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5 Practical Ways To Show You Love Your Husband

5 Practical Ways To Show You Love Your Husband

Going into marriage, I knew that love would be played out in practical ways within our marriage. However, I had no idea how much the practical side of showing love to my husband would be necessary to keep our marriage running smoothly!

Personally, I am really bad at displaying my love in practical ways to my husband. When it comes to grand displays, I can sometimes nail it but those little gestures that daily remind him how much I really do love him are few and far between it seems.

So, today I am sharing five simple ways that I have found to daily demonstrate my love to my husband in practical ways. Hopefully these will help give you ideas to serve your husband’s more practical needs with love.

Write your husband a few encouraging words.

Two weeks into our marriage, my husband started his new job as a teacher at a new school. Wanting to be a sweet and loving wife, I packed his lunch while he was showering before leaving for his first morning on the job.

But I wanted to do something more. So I grabbed a sticky note and opened my Bible to a favorite verse and recorded it on the sticky note followed a simple “I love you!”

And a new tradition in our marriage was born.

We are almost six years into marriage and with few exceptions, every morning I have written a small note to include in his lunch. Most of them have Bible verses that are currently impacting me so I share these verses with him.

It’s simple and takes less than two to three minutes each morning but it means the world to him. (I found out that he stashes his favorite notes/verses in his desk at work which kind of melted my heart too cause he is not a super sentimental guy that way! 🙂 )

Recharge his electronic devices.

Nothing is more annoying than seeing that your device is almost out of charge. My husband loves to play music on his iPod while he wakes up and gets ready for his day. And it is frustrating when he goes to start his day with music and instead finds a dead iPod.

So, as I go through my day, I like to take a quick peek at his devices and see if they are starting to get low on charge. If they are, I plug them in. Hubby always smiles big when he sees that his music is ready to go first thing in the morning and I love taking care of this little service for him! 🙂

Plan an activity together.

Guys like action. Whether that action is on the screen of their favorite video game or actually climbing a steep mountain trail, guys want to be doing something.

My husband struggles when our dates involve simply sitting still and talking. After a few minutes of stale conversation about the kids, we quickly grow bored. We want to be doing something.

So, plan an activity that you and your spouse can do together. If your husband is into video games, perhaps plan a kid-free night of playing his favorite video games. Right now, my husband and I are into playing board and card games. Some of our favorites include Sushi Go Party, Forbidden Island,Code Names, and Queen’s Architect.

Our marriage benefits from actually doing things together because we share new experiences and make memories. Plus there is the bonus of great conversations that come as we are doing these things together!

Take something off his To-Do List around the house.

Personally, my husband hates yard work, especially mowing. Part of this is due to the fact that we have a huge yard and a free lawn mower that requires a LOT of muscling to get it to work. Part of his complete distaste for yard work comes from the fact that he has terrible allergic reactions to all the dust kicked up while mowing.

Since I simply do not have the muscles necessary to take this particularly repugnant chore off my husband’s hands, I hired a local family looking to make a few extra bucks this past summer. They had equipment much better suited to take care of our yard work and my husband was thrilled that he only had to touch a lawn mower once this entire last year!

Find that one thing that your husband just wishes was never on his chore list and see if you can remove that burden for him. If he is anything like my hubby, he will be super excited to have one responsibility removed from his shoulders!

Communicate with his family.

Before having our two children, I had never once personally texted or called my mother-in-law or sister-in-law. Since we live several hours away from my husband’s family, they were definitely getting left out of the loop and I am ashamed to admit that I had a lot to do with that lack of communication.

Now that we have children, I make a point to be in communication via text, emails, phone calls, letters, and even the occasional FaceTime (now that we are starting to figure out the technology! 🙂 )

While it is easier to just let days slip away without making an effort to talk, God has really convicted me that this needs to be a priority not only for his family’s sake but for his sake as well.

Find ways that you can share your special family moments with your husband’s family if that is something he is open to. Whether you send a weekly email just keeping in touch or text a cute picture or video, let them know that they are a part of your and your husband’s life!

Resources That Might Help You Further

The 5 Love Languages. This book can not be highly recommended enough in learning how to love your spouse in practical ways. Once I realized that my husband primarily speaks the Love Language of Acts of Service, I was able to fill his tank with so much more meaningful and loving gestures.

Your spouse will thank you for reading and implementing everything in this book!

Love & Respect. Along the same lines of The Five Love Languages, Love and Respect shows your husband’s needs for respect and offers practical advice to show him that respect plays out in day to day life. I always recommend that if you read one of these books you should read both of them.

Your Turn

What are some practical ways that you have shown your husband love?

If you like to share your ideas, please leave a comment below! 🙂

Thanks for stopping by!

*This post contains affiliate links to help keep the ministry of Ambitions for Christ in operation. You can read our disclosure policy here. Thanks for your support of this ministry!*

5 Practical Ways To Show You Love Your Husband
5 Practical Ways To Show You Love Your Husband

 

The Five Resources That Improved My Prayer Life

The Five Resources That Improved My Prayer Life

What Christian woman doesn’t want a better prayer life?

We are relationship-orientated creatures to begin with and we crave the relationship with our Creator and Lord most of all.

Yet, somehow the precious time of communication with God is often pushed to the side when it is what we need the most in our busy, frustrating, crazy lives.

Honestly, I wish I could say that my prayer life was so much better when I was single with no husband or kids threatening every quiet moment of my life but that was not the case.

Yes, I had the opportunity for many more quiet times with God but I failed to take them. (Oh, how I regret those times now that I don’t have them.)

If anything, the more crazy my life has become, the more dedicated I have had to be to making time in my day for prayer.

Along the way, I have found several resources to be helpful and I wanted to share those resources with you.

Keep in mind that these are meant to supplement and help you along, they are not to replace your time in the Scripture or your prayer time. And, as always, remember that the best way to grow in your prayer life is to just pray!

But for those looking to keep growing in their prayer walk with God, try checking these out! 🙂

Wrestling Prayer: A Passionate Communion with God by Eric and Leslie Ludy

My all-time favorite book that has encouraged me to grow in my prayer life is Wrestling Prayer: A Passionate Communion with God by Eric and Leslie Ludy.

Personally, this book challenged me to even make prayer a part of my life. I read this book during college and it was the catalyst that I needed to make prayer a priority in my Christian faith.

Honestly, I have prayed my whole life growing up in a Christian home but this book showed me how to approach God’s throne boldly and to ask God to do the impossible.

In a world of prosperity gospel prayers and feel-good prayer books, this book rose above the crowd and built in my the desire to pray for God’s will to be done and for God to be glorified in HUGE ways and in little details.

If you want a book to give you the first glimpses at what Christian prayer should look like or if you need something to refuel your already active prayer life-Wrestling Prayer: A Passionate Communion with God is the book!

As a caveat, I will say, my husband cannot stand this book. Their writing style alone drove him crazy. So, before purchasing it, check it out from your library or at least read a small sample on Amazon to be sure that you like their writing style.

That being said, you should totally ready this book! 🙂

The Armor of God Bible Study by Priscilla Shirer

This past several months, the Bible study group I am a part of completed this study together.

It’s intense. We had two weeks to complete each week worth of homework and I still sometimes didn’t get it all done because she has such amazing, thought-provoking, actionable questions and activities jammed into this one book!

But let me tell you, it has infused my prayer life with a new vigor and I feel prepared me to fight spiritual battles that before I would have cowered to (or not even perceived to be spiritual battles in my life!)

Find a group of Christian gals or simply do it on your own time, but take the time to work through The Armor of God.

The Power of a Praying® Wife by Stormie Omartian

This is a whole series of books that are designed to help woman in different seasons of life to build their prayer life.

My first time through the The Power of a Praying® Woman, I put the book down. For some reason, I really struggled to get through it. It seemed slow and tedious.

However, after getting married, I decided to give The Power of a Praying® Wife a try and found myself pleasantly surprised. While this will never be my top pick, I do find that all of her books are helpful for daily getting myself geared to pray specific prayers and to focus my heart on God rather than all the distractions going on around me.

