Let peace be a defining characteristic of our homes. Opportunities to experience God’s rest and stillness are all around ready to be found by those who will slow down to see them. • Don’t underestimate the restorative power of peace and rest in your family’s rhythm. • We get swept up in this addiction to providing our kids with every possible experience. We say, “We don’t want them to miss out.” • But what if they’re actually missing out on what they truly need, peace and rest. • Instead of expecting our kids to adapt to our busy schedules and getting frustrated when they fall apart or act out, why not adapt our busy schedules to their needs. • What if the best experience your family will have in this season is to take time doing nothing together? Time to stop and take notice of the peace coming from the presence of Christ that is all around us. • #peaceonearth#peacebewithyou
Sometimes Christmas gifts and acts of kindness don’t smell like Starbucks coffee and fresh baked Christmas cookies. • Sometimes it smells like trash and old sour beer. 🤪 A few days ago we made it our kindness mission to pick up trash along our street. And it was not an easy job! #litterbugs 😡 • What gift can you give this season that doesn’t come wrapped in pretty paper and bows? These are often the gifts that mean the most because it takes someone who really knows the deep needs of the ones they love to apply love and kindness is just the right way. • Isn’t this a picture of Jesus? He didn’t come in a palace somewhere. His birth wasn’t celebrated by a mile-long parade down Main Street. • He was born in a cattle stall to a poor carpenter and his wife. It was probably smelly and lacked for comfort of any kind. • But... • God knew exactly what we needed. • Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace and good will to men! • #kindnessadvent
Our top priority as Christ-followers is to keep Jesus at the center of our lives. One of the ways we do this is to fulfill Jesus’s Great Commission. • "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age." • Matthew 28:18-20 • If we are not investing priority energy and time each day into making disciples, then we will not have a thriving relationship with Jesus. Instead, we walk down a path that leads to dead religion and that is the last place we need to take our children. This is humbling for all of us, but each one of us must address it. • We must show them a living faith. We must teach them by example how to diligently plant seeds and look for the harvest. • God has given us these children and entrusted their discipleship to us! You don’t have to go across the world to fulfill the Great Commission - although many of us will - it starts at home. • We’re in this with you. We know what it’s like to get lost in an endless line of distractions. The only way out is to surrender, repent and recalibrate our priorities with the heart of God. And the heart of God is to look for the harvest! • We pray that God will give you open doors to share the Gospel this week with your kids and with those around you.
We love to spy on our kids when they are in their own little world. It’s so sweet to hear what they are saying and see what their imagination cooks up. • Kids are so creative! No one taught them to be that way. It is in their nature. It is the image of God in all of us to take raw materials or blank canvases and turn them into art, beauty and even creative solutions to difficult problems. • In this season, let’s worship the Lord with creative generosity. • This is one of the reasons why we do our Kindness Advent every year. It’s a simple way to imagine what would be a blessing to someone and then to go and do it. • You can get in on the fun too! Click the 👉link in profile👈 to download the Create Your Own Kindness Advent guide. • #kindnessadvent
Your newest Scripture Alphabet song is from Matthew 4:4. • Jesus answers, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” • This is the greatest evidence for the importance of memorizing scripture and getting God’s word deep into our hearts. • Jesus was able to use scripture as a weapon against the enemy and use it when he needed it most. • You can download this and all of our current Scripture Alphabet songs for FREE! • Go to www.familyfieldguide.us/music • #singscripture#scripturealphabet • 📷: unsplash.com
The one thing everyone in our family anticipates most at this time of year is our Kindness Advent tradition. We do it to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus and God’s generosity to us in sending His Son. We do it to remind all of us that it really is better to give than receive. And we do it because it’s something we enjoy doing as a family. • The Kindness Advent is simple: Do simple acts of kindness throughout December leading up to Christmas. We choose to do every day beginning on the 1st, but you can decide what works best for your family and in your schedule. The point is to practice generosity and kindness together as a way to anticipate and celebrate the birth of Jesus. • If you’re interested in beginning a Kindness Advent tradition, we created a short guide to help you get started with some ideas and inspiration. • You can download it at 👉 link in profile!👈 • If you choose to share your journey, please use #kindnessadvent so we can follow along with one another and see your amazing ideas.
