Seek After Him, Opening Our Eyes to Today, Sweet Moments, & a Podcast

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When I was 26 years old and single, the Lord put something on my heart: to move to Guatemala and work at a nonprofit through a program. I would only be there for less than a year.

But before I went, I faced all kinds of pressure not to go.

A friend asked me, “Why would you move to Guatemala? Don’t you want to get married?’

People close to me shared newspaper articles with me about the many kidnappings there.

Before going, I had to read forms (and I think sign, if I remember correctly) that said in case of being kidnapped, the program did not do ransoms because that would only encourage them to happen again.

I had to create a will just in case I didn’t make it.

That was tough. But the thing is,

When the Lord puts something on your heart, there is no better place to be than where he has called you.

I had to push the noise aside because I KNEW the Lord was beckoning me there.

So I went.

Fifteen years later, my time in Guatemala continues to transform my mind and heart. The stories of what I experienced during that short time have been passed down to my kids. And, we hope to visit Guatemala with them sometime soon.

I want them to know how other people in the world really live.
I want them to see the reality of a developing country.
I want them to see the beautiful culture.
I want them to experience the kindness, joy, and simplicity of the people there.

What has the Lord put on your heart to do? It doesn’t have to be “big”.

It might be washing dishes with gratefulness because it means you have a family to wash dishes for.
It might be getting up in the middle of the night for your child with an attitude of love instead of bitterness.
It might mean serving together.
It might mean making a meal with your kids for a neighbor who is in need.
It might mean enjoying that time in the car with your children as you drive them from activity to activity, making the most of it.

What might seem small to us, is actually big in the Lord’s eyes.

Because what is big to him is Love.

When we respond and follow through with what he has put on our hearts, in the little and big things, we are obeying him and fulfilling his commandments: to love God with all our heart, mind, soul and strength and to love others.

Don’t get hindered by the noise in this world.

Seek after him.

Fulfill what he has put on your heart.

There you will find true joy, peace, life, him.

“This is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another.” 1 John 3:23


 Opening Our Eyes to Today

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Kids are so good at being in the now – there is so much life and joy in that. These words can help us do that…

“This is the day the Lord has made; Let us rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalm 118:24)

“Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?…Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Jesus (Matthew 6:27, 34)

“Do not say, ‘Why were the old days better than these?’ For it is not wise to ask such questions.” Ecclesiastes 7:10

“Give us Today our daily bread.” Jesus (Matthew 6:11)

“I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.” 2 Corinthians 6:2


Sweet Moments

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One of my favorite things to do with my children is to read a great book with them.

Right now, we’re reading The Lion, the Witch, & the Wardrobe. It’s such a sweet, sweet time to connect.

What are some books you and your children have loved reading together?


Guest on a Podcast

Lastly, I was recently a guest on Jordan Burchette’s podcast where I talked about practical ways to encourage our kids to follow Jesus and his words: to love God and love others. Here it is if you want to take a listen:

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-cold-coffee-cotton-stems-podcast/id1455496781?uo=4&fbclid=IwAR39ECpxivrLw9NGx334XbzY8xBTRv-8wCsUQIZTeSQV7M9bQcApm042NJA

Seeds We’re Sewing in Our Kids, Calling It Out, & Involving Our Kids

Good morning! Wasn’t sleeping in with the time change so sweet this morning? (: I hope the content I’ve written below encourages you today. I’m thankful for you

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The other day I was frustrated, feeling defeated as a parent.

Have you ever felt that way?

When we do feel like that, those glimmers of hope that the things we’ve taught our kids are taking root can be so encouraging.

In the car yesterday, I was gifted with one of those moments from my son, Bates.

He said that while some of them played football during recess at school, the other team started making up fake penalties.

My son’s friend told him that they should do the same thing. Bates said, “No, we shouldn’t do that because the Lord tells us not to repay.”

We had memorized that verse in 1 Peter 3 months ago. It had taken root and I had no idea.

I wasn’t on the football field. I didn’t get to see it. If he hadn’t told me, I wouldn’t have known.

If you’re feeling discouraged as a parent today, be encouraged that the seeds you’re sewing are taking root far deeper than you might see. ❤️


Call It Out

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When you notice your kids doing something well,

Call It Out…

Bates, thanks for helping me with the dishes – I really felt loved when you did that.

Gracie, that was so cool how you helped make your sister’s bed when she didn’t even ask.

Brooklyn, that was awesome how you invited that kid sitting alone at lunch to join you and your friends. Way to love the Lord and her by doing that.

When we call it out when our kiddos love well, they’ll be more likely to do it again and will also notice first-hand what it means to love the Lord and others.


