Preschool is Apple-Solutely Fun!

Visiting an apple orchard is a great way to introduce the letter A to your preschool child.  Science, language arts, math, and art are all subjects illustrated in God’s world as apples are discussed, picked, and tasted.

Language Arts and Math:  Discuss the different varieties, colors and sizes of the apples with your preschooler.  Use real apples or paper apples to sort and count.  After sorting count and talk about same, more and less.





Math and Science:  Cut open an apple and count the seeds.  Discuss what grows when an apple seed is planted.  Discuss what a seed needs to grow.  Use 3 varieties of apples (Granny Smith, Golden Delicious, and Red Delicious) and have a taste test.  Use a color corresponding stamp pad to graph the preschooler’s favorite and then discuss results.



Art:  If you cut an apple through the middle while it is on its side, God has placed a special thing in the middle of the apple.  Your preschooler will be excited to see a star!  God brought the star down from the heavens and placed it in an apple just for us!  Use this apple in a stamp art project with paint.



Easy bake “apple pie” with your preschooler.  For this apple pie you will need cinnamon and sugar in container, tube refrigerator biscuits, butter, and 2 cups of chopped apples.  If you have an apple peeler it is really fun for the child to use.  Peel and chop apples, have chilld smash biscuit flat, add a large teaspoon of chopped apples to biscuit, shake cinnamon and sugar on apples, top with a small pat of butter, fold over biscuit and seal well.  Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes or until golden brown, then cool and enjoy!






Books to read and enjoy:  Apple Pie Tree by Zoe Hall,  Apples by Gail Gibbons, Apple Farmer Annie by Monica Wellington,  The Seasons of Arnold’s Apple Tree by Gail Gibbons, Johnny Appleseed by Jodie Shepherd, and  Apples, Apples, Apples, by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace  are some books that are lively, rich, and beautifully illustrated apple  books for the preschooler and early elementary child.

(Sing to the tune of: “BINGO”) 

I know a fruit that grows on trees, 
An apple is its name, oh!
An apple is its name, oh!

In summer and in early fall
It’s time to pick an apple!

It may be sweet or may be tart,
It’s red, or green, or yellow! 

A McIntosh or Granny Smith, 
A Winesap or Delicious!

Make applesauce or apple juice 
Or apple pie with apples! 


Until the next “Truth” sharing time,

Cathy Jo Johnson











Start to a Great Preschool Year


Summer activities are winding down, outdoor pools are now closed, at least in the Midwest, and daylight is waning.

That all means that schedules change and for most young children excitement grows as they prepare for preschool.

My three year old grandson is excited to start preschool and I  am thrilled to share in his fun of learning and in my fun and love of teaching.  I have taught in Christian schools, public schools, and home schools.  To now share my love of God’s Word and God’s world with my grandson and his one year old sister means that I am over the moon!

Skills to Practice while Playing with your Two Year Old.
  • Cut play dough with blunt end scissors
  • Bake and cook together
  • Finger paint
  • Play with a variety of art mediums
  • Color with a variety and size of crayons
  • Easel paint with chunky paint brushes
  • Make crafts with a variety of papers, glue, and paint
  • Read many books
  • Attend age appropriate library programs
  • Use blocks of various sizes and textures to build things
  • Play outside
  • Play with chalk
  • Blow bubbles
  • Do puzzles together
  • Sing together
  • Play with balls
  • Point out things in nature while sharing God’s amazing creation

As this preschool year progresses many cooking and art medium recipes that are good for ages 2 through 5 years of age will be shared. This preschool year skills and activities for 3 and 4 year old children will be shared.  There are different expectations  for the 3 year old and the 4 year old.  So I will outline those differences as the year progresses and next school year plan to expand the specific needs of the 4 year old as we prepare for kindergarten.

First week of Preschool

First of all establish if the child is left or right handed. As an activity have paint, chunky paint brush, and easel.   Watch which hand the child uses to paint with at the easel.  Make a note so you will be able to encourage the use of that hand when tracing and letter formation.  If the child keeps switching from hand to hand that child has not become comfortable with a dominant hand, more activities and attention will need to be observed over the next few weeks.  Once left or right handedness has been established make sure that is the hand the child uses in tracing and letter formation.

