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{Our Children}… Will we tell them?

He tip-toed down the stairs a little too early a few mornings ago, with sleep still in his eyes as he stumbled and squinted his way into my bathroom.

No “Good Morning” greeting. No drama. No frills.

He just walked up to me and matter-of-factly whispered into my ear, “I think I want to be a missionary when I grow up.”  I believe that boy meant it, and I just knew it was going to be a great day.

And then he promptly put his little sister into a headlock.  Haha.

This is how my days go in the midst of this parenting gig.  One step forward and two steps back.  I’m constantly celebrating, and then taking my pride and humility to the foot of the cross. Let’s just be honest, I’d do better if I just permanently set up camp there.

They’re humans.  Real, live humans that somehow God figured it would be okay to entrust into my care for this short time on earth.  And most days that makes me break out into a hot sweat.  Literally.  They’re energetic and live life louder than most of my friends’ kids, and I just know they’ll channel their hard-core passion into great leadership qualities one day (please, Jesus, let it be so).  But until then, these four have me on my knees.

It’s times like these that make me appreciate my own mother the way that I should have a long, long time ago.  She raised four herself -a few years as a struggling single mom – and I don’t remember her being sweaty even once. Heh.

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{My sweet momma and the four of us ~ feathered 80′s hair and all…}

I don’t remember a lot of things, actually.

I don’t remember a big house or trendy clothes.

I don’t remember gourmet foods or fancy cars.

I don’t remember over-the-top family vacations or frequent trips to the mall for the latest gadget.

I don’t remember extravagant birthday parties or permission to do all kinds of irresponsible things fun stuff that I wanted to do.

Because those things didn’t always happen. And I’m thankful. 

Because the way to impact our children for Jesus doesn’t include the long list of things we can acquire, our social statuses, or our constant obsession with self-gratification.

What do I remember?

A soft, soft voice that was rarely raised. Hope spoken in uncertain times.  Her Bible marked up and visited often. Desperate prayers in the quiet corners. Encouraging notes, picnics on the driveway, hymns sung off-key, fingers worked to the bone until the late-night hours, and a countenance that revealed such peace in her heart.  Consistent, faithful, selfless love, often unsung and unrecognized until years much later.

And I remember the name of Jesus on her lips.  We had that, and we knew that we were the richest children in the world. 

And I wonder… will I tell them?

Will my children hear the truth of who Jesus is, day in and day out, even when the girl is in a headlock and dinner is burning on the stove?

Will they hear me gently whisper His name when I’m tempted to whine and criticize and lose it for the 100th time in the same day?

Will they hear me speak Life and Light in the safe haven of our home, or will I give in to this crowded, loud world that’s making me just plain sweaty and tired?

I haven’t been called to a village in Africa, but I have been called to be a missionary in my own home for this critical, fleeting season.  And by the grace of God, this missionary will raise another missionary, and then he’ll raise another, and this – THIS, tired momma – is the Kingdom of God, and is worth every single sweaty sacrifice.

There’s so much to tell them, and so little time.  The greatest gift we can give our children?

Tell them.  And then tell them again.

 ”We will not hide them from their descendants;
we will tell the next generation
the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord,
his power, and the wonders he has done.”

“…so the next generation would know them,
even the children yet to be born,
and they in turn would tell their children.
Then they would put their trust in God.”

~ Psalm 78:4, 6-7

At His feet,

Available TODAY: Advent Study {Children’s Resources} materials… FREE with your blog subscription!!

 Advent Children's Resources file blog

{Now Available!}

It’s not even December yet, and I’m already feeling the world trying to creep in and take over the hearts of my children this Christmas.  I know that soon decorations will distract, toy catalogs will be delivered without my consent (how dare they! ha!), and schedules will fill up with all kinds of worthwhile activities.

It’s all a bit confusing, really, because the world offers a lot of good things this time of year.  We are blessed with beautiful scenery, sweet family gatherings, and fun traditions.  But while we enjoy these temporary gifts, I don’t want my kids to miss seeing the bigger picture.  The better thing.  The reason we celebrate in the first place.

I don’t want them to miss seeing and celebrating Jesus this Christmas.

This is why I am so excited to share the Good Morning Girls Advent Study {Children’s Resources} materials with you all today!!!

For children, we offer short daily devotionals, activities, and prayers to help you lay a foundation in your child’s heart of what it means to keep Jesus at the center of it all this Christmas.  We’ve even included an International component in our Children’s Study Guide this year, where you can introduce your children to how other countries celebrate Christmas with our weekly installment of “Merry Christmas Around the World.”

