Archive for December 2014

This New Year, how are you going to start your day as Mom or Dad?

2014 has been a year of conviction and changes for me as a parent.

As my kids get older, I am growing ever more conscious of the example I am setting for them, particularly in the area of my phone.   I’m not just talking about while driving, during dinner or family time, or while helping them with homework.  Those are all real concerns for sure.

However, what hit me the hardest was how my cell phone was negatively impacting the start of my day.
How easy it is to turn off the alarm on my phone and start checking e-mail and Facebook.

Before I knew it, I was running late for my day and in a grumpy mood because of all the things that had bombarded me before I even got out of bed! 

Anyone with me?

I had always used the excuse of not being a morning person to put off my devotional time until later in the day.  Yet, here I was, regularly devoting a good 15 minutes to a small rectangular metal box.
And we mock those days-of-old idol worshippers!


When discussing electronic limits for our kids, a friend of mine shared that they have a non-electronic rule for the first hour they are awake.  What a wise pattern to establish that will serve her children well both now and later!

It was important for her to explain to them (and sometimes still remind them), that the reason for this family guideline isn’t that she’s just a “mean” mom restricting their fun!  Rather, it’s to help them remember the principle of

This is the day the Lord has made.  We will rejoice and be glad in it.
Psalm 118:24

Hmmmm…we just read the words “rejoice” and “glad,” didn’t we? 
Sounds like fun to me…And it is!
Starting the day out with God’s Word and talking with Him is uplifting, encouraging, empowering, and a blessing….pretty much everything my previous routine of e-mail and Facebook is NOT!

So, fellow parents, as we think about this coming year, let’s consider how our daily patterns are impacting our lives and our children’s.   For me, that means more of putting down the iPhone after turning off the alarm and picking up my Bible.  

How about you?

A resource that has greatly helped my OCD self is Hands Free Mama: A Guide to Putting Down the Phone, Burning the To-Do List, and Letting Go of Perfection to Grasp What Really Matters!   Anyone else feel like the author had you in mind with that subtitle?  I enjoyed taking my time on this book, only reading a chapter a week.  That helped the principles soak in and give me time to practice before moving on.

Disclaimer:  Since this goes to such a broad audience and many of y’all don’t know me personally, I feel it’s important to add a couple of points.  While I share what I regularly strive for, I am not legalistic about any of this.  Some days I have to check my e-mail first thing.  Some days (and pretty much every Saturday morning) the tv comes on first thing for the kids.  Some days I enjoy putting off my time with Lord because I know I have a great window of time later in the day.  Some days I regretfully don’t make time for the Lord.  You get the idea.  Life happens.  This blog is always supposed to be non-guilt and non-ritualism inducing from an imperfect parent (me!) who enjoys sharing what she’s learned with others (you!) in hopes that it helps in some way!  To God be the glory if it does!


Looking for a new way to get in the Word with your kids this year?
Or, want a way to pray for your kids about specific issues using God’s Word?
Consider Parenting with Scripture: A Topical Guide for Teachable Moments  as a topical family devotional guide or topical parenting prayer guide.

3   Posted In:     |    Written By: Kara Durbin
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“Reflecting on Christmas Memories” – Including one of mine on Focus on the Family’s daily broadcast

This Christmas, Focus on the Family’s daily broadcast aired a compilation of Christmas memories from different folks who have been in their studio throughout the year…including yours truly! 

Click here for a link to hear the broadcast (Part 1 of “Reflecting on Christmas Memories”).

Click here for a link to read a blog I wrote on the same subject.

Merry Christmas from my family to yours!




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Want to add a little DRAMA to your Christmas celebration?

My mom had the gift of making every family gathering special.  When my older nieces and nephew were little, she had them act out the Christmas Bible story!

And look who got to be the donkey!  Yes, that would be the teenaged version of me!

Making Luke 2 come alive!
Christmas 1993
Christmas Nativity Play

No prep or costumes necessary, but the costumes did add to the fun!
(Simple instructions are further down, if interested)

Mom had a set of these that she used over and over with her 3rd grade Sunday School class and 4 year old preschool choir.  You can imagine how many Bible stories those costumes jazzed up!  She taught both of those classes for over 50 years, by the way!  I love thinking about all the children that were blessed by her amazing gift of serving the Lord through her passion of teaching kids about Him!

Depending on how many kids you have, you could go all out with shepherds, angels, etc or just stick to Mary and Joseph and use a baby doll for Jesus.  Adults and teens can have fun filling in where needed.

Tell the story or read it from the Bible while the kids are acting it out.  You may even want to throw in a Christmas Carol or two for the whole group to sing.  No need to complicate the script or feel like it has to be an all out pageant!

Keep it simple and have fun! 

Bible Costume Instructions:
Tunics:  Strips of cloth with holes cut for the head.
Head coverings:  Scarves or cut material held on with stretchy rings of cut pantyhose legs.
Sashes:  Cloth belts, strips of cloth, or scarves.

