Hope in Jesus & Facing Peer Pressure

With all the tragedies we’ve heard about in the news lately, and ones we haven’t heard about, these words spoken by Jesus offer us hope here and now and beyond this place.

When our children face tough times, let’s remind them of these powerful words in John 16.

And, to all those walking through a difficult time right now, we are lifting you up. ❤️

“And surely I am with you always.” Jesus (MT 28:28)

fullsizeoutput_8266.jpeg


 

Facing Peer Pressure

Jesus’ response to the Pharisees challenging him is so powerful. It’s a great example for our kids on how to face peer pressure. In Jesus’ words:

“I know where I came from and where I am going.”
“I am not alone.”
“I stand with my Father.”
“The one who sent me is with me.”

67402262_942010302805252_6411186554202488832_n

Two Words Your Kids Need to Know & When You Rise at 3am, the Lord Sees…

fullsizeoutput_807b.jpeg

 


My recent article published by For Every Mom:

The Two Words Your Kids Need to Know

“The reality quickly surfaced that we can’t protect our kids from every bad conversation and influence. Instead, we need to equip them.”


 

fullsizeoutput_81f4.jpeg

While watching the new Lion King, our daughter nestled between us, grabbing daddy’s hand and mine. As we sat there watching the movie, our eight year old, holding our hands tight, I had a moment.

I thought, what a gift that this daughter of mine trusts me, wants to be close, looks to  her daddy and me.

We get to be her comforter, protector, and refuge. Out of all the people in the world, she looks to us.

This morning I thought about how the Lord must love when we also look to him as our comforter, protector, and refuge.

How he must find joy in seeing us depend on him, trust him, grab his hand, and follow him. He loves you. You are His. Look to Him.

“How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” 1 John 3:1


 

Sibling Arguments & a Gratitude Journal

fullsizeoutput_807d

Sibling arguments are inevitable. But, if there’s a way to limit them, I sure want to.

Yes, my kids still argue, but this verse has been a wonderful motivator to not repay insult with insult, but with blessing.

When one of my kids chooses the latter, I celebrate it big time.

When our kiddos have these words in their minds and hearts, they are more likely to pause before paying back and to repay with blessing instead.

I love how the end of the verse explains why: “because to this you were called.”

I share with them that as followers of Jesus he has called us to love one another deeply. With a love that doesn’t always make sense. When we repay evil for evil, it stirs up anger and hatred, but when we repay with blessing, it stirs up love, goodness, peace.

When we walk in love like Jesus tells us to, we experience more of his kingdom, his power, him. “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” Jesus (John 8:12)

Lord, help our kids and us to love one another like this. When we want to repay with anger, harsh words, and frustration, Jesus, help us to be a light for you and react with peace, kindness, and love. Thank you for filling our minds and hearts today. In Jesus’ name, amen.


fullsizeoutput_807a

After a recent move, I’ve found myself wading in ungratefulness at different times. But yesterday morning, I read this verse: “He who sacrifices thank offerings, honors me.” Psalm 50:23

So, each morning, my kids and I have written one or more things we’re thankful for in our “Gratitude Journal”.

When we place our minds and hearts on the Lord and gratefulness, it overpowers the darkness and honors the Lord.

Want to join us in doing a “Gratitude Journal” with your kiddos or just yourself? It doesn’t have to be drawn out – keep it simple and just jot down one or more things you’re grateful for.

Let’s start the mornings by refreshing our minds, hearts, and souls with giving thanks to the Lord. 😊

A Fun Way to Help our Kids Fall Asleep & Giving Consequences

fullsizeoutput_7c69.jpeg

After giving my daughter a consequence the other day, along with a few minutes to settle down, I made sure to continue speaking to her in a loving way.

I had to rise above my frustration and show my daughter that her actions and response DIDN’T MOVE ME – they didn’t change how I felt about her.

Even though my daughter knew the consequence stood, her defenses lowered when she saw my consistent loving attitude toward her. She went from saying this was “the worst day” to feeling secure enough to move forward pretty quickly. We ended up having an awesome hike twenty minutes after the episode and she said, “Mommy, this did turn out to be the best day.”

My daughter saw that how the day went was her choice.

It definitely doesn’t always turn out like this. And, I don’t always respond this way. But, seeing the fruit from me being the ANCHOR and continuing to SPEAK LOVE into my daughter alongside the consequence, sure made me want to try and do this the next time.


IMG_4535

When my kids can’t sleep, they love for me to tell a story to “start” their dreams. As I leave the room, I tell them to finish their dreams and that I want to hear what happens in the morning.

I just turn whatever pops into my mind that they’d like into a story (it doesn’t take much to entertain kids!). For example: “Once upon a time there were two unicorns who couldn’t fly. They walked down the road together feeling so sad. Suddenly, a tiny mouse popped out from behind a rock. He squeaked, “If you follow me, I’ll take you to the magical land that will give you wings so you can fly high into the sky.”

Then I tell them to finish the story and that I can’t wait to hear about it in the morning. I do this from time to time when they can’t sleep, are frustrated or scared, or if they simply ask me to. Sharing an imaginative story is a fun, sweet way to calm their hearts and bring them into dreamland.

 

Not Saying, “I’m Sorry”, Again and Again

fullsizeoutput_7c2d
Many times after falling short with my kids, I’ve wanted to say, “I’m sorry”, over and over again, but I’ve been trying not to. I don’t want my kids to think they need to ask for forgiveness again and again to be forgiven.

Just before Jesus died and rose again, he said, “It is finished.” Not “It is halfway done”, but “It. Is. Finished.” The Lord COMPLETELY forgives us when we ask him to. It’s over. Done. Erased.

By not apologizing over and over to our kids about the same thing, we can SHOW them that once they ask for forgiveness for something, they are also fully forgiven. Period. It’s over. Done. Erased. No need to bring it up again.

The Beauty of Grace & Forgiveness.


An awesome quote to share with our kids:

fullsizeoutput_7c2f

 

God’s Full Grace

unnamed
So many moments I feel like I’ve been anything but “beautiful hearted” with my kids. Can you relate? I strive for calmness, but many times, I do the opposite. I couldn’t do motherhood without God’s grace. I need it. Every day.
Whether our kids are fighting or not listening, it can be easy to lose our cool (my kids’ signature pouty faces are in the pictures!). I love Psalm 130:7 because it has Jesus’ grace written all over it: “… put your hope in the LORD, for with the LORD is unfailing love and with him is FULL redemption.”
I don’t think “beautiful hearted” means getting it right every time, but rather to humbly ask for forgiveness from our children when we need to, not giving up, and continuing to seek Jesus. Do we show our kids humility by asking for forgiveness when we need to? Do we model what FULL redemption looks like by accepting His grace when we mess up? Or do we sulk in guilt and anxiety?
I pray Jesus would lead all of us to have calm and loving hearts with our kids, but that when we fall short, we could bask in his grace by moving forward in joy. Jesus, thank you that you offer us FULL redemption when we ask. Help us to fix our hope on you so our kids can experience more of you. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.