I am Bored…Where is Contentment?

Daily Truth

  “Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content…”

Philippians 4:11


Children at the close of summer sometimes begin to lose their contentment. Well, maybe parents too.  Your family has been swimming, biking, hiking, reading, camping, vacationing, visiting, and now everyone is beginning to look forward to getting into a different routine or just getting back into a routine.  Some children may even say they are bored.  They ask us, “What is there to do?”

As moms we sometimes try to fix things to bring contentment.  We may suggest activities that the child could do.  We may invite another child over for a playdate, ask the child to select a piece of paper from the jar in the kitchen with activity ideas,  or ask a family over for a cookout to spice things up.  These all are great ideas yet, is that the ideas given to us from Scripture?

While studying Philippians 4:10-20 the word “learned” jumped out at me.  Paul says, “for I have learned in whatsoever state I am, to be content.”  To learn something means that it had been taught.  How then does one teach contentment?  By looking at Paul’s life we can see what to emulate in our lives so we can teach to our children, the next generation.

  1. Paul made cheerful sounds from a jail cell. While Paul and Silas were in prison, they sang praises to God (Acts 16:25) and God miraculously freed them.  God will free us from our sadness and give us happiness of soul when we focus on him.  We need to help our children focus on things of God rather than circumstances.  Use the Psalms and put a melody to them and teach your children God’s Word.  Examples of Psalms set to a Melody (A free pdf)
  2. The book of Philippians uses the word joy or rejoicing every few paragraphs.  The word JOY can be used as an acronym meaning:  to think of Jesus first, Others second, and Yourself third.  Once a child has made a profession of faith this concept is easier as their love of Jesus grows but the words can be taught as a reminder that true JOY comes with thinking of things in that order.
  3. Paul takes evil and turns it into good.  Bad and sad things will happen.  It is important to point children to Jesus and not our circumstances.  In Philippians 2:1-11 Paul shares the Gospel message with us.  Jesus did everything for us.  Share that unwavering confidence with your children so they too at times of heartbreak or fear will know that contentment will come.

As a parent we have had our lifetime to learn contentment.  Our children are just starting out. With much patience, great love, and heartfelt prayer we can teach and guide our children toward true contentment.  As our relationship with Christ grows so does our contentment.

This season of summer is about to end.  Maybe that is why God created seasons, He knows we like change. May we learn contentment from God’s Word and share what we learn to our children.

Until the next “Truth” sharing moment,

Cathy Jo Johnson


Photo of children from the Herald Sun 






Summer Ideas for Kids that Point Your Child to God

Daily Truth:

“…speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ—”  Ephesians 4:15

kids on beachLeaving the routine behind for few months and getting into a new rhythm is exciting for children and parents. Lightning bugs, swimming pools, lemonade stands,  sleeping bags, and popsicles are just a few things that make summer fun.

Just as you plan a playdate with friends to the pool, a camping trip, or a vacation trip;  a plan to teach God’s Word and about His world takes planning.

Summer Ideas for Kids that Point Your Child to God

  1. Help  your child make a promise book.   Get a small notebook, have child select a fabric to cover the notebook, and glue a ribbon in to use as a book mark.  Two days each week teach a the verse of promise and have child write or the parent can copy verse and have child glue in a page of the notebook.  Discuss how the promise fits into the life of your child.  God can be trusted. There are over 7,000 promises in the Bible.  Click here for daily promises in the Bible.
  2. Take photos of your child this summer.  Compile these photos at the end of the summer with your child to recall the memories made.  Fun, friends, and family are all a part to the world God created for our enjoyment.  What fun to reflect and thank God for the extra time spent during the summer months.
  3. If you have planted a garden have your children help to take care of the growing plants.  If you have not planted a garden go to a farmer’s market in your area and have your child help you to pick out some regular as well new fruits and vegetables to eat during the week.  Discuss how God provided what we need nutritionally  by the food He created for us.
  4. Check out the Child Evangelism Fellowship organization (CEF)  in your area.  All you need to do is supply 2 hours  for one week at your home, a snack, and children.  This organization will provide teachers that will come to your home to teach a Bible lesson, Bible memory verse, song, and game.  What an amazing outreach for the children in your neighborhood.
  5. Select a chapter book to read at bedtime.  Maybe extend the bedtime reading time as a summer treat too.  Some chapter books ideas:   Homer Price – Robert McCloskey / This is a rare book to find, but I enjoyed it as a kid! Homer had some really fantastic adventures, Charlotte’s Web – E.B. White,  The Complete Tales of Winnie-The-Pooh – A.A. Milne, Treasure Island – Robert Louis Stevenson, My Side of the Mountain – Jean Craighead George, American Girl Books – Various Authors, Misty of Chincoteague – Marguerite Henry, and Biographies of coarse.
  6. If possible stop housework and chores by 11 AM  so the rest of the day provides more relaxation in schedule so you can enjoy your children even more. This preschool and elementary age will go more quickly than you can imagine.  It will not be long before driver’s education and other activities will limit your time and influence with your children.
  7. Take your children to visit grandparents or other elderly people if grandparents are no longer living.  Hearing the stories of loved ones from long ago brings appreciation of older people and that of another time.  Doing activities with grandparents brings joy to both generations.
  8. Other summer ideas for kids includes: extra time for biking and pointing out God’s creation, doing service projects for neighbors that points to helping others, and inviting friends over which is not only fun but models hospitality to your children.

