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Disney, Sea Shells and Easy ways to be intentional with your kids {Link-Up}

My family and I recently had the opportunity to go to Disneyland in California and boy did we have a blast! Seriously one of the best vacations yet! I loved it!

When we got back home, I asked my girls what they wanted to show their friends from our trip…..their response surprised me.

“Our sea shells.”

Your sea shells……but we went to Disney!!! Don’t you want to bring one of the stuff animals you won or don’t you want to show your friends some of the pictures we took of you meeting the princesses and other Disney characters?


They wanted to show the sea shells.

“Why the sea shells?” I asked.

“Because you helped us collect them.” Was their response.

We spent a few days at Disneyland…..and enjoyed EVERY minute of it but what really touched my girls hearts was the one day we took a break from Disney and traveled to the beach.

I wanted my girls to see the ocean. I wanted them to see God’s beauty, His power……experience what He created.

In Sally Clarkson’s book, Ministry of Motherhood, she talks about giving our children the Gift of Inspiration.  Her whole book is wonderful and I highly recommend it, but that particular section spoke directly to my heart and I wanted to open the eyes of my children to the awesomeness of their God.

“A child who does not have the opportunity to marvel at the bigness of God, the wonders of his creation, and the reality of his supernatural work will tend to measure the questions about “who God is” according to his or her finite, limited perspective…”

“When we take the opportunity to expose our children to the glory of God displayed in a rainbow or powerful ocean waves or a star-studded night sky, we are helping them understand that there is a Being much bigger than themselves who created the universe and holds it together with his power. “-Sally Clarkson

I wanted my girls to experience their God in a much bigger way.

Being at the ocean does that.

The beauty alone takes your breath away.

The sound of the ocean waves roaring to shore, the soft breeze touching your face and the birds singing above……all testify to God’s reality and greatness.

As we walked the beach picking up sea shells I talked to my girls about how wonderful and powerful our God is. We talked about how beautiful each sea shell was that they picked up. We talked about God’s creativity, about the size of the ocean and the power of the waves……I wanted them to see God in His creation.

I wanted to be intentional and give them an opportunity to experience God in a whole new way. To open their eyes to the bigness of their God.

This week we see from our verses (Proverbs 31:1-9) that King Lemuel’s mother was an intentional woman. She was a mother who was intentional in how she taught her son, teaching him the virtues of a noble wife as she taught him the alphabet,…connecting his learning to something valuable that he would later be able to easily recall.

Using her as an inspiration, here are a few ways we can be intentional with our kids……everyday

  • Write “I think you’re amazing because...” notes in their lunch boxes, their rooms, their cars.
  • Go out on a special date with them….
  • Send them encouraging text messages
  • Pray together
  • Read the bible together….and discuss what you read
  • Read books together
  • Serve together
  • Intentionally slow down……look them in the eyes and tell them how much you love them
  • Give them a hug
  • Talk with them and rub their backs as you do……my girls love that!
  • Laugh with them
  • Smile at them

Being intentional is about turning off the TV, not answering the phone or the emails, the tweets or the Facebook comments, and really seeing your family. Giving them undivided time and attention. It’s talking with them over a meal. It’s asking them questions, doing things together like coloring, drawing, tickling and laughing together. Not necessarily spending money, but spending time together………that’s what’s truly priceless.

Being intentional is about really seeing them and purposefully investing in their lives.


What are some ways that you are intentional with your kids? I believe we learn best from one another! I’d love to hear your ideas! What would you add to my list? Which ones are your favorite?


Women around the world are IN THE WORD! Every Wednesday we will have a link-up. If you are a blogger we invite you to link-up any blog posts that you have written about your quiet time that week. We ask that you put our button in the post or on your sidebar so we can find each other. We do not have code for this link up button. Just right click and save as. Then link it to http://www.goodmorninggirls.org


Love God Greatly!











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  1. TerriHyde says:

    My girls love “morning cuddles”…even my 14 year old! When I wake them up for school, I snuggle in their bed with each one and we have cuddle time. We talk, giggle, describe how we want the day to go, then we pray that God will help us in having the best day possible and that He keeps us safe and brings us all home safely at the end of the day. My girls each get their coveted one on one time with me, and I habe the opportunity to teach them to talk to God without reservations. We love it!

  2. What a lovely picture, Angela. Thank you for sharing your girls’ delight at spending time with Mommy. I know my little girl loves to as well and I seem to tell her “we will soon” too often. I purpose in my heart today to look her in the eyes and give her my attention.

  3. Oh, this is beautiful …be ALL there…so true and such a great reminder. Love those sweet pictures Angela!!!!! Your girls are precious.

  4. CristinaSydney says:

    Wow Intentional is everything!!! i have noticed with my kids that every single moment i do things with them walking ,listen to the birds is what really is in their memories,is not about the latest nintendo or the large pencilcase …is about moments,words,hugs,kisses,a note i their lunch or a love heart cookie… thank you for reminding me that is a every day thing and time flies and today just happened but if we got the chance of tomorrow we can’t afford to lose it again..

  5. beautiful post! i’m not a mother but i remember those valuabale, intentional moments with my own mom. they will always be the best memories!

    love what i’ve seen on your blog so far – and the linking of women together, that’s wonderful! – and i look forward to reading more posts from you!

    have a great day!

