Sunday, March 29, 2009

Atmosphere in the Home Part II

I think we all want to have happy, loving homes with a joyful atmosphere, and some sense of order.

After we make sure we are staying connected to the Source of all that we need (Part I), then what?

God has given us an order. Husbands love your wives. Wives respect your husbands. Children obey your parents.

You (if you are a woman) have no control over the first one, so work with the second and third. :-)

Most of us don't respect our husbands, unfortunately. We have certain things that we respect about our husbands, but we don't respect them ALL of the time just because of their position, which I think is what God wants us to do. If you haven't, please read Created to be His Helpmeet by Debbie Pearl. I can't say it any better than she does, except maybe a little less redneck. But it's the most biblical, no-nonsense, this-is-what-you-can-do-as-a-wife-to-make-a-difference-in-your-marriage, book I've ever read!

As far as children obeying their parents, I've found it to be a balance between discipline and training and friendship and relationship. For great basics on parenting biblically, my favorite book is Don't Make Me Count to Three: A Mom's Look at Heart-Oriented Discipline by Ginger Plowman. I also liked Shepherding a Child's Heart by Ted Tripp, but Plowman's book is more readable, humorous and practical.

To summarize, the standard has to be set high. You should expect your children to obey you the first time, all the way, and with a happy heart.

But it's easy to go over-the-top and become a drill sergeant, whose children only obey you in your presence. Not good! While keeping high expectations, you also have to have a sense of humor, laugh, play with your children, show them affection, be willing to admit when you are wrong and ask forgiveness, and in general, build a friendship or relationship with them, just like you would with any other person.

Also keep in mind Proverbs 22:6. Most of know this verse as, "Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it." But "in the way he should go" can be translated "according to his bent" or "according to the tenor of his way." That means if you have multiple children you can't treat them all the same way and expect the results to be the same. Hmm... that makes things a little more difficult. Is God trying to make it hard? Or maybe make us a little more dependent on Him? Back to the Source on that!

I heard something really interesting last week at church. We had a guest speaker (Chuck Bomar from Colosse Church in Tigard) who said God is never going to call us in a direction that makes us less dependent on Him.

Being a wife and mother and manager of our home keep me very dependent on God. And that's a good thing!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Atmosphere in the Home Part I

Over the years I have been so blessed by all the "older" moms who have taken time out of their busy schedules to share with "younger" moms.

I have been to many groups - MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers), Hearts at Home and others whose names I can't remember. I always left feeling so encouraged and inspired. These are such important ministries, and I hope someday to do my part as an older mom. Problem is, right now, I'm an older mom but I still have a two-year-old. So here's to blogging instead.

I remember being asked by an older mom, "How do you want your kids to remember you?" Are you always rushing to get somewhere? Are your kids going to remember you saying "Hurry, hurry, get your shoes on and get in the car!" Is this the legacy you want to leave?

I remember feeling very convicted. And I think about it to this day.

We need to have balance. We want to make sure our kids have time for church, school, extra-curricular activities, family, chores, friends... and depending on the day and the season, we tend to be a little out of balance in one way or another, but always coming back to center.

How do we do this? I think it starts with getting supernatural help. I don't know about you, but I can't do it on my own.

Do you really believe that the Creator God, Who made you, Who made this world, Who made the universe, Who is love, Who sent His own Son to die for you, has more thoughts of you than there are grains of sand? (see Psalm 139:17-18)

If you really believe that (and it is true!) won't you cuddle up to your Abba Father, and seek His infinite wisdom for your day?

Enjoy Him!

Wake up before your kids (or put on a video) and have your spot. For me, that's coffee & water, a blanket, my Bible, journal and sometimes my copy of Morning and Evening (a devotional by Charles Spurgeon.) And my dayplanner too, though I try not look much at that. Only to write things down that I need to remember that come to me as I pray - since it is my brain.

Personally, I do not work on an official "Bible Study" during this time. I read the Psalms or another book of the Bible and meditate on God's Word and pray, going back and forth between Scripture and journaling/praying. But I don't do well with feeling like I'm doing homework.

If you only have five minutes, spend five minutes praising Him for Who He is (reading the Psalms and copying Scriptures down that describe Him is great for this). Getting your mind off yourself and all the unimportant things we tend to worry about will do wonders for your day! If you have more time, continue through the ACTS model of prayer (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving and Supplication - presenting your requests to God).

If you aren't a morning person, just try it anyway. Even if you can have just a little quiet time in the morning, I think it will bless your day.

Okay, this is getting long. I've just added "Part I" to the title, and I will continue it later :-)

For more great information on getting started on quiet times, head over to my friend Jeannie's blog.