Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Spring Break Survival Guide: More for the Indoor


We are halfway through our Spring Break Survival Guide week!  How's the extra parenting hours going?  I hope you had a chance to try some of the physical activities I shared earlier in the week.  School breaks can be a lot of extra work in the parenting department, especially if you don't normally have all of your children home with you everyday.  Here are 5 fun, cheap and simple things for indoor quieter activities you can do with multiple age groups.

Spring Break Survival Guide: More for the Indoor

Chaos can ensue in only a matter of minutes when all three of my boys are home all day.  I've learned if I have a basic plan for the day, then I succeed a little bit better.  So here are a few fun things to add to your day plan that will keep your kiddos engaged for at least a little while.


SLIME!
Seriously making slime is super simple, easy, cheap and so fun for the kids to play with!  Most times it can be re-used as long as it stays off the floor, doesn't get licked (this is a problem in my home) and you have your kiddos wash their hands before they play. There are only one billion slime recipes on Pinterest.  I posted a super fun one earlier this week on my Facebook page.  Here's another recipe that is Borax free and looks like you can dye it any color kool-aid you want!
This easy recipe:
  • 1 tbsp of Metamucil with Psyllium (generic fiver supplement will also work as long as it contains psyllium)
  • 1 cup of water
  • Optional: Kool-aid packets for scent/color or food dye for richer color
With instructions can be found here on this Growing a Jeweled Rose Blog


Car Wash (barbie wash) Station:
Need a few cars or Barbies (small toys)
Metal tray or pan with sides
Tooth brush (new or old, not to be used again...)
Little bowl or cup with a small dot of dish soap and water
Small wash cloth to dry
Towel under it all for just in case!
Line up the cars (toys) for a wash!
This Activity in Pictures on Jennifer Fischer's Blog!



Boredom Busters:
Oh my WORD the Dating Divas nailed it on this one!  These ideas are so super fun and I think you would either have a very cheap, short Michael's run for some paint etc. Or no cost at all!  These activities are mostly for preschool age and up. So if you have a baby, depending on the age, they could do modified activities based on their skills.  Maybe on Friday you could devote some fun time to pick out some of these 60 activities to do as an end of week celebration!  Maybe make it a family affair?
Find these super fun ideas here at Dating Divas

Some other random fun ideas for indoor fun:
Create a "book nook" for quiet time.  Take a large card board box, have your kids help decorate it, cut an entrance hole in the front.  Set a pillow inside, give child a flashlight, snack and some good books to look through or read. (I wish I could make an adult sided version of this!)

Set up a "photo booth" Have your kids use props around the house (costumes, silly hats, dads tie etc..) Our you can make it a trolls booth then watch Trolls or play the music in the background (it is the most fun soundtrack!) Use your cell phone to take the pictures unless you are awesome and have a real camera!

Indoor Hop Scotch is a fun movement activity for inside.  Use masking tape or painters tape to create the squares. You can make it an educational activity by putting words, letters, shapes, numbers or math problems in the squares.

Write letters.  This is a lost art that many people appreciate.  We live far from our family here on Ferrell Farms, so often we do not see grandparents and family for a long time.  Sending them cards, notes and drawings from the kids is always fun.  Put stickers, different writing utensils, stencils, stamps and fun paper out on the table and let them create!

Balloons entertain kids for hours. Blow up a few balloons, set them up with a safe space and see how long they can work together to keep the balloon from touching the ground.  My brothers and I used to do this for hours!  You can also use painters tape to draw a line for them to hit the balloon over. Want to get crafty? Take large Popsicle sticks and paper plates to make paddles to hit the balloons with!

Find more activities here on my Activities For the Kids Board on Pinterest!

All this to say, try to plan something to do every few hours to keep their attention and ward off whining.  Throw some chores in there and make sure they are helping clean up to keep it as stress free as possible.  Take a deep breath, give your grace and enjoy some extra time doing the most important job you have, working with God to raise your children to know him and see him in their lives.  It's not easy, but it's the greatest calling on our lives as parents.

GO, HAVE FUN!

Much Love,
Chrystan

Like what you're reading?  Follow my blog for more inspiration each week!  Also, I'd love to see pictures of you doing these activities, send them to chrystan.ferrell@gmail.com or comment below!





Monday, March 20, 2017

Mom's Spring Break Survival Guide: Let's Get Active!