And the great news? All of these offerings are geared to reinforce the daily {GMG} Advent Bible Reading Plan that you’re already using in your own devotional time! These manuals are packed full of helpful advice, fun projects, and colorful graphics that will help God’s Word come alive for your kids. 

With mommas committing to just a few minutes each day, our prayer is that these Children’s Resources will serve to draw our children to look to Jesus above anything this world has to offer this Christmas.

You AND your kiddos are formally invited… our Advent Study begins THIS Sunday! :)

At His feet,

 

**HOW TO ACCESS OUR STUDY MATERIALS: Our Advent Study {Children’s Resources} are absolutely FREE with your blog subscription to Good Morning Girls!  Not subscribed yet?  No problem!  You can subscribe here.  **Important: please don’t forget to confirm your subscription!  Already a subscriber?  The {Children’s Resources} material links (along with all of the other study materials we’re offering this session!) will be at the bottom of each GMG email you receive every time a blog post is published. 

 

**A very special thanks to the entire GMG Children’s Resources Team for so generously volunteering their time and many talents to help complete the Children’s Resources materials for this session:

Mandy Kelly

Bethany Grove

Nikki Hinkle

Edurne Mencia

Catina Pendleton

Linda Wells-Harr

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Available TODAY: Loving Like Jesus {Children’s Resources} materials… FREE with your blog subscription!!

Loving Like Jesus for kids

I don’t know if there ever was a time when the concept of love was so misunderstood; when hearts could be so cold; when young people felt so abandoned and forgotten, or when children felt more confused and rejected. My heart breaks as I read the horrifying statistics of teen suicide, promiscuity, addiction, bullying and the overall hopelessness that drives them to lead such risky lives.

All for the lack of the one thing they do not even realize they are missing… Jesus’ love.

And as I turn around and see my sweet 3 ½ and almost 2 year old boys, I cry out in desperation for the wisdom to know how to raise them in a world that seems to be exploding and imploding at the same time. I need wisdom to know how to teach my children to extend the pure and everlasting love of Jesus to a generation lost and hurting, without getting caught up in entrapments that hold their peers captive.

Loving like Jesus.

I was both thrilled and intimidated when I read the title for our Fall Session here at GMG. Thrilled because if there is anything I want to do as a mom, it is love my family like Jesus and teach my children to love others like Jesus also. Intimidated because it is such a tall order, and I know I’ll never hit the mark. And then I was something else – challenged.

Challenged because I know that God has grace enough to fill in the spots where I fail; and because I know that this is the best weapon my children have to protect themselves from the dangers and pitfalls they are sure to face in their generation. Jesus’ love is enough to grant them the security they need as they swim upstream in a world that is sinking low. It is enough to protect them from the certain persecution they will face in a culture that is rapidly growing more anti-Christ by the day. And it is exactly what they need to extend to their peers who are left to cope with the confusion, rejection and abandonment they are likely to face in their adolescence.

Once again, I was privileged to partner with the best team of women in the world to offer you the finest materials you will ever have to correlate with your own personal SOAP studies. First of all, we have put together a Loving Like Jesus For Kids manual that gives you practical tips on how to have a Bible time with your children. We have divided this up into Bible time and activities for small children and Bible time for pre-teens and teenagers.

Loving Like Jesus Inside Page

For smaller children we offer short lessons, activities, crafts, games and a short prayer at the end of each day to help you lay a foundation in your child’s heart of what it means to love like Jesus. All of these activities are geared to reinforce the daily Bible passages. Moms with toddlers are able to do them as well. For the more difficult activities we have provided an alternate activity for toddlers.

We have also paired up with the author of The Dig and this study will use the remainder of The Dig Volume 2. There is a separate manual that shows you how to use The Dig and provides reading charts for your children.

Additionally, we have provided colorful memory verse cards for each week. They are sized for you to attach them to index cards. To help with memorization, we have provided a number of tips and activities that aid in memorizing the weekly verses.

These manuals are packed full of helpful advice, fun projects, and colorful graphics. But best of all, they are FREE! I can guarantee that you will find them useful, not only for this study; you will certainly refer back to them over and over again.

We pray that these materials will be a blessing to you as you seek to lay a strong and durable foundation in the lives of your children that will help them to learn what it means to love like Jesus in a world where the concept of love has grown distorted and dim. That the simplicity of the message of Jesus’ love and sacrifice will burrow deep in their hearts, sprout and bear abundant fruit of that will bless all those they touch!

