Give the gift of praying a life verse for your child

I’m an overthinker, so when I decided to pick a verse to pray for my children, it sort of stressed me out.  There are so many great Scriptures, how would I choose?   Do I pray a different one for each kid or just pick one for both?  Should I pick a verse, passage, or even chapter?

Though I don’t allow my kids to use the “s” word, I realized I needed to KISS…Keep It Simple, Stupid!

So, I began to pray for God to show me what verse He wanted me to pray for my kids…something short and sweet and easy to remember when mommy brain fog is in full force!

A couple of months later, I was reading in Matthew and 22:35-42 stood out to me –

One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question:
“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

Jesus replied:
“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’
This is the first and greatest commandment.
And the second is like it:
‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’
All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Hmmmmmmmm….loving God and loving others.  Jesus, of course, is right that everything else falls under two things.  So, it occurred to me, what more could I want for my kids?! 

I decided to reword it as my prayer for my kids’ lives in this way –

Heavenly Father,
Please help my children to
love You with all their heart, soul, and mind
and to love their neighbor as themselves…
especially each other.

I added that last line because my heart’s desire is that they also greatly value their sibling relationship (their closest neighbor!) and treat each other with that in mind.

Do I pray this every day?  No, it’s not something I ever want to become ritualistic.  But it’s an overarching principle I can go back to as I pray for them, generally and specifically.  And, on those days when I can’t string two coherent thoughts together (you know those days!), I can still at least remember this!

Do you have a verse or verses you pray regularly for your kid(s)?  I’d love to hear your pick!
If not, consider giving this priceless gift.  Pray for God to reveal what Scripture(s) you should use and feel free to use mine, if He so leads.  Parenting with Scripture: A Topical Guide for Teachable Moments gives more ideas on praying Scripture for your child on pages 236-239.



Monday 5 December, 2016  |  Copyright ©2016, Kara Durbin read more>>
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Must read for parents of kids 10 and up!

“Where, oh where, is the book that will help me through this new phase of parenting tweens and teens ,” I wondered with angst!  For reals….this is not me being dramatic.

I had survived the preschool and early elementary years and could see the shift towards adulthood happening before my eyes.  I was terrified (if I’m honest) and prayerful.  Admittedly, I’m a preschool person.  So how in the world do I learn to better parent these morphing kids?!

I started scooping up middle school and teen parenting books in my quest.   None of them were quite what I was looking for.  I honestly didn’t know what I was in search of, but knew I’d know when I found it.

That day came when a school administrator mentioned this book in passing during a meeting.  I wrote it down and am so thankful I gave it a try.  It was that “Ah Ha!” book I had been hunting for.  The author comes from a perfect background to write such a book and does an excellent job of backing her points with real life stories paired with research.  It’s a fascinating read. Click picture to purchase through Amazon.


Why do I think this book is so important to pass along to you?  
It’s helping me parent with an eye toward things like…
*protecting against “failure to launch”
*knowing better what over-parenting looks like through real life examples, so I can better gauge when I’m about to cross the line

*viewing college prep and choices more realistically
*seeing trials and failures during these years as necessary and positive growth opportunities
*tuning in more toward who God has created them to be rather than what I think they should be or do (ouch!)

It truly has shifted my thinking in how I go about parenting my kids and has played out in some wonderful ways in the time since I’ve read it.

It is not in the Christian book genre.  However, it makes me mindful that all the issues I’m bucking up against in parenting my aging kids are so much easier to deal with from a solid Biblical foundation.  If you have younger kids, keep pouring into them!  You have greater influence now than ever!  If you have older kids or teens, remember that it’s never too late!  Make your faith a part of life through daily time with Him, building deeper community with your church home, and using resources like Parenting with Scripture: A Topical Guide for Teachable Moments to help you capture and create teachable moments.

I’d love to hear your favorite book for parenting tweens and teens.  Please share!