Momma friends, it is that time again; SPRING BREAK! and most of us aren't packed up and headed to the beach (sigh).  Here we are, just trying to survive a week with some extra tasks on our hands.  I want to help us all with some easy, cheap/free things to do to keep the sanity. I'm not always the super fun, all the cute crafts mom, but we do have some fun out here on Ferrell Farms despite my lacking in adorable cutesy projects.  Let's do this Spring Break week together starting with three ideas for getting your kids MOVING!

1. CosmicKidsYoga- this YouTube/Online yoga program for kids is the most fun!  I even joined in a bit!  We know getting kids moving is super important not just for health but for sanity (I'm a boymom, my kids must expend energy!)  So last week I had my kids home more time than normal and Cosmic Kids Yoga saved me!  They take the kids through a yoga story adventure (we did the pirate one).  The host leads them through a body active story time that had my kids giggling and have a great time! I mean they rowed a boat with their legs and talked on a phone with their foot, adorbs!  You can find all the Cosmic Kids Yoga goodness here. Highly recommend!


2. Obstacle Course- this is our family JAM!  We love obstacle courses!  We do this outside but it can also be modified to an inside activity if it's still cold weather outside for you or a rainy day.  Kids of all ages can participate, but probably 2 and up with modifications for age groups.  As a "family" we set up a "course"  including but not limited to the following tasks one right after the other:
1- hop over a row of sticks or logs
2- do 10 jumping jacks
3- crawl under a row of chairs
4- spin around the bat 5 times
5- kick a ball in the goal
6- climb up our landscaping wall/bear crawl up the hill
7- Run as fast as you can to the end
We count out loud (good way to integrate counting practice and watch reading work too!) to see how long it takes us and try to beat our own times the second time around. This is great family exercise and the kids always get into it trying to created great obstacles for us. Also, another benefit is EVERYONE is getting exercise even mom (if she can participate!) Family exercise is beneficial on all levels, just ask my friend Mendy Shriver, she runs a fitness business completely based off of moms and their babies you should go check it out!



3. Playground games- guess what...this new generation doesn't play foursquare!!! My eleven year old did not know how to play foursquare, I mean I was shocked and slightly disappointed in our public school system! What kind of world do we live in where kids don't know how to play foursquare!!!! So I took immediate action. The other day we were playing outside and I began to teach my 5 year old how to play foursquare (preschoolers can hit a ball over the line and they think it's pretty fun and it's pretty easy) and then all three of my kids joined in.  We had a blast and we kept it simple, just hitting the ball over the lines into each other's "square".  So, you could all play a game together or you can send them outside to play 3 rounds of playground games.  Foursquare is an easy option because you can square off any area, concrete, gravel, grass etc. You need a bouncy ball. You can also have a jump rope station set up and your other activity can be something you already have available.  (basketball, soccer goal, swings etc) Set a timer and have them play each activity for 10 minutes.  This is all depending on your age of kids.  My kids play outside by themselves now (also we live in the country so it's very safe) if you need to be outside with them, pull up a chair and a whistle and be the ref, while sipping a nice beverage and flipping through a magazine!  Playground games are sure to be lots of fun and can be so simple!

1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price.  Therefore, honor God with your bodies.

Our children are greatly lacking in PLAY and childhood obesity is off the charts!  Outdoor play offers fresh air, energy burning, sunshine (mostly) and has lots of opportunity for imagination and success.  Let's start this Spring Break week and make a change for our kids.  Eyes off of screens and onto to play, with little work from mom and no money spent!

Have fun!

Much Love,
Chrystan


Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Pursuing Lent

(photo:unsplash)
 Lent, the time when religious people come out of the woodwork and give up things.  Apparently the act of great sacrifice, doing without things like coffee, wine, bread, meat, shopping…and on and on.  Lent, I believe, could be so much more than that.  We could be in pursuit instead of promoting self. Here is my Lenten creed…

For Lent I will be in pursuit.  I don’t want to give up I want to give in. I want to give in wholly to who I am at the foot of the Cross. I want to give in to His desires, His will, His way.

I want to die to myself so I can live a life that is pleasing to God. That honors Him. That says yes to community, to loving well, to serving, to teaching, to mentoring.  A life that says yes to abundant grace and mistakes and tears and joy. 
(photo:chrystanferrell)

This Lent I will celebrate each day by opening the word, by giving up my time for His glory. I will celebrate the journey to the Cross by giving up my will, to honor His.  I will celebrate the life and death, by dying to my selfish desires to instead desire time in prayer and repentance. 