And while, I find her books to be a little slow, I have several Christian momma friends that love her books for just that reason! So, again, this is a matter of personal preference, check it out before purchasing to make sure that it will be a good fit for you!

The Complete Works of E. M. Bounds on Prayer

Please do NOT let the thickness of this book (or the small print) scare you away!! If ever a person could be said to literally having written the book on prayer, it is E. M. Bounds!

This is a set of seven books compiled into one that was written by a Civil War era preacher. I have learned more about Biblical prayer, what it looks like, what it doesn’t look like, the importance of prayer, etc. from this book than other human book ever.

If you are a serious student of wanting to grow your prayer life, please do yourself the service of reading The Complete Works of E. M. Bounds on Prayer.

That being said, if you are a beginner to prayer as a new believer or such, I might suggest you start with some other books first. This is a book that will definitely deepen your walk with God through prayer but it was not one that I would recommend for you to start with!

Check out the other resources I mentioned first before proceeding to this one! 🙂

That being said, it is worth the months of tedious reading of small print, to glean a great wealth for the power and beauty of prayer!

Biographies of great Christian Prayer Warriors such as George Muller, Corrie ten Boom, and Amy Carmichael

Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t tell you that a huge catalyst to my faith and prayer life has been the biographies of great Christian prayer warriors. The most notable of these biographies is for the man George Muller. Over the course of his lifetime, he recorded over 10,000 answered prayers. Prayer infused his daily life of keeping his orphanages open and the children fed.

Other notable Christians who had strong prayer lives include Amy Carmichael, Corrie ten Boom, Gladys Aylward, and Oswald Chambers.

Your Turn

Drawing close to God in prayer is simply an amazing privilege that we have as Christian women! I don’t know about you but I want to continue to grow in that area of my spiritual life each and every day!

Please leave a comment and share what resources have helped guide your prayer life the most!

Thanks for stopping by!

*This post contains affiliate links to help keep the ministry of Ambitions for Christ in operation. You can read our disclosure policy here. Thanks for your support!*

The Five Resources That Improved My Prayer Life

 

The Five Resources That Improved My Prayer Life

Bible Verses To Help Us Refocus On Jesus During The Christmas Season

Bible Verses To Help Us Refocus On Jesus During the Christmas Season

The Christmas season is known for its hectic pace.

There is shopping for gifts, eating gifts that you receive, wrapping gifts to give, decorating your house for Christmas, baking cookies to eat, caroling with friends, visiting family, attending work parties, eating food at parties, cooking for family and parties, cleaning up, practicing for Christmas programs, performing Christmas programs, and did I mention eating??

Whew, it is no wonder that as Christian women, we lose our focus on the true meaning of the season in amongst all those crazy moments of busyness.

Verses For The Christmas Season

So, let’s take a few moments, grab a cup of hot chocolate, wrap up in a blanket, and use these verses to help refocus our minds and hearts back on our precious Savior this Christmas season!

Luke 1:38

“And Mary said, ‘Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.’ “

In this sentence, Mary pretty much was signing her own death certificate. Becoming pregnant out of wedlock meant she was to be stoned to death. Yet, she trusted God so much that she said, “Let it be to me according to Your word.” Wow!

During the Christmas season, we can feel the need to control events and activities with a clutched fist. Take time to release all things back over to God. Let Him be in control over your life as you move through this holiday.

If Mary could trust Him with her life, we most certainly can trust Him to help us through challenging times of stress, grief, and exhaustion.

Luke 1:37

 “For nothing will be impossible with God.”

These are the words the angel spoke to Mary to reassure her as she stepped out in faith to accept God’s call on her life.

To be honest, I have no idea what you are facing this Christmas season. However, no matter what you are facing, with God’s strength, you will be able to make it through this Christmas time.

That doesn’t mean everything will be perfect but it does mean you can experience the perfect peace and love that God provides when you seek out a relationship with Him!

Luke 1:46-47

“My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for He has looked on the humble estate of His servant.”

Personally, I love this passage where Mary is singing praises to God while she visits her cousin Elizabeth.

When I am stretched thin during the Christmas season, I feel like I am definitely humbled by how little I can get done or how much I let affect me that shouldn’t affect me!

During these times, it helps me to stop and just praise God and rejoice that He is my Heavenly Father. If presents don’t get wrapped to perfection, or lines in the Christmas program get forgotten (or the lead character comes down with the flu!), or the weather doesn’t cooperate with our plans, I can still praise God!

Luke 2:10-11

And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. “

Does fear play a factor in your Christmas season? Are you worried about how to help your children deal with the loss of a loved one? Does the mounting bills threaten to steal your joy and ability to celebrate any sort of Christmas as a family? Perhaps you are dreading time spent with family when you know it will end in arguments and hurt feelings-just like it does every year?

Honestly, fear is a big reason I find myself losing focus on Christ’s birth. And this verse that the angel speaks to the shepherds speaks volumes to me as well!

When fear threatens to overpower me at Christmas time, I repeat these words, “Fear not.” Not surprisingly, when I focus my mind on the great joy that is my Savior come to earth in human form to save me from my sins, I find my fears melting away to their proper size.

Fears are NOT bigger than my God at this or any time of year!

Luke 2:19

Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart.

To be honest, I can’t begin to imagine how crazy that first Christmas really was. Here was a young teen girl who just had to give birth in a cave that was used to house dirty animals in a place far from her family. Then these scraggly old shepherds come rushing in saying that angels told them to find her child!

Having experienced child birth twice now, I can safely say that I would have felt a tad bit overwhelmed in the moment if I were Mary! 🙂

However, Mary guarded these memories and took the many quieter, less seen days of her life to ponder what God had done in her life that precious, crazy night.

Let’s face it, there will be crazy moments during the holidays. Embrace some of that crazy and enjoy the memories that develop from those times. Most of all, enjoy mulling over and thanking God for them when you are in quieter days later.

Resources To Continue To Help You Focus On Christ This Christmas Season

Want some other ideas to help you stay focused this Christmas?

Check out some of these great resources:
In The Manger Advent Devotional– This is a collection of some of the best Christmas devotionals written by Max Lucado. If you are looking for heart-warming and Christ-focused at the same time, check this one out!

Come, Let Us Adore Him: A Daily Advent Devotional– While I haven’t had a chance to complete this one personally, I understand that Paul David Tripp takes his readers through an extensive look at the Christmas story that will help you grow in your walk with God greatly!

The Nativity Story DVD– There is much to be said for just sitting down as a family and watching the beloved story unfold once more. No human recreation of it will ever be perfect but this movie can definitely be a tool to refocus your mind and heart on Christ this Christmas!

The Animals’ Christmas Eve (Little Golden Book)– Finally, this is a great book to read with your children. Our daughter loves hearing about Jesus being born from the animals point of view and I love the creative cadence that the story has while still holding true to the Biblical account!

Your Turn

What Bible verses has the Holy Spirit really made alive to you this Christmas season?

Is there a devotional or resource that helps you to stay focused on Christ during the hustle and bustle?

Share below in comments!

Thanks for stopping by!

*This post contains affiliate links to help keep the ministry of Ambitions for Christ in operation. You can read our disclosure policy here. Thanks for your support!*

Bible Verses To Help Us Refocus On Jesus During the Christmas Season

Current Reads-God’s Crime Scene for Kids

Current Reads-God's Crime Scene for Kids

Does anyone else get excited about teaching their kids cool new things about God and the Bible? Like not just normal excited but nerdy, way too crazy excited so you read ahead even if it will be several years down the road?

Nope. Just me. Good. Glad to know I am insane. 🙂

Okay, in full disclosure, I received this book as free gift from the author and publisher in exchange for a review.

For several years, I have followed J. Warner Wallace on Facebook and his books have been on my Goodreads To Read list for at least the past six years now but I have never actually read one of his books before now.

However, when offered the chance to check out the book for free, I jumped at the chance because I seriously did want to read some of his books!

