Tuesday, August 30, 2011

School Days

It never fails. When this time of year rolls around, I always think about school. Sometimes I think about my own days as a school girl. Those first years spent in school rooms with high ceilings, oiled wooden floors, and no air conditioning. By Junior High we had a new school building but still no air conditioning. But I really don't remember suffering from the heat too much. We just adapted back then.

When our three children came along and got old enough for school, we decided we wanted to homeschool them. We sure got lots of disapproval and discouragement from lots of people. Many told us it would never work. They told us our kids would not get the proper education. That they would be "left behind". And that they needed more than anything else the "socialization" they would be missing. I'll be the first to admit that it was not always easy...for me or for our kids. But if I had to decide again I'd decide to homeschool even though it was probably one of the hardest things I've ever done.

I've had my kids tell me that when they told other children that they had school at home they would sometimes get a reply like: "I wish I could homeschool...I would lay on the couch and watch TV all day!" To which my child would reply, "Not if you had our Mother!!" ha I usually arose early, cooked breakfast, woke the kids up, we ate, they got dressed and we started school around 8:00 every morning. We began with pledges to the American and Christian flags and then had a short devotion. It was such a delight in the lower grades to be able to be the one to see "the light come on" in my child's head when he/she first learned to put the letters and sounds together to make words. Or to realize that numbers served more purpose than just being able to recite from one to one hundred. It was hard work for us all but looking back, to me it was worth it.

When I was teaching them from day to day, week to week, month to month, year to year, I thought it would never end. Now as I look back it seems like it passed so quickly. I'll never regret the time I got to spend with my children as they grew up.

I'm thinking that God feels the same way about His children. He doesn't regret any of the time He's spent teaching us, listening to our prayers, fellowshipping with us. In fact, He loves us so much He made a way for us to spend eternity with Him if we just accept His provision in His death on the cross! His advice to us pertaining to education can be found in 2 Timothy 2:15..."Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth." So as the time for School Days rolls around again this year I want to find myself studying the Word of God with God as my Teacher.

During the seventeen years I homeschooled our children, this verse became one of my favorites: " I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth." 3 John 1:4. I'm pretty sure that's one of our Heavenly Father's favorites also! I encourage you to get in the Word. That's where Truth is found.

God bless you as you study and learn in God's classroom !


Monday, August 15, 2011

Dirty Angels

Hello. My name is Marilyn and I am a "Messie". I always knew I had trouble keeping up with my housework but I never knew there was a name for it until about twenty-five years ago when I was first introduced to Sandra Felton's book "The Messie's Manual". There she described two totally opposite kinds of people...the Messie and the Cleanie. Either of these taken to extremes can cause problems she said. I was very excited to find in The Messie's Manual some great ways to improve my housekeeping and have since then, from time to time, been able to get my house in order and keep it that way for a while. But usually, when I have a concentrated time of busy-ness, (preparing for a special event or, as now, putting up fruits and veggies from the garden) I will eventually fall back into my messy ways. Sometimes without really even knowing it until something happens. Like noticing that although I have been giving my living room a "lick and a promise" with a dust cloth, I evidently have been keeping my eyes close to the ground and have been missing these angels which reside up on a shelf above eye level.

My first response to seeing these dusty, cobwebby angels was to run and get the Endust and a rag! They shined up really nice but I could not help but feel guilty that these pretty angels had endured such neglect!

Strange how some things become invisible in our lives sometimes even when they're in plain sight! How long has it been since you spoke to that person who comes in late and sits on the back pew at your church? How long since you noticed the disappointment your child tried to hide when you had to cancel coming to his school play because you bring too much work home from the office every night? How long since you realized you really don't hear your best friend when she talks to you because your thoughts are on something else?

I have been guilty of things much more serious than not finding every cobweb in my house. I have been a "Messie" in so many other areas of my life. In not meeting some of the needs of my family simply because I didn't notice them. In not always having my quiet time with God because I overlooked my spiritual need and put some kind of work or pleasure in its place. I know we sometimes call nice people "angels" but really we're just human beings. But the term angel does makes us think of heavenly things. And seeing my angel collection dirty and dusty reminded me that as a Christian I sometimes let the world and its dirt settle on me. Oh I dust around on my life here and there but just don't look in all the right places and so let some of the dust build up. Until I begin to feel dirty and then start to try and find out what's going on .... or more correctly, not going on...in my spiritual life. Then if I ask Him to, God will show me the places I've been neglecting. And He will clean it all up for me if I ask. Ahhh. It feels so good to get things cleaned up. On the outside. And on the inside!

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.Psalm 51:7

I pray that I will be more aware of the areas of messiness in my life and in my spirit from now on!