With a heart for YOUR children and MINE to learn to love like Jesus,

Rosilind

GMG Children’s Resources Team

**HOW TO ACCESS OUR STUDY MATERIALS: Our Loving Like Jesus {Children’s Resources} are absolutely FREE with your blog subscription to Good Morning Girls!  Not subscribed yet?  No problem!  You can subscribe here.  **Important: please don’t forget to confirm your subscription!  Already a subscriber?  The {Children’s Resources} material links (along with all of the other study materials we’re offering this session!) will be at the bottom of each GMG email you receive every time a blog post is published. 

**A very special thanks to the entire GMG Children’s Resources Team for so generously volunteering their time and many talents to help complete the Children’s Resources materials for this session:

Bethany Grove

Nikki Hinkle

Rosilind Jukic

Edurne Mencia

Catina Pendleton

Linda Wells-Harr

Anything – For Kids! {FREE Subscriber Download}

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It is my firm belief that children who learn early on about prayer, and can point to specific times in their life of divine provision and answered prayer, will carry those lessons with them into adulthood as a foundation for their own personal prayer lives. ~ Rosilind Juric

I clearly recall the morning we all gathered in the living room for our morning devotions. Daddy in his plush, brown easy chair, mom on the couch with us girls on either side, and my brother across from us on the love seat. The need daddy shared with us didn’t seem odd at all.  We were used to praying for needs of the home, so our hearts were not anxious as daddy shared that the mortgage payment was due the next day.  He shared with us the exact amount that he needed to pay the payment on time. We prayed together that the Lord would provide, and then went about our day.

Somewhere around noon my father burst into the house yelling and wildly waving an envelope about in the air! For a moment I thought he had completely taken leave of his senses; that is until he called us all together to show us a check that someone had sent us in the mail for the exact amount we had prayed for that morning.  What is amazing is that the person who sent the check had to have sent the check before  we prayed for it to have arrived the same day.

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I can recount many such stories from my childhood.  And while we knew God as our provider, we were also encouraged to cultivate a life of relational prayer.  This was modeled for us so well in my daddy’s life. I knew that on any given morning I could wake up and find him kneeling at his easy chair with his head buried in the cushions, praying and weeping before God. This picture is a comfort to me even today.

It is my firm belief that children who learn early on about prayer, and can point to specific times in their life of divine provision and answered prayer, will carry those lessons with them into adulthood as a foundation for their own personal prayer lives.  When they face their own crises of faith, these times stand out for them as stone markers, pointing them back to the times when God was faithful.

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It is for this reason that the Good Morning Girls Children’s Resources Team not only wanted to provide you with a top-notch companion children’s manual filled with activities and resources that reinforce the tender relationship God longs to have with them.  We have also designed a prayer journal for both women and children!  There are two kinds of children’s manuals: one for boys and one for girls.  These journals provide a daily prayer focus, spaces each week for personal requests, and more.

The Anything Children’s Manual correlates with our SOAP studies, so that you can use the daily verses in your family devotions, as well as reinforce them with the daily observations and activities provided in the children’s manual.  We even have alternative activities for mothers of toddlers.

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Additionally, we have provided memory verse cards for each week for you to print off and use with your children. They are sized so you can attach them to index cards (Hint: there is a special activity in the first manual for this). To help with memorization, we have provided a number of tips and activities that aid in memorizing the weekly verses.

These manuals are packed full of helpful advice, fun projects, and colorful graphics. But best of all, they are FREE! I can guarantee that you will find them useful, not only for this study; you will certainly refer back to them over and over again.

I pray that these materials will be a blessing to you and your children as this summer we travel together on a deeper journey of prayer.

Serving with a passion for children to know God more,

Rosilind Juric

GMG Children’s Resources Team

Note: If you are a GMG subscriber, these children’s resources are listed at the bottom of your email. Look for: 1. Anything for Kids, 2. Dear God for Boys, 3. Dear God for Girls, 4. Dear God for Women

Not a GMG subscriber? Subscribe today and you will receive these documents Friday morning in your inbox, along with our 1. Study
Guide-Anything: Online Bible Study with GMG 2. Reading Plan-Anything: Online Bible Study GMG

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I would like to send out a special thanks to the GMG Children’s Resources Team, as well as Amanda Buhler, for pouring their passion, time and talents into making these wonderful resources for our children! ~ Whitney

GMG Children’s Resources Team

Rosilind Jukic

Edurne Mencia

Linda Wells-Harr

Bethany Grove

Catina Klinzmann Pendleton

Nikki Rosenzweig Hinkle

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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.

 

{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.

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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.

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**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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