The best Easter book you’ll read this year

Easter book

Compared to the vast amount of books written for children about Christmas, good quality Easter books are hard to find. Thankfully, I found “The Sparkle Egg”! This beautifully illustrated book by Jill Hardie and Christine Kornacki is a refreshing change from Bible paraphrases and donkey stories. In it, an elementary-aged boy named Sam is being eaten up with guilt over a lie he told his parents, even after they find out and forgive him. As they are preparing for Easter, they have Sam decorate a special egg. Inside, he is invited to tuck a piece of paper that depicts something he feels guilty about. When he wakes up on Easter morning, what he finds inside the egg teaches him about God’s all-encompassing forgiveness, made possible through Christ’s death and resurrection. Not only is this book a great read, but it gives us an idea for something we can do with our … Read More

40 Realistic Lent Ideas for Kids

The season of Lent covers the 40 day period before Easter. Each year it starts on a different date (because Easter moves around), although always on Ash Wednesday. It is said that the 40 days reflect Jesus’ time of fasting and prayer in the wilderness after his baptism. Many people sacrifice something during Lent (like coffee, sweets, or shopping) as a way to tune their hearts back to God. The point of sacrificing something important is to remember that God wants to be the most important aspect of our lives. When we come to depend on a sugary snack rather than prayer during the mid-afternoon slump, Lent reminds us of our waywardness and calls us back to our first love. Would you like to observe Lent with your kids? It seems like a very adult thing to celebrate, but it is possible to make Lent meaningful for children as well. The … Read More

Can preschoolers celebrate Lent?

This year, for the first time ever, I’m trying to do a bit of teaching on Lent with my kids. We talked a bit about Ash Wednesday and how people put ashes in a cross shape on their face. When they went to bed I traced a cross on their foreheads with my finger, which got a little weirded-out chuckle from them. BUT they did remember it for a few days! 😉 The next day we started our own version of “giving up for Lent”. Every time they do something kind or sacrificial for someone they get to put a dry bean in a jar. The plan is that the jar will be full of beans by the time Easter comes around. They are really getting into it, and both older boys got to add a couple beans today. At supper, Daddy accidentally knocked over the salt, and Dodger (age … Read More

What happens when a leader makes a big mistake

This week I was reminded about the the responsibility and burden of leadership, especially church leadership. Someone very sweet and courageous reminded me to use my reputation and position in leadership with care. There was a time in my life where I didn’t do that, and it had some serious ramifications that I didn’t even know about until a few years later. I didn’t intend to hurt the other person, but I was not tactful and the other person felt that I had abused my power. We had a conversation about it and I thought it was all solved, but last year I discovered that my actions had a significant impact on her leaving the church. When I heard this, I felt broken. We were in the middle of summer intern interviews at the time and I was almost unraveling. I had always heard about “those church people” that were … Read More

Front Cover Poll!

Hello wonderful people! So this week, I need your help! Here are four different options for the front cover of my book. Please take a look through them and fill out the poll at the end. If you have ideas on combining elements of any options (like fonts or colors), please say so in the “Other” option or in the Comments. Thanks for your help! OPTION 1 OPTION 2 OPTION 3 OPTION 4 OPTION 1 OPTION 3 OPTION 2 OPTION 4

Birthday Project (for his 6th birthday)

Earlier this month, my sister-in-law sent my eldest son an email, asking if he would like to work with her on a birthday project that would give a gift to other people. I told him about it and he didn’t seem to really process it at the time, but the other day I asked him about it again, and he immediately said that he wanted to give a water filter and toys! So apparently there’s a lot going on in that little head. 🙂 Here’s an interview I did with him yesterday. (By the way, his name isn’t Sam, he just decided to give out a fake name for the heck of it. That’s my little goofball!) Our 3 year old has already decided that he’s going to give some of his money to his big brother for this project. So, our question to you is, would you like to … Read More

A bruised reed he will not break

How does God care for those who not doing well? Today’s post on depression in the Bible brought to you by Elijah and Erin. (PS You can find more of my “did I just read that in the Bible?!”-type posts over here.) Before I even start this post, let me be honest. I have never struggled with long-term depression. I have occasionally had a day or two where I’ve felt this grey cloud of hopelessness and listlessness come upon me for no apparent reason, but it never sticks around. So you might say that I have no idea what I’m talking about. That’s ok. I’m not offended if you choose to stop reading here. But I believe that sometimes God helps us to have a bit of an understanding of a thing without actually experiencing it. I guess that’s called empathy! I have heard people say before that the prophet … Read More

Are there shades of love?

In case you hadn’t noticed, there is currently a big maelstrom online about the movie, 50 Shades of Grey, set to come out in theatres on Saturday (Valentines Day). It’s like the world suddenly woke up and noticed how this insidious shadow has captured the imaginations of so many women, and they abruptly realized that there’s no light in it. The book and the movie are essentially glorified abuse (read this illuminating article written by a survivor of an abusive relationship). Even the co-stars seem as though they’re wishing they hadn’t signed the contract. When even the non-Christian world is calling for the plug to be pulled on a movie due to its pornographic, abusive, misogynistic, violent premise, there’s something wrong. But here’s the thing – mothers all over the globe have jumped on it as an acceptable form of “mommy porn”, hoping that it will rejuvenate their marriages. And I’m … Read More

How to cultivate a true friendship

friendship

Friendship during the school years was relatively easy for me. When I was younger there were one or two friends at a time, and in high school we were a group of seven. Those are the friends with whom I spent most of my noon hours, Friday nights, and birthdays. In university I joined Campus Crusade and developed some healthy friendships with people who were like-minded and who challenged me to do more than study. (I also met my husband, who has been a very enduring friend!) Going to school is like being in a friendship hothouse. You become friends with those who are close by, and the friendships grow fairly easily because of proximity. There are some weeds (i.e. teenage hormones), and some people are toxic in close proximity, but I think many of us can trace at least one of our most enduring friendships back to our school … Read More

How to avoid having God veto your plans!

After [David] the king was settled in his palace and the LORD had given him rest from all his enemies around him, he said to Nathan the prophet, “Here I am, living in a palace of cedar, while the ark of God remains in a tent.”  2 Samuel 7:1-2 I listened to this chapter of David’s reign today, and it made me scratch my head. David has just brought the ark of God to Jerusalem after its many years in exile away from the spiritual heart of Israel. He’s so jazzed about it that in his enthusiasm he doesn’t do his research and gets a man killed by transporting the ark incorrectly (2 Samuel 6:1-11). Then, when they finally get it to Jerusalem, he embarrasses himself by dancing half-naked in the streets (2 Samuel 6:14-15). Obviously he is excited to have the ark, the earthly throne of Israel’s God, back in … Read More