Overview of God’s Crime Scene for Kids

First, this book is geared for kids probably in the age range of 8 to 12 years old would be my best guess. Much younger than that and I think they will start to struggle with the immensity of the concepts being discussed in the book. Also, the story line in the book will probably seem too “cheesy” to many teenagers even if it does help them understand the concept.

God’s Crime Scene for Kids is actually a story book where you follow a young man and his friends through detective school. Along the way through the captivating narrative, you and this young man, Jason, will explore the evidence for the existence of God.

In conjunction with this book is a website where parents or teachers can find videos and printable resources. While I did not go through ever single one of the videos and printables, I found the ones that I did see extremely impressive!

Overall, this is a very comprehensive course that a parent or teacher could use to aid their teaching about the proof for the existence of God.

My Personal Thoughts on God’s Crime Scene for Kids

Frankly, I was impressed.

First, I myself am a visual learner and the illustrations drawn throughout this book were tremendously helpful. If you have a child who learns by visual methods best, this material would definitely suit that learning style!

In addition, it is not only visual as far as actual pictures but also through word pictures as well. The comparisons and illustrations brought out in this story are wonderful!

Second, God’s Crime Scene for Kids is incredibly comprehensible. Obviously, for me as an adult it is a quick read but I believe that an established reader would not struggle with this book either. Honestly, I grasped some of the concepts addressed throughout the chapters better just by reading this book myself!

Finally, I appreciate that while this book does a great job of bringing it down to a younger reader’s understanding, they do not water down the truth of the Bible! There are very clear concise calls to surrender their hearts and lives to Christ and I find that to be the best point of all about this book!

The main critique I would have for this book/curriculum series is that it would require a little bit of organization for the teacher/parent.

Obviously, you can just use the book and get all the main stuff but if you really want to expand and do some of the cool stuff that kids will enjoy (such as making the detectives notebook pages, watching the videos, etc) you will need to bounce back and forth between the book and the website frequently.

Speaking as a Sunday School teacher, I do think that would be a tad frustrating for the prep work. However, it is still completely doable. Just be prepared to hop around a bit. (And be prepared to need access to the Internet…something that is harder in my rural church/area.)

Other than that, my only regret is that my kids are still several years away from being able to work through this material and I am so excited to do it NOW! 🙂

Check out God’s Crime Scene for Kids! See if it will work as a tool to teach your kids more about God’s Truth!

Your Turn

Have you read any of J. Warner Wallace and Susie Wallace’s books before?

What are your thoughts if you have completed this series with your kids?

I would love to hear your thoughts and impressions!

Thanks for stopping by!

*This post contains affiliate links to help keep the ministry of Ambitions for Christ in operation. You can read our disclosure policy here. Thanks for your support!*

Current Reads-God's Crime Scene for Kids
Current Reads-God's Crime Scene for Kids

The ABCs of Thankfulness for a Christian Mom

The ABC's of Thankfulness for a Christian Mom

Ever since I can remember I have rejoiced over the time of year leading up to Thanksgiving.

Cozy evenings with my family in front of the fireplace reading and playing games in the firelight.

Piles of leaves that I would stomp through for hours on end!

(This one has lost some of the enchantment now that I am an adult in charge of the raking rather than just a cute little “helper.” :)) Although now I delight in watching my kids and dog carry on the tradition!

And most of all, the change of pace. We would slow down from the busy planting and harvesting seasons on the farm/ranch operation where I grew up. It was also several months away from the busy season with cattle so we finally had long evenings and slower days together as a family.

Even now that I am married, I can sense the shift coming. The weeks of November leading up to and surrounding Thanksgiving take on a slower pace. November is the birthday month for both my hubby and myself too (and our not-so-little-anymore puppy! 🙂 )

Since my husband has days off built up at work that he needs to use or lose at the end of the year, (December is too busy for him to use them then) November becomes our default month to just slow down and I LOVE it!

The best part about this time of year is the focus on thankfulness! Throughout the rest of the year, it feels like I struggle to keep a grateful attitude but the month of November create a warm environment of thankfulness.

So in keeping with my excitement over this season of thankfulness, I decided to share my own personal list of things I am thankful for!

And since I am in the middle of teaching the alphabet to our daughter, I decided to use the alphabet to aid my thankful musings! 🙂

Plus stay tuned because at the end, I offer you the opportunity to sign up for my freebie Thankfulness printable for you! Did I mention it is FREE?

Okay, here we go!

The ABCs of What I Am Thankful For As A Christian Mom

A- Air Freshners

I live in house with two kids wearing diapers, a long haired dog who adores getting muddy and wet, and stinky laundry just to begin with the list of odor-offending things in my house! Seriously, anything that helps me to not lose my mind over bad smells is AMAZING!

B-My Baby Boy

So this year, I became the mom to the sweetest little baby boy EVER. (Nope, not even attempting to hide the bias here! 🙂 ) Seriously, he has been the dream baby of sweet coos and ease for the most part and he is even stinking cute in how he keeps me awake all night. I love being a little boy’s mama now!

C-Computer

This trusty little laptop that I write my blog on has become a lifeline of sanity for me, especially since having our second child. It is my place to write and be creative in all the best ways. It’s my time when I can turn my brain on and really just have fun.

D-Devotionals

Okay, I should say Bible studies instead of Devotionals but B had a way more important topic! 🙂 This year the group of ladies that I get the joy of being apart of every other Tuesday has been working our way through several Bible studies, my personal favorite being The Armor of God by Priscilla Shirer. As we work our way through her study, I find my prayer life deepening and my desire to stand up to Satan’s attacks stronger than ever before!

E-Elephant Pictures

Okay, let me explain. The first year of our daughter’s life, every week we would take a picture of her next to her large stuffed elephant. At the end of the first year, I ended the routine but L and her elephant are inseparable. She brushes his hair, kisses him, and reads to him. It really is amazing the blessing of small things! And I already love looking back on those pictures with so much fondness…she was so tiny!

F-Farm

Growing up as a farm kid is seriously the most blessed way to grow. Yeah, it’s hard and grueling work some days but every day is an adventure. You truly have no idea what will happen each day. While our kids are not necessarily getting to grow up in the country, I am thankful for every day that my aging parents get to stay on the family farm and introduce the wonders of farm life to my kids. My heart melts watching L jump for excitement at getting to go gather chicken eggs with Grandpa and help Grandma pick fresh zucchini from the garden!

G-Grace

This is true on so many levels. First, the obvious fact that I am a recipient of God’s grace which is alone a pretty amazing fact! Second, the grace of my husband and my children as they let me fail them and make mistakes and show my short comings and they still love me in spite of all that! Third, the grace I am trying to learn to give myself on the days when nothing goes as I planned.

H-Hope

Honestly, the hope that is in Christ. The hope that this life is not all there is. Prayer-filled hope that I will get to see each of my children come to love God with all their heart, soul, mind and strength. Hope in the possibility that I might get to write and be creative during the course of my day. The hope that someday I will get to use the bathroom without the entourage of two small people and a dog. Hope gets me out of bed and moving a LOT of days.

I-Ice Cream

During the long hot days of summer, I love huge scoops of ice cream shared with my hubby and kids. It’s a sticky, cold delightful treat that I can never get enough of! And the more chocolate in it the better! 🙂 Plus, sometimes we even get the fun of eating homemade ice cream which is even better if that is possible!

J-Jesus

Nope, this isn’t a cop-out answer for J. It’s the most truthful answer. Without Jesus and His work on the cross, I would be nothing.

K-Krave cereal

Much like ice cream, this is our other go-to treat. So much easier to pick up off the floor than Cheerios too. 🙂

L-My sweet daughter

L brings a curiosity and love of living life to a whole new level! Her persistence in learning and growing up way too fast for this mommy never stop astounding me. She lights up our lives with her loving, caring ways with her new baby brother. L makes her Daddy laugh like crazy and want to lose his mind like crazy too! God used L to make me a mommy and for that blessing I will forever be grateful.

M-Marriage.

