Hi there! It’s been awhile but I had some free time today and have had this on my heart for so long now that I knew I wanted to get it typed out and see if this reminder blesses you as it has me. Awhile back in our Trust More series, we delved into 4 Ways to Move Beyond Trust and other practical tips for learning to trust in God, especially throughout the inevitable difficulties of life. During these storms, it is easy to say we will put our faith in God if we see Him moving the direction we want Him to move, and also too easy to lose hope if He goes another route. Oh, but our hearts are deceitful little buggers, aren’t’ they? Seeing is NOT believing, and the problem with placing our hope in the things we can see or control is that we aren’t truly putting our faith in God’s sovereignty in those situations. “Seeing is not believing. Seeing is seeing. Believing is being confident without seeing.” ~G. Campbell Morgan.
If you’ve been hearing crickets from Finding Our Feet here and on Social Media recently, please know I plan to be back soon, but am taking care of some extra things at the moment and haven’t had enough leftover time to spend in cyber world without it cutting into time with my family… and this has and always will come second to them. 🙂
Thank you for your patience and understanding.
I hope you had a wonderful time over the holidays and would love to hear about what you did!
If you’re looking for something to read to bide the time, check out our Lesson in Waiting Series:
Be back soon!
Our family recently began going back to the church my husband and I went to years ago now that we have moved back to that area. We always had an affinity for this church for many reasons, but one of our favorites was the music. We sing the old hymns straight from the hymnal, the way we were both raised, and it just feels like home. I love the old hymns. I enjoy much of the newer Christian music as well, but there is nothing quite like the old hymns. That being said, this Sunday we finished church with the song, “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day,” and when it began I was questioning why it was even in a hymnal. Just above it were the words from Micah, “He will be our peace.” Yet the first couple of verses came to our lips and the thought of Christ in them was missing. Again, I wondered why we were singing this, especially when the entire rest of the service honored, praised and defended Christ so beautifully. Then we came to these verses and not only did the choice make sense, but it spoke to my heart and this looming feeling we’ve had as the holiday that is meant to be filled with cheer approaches.
I don’t know what it is lately… the busyness, crammed schedules, to-do lists, travel plans, colder weather… but rather than looking forward to Christmas, I’ve found myself subconsciously looking beyond Christmas to spring and hopefully a getaway. A break. Some peace.
I kind of feel awful about that. We have a soon-to-be four year old and this is the most magical time of the year and I’m secretly wishing it was over.
Before I go sounding too ungrateful, I’m not fully committed to that feeling. We’ve been doing many “Christmassy” things that have been great fun and thoroughly enjoyable. I just also don’t want to ignore that annoying little itch in the background of all of this; a part of me that just wants to scream out sometimes, “O Come, Emmanuel… now please!”
Enter verse 3:
‘And in despair I bowed my head:
“There is no peace on earth,” I said,
“For hate is strong, and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.”‘
I so badly want to find an escape for this lack of peace I’m feeling, to escape the rushed, packed moments of the seasons and find respite. As we began verse four, I sensed I was not alone in this feeling as everyone’s voices swelled and our unified chorus felt more like the lifting of an offering than a song.
‘Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
“God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail,
With peace on earth, good will to men.”‘
He Will Be Our Peace
God is not dead, nor does He sleep,
He spoke to me and it made me weep.
“Dear Child, Why do you worry and despair?
Filling your schedule, gasping for air?
Wondering why this season feels so pressing,
When it is supposed to be a time of joy and of blessing!”
I found myself searching for a way out or an escape,
But it wasn’t till looking up that Peace took shape.
I want to rush through the holiday season
Only because I’m not taking time to focus on the Reason.
My hope, my peace, and forever nothing less,
Is only Jesus’ blood and His unending righteousness.
It is why He came and the only place peace is found,
Not in food or plans or presents that abound.
It’s in a cradle, so humble, so meek,
Where a tiny Baby was born and in a manger did sleep.
