Teaching Kids About the Character of a Jesus-Follower

I received this book to review. I have included affiliate links below. When you purchase through these links, I may receive a small commission. Thank you for supporting this site and our sponsorship of our Compassion child, Samson!

So here’s the deal…

I’m not a big fan of what the world thinks a “Christian” looks like these days. If you were to ask a person on the street about the character traits of a Jesus-follower, I’m afraid you would hear words like self-righteous, judgmental, and close-minded. These are ugly words and the furthest thing from the character of Jesus.

This is the world in which we are raising our children. It is more important than ever to teach our kids to be Jesus-followers not just in name, but in everything we do. My character has to speak louder than any label I may claim. And I want the character of my boys to do the same.  

When we look at the life of Jesus, there are so many character traits for us to emulate and teach to our kids. I like to narrow down our focus when the kids are little and build upon it as they grow and mature in their faith.

Jesus Follower Pin (1)

I Will Follow Jesus, a bible storybook by Judah and Chelsea Smith, is a great starting point for sharing these character traits of a Jesus-follower with our young kiddos. Every family should choose their own focus, but here are a few we emphasize from an early age:

Loving

Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. -1 John 4:18

Jesus loved people. All people. He loved like no one ever has because He is God and God is love. When we look at the two most important commandments given to us by God, they come down to love. Love God. Love people. A Jesus follower is loving.

“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?”And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.This is the great and first commandment.And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” -Matthew 22:36-38

Brave

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. -Joshua 1:9

We’ve already talked about the negative view much of the world has of Christians. Living and loving boldly in the name of Jesus takes courage. One day it might look like standing up for a classmate who is getting picked on at recess. Another day it may mean stepping out of your comfort zone to share a bible verse with someone who needs encouragement. We’re not scaling physical mountains, but sharing the love of Jesus in a hostile world most definitely requires bravery. And Jesus is the one who makes us brave!

In your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect… -1 Peter 3:15

Humble

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. -Philippians 2:5-8

Jesus was the only perfect person to ever walk this earth, yet He was humble, even to the point of death. We live in a world where pride matters and we don’t want our pride hurt. Being a Jesus-follower means leaving our pride at the foot of the cross and walking in humility.

What does humility look like for our kids? Sometimes it means putting others’ needs before our own, which goes hand in hand with loving well. It also means not always having to be “right” all the time. We have some stubborn boys in this house (they might get that from their mama), and they like to be right about things. They also like to correct someone when they are wrong. A humble person knows how to take constructive criticism, as well when to keep their “right” thoughts to themselves. If we as Christians are always pointing out what others are doing wrong, we are exhibiting pride and opening ourselves up to a big fall when someone catches us in sin.

Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. -Proverbs 16:18

When we look to Jesus and see His grace and mercy to us even when we were still sinners, we can’t help but be humble.

We can talk about all these characteristics to help our children in their walk of faith, but being a Jesus-follower comes down to one thing. We must be willing to follow what Jesus asks of us – no matter the cost, no matter what we look like.

We look at the life of Jesus, as told so well for kids in I Will Follow Jesus, for how to live, but we must also pray and listen for His voice, calling us to do the work He has just for us here on earth. Invite your kids to live out these characteristics, open their heart to the call of Jesus in their life, and follow Him!

Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” -Matthew 16:24

I Will Follow Jesus

GIVEAWAY: I’m giving away three copies of I Will Follow Jesus to you lovely people! Just use the widget below to enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Ultimate Guide to Brain Breaks eBook

Holy Week 101 for Parents and Kids

I have included affiliate links below. When you purchase through these links, I may receive a small commission. Thank you for supporting this site and our sponsorship of our Compassion child, Samson!

Although we have observed Holy Week in our own way as a family, when I asked my oldest son what he knew about Holy Week, his first question was, “What is Holy Week?” I apparently had never specifically labeled the week with that title, so my question and his response opened up a wonderful conversation about the week leading up to Easter!

Holy Week is extraordinarily significant to Christians and I have always felt strong desire to share all aspects of what Jesus went through in that week with our children. Maybe that is your desire as well. In my post over at Tommy Nelson today, I recorded some of the more relevant questions and answers from the conversation with my son in the hopes that it would be a guide for your own conversation with your child. Think of it as “Holy Week 101!”