Involving Our Kids

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It’s easy to get annoyed when our kids ask us a million questions about what we’re working on if we’re in the middle of something.

I love how my friend told me recently that she often involves her kids when they ask questions.

One time when they asked what she was doing, she told them she was designing a client’s house, showed them the pictures, and asked for their thoughts and ideas on certain things. I just love that.

When my kids ask what I’m doing and I say, “Nothing,” they tend to want to peek more, interrupt more, and jump in more.

Oftentimes the questions simply come because they’re curious.

But, if we actually let our kids in on what we’re doing, and take five seconds to explain things, they will often be satisfied and move on.

I can’t always do this, but when I can, I try to.

Whether it’s writing, cooking dinner, helping someone, baking, or something else, when my instinct is to say, “oh, I’m doing nothing”, I try to explain what I’m doing, sometimes ask for their ideas, and if I can, ask them to join in.

They tend to stop nagging, the million questions dissipate, they learn something, and we connect.

It’s a win, win.

Noticing, A Simple Visual of God’s Love, & Contentment

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Noticing

My mind was spinning as I thought of our hectic schedule with sports, activities, and school.

As I prayed, I remembered Jesus’ words: “Give us TODAY our DAILY bread.”

I want to notice

the praying mantis on the rock,

the funny thing my son said I might have overlooked,

the stellar handstand my daughter did when she repeatedly asked, “Watch!”.

This is what happens when we are in this day; this moment; this memory.

We don’t miss it. We slow down. We see it.

I asked the Lord to help me be in today. To just give me what I need today. To help me SEE today. To really see it.

The spinning of a million things loosened, and I could breathe.

I felt time slow down.

None of us are promised tomorrow.

But we do have a choice to live in today.

I want to do that.

I don’t want to miss the cool praying mantis trying to camaflouge himself on the rock, I don’t want to miss my son’s funny saying, my daughter’s handstand, my other daughter’s cool creation, or the little things I love about my husband.

I see so many more things when I open my eyes to today and close them to tomorrow.

Lord, help us not to miss it. Help us see the wonder of today. The wonder of You. Please give us today our daily bread so we can slow down, notice, and really live today. In Jesus’ name, amen.


A Simple Illustration of God’s Love

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I remember being shown this when I was a kid and it has always stuck with me.

In the picture on the left, God’s hand grips us tight. No matter what. Even when we mess up (shown by the other hand coming loose). When we mess up and when we don’t mess up (represented by the picture on the right), God is ALWAYS with us- he never leaves us.

This is a simple way to show our kids (and us) that nothing can get in the way of God’s love for us.

Better said in Romans 8:39: “Nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Amen.


Contentment

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Ecclesiastes 7 spoke so much this morning. Verse 10 reminds me to be content in the now. Jesus, help us do this.

Help us follow your words in verses 8 and 9 too. When our spirits feel provoked, please settle them as we focus on you.

When our minds laser in on every issue, it dismantles us, but Lord, when our minds are steadfast on you, our Rock, it brings us peace.

Please be our peace. Where there is anxiety, replace it with your presence and calmness. Where there is anger and pride, settle it with your peace and humility. Where there is confusion, replace it with a clear focus on You. When we are too serious about everything, replace it with laughter and joy. Where we have preoccupation with ourselves, please replace it with a heart to love you and others. Thank you, Lord. In Jesus’ name, amen.


 

 

Idea to Motivate Helping Out, Fun, & Beautiful Hearted Parenting ❤️

I was so tired of constantly reminding my kids after meals to fill their water bottles up, clear their dishes, and do their jobs, so I came up with this incentive chart.

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It’s worked wonders.

We’ve been doing it several weeks and just about every single meal, all three of them jump up to put their dishes in the dishwasher, fill their water bottles up, and vacuum, wash or clear the table, and help out with whatever other needs there are without being asked.

This is how it works:

  • After a meal, if they fill their water up and put their dishes in the dish washer, they get to “clip up”- move their clip up once. If they forget to, they have to “clip down”- move their clip down once.
  • If they find a need around mealtime and help out without being asked, whether they set the table, wipe the table afterward, sweep or vacuum, they get to “clip up.”
  • I counted by 2’s on the chart and it goes up to 60. Your numbers can signify anything – whatever would be motivating to your child.
  • For us, the numbers on the chart represent minutes for computer time on the weekend. We don’t usually do electronics during the week, so this is a treat for them. The most they can earn on a weekend is an hour. You can do more or less minutes- whatever works for you.

You need to adjust it based on what works for your family, but after doing this two weeks, my son who used to constantly forgot to clear his plate, has been remembering every meal and going above and beyond to help out.

