9 Powerful Resources for Praying Women

The school supplies are bought, the bookbags packed, and schedules are set in place. It’s back-to-school season!

Whether you’re the kind of mom who cheers when the school bus comes around or the one who wishes she could hold onto those kiddos a bit longer (or like me – a confusing mix of the two!), back-to-school season marks a progression of time that we just can’t escape.

For many families, the new school year means a return to routine, and as such, it’s the perfect time to establish, or perhaps re-establish, some important habits.

I don’t know about you, mama friend, but my devotional time in the summer tends to be less consistent, and I find myself longing for a good long time in the Word, or an hour to just sit and pray. So while I hate the busyness that  the school year brings, I welcome the chance to get back to a routine!

As I reflect on the past summer and think ahead to this coming school year, I know above all, I want to cover it in prayer. I want, no… need, to develop a more consistent prayer habit!

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV)

We can always afford to spend more time covering our families, homes, relationships, work, ministries, etc. in prayer. In fact, I might argue that we can’t afford NOT to.

The resources for praying women below can help your back-to-school routine to incorporate more daily prayer by putting a specific plan into place!

What might happen in our homes, our churches, our communities if more women of faith really dedicated themselves to consistent prayer?

9 Powerful Resources for Praying Women

(a list of FREE or affordable Prayer Resources for Christians)

As much as I love to pray for my children, I recognize that a healthy prayer life begins with my own spiritual health.  And let’s be honest, as mamas we often put the needs of others before ourselves – rightfully so.

But as I mentioned earlier, my soul longs to connect to the Vine. More than mothering well, my prime responsibility is to follow after God well. I simply cannot be the mother/wife/woman I need to be when I’m not walking in the Spirit.

*This post contains affiliate links. Jen is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. Thank you for helping to support the ministry of this site!

Prayer Guides for Personal Spiritual Growth

1. The Fruit of the Spirit Prayer Challenge from Faith Along the Way

Sarah Ann has created a short but sweet 7-day prayer challenge for women who want to see more fruit in their lives. This challenge is a great starting point for women who want to establish a regular prayer habit.

The best part? It’s FREE! All you need to do is sign up. :)

If you want a consistent prayer habit, you need a specific plan. These powerful prayer resources give praying women a plan to follow! #Christianwomen #prayer #printables #spiritualqrowth resources for Christian Women | Being Confident of This | Praying Wife | Praying Mom | praying for marriage | praying for kids | war room | free printables | bliblical tools

2. Praying the Scriptures for the Fruit of the Spirit by Jennifer Clarke

If you’re not sure where to start when praying the scriptures, this free e-book from my friend Jennifer is offering will point you in the right direction! In addition to the ebook, when you join her mailing list, you’ll receive a guide for 12 ways to add prayer time to your day.

(BONUS – Jennifer has a whole series on praying the Scriptures broken down by 40+ topics, too)

Prayer Guides for Your Family and Loved Ones

3. A Praying Woman’s Jackpot from Kaylene Yoder

 

Prayer resource bundle - 5 resources to help you pray over your children and your marriage! #Christianwomen #prayingwomen #prayerguide #prayerprintables

A Praying Woman’s Jackpot from Kaylene is a HUGE set of prayer resources for women, covering the areas of marriage and parenting. This affordable bundle includes FIVE different resources to help you pray daily for the people who matter most in your life.

Talk about powerful resources for praying women!

4. The 30-day Prayer Dare for Parents from Kaylene Yoder

The 30-Day Prayer Dare for Parents, also from Kaylene, starts the beginning of September (and once again, it’s FREE for those who sign up)!

You’ll receive daily emails including prayers and scriptures to support those prayers, and if you want to take your prayer life a step further, you can also purchase an inexpensive workbook/journal to help you keep on track.

Sometimes we just need a bit of accountability to keep us going. :)

5. 31 Prayer Prompts for When Marriage Is Hard from Rebekah Hallberg

If you’re a regular around here, then you know that Rebekah is my co-author! She’s always busy providing practical help to women who are dealing with marriage issues and working to overcome them.  This FREE printable gives 31 different prompts for you as the wife, for your husband, and for the two of you as a couple.

31 prayer prompts for when marriage is hard - free printable to help you focus on intercessory prayer for your marriage. #prayerguide #prayerprintable #prayingwife

What better way to get back into a consistent prayer habit than to focus on uplifting your marriage through prayer!

6. Family Prayer Kits from Aimee Imbeau

These family prayer kits come with a separate prayer guide specific to each age group – children, teen guys, teen girls, and adults. Each resource is designed with the target audience in mind. The kits include everything from prayer journaling sheets, to bookmarks, and help with different prayer methods like ACTS.

As a favor to me, my friend Aimee has offered a special discount for Being Confident of This readers during the month of August! Use code “justpray” to get an extra 15% off your purchase!

I love Aimee’s family approach to the spiritual discipline of prayer!

Family Prayer kits - help your family develop a habit of prayer using these templates and printables! #Christianfamily #prayerprintables #prayerkits

 

For extra savings, you can purchase various bundles that combine the kits you need.

Prayer Guides for the New School Year

7. Back-to-School Prayer Challenge from Arabah Joy

Arabah Joy consistently develops resources that teach people how to pray using Scripture as a basis. You may have already encountered her book, Praying the Promises of the Cross, but this particular challenge focuses on praying for your children as they begin a new school year!

