Category Archives: General

Children’s Summer Chores

When is the best time to work on chores? I believe summer is the time to put together a chore plan, assign children chores, teach them how to do their chores, and practice. Especially for homeschooling moms, the slower pace of summer affords valuable time for a chore emphasis that isn’t available during the school year. Plus with diligence and purpose for chores in the summer, your home maintenance should be as efficient as possible freeing time for other pursuits.

Put Together a Children’s Summer Chore Plan

I have heard about online plans and things you can sign up for to receive emails to tell you what to do and when to do it concerning chores. If you think about it, though, you are the only one who knows what needs to be done in your home, who makes up the chore team, who has time available, and who knows how to do particular jobs. I am convinced that you are the best one to design a summer chore plan for your children.

Commit the plan to paper. It has to be something you can look at and refer to, not something stored in your head! Think through the chores that need to be accomplished in your home and make a list of what comes to mind. You can add to it and refine it as you go. Start basic. Just get the critical chores written down. 

Be sure your children are accomplishing tasks that involve their self care such as making their beds, picking up their toys and clothes and putting them away, and helping in the kitchen. You will not only have chore help now, but you are preparing your children to handle responsibility throughout their lives.

Assign Children Chores

Next decide who can do the chore. If you have children helping with chores, plan for the youngest child who is capable to do the chore. Is it time for an older child to hand a chore over to a younger sibling? Perhaps the older child is ready to move into a higher skilled chore. When putting together your children’s summer chore plan, this information is necessary.

Teach Children Their Chores

Then work with your children to teach them to do their chores this summer. If you spend a few days teaching and then supervising bed making, your children will soon be proficient at it. The same goes for folding laundry or any other chore. First demonstrate, then work with the child, finally observe them doing it on their own. 

It is easier and quicker to do it ourselves when our children are just maturing to a capable age for a chore. In the long run, however, you are wise to invest in teaching your children to do chores. Remember you need help now, and they need to be able to function efficiently with chore work as adults. 

Schedule Chores

Finally remember that a great chore plan and children who know what to do doesn’t gain anticipated benefits unless you have a schedule in place. You want a summer schedule that allows time at the appropriate spot in the day for your children to do those chores. Usually chores fit naturally around meal times and before bed. On your written list be sure to put down the scheduled time for each chore. 

You will have to choose to be diligent to enforce that chore block on the schedule. Don’t expect your children to be enthusiastic about their work and rush to do it on their own. I think you can affect their attitudes by your own attitude toward your household chores. The more positive you are about your work, the more they will be about theirs. Dealing with their failures in a pleasant but firm manner, more quickly marches you forward with chore success. 

Redeeming Time this Summer

“Redeeming the time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:16). I can’t help but wonder if one way we can redeem time to invest in what is of eternal value to the kingdom of God is to have a home that functions efficiently and children who are being trained to be adults. The more chaos in a home, the more time it sucks from all the family members. We want to spend as little time as possible on household tasks so we have more time to serve the Lord in other ministry. Invest this summer in a children’s chore system and redeem the time.

If you need help with a chore plan, I recommend our book Managers of Their Chores. In that book, I take you step by step through putting together a chore system. 

Other Titus2 chore articles:

Children’s Chores

Summer Schedules and Chores

Benefiting from Summer Chores

Ambassador for Christ

Christian dads generally have “full plates” providing for their families, in addition to responding to family, home, and church responsibilities. My guess is most are not looking for more things to do. Yet, the Lord’s parting command was very clear that we are to be making disciples (Matthew 28:19). In addition to purposeful discipling of our children (Deuteronomy 6:4-9), how can busy dads do that? 

Instead of adding one more thing “to” your life, make this the very essence “of” your life.Have the mindset of being an ambassador for Christ all day, everyday, everywhere you go and with everyone you meet. “Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us” (2 Corinthians 5:20). Deep genuine love for our Lord and our neighbor is our motive. Daily prayer prepares our hearts and seeks God’s grace. Be salty due to your time in the Word and your walk with the Lord Jesus so when you engage someone they will thirst for more (Matthew 5:13). “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16). May we make the most of every opportunity.

