I’m excited to feature a guest post today from my friend Sara Wallace, Gospel-Centered Mom!

“I’m doing it wrong. This isn’t working.”

From the moment we hold our sweet babies in our arms these thoughts waste no time creeping in. I remember having these thoughts when I first started nursing and the first time I buckled a floppy newborn into a car seat. They haunted me during sleep training, potty-training, and picking gum out of toddler hair.

All of those things have a way of eventually working themselves out. We survive, life moves on. But when it comes to discipline, those thoughts don’t want to let go. “I’m doing it wrong. This isn’t working.” Perhaps that’s because nothing brings out our frustration and doubts about our parenting like discipline. We know we’re supposed to be training these little hearts, but we didn’t expect it to be so hard.  

I clearly remember a day that I disciplined my three-year-old for throwing a toy in anger. I told him to sit on his bed and think about what we learned about self-control. Situation over, discipline nailed. Right? Not so much. He turned around and said, “No. I will NOT think about ANYTHING.”

Oh, boy. I realized then and there that discipline is not something I can check off my to-do list. It’s an inseparable part of daily parenting – whether I like it or not. After having five boys in exactly seven years, I realized discipline was a train I was not getting off anytime soon.

But at the same time God began showing me that that’s a good thing. I not only want to stay on this train, I want to ride it all the way to its final destination: my kids’ hearts. Discipline allows me to connect with my kids in a personal, precious way. Most importantly, discipline lays the foundation for teaching my kids the gospel.

And now I want to come alongside you parents with a personal and embarrassingly raw account of what God has taught me about the “D” word. What does discipline have to do with the gospel? Theology is wonderful—but how does it help me with my screaming two-year-old in the middle of WalMart? How do we strike the balance between too much discipline and too little, especially when we are exhausted and discouraged?

I didn’t write this book because discipline comes naturally to me. I wrote it because my kid pushed your kid into the pool at swim lessons. I wrote it because last week I had to leave the grocery store early when my kids were wrestling in the aisles. And I wrote it because discipline seems exhausting and discouraging only when we leave out the most important ingredient: the gospel.

If you’re looking for a formula that will turn disobedient kids into perfect little angels, you won’t find it. God doesn’t give us a formula. He gives us principles. The Holy Spirit gives us wisdom to use those principles to point our kids to Christ. When your kids disobey, they are telling you something. Strain your ears to hear past the tantrums, the rebellious stomping, and the disrespectful tone. They are saying, “Mom . . . I don’t know how to obey on my own. Can you help me?”

This is our time. This is our chance to point our kids to the only thing that matters: the gospel. God has given us the task of discipline not just so we can survive today but to lead our kids to the cross. Discipline is a beautiful privilege and I want to show you how to find joy in it. There is so much more to discipline than creative strategies, checklists, and behavior management. There’s Jesus.

For the Love of Discipline: When the Gospel Meets Tantrums and Time-Outs will be released April 30th. Preorder yours on Amazon today!

Sara Wallace is a wife, author, and stay-at-home mom. She and her family live in Idaho where they minister in their church plant and homeschool their five little boys. Sara loves to cook, decorate her home, and write about the crazy blessing of parenting. 

A few weeks ago, I shared a little bit of our story over at moneysavingmom.com.

In this post, I explained that early in our marriage, my husband and I faithfully adhered to a strict budget. As our goals and life-seasons progressed, the necessity of a budget continued. And even now, despite nine years of discipline, we must still watch our spending very closely.

If I’m honest, I did not expect to be on the exact same budget 9 years into our marriage.

  • I expected that all our diligence would have lead to a breakthrough in our monthly spending.
  • I expected to be picking out cute clothes for my kids instead of relying on consignment trade-ins.
  • I expected to have my house all set up with decorations and organizers, not to be shoving kids’ shoes into broken plastic drawers.

However, as I’ve grappled with contentment again (for the umpteenth time) in recent months, I see that my concept of contentment has been rooted in the belief that it would be temporary. I wasn’t prepared to be grateful and happy tracking every dollar for the long haul, I was just sort-of holding my breath until things would be different.

That day hasn’t come.

And so I’ve been thinking. What does it mean to be content, really content, in a socially-connected world filled with beautiful farmhouse kitchens, backyard patios draped with string lights, and beautiful beach vacation photos?

What does it look like to be grateful when life doesn’t meet the perceived status quo?

And actually, I think I’ve figured something out.

For me, I’ve realized that true contentment flows from believing in God for His unseen, eternal promises. You see, when I set my heart on heaven, I am trusting that God has prepared something unspeakably better than anything I could have on this earth.

Ecclesiastes 4:6 says, “Better one handful with tranquility than two handfuls with toil and chasing after the wind.” (NIV)

In this life, I run the risk of becoming consumed with the accumulation of more, bigger, and better.

If I’m not careful, the desire for possessions can pull me in like an ocean current, and which could cause me to unintentionally devote my life to acquiring things that could never replace the peace, hope, and joy I’ve found through my contentment in Christ.

I feel the undertow every day.

But here’s the truth:

“More” focused living leads us to encumber ourselves with debt, which in turn prevents us from giving generously to the needs of others. We work extra jobs to afford that mortgage and those upgrades on that new vehicle. We feel we must have two handfuls because they look oh-so appealing, so we toil and chase the wind to have them.

“More” focused living leads us to consume our minds with what we want and how we are going to get it. We devote hours upon hours to dreaming and shopping, either browsing in stores or online. What do we really gain from all our striving after so many wants and desires?

They might make us happy for the moment (they’re not bad in and of themselves at all), but all the pleasure we take in our possessions and experiences is as fleeting as the wind. That new car will soon be stained and scratched; that new furniture will be nicked; that new outfit will cease to delight us, and that vacation, a distant memory.

