What does this mom’s testimony tell you? Children want Scriptures to come alive. Role-play, act them out, write a song, sing a tune, create a rap, dance, and declare.

“I grew up with Sunday school as the norm. Memory verses were a very common tool, but if I’m honest the only one that stands out most to me and that I know off the top of my head is the one my mum taught me as she included me in making up actions to teach at Sunday school with her one week. Doing that brought the Scripture alive (and was super fun).”


Family devotions were led by Hudson one morning, and I was curious to see what he would come up with. When he woke, I reminded him it was his day and asked if he was ready. His response was, “Nope,” but I could tell his wheels were spinning. He grabbed his sister’s devotions, which touched me deeply, knowing that he was ministering to four females. While seeking Jesus is unisex, I was so touched by this thoughtfulness. He talked about getting hurt by friends and how we sometimes have to stand alone but that we are never alone with Jesus. He did a great job of engaging us and asking us questions about the passage he had just read. One of the things I cherish most about my family is the way we all support each other by asking Jesus questions together. We each got to ask something as the rest of us listened to what Jesus had to say. It is so life-giving and encouraging to hear what everyone heard Him say, which is the very essence of the prophetic (hearing God for others).


One Sunday, Ellie came to me and declared that God told her not to go to Sunday school. I wasn’t overly convinced but allowed her to stay with me. She began to worship like I had never seen before. She wasn’t just singing but truly WORSHIPING. I was undone just watching her. Out of nowhere, she stopped worshiping, sat down, and got really quiet. When we got home, she asked if we could have a date, so I took her on my errands. We were driving when she said, “Mom, do you want to know why I got so quiet today during worship?” I knew something was about to unfold, and I wanted to give her my full attention, so I pulled into the parking lot of Taco Bell. She began to tell me that Jesus said to her, “Ellie, you are I are friends, but we aren’t best friends yet,” and she was crying, telling me that she wanted Jesus to be her best friend. I knew then that during worship, the Holy Spirit was ministering to her and leading her to accept Him. With tears in my own eyes, I explained to her that Jesus loved her and wanted to have that place in her life. I walked her through salvation, and with a gust of emotion, she said YES to Him. (Taco Bell will forever be a precious reminder of this glorious event). I love her story because it shows how Holy Spirit was at work, and as a parent, I just needed to be sensitive to what He was already doing in her life.


My daughter was complaining about her eyesight, and something didn’t feel right about it (not sure why or what, but it didn’t sit right in my spirit). She came to me one day wearing my glasses, telling me how cool she looked in them. Hmmm. I asked her if any part of her wanted her eyes to be bad enough to need glasses, and she admitted she did because some of her friends have them, and they look ‘cool.’ I explained to her that when we WANT our bodies to be broken, we are actually inviting it in. We renounced the lie that she needed glasses to be cool and then prayed for her eyes to work the way they were created. It is one thing to need glasses to assist a physical condition. It is another thing to invite brokenness to feed a lie.


Random acts of kindness are when people go out in the name of Jesus and do good, kind, helpful things for others. While this is indeed praiseworthy and profitable Christian behavior, we need to be asking Him the who, what and where in order to be abundant in our harvest. Let me give you an example: One day, I was having a really hard day. I decided to get my eyes off myself and asked God what we should do with our day. I heard Him say to go be a blessing and rake leaves. I jumped into action. Logical thinking concluded that going to the poorest part of town and blessing the souls there would be best. I loaded up the van with kids and rakes and waved to my neighbor as we took off searching for the family that needed to be blessed. After forty-five minutes of driving around endlessly looking for a single family that had not yet raked, I was growing frustrated. What was supposed to help my day ended up making my day even worse. Defeated and somewhat mad, I made the trek back home. Upon entering our community, I heard the words, “What? You don’t think your rich neighbors need Me?” and instantly, I knew God gave me the WHAT (raking), but I ran with it before I asked the WHO or WHERE. I repented. Immediately upon parking in the driveway, the kids flung open the van door and ran across the street to the neighbor’s house (yes, the one we waved to on the way out) and raked all of the leaves. But the story doesn’t end there. Days later, I received a letter from the single elderly lady with a check saying she was so overwhelmed by all the work that needed to be done and was crying out to the Lord about her needs AS we were driving by waving at her. She finally had to leave the house with the yard work not done, and when she came back, she found ten bags full of raked leaves.

That is a perfect example of the harvest being ABUNDANT. God is a perfect economist. While one woman needed to take her eyes off her circumstances, another woman needed an extra set of helping hands. We can’t just DO in the name of Jesus. We need to ask Him the who, what, and where, too! And this requires communication – both talking and listening.


Teach the children the difference between light and dark. Ask them if you can turn darkness on in the light. Ask if you can turn the light on in the darkness. Hand the kids a flashlight and have them go find ‘dark places’ in the house (in the cabinet, under the bed, in the closet, under the pillows) and declare, “Darkness, I see you,” and have them shine their flashlight in the dark to bring light. Share how Jesus is the Light and that He lives inside those who have accepted Him and gives us the joy of releasing His light in dark places. Read together John 8:12, John 12:46, and Matthew 5:16. Make a point to pray and declare, “Whatever is in darkness, come into the light” as a family over your home, community, nation, and world.