Holy-Week-QA-for-Parents-and-Kids-724x1024

Head over to Tommy Nelson to read the answers to my son’s questions, including:

  • What is Holy Week?
  • What happened to Jesus during Holy Week?
  • What am I supposed to do during Holy Week?

We’ve kept The Story of Easter board book around our house to help introduce the events of this week to our kids at a young age. And we always follow this simple plan with the Jesus Storybook Bible as a family to remember the events leading up to and including Jesus’ death and resurrection.

Do you observe Holy Week as a family? What are some of your favorite traditions?

 

The Ultimate Guide to Brain Breaks eBook

My 2015 Verse of the Year (and the story behind it)

I received this canvas to review from Naptime Diaries. I was not compensated in any other way for this post and all opinions are 100% my own.

This summer, The Hubby and I were in the middle of a decision-making season. With the end of residency approaching, we were faced with two job offers and no clear answers. We had scheduled a second visit to one of the clinics, so I texted and emailed a few close friends to ask for prayer.

I was humbled and blessed by their responses and willingness to stand in the gap as we looked to God for the next step in our future. The morning of our trip, I opened up my inbox to find a message from one particular friend who shared the verse she was praying for us…

“They will neither hunger nor thirst, nor will the desert heat or the sun beat down on them. He who has compassion on them will guide them and lead them beside springs of water.” -Isaiah 49:10

NTD Verse Featured
My mouth dropped open. And then I cried. What I hadn’t mentioned to my friend {or to you} is that the town we were visiting and considering for our future home was located on a river.

NTD Verse Water

We wouldn’t make our final decision for another two months after that visit, but I couldn’t get the verse and its connection with the water out of my head.

NTD Verse Lead

Guidance. Leadership. Compassion from the Lord. This is what we were looking for in our time of uncertainty. And this verse from a friend also provided much comfort.

NTD Verse Compassion

Two months later, The Hubby signed a contract in that wonderful small town on the river. Isaiah 49:10 – a word from God spoken through a friend – became a key verse in our life and it’s the guiding verse for us in 2015.

As we prepare for a move – selling a house, buying a house, ending residency and starting at a clinic, transitioning our whole family – it fills my heart with hope and peace to know He cares enough to compassionately guide and lead us.

When my friend Jessi of Naptime Diaries asked if she could design a 2015 verse of the year print for our family, it was obvious what our choice would be.

NTD Verse Mantel

I couldn’t be happier with her design! When I opened our canvas, I had tears in my eyes. Not only is the verse so meaningful to us, but the colors and texture match it so perfectly. It sits atop our mantel now as my constant reminder and inspiration. I am so incredibly grateful.

The whole Verse of the Year collection from Naptime Diaries is just gorgeous and each one has a wonderful story behind it. You really need to check them all out. We have Naptime Diaries pieces all over our home and they are such a blessing!

I’m so excited to say you can buy the Isaiah 49:10 print or anything you want from the whole Naptime Diaries shop – including the fabulous new Lent devotional – for 25% off with the code “homewiththeboys” through the end of February! This is such a gift!

What is your verse for 2015? Which Naptime Diaries print is your favorite?

The Ultimate Guide to Brain Breaks eBook

How I Approach Bible Study

I am no Bible scholar, just a woman who loves her quiet time in the Word of God. I’m guessing a lot of you are like me, wanting to get the most out of your Bible study no matter how much time you have set aside. I would prefer to have several hours a day to read, pray, and study, but as a mom of three, that just doesn’t happen. I have to prioritize and plan my time well to get the most out of my Bible study.

I have fallen in love with the She Reads Truth studies, so I wanted to share today how I approach my Bible study time with the current She Reads Truth study of Titus as my example. I have no degrees or training in how to study the Bible, but I do have experience in trying many ways and this is what has personally worked for me!

Bible Study Approach

Pray

I always start my Bible study with a short prayer asking God to reveal His heart and will for me in the words I read. This helps me focus and pay attention to the nudging of the Holy Spirit as I read the passage.

Bible Study Closed Bible

Read the Bible passage before anything else

This is the step that has changed things for me. Often during Bible studies, I would read the devotion first and then read the Bible verses. I found this was affecting my ability to process the passage through what God wanted to say to me. Instead, I had the thoughts and conclusions of another human in my mind as I read the verses. When I read the Bible, I want GOD to speak to me, not another person. Sometimes what God wants me to learn is completely different from the Bible study topic and I don’t want to miss what He has to say!

