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“Mom, I’m bored,” my daughter said with a sigh as she entered the room. Looking up from
my computer screen, I resisted the urge to roll my eyes.



Bored, really? With a room full of books and toys, an overloaded craft closet, free rein to bake something, a bike and outdoor swing set, and two sisters to play with each day—how could she possibly be bored?
Though I actually think a little boredom is good for my kids—and certainly don’t go out of my way to entertain them at every moment—I dread hearing the words “I’m bored.”

One way to ward off boredom is having a list of ideas available in advance. Even small twists on mundane items—like eating a picnic lunch outside instead of our regular lunch at the table—can remind my kids that if they’re feeling bored, there are plenty of ways to create their own fun.

To that end, here’s a list of 10 fun, frugal outdoor activities to help bust kids’ boredom this summer. Though some ideas require leaving the house, many are free and easily accomplished at home.

To read the rest of the article at Joyful Life Magazine's blog (and for more heart + home inspiration from a beautiful collective of authors), click here.


Are you looking for more resources? Have you checked out our books?

Our newest book, One Good Word a Day, offers simple but deeply spiritual meditations that will help readers linger on one word each day so they can identify and reflect on how Jesus as the Word influences their daily lives. 
 
Looking for encouragement in your friendships? Our adult friendship devotional, The One Year Daily Acts of Friendship, includes a daily scripture, story, and friendship prompt. It's encouraging and slightly challenging (in a good way!) in helping you find, keep, and love your friends.  
 
Our devotional for tweens is a great complement to our devotional for women! 100 Daily Acts of Friendship for Girls is written specifically for girls ages 8-12 as they navigate friendships in upper elementary and middle school. With a scripture, short story, reflection questions and 50 fun activities to do with you or friends, it's a wonderful way to encourage your daughter, niece, granddaughter, God daughter and her friends to build healthy friendships from an early age.

We've also written two kindness devotionals, The One Year Daily Acts of Kindness and 100 Days of Kindness. They tell the story of how our families embarked on a one-year journey of kindness, and include our successes, failures, and the encouragement you need as a family to incorporate kindness into your own life.

We would love to walk alongside you in encouragement, inspiration, and community. You can follow us on Facebook and Instagram as The Ruth Experience or sign up for our monthly newsletter (no spam, ever), here.

If you already have one of our books and love them, we'd so appreciate it if you leave a review on Amazon. 

We're in this together,

Julie, Kendra, and Kristin



My dad always owned his own business. When I was a child he was a farrier, traveling from farm to farm—putting in long days, especially in the summer, coming home smelling like animals and outside and barnyards. I loved it.

When I was in middle school we moved, horseshoeing had become just too physically taxing for my dad to continue doing and so he needed a change. We settled across our state in a small town where he began a financial services business. And although I could say many things about that time of my life, one thing I remember distinctly was how lean the next few years were financially. Not that my parents complained or worried to us kids, but we could sense that things we’d done before wouldn’t be happening those first couple of years, that we needed to cut back on spending. Still, we found we were okay.

And that is why this season, this year, has felt somewhat familiar to me. My husband owns his own business and it has afforded us many benefits for which I am so grateful these past seven years. But this year has been slightly different. Through no fault of his own, some client bases have changed, contacts moved to different companies—leaving us in a season of leanness, at least financially.

Jasmine's first day with us.
Our daughter came to us through tumultuous circumstances. My husband and I had only been licensed foster parents for a month when we got the call to take a sweet baby girl, just three months old. She was physically healthy, in an emergency home for the time being, but they wondered: Would we be interested in taking her?

With nary a thought of consulting my husband, the words tumbled out before the social worker could even finish, “Yes! We’d love to take her.” 

I remember that long holiday weekend spent going home to paint with my husband the room she’d be sleeping in and setting up a borrowed crib. Praying for the weekend to pass quickly, afraid the emergency home might decide she was too precious and want to keep her, anxiously awaiting her arrival that Tuesday afternoon. 

Jasmine's adoption day!
Six years have come and gone since that day, and I remember the emotion of it all as if it were still happening. We were so excited and naïve. We saw this child as nothing but a blessing. Pure light in our lives. A gift.

The year of her arrival was full of fear and joy, sorrow and miracles. We learned of the circumstances surrounding her birth parents. Their frailty. Their humanness. They weren’t bad people, just ones with difficulties that hindered them from caring for their child. They loved her; we knew that. And my heart broke for them.

How does God make right all this mess? How does he bring good from hard situations?

Sometimes I just don’t know.

And then I see her now, this beautiful child that God created out of a situation of brokenness. This light. And I’m reminded of Ecclesiastes 3:11 that says, “God has made everything beautiful for its own time.”

And I don’t know what your past entails. I don’t know what heartache you’ve known. I don’t know what you’ve had to walk through in your life (or what you may still be walking through).

But I do know this: I’ve seen God make something lovely out a situation that, on the surface, looked unlovely. He brought something beautiful out of someone’s brokenness.

