When My Children Shake Me

when my children shake me

“Are you sorry for snapping at me?”

I squeezed my eyes shut and took a deep breath. Shame washed over me as I replayed the outburst in my head. How was it possible that one three-year-old could make my blood boil so easily? I looked at my son, staring at me with his impossibly blue eyes. Waiting for an answer.

Inner-Mary readied her list of reasons why her harsh reaction was justified: You’ve been pushing me all day. You’ve screamed and cried and made unreasonable demands. You’ve disobeyed me, ignored me, and taken me for granted. Can you really blame me for lashing out??

My son is quite the expert at shaking me up. How easy it is for me to point my finger at him when anger, selfishness, impatience, and laziness come spilling out of me. But he’s never made me react in the wrong way. The reality is this: Every reaction that spills out of me reveals what was already there.

Click here to read the rest of this article at Just18Summers.com.

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3 Weeks of God-Focused Fall Activities for Young Children

god-focused fall activities

If you’re like me, you might get a little overwhelmed with the 3,643 events that happen in the fall. It kind of seems like there’s a tad bit of pressure to do ALL the things. After all, if you don’t enjoy a pumpkin-spiced-something while wearing cute wedge boots and carving a pumpkin…did fall even happen?

I’m guilty of trying to do all the events and activities with my kids. Like if I don’t do enough, they’ll be in therapy someday, lamenting the woes of their lost fall childhood to their therapist. “If only I’d gone apple picking, I might have gotten a real job and made something of myself,” they’d say.

I can be a bit dramatic.

So this fall, my goal is to just calm down and be intentional with my children by making each task, event, or activity an opportunity to point them to Jesus. This may seem like an overwhelming task, but I’m learning that children are so receptive to the truth that even the simplest task, when connected to Jesus, can make a lasting impression.

So as I’m putting this into practice for our family, I wanted to share this resource with you, too: 3 Weeks of God-Focused Fall Activities for Young Children.

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Every Heart Wants the Story

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He had to use both arms and tilt his body sideways to support its weight, but you could spot the puffed out chest and unfettered pride from a mile away.

A certain three-year-old had a brand new Bible.

“This is God’s true Word, Ryleigh,” he told his baby sister. “Be gentle with it.” Ryleigh stuffed a handful of Cheerios into her mouth in agreement.

My son’s previous storybook Bible was—ahem—well-loved. So much so that the binding was barely holding the pages together and several stories had been ripped out by an overly enthusiastic baby sister.

Benjamin began asking if he could take his Bible to church, but I wasn’t sure it would make it there in one piece. Yeah, this kid needed a new Bible.

I took the kids to the bookstore and began looking over the selections. The options were a bit sparse—only about 493 choices of kids’ Bibles. Being the ever-practical person that I am, I was drawn first to the most economical Bibles. (Read: The easiest-on-my-wallet Bibles.)

Makes sense, right? I mean, three-year-olds aren’t known for their gentleness. Why spend a ton of money on a fancy Bible that would just get dropped, crinkled, or ripped?

(Read the rest of this article at Just18Summers.com by clicking here!)

3 Surefire Ways to Suck the Fun from Time with Your Kids

3 ways to suck the fun out of your time with your kids

I’ve only been a mom for 3.5 years now. Not long enough for me to master much of anything, but plenty long enough for me to learn that I’m capable of sucking the fun out of everything.

Seriously. Everything.

Being Type A and all, I tend to approach life with an I-will-conquer-you-and-be-productive-or-die-trying kind of attitude. And yet, when I try to apply this attitude to motherhood–or, more specifically, to my children–I fall flat on my face.

Every. Time.

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Made in His Image

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I tilted the bag upside down and watched as the potting soil tumbled into the large plastic container. As the mound of dirt grew higher, my children’s eyes grew wider.

My 14-month-old gasped in delight and my three-year-old began a dance not unlike the I’ve-really-gotta-go dance. Back and forth, left foot, right foot. The kind of dance that takes over when you can barely contain your excitement for what’s ahead.

I dropped a shovel and a few cups into the container and was nearly bowled over by the two little stallions chomping at their bits. I backed away and watched, amused, as they both sank their hands into the dirt and filled their tiny fists, letting it sift between their fingers, smiles plastered on their faces.

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A Desk, Dignity, and Dark Chocolate

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Just a Desk

He looked like a deer in the headlights. A drill in one hand, a level in the other. I couldn’t blame him. I’d probably respond the same way if he’d gone from laughter to legit tears in 2.5 seconds.

Like I’d just done.

We’d spent the last few hours putting together a floating desk in our bedroom. Nothing super fancy, just a couple of shelf brackets and a wooden board. It’ll take thirty minutes tops, I said with what I’m sure was a brimming-with-confidence smirk. This will be easy. 

Famous last words.

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You Know You’re a Parent When…

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I had such a fun time touching base with other moms this week and asking them, “What are some of the weirdest things you’ve said or done as a parent that you never would have done before kids?”

The answers are hysterical, because I know they’re all 100% true! Check out these 20 “You know you’re a parent when…” statements. And be sure to comment with your own hilarious experiences, too!

You Know You’re a Parent When…

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