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{Countdown to our Summer Session} Intentionally pursuing the Bible with our Kids… and GIVEAWAY WINNERS announced!!!

 

 

DSC_0242{On our third official day of summer break, this is just one example of how we’ve been spending our time - making homemade swords out of water noodles, PVC pipe and duct tape.  Haha!}

 

Aaahhh, welcome summer!  We’ve been waiting for you…

I don’t know about you, but our family has been counting down the days, longing for this day to arrive. I adore the much less structured schedule that no school brings – ok, let’s be honest - for about the first week. Ha. While we absolutely love being together with far fewer responsibilities, I’ll be the first to admit that it’s tricky having varying ages of kids in the house all day every day with no certain plan. Eleven, ten, seven and four… that’s quite a range of interests, abilities, concentration levels, and ideas on what’s entertaining.

And we haven’t even talked about four different sets of emotions yet. Oh, dear. Wait, make that six.

So, the longer we venture into this parenting thing, the more we learn about how our children work best. Every child is different, but this much I know – every kid needs some amount of structure. Some thrive on more and some on less, but their worlds run much more smoothly when there is some predictability involved. So instead of leaving our summer to chance (within God’s sovereign plan, obviously…), I must plan enough structure in each day to set them up for the best possible scenario for success. Because when I skip the intentional part, all that’s left to show for our special time together are way too many wasted days, and not nearly enough love. Enough said.

I’ve jotted down my summer ideas and have somewhat of a master plan in place, but I’m still working on tweaking the fine details. We have bigger events scheduled each month, weekly activities that we’ll revisit, all the way down to daily time slots set aside for reading, chores, service projects and honing spiritual disciplines. Not scheduled so much that we can’t change it up if necessary, but scheduled enough so we won’t all completely loose our minds by week two.  Heh.

And at the top of our list?

Bible reading.

As fun activities begin to fill in our days, it would be easy to take the lazy summer approach and let this habit – both for me and my kids – slip a bit over the next few weeks. You and I both know that it’s tempting.   But recently more than ever, we’ve come to the realization that we need to intentionally invest in the ministry before us while we still have the opportunity: training all of our children (not forgetting the little ones, who are especially eager to know more and more of God’s Word), and encouraging our older boys, who need to be honing some of these spiritual disciplines for themselves, in the hopes of establishing some beautiful lifelong habits.

DSC_0174

Before it sounds like we have it all together…  only the Lord knows what the four year old is retaining while she squirms and goes off on a thousand tangents and distracts her brothers and hangs off of the couch upside down during our Bible readings.  Haha.

 

No matter. We’re not perfect. But we’re giving it our best shot, and we’re begging God to do the rest.

 

To work in our kids’ hearts. To change them to be more like Him. Then to empower them to make an impact for Christ in their own little worlds.

 

But guess who’s usually the one who ends up being challenged and changed and blessed the most?  You got it…

Me.

Oh, and don’t you worry.  Being intentional means that there will still be plenty of time to play. We’ll fit in nights at the ball field, popsicles for no reason, water fights, cookouts with friends, firefly catching, picnics, star gazing, mugs at the local root beer stand, and fires in the fire pit. And that’s just getting started, ya’ll…

It is summer, after all.

 

At His feet,

 

**Stay tuned THIS WEEK for the exciting release of Good Morning Girls’ Children’s Resources to accompany our upcoming Online Summer Study (a perfect way for both you AND your kids to intentionally pursue Bible reading this summer!)!

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**For more info on our upcoming Online Summer Study , click here.

**Still need to enroll for the GMG Summer Bible/Book Study?  You can find all of the direct links here.

_______________________________________________________________________

**ANNOUNCING OUR GIVEAWAY WINNERS!!!*** 

Get excited!!  Thomas Nelson (thanks Debbie & Emily!) has been so generous and has given us 15 paperback copies and 15 digital copies of Jennie Allen’s book, Anything.

And the winners are…

Paperback Winners:

Entry #6597Jennifer H.
Entry #7004Brandi W.
Entry #6419Amy S.
Entry #11204Christina C.
Entry #6151Andrea B.
Entry #14983Tammy
Entry #9952Angela F.
Entry #255Richetta I.
Entry #1040Christa L.
Entry #3595Anna O.
Entry #7029Summer A.
Entry #5319Dawn
Entry #16430ReBecca B.
Entry #15597Jamie W.
Entry #2059Christine y.

 

Ebook winners:

Entry #13780Clover D.
Entry #7691Karen D.
Entry #7746Sue R.
Entry #5672Betsy S.
Entry #7203Joy C.
Entry #409Sarah H.
Entry #12633Michelle N.
Entry #9036Shannon R.
Entry #13371AnnMarie F.
Entry #7676Karen D.
Entry #13536Elizabeth J.
Entry #6675Coreana H.
Entry #12098Kim M.
Entry #10998Julie W.
Entry #3814Sage H.

 

Congratulations! You will be receiving an email tomorrow requesting your address for those who won a paperback copy of Anything!

