Presenting Our Kids Mature In Christ, Part I: Scripture

There is nothing more important to us at swanniehouse, than presenting our kids mature in Christ. We live in a country as well as a time in history, where opportunities are abundant. How do we make the best decisions with how to spend our days and years with the little ones entrusted to us by God? The best guide we have found is listening to what God says in His word and trying our best to follow His lead. We are dividing our posts on presenting our kids mature in Christ into a series. This enormous task has many facets to cover. The first we are going to tackle is keeping the teaching of scripture prominent in our homes.

Deuteronomy 6:5-9 tells us that parents are responsible for the spiritual teaching of our children. We are commissioned to take every opportunity, all through out the day, to impress the truths of scripture on our children. The following are some ways we are striving to diligently teach God’s commands to our kids.

Devotions: Nearly every day, after dinner, we read God’s word and discuss it. The most self-disciplined swannie in our home has kept us up to the task (thank you Swannie Dad, we appreciate you!). We have used several different devotional books or websites and have read directly from scripture. Ten to fifteen minutes a day set aside to read and discuss God’s word means 70-105 minutes of truth impressing a week! If a child is too young to sit, we let her color or play. We have provided notebooks for all of the kids to take notes or doodle if they like as well. 

Quiet Time: One of my favorite parts of the day is right after breakfast. We set the kitchen timer (usually around 20 minutes) and we are quiet. The big kids and I read from our Bibles and journal. Little ones scroll through Christian board books or paint or color. After finishing our quiet time, we often share what God taught us through His word. 

Scripture Memory: As a kid, I remember reading a portion of scripture out loud each week at church. We were given prizes when we memorized verses. In junior high we went through a serious study of scripture, memorizing large portions. Repetition of scripture has made a colossal difference in my life. We have put together a scripture memorization package for our family to cover. Doing this over the past three years has been a great encouragement. We set goals to complete different passages during different time frames. At the end, we celebrate with a fun prize.

Over the past six months, our kids have memorized; Matthew 7, Psalm 23, Isaiah 9:6-7, Isaiah 7:14, I Peter 2:19-25, Isaiah 53. They have earned fun gifts as a reward. We simply read the passage once every night during our devotion time. (When I had all pre-schoolers, I made a chart of small verses to memorize and the kids got candy when they said the verses to me each week. This time around, our 3 year old has heard the big kids reading this every night and she knows these huge chunks of scripture as well.)

In-depth study: Every week, we set aside one evening to cover a more in-depth study of God’s word. Over the past couple of years we have been working on, The Picture Smart Bible. Through this study we are giving our kids the “big picture” as to how scripture works together. It would be easy to let other activities take us away, so we strongly guard this time on our calendar.  

CSP (Coffee, Scripture, Prayer): My kids love coffee. They seriously, LOVE it. Some time ago, we decided to incorporate coffee with special family time. Every Saturday morning, we make a big pot and after breakfast dishes are done, we move into the family room with our Bibles and a big bin of toys for Cupcake. We take our time with our devotions, asking questions, laughing, praying, drinking coffee and enjoying one another and Jesus.  

Church attendance: We are thrilled to have found a church faithful to God’s word where we all learn from our pastor. All seven of us worship together every Sunday. We participate in corporate worship and our kids are part of the full life of the body of Christ. Our three youngest children have never gone to nursery and have sat next to me in the service. Helpful tip: When they were babies they would nurse and sleep all the way through the services. After that stage, I introduced dum-dums and ring pops. It doesn’t bother me in the least that every time Troy Dobbs gets up front, Cupcake looks at me and says, “Can I have a sucker now?” She can equate the teaching of God’s word with sweetness, as it is honey for our souls.

This pamphlet is not from our church (though I know from our pastor’s words that he welcomes children in our services). I love this sentiment and would love to see it true in every worship setting: 

presenting children mature in christ
Westminster Church

Seeds of Worship: One of the easiest ways to memorize scripture is through song. Seeds of worship are a wonderful tool for scripture memory. The songs are not the typical, “Is this CD almost over?” feeling for mom and dad. The melodies are catchy and fun. 

Handwriting: A Reason for Handwriting has been a beautiful tool to not only build a necessary life skill, but keeps scripture in front of our kids while learning it. 

We hope you are encouraged to take one area above and incorporate it into your home. Please let us know if you try something, or if you would like some help getting start. We would love to hear what other families are doing to be faithful in teaching your children scripture to present them fully mature in Christ.

