And they’re back

Well, kids are back to school. I’ve been meaning to write this post for a little while, but you likely know that things get a little busy around the beginning of September.
Something we discovered last year, was that back to school can be very stressful for kids. One of our boys was starting kindergarten and had a really rough time. On his very first day was very sad all day. In fact, the teacher even emailed us about it.
We asked him why he was so sad, and he said “I miss you too much.”
So we tried a few things to help him relax and feel safe while at school.
At first he demanded that we stay with him all day. So I said I would stay outside his classroom for a while (send some emails on my phone) and then say “goodbye” and head to the office.
He quickly realized that when I said goodbye, he would get sad, so he asked me not to say goodbye.
At first I waited 30 minutes, then each day a little less. After a few days, I didn’t need to say anymore.
This was quite the challenge, but there was hope…
 
Our key learnings from his separation anxiety:

1) Pray every morning with your kids and read the Bible with them before school

2) Talk to your kid and ask good questions

3) Help them feel safe – remind them that their teacher is a professional who is an expert in caring for kids their age

4) When possible, assure them you are close by and only a phone call away

5) Don’t make promises and reward them for accomplishing the goal, but celebrate and be thankful. 

6) Plan as much in advance so that the mornings can be as stress free as possible

7) Talk to Professionals

 
Every kiddo is different, but the struggle is real. This fall has been way smoother than I anticipated, but something tells me we’ll be continuing to take special note of anxiety in our household. Most mornings we still hear, “I’m never going to school.” But with a lot of patience, he’s never been late.
 
I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13
 
 

Read more...

Redberry Family Camp

I’ve been wanting to take my family to Family Camp for a long time. It is a great way to have a faith-filled vacation. Plus, in my studying I’ve discovered that when students have an opportunity to head to Bible Camp, it has a significant impact on their faith journey as they follow Christ their whole loves.
 
This past week, I had the privilege of being the guest speaker at Redberry Bible Camp and we talked about some of the Essentials to our Faith as we lead our families. Our family really enjoyed the meals, not having to do dishes, not having to cook meals, playing street hockey, pony rides, basketball, archery, tuck, swimming, illusionist, board games, jungle swing, and chapel. It was a LOT of fun and I really encourage families to consider going to family camp in 2020.
 
Here are some of the downloads and resources that I was talking about during chapel:
Bibles
  • The Jesus Storybook Bible
  • The Story for Kids
  • The Story

Read more...

Memorizing the Map

This morning I took a quick glance at the map on my phone, then started driving towards Victoria Ave and then Living 
Hope Alliance Church in Regina. Then I used Siri and bluetooth to call home to my family. As I started to get closer to LHAC, I realized I’m not sure I’m on the right road, maybe I should pull over and end the phone call. Then I realized I was actually taking a shorter and more direct rout to LHAC. It’s amazing how God takes us where we need to be, even when we don’t realize it.
 

So where are you headed this summer in faith?

If you have a map and God’s help, it’s a whole lot easier to get to where you’re going!

Here’s a plan that my oldest son and I are journeying on for the summer – It’s the NT portion of the Foundations 260 Bible Reading Plan from Robby Gallaty and it includes memory verses. Jari and I usually read the passage after breakfast, before he goes to school and before I go to work and then we pray for friends who we can invite to Fun Camp and/or who need Jesus.
 
Now what do you do with the passage you’ve just read? Here’s a free download of what I call the Discovering the Bible Bookmark to guide you through some reflections you can use for many passages, especially narratives (stories).
 
On another note, we’ve started implementing a rule in our house, BEFORE summer his – No screens until cloths are on, teeth are brushed, you’ve read for at least 10 minutes (preferably the Bible), and you pick up toys. So far, it’s a bit of a battle, but a necessary one. 

17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. James 2:17

 

Read more...

Too many Bibles?

 
When I stated parenting, I faced an internal conundrum… how many children’s Bibles to I really want on my shelf? Do I want to buy my son a Bible at every stage of his life? If I purchase one every 2-3 years, that could get expensive.
 
As we started reading to our son, two things became apparent. 1) Different Bible have different vocabulary, reading levels, and pictures. 2) Any money spent on a Bible or faith books is money WELL spent. If parents are willing to read the Bible to and with their kids, I’m not sure we can have too many Bibles.
 
So on our shelf we have 5 different children’s Bibles, along with a bunch of other good Christian books. Every child is different and he/she may enjoy different Bibles and books at different levels of their understanding. Here’s a list of some we like and which age they’re best for from our experience:
 
We use this Bible in our younger KidZone classes. It has pictures that are easy to see and short chapters that are great for their attention spans. The only down side to this Bible is that it’s kind thick and doesn’t really hold up to kids tossing it around.
 
The artwork in this Bible is very creative and I love how every chapter accurately points to Jesus.
 
The Story for Kids – Age 6-10 
This Bible uses large selections from the NIrV to cover the the overarching story of the entire Bible.
 
Hands On Bible NLT – Ages 7-12
Once kids are able to read on their own, they can spend time in this complete Bible and continue to enjoy the Word.
 
These Bibles look great, are well used around the globe, and are also relatively affordable. 
 
NIV Student or Study Bible
The Student Bible a lot of study notes that can help a person understand more of the content and important thoughts that are going on. The Study Bible is almost the same, but has more study notes and is a little bigger. 
 
Other notes: I always keep an eye on how big a Bible is. These dimensions are idea: 14.3 x 2.5 x 22.9 cm. We also like the Berenstain Bears Storybook Bible. My personal favourite is the CSB translation, but it’s not very common, my next go-2 is ESV.

Read more...