Life in Lape Haven

Category - Family

Our Simple Approach to Family Devotions

Our Simple Approach to Family Devotions & Tips for Your Family Bible Time - Life in Lape Haven. Sometimes the thought of doing family devotions or reading the Bible with your kids can be overwhelming & daunting. But it doesn't have to be that way. Here's the simple way we do devotions as a family and some tips for your family's Bible time.

& Tips for Your Family Bible Time

Recently my boys had nearly a week off school, and they surprised me a bit by falling right back into the routine I’d started with them over the summer of doing a mini Bible study and journaling time at breakfast. In fact, they actually ASKED to do it, and of course I wasn’t going to say, “No.” 

Because we all want our kids to WANT to read the Bible, right?

But I know that sometimes just the thought of doing devotions or reading the Bible with your kids can seem overwhelming. We realize it’s important to lay a good Godly foundation for our children, and we really want to do this part of our parenting job well, but getting them to pay attention, knowing what to read, thinking “am I doing it right?” or “am I doing enough?” – it can be daunting and immediately discouraging.

I think that is why I was surprised that my boys were asking about doing our morning Bible time. To me, my efforts this summer to spend time in the Bible with our boys felt unorganized and nowhere near the thoughtfully planned out and neatly executed ideal I’d had in my head.

Life, however, said, “You barely have time to get a shower, let alone write out a 2-month daily Bible study for your boys right now.” Maybe someday…but not yet.

So instead of waiting until I had time to create my fabulous summer Bible plan, we used a very simple approach, and I just started doing it. (And if you are looking for tips, that’s your first one!)

Our Simple Approach to Family Devotions & Tips for Your Family Bible Time - Life in Lape Haven. Sometimes the thought of doing family devotions or reading the Bible with your kids can be overwhelming & daunting. But it doesn't have to be that way. Here's the simple way we do devotions as a family and some tips for your family's Bible time.

(This post contains affiliate links, which means that at no additional cost to you, I may receive a small commission when you use those links. For more details, see my full disclosure.)

START SOMEWHERE

Since our boys were little ones, we’ve been reading the Bible or at least one of their little storybook type Bibles, to them at bedtime. So we’d technically already started somewhere.

For our summer, though, I wanted to do a little in the mornings since that would give us more focused time.

I also grabbed a few composition notebooks one day at the store, and voila – Bible journals! No, journals are not at all necessary, but for me, it was a way to say, “Yes, we are doing this. This is one way we will set aside this time.”

Plus, both of our older boys love drawing, so this was also a way to get them to focus that interest on Jesus for a bit.

The next morning, I brought my Bible and the notebooks to the breakfast table. Even though I didn’t have a set plan, I picked a set of verses, read it out loud to the boys, talked about it with them, and then had them choose one of the verses that I’d read to write or draw about in their journal. (I figured if a verse stood out to them, there was probably a reason).

That was it.

For our morning time or nightly reading, that’s how we do it. Brad or I read a section of scripture (a Bible story, a Psalm, or a random verse), and we talk with the boys about what it means, how it applies to us, and how it fits with other things they’ve already learned. We also pray about it, that His Word would be impactful, changing us and helping us to be more like Him.

There was no particular theme or guideline really for our summer. Sometimes I found a verse or story to answer a question they had or in response to a situation or because they just wanted to read it. Other than that, it was whatever I had on my heart that day.

Some days we had more time to read and draw/write, and others we only spent a few minutes. It’s not so much about daily quantity as it is about really letting at least one verse or main idea get into their hearts.

And of course, once they started back to school, mornings were a bit too crazy. So we went back to doing more of our discussion and longer readings in the evening at bedtime, minus the journaling time after.

It doesn’t matter when you do it, but again, just that you do something, start somewhere.

GETTING THEM TO PAY ATTENTION
KEEP IT SIMPLE, BUT NOT SUGAR-COATED

While I’d love to dive deep into all the symbolism and connections intertwined within the pages of the Bible with my guys, right now, some of that is way over their heads.

We need to keep it somewhat simple, something they can understand easier, but also allow room for them to be challenged and discover new things.

So, while we’ve kind of steered clear of Leviticus and Revelations for the present, we don’t just stick with Noah’s Ark or Daniel in the lion’s den. Nor do we edit everything out, within age appropriateness (Song of Solomon, however, will be waiting a little longer, too :)).

I remember when Elijah first read about how David cut off Goliath’s head after their infamous match. He said, “They never told us that at church!” as if we’d been holding out on him.

I said, “Well, sometimes they have to be careful about the preschoolers and younger kids.”

But he’s old enough now that that detail fascinates him and makes him want to dig into God’s word more.

And it’s not just the battles and warriors that draw him – although being a boy, he loves those – we also had a really good discussion about God’s holiness and the importance of obedience after reading about how Uzzah died when he touched the Ark of the Covenant, even though it seemed he was being helpful (2 Samuel 6). It’s not an easy thing to explain, maybe, but it is foundational for them to understand and think about.

Those details and discussions are why we don’t always read entire chapters or passages or stick to a schedule for our day’s reading. Sometimes one verse needs explained or a word like “righteousness” needs defined.

And if you don’t know the answer for them, be honest. Then look it up together and pray about it.

Again, it’s about getting the Word into their hearts and giving God room to move in them, not just following a checklist.

Don’t be afraid to broach the big topics that are within your child’s capability to at least start to grasp, and also don’t worry if they completely understand everything. I daresay, we adults don’t understand it all yet, either.

