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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Making a Difference

It made a difference when I said, "Yes," to my son's request to peel a potato when I really felt like saying no. It made a difference when I kissed him on top of the head and said, "Thank you for being my blessing today." It made a difference when I sang along to the Children's Hymn CD while he and I worked side by side. It is making a difference when I have my daughter agree to do a very thorough cleaning of our bathroom weekly for the month of March to pay for the hamster bedding we had to purchase today. She is paying for it by her labor. I don't want to give her everything. She appreciates it more when she works for it. Not only that, but she wants to pay me with her work. I want to reinforce her God-given conscience.

Every now and then the Lord turns my face and my heart toward a "mother moment in action" and reminds me that it is making an eternal difference. Whether I'm building or reinforcing, the smallest to the most significant action as a mother makes a difference. How do you see your daily tasks?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

You Desire

We pray and sing over our children each night. Still. While I doubt that the nubby now much slimmer from being loved Teddy Bear will not be at Daniel's side when he is a more grown young man, I hope I'll be somewhere in the vicinity at night, still singing and praying over my son. My daughter too. The scriptures we pray and the songs we sing over them are the same each night. What isn't the same is the prayer I pray over them. Because it's our routine, though, it is easy to go into autopilot, even in prayer. But tonight I began to contemplate my own mortality, silently of course, as I was by Daniel's side ready to pray. Interesting is that it changed the way I prayed. It brought a clearer focus in my praying, and I prayed something like this:

Lord, You desire than Daniel would love you with all his heart, soul, mind, and
strength. You desire that he would not lean on his own understanding, but that in all his ways he would acknowledge you and you will direct his paths. You desire that he would walk in wisdom. You would desire that he would be a man of prayer. You would desire that he would love Your Word.
I'm sure there were more "You desire's", and then I added:

What You desire for him is Your best. This is not a list of don'ts and
cant's but Your very best that You have in

As a mother who will not live forever in a mortal body I know the day will come when I will part with this earthy life and enter into eternity with Christ. I don't want to pray in auto pilot mode over my children. I want to hear the present word on His heart. And then I want to pray just that.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

For the Love of Reading

Danny and I feel so blessed in that our children are readers. They devour books. They typically will take a book with them wherever we happen to go in case they have a few spare moments. We have always preferred to buy our books as the children will read them over and over again. Multiple times. We have also included reading aloud as part of our family time on a regular basis. Our criteria: must be excellent and enjoyable for the whole family. Our love for reading has always reflected itself in our curriculum choices. We prefer the literature-rich selctions we find in Beautiful Feet Publishers, our favorite history curriculum, as well as the collection of books offered by Sonlight Publishing, another great curriculum choice.

Recently, we've begun to frequent our local library. Bethany is taking a literature class that requires her to write a report each month, and so off to the library we've gone to see what we could find. Not only have we found what we needed, but we've found some things that we wanted. We recently discovered the Freddy book series, by Walter Brooks. These great books are just fun and funny to read. The Freddy book series consists of 26 books that are centered around talking animals with the main star being Freddy, the pig. Freddy is the consumate pig-he does it all: he oversleeps, overeats, and overreacts. Mr. Brooks wrote his series over the course of about thirty years, from 1927-1958, at which point they were then published. Daniel may be the greatest Freddy fan the library has seen in years!

Bethany is interested in the American Girl series, although tonight she checked out Book One of the Elsie Dinsmore series. We love the Elsie stories, and have two volumes of the Elsie books on Audio CD. She and Daniel both have read the entire Narnia series a number of times. She also loves biographies and books about other countries. Danny and I often wonder what the Lord is going to do with the love that she has for His wide-world.

Tonight, I checked out "Carry On, Mr. Bowditch." This book was a winner of the 1956 Newberry Medal. It's included in many History curriculums I've looked at since we've been homeschooling, so I can't wait to dig in.

There's something satisfying about going to the library. I don't begrudge those who neglect the gift of a good book; I admit, a nice heavy dose of HGTV would do my soul some good every now and then. Somehow, though, I grieve almost when I think about the missed opportunity that can be found only in books; imagining characters, their accents, imagining where they may have lived, what life was like in their era. And then there's the vocabulary of those early times. Oh, there's so much to discover!

