There’s a Book For That {A Parent’s Reflection}

My faithful readers: The next post in my spiritual journey series will be posted no later than Tuesday. A local friend invited me to join in a blog hop that I’m so passionate about I had to participate. I hope you’re blessed by it, too.

IMG_0342

I am a fan of the written word. Sometimes I’ll blame the old soul I seem to harbor as I’m always last to jump on the latest technological craze. But the more I think about it, the more I realize that’s not the real reason I prefer bound books over powered tablets and web searches.

There’s something to holding the words tangibly in your hands. Whether those words make you laugh, cry, or simply be informed, there is power behind them. And to be able to touch where that comes from is a gift I will always cherish.

If you were to visit my home, you might notice there are bookshelves in every living space we have. Including the hallway. Though my husband and I might not have every shelf lined wall-to-wall with books, one thing is certain: books are prominent here. Especially now since we’ve added the title of parents to our names.

It’s no secret that a parent’s passion will transfer, in some respect, down to their children. And the passion for reading was one we didn’t want to leave behind.

Books can take you places you would never experience otherwise. They can reveal insights you might not have thought of on your own. They can bring humor, perspective, and confidence to your very being.

IMG_0346So we started early, reading the board book classics to our children before they could even coo. We said goodnight to the moon and hello to the brown bear so many times I could recite them backwards if necessary.

Soon we were laughing at the piggie and the elephant, rhyming with Dr Seuss, and were curious right along a little monkey. And I don’t know how many times our firstborn has asked us for a big red dog of his very own.

It wasn’t until later he realized these books were transformed into tv series. And I wouldn’t want it known any other way around.

Now, when my 1st grader has a question, we look it up in a book. He learned to savor a dictionary early on. And when we make our weekly library requests, he gives me lists of things he wants to learn or books/authors he wants to read.

And I’m starting to see … me.

I’ve personally exhausted the library’s offerings of Madeleine L’Engle (A Circle of Quiet being my favorite), C.S. Lewis, and even Lynn Austin (Chronicles of the Kings series — look it up!). When I’m feeling stagnant in the kitchen, I check out cookbooks (America’s Test Kitchen books are my favorite, although Pioneer Women holds a close second). When I’m feeling flat in my spiritual life, I’ll check out a devotional (too many to mention, though I’m currently reading Beth Moore and Francis Chan).

When I’m curious about how to parent better, I’ll dip my hand in the pool of all the Christian parenting help books (Shepherding a Child’s Heart by Tedd Tripp being the only one I’ve read more than once– and one of the only ones that holds a space on my bookshelf).

But all of that is nothing if we don’t show our children the most important Book of all…

You see, it’s been our goal from day one to create a passion for seeking out the truth. And though we may use many books now as examples, we’ll always resort to the one simply known in my home as The Book.

  • It’s the only Book I know that you could call Living…
  • It’s the only Book I’m aware of that could have an exhausted author list (over 40), but all writers point to One.
  • It’s the only Book to my knowledge that was originally written in 3 languages and has been translated into more than 2,000 today.

There’s a reason it’s the best-selling book in the world and there’s even a more important reason we want it to be the number one book for our children.

Maybe if we instill a passion for the written word now, they’ll be drawn to seek The Living Word later on. Perhaps if we show them how to seek answers in pages today, they’ll seek out Its answers when they are planning their tomorrows.

One thing I do know: Reading the Bible each day can bring humor, perspective, and confidence to your very being.

Friends, I do believe it all starts with me. This is one passion I need to have personally as it’s the most important one to pass down.

So in our household, when we’re faced with an issue, instead of saying “There’s an app for that”, we say “There’s a Book for that.” And we pull out the Bible placed on every bookshelf or even on our smartphones. We show our children the Written Word so they can know where to turn when questions rise within.

And tonight, when I’m reading another chapter aloud of the Sugar Creek Gang, or when the boy begs my husband to do just one more I Spy riddle, we’ll happily oblige. And find he’ll do the same when we’re tucking him in, asking him to read just one more verse…

How about you, friend? What children’s book do you enjoy? What book have you been reading lately? How do you instill the value of The Bible to your children? I’d love to hear.

