Monday, June 11, 2007

Book Review: The Ministry of Motherhood, Ch 12

Chapter Twelve - Faith in the Spirit's Power

I'm going to go ahead and say it. I'm fairly sure I'm not the only one who will think this when reading about the Clarkson's trouble with keys and four drivers...GET EACH PERSON THEIR OWN SET OF KEYS....trouble over. ::snort::

This is an excellent chapter.

"That's really the secret to the Christian life - to learn to yield our lives and our emotions and our actions moment by moment to him. This is what Galatians 5:16 means: "Walk by the Spirit and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.". page 129

I think so many of us are worn out in our Christian walk because we try to walk holy in our own strength. We are meant to walk by the spirit...not by our own grit! It's that yielding that is tough for us to do - but oh the joy of surrender.

Oh here, Sally says it better: "It can't be done on our own strength. I'm so thankful that I know the grace and forgiveness and freedom of trusting in the Holy Spirit to help me through each day. " page 130

"As a parent, this vine reality has two implications. First, I must do what I can to stay connected to Jesus at all costs. Only when he lives through me will I have the patience, love, faith, strength, perspective, and understanding I need to raise godly, faithful children. ....But the other side of this truth is that eventually my children must attach themselves to the Vine, not to me. Only the Lord can draw our children to himself. Only he can give salvation to our children. And only he can convict them of their sins. I can and must love my children, nurture them, comfort them, teach them. I can and must model for them what life as a "branch" looks like and show them the ways to stay "attached" through prayer, Bible reading, fellowship with other believers, and so on. But I cannot be their "vine," and I cannot play the role of the Holy Spirit in their lives." page 132


"My children must learn how to walk with the Lord without my help. But they won't be alone. As Jesus promised, the Holy Spirit will be with each of my children every step of the way." page 132

To restate:
"I can be God's agent for cultivating the hearts of my children; in fact, I'm supposed to fill that role. but only God can give them life, strength, and divine guidance. This means my Success in life or in motherhood or as a Christian is not dependent on my being perfect, but on my allowing God, in the Person of the Holy Spirit, to work through me to accomplish his purposes. ..." page 132.

Book Review: The Ministry of Motherhood, Ch 11

Chapter Eleven - Faith in God's Living Word

Sally begins this chapter by sharing about her family's weekend with Rick Husband and family (commander of the space shuttle). It was really a beautiful story.
"Do we understand that our mission is not just to train our children so that they can live good lives? As we launch them into adulthood, we are to reach their hearts for Christ and teach them how to be his representatives in the world so that in whatever they do, they will glorify him." page 122

Lots of great thoughts here on the importance of the Word in our daily lives.

"The Word of God gives our children the basis for their faith, a proper world-view, and wisdom and advice for all they will encounter At the same time, it gives us the direction and instruction we need to be good mothers. In fact, it is as we apply God's Word to our everyday lives that our children will begin to understand it's worth to us and to them." p 125....

The thing that is convicting about this book is that it always seems to come back to us. ::snort:: I think that clearly spells out how important the ministry of motherhood is - but I have to keep reminding myself of grace as I read or I would begin to feel like I'm not quite up to the task. LOL

"In my experience we give this gift of faith by making the living Word a natural part of our family life. Reading the Bible as a family, memorizing passages together and discussing how they apply to our lives, even letting kids act out Bible stories are ways to build faith by letting Biblical truth permeate the fabric of our everyday existence. In addition, I believe, children must also see us stying our own Bibles and hear us mention ways the Bible helps us in situations we face. " page 125-26

"His Word will go with them to instruct them. It is indeed a gift of faith we can give them that will help them the rest of their lives." p126

Cy, Where Are You?

Stacia spent the day running to the hallway. I keep all the kids' 8 x 10 photos on the wall in the hallway outside our room. All day long....pointing at the picture and saying "Cy, Cy, Cyyyyy????"

Jared made us pizza for dinner. Jamin was at work. Mike was at work - got home at 9:20 and went for a run! LOL Anyway, Zander looked up and said, "What, has Cy been working all day?" He's always a "bit" behind the power curve around here. ::snort:: I told him that Cy was gone.

He didn't miss a beat and said, "Then we better go take his stuff!"

Josiah called and said that it seems like a "big VBS" to him. I think that's good?

I spent the day working on bills and such. Jamin was a huge help with the trailer. We're working the list at this point.

