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After Our Children Misbehave, A Prayer, & a Conference

I’m excited to share with you that I’ve been selected as a speaker for the Beyond Women Conference, fall of 2021 in Nashville!

The vision of Beyond Women is to see women move beyond Sunday into living a life for Christ in the everyday. I’ll be doing a session on “Encouraging kids to Love the Lord”.

I’ll share more details with you as it approaches. Thanks to each of you for your support & encouragement. I”m grateful for you! ❤️ Here’s the website for the conference: https://www.beyondtheconference.org/

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Memorial Day, Things we Should do that Kids do, How to show the Love of Jesus

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How can we reach those who lost loved ones serving our country on Memorial Day? How can we help their loved ones’ legacies live on?

1. Write letters to their families.
2. Pray for their families together.
3. Talk about them with our kids.

My friend, Tyler, died while serving our country. When I think of his family, my heart aches for them. I want his family to know I have talked to my kids about Tyler, who he was, and his kindness and bravery.

That my kids know we have freedom because of him and all the people who served and serve our country. I want his family to know that his legacy lives on.

If you are one of the families who lost a loved one serving our country – thank you. We are so very grateful for the heroic sacrifice of your loved one. Lord, please bless each of these people today with your great hope, joy, peace, and Presence. In Jesus’ name, amen. ❤️


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While I love doing devotions with our kids, weaving the Lord into ordinary times together is a great way to show them practically what it looks like to follow Jesus.
 
I’m not saying to relate every single thing to the Lord because that could make our kids annoyed and want to run the other way.
 
But, when we follow Deuteronomy 6 by pointing our kids to the Lord as we walk through life together, our children will begin to have eyes to see the Lord in the ordinary.
 
For example,
 
“Gracie, that is so kind that you washed your sister’s dish. Way to love her well.”
 
“Brooklyn, I love how you told your brother you were wrong and asked for forgiveness. That is showing humility and just what the Lord tells us to do.”
 
“I’m sorry that kid has been rude at school. Maybe there’s something going on in his life. Let’s pray for him together.”
 
“Thank you for coming right away and listening like I asked. You sure loved me well.”
 
One of my kids says, “I don’t want to forgive her.” I say, “I know it’s hard sometimes, but the Lord forgives us when we mess up and he tells us we need to forgive each other too.”
 
“Kids, I’m sorry I spoke to you in that tone. I was wrong. Will you please forgive me?”
 
“Our neighbor is going through a hard time right now – what is a way we can show her the love of Jesus?”
 
“Bates, I love how you showed your sister compassion. Way to love like Jesus.”
 
“Look at the bird in the tree, kids. Isn’t God’s creation beautiful? The Lord tells us that just as he takes care of the birds, he will take care of us and not to worry. Isn’t God awesome?”
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In no way am I saying these are the “right” words to say as there is no perfect equation.
 
But directing our kids to the Lord through ordinary moments has helped us in seeking after Jesus and setting our hearts and minds on the Lord.
 
Lord, thank you for our kids, for who you are, and for your awesome love for us. Please give us the wisdom, love, and strength, to point our kids to you. In Jesus’ name, amen.

 

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Bubbles, Static Electricity, Oobleck and more…

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1. Create Awesome, Huge Bubbles! Your kids will be entertained for hours. Dissolve 1/2 cup sugar in 4 cups very warm water by mixing with whisk. Mix in 1/2 cup Dawn Dish soap.

Then, create a Bubble wand. We just shaped a pipe cleaner into a circle and then twisted the two ends around a stick (leave room for your hand to hold the stick. My kids played with this for hours. It was so much fun! You can even add an extra pipe cleaner to the end of the stick to make “double bubbles”.

2. Make Oobleck. (Mix 2 cups cornstarch, and 1 cup water. If it’s too stiff, add a little water at a time. Add food coloring or liquid water color paint to color the oobleck.

They loved putting a handful of oobleck in a strainer and then watching it fall through the holes. Then, we put more food coloring drops in the oobleck without mixing it. My daughter “drew” on the food coloring with the oobleck that dropped from the strainer.

(Notice the easy clean up with the disposable pan and the towel underneath the activity so you can shake it out outside when done.)

3. As an extension of the oobleck, we talked about static electricity and how opposite charges attract. I asked them what they thought would happen when the balloon had some static electricity after being rubbed on their hair and brought close the ooblek. It was a lot of fun to watch!

First, rub a balloon on your child’s hair or yours and show them how it creates static electricity. Quickly get a spoonful of oobleck and pour it near the balloon. Watch how it draws near to the balloon and how some of it jumps to the balloon!

4. Have fun with sidewalk chalk. Our kids enjoyed “coloring” the pictures with paint brushes.

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I hope these activities over the past few months have been fun for you and your children to do together! Who’s excited su mmer’s almost here! Let’s welcome SUMMER!!!


