Daily Devotions: Week 3

Thanks for joining us on our daily devotions journey!  I gotta be honest, doing this daily with our kids, our activities are hit or miss.  My kids are not always cooperative, my activities are not always the most exciting, and yes, apparently looking back at the week, we completely forgot to do it on Monday!  I didn’t even realize that until I started writing this post!  So, hang in there!  Bible study is not going to be perfect every day – some days it will be so far from it, but your children are still hearing God’s word and are seeing you set an example for daily obedience.

If you are just now following us, here is a recap:

Week 1

Week 2

Day 1:  Messy Days

“Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” – John 14:27

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.  In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart! I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33

“Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always.”  – Psalm 105:4

It can be hard to “visualize” Jesus when we have never met him face to face.  For kids, this can be hard for them to understand that He was born into this world like you and me yet, though he no longer walks as we do on this Earth, we can still have this amazing relationship with Him.

Ask your kids to describe Jesus and what He looks like.

Google some images of famous paintings and images of Jesus.  Talk about the likenesses between them and how this is what some believe He looked like when He was here.  This will help your children visualize Him when they talk to Him.

I know I like to visualize Jesus holding my hands when I pray.  It helps me to feel more connected to Him.  Describe to your children what it feels like to feel His presence.

Pray with them and ask them to visualize Him when they do.

Day 2:  Autopilot

“Your world is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.”  – Psalm 119:105

Today, we made compasses – simple compasses.  I drew a circle and cut out arrows for them to glue “point the way to Jesus.”

I scaffolded the activity for the different ages of my boys.



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“Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings.  My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me.”  Psalm 63:7-8

Day 3:  The Light of the Son

“The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it.  The glory of God is its light, and the Lamb is the city’s lamp.” – Revelation 21:23

We found a box that just so happened to have a hole big enough for the kids to peer into.  “What do you see?”  Well, there’s really not much to see inside of a dark box… it’s dark and empty.  We saw nothing.  Without Jesus in our lives, everything would be dark like the inside of the box.



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I opened the box and put a flashlight inside and closed it again.  We looked through the hole once more and saw the entire inside of the box!  Jesus lights up our world so we can see and live and so our spirits will be filled with light.



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Take this a step further if you have prep time before your devotion begins:  draw or tape pictures to the inside of the box so that when you turn on the light inside your kids can see what they couldn’t see when it was dark.



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“Many are asking, ‘Who can show us any good?’ Let the light of your face shine upon us, O Lord.  You have filled my heart with greater joy than when their grain and new wine abound.  I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.”  – Psalm 4:6-8

Day 4:  Before You Work

“Depend on the Lord in whatever you do.  Then your plans will succeed.” – Proverbs 16:3

Today we made a challenge for ourselves to remember to pray before we get started in the morning.  Write that challenge down and post it somewhere, maybe on the kids’ bedroom door, so that you all can see it first thing before you start your day.  It is one thing to say we are going to do this, and intend on doing this, and quite another to follow through.  So set an alarm on your phone if you need a daily reminder and teach the kids to come gather around so you can pray over them for the day.

“Then Jesus said to his disciples:  “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear.  Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes.  Consider the ravens; They do not sow or reap they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them.  And how much more valuable you are than birds!  Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?  Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?” Luke 12:22-26

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”  Ephesians 6:12

Day 5:  The God Who Forgives

Practice role playing forgiveness with your kids.  If you have multiple children, have them role play this back and forth: one who makes a mistake and the other forgives.  Pray with your children and teach them to ask for forgiveness and also to ask for help to be able to forgive others.  Just as God forgives us, we need to forgive others, too.

“Where can I go to get away from your Spirit?  Where can I run from you? . . . If I rise with the sun in the east, and settle int he west beyond the sea, even there you would guide me. With your right hand you would hold me.”  – Psalm 139:7-10

– Genesis 16:7-14

“The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save.  He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.” – Zephaniah 3:17

 

 

Daily Devotions: Week 2

If you are just now following along with our Devotions posts, please read our Week 1 post.