So, I’m learning what it means to find tranquility in what I do have, and to thank God for it!  And I’m learning to allow God to be the guardian of my desires and to trust Him as He guides us down a path of simplicity and trust right now.

 


Over the past five years, God has opened my eyes to the truth of eternity and its relevance to motherhood.

In His grace, He brought me on a journey to see my life in light of heaven, and it changed everything. Now I believe He has entrusted me the task of helping other mothers anchor their hope firmly in heaven.

That is how my new book Heavenly Minded Mom was born, and after nearly two years of working, praying, and dreaming, it is HERE!

Heavenly Minded Mom is a 90 day devotional to help you embrace what matters most.

It is not a collection of stories about my life, nor is a “stereotypical” light-hearted devotional. Rather Heavenly Minded Mom is a deep examination of scripture and a invitation to reflect on what it means to live in light of eternity, in the context of motherhood. It is divided into bite-sized portions to offer space for reflection and a real perspective change over time.

Heavenly Minded Mom is divided into three sections:

  • Section One is a tilling up of the hard soil of our hearts. This is a critical first step –an assault on the idols that we cling to unknowingly. The purpose of this section is to demonstrate the futility of emptiness of what we too often allow to consume us. (Don’t worry, there are nuggets of hope and redemption woven into every devotion). 🙂
  • Section Two is a nurturing of the seed of eternity in our hearts. It is a time to soak in what scripture says about, well… reality, and allow it to begin germinating.
  • Section Three is the fruit-bearing. It is an outflow of the joy and purpose that God has poured into our daily living in Christ. The very things that seemed meaningless at the onset of this journey are now re-infused with new (and different) purpose.

I’d love for you to join me on this journey!

Order by April 3rd and get these BONUSES!

What fun would a book launch be without bonuses??

When you order by April 3rd, you will get three bonuses.

1. A downloadable art print from Chickadee Art and Co. (a $6 value)

(It’s a quote from the book!) It says,

“God has given each one of us a calling that is beautifully simple, completely unique, and utterly eternal –to follow Him.”

I am so excited to partner with Chickadee Art and Co. because I love the heart behind what they do. One third of all their profits go to buy bus passes for moms in need.

2. The Heavenly Minded Mom Companion Journal printable download (a $10 value)

The Heavenly Minded Mom Companion Journal was created to provide you with space to organize and work through your thoughts about Heavenly Minded Mom.

It highlights additional Bible verses and key quotes from Heavenly Minded Mom, along with hand-selected quotes from other Christian leaders and teachers. The journal restates the questions from the book and provides space to write answers along withadditional guidance and commentary.

The Heavenly Minded Mom Companion Journal will be available for purchase later, but for now, it’s a free download when you pre-order!

3. 30% off jewelry at the Starfish Project

The Starfish Project is a fair-trade organization that provides dignified employment and counseling to women escaping human trafficking in Asia.

It is such a wonderful cause and their jewelry is absolutely stunning! A necklace from the Starfish Project + Heavenly Minded Mom would make a perfect mothers day gift for you or a mom in your life.

Order now here: Heavenly Minded Mom

*NOTE* You must fill out this form to claim your pre-order bonuses!

The Freebies

When you purchase Heavenly Minded Mom, you will also get access to:

1. Scripture coloring pages intended to help you meditate on the truth of eternity (a $5 value)

2. The Heavenly Minded Mom Online Course (a $10 value)! This is a four-part video course will help you go deeper as you consider what it means to walk out motherhood in light of eternity.

The website to access these freebies is printed in the book itself, and you get them no matter when you buy!

Read a Sample

Not sure if you’re ready to take the plunge? You can read the first 30 pages absolutely free right now! Get a free sample here.

Where to buy?

Heavenly Minded Mom is available wherever books are sold online. However I have just learned that it is already IN STOCK at Cokesbury (this is because they share a warehouse with my publisher). That means if you order today, it will ship today, not in three weeks!

Not only that, but Cokesbury has marked the book down to $9.99, which is the best price anywhere!

Buy from Cokesbury here: https://www.cokesbury.com/product/9781501845529/he…

Or find links to other sellers at www.heavenlymindedmom.com

I’m excited to share my heart with you!

Reactions from the Launch Team

“This book is just blowing me away. I am so blessed to get a head start, but at the same time cannot wait to get the real official book in my hand to start from the beginning and dwell on each daily devotion for like a week each! They are seriously that good!!! Katie will give you chills, and make you laugh out loud! God has found a perfect instrument to reach me, and I’m sure many more!!!” –Meghan

“I recommend this 100%. I have been very challenged and encouraged as I realize how *temporal* my mindset truly is. But you know in the back of your mind, ‘I need to be living for eternity; how do I do that exactly?’ Totally reframes your thinking.” –Jessica

“These devotional truths are so humble, but so compassionately convicting! It takes the Word of God and just slays so many sneaky deceptions that the enemy tries to hide from us, especially as servant wives and/or mothers!!! I am overjoyed at how much my soul is already being cleaned up.” —Tawnya

Too often the things in which we find our sense of meaning are actually meaning-less.

In and of themselves, our beautifully decorated homes will not last, and neither will our happy marriages to our handsome husbands. Even our motherhood will undergo a shift as we step into the life that is yet to come.

Our possessions and money and fame and pleasure and position on this earth are shrouded in futility. Time is passing so quickly. This life is like a molecule of water in an infinite ocean of forever. Death will soon be upon us.

But that is not where this story ends.

The glory of the empty tomb

You see, after the darkness of Christ’s death came the glory of the resurrection!

Christ singlehandedly defeated the power of sin and death. He redeemed our lives in this one act. He breathed eternal meaning and unimaginable love into our daily reality. And hope, ah hope. So much hope.

