Family, Motherhood, Parenting

The Season of Exodus


“The Lord said to Moses, “Depart; go up from here, you and the people whom you have brought up out of the land of Egypt, to the land of which I swore to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, saying, ‘To your offspring I will give it.’ Exodus 33:1 (ESV)

When I was a little girl I dearly loved Christmas Day.  While all the events leading up to Christmas were exciting (the cookie baking, letters to Santa and gift wrapping, etc.), to me they were merely steps along the path leading to the ultimate destination – Christmas morning.  As soon as the weather turned cold in late November my longings for the arrival of December 25th started to churn.  I counted down the December days and cursed the slowness of the calendar. Periodically (when no one was around) I would vigilantly search the house for hidden gifts (to my parents’ extreme frustration). Every Christmas Eve I listened and watched for Santa (making it quite difficult for my parents to finish their last minute gift wrapping), and rejoiced with pure delight and relief when Christmas Day finally arrived and I could run downstairs to see what wondrous surprises were waiting for me under the tree.  On December 25th my joy became complete.

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Homemaking, Motherhood

Ruins and the Wrong House

church ruinsIt is New Year’s Eve, and I am ready for all my Christmas Decorations to come down.  I love the greenery and the lights, and especially the crèche.  But the clutter.  The dust.  I am ready for a clean house.  I asked my sons to carry up the Christmas boxes from the basement with the intention of refilling them with the over-enjoyed decor. With the boxes now lying in ready, I can almost smell the crisp-clean air of a newly de-Christmas-treed, un-greeneried, freshly vacuumed house.  I am ready for it.

The book of Haggai warns me not to dwell on the festive holiday adornment nor the glorious lack of holiday adornment.  The house I must dwell on is Jesus.  He is the temple that should draw my gaze.  He is where my satisfaction must lie. He deserves my first attentions.

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Christianity, Homeschooling, Parenting

Keep a Quiet Heart

boat in stormHold us in quiet through the age-long minute

While Thou art silent, and the wind is shrill:

Can the boat sink while Thou, dear Lord, art in it?

Can the heart faint that waiteth on Thy will?

Amy Carmichael, from Toward Jerusalem

I don’t know about you, but I have a lot of trouble keeping a quiet heart.  I am not usually a noisy person but my heart can sure get loud.  Loud with worry.  Loud with angst.

There seems to be so much too much to worry about these days:  friends and family who are battling serious illness,  friends with sick children, tornadoes sweeping through our community (in November of all months!), yet another school shooting.

Those are the heavies.  Then there’s the middlings: increasing health insurance costs, approaching Christmas expenses, and badly needed house repairs.

But it’s the trifles that bring me to the tipping point and cause my heart to yell:  educational challenges with children, trimming the budget, an endless stream of dirty dishes and laundry.

Here are some verses that have brought me peace.  May they bring you the same:

Seek the Lord and His strength; seek His face continually.—1 Chronicles 16:11

Since you are my rock and my fortress, for the sake of your name lead and guide me.— Psalm 31:3

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.—Psalm 119:10

Be still, and know that I am God. – Psalm 46:10

You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. –  Isaiah 26:3

In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength. – Isaiah 30:15

May I also recommend a wonderful book?  Keep a Quiet Heart, by Elisabeth Elliott.  It will strengthen and encourage you when your heart gets loud:

keep a quiet heart