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, 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.”