Bible Study Bible

Underline and journal any significant verses

Underlining and writing down Bible verses helps me remember them better. And even if I forget them, I know have made a special note in my Bible or journal that I can refer back to when needed.

Bible Study Verses

Read devotion

Reading the Bible study devotion comes later in my process, but it is still very important. As I said before, I want God’s Word to be the foremost thing in my mind. And many times He has something specific He wants me to catch in that reading. But other times, I need a little guidance or inspiration. After having read the verses myself, I love reading what others gleaned from the passage. Often it is different than what stood out to me, but that makes the time even richer! The She Reads Truth studies have been challenging for me and inspired lots of growth. My notebook usually has two sections of notes – what I got from reading the Bible for myself and then additional thoughts, questions, lessons from whatever devotion I’m reading. It works the same when I read Spurgeon or go through a Naptime Diaries journal.

Bible Study Prayer

Pray again

These prayers are inspired by the reading of the day. Because of the She Reads Truth workbooks, I’ve been writing down these concluding prayers and it is very focusing for me. I like bringing all my loose ends, questions, broken pieces, and big dreams and laying them at His feet to tie up this sweet time with my Lord. Writing it down helps my mind to not wander and for heart to be left totally in His care.

Bible Study Application

What next?

This is another practice I’ve added because of the She Reads Truth workbooks. What do I need to act on from this time of study and prayer? Are there practical applications? Steps I need to take next? Reminders I need to place around my home to keep a certain truth in front of me? I never ever want to walk away from my time with God and forget what He has just shown me. Often this section is full of questions I write to challenge myself to grow in Him, but other times there are people I ned to connect with or things I need to walk away from that are jotted down in this area.

*****

Some days, this process moves quickly. Other days, I want to linger over a certain passage or prayer. But even when I am short on time, I still try to stick to this plan, and if I have to set it aside to come back to later, I just pick up where I left off. Each of these steps have helped me to find a greater love for the Word. The more I read and study this way, the more I want to read and study the Bible! It has honestly become one of my favorite things to do, learning and growing through His love letters to us. I don’t think it is a magic formula, but it works for me!

 

Do you have a Bible study method that works well for you?

The Ultimate Guide to Brain Breaks eBook

#SheSharesTruth: The End of Nehemiah

I just finished reading the book of Nehemiah. Scratch that. I’ve read the book of Nehemiah before. It wasn’t very memorable. This time I studied it. 17 days of in-depth slow reading, study note devouring, journaling, praying. It won’t be a book I soon forget now.

The Nehemiah study was from She Reads Truth and the lessons I learned from it were numerous. Lessons on prayer and faith and leadership and boldness. But I’m going to start at the end today.

shesharestruth

A little back story of Nehemiah before I get to the end in case you’re unfamiliar {spoiler alert!}:

Nehemiah was working as the king’s cup bearer in Babylon when he heard the wall protecting Jerusalem had been destroyed and his people were unprotected. After much prayer, Nehemiah asks the king’s permission to go rebuild the wall. The king grants his request and Nehemiah heads back to Jerusalem for 12 years to head up the wall rebuilding project. He is a wise, God-fearing leader and, with his direction, the people of Jerusalem are once again protected. They rededicate themselves and their holy city to God.

But then…

Nehemiah leaves to go back to his duties with the king and the people backslide. They start intermarrying with pagans, breaking the commandments laid out by God, living in disobedience. The book of Nehemiah ends with him rebuking many in Jerusalem for breaking the covenant they JUST renewed.

Not the happy ending I was expecting and not the results Nehemiah had prayed for either.

So here is today’s question: Why does the book of Nehemiah end the way it does? What does God want us to see here about Himself and the Church?

During my reading of Nehemiah, God was speaking to me about my “building project” – my family. Day after day, the words in Nehemiah were convicting, inspiring, encouraging to me as a wife and mother. So in this ending, I saw another lesson for me as a mother.

Nehemiah did everything God asked him to do. He was in constant prayer. He was one of the wisest leaders in all of the Bible. And still the people fell away from their renewed commitment of faith.

