All Posts by Alicia Michelle

Need a Mother’s Day gift or birthday gift for your mom (or a friend)? These 15 gift ideas will inspire her faith and continually bless her year-round! These are the kind of birthday or Mothers Day gifts I'd like to receive!

15 Faith-Based Gift Ideas for Moms

Looking for a gift for your mom that’s more than just flowers and a card?

Or maybe you want to get a fellow mom friend a special gift for her birthday or for Mother’s Day?

What if you gave her a gift that inspired her faith and continually blessed her year-round?

As a busy mom myself, that’s the kind of birthday or Mothers Day gift I’d like to receive!

Need a Mother’s Day gift or birthday gift for your mom (or a friend)? These 15 gift ideas will inspire her faith and continually bless her year-round! These are the kind of birthday or Mothers Day gifts I'd like to receive!

If you’re looking to give a faith-based birthday or Mother’s Day gift that encourages her Christian faith, here are some fantastic gift ideas for moms!

These gift ideas for moms include:

  • Beautiful journaling Bibles to encourage her faith
  • Scripture-based coloring books or Bibles for stress relief and meditation
  • Powerful devotions for guidance in growing a deeper relationship with God

Plus, I’ve included links to a few other helpful supplies, such as high-quality (but inexpensive!) coloring pencils and beautiful, sturdy empty journals (with scripture on them).

All you have to do is choose your favorites, click on the product links and you can order them directly on Amazon! And that special gift for your mom or a mom friend? Done!

But I have to warn you… after checking these out, you may want to pick up one for yourself! They truly are amazing!

15 Awesome Faith-Based Gift Ideas for Women

Mothers Day Gift Idea: Journaling Bibles That Encourage a Mom’s Faith

Bible journaling has become extremely popular! If your mom wants to learn more about how to get more out of her study time through bible journaling (and discover some fun techniques from experts in this trend), this book is an excellent resource!

&

Complete Guide to Bible Journaling: Creative Techniques to Express Your FaithComplete Guide to Bible Journaling: Creative Techniques to Express Your Faith

Or here are several beautiful journaling Bibles that are more plug-and-play.

These allow you to color and draw right in the pages and many have pre-drawn illustrations. While all include a full Bible, some also include devotionals along with the drawings.

What a excellent gift for Mothers Day (or any time)!

 Inspire Bible NLT: The Bible for Creative Journaling (Inspire: Full Size) (2016-08-01) THRIVE: A Journaling Devotional Bible for Women NIV, Beautiful Word Coloring Bible, Hardcover: Hundreds of Verses to Color

Gift Idea for Mom: Scripture Coloring Books for Stress Relief

Maybe you’d like to give a Mother’s Day or birthday gift that helps her relax? So many of us moms love these adult coloring books!

Here’s my favorite three faith-based adult coloring books. Aren’t they gorgeous?!

 A Garland of Grace: An Inspirational Adult Coloring Book Featuring the Proverbs The Word in Color Coloring Book The Psalms in Color Coloring Book

And don’t forget the coloring pencils! These are high-quality, and really inexpensive. 5 stars and the #1 coloring pencil set sold on Amazon!

Crayola Colored Pencils, 50 Count, Pre-sharpened, Perfect for Adult ColoringCrayola Colored Pencils, 50 Count, Pre-sharpened, Perfect for Adult Coloring

Mothers Day Gift Idea: Powerful Devotionals for a Deeper Relationship with God

Perhaps your mom isn’t the coloring or drawing type but still wants unique and powerful ways to grow in her faith?

I would highly, highly recommend these devotionals. These are my tried-and-true favorites that I go back to over and over.

Each devotional has a different feel to it, but all of them encourage a wonderfully rich time in God’s word.

 Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence Portraits of Devotion Streams in the Desert

Gift Idea for Moms: Faith-based Composition Books and Journals for Reflection

Finally, another excellent gift idea for women is a journal! These journals are unique, beautiful and reflect a Christian message. Which one do you think would be your mom’s favorite? I love all of them!

 Trust In the Lord with All Your Heart Notebook (8.5 x 11 Large) She Believed She Could So She Did: Pink Journal Be Still and Know that I Am God Hardcover Wirebound Journal – Psalm 46:10 His Grace is Sufficient Hardcover Wirebound Journal We Have This Hope as an Anchor Distressed Design Hardcover Wirebound Journal

 

About Alicia Michelle

As a wife and mom to four passionate kids, Alicia Michelle loves encouraging other moms with practical tips for joy-filled living in everyday life, especially in parenting, marriage, faith and health.Alicia is the owner/editor of Your Vibrant Family; the author of Plan to Be Flexible, The Back to School Survival Manual; and the creator/producer of the "7 Days to a Less Angry Mom Online Video Course,", Christ-Centered Christmas Resources and My Memory Box Organizing System. In addition, she is a monthly contributor for several popular family blogs, including Crosswalk.com.Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Looking for a great new chicken dinner recipe? You'll love this Baked Chicken Margherita Dinner: a wonderful spin on the classic Italian flavors of chicken, mozzarella, marinara sauce and fresh basil, all served over pasta with arugula. Wonderful new family recipe from Martha & Marley Spoon!

Baked Chicken Margherita with Arugula Pasta

Looking for a great new chicken dinner recipe?

You’ll love this Baked Chicken Margherita Dinner: a wonderful spin on the classic Italian flavors of chicken, mozzarella, marinara sauce and fresh basil, all served over pasta with arugula.

Looking for a great new chicken dinner recipe? You'll love this Baked Chicken Margherita Dinner: a wonderful spin on the classic Italian flavors of chicken, mozzarella, marinara sauce and fresh basil, all served over pasta with arugula. Wonderful new family recipe from Martha & Marley Spoon!

If your family likes Italian food, this tasty chicken recipe is an easy weeknight meal to prepare! It only takes a few minutes to throw together, uses one pan (plus a pot for the pasta) and is a kids’ favorite too.

And best of all, the ingredients for meals like this Chicken Margherita Dinner can be delivered right to your door. No trip required to the grocery store for an incredible meal. Yes, you read that right!

That’s because this Baked Chicken Margherita Dinner is just one of many meals from Martha & Marley Spoon, an awesome meal delivery service that brings pre-portioned ingredients for delicious meals right to your doorstep.

With Martha & Marley Spoon, you simply choose which recipes you’d like each week (the menu changes weekly); how many people you’ll be serving; and the ingredients are delivered on your preferred arrival day in a large, chilled box.

Looking for a great new chicken dinner recipe? You'll love this Baked Chicken Margherita Dinner: a wonderful spin on the classic Italian flavors of chicken, mozzarella, marinara sauce and fresh basil, all served over pasta with arugula. Wonderful new family recipe from Martha & Marley Spoon!

And yes, the “Martha” in Martha & Marley Spoon refers to the one and only Martha Stewart! You get Martha Stewart’s celebrated recipes (and all the ingredients) sent to your home so that you can have delicious, gourmet family dinners that are a snap to assemble and cook!

Does it get any better than that? (OK, maybe you could have Martha come over and make it for you, but… that probably won’t happen in the near future. At least, not at my house).

Ingredients are sorted individually for each meal and include beautiful, four-color double-sided recipe cards with six easy instruction steps.

If you’re looking for ways to make dinner easier (and get some incredible new recipes), I’d highly recommend Martha & Marley Spoon! They were gracious enough to let our family taste 4 different meals (including the Chicken Margherita) and they were all super delicious.

In fact, they’ve allowed me to share the Chicken Margherita Recipe here so you can taste for yourself how great the Martha & Marley Spoon recipes are!

Enjoy!