Note: Sometimes, especially with children who are left handed,  the child may cut better with their right hand so watch this skill as an opposite hand may need to be encouraged for cutting.  More about cutting skills and best scissors for the 3 and 4 year old will be addressed in a few weeks.

Tracing and Writing Practice
  1. With the two and three year old use crayon rocks.   I prefer fat pencils with the three year old and if the child has trouble holding this try 3 sided pencils
  2. Use a regular size pencil and a three sided pencil grip so proper habits can be established with the four year old. (Saying: Thumbkin goes on star of this pencil grip, pointer (finger) and rests on tall man (tallest finger).
  3. Little hands (3-4 year old children)  need correct and consistent writing practice.
  4. A great resource for handwriting is The Handwriting Book
  5. Provide tracing practice for the preschooler to strengthen fine motor control.  Tracing practice can take place in many ways:  Make lines on a chalkboard and have child trace over with a different color each time traced.  Purchase preschool tracing books at a teacher store or dollar store.  If you want to reuse pages place in a plastic sleeve and use dry erase markers for tracing practice.
Daily Calendar

While pointing to a calendar (a large wall calendar) and each day, sing Days of the Week song.  This teaches left to right progression, sequence, and that letters form words.

  This is sung to the tune of Ten Little Indians…

Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday

Thursday, Friday,


God made 7 days in a week.

1,2,3,4,5,6,7 (as fingers are held up as counting)

You are off to a great start this preschool year!

Until the next “Truth” sharing moment,

Cathy Jo Johnson














How a Butterfly can Teach a Preschooler about Jesus

Daily Truth:   “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.”  Ezekiel 36:26


We usually think of eagles soaring not butterflies.  Today think of the butterfly in a new way.  Think of it as a new creature, just as we become a new creature in Christ when we believe in Jesus Christ.

The new butterflies at the end of summer are always beautiful. To think that these creatures have such a dramatic transformation from caterpillar to butterfly is amazing.

Did God create this creature to give us an object lesson about new life? Before we know Christ and have new life we crawl through life as exemplified from a caterpillar.

It is interesting to note that the Monarch butterfly must have a milkweed plant to live. We too must have milk to grow and thrive. But as we grow we need much more than milk.  In Hebrews 13:5 God tells us,  “For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe.”  If we are to grow to full maturity in Christ we will need to study and apply God’s Word.

The new caterpillar eats the leaves where it has hatched so it  eats rapidly and sheds the exoskeleton many times. We too can only know of the world around us before having a personal relationship with Christ.  We see the things around us without giving thanks to God or realizing that true strength comes from Christ.

Once the caterpillar is done growing it forms itself into a pupa or chrysalis. Sometimes we build a wall around us to keep things from affecting us.  If we do not change or “get a new heart” which in Hebrew means to have a change of mind we will be left to our own sinful selves.  We might look great on the outside but our minds are not that of Christ.  

The chrysalis changes and a beautiful butterfly emerges.  What a transformation!  Is that how God see us?  We are totally different when we ask Jesus Christ to be our Savior.  We can fly away from the “milkweed” that has held us captive before our transformation.  We can soar through the skies.  Our perspective changes as we are now above looking at the world from a different perspective. Jesus Christ has set us free and the Holy Spirit guides us as we go through life as a new creature.

Next time you and your child see a butterfly talk about the way God transforms our lives.  Make a teachable moment come alive with one of God’s beautiful creatures.

Below is a butterfly craft you may like to do with your child.  The only materials needed are colored markers, a coffee filter, and chenille wire.

  1. Color the coffee filter, the more colors used the prettier it will be.IMG_2095
  2. Spray the coffee filter with water to diffuse colors.IMG_2105
  3. Place dried coffee filter into the chenille wire that has been bent in half.  Twist at the bottom and at the top of where the coffee filter has been inserted and then bend the remaining wire to form antennas. DSCN2469

Some good books that teach about the stages of butterflies are: “Caterpillar Spring, Butterfly Summer”, “The Very Hungry Caterpillar”, and “Caterpillar to Butterfly”

Using things in nature to teach God’s Word to  children is exactly what God does with us, His children.

