Over the past five years, God has opened my eyes to the truth of eternity and its relevance to motherhood.
In His grace, He brought me on a journey to see my life in light of heaven, and it changed everything. Now I believe He has entrusted me the task of helping other mothers anchor their hope firmly in heaven.
That is how Heavenly Minded Mom was born, and after nearly two years of working, praying, and dreaming, it is HERE!
Heavenly Minded Mom is a 90 day devotional to help you embrace what matters most.
It is not a collection of stories about my life, nor is a “stereotypical” light-hearted devotional. Rather Heavenly Minded Mom is a deep examination of scripture and a invitation to reflect on what it means to live in light of eternity, in the context of motherhood. It is divided into bite-sized portions to offer space for reflection and a real perspective change over time.
Heavenly Minded Mom is divided into three sections:
Section One is a tilling up of the hard soil of our hearts. This is a critical first step –an assault on the idols that we cling to unknowingly. The purpose of this section is to demonstrate the futility of emptiness of what we too often allow to consume us. (Don’t worry, there are nuggets of hope and redemption woven into every devotion).
Section Two is a nurturing of the seed of eternity in our hearts. It is a time to soak in what scripture says about, well… reality, and allow it to begin germinating.
Section Three is the fruit-bearing. It is an outflow of the joy and purpose that God has poured into our daily living in Christ. The very things that seemed meaningless at the onset of this journey are now re-infused with new (and different) purpose.
“God has given each one of us a calling that is beautifully simple, completely unique, and utterly eternal –to follow Him.”
I am so excited to partner with Chickadee Art and Co. because I love the heart behind what they do. One third of all their profits go to buy bus passes for moms in need.
2. The Heavenly Minded Mom Companion Journal printable download (a $10 value)
The Heavenly Minded Mom Companion Journal was created to provide you with space to organize and work through your thoughts about Heavenly Minded Mom.
It highlights additional Bible verses and key quotes from Heavenly Minded Mom, along with hand-selected quotes from other Christian leaders and teachers. The journal restates the questions from the book and provides space to write answers along withadditional guidance and commentary.
The Heavenly Minded Mom Companion Journal will be available for purchase later, but for now, it’s a free download when you pre-order!
*NOTE* You must fill out this form to claim your pre-order bonuses!
When you purchase Heavenly Minded Mom, you will also get access to:
1. Scripture coloring pages intended to help you meditate on the truth of eternity (a $5 value)
2. The Heavenly Minded Mom Online Course (a $10 value)! This is a four-part video course will help you go deeper as you consider what it means to walk out motherhood in light of eternity.
The website to access these freebies is printed in the book itself, and you get them no matter when you buy!
Read a Sample
Not sure if you’re ready to take the plunge? You can read the first 30 pages absolutely free right now! Get a free sample here.
Where to buy?
Heavenly Minded Mom is available wherever books are sold online. However I have just learned that it is already IN STOCK at Cokesbury (this is because they share a warehouse with my publisher). That means if you order today, it will ship today, not in three weeks!
Not only that, but Cokesbury has marked the book down to $9.99, which is the best price anywhere!
“This book is just blowing me away. I am so blessed to get a head start, but at the same time cannot wait to get the real official book in my hand to start from the beginning and dwell on each daily devotion for like a week each! They are seriously that good!!! Katie will give you chills, and make you laugh out loud! God has found a perfect instrument to reach me, and I’m sure many more!!!” –Meghan K.
“I know this book is where I need to be because of my resistance to it. This sounds bad, but I mean it as a compliment. I grumble and can feeeeeeeeeeeeel the resistance building in my soul that I don’t want to think about, don’t want to face what comes up in what the book brings talks about. The ’tilling up’ isn’t a pretty process sometimes. Many devotion books are all fluffy ‘God wants you to be happy!’ without the nitty gritty process of what it takes to work on holiness. That’s what I appreciate about Heavenly Minded Mom.” –Meredith V.
“I recommend this 100%. I have been very challenged and encouraged as I realize how *temporal* my mindset truly is. But you know in the back of your mind, ‘I need to be living for eternity; how do I do that exactly?’ Totally reframes your thinking.” –Jessica S.
Recently my family went eight weeks without the internet.
Yes, we lived for eight weeks in a temporary home with no internet while our home underwent repairs.
As the day approached for this eight week journey to commence, I felt itchy and unsettled. I just knew I would miss out on so much in that dark void of connection. But God is faithful and good, and now, on the other side of that time, I am incredibly thankful for it. God used it to change my heart in big ways.
Ultimately, He changed my perception of motherhood and my work ethic around the home.
As the days and weeks passed free from the pull of the internet, I found myself being fully present in my days. Seemingly little changes – like sitting with the kids at breakfast instead of on the couch checking emails – became big habit changes, and heart changes. And, without many toys in our temporary home, I was forced to do a lot more with my kids in general.