Posted in: General

Busy Moms Can Read the Bible

We regularly discuss in Mom’s Corners the necessity and value of busy moms reading their Bibles. Sadly, it is easy for anyone, and the busier, perhaps the easier, to declare she is just too busy to be in the Word. The excuse is that God understands. But I wonder. The God of the Universe says our desire for the sincere milk of the Word was to be as if we were newborn babies. “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby” (1 Peter 2:2). That means we crave the Word if we want to grow, and time is not even to be a consideration (babies have lots of time).

An Example of a Busy Mom Who Reads Her Bible

I had lunch the other day with a friend, who recently moved from across the country and now lives just 45 minutes from me. She’s a busy, homeschool mom, like many of you are or were. In 2007, she started reading her Bible daily. At that time, she only had two children. Now she has five. Her life has only gotten busier since she started daily, Bible reading. She has had every reason to say she didn’t have time, but she wanted to grow spiritually.

Fourteen years after that decision to daily spend time reading her Bible, she now has a beautiful, spiritual life along with thirteen lovely journals that document her faithful meetings each morning with her Savior, Jesus Christ. Back then, she grabbed hold of a simple, yet powerful, way to spend time in the Word. She reads, finds a verse that speaks to her heart from her reading, copies that verse into a notebook, and then journals about what that verse said or meant to her. She told me what an amazing blessing that time in the Word has been to her.

The Busy Mom’s Outcome When She Reads Her Bible

Her life shines with the spiritual fruit that comes from Bible reading. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law” (Galatians 5:22-23).

I observed that fruit in her life as we talked. Her life was not pressure-free. She had struggles and difficulties, but she radiated faith through them. She sparkled with joy in what God was doing in her life and her family’s life. She was filled with love for those she served. She demonstrated peace as she talked about the trials she faced. She lived out long-suffering as she told about physical problems that were ongoing. 

Jesus Says Not By Bread Alone

When Jesus faced Satan’s temptations in the desert, one of them was to command the stones to be turned to bread. After all, with forty days of fasting, Jesus was hungry. He did have a physical need. “But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4). Do we consider time in the Word to be even more important than our daily physical needs and duties? Or could it be that a little more sleep or the pressures of responsibilities push out time for the words God gave us in the Bible?

Mary Sits at Jesus’ Feet

We have another example in the New Testament that I believe we can relate to—the story of Mary and Martha in Luke 10:38-42. 

“Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word. But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me. And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”

Nothing in my life compares with serving Jesus like Martha was serving Him by preparing food for Him and the disciples. Yet, Martha was rebuked for being burdened with her service, and Mary was commended for hearing Jesus’ words. Jesus said that Mary learning from Him was what was needed. 

Is It Worth Being Too Busy?

May I again implore you to set aside any “too busy” excuses for not spending time reading your Bible? Would you choose today to find a place in your busy life for God’s Word and then be faithful to meet Him there every day?

“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path” (Psalms 119:105).

“Thou art my hiding place and my shield: I hope in thy word” (Psalms 119:114).

For more encouragement on this topic of our walk with the Lord and Bible time, check out Sweet Journey.

Fearful or Bold

Many believers have recently been focused on the events prior to and including Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection. Then attention typically turns to the disciples, hiding in fear for their lives. Their hopes and dreams of reigning with Jesus were likely exchanged for mental images of being crucified themselves. Have you ever imagined yourself in that position? What a blessing that most of us have not experienced persecution for our faith. 

I wonder how many of you are fearful to share your faith. Are you actively sharing your faith? “… as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you” (John 20:21). The question isn’t how many you have led to Christ, but are you sowing seeds? If we truly love the Lord Jesus and others, may we not miss any opportunity.

“And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these” (Mark 12:30-31).

(To be continued.)

What Could Be Better?

Who would have imagined our government “giving” taxpayers big checks? Free money seems too good to be true. 

Might that be similar to many “believers” view of their relationship with the Lord Jesus today? They “believe” in Jesus, and in return, He is supposed to give them the good life. How did the greatest act of sacrificial love become so trivialized and distorted? 

We are not worth even a molecule of the Lord Jesus’ blood yet He thought it good to purchase us. “Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us” (Hebrews 9:12). 

Might we use this season to adore Him and reflect on His sacrifice and worth? Thank Him, trust Him, obey Him, and worship Him. He alone is worthy. “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created” (Revelation 4:11).

