Friday, September 14, 2007

Aiming High

by Lynn Bowen Walker

At one point in early motherhood, my goal was simply to keep my boys alive until they reached the age of two. By that time, I figured, their most foolhardy years of investigating electricity outlets and leaping off tall buildings would be over and I could consider my mothering a success.

Eventually the days passed where the job of raising my kids made roping steers look like a staid occupation in comparison. Though my general goal of raising a great family didn’t change, the specifics of my job certainly had. It was time to come up with new goals, goals that went beyond mere survival of the species.

It was at that point I read the advice to come up with a family mission statement, to put into writing a specific picture of how we wanted our homes and families to look. While our homes may not live up to the ideal, we might be “hitting the target more often than we’re missing it because we’re aiming at something,” says author Kathy Peel.

Mission statements can be a valuable tool. Many businesses have them to keep employees on target. A family mission statement can do the same- remind everyone to aspire to a higher standard.
Here’s the family mission statement I came up with: “I want my home to be a welcoming, comfortable place that reflects Christ and meets people’s needs to be loved, nurtured, and listened to.”

Welcoming and comfortable -- meaning I want to achieve some degree of beauty and order, yet not the spic-and-span cleaning standard I know I could never maintain (if I could even achieve it in the first place). Reflecting Christ -- bringing glory to Him in our family’s words, actions, and attitudes, so we might “shine like stars in the universe” to a “crooked and depraved generation” (Philippians 2:15 NIV). It’s a tall order, I know, and one which I’ll shelve by dinnertime if I count on my own abilities. But God can do miracles, and I can trust Him and hope for a miracle beginning in my own sinful, selfish life.

In spite of my and my family’s shortcomings, we “press on,” in the apostle Paul’s words (Philippians 3: 12, 14), not giving up as we keep our goal in sight and pray for God’s help to get us there.

Why don’t you try writing a mission statement for your home? Keep it brief -- a sentence or two should do it -- and see if it doesn’t help you clarify just what your goals are for your home, and for yourself as homemaker.

As Louisa May Alcott once wrote, “Far away, there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations; I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead.”

* * This article is excerpted from Queen of the Castle: 52 Weeks of Encouragement for the Uninspired, Domestically Challenged or Just Plain Tired Homemaker by Lynn Bowen Walker (Thomas Nelson ).

Organize and Beautify

by Vicki Norris

Once the public spaces of your home are sorted out, organizing expert and author of Restoring Order to Your Home Vicki Norris suggests taking the next step toward a guest-ready home- beautifying.

“Organizing is the first critical step to increasing the functionality and enjoyment of your home. After you’ve put in the effort to make better use of your space and establish systems, beautifying your home can be an incentive to maintain your newfound order.” The following are Norris’ four favorite finishes, along with her organizing advice.

Fab Finish #1: Flowers and Plants
According to Norris, flowers and plants are two elements of d├ęcor that do not actually create new clutter. Not only do they uplift and warm a room, they also prevent clutter from building up, when they are placed on surfaces and tables to avoid accumulation. Finally, Norris suggests sending flower arrangements or potted plants as gifts to help brighten others’ moods and spaces.

Fab Finish #2: Family Photos
Not only are photos of loved ones cherished, but they can be neatly displayed in just about any public area of the home. You can de-clutter surfaces by arranging frames on the wall instead of propped on tables. Photos give a sense of history, belonging, and fellowship and can brighten any hallway or room.

Fab Finish #3: Marvelous Memories
Nothing personalizes a room better than a collection of family heirlooms. Items such as antique vases, musical instruments, or teacups that have been passed down make great conversation pieces and add personality to any room. The key is to display your collection artfully and with simplicity.

Fab Finish #4: Everyday Extraordinary
Even ordinary items like purses can be organized in a way that maximize access and add beauty to the home. Norris herself displays her own handbag collection on vintage hooks in her closet. Her daily purse contents can then be easily transferred to any purse of her choice to compliment the outfit of the day! Norris recommends that as you organize your everyday belongings, you think about those interesting items (like handbags) which you could display for enhanced enjoyment and ease of use.