Day 1:  I Am Calling You

“Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him.” -Psalm 37:7

Our devotion today talked about spending time with God and turning off all distractions that can keep us from having a relationship with Him.  We practiced standing really really still and listening. We heard birds singing, tractors in the field, and bees buzzing.



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We then tried to stand on one foot and noticed that by not staying still, it was hard to concentrate on all of the things we heard a minute before.  Being distracted by busy things in our life makes it hard to focus and be still to listen to God.

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“Instead I have calmed and quieted myself…”  -Psalm 131:2

“You give him blessings forever; You cheer him with joy in Your presence.” -Psalm 21:6

Day 2:  The One Who Heals

“He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases.” -Psalm 103:3

Today, we busted out the band aids and talked about God healing our bobos and our hearts.  Our activity was super simple:  we put band-aids on us and talked about how they help heal our wounds.  (Lucky for me, I had just 2 band aids left!  Now I need to remember to buy a new box at the store.)



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“You do not have because you do not ask.”  -James 4:2

Day 3:  I’ve Got Plans for You

“O Lord, God of Israel, there is no God like you in all of heaven above or on the earth below.  You keep your covenant and show unfailing love to all who walk before you in wholehearted devotion.”  -1 Kings 8:23

We talked about walking hand in hand with Jesus down the right path.  Leyson had a late nap on this day, so I used this opportunity to do a focused writing activity with James.  He had to come up with a take away sentence from what we talked about and then draw a picture to match.



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“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peae, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self-control.  Against such things there is no law.”  -Galatians 5:22-23

Day 4:  Shout it Out Loud

“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” -James 4:7

When we talk to God and tell him our troubles, he can help us overcome them.  Today we talked about our fears and how we only need to lean on God when we are afraid.

Me: “James what are you afraid of?”

James:  “Pretty much nothing because I’m a ninja and I can karate chop the devil’s head to a million pieces.”

As you can see, I had a hard time getting my super brave boy to admit that he had any fears.

After much deliberating, both boys decided they were afraid of wasps (well, James said he is, “ALMOST afraid of wasps.” – close enough.)

I wrote their fears on a piece of paper and we prayed about them.  Then we wadded the papers up, ripped them up, stomped on them and threw them in the trash can representing how God helps us to overcome our fears.



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Leyson telling me about crushing the wasps

“Indeed, God is my salvation.  I will trust Him and not be afraid.  Because Yah, the Lord, is my strength and my song, He has become my salvation.” -Isaiah 12:2

Day 5:  Growing Up

Today we deviated from our devotional because James needed some extra encouragement.

We pulled out an old favorite verse that we have been praying over for a while for each of our children.

“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'” -Jeremiah 29:11

I made this sign for James to hang over his bed.  He had to say the verse 3 times before bed as we prayed over him.  This really helped calm his little spirit and give him a new attitude for the night.  Our activity was just good ol’ conversation.  Sometimes, that’s the best way to really help them get into the Word.



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If you are interested in ordering a sign, please e-mail me at casey@kidspiredcreations.com. I can customize with a different verse and/or different colors. $15 + shipping

Authority Figures…. Are you ALL on the same page?

This is a tough one y’all. There can be a lot of authority figures in our kids lives, and well… we don’t always see eye to eye.

But, in my experience, it has shown effective when everyone is on the same page about the BIG issues…expectations, discipline, and roles. Sometimes we can be control-freaks about the little stuff, but we can let go of that stuff when we acknowledge the root of that is PRIDE. Sometimes we need some perspective that other authority figures in our kid’s life CARE about our kids and want the best for them. So, try not to sweat the small stuff. But lets focus on the main things…. we all want to act out of impulse and “maternal/paternal instincts” most often. That doesn’t mean that we are right.  Prov.21:2 states that “EVERY way of man is right in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the heart.”

Sometimes we need to “check ourselves” before God.

Here was my check: For a long time I was under-mining my husband’s parenting by constantly sharing with him my early childhood experiences in order to teach him the “right way” to guide Sean Patrick.  I admit that I was not the most supportive wife in the area of parenting for the first two years of our parenting together.