And every day as I look at my daughter’s shining face I’m reminded that God can take my mistakes, my missteps, and by his grace, make something lovely again.

Are you looking for more encouragement around raising a family? Have you checked out our books?
Our newest book, 100 Daily Acts of Friendship for Girls, is written specifically for girls ages 8-12 as they navigate friendships in upper elementary and middle school. With a scripture, short story, reflection questions and 50 fun activities to do with you or friends, it's a wonderful way to encourage your daughter, niece, granddaughter, God daughter and her friends to build healthy friendships from an early age.

And our adult friendship devotional, The One Year Daily Acts of Friendship is a perfect compliment to our book for tweens. With a daily scripture, story, and friendship prompt, its encouraging and slightly challenging (in a good way!) as you find, keep, and love your friends.   

We've also written two kindness devotionals, The One Year Daily Acts of Kindness and 100 Days of Kindness. They tell the story of how our families embarked on a one-year journey of kindness, and include our successes, failures, and the encouragement you need as a family to incorporate kindness into your own life.

We would love to walk alongside you in encouragement, inspiration, and community. You can follow us on Facebook and Instagram as The Ruth Experience or sign up for our monthly newsletter (no spam, ever), here.

If you already have one of our books and love them, we'd so appreciate it if you leave a review on Amazon. 

We're in this together,

Kendra, Julie, and Kristin

Today we are once again linking up with Holley Gerth for Coffee for your heart, Jennifer Dukes Lee for TellHisStory, and Soli Deo Gloria Sisterhood for the SDG Gathering.


Being a young mom includes many joys, but can also come with some challenges. This is especially true when you’re trying to navigate adult friendships while also caring for little people in your home. But just because life may be different doesn’t mean we shouldn’t prioritize our relationships. It’s still valuable for each of us to have friends. Here are five easy ways to intentionally make friends as a new mom:
  • Join a local moms or MOPS group. After my son was born, my sister-in-law invited me to a local moms group that had joined. Even though it was a struggle to get there with a toddler and newborn in tow, I decided to make the effort. I’m so glad that I did. I didn’t realize how lonely I had been until I was surrounded by other women. I found other moms who could relate to all that I was experiencing as a new mom and it made me feel like I wasn’t alone. Joining that moms group was one of the best decisions I made in those early years and it sparked friendships with women that I still have today.
  • Start conversations with other moms at the park or a play center. Meeting other moms at the park or play centers is another way to potentially meet new friends, especially if they happen to live in your neighborhood and frequent the same places you do.
  • Look for other moms to befriend at your child’s activity or class. When my daughter was two, I took her to a mommy and me class. We met another mom and daughter who became friends and we would all spend time outside of the class. It was nice to have someone my daughter connected with as well.
  • Join a new group or Bible study at your church. Do you have a hobby that you love or an activity you enjoy? Being a mom doesn’t negate our need to enjoy our own interests, and finding a group to be a part of that doesn’t have anything to do with motherhood can  be a great place to find a friend who can support you in what you are passionate about or interested in. Having friends who are in other stages of life is important and valuable to our mothering, as well.
  • Reconnect with an old friend you’ve lost touch with recently. Motherhood can be busy and we can sometimes lose our connection to friends we’ve had in the past. This might be a good time to intentionally reach out to an old friend and catch up on how you’re both doing.
God designed us to be in relationship with others, no matter what stage of life we are in. Friendship is so important in the midst of mothering. If you are lonely, take some time to pray and then look for one place in your life you could reach out to another woman and make a new friend today.

Are you looking for more resources? Have you checked out our books?

Our newest book, One Good Word a Day, offers simple but deeply spiritual meditations that will help readers linger on one word each day so they can identify and reflect on how Jesus as the Word influences their daily lives. 
 
Looking for encouragement in your friendships? Our adult friendship devotional, The One Year Daily Acts of Friendship, includes a daily scripture, story, and friendship prompt. It's encouraging and slightly challenging (in a good way!) in helping you find, keep, and love your friends.  
 
Our devotional for tweens is a great complement to our devotional for women! 100 Daily Acts of Friendship for Girls is written specifically for girls ages 8-12 as they navigate friendships in upper elementary and middle school. With a scripture, short story, reflection questions and 50 fun activities to do with you or friends, it's a wonderful way to encourage your daughter, niece, granddaughter, God daughter and her friends to build healthy friendships from an early age.

We've also written two kindness devotionals, The One Year Daily Acts of Kindness and 100 Days of Kindness. They tell the story of how our families embarked on a one-year journey of kindness, and include our successes, failures, and the encouragement you need as a family to incorporate kindness into your own life.

We would love to walk alongside you in encouragement, inspiration, and community. You can follow us on Facebook and Instagram as The Ruth Experience or sign up for our monthly newsletter (no spam, ever), here.

If you already have one of our books and love them, we'd so appreciate it if you leave a review on Amazon. 

We're in this together,

Julie, Kendra, and Kristin