How to teach kids about God’s acceptance

God's acceptance

It’s hard to imagine the depth of God’s love for us. When I think of how big the universe is, with billions of stars in each of the billion galaxies, it seems insane that the God who created all that could possibly care about me as an individual. And yet, he says he does. How can I communicate this lesson to my kids, when even when I, as a parent, can’t fathom it? Recently I read a blog post* that made me think about how I present God to my kids. I have always tried to emphasize God’s love and grace, because I know that it is God’s kindness that brings us to repentance, and his love that makes us want to love and seek after him. So I recently started sending my kids to sleep with this little ritual.   WANT TO WATCH INSTEAD OF READ? I say: You’re very … Read More

Help your child trust God for the future

The oak inside the acorn

I want to help my child trust God for right now, and for the future. But how can I do this? Recently a friend of mine posted on Facebook: Does anyone else have a kid who needs to discuss deep theological issues at bedtime? Being the awesome parent that I am, my boy is now confident that God has a plan for his life. But I don’t think we settled on whether that plan is to build a rocket ship or a pet tornado. 😂 I’m so glad my friend is taking the time to talk to her kids at bedtime. This is something that is so hard for me, because I want to simply pop them in bed and move on with my evening. But THIS is what Bedtime Devo Mama is all about – taking time out of our evenings to truly connect with our kids on a … Read More

One way to help your child be thankful at Christmas

help your child be thankful at Christmas

I have repeatedly told my kids that Christmas is not about getting gifts, but until we stop giving them ANY gifts, they’re not really going to believe that, are they? In fact, it seems that I can’t go anywhere in December without strangers asking my children, “What do you want for Christmas?” Is there any way to combat the coveting and ingratitude that always crops up at Christmas? Want to watch instead of read? Is it just me, or is it practically impossible for kids NOT to obsess over gifts at Christmastime? Feelings of gratefulness are expected to come after the swath of gifts has been unwrapped, after the impossibly large meal, after we have been given more than we ever needed. Can we teach our children to be thankful during the Christmas season, not just afterward? Let’s assume the answer to that question is yes. But simply telling our … Read More

Help your child put the “Christ” in Christmas!

put the Christ in Christmas

Does Christmas zip by each year, and the only time you talk about Jesus is when you quickly read a Bible story on Christmas Day? Fear not! There is a fun way to help your child put the Christ in Christmas! Want to watch instead of read? See it here! I tried so hard when my kids were little to make their Christmas strictly about Jesus. But alas, the trappings of a North American Christmas are not shed so easily! We have now settled into a comfortable middle place of setting up a Christmas tree and singing about Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer, while still being able to focus on the amazing miracle of the first Christmas. We love to act out the Bible stories (my favourite is when they insist *I* play the part of Baby Jesus), and I have about 20 Christmas books that tell the story from … Read More

How to help kids deal with anxiety, through faith

How to help kids deal with anxiety through faith

  Do you have any kids that deal with anxiety? I do. It’s hard to watch your child struggle. Let’s talk about how to help our kids deal with anxiety through faith, and direct them toward peace. One of my boys has struggled with anxiety for several years. It’s hard for him to work in groups, it’s hard for him to go to school, and it’s especially hard for him to try new things. Since he was born, I have been praying a blessing over him each night. When he started struggling with anxiety, I changed the blessing from a rather generic one to one about coming to God with all his anxieties. Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your … Read More

How to teach kids about their identity in Christ

Teach kids about their identity

Hi there! My name is Christie. Funny story there – my parents named me Christina, but the only time I heard the full name was when my mom was mad at me. Christie was on half my legal documents and Christina on the other half, which caused quite a snarl when I went to apply for a passport! My parents gave me that name at birth, but that’s not the name God calls me. Did you know that God has a unique name for you, one that reflects the specific way he made you? When I was in grade 3, I sat in a group of 3 desks. I was taking charge of a group project and one of the other kids was annoyed. He called me bossy. And you know what? At that moment, I stopped being bossy. I clammed right up and slowly became a different person. Quiet. … Read More

Build your child’s faith through imagination

Use imaginations for Good

  Don’t you just love watching children play? Every one of my boys uses their imagination differently. My eldest loves to make up stories and games, my middle boy loves to pretend to kill bad guys (Why is it that EVERYTHING can become a gun??) And my youngest likes to make rescues with his stuffed Paw Patrol characters. Want to watch instead of read? Here’s the video version of this post: We use our imaginations a lot in our bedtime devotions. Recently we acted out the story of baby Moses being rescued by the princess, and my 3 year old INSISTED that I be the baby, and he be the mommy. It was … awkward… but hilarious, I tell ya. Imagination is such a beautiful thing, but I think as moms we don’t often remember to engage it when we’re doing devotions. Can I give you some homework this week? … Read More

How to teach kids about God’s love

Teach kids about God's love

One of my boys often wails that we don’t love him, or we don’t understand him. He’s really hard on himself, and I have no doubt that he will, at times, doubt God’s love for him too. He always says, “I’m bad, I’m bad,” when he makes a mistake. How do I, as a Christian mama, work through this? Want to watch instead of read? Here’s the video version of this post: One thing I am teaching him to say to himself is this: “I am GOOD…because of Jesus.” I believe strongly in the concept of original sin, that we as humans will simply always struggle to make good choices. But the incredibly beautiful thing is that we have a God who stretches down and meets us in our struggles, who has forgiven us and given us the Holy Spirit to help us. Say it with me, so you don’t forget … Read More

How to teach kids about God’s plan for them

God's purpose for your child

When I was a kid, I wanted to be a writer. I wasn’t half bad, but after 9th grade, I simply stopped writing stories. There just wasn’t time in my busy high school schedule for story-writing, and science became my love. But following my biology degree from the university, I found myself at a church, teaching children about God’s love. (SOME USEFUL BIOLOGY DEGREE, RIGHT?) Want to watch instead of read? Here’s the video version of this post:   Even there, I didn’t feel the urge to write. It wasn’t until a couple years ago that I started to write again, and it is like my life has been re-purposed. My 8 year old son now loves to write, and has cranked out so many stories and poems that we have a bookshelf stuffed with papers. I really want to encourage him in his gifting, but I know that often … Read More

Quick ideas for praying with squirmy kids

praying with squirmy kids

My husband and I have 3 boys. Sometimes our house is a little bit crazy. I know, right? You would never have guessed. 😜 When it comes to prayer time, we have STRUGGLED to get them to sit still for just 5 seconds, never mind to pour out their hearts to God. Prayer time has a tendency to look more like insanity than pious praying. We have had to get REAL creative when it comes to praying! Want to watch instead of read? Here’s the video version of this post!   BUT – Did you know that the Bible doesn’t say we have to pray sitting still, with our hands folded and our eyes closed? One of my favourite ways to pray is to do it while standing up, laying down, or even pretending to be animals. We also like to use a talking stick. The purpose behind the talking … Read More