Raising Kids in the Ministry

March 30, 2010

Celebrating Easter

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One of the greatest things about having preschoolers is teaching them the basic stories of our faith.  I don't want them to grow up thinking Easter is a holiday about

bunnies and eggs.  We can have a lot of fun and keep the focus on Jesus.

I bought a set of Resurrection Eggs and did the first 3 last night.  My husband and Graham hid the eggs and Elijah hunted them.  Each egg has a small representation of the Easter story inside, and a corresponding page in the the book that shares scripture and talks about that part of the story.  The first one is a donkey.

We had a great time.  You can buy these eggs at any Christian bookstore, and I also found several links to making your own here and hereHere is a link to a scavenger hunt with the eggs that is pretty good too.

December 23, 2009

Family Christmas

A wise pastor's wife once told me that when it comes to raising kids in the ministry, Santa doesn't have to come on the 25th and the Easter bunny doesn't have to come on Saturday night. 

So, we decided to celebrate Christmas as a family last night before the whirlwind of services begin.  We kept it simple.  One present from mommy and daddy, one present from their brother.

We ate pancakes, opened presents, and finally found out what God wants for Christmas.  It was a great night.  The bike and scooter was a hit.

There's lots more celebrating to do.  I am praying for all the people whose live will be changed forever this Christmas season.

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December 15, 2009

What God Wants for Christmas

51ZC2SWD3AL._SS500_ A special friend of mine gave a really neat present for Christmas.  This.  Its a family activity called What God Wants For Christmas.  Its a small nativity scene with a book and seven presents.  Each night we read a story and open one gift.  Every story is about a character in the Christmas story and each gift is a figurine of that character for the nativity .

We don't do ours 7 consecutive nights because Christmas time is pretty crazy for us.  It works nice on the nights we are home to sit down and have a Christmas activity that is age appropriate for our kids. They have really enjoyed it.  I highly reccomend this for families with small children.

Here's a few pictures I took the other night...

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November 03, 2009

Our Halloween

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Hope you had a great Halloween!  We had a great time celebrating on Thursday with our staff as well as Saturday night.  I am proud to announce that due to a bet that I made (and lost) with my husband over the Miami vs Clemson game two weeks ago, I did not eat one piece of Halloween candy.  Nope not one.  Canes, you really let me down this time.

PS.  Click here to see pics from past Halloweens in the Furtick house.

October 29, 2009

Best parenting advice

A few weeks ago, I got to speak at our church's baby and child dedication.  I must say it was the most challenging audience I have ever spoken to because of all the young children in the room.  In fact, about midway through, I paused and said, "Hey, don't anybody worry.  I am really good at talking over crying children.  I do it every day."  Needless to say, while it was the cutest audience ever, it was not the most attentive.

So, in one part of my message, I shared the best parenting advice I had ever heard, and I thought I would pass it along here...  Several months ago I was listening to a sermon series by Voddie Baucham  on the family (and Marybeth, if you are reading this, I still plan on returning your set.  Apologies:)) and he said something that has really stuck with me.  Here's the gist of he said...

During the first five years of your child's life, your primary objective as the parent is to teach them to do what you tell them to do, when you tell them to do it with a good attitude.  In short, to obey all the way.  He said that if your children do not learn to obey you, their parents, they will never be able to listen and obey God. 

This is so simply put but when you carry this out day to day, it can get pretty hard.  Its comforting to know that the most important thing I teach my children is not how to read before they go to kindergarten or how to identify every species of dinosaur before age 2.5.  Its also not to teach them to recite the confessions of our faith and the corresponding scripture.

The simple truth of obedience: Mommy and Daddy are in charge, not you (no matter how cute you are when you "no").  When I remember that that's the most important thing I teach them, its easier to be consistent.

How does this look in our house right now?
    For Graham (age 2), it seems like every time I ask him to come lay down to get his diaper changed he gives me this super cute, evil grin and backs away from me.  I have to be consistent with the consequences of not obeying, even for something so seemingly small.
    For Elijah (age 4), we are working on the attitude part.  Its hard to correct this one when technically he did obey.  But all throughout scripture we find God's true concern for the heart.  As Elijah's mom, I have to teach him that this is not acceptable.

I am preaching to myself.  No super-mom here.  Just a woman who wants to raise world changers and who knows that it all starts with the small things.

August 21, 2009

Photo Journal: Friendship Trays

My friend, Amy Corbett, and I have been delivering Friendship Trays on and off for the past 2 1/2 years.  This past Wednesday was our last day to deliver our summer route (which we did every other week).

Volunteering in the community is such a great tool for teaching kids to serve others.  Friendship Trays (here in Charlotte a division of Meals on Wheels) is perfect for kids.  They enjoy bringing the people their juice and food and have a great time together. 

It takes us a little more than an hour and then we usually go to a fun place to eat.  This week we visited the train in Matthews after lunch.  We're taking a break for the fall but we will be back at it again soon I am sure.

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June 06, 2009

A day at the pool

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Saturdays are different around the Furtick household.  Most people have family day on Saturday, ours is on Friday.  Starting around lunchtime, my husband begins to put the finishing touches on his message for the next day as well as pray and prepare his heart.  He used to go the office for most of the day, but for the past few months, he has been working from his office here at our home (in our attic).

I usually try to take the boys somewhere just to keep the house calm and quiet.  I was so excited when our pool opened a few weeks ago when our pool opened on the weekends.  Here's a few pictures I took today.

