So it turns out I’m an introvert!
Myers Briggs told me so; I mean I’m not extreme – we wouldn’t want that would we? I’m a ‘moderate’ introvert but I think I already knew, just never would have used that term.
I knew when my beautiful outgoing Norwegian friend was sat next to me in my car last week and she told me she was an introvert. WHAT? I exclaimed, YOU? Then I knew, I was too.
I like the quiet. I like to recharge in my own company, in solitude, in a restful environment.
My idea of a perfect night in is to curl up with a great book or sit here tapping out words formed from my quiet place.
Susanna Wesley, mother of 19 liked the quiet – she would pull her apron over her head and pray. Her children knew when mother was covered with her apron they were not to disturbed her!
So don’t worry if I’m silent for a while or you find me amidst a beautiful cacophony of 4 children with an apron over my head! I’m just recharging – making sure I’m the best me I can be!
A glimpse of a small corner in our favourite second-hand book shop (shhh, take a peek here)
We hold that all education is divine, that every good gift of knowledge and insight comes from above, that the Lord the Holy Spirit is the supreme educator of mankind, and that the culmination of all education (which may, at the same time, be reached by a little child) is that personal knowledge of and intimacy with God.
— Charlotte Mason
We home educating mothers can so easily get caught up in the cyber chatter, the curriculum clearing and the creativity conceiving as we out work this day-to-day life of ‘schooling’ our children.
We read, we listen, we search, we print, we check, we admire, we share, we read again, we help, we hear, we instruct…
But do we really live; lead by The divine educator?
Our first and foremost responsibility to our children is to point them to Jesus; are we raising our little ones to follow rules, obey at all costs and do as I say? Or are we laying down foundations for life; forming an internal stream of consciousness that flows from wisdom and understanding; a gift from our heavenly Father?
We pray that our children would make wise choices and Godly decisions; our responsibility then as parents is to teach them diligently the Word of God; not just to hear and obey but to love and live all that its pages contain.
Without the Holy Spirit the Words of Genesis through to Revelation could be conceived as another great living book; but we must impress on our children that it is God breathed, inspired and alive for us today.
We must pray before we open the pages of the Bible for the spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that we might know Him better. (Eph 1:17)
Just as the pilgrim Christian was inspired on his journey, strengthened in persecution, saved from death and resisted temptation, because of what he’d read in The Book and his love for The King; let’s pray that our Children’s hearts are caught with a love for King Jesus and a passion to follow His words.
Our children may be fluent in latin, have knowledge of every type of fungi in northern Europe, can recite 20 Blake poems and sing like a lark but is their heart turned towards Jesus; the creator of all living things; the One Miss Mason pleads us to admire the handy work of on a daily basis? This is not book knowledge; this is heart turning and life transforming (which may, at the same time, be reached by a little child).
Lets ensure that our precious children know that this is a priority in our lives as well as for them; that before the sketching, the narrating, the writing and forming the habit of not fighting; before the conceding and reading and heeding of their mothers voice, there’s His voice, Jesus – the giver of life and the lover of our soul.
Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give
you everything you need. Matthew 6:33
1. We get to do life together; all day, everyday.
This morning around the breakfast table we had a Holy Spirit inspired conversation about the bible being our foundation for living; how we deal with temptation and what the Word of God says about what we watch and read.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Phil 4:8
We talked, we shared stories, we prayed and we took much longer over breakfast…because we can.
These conversations are not planned; they’re not part of a devotional or a curriculum; they’re born out of love and T.I.M.E spent around my children; time eating, sharing life and loving Jesus together.
These conversations are precious, transforming and eternal.
2. My children get to grow up around each other
When I see the way Nyah (10) is with her little sister Sienna-Raine (21 months) I can’t imagine them being apart all day; I’m not saying we have sibling perfection in our house; oh no, not at all – but they get to learn all those lessons within the safety of these four walls.
Every day they get an opportunity to learn about serving each other, showing grace, dealing with conflict, team work, patience, keeping a short account – of which many of these lessons I haven’t had a chance to learn until adult life! The learning is observed by this gracious mama (smile), and we know when each child needs some ‘quiet’ time or a solo-date with Mum or Dad but for the most part we get on with life together; becoming more like Jesus because of it!
Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life. 1 Thess 4:11
Why do you love being at home?
It’s what we cling to really; the hope that what we’re sowing every day, every hour, every minute of every day is doing something in the realms of eternity – something is taking place in the depths of our children’s hearts that cannot be shaken, can not be uprooted; and there remains the evidence of our mother heart: the fruit!
We plant for harvest but we mother farmers may not see the crop for many years yet we continue to sow, to water, to watch and to protect.
The bible tells us not grow weary in doing good – for in time we WILL reap a harvest of righteousness; but we do, we grow weary, we tire from the work, the unseen ‘results’ and the hard labour of early mornings and we’re trying to tap. out. our. feelings. about. this. on. our. blog.
It’s not failure – it’s just hidden.
Chin up as we say in England (!); HE is the lifter of our head; mother you WILL see that harvest in your child’s heart; don’t give up – keep going; you’re doing amazing!
There are so many
Woven throughout the (blessed) chaos
The conflict resolution
..and the ‘caught on camera’ moments of bliss
The ‘peekaboo’ bath time where they swim ‘like fish’
Daughters helping Mama, taking care of every dish
Siblings ‘testing’ team work; both eager to lead
Children’s hands occupied while I snuggle up and read
What ’moments of beauty’ have you had in your day?
I learnt very early on in my journey of motherhood that there really is no point ‘crying over spilt milk’; mainly because it happens a lot…and their are lots of other things you could be crying about (smile!).
Recently we’ve had a ‘season’ of breakages and spillages in our home; from their milk to my tea and everything in between. We’ve broken plates and bowls and glasses and…wait for it…my tea pot lid (sniff sniff) and the majority of which have just been ‘accidents’ (that probably could have been prevented by a very attentive mother!).
My response is usually “oh dear, don’t worry, it doesn’t matter, we’ll clear it up”; I remove said child to prevent them from further injury or ‘mess’ and I clean up the remaining shards of beloved tea-pot lid or juice…and we move on with the day.
I get to show grace over and over (and over) again to my children. Some of the ‘accidents’ test my grace boundaries or how high-pitched my ‘oh dear’ can get but I’ve decided and realised that my response is deemed higher in the realms of eternity and in my child’s heart than my ‘beloved’ coffee mug or cake plate.
But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not
destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. Matt 6:20
Isn’t this how God is with us? He shows His grace; His free and ready favour again and again in our lives. He looks at us spilled out and broken and says “Oh dear, don’t worry, we’ll clear it up”, and with His loving arms He removes us from the place as to prevent further injury (even if we feel like we’re left in the depths of it He lifts our face to His eyes to shift our focus to Him and not on what we’re in the ‘middle’ of) and says “come on, let’s get back on track and run this race together“
May god’s grace be eternally upon all who love our Lord Jesus Christ. Eph 6:24
As I picked up the broken pieces of my tea-pot lid and noticed that the ‘pot’ itself was undamaged my creativity was unleashed (I let it out occasionally!) and I lovingly placed a mint plant inside it and I decided to use this ‘broken’ situation for growth.
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect
in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so
that Christ’s power may rest on me. 2 Cor 12:19
It’s in these moments at the break of dawn (well it feels like that!) when the baby is woken by the other little one just as I was about to start to read my ‘devotional’ study for the day when I rub my tired eyes, lay down my plans and give them all I can give at that time of the day; my arms, my knee and my space.
My kids get the whole of me but they also get the remnants; and they take it all.
I’m poured out, weary, forgetful and bleary eyed but they take me as I am; they’re happy, they’re content, they’re safe, they’re home in my arms.
Even if I feel empty, they climb into the space on my lap and envelop the air and fill it with their beauty and innocence.
I’m reminded of God’s grace; His free and ready favour, ready to take me as I am; empty, lost, forgetful (of His gift, His gospel), weary and laid out and He accepts me; He envelops me in His love, He pursues every part of me and fills my emptiness with His strength, love, hope and joy.
He makes me whole, He defines me, He brings fullness and breathes life into my day, my marriage, my motherhood, my ministry and my calling in Him.
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.
The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and
gave himself for me. Gal 2:20