Apr 252013
 

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You know how sometimes you just need to mix things up a bit. You might need to do something new or it might be something you just haven’t done in a long time. The point is it’s something different from what you’re doing at that very moment. Well, a couple of weeks ago I was at that point. That point of knowing something needed to change. The change needed to effect the good or bad consequences I may or may not be handing out depending on my boys behavior or attitude.
 
I knew I needed to be more intentional with my boys about pointing out their good choices, you know those times they were submitting to the spirit, that is why I am using the Fruit of the Spirit Jar again. I also knew I needed to mix things up a bit when it came time to decide on what to do for their not-so-good choices.
 
You see my boys love video games, so I got into the habit of only taking video games away when the boys made a not-so-good-choice. I just felt like that I needed to add some variety into this type of parenting situation. So, for these not so good choices I put out a “Job Jar”. The Job Jar consist of strips of paper that list out different activities that my boys would consider jobs.
 
You know actual work such as:
  • sweeping
  • vacuuming
  • dusting
  • cleaning toilets, tubs, sinks, baseboards, etc.
  • math worksheets, copy work, practice multiplication tables, etc..
 
If they have to pick something from the job jar, they have to put their initials on the strip of paper. That way if they pick it the next time, they will put it back and pick another one that they haven’t done.
 
This has worked:
  • to add some variety
  • give a little surprise factor
  • for me to get a little extra help with house work
  • for them to get in a little practice in on some important educational skills 
I am very pleased and thankful for the prompting of the Holy Spirit to use both of the jars I have mentioned above.  As I said, sometimes you just need to mix things up a bit!
 
~written by Angie
Apr 092013
 

As homeschool moms, we’re used to taking charge of our households during the day, managing the kids, their schooling, the pets, and the telephone all while juggling a laundry basket on one hip and a laptop on the other. When we finally sit down, we’ve got a school book in one hand and the Bible in the other—trying to improve as a teacher and attempting to live out the walk of the Proverbs 31 woman all at the same time.

1380931_68482931Some days, we’re rockin’ and a’rollin’ like we’ve got super powers and other days we’re hiding in the bathroom hoping no one remembers that there’s supposed to be a wife or mommy in the house. Too often, we try to do it all or at least act like we think we can and inadvertently we get things around the home out of balance. We become of the boss of everything and everyone and then no one wants to help us when we need them.

One relationship that often gets out of whack nearly as easy as your back—and becomes twisted like your neck when there’s a crick in it—is the relationship you have with your husband. When you spend all day bossing (I mean, directing) kids around, it’s kind of easy to do the same thing to your husband when he comes home at the end of the day. It’s sometimes second nature to tell him to pick up his socks or to put his dishes in the sink, just like we’d tell our children. Then when we all of a sudden feel like mommy to not only the kids but to our husbands, as well, we start to blame him and wonder where in the world our manly man we married all those years ago went. We wonder why he won’t step up and be a man.

Just like when your immunity is low and you’re exposed to toxins and viruses and bacteria, forgetting the God-ordained order of your household will cause serious illness in your family and maybe even in the future generations. The best cure for this “disease” and the way to have a happy home is to remember that while we cannot change our pasts, we can direct the future and make a difference. We can make sure our households reflect the Biblical model. 549466_10150920471056213_35500123_n

How can you show your husband that he’s “the man” and not your child? How can you make sure you’re not showing your kids (and others) that you’re your husband’s mommy and not his wife?

Respect your husband. Keep your words and attitudes toward him and about him kind, gentle, and loving. Avoid speaking in harsh tones and being condescending to him.

Encourage your husband. Proverbs 16:24 says: “Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” Tell him how thankful you are that he works hard to provide for your family. Make special time with him without the kids. He wants to feel like a “grown-up” with you. Although words of affirmation from co-workers and bosses mean a lot to a man, those encouraging words spoken by his wife are priceless to him.

Be his helpmeet. Sometimes we do things for our husbands because we think we can do them better than they can. And then we complain because we have to do everything ourselves. Be a helpmeet without doing everything for him. He is a man, after all. He is quite capable of doing things.

408839_10150468673946213_730756276_n Stop complaining. If you complain that you have no help around the house or complain about how he does things, it makes him want to help you less. If he doesn’t know how to do what you need him to do but he desires to help you, then show him how. Tell him how thankful you are when he helps you with the kids and around the house.

Kids will do things halfway so you won’t ask them to do them again. Is your husband doing things halfway? Maybe he’s trying to get out of helping. Maybe he feels like you’ll go behind him and redo it. Let him fold the towels his own way. Believe it or not, there really isn’t a right way to do it. Let him see that his way is okay too and that you appreciate his efforts. Make sure he knows how valuable his help is to you.

Children naturally want to rebel against what mommy tells them to do. They want to play first and do chores or schoolwork last. If you treat your husband like your child he will not want to help you. He will not want to be with you. He will find something to do elsewhere. He won’t feel like a knight in shining armor or superman.

