living on pb & j

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


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The Grumble Box

The Bible clearly states in Philippians 2:14, “Do all things without murmurings and disputings:” and in Philippians 4:11 it states, “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.”

These are 2 great verses that I think every family member should memorize. Grumbling and complaining come so easy. Too easy. Many times we don’t even realize that we are doing it.

When we hear our children complain, we are so quick to point out to them that they need to have a grateful heart and they have  so much to be thankful for but does the conviction set in whenever we catch ourselves?

One idea I ran across was called, “The Grumble Box”.  You could do your own variation of it but basically you make a box and entitle it, “The Grumble Box”. (And one of the verses previously stated would be a great reminder if put on the front of the box as well) Then each member of the family is given an “X’ amount of pennies. (You may have to supply them with more later on in the month if they run out – but hopefully they won’t need anymore:)

Whenever a member is caught “grumbling” they are to donate a penny to the Grumble Box. Normally this challenge  would last for about a month. At the end of the month, it’s quite the eye opener to count all the grumbles (aka: pennies) that made their way into your lives. You tell each person at the beginning of this challenge that what money they have left, they get to keep. (You could choose to use dimes. They would add up more in the end and may be a better incentive to not grumble)

But you can see how this would help all of us to hold our tongue and to play the “Glad Game’ instead! There’s too much to be thankful for to be found complaining!

Love, Jenn

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Have you had a cup of coffee today? I enjoy one in the morning to get started, but often like one in the afternoon just to relax. I also like to drink coffee when I’m writing. Somehow, it seems to help me stay focused and “grounded.”We use the word “grounded” in a lot of different ways. Have you ever heard someone say to their child (or perhaps you’ve said it yourself), “You’re grounded!”? My parents didn’t use that expression much when I was growing up, but it is used by many parents.

As moms, I’d like for us to think about the phrase, “You’re grounded”, in a different light. Instead of making this statement to our children as an expression of impending correction, or loss of privileges, I want us to ask ourselves if we can make it as a statement of fact.

The word “grounded” as used in the Bible (and in life) means “to have a basis or foundation”. Our kids need to be “grounded” in some important aspects of life. As Christian parents, we have a responsibility to make sure that our children have a solid foundation.

I think that we can use the ABC’s as a starting point in “grounding” our little ones for God:

A – Authority

One of the most important truths we can instill in our children is that the Word of God is the first and final authority for their lives. From the time they are tiny, we should be teaching them that their authority and accountability is ultimately to the Lord. I should teach my children to obey and honor me because that is what God wants them to do. If we teach our children the fear of God, and His authority in their lives, that principle will guide them even when we are not there.

B – Bible

We also need to instruct our children in the Word of God. The Bible says that Timothy knew the Scriptures “from a child” (II Tim. 3:15). He was taught the Word by his mother and grandmother (II Tim. 1:5). What a wonderful testimony! Our children should learn the Word of God, not only in church, but first of all, at home (Deut. 6:7; 11:19).

C – Character

I Peter says that we are to add to our “faith, virtue; and to virtue, knowledge…” (II Pet. 1:5). This was my mom’s home school verse. First, we needed to have faith. We needed to have a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. Obviously, this is not something our parents could force on us, but was something about which they diligently instructed us, and for which they prayed much. Second, we needed virtue, or character. This is a prerequisite to knowledge. Knowledge without virtue can produce great harm and evil. We need to teach our children to have godly virtue and character in their lives.

I’m sure you can think of many other vital things in which our children need to be “grounded”, but I believe that if we learn these ABC’s, faithfully practice them in our own lives, and instill them in our children, we will give them a solid foundation.

So the next time we hear the phrase, “You’re grounded!”, I hope that it will be a reminder of the vital job God has given us to do as parents. May we someday be able to look at our children, and say with joy and assurance, “You’re grounded!”

By the way, my children are young, and I am always looking for ways to instill these things in them.  If you have any suggestions, practical tips or ideas, I would love to hear them!


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A Good Name vs. Great Riches

When I was a teenager, I got a job in a little dress shop/variety store in the sleepy little town of Wartburg, TN. I enjoyed my job, and my boss was a friend of our family. I really think back on those days with fond memories.

The other day, I was thinking about those days, and a memory popped into my mind. Between home and work, there was a tiny little family-owned gas station. It was an older lady and her middle-aged son who owned and ran it. My Dad also worked in Wartburg at the time, and he had told me to stop there for gas. So, I did. I paid with cash, but after a few trips, I asked the lady if I could pay with a check if I ever needed to. So she asked my name and I told her, “Joy Snow,” and told her who my dad was. She said, “Oh yeah! We know Dale. Sure, you can pay with a check any time. We know the Snows.”

My Dad had made a good name for himself, and had given it to me. It wouldn’t have mattered in that small town how much money we had. The owners wanted to know my name.

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The Bible says in Proverbs 22:1, “A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold.”

Now, for a contrast:

The other day, my husband and I were sitting in the doctor’s office, reading as usual. He read an article about a climbing boxing star. I will choose not to mention his name, because the article is not about him. However, he is making an INSANE amount of money per fight and has a perfect record so far. I’m talking, he has made $100s of millions! (Until he loses his senses and develops Parkinson’s disease from all the beating! But that’s beside the point.)

The article was written by a reporter who was accompanying him for a few days. They made one stop at a jewelry store where he proceeded to buy his 13-year-old daughter over $200,000 worth of jewelry in just a few minutes. He has two different residences, and a different set of cars for each residence. For instance, if he wakes up in L.A., he sees the black set of vehicles and can remember where he is! When he stays in hotels, he always leaves his mega-expensive tennis shoes in the room…for a trademark, I guess. One of the men accompanying him carries a duffle bag full of bundles of $100 bills. I cannot imagine!

I am not suggesting it is sin to have money. We all need it to live! But I think you can see where the emphasis is in this man’s life.

But which is better? Which is honoring to the Lord? One of my first thoughts concerning his daughter was “Poor girl!” She is anything but poor by the world’s standards, but her father has a name of selfishness, a name of wastefulness.

Poor girl!

Stack Of Cash

Which would I rather teach my children? Well, I have no “riches” option at the moment! But how much better is it to live for God, making a good name among those in your community? How much better is it to teach your children to live by the Word, being honest and fair, having a good name? How sad if I lavished my children with the most expensive clothes and shoes money can buy, and never took them to Sunday School to learn about Jesus? How sad if I bought them every Wii game they wanted, yet did not pray with them at night and over meals? Wouldn’t the heart of our Creator break to see us more worried about driving the latest and greatest vehicle, and forgetting to give to the missionaries giving their lives and comfort to tell about Jesus overseas?

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Those two stories made this verse absolutely come alive in my mind! There is no comparison! I want to work hard to make a good family name for us! And living by God’s Word is the way to do it! I want to teach my children how important it is to have a good name!

❤ Joy