EXPECT THEM TO BE CHILDREN

Of course, even if you’re reading the most entertaining or well-loved Bible story to your kids, keep in mind that they are still children. Expect shorter attention spans (another reason for reading less at a time) and fidgeting.

When you’re reading, read with enthusiasm and stop often during longer passages to make sure they are following and understanding. Pay attention to the words you’re using, too. “Sanctification” might need some clarification. (Again, it’s okay to Google it if you need help! 😉 )

I’ve also found that it helps my boys to have something small to do, like coloring or Legos or even eating breakfast, while they listen to the reading. (There have actually been studies done showing that fidgeting helps with concentration.)

So give them some leeway. Reading the Bible doesn’t have to be a somber, hushed time. If they are being respectful and attentive in their attitudes, allow them to wiggle, giggle, and ask questions.

KNOWING WHAT TO READ

Sure, I said that we didn’t use a plan for our devotion time this summer, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t ever use a devotional book, guide, or that we stick to one Bible for all of our reading.

When they are very young, we read from a children’s story Bible, even a board book, or use the YouVersion Bible app for Kids (Isaiah, my nearly-2-year-old has been getting into this and wanting to read “ba-ba” – Bible – before his bedtime).

For older toddlers and preschool-age, I also really love Steadfast Family’s Play Through the Bible, which gives you creative ways – crafts, snacks, games – to talk about the same Bible story throughout the day or week in a way your little one will grab onto.

Once they get a little older, you can upgrade to a “big kid’s” Bible (Elijah LOVES his Action Bible & his Kids Study Bible), or even go straight from your own Bible. We’ve used Elijah’s study Bible more recently so that they get those extra details I mentioned before.  We’ve been working our way through some of the “history” books in the Old Testament, and it’s been full of great lessons and take-aways as well as plenty of action and adventure for our boys.

In addition, we’ve been reading Priscilla Shirer’s Unseen devotional that goes along with her awesome children’s fiction series, The Prince Warriors, that our whole family loves. Both the devotional and books are all about the armor of God and spiritual warfare.

I’m also looking forward to starting Our 24 Family Ways by Clay & Sally Clarkson with our boys in the new year.


REPETITION

Since we were already in the habit of reading something from the Bible at bedtime, during the summer, for our nighttime reading, I tended to reiterate what we’d talked about in the mornings, or I’d have my boys remind us what we’d studied earlier in the day.

Because just like everything that our children learn from day one, repetition is huge in helping them learn, remember, and apply what they’ve learned.

So there’s nothing wrong with reading the story of King Josiah or Elijah on Mount Carmel (favorites with our boys for obvious reasons) again…and again…and again. Just as God does with us, our kids can notice new things each time they read His Word.

And of course, memorizing verses through repetition is great for them (and us!)

AM I DOING ENOUGH & DOING IT RIGHT?

Perhaps the best lesson I learned from seeing how eager my boys were to do their morning devotions after thinking I was just “doing something” instead of my “ideal” was this: God’s Word can stand on its own. It doesn’t need all my embellishments and fanfare to be effective and life-changing.

So it isn’t dependent on my eloquence or even me totally understanding everything there is to know about the Bible.

My boys still remember the verses or stories if I mention them. They’ve both shown growth in their walk with God. Somehow, despite my kind of winging it at times, God’s Word was and is being hidden in my children’s hearts and taking root.

Is it okay to give my kids activities and organized lessons to help them understand and remember a scripture? Sure. Does having a plan ensure that you cover a lot more of the Bible with your children? Probably.

But even without those things, God can reach our children’s hearts when we just make the time to bring them His Words.

(Of course, we should be living it out for them daily, as well, as “living epistles” who show them the value of time with God by spending time with Him ourselves.)

Our responsibility is setting the table, if you will. Opening the Bible and sharing it with them. Giving them a chance to taste and see just how good God is. Planting the seeds and praying that He brings the harvest.

If you’re doing that, it’s enough. You’re doing it right.

Because it’s God and His Word alone that stirs the hunger and feeds our spirits, even in the youngest hearts.

Does your family do “devotional” time together? What are some of your favorite resources?

Get more ideas & encouragement from this real-life mom as I experience God’s faithfulness through the joy and chaos of motherhood.

Join my email list!  

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How We’re Saving on Back to School

How We're Saving on Back to School, Life in Lape Haven. With two boys heading to school this year, we have twice the supplies to buy as we outfit the boys for their new year. So, I've been looking for ways to save and tips that will stretch our back to school budget as we get ready for that first bell in a couple of weeks. Here are ways we've been saving so far and how you can, too.

While it seems like only yesterday that we saw Elijah off on his first day of kindergarten, unbelievably he’s heading into 3rd grade in a few weeks, and it’s our sweet Josiah who’s getting excited about starting school this year. Knowing how wonderful Elijah’s kindergarten experience was for all of us, we aren’t really worried for Josiah – we know he’s going to love it. But it does mean that we now have two kiddos to get outfitted and supplied for a new school year. Having to get twice the stuff means I’m looking for all the ways we can save money and time that I can, and I thought I’d share some of the best deals and tips from our back-to-school preparations so far. (By the way, this post contains affiliate links, which means that at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission when you make a purchase through those links.)

