January 27, 2014

For when you're tired, mama...



Dear sweet weary mom,

It's simply music to my ears and comfort to my often weary soul when I can connect with another mom who knows the characteristics of how deeply exhausting being a mom of boys can be. We love them to Heaven and back, wouldn't trade them for anything...but there are days when we wonder how on earth we'll make it through the day (or next minute).

Their boy-energy seems to literally re-create itself every 30 seconds, all day long. So in turn, keeping up with their physical demands often make it hard to even begin to address their spiritual and emotional needs.

Can you relate to this, as well?

I get it. I really do. I'm a mom of four young sons who bring my mama heart such incredible joy each day. And yet, they also drive me down to my knees in prayer regularly. Often, my knee-worn prayers are the desperate, pleading-with-God, sort of prayers, uttered in tired tones with worn out words.

When the day is long and my patience is short, I feel defeat creeping in.

When I've warmed the same cup of coffee seven times and then can't find where I've set it down, that old familiar feeling of helplessness rises.

Join me today over at The MOB Society to read the rest of this post, because I'm sharing some great news about how we can keep up with our sons (and daughters) and thrive in the day to day of crazy busy motherhood.

January 8, 2014

Why every MOM with BOYS needs this book...

Are you a mom to one son...or possibly more? Do you find it hard at times to even know where to begin when it comes to praying for your sons?  My list is long. But I want my prayers to be powerful and to keep in mind the God-designed-hearts of each one of them.

In the last year, the depth of importance in what we're doing as parents has brought me back again to a deeper, more intentional and purposeful prayer life.


I have had the privilege of being part of, author, Brooke McGlothlin's launch team for her book, Praying for Boys: Asking God for the Things They Need Most.  I joined her team because I wholeheartedly support the work she's doing to teach parents like you and I how to effectively pray for our sons.                                                                                                                                                                   I am so excited to tell you that Praying for Boys is finally here!! The prayer tool we all need is ready for the world to grab a hold of.       

 Why every MOM with BOYS needs this book. Praying for Boys, by author, Brooke McGlothlin, was just released! Come read my review and then GET YOUR COPY!! || DevotionalMotherhood.com

Friends, if you are a mom (or grandparent) to sons, this is a book you'll want to get and keep close by. It's not a read once and put back up on the book shelf, kind of book. This is a book you will want to USE as a guide to help you in praying for your sons over and over again.

Tucked within all of her god-inspired wisdom, Brooke has included 21 days of prayer for the things boys need most. I cannot tell you how AMAZING and invaluable this section of the book is. She's found Scripture relating to many different topics like obedience, pride, purity and all the Fruit of the Spirit, woven them into each day of prayer and left a blank space for each of us to insert our own child's name within the Scripture prayer. I can't tell you how powerful this has been for me. Literally, life and heart changing.

I've always prayed for my boys. I've prayed for their health, their safety, their salvation. I've prayed during surgeries, for healing of hurt feelings, for their forgiveness when I mess up. And I've prayed they would be strong and courageous when faced with difficult situations, difficult people. My prayers have always been there, but typically center around the circumstances we're in. And if I'm honest, they've been vague, at times.


"...the best way a mom can enter the war for the heart of her son is on her knees."

It's true...boys ARE a battle zone. Often, I feel like I enter the battle with them, instead of for them. I lose my patience when they've not listened for the seventy-sixth time. And when they behave badly as all children can, I'm tempted to allow my flesh to be ugly too. Can you relate? As Brooke tells us in her book...

"...we all have a choice to make any time God reveals our hearts to us- follow His leading, or continue to live in sin."
I'm  praying God will continue to increase my faith and yours. And may we surrender ourselves completely to whatever God reveals deep within our hearts.

There's more to be praying for, and an urgency. 

I want my sons' hearts to be softened, to submit to authority, choose wisdom over foolishness, for humility to reign in their hearts. 

I want them to remain pure in body, mind and spirit. 

I hope they will have a strong desire to serve others more than themselves, to honor others by showing them how valuable they are and to forgive well and often. 

I want fear and anger to be something that does not take up residence in their hearts and minds. 

And I pray that their lives will bear the Fruit of the Spirit as evidence of Holy Spirit led lives.

Sounds like a a pretty tall order, doesn't it. But these are this mama's heart's desire. And I believe it's God's desire for us to pray BIG prayers for our children as well.

God blessed my husband and me with these four specific boys. He knows what He's doing, of course.  We are called to pray with abandon, to be even more intentional than we already are, to be accountable and worthy of the calling He's placed on our lives.

We can't change our sons' hearts, but God definitely can.

So, are we ready to engage in battle? Not WITH our sons, but FOR them? Are we ready to enter the battle zone, armed with warrior prayers for boys that one day will be men...prayerfully, godly men? Prayer is our greatest weapon against the enemy of this world and the best way we can join God in agreement for His will over our sons' lives and ours.

Get your copy of Praying for Boys today to help you pray for your sons in all the areas they need their mamas to pray for them most.

I was given a copy of Praying for Boys in exchange for my honest review. This post does include affiliate links.

