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Replace Sulking with Singing (in the rain)

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A rainstorm visited us a few days ago, causing the pool to close. Our triplets broke out their swimsuits and set out for our trampoline. They literally replaced sulking with singing (and jumping) in the rain.

How do we respond to minor inconveniences, or even bigger struggles? As you know, our reactions rub off on our kids. This reality makes me want to pause to take a second breath before sulking. And to try to sing instead. (Something I’m working on!) “Give thanks IN all circumstances,” the Lord says. Not FOR all circumstances, but IN all circumstances. (1 Thessalonians 5:18)

As we take moments to give thanks to the Lord IN our circumstances, our eyes and hearts will shift to things above, and instead of seeing us sulk, our kids will see how to sing in the rain. And many times, our kids will be the ones to show us what it looks like to sing in the rain.

Lord, fill us with your Joy and Presence. Instead of sulking, give us a heart to sing praises to you and give thanks always. To see the bigger picture, even when it rains. To grab a hold of your joy. To grab a hold of you. To shift our hearts and minds on things above. In Jesus’ Name, amen.


My post the other week didn’t come through, so here it is. (: Hope you have a wonderful week! I’m thankful for YOU.

BobGoffQuoteI absolutely love these challenging, upside-down words by Bob Goff in his refreshing book, “Love Does”. How often are we consumed with things that don’t matter? Do we reflect an attitude to our children of putting our energy and efforts into these kinds of things or things that last?

While Paul was imprisoned in Rome in 60 A.D, he wrote these very inspiring words that I hope refresh your soul as they have mine: “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things…Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts.” Colossians 3:1-2, 15

Lord, help us to be examples to our children of setting our minds and hearts on things above, locking our eyes on that which lasts, and to let the peace of Christ rule in our hearts. In Jesus’ Name, amen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BobGoffQuote

I absolutely love these challenging, upside-down words by Bob Goff in his refreshing book, “Love Does”. How often are we consumed with things that don’t matter? Do we reflect an attitude to our children of putting our energy and efforts into these kinds of things or things that last?

While Paul was imprisoned in Rome in 60 A.D, he wrote these very inspiring words that I hope refresh your soul as they have mine: “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things…Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts.” Colossians 3:1-2, 15

Lord, help us to be examples to our children of setting our minds and hearts on things above, locking our eyes on that which lasts, and to let the peace of Christ rule in our hearts. In Jesus’ Name, amen.

Subscribe at LinseyDriskill.com to receive my weekly post to your inbox. I look forward to growing together in encouraging our kiddos to love God and love others!

#LoveDoesQuote #Setyourheartsonthingsabove#BeautifulHeartedParenting #Focusonwhatlasts

Inspiring our Children to Believe, “I am Clothed with Strength & Confidence”

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We know our children will interact with both kind and harsh people, but when they face the latter, it’s hard.

Last year in first grade on the walk home from school, my daughter, Brooklyn, said that a boy at school was mean to her. My defenses immediately sprang up. Mama Bear silently held back and listened.

Brooklyn was playing with her friend, but when she told him she was leaving to play with her girlfriends, he rejected her harshly. He kicked mulch at her and yelled, “I don’t like you and don’t want to be your friend anymore.”

Brooklyn was partly upset, but then a look of confidence emerged from her sweet, little face. She said, “Mommy, I walked away from him because I know I am clothed with strength and confidence and that God loves me.” As I was partly shocked by her response, I beamed as I took in her words.

The Proverbs 31 “Wife of Noble Character” story from my devotional had settled deep into her heart. That day at the playground, the words of clothing ourselves with strength and confidence in the Lord armed her and the Lord made her strong.

While my daughter was still upset, she was able to move past the hurtful words because her confidence was not in the boy at the playground, but in our great God who thinks the world of her.

Believe me, episodes don’t always end in this way and many other times she’s wept in my arms. But if we can teach our children when they are young to stand out from the crowd and that their confidence lies in God and not others, they will hopefully be more equipped to stand strong when they do face tougher peer pressure.

