Category Archives: Mom’s Corner


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.


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:

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

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


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:

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!



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


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

The God-Directed Summer (No Regrets)

Summer is soon to arrive, and that often means a change of pace for us, especially homeschool moms. This is the time to begin preparing for those summer months if you want to utilize them productively. Homeschool moms often look forward to summer and all they can accomplish that isn’t possible during the school year. However, it is common for them to come to school startup disappointed that their hopes were not fulfilled over the summer. Be purposeful now so that you have the summer you want to have.

Seek the Lord

“A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps” (Proverbs 16:9). How beautiful it is to have thoughts about what you want to do over the summer, submitting them to the Lord for His direction. Perhaps that is well done in the morning hours before the children are up, with a cup of coffee or tea right after your Bible time. No matter when you do it, being quiet before the Lord and asking Him to direct your steps and your children’s for the summer is critical. 

This verse could be key as you begin: “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33). Where does the Lord come into your summer plans. How will you and your children seek Him and His righteousness in a planned way? Maybe you will personally take more time for your Bible reading. You could set your preschoolers up for audio Bible time or work with a teen in how to have a meaningful time in the Word. What about a theme verse for the summer to memorize as a family and bring into as many aspects of daily life as possible?

List It

As you prayerfully consider the summer, write things down. Perhaps you are going to do some school. Maybe you want to do organizing and decluttering. Are there cleaning projects to be tackled? What about learning a skill with your children or teaching them one yourself? Summer is a great time to revise chore assignments and teach new ones. What about serving opportunities with your children – making freezer meals to share when they are needed, babysitting for a young mommy, or visiting elderly friends?

Discuss your thoughts and lists with your husband. He might have his own ideas to add, and he could encourage you away from something that you have on your list. Then keep your list before the Lord in prayer.

Plan It

Next what is on your list can be organized and separated into groups leaving spaces between to write or congregating the ones that are related. Pray and ask God to help you with specifics for implementation. What will it take for this particular thing to happen? That’s why I like working on the computer. All the listing, moving ideas around, and adding details to them is easily achieved there. 

Finally, you work on a schedule to give time for what you are going to do. Again, move forward with prayer. You want the power of your God working with you in the achievements of the summer. Without getting what you want to do on the daily schedule, it probably won’t happen or at least not very often. Some things only happen once, like a zoo day. They won’t be on the schedule as such. Those are the days, you actually drop the schedule. 

But most of your days can have a rhythm the schedule directs that is Christ-led because you sought Him for what goes on it and when it should happen.

The Joy

I think as you seek the Lord and His righteousness for your summer, you will have joy in the planning and preparation, joy through your summer days, and joy at the end when you consider the summer behind you. That comes from your being purposeful about your summer. This is the time to do that!


Children’s Soul Health

I believe Christian homeschool moms have a deep desire for their children to become adults who are born again, lovers of God’s Word, and followers of our Lord. “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). “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby” (1 Peter 2:2). What can you do, as a mom, to facilitate this?


What do your children see that you love? How much do you love the Word compared to other things? Your children’s love for the Word will likely emulate your love for the Word. What are you modeling for them? Are you reading it daily? Do you talk about it and tell them what you read, what you learned about God, what you learned about what He wants from you, and how excited you are about it?

I wish I had done better with this when my children were growing up. These are precious opportunities to set all our minds on things above, but it is easy to let the busyness of the day push those thoughts away. Then our conversation gravitates to the mundane of daily life. Be vigilant to make discussion of the Word your first priority.

They may not see you having your Bible time early in the morning when they are still asleep, but when you share with them from it, they know. 


You can make it a normal, habitual part of your children’s days to read their Bibles by creating a schedule where that happens each day. When the schedule sets that time aside, and you follow the schedule, each day your children will have personal Bible reading. 

Before breakfast is an excellent time for Bible reading because then what was read can be the topic for breakfast-time discussions.