On almost every issue we (all parents) can approach something with our own experience, expertise, and opinions.  BUT I believe the key to authority figures getting on the same page is when we partner as learners TOGETHER so guiding children becomes OUR resources… not my resources VERSUS your resources.  

I am so excited to be in a community group of parents right now going through the book “Parenting is Heart Work” because it opens up so many discussions like how can WE do this better, or this isn’t working so how can WE change “x-y-z” to align with this great tool that WE now have.

Parenting Is Heart Work

Are you seeing the shift in perspective?  Are you experiencing this right now?

Share your thoughts in the comments of this post or share if you have found some resources that both you AND your co-teachers (in parenting 😉 ) have found helpful!

Daily Devotions: Week 1

Since school started this week, we have been doing a short daily devotional after homework – our “Bible Study.”  We are following the devotions in the book Jesus Calling:  365 Devotions for Kids by Sarah Young.

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Now, my young kids don’t always understand all of the concepts of the devotions… I’d say this book is great for upper elementary to high school… but it does offer some great scriptures for my kids to know and gives me a skeleton of where I can begin a Bible lesson for the day.  Besides, I’d rather them understand the scripture than what the devotion says about that scripture.  I paraphrase the book a lot for my kids.

What my 3 year old is learning:  Right now, I am just trying to get him to follow along.  Each kid has his Bible open and I am teaching Leyson how he should be acting during a Bible study.  I open his Bible for him and just get him to stay on the page long enough for us to read the scripture (he loves to flip through ALL the pages).  I am teaching him how to treat his Bible.  He has to hold his finger on the chapter number and search for the verse number.

Goal:  to sit still and listen.

What my 6 year old is learning:  James is learning to look up the verses in the Bible.  He has (mostly) memorized the order of the books in the New Testament so if there is a verse in there that we are studying, he can search for it by himself.  Yesterday, I taught him how to use the Table of Contents to search for the books in the Old Testament.  What a great concept for reading and number awareness!

Goal:  to find the verses on his own.

Below I will share some simple activities that we have done to follow the verses that we study in the devotions.  We take one concept from one of the verses in the devotion and do a project that relates to it.  The activities are super simple and not planned in advance (and I have to have the supplies somewhere in my house already).  If we ever come to one that I can’t think about what to do, we will just do a writing assignment.

I will try to share our journey on here as much as I can!  So here is our first school-week’s worth of verses and SIMPLE SIMPLE SIMPLE activities that we did to accompany them!

Day 1:  Like a Candle

“He will not crush the weakest reed or put out a flickering candle.” -Isaiah 42:3 (NLT)

We glued birthday candles to a piece of paper and drew flames above them.  We also lit a large candle while we were doing the devotion (which my 3 year old promptly blew out) so then we had to relight it to show that God would never blow out our candles, the light inside of us.



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3 year old:  For him, I wrote the verse and he traced it.

6 year old:  I wrote the verse on my own paper and he copied.  When he has mastered this, he will then begin to copy straight from the Bible.

“‘Though the mountains move and the hills shake, My love will not be removed from you and My covenant of peace will not be shaken,’ says your compassionate Lord.”  Isaiah 54:10

Day 2:  Enjoy Life

“A thief comes to steal and kill and destroy.  But I came to give you life–life in all its fullness.”  -John 10:10 (ICB)

I asked my kids what Jesus did to ensure that we have eternal life.  My 6 year old said, “He died on the cross,” so we made crosses out of popsicle sticks.  (See?  I said these activities were simple)



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“I am the good shepherd.  The good shepherd lays down his life for his sheep.”  -John 10:11

Day 3:  Rock-Solid

“Long ago you laid the foundation of the earth and made the heavens with your hands.  They will perish, but you remain forever; they will wear out like old clothing . . . . But you are always the same; you will live forever.” -Psalm 102:25-27

My friends just recently shared with us a great pre-dinner prayer time ritual that they do with their 3 kids.  They use prayer sticks that each have a different prayer request or person to pray for written on them.  Each person gets to pick out a prayer stick from the cup and lead the prayer for the person/request on the stick.



