Its Relative

We had quite a cold snap move through the area and drop temperatures much lower than everyone is used to. We tend to shiver and shake while the colder temps hang around. Then it warms up to what we considered cold before and, to our surprise, what was once uncomfortable, actually feels fine. It’s amazing how quickly humans tend to acclimate to extreme swings.

Sadly, we all too easily can adjust to spiritually unhealthy “things” that come into our lives. We might be exposed to worldly music, movies, ads, or commercials with visual entrapment, lewd clothing, or inappropriate behavior or language long enough that we adjust to accept it as the new normal. Compromise works in small steps that move us in an undesirable direction. It takes great effort to guard our walk in Christ Jesus. “Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong” (1 Corinthians 16:13).

Satan’s strategy is to wear us down through compromise. “And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High…” (Daniel 7:25).


Job Opening – Omniscience Required

Can you imagine how difficult a job it is to forecast one’s life?

What will the family’s finances be like 5, 10, 15 years from now – maybe good, okay, or bad?

How much time will Dad have to work to feed the family?

What will their home be like over the same period – too small, just right, or lots of room?

What will Dad’s and Mom’s health be like?

What will the health be of their current children?

Is it possible a child might be lost?

Will Dad and Mom be happy with their children, want more, or wish for less?

Might God plan to use child-induced challenges to develop Christ-likeness in Dad and Mom and a dependence on God?

Could it possibly be that there is no earthly way parents can answer those questions and adequately plan when and how many children to have?

Could it be that is why God never told parents to decide?

“And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth” (Genesis 9:1).

Might this area of life require us to trust our loving omniscient, Father?

Joseph and Mary didn’t “plan” their family. Aren’t we glad?

Merry Christmas,


Are You Whining or Worshipping?

When the “children” were singing for residents at a nursing home, there was one woman who was a total invalid. She was all curled up in a ball in her bed-style wheel chair and covered with a blanket. She couldn’t move herself and was in constant pain. One foot with a well worn blue striped sock stuck out from under the edge of the blanket. I was brought to tears as I watched her worship the God of creation. Her foot danced before the Lord more beautifully than anything I’ve ever witnessed as it was choreagraphed to the music. I saw her spirit dance in worship of Almighty God even though her body was broken. She could have been bitter over her circumstances, but instead she worshipped.

Are you worshipping your God or complaining? May we lead our families in worshipping, regardless of our circumstances.

“Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped, And said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD. In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly” (Job 1:20-22).


I Didn’t Trust God

During a recent road trip, my son John began driving early while I was waking up. I thought I would spend some time praying, so I prayed, “Lord, teach me to pray.” Almost the second I prayed that, I was flooded with the concern What if the Lord allows serious things into my life so as to teach me to pray? I felt myself rescinding that prayer about as quickly as I had prayed it. Then, to my shame, the Lord revealed to me that I didn’t trust Him. That was shocking and very disappointing to me.

I didn’t trust Him completely with my life and that He would accomplish His best. When I joined the others up front I shared my new insight with them. It was nothing to be proud of, for sure, but it was so good that God revealed it to me. Over the next few days, I prayed that God would “help my unbelief,” and He did. I was able to pray, “Lord, teach me to pray using whatever means You think best.” I can tell you that, to my joy and delight, He is teaching me to pray.

“And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples” (Luke 11:1).


What is Your Level of Confidence?

My heart breaks when I receive e-mails from dads who are in crisis mode. Often, the appearance is that these crises involve problems that likely could have been averted if Dad would rightly lead his family.

I have been sharing Seriously articles with you since March. The feedback has been that they are on target in challenging men as they lead their families. My goal is to keep them short so you will read them. I pray I have earned a level of confidence through what you have been reading in Seriously.

There is so much on my heart that I want you to know so that your family could avoid future heartbreak. I have already written much concerning this in four key books: Keeping Our Children’s Hearts, Preparing Sons to Provide for a Single-Income Family, Redeeming the Time, and Buying a House Debt-Free: Equipping Your Son.

Will you allow me to get even more serious with you for a moment? I’m encouraging each one of you to check with your wife and see which of those books you already have. Then order the ones you don’t have, and systematically read them. We have audio versions available for two of them if you struggle with reading time, but please read them all.  Be men of action and lead. If you are committed to reading all four, e-mail me so I can pray for you.


“And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you: To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints” (1 Thessalonians 3:12-13).

