Hi, I am Jenn. My blog started in late 2011 as a place for me to share what the Lord was teaching me through time in His Word. That was all I did for quite some time. After praying over my blog, I felt led to make it a part of my daily life as a way to share how our family is learning to live with purpose in all areas of our lives.
But I do know that it’s easy to just say “yes, you can use the iPad,” and then 90 minutes later they’re still at it because you lose track of time and don’t have a plan for anything else to do when they’re done!
I grew up on a farm in rural North Dakota in the 80s and 90s. We had no access to the internet, seven TV channels (most of which were Canadian) and 20 acres where we could roam wild and free, getting into all sorts of safe trouble :)
My kids don’t have that kind of childhood though (we live in town), and maybe yours don’t either!
So sometimes then, as “modern” parents, we have to be purposeful about finding screen-free alternatives for our kids in the summer compared to all the readily available electronic devices out there!
That’s where this huge list of 101 screen-free summer activities for kids comes in!
Some of these ideas are my own, but many came from polling my local friends on Facebook who are parents too! (I’ve noted their names by the respective idea!)
Don’t feel like you have to do them all, of course! Ain’t nobody got time for that! ;)
But I think if you try even a few of these alternative activities to screen time when you’re at home with your kids this summer, you’ll find that you’ll have a lot less whining and a lot more fun memories with your family :)
101 Screen-Free Summer Activities for Kids
Visit 3-4 local parks and take pictures at each one.
Have a competition and see who can blow bubbles through a hula hoop (it’s hilarious on a windy day!)
Go on a bike ride as a family on a trail you’ve never explored! (from Diana)
Take part in a summer reading program from your local library.
Visit the downtown area of a nearby town. If you search their city’s website, you’ll likely find free events going on!
Ask your local shelter if they need anything for the summer. Many times a big need is for soap, shampoo and diapers. Buy a few things and drop them off. This is a great tangible way for your kids to serve others.
Spend a rainy day puddle jumping! (Mom too!) ;).
Go outside at night and watch the fireflies–so cool!
Buy glow in the dark bracelets from the dollar store and play tag in the semi-dark (as in, make sure there are streetlights or some other ambient light source on to prevent injury!) ;)
Find a local “frolf” aka Frisbee Golf course for a great Sunday afternoon family activity (from Angie).
Play in the sandbox. Bring out some water and make sandcastles in it too.
Play laser tag! (from Steve)
Have a toy “car wash” or a “bike wash”
Sell lemonade and homemade cookies.
Make some sandbox creations. “Grate” roads, dig tunnels with old cans (that you’ve taped around the edges) and have some messy fun.
Go kayaking. (from Ronna) Some cities have programs where you can rent a kayak or even borrow it free for an afternoon!
Have a watermelon eating contest.
Go geocaching (you’ll need to use your phone for this one, but totally fine to make this a fun family activity!) From Carmen.
Go to a science museum.
Go to garage sales and find some treasures! (From Gracia) What I do is have my kids do a few small chores around the house and then give them some money to spend on whatever they want. It’s a good way to teach them to manage money!
Institute “buddy time” where you pair your kids up (I have four, so this works well for me) so you have time to get a few things done on your own (from Deb). Set a reasonable time limit and give them a list of activities to do together or just send them outside if they’re old enough ;)
Learn to jump rope! Remember doing that for the Presidential Physical Fitness competition in elementary school??
Mow an older person’s lawn (older kids of course).
Get a membership to a local pool.
Make a “bored” jar with your choice of summer activity ideas written on popsicle sticks.
Write a letter to a friend or family member who needs some encouragement!
Bike to a local restaurant for a treat.
Create a “Field Day” challenge in your backyard and invite the neighborhood kids to participate with little prizes. (Safety first, of course!) Think things like you did on Field Day back in school: 3 legged race, jumping over small hurdles, hit a ball off a tee, egg on a spoon race, etc. Here is an idea for a sidewalk chalk obstacle course that looks fun!
Find a local community area where you can play baseball (from Jennifer). This would actually make a really fun neighborhood activity and give you a chance to get to know some families!
Catch butterflies, bugs and frogs and then let them go!
Make a summer bucket list with a bunch of these ideas and see how many you can check off! :)
One More Thing…
I don’t know about you, but I always approach summer vacation with excitement mixed with some nervousness.
I love the freedom and lack of routine in some ways, and in other ways it scares me that my patience won’t be able to survive unstructured time with all my kids home 24/7.
