Mommy & Me Monday: Thankfulness

It’s Mommy & Me Monday on the blog! Spend some time coloring with a little one in your life and talking together about God’s goodness.

This week let’s talk about thankfulness!

“Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Why do we need to say thank you? If someone gives us something, they are treating us like someone special. Saying “thank you” means we understand that they are special too and have shared their special gifts or time with us.

Imagine this:  what if you spent a whole morning drawing a special drawing or maybe making a special craft for a friend or someone in your family. Maybe you even used your special crayons or favorite stickers on it. Now, what if you gave that gift to your friend and they just set it down and never said thank you? How would you feel? When that happens I feel sad. I gave them something special and they didn’t think it was special. But if they smiled and said “Thank you” to me, then I know that they think it is special too and I feel good.

Well, the Bible says that all good things in our lives are from God (read James 1:17). That is a LOT of good gifts! Saying thank you to God makes Him happy just like it makes us happy to hear thank you when we give a gift. It’s a way of saying to God, “I know all the things you made and gave me are special and I’m glad you shared them with me!”

What are some things you are thankful for right now? Make a list together and spend some time thanking God for His good gifts. And if you think of something another person has given you, say thank you to them too!

 

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Mommy & Me Monday: Psalm 23

Thanks everyone for your patience! Mommy & Me Mondays are back and I’m so excited! If you’re new to the site, Mommy & Me Mondays are a chance to pull up a chair and a box of crayons (or fancy markers) with a little one in your life and talk about Jesus as you color together.

*Note: to print out the coloring sheets, click on the thumbnail of one you’d like to print, then click a second time or click the “See full size image” link (depending on your browser) to see the full size image. Print from the full size image. 🙂

This week I have been reflecting on Psalm 23:4.

“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me.”

What are some things that make you afraid? What do you think might happen?

For me, I feel afraid that bad things will happen to my kids or my family. I want to be able to protect them always, like a superhero. One time I had a bad dream about that, and I woke up and had to talk to God about all of my fears so I could fall back to sleep. And in that dark night so full of my fears, I felt like He was so close to me. And He seemed to say to my heart, to reassure me, that He is close to me and to them at every moment. “When you walk through the fire, I will be there.” (see Is 43:2). And I was so deeply comforted. Because God promised us that we would never be alone! Not ever. Even when bad things happen, He comforts us. And we will be His, with Him in peace and glory, forever.

The Good Shepherd walks with His sheep through hard and dark, scary places and leads them into safe, peaceful places. When things get scary, hold on tight to Him – tell Him your fears and choose to trust Him to keep His promise. “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

 

 

 

Easter Craft: Resurrection Kites

I’m so excited about Easter. When I think about what God has done and is doing, redeeming and saving and making new life from death, I want to cry and sing and dance! The older I get, the more I see and experience suffering and see my own shortcomings, and the more exciting grace is, the more amazing it seems. And to think that all along, from the fall, God was planning this beautiful rescue of the world, of the people who had so quickly turned from Him and done so much damage…

God, you are wonderful. A good, good Father. A Redeemer, mighty to save us. All of our hope is in You!

This week as you look forward to the holiday, make this simple and pretty craft (found on kindercraze.com and makeandtakes.com) – or if you don’t have time to craft just grab a couple kites you already have and head to the park – to remember Jesus’ resurrection and God’s promise that one day we will join Him in the clouds!

For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a loud command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will be the first to rise. After that, we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will always be with the Lord. 1 Thes 4:16-17

By His power God raised the Lord from the dead, and He will raise us also.1 Cor 6:14

I found two versions, slightly different. I like the cross center as a reminder of Jesus’ sacrifice. But either way, as your make this craft with a little one in your life and hang them in the window, talk about Jesus rose from the dead and that we too will live forever with Him if we trust in Him. Jesus defeated death and even if our bodies die here, He will make them alive again- and perfect and beautiful! Never to die again.

stained-glass-kites2

http://www.makeandtakes.com/colorful-stained-glass-kites

Stained-Glass-Kites-27

http://kindercraze.com/stained-glass-kite-decorations-made/

Have fun!