This Lent may we all by more willing to give up our lives for the glory of his, than we are to give up a food, a beverage, or an activity. This Lenten season may we look for the face of grace instead of the “obligation” of living without.

Forty days with the God of grace at the helm of this ship sounds better than anything else I could pursue today. Let the creator guide the created.


You are beautifully made by the creator of the universe who died for the sins that you refuse to let go of.  Let that sink in a minute, then lay down your life and follow HARD after him.  May this be the Lent season where we give up what He is truly asking for, our hearts.

Isaiah 44:22
"I have blotted out your transgressions like a cloud and your sins like a mist; return to me, for I have redeemed you"

Much Love,

Chrystan

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Centered in the Light

(photo by cferrell)

Have you ever just sunk down deep into your depths and wanted to stay there?  Today that's where I am.  And sweet sister, if I'm being honest, it's not a place where I sit with Jesus it's a place where I feel sad.  Today has been hard, and the problem I'm battling will not get easier. So, where do we go from the deep down darkest depths, you get centered back into the light.

My life is ordinary, yet run by an extraordinary creator.  He does sweet things to lift my eyes back up to him and today has been no different, though I continue to battle the back slide.  Everyday faith for me comes fairly easy, I mean God is super easy to trust and believe in in the everyday spaces. It's the places of turmoil where there is uncertainty of out come, when there is attack is where things start to feel impossible.   

My life is not tragic.  Today I am not facing tragedy, and what's interesting I learned something about tragedy at If:Gathering this weekend.  There is not a Hebrew word that translates our word "tragedy" because the Hebrews believed there was nothing tragic, that if something seemed hopeless still it was because God was still moving and working out his plan.  Now that's something to wrap your mind around.  
(photo by cferrell)

My life is Christ centered.  When your life is Christ centered you are walking in light.  When I am not focused on the truth of Christ I am hiding behind darkness instead of staying in the light.  Today things seemed dark, very dark, and sad but I spent a few hours stepping back into light.  I opened the pages of the Bible and read truth.  I re-centered.

Lovelies, things are going to suck. It's pretty much guaranteed (see John 16:33). We are separated from the original plan for us because of original sin, so this world and it's sadness and hurts we cannot avoid.  We can, however, choose to re-center.  We can choose to chase after light with all our might and all our energy.  We are going to get down, but if we allow him, the Lord will give us reason not to stay down.  
(photo by cferrell)

The months ahead may have dark spots but the God who knit us together in the secret place will love us well and lift our face, if we center ourselves in his light.  I'm praying that for us this week.  Don't stay down in darkness girls, let the lover of your soul lift your head and guide you on. Seek Him in prayer, seek Him in scripture, find a church, find a Bible study, find accountability, you were not meant to do this life alone.  God created you special, you are a treasure to him FEARFULLY and WONDERFULLY made in his LOVINGLY BEAUTIFUL image.  Run with that as the wind in your sails this week.

Much Love,
Chrystan

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Nothing to Prove Review: A Book For You

I've not officially written a book review for you before.  It's a new thing I'm trying so just go with me on this for a minute.

So many of us (women) are striving.  We strive to be really good at all the things.  Often we drive ourselves to the edge of sanity to get there.  Our addiction to approval, praise and perfection and the lengths we go through to get there stretch us in ways that leave marks.  Scars even.  We are a performance, like based society and as women we are striving, maybe towards the wrong things in the wrong ways.


Jennie Allen, one of my very favorite authors and people on the planet, has written a book that has freed me from those striving places.  The Bible is our number one go to for healing and instruction, always.  God has also given words to others to teach us, Jennie has words to teach us and wisdom to share.  
I don't want to share all the details (because you should go read this book today!) but I want you to know that this book will free those places in your life where you are striving yet falling short. At every turn Jennie reminds us that we are enough because Jesus is enough.  With personal accounts, Biblical examples and words of truth and inspiration Jennie takes readers on a step by step journey through the pain of inadequacy to the freedom in Christ's enoughness (that may not be a word but we are going to pretend it is today).  There's talk of transparency and authenticity which ya'll know are two of my favorite words!  She baby steps us through each hidden crack of our feelings of inadequacy and heals them with the words of our Heavenly Father.
You can't miss out on this book, and I promise it will change you.  God is doing something in the words FREEDOM and BROKEN this year, I believe it.  He has so many of our leaders speaking truth into these words. Let's set our lives up to hear from people teaching truth about doing life together, being enough in Christ and being broken before with each other and our Father. Say yes to Nothing to Prove, read it's pages and let it sink into your soul. Then message me and tell me all the things God is teaching you through these words, because I am certain He has a word for his girls through this book.  
I am sharing this review not because I get some special benefit from it (I was on Jennie's launch team so I got to read the book early, but that's where it stops). I want you to read this book because I know it will change us for the better, because I know God is working in this and I want us all to be apart of these places that will set us free.  Imagine if every woman operated under the idea that she was enough in Christ.  What an army we will be!
Free is where our creator wants us to be, He created you for such a time as this, you were made BEAUTIFULLY FEARFULLY and WONDERFULLY in his perfect image...you have nothing to prove in your life with him, he has already declared you enough sweet girl!

