The Parent Mentor: Episode 003 – John & Carissa Lewis

A Parent's Source for Weekly Mentoring

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 Parenting Tip of the Week: Traditions… start with this.

This week is all about traditions and Advent (The four Sundays leading up to Christmas, anticipating the arrival of the Christ child). We want to help you get off to a good start and set you up with a quick win. So this weeks tip is simply this… download the FREE pdf guide… get a date on the calendar to grab coffee or stay up late with your spouse if you’re married. If you’re a single parent, then find a trusted advisor that would meet with you. Read the guide, 5 Steps to Meaningful Traditions During the Christmas Season. Then, being considerate of each others family history, choose one new tradition that you will start this year. Get a quick victory. We’d love to hear what you choose to do. Let us know if you run into any roadblocks along the way.

Parenting Resource of the Week: Finding the Treasure in Christmas

This week’s resource was an easy selection. Our friends and podcast guest, John and Carissa Lewis, have mastered the art of the Advent season. Their book, Finding the Treasure in Christmas, is the result of their family’s quest to bridge the gap between the Christmas Season and the Christmas Story. You will be blessed by this book. Advent begins Sunday December 3, 2017. You can purchase their book at a discounted price until December 10th. Here is the LINK.


Dani’s Digs ~ Parenting Product of the Week: Kickee Pants

I love the holiday season and everything that comes with it. One of the traditions I inherited from my husband was opening a pair of pajamas on Christmas Eve. I never did this as a kid and I thought it was so fun and practical! As I find myself usually trying to stay on a budget I will splurge on the kids Christmas Pajamas every year. My dig this week is Kickee Pants! If you want a pair of the softest pajamas to put your little ones in (up to size 10 & adults) then splurge on some Kickee goodies this year! They have a ton of options, are soft, stretchy, and only get better with wear.

In today’s show we interview John and Carissa Lewis. John is the author of the book, Finding the Treasure in Christmas.

John and Carissa live in University Place, Washington. They have 3 adult children. In addition to raising their three kids they have been involved in a variety of ministries, including Young Life, Tacoma College Ministries and a 2 year adventure in China.

We had the chance to ask them some questions about their book and how they came to write it.

How did you develop a passion for Christmas traditions? Carissa’s family had a history of traditions especially around the holidays. She tells of a particular nativity set that became a special childhood memory. Eventually she inherited that set and it is part of the beginnings of their own commitment to Christmas traditions.

What makes up a meaningful family tradition? 

  • Fun & not boring
  • Done year after year… they tap into our memory… and bond us together
  • Pass on something enduring… the example of the nation of Israel in exile and how the sabbath and the festivals played an integral part in maintaining their beliefs.
  • John shares the example of cutting a Christmas tree. They cut it at a tree farm… and began attaching some meaning to that event. Just like it’s not natural to have a tree in your living room, similarly, Jesus coming to earth as a human was not natural.  Also, just like the tree is meant to die, Jesus came to die. So they were able to connect their Christmas tradition…word & deed.
  • Not just one off event, but year after year.

5 Steps to Create Meaningful Traditions during the Christmas Season

  • Not a formula (just add water) but rather a guide… or a track to run on
  • Not just for Christmas… but others holidays like Easter or St. Patricks day.

Finding the Treasure in Christmas (why this book?)

  • It helps families tap into the Christmas symbols… the original stories…
  • They looked for resources to help them do this, but couldn’t find anything, so they began to put this together.
  • Kids started remembering from year to year the practices and stories.

Were there times when it didn’t go so smoothly?

  • Of course, it ebbed and flowed. When the kids were really little, they’d be having a melt down and Carissa would have to say, “John we need to let it go”.
  • Discovered it was a menu not a “should” or a “have to”… sometimes they had to do it in bite size pieces.

What can families hope for if they buy this book?

  • They’ll have a menu they can choose from depending on their kids, and their family’s personality.
  • Use year after year…
  • If you already have traditions, the book allows you to incorporate those into the structure of the book.
  • Kids will have great memories but also faith injected into those memories.

How do families get the most out of this book?

  • Decide that a plan for advent is a priority.
  • Be realistic – can’t do everything but do something
  • Flexible
  • Adapt to your changing circumstances
  • 2 versions of the book – one for younger kids ages 2-6 and one for older kids.

Favorite Chapter or section of book (Carissa)

  • Week 2 on ornaments.

What roadblocks could families run into?

  • Time – sometimes you just have to carve out 5 minutes
  • Not expecting it to be picture perfect
  • Remembering it’s a menu not a syllabus (you don’t have to do everything)
  • It can be hard to do alone – try to do it in community (one of the bonuses is to be part of the Axis Parenting Community, an online closed Facebook group)
  • Be intentional without being rigid

What should parents do next… assuming they’ve bought the book and want to put it into practice?

  • Get the book
  • Mom and dad, have a conversation about what they want to do (see parenting tip of the week above)


Kingdom Story

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