How to Start Your New Year Right

How to Start Your New Year Right

A new year is truly a new season that God brings us. And what we do with that new season is just as important. So, let’s look at how to start your new year right and enter this new season.

To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven… Ecclesiastes 3:1 NKJV

God knows infinitely more than we do; He is Creator and without Him there would be nothing.

He knows the end from the beginning. So to get the heart and mind of God for our lives in the season we’re in, is significant so that we can continue living purposeful, intentional, power-filled, full lives.

Scroll down to get your FREE 30-Day Renewing Your Mind Challenge!

The Lord Has Good Plans For You

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11 NKJV

Here are some promises you can be certain of from God:

  • The Lord makes all things work together for good. (Romans 8:28)
  • What the enemy intends for evil in your life, God meant for good. (Genesis 50:20)
  • We cannot do anything without the power of the Holy Spirit working in us and through us. (John 15:5)
  • For all the promises of God are yes and amen! (2 Corinthians 1:20)
  • Every good gift and every perfect gift is from God. (James 1:17)
  • We are to fill the earth with His glory by living our lives fully for the Lord, hearing what He says and doing it. (John 17:20-23) 
How To Start The New Year Right + 30-Day Renewing My Mind Bible Scripture Challenge

** Get your FREE printable at the end of this post **

Embrace The Season

With the confidence in the Lord concerning His promises, we know that whatever season we’re in, it’s is not meant to last.

Seasons in our lives change constantly. 

Not every season is easy, and not every season is hard. Just as sure as we can be that winter turns to spring, spring to summer, summer to autumn and autumn to winter, what we’re facing is always temporary and meant to change.

And the season you’re in right now is not only about you; it’s about what God wants to do in you, so that He can reach others through you.

God sees so much more than you do about your life and how you’re to impact others through the season you’re going through. So, moving forward in your season, whether it’s easy or not is for your growth, for the glory of God to be seen, and your testimony as a witness of God’s goodness.

Consider embracing the season you’re in. 

By recognizing the season, you choose to change or at the very least know that things are going to change. You choose to move forward in your life by embracing the season.

And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Galatians 6:9 NKJV

It’s Time For Transformation

We become like what and whom we surround ourselves with.

Everything around us, including social media, friendships, relationships, media, government, education and those you follow, are all forms of influence.

Whatever or whomever you allow to speak into your life is feeding your mind. So it’s crucial to protect yourself from being influenced, and instead be an influencer for Christ.

So what we need to do is change the way we think.

God’s ways are so much higher than our ways. By having a relationship with Him, it’s about becoming conformed to the image of Christ and our the renewal of our minds is where it starts!

How we do renew our minds?

By digesting, meditating and speaking the Word of God!

Romans 12:2 TPT says,

Stop imitating the ideals and opinions of the culture around you, but be inwardly transformed by the Holy Spirit through a total reformation of how you think. This will empower you to discern God’s will as you live a beautiful life, satisfying and perfect in his eyes.

How to Start Your New Year Right

IDENTIFY, ACKNOWLODGE, CHANGE

A new year brings about a desire to change things in our lives and resolve to create goals and achieve them.

Let’s go through a process of self-examination through identifying what in our lives needs to change, acknowledging that change is needed, and finally, making and seeing the change.

ACTION STEP #1 – IDENTIFY

Examine your life in the areas below and identify how you’re doing. By doing this, you’re empowering yourself to start the new year right!

  • How do you spend your time?
  • Whom do you spend your time with?
  • How are you doing in your health in these areas:
    • Mentally
    • Emotionally
    • Physically
    • Relationally
    • Financially
  • Am I being fully present and engaging mindfully in all that I do?
  • How am I moving from information and inspiration to application and transformation?
  • What new goals do I desire to see in my life?

ACTION STEP #2 – ACKNOWLEDGE

So now that you’ve identified how you’re doing in the areas above, acknowledge what you need to change and that you need to change.

Acknowledgement is important. Without recognizing that these areas need your work and attention, you’re denying yourself God’s empowerment to change these areas.

God’s grace is sufficient for change. But, if we don’t want to change and see that it’s necessary, the enemy would love nothing more than for you to stay the same.

Be honest with yourself this area; it’s important!

ACTION STEP #3 – CHANGE

With the areas you’ve looked at above, fill in these statements.

  • I need to stop spending my time ________________ and start spending my time ________________ .
  • The people that I need to spend less time with are ________________ . The people that I need to be spending more time with are ________________ .
  • For the sake of my:
    • mental health, I need to stop ________________ and start ________________ .
    • emotional health, I need to stop ________________ and start ________________ .
    • physical health, I need to stop ________________ and start ________________ .
    • relational health, I need to stop ________________ and start ________________ .
    • financial health, I need to stop ________________ and start ________________ .
  • In order to be fully present and engaging mindfully, I need to stop ________________ and start ________________ .
  • I’ve taken in a lot of information and inspiration in these areas ________________ and now I will apply what I’ve learned so that I experience transformation in these areas ________________ .
  • I desire to see these new goals in my life ________________ .

 

How To Start The New Year Right + 30-Day Renewing My Mind Bible Scripture Challenge

Be Doers, Not Hearers Only

To see the results of the change you are hungry for in your life means you’re acknowledging that you need to change, identifying the steps to change it, and putting in the work which is the most challenging part.

We often lack consistency, dedication, self-discipline and self-control when it comes to putting in the work.

