Friday Activity Idea

This was shared by my sweet friend Lauren, Mom to an adorable daughter and son both under 2!

My Mom is a montessori teacher and is the most creative person on the planet. Her number one tip lately has been go outside and play in water, weather permitting, of course. She is all about the calming effects and it truly tuckers them out before nap time. They love to play with the hose and we take a few buckets of all shapes and sizes and cups and bowls and squirt bottles and turn on the hose.  I remember playing outside with cups and paintbrushes and water for hours when I was little. My mom said when the weather is bad to take the water party inside to the tub. So I guess, weather doesn't matter. : ) 

*One of Abby Kate's favorite activities it taking a paintbrush and huge bowl of water and painting the sidewalks!


This was written by my sweet friend Lindsey, mother of three girls (two of which are twins).  Love to hear ideas like this!

One thing that we almost always do with Emma (the twins aren't quite old enough yet) is to share prayer requests with her.  They usually come from our SS class or from family members or old friends that have asked for prayer.  This accomplishes several things.  You have probably noticed that kids don't forget anything (even when you wish they would), so Emma always remembers our prayer requests and we pray for them together each night.  It also opens up discussion when a prayer request is answered.  For example, there was a guy in our SS class whose sister delivered a baby at 25 weeks.  She was born on a Sunday and we prayed for baby Sarah every day that week.  She died the following Sunday.  Now, this was a hard one to explain that sometimes God doesn't answer our prayers the way we hoped, but as we adults know, that is how He works sometimes, so I don't think it is bad to learn it from the get-go.  As a mom who pleads with the Father for the souls of my daughters, losing that child to death opened a window to talk about heaven and eternity and even death.  Another example is that Emma gets really nervous when we start new things.  So last year, leading up to the first day of kindergarten, we began to pray for 1 special friend in Emma's class that she could be close with, play with outside of school,...  We got that exact answer on the first day when we found out that a girl who lives 3 doors down was in her class.  We prayed the same prayer this past summer, and got the exact same answer via that same child.  This child's father is a minister and she comes from a precious family.  It was so good to show Emma God's hand in her life.  Another tool we've used is Scripture memory.  Our church is extremely Scripture oriented and Emma participates in Awana and our VBS focuses on Scripture memory.  This summer's big verse was Joshua 1:9, which came in handy for a fearful child such as mine.  We sort of tweaked it a little when we were in a new situation.  At Emma's track meet, she was getting nervous so we said, "Be strong and courageous.  Don't be terrified, don't be discouraged.  For the Lord your God will be with you wherever you RUN or JUMP."  We used that same verse at the beginning of the school year and said, "...wherever you sit in the cafeteria", etc. 


I loved this post by my precious friend Christina .  She is the incredible Momma of two boys, ages 22 months and 7 months.  She always challenges me.  They have just begun building a new house.  This post is inspired by that process.
As I look at these pictures, I can't help but think how reflective these are of the exact stage of life that we are in right now. We have our two little boys who seem so young and have so much of life ahead of them (just like there is hardly any of the house done yet, and seems like there is still so much to go)! Yet, as I am reminded of how crucial and important the foundation of a literal house is a good reminder to me of what important years these are to our little ones. So many times, I think it is easy to think of these early years as just diaper changing, eating, sleeping, and chasing them around the house. It is easy to think that the 'training' all comes later in life when they are older, can understand more, etc... Last year in BSF (Bible Study Fellowship), we studied the life of Moses and I LOVED studying about Moses' Mom, Jochebed. (You can read the whole story in Exodus 2.) It was so neat to see how she only had Moses in her home until he was weaned (from what I understand, they probably weaned about 3 years of age back then. Yikes!! But anyways....) Yet, he was taught the ways of God and valuable truths that not only stayed with him for a life time, but also set him up to lead God's chosen people all the way to the Promised Land. What an amazing Mom she must have been....and how seriously she must have taken her job to teach him everything she could about her beloved God before he was given over to live in Pharoah's home. Obviously, she realized that her son would most likely be taught things completely opposite to the faith which she held so dear. familiar this kiddos will be growing up in a world where they will witness truths completely opposite of the Godly truths that our family holds so dear. Oh, how I pray that I am faithful in impressing on their hearts the ways of God at these very early ages. Such a good reminder to capture their hearts while they are young... have them fold their little hands in prayer at mealtime; read Bible stories at night (no matter how short they have to be); play and sing Christian music; teach them to pray when they are scared, happy, thankful, or even in trouble; talk about God's simple truths like sharing, obeying, making God sometimes feels like such a huge responsibility. I feel blessed that God would even consider Trey and I to tackle the job...I just pray He'll give us the wisdom and grace to parent these blessings!!