Baked Chicken Margherita with Arugula Pasta

Baked Chicken Margherita with Arugula Pasta

Ingredients

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 3 large cloves garlic
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1 can cherry tomatoes
  • 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 3/4 oz. fresh basil
  • 1 oz fresh Parmesan
  • 8 oz fresh Mozzarella
  • 8 oz. baby arugula
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • coarse salt (as needed)
  • freshly ground pepper (as needed)

Instructions

  • STEP 1: BROWN CHICKEN. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high. Season chicken generously all over with salt and pepper. Add to skillet and brown well on each side, about 10 minutes total. Transfer chicken to a plate.
  • STEP 2: MAKE SAUCE. Peel and thinly slice garlic. Heat skillet over medium-high with 1 tablespoon oil, garlic and crushed red pepper. Sauce until fragrant, 30 seconds. Add tomatoes, 1/4 cup water, 1 teaspoon vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 2/3 basil sprigs. Bring to a simmer, breaking up tomatoes with a spoon. Reduce heat and simmer until sauce is slightly reduced, about 7 minutes.
  • STEP 3: COOK CHICKEN. Grate Parmesan. Stir 1/3 of the Parmesan into the skillet, add chicken to sauce, and transfer to the oven. Bake until chicken is cooked through, about 10 minutes.
  • STEP 4: ADD CHEESE. Meanwhile, slice mozzarella in half lengthwise, then thinly slice crosswise into half moons. Turn chicken over in the sauce to coat. Scatter mozzarella over chicken and sauce. Switch oven to broil with rack 6 inches from heat source. Broil until mozzarella is melted, about 3 minutes. (Watch closely as broilers vary in intensity.)
  • STEP 5: MAKE PASTA. Meanwhile, add the pasta to boiling water. Cook until al dente, 7-8 minutes; drain.
  • STEP 6: FINISH. Toss pasta with arugula, 3 tablespoons olive oil and remaining vinegar and Parmesan. Season well with salt and pepper. Remover remaining basil leaves from stems. Tear over the top of the chicken skillet and serve with pasta. Enjoy!
http://yourvibrantfamily.com/margherita-chicken-dinner-recipe/

FTC Disclosure: I received goods from Martha & Marley Spoon in exchange for an honest review of their meal delivery service. 

*Baked Chicken Margherita Recipe republished with permission from Martha & Marley Spoon.

Other Chicken Dinner Recipes You May Enjoy:

Strawberry Chicken Salad with Cashew, Basil and Lime

BBQ Chicken Lettuce Wraps with Goat Cheese and Sweet Potato Fries

Butternut Squash Chicken Salad with Apple & Cranberries

About Alicia Michelle

As a wife and mom to four passionate kids, Alicia Michelle loves encouraging other moms with practical tips for joy-filled living in everyday life, especially in parenting, marriage, faith and health.Alicia is the owner/editor of Your Vibrant Family; the author of Plan to Be Flexible, The Back to School Survival Manual; and the creator/producer of the "7 Days to a Less Angry Mom Online Video Course,", Christ-Centered Christmas Resources and My Memory Box Organizing System. In addition, she is a monthly contributor for several popular family blogs, including Crosswalk.com.Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

How can we make dinner time easy and fast? These time-saving tips for busy moms make it so much easier to assemble dinners at meal time! No more dinner prep stress!

3 Secrets to a Stress-Free Dinner Prep

Is dinnertime chaos at your house?

Honestly, dinner time used to be a huge stress point for me. I hated that every weeknight I would wonder, “What are we going to eat? Do we have all the ingredients?” It added way to much stress to my already stressful-enough life as a mom.

How can we make dinner time easy and fast? These time-saving tips for busy moms make it so much easier to assemble dinners at meal time! No more dinner prep stress!

But then I discovered a few simple dinner time prep techniques that have made cooking and feeding my family so much easier. Not to mention that they save us money on our grocery bill each month!

Here are my four secret weapons for managing dinner and the chaos of meal time in general:

  • Monthly meal planning
  • Freezer Meals
  • Instant Pot

Ladies, these meal prep techniques don’t have to be intimidating (I promise!).

In fact, I want to show you must-have meal planning and cooking resources that make each of these techniques super easy and low stress.

Ready to get started? I can’t wait to help you get rid of the dinnertime stress and make meal planning easy and doable too!

Secret #1: Monthly Meal Planning

Maybe you’ve heard about (or tried) monthly meal planning and been too intimidated by it. I understand.

But really, truly, monthly meal planning doesn’t have to be.

The biggest issue is that you need an easy, efficient way to organize all the recipes, ingrediSimple Meal Planning - Plan to Eatents and shopping lists. And that’s where Plan to Eat comes in.

Plan to Eat is an an incredible, online recipe, meal planning and grocery shopping system that I’ve used for a good 7 years now. And let me tell you–it is a lifesaver!

The site houses all your recipes (you can input your favorites or upload them from any website) and allows you to drag-and-drop your recipes to different days of the month via an interactive calendar.

Sanity... who doesn't need more of it when parenting and homeschooling?! Meal planning, freezer meals and monthly shopping are my sanity savers! Here's a list of 17 must-read resources and tips to bring organization to your home! Vibrant Homeschooling

When it comes time to grocery shop, simply input the calendar dates you’re buying groceries for and the site generates a master shopping list which can be separated by store. As you’re shopping, you can simply click on each item and it is marked off the list.

I truly could not monthly meal plan without Plan to Eat!

Sign up for their 30-Day free trial here:

 

 

P.S. If planning out a whole month is too stressful, then only plan a week or two at a time. Do what works for you! Either way, Plan to Eat makes it easy and simple.

Honestly, if you do nothing else to streamline your dinnertime planning, I would highly suggest you sign up for Plan to Eat. Just the ability to have all the ingredients of all your planned meals auto populate into a grocery list is flat-out incredible.

And with the free 30-day trial you’ve got nothing to lose! Click here to try it free for yourself!

 

 

 

Secret #2: Freezer Meals

Oh… the pure glory of pulling out a pre-assembled dinner meal and knowing that, not only are all the ingredients included, but they are all pre-measured and ready to go!

Read here on how to convert your tried-and-true recipes to freezer meals.

And here I share my secrets for having a freezer meal family prep day where you can make meals in bulk with your family.

By the way, I highly recommend these little standing bag clips to make freezer meal prep super easy. They hold the bags up for you! Brilliant!

Jokari Hands-Free Baggy Rack Clip Food Storage Bag Holder, 2-PackJokari Hands-Free Baggy Rack Clip Food Storage Bag Holder, 2-Pack

If you want to try some new freezer meal recipes, these books are awesome!

Fix, Freeze, Feast: The Delicious, Money-Saving Way to Feed Your FamilyFix, Freeze, Feast: The Delicious, Money-Saving Way to Feed Your FamilyThe Healthy Make-Ahead Cookbook: Wholesome, Flavorful Freezer Meals the Whole Family Will EnjoyThe Healthy Make-Ahead Cookbook: Wholesome, Flavorful Freezer Meals the Whole Family Will EnjoyNot Your Mother's Make-Ahead and Freeze CookbookNot Your Mother’s Make-Ahead and Freeze Cookbook

 

Secret #3: Instant Pot Cooking

I have been a huge Crock Pot fan forever (here’s my favorite one that can be used on the stovetop too!).

But then I discovered the Instant Pot (cue the angelic voices).

Instant Pot IP-DUO60 7-in-1 Multi-Functional Pressure Cooker, 6Qt/1000WInstant Pot IP-DUO60 7-in-1 Multi-Functional Pressure Cooker, 6Qt/1000W

Oh my gosh. Have you used one of these? Here’s just a few things that an Instant Pot can do:

  • Chicken breasts (from frozen to cooked) in about 10 minutes.
  • Rice and beans (from dry to cooked) in 10 minutes
  • and a whole chicken in 20 minutes.

I’ve found that by combining pre-assembled freezer meals and the magic of the Instant Pot, dinner is super duper easy. I mean, like ridiculously so.

Do I cook every dinner in the Instant Pot? No.

But, yes, there are those days when life is insanely busy and I nearly melt into a pile of giddiness when I step into the house and know that I can dump a freezer meal into the Instant Pot, walk away, and know that in about 20 minutes dinner will be on the table.