New life in Christ makes us beautiful to be around, gives us the ability to soar, and allows us an eternal home with God.

Until the next “Truth” sharing moment,

Cathy Jo Johnson



No Need to be Afraid

Daily Truth:  “The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?”

   Psalm 27:1

Wian 29
Illustration from the children’s book,
“What’s in a Name?” by Cathy Jo Johnson


Have you ever been afraid?   The word “afraid” can be found 216 times in the NKJV of the Bible. God gives us accounts in the Bible where men, women, and children are afraid.  God also shows us how He rescues, protects, and gives grace to people.

According to the “Harvard Mental Health Letter” of December 2004 “A child’s world is full of dangers, real and imaginary, that many adults forget they ever experienced… Children’s minds and emotions are constantly changing and developing, and they do not all develop at the same rate, so it is not always easy to distinguish normal fears from those that require special attention. Newborns typically fear falling and loud noises. Fear of strangers begins as early as six months and persists until the age of two or three. Preschool children usually fear being separated from their parents; they may also be afraid of large animals, dark places, masks, and supernatural creatures.”

As parents we need to take care in providing a safe environment for our children.  As much as we would love to hold them and protect them their entire life we cannot and should not.

It is important for parents to have a strong prayer life.  As the mother of three children born within 27 months people often said, “They must keep you on your toes?”  Which I replied, “They keep me on my knees.”  Understanding that some things were in my control yet all things were in God’s control which was a constant help to me.

We try to remain calm when afraid so our children will not be fearful. By having a time with the LORD each day (no matter how short or long depending on our season of life) helps us to maintain calmness amidst fear.

The most important thing to take away fear is trust.  When children know that you are there to nourish, care, protect, and love them their fears are reduced and trust is built.  Our jobs as parents is to then build upon that trust and teach them to trust God.

When life situations arise, point out how God cares and protects.  Take pictures and frame those moments so your child can be reminded of God’s goodness.  Pray for others and keep a journal of those prayer requests.  Praise God for answered prayers and record in the journal so you can go back and remind your child of God’s working.  Just as the Israelites made  stone monuments in specific locations to mark God’s working we too need to make visual reminders of God’s working in our lives and those of our children’s.

Verses to teach your children about not being afraid and trusting God include:

  1.  “The LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?”      Psalm 27:1
  2.  “…The LORD is my helper; I will not fear…” Hebrews 13:6
  3. “Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid…” Deuteronomy 31:6 a
  4.  “…He will not leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6 b

Some Bible lessons that show fear from people yet  teach trust in God:

  1.  Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego  in Daniel 3 of the Bible
  2. Crossing of the Red Sea in Exodus 14 of the Bible
  3. Jesus Calms a Storm in Matthew 8:23-27   

Learning the names of God helps to take away fear and build trust.

“What’s in a Name?” is a children’s book for ages 4-8 that teaches about some of the names of God.  The name of God shown in the above illustration is the name “El Roi”. “El Roi” means the God who sees.  God sees when we are afraid.  He will take care of us. When we learn the Hebrew names of God we learn more about God.  Each of His special names teaches us a characteristic about Himself.  God loves us and can be trusted to take care of us in all situations.  We do not need to be afraid.

Until the next “Truth” sharing moment,

Cathy Jo Johnson
































Learning Styles and Teaching Style Matter

Daily Truth:  “You shall teach them to your children, speaking of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.”  Deuteronomy  11:19

group of children

Is it important to know the learning styles of children in order to teach children effectively?

According to Deuteronomy 11:19 we are to teach the things of God throughout the day. This seems like a big order in this day of technology, over commitments, fast food, and sometimes fast talk.  Yet, we need to slow down our lives so we will be able to tend well to our families. Teaching about God and His Word are the most important things we can do.

In order to make the most of  teaching moments it is good to know the learning style of your child.  There are several ways to categorize learning styles.

