I have been encouraged by reading blog posts from other mothers who recognise the importance of our task in bringing up children in a Christian way. "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it." Proverbs 22:6

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Things they Say!!

Lately my time has been taken up with the demands of the "real" world and updating my blog has not been high on the list of priorities.  Time with my children has, however, and the following quotes are just a small example of the many rewards motherhood brings!

I thought I'd share these two gems:

Miss 5: "Mum, when [my uncle] picked me up from kinder, I was soooo happy to see him. I RAN into his arms! When I'm old, I'm going to have double chin JUST like his." (Her tone implied that she could hardly wait!)

Master 4: (He'd wound down the window and I told him not to hold his arm outside the car.)
"But Mum, I'm just trying to catch the wind. (Short silence) I wish I had more hands, so that I could hold the wind."
Me: "What would you do with the wind if you could hold it?"
Mr.4: "I'd play with it."
Me: "Would you throw it up like a ball?"
Mr.4: "No, I'd PLAY with it!"
Me: "Would you keep it in a jar?"
Mr.4: "Mu-um! (frustrated at my ignorance) I'd play WITH it! It would be my FRIEND, like another child!"

Thursday, July 22, 2010


I read an article in a parenting magazine recently entitled "The Tyrannical Threes".  We are certainly experiencing that pahse with our little boy at the moment!  The "terrible twos" just didn't happen, but right now we have a little would-be-tyrant in the house.  And when he finds that he doesn't always get his way, the tantrums are spectacular.
As was the case this morning, right as I was about to sit down at the table with my husband for a few minutes before he went to work.  Master 3 wanted me to come and do something he was quite capable of doing himself, and started yelling and stamping his feet when  I wouldn't jump to attention as ordered.  Ignoring him became impossible and he was put into time out.  That wasn't very effective, either, and our quiet time together was marred by the sound of the walls being kicked and a rising crescendo of hysterical screaming.  When the door was slammed violently against the wall, I went to him and laid down the law in no uncertain terms.  Then I sat down and took him on my lap. The hysterical anger subsided a little, but he couldn't stop crying.  After a bit he managed to sob, "Mum, I just want to tell Jesus all about it in my heart."
I held him close then, and prayed aloud.  He stopped crying at once, and I felt him relax.  With a final sob, he put his head on my shoulder and said, "I'm sorry I yelled at you, Mummy. Jesus will help me to be obedient now."  And with that the thunderstorm passed and the sun has been shining since!

"Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: casting all your care on him; for he cares for you.
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour: whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brothers that are in the world. 
But the God of all grace, who has called us to his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that you have suffered a while, make you perfect, establish, strengthen, settle you.  To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen."  1 Peter 5:6-11

Thursday, July 15, 2010

A thought.

Just a quick post to share something that has been of help to me:
My five year old daughter has been asking me again and again lately to tell her what heaven is like. It's such a good topic to dwell on. There is so much pain and suffering in this world, but we have a future and a hope. I cut a slogan from the back of a cereal packet (of all places!) last week and put it on the fridge as a reminder to live life consciously. It says: "When the time comes, will you be ready?"

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Make a joyful noise to the Lord!

This morning I was trying to get Miss 5 ready for kindergarten and heard her "playing" the piano in the lounge room.  I was about to say, "Come and get your hair done NOW!!", when she forestalled me with, "Mum, come and listen to the song I've been writing."
She has never had any sort of music lessons and although we have inherited a lovely piano, no-one in our house actually plays, so  I was intrigued to see this on the music ledge: 

