Don’t come down from that wall! Pt. 5

And I sent messengers unto them, saying, I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down: why should the work cease, whilst I leave it, and come down to you?” Nehemiah 6:3

Our last several posts in this series we have focused on things that the enemy of our soul uses to tempt us to come down off of our great work as mothers. There is one that many of you may wonder why I have not mentioned yet.

Lets face it, we get exhausted.  Whether we are up in the middle of the night with newborns or sick children, or whether it is the drain mentally in answering the next “mama” that comes our way.  I have found that even the teaching of homeschooling drains me.  It may be as simple as learning their numbers and letters, but mentally I still find it takes it out of me.  As the children get older, they can tie their own shoes and cut their own food up, but now there is heart to heart talks.  Weighty questions and issues of life are matters of everyday discussion. Often the busyness and noise around me tends to mentally fatigue me as well.  So whether you are fatigued physically, mentally or both here are a few tips…

1. Get to bed at a decent time.  Whoa, those who know me will be saying, “Did she just say that?”  I am the queen of night owls.  I mean, this is really strange, but I don’t like going to sleep.   And it doesn’t help matters when the children get in bed later and I need that quiet time with my man at night.  So the temptation is to stay up too late.  I am preaching to the choir, people.  If I ever master this one it will be amazing. But, they say it is true.  I should try it some time.

2. Exercise/Vitamins.  Oh boy, maybe I should stop writing this now.  I really need to get back exercising. I do take vitamins though, and for women the B’s are especially important.  One simple thing I have found amazingly helpful lately has been to lay out all my pills for a couple of weeks ahead of time in those little boxes (what are those things called anyways?).  It is so much easier to pop them all in my mouth quickly, then opening up each bottle every time.  Simple, I know, but so helpful to me.

3.  Make sure your hormones and thyroid is regulated.  As women, we are very prone to imbalances and it is crucial we address these things.

4. Make your time with the Lord priority. It may not be that you can take time immediately in the morning.  Sometimes our little ones are up and going at such a speed first thing in the morning that nap time or another time in the day is easier for us to search his word. But seek to carve out some time that fits for you. Seek prayer from your husband and another like-minded friend as well.

5. Take time for yourself.  Ok, for years I thought this was selfish.  A committed mom would never need a break! But, I have learned over time that it is helping our families to take care of ourselves.  We will do better when we take some recharge time.  So find a bit of time for a hobby, whether that be reading, taking a walk, make a scrapbook, blogging, etc.  All for the purpose of being a fresh mommy and wife.

6. Enlist your children to help. With many of our lifestyles, being home all day, schooling our children, having a large family, this equates to messy homes.  But, with a large family also come many hands.  And many hands make light work.  Have everyone pitch in to return an appearance of  order.  Even a toddlers can use a toilet brush or take a washcloth and wash baseboards.

7.  Don’t hesitate to get outside help.  I have had  different “mother’s helpers” often over the last many years.  What a blessing it has been!  My pride will sometimes make me feel like I shouldn’t need the help.  But you know what?  I am doing several full times jobs at once.  Just teaching school can keep you busy.  Let alone taking care of a newborn, cooking, cleaning, laundry, etc.  In times gone by, when communities were more tight-knit there were often older ladies that would help young moms.  Even the Prov.31 woman rises to give meat to her maidens.  I also have a great burden for those young ladies that are waiting to marry and how they fall through the cracks in our society. They are encouraged to go out and get a career, when they could be learning and preparing to be their own keepers at home, by helping others.  I was a mother’s helper as a young girl and it was such a good experience for me.  Now I am on the other side and see what a great blessing it is. But, that is probably another post.

8. Lower your expectations. We have already had a post on this one.

9. Learn how to play. Speaking to the choir again, here!  I am a task oriented person and have my mental checklist that drives me.  I hardly ever stop to enjoy life.  My dh on the other hand, being the hardest working man you have ever seen, still finds time to enjoy life.  His quote? “You’ve got to live.”  So maybe today, put the cleaning on the back burner, tell the children to put their workbooks away and play with them.

10.  Realize this is a season. I know this is so over-used nowadays…but it is still true.  My oldest will be out of the house probably in 5 or 6 years.  That hits home.  They are growing up so fast.  They only will be this needy for a time.  And then we will miss it.  We will get all the sleep we want and have free time…but we will long for these days again.

Next post …the telephone and social media.