(UPDATED July 26, 2019)

How We're Saving on Back to School, Life in Lape Haven. With two boys heading to school this year, we have twice the supplies to buy as we outfit the boys for their new year. So, I've been looking for ways to save and tips that will stretch our back to school budget as we get ready for that first bell in a couple of weeks. Here are ways we've been saving so far and how you can, too.

SHOP THE CLOSET

Before we even started shopping bargains and deals, the boys and I sorted through all their clothes. Yes – all the clothes currently in their dresser and closet. I had them try on anything they hadn’t worn in a while and weeded out clothes that didn’t fit or ones that they simply didn’t wear or like. (With all the clothing swapping we do among both sides of our family, not every kid likes the same stuff). It actually didn’t take all that long, even though the boys weren’t especially enthused about the process.

However, we discovered that Elijah has grown way too much this summer and basically needs an entire pants overhaul, while Josiah is pretty much set to start the year with what he has, minus some new tennis shoes and socks. And as I said, we share clothes with lots of cousins – a perk to having pretty much all boys and all living within 20 minutes of us – so we have a good supply of winter clothes in the next size up for Josiah and even some for Elijah.

Of course the other “closet” I shopped was my stash of school supplies that I already have at home. Not only do I keep whatever comes home unused or in decent shape at the end of the school year, but I also try to buy extra at the start of each school year when everything is at its cheapest. My stock pile already had a few bottles of glue and a good supply of pencils as well as Elijah’s pencil case, a couple pairs of scissors, and more. Unfortunately, keeping the boys out of the stash the rest of the year, especially over the summer, has been tricky…so we didn’t have as much to pull from as I’d hoped. But I guess they’ve been staying busy with crafting, drawing, and coloring while I’m cleaning or cooking, so I can’t complain too much. 🙂

How We're Saving on Back to School, Life in Lape Haven. With two boys heading to school this year, we have twice the supplies to buy as we outfit the boys for their new year. So, I've been looking for ways to save and tips that will stretch our back to school budget as we get ready for that first bell in a couple of weeks. Here are ways we've been saving so far and how you can, too.

RAKUTEN (Formerly Ebates)

You’ve heard me talk about this site before, but let me just say it again – We love Rakuten.com (formerly Ebates). It’s a site that gives you cash back just for buying what you were already planning to buy! Anytime you’re shopping online, start at Rakuten and search for the online store you want to buy from. You can also install the Rakuten toolbar app, which will blink green when Rakuten offers anything on the site you are shopping. Having it in my toolbar has helped me save money so many times when I would have forgotten to start at the actually Rakuten site. Either way, you’ll earn cash back on your purchases, and they often have coupon codes that can be applied to your order as well.

For Example: Josiah needed a bookbag, of course, and since we knew Elijah’s had only lasted him a little over a year, we wanted to find one that was going to be extra sturdy. From researching I found a few highly recommended companies (most sites said LL Bean, Pottery Barn Kids, & Lands’ End), and we started looking.

When I got to Lands’ End, I saw that they offered a “40% off one item” coupon when you signed up for their email, so I did. That would make one of the more highly reviewed backpacks the same price as the average bag on Amazon or the store. It was a good deal!

But, as we looked for Josiah, Elijah (watching over his little brother’s shoulder) found one that he really liked. Curious, I clicked on the Rakuten button on my tool bar (which was already working for us to give us 2% back), and I looked at the coupon codes listed. Tah-dah!!!! They had a “40% off YOUR ENTIRE ORDER” code, which allowed us to get 2 sturdy bags at a huge discount and gave us free shipping, plus our cash back. Win-win-win!

I can’t promise you’ll always find that great of a coupon code, as they change constantly, but knowing that Rakuten has usable codes at the ready without me having to search for them is a great timesaver.

(Oh, and Elijah’s bag from last year would have been fine to start the year with, but it was already showing enough wear that we know it wasn’t going to last the entire year. Here’s hoping these bags live up to their reputations!)

If you don’t use Rakuten already, you can sign up via this link(Plus, you’ll get a $10 bonus once you’ve purchased over $25 online – easy to do when prepping for a new year!) Not only is this site great for online back-to-school shopping, but it’s amazing during the holidays!

How We're Saving on Back to School, Life in Lape Haven. With two boys heading to school this year, we have twice the supplies to buy as we outfit the boys for their new year. So, I've been looking for ways to save and tips that will stretch our back to school budget as we get ready for that first bell in a couple of weeks. Here are ways we've been saving so far and how you can, too.

Look how big Elijah’s first backpack looked on his little kindergarten self!

AMAZON

Speaking of online, with a little comparison shopping, you can save money by buying certain supplies online. And if you’re using Amazon Prime, you can often get them with free 2-day shipping!

One of the supplies we got this year was a big pack of Expo Dry Erase Markers. If your kids’ school supply list is like ours, it can request anywhere from 4 to 6 or more dry erase markers, depending on the grade. This year we needed 10 total. So when I searched Amazon and found a 12-pack of Expo Dry Erase Markers for just over $7, I knew that was a great deal because Walmart had the same brand and size in an 8-pack for almost $15. (Not sure how long that deal will stay at that price, though, as Amazon’s prices can fluctuate).

By the way, if you have a student heading to college this year (or one heading back), they can get a 6-month FREE trial of Amazon Prime, which includes special deals for them plus the awesome 2-day free shipping. Plus, if they decide to join Prime, they get it at 50% off!

 

CHEAT SHEETS & DEAL SITES

One of the ways that I knew those dry erase markers were a deal was because I had a supply list cheat sheet!