I will refer to  three learning styles:  auditory learner, visual learner and the kinesthetic learner. The auditory learner learns best by hearing the information being taught to them and then talking about what was learned.  The visual learner must see the process, facts, and concepts being taught.  The kinesthetic learner learns best while manipulating, touching, and working with the concepts being taught.

Watch children as they play to help determine their learning style.  An auditory learner will express themselves through their words.They may also enjoy music and various sounds. The visual learner will have more facial expression. They also enjoy watching and observing.  The kinesthetic learner will more likely express themselves through body language and manipulation of the objects being played with.  They may even want to take things apart to see how it works. They enjoy physical activity.

Our ultimate teacher example is Jesus Christ.  While on this earth he taught to the auditory, visual, and kinesthetic learner.  Jesus used parables (a short story with a message) to teach. Oh how those auditory learners must have wanted to sit for hours listening and soaking in every word that Jesus said.  Jesus also taught to the visual learner.   He fed 5,000 people with 2 fish and 5 loaves of bread!  What a site that would have been to see!  And then for the kinesthetic learner (some of the disciples)  each received a basket of food left over to carry with them after Jesus fed the 5,000 people.

Try to think of other examples from the Bible in which Jesus taught to the various learning styles.  It is exciting to see all the examples of teaching scenarios God’s Word provides for us.  It never ceases to amaze me how much we can learn from God’s Word.

Once we understand the learning style of the children God has placed around us we can more effectively teach each child. Just as Jesus taught in a variety of ways so too should we.  We need to know the dominant way in which the individual child learns but teaching to all children means we need to make sure that we as parents, grandparents, and teachers follow Jesus’ example and teach to all three learning styles.

Teaching the things of God while we “speak, sit, and walk” as told to us in Deuteronomy 11:19 covers the three learning styles.

Until the next “Truths” sharing moment,

Cathy Jo Johnson





Columbus Day: The Real Story

Daily Truth:  “Oh send out your light and truth!  Let them lead me… ” Psalm 43:3 a



Columbus Day finds some families on fall break. Other families may be taking advantage of the low prices  at  Columbus Day sales. Many elementary age children are discussing Christopher Columbus at school.

There was Queen Isabella who helped Columbus achieve his goals by providing money.  The Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria were commissioned to sail Columbus to the New World.  Columbus was born in Italy. These are some facts about Columbus but are children  taught the real facts about Columbus?

There is a wonderful book entitled, “The Light and Glory” by Peter Marshall and David Manuel that provides insight about Columbus Day.   It shares historical accounts from 1492 to 1793 and tells how God’s will was sought and where God’s sovereignty was seen throughout America’s history.

“His name, Christopher, literally means Christ-bearer.  Indeed, he found confirmation of his call almost everywhere he looked.  He would quote in his journal such lines of Scripture as those in Isaiah that meant so much to him.”

“Listen to me, O coastlands, and hearken, you peoples from afar,
The LORD called me from the womb,
from the body of my mother he named my name…
I will give you as a light to the nations,
that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.
Isaiah 49:1,6″

Marshall’s and Manuel’s research gleaned much insight into the man of Christopher Columbus.  Columbus’s personal journals are quoted.  “‘I prayed to the most merciful Lord concerning my desire, and He gave me the spirit and the intelligence for it.  He gave me abundant skill in the mariner’s arts, an adequate understanding of the stars, and of geometry and arithmetic…God has equipped me for this voyage. ‘”

Columbus made many voyages once funded by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella.  After two months and several days while sailing to the New World Columbus agreed to turn back in three days if no sign of land was seen. “At  2:00 a.m., (October 12, 1492) with less than four hours remaining before the dawn of the third and final day, the electrifying cry at last rang out from the Pinta…The lookout had spied what appeared to be a low white cliff shining in the moonlight, and Martin Pinzon confirmed the sighting by firing a cannon as a signal. Land!”

“Columbus was the first to set foot on dry land, carrying the royal standard, with the brothers Pinzon directly behind him, bearing a huge white banner with a green cross and the crowned initials of Ferdinand and Isabella on either side of it.”

