12 Kid Approved Gifts that Focus on the True Meaning of Easter

12 Kid Approved Gifts that Focus on the True Meaning of Easter

  

Reading Time: 4 min 56 sec

One of my most favorite memories growing up is visiting my grandparents’ house and participating in a massive scavenger hunt to find my very own Easter basket. Even though the basket was pretty much always hidden in the dryer, it was an amazing time of fun, excitement, and it ended with a basketful of chocolate!  

 

As a follower of Jesus’ the celebration of Easter is the most important day of the year. Jesus death and resurrection are foundational to our faith.   If Easter is so important, what are we communicating to our children when we condense it down to fancy outfits, beautiful eggs, and tons of candy?

 

I am not saying banish your Easter traditions. Instead, what I am saying is that what if we intentionally moved the focus from candy to Jesus? Can you imagine our children experiencing Jesus’ over the top love for them as they come to appreciate his sacrifice on the cross in a whole new way?  

 

Children go deeper in their faith, and own their faith through experiential learning. By watching you, experiencing life in a family and church context, they are being told each day what is really important.  Easter is a huge opportunity to pour into the spiritual lives of our children. So how do we do that?

 

Intentionally invite Jesus into what you are already doing. Instead of giving an Easter basket or gift, full to the brim with chocolate, what if you included some items that would turn your child’s eyes towards Jesus?  Instead of hurrying past Lent without much of a thought, what if you took some time to journey through an Easter devotional or watched a video of Jesus’ death and resurrection together as a family?  These small steps make a POWERFUL impact on the lives of your children.

 

Today, we are going to be talking about twelve amazing resources that you can use to help turn your family’s eyes towards the true meaning of Easter this year!

 

  1. Devotionals 

2. Toys 

3. Books 

4. Journals

5. Art 

6. DVD’s

 

 

1. Easter Devotional

   Good Dirt: Lent, Holy Week & Eastertide

This is the BEST devotional I have found yet for kids during Easter. The devotional is very doable for each day (it’s about a half a page). The devotional covers Lent, Holy Week and Eastertide and is written from an evangelical perspective.

I really appreciate how each devotional is broken into four sections:

Till (Prayer)

Plant (Meditate on Scripture)

Water (Reflect)

Weed (Examine)

As you travel through lent, this is a great resource to serve as the foundational piece of your day.

2. Jesus Doll 

My Friend Jesus Stuffed Doll

My children LOVE this doll! They sleep with it every night and it serves as a tangible reminder that Jesus is always with them. One of my children told me, “I know I don’t have to be afraid (of the dark) because I hold my Jesus doll and remember that Jesus is in the room with me.”  This doll is perfect for a young-elementary child because it is not huge and will be easy to carry around.

 

3. Bible 

  The Jesus Storybook Bible

This is a phenomenal paraphrased Bible for kids. The text is age appropriate, the illustrations are captivating, and the overarching story focuses on God’s never ending, never giving up, always and forever love for his kids.  I have read what feels like HUNDREDS of Bibles (okay, a little overdramatic here) and I haven’t found one yet that comes close.

 

4. A Picture of Jesus

This is huge!  When you place a special picture of Jesus with a child or a lamb in your child’s room it is a daily reminder that Jesus is always with them. It is also a huge reinforcement that Jesus is priority in the life of your family.  For years, we have asked our children, Who is that that lamb that Jesus is holding? And they shout out, that’s me!

 

 

5. Book

  The Boy and the Ocean   By Max Lucado 

“God’s love is like the ocean, my little boy,” she said. “It’s always here. It’s always deep. It never ends. God’s love is special.”

Oh my word, hands down, probably my favorite Christian picture book. The illustrations are beautiful, the words are life-changing, and what an amazing book to pull out at bedtime.   The story draws parallels between Gods creation and his vast love for his children. I love how Max Lucado, portrays parents who include God in everyday life. Both boys and girls will love this book.

 

6. Book

 God’s Great Love For You   By Rick Warren

This book is all about Gods overwhelming love for his kids told in such an imaginative way. Written by Rick Warren, the book shows a young girl on different adventures discovering God lavish love. The illustrations are adorable and though the book can be read to girls and boys, the book is specifically geared towards young girls. 