Last year I discovered the Back-to-School Cheat Sheet that Laura from the Passionate Penny Pincher puts together, and it made our supply shopping a breeze. It compares the prices at 4-5 major stores for the most common school supplies, so you can tell when something is a decent deal or a great deal. I made sure to download it again this year, and in one trip, we quickly crossed off most of the boys’ lists at the lowest prices. You can get it here.

 

ALDI & DOLLAR STORES

When it comes to paper products, plastic bags, disinfectant wipes, tissues, and such on your child’s school list, you don’t have to spend a lot of money on brand names. Aldi is where we stock up on those. I mean, we use them regularly in our house, so we know they are decent quality. They just don’t cost as much. 🙂

And sometimes you can score deals on random items at your local Dollar Store. They even take coupons!

 

TAX-FREE WEEKEND

Here in Ohio, the first weekend of August is a state-wide tax-free weekend on all things back-to-school, from supplies, clothes, shoes, and even diapers!

We’ve never had the chance to take advantage of the tax-free weekend yet as we’ve had family commitments or something else the last few years on that weekend. However, this Friday, we’re planning to do our shopping for the boys’ clothes and shoes because that’s going to be the higher priced shopping trip. Plus, buying the school supplies earlier meant the boys had more options to pick from, and we won’t have them out all day long on what is probably going to be a crowded shopping day. 🙂

Here’s more information on Ohio’s Sale Tax Holiday

About 14 other states also have special tax-free days near back-to-school time. You can search online or check this list for details on how and when you might be able to save a little more!

 

So, that’s how we’ve been saving as we get our two older boys ready to head off for another year of learning.

What are your best tips for back-to-school preparations? Have you found any great deals this year? 

Get more ideas & encouragement from this real-life mom as I experience God’s faithfulness through the joy and chaos of motherhood.

Join my email list!  

 

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Finding Strength in the Midst of Messy Motherhood

Finding Strength in the midst of Messy Motherhood, Life in Lape Haven. Difficulties, struggles, failures make up a lot of our mothering journey, and we can't face them alone. Thankfully God is ready to give us His strength and use our legacies, the good and bad, for His good, including leaving a mom legacy that leads our children to Jesus.

This past weekend did NOT go as planned, not in the slightest bit.

And we had plenty of plans. I had plenty of plans.

A friend’s daughter’s birthday party, a fun surprise family event, teaching the preschool class on Sunday morning, writing this post (only not with THIS story in it).

Instead, I had two children down with a pretty nasty stomach bug.

Worse yet, I was down, too, and more completely than my kids.

And it was frustrating.

I couldn’t do much of anything. I was beyond tired and barely able to do more than just lie around. These weren’t the memories I’d wanted us to make for this weekend (or any weekend ever, honestly).

But still, there I was. Trying to comfort a cranky toddler (one who was suddenly wanting to nurse more than the twice a day we’ve weaned down to) when I felt weaker than I have in a looonnng while. And trying to referee our oldest two (as I lay on the couch) – one who was sick and one who’d started this whole sick business earlier in the week and was now feeling better – as they took full advantage of the lax in structure and routine.

My husband was there to help most of the time, but still, giving when I felt so depleted myself was hard. It was exhausting.

It was motherhood.

Of course, this is not the part of being a mom that we talk about with expectant mothers at a baby shower, but every mom has been through, or will go through, some version of my weekend at some point – probably more than once.

In fact, messy, less-than-picture-perfect moments make up a lot more of our mothering journey than we’d like to admit.

Finding Strength in the midst of Messy Motherhood, Life in Lape Haven. Difficulties, struggles, failures make up a lot of our mothering journey, and we can't face them alone. Thankfully God is ready to give us His strength and use our legacies, the good and bad, for His good, including leaving a mom legacy that leads our children to Jesus.

They don’t all have to be literally messy (yes, there are PLENTY of those), but difficulties, loss, disappointments, struggles, insecurities, failures – we moms face them pretty much daily.

And often, we try to face them on our own because, after all, we’re #MamaBears, #OneToughMomma, and so on – which, to an extent is good, because #MomminAintEasy.

But even as amazing as moms are, we aren’t strong enough on our own to face everything we will go through. To be honest, we aren’t strong enough on our own to face MOST of what we’ll go through.

As weak as I felt physically over those days of sickness, I’ve felt even more so as a mom when I’ve not known what to do to help my kids or when I’ve blown it – yet again. Thankfully, the Bible reminds us that:

“But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is perfected in weakness.’ Therefore, I will most gladly boast all the more about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may reside in me.” – 2 Corinthians 12:9

We don’t have to do this alone or in our own strength.

Because, as I’ve said often, parenting isn’t something we were intended to do independent of God.

Days that I try to parent in my own strength always end up as disasters.

But when we allow God to guide and strengthen us, He brings joy, peace, and purpose to our chaos and frustration. Yes, He can use even our disastrous days for good, even if it’s simply drawing us closer to Him.

When we allow God to guide & strengthen us, He brings joy, peace, & purpose to our chaos & frustration.Click To Tweet

Of course, this means spending time with Him, in His Word and in prayer, and while finding the time can be hard with all the demands and busyness that come with motherhood, it is so vital. Not only for ourselves and our outlook, attitude, and strength, but also for our children.

They need to see that our relationship with God is a priority and that He is our true strength. Our children witnessing God’s presence in our lives is one of the ways He can redeem even our worse weaknesses and failures.