UPDATE:

My daughter and I did these together and I also tried it out with a class of preschoolers. Here is what I learned:

  1. Contact Paper works OK, but wasn’t super sticky with the construction paper so it tended to come unpeeled from it. Sandwiching the kite between two pieces also tended to come apart once the kite was hung up. I don’t know if the good souls on the sites above just had a better technique than I did, but I found it frustrating so I tried using a document laminating sheets instead and they worked great! Much better results. I used this (which I had on hand from a project 10 years ago, so you may need to look for another brand if this one isn’t still around.):
    docsealer
  2. Little ones love to overlap the tissue squares a lot so make sure you teach them to have smaller overlaps if possible. If there is too much overlap then the tissue will fall off especially if you’re using contact paper. This may be solved in the final “sandwiching” part if you do it right, but it did not work for me :-/
  3. If you try to glue the tissue down it will make your kite warp and crinkle, which isn’t a big deal except that it gives the contact paper one more reason not to stick to the construction paper. With the laminating sheets I did not have to use glue at all so it made a nice flat project.
  4. If you can get the contact paper to work, you can leave a border around the kite with the top piece and it sticks to the window just like a decal – no residue left when you peel it off! So that’s handy. But make sure your window is clean. Mine wasn’t (*chagrin*) so the contact paper was less contact-y! haha

Here are the kites my daughter and I made. Technical issues notwithstanding, I love the cheeriness they bring to our window! Note – the smaller one was made with the laminating sheet as opposed to the contact paper.

kites

He is risen indeed!

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Mommy & Me Monday: Poinsettia cards

mnm-poinsettia-sheetr

It’s Mommy & Me Monday again! This week enjoy coloring a set of Poinsettia cards together! These could be fun to attach to gifts or send to friends & relatives who would enjoy the personal touch of a hand-colored card. I recommend printing on cardstock or a heavier paper, but nothing too glossy or it will be harder to color on. 🙂

Instructions: When you click on the image above, be sure to then click on the link that says “See full size image” -or a similarly worded link – before printing. (The image you see above is actually a low resolution one and will print very small or grainy.) Cut the sheet in half along the dotted line. Then fold each piece in half at the center so one side has the poinsettia and side has the Bible verse. I envisioned the poinsettia to be on the front of the card and the verse on the back, but of course follow your creative and God-led inspirations 🙂

As you color, you can talk about the legend of the poinsettia and what gifts we can give to God this year. The poinsettia’s story originates in Mexico where two poor children longed for a nice gift to leave by the baby Jesus’ manger. The story goes that as they walked to church one evening, an angel appeared to them and instructed them to pick the green weeds that were growing beside the road and place them beside the manger in the church’s nativity. The children did as they were told. After placing the weeds, the plants bloomed into these beautiful star-shaped crimson flowers before their eyes. A beautiful gift worthy of a king.

While this story is a legend, it reminds me of many stories in the Bible where God asked people to do strange things that might have gotten them embarrassed or in trouble. Yet those who obeyed saw miracles!

Jesus told the servants at the wedding in Cana to bring water to the host who had run out of wine. But before the host drank it, Jesus had turned it into wine.

Noah was asked to build an ark when a terrible rainfall like what God was predicting was unheard of then or ever since. But he built it, and the flood came.

Jesus told the lepers to go show themselves to the priest, and only as they went on their way in obedience was the leprosy cured.

Joseph was told to take Mary as his wife, even though she was already pregnant. This would have been very embarrassing to him in that day, but he believed that the baby really was from God and obeyed. And he became the earthly father of our God and Savior!

Hebrews 11 is full of more stories of those who had great faith. And we even now join them as we await Jesus’ return. We follow Him faithfully even though it has been 2000 years since He first arrived, and many people think its silly to believe that He is alive and will return, or that He was God in the first place. But we hold on to our faith that what God has said will come to pass. We continue to worship Him with our whole lives, knowing that one day our Savior will return to destroy evil once and for all. His glory truly will “shine over all the earth.” And we will join Him forever!

 

Mommy & Me Monday: Colossians 1:17

Welcome to Mommy & Me Mondays. Take a few minutes to color with a little one in your life (or not-so-little one, or your inner-little one!) and reflect together on this week’s verse!

For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on the earth, visible and invisible…all things have been created by Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. Colossians 1:16-17

Things don’t always go the way we want or plan in our lives. From not getting the toy we wanted for our birthday, to not getting the job or house we were so hoping for, and everything in between. Sad things happen to us all and it can even feel like everything is terrible, awful, and very bad. But here is our great comfort: Jesus is Lord of everything. He made it all and holds it all together. And He is GOOD. He sees our hurt, and when we are confused or frustrated. Tell Him all about how you are feeling – He is listening! Then choose to trust Him to bring about good and perfect things in your life and in the world. The One who made the sunsets and starry skies and keeps everything moving along is watching over each of His children personally and carefully.

“Take heart, for you are worth more than many sparrows.” Luke 12:7

Mommy & Me Monday: Song of Solomon 2:10

Mommy & Me Monday is back! Spend some time coloring Princess Pristina with a little one in your life and talking about God’s love together.

PLEASE NOTE: I’ve heard of some problems with these coloring pages printing grainy or pixellated. To avoid this:
1) Click on the image you want to print
2) When the image pops up with the black background around it, look to the bottom right of the picture for a link that says “view image full size”.
3) Click on that link
4) When the full size image pops up, click on that one to save/print.