God opened my eyes to see that the allure of the internet was causing me to view my children as the distraction. I realized that the more I gave in to the pull of the online world, the hungrier my heart became for me and my needs, and the more I spent doing those very things.
However, by playing loads of puzzles over and over again, reading countless books, painting, taking big walks together, and, quite simply, spending all our time together, God showed me how much more I could be pressing into motherhood than I had been —how much more I wanted to be.
While down time and creative outlets are not bad things, God showed me that there is a deeper level of motherhood that He’s calling me into.
Earlier this year I re-read Sally Clarkson’s The Mission of Motherhood, along with Susan Schaeffer Macauley’s For the Children’s Sake. Both of these brought me to a place where I had to ask myself, “Am I willing to give even more? Am I able to offer up what God is asking of me?”
In Clarkson’s book, she talks about discipling and teaching our children. She offered Jesus as our example, which is fitting since He is our ultimate example in all things.
And how did He invest in and equip His disciples? He was with them all the time.
How did they learn from Him? By walking, talking, experiencing, and processing life together in real time.
Jesus did not allow any distraction to take Him away from all that God had asked Him to do. Despite the temptation, Jesus actively chose whole-hearted life of ministry with His disciples so they might serve the people He had come to save. Is this not the same for me and the little people God has asked me to raise up in the way they should go?
Since becoming a mother, little by little, the Lord has slowly being prying open my closed fists and bringing down the walls of my heart. He’s calling me to give all of myself to Him, for His service.
During this season of “online disconnection,” God also showed me how much more capable I am of caring for our home than I have allowed myself to be in the past. Not only am I capable but, in a study of Proverbs 31, I saw how in the original language God has called wives to be strong and warrior-like in their task of managing their homes.
Did I mention that not only did I not have the internet, but I didn’t have a dishwasher?
I saw that all the gadgets that are supposed to free our time up have actually made our lives more complicated (by raising the standard of cleanliness and by allowing that time to be always filled up with activities and stuff-managing).
Without those two “hindrances” in my life, I set up better routines and found that I gained so much satisfaction at the end of the day when I had worked hard with a full and honest heart. I didn’t have the guilt about how I spent my time pressing down on me at the end of a day. It was wonderful.
I saw how truly abundant a simple life can be.
These challenges may not be challenges in your life. You may already be fully present with your children and working hard around your home. But if you aren’t, I want to come alongside you and encourage you – as God has so gently and firmly encouraged me – to evaluate how you are spending your days as a wife, mother, and homemaker.
Is the internet (or, something else) causing you to see your family as a distraction?
Are you easily annoyed or resentful when your children require a hug, a correction, or a time of play when you’re involved in that particular activity?
Is there a place in your heart that you have closed off to the Lord? Are you, in keeping it closed, saying to the Lord, “Yes, Lord, I give you my life – but please let me keep this part all to myself?” Oh yes, I have.
If you are then, just like me, go to your Father in Heaven. Seek His wisdom and His care. Repent and start working on pruning those things out of your life.
As you can see, I have the internet again (and a dishwasher). We are back home and life is back to normal. At times, I have been weak and allowed myself to get sucked back in. But, I deeply want something different for my life – and God has knocked on that closed door so strongly that I cannot shut myself to Him. So I pick myself up when I’ve failed, cry out to the Lord for strength, and keep going.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us throw off every encumbrance, and sin which so easily entangles, and let us run with endurance the race set before us.”Hebrews 12:1
In Hebrews 12, we see that it is not just sin that weighs us down and prevents us from living this life for Christ – there are also encumbrances. If you love the Lord, you will look at your own heart and life and throw off what sins and encumbrances are weighing you down and keeping you from loving your God and family well.
Where is God calling you to press deeper into truth? What does it require of you? And are you willing to obey, no matter the cost or “come what may?” Seek Him and He will show you the way. Not only that, He will go with you and give you His strength.
Have you ever had someone you know unexpectedly knock on your door?
I’ve always struggled with whether to invite them in or just see if they quickly need something. I want to be hospitable, but sometimes their visit catches me off guard. This usually looks like me trying to hide the leftover breakfast crumbs on the table and the blocks and toys that are all over the floor. All the while being polite and excited to see the person knocking on my door.
Made for Relationships
Like every other woman in America, I love the HGTV hit “Fixer Upper”. But as they are revealing the home to the homeowners, I can’t help but think about how long the house will actually look like that. Every accent of the home has been staged and designed beautifully. I don’t know about you, but my family would walk in and it would be a disaster in about five minutes.
As women, we believe that our homes must look perfect in order to invite anyone over. Maybe that’s why you never have guests because your home is always a mess. I’ve been there. The problem is, it’s difficult to connect with other believers when we believe this lie.
