Sunday, May 13, 2007

Mother's Day

Our day was a bit different this year. I am not feeling "great" and we had to juggle around Mike's chapel schedule. The chapel thing is fairly common, but having me not up to attending all the shindigs with him is not. LOL Mike took the older 5 with him to Sunday School. I stayed home with Zander and Stacia. They came home after Sunday School and we had a nice lasagna dinner. Then Mike ran back for the Gospel Service. When he got home we opened gifts. I got to talk to Mom and Mom Mary (Mike's Mom) yesterday.

This is my second mother's day with the girls away from home. They both called. Bre had left signs with Josiah to put around the house....a nice surprise.
I've been working on creating various files for slide shows, for printing, etc. I hope to get Josiah's display board done in the next day or two. THIS is what I SHOULD have worked on at our last PWOC Scrapping Night. ::Snort:: Debby and Mandy are scrapping pros - they would have whipped it out in no time for me. Oh - not really a mother's day gift per se...but Mike bought me a jump drive. I've already used it to compile files of photos from the various computers and such. This will be very handy since we don't have our computers networked. He bought Jamin one too to store his book and school work on. Last week Jamin lost SIX weeks of lit and history discussion questions when a disc he had backed them up on suddenly quit working. We are jinxed around here.

Here I am with my "loot". I got flowers from Mike and from the children. Arielle made a couple of bright and cheery cards. Nolan also made a card. The rectangle box is a digital photo frame!!!!! from Mike and the younger 4. Have you seen these? We put a card in it and it scrolls through the photos. We can add MP3 files....guess we'll wait and let Bre figure that out this summer. ::snort:: I LOVE this gift. I can put photos that are on the computer (as in not scrapped yet) on a card and in this frame and we can enjoy them. IN THE LIVING ROOM...not quite the same as sharing photo albums on the couch but certainly a step in the right direction. ::snort:: We'll have this at Josiah's graduation with photos scrolling through it. Cool.
Jamin made FIVE loaves of bread for me today! This is GREAT. I've resorted to store bread the past few weeks and there is SOMETHING in it that is setting Zander off. Jamin also thinks that he can't work out as strong when we are eating store bread??? I've simply been to sick to bake. Poor babies. I went online and almost ordered bread from Great Harvest. Why, oh WHY, doesn't our town have a real whole grain bakery????The older boys gave me two seasons of WALTONS! YES!!! Josiah was scheduled to pick it up after work. He ended up having to close. Mike, Jamin, and Jared went for a 2 hour run last night. Duh! I thought they are just to dedicated to this running thing of theirs. ::snort:: They ran to the mall, got the car, drove to buy the CD's, took the car back to the mall, then ran home! My men! Keepers all! Arielle and Nolan made these darling foam magnets at Sunday School today. They have a clothespin on the back - with magnet. I can clip things and such with them. Currently, they are holding my calendar on to the fridge.

AND we totally demolished one of Mike's famous ice cream cakes! Yumm! It was Stacia's first and she approved. Zander was upset when he heard we were having cake instead of ice cream - because we always do ice cream once a week on Sunday night. He was 1/2 way through his piece when he said, "Ummm....this tastes like ICE CREAM!" ::snort:: I was too busy eating to snap a photo of the cake before it disappeared. I guess he'll have to make another!

Book Review: The Ministry of Motherhood, Introduction

MM - Intro Study Questions
I've debated if it would be better to have one entry with all the questions or 5 entries - one for each question. I guess we'll try it this way and then see what happens. I'll put my intial comments after the questions.
1. What purpose do you think God had in mind when He designed the role of mother? Have you ever specifically considered that, in becoming a mother, you have actually been called to a ministry? In what way does that concept change how you think about your role?
I think woman was meant to help/encourage a man to stay on the godly course God had set for him. I believe that woman was given jurisdiction over the home and that would include mothering. I believe mothers are, therefore, to partner with God and husband to mentor, teach, train, protect and prepare the soil of a child's heart for a life-changing relationship with God. I think a mother SHOULD be one of the first to teach a child about trust, unconditional love, forgiveness, mercy and grace.
2. Read Ps 127:3 - if possible, in more than one translation. What does this verse imply about the ministry of motherhood?
Children are gifts from God - all children. I don't believe, as I've heard some teach, that we can invert this verse and say that miscarriage, infertility etc are God's curse on individual women - and I'll leave that thought there.
This verse says to me that if I believe the word then I must believe that every child in my home (regardless of his gifts or disabilities) are gifts sent from heaven. Therefore, they should be treasured, valued, appreciated, cared for....and not scorned or resented for the work or discomfort they may bring into my life. ::snort::
3. Proverbs 31:10 - 31 paints a vivid portrait of the life of a godly woman. Describe what a Proverbs 31 life might look like in a modern context. What parts of this description do you find particularly inspiring? Which areas pose a challenge for you? How do you think these reactions relate to your ministry as a mother?
This woman would be intentional in the care and training of her children. She may homeschool, she may send her children to school....but she would be involved (my sil is a great example of a Mom whose children are in public school who is extremely aware and involved with her children's teachers/school/principal etc.). She would take the time to prepare nutritional meals (ouch), she would help help her children to be clean and clothed, she would make wise budget choices, her husband would trust her, her children would bless her. In my opinion the Proverb leaves it open that she may or may not work outside the home...but she will CERTAINLY have her home as her top priority and will work in the home. ::snort::
4. Read Proverbs 14:1. In what specific ways can a woman in this day and age build her house or tear it down? If possible, give examples from your own observation or experience. Then list four specific ways you want to build your house by ministering to your children and making disciples of them.
Tear down: allowing junk into her home via TV, movies, books, music, computers - in other words leaving her children to interact with the culture with no guidance or boundaries. Having a bad attitude towards her husband. Allowing sin to grow in her own life. Screaming and being unmerciful consistently to her children. Gallivanting all day rather than looking to the ways of her home. Or even doing GOOD things to the harm of her priorities at home. Spending more money that her family can afford causing her dh to have to work several jobs or forcing herself to go to work....out of control spending is what I'm thinking here....not simply not having enough $ to stretch the budget. LOL
5. Write out a plan for ministering to your own children using the acronym GIFTS List at least one goal for each letter.
I think I'm going to have to think about this and let it develop over time. I have our current projects with the children.....and they fit into these areas. Our overarching family goal is to show our children what it means to love the Lord wholeheartedly and to love others as ourselves....that would fit into some of those categories...but I'm not quite ready to write out a whole new system....gotta pray about this.