Please let me know if you still have trouble with them!

I think if we only understood how passionately God loves us, we wouldn’t find faith so difficult. He is not far away, not passively observing the lives of His children. No, He is so very close to each of us, and so passionately eager to be close to us. It is a mystery, to be loved like that. And because it is a mystery it’s easy to just not think about it – but we must! Read His words, His love letter to us in the Bible. Dwell on them. Pray and ask the Spirit to give you a greater understanding of the depth of His love. I used to feel like God just tolerated me because of Jesus’ sacrifice. But no, no no – He LOVES me, and all the joy and longing that implies. When you read the Scripture you feel it there in the words. Who else but a lover would go to the cross for His beloved? How else could God compare Jesus and the church to a bride and groom? Think of the person in your life who has loved you most and best. And consider how at times they have hurt you, even accidentally. Now consider that God loves you even BETTER than that person. Never failing or suppressing His love. If you are His, you are His beloved!

And I pray that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to comprehend the length and width and height and depth of His love, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
Ephesians 3:17b-19

Praise God!

Mommy & Me Monday: Menagerie Maze

PP managerie maze

Pristina‘s friends the pigs really love donuts. But these pigs are big on sharing. They’ve given out donuts to all their friends in the King’s menagerie. Pristina would like a donut too – help her find her way through the animals to the pig that’s carrying the box of donuts! And while you’re at it, count how many donuts the pigs gave out, and see if there are any friends who didn’t get one yet. Oh yeah, and have fun coloring together. 🙂

This week’s thought to share with your kids is about surrender. You could explain that word as meaning, “I won’t be in charge; I’ll let someone else be in charge.”It’s a word that people use when they’ve been at war and want to stop fighting.

The whole history of humanity has been one of war with God, for the most part. Something in us just *really* wants our own way. But the Lord tells us, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.” (Prov 14:12) When we are in charge, we end up in trouble. But God wants what is best for us. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.” (prov 3:5-6) When we trust in God and follow His leading – when we surrender to Him – He leads us into good things. He makes us like new people, changing our hearts to be like His, full of love and truth. So even though it is hard to surrender, it is *worth* it!

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Mommy & Me Monday: Sleeping Dragons maze!

SB dragon maze

I would’ve posted this earlier but I was having a liiiitle too much fun drawing and adding details and, well, this just took a lot longer than I thought it would! But it is still technically Monday…on the West coast (and Hawaii!)… phew! 🙂

Have fun helping Sir Bumble to wander the maze and coloring a goofy dragon or two with a little one in your life. Careful not to touch those sleeping dragons or you’re gonna have to yell BOO a lot!

This week take a minute to remind your children (and yourself!) that you are deeply loved by God. We are totally free, as though we had never done ANYthing wrong! Paul opened many of his epistles with “grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ” because that IS our reality now; that is what He sends to us. We have peace with Him, not strife. Acceptance and celebration, not rejection or fear of punishment.

It makes sense to us to imagine that God loves us more when we are doing good. Kids I think especially struggle with this concept because it is easy to equate a parent/teacher’s disappointment and frustration with a lessening of their love. But even if our affection DOES waver when we’re angry, God is not like us and His affection for His children (young and old) is at its peak right now and forever. What a tremendous gift Jesus bought for us!

 

 

Mommy & Me Mondays: Colossians 3:13

Sorry about last week’s non-existent post. It was the first day of school and one in a series of very, very hectic days! Keepin’ it real here – some days being a mom and a wife just doesn’t allow for fun things like coloring pages and blogs. But we’re back. And I’ve done another word search for you (courtesy of AtoZteacherstuff.com’s Word search generator).

I was thinking today of just how incapable I am, on my own, of real patience or compassion. In the last week – when we had a car in the shop, a major home reorganization effort underway, and all the added busyness that comes with school starting up (not to mention a summertime hot house to do it all in) and I found my compassion and gentleness and kindness reserves bankrupt. I told the Lord it had to be HIS kindness, HIS compassion, HIS gentleness. I looked at myself and said “not possible.” But we can “clothe” ourselves with what we’re lacking by pausing and asking the Holy Spirit to reveal His heart and goodness through us. There is a real miracle that happens when we say ” I can’t God, but you can,” and wait on Him in faith. And yes, He does indeed miraculous infuse our hot, tired, stressed-out bodies with all those good things.

This might be a great chance to talk to your kids about what kindness and gentleness and patience (and forgiveness!) are. Remind them that we don’t make ourselves good by our efforts, but that God in us is good and as we trust in Him and offer our lives to Him we will indeed be clothed in all of these beautiful traits.

Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit says the Lord of hosts!  Zech 4:6

P.S. Here are the keys for the last wordsearch: