Crystal Bowman Posts

The Three Powerful Prayers of Motherhood by Stephanie Rische

Tyndale Kids

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I am far from having a PhD in motherhood; in fact, this is my first Mother’s Day with a child in my arms. But that’s long enough for me to know this: being a mom comes with all the feelings.

There’s something about being a mom that takes any given emotion and injects it with steroids. Sure, I experienced worry before I became a mom. But now if my baby so much as sneezes, I’m convinced that this is the twenty-first-century version of the bubonic plague. I used to feel pain, too, but that was nothing compared to the vicarious pain I felt on his first trip to the ER. I felt delight before, but nothing could have prepared me for the way my heart would swell the first time he smiled at me (even if was just gas).

baby-smiling-with-motherAs I read Scripture, it occurs to me that this phenomenon of maternal emotion is nothing new. In the story of Hannah, we see a woman who experienced the full gamut of mom-feelings—all within the span of two chapters. It’s comforting to know that I’m not alone in this swirl of emotion. But even more consoling is that God doesn’t just tolerate our spectrum of feelings; he affirms them.

Maybe you’ve bought into the idea that expects a little, well, decorum when we come to him. We figure that approaching him with our requests is like interviewing for a job or applying for a grant: we need to pull ourselves together first, and we certainly shouldn’t have any mascara running down our cheeks in the process. But Hannah’s story is proof that God welcomes us just as we are, with our full range of emotions.

woman-praying-with-bibleAnd believe it or not, there’s actually a gift that comes with strong emotion: it can drive us to our knees. All the emotion bubbling inside us can drive us to more fervent—and more frequent—prayers than we’d muster up otherwise.

This was certainly the case for Hannah. She prayed three mother-prayers for her child, and all these years later, they are the prayers all of us moms need.


Please.

Hannah’s journey to motherhood was a long and arduous one, having longed for a child for years. At the Tabernacle, she poured out her heart to the Lord, not holding back an ounce of her anguish. She prayed so fervently that the priest assumed she was drunk. “I am a woman who is deeply troubled,” she said. “I have been praying here out of my great anguish and grief” (1 Samuel 1:15-16).

expectant-mother-hands-on-stomachGod heard the heartfelt “please” of this mom-to-be and answered the desire of her heart. We, too, can come to the Lord with our requests, both for ourselves and for our children, knowing that he hears and that he cares about the things closest to our hearts.


Thank you.

The Lord graciously answered Hannah’s prayers and gave her a son, Samuel, which means “heard by God.” Every time she said his name, it was a reminder of God’s faithfulness. “She named him Samuel, saying, ‘Because I asked the Lord for him’” (1 Samuel 1:20).

mother-and-daughter-walking-togetherJust as Hannah brought her full grief to the Lord, she also brought her full gratitude to the Lord. In 1 Samuel 2, we read her song of praise, which opens with these joyful words: “My heart rejoices in the Lord! The Lord has made me strong” (1 Samuel 2:1). After God answers our prayers, it’s so easy to move on to the next problem, the next request. We get stuck in “please” mode and forget to say thank you. But Hannah’s example reminds us to bring both the sorrows and the joys of motherhood to the Lord.


They’re yours.

This is perhaps the most difficult prayer for a mother to utter. We’re wired to protect and nurture our children, which is a good, God-given instinct. However, we sometimes forget that these children aren’t really ours. God has entrusted them to us, but ultimately, they belong to him.

willow-tree-mother-and-sonAfter all those years of waiting, it would have been easy for Hannah to cling tightly to her son. He was her miracle-child, after all! But she never forgot that Samuel was first and foremost God’s child, and when he was just a few years old, she brought him to the Tabernacle so he could serve the Lord for the rest of his life. “I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him. So now I give him to the Lord. For his whole life he will be given over to the Lord” (1 Samuel 1:27-28).


Whatever emotions you are experiencing this Mother’s Day, I invite you to bring them to our gracious God, who welcomes our tears and our joy—and everything in between. Let those feelings be transformed into prayers in his presence.

Please. Thank you. They’re yours.


