Often when children grow up in a Christian home, they can become accustomed to not having to deal with the “war,” that they must face outside the home, both now and in the future.

Prepare for The War Outside

1 John 2:16, says, “For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father but are from this world.

The world will always offer us a counterfeit, but God offers authentic joy and peace for a lifetime! A life lived in Christ is the only thing that will fulfill our lives and give glory to God. Giving glory to God is why we were all created. We don’t have to demonize or tone down the appeal of the world; the world will always have its tactics. Instead, we should focus on making sure that our children are rooted in truth.

Encourage your children and assure them that God’s Word gives us many promises to give us hope, especially in the tough times. Here are two such promises:

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”-Galatians 6:9 (NIV)

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” -Romans 8:28 (NIV)

Prepare for The War Inside

“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” -Jeremiah 17:9 (ESV)

We not only have to contend with evil in the world but more importantly, there is a war that rages within us as well. We must remain inherently aware of this inward war. No matter how long we have been walking with God, we need to continue relying on God. We have to make a practice of asking God to shape our desires, mindsets, motives, and actions.

Share your personal testimonies to help prepare your children to live victoriously for Christ. Share the truth that living for Jesus is not easy. Becoming vulnerable and honest with your children actually helps to level the playing field. Although we are their parents, we are also in need of God’s help. Don’t worry about focusing on your shortcomings. Just explain how God made you stronger with every lesson you learned. Your children will love hearing that you were once just like them in many ways.

Always remember that, as parents, nothing we do to raise our children guarantees their success. But our obedience to train and teach our children guarantees that they have “incorruptible” seeds of truth planted in their hearts and minds. Our obedience to God should never be based on the outward response of our children. Believe the promises of God for your children, by faith! God has promised that they will not depart (or get away from) the truth that has been planted within them.

I encourage you to pray for and with your children. My prayer is that all of our children will lead victorious lives in Christ! God hears our prayers! He will be faithful to minister to our children’s hearts as we remain committed to lead them into God’s truth intentionally. Continue confessing the promises of God and anticipating a harvest!

It’s springtime, and it’s prime time for gardening. While recently planting flowers, I got some advice from a gardener about helping them grow. She advised that if I did not cut off the brown dead leaves, it would prevent the flower from reaching its full potential. Oftentimes, as the year progresses our priorities for our marriage, children, and family life, seem to become difficult to maintain. One reason is that we neglect to get rid of the things that are “dead weight.”

Pursuing Too Many Passions

God has given husbands, wives, and our children passions; special interests, and gifts. But there should be a vision for how much is too much. The main ingredient to a flourishing family is unity. Unity can become tremendously difficult to maintain if everyone is involved in too many activities. Especially when the kids are younger. I suggest no more than one activity per child, especially when they require practices and meetings, etc.

Heart Check-In

Make time for a "heart check-in” to talk about how you and your spouse are really feeling. Have a separate time for the kids as well. Misperceptions in relationships can sometimes kill the reality of what is intended. Your spouse may perceive that you don’t want to help with the laundry anymore, while in reality it just slipped his mind. Your children may perceive work is more important to you than spending time talking to them, while in reality there is nothing you want to do more than spend time with them. Carving out space for a “heart check-in” allows for both positive and negative things to be addressed together as a family in a relaxed setting.

Praying For Next Steps

No one knows the future but the Lord. We may have our plans for our family for the week, month, or year, but we always have to keep our plans open before the Lord. Allow God to direct your family’s steps. God loves family and He wants us to seek Him for how He wants to use our families to glorify Him. The world needs praying families right now more than ever. Let’s remember to ask God about every decision in our life. God is waiting, ready, and willing to guide us. He alone knows how to cause our families to flourish.

I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew

Due to this ongoing pandemic, the co-op our family regularly attends did not meet and I didn’t have the option to outsource art for the kids.

I like art but I did not want to have to create the lesson plans. However, I didn’t want my kids to miss out on a quality art program. Being offered “K-3 Vol. 1 Art for Children, Building a Visual Vocabulary" by ARTistic Pursuits was right on time!

This creative art curriculum includes 18 projects featuring examples in the work text. And art material instruction in six video lessons. The curriculum can also be solely purchased as an online course. There is an art supply list for all the lessons, once you have acquired the materials, you are all set!

Each lesson is simple and ranges from ten minutes to forty-five minutes. There are prep notes for each lesson with helpful hints on getting started. This curriculum particularly helps your child's observation skills and attention to detail. ARTistic Pursuits gives your child a brief education of art concepts while guiding them on how to create.

Our first lesson was "Watercolor Crayons" with video lesson instruction. The instructions were to create a painting of a few favorite objects from your bedroom. My eight-year-old son enjoyed this project and was happily surprised that he got to pick the objects that he was interested in. His current interest are Beyblades and Dogman books! Are there any other "boy moms" that can relate??

In the "Oil Pastels," video lesson, the instructor models the techniques to be used with oil pastels, drawing paper, and tissue. You select outdoor toys, shoes, plants, or other play objects you can find. Your art projects always come out unique and give you an opportunity to add your own ideas. Seen below is my son's drawing of a basketball, football, and jump rope in our yard.

We also learned how to "Identify and Mix Colors," using the same media, but different techniques. We selected green, orange, and purple objects that were simple in shape. We chose fruits for this project. We used basic watercolors and mixed them to create the desired color for each fruit.

Drawing shapes was a cool lesson! We selected a variety of blocks from around the house. If you didn't have building blocks you were instructed to cut out different shapes of paper. You then would use the shapes to create an animal, building, person, anything you would like. Here is the masterpiece my son created below.

My oldest son who is eleven years old picked a more challenging lesson. "How to draw a self-portrait". There was no video for this lesson. The instructions however are laid out step by step. He was able to achieve a picture similar to himself while sketching with oil pastels and looking in a mirror.

I think, he did a superb job on his first try!

We really enjoyed this art curriculum! We liked the freedom to chose items in the various lessons to personalize each lesson to my son's taste. Each art project had minimal prep, which is great for a mom like me with three busy boys.

I'm looking forward to adding all of these diverse projects to each one of their homeschool portfolios. I definitely recommend this art program for all homeschool families. Looking forward to using more ARTistic Pursuits curriculum, throughout this upcoming school year!

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