Lectio Divina for Kids: Teaching Kids to Pray Through the Bible

lectio divina for kids

A huge thanks to Steph Thurling from Raising Prayerful Kids for this helpful and inspiring article on Lectio Divina for kids! My 7-year-old son, Calvin, has been downhill skiing for over a year. He took two days of lessons at Mount Crested Butte in Colorado, and because kids are fearless and completely unaware of the fact that bones break, he was skiing down the entire mountain by the end of his two days. Just recently we took him to our local ski hill in Minnesota. Calvin decided that he wanted to try the tow rope, which is something he had never done before. My husband took him over to the rope, showed him how to do it, and off they went. Calvin did it perfectly fine. He skied down to me as fast as he could and declared that he wanted to do it again. My husband was already off … Read More

Toddler prayer: A Primer for Christian Families

Toddler prayer | Toddler boy closeup

A huge thank you to Lois McKiernan of Where Truth Lives for this fabulous article on toddler prayer! “Is there anything you’d like to pray?” My toddler nodded, then squeezed his big eyes closed. “Thank You, God, for all my friends playing with me in the garden in the sand pit… In Jesus’s name… Aaaamennnnn!!” He grinned as he closed his eyes and settled down to sleep, and I smiled in gratitude that he, though so young, was intimately communicating with his Creator, sharing his heart and his gratitude with the Source of every blessing. Each night, my husband or I (whichever one of us is putting him to bed) will pray for our son – for his safety, his peace of mind, his obedience and his character. Then we’ll ask him if he wants to pray, too. There have been one or two nights where he’s shaken his head … Read More

7 Gospel-Focused Christian Easter books

Christian Easter books for your family

INSIDE: Christian Easter books that share the Gospel message in addition to telling the actual story of the first Easter. Have you ever gotten a little stuck when trying to share the Easter story with kids? You might get stuck on the Christian lingo we use, like “Jesus’ blood washes away our sins” which sounds a little gory to kids (and anyone not familiar with the phrase)! Or you might get stuck on the actual death part. It’s hard to talk about death with young children, because their abstract minds can’t fathom the permanence of death or the separation of soul and body. In addition, there is a lot of mean, awful, and downright confusing characters in the Easter story. (Like the part where the devil entered Judas… say what?) Compared to the cute cuddliness of a baby in a manger, Easter is a tough celebration to explain to our … Read More

Meaningful and Stretching Prayer Activities for Kids

praying at table

A huge thanks to Rachel from Titus 2 Homemaker for this article on prayer activities for kids! When my sisters and I were young, we had a book we called “the Ryan book.”  The actual title is Adventure at Hidden Haven Ranch,and it’s a chapter book about a young boy named (you guessed it) Ryan, who learns to pray during a visit to his aunt and uncle’s ranch. The interesting thing about this is that none of us particularly remember reading the book or doing the exercises from it.  Neither does my daughter, who I also used the book with when she was very young.   We do, however, remember the lessons we learned.  That realization was an eye-opening encouragement to me as a parent – this clear evidence that what we do doesn’t have to be flashy or even memorable to make an impact. What we learned about prayer Adventure at Hidden Haven … Read More

How to Hear From God: Listening Prayer for Kids

boy learning how to hear from God

On whether listening prayer is Biblical, and teaching our kids how to hear from God. Giggling, my boys scurried into their beds. One up the ladder to the top bunk, the other underneath. Damp hair curled around their ears, smelling fresh from the bath.  It was time to listen to God.  I asked them to repeat these words: “Jesus, please help me to listen to you. Help my heart and mind to be quiet so I can hear you. Jesus, what would you like to say to me today?” Then I reminded them that it was time to be quiet and wait for Jesus to respond, something that is very hard for small boys to do.  But within a minute, my younger son said “I think he wants to say ‘I love you.’” The older boy was discouraged because he hadn’t heard any whispers in his heart; he said his … Read More

