Articles by Grace Houle

Fruit of the Spirit Craft for Kids

Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness and self-control, who wouldn’t want their kids to exhibit these attributes? It’s a beautiful thing to watch our kids show love to others, but sometimes life looks messier than how facebook portrays. It’s a daily, purposeful quest to live focused and free. So when I can make a craft that helps encourage attributes that I am aiming for, I am all in. I wanted to share a simple little craft about the fruits of the Spirit that I used to help encourage a spark in my kids to do the right things, and hopefully you will also find value in it too!

Jayden, the Warrior

A sandy-haired boy with deep ocean blue eyes and a strong stature, coyly sits. He reminds me of a young David in the Bible; fearless, handsome, and loveable. His emotions dangle off his sleeves as he lives his life in extremes. Hate and love are often on his lips… as he either disdains something or can’t imagine life without it. This boy, a warrior at heart, filled with passion and emotion is my son, Jayden.

Celebrating Dad with Some Fun Ideas for the Whole Family

A Father’s hands tell his story. Dedication and sacrifice are how he spends his days as his life no longer becomes about himself. It has been broken for another. He tirelessly rises and grinds so as to make sure his family is fed and clothed. His hands and back hurt, his body aches, and yet […]

How Kids Help Us Learn to Love

My feet are resting under our chipped Ethan Allen coffee table. It’s near midnight and there is a stillness in the air. All the kids are asleep, and the day is drawing closer to a new day. My thoughts don’t rest, although the time is telling me to, as I try to eke out a few more minutes of this gift called “today”. So many good, hard and beautiful moments etched onto today’s page… written in sacrificial love. It’s effortless to walk in creek beds, receive hand drawn cards, and enjoy my kids because they truly are a gift. That’s easy love. Yet, the love of a child, goes beyond the easy, and allows you to love when it’s hard. Disregarding selfishness, and transforming your life so that you think of someone else’s needs above your own.

Avoiding God

Busyness is all around us; cluttering our life and thought process as though it belongs. Pressuring us to hurry instead of being still. Life can almost feel like a siren; repetitious, loud, and making it hard for us to think clearly. How much of this is warranted, and how much of this is unnecessary? God is so gracious. Sometimes we are the Martha’s of the world, striving to achieve our own “self-validation”, while God is saying, “Come sit next to me. Rest with me, because you are my beloved. I loved you when you were the vilest of sinners, and I love you now.”

Empty Words

Hollow words fill the room. It is normal. It is accepted. So, as robots, people exchange back and forth this nugatory vocabulary. Perhaps, it is because many feel like the words they speak…empty, depleted of what is needed to carry sustenance. Yet, just like your words carry weight, so do you. Your influence is sending shock waves to those around you, whether you are on board for this responsibility or not. What if we stopped the trajectory we are heading on, and started placing value on ourselves and those around us? Realizing that, perhaps…the words we speak can and do make a difference.

Signs of a Leader — My Strong-Willed Child, Part 2

My son has always been a natural born leader… Some call these attributes strong-willed. :) It depends on what paintbrush you grab, or what lens you view it through. His candle is bright, and his presence is unhidden. Each day he is being molded and shaped; crafted with God’s hands through time and experience, knowledge and love. As I look at my sweet boy, I am motivated to grow, to learn truth, to live out truth, to abandon excess baggage in myself so I can guide him with a clear mind and heart. His eyes are watching, and emulating everything to the umpteenth degree, because whatever he does, he does big and loud… Because his roar is meant to be heard.

Our Brokenness

Do we even fully grasp the significance of a God who is willing to meet us where we are and love us? We are so frail, so broken; from the least to the greatest, we are as dust. The sad reality of our humanity is that even those who loved God with as much as they could, struggled with remembering their humble place. Provision, love, faithfulness, mercy… God has never lacked in any one. His very essence is love, and His character has no flaws. Why do we seek for lesser things? Why do we allow ourselves to wander when God is all we need as our daily bread, and our fullness of life?

Remembering God’s Forgiveness

Each day we have moments where we desperately need God’s forgiveness and grace. Wake up calls to our imperfections and depravity. Perhaps like me, you remember a season that you realized the depth of this chasm. God’s grace and mercy was not just the cherry on top, but the necessary glue to keep you together. We sometimes get so comfortable that I think we forget the love we had at first for the God who gave us hope. That elated feeling of peace and joy, when we tossed all our garbage aside and said, “I trust You.”