BTW, Satan cursed Adam and his children by getting Adam’s focus off of God and onto food (clever and effective). May we not be guilty as well by giving children chocolate bunnies and eggs when all attention and glory is due the Lord Jesus Christ? 

“But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men” (Matthew 16:23).

Not Worth Much

It is common for Teri and me on our morning walk to encounter youth on their way to school. Our custom, due to the love of Christ, is to greet them pleasantly. In more recent years, many totally ignore us. Our cheerful greeting is met with dead silence and no eye contact which seems more appropriate for a non-entity or something disgusting. (What power–deemed non-human by a twelve-year-old.) We communicate with those we value and not with those we don’t. 

With that thought, consider how long and the quality of your prayer life with the God of the universe. Might that be a reasonable indicator of your relationship with the Lord and your love for Him? “But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly” (Matthew 6:6). Your wife wouldn’t think much of your love for her if you gave her only a token of time and attention and didn’t want to talk to her. How much more worthy is our Lord and Savior? 

Brothers, don’t allow yourself any excuses. Have a dedicated, private time and place for prayer every day (Psalm 92:1-2). There is no better way to begin your day. “And he withdrew himself into the wilderness, and prayed” (Luke 5:16). 

Have specific prayer topics and focus for your prayers. People use grocery lists so they won’t forget something they want to purchase. How much more important are our prayers? (I use a private whiteboard in my study where I list prayer needs and requests.) 

Confess, adore, praise, thank, and petition Him. “Pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). 

Let’s Get Serious

Have you ever admired someone who seems to have a deep, sincere relationship with the Lord Jesus? Have you secretly yearned for that too? My brothers, it can (must) be like that, but it starts with a choice. Make having a close, loving, on-fire relationship with Jesus Christ, the holy, righteous God of creation, your commitment. Any piddly cost to us is NOTHING compared to what Jesus “paid” in emptying Himself, taking on human flesh, and dying to purchase us with His blood. In light of His sacrifice, anything it costs us is NOTHING. 

It begins with commitment and action. I suggest you set in stone the following:

  1. Your wakeup and bedtime is the same every day. 
  2. Then before the distractions can begin, read your Bible for thirty minutes.** Usually, wrong priorities might make one think that isn’t possible. (Seriously, you don’t have thirty minutes a day for the One Who purchased you with His blood?)
  3. Read His Word with the commitment of living out (obeying) what you read. Systematically ingest His holy Word with the commitment to live it.
  4. Then pray for at least 15 minutes**. I suggest having bullet items written out. 

Almost everyone I talk to seldom misses a meal. How much more committed should we be to our Lord? 

** (It is possible that during some seasons or due to circumstances, that amount of time isn’t possible. If you want an objective perspective, let’s talk.) 

“And all the people came early in the morning to Him in the temple, for to hear Him” (Luke 21:38).

(To be continued) 

Prioritizing Relationships That Matter

Next to our salvation and a relationship with Jesus Christ, probably the most important thing to us is our families and relationships with them. Life is busy for all, and maybe even busier for the homeschooling mom. What happens to those priority relationships for busy homeschool moms in the midst of that lifestyle? Is it possible to accomplish what needs to be done but lose the heart thrust of relationships? How can we purposefully nurture relationships but still keep up with the responsibilities the Lord has called us to fulfill?

Schedule

Your schedule is critical for helping you prioritize relationships. First, it maximizes your productivity, allowing you the most time possible to invest in relationships.

Next, it shows you where your time is misplaced. Is it possible that you have time for relationship building, but you are spending it in ways that aren’t your real priorities? Social media, texting, and emailing could be your biggest time robbers. Some of the moms I admire the most are the ones who choose to keep those things contained within a scheduled time frame and stay away from them the rest of the time. When your children leave home, what do you want them to remember about you—the mom who had her face glued to her phone or one who looked at them?

You can put activities into the schedule that are relationship building. What about scheduling individual time with a child? It probably won’t be every day except for school time, but it could be once or twice a week. Even a half an hour or hour dedicated to one child will grow that relationship. It might be a time where you simply talk, perhaps discussing spiritual things and the child’s struggles and joys. “She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness” (Proverbs 31:26). It could also be doing something with him that you know he enjoys doing.