Here are some great Instant Pot recipe books (I love all the different types of food you can cook in the Instant Pot!):

The Instant Pot® Electric Pressure Cooker Cookbook: Easy Recipes for Fast & Healthy MealsThe Instant Pot® Electric Pressure Cooker Cookbook: Easy Recipes for Fast & Healthy MealsInstant Pot® Obsession: The Ultimate Electric Pressure Cooker Cookbook for Cooking Everything FastInstant Pot® Obsession: The Ultimate Electric Pressure Cooker Cookbook for Cooking Everything FastPaleo Cooking With Your Instant Pot: 80 Incredible Gluten- and Grain-Free Recipes Made Twice as Delicious in Half the TimePaleo Cooking With Your Instant Pot: 80 Incredible Gluten- and Grain-Free Recipes Made Twice as Delicious in Half the TimeInstant Pot Cookbook: Easy & Healthy Instant Pot Recipes For The Everyday Home – Delicious Triple-Tested, Family-Approved Pressure Cooker Recipes (Electric Pressure Cooker Cookbook) (Volume 1)Instant Pot Cookbook: Easy & Healthy Instant Pot Recipes For The Everyday Home – Delicious Triple-Tested, Family-Approved Pressure Cooker Recipes (Electric Pressure Cooker Cookbook) (Volume 1)Great Food Fast : Bob Warden's Ultimate Pressure Cooker RecipesGreat Food Fast : Bob Warden’s Ultimate Pressure Cooker RecipesWeight Watchers Instant Pot Smart Points Cookbook: The Ultimate Collection Of Weight Watchers Recipes For Your Instant Pot – Lose Weight And Improve ... While Saving Time (Smart Points Edition)Weight Watchers Instant Pot Smart Points Cookbook: The Ultimate Collection Of Weight Watchers Recipes For Your Instant Pot – Lose Weight And Improve … While Saving Time (Smart Points Edition)

That’s it! I hope you see how monthly meal planning with Plan to Eat, freezer meals, and Instant Pot meals can make dinnertime fast in easy in your home too!

Other Posts to Make Weeknight Dinner Solutions

14 Ways to Make Freezer Meals Fast & Easy

How to Make Monthly Meal Planning Work for Your Family

About Alicia Michelle

As a wife and mom to four passionate kids, Alicia Michelle loves encouraging other moms with practical tips for joy-filled living in everyday life, especially in parenting, marriage, faith and health.Alicia is the owner/editor of Your Vibrant Family; the author of Plan to Be Flexible, The Back to School Survival Manual; and the creator/producer of the "7 Days to a Less Angry Mom Online Video Course,", Christ-Centered Christmas Resources and My Memory Box Organizing System. In addition, she is a monthly contributor for several popular family blogs, including Crosswalk.com.Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

In marriage, money issues are one of the biggest conflicts! Here’s how to keep money from ruining your marriage. #2 might surprise you… great marriage advice here from the experts!

3 Ways to Keep Money from Ruining Your Marriage

It’s no secret that money issues are one of the biggest conflicts for many married couples. In fact, money and money fights are a major cause of divorce.

While life events like job loss can put huge strain on any marriage, most married couples’ money fights can be traced to issues around everyday money habits, such as overspending, debt and budgeting.

In fact, noted financial adviser Dave Ramsey states, “You can’t have a great relationship until you can communicate and agree about money.”

In marriage, money issues are one of the biggest conflicts! Here’s how to keep money from ruining your marriage. #2 might surprise you… great marriage advice here from the experts!

I agree with that wholeheartedly. My husband and I have a strong marriage and we fight very little about money.

We’re not perfect (and neither is our marriage), but I credit our our lack of money fights to three powerful money habits we began from day one of our marriage.

And that’s what I want to share with you in this post.

Friend, if you and your spouse argue regularly over money issues in your marriage, I want to demonstrate how these three simple money truths can truly be revolutionary to your marital health!

Of course money arguments still happen from time to time for any couple, but truly, if you and your spouse can implement these three money practices, you can dramatically reduce your marriage fights about money.

Principle #1: Don’t Get Separate Accounts

When we get married, we become one. That’s a no-brainer, especially in Christian marriage, right?

So then why do so many of us married couples insist on living separate “money lives” by having separate financial accounts?

For many of us, I think it’s about control. Before we got married we answered to no one but ourselves. Our money was our money. Having separate accounts continues to allow for (at least some) control of the money.

But here’s the danger: Separate accounts often leads to secrets.

Now wait, you say. I may have a separate checking account but I’m not doing anything devious with it!

That may be true. But as Rachel Cruze notes in her excellent book Love Your Life, Not Theirs, the “that’s yours and this is mine” mindset can be quite destructive in a relationship because, first, it takes away the notion of accountability.

When all of our family spending is out in the open, Cruze shares, it is incredibly vulnerable for husbands and wives. But, in the long run, that vulnerability can only build marital trust.

Cruze states in Love Your Life, Not Theirs: “Keeping your accounts separate is one of the most effective ways to completely wreck your financial life–and maybe even your marriage.”

I agree. However, yes, my husband and I have found that having joint accounts provides much-needed accountability (which we’ll talk about more in a minute); but honestly, this truth also has helped my husband and I solidify the concept of our combined incomes as “our money” despite the discrepancy in our individual salary contributions.

We don’t see earned dollars as “my money” or “his money” because it all flows into one source and it all has one purpose–to support our family and to be a blessing to others.

Principle #2: Manage the Emotional Side of Spending

Money is one of those places in marriage where there are many opportunities to be downright petty and childish, right?

I’m telling you, money can bring out the best in us (or the worst). If we’re not careful, we can develop a spirit of what Cruze calls “competitive spending.”

Picture this: Your husband’s laptop computer suddenly breaks down and it’s instantly clear that he needs a new one. You’d been eyeing a new laptop for yourself but you’d both agreed to hold off on purchasing it because you’d planned to spend that money on an anniversary getaway.

But now, this surprise laptop break down requires that your family not only purchase him that gorgeous new laptop, but that you cancel that much-longed-for anniversary trip.

Have you ever experienced a similar situation (and felt even a little bit angry and resentful about it)?

I know I have. It doesn’t seem fair that he gets the new computer when you were the one who really wanted it. And it’s a doubly whammy that the impromptu laptop purchase caused a forfeit of your vacation.

It’s enough to cause loads of anger and resentment between spouses (and perhaps a few “justified” shopping trips to the mall armed with a credit card as “revenge”).

Money causes our emotions to flare! It can be incredibly difficult, but to keep money from destroying our marriage, we have to remove the emotion behind it and see the truth our spending.

What keeps me grounded is, again, focusing on seeing our money as a unified provision for our family. “My” salary didn’t buy his new computer; “our” income did. And I know that if I had been the one who had a computer break down, my husband still would have agreed to purchase a new computer instead of take that anniversary vacation.

We’ve got to stay vigilant about identifying and talking through the emotions behind our financial choices so that they don’t slowly sabotage our marital relationship.

Principle #3: Agree on a Financial Plan and Stay Accountable

In your marriage, are you a spender or a saver? In his financial books, courses and online resources, Dave Ramsey calls these two competing money personalities in marriage the “nerds” and the “free spirits” (I like that!).

The “nerds” are the financial planners who love making budgets (and who has an affinity for spreadsheets).

The “free spirits,” on the other hand, enjoy spending money as they like and hate the idea of being accountable to a budget.

In his insightful best seller The Total Money Makeover, Ramsey says that, in most typical marriages one spouse is the nerd and the other is the free spirit (opposites do attract).

But my marriage, I’d classify both my husband and I as nerds (but with just enough free spirit in us to get us in trouble)!

That’s why my husband and I are convinced that a financial plan is such an essential part of a strong marriage. If either of us didn’t have a budget and a plan for our money, yes, we’d be a bit stir-crazy (nerds can be like that); but more importantly, without a financial plan and accountability, we’d have just enough wiggle room for impulse purchases that could really get us into trouble.

How can you make a strong financial plan? It’s easier than you think, and honestly, one of the best investments in your marriage! Be sure to check out the incredible resources in the next section (these have truly changed our family’s life)!

But first, I want to speak about accountability because this is where we still get tripped up sometimes (as do many married couples).

Having combined accounts is a huge first step. Next, I’d also suggest regularly checking in with each other regarding the spending. Dave Ramsey’s free EveryDollar app is an incredible resource for tracking everyday expenditures on your smart phone.

I’d also say that there’s no substitute for regularly talking through monthly expenses together. I am the one who literally pays the bills, but I share a detailed report with my husband each month of where we are financially (and how it relates to our budget) so that both of us stay accountable and on track.

3 Must-Have Resources for Managing Money in Marriage

I can’t stress enough how valuable these financial resources have been in our family! Dave Ramsey’s The Total Money Makeover book and Financial Peace University have literally changed our family’s finances from the inside out (we went from being over $100,000 in debt to now being debt-free except our mortgage).

Rachel Cruze’s Love Your Life, Not Theirs book also is a fantastic resource for married couples looking for solid tips about how to handle money in marriage.

And for help with everyday budgeting and accountability, I’d highly recommend EveryDollar! There is both a free and paid version of this financial software and app (the paid version downloads your monthly transactions automatically) and you can set up a budget in about 10 minutes or less.

Best of all, your financial info is available on both your mobile and desktop devices, which makes money management incredibly simple. Learn more here.

Here’s to stronger marriages and less fighting about money!

FTC Disclosure: This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Ramsey Solutions.

Other Posts on Money in Marriage

#1 Reason Why You’re Stuck in the Debt Cycle

Money Tight? Here’s 10 Ways to Stretch Your Budget

 

Did this post encourage you? Please pin it and share with others!

In marriage, money issues are one of the biggest conflicts! Here’s how to keep money from ruining your marriage. #2 might surprise you… great marriage advice here from the experts!

About Alicia Michelle

As a wife and mom to four passionate kids, Alicia Michelle loves encouraging other moms with practical tips for joy-filled living in everyday life, especially in parenting, marriage, faith and health.Alicia is the owner/editor of Your Vibrant Family; the author of Plan to Be Flexible, The Back to School Survival Manual; and the creator/producer of the "7 Days to a Less Angry Mom Online Video Course,", Christ-Centered Christmas Resources and My Memory Box Organizing System. In addition, she is a monthly contributor for several popular family blogs, including Crosswalk.com.Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Has your child seen porn? Are you scared and have NO IDEA what to do next? Here’s my story (and advice and encouragement for all parents who find that their child is looking at pornography or has porn addiction). Every Christian parent needs to read this!

Help! My Child Is Looking at Porn

Porn: That’s a scary word for most parents. We’ve all heard stories of how porn rips marriages apart and destroys families.

But let me tell you–it’s even more frightening when you discover your child is looking at porn online.

Horrified. Terrified. Repulsed. Feelings of failure as a parent. These are just a few of the emotions I felt when my husband and I discovered that our child had seen porn.

Has your child seen porn? Are you scared and have NO IDEA what to do next? Here’s my story (and advice and encouragement for all parents who find that their child is looking at pornography or has porn addiction). Every Christian parent needs to read this!

The real issue is that very, very few people are talking about this.

And unfortunately, there are millions and millions of good parents–even Christian parents who’ve taught their kids right from wrong–who now are left feeling alone, helpless and frightened when they’ve discovered their kids were looking at porn.

I’m writing this post because I want to break the silence and give practical advice for what to do if you discover that your child has viewed porn.

Most of all, I want you to know that you’re not alone and that there is hope.

If you’ve discovered that your child has seen sexual images online or any form of pornography, I want to give you some powerful advice and answers, specifically:

  • What to say to your child who has seen pornography
  • How to protect your child from seeing porn again
  • How to process the emotions you feel as a parent after a child has seen porn

Plus, I want to let you know a free e-book that I’ve found incredibly helpful.

It’s called When Your Child Is Looking At Porn and it’s by Covenant Eyes, our family’s preferred online filtering and accountability system.

 

 

Even if you don’t have a child who has seen porn, I would highly, highly recommend that you download this FREE resource from Covenant Eyes.

GET THE FREE E-BOOK HERE.

 

What to Say to Your Child Who Has Seen Pornography

If your child has seen porn, the first and most important piece of advice I can give is to remain calm and to not panic. 

I know this is hard! I know your heart may be in a thousand places! Stories of others who have had their lives ruined by porn may be echoing in your ears right now. Fears for what your child may have had burned into his/her innocent mind may make you want to cry out in agony as a mom.

It’s normal to be incredibly angry and scared for your child, but this is the time for grace-filled, honest conversations, not judgement or shame.

Even though what your child has done is wrong, please, I encourage you to walk that very careful line between sharing the truth about the child’s sin and still keeping their heart open and attentive to your words.

That’s why you desperately need God to give you the words to say to your child! Pray for both His conviction and His unconditional love to flow through you via the Holy Spirit as you speak to your child. Pray mightily before you speak!

Yes, your child needs to know the truth about porn, but more than anything, they need to understand the power of confession, of forgiveness, of purification and of hope in Christ. There is nothing “too bad” or “too dark” that He can’t conquer!

The free When Your Child Is Looking At Porn e-book has lots of incredibly good advice about how to talk to your kids after they’ve seen pornography. I found it quite helpful and comforting.

DOWNLOAD THE FREE E-BOOK HERE.

When Your Child Is Looking At Porn has biblical advice on how to broach the topic, tips on what to say, and it even preps you mentally for what you need to know before you have the conversations (because, yes, there probably will be more than one talk about this).

I can’t recommend this free resource highly enough!

 

 

How to Protect Your Child From Seeing Porn Again

Yes, your child has seen porn. That’s tragic and difficult to accept.

But now is the time for action and change. It’s critically important that you find out how they accessed the sexually explicit material and put systems in place to prevent them from doing it again.

Covenant Eyes is the Christian internet filter and accountability system that our family has used for years. We’ve looked around at lots of options, and truly, they have the most comprehensive set-up we’ve found.

I really like using Covenant Eyes because, while no filter is foolproof, I know that Covenant Eyes has an especially effective filter (and it’s one where you can set different parameters for each member of your home).

However, my favorite part of Covenant Eyes is the accountability system. I get an email every single week that details my kids’ online usage, including any flagged events when the filter was triggered. My husband and I also get a report of each other’s online access too, just to keep us accountable.

P.S. If you’re wondering how our child was able to access porn if we had Covenant Eyes’ internet protection in place, the answer is that he found a device in our home that was unprotected. This is why it is important to have protection on all of our devices, even the ones that are “out of use”!

Go here to learn more about Covenant Eyes’ filtering and accountability, even on mobile devices.

Your whole family needs this protection!

And of course, I would highly recommend that you regularly pray for your child regarding this issue, first, for total healing for your child’s mind; and second, for a removal of the desire to see more porn.

How to Process Your Emotions After Your Child Has Seen Porn

Once you’ve set up internet filtering and accountability in your home (and begun conversations with your kids about their exposure to pornography), it’s easy to want to sweep the porn issue under the rug and not talk about it again.

After all, porn is a painful, difficult and even embarrassing topic to think about.

But what I found is that I was also flooded with emotions after my child had seen porn. I was deeply troubled and had to get some truths correct in my head (because the enemy was quick to fill my heart with condemnation and shame too).

For me, it’s been a two-step process, all done with God in prayer. I want to share those two steps with you now too so that you have a framework for how to deal with your emotions too.

#1 Get out your emotions.

First, I just poured out my anger, my sadness, my hurt, my disgust–every feeling I had about the situation–to God. I literally cried tear after tear over the frustration I felt over my child’s actions.

Friend, I would encourage you to do the same. Keep going back to Him, sharing it all until the pain has been let out like infection from a wound.

#2 Let God’s loving grace heal the hurts.

Next, I spent time listening. I spent time being quiet before Jesus and literally remembering what was true about every single human:

  • We all have fallen short and aren’t perfect. (1 John 3:4) We live in a fallen world full of temptation.
  • There is no sin that is “worse” than another. All sin is like filthy rags to God, and if we are guilty of one sin, we are guilty of breaking all of God’s law. (1 John 3:4)
  • Therefore, I am just as guilty before God as my child is for his/her actions.
  • BUT there is complete and total forgiveness for any sin, no matter how difficult or ugly. (Acts 10:43, Hebrews 10:22)
  • God uses our mistakes as powerful testimonies to His restoration and miraculous healing. While the sin of viewing pornography does grieve God, we can redeem the pain by allowing Him to heal us and then choosing to walk differently. Our testimony changes others and turns them toward God. (2 Cor 1:3-7).

It gave me great comfort to know that God could redeem this tragedy for my child and even bring us a closer parent-child relationship because of it. 