In her new devotional, Leaving Your Mom Legacy, my blogging friend Kristina Gorr of Messy Tired Love (whom you might remember from our recent Mom Life series) reminds us,

“Even in the midst of the messy tired love mom moments that tell us we don’t have time, we’re too tired, we’ll never make it, God’s Word won’t disappoint us.”

She further encourages us that as we focus on our relationship with, and obedience to, Jesus that “our mom legacy will be unshakable, spirit-filled, heaven-bound, and eternal. Not only will our children see God’s glory through us, so will our grandchildren and great-grandchildren.”

I was taking lots of encouragement from her words over those not-so-great days this past week when everything was crazy, and I was really glad that I’d had the privilege of reading her debut devotional to share with you because I needed it oh, so much myself.

(By the way, this post contains affiliate links, which means that at no additional cost to you, I may receive a small commission if you use the link.)

Finding Strength in the midst of Messy Motherhood, Life in Lape Haven. Difficulties, struggles, failures make up a lot of our mothering journey, and we can't face them alone. Thankfully God is ready to give us His strength and use our legacies, the good and bad, for His good, including leaving a mom legacy that leads our children to Jesus.

Leaving Your Mom Legacy is a 30-day study all about letting God use every bit of your story –even the messiest, most disappointing parts – to grow you and, at the same time, help point your children to Christ.

In the first part of the book, Kristina uses examples of mothers from the Old Testament, many of whom had struggles and plot-twists beyond anything  I’ve ever had to go through, to show us how our lives can relate to theirs and how God stepped into it all and used their legacies – the good and bad – for His glory.

Then she challenges us to be moms who are intentional about the legacy we are leaving, outlining several Biblical characteristics and habits for us to pursue that will lead us closer to God and help us fulfill His purposes for us as we live the example we want our children to follow.

This devotional isn’t a fancy-phrased, fluffy read, but rather an honest sharing of her heart’s desire as a mother to live a life that directs her children to Jesus.  Kristina’s transparency and vulnerability free us as fellow moms to believe that God can use our legacy, no matter where it started or what’s been thrown our way or what choices we’ve made, to shine His grace, truth, and power into our children’s lives.

Kristina also includes plenty of scripture references in full, so that you are getting encouragement straight from the Bible, too. She knows all about mom life and the effort it takes to make time to feed our spirits. Her clear purpose is always for us to draw closer to God and hear His voice, and her short devotional selections create a springboard of sorts, with each day’s scripture and “Daily Reflection” designed to lead you into more personal time seeking God, journaling your heart, and growing in Him.

Because a mom who finds her strength in the Lord, even during those frustrating, messy moments – and weekends – of life, will leave an amazing legacy that her children will be compelled to follow, and it will be one that leads them straight to Jesus.

————-

Thank you, Kristina, for the opportunity to share about your book. (While I did receive the devotional as part of her launch team, all opinions about it are my honest thoughts. I truly did enjoy it!)

Finding Strength in the midst of Messy Motherhood, Life in Lape Haven. Difficulties, struggles, failures make up a lot of our mothering journey, and we can't face them alone. Thankfully God is ready to give us His strength and use our legacies, the good and bad, for His good, including leaving a mom legacy that leads our children to Jesus. If you’d like to learn more about Kristina (a fellow Ohio native!!!) or read more from her, you can follow her online devotional site, Messy Tired Love, and you can also find her on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter.

Finding Strength in the midst of Messy Motherhood, Life in Lape Haven. Difficulties, struggles, failures make up a lot of our mothering journey, and we can't face them alone. Thankfully God is ready to give us His strength and use our legacies, the good and bad, for His good, including leaving a mom legacy that leads our children to Jesus.She’s also set up a FABULOUS GIVEAWAY that you can enter for your chance to win not only her devotional, but lots of other awesome goodies as well. —> GO ENTER!

Of course, as I love doing when I find a book that I know will be a blessing and encouragement to my readers, I’m also giving away a copy of Leaving Your Mom Legacy, so make sure you enter below!

And if you just can’t wait to see if you’ve won, and you want to start learning how to leave a powerful mom legacy right now, you can grab it for your Kindle or order the paperback on Amazon.

— LEAVING YOUR MOM LEGACY GIVEAWAY —

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Thanks for entering! This contest is open to residents of the U.S. only and runs from Thursday, July 26 (12:00 a.m.) through Thursday, August 2, 2018, at 11:59pm EST (I know, specific.).  The winner will be notified by email within 48 hours of the contest ending. Winner has 48 hours to respond before another winner is selected.

 

Get more ideas & encouragement from this real-life mom as I experience God’s faithfulness through the joy and chaos of motherhood.

Join my email list!  

 

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How God Can Use Your Faithfulness in Motherhood

Growing Up On Manna: How Your Struggles Can Build A Legacy of Faith for Your Children 

What I’ve Learned About My Wife’s Life as a Stay-At-Home Mom  {Mom Life Series}

 

5 Lessons for Motherhood from History’s Only Perfect Teacher {Mom Life Series}

Mom Life Series: 5 Lessons for Motherhood from History's Only Perfect Teacher. Day 5 of the Mom Life Series features a post by Lisa of The Merry Momma. She's sharing what she's learned from the world's greatest parenting expert & teacher.
All this week, I’m sharing my blog space with 4 very dear blogging friends who also write to inspire and encourage moms. Together we are bringing you a special 5-blogger collaborative series all about life as a mom. It’s aptly named the Mom Life Series. 🙂

What I've Learned About My Wife's Life as a Stay-at-Home Mom, Told by a Dad at Home Unexpectedly: My husband thought he knew what my days as a stay at home mom looked like - cleaning and taking care of our children. However, when he unexpectedly found himself with time "off," he got a front row seat to my everyday and a new understanding and appreciation for life as a stay at home parent.


