5 Unique, Christ-Focused Christmas Gifts for Your Teen (+ GIVEAWAY!)

5 Unique, Christ-Focused Christmas Gifts for Your Teen (+ GIVEAWAY!)

I don’t know about you, but as my children grow older, they’re harder and harder to shop for. While my two oldest (14 and 12) will always just say, “Give me money!”, I’m not a huge fan of that. We try hard to keep our hearts focused on Christ through the advent season. I like to make sure the gifts my kids receive Christmas morning are exceptionally good.

Good does not have to mean expensive. What “good” means is that the gifts are good FOR them AND good in a way that demonstrates I know their hearts, their interests, and their needs. It’s my intention that the gifts that we give them (as their parents) demonstrate in a tangible way the GOOD gifts from God, and the good gift of Christ. God knows what they want AND what they need, and he fulfills those needs fully, through Christ. I hope that our Christmas gifts to them will reflect the heart of our Heavenly Father.

That’s a lofty goal, right? Keep in mind, as I share these 5 items to consider this Christmas, that both my older children are girls. I’m shooting for gender neutral as much as possible!

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A Simple Biblical Solution to Distracted Living

A Simple Biblical Solution to Distracted Living

I want to add to this title that I also deeply believe that this simple solution is an incredible remedy for anxiety and worry. Once I say what it is, you may shoot me an eye roll and want to click away. I promise I'm not crazy.

So what's the solution? Knitting.

I said you may roll your eyes or leave. But give me 45 seconds and hear me out. The first thing to keep in mind is that knitting is not the "only" solution. Rather, I would posit that all "handicrafts" are a potential solution that IS Biblical. And I have proof!

Before I get into the scripture, let's run through a common Mom/Child scenario that I believe results in a massive amount of our everyday stress, conflict, and impatience. 

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"Women of the Word" Review + Cheat Sheet

"Women of the Word" Review + Cheat Sheet

Have you ever read Women of the Word by Jen Wilkin? New believer or mature Christians alike have the opportunity to understand God's written word in new and profound ways. In this book, Jen discusses several Bible study "errors" or traps, and I fit squarely into each one. 

Adopting her Bible study methods have deepened my faith and broadened my understanding in significant ways. While the book is a short read, it's not necessarily a quick read as it's incredibly rich in content.

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You've Been S'Mored! FREE Act of Kindness Kit + Preschool Printables (CUTE!!!)

You've Been S'Mored! FREE Act of Kindness Kit + Preschool Printables (CUTE!!!)

Who doesn’t love smores? Even with gluten, dairy, and corn allergies in our home, we’ve managed to still enjoy them. They’re a fall staple in our home, and we enjoy them immensely. A few years ago, I was thinking about s’mores and had a brainstorm for a random act of kindness. What if we chose several friends whom we love and packed s’more baskets up just for their families?

We decided to do just that! They were extremely popular. We got found out pretty quickly (despite our excellent ninja-skills), but we continued to do them each year. This year will be our 4th year and we are so excited to get them packed up and ding-dong-ditch them next week!

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Give Your Family a November to Remember! {FREE Calendar + Ebooklet}

Give Your Family a November to Remember! {FREE Calendar + Ebooklet}

I am so so so excited that you have found Thanks-GIVING For Your Whole Family! The fall months and the holiday season have always been near and dear to my heart. I love the sights, sounds, smells, and feelings- cool crisp air, pumpkin pie scented candles, marshmallow-loaded hot cocoa, a crackling fire, and all of my loved ones close at hand.

Obviously, this means I also love Thanksgiving. I get to spend time with family, and there’s always a good football game. In celebration of Thanksgiving and anticipation of Christmas, it’s generally my goal that November would be filled with acts of service that demonstrate our gratitude and worship.

A couple of years ago, I developed a schedule of thanksgiving celebration in which our family focuses much more on genuinely giving than just saying how thankful we are (which, there’s definitely nothing wrong with that!). I am convinced that it creates the perfect space in our hearts to enter into worship in December.

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Slllowww Ebook Release- Introduction

Slllowww Ebook Release- Introduction

Last year, I felt led to begin writing a book. I shared the introduction online and was encouraged to keep going. I then went on to write the first chapter. I actually was typing up the last words to that chapter as my mom was (unknown to me) gaining her wings. So this whole book has a tender, hard, challenging raw place in my heart.

The moment I finished chapter one, I cried. I had some weirdly spiritual moment as I finished it that I could NOT explain. In the following weeks, God would use the words I wrote as my Mama was leaving this earth to bring me immeasurable comfort and certainty.

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You ARE a Good Mom

You ARE a Good Mom

You're a good mom. And I should know- I'm a good mom too, so I'm qualified to judge. 

Here's how I know that we are both good moms: 

I've also felt shame, self-hatred, condemnation, overwhelming guilt, and humiliation over every single one of those things. If you can fail in some way as a parent- I've done it. 

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If I Hear "Mama" One More Time

If I Hear "Mama" One More Time

In the last 20 minutes, I've literally heard the beckoning of "Mama" 38 times. Literally. To keep my sanity, I started counting. As I lay my youngest down to sleep, I pondered the huge milestones we'd met this week of potty training and weaning all intermingled with the frustration and just plain exhaustion of, "Mama, Mama, Mama."

In my heart, I cried out to the Lord to strengthen, encourage, and bless me for the rest of this day and all that it still held... And for the many, many "Mamas" that had yet to be said... 

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The Ultimate Self-Care Practice (and Why It's Not Optional)

The Ultimate Self-Care Practice (and Why It's Not Optional)

Self-care is a big buzzword right now. External and internal expectations on mamas are louder than ever before.

We face challenges unlike any faced by previous generations of women. Social media, media, infinite parenting philosophies, and the general sinful nature of our humanity has cultivated an exhausting, sometimes tormenting, atmosphere in which we live and desperately push to thrive.

Despite all of the expectations and demands, I believe our generation has a deep heartfelt desire to love our family faithfully, sacrificialy and as much like Christ as possible. I believe there is a revival in our country, especially among moms who desire to not just do motherhood well, but to do it as unto the Lord.

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The Ultimate List of Health Must-Haves (for Every Mom)

The Ultimate List of Health Must-Haves (for Every Mom)

Do you love a recommendation from a friend as much as I do? I love to read reviews and hear the best experiences (and the worst) so I kind of know what to expect. BUT the best recommendations come from an unbiased friend. I especially want to hear from my friends who have lots of kids, lots of responsibilities, and lots of things pulling her in every direction- just like I do! I need to hear what has worked for her and how it's made her life better... because isn't that all what we are looking for? We desire the stamina to live a life worthy of our calling and to avoid sickness as MUCH as possible!

I've walked through a very unhealthy few months. Between being accidentally glutened a few times and the resulting gut damage and deficiencies from that, then finding mold in our new home which kept me sick for months, I've become very refocused on healing my body and getting adequate rest so that I can be the wife and Mom I like to be. Sometimes our own health can be the hardest habit to maintain.

Here are my top 5 favorite things that have been helping me nourish my body, restore balance, and prepare healthful meals for my family as we get back into the "school" swing of things and recover from prolonged sickness:

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