Live Original

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My sweet girl is going into 4th grade. I feel like 4th grade is a whole ‘nother thing from where we’ve been.

When I went into 4th grade, they had just redistricted the schools and I was going to a new school. I have vivid memories of that year–my teacher not liking how I did dot letters for my name on assignments, my friend Jennifer and I talking about Mandie books and drawing pictures on each other’s papers, the old desks with names carved in them, the big open hallways of my new-to-me but very old-fashioned school, watching She-ra while waiting for the bus to be called and a new awkwardness around the boys in my class. It wasn’t that I suddenly liked boys or even that my class was all boyfriend/girlfriend crazed. It was just a new awareness of weirdness about myself and others.

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My daughter only goes to class 2 times a week, but those two days of her sitting around other kids and being taught by someone other than me, I think about that weirdness, that awakening, that very real feeling of me I had in 4th grade.

I pray  my daughter (even in awkwardness) feels a very real feeling of groundedness in her self. But actually, not really her self. I am actually not concerned with her self-esteem. High self-esteem, as its called, can easily get into self-reliance and pride. Low self-esteem is still centered on how the world treats you, you, you. Everything points to self.

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I want my daughter to know the idea of Christ-esteem. That regardless of awkwardness felt or worldviews shifted, that Jesus Christ loves her. I hope she can sit in a room surrounded by people very other than her and remember that the Holy Spirit’s work in her is what gives her power and makes her unique. I want her to be very assured that it’s not what others think of her or how she relates to them, but who she is in Christ, how He formed her and is directing her unique path.

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I’ve kicking off this new year of Lydia’s with three little events…

Last night I’m took my sweet girl to one of those paint-a-canvas-with-friends places. We brought our own food (from Starbucks) and painted pretty swirly crosses side by side. On the way there I said, “Want me to tell you about when I was in 4th grade?” And she did! So, I told her what I felt like then. It wasn’t super serious–but more to make sure she knows that I recognize her growing-up, the newness and potential strangeness of 4th grade and more importantly, that talking about what we’re experiencing and feeing is the norm.

I’ve also decided to tuck God’s Word into her school days as much as I can. I saw these beautiful school supplies at Dayspring and thought she’d love them. There are Scripture verses on every corner and I love to think of her taking out books or looking through a notebook, remembering God’s truth for her. We’ve looked at all of them, talked about the Scripture and even talked about how easy it will be to memorize them.

My last little trick is a Mama-and-me journal. I’ve been wanting to do this ever since I saw it on Mama Jenn’s blog but have been waiting for the right time in her life. Basically, we write notes back and forth to each other in the journal. (This super cute one!) I’m hoping it will be a fun connection for us and possibly a place to write things we don’t know how to say out loud–or at least give us practice for big conversations that are to come as she grows up.

God, give me wisdom in this new school year. Help me point my children to you. Let them find their unique self in You.  Help me remember and lead my kids in knowing, that “we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:10) Thank you for going before us and leading us through this school year! 

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I contacted Dayspring and asked if I could show off their new Live Original by Sadie Robertson school supply line. It’s right up the same line I’ve been thinking about Lydia’s new school year–plus, it’s super cute! There are gorgeous binders, dividers, spiral notebooks, journals, composition books and even locker accessories for the precious girl in your life. Lydia cannot wait to bring all this matchy cuteness to school! (And I’m glad we got a few extras so I can use ’em!)dayspring sadie copy

Dayspring graciously offered to give away a $100 assortment of Sadie Robertson Live Original school supplies and a gift bag with one each of her greeting cards (around a $60 value)! WHAT??? How cool is that?!

Just enter using the Rafflecopter widget below…

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I approached Dayspring about this giveaway. They sent me product to facilitate this post. All opinions, words and thoughts my own. Affliate links included.

Treasure Hunter Week

Last year, when my daughter went to camp, Asa and I had our own Dragon Week. This year, Asa’s last year before he can go to camp (*sniff*), we had Treasure Hunter week!

Treasure Hunter Week: fun family devotions that help kids discover the treasure of God! // ohAmanda.com

There are lots of treasure symbols and word pictures in the Bible. I didn’t necessarily want it to be about how Asa is a treasure (although he is!) because can I be honest? I think it’s a very overdone theme in Christian children’s books and movies. I wanted Asa to know that God is a treasure and His Word is more precious than rubies.

After dropping off all the kids at camp (we always take a crew of at-risk kids from a nearby apartment complex to camp along with our daughter), I set a box on Asa’s booster seat. He was delighted to find it and even more excited when inside was his own treasure box with lock and key!

Inside the treasure box was a small wooden coin beautifully decorated to say TREASURE HUNTER. I explained that all week we were going to add these coins (or gold doubloons) to his treasure chest as we had all our adventures (kinda Jake-and-the-Neverland-Pirates-ish).

