COVID-19 Processing Resources for the FAMILY!

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How many of you lived through the experience of 9/11? I can distinctly remember when I heard the news, and the fear that followed. 9/11 was a historical moment that altered how we operate in our daily living. Anyone else watch older movies where they are meeting someone at the airport and can walk straight to the plane? Yeah, that doesn’t happen anymore due to the events of 9/11.

During this COVID-19 there can be fear and uncertainty. One of the memories I have during 9/11 was unanswered questions which caused fear and uncertainty. Therefore I wanted to provide my family and other families a way to process these emotions. And this is where the COVID-19 resource packet comes into play.

This much needed resource is helpful in allowing kids of all ages to process through these changing times. I personally recall when 9/11 happened and how the world changed before my very eyes, things that once were became something new and forever changed.

Within the PDF printable packet you will find:

  • Personal refection worksheets on how life is currently
  • The Blessings to be found in this time and how to bless others
  • Prayer journal with writing or drawing options
  • Fun moments and bringing the best in the moment out
  • Hard moments to promote conversations with family
  • Promises that God gives us in his scripture, journal pages to reflect and color sheets with scripture on it.

HEAD OVER HERE TO SNAG A RESOURCE PACKET!

Orange Blue Collage International Friendship Day Instagram Post

This resource is one of the ways we are working to supporting families. We also are using it as a fundraiser to help earn money to pay for Darren Rice to attend seminary. So we thank you for helping us walk this journey together, following God’s call 🙂

 

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Standing for Faith while Teaching our Kids

I have been recently convicted strongly about my role at home to be a spiritual example of the importance of apologetics and showing how to stand for truth in front of my home. You might be thinking to yourself, RIGHT ON! But HOW?

This is the area of growth for me, I believe the Holy Spirit is used to convict and bring to us opportunities of growth. My opportunity of growth has literally knocked on my physical door 3 times in the past month! And sadly every time they have come to me, I have not been prepared. What I am speaking of is the very sweet Jehovah Witness’s that have come to share a message with me.

Maybe you have found yourself in this setting in your own home. Here is how it plays out at our house; I open the door, my kids all run to the door with me to see who it is, and the JW’s share about love and invite our family to attend their gathering. Seemingly harmless, I just thanked them for their time, smiled politely and said good-bye. After closing my door and recycling their flyer they have given me, I hear the small voices of my children’s questions start pouring in:

 

“Who was that?”  – “Oh some people talking about what they believe”

“What do they believe? – “They believe in God the Father, but not the Trinity”

“Why did you throw the paper away?” – “Because I don’t need to keep it”

“But Why?” (You knew that was coming right?)

 

The WHYS of life, especially with a group of 5 kiddos, (most in the WHY stage) the WHYS come marching in 2-by-2 Hoorah Hoorah!

What is the plan? Where do I go from here? And what is the purpose of knowing the WHY’s?

 

The PLAN:

Go to scripture and research. Here is what I learned …

Jehovah’s Witnesses are a group of  believers who identify as Christians (composed of less than 1 percent of U.S. adults), their mission is to proclaim the truth about Jehovah.

JW’s call themselves Christians but do not consider themselves Protestants, for they do not believe in the Trinity as well as other things.  Let’s cover that Trinity piece a little more. As a Christ follower (Christian) I believe that God is the ONE true God, made up of 3 parts, God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.

 

 

JESUS CHRIST:

Jehovah Witnesses claim that Jesus was not divine, they believe that Jesus is God’s only direct creation, “the firstborn of all creation,” which is why he is called the “son of God.” Furthermore, since he is a created being they believe he is not part of the Trinity.