More summer ideas for purposely teaching God’s Word and teaching about God’s world  can be found at Truths for Tots  website under the July and August calendar.

May you have a wonderful, purposeful summer with your children.

Until the next “Truth” sharing moment,

Cathy Jo Johnson

Less Time Gives More Time

Daily Truth:    “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.”  Ecclesiastes 3:1


Summer time is finally here!

I love having the kids home for summer.

I love no set schedule.

I love the spontaneity of summer.

Maybe it’s because my kids are getting older and we are getting out of the toddler stage.

Or maybe it’s because my oldest will be starting junior high in the fall (a fact I am still trying to wrap my mind around).

Or maybe it’s because my youngest will be starting kindergarten in the fall (yet, another fact I am trying to grasp).

Or maybe it’s because I am slowly realizing how quickly the time with my children is flying by and what little time I have left with them.

Every summer the kids make a summer “wish list”.  This list can include things as simple as playing play dough to things more elaborate as taking a day trip.

Each summer we try to check off as many of those items as we can.

Here is what I plan to do.

1.  Less time on the computers more time playing. (I better get this blog done quickly!)

2.  Less time worrying about clean clothes more time playing in the rain.

3.  Less time keeping the house clean more time making messes.

4.  Less time saying “yes” to others and more time saying “no” to a schedule.

5.  Less time making a “to do” list more time playing with the children.

6.  Less time making plans more time making memories.

7. Less time getting my things done more time doing what the kids will like to do. (Thus their summer “wish list”.)

8.  Less time expecting more time laughing.

9.  Less time hurrying more time slowing down.

10.  Less time worrying and more time enjoying.

I will have time in the fall while all the kids are in school to “catch up” on things that should get done.

This summer take less time doing the ordinary things of life and take more time enjoying the extraordinary.

Until next week,



The Heavens Beckon Our Attention: God’s Glory

Daily Truth:  “The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork.”  Psalm 19:1

The heavens declare the glory of God

The heavens do declare the glory of God.  And, the firmament does show His handiwork.

We serve an amazing God!  The stars are so numerous that we cannot count them.  The sun is at just the right distance to provide heat and light to sustain us and not destroy us.  God’s glory and majesty can be seen every day and night.

It is no coincidence that the sun, moon, and stars are hung above us.  We must look up to see them.  Written in Isaiah 55:9 God tells us,  “The heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts”.

Looking up at the heavens we can see this heaven yet in Revelation 21:1 John tells us, “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth:  for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away…..”.  Gazing up at the night sky can prompt questions of the new heaven.  What does it take so we can see this “new heaven”?  It takes the realization that Christ, God’s Son, died for our sins according to the Scriptures, He was buried and that He rose again on the third day according to the Scriptures.  (1 Corinthians 15:3-4)  God’s Word also tells us in Acts16:31 “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.”

On the next clear night go outside, away from the city lights, with a blanket and your family.  Lie there and look up.  Can you too declare the glory of God?  God is so good to give us just a peek into the beauty of our eternal home and a glimpse into His full glory.

Some resources for you and your child to find more about the heavens include:

“Creation Astronomy” by Dr. Jason Lisle, “Kids Answers” by Answers in Genesis,  Answers in Genesis Kid Videos:  Habitable Planet and Distant Starlight , to see amazing photos from space see the Hubble website, and  a great app for an iPhone is “Night Sky”.  This app will help you to identify constellations while gazing at the stars.

Until the next “Truth” telling moment,

Cathy Jo

This article first appeared on “Truths for Tots” blog

Honor to Whom Honor

Daily Truth: “Render therefore to all their due…honor to whom honor.”