 

7. Journal 

 

  Writing to God: Kid’s Edition      By Rachel G. Hackenberg 

This book is an amazing and creative resource full of journal prompts that guide children in learning how to talk to God.  This book has 35 different prayer journal exercises and it covers prayer topics on events that happen during the day, emotions, praise, thanks, pain, and using their five senses.  Your child comes to find out that you can speak to God about EVERYTHING, and has actually practiced doing just that throughout the book. Love it!

 

8. Journal 

  Praying in Color-Kids Edition                By  Sybil Macbeth

Have you ever heard “But I don’t want to pray? I don’t know what to say? I’m embarrassed to pray out loud?” This is a revolutionary resource for children (and adults) who want to try another way to spend time with God.  The author, Sybil Macbeth gently leads children in understanding what prayer is, common prayer problems, how to pray, and step by step of how to pray using art. This has been an amazing resource for children and students who have felt inadequate or have had a hard time concentrating when it comes to prayer. Love it!

9. Journal

  The Bible Doodle Book

This doodle book has 100 unfinished drawings and stickers for children to complete.  I love it because the children can use the prompts to help them complete the drawings. You can use the drawings/prompts as a complement to your daily family devotions. A creative way to engage with the Bible!

10. Journal

Choose a journal (with no lines) for your child to write or draw prayers that can be especially for this Lenten season.  After a lot of searching, the best journals seem to be found at your local craft store. Let me know if you find a great journal somewhere else!

11. DVD

  The Animated Passion Trilogy DVD

This is a great visual retelling of the Easter story for preschool-elementary age kids. Something about a video allows the children to really experience the life of Jesus in a whole new way.

 

12. DVD

  Matthew: Visual Bible DVD

This is a wonderful movie for older elementary children who are emotionally ready to watch the crucifixion and resurrection. It is not as graphic as the Messiah but I would still preview it ahead of time to make sure your kids are ready for it.

Give your Easter season a strong foundation by grabbing your own copy of the Good Dirt-Lent, Holy Week & Eastertide Devotional. You can get it here!  I am excited to travel through it with my own family this year!

 

 

 

What about you? What are your favorite ways to encourage a love of Jesus in your child during Easter? Feel free to leave me a comment and don’t forget to follow Most Important Work on Pinterest!

How to Help Your Child Experience Jesus this Easter

How to Help Your Child Experience Jesus this Easter

  

Reading Time: 5 min 31 sec

Have you ever had a year where you are so busy that one minute its Christmas and the next, it’s the Saturday before Easter and you are scrambling trying to cobble together outfits and stuff a million Easter eggs with chocolate bunnies?  

 

Do you wish that there was a way to really help your children understand that Easter is more than eggs, candy, with some Jesus thrown in?  ME TOO!

 

In our fast-paced society, it can be easy to pass over the importance of the lent season with nothing more than a thought or a good intention to stop eating chocolate.

 

But Lent is more than giving something up; it is a time of reflection, of preparing our hearts, of remembering Christ’s life, death and resurrection, and a concentrated time of refocusing on Jesus. A forty day (not including Sundays) fast, interwoven with prayer and giving that culminates on Easter Sunday.

 

We do not celebrate Lent or Easter as a way to earn more brownie points with God or as another task to complete. There is nothing we can do to make God love us any more or any less than he does right now.  We participate in Lent and Easter as a way to actively participate with the Holy Spirit in the transforming of our hearts.

 

I love how life as a follower of Jesus, is an ACTIVE, experiential life. We don’t just get to hear about God, we get to EXPERIENCE a relationship WITH God.  Children learn experientially, and active participation is formational in their spiritual growth. Lent and Easter is a time rich with experiences and a perfect way for children to actively engage in their faith.   

 

We are going to be talking about 13 meaningful experiences that you can have with your child as you learn to walk through this Easter season with intention. 

 

These are just suggestions. You do not need to do everything on the list but choose one or two activities that are speaking to you.   I pray that the Holy Spirit moves in the hearts of your family in powerful ways this Easter season.

