Families With Grace

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

What message are we sending our children about the value of women?

The words we say and attitudes we hold influence our children so much!

Each week my son goes to a ninja class where he learns tumbling and parkour (think “American Ninja Warrior” for little ones). He loves it! Last week, his class with filled with all boys who were age 5 to 7. They jumped and tumbled and ran. During one of their water breaks, I heard another little boy talking with his family. He said he was tired.

The kids had just finished jumping and running over and over, so it was tiring. He wasn’t whining. The grandpa leaned over to the child, pointed to the all-female competitive cheerleading team practicing on the next mat over and asked his grandson if he wanted to go to the girls. When he said no, then the grandpa advised him to stop complaining or he’d have to.

Undermining the value of women

I bristled. It bothered me. The message he just sent his grandson is that those girls aren’t as valuable. He told his grandson that going to a group of girls is a punishment. He told his granddaughter, who was sitting right beside him, that boys only do something girls do as punishment. Boys are better. Even crazier to me is those girls were older than his grandson and a heck of a lot better at their skills of tumbling. The grandpa was undermining the value of women.

OK. So it might sound like I’m over-reacting. I don’t want to rant and rave. But, as the mother of a boy, I want to be conscious of what I’m teaching him through my attitudes and words. As the mother of a girl, I want to be conscious of what I’m teaching her through my attitudes and words.

I don’t appreciate the idea that for a boy to go into a girls’ class is punishment. And I wouldn’t appreciate it in reverse either. I am aware there are differences between boys and girls and men and women. We tend to have different strengths and such, but that doesn’t make either gender less than the other. I never want my daughter to feel she is less than a boy just because she’s a girl. I never want my son to feel superior to a girl just because he’s a boy.

What was very interesting to me is that very evening on the way home from his ninja class, my son and I had a discussion right along these lines. He wanted to know if Adam and Eve had only sons, because he’s didn’t hear about their daughters.

I explained to him that through the years, as men wrote down history, including the Bible, they didn’t take women and children into account because they didn’t think they were important. We talked about how Jesus fed the 5,000, but that 5,000 was only the number of men. He actually fed way more than 5,000. My son was incredulous that they didn’t care about women and children. How could they not, he wondered.

God’s plan for the value of women

My best answer was unfortunately that’s just how it was. I did tell him God didn’t plan it that way from the beginning. Yes, He made Adam first, but that doesn’t mean that Eve wasn’t just as important. I reminded my son that God loves all of us the same, and seeing any one of His children being treated poorly based on gender or skin color must make Him sad.

I didn’t bring up this topic. But, I did find it quite timely that my son did. He didn’t hear the grandfather’s words. I didn’t say a word about it to him. In fact, I didn’t even share it with anyone aside from a friend I met for breakfast the next morning. However, the two conversations go side-by-side.

The power of our attitudes

The grandfather didn’t tell his grandson that he was superior and girls don’t matter or aren’t as important in those exact words. Not many people would say that, especially these days.

But his attitude showed a different picture. His attitude showed that he clearly thinks women are less-than, weaker, whinier and wimpier than boys. And THAT message offends me for myself, my daughter and my son. I don’t want to raise a boy to be a man with that attitude. His father doesn’t have that attitude. His Heavenly Father certainly doesn’t have that attitude.

The words we say hold so very much power. We live in a world of political correctness where people are often chastised for the words they use, sometimes to the point of what seems ridiculous. I understand that maybe we get tired of posts just like this one. Tirades exhaust us, and we roll our eyes at what seems an over-reaction.

But until these kinds of attitudes stop and aren’t accepted, they must continue. I will stop myself from getting off on a tangent about how women are treated and perceived inside the church. In fact, I’d daresay many churches are the greatest offenders of gender equality. I want to focus instead on thinking about the hidden messages in the words we say to our children. They are soaking every last one of them up.

That little boy didn’t go home last week thinking he was better than girls directly. He did go home having absorbed some of his grandpa’s attitude about the value of women. If he is given that attitude enough times, it will fully soak in and shape his views. That is what we must do our best to change and do better than generations before us. We’ve made progress, but so much more progress needs to be made. The message we are giving our sons (and daughters!) shouldn’t be one of superiority over any one for any reason.