#3 Let God speak His truth over you.

Then, I let God share more truths with me (specifically those about my role as a mom):

  • My child is completely responsible for his choices. Even if I were to raise him in a “perfect” environment (which doesn’t exist, by the way), he is responsible for what he choose to participate in. As a parent, I have the responsibility to teach and guide, but the ultimate decision as to whether or not to follow is in my child’s hands.
  • There are some things in this world that I won’t be able to fully shield my child from, despite my best efforts to raise them to be grounded in solid Christian truths. That’s where I have to let God take over. I have to trust that He guides their steps. I have to trust that my prayers and years of pouring God’s Word into their hearts is enough to prepare them for the evils of this world.
  • And lastly, God reminded me that there is always, always hope. There’s always a chance for redemption. Christ’s resurrection proved that God has the power to heal any hurt and transform any life. I have already seen evidence of this in my child’s heart. He is beginning the process to healing and it’s beautiful to watch!

Let him speak those specific truths you need to hear too. Just like God longs to heal and restore your child from the effects of porn, He wants to heal your heart too!

Recommended Next Steps

Friend, we’ve talked about a lot here. And I know there’s a lot more that needs to be said that just won’t fit into the confines of a blog post.

That’s why I would highly suggest you download the free When Your Child Is Looking at Porn e-book and begin processing it, preferably with your spouse (or a trusted friend if you are single).

You need to get more godly counsel on your next steps, and this is a great free resource.

 

 

Then, be sure your family is protected in the future by setting up internet filtering and accountability through Covenant Eyes. At $14.99 a month, it’s a no-brainer investment that will pay huge dividends in protecting your family’s purity.

GO HERE to sign up for Covenant Eyes.

 

Friend, I’m praying for you as you walk this scary road! It is not easy, but even in this difficult issue there is healing. Our kids can find hope if they’ve seen pornography and we can help guide them to that restoration!

Other Posts on Talking to Kids About Sex

“When (and How) Should I Talk to My Kids About Sex?”

The Hows and Whys of Talking to Kids About Sex

How to Talk to Kids About Porn: 8 Tips Every Christian Parent Needs

 

Did this post encourage you? If so, please share with others on social media!

Pin it, tweet it or share on Facebook! Others need answers on what to do if their kids access porn, right?

Has your child seen porn? Are you scared and have NO IDEA what to do next? Here’s my story (and advice and encouragement for all parents who find that their child is looking at pornography or has porn addiction). Every Christian parent needs to read this!

 

About Alicia Michelle

As a wife and mom to four passionate kids, Alicia Michelle loves encouraging other moms with practical tips for joy-filled living in everyday life, especially in parenting, marriage, faith and health.Alicia is the owner/editor of Your Vibrant Family; the author of Plan to Be Flexible, The Back to School Survival Manual; and the creator/producer of the "7 Days to a Less Angry Mom Online Video Course,", Christ-Centered Christmas Resources and My Memory Box Organizing System. In addition, she is a monthly contributor for several popular family blogs, including Crosswalk.com.Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Parents, our kids are under spiritual attack! It sounds scary, however WE CAN fight for our kids to be victorious against the enemy’s plans for their life. Discover 5 key areas that your kids are spiritually attacked and learn how to pray for them and encourage them!

5 Ways Your Kids Are Under Spiritual Attack

It’s a terrifying thought, but the Bible tells us that we’re in a spiritual war (Ephesians 6:12) and our children have an enemy that actively plots to hurt them.

Our kids are under spiritual attack, and as parents, we need to know how to fight for them.

Parents, our kids are under spiritual attack! It sounds scary, however WE CAN fight for our kids to be victorious against the enemy’s plans for their life. Discover 5 key areas that your kids are spiritually attacked and learn how to pray for them and encourage them!

While our kids may be under spiritual attack, the Bible also promises that nothing, nothing can thwart God’s good plans for our children.

The enemy’s plans can’t snatch our kids out of God’s awesome covering. And speaking of that enemy, we read in Revelation 20 that he has already lost the war. Amen!

As Christians, our job now is to fight! And as Christian parents and grandparents, these great battles for our kids’ hearts are fought in prayer as we use God’s Truth to claim victory, break down half-truths and ask for divine guidance (2 Corinthians 10:3-5).

RELATED VIDEO: Inside the War Room: How to Fight for Your Family

However, it’s incredibly easy to be overwhelmed by this task, especially when we have multiple kids!

We know that we’re supposed to be praying for our kids, but what specific areas are our kids most susceptible to satanic attack? And how can we pray for victory in these areas?

Although every child has their own unique struggles, in general, there are 5 areas where our enemy tends to attack this generation of kids. 

Let’s take a look at each of them and discover how we can best pray against the enemy’s evil schemes.

Click “READ MORE” to see Area #1.

Joy through trials—is it really possible? What are the practical ways we can discover joy, peace and even hope during illness, unemployment, marriage troubles and all of life’s biggest challenges? These Christian truths will empower you to find the source of joy in all circumstances.

How to Find Joy Through Trials: My Story

Life is hard. Hard. And, friends, it’s not getting any easier.

This isn’t a shock to God. In fact, the Bible talks about how we should expect trials and difficulties (1 Peter 4:12).

The good news is that He uses these trials as the conduits for beautiful spiritual growth. The Bible talks about that quite a bit too (Romans 5:3, 1 Peter 1:6-7, 2 Corinthians 4:16-18).

However, the problem is that we often don’t see that growth until after the trial ends. Hindsight may be 20/20, but during the difficulties our spiritual “vision” can easily become clouded and downright murky.

And joy? That can feel very, very far away.

But is it? Is joy really far off during life’s biggest challenges?

Joy through trials—is it really possible? What are the practical ways we can discover joy, peace and even hope during illness, unemployment, marriage troubles and all of life’s biggest challenges? These Christian truths will empower you to find the source of joy in all circumstances.

I want to testify that authentic joy can be found in all life circumstances–even during the darkest trials. I know because my husband and I have walked through several:

  • chronic illness in marriage,
  • scary health issues with our kids,
  • extended unemployment,
  • intense parenting battles,
  • miscarriage, and so many more.

I’m not here to promise that you can avoid the pain of a trial.

But, oh, how I want to help you to discover supernatural joy, contentment–even peace!–while you’re caught in the storm. 

Joy During Trials: It Comes Down to One Question

How can we find joy during trials? It’s all about how we answer this question:

“What will you choose to savor?”

Another way to ask would be, “What thoughts will you choose to let dominate your mindset?” What will you allow yourself to ruminate on when the test results come back positive, when you receive that rejection letter (again), or when you have absolutely no idea how things will work out?

The quiet, secret thoughts (played day after day) that you choose to savor will be the greatest influence on your joy level during a trial.

What you choose to dwell on during a given moment will either free you to experience God’s joy and peace; or it will hold you prisoner to your fears.

Yes, our thoughts have that much power.

But discovering joy through trials is so much more than rudimentary “positive thinking”.

It’s an acknowledgment of the difficulties without allowing the “what ifs” to steal the provision of the moment.

It’s an acceptance–a childlike trust–that no, we don’t understand the reasons behind it yet but we’re still going to believe in God’s goodness.

It’s a delicate dance between actively pursuing every option and choosing to trust God that He’ll provide an absolute miracle.

That ability to thrive (and not just survive) a trial with joy is founded on three principles that I want to teach you right now.

Principle #1: We must take responsibility for what we choose to savor.

Tonight I watched the sunset. I watched the sun dip lower and lower behind a silhouetted mountain crest and then—just like that!—it disappeared.

I can’t remember the last time I did that. And yet, the sun does it every day.

As I sat there savoring the last glimmers of sunlight, I asked myself:

What have I been stopping to savor in place of moments like these?

And the answer was clear: I’ve stopped too many times to savor the wrong things. 

Like the fears of the future. Like the utter agony of being broken–again and again–by this trial.

Friends, we get lost in the sorrow. We wander in the future without God (a place we were never intended to go).

We play those thoughts over and over. Not because they are good, but, honestly, because sometimes it feels good to feel sorry for ourselves.  

And the longer we hang out here the more familiar the thoughts become.

