Grace-Based Parenting Tip #3 & Giveaway!

*UPDATED* Congratulations to Ami!  She won the book.  Come back next week for another Grace-Based Giveaway!
I want the best for my kids.
I want them to have a great childhood, a good education, Godly character traits and a bright future.
I want them to pluck the black hairs from my chin when I’m decrepit be successful in life. 
Through the Grace-Based parenting resources, I’ve learned that aiming my children at a future focused on success isn’t the same at aiming them at true greatness.
Doesn’t the phrase true greatness just make something deep within you stand up and say, “YES! That’s it! That’s what I want for my kids!”
The world defines success by these measurements:  wealth, beauty, power and fame.
Okay.  Suddenly, I’m not feeling so successful. 
In Dr. Kimmel’s book, Raising Kids for True Greatness, he defines true greatness as “a passionate love for Jesus Christ that shows itself in an unquenchable love and concern for others.” Directing them towards true greatness helps to focus them upward and outward, rather than inward.
Aiming children at success complicates their lives and contributes to self-absorption. 
How many self absorbed grown up children (a.k.a adults) do we know?
Dr. Kimmel teaches that true greatness is easier to achieve by building four qualities in a child’s heart:
  • A Humble Heart-a reverence for God and respect for others.
This is the last thing our culture is teaching our children. We can’t leave this up to the school system or even the church.  It’s our responsibility as parents to teach our kids how to respect others and revere God.  
What does a humble heart look like?  We are working on developing this in our home: a mutual respect for each other’s ideas and thoughts (as in the oldest child dismissing everything the younger siblings say). I think our kids take cues from us..they are always watching.
  • A Grateful Heart-An appreciation for what they have been given and Who has given it.
I think complaining and grumbling is the direct result of an ungrateful heart.  We all know how it feels for our children to act unthankful!
A friend of mine shared this idea with me: create a ‘blessing box’ and jot down a small note EVERY time a blessing comes your way, from little things like finding a $1 on the sidewalk to big stuff like Dad finding a new job. I think this will teach my kids just how many blessings we have. During Thanksgiving, open the box and read the blessings. I’ll show you our box after we finish making it!
  • A Generous Heart-A great delight in sharing with others what God has entrusted in you.
Perhaps this is the one quality that we have really hammered home. We have had so many opportunities to give lately (Russian friends from The Persecuted Church) that I have planned a special day on my blog to encourage others to give:  One Day to Give.  God has given us so much and we are learning that not only is it fun to give to others, it feels awesome!  
We wanted to take it a step further and teach our children on their level.  We took 3 plastic boxes and had them decorate them with stickers: Spending, Giving, Saving. Every dollar that comes their way, they take a percentage and place it in each box. It has really taught them the value of money and they are having fun watching their pennies grow!

  • A Servant Heart-A willingness to take action in order to help someone else.
On Labor Day, I was very proud of my kids and hubby. They took this principal to heart and spent several hours collecting trash at the pond near our house.  No one noticed or said thank you, but I knew they really ‘got it’ because they weren’t looking for praise.
But I also think this is the weakest area in our home. We are all selfish by nature and it’s easy to slip into the habit of taking care of ourselves first. I think it’s easier for them to serve a stranger than their siblings. So, we’re working on it!
When my last child leaves home, I want to be able to hold my hubby’s hand and look into the mirror and know that we’ve raised truly great kids.
And then it won’t matter if the world calls them a success.
Because they will be.
If you would like this amazing book, Raising Kids for True Greatness, leave me a comment by Thursday noon (CST). Family Matters has been kind enough to donate one!
For more great tips, visit Works for Me Wednesday!


  1. 1


    I love the blessing box idea!! Madi is a little young for it, but I’m not. Maybe I’ll get my husband to start one with me real soon. Thanks for the great post. I have always thought that when Madi gets older I hope she chooses a career that fills her heart more than her wallet.

  2. 7


    I have heard great things about this book and would love to read it!

    I have recently found your blog and really enjoy it. I love your honesty and humor. And – it’s fun finding someone that doesn’t live eight states away.


  3. 9


    Hello! I love the blessing box idea, and thank you for showing the boxes your kids keep their money in. We have recently set up allowances, but I was stumbling on the stone of how to divide the money up into different categories. I can add a “blessing” category to their ‘banks.’ Their banks hold everything 3by5 in their school. And I can add a blessing tab to my box!!!! Thank you!