Truth Tuesday: Bible verses for kids

A growing collection of Bible verses great for children

When my daughter was in kindergarten, I started sending her a note in her lunchbox every day. Now she is in third grade and her brother is in kindergarten and I am writing two lunchbox notes a day. I keep the notes simple and add on a couple of stickers and they both love them.

To help me continue to come up with content, I have gotten creative sometimes. For example, a few times I’ve sent in a serial story for my daughter that builds on itself each day of the week. Since I’ve been doing hers for longer and she can read so well, I can get more creative with her.

This growing collection of Bible verses is great for children! #Bible #BibleVerses #Truth #TruthTuesday #BibleVersesForKids #ChildrensMinistry #MemoryVerse #MemoryVerses

One of the things I started was Wacky Wednesday. Each Wednesday I send in a joke or something funny. For my daughter, I can write the joke out more now and she understands them. For our son, I keep it simple or send a funny drawing or something like that.

After my daughter spied some pre-printed Bible verse notes I’d printed out a few months ago in my lunchbox note folder, she thought having a Bible verse on her notes was a great idea. So I began Truth Tuesday. Each Tuesday now I send in a Bible verse for her. For my son, I keep it simple to say things like “God loves you and so do I” or “God is good.”

I’ve really been loving the International Children’s Bible for finding verses for the kiddos. And so with all of that said, here are some verses that I’ve done recently. I’ve found that finding verses for my daughter encourages me just as much as it does her! (These are all from the International Children’s Bible unless otherwise noted.)

1.”The Lord loves us very much, His truth is everlasting. Praise the Lord!” — Psalms 117:26

2. “This is how we know what real love is: Jesus gave his life for us. So we should give our lives for our brothers.” — 1 John 3:16

3. “Give thanks to the God of heaven. His love continues forever.” — Psalms 136:26

4. “I can do all things through Christ because he gives me strength.” — Philippians 4:13

5. “Every good action and every perfect gift is from God. These good gifts come down from the Creator of the sun, moon, and stars. God does not change like their shifting shadows.” — James 1:7

6. “Be kind and loving to each other. Forgive each other just as God forgave you in Christ.” — Ephesians 4:32

7. “The angel said to the women, “Don’t be afraid. I know that you are looking for Jesus, the one who was killed on the cross. But he is not here. He has risen from death as he said he would. Come and see the place where his body was.” — Matthew 28:5-6

8. “I say this because I know what I have planned for you,” says the Lord. “I have good plans for you. I don’t plan to hurt you. I plan to give you hope and a good future.” — Jeremiah 29:11

9. “But Lord, you are a God who shows mercy and is kind. You don’t become angry quickly. You have great love and faithfulness.” — Psalms 86:15

10. “We will speak the truth with love. We will grow up in every way to be like Christ, who is the head.” — Ephesians 4:15

11. “So these three things continue forever: faith, hope and love. And the greatest of these is love.” — 1 Corinthians 13:13

12. “Do for other people what you want them to do for you.” — Luke 6:31

13. “The Lord himself will go before you. He will be with you. He will not leave you or forget you. Don’t be afraid. Don’t worry.” — Deuteronomy 31:8

14. “This is my command: Love each other as I have loved you.” — John 15:12

15. “This is the day that the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad today!” — Psalms 118:24

16. “It is good and pleasant when God’s people live together in peace!” — Psalms 133:1

17. “God’s word is true. Everything he does is right. He loves what is right and fair. The Lord’s love fills the earth.” — Psalms 133:4-5

18. “May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord show you his kindness. May he have mercy on you. May the Lord watch over you and give you peace.” – Numbers 6:24-26

19. “Every word of God can be trusted. He protects those who come to Him for safety.” — Proverbs 30:5

20. “The Lord your God is with you. The mighty One will save you. The Lord will be happy with you. You will rest in His love. He will sing and be joyful about you.” — Zephaniah 3:17

21. “A friend loves you all the time. A brother is always there to help you.” — Proverbs 17:17

22. “The Lord gives me strength and makes me sing. He has saved me. He is my God, and I will praise Him. He is the God of my ancestors, and I will honor Him.” — Exodus 15:2

23. “God began doing a good work in you. And He will continue it until it is finished when Jesus Christ comes again.” — Philippians 1:6a