This year marks 5 years of marriage to my sweet hubby. To be honest, I don’t know how it has already been that long. It seriously feels like we just got married a few months ago! The years fly when you are married to your best friend for sure! I love the joy of being his wife. Watching him be an amazing father to our kids fills me with butterflies. (I still get a little teary eyed every night when I get to listen to him and my daughter say bedtime prayers!) No matter how much the man might drive me up a wall some days, I could not be anything but grateful for him! 🙂

N-Nap time

Oh how I miss the days before kids when sleep was just a given part of my daily life! Nap time is now my reprieve to some fashion of silence in my day to regroup and face the second part of my day with some semblance of dignity. This is a little tainted by the fact that my two darling children like to stagger their nap times with a clock-like precision but I try to enjoy the quiet and one on one time with them just the same.

O-Oranges

The best guilt-free snack that my daughter can’t get enough of! Those little easy peel oranges have been a life saver as my daughter can satisfy her sweet tooth and her snack cravings and I don’t feel like I am just giving her sugar all day long! Thank the Lord for the creation of oranges!!

P-Pictures

How did my parents ever make it through my childhood with a bulky old camera that would only take 24 pictures per roll of film? And then wait three weeks or more to find out how the picture turned out?! (Yeah, I just totally showed my age there…I predate digital cameras.) To be perfectly honest, I probably have taken at least 24 pictures in the last two days on my phone. And I get to enjoy the instant gratification of finding out if I took a decent picture before getting it printed! I love capturing the moments in our day to share with grandparents and friends with just a quick touch of a button!

Q-Quilts

First off, Q’s are hard! So, I am going to go back to an old stand by word for Q-Quilt. Why? Because my daughter gets to sleep with a quilt that my Grandma made me when I was a kid. It is a super sweet legacy of my Grandma’s love and prayers that I can tangibly give to my daughter even though she never had a chance to meet her Great-Grandma. I pray my daughter can use her energy to serve God in the same way that my Grandma who made the quilt did. (They seriously could not be more alike in their energetic qualities!)

R-Reading

Books are pretty much at every pivotal moment of my life. From my very first memories with my Grandpa, to my nightly story times with my mother, to the fact that our mutual love of reading led to my relationship with my husband, to the book cake at our wedding, to my husband’s career change from teacher to librarian, God has used reading and books at every juncture. Now I get to read to my kids every single day, sometimes for hours at a time. It is the highlight of my day watching their eyes light up as they listen to stories and re-read stories already!

S-Sleep

I know I said Nap time earlier but you have no idea how much I value sleep or how little sleep I get to experience right now! Sleep is a golden magical experience that is looked upon fondly from the distance right now. So every time I get any amount of sleep, I am truly thankful!

T-Time

Time is a precious commodity and it is does go by much faster than I ever expected it would! While I don’t know who originally said, I have heard the quote many times, “Parenting a child makes for long days and short years.” There is so much truth in that. I am pretty sure that today with a teething, cranky child that each hour lasted about 10 weeks. However, when I realize that we are about to celebrate his half-birthday and her second birthday, I am shocked with how quickly time is speeding by and what a short amount of time I really get to spend influencing my kid’s lives. (Yep, I am not going to think about it long or else I will cry!)

U-Ugly Cries

Speaking of crying, some days a mom just needs to have a good ugly cry. It really is therapeutic I think. Let’s be honest, living on this broken earth of ours brings so much heart-break and sadness. There are so many moments where I feel overwhelmed with worry for my kids, my husband, myself, the future, etc. Then there are some days where I am just bone-weary and need a break but no break presents itself. These are the days when I relish a good, old-fashioned ugly cry. Preferably in the shower so I can not look to horrible after the ugly cry! 🙂

V-Violet

Yep, it’s my favorite color to this day. And yes, I love the fact that my bathroom is even painted this color! My husband claims it looks like the Easter Bunny’s Batcave but I don’t care! (He was the one who let me choose the paint colors so…)

W-Water

Water keeps us alive so that makes it pretty awesome. However, I love water even more due to the fact that it will entertain my daughter for hours on end. Whether it is splashing in her water table outside or the bathroom sink or her nightly bath, L transforms into an angelic creature of fun giggles when water is around and I love that!

X-eXperiences

Yeah, I am stuck cause currently I am not overtly thankful for x-rays, xylophones, or Xerses…so I am doing a cop-out answer here. I am thankful for experiences. Each day presents itself with new wonders from God for me to experience and learn. I am have so much to learn in my faith with God, in my marriage to Nick, in my mothering of my children, and in my blogging. These experiences make up the fabric of life and I wouldn’t have it any other way!

Y-Yard Sales

Since we live in rural community with little options for weekend entertainment, we have become fascinated with the activity of going to all the local yard sales every Saturday. Surprisingly, it can be super fun to look through other people’s stuff and find little “treasures.” Some weeks, we return with huge finds-like three almost brand new bookshelves for under 30 bucks!-other weeks we find nothing. But we get to go around town as a family and spend hours together so it is the best weekend fun ever!

Z-Zoos

My husband’s family loves visiting zoos. It is kind of their “thing.” Having a small daughter who loves ALL things animal related just proves that God knows what He is doing when He placed her in our family unit. L will have many opportunities growing up to nurture her love for God’s creatures while visiting zoos (and Grandpa’s farm too! 🙂 )

Whew, I know I have so much to be thankful for! So much more than will ever fit on a single list but I love taking the break to focus on just a few areas that I am thankful for in my life!

Your Turn

Leave a comment of something that you are thankful for this year!

Also, it you want to participate in your own version of the ABC’s of Thankfulness, please sign up here to receive a FREE printable PDF! Not only will you gain access to the free printable but you will receive my weekly emails to encourage you in your walk with God!

Don’t wait another minute, sign up here to get your Free Printable!

Thanks for stopping by!

The ABCs of Thankfulness for a Christian Mom

*This post contains affiliate links to help keep the ministry of Ambitions for Christ in operation. You can read our disclosure policy here. Thanks for your support!*

The ABCs of Thankfulness for a Christian Mom

A Christian Woman’s Response To What The Bible Has To Say About Alcohol

A Christian Woman's Response To What The Bible Has To Say About Alcohol

My Personal Background With Alcohol

Okay, let’s get this on the table. I lived a sheltered childhood.

Growing up in the middle of nowhere on my family’s farm/ranch operation, we didn’t have hired hands so we never really got away for trips or vacations like most people do. (Trips were all based on traveling to a bull sale or to purchase a new piece of equipment-no Disneyland excursions here!)

On top of all this, I was home schooled, attended a small conservative country church, and was not involved in sports due to the fact that I have zero hand-eye coordination.

I was a nerd. There, I said it. 🙂

And I don’t regret a moment of it!!

Looking back on my childhood, I really have no recollection of any reference to alcoholic beverages of any kind. My parents and grandparents didn’t drink and we rarely attended gatherings where alcohol was served. At most, I might have seen it at some wedding receptions but I really don’t recall alcoholic beverages of any sort being in my presence until I was almost a teenager.

Around that time, I became far more aware of the alcohol being served at family gatherings on my dad’s side. And I started to see it show up more as my family made wider circles to local dances, charity events, county fairs, etc as I grew older.

My First Drink

The first time I ever actually drank wine was totally by accident!

We were having communion at the Lutheran church down the road from our church. They had both wine and grape juice to choose from when you took Communion there. Being the daydreaming teenager that I was, I failed to listen closely to which tray contained which so I grabbed a glass of wine.

My mom still laughs uncontrollably about the look on my face when I tasted the wine. I seriously starting choking on it in front of the entire congregation. My dad still says that I sounded like a cat with a fur ball that it couldn’t get up. That stuff was disgusting!!

Definitely one of my more embarrassing moments growing up! (And one that few people have let me live down either!)

Other Encounters With Alcohol

My dad actually made me drink a hot toddy one time when I was sick for a long time with a cold. Considering I was almost 16 or 17, he probably figured I could handle it. I could not.

