When my boys were very young, I would snuggle up with them in a blanket in my comfy chair and would read aloud to them. We created the sweetest memories in those early days of homeschooling when I read out loud all the time. Forever etched on my heart is the excitement and thrill of reading The Chronicles of Narnia out loud for the first time. So many amazing books! When I started homeschooling, my dear sweet husband told me that he would never tell me no to books. That is a very dangerous thing to tell a homeschool mom!
I was always on the hunt for quality books that were full of beauty, wisdom, and truth. Trips to homeschool conferences and bookstores would result in the purchase of many bundles of books. We quickly outgrew our little book shelf in our school room.
I not only wanted to read good quality books to my kids, I also wanted books that would teach them about their faith and be theologically sound. This is one of the reasons I created the apologetics booklet I talked about in (Un)Apologetic Parenting. Because I am passionate about finding these good books to read to our kids, today I am so excited to share this giveaway with my readers!
It is difficult to find quality books for children that teach sound spiritual concepts…
I wish I had a copy of Bible Basics when my boys were young! Bible Basics: A Baby Believer Counting Primer incorporates beautifully illustrated pages with sound theological principles in a sturdy hardback book for little ones.
I was impressed with the beauty and simplicity with which this baby board book handled difficult concepts, such as Jesus’ nature being fully God and fully man and the Trinity—both which were explained poetically and artistically through quotations from Scripture, hymns, and early church writings.
Baby Believer Primers are designed to grow with children, from early infancy through early elementary school. By reframing abstract, but vitally important Biblical content into manageable concepts such as numbers and letters, the Primers expose children to the vocabulary of basic theology in a format that will help them categorize and retain the information.- www.catechesisbooks.com
I am excited to give away a copy of this special book just in time for Christmas! This would make a perfect gift for your grandchildren or for any parent with a baby and or small children!!
Subscribe to Misty Phillip to be eligible for a chance to win!
This is the first book in the Baby Believer Primers series, and I look forward to the other books in the series! Author Danielle Hitchen (left), a mother and talk radio producer, and the illustrator, Jessica Blanchard (right), a mother and an award-winning graphic artist, have created this artistically-designed and eye-catching board book that is pivotal for children’s spiritual formation.
For more information and to purchase this book visit Catechesis Books
A special thank you to The Blog About Network, The Blythe Daniel Agency and publishers for providing a copy of this book for review and one to giveaway.
Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! It is time to put away the turkey, and pumpkins and to begin thinking about Christmas.
Today I am pleased to invite Jennifer Moye to guest post on the blog! I met Jennifer at She Speaks 2016, and love her heart for Jesus, and her family. Jennifer is going to share her journey of connecting Santa and his elf to the story of our Savior. I am excited to share this resource with you just in time to prepare our hearts for the Christmas season.
A Gospel Christmas
By Jennifer Moye
Around this same time a couple years ago, our boys were sitting in the living room floor creating their Christmas lists to send to Santa. The lists consisted mostly of cut out pictures from the Toys-r-Us catalog pasted sloppily with glue sticks on poster paper. They jumped up and down with excitement with every page turn as they found a new must-have toy. In all the fun of that day, I noticed that our oldest boy had only 3 things listed on his paper. An IPad, a phone like mommy’s, and crutches.
Yep, that’s right. Those were his must-haves of that Christmas.
As Christmas morning rolled around, the boys ran downstairs with all the excitement that kids should have on Christmas day. They ripped open packages and slung presents around, eagerly ready to move to the next item.
The younger two boys seemed quite content with their loot for the day. But the oldest sat on the floor with his arms crossed and a sour look on his face. In his lap set a box for a brand new iPad mini still in the wrapper.
Let me just pause right here. I do not even have an iPad. Just sayin’.
When asked what was wrong, he proceeded to through a fit about how he didn’t get a phone like mommy’s or any crutches. He was furious!