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,

Nikki

NOTE: Though I prefer you check out your local library and am not an affiliate, I have provided Amazon links to books mentioned for easy reference. Thank you, Amazon, for providing an app for that.

This post was written for the blog hop at:

Please feel free to visit!

 

On How Fearing the Dark Might Not Be a Bad Thing

eclipse-M

The idea of light has followed me around lately. Reaching me in the most obscure and obvious places. And while I try to help my five year-old sort through his own questions of darkness, a part of me wants to teach him what I’m learning now in hopes his journey of life would be more illuminated as a result. Regardless of how the darkness feels.

The other part of me doesn’t want him to know the truth yet…how the darkness is a foreign animal no human could ever tame…

Friends, I’m over at my other home, 5 Minutes for Faith, sorting through this very thing today. I’d love to have you stop by and share your thoughts with me! Simply click on the button below.

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,

Nikki

Wide-Eyed Wonder {Stop and Consider His Ways}

Stop and Consider God's miracles

Stop and consider the wonderful miracles of God!
Do you know how God controls the storm
and causes the lightning to flash from His clouds?
Do you understand how He moves the clouds
with wonderful perfection and skill?
When you are sweltering in your clothes
and the south wind dies down and everything is still,
He makes the skies reflect the heat like a bronze mirror.
Can you do that?
Job 37:14-18

A simple question I asked my son last week reminded me of these verses and then began a new journey for me. One I am loving thus far.

I’m sharing about it over at my other home, 5 Minutes for Faith today. I’d love to have you visit so I can share it with you. Simply click on the button below!

For in witnessing the unimaginable, and pondering the indescribable, we see Him more clearly. By admiring His craftsmanship, we join the Heavens in praise…

If you don’t have time to stop by, I’d still love to hear from you. Tell me…How has God astounded you lately? I’d love to hear!

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,

Nikki

(in)couraging Homeschool Mamas

A treasured story has been on my heart lately. You know the one simply by their names: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.

Do you ever wonder if they doubted their decision to stand firm? I tend to picture them looking at each other for clues on how they were going to respond first before they uttered their own life sentence…

Friend, may I confess something to you? I’m not a homeschooling poster mom. I still struggle. I doubt my capabilities. My decisions. I wonder if I’m giving enough, teaching enough, showing enough, laughing enough. I fear how fast I could fail. How fine the line is between blowing it and getting it right…I mean, it’s my child’s life we’re talking about here.

May I share something else? It sometimes feels like I’m the only one making this decision to homeschool. I’m often the only one I see in the flames. The lot of us is very small in my personal circle of encounters. And when questions roll my way and when doubt creeps in, it’s easy to start feeling the blaze of fire on my heart.

You know what I’m figuring out? No matter the cost of my decision, God has a way of making sure I’m not alone. He always manages to give me a friend to help me see Him clearly. Because He’s always there next to me.

Thanks to social media and the wonderful (in)courage community team, I now can link arms with other homeschooling mamas. Together, we can claim this path God has for us no matter the cost. And if one of us starts to feel the heat, we can encourage to look beyond the flames–help each other see the One we’re walking towards.

Friend, you can too. Even if you’re not a homeschooling mama, there are dozens of community groups to choose from! Check it out HERE!

How ’bout you? Would you like to be my Abednego? Would you like to help encourage other homeschooling mamas alongside us? We’d love to have you.

Thanks to (in)courage, here’s how:

  • UPDATE: This group is now full to capacity. But there are other (in)courage groups waiting for you! Please check them out…

I’m honored to be co-leading this group for (in)courage with some amazing homeschooling mamas. To find out more about us, click the image below.

Please know we don’t claim to have all the answers. We aren’t expecting to alter any of your homeschooling decisions. We simply want walk with you. Encourage you by letting you know you’re not alone. Share Biblical truths to show the solid ground beneath our feet.

How about you, friend? Could you use a friend in the homeschooling fire? We’d love to get to know you. Share some virtual tea as we talk about all things Kingdom related. And if homeschooling isn’t your thing (and believe me, it’s not for everyone), what community group do you see yourself in most? I’d love to hear. You may check out all the groups HERE.