He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ. ~Colossians 1: 28

What to Do When Kids Tattle

What to Do When Kids Tattle
tattle
Source

Wherever two or more children are gathered, a tattle-tail will be among them.

Kids will be playing and getting along like gold. Just as you are ready to kick up your feet and relax, one of them comes running saying, “Sara took my truck!” or, “Cameron hit me in the face!”

What is your reaction when the child comes with the news of devastation? Here are some typical responses: “What is going on? Get over here Cameron! Why did you hit your brother?”
“Sara, did you take her truck? That isn’t yours, give it back!” or “Sara, you need to share with your sister. Let her have a turn with the truck and then you will get a turn later.”

When a kid tattles, are you quick to jump in and fix the situation? Do you take a more hands-off approach? Do you feel equipped in those situations? The following are the tips we have at swanniehouse in tattling situations.

  1. Calm yourself. Whenever a kid comes running to me with an offense, I literally stop myself from feeling irritated. My internal dialogue changed from, “I can’t believe I have to deal with this again,” to “This is an opportunity to help my child become a vessel of reconciliation. Some day he or she will be an employer, employee, roommate, or spouse. They can build skills in our home when they face problems with others.”
  2. Resist the urge to fix the situation. Recently, Odes tattled on Cupcake for stealing a card away from him while he was playing a card game. He wanted me to chase her down and get the card back. That would have been an easy way for me to deal with the problem and move on. This however, was my response, “I am sorry you are having this problem with Cupcake. What have you done so far to work on this?” He replied, “Nothing, because I know she will just run away.” I replied with kindness, “I don’t have a problem with Cupcake right now. It’s not my responsibility to leave what I am doing to fix this. If this is going to be solved, you are going to have to work on it. What can you do to start?” Guess what? They figured it out on their own. There are times when kids will need help…but when a tattler comes your way, remember the problems are theirs, not ours.
  3. Ask questions. “Wow, you seem really upset about this situation. Did you just need to talk about it or are you looking for some help? Oh, you want help? OK, what have you done so far?” If you spend any time in our home you will hear these kinds of questions coming from swannie mom and dad’s mouths frequently. Here are some others, “Is there anything you are responsible for in this situation? How can you talk to your friend/sister/brother about this problem? What can you do to bring peace to this situation?”
  4. Don’t choose sides. I have been guilty of this and I see it all the time with families. One kid comes running in tears to mom, either emotionally or physically hurt by a sibling or friend. Mom listens to the situation, feels it is her responsibility to play judge and jury, and doles out a consequence. This is usually an unrealistic picture of relational difficulty. How many times have you had a conflict where the other person was 100% guilty and you had no part? When we choose one child over another we are helping create victims and turn the heart of the possible offender away from mom or dad. A better response: While caring for the hurt child, resist the mama-bear urge to attack. Give the hurt child language to express themselves to the offender. “I’m so sorry you were hurt. I never want you to feel unsafe/unloved in this home. Do you need some help talking to your sister? OK. Can you tell me how are you feeling?” My children usually say “angry” and at that point I try to help them find another emotion that may be underneath the anger. “Sometimes, disrespect feels like anger. Could you be feeling disrespected? Alright, let’s try this, “Sister, I felt disrespected when you took my dress from me and told me it looks better on you. It hurt my feelings.” Do you see the difference? Instead of jumping in and fixing the problem with punishments or angry words, you are helping the wounded communicate. It is helpful to assist the other party in this process as well by helping them listen humbly and express their feelings as well.

These tips aren’t a formula to reduce tattling in your home. Hopefully, they will equip you when looking at situations in your own home to use these situations as tools for development in your children. Try applying one tip until it starts feeling natural, then add another layer to your parenting. The initial change may be in your responses only. Over time, you will see your children benefitting from the changes in your own heart.

Our homes are a safe place for children to practice relational skills they will need in order to mature into capable adults that can live out healthy relationships. As parents, our responses to our kid’s problems are a huge deciding factor in how they will relate to others when they interact with the world outside our walls. Be thoughtful, prayerful, and intentional.

And here is some hope: As my perspective has changed in this area, the tattling actually has reduced. Five kids at home all the time, it’s only realistic to expect some fighting and drama. But my kids are masters at working through their problems with minimal help from mom and dad.

tattle
Source

 

The Slow Work of God

One of my sons was practicing his piano lesson while I played Uno with some of the other kids. After some time had passed, the pianist was no longer practicing his lesson but was playing, “Another One Bites the Dust.” One of the Uno players looked at me and complained, “He’s counting that as lesson time you know!”