Go get this book so you can read the words that changed me. Click here Nothing to Prove Amazon to order your copy.

Much Love,
Chrystan

PS- I'm headed to IF:Gathering in Austin, Texas this weekend (back to my home state!) Are you participating in IF? If not you can live stream it, check out the details here!

To recognize our need for God is the beginning of our finding him ~Jennie Allen Nothing to Prove

Friday, January 13, 2017

When the Call Is Greater


Some of us just play life safe.  That is truly the way to go right?  Just skate through life, not turning over any stones, not rubbing anyone the wrong way, not standing up but not sitting down.  Just a regular, safe, skim the surface kind of life.  What's wrong with that? I believe we have a greater call than that and unfortunate for those of us who live this kind of a lifestyle there are warnings against it...

Revelation 3:15-16




"I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth."


We see many passages in the Bible that cover the lukewarm believer and warns us against that lifestyle.  Ya'll this was me just a few short years ago and I battle against it even today.  Even today as someone who leads worship, professes faith whenever she can, a teacher, a writer and a speaker of the word. Yes even through all of that I have to rage against complacency and a lukewarm, shallow, skim the surface kind of faith.  This I think, is Satan's playground in the derailment of believers. So where is this creeping in?

1. Staying comfy cozy in our pretty, safe and relaxed Churches
We were never meant to sit in church on Sunday mornings and never be in community.  We were never meant to not go out to all the people and show them fierce love. We were never meant to never GO and proclaim all the good things!  You aren't meant to just warm a pew once a week. Go do something that increases your faith, that increases the Kingdom of Heaven, that points someone in the direction of our loving Savior.

2. Not reading the Bible
Beth Moore, oh that sister can truly tell it like it really is.  In her sermon at Passion 17 she said all the words.  I leave you with this quote:

Your life will be changed when you open the pages of the Bible daily. End of story. Let's commit to reading the word, it's life bringing (here's a Bible reading app i'm crazy about!).  Let's not walk away from Jesus to serve him.

3.Prayer is just something you do at meals
Prayer has changed my life. CHANGED IT!  4 years ago I was part of a prayer group that has now launched into a nationwide movement.  Imperfectly Brave, though it is freeing me and calling me out on the waters, has changed me but it's the prayer aspect that changes me daily. It changes my heart, my outlook, it's increasing my faith and has strengthened my bond with other believer's and most importantly my relationship with our heavenly Father. Through prayer I have seen mountains moved and learned to trust God when the mountain stayed in the same place.  Prayer will change you, dive in, it will keep you afloat I promise!

4. Lacking in Faith
If we never GO, we never have to step out in faith. If we never do the hard things, we will always stay in the same place. God calls us out with him, he can still accomplish without us and I believe he does.  But the creator of the universe wants you to work alongside him to bring Heaven to Earth. To bring souls into the kingdom of God. Why dear sister would you ever, ever, not take him up on that offer?  He is whispering to you telling your heart what to do, are you willing to be faithful to that call, even when it is greater than you can imagine?

5. Staying un-challenged
When was the last time you did something out of your comfort zone? When was the last time you stood up for something that was right?  When was the last time you sacrificed yourself for the glory of God?  Self-preaching here ya'll, I play it pretty safe because I like my comfy life in suburbia. Imagine what this year would be like if we all stepped out for the great call. Mind blowing, it would be mind blowing.  We would be bursting at the seems with abundant faith and joy! In the same space I want to say, you need to surround yourself with people who will challenge you to live life chasing after Jesus and his call on your life.  For some of you that is going to be your challenge this year, it's more than WORTH IT!

