Grace & Truth ~ How To Connect With Your Teenager

Raising teens is both wonderful and challenging!  Kids are finding their voice and learning how to use it in a God-glorifying way.  They make mistakes…but then again, so do I.  As parents, we are the most important people in the lives of our teens.  Whether they acknowledge it or not – we are. 

Connecting with our teens can be tricky.  But a sincere connection is vital for a healthy family dynamic.  Just over a year ago, God gave me the idea to create a teen girl course with my daughter.  My daughter was excited about the idea and we brainstormed topics together.  We shared ideas and we created video lessons.  I created the worksheets and she edited them.  We came up with ideas for bonus material and she gave me ideas for songs for each lesson.  I never dreamed that this course would become a wonderful way for us to connect and draw closer together.  But it did.  She has ministered to my heart on so many levels.  It truly has been a beautiful gift for both of us. 

It was our intention that our course would draw other teen girls and their mother closer together as well as draw girls closer to God.  So, the fact that we were drawn closer together is a BONUS for us!  PS – if you are interested in this course, it is offered at its lowest price now for a short time.  Cart closes midnight, November 24th.

Because the parent/teen relationship is so important in my life and in my heart, I chose Valerie’s post, How To Connect With Your Teenager, as my feature this week.  Hop on over to her site to read her awesome post.

Valerie, please be sure to grab this “I’ve Been Featured” image below and add it, with a link to this page, to your post so that your readers can celebrate with you!  

Grace and Truth Link-up https://aimeeimbeau.com

Now for this week’s link up!  Let’s bless and encourage one another in our walk with the Lord. Read More

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5 Essential Tools For Building Your Life

Have you ever started to make a delicious dessert only to find that you have run out of an important ingredient…after you already mixed together the first several ingredients?  I have.  More than once.  If I hadn’t run to the grocery store to pick up that missing ingredient, the dessert would have been a disaster.  This is the same idea for building a Godly life.  We need the right building tools.  In this post, I discuss 5 Essential Tools For Building Your Life.   PS – scroll down to the bottom for a free printable set of worksheets for this post.

Do you have what it takes to build your life on Christ? The correct tools make all the difference. Here are 5 Essential Tools For Building Your Life.

We’ve discussed, trusting God with your building plan, building a solid foundation for your life, and allowing God to be your general contractor.  It’s important to cover these ideas before framing our life.  If we have a poor and unstable foundation or the wrong contractor who has no clue about building, then the rest of the structure is going to be unsteady and insecure. Read More

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Grace & Truth ~ 4 Ways Jesus Approached Disappointed People

Being in ministry, I come across people who are disappointed in me.  “The event wasn’t advertised well enough” or “This is how I used to do it”.  Sometimes, certain people simply want to complain – they look for something to grumble about (and they are sure to find it quickly!).  It is incredibly frustrating and extremely discouraging.  I know I’ve been in the position several times where I wonder if leading Women’s Ministry is really worth it.  That maybe there is a better woman for the job.  It’s hard to hear those criticisms – especially when the encouragement is few and far between.  NOTE: if you appreciate your WM director, pastor’s wife, kids’ Sunday School teacher, Children’s ministry director – TELL THEM!  It’s amazing just how far a few encouraging words can go. 

Becuase I understand the challenging relationships that being in ministry can have, I chose Christa’s post as my feature this week. 4 Ways Jesus Approached Disappointed People encouraged me and gave some practical tips I can take into my ministry – both online and at church.   Head on over to her site to read her post.

Christa, please be sure to grab this “I’ve Been Featured” image below and add it, with a link to this page, to your post so that your readers can celebrate with you!  

Grace and Truth Link-up https://aimeeimbeau.com

Now for this week’s link up!  Let’s bless and encourage one another in our walk with the Lord. Read More

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When You Are Looking For A Christmas Themed Bible Study

Christmas is just around the corner.  Are you ready for the hustle and bustle?  Often times, the holidays are full of busyness and a jam-packed schedule.  It can be difficult to find time for yourself let alone God.  So, I want to share with you one of my favorite Christmas-themed Bible Study Resources.  So, When You Are Looking For A Christmas Themed Bible Study, then look no further!  PLUS – check out all the fantastic bonuses at the bottom of the post!

