Today kicks off week 4 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), the second virtue was Love (check that one out here at 12 Weeks Of Virtue Week 2: Love) and the third virtue was Forgiveness (check that out here at 12 Weeks Of Virtue Week 3: Forgiveness). You and your family can start at anytime from the beginning or in any order you choose according to your family’s desire. Our third virtue that is our focus of this weeks devotions is Faith…..
Like most of this book, In This House We Will Giggle and the sentiments the author Courtney DeFeo includes, I love the statement. Faith is something that we need to thrive to teach our children early and well and doing so with our words is far less effective than showing them with our actions.…
What is Faith?
The Kids Definition of Faith is:
Knowing, loving, and following Jesus.
This chapter in the book is incredible for not just explaining faith and what it means to have faith, but it also gives you the means to be intentional daily when trying to create an environment that encourages their faith to thrive (without adding to your never-ending to do list). Once again there are some great “Catch Phrases” for talking TO your children about faith. It ‘s simple when you break it down into the 3 parts from the kids definition
Knowing Jesus, for our children, begins with US introducing Jesus to our children, assuming you yourself know Him and have a relationship with Him (It’s now that I must pause for a second, if you have a personal relationship with Christ you know what I am going to say, feel free to skip ahead, this isn’t for you. If you don’t have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, I AM SPEAKING RIGHT TO YOU. It is never too late to spark a fresh new relationship with Jesus Christ. You are not too blemished, too broken, or too full of sin for Him to welcome you with open arms. Jesus longs to be your source of comfort and peace, He calls to you and if you wish to hear Him I would love to have coffee and talk about it with you if you are near to me. I encourage you to find a Christ centered church in your area and connect, because it is in my personal experience that if you can, your understanding of His word and Will for your life will become far more apparent through the ability to connect & communicate with experienced Christian men & woman.)
Loving Jesus, will likely come easy for your children after you introduce Him. Christ tells us to have “child like faith” for a reason, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it” (Mark 10:14–15). My personal understanding of these verses is that because children don’t have a natural tendency to over think and over analyze every last part of their faith walk or life-like adults do they have a more joyful, humble understanding of loving Jesus. Children don’t natural base love on condition like adults can so easily do. It will come far more naturally to them when they also see the example. For us parents though, watching our children loving Jesus will likely be something that grows us more in our faith while we watch them learn to love Him. I know that for me, watching my oldest (15 yr. old) daughter learn to know and love Jesus has brought countless opportunities for my own personal faith to grow as a result of her obedient faith walk. Watching my younger girls will surely bring me more of those opportunities. Now this brings us to the last part…
Following Jesus is something that in my more than 2 decades of knowing Jesus, and Loving Jesus has always been the hardest part for me to continue to do as a Christian. I am a stubborn, opinionated, busy brained person, that is who my flesh makes me. I can follow Jesus well in the easy things most of the time, but in a few different seasons of my life I have struggled more than others with following Jesus in the big or hard things. Now at least in my case, this hasn’t been because I don’t trust His direction, rather the case is typically that I haven’t taken the time to consult Him at all. I have not always been good at spending time in prayer regularly to hear The Holy Spirit and His direction and sadly I have let my personal fear or doubt keep me from acting when I do know the way He wants me to go.
It’s because this area in my faith walk is an area that has been the most constant struggle for me in my years of knowing Jesus that I was further confirmed about this journey to giggle more that God wanted for my family this summer and also in this blog series. This blog series is quite literally an act of me following Him. I too often chicken out when I feel my faith being tested through acts of certain obedience. I must be better in this area and it is because I need the visual reminder this week maybe more that 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 of 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. Faith 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 FAITH 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 Heritage of Faith and it may be my favorite of all the activities. A beautiful idea, a very creative way to teach your children (and potential grandchildren and so on and so on) faith 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 Family Activity Instructions & explanation! A quick general explanation is that you will be creating a “family journal” of sorts where you and your spouse and even children can take time out to record stories and experiences of you trusting God and how He answered those prayers so you can reference back.
Memory Verse: I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20
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 Romans 5:1 and introduce Our Heritage of Faith.
Tuesday – Daily Devotion for the day, read Romans 10:17 and discuss first 4 Family Discussion Questions included in the Memory Verse PDF
Wednesday – Daily Devotion for the day, read Deuteronomy 6:6-9 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 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 Galatians 3:26 and discuss the remaining 4 Family Discussion Questions.
Friday – Daily Devotion for the day, read Hebrews 11:1 and participate in this weeks Encourage Activity, this weeks we will be writing letters to people in our family to thank them for making positive decisions that have impacted our family .
Saturday – Daily Devotion for the day, read The beginning, a perfect home… in “The Jesus Storybook Bible” as well as participate in a fun Family Activity Day, for this I will be introducing a Family Journal for our family to begin using to document those moments of faith testimonies, however since this weeks Family Activity is a onging activity, I will likely encourage everyone to take some time to write their first entry.
Virtue four-Faith 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-Faith. I encourage you 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 to 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 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 encourage 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 8 weeks. My week will be busy as my husband and I are preparing to head out-of-town for our 10 year wedding anniversary but I do intend to still have some new reading material to release throughout the week. Life has a way of making certain things and people priorities when you try to live intentionally in God’s will though and that means sometimes my plans for myself change! Have a blessed and Joyful LOVE and GRACE filled week and remember the best way to teach faith is to live faithfully. 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 everyday!
As always, thanks for reading!