Monday, December 31, 2012

No More Perfect Moms, a new book

I am a Mom. I am not a perfect mom.  I yell at my kids more often than I want to admit. I put them off and say, one more email, or just a minute, more than I want to, and I don't take enough time to 'score' myself and set goals on how to improve my role as a Mom, like I do with things that other people see far more (like my teaching, my ministry, etc.)  But yet, I should. It is my first calling and it is so important!  

I am a Mom who is delighted to know that I am a sinner saved by grace, and have learned that for my own personal survival, I have to stop comparing myself to other people.  I am the woman that God created me to be, and it is only my job to listen to the Holy Spirit and change who I am based on His nudging!  Not the voice in my head that says... didn't you notice that Gladys and her kids did "blah, blah, blah".  I am ever amazed that even though I am a self confidant and independent person by nature, I still find my inner head making choices and decisions based on other people and what I know of them (or imagine about them!).  It has been a matter of prayer and conviction for me for quite some time!  I need to stop comparing myself, my choices, my actions to others! 

This is also a concept that Jill Savage addresses in the first chapter of her new book (I am reading a pdf of it, the perk of being on her review team!)Here is a quote from the book:   "We compare out messy insides -- our struggles, our failures, our less-than-perfect lives -- to other women's carefully cleaned-up, perfect-looking outsides."I look forward to reading on and seeing what else she reminds me of, and how she encourages me to reflect and grow in this most important job!  I'm also looking forward to some email ideas starting tomorrow!

No More Perfect Moms

You can get ideas and help from as well, here are some options:

1. Sign up for Jill Savage's "No More Perfect Moms" 31-Day Email Challenge. Click here to sign up so you can start receiving them in your inbox on Jan. 1.

2. Don't buy the book yet, but get ready to do so Feb. 4-9. Along with the release of "No More Perfect Moms," Hearts at Home and Moody Publishers will offer additional bonus resources worth more than $100 if you order/buy the book anytime Feb. 4-9. Click here to learn more about this and sign up to be reminded of the release date.

3. Visit "No More Perfect Moms" website. This is where you can share stories, learn more about the book, and view motherhood resources.

Book reviews, my explaination

I'm extending the purpose of my blog a bit, to review books that are sent to me because I have a blog!  I believe that the Bible needs to be our main reading each day, especially if we are in the season of young children/very busy lives... but I also believe that in that season, hearing some one else's point of view that is biblically founded can be very helpful.  I also hope to have the 10 students in my Children's Ministry Course review some books this spring as well! 

My biggest struggle as a mom of three kids, who works part time and is active in ministry, I loose the time to think, and I definitely loose 'quiet' time.  When I am alert and at my best, there are almost always people and commotion all around me.   But I am a reader, and I read to learn, to grow, to reflect, to process, and on vacation I read for fun.  For the last 11 years (my oldest turned 11 in November) I have read primarily non fiction and even then it is christian life or books that relate to my areas of expertise/teaching (assessment, classroom management, children's ministry, parenting, and the Bible).  

So I will title these reviews, book reviews and if they aren't your cup of tea, just skip them. But I feel very blessed to be getting a few free books to review and enjoy.   The latest one is called No More Perfect Moms, and I assure you, I've known that for a long time, but as women, it is so reassuring to know that others know it is true as well... if I get comments and approval, I may also extend it to other books I read as well.  

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Thankful part 2

Note the Thankful banner in the background.... Looks a little smaller on a gym wall, than on the wall in your house! 

These are from the first lesson. The children worked with their small groups to look up the verses, and to create a bigger second banner with attributes of God to be thankful for!

Part Two of the lesson

Review from last week, being THANKFUL:  
  • WHO we are thankful to and WHY we are thankful to God. 
  • We will define the word THANKFUL and look at truths about WHO God is using an acrostic (as the children work in small groups to synthesize from the Bible characteristics of God.)
  • We will review that to be thankful to God for Who He is, we must know Him personally.  
Last week, we focused on God being : Truth, Help, Above, Never ending, King of Kings, Faithful Forgiver, Unsearchable, Love

Why are we thankful for each of these characteristics of God? 
Because that is what it means to give thanks or praise God- saying Praise the Lord is remembering we need to praise Him, but it’s NOT praising Him. We praise Him by sharing who God is. 

Let’s practice:
God is good.  (say it slow and sad)
God is good (say it soft )
God is Good (say it with joy or a jump or an !)
It matters WHAT I say and it matters HOWI say it! 
In Psalm 113 we are taught HOW to give thanks/praise to God.  We need to do it for His character, in public, and with excitement boasting of His Goodness and Grace sharing the truth and how I see it in my life! 
So today we are going to practice!

