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Jenna Scott

Thanksgiving Activity Guide

No matter what’s going on in your life and the world around you, Thanksgiving is a time to pause and point our hearts in the direction of thankFULLness. We’ve put together a great resource for families full of inspiring stories, conversation starters, and activities to calibrate our hearts to a biblical attitude of gratitude.

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Enjoy this great FREE activity guide that helps us focus on what we DO have instead of what we don’t.

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Download your Thanksgiving activity guide here!

Related:

HELP KIDS GO FROM COMPLAINING TO CONTENT IN 60 SECONDS
6 WAYS TO ACTIVELY SHOW THANKFULNESS
HOW TO HAVE A DAY OF REST WITH YOUR KIDS

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Help kids go from complaining to content in 60 seconds

Recently my fashionista daughter was struggling with her outfit for church. And by “struggling” I mean complaining that she did not have shoes that “matched” her outfit.

My hippie child is morphing into a hipster daughter…the one who NEVER matches. She is fearless in what she wears–loud colors and prints mish-mashed together, even layered to achieve her intended look. So when she complained that she had no shoes to match her outfit, I was truly at a loss.

I cocked my head and looked at her hard for a minute. The issue wasn’t with the matching; the “issue” was something deeper.

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We lined up the four pairs of summer shoes she had to choose from and picked the “least awful” pair–some plain black flip-flops.

Then we sat down and had a chat:

me: Look at your flip flops. Can you think of three things about them that you are thankful for?

her: <haughtily> I have shoes.

me: Yes. I can’t tell you how many children I’ve seen in poorer countries who don’t have a single pair of shoes, much less four pairs to choose from. What else?

her: <a tiny bit less haughtily>They aren’t broken yet.

me: That is something to be thankful for. Do you know that in some places, you are not allowed to go to school unless you have a uniform and shoes? Some kids want to go to school so much that they wear broken flip flops or shoes that are too small and hurt their feet. It’s a privilege to have shoes that are not broken and fit you perfectly. Can you think of one more thing?

her: <begrudgingly> They are comfortable.

me: Who gave you those shoes?

her: God.

me: How do you think it made God feel that you complained about the good shoes He gave you?

her: Sad.

I was proud that she had come to a solid conclusion and could see the effect of her actions. By turning situations where we are prone to complain into a time to practice observing at least three ways we can be thankful instead, we are teaching our children to live out Ephesians 5:20:

“Always give thanks to God the Father for everything. Give thanks to him in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

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Jenna has been in love with words all her life—especially God’s Word that helped her realize her need for a Savior in the first grade. She loves using words to help advance the message of OneHope. She is married to Dan and has 4 children ages 8, 10, 11 & 13.

4 Drucker Principles for Better Parenting

I’ve been studying management principles by Peter Drucker to become better at my job. Any good thing in my professional life trickles down to my “other full-time job” as a parent.

Strong Biblical parallels naturally emerged from Drucker’s management principles that can easily be applied to parenting as well. Here are my top Druckerisms for parents:

4 Drucker Principles for Parenting | Undeterred.net | Jenna Scott | OneHope

The critical, determining factor between families that struggle or those that succeed is if they have figured out how to make children’s strengths effective and their weaknesses irrelevant.[1]

Every child has been created in God’s image. When we help our children figure out and operate from their God-given strengths, they bring glory to God. And I don’t know about you, but I can’t think of a better demonstration of mercy than figuring out how to make my kids’ weaknesses irrelevant!

4 Drucker Principles for Parenting | Undeterred.net | Jenna Scott | OneHope

Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it. Proverbs 22:6

The delineation of right path in this verse implies that there are also wrong paths that we can errantly lead our children down. That’s frightening! But it’s also a strong reminder that in order for me to help each of my children find their right path, I need to study them. Then I can train them up in the way they should go.

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How can we know if we are being successful in how we are raising our children? We won’t really know unless we assess. It might seem strange to apply such a corporate business idea to your family, but this is actually straight from the Bible. One way we are told to assess is to look for the fruits of the spirit in our own and our children’s lives:

Fruits of the Spirit | Undeterred.net | 4 Drucker Principles

  • Love
  • Joy
  • Peace
  • Patience
  • Kindness
  • Goodness
  • Faithfulness
  • Gentleness
  • Self-control

“Work implies not only that somebody is supposed to do the job, but also accountability, a deadline and, finally, the measurement of results —that is, feedback from results on the work and on the planning process itself,” Drucker wrote in Management: Tasks, Responsibilities, Practices.

