The Secret Ingredient In Habit Change

the secret ingredient in habit change

Welcome back to The Power of Simple Habits! In the first lesson I taught about how habits are stored in our brains, as well as the three parts of a habit: the cue, the routine, and the reward. Even though habits are usually formed automatically by a brain trying to save space, we can intentionally create new habits, and we can change old habits. In the previous lessons I shared the brain science behind creating a brand new habit, which we applied to family breakfast time. We also talked about how to change an old habit like a child’s bedtime. But sometimes it’s just too hard to start a new habit, or too daunting to think about changing an entire bedtime routine, which is why we look for keystone habits that initiate great change in our families.  Full series: The Power of Simple Spiritual Habits Starting a Brand New Habit … Read More

How To Sweeten Your Family Life With This Keystone Habit

learn to pray blessings over your child

Welcome back to The Power of Simple Habits! In the first lesson I taught about how habits are stored in our brains, as well as the three parts of a habit: the cue, the routine, and the reward. Even though habits are usually formed automatically by a brain trying to save space, we can intentionally create new habits, and we can change old habits. In the previous lessons, I shared the brain science behind creating a brand new habit, which we applied to family breakfast time. We also talked about how to change an old habit like a child’s bedtime. WE NEED THIS SPECIAL KIND OF HABIT But sometimes it’s just too hard to start a new habit, or too daunting to think about changing an entire bedtime routine.  That’s when we turn to keystone habits. Keystone habits are very simple habits that have the power to unlock huge changes … Read More

How To Change An Old Habit (Like a Tired Bedtime Routine!)

change a bad bedtime routine

Welcome back to The Power of Simple Habits! In the first lesson I taught about how habits are stored in our brains, as well as the three parts of a habit: the cue, the routine, and the reward.  Even though habits are usually formed automatically by a brain trying to save space, we can intentionally create new habits, and we can change old habits.  In the previous lesson I taught the brain science behind creating a brand new habit. So now let’s talk about how to change a habit.  THE BEDTIME HABIT For example, let’s talk about bedtime. What is your family’s bedtime routine? Some people have awesome bedtime routines, but for a lot of families, bedtime is frustrating. Everyone’s tired and cranky, and kids know how to push mom and dad’s buttons. Parents want to just chuck their kids and shut the door but kids want to get 18 … Read More

How To Start a New Habit (Like Reading the Bible With Your Kids)

how to start reading the Bible with your kids

Welcome back to The Power of Simple Habits! In the first lesson, I taught about how habits are stored in our brains, as well as the three parts of a habit: the cue, the routine, and the reward. Even though habits are usually formed automatically by a brain trying to save space, we can intentionally create new habits, and we can change old habits.  So let’s talk about how to start a new habit. I’m going to give the example of reading the Bible at breakfast time because it’s a habit I struggled to start. I wanted to, but I didn’t know how. You can apply these same principles to ANY habit you wish to start from scratch. So here’s where I started: I would wake up after my children then I would rush around grabbing food and changing diapers and helping kids get dressed and emptying the dishwasher then … Read More

The Power of Simple Spiritual Habits For Family Faith

the secret ingredient in habit change

Spiritual habits can be an incredibly powerful influence on our lives. Read on to find out why.  Last week, I walked into a McDonalds with my husband. I ordered a salad, and he ordered a big juicy burger and poutine. The next day he was bemoaning his horrible food choice because he felt so crummy afterward.  But I don’t think what he ordered was truly a choice.  THE POWER OF HABIT Way back in 1892, William James, an American psychologist said “all our life, so far as it has definite form, is but a mass of habits”. More recently, scientific studies have shown that 40% of all our behavior is actually automatic habits, not actual decisions.  A habit is something that started as a conscious decision, but eventually, our brains just turned it into what’s a “habit loop” – we stop making a choice and we just do it. My … Read More

Help your kids learn to write their letters AND hide God’s Word in their hearts…

A big thank you to Mindy Baker for this article! Mindy is the author of Mouse’s Christmas Gift, published by Zonderkidz in 2018. If you are anything like me, you want your kids to learn about God, and you are also concerned about their academics. Home preschool was a thing in our house. Nothing super formal, just a lot of mommy and kid time, and a mix of reading aloud, crafts, practicing our letters and numbers, play-dough, and anything else we thought up. Writing was actually something my child wanted to do, and she liked to practice it. One day I had the idea of having her practice writing with a verse. At the time, she couldn’t write out an entire verse, but she could write a reference, or a main word in the verse.  One of my greatest treasures is a little book we made about John 3:16. Chelsea … Read More

Best Christian Board Books from 2019!

Christian board books

Reading with your toddler can take incredible persistence! All the gnawing and grabbing and drooling can destroy your books. Thankfully, many of your favorite children’s books have been made into board books, and there are many new selections being published exclusively as board books. If you’d like to combine READING time with teaching your little ones the Christian faith, check out this list of the BEST Christian board books from 2019! As I’ve connected more with other authors over the past year, it’s been my immense pleasure to watch them put out book babies into the world! There have been many excellent new board books this year, and I want to highlight a few. The “Good News!” series The new “Good News!” Series from Our Daily Bread and Glenys Nellist is delightful. All 3 books came out this year. Good News! God Made Me! has two major things going for … Read More

A Tool To Help Kids Process Their Emotions

help kids process their emotions with this journal

I’d like to welcome Kristin Vanderlip today to talk about how to help kids process their emotions. For years, I defined my life by its struggles—and I let them define me. I watched as the color drained right out of my life. My life with Jesus didn’t feel full or abundant. Instead, I felt empty and weary. This was not how it was supposed to be. So I leaned in and dug in and began to open myself up to deep soul work with Jesus, therapists, and mentors. Out of this work came my first journal,  Life Worth Living: A Daily Growth Journal, the pages of which both absorbed and acted as catalyst for growth and transformation. As I learned and grew and wrote in my Life Worth Living journal, my kids (then ages 4 and 7) drew near and grew curious.  What’s that mommy? What are you doing mommy? What are you writing … Read More

Why I’m not going trick-or-treating this Halloween

halloween pumpkins

The black and yellow wings tugged at my shoulders and the tights scratched my legs. Little bits of sugar clung to my chin as I peered behind my grandma passing out candy to the neighbor kids. We were passing out candy and in my preschool mind, Costumes + Candy = Best.Day.Ever. But except for the one time I helped my grandparents pass out candy, my family didn’t really *do* Halloween. Most years we avoided the issue altogether by hiding in the basement, and other years we had a fun family night at the indoor amusement park. One year we attended a “harvest festival” put on by a local church and I discovered that Pentecostals are a lot of fun. True story. As a teenager my friends weren’t terribly interested in trick-or-treating (although we were known to go Christmas carolling in mid-summer…) and as a young adult I helped out with my … Read More

A simple way to help kids pray (+ free printables!)

Teach your child to pray with a prayer pattern

Teach your kids to pray using this time-tested routine, and free prayer printables for kids! Teaching our children to communicate with God is foundational to helping them develop an actual relationship with him. But prayer is a mystery, isn’t it? As adults, it takes years to learn how to talk to God, and it’s even harder as parents to know how to help kids pray. Have you ever found yourself doing one of these less-than-helpful types of prayer with your kids? You repeat the same prayer ad nauseum. You know the kind – “…if I die before I wake, I pray dear Lord my soul to take.” Nothing to put our children into a sound sleep like talk of death, right? 🙂 You pray a sermon. I’m guilty of this one a lot!! “Dear Lord we know that you want us to obey you in everything and I ask that you would … Read More