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Safari :: April Parent Cue Article

Easter is about a lot of things. First of all, it’s about Jesus keeping His promises. He told the disciples He would leave and then come back, and when Peter and John and Mary went to the tomb and saw it was empty, and then saw Jesus alive, they knew Jesus could be trusted. He did what He said He was going to do. So anything Jesus says, we can trust. That He will be with us, that good always wins, that we have nothing to fear. Trust, trust, trust. True, true, true.

Easter also shows how patient Jesus is. He had told everyone what would happen, and when it did, He wasn’t mad they didn’t believe. He didn’t say, “Ugh! Why don’t you listen to me?!” No, He met his friends in a garden and then again in a crowded room, and then again on a beach. And while they just tried to make sense of what happened, He smiled and stayed close and cooked them breakfast. He was so patient with them. He is so patient with us.

Finally, Easter reminds us that something good can always come out of something bad. See, Jesus told us life would be hard. That bad things would happen. That things that don’t make any sense would confuse us and make us wonder about God and if He is really as good as we want Him to be. We can count on life being difficult. But Easter is all about something being more true than life just being hard. Easter is about something new and something good happening in something old and something bad.

As parents it can be really easy to get discouraged in a tough season with our kids. It can feel like it can never end and things will never get better. But Easter is the reminder that no season lasts forever and to hang on. The story will get better.

It’s like a new flower poking through the dirt after a long and cold winter.

It’s like a new baby smiling at his mama and daddy, after a long night of crying and no sleep.

It’s like the first day of summer vacation after a long year of getting up early for school.

That’s Easter. (Except about a million times better!) The moment something really good arrives after something really hard. When life conquers death!

For more blog posts and parenting resources, visit ParentCue.org.

Safari :: Week of March 23

WE’RE LEARNING… God made everything. God made me.
MEMORY VERSE: “God created the heavens and earth.” Genesis 1:1b (NIV)
BIBLE STORY: The Beginning I Genesis 1

As your driving in the car, or while you’re at home, play “I Spy” with your toddler to help them remember God made everything!

Say, “I spy” and point out different items your toddler might be familiar with. For example, you could say the sun, clouds, birds, trees, etc. After each one, ask, “Did God make (name of item)?” Pause for your toddler to respond. Say, “Yes! God made everything and God made you!” Continue the activity for as long as your toddler is interested, choosing a different item each time.

Safari :: Week of March 16

WE’RE LEARNING… God made everything. God made me.
MEMORY VERSE: “God created the heavens and earth.” Genesis 1:1b (NIV)
BIBLE STORY: The Beginning I Genesis 1

This week we sang a song to remind us that God made everything. Sing the song with your toddler at home!

God Made Everything (to the tune of “The Farmer and the Dell”)

God made me, God made me,
God made everything we see,
and God made me. 

Continue the activity, but replace “me” with your toddler’s name each time it appears in the song.

God made (toddler’s name), God made (toddler’s name),
God made everything we see, 
and God made (toddler’s name)

Repeat a few times, or as long as your toddler is interested. Say, “Remember, God made everything we see and He made you and me. He loves us so much! Who made everything? Who made you?” Encourage your toddler to say, “God made everything. God made me!”

Safari :: Week of March 9

WE’RE LEARNING… God made everything. God made me.
MEMORY VERSE: “God created the heavens and earth.” Genesis 1:1b (NIV)
BIBLE STORY: The Beginning I Genesis 1

Play a fun game with your toddler to help them remember God made everything, including all of the animals!

Act out an animal using actions and sounds. Encourage your toddler to guess which animal you’re pretending to be. After your toddler guesses correctly, ask, “Who made (animal acted out)?” Encourage your toddler to say, “God!” Continue the activity for as long as your toddler is interested, choosing a different animal each time.

After the activity say, “Great job! God made all of the animals and everything we see. He made you and me!”

Safari Babies :: March Parent Cue Article

When you have a baby, your world changes in an instant, and you may begin to wonder WHAT HAVE I GOTTEN MYSELF INTO?

We all start out with a picture of what we think family should look like. Then we actually have a family. And we discover it’s not exactly like we thought it would be.

Parenting is complicated. You constantly feel like a rookie playing in the World Series and the stakes are immeasurably high. Once you think you have it figured out, the game changes. But there are no do-overs, no first pancakes. You get only one shot at each child, and you don’t want to mess up.

That’s a lot of pressure. Maybe this job should have come with a ten-page application, references needed. Or at least an instruction manual. But there really is no book on how to do this. No ONE perfect way . . .

You will make mistakes as a parent. You might . . .bribe, bargain and threaten just to get in the car faster. forget that it’s Pajama day at school. order them oddly-shaped nuggets from the drive-through a few too many times. let them hold onto their pacifiers, bottles, and Wubbies a teensy bit longer than they should.

But that’s okay! It really is. Embrace the imperfection by saying out loud, “My child will not be perfect and neither will I! And that’s okay!”

It’s okay because you’re not in this for an Instagrammable life. So, back to the question, what have you gotten yourself into?

A RELATIONSHIP. Your relationship with your child is more important than getting everything right. So, loosen up a little. Be easier on yourself. Let go of whatever image you’re trying to protect.

 Maybe you should stress less and play more, cuddle more, laugh more. . . .Just remember: Kids get messy. And so does family. Kids don’t need perfect parents to turn out great. What they do need is for you to invest in your relationship with them above all else.

This is going to take some time. Years, in fact. But time is on your side right now. And the good news is that you haven’t made any many mistakes yet. This will be the only time as a parent you will be able to say this, so celebrate this moment.

For more blog posts and parenting resources, visit ParentCue.org.