Is this important to know? YES! In regards to Jesus:

John 14:6

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

Romans 10:9

Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

Romans 6:23

For wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

John 3:16

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

This popular verse (John 3:16) you might have heard and even memorized yourself. After doing a bit of research on John 3:16, which by the way is used and quoted by the JW’s on their website, I learned something quite interesting. The Greek word eis(in) also gets translated as into. In addition, the word IN within our verse is a preposition, meaning it connects to another word, in our verse we are looking at him (referring to Jesus). Why do I say all of this? Well a lot of people believe IN Jesus Christ, that he was a person, in fact the Bible says even the demons know his name (Matthew 8:29 and Acts 11:15). On the JW’s website they communicate they believe in Jesus, even in this death and resurrection but they do not worship Jesus as they do not believe that he is Almighty God.  The difference between believing in and believing INTO is to receive Him and be joined to Him. John 1:12 says, “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God,” So here is the question: should we therefore worship Jesus? Answer: YES! Verse support: The Bible, but seriously the WHOLE Bible from New to Old This article HERE helps outline MANY verses of support, yet some highlights to bring to our attention are as follows:

 

  • Jesus during his time on earth allowed himself to be worshipped (Matthew 8:2, 9:18, 14:33, 15:25, 20:20, Mark 5:6-7, John 9:35-28)
  • Even the angels worship Christ (Hebrews 1:6)
  • “Every knee should Bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord,” The reference to bowing the knee is an act of worship

 

HOLY SPIRIT:

JW’s believe that the Holy Spirit is “active force” and not a person. They believe the Holy Spirit is a projection of His energy to accomplish His will. My understanding is that the JW’s believe the Holy Spirit does not work alone or have an his own identity, but is merely an effect of God.

I believe the Holy Spirit is God’s personal presence, not merely a force.   The Holy Spirit is there from the beginning and you can read from Genesis that God’s presence is present. We can see God’s Spirit throughout the Old Testament starting with Joseph while interrupting dreams, we also see God’s Spirit in the Prophets. The Hebrew word “ruakh” is used for the Holy Spirit. Ruakh can describe an invisible, powerful energy, and necessary for life. The Holy Spirit points towards Jesus always. For a video look at the Holy Spirit done by the Bible Project click here.

The Holy Spirit as a separate person is shown in Matthew 12:32 “And whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven , either in this age or in the age to come.”

Matthew 28:19 ESV
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

THE BIBLE:

WORD of warning: JWs believe the Bible is “God’s inspired message to humans.” In 1961 a JW corporation, The Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, published its own formal equivalence translation of the Bible: the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures (NWT). As of 2015, the NWT has been translated in whole or in part into 129 languages. Since the release of the NT translation in 1950, this version has been criticized for changing the meaning and words of the text to fit JW doctrine. A prime example is John 1:1. Both the ESV and NIV translate that verse as, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” The NWT version translates the passage as “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a god.” The addition of the indefinite article “a” is added to avoid the conclusion that Jesus is God. Referring to this verse, Bruce M. Metzger wrote in 1953, “It must be stated quite frankly that, if the Jehovah’s Witnesses take this translation seriously, they are polytheists.” Despite a preference for the NWT, JWs still use other translations of the Bible in their witnessing work. (Taken from HERE )

Quick facts:

  • JW’s deny the existence of Heaven and Hell
  • JW’s do not celebrate Christmas or Easter
  • JW’s do not celebrate Birthdays
  • JW’s don’t accept blood transfusions
  • JW’s do not consider the cross to be a symbol of Christianity
  • JW’s do not believe in going to war or getting involved in political matters
  • JW’s do not call their building a church but rather “Kingdom Hall”
  • JW’s have no paid clergy
  • JW’s are among the most racially and ethnically diversereligious groups in America. According to Pew Research, no more than 4 in 10 members of the group belong to any one racial and ethnic background: 36 percent are white, 32 percent are Hispanic, 27 percent are black, and 6 percent are another race or mixed race. Roughly two-thirds (65 percent) are women, while only 35 percent are men. They also also tend to be less educated, with a solid majority of adult Jehovah’s Witnesses (63 percent) having no more than a high school diploma (compared with, for example, 43 percent of evangelical Protestants). (Taken from Gospel Coalition)

 

WHERE DO I GO FROM HERE:

Ok, I have researched, read scripture, prayed, and now what? For me, it is back to the basics. I need to make sure foundationally my kids understand truth. The biggest current issue to address for my family is to make sure I am pouring the foundation for the household of faith. Within my foundation I believe when it comes to faith, we need to teach our kids the truths of the trinity. Is this tricky? OH YES! It is tricky because it is a God thing that we can have ONE TRUE GOD but 3 PERSONS of GOD. I want to provide you with some resources we are using to help lay the foundation:

  • Our family has really enjoyed the picture book called 3 in 1 A Picture of God from Concordia Publishing House (www.cph.org)
  • We also have like the element of H2O, looking at the 3 states of matter (not plasma, and H2O is not a deity but provides a great visual to explain.) ICE, WATER, and STEAM they look different and have different roles but they are all H2O.
  • WE have also used the New City Catechism to help connect questions to answers to verses, this is a great resources for more than just the Trinity as well.

 

WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF KNOWING THE WHY’S???

There are many reasons for having answers to the why questions, but if I may be so bold I would like to hyper-focus on one HUGE reason:

 

IF WE DON’T TEACH OUR KIDS TO ASK WHY AND FIND THE ANSWER WE RUN THE RISK OF THEM NEVER FINDING TRUTH

We HAVE to be able to ask why, and express doubt, this is how we grow, and establish our personal convictions.

As a personal note as a mom: I have never engaged in a conversation with a JW at my door, other then to be kind, let them speak and thank them for their time. And while I don’t picture myself as someone who would work to convince them of their fallacies, I do want to start showing my kids how to handle these types of conversations, with truth, kindness, and LOVE, always with LOVE! Lastly, one of the most powerful first steps is to start the conversations of whys at the dinner table. If you are a wife at home reading this, give your husband a heads up and game plan together about how to show and live out together speaking truth to your kiddos.

 

 

Supporting Articles:

How to explain that Jesus is part of the Trinity: HERE

JW.org was used to find the information on what Jehovah Witnesses believe

Francis Chan Meets Some Jehovah’s Witnesses: HERE

 

Podcast – Episode #21 – The Importance of Social verses Academic Lessons for Young Kids

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Podcast Episode #21 – The Importance of Social verses Academic Lessons for Young Kids

Marissa Rice #21

We are always hearing about the importance of academic lessons for young children but the social lessons are just as important if not MORE! Listen in on what lessons socially are key for young children! I think you will be inspired and encouraged!

LISTEN HERE:

 

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Dear Kids I have No idea what I am doing!

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Dear Kids, I Have No Idea What I’m Doing

By Mary Rabe

Dear Kids, I have NO idea what I am doing! 1

Dear Kids,

I don’t know if you are aware of this or not, but I have no idea what I’m doing. This parenting thing? Yeah, I‘m pretty much winging it. Even after 3 kids, I am no expert. See, each of you are so different, and so unique, and so hard to read at times that I don’t think anyone could really become an expert!

 

Daddy and I have read books, listened to podcasts, turned to pastors and counselors to get wisdom… and yet there are still days and entire seasons when we are at a complete loss of what to do. I try to appear like I have things under control and am “good” at this Mom Thing, and to make you think that I’ve got the answers, but you know what? Out of sight, when you are in bed or I have some alone time, I oftentimes break down. “God, why in the world did you give me these kids? I don’t know what you want me to do. I don’t understand how to reach them, and I am completely overwhelmed by the task of raising them.”

 

See, I’ve wanted this for as long as I can remember. I’ve dreamed of having kids and being a mom, and of having the chance to raise up the next generation to serve our amazing God. Now I’m literally living the dream, and I’ve gotta be honest: there are some days when it resembles more of a nightmare! I had no idea how hard this would be. I thought that reading the books and studying the articles and learning from others would equip me to do this thing right, but it’s so different to do it in real life. I don’t know how to stop temper tantrums. I am at a loss when the potty accidents keep going on, month after month after month. How am I really supposed to respond to defiance—and was that sour look really even defiance or just an overtired/overhungry/anxious kid? There’s no limit to “magic formulas” and “perfect answers” to these problems if I try to look…but almost all of them contradict each other. I always end up back at square one, wracking my brain and struggling to know what to do.