Stephanie Rische is a senior editor and team leader at Tyndale House Publishers, as well as a freelance writer for publications such as Today’s Christian Woman, Christian Marriage Today, and Significant Living magazine. You can follow Stephanie’s blog at www.StephanieRische.com.


Don’t miss these books about motherhood from Tyndale Kids!

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Incorporating Education into Story Time by Crystal Bowman & Teri McKinley

Tyndale Kids

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From Crystal:

As a grandmother, I remember the days of raising three young children. We spent a lot of time at home, playing and learning. My kids were full of questions: “Why do ducks quack?” “Do worms yawn?” “Can Jesus fly?” “What’s that noise?” I loved being the one to teach my children about the world around them, but to be honest, those never-ending questions occasionally wore me out. I always looked forward to bedtime reading when I could dispense knowledge to my eager children, but my tired brain wasn’t always up to it. That’s why I especially loved reading children’s books that offered questions and answers. It opened conversations in a way that was enjoyable for all of us.

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From Teri:

As a mother of a toddler, I already feel the urge to prepare my son for school. Because of the Technological Age we live in, our kids are expected to know a lot before they even begin kindergarten. While I want to equip my son for school, I also want him to enjoy learning and embrace the freedom of being a child. I am hungry for resources that can cater to all of these needs. There is something about reading a book with my son in my lap that is beautifully simplistic. It takes the focus off of achievement and places it on connection. And through these special snuggle times, it’s amazing to see the knowledge he gains.

Our Shared Vision:

Our latest picture books launch a new series called “I’ve Got Questions.” Do Baby Bears Have Mommies? and Does God Take Naps? are picture books created for inquisitive children ages three to seven. The question-and-answer rhyming text is whimsical and delightful to read, yet the books have an educational component that makes learning fun for the child. The questions in each book will stimulate a child’s thought process, while the answers are a “gift” to the adult reader. What’s especially unique about these books is the way they introduce children to basic STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) concepts that are pivotal to education.

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Do Baby Bears Have Mommies? is all about animals that kids love—from monkeys and elephants to skunks and bears and ladybugs. As young children begin to explore the world outside of their home, they naturally engage with animals and nature. They notice birds in trees, bugs on flowers, and worms crawling across the sidewalk. They mimic animal sounds and animal movements. This is the beginning of their experience with the natural sciences. In this book, children will dig deeper into educational aspects of the natural world, such as why cows moo and why ducks quack. Do you know how to tell a boy ladybug from a girl ladybug? You will—after reading this book!

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Does God Take Naps? builds a bridge between science and faith, helping children understand the character of God in relation to the natural world. They can learn who God is and what he does. Scientific minds will learn that God created the stars and put them in outer space. They will learn that God rules the universe and keeps everything in place. Mathematical minds may try to calculate how old God is, and the answer given in the book keeps the adult from having to say, “I don’t know.” Inquisitive minds might wonder if God eats vegetables or takes naps. Pet lovers will wonder if God has pets. The answers are fun to discover together as you turn the pages. Children will also learn that God is loving and kind: “God cares about your problems. And sees each of your tears. . . . And nothing in the whole wide world is greater than his love.”

As experienced parents and caretakers, we hope you cherish the heart behind the “I’ve Got Questions” series. Our desire is for you to connect with the children in your life while teaching them important truths about God and the world around them. With the holidays around the corner it’s a great time to sit down for a good story, a moment of learning, and some one-on-one snuggle time. We hope these books will be a gift that can be enjoyed over and over again!


This Christmas season, teach your children the story of Jesus’ birth with M is for Manger  by Crystal Bowman and Teri McKinley! Beautifully illustrated and written, this rhyming storybook will be a classic for parents to read to their children every Christmas.

Available in both hardcover and board book format. 


Crystal Bowman is a former preschool teacher, award-winning author, national speaker, and Mentor for MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers). She has written more than 100 books for children, three books for women, numerous magazine articles, and Bible study materials. She also writes stories for Clubhouse Jr. magazine and lyrics for children’s piano music.

