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

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!