Mom Life Series: 5 Lessons for Motherhood from History's Only Perfect Teacher. Day 5 of the Mom Life Series features a post by Lisa of The Merry Momma. She's sharing what she's learned from the world's greatest parenting expert.It’s the final day of our Mom Life Series, and I pray you’ve enjoyed each day! Our last post is from Lisa of The Merry Momma. She’s sharing lessons she’s learned from the world’s greatest parenting expert. I hope you are encouraged and inspired as you read!

 

5 Lessons for Motherhood from History’s Only Perfect Teacher

Ted Tripp, Kevin Leman, James Dobson, Sally Clarkson … These are all people I’ve read and respected for their Godly wisdom on parenting. Motherhood is a tremendous responsibility, and I seek all the advice I can get, especially from those who have gone (and succeeded) before me.

But even the so-called “experts” aren’t perfect. They are human, they are fallible, and they don’t always espouse my beliefs or convictions on certain issues. That’s the thing about blindly following human speakers or authors — they aren’t God. And their word isn’t supposed to be mistaken for His.

But there is someone who is God, and His example can be followed completely and confidently.

That someone is Jesus, and while his humanity makes Him perfectly relatable, His deity makes Him perfectly reliable. Of anyone who has ever walked or will ever walk the earth, He is our ideal example in every area of life. And though He was never a mother, there are lessons from his earthly ministry that can be applied to motherhood.

The following five lessons are the greatest I could ever learn from any parenting expert.

—> Click here to continue reading “5 Lessons for Motherhood from History’s Only Perfect Teacher” by Lisa at The Merry Momma

 

Make sure to catch each day of this special series.

Day 1: 6 Powerful Ways to Be Christ-Centered Every Day by Laura of Fantastically Four

Day 2: The Pros and Cons of Mom Failure by Denise Renae

Day 3: The One & Only Parenting Book You’ll Ever Need by Kristina of Messy Tired Love

Day 4: What I’ve Learned About My Wife’s Life as a Stay-at-Home Mom, Told By a Dad at Home Unexpectedly by Me 🙂


 

Get more ideas & encouragement from this real-life mom as I experience God’s faithfulness through the joy and chaos of motherhood.
Join my email list!  

 

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE:

How God Can Use Your Faithfulness in Motherhood

How We Changed Our Family Atmosphere with One Question

3 Things I Know About Becoming a Mother

Confessions of a Preacher’s Kid

What I’ve Learned About My Wife’s Life as a Stay-at-Home Mom {Mom Life Series}

What I've Learned About My Wife's Life as a Stay-at-Home Mom, Told by a Dad at Home Unexpectedly: My husband thought he knew what my days as a stay at home mom looked like - cleaning and taking care of our children. However, when he unexpectedly found himself with time "off," he got a front row seat to my everyday and a new understanding and appreciation for life as a stay at home parent.

My husband and I have been married for 10 years, and until this past September, he had a fairly predictable weekday pattern: he got up and went to work 5 days a week, for at least 8 hours a day.

I’d like to say that he came home every day to a clean house and dinner, but once we had children and I became a stay-at-home mom – sometimes that was true. Other days, it was not anywhere close.

As any stay-at-home mom knows, days with kids can be unpredictable, so when Brad would call on his way home each day, I got into the habit of recounting what I’d spent my day doing. My sweet husband would say, “You don’t have to defend your day.”

Brad didn’t understand my need to pinpoint any tasks from the day that I managed to complete that weren’t immediately undone by our three boys or us just living in our house, or why I was always marking the moments when the boys and I got to make crafts or cookies or go on a little adventure together.

My husband didn’t get it until his position at work was eliminated during restructuring last September.  Suddenly he found himself with a front row seat and a backstage pass to the everyday reality of my life as a stay-at-home mom while he looked for a new job.

Now he understands what it means like never before, and I’ve asked him to share what he’s learned during his time “off” about life for a stay-at-home mom. Here’s what Brad had to say:

What I've Learned About My Wife's Life as a Stay-at-Home Mom, Told by a Dad at Home Unexpectedly: My husband thought he knew what my days as a stay at home mom looked like - cleaning and taking care of our children. However, when he unexpectedly found himself with time "off," he got a front row seat to my everyday and a new understanding and appreciation for life as a stay at home parent.

What I’ve Learned About My Wife’s Life as a Stay-at-Home Mom

When I was working a regular 9-5 job, I thought I had a good idea of what my wife’s day looked like. I knew it was busy, and that some days were better than others. It was cleaning the house and staying with the kids.

I didn’t realize how chaotic it could be, even with just two of our three at home during the day. This was, of course, after Kishona got them all out the door in the morning to drop off our oldest at school. (She also had to take the younger two back out later to pick him up in the afternoon, which usually meant waking one or both up from a nap.)

I was at work, so I didn’t see every meltdown or spilled cup or random boo-boo she dealt with throughout her day.

I also didn’t realize that the housework was as frequent or constant as it is. I thought things would stay neater or tidier a bit longer.