When we allow these thoughts to dominate we create a stagnant, spiritual “soil” in our minds that make it difficult to discover the joy during the trial.

What are you choosing to savor today, and how is that affecting your joy?

Principle #2: We must quiet our lives so that we can discover (and savor) the quiet undercurrents of joy.

Why don’t we spend more time savoring the good? Well, the pain is easier to discover, especially when we overcrowd our hectic lives with activity.

These tiny treasures aren’t loud and obnoxious, and maybe that’s why we so easily miss them. They speak softly—so softly that its easy to wonder if they’re even there.

They get crowded out in the mad jumble of a hurried life.

That’s why it is in the quiet and stillness that we can see them appear—like rabbits that suddenly materialize on a grassy field at twilight. We see them when we slow down enough to notice their presence.

When I’m enduring a trial I have to regularly quiet my heart: to let out the surge of emotion that’s building; and to allow God to replenish my soul with reminders of the beauty that is happening in my little world.

I write them down and savor the lovely little treasures of goodness that are present: 

  • The way my husband and I always hold hands in bed before going to sleep;
  • How my nine-year-old lights up when I ask if she’d like a cup of tea;
  • My five-year-old’s adorable furrowed brow when he’s confused about something;
  • The way all six of us snuggle in bed as we read a bedtime story;
  • The always-happy-to-see-me greeting from my two faithful Labradors;
  • My twelve-year-old’s dedicated work ethic (which reminds me of his father);
  • The “mystery” card left on my pillow that said, “I love you mom. Thank you for giving up your life to teach me.”
  • That moment in the car last weekend when I got to remind my son (who had tears of repentance on his cheeks while we looked up Bible verses together) that yes, he was absolutely forgiven.

I choose to savor these moments, like I’d savor a fine piece of cheese or an exquisitely-flavored chocolate truffle.

These are priceless gifts from God—rich and decadent treasures that are not meant to be gobbled up but to be remembered over and over. These are nourishment and hope during the most difficult times.

What would your list look like? What good things can you savor instead of the bad?

Principle #3: Release the fears to God and choose to savor His replenishing promises.

There’s a well-known Bible verse that many Christians quote during a trial:

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. —Philippians 4:6-7

This is a beautiful verse, but I believe many miss the true power of this verse because they stop at verse 7. They pray to God, telling him about their needs and releasing their fears (verses 6-7).

But then they forget to replace the fear. They forget to habitually replenish themselves with God’s promises. 

Check out the admonition in the following verses, Philippians 4:8-9:

And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.

I’ve bolded those sections because I believe they are the final missing piece to how we discover joy in trials.

First, we must acknowledge and release our fears. Then, once we have this clean slate, we must regularly “fix our thoughts” (which sounds a whole lot like “savoring,” don’t you think?) on those things that are true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and worthy of praise.

I’ve found that when I take this seriously–meaning, when I really do regularly choose to savor these gifts and promises from God–it is so much easier for me to discover joy in a trial.

Our family is enduring a huge trial right now and honestly, I have my list of these things in Evernote so that I can access them regularly from my phone and tablet. Whenever I’m tempted to let my thoughts wander into the dark places, I confess my fears again to God and meditate on the truths on that list.

Because it’s true that God is working out all these difficulties into a beautiful future for me.

Because He’s given me an honorable husband who cherishes me and longs to provide for our family.

Because it’s right that we have so many friends and family who are praying for us daily.

Because I get to spend my days around little children with pure hearts who see the world innocent and full of promise.

And the list goes on.

What can you choose to “fix your thoughts” on during a trial so that you can maintain a spirit of joy?

Yes, Joy Is Possible During a Trial

I hope these three principles give you the practical steps to take to discover joy during a trial!

Although they are not easy to implement, they are highly valuable mindsets that not only sustain us but allow us to be triumphant during times of trial.

We must lean on Jesus during the trial so that He can show us how to make these mindsets a reality in our lives. He wants to use these trials to transform our weaknesses into great dependence and strength in Him.

Friend, I’m praying for you to discover joy as you endure this trial!

Other Posts about Discovering Joy:

4 Ways “Acceptance with Joy” Will Change Your Life Today

18 Bible Verses About Joy

Did this post encourage you? If so, please share it with your friends via Facebook, Pinterest or Twitter!

Joy through trials—is it really possible? What are the practical ways we can discover joy, peace and even hope during illness, unemployment, marriage troubles and all of life’s biggest challenges? These Christian truths will empower you to find the source of joy in all circumstances.

About Alicia Michelle

As a wife and mom to four passionate kids, Alicia Michelle loves encouraging other moms with practical tips for joy-filled living in everyday life, especially in parenting, marriage, faith and health.Alicia is the owner/editor of Your Vibrant Family; the author of Plan to Be Flexible, The Back to School Survival Manual; and the creator/producer of the "7 Days to a Less Angry Mom Online Video Course,", Christ-Centered Christmas Resources and My Memory Box Organizing System. In addition, she is a monthly contributor for several popular family blogs, including Crosswalk.com.Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

As Christian parents, we want to raise confident kids who make the right choices. But is self-esteem the answer? This post may surprise you…

How to Raise Godly, Confident Kids (11 Truths)

As Christian parents, we all want to raise confident kids, right?

Children who make godly choices when faced with peer pressure.

Kids who aren’t afraid to take life by the reigns and boldly pursue God’s plans for them.

On the surface, these seem like great parenting goals. Who doesn’t want to raise a child like this?

And yet, friends, I want to share with you that we must give our kids more. Way more. 

We must gift them with a godly confidence—an unshakeable, unchanging assurance—that is founded on a dependence on God.

As Christian parents, we want to raise confident kids who make the right choices. But is self-esteem the answer? This post may surprise you…

 

Perhaps it sounds counterproductive—wrong even—to teach our kids to become dependent on anything! After all, don’t we want to raise self-reliant kids?

No, teaching kids to find confidence inside themselves shouldn’t be the goal.

Instead, we want our kids self-worth to be determined not by their fleeting emotions (or the thoughts of those around them) but by the unchanging, deep riches of the Creator’s love for them.

And that kind of self-worth comes from daily dependence in God.

Imagine how different our world would be if we could teach our kids this kind of godly confidence! Wow.

Wouldn’t you love to develop this same godly confidence in your kids? It’s something that my husband and I continually—and imperfectly—seek to do (with God’s help).

My husband and I firmly believe that if our kids can grasp these 11 biblical truths they will become those joyful, intentional, confident kids that we long for them to become.

11 Truths to Teach Kids Godly Self-Confidence

Note: I’ve written each one from God’s perspective as if He were speaking to our kids directly.

Truth #1: My love for you lasts forever, and it’s because of this love that I’m always wanting to be close to you. (Jeremiah 31:3)

How awesome would it be if our kids were convinced–deep down in their soul–that they were continually being pursued by God’s love!

I believe that if our kids knew that they were wholly and eternally loved by their creator (and allowed that principle to guide their lives), they would set the world on fire for Him!

Truth #2: I know all of your thoughts and I know every part of you. Don’t be afraid to share your heart with me. (Psalm 139:1)

One of the enemy’s most insidious tactics is to tell our kids that they’ve made too many mistakes to be close to God. He wants to break down our kids’ confidence by somehow convincing them that they are irreparably flawed.

And yet, God tells us over and over in His word that He has perfectly formed us and that he knows every aspect of our lives (the good, the bad and the ugly). He is not afraid of our mistakes and in fact, wants us to share them with Him as means to grow closer!

Friends, we must teach our kids that depending on God–trusting Him to love us through all our fears and mistakes–is the key to authentic self-confidence.

Truth #3: You were handmade by me—perfectly crafted by my hands—and I call my creation of you “marvelous.” (Psalm 139:14)

Society has done an excellent job of portraying how we “should” look. What’s in, what’s out. What clothing size is the “right” one to be acceptable and loved. How our individual body parts should look in order to be “normal.”

Of course, as women, you and I know how destructive self-image issues can be to our self-confidence! So imagine how incredibly powerful it would be if our children could grow up knowing that they are perfectly crafted by an awesome creator?

