living on pb & j

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

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Teaching Self-Control

A few days ago I finished writing some curriculum on the Fruit of the Spirit. The last fruit is one of the hardest to teach, especially with children, “self”-control (or better yet, temperance).  Today, I want to share with you a method of teaching our child this particular fruit of the Spirit.

Think about it–if we as parents struggle so much with “self”-control, what are our children picking up and learning from us?

The most basic key to temperance is being Spirit-led. (Galatians 5:22-23)  Thus, teaching our children to follow the Holy Spirit is what needs to be done. However, it is a process and a growth that comes with time.

If my child has not trusted Christ as Savior, it is impossible for him to learn, because he does not have the Spirit living within him.

So what can I do in the meantime?

While writing curriculum on the Fruit of the Spirit recently, I was doing some research, came upon this idea and fell in love with it.  Here is the method.  It is from the Scripture, Matthew 5:29-30.  The Bible says:

29 And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.

30 And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.

Many times, we are caught laughing at sin. The world attempts to make it funny and people are portrayed as heroes for stepping out and breaking the rules.  However, God does not take sin lightly.

We need to treat sin as God treats it.  So to teach our children not to take sin lightly, we can use this principle from Matthew:

When my child uses a part of his body to sin, he loses the right to use it.

For example:

  • When my child yells at his siblings, he loses the right to speak
  • When he hits a friend with his hand, he loses the right to use his hand. (You can have your child sit on his hand)
  • When he follows his siblings to a place he should not go, he loses his right to walk.
  • When he peeks at something he should not, he has to close his eyes.

 (As a parent you determine the amount of time)

You can take these examples and make them personal with your child.  I pray that, through using this method, children will quickly get the idea and eventually learn to control their own actions.  This is a great tool but not the only thing to teach them.

As I mentioned earlier, the most important thing we can teach them, is to be Spirit-led.

No matter how strong they are, some day, they will have a temptation that is just too much for them to overcome.  Everyone has weaknesses and the devil often knows what they are.  So, at that point, it will only be God that can help lead them in the right direction. This is why teaching them to be able to sense the Holy Spirit and follow His leading is a must!

I hope that you can use both of these tools. From one momma’s heart to another.



Ps. What are some methods, that you use to teach self-control to your children? Please comment below.

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Mommy Stuff I’ve Learned Since My Baby Shower


When I look at the pictures from my baby shower, I look at myself and my tiny first born girl and think of all the days that have happened since – the sweet firsts, the long nights, the hard days of caring for a toddler and a newborn while working full time, the days getting used to being a stay-at-home mom to those same two and then their little brother, and all the days in between! So much has happened since the day of that shower! The Lord has seen me through so many ups and downs of being a mommy since that joyful occasion.

I definitely don’t claim that I know all there is to know about being a godly mother. I haven’t even come close to knowing! I fail EVERY DAY, but I am so thankful for the grace the Lord gives me to carry on in this special gift of having three little people call me mommy!

Here are a few things the Lord has taught is teaching me. I hope they will encourage other mommies as well.

1. Being a mom can be wonderful! There are all those wonderful moments with a baby: hearing your unborn baby’s heartbeat for the first time, seeing their profile on the ultrasound screen, holding them for the first time, their first smile, all those special days of cuddling and bonding. Then there are the wonderful moments as that baby grows into a toddler: first steps, first words, the very fact that this little person loves to be with mommy all the time! As that toddler grows older, there are more special moments together as they become more independent but still want to show you how glad they are that you’re their mom: wanting you to see their Lego building or other artwork, cuddling up to read books together, cooking and baking things together. God gives each mom these special wonderful moments to keep in her heart as her children grow older.

2. Being a mom can be HARD.There are lots of difficult days as a mom regardless of the age of your children – days of sickness, difficult circumstances, a move, so many things. Then there are the days that are hard simply because a mom is needed by so many people for so many different reasons and usually all at the same time! Emotionally, a mom can easily feel like a puzzle with all the pieces scattered everywhere!

There are several verses of Scripture that mean more to me now that I am a mom. They often come to mind on those hard days.

“And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” -Galatians 6:9

“My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” – James 1:2-5

“They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.” -Psalm 126:5-6

3. Being a mom can be lonely. Staying at home with your children is not all days full of tea parties and baking cookies. Those hard days can be lonely ones, too. Some days it’s exciting to hear the phone ring or the door bell sound just because a mom can have a few minutes of interaction with another adult!

In those lonely days, a mom truly realizes what a gift prayer truly is – talking to Someone Who understands and cares about everything that a mom is going through every day.

“Casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you.” – I Peter 5:7

4. Being a mom is totally worth it! In spite of the hard days and lonely days and all the other days in between, being a mom is a true blessing in countless ways! Being the one who is not only entrusted with the job of teaching children life skills, but also teaching them about the One Who gave them life and what He did for them through His Son. This is truly a daunting task, but what could be better? The best treasures a parent can lay up in Heaven are their children. Of all the things in life a parent can give time, money and attention to, what is truly the most important in light of eternity?

“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” – Matthew 6:33

5. Being a mom has helped me grow in my relationship with the Lord. The Lord has helped me through hard days, lonely days and all the other ordinary days. Having encouraging and convicting words of Scripture and Someone to go to with my cares and worries makes being a mom, although a difficult and sometimes discouraging job, a true blessing and gift from God!

“He maketh the barren woman to keep house, and to be a joyful mother of children. Praise ye the LORD.”-Psalm 113:9


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His Little Hands

Mr. Turtle was probably being photographed  today about the time that Joy posted here on Living on PB & J about her sweet little girl’s hands. It was like a confirmation from the Lord that this was to be my next post. We mothers were thinking alike. Just that is encouraging! These hands are those of one of six boys that God has blessed my husband and me with.

At summer’s start, we’ve taken a few trips to the creek. Usually, one will return home with something found there. Once it was a dirty baseball. Rocks and sticks are most common. Sometimes, even bugs make it back. The previous trip’s prize was a baby snake who traveled back in a water bottle! Mr. Turtle is a much more pleasant addition to our yard. His design and colors are incredibly fascinating!
Creek Creatures mjcThese hands give me hugs and write me notes. They pick dandelions for me, and present them with a smile a mother never forgets. These hands wrestle with their brothers. They build with Legos, and they arrange wood scraps into a backyard fort. They touch the keys of a piano. They help with chores. These hands sometimes cover their open mouths when lost in wonder of simple discoveries.

Sometimes, I get lost in the work of caring for these hands. With the creek comes extra laundry, more items to pick up, and sometimes, animals to look after -mainly, making sure they stay outside! Sometimes, I really do just enjoy watching them be little boys. Sometimes, I am overwhelmed with concern about their future with the evident evil in our present day.

Yes, I should be working to care for these hands. Yes, I should be enjoying their childhood ways. Yes, I should be concerned about their future. Yet, my concern should prompt me to work more on their hearts by prayer and teaching, and I should be more grateful to God for the freedoms that we presently experience. These hands will one day hold in them things of much more value than turtles, rocks and sticks. If the Lord wills, these hands will hold the hands of a woman – my daughter-in-law- and the hands of children -my grandchildren. I do not know what work, what joys, or what trials these little hands may one day hold, but I want to do my part to fill these little hands with love and truth. God’s Word is Truth, and intercessory prayer is a loving practice.

I ask God to help me focus this summer on improving in these two areas – teaching my children God’s Word and praying more specifically for each of them. Regretfully, I am like this turtle sometimes. I have good intentions when I am convicted to work on an area, but I am too slow to implement action. Pray that I will be faithful to teach and pray this summer. Think about the little hands you care for. Ask God to reveal to you what He might have you adjust in your life this summer for the sake of the little hands He’s given you.

We are in this together, ladies. Let’s share and pray for each other. ♥ Jeri Lynn