Tuesday 1 November, 2016  |  Copyright ©2016, Kara Durbin read more>>
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6 Resources to Help you Keep Current in your Christian Parenting

What do you do when your child/teen wants to watch a movie or read a book that you aren’t sure about?
How do you keep current with what your child/teen is being exposed to culturally?
What are my favorite websites for Christian parenting help or Christian content in general?

I’ll share my favorites and would love to hear yours!

This Focus on the Family resource is my go-to whenever I’m not sure about the something my kids want to see or read.  I appreciate that after the general review, it gives a break-down of questionable content.  That way, I can make an informed decision rather than just “judging a book by it’s cover” or hearsay.

Keeping up with the times:
This newsletter has been invaluable to me as I get a weekly heads up on what’s hot, current social media trends, music, etc.  It comes from a Christian perspective and often gives suggestions of how to dialogue with your kids about the topics.  It helps me not be “as” clueless.

Parenting advice:

This wonderful site categorizes parenting helps by age and by topic.  That way, you can quickly narrow down what you are looking for or just browse to do some “continuing ed” type training for your parenting skills.  I also recommend subscribing to the weekly newsletter.  You will get links for timely articles, helpful tips, and nuggets of parenting wisdom.

Shameless plugs…
Topical Bible verses for parents as dilemmas pop up –
Of course the best advice comes from God’s word!  That’s why I compiled topical verses into a quick and easy to use (only 2 pages per topic!) reference.  Hopefully, the combination of Scripture, discussion questions, take action ideas, and parenting tips (that I gleaned from watching other godly parents) will help you with those tricky teachable moments!  The beginning of the book gives you a simple how-to guide for creating and capturing teachable moments.  Grab your copy of Parenting with Scripture: A Topical Guide for Teachable Moments to help you bring more of God’s Word into your daily lives.

“Categories “list down right side of PWS blog –
I certainly never claim to be an expert on parenting…quite the opposite!  I’m learning and praying as I go just like every other mommy!  However, since I’ve blogged about a wide variety of topics, you might find what you are looking for by scanning down the categories list that runs down the right side of my blog page at I’m type A, so it’s quite a drilled down way to quickly look at what topics I’ve covered. 

Christian Media Resource:
Many churches, including mine, are using this site as our digital library.  It is an understatement to say that it’s a wealth of media for equipping  Christian families and Christian programming for kids.  Click on the link and watch the 1 minute video to learn more.  Pass it along to your church staff if you think your church would be interested, and so that your church families can be blessed by access to it.   


Hope you find this list of resources as helpful as I do! 
I’d love to hear your “go-to” sources.   Please share!



Monday 3 October, 2016  |  Copyright ©2016, Kara Durbin read more>>
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Can LITTLE kids make BIG connections?

Yup, and this story is proof positive why we need to be diligent in training our children in God’s truth at home and being connected to a solid, Bible teaching church that doesn’t just look at the preschool ministry as “childcare.” (Don’t get me on my soapbox about this! 😉 )

Facebook post from a mom of a 3 year old…
Deep conversation with Avery tonight-
A: Mommy, will you and Daddy die?
Me: (with deer in the headlights look) Well, yes… (I mean – I can’t lie!)
A: Will I die?
Me: Yes, but God knew we would die so He sent Jesus to die for us and if we accept Him into our hearts we can live forever in heaven with Him.
A: But we won’t live in our house?? (very concerned)
Me: (trying to recover) No, but heaven will be better than any place you’ve ever been.
A: Mommy, how do you know all of this?
Me: Well, God told us all of it in the Bible.
A: (starts chanting what she learned at Sunday school) Everything the Bible says is absolutely true. (then singing another song from church) The B-I-B-L-E, yes, that’s the book for me!

Conversations like that just melt my heart and almost make me forget the 3 year old sassiness and exorcist-esque tantrums. And it’s also a huge testament to the awesome volunteers who work with the little ones at church and BSF. They are soaking up more than you know!