But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. James 1:22 NKJV

We deceive ourselves and deny ourselves change when we don’t follow through with it. And we have a habit of making ourselves feel bad, wrong and guilty for it.

But God is so much greater than our insufficiencies.

He is faithful when we bring our challenges before Him. He knows that our pursuit is His pursuit, especially when we’re living set apart for Him, and the changes we want to see are positive for our lives and others.

I encourage you to spend devoted time in prayer, fasting and journaling this new year.

God will speak to your heart as you hunger and thirst after Him. And then rest in who God is by trusting in Him.

You can’t control the outcomes, but you can do what you know to do and God does the rest. His grace fills the gaps, because God can do things that you can’t.

Respond to the Word of Truth, allow it to change and transform you, and see what God will do. This is truly how you start the new year right.

Take the 30-Day “Renewing My Mind” Bible Scripture Challenge below. Refresh yourself concerning the very nature and character of God!

Renewing My Mind 30-Day Bible Scripture Challenge

How To Start The New Year Right + 30-Day Renewing My Mind Bible Scripture Challenge

How are you starting the new year right? Let me know in the comments below.

Anchored in Jesus,
Melanie

Cultivating a Heart of Thankfulness + 30-Day Thankfulness Scripture Challenge Printable
Trust in the Lord + 30 Day Bible Scripture Trust Challenge FREE Printable
11 Ways to Surrender to God + 30-Day Surrender Challenge FREE Printable
5 Ways to Find Hope + FREE 30-Day Hope Challenge Printable

Celebrating A Christ-Centered Easter + FREE 30-Day Easter Scripture Challenge

Celebrating A Christ-Centered Easter + FREE 30-Day Easter Scripture Challenge

A Christ-Centered Easter brings reflection and thankfulness as we set our gaze on what God did to restore us back to Him through Jesus’ shed blood.

There’s no better way to celebrate than to dive into the Word of God!

 

Grab your FREE 30-Day Easter Scripture Challenges below!

Created In the Image of God

When God created Adam and Eve, He did so to extend who He was through His creation, man and woman.

Genesis 1:27-28 says,

So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

A Simple Instruction

One of the instructions God gave to Adam is found in Genesis 2:16-17, which says,

And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” 

Unfortunately, although this instruction was simple, it wasn’t easy.

The serpent came to Eve questioning what God said. This questioning mixed with Eve’s doubts became the recipe where she had to make a choice within itself. Genesis 3:6 says,

“So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.”

Celebrate a Christ-Centered Easter by reflecting Jesus' death and resurrection. + 2 FREE 30-day Easter scripture challenges #easter #devotion #Christian #Christiandevotion #ChristCenteredEaster #ScriptureWriting

Sin Is Separation From God

The result of Adam and Eve’s disobedience (sin) would be that they would surely die.

Now based on the length of Adam’s life (930 years), the death that God was referring to wasn’t them ceasing from physical living, but instead, that they would be separated from God.

Adam and Eve now lived under the curse and they could no longer be in communion with God. Sin ultimately separated them from God.

The Veil That Separates

In the Old Testament, the Holy of Holies was a place where only the high priest could enter and only once in the year. A thick veil separated the holy place from the Holy of Holies inside the tent of meeting.

The high priest would then sprinkle the blood of a sacrificed bull and a sacrificed goat on the atonement cover of the ark, to make amends for his and the people’s sins.

The old covenant God made through Moses with the Israelites required animal sacrifices. God lived among his people in the Holy of Holies.

A Perfect Sacrifice

Jesus, who was God’s Son and yet man, was the perfect sacrifice. He was a Lamb, sinless without spot or wrinkle, and would come to save us from our sin.

When Jesus yielded up His spirit, the veil that divided and separated God from man was torn from top to bottom. This significant barrier that was established because of sin was now no longer. Jesus’ blood was shed once for all.

This means remission of sin, an atonement made, where we could be restored to having a personal and intimate relationship with God once again.

Because of Jesus’ blood we are considered redeemed, righteous, sanctified, purified and cleansed from all sin.

Celebrate a Christ-Centered Easter by reflecting Jesus' death and resurrection. + 2 FREE 30-day Easter scripture challenges #easter #devotion #Christian #Christiandevotion #ChristCenteredEaster #ScriptureWriting

He’s Alive

Jesus not only died for our sin, but arose from death and still lives today! He’s seated at the right hand of the Father.

No longer does God confine himself to the Holy of Holies, separated from His people. When Christ ascended into heaven, every believer of Jesus became a temple of the Holy Spirit, a living dwelling place of God.

To receive Jesus and the Holy Spirit requires repentence and an acknowledgement that Jesus died for your sin, was buried, was resurrected and ascended into heaven. You have been alive together with Him!

 

Acts 2:38-39 says,

Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.”

Celebrate a Christ-Centered Easter

Enjoy a Christ-Centered Easter as a family.

Take time to read the Bible scriptures that concern the story of Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection. 

Below are two 30-Day Christ-Centered Easter Bible Scripture Challenges. Fill yourself with the Word of God as we approach Easter.

If you have children, you could consider a Christ-Centered Easter Bible Study as well.

Get two FREE 30-Day Easter Scripture Challenges

Celebrate a Christ-Centered Easter by reflecting Jesus' death and resurrection. + 2 FREE 30-day Easter scripture challenges #easter #devotion #Christian #Christiandevotion #ChristCenteredEaster #ScriptureWriting

What are some ways you and your family celebrate a Christ-Centered Easter?