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I wanted to get some prayer sticks right away, but did not have time to make it to the store.  “Ah well, we’ll make prayer sticks eventually.”   The very next day our Bible verse was about God being rock-solid and our neighbors just happen to have a driveway full of rocks.  So we made “prayer rocks” instead of sticks.  The kids had a blast finding the perfect rocks to write our prayers on!



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“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”  – Hebrews 13:8



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My 6 year old decided to put a lantern in the middle of our prayer rocks.  At first I asked him to remove it because, well, they drain all of the batteries out of our flashlights and every time our electricity goes out we can’t find any working ones, but he told me…

James:  “But Mom, God is the light and He will answer our prayers.  We need to put His light around our prayer rocks.”

Can’t argue with that one… I let him keep it there, of course.

Day 4:  The Position of your Heart

“Morning, noon, and night I cry out in my distress, and the Lord hears my voice.” -Psalm 55:17

“Therefore let everyone who is faithful pray to You at a time that You may be found.  When great floodwaters come, they will not reach him.”  -Psalm 32:6

“Trust in Him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts before Him.  God is our refuge.”  Psalm 62:8

Day 5:  Focusing Your Thoughts

“Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable.  Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.”  -Philippians 4:8



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The boys had to look through their binoculars to focus in on the positive things in life.  We then looked at our house rules, gave examples of each, and related them to the verse above – if we follow these things and “dwell” on them, then the “God of peace will be with you.” (Phil 4:9)



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“but those who trust in the Lord will renew their strength; they will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not faint.” -Isaiah 40:31

“I have asked one thing from the Lord; it is what I desire:  to dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, gazing on the beauty of the Lord and seeking Him in His temple.”  Psalm 27:4

I will try to keep up as much as I can with sharing our Daily Devotions with you!  Bare with me, life with 3 is cray-zee!  Please share any pictures of you and your little ones studying God’s word on Facebook!

Calendar Templates!

It is August 1st & a few days ago I realized that I needed a new Calendar template for my “To Do” board but also a calendar template that my little man could explore with.  So, I spent a good chunk of time developing calendar templates that I liked and that also had TRACEABLE month titles and also included the identical set in the printable with regular month titles.



Calendar Screen Shot-tracing Months



[Click HERE to become a member – get unlimited access to ALL The Mommy Teacher Printables including this one!

OR CLICK HERE to purchase any one of these Calendar Templates individually from my TeachersPayTeachers Store.]

What can children learn from calendar exploration?

Patterns – The days of the week repeat their same order every week.

Vocabulary – Yesterday, today, tomorrow, weekend, days of the week, month, months of the year, holidays, etc.

Organization – Graphic organizers (like calendars) are so great for kids to be exposed to.  They show order and give meaning to our everyday routines.

One-to-One Correspondence – We wrote one number in each square.

Weather Recording – Check out my weather tracking post with the September template attached for free!

Ordinal Numbers – When you say the days of the week in a sentence you would say “Today is August FIRST, tomorrow is August SECOND,” etc.

What did my calendar experience look like with my 3 year old?



Kids marking their calendars



I put our calendars on clipboards and we sat down at the playroom table and talked about them while we doodled on our calendars.  I sang the days of the week song, the months of the year song, and then we counted how many days were in August.  We “x’d” out the days that had already passed.  We marked upcoming events with stickers.  I prepared him in advance for days that mommy or daddy had something to do so that I can remind him by pointing to the calendar and he can visually see that the event will come and go.

 

Sean Patrick felt so “official” with his calendar on his clipboard.  While I wrote the numbers and upcoming events on my calendar attached to the clipboard,  he “wrote” what he wanted to do on his.


3 year old Calendar Markings


He made a lot of markings and said things like “I will go to Maya’s house on Friday, and MeMe will be 70 on Tuesday.” Haha I loved his made-up events.  And his MeMe is only in her mid-50’s but one of her sisters told Sean Patrick that she was almost 70 haha.

He even asked me for another “August calendar” yesterday so that was my indicator that he actually had as much fun as I did with this activity.



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