December 6, 2013

The Promise: Birth of the Messiah {DVD Animated Musical Review & GIVEAWAY!}

Do you love musicals...and Jesus?

Well, then, I've got something sweet to share with you.

I was recently asked to review a children's animated musical called The Promise: Birth of the Messiah. This beautifully made DVD is a faithful rendition of the birth of Jesus from the Gospel of Luke.



This movie (made by Glorious Films) is 45 minutes long. I love how closely it follows the gospel, sharing the story of the Virgin Mary, the news she hears from Gabriel of how she will become the mother of the Savior, Jesus. Each of the songs sung by characters like Mary, Joseph, her parents, the shepherd boys, the angels and many others are songs of Scripture taken right from the bible.

Each scene of The Promise served to reinforce the stories my boys and I have been reading and studying this season. I was delighted when one of them would glance over my way, while watching this move, with a knowing smile each time they recognized specific verses being sung by one of the characters.

This movie even caused me to consider some things I hadn't truly considered much before...such as how Joseph felt, initially, when his betrothed became pregnant. I've read about it many times in the bible, but seeing it acted out so simply in this sweet animation, somehow made me consider more carefully, his reaction along with Mary's.

One of my favorite scenes in the movie is the one where Mary sings her song of praise to the Lord. It's beautiful. If you haven't read these verses, Luke 1:46-55  in a while, go read them and try singing them in your own way as your own song of praise to the Lord. It will surely bless your heart.

Here is the movie trailer so you can see how beautifully made this movie really is. 


And great news!! Glorious Films has graciously offered one of my readers a free copy of The Promise: Birth of the Messiah. So, please go ahead and enter here. I'll announce the lucky winner on Friday, Dec. 13th. And if you'd like to like to get this movie now, you can get it on Amazon here and if you also win? Well, this movie would make an excellent Christmas gift!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
 
"Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in teh hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Fruit of the Spirit Family Bible Study book, only $1.99 Dec. 6-8

I have some great news! Do you remember the Family Bible Study I told you all about? The one that teaches your children about the Fruit of the Spirit? Well, you can get the Kindle version...Learning to Speak Life™: Fruit of the Spirit for just $1.99 from December 6-8. 


What an incredible deal for a book that will have a HUGE impact on your family!! If you didn't get to read my review of Carlie & Michael Kercheval's book, I'm including it below. 
 
 ***************
Have you been trying to find a way to incorporate family Bible time in your home? 

Raising our children in a world where teaching our young how to be independent and self-reliant means that we as parents need to be all the more intentional in sharing our faith with the generation following us. They need to know that we can't do this life alone. We weren't created to. God wants our children to know who He is, How much He loves them and how to follow hard after Him all the days of their lives.

Making Jesus famous to our children is the most important part of our parenting them. It's also our biggest privilege. So when God calls us to show our young blessings how to obey His commandments. especially His first commandment, loving God with all our heart, soul and might, we shouldn't take that lightly.

"Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up." Deuteronomy 6:7

**Affiliate Links Included.

So when my very good friend, Carlie Kercheval and her husband, Michael,  sent me a copy of a book they wrote together, called Learning to Speak Life™: Fruit of the Spirit to review, I was beyond excited. So, excited, in fact, that I was more than happy and honored to write an endorsement they included in their book. It's that good.


Learning to Speak Life™: Fruit of the Spirit is a real breath of fresh air…something truly God-inspired for families desiring to seek God together in their everyday lives. As a wife and mother of four kids, I know how being intentional with the precious time we have together is so very important. With humility and obedience, Michael and Carlie have poured their hearts and souls into creating a Truth-filled Family Bible Study that will build our faith in God, our relationship with Jesus and the family relationships we have with one another. Each lesson is packed with simple and fun multi-sensory ways we can learn, apply and be filled with the fruit of the Holy Spirit with our children each day. Learning to Speak Life™ in our homes is a journey definitely worth taking.

With four boys, ages 3, 5, 7 and 9, it hasn't been easy finding ONE resource we can use in our family devotional time together...until now. We love how easy this devotional/bible study is to use and have been AMAZED at the conversations surrounding our time in the Word together. We've been spending one week on each fruit and it's been a perfect fit as it's geared toward children, ages 3-12.

Each chapter focuses on one fruit of the spirit and includes the following: 
  • A Scripture to read and discuss. You can encourage older children to memorize it.
  • A section called What is...? For example, What is Love? Then a definition is given according to the bible and provides lots of room for questions and discussion. 
  • The third section is called Confessions. I love this section because it's where we begin to learn HOW to speak life together. Each day during that week's lesson, and according to the fruit being studied, it is the goal to get everyone to speak out loud five confessions. For example, "I declare that no matter what I face today, I will walk in Love."
  • Copywork, to help plant the seeds of God's Love in their hearts. 
  • Role Playing to help your family act out and reinforce what each fruit of the spirit looks like when done the way God intended. We all LOVE this part! And for parents, what a great tool for inspiring our children to make good choices. 
  • Silly Sayings: oh yes, my boys LOVE this fun section too. They're encouraged to say each saying as fast as they can. 
  • Each chapter also includes a Story to help everyone get a better understanding of what the fruit looks like in our day-to-day lives when we obey God. 
  • In every chapter Family Discussion Time is included which revolves around a set of questions used to help promote, like I said before, AMAZING conversations about the fruit of the spirit. 
  • Family Projects are a part of each chapter. What a great way to put fruit in action as a family unit. 
  • There is a section dedicated to Prayer regarding each fruit. Even our youngest is a very active part of this. 
  • Digging Deeper is a beautiful addition to each chapter for families desiring to go a little deeper with more Scripture references, resources and ideas to further family growth. 

