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When Allie Casazza invited us on her podcast to chat with her about raising kids, kindness, and everything in between, we jumped at the chance! We so enjoyed visiting with her about what has worked, what doesn't, and what we still struggle with as moms who are raising kind kids. 

If you are looking for additional kindness resources, sign up for our email list. We send out a monthly newsletter filled with resources and freebies.

You can follow us on Instagram as The Ruth Experience for additional encouragement, ideas, and camaraderie. 

Finally—have you checked out our books, The One Year Daily Acts of Kindness Devotional 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.  If you already have one of our books and love them, we'd so appreciate it if you leave a review on Amazon. God redeemed it all in the most incredible ways. 

We would love to walk alongside you in encouragement, inspiration, and community.

- Julie, Kendra, and Kristin 

As we enter yet another week under a stay-at-home order, my extrovert self has become a bit desperate. I miss my friends! I miss being near the people I love! I miss quiet back patio conversations in the evenings while our kids play and our husbands grill.

In the midst of feeling sad and disconnected, my friends and family have reconnected in some really creative, fun, life-giving ways. Some of these ideas might work for you and your loved ones:

1. Marco Polo. I'd heard of the Marco Polo app several years ago but never got around to trying the video messenger app. I currently have multiple friend group conversations going on Marco Polo, and it has become my friend lifeline during this season of life. I especially love that video messages can be recorded at any time and watched later. I often watch the day's videos as I cook dinner, as I snuggle into bed for the night, or as I get up and have my first cup of coffee. We've laughed, cried, and lived a lot of real life with one another over this app.

2. Snail Mail Tea Party. I had a stash of cute note cards from our pre-pandemic life, and I've started sending them off to friends, family, and anyone else who crosses my mind during this time. Did you know a tea bag can be mailed in a card without needing any additional postage? Yep! You can send your friends a cup of tea and a sweet note as a day brightener. If you don't have cute note cards, don't sweat it. I've been known to use a piece of notebook paper with my own silly sketches for decoration.

3. Video Conference Game Night. We have a weekly video chat with my husband's family. It's become a favorite weekly activity as all the cousins gather around and join in the conversation. We've created an agenda of sorts - we spend a few minutes talking about how our weeks have gone before answering an ice breaker question (where do you want to travel to, where would you like to live, etc...). As the conversation slows down, we start a virtual game. We've played Pictionary on the Zoom white board, and have played card games and Bingo through online websites. We're learning things we never knew about one another, and the cousins add a layer of hilarity to everything with their funny comments.


4. Texted Prayers. I adopted this habit several years ago, long before COVID-19. Rather than telling someone I'm praying for them in response to hard news, I've started pausing whatever it was I was doing to send them a prayer via text. There is something incredibly powerful about being able to reread words someone has prayed over you while sitting in the doctor's office, or while laying awake up in the middle of the night with worry. Don't be self-conscious about praying "out loud"—the words you write will be precious to the recipient, even if they aren't perfect.

If you are looking for additional kindness resources, sign up for our email list. We send out a monthly newsletter filled with resources and freebies.

You can follow us on Instagram as The Ruth Experience for additional encouragement, ideas, and camaraderie. 

Finally—have you checked out our books, The One Year Daily Acts of Kindness Devotional 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.  If you already have one of our books and love them, we'd so appreciate it if you leave a review on Amazon. God redeemed it all in the most incredible ways. 

We would love to walk alongside you in encouragement, inspiration, and community.

- Julie, Kendra, and Kristin 


           

During the pandemic, our kids have been grieving the loss of friends and school activities at the same time they are suddenly finding themselves navigating distance learning. It's only natural to have days with frayed tempers and big feelings, especially when we're all cooped up at home. 

We're always looking for fun and easy ways to encourage kindness in our homes, and we're sharing our ideas and resources with you! 

1. Kindness Bingo. Create your own bingo card filled with simple kind acts your family can do for one another with this free bingo card generator. The first to reach a bingo on their card through kind acts get a prize - maybe it's choosing dinner that night, an extra cookie for dessert, or whatever else motivates your family. 

2. Add kindness to the chore chart. My friend incorporates a required kind act on her children's weekly chore chart. Her children have the flexibility to decide what they are going to do, but they are responsible for looking for an opportunity and responding. They talk about it over dinner at the end of the week, with my friend helping the younger children unpack how they kind act made them feel, how their sibling felt, and what other ideas they might have for the next week. 

3. Gratitude lists during prayer. As my family sits down to dinner, we've each started listing three things we are grateful for before one of us prayers over the meal. It is a great way to reset our attitude if the day has been frustrating and helps us remember what is going right with our day and week. We've found this to be a simple way to encourage ourselves and one another. It would be easy to turn this into a list of things we are grateful about each other some nights to keep it fresh and to keep us thinking of new things.

If you are looking for additional kindness resources, sign up for our email list. We send out a monthly newsletter filled with resources and freebies.

You can follow us on Instagram as The Ruth Experience for additional encouragement, ideas, and camaraderie. 

Finally—have you checked out our books, The One Year Daily Acts of Kindness Devotional 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.  If you already have one of our books and love them, we'd so appreciate it if you leave a review on Amazon. God redeemed it all in the most incredible ways. 

We would love to walk alongside you in encouragement, inspiration and community.

- Julie, Kendra, and Kristin 



This is going to be the death of me.


It’s a statement I’ve made often over the past several months, mostly under my breath and to myself.

One of my children has been struggling in a variety of ways, all stemming from a traumatic childhood lived outside of our home. He came to us through the foster care system at eight years old and has done fairly well — until last fall, when behaviors and attitudes started to ooze out, casting dark shadows over his countenance and our relationship.

I have to admit I haven’t always met him in this season with kindness or compassion. Often, I’ve left conversations with him wishing I’d approached it differently. And although apologies were exchanged, it still seemed like we were slogging through the months amidst anger and animosity.

It finally reached a point where we realized there was nothing more we could do ourselves and decided to reach out for help from professionals. They affirmed our concerns about his mental health and have implemented strategies to assist him, and those approaches are working to a certain extent. Dealing with trauma is a long road, one where you often feel like you are further down the path and then something slams you back and you realize you’re closer to the beginning than you realized.

It can be slow — painfully slow — and that is where I found myself these past several months with the thought, This will be the death of me.

I’ve been embarrassed to admit this to anyone other than my husband, who looks at me blankly when I say it — he knows better than to argue with me in those moments — but who I know would like to offer me all the reasons why our family will be okay.

The other morning, I lamented to him, “I know that God can do anything, but this just feels hopeless. I worry because I don’t see how things can be different.”


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