In your groups- look at our letters or what you know of the CHARACTERISTICS of who God is or His promises from Sunday School  look at the reasons WHY these are characteristics to thank God for.  Then practice sharing how YOU know this is true. 
T is for Truth.  God’s Word is true, I am thankful that God speaks to ME in His Word.  (and I need to say that not as a tired, sad person, but as a person who is SOOOO happy, excited that the TRUTH of God is known to me!)

If we really want to praise God… we must… do’s the HOW….
Stated with integrity (truth, honesty, honor)
The Bible tells us we need to offer thanks to God.  Psalm 113

Background info:
Hallelujah means Praise the Lord.  But saying “Hallelujah” is just saying Praise the Lord—it’s really not offering praise to the Lord. 
Halle is the command to praise and jah- YAH, YAYWEH- the Lord
Praise means- to excitedly boast (like when your team wins, when you get something you really want like a new toy, trip, etc.)  

How do we excitedly boast? Let's act it out....

concepts adapted from a sermon by Dr. James VanDine, Asbury Community Chapel, November 2012.   His exogesis from Dr. Ronald Allen's book And I will Praise Him

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Whispers from the Web...

So many fun finds.... so little time to share! 

Do you want to post scripture on the walls of your home?  or on your kids special notebook or mirror?  I stumbled upon this new company and ordered some promise packs (half off through 11/30) for my kids as presents, and for our college/young career age Sunday School teachers as presents! 

Scripture Art

Advent started this week, and the 25 day countdown starts December 1st. 

I'm enjoying this study with other women....

Good Morning Girls Advent study- with special passages for your SOAP study, and a free e-book

I've printed out some of these to use with my kiddos...

Names of Jesus ornaments

Jesus Storybook Bible Reading Plan and Muffin Tin Tree idea

Here's the Bible if you aren't familiar

Here are some devotionals to go with the Names theme...

I'm excited to get this new cd for 25 cents!

I'm curious to see which of these books that helps keep Christ in Christmas, are new to me!

Monday, November 12, 2012

whispers from the web....

I've found a new blogger today and had to stop and share it with you!

It is called Our Family for His Glory, and the ideas are so fun, relevant, and neat!

Here's a blog on memorizing Philippians 4:8

It's also a family time, much like my book review last week! 

Another idea for the Philippians study

I wish I'd known about this blog, as I've studied Colossians all fall on my own with Good Morning Girls, my family would have joined me!

I want to try this one....a treasure hunt for God's Word

I started following her and will look forward to her ideas!

On a side note, I found this blogger from Pinterest. Please be cautious as you pin/repin and look for solid biblical values.  Her ideas, which from all I've ready are very sound, and solid, and she blogs for other very well known blogs I've read and trust.  But her ideas were pinned on a board that had Mormon ideas and concepts clearly pinned.  It's not a reflection on this blog, but rather on the person who pinned the ideas!  I searched for memorizing.   I'm learning that many Mormons or LDS have big blogs, and biblical ideas, but they often ADD to the Bible that I know and include concepts that I would struggle with, so be cautious as you seek out new content and ideas!   We are in a fast and furious generation and often don't look carefully before we jump on board!

Monday, November 5, 2012

52 Creative family time experiences... a book review

By Timothy Smith (Randall House Publishing)
52 Creative Family Time Experiences
click on the title above to be taken to amazon where you can see inside the book for yourself!

I was so excited to connect with D6 ministries and learn that they wanted to send out a new book in exchange for a review on amazon and my blog!   What a fun way to get a new resource to share with my students and with all of you!   

  •   A practical Life oriented book for BUSY families who want to walk and talk about the Bible with their kids and need a jumpstart. A book that helps create a guide for purposeful parenting in the enjoyable moments that make a family!
  • It’s not a book that you need to read in one sitting, you could read the intro and set up in less than an hour, and have a framework for a whole year of weekly family time! It is adaptable for many ages, and has a materials needed list at the end.  Each activity was easy to follow, laid out on two pages, and readable.
  • As a teacher I love the solid pedagogical foundations that take into consideration learning styles, personalities, with relevant kid oriented activities that are connected to a scriptural truth/concept that our kids need.
  •  I see it as a springboard of ideas for a new believer, a parent who lacks time to think up ‘fun’ to do with their kids, or who wants concrete ideas for a family time.
  • Whether or not we’d like to admit it (those who are in children’s ministry) Sunday morning, midweek programs, summer camp, VBS, our programming only affects one dimension of a child’s life, it needs reinforcement and connections at home, and these ideas are just what I’d like to see happen in homes on a regular basis.  This is NOT a bible study or theological book, but rather a way to talk about a biblical verse/truth in a setting where it is connected to real life activities. 
  • If you are looking for a family Bible study, a theology book for children, a deep analysis of the scripture, it’s not here.  But if you want ideas on how to integrate a biblical truth with a fun, memorable activity that your kids might just giggle, smile, and ask “can we do this again”, then this book is for you. How deep the truth affects their lives, is left up to the adults leading the family time.   But this book’s ideas have the potential for true ‘family memories’ and inside jokes, silly stories, all rooted in character or lesson of truth!
  • The ‘main point’ and the scriptural truths seemed to be addressing solid concepts our children need to see integrated into life, emphasizing who God is, how He cares for us, how He asks us to live. I imagine that some scholars may be disturbed if they read only the main idea/verse, but as a child oriented teacher, I see the truths that are relevant, could be connected to  a full-fledged family devotion or scripture reading, but our kids are often not ready for a long, drawn out inquiry, and these short ideas are central to building a foundation of who God is, and how I should glorify Him.  
  • I’ll have to report back on how it works with our kids and if the actual activities achieve their goals, but I have a feeling that is based more on the delivery by me, than it is the plans of the author!  His concepts seem well thought out and achievable.  