I am not a perfect mother or wife or homemaker, but even if I follow everything God asks me to do, pray all day long and wisely steward the time and resources of our family, I can’t control the outcome. My children have free will. They are sinners just like me. My faithfulness and wise leadership don’t guarantee their obedience.

This might be a discouraging lesson, but I think it is also meant to take some of the pressure off for me as a mom. Nehemiah has taught me to pray, trust, and act on God’s will and leave the rest in His hands. Just like Nehemiah, I can only do what I can do. The bad choices of those under my leadership, including my kiddos, does not make me a failure.

Breathe that in, ladies. We are not failures because of our children’s choices.

Nehemiah went through a similar process to mothering: years of caring for the people, building up the wall to protect them, praying fervently, and then the big letdown of their disobedience. But in his wisdom, Nehemiah continued to stand for what is right and pray to his Heavenly Father.

Why does Nehemiah end with this big bummer? To remind me to keep on seeking His will, doing the next right thing, and praying hard for those in my care, no matter what those around me choose. And I will never give up on that. I am doing a great work and I cannot come down.

Nehemiah 63

 

I’m linking up with the #shesharestruth community today – read the thoughts of other women on this ending of Nehemiah over at the She Reads Truth site!

The Ultimate Guide to Brain Breaks eBook

Armed With Truth: Wearing the Word!

I am very passionate about the Word of God. I think more so right now than at any other point in my life. It is Truth. It is my lifeline. It is my hope and sword and shield.

I am equally passionate about my boys knowing the Word of God for themselves. The older boys each have their own Bible and when they have a question about a verse, we get the Bible out and look it up. And we’ve made memorizing key verses a priority – hiding the Word in our hearts, if you will.

Scripture music has been a favorite way to memorize Bible verses, and now we’ve added a new favorite way to keep important verses close by…

Armed With Truth 2

Armed with Truth is an awesome new company designing temporary tattoos with Scripture as their focus! And they weren’t just created with kids in mind – Armed with Truth tattoos can be worn by anyone!

Armed With Truth 1

The basic Scripture tattoos come in packs of 10 based on themes such as fearless, identity, and missions for just $9.95. The ones we’re sporting here are from the kids pack!

Armed with Truth 5

The awesome graphic tattoos, seen above on my foot and below on Little J’s arm, are part of the designer series which come with two of the same tattoo for $4.95-$5.95.

Armed with Truth 6

We have received so many fun comments from people since we started wearing them! And for me, it has been a great way to keep the Truth I need to remember right in view at all times. I really needed that Philippians 2:3-4 reminder often during the days I was wearing it! I also wore one during my half marathon this weekend to remember all good gifts – health, strength, joy – come from Him!

I know you want to get your hands on your own tattoos for your family, so hop on over to Armed with Truth to pick out your favorites! And then enter our fun giveaway for $15 to spend in the Armed with Truth store!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

AWT blogger*I received these tattoos as part of the Armed with Truth blogger program. I was not compensated in any way for this post, and all opinions are 100% my own!

The Ultimate Guide to Brain Breaks eBook

out with the old, in with the new

I’ve struggled with exercise-induced asthma since I was a teenager. Well, I didn’t struggle with it a whole lot unless I was doing something really active, and up until a few years ago that wasn’t much! Seasonal allergies seemed to make it worse as well. This was a major hurdle I needed to face as I took up running and I did so armed with inhalers and determination.

It wasn’t until last year, when meeting with a new doctor, that I learned something about the way my breathing works that could help me avoid these asthmatic symptoms while running. She told me when I was feeling like I couldn’t take a full, deep breath, I needed to try to blow out as much air as possible. I won’t say anything technically or medically right here, but basically the “old” air in my lungs was leaving no room for “new” air. I needed to focus more on the exhale before I tried to get a good inhale.

I was skeptical at first, but, for me, it really does work. I still don’t feel like my breathing is normal, especially while running, but I am much more able to control it when I concentrate on “out with the old, in with the new.”

This is the rhythm I find in life and faith as well. I like to start new things. These new things are usually good things, meant to help me with time management or my prayer life or loving my family better. But in the process, I often hold on to the old, even if just by a thread, because it feels comfortable, familiar, non-threatening.

Out with the Old

Trying to add new to my life while holding on to the old leaves me gasping for air, desperate for a full, refreshing breath. Getting up early to spend more time with the Lord before everyone wakes up doesn’t work so well when I hold on to the comfort of late nights reading or watching TV. Frustration sets in quickly when I make up a new schedule but let the old time-wasting habits hang around.

