Being a teacher has always granted me the summertime to take a break from the hectic schedule of teaching, sports and school calendars. Our family has enjoyed this time in many different ways. When I was a stay-at-home mom, I would plan unique, free activities for each week of the summer. We would pick a special Bible program to use in family devotions or put in place an incentive plan, complete with rewards, for reading and personal devotions. Such treasured memories have been made during these times.
This summer, as I prayed about what we should do with these precious few weeks, the Lord led me in a different direction. Instead of planning actives and trying to fill our days, God challenged my heart to look for the purpose behind each activity we would plan or do. Instead of trying to keep everyone busy with do, do, do, God was saying to me, "Take time to be." As I was praying over this, the idea of an acrostic came to my mind. I am using the acrostic SLiCES as a target to aim at and keep our family on track this summer.
Here are our S L i C E S of summer goals:
5 studies we are doing with our kiddos this summer:
True Woman 201- Interior Design: Ten Elements of Biblical Womanhood by Mary A. Kassian and Nancy Demoss Wolgemuth
We're doing this study with our girls ages 22, 20, 18, and 14.
"When we step into God’s plan for womanhood, we step into the great adventure of discovering who we are created to be. The greatest display of God’s glory, the greatest wholeness of personhood, the greatest joy of human relationships, and the greatest fruitfulness in ministry come about when we embrace and celebrate His design.
In this Bible study for women, Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth and Mary Kassian delve into Titus 2 to celebrate redeemed womanhood. Exploring 10 “design elements” of biblical womanhood, they will lead you on a 10-week journey of discovering what a beautiful heart looks like, and how it leads to a beautiful life.
Each week is divided into five lessons that provide opportunity for group interaction and delving deep into Scripture.
The Lord wants to come in and do a radical renovation of your heart. He wants to change you into a godly woman from the inside out. If you let Him, He’ll give you an extreme makeover... a new interior design. Why wait? Begin your renovation today." --goodreads
Lies Girls Believe & The Truth That Sets Them Free by Dannah Gresh and Nancy Demoss Wolgemuth
We're doing this study with our girls ages 11, 8 and 6.
"Today’s girls face a number of challenges we never dealt with at their age. From skyrocketing anxiety rates to bullying on social media, the Enemy’s lies are everywhere. How do you help the girl you love walk in freedom?
Equip her with Truth. Dannah Gresh, author of Secret Keeper Girl and Lies Young Women Believe (coauthored with Nancy Demoss Wolgemuth) brings you Lies Girls Believe. This fun, easy-to-read book engages your daughter in the twenty most important truths she needs. She’ll help solve problems using fun sidebars and it’s packed with wisdom, quizzes, games, exploded quotes, and graphics to help her absorb the message.
For the best results, use the accompanying Mom’s Guide to Lies Girls Believe which invites you to critically examine the lies girls believe and discover how to set your daughter free. It also helps facilitate discussion between you and your daughter." --goodreads
Indescribable: 100 Devotions About God & Science by Louie Giglio.
We're doing this study with our 4-11 year olds.
"It’s impossible to out-imagine God. He orchestrates time, creates light, and speaks things into existence—from the largest stars to the smallest starfish. God is a powerful, purposeful, personal, unparalleled Creator.
Each devotion features a “Be Amazed” section with fascinating facts, hands-on activities, and a closing prayer. Based on Louie Giglio’s popular messages “Indescribable” and “How Great Is Our God,” Indescribable: 100 Devotions About God & Science will help kids discover the incredible creation of our indescribable God." --goodreads
Heroes of the Bible by Joshua Cooley.
We're doing this study with our boys ages 13 and 9.
"Ask any 12-year-old kid to describe a hero, and you will get some of the following answers: a superstar athlete, a soldier on the front lines, or a guy in a cape who can jump over buildings.
Control Girl, lessons on Surrendering Your Burden of Control From Seven Women in the Bible by Shannon Popkin.
A study with friends for accountability.
"Little fights with your husband and kids. Unhappiness when things don't match your version of perfect. Tension, anger, fear—it all begins with a heart that craves control. When your vision of how life should be replaces God's vision, you doom your quest for security, peace, and joy before it even starts. Thankfully, there is a better way.
"With personal vulnerability, biblical depth, powerful personal illustrations, and pointed application questions, Shannon Popkin reveals how seven women of the Bible can teach us how to surrender our will to God's design for our future." —Carol Kent, speaker and author of Becoming a Woman of Influence
"Control Girl is a penetrating look at how selfishness and self-protectiveness wreck lives—and why surrender and trust are God's life-giving pathways to true freedom and joy." —Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth, author and Revive Our Hearts teacher and host" --goodreads
Listening references: Focus on the Family, Adventures in Odyssey podcast and Radio Theater.
So, how will you be intentional about taking time to be with your kiddos this summer?
As a wife and mom of eleven, the word details seems to haunt me in my sleep.
The last two weeks, my Bible reading has placed me in the final chapters of Exodus. The construction of God’s Tabernacle consisted of details upon details. Words like height, width, staves, rings, and colors, paint for us a very vivid and exact description of the place where God’s presence was to dwell. Even the undergarments of the priest were specific. As I read through these pages, I was reminded of a few precious truths about my God that meet my daily flood of details and give peace.