Anchored in Christ,
Melanie

Study Easter With Your Kids!

Christ-Centered Easter Bible Study for Kids for Ages 7-11 including activities, prompts, scripture writing and memory work! #BibleStudyForKids #BibleStudiesForKids #Easter

How To Explain The Importance Of God’s Word To Your Kids

How To Explain The Importance Of God’s Word To Your Kids

As parents, one of THE MOST important things we can teach our children is the value of the Word of God in their lives. In fact, it’s a matter of their destiny!

But, the hardest part about this is how to explain the importance of God’s Word to your kids other than just saying that it’s important.

We Need Help

The Bible is not just a storybook and it’s not just words on a page. The Bible, in fact, breathes life to us.

We need this kind of life to live on this earth.

With all the difficulties and challenges we can encounter in our lifetime, with the fiery darts of the evil one and our own pursuit of the flesh, there’s character and fruit of the Spirit that we need to develop. And it’s not only in our lives as adults and parents, but our kids, too.

If we don’t know the value of the Word of God, we won’t teach it to our kids. And If we don’t teach it to our kids, they won’t have the help they need.

The Holy Spirit is our guide and help. By the power of the Holy Spirit, God is shaping and pruning us more into His image and likeness. He’s helping us see flaws in our character and the things we need to change and work on, all for the better.

And don’t we want our kids to turn to God? He created them, so let’s point them to Him!

Find out how to explain the importance of God's Word to your kids! #BibleStudyForKids #BibleStudies #BibleForKids

Illustrations Create Interest

Jesus frequently used parables when He spoke to the crowds. These parables were used to help create interest to those who wanted to find the deeper meaning or revelation of what Jesus was talking about.

The same is true for illustrations or object lessons.

An illustration is an example serving to clarify or prove something.

These are powerful to use to help our kids gain a deeper understanding of God’s Word.

Find out more on how to explain the importance of God’s Word to your kids by checking out my guest post over at In All You Do.

While you’re there, be sure to grab the limited time FREEBIE… it’s my latest Bible Study for Kids: Planting Seeds.

Find out how to explain the importance of God's Word to your kids! #BibleStudyForKids #BibleStudies #BibleForKids
REVIEW: Learning About Biblical Feasts Study Guide

REVIEW: Learning About Biblical Feasts Study Guide

We’ve been looking to study Biblical feasts as part of both history and Bible in our homeschool and family. Learning About Biblical Feasts: A Study Guide to the Feasts of the Bible for Children & Families is the perfect resource and easy to implement.

I received this free product in exchange for my honest review. I only recommend products to you that we use and enjoy!

Why Learning About Biblical Feasts Is Important

We only know a small amount about God. Being that we live in the new covenant now, Holy Spirit gives us revelation, insight and understanding about the nature and character of God. Holy Spirit also reveals the heart of God as we seek Him.

A natural way to gain spiritual understanding is through symbolism. There are lots of symbolic events in the Bible. So to gain more understanding of God, we need to dig deeper.

Although I was raised in a Christian home and became a Christian at an early age, I never really dug into the Jewish feasts. Yet, I’ve always had an interest to learn.

Side note… this is one of the benefits of homeschooling – you learn what you teach your kids!

Studying and learning about the Biblical feasts helps you to know God more and celebrate what He's done. As a family, dig into this open-and-go study guide! #Christian #BiblicalFeasts #Bible

Learning About Biblical Feasts Study Guide

Included in the Study Guide:

  • Table of Contents
  • Biblical Feasts Calendar
  • Introduction – Importance of Learning About Jewish Feasts As Christians
  • The Jewish feasts in one year include: 
    • Purim (Feast of Lots)
    • Passover (Pesah or Pesach)
    • Shavuot or Pentecost (Feast of Weeks)
    • Rosh Hashanah (Feast of the Trumpet)
    • Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement)
    • Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles)
    • Hanukkah (Feast of Dedication or Feast of Lights)
  • What Does It All Mean?
  • A Prayer
  • Answers
Studying and learning about the Biblical feasts helps you to know God more and celebrate what He's done. As a family, dig into this open-and-go study guide! #Christian #BiblicalFeasts #Bible

How The Study Guide Works (And What We Did)

This study guide is for great for children and families; it’s truly and open-and-go.

  • The Biblical Feasts Calendar is a great tool to keep handy to remember the feasts throughout the year. (We have the calendar stored on the inside of our kitchen cabinet as our reminder!)
  • The Introduction is a great way to prepare your heart for why you and your family should take in the history of the Biblical feasts and how you can apply them today. 
  • Each feast is divided up into sections:
    • The History of the Biblical feast – This includes the happenings in the Bible leading up to the feast and the feast itself. It’s really a great summary making it easy to listen to and understand for children. We also incorporated a kids movie (Veggie Tales like this one is good for the littles) so they could watch the story leading up to the feast. You’ll find out fairly quickly that most movies don’t talk about the feasts themselves, which is too bad. This is where you want to make sure you’re picking up the study guide to reinforce the feast and why it was held.
    • How You Can Celebrate Today – I like how it takes the history and applies it to today as we live in the new covenant. This is what my children (and I) were particularly excited about. It also invites you to read the story out of the Bible as a family, which we love!
    • Questions – These are great for recall of history. My kiddos verbally answered, while I wrote their answers on the sheet provided.
    • Notebooking Pages – My children are smaller and are at the stage of drawing and beginning to write, so we just found an appropriate coloring sheet for the feast (such as Purim) and wrote the type of feast on it.
  • What Does It All Mean? – This ties the Old and New Testament together, which is really well done.
  • A Prayer – The prayer of salvation is so important, especially as we discover God’s goodness and His love for us, so this was a pleasant find.
  • Answers – Having answers is great for a quick reference, or if your older children are correcting their work by themselves.
Studying and learning about the Biblical feasts helps you to know God more and celebrate what He's done. As a family, dig into this open-and-go study guide! #Christian #BiblicalFeasts #Bible