Working Together

If you have your children scheduled one at a time to work with you in the kitchen for meal preparation, you just gained a huge amount of relationship-building time. With 21 meals a week, if we estimated 30 minutes preparation time per meal—breakfast will likely take less and dinner more—that comes up to ten hours of individual, relationship-building time per week.

By keeping it to just one helper, your full attention is on every story that child wants to tell you, every joy he desires to share with you, and every worry that is on his heart. You have the opportunity to speak into his life what you see he is doing well and those things you know he could grow in.

In the process of all of that, in addition to relationship building, your child learns kitchen skills he takes with him through life and character that equips him for the areas of service God will call him to in adulthood. I can assure you that your two-year-old will slow you down in the kitchen, but he will be a happy helper full of enthusiasm and words. By the time he is five, he will be capable of doing many tasks independently and at eight, there might be meals he could do alone. Don’t resort to giving him that assignment on a normal basis, though, because remember—by working together you are taking time with and for that child.

Attitudes

Balanced with spending time together for relationship building is your attitude in general. If you spend lots of time with a child but are negative when you are together, I doubt that relationship will grow strong. Take inventory. When you talk to your children, are you negative and critical or encouraging and positive? Do you smile at them or talk to them with your eyes focused on your phone, seeming distracted?

Blessed

Ask the Lord to help you find ways to build relationships with your children. There is nothing dearer to a mother’s heart than for this to be true:  “Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her” (Proverbs 31:28). May I encourage you to purposefully invest in growing relationships with your children.

If you need help making a schedule, Managers of Their Homes is a resource we have available for you. It has helped many, many moms do what you want to do.

Blah Blah Blah

We all have had a conversation with a boy who proclaimed he was going to do great and mighty things. Listening, you smiled, affirmed, and encouraged him as he spoke, but inwardly you wondered, “Will he actually do it?”

Have you noticed that doesn’t just apply to boys? A few months back, I was visiting with my son, Nathan, and his wife, Melanie, on the driveway when they were dropping something off. At one point in the conversation, I commented that I still wanted to lose ten more pounds, and I was going to do it. They responded with appropriate smiles and encouragement. Well, three months later, not only have I not lost those pounds, I have packed on a few more.

Aren’t we glad Noah, Moses, and Paul were men of God who put action to their words? What if Jesus, when in the garden, had called down legions of angels to avoid going to the cross? We all would be headed for eternity in hell. “Or do you think that I cannot appeal to My Father, and He will at once put at My disposal more than twelve legions of angels?” (Matthew 26:53).

What have you said you would do and haven’t? First in priority is our relationship with Christ (Col. 1:18) — in the Word every morning and praying (1 Peter 2:2). Make sure you are involved in a Bible-believing/preaching church each week (Hebrews 10:25). What about investing in your marriage (Eph. 5:25) and relationships with your children (Deut. 6:7)? (Don’t believe the quality versus quantity lie!) May we be men of our word.

SUCCESS ORIENTED

 Most parents would love for their children to sit still and be attentive at church. The question is how many are willing to invest in their children to achieve that end. If you are, it’s achievable, and family Bible time is the ideal training vehicle with the side benefit of them learning self control.

Begin with a mental checklist of Bibletime-behavior goals for your children. Make your guidelines achievable, and explain them to all the children when you begin. Don’t resort to the bad idea of allowing children to play with toys during this time as it teaches them to think about things other than God’s Word. 

Even little ones love how good it “feels” when they are praised by the family at the end for sitting still and having been quiet. Encourage/remind the older children that their example influences the “youngers.”

I watched my son, Christopher(six children ages 1 to 8), improve upon what we did in our home for family Bible time. I am blessed by his faithfulness and diligence in this. To help the little ones when beginning Bible time, he holds up one hand and then sequentially points to each finger associating a behavior with it. 

o Hands busy (hands clasped together)
o Sit up
o Feet down
o Be quiet
o Listen carefully

Over time, he no longer needed to rehearse these each night. Often, when they have done exceptionally well, Christopher will reward them with something active a little one would enjoy.

“Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word. With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments” (Psalm 119:9,10).