But one thing that I quickly noticed when I was staying home was that the daily chores are nonstop – dishes, vacuuming, laundry, cooking, having the kids pick up their toys or cleaning up after them.

Also, when working a day job outside of the house, you can call it quits after 8 hours without the fear that tomorrow (or even as short as an hour later), you might have to redo it all again.

Now I notice the dirty socks on the floor and the dishes in the sink. And I realize that training the boys to help with chores, like actually getting their dirty clothes into the hamper, requires a lot more patience and effort on my part.

Meanwhile, our one-year-old is bouncing from one thing to the next all day long – jolting to the stairs, pulling things from the cabinet, splashing in the dog’s water dish.

Then with Elijah at school, Josiah is missing his main playmate and can be needy for someone to do stuff with, too.

During the day, you can’t just run a quick errand. You have to get everyone’s shoes on, get them out the door, and get them loaded into the car. That’s assuming you already had them dressed for the day.

I don’t know how Kishona doesn’t feel trapped sometimes. When I was going to work or driving here and there, I kind of got a break. I don’t have to have the kids with me every moment of the day even now. I haven’t experienced the “joys” of getting all three children ready to go anywhere or having them all day by myself. Or taking them grocery shopping with me. Or getting up with Isaiah as often in the night.

Plus taking a random nap in the middle of the day isn’t an option unless you know everyone else is asleep, and it’s not time to pick up Elijah from school.

I expected that Kishona would have a lot more downtime during naptime, too. But I’ve learned that it’s not always consistent between the two boys, or not as easy to get them to sleep, and they may not sleep as long some times.

And I think I actually feel more tired at night now than I did at the end of a regular work day. It’s pretty exhausting keeping up with the boys and the house all day.

What I've Learned About My Wife's Life as a Stay-at-Home Mom, Told by a Dad at Home Unexpectedly: My husband thought he knew what my days as a stay at home mom looked like - cleaning and taking care of our children. However, when he unexpectedly found himself with time "off," he got a front row seat to my everyday and a new understanding and appreciation for life as a stay at home parent.

But the day isn’t even the end of it. Once our older two are in bed, our youngest still stays up until 10:30pm or later because he won’t sleep longer than an hour if he goes down any earlier. He also doesn’t sleep through the night yet despite our efforts.

Being at home day in, day out, gives me more of an overwhelming feeling of responsibility and ownership. Never have I felt more compelled to clean the house because I realize that if we don’t do it now, we will have to do it sooner or later (And worse yet, dragging my feet means Kishona will do it all without my help, like she’s used to).

There’s also all the behind-the-scenes planning and organizing that I still don’t have to worry about because she does it, like our schedules and doctor appointments, birthday party planning, switching out the kids’ clothes as they grow or change seasons, and more, along with most of the cooking and meal planning.

Even still, Kishona seems to feel a lot less liberty than I do to get distracted with something random, like stuff she would just want to do, like reading or working on her blog. Even getting to watch something on TV for a short bit is hard won. Sometimes the only way she might catch a program is if she watches something on her phone while doing dishes or folding laundry.

She’s also more aware, I think, about the need to train our children in their spiritual walk throughout the day because she’s with them all day long. She’s good about showing our boys how to put their faith into action, like on our family vacation. She doesn’t try to spiritualize everything, but she knows the importance of including God and our relationship with Him in our everyday lives in ways that our children remember and take to heart. She’s quicker to catch the instances when things might have transitioned from the natural to the supernatural or the everyday to eternal, where we might need to pray about a situation or attitude or take advantage of a teachable moment with our children.

What I've Learned About My Wife's Life as a Stay-at-Home Mom, Told by a Dad at Home Unexpectedly: My husband thought he knew what my days as a stay at home mom looked like - cleaning and taking care of our children. However, when he unexpectedly found himself with time "off," he got a front row seat to my everyday and a new understanding and appreciation for life as a stay at home parent.

However, being at home isn’t all work and pressing responsibilities. There have been plenty of bonuses and blessings that I’ll miss once I’m back at work.

I’ve had more time than ever before to bond with my children. I’ve gotten to witness more of Isaiah’s milestones than I did for my older two boys. I’m hearing his new words each day and watching him discover new ways to get into things. 🙂 Some days I get to snuggle him to sleep at naptime and see his sleepy grins when he first wakes up.

I’ve also been able to deepen my relationship with Elijah and Josiah through time spent reading with them, playing together, being here for the daily conversations, and even being present to discipline them as needed.

Taking Elijah to school every morning, I was the one who prayed over his day and saw him walk (sometimes run…) into his school building. Picking him up from school meant that I was the first one to hear how his day went and the first to offer help and encouragement when he had a rough day.

I also get to spend more time with my wife, but honestly, with two or three kids around, our attention is still divided and distracted. Sneaking in a kiss or two and even being able to witness how she handles this whole mothering thing have been special. I’ve also been able to contribute more to giving her breaks and lightening her load (somewhat).

While this time wasn’t what I thought was ideal in the beginning, it’s given me the opportunity to be more involved in my family’s everyday lives, and it will be time that I cherish.

What I've Learned About My Wife's Life as a Stay-at-Home Mom, Told by a Dad at Home Unexpectedly: My husband thought he knew what my days as a stay at home mom looked like - cleaning and taking care of our children. However, when he unexpectedly found himself with time "off," he got a front row seat to my everyday and a new understanding and appreciation for life as a stay at home parent.