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,

Nikki

Love Never Stops Believing {The Greatest Motivator}

click for photo credit

Sometimes I get so caught up in my unbelief. I get so wrapped up in my faith, or lack thereof, that I forget some basic truths about The One we are striving to believe in in the first place.

Am I the only one?

I’m over at 5 Minutes for Faith talking about this today. I’d love to have you stop by and express your thoughts as well as give me the opportunity to share something heavy on my mind.

And I’m so excited to lay it open, I’ll give you a glimpse of it now:

Friend, God believes in you. God believes in you.

Won’t you click over and let me tell you more? Simply click the button below!

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,

Nikki

Wide Eyed Wonder ~ Five Minute Friday

This is the post each week
Where I join a community of grace-filled wonders
Over at Lisa-Jo’s.

And we write unabashedly
For five minutes time.
Without editing or backtracking
On one word alone.

This week’s prompt:

WONDER

I nearly burst as I see his eager eyes offering to soak it in. And am blown away at what a difference a year makes. As I reach for my trusty Storybook Bible, he whispers:

“No, Mom. Don’t read it. I want to hear you tell it to me.”

My heart warms as I push doubt aside and breathe in deep, inviting Him to lead the way.

We start slow and steady as He primes my heart. And I let it all go as I share the story impressioned on my soul years ago.

His eyes grow wide with each point told. My eyes pool with pride or love I’m not quite sure, but doubt there is a difference now.

I let the space of silence grow at the end as he picks up his thoughts left along the trail. And when our eyes meet again he asks me what’s been weighing heavy:

“Mom, what did the shepherds do with their sheep when they went to go visit Jesus? They didn’t leave them behind, did they?”

Grace wins right then and there as I wonder if my 4 year-old heard more than my words could muster.

No, child. Not one sheep is ever left intentionally. The Good Shepherd always keeps watch. He sees you and will pick you up along the journey if He has to.

Don’t worry, son. He’d even bring you to Bethlehem. Room or not, He’ll always make space for you.

STOP.

 

Would you like to see what others thought of the prompt?
Would you like to play along?
Join in on the Five Minute Friday Flash Mob!
Simply click on the button below!

Please know 5 Minute Fridays will be taking the month of December off. But I’ll still try to post now and again. Trusting I’ll have 5 minutes here or there where I can write without a prompt…

How about you? Is there a part of the Christmas story you’ve ever wondered about? What do you delight most in the Wonder of the Season? I’d love to hear.

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,

Nikki

Are we friends on Facebook? I’d love to be…

STAY ~ Five Minute Friday

This is the post each week
Where I join a community of grace-filled wonders
Over at Lisa-Jo’s.

And we write unabashedly
For five minutes time.
Without editing or backtracking
On one word alone.

This week’s prompt:

STAY

His squeals of delight never get old. We run up and down chasing wind currents I’m hoping aren’t imaginary. Trusting one of these passes our dreams will take flight.

We proved that day what glory sounds like: a ripple of nylon in the breeze…

I wanted nothing more than to let out the string some, lay on the top of the hill and watch our handiwork dance. My four year-old had other ideals on how you keep diamonds in the sky.

We skipped circles in the crunchy grass, changing courses with each rotation, when finally the flight came to an end.

He dropped his arm to his side, string still in hand as he said “Oh mom, I wanted it to stay like this forever.”

I’ve never agreed more.

My Savior and I have had this conversation before. And those mountaintop moments will always be my favorite. As I dance in unabashed praise, arms raise as if I’m holding hands in the sky. With glory so sweet I can taste His goodness.

Then life blindsides. Courses change. Grass browns. And I long for what once was.

But as soon as the breeze touches my face, I remember. When I choose to raise my hands again, I feel it.

Yes, son, we’ll have to put the kite away for this next season. But I promise you we’ll have this moment again soon. And we’ll keep having it for a thousand forevers. You’ll see glory again.

After all…He’s promised.

 

STOP.

 

Would you like to see what others thought of the prompt?
Would you like to play along?
Join in on the Five Minute Friday Flash Mob!
Simply click on the button below!

How about you? How do you hold on to His promises of glory? I’d love to hear.

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,

Nikki

Are we friends on Facebook? I’d love to be…