of the authors, Jim Burns, wrote the first devotional I ever read as a teenager, Spirit Wings.  I remember it being the first one I read when I was in high school and I was learning what it meant to have a quiet time.

Pass It On is a very helpful instructive book to parents.  Not only does it give insight into your children (or children of the same age) on many different viewpoints, it helps you with activities you can do with them to help cement the Gospel into their lives.  At every age it gives you a larger activity (not just a conversation).  You can get some wonderful ideas from this.  You can take all of them word for word and incorporate them into the life of your family, or you can just take the ideas, pray, see what the Lord would have you do – how to change it up, match it to your family.

The most important concept this book drives home is that raising your children to love God is hands on.  It is active.  If you want to make a lasting impact for the Gospel on your children, you need to always be sharing the Gospel with them, living it out in front of them.  And parents, with older kids, parents who may have just become believers – its not too late.  Its never too late.  Don’t be regretful over the years in the past – but confess them to the Lord and press on in obedience now.

Thankful for Litfuse for sending me this book in exchange for this review, and all thoughts are my own.

Blogtember: Book Love

posted in: Books | 1

Book Love

I am always reading.  And I thought yesterday – that reading is probably one of the best way to educate yourself or better yourself on a budget.  Traveling I think is the best way to educate yourself – but our budget doesn’t allow for that right now.

So, I read.  And I don’t read as much as I would like.  Well, I guess I do read every day – but it is the 5 Minute Read and Share Bible, or Goodnight Moon, or The Going to Bed Book, or other kids books that I’m reviewing for different sites.

What I’m reading right now for my prayer life is the Mark of a Man for praying for my husband.  It is an older book by Elisabeth Elliot. Short chapters that I can then journal through for him.

For me, I’m reading French Women Don’t Get Fat – a look at how to enjoy food for pleasure – but not to excess.

And for a book review for a theological journal – 7 Women – which is going to be great!

What are you reading – and what should I be reading?

Book Review & Giveaway: God Made All of Me

posted in: Books, Kids r Readers 2 | 10

God Made All of Me

Unfortunately, this world hands us things that we must learn how to interact with, pray about, deal with, handle with truth and the gospel, and prepare our kids to face as they get older.  This is the sad reality in which we live.

Fortunately, Justin Holcomb and his wife, Lindsey, have written an incredible resource for children (toddlers through 8 years old) to instruct, inform, and prepare them for how they live in their bodies.  And how they respond to physical touch.

Child abuse, both physical and sexual and mental, is so rampant these days.  We must know how to prepare our children for what they (prayerfully won’t) might encounter.  The more our children are prepared the more we as parents can hopefully prevent harm to our children.

What I love about God Made All of Me is that is tells children that their bodies are good because God made them and it teaches them the importance of communication with trusted adults.  Inappropriate sexual touch can be totally embarrassing to children – they may not know how to tell their parents.  But, if you keep the communication lines open with your child, and teach them that God did make them in His image and it is wrong for others to touch them in a wrong way – you will be equipping your child!

This book comes out this week – and you (and your church library) need this book.  My Mom has been gracious enough to provide one for you to win.

So, all you have to do is tell me what truth you preach to yourself to keep you from worrying about all the evil that might affect your children as they grow.  Truth to guard against evil!  So important as we train our children up to love Jesus.

Litfuse provided me this book through New Growth Press to review.  All opinions are my own.

September Reads

posted in: Books, Uncategorized | 0

September Reads

I think reading is one of the best ways to better yourself.  If you are reading the Bible – it is about learning the gospel of God to know God better.  If you are reading a cookbook, then you want to make your cooking better.  If you are reading a comic book, you want to laugh better.  Get it?

Before I get to the list of mine for this month, I want to encourage you to go read this post by Doug Wilson about how to read more.  It will be of benefit to you.  I know lots of seminary profs who are friends that read several books a week.  I don’t read that fast.  I would love to get through 2-3 a month.

So here are some I’m reading this month (mostly finishing up, because I’ve started all of these – and only have a few pages left in some, but I want to complete!!)

French Women Don’t Get Fat: I am so far loving this book.  I read it at night and it gets my mind reset to keep on my healthy journey.