Not to condemn or to punish us for our sinful past,
But to bring us His grace that forever will last.
So if you too are feeling worn this season,
Slow down and look up for Peace and our Reason
To feel refreshed and joyful and merry
Turn to Jesus alone and your burdens He’ll carry.
For there is no other place where Christmas peace is found,
Than back at the manger where a Child King was crowned.
If you are searching for an end to this season, take a break and get into God’s Word. Find His respite, He knows how you are feeling and will guide you to the encouragement you need. In Micah we were foretold of how this Child King would become our Ruler out of Bethlehem. That Ruler is no less with us this very moment and all He wants for Christmas is us. <3
“And He will arise and shepherd His flock In the strength of the LORD, in the majesty of the name of the LORD His God. And they will remain, because at that time He will be great to the ends of the earth. This One will be our peace.” Micah 5:4-5
Merry Christmas. May God and God alone, forever be your peace.
This family LOVES books. So much of our day is spent reading and we’re always looking for positive books to read to our daughter that won’t undo our work to train her up in the way she should go. Unfortunately that can be easier said than done. These books have passed inspection. 🙂 Here is a list of 25 Family Approved Christmas Books for children of all ages that keep Christ at the center of Christmas, share multicultural traditions, celebrate song or artistry, and teach valuable moral lessons. They’re presented in order of youngest to oldest and even include an Advent Devotional for the whole family.
As promised, I wanted to share with you my absolute favorite Bible verse memory system. This is cheap, impactful, and the best part- it can be done with all ages in only a few minutes each day. Our daughter isn’t quite four yet but already has so many verses hidden in her heart. Realistically, I know more verses by heart than I ever have too! It really is so simple.
I love to research and researched a wide variety of systems, but I can’t speak highly enough of this one courtesy of Simply Charlotte Mason. You can see their full tutorial here, along with video and recommendations of verses to start with. We decided on our own Bible verses based on what we find helpful for guidance, discipline, encouragement or simply ones that follow along with some of our curriculum or devotionals.
Several weeks ago we began talking about trusting more and how in order to trust more, we need to know what truth is. There are very few places in our lives where knowing what Truth is becomes so important as when guiding our children in the way they should go. We have been spending some time in a mini-series on Helping Our Children Walk in Truth, and so far have covered our own walk of faith and the image we present to our kids, as well as fun ways to incorporate Truth into each day. To tie up this mini-series, I wanted to talk today about Instilling a Thankful Heart in Our Kids: 6 Tips from Colossians.
3. Instill in them a thankful, joyful heart.
This goes beyond please and thank you, though that is a good start. 🙂 Modeling thankfulness even in hard times will help set them up for success in the future. Helping teach our children how to cope with difficulties and have a positive outlook will not only help them throughout their entire lives, but it will also make things easier at home while they are young.
“A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit dries up the bones.” Proverbs 17:22
Let me start by saying, I’m unworthy to talk about this topic. While I believe our daughter has a grateful, joyful heart and attitude, I can’t always say the same for her mama. :/ I would love to sit here and write about how successful and awesome I am at always being thankful and grateful in all circumstances, but this series is on Truth and Trust so it’s probably important to be truthful, huh? 😉
Well, the truth is that I easily forget how blessed I am. How I am surrounded by good things and often fall into the trap of focusing on the few not-so-good things. I really dislike that about myself. What I dislike more is this worry at the back of my mind that our daughter will become all the things I dislike about myself. That’s why I know instilling a thankful heart in our kids can’t begin with me and what I believe I can do, but has to rest safely in what God has promised to do.