I can just visualize all ministry volunteers who have a heart for little ones giving a giant fist pump!  I know I am!

And, I hope it’s an encouragement to be like this momma and make the most of teachable moments when they come up! Remember, parents are called to be the primary facilitators of spiritual growth in their children’s lives.
These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts.
Impress them on your children.
Talk about them when you sit at home
and when you walk along the road,
when you lie down
and when you get up.
Duet 6:6-7

Want to bring more of God’s Word into your child’s daily life?
People often ask what ages Parenting with Scripture: A Topical Guide for Teachable Moments is good for.
I hope that this post reminds you that little brains are like sponges soaking up information!  And, that this story encourages you it’s never too early to infuse more Scripture into your family’s daily life!  Likewise, we never outgrow God’s Word…a neat concept to point out to children of all ages!

At the beginning of the book, Parenting with Scripture has ideas for different ways to use the book (easily adaptable to your family’s ages and needs) as well as a tutorial of how to capture and create teachable moments.  Make use of these precious preschool years and beyond!

Little Kids, Big Connections

Thursday 1 September, 2016  |  Copyright ©2016, Kara Durbin read more>>
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Vacationing with Scripture…and a flat tire!

Ka-thunk, Ka-thunk, Ka-thunk….not a good sound at 6:30 AM when we have 12 more hours of driving to get back to Texas from Colorado.  We pull off and confirm our suspicions of a flat tire.

While Tim heroically tackled the tire, the kids and I sat quietly waiting.  That’s when our Vacationing with Scripture verse card caught my eye.
vacaDevote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.  Colossians 4:2

Hmmm….already frustrated that we were losing time on our already long drive home, maybe considering our blessings would be a good idea.

The kids and I started brainstorming what we could be thankful for –
*just off mountain passes
(ie – PAST the steep windy roads and BEFORE the desolation of New Mexico or West TX)
*able to get off the highway before the tire shred to the rim
*not horribly cold (surprising for a Colorado dawn in mid-March!)
*had a spare
*Tim knows how to put on a spare
*big shoulder for changing safety
*nice guy who stopped to see if we needed help
*Siri/Google helped us know where the repair place is
*tire repair shop close by
*tire shop is open early

Suddenly, the flat tire didn’t seem like a big deal anymore!   Yes, it made for a much longer day by adding 2 1/2 hours of repair time to an already 13 hour drive.  However, our hearts were so full of gratitude inspired by God’s Word that we no longer had an appetite for complaining.

Going on a trip this summer? 
Try Vacationing with Scripture!  
Click on the blue link above and scroll down to see more examples as well as a how-to. 

Flat Tire

Refer to your copy of Parenting with Scripture: A Topical Guide for Teachable Moments to get ideas for your vacation verse.



Monday 23 May, 2016  |  Copyright ©2016, Kara Durbin read more>>
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Mothering with Scripture

Mothering with Scripture…
that sounds lovely, doesn’t it?!

But how do we go about that in our daily lives in practical ways?

My mom did this beautifully and set the course for me knowing how to mother with Scripture.

She fed herself.
I would often catch glimpses of her with her Bible and prayer journal. Her life exuded the love of Christ and I knew that was from her close daily walk with Him. I am certain that is where she drew her wisdom as a mother.

She fed me.
A favorite, consistent memory of growing up was bedtime. Mom made precious daily investments by reading me Bible stories, age-appropriate devotions, memorizing Scripture, and praying. I can’t understate the significance this had in establishing my own daily walk.

She used daily examples to tie in Scripture and point to God.
God wasn’t just something she checked off the list after her devotional. She walked with her best friend, Jesus, throughout the day. When a teachable moment popped up that reminded her of something from the Bible, she would share it with me or whoever happened to be around. She had such a sweet spirit that this wasn’t obnoxious, but made others want to grow closer to Jesus.