A Woman’s Wisdom: This is a great book and helpful to women.  Lydia Brownback writes clearly to help women in any stage of life know how to apply the Proverbs to their lives.  This will be extremely helpful to me this month, especially in my parenting journey.

Peter Pan: I love any movie about Peter Pan – and I want to get to know more about Barrie in the future.  My mister and I are currently watching Hook which he has never seen, which I personally think is one of the late Robin Williams’ best roles.

Fierce Convictions: This is a biography that is about God, the gospel, justice, and women.  It is great – and I only have a little bit left to finish it.

What are you reading this month?


Nightly Devotions with Preschoolers

posted in: Bible, Books, Shepherding Children | 8

Preschool Devotions

Something my husband and I are learning how to do (and we are talking about progression, not perfection) is having more time where we talk with our boys about Jesus and the Bible.

And if you have preschoolers, then you know that their attention spans for non-televised viewing is fairly short (one of the pitfalls of our media-driven culture).  So, unless you have creative animals, paid sound effect personnel,and a storyboard producer – your nightly devotions might not live up to Daniel Tiger or the Octonaughts.

But, getting the Bible into your children, teaching them about Jesus, and loving them the way Jesus would love them (by the Spirit’s help) is the most important thing you could ever do for your children.

So, currently, my older son is just about to turn three.  He loves books.  So each night, we put our younger to bed (we read Good Night North Carolina and Goodnight Moon and a Sandra Boynton book and pray with him) and then scoot over to our older son’s bedroom and read a book with him.  We are reading Read and Share 5 Minute Bible Stories (that I just got from Tommy Nelson – thank you).  Our son loves it.  It is short, great vibrant pictures just like in the Read and Share Bible which we also like, and its big (so even if he doesn’t have his glasses on, he can follow along.  I love how even now (we are in the Moses story) it focuses on the work of God throughout the Bible – and not the men on earth who fail and are sinners.  The whole Bible points to God and Jesus who died on the cross for our sins and the Spirit who indwells in believers.  I want that to be what our son gets from reading the Bible.

So, when you are just starting out:

  1.  Be simple and short.  Attention spans are short.  Keep your kids’ focus by reading something, asking questions, and praying.  It doesn’t have to be long – just consistent.
  2. Utilize good resources.  There are so many out there.  I recommend this bible story book, and catechisms for kids.  So many other tools out there, especially as your children get older.
  3. Be faithful.  God will reward even the smallest.  He wants your children to know Him too.
  4. Pray that God would capture your child’s heart!  You can’t do it yourself.  The greatest parents in the world can’t make their kids love Jesus.  Only He can!

If you want to win a copy of the Bible story book I talk about here, then all you have to do is answer the question: what is one way you are teaching your children about God?  I’ll pick a winner Sunday night!

Learning Photography: Capture The Moment

posted in: Books | 0

Capture the Moment

Life: it has a lot to do with savoring every moment.  Sometimes those moments are the best of times.  Sometimes those moments are bittersweet.  Sometimes those moments are just bitter.  There are moments you’d rather not capture or every remember.  But, mostly, even the bad ones, find their ever lasting way into your mind – etched there forever for you to press play and pause whenever you want.

That’s what I love about photography. It gives you the ability to not only press play and pause on the camera of your mind – but also hang up those captured moments for the rest of the world to see (or at least people who visit your home).

And with photography – you have to be ever learning.  Thanks to Blogging for Books, I have been thrilled at looking through the new book by Sarah Wilkerson, CEO of Clickin Moms (they know how to capture life).  The pictures are of course fabulous – different styles for every photographer.  Also, it helps you learn by giving you the camera and lens and settings so you can practice.

I am a learner by doing, and love having photographers in my life who will let me ask them tons of questions when I’m with them, but I do love this book so I can see exactly how the photo should turn out.  Learning is half the battle, right.

My Toddler’s Favorite Word (and Giveaway)

Teaching Children Gratitude

One of the big trends in birthday photos or memory books is to talk about the child’s favorite foods, words, people, toys, books, etc at each time they have a birthday.  I wish I had the chalk-lettering skills to do one for my boys’ birthdays coming up, but I will leave that to the experts.

But, if I were to do a chalkboard letter sign for my younger toddler, his favorite word would be “mine.”  And seriously, we didn’t teach him that word.  Its not like my husband and I go around saying mine mine mine in the house.  But, knowing we as his parents are sinners,I’m sure he did pick it up from us at some point along the way.

