Home » Family Life » Keeping Christ First

Category: Keeping Christ First

Preparing for Easter

(Note: some of the links in this post are affiliate links. You can read my policy here.)

Easter is fast approaching, and if you’re anything like me, then you don’t feel prepared mentally. But there are things you and your children can do to prepare for Easter.

Family Devotionals

I have been doing devotionals with my kids everyday using the JellyTelly 5 Minute Family Devotionals for Easter. If you don’t know what JellyTelly is you can check out my post all about it here. Those have been wonderful. Every morning I read a short passage of scripture, read the prompt and they watch a short video. Then we briefly talk about what they learned and we pray. My kids are young, 3 and 1, so short is a must. But I feel like it has helped me too.

Listen to Podcasts

Sometimes you may not have time to sit and read for great lengths of time, but listening can be done while on the go, or while doing tasks. I love listening to podcasts as often as I can. Recently FamilyLife had a series on celebrating Easter with your family which was really spot-on and gave many good things to think about in regards to Easter traditions. I highly recommend that you check it out for ideas on how to start meaningful traditions for your Easter that focus more on Christ than eggs and bunnies. Read more

Top 5 Reasons Our Family Loves Slugs & Bugs Music

I love Slugs & Bugs! No, not the creepy crawly kind. I really can’t stand that kind. I’m talking about the kids music. I say kids music because that’s really who it’s intended for, but, not so secretly, I really love it too. Slugs & Bugs is the music brand started by Randall Goodgame and Andrew Peterson in an effort to create fun, quality music the whole family can enjoy. You can read more about their story here.

Here are the top 5 reasons why our family loves Slugs & Bugs music:

1. Slugs & Bugs LIVE

We recently saw them in concert at our church and it really helped enhance my kids love for Slugs & Bugs. It was exciting for Maddie to get to meet Mr. Randall Goodgame and thank him for the fun time. I was excited to get to meet him and thank him for his ministry and heart for kids and God’s word. The concert itself was full of action and interaction and videos. It held Maddie’s attention the entire time and even when it was getting close to bed time, she was still enthralled. She came home wanting to do all the actions for the songs, and we still do, at least the ones I can still remember.

2. It’s silly, fun and smart

The silly songs are intelligent, well-written and so much fun. I mean, everybody loves “The Camel Song”, right? And I can’t lie and say that the “Mexican Rhapsody” has not randomly popped into my head. Pico de gallo anyone? Oh, and my kids like them too. My almost three-year-old, Maddie will randomly burst out into “Tractor, Tractor”, or the “Bears” song. And after the concert she also randomly asks, “Have you looked under there?” (Check out the “Under Where?” song if you want to know why) Read more

30 Day Praise Challenge – Thoughts from Day 30

30 day praise

Day 30: Enables us to Persevere

God’s timing is impeccable. On the last day of the challenge, the one that covers perseverance, I was the most the tempted to just skip today all together.

It was a rough day for Maddie and I didn’t get to much of anything so it would have been really easy for me to skip out. But as she took a cat nap on my lap this evening I read through the challenge and had a little time to praise God for helping me persevere through the praise challenge and through the day in general. I had to really stop and find ways to praise God this evening, because I didn’t really feel lit. I felt exhausted and spent. So I started where I was. “Lord, thank you that Maddie has lungs that work, even if they are driving me crazy right now. Thank you for the cookies I will get to eat, even though making them feels like another burden at the moment. Thank you for the food we ate that created the dishes in the sink I need to wash. As I said, I started small, but even those small prayers of gratitude helped steer my heart in the right direction and calmed my spirit.

This 30 Day challenge has been just that, but I am so thankful I took the time to go through this book and hope that I will continue to practice praise every day. It was a great reminder that I need to praise God, not just because He deserves it, but because it lifts my eyes to where they need to be and helps me focus. It calms me and gives me the peace I so long for.

As the challenge draws to a close I would like to say thank you for taking this journey with me. I hope that it has been challenging and rewarding to you, and I hope you will continue the practice of taking time everyday to praise God. We can never run out of ways to praise Him!

Feel free to share anything you have learned, liked or disliked from this challenge.