I smiled and looked thoughtfully at the justice seeking sibling. I asked my standard questions: “For whom are you responsible in this situation? Is your interference needed here?”

The child looked at me and said, “But did you even realize what he is doing?”

Kindly I replied, “I did. I notice more than you may realize.”

I quickly reflected on some of the ways that God has worked on my life. As a baby Christian, when He began cleaning up my tongue. When I grew in the Lord, He began moving me toward a heart of purity in different areas. Eventually, my relationships began to reflect those of one who followed Christ. He gave me a heart for those who were hurting or didn’t know Him. He has brought me through joy, pain, heartache, and loss. In each season of life has taught me more of His character, more of my need for Him.

Over the past 30 years of walking with God, He has been purifying areas of my life. Revealing hidden areas in my heart where I have not submitted fully to Him. He’s disciplined, pruned, and refined me. And I’m painfully aware that there is a lot of work left to do inside of me.

I looked at my sweet one seeking justice toward a brother who seemed to be squandering piano lesson time. “My love, I’m so thankful that God takes His time with me, not revealing all the areas in me that need to change at once. I sin often each day. If God scolded and disciplined me for every single thing, I would be completely overwhelmed. He knows what to work on at the right time. What you don’t understand, is your brother needs creative breaks between assignments. I know it seems “wrong” to you…but I’m asking you to trust me. And know that I want to give you the same kind of patience I’m offering your brother.”

Our kids need correction. We need wisdom to know when it is right to intervene. Sometimes it is OK to be aware of something and simply submit it to prayer or let it go. Sometimes our kids benefit from a window into our intentions as a parent. There is no end to the lessons we all need to learn.

“Be confident of this (with your children), that He who began a good work in you (them) will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” ~Phil 1:6

Give Him time friends. Our little ones have much to learn when in our homes, under our nurturing care and guidance. But they won’t learn it all.

Parenting with Authority, Like Jesus

How do we respond to sinful behavior in our children? At times children show defiance and disobedience. They talk disrespectfully, they display selfish hearts. When that happens, how does it make you feel? Anxious, confused, angry? I used to feel that way. I have learned to feel calm and equipped. Would you like to parent with confident authority, like Jesus?

When my oldest children were preschoolers, we had a morning play date with another mom. I distinctly remembered her strong, authoritative voice calling out to her son, “You obey!” Her presence was commanding enough that I was hoping that her son would fall in line. He did. He stopped misbehaving. I’m guessing a swift and strong punishment would have come had he not changed his actions. I’m left wondering however, did his heart change? I don’t know.

Authority is the power or right to give orders, make decisions, and enforce obedience.

Recently, I read a Facebook comment where a person was instructing a parent to use their scriptural authority to gain respect from their child. There wasn’t any follow up and left unexplained it led me to question how some might follow through on this encouragement. Should the mom use physical means to gain authority? Should she demand obedience as my friend did over a decade ago?

We certainly have authority as parents. We are in charge and responsible for our young children. Jesus has authority as God. Observing His authority over others is a wonderful tool to inform our own parenting.

In Mark 10:35-45, James and John discussion with Jesus exposes a self-centered arrogance in their hearts. The disciples asked to be seated on Jesus right and left side in glory. How can this look in our children’s responses to us?

I want the biggest piece. Let ME sit in the front. If I don’t win the game I’m going to throw a fit. Why should I have to clean up my mess? I don’t want to go bed! I don’t want to come home when you say!

As parents, it is easy to become exasperated. We just want our children to comply, to set aside their selfishness, and not make things so difficult. Let’s look closely at Christ’s response to James and John.

Mark 10:38 “You don’t know what you are asking,” Jesus said. “Can you drink the cup I drink or be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with?”

Jesus didn’t respond with annoyance, anger, or a snappy, “Stop being so selfish!” Instead, he asked a simple question. His question opened their hearts to further conversation which eventually brought them to a place of further understanding and wisdom of His will in their lives. In fact, He touches on the subject of authority and how it should play out in the lives of those who know and follow Him. He turned the structure of authority upside down by showing the disciples that in order to be first in His Kingdom, one must give of themselves, becoming a servant to all. (Mark 10:42-45.)

One of my favorite quotes from Clay Clarkson’s wonderful book, Heartfelt Discipline says:

“Many Christian parents, myself included, tend to speak as though [their children] were Pharisees when addressing their children. We can speak harshly and with judgment, implying by our manner that we believe their hearts are hard and resistant. But this attitude is not justified by Scripture. There is no record of Jesus ever speaking to a child in a harsh tone. When the Gospels record Him speaking to a child, it is always with gentleness. Our children are not our adversaries. Though our children’s hearts are corrupted by sin, they are not hardened sinners who have made conscious choices to reject the Savior. Our children are simply immature and childish. That’s why children need the grace of love and compassion, not the legal harshness of shame and guilt.”

If Jesus exercises His authority over us with service and gentleness, why do we exercise our authority over little ones with harsh commands, refusing to understand the hearts of our children?

My three year old NEVER wants to go to bed. As her mother, I know that she needs an occasional nap and proper bed time so she can grow, stay healthy, and happy. When she fights my authority at bed time, I can respond with a heavy hand and say, “You obey and stay in that bed!” Or, I can respond with gentleness: “You don’t like going to bed, do you sweetie? You feel frustrated when it’s time to go to sleep, don’t you?” Typically, this kind of understanding will calm her enough for me to be able to move on with the following: “It’s hard to leave the fun! Let’s snuggle up with a book and sing some songs together.” After some snuggles and laying with her a bit, she is usually in a place where she will submit to sleep time. Upon waking up I will ask, “How did it feel to take the nap? Do you feel better, the same, or worse? Oh, I’m so glad you feel good! When it’s time for bed tomorrow, maybe you’ll remember how good it feels to be rested!”

This line of questioning may seem “pie-in-the-sky, soft.” I do believe however, I’m exercising my scriptural authority as a parent when I work with her to build wisdom in this way. It takes a little more thought than a simple command of, “You obey!” My child is worth the extra thought to keep a connection to her heart.

 

Morning Calendar Time for Homeschool

Morning Calendar Time for Homeschool

When we began homeschooling eight years ago, I came across the idea of “calendar time.” We are not trying to create “school at home.” However, there are certain skills that take lots of repetition and having a daily time to practice those skills seemed like a good idea.

We think of our entire home as our schooling area. We do have a formal school room (I will give you a tour at some point) where we used to do our morning calendar time. That room has now become our “quiet study room” so our calendar time has been moved to a different spot. The older kids don’t join us for calendar time anymore (tear), so it has been nice for them not to be disturbed by this portion of the day which can get quite loud. I don’t love the idea of my home looking like an elementary school, so I picked an unfinished area to pin up our morning board activities.

morning calendar time

I got these cubes about 9 years ago. When I call out, “Five minutes until calendar time,” the three kids that participate in it finish up what they are doing, run to their stools, open the tops to get out their pencils and notebooks and sit down. We start our time together by singing a silly song and them coming up to me and holding my hands and jumping as high as they can.

morning calendar time

Then we move over to our calendar which I bought at a local teacher supply store. We sing songs about the date and then we write the date. We talk about the weather and write one sentence about the weather and sing a song about weather. I teach abbreviations, and different ways to write the date. They record them in their notebook.

I got this little plastic box to store the weather and calendar pieces when note in use.

morning calendar time

After this we move to our cork-board and pick different activities. Sometimes we say the Pledge of Allegiance. We sing silly songs so we know how to spell everyone’s name in the family.(Although, I am not currently doing this as everyone knows how but the three year old. I will start it up again sometime after she turns four.)  There are specific prayer requests for various people written with wet erase markers. Cupcake gets to pick a shape and color of the day each morning. We pray for our pastor and missionaries and ourselves. We practice phone numbers and our address. Each week we work on a scripture passage to memorize.

morning calendar time

After covering the calendar and cork boards we move to reviewmorning calendar time

I’ve found it’s easiest to do things like flash cards and review for the day all in one setting.

morning calendar time morning calendar timemorning calendar timemorning calendar timemorning calendar time

We practice multiplication, addition, and subtraction facts, reading music, state facts, the books of the Bible, and the last picture are flash cards I made of Clay and Sally Clarkson’s “24 Family Ways.” I am just going to be honest and say that my kids did not love the devotional, but I like the concept of reviewing how we idealistically want to relate as a family to God, parents, one another, ourselves and our possessions. We review math facts daily, but we rotate with the other flash cards.

morning calendar time The last thing we do is read from a devotional and sing a hymn. Right now we are finishing up “Leading Little Ones to God.” This devotional is so, so, SO good for young children. I’ve read it several times. I anticipate reading it one or two more times with my little girls in the future. I like doing a devotional that is geared toward younger kids, as the rest of our family devotion times are usually more catered to the older kids in the family. We are not hymn only kinds of people, but the rich doctrine in the hymns is priceless. We learn a new verse each week, which means we end up learning approximately one hymn a month.

