Category Archives: Mom’s Corner

ARE YOU PREPARING YOUR SONS?

In 2001, we published a book called Preparing Sons to Provide for a Single-Income Family. A top question many homeschooling families were asking at that time was: How can my sons get good jobs with a homeschool education? Because two of our sons had been taught at home throughout their school years, and because they were earning incomes that could support a family, we wanted to share what we had learned. It was our desire to encourage other families to stay the homeschooling course and to prepare their sons for their futures. That question is as pertinent today as it was then, and Preparing Sons is every bit as important and applicable as it was 23 years ago, maybe more so.

The information in Preparing Sons begins with ages 3 to 6, moves to 7 to 12, then 13 to graduation, and finally post-high school. There is so much in that book that is practical and easily implemented. Families whose sons were in their teens when they bought Preparing Sons, when it was first published, now have sons who are in their late thirties. Many of those families read that book and set it aside, continuing to live just as they had been living. Now in some of those families, there are sons who are struggling needlessly in adulthood. Had their parents caught the vision presented in Preparing Sons, might their sons be in a better position to support a wife and children? 

Then there were other families who read Preparing Sons and said, “We want to do this! We desire this outcome for our sons.” With the Lord, they developed a vision for their sons. They made changes, and they prepared their sons not to be children forever but to be responsible, capable adults. Today they see the positive fruit in their adult sons’ lives.

We think each of you has a desire for your sons to grow to manhood as virtuous, industrious men of God. What are you doing to facilitate that outcome? We often hear from wives who share with us about a husband who is a slave to video games, movies, or other forms of entertainment. How are you raising your children so that they will transition, at the appropriate time, from being a child to being a man?

When our boys became teens, we wanted to direct their time usage into profitable pursuits. Their childhood playtime was replaced by activities that were productive. Of course, they had school that took up much of their day. They might spend other time practicing an instrument, doing lawn maintenance or other chores, and especially important was developing marketable skills. The results were good. “When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things” (1 Corinthians 13:11).

Time invested in productive pursuits during youth reaps positive benefits not only during those years but throughout their lives. We give our children purpose when they are teens by helping them be productive with their time. We can encourage them toward ministering and studying, while developing and utilizing skills that can be used to generate income in the present and in the future.

So many of the youth of today are hopeless. They don’t know Jesus Christ, and they have no purpose. Their lives are sadly out of control. Many are on anti-depressants. They have nothing worth living for, and they become overwhelmed with the emptiness of their lives.

Your children don’t have to be like that. You can turn the teen years into an exciting time, filled with responsibility and productivity with the accompanying outcome of satisfaction in their lives.

We released another book several years after Preparing Sons called Buying a House Debt-Free: Equipping Your Son. In that book, we trace a path that parents can take to facilitate their son’s ability to purchase a debt-free house before he is 30 or at least have a soldi head start toward that. We want to see all of your sons do what our five sons did: own debt-free houses when they are married.

You love your children. What is your vision for them? Is it a big vision? Ours was. Thirty years ago most would have told us it was impossible to achieve the vision we had for our sons. It wasn’t—not for our sons, not for the other young men whose stories we share, and it doesn’t have to be for your sons.

If you have a son who is currently 13 years or older, will he own a house with no mortgage before he is 30? Can you instill that desire in your little boys who are only 5 or 6? The choice is yours. We want to set this generation of young men on fire for having real purpose in life with the side benefit of debt-free living. What do you want for your sons? Will you accept the challenge?

Prayer

As Christian women, I believe we know the value of prayer, and most, if not all of us,  pray. Through the years walking with Christ, learning to pray, and putting prayer into practice, I discovered some holes in my prayer life. Thankfully the Lord has given me tweaks and tools to fill those holes and make my prayer life more effective.

Hit and miss praying, sometimes called flare prayers, makes it too easy to miss rather than hit or to only hit a couple of targets. Critical to my prayer life was, and still is, a scheduled time completely dedicated to praying – no more missing, just hit, hit, hit. For me, scheduled prayer time is attached to my morning Bible reading time. It happens at a specific time each morning and for a specific length of time. Then through out the day, I can pray, but I know those aspects that are my prayer priorities have been addressed. I don’t go to bed at night remembering all I didn’t pray about and wishing I had been more faithful in prayer.

