Category: Kids in the Word

Our Summer Study {Breakfast with the Bible}

Our Summer Study {Breakfast with the Bible}

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Whew!  It’s the weekend!  I don’t know about you, but this week has definitely got me looking forward to summer!  I’m ready for the pause.  The months of April and May seem to stretch and pull our family in different directions.  I’m looking forward to the chance to breathe and to spend some intentional time connecting as a family.


While I’m looking forward to the next few months, I’ve also spent some time reflecting on the past school year.  I’ve watched my boys grow and mature over the past several months.  I’ve watched their friendships go through hills and valleys.  I’ve watched how the changes in this season of life affected them.  I’ve picked up on a few key areas where I’d like to be intentional in shepherding each of them.


During this season, I’m excited for the lazy mornings that allow us to spend a little more time gathered around the table.  I’m excited for the conversations that are able to flow and happen naturally… and not interrupted every few minutes with a reminder to pack a lunch, find their shoes, grab their backpacks.


Each summer, we spend our breakfast time in something that we call “Breakfast with the Bible.”  During the school year, we tend to find shorter devotionals or stories that are read before bed.  I enjoy those devotionals, and we’ve found a rhythm that has really been great this year.  But during the summer, we get to dig into a more detailed study.  My oldest especially will get to see the difference between a devotional and a full study.  We’ll get to spend more time with our Bibles open and pouring over passages.  I can’t wait.


Sit around the table with us as we chat about our summer Bible study selections ... for preschoolers all the way through adults!


I’m excited today to be able to share with you our final selections for this summer’s Breakfast with the Bible.  I always get asked what exactly we DO during this time.  It’s nothing super fancy, but here it is!


As I’m preparing breakfast, I turn on some sort of worship music.  Last year, we listened to a lot of Cedarmont Kids.  So many of these songs take me back to my childhood and the boys love the modern sound.  The music is a signal that I’m ready for them to come to the kitchen.


This year, because each boy will have his own study, we’ll do a bit of flip-flopping.  After we’re all at the table, I’ll start with Buddy Boy’s story.  For his particular Bible time, we’ll be using the Love & Kindness Bible Stories board book.  There are nine different devotions/stories, so we’ll focus on one each week.  We’ll read the story daily and then practice the memory verse.  I’m also planning to incorporate some object lessons and crafts into his time.  Other days, he’ll simply color from a Bible stories coloring book while Little Man and I work through his study.



Little Man and I will be working through a second Discover 4 Yourself study.  The first one we did, Lord, Teach me to Pray, was excellent.  I’m excited to work through this next one now that he’s a little older.  We’ll be doing Boy, Have I Got Problems.  I’ve noticed this year that self-control seems to be an “area of refinement” for him.  As I previewed this study, I found some excellent examples that directly related to situations I’ve seen him struggle with this year.  This particular study lines up well with the kindness stories in Buddy Boy’s devotional.  Because Little Man is older, I’ll be able to get him started, and then just sit alongside him as he works through the activities.  With both boys, I look forward to the conversations we’ll be able to have about this topic.



As for me, my Bible time will come a little later (or earlier, depending on the day).  I generally love the quiet and stillness of the early morning hours.  However, my youngest gets up pretty early, so he tends to wake up as soon as he hears movement.  This is real life.  I’m in a season that those perfect early mornings may not happen that often.  I’ll just embrace it.


I digress.  For my own time with the Lord, I’ve really been hearing Him ask me to just “dwell” in Him.  I have a stack of studies that I’ve started, but can’t seem to finish.  For this summer, I have said no to all of those studies.  I’ve given myself grace for not finishing them, and I know I’ll return to them when the season is right.  For the month of June, the Scripture-writing plan will be over the word “abide.”  I’ve been drawn to this idea of just resting and remaining in Him.  I’ll be doing this in two ways … well, hopefully more, but two intentional and “listable” ways.  I’ll be reading Sacred Rhythms as one of my non-fiction books in June (more on my nerdy bookish ways in another post).  It’s about practicing the spiritual disciplines of silence and solitude.  My dad gave it to me a few years ago, but I have yet to read it.  God must have known that I’d need it in a season like this.


