The BEST Children’s Storybook Bible

I am extremely picky when it comes to children’s Bibles.

Extremely.

I’m looking for a lot in that little package. Biblical accuracy, lack of fluff, lovely illustrations, and all done with text that is engaging and interesting to the youngest audience.

It’s a tall order.

So where, exactly, does one find a children’s Bible that meets these high standards? Perhaps you’ve walked into a Christian bookstore or browsed the pages of Amazon lately to find one. If you went into that without a plan, you probably found yourself overwhelmed. An Amazon search for “children’s bible stories” brings back a whopping 7,663 results to wade through!

And what happens if you choose the wrong children’s Bible? In your desire to begin planting God’s truth in your child’s heart, you could instead be sharing inaccurate accounts and misleading picture of God’s Word. Or worse, nothing at all could happen. The lack of an accurate and engaging story could leave your child bored, uninterested, and apathetic towards God’s Word.

What Are You Going To Do?

Well, you could spend a couple hours scrolling through Amazon, reading all the mixed reviews (do people ever agree on those reviews?). You could drive to the nearest Christian bookstore and page through all the Bibles on the shelf, maybe asking the employees for their recommendation (hopefully they’ve tested them out with their kids). Or you could hop over to Amazon right now and take five minutes to purchase our hands down, number one, most favorite Children’s Bible.

We have been using The Rhyme Bible Storybook since my oldest was just a small toddler and we absolutely love it. We own multiple different children’s Bibles, but this is the one we find ourselves coming back to again and again and again. (It’s also the Bible we used for the Play Through the Bible series)

And if that’s not enough to convince you to go grab it right now, I want to give you a detailed review of why we love this Bible so very much.

Biblical Accuracy

When it comes to storybook Bibles, this is probably my number one concern. In our attempts to make the stories digestible to children, are we staying true to the meaning of the actual Biblical text? In the many other Bibles I have read or flipped through, there are three common themes I see happening: too much extra fluff, important elements being omitted, and dumbed down stories. With the Rhyme Bible Storybook:

1) There is no extra “fluff” added. The author goes just a little too deep into their imagination, weaving a story that may not actually be implied in the original text. While these stories can be fun to read, they don’t always give an accurate picture of what the Bible is trying to say. The Rhyme Bible Storybook is simple and to the point, while also communicating the important aspects of the text.

2) The most important elements are included. On the opposite end of the spectrum we have another problem, vital information being left out. This especially happens with children’s Bibles that like to gloss over the more uncomfortable aspects of the Bible. I’ve seen the Fall skipped over, hard stories tied up with a pretty moral, and even the frighting omission of Christ’s death on the cross. While no children’s Bible is going to cover all the dark, nitty gritty moments in the Bible (nor should they), with its 35 stories the Rhyme Bible Storybook does a great job giving an overview of the Biblical story, including the most important aspects.

3) The stories are not dumbed down. You’ll find this especially in the story Bibles that are marketed towards the very youngest listeners. Sure, the stories are short and simple, but there is not much there either. With the Rhyme Bible storybook, the stories are simple, yet also give plenty of information that can be discussed, dwelt on, and grown into. With this Bible both my one year old and my five year old are able to listen intently while still gaining something from the stories each on their own levels.

Simple Text

I mentioned this briefly before, but I think it bears repeating. The text in the Rhyme Bible Storybook is beautifully simple. Young children and older alike will be drawn into the lovely rhyming nature of the stories. Yet, the sing-song text is not overly flowery or verbose, unlike other popular children’s Bibles that have not done well at keeping my children engaged (I’m looking at you Jesus Storybook Bible).

However, if you find that your younger toddler still has trouble following these short stories, I also recommend The Rhyme Bible Storybook for Toddlers. We have used both versions, and while we don’t love the toddler one quite as much, the stories are even shorter and simpler, perfect for the youngest children.

Beautiful Illustrations

Beautiful illustrations may not seem like that big of a deal, but I can assure you, once you’ve glanced through some of the downright goofy looking children’s Bible cartoons, lovely pictures are a nice change of pace.

The illustrations in the Rhyme Bible storybook are simple, colorful, interesting, and full of emotion.

Just a note: there is an older version and a newer version with updated illustrations. We have the newer version of the Rhyme Bible Storybook and also the toddler version with the older illustrations. We like both! Some people do have a preference though and you can find both versions on Amazon.

Well Made Product

Lets face it, toddlers and preschoolers can be rough on books. They are still learning to turn pages gently, close the cover properly, and to not chuck books across the room mid tantrum. Our copy has survived multiple years and tons of use from two rough boys. It’s looking a little rough around the edges, but still going strong. The binding is sturdy, the pages are thick, and it’s made to last.