But beyond simply measuring for fruitfulness, there is also a much-overlooked Drucker principle at play—relationship.

“Your first role . . . is the personal one… It is the relationship with people, the development of mutual confidence, the identification of people, the creation of a community. This is something only you can do. It cannot be measured or easily defined. But it is not only a key function. It is one only you can perform.”[3]

How is their relationship with you? How often do you take time to talk about your child’s spiritual development with them, putting accountability in place, and setting goals for their lives? How is their relationship with their Heavenly Father?

4 Drucker Principles for Parenting_Scott-04

The verse my firstborn shared when he got baptized and has framed next to his bed is 1 Timothy 4:12

“Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.”

Not only is that encouragement for your children, it’s an admonition to us as parents. Our kids will grow fastest in their faith when we invite them to take an active role in it on a daily basis.

God has great plans for our children. And I’m thankful that He hasn’t left us without an instruction manual and advice from some great minds to help us on the journey!

Related:


Jenna has been in love with words all her life—especially God’s Word that helped her realize her need for a Savior in the first grade. She loves using words to help advance the message of OneHope. She is married to Dan and they have 4 children ages 8, 10, 11 & 13.


[1] Paraphrase based on Drucker, Peter F. (2009-10-13). The Daily Drucker (p. 47). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.
[2] http://biblehub.com/commentaries/proverbs/22-6.htm
[3]Excerpts from http://www.druckerinstitute.com/2013/07/measurement-myopia/

 

Free family Easter resources

Being married to a children’s ministry pastor turned curriculum developer, I’ve heard, “It’s time to start thinking about Easter” almost every summer. And no, that’s not a typo!

Why so early? Churches start planning for Easter as soon as the nativity set is packed away. Christmas begins the countdown to the most important story of the Christian faith.

Curriculum developers know that Easter is not the easiest story to share with kids because the main character dies! Death is often upsetting to children, especially those who have experienced losing a loved one.

No church wants all of their kids to go home scared that they, too, are going to have to die on a cross. Nor do they want to have to call parents out of the service because their child is sobbing inconsolably when their hero, Jesus, is laid in the tomb.

It’s taken me longer than I’d like to admit, but I’m starting to realizing that as a parent, it’s not the church’s duty to handle the hard topics, present the Easter story and the Gospel to my children. Personally, I’m also learning that it’s not the responsibility of my (much more qualified, seminary-degreed) husband, either!

It’s every believing parent’s duty (Deuteronomy 11:19) to help their children know what the Bible says. God has given us tools and the Holy Spirit to help us tackle the tough questions and to help them navigate the hard truths about sin and death while presenting the Gospel to them no matter where we are and what we are doing.

Side note: it’s also helpful if your kids know “what’s coming” at church or Sunday School before they attend. Easter is right around the corner…are you and your kids ready?

It’s our of responsibility to set the tone for how our family celebrates Easter. And it IS a celebration, because the main character doesn’t stay dead…up from the grave He arose! Hosanna…He is risen! (He is risen, indeed!)

Whether or not you have a seminary degree, there are many tools out there to help you spiritually parent your child/ren. The attached guide was created to help you and your family walk and talk through the story of Easter using God’s Word to bridge that monumental gap from “It is Finished” to “A HAPPY Sunday”!

Click to download your FREE family Easter guide!

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Jenna Scott

Jenna has been in love with words all her life—especially God’s Word that helped her realize her need for a Savior in the first grade. Triple-majoring in English, Secondary Education and Professional/Technical Writing with a Bible minor in her undergrad and pursuing a Master’s in Management, she has since managed to be a high school English teacher, Human Resources generalist, SAHM, pastor’s wife, PPD and adoption advocate, contract writer/editor, VP PTA Communications, and is currently helping elevate the message of OneHope around the world. She serves as a 2nd grade small group leader at Browns Bridge Church, is married to Dan and has 4 children ages 7, 8, 9 & 11.

Sword Drill

It’s so important that our children learn about the Creator of the universe and His deep love for a fallen world; Jesus, His life, teachings, miracles and death; read stories about great heroes of the faith; and engage in the Bible’s instructions for living to the glory of God.

But alarmingly, “Figures show that almost half of children—46 percent—read Bible stories at least once a year, compared with 86 percent of their parents when they were growing up.”[1]

Deuteronomy 11:18-19 instructs us to “Teach them to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up.”

