Families With Grace

Helping Christian moms create homes filled with grace, love & faith

Learning to lean on God in darkness

A lesson I learned as a little girl has served me well

Growing up, we had a long (to my perception), dark hallway in our house. As a child with a good imagination, my imagination could get the best of me in that hallway and leave me frightened. I’d hurry down the hallway to get through it as fast as I could.

When I was in third grade, my Sunday School teacher taught us the first part of Isaiah 41:10, “So, do not fear for I am with you.” (She might have taught us the entire verse, but that is the part that stuck with me.)

From then on, I’d repeat that verse over and over to myself when I walked down that hallway. I continued doing so for a year or two until I was older and no longer afraid.

For years, I didn’t tell anyone this story. I wasn’t ashamed of it, but it just didn’t come up. I first wrote about this story as a high school student for a church youth newsletter I started and edited.

After my mom read the story, she immediately told me she wished that I’d have told her and she could have put a light in that hallway. (In fact, later on she had put a light in that hallway.) I assured her it was fine.

In the years since then, though, this lesson has stayed with me. Isaiah 41:10 continues to be my favorite Bible verse. I’ve learned the entire verse and carried it with me through many situations much more frightening than that dark hallway in my childhood home.

Teaching my children to lean on God

Now that I’m a mom myself, I think about this lesson from a new perspective. Would I have learned to rely on God when I’m scared so early on without this experience? I’m not so sure. It was a small situation that was big to me and first taught me how when I’m scared I can turn to God.

I question whether I am instilling these lessons in my own children now. I am reminded that while I want to make their lives incredibly easy and without struggle, that isn’t always best for them because life doesn’t work that way.

Learning to lean on God when I’m afraid is a lesson I am so glad to have learned. Getting outside of our fear and clinging to the One Who holds us in His hand is sometimes quite difficult. I pray that my children will learn this lesson since our God can comfort and protect them in more ways than I can.

Feeling thankful for adversity

Paul tells us to be thankful for our adversities. That can be incredibly hard to do. I have had times in my life where looking back later, I completely understood and felt thankful for past adversities. This dark hallway fear is an adversity from childhood for which I am thankful. I learned how to lean on God in the darkness, and that’s served me incredibly well.

The darkness — both literal and figurative — can be such a scary place. We can feel alone and our anxiety can be intense. It’s easy to have our imaginations and thoughts spiral into a very dark place.

However, we do have One Who is with us in the darkness, even when we may not understand it or feel He is missing. He remains faithful and true in spite of our feelings. And God has given us His Word to encourage and remind us Who we most need to put our trust in, even in the darkest of times.

Moms on a Mission: Sarah R. Moore

Profiles of moms making a difference

I recently shared about the FWG Moms on a Mission series in a blogging group I belong to. Sarah R. Moore reached out to me to ask for more information. Within a minute of being on her page, Dandelion Seeds Positive Parenting, I realized she and I have a lot in common!

Her mission and mine line up incredibly well. Sarah is passionate about encouraging positive parenting and building relationships. You’re going to be blessed and encouraged by her insights!

Families with Grace: What is your God-given mission or passion?

Sarah R. Moore: My mission is help families know Christ’s love within their own homes and to feel His grace and live out His goodness in how family members treat one another. Words alone won’t encourage the next generation to believe. I want children to trust in God’s kindness because they’ve experienced that feeling of physical and emotional safety in their own homes.

Further, I hope to gently bring non-believers to Christ by helping them feel His love as they experience it within the context of gentle and positive parenting. I’m a peacemaker by nature, and I want to help people make peace with Christ, above all.  

FWG: How do you work to live out that mission right now?

SRM: I’m an internationally published positive parenting writer and educator. Still, I’m far from perfect, so I share my struggles as well as my “wins.” I want parents to know that I “get” both sides. I’ve never been one to write about why MY way is best or why someone HAS to believe in Christ; those things are off-putting at best.

Instead, I take a really honest and transparent approach. Sometimes, it feels like my blog posts should start, “Dear Diary…” But seriously, parenting can be HARD sometimes, and I want parents to have solid, research-backed, evidence-based information at their fingertips. Moreover, as a mom, I work to practice what I preach in my own home. My child is going to hold me accountable for this stuff!