In this moment, our death-bound reality cracked open and all heaven broke loose! The power of the grave was defeated.

This is the hope and power and joy of the empty tomb! It is inexpressibly great!

God, in His great mercy, has given us eternal life.

And here’s the kicker that so often we miss: our eternal life starts now, not later when we die. But what does it mean to live this risen life now? That’s what I’d like to consider with you today.

What it means to live a risen life now

The Bible says there are three things that will remain after this world has passed away: faith, hope, and love (1 Corinthians 13:13). These three ways of being are both spiritual and practical. They characterize the risen life.

1. Walk in Faith

Faith is the confident assurance that what we hope for will come to pass.

This confidence sets us free from the fear of death. It gives us the wisdom to live a holy life, the prudence to long for heaven, and the long-sightedness to patiently endure suffering. When we have true, deep, wholehearted faith, it suddenly doesn’t matter if we are not acclaimed in this world or if our life goes off plan.

Just as early Christian believers trusted God and were tortured, preferring to die rather than turn from God and be free, we too must place our hope in the resurrection to a better life (Hebrews 11:35-40). When our faith is firmly planted in eternity, we learn to lay aside our self-centered agenda and follow God wherever He leads.

  • It is through faith that we are able to serve our families more than they deserve.
  • It is through faith that we are able to walk in gratitude and trust regardless of our circumstances.
  • It is through faith that we are able to make knowing God a priority over mindless entertainment.

Our complete confidence in what is yet to come is the very thing that enables us to live a radical life. We see and believe that God exists, that what He says is true, and that “He rewards those who earnestly seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6).

2. Hold on to Hope

Our hope is not a statistical or optimistic wish for this life to get “better.” That version of hope is shifty and uncertain. No, our hope is far more.

We have a hope that is certain and unmovable, an anchor for our souls! This is the hope of heaven. It is the hope that restoration is coming, that we will be made whole and right, and that all our tears will be wiped away forever. It is the hope of Easter!

This is gospel hope.

Gospel-hope says that God is still good, even in the midst of our hardest hour. It says that God’s grace is sufficient for us, right now. Gospel-hope says that these present sufferings will produce good fruit, fruit that cannot be borne in our lives otherwise. It says that we will be rewarded in eternity for our faithfulness in troubles and that these troubles themselves are producing “an eternal glory that far outweighs them all” (2 Corinthians 4:17).

Holding on to this hope means we willing trust God in each circumstance of our lives. It looks a lot like joy and peace!

3. Do Everything in Love

Even the most basic of tasks, when done in love, will endure, while even the most spiritual or lofty of accomplishments will gain us nothing apart from love.

At the end of the end, prophecy will cease, tongues will be stilled, and knowledge will pass away. In eternity, all the toilets we cleaned and nice things we did for others will be forgotten, but the love we exhibited, through even the most menial task or the most glorious act, will remain.

Do you want to live your risen life now? Do everything in love.

There is nothing greater that God wants from us than to love Him firstly, and secondly, to love our neighbor as ourselves.

And so, we:

  • Clean the toilet in an overflow of God’s love in us (no pun intended)
  • Cook dinner in this overflow of love
  • Pay bills in love
  • Serve our neighbors in love
  • Show hospitality in love

The list could go on for a very long time. When we understand that God loves us and give our hearts fully to Him, His love flows through us in joyful abundance. And this is how Christ loved us: he took on the form of a man, he washed our feet, he died for us.

A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. John 13:34

And thus, we start living our eternal life now.


Would you like to become a more heavenly minded mom?

Over the past five years, God has opened my eyes to the truth of eternity and its relevance to motherhood, and every area of life!

In His grace, He brought me on a journey to see my life in light of heaven, and it changed everything. Now I believe He has entrusted me the task of helping other mothers anchor their hope firmly in heaven.

That is how my new book Heavenly Minded Mom was born, and after nearly two years of working, praying, and dreaming, it is HERE!

Heavenly Minded Mom is a 90 day devotional to help you embrace what matters most.

It is not a collection of stories about my life, nor is a “stereotypical” light-hearted devotional. Rather Heavenly Minded Mom is a deep examination of scripture and a invitation to reflect on what it means to live in light of eternity, in the context of motherhood. It is divided into bite-sized portions to offer space for reflection and a real perspective change over time.

Heavenly Minded Mom is divided into three sections:

  • Section One is a tilling up of the hard soil of our hearts. This is a critical first step –an assault on the idols that we cling to unknowingly. The purpose of this section is to demonstrate the futility of emptiness of what we too often allow to consume us. (Don’t worry, there are nuggets of hope and redemption woven into every devotion). 🙂
  • Section Two is a nurturing of the seed of eternity in our hearts. It is a time to soak in what scripture says about, well… reality, and allow it to begin germinating.
  • Section Three is the fruit-bearing. It is an outflow of the joy and purpose that God has poured into our daily living in Christ. The very things that seemed meaningless at the onset of this journey are now re-infused with new (and different) purpose.

I’d love for you to join me on this journey!

Order by April 3rd and get these BONUSES!

What fun would a book launch be without bonuses??

When you order by April 3rd, you will get three bonuses.

1. A downloadable art print from Chickadee Art and Co. (a $6 value)

(It’s a quote from the book!) It says,

“God has given each one of us a calling that is beautifully simple, completely unique, and utterly eternal –to follow Him.”

I am so excited to partner with Chickadee Art and Co. because I love the heart behind what they do. One third of all their profits go to buy bus passes for moms in need.

2. The Heavenly Minded Mom Companion Journal printable download (a $10 value)

The Heavenly Minded Mom Companion Journal was created to provide you with space to organize and work through your thoughts about Heavenly Minded Mom.

It highlights additional Bible verses and key quotes from Heavenly Minded Mom, along with hand-selected quotes from other Christian leaders and teachers. The journal restates the questions from the book and provides space to write answers along withadditional guidance and commentary.