Be sure to get your copy of the book now (between Dec. 6-8) while it's only $1.99
Learning to Speak Life™: Fruit of the Spirit right now by clicking on this link.


November 30, 2013

Look what's coming to Devotional Motherhood! {Gifts for you, honest stories, a makeover and more}

I know it's been quiet around here lately. REALLY quiet. Want to know why?

We're getting a makeover! In fact, I'm working on it right now. I can't wait to reveal all that God has put on my heart to share with you. This quiet season here was needed...a slowing down to better hear the Words spoken by the Giver of all life.

The thing is, this slowing down...that part isn't going to end. God doesn't want His children to miss a single thing. He wants us to live more fully, more in the moment...more awake. My heart's definition of the unhurried pace, this slowing down, has changed. I see and experience it differently now.

Slowing down means we get to soak in more of life, let it leave a lasting imprint on our souls and offer up our thanks to the One who is the Author of all things good. And I want to share it with you, this living-devotionally-right-in-the-middle-of-where-God-is kind of beauty and joy that is possible for all who enter into His presence.

I don't want to miss what He so graciously gives to me each and every day. Do you? 


So, after a time of quiet reflection and some real challenging life-living over these past several months, I'm ready to share more of my heart here at Devotional Motherhood. I can't wait!

Can I just say how thankful I am for all of you? There aren't enough words, so to show you just how grateful this mama's heart truly is, I've got three gifts to give to three of you sweet sisters in December. (and there may be some extra bonuses!!)

I hope you'll come back this coming Friday, December 6th, and be blessed. I have a letter for you to read. A letter to you, inspired by God's Words, placed on my heart in the thankful slowing down moments of surrender and joy.

Sweet Blessings to you,
Megan

August 26, 2013

Homeschool Curriculum Funds GIVEAWAY {$750 in cash prizes}

 
Last Minute Homeschool Curriculum Funds Giveaway

The 1st Annual "Last Minute Homeschool Curriculum Funds" Giveaway

Welcome friends! We are excited to bring you a giveaway designed to bless homeschooling families with "last minute funds" to use to purchase curriculum in their homeschool. This year is the very first year and we have three amazing prizes!
  • We are giving away $750 in cash prizes to the homeschool community
  • THREE winners will each receive a $250 cash prize via PayPal for their homeschool
  • Must have a PayPal account to win

Heart Behind This Ministry

The Last Minute Homeschool Curriculum Funds Giveaway was created to bless homeschool families who are in need of financial assistance to purchase their homeschooling curriculum. The giveaway was birthed in the heart of Carlie Kercheval, founder of So You Call Yourself a Homeschooler?, last year while praying for a friend who could not afford to buy her family's curriculum due to the unexpected passing of her husband. It was from that moment on God placed a burning desire in her heart to begin to bless the homeschool community by providing funds for purchasing curriculum.

Giveaway Sponsors

Please take some time to stop by and visit each of these amazing sponsors!
So You Call Yourself A Homeschooler? Confessions of a Homeschooler Hodgepodge MotherHoodOnADime.com
TheBetterMom.com Mom's Mustard Seeds Free Homeschool Deals Daze of Adventure
Contented at Home
 

Enter to Win 1 of 3 $250 cash prizes!

Enter by using the Rafflecopter widget below. Winner must be a US resident and have a PayPal account to receive the funds. All entries will be verified prior to awarding of prizes. a Rafflecopter giveaway Legal Disclosure: No purchase necessary to win. Void where prohibited. Valid only in the United States. Must be at least 18 years of age to enter. Winners will be selected by Rafflecopter and will be notified within 48 hours of the contest’s close. Selected winner’s will have 48 hours to respond before another winner is chosen. Prizes provided by & awarded by the sponsor(s). Facebook is not affiliated with this giveaway and the act of liking a Facebook page is not required to win.

August 9, 2013

The Art of Selfless Communication With Your Spouse


When God created Adam and made a home for him in the Garden of Eden, who was his friend? Who did he talk to and have fellowship with? It was God, himself. In those long conversations together, I’m sure that Adam was learning art of loving communication. That first picture of a man completely and utterly dependent on his Creator is one I think of often. It’s a beautiful illustration of faith and trust.

When God created Eve, she was given an earthly best friend immediately. She had her God, but she was given a beautiful gift in the man who was also her husband. Adam and Eve needed and depended on God desperately, but I often wonder what their marital communication must have been like. Just two people alone, without our present day distractions, communicating.