Honor to whom honor.

photo (17)


Last night was the hubs birthday.  Now, I know he is ummm…. years old but I still like to do a theme for his birthday. So, considering that the kids and I were away from him for 28 VERY long days, we did a “Super Hero” party – complete with Superman decor.  Yes, I wore a Superman shirt.

After all, he is our super hero.


Honor to whom honor.

This week is the 4th of July. Yes, a holiday to remember the birth of our country.  However, it is also a holiday to remember the heroes that served and gave all for our freedoms.

This is another holiday that always makes me cry.  How can you not.

I can’t help crying when I hear songs such as, “Proud to Be An American” or our national anthem.

Honor to whom honor.

photo (20)


I took the kids to Washington D.C. a couple of weeks ago.  We stopped at the WWII memorial.  Very moving.  Especially when you see the wall of 4,000 stars in which each star represents 100 lives lost during WWII.


photo (16)Both my grandfathers served in WWII. One was in the Navy and one was in the Army.

Honor to whom honor.

Arlington Cemetery is another place that makes you stop and think.  The changing of the guards in front of the “Tomb of the Unknown Soldier” is very moving.

Honor to whom honor.

We need to teach our kids at a very early age to be thankful for our freedoms and to show respect for our country.

This can be done in simple ways.

1.  Fly the American flag…and not just on the 4th.

2.  Dress them up in patriotic colors whenever our country celebrates a national holiday.

3.  Teach them to say, “thank you” to servicemen and women that they see.

The kids love to photo (18)do this in the airport.

4.  Teach them about why our country is so great.  No other country was founded on the principles of the Word of God.

5.  Play patriotic music.


6.  Make the 4th a BIG deal. Decorate for it.  Celebrate with friends or family.

7.  Take them to national sights.  Williamsburg is a fantastic family place to learn about the history of our nation.  A little closer to home would be Conner Prairie.

Honor to whom honor.

So, despite political opinions or stands, we have the responsibility as parents to teach our photo (19)kiddos about the history of our country and what makes it truly great.

Enjoy the 4th.  Eat a few hot dogs.  Watch fireworks.  Dress up in red, white, and blue.

Above all, remember to thank the Lord for our great nation.

Honor to whom honor.



Until next week,



Summer and Kids: The Season Begins, What are Your Plans?

Genesis 1:14 And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons and for days, and years:

 Summer and Kids

For most of us summer begins on Memorial Day.  The school year is either completed or almost finished by the end of May.  But, the first day of summer and longest day of the year,  in the northern hemisphere is June 21 this year.  (It will be the first day of winter in the southern hemisphere.)  It all has to do with the tilt of the earth.

Activity:  To help children to understand this concept of longest day and first day of summer;  have a child hold a globe  and another child or adult holding a turned on flashlight, which represents the sun, pointed at the globe.  The northern hemisphere  should be slightly titled towards the flashlight.  This position of the earth and sun (flashlight) illustrates the first day of summer in the northern hemisphere.  Have the child holding the globe move around the sun (flashlight) as if the earth was orbiting the sun. The child will get a clearer picture of how the sun is at the earth’s closest point in the northern hemisphere on the first day of summer.  This point is called the summer solstice.  For more information about this click here.

Our amazing God makes everything so perfect!  The earth, sun, stars, and seasons are just a few of the wonderful things God created for us and His Glory. Nothing is by chance.  Creation was all set in motion by God just speaking!  Teach the above verse to your children.  Show that the word “season” is a word that God used in making the world for us.  As you do activities this summer actively thank God for this wonderful summer season.

Summer provides extra time for family activities.  Please check out Truths for Tots Activity Calendar for daily activities.  There are also many activities on Truths for Tots Pinterest Summer Board.

Make a list  of “summer fun activities and projects” with your children. Post list on the refrigerator,  write on slips of paper to be drawn daily, or make two different kinds of list.  One list could be those activities which will need take more planning and the others that can be done spontaneously.  What ever you decide is best for your family, make sure that each child contributes and all children understand that each idea is as special as the one who suggested the activity.

You may want to work in activities that would be helpful to another person such as pulling weeds for an elderly neighbor, baking cookies and taking to a shut in, or having a lemonade stand where proceeds go to a worthy cause. Take the extra time of summer to encourage someone.  Your children will learn what fun it is to be a blessing to someone.

Make this season a wonderful time of family fun!

God gave us the seasons, enjoy your summer:)

Until the next “Truth” telling moment,

Cathy Jo Johnson






Liberty and Flag Day, What’s it all About?

Daily Truth:  Jesus said, “The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, Because He has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; He sent me to heal the broken hearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight the blind, To set at liberty to those who are oppressed.”

Luke 4:18


United States FlagFlag Day is about celebrating liberty and remembrance.   Liberty is defined as” freedom from control, interference or physical restraint”. Jesus spoke of liberty.  He came to “make you free” (John 8:32).

Flag Day represents a day in which we honor our country by honoring our country’s flag.  The American Flag symbolizes liberty to all.

  • How did Flag Day begin?  The flag of the United States of America was born out of a Revolution in 1977.  It has remained the same except the addition of a star for each state added to the United States.
  • What do the colors and symbols represent? The  50 stars represent the states of the United States.  The 13 stripes represent the 13 original colonies.  The red is said to represent valor, the white to represent liberty, and the blue to represent justice and loyalty.
  •  Who made the first American flag?  Reportedly, Betsy Ross sewed the first flag by hand in 1776.
  • Why June 14?  That was the day in 1877 the the adoption of the American flag took place by the Second Continental Constitution.   President Woodrow Wilson made a proclamation in 1916 that made June 14 Flag Day.  Flag Day is not a federal or state holiday except in the state of Pennsylvania.
  • What are the American Flag’s rules and regulations?  Visit US History.org for details. 

The Flag Goes By

Hats off!
Along the street there comes
A blare of bugles, a ruffle of drums,
A flash of color beneath the sky:
Hats off!
The flag is passing by!

Blue and crimson and white it shines,
Over the steel-tipped, ordered lines.
Hats off!
The colors before us fly;
But more than the flag is passing by:

Sea-fights and land-fights, grim and great,
Fought to make and to save the State;
Weary marches and sinking ships;
Cheers of victory on dying lips;

Days of plenty and years of peace;
March of a strong land’s swift increase;
Equal justice, right and law,
Stately honor and reverend awe;

Sign of a nation, great and strong
To ward her people from foreign wrong;
Pride and glory and honor, – all
Live in the colors to stand or fall.

Hats off!
Along the street there comes
A blare of bugles, a ruffle of drums;
And loyal hearts are beating high:
Hats off!
The flag is passing by!

~ Henry Holcomb Bennett

Happy Flag Day to you!

Until the next “Truth” telling moment,

Cathy Jo Johnson

Still Enjoying the Joys of My Heart

Daily Truth: “God keeps him busy with the joy of his heart.”  Ecclesiastes 5:20b

So, my joys made their “Summer-To-Do” list and I thought I would share it with you.


photo (9)

1.  Holiday World

2.  The beach

3.  Riley Park

4.  Holiday Park

5.  The Smithsonian (In progress)

6. Washington D.C. (In progress)

7.  Children’s Museum

8.  Swimphoto (7)

9.  Zoo

10.  Splash Park

11. Friends over

12.  Krispy Kreme

13.  McDonalds

14.  Waterballoon Fight

15.  Play in the rainphoto (12)

16.  Go to Sonic

17.  Candy Store

18.  Cupcake Shop

19.  Ginter Park

20.  Imax

21.  Sky Zone

22.  Mini Golf

23.  Library

24.  Make snow cones


25.  Ice Cream for lunch

26.  Make ice cream

27.  Camping in the back yard

28.  Catch lightning bugs

29.  Glo in the dark sticks

30.  Hide and seek in the dark (multiple times already!)

31.  Flash light tag

32.  Make S’mores

33.  Make cookies

34.  Make sand castles

35.  Make green eggs and ham

36.  Boys night at Aunt Sarah’s

37.  Girls night at Aunt Sarah’s

38.  Date with Grandma

39.  Play in the sprinkler

40.  Play on the slip and slide

41.  Playdough

42.  Sidewalk chalk

43.  Bubbles

photo (10)44.  Bike rides

45.  Walks (although after walking around D.C. for the day, I doubt that this is still on their wish list).

46.  Movie night (complete with sleeping bags and popcorn)

47. Picnic in the park

Sophia wanted to add Disney World, but that wasn’t going to be possible…obviously.

As you can see, there are a mix of things they have planned.  Some of the wishes have to do with trips already planned for the summer.  Others are just…well…wishes and we will get to as many as we can.

We have a busy summer ahead of us.  As my Sam said after we made the list, “That’s it for today”.

Until Next Monday.



Grow More Than Vegetables This Summer With Your Kids

Daily Truth:  You (God) cause the grass to grow for the livestock and plants for man to cultivate, that he may bring forth food from the earth.  Psalm 104:14  ESV

Grow more than a garden
Grow more than a garden

There is still time to plant and grow a garden before summer arrives.   Bring God’s Word alive for your children by teaching them how to plant, cultivate, and harvest a garden this summer.

