Monday, December 12, 2011


My oh my, it has been a long time since I have taken the time to write. How the days seem to escape me. But lately the Lord has been laying a few things on my mind to discuss. These things involve having a Biblical worldview. That simply means examining everything against the holy Word of God to see what He has to say about it. Think of God's word as a lens that can be looked through, and looking through this lens will tell us if the object we are studying is for or against God.

I was taken aback this morning by something that to me was blatantly against God. My youngest child was sick, so we ventured off to the doctor's office. Thankfully it was nothing more than an ear infection, but as we sat in the waiting room the children were drawn into the television. Most of what is aired today is of no benefit, and this show was no exception. I watched as kids came into the door and celebrated the fact that they could watch Phineas and Ferb while waiting to be seen. As we sat there I closely examined the show. Besides the characters being obnoxious, they are disrespectful to adults. A child's bedroom door in one scene had signs posted that read, "Vanessa's room. Keep out. That means you dad!"

Some may say, "Oh, that is normal. How many young people actually want to be with their parents?" But this where we must divide what is culturally "normal" and what is godly and good. Proverbs 2 says, "My son, if you will receive my words, and treasure my commandments within you, make your ear attentive to wisdom. Incline your heart to understanding." Over and over, throughout the book of Proverbs the writer pulls his son close to him and says, "My son, listen to me." Proverbs, 4 begins with, "Hear, o sons, the instruction of a father."

God's Word commands children to honor their fathers and mothers. And yet we live in a culture that beckons our children to ignore, disobey, and hate parents. We must, as followers of the Most High God, teach our children to observe everything around them and measure it against the Word of God. Paul instructed us in Philippians 4:8 to think on things that are true, honorable, lovely, excellent and of good repute. We cannot expect to be faithful to this command if our minds are submersed in things that oppose Him.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Scaling The Laundry Mountain

We all know that the mountain that is laundry never seems to go away. And just when you think it's gone, a new day begins and thus you have a new mountain. It can be overwhelming, especially when you get behind. But be not dismayed my fellow launderers. There is hope yet.

Several weeks ago I was speaking to a mom who has the privilege of raising eight children. She candidly admitted that she is not the best housekeeper, and was okay with it. Her house was not always perfect, and she found great freedom in not stressing over it. And she was one of the most joyful moms I have met. During the course of our conversation, she told me about her laundry system. At the time I dismissed it as something that was not possible for me due to space. But after some thought I figured out a way to make to work. It's really nothing extraordinary, but the mountain is disappearing so I'm happy.

What she does is have a large plastic tote for everyone in the house. These totes stay in the laundry room. This is why I dismissed the idea at first. I don't have a laundry room, but just a closet. So totes were not an option for me. It then occurred to me to buy folding baskets instead.  Everyone has their own basket that they are responsible for. When the laundry is dried we simply separate it into the baskets. No folding at this point.

I have told the children that their basket must be emptied before bedtime. I do not care if they fold it, but it must be put away in the correct drawer and that drawer must be closed. The results have been great. I am not the only one that does laundry now. Everyone can pitch in. Ryan got the laundry caught up yesterday while I was grocery shopping, and kept saying, "I am loving this new system." And it makes the children responsible for their own clothing. I still fold my stuff as well as Ella's, but everyone else does their own.

A major lesson for me has been that when I feel overwhelmed with a certain task, I need take time to be a little creative. It is one of the joys of being a wife and mom. Having little ones is a challenge, but the lessons learned are an  important part of our sanctification. So rejoice!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Men, Be Strong!

I just love to read books by author Richard Fugate. For one he is a godly man who loves the Word of God. And for another, he is very candid and seems to be a 'black or white' kind of thinker.

As part of the forward of his book What the Bible Says About Being a Man he has a little quiz for both husbands and wives....if you're brave enough to take it. Ryan and I revisited it tonight, and I think we did better than we did a few years ago (by the grace of our loving Lord). Are you ready?

Signs that a man relates to his wife as being the leader of the family:

- When he looks to her to make all of the plans for the family.
- When he tells the children to "ask your mom" for all directions.
- When he depends on his wife to decide when to leave an event.
- When he can never win in a discussion with his wife.
- When he is too intimidated to direct his wife and family.
- When he would be too afraid to show his wife a list like this.
- (this one is my own addition) When he defaults to his wife to discipline the children.

Signs that a wife behaves as if she were in charge of the family:

- When she thinks her financial contribution makes her a full partner in marriage (in other words, she is the only one capable of making financial decisions)
- When she always commands him what to do.
- When she corrects him whenever he is not perfectly accurate in public.
- When she scolds him like a son in front of the children.
- When she takes over tasks he has started because she thinks he is too slow or that she has a better way.
- When he dreads coming home late, even with a valid reason, because of the third degree he will have to face (or the cold shoulder)
- When she hinders him from using proper discipline on their delinquent children.
(words in italic are mine)

So, how did you do? The two that I have tried desperately to eliminate completely from my behavioral habits are correcting him in front of the children and giving him a hard time about arriving late in the evening. The first stems from thinking I know what's best for 'my children'. And the latter pours out of me when I need some back-up at the home front. Fortunately, I received a 'much improved' from Ryan. But oh that I would grow to have a "gentle and quiet spirit" and live beautifully before my Savior.

