Thursday, September 22, 2011

Conviction + Simple Moments

Some days, like most moms (I think), I wish I could escape.  Some of those days last for weeks...of course, when I actually can escape I often don't, or all I can think about is my kids.  I'm sure most Moms reading this can relate.  Some days with the kids are especially difficult.  Some weeks are.  Lately life with my precious, dramatic, teenage-like 3-year-old has been especialy challenging.  Constant meltdowns, tantrums, screaming fits, whining, complaining, and dramatic displays has made for some long days--and time-outs (more for Mom's sanity than her correction.  yes, Mom, I finally understand why you "forgot" me in time-outs...).  When the days are hard I remember how glad I am that these days are coming now.  What a perfect opportunity to fine tune their character while they're so young, moldable, and loving.  This is our chance to show them how God's law is our tutor, leading us to Christ.

"Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith."

--Galatians 3:24 (NAS)

"Let me put it another way. The law was our guardian until Christ came; it protected us until we could be made right with God through faith.

--Galatians 3:24 (NLT)

Until the time when we were mature enough to respond freely in faith to the living God, we were carefully surrounded and protected by the Mosaic law. The law was like those Greek tutors, with which you are familiar, who escort children to school and protect them from danger or distraction, making sure the children will really get to the place they set out for."

--Galatians 3:23-24 (The Message)

What an honor to be entrusted to teach the law to my children which will be their tutor and guardian as they come to Christ.  I'm continually convicted I float through my days too often self-absorbed with my To Do List rather then waking each day with my calling as a missionary to my children, of pointing them to Christ as we go throughout our day.  I allow my hobbies and work load to dictate my day far too often.  I'm working on goals and putting plans into practice to change this perspective, but mostly I need a heart change focused on Christ so I can lead my children to focus their attention on Christ.  May my teaching never be empty words but lived out in my life.  I want my children to do as I say AND do.

This means when I stop to pray with Ivory about her attitude, patience level, and the fruit of the Spirit I also confess my own shortcomings and pray for the Holy Spirit power to demonstrate these qualities of Christ. 
This means looking in the mirror when I complain about her complaining.

These past few weeks, Ivory's age, Micah's attention span, and the soon arrival of our little Korban has me thinking a lot about our routines and lifestyle in our home.

Starting Radical by David Platt has me thinking a lot about the church, our ministry, and my personal walk with Christ. 

So much to chew on and digest.

This leads me to show the lighter, more joyful, simple moments in our household.

Not a great quality photo, but definitely a great quality smile.

The kids learning to be content during blanket time + carpet time.  They're making major headway!  20 minutes yesterday with minimal crying and 30 minutes today with only one straying off the blanket and minor cry fit.  Good news for nursing (my most difficult moments with Ivory were always when I was nursing Micah--she hated that he got my full attention and I couldn't do for her).  This will constitute as a perfect activity during at least one feeding.

Yesterday while the kids were on blanket time I did some quick chores and "buried treasure" for them to discover.  They mostly cared about the buried snacks.  Definitely my kids.

Then, we headed outdoors for a nature walk to collect items for our autmun wreathes.  We delivered one to a precious older couple at our church where we had a sweet visit and Ivory came home with some impatients to plant in our blue pot on the porch and they both came home with chocolate.  We're still trying to catch another sweet couple at home to deliver the red wreath.  I love taking the kids to visit these couples and they love it, too.

While the idea of this activity was great, it was only successful with one child.  And probably not the one you expect.  Round one (orange wreath) was made by Micah & Mommy while Ivory sat in time out watching because of excessive disobedience, screaming, crying, etc.  I tried to engage Ivory in round two (red wreath), but that didn't go well, either.  So, Mom made that wreath while Ivory again sat in time out watching.  I can still hear my mom's words ringing in my ears, "We stopped school for a few months until you could learn to let me be the teacher."  Maybe if we start now at 3 she'll at least be ready to listen by 5?  Reading and writing is awesome, but for now we'll focus mostly on obeying.

I write that not as complaint but more hope for those moms out there who have also thougth of an activity you thought for sure your kid(s) would love and instead it seemed to be a complete fail.  I didn't want the finished product to be deceptive. =)

I will say, the actual visits when we deliver our craft projects or cards have always been a huge success with those we visit and the kids.  They *love* the spoiling and the older couples keep their artwork up for months.  In fact, one sweet lady, Mrs. Geraldine, still has Ivory's simple stick cross (from Easter) displayed right in the front of their home for visitors to see.  So sweet. 

So, I highly encourage you moms out there to find people in your church or community who could use a visit to cheer them up, make a simple craft/food/card, load your kids (young and old) up and go visit them!

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