Some easy plants to grow from seeds are green beans, pumpkins and zucchini. If you feel uncomfortable growing seeds try a tomato, basil or oregano plant.  Tomato, basil, and oregano plants are great to plant as all three work well in making tomato sauce for an easy spaghetti dinner to be enjoyed later in the summer. Ask your local garden shop for the best way to grow the plants you decide to purchase for your area.

Teaching your child how to tend a garden takes time and patience.  What great character qualities to instill.  Time and patience  are modeled  to your child as you plant, tend and care for the seeds and plants together this summer.

Whether growing a vegetable or flower garden there are ways to involve even  young children.  For the young child begin with larger seeds as sunflowers, pumpkins, or squash seeds.  These seeds will be easier for a child’s fine motor skills.  Tools that are a children size such as a shovel and wheelbarrow make gardening more fun. The child can model their parent using the same grown up tools. After planting, watering is best with a sprinkling can or a nozzle attached to the hose so the seeds and plants do not get washed away. God’s sunshine and rain (or your child’s watering) will in time grow your plants to maturity. I know that you will all enjoy the fruits of your labor.

Some wonderful children’s books about gardening and growing plants include:  “Roots, Shoots, Buckets, and Boots” by Sharon Lovejoy,  “Planting a Rainbow ” by Lois Ehlert,  “Gardening with Kids” by Catherine Woram and  Martyn Cox, and “Jack’s Garden” by Henry Cole.

There are many references to plants and growing in the Bible. A good word study may include looking up the verses of the Bible that contain the word “grow”.  Make this summer one of growth for your  family both physically and spiritually.

When teaching the Bible verse Psalm 104:14 to your child make sure that they understand each word.  The word “livestock” means horses, cattle, sheep or any other useful animals kept on a farm or ranch. The word “cultivate” means to improve or promote the growth of a plant by attention and care.

By having a better understanding of the words and concepts in the Bible your child will understand God better.  With practical application of God’s Word, as actually growing and cultivating a plant, children are able to learn about God and the world He created.    A child also learns how amazing it is to watch a plant grow and eventually provide food just as Psalm 104:14 states.

“The wonderful thing about garden-based learning is that it’s a hands-on, minds-on experience where my students and I learn together.” Kids and Classroom

Gardening is a “growing experience” in that both child and adult learn from watching and participating in life together.

Check out Truths for Tots on Pinterest or Facebook.

Until the next “Truth” telling moment,

Cathy Jo Johnson





Enjoying the Joys of My Heart

Daily Truth: “God keeps him busy with the joy of his heart.”  Ecclesiastes 5:20b

Summer is FINALLY here!  You know what I love the most about summer?  It is the fact that I P1070010get to spend it with four of my favorite people and the “joys of my heart” – my kiddos!

I thrive on “no schedule”.  (This is why I could never home school my children.  Everyday would be a field trip!)

It drives me CRAZY when the kids want a minute-by-minute briefing of the day. I love the fact that we can wake up in the morning and do whatever we feel like that day.

Now don’t get me wrong.  We do lay out a game plan for the summer.  I sit down with the kids at the end of the school year and we talk about what they want to do that summer.

These things can range from places they want to go, people they want to have over, food they want to eat, or things they want to accomplish.  For example, the Creation Museum is always on the list of places to go.  However, so is getting frozen yogurt, playing in the sprinkler, having water balloon fights, and tenting in the backyard.

425332_10151671458303489_97493834_nRight now we are accomplishing one of the many items on our list.  We are vacationing at the beach in one of our favorite places – Outer Banks, North Carolina.

Time is FLYING by!  My kids are growing so quickly and I often forget to savor the moment and to enjoy the “joys of my heart”.

This past week my Sophia graduated from kindergarten and Alexandra finished 5th grade.  I was pregnant with Alexandra when I taught my last 5th grade class.

Did you know we are commanded to enjoy the life God has given us? (Ecclesiastes 11:9) It’s true!  God commands us to enjoy life while we are able.

However, there is a warning.  We will stand in judgement for our actions.  Therefore, we are instructed to enjoy life within the parameters that God has given us.

My challenge to you is this – enjoy each moment you have with your kids this summer.  Find ways to spend time with them doing things that THEY enjoy.  Don’t forget to take lots of pictures so that you can relive those moments together when school starts again.


I saw this notebook at Target the other day and couldn’t resist.

So, excuse me for having sticky floors this summer, a messy kitchen (what else do you expect when the kiddos want to help you make cookies), and piles of laundry to fold.  I am enjoying the”joys of my heart”!



Until next Monday,