She played a few notes and stopped, saying, "Wait a minute, I just need to write another music note."  Very carefully she added it to her "composistion" and said "There.  finished.  Now I'll sing it for you."
She then "played" and "sang" her little piece.  The tune was random and the accompaniment was not harmonious, but the words were as follows:
"This is a song about Jesus.  I wrote it for Him because He loves me and He helps me to be good.  He will be with me on this day.  I want to be obedient.  Jesus is my friend."
" O sing to the Lord a new song; for he has done marvelous things: his right hand, and his holy arm, has gotten him the victory.
The Lord has made known his salvation: his righteousness has he openly showed in the sight of the heathen.
 He has remembered his mercy and his truth toward the house of Israel: all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.
Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise.
Sing to the Lord with the harp; with the harp, and the voice of a psalm.
With trumpets and sound of cornet make a joyful noise before the LORD, the King.
Let the sea roar, and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.
Let the floods clap their hands: let the hills be joyful together before the LORD; for he comes to judge the earth: with righteousness shall he judge the world, and the people with equity."
Psalm 98          

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

From the Archives

August 2008

It was the weekend and  there was no hurry to get out of bed. Master 1 seemed to be sleeping in, Miss 3 had been made comfortable downstairs with an apple, some milk and a video, and my husband had cut me a slice of freshly made bread which I was enjoying in bed with a book and a cup of tea. Having finished a chapter, I suddenly felt uneasy- things were too quiet downstairs…This was what I found:

I had expected to find the new loaf of bread hollowed out and eaten- that has happened before- but instead she’d spread it with butter and then packed the rest of the butter into her little saucepan and was eating it with a spoon. The pictures don’t do justice to the state of the bench, the stepladder or her face, hands and hair! When I asked the usual silly question, “What are you doing?” she said innocently, “I’m sitting on my tuffet eating my curds and whey.”

What can a mother do but laugh and take photos?

Sunday, May 23, 2010

God Answers Prayer!

I was praying for all the various needs I know about this morning, and was reminded of my own experience of God's answer to prayer for healing.   I thought I'd share it by way of encouragement.

As a baby, when I first started on solids, I became very, very sick, and eventually tests showed conclusively that I had coeliac disease. Knowing the cause of the problems, my parents were able to manage my condition with a gluten free diet. If I deviated from my diet - even just one biscuit when visiting somewhere- the symptoms (starting with temper tantrums and tiredness) were immediately evident to my mother.  Whenever other children had cake or biscuits, something gluten free had to be found for me. I also missed out on things like pasta, and Mum either had to prepare a seperate menu for me or had to find substitutes for wheat flour in sauces etc.These days it is possible to buy all manner of gluten free products in the supermarket, but when I was growing up we had to check package labels carefully to make sure that wheat was not one of the ingredients, and gluten free flour was only available from health food stores.   For years I had to bake my own bread every second day.  I didn't like the taste or texture of this bread much, and found baking it such a chore!  I prayed daily that I would be healed from my condition.
When I was sixteen, my parents had the opportunity to travel to the Netherlands for the first time since they had migrated to Australia seventeen years before.  They took the youngest three children with them, and the other six- of whom I was the eldest- stayed at home in the care of a lovely couple from our local Church who took us on for three months!  Without my mother there, stocking up on gluten free bread mix was my own responsibility, and of course, I ran out.  By this time I had developed some tolerance to gluten, and I ate normal bread for a few days while I put off going to the health food store for more.  Then the thought came to me: "I have prayed for healing.  If I believe I am healed, why do I still need to follow the diet?"  So when our temporary foster mother reminded me again about getting the bread mix, I told her that I'd decided to see if God had healed me.  She was enthusiastic about it, provided I agreed to go straight back to my diet if I showed any signs of my health suffering.
Well, that is almost thirty years ago, now, and I have never had any sign of the condition again. 
I looked Coeliac disease up on the internet recently, and the article I read confirmed that it is a lifelong condition.  It is possible to develop some tolerance to gluten, but if the diet is not followed for a longer period, the symptoms will return. ... and my mother always reminds me to underline the fact that I definitely had Coeliac disease, as proven conclusively from tests done when I was little.  I firmly believe that God  saw the simple faith I had as a child and gave the healing I asked for- maybe even long before I put it to the test!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Think on these things!