30 Day Praise Challenge – Thoughts from Day 29

30 day praiseDay 29: God of All Nations

This was a great reminder to pray for our brothers and sisters around the world. It was also a great reminder that God is at work around the world, even when the news looks bleak. While many are suffering and dying at the hand of evil, God’s truth is also going forth and lives are being transformed. I don’t think we hear the good news enough. Praise God that Gao, a prisoner in China who I (and so many others) had been praying for for the last 5 years, was finally released! That is just one praise, but there are so many others. But let us remember that “he who is in us is greater than he who is in the world.” – 1 John 4:4

Day 30: Enables us to Perservere

30 Day Praise Challenge – Thoughts from Day 28

30 day praise

Day 28: Freedom in Christ

I feel like this is very similar to everything I have already said, but I am so grateful for the freedom we have in Christ. I go back to this often. Life in Christ is really simple. Love God with all you’ve got and everything else will fall into place. But somehow it all becomes complicated again and again and I find myself trying do too many things, to please too many people, putting expectations on myself that God doesn’t place there. Who am I trying to please and why? These are questions I need to ask myself every day. If I am gleaning anything from these last 28 days, it is that there is peace in knowing the God we serve and I want to continue to learn what it means to live in that peace every day.

Day 29: God of All Nations

30 Day Praise Challenge – Thoughts from Day 27

30 day praise

Day 27: Controller of All

Another difficult praise challenge. It’s easy for me to praise God for being in control theoretically, but difficult for me to yield to His control and praise Him in the midst of circumstances that I don’t like. I am a planner and when things come up to mess up my plans I can say that definitely praise is not the first thing that comes out of my mouth. I can get very frustrated. I think God has been challenging me with this for a long time, but I’ve definitely had many opportunities to practice with Maddie. There are so many things that have happened with her from pregnancy thru labor and beyond that I can’t control at all. Often it’s frustrating but that’s usually because I want things to look a certain way and they don’t. I so want to learn to live in the peace of yielding to God’s control. It’s gonna take alot more practice, but I think He’ll keep giving me opportunities to learn this – one way or another. However I do praise Him that He is in control and we can have peace in knowing that – if we choose to.

Day 28: Freedom in Christ

30 Day Praise Challenge – Thoughts from Day 26

30 day praise

Day 26: God who Listens

I am so thankful that through Jesus we can approach God’s throne with confidence. What an awesome privilege! Sometimes I picture God as this light that is unapproachable and I am on my knees before Him, but other times I picture Him as a giant grandpa figure whose arms I can climb up in and be the child He calls me. I can share my thoughts and feelings and fill him in on everything going on. And just knowing He’s always available and actually wants to listen astounds me. I am so thankful that we can come to Him with anything and everything.

Day 27: Controller of All

30 Day Praise Challenge – Thoughts from Day 25

30 day praise

Day 25: Praising through Weakness & Failure

Today was a good praise time. Maybe it’s because I am so grateful that God can use us despite our weaknesses and failures. It’s very easy to praise Him for that. It’s not easy to forgive myself, but I am grateful that He no longer condemns me. Now I just have to practice living in that grace and bestowing it freely on others.

Day 26: God who Listens

30 Day Praise Challenge – Thoughts from Day 24

30 day praiseDay 24: Healer

It’s easy for me to think of God as a physical healer only. And sometimes He chooses not to heal, though He certainly is able. But I forget how often He heals us from emotional wounds, or other damage inflicted by ourselves or others. He is truly the only one who can heal these scars. Other things in life can put a bandaid on them, but He will perform the surgery necessary for complete healing.

Praising God as Healer was very timely as well today as I was finally able to make an appointment for physical therapy. I am trusting in my Healer that He is getting me the help I need to be back in shape physically.

Day 25: Praising through Weakness & Failure

30 Day Praise Challenge – Thoughts from Day 23

30 day praise

Day 23: Surrender

Another challenging topic. I praise God that He is worthy of my surrender. Although I will admit it’s often a struggle to continually surrender myself to His will and not my own.  Sometimes it’s a minute by minute struggle. I know it’s really the struggle of every Christian. We long to say as Jesus did, not my will but yours. It keeps us coming back to God on our knees. And it keeps us praising God for his infinite patience and loving-kindness.

Day 24: Healer