6 Crucial College Transition Issues You Didn’t Think Of…Yet

college transition issues

It’s a pleasure to welcome Crystal Chiang to the blog today, sharing about something I will eventually need: helping your child transition to college! Crystal is the executive director of student curriculums at Orange. She is the co-author of The Art of Group Talk: How to Lead Better Conversations with Teenage Girls (Orange Books, April 2018), a resource for small group leaders. Check out her brand new devotional book for college students: Starting Now: A 30-Day Guide To Becoming Who You Want to Be In College. (check it out on Amazon in any country here or on Amazon.com below) It would make a great gift! Helping your child transition from one phase to the next is never easy. You probably remember the first day of kindergarten, of middle school or of driving. Chances are, at each phase, you found yourself asking the same, very important, question: Are they ready? In elementary school, the answer … 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

Raising Teens Who Know and Love God

A huge thanks to Monica Swanson, author of the upcoming Boy Mom book and homeschool mom of 4 amazing boys, for sharing her ideas on raising teens who actually love God. I have four sons, and two of them are suddenly more man than boy. (One will be 20, the other 18 in a few short months.)   There’s a lot I have loved about seeing my boys grow into young men, but more than anything I am grateful that they have thus far all personally chosen to follow Jesus.   Like:  get-up-before-the-sun-to-spend-time-with-Him follow Jesus.   Like: Lead Bible studies, share their faith with friends, and live intentionally for God’s glory kind of faith.  3 John 1:4 resonates with me now, more than ever:  “I have no greater joy than to know my children are walking in truth?”  Truly, there is: No Greater  Joy! It was always my hope that … Read More

How To Share the Gospel With a Child (and have them actually remember it!)

sharing the gospel with kids

Do you know how the share the Gospel with a child in the easiest way possible? With colors! You may have seen something called “the wordless book” or made beaded bracelets with the colors in Sunday School.  The colors are usually presented in this order: Black: Our sinRed: Jesus’ sacrifice for our sinWhite: Our new purityGreen: New growth in ChristYellow: For the hope of heaven But most of the color-presentations are missing something essential. They are missing God’s motivation. As a story-writer, I know that every character must be properly motivated. His/her actions have to have a reason, because that’s how things work in real life. We don’t do random things. Even if they may APPEAR random, they always have a reason. (Whether or not the reason is sane is another story altogether.) When we start our gospel presentations with sin, we have a motivation problem. Why on earth would … Read More

 8 Prayers to Help a Child With Anxiety

child and parent praying, prayers to help with anxiety

8 prayers to help a child with anxiety, based on the Bible. My cell phone chimed just as I sat down to drink my coffee. It was the school.   As soon as I picked up, my son’s complaint came through: “Mommy, I’m sick.” The scent of coffee teased me as I closed my eyes and sighed. “What kind of sick?” “My tummy hurts.” The school receptionist came on the line. “Yeah,” she apologized, “there’s something going around. Lots of the kids have been hit with this one.” I nodded, set the warm mug on the desk, and went to get my jacket. So much for my work morning. It was too early to tell, but I wondered if his stomachache had more to do with his thoughts than with germs.  HOW TO TELL IF YOUR CHILD HAS ANXIETY Sure enough, he perked up soon after I picked him up. Occasionally … Read More

The Bible Is Not About Animals (Let’s Stop Teaching Our Kids That It Is!)

teach the Jonah and the whale Bible story to kids

I was in Children’s Ministry a long time. In fact, I started when I was still a kid – at age 12 I started volunteering in Sunday School. I spent most of the next 24 years either in either paid or volunteer ministry. At 18 years old, I led a preschool Sunday School class in the hallway of a community center, where I used fake potted plants to keep the kids from running off. I ran the preschool summer programs at a local megachurch, where we once had 57 five-year-olds in one room. And I was the Director of Children’s Ministries at my mid-sized church for most of 2006-2018 (barring a little time off for each of my 3 babies). And I have to tell you, Children’s Ministry is one of the most amazing places in the world. But it can also be one of the saddest places in the … Read More

One easy way to connect your children with God

INSIDE: A video on how to connect God and children in a natural way! A deep stillness rested on the house, a heavy blanket over me and my gently snoring husband. But still I peered into the darkness like someone had propped my eyes open with toothpicks. What if I wasn’t doing enough to help my boys know God’s extravagant love for them? I prayed myself to sleep that night, begging God for a deeper understanding of what it meant to share His love with my kids. It turns out that there’s a simple way to introduce God into the lives of my kids without it being a daily weight on my shoulders… Watch the video or read the transcript below to find out what it is! One easy way to connect God and children I keep my eyes peeled for something I like to call the “45 second moment”. These unexpected … Read More

5 growth stages as a family of faith

INSIDE: the different stages in growing as a family of faith. My goal with this whole website is to help parents feel confident in their calling as spiritual leaders in their homes, helping you be consistent in a creative, unique-to-you way. You can be confident in your calling to grow a family of faith BECAUSE God is faithful. He has promised to begin and continue the good work He is doing in each family. God says, in Isaiah 60:21, “they are the shoot I have planted, the work of my hands, for the display of my splendor.” God created our families. We have all become broken in many ways, but God is constantly re-creating our families through his grace, and for his glory. And someday, our children will be called “Oaks of Righteousness”, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor. But we don’t start out that … Read More

Is your child too young for faith?

Can a child ever be too young for faith?

I am so thrilled to have the amazing children’s author, Glenys Nellist, sharing her grandson’s story with us today. Glenys is a wonderful storyteller (both on the page and in person), has worked in children’s ministry, is married to a pastor, and is a mom and a grandma. She loves Jesus and wrote an entire series of truly unique children’s picture Bibles in an effort to help kids know him better. But I’ll let her tell you her story herself… (P.S. I’ve dropped some links so you can find her books. They’re affiliate links, which means that Amazon pays me a small commission for recommending the books. Which I would have recommended anyway, but every 15 cents helps run this website! They don’t cost you any extra.) *** I remember the day well. It was a Thursday afternoon and we were sitting together on the sofa, my little grandson and … Read More

The 10 BEST Bible storybooks for your family

Best Bible storybooks for kids

Bible storybooks are a fabulous way to introduce your kids to the Bible. But how can you find the best Bible storybooks for your family? Like other storybooks, good Bible storybooks have great illustrations and are well-written. Unlike other storybooks, Bible storybooks share a broad spectrum of Scripture, from Genesis to the New Testament.  When should you choose a Bible storybook over the actual Biblical text? When you are starting a new habit, and need something simple that will engage your kids. It’s much easier to start a habit of reading the Bible if your children are actually paying attention. 😜 When your kids are very young. Picture always help little kids pay attention. Right? (Caveat: you can actually read small chunks of actual Biblical text with your young children, but I would recommend that you give them something to do with their bodies while you read.) When you didn’t … Read More