 

  1. Art

  2. Devotional

  3. Drama

  4. Events

  5. Decorations

  6. Music

  7. Practices

 

A Couple of Tips: Your active participation with your child in the activity is HUGE. Do not to rush through these activities. It is not about getting them “done” and giving your child an Easter experience. This is not about being productive but about moving slowly, savoring, and giving the Holy Spirit elbow room to speak with your child. Allow for silence, (yes, this can work even with preschool children) in and around the activity.  

1.Use a Lent-Easter Family Devotional

 This is the BEST devotional, (Good Dirt Lent, Holy Week, Eastertide Devotional)  I have found yet for kids during Easter. The devotional is very doable for each day(it’s about a half a page).

 The devotional covers Lent, Holy Week and Eastertide and is written from an evangelical perspective. I really appreciate how each devotional is broken into four sections: Till (Prayer) Plant (Meditate on Scripture) Water (Reflect) Weed (Examine).  The book includes 14 weeks of devotionals.  You can grab your copy here!

2. Decorate Your Home

 Allow the decorations in your home to serve as a daily reminder of the importance of the Lenten season. The color purple serves as the traditional reminder of Easter. It symbolizes not only the pain of the cross but it is also the color of royalty, and it celebrates Jesus’s resurrection.  Decorate a table or space (or throughout the house) with the color purple, you could add a cross, a Bible and or a candle.  

 

3. Observe Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday serves as the start to the lenten season. It is important for your child to witness the community of God gathered together to worship him. Carving out time to attend serves speaks louder than words to your child about your family’s priorities.

 

4. Light a Candle 

 Every morning, start your day, by lighting a candle each day to as a reminder of Jesus’ shining light in the world. You can follow the lighting of the candle with prayer inviting him into your day.

 

5. Look at Art

 

Visit a church, or museum, in books, or print some pictures off the internet depicting the crucifixion and resurrection.  

 Start by inviting Jesus into this time. Find a piece that speaks to you or your child. Spend some time just enjoying the art.

Ask God what he is saying to you through this piece.  Remember, this is for you as much as it is for your child. It is powerful for your children to watch you engage with the Holy Spirit through art.

 

After a couple of minutes ask your child:

a) How does this piece make you feel?  

b.) What do you love about it?

c) What do you think the Father is saying to you through this piece?

 

Tip: Don’t rush. The goal is quality over quality. You are there to create elbow room for the Holy Spirit to speak to them through art. You are not there to teach your kids something (though they will learn). Also, don’t feel like you have to be there an hour to make it worthwhile.

6. Listen to an Easter Playlist

It is important to place a special emphasis on creating an environment that draws their hearts towards Jesus during this Lenten season.

Tip-I am loving the Lent and Easter Worship Songs Playlists by Salt of the Sound on Spotify

 

7. Act out the Easter Story

This can be as simple or elaborate as you desire. 🙂  This is great for allowing the children to really engage in the story of Easter. Remember this is not about getting it “right” but about engaging in the story of Jesus’ resurrection. 

Tip: Your children can also do this with stuffed animals or dolls.  

 

8. Draw Prayers to Jesus 

Layout art supplies, plain paper, and have your Easter playlist playing quietly in the background. Encourage your child to write or draw prayers to Jesus.

 Tip: This should not feel like a homework assignment. There is no correct way of doing this. This is their personal prayer to God. Let them know that they can but don’t have to share their prayers with you when they are done.

9. Watch a Video of the Easter Story

 

Here are two suggestions for younger and older children:

  1. Preschool-Elementary- The Animated Passion Trilogy
  2. Middle School-High School- Matthew:Visual Bible 

10. Use Playdough to Recreate the Empty Tomb

This is a GREAT, hands-on, simple activity to allow children to engage in the Easter story.

 

11. Draw or Paint an Easter Scene

Read through the story of Jesus’s death and resurrection. Encourage your children to draw or paint a picture of a scene from the Easter story that grabs their attention.  

Tip: I typically put on instrumental music in the background to help focus their attention on listening to Jesus.

