Fight Anxiety With This Simple Practice

how to fight anxiety

How to fight anxiety with gratitude, and why it works.  A blast of cold air came in with my son as he stomped in the door. He dumped his backpack and jacket on the floor. When I reminded him where they belonged, he glared at me and snarled a reply. At my rebuke, he began to sob.  It’s not easy to tuck an angry, sobbing child into your arms, but I did so anyway, making him cry all the harder.  I guided him to the couch. We sat together. He cried, and I summoned up all the patience I could muster while also putting mentally putting together my supper meal plan. “What’s going on?” I asked, when the sobs had simmered down a bit.  Still sniffling, he choked out his response.  There had been a fight on the playground, and a friendship had been declared to be over. Just like … Read More

Encouragement and Tools for the COVID-19 quarantine

help for the pandemic

Hey friend, I know you’ve been flooded with COVID-19 emails, blog posts, and memes this year. I’m not here to spread any alarm (or toilet paper), but rather, some hope! First, I have a short devotional. Then, some resources to help if you’re suddenly at home with your kids for a couple weeks. In This World You Will Have Trouble… Bad things happen. Death and disease and disaster have touched us all. And yet, in the midst of all this, I’m reminded of this conversation Jesus had with his disciples: (very paraphrased from John 16) Jesus: Things will be bad. Yes, I just told you more than you can bear. But the Spirit will help you. Soon I will leave. Disciples: Wait, what?! Did he just say he will leave? Hey Jesus, we don’t get it. Jesus: Yes, I’m leaving. I’m going back to the Father. Disciples: oooooooh. Now we get it. (raising eyebrows at … Read More

Yes Mama, you can be a spiritual leader in your home

Moms can be spiritual leaders too!

If you grew up in the evangelical, North American church, we were probably filled with the same teaching about a wife’s place in the home: second place. Our husbands were told to make every final decision, and to be responsible for the spiritual lives of their whole family. If they DIDN’T do that, their masculinity was questioned. Our job as wives was to be meek helpers. If we DIDN’T do that, our femininity was questioned. Can I say something without you totally freaking out? I don’t believe that anymore. And while that thinking was fully embraced in the past because it was culturally enforced, our Western world is changing, and roles are less defined now. If we try too hard to hold onto an old model, we create a new problem: I think that as moms, we have too often let our families slide far away from God because we … Read More

How To Develop Moral Values In Your Child

how to develop moral values in your child

Author Bio: Thanks to Ryan Howard for this article on how to develop moral values in your child. Ryan runs Smart Parent Advice, a site that provides parenting advice for moms and dads. Ryan writes about all of the different ups and downs of parenting, provides solutions to common challenges, and reviews products that parents need to purchase for babies and toddlers. Parenthood comes with many different joys and responsibilities. One of the most important jobs for patents is to keep their kids safe and healthy. Another high priority is to prepare them for the world, and this has many different facets. One way to prepare kids for the world is to ground them with factual information about all sorts of things like parks, grocery stores, and even driving. Beyond facts though, it’s important to teach kids about how to behave and also to develop a sense of morality. This … Read More

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

9 totally awesome ways to read the Bible with your kids

9 ways to read the Bible

Imagine this…you pull out the Bible, and all your kids groan. (Honestly, you do too. Deep down.) It’s a fight every day to read the Bible and make it seem applicable to your child’s life. They squirm, they roll their eyes 🙄 or they simply wander away. 🏃🏽 Does this happen in your home too? It used to happen in mine! But it doesn’t anymore. (mostly. let’s keep it real!) It is possible to engage each child in a way that makes their eyes pop with the relevance of Scripture to their daily lives, while letting them be wiggly. Would you fall over in shock if you kids begged to read the Bible with you? With the ideas below, you could:  learn how to engage each child in a way that makes their eyes pop with the relevance of Scripture to their daily lives. take that squirminess and put it … 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

Can preschoolers celebrate Lent?

This year, for the first time ever, I’m trying to do a bit of teaching on Lent with my kids. We talked a bit about Ash Wednesday and how people put ashes in a cross shape on their face. When they went to bed I traced a cross on their foreheads with my finger, which got a little weirded-out chuckle from them. BUT they did remember it for a few days! 😉 The next day we started our own version of “giving up for Lent”. Every time they do something kind or sacrificial for someone they get to put a dry bean in a jar. The plan is that the jar will be full of beans by the time Easter comes around. They are really getting into it, and both older boys got to add a couple beans today. At supper, Daddy accidentally knocked over the salt, and Dodger (age … Read More

Why You Need To Speak Your Child’s Love Language

mom speaking love to her child

Every child has a love language. Learn to speak your child’s love language with these tips and gift ideas. We all learn languages as children:  We learn to speak words, like English or Dutch or Cantonese. We learn body language and how to understand what adults and friends are saying without words. We also learn a primary love language. According to Dr. Gary Chapman, author of “The 5 Love Languages“, our primary love language develops as a function of the home we grew up in. If your parents were extremely affectionate, your primary love language is likely to be physical touch. But if no one in your house was a hugger, you are less likely to interpret physical touch as love. Instead, your language might be gifts, acts of service, quality time, or words of affirmation.  Of course, personality also comes into play, which is why we can have 3 … Read More