This is how I taught my four toddlers how to grow in self-control during story time at the library. I figured it was an excellent place to train them because no one would notice either way. I sat them down at home and talked about the librarian. I asked Lauren to stand up and share the story of her birthday party. As she was talking, I began to interrupt, wave my hands, hang on her, and be super silly. Then I asked Emma to stand up and share what she had for lunch, and I did the same thing. Yes, we were all laughing hard, but we talked about how awkward it is to be trying to share and have people be disrespectful and rude. I role-played being the librarian reading a book. I taught them how to fold their hands and zip their lips. We talked about how we can be crazy loud monkeys at the park, but a library is a place where we use self-control and show respect. I was armed with training and ready to test it out. Before getting out of the van, I reminded them of the rules and what I expected. I praised them ahead of time, letting them know I believed in them. We entered, and chaos broke out as expected. A couple of times, they began to get up, and I would fold my own hands to model for them what I expected. If they were talking, I would motion to zip my lips, point to my ears, and then intently listen to the librarian. If they attempted to get up, I would give a firm no-no motion with my head. If one ran away, I would go after her and pick her up and set her back down. I would whisper that we are listening to the story. It took us three weeks before my children fully understood but let me tell you, the JOY they brought to the room was priceless. I noticed other moms trying to get their children to start listening, too. They got to enjoy the story because they were taught how to pay attention and show respect. I also had them go up to the librarian at the end of each story time and thank her for reading to them. The first time she had a tear in her eye and said, “I dread story time each week. It is the worst part of my job. Thank you for noticing my effort.” I don’t know about you, but as a mom, that isn’t okay with me. By the time school started, they were way ahead of the game because we had already gone after knowing when to be still and quiet and how to listen when adults are teaching/reading. It is training like this at an early age that sets them up for success down the road.


Have you ever walked through something and felt trapped? I have. I recently was in a situation, and it felt like the scales were completely even – darned if I did, darned if I didn’t. I felt trapped, and I hated that feeling more than the dislike of my circumstances. I knew I needed to process my heart as the feeling of being trapped was keeping me from hearing and seeing clearly. I saw Jesus reach out His hand and touch the dead center of my belly. I sensed He was validating the hardness of my situation and that I was between a rock and a hard place in the natural. I finally ask, “Jesus, which side do You want me to choose?” I knew that was the wrong question, but I was trapped and needed to start somewhere in my attempt to get out. I saw Him reach His hand towards me as if to give me a lifeline. I grabbed it, and He pulled me closer to Him out from between a rock and a hard place. I didn’t need to choose between darned or darned. I could choose HIM and remain with Him alone. My heart instantly felt relief and freedom again. My friend, you are not trapped either. Reach out and grab His hand and allow Him to pull you close.


“One night a boy came to the group for the first time. He had some special needs but was accepted instantly. We were talking about our hearts and had a gift bag that symbolized each child’s heart. We talked about how our hearts can become hurt when others don’t speak life to us, or we accept lies from the enemy. We gave examples of things that may have been said to us, hurtful things, and ripped off some black construction paper to fill our bags. Holding the white gift bags up, you could see a lot of dark inside since they were filled. I explained God created us ALL with treasures in our hearts, and when all of those hurts remain, we need to let Him heal our hearts. Each student threw out all of the ‘hurt’ and found a wrapped present at the bottom (they had no idea it was even there!). They ripped open their presents and were thrilled to find some sweet treats, as well as a bunch of notecards with special messages inside of what GOD says of them! Mason’s face grew hopeful, and He collected all of his notecards, shoving them back in his bag. He didn’t want to lose any of them as he said they were his treasures. I asked Mason if he thought there were any hurts in his heart that he needed God to take out, to which he quickly responded, ‘Oh yes! Definitely!’ I asked him if we could pray for him, and he agreed. God’s power was so overwhelming as we all laid hands on Mason and agreed for a healed heart. His countenance was so encouraged when we were finished. He told each student & helper he loved them as he left and asked if he could hug everyone. This is what it’s all about!”


Gather the kids and talk about the importance of feeding their bodies with healthy food. Remind them of the difference between sugar treats and healthy foods that produce fuel for their growing bodies. What would happen if they skipped a meal or a day’s worth of eating? Their tummy would begin to rumble, and soon, their discomfort would affect their emotions. Then talk about how God has given them a brain to think and how significant our thoughts are. If we say to ourselves, “I am stupid,” we will begin to feel stupid and eventually will act stupid. God wants us to feed our minds with thoughts that are in alignment with what He thinks about us, “I am priceless,” “I matter,” “My voice is significant,” “I am loved.”