"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. 
Impress them on your children.
Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates. "
Deuteronomy 6:5-9

Praying for your children...

31 Ways to Pray for my Children
1 salvation "Lord, let salvation spring up within my children, that they may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory" (Isaiah 45:8, 2 Timothy 2:10).
2 growth in grace "I pray that they may 'grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ'" (2 Peter 3:18).
3 love "Grant, Lord, that my children may learn to 'live a life of love,' through the Spirit who dwells in them" (Ephesians 5:2, Galatians 5:22).
4 honesty and integrity " May integrity and honesty be their virtue and their protection" (Psalm 25:21, NLT).
5 self-control " Father, help my children not to be like many others around them, but let them be 'alert and self-controlled' in all they do" (1 Thessalonians 5:6)
6 a love for God's Word " May my children grow to find your Word 'more precious than gold, than much pure gold; [and] sweeter than honey, than honey from the comb'" (Psalm 19:10).
7 justice " God, help my children to love justice as you do and to 'act justly' in all they do" (Psalm 11:7, Micah 6:8).
8 mercy " May my children always 'be merciful, as [their] Father is merciful'" (Luke 6:36).
9 respect (for self, others, authority) " Father, grant that my children may 'show proper respect to everyone,' as your Word commands" (1 Peter 2:17a).
10 strong, Biblical self-esteem " Help my children develop a strong self-esteem that is rooted in the realization that they are 'God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus'" (Ephesians 2:10).
11 faithfulness "' Let love and faithfulness never leave [my children],' but bind these twin virtues around their necks and write them on the tablet of their hearts" (Proverbs 3:3).
12 courage "May my children always 'Be strong and courageous' in their character and in their actions" (Deuteronomy 31:6).
13 purity "'Create in [them] a pure heart, O God,' and let their purity of heart be shown in their actions" (Psalm 51:10).
14 kindness "Lord, may my children 'always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else'" (1 Thessalonians 5:15).
15 generosity "Grant that my children may 'be generous and willing to share [and so] lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age'" (1 Timothy 6:18-19).
16 peace, peaceability "Father, let my children 'make every effort to do what leads to peace'" (Romans 14:19).
17 joy " May my children be filled 'with the joy given by the Holy Spirit'" (1 Thessalonians 1:6).
18 perseverance " Lord, teach my children perseverance in all they do, and help them especially to 'run with perseverance the race marked out for [them]'" (Hebrews 12:1).
19 humility " God, please cultivate in my children the ability to 'show true humility toward all'" (Titus 3:2).
20 compassion " Lord, please clothe my children with the virtue of compassion" (Colossians 3:12).
21 responsibility " Grant that my children may learn responsibility, 'for each one should carry his own load'" (Galatians 6:5).
22 contentment " Father, teach my children 'the secret of being content in any and every situation. . . . through him who gives [them] strength'" (Philippians 4:12-13).
23 faith " I pray that faith will find root and grow in my children's hearts, that by faith they may gain what has been promised to them" (Luke 17:5-6, Hebrews 11:1-40).
24 a servant heart " God, please help my children develop servant hearts, that they may serve wholeheartedly, 'as to the Lord, and not to men'" (Ephesians 6:7, KJV).
25 hope " May the God of hope grant that my children may overflow with hope and hopefulness by the power of the Holy Spirit" (Romans 15:13).
26 the willingness and ability to work hard " Teach my children, Lord, to value work and to work hard at everything they do, 'as working for the Lord, not for men'" (Colossians 3:23).
27 a passion for God " Lord, please instill in my children a soul that "followeth hard after thee," a heart that clings passionately to you (Psalm 63:8, KJV).
28 self-discipline " Father, I pray that my children may develop self-discipline, that they may acquire 'a disciplined and prudent life, doing what is right and just and fair'" (Proverbs 1:3).
29 prayerfulness " Grant, Lord, that my children's lives may be marked by prayerfulness, that they may learn to 'pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests" (Ephesians 6:18).
30 gratitude " Help my children to live lives that are always 'overflowing with thankfulness,' 'always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ'" (Colossians 2:7, Ephesians 5:20).
31 a heart for missions " Lord, please help my children to develop a heart for missions, a desire to see your glory declared among the nations, your marvelous deeds among all peoples" (Psalm 96:3).

Amazing Post...

I had a sweet friend share this post with me.  I think it will bless your socks off too....

Ways to show them Him...

By Emily Kaler

I received Emily's email and could not wait to devour it.  She was my Bible study leader when living in Springdale as a semi-newleywed.  She is a woman of great wisdom with SUCH a dear heart.  I love that she too thought of the verse Deuteronomy 6:5-9 as a banner over her role as a mother. 
Here is what she wrote...

