28/03/2015

Don't Crash Your Family!

I was shocked and upset to hear about the plane crash in France this last week. To think that someone would deliberately crash a plane killing all the passengers on board is horrific.

It made me think how in a way our family is like an airplane. The father is the pilot; the mother is the co-pilot. The children are the passengers.

The decisions the parents make in life can drastically affect the children.

Some families tragically 'crash' and everyone on board is wounded and hurt.

How many children hurt because of their parents' marriage breakup, or their parents' fighting? How many children are hurt because of a parent's adultery? How many children are hardened towards God because of their parents' hypocrisy?

Sometimes it's the pilot—the father-- who is responsible for the damage done. Either through the decisions he makes or through sin.

But with the crash in France, it was the co-pilots fault. Apparently he locked the pilot out of the cockpit, took over and crashed the plane. And sometimes in families, it is the co-pilot—the mother--who does the damage. The mother shuts the father out and takes control herself. A guaranteed disaster!

This sobered me. How we live and act as parents is so important. Like pilots, we need to be a team, working together to get to the right destination, not shutting each other out and fighting against each other.

Mark 3:25 And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand.

But where are we leading our families? To Christ? To Heaven or Hell? To safety or danger? Up or down? To religion or to a relationship with God?

If we are flying low, close to the mountains of sin and the world, guess what? We'll probably crash into them.

Proverbs 14:1 Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands.

Are you building your home or are you tearing it down? The choice is yours, but don't forget, your children will be affected by the choice you make.

One person's selfishness can cause so much heartache.

Don't Crash Your Family!

27/03/2015

Nothing Accomplished?

Sometimes at the end of a busy day or week, I feel like I've got nothing done. And yet I was busy the whole time.
What I really mean is that I got nothing on my 'to do' list done. The deep cleaning, the gardening, the odd jobs etc. Nothing extra done. Often I start to feel that unless I've done lots of extra things, I haven't accomplished anything. Do you have days like that?
But I have to remind myself that when I feel like this, I have actually accomplished a lot. Nothing much in the world's eyes, but a lot in God's eyes.
Looking after your children, caring for your husband and keeping a house running smoothly with meals on the table is no small thing! While I do need to try and keep a clean house etc. I often get too focused on these things and don't see the value in the 'little' things that take up so much of my day.
I wrote this to encourage myself on those days when 'nothing' gets done! (I wrote this awhile back when my baby was teething and wanted to be held a lot. Which meant I didn't get a lot done! :) ) I find it pays to think about what you did do, rather than what you didn't get done.
 
I didn't get those jobs done, but...
 I did take the time to read my children a story.
I did sit down with my 4yr old and help her do her 'schoolwork' that she loves to do.
I did play a game with my children.
I did make time to sit and talk with my husband in the evening.
I did prepare him a lunchbox for him to take to work.
I did cook dinner.
I did keep the house running smoothly.
I did take the time to teach my child how to do something --or let them help me, which takes more time.
I did spend time training them.
I did give my baby a cuddle when he was unhappy.
I did pray for my children and my husband.
.
I didn't get much of a quiet time in the evening, as my teething baby woke up just as I sat down to read my Bible.
But I did realize and appreciate how like a mother, the God of all comfort is always there for His children, willing to comfort and help them with their hurts and struggles.

I actually got a lot done today! While I may not have gotten any extra things done, I got the important things done.

15/03/2015

A Great Purpose

Some days I feel like I am going in circles just trying to keep on top of washing, dishes, nappies, meals, children and never ending cleaning and tidying.  One day I was starting to think negatively and feeling that my life didn't have much purpose, so I wrote out a list with all the purposes of my life on it. It made me feel much better!! I was surprised at how long the list was. I hope it is an encouragement to you.

I am a mother--training my children up in the way they should go.
I'm influencing the next generation.

I am a wife--a helpmeet to my husband, his supporter, encourager and his best friend.

I am a ........(whatever talents I have)--using my talents to glorify God and to bless and encourage others.

I am a friend---making a difference to other peoples lives.
A listening ear, an encouraging word, a word of advice, a helping hand etc.

I am a Prayer Warrior--changing the world by prayer.
Learning to move men by God through prayer.

I am a Christian--giving God's name honor through the way that I live. Trying be a good testimony to everyone that crosses my path.

I am a Child of God--loved by Him far more than I could ever love my own children.