A word of caution: Check your motives before you lavish your husband with words of affirmation and make sure that you are not showing him false respect and pouring empty words out on him just so he will do things for you. Philippians 2:3-4 says: “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.Remember a marriage and a family is a team.

As the mother of a girl, I want to exemplify what a Biblical woman is like and I want to show her how she should treat her husband. As the mother of a boy, I need to show him how he should want to be treated. I do not want my daughter to take charge of her husband like she will her children. I do not want my son to buckle underneath the badgering of a strong-willed woman. I want him to be respected in his household by his wife and his children. I want my daughter to be blessed with a man who knows he’s the one who provides for and protects her.

As helpmeets and wives we help our husbands tremendously when we don’t treat them as children. When they know they have a wife who loves them, respects them, honors them, and desires their leadership in their lives, men exemplify God’s original design for them.

Photos: Wedding photo and couple hugging photo courtesy of http://www.kaylajohnsonphotography.com

Milkmaid: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1380931 

Mar 142013
 

misc 2 20 13 008

You know how sometimes you just need to mix things up a bit. You might need to do something new or it might be something you just haven’t done in a long time. The point is it’s something different from what you’re doing at that very moment. Well, a couple of weeks ago I was at that point. That point of knowing something needed to change. The change needed to effect the good or bad consequences I may or may not be handing out depending on my boys behavior or attitude. I knew I needed to be more intentional with my boys about pointing out their good choices, you know those times they were submitting to the spirit. I also knew I needed to mix things up a bit what it came time to decide on what to do for their not-so-good choices.

So one day I remembered the jar I used to keep out on the counter full of what we called fruit tickets. The fruit ticket was a strip of card stock that I had printed a row of different kinds of fruit.  These tickets represented variety that represented the Fruit of the Spirit.

Gal. 5:22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24 Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.

I can not remember where in the world I got the idea or how in the world I came up with the idea of the Fruit of the Spirit jar. The idea though is to be an ‘intentional’ parent. One of the ways I am intentional is to put the jar in a place I am sure to see it, so I will be reminded to actually follow through with my plan. Not every time but sometimes when they bear fruit I will hand them a fruit ticket.

For example: offering forgiveness, using self-control when they choice not to hit their brother because they were really mad, obeying with a good attitude, helping without being asked, etc.. When I give them the ticket I will explain to them why they are getting it, maybe even what specific fruit they were showing. I make sure to thank them for their choice in bearing some fruit. Not every time but every so often, I also remind them that when they choose to bear fruit it is not by their power but it is by the grace of GOD  through the power of the Holy Spirit that they can bear fruit.

Every couple of weeks I will collect the tickets. Each ticket is worth so many points, and I add these to the points they earn on their “My Job Chart“. The point system doesn’t need to be included for this to work. I just do it so at a later date there is another opportunity for me to be intentional and to “bless’ them for bearing some fruit!!

In case you wondered, my boys were very happy to see this jar back and to receive their first fruit ticket in a long time!! In a later post I will talk about the two other jars I have sitting in my kitchen window above the sink.

~Written by Angie

Unit Studies by Amanda Bennett: Your Passport to Learning Adventures!

Memories Around the Table…

 Posted by on February 19, 2013  1 Response »
Feb 192013
 

This table is one of my favorite pieces of furniture in the house.  It has now become more than a place to share a meal. We have also laughed, entertained guests, schooled, and made many memories around this table. The children have grown up before my eyes here.

When we first bought the table some 14 years ago, the wood was softer than I thought it would be, so as the children did their schoolwork it would leave an indention. When I first discovered the softness of the wood, I have to admit I was a little upset, but now I would not trade those marks for anything.  Over the years, I have even discovered their names carved into what they thought was a secret place along the edge.

The Table

There is something very special about gathering around a table. God Himself will gather His children around a table for supper one day.

Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” Revelation 19:9

May I take a moment to encourage the generation who is coming after me to make supper a priority in your home. If possible, protect this time. I know it can be hard with church and school activities. But with planning and preparation, whether supper is at four in the afternoon, or eight in the evening, it can be a wonderful memory maker for your family. Has your table become just a place to dump stuff? If so, may I encourage you to clear it off, and begin making memories around it. And please turn off the TV, cell phone,  iPod and talk to one another.

 

And if you need a little help planning mealtime try emeals. I have been using it for a couple of years and love it…

EMEALS EASY AND DELICIOUS DINNER RECIPES

 

Kim ~ littlesanctuary.com

Temptation: Remove, Resist, or Run!

 Posted by on February 11, 2013  5 Responses »
Feb 112013
 

One of the most important lessons I am teaching my boys in their spiritual lives is about temptation.  Temptation is everywhere and seems to be more and more prevalent in our world.   Mark Chapter 4 tells us that even Jesus was tempted, so we have to expect that there will be temptation in our lives.   I want my sons to be equipped to handle any temptation they may face.  It always seemed to be a difficult subject to teach and to get them to understand.  I had prayed about how to get the message across to my boys and do it in a way they can understand.  Finally, it came to me and I tested it out on them and they really seemed to get it! Continue reading »