Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Our Creator God and How to Reveal Him to Our Children!

Being out in God's creation is something very close to my heart. Because I feel so overwhelmed by God's creative hand, I want to make sure my children can experience our God in the same way. God's world is so full of small wonders that we can miss his expressions of love if we do not take time to experience them.

As mothers, it is our responsibility to get our children outside each day so that they can begin to see and experience God's amazing creation. Creation is all about God revealing himself to man and I want my children to develop a love for God revealed through creation at an early age.

The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows and proclaims His handiwork. Day after day pours forth speech and night after night pours forth knowledge.
Psalms 19:1-2

For ever since the creation of the world His invisible nature and attributes, that is, His eternal power and divinity, have been made intelligible and clearly discernible in and through the things that have been made(His handiworks). So men are without excuse
Roman 1:20

For creation waits expectantly and longs earnestly for God's sons to be made known.
Romans 8:19

I have decided to link to the Green Hour Challenge in my sidebar. If you are having trouble enjoying nature with your children this is a wonderful place to begin. We will begin doing the weekly challenge and posting about it soon.

Would you join me in sharing God with your children through nature? The notebook pages provided with this challenge will make recording your nature study time easy. When compiled in a notebook you will have a wonderful keepsake.
Take your digital camera along to document your nature walks in a scrapbook.

Still Learning...

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Going Green... or...Stewardship

Many people today claim they are going Green when they decide to lesson their impact on the environment.

We have chosen to call it being good stewards of what God has so graciously entrusted to our care.

Going Green or stewardship whatever you decide to call it, requires examining many areas of life and investigating ways we can lesson our impact on the world around us. Not many people would argue the need to Leave No Trace in a National Park or Forest, but what about the traces we leave every day in our communities and homes.

Many days the children and I go for walks within a quarter-mile of our home and pick up garbage left on the side of the road. This is a wonderful opportunity I take to talk to my children about God creating the world and seeing that it was good. We talk about how the person who threw the garbage out of the window was not being a good steward of God's creation. The boys are usually the first to notice garbage now and eager to pick it up.

There are other ways we have chosen to lesson our impact on the environment. I have been using re-usable nursing pads for awhile, as well as washcloths for baby wipes. Just this week I ordered and received Shater's first set of cloth diapers. I received them on Thursday and begin using them yesterday. We really like them an I regret that I have not used cloth sooner.

An idea that is close to my heart is growing fruits and vegetables sustainably and buying locally at the Farmer's Market. When we do this we are not only caring for God's beautiful world, but as a mom I am providing the freshest and most nutritious food for my family.

We have chosen to buy our meat and milk from animals who are raised locally and grow up on pasture. By spending our money locally we are helping farmers in and around our community. We avoid meats or dairy that have been raised in CAFO's. You can too! See Eat Wild for more information.

As always, making much of our food and snacks from scratch reduces waste. Because we do not use a lot of pre-packaged convenience foods, the garbage I put our for pick-up each week has declined.

We are always open to trying new things that would make us a better steward of the land and home God has so graciously given us.

Here is something that I am looking into for when my cycle returns after nursing Shater.

Still Learning...

His Gifts

107. 3 swings lined up...3 little ones flying high...3 distinct giggles...1 mama smiling
108. Mama and Boo...playing together in sandbox...sand between toes...fingers making letters
109. short little Boo...tall daddy...side-by-side...father and son...mama watching from behind
110. nest on porch...mama bird sitting patiently...fulfilling the job God created her to do!

Thank you for your gifts that fill my days with joy and wonder. Help me to slow down and drink in the blessings of each moment.


Sunday, May 18, 2008

Thoughts on Modesty

Here is a very well-written article on modesty. God has been speaking to my heart about the issue of modesty through my studying of Titus 2. I'll be posting personal reflections on modesty soon.

Still Learning

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Mothering Has Changed Me

As the day to appreciate mothers has come and gone, I am compelled to think how appreciative I am for the opportunity to be a mother. Mothering has changed me in more ways than I realize, I am sure.

I stand in complete awe that God would choose to reward me with three of the most beautiful children in the world. It is humbling to realize that God saw something in me that he knew he could use to train these precious lives up to know and follow him. As I sit in the quietness of this moment I am struck with the magnitude of the job he has given me to do. A job so important it takes every minute of the day...preparing my heart, training them alongside me, turning their hearts to the word, laughing, loving, just being...here together.

When I think of my life I am reminded that my actions speak much more loudly than any word I could utter.

Can I teach my children to be passionate about a personal relationship with God, if I never lift my voice in praise and my hands in worship?

Can I teach my little ones to serve others with a joyful heart, if I do not fix their meals, bathe them, or clean their messes with a smile on my face?

Will I really teach them that people are important if I shoo them away while I cook, clean, read or blog?

Am I giving my children a beautiful picture of the way a marriage is supposed to look like? Do I smile at and joke with their daddy? Do I hug and cuddle with their daddy? I must make my children hungry for a beautiful godly marriage! Then, they may see the importance of waiting for that someone God has just for them.

