Monday, March 25, 2013
Thursday, March 21, 2013
My heart is so full after this Sunday's Orphan Sunday service. I am honored to be part of an amazing congregation who shares God's heart for the fatherless. The service was also a wonderful reminder that we are ALL adopted into God's Heavenly family. That is a true blessing and the best truth I can think of. I am so thankful for the church staff, the volunteers, the adoptive families of our church, and the worship band that totally rocked the praise music. So many people helped to make Orphan Sunday what it was. God was glorified and I know He will continue to do BIG THINGS with this day. Trusting in Him to lead the way for our church.
Below was the one and only picture I snapped during the service, but it really was such a powerful moment. Our "Children of God" music video was finishing up and the band members had just revealed their "adopted" t-shirts too. They performed the song live while the video played on the screens. I love that you can also see the shoe demonstration laying at the front of the stage ... I led a group that brought up a total of 240 pairs of shoes throughout the service to represent the 240 children that were orphaned around the world just during the hour of the service. Powerful stuff. HERE is the message that our children's minister delivered (click on the Orphan Sunday message from 3/17/13). She did a fantastic job explaining our adoption into God's family using scripture, as well as explaining that God calls us to care for orphans of the world. She talked about a few ways to care for orphans that do not include adoption, and as a result, the congregation sponsored 18 new children through Compassion after the services!
Thursday, March 14, 2013
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
I've mentioned before that Bible study with the kids has been a struggle the entire school year. I started with the best intentions and have tried many times to make Bible Study Guide For All Ages work with the kids, but there is too much of a gap in their ages. Angel is very interested, Lovebug plays along out of responsibility, and my little Sunshine tends to make things ... well, just plain difficult. We have good days and bad while working through the lessons but a lot of the time, I end up totally frustrated ... which is bad. It seems like the enemy wins the battle on many days. It just wasn't working well given their different attention spans and academic levels.
So I finally had an idea a few weeks ago that I think is working for us. And this idea could actually work for any family, homeschooling or not. Partly based on reading about a Morning Basket over at Inspired to Action, partly inspired by Date With God at Created 4 Care, and partly because of attending Together Called, our very own Morning Basket was born. The kids are much happier to participate with this kind of devotion versus the more formal lessons I was trying before. In many ways, I prefer the formal lessons because it's more systematic and complete, but I am happy to work with this for now. What's important is that they have their time with God, not necessarily how it happens.
There are a variety of devotional books for kids so they have a choice each day, as well as an Adventure Bible to look up verses, several other books (I'll outline them below), and a few Sunshine-proof board books. Some of these books were purchased just for our basket, others we already had. I realize our basket has a lot of different books and that certainly isn't needed, but I know my kids like variety :-) I also included our Prayer Sticks, journals for the older kids, and crayons. I may add a "journal" for Sunshine also because she has really enjoyed drawing during this time. They pick their own devotional book in the morning, find the verse in the Bible, and then write/draw in their journal afterward. I'll also pick from one of the other books to read or pray ... still working that out but I just adore having this time with the kids! It's very much mommy-led at this point and I am totally fine with that. I love sharing God's Word with my children and consider it such a gift. Jesus' love and grace for us is the most important life lesson I could possibly pass onto them, and what an honor it is to do that!
Here's what's in our Morning Basket:
Angel's Journal - storytelling pages with lines for writing and open space for drawing
Lovebug's Journal - unruled notebook just for drawing (I write the Bible verse of the day on top of each page)
Jesus Calling for Kids - dated daily devotional
One Year Devotions for Preschoolers - dated daily devotional
My ABC Bible Bible Verses - alphabetic devotional with short stories
His Mighty Warrior - devotional for warrior boys
His Little Princess - devotional for princess girls
Children's Everyday Bible - dated daily devotional
Sticky Situations 2 - dated family devotional using everyday situations
Window on the World - outlining all the countries around the world and how your family can pray for them (LOVE!)
Usborne Children's Picture Atlas - to go along with Window on the World
Children's Adoration Prayer Book - learning to adore God using the alphabet
A Child's Book of Character Building - teaching Christian character using Bible stories
Lift-the-Flap Bible - board book perfect for toddlers
Tiny Bear's Bible - another board book for my little Sunshine
Noah Builds an Ark - another board book for variety
Our Prayer Sticks
Crayons, pencils, pens
I'd love to hear how you do Bible study and devotions with your kiddos too! And if you've blogged about it, please share links in the comments!
Saturday, March 9, 2013
She is a true princess. She is His princess. Every day of the year, whether she feels like it or not. Her King is Our Heavenly King, who loves her and cherishes her more than she can possibly comprehend here on earth. Last night, she felt like the true princess that she is. This was her second year going to the Father Daughter Dance with her daddy, but it was the first year that we really did it right. The dress, the hair, the nails, the makeup, the shoes, the corsage ... the whole nine. And oh she was glowing, a smile from ear to ear. And stunning. And so ... ummmm ... grown up. My goodness where does the time go? I love this event hosted by a local church. It's a perfect way to show her what it feels like to be His princess, and to show her early on how she should be loved and cherished. Her daddy showered her with all kinds of princess goodness, an earthly example of how her Heavenly King showers her with love every day.
"I have loved you with a love that lasts forever." Jeremiah 31:3
Sunday, March 3, 2013
Her baby doll needed a diaper change. She brought the step stool over from the bathroom all by herself. Oh this girl. She does something new every day. And it just gets cuter and more precious and more "grown up" each time.