Right now the family of one of our sons has all the children (6 that are ages 3-10) do their Bible time together in the living room right before breakfast but after getting dressed. The reading children have their Bibles on their laps. There is an audio Bible playing that the readers follow along with in their Bibles, while the pre-readers listen. Even though they are all in one location, each child is having his personal Bible time. There is no adult instruction going on. This does have the added benefit of accountability. 


For children to have personal, daily Bible time, they need to have their own Bibles with a font easy for them to read. You can provide them pens and highlighters. Sometimes that is a additional motivation in Bible reading when they can make some notes and highlight things that stood out to them. Pre-readers can participate by having a set up for an audio Bible time.

It is important to instruct your children in how to have their Bible time. You might suggest specific books of the Bible to read. Then you could encourage them to look for what they learn about God in the chapter and what God says for them to do or not do. Those notes could go well in little notebooks that could be brought to the breakfast table to facilitate the biblical, spiritual discussions.

Time in the Word is our daily spiritual bread and the nourishment for our souls—helping us know and discern God’s will (Rom. 12:2), filling us with the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23), giving us all things that pertain to life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3). “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12). Who wouldn’t want that? Are you helping your children toward it?

For more in-depth information about children’s Bible time, here is a Mom’s Corner from several years ago about it:

This is a Mom’s Corner on preschoolers having Bible time: 

Not the Spirit of Fear

It seems that it doesn’t matter where we are in life, there are things that come up that can create fear in us. I recently had one of those related to a back injury that wasn’t getting better right away. So then the fear – what if? Remember when our daughter-in-law, Anna Marie, had breast cancer three years ago? What if? What are your fears and the what-ifs that are wrapped around them? How do you deal with them?

In 2 Timothy 1:7, God clearly gives us His mind concerning fear. “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” No doubt about it – the fear is not from Him. He gives us three important things that are our weapons to use against fear – power, love, and a sound mind.

The word “power” in Greek is dynamis, like we get our word dynamite from. According to Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance, it means “force (literally or figuratively); especially, miraculous power.” That reminds us of what Paul says in Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” And then in 2 Corinthians 12:9 “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.” We have His power!

Love in this verse is agape love – God’s love for us. Paul prays for believers concerning this in Ephesians 3:17-19, “That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.” That love gives us the assurance that God is in control and that we can rest in what He tells us in Romans 8:28, “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.”

Finally, He has given us a sound mind, which here means self-control. 2 Corinthians 10:5 says, “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” That sound mind doesn’t let fear dwell in our thoughts. We are to use self-control to take fear captive and in its place, speak the truth of God to our hearts. “What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee” (Psalms 56:3). 

That trio of power, love, and a sound mind are God’s incredible weapons to keep us from living in fear. Do you have 2 Timothy 1:7 memorized? It isn’t a long or hard verse, but it is what you need to combat fear. If it is in your mind, you can call on it any moment, even in the dark of night and any other time your Bible isn’t at hand to open up. 

You have your own fears – big ones and little ones. How do you respond to them? How much time do you give them? Do you find yourself saying that you just can’t overcome them? Don’t give in to your own lies. You can overcome them because God hasn’t given them to you. Instead, He has given you what you need to defeat each of those fears – power, love, and a sound mind. “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might” (Ephesians 6:10).

How Long Does Character Growth Take?

Are you ever disheartened because your children aren’t making the progress you desire, particularly in an area of godly character growth? Does this sometimes cause you to want to give up on it? I remember working with our five younger children on responding to directions with a simple “Yes, Ma’am” or “No. Ma’am.” There had been too many situations where I didn’t know if a child was disobedient or simply hadn’t heard what he was to do. Would you believe it took a year and a half of focusing on that for them to learn to consistently respond? 

Does a year and a half sound like a long time to learn to say, “Yes, Ma’am?” It sure did to me! That experience brought me a new perspective on the reality of what character teaching really meant! It might take weeks, months, and even years.