 

I think the thing that is hardest about all of this is that it matters so much to get it right. For one thing, I’ve never loved anyone quite like I love you all. I am smitten with each of you, and care so much about you that it physically hurts sometimes. I would do anything for you and have only the best in mind for you. I treasure every memory with you, cry over how fast our time together is passing, and am still sometimes in awe that you are mine!


Yet hand-in-hand with that love comes this heavy, sobering feeling of responsibility. I have to take care of you. I have been tasked with the job of not only keeping you alive, but of being used by God to help shape you into who He wants you to be. Your physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual well-being are, in large part, my responsibility. That pressure feels so heavy sometimes!

 

I also still have my own sinful nature to deal with. Sometimes I still feel like I’m a kid in need of parenting myself! They say that parenting shows us our immaturities like nothing else, and that has been so true for me. I can’t believe how selfish, impatient, anger-prone, and petty I can be! And God wants me to teach you character?! How can I teach somebody else what I am still learning? That’s why Mama has to apologize so often to you guys; I’m really learning right alongside you, even though I’m supposed to kind of know what I’m doing.

 

I wish I could get this right for you guys. I wish I could be the kind of mom I really want to be, all the time, with no (or at least very few) mistakes. But you know what? Just like I’m learning to have faith that God gave me each of you for a purpose, I hope you can grow to have that same belief about me. God picked me for you, and you for me, and He did it for a reason. We are helping each other become the people He desires. All of the conflict, mistakes, apologizing, do-overs, and successes are being used by Him to mold me as well as you guys. And as much as I love you guys, my love is just a teeny reflection of His love for you! So I guess all I can do is trust that God knows what He is doing, apologize when I mess up, and “keep on keeping on”. I can’t promise I won’t get discouraged, and I definitely won’t get it right all of the time (or maybe even most of the time if I’m honest), but I do promise that I won’t give up; I will do my best to make my mistakes right; and I will always love you, more than you’ll ever know, forever and ever.
Love,

Your Very-Imperfect but Crazy-About-You Mama

 

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Protect Kids Ears

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When I was pregnant with our 4th sweetie pie for our Gender Reveal we did a fun event where mu husband got to shoot and blow up a box with explosives in it and a colored chalk, to reveal either blue or pink.

My sister in law was pregnant at the same time and we were able to do the reveal together 🙂 Both boxes revealed BLUE for BOYS! It was super fun! However, while I was preparing for the Reveal Event, I was getting concerned about the volume of noise my children’s ears who be exposed to since we wanted everyone to be able to be there. As a result I found these babies:

 

They come in a variety of colors and a little over 10 bucks each. So I went ahead and bought them for each of my kiddos:

At the time I thought well maybe one day we will use them again, but to my pleasant surprise we have used them quite a lot. My personal favorite reason we have been using them lately is the kids will go in the backyard and play in their play area while Daddy is able to mow the yard, before it was too loud for them and now they play happily as the mower is doing its job.

Other ways these can be used:

Firework show

At a music concert

Monster Truck Show

Encouragement for silent reading

Steam cleaning the carpet (those machines can be loud)

In a school setting to focus

Professional sporting events

One review said they bought them for Disneyland for their child who gets anxious in crowds, they fold up nicely for storage.

They come highly recommended for children with special needs to help dampen noise and distraction. The reviews say they are not too tight on the head which others have been and have caused headaches.

and many more!

I have found these work great 🙂 perfect for kid size heads and the db rating on these earmuffs are 26. Another lady got me thinking on her review that I would like to share with you:

These are great. I have 2 young girls that like to help their daddy with projects around the house. These accomplish 2 things for me. 1, they are not afraid of the loud noises from saws, lawn mower and various other tools. 2, they are learning good habits in terms of wearing the proper hearing and eye protection which is something I did not do for a very long time until it caught up to me. I want my girls to be involved in our projects around the house. I want them to feel comfortable and be safe at the same time. I am a big believer that your kids should be involved in these sorts of things as much as possible. I don’t want my girls to not know how to make a simple repair or, have the courage to try. There are too many young people that can’t perform simple household tasks. Plenty of adults too. I highly recommend these because I highly recommend teaching your kids to use their heads and hands to figure out a problem and to be safe at the same time. These Earmuffs help with both. Quality is beyond what I expected.