Book Review: The Ministry of Motherhood, Intro Quotes

MM - Quotes from Introduction
I'm going to go ahead and post the intro quotes and study questions today. Remember our pace is going to be rapid this first week. In future week's we'll discuss quotes from a chapter a day M-Th and Study Questions F-Sun. I know the pace is quick. Remember, that you can comment whenever you read the material....though, of course, if we stay on the same page we'll have more discussion. If I find this pace to be too much with life right now, we'll have to take a break for a month in June. I'm trying to get our first discussion under our belt before I leave for vacation. We can work out bugs, see if we want to attempt a second discussion, and order the next book during that month I'm gone.
In preparing for our discussion, I've been praying about some dear friends who love the Lord, have done all they know to do with their children and yet their young adults are currently walking down paths that break their parent's hearts. I think it is important for us to remember that children will make their own choice to accept or reject Christ as they mature. I would hate for any of us to have an attitude that says "Huh! If YOU had just gotten the formula right like WE have you'd be guaranteed to have perfect children". Instead let's pray for our sister's broken hearts and continue to prayerfully read and learn how we can prepare the soil of our children's heart for a sovereign work of God's grace....none of my children will ever be saved and in a right relationship with God because I parent perfectly.
One last note and we'll begin. I will not be attempting to summarize fully each chapter. I would hate for others to think, "ah, I don't need to buy the book, I'll just read the summaries." This book is WORTH buying and the Clarksons are WORTH supporting. I know you can pick up used copies online as well. I'll simply share quotes that speak to me. I hope that others will share thoughts on the quotes or different quotes that spoke to THEM in the comment section.
OK Quotes from the Intro that leaped at me:
"{Children} don't need sweet platitudes of faith that will momentarily placate their emotions. They need the authentic strength that comes from the true foundation of a biblical world-view and a proper understanding of the real Christ who is worthy of their worship. They need an unwavering, internal moral and spiritual compass that will help them weather today's storms and tomorrow's and will guide them for the rest of their lives. They also need to see what real faith looks like when lived day in, day out, so they will have a pattern to follow.
The process of providing such gifts to my children is what I've come to think of as the ministry of motherhood. " page 3
Yes! I've seen so many try to display a "perfect saint" image to their children. Children know. Let's be REAL with our children. Let's show them our struggles, let them watch us grow and mature in our walk with God - maybe they'll be blessed to learn from our mistakes if we are authentic enough to share our mistakes with our children. Of course, you'd want to be age appropriate in your sharing. I'm fairly sure my 4 yo knows that I am not always right....he once offered to put soap in my mouth when I said a bad word. I let him.....because it seemed fitting. I admitted I'd not gotten it right...but he learned that Mom will admit when she has sinned, that mom will ask forgiveness and that even Mom needs God's help day in and day out to live a holy life.
"The process of discipleship that Jesus modeled had become a reality in my own life. What Jesus had done with his disciples - living with them, loving them, forgiving them, instructing them, training them, serving them, and thereby transforming the whole foundations of their lives, my friends had done for me. And I knew I wanted to do the same with my life." page 8
I find this description of how Jesus mentored to be a beautiful illustration of what I try to do with my children.
I realized with the passing of each day that spiritual and emotional maturity would not just happen in my children because I wished it so. It would not come just from a passive example of my being good. Effective spiritual, emotional, and social training in the lives of my children would have to be both intentional and planned." page 13.
Yes, yes, YES! These sorts of thoughts are what led us to "project parenting" years ago....being intentional partners in what God is doing in the lives of our children. I will add that I've seen homeschoolers fall into the trap of thinking that "homeschooling" will magically cause the spiritual growth and maturity they long to see in their children. It won't. We need to get on our faces before God and ask HIM for a plan and a strategy for each of our children. We want to be intentional partners with HIM.
"....we wanted to give our children the real gifts of life that God had given us....we wanted our children also to BE gifts of God's grace and love to a fallen world". page 14
Sally came up with a "plan" and began a study of Jesus' life which led to her thoughts on the ministry of motherhood and became the basis of this book. Pages 14 -17.

Here is a brief look at the plan that Sally has come up with in an effort to intentionally minister to her children. The 5 areas will be the 5 areas of studies for us this month.
G - represents the gift of grace
I - represents the gift of inspiration
F - represents the gift of faith
T - represents the gift of training
S - represents the gift of service