Easter is one of my favorite holidays, bringing a joyful celebration of faith to our family every year. Though the holiday itself is filled with joy, the season of Lent reminds us of the suffering of Christ and is difficult to teach to young children. While teaching about Christmas is easy, because babies are fun and easy to celebrate, the Cross and Easter are a bit of a challenge. I created a set of DIY Resurrection Eggs for toddlers and preschoolers and paired them with stories from The Jesus Storybook Bible to help us teach our kids about the real meaning of the holiday. We still celebrate with bunnies and chocolate and cute Easter outfits, but this activity is simple to create and really explains it in a way kids can understand. Be sure to check out our other fun ideas for Easter here.
We did something really special and fun with our kids this weekend that we’d never done before but definitely will do again – we gave them a blessing and anointed them with oil. It was simple and sweet and our whole family loved it. I felt funny about it at first and thought it might be kind of weird, but it was really the most special thing. We are trying our best to teach our kids about Jesus and bring the bible to life for them using the Jesus Storybook Bible, and this was another way to accomplish that. We simply read the story of Samuel anointing David as God chooses him as Israel’s future king and then gave our kids a blessing. I’ll share with you how we did it so you can try it with your family. Be sure to check out the entire Jesus Storybook Bible Activity Series here at My Mundane and Miraculous Life.
This week we read the Jesus Storybook Bible version of Moses parting the Red Sea during our home preschool, and got the kids involved in a little water experiment to help bring the story to life. Our Moses and the Red Sea preschool activity is part of the Jesus Storybook Bible Activity Series. Kid Blogger Network writers are sharing a different interactive activity to go with each story and you can find them all here.
Marriage is the best, hardest, most challenging, and most fulfilling life relationship. My husband is an amazing man and his love is a blessing to me every day of my life. We’ve been married six years, so we are still total beginners in the grand scheme of things, but we’ve picked up a few habits that help keep our faith in Jesus in the center of our marriage that I’ll share with you today. Much like my post about Simple Ways to Bring Jesus in to Your Child’s Daily Routine, I’m not coming to you from a place of having anything figured out. I write this more as a fellow traveler on this journey of marriage who wants to share and encourage and protect marriages. Everyone wants their marriage to succeed, and I think that best happens when both partners are on the same page about faith, money, and family goals.
Holy Week is one of my favorite times of the year because we get to take the time to focus on Christ’s work on the cross and what it means for us. I’ve shared with y’all about simple ways to bring Jesus in to your child’s daily life here, but talking about Easter and what it means can be a bit more difficult. Christmas is easy with the baby Jesus and all of the manger scene and Jesse Tree activities. Death on a cross for the sin of humanity is slightly more difficult to discuss with preschoolers, am I right? One way we’ve made it personal for our kids this year is to create a thumbprint cross with each of them. Their unique thumbprint represents the personal nature of Jesus’ death and resurrection – that it means the possibility of real relationship with God and eternal life for them. Plus, they are super fun and easy to make.
One of the most important roles we play as parents is as the spiritual guide for our children. We’ve found a few simple ways to bring our faith in Jesus in to our children’s lives that I’m sharing with y’all today. We are far from having it all figured out and are still learning so much about every aspect of parenting. For our children to know Jesus at a young age and grow up with a strong faith is our constant prayer and highest goal. If you are of a similar mindset, here are a few simple ways to bring Jesus in to your child’s daily routine.
In this quest to live this one life to the fullest extent the Lord has planned for me, I’m trying each week to concentrate on one aspect of becoming the woman I want to be. You can read about my definition of who that woman is here
. I long to be a woman of prayer. If you are blessed to know a real prayer warrior, you know there is something different about them, something intangible. Not only do they have that Jesus joy that shines through so many of His followers, they also have a quiet sense of connectedness to the Father that I want so desperately. You know they pray for you, even without them voicing it. You know they spend rich, full, time with their Daddy each day. I am one who often says a quick prayer throughout the day, but lacks the fortitude to commit to consistent, deep time with Him. But I want it. Oh, how I want it. So, I’ve decided no more will I wait on the sidelines for that magical time when I become the woman I want to be. The time is now, and it starts with prayer.