First, God’s character is found in the details of life. Every item in the tabernacle, down to the type of wood or color of fabric, serves as a reflection of who God is. From the large curtain, known as the veil, to the tiny almond shaped bowls in the top of each of the seven branches of the candlesticks, God was revealing His holiness, righteousness, and glory. He desires to do the same in my heart as I watch Him move and work in what seems to be insignificant background noises of daily life. How often He goes before those little areas and gently whispers, I have this, just worship Me.
Second, God shows that our obedience must resemble a detailed approach. God has a very definite view of right and wrong and leaves nothing lacking in its execution. Too often, I allow for the pragmatic approach in the way I obey. I did it, Lord, isn’t that enough? He firmly answers, No. If you didn’t follow My command with completion, you are redefining the command to suit your will. If you didn’t do it in sweet submission, then rebellion still resides. If you hesitated, then you lacked faith and resolve. His earthly dwelling should stand as a clear call to obey all the way, right away, and with a sweet sacrifice of worship in our hearts. Israel understood this as they began to build. Exodus 35:29 states,
"All the men and women, the people of Israel, whose heart moved them to bring anything for the work that the Lord had commanded by Moses to be done brought it as a freewill offering to the Lord."
"Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?"
Finally, the most powerful thought of all is that God is detailed about His care and personal knowledge of me, His child. He has the right and should be invited to be a part of every detail I consider and act upon. So often He remains uninvited in my days and plans. Colossians 1:17 states,
"And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together."
The reason I often find my life’s details in disarray is because I ignore, in pride, that without Him nothing would even exist. Sadly, the nation of Israel suffered from the same terrible thought process. Because they refused to keep Him as a part of every decision and way of life, the same group who were a part of the tabernacle’s construction would miss out on the Promise Land. Proverbs 16:9 says,
"The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps."
How sad a truth it is that I have often missed out on peace because my plan was just that, my plan.
God is in the details. He cares about them. He displays His character through them. He commands this type of decisive obedience, but He will never lack in His presence and provision for all the details we whisper. Praise His name.
How have you seen God work through the details of your life?
Want to learn more precious truths about God? Freedom—that’s the goal of the 30-day I Choose Truth Challenge. By focusing on specific truths found in God’s Word, you will grow in your desire to abandon lies and will enjoy the freedom that comes from living according to God’s truth.
One of our little ones had a birthday recently. She had her eyes set on the date since before Christmas. Her expectations were ballooning with each passing day. Detail after detail was being put into place in her mind. I tried my best to say things liked, “You can’t always get everything you want,” and “Your day will be special even if __________ doesn’t happen”. It would be obvious soon enough that she hadn’t heard my counsel.
The big day came and everything went according to her plan, for about 30 minutes. Her presents greeted her on the kitchen table. She was given her favorite doughnuts for breakfast. Her wardrobe matched her approval. All was right with the world. Then it happened. As I am brushing her hair and putting her favorite headband in it, she informed me that someone has to pick her up in the carline for early dismissal. I calmly state that her plan had a flaw. No one would be available to meet her request. All the drivers in the house had work responsibilities. Surely this one detail out of the list of seventy would not merit anything more than an, “Ok mommy, I understand.”
Never have I as a mom judged a result so wrongly! A meltdown of epic proportion occurred. Tears, wailing, and gnashing of teeth best describes her response. As a mom, I felt righteous indignation rising up in my heart. After all the plans and surprises I had worked and slaved over, this is what I am receiving for my efforts. We spent our drive to school with much discussing and rebuking. Even when I revealed her surprise cake, there was still an element of disappointment in her eyes.
His mercy and loving-kindness are unmeasurable!
This earthly illustration met with Scripture in my devotions that evening. In Exodus 15 the Israelites have just crossed the Red Sea. They are singing God’s praises for the detailed and miraculous way in which they were rescued. Everything was just as it should be. Their future was filled with visions of easy travel and a land flowing with milk and honey. Then it happened. There is not water to be found for 3 days. The meltdown begins. Complaining and wishing for what had been became their cry. Their expectation of easy and the Promised Land had been met with a small measure of discomfort and waiting.
In Exodus 15:24-27 God shows up and gives them what they wanted. He gives them their need in a miraculous way. He even includes the promise that He would not visit His people with any of the plagues that had been dealt on their Egyptian enemies.
"And the people grumbled against Moses, saying, “What shall we drink?” And he cried to the Lord, and the Lord showed him a log, and he threw it into the water, and the water became sweet.
A sad reality ends the chapter. If they would have just put their expectations aside, they would have seen His best was just another day’s journey. Twelve springs of sweet and refreshing water awaited. If they would just walk one more day. God knew the whole time that He had an amazing way of provision already prepared.
Like my little one, who had it all planned out, we can give in to our complaining spirit and give up on God’s best. Instead of letting go of our way and our plan, we hold onto that one thing that seems to be undone. He has the best for each one of us waiting to bring refreshment and peace.
No matter what we are facing or what we have not received in way of answer or provision, can we wait on Him? The best of God and His plan are what we will receive. Isn’t God worth walking one more day?
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