She has written books for many popular children’s series, such as Little Blessings, BOZ the Bear, and I Can Read! She has co-authored Our Daily Bread for KidsMy Mama and Me, and M is for Manger with her daughter, Teri McKinley. She and her husband live in Florida.

To learn more about Crystal, head to her website, or find her on Facebook.

Teri McKinley grew up in the world of publishing, attending book signings and book conventions with her mother, Crystal Bowman. She began writing stories in elementary school and her love for writing grew in college. In addition to co-authoring several award-winning books with her mother, Teri has written greeting cards for Discovery House. Teri and her husband live in Texas and serve in several ministries at their church. Above all, Teri’s favorite job is being a mom to their son.

To learn more about Teri, find her on Facebook or Pinterest.


8 Educational Books to Read with Your Preschooler

Tyndale Kids

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Children who are preschool-age are curious and tend to ask a lot of questions. Help your preschooler learn and grow this fall with these eight educational books that cover a variety of topics from questions about God to manners—and everything in between!


For your future scientist . . .

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Do Baby Bears Have Mommies? by Crystal Bowman and Teri McKinley

Do Baby Bears Have Mommies? addresses common children’s questions about all things nature. Children learn about starfish, elephants, bears, stars, earthworms, eagles, trees, and heaven, while absorbing the underlying themes of God’s love and grace and a parent’s love for a child. Corresponding to the “Science” portion of STEM curriculum standards, this book is one you won’t want to miss for your inquisitive preschooler!


For learning memory verses together . . .

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Be Still, Give Thanks, and I Can by Kathryn O’Brien

These adorable books by author Kathryn O’Brian turn Bible memorization from a duty to a delight! These books will help your child memorize, understand, and absorb passages as the author presents each powerful verse one word at a time. Be Still, Give Thanks, and I Can build a meaningful connection between God’s Word and a child’s life experiences, laying a foundation for a love and comprehension of Scripture.


For your little theologian . . .

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Does God Take Naps? by Crystal Bowman and Teri McKinley

This book offers satisfying answers to many questions about God that your preschooler may have—such as “How can I talk to God?” or “How old is God?” —while also showing parents how they can respond to their child’s questions with patience and love. For your little one with many theology-based questions, this book will not disappoint!


For your explorer . . .

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Where Does Love Hide? by Mary Manz Simon

In Where Does Love Hide? children are given the opportunity to see love in action. In addition to the fun, lift-a-flap feature, each page includes a memory verse and an example of a way your child can share God’s love. This book is a great place for your preschooler to start exploring what love looks like!


For developing manners and character . . .

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I Can Be Kind by Amie Carlson

Scripture teaches us to love our neighbors by treating them with kindness and respect. I Can Be Kind is a fun, creative way to teach your child polite behavior in a society where rudeness is often the status quo. With lift-the-flap interaction on every page, I Can Be Kind is a great resource for developing kindness and manners in your child!

 

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The Character Builder’s Bible by Agnes de Bezenac and Salem de Bezenac

The Character Builder’s Bible highlights core character traits that the Bible teaches, and it suggests fun, practical ways to live out these truths so that little minds can understand. Featuring sixty Bible stories with colorful illustrations, definitions, and memory verses, The Character Builder’s Bible will show your little ones that God’s Word is relevant to their lives and will help you instill biblical character in their hearts.


Find these titles and more on Tyndale.com!


Tyndale Kids New Release Giveaway!

Tyndale Kids

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Enter below for your chance to win 5 great books on…

 

Sharing the Gospel with young children:

Wow! The Good News in Four Words by Dandi Daley Mackall

 

Learning great communication skills: 

Girl Talk Guy Talk by Jesse Florea & Karen Whiting

Just Sayin’ by Dandi Daley Mackall

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Answering kids’ questions about God and how the world works:  

Does God Take Naps? by Crystal Bowman & Teri McKinley

Do Baby Bears Have Mommies? by Crystal Bowman & Teri McKinley

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These recent releases & more products from Tyndale Kids are available in bookstores and online! Head to tyndale.com/youth to learn more.