  4. 12


    What a great idea about the blessing box. I love it!

    I do the spending, giving, saving thing but not in boxes. We are teaching our children 80/10/10. They get 80% of their money to spend. 10% goes into savings, and 10% is tithed. I just do it through our savings account though. If I were a better parent, I’d go to the bank and physically get the money to show them how it’s distributed. Yeah, I should probably work on that.

  5. 13


    OK, how weird is it that I added my link for WFMW, which is about GRACE, which references Dr. Kimmel’s book, then I start browsing the posts at Rocksinmydryer and you are giving away the book?? I love this book. LOVE IT!

    We also do the separation of money. Each kiddo has three piggy banks and they do 80-10-10.

  6. 14

    KO says

    I would love to have my two toddlers one day serve when no one is looking just because they “get it” like yours did. Well done! Thank you for the encouragement and for referencing that book. I’d love to win it :)

    I don’t have a blog, so if by some chance i do win the book, my email is

  7. 17


    Great post K, you guys sure learned alot at family camp! And that is exactly how I want our son to grow up too. The blessing jar is a great idea. Thanks for a chance to win this great book.

  8. 20

    Anonymous says

    I saw this link from poetsummer on etsy. This book sounds great! I have 3 kids. My oldest 8yr old, whom we’re homeschooling, a 1yr old boy and our newest addition, a 4mnth old baby girl. The Blessing box sounds like a great idea, especially now when life is so hectic and we tend to forget all the blessings God gives us daily.

    Patricia O.

  9. 21


    What a wonderful post! We so want our children to be thankful to God for what they have and have a heart to help others! You’ve given me alot to digest! Thank you and the book would be great too!

  10. 22


    I got here via Rocks in My Dryer via MamaHenClucks, and I, too , was surprised and delighted that you and MamaHen are posting about the same great topic and book.

    You have given me a lot to think about – I am going to print your post out and tape it to my forehead….no, really just my fridge, but it’s things I really need read every day.

    We are starting a blessing box TODAY and it goes without saying I’d love to read the book.

  11. 26


    Great post and that sounds like a great book! I was reminded (at MOPS) yesterday what our goal should be in raising our kids. Most importantly they need to know that God loves them, cares for them, will always be there and always keeps his promises.


  12. 27


    You are so right! PReparing our children to Love God with all their hearts, souls, minds, and strength, and to love their neighbors as themselves is the best thing!

    I’d love to read the book!

  13. 31


    I’m thinking you could use old diaper wipes containers for the money dividing. Could you teach some math by having them keep the money in the same box, but keeping track of it on separate ledgers?

  14. 32


    As a new mom with another one on the way this would be a great resource to use as I work on raising our children. Thanks for the opportunity as well as the advice in your own column.


  15. 35


    I love all of these ideas. Thanks for sharing. I’d love to be entered. My email is sarahw56 @

    Thank you so much. I plan to incorporate the three box system!! And other stuff too :)

  16. 36


    Great post, thank you! I love the idea about the blessing box…it will help to remind me that there is so much more positive in my life than there is negative!

    Renee @

  17. 38


    I love the blessing box idea too, but I really like the saving, spending and giving box. My children would have benefited from that. You are raising your children right, they will be blessed as you have been.

  18. 40


    This is great. And what our family is all about! We are “exceptional parents”…the exception not the rule 😉 My husband and I have a ministry to encourage other parents to be “exceptional”, too.
    This book sounds like something we need to read!!!

  19. 41

    Anonymous says

    I read your blog everyday and laugh…Some of the things your children do remind me of mine when they were little and I am sure we got the looks too! I would love to win the book please enter me for the drawing!
    Have a Very blessed day!
    Kelly Bryan

  20. 44


    I love the blessing box idea! Thanks for sharing it now while we still have time to do it before Thanksgiving!

    The book sounds awesome. I would love to win — even though my kids are all teens, maybe it can still make a difference.

  21. 45


    What a great thing! I have two young girls and one on the way. Our heart’s desire above all else is that these children would follow after God with everything in them, forsaking the dreams and plans of this world. That’s hard to do in this day and age, but we push ahead. Thanks for sharing this!

