{While I’m on my canoe trip with my brother & Sister-in-law, I have asked a few friends to guest post … Enjoy and show them some love by leaving them a comment of encouragement}

Our desire is that our kids would grow up to be firmly planted trees, not easily swayed or uprooted by the storms of life.

The influences outside the home that are bombarding our kids are growing exponentially every year.  In the face of all this, the burden to protect and impress the right things on our children can sometimes feel overwhelming.  Speaking from experience, the worries of life, the stresses of work, and the grind of raising three kids tempts James and I to just let things slide.  But many years ago we were encouraged by our church to create teachable moments rather than just wait for them to happen.  By setting up routine ways to celebrate and memorize God’s Word, we have seen our kids’ lives truly impacted by the truth of the Gospel.

Deuteronomy 6:5-9

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.  And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart.  You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.  You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.  You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”

The most practical way we do this is with Fighter Verses from Desiring God.  During carpool to school each morning (approx. 8 minutes), we have our kids memorize Scripture using the songs Desiring God has written.  These songs are word for word Scripture, including the address of the verse.  We pick 6-7 Scriptures for the semester and listen to the song over and over for 2-3 weeks at a time.  It’s amazing to see how easily the kids pick it up, and you will too!  We have created incentives for the kids such as earning money towards Main Event for every verse they memorize.  At the end of the semester, we take the kids there, and we celebrate all the Scriptures they have memorized over the past 4 months.  Another important key (for us), was that my kids memorized the Scriptures in community with their friends that ride in the car with us.  Who doesn’t love a friendly competition?    This past school year, my two girls, (ages 7 and 8), memorized 14 verses, some passages 5 verses long.  And if you give them the right tune today, they will immediately recite the verse that goes with that tune!  (And I will too!  Another added bonus- I’m memorizing the Scripture also!)

I love holidays and traditions, and I use these times of the year to incorporate Scripture in our celebrating.  Of course, there are MANY ways to do this with Christmas and Easter.  But for the more obscure holidays, I have found fun ways to celebrate too.  If you ask my kids, they would say the “gold verses” for St. Patricks Day are their favorite.  I picked 17 verses in the Bible that have the word “gold” in them and each day starting March 1st til March 17th we read the verse and the kids get to find a chocolate gold coin too!  For Christmas last year, each of my children got a 12 piece nativity set, and picked one friend in the neighborhood who wouldn’t necessarily own a nativity set.  For 12 days straight (Dec. 1st-12th), they secretly left one piece of the nativity set on the friend’s doorstop along with a note/Bible verse.  On the 12th day of Christmas (when they received the last piece-baby Jesus!), my kids revealed their identity, and now their friends had their own nativity set!  We also tried something new for Lent/Easter this year called Sinning Stones and a Blessing Basket that the whole family was challenged by.

One last thing is a devotional we LOVE by the author that wrote the Jesus Storybook Bible, Sally Lloyd-Jones.  It’s called Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing, and we read it every morning together before school.  It takes maybe 3 minutes, but always leaves you with a thought and verse that resonates with you throughout the day.

John Piper said the vision for his church was to be like solid trees.  Psalm 1 says that meditating on God’s instruction day and night makes you like a tree planted by streams of water.  That means when the drought hits, the people who live in the Bible remain green, bear fruit, feed the hungry, and give shade to the weary.

Let’s join together, and be parents that plant solid trees in our families.

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Julie Paquette loves photography, scrapbooking, volunteering at her kids’ school, and Aggie football!  She and her husband have been married for 12 years, and have two daughters and a son, ages nine and under.  You can read more about the Paquette’s at their blog, or see Julie’s photography work here

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