24. “I praise the Lord because He guides me. Even at night, I feel His leading. I keep the Lord before me always. Because He is close by my side I will not be hurt.” — Psalm 16:7-8

25. “Thank the Lord because He is good. His love continues forever.” — 1 Chronicles 16:34

26. “A child will be born to us. God will give a son to us. He will be responsible for leading the people. His name will be Wonderful Counselor, Powerful God, Father Who Lives Forever, Prince of Peace.” – Isaiah 9:6

27. “Remember that I commanded you to be strong and brave. So don’t be afraid. The Lord your God will be with you everywhere you go.” — Joshua 1:9

28. “The Lord is good. He gives protection in times of trouble. He knows who trusts in Him.” — Nahum 1:7

29. “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” — Matthew 5:8 (NIV)

30. “Do not worry about anything. But pray and ask God for everything you need. And when you pray, always give thanks.” — Philippians 4:6

31. “I was very worried. But you comforted me and made me happy.” – Psalm 94:19

32. “Give your worries to the Lord. He will take care of you. He will never let good people down.” — Psalm 55:22

33. “The proof of my teaching was the power that the Spirit gives. I did this so that your faith would be in God’s power, not in the wisdom of a man.” — 1 Corinthians 2:4b-5

34. “In the same way, you should be a light for other people. Live so that they will see the good things you do. Live so that they will praise your Father in heaven.” — Matthew 5:16

35. “Let us hold firmly to the hope that we have confessed. We can trust God to do what he promised.” – Hebrews 10:23

36. “Lord, show your love to us as we put our hope in you.” — Psalm 33:22

37. “God sent his Son to die in our place to take away our sins. That is how much God loved us, dear friends! So we also must love each other.” — 1 John 4:10b-11

38. “You are my hiding place and my shield. I trust your word.” — Psalm 119:114

39. “Yes, I am sure that nothing can separate us from the love God has for us.” — Romans 8:38a

This growing collection of Bible verses is great for children! #Bible #BibleVerses #Truth #TruthTuesday #BibleVersesForKids #ChildrensMinistry #MemoryVerse #MemoryVerses
Feb. 26, 2019
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March 12, 2019
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March 19, 2019
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March 26, 2019
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April 2, 2019
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April 9, 2019
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April 16, 2019
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April 23, 2019
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April 30. 2019
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May 7, 2019
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May 14, 2019
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Aug. 13, 2019
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Aug. 27, 2019
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Sept. 3, 2019
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Sept. 10, 2019
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Sept. 17, 2019
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Sept. 24, 2019
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Oct. 1, 2019
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Oct. 15, 2019
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Oct. 22, 2019
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Oct. 29, 2019
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Nov. 5, 2019
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Nov. 12, 2019
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Nov. 19, 2019
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Nov. 26, 2019
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Dec. 10, 2019
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Jan. 14, 2020
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Jan. 21, 2020
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Jan. 28, 2020
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Feb. 2, 2020
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Feb. 11, 2020
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Feb. 18, 2020
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Feb. 25, 2020
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March 10, 2020
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May 12, 2020
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Jan. 19, 2021

Peanut butter honey nut cereal clusters

An easy recipe your family will love any time of the day!

My son is obsessed with peanut butter. I send it in his lunch in some form almost daily: on bread, on flatbread, on bagel thins or with crackers to spread it on. Sometimes he likes some honey mixed in with the peanut butter for variety, because he also doesn’t like jelly.

The flavor of peanut butter and honey is so good and seems like such a treat! Those flavors combine for this super easy, super yummy, not-too-bad-for-you treat. I’ve been making these peanut butter honey nut cereal clusters for a couple of years. Every time I make them, my family gobbles them up. The last time I made them, I doubled the recipe so they would last more than a day.

I have served them for breakfast, lunch, snacks and dessert. They’re the kind of treat that I don’t feel bad about giving my kids because there isn’t a refined sugar and other bad stuff for them. It includes whole grains and protein. You can’t get much better than that — except if you can make it easily.

I would daresay this is one of the easiest recipes in my repertoire. It takes only about five minutes and doesn’t even require the oven or stovetop. I know it sounds too good to be true, but it isn’t!

Start with 1/4 cup of honey and 1 cup of peanut butter in a microwave-safe bowl. I use my large glass mixing bowl.