She exemplified turning to God through prayer and seeking His Word in tough times.
When she said she would pray for us, we KNEW this was true.
When life hit hard, she would share what God was teaching her and what verses were meaningful.

Was she perfect? No. She would be the first to humbly admit her need for God’s grace. Just another thing that made her life so beautiful.

I’m ever grateful for the legacy she left. She certainly blessed those who knew her and I hope she inspires you, too.

Thankful that my daughter was into “tea-time” and inspired this sweet outing that ended up being our last Mother’s Day together (2009) this side of heaven.

Mothering with Scripture

There was never any doubt in my mind when I was writing Parenting with Scripture: A Topical Guide for Teachable Moments, that I would dedicate it to her.  Take a look at the dedication page and flip through to be inspired with more ideas for mothering with Scripture.  Many of the “Parenting Tips” are things she did with me.

Monday 2 May, 2016  |  Copyright ©2016, Kara Durbin read more>>
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April Fools or Is God’s Word for Real?

April Fool’s Day is a great time to introduce, discuss, or reinforce the inerrancy of God’s word with all ages.
Here are some easy ideas and tips, broken down by age.

Toddlers/Preschoolers/Young Children: 
There are a couple of ways I reinforce the concept of the inerrancy of the Bible on a child-like level each week I teach preschool Sunday School.  Try these at home with your family!

1. Every time I tell a Bible story, I have an actual chapter and verse Bible in my lap.
No matter what preschool visual or story book I might be holding up, I always point to my Bible and say, “This story is from God’s true Word, the Bible.”  Those visual and auditory cues are important in helping young children understand what God’s Word is.

2. During song time, we always do the following two fingerplays.
A figure play is simply words said in a sing-songy way with motions.
Tip for home:  Put these on note-cards and keep them around the house so you can learn them and use them frequently with your kiddos.

This is True Fingerplay
1, 2,  (hold up right pointer finger, then left pointer finger)
this is true, (hold out palms like an open book…the Bible)
God loves me, (point to yourself)
and God loves you! (point to someone else)

The Bible Fingerplay
The Bible is God’s special book (hold palms together like a closed book)
His words are written there (open palms out like opening a book)
And when I turn each page to look (keep left palm up and use right hand to pretend to turn pages)
I handle it with care.  (continue turning pages)

Friend and fellow preschool teacher at church who taught me this next chant says,
We do it while marching, slow stomping through “snow”, fast across hot sand, etc.  Sometimes I clap it before Bible story.”  Thank you, Julie Bridgeforth!

Absolutely True

Absolutely True!
Absolutely True!
Everything the Bible says is absolutely true!

3. Non-Spiritual Bonus!  🙂
Before moving on to older children….
I’m a children’s literature junkie when it comes to holidays and I simply could not write this post without sharing my favorite for April Fool’s book, even though it has nothing to do with the truth of God’s Word.    It’s quite clever and we love pulling it out every year this time!
April Foolishness

Older children/teens:
The 21 Toughest Questions Your Kids Will Ask About Christianity: & How to Answer Them Confidently is a book I picked up to deal with questions like, “Is the Bible Really the Word of God?”
21 questions

I asked our former Student Ministries pastor for a book recommendation on the subject.  He has used this resource on occasion with our church’s teens:  Who Made God and Answers to Over 100 Other Tough Questions of Faith.
Who Made God

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
2 Timothy 3:16-17

Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.  John 17:17

April Fools Final

For more easy ways to find and use God’s word in topical teachable teachable moments, see your copy of Parenting with Scripture: A Topical Guide for Teachable Moments.

Monday 28 March, 2016  |  Copyright ©2016, Kara Durbin read more>>
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What my Kids Hear a Lot – “Not Helpful!”