God created us to love one another and to have great conversations together. He didn’t create us to obsess over how clean or messy our homes are. Like everything we have, our homes belong to Christ. They are to be used for His glory, not for our own.
“Hospitality, however, seeks to minister. It says, “This home is not mine. It is truly a gift from my Master. I am His servant and I use it as He desires.” Hospitality does not try to impress, but to serve.” -Karen Burton Mains, quote from Open Heart, Open Home
Our primary purpose for inviting someone in should be to display the love of Christ. The condition of our home shouldn’t distract us from truly serving and loving our neighbor.
What’s the point?
So, maybe the solution to being hospitable is to commit to a cleaning schedule or get into the habit of at least keeping the living area picked up. We can always find little ways to improve our homemaking skills. But what we should focus on more than anything else is our motives.
I was recently listening to a video by Jen Wilkin, where she was talking about biblical hospitality. She stated that someone can host and create a beautiful dinner party with a fancy meal and it can be either entertaining or hospitality.
The two can look very similar. But if the hostess is doing it for their own glory and constantly fishing for compliments on how beautiful their tablescape is, they are obviously not practicing biblical hospitality. Another hostess could simply enjoy the work that goes into creating something breathtaking so that they can minister to those around them and reveal to them the beauty of Christ.
The difference between the two comes down to our motives. If we are willing to open the doors of our home whether it’s tidy or messy, we can be the hands and feet of Christ. But if we are focused on ourselves and our imperfections, we will be distracted from truly showing love to our guests.
John Piper said,
“You have a body to make God look good.”
When it comes to hospitality, I like to replace the word body with home. The purpose of our home should be to make God look good. Because He is good and our purpose in this life is to bring Him glory while being the light to those we come in contact with.
In our home, we will always remember the Christmas of 2014 as the most unpleasant holiday (so far). We went to my Aunt’s house to celebrate Christmas Eve like we do every year and then we came home to prepare for a lovely Christmas morning. But all throughout the night, my two girls were sick, constantly throwing up. We went through multiple pajamas and gave many baths and changed sheets all night long. All I could think was, why is this happening on Christmas?!? The perfect day that I had planned felt ruined, and it made me sad.
Now that I think back on this Christmas it feels silly to be that upset about things not going my way. I know that the real reason to celebrate has nothing to do with Christmas pajamas, a french toast breakfast, or perfectly happy children. It’s not about us at all. It’s about worshiping and remembering the birth of our Savior.
This feeling of wanting perfection makes me think about the Christmas season that is upon us. We scroll through Pinterest, where recipes and crafts bombard us. We feel pressure to make Christmas perfect with homemade treats and finding the right gift. There is nothing wrong with these things, but often, Christmas itself becomes a god in our life that we worship every year. We take on so much that we end up feeling more stressed and empty when it’s all over.
So how do we avoid this feeling of sadness when the holidays are over, and the children don’t love their gifts as much as we thought they would?
We must balance our expectations and our reality. We live in a fallen world full of selfishness and the desire to constantly have things that are new and different. When we get shiny new toys and they fail to make us happy, it can cause depression and frustration. When we acknowledge that we will never find satisfaction in anything other than the love of our Savior, we can see actual happiness this Christmas.
When it comes to doing all of the crafts and making all of the recipes, do what you can and what you enjoy, but don’t try to do it all. It will only make you tired and keep you from actually savoring the memories with your family.
Each Christmas I make a realistic list of some fun things I would like to do that season. A few examples on this list are: make a treat for our neighbors, look at Christmas lights, and focus on kindness in our home. It doesn’t have to be complicated because we should still leave plenty of time to reflect on the birth of our Savior and how we are waiting for the second coming.
But Christmas gives us a unique opportunity to serve those around us, and I encourage you to focus on that and less on your Pinterest goals. Focus on how waiting for Christ is so much more meaningful than waiting to see how your child reacts to that new gift.
Jesus is the only gift our children need
I admit that it’s fun to search for the perfect gift for our kids. We think about their personality and what they enjoy. I think it helps us appreciate how God made them and encourages us to find a way to help them flourish.
This year we have decided to get each child only one present because they get so many gifts from family and they don’t need anything. I’ve learned over the years that gifts are fun at the moment, but our children need so much more than a new toy.
They need the gift of presence, the gift of being heard, the gift of laughter, and most importantly the gift of Jesus. The best gift we can ever give our children is the teaching and knowledge of the Word of God and how His love is indeed a gift like no other.
Joining together as believers
Another way to make this holiday season focused more on Christ is by joining together with other believers that are striving for the same thing as your family. There is something special about gathering together as a community to worship the One, true King. I’m not just talking about at church but in our homes, inviting others in to celebrate this special time.
We can put aside what our homes look like and make a mess in the kitchen by creating a special feast to share. We can practice hospitality and teach our children to consider the guests in our home. Commit to celebrate together this holiday season and join together as the body of Christ.