The Back-to-School prayer challenge helps you cultivate a habit of prayer through weekly video encouragement and daily prayer cards containing the scriptures to use while praying. All of the organizational work is done for you – you just have to put it into practice. :)

8. Mom’s Back-to-School Printable Pack from Faith Along the Way

Overcome the back-to-school overwhelm with this free printable pack, including a focus on praying for the new school year! #parenting #prayer #freebie

Here’s another fantastic FREE resource from Sarah Ann to help you overcome the overwhelm that hits when a new school year starts. This pack also includes 30 days of prayer for the new school year!

Prayer Guide for the World

It’s easy to pray for the people right in front of you. After all, we see them every day, and we talk with them about their problems and worries.

It’s a bit more challenging to pray for people around the world whom you don’t even know. Their culture may be totally unfamiliar to you, as well as their needs.

But I think we can agree that one need we all have in common is for salvation through Jesus Christ!

So, if you’re in the same boat as me – determined to develop a consistent prayer habit, then you might find this free prayer printable helpful.

Use this #freeprintable to encourage your #family to #pray for the world's largest unreached people groups! Teach your children the importance of global missions right from your own home. T.H.U.M.B method of praying |Being Confident of This | teaching kids to pray | teaching kids missions | missional family | missions-minded family |praying family | Christian women | Christian parenting | raising godly kids

9. THUMB teaches you (and your family) to pray for the most unreached people groups of the world. Using each finger of your hand, you can use the acronym to help you remember the names of the people groups who are still desperate for God’s truth. This handy prayer printable also gives you helpful information on each group so that you can better pray for their needs.

Praying THUMB for the World is a part of the Being Confident of This free resource library available to all who subscribe to our monthly newsletter. Just sign up, download, and print! :)

Friend, if you’re taking a look at all of these fabulous resources and feeling too overwhelmed to even know where to start, then maybe you need this encouragement here: 8 Scripture Prayers for When Your Glass Is Empty But Your Plate is Full.

Start with God’s truth first by remembering who you are in Him – fully redeemed, fully loved, fully equipped.

Any praying you do must come from that place of resting in your God-given identity first.

If you’ve tried to establish a habit of prayer before and failed, then don’t give up! Don’t fall for the lies of the Enemy that you just don’t have time to pray, or that your prayers are ineffective.

Choose believe God’s Word when He says,

Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. James 5:16 (NIV)

Fellow work-in-progress friends, let’s be like the persistent widow in Luke 18; let’s be women who pray without giving up!

Jen :)
Want to be a prayer warrior but not sure where to start? This big list of FREE (and affordable) prayer resources will help you make a plan. Develop a healhty and consistent prayer life! #freeprintables #prayerguides #prayerwarrior #ChristianLiving Being Confident of This | biblical resources for Christian women | discipleship | spiritual growth | prayer | praying wife | praying mom | praying woman | prayer warrior | war room | prayer guide | prayer template | prayer methods

How to Parent Your Angry Child

Have you ever worried that your angry child might never learn patience? Have you lain awake at night wondering how to help refine those strong-willed tendencies into good character?

A while back, our second-born, strong-willed, ball-of-energy-and-strength-and-passion son was showing me a few of his latest “tricks.” I watched somewhat half-heartedly and made the typical distracted mom comments.

“Wow!”

“That’s crazy!”

“How do you DO that?”

When suddenly he made this horrible grimace.

He effectively described it as “putting pressure” on his face. To me it looked an awful lot like his angry child face.

Curious, I asked him why he would put pressure on his face. He matter-of-factly explained that it helps him get his anger out when he’s frustrated or feeling angry.

Then he showed me another of his typical angry child poses (fisted hands clenched tightly at his sides) and told me that putting pressure on his body helps him get anger out, too.

Once he was done with the demonstration, he sauntered away, like it was no big deal for a seven-year-old to have such knowledge of his own emotions and body.

I sat there stunned.

Not because our son is so intelligent, although he truly is, but because a posture that I tend to “read” as angry disrespect or rebellion was, in fact, the complete opposite.

His tense posture was actually an attempt at self-control! And here I had been scolding him to “have a better attitude” whenever the “pressure” face and those “pressure” hands appeared, whenever I saw evidence of an angry child.

If you have a child with BIG emotions, you probably struggle with some parenting discouragement. What I learned from my angry child changed my perspective and helped me focus on the work in progress!  Work-in-progress Parenting: The Angry Child  #parenting #emotionalchild #strongwilledchild christian parenting|Devotional |Bible study|christian family|helping emotional children|emotions|anger|angrychild|christian mom|strong-willed child

Hope for the Angry Child

It turns out my angry child understood his own emotions (and boy, does he have b-i-g ones) better than I sometimes understand my own.In fact, he was learning self-control methods that work for him, without any help from me!

Our conversation reminded me that even though I have now logged over thirteen years of parenting experience, I don’t know it all. In fact, I never will!

Each child is created uniquely and requires unique parenting, a truth I tend to forget.

What I perceived as defiance or disrespect was actually the most self-controlled, respectful act my son was capable of in his angry moments.

 

I hope I remember to exercise caution when I see the angry child come out. I hope I remember that he’s making a greater effort than I ever realized and applaud him for maintaining a measure of self-control in the face of anger.

He has come so far in the area of emotions and self-control in the last few years, and I’m so quick to forget that in a heated moment!

I’m so quick to forget that my child is a work-in-progress, too, just like his siblings, just like his parents, just like every other sinful human on the face of the earth.

It wasn’t a proud moment for me, rather it was a thank-you-Lord moment. I couldn’t take credit for my angry child’s heart changes; in fact, I was unintentionally discouraging some of the progress he was making.

Only God can take credit.

Because our little boy who is so quickly growing into a young man accepted the free gift of salvation a few years ago. And not long after, he publicly proclaimed his son-ship in Christ before family and friends as he waded into the baptismal waters.

I see the work the Lord is doing in his young heart and mind already.

Even now as he enters his teenage years, I see how his heart has softened toward his younger siblings and how they now look up to him.

Even though our son’s passion and energy often cause trouble for him, I have faith that someday he will use those gifts to be a great leader and a bold truth-teller. He’s a born leader in the process of becoming.

What faithfulness on the Lord’s behalf!

My friends, when you’re parenting progress seems to have stalled, take heart.

Continue to follow the Lord in your parenting, and wait to see what happens. Pray for their little hearts and minds to open to the Father’s touch.

If your emotional, angry child is old enough, ask about his or her actions during a low-stress time rather than in the heat of the moment. You’ll likely gain some surprising insights!

Look for progress in the little things, the still, small moments.Perhaps the problem with your child is really a problem with YOUR thinking! #parenting #workinprogress #beingconfidentofthis purposeful parenting|intentional parenting|christian parenting|stubborn child|angry child|emotional child|strong-willed child|parenting help|how to be a better parent| godly parenting

 

Remember who your child has been created to be. He’s created to be different than your other children and different even than you.

Take every opportunity to rejoice over the slightest step forward.

Because God knows what He’s doing.

He created these children, these gifts, purposefully just as he created you and me purposefully.

Only He can see where that purpose might lead them.

Jen :)

Sharing this post with: Grace and Truth

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The Words Your Child Really Needs to Hear

“You’re the best Mom ever!” She proclaims, as she grins and squeezes me with her small arms, and my mama heart expands to near bursting.

“Well, you’re the best daughter ever!” I smile back down at her.

And it’s true. She may be my only daughter at this time, but she is also the best.

It may sound like a simple, sweet exchange between mother and daughter, come and gone in just a few breaths. But I know better. I know these words are building a foundation in her, one sweet word at a time.

I say all the words that need telling because I know she needs to hear those words; I know she needs me to tell them to her.  I know because I need those words, too.

I need the “I love you”s, and the “you’re the best”s, and the “you’re the beautifulest mom ever”s, and the “I missed you”s. If I, a grown woman, need all the words that need telling, how much more does a child need to hear these same words?

So much more. So much more.

They are the words your child really needs to hear.

All the Words that need telling, tell kids you love them, tell people the gospel

So I tell her all the words that need telling – the words about love, the words about like, the words about her character, and the words about her Savior – because she needs to hear all of those important words. She needs to hear them often.

She needs to hear them often.

She may be little now, but soon enough she’ll be heading into her senior year of high school just like her oldest brother. And then she’ll leave for college (Lord-willing), and who will tell her all the words that she needs to hear then?

When she leaves the safety of our home to venture out on her own, she’ll find plenty of messages about how she’s not enough, how she’s no good, how she’s less than.

Those words are enough to crush a person, especially if she lacks a secure foundation.

The Words Your Child Really Needs to Hear

We’ve only a few years, friends, a few short years to speak the words your child really needs to hear.  Only a few years to tell of our love for them.  Only a few years to tell of the Savior’s love, too.

And they need to hear them because love is so central to the Gospel, so important.

That foundation of faith and love (or lack of one) can help determine your child’s life course. Such a foundation is a refuge in life’s storms, a comfort when staring down rejection, a balm when wounded.

The words your child really needs to hear develop a confidence in them that isn’t easily shaken.

Are you saying the words your kids really need to hear? They seem like simple words, simple conversations, but they build solid character. Do you speak them? saying the right words|motherhood|parenting|Christian parent|Christian women|children|speaking to kids|building up your kids|kids and confidence

Don’t be shy; don’t hesitate, friend.

Even if the words don’t come naturally to you, tell the words today, the words your child really needs to hear, because we are never guaranteed tomorrow.

Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Deut. 11:18-19

Speak words of life to your family today, friend. Make the most of every opportunity.

Tell all the words your child really needs to hear.

Tell Love

and Truth

and Kindness

and Peace.

Don’t wait!

Jen

Letting Go When They Are Grown

It happens every time I see his name neatly typed out on mail from colleges: my throat begins to ache as I blink rapidly to stem the pending flow.

He’ll be our first to leave the nest just as he was the first to be birthed, and this year marks the beginning of that long, painful goodbye that I wish to avoid altogether.  Couldn’t time just stand still for a year or so?

Why does the letting go hurt so?

Knowing our time is limited taps into a grief that never quite left me after my years growing up as an MK (missionary kid).  My tendency is to just shut it out, pretend like it’s not happening, find comfort in denial, because that’s what I did for so many years without even realizing it. It’s easier to cut ties than to live with loss, after all.

But hiding away from loss means missing these bittersweet moments where pride and joy collide with that heavy sense of the approaching goodbye. If I let go of one, then I must let go of the other, and I don’t want to miss the joy of witnessing our firstborn take flight.

For the mama whose firstborn is nearly grown. Letting go takes all of the strength a mother can muster, but as Christian parents, we have a hope for their future that the world can't offer. Why then, is the letting go so difficult?

We’re losing little bits of him already in this, his junior year. He works hard at his high-level classes, and spends time on quite a few extra-curricular activities. Some nights we don’t even see him until after his younger siblings go to bed.

There’s this fierce, nearly primal, part of me that desires to cling, to hold him back, to draw my proverbial apron strings tighter. On the other hand, my more rational side recognizes that this is good, that he thrives on new-found independence, and that I was doing much the same at sixteen years of age.