The Heavenly Minded Mom Companion Journal will be available for purchase later, but for now, it’s a free download when you pre-order!

3. 30% off jewelry at the Starfish Project

The Starfish Project is a fair-trade organization that provides dignified employment and counseling to women escaping human trafficking in Asia.

It is such a wonderful cause and their jewelry is absolutely stunning! A necklace from the Starfish Project + Heavenly Minded Mom would make a perfect mothers day gift for you or a mom in your life.

Order now here: Heavenly Minded Mom

*NOTE* You must fill out this form to claim your pre-order bonuses!

Read a Sample

Not sure if you’re ready to take the plunge? You can read the first 30 pages absolutely free right now! Get a free sample here.

Buy now at www.heavenlymindedmom.com or wherever books are sold online!

I’m excited to share my heart with you.

Reactions from the Launch Team

“This book is just blowing me away. I am so blessed to get a head start, but at the same time cannot wait to get the real official book in my hand to start from the beginning and dwell on each daily devotion for like a week each! They are seriously that good!!! Katie will give you chills, and make you laugh out loud! God has found a perfect instrument to reach me, and I’m sure many more!!!” –Meghan K.

“I recommend this 100%. I have been very challenged and encouraged as I realize how *temporal* my mindset truly is. But you know in the back of your mind, ‘I need to be living for eternity; how do I do that exactly?’ Totally reframes your thinking.” –Jessica S.

“These devotional truths are so humble, but so compassionately convicting! It takes the Word of God and just slays so many sneaky deceptions that the enemy tries to hide from us, especially as servant wives and/or mothers!!! I am overjoyed at how much my soul is already being cleaned up.” —Tawnya G.

I had been a Christian for years.

As a young, married, mother-of-two, I loved God, and I made reading and following His word a priority in my life.

And yet, somewhere in the midst of getting run over by that bus called “motherhood,” I began to notice that I was fearing a lot. I couldn’t bear all the looming possibilities for suffering and disaster that surrounded my family at any given moment. I couldn’t imagine life apart from these humans that I loved so much.

And so, I tossed and turned at night, unable to shake visions of burning buildings and cars plunging into rivers.

On the other hand, I also noticed that I felt quite perturbed when my little family didn’t meet my expectations. Whether my husband failed to help put the kids to bed or my toddler peed on the floor again, I felt exasperated.

What God would show me in time was that these symptoms were indicative of a much graver, deeper problem. Unintentionally and unknowingly, I had made my family an idol in my life.

What is an idol? I define this as anything we love or prioritize over God.

Is your family an idol?

As mothers, our families sometimes gain territory in our hearts they were not meant to possess. If we find ourselves loving our husbands and children more than God, we have created an idol.

Take a moment to examine your heart and consider these questions:

  • Do you have a deep, unshakable fear of disaster for your family?
  • Do you draw your happiness and/or identity from your family over Christ?
  • Do you feel an unhealthy level of exasperation or “let down” when your family fails to meet your expectations?
  • Are you more interested in bragging on your children than on Jesus?
  • Do you prioritize your family over things that God is calling you to do?
  • Are you more enamored with your motherhood than with your Christianity?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, I challenge you to spend some time with the Lord asking Him to search your heart in this department.

Jesus has some strong words for those who love their son or daughter, mother or father more than Him. We must take this seriously!

He says:

“Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.” Matthew 10:37-39

Yet in a society where the idolization of family and children is celebrated and even expected, it is grievously easy to give our love and allegiance to our families over God.

This must not be. We must not allow ourselves to become so happily wrapped up in our families that we miss the spiritual and eternal reality.

So, what do we do about it?

How to Love Our Families Without Making Them an Idol

I think there are a few truths we need to deeply internalize in order to fix this heart-issue.

1. Recognize that eternity is at hand

This life is incredibly short in comparison to eternity.

The truth is, our precious family units will pass away. This structure will not endure in its present form.

God’s beautiful design for family has been broken and marred by sin: from the abandoned child, to the grief-stricken mother, to the selfish spouse, to the unbelieving brother.

We know that there will be no marriage after the resurrection and that our children will stand beside us on the day of Judgment to give personal account for themselves. They will be a brother or sister with us, coheirs in Christ, should they choose to accept His gift of salvation.

Think about this: why do we love our children so much? Is it because they are superior to all the other children in the world? No, it is simply because we have been given the privilege of knowing them. We are not intended to put them before God, but to faithfully fulfill His purpose for us as mothers.

When we see this bigger picture, we will be able to let go of all our guise of control and instead work to follow God’s will for us each moment of each day.

(And guess what God is calling us to do as mothers? To love our families! More on that below…)

2. Recognize that our hearts belong to God alone

As a child, I felt stressed out by the whole “idol” scenario. I knew I needed to love God most, so in my mind that meant devoting around 60% of my heart to Him (that seemed like a solid majority). Then I had 40% left to divide between my family, friends, classmates, and anyone else that I might meet.

This also required “gating” my love for others because, I wouldn’t want to love them more than Jesus!

But because exact heart percentages are hard to determine, keeping them in line at all times was an overwhelming task! (Obviously I didn’t do this perfectly.)

Imagine my relief when, just a few years ago, I finally figured out that my whole heart belongs to God. No math required!

Jesus said it like this:

“ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind’ This is the first and greatest commandment…” Matthew 22:37-38

All my heart. It’s as simple as that!

But then, what’s left to give to those around us?

3. Recognize that what our families crave and need is God’s love, not our hearts

When we give our hearts to God and receive His love for us, guess what?

He fills us with all His fulness!

And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:17-19)

From that endless reservoir of joyful overflow, we act as a firehose, channeling His love to our families.