Perhaps one of my biggest prayer holes was consistency in praying for things that were important to me. Sporadically as they surfaced in importance, I prayed about them. Often I got in ruts of who and what I prayed for, totally forgetting ones that I still desired to invest in praying for. With the utilization of a prayer list, however, all of that changed. Now prayer priorities were on the list and prayer attention given to them. I started out with a prayer notebook, but then moved to a prayer app.

With my prayer list that I could organize, I also left behind the overwhelmed feelings I had of not having time to pray for everything I wanted to pray about. With my prayer list, I assigned some items for everyday, others for several times a week, and still others for once a week. With a prayer app, I could record answers to prayer, and if it was a short term prayer, mark it as completed. If it was a specific request for someone I continually prayed for, I could write each answer in the notes associated with that person. It keeps my list concise, and I am not flipping all over in a prayer notebook like I was before.

With a prioritized and scheduled prayer time and a list of prayer targets, I did not miss praying for those important things. That also spared me the embarrassing moments when someone thanked me for praying about their need while I realized I hadn’t thought of their request again after it was made. I certainly hadn’t prayed for it. Now I get those requests on my prayer list and also, if they are for a specific day and time, I put them on my calendar with a reminder set. I want to be a faithful friend by praying when asked. When it is put on the prayer list, it is prayed for. 

The final tool to share with you is praying Scripture. Look at this passage, for example: 

For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light. Col 1:9-12

What powerful, specific things to pray for someone. If and when we are stuck in the routine of what we always pray for, Scripture gives us new words and ideas. Paul’s prayers are wonderful examples, but there are many more throughout our Bible. Note them as you are reading and make lists of them. Memorize them to have them even easily available when you pray.

May I encourage you to evaluate your prayer life to see if it could use revitalization? Might you be helped by scheduling a prayer time, by using a prayer list, or even prayer Scripture?

Leaving Chore Frustration Behind

After becoming successful with chores in our home when we had our eight children and before writing a resource on that topic, we did a survey of a large number of Christian, homeschooling moms. One statistic we garnered from that survey was that about 75% of those women did not feel prepared for their roles as wives, mothers, and homemakers while the other 25% were prepared. Those women said that the presence or absence of chore responsibility growing up made the difference. 

You are preparing your children to become mature, responsible adults so I want to encourage you to invest heavily in a chore system in your home and teaching your children how to do those chores. You can’t tell a child to do something and then expect that he will know what and how to do it. They need to have you demonstrate the chore, talking through it as you go and then letting them try it while you are watching. 

I wonder if practice is one of the major missing pieces that cause many to fail at their chore system. Recently we heard a reading specialist mention in a talk that dyslexic children can learn to read, but it takes repetition and practice and more repetition and practice – not just for a week, but for months and years.

We want to teach our children their chores and then think they will be off and running with them. That formula leads to disappointment and frustration for Mom, and that was certainly part of my failure with chores and my children in the beginning. How much better it is when we teach the chore, put it on the schedule, and practice the chore with the child for several days, until it is clear the child knows what to do and how to do it.

The next major stumbling block with a chore system is expecting that the chores will be done and done the way we want them done. I once heard someone say: “Don’t expect what you don’t inspect.” It takes time to daily inspect chores that are assigned to children. That means not only do the children have chores in their schedules but mom needs a time in her schedule to inspect them. This puts accountability in the chore system. 

If a child isn’t doing his chores or isn’t doing them well, Mom will decide if she needs to go back to teaching the job. Remember the dyslexic reader – repetition. Perhaps more practice with Mom is what will turn it around. On the other hand, it might be that we have moved into a character issue that must be addressed. It could be distractibility, lack of self-discipline, laziness, not paying attention to detail, hurrying, or many others. These are important to work through with your child too. Remember, we are headed for mature, responsible adults – step by step. 

Here’s an encouraging story a teenager’s mom shared with me.

“One of my children, who wishes to remain nameless, just said this – I promise, it is an exact quote . . . ‘I’m glad I have to do chores!’

So there you go. It only took 10 years of reinforcement, toil, sweat, tears etc. (on my part, I mean. 🙂 For those of you just starting in the trenches – don’t give up!  It pays major dividends!  Definitely not easy – what an understatement – but totally worth it!” Sandra

May I encourage you to work on chore system, not just setting it up but teaching, practicing, and inspecting the chores? “It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth” (Lamentations 3:17). While it may seem daunting, it is worth it, and it is never to late to start. 

If you need any help with a chore system, I suggest you get Managers of Their Chores. It has facilitated so many families in a successful chore system in their home and the positive outcomes that are desired from it.