Learning About Biblical Feasts study guide is a really great resource for the entire family. We highly recommend it!

So, how have you learned about Biblical feasts with your children?

Anchored in Jesus,
Melanie

How Can I Grow Closer To God?

How Can I Grow Closer To God?

The most important relationship you can cultivate and grow is your relationship with God. But, you might be wondering, “How can I grow closer to God?” 

God created man and placed him in the garden of Eden. He did this all to have a relationship with him.

Isn’t it amazing to know that God, our Heavenly Father, wants to know us and He wants us to know Him?

James 4:8 NKJV says,

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.

Consider other religions…which god wants a relationship with those who believe in him? None!!

Find out how you can grow closer to God! #Christianlife #Bible

How can I grow closer to God?

Devotion Shows Value

Firstly, like any relationship you have with your spouse, children, parents or friends, you likely recognize that the relationship itself requires an investment of time and sacrifice.

In a relationship, you’re looking for a safe place where you can build trust and share openly.

The Lord is looking to have a relationship like this with you and you with Him.

And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.
Jeremiah 29:13 NKJV

Following Jesus and being devoted to Him requires our whole selves. This can be hard to receive. Jesus said it like this in Mark 8:34 NKJV,

When He had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.”

 

As our Father is Creator and God, he wants our lives to be lived FOR Him sharing in His love while expressing it to others.

Our lives are not our own.

We’re to live a lifestyle of devotion to God following Him. He’s not looking for a timeslot in your schedule and doesn’t want to be considered a timeslot. He wants you and your whole heart at all times.

Create Intentional Time With The Lord

That said, creating a habit of intentional time with the Lord shows how you value Him. It’s necessary to remove distractions and the things that take away our attention from focusing on what He wants to share with us.

For example: when you have two children talking at the same time, it’s impossible to hear and listen to both. So you ask one to remain quiet, while you listen to the other.

God knows us. He knows we can so easily get distracted and have our minds wander or start to think about other things instead of remaining on Him.

Maybe you’re asking… so how can I grow closer to God with the little time I have as a busy mom?

It can be challenging when you’re a busy mom for yet ANOTHER thing and especially when you feel like all you’re doing is sacrificing.

As a mom of babies and little kids, it can be a challenge in that season. You’re exhausted from night time wake-ups, cleaning, cooking, keeping baby happy, all while still having your marriage, friendships, serving, etc.

I’ve been there, I totally understand you!

God is rich in mercy. He knows the season you’re in; it’s not a surprise to Him. In fact, He’s probably more gracious and kind to you than you are to yourself.

So in terms of time, do the best that you can. Give God your best. He knows your heart!

…For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.
1 Samuel 16:7 NKJV

Find out how you can grow closer to God! #Christianlife #Bible

Read the Bible

To know who God is, to get to know His heart and His will to be accomplished on the earth and reading the Bible is the way to know.

And in order to get to know who we are and the power of the Holy Spirit that’s within us, it requires us to get to know who God says we are through His Word.

The Word of God is:

  • Living
  • Powerful
  • Reviving
  • Cleansing
  • Strengthens
  • Hope
  • Light
  • and so much more

For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
Hebrews 4:12 NKJV

You might be thinking that to read the Bible is a huge book and certainly overwhelming just to look at. But why not start with some more well-known scriptures found in this 30-day Bible scripture challenge or start at the new testament, like the book of Matthew.

Talk With God

The way we communicate with the Lord is through prayer.

Prayer is a vital part of our relationship with the Lord as we pray for others, ourselves, our families and what God wants accomplished on the earth.

Persistent, effective and fervent prayer makes changes. Prayer is our agreement with Lord concerning His will on this earth, as it is in heaven.

Consider spending intentional time with the Lord using a prayer journal where you can focus on a scripture, write what you’re thankful for, including prayer requests and praise reports.

…The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.
James 5:16

Find out how you can grow closer to God! #Christianlife #Bible

Worship Fixes Our Eyes On The Lord

Singing worship songs about the Lord and to the Lord isn’t so much for Him as it is for us and the change that occurs in our heart

Worship is our warfare as we remind ourselves who God is.

We’re constantly bombarded by this world’s way of doing things, which is contrary to God’s way of doing things. Fear, lies, comparison, insecurities, bad reports, destructive relationships, and so much more surrounds us. We can’t help but be impacted by all these things and it affects how we draw near to God.

Ephesians 6:12 NKJV says,

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

It’s imperative to recognize that we have a fight on our hands and it’s not with people, but Satan, who wants to steal kill and destroy your destiny. He knows the impact you’re going to make when you’re spending time with the Lord, and then doing what He’s called you to do.