Most of the time this is a way to simply remind my kids to get back on track when they are doing something like a handstand when I’ve asked them to do something else.  Other times, as in this case, it’s more serious and necessitates a teachable moment…

I was getting ready for a live radio interview via phone and reminding the kids that they needed to be completely quiet until I gave them the all clear.  One of my darlings condescendingly smacked the sibling with, “Yeah, do you think you are capable of that?!”

Definitely “NOT helpful!” 
On the contrary, it was hurtful!
I quickly reminded them that their tongues hold great power.   (Proverbs 18:21)

What were some better options? 
*If that child was concerned about the sibling being quiet, it could have been brought to my attention in a nicer way.
*That child could have encouraged the sibling by saying something like, “I know it’s really hard to be completely quiet, but we can help each other so Mom will be proud of us!”

From the topic of “Cooperation” in Parenting with Scripture: A Topical Guide for Teachable Moments, I found this related verse which helps turn “Not helpful!” into “Very helpful!” for this scenario.

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work.
Ecclesiastes 4:9

I can imagine my family encountering this conflicting signage
and saying in unison, “Not helpful!”

Not Helpful

Want to know what else my kids hear a lot?
Scroll through my blog series on the subject.
What do your kids hear a lot?

Monday 29 February, 2016  |  Copyright ©2016, Kara Durbin read more>>
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How to parent with Scripture through Valentine’s & President’s Day

Want fun ideas for parenting with Scripture through Valentine’s & President’s Day?  

Consider these for upcoming
–  dinner discussions
–  weekend activities
–  family devotions
–  holiday family time!

CLICK HERE & SCROLL DOWN through multiple Valentine’s ideas

CLICK HERE for a President’s Day idea

Val-Pres Day

I’m also pleased to share that I am a contributor for a fabulous new website called  They have advice broken down by age and by topic!  I encourage you to take a look around this wonderful resource.

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Monday 1 February, 2016  |  Copyright ©2016, Kara Durbin read more>>
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It’s a good time to consider…How am I building a legacy of “sincere faith?”

When I hear the word “legacy,” I think of the godly women (in heaven now) who impacted my life…

  • Great Aunt Chris was not a mother herself but spiritually nurtured me by her example. Once homebound in her final years, she didn’t give up living for the Lord. She picked up the church directory, started making calls, and had only made it half way through when she already had enough women to come to her home weekly for Bible readings and discussions.
  • Grandmama Grace loved and supported missionaries, blessed the poor and forgotten with visits, and baked cookies for anyone who needed cheering up. 
    I couldn’t resist this cute picture of her from 1986.

  • Aunt Nelda taught innumerable children in Sunday School through the years, including me. In her later life, she continued to volunteer and serve through a ministry for the needy, despite her own serious health issues. Others would have sat at home rocking away their last days, but not this spunky lady!
  • My precious mother, Katharine, cherished God’s Word by spending time in it daily. She saved her tenderly worn Bibles with her various notations throughout so she could give them to her grandchildren.  Treasures!  (This little blip doesn’t do my mom justice.  Look for more about her closer to Mother’s Day.)

I believe the richness with which they lived out their days and continued to abundantly bless others was a direct result of years and years of walking with and growing in the Lord.

The same is true for my dear Aunts who are still kickin’ it!

  • Aunt Dea is ever the example of loving care-giving and servanthood as well as being interested in each and every one of her nieces and nephews (including the grand level.)
  • Auntie Di is a role model of looking for the good and speaking it out loud even in the hardest times, being a steadfast friend to others through decades and miles, and knowing how to have good, clean fun!

I’m a better person because of each of these ladies and am thankful to have a legacy like Timothy –
“I [Paul] am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you [Timothy] as well.”
2 Timothy 1:5

What if you didn’t have a godly legacy left to you?
Don’t despair, but let it begin with you! You can’t choose the family you were born into, but you can choose how to influence those around you!

Today, prayerfully consider how you can start or continue a legacy of “sincere faith” through your life!


Saturday 2 January, 2016  |  Copyright ©2016, Kara Durbin read more>>
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