Faith & Parenting Content

fullsizeoutput_929cIt happened so quickly.

My son, Bates, was seven years old and he started coughing up blood uncontrollably – over and over – it wouldn’t stop.

Earlier that morning, my son was happy as can be. He had his tonsils out several weeks before, but was ready to go to school.

I got a call to sub last minute in the classroom across the hall, and boy am I glad I took that job.

While I was teaching, my two daughters rushed across the hall to me (they’re triplets and were all in the same class). Out of breath, they said, “Mommy, Bates is spitting up blood. You need to come.”

The situation was far worse than I imagined.

One of his arteries had opened in his throat. I remember the horrific scene of him leaning over the sink in the classroom, the teacher rushing the other kids outside.

I rubbed his back in panic mode, wondering, When will the bleeding stop? What if it doesn’t stop?

The school jumped into emergency mode and the ambulance was on its way.

We had a moment in the foyer of the school – my son was in the wheelchair, the amazing school nurse held the cup for him to cough into, and I prayed for him.

I didn’t know who else was near me – I didn’t care. I asked Jesus to heal Bates, then and there. I prayed the Lord would stop the bleeding and that the power of Jesus would heal him, quickly.

As we waited for the ambulance, we saw bits of smiles rise from my son’s lips. Even though it was still actively bleeding, he had stopped coughing.

I could breathe. He was turning a corner.

Bates spent the night in the hospital and his artery closed, so he didn’t need surgery. We are so grateful to the Lord for healing Bates, how quickly he recovered, and the strength he had throughout it.

Fast forward to last night (a year and a half later), my son ran downstairs, fell into my arms, tears streaming down his cheeks. He had his first nightmare about it – he said he was coughing up blood at the hospital and was so scared.

I cuddled him into my arms, giving thanks to the Lord that I could cuddle him into my arms – that he was here.

Earlier that day, I was frustrated with him for not remembering to put something away. And, in this moment, I could have cared less about that – how trivial it seemed.

I was just so grateful that he’s alive, well, thriving.

Mamas, I know it’s so easy to take our children for granted. I catch myself doing it at times. But, let’s remember that they are gifts – gifts we could lose in an instant.

I’ve heard about two families who lost their little angels just today. My heart aches for them. It’s another reminder to treasure what is right in front of us.

Today, our kids are here, with us. Today, we get the luxurious gift to hold them, be with them, walk alongside them.

It doesn’t mean we can’t have time to ourselves. I think that is healthy and makes us better moms.

But, in the midst of the daily burdens and beauties, let’s enjoy them and not forget to let them know we are for them and on their side. Deep down, they long for our acceptance.

Today, we get the chance to be for our kids, with our kids. What a gift.

“Children are a gift from the LORD; they are a reward from him.” Psalm 127:3


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When my natural reaction is to ignore my kids’ bad behavior and pretend it’s not happening, these words in Proverbs make me want to follow through.

One thing I have learned is that consequences work far better than constant reminders. Children remember consequences. They empower kids to change their behavior.

I don’t think that means we should constantly be throwing out consequences. I think some reminders are great and offer grace. Lord knows I need reminders.

But, if we get to the point where we want to pull our hair out from the continuous reminders or our kids get to the point where they don’t do something unless we ask several times, something needs to change.

Maybe we can come up with a reward system if it’s a behavior that needs to be practiced (I’m all about positive reinforcement). See my post about a reward system that worked for my kids helping with their dishes, vacuuming, and washing the table after meals without being reminded: https://linseydriskill.com/…/idea-to-motivate-helping-out-…/

If it’s a sassy or disrespectful attitude that’s happening, giving reminders of what’s acceptable and doing devotionals about the topic at a later time are great tools to use.

But if it keeps happening, consequences give children motivation to change their behavior.

The consequence will be different for each child based on age and personality. But some I think are helpful are spending some time in their room to calm down, time outs for younger children, taking away a toy or other important thing from them for a time period, or cancelling an event they were looking forward to.

My preference would be for positive reinforcement, but consequences have their place. They do take more time and energy on the on-set, but they sure pay off later.

This is another positive enforcement idea that can be used with listening the first time, choosing peace over arguing, or anything else: https://linseydriskill.com/…/08/07/listening-the-first-time/

You got this. We got this.

Lord, as we parent, give us wisdom in giving consequences, reminders, and simply parenting. Help us not be entangled by details, but to look to you to lead us. Remind us as we raise our children that love matters most. In Jesus’ name, amen.


 

Complaints

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

2. “But my friends get to do it!”
Response: “Every family is different. I know that’s tough, but these are our family rules.”

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

4. “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.”

5. “I don’t like this food!”
Response: “That’s what’s for dinner. Let’s be thankful. If you complain, we can have it again tomorrow.”