It made me so sick that I was thankful to just have a head cold after the effects of it wore off! That was pretty much the worse tasting stuff I could imagine.

As I got older, I tried wine several times as my mom stated how much she enjoyed a nice glass of wine when she was in college. After several attempts to make myself enjoy the stuff, I gave up. I did not care for wine.

Around this same time, I tried champagne at several weddings. Let’s just say, I toast the bride and groom at weddings with my punch glass now. Seriously, champagne was disgusting!!! *green vomit face*

There, now you have my history with alcohol. To be honest, a lot of people are surprised to find that I have even tried alcohol of any sort. And I will be the first to admit that I am pretty naive towards the stuff having never developed the taste for it.

Figuring Out My Relationship With Alcohol As A Christian

As a Christian who lives in a world where alcohol plays a prominent role in the lives of those around me, I knew I needed to take the time to work through what my own thoughts and reactions to alcohol were going to be.

In 1 Corinthians 10:31, Paul commands, “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”

Therefore, I have been on a journey to look at what all the Bible does and does NOT say about alcohol.

At the end, I do a round up of the reasons (both Biblical and personal) that play into my stance on alcohol.

What The Bible Has To Say About Alcohol

First let’s clarify some specific things the Bible does state about alcoholic drinks.

Drunkenness Is Sin

There are several specific verses that highlight the fact that being drunk is an actual sin against God. As Christians, we should be seeking to avoid letting sin into our lives as that creates a rift in the beauty of our relationship with God. Therefore, since God considers drunkenness a sin, we also need to take God’s view on the matter.

To check out the exact passages where these verses are located you can click on the links below:

Ephesians 5:15-21

1 Corinthians 6:9-10

Galatians 5:16-24

Alcohol Does Not Make One Wise

Drinking alcohol rarely leads to stories of people making the best decisions of their lives. In light of that fact, the next two passages highlight some specific Proverbs that state the fact that alcohol does not lead to wise living. You can read the verses here:

Proverbs 20:1

Proverbs 31:4-5

Alcohol Can Be A Stumbling Block To Others

No Christian wants to cause another Christian to fall into temptation. Seriously, we can find temptations easy enough all on our own-we don’t need help! 🙂

And, we definitely do not want to taint unbelievers view of God by partaking of habits that make the unbeliever question God’s Truth!

Thus, Paul commands  Christians, “Don’t tear apart the work of God over what you eat. Remember, all foods are acceptable, but it is wrong to eat something if it makes another person stumble. It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything else if it might cause another believer to stumble.” (Romans 14:20-21)

Another passage you can check out is 1 Corinthians 8.

Alcohol Does Not Encourage Good Leadership

Leadership can be greatly affected by the influence of alcohol.

Considering the fact that leaders of the church should be setting an example for their flock, Paul even mentions their drinking habits in his list of qualifications for leaders of the church here in Titus 1:5-9.

Remember, if  God thinks the leader of a church should (or shouldn’t) be doing it, you probably should be considering that example as well!

Within the Proverbs, it even goes so far as to mention leaders of the country, not just leader of church too! Check it out here in Proverbs 31:4-5.

Alcohol Does Not Have Pleasant Side Effects

Honestly, in the moment of drinking alcohol, it can be pleasant, just like in the moment of eating a lot of junk food can taste good.

However, the effects it has on our bodies are not pleasant ones. Check out these less than delightful descriptions from Proverbs 23:29-35.

What The Bible Does Not Say About Alcohol

Okay, here are some misconceptions about what the Bible says about alcohol.

The Bible Does Not Condemn All Consumption of Alcohol

As Christians, we should be extremely careful to neither add nor take away from the Truth that is in God’s Word. Therefore, we must acknowledge the fact that while drunkenness is a sin, the basic act of consuming an alcoholic beverage is not forbidden.

Check out these places where drinking of alcohol was not condemned.

Deuteronomy 14:27-27

John 2:1-11

Here is the challenging spot. There is no set number of how much is too much for everyone. Some people can consume a fair amount of alcohol and remain remarkably sober. Others, can barely handle a few swallows before they become tipsy!

This is where we must bring our drinking before God as a personal matter. Ask Him to guide you in the decisions you make with alcohol just as you need His guidance in every other area of life! 

Remember the goal is to bring honor and glory to God with all the decisions we make. Don’t let your decision to drink or not to drink be a matter of pride to flaunt in front of other Christians. Let it be a private matter between you and the Lord.

The Bible Does Not Deny Some Positive Benefits of Alcohol

Now this is taken in light of moderation, but certain types of alcohol have been shown to provide certain health benefits. This is even backed up by the concept in the first letter of Paul to Timothy where he encourages the young man, “Stop drinking only water, and use a little wine because of your stomach and your frequent illnesses.” (1 Timothy 5:23)

Another instance of wine in a positive manner can be found here in Ecclesiastes 9:7.

My Response To Alcohol As A Christian Woman

Love Not Legalism.

First, I do not want my response to alcohol to be some legalistically list of do’s and don’t’s that leaves me filled with pride (or frustration depending on the scenario.)

With everything in me, I want to show my love for God. He is my Heavenly Father and I seek to give Him the best of my life. One of the best ways I know to show my love and devotion to Him is by seeking to obey Him, not out of fear but out of joyful abandon!

Therefore, any decisions I make regarding alcohol in my life, I seek to decide in light of living in His great love.

That love fills me up in ways that no chocolate, no alcohol, no relationship with another human being ever could. God’s love fills up the God-sized void in my life!

Wise Not Foolish

Surprisingly enough, I have not stumbled across any stories of people who said, “Man, I have made my best life’s decisions while drinking.”

God calls us as Christians to live wisely among the foolishness of this world. Alcohol tends to lead to lots of foolishness and not much wisdom.

Therefore, I have decided to not partake of alcohol as a matter of seeking to be wise in the wisdom that comes from knowing God and living in His commands.

Sober Not Drunk

Since there is a clear cut command from God to avoid drunkenness, I can safely say that I seek to avoid alcohol for this reason.

I know my weaknesses. I am an obsessive person.

You will never see me eat just once piece of candy or one handful of chips. I can guarantee you will never observe me watching just one episode of my latest favorite show. On top of that you will never see me cleaning my house in small, organized increments over several days.

Everything is all or nothing with me. I know this about myself.

And knowing this about myself has made me realize that if I were to allow alcohol in my life, I would most likely treat it in such a manner as well. Which would in no doubt lead to drunkenness.

Therefore, I avoid alcohol as a matter of personal responsibility to caring for my body in a way that glorifies God.

Stepping Block Not A Stumbling Block

Paul calls Christians to build each other up. Yes, drinking alcohol is not a sin. But causing another Christian to stumble is!

Therefore, I choose not to drink as I do not want to set myself up as a stumbling block to another Christian who might have issues with alcohol. For me, it simply is not worth the chance of causing a fellow believer in Christ the heartache or temptation.

Alien Ambassador Not Camouflaged Christian

As I go through my life as a Christian on this earth, I am called to be an ambassador for Christ.

I am an alien on this planet because I have a Heavenly citizenship.

Therefore, I do not want anything to mess up my ability to be a good representative and ambassador to the spiritually lost. And if that means that I look and act differently by not partaking of alcohol, that is okay.

My hope and prayer is that it will continue to open doors to discuss with others why I choose not to drink. (Cause trust me when I say that I have answered that question way more than just once!!)

Your Turn

Alcohol is such a hard topic for Christians to discuss! My prayer is that this post will help guide you to a thoughtful, wise approach to the topic as you journey along in your Christian faith.

Please take time to prayerfully read through Scripture and allow the Holy Spirit to guide you to make wise decisions in this delicate area. 

If you feel comfortable, leave a comment below sharing your experiences with alcohol and how your faith has affected your use of the substance. And please remember to be kind to others who may comment as well!

A Christian Woman's Response To What The Bible Has To Say About Alcohol

Thank you for stopping by!

