It has been busy around here.
I was remarking to a friend the other day, how we drag through the winter…. with its short, cold days, cooped up with the kids, dreaming, hoping, praying for spring to come so we can shoo them outside to play for some peace and quiet.
It seems like every year when spring rolls around, I get so busy I start to long for the quieter days of fall and winter.
Clearly, I need to work on my contentment issues
In the last weeks we have had family up for a visit, a dog whelp 8 puppies, 2 momma goats die, three goat kids to feed, (which were then sold.) Then 2 more goat kids to bottle feed,( and are still feeding) all while homeschooling, preparing for Ladies Fellowship Retreat, and working on getting ready for our Mexico Missions Trip…. Oh yea… and Tayler started up softball again.
God knew that I needed to hear some things from Him in the midst of all this hecticness…. so he had a plan.
First there was night ONE of The Schoolhouse Expo. It featured Malia Russell. I had really wanted to hear her speak on Teaching the Difficult Child. It was probably the sole reason that I even wanted to attend the Expo. To get to this lesson, that I just KNEW I needed to hear, I started listening to the first half of the session, and it was on Managing the Multi-Level Homeschool. I have 3 schooling, and it is a pretty wide spread, so I figured I could listen and see what tips jumped out at me.
Let’s just say that things didn’t “jump” out at me. It was more like being whacked over the head with a two by four……….. I had been struggling with feeling “fed up” with what was happening in my home each day, the lack of discipline, or what I was perceiving as laziness in my children. I was feeling overwhelmed in completing course work… the list could go on and on………
Malia started the session by asking the question “Who is in charge?” She used the “Oatmeal for breakfast” test to help you see if you are seen as an authority in your home. If you are making breakfast, and your child/children come out and ask what is for breakfast, and you reply oatmeal………. If they roll their eyes and complain, or beg for cereal instead, or refuse to eat it………. you are not seen as an authority in your home. If the child/children say… ok… and go about their morning…. you are seen as the authority.
After checking my kitchen for hidden cameras, because clearly they were hiding somewhere or she would not have had this example……….. I was awakened to the fact that the main reason for my feeling so overwhelmed, and out of control, was because I had let it get that way.
Her fixes for this problem were to teach and to train your child. To quietly take the time……. to correct undesired behavior…. AS IT HAPPENS, and for certian issues, to teach and train over a summer break from school. She spoke of saying to yourself, “I love my child more than _____” ( whatever you are doing that you will need to leave to go and correct the problem) …. I knew this…. I have given this as advice to other moms………. but I had become lazy, and needed a bop on the head to correct my vision.
Thank you Malia for being God’s vessel, and speaking the truth that night.
The next thing that God needed me to hear, He gave to me in the form of a devotional. One I was asked to write and give. It was for our Ladies Retreat, and the theme was Women Under Construction. My section was on Maintence. I needed to fabricate a 20 min lesson on this topic. IT WAS INCREDIBLY HARD! I think the main reason it was so hard……….. is because it is the part of my Christian life I struggle with the most. I read christian literature, listen to christian music….. but where the rubber meets the road…. I am not so good at opening that Bible up everyday and reading it. Many days I hit the ground running. There is always soemthing to be done. Before I know it, I have gone all day and not cracked my Bible open.
This has directly led to my laziness with my children, and my feelings of “fed-up” and “disconnected”.
For my devotion, I used the example of a lamp in a lighthouse. They were lit by a single kerosene lamp. A good light house keeper, keeps the glass clean, so the light will not be dimmed by the build up of soot. He makes sure that the wick is trimmed, and that it reaches deeply into the oil. He makes sure the oil is filled to the top of the lamp so the flame will not go out in the middle of the night. He makes sure that the glass cover is over the flame, so that when the winds blow fiercely, the flame may flicker, but not go out.
Oh how our Christian lives are supposed to be like that lamp. Well tended and maintained. Am I cleaning the glass from the soot of sin, that weakens my testimony before others? Am I letting God trim me, and shape me so that my flame can be brighter? Am I deeply drinking from God’s Word so that I may have fuel in times of struggle? Am I covered in the fellowship of my Lord? Is he sheltering my flame for Him when I am in the midst of lifes storms?
Sadly, I must answer that I do not make the time I should to be refreshed by my Creator, the Architect and Designer of my life. This lack of priority, shows itself, and I need to remedy it. Praise God for His tenderness in showing me these areas I need to work on, as a woman, a wife and a mom.
After these little reminders, I have re-committed to teaching and training my kids, and meeting with my Lord. The last two weeks have been much more of a joy, than work.