Truth #4: Even when things are hard, let my deep love for you remind you that I will be there to help you through it. (Isaiah 43:2; Proverbs 3:5-6)

Our family is currently going through a difficult trial and, let me tell you, being able to depend on Christ through this challenging time is what has kept our family sane.

It would be easy for my husband and I to allow our confidence to be shaken and to allow the doubts to overwhelm us right now. I’m so grateful that God has proven over and over in my life that He is dependable and faithful! Right now, we are leaning fully on Him and have placed our confident hope in His promises.

Truth #5: I will never stop loving you, my child, and nothing can separate you from my love. (Psalm 136; Romans 8:31-39)

My daughter used to have frequent nightmares. I remember having them too as a child and thus often being afraid to go to sleep.

However, I’m so grateful that my daughter has learned that there’s nothing that can separate her from God’s love. For about a year now, she sleeps with her Bible and with Christian music playing in the background as a reminder that nothing evil can overcome her with Christ in her life.

We tell her that the enemy can try to threaten, but that she can stand strong and confident in God’s promise that He will never leave her and that His love is always with her. This has brought her much more peaceful sleep.

Truth #6: My love for you is not conditional. You can never earn my love—it is simply a gift I give to you. (Ephesians 1:4, 2:4-5)

So many relationships in our world are conditional–you do this for me, and I’ll do that for you. It’s not always a bad thing per se (for example, employers expect employees to work in exchange for pay).

However, it’s easy to let this mindset translate into our self-esteem: If we do certain things or act a certain way then we will be worthy of love.

And that’s why God’s love stands out so brightly! If our kids are convinced of the truth that they are loved regardless by God, they will be equipped with a powerful self-confidence that can change the world!

Truth #7: Stay connected to me and I promise to use you to produce good fruit in every season. (Psalm 1:1-3; John 15:4-8)

If we want to build godly, self-confident kids, teaching our kids the habit of a daily quiet time is perhaps the best habit we can give them! Jesus promises in John 15:4-8 that if we remain in Him like a vine stays connected to the branches then we can produce much fruit.

Life can be incredibly hard, and we need the power of God surging through us if we want to be triumphant through all circumstances. If we allow our circumstances to dictate our self-worth we will be left depleted and searching.

But if we stay close to Him–regularly reading the Bible and listening to His voice–then we can do amazing things for God. What a powerful truth to instill in our kids!

Truth #8: Because I love you and care about you, I want to replenish your soul when you are tired and give you strength to do more than you could hope or imagine. (Isaiah 40:28-31, Ephesians 3:20)

The world is full of tempting solutions to pain and overwhelm. It tries to provide physical comforts for the spiritual and emotional emptiness we sometimes experience.

But what if instead we taught our kids to look to Christ when they are tired? What if we demonstrated to them that they didn’t have to do it on their own but that God was always there to strengthen and replenish them? Knowing that Christ is the fuel behind our strength is a powerful self-confidence builder for anyone, especially children.

Truth #9: Don’t worry about what others think. Choose to let my voice guide you over the roar of the crowd. My truths will bring you the rich, full life that you’re looking for. (Proverbs 4:5-22; John 10:1-10)

We live in a world that is continually shouting for our attention. Without the guide of authentic truth found in God it is so easy to allow other’s opinions and worldly pressures to dictate our choices!

Our kids need to learn how to drown out all those voices and focus solely on the “voice of the shepherd” as described in John 10:1-10. When our children can learn to hear and obey the still, loving voice of God, they can much more easily develop godly confidence and discover their true purpose. They can eschew peer pressure and stand strong in godly truth.

Truth #10: Should you make a mistake, be quick to tell me about it so that nothing comes between us in our relationship. (Psalm 32:3-5). Remember, I love you as-is and at all times.  (Hosea 2:14-23)

Romans 3:23 says that all have sinned and fallen short of God’s glorious standard. We must recognize that all of us–even those straight-as-an-arrow kids–sometimes make huge mistakes that separate us from God.

My husband and I are doing our best to teach our kids that confession is an important part of keeping our relationship with God pure. We share with them that sin separates, but that we don’t have to live in debilitating shame because of it. God made a way for us to stay confidently connected with Him despite our failures and that’s through a real relationship with Him.

How empowering it is to know that we are loved fully and completely–despite our mistakes!

Truth #11: I love to bring new life out of the sin or difficulties in your life. Let me use them to give you a testimony of my love for others too! (2 Corinthians 1:3-7)

Last, we want to teach our kids that everything in their lives is meant to be used by God. Every trial and every tear has a purpose. Every comfort He gives through difficult times can be used to teach us how to comfort others through their own difficulties (2 Corinthians 1:3-7; 2 Corinthians 4:7-10).

We can boldly seek God in all circumstances–even when things don’t make sense on the surface–because we know that God is the great recycler. He transforms our darkest moments into glorious masterpieces that shine brightly for Him in a dark world.

Just knowing this simple truth can give our kids incredible self-confidence at all times!

3 Principles for Raising Godly, Self-Confident Kids

Of course there’s so much work that goes into pouring these truths into our children! Teaching kids godly self-confidence requires more than just taking them to church. It is a daily layering–bit-by-bit–of these 11 core biblical ideas in their heart.

I don’t want to simplify the process down into a simple to-do list because first, each child is different; second, raising godly confident kids is a divine task that requires the Holy Spirit’s divine work; and third, there are no guarantees in raising children!

However, I do want to give you three good practices for raising godly, self-confident kids:

1) Give them a love of God and his word.

Share with them early and often about God’s amazing truths found in the Bible. When they ask tough questions, dive together into God’s word for the answers. Show them how to find comfort in Scripture when life is challenging.

We currently use these books and Bibles to teach our kids to love God’s word:


2) Teach them at a young age how to have a daily quiet time with God.

My husband and I have taught our kids a simple method for not just reading the Bible but deeply understanding God’s truth. It’s called the “5Rs Method” and it’s something I developed because I wanted an easy, transferable way for my kids (and me) to apply scriptural principles to daily life.

Go here to learn how to do the 5Rs Method.

3) Model what it looks like to have authentic faith in Christ.

Let them see you reading your Bible and praying through every life season.

Don’t be afraid to share with your kids what you struggle with and to share your mistakes! Our kids need to know that faith can be messy.

May teaching these truths to your kids assure them of God’s great love and impart a beautiful, godly self-confidence that can never be taken away!

I’m praying for you as we labor together to encourage kids who are dependent on God for their self-confidence!

 

Other Posts on Teaching Kids about God:

 

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About Alicia Michelle

As a wife and mom to four passionate kids, Alicia Michelle loves encouraging other moms with practical tips for joy-filled living in everyday life, especially in parenting, marriage, faith and health.Alicia is the owner/editor of Your Vibrant Family; the author of Plan to Be Flexible, The Back to School Survival Manual; and the creator/producer of the "7 Days to a Less Angry Mom Online Video Course,", Christ-Centered Christmas Resources and My Memory Box Organizing System. In addition, she is a monthly contributor for several popular family blogs, including Crosswalk.com.Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Homemade popsicles can be so easy (and fun!) to make… that is, if you know some popsicle making secrets (and have some great recipes!). My kids and I have been experimenting in the kitchen (and with popsicle molds) and have come up with these 7 super yummy popsicle recipes! Plus… you won’t believe what the SECRET INGREDIENT is in these recipes!

7 (Easy!) All Natural Popsicles Recipes Perfect for Summer

My kids are crazy about popsicles! In fact, I think our entire family loves this summertime treat.

But you know what I don’t love? All the refined sugar and crazy additives in most store-bought popsicles.

So that’s why this summer my family and I have been “popsicle experimenters.”

Yep, this mama has been blending, pouring and freezing all kinds of mouthwatering concoctions in order to create healthy versions of our family’s (not so healthy) frozen treats.

(And my poor children have been relentlessly tortured with daily popsicle tastings. Tragic, isn’t it?)

Well, the results are in, and we’ve come up with 7 awesome all-natural popsicle recipes that we can’t wait to share with you!

Yes, 7 of them!!

Homemade popsicles can be so easy (and fun!) to make… that is, if you know some popsicle making secrets (and have some great recipes!). My kids and I have been experimenting in the kitchen (and with popsicle molds) and have come up with these 7 super yummy popsicle recipes! Plus… you won’t believe what the SECRET INGREDIENT is in these recipes!

