Books, Education, Family, Homeschooling, Motherhood

Ten Things to Include in Your Child’s Education, pt. 2

child helping child

This is the second of a two-part blog on things to teach your child outside of their general academic education.  The first part to this article can be found here.

Let’s pick up where we left off at number six.

6.  Teach your children to call people Mr., Mrs. and Miss

Not everyone may agree, but addressing adults as Mr., Mrs. or Miss is important.  Titles establish age boundaries and conveys respect.  A child addressing someone as Mr. or Mrs. communicates to an adult “I acknowledge that you are older than me (i.e. you are not my peer or buddy). Because you are older than me (and probably wiser) you deserve my respect.”

We require our kids to address anyone in a position of authority as Miss/Mrs./Mr. unless the adult being addressed specifically requests for our children to call them by their first name.  My husband and I make this (sometimes awkward) formality easier for our children by doing the same thing ourselves that we expected of them.  If someone is a generation or two older we often refer to them as Mr. or Mrs., unless they instruct us otherwise.

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Christianity, Family, Homeschooling, Motherhood, Parenting

The Arduous Struggle: or Prayer and Peeling Carrots

ElisabethElliot (older)I was thumbing though some old files and came across a little gem.  It was an article from the May, 1999 issue of The Gatekeeper, Elisabeth Elliot’s monthly newsletter. The article, written by Elisabeth, and titled, “Motherhood:  The Most Difficult and Rewarding Job” said this:

Mothers are always on call, expected to have all the answers and limitless energies. They’re supposed to do everything; it’s taken for granted.  How can you be and do everything expected of you?  What you need is an habitual sense of the presence of God. Think that Almighty God, who created the stars and keeps the seasons revolving in perfect rhythm, is there in your kitchen, in your bathroom, in the laundry room, in the grocery store.  Mothers, be prepared for an arduous struggle.  Your calling is impossible without prayer, the comfort and instruction of the Scriptures, and fellowship in your church.

If you’re feeling anxious, without peace, it just may be that you have not made time in your schedule for study in the Scriptures and prayer.  It is essential, no matter what you have to forgo, no matter which people in the church you’re going to have to say no to, no matter how crowded  your schedule may be at home, you must somehow, but the grace of God, make time to read your Bible and pray.

God knows you can’t always be thinking of Him.  You have to put your mind on what you’re doing.  You have to concentrate on that recipe.  You have to study those homeschool geometry lessons that you forgot so many years ago.  You have to concentrate on measuring out that medicine for the sick child or making up the grocery lists and menus for the next week.  This means that you must concentrate in your quiet time as well.  Then learn to turn back to God throughout the day.

Try looking up to the Lord with a hundred little looks of love during the day.  Every now and then lift up your eyes, lift up your heart, and remember that Christ is in you.  He dwells in you.  He gives you the gift of grace.  (Don’t forget grace – you need it!  We need it every hour of every day, every minute of every hour.)  Learn to pray while you’re peeling the carrots, driving the car or cleaning the house.

Remind yourself that the materials of your work and play and all of your daily life are hallowed by the presence of Christ, by the presence of His infinity in the midst of your finiteness.  Remember that Christ is present even in the weak and the mean and the ugly.  In Matthew 25:40 Jesus said, “Inasmuch as you have done it unto one of the least of these My brothers, you have done it for Me.”

Our thoughts and desires need to be more referred to Him, determined by Him.  We need to ask for wisdom in mind, holiness in will, and a mind and a will made one with Christ.  Living in his presence – in your kitchen and in your laundry room; loving, which means to will the good of another, not allowing any hardship or sacrifice to deter us from helping them; and looking  for His best.

To this I say, Amen.

Boys, Christianity, Fatherhood, Parenting

Well Then, Let’s Go

father & son working on car engineOver the weekend a group of teenage boys came to our home to join our son in a building project for school.  The project required the use of multiple power tools.

At one point in the afternoon a sander, a circular saw, overhead lighting, a speaker and a space heater were all running at the same time and…..

Can you guess what happened next?

Trust me, it’s not a hard guess…. Continue reading

Family, Motherhood, Parenting

Words of Elisabeth Elliot, pt. 2

elisabeth-elliot“This job [of motherhood] has been given to me to do. Therefore, it is a gift. Therefore, it is a privilege. Therefore, it is an offering I may make to God. Therefore, it is to be done gladly, if it is done for Him. Here, not somewhere else, I may learn God’s way. In this job, not in some other, God looks for faithfulness.”

Elisabeth Elliot

“[Motherhood] is a privilege.”

We are continuing to pick apart this quote by Elisabeth Elliott to better understand our roles as mothers.  In my last blog entry I talked about motherhood as a gift.  Today I will talk about how it is also a privilege.

Since the gift of motherhood is coming from the Creator of the universe it must be very, very special.  Receiving the gift of motherhood is like receiving a priceless diamond.  And possessing a valuable treasure carries with it weight and responsibility.  This gift is now in your care.  That child sitting on your lap was given to you.  Not somebody else.  You.

At its roots the word privilege is a highly individualized word.  It means “special”.  Wordbook defines privilege as, “A special advantage or benefit not enjoyed by all”.  The word privilege comes from the Latin word privilegium which meant “law applying to one person”.  It was a duty, action or allowance that was unique for that individual.  Being a mother to your children is a unique gift given to you for your sanctification and your child’s sanctification.

Will you do me a favor?  If your child is near you, take a look at him or her right now.  I mean really look at him.  Look at the cute way his hair falls over his eyebrows.  The way her eyes sparkle in the light.  The sweet little chub layer on his cheeks.  The bouncy curls on the back of her head.  Maybe it’s the strange way she pronounces “cereal” or the funny military crawl that he does.  If your child has a physical or mental challenge, think about the unique way they handle that challenge.  They are a beautiful one of a kind. There has never been, nor ever will be again, a child like the one before you.  He is amazing isn’t he?  Can you see the fingerprint of God on her?

I have a friend who has a daughter with Down’s Syndrome.  The little girl’s name is LeAnne*.  She is absolutely beautiful.  You can sense God’s special touch on her.  There are numerous challenges for LeAnne and her parents, to be sure, but LeAnne’s parents view raising her as a privilege, a “unique law unto them”.  To them, she is a priceless diamond.  Their gift from God.  LeAnne’s challenges have taught them many new things and the child has flourished under parents’ unconditional love.

Do you see motherhood as a privilege?  As a special duty from the Lord?  I realize that sometimes it is very difficult to view it that way.  It doesn’t always feel very special.  The children don’t always act very special.  But they are, and so is your job.  The children are with you such a short time and then they are gone, so rejoice in your gift!  Rejoice in the privilege of your special commission!

*Name changed to protect family’s privacy.