A Christian Woman's Response To What The Bible Has To Say About Alcohol

The Ultimate Guide of Christian Gift Ideas For Toddler Girls

The Ultimate Guide of Christian Gift Ideas For Toddler Girls

Do you find yourself stumbling over the mountain of stuffed animals your sweet toddler daughter has managed to accumulate in her short life span?

Or perhaps you find yourself frustrated with how quickly toys break or loose their appeal after being given?

Honestly, as a Christian mom, are you disgusted with the message that some toys are sending to your daughter?

And, speaking as a book lover who loves to give books to my kids, I am shocked at the amount of vigilance necessary to find books that present a Godly, Christian worldview (i.e., skipping the millions of years talk, what about when someone has two mommies or daddies, etc.) At some point when my daughter is a little older than barely two, we plan to address these issues in a delicate fashion. However, until that time, I don’t want it thrown in her face!

Personally, I have struggled with these issues already in the short amount of time that I have been a mom to our little princess. As I have talked to other young moms, I heard them echo some of these frustrations as well so I decided to gather a list of recommendations for gifts that can help equip your young daughter with opportunities to learn about the love of God.

As much as I groan and whine about more stuff coming in my house in the form of gifts, I realize that the “stuff” that is coming in should at least be intentional towards reaching my child’s young heart for Christ. I want to give her the best gift of all-a love for Jesus!

As a parent, do your due diligence and check them out for yourself as well! Make sure they line up with you and your husband’s guidelines for teaching your child. Let this list serve as a guideline to help get you headed down the path to intentional gift-giving to your small daughter.

Oh, and have fun! 🙂

Christian Toddler Clothes

Does your daughter like to dress up and be pretty in pink? Well, let her do it with a message too! Below are some great Christian toddler sized shirts that share important messages about who your daughter is as child of the King of Kings. Every time she wears her shirt, you can be reminded to take a few minutes to talk about the message on her shirt with her. She will love the extra time and attention these outfits receive and you will have an awesome talking point with your kid!
Sparkle and Shine Pink T-shirt
Owl Always Love Jesus T-shirt
I Will Praise the Lord T-shirt
Wonderfully Made Kids T-Shirt

Christian Toddler Bibles

It is never too young for your child to own their very own Bible! As your child grows into toddler-hood, let her explore and learn God’s Word at her level with a Bible geared for her age.

Our daughter loves the Candle Bible for Kids and I love that she will be able to grow into it more as she gets older. However, there is also the option of the Paraclete Bible for Toddlers as well. And the Beginner’s Bible is a classic cornerstone work for reaching the youngest members of your family with God’s Word.

Trust me when I say that there is nothing more thrilling to this mommy’s heart than when I see my little girl flipping through and “reading” the stories back to me as she looks at the pictures on each page! I want her to always be desiring to know and learn more about God through His Word!

Christian Toddler Books

Okay, I am going to assume that you all already know that it is super important to read to your kids and are already doing that on a daily basis (you go, momma!) There are tons of good kids books out there to teach your daughter counting, colors, and letters just to name a few of the basics that I am sure that you see over and over again!

Well, let’s switch it up and check out some of the following books:
My ABC of God Loves Me
Count My Blessings, One Through Ten
N is for Noah
A Is for Adam: The Gospel from Genesis
The Berenstain Bears Keep the Faith
And if you don’t want to buy all of these books for your child, remember to head over to your local library and just check them out short term. You will get to enjoy lots of great Christian books without it hitting you so hard in the pocketbook!

Christian Toddler Music

My toddler loves to get her wiggles out by dancing and doing the actions to her favorite songs. It just so happens that several of her favorite songs also teach her about the love of God! 🙂

My absolute favorite is the music by Go Fish. My kids love their music and it doesn’t drive me and my husband insane after only listening to it once! 🙂 Plus, this album actually introduces some older hymns of the faith to our kids in an extremely upbeat fashion. It’s fun to watch their grandparents light up when our daughter recognizes an old hymn too!

Some other great albums to check out are Veggie Tales 25 Favorite Sunday School Songs, Veggie Tales Worship Songs, The Donut Man Bible Songs, and Wee Sing Bible Songs.

Christian Toddler Toys

Okay, I know we are all trying to simplify and get rid of toys and such but sometimes toys will be a part of our life. Here are some Christian options to consider!

(P.S. If you are looking for a great toy line to start up someday, you should start making Christian related toddler toys. They are hard to find!!)

A Fabric Nativity Manger Set is great because you can let your child explore the story of Christmas without worrying about them shattering your favorite breakable manger scene!

I think every child has a universal love of learning about animals and making animal noises. Therefore, this Noah’s Ark is awesome because it combines their love of all things animals with a Bible story. Just come to embrace the fact that you will find random animals throughout your house for the next few years of your life. You have been warned. 🙂

If you are like me, you are already trying to create good habits in your kids from a young age including sitting quietly during church. This Bible Quiet Book makes for a nice option to entertain your child quietly. And if you are handy with a glue gun or a sewing, head over to Pinterest for several ideas on creating kid-friendly Christian projects!

Also, consider this awesome Magnetic Drawing Board where you can practice writing their name the alphabet and even whole Bible verses together! Our daughter has one of these at her Grandma’s house and it is the best toy ever because it is quiet and doesn’t require batteries! 🙂

Christian Toddler Movies/TV Shows

There can be moments when we have to entertain our kids in front of a TV. No matter how rare we try to make that happen, it does happen. Here are some resources we use to make sure that even those times are a chance for them to learn about the love of God.

Okay, these are actually near and dear to my heart because I have watched these since I was a kid but they are good! And my daughter is already growing to enjoy them as well!

First, I know it is cliche Christian kids stuff but Veggie Tales! Seriously, this collection of Veggie Tales Bible Heroes shares Bible truths in a way that reaches the youngest members of our family!

The best part about Veggies Tales is you can pick actual Bible stories or you can pick topics such as forgiveness, sharing, or obedience and watch your child connect with the issues they are currently struggling with.

Adventures in Odyssey is the gold standard of Christian drama and story telling for kids. Their radio shows are beyond amazing. Honestly, most people don’t even realize they made these great shows for TV as well. Check out this awesome collection! Your daughter will love the adventuresome stories and best of all, it holds the attention of the older kids (and even adults) in your home as well!

Life at the Pond . Ah, where else does a duck wear glasses? 🙂 These are fun, bright musical shows that are very Veggie Tales esque without being Veggie Tales. Also, like Adventures in Odyssey, they are based off of a radio series so it provides a great option of listening in the car on road trips as well!

Your Turn

Have you struggled to find solid Christian gifts for your young daughter? What are some recommendations you have? Let me know in the comments below!

Thanks for stopping by!

*This post contains affiliate links to help keep the ministry of Ambitions for Christ in operation. You can read our disclosure policy here. Thanks for your support!*

Christmas Gift Ideas for Toddler Girls-Christian
The Ultimate Guide of Christian Gift Ideas For Toddler Girls
The Ultimate Guide of Christian Gift Ideas For Toddler Girls

Three Ways To Share Your Christian Faith At Halloween

Three Ways To Share Your Christian Faith At Halloween

Halloween is tricky time of year for Christians.

We know we are supposed to share our Christian faith at Halloween just like any other time of the year. However, as Christians, we also know we are not to condone things that are not honoring to God.

Honestly, the tension and frustration can cause Christians to swing to either extreme.

Some Christians swing to full involvement and endorsement of the holiday to the point where they are not any different than anyone else in the culture in how they celebrate Halloween. Their houses are lit up with the creepiest, most violent displays. A skimpy suggestive costume to the local crazy Halloween costume party? Yes, please! In fact, some Christians can be crazier about the holiday than their unsaved neighbors!

At the other end of the spectrum, you have Christians who simply disappear come Halloween time. Their houses are dark and quiet. They barely whisper the name Halloween for fear of contamination of their souls. At most, they will celebrate the historical beginning of the Reformation. (If you get this reference, you might fall into this category at least a little bit! ) 🙂 You will most likely find them gloating about their lack of involvement with Halloween to their friends during the church’s social hour.