About the Expert: Vicki Norris is a professional organizer, business owner, speaker, television personality, and author who inspires people to live out their priorities. She is author of Reclaim Your Life™ © 2007 and of Restoring Order™ to Your Home, © 2007, a room-by-room household organizing guide, both published by Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, OR. Norris is a regular on HGTV’s nationally syndicated Mission: Organization, and is a recurrent source and contributor to national lifestyle publications including Quick & Simple magazine, Better Homes & Gardens, and Real Simple magazine. Vicki’s books and products are available now at http://www.restoringorder.com/.

Make School Mornings Less Stressful

September marks the beginning of Fall and all the hustle and bustle that goes along with school, sports and extra-curricular schedules. To get your day off to a great start, try these tips:
It’s as easy as A-B-C!

A- Appetites: Lunches and snacks
● If lunches or snacks need to be made, make them the night before and keep in the refrigerator. You can also make sandwiches ahead of time and store them in the freezer.
● Do your children buy their lunch? Make sure they have lunch money in their bag or money in their account at school.

B- Book bags and Backpacks
● Double check that homework is done and put backpacks and book bags by the front door.
● Find out if forms need to be signed or library books returned.
● Review any activities for the next day- practices, special activities etc.

C- Clothing
● Have each child lay out their school clothes the night before, complete with shoes and socks and jackets or sweaters.
● All out of clean clothes? There’s still time to wash them.
● Even better… lay out clothes for the whole week on Sunday night.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Moving with Kids: Trivia Guide

Here's a fun way to ease the transition of relocation and help kids learn about their new community: Create the "Ultimate Trivia Guide" to your new town. Here are 17 ideas of what to look for in this around-the-town trivia hunt. You don't have to cover everything listed - these are categories to get you started.

Trivia Topics

The community:
o Famous residents
o Celebrity visitors
o Natural wonders
o Must-see sights
o Booming businesses
o Little-known facts
o Unsolved mysteries
o Claim to fame

Local scene:
o Entertainment
o Parks

Where to Find Trivia Info
o Observation (your own and others)
o Web sites (community and school)
o Brochures on local attractions
o Travel guide books
o Local history museum
o Monuments and memorials
o Local cemeteries (for famous former residents)
o Signs and plaques
o New friends and neighbors
o Local library and newspapers

5 Fun Summer Activities for Families

1. Buy a disposable camera for each family member. Over a few weeks period compete to see which family member can take the most pictures of wildlife in the backyard - birds, squirrels, rabbits, etc. Develop the pictures and give out awards for the person who captures the most animals on film, and the person who took the best photo. You can then make a nature scrapbook with the photos.

2. Make your own kites on a rainy day, then attempt to fly them on a windy day.

3. Gather up old clothes with stains and breathe new life into them by tye-dying or tea staining.

4. Find the nearest "pick-your-own" fruit farm and go harvesting. You can use the fruit in seasonal recipes, freeze some for winter or make some jam to enjoy and give away.

5. Choose a classic book to read together as a family. Read a chapter aloud after dinner each night. Pop popcorn and discuss the story.

Right and Wrong Reasons to Give

By: Rachel Olsen, Speaker Team Member

Giving that pleases God is not as much about the amount given as it is about the attitude with which it's done. Jesus highly commended the poor widow who placed but a couple coins in the offering plate (Matthew 12:41-44). He was pleased with her giving because she gave all she had - which takes faith, trust and a heart that is dependent on God.

The Bible lays out both right and wrong reasons to give. Let's take a look at the wrong reasons first. According to the Bible, there are several improper motives for giving:

1. The desire to be noticed by other people. Jesus says that those who give to receive public acclaim for their gifts will forfeit any reward they might have received from God (Matthew 6:1-4).

2. The desire to appear more generous than you are. This seems to be the sin of Ananias and Sapphira, who gave a part of a sum -withholding the rest for themselves - while claiming it was the whole amount (Acts 5:1-11).

3. Giving out of compulsion. "Compulsion" is the state of feeling forced, pressured, or obligated. Paul writes, "Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver" (2 Corinthians 9:7).

So what, according to the Bible, are some right reasons to give?

1. It is a reasonable response of appreciation for all God has done. Paul writes, "For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich (2 Corinthians 8:9).

2. It is an act of worship. When we give to others in need, we are actually giving to Christ Himself. Jesus said, "The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me'" (Matthew 25:40).