These morning times have been precious for me with my children. It’s a great way to begin our day and it only takes 10-15 minutes of our time.

I have the best memories of my kids fighting, saying funny things, and being goofy together during morning calendar time. Now that even my little kids are on the older side, there aren’t really any interruptions or too many goofy antics but it is still fun, in a different way. I was thinking how Odes will probably only do this for one more year and then it will just be the little girls and me. The years really are so short!

I’d love to know if you do a morning calendar time with your kids and what it looks like!

I thought I would leave you with a precious video from when the big four were little. It’s one of our favorites:  

Valentine’s Day and Our Love for Our Kids

Over the years our family has celebrated Valentine’s Day in various ways. One year I hosted an “I love you breakfast” and we picnicked by the fireplace with yummy cinnamon rolls. Each child was given a heart shaped love note, with specific attributes I adored in each of them. When they were really little we used to get together with my friend Tammie and her crew we would hide hearts with loving words on them and they dashed off like an Easter Egg Hunt in search of the little messages. We’ve given little gifts. Papa Murphy’s heart shaped pizza made our menu once. Heart shaped chocolate chip cookie bars have been a favorite.

Valentine's Day

Valentine’s Day 2017 was an impromptu affair. I searched for craft kits for the kids to do in pairs while the toddler napped. They got some chocolate. Homemade washi tape love notes from God met them at their breakfast spot. I remember loving when my mom gave me a sweet stuffed animal or little figurine with hearts on them when I was kid. I always want to do something special on this day.

Like all parents, I want the message of “I love you no matter what” to daily reach my kid’s hearts.

Are you loving your kids intentionally, each day of the year? 

Ask my kids how often they hear: “There is nothing you can do that will make me love you more. There is nothing you can do that will make me love you less.” When my kids do well in an activity, I often communicate, “I love seeing you succeed. Do you know though, that doing well doesn’t make me love you more than I already do?” The times when my kids face defeat, they hear the words, “I’m so sorry you are disappointed. I hope you know that even though you are feeling down about this, I don’t love you any less.” We always want our kids to know that it isn’t what they DO that makes us love them. We love them always, no matter what.

Kids feel deeply. Sometimes the way they process the world can make us as parents feel defensive or vulnerable. David and I have purposed to always encourage our children to express how they feel, even if it makes us feel rotten. Calmly providing a “safe place” where they can communicate and know that we always try to understand, is our goal. We close our mouths and hear their hearts. We ask questions like, “Did I do something to make you feel this way?” Even if it hurts to hear the answer.

So many times when kids fight or make less than positive choices, they simply need to know we are not giving up on them. As we walk through different valleys with each child, we are constantly (and literally) saying, “We are on your side. We won’t ever give up on you.” This might feel awkward at first. But they need to hear it!

In the tender years when children are in our homes (and I suspect far after as well), they need to know we believe in them. Say it! We often use the phrases, “I know you can do this! You are capable.” Or, “I’m excited to see you growing in this area. I believe in you!”

Gently looking into our children’s eyes with a soft smile, and a loving touch on the shoulder or hand has softened even the hardest hearts in our home. This isn’t always easy. When our children are hurt, angry, disappointed, sometimes they pull away. As parents, at times we want to pull away too. It is better to soften your face, ask if you can give a little hug, and show a sincere smile of warmth and tenderness.

“I have loved you with an everlasting love, I have drawn you with kindness.”
Jeremiah 31:3-4

Over time, we hope to share specific stories of loving our kids. This Valentine’s Day we wanted to share practical phrases and tools to implement in your interactions with your kids today. I hope you who are reading will use this special day to communicate your fierce love to your children. May your homes be chocolate and flower filled! My heart is that each of you will be intentional in living out and expressing your love for your kids; in the mundane, in the hard, and in the victories. Jesus loves them. He calls them unto Himself. When we show tender, compassion, we are modeling the love He has for them. Let’s help each other keep our kid’s hearts. And let’s present our children before the Lord as one’s who have felt from early on that “God is love.” Happy Valentine’s Day!