 

And oh, have we been blessed with this boy, no…. this young man now. He’s been a firm yet gentle leader for his younger siblings, always encouraging them to do right. He loves the Lord and often willingly bears the burdens of others. He is slow to anger and respectful of authority. He’s not embarrassed to use his gifts for the Lord’s glory, either, not like I was at sixteen.

I admire his resolve and his confidence in who he is in Christ.

We really couldn’t have asked for an easier teenager, not that there haven’t been bumps in the road, but he’s never derailed.

I know I have to let go of my claim on him, for he was never mine to begin with, was he?

Children are a heritage from the Lordoffspring a reward from him.       Psalm 127:3 (NIV)

Why must letting go be so insanely painful?

It’s not that I don’t trust the Lord with my boy, I do. I know our Father has great plans for his future that I can only begin to imagine.

It’s not that I’m worried about who this young man will become because I already see hints of Master Potter’s hand at work, and I’m thrilled with the molding and shaping taking place in our young man right now.

The letting go hurts because the love is deep and real, and it’s had nearly seventeen years to grow in this body of mine that was once overtaken by his tiny life growing in me.

The letting go hurts because he is me in so many ways and his father in so many others.

The letting go hurts because somehow it feels like our family of six will never quite be the same again, as if this year is the catalyst for a chain of events that will forever alter the fabric of not only his life, but our lives, as well. One part of us will always be missing.

The letting go hurts because this mothering has become so entwined in my own identity that it feels as if a small part of me is slowly dying inside. I know my son will always need me, but not in the same way that he needs me now.

I suppose I expected to be used to it by now, this slow loosening of pieces of myself. After all, we’ve been experiencing firsts and lasts for over sixteen years on this wild yet exquisite journey we call parenting.

But somehow, these firsts and lasts feel so different. So final.

I know the letting go will hurt.

It hurts already.

The best comfort I have is knowing that our Father God once let go of a Son, too.

Our Great High Priest understands. He knows what is best.

I believe He will bring joy from this pain just as He brought joy from the pains of childbirth all those years ago.

For now, I will rest in that truth.

Jen :)

 

8 Secrets to Keeping Tweens and Teens in the Family

It’s every parent’s worst nightmare – losing connection with a child during those tough tween and teen years.  We see them making choices we don’t like, but they’ve isolated themselves to the extent that we no longer have room to speak into their lives.

How do we avoid this mistake?

How can we keep tweens and teens engaged in the family dynamic so that they stay rooted and connected?

How do we encourage independence without encouraging isolation?

I spent many years working with teens while my husband was a youth pastor, and I’ve noticed that those with healthy family dynamics seem to weather these turbulent years with much more ease. So when our own children reached the tween and teen years, we decided to be intentional about maintaining that healthy family dynamic!  Here are a few of our strategies.

8 Ways to Keep Tweens and Teens in the Family

1. Keep up the bedtime hugs and I-love-yous through those awkward tween years.

I remember around the age of twelve or thirteen thinking I was too old for bedtime hugs. So, I started saying goodnight from the doorway of the living room rather than going in to hug my parents.  This continued for several months until I began to miss those hugs. But by then I felt stuck.

Fast forward a few decades and I find myself in the same situation with our two oldest boys, one sixteen and the other ten.  Because we were intentional about asking our sons for hugs goodnight, our sixteen-year-old man-cub continues to do so. The ten-year-old imp is a little more reluctant, but he usually relents with a grin. Since I know he’s not the huggy type, I keep it brief for him.

As parents, we have to intentionally set aside any awkwardness in order to embrace our tweens and teens.

If we begin to act shy or awkward about hugging for real, then our tweens and teens will sense that and hold back, too.  But they still need those hugs.

We set the tone.

2. Guard the hearts of your tweens and teens by setting family rules for electronics, internet access, and phones.

We do this in our family in three practical ways. First, we limit the amount of time they are allowed to spend on personal devices such as ipods, Nintendo DSs, computers or tablets, and so forth.

The more time they spend engaged in their personal devices is less time they spend engaged with others.

Second, we have a rule that such devices…

To read the rest, follow me over to my friend Rebekah’s blog, Sharing Redemption’s Stories by clicking this link or the picture below.

It's every parent's worst nightmare - losing touch with your tweens and teens and seeing them choose wrong paths. How can we keep tweens and teens involved in family life during these tough years? 8 Secrets to Keeping Tweens and Teens in the Family

 

 

Establishing a Foundation of Faith (We Are Fa-mi-ly Series)

Last week we began the We Are Fa-mi-ly series here at Being Confident of This, so be sure to stop by the first post in the series if you missed it!  Today we’ll be discussing how to establish a foundation of faith.

While it’s important to teach our children obedience and manners, how to play sports and succeed in school, the most important thing we can ever do for our children is to establish a foundation of faith.

If we think of a family as a home being built, then think of personal faith in God as the foundation of that home.  Parents who aren’t well-rooted in faith will struggle to pass on an understanding of the Word, as well as biblical family values.

4 Ways to Establish a Foundation of Faith

1. Talk openly about your faith, even when you struggle.

Certainly, we can’t and shouldn’t tell our children everything we go through in life.  Some things simply aren’t appropriate to share with them.  However, parents are often afraid to show any sort of weakness or doubt, especially when it comes to their personal faith.