Whenever I read Phillippians 4:8 I am reminded of my Dad who always had it in a frame on his desk at work "Whatever things are true, whatever things are honest, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."

As I read it again this morning I was struck by the context.

Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.  Let your moderation be known to all men. The Lord is at hand.  Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
 Finally, brothers, whatever things are true, whatever things are honest, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.  Those things, which you have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you."  Phillipians 4:4-9

I come across all sorts of circumstances in life that cause anxiety or stress to varying degrees.  Often they involve other people and the way I feel I am being treated, or things that don't work out according to my plans..  How easy it is, when praying in these situations, to dwell on the cause for my anxiety- to pray that the situation might go away- and to become more anxious or stressed instead of finding myself in the peace of God. While praying, I am still thinking about how hard-done-by I am!  Paul exhorts us here to let our requests be made known to God (not necessarily gossip about them to others, focussing on how badly I'm being treated!) - with thanksgiving- and then ... "if there be any virtue, if there be any praise, think on these things!"  (Now that I can share with others!)
This has been such a help to me!  There is so much to be thankful for in every circumstance, not least being the opportunity to grow and partake of more of God's own nature!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Meet my Mum!

I wanted to post something about my mother on mothers' day, but somehow didn't get the time.  Then I remembered this post on our Church website some time back, and thought I'd share it here.
So, if you'd like to meet my Mum, (and incidentally pick up a bit of my history!) click on this link:
(I'm sitting on my Mum's knee in the middle photo at the end of the post, age 7)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Not in my own strength

My little man (3yo) came to me just as I was finishing cleaning the kitchen this morning, with a Children's Bible open in his hand. He'd found a picture of the Israelites fighting the Amalekites and asked if I could read the story to him. It was the story from Exodus 17-

The Amalekites came and attacked the Israelites at Rephidim. Moses said to Joshua, “Choose some of our men and go out to fight the Amalekites. Tomorrow I will stand on top of the hill with the staff of God in my hands.”
So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill. As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset. So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword.
Then the Lord said to Moses, “Write this on a scroll as something to be remembered and make sure that Joshua hears it, because I will completely blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven.”
Moses built an altar and called it The Lord is my Banner. He said, “For hands were lifted up to the throne of the Lord. The Lord will be at war against the Amalekites from generation to generation.”

What a story!  There are so many lessons in it. 
What a picture of the power there is in prayer. 
  • To be humble enough to ask my brothers for help when my own strength fails.
  • To uphold one another in prayer.
  • To continue in prayer until victory has been attained.  No matter how strong the "Amelekites" in my life may seem, God will give me the ultimate victory if I seek His help.
  • To praise God and give Him glory for what he has acheived in answer to prayer.
Children truly are a gift from the Lord- they bless us in so many ways, and this morning God used my son to remind me that  though “with man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Brotherly Love!

We had one of those little dramas recently- a situation that can seem trite as an adult but is catastrophic when you are a child.
My daughter ("Miss 5") had a tiny little rubbery thing she called "Polar Bear Hush".  It was her favouite toy in the whole world- she played endlessly with it.  Here is a picture:

The other day, we heard an unbelievable wail of distress from below, followed by footsteps on the stairs.  My dear little boy ("Master 3") had woken Miss 5 to tell her that he'd thrown Polar Bear Hush into the chicken coop, and she'd been eaten by Mrs Chicken!
Poor Miss 5!  She was still feeling rather fragile from several days with a tummy bug (hence the afternoon nap) and she was devastated.  In the hope that Master 3 was excersising his rather active imagination, I went over the coop with a fine tooth comb- to no avail.  They both looked on- she with tears of genuine grief pouring down her cheeks; he totally unrepentant and offering helpful comments as to exactly where I should be looking.  It became apparent that further efforts would be futile, so I did what I could to distract Miss 5 from her grief while Master 3 had some appropriate quality time with his Dad...
A short time later I came into the family room to find the two of them sitting cosily on the sofa, his head on her shoulder, quietly enjoying a DVD together.
"You're lucky your sister isn't angry with you!" I said to Master 3, still feeling rather upset on her behalf. 
She looked up with a lovely smile, then, and hugging him a bit tighter she said, "No, Mum.  I'm not angry with him because I love him.  He's my brother!"

"Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity!
2 It is like the precious ointment on the head, that ran down on the beard, even Aaron's beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments;
3 As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended on the mountains of Zion: for there the LORD commanded the blessing, even life for ever more."  Psalm 133

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

From the Archives!

I've been keeping a diary of some of the things my children say and do.   I thought I'd share some of them on  my blog from time to time.  Here's one from 2nd August 2008, when E was 3 1/2 years old and A was almost 2.

It’s rare that my P and I get an opportunity to sit down and have cup of coffee without either of the children climbing all over our chair. On Saturday morning he had made a nice cappuccino. I was really enjoying the coffee and the quiet time in the lounge room while the children were in the rumpus room, happily drawing pictures. It wasn’t long, however, before I heard A's little voice: “Mummy, I need a cuddle.” I looked up, and there he was, stripped to the waist and covered in green texta.

After giving him the needed cuddle, I went to check on Esther and to see what further damage had been done. She was sitting on the sofa in nothing but her undies. “What have you been doing?” I asked, exasperated. “I’ve been drawing, Mum,” she said, with a big smile. “Arthur was going swimming and he needed green bathers on.”

Sunday, April 18, 2010

But you, O Lord, are a God full of compassion...

I was cleaning the glass sliding doors this morning, a job I'd been putting off for a few days.  It seems such a thankless task; no sooner is it done than those sticky little fingerprints are back again!  Sometimes the culprits come to see what I'm doing on the other side of the door, putting their hands on the glass I've only just cleaned and smiling endearingly.
So much housework can seem like that- there doesn't seem to be anything to show for the time and effort it takes. This morning, as I was polishing away, I thought- God must sometimes feel that way about me!  He wants to do a transforming work in me, and it is such a slow process! Imagine if he decided to give up on me when He has to speak to me again and again about the same thing! I felt overwhelmed at the thought of his goodness towards me, and thought of the words in Psalms:  "But you, O Lord, are a God full of compassion, and gracious, long suffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth." Psalm 86:15
I looked it up, and the whole Psalm is so good!    For me, verse 14 applies to the stubbornness and pride I find in my own life.  My prayer is, "Teach me your way, O Lord; I will walk in your truth!" (v.11)

Bow down your ear, O Lord, hear me: for I am poor and needy.
2 Preserve my soul; for I am holy: O you my God, save your servant that trusts in you.
3 Be merciful to me, O Lord: for I cry to you daily.
4 Rejoice the soul of your servant: for to you, O Lord, do I lift up my soul.
5 For you, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy to all them that call on you.
6 Give ear, O LORD, to my prayer; and attend to the voice of my supplications.
7 In the day of my trouble I will call on you: for you will answer me.
8 Among the gods there is none like to you, O Lord; neither are there any works like to your works.
9 All nations whom you have made shall come and worship before you, O Lord; and shall glorify your name.
10 For you are great, and do wondrous things: you are God alone.
11 Teach me your way, O Lord; I will walk in your truth: unite my heart to fear your name.
12 I will praise you, O Lord my God, with all my heart: and I will glorify your name for ever more.
13 For great is your mercy toward me: and you have delivered my soul from the lowest hell.
14 O God, the proud are risen against me, and the assemblies of violent men have sought after my soul; and have not set you before them.
15 But you, O Lord, are a God full of compassion, and gracious, long suffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth.
16 O turn to me, and have mercy on me; give your strength to your servant, and save the son of your handmaid.
17 Show me a token for good; that they which hate me may see it, and be ashamed: because you, Lord, have helped me, and comforted me.