3. It is a command to obey. Jesus (Luke 12:33) and His apostles (2 Corinthians 8:7) told us to give. Although Christian giving is much more than a duty, it is also an act of obedience to our God. After all, the money came from and belongs to Him in the first place.

4. It is a great investment. God promises to reward us for giving with right motives. "In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life" (1 Timothy 6:19).

In summary, when we give away tangible assets to help others in need or to further the Kingdom of God, we are engaging in an act of worship that will ultimately lead to tangible assets for ourselves in eternity. With the right perspective, giving becomes easy!

May we each learn to live as the early church described in Acts 4:32: "All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had."

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Your Child's Personality

by Van Walton

I first realized how varied children were when I marched into the classroom with my teaching degree in hand, ready to create masterful lesson plans that would challenge and encourage. Soon it dawned on me that what motivated some, bored others; what built curiosity in boys aggravated girls; what delighted the extrovert, grated on the introvert; what moved the right brained, baffled the left brained; what made sense to the serious student, confused the casual learner. You get the picture.

Our homes are no different. Here we attempt to rear multiple children under one roof, with a set of house rules, limited space, and tight budgets. On a given day a mother must relate to her children according to their birth orders, learning styles, personal preferences, and social adaptabilities. She must also contend with each child's personality style in order to successfully raise her family. Learning more about the four basic personality types can help.

The Four Types:

The sanguine is the Popular child - an extrovert whose goal is to have fun, talk, and spend time with people.

The choleric is the Powerful child - an extrovert whose goal is to take control, be organized, and have purpose.

The melancholy is the Perfect child - an introvert whose goal is to understand the routine, be orderly, and accomplish tasks.

The phlegmatic is the Peaceful child - an introvert who desires a stress-free environment, respect, and harmony.

Most children exhibit traits from at least two of the above descriptions, with one being predominant. Look for the traits most clearly and frequently displayed by each child in your family, then plan some summer activities adapted to each child's natural preferences.

Summer Activities by Type:

Popular child - will be happy when busy having fun, especially with friends. This child likes doing colorful crafts, attending camp, or taking lots of active field trips. If doing a summer play, this child would like to be the actor.

Powerful child - will feel happy and important if allowed to make plans for a picnic, a day trip or a family project. This child enjoys being completely in charge of something. If doing a summer play, this child would like to be the director.

Perfect child - doesn't require lots of activity, and is especially content when life is orderly and activities are well-planned in advance. This child is often content to read books together or to visit the library weekly. If doing a summer play, this child would like to design the program, sell the tickets or video the event.

Peaceful child - also thrives on quiet activities and a slower-paced schedule. Preferring not to go too many places, this child often enjoys watching television, playing video or board games, and going to the movies. If doing a summer play, this child would like to write the story.

Using what you have learned about the four personality styles, use the following suggestions to offer a variety of summer activities, making sure to respect the needs and strengths of each of your children.

Art portfolio
Journaling diary
CraftsGames
Pet Show
Parade
Movies, Videos
Vacation Bible School / Backyard Bible Club
Scrap booking
Day tripsCollections (nature collection, coin, stamp etc)
Backyard Camp Outs and Cook Outs
Park
Pool
Picnics
Gardening
Nature Walks
Fishing
Sports or hobby camps

For more information read Your Child's Personality by Florence Littauer or Smarter Not Harder by Sharon Marshall Johnson with Marita Littauer.

Van Walton is available to speak to your group of mothers, women, teachers, youth leaders, teens or couples. Knowledge of temperaments frees individuals to be the people God created them to be and helps us understand one another, leading to peaceful and harmonious relationships.