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Be still…

One of the pastors that I hold very dear to my heart blogged a couple of days a post that all of us would do well to heed. His words can be applied to mom as much as to those in the ministry. For are we not “in ministry?”  We are ministering to our little ones every day, tending to the eternal souls of these precious lambs.

In the process of our busy-ness we need to hear God’s voice “Be still and know that I am God”. We need to take time to savor Him, to meditate upon Him, to walk in the garden with Him.

So please, take the time to read this.

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Photo Credit: Caroline Broyles

Happy Birthday!

A Happy, Happy Birthday to the dearest husband!  You can read all about my amazing man in the post I just wrote introducing him.  I love you, honey!

Take a moment to send him a special greeting if you can.

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Wordless Wednesday

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Wordless Wednesday

“Weight Loss Wednesday”- Could have been better, Could have been worse.

So how was your week?  Mine was fabulous and I lost 10 lbs!  very different than I expected.  Getting back into tracking what I ate was difficult.  A couple of times I would start to write down my meals and then by midday it became harder to do so.  Let’s just say there were many providences that were not planned this week.

BUT, I was more aware of the choices I was making.  Which is good! I ate a lot more fruit for snacks.  So there was progress.  I was unable to go to weigh in at Weight Watchers Tues. night, so I plan on going Friday morning instead this week.  I thought by my scale earlier that I had lost at least a couple of pounds but when I weighed again a little while ago, it did not show that, so we shall see what the tale is Friday.

The good news is each week we can start fresh.  Baby steps and baby carrots they go hand in hand. This weight didn’t all come on in a week and it ain’t comin’ off in a week.  So I am still in the game, girls.  I will try for a better result next week… Except that my husband’s birthday is this week and we are having a chocolate cheesecake.  🙂

How did you all do? I want to see comments, people! (smile)  Share with us your secrets, recipes, lets be each other’s cheerleaders!  And if you also blog, feel free to link up!

See you next Wednesday!

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Circle of Moms Top 25 Contest- My Position

A little less than two weeks ago I became aware of a contest on Circle of Moms where you could vote for the top 25 faith blogs on the web. Those that placed in the top 25 would have exposure to about 6,000 moms. Even though I am still a new, small blog, I thought it would be fun to participate. So I signed up and started asking you all to help me out by voting daily. At the top of the list were some of my favorite, most encouraging blogs.  A Wise Woman Builds Her Home, Time Warp Wife, Women Living Well and Muthering Heights. Homemaker By Choice, Generation Cedar, and Far Above Rubies I also love. And there are several other faithful blogs (like The Chuppies )that are excellent encouragements for us in the list. But, I noticed there were some pagan blogs in there too, and thought that very sad.

With my tiny blog I have been really pleased with how far I have gotten in the contest, being as new as I am. While getting into the top 25 is not very probable, even the thought of having the ability to reach 6,000 moms was very exciting. But, I have also seen how quickly my heart goes out in carnal desire for the preeminence. I am naturally a very competitive person. These things can look spiritual (“think of the ministry I could have”) can also be a cloak for self- exaltation. So I must be very careful, it is a two edged sword.

But, something has happened. A simple little contest has now became a competition between good and evil. Pagans, witches and other “faiths” have come out of the woodwork and risen quickly to the top slots. Some of these anti-Christian blogs joined the contest and within a few days were ousting these sweet, encouraging, Christ-honoring blogs. Some of these beautiful Christian blogs decided to pull out not wanting to be a part of such a mixture of what some are calling “faith”. They have received great flack for their stands against such evil. I respect and applaud their stand for Christ and the truth. Other godly blogs have stayed in desiring to be a shining light amidst the darkness.  I also honor them for their testimonies in such an evil day. This “innocent” little competition has risen to a greater level.  There has been a furor of comments on facebook and blog posts and it has become quite the controversy.

So the question comes in, what is “faith”? Faith is not any belief that you hold to be true. Faith is not holding on to the fact that things will be ok in difficult times. Faith is not a belief in any kind of religion you want to believe. Faith is not what Circle of Moms says it is when they say, “Faith is all around us, and it comes in many different forms. This group of exceptional moms nurtures both their families and their faiths to create homes filled with love.” No, Hebrews tell us what true faith is in the 11th chapter:

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good report. Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.”