As I work through the Scripture-writing plan, I will be using the Inspire Journaling Bible.  I simply love the idea of creative journaling as a method of dwelling in His Word.  I am definitely NOT an artist, so this will be an exercise in relinquishing my need to have Pinterest-worthy journals.  This will also be an exercise in listening for His voice.  I’ve stepped away from my women’s groups and the pre-written studies for this season as I fully pause and let Him steer me where He needs me to go.  I’m considering it a sort of spiritual retreat.  This is new for me.  I’m generally a very Type A, love my outlines and color-coding, let me go hunt for all the correct answers kind of girl.  I feel very certain that God has asked me to stop and listen for a change.


So there you have it!  I cannot wait to see how God grows our faith as we step into this new season … of life and of weather!  What will you be studying this summer?


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An Object Lesson on Joy

An Object Lesson on Joy

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Happy Wednesday, friends!  It’s a beautiful day here in Texas and I am just filled with joy!  This lesson was one of my absolute favorites! The object lesson was so super simple, but it has so much potential as our kiddos start to think more deeply about these concepts.  As we were going through this series of object lessons, we would read the page from Pups of the Spirit for the specific fruit of the day. For joy, the book related it to being happy and having a positive attitude. We took it one step further.


Finding true joy can only come from a cup filled with Christ.  See how one mom encouraged her children to find the meaning of true joy.

JOY ~ I will be okay with what I have.

Our verse for joy was Psalm 118:24.

This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.

For our conversation, I just jumped right into our object lesson. For this particular lesson, you’ll need a glass, enough marbles to fill it, a water dropper (or spoon, straw, whatever you want to use), and probably a plate or towel.



I placed the empty glass on the plate and asked Little Man to start naming things that make him happy.  He said things like Minecraft, our puppies, playing Legos, pancakes, pizza, dessert, video games, etc.  Each time he said something, I poured a dropper-full of water into the glass.  “Those things can make us really happy, huh?  They’re really fun!  But look at the glass.  Is it full?”  No.  The water never reached the top.



Then I asked him to start telling me things that God gave us and things that bring us closer to Jesus.  He said things like family, the sunshine, going to church, reading our Bibles, singing songs.  Each time he said something, I dropped a marble into the water.  “Wow!  Look at how full the glass is!  What do you think is going to happen?”



We finished the lesson by reciting Galatians 5:22-23 and dropping a marble as we said each word. “But the Fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.  Against such things there is no law.”  “Look!  The water just overflowed out of the glass!  God fills us with joy just like that!  When we find our joy in Jesus, we will overflow and can spread that joy to others!”

Now, Little Man and I did not do this next part, but it could potentially be really powerful if you had a child who was old enough to comprehend it.  If you filled the glass with water with all the “happy things,” it could overflow.  Let it hang out on the counter for a week or so.  The water will evaporate.  When we fill ourselves with happiness from this world, we will never be fully satisfied.  It won’t last.  That happiness will evaporate just like the water and we’ll have to keep refilling ourselves.  The next week, fill it with marbles.  They obviously won’t evaporate.  When we fill ourselves with joy found in the Lord, it’s not easily lost.

Just as we did with our love lesson, we ended by praying over our verse using the ACTS model.

“Jesus, it’s so amazing that You can fill us with joy when things like video games and toys can’t.  I’m sorry that I don’t always choose joy.  I’m sorry that I didn’t choose joy when I got upset about _____.  Please forgive me.  Thank you for waking us up today!  Thank you for giving us the sun and the rain.  Help me to remember that I can be joyful and rejoice in You even when I am sad or upset.  Amen.”

I went off to clean up breakfast and he worked on a craft.  He would randomly think of something else that would fit into one of the two categories … happiness or joy.  He’d mention it and we’d decide which category it fit in.

So, I really loved the object lesson for joy.  I think there is so much potential for deep thinking and the teacher in me just loves that!  But it’s also so true.  Throughout the week, I found myself asking Little Man, “Are you choosing joy right now?”  In one specific moment, he reminded me that little ears are always listening and learning.  God’s really cool like that and uses our kids to humble us regularly.  I had an incident this week that just really upset me.  I was running my mouth to my husband (“I can’t believe she said that!  What kind of friend is she?”) and just being pretty ugly.  Well, Little Man overheard me and very politely reminded me that I should be choosing joy.  Yes, kid, I should.  I don’t need to seek approval from friends, coworkers, or anyone else on this earth.  I find my joy in Christ.  Thanks for the reminder, Little Man.  I think I’ll go refresh myself on some verses from the Gospel, Not Gossip plan.

