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

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

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

A Prayer For My Children To Know God’s Love

A prayer for my son

When I don’t know how to answer my child’s questions, I pray this prayer for my children. The question came out of nowhere. “How do I know God exists when I can’t see him?” asked my four-year-old son. My jaw dropped; I had never heard a young child ask such an existential question before. I hemmed and hawed and finally came up with an answer, and later that evening I remained extra grateful for the verse we had been praying over him every night at bedtime. A prayer for my children, right from the Bible: Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the … 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

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

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