12. Look for Ways to Serve Others

Pray with your children. And ask God what way he wants you to focus on serving others during this Lenten season. 

13. Attend a Good Friday and Easter Service

If appropriate allow your children to join you for all or part of the service. The death and resurrection of Jesus are foundational to our faith and allowing your child to witness that at a young age is HUGE!  Also, Easter sunrise services are amazing (especially for elementary age children).

 

14. Plan a Special Meal for Easter Sunday

 

The goal is to plan and prepare WITH your children a special meal celebrating Jesus’ resurrection. Invite over family and friends to celebrate.

 

Give your Easter season a strong foundation by grabbing your own copy of the Good Dirt: Lent, Holy Week & Eastertide Devotional. I am excited to travel through it with my own family this year!  You can get it here! 

 

What about you? What are your favorite ways to encourage a love of Jesus in your child during Easter? 

If you try any of these activities, let me know! Leave me a comment and don’t forget to follow Most Important Work on Pinterest!

How To Crush Your New Year’s Resolutions With These 12 books

How To Crush Your New Year’s Resolutions With These 12 books

Do you want to go deeper, in your relationship with God, in your marriage, do you want to turn your finances around, find freedom in a clutter-free house, and raise your children to love God in 2024?  Are you hungry for more? More of God’s presence, more of His wisdom, more of His love?

 

Antoine de Saint-Exupery said, “A goal without a plan is just a wish”.  As much as we laugh at New Year’s resolutions, the basic idea of setting goals is powerful. 

I have compiled a list of twelve books to help give you actionable steps to achieve your dreams in 2024. 

 

Readers are Leaders. No matter what job you hold you are serving as a leader in some capacity.  It is imperative that you continue to learn and grow as you mature. 

 

“You are the books you read, the movies you watch, the music you listen to, the people you spend time with, the conversations you engage in. Choose wisely what you feed your mind.” -Unknown

 

I have compiled a list of some of the best books ranging from topics on organization, finance, parenting, leadership, biographies, marriage, discernment, and how to experience a deeper love relationship with Jesus.  There are twelve books- one for every month of the year. Some of these books are quick reads, and some you will need to savor as you allow the Holy Spirit to work in your heart.

 

I would encourage you to look over the list and start with the books that you are most drawn to, you will be hungry to learn as opposed to just wanting to cross another book off the list (which is only mildly inspiring).

Let us know what your favorite book is from this list and why you love it. 

 

Here is to our best year yet!

 

Here are my Top Twelve Book Recommendations for 2024:

 

 

 

 

! Leave a comme

nt, and d

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. Organized Simplicity: The Clutter-Free Approach to Intentional Living  Tsh Oxenreider   Organization                                      

What is It About:

(Amazon DescriptionOrganized Simplicity’s aim is to convince its readers that simple living is the absolute best way to live.  Be it with house cleaning, family schedule management, personal finances, and managing the “stuff” you allow within your four walls, the only way to live well is to do so intentionally and simply.

Why I Love it:

Tsh is not only an amazing writer, but she helps you answer the “why” behind why we do what we do. Full of practical tips; from schedules, to cluttered closets, to finances, this book is the answer to addressing the clutter and chaos of life.  Get It Here! 

2. Surrender to Love: Discovering the Heart of Christian Spirituality     David G. Benner               Faith

What is It About:

(Amazon Description)  Through careful examination of Scripture and reflection on the Christian tradition, Benner shows how God bids us to trust fully in his perfect love. God is love, and he intends for you to live in his love. Surrender to Love will lead you to an unexpected place, where yieldedness to God frees you to become who he created you to be.

Why I Love it:

Are you tired of living a life of performance before God? Do you long for an intimate relationship with Jesus? This book is an amazing tool for uncovering the lavish love of God poured out on us.  After you read and engage with this book, your spiritual life will never be the same. Get it Here!