But, just like coming up with some great activity ideas to break up the days, I’ve learned a little summer planning can go a long way.
Summer comes with it’s own set of specific “planning” challenges though.
We need a routine for us AND the kids, we want the kids to pitch in with helping around the house and our schedule will be a mix of organized events and spontaneous fun (which is good!).
We need ways to get things done, but also space for last-minute ideas.
So to help with this, I created the Purposeful Family Summer Planner!
It’s a printable resource designed specifically for moms who are at home with their kids during the summer. (That’s my experience as a work-at-home mom, so I can only speak to that).
Not only will it help you organize your time, but it also lays out a plan for a strong devotional life for your family as well as a guide to making a “family strategy” for the summer, so you can all discuss your priorities and make plans together too.
I really believe that creating a “whole family” plan and not just individual plans for each person will help your summer goals, strategies and ideas to actually be accomplished, because they are a cooperative effort!
(I’ve created a video for you along with the planner explaining how to create a whole family plan for your summer!)
This summer, I want you to be ready with a plan, be a happier more patient mom and enjoy making lots of fun memories with your kids!
Want to see what’s inside the Purposeful Family Summer Planner?
Click the button below for details and get your copy for a special price!
8 proven ways for the Christian mom to be more peaceful and joyful this summer with kids at home!
Does the thought of the last day of school make your palms sweat and your mind feel panicky?
Maybe summer feels like a season of survival, rather than a season where you can thrive and grow in your relationship with your kids while they’re at home.
In the past, you’ve been a grumpy mom.
Barking orders, impatient, irritated that your kids are irritated with each other and it just. won’t. stop!
I know this feeling. So, so well. Sometimes it can feel discouraging to WANT summer to be better, only to have things turn out exactly the same way they did the year before--when you can’t wait for the middle of August to arrive.
You want to be a happier stay-at-home mom this summer. And more peaceful and patient with your kids.
Let me help guide you in some ways to make this happen.
I’m not talking about creating robotic children that will say nary a discouraging word to each other or obey you perfectly the first time you ask them to weed the garden or clean their room.
I’m talking about strategies foryou as a mom that will make the summer better for your whole family.
When we prepare ourselvesspiritually, emotionally and practically, we’re more equipped to face the inevitable adjustment period of having the kids around each other all day (when they aren’t yet used to it) and the change of routine (or lack thereof!).
One thing I find is that when I have a plan, it helps me to be less “on edge” with my kids.
I’m not talking about your kids complaining, I’m referring to moms who complain about their kids.
There was a point in my life where I just had to stop participating in conversations like this because it was making me feel even more frustrated and ungrateful with my own kids.
Believe me, I’m not perfect. But we become what we expose ourselves to. If you are convicted when you find yourself in the middle of one of these negative mom conversations, can I encourage you to just step away? It can lead to a change in your attitude for the better.
8) Have clear expectations of your children for the summer.
If you want your kids to participate in chores, talk to them about it before the summer begins. This year we are sitting down and making family promises to each other about what we want our summer to be like. Let your kids give suggestions too!
There will be time of stress as you get used to being around each other again, but you can press through the summer with confidence knowing what a blessing it is that God gives us different “times and seasons” to be with your kids.
I love the verse in 1 Timothy 6:17 that says “God has given us everything we need for our enjoyment.”
God WANTS to bless our time and our efforts with our kids! And even if we aren’t in a perfect place, He will do this because He loves us and desires for us to enjoy motherhood.
I pray that these tips will help you have a happier and more joyful experience as a stay at home mom, together with your kids!
Need some step-by-step help in creating a rhythm and planning a successful, happier summer?
I’m so excited to share with you our Purposeful Family Summer Strategy Planner!
I designed it with stay-at-home moms in mind, to help you have a happier, less chaotic and purposeful summer!
To help you be more organized this summer, I’m sharing tips on how to get ready for summer with your kids at home.
I want you to be able to stress less so you can have an intentional, enjoyable time with your children while they’re with you all day for these summer months! :)
We’re going to start our little series with talking about how to create a fun, flexible summer routine for your days.
I’m kind-of a weird person in that I enjoy being spontaneous, but I am genuinely less stressed when I have a plan. Yet I’m never going to be one who wants every minute of my day planned out.
If you have a similar personality type, what this ends up meaning is that you probably function best with a “framework” for the day that allows for flexibility but also lays out a plan to follow so that you know what can come next.
