Consider how randomly my brain works:

At Sunday Bible Study we were reminded how the entire Old Testament pretty much revolves around the person of Jesus Christ. 

During the song time we sing about making every part of my life glorifying to God.

ERGO,

I need to do Bible study with my children.

Sounds like a geometry proof that wasn’t studied/supported well, I admit.

Here’s why 2 + 1 = 4 today.

In the midst of raising four children, trying to learn how to keep house and cook (always learn this BEFORE you get married… and even if you don’t PLAN to get married.  It’s much easier then!) and learning to care for our little acreage (read: milk a cow, care for chickens, maintain feed supplies, clean out chicken coops, gather eggs, chew on a piece of straw and not trip on my overalls or get my braids in my eyes all at the same time, etc), I have started homeschooling. 

I know, it sounds hectic, but really it isn’t as hard as I thought and, in fact, makes our mornings much smoother.  Understand, please, that we’re not talking a full course of high school subjects, just kindergarten reading and math and a preschool course on coloring… I mean writing!.. and math.  Nevertheless, it takes planning and dedication to do this. 

Before we moved out of our Winslow house… well, before I had Asa… well, at least when we first had Lithany… at some point in the perhaps distant past, we had a great devotional time.  Orion and I (does that tell you how long ago this was?) worked our way through the entire Old Testament and he would retell the stories to me using the pictures and his single/two word non-sentence making way at 18 months.  It was amazing and encouraging and shaming.

Amazing because I didn’t know that children could learn such things.  Encouraging because I watched him grow in godliness even as a tot to the point where he outshone me often.  Shaming because as amazing and encouraging as that was it has fallen by the wayside.  Lithany retells Bible stories, sure, but they are usually backwards, inside out and mixed in with eight other plot-lines from her picture books.  And sadly, I’m not sure Asa truly KNOWS any of the great stories.  Most he has never heard.  And he will turn two in a few months.

At some point in the process of moving I decided that good devotional times with the kids worked better one on one.  Not that it can’t be done the other way, but there is such a difference in development and understanding and previous scaffolding ($30 elementary education word, here!) that it’s hard to reach the heart of an almost two, almost four and a just turned five all at the same time.  When they are five, six, and seven this will, perhaps, be easier.  In the meantime, I keep meaning to implement individual Bible time with the kids before bed. 

It hasn’t happened.  By the time we get to 6:30pm when I start the bedtime countdown with Asa I’m beat.  At this point in the evening it is very common for me to have forgotten that ‘children are a gift of the Lord the fruit of the womb is a reward’.  It is incredibly common for me to have my eyes, not on the goal of godliness but on the goal of survival of the tiredest (namely me since children are NEVER tired, you know!)    

Keep your eyes on the right goal, mom!

So in the coming month (I like to give myself lee time in my goals, understand.) I will need to figure out how to implement this.  If I can find the energy to teach my children to read and cipher, then I can certainly find the energy to teach them about the God who created reason, language and logic.  If I can’t do both, then perhaps they can be late in the reading and ‘rithmatic departments.  I think I would be completely okay with ditching the morning schooltime in favor of a morning Bible time if it came to that.  Prefering instead to perfom this part of parenting prior to (darn, I can’t think of a P word for sleep, help me out!) sleep, I hereby grant myself one month to work out the kinks and get our focus realigned… both the kids’ and mine… before ditching the school routine that I’ve already worked hard to set up.  Instead, I will hopefully set up another one.  Since I will no longer be milking the cow in the morning, perhaps Bible time CAN happen in the morning.  Or learning verses in the morning and Bible stories/devo at night?? This is why I need a month to figure it out, see?

God, help us live lives that are all about You!  If I have to choose, I prefer to know that our children are godly rather than educated (and for those of you who think uneducated is a prerequisite for Godliness, let me just say that they CAN be both!  I’ve SEEN it with my own eyes!)

And, in an unrelated ‘by the way’, I’m done saying that we’re crazy for having so many young children.  (perhaps not entirely done, but at least TRYING to adjust the underlying child-devaluing attitude)

I caught my oldest son listening from the back of the van as I said via phone to my sister “A day without kids, who wouldn’t jump at that!” in response to her weekend plans and had to wonder what message he took from that one small comment, repeated in other forms both verbal and non many times in many ways on many, many other days.  Did it undo all the times I said “I’d miss you if you were lost!” as the reason to stay close in a store.  All the times I’ve said I wouldn’t trade him for anything?  Will he believe me the next time I say that God gave him (and his brother and sisters) to us for a specific purpose with a specific plan?  Will he trust the love I express when I tell him I’m enjoying him if he knows I’d prefer a day without him? 

So from now on I want to be pleased about having four small children.  If you are one of those people who listened while I whined, stop.  If you feel sorry for me when you see us trying to get through HyVee on a bad day, don’t.  Don’t pity me my hectic, child-filled life.  If you must feel in some way about our abundance of kneehuggers, then smile for me, for I am blessed.  God said so, look it up.

Now remind me of that at 6:30pm tomorrow. =)   

 

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