We put up these thankful leaves every year. We cut out the shapes and write what we’re thankful for. Then we hang them where we can all see and be reminded of everything God has given us great and small. • Today, we are thankful for you! You are the people who inspire us and motivate us to keep pursuing this calling with a passion. To some, this is just an Instagram account, but to many of you, we hope it is much more. • We hope that the words we share are like water to your soul - sustenance for the often difficult journey of leading your family against the current. • Thank you for making choices to live life according to God’s priorities. Thank you for being courageous enough to believe that love is stronger than death. Thank you for doing the hard thing that is the right thing. Thank you for being right here beside us on this journey!
"The desperate need today is not for a greater number of intelligent people, or gifted people, but for deep people." • Richard Foster - Celebration Of Discipline • As humans we have the potential to have a depth of thought, intention and creativity far greater than any other living thing. We have the capacity to dig into our own life, our heart and soul and to seek out the heart of God. But it is only potential unless we are willing to dig. • Our busyness keeps us shallow. Our unnecessary obligations keep us shallow. Our addiction to stuff keeps us shallow. Our unforgiveness keeps us shallow. Our fear keeps us shallow. Our rebellion keeps us shallow. Our selfishness. Our shame. Our broken identity. Our sin. etc…. • But all of these things, if we will turn toward them instead of ignoring them, can be the gateway to the deeper life to which God is calling us. • If we look at our busyness or our fear or our shame as signal flares calling us to investigate, we will find the most incredible opportunities to grow deeper in our relationships with the Lord and with others. • Often revival and spiritual renewal is right here. We don’t have to go anywhere to find it. We just have to have the courage to face what we may have been avoiding all this time. • Let’s dig deeper so we can teach and lead our families from a rich well of confidence and wisdom. You need this. Your kids need this. The world needs this. God’s Kingdom and the harvest need this!
Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” • John 14:6 • Our new Scripture Alphabet song is out! • This is such a foundational scripture to remember. Jesus never claimed to be just a good teacher or a moral leader. He is the way, the truth and the life. The one and only! • To get access to all the current songs, A-I, and all the future songs for free, just click 👉the link in profile!👈 • Take courage, The McGowan Family • #singscripture#scripturealphabet
“The oak sleeps in the acorn." • This is the long-haul friends. This calling to lead our children to Jesus is about perseverance and patience, not about quick returns on risky investments. • Let’s not get messed up measuring our lives by temporary metrics; on only what we can see. Let’s fix our eyes on things above, on eternal things. Invest there. • Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. • Philippians 4:8-9 • The best way to get a gauge of the work of the Holy Spirit is to ask questions and tell stories. Tell stories about what you experienced today that was true, honorable, just, lovely, commendable, excellent and worthy of praise. This is how we experience his work together. This is how we unfold his plans. This is how we water the seed and tend the sapling.
Adventure is found when we seek and follow a wild, generous, unpredictable and crazy-loving God every day. • This was one of the foundational thoughts in our hearts when we began Family Field Guide. If the God of scripture truly is infinite, immeasurably creative and all-powerful, then there is nothing boring about following him. In fact, it brings to light the possibility that following him may be the most adventurous thing we can ever do - more adventurous than climbing Everest or exploring the depths of space. • If we have “encountered Jesus” and it is not stretching us outside our limits and causing us to take risks on a regular basis, then maybe we haven’t been taught the real truth about Him. • One of our core motivators as parents is to pass down a living faith to our kids. We know they need to see us risking it all for Jesus and saying “yes” to him even when it doesn’t make sense. By faith, the story of our family will be an unpredictable tale of adventure and by faith our kids will see it as a story that is worth repeating. • But it all begins with asking God for a fresh revelation of who he is. The more we know and see him, the more we are compelled to surrender all and leave the safety of ordinary life behind to experience his extraordinary power. • And we are convinced that families who live like this will change the course of history. • God, reveal yourself to us. Where there are misconceptions or distorted truths, align us with your Word. Give us clear eyes and pure hearts so that we can see you. Break away the cultural buildup around our ears and restore our sensitivity to your voice. Be glorified and bring us near as we seek to be nearer to you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Humility is a core character quality in our home. We always want to walk with an awareness of who God is and who we are not. We also believe that humility is not the enemy of confidence. In fact, if we know our position with the Lord and how much he cares for us, then we can be more bold and confident than anyone else on the planet! • For these reasons, this scripture is foundational for us. • "Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God and he will lift you up in due time. Cast all your worries and cares on him because he cares for you." 1 Peter 5:6-7 • He cares for you and when it's the right time, he will lift you up. All we have to do is humble ourselves before him and worship him as the one who is in control. • We just released our newest song from our Scripture Alphabet Songs project based on 1 Peter 5:6-7. • Get access to all the current and upcoming songs for free by clicking 👉link in profile👈.