The truth is, our kids already know that we aren’t perfect.  They can see it for themselves! Thus, a foundation of faith depends on parents who exhibit and encourage authentic faith…

I’m sharing the rest of this article over at my friend Rebekah’s blog, Sharing Redemption’s Stories.  She and I share a burden for struggling marriages and families, and we’ll be working together this year to bring you quality content related to living out the Christian Faith.  Once a month, she’ll be sharing here at Being Confident of This, and once a month, I’ll be sharing over at her place.

Read the rest by clicking the picture below!

Jen :)

While it's important to teach our children obedience and manners, how to play sports and succeed in school, the most important thing we can ever do for our children is to establish a foundation of faith.   4 Ways to Establish a Foundation of Faith

 

Sharing with: Tell It To Me Tuesdays

Welcome to the New Christian Living Link-up ~ #GraceTruth

I’m beyond excited to introduce you all to something that has been in the works for several weeks now. Faithful readers and Lofter buddies know that we’ve hosted a link-up called #TheLoft for some months now. Recently our hosting group was offered an opportunity to merge with quite a few other like-minded faith bloggers in a new, bigger weekly link-up. Although we’re sad to lose a little of the intimacy that a smaller group allows for, we are enthusiastic about the opportunities this new link-up brings for all faith bloggers.

So, without further ado, I invite you to join us for Grace & Truth, a weekly Christian link-up!

Jen :)

Grace & Truth : A Weekly Christian Link Up

Grace & Truth exists to point people to Jesus! We hope this link-up will be a source of encouragement each and every week. If you’re a blogger our hope is that you’ll use this space as a way to meet new friends within the Christian blogging community. If you’re a reader our hope is that you’ll meet new bloggers that love Jesus just as much as you do! Most of all, we hope you’ll meet Jesus here.

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Reader Favorites ~ 2014

I’m so thankful for you, my faithful readers, my sisters in Christ (and let’s not forget the brothers, too).  You have made this space a friendly zone for sharing my most personal writings, and 2014 was just the year for it.  All year long, the Father has been challenging me to “Take Courage.” and having encouraging readers certainly helps me to do just that!

Often this space is mostly for me, a place to share what is on my heart, what I want to write about and hear about. But today I want to share YOUR favorites from 2014.  If you haven’t read these top posts before, just click on the individual pictures. Perhaps you’ll find a new favorite. :)

reader favorites 2014, Being Confident of This blog, top posts of 2014, number one posts, grace for the work-in-progress woman

Most time in the #1 spot:

marriage, Christian marriage, how to love an unloving spouse, feeling unloved, want to feel loved, loving a difficult spouse

“I’ll be honest. As a busy mom of four, I wrestle with this idea that God should be my sole supply. After all, God cannot help with the bedtime routine or sweep the kitchen or sign permissions slips or pay the bills, at least not in a physical sense.  I wrestle, too, with feelings of disappointment and unkind thoughts toward a husband whom I truly wish to respect.

So, how can I demonstrate love for my husband even when he’s not demonstrating love for me?”

Most comments in 2014:

confidence, fat girl insecurities, insecure, overweight, fat, trying to lose weight, obese, heavy, healthy body image, health

“I’ll never forget the first time I heard the word aimed at me.  He spewed it out like vomit, his eyes filled with disgust. “Fat,”  the boy accused me, and I believed it even though I wasn’t anywhere near “fat” back then.

I always was a…”

Runner-up for most comments in 2014:

That New Girl: Finding Confidence

confidence, finding confidence, that new girl, no condemnation, identity, loving yourself, identity in Christ, self-acceptance, imperfect progress

“Sin temporarily hijacks our child-of-God identity, the world teaches us that we will never be enough, and the pride and insecurity of self often confirms the lies. But the truth, sisters, the amazing truth is that we don’t have to be enough because He is already everything for us. It’s this Christ-confidence that sets us free!”

Most comments of all (even though it’s from 2013):

marriage, imperfect progress, perfectionism, grace, through my grace-colored glasses, work in progress

“Last night I had a little run-in with Perfectionism again.  He just won’t leave me alone.

He follows me wherever I go, pointing out flaws in my house-keeping, my parenting, my marriage relationship, even my walk with the Lord… He whispers lies to me: “you’ll never change” or “you’re never going to be good enough” or “why even bother anymore.”

I’ve been enslaved by his words before, but last night was different…”

The Top 5 written in 2014:

#1

big list of energetic indoor fun, high-energy kids, boys with energy, stuck indoors, cabin fever, school break, I'm bored, kids bored, get energy out

Are the kids driving you crazy? Do your boys have too much energy to stay cooped up indoors? Need a cure for cabin fever?  Is the weather outside frightful?  This huge list of ideas for expending pent-up energy while stuck indoors will help you stay sane!

#2

7 ways to teach bible verses to kids, teaching bible verses to kids, memory verse, preschool, toddler, children, homeschool, church, creative ways to learn memory verses, scripture

For moms, dads, Sunday School teachers, homeschooling families, Children’s Church leaders and anyone else who works with little ones – here’s how to help them hide the Word away in their hearts.

#3

dollar store deals, cheap homeschool supplies, early childhood education, preschool, toddler, preschooling with dollar store deals, what to buy at the dollar store for homeschool

This isn’t just a list of what to buy for the littles at the dollar store. It’s also a list of how to use the items you buy!  Great deals + great activities=happy learners.

#4

Saving money on kid's clothes, clothing budget, frugal, stewardship, single income family, clothing budget, tight budget, saving money, frugal living

This is part one of two posts on how to save money when buying clothes for a large family.  With three boys and one girl in the house, our tight budget really gets stretched when it comes to purchasing clothes and shoes for the kids. Over the years, I’ve learned quite a few tricks for working within our small clothing budget to make the most of it.