FWG: What are some of your biggest challenges in living out your mission?

SRM: There’s so much misinformation out there – along with so many stereotypes. For one, many non-believers assume that Christian parenting is, by definition, authoritarian parenting and that’s simply not the case. Christ welcomed (and sought out!) those with the worst behavior and taught them through grace through parables and role modeling in His own life. He forgave them even when they did positively awful things. He was patience and peace embodied.

If anything, Christians should be modeling Christ-like behavior to their children and to others; we’re the examples that others see in the world. Of course, by definition, we humans are all imperfect, so it’s all the more important that we live humbly and treat others (including children) how we’d like to be treated – the Golden Rule from Matthew 7:12. It’s an uphill spiritual battle trying to show non-believers that Christ was kind and that we can (and should) raise our children accordingly.

FWG: What have been some of your biggest blessings in living out your mission?

SRM: So many! In my own home, I’m constantly reminded of the goodness of positive parenting. I see it manifesting in my child’s kindness that she pours out on others. If she sees someone who needs help, she’s the first one to show up for them – even kids she doesn’t know well (and she’s a strongly introverted child, so this is really something).

And of course, every time I receive an email or a blog post comment about how something gentle I suggested WORKED for a parent or caregiver, especially if it was a departure from how he or she would’ve previously handled the situation – that just makes my heart sing.

FWG: How do you balance motherhood responsibilities with your work/mission?

SRM: That’s tricky, for sure. One thing that helps is that, by necessity, I’ve set some strong limits around my own screen time. My child knows she can count on me to be there for her. I’ve definitely sacrificed some self-care time to get my work done in the evenings after she’s asleep, but in many ways, writing is my self-care. Framing it that way helps me keep the importance of my work in perspective, not only for me but also for my readers.

FWG: What’s the best advice you have for other moms who are following their passions?

SRM: Do it when it feels right. Don’t force it when it doesn’t, otherwise your passion will start to feel like a chore. Just like our kids grow in spurts, our own personal growth happens in much the same way. Trust yourself and trust that God will tell you when the timing is right. I’ve never gone wrong when I’ve trusted His timing with that which I feel called to do.

Read more from the series

Moms on a Mission: Dr. Karen Dowling

Moms on a Mission: Erin Mayes

Moms on a Mission: Mari Hernandez-Tuten

Moms on a Mission: Kathleen Brooker

Moms on a Mission: Stacey Pardoe

Moms on a Mission: Kristin Billerbeck

Moms on a Mission: Crystal (aka InnieMom)

Moms on a Mission: Pastor Stefanie Hendrickson

Moms on a Mission: Amy Cutler

Easy oat and honey granola recipe

Just the right amount of crunch to make this granola recipe the perfect snack, dessert or breakfast!

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About eight years ago, I tried a homemade granola recipe. My memories of homemade granola were at a bed and breakfast I went to with my parents back when I was in between high school and college. The proprietor offered homemade granola as part of breakfast.

I didn’t think about it too much after that, but then a few years ago, I tried a granola recipe a friend made and decided to make the plunge and try making it myself. I’m glad I did, because this recipe has been a favorite of my family’s for years.

When I made it again last week, I decided it was certainly time I share it on here. This easy oat and honey granola recipe is delicious. When I first made it, I crumpled it up thinking I’d use it in small pieces for cereal or something. After that I left it in chunks, because it’s so good on its own that we eat it for snacks, dessert and breakfast around here.

This oat and honey granola recipe has just the right amount of crunch and sweetness. It’s surprisingly easy to make with simple ingredients you probably have in your kitchen right now. And it has the added bonus of making your house smell great while it’s baking!

Just look at this goodness!

Getting started

I’ll be honest and tell you that when I first started looking for a granola recipe to make, I didn’t even know what kind of oats recipes were talking about.

I learned that it’s the oats you buy in a canister to make oatmeal. You can use either quick-cooking oats for this recipe or old-fashioned. I’ve made it with both. We prefer quick-cooking oats because they are a bit smaller.

Once you have your ingredients and are ready to go, turn your oven to 350-degrees to preheat. Then put the oats, honey, brown sugar, vanilla, vegetable oil, water and salt into a bowl.

