6 Books to Help Children Find Hope

When one of my boys is sad, it can be really tricky to know what to say. I can say, “it’ll be ok” or “it’s not so bad” or “it’ll get better”, but platitudes lose their powerful quickly. Instead, I like to tell a story. You and I can help our children find hope through stories of our own (child-appropriate) hopeless times and how we discovered hope there. We can share stories of other people’s hard times and how they saw hope in the midst of great pain. One option we don’t often consider, but which has a ton of value, is that we can also use fictional stories. Take, for example, “Little Mole Finds Hope.” In the beginning of the story, Little Mole is feeling sad. His world is still in the clutches of winter, and frankly, he’s a bit bummed. Thankfully, Little Mole has a lovely mom who … Read More

An Object Lesson on Faith That Kids Will Beg to Do Again!

Trusting God object lesson

INSIDE: An object lesson on faith and trusting God for Christian kids, plus a book that will help your kids understand WHY they can have faith in a loving God. It can be hard for kids to build trust in our amazing (but invisible) God. Let’s be honest – it’s often hard for adults to trust God too! Here is a great object lesson you can use to help your kids understand what trusting God is like, and a book to show you WHY God is worthy of our faith and trust.  A while back I did a science experiment with my kids that turned out to be the perfect object lesson on trusting God. All you need are these totally normal supplies that you probably have laying around! (And make sure to check out the book recommendation after to help your child really understand this concept.) SUPPLIES: a plastic … Read More

The “God Is Omnipresent” Object Lesson Your Kids Will LOVE!

God is omnipresent object lesson cover pic

Keep reading for a God is omnipresent object lesson that’s super simple and kids will love to replicate! “How can I know God is there when I can’t see him?” My son’s honest-but-tough 4-year old question stumped me. How can we really trust that God is there when we can’t see him? It’s hard for kids to understand that God is everywhere, all the time, especially since we can’t see him at all. To be honest, most adults can’t grasp this either! It’s unfortunate that God is invisible, isn’t it? If we could see him, it sure would clear up a lot of questions. Unfortunately, that is not the way God has chosen to make himself known in the world. So he’s invisible, but he’s also everywhere. The fancy word for “God is everywhere” is “omnipresent”. Here is a great object lesson you can use to help your kids understand … Read More

Best Christian Board Books from 2019!

Christian board books

Reading with your toddler can take incredible persistence! All the gnawing and grabbing and drooling can destroy your books. Thankfully, many of your favorite children’s books have been made into board books, and there are many new selections being published exclusively as board books. If you’d like to combine READING time with teaching your little ones the Christian faith, check out this list of the BEST Christian board books from 2019! As I’ve connected more with other authors over the past year, it’s been my immense pleasure to watch them put out book babies into the world! There have been many excellent new board books this year, and I want to highlight a few. The “Good News!” series The new “Good News!” Series from Our Daily Bread and Glenys Nellist is delightful. All 3 books came out this year. Good News! God Made Me! has two major things going for … Read More

4 Uplifting Phrases for Kids Dealing With Loss

Child dealing with loss

My newest release is called Quinn Says Goodbye, a children’s story about the presence of God when life is hard or confusing. It seems like a deep topic for a children’s book, doesn’t it? But children have to deal with loss and hard things all the time. Did any of the following affect you as a child? Hospitalization Changing schools A friend moving away The loss of a favorite toy Left a favorite teacher behind when moving to the next grade The death of a grandparent, relative, or family friend Adoption / Fostering Moving Loss of a pet See what I mean? Loss affects nearly all children in some form or another. The way we help them work through it as a child has a HUGE impact on how they deal with loss as an adult. Nothing hurts more than seeing your child in pain. But as much as we … Read More

How to Help Children Embrace the Mystery in Christianity

enthusiast child embracing the mystery in Christianity

Of the 9 worship styles for kids, a child that leans toward the Enthusiast style is one who loves the mystery in Christianity. Learn how to help your enthusiast child connect with God through mystery and movement without losing their head-faith in the process. What is an enthusiast? Some people connect with God best when their emotions are high. This may occur during a worship service, an intense time of prayer, or when waking up from a vivid dream. Many discount this time as simply an emotional high, but from personal experience, I know that many of these encounters with God are real. It takes discernment to take those experiences and use them as building blocks of deep faith, but emotional experiences can contribute towards rootedness.  A few years ago I had a friend whose daughter had visions and dreams from God, is highly creative, and worships enthusiastically. The enthusiast … Read More

The 8 Best Books About Heaven for Kids

books about heaven for kids

I was a children’s ministry director for nearly 12 years and was asked several times to recommend books about heaven for kids who had experienced loss. What follows are the ones I recommended back then, plus a few newer books. Also, if your child is directly dealing with the death of someone, this free resource has been very helpful to a lot of Christian parents! 1. Someday Heaven Larry Libby This is a book I remember vividly from my own childhood. The paintings showed me that being in heaven would be a joy, and that it was nothing to be afraid of. This is always my top recommendation as it’s also very well-researched and Biblical. I don’t remember reading all the text as a child, because it was quite long, but it provides some great talking points for parents. Check it out on Amazon. 2. Someone I Love Died Christine … Read More

How to Explain Death to a Child Biblically

how to explain death to a child, biblically

Learn how to explain death to a child Biblically through Scripture and simple phrases children can understand. This article will equip you to know what to say when your child has to deal with the hardest thing in life: death. His face crumpled behind his boy-man hands.  “I miss Great-Grandpa,” my 10 year old said, as tears streamed down his face.  “Being with him were some of my favourite times.” My son was only 5 years old when my Grandpa died, but the heartache was coming to the forefront suddenly, which is what grief does. It rears its head when we least expect it and are unprepared for the crush of emotions. I’ve experienced this myself on many occasions. Most recently, I was utterly shocked when I discovered a CD that I thought was a mix created by my sister. It turned out to be a compilation of songs that … Read More

Helping kids learn how to love Jesus more than anything

contemplative child

Of the 9 worship styles for kids, a child that leans toward the contemplative style is likely a very loving child, and maybe has even sensed God’s love for them. They might spend a lot of time thinking, and can easily imagine God as a friend. But how can you help your contemplative child learn how to love Jesus more than anything? Watch the video to find out, or read the transcript below! “Look mommy! I made a journal.”  My 6 year old son thrust several sticky notes in my face. On each page he had drawn hearts around a word. One page had the word “God” in the middle, another had the word “nature”, and still another, “family”. This boy has a deep sense of the love of God for others. A philosopher named James K.A. Smith says that “humans are not fundamentally thinking beings. We’re not even primarily … Read More

Audacious simplicity: How the ascetic lifestyle can help your child love God and the world

Quiet ascetic child

Of the 9 worship styles for kids, a child that leans toward the ascetic lifestyle is likely a very thoughtful child, and may not be interested in sensory ways of engaging with God and the Bible. You could also think of this child as the minimalist. But when natural ascetics live a life of astounding simplicity, generosity, and sacrifice, the world can change for the better! Watch the movie or read the transcript (plus a few extra ideas) below for an astounding example of a famous ascetic Christian who changed the world. A few months ago, we did a family foot-washing ceremony to help our boys connect with what Jesus did at the Last Supper. One of our boys refused to participate. At first I tried to encourage him, but we both grew frustrated as he became more determined not to participate and I became more determined to make him … Read More