Friday, April 16, 2010


My sister emailed me this song today, by way of reminder and encouragement.  The words are so good and speak for themselves!

Have you heard the Holy Spirit speaking clearly?
Precious parents who have children in your care?
Have you seen how they need nurturing so dearly
While they’re with you for the few short years you share?

Let not earthly things in any way encumber.
Bear your children on your heart in all you do.
For the years you with them share are few in number.
While you’ve time, love every child God gives to you.

Do you realise what a precious gift you’re given?
Nothing else can with these little ones compare.
Keep the world out of you’re home so it’s a haven;
Then with pow’r and light and salt they’ll flourish there.

Have you seen how children help with your salvation?
How you’re spared by them from living selfishly?
Therefore, thank your Lord and Maker who has given
Such a glorious fountain in the family.

Children bring you toil and work while they are growing.
You can clean and deal with problems all day long.
But they one day will be grown and from you going.
You’ll be glad you took your trial with a song.

When there’s shelter, warmth and joy at home provided,
Then your little ones can grow in harmony.
Have this goal, and by the Spirit’s voice be guided.
God will bless the meek who hearken willingly.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Always thankful!

" In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." 1 Thess.5:18

I have been thinking over and over about this verse in the last week, and have found myself singing "Count your blessings; name them one by one!" as I go about my tasks. 
I have so much to be thankful for.  There are the happy little circumstances that bring a smile to my day: the fact that our six newly acquired hens, who we were told would come into lay over the next few weeks, have been laying an average of three eggs per day from the day we brought them home! The look of joy on the children's faces every time they discover a newly laid egg! The funny things or endearing things they say.  (Such as when my little boy walks into the room, stops in his tracks and says "Mum, you are so beautiful!")  There are the ongoing things that are so easy to take for granted: good health, a roof over our heads and meals on the table...  I have been consciously "counting" those blessings, and thanking God in my heart for his goodness in all those things.
But above all, I have been counting what a friend sometimes calls "blessings in disguise".  I long to become more like Jesus- to be full of love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, self-control... But how would I grow in patience, if I never had to wait?  Or how would I become long-suffering if my children were perfect?  It isn't hard to be gentle with a sweet, compliant baby- but when he has grown into a stubborn and strong willed three year old I need God's grace to grow in gentleness and goodness!  And when I repeatedly give the same instructions to my five-year-old without any response- what an opportunity to excersise self control!  I pray daily for wisdom in bringing up my children.  How thankful I am that he gives me opportunities to gain it!
May I always walk in the Spirit, so that I truly have cause to be thankful for all God's blessings, and can in truth give thanks in all circumstances!

Friday, April 9, 2010

The things which make for Peace

I woke up this morning with the words "seek peace and pursue it" repeating over and over in my head. I looked it up- it's from Psalm 34:13, and1 Peter 3:11

“Whoever desires to love life and see good days,let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit; let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it."

I kept being reminded of those words throughout the day; there are so many small situations that arise, where I can actively pursue peace! I thank God that He has given me His word, which is such a help in my daily situations!

"Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things with which one may edify another." Romans14:19.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The things they say!

I just had to share this little gem from my son (3) at dinner tonight!...

“Mum, Jesus is getting all wet now.”
“Is he? Why?”
“That’s why. I just drank a lot of juice and it’s gone all over him in my heart.”

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Morning by morning...