  6. OH my goodness! I LOVE those little faces – SO sweet! They are so blessed to have such an intentional mama!!!
    Love you,

  7. I loved The Ministry of Motherhood and I want to read it again (after I finish The Mission of Motherhood!). On Mother’s Day I wrote 20 reasons I love being a mother, I think it shows some of my intentionality for being a mom: http://jsknowlton.blogspot.com/2012/05/mothers-day-2012-20-reasons-why-i-love.html.

  8. Thank you TerriHyde, Megan, Janelle, Cristinasydney, Allie, Courtney and Shonda for your sweet comments this morning!

    So blessed to be going through this summer series with you! Thank for joining us!

    Love God Greatly!

  9. Love, love this post, Sweet Angela. A beautiful picture of what really matters.

  10. Jen Thorn says:

    I love this post Angela. Life can get so busy so thank you for reminding us to be intentional, and I love the practical ideas.

  11. Oh Angela, I can’t get enough of those sweet faces!! I am finding that intentionalilty with each of my kids takes great TIME, and though there are many good things to invest my days in, my greatest calling is right before me in my home. May I say “no” more often to the distractions of this world so my kids can see more of Jesus in me…

  12. Angela,
    Such a sweet post!! I sure wish I could have met up with you while you were here…I’m so glad you had a wonderful time! And thank you for the beautiful reminders of how to really savor the moments with our kids. Have a blessed week!

  13. Disneyland and Huntington Beach! My two favorite places!!! What a sweet memory your daughters will have!

  14. This blessed my heart to read. What a great reminder, to be intentional with our gifts. Sometimes with working I tend to forget to just look at them in the eyes. My lil one will squeeze my cheeks together and say “Mommy did I tell you how much I love you”. It so sweet, but then I think to myself did I even tell her I love her today. Im gone most of the day so I need to be more intentional. Thank you for this encouragement and reminder.

    God Bless you Angela!

    P.S. Lordwilling we will be visiting Disney at the end of the year! Thank you for sharing your time with us! <3

  15. This my heart to read.What a great reminder to be intentional with our precious gifts.Sometimes,with working, I tend to forget to just look at them in the eyes.My lil one will squeeze my cheeks together and says “Mommy did I tell you how much I love you.It so sweet, but then I think to myself did I even tell her I love her today.Im gone most of the day so I need to be more intentional.Thank you for this encouragement and reminder.

    God Bless you Angela!

    P.S.Lordwilling we will be visiting Disney at the end of the year! Thank you for sharing your time with us!

  16. Love this! Makes me really focus on being intentional…yesterday was the last day of school for my teenage son…the end of freshman year. He’s my only child and getting so grown. He will be gone before I know it! He wants to be a chef when he finishes high school and gets a lot of grief for it from various places and people, simply because he is an honor student and it is thought that he is “wasting” his mind. My main way of being intentional with him is with food. We are either cooking together, talking about what we are going to prepare (we are both vegan, so it takes a little thought), sharing a meal in a restaurant, etc. These times lead to conversations about so many other things: girls, driving carefully, school, his feelings and thoughts on many things, etc. I learn what he’s reading in the Bible, what he’s praying about, and we grow closer. Thanks for making me remember to be intentional, instead of hoping it will just happen!

  17. What a fun adventure you had with your kids. I love your thoughts on being intentional.
    I second the beach. I live just an hour south of Disneyland, and within 20-30 miles away to God’s perfect creation of the ocean! I LOVE being at the beach and seeing how only God could create something that amazing!

  18. My husband takes my daughter on a “Daddy Date” every month. She is 4 and looks on the calendar at the beginning of each month to see when her date is. It is so wonderful for them to have the one-on-one time with each other. When our sons get older I will do the same with them. It is a family tradition that we are choosing to continue.

  19. Life gets so busy and I’m thankful for a wonderful tip passed along by a friend, which we now do as well. When we’re driving, I take the opportunity to ask my 3 year old if there’s anyone he would like to pray for. Most days it’s for Daddy to be safe at work (he’s a police officer & firefighter) and for Uncle Bobby to be safe in the Army. It gives me the chance to talk about how we can pray for others, thank God for our many blessings, etc. Sometimes he prays and sometimes I do. Then, at red lights, we pray. Every time we come to a red light, one of us will pray. Sometimes I have a lot on my mind and get distracted. But, I will hear a sweet little 3 year old voice in the back of the van reminding me that we’re at a red light and we need to “stop & pray!”

  20. Excellent way of telling, and good paragraph to take facts on the topic of my presentation subject, which i am going to present in college.

  21. I have boys, (a 4 year old and a 1 year old). So we dig in the dirt and play with trucks. My oldest loves when we pull weeds and garden together. We talk about God and our blessings and it’s so sweet to see his caring, tender heart. We will be pulling weeds and he will stop, lean back and say “Dear Jesus, thank you for the sunshine and fresh air. I love you, Amen.” Wouldn’t it make life so much better if we all did that more often.

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    writing like yours nowadays. I really appreciate individuals like you!
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  23. I really like it whenever people come together
    and share thoughts. Great site, keep it up!


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