Hospitalitudes

by Pat Ennis

Happy are those…

  • who practice biblical hospitality because in so doing they are demonstrating their love for God (1 John 3:17-18).
  • who "pursue the love of strangers" for they are choosing to obey their heavenly Father's command and modeling His character (Romans 12:13b).
  • in church leadership who practice hospitality for they allow others to observe them in their homes where their character is most graphically revealed (1 Timothy 3:1-2; Titus 1:5-8).
  • who include people of all cultures on their guests list for in this manner they are demonstrating the expansive love of their heavenly Father (John 3:16).
  • who are willing to make the sacrifice to practice hospitality for they understand that good memories require time and energy to create (Exodus 12:1-14).
  • who develop hospitality management skills for in this way they are capable of being faithful stewards of all that our Lord has provided for them (1 Corinthians 4:2).
  • who intentionally extend hospitality to "the others"- singles, widows, the grieving, the hospitalized, those with dietary challenges, and those experiencing food insecurity-for they are choosing to live out biblical compassion (James 2:14-16).
  • whose homes are both a place of refuge and a center for evangelism for they are glorifying their heavenly Father by their actions (1 Peter 2:11-12) and fulfilling His instructions "to do the work of an evangelist" (2 Timothy 4:5).
  • who have consecrated their lives to their heavenly Father for they are then capable of practicing true biblical hospitality (2 Corinthians 4:7).
  • who have consecrated their china to their Lord's service for they have the opportunity of helping others to "taste and see that the LORD is good" (Psalm 34:8).
  • who do not become disillusioned in practicing biblical hospitality for they understand that in due time they will reap if they do not grow weary (Galatians 6:9).
  • who acknowledge that they are unable to practice biblical hospitality in their own strength, for by this means they learn that our Lord's power overcomes their weaknesses and allows them to become vessels used for His honor and glory (2 Corinthians 12:9-10; Philippians 4:13)!

Pat Ennis is professor and establishing chairperson of Home Economics at The Master's College, Santa Clarita, California. She is a contributing author to Think Biblically! Recovering a Christian World © Crossway Publishers and co-author of Becoming a Woman Who Pleases God © 2003 and Designing a Lifestyle that Pleases God, Moody Publishers © 2004 by Pat Ennis and Lisa Tatlock from which this article was adapted with permission.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Taming the TV: Guarding Kid's Heart

By: Rachel Olsen

Many parents find themselves competing daily with the media for influence over their kids. Madison Avenue, Hollywood, and cable channels such as MTV and even Nickelodeon have much they'd like to teach our children -and their teaching methods are more memorable than the average parent's lecture. It is not news to parents that too much television viewing is harmful for kids - but how much is "too much" and what kind of harm can it do?

Much ado is made about the affects of violence on television. Research indicates that by the time the average child finishes elementary school, they will have seen 8,000 televised murders. By the time that child reaches the age of eighteen, they will have viewed more than 200,000 acts of violence on TV, including 40,000 murders.

In an unprecedented joint statement in 2000, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association, and the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry concluded that children who repeatedly view violent programming: 1) are more likely to think violence is an effective strategy for settling conflicts, 2) are less likely to take helpful action when witnessing a real life occurrence of violence, 3) fear becoming a victim, increase self-protective behaviors, and develop a general mistrust of others, and 4) have a higher tendency for violent and aggressive behavior later in life.

Clearly, watching a lot of televised violence can be troublesome to a young, developing psyche. However, numerous studies also show that substance use, sexual promiscuity, obesity, negative body image, and decreased school performance can all stem from the television viewing habits of our kids.

So how much TV is too much? The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children 2 years and older watch two or less hours of television per day, while children under the age of 2 years watch no television. A study that followed the viewing habits of kids from 1990-1998 revealed that 17 percent of infants, 48 percent of 1-year olds, and 41 percent of preschoolers watch more television daily than the AAP recommends.

Perhaps even more important than controlling the amount of television watched by our children and youth is monitoring the type of shows they are viewing. It is no longer safe, for example, to assume that because something is animated or is marketed to kids, that it is child-appropriate.

Parents are recommended to pre-screen what they allow their children to watch and - as often as possible - to watch along side their kids so they can interpret and explain what is seen. Many televisions today are equipped with the capability to block out certain shows or entire channels that parents deem unacceptable. Put that technology to work for you.

While many of these findings are worrisome, parents can exert some control.
  • We can keep televisions out of our children's rooms.
  • We can limit the amount of time we allow the television to be viewed.
  • We can screen the type of programming we allow into our homes.
  • We can talk to our kids about the dangers of media influence.

So the facts are in, turning off the TV to read, bike, play a board game, entertain friends or take a nature walk is an excellent idea for the emotional, social, physical, and intellectual well being of our children. Before you toss that television set out by the curb, just remember that a little TV is okay, as long as we monitor both the amount and quality of the shows our children watch.