Plus, kids thrive on routine, so it’s helpful to have some sort of rhythm to your day. I’ve been working on daily rhythms over the last few summers to figure out what works best. Hopefully this layout helps you!
Sample Summer Schedule for Kids at Home
We have multiple ages of children, so this is what our summer will look like this year:
7:00 AM-Breakfast, get ready for the day, morning chores, independent play (no screen time), Bible time, craft or some other activity if needed. We’ll also go outside early in the morning during the hottest part of the summer.
10:00 AM-Activity time, like going to the park, a free class somewhere, bike ride, play outside.
Noon – Lunch, quick clean-up, relax.
1:00 PM – Nap time for the youngest, quiet independent activities for older kids. Screen time starts at 2:00 PM and goes for an hour. During this time I’ll be working.
3:00 PM – Go to the pool! Or other outdoor time depending on the weather.
5:00 PM – Prep and eat supper. I’m hoping to have my older two (13 and 10) do a lot of the cooking this summer and my husband do the grilling!
7:00 PM – Take our evening walk or hang out with some people from church or our neighborhood. We’d love to get to know some families in our church better, and our neighbors too! We go to bed a little later in the summer, but we’ll do our devotions in the evenings too.
Normally, we have baseball in the summertime, but this summer, because we’ll be gone quite a bit on some trips, we decided to bypass any summer sports.
You can see our more detailed summer schedule for families with multiple age children in this photo:
This might seem pretty simple, but having a rhythm and framework for what your day will look like keeps you from just spending all day in front of the TV and gives you the ability to “plug in” goals and bucket list items that you want to make a part of your summer!
Take a few moments today to map out a rhythm for your summer days!
At the end of this post, you’ll find a blank daily summer rhythm download for you to use in your home!
I really look forward to this bundle each year and it’s one of the few things I promote to you as a reader, because of it’s huge value!
If you’re like most moms, your plate is full. And caring for your home, your family, and – especially! – yourself can be overwhelming at times.
The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle has been selling since 2012, and over 127,000 women have purchased a copy to learn practical strategies for decreasing stress, nurturing their home and family and learning how to use their time well!
Despite being sold every year since 2012, it’s a new bundle each year. Resources to help YOU make the best of the season you’re in.
The creators behind these resources are 100+ women who have struggled with the same things as you, but have learned (and will teach you) how to simplify your home, declutter & organize, put healthy meals on the table, nurture strong family relationships, and practice self-care.
You can get it all for just $29.97. (Plus bonuses which are great this year!)
I’ve had a resource in the bundle each year and this year, my Love One Another Sibling Challenge Workbook is included!
Along with your Ultimate Homemaking Bundle purchase, you’ll have the chance to get an additional mini-bundle that will help you in your walk with Jesus for just $7!
If you want practical, actionable resources to help you invest in your faith this year, check it out after your Homemaking Bundle purchase.
You can find the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle right here and see all the resources included to find out if it’s right for you!
If you buy the bundle by midnight tomorrow, you can also get a free online class from The Nester called “The Cozy Minimalist Embraces Summer – a $29 value. (I loved her Cozy Minimalist Home book!)
Get your home ready for summer, be ready to show hospitality and delight your family with some Nester-inspired encouragement. :) Check it out HERE!
I’ll also give you my brand new resource, the Purposeful Family Summer Planner (a $15 value), for free if you purchase the bundle through THIS LINK!
Just send me an email at jenn AT thepurposefulmom DOT com and let me know you’ve purchased the bundle through one of the links in this post and I’ll send the planner your way!
Heads up….The links in this post are affiliate links, which means I do make money from each purchase of the bundle. Thank you for helping me support my family and continue to create free resources for you!
Here’s the sample summer schedule for you to download and use with your family! Just click on the image and a blank copy will download for you to write in!
Want to be a more fun, playful mom this summer? Here are 7 ways to have fun at home with your kids and create great memories (rather than being so stressed and feeling like you’re going to pull your hair out all the time!)
My husband and I have four children, and I happen to be a work-at-home mom. My part-time schedule allows some freedom to come and go as needed. And since our kids go to our local Christian school, I like to try and make my summer days at home with my kids count!
But just like every other family who is on summer break, our home can quickly descend into chaos when everybody’s back around each other again all the time!
Constant bickering ensues. By 10 am I’m ready to pull out my hair and curl up into a ball as far away from everyone as possible.
Kids at home in summer gets as crazy as my daughter’s hair, doesn’t it? ;)
What if we could look forward to summer this year instead of dreading it?