Putting our confidence in the Lord is a daily choice we all face – one that I continue to pursue. Jesus’ words in John 5:44 inspire me to do just that: “How can you believe if you accept praise from one another, yet make no effort to obtain the praise that comes from the only God.” Jesus also said in Luke 9:5, “If people do not welcome you, shake the dust off your feet…”

When our kids face harsh people, how will they respond?

Jesus always spoke truth to people and didn’t worry about man’s approval. He loved the outcasts, overturned tables in the temple, stayed focus on God’s will regardless of the harshness around him, and never wavered in his faith, confidence and purpose. Jesus simply didn’t care what others thought of Him. He was the greatest example of being humble, yet confident.

What will our kids, and us for that matter, do when others try to sway and intimidate us? I am inspired by men and women in the Bible who set their confidence in the Lord and not people:

Esther stood up to Hamaan, and saved the Jewish people;

Even though Naomi urged Ruth to leave, she stayed. From that secure choice, Ruth married Boaz, and Jesus came from their lineage;

David did not succumb to a bully intimidating him – he confidently proclaimed that he came in the Name of the Lord and prevailed;

Deborah defeated the evil Sisera because she chose not to run away from a scary, unknown situation, but to bravely trust God;

The “crippled woman” staggered to the front of the synagogue while Jesus preached, ignoring the critics and she was healed by Jesus;

Because Jesus wasn’t swayed by people, he was able to fulfill his divine purpose of being Savior of the world.

I assume fear crept into their hearts at times, but they chose to trust God and be brave. I don’t think bravery means never experiencing fear, but rather walking forward in faith. Do we want fear or bravery to drive our choices?

Do we want our children to have courage to stand out from the crowd and follow Jesus? If so, let’s instill the truth in our kids that our confidence comes from God, not others. While there’s no easy formula, we can arm them with words like Jeremiah 17:7: “But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him.”

Our children will then know that their worth is not dictated by others’ opinions, but on the immense love Jesus has for them.

~ I pray that this week each of us would have strength and joy to model confidence in the Lord. And that our children would arm themselves with that same confidence in the One who adores us, loves us, forgives us, and uplifts us: Jesus. In Jesus’ Name, amen. ~

 

8 Quick Responses to our Kids’ Complaints!

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1. “I’m bored.” Response: “I have jobs I could use your help with like cleaning the toilets. If you can’t find something to do, I will definitely find something.

(My goal is to use a kind tone with these, but I don’t always succeed there!)

2. “I don’t have any clothes!” Response: “Let’s go through your clothes and find ones that work and give away ones that don’t.”

3. “I want more food.” Response: “Try again.” Then, wait until you hear, “Please.”

4. “I don’t like this food!” Response: “I’m happy to make crickets for you like some around the world eat.” It helps to throw some humor in sometimes! While I have said that jokingly, you could say, “That’s what’s for dinner. Let’s be thankful. If you complain, we can have it again tomorrow.”

5.“But my friends get to do it!” Response: “Every family is different. Sorry, but these are our family rules.”

6.“But all my friends have that toy!” Response: “Good for them, but we have plenty. So many kids around the world have none or 1 toy. Let’s find some to give away.” The “Rich Young Ruler” is a great Bible story that talks about how “more, more, more” doesn’t make you happy. The Rhyme Bible reflects this story well for kids.

7.When they speak rudely to a friend or sibling. Response: “(Insert your family’s last name) speak kindly. That’s not okay. Try again.

8.“That’s not fair!” Response: “I know that’s hard, but you’re right, life’s not always fair.”

Everything in our house isn’t always smooth sailing, but these responses have definitely helped. And, when our kiddos do show humility and gratefulness, let’s praise their reactions like crazy! What are some of your responses to your kiddos’ complaints? Comment below – I’d love to hear. (:

Snake Bubbles and Other Fun Ideas to Keep the Summer Fun going!

IMG_0144(To receive my weekly post straight to your inbox, subscribe on the sidebar. Your email will not be shared and you can unsubscribe any time.)