My husband, Jeffrey, and I have been married for seventeen years. In the beginning of our marriage, it felt as if we were the only two people in the world. Just us and our God. We loved to sit for hours just talking, soaking up one another and discovering the depths of eachother’s souls. I was fascinated by each new thing I learned about my man. As time went by, as with most married couples, life happens, outside distractions set it and the world suddenly feels like it’s against you. And then that peaceful place that used to be all yours feels a bit crowded and it gets a little harder to communicate the way you used to. This is why God has so much to say about the way we love our spouses.  

He knows how hard this life can be. He knows how many distractions we face every single day. And still, He calls us to love Him and love each other above all else…even though it can be hard.
So in a world where we are surrounded by so many others telling us to make sure we stand up for our own rights and seek happiness above all else, the rules of engagement for marital communication seem to be blurred. 

If we are self-seeking while trying to effectively get to the heart of any matter with our spouses, how on earth will we ever get anywhere? All this self-centered communicating will only serve to make the enemy happy and cause division in our marriages. Satan would love nothing else than to destroy a marriage by making us think that God doesn’t know what He’s talking about. Sound familiar? That’s exactly what Satan did to Eve in the very beginning. Satan is still up to the same old tricks, which is why it is so vitally important that we believe God instead for the gift He gave to us in the first place. LOVE.

God’s message of love is spelled out within the pages of His word and is where we will find all the answers we need for learning how to communicate with grace and humility.

Here are five things He continues to show us:

1. If possible, each day we need to find time to check in with our spouses. Often, we spend so much time apart during our days. And with children, once we’re home together at night, the focus is on them. And often, by the end of the day, sadly, my husband gets my “leftovers”. I know this about myself and am seeking God to work in my heart about my attitude of weariness at the end of the day. God instructs us to “…not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another–and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”  (Hebrews 10:25) We can apply this in many ways throughout our day. Connecting with one another through quick phone conversations, texts and emails when we’re not together can really go a long way toward making the other feel encouraged. We also make it a habit to set time aside each evening to re-connect and once a week we have an at-home date night after the kids are in bed.

2. If both husband and wife are having a tough day, it’s really easy to begin battling for first prize in the “I feel miserable inside so I deserve the moon” contest. I know this routine. I used to argue with my husband and compare my day to his, which always resulted in division and was rooted in pride. Instead, we need to approach one another with humility and just be open about how we feel instead of entering that self preservation mode. Marriage is a union that we need to protect.
Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. Ephesians 4:2-3
3. Love does not keep a list of wrongs. If we are to grow in our faith and ultimately grow in our marriages, we need to forgive one another of past wrongs and move forward. Keeping these mental lists will only hold our spouses hostage over things they cannot change and prevent the healing and wholeness that God so desires for our relationships.

4. Nothing will kill healthy communication between a husband and wife more than criticism. It will only cause the one being criticized to build up walls and shut down. Pointing out our spouse’s faults while forgetting our own is a sure way to cause division. (Matthew 7:1-5)
Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. -Colossians 3:13
5. One of the best ways to breathe life into your marriage is to learn how your spouse feels loved the most. What is their love language? Reading Gary Chapman’s The Five Love Languages was really eye opening for me and revealed so many new ways for me to connect with my own husband and ultimately strengthen our marriage.

Learning how to have Godly communication does take time. It’s something my husband and I have both had to work on diligently through times of ease and seasons of difficulty. For us, we’ve had to become students of the Word and work intentionally at learning how to serve one another in and through our daily communication. And honestly, even though it’s work, there is so much more joy when we choose to live on the same page with one another instead of on opposite sides of the fence.

August 6, 2013

God-given Dreams & an ANNOUNCEMENT!




If you've been here a while, you may remember a few of the blog series posts I've tried starting. And if not, well, trust me...I've tried. None of them took off. And all of them were let go of, laid aside and grieved over. I believed these ideas, these dreams were not my own, but given to me by God. And each time I tried to invest time and intention into what I thought was part of the dream God had given me for THIS site, the door was closed.

So what do you do when your God-dream isn't panning out the way you hoped or expected? What do you do with that? I'm learning that to wait. And pray. To keep taking steps, while praying in between each faith-step.

To be honest, I questioned God. I had faith in Him, but I asked a lot of questions because I knew in the deepest part of my heart that this desire to share real honest stories with other women, this longing to let others like myself know they aren't alone...it couldn't be a made up dream. I believed it was a desire meant for me to have and grab hold of.

But why couldn't I make it work? The short answer? I had some serious growing to do. I still do. But I needed to surrender more fully, walk more closely and lean in to my Jesus more deeply. I needed to trust that whatever He was doing, even though I couldn't understand...was okay. And then I needed to realize that "I" was not going to make it work. He was. 

So I waited...and waited. And prayed. And then one day recently, it all became so very clear through a conversation with my friend, Carlie Kercheval, owner and founder of Managing Your Blessings (and several other sites). I'll never forget the moment God surprised us both with the realization that we were meant to join forces for the Managing Your Blessings (MYB) site. We were actually stunned, and yet, NOT...because God is just like that.