Our pastor spoke this weekend on the ways the enemy seduces us, gradually drawing us away from God with things we don’t consider sins. We rationalize these things as not harmful even though they distract us from relationship with God. We need to recognize the seduction and repent of our part in it, but the last step was the key and the one that really got me. Replacement. Get the old, self-centered, time-wasting, worldly ways out and fill in that space with the true, real, satisfying pleasures of God.

Walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. ~Galatians 5:16

It really is not enough for us to just take on the new. Colossians 3 is often quoted for its verses about putting on the virtues of love, compassion, kindness, and so on, but do you know what comes before that? Paul FIRST asks the people of Colossae to put to death the old – all manner of evil, impure things. It is only after the old is gone that the new can be put on.

So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual immorality, impurity, lust, and evil desires. Don’t be greedy, for a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world. Because of these sins, the anger of God is coming. You used to do these things when your life was still part of this world. But now is the time to get rid of anger, rage, malicious behavior, slander, and dirty language. Don’t lie to each other, for you have stripped off your old sinful nature and all its wicked deeds. Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him.

Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful. ~Colossians 3:5-10 12-15

When it feels heavy to put on the virtues of Christ, it is usually because we haven’t let go of the things of old yet. Layering kindness on top of bitterness or envy just feels fake and stifling. Stuffing down anger with pretend patience won’t feel refreshing in any way.

This week, as we draw closer to the time set aside to remember our Savior’s death for my sins, I’m reexamining my repentance of old and choosing to clean house in my soul. I need to make room for more of Him and that means getting rid of the sins, the time-wasters, the unnecessary. And in it’s place will be the best kind of new – the new things of Him refreshing, restoring, and continuing the good works He has planned for me.

Acts 3 19 20

The Ultimate Guide to Brain Breaks eBook

Our Favorite Bible Apps for Kids!

I love that even the iWorld – apps and iPhones and iPads and the like – can be used to further the Kingdom of God!

We’ve recently discovered two Bible apps for kids that are amazing and I had to share them with you! I’m even learning things as the kids play the games on them!

Bible Apps for Kids

Adventure Bible Games

We just received an email about this free app {for iPad only} late last week and, being lovers of the Adventure Bible {affiliate link}, I downloaded it immediately and started playing around before I handed it to the kids. This app has SO much great Bible knowledge for our kids to learn and review!

  • Leapin’ Lemur is like Wheel of Fortune with Bible verses! A few words are filled in and the verse book, chapter, and verse are given, but then the kids have to pick letters to figure out what the verse says!
  • Books of the Bible reviews the order of books in the Bible. I was shakier on this in the Old Testament than I care to admit, but we were all singing through the Books of the Bible songs from Slugs and Bugs trying to remember the order and it was great fun!
  • Leopardy = Jeopardy for Bible trivia! Pick your category and point value and answer the question!
  • X Marks the Spot deals with biblical geography! We loved this one because just playing it is a learning experience
  • Truth Quest gives you a question, a time limit, and three clues to figure out answers to various questions about the Bible. It felt very much like Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? and there are several levels and categories to go through!

The boys love the jungle theme that all Adventure Bible products bear, the games have them hooked, and we’re all learning more about the Bible each time they play! That is a successful Bible-related app for kids to me!

The Bible App for Kids

The other Bible app for kids we love is the Bible App for Kids from YouVersion. This app is amazing – great animation, several different Bible stories with more being added all the time, AND review questions at the end to check for understanding!

Each story has the choice to be read by the app, but the words are also on the screen, making it great for children of any age and reading level. And within each story, kids can collect points by clicking on different people, places, or things. Earning points and stars makes everything more fun and interesting for kids, doesn’t it?!

With Lent starting Wednesday and Easter to follow, both The Cross and The Resurrection stories are in the app ready to read and share with your children. And The Bible App for Kids is available for many different formats!

Are there other Bible apps for kids your family loves? Please share!

The Ultimate Guide to Brain Breaks eBook

Take a Real Rest: Matthew 11:28-30 Free Printable

I first heard Matthew 11:28-30 from The Message over a year ago at the dotMom conference and I just haven’t been able to shake it.