As a small group leader for 2nd graders at my church, we are spending the month building faith skills—the first of which is reading the Bible.

My group is a mix of readers and non-readers, so being able to help them navigate the Bible is a challenge; but one that is worth the investment. It takes time, patience, and practice for kids to learn how to look up verses and begin to read passages of Scripture on their own.

This past week as were attempting to look up verses, one of my little ones groaned, “this feels like I’m at school and you’re making me do work!”

I wish I had remembered about “Sword Drills” from my childhood. It’s a tool that makes Bible navigation fun and challenging through gamification. Rest assured, now that I’ve remembered how much fun sword drills were for me as a kid, I’m going to bring ‘em back and start incorporating them into our weekly small group experience to help my kids build their Bible navigation muscles.

“Swords ready! Aaaaaaand, GO!”

Feel free to download and print this Sword Drill instruction sheet to use with your family or students to practice navigating through God’s Word!

OneHope Sword Drill

 


 [1] http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/religion/10621856/Rising-numbers-of-children-no-longer-read-Bible-stories.html

Jenna ScottJenna serves as a 2nd grade small group leader at Browns Bridge Church, is married to Dan and has 4 children ages 7, 8, 9 & 11. She loves getting to “use her words” to share the best story ever written as well as help spread the Word via OneHope!

Teach kids to pray

As a parent I’ve been instructed to train my children in the way they should go. Part of that training includes spiritual disciplines, one of which is prayer.

When the kids were quite young, I decided do my own “Bible class” and begin teaching my kids how to pray. I wanted them to surpass my childhood standard of:

Teach them to Pray 81714430 copy
Dear Jesus, 

Thank you for this day. Thank you for this food. Bless it to our bodies. In Jesus’ name, Amen. 

On our first night of “Bible class”, I read them the 23rd Psalm. They listened intently as I intoned each melodious phrase. Then I revealed that this was someone’s prayer. “Isn’t that beautiful? It almost sounds like poetry or a story, doesn’t it? God loves it when we talk to him like this in prayer–we can say anything we want any way we want to say it.”

I told the kids that starting that very night, I’d begin helping them learn to pray and talk to God like this. At bedtime, I started leading them through prompting prayers. I prompted, but then remained silent to let them fill in the blank.

Here is a sampling of leading phrases; for brevity’s sake I usually chose one sentence from each “section” to keep prayer time moving along. Scroll to the bottom of this post for a downloadable sheet with more prompting suggestions.

Teach them to Pray-03

Teaching my kids to pray has also helped my own prayer life. Often while I’m leading my kids through their fill-in-the-blank prayers, I think of how I would/should fill in a blank, and end up in tears. And many times, the most intriguingly beautiful, simple, or astounding things come out of my children’s mouths.

When I listen to my daughter describe how wonderful God has made this planet, and how she can’t believe he thought up all those different, beautiful colors, it’s all I can do to stifle sobs of guilt as just a few moments earlier I was upset about the sticky green Jell-O on the floor of my kitchen.

When my little son asks “Dear God and Jesus” to help him be good, and he says it so simply and honestly sounds a tiny bit contrite and earnest, it gives me a jolt of hope like a lightning bolt that despite the happenstances of the day he left shredded behind us, maybe he truly does desire to behave better than he does.

When my daughter pleads with God to please help her not be so scared, I feel her pain and send up my fervent prayers for the same things for her as well. I love that she can be so transparent with God knowing He truly is listening and loving. And be still my heart, when she affirms a verse in her prayer, “help me not to fear because God is with me” (Isaiah 41:10a).

These sometimes-big prayers from my little people are truly sweet whisperings in God’s ears. And these prompting prayers are one way that I am helping my kids learn to connect to the God I so ardently desire for them to come to know better. We started this practice more than 5 years ago. And to this day, my kids still sometimes ask to be prompted as we pray together.

You can download a FREE printable version of the Prayer Guide HERE.

 


Jenna ScottJenna has been in love with words all her life—especially God’s Word that helped her realize her need for a Savior in the first grade. Triple-majoring in English, Secondary Education and Professional/Technical Writing with a Bible minor in her undergrad and pursuing a Master’s in Management, she has since managed to be a high school English teacher, Human Resources generalist, SAHM, pastor’s wife, PPD and adoption advocate, contract writer/editor, VP PTA Communications, and is currently helping elevate the message of OneHope around the world. She serves as a 2nd grade small group leader at Browns Bridge Church, is married to Dan and has 4 children ages 7, 8, 9 & 11.