As I write, the house is almost completely silent. Other than the sound of the kitty's crunch crunch at her food bowl, you'll hear the swoosh of the turning of another page as two of the cutest faces in the world are stuck behind their book of choice. And so goes the end of another day for our homeschooling family.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Rod and Staff Comfort

On my list for the homeschooler with preschoolers: THIS from Rod and Staff Publishers. A set of 4 books from Rod and Staff Books, for only $9.00, looks like one of the sweetest introductions to official learning I've seen in a long time. Capturing the lightbulb moments shouldn't be missed and won't be with Rod and Staff's thoughtful curriculum. Because I know where Rod and Staff is heading with their instruction methods, because they are a tried and true Publisher of Christian Curriculum, because I wish I had a little one to bless with their methods, I don't hesitate to recommend this set of books. Take a peak. I'd love about a dozen more little people so I could take a running start at the preschool years again. Curriculum doesn't have to be expensive to be good. This is written proof!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Rear-View Mirror

"One day this week when I was having a horrible no good very bad day (Monday) Bethany wanted to read me Proverbs 31. I passed. Daniel wanted to read me Lamentations. I almost took him up on it!"

So, walk with me. With my hopes set higher than you can imagine I began the week in school. We dove headlong into math. However, right behind the math book was the transluscent mile-high will of a 10 year-old girl in response to the reality that she would not, after all, get to spend the entire morning, stretched out in comfort of her own bed with the Princess and the Pea mile-high mattress, reading. My very own offspring! The apple that didn't fall far from her father's tree (and I chuckle, of course!). A daughter with an iron-clad will. While I know it will serve her well throughout her life, it IS a force to be reckoned with, and wreck, we did! (Why is it that some days resistance feels like failure? What a tricky disguise!)

After I took my heap of a body and threw it on my bed and boo-hooed (not proud of it, but it's true), I called my sweet heart, the one who just'd traveled cross-country to Georgia to paint, vacuum, fix windows, and work with sheet rock on a rental. Oh, and I'll spare the details but suffice it to say, he was overjoyed. Not really. "How hard can it be?" he asked. Worse than hard. Try near impossible. With my head in my hands, truly, and in tears but able to text friends for prayer, wisdom came knocking at the bedroom door. "Mom, we didn't start our day in the Word and in prayer." Oh. She's done it again. I can't tell you how many times I've been flattened by the wisdom of these innocent children of mine. Lord, don't you know how humbling this is? Again? I righted my ship and went out to the living room, except that now it's ME in a bit of a sulk. My children go for their Bibles. I have mine, and we proceed to Scene 2: (see my quote at the top of the page.)

Tonight, when I was replying to Gina, of Journaling Gina, I kind of replayed the scene from Monday in my mind's eye. Gina was writing about Proverbs 31, and I couldn't help but recall the lack of desire I had to read that passage. Bethany had suggested it as a way to get us back on course. I just wasn't up for it. Oh, there are times when the Word is almost like rocks in my shoe, or fingers on the chalkboard of my own weak soul, or...the faithful wounds of truth spoken from my own child, perhaps. I am learning. Ever learning. I am humbled. I look back in the rear-view mirror of this week now, and I am thankful that Christ has not left me to myself. His mercies are new every morning. He sees me as what I'll become though He sees right through who I am in my worst of moments. Proverbs 31? In His time. In His time.

This morning, about ten minutes before 9:00, my son, still in early morning slumber called out to me from his bed, "Mom, would you please play the piano?" "Yes," I said. I had signed up for a prayer time from nine until ten this morning for our church's monthly day of 24 hour prayer- a first Thursday of the month assignment. Knowing that time was coming, I sat down at the piano and begin to sing something that began while I was taking a shower. "Let everything that has breath-praise the Lord, praise the Lord..." and it continued, and I played and played and played.

Then Daniel came to me and said, "Mom, it is impossible for anyone to do what you do." The voice of my Lord was coming through my child in that moment. Each one of us is fearfully and wonderfully made. My song to the Lord is Christ expressing Himself through me in a way that no one else can. Or should. A seemingly silent snowflake falls. A song is lifted up to Heaven. Each one is unique and carries the thumbprint of it's Creator. Let everything, everything....that has breath praise the Lord.