Christmas Bible Story + FREE 30-Day Scripture Printable

Christmas Bible Story + FREE 30-Day Scripture Printable

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There’s nothing like coming together as a family every night, lighting a few candles, grabbing a hot chocolate or tea and reading a passage that leads up to the birth of Jesus.

Take a journey over 30 days with a Christmas Bible story scripture challenge, from the prophecies of Jesus, to Mary and Joseph’s encounter with the angel, and then finally Jesus’ birth.

Christmas Bible Story + 30-Day Bible Scripture Challenge FREE Printable

Read the Christmas Bible Story in 30 Days

The story of Jesus is significant.

Why? Because without Him we would not have been redeemed and restored living in a new covenant of grace.

Our loving God in His great mercy, having given His created image (people) the ability to make their own choices, made a plan of redemption from the beginning.

Jesus was already prophesied about in Genesis 3:15, which says,

And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.”

As you continue to look in scripture, Jesus is prophesied about and foreshadowed in the Old Testament. God was set on redeeming His people, and there was an appointed time for Jesus to come.

Christmas Bible Story + 30-Day Bible Scripture Challenge FREE Printable

The Unlikely…Mary, Jesus’ Mother

I love a good story about an underdog.

I think about how Mary must have felt being visited by an angel to say she will carry the One whom God will send to redeem His people AND have a child without being intimate with a man.

To think that God would plan something so unlikely, having a woman become pregnant miraculously, by the power of the Holy Spirit overshadowing her, is beyond my understanding.

Can you relate with Mary in trying to figure this all out? Our mind just can’t fathom this kind of thing.

The angel, Gabriel, actually encourages Mary about God’s miraculous nature by reminding her that Elizabeth was pregnant in her older age.

Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren. For with God nothing will be impossible.” Luke 1:36-37

And immediately, following Gabriel’s reminder, Mary says the most powerful words of faith.

“Let it be to me according to your word.” Luke 1:38

Get your FREE 30-Day Christmas Bible Story Printable

Christmas Bible Story + 30-Day Bible Scripture Challenge FaREE Printable

How do you celebrate Jesus in this season of Christmas? I’d love to hear what your family does. Feel free to share in the comments below!

Anchored in Jesus,
Melanie

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6 Ways To Disciple Your Kids

6 Ways To Disciple Your Kids

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What are some ways to disciple your kids? Do you need a curriculum or a program to disciple your kids? Just living life is a powerful discipling tool as you take the opportunities with your kids as they present themselves.

What Is Does It Mean To Disciple My Kids

I believe that as parents, we want to see our children make Jesus the Lord of their life, be passionate about serving Him through others and have a deep personal relationship with Him. So when we hear the term “discipleship”, we can think about what we need to do to disciple our kids.

Disciple defined:

When looking up the word “disciple” in the Bible, you will find it used in the New Testament, mostly in the gospels.

When the Bible speaks about disciples, you’ll notice that it’s used to clarify whose disciples they were. As you read the context, you really begin to see that a disciple is a learner (as the definition indicates). In today’s terminology, you could that a disciple is a student.

Disciple applied

Let’s apply this definition to discipling your children.

To disciple your kids, is to help them be a student of the Word (Jesus), following Him. As your kids stay the course, ideally the steps would continue where they would ask Jesus to be the Lord of their lives, become baptized all the while learning to surrender and trust in Jesus growing in their faith.

Learn 6 Ways to Disciple Your Kids

6 Ways To Disciple Your Kids

1. Natural conversations

There’s nothing like a child asking a question or opening up a conversation about something. THIS becomes the greatest opportunity to talk about the Word of God. An inquisitive child is one who is hungry to learn, be taught and looking to apply it to their life.

2. Rhythms at home (prayer or devotions)

Your family’s natural rhythms of devotional or prayer time are good to talk about WHY your family does what they do through. The last thing we all want to do is create a religious tradition doing something out of obligation and routine, rather than relationship.

We have found that this devotional has been great with our daughter who’s 7. She can sense the peace of God through the loving words that are shared. We also expand on those words by applying them to her life, and asking her questions to dig deeper.

3. Bible study

If you’re doing a Bible study at home, verse memorization, scripture copywriting, etc. it’s a great time to expand on what the scripture means and its application in your child’s life.

4. An experience

One of the benefits of homeschooling your kids is the ability to see and sense all the learning challenges as they come up in your kids. These moments are impactful as we get to immediately get to the root of something in their behaviour and attitude and for us as homeschool moms, rely on the Spirit to lead and guide our conversations.

For more on discipling your kids while homeschooling, check out my guest post over at Outmatched Mama here and make sure you sign-up to get the FREE printable I’m offering – available for a limited time!

Another experience is if your child attends a class or sport outside the home and they feel upset about their ability to do what the teacher asked. As their body language begins to show that something is wrong, we can reassure them and value who they are by giving them a Word from God.

These are such divine moments as a parent to engage the fruit of the Spirit and ask for wisdom and guidance from Holy Spirit. He will show you!

5. Church family

A church family is so important. You cannot raise your children on your own; you need the community of like-minded believers to speak life into your children whether it’s by cheering them on or correcting an inappropriate behaviour.

It’s also encouraging for your children to see the body of Christ their age come together where it’s a safe place to ask questions and talk about what’s on their heart as it relates to their faith. It really does take a village to raise a child.

6. Your example

Being led by the Spirit is key to our Christian lifestyle. As you sense the Spirit of God moving through you to do or say something, include your children in this and talk to them about it. God becomes real in your home when your children are exposed to God through Holy Spirit is revealing to you.

Not only that, but the presence of God can be so tangible that your children will experience God in those moments. We just can’t limit God, putting Him in a box of how things will look in our homes.