  1. Make “Rainbow Snake Bubbles*” out of a bottle, “Polka Dot Slime”, “Crystal Names”, “Ice Chalk”, and more! “View the Gallery” of Activities here: 40 Boredom-Busting Activities to do with Kids. (*If you do the snake bubbles, make sure your child does not inhale the bubbles, but blows them out.)
  2. Create an adventurous scavenger hunt walk in your neighborhood or at your house, with the end reward being a Massive Bubble Maker!
  3. Take a hike with your kids (bring gummy bears for inspiration) and ask “Would you Rather” questions for fun conversation. Scroll down for 30 questions!
  4. Put miniature plastic figures in different shaped containers of water and freeze overnight. Pour them on the grass, letting them melt some in the sun. Then let the kids explore and chip away the ice to find the hidden treasures.
  5. Have a classic water balloon fight.
  6. On rainy days, spin a globe or point to a map after closing your eyes, and randomly pick a place to take an imaginary trip to. Have fun researching the country and making that country’s food.
  7. Find a creek to skip rocks on.
  8. Roll up Questions and place them in balloons, and then blow them up. Have your kids pop them to answer the questions, and they might enjoy drawing the answers to the questions. Ideas are: “What would your dreamland be like?”, “If you could create an animal, what would it look like?”, “If you created one invention, what would it be?”, or “Describe your best day.”

Enjoy some quality, connection time with these fun activities!!!

30 Ridiculous Would You Rather Questions for Kids

Would you Rather…

  1. Swim in ice cream or donuts?
  2. Never brush your teeth again or never take a bath again?
  3. Would you rather have stinky feet or stinky hands?
  4. Have to crawl everywhere or walk upside down everywhere?
  5. Have a cupcake-making machine in your room or a donut-making machine?
  6. Not wash your hands or hair for a month?
  7. Eat a chocolate covered cricket or a peanut-butter worm?
  8. Hiccup or burp all the time?
  9. Be able to walk on the ceiling or sideways on the wall?
  10. Have 5 noses or 5 eyes?
  11. Sleep on pinecones or spaghetti?
  12. Be smaller than an ant or bigger than a tree?
  13. Hop on one foot or spin everywhere you go?
  14. Have feet on your head or on your knees?
  15. Have Olaf or Snoopy for a pet?
  16. Live in the sea or an underground prairie dog tunnel?
  17. Have noodles or broccoli for hair?
  18. Have a slide or pole instead of stairs?
  19. Have an elephant’s trunk or a giraffe’s neck?
  20. Be a bird or dolphin?
  21. Be a chameleon so you can change colors, or be a cheetah so you can run as fast as a car?
  22. Live on a cloud or in the bottom of the sea?
  23. Stand barefoot in a bowl of smooshy bananas or slimy mushrooms?
  24. Have your tongue or your hands stuck in a bottle?
  25. Only be able to yell or whisper?
  26. Go to the beach or mountains?
  27. Be sprayed with a snail’s gooey liquid or a spider web?
  28. Be able to walk on water or on the top of trees?
  29. Sleep with a helmet on or with your shoes on?
  30. Ride on a Cloud or a Rainbow?

Tiffs, Spats, and Forgiveness

In the fall of first grade, my daughter fell into my arms crying, “This is the worst day of my life!” I mistakenly thought this line was reserved for high-school girls.

Let me rewind a few days. My children had an argument that morning and I shared words that would soon be echoed back to me, “The Lord wants us to forgive each another. Your relationship is so much better when you work things out.”

My goal is for each of my kids to say, “I felt ______ when you _____.” If all goes well, the other person says, “Please forgive me for _____. Then they hug and say, “I love you.” Sweet and easy, right? Not so much.

That morning my husband and I also had a small tiff. What a week! As I was wallowing in my frustration over the spat with my husband, I heard little footsteps pit-patter behind me. My daughter said, “Mommy, you know, if you forgive and work things out, you’ll just be so much happier.” My six-year-old sharing the advice I gave her–humbling.

