How to Engage Your Kids in Online Church in 3 Easy Steps

perfect family doing church at home

Read on for 3 steps to helping your young family truly get the most out of online church! This morning my family sat in the basement during our livestream church, and in the course of the hour-long service, one or more of my boys participated in the following: asking for snacks flipping through a photo album playing with the dog racing back and forth across the basement hiding under a blanket climbing the telepost begging for a kids show It’s not that my kids are “bad”, and it’s not that our church service was boring. It’s that…well, they’re KIDS. And most kids aren’t great at sitting still through a whole sermon, even when it’s on TV. The novelty of “church-on-TV” seems to have worn off, at least for my boys. I wish my family looked like this while doing church at home: But we were definitely not on our best … Read More

How to explain the resurrection to a child

how to explain the resurrection to a child

INSIDE: how to explain the resurrection to a child, and a free printable conversation guide! Resurrection Sunday happened shortly after my kidney surgery. I went to church to see my kids in the choir, but this year I observed much more than I participated, unlike most years when I’m scurrying to run programs for kids. Here’s what I saw: Incredible joy permeated the room. In a church that normally needs serious incentive to clap, there was spontaneous clapping, hand-raising, and even a bit of whooping. Have you ever felt like whooping and clapping and praising when confronted with the truth of the resurrection? Why does Jesus’ resurrection make us feel this way? I’m not sure most of those in the room could really put a finger on the reason they felt such joy, but they were feeling it most profoundly.  But in order to bring that joy into our daily … Read More

Encouragement and Tools for the COVID-19 quarantine

help for the pandemic

Hey friend, I know you’ve been flooded with COVID-19 emails, blog posts, and memes this week. I’m not here to spread any alarm (or toilet paper), but rather, some hope! First, I have a short devotional. Then, some resources to help if you’re suddenly at home with your kids for a couple weeks. In This World You Will Have Trouble… Bad things happen. Death and disease and disaster have touched us all. And yet, in the midst of all this, I’m reminded of this conversation Jesus had with his disciples: (very paraphrased from John 16) Jesus: Things will be bad. Yes, I just told you more than you can bear. But the Spirit will help you. Soon I will leave. Disciples: Wait, what?! Did he just say he will leave? Hey Jesus, we don’t get it. Jesus: Yes, I’m leaving. I’m going back to the Father. Disciples: oooooooh. Now we get it. (raising eyebrows at … Read More

6 Books to Help Children Find Hope

When a child is sad, it can be really tricky to know what to say. We could say, “it’ll be ok” or “it’s not so bad” or “it’ll get better”, but platitudes lose their powerful quickly. Instead, we can tell a story. We can help our children find hope through stories of our own (child-appropriate) hopeless times and how we discovered hope there. We can share stories of other people’s hard times and how they saw hope in the midst of great pain. One option we don’t often consider, but which has a ton of value, is that we can also use fictional stories. Take, for example, “Little Mole Finds Hope.” In the beginning of the story, Little Mole is feeling sad. His world is still in the clutches of winter, and frankly, he’s a bit bummed. Thankfully, Little Mole has a lovely mom who helps him see signs of … Read More

9 totally awesome ways to read the Bible with your kids

9 ways to read the Bible

Imagine this…you pull out the Bible, and all your kids groan. (Honestly, you do too. Deep down.) It’s a fight every day to read the Bible and make it seem applicable to your child’s life. They squirm, they roll their eyes 🙄 or they simply wander away. 🏃🏽 Does this happen in your home too? It used to happen in mine! But it doesn’t anymore. (mostly. let’s keep it real!) It is possible to engage each child in a way that makes their eyes pop with the relevance of Scripture to their daily lives, while letting them be wiggly. Would you fall over in shock if you kids begged to read the Bible with you? With the ideas below, you could:  learn how to engage each child in a way that makes their eyes pop with the relevance of Scripture to their daily lives. take that squirminess and put it … Read More

A “God is omnipresent” object lesson kids will LOVE!

God is omnipresent object lesson cover pic

Keep reading for a God is omnipresent object lesson that’s super simple and kids will love to replicate! It’s hard for kids to understand that God is everywhere, all the time, especially since we can’t see him at all. To be honest, most adults can’t grasp this either! It’s unfortunate that God is invisible, isn’t it? If we could see him, it sure would clear up a lot of questions. Unfortunately, that is not the way God has chosen to make himself known in the world. So he’s invisible, but he’s also everywhere. The fancy word for “God is everywhere” is “omnipresent”. Here is a great object lesson you can use to help your kids understand how God is omnipresent even if we can’t see him, and a book to show you that he’s not just THERE, he also CARES.  God is omnipresent object lesson To help your kids (and … Read More

Explaining The Bible To A Child…Starting With Jesus

explaining the Bible to a child

Explaining the Bible to a child (or teaching the Bible to a child) can seem tricky, but it gets easier when you start near the end: with Jesus. Read on to find out WHY you should start with Jesus, HOW to start with Jesus, and some great Bible-teaching resources to use with kids. Why explaining the Bible to a child is so hard… If you’ve ever tried to sum up a novel, you’ll have a small inkling of why its difficult to explain the Bible to a child. For starters, it’s ridiculously long. The Bible is so long that people often commit to reading it in a year…and fail because there are just SO many words. The Bible isn’t written as a single narrative, which makes it far more complex than any other book you use in teaching your child. The Bible contains poetry and story and wisdom literature and … 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