Engaging and Child Approved

Besides being Biblically accurate, an engaging story is probably the most important part of any children’s Bible. If your child isn’t interested in listening to the stories, reading them isn’t going to do a whole lot.

Every child I have read the Rhyme Bible Storybook to, both my own children and others, have loved it. They have listened intently, captivated by the story being read. Every morning when we do our reading, every story is followed by pleas of “More! More! Another story!” And, while it’s possible that your child is the exception to what I’ve found, I think if you give this Bible a try you, too, will fall in love.

Where to Buy

While I assume the Rhyme Bible Storybook can be found at your local Christian Bookstore, the easiest thing to do is to hop over to Amazon and get it delivered right to your house. New versions of the book run for about $13, but you can also easily find it used for around $5.

Even if you already have children’s Bibles, this one would make a great addition to your collection. You won’t be disappointed! It also makes a great gift to tuck in an Easter basket or give at a baby shower. You might love it so much you buy twenty and give them to all your friends!

This is NOT a sponsored post – we just really love this children’s Bible! There are Amazon affiliate links included, which does not change the cost of the book to you, but does give me a little extra spare change to keep this blog running. Thanks for making purchases through my links!


Feeling stressed about the holidays? Make this your new mantra.

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Thanksgiving countdowns, new recipes, fun activities, and perfectly decorated houses.

As I scroll through my Instagram feed, I can feel my chest begin to tighten. The thoughts start playing in my head…

You really should do that.

That’s a great idea.

Why aren’t you doing that?

I wish I had time for that.

I try to muster up plans to execute some of these great ideas I see beautifully displayed before me. Maybe I can squeeze the prep in after bed time. Perhaps we can do the activities quickly after breakfast.

My heart beats faster – but it’s not from excitement. It’s from panic. 

I’m in a season of life right now where I just don’t have time for a lot of extra activities. Honestly, I’m struggling to just get the essentials done. The thought of planning out and executing holiday activities, no matter how amazing they are, makes me feel a bit queasy.

Not exactly how you want to feel headed into a season of joy.

So, if the sight all all the holiday ideas, activities, and stuff is making you feel like crawling into a hole for the next two months. I want to share with you my favorite holiday mantra:

That’s a fun idea. Maybe next year.

Repeat after me: Maybe. Next. Year.

Feeling Stressed About the Holidays? Make this your mantra.

Why This Works

No one likes to feel like they are missing out. Whether it’s getting your house to look just the way you want or doing fun activities with your kids to guide them through the meaning of the season, we want to embrace all the excitement of the season.

However, reality says we only have so many hours in the day. Whether you have impending work deadlines, volunteer responsibilities, or spend your day keeping small children alive you are going to have to say no to some things. Maybe even a lot of things.

Fun things.

Good things.

How do you do that without feeling majorly bummed out?

That’s a fun idea. Maybe next year.

The mantra works for two reasons:

  1. You recognize that it is a fun idea. You don’t roll your eyes or say “pphhht, who has time for that?” You don’t devalue the hard work someone else put into their idea. It’s cool and you admit it. Let others be themselves without feeling like you need to be them too.
  2. You hold onto the hope that – if you still want to – you have the option to do it in the future. You don’t need to throw yourself a pity party because you can’t do allthethings. Screenshot it, pin it, or file it away and revisit it next year. I ogled Truth in the Tinsel for a few years before we were able to do it. And this year it probably won’t make the cut again. However, next year we will revisit and hopefully do it again!

Next time you find yourself pining over a sweet idea, try the mantra and see how you feel.

Stressed about the holidays? Make this your mantra.

 

Do This Instead of Doing It All

So, you can’t do it all. Then, what do you do?

First, check your focus. What truly matters the most during the holiday season?

I conducted a survey last year asking people what their favorite Christmas memory was. The results were staggering. Almost every single person’s memories revolved around relationships. 

Focus your attention and effort on the relationships around you. Make sure you don’t forget about your relationship with the One whom the season revolves around either.

Then, once you’ve got your focus right, here’s what you can do:

Pick one thing. 

Not one thing for now, one thing for tomorrow, and one thing for next week. Just one thing for now.

Just focus on that one thing.

Maybe you want to be intentional with discipling your kids during the holidays, maybe you really want to make your house feel cozy and festive, maybe you just really want to make time for a nap. Pick one thing and do it.

Once you’ve finished that one thing, revisit and pick another if you feel up to it.

Stressed about the holidays? Make this your mantra.

Give it a Spin

I really hope you give this a try! It might not help with all your holiday stressors (navigating family get-togethers anyone?), but I think it will truly help relieve the pressure of holiday perfection we so often feel.

As I continue my Instagram scrolling, I repeat my mantra a few more times. I put my phone away and attend to the life in front me.