Do I treat my children the way I want them to treat my grandchildren? Those little hands will one day train up the next generation. Do I speak to Chris in the way that I would want baby girl speaking to her husband? That little mouth has the power to bless a husband one day. It also has the power to tear a home down. Am I teaching those little ones to properly care for their bodies and God's creation? For that is my responsibility also...stewardship...it's really each person's responsibility, but how will they learn if I do not teach? More importantly, how will they learn if I do not show?

Yes, mothering has changed me, humbled me, brought out the best and the worst in me. It has been the tool that God has used to chisel away what does not belong in my life. He has used it to reveal the character that he wants me to clothe myself with daily. And for that I am so very grateful.

Afternoon Gifts

101. shadows from the shade dancing on the blanket
102. warm sun...warm breeze...cool grass...relaxing with my babies in the afternoon
103. brothers welcoming one another with a hug
104. baby girl exploring the grass, sticks, rocks and leaves
105. baking biscuits and bread with my boys helping...Baby girl sitting on the floor at our feet
106. footsteps coming...door opening...Daddy's Home!...boys squealing...baby girl clapping...Mama smiling.
If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?
Matthew 7:11

Friday, May 9, 2008

"Homemaker" (the term implies effort)


As I look closely at the word I see its meaning jumping off of the page. As I aspire daily to be a homemaker I am all the more convinced that homes cannot make themselves.

To train the younger women to be......homemakers.....Titus 2:4-5

A home left to itself will quickly become a place it was not intended to be!

Just as a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame (Prov 29:15), so a home left to itself will bring much heartache.

Making a home takes effort. A home needs to be tended, guarded, watched over. The home I am referring too is not the four walls (or many more) in which we reside. That is referred to as a house.

home-to the place where it belongs, the end of a course

This definition seems to fit well with what I am considering. A home is a place to belong.

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
Romans 12:2

In the same way that my life should not be conformed to this world, neither should my home.

A christian home should look completely different than the home of unbelievers. From the respect for the hierarchy of authority that God has initiated to how time is spent a christian home should reflect God's grace and mercy to the world.

God in his sovereignty has given the husbands the role as leader, the wives the role as helper and the children the responsibility to obey. It can all seem so harsh to an unbeliever. But when a christian home is founded on these key roles, it reflects a picture of Christ's love to a hurting world.

Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. 28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. 29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: 30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. 31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. 32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. 33 Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.

Ephesians 5:25-32

As keeper of my home, am I watching over the ways of my household (Prov 31:27)?

There are many areas of my home that need to be watched over and guarded carefully. It can be easy to put the place before the people who reside in our homes. My main concern every day should not be a spotless home, but a home where the love of Christ is shared with my husband, children and all who come through my doors. As I take my children alongside me and train them to care for a home we are spending valuable time together. I am teaching them to have a servant's heart as I strive to meet their needs and they are learning valuable lessons in running a home as they work alongside me.

As I watch over my household I need to be aware of the magazines and the books that are making there way into my home. A television is another potential influence for evil on my children. Are the books, magazines, computer sites and movies we watch bringing honor to Christ and building up my faith and family?

Making a home takes work. But, its work that God has created me to do. With the guidance of a loving husband and the nurturing servant's heart of a mom, christian homes can be beautiful reflections of Christ's love. My desire is to have a home that makes the world hungry to know Christ as they observe our daily interactions with one another.

Still Learning...

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Keeper of the Home

"So that they will wisely train the young women to be sane and sober of mind (temperate, disciplined) and to love their husbands and their children,

To be self-controlled, chaste, homemakers, good-natured, (kindhearted), adapting and subordinating themselves to their husbands, that the word of God may not be exposed to reproach (blasphemed, discredited) Titus 2:4-5 Amplified

As I have been preparing for the Mothering class I will begin teaching on Wednesday nights, this verse has continually been on my heart and has become the focus of my own personal quiet time for many days now.

I remember as a young girl and even as a teenager having a desire to be a wife and mother. Many times throughout my high school career I remember the question being asked, "What do you want to do when you get out of school?" I always felt like the oddball because all I wanted to do was get married and have a family.

Marriage came early by today's standards. I was eighteen...fresh out of high school....and in love.

So we married and I set out to use the scholarships I had gotten to attend college. I had a very hard time settling on a career path. I now know that the indecisiveness I experienced was because my heart contained the dream that God had placed there long ago. The dream of being a wife and mother.

I believe it is a dream that is universal to women. We can try to focus in on a career path and yet the nagging feeling that somethings just not right remains. So many women today are leaving established careers and seeking to start families later in life. If careers are so fulfilling why this rush to begin a family before age catches up with us?
God's plan for young women is very clear. I am so convinced of the job that God has given me to do that I would be living in disobedience to him if I chose a career path other than being a full time keeper of my home.