When You Are Looking For A Christmas Themed Bible Study

I love all of Sarah Ann’s resources.  She is a good blogging friend of mine and we’ve known each other for quite a few years now.  She always creates quality products.  You might remember her Family Bible Study Kit from earlier this year.  It is a fabulous resource that is perfect for the entire family.  

Well, now, just in time for this holiday season, she has released her brand new product, Discovering Hope: Holiday Bible Study Kit.

So, what’s inside this kit?  Well, I bought one for myself, so let’s take a look!

Bible Study Guides

Sarah Ann has created 2 Bible Study guides.  One for Thanksgiving and one for Christmas.

In the Thanksgiving guide, she focuses on scriptures related to being thankful, leading us to have a heart of thankfulness to God for His character, salvation, and our identity in Christ.

In the Christmas guide, she explores the promise, life, and ministry of Jesus. 

A Reflection Journal

Oh, now these are so good!  If you really want to go deep with the Lord, this journal will help you do just that.  These pages accompany the study guide mentioned above. 

The thoughtful questions will really help you draw closer to God. 

I can’t wait to use these!

Prayer and Journal Calendars

I like this calendar.  It will be easy for me to hole punch and stick in my existing prayer journal.  There is great little prayer prompts for each day. 

The prompts will encourage you to cultivate a heart of prayer in your life.

Again, one calendar for each study guide – Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Bible Journaling

OK, now this one is my absolute favorite!  I love to Bible journal.  But because I am not that gifted in art, I need some templates to help me out.  Sarah Ann’s templates are great for me!  YAY for Bible journaling!

FOCUS Cards

These cards are such a great idea.  Simply print, cut, and stick somewhere to read every day.  Each card has a promise to speak to myself as well as a scripture reference. 

There are 2 sets of 4 cards – one for Thanksgiving and one for Christmas.

Prayer & Gratitude Journals

OK, so then this is my next favorite.  I love the idea of having separate pages just for Thanksgiving and Christmas prayers.  And, honestly, I don’t think we can ever be grateful enough for all the blessings we have. 

It is good to reflect on being grateful.

Daily Blessings

Here is another great idea!  There is a spot to jot down things I am thankful for today, a prayer journal box, verse of the day, and ideas for blessing others.  And then the last page is all for journaling my blessings.  Meditating on my blessings is a good practice to be into – this brings joy, peace, and thankfulness. 

Bonuses!!

You knew there would be some bonuses, didn’t you?  Sarah Ann has 3 awesome bonuses for everyone who purchases before October 23. 

The first is a little resource called 5 Keys to Thriving in Holiday Bible Study.  This PDF will help you get organized and use the Bible Study to its full potential.

The second is a set of 8 wallpapers for your phone or tablet.  I can’t wait to get mine on my phone!

The third is an exclusive opportunity to join her Thrive FB group (PS – I am in this group!).

OK, that’s not all.  I’m throwing in my own little bonus here!

I created a Promises of Christmas printable as well as 8 pretty Christmas Cards for you to print and use.

Sarah Ann’s extra goodies are only available until October 23, but mine will be available for a while.

In order to claim my bonus, please email me a copy of your receipt and I will send you the PDF.

Price

Now, what’s the lowdown on the price?  Well, this really is a SUPER deal!  Until October 23, Sarah Ann has a special launch price for ALL of the above – $8.99!!!  After October 23, the price will go up to $12.99.  

When You Are Looking For A Christmas Themed Bible Study

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Grace & Truth ~ 4 Prayers For Our Daughters

Several Sunday’s ago, an uncomfortable question was raised to parents.  “Are you praying for your children every day?  And do your kids know that you are?”  I was confident in my response to the first questions…but I wasn’t sure if my kids actually knew with their whole hearts that I prayed for them as I do.  Before I could even begin a discussion on the sermon when we got home, my oldest daughter brought up the topic by thanking me for praying for her like I do.  She expressed how important my prayers were to her.  

