5 ways to help an intellectual child grow in faith

intellectual child

 When I was a teenager, our church had a little Christian bookstore in it. One summer I received a gift card for the store, so I went in and bought myself a big old concordance. It was so heavy I had to carry it with two arms. My friend thought I was crazy, but I knew it would help me understand the Bible better.  What Is An Intellectual? Some children share my deep curiosity and find it easy to dive deep into topics that interest them. (Read about my experience with being an Intellectual in this article on how to love God with all your mind!) The topics may not appear to be “intellectual” as an adult sees them, though. In fact, it may look more like an obsession with dinosaurs or bacteria, but children who love to learn often connect with God in the same way. These kids may … Read More

The Introverted Mom’s Summer Survival Guide

introverted mom surviving the summer (barely)

I’m an introverted mom. There, I said it. Maybe you can identify? For us introverts (and probably even a lot of extroverts) sometimes those long days of summer where all the kids are home can seem more like an eternity. The kids chatter in our ears all day, demanding popsicles, books, activities, attention, popsicles, stories, food, drinks, bandaids, popsicles, and peacemaking. Did I mention the popsicles? All that noise truly wears on a introverted mom, and it can feel like all we want to do is: a) hide in the bathroom orb) sign the kids up for summer school. But let’s face it: our kids want our attention in the summer, and that’s a good thing! Instead of just booting them outside every chance we get, let me tell you how I set up my home for a successful summer. On a related note, check out this highly recommended new release … Read More

How to Teach Kids the Skill of Seeing God Through Nature

Seeing God through nature

Seeing God through nature seems natural, but it takes some training to learn to truly recognize, worship, and connect with God through nature. One of my friend’s boys woke up with the sun one day, and discovered the beauty of the sunrise. “God made the sky for me and it is so beautiful! It makes my heart happy!” he told his mom. Of the 9 worship styles for kids, a child that leans toward the naturalist style feels most connected to our creative Creator God when they’re out in nature. But how can you help tune their hearts to sing God’s praises in the great outdoors? The sand that was laid on the icy winter roads for traction had been scraped onto the boulevards. The snow had finally melted, but the grit remained. It’s one of my least favourite parts of my very favourite season: spring. But in the midst … Read More

God gave us 5 senses…here’s how our kids can use them to worship God

Girl experiencing God through her senses

God gave us 5 senses for a reason, and we can help our kids connect with our unseen, untouchable God through their physical senses. Here’s how! I sat in the hard wooden pew with my family, our pet fish, and two stuffed animals.  At the invitation of my sister-in-law (who was training to become a Lutheran pastor), we were attending our first ever animal blessing service. The entire service was a shock to the senses.  Before the service began, my children gazed in awe at the amazing stained glass windows. We discussed which Bible stories were represented in the pictures and marveled at the colors. Before and during the service, cats meowed and dogs barked, while adults chuckled. Congregants sang with gusto as the pipe organ pounded out old, familiar hymns – poetry set to music. When we went forward for the blessing, the pastor chuckled as she dipped her … Read More

Helping Our Kids Engage God With All 5 Senses

Little boy with a promise rock in his pocket

Of the 9 worship styles for kids, a child that leans toward the Sensate style likely is always touching, hugging, sniffing and tasting things, maybe even at inappropriate times. Let’s talk about engaging God with all 5 senses to help your Sensate child connect with God on a much deeper level.  Our kids were made to engage in life using their senses. It’s how God made them. A baby doesn’t just want to taste her food – she wants to squish it and rub it on her face.  Some kids grow out of this need to experience everything with all their senses, but others don’t. Then, we tell them to sit still while we read the Bible, or close their eyes and fold their hands when they pray.  It’s unfair to these kids that we engage their senses in every other part of life, but not in connecting with God! … Read More

From Floundering to Flourishing: One Practical Tip for Teaching Children About Jesus

Dad reads Bible with daughter

How can you focus on teaching children about Jesus without feeling guilty about having a normal, busy family life? Read on or listen in for ONE game-changing tip! One of my boys requires a lot of time to transition from activity to activity. When he was a toddler, he would scream if we didn’t give enough time to transition. He needed us to complete the full countdown routine each time we wanted to leave the park or his grandparent’s house, or even to come down for dinner! As an older elementary child, he still thrives on routine. If we deviate from a plan even a bit, he gets frustrated.  Teaching children about Jesus through routines Children thrive on routine, right? I believe every child begins with the heart of a Traditionalist because young children do best when their lives are run by routines. That may not continue to need routines … Read More

Gratitude for Kids: Pipe Dream or Possible?

gratitude for kids

Gratitude for kids can be so hard to achieve, but it is possible! Here are 4 concrete tips that have helped in my family. As you can see, we need to practice it more! It was Mother’s Day, and my kid was CRABBY. Like, Not-Quite-Preteen-Angst-Crabby, the kind that only comes when a privileged child sees someone else having a special day and decides that it has now become The Worst Day Ever because they are not the centre of attention. He didn’t want to bring his scooter to the park, until we got there and he realized he really did want some wheels. Oh, the misery when he realized we would not turn around and go back home to collect his scooter or bike. He didn’t get a special drink at lunch. Apparently he’s over having clean water to drink. That’s so 2018. It was too windy. It was too … Read More

How to Help Your Child Grow Spiritually: 4 Concrete Ways

how to help your child grow spiritually

Learning how to help your child grow spiritually as a Christian isn’t hard, but will take a little thought and persistence! A recent study conducted by Lifeway found the top 3 common denominators in families where the kids continued in their faith as adults. They were Bible reading prayer and serving. All three of these can, and should be developed as faith routines in families, and will help your kids connect with Jesus in meaningful ways. They are not the only ways to grow spiritually, but they are foundations.  How to help your child grow spiritually: build a strong foundation Essentially, what you’re doing with young kids is creating a foundation of faith. You can also think of this as building a solid bone structure for a life of faith. Imagine one of those model skeletons that show up in biology labs across the globe: without those bones, our bodies … Read More

Sacred Pathways for Kids: Connecting Children and God

Sacred pathways for kids, intro story and article

What are Sacred Pathways for kids, and why are they important for Christian families? Read on for a parable and explanation. Once there was a daddy with nine children. Yes, nine. Each Saturday, Daddy chose one child for a special date night. Over the years, each child got to spend many date nights with their daddy, getting to know him.  One Friday evening, a fight broke out in the home. The topic? Daddy’s favorite thing to do. Eli said that Daddy’s favorite thing to do was to go for a walk around the park, feed the ducks, and eat chocolate ice cream, exactly in that order. Claire said that Daddy’s favorite thing to do was go for a hike in the forest or on the beach.  Nathan said that Daddy’s favorite thing to do was play at the beach, building sand castles, covering himself with mud, and washing off in … Read More

How Protestant Prayer Beads Are Saving My Prayer Life

Make your own prayer beads

I didn’t realize until recently that Protestant prayer beads actually exist, but now they’re helping me grow my prayer life for the first time in a long time. The stresses of the day paraded through my brain. I could see each and every unmade decision, each possibility, each worry taking shape behind my closed eyelids. My body wanted sleep but my brain wouldn’t let me go there.  “God please…” I thought, then the worries reached their bony fingers back into my brain and snatched away the prayer.  I reached over to my end table, hand patting around in the dark. There they were. My fingers closed around the cool string of beads and I clutched them to my chest.  They were new to me, these prayer beads. For my whole life I had believed that using a tool to help me pray was an unholy cheat. Something used only by … Read More