This morning- as is the case most mornings- my three year old crawled into bed beside me before dawn and well before I was anywhere near ready to be dragged out of my deep and pleasant sleep.  If only he would just lie still, I don't mind an early morning cuddle with my little man, but he will squirm!! And talk!  I'd even be happy to let the talk roll over me, replying with the odd grunt or "Hmmm" while I slowly surfaced from the depths- but he wants real answers to his observations. "It's raining, Mum.... Do you see its raining?" "Hmmm" "You're not looking, Mum. I can see that you're not looking!... MUM!! WAKE UP! It's nearly morning...."
I have to say that my reaction is often very human...
This morning I had to think of these words:

"The Lord GOD has given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: he wakens morning by morning, he wakens my ear to hear as the learned." Isaiah 50:4

That is my heart's desire: even if physically it is my son who wakes me, that my ear is tuned to listen as one who wants to learn what God's plan is for me on this new day.  Starting with being able to speak to my little boy with words of encouragement even before I wake properly to hear- interesting to note the order here!  If I'm faithful every day to "hear as the learned", I'm already able to "speak a word in season to him that is weary", even before I've begun the new day's instruction!  ...and even if I'm a bit weary myself!

Saturday, April 3, 2010


It is Easter morning.  I had expected to be at the Church meeting this morning, celebrating Easter with friends.  Instead I am at home nursing my 5- year old daughter, who has been sick with a tummy bug since yesterday afternoon.  I was inclined to be disappointed, until the thought came to me: what is Easter all about, if not sacrifice and love? 
"...But if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God. For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed."  1 Peter 2:19-24
I was thinking about these words the other day.  It is so human to defend myself, to insist on my rights, to demand that I be fairly treated.  But that is not my calling!  I have been called to follow in Jesus' steps!  Where would we be if He had insisted on His rights?  He suffered for me- not only at the tend of His life here on earth, but every day, making it possible for me to follow in His steps! 
... I tried to share these thoughts with someone the other day, and his response was to point out that we as Christians have a duty to protect the opressed and downtrodden, and defend human rights.  He added his views on our responsibility towards the environment and how important it is to voice our concerns and thus influence politics.  All of which I felt totally missed the point!
What speaks to me is that I personally have been called!! so that I might follow in his steps in my daily, personal circumstances.  So that when I am contradicted (knowing that I am right!), I can let it go instead of creating an argument; when it seems that I am always serving others, I don't demand to be served; when things don't go according to my plans, I remain in rest...  The result is a life that God can use to bless others!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Busy, busy, busy!

My eldest has started pre school this year, and my daily routine (such as it was!) has been shot to ribbons.
After being dressed and eating breakfast, the children were usually quite happy to amuse themselves for a few hours. Around 10 or 10:30 am they would be ready for a snack and some quality time with Mum- a story or a game... and I had learned that after this break in momentum I couldn't expect to do much in the way of housework any more.  I would make an effort to get as much of it done first thing in the morning, while the children were fresh.  I had set days for shopping, Mums & Tots (our church playgoup) etc.
Pre school has changed all that!  When she has a morning session, it seems to be all I can do to get the children ready to leave on time.  ( I do still make an effort to sit down to breakfast together and start the day with prayer and a Bible story.)  Breakfast crumbs stay on the floor to be dealt with later, dishes stay on top of the bench until I get around to emptying the dishwasher... and we dash out of the door. 
Once having delivered her to pre school, we have a few hours before we have to pick her up again. Sometimes we go and do our shopping. If I go home and try to do some housework, it just doesn't go as smoothly as it used to.  For one thing, my 3 year old boy doesn't play quite as well on his own as when his sister is at home... (It is actually a great opportunity for some one-on one time with him, which takes priority over the dishes anyway!)  By the time we pick her up, they have both got to the tired-and-grumpy-but-won't-have-an-afternoon-sleep stage, and dropping everything else to spend time with them is the best move.
Other things need to be fitted in on days that she doesn't have pre-school, leaving fewer hours in the week!
... In short, although I manage basic tasks like vaccuuming, washing dishes and keeping the living areas tidy, other things are getting out of hand. I never seem to be on top of the piles of washing and folding. The ironing pile is growing, and growing and growing.  The kids' bedrooms are only superficially dealt with, and upstairs... well, no-one but us ever goes there, so it is low on the list of priorities.

The result is that I feel stressed, dissatisfied, irritable at anyone making more work, guilty at not doing more... One moment I can feel depressed: "I'm a failure as a homemaker, wife, and mother."  The next I find myself making demands:  "Why do I have to do all the work around here?"