I am a missionary--sharing the gospel with my own children and then looking out for opportunities to reach the lost around me.

I am a 'Work in Progress'--becoming more like Jesus Christ every day.

11/03/2015

I'm So Thankful...


...that Motherhood is not all bad!

Last weekend was difficult! Joseph (my 11month old) was teething. Sometimes he had diarrhea and a fever. He also got a runny nose and a cough. On Friday night I went to check him before I went to bed and he was fast asleep with a dirty nappy. I had to wake him up and change him. Unfortunately it woke him completely up and it took a long time to get him back to sleep.

The next night I went to a birthday party, so I went to bed quite late. Just as I was going to sleep he woke up! He wouldn't settle for at least an hour or so. On top of that, Esther, my 21/2 year old woke up with a real dry cough and couldn't get back to sleep. So I had two of them up at the same time! That was a challenge! (Both the girls got coughs and colds during this time.)

By the third night I was exhausted, especially as Joseph had cried a lot in the afternoon. I went to bed early hoping to catch up. However, just as I was going to sleep, Joseph woke up! I cried! This time it took about 3 hours to get him back to sleep again. I was absolutely wasted!

Finally the fourth night, he slept well again.

Sometimes being a mother is very difficult!

But today Joseph was so happy. We have a little car that you can turn into a walker. As Joseph only walks around furniture so far, I thought I would try getting him to walk with the walker. He loved it! Especially when he banged into things! He would get the giggles and me, Hannah and Esther would get the giggles at him! I loved the look of glee on his face. He would turn around to make sure we were all watching! And then this afternoon the whole three of them were in the girls bedroom playing so nicely and happily together for ages. This evening a load of firewood came and they all went outside with their daddy to have a look. I watched them playing outside together. Then when Esther was in bed, Hannah was playing with Joseph. He was on his knees holding onto the couch. Hannah would march towards him making noise, and he would bounce up and down with the giggles! Afterwards he crawled into his bedroom. Hannah ran into the room making noise and he giggled so hard he started choking!

All those happy cute moments more than made up for all the difficult moments of the last week!

I'm so thankful that God created children so cute and delightful.

Imagine if children weren't cute?!

I'm so thankful God created smiles, giggles and laughter.

I'm so thankful God gives us so many beautiful, happy and precious moments.

I'm so thankful God created children!


03/03/2015

Love Suffers Long and is Kind

I read the Love chapter at the beginning of the week, and as always it convicted me! It seems like I don't know about real love at all. Especially the first verse. Love suffers long and is kind. Keeping this verse in my mind this week, and writing it on my schedule each day, I have realized how impatient I am. And because I am impatient I become unkind.
 
Impatient when my baby won't sleep when he is supposed to.
Impatient when I am busy and my baby is grisly and wants to be held.
Impatient when my child has all the time in the world and I am in a hurry.
Impatient when I am trying to get a job done but my children are fighting.
Impatient when it is the end of the day and I just want to get finished and relax.
Impatient when my child is being super stubborn and just will not obey.
Impatient when I am trying to rest and my child has a dirty nappy three times in a row. :)
Impatient when my child has a dirty nappy that turns into a disaster.
I was a very patient person till I had children! Or so I honestly thought!
Every day I now have many opportunities to put patience and kindness into practice.
This week I have quoted this verse to myself many times a day when I am starting to feel impatient and it has helped me with being a more patient, kind mother.
 

12/02/2015

Grandma's Green Bean Casserole

This is an interesting and yummy
way to eat green beans!

2 tblsp butter
 2 tblsp flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp white sugar
1/4 cup onion, diced
1 cup sour cream
3 cans of green beans (I used 3 cups of fresh beans)
2 cups grated cheese
1/2 cup crumbled buttery round crackers
1 tblsp butter, melted

Preheat oven to 180C. Melt 2 tblsp butter in a large pan over medium heat. Stir in flour until smooth, and cook for one minute. Stir in the salt, sugar, onion and sour cream. Add green beans and stir to coat.
Transfer into a 21/2 quart casserole dish. Spread cheese over the top. In a small bowl, toss together cracker crumbs and remaining butter and sprinkle over the cheese. Bake for approx. 30 minutes.

07/02/2015

The Story of a Mother's Love

In my single years, I found a little book filled with short stories of true testimonies of how different people came to know God. I was amazed at the time. But now I have just been reading through it again, and this time, since I am a mother now, I have noticed how often the mother played a part in the person's salvation. It was a big encouragement to me and has reminded me of the power of a mother's prayer and example. This story is the best, but I might share a few others later.