#5

keeping Christ in Christmas, kid friendly advent free printables, The Christmas Adventure Box, family advent activity, homeschool, church, AWANA, youth group, easy advent, flexible advent, advent fun

Kid-friendly Advent with Free Printables!  I created these as a companion to the Christmas ADVENTure Box that we do each year as an advent activity with our children. Our boys especially love the adventure aspect of it.  It’s an easy, flexible way to keep Christ in Christmas!

Thanks for making 2014 a great year for Being Confident of This!  And even though this isn’t a reader favorite (yet!), I want to leave you with one last post as you head into the new year. It’s close to my heart and really sums up what this year has been about for us.

Courage to Face a Giant

courage quote, fail or succeed, take courage in the Lord, be strong and courageous, facing a giant

Take Courage in the new year, my sisters!

Jen :)

Sharing with: The Pin-it Party, Grace and Truth,

Kid-friendly Advent Printables

Every year the struggle remains the same: how do we keep their little hearts and minds focused on Christ when Christmas has become such a consumer-oriented holiday?

Enter the Christmas Adventure Box, a kid-friendly advent activity for the whole family.  Explore the spiritual significance of many of our favorite Christmas traditions, such as Christmas lights, candy canes, St. Nick, and more.

I first wrote about how we use this kid-friendly advent as a family tradition a few years ago.

If you haven’t read that post, I highly recommend you start there (just click this link).

I also recommend visiting my friend Lana’s site, which is where the idea originated. She gives more detailed instructions in a lesson-plan type of format which would be very helpful for teachers, homeschoolers, children’s church leaders, AWANA leaders, and so forth.

One of the things I love best about this kid-friendly advent activity is that it is very flexible!

Choose to do every day or just a few days a week, spend as little as five minutes or as long as an hour, and if you get behind (that never happens to us…haha), complete multiple days in one evening.

It’s advent that works for your family!

kid friendly advent free printables, The Christmas Adventure Box, family advent activity, homeschool, church, AWANA, youth group, easy advent, flexible advent, advent fun

This year, I wanted to be a little more organized since last year flew by so quickly that we never actually completed the Christmas Adventure Box advent acitivity.  I was such a holiday hypocrite.

So, I created some free printables to attach to the items in the box (see below) with simple instructions for how to complete each day’s activity of advent for kids.

Using this method will prevent me from having to look up the blog each day or print out a new set of advent instructions when ours gets lost (which also never, ever happens, right?).

Want to keep Christ at the center of your family Christmas?  These printables make kid-friendly Advent easy! The Christmas Adventure Box is a fun, frugal, and kid-friendly activity for advent that will teach your children the true reason for celebrating the Christmas season!  Learn the spiritual significance behind some of our favorite Christmas traditions, such as Christmas trees, lights, stockings, and even candy canes!

 

And I thought if I was going to take the time to make printables for this advent for kids, then I might as well share with you all. :)

So, Merry Christmas to you, my faithful readers – here are free, downloadable printables to go along with your Christmas Adventure Box advent for kids. Just click the words below to download.

Kid-friendly Advent free printables

 

I plan to print ours out on card-stock, cut them apart and attach them to the wrapped items in our box, making this family advent activity even simpler than it already is.

I’m all for simplifying the holidays for less stress, especially with four kiddos in the house (okay, three kiddos and one young man).

Don’t forget to visit The Christmas Adventure Box post for details on how to get started and a handy list of needed items. Once your box is filled and the cards are attached, you are all set to go for this easy, kid-friendly advent that that whole family will enjoy.

Teach your children the stories behind holiday traditions

and, most importantly, how Jesus is the Greatest Gift of all!

Jen :)

If you find yourself worried about how to give your kids a good Christmas, read here.

Sharing with:

A Group Look, Cornerstone Confessions, Monday Parenting Pin It Party, Mama Moments, Wholehearted Home, Tell It To Me Tuesdays, Grace and Truth

Energy-burning Indoor Fun for Kids

Winter wears long around this time of year for those of us who live in the Midwest.  Usually, our family enjoys the snow because it allows for sledding, building snow forts and snowmen, snowball fights, and other gross-motor, active fun.

However, with wind-chills well below zero at times, winter means a lot more time is spent indoors.

Even in the summer, several rainy days in a row can send my active, high-energy kids into a cabin fever frenzy!

What can you do when you’re stuck indoors and the kids are bouncing off the walls?

This big list of active indoor fun for kids might just help burn off some of that excess energy! 

*This post contains affiliate links. For more information on Being Confident of This’s affiliate policy, please visit the home page here. Thank you for helping to support this site!

 

What can you do when you're stuck indoors and the kids are bouncing off the walls?  Here's a big list of active indoor fun for kids to help burn off energy!

Indoor Fun for Kids:

Snowball Fight – Yes, you can have a snowball fight indoors and burn a lot of energy doing so!  I learned this game from a birthday party we attended recently.  You will need a stack of white paper (newspaper will suffice if you don’t have white paper).  Crumple the paper into balls – the more you have, the more fun it will be.  Dump the paper snowballs into the middle of an open area and let the kids go wild!

Tip: It’s even more fun if you create some obstacles to hide behind.

Bounce around – Several years ago when the twins were younger and I frequently babysat children in our home, we invested in a small bouncy house from Blast Zone.  It had the best reviews for durability (the material feels just like commercial bouncy houses), and it’s still going strong 3 years later! Our twins are now 7 and they can still both jump at the same time in it. It’s been a lifesaver on several occasions when the weather kept us indoors.