“Several of the sailors scooped out a deep hole in the hot sand and firmly planted the eight -foot oak cross Columbus had brought especially for this occasion.  Then the entire company gathered around it and knelt, many with tears in their eyes.  The Admiral christened the island San Salvador-“Holy Savior”-and then bowed their heads as he prayed:  ‘O Lord, Almighty and everlasting God, by Thy holy Word Thou hast created the heaven, and the earth, and the sea; blessed and glorified be Thy Name, and praised be Thy Majesty, which hath deigned to use us, Thy humble servants, that Thy holy Name may be proclaimed in this second part of the earth.'”

Columbus’s good intentions and desire to serve God on future voyages waned as the desire of gold and honor outweighed his earlier passion of serving God first. “The preoccupation with gold, which had subtly insinuated itself into the fabric of Columbus’s first explorations in the New World, was now becoming an obsession.”

On his last voyage Columbus and his crew overcame many obstacles.  “Columbus may have turned away from God, but God did not turn away from Columbus.  By sheer grace God brought him and his remaining crew members safely home to Spain.  But this time there was no royal summons inviting him to court.  Queen Isabella way dying.  It was the end of an era.”

“In the spring of 1506 Columbus’s health began to fail quickly” and Columbus died.

May we follow Psalm 43:3 and follow God’s light and truth.  May we not become consumed with desires that lead us away from God.  May we lead our children in paths of truth.   May we learn from people’s mistakes as well as their good choices as we study from history and the Bible.

There is also a children’s version of “Light and Glory” that would be excellent reading with your child.

Now you know the “rest of the story” about Christopher Columbus and the reason for Columbus Day.

Until the next “Truth” sharing moment.

Cathy Jo




Fall, A Beautiful Season

Daily Truth:  “And let us not be weary in well doing:  for in due season we will reap, if we faint  not.”  Galatians 6:9


The corn stalks are now golden brown, the weather is getting too cool to swim outside, and now pumpkins are more prevalent than watermelons.  The season has changed and fall is welcomed in with campfires, s’mores, and sweatshirts.

No matter the season, God teaches us in His Word to not grow weary in well doing.  The fall season tightens up schedules with school and all its activities.  We get busy with all the day to day responsibilities. To get to the end of the day with dinner on the table, children’s homework completed, toddlers bathed, and everyone tucked in so you can then complete your own tasks takes a great deal of effort. Yet, God’s Word tells us not to grow weary in well doing.

God realizes all the demands of life. That is why God says, “In due season we will reap, if we faint not.”   All the things on your plate do not need to be or will be accomplished this fall, the coming winter, or the next summer.

Those dishes can wait, laundry can be accomplished on another day, but a tear from your child’s eye needs immediate attention, a wrong attitude needs correcting, and that favorite story may need to be read aloud one more time.

Children need a mom that is first in love with Christ.  At the feet of Jesus  is the only place where the weary mom can gain strength, encouragement, and the right words to impart to the loved ones around her.

A new season has arrived.  Fall is a time of change, beauty, and preparing for the next season.   As you teach the children in the world around you take time to refresh yourself so you will be able to impart God’s beautiful world and His Word with love and grace.

Part of refreshing is having fun with your children.  Fall presents many activities that you can enjoy together as a family.  A bike ride on a fall crisp day is always fun.   Raking leaves together and jumping in the leaves can be fun.  Invite a family over to share in raking leaves and end with a chili supper or campfire and s’mores.

If you have Preschool age children you may want to share the following fall action song.

Autumn Leaves Are Falling Down sung to the tune of London Bridge  and act out with motions to match the words.

Autumn leaves are falling down,
Falling down, falling down
Autumn leaves are falling down,
All over town.


The cold wind blows them all around,
All around, all around,
The cold wind blows them all around,
All over town.
They’re drifting gently to the ground,
To the ground, to the ground,
They’re drifting gently to the ground,
All over town.


Take a rake and rake them up,
Rake them up, rake them up,
Take a rake and rake them up,
All over town.

Found in “I’m a Little Teapot!” compiled by Jane Cobb.