So, I wanted to let you all know that I am SO thankful to be joining Carlie's side as the new co-owner of Managing Your Blessings. She is such a gift and a blessing to my life and I'm ever thankful for her trust and willingness to go where God calls her to go...every time. We're excited to see how God's plan unfolds and community is strengthened as women encourage one another in their journeys toward deeper, more meaningful life-living faith in God. We know He's got BIG plans and amazing things in store. We know God has been at work preparing my heart and Carlie's for quite some time as so many of our dreams for MYB completely fit together. We see confirmation of this all over the place! So, we're grateful!

Dreams. They don't always unfold the way we expect them to. And sometimes it seems there's a waiting period before God reveals enough of the pieces for us to know what to do next. But we can know this for sure, if He places a dream in our heart and then we surrender it back to Him, He WILL be faithful to walk us through these dreams one step at a time.

When I realize that most of the dreams I've had for Devotional Motherhood were actually meant for Managing Your Blessings, I marvel, because God knew the whole time. It reminds me of the times when I'm watching my children discover something and they can only see part of the picture...but as their mom, I know more of the details and can fully grasp and see there's more to all of this than they could even begin to comprehend, right now. They've got growing to do before they'll be ready to understand more. I believe that's how God is with us too.

And just so you know...there's more to come here too. I'm believing God for the plans He's made for this little space here at Devotional Motherhood. Looking forward to what lies ahead.

Do you have a dream in your heart that you're waiting on God for? We'd love for you to come on over to Managing Your Blessings, join us there and share your heart with us.

August 4, 2013

Mom's Homeschool Toolbox {Curriculum, Resources & Encouragement}

Our 2013-2014 Curriculum {PreK - 4th grade}

This year we are still sticking with our Unit Studies approach to homeschooling and adding in many other different things. I suppose this makes us a bit more on the eclectic side as we pull our resources and materials from all over the place, but Unit Studies will remain the foundation for everything we do. So, for instance, when we are learning about habitats in Science, we'll apply our themed approach by pulling in all kinds of resources (mostly from the library and online) to support what we're learning. And even though our boys are not doing the same grade level work (PreK, Kindergarten, Second grade and Fourth grade), much of what they'll be learning can still be combined and adjusted for the levels they are at. (the beauty of Unit Studies...and homeschooling!)

*affiliate links included* 

Don't forget to Follow Devotional Motherhood on Facebook and Pinterest  to receive encouragement as you walk this journey of Motherhood. 

Unit Studies

  • Homeschool Share: Most of the studies we do come from there. All of the rest are pulled together from our library and online...all free. Later this week, I'll share some more Unit Study GOODNESS. So be sure to LIKE and FOLLOW us so you don't miss anything. We've got a fun and unique twist on our Unit Studies.
  • How We Learn With Unit Studies 

Mini Unit Studies

Bible   
                    Connect to God's story.
                    Uncover something about life.
                    Experience something together.   
   
Language Arts 

Math  

Science / Social Studies


Art

Foreign Languages 

Physical Education  

Online Educational Supplements 

For Mom 

More resources for Moms here at Devotional Motherhood (and other places I write):


**This page contains some affiliate links. I do not receive anything for you clicking on them, but I do receive a small percentage of the sale if you purchase from that link that helps to keep this site going! 

July 26, 2013

A Family Bible Study Devotional {Review & GIVEAWAY} :: Learning to Speak Life: Fruit of the Spirit

Have you been trying to find a way to incorporate family Bible time in your home? 

Raising our children in a world where teaching our young how to be independent and self-reliant means that we as parents need to be all the more intentional in sharing our faith with the generation following us. They need to know that we can't do this life alone. We weren't created to. God wants our children to know who He is, How much He loves them and how to follow hard after Him all the days of their lives.

Making Jesus famous to our children is the most important part of our parenting them. It's also our biggest privilege. So when God calls us to show our young blessings how to obey His commandments. especially His first commandment, loving God with all our heart, soul and might, we shouldn't take that lightly.

"Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up." Deuteronomy 6:7

**Affiliate Links Included.

So when my very good friend, Carlie Kercheval and her husband, Michael,  sent me a copy of a book they wrote together, called Learning to Speak Life™: Fruit of the Spirit to review, I was beyond excited. So, excited, in fact, that I was more than happy and honored to write an endorsement they included in their book. It's that good.

Learning to Speak Life™: Fruit of the Spirit is a real breath of fresh air…something truly God-inspired for families desiring to seek God together in their everyday lives. As a wife and mother of four kids, I know how being intentional with the precious time we have together is so very important. With humility and obedience, Michael and Carlie have poured their hearts and souls into creating a Truth-filled Family Bible Study that will build our faith in God, our relationship with Jesus and the family relationships we have with one another. Each lesson is packed with simple and fun multi-sensory ways we can learn, apply and be filled with the fruit of the Holy Spirit with our children each day. Learning to Speak Life™ in our homes is a journey definitely worth taking.

With four boys, ages 3, 5, 7 and 9, it hasn't been easy finding ONE resource we can use in our family devotional time together...until now. We love how easy this devotional/bible study is to use and have been AMAZED at the conversations surrounding our time in the Word together. We've been spending one week on each fruit and it's been a perfect fit as it's geared toward children, ages 3-12.