My chest loosens. I take a deep breath.

I think our holidays are going to be just perfect as they are. 

Affiliate links included.

The ULTIMATE Guide to Using Biblehub.com

 

The ULTIMATE Guide to Using Biblehub.com In Your Bible Study-3

Have you ever heard of Biblehub.com? I mentioned it in last week’s post on my favorite Bible study tools, but this week I wanted to expand on all the awesomeness this website has to offer! If you’ve ever wondered how to do an in-depth word study, topical study, or read Biblical commentaries when you don’t have a huge library at your disposal – this post is for you!

They explain their mission clearly on the Bible hub website:

Our mission is best summarized as follows:

1) Increase the visibility and accessibility of the Scriptures online.

2) Provide free access to Bible study tools in many languages.

3) Promote the Gospel of Christ through the learning, study and application of God’s word.

Now that sounds like a worthwhile mission to me!

So, grab your Bible, your notebook, and some pens and pencils. Then, open up a browser window and head on over to biblehub.com and let’s get started!

1. Navigate to a passage

Lets start out with something simple – finding a passage!

Biblehub Tutorial

To find a passage, you can use the drop down menus at the top of the page, but the easiest thing to do is just type what you are looking for into the search box in the top middle of the screen. Hit enter/return and you’ll be brought to…

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… your passage!

Biblehub tutorial

Now, you can use the blue arrows on the side of the passage name or the circles on the outermost sides of the page to navigate to the previous and next chapters.

 

2. Search for key words

You can also use the search bar to search for key words, names, places, etc.

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Just type in the word(s) you want to search for and it will pop up with a list of verses!

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3. Find parallel verses and cross references

There are a few ways to find the page with this information…

Biblehub Tutorial

 

The first way is to type in the exact verse that you want to look up, both chapter and verse. If you just put the chapter number this will not work, it will take you to the page that shows you the full chapter.

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That will bring you right to this page! Again, you can use the blue arrows to navigate forward and backward through the passage. However, before we get into all the goodies located here, lets look at a few more ways to find it.

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For the second way, maybe you want to view the parallel versions of the whole chapter. This time, type the chapter you are looking for in the search bar and it will bring you to this familiar page. Next, click on the word “parallel” in the second (white) menu bar.

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It will assume that you want to see verse one, so to get back to the whole chapter, click the chapter link in the breadcrumb trail in the upper left corner.

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Voila! You can now read the whole chapter in different versions side by side.

Okay, lets look at one more way…

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For this third way, perhaps you have a general idea of where the verse is, but you don’t know the exact reference. First, search for the book and chapter in the search bar. Use the blue arrows to navigate around if you didn’t get to the chapter you were thinking of. Then, scan through the chapter until you find the verse you were looking for. To see the parallel verses, click on the blue number at the beginning of the verse.

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Yay! We are back here once again! Lets have a look around…

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Over to the left we have a nice long list of parallel verses.

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To the right you’ll find the verse in context. If you start scrolling down right below it you will see a list of cross references.

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If you continue to scroll down, underneath the cross references you will find the “Treasury of Scripture” which will break the verse down and find more related verses. These two sections are so handy to have when studying the Bible!

 

4. Do a word study

If you’ve always heard about the awesome practice of doing a word study but was never quite sure how to go about it – this section is for you! Biblehub.com makes it super easy to do an in depth word study.

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First, use the search bar to navigate to the verse that has the word you’d like to study.

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Like previously, there are multiple ways you can go about this, but this way is my favorite. Once, you’ve got your verse, click on the word “lexicon” in the white menu bar.

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Clicking that will pop you over to this handy little chart. It has the verse broken down along with the Greek (or Hebrew), the transliteration (aka the way we would spell the Greek word with our alphabet),  link to Strong’s, and a brief definition and origin. If you scroll down you will find a little more info at the bottom as well.

Next, you are going to want to find your chosen word in the verse and click on the blue Strong’s number in the fourth column.

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That will bring you to this lovely page! There is a lot of information here that you can explore, but I’ll highlight a couple of my favorite things.

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Over on the left side of the page you will find word definitions from different sources. My favorite is the HELPS Word-studies. It gives an in-depth explanation of the word in a way that is usually pretty simple to understand.

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Over on the right side of the page is a concordance listing. Here, you can find other verses that use the same word in the original language. This can be of great help to further understand the meaning that the author was intending when he used that word.

 

5. Use a concordance to do a topical study

Studying the Bible chapter by chapter, verse by verse is often the best way to really dig into the text. However, it can also be fruitful to do a topical study. When you take a topic like “love” or “justice” and follow it through the whole Bible your understanding can greatly increase.