I could not believe how ungrateful he was being. Didn’t he realize how awesome the gifts he had received were? How did we get to the point of demanding what we should receive and then being mad if we didn’t get it exactly as expected? Didn’t he understand he couldn’t have everything? Didn’t he know that Christmas is about more than receiving everything on your wish list?
As I sat there in the floor with my wonderful little boys, I instantly felt like a failure.
Clearly I had missed the mark in explaining to him what Christmas is all about. Why else would he act so ungrateful?
Now before you say it, I know . . . he is 5 years old. And kids are kids. I get that. But it just didn’t sit right in my soul. We had talked about the reason we celebrate Christmas. We read the Bible stories. We went to the Christmas play at church. We even gave gifts from the angel trees and donated spare change to the guy outside Walmart. We had talked about this.
I wanted my children to understand at their very core, that Christmas simply wasn’t about them. It was about Jesus. I wanted them to realize that our gifts should be a reflection of the gifts God gave to us in His Son Jesus. I wanted them to have the fun and excitement that Santa, and the Elf on the Shelf, and Christmas parties at school bring – but they needed to know in their hearts that all of it was because of the birth of our King. Even though they knew these things in their heads, I don’t think they really felt it in their innermost being. And that really bothered me.
The following year was a big year for us as we decided to homeschool, made another move, and various other life changes. One scripture passage remained in my mind throughout that time.
Deuteronomy 6: 5-9 5 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.
As the holiday season approached I knew we needed to do something different this year. We needed something that would create an impression of the hearts of our boys and our family. It needed to be in our home, on our doorframes and at our gates. It needed to be intentional and purposeful.
I had no idea that the months to follow would lead me to writing a book and sharing with others the things God was revealing to me and convicting me of in my own life. This month marks the launch of the book A Gospel Christmas and it is straight from my heart to yours.
A Gospel Christmas, is our journey through the month of December 2016. We found a way to connect Santa and his naughty little elf to our greatest gift of all. It is personal and transparent. It is messy at times and most importantly it is real. It is our story of how God lead us to Himself and made a huge impression not just on the hearts of our children, but on my heart as well. Through the 25 days in December we walked through the life of Jesus in a very practical, easy, and kid friendly way. We read scripture together, we did crafts, we talked, we gave to others, we cried, and we laughed. It was the most beautiful thing to see the gospel of Jesus come alive in our children’s’ hearts. To see their eyes light up with excitement and their minds begin to understand who Jesus is to them is something that a parent couldn’t be more proud of.
As the Christmas season is approaching us quicker than we all can handle, I would like to challenge you to pray over how your family will celebrate the birth of our King this year. Do your children truly understand what this season is about? Is your family focused on Jesus this year, or distracted by parties, the latest gadgets, and hosting friends? Are you searching for a way to connect all the fun of the holiday with the true meaning of Christmas?
I would love to hear your thoughts and I would love to be on this journey with you! Head on over to my website and receive the first two chapters of A Gospel Christmas for FREE! You will also be included in our Christmas newsletter which provides tons of ideas and inspirations on different ways to connect your family to Jesus throughout the season. And because you are one of the first to know about A Gospel Christmas, I will also send you some insider tips on how to incorporate Santa, the Elf, school parties and more with our Savior’s birth!
A Gospel Christmas is available in digital copy and paperback just about everywhere! It can be ordered online or ordered through your local bookstore. Bulk orders are available for churches or other organizations as well. I would be truly honored for you to share this book and post with those you love. What better gift to give at Christmas than one that could lead someone to Jesus? You never know who’s life can be touched by a simple share.
“My word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” Isaiah 55:11
BONUS!!! Just because you guys are awesome and you are supporting my friend by reading her awesome blog I want to give you a chance to win a signed copy of A Gospel Christmas for FREE! Enter our giveaway below and you will be in the running for one of several prizes that will be picked to celebrate the launch of this great book!