While vaccuming the other day, I kept thinking of what it says about Jesus: For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. He wasn't a wife and the mother of two little messmakers, but he was tempted in all points like me!!!  He knew what it was to be tempted to become discouraged, to have demands, to be anxious and stressed.  Yet without sin!! 
I looked the verse up, wanting to read it in context:
Hebrews 4 : 9-16
There remains therefore a rest to the people of God. 10 For he that is entered into his rest, he also has ceased from his own works, as God did from his. 11 Let us labor therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief. 12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged 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. 13 Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened to the eyes of him with whom we have to do.

14 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. 15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. 

Whether or not my house is spotless is not the main issue.  What is important is that I enter into rest!  May that be what my family taste from me as I go about my daily business.

And as regards housework, this thought came to me: main course first, dessert afterwards!!  I have to get stuck into what needs to be done (like ironing!!!), and save what I like to do (scrapbooking, craft, spending time online) until the right time.!!  No excuses! After all: God knows the thoughts and intents of the heart  and all things are naked and opened to the eyes of him with whom we have to do!!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

A time of refreshment.

I have just had the most refreshing and encouraging weekend! I needed it, too- on many levels.
The last weeks have been a bit of an emotional roller-coaster.  Opening my online stores, designing and making the products, listing them for sale, starting my blog and reading others' has been an exiting new venture for me.  It has been enjoyable, but it has also has its stresses!  From exitement at starting a new venture I would swing to discouragement at the lack of sales.  Then someone would "heart" my shop, or make an encouraging remark and my mood would soar... only to crash again when I got some constructive criticism, which I interpreted (wrongly) to mean "Why bother- it's no good anyway!"  I found myself waking during the night with thoughts of how to improve my design, spending far too much time on the computer, late into the night, and getting irritated with my husband and children when their needs interrupted the "flow of my creativity".  My head was in a spin, I was tired and I was not focusing on my priorities.
Then came the sisters' weekend!!
It started on Saturday evening with a sisters' feast.  Some young brothers had decorated the hall, set the tables, prepared delicious food, waited at the tables and cleared everything away afterwards... leaving us nothing to do but have a time of fellowship, edification and fun together!  This was followed on Sunday with transmissions from a sisters' conference in Norway.  http://www.brunstad.org/en/News/Latest-news/Lay-hold-of-your-heavenly-calling!.htm
There were many good and edifying messages, but one thing stood out for me:  the testimony of a sister who told about her journey to becoming a co-worker with God.  In particular it hit home when she told of a moment (when her oldest children were small, and things were busy), when she found herself thinking : "It takes two to have children- why does it seem that I have to do all the work for them alone?"  At that point, she suddenly realised that this was her task, her mission field.  She could choose to be a co-worker with God in her given task, doing it heartily as unto the Lord.
I pray that I may give up all demands of the others, and be a servant and a blessing to those I meet on my way- in particular those at home.  May they experience blessing and joy from me, whatever the circumstances.
"Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing. For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile: and let him turn away from evil, and do good; Let him seek peace, and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, And his ears unto their supplication: But the face of the Lord is upon them that do evil."  1 Peter 3:9-12

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


Welcome to my brand new blog!
I am the mother of two delightful children, aged five and three, who keep me busy on a full time basis. As a Christian, I pray daily for wisdom to bring my children up in a Godly way, setting an example in my own life... and each day I become more aware of how much I need that wisdom!
I am also a primary school teacher on family leave, and on Wednesdays they spend time with Oma (my wonderful Mum!) so that I can do some casual teaching.

Right from the time I was little, I have loved drawing, painting and making things- hobbies which I have had little time for in the past few years! Now that the children are that little bit bigger I find I have some more time, epcially in the evenings, and have started getting out paint and paper again. I have recently listed some of my work online. Pay me a visit there some time!