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No. 12: 
It's an emotional rollercoaster.
Hey there First name / friend,
Because I am a rooster, I'm awake far earlier than I want to be today. Yesterday was a full day of filming for my next children's book. I snapped that picture above this morning, for a little BTS peek of the organized chaos of filming. We're going after it again today, but this time with the kiddos. Which means I very much wish I slept in and got a little more beauty-rest, but apparently my body requires that I see the 5 a.m. sunrise every summer day. (It is beautiful, so, fine.) Goodness friends, I can't wait to finally tell you the details about this next book. (I get to in August!)  The topic is so near and dear to my heart and I cried no less than three times yesterday while filming because I believe in this book's message so much. My videographer told me I was putting him on an emotional rollercoaster that he wasn't expecting and THAT IS THE TRUTH FOR BOTH OF US. 
Honestly, this entire summer has been a bit of an emotional rollercoaster. I can't believe we're on the second half of summer with the countdown to school starting. June was gone in a flash and I'm finding myself missing my kids even though I've been with them most of the summer. My kids are pretty free range in our neighborhood, spending most days outside running wherever they want and playing with the neighbor kids—and I absolutely LOVE IT. It's the stuff neighborhood dreams are made of (and I wrote about it here). But there's a difference between being home with them and actually spending time with them, you know? Now that they're in public school (In the fall all three will be gone for 5 full days each week!) summers seem so much more important.  Sometimes I wish I could stick them in my pockets and carry them with me wherever I go. In short: I LOVE BEING A MOM. (Am I now making this newsletter an emotional rollercoaster for you, dear reader? Perhaps. But if I'm on the ride, you can come too.)
This is one of the main reasons I'm currently on a social media break until August 1—I don't want to miss them growing up because my nose was stuck in a phone. If you want to take one too, here's my recs, which are ironically, on social media. Spending time with my kids is also the reason I simplified this newsletter—adding in all the graphics takes an infernal amount of time, and in order to get this out, I figured I'd skip that. I tell you what, it was so much easier to put this together! While I love the beautiful graphics, idk friends, this might be the new norm. Lemme know if you miss it terribly and I can reconsider. 
With that, I'm out. And if you're a parent, go hug your kids and play a game with them. 

Words I can't stop thinking about

Alice: How Long Is Forever?
White Rabbit: Sometimes, just one second.
- Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

currently reading, watching, and listening
Quick reminder that inclusion in this list does not equate endorsement. I read, listen, and watch widely. Being on this list does not mean I agree with them, just that I enjoyed them.

ICYMI: A poem I shared on IG. ⬇

→  If you've already ordered it, redeem your bonuses here! 
→. To see how this board book is simplified for young children from the original book, check out my IG post. 

The random round up

where i've been on the internet lately

Q: How do you approach mealtime prayer? Does your family say ‘grace’ before meals, and is it one person or everyone in chorus, similar every time or uniquely impromptu? Take in turns in a roster or ask for a volunteer each time (and what if a child never wants to do it) or always a parent? Just giving thanks for the food or a quick prayer about anything?
A: Mealtime prayer is pretty chill around these parts. We don't always pray before breakfast because often kiddos are eating at different times in the summer and my husband is already gone to work, but we usually hit lunch and dinner. Eight times out of 10 we just ask someone to pray about whatever comes to mind. That might mean dad is picking a kiddo or I'm picking dad—it's whoever thinks of it. Every once in a while we'll recite the Lord's Prayer, usually after someone has prayed at dinner. And then sometimes it gets a little wild and we'll sing a camp-type song instead. Our go-to is “God is Great” but I searched and searched and couldn't find anyone singing it with the right lyrics/tune on YouTube. While I wish you could hear it, it goes like this: 
🎶  God is great, God is good, and we thank him for our food. We're gonna thank him in the mornin', noon and night, we're gonna thank God cause he's outta sight, Amen, shu shu shu, Amen, shu, shu, shu. Amen, shu, shu, shu. 🎶
You also clap and hit the table with your hands as you sing, and there are some actions for the shu part. Kids LOVE it. If anyone knows it and has a video of it, send it to me and I'll link it in the next newsletter! Our more structured prayer time is usually before bed. We've been teaching our children what it looks like to expand their prayers beyond their daily needs and wants. We usually read a Bible story and then pray, so we often take the theme of the passage and ask kids who or what they might pray for based on that. e.g. “Is there someone who needs help that you can pray for?” Some nights we have them share requests and pray for the person on their right, or we'll do popcorn prayers. If you're not familiar with that, here's how it works: The first person prays, then says “Popcorn (Person’s name)!” Then that person prays and they get to pick the next person. Around you go until everyone has had a chance to pray. Kids seem to love it and it helps keep their attention as they anticipate their name.
If you'd like more tips on how we pray, I wrote a few posts about it last year when Any Time, Any Place, Any Prayer released. Below I linked a handful that might help round out this conversation. I address things like, “What if my child doesn't want to pray? What if my child only prays about silly things?” etc. If you're currently thinking about prayer and your kiddos, I hope these are helpful, particularly in informal teaching. And of course, so are those pre-order bonus interviews that come with the board book! Oh, and don't forget: The prayer book has an activity book for just $5 to go with and FREE lesson plans that you can print—so you also spend time formally teaching your child about prayer, which is always helpful as you work towards developing a theology for it. 
Have a question you want me to answer in the newsletter? Send it in and I'll pick one to answer each month!



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