What’s the solution to having a happier summer this time around? Discipline? Somewhat. Taking deep breaths? Maybe. Yelling? I think we know the answer is no.
But today I wanted to talk about another, more personal solution: how you can be a more fun, playful mom who enjoys her summer!
Allowing Yourself to Be a Fun Mom Helps Solve Summer Conflicts
I’m a pretty practical person, so a lot of times I look for solutions that are organized and practical. But sometimes in those techniques and strategies, I lose how to just have FUN!
Do you ever struggle with this?
Just letting yourself lighten up and have a great time with your kids?
I get it. You’re standing in the kitchen surrounded by loud children, everyone demanding your attention. The dishes have piled up. You don’t want to ask for help (because you figure no one WILL help).
You forget how to be the joyful mom you want to be. I do too <3
But hear me out.
Allowing yourself to be a fun and playful mom actually goes a long way in relieving a lot of the issues that we struggle with during the summer with kids at home: boredom, complaining, fighting (both the sibling conflict and mom/kid conflict), and overall drudgery.
Having joy really builds genuine love and connection in your home and helps you move toward being a happier mom more on a daily basis (instead of just once in a while)! (LINK)
Let’s talk about how to put more fun in your day so you can enjoy summer with your family!
7 Ways to Make Summer at Home with Your Kids More Fun
In a moment when you’re beginning to feel stressed,stop everything and have a dance party. I kind-of grit my teeth suggesting this one, because it’s really hard for me to transition from being grumpy to being happy at a moment’s notice! But if you’re a Type-A organized mom like me, spontaneity is what we really need sometimes!
If you’re a Christian mom, sometimes it really helps to stop and pray too, for God to give you a spirit of joy! :)
Go on a random road trip. I don’t necessarily mean one where you stay overnight although those would be fun too! But what if you checked online and found a great family-friendly attraction up to 90 miles away and just hit the road! Once you’ve checked your planner to make sure you have nothing else on the schedule, surprise your kids in the morning! Pack some snacks and head out.
Use the Giggle and Hug principle to tame grumpiness (for moms AND your kids!). This ridiculously named idea came from an off-the-top-of-my-head strategy I tried one day when my youngest two just would not stop complaining and whining. And I was getting more and more frustrated and grumpy.
So I just decided to take control of the situation and said, “Let’s hug!” Then I put a big smile on my face and squeezed everyone together in a big bear hug. Then I started tickling them and everyone dissolved into giggles. I’ve also made this work by making faces, talking in a funny voice and dancing in a circle. Whatever works for you, just break the moment!
Don’t just take your kids to the park.Join with them on the swings, slides or other playground equipment! I get that it’s hard to want to do this sometimes–park time might seem like it’s the only time to get a break from “momming”. You certainly don’t have to do this every time, but just smile and go along with it! If you have little kids, you have to keep an eye on them anyway ;)
Get physical and be active! Go outside and kick around a soccer ball. Twirl your kids around. Play a game of tag. We know physical activity reduces stress and can help fight anxiety and depression because it produces endorphins, which act as “natural painkillers” and stabilize our moods.
Add some fun into your work. Mary Poppins, anyone? Here are some ideas for handling chores in a more fun way:
Turn on some music while you work. With my five year old, this is actually still kind-of distracting, but if I follow her around and prompt her to keep going, she’ll usually get the job done.
Make it into a game. Ball socks into pairs, and shoot them into the laundry basket. Turn off the lights in the playroom and shine a flashlight on toys that need to be picked up and put away.
Have a water “fight” while you wash the van on a hot day! I’ve done this and it’s fun, though we do have the rule of not hitting people in the eyes with soapy water!
Set a timer and race to see how fast you can get done. I find that it doesn’t work to make this into a competition but just a collaborative effort to get stuff done so you can do something else fun!
Will “every job you undertake become a piece of cake?” Maybe not, and you will probably still have to lay down the law at times, but overall, this really does help turn chores into less of a dreaded task.
Before summer even begins, make a summer bucket list! (I’ve got a printable at the end of this post for you!) Let you kids help you. Ask them what they want to do. If you need ideas for your bucket list, you can find our epic list of screen-free summer activities for your kids! This gives options to choose from when your kids complain about not having anything to do! (Read my one quick piece of advice about what to do when your kids say “I’m bored”!) (LINK)
I totally understand that summer can be stressful. But when we let our children’s moods influence our behavior, it can make us act like a grouchy mom instead of the fun, playful and more peaceful mom we want to be!