This time has taught me that being a stay-at-home mom requires diligence, perseverance, multitasking, patience, planning, and an awareness of everyone, as well as a resilience and positive mentality when things are not going as planned or when tasks are piling high. It’s more than just damage control, cleaning house, or “keeping kids alive.”

It’s making sure there is peace and order when the older two want to fight or be too adventurous in the middle of dinner prep. It’s doing laundry again today, even though you thought you did it all yesterday. It’s making sure your child eats something other than peanut butter and jelly this week. It’s juggling housework, homework, and playtime constantly. It’s getting cuddled with off and on all day long. It’s taking an entourage of little people nearly everywhere you go, even to the bathroom. It’s witnessing your child’s pride in brand new accomplishments, like climbing the door frame or getting the LEGO building completed. It’s being content to put your family’s needs ahead of your own and still managing to find a moment for yourself (and your sanity). (Actually, I guess this could be said of all moms – stay-at-home, working-outside-the-home, or working-from-home.)

It’s definitely not easy. But it is definitely special.  

So after my months of being at home and seeing most of what it’s like for my wife in her role as a stay-at-home mom, the biggest thing I’ve learned is that, while I love the extra time I’ve had with my family, I’d never want to change places with her. I’ve learned a greater appreciation for her (and all stay-at-home moms) and all that she does in this rewarding, but often-thankless, job.

Moms, you are amazing!

 

Get more ideas & encouragement from this real-life mom as I experience God’s faithfulness through the joy and chaos of motherhood.  Join my email list!  

 

 

This post is Day 4 of a 5-day, 5-blogger collaborative series on Mom Life.What I've Learned About My Wife's Life as a Stay-at-Home Mom, Told by a Dad at Home Unexpectedly: My husband thought he knew what my days as a stay at home mom looked like - cleaning and taking care of our children. However, when he unexpectedly found himself with time "off," he got a front row seat to my everyday and a new understanding and appreciation for life as a stay at home parent.

Day 1: 6 Powerful Ways to Be Christ-Centered Every Day  by Laura of Fantastically Four

Day 2: The Pros and Cons of Mom Failure by Denise Renae

Day 3: The One and Only Parenting Book You’ll Ever Need by Kristina of Messy Tire Love

Day 4: What I’ve Learned About My Wife’s Life as a Stay-at-Home Mom, Told By a Dad at Home Unexpectedly by Me 🙂

Day 5: 5 Lessons for Motherhood from History’s Only Perfect Teacher by Lisa Mullen, The Merry Momma

 

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE:

3 Things I Know About Becoming a Mother

Let Me Be Singing: This Mother’s Anthem for Good & Bad Days

5 Everyday Moments that Make Being a Mom Totally Worth It

The Last Time He Called Me, “Mommy”

The One & Only Parenting Book You’ll Ever Need {Mom Life Series}

Mom Life Series: The One & Only Parenting Book You'll Ever Need. Day 3 of the Mom Life Series features a post by Kristina of Messy Tired Love. She has a challenge for all the moms (and dads) out there, and it's a pretty good one.
All this week, I’m sharing my blog space with 4 very dear blogging friends who also write to inspire and encourage moms. Together we are bringing you a special 5-blogger collaborative series all about life as a mom. It’s aptly named the Mom Life Series. 🙂

What I've Learned About My Wife's Life as a Stay-at-Home Mom, Told by a Dad at Home Unexpectedly: My husband thought he knew what my days as a stay at home mom looked like - cleaning and taking care of our children. However, when he unexpectedly found himself with time "off," he got a front row seat to my everyday and a new understanding and appreciation for life as a stay at home parent.


Mom Life Series: The One & Only Parenting Book You'll Ever Need. It’s Day 3, and today’s Mom Life Series post is from Kristina of Messy Tired Love. She has a challenge for all moms (and dads) out there, and it’s a pretty good one. I hope you are encouraged and inspired as you read!

 

The One & Only Parenting Book You’ll Ever Need

We all need help as a momma. We’re tired. We work hard for our family. We need hope and encouragement from the people who have been deep in the motherhood trenches before us. That’s why parenting books, blogs, and forums are so popular. We NEED each other. We need to know it’s not just us going through the tough stuff.

But I’m here to meet you with a 30-day challenge: STOP READING PARENTING BOOKS.

Yes, I’m actually telling you to take all parenting books off of your nightstand for 30 days. All of them except one. Out of the hundreds of thousands of parenting books ever written, there is one that trumps them all and meets all of our motherhood needs: The Bible.

—> Click here to continue reading “The One & Only Parenting Book You’ll Ever Need” by Kristina at Messy Tired Love

 

Make sure to catch each day of this special series.

Day 1: 6 Powerful Ways to Be Christ-Centered Every Day by Laura of Fantastically Four

Day 2: The Pros and Cons of Mom Failure by Denise Renae

Day 4: What I’ve Learned About My Wife’s Life as a Stay-at-Home Mom, Told By a Dad at Home Unexpectedly by Me 🙂

Day 5: 5 Lessons for Motherhood from History’s Only Perfect Teacher by Lisa Mullen, The Merry Momma


 

Get more ideas & encouragement from this real-life mom as I experience God’s faithfulness through the joy and chaos of motherhood.
Join my email list!  

 

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE:

How God Can Use Your Faithfulness in Motherhood

The Parable of the Dough

A Life Lesson from My Backyard

How We Changed Our Family Atmosphere with One Question