Put the bowl in the microwave and heat on high for 30 seconds. Stir and heat again for 30 seconds until the peanut and honey are melted together. (If you’re making a double batch like I did with this one, you may have to heat for another 30 seconds.) It should look like this:

Gently stir in 2 cups of honey nut Os cereal. (Clearly the name brand here is Honey Nut Cheerios, which I have found really does tend to work better than store brand just because they have less of a stale taste to them.)

Once it’s all stirred together, drop immediately in clusters of about 1 tablespoon each onto parchment paper. I used two spoons. I scooped the cereal out of the bowl with one and then used the other to help plop it onto the paper. While I use parchment paper for this, I think that wax paper or even aluminum foil would work just fine as well.

A single batch makes approximately 24, depending on how big you make your clusters them. Let the peanut butter honey nut cereal clusters cool for 30 minutes or so and they are ready to enjoy! Store them in a ziptop bag or plastic container with a lid to keep them fresh. They don’t have to be refrigerated.

Peanut butter honey nut cereal clusters

Ingredients
  

  • 1/4- cup honey
  • 1/2- cup peanut butter
  • 2 cups honey nut Os cereal

Instructions
 

  • Put the honey and peanut butter in a microwave-safe mixing bowl.
  • Heat on high for 30 seconds. Shake around or stir a bit. Heat for another 30 seconds.
  • Stir well and then add the cereal and stir gently to coat.
  • Put small clusters out on parchment paper. Let them cool about 30 minutes and then enjoy.

Join the Families with Grace Acts of Grace challenge and receive a FREE devotion book today! In just a few minutes each day for seven days, you can focus on what giving grace looks like and how to put that grace into action.

The one hack you need to make a brownie box mix so fudgy good!

One simple tweak to a brownie box mix makes all the difference!

This hack is super easy to make brownie box mixes so fudgy and delicious. When everyone asks for the recipe, it's up to you whether to share the hack! #Baking #BrownieBoxMix #Brownies #Fudgy #Hack #Yummy

About 20 years ago, I discovered a hack to make box mix brownies so good and fudgy that it doesn’t even matter what brand of box mix you buy. My brownies are one of my most requested desserts to bring places. I am almost ashamed at how easy they are to make!

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I start with a brownie box mix and make it up according to the directions on the box. Any size works for this recipe, but I will say if the box says it will fit in a 9×11 pan, go with that size.

If you use a smaller pan, the brownies wouldn’t be as fudgy since they would be thicker. Having a bit thinner brownie gives you more fudginess!

Then follow the directions on the brownie mix to. Stir the batter, and put it in your pan.

I highly recommend the Rachael Ray bakeware. It is nonstick and my absolute favorite bakeware I’ve ever used.

This is where the brownie hack happens. Are you ready for it? Grab your bottle of chocolate syrup out of the fridge — the kind you put on ice cream or use to make chocolate milk — and swirl it over the top of the brownie batter in the pan.

Check out the baking time on the brownie box mix. Set your oven timer for 3-5 minutes prior to the shortest time given. Check your brownies then to see if they are done.

I always test my brownies by sticking a toothpick into the center and seeing if it comes out clean. If so, they’re done. If it is still goopy, bake the brownies a few minutes longer and check again. Feast your eyes on this gorgeous fudgy-ness! (Is that a word? I don’t even care!)

And that’s it. Once the brownies have cooled, they are ready to cut. If you are going to stack them on a plate, give them PLENTY of time to cool. Otherwise, they meld into one giant fudgy uni-brownie. Trust me, I speak from experience!

Look at those lines of fudgy goodness!

Also, check out this pan. Nothing sticks to the Rachael Ray bakeware! I did spray it with a light spritz of non-stick cooking spray, because I’ve used mine so much they need a bit of help, but this Rachael Ray cake pan is my all-time favorite. I LOVE it!

Because these brownies are so fudgy, they don’t need to be frosted. And they are usually best eaten with a fork or spoon!

I promise you people will ask for your brownie recipe. I’ll leave it up to you if you want to share this hack with them!

Join the Families with Grace Acts of Grace challenge and receive a FREE devotion book today! In just a few minutes each day for seven days, you can focus on what giving grace looks like and how to put that grace into action.