  1.  The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness   Dave Ramsey                  Financial Transformation                            

What is It About:

(Amazon Description) You CAN take control of your money.   Do you want to transform your sad and skinny little bank account into a bulked-up cash machine? There’s one sure way to whip your finances into shape, and that’s with The Total Money Makeover: Classic Edition. Design a sure-fire plan for paying off all debt—meaning cars, houses, everything. Recognize the 10 most dangerous money myths (these will kill you). Secure a big, fat nest egg for emergencies and retirement!

 Why I Love it:

Unless you live under a rock, almost everyone has heard of Dave Ramsey. I had to add this book to the list because it transformed my finances, helped me become debt-free, and live in financial freedom.  This book is an easy and entertaining read (on finances no less) but it packs a punch. Financial Freedom is right around the corner for YOU! Get it Here!

 

4. Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life

   Tish Harrison Warren                                            Faith

What is It About:

(Amazon Description) Christianity Today’s 2018 Book of the Year-In the overlooked moments and routines of our day, we can become aware of God’s presence in surprising ways. How do we embrace the sacred in the ordinary and the ordinary in the sacred?  Framed around one ordinary day, this book explores daily life through the lens of liturgy, small practices, and habits that form us. Each activity is related to a spiritual practice as well as an aspect of our Sunday worship.

Why I Love it:

 Do you ever wonder if you can truly be present to God while changing a dirty diaper, folding laundry, and running kids to activities? Tish brings to light God at work in the mundane tasks of our everyday lives. This is a very practical and encouraging book that women (and men) won’t want to put down. Get it Here!

 

  1. 7 Women and the Secret of their Greatness                      Eric Metaxas                                         Biography 

What is It About:

(Amazon Description) New York Times bestselling author Eric Metaxas gives us seven captivating portraits of some of history’s greatest women, each of whom changed the course of history by following God’s call upon their lives.  Each of the world-changing figures who stride across these pages—Joan of Arc, Susanna Wesley, Hannah More, Sister Maria of Paris, Corrie ten Boom, Rosa Parks, and Mother Teresa—is an exemplary model of true womanhood.

Why I Love it:

 Eric Metaxas is not only a superb writer but what an inspiring book! He dedicates a chapter to seven women who exemplified Christ is such similar and vastly different ways.  You will be encouraged, captivated and inspired to wholeheartedly dive after God’s plans for your own life after reading this book.  Get it Here! 

  1. Death By Suburb-How to Keep the Suburbs from Killing Your Soul      Dave L. Goetz                                            Faith

What is It About:

(Amazon Description)  Suburbanites need to understand how the environment affects them and what spiritual disciplines are needed for their faith to survive and thrive. Goetz identifies eight toxins in the suburban life, such as hyper–competition and the “transactional” friendship, and suggests eight corresponding disciplines to keep the spiritual life authentic.

Why I Love it:

Tired of superficial faith? Want to go deeper with Jesus but not sure how?  This author stands out with his brutally honest look at the pitfalls of suburban life. Not a suburbanite? No problem, the truths in this book can apply to any follower of Jesus. I appreciate how he practically applies each chapter to a spiritual discipline. The only downside, I could find is that he (the author) can tend to wax eloquent in a few chapters. Get it Here!  

  1. Crucial Conversations Tools for Talking When the Stakes Are High       Kerry Patterson                                  Communication                                                                  

What is It About:

(Amazon Description) The New York Times and Washington Post bestseller that changed the way millions communicate. Crucial Conversations exploded onto the scene and revolutionized the way millions of people communicate when stakes are high. This new edition gives you the tools to: Prepare for high-stakes situations Transform anger and hurt feelings into powerful dialogue Make it safe to talk about almost anything    Be persuasive, not abrasive

 
Why I Love it:

This is one of the best books that I have read on communication. It helps you think clearly, open lines of communication, and converse in a way that your audience can understand. It gives great tools for how to handle conflicts with confidence. Get it Here!

  1. Joining Children on the Spiritual Journey: Nurturing A Life of Faith      Catherine Stonehouse                                    Parenting                                

What is It About:

(Amazon Description) Understanding how a child’s faith forms is crucial to knowing how adults can most significantly enhance the child’s spiritual development.By carefully “setting the stage” through liturgy, sacred stories, and parables, adults can help children meet with God. Quiet times of “godly play,” carefully adapted to the age level of the child, enable adults to join with children on the journey toward deeper intimacy with God.