  22. 46


    Great post! I feel like we don’t count our blessings nearly enough. I love the blessings box idea. I am going to look around the house for something we can use to decorate. We are all so truly blessed and I think it will do our hearts good.

  23. 50


    I love how you broke out the key points in raising our kids for true greatness, and thanks so much for the link.

    I have been keeping a gratitude journal and I’m amazed at the impact something so suttle can have on my life. I have been looking for ideas to help involve my daughter as she gets older, and I think the gratitude box is a great way to do that.

  24. 51


    I love the Thanksgiving box idea! I’d like to think that I do a good job of remembering to give thanks when something good happens, but to be able to look back over the whole year – what a great way to teach Thanksgiving.

  25. 52


    we just started our thankful/blessing jar, and i am excited about raising my kids to be thankful, even in the little things. i love the ideas in grace-based parenting. thanks for a chance to win the book!

  26. 53


    Thanks for sharing these ideas. I would love to have this book. I have a very active and often defiant 4 year old boy who needs some work in all of the areas you mentioned. He has been diagnosed with ADHD already so if you have any discipline advice that would be great. Grace based parenting sounds great, but my husband isn’t saved and we are totally unequally yoked and it makes things very difficult.

  27. 60


    I admit that our family tends to shy away from books that have a religious bent since most times they do not agree with our beliefs. But the information you have posted as matched so closely with our faith that I would love to have a copy of this book to learn from.

  28. 62


    I started a blessing box with my girls last spring…great..until little sister broke the lid. We now have a blessing book and every night they each tell me what they are thankful for and I write it down. Now I can keep all of those precious thoughts in one place. I love the spend/save/give boxes. That’s a great visual reminder for the kiddos. I’d love the book, by the way, so if you’re giving it I’d love to read it.

  29. 66

    Pixie says

    Yay! Sign us up for a chance to win the book. I, too, really like the idea of the blessing box, and Thanksgiving is a great time to dive into it…

  30. 71


    I would love a copy of that book. It sounds like just what I need. I’m also going to make those boxes this week! I knew I was holding on to those old wipes boxes for a good reason.

  31. 72


    This is exactly what we want for our children. Not necessarily the world’s definition of success, although sometimes that happens also, but the Lord’s definition of success. Thanks for your post! And I love the idea of the saving, spending, and giving boxes. I’ve been trying to figure out how to do those (other than those old cardboard three-section boxes we used to get in Sunday School), and I like yours. Thanks!

  32. 73


    We do the giving, saving, spending with our kids too! It has been great to see them look at money in a different way. I would love to have the book on parenting though!!


  33. 74


    I love your ideas for the blessing box and the “Saving, Spending, Donating” boxes. Can I ask at what age you started your children on this principle? Thanks!

  34. 75


    Love your boxes. I'm going to start doing this with my two daughters (4 & 2) NOW so that when they're teenagers hopefully they'll see money from the Biblical perspective!

  35. 76

    Anonymous says

    Thank you for continuing to share your experiences and ideas. Please count me in to be a lucky winner! Have a Great Day! Shanna (

  36. 78


    I’m always trying to find ways to help me make respectful, happy, great kids! This sounds like a great gift. I also love your idea of the blessing box. I’m thinking of making one for each of the women at my MOPS table.
    Kelly G

  37. 79


    Thank you so much for sharing all the wonderful ways we can teach our children to be great. I know that I could use many of these ideas and hopefully it will rub off on me as well as my children.

  38. 89


    Thank you for your blog and the way it has blessed my life. I am a long-time single mother of three, two of which are teenagers, yikes!! I would love to get a copy of the parenting book. I love the idea of God’s definition of success vs. the world’s. Keep doing what you do, you are helping many people.

  39. 90

    Mrs. Querido says

    The blessing box is a fabulous idea…I am going to turn it into a school craft (we are currently learning the letter ‘b’)!

    I would love to win a copy of this sounds like Dr. Kimmel has some sound Biblical teaching!

    Thanks for the blessing box idea and for the opportunity to enter :)

  40. 91

    Anonymous says

    I love and I am going to try the blessing box! Our whole family has Thanksgiving dinner out but that would be a great thing to do after the dinner and we are at home. My daughter is ADHD and enjoys being busy so I can get her to make the box and then I can just see her eyes light up when we open it up to read all the blessings, she is at that want want age and I am so over it already this will truley bless our family –i just can see it now!

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