Another less expensive option would be a small, indoor trampoline like this Little Tikes one, or even an exercise ball.  If all else fails, you can always resort to letting the kids jump on your bed (I do!). Jumping uses a lot of muscles group, so it  burns off excess energy quicker – very helpful indoor fun for kids!

Ball pit – When our youngest son was a baby, he needed some physical therapy.  One of the things his therapist did was to create a small ball-pit using a laundry basket filled with balls.  At first, he hated it, but eventually he grew to love it.

Let the kids enjoy active indoor fun by jumping into the pit, swimming in the balls, throwing balls, and so on. Frugal ideas for ball pits: laundry baskets, plastic totes, inflatable kiddie pools, or large cardboard boxes.

Indoor Skating – I’ve found two different ways to create indoor skates.  One is to tie wax paper around the bottom of your children’s feet and let them skate away.  The other is to use kleenex boxes (or other cartons) as skates – just insert feet into the opening. We only had one usable kleenex box, so I improvised with a juice pouch box. ;)

What can you do when you're stuck indoors and the kids are bouncing off the walls?  Here's a big list of active indoor fun for kids to help burn off energy!

Climb, climb, climb – Recently I was reminded that kids of all ages love to climb.  My husband brought a step-ladder indoors to do some repairs.  When he finished, our four-year-olds spent a good thirty minutes climbing up and down, up and down (with supervision, of course).  Other options – smaller kitchen step-stools,or a stool your kids might use in the bathroom, stairways, boxes, etc.

What an easy, indoor fun for kids that doubles as an energy-burning activity that uses items you most likely already have at home!  Our active boys especially liked to climb, but we were equally surprised by our daughter’s skills (earning her the nickname, Monkey).

Activity Dice –  Create a large dice from cardboard or cardstock (the bigger the better in the eyes of children).  On each side of the dice, list a different activity to be performed.  Examples: do ten jumping jacks, flap your arms like a bird, twirl in circles until you’re dizzy, hop up and down, jump like a frog, crab-walk, do a somersault, etc.

If your child is old enough to find this activity boring, try making it into a competition – game changer! Our kids really enjoy this type of active indoor fun for kids!

Dance the wiggles away – We have Just Dance Kids’ version for the Wii that our younger children really love.  However, we also frequently dance to music on the radio or our oldest son’s ipod. :)  One of my friends suggested playing “freeze” by pausing the music and having everyone freeze in place.

Another “freezing alternative is to turn the lights off and when they come back on, everyone has to freeze in place (while music continues to play, of course).

This song is perfect for freezing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y7JoCCR4OsM

Or try this active song that was an immediate hit with our younger two: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3dXoiCMyyu4

Dancing burns a lot of energy and keeps everyone entertained at the same time.

Geronimo! – We love this classic.  Create a huge pile of pillows, blankets, beanbags, stuffed animals, etc., near a couch or the bottom of your stairway.  Jump away!  Our children have spent endless hours getting out extra energy this way when we’re stuck indoors.

Pillow Fight - Caution: if you have a child who tends to get aggressive, prepare for possible injuries.  It’s a good time to work on self-control. :)  Even our teen boy likes to pillow fight when the whole family is involved.  What better use of family time than to burn off some stored up energy?

Family wrestling - Nothing is more tempting to children than when Mom or Dad lay on the floor.  For some reason, our four kiddos love to sit on us, climb on us, bounce on us, and so forth. Family wrestling is also a good opportunity for Mom to sneak attack Dad’s feet (he can’t get away with four kids piled on top-ha!).  As with all active fun, it usually ends when someone cries.

Spikeball - We created this game using punch-balloons leftover from a birthday party.  To begin, we spread out in the largest room in our home.  Then we “spike” the punch-balloons across the room at another person.  Each player receives points for hitting another player as long as it is not a face-shot (we had to ban those during a particularly crazy game).  :)

It’s a mad frenzy trying to snatch up the punch-balloons and spike them at others while also trying not to get hit yourself.  You could also use a regular balloon, but punch-balloons are just a little heavier, bigger and bouncier, so they can travel farther.

Tip: it’s more fun and crazy if you have more than one balloon. Second tip: if you have a wide age range like we do, be sure the littles get their fair share of turns or you’ll endure much pouting.

What can you do when you're stuck indoors and the kids are bouncing off the walls?  Here's a big list of active indoor fun for kids to help burn off extra energy!  Save it for those rainy summer days or snowy winter ones. 25 Ways to Burn Energy When You're Stuck Indoors

Other balloon fun – Balloons are great for quick and easy active indoor fun because you can play so many different games with them.  Play don’t let the balloon touch the ground, or blow the balloon across the floor.  You can even play an indoor version of hockey with a balloon and pool noodles (cut them in half for smaller players).

Play volleyball by hanging a string or a blanket between two chairs for a net.  Hang balloons from the ceiling or a doorway just out of reach and ask children to jump up and touch them. Put a balloon between the knees and race from one end of the room to the other without dropping the balloon. Tie a balloon to their feet and try to step on each other’s balloons. The options for energetic fun are endless!

Indoor Obstacle Course – This is an often-requested favorite at our house and with our children’s ministry at church, also.  First the kids help to create the obstacles using chairs, card tables, tunnels from a Playhut set, brooms for hurdles or limbo sticks, hula hoops to hop through, inflatable swimming rings in place of tires for an agility hop, etc.

Once everything is set up, they race through it over and over again! I can’t wait to try this winter-themed course that involves climbing a “snow mountain.”

