5 Bible Stories to Help Your Kids Gain Courage in Tough Times

Life can be tough on kids but leading them to the feet of Jesus ushers in a hope that surpasses all their hard moments.

I felt the first sting of letting go when I dropped mine off for school. It was my first real sense of giving them back to God. Lock down drills, conflict, and bullying crept onto our radar as elementary school continued. With every nuance about the world they learn, questions arise. When they brush up against serious illness, loss, or tragedy, it can be especially hard for them to get through the pain. But God is bigger. And we must help them fight to find the good, even amidst hard times.

Guiding children though the harsh realities of life requires us to acknowledge their feelings and guide them to His feet. God will ready our hearts with the encouragement our children need, as we are faithful to meet Him in His Word. Here are five Bible stories that can help kids gain courage in tough times.

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10 Things Parents Might Not Realize they are Doing Right

Parenting is no joke. There are few people we simultaneously love and loathe more than our children. They push us to the brink of our mental capacity. It’s a lifetime commitment to foster faith in another human being. A decade into motherhood, myself, and I’m amazed at how the responsibility for another’s life has caused me to take the direction of mine more seriously.

“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23

It’s a hard job, but all too often, we parents are too hard on ourselves. I can only pray that my children will choose to adopt a “forgive forward” philosophy. Parents, take heart, for in our weakness, we are strong. As Paul spoke of a thorn in his side, it is often our failures and mistakes that allow us to teach our children the most valuable lessons.

Here are 10 beautiful things you probably do for your children everyday without realizing it.

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5 Things to do When You Catch Your Kids Lying

“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”Ephesians 4:29 NIV

“I don’t have them,” she repeated.

“Leave your sister alone!” our parents echoed from up the stairs.

Decades later I learned the shirts I’d been looking for were underneath my little sister and her mattress the entire time.

“Why didn’t you just ask?” I wondered out loud. It wasn’t the borrowing that aggravated me, but the lying about it afterwards.

Grown adults are easily tempted to be dishonest by fear, and kids are no different. I retell this story to my daughters when I catch them in a lie, not to break the seriousness of the situation, but to illustrate the normality with which everyone has to deal with lying and its consequences.

When we catch our kids lying, there a few things we can do to break the chain reaction of fear and dishonesty. Free them up to embrace the truth, even when consequences are sure to follow.

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Rip it Off …Love While Healing.

Motherhood is like ripping band-aids off before the wounds have scabbed over. My hurts are exposed before they’ve healed. Before my kids started to grow up and experience deeper hurts, I could leave mine safely covered by the bandaids. While they remained covered and healing, I played in the park and participated in back yard picnics. I strolled down to the water and all over town to explore everything new alongside their innocent souls. 

The Bible says that children are a sign of God’s blessing. My life is living proof.

“Children are a gift from the LORD; they are a reward from him.” Psalm 127:3 NLT

In ancient times, children represented more than just a possession, as inferred in this verse. They represented heritage, “without children the inheritance of the land would be lost.” (NIV Study Bible Notes.) Our job as parents is to set them on the right path, and keep them on it or as close to it as we can …but the final decision on their direction is up to them. 

My kids didn’t know me before them, or see how becoming the mom they needed me to be pulled me out of a dark season, set me back on my feet and renewed my faith. They were indeed a “more than I could ever ask for or imagine” blessing that I didn’t deserve.

I can no longer hide the places the darkness has touched behind picnics and park playdates. Now, my mistakes have the power to protect my daughters if I cut them in on the healing. The Bible says to be wise we have to share our mistakes in hopes our children are less apt to repeat them. 

“My children, listen when your father corrects you. Pay attention and learn good judgement, for I am giving you good guidance. Don’t turn away from my instructions. For, I, too was once my father’s son, tenderly loved as my mother’s child.” Proverbs 4:1-3

This is Solomon, one of the wisest people ever to live, advising his son not to repeat his mistakes. Parent from a place of compassion.

“You’re going to make mistakes,” I told my daughter during one of our after school hear to hearts, “and sometimes things just happen to you.” 

She looked at me as if I couldn’t possibly understand what that was like, so I ripped off a band-aid.

“I don’t like to think about it,” I continued, “but it’s hard to forget.” 

I know all too well how one mistake can taint years of hard work. The pain of loss …the shattering hurt of a broken heart …and the failure to prepare that derails dreams. I’ve lived through everything crumbling. I watched 9/11 happen on live TV. I know what it feels like to travel down a road approved by everyone else …but me …and certainly not God. I’ve been the victim unfair circumstances. I know what it feels like to turn on my heels and run, dig a hole too deep to climb out of, and crawl back to Christ.

In the ten steps it took my daughter her to cross the room, her tears transformed from anger to empathy, loneliness to loved, ashamed to understood.

In the midst of my beautiful mess, God showed me who He made. I’m very careful not to glorify, excuse or leave out the painful consequences of my choices. Nor the unfair kind of pain we suffer from at the hand of someone or something else. As time marches on, mom becomes a little more human. It’s hard for my daughters to believe I could ever be anyone but who they perceive me to be …but it’s crucial they understand who I am. I’m never ready to rip off a band-aid, but I persevere so my kids have a choice to escape the some wounds, and reconcile why others happen to them. Mother’s will do anything to protect their children.

“Why does God let us chose, Mom?” she asked.

“What if we didn’t have to?” I asked, “Or, get to?” 

God is good. He doesn’t need anything from us, but we need Him. When I am tempted to go back and re-defeat myself over a season that God has proclaimed victorious He reminds me, “you are the same girl I have always loved.” 

We are so tempted to equate our worth to our actions, mistakes and accomplishments. Walking with Christ inspires us to do better, but we will never outgrow mistakes and consequences, nor outrun pain and suffering, this side of heaven. 

His love for us never changes. Just like I will never see my daughters or love them less because of mistakes, who we are to Him doesn’t change. What a gift in perspective, motherhood is. 

Happy Healing, Megs 🙂

Megs

# Powerful Ways Dads Can Forge Relationships with Daughters

Without words, my dad faithfully repaired the doorframe every time my teenage angst slammed it off its alignment. No one ever asked him to check on me after an outburst that ended in tears behind that slammed door, but he always did. My dad loved me despite the massive cloud that took over from time to time during those hard, teen years. When I was wrong. When I overreacted. When my heart was broken by some boy. My dad always checked in to make sure I was OK. He reminded me who I was and that he loved me.

I realize not everyone is blessed with the same story, but from the outpouring of mine, I share ways that fathers can forge lasting and real relationships with their daughters. It’s not rocket science. Rather, it’s simply putting the door back on the hinges, wiping the tears away, and lending hugs to let them know they are loved more than they could possibly understand.

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