Next, stir everything together. It will seem like it is too dry, but it will be fine. Just keep stirring for a couple of minutes until everything is coated. This oat and honey granola isn’t a mix that gets really wet.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or non-stick aluminum foil. Spread the granola mixture out in a thin layer all of over the pan.


Bake it in the oven at 350-degrees for 10 minutes. Take it out, stir it around and press it back into the same layer as before Return it to the oven for 10 to 12 more minutes until the oat and honey granola is a lovely golden brown with crispy edges and your kitchen smells divine!

Even if you like things extra crunchy, don’t be tempted to over-bake this oat and honey granola recipe. I’ve tried leaving it in for a few extra minutes and ended up with a hard block that tasted slightly burnt.

Don’t worry if the oat and honey granola doesn’t seem super crunchy when it’s still warm. It crunches up as it cools.

If you want it in small chunks to eat like cereal or as a topping, then stir it around again as soon as it comes out of the oven.

If you want to leave the oat and honey granola in chunks to snack on like I do, then let it cool completely, lift it off the pan and break it into chunks. I store mine in a quart-sized ziptop bag to keep it fresh.

The oat and honey granola will last about a week before it starts getting on the chewy side.


Easy oat and honey granola recipe Pinterest image

Easy oat and honey granola

This oat and honey granola recipe is easy and delicious! Just the right amount of crunch and sweetness make it a great breakfast, snack or dessert!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Course Breakfast, Dessert, Soup
Cuisine American


  • 2 cups oats quick-cooking or old-fashioned; I prefer quick-cooking because they're smaller
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon water


  • Preheat oven to 350-degrees.
  • Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix them together. The mixture will be sort of clumpy and wet without being soaking.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or non-stick aluminum foil.
  • Spread the granola mixture out in a thin layer all over the pan.
  • Bake it in the oven for 10 minutes, then stir it around and press it back into the same thin layer as before.
  • Bake for 10 to 12 more minutes until it’s a lovely golden brown with crispy edges and your kitchen smells divine.
Keyword granola, oat and honey, oat and honey granola

Prayer envelope project for kids

How to help your kids pray for others

One of my favorite parts of each day is bedtime. We sit together as a family and read a devotion, the kids pray and we read a book together. The devotion has been added just in the last two years, but everything else we’ve been doing since our now 10-year-old was a baby.

I have loved hearing how my children’s prayers have evolved through the years as they get older. But sometimes they get stuck on repeat. A few years ago we used prayer envelopes for them. About four months ago, we decided it was time to use prayer envelopes again. And I’m so glad we did!

What are prayer envelopes?

Very simply, prayer envelopes hold slips of prayer requests the kids come up with. Each night, they draw out a new slip of paper of someone or something to pray for. While they can and do pray for other people and things as well, this gives them something specific to make sure to pray for.

I love that this reminds the kids of people they want to pray for that maybe they had forgotten. When we sat and made their lists a few months ago, I was flabbergasted by the topics and people they came up with. Of course there are expected names like grandparents, their dad and me, each other and the puppy.

We have encouraged them to pray for their teachers and friends, so those made the list. And we have talked about praying for our church and specific leaders at our church. Those made the list.

They both also decided they want to pray for the food pantry ministry that we work with, which blessed my heart. My kids are praying for the right president to be elected for our country this year. My daughter is praying about global warming. Their prayer requests are sincere, sweet and surprisingly insightful.

How to make and use prayer envelopes

You can certainly make the prayer envelopes look cool or fancy, and you might totally have a better idea for how to do them, which is great! I am not crafty and tend to be pretty darn simple. Here’s how we did ours.

First the kids made a list of their prayer requests. My daughter wrote hers out and then I typed them up. My son, who is newer at reading and spelling, just told me what he wanted to pray for and I typed it.

We printed out the lists and cut each request into a strip.

The strips went into a small envelope marked “To pray for.” We then put that envelope into a 5×7 size envelope with their name written on the outside.

Each evening, they draw a slip of paper out of their small envelope. That request then goes down into the larger envelope and the small envelope goes back into the larger envelope one as well. Basically, we keep the “prayed for” requests, so that when the small envelope is empty, we can refill it and rotate through the requests again.

And that’s really it. Prayer envelopes are a simple concept, but can have a big impact on our kids in teaching them how to pray!

More prayer resources from Families with Grace: