Showing posts with label A Mother's Calling. Show all posts
Showing posts with label A Mother's Calling. Show all posts

May 2, 2012

Another Reason to do Chores with Kids

I've written a number of posts about why giving children chores is important. But this spring, as I push myself to spring clean (as well as do "fun work" like making dandelion jelly), I'm reminded that working with our children isn't just about teaching them life skills. It's also about being with them and leading them closer to God.

Sure, it takes longer to include the children in my chores. And some days I just don't have the patience. But whenever I exclude them, they loose out - and so do I. Because spending time working with my kids offers untold possibilities.

I get to hear their jokes that make me laugh not because they are actually funny, but because they make no sense. I suddenly notice how my three year old is starting to express himself more - and that he has a wicked sense of humor. I get a chance to discuss everything from why the sky is blue to how worms are good for the garden with my six year old. In short, I get to know them as people far better when we work side by side.

I also try to seize these times to discuss spiritual matters. These are not forced conversations; they fit in with whatever we are doing. For example, if we are picking dandelion flowers together in order to make tea or cookies, we talk about the amazing plants God put on this earth - to beautify our surroundings, to clean the air, to heal us, and to feed us. If we bump into some bugs while picking the dandelions, we talk about how God created these bugs for a purpose - which segues nicely into a conversation about the purpose God gave us here on earth.

If we're vacuuming and moping, we can talk about what it would be like if we never did those things - or we can discuss germs: Why did God make them?

If we're doing a chore somebody (or everybody) doesn't like, we can talk about why we need to do them, and how the Bible tells us to do everything as if we were working for the Lord. (Col. 3:23)

And that, my friends, is what it comes down to for we mothers. Our work of mothering and homemaking must be done as if we were working for the Lord. Because we are. We have precious souls God entrusted to us to help shape. One vital way we can accomplish this is to work alongside our children and point them toward God.

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Jan 5, 2012

It's Not About What You "Should" Be Doing

There are many good things we can do. We can travel to remote areas as a missionary. We can bake our family's daily bread. And everything in between. But the fact is, you're only one person. You can't do it all - and you shouldn't try. The single most important thing you can do is focus your life on God. Once love Christ with all your heart, soul, and mind, once you believe in him and strive to obey him, everything else falls into place.

That's not to say life isn't messy. It most definitely is. But God doesn't care if your kitchen floor needs mopping or you never cook from scratch. He just wants you. Here and now, the way you are.

So while we strive to be Proverbs 31 women, and may take an interest in things like gardening and canning, I pray those things will never make you feel like you ought to be doing more. Some of us can, some of the time. But many of us can't. And if it's a burden, then we shouldn't. Because without God, none of the rest matters.

Dec 30, 2011

Battling Mom Guilt

The other day, I was telling a friend how I wish I hadn't been working while my little boy was a baby. I feel I missed out - even though I was working at home with him at my side - and that I didn't give him as much as I could have otherwise. She smiled and said, "You'll always find a reason to feel Mom Guilt."

So true!

What is it about being a mother that makes women feel they are never good enough? Have moms always felt this way? Or is it something about our current culture? I'm not sure, but I do know God doesn't want us to live in a perpetual state of guilt.

"There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. "
Romans 8:1

In fact, I will go so far as to say Mom Guilt comes from the Accuser - the one who loves to whispers lies in your ear.

It's true there are mothers out there who neglect or abuse their children. They should feel guilt. They should repent. But the average Christian mom? She just needs to accept God's mercy - and remember that in not doing so, she's offending her Lord.

"For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God..."

"But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
2 Corinthians 12:9-10

Nov 2, 2011

Why Homeschool Preschool?

My little guy is three and I think he's ready for preschool.* But I don't send him off to a school; I keep him right at home - and I'm loving every minute of it! I don't enjoy everything about being a mom, but one thing that's been a real blessing for me with both children is homeschool preschool.

It's just plain fun to see my kids grow excited about learning - and I love that they can do it without feeling like only a teacher can teach them, or that they must be separated from me and our home in order to learn. So several days a week, I put my little boy on my lap, and he experiences the safety and love of home while I gain the joy of watching a world of wonder open up before his eyes. 
LinkFor those who are concerned homeschool preschool may hurt children, I urge you to research the facts. For example, the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development conducted a study that concluded the more time children spent outside of their mother's care before they turn 4.5 years old, the more behavioral problems they had. Stanford University found similar results, concluding, "We find that attendance in preschool centers, even for short periods of time each week, hinders the rate at which young children develop social skills and display the motivation to engage classroom tasks, as reported by their kindergarten teachers." The C.D. Howe Institute discovered that children who attended preschool away from home were more likely to be anxious and hyperactive - and that they had worse social skills than children who didn't attend preschool. I could go on and on, but I leave it to you to do your own homework and pray on the matter.

