These days we’re living, though, they are the good times we’ll love to look back on one day. And not because they’re easy or perfect or Pinterest-worthy. Like they all tell us, we will miss these days, mamas. One day we will look back and wish we hadn’t tried to rush our way through them and will them away so much. We’ll beg for just one more extended bedtime snuggle, one more little voice asking to be carried—just one more time of them needing us. Because despite what it may feel like at times, this monotonous and messy work?—it’s holy.Read More
I remember when my kids were super little wondering when would be the “right” time and what would be the “right” way to introduce them to Jesus and the gospel. How young is too young? Do I use stories? Pull out an old flannelgraph? (KIDDING) I mean, they’re pastor’s kids, so they should probably know some things about God and the Bible.
It’s funny now that I was so worried about that. I had no idea what a natural progression it would be. That my kids would learn by watching (sometimes to my dismay and regret). By being authentic with and in front of them, they learn humility and honesty. By extending kindness and second chances (even when their behavior drives me straight to Crazy Town), they learn what grace looks and feels like. When they see me consistently dedicate the first moments of my day to prayer and studying, they learn how to show up and get the most out of their relationship with the Lord. When they see me take time for myself to slow down and relax, they see that God created rest and that it is good. And when I apologize to them for losing self-control or handling a situation wrong, they learn firsthand what vulnerability and forgiveness look like.
We can have all the pretty tools and resources and crafts in the world, but the real teaching happens right in the mess of real everyday life. It happens whether we’re trying or not. If we’re not leading them well, they are learning two contradictory lessons—what we teach and what we do. I’m pretty sure we all want the way we live to reinforce the things we teach about the Bible and God, rather than work against them.
With all that said, I do have a few favorite resources I want to share with you that I use to help make the learning and growing process a little more fun and engaging. These resources help to reinforce the stories of the Bible, the character of God, and what it really means to live in personal relationship with Him.
Raising Prayerful Kids. I love everything these girls put out into the world. They are real and honest about parenting struggles, but also very encouraging when it comes to living the gospel alongside our kids. My favorite of their resources right now is the “Talking with God” journal. It is a fun and interactive prayer guide for kids with added scripture coloring pages. They created two different levels of the journal (one for preschool age and one for older kids) and they’re offering it for FREE right now when you sign up for their newsletter. Such a steal!
2. Night Night Bible Stories by Amy Parker, illustrated by Virginia Allyn. This is the sweetest bedtime book for littles. It features 30 Bible stories told in a narrative style, that are perfect for reading right before bed or anytime. I especially love the interactive rhyming phrases in each story. My kids LOVE to say them with me, and it helps to reinforce what the story is teaching. This author has other adorable faith-based books available on Amazon, as well. I wish I would have discovered her sooner.
3. Praise Music. Ok, this one may seem like a no brainer, but it has been huge for our kids! I can’t even explain to you the feeling it gives me when I hear my kids reciting verses from songs that sing truth about God and their identity in Him (Cue the tears, people!). One of my favorite videos on my phone is of my Paisley girl signing loud and proud from the back seat “I am a child of Goooood! ” Most of the time I don’t even realize they have learned the lyrics until I hear them singing along. Get in the habit of playing Christian music on the radio in the car and watch as your kids start singing out the truth. It’s just the best.
4. Kids Read Truth. (A branch off of She Reads Truth-a women’s ministry site and shop). Ok, this one I haven’t technically used yet, but they have SO many good things that have been on my list for awhile now. The resources are beautiful (like I actually wouldn’t mind having them up around the house) and so intentional in creating bible literate kiddos. Some of my favorite items from their shop: ABC Bible Wall Cards , Advent Scripture Cards & People in the Bible Conversation Cards . They also have some great bible studies for older kids.
5. Pray with them. Pray with them as a family at the dinner table. Pray with them before bed. Pray with them with they feel scared or when they are upset. Just pray. I understand this isn’t a material resource, but it’s the biggest “resource” we have of all. If we show our kids that prayer is important and powerful, it will become their first response in moments of crisis. What better gift can we give them?
I hope you’ve enjoyed these few ideas and resources! I would LOVE to hear about what you’re using with your kids to help them know Jesus! If your kids are grown, I’d love to hear what you found most effective when they were little! Drop it below in the comments!
Dear Mama Girl,
I see you. I see you trying to be all the things to all your people.
I see you tired beyond belief, but still making an effort to show up to the endless demands.
I see you juggling work life and home life.
I see you striving to keep up with what everyone else is doing in the world. I see you keeping score for all the ways you don’t quite measure up, try as you might.
I see you finding time for yourself in the crevices of your day, and then feeling guilty for not being with your family instead.
I see you saying “yes” to things you know you probably shouldn’t take on right now. I see you trying to live up to expectations—the most demanding of all your own.
I see you picking fights with your husband, when all you really want is to laugh with him again. I see you wondering if he still thinks you’re beautiful.
I see you questioning your worth and your value and your identity in this season.
I see you trying to be both girl and mom. I see you wondering if the girl you once knew is in there at all anymore—underneath all the snot and the messes and the never alone-ness.
I see you loving your job as a mom more than anything, but simultaneously wondering if there’s more for you.
Mama girl, I see you.
May you see that you can in fact be both—mama and girl.
May you see that the girl you once knew is in fact gone, but that a better one has taken her place.
May you see all the ways it has changed you for good.
May you see the ways it has taught you more about your Father’s love for you.
May you see your role as a mom as the greatest gift…but not the only gift.
May you see that the expectations you strive to live up to were never meant to be your prison.
May you see that the rhythm of your days is determined by you.
May you see that your striving does not equal thriving.
May you see that your truest rest comes from surrender—surrender of the ways you try to get it right and the ways you fall short. Surrender of the desires of your heart.
May you see that guilt and shame and condemnation are not from God…and not for you.
May you see that He has the best for you, mama.
May you see that He made you to be both mama and girl—and that when you live in both, you’re actually better at both.
May you see that motherhood is sanctifying work and that it’s what has changed you for the better.
May you see that all the stuff that feels heavy and monotonous right now is actually doing it’s job—chipping away all the rough edges in you to give way to the masterpiece He has been forming.
May you see that you are valued and priceless and perfectly imperfect.
So lean into Him and lean on your tribe.
Let go of perfect and let go of lies.
Keep your head up, mama girl.
You’ve got this.
A Mama Girl like you