The Answer?

The answer to your question, “How can I grow closer to God” is simple, but it takes devotion and commitment on your part.

But, as you continue to give yourself to God, you’ll find a closeness and nearess to Him that’s personal, intimate and deep.

What are some habits you’ve instilled to make sure you’re spending time with the Lord to grow closer to Him?

Anchored in Jesus,
Melanie

How Do We Get Godly Wisdom? + FREE 30-Day Wisdom Scripture Challenge

How Do We Get Godly Wisdom? + FREE 30-Day Wisdom Scripture Challenge

Navigating this life and life’s decisions can be tough as we all face different circumstances. Since not any situation is the same, an unconventional and unnatural wisdom, Godly wisdom, might be just what we need.

What is the wisdom of God?

In the new testment, the greek word for wisdom is sophia (source), which is: supreme intelligence, such as belongs to God.

Another way of describing wisdom (sophia), is insight not naturally obtained. (source)

Scroll down for your FREE 30-Day Wisdom Scripture Challenge

Created for relationship

God created us to have a relationship with Him and Him with us.

We’re not meant to live this life on our own, doing our own things, and relying on our own strength. We’re meant to live and abide in the secret place of the Most High having a personal and intimate relationship with the Lord.

Through a personal relationship with the Lord, we get to know His heart, His ways of doing things and His thoughts. The Lord also wants to reveal mysteries to us, but only if we’re seeking Him.

Godly Wisdom is accessible!

The adversary, the devil, is roaring around like a lion seeking whom He may devour. His tactics and devices aren’t unique, but distorted.

He wants us to look at the storms in our lives so that we can be filled with hopeless disengaging from our relationship with the Lord.

The world also has a way of operating and doing things which is fear-based.

So how we do live in this world, but not of this world? We need Godly wisdom; the Spirit of wisdom to help us, guide us and lead us as we make decisions. And it’s accessible!

We need Godly wisdom in order to make decisions. Download this FREE 30-Day Godly Wisdom Scripture Challenge Printable. #scripturechallenge #devotions #Christiandevotions #scripturewriting #wisdomofGod

Human wisdom vs. God’s wisdom

Human wisdom (natural, conventional wisdom)

Can you honestly say that you know what to do in your life at all times? Is life full of clarity and easy to navigate?

I think we can all agree that it’s not.

So the question is, what do you start to do when you’re in need of advice or help in a situation? Who do you turn to? What do you turn to? 

Do you start turning to friends, family, or co-workers for advice? Do you post a question in a trusted Facebook group or do you do a search in Google or Pinterest?

Often the reason we’re asking people for advice or searching social media platforms is because we have an answer in mind, but we want others to give us validation so that we can move forward.

This type of validation masks itself as receiving wise advice, but it is still just human wisdom. And human wisdom is NOT Godly wisdom. God’s wisdom is unnatural and unconventional.

We need Godly wisdom in order to make decisions. Download this FREE 30-Day Godly Wisdom Scripture Challenge Printable. #scripturechallenge #devotions #Christiandevotions #scripturewriting #wisdomofGod

Godly wisdom (unnatural, unconventional wisdom)

Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding.
Proverbs 4:7 NKJV

The Word of God is clear that we all need to get wisdom. And not just any wisdom, Godly wisdom.

So then, if Godly wisdom is insight that’s not naturally or conventionally attained, we are in need of God.

We need wisdom beyond our own human understanding where the ways of God interfere with our natural world. They are often ways that make no sense to the human mind.

So dealing with life and life’s affairs requires Godly wisdom.

Who asked God for wisdom in the Bible?

A great example of someone who asked for wisdom in the Bible is Solomon.

The Lord asks Solomon in a dream at night, “Ask! What shall I give you?”. 

Solomon says to the Lord,

“You have shown great mercy to Your servant David my father, because he walked before You in truth, in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with You; You have continued this great kindness for him, and You have given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day. Now, O Lord my God, You have made Your servant king instead of my father David, but I am a little child; I do not know how to go out or come in. And Your servant is in the midst of Your people whom You have chosen, a great people, too numerous to be numbered or counted. Therefore give to Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people, that I may discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?”
1 Kings 3:6-9 NKJV (Ephasis added)

Solomon recognized that as king he needed Godly wisdom to discern between good and evil. The opposite is then true, that he felt that he wouldn’t be able to discern between good and evil without the Lord’s wisdom.

What the Lord said in response to Solomon is powerful:

The speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing. Then God said to him: “Because you have asked this thing, and have not asked long life for yourself, nor have asked riches for yourself, nor have asked the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern justice, behold, I have done according to your words; see, I have given you a wise and understanding heart, so that there has not been anyone like you before you, nor shall any like you arise after you. And I have also given you what you have not asked: both riches and honor, so that there shall not be anyone like you among the kings all your days. So if you walk in My ways, to keep My statutes and My commandments, as your father David walked, then I will lengthen your days.” 1 Kings 3:10-14 NKJV

FREE 30-Day Wisdom Challenge

We need Godly wisdom in order to make decisions. Download this FREE 30-Day Godly Wisdom Scripture Challenge Printable. #scripturechallenge #devotions #Christiandevotions #scripturewriting #wisdomofGod

How do we get Godly wisdom?

James 1:5 NKJV says,

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.

