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

How To Help Your Child With Weather Anxiety Feel Secure

boy with weather anxiety in a storm

Help your child with weather anxiety move past his fears using this technique. My son and I were picking up party decorations when the lights flickered and thunder cracked overhead. As the checkout clerk swiped our packs of balloons and streamers, she said, “I heard there’s a tornado warning.” His little hand clutched my arm. I glanced down to see a quivering lip and huge grey eyes. Being in a tornado is one of his worst fears, and this woman had just flipped the “on” switch on his panic. I paid for our order while he peppered me with questions. “What if we don’t make it home?” “What if we get stuck here?” “What if our house flies away?” I wasn’t sure how to answer his questions, so we stood in front of the doors, watching the wind carry garbage across the parking lot and rain pound into our vehicle. WHY … Read More

4 Uplifting Phrases for Kids Dealing With Loss

Child dealing with loss

My newest release is called Quinn Says Goodbye, a children’s story about the presence of God when life is hard or confusing. It seems like a deep topic for a children’s book, doesn’t it? But children have to deal with loss and hard things all the time. Did any of the following affect you as a child? Hospitalization Changing schools A friend moving away The loss of a favorite toy Left a favorite teacher behind when moving to the next grade The death of a grandparent, relative, or family friend Adoption / Fostering Moving Loss of a pet See what I mean? Loss affects nearly all children in some form or another. The way we help them work through it as a child has a HUGE impact on how they deal with loss as an adult. Nothing hurts more than seeing your child in pain. But as much as we … Read More

How to Help Children Embrace the Mystery in Christianity

enthusiast child embracing the mystery in Christianity

Of the 9 worship styles for kids, a child that leans toward the Enthusiast style is one who loves the mystery in Christianity. Learn how to help your enthusiast child connect with God through mystery and movement without losing their head-faith in the process. What is an enthusiast? Some people connect with God best when their emotions are high. This may occur during a worship service, an intense time of prayer, or when waking up from a vivid dream. Many discount this time as simply an emotional high, but from personal experience, I know that many of these encounters with God are real. It takes discernment to take those experiences and use them as building blocks of deep faith, but emotional experiences can contribute towards rootedness.  A few years ago I had a friend whose daughter had visions and dreams from God, is highly creative, and worships enthusiastically. The enthusiast … Read More

The 8 Best Books About Heaven for Kids

books about heaven for kids

I was a children’s ministry director for nearly 12 years and was asked several times to recommend books about heaven for kids who had experienced loss. What follows are the ones I recommended back then, plus a few newer books. Also, if your child is directly dealing with the death of someone, this free resource has been very helpful to a lot of Christian parents! 1. Someday Heaven Larry Libby This is a book I remember vividly from my own childhood. The paintings showed me that being in heaven would be a joy, and that it was nothing to be afraid of. This is always my top recommendation as it’s also very well-researched and Biblical. I don’t remember reading all the text as a child, because it was quite long, but it provides some great talking points for parents. Check it out on Amazon. 2. Someone I Love Died Christine … Read More