In Faithfulness

On Thanksgiving day, I came down with a minor cold that turned into what the doctor called a raging sinus infection. One round of antibiotics and three weeks later I was finally well again. On Christmas Day, I woke up with a cough and developed a fever throughout the day. Four days later, that is still where I am.

Having only been well for ten days, I was not excited about the prospect of moving into another illness. Almost immediately, the Lord put this verse on my heart. Psalms 119:75 “I know, O LORD, that thy judgments are right, and that thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me.” In faithfulness God afflicts me. That moved my thoughts away from my own misery and onto my faithful God. It reminded me that nothing I consider good or bad comes into my life without God allowing it. He promised me, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28). Whenever discouragement started to set in, I quoted the verse to myself or to Steve, if he was nearby.

What is God’s faithfulness? Strong’s Concordance defines the Hebrew word this way: literally firmness; figuratively security; morally fidelity: set office, stability, steady, truly, truth, verily.

Here are some things we can note from Scripture about God’s faithfulness. “Thy faithfulness is unto all generations: thou hast established the earth, and it abideth” (Psalms 119:90). We are told His faithfulness is to all generations. He doesn’t pick and choose generations to receive His faithfulness. 

“Thy mercy, O LORD, is in the heavens; and thy faithfulness reacheth unto the clouds” (Psalms 36:5). Faithfulness that reaches to the clouds is a limitless amount of faithfulness. Only God has that much faithfulness. 

“It is of the LORD’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:22-23 ). This verse highlights Gods’ faithfulness despite our unfaithfulness. We deserve to be consumed but His compassions don’t fail and His faithfulness is great. Again we see in this verse God’s faithfulness even though we are not faithful. “If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself” (2 Timothy 2:13).

Even though physically I have been quite miserable these past few days, I feel blessed that God brought His faithfulness to mind early on with this illness. I, so quickly, fall prey to self-pity when God wants me fully engaged in Him and in this case His faithfulness. I have often repeated Psalms 119:75 these past four days, and it gives a special bit of joy in the midst of physical pain. The joy is there because God is faithful and He in his faithfulness allowed my affliction. 

In the November Mom’s Corner, we talked about not fretting over things that displease us and choosing instead to be thankful. Now I want to challenge you to consider God’s faithfulness in the midst of your trial or tribulation. Memorizing the end of Psalms 119:75 wouldn’t be hard -only six words – thou in faithfulness has afflicted me. Then the next time you want to feel sorry for yourself for whatever reason, remind yourself that God in His faithfulness has afflicted you. Then you will worship your Triune God for His faithfulness.

P.S. As the corner goes out, I am fully recovered. I know that a cold/flu virus is nothing of an affliction compared to what many are dealing with. May the Lord encourage each in their afflictions in His faithfulness.

To Fret or Be Thankful

Feelings of disappointment flooded me, as I came out of my visit with a second podiatrist for help with a heel malady that hasn’t resolved itself since beginning earlier this year. Even though I liked and interacted with this podiatrist better than the previous one, the appointment hadn’t met my expectations. I expressed those thoughts to Steve and then dwelt on them in my mind. 

Steve encouraged me that Scripture (Psalm 37:8) says that fretting doesn’t lead to good outcomes. It is true. Through my reactions and thoughts, I was fretting and that was making me discouraged, glum, and unhappy. Not the emotions I wanted to carry through the day.

In a recent morning Bible time, I read, “By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name” (Hebrews 13:15 ) and was pondering using it as the theme for a November Mom’s Corner, since this is Thanksgiving month. I hadn’t planned to be a poor example of it, though!

I have two verses memorized that also directed me with what to do rather than fret, “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18). And then there was this one, “Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 5:20).

There are key words and phrases from these three verses that give us critical information for the path of thanksgiving:

  • sacrifice 
  • praise to God/unto God
  • continually
  • thanks to His name, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ
  • in every thing
  • will of God
  • always for all things

Why would thanking God be a sacrifice? Could it be because our flesh wants to do exactly what I did – dwell on the negative, allow disappointment to direct my thoughts, and fret? So to combat the flesh, we are to make the sacrifice of praising God. That is even defined in Hebrews 13:15 as our lips – speak it out loud – giving thanks to His name, continually. We choose to worship Him in thanksgiving rather than worshipping self in self pity. 