According the Word of God, getting Godly wisdom is simple:

  1. Recognize that you need the wisdom of God
  2. Ask the Lord for wisdom

Although getting Godly wisdom is simple, it’s not magic.

God knows us better than we know ourselves. He wants our hearts FIRST and FOREMOST.

If you’re in a place of needing Godly wisdom, it’s important to ask God for it, but it’s more important to have a relationship with Him first.

Out of a relationship with Him, we love, trust and surrender our lives to the Lord where He can give us wisdom knowing it won’t be used for selfish gain, but for the glory of the Lord.

Continue to seek the Lord and ask for wisdom. Through prayer, reading the Bible, meditating on the Word, and praise and worship, you’ll get to know God’s heart more and become more intimately acquainted with Him.

Anchored in Jesus,
Melanie

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Is Homeschooling Hard? The Honest Truth

Is Homeschooling Hard? The Honest Truth

“I could never homeschool. I don’t know how you do it. Is homeschooling hard?”

This is really the burning question by moms who are momentarily considering the option of homeschooling.

They want to know if they can:

  • teach the curriculum or if it’ll be beyond them
  • handle being with their kids all day everyday
  • afford to leave their full-time work
  • keep their sanity in balancing it all
  • afford homeschooling
  • manage their emotions
Is Homeschooling Hard? This is what every mom wants to know and find out. Here's the honest truth... #homeschooling #homeschoolmom

The honest truth

There is no fluffy answer as to whether homeschooling is hard and whether it’s for everyone, but it should first and foremost be something the Lord leads you and your family to do.

You’ll rely and trust in the Lord more because if you’re like me, you’ll feel unqualified to homeschool and yet called by God to do it.

Reflecting on why you’re homeschooling will become your anchor.

You’ll remember that it was the Lord who led you to this place, so He’ll be sure to guide and help you in it all.

Is homeschooling hard? Yes, it can be hard, but not for the reasons you think.

A Christian Preschool Curriculum We Loved!

A Christian Preschool Curriculum We Loved!

If you’re looking for a good quality Christian preschool curriculum for your homeschool, I know the feeling.

Having our children take in good quality education filled with wonder, purpose and fun are something we want for our kids. I was so thankful to find God’s Little Explorers!

There was no exchange of product for this review.

A Christian preschool curriculum that includes adventure, education and fun! #preschool #preschoolcurriculum #Christianpreschool

A Preschool Christian Curriculum: God’s Little Explorers

Review Summary: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Grades Used: PreK
Pros: Loved the interaction, activity, fun and all the learning!
Cons: It was a bit more involved on my part.

Preparation

I began with reading the beginning pages of the curriculum to get to know what was expected of my child and I. The sections to read included:

  • Table of Contents
  • Welcome to God’s Little Explorers
  • How is God’s Little Explorers Christian Preschool Curriculum structured?
  • What else will I find in the program?
  • Internet links
  • Assessment
A Christian preschool curriculum that includes adventure, education and fun!
A Christian preschool curriculum that includes adventure, education and fun!
A Christian preschool curriculum that includes adventure, education and fun!
A Christian preschool curriculum that includes adventure, education and fun!
A Christian preschool curriculum that includes adventure, education and fun!
A Christian preschool curriculum that includes adventure, education and fun!

Detailed Review

PROS:

  • Biblical Adventure. First and foremost, I loved that this Christian preschool curriculum was about an adventure to find God and His Word. What a fun way to learn! It was hands-on and practical right from the get-go.
  • Bible. I chose the Read & Learn Bible based on the two recommendations from this curriculum, and it was a choice I was pleased with. I have a complete review of the Bible here.
  • Structure. The organization, plan and format of the curriculum is wonderful. It keeps things moving for a preschool-aged child and provides lots of options for me. The website links provided in the PDF were amazing as it gave printables, helps and so much more.
  • Songs. Songs are wonderful in helping children memorize, learn and have fun. With the songs being Bible-based, I found that my kids were memorizing scripture, too!
  • Life Application. This is so rewarding as we help our little ones apply what they’re learning, educating them about helping the family, responsibilities and manners.
  • Optional sections. There are so many options of learning including book bags, learning bags, hymn study, composer study and artist study.
  • You are not limited! There are so many learning ideas included in this curriculum!
A Christian preschool curriculum that includes adventure, education and fun!
A Christian preschool curriculum that includes adventure, education and fun!
A Christian preschool curriculum that includes adventure, education and fun!
A Christian preschool curriculum that includes adventure, education and fun!
A Christian preschool curriculum that includes adventure, education and fun!
A Christian preschool curriculum that includes adventure, education and fun!

CONS:

Preparation. Although the preparation wasn’t difficult, it still took some time, though the value in what this curriculum offers did not deter me from this fact.

Preschoolers also need the most hand-holding with everything, so there’s really no way of getting around what’s needed for this age.

Our Approach

Being that I’m not a very creative person when it comes to education and ideas, I like that this curriculum has it all including an organized plan.

We didn’t do everything as suggested by the curriculum whether it was for a lack of time, too much prep or we didn’t have the supplies on hand.

Finally

Enjoy the wonder, discovery and adventure that your children are on as they find God, learn and practically apply what they’re learning through this amazing Christian preschool curriculum, God’s Little Explorers.

I’d love to hear if you’ve used this curriculum or have any questions about it; I’d be happy to answer them!

