Today kicks off week 3 of our 12 Weeks of Virtue Summer Challenge that I am doing with my family this summer. As explained in my introduction to our 12 Weeks of Virtues Summer 2017 Challenge this blog series is based on a 12-week challenge I designed around the book “In This House We Giggle” by Courtney DeFeo that I read this past April. The line up of virtue’s and schedule during which I am completing this challenge with my family is included in PDF form 12 Weeks of Virtue Summer Plan. Our first virtue was Joy (check that out here at 12 Weeks Of Virtue Week 1: Joy) and the second virtue was Love (check that one out here at 12 Weeks Of Virtue Week 2: Love) and you can start at any time from the beginning or in any order you choose according to your family’s desire. Our third virtue that is our focus of this week’s devotions is Forgiveness…..
Like most of this book, In This House We Will Giggle and the sentiments the author Courtney DeFeo includes, I agree with the sentiment of this picture wholeheartedly and I feel like it is one of the most valuable virtue’s to not just teach but demonstrate to our children. Forgiveness is something that I feel like until you have learned it, understand its real meaning and can actually feel it in action you will live a life in bondage, and that my friend is what the devil wants! Being a Christian mother doesn’t necessarily make it any easier for me to let go of my flesh desires for anger & revenge or some form of retaliation but it does mean that I know forgiveness on a Christ-like level and that is what we need to thrive to teach our children so that those negative reactions don’t fill their heart instead of forgiveness. The earlier we equip our children with the tools to break the bondage of un-forgiveness the more freedom they will live within their heart. Now before we can equip them with the tools we need to be able to explain to them what forgiveness means, so…
What is forgiveness?
The Kids Definition of Forgiveness is:
Erasing a wrong with love.
This chapter in the book is incredible for not just explaining forgiveness, but also giving you great information and advice about how to not talk AT your children about this incredibly important virtue but instead tips about how to practice forgiveness daily and “Catch Phrases” for talking TO your children about forgiveness. I feel like sometimes when I try to have family talks or heart to hearts with my kids, I get started and the next thing I know I am talking TO them and they are looking at me with a glazed over look. This virtue can be talked about and talked about but honestly, the absolute best way to teach your kids is to demonstrate and Practice forgiveness daily. Below I have listed some of the recommendations Courtney gives, but check out pages 58-62 for more details on each recommendation.
- Help Them Own Their Responsibility
- Try A Delayed Response
- Choose Less Dictating, More Questions (this tip really brings the “Catch Phrases” into play)
- Let It Be Between them and God
- Focus on Restoring Relationships
- Celebrate Progress
It’s because this area took such a long time for me to come to a true understanding of in my own faith walk and that I still find myself struggling with unfortunately on the regular (especially in regards to the demonstrating daily to my children) with this virtue that I knew this was another area in this journey to giggle more that God wanted for my family this summer and also in this blog series. I must be better in this area and it is because I need the visual reminder this week maybe more than any other, that I have again included printable decorative PDF’s for each virtue with a quote that I have found either in the book “In This House We Will Giggle” or elsewhere to encourage me each week as well. This weeks quote jumped off the page at me again and is in this weeks title image also. I will be printing it for my office also so I can reference it easily & regularly. Forgiveness-quote for inspiration
Each week I am going to share with you my “Weekly Outline” for each new Virtue and the PDF’s for the printables that I created and intend to use with my children for this 12 Weeks of Virtue Challenge.
Sunday – Introduce FORGIVENESS Virtue & the Memory Verse for the week & explain the Weekly Activity (the weekly activity alone is a great reason to order or buy the book). For each chapter, there is a two-page Activity Idea detailed and explained. This weeks activity is Our Family Cross and it’s a very creative way to illustrate Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross and once again I recommend you pick up the book “In This House We Will Giggle” by Courtney DeFeo to get the full two-page Activity Instructions & explanation!
Memory Verse: Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Ephesians 4:32
I have created a PDF that includes a printable Memory Verse that I plan to print and display on my refrigerator door for the week on the top and the Family Discussion Questions for the virtue that you can print for free to use.
Monday – Daily Devotion for the day, read Psalm 103:12 and introduce Our Family Cross Activity.
Tuesday – Daily Devotion for the day, read Proverbs 15:1 and discuss first 3 Family Discussion Questions included in the Memory Verse PDF
Wednesday – Daily Devotion for the day, read Isaiah 1:18 and partake in a Bring Out the Giggles Idea. The book includes “60 ways to bring out the giggles” and in my 12 Weeks of Virtues Summer Challenge Schedule, I included 12 that I chose for my family. I encourage you to pick up the book at your local Barnes & Noble or pick it up online through Amazon so you can read the whole book and also have the full list of “60 ways to bring out the giggles” to choose what will appeal to your family most!
Thursday – Daily Devotion for the day, read Matthew 28:6-10 and discuss the remaining 4 Family Discussion Questions.
Friday – Daily Devotion for the day, read 1Corinthians 15:57 and participate in this weeks Encourage Activity, for this I will be reintroducing their “Joy Field Journals” and encouraging them to begin to use these to start journaling. This can be a place they can “talk” through their really hard stuff and times they have felt wronged by others with God.
Saturday – Daily Devotion for the day, read The sun stops shining… in “The Jesus Storybook Bible” as well as participate in a fun Family Activity Day! This week I hope to make a family craft afternoon out of it. My plan is to purchase some various different materials to decorate some wooden crosses that I will purchase from a craft store for each of my girls, my husband & myself too. We can each decorate a cross with materials to best represent our personal peace time with God and display them somewhere we will regularly see them.
Virtue three-Forgiveness Overview of the week
10 Ways to Break a Bad-Mood Cycle a great tool from the book to reference through all 12 weeks!
Lastly, I also created a FREE printable PDF including the other six Daily Devotional verses included here Devotions Verses-Forgiveness. I encourage you to look up all 6 of the Bible Daily Devotions at the start of each week. You can just look them all up at the start of the week and then cut these cards apart to use each one as a page marker for the verse in the bible so you can be prepared. Even though I provide these each week I still encourage you to pull your bibles out & be in the pages of His word looking them up in the translation most comfortable for you. I bookmark them for quick reference but encouraged my 3 oldest girls to take time to look them up in their own bibles. With all 3 of my older girls reading it helps get them familiar with their bibles and gives them ownership over the task.
I hope you choose to join me & my family in this 12 Weeks of Virtue Summer Challenge and if you do decide to, please let me know in the comments! I will be trying to post the remaining Weekly Virtues outline’s in the morning part of the day on Sundays for the next 9 weeks. My weekend was exceptionally busy as we were in full Summer Swing, recovering from celebrating my youngest’s 2nd birthday and our local parade and city festival and I just couldn’t pull myself away from my family and making summer memories this last week so the finishing touches on this post came late, my apologies! I hope you can FORGIVE me lol! Life has a way of making certain things and people priorities when you try to live intentionally in God’s will and that means sometimes my plans for myself change! Have a blessed and Joyful LOVE and GRACE filled week and check back tomorrow for an unrelated post about how I plan to keep my kids brains academically fresh during the summer! Go Forth & Dazzle your summer away making memories with your kiddo’s every day!
As always, thanks for reading!