Next we learn how often this thanksgiving is to happen – continually, in everything, always, and for all things. That is quite inclusive. It doesn’t give room for worry, fretting, complaining, or negativism. Thanksgiving and negative emotions don’t coexist well. Sometimes it is easy for us to forget that mindset of continual thanksgiving and to move into critical words and thoughts. Perhaps those kinds of wrong thoughts and words, should remind us that we aren’t giving thanks, continually for all things in God’s name. Then we can repent and go back to those right and godly thoughts.

Posted in: Mom's Corner

SIMPLIFIED MEAL STRATEGIES

For those who followed our blog when it was active and prayed for our daughter-in-law, Anna Marie, when she had breast cancer three years ago, they wanted you to know they just had baby #7 – a little girl, Esther Marie. Anna Marie has been 2 years cancer free now. We praise the Lord for His merciful goodness to them.

Busy moms, those with babies and large families like Anna Marie, and especially homeschooling moms need strategies to streamline kitchen work (see the link below for some additional ideas on this topic from Anna Marie). Proverbs 31:27 talks about this: “She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.”

One of the most frustrating situations for Mom is when she doesn’t know what to prepare for a meal and spends time wracking her brain for ideas with nothing coming together. Schedule for the following suggestions, and you will eliminate the emotional drain of indecision and also gain valuable time for other endeavors.

“She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens” (Proverbs 31:15). I imagine that a woman who gets up while it is still dark to prepare food for the day knew what she was going to make. Her plan allowed her to get to her work early.

Schedule time each week for meal planning and populating a grocery list. You could start with 1 hour a week and back down to 1/2 hour with experience and speed. Plan to grocery shop weekly and have your planning time the day of shopping or the day before.

Begin with three master meal lists: breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The easiest way to do this is to simply write down—track—each unique meal you eat as you eat it. Your master list will grow itself. You can also write from memory meals your family eats and enjoys. From the master meal list, you can quickly choose meals without dealing with empty brain and without eating the same meal every other night.

STANDARDIZED WEEKLY MENUS

I suggest a standardized weekly breakfast and lunch menu. That doesn’t require any decisions after the initial plan is developed, and all you have to do is check the food supply to see what you need to purchase to have enough for those meals that week. Pick favorites from your master breakfast and lunch meals that are simple and nutritious. Change the standardized menu up every couple of months or stick to it, if everyone is satisfied with it.

For example:

Breakfast
S – Egg casserole
M – Yogurt, granola, fruit
T – Oatmeal, fruit
W – Pancakes, fruit
Th – Muffins and eggs
F – Yogurt, granola, fruit
S – Oatmeal, fruit

Lunch
S – Quesadillas
M – Sandwiches
T – Soup
W – Leftovers
Th – Sandwiches
F – Soup
S – Leftovers

THEMED WEEKLY MENUS

For dinners, you could have a theme or a meal for some nights plus nights left open to be determined from your master dinner meal list when you meal plan. For example:

Dinner
S –
M – Beef
T – Chicken
W – Meatless
Th – Mexican
F – Homemade Pizza
S –

If you want to take the planning further, add your side dishes on the menu.

There is nothing binding about the menu. You always have the flexibility and choice to do something different. Having the plan, however, directs meals and allows you to be efficient in the kitchen. You don’t eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches every lunch because you can’t think of anything else to eat or don’t have what you need for anything else. You don’t spend the morning trying to decide what to have for dinner. You don’t run to the store because you decide to have something you are missing ingredients for. If you post your menu for the family and stick to it, you won’t have to tell every family member what’s for dinner since you forestall their questions.

I loved the ease my master meal lists, standardized and themed meal plans, plus weekly meal planning and grocery shopping brought to my full homeschooling lifestyle. I think you will benefit from it as well.

If you need scheduling help, Managers of Their Homes is an excellent resource. If you need help with a family chore plan, Managers of Their Chores is the resource for you.

For our downloadable shopping lists, see this link.

For meal planning ideas, see this popular blog post Simple Ideas for Homeschool Moms, and make sure to read the comments too!

Posted in: Mom's Corner

The Blessing of a Smile

I remember the time years ago, in the midst of my season of homeschooling when my husband looked at me one day and said, “Honey, I think you should smile more.” I don’t recall the exact circumstances, but I am sure it was not one of my more stellar days, and I didn’t receive his encouragement very well. I went off by myself into my bathroom and did a little experiment.

I looked at myself in the mirror and evaluated how I looked. Then I pretended to be unhappy with a child while correcting the child with an attitude. Immediately, I thought to myself, “Wow, Lord, if You had put little mirrors on my children’s foreheads so that I could see what they are seeing when I am displeased with their behavior, perhaps I would have more quickly come to the meek and quiet spirit that I long for.”