When Hugh Allardyce left his Devonshire home for a situation in a New York bank, his mother gave him her own loved and well-used Bible, and, with a parting kiss, said: "Serve God, my son, and He will keep and bless you all the days." Hugh choked down a rising sob and said:  "It is easy to promise, mother; I will say nothing, but I will try to act and do my best."
When the 'Umbrai" moved out of dock, the last sight seen on land by Hugh was the frail figure of a woman, whose sad face, with unshed tears in her eyes, made the young man long to be on shore again, that he might comfort his mother by saying, "Mother, dear, smile again, and I will promise you anything."
Time passed on, and for seven years Hugh had not seen his mother; promotion had come to him, and his mother rejoiced in his prosperity. No word in his letters ever referred to the parting advice of his mother. Hugh had long since forgotten it, but his mother never doubted the answer to her constant prayer that her beloved son would some day honour God in his whole-hearted devotion to Him.
As Hugh sat in his office one hot noon, a friend came in and proposed to carry him off in the lunch hour. "Where?" was Hugh's question. "Oh, to Fulton Street," replied his friend. "Queer place to go this time of day," said Hugh "But perhaps you are bound for the fruit market?" "Yes, that's about it," said his friend. "Anyway, you will come?"
Hugh consented, and they took a car, and before long Hugh found himself entering with dozens of city men known to him, the Fulton Street noon prayer meeting. He was annoyed, and resolved to leave as soon as possible. Presently his ears caught the words, "A mother desires prayer for her son, who, after seven years, is farther from God, and gives no sign of early Christian training.: This was surely himself. His mother must have sent this appeal from Devonshire. Blair, his friend, knew it, and had brought him there to hear it. He was furious, and wondered if every finger in the hall was pointing at him. But when the gentleman who read the request added, "The anxious mother is present with us in prayer," Hugh looked round, expecting to see his own mother; he was disappointed to notice only city men. He listened to the short, fervent, pleading prayers of several, and felt sure they were on his behalf.
He left the meeting quietly, and for the rest of the day was silent, thoughtful and unhappy. That evening, on entering his rooms, he saw the contents of a box of books he never used lying upon a table, and on top of all his mother's parting gift--her much-loved Bible.
"What influence is this?" he said to himself. He felt powerless in the face of such a combination of circumstances. Undoing the clasp of the Bible, a letter fluttered from between the pages--a letter in the handwriting of his mother. He flushed with shame. For seven years this letter had lain between the pages of the Bible, perhaps needing an answer. How should he answer it? The letter commenced, "My son, remember thy Creator in the days of thy youth. Remember the tender hours of childhood which you gave to God at my knee. Remember, He loves you, seeks you, saves you. Remember, I shall live only to pray for you. God bless you! Christ guide you! The Holy spirit teach you! prays your mother."
That was all; but it came just at the right moment to the heart of Hugh Allardyce, and he said: "Here and now, O God, I give myself to Thee, to do with as Thou wilt, and to keep for evermore. That is the answer to my mother's letter. Amen."
A gush of gladness filled his own soul, such as he had ever known in all his successful business career, and he sat down at once to rejoice the heart of his darling mother whose picture he fondly kissed, and then wrote a letter to her, telling her the joyful news of his conversion. He wrote," Mother you have prevailed--you have won your son for God!"
Next day he was at the noon prayer-meeting, and giving no name or cicumstances, he passed up a slip of paper, stating: "A son desires to praise God for a mother's prayers."
He learned how the books came to be on his table. "The box was moved by the workmen who were repairing the radiator," said the landlady; "the bottom fell out through dry rot, and so I put the books on your table."
That was all. Very simple are the divine methods. What a great and wonder-working God we have, who makes no mistakes! What seeming trifles He can use to bring about wise results!
"What do you mean to do?" asked his friend, Blair, on hearing the blessed news. "Nothing," was the reply. "it is done. I am a new man in Christ. He has turned me right round."
And so it proved. Hugh (I have not given his true name) is now one of our merchant princes. Though years have passed, he is still true as steel to his Savior, a shining light in the dark places of the mercantile world; a testimony to the efficacy of true prayer; and encouragement to every anxious mother, and a power for God, especially amongst young men.
--from This is Victory