Some fun fall books include: “Why do Leaves Change Color?” by Betsy Maestro, “Leaf Man” by Lois Ehlert, “Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf” by Lois Ehlert, “It’s Fall”  by Linda Glaser, and “Autumn: An Alphabet Acrostic” by Steven Schnur

Until the next “Truth” sharing moment,

Cathy Jo



Labor Day: The Fruits of Our Labor

Daily Truth:  “You shall eat the fruit(s) of the labor of your hands; you shall be blessed, and it shall be well with you.” Psalm 128:2


Fruits of Our LaborWe planted two apple trees in our backyard when our children were young.  The Red Delicious apple tree did not do very well but the Golden Delicious apple tree has provided fruit for twenty years.  Our children are now in their early twenties and we are still enjoying the fruit from this tree.

When our children were young they would help pick apples from our trees.  We would all then wash and peel them with our corer and peeler.

Applesauce, apple pies, apple crisp, apple butter and even dehydrated apples were made in those late summer days. Bees would be attracted to the screen outside the kitchen window as the aroma of cooking apples would waft out the window.

Growing apples or picking fruit from an orchard and then helping to cook the fruit brings Psalm 128:2 to life.  Children realize that the labor or work from their hands brings blessings as they enjoy the fruit of their labor.

Teachable moments are around us each day.  Use God’s World and daily life experiences to teach God’s Word.

Take Psalm 128:2 to the next level for your child by discussing how dad and mom labor for the family.  What “fruits” do they provide for the family?  With older children guide the conversation away from the literal “fruit” to abstract “fruit”.  Discuss what jobs they could do around the home to bless one another.

And now back to the literal “fruit” for recipes to cook with your children and make for your family.

Apple Recipes

Apple Pie

7 cups sliced apples

1 cup sugar

3 T. flour

1 t. (plus) cinnamon

½ t. nutmeg

1 ½ T. vinegar

Mix all ingredients in bowl before putting in pie crust.  Taste to see if it needs more sugar as some apples are very tart.  Put into pie crust and dot with butter before placing the top pie crust.  Seal and crimp the pie crusts together.  To glaze top crust mix some sugar with a little milk and spread over crust before adding the vent cuts.  Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

Apple Butter

5 pints of chunky applesauce

½ cup red hots

4 cups sugar

¼ t. cloves

½ cup cider vinegar

Cook on low in Crock Pot for 12 to 14 hours or until thickened as desired.  Cool and place in freezer containers or may be canned at this point.

Enjoy the “fruits” of your labor.

Until the next “Truth” sharing moment.

Cathy Jo Johnson







Are You an Encouragement? Six Examples from the Bible

Daily Truth:  “When they read it they rejoiced over its encouragement.”  Acts 15:31

Young boy outside

The word encouragement can be a noun or a verb.  As a noun it “is the act of encouraging”  “the state of being encouraged” or “something that encourages”.  As a verb it “is to inspire or give courage”.

Encouragement should therefore inspire, give courage, and add strength to one’s character. In Acts 15:31 a letter is sent to the people of Antioch to encourage.  A letter, baked cookies, flowers, acts of service, a hug, and many other things can give encouragement. God has many examples of encouragement in His Word that we can apply to our lives today to show and teach encouragement.