How To Make the Most of Bedtime Prayer for Toddlers

bedtime prayer for toddlers

Thank you to Kayla Alonso from Baby Devotions for this incredibly helpful post with 4 practical steps toward meaningful bedtime prayer for toddlers! Now I lay me down to sleep,I pray the Lord my soul to keep. If I die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take. We all know the classic rhyme-like bedtime prayer. But what if I told you, that bedtime prayers with toddlers can be more than just rhymes and games? Bedtimes prayers can be an avenue of connecting with and guiding our children, even toddlers, in their faith journey. Here are 4 ways to engage your toddler in more significant bedtime prayers: 1. Speak life over your child Navigating the terrible 2s can lead to some frustrating moments. Not going to lie, there are some days it feels like we spent half the day in time out. Those days are the worst! … Read More

What is Ash Wednesday?

Ash cross for Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday was not part of my upbringing, but a few years ago I had a hunch that there was something deeply meaningful about Ash Wednesday, but because it kept sneaking up on me, I never had time to figure it out in time. You are reading this, now, so I assume you have a hunch that there’s something about Ash Wednesday too. Maybe, just maybe it might help you connect with God in a way that has been dry for a long time. If you are dissatisfied (mildly or extremely) with cultural Christianity, with the way it angrily denounces the culture while standing on the backs of the bleeding innocent, I invite you to join me on this journey. If you feel like something’s not quite aligned in your relationship with God and you need a spiritual chiropractic treatment, I invite you to join me. If you struggle with … Read More

More Than a Bunny: How To Teach Kids About The Real Meaning of Easter

Cute little girl with a bunny rabbit at easter with green grass

Teaching kids (and adults) about the real meaning of Easter! Easter is coming! And with it, the eggs and bunnies and chicks. But while Easter might currently be celebrated as an Ode to Spring with its bunnies and eggs and plastic-grass-filled-baskets, that is not why Christians celebrate it. You may have heard a rumor that Easter was originally a pagan holiday. This is debatable. If this interests you, read this very well-research article here from an atheist historian (who clearly has no need to prove that Easter wasn’t pagan). Anyway, Easter is actually more closely linked to an ancient Jewish holiday, called Passover. So many holidays. Here’s the short version: Several thousand years ago, the Jewish people lived as slaves in Egpyt. In a hugely dramatic showdown with the gods of Egypt, the Jewish God sent a bunch of plagues. (yes, this was a divine battle, not God being a … Read More

The Ultimate Guide To Celebrating Lent

Lent for all Christians

I first heard of Lent waaaay back when I was about 20. That first year, I decided I wanted to try to give up something for Lent: sugar. That was SO hard. And to be honest, I didn’t really understand why I was doing it.  Since then, I’ve learned a bit more about Lent. If you’re unfamiliar with it, here are a few myths and truths: Myth #1: Lent is for Catholics.  Truth: Lent is observed by Catholics and Protestants. Lent is an ancient practice that began long before “Catholic” and “Protestant” were labels used by Christians. Myth #2: Lent is 40 days long.  Truth: It’s actually 46 days! Those extra 6 days are Sundays, when tradition says that you can break your fast. Myth #3: Lent is about fasting. Truth: Well, that one was partly true, but Lent isn’t just about giving up something.  There are 3 traditional Lenten activities: prayer fasting almsgiving What … Read More

Turn Your Worries Into Worship With These 2 Incredible Playlists

woman praying through her worries

Use these two playlists to help you turn your worries into worship, and your fears into prayers. The evening dragged on and a familiar feeling made itself at home in the pit of my stomach. My fiancee had left hours ago, and he hadn’t yet checked in at his destination. Wind whipped up the snowflakes that tumbled from the sky, and images of his car in a snow-filled ditch whipped around in my mind.  Kneeling on the pink carpet in my childhood bedroom, I cried out to God, pleading for a phone call to let me know he was safe. As my worries turned into prayers , God gave me something better than a phone call – he gave me peace. Somehow, I knew that God would care for both of us no matter what happened that night.  What happened there? Prayer doesn’t always lead to peace, because God is … Read More