Worship and Crayons

posted in: Books, creatives | 0

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This post is not about the early Sunday School years.  This post is about the craze of adult coloring books (really, made for women because I don’t know any males that would sit around and color in a coloring book – though if you are out there and you enjoy it – then by all means, continue).

Something I’ve been thinking about recently is how our minds can be so deceived.  When you are binge watching a show – that may affect your ability to think rationally.  The last month I’ve been watching a show called Chasing Life.  I would not recommend it but that is a post for another day – but what it did to my mind was awful.  The days before I left for a recent trip to visit friends I was so fearful that I was never going to see my husband or children again.  And I had to convince myself that if death for me was going to happen that wknd than that was God’s better plan.  (The show was all about cancer and dying and what life is all about).  My mister was quick to respond to my fears with challenging me to dwell on faith and the Word of God.

So, what are you to do when all you want to do is something that doesn’t require much energy.  Sit and color.  The best part about coloring books is finding one filled with Scripture.  What a better way to fulfill Colossians 3 and Philippians 4 then coloring hope-filled verses from the Word?

Waterbrook Press just published one called Whatever is Lovely.  For me it is not only a chance to be creative but keep the creative juices flowing in my own lettering.  Thanks Blogging for Books for the chance to review this one and all thoughts are my own.

 

Sundays in the South

posted in: Sundays in the South | 0
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Here we are the week before Christmas.  Less than 7 days and I have to admit, as my kids get older, it is more fun – to think of the surprise that will fill their eyes on Christmas morning.

Here are some things that I’m liking this week – and some fun things I’m baking:

Grinch popcorn as I have some little friends over this week.

I know two littles (and their momma) who would enjoy these.  If you need a hostess gift for a family with kids these would be perfect.

Spot On post by Kristin

I will be adding these to our Happy Jesus Day cake this week

I’m dreaming of two days here with my mister over New Years – if no one gets sick.

Can’t wait to read this book to my boys this week.  It is by far my fave Christmas book.

How the Word Breathes Life into My Mothering

God Breathes into our Mothering

Oh, sweet mommas – this post is especially for the mommas out there – and you don’t have to have toddlers to understand this post.  Maybe all of your kids are teenagers, or are married and raising babies of their own – or maybe you have a few younger than mine and are still living in sleepless nights because of newborns or sleep regression.

Just as the very word of God spoke all of creation into being, and the word of God is written down for us so we may be changed into His image, the word of God also breathes life into the every day of my mothering – right now which is a highly emotional 3 year old we are seeking to potty train and a speedy 2 year old who loves to jump off everything he can climb.

Two examples for you from the last 24 hours.  It was a long afternoon as I fought for my 2 year old to take a nap. I knew he was tired and just didn’t want to miss out on anything.  Finally 90 minutes after scheduled nap time, he finally went down for 90 minutes.  Then, by the time my husband walked in the door at 635 from his job, I was so done.  He immediately took over, gave them a bath, put them to bed (which was a 2.5 hour struggle with one of them), and told me to go do something, anything, other than being with the kids.  I went in and took a long hot shower which is one of my favorite things to do in the winter (I know I’m not helping the water conservation society).  As I was standing there praying, confessing my anger and entitlement, I was reminded of a verse in James that my husband spent a whole year on our first year of marriage: James 4:1-4 which basically says the reason you are arguing and upset is because you are fighting to get what you want because you are idolizing something and not keeping God God in your life and heart.  Yup.  I was struggling all day because I didn’t get what I wanted from my sons.  I wanted quiet – I didn’t get much of that all day. I wanted obedience – but my sons are sinners and not prone to obey so I shouldn’t expect them to do it.  I was crying in the shower, even as the hot water ran down my cheeks and increased my need for an aging-skin moisturizer – God was restoring my soul with the work of the Word.

The second example is from this morning: it was a long morning.  I sat in the sanctuary during the sunday school hour, listening to my husband prep for CEve service, scanning through social media, getting encouraged from friends, and the tears were there all morning.  Before the service, my husband sat down beside me, and just whispered in my ear the gospel: the God has a plan, Jesus is enough even when its hard, that His grace is sufficient.  My tears were dripping on his new gray pants.  I didn’t care.  I hope they didn’t stain.  The gospel is found in the Word.  We must know the Word.  We must have the Word spoken to us – to our souls – to our hurt and weary souls.

I got a book set in the mail this week from Tommy Nelson that helps adults and kids know key Scriptures in the Bible.  How to know them, memorize them, live them out – so that the Word may be life-changing in whatever situation we find ourselves in.  The Joshua Code and I Can Learn the Bible would be a great set for you to work through with your children in the new year.  If you would like please just leave a post about anything – anything at all.

Happy Mothering.

Always Grace (Book Giveaway)

posted in: Books, Shepherding Children | 5

Always Grace

One of the sentences I most say in life is “I’m sorry.” Well, maybe sometimes I insert,”I’m such a failure.”  This is so true in my marriage and parenting.  This parenting this is so difficult most of the time!