Here there is no fear of “over-loving” (it wouldn’t be possible!), no idolatry, no exasperation, selfishness, impatience, nor entitlement.

It is this love that our families truly crave. It is this divinely-rooted act of loving that will ring out into eternity, adding lasting meaning to our every moment.

And so, we must learn to love others on God’s errand, with His overpowering, complete, and burning love. It is far more abundant and sacrificial than any love we could ever dream to offer on our own strength.

As we set our hearts on heaven, we will no longer expect or pressure our family to fill our heart’s deepest needs, which they cannot do. We will instead joyfully serve and love them in obedience to Christ.

Let us invite God in to gently and painfully loosen the world-focused crust on our eyes and teach us to give our hearts to Jesus only.

Life is too short and God is too good to live any other way.


Would you like to become a more heavenly minded mom?

Over the past five years, God has opened my eyes to the truth of eternity and its relevance to motherhood, and every area of life!

In His grace, He brought me on a journey to see my life in light of heaven, and it changed everything. Now I believe He has entrusted me the task of helping other mothers anchor their hope firmly in heaven.

That is how my new book Heavenly Minded Mom was born, and after nearly two years of working, praying, and dreaming, it is HERE!

Heavenly Minded Mom is a 90 day devotional to help you embrace what matters most.

It is not a collection of stories about my life, nor is a “stereotypical” light-hearted devotional. Rather Heavenly Minded Mom is a deep examination of scripture and a invitation to reflect on what it means to live in light of eternity, in the context of motherhood. It is divided into bite-sized portions to offer space for reflection and a real perspective change over time.

Heavenly Minded Mom is divided into three sections:

  • Section One is a tilling up of the hard soil of our hearts. This is a critical first step –an assault on the idols that we cling to unknowingly. The purpose of this section is to demonstrate the futility of emptiness of what we too often allow to consume us. (Don’t worry, there are nuggets of hope and redemption woven into every devotion). 🙂
  • Section Two is a nurturing of the seed of eternity in our hearts. It is a time to soak in what scripture says about, well… reality, and allow it to begin germinating.
  • Section Three is the fruit-bearing. It is an outflow of the joy and purpose that God has poured into our daily living in Christ. The very things that seemed meaningless at the onset of this journey are now re-infused with new (and different) purpose.

I’d love for you to join me on this journey!

Order by April 3rd and get these BONUSES!

What fun would a book launch be without bonuses??

When you order by April 3rd, you will get three bonuses.

1. A downloadable art print from Chickadee Art and Co. (a $6 value)

(It’s a quote from the book!) It says,

“God has given each one of us a calling that is beautifully simple, completely unique, and utterly eternal –to follow Him.”

I am so excited to partner with Chickadee Art and Co. because I love the heart behind what they do. One third of all their profits go to buy bus passes for moms in need.

2. The Heavenly Minded Mom Companion Journal printable download (a $10 value)

The Heavenly Minded Mom Companion Journal was created to provide you with space to organize and work through your thoughts about Heavenly Minded Mom.

It highlights additional Bible verses and key quotes from Heavenly Minded Mom, along with hand-selected quotes from other Christian leaders and teachers. The journal restates the questions from the book and provides space to write answers along withadditional guidance and commentary.

The Heavenly Minded Mom Companion Journal will be available for purchase later, but for now, it’s a free download when you pre-order!

3. 30% off jewelry at the Starfish Project

The Starfish Project is a fair-trade organization that provides dignified employment and counseling to women escaping human trafficking in Asia.

It is such a wonderful cause and their jewelry is absolutely stunning! A necklace from the Starfish Project + Heavenly Minded Mom would make a perfect mothers day gift for you or a mom in your life.

Order now here: Heavenly Minded Mom

*NOTE* You must fill out this form to claim your pre-order bonuses!

The Freebies

When you purchase Heavenly Minded Mom, you will also get access to:

1. Scripture coloring pages intended to help you meditate on the truth of eternity (a $5 value)

2. The Heavenly Minded Mom Online Course (a $10 value)! This is a four-part video course will help you go deeper as you consider what it means to walk out motherhood in light of eternity.

The website to access these freebies is printed in the book itself, and you get them no matter when you buy!

Read a Sample

Not sure if you’re ready to take the plunge? You can read the first 30 pages absolutely free right now! Get a free sample here.

Where to buy?

Heavenly Minded Mom is available wherever books are sold online. However I have just learned that it is already IN STOCK at Cokesbury (this is because they share a warehouse with my publisher). That means if you order today, it will ship today, not in three weeks!

Not only that, but Cokesbury has marked the book down to $9.99, which is the best price anywhere!

Buy from Cokesbury here: https://www.cokesbury.com/product/9781501845529/he…

Or find links to other sellers at www.heavenlymindedmom.com

I’m excited to share my heart with you!

Reactions from the Launch Team

“This book is just blowing me away. I am so blessed to get a head start, but at the same time cannot wait to get the real official book in my hand to start from the beginning and dwell on each daily devotion for like a week each! They are seriously that good!!! Katie will give you chills, and make you laugh out loud! God has found a perfect instrument to reach me, and I’m sure many more!!!” –Meghan K.

“I recommend this 100%. I have been very challenged and encouraged as I realize how *temporal* my mindset truly is. But you know in the back of your mind, ‘I need to be living for eternity; how do I do that exactly?’ Totally reframes your thinking.” –Jessica S.

“These devotional truths are so humble, but so compassionately convicting! It takes the Word of God and just slays so many sneaky deceptions that the enemy tries to hide from us, especially as servant wives and/or mothers!!! I am overjoyed at how much my soul is already being cleaned up.” —Tawnya G.

Over the past five years, God has opened my eyes to the truth of eternity and its relevance to motherhood.

In His grace, He brought me on a journey to see my life in light of heaven, and it changed everything. Now I believe He has entrusted me the task of helping other mothers anchor their hope firmly in heaven.

That is how Heavenly Minded Mom was born, and after nearly two years of working, praying, and dreaming, it is HERE!

Heavenly Minded Mom is a 90 day devotional to help you embrace what matters most.

It is not a collection of stories about my life, nor is a “stereotypical” light-hearted devotional. Rather Heavenly Minded Mom is a deep examination of scripture and a invitation to reflect on what it means to live in light of eternity, in the context of motherhood. It is divided into bite-sized portions to offer space for reflection and a real perspective change over time.

Heavenly Minded Mom is divided into three sections:

  • Section One is a tilling up of the hard soil of our hearts. This is a critical first step –an assault on the idols that we cling to unknowingly. The purpose of this section is to demonstrate the futility of emptiness of what we too often allow to consume us. (Don’t worry, there are nuggets of hope and redemption woven into every devotion). 🙂
  • Section Two is a nurturing of the seed of eternity in our hearts. It is a time to soak in what scripture says about, well… reality, and allow it to begin germinating.
  • Section Three is the fruit-bearing. It is an outflow of the joy and purpose that God has poured into our daily living in Christ. The very things that seemed meaningless at the onset of this journey are now re-infused with new (and different) purpose.

I’d love for you to join me on this journey!

Order by April 3rd and get these BONUSES!

What fun would a book launch be without bonuses??

When you order by April 3rd, you will get three bonuses.

1. A downloadable art print from Chickadee Art and Co. (a $6 value)

(It’s a quote from the book!) It says,

“God has given each one of us a calling that is beautifully simple, completely unique, and utterly eternal –to follow Him.”

I am so excited to partner with Chickadee Art and Co. because I love the heart behind what they do. One third of all their profits go to buy bus passes for moms in need.

2. The Heavenly Minded Mom Companion Journal printable download (a $10 value)

The Heavenly Minded Mom Companion Journal was created to provide you with space to organize and work through your thoughts about Heavenly Minded Mom.

It highlights additional Bible verses and key quotes from Heavenly Minded Mom, along with hand-selected quotes from other Christian leaders and teachers. The journal restates the questions from the book and provides space to write answers along withadditional guidance and commentary.

The Heavenly Minded Mom Companion Journal will be available for purchase later, but for now, it’s a free download when you pre-order!

3. 30% off jewelry at the Starfish Project

The Starfish Project is a fair-trade organization that provides dignified employment and counseling to women escaping human trafficking in Asia.

It is such a wonderful cause and their jewelry is absolutely stunning! A necklace from the Starfish Project + Heavenly Minded Mom would make a perfect mothers day gift for you or a mom in your life.

Order now here: Heavenly Minded Mom

*NOTE* You must fill out this form to claim your pre-order bonuses!

The Freebies

When you purchase Heavenly Minded Mom, you will also get access to:

1. Scripture coloring pages intended to help you meditate on the truth of eternity (a $5 value)

2. The Heavenly Minded Mom Online Course (a $10 value)! This is a four-part video course will help you go deeper as you consider what it means to walk out motherhood in light of eternity.

The website to access these freebies is printed in the book itself, and you get them no matter when you buy!

Read a Sample

Not sure if you’re ready to take the plunge? You can read the first 30 pages absolutely free right now! Get a free sample here.

Where to buy?

Heavenly Minded Mom is available wherever books are sold online. However I have just learned that it is already IN STOCK at Cokesbury (this is because they share a warehouse with my publisher). That means if you order today, it will ship today, not in three weeks!

Not only that, but Cokesbury has marked the book down to $9.99, which is the best price anywhere!

Buy from Cokesbury here: https://www.cokesbury.com/product/9781501845529/he…

Or find links to other sellers at www.heavenlymindedmom.com

I’m excited to share my heart with you!

Reactions from the Launch Team

“This book is just blowing me away. I am so blessed to get a head start, but at the same time cannot wait to get the real official book in my hand to start from the beginning and dwell on each daily devotion for like a week each! They are seriously that good!!! Katie will give you chills, and make you laugh out loud! God has found a perfect instrument to reach me, and I’m sure many more!!!” –Meghan K.

“I recommend this 100%. I have been very challenged and encouraged as I realize how *temporal* my mindset truly is. But you know in the back of your mind, ‘I need to be living for eternity; how do I do that exactly?’ Totally reframes your thinking.” –Jessica S.

Early in our dating relationship, my now-husband and I discovered the delight of asking one another questions.

I remember one long road trip we took together to visit family in Texas. We spent over six hours talking (which is pretty amazing if you know us), and learned so much!

Prior to the trip, we had come up with lists of questions to ask one other. It was fascinating. I remember having our first “issue” as a dating couple over the question, “Do you think it is a Christian’s duty to vote?” It turns out my husband is quite the patriot and did not *exactly* understand my, “Well, if I am committed to praying for the election I guess God will tell me whether or not I need to vote” sentiments. 🙂

The conversations were rich, and they set us up for not just a life of knowing each other, but a life of pursuing to know each other more.

To this day, we still come up with fun and serious questions to ask.

To this day, we still surprise each other with our answers.

I’m grateful that something so simple as time together and a list of questions can result in a deep, sweet, life-giving connection.

In Jen Wilkin’s Women of the Word she writes,

“the heart cannot love what the mind does not know.”

She’s making a case for knowing God, but in doing so, she uses a husband and wife as her prime example. She explains hat the more we know something or someone, the more love and appreciation we will be able to feel and have.

So, while fancy dates are fun, they are a far cry from a necessary ingredient to a happy, thriving marriage (thank goodness!)

And regardless of your childcare situation or date night budget, you don’t have to coast mindlessly in your marriage.

