living on pb & j

Ordinary moms living on Prayer, the Bible, and Jesus!


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A Season of Giving

The holidays are upon us!

I’m sure that you have already been looking around, wondering what to purchase this year.  It is not even Thanksgiving yet and the stores are bursting with Christmas.  My Facebook feed is filled with pictures of friends who have already decorated their homes and with stories of kids telling their mamas what they want for Christmas.  I totally get it.  I LOVE me some Christmas, but I also have to pace myself.

You see, if we zoom past Thanksgiving we miss important lessons on gratefulness….and this seems to be what our commercial “friends” down at the mall want us to think:  “Focus on what you WANT, not on what you HAVE!”  (Let alone being grateful for those things.)

Now before you start to think I’m “The Grinch”, let me tell you that I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE Christmas.

I love the true meaning of the season.

I love the decorations.

I love the songs.

I love the smells.

I love the adorable Christmas plays.

I love almost everything about Christmas.

BUT, I don’t love the “GIMME” side of Christmas.

The Bible says  “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” – Acts 20:35


….and so what I have tried to do in our home and hope to convey to our kids is that Christmas is a season of giving. I often bring up the fact that God gave us the best Present, Jesus,  and this is the basis for our giving.

Some of the ways we “do” Christmas:

  1.   Feeding the hungry
    1. My son figured out that the Salvation Army bell ringers collect money to feed other little boys and girls. We can not go in OR out of the stores without giving them money.
    2. We have also invited friends over that do not have a place to go during the holidays. We try to be ONE BIG family to them.
  2.   Gifting
    1. Neighbors: Every year we make or buy a gift for all of our neighbors. This is just our way of sharing God’s love with them.  Avs loves to go and help me deliver them. This is a highlight of our Christmas
    2. Teachers and Friends:  We also make little gifts and presents for our kids’ teachers as well as close friends.  We LOVE to gift.
    3. Extended Family:  This year “A” and “T” took their own money from their piggy banks and went to the dollar store and bought each of their cousins a gift.  We gave them a few tips, but mostly the gifts were their own ideas.  This was a sacrifice on their part but they LOVED it. Then when we got home, they helped me wrap those gifts.  “A” wrote the names and “T” put a bow on each package.
    4. Close Family:  We take the kids out and let them buy a nicer gift for each other as well as their parents.  We help them with the selections and use some of our money so they can do this. They love being a part of the gifting process.
  3.   Christmas Day
    1. On Christmas Day, we begin the day by reading the Christmas story. Then we let the kids GIVE their gifts.  We make a big deal out of this and they get a lot of enjoyment from it.  Presents are opened up one person at a time.  This helps us all to fully enjoy the gift-giving process and is much more meaningful.  This is all our kids have known and they love it.

My children know the story of baby Jesus and they are starting to realize what a sacrifice He made.  We are trying to teach them that it’s not about being good and getting BUT about sacrifice, gratitude and giving.

It is sooooo much fun to give!!!!   Let’s pass this on to our children.

How much fun would it be this Christmas if your child’s BIGGEST smile came from giving someone else a present RATHER than getting a toy that he will only use for a short time! – Rejoicing in the Present

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Read Me A Story

What are your favorite children books? (PLEASE SHARE BELOW) One of my new favorite authors is Max Lucado and let me tell you why.

I was visiting my parents last year, and my son asked me to read him a book. We read a book called THE WAY HOME, PRINCESS STORY. It was a beautiful parallel of how we strayed into the world and how our Father came to rescue us. While a few of the pictures are a bit scary for a young child, the story is right on. It became a favorite of my three year old.

My mom also has a quite a few other children’s books written by Lucado. I noticed in every story that he tied the gospel or an essential Bible lesson to each of them.

Take, for instance, the Wemmicks in his YOU ARE SPECIAL series. These stories teach about a Creator who made us for a reason, Who gave us gifts and Who loves us. These too are favorites of mine.

This same author is famous for his book JUST IN CASE YOU EVER WONDER. This is a great book for new
moms and their babies.

Here are others:0915161455d
THE BOY AND THE OCEAN
THE OAK INSIDE THE ACORN
YOU ARE SPECIAL
JUST IN CASE YOU EVER WONDER
THE SONG OF THE KING
THE CHILDREN OF THE KING
THE CRIPPLED LAMB
I WISH I HAD A GREEN NOSE
THE TALLEST OF SMALLS
A HAT FOR IVAN

Try them out, you won’t regret it. What about you? What do you read to your children?

Rejoicing,

Joy


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Scripture Training

As a mom of a two and four, my life seems a little bit full of temper tantrums, fighting and DRAMA.  I want my kids to behave but I don’t want them to be robots.  I want them to obey, but I also want them to know why and not just my reason why, but God’s “why”.

I want my children to listen to me, but MORE then that I want them to listen to God and His WordsSo lately, I have been trying to give them Bible verses, instead of mom’s words. Here are some of the verses:

It’s a process. We only have a few so far, but little by little…

Fighting:
“And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” – Ephesians 4:32

“Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.” – Philippians 2:3

Putting others first: “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God,” – I John 4:7

Sharing: “Give, and it shall be given unto you” – Luke 6:38

Obeying: “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.” – Ephesians 6:1

Lying:“Lying lips are abomination to the Lord: but they that deal truly are his delight.” – Proverbs 12:22

Self-Control
“Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips.” – Psalms 141:3

There are SO many more verses, but this is a start. What verses do you use with your kiddos? Share below.

-Rejoicing,

Joy T