Book Review: The Ministry of Motherhood, Ch 10

Chapter Ten Quotes - Faith in a Living God ~ my comments in green
Great chapter! I'm not sure I'll have internet access on our trip, so I'm going to try to post the rest of these chapter summaries. Simply click on them when you are ready to discuss...and check back to interact with others.
"My faith, though wasn't just in thin air or in wishful thinking. The more I know about Christ and study his life, and the more I see the absolute integrity of his life, the more amazed I am at his charcter and love and his heart to reach out to us and help and redeem us. My faith is founded on the basis of God, his Word, his creation, and all that I know to be true about him." page 112
And that doesn't change with our circumstances. It's settled.
It is essential for parents to instill faith in our children (though that really is going to come as a work of grace and not through my parenting, as I'm sure Sally would agree) because "They are bound to experience many obstacles and difficulties in their lives. We cannot take away those circumstances, but we can offer our children the gift of faith so they will have the strength to live through them and a relationship with God that gives meaning to it all. " p112
"As I trust God to carry me through my problems, I actually learn to trust him more! And even more important, I become a living testimony of faith to others, especially to my children. The best way we can give the critical gift of faith to our children, in other words, is to exercise faith in our own lives - to accept the difficulties of life and choose to trust God in the midst of them. This means we will choose to be thankful, choose to be joyful, choose to be mature and strong, and try to be an example for our children. It also means we will talk to our children about why we're choosing to respond in this way and share with them what God's Word says about faith." page 113.
I, personally, found this section to be very encouraging. Of course the idea of children watching how we handle things is challenging...but I've worried and prayed for my children's hearts with our repeated miscarriages.... I'm thinking that yes, I need to pray for their heart and it is a concern....and yet they are also seeing how a child of God walks through sad times with faith intact...and that is a good thing. We are all growing through the trial - and that seems to me to be the purpose of most trials.
"But modeling is not the only way parents can teach faith to children. Children also learn by observing the lives of others,...Stories about men and women of faith - from missionaries and martyrs to quiet overcomers - can help move our children's hearts toward trust. ....the best stories of faith can be found in the New and Old 114
"Having a Bible on their bedside table won't automatically help children develop a trusting relationship with God. When Jesus called his disciples after all, he didn't just hand them an instruction manual and leave them on their own. ::snort:: Instead, he lived beside them for three years - building a relationship, teaching them repeating himself, correcting them, affirming them, showing them what to do and how to do it. Jesus taught the disciples to base their faith not only on the integrity of his words but also on the integrity of his faithfulness." page 114 And what a great example of parenting this is to us.
"The gift of faith, is not just wishful thinking but an accurate understanding of God's character and his integrity. Faith provides our children the security they need to step out in their lives, making confidet decisions because they have developed a relationship with the God who is worthy of their trust. page 115

Weekend Recap

Friday night Mike and I had dinner with our two chaplains and their wives. The older boys closed (big festival in town so late hours last week) and Jared watched the younger ones. We came home to this.....the only way to watch movies.
Saturday - It's BAAAACCCCKKKKK - the big nameless thing that is alternately being called Bertha, The Bus, Dream Boat 2, The Turd, The Really Big Thing - arrived back in our neighborhood. ::snort::
We took everything out of the pop up. Decided which items should go in The Really Big Thing, which items should stay in the pop up, and which items should be sold later this summer. Things such as BIG outdoor camp stoves, outdoor sinks, porta potties, solar showers, and campfire cookware are now in the garage. Dishes and such are now in Bertha. I FOUND the camping list on a disc that Don had sent with recovered material from my crashed computer. I updated it to reflect our new needs. Mike took the pop up back to storage.

Mike and Jared worked on our sprinkler system. We'd like to have this running before we leave. I'm AMAZED at how Mike figures these things out. Mike and Jared report that the mud in TX is smelly and slimy
Zander is always willing to help the big guys - ah the things he could do with a shovel!
While they sweat in the sun, ::snort::, I tried to find campsites for the first leg of our trip. We used to just take off.....after two trips that included driving all night because there were no hotels with 2 rooms available.... we try to reserve ahead. We're not sure if campgrounds will be a problem, but it is summer.... I've got the first leg booked between here and the Convention. After AK, we'll be trying to make "good" time to get all the way back here in 3 days and may not want to be tied to specific cities. We shall see.

Saturday night Mike and I had a Parish Appreciation Dinner. The older boys worked. Jared watched the youngers. After the dinner we went to Best Buy. We had hoped to pick up a
lap top they had at Best Buy. Originally this was going to be Josiah's graduation gift, then it looked so small, that one thing led to another and it became MY laptop. Jamin and I would sure enjoy being away from home a month much better if we had a lap top. We must write. Sad, sad thing is that they were sold out of the lap top and not giving rain checks.

We came and discovered that we were out of milk and bottle tops. We headed to Walmart. We also took the opportunity to see what they had for setting up The Dream Boat. We decided that I would measure on Sunday and go back. We were surprised when looking for a small toaster for The Turd that they now make toasters that warm your meat and poach your eggs; we didn't opt for that model. Sounded dangerous....

Sunday - Two services, lunch, measuring The Really Big Thing, getting Cy ready for his trip.....and another trip to Walmart. I found it very funny to be buying these sorts of things for a "camper". I told myself that at least we wouldn't need suitcases...we could pack right into the trailer....and promptly remembered that we are FLYING from Seattle to Anchorage and so we'll have to haul suitcases along anyway. ::snort::
We all made it back for the 1800 service, tried to go to Coldstone (chapel gift certificates), but the line was SILLY! We opted for DQ instead. While there, Zander helped himself to a Dilly Bar from the freezer. He thought it was like home and you could just get what you wanted...which works to a point..for ONE. LOL

He's Off to Atlanta

At 0 dark thirty we headed to our local airport.
This time Josiah is off to the mecca of Chick Fil A. He'll be attending advanced leadership/manager training. It's sounds like a FULL schedule with ropes type courses, good food, hotels, and lots of lectures. LOL

He even went and bought "business casual" for the trip. No, he's not wearing it on the flight. ::snort:: Gotta love it.