It’s much easier to say the words than to do them. But for my kids to learn the importance of forgiveness and keeping connection, I have to be an example and let go of pride. The Lord humbled my heart, and she was right–humility and connection are so much better.

unnamed-4Several days later, when Brooklyn came home from school in tears, she explained that her friend, Sarah, wouldn’t let her be the leader of the Unicorns. Hence, the “worst day of her life.” I hid my grin.

Brooklyn continued, “I don’t ever want to play with Sarah again.” I reminded her of the words that I try to heed: That there will always be conflict in friendships and it’s far better to face it than run from it, something many of us adults are still learning. I also shared that Sarah wouldn’t know why she was upset unless she told her.

Simply discussing the issue with me allowed the drama to lessen, but anxiety still covered Brooklyn’s little face as she anticipated the talk with her friend. We prayed about it and then rehearsed the forgiveness conversation several times. Brooklyn planned to say that she felt sad when Sarah didn’t share being the leader of the Unicorns with anyone, and that Brooklyn wants to be friends with people who share. This conversation would be a huge milestone for Brooklyn.

The next day, the girls had the reconciling talk and forgiveness won. After school, Brooklyn ran up to me, proudly proclaiming that she was the leader of the Unicorns that day and, of course, that Sarah and her are now best friends.

When we teach our kids to have reconciling talks in our home, they will go out into the world and be prepared to do the same and have healthier, deeper, and more peaceful relationships.

This is all a process and we will fail and succeed at different times, but the more we can demonstrate humility and forgiveness conversations in our homes, the more likely our children will do the same in their own relationships. And then Jesus’ life-giving words will take root in our lives: “…forgive your brother or sister from your heart.” MT 6:15

Lord, help us to model reconciliation and forgiveness conversations to our kids. Help us to speak life life, joy, and kindness to them. Forgive us when we fail at this – change us and help us to be parents whose words are full of the Spirit and life, just like you. In Jesus’ Name, amen.

“The Spirit gives life…The words I have spoken to you—they are full of the Spirit and life. Jesus (John 6:63 )

 

Reaching out to Children with Special Needs

unnamedI remember the mother of a special needs child in a wheelchair saying she wished children would come up and talk with her kid instead of ignoring him and whispering. If they were curious and had questions, to simply ask instead of walking away in fear. Those of you who have children with special needs (or know someone who does), do you agree/disagree or have anything else to share?

The example of the “Bent Over Woman” in Luke 13 is a powerful one to share with our kiddos. When Jesus was in the middle of teaching, he noticed a woman who had been sick and completely bent over for 18 grueling years. Jesus compassionately stopped what he was doing and called her to the front. When she showed her faith in Him by walking forward, Jesus healed her.

Even though Jesus was ridiculed by the Pharisees for healing this woman on the Sabbath day, he didn’t care. He reached out to a woman who had probably been ignored her whole life and loved her.

My son, Bates, got star student a few months ago in school and I was proud of him. But what made me beam was when his teacher told me that he often helps a boy in his class with special needs. During the field trip, the teacher told Bates he didn’t need to buddy up with him but could go off with his friends. Bates told her, “He is my friend.” I love that.

Who in your life can you reach out to who might be ignored? Let’s encourage our children to be kind to kids with special needs or are ignored – To simply smile, say hi, or talk with them, so they feel known and loved, just like Jesus did. *I love this picture of my cousin’s son, Jack, as a counselor at Kanakuk’s Special Needs Camp, Barnabus.*

#Reachingouttokidswithspecialneeds #thebentoverwoman #BeautifulHeartedParenting

* Book Giveaway! *

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Let’s celebrate July 4th with a Book Giveaway! To enter to win one of my favorite children’s books:

* Comment on this Post below.

* For 3 extra entries, share this Post!

The book I’m giving away, “You are Special”, encourages children not to be swayed by others’ opinions of them because they are special in God’s eyes.

Giveaway will close July 6th at 12pm EST. This giveaway is in no way affiliated with WordPress. Winner is randomly selected.