Each chapter focuses on one fruit of the spirit and includes the following: 
  • A Scripture to read and discuss. You can encourage older children to memorize it.
  • A section called What is...? For example, What is Love? Then a definition is given according to the bible and provides lots of room for questions and discussion. 
  • The third section is called Confessions. I love this section because it's where we begin to learn HOW to speak life together. Each day during that week's lesson, and according to the fruit being studied, it is the goal to get everyone to speak out loud five confessions. For example, "I declare that no matter what I face today, I will walk in Love."
  • Copywork, to help plant the seeds of God's Love in their hearts. 
  • Role Playing to help your family act out and reinforce what each fruit of the spirit looks like when done the way God intended. We all LOVE this part! And for parents, what a great tool for inspiring our children to make good choices. 
  • Silly Sayings: oh yes, my boys LOVE this fun section too. They're encouraged to say each saying as fast as they can. 
  • Each chapter also includes a Story to help everyone get a better understanding of what the fruit looks like in our day-to-day lives when we obey God. 
  • In every chapter Family Discussion Time is included which revolves around a set of questions used to help promote, like I said before, AMAZING conversations about the fruit of the spirit. 
  • Family Projects are a part of each chapter. What a great way to put fruit in action as a family unit. 
  • There is a section dedicated to Prayer regarding each fruit. Even our youngest is a very active part of this. 
  • Digging Deeper is a beautiful addition to each chapter for families desiring to go a little deeper with more Scripture references, resources and ideas to further family growth. 
  
GIVEAWAY
Michael and Carlie are graciously giving away ONE FREE COPY of their book, Learning to Speak Life™: Fruit of the Spirit, to one of my lovely readers. Is it going to be YOU? There are a few ways to enter this GIVEAWAY. And I'm going to make it SUPER EASY to enter. Here's how:



IMPORTANT
For each "Like" and "Follow" you'll earn one entry to win this book. Please leave me ONE COMMENT here letting me know who you LIKED and FOLLOWED and I'll be sure to enter your name into the drawing for the appropriate number of entries. This giveaway ends on August 5, 2013. I'll draw the winner on August 6. That's it. Easy Peasy.

Now, if you just can't wait to get your own copy of the book, you can certainly purchase
Learning to Speak Life™: Fruit of the Spirit right now by clicking on this link.


Linking up with the Hip Homeschool Moms.

July 12, 2013

Dear Weary Mom, {whose children aren't getting along}



Dear Sweet Weary Mom, 
Do you know how often I think about you...standing at your kitchen counter or carrying a basket load full of clothes, not sorted, to the laundry room. Your young ones race past you, grabbing your legs with one hand, yet trying like crazy to chase hard after the one who just offended them. Another retaliation waiting around the corner.

I  know those days, those very long days when no one is getting along. The kids just cannot seem to find any common ground...or worse, they're searching for the uneven ground that is the foundation for all bickering, fighting, teasing and mayhem.

Oh, it's exhausting. Torturous on a mama's heart and mind. I know. 

You stop. And you wonder how on earth you'll make it to the end of THIS day. (you will make it through this day weary one.)

But in this very moment, what is the fix? Where is the silver lining? There are no words for how frustrated and broken, and dare I say, hopeless, you feel over the constant battles of children who cannot seem to get along. YOUR kids... who seemingly search for the low road. Every. Time.


I know because I experience these battles, daily. 

I watch my boys offend one another on every level and see their mama, brow furrowed, face in hands with her already-warmed-four-times cup of now cold coffee sitting next to her. And all I feel is defeat in that moment. 

We can't make them change. All we want is for the fighting to stop...there's and ours. We want a quick fix. A magic wand to wave above us and Peace to reign in my homes.

Is that what you want too? Peace to reign in your home? 

Well then, a magical fairy-landish sort of band-aid would only serve to rearrange bad behavior and skip the heart matters all together.

So, Mama, in this present moment...what are we to do when our hearts are pounding and
thoughts are swirling at top speed? We're anxious and beginning to lean hard into ourselves...carrying on that one way conversation with the one who is the wrong One. We are talking to ourselves, trying to find answers that are not there.
So, what do we do? We do the next right thing. We get down on our knees, wherever we're at, even in front of our children....and we pray. We pray a simple yet bold prayer of courageous Asking, Seeking and Knocking...that kind of pray.
We ask God to increase our faith in this present moment. We pour out our brokenness and ask for forgiveness of unbelief, pride and worry over what feels like a hopeless battle of constant sibling rivalry, disobedience and disrespect. And we ask God to help us remember that if our children COULD do things the right way every time or even more often, they would.

So would we.

So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin. -Romans 7:21-25

And then with the kind of confidence that can be felt by a mama who just prayed a bold and brave sort of prayer....we stand on His promises and we expect great things. We cling to His grace and rest in Hope. Because He can change our children. He can change us too. And when He does, it's for His glory and His eternal purposes.  
Jesus isn't in the business of rearranging our hearts. He's much too gracious and Loving for that. What He does is lasting and beautiful and deep and real...healing, redeeming and refining those deep places.
Remember weary mama, even though we want all the fighting and bickering to stop this minute, and our heads to stop spinning and our hearts to stop hurting...what's more important is that we admit our need for Jesus every single day, every single moment, and seek Him on their behalf and on ours for HIS intervention and Love...the kind that covers all sins. Theirs and ours. 