Our first adventure was of course, a book. It’s an old book from the thrift store called, The Pearl That Changed a Life. It’s a fictional, rhyming retelling of Matthew 13:45-46. Yes, a story based on two verses. Simply put, a merchant finds a pearl of great value so he sells everything he owns to buy it.

I read Asa the book before bed and then asked him if he’d ever heard that story in the Bible–and then told him we’d read the real version in the morning. When we read the two verses he wasn’t very impressed. Why would someone sell everything for a pearl? As a comfortable American, I think it was hard for him to understand something of such value. What could be possibly be worth selling all his legos, stuffed animals, our home for? It almost boggles the mind.

So, what does have value beyond the price tag on our stuff? The kingdom of heaven.

Now, even to me, as an adult who’s been around the Bible a long time–this is a hard one to understand. What exactly is the kingdom of heaven? Heaven with the pearly gates? Or some spiritual-in-your-heart awareness of goodness while you’re on earth? Or a mind focused on God’s plans?

Sally Lloyd Jones says it best in The Jesus Storybook Bible, “The kingdom of God is wherever God is king.” She retells the story of Matthew  13:44 (just one verse!) about a man who finds a treasure in a field, buries it again, sells everything he has and then buys the field so he can have the treasure. Again, what could be so valuable? How can God’s kingdom, the kingdom of heaven be worth giving up everything for? Selling all your possessions?

God is worth that. I want Asa to see God’s majesty, his power, his might, his ferocity, his complete otherness. I want Asa to see God as a treasure, worth giving up everything!

Treasure Hunter Week: fun family devotions that help kids discover the treasure of God! // ohAmanda.com

So, we set about making gold doubloons to go with our story. We pulled out our gold sharpies and glittery paint and a glue gun to make our wooden coins a reminder of this simple and huge truth.

Asa absolutely loved decorating these. It was complete free form crafting and I loved seeing what he came up with on each little coin. (100 of these bad boys were only $9–totally worth it!)

We also made gold doubloons that reminded us of our activities–our first of which was geocaching! Now, if you’ve been around here for a few years, you might remember my first interaction with geocaching. If you don’t want to click over and read the story let me just say this: it was pre-smart-phones-with-apps and it did not go well.

Treasure Hunter Week: fun family devotions that help kids discover the treasure of God! // ohAmanda.com

This time, however, we had the time of our lives!

Treasure Hunter Week: fun family devotions that help kids discover the treasure of God! // ohAmanda.com

When we found three little treasures hidden within two miles of our house, my Ace felt like a real treasure hunter. Over the next few days, we found about 10 caches!

We also watched Disney’s Treasure Planet which I sincerely liked! I saw it when it came out in theaters, I guess but couldn’t remember most of it.

I thought it was creative and really kinda beautiful. Asa thought it was exciting and there was just so much treasure! It also made for great conversation about what it means to be a “bad guy” or a “good guy”–as it follows the story of Treasure Island and Jim Hawkins’ relationship with the fickle Long John Silver.

My favorite part of our Bible connection was our memory verse. I had a few I liked and read them all to Asa. He picked Job 22:22-23. Mainly because it says “gold nuggets” in it.

Treasure Hunter Week: fun family devotions that help kids discover the treasure of God! // ohAmanda.com

We made up motions and said it in our best pirate voices (ok, I said it in my best pirate voice) and then made gold doubloons to help us remember it. Quoting from Job is always weird because so much of it God laughs at but I think the idea is good–God is a treasure and even gold nuggets are like dirt in comparison to Him!

It was really a very low-key week and not crazy full of crafts and games and activities–but as always, I’m amazed at what a small Bible activity can do for a child’s heart. Many times that week and over the last few weeks, Asa will pick up on a treasure theme from another book or Bible story. His eyes will be wide and he’ll say, “Treasure Hunter!”

As he continues to grow in his relationship with God, I pray he sees God as the ultimate treasure–not himself, his future plan, God’s blessings or even God’s “will”, but God Himself.

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Pixar’s Inside Out Family Movie Moms Review

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If you haven’t been here for one of my movie reviews you should know that I’m not going to talk about cinematography or acting. I want to help parents discover how they can use movies to bring up eternal conversations with their kids. I also want to help parents know if they should avoid a […]

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OK. So, I wanted to make a This-Is-What-We’re-Doing-This-Summer List for you. Then, I kinda wanted to do a Summer Reading List, too. But, neither list was as wonderfully list-y as I wanted it to be. Instead, I’m combining them into a Summer Read and Do List. Alternately titled, “I Felt Like Writing a List and […]

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source: chiots run

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The Warrior Poet

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2015 Reading Progress

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Last year I read 64 books. The year before that, 66. This doesn’t include the multitude of books I’ve read to the kids. But this year? This year, I’m at a mere 10 books. At this rate, I’ll be lucky to read 30. Why? Well, because of one other book I’ve been reading. A book […]

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