So I hope you’ll give these ideas a try! You may just get to the end of your summer and see how much better it has been this time around with your kids at home :)
If you were encouraged and inspired by this post, you will love our Purposeful Family Summer Planner!
Want to make summers with your kids count but still a little nervous about being with them again 24/7?
Welcome to your plan for a more joyful and faithful summer–our Family Summer Planner!
See what’s included in this NEW printable resource, created especially for busy moms with kids at home during summer, by clicking the button below.
Teach your children these short Bible memory verses to help introduce them to Jesus and know God’s Word! Plus a free printable!
I love teaching my kids Bible verses when they’re little! It’s so cute to hear them repeat God’s Word!
Even more than that, what we know from teaching the Bible to our toddler and preschoolers is that even if we aren’t sure exactly how much they’re comprehending when they’re really tiny, we know that the Word is doing what it promises. It promises to be living and active in their lives and change their hearts!
For the word of God is alive and active. Hebrews 4:12
And as your kids grow, they WILL start to comprehend the verses and ask questions about them.
And I will give them one heart, and a new spirit I will put within them. Ezekiel 11:19
That’s why it’s never too early to start teaching your kids God’s Word!
Someone asked me not too long ago what the best memory verses were to teach to a toddler or preschooler.
There are seven Bible verses that I think are important for our kids to know from the beginning.
All Scripture is helpful but if you want a simple guide on giving your kids a great start in knowing God’s Word, here are the favorites that I taught to my kids when they were tiny!
These seven verses:
Lay the foundation for faith
Give simple instructions on how to live
Show the promises of God
Point our kids to Jesus’ love for them
Are simple to memorize (and can be tweaked for toddler age–18 month to age 3!)
They are short Bible verses that are easy for toddlers to commit to memory! Plus, at the end of the post I have a Bible verse printable planner to help you start teaching your kids God’s Word!
7 Best Bible Memory Verses to Teach Your Toddler or Preschooler
“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:32
This verses is a great teaching tool for forgiveness and showing kindness. This is one of the very first Bible verses my kids learned to help them deal with sibling conflict!
“Beloved, let us love one another: for love comes from God.” 1 John 4:7
Shows our kids where love truly comes from and how we are enabled to love others (because Jesus loves us!)
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son that whoever believes in Him may not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16
The perfect verse to share the gospel with our kids! Take time to explain what words like “perish” and “eternal life” mean!
“The Lord is good to all: and His tender mercies are over all His works.” Psalm 145:9
The short version of this verse that we use with the littlest ones in our home is “The Lord is good to all.” I want my kids to know that God is faithful to them and provides good things for them!
“O give thanks to the Lord; for He is good: His mercy endureth forever.” Psalm 136:1
Great for teaching thankfulness!
“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” Genesis 1:1
Explain this verse by talking with your child about a list of things and people that God created and why they are valuable!
“The Lord bless thee, and keep thee: The Lord make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee.” Numbers 6:24-25
A wonderful blessing to speak over your child and for them to learn to speak over others.
Printable Bible Memory Verses for Toddlers and Preschoolers
If you want to teach your kids these 7 verses I just shared, I’ve created a free Bible verse “planner” that has a page of length-appropriate verses for toddlers and the full text for kids to learn as they get older!
Plus, a weekly calendar for Scripture memory work and blank pages to write in your own verse choices!
Just enter your best email in the box below and I’ll send it straight to your email inbox! :)
When you’re a busy mom, it might seem like finding quiet time to pray to God is only a dream. But I want to show you how you can nurture a stronger prayer life, even if you only have five minutes to start.
Why is it so hard to find time to pray as a mom?
So asked a reader of mine in a recent email.
I’d never gotten an email like that before, but the mom who was reaching out had hit on a sore spot and she probably didn’t even realize it.
It’s not like we need to be told that prayer is important. As Christian moms, we deeply believe that having daily, ongoing conversation with God can change our attitudes, our hearts and the course of our day.
So then WHY is it so hard to find time to pray effectively?
I bet you can tell me why! Your kids are always talking to you. You’re constantly interrupted. You can never find a quiet moment in your day.
Maybe you don’t even know how to start having a better, stronger prayer life or what that’s supposed to look like!
I totally get it! That’s where I sat for a LONG time. Unable to even start having the kind of prayer life I wanted.
However, I began to realize that I was attempting to create a “perfect” moment for prayer…when there would never be one.