I once heard a grown man give an account of his parents' relationship with one another. I'll never forget one thing he said and it was this - "I never once heard my mom speak a word of disrespect to my father." That is truly something -  and that, ladies, speaks love to our husbands.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Writing and Reading

"By all means let children be taught to read.....else you deprive them of a singular help to their instruction and salvation." Richard Baxter, 1600's.

"It is up to you as the teacher to create the atmosphere and the desire to learn. Our payer is that one of the first books the child studies will be the Bible." Wanda Sanseri, Teaching Reading at Home

I could not agree more! I love writing and reading, and I long to create that love in my children. At the very least they must be able to communicate, both through speaking and writing, in an intelligent, godly manner. How many wonderful books and speeches would have been lost had it not been for the diligent education of those by whom they were penned.

So, having said that, I have chosen to use a certain curriculum with my children that I believe to be the best. Yes, that is my personal opinion and you do not have to agree. However, I have two great readers (and spellers for that matter) to show for it. And it seemed to flow from them naturally, as if it had been in their brains all along. It requires just a few minutes a day, and soon the student will pick up a book and begin reading. But I must confess here that I have not been very consistent over the last few months with the arrival a new baby, and yet my kindergartener is reading wonderfully.

So what do I use? The Writing Road to Reading by Romalda Spalding along with Teaching Reading at Home by Wanda Sanseri. I really think that both books are required along with the Spalding flashcards. I paid less than $50 for everything and will use it for all five children through 6th grade - although, I think they will have mastered all the material long before then and will be ready to move on.

I have also begun a grammar program with my 1st grader this year. It's called  Shurley English by Brenda Shurley and is very easy to teach. He is also learning to report on books that I choose for him.

Challenge your children, and watch their minds bloom right before your eyes. Allow laziness, and they will wither. Happy schooling to you all.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

To TV or not to TV?

This has been a question that keeps coming back to me. I am very convicted about the television, but have been complacent as of late about when and how much. And the content.... well, we all know that most channels are filled with trash and nonsense.

However, I had a breakthrough last week while washing dishes. The Lord gave me clarity on the issue of television, and I believe it is relevant for all Christians. So here is what the Lord so graciously whispered to my heart....

     Instead of teaching your children to sit at the feet of the Savior, you place them in the lap of the immoral to  
     drink in all of their debauchery.

I certainly do not want to wet the appetite of my children for the very things that God Himself hates. I do not want to invite the world into my home and into the hearts of my children. We are called to think on things that are pure and lovely and good and to meditate day and night on the law of God.

May our home be one of purity and soundness of mind.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A Schedule for the Spontaneous

I have been married for eight years, and seven of those years I have been a mom. And for all seven of those years I have been trying to develop a schedule, or at least develop the habit of following one. When my oldest was just a year old I read a wonderful book called Managers of Their Homes that was stuffed full of wonderful scheduling information. But my wonderful husband warned me that I just was not the scheduling type.

But now I have five children, and the need for a schedule is overwhelming. We just aren't getting enough done. So after seeking the Lord and doing some thinking I have come up with a few things to help get me on track.

First, I am going to utilize the gift of organization that was so generously given to my husband. I have written out a list of things we need to get done when he gets home and have given it to him. I am guaranteed that those things will be done simply because he cannot stand to fail. It kills him. And the benefit is two-fold. You see, I have found that when I leave things undone at night it takes me twice as long to get those same things done in the morning. That really cuts into our school time and adds unnecessary stress into my day. So more will be done in the evening thus helping me to get more done during the day.

Next, instead of mapping out each hour of my day I am going to a block schedule. I doubt this is an original idea, but it is the first time I have considered it. Since there are three natural parts of a day, morning, afternoon, and evening (I hope to be sleeping at night), I have decided to start there. This gives me a span of time to accomplish certain tasks and if we get a little off schedule we can jump right back in where needed. So this is my tentative "schedule" if you will.

7am - 12 pm
Get Dressed
Worship Time (with the children)
Morning Chores

12 pm - 4 pm
Clean up
Afternoon Chores
Read Aloud with Mommy
Naps for the little ones
2 loads of laundry

4pm - 8:30pm
Begin Dinner
Dinner on the Table
Clean up
     Outside toys
     Living Areas
Bath Time
Family Worship
Bedtime for the Children
Time with Ryan

I would love to hear how you do things in your home. Ideas are definitely welcome.

Friday, February 18, 2011

The Heart of Her Husband

Proberbs 31:11 "The heart of her husband trust in her and he will have lack of gain."

This has long been one of my favorite passages addressing the relationship between husband and wife. The entire passage paints a loving relationship that should be emulated. However, this kind of relationship was likely as hard to come by when Solomon wrote it as it is now. In those times it was common practice for a man to lock his valuables away from the grasp of his wife in order to prevent her from squandering all he owned. But the couple described for us here is quite different.

It is because of the wife that the husband has gained much in the way of wealth and respect. He is respected by all who know him and leaves much of the affairs of his home in the hands of his wife. Why? Because his heart trusts in her. And she has shown herself to be incredibly loyal to him.

So how does this translate into practical everyday living for us now? When you shop, do you make every dollar count? Do you strive for thriftiness and look for bargains, getting a "bang for your buck"? Do you show respect for his hard work by asking for his input before making a purchase? Do you complain about the things that you do not have and constantly ask for more? Do you manage well the affairs of your home and provide a place of rest for him when he comes home?

I know there are many things that I need to improve upon. And there have been times of discouragement. But nonetheless, I have determined in my heart to strive for excellence.