Favorite Things for Moms! (GIVEAWAY!)

Sometimes, God surprises me with little tokens of his love – an unexpected note of encouragement from a friend or the miraculous provision of a financial need. I revel in these reminders of God’s gracious and sovereign character in my life, because as a mother I have a tendency to become consumed by the world of my family.

Schedules, dinner plans, family relationships often take center stage in my heart. So to pull my attention back to him, God uses these love tokens to remind me that motherhood should include setting an example to my children that there are no borders on God’s love. And as God’s servants, we are compelled by his love to serve more than just our immediate family, but rather, the entire world.

One such love token given to me by God was the discovery of The Adopt Shoppe – an adorable Etsy store of handmade jewelry and Scripture wear made by an equally adorable shop owner named Kate.

Wanting to expand their family from two children to more but unable to do biologically, Kate and her husband began the exciting journey of adoption.

“Through the miracle of adoption, we are blessed to have another daughter and we are in the process of adopting again!!” Kate explains on her Facebook page. “I opened my little shop to help pay for our adoption expenses. Every penny of profit goes toward our adoption(s).”

Kate’s passion for adoption is conveyed in her jewelry. Her wooden tile necklaces are gentle reminders of the importance of the biblical mandates to care for the less fortunate and love one another. In some of her necklaces, she uses fair trade materials such as recycled paper beads crafted by Ugandan women.

“The women carefully roll strips of magazines by hand into lovely, unique and earthy looking beads,” said Kate, explaining that many of these women left a life of picking trashing or prostitution and now depend on their bead-making skills to provide for their children.

This week The Adopt Shoppe introduced a new line of necklaces made from tagua (tog-wa) nut beads, a sustainable product made from the nuts of South American rain forest palm trees. As an eco-friendly product, they provide employment for nearly 35,000 people.

“I am passionate about orphans and try to do everything I can for them. Whether it is a child in Africa, on the other side of the world, in a homeless shelter, or foster care system here in America, there is no difference,” writes Kate. “These children in need (through no fault of their own) need the ORDINARY people in this world (like me and you) to give them help to change their world for the better. We can’t change the whole world by helping just one, but the whole world for that one…CHANGES,” Kate says.

Don’t you just love it when people practice what they preach? But don’t you love it even more when they propel you to do so as well?

Because The Adopt Shoppe is one of my favorite things for mom’s, we’re giving one lucky reader a $20 gift card to use in Kate’s Etsy store! To enter to win, simply ‘like’ Hive Resources on Facebook! Then come back and leave us a comment telling us you did so! For non-Facebook users, simply leave us a comment. If you already ‘like’ us on FB, then consider sharing this article with your pals. Giveaway ends Friday, Jan. 13 at midnight! CONTEST HAS ENDED!

According to Random.org, the winner of the $20 gift card to The Adopt Shoppe is DAWN (comment #13). Congrats Dawn! You’ll be receiving an email from me shortly!

Special thanks to Nicole Seitler of the Sugarplum Paperie for permission to use her digital designs to create our “Favorite Things” headers.

About

Melissa Deming is the creator of Hive Resources — a site to help women sweeten their walk with Christ through Bible study, ministry and missions resources, and more. She is the author of "Daughters of the King: Finding Your Place in the Biblical Story." Melissa has an M.Div. in Women’s Studies from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Favorite Things for Kids (GIVEAWAY!)

God gave me the biggest epiphany of my life in 2011. I can (and should be) putting my passion for dividing God’s Word to use in my own home. Specifically, my desire to teach Bible studies finds no greater outlet than in teaching my own children how to love God and the world.

[pullquote style=”left” quote=”dark”]Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Deut. 6:4-7[/pullquote] This probably sounds like a no-brainer to seasoned, Bible-lovin’ mamas. But even though I cognitively grasped God’s plan for biblical parenting in Deuteronomy 6, I just didn’t know what that plan looked like in life’s everyday moments.