(UPDATE 7/20/14: A new study also finds that it's not best to rush children into schooling.)

And the fact is any mom can do homeschool preschool. In fact, most moms are already homeschooling their children without even thinking about it: They point to different objects and tell the child their color, they teach their child about shapes, and they begin the process of teaching their child to recognize letters and of counting. So why not take it a few steps further?
So as the weeks progress, I'm going to share some of my favorite homeschool preschool ideas. All the activities are simple for mothers, and most are either free or very inexpensive to put together. I won't include things like reading to our kids; play dough, paint, and crayon creations; teaching shapes and colors; or teaching letters and counting. These are all essential things, but are also simple enough pretty much every mom does them already. Instead, I'll focus on ideas you may not have considered, or elaborate on things you might have already heard about.
Do you homeschool preschool? Will you share some of your favorite homeschool preschool tips?

* Not all children are ready for preschool at 3; if he resists preschool learning, or doesn't seem to have the physical or cognitive ability yet, wait a few months and try again. There's no rush!

More Articles in the Homeschool Preschool Series:

Thoughts on Readiness 
How Much Time? 
Scissor Skills
Colors & Shapes
The Balance Beam Game

May 6, 2011

The Hand that Rocks the Cradle...

Happy Mother's Day!

The Hand That Rocks The Cradle Is The Hand That Rules The World

by William Ross Wallace

    Blessings on the hand of women!
    Angels guard its strength and grace,
    In the palace, cottage, hovel,
    Oh, no matter where the place;
    Would that never storms assailed it,
    Rainbows ever gently curled;
    For the hand that rocks the cradle
    Is the hand that rules the world.

    Infancy's the tender fountain,
    Power may with beauty flow,
    Mother's first to guide the streamlets,
    From them souls unresting grow -
    Grow on for the good or evil,
    Sunshine streamed or evil hurled;
    For the hand that rocks the cradle
    Is the hand that rules the world.

    Woman, how divine your mission
    Here upon our natal sod!
    Keep, oh, keep the young heart open
    Always to the breath of God!
    All true trophies of the ages
    Are from mother-love impearled;
    For the hand that rocks the cradle
    Is the hand that rules the world.

    Blessings on the hand of women!
    Fathers, sons, and daughters cry,
    And the sacred song is mingled
    With the worship in the sky -
    Mingles where no tempest darkens,
    Rainbows evermore are hurled;
    For the hand that rocks the cradle
    Is the hand that rules the world.

Mar 15, 2011

When Your Kids Question Their Faith

When Christian apologist Josh McDowell was asked how he felt when his son began questioning his faith, McDowell replied, "I was actually excited!...If our kids never struggle with their faith, they will have borrowed convictions. So I had been waiting for each of my kids to come to this point."

I was quite struck by this when I read it in Thriving Family this month. I'm certain that before reading this article, I wouldn't have been anything near excited to see my kids question God and the Bible. How about you? But Josh and his son Sean do a great job explaining why this is actually something we want our kids to do - and how to prepare both yourself and your kids for that day. Every Christian parent needs to read this article; check it out here.

Apr 14, 2010

Your True Calling

You know those days when you're trying to get "important things" done and your kids seem more needy than ever? How do you react on those days? Do you drop everything and rush to them with a joyful heart? If you do, why are you reading this blog? You're a better Proverbs 31 Woman than I am!

Personally, I find it all too easy to feel frustrated or even annoyed when, for example, I have to pay bills (cuz they're due tomorrow) and the kids constantly interrupt me with their needs.

On those days, more than any other, we moms have to remember our calling. Rather than get caught up wondering what great purpose God has in mind for us, we need to remember we already know our two most important callings: Wife (if we are married) and mother.

There is no calling greater than these two. You may think God wants you to write, to teach Sunday School, to work in the church...but if any of these things make you neglect your first two callings, you need to stop.

Stop. Breathe. Remember your calling: To serve your children.

After all, what greater calling can there be than to raise up little people to know the Lord? That's way more important than working in the church, or writing...or paying the bills.

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