Finally, I smiled at myself in the mirror. The difference was astonishing. It was beyond amazing. There was no doubt in my mind which image I preferred looking at, and I could readily see why Steve suggested that I smile more. Truly, the smiling face was the one I desired for my family to see.

When a mom writes to me with struggles with her children, the first thing I usually ask her to do is to look each child in the eye at least once every day, smile at him, and tell him you love him. We get busy with life. We work with our children. We talk to them. We play with them. We do school with them. We disciple them. We are with them a great deal of time each day. Sometimes, though, we forget to simply quiet ourselves enough to catch their eye, smile into their face, and express the words that fill our hearts—”I love you!” We might say, “I love you” as we hug them during the day or tuck them in at night, but what about looking them in the eye when we say it?

There isn’t a verse in Scripture that says there is power in a smile, but this verse is pretty close: “A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance: but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken” (Proverbs 15:13). Here the smile comes from the heart. For me, there were times when my heart was not merry, but I chose to put a smile on my face. From that, I discovered the decision to smile could also cheer up my heart.

A smile is a blessing to my family. They like to see a wife and a mother who is happy. A smile is a blessing to me. It expresses my feelings for my family, and it causes me to feel happier. A smile is also a blessing to my Lord because it says to Him that I am content in Him with whatever circumstances He has given to me. “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content” (Philippians 4:11).

Could I challenge you to take the mirror test yourself? What kind of wife and mommy do you want your husband and children looking at—the one who is smiling, the one who is serious, or the one whose brow is furled and frowning? I would like to remind you to smile more. I would like to remind myself to smile more. There is a blessing in your smile. Don’t lose those precious blessings!

Teri

Contentment

Contentment – how is it going for you? If you are struggling with it, do you know where to begin? Paul and James are wonderful teachers of contentment, so let’s turn to what they have to say.

“And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong” (2 Corinthians 12:7-10).

Paul had a “thorn in the flesh.” He asked the Lord three times to be relieved from his difficulty. However, the Lord’s answer was “no.” God had a purpose and was going to use this as a demonstration of His grace and strength in Paul’s life. What was Paul’s response and ultimately his secret to contentment? He chose to take “pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then I am strong.”

For me, this kind of response goes against my natural reactions to hard circumstances. What I feel like doing is grumbling, complaining, being irritated and unhappy, feeling sorry for myself, and figuring out my own solution.

James learned the same lessons about contentment. “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing” (James 1:2-4). The word “count” means “to consider, deem, account, think” (Strong’s Greek & Hebrew Dictionary). This is an act of the will. It is a decision I make as to how I will think about my trials. James didn’t tell me to simply accept my trouble, to endure my difficulties, or to grit my teeth until it was past. No, he said to “count is all joy.” JOY! Doesn’t that sound like an impossible reaction to hardship? It is when I am relying on myself, but remember Paul told us when we are weak, Christ is strong.

Our natural reactions put self in the limelight. How does this affect my comfort level? Is this to my liking? Can I see anything positive in it? Scripture tells us that Jesus Christ is to be the center and object of our thoughts and therefore, as always, the focus. When this is true, then we can rest. Resting is the place of faith and trust in a sovereign God. It is acceptance that He knows what is best for our lives. We count it as joy. When we receive trials with this attitude, then we are content. My joy is not in what is happening but rather in my relationship with Jesus Christ.

Seeing that Scripture teaches us that contentment is important and knowing this from personal experience as well, may we seek contentment. May we make the choice to “count it all joy” and to take “pleasures in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then I am strong.”

Teri Maxwell

THE POWER OF TIME

August means school starting for most homeschool families. After a slower pace of summer, the thought of adding in school hours can be daunting for the homeschool mom. You might be a mom with all younger children who are not yet school age, but you are drowning in all that you have to do. I know the secret that will make it possible for you to keep up and regain your joyful spirit. You need a schedule for your time and your children’s time.

A schedule forces you to critically evaluate your time and prioritize it. When you put your life into a schedule, it is definable and quantifiable. God gave us each 24 hours in a day, and those are the boundaries with which we work. Your priorities are no longer missed because your day ended. Each one has its rightful place in the schedule. 

A schedule makes what you do on a daily basis habitual. Once a habit is formed, you don’t think about it any more. It just happens. No more trying to keep everything that has to be accomplished in your mind, hoping you don’t forget, and then getting sidetracked by what isn’t a priority at all.