But after being thrown into frequent children’s ministry in the new church plant we attend, God revealed to me that teaching my own children about him is more than a parental obligation. Teaching my children to love God is an exciting privilege that produces precious blessings unparalleled in any other classroom.

First, God showed me that teaching moments in the home occur 24/7. My kids are learning from me even when we aren’t sitting at the table for Bible story time. They’re absorbing my reactions to life both in the home and out. They’re watching and repeating my fears, my behaviors, my words, and more. (Oh yeah. Positively scary).

[pullquote style=”right” quote=”dark”]Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates. Deut. 6:8-9[/pullquote]Second, God showed me that I needed a plan in order to properly teach my kids about their need for Christ. In my first two years as a mother, most of the ‘instruction’ I provided my children came wrapped in discipline after disobedience. But I discovered that if I am to follow the full measure behind Deut. 6, then I need to be proactively training my children in righteousness rather than waiting for teaching moments to arise out of life circumstances.

So, I started putting together small breakfast devotionals for the twins. I began by reading stories directly from the Bible while they munched on their cereal. After finding some wonderful mom and homeschooling blogs (look for my ‘favorite blogs’ on Thursday!), I followed up our short Scripture readings with a coloring page, simple craft, or memory verse game.

Our breakfast devotions have varied in length and activity (and some days they don’t happen at all), but my favorite devotion inspiration I discovered in 2011 is the Jesus Storybook Bible by children’s book author Sally Lloyd Jones.

The Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name by Sally Lloyd Jones

What this book’s about: The Jesus Storybook Bible shares the main story of Scripture in a clear way that all children can understand and apply to their lives. Jones re-tells 44 stories from the biblical narrative, beginning with first creation and ending with the second (new) creation, tying them all to the person and work of Christ.

What this book isn’t: This book is a story/picture book. It is NOT a translation of Scripture. And as such, should not replace regular Bible reading with your kids. But it should be used as a creative resource to add to your arsenal for fulfilling Deut. 6.

Why I love this book: First, Jones’ Christ-centric approach to reading Scripture helps children put together the big picture of the Bible. The temptation in teaching children about God’s Word is to give them bite-sized pieces of Scripture. Bible stories are compartmentalized, and we forget to teach children how the stories fit together. The Jesus Storybook Bible has helped me teach my children how to interpret Scripture (it all points to Christ) and how to interpret reality (where they fit into God’s story).

Need help putting together a plan for teaching your kids about Christ in 2012? This month, Sally Lloyd Jones is releasing a full curriculum kit to accompany the Jesus Storybook Bible. The curriculum includes 44 printable lessons, audio clips and bonus videos, memory verses, handouts, and more! And if you pre-order The Jesus Storybook Bible Curriculum Kit, you can save 40% off!

But, if you’re eager to start some breakfast devotions with your own kids and don’t want to wait for the curriculum to be released, then you’re in luck! Because we’re giving away one copy of the Jesus Storybook Bible to one lucky reader of HiveResources.com!

Want to enter to win? Simply ‘like’ Hive Resources on Facebook! Then come back and leave us a comment telling us you did so! For non-Facebook users, simply leave us a comment. If you already ‘like’ us on FB, then consider sharing this article with your pals. Giveaway ends Friday, Jan. 13 at midnight! CONTEST HAS ENDED!

Unfortunately, we didn’t hear back from our first winner of  The Jesus Storybook Bible! That’s great news for our next winner – STACY! Congrats! We just send you an email! Thank you to everyone who entered!

What are some of your favorite things to teach your kids about Christ?

Special thanks to Nicole Seitler of the Sugarplum Paperie for permission to use her digital designs to create our “Favorite Things” headers.

About

Melissa Deming is the creator of Hive Resources — a site to help women sweeten their walk with Christ through Bible study, ministry and missions resources, and more. She is the author of "Daughters of the King: Finding Your Place in the Biblical Story." Melissa has an M.Div. in Women’s Studies from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.