Category Archives: Printable

Lent for the rest of us: 2015 (and a GIVEAWAY!)

Can you believe Lent is nearly upon us? Lent, this 40-day journey leading up to Easter… a time to prepare our hearts for Jesus… all He is and all He’s done.

Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, which is on February 18 this year, and leads us to Easter on April 5. Now, if you’re doing the math, don’t despair — the 40 days excludes Sundays – so yes, there are more than 40 days between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday. 😉

There are many ways to engage in this season – prayer, fasting, simplistic living – all with the aim of drawing closer to God. I tend to go the downward spiral route into “how can I possibly prepare my heart (AND my children’s hearts!!!) to even REMOTELY grasp what Easter really means.” And, being a recovering perfectionist, I can easily fall into the “All or Nothing” trap. (I can’t do it ALL, so I’ll do NOTHING.) (Very healthy, I know.)

This is a simple, meaningful tradition to begin with your children for the season of Lent, leading up to Easter! Enjoy this free printable reading plan — and don’t miss The Jesus Storybook Bible GIVEAWAY! Giveaway runs until Monday, February 16! (But the printable will still be available after that!)But last year I began a simple new tradition with my children for these weeks leading up to Easter: we read The Jesus Storybook Bible from the very beginning, through the Resurrection story. One chapter a day, for each day of Lent. And you guys – it was awesome. (Even if you don’t have children, please give yourself the gift of reading it just for you. I promise you’ll be glad you did.)

“But Lent and Easter are about JESUS. Why would you start all the way back at the BEGINNING of the Bible? Doesn’t Jesus show up much later?”

I’m so glad you asked!

Did you know that the entire Bible points to Jesus? All the way back to the beginning. As the  Jesus Storybook Bible says: “Every story whispers His name.” Where better to start than the beginning?

I love this book so much that I’m buying TWO MORE COPIES just to give away to two of you! Here’s how to enter:

  • subscribe to my blog (if you’re already subscribed, I’ll count you too!) = 1 entry
  • comment on this post & tell me your Lent or Easter tradition = 1 entry
  • share this post on Facebook = 1 entry
  • pin this post on Pinterest = 1 entry

If you’re feeling ambitious, go crazy and enter four times! If you already own a copy, go ahead and enter, and give away the extra!

I will randomly pick 2 winners and announce them on Monday, February 16. (And you’ll receive your book in time to start reading on Wednesday!)

One more thing: here’s a free printable reading plan to help keep track of what chapter goes with should be reading. If you print a copy and fold it in half lengthwise, it makes a great bookmark!

This is a simple, meaningful tradition to begin with your children for the season of Lent, leading up to Easter! Enjoy this free printable reading plan — and don’t miss The Jesus Storybook Bible GIVEAWAY! Giveaway runs until Monday, February 16! (But the printable will still be available after that!)

Click image to open free printable file

**The giveaway is now closed! Congratulations to our winners: Jamie and Alice!**

If you’d like to purchase a copy for your family, you can find it on Amazon here.

Free Printable! (of a quote I didn’t like) (at first)

There is no perfect mother.

Click image for free printable file!

When I first read this quote, I didn’t like it.

Sure there are a million ways to be *JUST* a good mom. But shouldn’t I strive for better than that? Shouldn’t I at least try for something closer to perfect than JUST GOOD?

But what’s so bad about good?

I know, I know. The greatest enemy of best is good. Or something like that.

But when I only find “perfect” acceptable… Well, let’s be honest. When that’s the case, I usually don’t even try. Case in point: my daughter’s birthday. She turned five yesterday. And I had decided we weren’t going to have a party this year.

Here’s the deal: I don’t think it really matters if you have a party for your kid or not – but my motivation in this decision never felt quite right. My public reason was that she doesn’t HAVE to have a party every year, and it would be good for her to learn that early on. Teachable moments, right?

The real reason was that it felt like too much work and if I couldn’t do it “right,” then I wouldn’t do it at all.

Long story short, the sweet girl asked if she could have a few friends over to celebrate. And we did. We had five little girls over to eat pizza and watch Frozen. No decorations. No crafts. Literally just Domino’s pizza, Frozen, and a cake from the grocery store.

And my daughter was in heaven.

(The other little girls were too, by the looks of the video.)

It wasn’t perfect. But it was GOOD.

Please hear me: going above and beyond is NOT WRONG. Whether it’s birthday parties or keeping house or WHATEVER IT IS. Do what you do, and do it well, and do it with love.

But for the love, beware of the perfection trap. (Preaching to myself here.) If less-than-PERFECT (or Pinterest-worthy or Mom-of-the-Year or fill-in-the-perfection-blank) is considered failure, then it’s time to regroup.

I want to be a GOOD MOM. And thank You, Jesus, there truly are a million ways to be that.

Looking for more encouragement on this topic? It turns out I’m not alone with these thoughts – and neither are you! I just found this timely post from one of my new favorite writers, Bronwyn Lea: “Never mind good vs evil, the real battle is good vs best.” I think you’ll be glad you found her too.