Posts made in December 2019

New Year’s Rockin’ Eve 2020

With a new year, comes a brand new opportunity for growth within ourselves and change in our lives. Is there anything you’re set to do more/less of, change a circumstance, quit a bad habit, or start a new one as your resolution? Try getting your kids involved and have them dream up their own resolutions for this next year. This is a great way to teach goals and self-discipline as they work toward them.

This year I really want to:
I really need to:
I want to be better at:
I want to learn how to:
I want to try:

Another way to grow in the year 2020 is to create a prayer board. Every day of the week you will pray specifically for someone or something. Imagine your kids becoming prayer warriors and what that can do for their faith, self-worth, love for others and overall joy.

If you’re planning to celebrate with your kids, here are a few fun ideas for the party:

  • Create a photo booth with props
  • Make noise-maker crafts. Paint popsicle sticks and glue craft bells to them; or tape two cups together with a few beads to bounce around inside.
  • Cut open a kitchen garbage bag and string/tape it to the walls and ceiling. Fill it with balloons and confetti. Pull it down at “midnight” and celebrate with noise-makers and music.
  • Play games. Glow-in-the-dark necklace or bracelet bottle-toss, NYE Bingo, and checkers are a few of our favorites.
  • Make festive Hors d’oeuvres together.
  • Cheers champagne flutes filled with plain or bubbly juice.
  • Invite your friends over and celebrate!

Midnight is late to stay awake most days of the week. If you or your kids can’t stay up to watch the ball drop, have a “Noon” Year’s Eve party! Netflix has 10 short New Year’s Eve countdown shows for children that can be played by parents at any hour. If you don’t have Netflix, you can try it for free for 30 days. Otherwise, YouTube has many options to choose from as well. This one plays a countdown with celebration fireworks.

Have fun reminiscing about your year in review! Talk about the best times of your family vacation, a favorite place you went to, the funniest moment of the year, the best food you ate, and all of the other fun memories you shared together.

Have a happy and blessed New Year!

Happy Birthday, Jesus!

Christmas is a special time to celebrate the magical season by spreading Christmas cheer and performing acts of kindness to people in our community; and whether you encourage that Santa is real or make-believe, Jesus remains the reason for this holy season.

Some traditions to help keep the focus on Jesus can be doing an Advent calendar, setting up a Nativity Scene, reading Christmas books, singing Jesus-centered Christmas songs, and giving, not receiving. Starting these traditions now when our children are young, encourages the emphasis on the true meaning of Christmas and will last as traditions for generations to come.

Another fun way to really make it all about Jesus is to create a real birthday celebration! Make cupcakes, blow out a candle and celebrate Him! Take the time to teach the story of Jesus’ birth by reading the scriptures together.

If there’s two things you do this season, make sure to do things that celebrate Jesus, and make sure to do things that celebrate His love.

A summary of His birth:

Almost 2,000 years ago a young woman from the town of Nazareth named Mary was visited by an angel named Gabriel. Gabriel told the Jewish woman that she would have a son named Jesus and that he would be the Son of God. At this time, Mary was engaged to her soon-to-be husband Joseph. When told, Joseph he was hurt and confused because he did not believe Mary. The angel Gabriel visited Joseph and told him that Mary would be pregnant from the Lord and that she would have a son named Jesus who would save the people from their sins. 

Mary and Joseph had to travel to Bethlehem because of an order from the Roman emperor that a census, or record, of all people, be taken in their hometown. After traveling pregnant on a donkey for several days, Mary and Joseph arrived in Bethlehem and were told that there were no places to stay. The inns were full. Seeing that Mary was due at any moment, an owner of an inn told Joseph that they could stay in his stable. 

Mary and Joseph settled down on the hay in a stable with animals sleeping. Mary went into labor and Jesus was born in the stable. The only place for the sleeping baby to rest was most likely in the animals trough, known as the manger. 

During this time, an angel appeared to shepherds who were watching their flocks in the fields near Bethlehem. The angel told them the good news of the birth of the Savior and Messiah, Jesus Christ. The shepherds immediately went to find baby Jesus, which the angels told them they would find sleeping in the manger. 

After some time, three wise men, also known as magi, saw the brilliant star in that sky that rested over where Jesus was born. The three wise men traveled from a far eastern country to find the new king. During the wise mens’ trip, Herod the king of Judah met with the wise men and told them to come back and let him know where the baby king was so that he could go worship him as well. The wise men continued to Bethlehem and found Jesus right where the star pointed. They knelt and worshiped the Savior and gave him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. They then traveled back home a different way knowing that King Herod was not intending to worship Jesus but that he planned to kill the baby.

What an amazing gift. God sent his Son for us. We are so in awe of His love and grace.

Happy birthday, Jesus!

Being Intentional With Your Kids

Intentional. Done on purpose; deliberate.

When we are wanting to deepen the connection with our children, we need to be intentional about the quality of effort and time spent on that. There are many ways to connect with our kids spiritually, physically and emotionally.

Pray for them. We can and should pray beyond our current needs. Pray for your child to grow in his/her faith; to be obedient; for their friends; their teachers; their future spouse; your future grandchildren; for God to use whatever means necessary for their salvation; to protect them from your failures as a parent. There’s no limit to His promises. Think about ways you can ensure you take time to pray for your children daily. The beautiful thing about prayer is that God hears us.

One-on-one time. In the midst of life’s busyness, it’s easy to blindly shuffle priorities. Plan a date with your kids for tonight, tomorrow – several times a week! Do a puzzle; read a few books; go for a walk; play balloon volleyball; build a fort and have a picnic in that fort; create an obstacle course with couch cushions; bake cookies… There’s lots of fun things to do without even leaving the house. Undivided positive attention is good for the whole family!

Unplug and connect. One of the main reasons to put the phone down a little more often is that children feel unimportant when they have to compete with the attention of their parent’s smartphones. Spending less time on smartphones and more time playing with your child early on reaps great rewards in the years ahead, not limited to brain development, communication skills and social skills.

Being intentional means to live a life that is meaningful and fulfilling to you. It means you make thoughtful choices in your life; it means you actively interact and engage with your life, your relationships, your children.

“The greatest contribution to the kingdom of God might not be something you do, but someone you raise.” – Andy Stanley