Ladies, I can’t stress enough just how imperative your prayers are for your children.  Sometimes, they may not seem like they do any good.  But I know, without a doubt, that those prayers mean everything.  Without prayer, our parenting efforts are fruitless.  But with prayer, well, that’s an entirely different story.  That’s why I chose Timberley’s post, 4 Prayers For Our Daughters, as this week’s feature.  The 4 prayers she offers in her post are good reminders for us moms.  These prayers are a great starting point for developing a strong prayer life over our children, sons and daughters.

Timberley, please be sure to grab this “I’ve Been Featured” image below and add it, with a link to this page, to your post so that your readers can celebrate with you!  

Grace and Truth Link-up https://aimeeimbeau.com

Now for this week’s link up!  Let’s bless and encourage one another in our walk with the Lord. Read More

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Who Is The General Contractor Of your Life?

We all believe in something.  It might not be the one, true God, but every single one of us has faith in something.  It might be money.  Or ourselves – come on, now.  The self-help industry doesn’t pull in 10 billion dollars a year (in the USA alone) because we don’t believe in ourselves.  Self-help = faith in ourselves.  There is also the environment.  We can have an awful lot of faith in saving the earth.  Or maybe we have ‘game day faith’.  We suddenly have faith in God when trouble comes knocking on our door.  Some of us have generational faith.  “My mom is a Christian, so I know it’s enough for me”.  Or “Grandma prays for me all the time.  I’m good with God.”  Worse is when as parents, we think that just because we taught our kids about God, we believe that their childhood faith is enough for them as adults even though they are not living right with God.  Sadly, none of these faiths will build a foundation that will withstand the multiple storms of life.  Trust me.  I know.  I’ve tried.  So, the question is this: Who Is The General Contractor Of your Life?

How are you building your life? Are you calling the shots? Do you have a special addition built onto your life just for Jesus? Or are you allowing Jesus to oversee every aspect of your life? Jesus longs to manage every aspect of your life. He knows what is best for each of us. And He desires to build a wonderful life for all His disciples. A life that glorifies the Father. Who Is The General Contractor Of your Life?

It was only when I put my faith completely in Jesus Christ that my life was strengthened.  No, it wasn’t perfect.  But I got stronger.  My confidence grew – not self-confidence, but God-confidence.  My faith matured.  I experienced more fruits of the Spirit.  I acknowledged Jesus as my Lord and Savior. 

He became Lord of my life. 

We’ve been talking about building a firm foundation of faith in Christ over the last couple of weeks.  The first post was Building For Wisdom and the second is How To Build A Firm Foundation In FaithIn those posts, we looked at what is necessary to occur for God to prepare us for a firm foundation.  Today’s post is about laying that foundation.

One popular teaching in the Christian realm these days is that God wants us to live a carefree life.  One without any problems.  A life that is all candy canes and lollipops.  I tell my kids that this is “fluff ‘n’ stuff” faith.  It’s not real.  It offers false promises in a world that is full of evil.  Jesus never promised us this kind of life.  If that kind of life was our purpose on earth, He wouldn’t have needed to go to the Cross.  He wasn’t crucified for me to live a comfortable, easy life.  He died so that I could live a holy life.  And my friend, that ain’t easy!    

A 2-Step Process

There are 2 steps we must take in order for a foundation to be properly laid in our lives.   

  1. We need to put our trust in Jesus Christ.  He is our foundation.  He must be our foundation.
  2. We need to surrender to the process of building.  Constructing is hard.  There will be mistakes.  There will be mishaps.  Building materials may come in and we will then find out that those materials are damaged.  Or the wrong size.  The process of building is long and hard.  There is a lot of blood, sweat, and tears.  However, somehow, when we understand this, it makes the process a little easier. 

