“Courage may be easy to define, but it usually comes into our lives through hard choices. When facing an unpredictable situation, the decision must be made: to do the right thing or the easy thing, to sacrifice for others or be selfish, to act in faith or give in to our feelings.” ~Barbara Rainey

The above is a quote from the introduction to Barbara’s Growing Together in Courage devotional. I recently went through this devotional with my children ages 5 and 7 and I think all of us were inspired to look beyond our present circumstances. How many times in my life have I chosen to do the easy thing, the selfish thing, the thing dictated by my feelings? Ouch! More than I would like to admit. I just might have been inspired (and convicted!) by the stories a little more than my children.

So many things are uncertain in our life… in everyone’s life really. We aren’t unique in the uncertainty of life. But I get a new chance everyday to model courage and faith for my children. To share with them my story and the stories of others in ways that they can relate to and understand is truly a blessing. To have gotten a daily reminder that I need to be modeling the choice to be courageous  in an intentional way all week long is an even greater blessing to me. Because I get busy… and I forget that I am not merely raising a child. I am raising a man and a woman… someone’s husband, someone’s wife, quite possibly the parents of my grand-children.

Next week marks the beginning of November and to prepare our hearts for Advent and Christmas we’ll focus on Gratitude all month long… both myself and my children. To be grateful in ALL of my circumstances will be a challenge for me. I am grateful, but I often find myself looking forward to the next thing much more often than I am content with where we are right now. Now some might call that anticipation (I have some very happy things to look forward to)… but if I’m honest with myself its really discontent with where I am right now in the course of my life. So as a family we’ll be going through Growing Together in Gratitude and keeping Blessing Journals to record all the little things that really are gifts from God in the midst of the everyday. If I truly want to model and instill these character traits in my children, I need to make sure I’m growing them within myself too.

This giveaway has ended. Thank you to everyone who shared their comments with us! We randomly selected comment number 55. Check your email SarahH!

In honor of the latest addition to this devotional series, we are delighted to be giving away a set of all three devotionals (Growing Together in Courage, Growing Together in Gratitude, and Growing Together in Truth)  to one of our readers. Simply leave a comment and tell us what character trait(s) you hope to instill in your child and we’ll randomly choose one comment to receive all three devotionals.

If you’d like extra entries, you can do any (or all) of the following. Just leave a separate comment for each one:

  • Follow us on Twitter.
  • Write a blog post about how you teach character traits to your children and share a link to it with us here.
  • Answer this question.

Barbara was a guest on FamilyLife Today this week. If you missed any of the broadcasts, you can listen below.

Stories: A Teaching Tool for Truth

Stories: A Teaching Tool for Truth
Stories, like Jesus’ parables, can illustrate truth like nothing else. Barbara Rainey talks about her latest resource for families, Growing Together in Truth, a compilation of seven stories designed to teach children of all ages how to live out God’s truth.

Truth Leads to Courage

Truth Leads to Courage
What is truth? Pontius Pilate asked that question, and it’s still being asked today. Barbara Rainey talks about Growing Together in Truth, part of a series of books designed to teach character qualities through stories.

Truth Guides the Way

Truth Guides the Way
Standing for truth isn’t popular, but necessary. Barbara Rainey talks about her latest project, Growing Together in Truth, a book comprised of seven true stories about people holding fast to God’s truth. She tells the story of Karen Loritts, a girl in the Philadelphia projects who banked her life on the Word of God, and Martin Luther, a young man who bargained with God and ended up revolutionizing the Church.