So I just started praying.
At first, it was just a sentence or two breathed out loud. But then I got a little more organized in my prayer time and started a really simple pattern for prayer that reminded me to do it regularly.
Now, a couple of years down the road, my prayer life is becoming stronger, one step at a time. There are days when I just say “God, help me!” when I’m feeling frustrated and that’s totally valid!
Life is always going to be whirling around you. But if you can put a daily practice and strategy for prayer in place, it can help you establish a really beneficial habit of intentional prayer–yes, multiple times a day.
I want to teach you a great way of making prayer time effective.
To help you start a prayer habit, I’m sharing with you the key strategy that you can use to find time to pray, even when you feel like the busiest, most distracted mom on earth.
You can have a stronger prayer life as a busy mom. And it starts with just taking one simple step.
This strategy will help you stay focused and use the small pockets of time throughout your day (as in, 3-5 minutes!) to build a stronger life of prayer.
BONUS: You can use this method to teach your kids to pray too.
The Best Five-Minute Prayer Strategy for Busy Moms
What I started doing was taking small pockets of time to pray using the principles in the ACTS method of prayer.
If you haven’t heard of it, the ACTS method stands for:
A – Adoration
C – Confession
T – Thanksgiving
S – Supplication
Even if you know what I’m talking about, hang on! I’ll teach you how to actually use this method in your prayer time.
Why does this work? Because it’s easy to remember, it’s biblical and it can be done anywhere, any time.
And I’ll get to the HOW to find time to pray after I explain the WHAT behind the strategy!!
How busy moms can have a stronger prayer life using the ACTS method.
You can write down the acronym on a notecard or copy and paste these “directions” into a document and print to help you remember!
Don’t feel silly–I used to feel weird when I prayed so specifically like this but now I love it! Just go ahead and get started :) Once you practice a bit, it will come more naturally. Here we go:
Step One: Start with praising God for Who He is. “Adoration” is worshipping and “paying tribute to”. It’s telling God of your deep love and respect for Him.
To practice adoration you might simply say “Thank you Father for being strong and faithful. I praise you for your power and the way You can do anything according to Your will.”
Use one of the Psalms to praise and adore God. Some good choices for psalms of praise and adoration are Psalm 150, Psalm 8, Psalm 111 and Psalm 76.
Relate your adoration to something you’ve experienced about God lately! There are times where I simply notice how God has a certain situation under control so I might praise Him for being sovereign over everything.
Step Two: Move on to a brief time of confession. Psalm 51 says “Create in me a clean heart O God and renew a right spirit within me.”
For uninhibited conversation with the Lord, we DO need to be in a place of repentance. Holding things back from Him makes us struggle through prayer–I know this from experience!
Confession is very personal, but know that the Holy Spirit will bring to mind the truth of what we need to lay before God.
Step Three: Give God thanks. Thanksgiving is a little different than adoration because now you’re thanking Him for what He’s done and given to you.
Thanksgiving can be easy on the good days but at times I struggle to be grateful! If you do too, just tell God three things that you can be thankful for that He’s specifically brought into your life, the first three that come to mind. As you do this, you’ll notice your heart begins to soften.
Write down the thankful portion of your prayer time if you have a moment–just keep it next to your bed to read with your kids later if they’re having a hard time with thankfulness ;)
Step Four: This is where we start asking God for help or “making supplications”. Some ideas you can rotate through:
Pray for five people who need specific prayer.
Ask God for protection and safety for your family and friends.
Ask God to change your heart attitude toward your children.
Ask God to teach you how to “number your days” or use your time wisely.
Ask God to make you a more patient mother.
Ask God to give you accountability.
Pray for your husband.
Pray for a strong family.
Pray for God to help you forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against.
This ACTS method can be used over just a few minutes’ time. You can do this throughout the day–try it with your kids!
(Below, my husband and I with our littlest. Those chubby cheeks!!)
When you’re having a really hard moment with your children, stop everything and lead them through this ACTS prayer strategy.
It will make your family’s prayer life stronger too!
How Busy Moms Can Find Time to Pray
Maybe you’re saying, “Hey, that’s a great strategy, but how do I really find a way to do this?”
These are five manageable ideas that have worked for me to find actual time to pray (as a mom of four kids close in age):
Currently, we have a master bathroom so I close the door and do my prayer time while I’m blow-drying my hair or otherwise getting ready for the day.