Stress Busters – Part 1

Stress is a terrible taskmaster. Sometimes it can feel like it is crushing us, and we not only have an emotional response to it but also a physical response. I can’t help but wonder if those feelings aren’t triggers to remind us that the Lord doesn’t want us to bear burdens alone.

Stress Busters for Homeschool Moms

One of the most important stress-busters that the Lord has given to me is my schedule. Years ago when I was still having babies and homeschooling, the Lord began to teach me about scheduling. That schedule alleviated many stressors I faced on a daily basis. Those stressors are ones that most moms will have in their lives. A schedule is the Lord’s direction for using my time to accomplish the responsibilities He has given to me. When I am doing that, the stressors are disarmed and not effective in their bombardment of my emotions. Let me share with you a few recent examples of how a schedule helped relieve stress for moms.

Consider the stress of a newborn in the family. However, here is what a mom wrote to me when her baby was about 4 weeks old:

“Having a schedule already in place when Joseph was born has proved to be invaluable. Some days have been a struggle, but other days like today have been amazing! Today the house is tidy, the children have been on schedule—it feels great! I have tried to remain on the schedule as much as possible. I know that the benefits will continue to be reaped in the many months and years to come.”

Dealing with Stress and Physical Illness

Then there is the stress than comes when one is struggling with an illness. Another mom recently told me about how her schedule has helped her in the midst of her illness:

“The bedtime/waketime have helped me in so many ways. The main way is how I feel. Even though I still have adrenal fatigue, the tiredness during the day has lessened because my body is getting more regulated sleep and more sleep earlier at night. Also, since I have struggled with self-discipline for a long time, it feels so victorious to get up and go to bed at the same times and know how beneficial that is to have an organized, productive day. It certainly will help my health as well!”

Stress Buster for Being Away from Home

Perhaps you are facing stress from having to be away from home for one reason or another. Can a schedule be a stress-buster for this situation? This mom had pre-surgery appointments on Monday and Wednesday with surgery on Friday. Here is how her schedule relieved stress for her:

“On Monday and Wednesday the family carried on and worked hard and pretty much stayed on task. They knew what to do and did it! We are finally seeing some consistent productivity; I am so very pleased with where we are right now.”

Then there are the normal, everyday stressful events that busy moms face continually. For me, my schedule prevented much of that stress. Here is what one mom told me happened in her home after just four weeks on her schedule.

“Laundry is being kept up—clean clothes and towels every day.

The children have been consistently doing their chores.

The kitchen and kitchen sink are much cleaner more consistently, and I’ve noticed that directly affects my mood :).

We are saving money on house keepers that were coming in once a week.

I feel so much better about ministry as a wife, mother, and homemaker. I feel like I am finally honoring my husband and the Lord with my efforts in our home. I can only explain it as pure joy in my heart. 🙂

There is a peace in our home now.

Even our older children having been responding so well to the schedule.

After being on a schedule now for several weeks, it isn’t intimidating anymore. Before starting this I really felt like it was too big of a task, and I was worried about being too restricted in my life or tied to a schedule but it was just the opposite. I am experiencing so much more freedom by getting our daily tasks done, and one very nice benefit to that is feeling like I am doing the tasks that God has called me to do. It’s a wonderful feeling. 🙂

My husband told me that when he comes home and things are looking so good and dinner is being cooked and the children are NOT running wild, he feels loved, and he feels like I really care about him and our family. He confessed that before when he would walk into our home in complete chaos, he thought I didn’t care or maybe I had given up. I’m not sure if I had already told you this or not. He keeps mentioning things like this to me :). That made me so happy to hear. It also let me know just how much our previous chaotic life hurt him and our marriage.”

Managers of Their Homes

Scheduling Key to Stress-Busting

Isn’t that amazing? All she did was make and implement a schedule! I desire these kinds of outcomes in my home, and I believe you do too

A schedule is the key for many. Our book Managers of Their Homes will help you toward a schedule if you don’t already have one.

We are facing the beginning of a new year soon, and there is no better time to begin a schedule or make revisions to one that isn’t being used effectively. The days between Christmas and New Year’s often provide a few hours for a mom that aren’t as hectic as the earlier part of the holiday season or as full as normal daily life can be.

That would be the perfect opportunity to ask the Lord for His direction for your schedule. “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).

Why battle stressors in your life when you can eliminate them? There are plenty of stressful things that we have no control over. A schedule, however, gives us a great amount of control over some major stressors in home life. Making a schedule is worth the time investment in order to gain the benefits it affords.