For most of us, we have the opportunity to connect with our spouses, right now, in our actual life. All it takes is time and intentionality. It takes a return to simplicity, and to what “in-love” people do: a seeking to know each other.

That’s why I’ve created 90 Date Night Questions for Christian Married Couplesand the Marriage Retreat (for Two) Planning Guide.

These guides, questions, and activities have been crafted to help you do just that: to find out something new about your spouse, to go deeper, and to have fun.

With Valentine’s Day coming up in just a few days, perhaps this is the perfect time to introduce a new tradition: the tradition of recognizing that there is more to learn about your spouse than what you currently know.

Click here to learn more: The Embracing a Simpler Life Marriage Bundle.

“What is the best trip you’ve ever been on?”

That is the question that was recently posed to my children and a group of their peers at a church activity.

Some said vacations to the ocean, others mentioned trips out of town to visit family, but as eyes turned on my four-year-old son, he was more than ready to give his resolute answer. “That time, two dates ago, when mom and I played on the playground together and then we got ice cream!” he exclaimed.

I was surprised by the answer, so I reminded him of the many fun and special trips he had been on.

“No,” he said, “not those. Our date, the one to the playground, was my favorite.”

That date to the playground cost all of $1 and took up only two hours of our evening, and yet it meant so much to a four-year-old little boy (a middle child, no less) out for a special night with his mom.

Parent Child Date Idea Park and Ice Cream

A photo from the very date!

And that is the power of a parent-child date. It allows our children to be seen and known.

There are so many things we pursue that seem worthwhile (money, success, education, leisure time), and yet if we’re not careful, we unknowingly accept these in trade for what actually does matter (relationships & the kingdom of God).

So, I want to teach you how to do dates with your children in a way that I think can actually work.

The key is this: we don’t schedule parent-child dates as often as you might think, but we do schedule them.

How we schedule kid dates

I had wanted to do parent-child dates for a long time. It fit what I believe about being intentional in my relationship with my kids. However, the schedule never quite made sense in my mind.

It never made sense that is, until one day last Spring when my husband created a date night system and inputted it into our shared calendar.

How it works

  • Tuesday night is date night
  • A date night occurs every other week (2 dates per month)
  • Once a month this is a mom-date, the other time it is a dad-date
  • Our three kids rotate through, so each of them has a date with one parent or the other every six weeks

When I first saw the schedule, it seemed too infrequent. It almost didn’t seem worth doing. However, as we have implemented this plan over the past 6-7 months, we’ve discovered that it is actually quite brilliant.

It is often enough to have a powerful impact on our relationships with our kids, and yet infrequent enough that it is practical for our family.

To keep costs down, we eat dinner at home, and then go out for a fun evening activity that always includes dessert. These are simple and inexpensive evenings that include things like driving around to look at Christmas lights, chatting over Starbucks drinks, watching a sunset, or playing at a playground. The impact is in the time spent together, having fun, making memories, and connecting one-on-one.

 

 

Kid Date Idea Starbucks

My daughter Clara and I went to Starbucks for a date just last month.

When my husband Mitch and our 4-year-old son hit their turn, they prefer to call it “man time” rather than a date. 🙂 They are cool dudes like that.

As a fun commemorative element, I make a point to take a photo of my child on our date and then set it as my lock screen for the following month. That has been a fun and special date-night tradition.

Why we think parent-child date nights matter

1. Date night facilitates intentional one-on-one time with our children

In a nutshell, this is the driving reason behind why we do date nights with our kids. Although we spend plenty of time together as a family, it’s often interrupted or chaotic. The dynamic is completely different when you get one on one with a child for a period of time and make an effort to interact with him.

2. Our children feel special and important

It is so fun to see the way they absolutely glow when they are walking out the door with mom or dad. That glow continues throughout the whole date.

5. Meaningful conversations have space to flourish

Because they feel special they seem to be much more open to us. They are in a jovial, talking mood, and we get to cultivate a friendship with them during these times.

I love the things I get to learn about my children on our dates! It is amazing what comes out when there’s no older sibling inserting herself into the conversation, and no little sibling crying for attention, et cetera.

 

Kid Date Idea

Emily and I split a strawberry frappuccino at Starbucks and visited the animals at Petco together on this date.

4. Date nights remind us to listen

Unfortunately, many days I am consumed with cooking meals, cleaning, getting children dressed and ready or off to bed, homeschooling, and working from home, that I don’t make the time I should to just listen.

Date nights remind me to do that. In fact, they put listening on my calendar. What’s more, the listening that I do on a date night reminds me to do more of it when we get back home.

3. We make memories together

Just like four-year-old son Matthew remembered a date that had occurred more than three months prior and considered it his favorite trip, our children remember and cherish their date-nights.

This is one of the most exciting things in their lives as 6, 4 and 2 year olds, and that enthusiasm makes the time incredibly valuable. 

Parent Child Date Ideas

On this hot summer’s evening, Clara and I went out for frozen custard and then picked out flowers to plant in our flower beds together. We both love flowers! She also helped me plant them.

I hope you can see just how simple these dates are from the examples I have shared. They are not expensive, and they are not a big time commitment. All that’s needed is a little intentionality and childcare for any other children.

I hope you’ll try it in the new year! I’m sure you can think of a few kid date ideas your children would enjoy, but if you need a little creative inspiration, I’ve rounded up more than 260 kid date ideas below!

260+ Kid Date Ideas

I wanted to share a few of my own parent-child date ideas based on our past year of dates with our kiddos, as well as links to other great ideas around the web. We want our kids to think these dates are special, memorable, and fun, so we keep some simple, but for others, we pull out all the stops!