Margin

By: Rachel Olsen

Are you overly busy, tired, moody, stressed, and/or in debt? Is your health, happiness or relationships suffering because of it?

What you are a suffering from is overload, and what you need is more MARGIN.

Medical doctor Richard Swenson, author of Margin: Restoring Emotional, Physical, Financial, and Time Reserves to Overloaded Lives, defines margin as "the space that once existed between ourselves and our limits." It's the cushion of extra time, energy, cash and capacity that allows us to deal easily with the unanticipated situations that arise in everyday life: a broken down car, a lost item, a sick child, a friend in crisis. Swenson maintains that to be fully healthy we need margin in at least four areas of our life: emotional energy, physical energy, time and finances. Below are some ways to increase margin in each of these areas.

Physical Energy
  • Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.
  • Drinks lots of water.
  • Exercise frequently.
  • Get enough rest.
  • Be realistic about your limits.

Time

  • Schedule in personal time, free time.
  • Schedule in family time.
  • Turn off the television.
  • Do "first things first."
  • Create weekly fun or nurturing rituals.
  • Realize many things take longer than expected.
  • Be willing to abandon your agenda for God's divine appointments.

Finances

  • Decrease spending.
  • Give.
  • Increase savings.
  • Make a budget.
  • Take credit cards out of your wallet.
  • Share and borrow with friends.
  • Go on periodic spending fasts.

This past Lent season, I sensed God calling me to a spending fast. I gave up shopping, eating out at restaurants, or buying anything but groceries and gas. It was hard at first, but ultimately a freeing experience.

When my girlfriends invited me out shopping I went, but focused myself entirely on them. I became their personal shopper, and had so much fun doing it. I also used up foods from the back of my pantry and freezer that I had nearly forgotten I had. They made for delicious, inexpensive meals. I gave away more money than usual, donating to non-profit organizations like my local crisis pregnancy center. When it came time for a baby shower for a new Christian in our church, I dug out my barely-been-used, top-of-the-line baby monitor I'd been meaning to take to the consignment shop and wrapped it up: "From my home to yours with blessings for the baby." I also found I spent more time with my family - playing games with the kids and working in the yard with my husband. I began to glimpse what life could be like with more margin - and the view was enticing.

Dr. Swenson writes, "Progress has had many overpriced ideas, but trading us burnout for margin was one of its most uncharitable." Pick a few ways from the lists above and bless yourself and by beginning to restore margin to your life today.

Marriage According to God

By: Rachel Olsen, Speaker Team Member

Genesis 2:24, "Therefore a man leaves his father and mother and cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh." (RSV)

1 Peter 3:1-2, "… you wives must accept the authority of your husbands, even those who refuse to accept the Good News. Your godly lives will speak to them better than any words. They will be won over by watching your pure, godly behavior." (NLT)

1 Peter 3:7, "In the same way, you husbands must give honor to your wives. Treat her with understanding as you live together. She may be weaker than you are, but she is your equal partner in God's gift of new life. If you don't treat her as you should, your prayers will not be heard." (NLT)

Colossians 3:18-19, "A wife must put her husband first. This is her duty as a follower of the Lord. A husband must love his wife and not abuse her." (CEV)

Song of Solomon 2:3, "Like an apple tree among the trees in the forest, so is my beloved among the young men. I want to sit in his shadow. His fruit tastes sweet to me. He leads me into a banquet room and looks at me with love." (GWT)

Hebrews 13:4, "Honor marriage, and guard the sacredness of sexual intimacy between wife and husband. God draws a firm line against casual and illicit sex." (MSG)

Ephesians 4:31, "Get rid of your bitterness, hot tempers, anger, loud quarreling, cursing and hatred. Be kind to each other, sympathetic, forgiving each other as God has forgiven you through Christ." (GWT)

Fighting Words

By: Rachel Olsen, Speaker Team Member

Research indicates many couples break up because they do not know how to resolve their differences through communication. This month’s issue of the P31 Woman featured an article on “Fighting Fair” by Dr. Steve Stephens and Alice Gray, authors of The Walk Out Woman.