Mine is not a word we want said a lot in our home.  I usually answer him back with something like that: “Bubs, nothing is yours.  God gave us all things and all the things that we have are from him.  He gave them to us to use and share.  We need to be kind and share the gifts that we’ve been given.”  I want him to learn a few things from this conversation (that happens at least 10 times a day):

1.  God is the giver of all good gifts.  James chapter 1 says that and many times in the Psalms it says that everything in the world is the Lord’s.  We may have been given a gift from our parents, grandparents, friends, etc but ultimately all good things come from God.

2.  God does want hearts full of gratitude.  God desires our hearts to be overflowing with praise for all that He has done for us. And out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks!  So, if we can train our children to be thankful, then as they get older, maybe a heart of thankfulness with take root in them by the power of the Holy Spirit and their little mouths will bubble forth with praise!

3.  God does want us to be kind.  Kindness is fruit of the Spirit, so that makes it something that God desires in us.  Kindness is not something we naturally gravitate towards.  No, we all naturally gravitate toward taking care of ourselves first.  Kindness is showing special care and grace for someone else.  Even in toddler world, that may mean sharing the last cookie or giving up a special toy because another friend wants to play with it.

There is a new book by Tommy Nelson that helps preschoolers not only learn a crucial life skill of counting, but also, more importantly, how to express their thankfulness.  Count My Blessings 1-2-3 is a perfect little shapes book that is durable and fun and rhyme-y.  My boys have loved this book series.  When we read it together I can help them think of specific cases of each blessing (like friends).

If you would like to win a copy of this book for your toddler, all you have to do is tell me one thing that you are thankful for in being their mommy or daddy.  That shouldn’t be that hard – and it will help continue to grow a spirit of thankfulness in you as their parent.


the psalms and our emotions

posted in: Bible, Books, illustrated faith | 0

The psalms and our emotions

As a wife and a mom (and basically as a human being), I experience many different emotions every single day.









Things are out of control.


And the list could go on, but you get the picture.

God created us as whole beings, therefore emotions themselves aren’t evil.  But, they have been affected by the fall – when sin entered the picture long ago we have a different bent on emotions.  But, the good news is we have been given something to help with our emotions.

Psalter by Crossway

We have been given the Bible, especially the book of Psalms.  The Psalms to me is probably the most helpful book in the entire world when knowing how to deal with my emotions.  One of my friends told me early this year that one of the best disciplines I could would be to journal through the psalms, praying through them, crying out to God using his very word to direct my thoughts.  This practice has been so helpful in turning my thoughts and emotions back to God. This practice doesn’t necessarily have to go with hard times when our hearts are torn.  But, it can help us specifically praise the One who deserves all the credit when things are going well in our lives.

Crossway recently came out with a Psalter that is amazing.  My sweet husband just gifted it to me.  He placed an order with random other household goods from amazon that he knew I would open.  I found the psalter.  I called him hoping I hadn’t ruined a surprise – he said no, just thought it would be a happy.  It so was!  I’d been wanting it forever!  It is the perfect compact size to carry with me everywhere.  It has thick pages perfect for people like me who like to write in their Bibles.  And it is only the Psalms – which is perfect for reading and re-reading.

Another book has recently come out that has been helpful as I’ve started reading it.  And this post has also been encouraging.  IF you want a prayer journal that a wife can pray for her husband through certain books of the Bible, you can find one here on the blog for free that I wrote for the book of Nehemiah or the one I wrote for Ephesians.

One of the best parts about the psalms and the most instructive is how the writers deal with their emotions.  They aren’t afraid to tell us what they are really feeling: doubt, fear, worry, anxiety, questioning, joy, praise, adoration, etc.  But, even when they are struggling in their faith – they always come back to the understanding that God is in control.  He is most glorious.  He is in charge of all things.  And that is why they praise.  They know that every situation will be handled by the Great BIG GOD who is gently leading and guiding them through all things.

I never want to shy away from my emotions.  I do want to run to my God who knows me and knows how all of it is going to turn out.  And you don’t have to not share your emotions with others.  Christians should not be a stoic people.  (I mean, clearly, the Psalms is anything but stoic.)  But, with our sharing, let us always return to the hope of Christ. May we always take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.

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