I’ve also sat and prayed silently at the table while eating breakfast (while my kids are playing downstairs in the morning–if they’re fighting, I just finish praying before I go get them haha).
When I had babies, I’d pray while nursing. And also sometimes while rocking them to sleep. I know it seems super simple, but for a long time I simply neglected to pray during these opportune times–I’d think about stuff, but wouldn’t pray.
I pray while I do dishes. I pray while I’m wandering around the house putting stuff away. I pray while I’m cleaning the garage and the kids are out riding bikes. Not all of these happen in one day ;)
Set a timer on your microwave or phone throughout the day to remind you to pray! Then follow through on it! :)
One more tip that I want to start doing: Write down prayers on a post-it note and stick them to the fridge or wherever you’ll see them to remind you to pause!
No matter where or when you do it throughout the day, can you see the beauty and purpose of this ACTS prayer strategy?
It’s to give you a tool to use effectively so that when you DO have a bit of quiet time for prayer (or even if it’s not quiet) you can use this strategy daily as a busy mom to find time to pray!
Don’t give up! I’m cheering you on!
Prayer for a Busy Mom Printable
Now, what if you just need a quick and tangible idea for an “ACTS” type prayer?
I’ve made a printable “Prayer for a Busy Mom” that’s modeled after the ACTS prayer strategy.
Feel free to print it and use for your prayer time on the craziest days!!
Download it by clicking the button below the photo.
Encouragement and real help for the Christian mom going through depression and anxiety.
Not long ago, a mom friend and I were having a chat about how, at certain stages of life, we struggle through feelings of frustration, anger, impatience and physical exhaustion almost every day.
And it reminded me how far I’d come in understanding where a lot of our struggles as moms come from.
(Hint: It’s not just because we are busy or have disobedient children–there’s something deeper.)
Two and a half years ago, when my mom was diagnosed with an incurable cancer, and things in our new church were not going well at all, I fell into a deep, dark place.
My prayer life was non-existent, I was angry and constantly crying, and my family and friends definitely did not get the best of what I wanted to be.
There was a point where I woke up every morning with the hope that the day would be better, only to find the dull ache in my head, stomach (and heart!) return.
I thought that if my spiritual life was better, maybe I would feel more joyful. But the sadness and feelings of hopelessness just stuck around.
Not until I had a deep conversation with a close friend about my difficulties did I realize what I was really dealing with.
And I finally understood that there’s a lie we tend to tell ourselves as Christian moms:
The lie that as a Christian mom, we shouldn’t be struggling with depression or anxiety.
We tell ourselves that if we only prayed more, we’d be happier. We blame ourselves and say that “if only I read my Bible more, I’m sure I wouldn’t feel this way.”
But then it continues on and affects us and our families in so many painful ways.
Do you struggle with what could be depression and anxiety but you feel guilty for feeling that way because you’re a Christian mom who should “have her act together”?
You’re not alone! There is hope!
Here’s the truth and the promise that comforts us in our afflictions.
God doesn’t want to be only our bandaid.
He’s not like the slap-some-Bible-verses on it kind of person who brushes away deep struggles or shames us in our difficulties.
God the Father deeply cares for us in this messy place. And He came to us in the form of His Son, Jesus, to be our Redeemer.
I looked up the word “redeemer” in the dictionary. It means, “one who buys back.”
Some of the related words to Redeemer? I love these: savior, rescuer, deliverer, emancipator, Messiah, Emmanuel, freer
Freer. One who frees. Not one who just slaps an easy, cheap payment down on the table, but One Who literally took the steps necessary to rescue us from what was holding us captive.
So if you’re a Christian mom walking this road, waking up each morning upset, impatient, frustrated, tired or lonely and it doesn’t seem to just “go away”, reach out to your Redeemer and let him rescue you today.
I love you, Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. Psalm 18:1-2
What You CAN Do to Help Manage your Struggle with Anxiety or Depression as a Christian
My recovery from the anxiety and depression I was struggling with (complete with panic attacks), was slow but steady. There are several things that I learned to do as far as self-care that I hadn’t been doing before.
Now, going forward, there are steps I’ve taken and coping mechanisms I do have set in place so that if this happens again, I will be more prepared.
Knowing you need the help of Jesus and allowing Him to rescue you (instead of you trying to rescue yourself through quick fixes) is key.
The amazing thing is, God also provides us with a lot of people and simple solutions that can help on the earthly side of anxiety and depression.
The Number One Thing
The very first thing you can do is to allow yourself to get professional help.
I know it seems potentially embarrassing.