With love, 
Megan



Linking up with the beautiful community of moms over at Hope for the Weary Mom. 

June 24, 2013

A week in the life of a Homeschool Family ::The Homeschool Mother's Journal /1::



This week, I decided I would begin regularly participating in the Homeschool Mother's Journal over at So You Call Yourself a Homeschooler?  I'm really excited to finally have a great way to begin sharing more of what we do around here each week. It kind of makes me grin that I'm starting this little feature here at the beginning of Summer break. Even though we are taking a much needed siesta from our typical lessons, we have plans to continue our learning right through the Summer.
In my life this week…
This week was a trying one for all of us here, on many levels. We spent 6 out of 9 days in either the ER, the hospital or seeing our regular doctor. Dragging four boys around to many of these planned appointments and unexpected ones too, was definitely not on my to-do list for the week. But, we're used to spending lots of time seeing doctors and my boys have learned how to be more patient because of it...to which I am grateful.


Our 7 year old son, C had surgery on Friday to fix his Bone Anchored Hearing Aid implant. It was loose and also causing him quite a bit of pain, so he hasn't been able to wear it normally. Even now, as he waits for it to heal, he can only wear his aid on a strap around his head which causes his hearing to be quite a bit less than what he's become so used to with his implant. Thank God for the ASL we learned starting when he was a tiny baby, as we've needed to fall back on it quite a bit these past couple weeks.

Note to self: brush up on sign language and make continuing to learn the language more a part of our everyday learning.

Thanking God for sustaining us during these difficult days. (above photo: yep, that's me all gowned up to take our son to the Operating Room.)

My kiddos favorite thing this week was…
  • Spending time with Grandma JoAnn and Cousin Terri
  • Ice Cream at Baskin Robbins
  • Long bike rides with Daddy


Things I’m working on…
Oh, friends, my list is long. As we settle into Summer, we are gearing up for a week long camping trip soon...something this family of 6 has never done before. My husband, Jeff, has taken the bigger boys a few times, but this will be our first time going all together as a family. So, I'm packing. Washing laundry, making lists, washing more laundry and making lists. It's impossible for me to pick out clothes for four boys NOW, when they need these clothes to wear during the week. I can set a few things aside, but really...they go through so many clothes. I may just make them wear the same thing all week, just to keep my laundry heaps to a minimum...now that I'm mostly caught up.

I also have a lot of updating to do here at Devotional Motherhood, which I'm really excited to share with you soon. And, I've got quite a few blog posts I'm wrapping up this week.

I'm also in the throws of school planning for the Fall, like many of you. We are looking forward to MANY changes to our routine and schedule that I know are going to be such a positive thing for our family as a whole. We'll still continue homeschooling some at night, but instead of leaving our days wide open for whatever we feel like...they will be a bit more structured. I'll be sharing more about that and why, soon...along with all the fun unit studies we have planned for the year.

And...I'm working on a couple books, three actually. Well, four if you count the one I'm also writing with my boys. So excited! A couple of them are a collaborative effort that have been in the works for a while now. And one is a true story God has been writing on my heart since I was a little girl. I can barely contain how thankful I am that I GET to write for God! Truly, it is all Him. I could never write what's on my heart unless He was a part of the process. He Authors, I write.

And I'll just throw this one in here....I need to start exercising EVERY DAY! There. Done. I said it. Will someone keep me accountable, please?

I’m cooking…
I should just leave it at that...I'm Cooking...and thankful to be doing so. When our home became a water disaster back in March, forcing us to move out and into a one bedroom (with four young boys) apartment with a very tiny kitchen and NO OVEN...cooking was difficult at best. Now that we are moved back home and our home is no longer a construction zone, I have my kitchen back. So thankful. By nature, I'm not a great cook. I've never really enjoyed it either...but slowly, as the Lord leads and my heart is turned more and more toward Him, my desires are changing. I WANT to provide better, healthier meals for my family. MUCH healthier.

So, we embarking on a total overhaul of our eating habits beginning July 15. Why wait? Because our pantry if full and trying to make these changes while on vacation would not be a recipe for start-up success. So, July 15th, it is. This will be a HUGE undertaking for my family, as we haven't been the healthiest eaters. In fact, quite the opposite. But, it's time. God is leading us toward a healthier lifestyle and we need to follow Him on this. And it will be another journey I'll be sharing here at Devotional Motherhood.