 

Why I Love it:

 Do you want to know how to introduce your child to spiritual practices beyond memorization and Bible reading? Do you want to give them spiritual tools that will change the course of the rest of their lives? This book is not only super practical but has put years of research behind the best ways of communicating with your child.  Dive into this book and set your child up for success, a deep relationship with God. Get it Here!

 

  1. The Road Back to You: An Enneagram Journey to Self-Discovery  Ian Morgan Cron             Personal Development                                               

    What is It About:

    (Amazon Description) What you don’t know about yourself can hurt you and your relationships―and maybe even how you make your way in the world. It can also keep you in the shallows with God. Do you want help figuring out who you are and why you’re stuck in the same ruts? The Enneagram is an ancient personality type system with an uncanny accuracy in describing how human beings are wired, both positively and negatively.

    Why I Love it:

 This book is more than a personality tool, it is a way of looking at your life holistically. It helps you become self-aware, understanding why you do what you do, and giving you permission to be yourself. It also shows you warning signs to look out for when you are operating out of an unhealthy place. LOVE IT!  Get it Here!

  1. For Women Only: What You Need to Know About the Inner Lives of Men   Shaunti Feldhahn                                Marriage                                            

What is It About:

(Amazon Description) The man in your life carries important feelings so deep inside he barely knows they’re there, much less how to talk about them. Yet your man genuinely wants you to “get” him—to understand his inner life, to know his fears and needs, to hear what he wishes he could tell you.  Based on rigorous research with thousands of men, Shaunti delivers one eye-opening revelation after another, including:

Why your respect means more to him than your love.  How he feels deep inside about his role as provider. What it means for a man to be so visually “wired.” Why sex for him is primarily emotional, not physical. What he most wishes he could say to you.

 

Why I Love it:

This book answers real-life questions about men, is very honest (sometimes brutally so), and super practical (are you picking up on our theme).  An easy but poignant read, it gives you tools to help you love and understand your spouse at a deeper level. Get it Here!

 

  1.  The Season Nativity:Confessions and Practices of an Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany Extremist                          Sybil Macbeth                                                       Advent

What is It About:

(Amazon Description) The Season of the Nativity – Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany – deserves more attention and better publicity. As the opening three acts for the liturgical year, it sets the stage for our yearlong journey through Scripture and salvation history. This book combines memoir, front-porch theology, and pages of spiritual practices and activities to invite individuals and families into a deeper relationship with a time of year you may have never discovered before. It gives simple tools and exercises for word-weary, distracted, and busy people – perhaps to experience a serious and playful nativity season for the first time.

 

Why I Love it:

WOW! I love this book for its clear explanations of Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany and hands-on activities. The book is full of easy, and practical suggestions to create a meaningful season for your family that is focused on Jesus. You could not possibly do every activity presented so pick a couple to add each year.  Get it Here! 

12. Discernment, God’s Will and Living Jesus: Christian Discernment as a Way of Life

Larry Warner                                                Discernment

 

What is It About:

(Amazon Description) Want help in hearing and recognizing the voice of God? Do you desire to discern and live into God’s Will for your life? Far from the usual notion of trying to “discover God’s will” when faced with a critical decision in life, this book underscores the fact that discernment is foremost a lifestyle we need to cultivate. Written with warmth and wisdom, biblical, practical, gritty, and not always comfortable this book speaks to the mind and heart of every Christian who longs for a closer, more intimate walk with Jesus.

Why I Love it:

Do you ever struggle with knowing the answer to a difficult decision? The saying, “What would Jesus do?” just really doesn’t cut in crucial situations.  This book is all about developing a discerning lifestyle with practical suggestins for everyday life. Larry takes the “mystery” out of Christian discernment. A challenging read that offers practical tools for hearing God’s voice. Get it Here! 

 

 

 What about you? What books would you add to this list?

Please feel free to leave me a comment and don’t forget to follow Most Important Work  on Pinterest!e a comment, and d

Skip to content