Anchored in Jesus,
Melanie

19 Ways To Make The Bible Fun For Kids

19 Ways To Make The Bible Fun For Kids

I’m guilty. At times, I’ve let learning the Bible with my kids slide in our home. But, there are ways to make the Bible fun for kids and to get them excited about God and His Word!

The Word of God should be of utmost importance in our families.

But how often do we take time to intentionally and purposefully be students of the Word? Do we dive into the Bible with our kids? Or make learning about God a real thing?

We are blessed with so many great resources to help our children engage with the Word in a fun and practical way.

Here are 19 ways to make the Bible fun for kids! + FREE Love Bingo for kids printable #christianfamily  #bible  #biblestudy  #biblejournaling  #bibleactivities  #biblegames  #biblefun  #bibleverse  #bibleforkids

Fostering a love for God in our children

God is not just Someone we learn about on Sundays; He wants a relationship with us AND our children every day, all day.

As parents, WE are responsible for cultivating and fostering in our children a love for God.

But, at times, we don’t know what to do to help our children learn about God.

Some of us have had experiences where learning about God is dry and boring. Or we’ve grown up in a religious home where our life is about works and our salvation is constantly on the line. Maybe you’ve just never grown up in a loving Christian home, and have no idea where to start helping your children learn about God.

Whatever your reason is or experience, you have a choice you can make today for the sake of your family. You get to bring light (the Word of God) into your home.

So where do you start?

Below are some ways to make the Bible fun for kids with a variety of engaging tools and resources.

Don’t forget to check out my freebie down below!

Get your kids showing love to others by serving others. + FREE Love Bingo for Kids printable included. #christianfamily  #bible  #biblestudy  #biblejournaling  #bibleactivities  #biblegames  #biblefun  #bibleverse  #bibleforkids

19 Ways to Make the Bible Fun for Kids

1. Bible journaling

2. Watch a Bible story on RightNow Media

3. Read out of an easy-to-read Adventure Bible

4. Bible story discussion prompts

5. Scripture writing

6. Sing Bible songs. Include actions if possible to help retain memory.

7. Narrate the Bible story to a friend

8. Memorize scripture

9. Activities and crafts

10. Games

11. Coloring books

12. Do a daily devotion

13. Bible app for kids

14. Act out the Bible story

15. Rewards/incentives for completing a scripture reading, memory verse, etc.

16. Bible reading plan

17. Pray out loud and/or write in a prayer journal

18. Bible study for kids

19. Object lessons

Get your FREE Love Bingo for Kids Printable

Get your kids showing love to others by serving others. + FREE Love Bingo for Kids printable included. #christianfamily  #bible  #biblestudy  #biblejournaling  #bibleactivities  #biblegames  #biblefun  #bibleverse  #bibleforkids

As parents, we cultivate and foster in our children what we want them to know, love, believe and value about God, family, themselves, church, and the world around them.

Our investment in our children is crucial and a matter of their destiny.

Among these ways to make the Bible fun for kids, which ones will you implement (or have you implemented) in your home? Share with me in the comments below.

Anchored in Jesus,
Melanie

REVIEW: First Language Lessons Level 1

REVIEW: First Language Lessons Level 1

I was looking for a gentle approach to grammar for grade 1.

We are relaxed homeschoolers meaning we use curriculum that works for us as a family and each individual child following no specific homeschooling style. I was pleasantly surprised with First Language Lessons Level 1. It ended up being amazing for not just my grade 1 daughter, but also my preschool son!

FIRST LANGUAGE LESSONS LEVEL 1

REVIEW SUMMARY: 5 out of 5 stars

  • Grades Used: Grade 1 (and unintentionally PreK)
  • Pros: Gentle, easy-going approach
  • Cons: None
Review: First Language Lessons Level 1 - Is this curriculum right for your homeschool? Find out here!

CHILD’S LEARNING STYLE

What’s important to know (because in homeschooling we get to choose materials based on our child’s learning style), is that my daughter:

  • is a perfectionist (is hard on herself when she doesn’t get a concept immediately)
  • prefers a predictable schedule
  • can sniff when you don’t know what you’re talking about
  • black and white is calming to her

Based on my daughter’s learning style, personality type and my teaching style, below is my detailed review of First Language Lessons Level 1.

There was no exchange for product in this curriculum review. All thoughts expressed are my own.

WHAT’S IN FIRST LANGUAGE LESSONS LEVEL 1

Review: First Language Lessons Level 1 - Is this curriculum right for your homeschool? Find out here!

PREPARATION

First Language Lessons Level 1 is an all-inclusive book meaning it has both the Teacher’s and Student portion included. Isn’t that amazing!?

I began with the opening pages of the book to gain an understanding of how to use it, which includes:

 

  • Table of Contents – I wanted to know how many lessons we were conquering in the year. There are 100 Lessons.
  • How to Use This Book – the various sections included were so helpful and really imparted wisdom. Included are these subsections:
    • General Thoughts on Teaching Language
    • The Method of This Book
    • Goals for Grade 1
    • The Tools Used in This Book: The “Four Strand” Approach
    • Using the Lessons
    • Materials List
Review: First Language Lessons Level 1 - Is this curriculum right for your homeschool? Find out here!
Review: First Language Lessons Level 1 - Is this curriculum right for your homeschool? Find out here!