Tyndale Kids New Release Giveaway

Having Faith Conversations with Your Kids by Crystal Bowman and Teri McKinley

Tyndale Kids

If you’ve spent any time around young children, you know they are full of questions. They ask things like: “Why is the sky blue?” “Where does the water in the bathtub go?” and “Does God ever fall asleep?” These endless questions are the inspiration behind our new picture book series, I’ve Got Questions, published by Tyndale Kids. The first two titles, Do Baby Bears Have Mommies? and Does God Take Naps?, explore both the humorous and perplexing questions children often ask in a whimsical rhyming format. As a mother-daughter writing team, we reflected on the way story time can often turn into question time. This pattern presents a beautiful opportunity to use reading as a means of initiating faith conversations with the children in our lives. As we anticipate these conversations, we can be equipped with simple strategies to navigate them.

 

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We can teach children about the person of God. Children can be taught that there’s a God in heaven, but we can go deeper when we explain that God is someone they can know. Knowing that God hears their prayers and even knows what they are thinking, gives children the confidence they need to approach a holy God. You can help children understand that God is more than a spiritual being somewhere out there. Even though it may be hard to grasp at first, children can begin to understand that God is like a friend—someone they can talk to anytime of the day or night. He is always available to listen, and he is never too busy to care. Even if you don’t have all the answers, it’s okay. Certain aspects of God are beyond our understanding. (As we say in Does God Take Naps?, “I know it’s hard to understand, but God will always be.”) The more children learn about the character of God, the more comfortable they will be in pursuing a relationship with him.

 

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We can teach children about God’s role as Creator through our daily experiences. As the children in your life notice things in nature, take the initiative to point out God’s love and care in all that he has created. Talk about how God looks after the birds and that he looks after people too. We can show children God’s creativity and artistry by pointing out that he paints the sunsets and decides which color every flower should be. Teaching children that God takes care of the natural world can build their sense of security in knowing that he is big enough to care for them. In Do Baby Bears Have Mommies? we state it this way: “He made amazing creatures on land and in the air. And every creature he has made is always in his care.” Nature is God’s tangible evidence of his existence. Let children know who made all the things they see and touch by pointing them to the Creator.

 

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We can teach children that God speaks to them through the Bible.
Children quickly learn that prayer is how they can talk to God, but understanding that God speaks to them is more difficult for them to grasp. Young children are often introduced to the Bible through kid-friendly Bible story books that feature the more familiar stories in Scripture. Though many of these are excellent resources, we can also show them specific Bible verses that speak directly to them. Here are a few:

  • Jeremiah 33:3—“Call to me and I will answer you.”
  • Matthew 19:14—“Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.’”
  • 1 John 3:1—“The Father has loved us so much! He loved us so much that we are called children of God. And we really are his children.”

 

According to a recent study done in the United Kingdom, preschoolers ask an average of three hundred questions per day. That’s a lot of questions! But our hope is that you feel equipped to handle some of their questions about faith and guide those conversations. And if you want to explore some light-hearted questions with the children in your life, check out the I’ve Got Questions series. The best part is that the answers are included in the book!


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Crystal Bowman is a former preschool teacher, award-winning author, national speaker, and Mentor for MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers). She has written more than 100 books for children, three books for women, numerous magazine articles, and Bible study materials. She also writes stories for Clubhouse Jr. magazine and lyrics for children’s piano music.

She has written books for many popular children’s series, such as Little Blessings, BOZ the Bear, and I Can Read! She has co-authored Our Daily Bread for Kids, My Mama and Me, and M is for Manger with her daughter, Teri McKinley. She and her husband live in Florida.

To learn more about Crystal, head to her website, or find her on Facebook.

Teri McKinley grew up in the world of publishing, attending book signings and book conventions with her mother, Crystal Bowman. She began writing stories in elementary school and her love for writing grew in college. In addition to co-authoring several award-winning books with her mother, Teri has written greeting cards for Discovery House. Teri and her husband live in Texas and serve in several ministries at their church. Above all, Teri’s favorite job is being a mom to their son.

To learn more about Teri, find her on Facebook or Pinterest.


Head to Tyndale.com today to discover additional books written by Crystal Bowman and Teri McKinley.