Happy July 4th!, Donating Hair, & Knowing Jesus

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As we celebrate July 4th, let’s pray with our kids for the men and women who serve our country, as well as their families.
 
Thank you to each of you who has served, is serving, or has a family member serving. We are so very grateful for each of you and that because of your commitment, service, and sacrifice we can have freedom.
 
Lord, we come together to pray for each man and woman serving our country, as well as for their spouses, children, parents and friends. Please fill them with your peace, your presence, your power, your Spirit, your comfort, your truth, your love. We pray your words from John 17:11: “Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name.” In Jesus’ name, amen. ❤️

 


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A simple way for our kids to think about and love others is through donating their hair. My daughters and I just donated our hair – it was awesome getting a chance to give together, even if it was in a little way.

I gave them the choice to do it or not. When they saw the video of how it helps kids who have cancer, they were excited to do it. (let me know in comments if you’d like the link to the 2-minute video.)

The person cutting my daughter’s hair said she’d have to cut more than originally thought. It was going to be very, VERY short. The lady asked her, “Do you still want to donate it?

My daughter thought for a second and said, “It’s more important for someone with cancer to get my hair for a wig than for me to not have really short hair.”

I about cried right then and there.

When I gave her the free choice, she chose selfessness. I know this doesn’t always happen with our kids, so when it does, isn’t is so beautiful?

Let’s big time celebrate those moments when our kids choose love above everything, even if they’re small moments like this one.

Lord, help us to raise our kids in the way of love through everyday moments. In Jesus’ name, amen. ❤️

“It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.” Mother Teresa

Thinking of Nathan, and Amy and her mom, as we donate our hair. Lifting y’all up in prayer. You. Are. Strong!


Are you feeling hindered in starting a relationship with Jesus? Wondering where to even start? Not knowing how to reach out to him? Thinking it's too confusing to begin? When Jesus was on the cross, a criminal-2

Sometimes figuring out how to start a relationship with Jesus can appear like a magic formula and seem confusing or unattainable.

But, in Luke 23:39-43, Jesus shows how we can have a relationship with Him.

The three crosses stood on the hill called the Skull – Jesus was being crucified between two criminals.

“One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: ‘Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!’”

But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence?

We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.”

Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”

 Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

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Jesus doesn’t say – sorry, you believe in me, but your past is too bad.

He doesn’t say – sorry, but you didn’t say the five-step, exact word prayer you needed to, so you don’t make the cut.

No, Jesus knows the repentant heart of the man.

Jesus sees how the criminal acknowledges his own guilt.

That the criminal saw him on the cross, innocent, not deserving of this.

The criminal recognizes Jesus is the Messiah – the one offering the way to God’s kingdom.

And, Jesus says, “TODAY you will be with ME in paradise.”

Not that he would think about it and consider what he’s saying.

The man reached out to Jesus and Jesus accepted him – right then and there.

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Right now, wherever you are in your faith, Jesus wants you to turn to him.

To choose him.

To believe in him.

 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” Jesus (Matthew 7:7-8)

Jesus is there for you.

He came to this earth for you.

He died on the cross for you.

He rose again for you.

Because he loves you and wants you to come into his kingdom.

So you can have life now and forever with him – the life that is truly life.

This world is limited. But life with Jesus is everlasting.

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Here are some other verses that talk about starting a relationship with the Lord.

I’m praying for you. That the Lord would speak to your heart, comfort you, and connect with you.

“Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.” Jesus (John 5:24)

“If you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 10:9

“For God so LOVED the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

“And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Acts 2:21 & Romans 10:13


It's so good for our kids to not always get their way. It might cause a pouty attitude, but it builds self-control & contentedness.


Don’t look at that Mama over there and compare.

God made you the Mama of your kids for a reason.

Your approach to parenting might be different from hers, but that’s okay.

What works for her kids might not work for your own, and what works for your kids might not work for hers.

Don’t look at that Mama over there and compare. God made you the Mama of your kids for a reason.Let’s stop comparing, envying, and feeling less than because of another Mama’s ways.

We all want the best for our children.

Sometimes we fall short.

Sometimes we’re rock star moms.

Sometimes our kids don’t behave and sometimes they do.

Life is not always so clear cut.

Sometimes it’s easy. Sometimes it’s hard.

That doesn’t make someone better than the next mama.

It just makes them different.

So, when we want to evaluate another mama’s approach to parenting, let us stop, and remember that we all have stories.

Her story influenced her to be where she is.

Your story influenced you to be where you are.

And my story influenced me to be where I am.

It’s what makes us unique. What makes us who we are.

When another mama is struggling, let’s not judge, but ask how we can help, walk with her, lift her up.

Or just listen. Learn her story. Because we care. Just because we care.

And, when we’re struggling, let’s ask for help and not wallow in pride or loneliness. But reach out. Because sometimes we all just need someone to lift us up a little.

So mamas, sometimes we might not feel like it, but let’s choose to cheer each other.

Because we are indeed all in this together, and boy am I glad to be walking this journey with each other.

“A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.” Proverbs 14:30

“Therefore encourage and build one another up.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11


Lord, would You be with each person reading this today. Would you fill them with your grace, love, Presence, wisdom and strength. Help us to look to You always and to love those around us with Your love. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Hope you have a wonderful week, ❤️

Linsey

Calmness, Contentment, & Parenthood

Isn’t it easy to want to yell when our kids misbehave and don’t listen – when that last straw is broken and we’re at the end of our rope?

103870776_1191416281197985_7591546141507610951_oBut hostility just makes things worse, strains our relationships with our kids, & leaves us with oozing guilt.

Consequences with calmness work far more powerfully.

When we played basketball yesterday, my daughter said something in a rude tone to me.

I’m not okay with disrespect and I had already corrected her earlier, so I calmly sent her to her room for 10 minutes. Sometimes I snap back instead, but I strive to speak with grace and react calmly. When I don’t, I apologize.

She tried to get out of it and explained why she spoke that way, and I told her it was not okay, and repeated what she needed to do.

It diffused the situation, I relaxed, and she came back with a kinder tone.

Just before the basketball game began, my son let his other sister provoke him and continued overreacting and responding with anger toward her.

Sure, these emotions are normal and there’s no way to raise perfect kids who don’t fight, but if I can direct them toward better responses that reflect Jesus, I’m going to.

Instead of creating more chaos with a heightened reaction from me, I calmly sent him to his room.

After that, we read through Ecclesiastes 7:9 together, “Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit for anger resides in the lap of fools.”

We talked about how every human struggles with this, including me.

But that when we ask the Lord to help us with it, he will.

Finally, my kids and I were all outside together to play that b-ball game I wasn’t sure would ever happen.

While the game was delayed by “interruption” and “inconvenience”, that’s what parenting is – stopping in those moments to raise our kids and directing them in ordinary circumstances.

When we let repeated misbehavior slide, it becomes more of the norm and ends up being more difficult on all of us.

Calmly giving consequences reminds our kids who is leading, that we won’t wither to bumps in the road (making them feel secure), and that we are committed to showing them the better way because we love them.

We all need grace and sometimes reminders are just what our kids need or they might need to work it out on their own without our involvement, but if rude tones or strife are becoming the norm, consequences with calmness can make a big difference.

Lord, when we’re at our wits end with our kids and want to react with yelling and fits of anger, please lead us with calmness and grace instead. Give us your wisdom to know how to parent our kids, connect with their hearts, and lead them to you. Thank you, Lord. In Jesus’ name, amen.


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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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