No Additions, Please

The foundation is for the entire building.  Some of us like to make an addition onto our house of life that is special just for Jesus.  A “Jesus Room”, if you will.  

In the last 2 posts, I mentioned our former home that was built around 1901.  Over the 100 years of its existence, it did go through a few renovations.  Hence the 5 doorways in the kitchen.  The original home was not intended to have additions built onto it.  When that stone foundation was laid, it was laid with the 2-story home in mind…no plumbing.  No electricity.  Not a 1/2 bath with washer and dryer.  No office.  Certainly not an extended living room (believe me…no one likes a heat register right in the middle of the living room floor!).  But these things and more were added onto the house. 

When Jesus is our foundation, He is involved in every single part of our life.  He doesn’t want just one little room added onto your life.  He wants to build our entire life on Him.  Our foundation should not be suitable for additions.  If it is, then our foundation is not Jesus Christ.

Who Is Your General Contractor?

Jesus is the General Contractor of my life.  That is exactly what our Heavenly Father desires.  He wants Jesus to build our lives. He is for me.  Not against me. 

And He is for you.  He is not against you.  He has never been against you.  Do you truly believe this, my friend? 

He is for you.

And when He is for us, nothing can be against us.  NOTHING.  He is LORD.  Lord of ALL.

When Jesus is our General Contractor, He is the One who says what stays and what goes…or even who stays and who goes.  After several years of going through deep spiritual healing, I have come to realize with much confidence that Jesus is the only One who knows when it is time to deal with certain things.  Often, healing for one hurt needs to occur before healing for this other thing can happen.  He knows what to deal with and when to deal with it.  When we are ready to let Him heal.  His timing is perfect.  And when He is the General Contractor, when He is in charge of the healing process, it goes so much smoother!

Stop trying to build your own house…your own life.

Surrender to Jesus as the General Contractor.

To read more posts in the Building for Wisdom series, click the link below: 

Building for Wisdom Series.

How are you building your life? Are you calling the shots? Do you have a special addition built onto your life just for Jesus? Or are you allowing Jesus to oversee every aspect of your life? Jesus longs to manage every aspect of your life. He knows what is best for each of us. And He desires to build a wonderful life for all His disciples. A life that glorifies the Father. Who Is The General Contractor Of your Life?

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Grace & Truth ~ One Simple Way to Make Your Marriage Better

My husband and I both work from home.  We see each other pretty much 24/7.  This is the way it has been for 10 years.  When I tell people this bit of information, I often hear things like, “I couldn’t do that – we’d kill each other.” or “How do you stay sane?”  Honestly, I wouldn’t want it any other way and it breaks my heart to hear such things.  Do you want to know why our situation works?  It’s because Marcus and I have a great marriage. We have been through some hard things in life.  Very hard things.  And those things have drawn us closer together.  But it’s also the small things that happen every day that can go unnoticed.  These things matter very much. 

That’s why I have picked Betsy’s post, One Simple Way to Make Your Marriage Better, for this week’s G & T feature.  She talks about those ‘little things’ that have made her 22-year marriage stand the test of time.  She reminds us to be devoted to one another.  What would happen in your marriage if you started devoting yourself to your spouse?  Betsy offers several practical ways in which we can devote ourselves.  head on over to her blog and read her post.  

Betsy, please be sure to grab this “I’ve Been Featured” image below and add it, with a link to this page, to your post so that your readers can celebrate with you!  

Grace and Truth Link-up https://aimeeimbeau.com

Now for this week’s link up!  Let’s bless and encourage one another in our walk with the Lord. Read More

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How To Build A Firm Foundation In Faith

Our house was over 100 years old.  The evidence of this truth could be seen in the foundation whenever we entered the basement – which was daily.  The dirt floor could be seen under the plywood in the storage room.  The rock walls had crumbling cement between each boulder.  As we waited for the results from the inspector our potential buyer hired, we wished that we had the house inspected before we purchased it.  But that would have caused a lot of problems within the extended family, so we didn’t bother. 