There are many ways to disciple your kids, and it doesn’t have to be hard. Which way(s) does your family connect with and lean towards? Let me know in the comments below!

Anchored in Jesus,
Melanie

The Ultimate Summer Activities List

The Ultimate Summer Activities List

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Have you exhausted all the things you know to do this summer? Are you looking for some fresh ideas? Get all the ideas (and probably some you haven’t seen) with the ULTIMATE SUMMER ACTIVITIES LIST!

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17 Gift Ideas for a Homeschool Mom

17 Gift Ideas for a Homeschool Mom

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When you think of a homeschool mom, what comes to mind? Have you considered gift ideas for a homeschool mom to shower her with love and appreciation?

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3 Reasons Why We Don’t Homeschool Over Summer

3 Reasons Why We Don’t Homeschool Over Summer

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We teach our children that learning will forever be a part of their lives, which is why we don’t homeschool over summer!

We have the ability, as parents, to take every opportunity to teach our children.

Is learning and education strictly about the material, or is it also about character, health and reconnection?

We all have family values that we keep and instill in our children. These values also develop and change over time as you go through different seasons in life; your children grow up, society changes, maybe your spouse gets a new job and moving is part of the journey. Why we don’t homeschool over summer has become a family value for us, and here’s a few of our reasons.

REASON #1: YOU AND I BOTH NEED A BREAK

Whether you’re working, studying, practicing, cleaning, homeschooling, etc., you really can’t do any of these things in a quality way without a break.

Change of Environment

Taking a break allows you to change your environment. It energizes, restores and refreshes you physically, mentally, emotionally and relationally. This goes for you and your children. I have actually found that my children have responded with greater memory and retention because of breaks. Striving to get things accomplished is only a detriment to you and your children over time.

Planning for Next Year

As the main home educator in our household, I take one month in summer to really pray, seek God’s face, dive in, mull over and plan our curriculum and outlook for the next year. This is also why we don’t homeschool over summer.

So although our homeschool could go on for the summer, it just can’t for our family. With that said, welcome the break, and enjoy the weather together reconnecting and reestablishing relationships.

3 Reasons Why We Don't Homeschool Over Summer

REASON #2: LEARNING IS CONSTANT

Although we are not homeschooling over the summer, learning is constant.

We are never not learning or choosing to do something educational, but in the summer, the environment is oh-so-good for the soul.

Summer Ideas

We like to give our kids things to do in the summer that changes things up. And here’s the thing… it’s all educational. The term “bored” can come up pretty fast if there’s a lack of ideas. (Pinterest or Google, anyone?) Our children love to express themselves with creativity and actively learn by being hands-on and seeking out fresh potential. But, sometimes an idea to start with can spark a chain reaction of more ideas!

We Still Read and Write

Some people may think that we are encouraging our children to avoid reading and writing over summer. In fact, the opposite is true. What a great time to encourage them to read and write! The atmosphere is different – it’s relaxed – which means they may WANT to pull out some fun educational type books, like this one. Vacation is a GREAT time to encourage your children to put together a journal where they can read, write and draw.

I LOVE HOMESCHOOLING my children. It’s rewarding for me to watch them grow, develop and nurture their love for learning. And we get to experience these amazing benefits, but, a break is necessary so that everyone can refresh and rejuvenate! We’re all better for it.

REASON #3: BEINGS NOT DOINGS

It’s important (especially in today’s society) to teach our children that for the sake of your personal mental, emotional and physical health, having a break is something you should do! This is one of the main reasons why we don’t homeschool over summer.

Children Learn By Observation

Even as adults, we have a hard time giving ourselves permission to relax without expectations of getting something done. Our first response to people when they’re asking us how we’re doing is, “Busy!”

As parents, we are our children’s greatest examples of what this life is all about and how to live it. Children learn by observation what relaxing looks like. They also learn what busyness, unavailability and always doing the next thing looks like. Kids remember how it feels to relax, the ways you can do it, where you can go, whom your with, and so on.

When children learn that life is all about doing (even in the relaxing times) instead of taking the time to be, it becomes a detriment to their life as a child of God.

Be Still And Know

How is it possible to teach your children to pray, if their hands, feet, eyes and ears need to be doing something? Is it possible to hear Holy Spirit when we occupy our minds to such a degree that if we’re sitting, we feel like a phone needs to be looked at. Or if we’re driving, we feel the need to listen to music.

“Surrender your anxiety! Be silent and stop your striving and you will see that I am God. I am the God above all the nations, and I will be exalted throughout the whole earth.” Psalm 46:10 (TPT)

We need to put our focus and set our minds and thoughts toward the Lord, shifting our mindfulness to Him and what He wants done, instead of what we want done.

The Lord knows we need rest because He saw this time in society before we ever did. He saw that so many things would occupy and bombard your life and your kids lives. When you feel overwhelmed and inundated with all the things that surround you, I’d encourage you to surrender it to the Lord. He wants to help you!

Although, I believe teaching children to be is part of their character development at all times, it’s really great to focus, be intentional and harness the opportunity that summer brings.

Recap: Why We Don’t Homeschool Over Summer

Every family values different things, goes through different seasons, and makes different choices that is best for their family.

You are your kids ideal example in life. What a privilege and honor it is as a parent to get to teach your children the ways of the Lord, how to live this life, how to have good friendships, how to hear from the Lord, and how to relax and enjoy life. These things are all teachable.

AND, it’s of utmost importance that you do all these things as led by Holy Spirit. These reasons above about why we don’t homeschool over summer are key values for us, and they work for us based on our current family lifestyle. BUT, it could always change in the future, based what God is asking us to do.

Does your family homeschool over the summer? I’d love to hear all about it in the comments below.

Let's join together in faith, praying and declaring God's Word! See you in the challenge:)

Anchored in Jesus,
Melanie