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April 09, 2009

Who says you have to hunt eggs on Sunday?

I have said before, my dad was a pastor when I was growing up.  I have wonderful, vivid memories of hunting eggs with my sisters early on Easter Sunday morning before church, then getting dressed up in a new dress and new shoes (usually matching my sisters, hmm, wonder wear I get this from?) before heading to church.  I remember waking up to an Easter basket filled with goodies outside my bedroom door.  Good times.

I love Easter.  I think it is because my mom always made it so fun and special.  Plus a new dress, that was the best part, forget about the chocolate bunny (I never ate mine).  We didn't believe in the Easter bunny.  That was my mom.  And she had one rule: all eggs below the knee were for my little sister, Joy.  I even remember her hiding eggs in the house one year when it was raining.

As I think back on these memories as an adult, and more importantly now, a pastor's wife I am amazed at my mom.  My dad, of course had to leave early for church.  And I am sure stayed up late putting the finishing touches on his message the night before.  So our experience was all on my mom.  From the baskets filled with goodies to hiding the eggs, then to dressing three little girls all with a lot of hair.  To top it all off, she looked amazing herself by the time we all arrived at church.  Now thats what you call a super pastor's wife.  She probably sang a solo that morning at church too.

Ok, sorry for all the nostalgia, on to my point.  This past fall I had the opportunity to spend some time with some other pastor's wives.  One of my biggest take aways from this was that the Easter bunny doesn't have to come on Sunday and Santa does not have to come on Christmas Eve.

So tomorrow our kids will wake up to their Easter baskets and tomorrow evening, they will hunt eggs that their daddy hides for them in our yard. They won't know that most kids will do that stuff on Sunday.  And it will be fun and relaxing for all of us.  Saturday night our services begin.  We are anticipating an amazing weekend. 

Enjoy the pictures below that my mom sent me (I am the middle child).  There may be more to come later today.  And please forgive the cursed scanner for their crookedness.

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March 31, 2009

Crosses, Tulips and Eggs

When Elijah got in the car after preschool, his teacher told me that he was the only one in the class that knew the meaning of Easter.  Score!!

When I questioned Elijah about it.  He corrected me by telling me that he was not the only kid in his class.  After we cleared that up he proceeded to tell me what he told his teacher.  Here are the facts I learned...

  • Some really bad people who didn't like Jesus put him on the cross to die.
  • After he died, they put him in a tulip and covered it with a big stone.
  • The next day they came back the tulip to look for him and when they moved the stone, he wasn't there.
  • God made him alive again.
  • And that is why we celebrate a birthday on Easter.

Ok.  Well, we are getting there.  Obviously we have a little more work to do.

They also had an egg hunt at his school.  He came home with five eggs each one filled with a Hershey kiss.  Elijah ate one and then talked about how he was going to give two to Daddy, two to Graham, two to me, and two for himself.  (3 year old math is awesome).

Well, he ate one chocolate kiss, then two, then three.  Then he asked me if Graham and I could share our chocolate.  Of course I agreed.  So, sitting here on the desk, as I type, are two eggs left over.  One for me and Graham, and one for Daddy.  I am very proud of his generous heart.

Update... After Graham woke up from his nap, Elijah went for the Hershey kiss.  He asked me if he could have some of it.  He ate more than half and then rather reluctantly shared the rest with Graham.  Later when my husband came home, Elijah unwrapped the kiss, held it out to Steven and said "Daddy, do you want to share it with me?"

Ok.  More work to be done but some steps in the right direction.

November 22, 2008


Its Saturday.  I usually don't post on Saturdays.  If you are not married to the ministry, Saturdays may be your favorite day of the week.  For us, Saturdays are the beginning of a very busy next 48 hours. 

I used to hate Saturdays because I expected us to do something as a family and have a great day together.  When this didn't happen, I was disappointed.  I think one of the biggest lessons I have learned as a pastor's wife is to re-create normal and create routine on the weekends so that everybody knows what to expect .  Our Saturdays happen on Friday.  On Saturdays we stick to pretty much the same routine.

Here's what a normal Saturday looks like for us.

6:30 am     Boys wake up (thank you time change for that gift)
9:00 am     Everybody eats breakfast and play
12:00 pm   Light lunch, Steven leaves for the office to study and pray
12-4 pm     The boys and I do something like visit a mall or a park or just hang out at home
6:00 pm     The boys and I eat dinner
7:00 pm     The boys go to bed
7:30 pm     I make chicken noodle soup for Steven's dinner (yes, every week)
8:00 pm     Steven comes home eats dinner
9:00 pm     Steven takes a bath and watches sermons, I set out and iron everyone's clothes
10:00 pm   Steven studies and watches sermons, I read
11:00 pm   Sleep

Today is a special Saturday because Uncle Max is in town (Steven's brother who is in the Air Force, stationed in Japan).  We ate pancakes for breakfast, Steven and Uncle Max are playing football on Xbox (Uncle Max winning) and when Steven leaves for the office, Max and Elijah are going to see Bolt (not in 3D because Elijah won't wear the glasses).  Graham and I are going to hang out here.  Graham is going to take a nap and I am going to fold clothes and finally watch Top Chef from Wednesday. 

I hope you have a great weekend.  If you are an Elevator, maybe I will see you tomorrow!