We sure regretted it now.  Because we knew that there were some serious issues and the cost to fix them would be too high.  We’d then be stuck in this house forever.  But God is faithful  So faithful.  While we were correct in knowing there were serious issues with the foundation, the buyers used it as leverage to get the move in date they wanted.  That was a miracle.  But this helped me realize even more that my spiritual life requires a strong foundation for my faith to grow.  Let’s talk about How To Build A Firm Foundation In Faith.
Have you ever felt like God was stripping everything away from you? Relationships? Material things? A job? How you serve in church? Maybe there is a bigger reason for this. Maybe He is preparing to build your life on Him. Here is How To Build A Firm Foundation In Faith. 
A firm foundation is absolutely necessary in order to build a healthy spiritual life.  When that foundation is weak or not built properly, it will crack under pressure.  To have a firm foundation, there is some hard work that needs to happen before the building can occur. Read More

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7 Ways to Cultivate Thankfulness in Your Home

Up here in Canada, we are getting set to celebrate Thanksgiving.  We celebrate more than a full month ahead of our American friends.  I did try to get my husband to celebrate both Thanksgiving just so I can devour his delicious, juicy turkey one more time.  Yes, that’s right, my hubby makes cooks the turkey.  And, it is incredible!  Always juicy, never dry. 

Fall is usually a very busy time for me.  With back to school work, new students and families to get to know, lesson plans, teaching my own kids…and many other things…it can be super easy to feed a spirit of discontent.  I am finding that I need to remind myself every day to be thankful.  I’ve come up with 7 Ways to Cultivate Thankfulness in Your Home.  I hope they help you as much as they’ve helped me!

Having a heart of thankfulness promotes peace, joy, and contentment in your life and in your home. Here are 7 Ways to Cultivate Thankfulness in Your Home.

When I choose to be thankful, I not only set the tone of thankfulness in my home, I also increase my joy and contentment.  And that is always a good thing.  

Cultivating Thankfulness isn’t always easy.  In fact, today, I am finding it quite hard.  Many difficult circumstances and heavy burdens are weighing down my heart.  I have to be purposeful in choosing to be thankful.  Actively search for reasons to be thankful.  

1. Give Thanks In All

In 1 Thessalonians, we are instructed to give thanks in all circumstances.  Sometimes it is incredibly difficult to find anything to be thankful for.  I consider what some are going through in their lives right now – a significant loss.  And I wonder – can they find anything to be thankful for?  Would I be able to if I were in their shoes?  

While it might be difficult, almost impossible in some cases, God’s word shows us that there is always something we can be thankful for even in the most tragic times.  If this weren’t so, He wouldn’t have instructed us to give thanks.  

Of course, during those horribly disastrous moments in life, we may need to ask God for His grace to find those things to be thankful for.  If you need extra help in this area, my Journal of Hope will be helpful!

Finding ways to be thankful in every circumstance will help us to cultivate a heart of thankfulness.

2. Thanks to the Lord

We can always give thanks to God for who He is.  Regardless of what we are going through, we can thank and praise Him for His character.  

Psalm 7:17 says that we give thanks to Him because He is righteous.

1 Chronicles 16:34 says to thank the Lord because He is good and His love endures forever.

Psalm 28:7 reminds us that God is our strength and our shield.  He protects us and we can trust Him.  For this truth, we can be thankful.

Giving thanks to God for who He is – and He is so many, many wonderful things will help us cultivate a spirit of thankfulness in our lives. 

My prayer journal can be very helpful in this area – it is free for subscribers.  See opt-in at the bottom of this post.

3. Be Generous

Scripture says that being generous results in thanksgiving to God (2 Corinthians 9:11).  How are you being generous?

Sometimes I can get a little stingy.  I have realized that the root of my stinginess is fear.  Fear of not having enough (see my latest subscriber newsletter for tips on the topic of ‘not enough’). 

  • If I am afraid of not having enough money, I will withhold it. 
  • If I am afraid of not having enough time, I will say ‘no’ to things I ought to say ‘yes’ to.  
  • When God asks me to create something, I will say ‘no’ out of fear when I feel like I am not intelligent enough to write…like a Bible Study!