How did I do as a reviewer? Did I leave out something you would want to know? Is it specific enough?   too much? 

Thursday, November 1, 2012


A November lesson on being thankful.... 

(we are doing this tonight, so no pics today! but I will post them after the lesson is over.)

Learning Target:  Clubbers (age 5-8) will think about (meditate in small groups) the word THANKFUL and will recognize we should thank God regularly for who He is by completing an acrostic for THANKFUL with descriptive words (characteristics) of GOD from the Bible.

Through this 20 minute lesson we will explore and define using the Bible:  
  • WHO we are thankful to and WHY we are thankful to God. 
  • We will define the word THANKFUL and look at truths about WHO God is using an acrostic (as the children work in small groups to synthesize from the Bible characteristics of God.)
  • We will review that to be thankful to God for Who He is, we must know Him personally.  

 Have a banner that says THANKFUL  or THANKFUL displayed on the wall. The links will share the two printable banners we used. 

Anticipatory Set: 

Introduce the lesson by asking leaders or older children to read 'thank you' in other languages. (The link has 26 ways with pronunciation) Why did I think we needed to talk about this TODAY? (it's november, thanksgiving is near,....)

? discussion on the word thankful
  • Ask your children what it means to be ''thankful" or how to define "thankful"
  • Dictionary Definition Here (my definition-- being grateful or happy about or for something)
  • Who are you thankful to? 
  • Why are we thankful? 
  • What does the Bible say about thankfulness? 

Group Time

 Look at the Word time.....

Create a handout:  acrostic letters and 2-3 verses/passages for each letter, with a place to write in what each letter stands for and why?

Give each group 1-2 letters (based on how big your large group is) to write their LETTER WORD on, and to report WHY that word is something we are thankful for.  As time allows, each group should do this for the other 7 letters.  

 Here are the letters and references, we used.....

T- John 14:6 John 17:17
H-Psalm 33:20 Psalm 121:2
A-James 1:17 Psalm 57:05 Psalm 108:5
N-Daniel 6:26 Psalm 90:2
K-1 Timothy 6:14-16 Revelation 19:16
F-Romans 5:8 1 John 1:9
U-Jeremiah 33:3 Romans 11:33 Psalm 145:3
L-John 3:16 Psalm 106:1 1 John 4:9

Task Card for leaders (to be sure they know what to do, give one to each adult)
  1. read the verses.
    1. as a group decide what descriptive word from the scripture might fit your letter.
    2. why? is word/characteristic something we are thankful for?
    3.  Write down what you decide on your handout, and with a marker put the WORD for your letter on that paper.
    4. Post your LETTER paper on the wall. 
    5. repeat with as many of the other 7 letters as you have time on the handout.
When all the small groups have posted their letters on the wall (and solved as many of the other letters as you have time for)... 

Ask this WHOLE GROUP ?
  • If you look at ALL the letters/words we just posted, what is the overall theme? (names, characteristics, descriptions, adjectives about GOD)
  •  Besides being words you found in the Bible, how do all these words relate? (they all talk about God and His Word.)
  •  Can everyone be thankful for who God is?  Why not?  (only those who know Him personally and have accepted His gift of eternal life, can respond with a heart of gratitude/worship for who God is!) 
Then REPORT from the small groups to the whole group, 
  • report what each letter is, Truth, Help, Above, Never ending, King of Kings, Faithful Forgiver, Unsearchable, Love
  • why that word/characteristic is something for thankful for
  • ask if any groups have MORE to add.

Take Away:  tell or show your parents one of these things...if time ask and let the children share with an elbow partner.
  • What is your definition of thankful? How has your defintion of being thankful changed tonight
  • How can you show God this week that you are thankful for Him?  
  • Tell them one or two new words about God that you learned tonight.
Next week, we will see two stories of men who met Jesus and how they were thankful!   

Close in prayer, thanking God that He is True, Help, Never ending, King of Kings, My Faithful Forgiver, Unsearchable, and Love.