Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Musings on what is most important while feeling bogged down.......

  I believe this time of year I am vulnerable to burnout and dismay.   We have just come through December, Christmas, and all the extra work that comes with that.  We have taken two road trips with five children in less than a week, AND we have been wading through the joys of the stomach bug and respiratory congestion with me being in my first trimester to boot.  On top of that, we have had at least four appointments to show our house in the last week!  This house showing business has been going on since the spring and has been a real drain.   Now the weather is cold and wet, and the children and I have cabin fever.  Add to all of that the daily load of school, endless laundry, and training of children.  I am feeling a bit fried at times.
   Looking back through pictures of the past few years I see how rapidly my children are growing and changing.  I want to make the most of these fleeting years, and yet it is everything I can do to keep up.  I have been doing some thinking and praying about what are the most important priorities, because I cannot do it all!!!   Through the years The Lord keeps challenging me to increase the amount of  Biblical discipleship in our family.   I am challenged to teach my children their distinctive roles as male and female.  I am motivated to train in godly character, although I am often discouraged to see my own wrong examples in attitudes and responses.  They are little sponges learning from my example.
  The value of hard work and contributing to the family cannot be underestimated.  This year I need to delegate more and train them to be more responsible.  I am seriously considering some sort of toy rotation to reduce the amount of mess they can make.  Toys and messes are a constant draining and defeating battle in our home.  I so wish I had started out organized as a new mother, but unfortunately this was not one of my strengths.   Through the years I have learned, out of necessity, to donate, donate donate!  Even so we still struggle with the good imaginative toys everywhere such as Legos, Playmobiles, Lincoln logs, Little Peoples, etc.  Even with throwing out trashy toys we still have huge messes that are draining the life out of me.  I am seriously thinking a weekly toy rotation is worth a try.  There are so many more important things in life than allowing toys to eat up our days and cause chaos.


 This year I feel a real need to focus on quick and cheerful obedience with the littles and on loving, harmonious relationships between the children.  Sibling rivalry and bickering can also cripple a large family and drain an exhausted mother in no time flat.  My children are not always nice to each other, and I feel we really need to focus on that in the months ahead.  Of course piano lessons and schooling resume this week, and attention to those studies must be prioritized.   Nonetheless, my heart is screaming out that above all we musy prioritize discipleship.  I could raise Einsteins who are heathens, and that is not the goal.  I often sense a lot of academic competition in the homeschool world.  It is hard not to get overwhelmed or sucked into the vortex of that pressure and competition.  Our school studies are important, but in my heart of hearts I feel the Lord continues to bring me back to the question "What is the most important thing?"  I believe each year he is growing my conviction that the most important thing is home discipleship.  This year I have put a lot of energy into ushering my oldest into young womanhood and sharing God's design for womanhood, marriage and purity with her.  This year I am sensing Him pinpoint that we need to work on sibling relationships as one area of our home discipleship.  While we do the best we can with the academics, I strongly believe our family should focus on discipleship above all else.  Whatever I can do to simplify our lifestyle will aid in this endeavor.  I am prayerful over our future curriculum choices, outside activities, and daily schedules wanting to keep focused on what is the most important.  The most important thing is that my children know and love the Lord Jesus with all of their heart, soul, and mind.  I want them to know His Word and be equipped to penetrate the darkness of this lost world with the light of His glorious truth.  That will not happen automatically, and though we have always tried I feel that each year the Lord says, "Do more to point them to Me and My Word."  By God's grace I am endeavoring to keep that at the top of our schooling and family priorities.

7 comments:

  1. Love this Ruth and love the vision you have for your children! I share the same sentiment and am constantly more concerned with the attitude of their hearts rather than their head knowledge. Praying we will both encourage each other in these things in the New Year :)

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  2. Ruth this is exactly how I feel the Lord has been leading me. It's as if you read my mind. Focusing on the Lord, yes, He is number one above all else. I know what's its like to feel so pressured to have my children involved in this, that, and the other thing. But in the end our responsibility to train them up in the things of God is what really matters. And the toys! Oh I feel that way too!! We donate constantly as well. I feel sometimes that it will never end and I long for simplicity. Sometimes I even think, What would it be like to be Amish?! Thank you Ruth again for your encouragement, you truly are a blessing to me.

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  3. Ruth this is exactly how I feel the Lord has been leading me. It's as if you read my mind. Focusing on the Lord, yes, He is number one above all else. I know what's its like to feel so pressured to have my children involved in this, that, and the other thing. But in the end our responsibility to train them up in the things of God is what really matters. And the toys! Oh I feel that way too!! We donate constantly as well. I feel sometimes that it will never end and I long for simplicity. Sometimes I even think, What would it be like to be Amish?! Thank you Ruth again for your encouragement, you truly are a blessing to me.

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  4. Sara,
    Thank you for your encouragement. It is always something the Lord keeps bringing me back to in prioritizing the spiritual training over everything else. Sometimes I do better with the balance than at others, but the Lord is faithful to keep drawing me back to that vision.
    I have to smile at your comment about the Amish. I LOVE all things Amish and wish I could live in Ohio or Pennsylvania and at least be neighbors to the Amish. They have so much right when it comes to family values, strong community, etc.

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  5. You're right they do, and maybe that's one reason I've always been drawn to them. They are full of wisdom, that's for sure. I know it's weird that my responses keep showing up twice. I'll try to stop doing that! I'll pray for you Ruth, to keep that focus on what Gods vision is for your family.

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  6. You're right they do, and maybe that's one reason I've always been drawn to them. They are full of wisdom, that's for sure. I know it's weird that my responses keep showing up twice. I'll try to stop doing that! I'll pray for you Ruth, to keep that focus on what Gods vision is for your family.

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