You will never regret time spent together. • Togetherness is the seed of so much of what we desire for our kids to have as they grow. It is how God created us to function as a family and as the Church. • You won’t ever hear an empty-nester say, “I regret that we just spent too much time together as a family.” • The culture of FOMO is jerking us around in a hundred different directions and the trade-off is that we miss planting these seeds of togetherness. • And when we don’t plant the seeds, we miss the fullness of the harvest. • The highest call is to serve Jesus by leading our kids in His ways and working to bring them together in his presence and his Word for his kingdom.
#repost @sdsmithereens ・・・ I loved being in Nashville recently for a fun event with our pals @familyfieldguide! • • I met families who drove from Texas, Mississippi, and Alabama. 🤭😳 Crazy. I wanted to mow their lawns. 🤷🏽♂️ But they were so encouraging and a delight to meet! • • Aubrey and Jen were great hosts and incredibly gifted performers. I really enjoyed their music, and they even did their own version of “Picket Packslayer,” which everyone joined in on. So fun! Their energy and hospitality were a potent combo. 🎤🎸🎼🎻 • • 🐰⚔️📚🚙✈️🗣🖋💚 #sdsmithbooktour#thegreenember#rabbitswithswords#wvauthor#sdsmith#kidlit
“Let us not grow weary in well doing for in due time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” • Galatians 6:9 • If there is a scripture that could serve as a rallying cry for us as parents, this is it. • This is the word of the Lord all day and every day! 🙌🏻 • Raising passionate Jesus-followers is a marathon, not a sprint. This is eternal work, not the work of short-term benefits. • Our theme for the month of November is “Harvest”. This is what we are called to do: invest in the harvest, anticipate the harvest and work to reap the harvest. • How can we have a mindset that is not dictated by the flashy and sensational trade offs the world around us offers? How can we keep looking toward God’s Kingdom and his reward? • These are some questions we will ponder this month together. • If you’re not part of our mailing list, well what are you waiting for? 😃 • Click the link in profile to subscribe to the weekly emails we send to encourage and equip you to passionately pursue your calling as the spiritual leader of your home.
One of our favorite things about being parents is seeing our kids get lost in a game or project they have created. It’s so fun to see their minds working and the intensity of their purpose. • Our kids are in their wheelhouse when they have the freedom to create and make up their own worlds. It brings great joy to our whole family. • And you should know that God delights in you the same way. He is filled with joy when you are caught up in the freedom he has given you. • How can we live in this freedom more often? We have to come to him like a child, not in naivety but with the expectation that there is greatness to be discovered and enjoyed RIGHT NOW in this moment. • Our children don’t wait for the perfect circumstances to use their creativity and enjoy the freedom afforded to them and neither should we. • Walk in the freedom of the Father. Take joy that he delights in you!
It is easy for the world around us to make our kids feel small and insignificant. In fact, that’s part of the scheme: make them feel inadequate and then sell them something that promises to make them famous or significant or happy, only to discover it leaves them even more empty and dependent. • But then there is God’s Kingdom in which we are all still very small. In fact, the Psalmist says, “My life is a vapor a mere breath of air, without you I would surely die.” It only takes a glance at a tall tree or at the expanse of the sky to realize that we are just a dot on the landscape. But in His Kingdom our bigness or smallness is of no consequence. What matters is 1. The greatness and infinite power of God, 2. The significance we have because we are loved and known by him. That is all. To know Him and be known. This is the seed of eternal work. This is the root of abundant life. This is the fountain of contentment and significance. • From this foundation we can build unfathomable things. We can dream extravagant dreams. We can walk amidst mountains and giants with confidence and speak words like thunder that shake nations. Our small frame says nothing of the limitless power of the Holy Spirit who is in us and for us and works through us. • Take heart my little one, the unmatched-greatness of our God is all around you and within you and pouring from you! When you see your own smallness, let your eyes be turned to the greatness of God and the miracle of His love and His plans for you.
The Hurricane Michael Benefit Concert was such a fun night! We will share more about it as we get photos and videos. • We are so grateful for @thehuntsmusic and their partnership in this. They were AMAZING!!! • We were also able to raise almost $2500 to help with relief efforts! So awesome!! • Thank you to everyone who supported this event by attending, sharing, and or praying!