THANK YOU to everyone who entered in our giveaway!!!

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Comments

  1. I loved your bible reading focus, and would love if you could share what you use for your older children as you’re encouraging them to take responsibility for their own spiritual disciplines (perhaps even what your son is working on in the picture?) feel free to point me to where this may have already been shared :) thanks so much.

    • Hi Kylee! My son is working on a daily reading plan from his Sunday School class here, but this summer, I plan to have them SOAP their Bible Readings as they follow along with me in the GMG Summer Study. The verses are short enough that it won’t be overwhelming for them to do alone, but since we’ll be studying the same thing, we’ll be able to discuss as a family once they’ve completed their individual work. Look for the GMG Children’s Resource Team to release these materials later on this week… they’ve done all of the work for us!! :) Thanks so much for commenting! ~ Whitney

  2. Julie W says:

    I hear you about the 4 yr old hanging off the couch during Bible reading time. I read two books with my 6 and almost-5 yr old boys in the afternoons. The first one is a fun story, the second one is a Bible story or story that relates Christian character. It seems the minute I start the second story, they start doing head stands and rolling all over the bed/couch! I’ve heard that sometimes moving a body part or holding a small toy in their hand actually helps them concentrate better, but it drives me crazy! Maybe I should switch up the order of the stories and see what happens. At any rate, I’ll keep on, trusting that something will sink in as I persevere!

    • Hi Julie. I’m from the GMG children’s ministry team. :) I thought I’d encourage you to try a few of these ideas. Try giving your 4 year old a picture of the story to color while you read. Another idea maybe you can make the study more interactive by using some puppets, a felt board, or even act it out. Anyway that you can make the story into play at this age is perfect. Have you ever heard of Godly play. This might be just the things your 4 year old needs. :) I have a pin board started if you want to check some of those links out. http://pinterest.com/nikki_renee/godly-play/

      Keep going strong. It is all worth it in the end. It is so great to hear of parents working to minister to the children, who realize how important it is.

  3. Hi. I am excited to say that my son and I will be joining in the bible study this summer!! I am so stoked to get the binders put together but now I am having trouble. There is no link at the bottom of the blog email to print the materials. Can you help me please? Thank you so much!!

    • Hi Sara. We had a few issues with our documents but I promise they are coming. They should be out Wed. So come back then for your links. :) The GMG team put out some wonderful things.

    • Krystal says:

      Hi Sarah!!
      How exciting to be studying with your son for this session!! If you received your subscription email with this blog post, at the very bottom (past Whitney’s signature) will have this text:

      ANYTHING: Download your {FREE} materials for our summer session here: 1. Study Guide-Anything: Online Bible Study with GMG 2. Reading Plan- Anything: Online Bible Study GMG

      If you click on those links, it should open the PDF in your browser. You can then print them from that screen, or save them to your computer and print later.

      I hope this helps you! :)
      -Krystal

  4. My kids are in 3 age groups~ High School, Junior High, and elementry….any ideas how to tackle a bible study for the 3 ages groups?

    • One great idea would be to ask your High Schooler and/or Junior Higher to prepare a lesson for the whole family. They can do a skit for the story and then prepare the craft for your elementary aged child. They say the best way to learn is to teach. :)

      • amandakelly0804 says:

        Hi Dena- this is Mandy from the GMG Leadership Team! Something I am doing with my tween (and one of my teen discipleship students) is having them do the SOAP part of our study. I am also going to start having my 4th grader do that as well. My younger will often draw a picture about the topic of what we are talking about! I hope this helps!

  5. Found and following through Inspirational Mondays at Create With Joy.

    Lucky for me my daughter (10) does ‘hunger and thirst’ after righteousness. I have two boys (15 and 16) , who, through my depression and a rather more liberally-minded father, have developed … well, with less of a hunger. How can I help them?

    • amandakelly0804 says:

      Luann, this is Mandy from the GMG leadership team. I think the best thing you can do for them is to pray for them. There is SO MUCH power in prayer! Live it clear in front of them and pray like crazy dear sister. I will be praying as well. “Heavenly Father, I bring you Luann’s sons. Lord, give them a hunger for you and open their eyes to spiritual things. Help Luann to be an example to her boys. Thank you for her daughter who hungers after you. In your AMAZING Son, Jesus’s Name, Amen!!” – I will continue to pray Luann! So glad you found GMG!

    • Luann, I will be praying for you and unity in your home as well. I would also like to suggest that printing out the memory verses and places them throughout your home. God’s word will not return void, it is powerful and sharper than any two edged sword. By placing these scriptures on the fridge or bathroom mirror they will more than likely read them. :)

  6. Joy Clapsadle says:

    Could you tell me when you will be sending the e book for the winners? I am very excited to start reading!!!

  7. Dawn Miears says:

    I think (hope) I was one of the winners of a paperback, but I didn’t get an email. It may not be me, but I just thought I’d check. :) Thank you.
    Entry #5319Dawn

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