There are a couple ways you can begin your topical study. One easy way is to enter the topic you are studying in the search bar, like we did in tutorial #3, bringing up a list of verses with that word in them. However, if you are looking for more information, try scrolling down to the “bible study tools” section.

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Once you are there, click on “concordance.” (“Topical” will get you the same place)

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Then, enter your topic in the “concordance search” box.

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That will bring you to the “topical search” page where it will break your topic down into sub-categories. Scroll through and click what you would like.

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That will bring you to this page which is full of info! You’ll find entries from dictionaries and encyclopedias, information on the original languages, books from their library, thesaurus and concordance entries, and a lit of subtopics and related topics. Whew! All that info right at your fingertips!

 

6. Access commentaries

Alright, now let’s look at some ways to access the many commentaries you can find on bible hub!

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First, there is a drop down menu on the top of the page that lists the commentaries and some different topics you can explore.

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For a more complete list of their commentary options, scroll down to the “bible study tools” section and click on “commentary.”

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That will bring you to this awesome “Bible Commentaries” page. If you scroll down you will find over 50 commentaries broken down into various categories and by book of the Bible.

Okay – let’s look at one more way to get to the commentaries. This time for if you are looking for commentary on a specific passage.

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Enter the passage you are looking for into the search bar on the main page. Then, click on the “comment” button in the white menu bar.

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That will bring up a list of all the commentaries they have starting with the first verse in that passage. Use the blue arrows on the left and right of the page to navigate forward and backward in the passage.

 

7. Chapter Outline

Sometimes it can be really helpful to have an overview of the chapter you are studying. Here is a quick way to find one!

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Using the search bar, search for the passage you want to outline. Then, on the bottom blue menu bar, find the little bitty outline icon (it looks like three rows of a dot followed by a line) and give it a click.

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Then, you’ll get a page with lists of the people and places and an outline of the passage. Everything is conveniently a clickable link, so you can easily find more information on the different topics.

 

8. Atlases

Using atlases to actually be able to see where the people and stories you are reading about are taking place can be very helpful. Let’s look at two ways to find some!

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On the main page, scroll down to the “bible study tools” section and click “atlas.”

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Type a name, location, or key word in the “atlas search” box. (I searched for “Moses”)

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Scroll through the results that pop up to find what you are needing…

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…and you’ll get a page with a nice map, plus a bunch of other helpful info!

Here’s one other quick way to get to an atlas…

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For this, just enter your passage into the search bar and right to the left you will see a couple related maps pop up! Click on any of them to bring up the page with all the additional information.

9. Parallel Gospels

If you’ve never used a parallel gospel, it is pretty neat! It takes the accounts in the gospels, arranges them in chronological order, and lines them up so you can see the same stories side by side. It’s especially helpful when you are studying a passage in one of the gospels and you want to see the same account from the other gospel writers.

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Just scroll down on the main page to the “Bible Study Tools” section and click on “Par Gospels.”

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That will bring you to this page. If you scroll down…

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…you will find the chronological list of the contents of the gospels.  Click on the topic you are looking for…

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…and it will bring up a page with the passages in any of the gospels they are found in!

10. Bible history timeline, Library of Christian works, Weights and Measures and More!

There is lots more to explore on Bible hub, but here’s a last few quick things!

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This timeline comes in handy! Especially when you are trying to sort out the order of events in the Old Testament. If you click on “timeline” under “Bible Study Tools” it will take you to a complete timeline of the Bible.

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huge resource they have is their library of Christian works! From the early church fathers, to Bible studies, to church history, and much more! Just click on “library” in the “Bible Study Tools” section to see the whole collection.

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I thought this was a neat feature – a list of weights, measures, etc. It’s a handy list for any unfamiliar unit of measure that you may run across in your studying.

Well, that’s all I have! There is definitely more you can discover on Bible hub, but hopefully that will get you started! Do you want to see more Bible study tutorials? Just let me know what you need in the comments below!

Affiliate links included. Thank you for using your purchases to help support Steadfast Family.

Ready for an Old Testament Adventure?

 

 

 

If I could go back and give advice to my engaged self… (#4 of 4)

If I could go back and give advice to my newlywed self...

My little sister is getting married this Summer and it has got me thinking back to when I was preparing for my own wedding seven years ago. The excitement and the unknowns of it all. The first couple years of figuring out what marriage is all about.

The truth is, we’re still figuring out what this thing called marriage is all about, but if I could go back in time and share with my young(er) self my advice after seven years of marriage, I think I’d share four main things.

Today, I’d like to share the forth and final thing.

The trials you face will be some of the best things that happen-4

#4 Keep having fun together!

One of the best ways to feel connected is to have a good laugh together. It’s so easy fall into the routines and responsibilities of life and forget to make time to have a little fun. I’ve definitely noticed that our marriage feels strongest when we are laughing and being goofy together.