6. “But all my friends have that toy!”
Response: “Good for them, but we have plenty. Many kids only have one toy or none. Let’s find some to give away.” (The “Rich Young Ruler” is a great Bible story that talks about this. Along with the story, I would tell my kids and still do at times, “more, more, more doesn’t make you happy, but Jesus, family, and friends do.” The Rhyme Bible reflects this story really well for younger 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 helped a lot. When our kids do show humility and gratefulness, let’s recognize it!


A note to my kids on Mother’s Day…

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Enjoy creating bubbles, oobleck, and other fun things!

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Mother’s Day & Gratitude

 

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A few days ago, I was headed out the door to donate blood and my daughter said, “Wait Mommy!” She had made a card for the Red Cross workers telling them thank you and that we’re praying for them without my prompting.

Far above being the most talented dancer in the recital, getting the highest grades in school, or being the best player on the basketball court, I care about her heart. Her character.

While I fall short many times, that’s what I’m doing my best to invest in.

It is tiring as a parent when we work hard at guiding and loving our kids, and then they make disappointing choices, but that does not define them. And, let’s remember that we’re not exempt from doing that ourselves. We all fall short sometimes.

Take a look at something your kids ARE doing well, and recognize that. Tell them you see it and that you are proud of them. Better yet, tell them they should be proud of themselves.

For those of you who are practical mamas, here are three things we’ve done to try to encourage gratitude in our kids (would love to hear your ideas too):

1. We’ve started each school day in prayer. We go in a circle and we each say a short prayer- either one sentence or a few. Some days we focus on praise, other days, confessing our sins, giving thanks, and/or specific prayers. The point is just to make time to talk to God together.

2. We talk often about ways to love others well, like the Lord tells us to.

3. We’ve read the story many times about the ten men with leprosy in Luke 17:11-17. After Jesus healed all ten men, only ONE came back to say thank you and praise Him. “Jesus asked, ‘Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?’ Then he said to him, ‘Rise and go; your faith has made you well.'” We talk often about the importance of being thankful to the Lord and others and how it’s a simple way to love well.

There will be times when our kids don’t make the best choices since they’re not robots, but let’s keep investing in their hearts – in what matters. And when they do make a great choice, let’s not forget to notice.

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.

These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children.

Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” Deuteronomy 6:5-7


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Creative Activities, To all the Tired Mamas, & Take a Break 😊

Creative Activities to do with your kids:

  1. Soap Foam These next two activities are from the book, 150+ Screen-Free Activities for Kids. Add 2 Tbsp dish soap, 1/4 cup water, and a few drops of food coloring to the mixture. Use an electric mixer for 1 – 2 minutes on high to mix and create foam. If it doesn’t make much foam, mix a few more minutes. Brooklyn had fun making bubbles from the mixture.

2. Moon Sand It’s crumbly, but when you pack it together, you can form shapes. Combine 4 cups cornmeal with 2 cups cornstarch. If you use white cornmeal, you can color it with food coloring. Add 10 tablespoons of Vegetable oil into the mixture, mix well, and knead. If it stays too crumbly, add a little bit of vegetable oil at a time. Mix and enjoy!

3. “Put-put/Croquet course”: If you have a little bit of space in your yard and a putter (we only had one), you can play “putt-putt/croquet”. First, we collected sticks, then made notecards to tape the goal number onto each set of sticks. We used paddle balls, but if you don’t have those, you could color polka-dots on tennis balls – one color for each tennis ball so you can tell whose ball is whose. I thought golf balls might go too far and we didn’t have any. For each “goal”, line up two sticks close together and tape the number of the goal on it. Pick one person to start and putt the ball. I gave each kid two hits per turn, but if they shot the ball through the sticks, they got one more try.) If they don’t hit the ball through the sticks after two tries, the next person gets a turn. Have fun!


Faith & Parenting Content

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Lord, I pray for each tired mama right now. I pray you would renew her strength, her spirit, her heart. Remind her that you chose her to be her child’s mother for a reason and that she is just the mom her kids need. Help her smile as she sees the awesomeness in that. When she feels done, please carry her by the power of your Spirit. Give her your strength, your power, your love. Thank you, Lord, for the ways you will meet her needs. In Jesus’ name, amen. ❤️


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My kids were so excited when I mentioned this idea to them.

The funny thing is that they started planning right when they heard about it and two of my kids’ plans were tougher than my own, while my third child’s plans were fun, and as simple and short as possible. 😂

I gave them three rules:
1. They have to run their plans by me and so I can approve them.
2. It can’t be more than 3 hours.
3. All the kids have to respect the “teacher”.

I know this might not work for every family depending on school assignments and the ages of your kids, but if your child could be in charge in some way during that day, they’d probably have a lot of fun with it.

Our kids might surprise us with their ability to be responsible and lead. Have fun and let me know how it goes!


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I pray the Lord would meet you right where you are, go ahead of you this week, and fill your cup. Lord, would you let the peace of Christ rule in our hearts. In Jesus’ name, amen.