Yes, it is beautiful in other translations as well…

Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” ~Matthew 11:28-30 {NLT}

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” ~Matthew 11:28-30 {ESV}

But The Message translation of these verses spoke to me in just the right way at just the right time…

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” ~Matthew 11:28-30

I can’t imagine a better group of verses to soak in, process, really meditate on this weekend.

Go to Jesus. Spend some time with Him and learn how REAL rest feels.

Grace. Light. Free. THIS is how He longs for us to live as we walk with Him.

Praying real rest finds you this weekend as you come to Jesus.

Matthew 11 Printable

I made up a 4×6 printable care of this verse for my Bible study this week and I would love for you to print off a copy for yourself and to share with your friends. Just click here to get the PDF with four on a page! Please use these for personal use only! Thank you!

Happy RESTFUL weekend, friends!

 

 

The Ultimate Guide to Brain Breaks eBook

Hello, My Name Is…

I have included affiliate links below. When you purchase through these links, I may receive a small commission. Thank you for supporting this site and our sponsorship of our Compassion child, Samson!

Hello, my name is regret
I’m pretty sure we have met

Our family has loved the song “Hello, My Name Is” from Matthew West since it was released. Dancing to it in the kitchen, adding it to our running playlists, and singing loudly along with the chorus every time it comes on the radio. It is a fun song!

It is also a really important message and one God has been trying to cement in my spirit in several ways recently.

As I’ve mentioned, the past few years have involved many life changes for our family that left me tired, overwhelmed, unorganized, and uninspired. I lost my spark, but I also let these words become me.

Hello, my name is tired.

Hello, my name is overwhelmed.

Hello, my name is defeat
I know you recognize me
Just when you think you can win
I’ll drag you right back down again
‘Til you’ve lost all belief

These have been my labels for myself.

I just started a wonderful new book by my friend Holley Gerth called You’re Going to Be Okay. In the first chapter, she asks us to write down three words to describe who we are based on where we are in life right now. My words were the ones I wrote above, not because I am currently feeling that way, but because those are the words I have used to describe myself the most in the past year. She followed up this exercise with these important words…

Whatever you wrote is where you’re at, not who you are.

BAM. Nail hit on the head, Holley.

But what do we do with those labels, those things that have become who we think we are? Sometimes the labels are too sticky because they have been stuck on us {usually by our own selves} for so long. Pulling it off is so hard because we’re holding on to it as our excuse or we think moving past it might be painful.

In may case, I’ve been ready to move forward in life and joy and vitality, but I kind of forgot about removing those labels first. It’s hard to show who you really are wearing a name tag that defines you based on your circumstances.

That’s where we need God. And a little push from a good friend. For me, that good friend were Holley’s words as I read this weekend…

I love how Hebrews reassures us, “It is impossible for God to lie” {6:18}. Your circumstances will lie to you. Your emotions will lie to you. Even other people will lie to you. But not God. And because of this, “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure” {6:19}. Your identity is secure. Nothing going on in your life can change it.

I may feel tired, but that is not who I am. I may have let my to-dos pile up, but that overwhelming list is not who I am.

I am claiming myself as who God made me. How He sees me.

Hello My Name Is

So we’re going to do a little exercise together today because I’m feeling like we need to start this week throwing out the lies and garbage and bringing in the Truth.

Hello, my name is child of the one true King
I’ve been saved, I’ve been changed, and I have been set free
“Amazing Grace” is the song I sing
Hello, my name is child of the one true King

Copy the sentence below and fill in the blanks with what you need to remember about how God sees you, sharing in the comments if you want to join in… {Please share – I want to pray for you and rejoice together in God’s names for us!}

I have been calling myself __________ , but that is not who I am. Hello, my name is _________.

Here is mine:

I have been calling myself tired and overwhelmed, but that is not who I am. Hello, my name is delight to the Lord my God. {Zephaniah 3:17}

Don’t cling to your circumstances and feelings. Don’t be ashamed to claim the wonderful things God sees in you. His Word is true for you and for me. And you are who HE says you are.

*****

You’re Going to Be Okay by Holley Gerth releases February 4, 2014. It needs to be on your reading list. I received a copy as a gift from Holley and Revell Books, but I was not asked to write a review. I just couldn’t keep her words to myself 🙂

The Ultimate Guide to Brain Breaks eBook