Sliding - If you have a slide you can bring indoors, you can entertain toddlers and preschoolers for quite some time. Since our kiddos have outgrown our slide, we turned our stairway into a giant slide (something I pinned a long time ago on pinterest).

The only thing you need is a few large, wide sections of strong cardboard.  If you use an appliance box, be on the lookout for staples that will need to be removed first!

What can you do when you're stuck indoors and the kids are bouncing off the walls?  Here's a big list of active indoor fun for kids to help burn off energy!

Nerf/Koosh Gun War – Two of our boys received Koosh ball guns for Christmas, and not long after I happened to find refill packs of balls on clearance at Walmart – score! :)  We also have a couple of Nerf dart guns and a foam disc shooter from years past.

Sometimes we sneak attack our teenager or Dad, but usually we play all together.  Gather up the ammo and have fun chasing each other all over the house.  Tip: it’s important to establish some ground rules first, such as do not shoot at the face and do not shoot at windows, etc.

Play Basketball - We also have been gifted a Little Tikes basketball hoops, as well as a classic Nerf hoop that hangs over the door.  One way to burn lots of energy is to play basketball free-for all.  Much like spikeball, there are few rules to this game other than to get a hold of a ball whenever you can and put it through the hoop.

If you like a more organized game, you can take turns shooting or see who can make a shot from the longest distance, etc.  No hoops in the house?  Improvise with a trash can or bucket and a small ball or even wadded up piece of paper.

Scary Hide-n-go-seek - A variation on the traditional game, this version is played in the dark, indoors and is another one of our most-requested indoor games.  We turn off all of the lights except one or two dim ones (for safety).  Something about hiding in the dark with the chance of being spooked really gets the adrenaline pumping.

Of course, if you have little ones who are scared of the dark, you’ll probably have to hide with them. And if you have a dog, chances are he or she might give away your hiding spot by sitting and staring near you or barking. ;) This is a favorite from our indoor fun for kids list.

Wii activity - In addition to our Just Dance Kids game, we also have Wii sports and a few other games that require activity.  You can often find gently used games at a greatly reduced price at places like Game Stop or on E-bay or Amazon. Here are a few that will encourage movement:

Go Vacation

Just Dance Kids

Wii Sports Resort

Sword-fight – Our boys (and often our daughter, too) love to sword-fight with their light-sabers, but inevitably someone gets hurt and we have to quit.  So, I really, really love this pinterest idea for creating light-sabers from pool noodles cut in half.  Sometimes we make it a whole family activity and even the teenager joins in with us! What a fun way to be active indoors!

Kid Olympics or Ironkid Challenge - We did this once for our AWANA kids at church during the last Summer Olympics.  We used frisbees for a discus throw, pool noodles for a javelin, relay races, etc.  We even ordered plastic medals online, but you could easily create your own indoor version.  Why not have an awards ceremony, too?

Wipeout – I love this idea for energy-burning fun that came from a friend of mine.  Use couch cushions, etc. to create a course inspired by the tv show Wipeout!

Giant tent fort - While this activity doesn’t burn quite as much energy as some of the others, it still burns some and it takes a good amount of time to do.  Our kiddos recently spent the better part of a day creating this giant fort using a card table, a piano bench, kitchen chairs, plastic totes, a step-stool, and anything else they could find.

We left it up for days until they got tired of it.  Any activity that holds interest beyond a day is a winner in my opinion! :) And if you don’t want the mess of getting all the blankets out, consider this pop-up princess castle or this fun teepee!

What can you do when you're stuck indoors and the kids are bouncing off the walls?  Here's a big list of active indoor fun for kids to help burn off energy!

What can you do when you're stuck indoors and the kids are bouncing off the walls?  Here's a big list of active indoor fun for kids to help burn off energy!

Treasure Hunt - This was another friend’s high-energy suggestion.  Create a treasure hunt where the clues involve some sort of physical activity such as jumping jacks, push-ups, and so forth.  Of course, you need a fun treasure like this, or a special snack or maybe new coloring books.

Convert the garage -If you have a garage, consider moving your vehicles and opening up space for indoor bike-riding, roller-skating, skate-boarding, scootering, or even an old-fashioned game of foursquare (use chalk to draw the lines). I’ve also seen hanging ladders, ropes, and sets of rings available for purchse to hang from the ceiling or doorway (guess what’s on my wish list?!).

If your children are very young or you have the inside space, you might consider bringing a tricycle or scooter indoors. How fun would this doorway swing be?!

Put on a Show - Our children, like most, enjoy performing for any willing audience.  Our shows usually consist of lots of break-dancing, twirling, and kung-fu-type stunts.  Set up a stage area and a seating area and settle in for lots of laughs. (Thanks to another one of my friends for reminding me of this!) While you laugh, they’ll be expending lots of extra energy.

BONUS IDEA for Energy-Burning Indoor Fun for Kids:

Work the Maze – Create a laser-beam maze in a hallway or other narrow space using yarn or even crepe paper.  See who can get through without touching or breaking any of the lines. Instant indoor energy-burning fun for kids that takes only minutes to create.

Armed with this list, I now feel prepared for the pending snowstorm heading our way (and any rainy days that might come our way this summer).

 Once you’ve drained off the extra energy, your children might settle down enough to attempt some of these fun indoor activities from Coffee Cups and Crayons.

Do you have more ideas for energetic, gross-motor indoor fun?  We would love to hear from you in the comments!

Jen :)

Related articles:

Our Big List of Favorite Games  (categorized by age)

Top Free Resources for Pre-K

Sharing with: The Mommy Club, Weekly Kids Co-op,Family Fun Friday,