But I know that you want to get better.
My dad told me once that seeking help doesn’t mean you are weak, it means you arestrong, because you know that there is a better way to live.
Help can be in the form of a Christian counselor and may also involve taking medication. I didn’t take medication this last time, but I have in the past (after the birth of my second daughter).
However, I did get some counseling from a trusted Christian pastor as to how to process what I was going through. To be honest, I probably could use more, but at this point I am doing SO much better!
10 ways to find the right care when you struggle with anxiety and depression as a Christian momNutrition (this is a hard fight, but it’s huge).
I cut back on gluten and dairy in my diet, and it was like a fog lifted. What we eat affects us greatly!
**If you have questions about this, let me know if the comments!
I’ve talked about this before, because I find that for a lot of us, having systems and rhythms in place for our days, weeks and months helps us focus even if we are having a hard day.
You can watch my video where I share how I plan my own Personal Planning Retreat Day HERE.
Spend time with trusted family and friends.
Talk to someone you trust about what you’re going through. Let them help you to a healthier place. A lot of times when we’re anxious or depressed we don’t feel like seeing anyone or going anywhere.
But from my experience, it just makes it worse to stay isolated. It has surprised me time and time again how I am able to be drawn out and feel more “normal” once I get out of the house.
And yes, this step thankfully includes lots of snuggling with your husband and kids! :)
Stay away from the news.
Dead serious, this about did me in when I was really down, so I learned to stop watching/reading news. Pretend you live in the 1920s with limited access to all the goings-on around the world ;)
Stay off social media.
Remove the apps from your phone. I took of the Facebook app months ago and I don’t miss it one bit! You get trapped in the comparison game when you’re seeing everyone’s Instagram perfect looking life!
Walk through it with your spouse.
Let him be a support to you and tell him how you need him to help. My husband is much more understanding after conversations we’ve had about my struggles. It’s important for me to be patient with him too, because he doesn’t really go through anxiety like I do!
If you’re in a hard place right now too, feeling that you may be struggling with anxiety and/or depression as a Christian mom, I hope these suggestions give you some action steps and help you remember that God does care and wants to deliver and redeem you in your struggles!
Take time to share in the comments, if you’d like, how you’ve seen God work in your life through times of depression and anxiety. It may help another mom reading this post!
Teaching the Trinity to children doesn’t have to be confusing and complicated! Here’s a simple lesson that can help you explain the Trinity in an easy to understand way.
We’ve all seen the pictures of St. Patrick holding the three-leaved shamrock…and it’s supposed to represent the Trinity.
But it’s not always easy for kids to understand just HOW a small green clover relates to Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Plus, the shamrock really isn’t the best way to describe this relationship between the persons of God.
To be fair, there’s still a good lesson to be learned from Patrick and his decision to use the shamrock to explain the Trinity: we can use every day objects to point to our Creator, connecting faith to tangible things we can see and understand.
There’s a more accurate way to explain the Trinity to your kids.
Use an apple.
Why? Because an apple is truly a three-in-one object. And unlike the symbol of a shamrock, which simply shows that something can be both three AND one, an apple can actually provide an explanation for yet another characteristic of the Trinity: the uniqueness of each divine Person.
It’s an unbelievably easy object lesson for teaching young kids about the Trinity. And honestly, even older kids can have an “aha” moment reading this book.
I’ll walk you through the simple lesson below the photo.
How to Teach Kids the Trinity with an Apple Object Lesson
Grab an apple and share these five truths with your kids:
An apple has three parts: the seeds, the flesh, and the skin. When you cut an apple in half, you can see that each of these three parts are different (at this point, you can cut the apple open for your kids!).
The skin is like God the Father because He protects us.
The flesh is like God the Son because Jesus Christ took on human flesh.
The seeds are like God the Holy Spirit because He through His power, we grow in faith.
Each of the parts of an apple are different, but they are ALL apple.
So are the persons of God all different (Father, Son and Holy Spirit), yet they are ALL God.
It’s a simple, no-prep Biblical lesson, but it’s really effective, especially when you don’t have a lot of time to devote to a long lesson, but really want to help your kids drive this faith lesson home into their hearts!
Need some extra help in teaching about the Trinity?
A few years ago, our school librarian introduced me to what I believe is the BEST book for reading to your kids that can make the Trinity easier to understand.
This book is best for ages 4 and up, because that’s really when the concept of Father, Son and Holy Spirit starts to roll around in our kids’ minds.