Here’s three simple ways to make it happen…

#1 Make time to just hang out

It seems simple, but it can be so easy in the busyness of life to let the days go by without making time to spend together. When my husband and I just hang out together, no matter what we are doing, we connect a lot through laughter and having fun together.

I will tell you this, these little people that call you mom and dad require a lot of your time and attention. Do what you’ve gotta do, get creative, but find time to be together, be intentional and have fun. We try to make use of the small pockets of time we do have – after the kids go to bed, in the car on the way to run errands, working around the house together, etc. You can’t have fun together if you’re never intentional about actually being together!

#2 Be silly together

I think one of the best things about marriage is that you have someone you can just be 100% you with. You can relax, let down your guard, and just be downright goofy.

Maybe it’s just the kids keeping us young, but we’ve got a lot of silliness going on in this house. Dancing to loud music, making weird faces, watching funny television shows, laughing with the kids, and yes, even some bathroom humor (lets face it, I’m outnumbered by boys!). My husband is great at this – he is one of the goofiest people I know. There’s good feelings all around when the whole family is laughing.

#3 When things go crazy – you’ve gotta laugh

A few months ago we took the whole family to one of our favorite pizza places for dinner. It is definitely fancy for a pizza joint, but the food is delicious so we had to stop when we were in town for a visit.

On the way there K, our four year old, starting complaining of a belly ache. We didn’t think much of it, because this is a common complaint for him, usually ending up being nothing. We figured he was probably just hungry.

As we got to the restaurant, settled into our table, and started making our orders it became more and more obvious that K was really not feeling well. We suffered through appetizers as K began to make more and more of a fuss. (Never mind you, one year old J was also pulling his usual restaurant shenanigans.)

I took K out to the car and he fell asleep, only to wake back up and continue his (loud) lamenting. After a brief argument over whether this was really a serious ailment or if he was just milking it, I finally insisted we get the rest of the food to go.

Then…as my husband finishes up our order and communicates to the waiter that we need our food to go… K vomits all over him.

The waiter took it all in stride (thank goodness we were seated outside!), we cleaned up a bit, and made our way home.

It was terrible. But in the end – all we could do was laugh. Because it was stressful and huge bummer, but it was also ridiculous. So, instead of continuing the tension and frustration, we just had to laugh.

Let’s face it, life can be absolutely crazy. There are a lot of good days, but there are also a lot of rough days too. Whether it’s just the busyness of life, or you are treading through difficult waters, sometimes a little fun and a good laugh goes a long way towards brightening your outlook on life.

If I Could Give Advice To My Newlywed Self-4

How do you bring laugher, silliness, and fun into your marriage?

 

If I could go back and give advice to my newlywed self… (#2 of 4)

If I could go back and give advice to my newlywed self...

My little sister is getting married this Summer and it has got me thinking back to when I was preparing for my own wedding seven years ago. The excitement and the unknowns of it all. The first couple years of figuring out what marriage is all about.

The truth is, we’re still figuring out what this thing called marriage is all about, but if I could go back in time and share with my young(er) self my advice after seven years of marriage, I think I’d share four main things.

Today, I’d like to share the second thing.

Your attitude will affect more than you know

#2 Your attitude will affect more than you know

As a single person, your life has pretty much revolved around you. I don’t say that to mean you are a selfish, egotistical, brat – just that, especially the last three years, the main person your attitude and outlook on life has affected is you. 

Now that you are getting married, that’s about to change. 

Your attitude will affect not only how you see things, it will affect your husband, and someday your children. In the last seven years of marriage I’ve found that attitude is everything. Especially in these three areas…

If I Could Give Advice To My Newlywed Self

#1 Your Attitude in the Bedroom

I’m just going to come right out and say it – this area of marriage is going to be a lot easier for your husband than it is for you. I don’t know why, but this seems to be a common occurrence in marriage.

Your attitude can make or break this important aspect of your marriage. So, learn and grow and keep an open mind. I promise that the times that you decided to have a good attitude about it made marriage as a whole just that much better.

(If you are having difficulty in this area, I highly recommend the site To Love, Honor, and Vacuum)

If I Could Give Advice To My Newlywed Self

#2 Your Attitude when Facing Difficulties in Life

You are going to go through a lot in your first few years of marriage. Lots of moving, lots of craziness, and lots of busyness. There will be hardships and sickness, and yet also new life.

There will be some very hard moments.

The most important thing you can do is have the attitude of using these times to grow closer to God and closer to your husband.

Put away the “woe is me” attitude and tackle these problems together. Cling to God to be your strength. Do this and you will find that God used these times to refine your individual character and grow your marriage bond even stronger.