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An Object Lesson on Love

An Object Lesson on Love

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Love is a funny thing.  We live in a culture that throws that word around so easily.  It intrigues me that I can use the same word to describe how I feel about my morning coffee, my comfy chair, my feelings about the weather, my affection for my kids, and my relationship with my husband.  Even more intriguing is that we use that word to describe how we feel about God, and the way He feels about us.

I use the word “love” to describe how I feel about my husband.  I know what that feels like.  I can describe what it looks like.  I know how it affects the way we treat each other.  I also use the word “love” to describe how I feel about God.  My entire life is based on what He has asked of me.  It affects my every move, my every thought, every word.  In all honesty though, I don’t think I can begin to fully process that kind of love.  Yes, it affects my behavior and I know what I feel when I talk about it.  But I can’t fully process the depth of that love.  It consumes me.

Let’s take it a step further.  God’s love for us.  I cannot even begin to come anywhere close to understanding the depth and power of that love.  Somehow it transforms my entire life.  It redeems all situations.  It makes all things beautiful in time.  It is a sacrificial, overflowing, never-ending, all-consuming Agape love.

How do we even attempt to define that kind of love in a way that our children can understand?  A few years ago, I sat down and wrote out some quick devotionals and object lessons for the Fruit of the Spirit.  In preparation for this year’s summer study, I thought I’d pull out that devotional and share it with all of you!

See how one mom talked with her children about the Agape love of Jesus and how it overflows into those around them!

So with all that said… here’s the first lesson in our Fruit of the Spirit study!  The first fruit is love.  Honestly, this was a little tricky.  The story we read daily, Pups of the Spirit, is super cute, but it keeps love at a surface level.  Hugs and kisses and whatnot.  I wanted Little Man to know that love in the Biblical sense is deeper than that.  With every fruit, I found a short phrase that describes it in ways our little ones would understand.

LOVE ~ I will put others first.

Our verse for love was 1 John 3:18.

Dear children, let us not love with words or speech, but with actions and in truth.

I asked some pretty basic questions.  How do you know Mommy loves you?  How do you show Mommy or Daddy how you love them?  How can you show your friends you love them?  I asked him about some specific situations we had recently dealt with… were you showing love then?  I read somewhere that whenever a certain mom saw her children arguing, she would stop them and ask, “Who are you showing love to right now?  Yourself, your brother, or God?  God first, then others, and then ourselves.  This is the primary point I wanted Little Man to leave with.

We’ve talked about how we love others because Jesus loves us and His love overflows from us into others.  When we are filled with His love, it’s much easier to put others before ourselves.  That led us to our object lesson.

For this lesson, you’ll need a paper towel, a red marker, a pen, and a bowl of water.  Draw a small heart down at the bottom with the pen.  “We all have hearts that need to be filled.  When we ask Jesus to live in our hearts, he fills them with love.”

See how one mom talked with her children about the Agape love of Jesus and how it overflows into those around them!

We colored in the heart with the red marker.  “Jesus lives in our hearts and He loves us very, very much.  We always know that we are loved because we are His children.”

See how one mom talked with her children about the Agape love of Jesus and how it overflows into those around them!

Draw some tiny little hearts around the top of the red heart.  “We have Jesus’ love in our hearts, but not everyone knows about His love.  Their hearts are still empty.”

See how one mom talked with her children about the Agape love of Jesus and how it overflows into those around them!

I asked Little Man how we could show love to those people.  He gave me answers like playing with them, being kind to them, telling them that Jesus lives in us.  “When Jesus loves us, that love can overflow into the people around us!  Because He loves us soooo much, we have lots of love to share!”  Dip the paper towel into the bowl where just the red heart touches the water.

See how one mom talked with her children about the Agape love of Jesus and how it overflows into those around them!

“Look how Jesus’ love filled all those other hearts!  He loves everyone and wants their hearts to be filled too!”

See how one mom talked with her children about the Agape love of Jesus and how it overflows into those around them!

Throughout the next several days, I focused on asking Little Man about showing love.  In the grocery store, a man knocked some stuff off the shelf…  “How can we show him some love right now?”  As Little Man had a *teensy* bit of an attitude with me… “Are you showing love right now or anger?”  Some friends were over and playing at our house and wanted to do something different than Little Man… “Can we show him love by choosing to play his game first?”  I’m sure you can think of a few (or more than a few) moments that these questions could be asked on a daily basis.