If you want to create a more Christ-centered Christmas this year, then I encourage you to join along in my 4-day Instagram Challenge starting on December 21st. Each day, we will post a picture on each topic and then use the hashtag, #adorehim. Also, make sure that you tag and follow me at @parentingwithhumility. I can’t wait to see how you make this Christmas more about Him! For more information on the challenge, subscribe to the PWH newsletter.
Activity Ark is a box subscription service that is delivered once every three months, or 4x per year. (I actually love that it’s not monthly, because I have tried monthly craft subscriptions before and found them difficult to keep up with).
Each quarterly delivery includes a complete Bible-themed lesson, or “Sunday School in a box” as they describe it.
These kits are crafted for children ages 4-9, and include five elements:
Create: a hands-on activity
Play: fun activity sheets
Discover: a Bible storybook to read together
Connect: family discussion starters and questions
Surprise: a related toy, game, or something special that builds on the theme of the box
My kids could not wait to open the box. Something about the sight of it really attracted them, even thought I had given them no reason to think it was for them. Keeping their little hands out of it until I was ready to sit down with them proved difficult. For this reason we made it our top priority the very next morning.
I allowed my children to carefully unpack the box and inspect each element.
This particular kit included:
Adam and Eve: God’s First People book
Glow in the Dark Stars
2 tubes of paint
1 tube of glitter
a plastic jar
a wooden popsicle stick
two high-quality printouts folded over to create small “booklets”
It was all nicely packaged in a teal box with teal tissue paper.
The first of the “booklets” explained the theme and listed the activities included.
We decided to begin with the craft!
This was a craft we had never done or even seen before –a Universe Jar. The instructions were very clear and they included step-by-step photos. My children enjoyed doing it, and they were able to easily complete the steps without much mess.
The Universe Jar turned out beautifully! We all liked this craft, and it did look strikingly similar to pictures of the universe we had seen. It was pretty too.
When we were done, we still had two mostly-full paint bottles and a glitter bottle to add to our craft supplies, which was great!
Once the craft was complete, we turned our attention to the corresponding “Play” component, which was a series of activities on the second printout. My kids worked through these fairly quickly together. The bright, color photos made them engaging.
This gave me time to make sure everything was cleaned up and put away.
Next we decided it was time to read the book together.
This was a Bible storybook that told the story of creation and Adam and Eve. There wasn’t an overt tie-in made between the book and the craft, but in the early pages of the book we saw illustrations of the universe being formed, so I was able to help my kids see the Universe Jar here and relate the creation story to the craft they had made.
After reading the book not one, but two times (at my son’s urging), we talked through the discussion questions together. The questions were interesting and age appropriate, and I enjoyed the conversation very much.
At this point there are also key Bible verses to read together that correspond with the story.
As the finale, we stuck the glow in the dark stars to my kids’ ceiling (this was made easier by bunk beds).
I hope that when they look at their stars, they will think about our powerful God creating the universe. I can help them make this connection by talking about it with them.
What I loved about Activity Ark
It truly got my kids excited about learning a Bible lesson.
They were very engaged throughout the activities. Teaching them the Bible is my top priority, so I loved that they were excited about it!
I know myself: I wouldn’t do crafts with them otherwise.
Did I mention I am not crafty?
Even so, my kids (and all kids) love crafts. Activity Ark made a fun craft time very attainable for me by providing a good project that wasn’t too hard but still very cool, along with clear instructions and all the materials.
We wouldn’t have done a craft together this week (or maybe even month) otherwise.
The target age was spot on.
Two of my three children were within the recommended age range of 4-9 years old. These activities were well suited to those two children. My 2-year-old, not as much.
That was good.
The instructions were clear.
You can’t beat clear-cut instructions! The step-by-step photos were awesome. I probably wouldn’t have understood this craft otherwise, but there was really no guess work.
The value was high.
When you buy a year’s-worth of boxes at one time (4 boxes), you pay less than $20 per box. That is not bad considering all it contains, and delivered to your door with everything laid out for you.
Spiritual truths matter most.
Of all the things I could be teaching and investing into my children’s lives, spiritual truths are the hands-down most important. That is a big draw to Activity Ark for me.
I know my kids get to do crafts and lessons at church on Sunday, but I like the idea of bridging that experience to the home environment as well.
It was meaningful time spent together.
Kids love crafts. They love time with their mom. They love books and activities and surprises. This box facilitated meaningful time together with my children, and that matters to me.
Perhaps an Activity Ark box might make a great “consumable” Christmas gift for someone in your life? It would mean less clutter, more experience, and if you pay for a year-long subscription upfront (only $79.96 for four boxes) it would be spread all throughout the year!
Find out more and get your own Activity Ark box HERE!
*This post was sponsored by Activity Ark. All opinions are my own.