If I Could Give Advice To My Newlywed Self

#3 Your Attitude when Going about the Day to Day

You’d think that it would be these big trials of life that would cause the most stress on your marriage. However, you’ll come to see that’s not necessarily true.

Sometimes it’s easier to rally together to tackle the big problems. You know you’ll need to depend on each other, so that helps to drive you together. It’s when you have seemingly clear skies ahead that you’ll see you need to be on the lookout for problematic attitudes.

The day to day, mundane activities of normal life. The laundry, the dishes, the vacuuming, and did I mention the laundry? It’s when you settle into the comfortable routines of life and stop intentionally building your relationship. It’s in these ruts that we can so easily develop destructive thought patterns…

Why doesn’t he see I need help?

If he really cared I wouldn’t have to ask him not to do that.

I’m too tired for that.

I think I’d rather just do my own thing.

It’s these day to day attitudes that creep in without much fanfare that you have to watch out for. They can easily build resentment and distance in a marriage. Not to mention they don’t actually do anything to solve any real problems that might be there.

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Sometimes it may seem hard to change your attitude, especially when things are in a rough patch. However, I assure you, with God’s help, you can do it. I leave you with this admonishment…

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things. -Philippians 4:8

 

The Most Important Phrase to Help with the Adjustment to a New Sibling

The Most Important Phrase to Help with

He came downstairs from his quiet time and wanted the cookie I had promised him. The only problem was that I was trapped.

Trapped under a peacefully sleeping baby.

I told him that I couldn’t get up and get his cookie right then. He would have to be patient and wait.

I could see the frustration building on his face and I felt for him. He was transitioning well into the role of big brother, but that didn’t mean it was always easy. Newborns are pretty demanding, so big brother was getting a lot of practice with coming second.

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Anyways.. back to the cookie situation. I really didn’t want to disturb said sleeping baby – either by getting up to get the cookie or from the screams of a three year old’s meltdown. So, I broke out the miracle phrase.

“You used to do that when you were a baby too.”

“When you were a baby you liked mommy to hold you when you were sleeping too. You always wanted to be held!”

His scowl immediately melted into a smile. He loves hearing about when he was a baby.

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Before Baby J was born we spent a lot of time looking through old pictures and talking about what K was like when he was a baby. He ate up every minute of it.

Not only does he like hearing about himself as a baby, the phrase helps him remember that he is the big kid. Baby J can’t wait patiently, but a big boy can. Baby J doesn’t help clean up, but a big kid can. Baby J needs mommy to help him with everything, but a big boy can do it himself.

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K had his time to be a baby, but now he is a big boy and before long baby J will be a big boy just like him!

But for now, when that frustration starts to well up, it helps to remember – “You used to do that when you were a baby too.”

What tips do you have for easing that transition when a newborn comes along?

Traveling With Kids – The ULTIMATE Round-Up of Ideas, Tips, and Tricks

Traveling With Kids The ULTIMATE

Coming up soon we are headed out on a two week trip to visit family. Between the drive from Mississippi to the midwest, the drives between locations in Ohio, Indiana, and Michigan, and the drive back home we will end up spending about FOURTY-FOUR hours in the car!

If we are going to survive the trip with a preschooler and a baby, I knew I needed to do some preparation! So, I wanted to share with you some of the great tips I’ve found as I’ve researched how to get through this trip with my sanity still intact.

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Travel Necessities

There are some things you just shouldn’t leave home without! Check out these four lists and you’ll have your bases covered for sure!

Eight Summer Travel Bag Necessities – Don’t forget a thing with these eight traveling necessities.

10 Things Moms Should Never Leave Behind… While Road-Tripping with Kids – I love the idea t0 bring flashlights in the car!

Ten Must Haves to Keep in Your Car if You Have Kids… especially #2 – Great ideas for road trips and every day car rides!

Road Trip Essentials – Great list of important things to keep on hand in the car. I love the idea to keep them in a bin.

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General Tips and Ideas

Get some advice from mama’s who are pros at the art of the long road trip. With this many tips, you’re bound to find something to give you a little peace and quiet!

20 best ideas, activities, and resources for road trips with kids – Great little round-up of ideas.

The ultimate guide: 50 tips, tricks & ideas for road trips with kids – A huge list of all kinds of tips. So many good ideas!

40+ Tips for Road Trips with Toddlers & Preschoolers – Lots of great ideas for the little ones.

10 Things to Do Before Your Next Road Trip – Lots of good reminders, plus a handy printable checklist!

Cookie Sheet Travel Fun – Awesome ideas on how to use a metal cookie sheet for hours of entertainment.

Car Hacks for Happy Kids – Three nifty ideas that could save a lot of stress. I especially like the second one!

Traveling with Children – Some great tips for keeping your sanity while traveling with kids. I especially like her ideas for during pit stops!

