Saturday, November 12, 2011

Seasons of a Mothers Heart - Chapter 9, 10, 11

I am reading Seasons of a Mothers Heart by Sally Clarkson and linking up over at Home With The Boys. Remember you can also follow tweets about the book by using hashtag #momsheart.

Well due to the move I am a bit behind so I am combining my thoughts for chapter 9, 10 and 11 in this post. I have really been enjoying the book and cannot believe we are almost finished with it. 

Chapter 9 - Living with Discipleship
I loved what this chapter discussed and it is something that I definitely struggle with. I want our kids to be good disciples but it's been difficult for me to figure out how to do that and then I read this chapter and learned a few things. First discipleship requires a personal relationship with your children. I am working on this and it has been very hard since I am having to learn about my children and their personalities. If there is one thing we hope we will have with our children it is an open line of communication about ANYTHING. The personal relationship has been hardest with my daughter and my conclusion is because we are so much alike. I am still trying to figure out how to best meet my daughters needs and based upon Sally Clarkson's words, " By God's design, your children are meant to be with you. All the elements for a deep personal relationship are already in place - the bond of love, nurturing, comforting, training and togetherness. If you accept his design and channel your heart into a personal relationship with your child, you are taking the first and most important step toward turning your child into a disciple," I need to accept the design and that God has put in place and realize that he has made her little personality just like mine for a reason. Our Type A OCD personalities were created for a purpose and it is my responsibility to be there for her. Which leads to...discipleship requires a spiritual intent. We do not attend a Church (that is a whole other blog post) but we are Christians. I often wondered if and how we can raise our children to be good disciples without the help of a Church setting. After reading this chapter I now feel more confident that our children can be good disciples with our guidance. I learned that what our children need is our life, our hearts, our touch, our love, our patience, our correction, our gentleness and our encouragement. They need us to there beside them to guide them through life's spiritual lessons. After all that is one major reason I quit my job and leaped into homeschooling, so that we can be the primary influence in our children's lives.  We were sick of other people raising our children. And that leads to...discipleship requires a living example. That living example right now in our children's lives is us! Even the littlest things can show our children what it means to be a disciple like visiting a sick neighbor, a small neighborhood outreach or a trip to a local nursing home. Growing up I was very good at discipleship. I loved to spread the word, volunteer at the nursing home and help friends in need, But over the years my busy life, kids and a husband have interfered. Over the next few months (especially with the holidays approaching) I hope that the kids and I can start to participate in more activities where I can be an example for them and show them what it means to be a good disciple. 

Winter Season of Reflection
Let me start by saying I HATE Winter. I  moved from Pennsylvania to Geogia to escape the cold, dark, snowy atmosphere. Only to realize that unless I move to the Caribbean there is no escape in Georgia. We still get snow, bad ice, cold weather and darkness. But these next several chapters explain how Winter is not the end but a transition. Its a time to slow down (even though it seems like things speed up due to holidays), reflect on life, wait for God, and trust him.

Chapter 10 - Prayers from Home
Prayer...something I struggle with even when I was growing up and attending church several times a week. I do not like to pray out loud an I generally pray silently at night before falling asleep. I pray for my children, husband, family, friends and myself. I do believe in the power of prayer and know first hand that prayers do get answered. But I have not really been teaching my kids about prayer because I don't know how or don't feel comfortable. My son has been doing a soccer program through Upward which is a Christian program. Before, during and after they pray so my son has recently been exposed to prayer, but I am not quite sure he knows what exactly prayer is. I guess I find that since I don't pray out loud and never have it is hard for me to teach them about what prayer is. But as always after reading this chapter I have learned a few things. First I must realize that praying is not a chore and not something to be checked off a list. It is something I must be doing everyday and throughout the day. Second I must be praying for my children daily it is something that will never be finished and will grow more and more each year. And third the most effective way to teach our children about prayer is to PRAY. And to remember to pray for things other than specific needs, problems or at bedtime. It is stopping to pray for the beautiful day, food on the table, or meeting a need throughout the day. And that it is not just the act of praying, but also the source of the prayer that is important pg 198.

Chapter 11 - Light in the Darkness
Wow this chapter was amazing especially the top of pg 208. I am often filled with dark thoughts like Why did I have kids? Am I a good mother? Was quitting my job the best thing for our family? Is homeschooling the best thing for my kids? Am I a good wife? After reading this chapter I learned that everyone has these thoughts and it doesn't make us a bad person.. We all go through bad days and good days. Days where we see only darkness and days where we see the light. And that no matter how bad our thoughts, the day or the darkness is there is hope. There is light if we remember these three principles (pg211): First, I must choose to faithfully depend upon God. Then, I must faithfully obey God. Finally, I must faithfully wait for God.

These may seem like three easy tasks but they are not. I definitely struggle with all three especially the waiting part.....I don't like to wait, probably because I have a Type A OCD personality. I hate waiting for life issues to get better, like finances, car repairs. I hate waiting for my children to listen to me. I learned though in this chapter that in the Bible waiting is often synonymous with hope. Waiting on God is to look ahead with eager anticipation, knowing that God will do something good. And that sometimes we need that waiting time to realize he is what we really need.

Quotes and Scriptures that really hit my heart:
-Proverbs 22:6 - "Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it" pg 167
-They need me to be there during the many teachable moments of each day, transforming them into discipling moments because of my spiritual intent for their lives. pg 171
-Discipleship is  life, not a lesson. pg 174-Each of my old friends spiritedly agreed that the training of children in excellent moral character, building patterns of greatness into their hearts, and giving foundations of truth and faith were all so much more important than anything else. pg 185
-God uses hard times to make me stronger and more faithful. pg 188
-I cannot do it without God’s grace. pg 196 
-Prayer is not a task to be accomplished and checked off a list. Prayer is a relationship to be enjoyed. pg 200
-Only God can strengthen you to do “all things” he has asked you to do as a homeschooling mom. pg 212
-Lamentations 3:22-26 NASB - "The LORD's lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. 'The LORD is my portion,' says my soul, 'Therefore I have hope in Him.' The LORD is good to those who wait for Him, to the person who seeks Him. It is good that he waits silently for the salvation of the Lord." pg 214 
-Philippians 4:6-7 - Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. pg 218

Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.

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