These homemade popsicles are:

—made with real fruit
—naturally sweetened with banana, honey and/or maple syrup
—have a non-dairy option
—healthy versions of some all-time popsicle favorites

and… they each have a SECRET INGREDIENT that we found makes each recipe exceptionally tasty!

Can you guess what it is? I’ll bet you’ll be surprised!

I can’t wait to share these recipes (and reveal the secret ingredient with you)! Click next!

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How can we deal with unexpected death? It is never easy... Here's how to find hope in the midst of tragedy.

When a Loved One Dies Unexpectedly

My grandfather died last June, and my heart still winces at the realization that he’s gone. How I miss his cheerful spirit, incredible stories, and joy for his family. I’m so thankful that my kids had the chance to know him like I did.

But my grandfather lived a long, happy life. At 89 years old (and a cancer diagnosis), his death didn’t come as a surprise.

It was different with Tristan. And with Barbara. And now with Mandy.

How can we deal with unexpected death? It is never easy... Here's how to find hope in the midst of tragedy.

Despite a determined, unquenchable thirst for life, my dear friend Tristan succumbed to Scleroderma nearly ten years ago at the age of 55. It was the first time that someone I’d dearly loved was “gone too soon.”

A few years later, I watched Barbara, a mom of three from my MOPS group, walk the lonely, terrifying road of breast cancer. My heart still aches for her kids who lost their mom at the age of 33.

And now, there is Mandy, a thirty-something-year-old blogging friend of mine (read her blog Worshipful Living here). She, along with her husband and two of her kids, were killed in a house fire last week! I am still in shock over it all, and can’t believe she’s really gone.

Death Leaves Us With So Many Questions…

Death happens everyday, but when it happens unexpectedly it’s somehow a thousand times more difficult.

Once the shock wears off we are filled with questions, the biggest one being “Why?”.

We want to make sense of the pain and the hurt. We want there to be a purpose. And sometimes, the answers just aren’t there.

Death seems especially cruel when we can’t understand it.

… But Death Also Brings an Opportunity for New Life

The unexpected death of a loved one brings a sense of urgency and clarity. 

Those important things that we’ve been putting off? They get done. Those words we’ve been meaning to say? They get said. 

And we’re left behind with a bright, bold spotlight on our lives pointing out the obvious: This is important, and this isn’t. 

Death reminds us that our time on earth is short, and that one day we too will come face to face with eternity. It’s not a maybe. It’s a certainty, death boldly states.

And unexpected death? That shouts loudly and unmercilessly that our moment can come at any time.

We don’t like to think about that! That’s not a nice topic for everyday conversation, is it? We’d rather distract ourselves with talk of the latest news, the hottest trends and keep ourselves happily distracted behind an overpacked schedule.

And yet when we hear of stories like Mandy—a young mom of four with a beautiful smile and a bright future ahead—we realize that there are no guarantees of growing old and of having a long life. There’s no guarantees of “it’ll happen later.

We have to live fully and love deeply right now

And we must be ready when it’s our time to meet death face to face.

Death’s Million Dollar Question We All Must Answer

That’s why I must boldly ask you this: “What if today was your day to die? Would you be ready?”

I apologize if asking that is uncomfortable. It does seem rather personal, especially since we only know each other through a computer screen.

But I’m convinced that it’s no accident that you’re reading this today. Ultimately, we must all face this topic, and since we don’t know when our last breaths will be, why not talk about this now?

I want to share with you a truth about death that’s changed my life: It is possible to face death confidently and without fear. 

Now, this isn’t a confidence reserved for mystics and “religious” people. Instead, thankfully, it’s a joy and hope that God offers to all of us (“sinners” and “saints” alike).

It’s a confidence that my friends Tristan, Barbara and Mandy all had. And it’s one I want to share with you.

Confidence and Hope (In the Shadow of Death)

I first heard about this confident hope when I was 19 years old. There was a group of college students like me that I knew who were filled with a peace, joy and purpose in their heart I’d never seen before.

I was hurting and empty and was very ready to hear about hope.

They told me about a grace-filled God who accepted me for who I was. A caring God who wanted to bring purpose for the pain I’d experienced in my life. A loving God who had good plans for me here and who wanted me to know that I could spend eternity with Him in heaven.

A mighty, omnipresent God who wanted me to not live with the fear of death any longer.

That is the message I want to share with you today: You don’t have to be afraid to die. 

No one knows what those last few moments of death are like (or when death will come), but we can know what happens after death. We can life confidently today with peace about our death because we can know that our souls will be with God.

Do you want that confidence? Do you want to know that your soul will rest peacefully with God when you die?

It starts with a simple prayer, right here, right now. It starts by knowing that God that you will spend eternity with.

He wants to be in a relationship with you. He wants to live life with you everyday. He wants to take your biggest mistakes and wash you clean from them so you can start new.

There’s nothing he can’t fix, nothing he can’t mend and nothing he hasn’t done to prove how much you are loved by Him (including dying in our place for the bad choices we’ve made).

Yes, we can know that we will spend life after death with God by simply beginning a relationship with Christ today. The Bible is filled with promises about how we can confidently live today because know we are going to heaven when we die. There’s even the promise Jesus gives to a thief who is hanging on the cross next to him: “Today you will be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:40-43).

There are no strings attached. God’s love and salvation is a free gift given without condition to all people. You don’t have to earn it; you just have to accept it.

Friend, I pray that if you’d like to have this confidence you will pray with me a prayer like this:

Dear God, thank you for making me.

Thank you for having good plans for me. Thank you that you want to give my life purpose and meaning.

God, I admit that I have made some choices in my life that weren’t the best. I’m so sorry for those, and I ask for your forgiveness for them. 

Would you please come into my life and start a relationship with me? Will you wash me new and make me clean so that I can have joy and peace and hope?

I want to know that I will be with you when I die. I want to be able to live each day confidently knowing that you have all things under your control, even my future place in heaven with you. 

Come into my life and change me. Thank you for loving me. Amen. 

3 Important Next Steps

Did you pray that in your heart?  Are these words the desire of your soul too?

If so, I want to welcome you into a new life with God! I’m so excited for you to have this confidence and hope! I can testify that following Christ is the best decision you will ever make.

I would highly encourage you to do three things. First, tell someone about what you’ve done. You can tell me (my email is alicia@yourvibrantfamily.com) or a trusted friend in your life.

Second, I encourage you to start learning more about this hope and peace found in God! I highly recommend that you read a chapter a day of the Bible (starting in the book of John), asking God to speak to you as you read.

I recommend this Bible (the New Believer’s Bible, New Living Translation) as a great resource for those just learning about God. I would also suggest you start reading in the book of John.

Here are three posts that are also helpful: 

5 Steps Toward Real Spiritual Growth

23 Tips for the Powerful Prayer Life You Want (for Busy Moms)

Simple 5 Step Method for Bible Study

Last, I encourage you to find a local group of believers to meet with regularly. Attend a local church in your area—not as a way to “check a box” each week but instead to be filled with powerful spiritual teaching and to be encouraged by other Christians who can walk this road of faith with you.

The unexpected death of a loved one always hurts deeply. But it doesn’t have to be without purpose. 

Let death’s reminder drive you closer to authentic living and to deep relationship with the one who has conquered both life and death!

Let your loved one’s death bring you clarity, urgency and joy to seek vibrant, full living!

 

P.S. Several of us who knew and loved Mandy are sharing our thoughts about her unexpected death in the following link-up. I encourage you to check out some of these other posts too (and please visit Mandy’s site, Worshipful Living)!


About Alicia Michelle

As a wife and mom to four passionate kids, Alicia Michelle loves encouraging other moms with practical tips for joy-filled living in everyday life, especially in parenting, marriage, faith and health.Alicia is the owner/editor of Your Vibrant Family; the author of Plan to Be Flexible, The Back to School Survival Manual; and the creator/producer of the "7 Days to a Less Angry Mom Online Video Course,", Christ-Centered Christmas Resources and My Memory Box Organizing System. In addition, she is a monthly contributor for several popular family blogs, including Crosswalk.com.Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

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