These authors offered useful information for resolving arguments constructively including:

  • Select an appropriate time and place to discuss the issue.
  • Discuss only one issue at a time and don’t drag up past offensives.
  • Try not to interrupt when your spouse is speaking.
  • Work towards a compromise or a solution that each person can live with.
  • Choose your words respectfully and carefully, and apologize if need be at the end of the discussion for anything hurtful you may have said.

That last tip – to choose our words respectfully and carefully – is something the Bible says a lot about. God knows hostile words breed resentment and aggression, and these are major obstacles to resolving conflicts. Proverbs 15:1 says, “A gentle answer turns away anger, but a harsh word stirs up wrath.”

Proverbs 12:18 says, “There is one who speaks rashly, like a piercing sword; but the tongue of the wise [brings] healing.” Here, speaking rashly (hastily, impulsively, and carelessly) is linked with speaking piercing (cutting, wounding, and destructive) words. So when we blurt out in anger, in self-defense or in retaliation, we tend to do so with damaging words that create a larger divide between us and our spouse.

Hastily venting negative emotions may “clear our chest” temporarily, but it only serves to escalate the conflict. The same is true of name-calling, cursing and sarcasm. Each of these word choices will carry you farther and farther away from a solution or resolution.

How much better it is to remain calm and choose our words carefully. Proverbs 15:28 says, “The mind of the righteous person thinks before answering, but the mouth of the wicked blurts out evil things.” Proverbs 29:11 echoes that point, explaining, “A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man holds it in check.”

Jesus’ brother James wrote to early Christians advising, “My dearly loved brothers, understand this: everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger” (James 1:19). James understood that words have an eternal nature. He knew that once they are spoken, the damage they do cannot be simply erased. He remembered his brother Jesus warning, “I tell you that on the day of judgment people will have to account for every careless word they speak” (Matthew 12:36).

All couples experience conflict from time to time. Successfully navigating our way through disagreement can leave our marriage – or any relationship - stronger than before. Taming our tongue to communicate effectively and respectfully is key. We do not have to become one of the statistics of divorce. When discussing a problem or issue, keep focused on the goal to mutually resolve the conflict and restore the relationship. Then, carefully choose words that will move you towards, and not away from these goals.

Rachel is a member of the P31 Speaker Team and holds a master’s degree in family communication. Some of her topics include FRUITFUL FAMILES and THE PURPOSE DRIVEN MOM.

Finding Easter

By Marie Ogram

These days it's often hard to find Christ at Easter amidst all the bunnies, chicks, and eggs! Here are two great ways to “find” Christ in the typical customs and celebrations.

Resurrection Egg Hunt – While most plastic eggs contain candy, you can teach kids about the Easter story by hunting for eggs filled with small objects pertaining to the Easter story. After the eggs have been collected, explain the meaning behind each object by reading its corresponding scriptures.

You may find a ready made set of these eggs for this purpose, or you can make your own using the following items:
  • Nails- John 19:34,37
  • Thorns- Matthew 27:29
  • Herbs- Matthew 27:34
  • Wooden Cross- John 19:17-18
  • Dice- March 15:24
  • 30 coins- Matthew 26:15
  • Stone- Matthew 27:66
  • Piece of sponge- Mark 15:36
  • Piece of purple cloth- Mark 15:16
  • Piece of linen(gauze) March 15:46 S
  • ign-King of the Jews- Matthews 27:37
  • Empty egg- Matthew 27:5-7

Easter Basket Hunt - Another idea my family has done is to create a biblical scavenger hunt to find Easter baskets. The first clue is left in the Bible. All clues are simply Bible references. The Scripture is not written out. Children have to go back to the Bible with the clue and read for the next clue. If you have older children who can read, have them figure out the clues on their own. Smaller children can listen to the clues being read. You can make up as many clues as you want. Here are some ideas:

  • John 11:35 (at the tissue box leave the next clue)Scripture for this one is “Jesus wept.”
  • Matthew 5:13 (at the salt shaker leave the next clue)Scripture for this one is “Salt of the Earth.”
  • Matthew 5:14 (at the lamp or light switch leave the next clue)Scripture is “Light of the World.”
  • John 6:48 ( at the bread box leave the next clue)Scripture is “I am the Bread of Life.”

Like Christmas, Easter can easily become about everything but Christ. Get inventive and find ways to bring the focus back to the reason for this Lenten season.