“All your children will be taught by the Lord, and great will be their peace.” Isaiah 54:13
That verse helps me pause when I get too caught up in my own insufficiency and reminds me of Christ’s over-abundant sufficiency. One book of the Bible that I love to look to for expressing the true fullness of God is Colossians. There is a wealth of information on raising a household in the Lord in this book, but for now we’ll concentrate on these six verses. [Read more…]
As promised in 7 Ways & 40+ Resources for Exposing Our Kids to Truth, I wanted to share with you this week a list of Fall and Thanksgiving themed books for young children. I find it frustrating when I pick a book from the library that looks promising, only to find out the content is negative or disturbing. I want to help make it easier for other like-minded parents to find books that either have specifically Christian content, historical information, or something that builds character, joy and imagination minus the junk! So here are 10 Children’s Books for Fall and Thanksgiving where the vetting process has been done for you. I’d love to hear if you’ve read any of these with your kids or if you’ve found some other fall favorites this year. If so, mention them in the comments section! 🙂
1. How Many Days to America? A Thanksgiving Story by Eve Bunting. This picture book tells a heartfelt tale of modern-day refugees trying to escape religious persecution by coming to America like the original Pilgrims did and ends in a celebration by giving thanks to God… “That is the only true way to celebrate.”
- They must watch us walk in the truth (Our mirrors must reflect Christ first).
- Expose them regularly to the truth- God’s Word. Infuse scripture into your day. There is a huge difference in our household on the days we stay tied to His Word the whole day through. God is the glue that keeps us connected and functioning smoothly. We are more patient and loving with each other when we stay close to His Word as well, which makes such a difference in everyone’s day.” Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.” Deuteronomy 11:18-20a
- Instill in them a thankful, joyful heart. (Week Three/coming soon)
While I was pregnant, I often thought about those verses from Deuteronomy 11. How could I teach our children these truths, day in and day out, all day long without it becoming, well… dry or preachy? But with the help of the Holy Spirit and so many resources, it has actually been a really fun process that I have watched bless our household in many ways. It has helped us teach our daughter how (and why) to be patient, to share, to help others and to trust in God for healing, protection and comfort. Our daughter is still young so we don’t have a view of the finished product, but even so I feel like I can see glimpses of Christ’s power resting in her; a power that I believe will ensure that when she is old, though she may wander along the way, she will always return to the safety and hope that lies in Christ Jesus. And of course, at the foundation of this, is regular exposure to God’s Word.
Here are 7 Ways & 40+ Resources for Exposing Our Kids to Truth: [Read more…]
- They must watch us walk in the truth. You can’t effectively teach your child to eat veggies if you won’t go near them yourselves. You don’t teach them to be gentle by being mean or rough with them. You don’t teach them to have an active love for God without being in love with Him yourself. Our children imitate us and we should imitate Christ.
- Expose them regularly to the truth- God’s Word. (Week Two/coming soon).
- Instill in them a thankful, joyful heart. (Week Three/coming soon)
If you were able to look in a mirror that reflected your life, your actions, thoughts and heart, would the image you see staring back at you resemble Jesus’ example to us? Does your mirror reflect Jesus?
That’s a tall order to fill, but the Bible calls us to be imitators of Christ, time and time again. How can we set an example to our children, if we aren’t there ourselves?
We certainly can’t duplicate Christ’s life while He was here on earth, yet we are called to try. We need to lean on the Holy Spirit’s power for strength as we work to reshape our lives day in and day out. After accepting Christ into your heart, these three steps will strengthen your own walk of faith as well as inspire your children’s. [Read more…]
I love this verse because as the days pass by and our daughter continues to grow, my heart is overwhelmed with gladness when I hear her pray, recite a Bible verse or ask questions about Jesus. Conversely, if she chooses to be disobedient, it hurts my heart and I know I need grace and God’s peace in those moments. Something about having children seriously strengthens your desire to firm up your faith, doesn’t it? Hearing that sweet little voice sing Amazing Grace or ask to talk to God together just melts my heart, even on the coldest days. But how do we go about helping our children in their own walk of faith? Here is an introduction to 3 Ways to Help Our Children Walk in Truth: [Read more…]