I used to assign a job for each kid such as setting the table, clearing the table, etc., but I like the idea of teaching them to see a need and jumping into help, so this is what we have been doing. We’ll probably go back to assigning jobs at some point, but this is working great right now.

We won’t do this chart forever, but it’s offered wonderful and positive reinforcement to begin good habits that will hopefully carry on.

As humans, I think we all respond well to a little positive reinforcement, and I’d much rather do something like this than nagging reminders or constant consequences.

Give it a try and share it with another mama.

We’re all in this together: raising these little miracles. Thank you, Lord.


 

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Change up the monotony & normal routine for your kiddos.

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Yesterday before school at 6:45am, I threw some towels on the ground and we had a “campfire breakfast by lantern.” 😂

So simple, but the kids loved it. And, simple clean up – I loved that.

It can change the whole mood of the morning by throwing a twist in it. Share some of your fun ideas below.

Let’s bring some fun, silliness, & spontaneity to parenthood. 😊


 

Being Brave, En-JOY-ing our Children, & Celebrating

 

IMG_5867My daughter was afraid to go to school after being sick for a few days. She had been gagging from all the congestion, and was afraid it would happen there. But when Wednesday rolled around, she was much better so I told her it was time to return to school. Through tears, she let me know that she. did. not. want. to. go. 

I told her that being brave doesn’t mean your not scared. It means moving forward even when you’re afraid, trusting the Lord is with you and has gone ahead of you. 

I shared about how in the book of Judges, Deborah rose up to lead her people, believing the Lord went ahead of her, even though she was probably afraid. And, the Lord delivered them.

Bravery comes from taking that step forward and trusting in the Lord, even in the face of fear.

When she came home from school, she let me know there was only one time she didn’t feel well, but that she got through it. She ended up having a great day and experienced the bravery that was within her when she trusted in the Lord.

Let’s also take that next step, stomp out fear, and let our confidence in the Lord overcome it.

“The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid. Do not be discouraged.” Deuteronomy 31:8


IMG_4868En-JOY-ing our Children…

Let’s not get so distracted with To-Do lists that we miss the joy of our children.

The joy that comes with en-joy-ing them.

Even in the busy, let’s spend time “doing life” with them. Having them “help” us with our To-Do lists, “help” us make dinner, “help” us fold laundry, “help” us with some work so they have a peek into what we do.

And, let’s not forget the simple things, like making forts with our kids, crawling inside, jumping on the trampoline, playing “kick the can”, laughing, being silly, just being. Together.
❤️
“Waste some time with your kids. Those are the moments that become the best memories.” -Her View From Home.


 

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We all have a lot going on in our lives and so did God when he created the world, but he still stopped and celebrated.

He noticed the good. In Genesis 1, God would create something and then the Scriptures say five times that, “God saw it was good.”

Do you see it? Do you notice the good going on around you? In your life? In your spouse? In your children? In your friends? In you?

Take a second to notice and celebrate it.

 

Encouraging Gratitude & Not Worrying

My article published by For Every Mom, “How to Encourage Gratitude in Our Children”:

img_1392.jpgIsn’t it easy to feel entitled and frustrated when we don’t get our way? How can we combat that attitude with our children and ourselves?

Through Scripture, stories, and praying.

The other day when I walked into my eight-year-old daughter’s bedroom, she was fuming in frustration because “nothing” was going her way.

Her closest friend in school sat just two desks away, yet she spoke about the kid next to her being rude, another kid being mean, and now, for the life of her, she couldn’t get the rubber band around her ponytail just the way she wanted to. A true emergency. I could see smoke coming from her ears. Almost.

I had noticed a trend.

While I want to hear about the bad and good happening in her life, lately, I noticed one complaint after another, blooming grumpiness and ungratefulness.

I sat on my daughter’s bed, tears swelling her eyes. I told her how frustration and anger don’t help, but just make us miserable – to try to focus on giving thanks instead.

But she desperately said, “I can’t help it! I just get so frustrated and mad. I’m so bad at this.”

In that moment, I saw her hurt. I needed to quit preaching and just connect with her.

My mind wandered to Tedd Tripp’s advice at a parenting conference.

He said that when correcting our kids, to get on their level, and let them know that we’re working on the same things – that we are in this together.

So, I looked into her tear-swollen eyes and told her I struggle with the same thing. My daughter looked up at me. She was listening.

I told her that it’s easy for me to complain and pout when I don’t get my way too, but there’s a verse that helps me with that: “Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)

We had already memorized this verse, so she was familiar with it.

I shared that when my mind jumps to self-pity, I try to thank the Lord for something instead and it changes my mind and heart.

He changes my mind and heart.

I know there is power in telling stories as Jesus did, so I shared a story with my daughter of a woman who also dealt with the issue of giving thanks. Corrie ten Boom.