When Scripture is Abandoned in the Home

When Scripture is Abandoned in the Home

We had a blast on our recent trip to the Homeschooler’s Mecca, (also known as “The Creation Museum”). https://creationmuseum.org/ We rented an old house with another family and paid homage to the vacation spot where no one bats an eye about larger-than-average families ranging from toddlers to teens. One huge surprise to me during our visit was the incredibly worshipful setting created in each of the exhibits. God’s name was magnified and His character was lifted up so meaningfully.

There was a wax museum dedicated to the Garden of Eden…where a few of us reverted back to our middle school days. I got a little obsessed with looking for belly buttons on Adam & Eve. Between myself and the dads and middle school aged boys…we may or may not have made a scene.

A couple of the “warning signs” in the exhibit caught our personal attention, perhaps more than some of the others:

“Scripture compromised in the Church, leads to…scripture abandoned in the home”
“Scripture abandoned in the home, leads to…a generation no different than the world”

These were sobering signs for us as we thought about the world we live in today. When we aren’t taking the high view of scripture in the church, we lead people away from God’s word. This leads to the abandonment of scripture in the home, and changes an entire generation!

When I think of the Apostle Paul, who labored for the church, and calls us to do the same…I wonder if we realize as parents that these verses need to apply to the children in whom have been entrusted to us, far above anyone else?

Colossians 1:28-29 “He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ. To this end I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me.” 

So, I have some questions for you: Are you proclaiming, admonishing and teaching your children with all wisdom, so that you may present them fully mature in Christ? Are you strenuously teaching them God’s word? Are you leaving that job to someone else, hoping the hour at Sunday School or youth group will be enough?

How do we make sure we are not abandoning scripture in our homes so that the next generation will continue to shine the Light of Christ into our world?

Over time, we would like to un-fold some of the ways we are seeking to present our children mature in Christ. For now, we challenge you, if you are not currently reading God’s word to or with your kids, get a copy of God’s word, right before or after your family meal for the next month, open it up to the book of Luke, read and discuss. It’s really that simple! Let us know how it goes!

 

If These Walls Could Speak

 

One of the best things about teaching has to be teacher supplies. If I were an elementary school teacher in a public or private school my favorite part would be setting up my room year-to-year. As a homeschool mom, I still love all the supplies, but I don’t want my home to look like a brick and mortar school.

When we began to take seriously what God says in Deuteronomy 6, verse 9 jumped at me. “Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.” The context here is our job as parents to be impressing the commands of God on our children at all times and in all ways.

As I thought about the decor in my house, I was challenged by the simple thought that my kids see our walls day in and day out…how could I use those walls to bring glory to God and to show my kids who they are in Christ?

I began stripping my walls of pretty prints of Italian scenery and boogied over to Hobby Lobby as quick as I could say, “50% off all wall art and home decor.” It was an inexpensive under-taking, though I re-did every wall in my house. (Seriously. Ask my neighbor. He hung every single wall hanging for me, to prevent the inevitable debates that result when David and I try to hang things together.) ***please note: there is nothing sinful or wrong about the way my house was previously decorated…and frankly, I could have made many of these changes while keeping my previous wall hangings. Please don’t feel judged…that is not my heart at all***

Today, everywhere my children look, they see a message of belonging, our family, who they are in Christ, and principles of God. There are so many ways to bring scripture alive in the life of our family and to live out discipleship. I challenge you to use your walls as a discipleship tool in shaping the lives of your children and capturing their hearts for God’s Kingdom.

 

This is our “identity” wall. I love the chalk board as it’s easy to change up the message on it. As I change the passages on various chalk boards around the house, it is making an imprint on the lives of my kids. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of my favorite pictures of our kids…holding their baby sister for the first time. I want them to know how each one is such a precious gift from God.

 

  

I use “Project Life” cards  to change up different passages or messages during different seasons.

 

 

 

This chalk board hangs in our kitchen. We change up the frame with seasonal washi tape. I recently caught my daughter setting up this chalk board for Valentine’s Day. I think she has captured the vision for our walls.

 

 

 

 

 

My good friend’s daughter made this for me as a birthday gift. I hung it by the computer to help us all renew our minds when using the internet and other computer technology. (Philippians 4:8, “Whatever is true, honorable, just, pure, admirable, if anything is excellent, or praiseworthy think about these things.)

 

 

 

When guests enter our home, I’ve tried to make it clear who we live for and who we love!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I hung up these two inexpensive shelves from Ikea and got some frames to set on top. Our kids display art work and their handwriting passages in them. These are my favorite wall hangings in the house and I know they love their art as a centerpiece!

 

 

Each of the big kids got to pick a special wall hanging to put over their individual desks.