Something to think about!

For additional facts about hearing loss in kids, here is some important information taken directly from the American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery Website:

The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders reports approximately 28 million Americans have lost some or all of their hearing, including 17 in 1,000 children under age 18. Noise exposure is increasingly common in the age of iPods and other personal music players. Overexposure to noise can cause both temporary and permanent hearing loss.

LOUDNESS OF COMMON SOUNDS

Whisper: 30 decibels (dBa)          

Normal Conversation: 60 decibels                    

Cars to a close observer: 60 – 80 decibels           

Can cause permanent hearing loss: Above 85 decibels         

Although 10 million Americans suffer irreversible noise-induced hearing loss, with 30 million more exposed to dangerous noise levels each day, very little has been reported on the risk of such hearing loss in children.

HOW DOES NOISE EXPOSURE CAUSE HEARING LOSS?

Very loud sounds damage the inner ear by damaging the hair cells of the cochlea. When loud sounds are exposed to the ear for a short time, one may experience what’s called a temporary threshold shift, or a temporary hearing loss. This hearing loss may be accompanied by tinnitus (a ringing in the ears). One may recover from the temporary loss. But if the ear is exposed to loud sounds over longer periods of time, the hair cells can be permanently damaged, causing permanent sensorineural hearing loss.

Addition information can be found on the John Hopkins Website: HERE

Knowledge is powerful but can be overwhelming! Don’t forget we are in this life together so lets support each other. Any other ideas of where these can and should be worn, leave a comment below 🙂

 

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Tea Time Tuesday’s

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As some of you may have heard on our Podcast that for this year 2018, Darren and I have been working towards being intentional with our plans, schedules, and activities. One of these intentional activities we have decided is important to us is: Tea Time Tuesdays or Tea Time with Mom.

Once a week after quiet time the kids join mom at the table for some “tea” and a special treat. We talk about conversations mom feel are important to have as a family, or we have done read aloud time, or we can spend time talking about building sibling relationship in the form of compliments or encouragement (I have a Pinterest board started with ideas for this: HERE)

You may have noticed the quotes around tea, and they are there on purpose because our tea currently looks like warm water with a little bit of honey in it. One day we will move up to “real” tea. We have done warm milk before, apple cider, hot chocolate as well.

I have enjoyed this intentional time, and of course as I am being honest I have not been able to do it every week, but as my freshman basketball coach taught me, “You will miss 100% of the shots you do not take.” So make a plan, give it a try and see what comes from it!

One fun element we have added that my kids LOVE, is something that makes me smile while I remember the memories from my own childhood. Before I tell you what that element is, I must tell you my story behind it. When I was younger, when we were at my grandparents house, they had this white, small, cute little mug and there was a surprise inside:

Yes a little frog, and my brother and I used to LOVE this cup. My grandparents have since then blessed our family with this adorable little cup. However, currently we only have one, that we have been rotating week to week. While sharing and taking turns is super important to learn, I am planning my next amazon purchase to include a few of these babies:

(By clicking on the picture it will take you to a direct link to amazon to purchase these cuties. These are affiliate links, meaning that RaisingRices will benefit from the purchase at NO ADDITIONAL cost to you! This helps us with ministry events!) ….. PS: if you are a family member and feel a desire to get one of these cups or others my kids will thank you hahaha 😉

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April 28th – Daily Prayer

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Focus: Mission

Verse: Ephesians 2:10

10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Prayer:

Dear Lord, I pray my children would embrace their calling to do the good work that God has called them to do. May they listen and be observant of the gifts YOU have given them to use for Your Glory!

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April 27th – Daily Prayer

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Focus: Grace

Verse: John 1:14

14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Prayer: 

Dear Lord, my biggest prayer for my children is that they will learn and receive YOUR Grace! May they hear, see and receive YOUR beautiful, everlasting gift of GRACE.  

April - Prayer day 27

 

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