But, then I come to the title of a book (you can win one, stay tuned) – Grace for the Moment.  How crucial is this to remember.  I grew up on Max Lucado (in my spiritual walk I mean.)  I started reading his books in late middle school and read them all the way through seminary.  Still one of my favorite books on the incarnation is God Came Near.  And that incarnation is what makes God’s grace so real to us because that was God the Father’s best gift.

One of the areas I need most encouragement in is my communication with my boys.  As God speaks his grace to us, to my soul, I can therefore speak it to my boys, who are sinners and desperately need to hear God’s grace and truth in their souls.  This set from Max, including Grace for the Moment for Kids is a great way to fill your soul with a quick daily devotional (because all moms will tell you that one of the hardest things is to get prolonged quality time in the Word) and then read something similar on the same day to your kids.  That way you are filling your soul with similar truths!  How perfect for family devotionals.  This is a great devo for older children and has some practical applications for them to live out the truth they just learned.

Here is how you can win this set of books – perfect for starting out the new year with truth from God’s Word: tell me one thing you are looking forward to doing with your kids in the new year.  Me: cooking more for them instead of always grabbing fast food in the car.  Thanks Tommy Nelson Mommies for hosting this giveaway and for my free books!

Praying for my Husband as my Children’s Father

posted in: Books | 0

 

ThLike Father Like Sonis is a season of Advent – of hope, of awaiting, or mystery.  Of incarnation.

One of the beautiful things about the incarnation is that God the FATHER sent His only perfect beautiful son into the world.  I can’t even imagine giving up one of my boys.

Back to the story…the men in our lives play several roles.  Man, husband, father, employee, friend, son, brother if applicable (my husband is an only child), worshiper, etc.  The list is pretty inexhaustive just like our list is.

But, for me, I think two the most important at least in my husband’s life is husband and father.  There is such a burden on him to provide, protect, lead well, shepherd all of us to know Jesus.  He just isn’t living for himself anymore.  On no given day can he wake up and say, “I think I’ll do what I want to do today,” but instead he wakes up to snuggles, cries, diapers, commuter traffic, my texts complaining about the disobedience of our boys, etc.  There is always so much crowding his heart and his mind.

I long for him not only to have an intimate close relationship with his heavenly Father – but use that relationship to guide his relationship with his boys.  Our boys are incredibly blessed with a father who is gentle and patient and one who loves Jesus more than he loves them.  He plays cars and basketball with them.  He takes them to the park.  He provides for them.  His desire is for them.

Isn’t that so the heart of the Father for us?  That His desire is for us – to know him and be found in Him?

Pete Alwinson’s new book, Like Father Like Sonis a good read that goes through different aspects of a relationship between the Father and his children, men.  I think some of the concepts can definitely be applied to men and women.  I think, honestly, that the book might be more with a female tone in mind, I don’t know.  I don’t know if I can see my mister reading this book or really any of the men that I know.

But, I do see it as useful for wives to pray for their misters.  That’s why I got this book.  I want to be more knowledgeable about how to pray for my mister and his relationship with his Father as he seeks to know his boys and lead them to the Father.

Thanks to Litfuse for the book in exchange for my honest review.

Why You Should Read To Your Kids

posted in: Books, Shepherding Children | 6

Reading to your Kids

One of my favorite times of the day is when I get the chance to read to my boys.  I usually read to them by themselves – so I get that one on one interaction with them and can read stories that might appeal to them more than the other.

Like I know my younger one loves the Sandra Boynton books.  We’ve been reading those every night and each night he just giggles away.  He also has been loving a book about his hands and what he can do with them to help.  Most of all – I think he loves to just being close to the person reading to him, because he is a snuggle-monster.

Our older boy loves animal books, especially his daddy’s book from when he was young.  He can flip through and always point out new fascinating things about the animals he sees.  Even if he has seen them 50 times before.

I may not have stayed with my education major in college, but I can still think of a few good reasons you should read to your children:

  1.  Build a love for reading.  If you start reading to kids when they are younger, most likely they will be readers when they are older.  Then they will hopefully read to their children and grandchildren.
  2. Increase their vocabulary.  My children seem to learn new words every day.  I know they definitely pick up some of these words because their are seeing them in the books we are reading, and hearing them when they are read aloud.
  3. Reading to your son or daughter builds intimacy.  Any time you can spend one on one time with your children, or even with them altogether, you are telling them that you care about them. You are telling them that no matter what else you could be doing right now (and that is usually a lot), that you would rather spend it with them.  And do you ever regret spending time with your children in a meaningful way?
  4. Reading is a great way for you to teach your children about the gospel.  There are so many great books.  And a good way to teach your children about biblical concepts (that may be difficult for their little minds to grasp) is by using parables (I mean, Jesus did it, right).  Liz Higgs has a new book out for early school age kids, or late preschool that is really neat.  It teaches biblical concepts in parables that are centered around kids.  And it goes through the seasons which is a neat idea to even teach kids about that.

Tommy Nelson is giving away one of these new books and it would make a lovely Christmas present for your child!  Or a gift to a child you know. To enter the giveaway, just leave a comment telling me your favorite book to read with your children.

Praying for Your Kids (and giveaway)

posted in: Books, Shepherding Children | 6

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?

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