Reviving Motherhood

Learning on the Journey


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Finding Time to Read the Bible

Perhaps you are young mom with lots of little children around you. How do you get time to read the Word? I know it is not easy. I remember when I had three children under 17 months, and then four children under four! Help! How could I find time to read the Word? I did it by putting my Bible on my windowsill, usually open to Psalms or Proverbs. I could look up from doing dishes and preparing vegetables to read a Scripture. You may like to have a Bible in the toilet or bathroom. Keep a Bible in the spot where you like to nurse your baby. Read a few Scriptures to your children at breakfast time and then again at your evening meal. Keep their souls as well as their bodies clean, too.

~Nancy Campbell


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Links to Love

No time for a real post this holiday week, but here are links to a few things I’ve been enjoying.

Total frou-frou…I’ve loved perusing Scandanavian home blogs on my mini-breaks.  I started here and I’ve just been working down her beautiful blog roll.  Mostly all-white houses with accents of color…red, usually, or occasionally robin’s egg blue or colors from nature.  So restful.  I will never have a white house, but the natural palette is so soothing.

My friend Chasity recently wrote this thought-provoking post about the “closets” in our lives.  Check it out.

I also enjoyed my sister’s thoughts on spiritual rest. Wise words on stress.

I think I should read this book, A Sane Woman’s Guide to Raising a Large Family. It comes highly recommended from a blogger I greatly respect and enjoy.

Here’s an easy tutorial for making beautiful no-sew Christmas stockings. I recently discovered this Louisiana crafter.  She makes such pretty stuff.

Finally, happy happy Thanksgiving to each of you.  I have so many things to thank God for.


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A Mother’s Spiritual Impact

mother son writing

 

“It is my conviction that many mothers will occupy a higher position in God’s kingdom than many prominent Christian leaders whom we might expect to find in places of greater honor.  Think of some of the great men of the Bible like Moses, Samuel, and Timothy.  Where would they have been had it not been for their praying, Spirit-led mothers?  Think of Augustine, John Newton, and the zealous Wesleys; their names might never have lighted the pages of history had it not been for the blessed influence of godly mothers!

 

The simple prayers from our infant lips were but echoes from our mother’s heart.  Can we ever forget the soft caresses of those hands of blessing on our heads as we knelt by our beds?  Can we fail to remember her night vigils, her seasons of intercession, her well-marked Bible, and her words of admonition?  Her actions spoke eloquently of Him who taught us of the greater love of God.

 

What a tragedy to neglect the counsel of a godly mother!  What eternal consequences to reject her God…’Do not forsake the law of your mother’ (Prov. 1:8)” ~Henry G. Bosch


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Heavenly Marriage: Respect

woman waving goodbye

It’s been awhile since I posted anything about marriage, mainly because it’s a touchy subject and I’m chicken!  Jumping in where angels fear to tread… Remember, the best thing you can do for your kids is have a good marriage!

In his book His Needs Her Needs, William F. Harley names respect as one of a man’s top 5 basic needs in marriage.  The Bible concurs.  Ephesians 5: 33 says, “…let the wife see that she respects her husband.”  I’ve listened to a lot of wise ladies through the years who have given me good advice about how to be married.  I thought I’d scratch down a few things they’ve told me about respect.

Even if your husband isn’t an honorable person, it’s possible to respect his position.  But most of us aren’t married to real scoundrels.  Most of us are married to imperfect people just like us.  And in spite of whatever flaw you might see in your husband, in most cases there is also much to admire and respect.

So…

DO look for the best in him.

DO compliment him about absolutely anything you can, even if it’s as mundane as his crack shot or how well he takes care of the truck.

DO brag on his strengths to others, including in his hearing or when you know it could get back to him.

DO support his judgment and decisions. If you disagree, be pleasant about it and let him know you’ll ultimately support whatever he feels is best.  Be willing to lay aside your better judgment, even if it means he makes a mistake.  If he does make a mistake, don’t rub his face in it.  We girls make mistakes; it’s not the end of the world if our men do too.  (Obviously we aren’t talking about immoral, illegal, or abusive activities.)

DO show a united front in front of the kids. Don’t question his decisions in front of them.

DO support his interactions with the children. Resist the urge to “rescue” them from him even if you feel he’s being a bit unfair.  If you have concerns about how he’s interacting with them, discuss it privately, not in their hearing.  (I know, it’s hard!  You can do it!)

DON’T run your husband down in public (even little “joking” remarks).

DON’T complain about him to your mom, sister, or best friend.  You’ll forget, but they won’t.

DON’T look for the worst. If you look for the worst, you will find it.

DON’T be critical and nit-picky. Ask yourself: Will this matter 100  years from now?

DON’T compare him to others, including your dad or some guy in your office.

DON’T let yourself think of him as stupid or fall prey to the idea that men are imbeciles who need women to tell them what to do.  (Warning: If you find yourself rolling your eyes and saying, “Men!” a lot, that’s a good clue that you’ve fallen into this.)

DON’T boss him.

Related:  Heavenly Marriage: Sex


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So You’re Thinking of Homeschooling

mother reading children jwsmith

I’ve had this feeling over the past few weeks that I need to do a post on homeschooling.  I have no idea why; it seems like an odd time of year to do that.  However, maybe there’s somebody out there who’s contemplating whether or not to homeschool in the coming months or next year.  I’ll scratch out a few thoughts if that’s you.

First, I’ll reiterate that this isn’t a homeschool blog and I’m not one of those people who believes homeschooling is the answer to the world’s problems.  Jesus is the answer to the world’s problems and there are many good schools out there, along with dedicated parents who are doing a great job with their children in a traditional school setting.

1.  Homeschooling is a matter of calling, and to my mind, that’s what you need to settle first if you’re a Christian parent who’s thinking of homeschooling your children.  Has God called you to this?  Because I’ll be honest, while homeschooling is a great joy, there are plenty of challenges.  If you haven’t settled in your heart that you are truly called you’ll become discouraged and want to throw in the towel at the first bump in the road.

2.  Is your husband on board? You can’t do it without his support.  If he’s against it, don’t even consider it until you’re on the same page.  If you’re convinced that’s what you need to be doing, pray until you come to a place of unity.  Don’t nag.

3.  Don’t be excessively idealistic. I think many of us parents come into homeschooling expecting a cozy one-room schoolhouse setting with our little students joyfully looking forward to all the lessons we’ve spent so many hours preparing.  It’s not always like that.  While homeschooling does provide the opportunity to tailor education to each child’s specific needs, and even to his particular interests, there will likely be something at some point that your child just is not happy about.  Homeschooled children have learning and behavioral needs just like other children.  Students and teacher in a homeschool have bad days just like people in traditional school.  Again, homeschooling is immensely rewarding.  It’s so exciting to me to see my kids have those lightbulb moments when they get something.  I’d miss that if they weren’t with me.  But every moment is not like that.

4.  Allow for an adjustment period. My children have never even been to traditional school and we had an adjustment period after we began this school year.  Although we were dedicated and consistent, the first couple months of this school year were challenging.  It’s only started getting fun, and easier, over the past couple weeks.  I’ll be honest, there were times during those first months when I wondered, “Is this really worth it?”  Now I’m happy we stuck it out.  We’re seeing the rewards.

5.  Don’t copy traditional school. I’ve heard this advice from many veteran homeschoolers, and since they don’t often clarify I wasn’t really sure what they meant.  Does this mean that we should not have high educational standards?  NO!  It does mean that homeschooling by its very nature will look different from traditional schooling.  For one thing, a homeschooled student can often finish his daily work in just a few hours because homeschooling is more time efficient.  No waiting for the period to be over, no changing classes or busy work.  In my opinion, it’s important for homeschooled students to be disciplined and organized in how they approach learning, but this does not mean that they have to sit at their desks from 8 till 3.  (I’ll add that I have friends who have taken a very relaxed approach to learning and still turned out brilliant children who earned scholarships, did great in college, and have successful careers.)

6.  Don’t become overwhelmed by all the choices. When my mom started homeschooling, 25 years ago, there were only a couple of curriculum companies who would sell to homeschoolers.  Today there are so many choices it will make your head swim.  Rainbow Resource, which carries most educational materials for homeschoolers, is as big as the Dallas yellow pages.  Personally, I have purposefully stayed away from homeschool book fairs and other venues where I will be overwhelmed by too much stuff.  I’ve tried to stick to a few choices that are working for us and changing only if necessary.  Too much can be distracting to me.  On the other hand, if you are the kind of person who can look at a wide variety of materials and make a decision without feeling overwhelmed, a book fair might be really helpful.

7.  Homeschooling doesn’t have to cost a lot. Even buying most curriculum new, I have never spent more than $300 a year on curriculum and supplies.  That’s one month of private school.  It’s probably as much as most parents spend on uniforms and supplies for a child in public school.  But it’s possible to even spend a lot less than that, if you buy a few “spine” resources and take advantage of the library and other free/cheap resources.

8.  Get support. Whether it’s a formal homeschool group or an unofficial circle of homeschooling friends, you need the support of others who are traveling the same path.  Otherwise you and your children end up feeling very isolated and it doesn’t work well for anyone.

9.  Don’t worry about socialization. The myth persists, even though most homeschool families I know have calendars packed with social and extracurricular activities.  I know a lot of homeschoolers, and those I’d consider antisocial usually had antisocial parents…  Antisocial parents who were not homeschooled.  Raising a socially well-rounded child has more to do with parents than school, in my opinion.

10.  BOOKS! Fill your home with books.  Find used book sales that sell books for 10 cents to $1 each and create a home library.  If our kids read every book in our home, they would have a completely well-rounded education, with the possible exception of a little bit of math and science.  When books are important in your home, it creates and atmosphere of learning, both in official school hours and outside them.

Check out these links as well:

Homeschooling in Louisiana

How to Feed a Brain

Homeschooling Heresies

 

(This wonky wordpress spacing is driving me crazy!  Sorry!)

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