DETAILED REVIEW

PROS:

  • Scripted. This is just what I need! It indicates Notes to Instructor and what the Instructor needs to say.
  • There are 100 lessons. It suggests planning 2-3 lessons per week, which is such a gentle approach and one we loved.
  • Repetition = increase in memory. At the beginning you don’t know how your grade 1 child will be able to memorize a poem or definitions, especially with only doing 2-3 lessons per weekj. But just through the nature of repetition, it comes naturally. And then the surprise was suddenly hearing my preschool son say definitions and poems aloud for memory, too! I was so amazed to see what happens when you gently approach something, add repetition and application, the result is beautiful.
  • Amazing poems and stories. This book is based on good quality literature, which we value. The poems were easily memorized, and the stories are memorable with good morals. My daughter (and preschool son) LOVED listening to the stories.
  • Narration. Because there was such amazing literature, my daughter (and preschool son) found it easy to listen to the stories and recall them in their own way. They were easily able to answer the questions provided. The critical thinking part of the picture narration was an enjoyable experience for both my daughter and I.
  • Copywriting. This is not my daughter’s favourite part only because she doesn’t enjoy handwriting. We have a separate notebook for keeping her work (as was suggested in the “How To Use This Book” portion. Although my daughter doesn’t particularly like handwriting, she saw the value when it came time to doing some projects, like writing up an envelope to be mailed with the mailing and return address.

CONS (which isn’t really a con):

  • USA material. This is so minor that it doesn’t feel worthy to mention. It’s so easy to replace US material with Canadian whenever it does come up, which is seldom. (For example, it talks about state instead of province). This didn’t affect whether I’d use this book.
Review: First Language Lessons Level 1 - Is this curriculum right for your homeschool? Find out here!
Review: First Language Lessons Level 1 - Is this curriculum right for your homeschool? Find out here!

Have you tried First Language Lessons Level 1 in your homeschool? Are you considering it?

I’d like to know what were your successes and challenges with the curriculum if you did try it. Leave a comment below to let me know.

And yes, First Language Lessons Level 2 was certainly included in our Grade 2 curriculum picks.

Anchored in Jesus,
Melanie

Love God and Love People + FREE 30-Day Love Challenge

Love God and Love People + FREE 30-Day Love Challenge

The foundation and motivation for anything and everything we do as children of God is based on love. A short way of looking at it is to love God and love people.

So what is love?

There are four different types of love in the Bible and the one we’re looking at is agape love. Agape love is the highest form of love; it’s selfless, sacrificial, and unconditional. It’s more than a feeling that affects our emotions; it’s active and it demonstrates itself through actions.
30-Day FREE Bible Scripture Challenge to Love the Lord and your Neighbor

Two new commandments

Jesus shares two commandments in the New Testament where all the laws in the Old Testament are fulfilled. And those two laws are found in Matthew 22:37-40, which says,
Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”
From this scripture, we need to know where love stems from and why we CAN love our neighbor.

God is love

God doesn’t have love; He IS love. 1 John 4:16 says,
And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.
The very essence of love stems out of who God is. And not only that, if love is unconditional, selfless and is revealed through action, God truly showed us how much He loves us. He gave His very best, His one and only Son (John 3:16) so that we could have a relationship with Him through the Holy Spirit.  
30-Day FREE Bible Scripture Challenge to Love the Lord and your Neighbor

Loving God

To love God, is to recognize who He is in our lives, and that without Him we are nothing.

As we devote and surrender ourselves to God in meditating on the Word, prayer, worship, praise, we are opening our heart to Him. We want His very nature to penetrate into every fibre of our being so that we are children who are led by Him.

When we love someone, our heart and affection is turned toward them. We can use words that are said or written that express our love to God. But, the ultimate way we show God that we love Him is by doing what He says and loving others.

If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? 1 John 4:20

So then the question is, how do we love people?

Loving People

It can be easier to love people that you connect with, are friends with or are really close to.

But, Jesus doesn’t want us to just focus on those that are easy to love; He wants us to love those we don’t know, the ones who are hurting and sad, who are in need, and even the unlovable – those that may not have treated you right.

1 John 4:7-8 says,

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.

If we can view every person on this earth as someone created by God (because they are), we are choosing to see others through the lens of love.

But if the lens we are carrying about ourselves is distorted, we will pick up that same lens when we look at others and view them the same way.

 

30-Day FREE Bible Scripture Challenge to Love the Lord and your Neighbor

Loving ourselves

If we are to love others as ourselves, loving ourselves doesn’t have to do with finding 5 things about yourself that you like and then doing the same for another person. To love yourself has everything to do with looking at the One who created you and seeing the value that you have because you are here on this earth. You are born for such a time as this and there is no one like you. You are uniquely created with a purpose, calling and destiny to be fulfilled impacting the earth with heaven.

Putting it together

Now, the ability to love others should be seen with the same lenses that you look through when you look at yourself. When we view others as insignificant, we’re really saying that we view ourselves as insignificant. If we don’t value who we are in God, we’ll never value another person, because just like us, they are also made in the image of God.

Get 2 FREE 30-Day Love Bible Scripture Challenges!

Is loving ourselves always easy? Or, is loving others always easy? Nope, it’s not!

But, it’s a beautiful thing when you can look past imperfections and insecurities and choose to look through the lens of Love, the One who made you. Then, we all are significant and beautiful no matter how messy our lives are.

Nobody loses when we choose to love each other.

How do you keep your mindset in a frame to love God and love people? Feel free to share in the comments below.

Anchored in Jesus,
Melanie