Talk about our spirits and the importance of feeding our spirit with life-giving things such as worship, talking with God, hearing what He has to say to others, reading the Word, loving others, thanking Him, asking Him for help, sharing testimonies, etc. When we feed our spirit with things like fear, lies, nursing hurts, offenses, and being entertained by the things of the enemy (murder games, violence, etc.), we will have a much harder time experiencing His love which He designed to be poured out to those around us. He still loves us, but our ability to receive and embrace it is affected. I often use this language with my children, especially after I notice the fruit of not being fed, “Hey, what have you done lately to feed your spirit? It looks to me like you might need to sneak away and spend some time with Jesus.” Or “Wow, that comment was not very kind. What things are you feeding your mind lately?”

All of these things are like putting a spoonful of fresh, organic veggies in our mind and spirit. Failure to feed our mind and spirit leaves us dry, empty and feeling disconnected. Help your children make a list of ways they can feed their mind and spirit and then feed them daily.


I dropped my keys in the toilet. No, really, I did. I was on the road and decided to stop to use the restroom. I went to flush, and my keys slipped out of my hands (why I was holding them in the first place is still beyond me). I immediately thought, “Oh gross,” and went to grab them, but before I knew it, they were sucked out to the river on the other side. I froze. I then raced out the gas station door and began to tell anyone who would listen that I flushed my car keys down the toilet, hoping someone had learned on Pinterest the magical way to retrieve them. Some laughed. Some gasped. Some told me the hard truth – I would never see them again. No problem, EXCEPT I was in a rental car, and all of my paperwork was inside. I left my phone in the car, and I didn’t know a single phone number from memory (at least not one that would be helpful). I was two hours away from home and couldn’t tell you what city I had stopped in. Panic came over me for a moment. I literally said the words, “I think I am going to freak out,” when I so clearly heard God say, “You won’t if you cling to the fruit of the Spirit,” to which I said in response, “WHICH ONE?” and heard, “patience.” If I cling to patience, I will be okay. I took a deep breath and made the mental decision that I would be patient. It was like my mind was going full speed ahead, and I intentionally put it back into neutral. I was able to start the process of getting help for both me and my stranded vehicle. I found a Mcdonald’s across the street and sat in that booth for THREE hours, periodically begging some stranger to use their phone. I was left with nothing to do, no phone, no to-do list, nothing. That is hard for me on a good day as I am highly active and thrive on productivity.

Detoxing from my phone in the middle of McDonald’s is not what I had in mind that day. But I DID IT. I kept not only my peace but joy the entire time. I prayed, dreamed, and thanked God for whatever I could think of. I covered my family and mentally thought through some situations that needed my attention. I dare say the three-hour break felt good. I realized how serious God was when He told me to cling to patience. It wasn’t the flushed keys, locked car, or no access to my phone that would have robbed me of my peace as I can handle all of those; it would have been partnering with impatience that would have wreaked havoc on my peace and joy. Clinging to the fruit of His Spirit was my lifeline. I was enjoying the fruit of growing and handling challenging situations with such grace and thanksgiving. I was so thankful for the opportunity to grow in patience (James 1:2-4). But by nighttime, I began to feel condemned. The entire time I was in McDonald’s, two children were destroying the place. Their mom was a worker, and these two kids offended nearly every customer I watched enter. They were running on the tabletops, squirting ketchup in their mouths, playing with the dispensers, letting the soda fill a cup, and then emptying it over and over. They were throwing ice everywhere, wasting lids, throwing a wet diaper on the tables, grabbing food from the kitchen (no kidding), and making sculptures out of the foam hand sanitizer at the door. Another boy came to join them when his mom started her shift, and the chaos was offensive. I began to feel condemned that I didn’t do more to love them or reach out to them. We were all stranded together. Perhaps I could have played games with them or gone over the $1 store to get them some coloring books or cards to play with. I could have prayed for them (one clearly needed deliverance). Did God allow for my mishap, knowing they would be there so He could use me? I was so sad that I had been so focused on my battle that I didn’t do something about theirs. Now that I am back home, it is easy to see that I could have brought love and joy to their worlds that were out of their control, too. I felt like I had failed and began to feel so selfish. But then Holy Spirit began to minister to me and reminded me that I am on a journey and God was teaching me something about patience that day and that I was faithful to the lesson before me. It was the enemy who came to condemn me for not doing more. It was the voice of the accuser who said I failed. It was condemnation that was trying to rob me of my victory. Condemnation and accusation do not get to speak to me or lead me. I am HIS, and He alone is the author of my story. I share that example of how we can so easily partner with the enemy to allow ourselves to be condemned for not doing enough when God is so pleased and proud of us for our response to HIM. Legalism says we have to ACT like Him. But being Sons and Daughters means we are on a journey of learning to BE like Him. This is called transformation. It is a journey where our mind, body, and spirit are being transformed into His likeness. Shake off the finger-pointing slime of shame and accusing voice that gets your eyes off what GOD is doing in your life and celebrate the joy of learning and maturing through the lessons He has for you today. I AM ON A JOURNEY!!