4 Tips that will Change Everything When Traveling with Kids – Some good advice on traveling, accommodations, and sight seeing.

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Keeping Kids Entertained

Sitting in one place for hours and hours is not most kids idea of a super fun time. So, the key to road trip success is to bring along some great road trip entertainment!

Traveling with Kids? Don’t Leave Home without this Idea! – Who would have thought a sticky note could achieve so much?!

DIY Kids Travel Activity Kits – How to pack the perfect kit for your kid!

Road Trip Scavenger Hunt Free Printable – I’m definitely going tho print this fun game out for our trip!

Traveling With Young Kids | Homemade Activity Book Idea – What a great idea for keeping the crayons organized!

Make Your Own Kid’s Travel Binder – A great idea to use dry erase markers and page protectors in a travel binder!

Traveling with Kids – Montessori-Inspired Activities – Portable Montessori activities? Yes, please!

Holiday Air Travel with Toddlers: Packing Entertainment Items – Super detailed post on what to pack to keep young kids entertained during travel.

Road Trip Binder for Kids – Really detailed road trip binders. With printables!

How to Prepare for a Road Trip with Kids: Keeping Them Entertained – Some great tips for keeping kids busy in the car. I love the organization ideas!

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Packing

From what to pack in the suitcase to how to fit it all in the car, these ideas have got you covered!

How to Pack for a Long Trip with a Baby and Toddler {Free Printable Packing List!} – When you are already lugging around your little ones, the last thing you need is a ton of luggage to carry too. Here’s how to get it all in one carryon!

Our Christmas + Tips for Packing & Traveling With Kids – Great ideas for keeping the kids things organized!

Traveling with kids – Packing the Car Tips and Tricks – Keep it all organized in the car!

How to Have a Successful Road Trip With Young Children: Pack an Emergency Box – I never would have thought of this!

How to Pack Your Car for a Road Trip – Once you’ve got it all packed up, you’ve got to figure out how go get it all in the car! Here’s some tips!

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Food

For our last big road trip I finally decided to pack food instead of stopping along the way – it was revolutionary! It saved us tons of time and our tummies thanked us greatly! Wondering how to make it work? Try one of these posts for some great ideas.

Eating on the Road: Meals and Snacks – A comprehensive post of ideas for eating on the go.

5 Things I Learned From Feeding My Family Real Food On The Road – Traveling while eating a restrictive, real food diet? Totally possible!

Real Food Road Trip – The why and the how for packing real food on the road.

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Flying with Kids

While we aren’t flying this time, I’ve been there before and it can be really hard! I’m definitely going to have to remember some of these tips for next time!

7 Tips for Traveling with Small Children {It Can Be Done!} – I especially love the first tip!

Toddler Airplane Activities and Tips – How to survive the airport with little ones.

17 Tips for Flying with Kids – Some great tips, plus a pre travel pep talk!

Traveling with Creative Kids: 10 Things to Pack in Your Child’s Carry-On (Preschool Age) – Some great ideas of what to bring along for the plane ride.

Tips for Traveling with Kids: From the Experts… Expat Moms! – Tips from someone with tons of experience.

50 Kid Friendly Airplane Snacks – Cause no one wants a hungry, cranky kid on the plane!

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International Travel

Now I’m really just dreaming! I’d love to travel abroad some day though. If you’re lucky enough to travel the world with your kiddos, here’s some great tips for getting it done!

Get the Passports Ready! 14 Things To Know About International Travel with Kids (& Why You Should Give It a Try!) – Great advice from a family that has done it!

You Can Travel the World with Kids and Enjoy It – Great advice for general travel too.

Travel Tips: Traveling Abroad with Kids – Very detailed information. Also, can I go to Italy now!?

 

 

Preschooler Daily Routine Printable – FREE!

FREE Preschool Routine Printable

With a new baby throwing our old routines off, I knew that I would need to be intentional if I was going to make time to specifically pour into my older son.

The first thing I did was set up a preschool routine for him. Even though I hadn’t planned on doing any type of “formal” school with K until he was a little older, I realized that he did a lot better behavior-wise with the mental stimulation and one-on-one time from doing “school work.”

We’ve mostly stuck to our new school routine for about a month now and it is working great for us! We do reading every day, math on Mondays, science on Tuesdays, art on Wednesdays, Thursdays are a bonus day (we learned about Forth of July for a few weeks), and Fridays are a fun day (half the days hubby is off of work and half I try to plan something that’s just a fun activity).

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“Monday is for Math” (Image from Instagram – join us there!)

It’s worked great because the routine is simple and allows for a lot of flexibility if things need to be switched around.