Six Examples of Encouragement Taught in the Bible

That We Can Use Today


  1. Moses felt as though he was not equipped to take on the Pharaoh of Egypt.  Exodus 3:10-4:21  God provided the resources which gave encouragement that Moses would need.  God will provide for you and your child too. As parents we can provide the necessary items and people such as coaches or instructors to help each child to play a sport or instrument.  Parents provide encouragement too by attending games and recitals.
  2.  Joshua was to become the next leader of the Israelites.  Moses had been a mentor for many years. Deuteronomy 31 Godly mentoring is valuable to your child too.  We all learn by example.  The saying “actions speak louder than words” is true.  Joshua had seen Moses rely on God for strength and guidance.  Let your child too see how God provides for your family’s needs and guidance.  Pray as a family and praise God for answered prayer.  Read missionary biographies together to see God’s provision and guidance. These real life stories provide great encouragement and a form of mentoring.
  3. Rahab provided encouragement and protection of the Israelite spies that came to Jericho.  She told the spies that she had heard of all the amazing things their God had done.  Joshua 2:3-14  Share your life stories with your children how God has watched over you.  We serve a powerful and sovereign God.  Make God real to your children by using real life examples and share by telling of those those special times.
  4. Even after Peter denies the Lord Jesus Christ three times Jesus upon his return is gentle, loving and encouraging. John 21:1-19 Our children will disappoint us at  times.  Remember the example Christ set for us.  We all make mistakes.  Peter was broken and repentant.  Christ forgave, restored and encouraged.  What an example!
  5. John Mark is left by Paul.  Barnabas encourages John Mark by taking him along to share the God News of Jesus Christ. Acts 15:36-41  Even when someone disappoints us or our children, look to see what we can learn.  Growth can come from a disappointment.  Help your child grow spiritually and look to God. Be an encourager as Barnabas was to John Mark.
  6. Jesus is coming again! Acts 1:11 What hope and encouragement that is to the believer!  We are sinful people yet Jesus died, rose again, ascended into heaven and is coming again for us.  He died for each one of us.  He didn’t have to, Jesus did nothing wrong.  What an encouragement that is to know that our heavenly Father loved us so much that He gave His only Son, Jesus Christ, to die in our place.  What a loving sacrifice, what an encouragement, what a Savior!

God encourages us daily.  Parents need to  encourage children daily.  God’s Word gives us examples to teach us how to encourage one another.

Encouragement is an act of love.  “Love one another as (God) so loved you”.  John 15:12b

What are some ideas for encouragement that you do with your family?

Until the next “Truth” sharing moment,

Cathy Jo


Two are Better than One

Daily Truth:  “Two are better than one….For if they fall, one will lift up his companion.”  Ecclesiastes 4:9


Two ARE better than one.

This past month I have experienced just a taste of what it would be like to be a single mom.  I’ve been at my mom’s house for a month with the kids. Love being with my family but miss the hubs ALOT.

Two ARE better than one.

I received a “sunshine” package a couple of days before Father’s Day from three of my sweet friends.  They knew Father’s Day would be tough.  The package contained all things yellow and three encouraging notes.

Two ARE better than one.

When we first got all three of our kiddos from the agency, all three were in diapers!  It was almost more than I could handle.  Friends prayed for me and sent encouraging emails. It didn’t make the diapers disappear, it just helped ease the transition from mom of one to overnight mom of four.

Two ARE better than one.

I have found that running is so much more enjoyable when doing it with a friend, my husband, or even one of my kids.  It especially makes 13.1 miles go by much faster and seem more doable with a friend.

Two ARE better than one.

We’ve all had those moments as moms that we just can’t do it anymore….not one more diaper, not one more dish, not one more whiny child.  We’ve all had those moments when we just needed someone to understand.

Two ARE better than one.

Our kids need that same understanding.  They need to know that they are not alone.

They need encouragement.

They need love shown to them.

They need to see that two ARE better than one.

How can we show this to them?

1. Teach them at a young age to play nicely with other kids their age.

2.  Teach them how to play nicely with their siblings (this can be tough at times).

3.  Take time to listen to them.  Their concerns are just as important to them..even if it is just they  can’t find their favorite blanket.

4.  Give them encouragement.

5.  Spend quality time with them individually as well as together as a sibling group.  Our kids LOVE dates with mom or dad.  It’s their one-on-one time with one of us.

6.  Surprise them with little things that you know they like.  This could be as simple as playing play dough with them or baking their favorite cookies together.

7.  Give hugs at random…not just first thing in the morning or the last thing at night.

8.  Teach them to work together.  Let’s face it, a household of six cannot run without everyone helping out somehow. They can get pretty creative when they have to solve a problem together….like how to get trash out to the curb.

9.  Give them love notes.  Even the little kiddos love getting cards and notes.

10.  Show random acts of kindness to each child.

There are so many more ways to show your kids that two ARE better than one.  These are just ten ideas.

This week, try to show your kids that two ARE better than one and spread some sunshine in your home this week.

Until next Monday,