20 Kid-Date Ideas:

  1. Go get ice cream (I don’t think we’ve ever had a parent-child date the didn’t include ice cream to date.)
  2. Go on a special shopping outing that is wrapped up in something you will do together
  3. Explore a cave
  4. Go out for pizza
  5. See a movie together
  6. Play at a park
  7. Go to an arcade
  8. Race go-karts
  9. Mini-golf
  10. Go hiking
  11. Attend a special event in your area
  12. Take Old Time Photos together
  13. Go to a trampoline park
  14. Get your nails done
  15. Go to the batting cages
  16. Coffee (and hot chocolate) date
  17. Go on a fun local tour (we toured our state capital together!)
  18. Go ice skating
  19. Walk around and explore your downtown
  20. Swimming pool or indoor waterpark

More Parent-Child Date Ideas from Around the Web

General Kid Date Ideas:

20 Awesome Date Night Ideas with Kids via Simple Kierste

12 Great Ideas for Parent-Child Date Night via Military Shoppers

6 Ideas for Date Night with Your Child via Social Moms

25 Seriously Fun Kid “Date” Ideas via Life as Mom

Mother-Son Date Ideas:

25 Mom and Son Date Ideas via Frugal Fanatic

60 Fun Date Ideas for Mom & Son via The Mommy Mix

Father-Daughter Date Ideas:

15 Awesome Father-Daughter Dates via Seaside Sundays

Mother-Daughter Date Ideas:

Over 20 Mother Daughter Date Night Ideas via The Cents’Able Shoppin

20 Things to Do with a Teenage Daughter via The Hillary Leonard

Father-Son Date Ideas:

27 Ideas for Father and Son Bonding via Mommy Making Memories

 


Looking for more ways to be intentional?

Check out my 90 Date Night Questions for Christian Married Couples printable!

The Bibles we have in our homes and hold in our hands are nothing less than divinely-inspired, accurate revelations of God.

Every story, every poem, every historic event, law and prophetic word join together to paint one picture of the God who set the world in motion and orchestrated this present reality. The people described in this book are real, and so their actions are both good and bad. But through their lives and God’s involvement with them, we get to know Him more.

He’s the God who knows us fully and longs for us to know Him in return.

John 17:3, Jesus prays:

Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. (NIV)

But yet many times we fail to make the effort to actually read this other-worldly, mysteriously living and active revelation of God in its entirety. We are content to pick at it, visiting only our favorite verses or books of the Bible –the ones that give us the best feeling and show us parts of God’s character that are easy to accept.

Many of us neglect, specifically, to read the Old Testament. I would say I can sum up many of the reasons for this oversight.

Why we sometimes don’t read the Old Testament

  1. We think it would be difficult or impossible to understand.
  2. We aren’t comfortable with the bloodshed and examples of God’s justice.
  3. We think the Jewish law is boring and/or ridiculous.
  4. We feel it’s too far removed from our life today to be important.
  5. It seems really long and daunting to get through.
  6. Jesus defines our salvation now. The Old Covenant has been set aside, so we see no reason to revisit it.

Does that about cover it? Is there one I missed?

Unfortunately, this lack of study has some major negative implications.

Why we must read the Bible in its entirety

When we don’t receive God’s revelation of Himself in its fullness:

  • Our understanding of who He is becomes mushy.
  • We dangerously interpret scripture out of context.
  • We get fat on a diet of grace and have no idea how to fear God.
  • We are easily swayed by inaccurate teaching, whether from a friend, pastor, writer or blogger because we don’t know for ourselves what the Bible says.
  • We lack a reliable handle on God’s word. We’re walking half blind, saying we’d stake our life on something we’ve never read.
  • We can’t offer good, well-informed answers to those asking questions in our lives.

This is a priority. Scripture interprets scripture. 

2018 Bible reading challenge

If you have never read the Bible through, let me challenge you to make 2018 your year.

With a little diligence and commitment, you can do that. There are many great resources to help you out.

Here are some FAQ’s I invented 🙂

  • Q. Why read the Bible in a year?
  • A. This is a short enough period of time to get a good overview while being a long enough period of time to feel doable. You shouldn’t have forgotten everything you read in Genesis by the time you get to Revelation. Yet it only amounts to 15-20 minutes of reading per day.
  • Q: I’ve already read the Bible through, is this challenge for me?
  • A: Yes! My mentor taught me to read the Bible through in a year, every year. I haven’t kept up with that, but I shoot for every other year to free up more time for other types of study.
  • Q: How do I discipline my life to keep up with this?
  • A: You need to develop a simple daily habit of reading (if you don’t already have one). Here’s how I accomplished that.
  • Q: How do I pace myself to read through my Bible in a year?
  • A: If you read about 5 chapters per day, you will get through your Bible in one year!

Resources to set you up for success

The MOST helpful thing I’ve used to keep track of my “Bible in a year” reading is the One Year Bible.

It divides the entire Bible into 365 daily chunks and organizes them by days of the month. I always know if I’ve fallen behind and what I need to do to catch up. These are available in various translations, but I love the NLT for readability with accuracy.

Another cool resource is the One Year Chronological Bible. This reorganizes scripture into chronological order (no, the Bible is not chronological!), which makes certain things easier to understand in context, such as the Psalms or prophetic words that were delivered during a specific time in Israel’s history.

The One Year Bible is also available for FREE online here. You can choose a chronological plan or a plan that includes Old and New Testament readings everyday, plus on Psalm and one chapter of Proverbs. You can even select and bookmark the translation you want to use.

Or, if you want to keep it simple, just resolve to read about five chapters per day! No fancy Bibles or reading plans needed!

Another option is an audio Bible if you’re an auditory learner (which I’m not). 🙂

Will you take the challenge to read the Bible through in 2018?

If so, feel free to give yourself a head start! I prefer to start early and end on time than to end late.

*Republished from 2016 & 2017. This post contains affiliate links.

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