Tag Archives: creation

Use Your Beach Trip to Talk About God

Use Your Beach Trip to Talk about God

In June, I am picking a relevant scripture each week to focus on. My conversations with my kids will be about the verses, and bonus! – I’ve picked a craft to help us (and you!) talk through spiritual things.

Don’t forget – you’re the primary influencer in your kids’ lives, so be intentional about sharing God’s truths with them! I’d love to hear if you have success with these. Share in the comments!

Week 1 – Talk about God at the Beach

This week, my family is on staycation!! We’re heading down to the coast for an (insane) there-and-back-in-the-same-day trek. So our craft for this week has to be on the beach!

Since I’d like to avoid bringing a bunch of supplies, and we’re going to be in the sun all day, we’re going to do some shadow activities! Here are the ones I’d like to try:

Taking a family “shadow picture”, like this: Idea here.

I also think making a sundial would be really easy and neat for the kids.

But we might just make a sand volcano (not a shadow activity) b/c that sounds really fun!

Verse focus for shadow activities:

“…you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings.” Psalm 63:7

This entire psalm is so powerful to pray for reliance on the Lord. God is our protector and our refuge!

And… let’s not make this too complicated. We’re at – THE OCEAN. Besides talking about God’s creative nature in designing the ocean, this passage from Job contemplates the infinitude of God.

“Can you fathom the mysteries of God?
    Can you probe the limits of the Almighty?
They are higher than the heavens above—what can you do?
    They are deeper than the depths below—what can you know?
Their measure is longer than the earth
    and wider than the sea. (Job 11:7-9, NIV)

 

Intentional May – Connecting Kids’ Crafts to the Gospel, May Flowers, Week 2

May Flowers Kids Craft

In May, I am picking a relevant scripture each week to focus on. My conversations with my kids will be about the verses, and bonus! – I’ve picked a craft to help us (and you!) talk through spiritual things.

Don’t forget – you’re the primary influencer in your kids’ lives, so be intentional about sharing God’s truths with them! I’d love to hear if you have success with these. Share in the comments!

Week 2

The craft this week is all about May Flowers. We already covered April Showers. 🙂

We’re always planting and gardening around here, and I know I have random flower pots hanging around in the garage, so this little craft will be super fun. We’re going to make thumbprint pots like these:

thumbprint pots

I guarantee you my kids’ pots will start with thumbprint butterflies and end up looking like a brown goopy mess, but that’s not the point! 😉 I will take them to our favorite nursery to pick out a cheap annual for their pot. They love taking care of things!

The Bible verse is:

And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. (Matthew 6:28a, NIV)

The whole point of April showers (which God provides) is that you get May Flowers – God even provides for the beauty of creation! Of course, He also would provide for His own children.

Intentional April – Connecting Kids’ Crafts to April Showers and Easter, Week 3

Intentional April

In April, I am picking a relevant scripture each week to focus on… yes, I realize April is halfway over this year, but I don’t mind finishing something I never started. 😉

My conversations with my kids will be about the scripture, and bonus! – I’ve picked a craft to help us (and you!) talk through spiritual things.

Don’t forget – you’re the primary influencer in your kids’ lives, so be intentional about sharing God’s truths with them! I’d love to hear if you have success with these. Share in the comments!

Week 3

This week, I did a science experiment to make it rain, inspired by the experiment from I Can Teach My Child. I’ve been itching to do this experiment myself, and it’s been hard to hold back because of a certain baby having a growth spurt and keeping me busy. 😀

Make it Rain Experiment

The scripture focus this week, along the “April Showers” theme, is:

he gives rain on the earth, and sends water on the fields: (Job 5:10, NET)

The Lord provides good things for all people, even if they don’t know Him or love Him. This is the idea of “common grace”. I want my kids to really see God’s goodness reflected in creation!

This whole chapter of Job is fascinating and comforting and revealing of God’s works. I highly recommend putting it in your quiet time this week.

Here’s a fun video of us performing the experiment! See how Emma is sticking out her tongue the whole time!? Ha! She’s really listening, don’t ya think? Samuel took his job as DP very seriously and wanted to create a soundtrack for the end… so one of his original songs is included! It was fun to make the YouTube video together.

Tell Your Daughter Why She’s Beautiful

It seems that girls and women are just wired to want to feel lovely, beautiful, and special. In fact, it’s so ingrained in us that we can idolize our beauty over Jesus.

Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. (1 Peter 3:3-4, NIV)

My first daughter, Emma, loves to feel beautiful. She can sit for 20 minutes in front of a box of bows and just quietly “do her hair”.

She has dressed herself in layers and layers of glittery, frilly, pinky/purply clothes since she was 2.

She asks us constantly, “Do I look beautiful?”

And of course she does, and of course we say, “Yes.”

Tell Your Daughter Why She's Beautiful

But I didn’t desire this obsession with beauty for my daughters. I personally constantly fight to reject outward beauty as the most important thing. I made a conscious effort to not teach her to focus on her looks or certain colors or what she wears.

She desires beauty all on her own.

Instead of smashing that desire in her (which my reactionary parenting longs to do), I decide to inject the truth into her desire.

When I put her to bed at night, I tell her, “You’re beautiful. You know why?”

“Why?” she says with a smile.

“Because God made you.”

After all, we all desire beauty and perfection in some form – it’s one way we see that our hearts ache for real beauty and real perfection.

At the age of 3, knowing that she’s beautiful because God made her is important. He’s made so much beauty from dust!

This simple statement is an illusion to the fact that we are image-bearers of our Creator.

So God created mankind in his own image,
    in the image of God he created them;
    male and female he created them. (Genesis 1:27, NIV)

I share this verse with her, and as she gets to the age where abstract learning is more reasonable (around 5 or 6), I hope it settles into the crevices of her heart.

