How can you keep summer trips manageable? Summertime is a great time for hospitality when you can keep the activity outside! How can you encourage your kids’ creativity? Steve and Kara share some simple, low-cost, memory-making, summer activities that their family enjoys.
How do you balance the constant pulls for time from church activities with a healthy family life? How do you build routines that work for your family and don’t neglect the fellowship and ministry of the church? Does being at home with your kids mean that you are not doing “ministry”? Remember that during different seasons in your family life your involvement in ministry activities may look very different.
It’s okay if you make mistakes, every homeschool mom makes mistakes. How can you plan for a smooth transition from public or private school to homeschool? How do you manage the duties of the home AND educational duties? How does academic work fit into the life of your family? How do you transition from seeing the home as primarily a place of rest and recharge to being a place of daily work? What are the difficulties involved with being your child’s teacher and not just his parent? How can you let go of your expectations of what “school” should be. . .
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Is it a good thing that some things are NOT in your control as a parent? Trying to control outcomes of every situation can create overbearing, micro-managing, uptight, stressed out attitudes in your family. Understanding the limits of our control helps us trust God who controls all things.
How consistent do you need to be in your homeschooling? Should teaching your children be like a job with schedules and vacation days? Can you be consistent in training in godliness even when the school schedule gets upended? How do you keep your goals straight so you are being consistent in the things that matter the most?
What do you do when you are home all day with young children? What does it mean to BE WITH your children? How do you get things done? What are some practical things you can do with naptimes, mealtimes, bedtimes, playtimes, to keep a happier home? How can you consistently build biblical foundations in your littles?
Steve & Kara talk about their child (still in the womb) being diagnosed with spina bifida. How have they seen God’s providence and care during an uncertain time? How are they making decisions and thinking about the future knowing their child is likely to have physical challenges his whole life? See how you can help the Murphy family during this time HERE.
Culture is our inward beliefs expressed outwardly. So our family culture will start to look like what Dad and Mom truly believe. It should be effortless because it’s who we are and the gifts that your specific family have should be those that you bless the church with.
Your Life Speaks Your children will do what you do, not what you say. Other familiar ways of saying the same thing are, actions speak louder than words, and more is caught than taught. Generally speaking, I agree with these statements. Not to diminish the significance of verbally teaching our children the faith, the benefit of these statements is that they remind us that our actions teach our children what we really believe. This is a difficult reminder for me. I regularly see my children sinning only to realize they learned that particular behavior from me. The sin of their. . .
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Moving to the Country In June of this past year, my family purchased and renovated a home near our church. Our home is in the country, and my kids are getting to experience a childhood that is similar to mine and Brittany’s. We have wanted to make this move for a couple of years and the Lord has been exceedingly gracious to give us this place to call home. If you have ever moved to a new home, you know that the first few days are spent adjusting to this new environment and I felt ready and excited to get. . .
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What is the role of parents in the process of courtship? What kind of physical contact is appropriate for engaged couples? How do you get families on the same page with their expectations? With more people involved in the relationship there is more opportunity for sin, how can you deal with this rightly? How do you keep a humble attitude when two families don’t agree about how courtship should go or what the wedding should be like?
How can we regain some sanity on this difficult issue? Is there a formula? Does courtship always have to work the same way for every couple? Can courtship ever be a sinful thing? Is fear a driving force in your family’s understanding of these issues? Steve and Kara discuss some of their experience as their children have started to marry.
What are some of the things that “kids” need to be able to do before they are ready to take on the responsibility of marriage? Do they need to be ready to parent? What does it take to be financially ready? What level of maturity is needed? What are appropriate expectations? How can you gauge their emotional readiness?
How do you start preparing your children for marriage? How can you cultivate a good attitude toward marriage from an early age? How does the preparation differ for sons and daughters? What kinds of practical skills do they need?
How can we maintain a gracious attitude toward those we have disagreements with about non-essential issues: breastfeeding vs. bottle feeding, home birth vs. hospital birth, vaccinate vs. not-vaccinate, homeschool or Christian school, organic vs. not-organic. Families have strong opinions about these and other topics. How can we keep these things from becoming divisive? How do we keep from creating laws for each other where God allows freedom?
Kids will do what you do not what you say. When you yell at your kids to stop yelling, what are they learning? Are you telling your kids they should be saving their money while demonstrating how to get into credit card debt? Living out a good example is a powerful form of teaching.
When my first two children were two and three years old and just learning to speak, I unintentionally began asking them repeat things in stories, or from the Bible to help them stay engaged with the reading and to help remember what we were reading. I would ask them a question and have them repeat what I said in 3-4 beats/syllables. They seemed to like this and I noticed they were catching on, because they would say and mention these things in their evening prayers. To help them further, I decided to write down some of the things we had. . .
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What price do children pay when their parents are uptight, controlling, and fearful? Does being plugged in to all the social media feeds and parenting apps breed an uptight attitude in your parenting? Are you constantly comparing yourself to everyone else? What does fear have to do with it? Why do parents think they can control EVERYTHING? Join Steve and Kara for conversation on loosening up when necessary.
It’s easy to let things slide. How do you regain ground when you realize that you or your kids have backslidden on tasks or skills or habits you’ve already learned or thought you’d mastered? How can you revisit old lessons in a way that makes your family stronger and keeps you moving forward. Are there times when it’s okay to coast for a bit? How do you know when it’s time to hit the reset button?
Telling the Christmas Story Christmas is an event so wonderful and important that time and history are kept according to Jesus’ arrival. This is a story that must be told annually. American Christians are in a unique position because we simultaneously have a cultural and religious holiday mixed together, and we end up with manger scenes that have either Santa Claus flying overhead or Santa bowing down at the manger in worship of Christ. Certainly if the historical Saint Nicholas had been present at the birth of Christ, he would bowed before Christ, but Santa Claus bowing seems rather strange. . .
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