A schedule brings maximum productivity into your home. You don’t waste time doing what doesn’t matter, and you don’t waste time trying to decide what to do next. You are utilizing every moment in the most productive way according to its priority, that you and the Lord have determined. That might mean taking an afternoon nap if you are up with a baby or child in the night. It could be reading out loud to your children or playing games with them because that is important to you.

A schedule frees you from battles with your children to get them to do what they are supposed to do. When you consistently follow the schedule, their days become habitual as well, and they know what to do and when to do it.

A schedule allows you to do activities you didn’t think you had time to do. It makes you so productive that it is likely you will keep up with what you weren’t keeping up with before your schedule and have time for what you had only hoped for in the past.

A schedule improves your health because it assures adequate sleep, exercise, and healthy eating. Bedtime and wake up time are the foundations on which your whole day is built. A schedule defines and stabilizes them. Without enough sleep, you drag through the day, are emotionally short with the children, and put your health at risk. Lack of exercise and poor nutrition have the same effects.

A schedule grows your relationship with Jesus because you daily have time with Him. “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby” (1 Peter 2:2). 

This verse encourages us on physical exercise but even more on our time with the Lord. “For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come” (1 Timothy 4:8).

I lived that discouraged, overwhelmed, there’s-never-enough-time, stressed life. I didn’t like it, and I doubt you do either. I know firsthand the differences and benefits a schedule brings, and I want those for you, your family, and your home. Please don’t excuse the idea away by saying you couldn’t do it or that it isn’t for you. I have seen so many moms move from despair to joy, from frustration to peace, and from stressed to contentment. “Redeeming the time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:16). Are you?

If you need help with scheduling, Managers of Their Homes is your proven tool.

May We Always Pray

The end of May, our youngest daughter, Mary, was married to a wonderful young man named Samuel. They met at Bible college where both were mission’s majors. Sam graduated in May. Now they are on staff at our church for about two years, interning and preparing to be sent out by our church, fully supported as international church planters. We are excited to have them here for their training and then to see how God will use them on the mission field.

At wedding time, Samuels’s dad shared with us how he and Sam’s mom had been praying for Mary, although they didn’t know who she was, since Sam was born. We thought how wonderful that was, recalling our prayers for our children growing up. As first generation, born-again Christians, without role models, Steve and I didn’t think about praying for spouses for our children until our first ones approached marriageable age. Before that, we were simply wrapped up in praying for the immediate needs of our children as we endeavored to “bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord” (Eph. 6:4b).

Then when our oldest children reached their teen years, we began praying for future marriages, and we prayed that God would bring each child a godly spouse, according to His will, “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14). We also asked the Lord for a spouse where the two of them could serve God better together than either could separately. Mary is twenty years younger than her oldest brother, and we started praying for spouses for our younger children when we were for the older ones. So that means she and Samuel had prayer support for their future marriage from Steve and me as well from Samuel’s parents from their infancy.

Here’s what Samuel’s mom told us about she and her husband’s praying for Samuel concerning a spouse as he grew older. 

“As Samuel was forming his plans for his future, we prayed for a wife to complement him and be a team with him. We prayed she would love the Lord. We prayed she would be ready serve the Lord in missions (even to the more primitive places that Samuel is drawn to).”

Aren’t those beautiful prayers for a child? We can attest to God’s answering those heartfelt cries in bringing Samuel and Mary together, both of them desiring a life of mission work, even to remote areas.

In one of our married son’s homes, when we are there at family Bible time in the evening, we usually hear him pray for spouses for his children, even though all his children are young. He and his wife are not waiting until their children are ready for marriage to ask God to work toward that end. 

Steve remembers talking to a friend and asking him if he prayed for a spouse for his teen-age daughter. He told Steve he had been praying about that since BEFORE his daughter was born. 

The spouse your child marries is a big deal in the future of his relationship with Christ, serving in His kingdom, and raising children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. That spouse can either encourage in those spiritual areas, totally derail and undermine them, or simply be neutral, which in the end is probably negative. You know this from your own marriage and from those you observe around you. 

Not only will your child and spouse raise children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, but Scripture tells us that marriage is a picture of Christ and His church. “For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church” (Eph. 5:31-32).

May I encourage you as you pray for your children that you are sure to include praying for a godly spouse for your children and even praying for that future spouse as well? What are those of you who are grandmothers? Are you are praying these prayers for your grandchildren?

Posted in: Mom's Corner