It’s good to desire beauty; it’s a pure desire.

Let’s tell our daughters why they’re beautiful, and let’s leave out anything relating to clothes, makeup, weight, hair, skin, body type, or height.

Well, maybe that last message is really a word to our own hearts, moms.

Try His Stomach

 

Wives Try His Stomach

When was the last time you cooked for your husband? Maybe you’re not the family cook, and that’s OK. But I bet there’s something you cook (or ‘assemble’ for the cooking challenged) that your husband loves. Why not spoil him with his favorite dish? I really do think their hearts and stomachs are connected (right, guys?).

I personally love cooking. I’m thankful to my mom who brought me up right – eating and cooking delicious food! She’s the queen, and I still call and email her with questions all the time. (Thanks, mom!) I love cooking mostly because I love eating, but I also love creating something lovely. I’m thankful that our God is creative and gave some of us a touch of that.

Maybe you’re like me- maybe you enjoy cooking and prep most, if not all, of your family’s meals. But when was the last time you made a meal just for him? Here’s why I pick the meals I pick:

  • easy
  • quick
  • cheap
  • yummy (duh)
  • few ingredients
  • Samuel will eat it, too.

And Brad is the best husband when it comes to food – he’ll eat anything I put in front of him and rarely complains. But he has some favorite dishes that I can make but rarely do – mostly because they:

  • take longer
  • are a little more labor intensive
  • aren’t my favorites

I think it would be nice if I pulled out one or two of these and made them for him. Soon.

What’s your man’s favorite dish that you need to put on your menu soon?

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Don’t Treat Your Husband Like a Child

Don't Treat Your Husband Like a Child

Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/aquamech-utah/ (changes mine)

When I was … less mature (ahem)… I had no idea that women were designed differently from men – in more than just the anatomical ways.

Some people will think the differences stem from strictly scientific means (hormones, etc.), but I think that is just part of it. From the beginning, man and woman were created in different ways and for different purposes within their relationship (Eve being created as a “corresponding companion” to Adam).

I say I had no idea, but rest assured, some very good Bible teachers had relayed this message to me while I was in college. I took it in, processed it, and stowed it away in my Very Important Biblical Information file in my brain. I then heard more very good Bible teachers preach on the very same message multiple times in my first several years of marriage.

And then I carried on my way doing one of the exact things I was created to do: Nurture. To my husband.

Right behavior, wrong subject.

So, ladies, you’ve already pointed your mates to Servant Leaders Are Sexy, now what’s our role in all of this? Let me tell you this very plainly:

  • My job is NOT to love my husband.
  • My job is to RESPECT my husband.

Let me also say this, if you’re anything like me, You don’t know what that means!!!! I truly thought that if I would just love Brad to death, then he would have everything he needs to thrive as a man. W.R.O.N.G. The reason I truly thought that is because that is what I long for as a woman.

I thought men and women needed the same things (and, you know, we just call them different things). No. Men and women need very different things. I need love; he needs respect. Our community group went through a study based on the book, Love & Respect: The Love She Most Desires; The Respect He Desperately Needs*, by Emerson Eggerichs. And finally, I started to see what respect really looks like.

Ladies, there are ways you can encourage your husband (or boyfriend or fiance) to thrive in servant-leadership. In fact, even if your husband is not a good servant leader at all, you should still start with respect.

Now I am no expert, believe me (or ask my husband!). My heart here is just to share with you some things that have worked for us. In most situations, ask yourself what would empower your man. In no particular order, here are some suggestions.

  • Your husband is not your child. Do not offer to cut his meat for him. You do not need to ask his opinion on exactly how he wants his sandwich made for lunch; that kind of behavior is belittling, naggy, and makes him seem incapable. I’m pretty sure you already know what kind of sandwich your husband likes anyway.
  • When your husband leaves the house, don’t say, “Be careful.” He is not made to be careful. He is made to be a risk-taker, a wild man. I just say, “I love you.” He knows I want him to come home safely.
  • Pet names: Instead of “widdle widdle wammy poo poo”, call your husband by something that makes him feel like a man. I like “My Warrior”, “Strong Man”. FYI, I do have other gushy pet names, but they do not in any way make my husband out to be a child. E.g., “My One and Only”.
  • Trust him. If you’re anything like us, and you as the wife is the left-brained one, you might have the tendency to question his every decision. I’m not saying it’s bad to talk through decisions together; in fact, I hope you do! But you absolutely need to trust him in some things to give him room to lead.
  • STOP NAGGING. I have never thought I was a nagger, but then I found out that even “gently reminding” my husband of an undone project is a nag and makes him want to check out. Here’s the way we work around this. We have a list (yes, you probably have a similar honey-do list). The list is on a bulletin board. When there are projects, big or small, that need work, either of us can put it on the list. Once a week, hubby has a man-check morning. As part of this ritual, he asks himself some questions to make sure he is doing what needs to as a servant leader. One of his tasks is to check the list and make plans towards those projects. I don’t have to nag, and he is empowered in his efforts.
  • But DO communicate! We have a monthly “Team Pete” meeting where we discuss calendars, budget, spiritual goals, and anything “big” coming up. This is a great time to discuss things that are and are not working. This isn’t the only time you communicate, but it’s one big download session that we both mentally prepare for.
  • Don’t constantly correct him on how to play with the kids. His ways are different, and it’s supposed to be that way. (I hope you know that I do not mean that you should not be unified, but that it’s OK for him to be more rough and wild with the kids than you would be.)

Now, I’m sure some of you are much better at this than I am. Tell me in the comments what you do to empower your husband.

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