To conclude each of our devotionals, we prayed over our verse (using the “ACTS” model and the words from the verse).

“Jesus, it’s awesome that You have so much love for us!  I’m sorry that I didn’t show love when I ______.  Please forgive me.  Thank you for always loving us no matter what we do.  Please help me not to just tell my family I love them, but to show them with my actions.  Help me to know how to love people that aren’t my friends.  Help me to show them Your love.  Amen.”

Is this something you could do with your little ones?

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Scripture Sunday ~ Ephesians 4:1-6

Scripture Sunday ~ Ephesians 4:1-6

Therefore I, the prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk worthy of the calling you have received, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, accepting one another in love, diligently keeping the unity of the Spirit with the peace that binds us.  There is one body and one Spirit – just as you were called to one hope at your calling – one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all in all.  

Ephesians 4:1-6


As a mom, I like to watch my children sleep.  I  know I’m not the only one.  There’s something about watching your sweet babies at their most peaceful state.  I have a three-year-old and a nine-year-old.  We have a bedtime routine that involves reading aloud stories (picture books for the younger one, a novel for the older one), a Bible story or devotional, and a prayer.  We tuck them tightly into bed and turn off the lights.  My husband and I then have a couple hours to do the things that need to be done to prepare for the next day.  On an ideal night, we’d have some time to connect at the end of a busy day… to talk through the events and conversations that occurred.  I love the nights that I get to curl up with a good book, and I know he loves to relax with a movie or the news.  Usually, it involves prepping lunches or putting away laundry… tidying up backpacks and books that have been strewn about.


But I digress.  At the end of the night, the boys are sleeping peacefully.  My husband and I have had a few moments to talk.  The house is tidy and prepared for the next day.  It’s time for me to to go put myself to bed.  Each night, I peek into the boys’ rooms on my way to bed.  I pull up their blankets and gently kiss them on their foreheads.  And as I do, I watch.  Their eyes closed, their breathing steady.  Sleeping peacefully without a worry for the next day.  And then I begin to wonder…. what will their lives be like in the future?  What will they do?  Who will they become?  How will they impact the world for the Kingdom of God?


These children… they can be anything!  God has a plan and a purpose for each of them that I can’t even begin to imagine.  Each night I pray that I will help them discover the gifts that God has given them.  I pray that they will have servants’ hearts and be warriors for Christ.  I pray that God will use them in big and mighty ways.


This weekend is baptism weekend at our church.  This is one of my favorite weekends.  I’ve recently had the privilege of leading the baptism class for the elementary kiddos.  It’s such a joy to see these kids go from having seeds planted in small group conversations in our children’s programs, to having those conversations with their parents during the class, and then taking that next right step and being immersed into the water and coming back out as a new creation.  When it’s a parent and child taking that step together… y’all, I lose it.  It is simply beautiful.


These children are no longer just our kids. They are our brothers and sisters in Christ.


One of the things we talk about in that baptism class is the idea that these children, as they take this step, they are no longer just these parents’ children.  They are becoming their brothers and sisters in Christ.  Isn’t that amazing?!  Our first ministry is at home.  As we pour into our children, we are planting seeds, helping them discover their gifts, and walking alongside them as they seek after Him to fulfill their calling.  They are not “just kids.”  They are mighty warriors for His Kingdom.  They are the hands and feet of Jesus.  They have a purpose and a calling chosen specifically for them.  They are the sons and daughters of the King… just like you.  They are your brothers and sisters in Christ.


Y’all, this parenting thing is hard.  It’s a constant exercise in patience, in juggling the busyness of life, in humility and forgiveness.  And there is nothing more humbling than sitting next to your child, looking them in the eye, and admitting you were wrong and asking forgiveness.  But it’s through that humility that we begin to understand that we can’t do this parenting thing alone.  I know that I need Jesus walking with me every step of the way.  I need the Spirit leading me in every moment.  I’m constantly praying that the Spirit will take over and use my words to say what He wants my children to hear.  They are His children first.  I am just the instrument He uses here on Earth to shepherd them and lead them toward Him.


They are not just our children.  They are sons and daughters of the King.  They are our brothers and sisters in Christ.  I pray we serve Him well by leading them well.




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