Will you join me? If you, too, have longed to be a prayer warrior, join me as I try to bridge this gap. I’ve decided to start with intentional prayer lists. Using the notes section of my iPhone, I’ve made a list for each day of the week. There I can easily add prayer requests for friends (both IRL and online) and family, pray for missionaries and churches, and for my husband and children. My phone is like an extra appendage, so my prayer list will always be with me. Hopefully each list will be prayed over multiple times per day. From now on, if I tell someone I’m praying for them, I’m really praying for them. I want those words to have meaning.
Challenge #1: Create a prayer list for each day of the week.
Who do you want to be when you grow up? What steps are you taking to become that person today?
Growing up, we all made fun of my mom constantly for her habit of leaving half drunk cups of coffee all over the house. I never understood how she could keep forgetting her cup and never quite get through it without having to reheat it. Let’s just say the veil has lifted.
I am now the mother of 2 children under age 2 and can barely find time to feed myself, much less finish a cup of coffee before it gets cold. I’ve found my forgotten half drunk cups all over the place from the microwave to the changing table and everywhere in between. The other day I found myself complaining about never getting a chance to just sit down and enjoy my coffee and breakfast. I felt an ache in my heart for my old job in full time ministry with Young Life. I loved that job and pray that He calls me back to it when this season is over. In that moment I felt the Lord’s gentle reminder that THIS is the season I am in right now and it won’t last long. This season of 2 in diapers and nonstop breastfeeding and 3 hour intervals and never being alone and never having a completely clean house for more than 10 minutes – THIS is where He has me right now. In a brief moment my baby will be a toddler and my toddler will be a big kid. Before I know it their complete dependence on me will be gone forever and I will have all the time in the world.
I am so thankful for the reminder to be where He has placed me right now. So today I am choosing gratitude. I am thankful for 2 healthy children who need me constantly. I am thankful for an easy childbirth and quick recovery. I am thankful for a teacher husband who has only a few days left of school before summer vacation. I am thankful for nap time. I am thankful for this high calling to be a stay at home mama. I am thankful for a God who loves me even when I choose to be a brat instead of a grateful child of His.
What are you thankful for today?
Although I’ve been a follower of Christ for 14 years, my rebellious spirit hasn’t changed. The season of Lent is so good for me because it causes me to embrace spiritual discipline and die to myself over little, insignificant sacrifices. As any good rebel knows, our instinct is to fight anything that goes against us having our own way, sometimes to our own detriment. Lent is just that. We are supposed to give up things that get in the way of our relationship with Jesus and be reminded of His sacrifice. My very nature fights this so hard. I’ve come to the conclusion that for me at least, Lent is less about what you give up and more about the spirit of sacrificing a bit of what you want on a daily basis to have a bit more of Jesus. For me, Lent is not about dogma or rules or punishment. Lent is about reminding myself of the suffering my Savior endured so that I could have the life of freedom I embrace the other 325 days of the year.
It is for this freedom that Christ has set us free. Do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery (Galations 5:1). I refuse to let myself become a slave to anything, not my own wants, not religion, not anything of this world. Lent reminds me of how selfish and sinful I really am, and makes me ever so much more grateful that Jesus died for me WHILE I am still a sinner. Not after I cleaned myself up. Not after I got my act together. Right in the middle of my mess He gave His life to pay the ransom for mine. And yours. While I’m still sinning. Amazing grace indeed.
Will you sacrifice anything this Lenten season? I plan to, but I know I’ll mess up, cheat, give in, and start again, probably by the end of this week. You probably will too, but remember this spiritual discipline is teaching us through our mistakes and helping us to grow in our faith as we struggle against our own sinful self.
“Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask for whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love.” (John 15:4-5,7,10)
One of my summer staff ladies from Trail West, Susannah, posted this verse on our group wall on Facebook. It was a great reminder of what our mission in this life should be, to abide in Jesus. He is the one who will cause us to bear fruit. Without Him, we are dead branches produce nothing. This weekend the Bear and I watched as Jed pruned the shrubs in front of our house. The Bear loves watching his daddy do yard work, and Jed explained to him that the shrubs would grow much faster the more he prunes them. It was such a picture of how our Father prunes us so that we can grow and bear fruit.
Prayer for the week:
Father God, I long to abide with you and your Son. Teach me what that means and how to go about it daily. I hope to obey your commandments. Help me to be faithful. I strive to bear fruit for your glory. Lord, make me fruitful. Prune and shape my life so that it can bear much fruit. Amen.
How is God pruning and growing you right now?