This is what I told her…

Corrie ten Boom was a woman who loved Jesus. She bravely hid Jews because Hitler was trying to hurt them. And, Corrie was put in a prison camp because of it.

The soldiers took away each person’s belongings, including their Bibles. Miraculously, they never found Corrie’s Bible. Corrie slept on a flea-infested mattress, crammed with several other women, including her sister, Betsie.

Feeling hunger pains and fleas biting them, you would think they complained. But, instead, Betsie told Corrie about a verse that came to her mind.

All those years ago, the same verse we read, they also read: “Give thanks in all circumstances.”

Corrie asked her sister what on earth they could give thanks for. Betsie said she was thankful that the Lord allowed her to be with her sister in the prison camp when they could have been separated. Then, she thanked God for the fleas. Can you believe that?

Corrie told her sister that she could never give thanks for the fleas. But Betsie told Corrie they had to because it’s God’s will to give thanks in all circumstances.

So, they gave thanks for the fleas.

You know what happened because of those fleas? The soldiers wouldn’t come into the barracks where they stayed. Because of that, Corrie and Betsie were able to have Bible studies and share their hope of Jesus during a tough time.

None of that would have happened if the fleas hadn’t been there.

It’s a choice, I told my daughter. It’s a choice to give thanks always. We talked about replacing frustration and anger with this phrase: Thank you, Lord, for _______. 

And, we talked about how we are in this together.

I drew her close and we prayed together. We gave thanks to the Lord and asked him to help us have grateful hearts.

I wiped my daughter’s wet cheeks, hugged her, and gave her some time to herself. After five minutes, she walked out of her room with a smile and joyful heart.

It’s a process for all of us – to walk the higher road of giving thanks always.

To walk the higher road of raising children who choose gratefulness over entitlement.

To walk the higher road of following Jesus.

But when we choose the higher road, we experience the full life that Jesus came to give us.

Originally published by For Every Mom: How to Encourage Gratitude in our Children 


 

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Article Published with Focus on the Family, a Craft, & a Quick Tip. ❤️

Article published with Focus on the Family:

My guest post article on Focus on the Family’s, DalyFocus: Pressing on Through Rejection


A Craft & Teaching Our Kids About Jesus

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It’s so important to talk about Jesus with our kids when they’re little, but it’s also never too late to start. When we share the truth of Jesus with them as they grow up, their foundation will grow stronger. (See activity below to set this truth in their hearts) 

At 6-years-old, our kiddos starting hearing about different religions in their public school. We don’t need to be afraid of them learning and gaining understanding as long as we are also sharing the truth of Jesus with them in our homes (of course every child is different and can handle different things so you need to figure that out for your own kids). 

If we shelter our kids and never talk about the realities of the world, they might be shocked by the world around them when they get older. 

But our children’s foundation will be stronger if we talk about it and share that, “Other kids might believe differently than us, but our family believes in Jesus and he calls us to be a light for him and to love all people.” We tell our kids over and over, if anything makes you feel uncomfortable or if you don’t understand it, tell us and we can talk about it.

This Bible story in Matthew is a great one that echoes the truth about building your foundation on Jesus:

Jesus said, “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the Rock. 

But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.’

When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.” (Matthew 7:24-29)

*Bring this story to life: Create a tiny house with your kids made of whatever you have around your house: shoe boxes, paper towel rolls, etc. Pour water on a foundation/hill of sand without the house on it. See what happens (we made a hill of dirt bc that’s what we had). Talk about what would’ve happened to the house if it were sitting there when the “rain came.”

Then put the house on a big rock and pour water just on the rock foundation. Talk about what happened to it. The house is fine because it was on a strong rock. It didn’t move. 

When we build our life on Jesus and have faith in him, he is our Rock, he doesn’t move, and we can stand strong in him.

*Daniel 3 is another powerful and exciting story that talks about choosing God and following him no matter what. My kids loved it and it really inspired them.*

{For more on faith & parenting, join me at LinseyDriskill.com}


 A Quick Tip:

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It can be easy to want our kids to meet all our expectations without communicating them to our kids.

But, if we take 10 seconds before arriving somewhere to share our expectations, even if it’s the 10th time, it can make a world of difference.

Let’s be FOR our kids, on their team, and give them the best chance at succeeding.

“Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, serving as overseers-not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be…” 2 Peter 5:2

Lord, thank you for the gift of getting to raise our children. Please give us wisdom as we parent. When we are exhausted and at our wits’ end, give us strength and joy in the simple gift of getting to lead our kids, getting to love them, and getting to be with them. Thank you, Lord. In Jesus’ name, amen.