However, those times I am generous, I find it much easier to be thankful.

Generosity helps us cultivate a heart of thankfulness.

4. Speak of His Wonderful Deeds

Speaking of God’s wonderful works and ways will help us stay focused on being thankful (Psalm 9:1).  It’s amazing how changing a few sentences every day can have a huge impact.  For example, when you are tempted to grumble to your hubby about your day, talk about how great God is.  What wonderful thing has He done for you today?  

Sometimes we make this more complicated than it ought to be.  We search for something specific instead of recognizing the ‘simpler’ things, like His grace.  how can our day be any less than perfect when we have His Amazing Grace?  I have this reminder in my prayer journal.  Whatever happens, I have His grace every single day.  And that, my friends, is a wonderful deed.

We cultivate a spirit of thankfulness when we speak of the Lord’s wonderful works.

5. Thank Your Husband

When was the last time you expressed thankfulness to your husband?  Has it been a while?  

If you find it difficult to express gratitude toward your husband, take some time to jot down things you are thankful for.  Review this list often so that you can express your gratitude regularly.  Include things like:

  • Taking out the trash.
  • Financial care for the family.
  • Listening to you when you are sad/upset/overwhelmed.
  • Being a Godly man.

At the bottom of this post, I have a small collection of things you can be thankful for.  I also have these love notes you can leave for your hubby to help cultivate thankfulness.

Expressing gratitude toward your husband will help to cultivate thankfulness in your home.

6. Thank Your Kids

What about being thankful for your kids?  It doesn’t matter how old they are, your kids will never tire of hearing how thankful you are for them.  

In my own family, I noticed a positive change in the hearts of my kids when I expressed gratitude towards them.  

It is my responsibility to ensure the tone of my home is peaceful and loving.  I know what it is like to feel unwelcome in my own home, in my family. Believing that I was unappreciated and unwanted was a lie that was deeply rooted within my heart and soul.  This was not something I wanted for my kids.  I wanted them to know, with fierce confidence, that they are welcome and wanted in my home…and in my heart.  And that had to start with my own attitude.

Communicating appreciation for your children will help to cultivate thankfulness in your home.

7. Express Genuine Gratitude

There seems to be a link between peace and being thankful.  Ungratefulness breeds discontent, which brings chaos and upheaval to the heart and soul.   

Who can you express genuine gratitude to today?  The restaurant server who might be having a rough day (because of ungrateful patrons???).  Your spouse – even if they don’t ‘deserve’ it (hmmm…another topic for another day).  Your kids?

Sometimes…many times…we need to actually work to find the things we can choose to be thankful for.

I’ve created some printables for you to help you cultivate a spirit of thankfulness.  

 

Having a heart of thankfulness promotes peace, joy, and contentment in your life and in your home. Here are 7 Ways to Cultivate Thankfulness in Your Home.

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Building For Wisdom

“I just want to know God’s plan!”

Have you heard that statement before?  Or maybe you’ve said it yourself?  

I’ve certainly wished for it myself…and said it.

We usually say this kind of thing when we are uncertain of the direction our life is headed or when there is turmoil and disappointment.  We rarely utter such a thing when life is going great. 

But here’s the thing…if we had the plan, we wouldn’t need God anymore. We need to stop begging Him to give us the blueprint and start trusting Him by building.  We need to be Building for Wisdom.  

Have you ever wanted to know God’s plan for your life? Have you wished for a copy of the blueprint? I used to…but I’ve come to realize some truths about God’s plan for my life. I want to share with you how you can start Building For Wisdom.

Two years ago, we moved from our house built in 1901 to our new one that was built in the early 1990’s.  In the 90 years our old house has lived, it endured many renovations and additions.  It wasn’t built or planned for the modern family, that’s for sure.  Due to all of the renovations, the kitchen had 5 doorways.  Yes, that’s right.  5.  Read More

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