After establishing our school routine, I began thinking about getting the rest of the day running a bit smoother. I knew I wanted something that could allow for a lot of flexibility (we aren’t very good with strict schedules), but also highlighted the basic things my son does every day. I wanted something that would help him to be aware of what to expect in the day and help me to be intentional with his day.

This is what I came up with!

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All the pieces have a picture (from my favorite, www.thenounproject.com) for non-readers and a check box to cross off when the activity is complete. The different activities are all cut-out and laminated separately (with old magnets cut up and glued to the back). That way, while the bare bones of our days mostly stay the same, I can rearrange and add activities (using the blank pieces) as needed.

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An unexpected benefit of this system has been for discipline in that it gives a visual reminder of privileges taken away. For example, yesterday K was eating lunch and kept getting up and down from his chair, taking forever to finish his food. Finally, I sat him in his chair and said if he got down again that we wouldn’t bake banana bread before quiet time anymore. He did get down and I moved baking banana bread off of the day’s activities. He wasn’t very happy about this, but today when I added it back to the day he remembered what happened and told me he was going to eat his lunch! 🙂

Does this look like something that would help your preschooler’s day move smoothly?

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Reach Their Hearts Early: Discipling Your Preschooler

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I tucked my three year old son into bed and asked him if he’d like to pray. He nodded his head yes and began in his small voice, “God, please give me a new heart every day…”

My own heart melted. I want nothing more than to see my child’s heart renewed through Christ.

It is my goal to be very intentional in discipling my children, even from a very young age. The hearts and minds of the littlest ones are capable of grasping more than we often give them credit for.

Are you looking for ways to disciple your young child? Join me over at Rooted Families where I’m sharing three ways that I’ve found to disciple my preschooler.

Reach Their Hearts Early

 

 

5 Things To Buy For When New Baby Comes (That You Might Not Have Thought Of!)

Onesies, blankets, and diapers.

Burp cloths, pacifiers, and bottles.

You’ve made your list and checked it twice. You’re all ready for new baby to come.

Or are you?

As I am going through my second time in the newborn stage, I’ve come up with five items you might not of thought of buying, but sure are making my life a lot easier!

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#1 Lamp with a Dimmer Switch

The last thing you want when you wake up for a midnight nursing session is to be blinded by the lights in your room. When K was a newborn I just happened to have an LED lamp with a dimmer switch and I quickly found that it was perfect for all those middle of the night feedings and diaper changes. Being able to adjust the brightness means I can turn it up to see better while changing that diaper and turn it down when baby is finally sleeping again.

Try checking out this one, this one, or this one.

#2 Bedrest Pillow

I had no idea what I wanted was a “bedrest pillow” – all I knew is that I wanted one of those pillows with the arms! I knew that I was going to be spending a lot of time sitting in bed nursing and I thought that one of those pillows would make that a lot more comfortable. I was right! It has been great having one. The bedrest pillow can just stay at the head of the bed and I don’t have to worry about rearranging the pillows to nurse comfortably.

I got mine at Target, but you can also grab one from Amazon here.

#3 Giant Water Bottle

While you are nursing you are constantly thirsty! I know for me as soon as I sit down to nurse it’s like all of a sudden I’m stranded in the desert. Must. Have. Water.

When K was a newborn I just used two regular sized water cups and this go around I have a nice big water jug from the hospital. Oh, and a water bottle with a straw is a must! Just trust me!

This large CamelBak would be a good choice. This large water bottle would also be great. Bonus points since it’s double walled – you don’t have to worry about water rings!

#4 Snacks

Second only to thirst while nursing, is hunger! Snack attacks seem to come out of nowhere when you’re a nursing mama (even in the middle of the night!), so having healthy snacks around is so important.

Already chopped veggies or baby carrots and dip, Larabars, trail mix, cheese sticks, etc. Don’t forget to stash some away wherever you do your nighttime nursing!

#5 Amazon Prime

Back around Christmas time we signed up for the Amazon Prime free 30 day trial for the first time because there was a gift I wanted to purchase and have arrive in the quick 2 day shipping. I thought about canceling before the 30 days were up, but honestly forgot about it until it was too late (that’s how they get ya I guess!). However, I’m so glad we ended up keeping it!

There have been multiple times already where I needed to buy something but really didn’t want to have to go out to the store with a newborn. I was able to order it on Amazon Prime and it was here in just two days. Perfect!

Plus, access to Amazon Prime Video has been perfect for some nursing entertainment.

You can grab the free trial here – Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial

Bonus – Amazon Baby Registry

Another cool thing that I wish I would have known about when I was registering for gifts for baby #1 is the Amazon Baby Registry. What an easy and convenient way to compile a registry! If you are looking for something like this, you can check it out here – Shop Amazon – Create an Amazon Baby Registry

Now I want to hear your must haves! What baby items have you found that are indispensable? 

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