I’m grateful for…
  • The AWESOME (and much needed) date my husband and I were finally able to go on. We were reminded of just how much we miss one another when we're living life side by side, but often the constant noise and DOING part of life just keeps you going on auto-pilot and it's easy to take one another for granted. Dating your spouse is so important!
  • My Mom, Mother-in-law and Cousin who stepped in to help out with our boys when we needed to be at the hospital so much this past week. They lightened our load and eased our burden so much. 
  • All of our beautiful friends and family who lifted us up in prayer when we needed it most this week. 
  • The new habit of waking EARLY (5am) so I can start my day in the quiet with Jesus. My Good Morning Girls online bible study group, led by my sweet friend, Shonda Knowlton, is such a blessing to me. We are reading the book, Anything, by Jennie Allen and spending time deep in the Word every day. And my Hello Mornings online group is amazing too, as they help keep me accountable to getting up and out of bed to be with God each day. I value my online friends so much! 
  • My boys! Oh, they just keep me on my knees. Motherhood is hard. It's amazing and it's beautiful...and it's hard. I've had many reasons lately to be deep in prayer for my sons, deeper than usual, it seems.....and for that, I'm thankful. I'm thankful to God that He hears every single one of my prayers.
I’m praying for…
...so many things. But, my heart this week, is for my sons. I'm praying that God would increase my faith and help me remember that they are His. I am praying for softened hearts and a way for this mama to communicate with them at the heart level more often.

I rewarded my kids this week by…
Letting them watch way too many cartoons because they were all sick, even after we decided to pull the plug on MOST TV, declaring a MEDIA BREAK for the Summer  That was frustrating for me because we had done so well the week before without the added screen time each day. Attitudes were improving all around and we were actually beginning to enjoy our days without the early morning and sometimes late afternoon cartoons. Good habits are so hard to make, aren't they.

But, I think cartoons may be helpful when you're not feeling well. 

It's a new week, though. Everyone is feeling much better and we've got some outdoors to get to.

Something I am ogling or have my eye on…
Unit Study ideas and resources on Pinterest.

A photo of my guys…
I gave my boys buzz cuts this weekend. Love these boys to pieces.




Be sure to head over to So You Call Yourself a Homeschooler? to link-up and read other Homeschool Mother's Journals from this week. 

June 1, 2013

This Mom's Summer Reading List


I love Summer for so many things. And here in the Pacific Northwest, well it rains...a lot. So, my chilly-damp-bones long for warmer temps and dryer days.

You know what else I long for?

Time.

Time to slow down...to notice things. To really take in the beauty and heart warming moments of  calmer days and a slower rhythm. Summer brings the long awaited pause and rest my thirsty soul has waited for all year long.

And with the slower moments and the quieter breathing there will be a nourishing of deep Truth-telling my heart is craving as I look forward to my Summer reading list...a short stack of books I can't wait to set my eyes on and soak in.

So, here it is...

1. Unglued: Making Wise Choices in the Midst of Raw Emotions by Lysa Turkeurst


This is a book I bought shortly after reading rave reviews all over the blogosphere. I couldn't wait to get my hands on it and prayed as I hit "Add to Cart" that it would truly speak the kind of truth to this often highly emotional mama of four boys. It's been sitting on my book shelf for a few months now beckoning me to read it, but to be honest...I've been a little nervous. It's hard to make wise choices in the midst of raw emotions...and my emotions are so often raw. After reading that my dear friend Stacey Thacker is also planning to read Unglued this Summer, I was reminded of why I need to read this book. My family, too, will thank me.

2. Anything: The Prayer That Unlocked My God and My Soul by Jennie Allen


I'm REALLY excited to begin reading this book in June as I join Shonda and my online group of new sister-friends through Good Morning Girls. I can't wait to dive into this book and breathe in it's Truth. I have a feeling this might be one of those life-changing sorts of books. You know, the kind that really challenges your faith and causes you to grow.

THAT is why I've decided to use the book Anything for my first Living in the Word reflection study right here each Wednesday beginning June 4.

I'll meet you all here to share what God is teaching me through a particular book. I do hope you'll let me know you're here and even share with me what God is laying on your heart too.

3. Everything: What You Give and What You Gain to Become Like Jesus by Mary DeMuth


This is another book I've read so many amazing reviews for. Here is one such review I read on Amazon by a woman named Amy Wisden:
I've just finished Everything, though, and I'm stunned. I'm not sure I can find a way to articulate just what this book did to me, but suffice it to say that Mary DeMuth's inspired words left me with more hope than I've had in a long, long time, as well as a resolve to let go of the chains holding me to my past once and for all. I thought Jesus was my Everything already--I really did--but oh, how this book has challenged me in ways I never imagined.
I can't NOT read it. So, I'll be reading this one for sure this Summer. Can't wait!

4. Living Your Life As a Beautiful Offering: A Bible Study Based On the Sermon on the Mount by Angela Thomas 

 
I'm already reading this one with my friend Jenny. We both wanted to learn more about Jesus' Sermon on the Mount. I'd never done a study on this section of Scripture before and really wanted to immerse myself in the very Words and teaching from our Savior, Himself. This is actually a DVD accompanied study, however, to save money...we decided to stick with just the members workbook, which I purchase used, and I can honestly say, it's enough. I'm sure the DVDs are amazing, but so is the book. It's rich with Truth and filled with such authenticity by the author. I love the way she writes from her heart and causes me to go deep.


So what's on your reading list this Summer? I'd love to know.

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