Ya'll the call is greater than this comfortable life we are living.  This year over at Imperfectly Brave we are studying what calling means in light of the gospel.  Do you know what the gospel is? It is the story of the rescue plan God has for us.  It started with original sin and went on through the Bible as we were led up to the coming of Jesus, his life his death and his resurrection, to the time when Heaven and Earth are brought back together in the second coming.  You guys, in light of the rescue plan. In light of your salvation...how could the call ever be to stay comfortable and safe and unchallenged?

As we continue working towards the bettering of ourselves this year, how is God calling you to serve in this one life? What is he challenging you with?
-Joining a Church
-Relentlessly loving that unlovable person
-Going on Mission
-Staying home with your children
-Going back to work
-Answering the call to ministry
-Giving your life to him
-Joining a Bible Study

It's not skies the limit, it's heaven's the focus.
GO.

What is it? What is your greater call right now? Tell me I really want to know so that I can pray for you and check in on you this year!

Go, be the one who lives a life honoring to the God who created you FEARLESSLY and WONDERFULLY in his BEAUTIFUL image!

Much Love,
Chrystan

PS- Need anthem? Here ya go! I'll share mine with you:


Thursday, January 5, 2017

The Dream Thief

(Unsplash:Steve Halama)


Dreams.
Goals.
Passions.

Do these things we dream of, do these gifts we long to share, these goals we've set and these things we chase after have a shelf life? If not what's stopping us?

For days I've sat at my desk staring at my dream guide and my purpose sheet trying to put into words what's in my heart.  Writing them down seemed impossible and I couldn't figure out why, until today. It all boils down to fear.  Fear. What an ugly word.  I've boiled my fear down to two main things:

Failure
I'm afraid I'm not good enough to bring it all to fruition.  I'm afraid I will let those in my corner down or those out of my corner will be proved right. I'm afraid I really can't do it.

You
I'm afraid you think I'm too old. I'm afraid you will think I just like the next new thing. I'm afraid that you think I'm crazy. I'm afraid that you think I think I'm pretty awesome. I'm afraid you won't be safe with my dream. I'm afraid I won't live up to your standards. I'm afraid I don't fit your mold. I'm afraid when I chase these dreams I will let you down. I'm afraid I'm not enough.

Today I wrote them all down. All of the outlandish things that God has laid on my heart, maybe even since I was a little girl.  All these dreams that I may fail at all these goals that you may say I could never achieve. The things I may be too old for or not good enough for, those things...I wrote it all down.

You see, I was afraid to write them down because I didn't think I was enough. But I realized today that I'm right, I am not enough and that right there will set you FREE.  These things God is calling me to, I can't do them...
I can't make them happen
I can't work hard enough
I can't be all the things necessary to make them happen


That's the beauty of these crazy dreams God gave me.  I'm not enough, but he is.  I am dreaming dreams that make me so uncomfortable. They call me out on the waters where there is no life boat in a storm that I cannot tame, this year these dreams of mine are so big and so bold only God could make them happen.  Those dreams, those are the best ones to have. I am learning if we are not stepping out in such bold ways that we are scared, with knees knocking so much so that we have to lean on him to stand up, then girls we aren't dreaming with the knowledge that our God is mighty. Our God is Uncontainable. Our God makes blind men see and raises the dead. He made mountains and moved them around to create the earth.  He is mighty! Sweet sister he is big enough to accomplish whatever he is calling you to without you, but he loves you so much he invites you to do it with him. Stop limiting him and start dreaming with him.

Whatever it is, it's not bigger than the God calling you to it. But you must invite him into your life.  You must.  You cannot go forward without him, he must be a part of this plan. So today, I wrote them all down and I prayed. I prayed that I would honor him with these dreams. I prayed that I would not go before him. I prayed that I would be diligent in my ways to seek the kingdom with these gifts.


Today I pray that whatever it is that seems so huge that God is calling you to do that you will ask him to lead the way.  Whatever it is. Maybe it's going back to school, maybe its seminary, maybe it's a total career change, maybe it's staying home and homeschooling. Whatever that BIG scary thing is, I pray you will seek God with it.  That you will do it with him.  I am praying that you are brave enough to step out and do really big uncomfortable things for the glory of God.  I pray that for myself.


He made us, he pursues us, he longs to give us the desires of our hearts, you dear girl are FEARFULLY & WONDERFULLY made in his loving image. He can and will do immeasurably more than you can ever imagine.

Go with God this year.  Write those dreams down and chase after them with a HOLY passion! I'm right here with you, shaking in my cowgirl boots!

Much Love,
Chrystan

PS- Want more on CALLING?  Join us over at Imperfectly Brave this year as we study CALLING!  Register for this free program HERE.

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