Deuteronomy 6:5-9
Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.

I take this verse very literally and we talk about God constantly.  No interaction, problem, circumstance goes by without making some sort of spiritual connection.  I have found you don't have to invent spiritual lessons.  You don't actually have to be super intentional to "create" opportunities (fancy lesson plans, etc) I have found that life is the opportunity and our job as moms is to capitalize on the teaching moments! 

**MUSIC.  Great way to teach scripture memory.  "20 verses every child should know" is a great tool that my 4ry, 7 yr and 10yr all enjoy. CD's in the car.  Talk about what the music is saying.  Remind them of what they are singing when the problem faces them in real life.

**Breakfast/dinner table...GREAT place to work on verses.  During homework time or mealtimes, just playfully quiz the kids on verses they have had at church or vbs or whatever.  Make it fun.  My kids feel good about themselves when they've memorized. 

**HI-LO.  This is a favorite in our house.  Always played at every dinner.  Everyone goes around and says their High for the day and then their LOW.  Great opportunity for discussion and to get into their heads and great for me b/c it requires no preparation :)

***Instead of making your kids say "I'm sorry" to their sibling or whoever, train them to say "will you forgive me."  Great opprotunity for all involved on forgiveness for both parties.

***Total practical tip.  If getting everyone ready in the morning is hard, make them get totally ready (dressed, shoes, hair, etc) BEFORE they eat breakfast.  I used to do breakfast first, then everything else and it seemed I was yelling to get everyone out the door for school.  Once i swtiched to get dressed, then breakfast, they were SO fast because they are hungry!!!  :)

***Blessings.  I read a great book about giving spiritual blessings.  I picked out a verse or small passage for each of my kids and I say it over them after we've tucked in.  A bit of memorization on my part, but they LOVE IT AND REMIND ME IF I FORGET!  I really hope it is something that is and will continue to be meaningful to them over their life.  A bit of intention on my part in the beginning, but once you get it down, it is easy to keep up.

***My book recommendation list:

I HIGHLY recommend DATE nights with your hubby.  Weekend getaways when you can with your hubby.  occasional girls nights.  Mothers Day Out if you can.  Part of being a good/intentional mom is taking  care of yourself!  I TRIED TO BE SUPERMOM AND I FIGURED OUT IT IS TOTALLY OVER RATED!  BE INTENTIONAL!!!   BUT DON'T MISTAKE GOOD INTENTIONS FOR BEING PERFECT OR "RIGHT" OR BETTER THAN ANYONE ELSE!!!  I PROMISE GOD WILL SHOW YOU YOUR SHORT COMINGS!!! :)  TAKE IT FROM ME!  I'VE SEEN MY OWN....


I wanted to share a little about the birth of this blog and my heart for what I pray it becomes.  As a stay at home mother, I am daily reminded of my humanness.  As a matter of fact, I think mothers across the board can attest to that fact.  God has so graciously lavished upon us one of his most precious gifts...his children.  He entrusts them to us and that humbles me so much that it takes my breath away.  That is why I so deeply desire to do it right.  To point my children to Jesus every day of their lives.  But so often, my humanness gets in the way.  I find myself slipping into laziness, idleness of thought and action that sends my sweet little family in a direction I have no desire going.  I will find that Abby Kate watched TV most of the day, I spent way too much time on the internet or doing insignificant things that simply do not matter and I hate it.  It makes me sick at heart.  I truly believe God has called each of us to a life of intention.  He so desires for every thought, action and word to be considered.  And I believe, this goes especially in the lives of our children.  Actually, He tells us so.  Deuteronomy 6:5-9 says "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.  These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts.  Impress them on your children.  Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.  Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.  Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates."    
This verse has both challenged and perplexed me.  I have struggled with ways to enact this verse.  I so desire to be a Mother that impresses God's commandments upon my children.  I want to talk about them all day as He commands.  But what does this look like?  This was the question at the heart of this blog.  How do I live intentionally before my children all day?  What are things I can do to impress a life of faith upon their hearts?
So my goals for this blog are three-fold...
1.  That we may grow as mothers/parents.  
2.  That we may gain new ideas to inspire creativity and structure for our days.
3.  That we may gain a community of people that desire to intentionally point our children to Jesus through all we do, say and how we act and share ways to do just that!

Thank you for joining me on this journey.  Each post we likely be from other contributors.  I am merely serving as the narrator of this blog.  I hope to glean as much or more than any reader.  May He be glorified and a new generation of intentional families rise up....