Go to A Gospel Christmas-giveaway to enter.
Jennifer is wife to an Airman and mom to three rambunctious little boys. With excitement on a daily basis and grace around every corner, she believes we are meant to live this life in community with others and with the mercy to mess up and try again….and again. Being a mom is hard, but it is also a divine calling we can have in this life. Her ministry to women is relevant and heartfelt with her core passion being that we learn to glorify our God in our parenting, our marriage, and in our everyday lives.
Join Jennifer’s community online at:
“Gigi”—the name we affectionately gave my husband’s mother. She taught me a lot about being a wife, a mother, and a Godly woman. It was not just in the things she said, but even more so in her actions. The way she lived her life had the greatest impact on me. She had her priorities straight: she loved God first, loved and served her husband second, and her children/grandchildren third, and finally loved others. I learned five key lessons from her:
1. The importance of hospitality and the family table: Gigi taught me that the conversations the family has around the table—be it for breakfast, lunch or dinner, and anytime in between—are the moments that we tie our heartstrings with our loved ones. Every time we would come to visit, she would have us sit at the kitchen table. She would offer me a piping hot fresh cup of coffee, and we would sit and talk for hours. When my husband and his brother were growing up, each day when they came home from school, she would sit them at the table, give them a snack, and talk to them about their day before they went out to play. As growing young men, they spent hours around that table with their parents. Many lively conversations were had around that table about life, morality, religion, politics, books, culture, and memories of family members. I was honored to marry into the family and join in this special time around the table. The times spent around the table with them kept our family grounded, our heartstrings tied to together, and created a lifetime of memories for us that we still hold dear.
2. Love your husband: Titus 2:4, says “and so train the young women to love their husbands and children.” Gigi loved her husband with her whole heart and put his needs before her own or that of her children or grandchildren. Gigi was a stay-at-home wife and spent her days anticipating her husband’s needs and doing things that would delight him. She would pick out her husband’s clothes, and make sure they were neat and pressed for him, and made sure he looked sharp as he headed out the door each morning. She prepared special meals for him, and always placed his desires above her own. He was a professional man working in the oil and gas industry, and he was a very successful man because his wife loved him, she exemplified Proverbs 31:1 which says, “The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain.” This was especially true when my Father-in-law had a brain tumor and spent the last few years of his life in and out of the hospital and Gigi never left his side.
3. Love your children: Gigi loved her children with all her heart! Gigi was sweet and kind and gentle. She showed me how to love my children by the way she loved her children and her grandchildren. Gigi loved her children and spent time pouring into their lives, and the lives of their children. Hours were spent at the family table playing with Legos building towers and playing with play dough or coloring. She was always quick to give a hug and kiss, and tell you how much you were loved. She would write my children notes telling them how much they were valued and how special they were. She spent her time building them up and making them feel special and loved.
4. The importance of prayer: Gigi spent time with God in his Word, and she faithfully prayed for her family and those in need. She prayed for her family daily. She made sure her boys were in church, and she spent time teaching them to love the Lord. Gigi loved to journal and spent hours writing out prayers for her family.
5. Caring for those in need: Gigi loved people. She had her priorities straight—she loved God first and foremost, then her husband and that love extended out to her family, and finally then to others. Gigi faithfully lived out a 1 Corinthians 13 life: “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it his not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” That was Gigi. Gigi had a very generous and giving spirit, and much like Matthew 25:36 “I was naked, and you clothed me, I was sick, and you visited me,” she was quick to help a friend in need. She would visit those in the hospital and care for those less fortunate.
Gigi taught me many things about being a lady. She loved extravagantly while she lived on this earth. Now that she has passed on, we miss her incredibly, but our lives have been forever impacted by her actions. She left us with a remarkable legacy of love, and she lives on in our memory. The lessons she taught me along the way have challenged me to love God more, put my husband first, love my kids with all my heart, to be a good friend and to care for those in need.