Are you inspired to create a little drama at your Christmas gathering this year?

1   Posted In:     |    Written By: Kara Durbin
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My “Making the Most of Teachable Moments” made list of Top 2014 Focus on the Family Broadcasts!

I’m thrilled to share that my February interview with Jim Daly on Focus on the Family’s Daily Broadcast made their list of Top 2014 Programs!

It’s entitled, “Making the Most of Teachable Moments” and is rebroadcasting TODAY.   You can find your local station information here to listen live.

You can also stream it FREE (for a month) from this link click here.

My trip to Focus on the Family headquarters in Colorado Springs for this interview will remain one of the highlights of my life!  If you want to read more about that experience, click here.

At the interview in the recording studio!
Left: John Fuller, Radio Host
Center: Me!
Right:  Jim Daly, President of Focus on the Family & Radio Host

photo 2

This verse pretty much sums up the way I feel about the honor of this rebroadcast…

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine,
according to his power that is at work within us,
to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever!

Ephesians 3:20-21


Still need to do some Christmas shopping?
Don’t forget that Parenting with Scripture: A Topical Guide for Teachable Moments makes for a great, meaningful gift!

1   Posted In:     |    Written By: Kara Durbin
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Where are your nativity set Wise Men?

True or FalseThe Wise Men were there when Jesus was born.


The Wise Men came from far away.  Following the star, it probably took a couple of years.

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusale and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”  Matthew 2:1-2

Growing up, my mom let me put our nativity set’s wise men on the other side of the room.

My kids always remember this bit of Christmas trivia and I was amused to see how our magnet nativity set appeared on the fridge this year.

It’s kind of hard to tell in this picture, but the wise men are “far away” in the upper left!

wise men- edited2

Those with young children might enjoy the “Wise Men” song.

Tune -Here we go ’round the Mulberry Bush
 Motions -Pretend to carry gifts
The wise men came from far away, far away, far away

The wise men came from far away, bringing gifts to Jesus.

Where are your nativity set’s Wise Men?
Now you and your kids can be OCD like me and itch to move any
that are nestled near the stable with baby Jesus!

Still shopping for Christmas?
Don’t forget to consider
Parenting with Scripture: A Topical Guide for Teachable Moments.


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8 Creative Ways to Celebrate the True Meaning of Christmas!

Want to get the focus back on the true meaning of Christmas and add more spiritual depth and richness to your family’s celebration of Christmas season? 

Here are 8 creative ways! 
(After scanning through this post, Click here if you wish to quickly scroll through all of these complete blogs at once, rather than clicking each individual blog link below.)

Want a media related teachable moment as you watch the classic White Christmas  with your family this season?
See “Bing Crosby’s yearly reminder to count our blessings!”




Want to help your child gain appreciation for our beloved Christmas carols through learning about their meaning and having fun with a craft?
See “Christmas Carols:  Meaning and Craft”

Want to extend the teachable moments of your Christmas giving opportunities?  Create a special present under your tree to help you remember to pray for the people represented by those donations.
See “The Gifting Gift”
christmas box

Want a meaningful Christmas gift that supports a good cause and that your child will treasure forever?
See “Nativity Set Tradition
Christmas Decorations - '12

Want a resource and fun method for your family’s Advent devotions?
See “Christmas in July”

Want a creative way to help your child see how your family lends a helping hand?
See “Christmas Traditions:  Helping Hand Tree
Christmas Decorations - '12

Want a fun way to help your child learn and interact with Luke 2?
See “Christmas Traditions: Luke 2 Memorization & Scavenger Hunt

Wondering what to do with all those Christmas cards?  Enjoy praying for those people.
See “Christmas Card Prayers

What’s your favorite meaningful Christmas Tradition?
Please Share!

If you need a meaningful Christmas gift,
don’t forget to stock up on
Parenting with Scripture: A Topical Guide for Teachable Moments.

Comments Off on 8 Creative Ways to Celebrate the True Meaning of Christmas!   Posted In:     |    Written By: Kara Durbin
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Need a meaningful Christmas gift? Stock up and check one more thing off your list!

Parenting with Scripture: A Topical Guide for Teachable Moments  makes for a meaningful gift! 
(Click on the blue title to go straight to the Amazon Link.)
Stock up now and get one more thing checked off your Christmas list!
Who are the moms, dads, or teachers in your life that would appreciate this great resource?
*Family members
*Pre-school or School teachers
*Sunday School, Awanas, or church choir teachers
*Baby presents – Who just had a baby or is due in the next few months?
*Remember those folks who have birthdays around the holidays, too

Idea for what to write inside along with your personalization
“May God bless you with wisdom as you continue parenting/grand parenting/influencing children with Scripture!”
You can incorporate this into the wording on the inside title page.

Click here to order through Amazon.

gift idea
If you are local, I’m happy to sign them for you!

Stay tuned for next week’s post: 8 Creative Ways to Celebrate the True Meaning of Christmas!

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