As a Christian, we want to avoid dangerous extremes that are not based in Scripture. (Don’t hear me incorrectly, there are times when God calls to obey Him in ways that are extremely crazy to those outside of the faith.) Yes, we are to avoid all forms of evilness. Let’s realize to most everyone, this is a day to dress their kids up cute so they can get free candy. Other than a serious cause of cavities, Halloween from this angle takes on a more harmless slant.

I am not here to address the deeper roots of Halloween and the Satanic activities that DO take place on this day. (There are others far more qualified and able to address the big issues than I am!)

What I am here to address are some strategies to share your Christian faith at Halloween when you have cute little kids dressed at pirates, ghosts, and princesses showing up at your door. Let’s avoid swinging to the extremes and seek to find ways to reach the young families who will literally be knocking on your door this year!

Be The Great House

If you have ever gone trick or treating, you know that there are some houses every kid wants to go to. Why? They are a GREAT house! Why? They have the best candy!

Seriously, who wants to get a single piece of blah candy? Or worse, no candy at all! Maybe you give out raisin boxes and floss in which case you are begging to get your house TPed. No joke.

Think about it, as a kid dressed in a cute costume, all you want is good candy. You are willing to walk a few extra blocks to go back to the same house every year because they are a GREAT house!

To be honest, I had no idea how true this was until last year when we went trick or treating with our oldest child for the first time. We visited several houses, most of them belonging to members of our church and let me tell you, they were GREAT houses!

One dear lady had full sized milk-chocolate Hersey’s bars to hand out. You should have seen the look on our daughter’s face. The candy bar looked bigger than life to her and definitely left a positive impression!

Another GREAT house we visited handed out children’s books along with the candy. Throughout the year, the family buys good quality books from local garage sales and the library book sale, then come Halloween night they let kids pick from huge baskets of books. Best of all, most all the books they hand out tell Bible stories! (And they gave out great candy too which made them a favorite house for several blocks around!)

Other outreach items to hand out could include:

Get creative and think of ways that you can be the great house in your neighborhood! Bonus points for not being the target of getting TPed! 🙂

Create A Safe Environment

As a parent, Halloween is a scary for another reason besides all the creepy decor. We are reminded to try to walk before dark and wear reflective clothes so drivers can see all the small children running around. In addition to watching for traffic, we have to be careful and aware of our surroundings at each door, especially of homes we don’t know. Finally, when we get home, we have to check all our kid’s candy for tampering to make sure that no one did something bad to their candy or slipped them something besides candy.

It really is quite terrifying. Which is why creating a safe environment for kids and their families can be an outreach in and of itself!

At your home, be sure to have the walkways well lit. Make sure that you are only handing out individually wrapped store bought candy that parents can see has not be tampered with! Don’t wear costumes that require masks when answering your door. Parents will appreciate being able to see the face of the person giving their child candy!

On a larger scale, see if local churches are hosting Trunk or Treat events or Hallelujah Nights or some other Halloween alternative that is safe for kids while still letting them dress up for candy.

As a parent, it can be so much easier to take your child to one single place, let them play fun games, win candy and other small prizes, and avoid the craziness of door-to-door trick-or-treating.

If there is such an event in your area, seek to find ways to be involved whether by volunteering to help or by providing supplies to make it happen. If there is not such an event in your area, prayerfully consider if God would like you to be the one to coordinate such an opportunity to reach out to local young families looking for a safe, fun Halloween!

Offer Bite-Sized Truth For Kids

Finally, the most important part of Halloween that will set us apart from how others celebrate is the fact that we will infuse our actions with intentional sharing of God’s love and truth.

You will have to find what works best for you but some suggestions I would like to leave with you include sharing a Gospel tract with each of your Halloween treats. Here are some great options available from Amazon!

Another option I have seen is to include a Bible verse sticker on each candy bar you hand out.

Also, consider including a flyer promoting a local church’s Awana or Sunday School times. Let them know that there is a community of believers who would love to have them join. In the moment of receiving the candy, the flyer will probably be ignored but a day or two later when a kid is bored and done with Halloween, you might be surprised how many of them will check out the flyer!

Your Turn

Navigating the tricky waters of Halloween can be challenging but it can also be rewarding! Don’t let this particular season scare you away from reaching out to the lost in your community!

-How are about you? Do you find yourself leaning to extremes of embracing or shunning the Halloween celebrations?

-Have you ever considered letting God use you to share His love to others during this time of year?

If you have some ideas that you and your family have implemented to share your faith, would you please leave a comment sharing about it?

I would love to hear your ideas too! 🙂

Thanks for stopping by!

*This post contains affiliate links to help keep the ministry of Ambitions for Christ in operation. You can read our disclosure policy here. Thanks for your support!*

Share your Christian Faith At halloween
Share Your Christian Faith at Halloween

Four Christian Thanksgiving Activities for Toddlers

Four Christian Thanksgiving Activities for Toddlers

*This post contains affiliate links to help keep the ministry of Ambitions for Christ in operation. You can read our disclosure policy here. Thanks for your support!*

Ever since I can remember, I have loved Thanksgiving! Perhaps some of my childish delight was due to the fact that my birthday occasionally happens to fall on the actual holiday. However, even as I have grown older (and a little less birthday obsessed) I find the season surrounding Thanksgiving to be magical!

Now that I am a mom, I couldn’t wait to find ways to share this wonderful season  with my kids, especially as my oldest is now entering the curiosity, question-filled stages of toddler hood.

Below are some ways that we can use this season to teach the sweet (and sometimes terror-like) toddlers in our home how to develop a grateful heart to glorify God even at a young age.

Here are some quick, fun Christian Thanksgiving activities for toddlers at your home! 🙂

A Count Your Blessings Jar

My daughter loves pulling paper out of Kleenex boxes and shoving it back in. She delights at putting her word flash cards back in their box only to open the box and take them right back out. And she loves to dump our laundry baskets and resort them to her likening before placing them back in the basket.

With this in mind, I figured she will love a jar where we put flashcard-like card stock paper for her to manipulate in and out time after time. If you are the artistic type (might be jealous of you just a bit!) then take the time to write in block letters on the cards words like WARM BED or FAVORITE PINK SIPPY CUP. Then with your art skills, draw pictures of those items.

And if you are like me and can’t draw a basic stick figure, head to your beloved printer and print out pictures to paste to your card stock. (And count your blessings for printers! 🙂 )

Next, find a plastic jar or an empty Kleenex box, shoe box, or cereal box to store your Blessings cards. Place the cards inside.

Now, enjoy spending precious moments of your day looking over all the things you and your toddler have to be grateful for with your toddler!

A Thankful Turkey

Okay, I know this sounds cliche but what is Thanksgiving without a Turkey made out of a hand print? It is a basic, fall-back project you can easily work on with a toddler.

Trace your child’s hand onto a piece of paper. Draw a turkey face on the thumb and you have a turkey hand print.

Once the hand print turkey is traced and cut out, talk with your toddler about what they are thankful to God for. Perhaps their answers won’t be what you think of but that is part of the fun! Write their answers on the turkey feathers and place on their wall so they can remember to be thankful!

If they struggle to think of something to be thankful for, feel free to walk around your home and give them ideas. For example, you can show them their Bible and say that owning a Bible of their own is special. Why? Well, many kids in the world don’t have their own Bible to own so God has blessed them by letting them own a Bible!

You can do this with serious things (such as the Bible), silly things (such as candy for dessert after supper), or even intangible things (how much mommy loves them!)

Psst..looking for a great Bible for your toddler? Here is the one my daughter has! She loves the pictures and it is easy to read short portions to her as her attention span allows!

Thanksgiving Prayer Moments

Teaching our children to pray is a cornerstone to softening their hearts to hear the voice of God. Often, it is easy to teach our kids how to ask God for things, mainly because they will often see us praying and asking God for things. While that is definitely a part of our prayer conversations with God, we need to model thanking God in prayer to our children as well.

Take a few minutes each day in the month or week leading up to Thanksgiving and set a special time aside each day to pray with your child about what they are thankful for!