According to the scriptures Jesus is the ONLY way…

“I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”

The Lord also says, “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”

There is only one God and only one way to God, through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Anyone that denies this is not walking in the truth.  Is this intolerance? Yes, you might say it is, but the scriptures are no less so.  The scriptures leave no room for creating gods of our own making.  And this goes for those that call themselves Christians by name but depart from the teachings of the Savior as well.  If we make there to be any way to the Father but Jesus Christ we are the enemy of Christ.

But, lest I be misunderstood, I want to clarify that we are called to love.  Not to love and tolerate the works of darkness, not to allow for compromise, but to stand firm in the faith while loving these ones who deny the truth.   Jesus loved the unlovely, I being one of the chief unlovely ones.  So I will love those that do not believe the scriptures.  I will love those knowing that apart from the Lord’s work in my heart, I would shake my fist at Him.  It is only Him that has drawn me to His truth. I will love them and pray for them.  I will seek to show Jesus’ love to them.  And in so doing, pray for the spread of my Savior’s good news!

If I had it to do over again I am not sure I would have entered into the contest over at Circle of Moms, because of their view on what faith is…their accepting of all different faiths.  I would rather see a top 25 Christian blog list.  And I have sought direction from my dear husband through all of this as to what my position should be.  At his counsel, I am going to stay in the contest as of right now, because we are to be a light in a dark world.  Maybe someone will come to my blog that needs the encouragement of Jesus today. Greater is He that is in me, than he that is in the world. (1 John 4:4)   But, other than the button on my sidebar, I will not be soliciting for votes anymore.  I will not be actively seeking to gain popularity.

I love what Spurgeon says when he was once asked, “How do you defend the Bible?” “Very easy” he responded. “The same way I defend a lion. I simply let it out of its cage.”   The Lord has already won the victory and his truth shall reign!

My flesh would love to be one of the “popular” blogs that I so admire.  But, if I can influence even one woman to press on in following after the Lord, then all is well.  My “calling” is not this blog.  How many viewers is not my measure of success. Yes, I love to write to you, I love your comments more than you know.  But, my calling is first to be a faithful Christian, godly wife second, and diligent mother.  If I am obedient in these things, through the grace of Christ then and only then have I succeeded.

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Don’t come down from that wall! Pt. 4

And I sent messengers unto them, saying, I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down: why should the work cease, whilst I leave it, and come down to you?” Nehemiah 6:3

We have been talking about the temptations the enemy of our soul tempts us with.  This passage in Nehemiah has much to teach us.  Today, I want to address one that I struggle with greatly…

My own expectations.

Notice, I did not say my husband’s expectations.  I did not say my biblical duties.  No, we are talking about Jenny’s expectations of herself.  You see, sometimes I am my own slavemaster.

I could always have done a better job as a mom today. I could have done even more in school than we did.  I could have made that lesson even more exciting to the children.  I could have smiled more at my little ones.  I could have kept the house up better.  I could have this…I could have that.

But, who is placing all these expectations on me?  Is my husband happy with the way I have kept the home today?  Have I taken steps, even baby steps, in following what God has called me to today?  We get beaten down when we constantly don’t measure up to the expectations of our own making.

I measure my success often on how clean my house looks at the end of the day.  If it is tidy and’s been a good day.  Never mind how much time I really spent with my children…how much time I got to know them better and instill truth and make memories with them.  But, what about the days we have had great group discussion and been really learning?  What about those times we have played today all together and really lived?  What about those times when the house is a mess, cause we are enjoying each other?  Am I a success then?

So whose expectations are you living under?  

The government school system?  The neighbor next door?  The mom’s in your school co-op? Your own?

I would challenge you to look to your husband and really listen to what his desires are for the daily outworking of your day and seek to follow that.  You might be surprised at how simple and freeing it is.  We think we must be supermoms, but what is God really requiring of us?

And let’s not come down from the wall when your daily plan is frustrated by the happenings of life.  Embrace the day for what God has in store!  I will close with another great quote from Spurgeon…

“It was a pretty remark I read, the other day, of a Christian man who said,’I used to have many disappointments,until I changed one letter of the word,and chopped it into two so that instead of disappointments, I read it,his appointments. That was a wonderful change. For disappointments break your heart, but his appointments you accept right cheerily.'”

Did you miss the beginning of this series?
Pt 1. Thoughts from Nehemiah
Pt 2 Discouragement and Past Failures
Pt 3 Boredom with the mundane

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