Ephesians 6:4 says, “And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” Therefore, we are to be obedient and consistent in teaching our children the ways of the Lord. We instruct, disciple, discipline, encourage, and praise. We pray diligently concerning the specific areas we are working toward. However, the results are not ours! They are the Lord’s, “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13). Whether it takes a week, a month, a year, or ten years does not matter. 

How freeing this should be for you, as a mom. You do not shoulder the responsibility for the outcome. On the other hand, remaining consistent in the teaching is tremendous. It can become wearisome, at times, if your eyes come off the Lord and onto yourself. Galatians 6:9 is a familiar verse that says, “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” Might we agree on the importance of our children going in godly character?

It should not be surprising that it would take children time to develop godly character. Consider  your own personal struggles with character as an adult. For example, how often do you respond to your children with a slight tone of irritation in your voice? Is that the way you want to answer them? Have you prayed and worked toward not letting this happen? Do you still do it?

Hebrews 5:14 says, “But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” If, “by reason of use,” we come to discern both good and evil, it makes sense to me that “by reason of use” is also an integral part of learning to do good. “Character” doesn’t happen overnight!

Expect the development of godly character to be a long,, ongoing process worthy of the pouring out of your very life! Don’t look at the short-range progress but at the long-term goals. Set your heart, prayers, and consistent teaching on the Lord’s desire for your child to grow in Christ-likeness. Then patiently, day by day, teach, train, and love your children toward their character growth, knowing that the Lord Who has called you is faithful. “Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)” (Hebrews 10:23).

What about you? Have you been discouraged lately over a lack of character growth in your children? Have you become weary in your well doing? May I encourage you to step back, take a deep breath, lift your heart to the Lord, and continue on. Be ready for the long haul, not looking for immediate results but trusting the Lord to accomplish His will. 


The Best of The Best

The beginning of a new year is the perfect time to encourage you in the importance of spending time each day in the Word. It is easier for me to have that time in my day now that Steve and I are “retired.” Even in those hectic days of babies, toddlers, and homeschooling, I still needed time with Him every day, perhaps even more than I do now. God’s Word is the foundation of our relationship with Him, our walk with Him, and our interactions with ourselves and with others. Just as we nourish our physical bodies daily, we must nourish our souls.

From the Word about the Word

“As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby.”  (1 Peter 2:2). Babies don’t want their milk once a week. They demand it every day and multiple times a day at that!

“But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.” (Psalms 1:2). 

“The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward” (Psalm 19:7-11).

“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Throughout Scripture, we see the importance of God’s Word to all aspects our lives. 


Find a time in your day when you can be consistent with Bible reading. Early morning is generally the most consistent and least interruptible time of day. It is when you are freshest and your mind the least cluttered. It puts Christ in your day as your top priority. Jesus even gives us the personal example of rising early to spend time with God. “And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed” (Mark 1:35).


For Christmas I was given a lovely, Bible journaling notebook and pen. Journaling as part of my Bible reading time has been my habit for most of my life as a Christian. However, I filled up my last journal a couple of years ago and never initiated buying myself another one. I dropped the journaling from my Bible time and simply read. With my new journal, I wanted to start using it right away. When I did, I realized how much I missed journaling during those months I was reading without doing it.

When I journal during Bible time, I pick a verse from what I read that is meaningful to me. Usually, it is a verse that does one of these things: 

Tells me something about God

Tells me something that will help me in my walk with God or with others

Tells me how to praise God

I date the journal page and then copy the verse (sometimes it is two or three verses together). Next I write down why I chose the verse and what I learned from it. It is a simple way to focus my thoughts on something specific from Bible time. Perhaps this would be helpful in your Bible time, too.

I hope this year you start the discipline of daily Bible reading if it isn’t already part of your life, and if it is, that you continue making it the cornerstone of your day. It is easy to miss a day and justify it, but remember that baby mentioned in 1 Peter 2:2. Mmight she be our example?

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