If they are comfortable and have the verbal ability to do so, let them pray out loud. If they are not quite comfortable or verbally ready to pray out loud themselves, take the lead and pray with them.

Keep your words simple. There is no need to try to impress your kids (or God!) with huge words. Simply state things you are thankful for. You might be surprised how quickly the younger members of your family will pick up on this thankful attitude to God!

Color A Bible Verse Picture Together

Okay, I have to make a confession here. I might like coloring pictures more than my toddler does! Seriously, could someone just ask me to sit quietly for 10-20 minutes a day and pick colors to scribble on a page!?

There is something wonderful about joining your child in the practice of coloring a picture. Do a quick Google search for free printable Bible verse coloring pages and print off a few for you and your child. Read the verse on the page, color the picture, and most important, let your child know that you are thankful that God lets you be their mommy!

Your Turn

What are some ways that you are teaching your children to nurture a thankful heart this Thanksgiving season?

Feel free to leave a comment and let us know how your family celebrates!

Thanks for stopping by!

Christian Thanksgiving Activities for Toddlers
Christian Thanksgiving Activities for Toddlers

Six Books That Will Train You How To Defend Your Christian Faith

Six Books that Will Train You How to Defend Your Christian Faith

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My mom loves to call me with computer-related questions. She assumes that because I am under 30 I will automatically know all things computer related.

Little does she realize that I have a very small grasp on technology, nor do I know how to diagnose any computer issues via a quick description on the phone.

Most of the time when she does call me, I end up googling her exact words in hopes that something will magically pop up and help me. So far, that method has not worked.

After calling me, my mom’s next step is calling the local tech wizard repair man. The guy can fix computers (and all tech related stuff) with a magical few clicks. Believe it or not, he usually can walk my mom through a few simple steps and fix her problem over the phone almost every time.

What is the difference between me and the local tech wizard?

Knowledge.

He knows computers. He thrills to understand technology.

Me? I get a nervous rash just turning on our computer. (Yes, I realize that it is very ironic that God called me to write a blog on a computer. He is stretching me daily through the means of technology!)

Now, think about the smartest Christian you have ever met. Perhaps it is your pastor or a older grandparent. Perhaps it was a Christian speaker you heard at a conference. Think about their confidence in God. The boldness of their faith.

Did it feel a tad daunting to be around such a person? Kind of like you wanted to hide your Bible from them so they couldn’t see you stumbling around to find the Old Testament reference they just mentioned?

What is the difference between you and this confident Christian?

Knowledge.

These mature Christians have had Biblical training from Scripture, countless Christian mentors, and hours of study from great books.

You Must Know Before You Can Share

I cannot share the proper steps for my mom to fix her computer problems because I do not have the knowledge to begin with. Neither can I share a reasonable defense for my Christian faith if I first do not know the truth myself.

The books I am going to bring before you will serve as guides and training manuals. The knowledge found in these books is not meant to serve as a replacement for your Bible. However, they will train you with what to do with a love for God and passion for His Word.

Books to Help you Defend your Christian Faith

Without further ado, here are books by some incredibly well-studied and gifted Christian leaders. I hope you check out the resources they provide to help build your ability to defend your Christian faith.

1. Love Your God With All Your Mind by J. P. Moreland


Jesus called believers to love God with their heart, soul, mind and strength. Today, there is very little emphasis being placed on loving God with our mind.

From his experience as a teaching professor at Biola University, J. P. Moreland does an excellent job of walking Christians through the process of reengaging their mind into their faith in God. I recommend this book first simply because it will light a fire under you to want to read the rest of the books on this list!

2. The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel

Perhaps the biggest reasons Christians shrink from defending their faith is because they just don’t feel they have evidence to back up their faith. Well, this book will change all that!

Lee Strobel was an award-winning journalist and staunch atheist. After his wife’s conversion to Christianity, he set out to disprove her faith. Along the way, he interviews the top Christian minds of our time. What he found was substantial evidence that helped him become a passionate believer in Christ.

This book is great because it breaks down the hard questions about the authenticity of the Bible, the reliability of the Biblical eyewitnesses, and the veracity of the resurrection.

*Bonus points on this one, because there are also editions geared towards teens and young children which means you can work through it as a family if you want!

3. More Than A Carpenter by Josh McDowell and Sean McDowell
Much like Lee Strobel’s story, Josh McDowell was a skeptic who set out to prove Christianity wrong and instead found Christianity to be the Truth. My first experience with this book was reading a first edition copy of it that my Grandpa owned. The best part about this book is how easy and quick of read it is!

Many believers I know keep extra copies of this on hand just to hand out to seekers. It is a great overview book to help a person approach the questions about Christianity in a kind and sensitive manner without compromising the truth!

This latest edition has been updated to include Josh’s son’s guidelines to approaching the younger generation. I haven’t had a chance to read this but I have heard Sean speak personally and know that Sean’s teaching is sound, practical and applicable!

4. Tactics by Gregory Koukl
If you are an introvert like myself and find that you get tongue tied talking to people about the weather, yet alone something important like your faith in God, this book is for you!

This book builds on the foundation of knowing why you believe what you believe as a Christian and helps you then share it with others who do not necessarily see life from a Christian worldview.

More than once I have used the suggestions and advice from this book to wade my way through challenging conversations about faith in God. My favorite part of this book is that Mr. Koukl focuses on the importance of winning the person NOT just the argument!

5. I Don’t Have Enough Faith To Be An Atheist by Norman L. Geisler and Frank Turek
Alright, I will be honest. This is the only book on this list that I have NOT personally read. Why am I still recommending it? Well, simply because the information from this book is core to the messages that the authors cover in their speaking engagements and I have heard them personally speak several times.

Plus, several of my friends, including a few seminary graduates, highly recommend this book and I trust their recommendations.

Also, it is on my to read list as soon as possible. (Since I have two kids under two, that could be anytime from now to 18 years from now! 🙂 )

If you have read it, I would love to hear your thoughts about it in the comments below too!


6. Understanding the Times by David Noebel and Jeff Myers
This last recommendation is nearest and dearest to my heart. As a former Summit student and staff worker, I have had the privilege of seeing the authors of Understanding the Times live out their Christian faith boldly and brilliantly.

Understanding the Times: A Survey of Competing Worldviews is a concise overview of all the major worldviews that are vying for the world’s attention and belief. If you can buy only one book on this list, this is the book I recommend. Written so you can open it up to any section and study that particular topic, I find it the most overarching resource available to Christians who are learning how to defend their Christian faith.

You can use it as a Bible study aid, a family conversation starter, a Sunday School curriculum, etc. By far, the best bang for your buck in my honest opinion!

Once you Know you must share

In 2 Timothy 4:1-2 Paul encourages Timothy (and us as believers in the following generations), “I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.

It is imperative that we are training ourselves to spiritually be ready to defend our Christian faith. We will never be ready for every conversation or challenge that comes our way. (Kids especially have a way of throwing hard curve ball questions when we least expect the questions!)

God promises that the Holy Spirit will give us the words we need to say in the moment we need to say them. However, I believe that God does give us the right words in the hard moments is by training us leading up to those moments.

And how can He train us if we are ignoring the tools placed before us?

Final Thoughts

As Christians, it is only a matter of time before we will face questions about our faith. Rather than let that scare us into silence, let this truth fuel us to study and grow in our knowledge and passion for our faith. 

The enemy of our souls likes to test us through doubting thoughts. With our minds and thought life planted firmly in the truth, we will be able  refute other’s false claims and reassure ourselves against doubt.

Finally, we will be able to train our children and other believers so that they too can know how to defend their Christian faith. What a beautiful legacy!

Your Turn

Take a moment and leave a comment below letting me know if you have read any of these books!

Also, please feel free to leave book recommendations of your own! I love to hear what others are reading!

Finally, please take a moment and share this post with other Christians who might be struggling with the practical side of defending their Christian faith!

Thanks for stopping by!

Six Books That Will Train You How To Defend Your Christian Faith