Great Things are Done One Step at a Time

I have to remind myself of this quote often! Great things are done one step at a time. I know a song where the chorus goes: Little by little, inch by inch. By the yard it's hard, by the inch, what a cinch! Never stare up the stairs, just step up the steps. Little by little, inch by inch. I think the song was written for children but it's a big help to me!
So many things in life take a lot of small steps to get there. And because I can only take one small step at a time, it seems like I will never get there or it is so insignificant. Do you know the feeling?
Raising children is something that is done one step at a time. Hour by hour, day by day, week by week, year by year. We don't always see the fruit of all our work.
As a mother, I just find keeping the house and yard clean and tidy a big challenge! I have to remind myself, little by little, inch by inch! By the yard it's hard... I can't do a lot at a time, but if I do a little bit regularly, it does get done!
I am also writing a book, which is a long term project that takes A LOT of small steps. I have to encourage myself that I will get there one day if I keep taking steps!
I have been reading the Noah story to my children this week. It struck me how long it took Noah to build the ark! Talk about a long term project! When the ark was finished, there was still a lot to do--gathering food etc. He must have got discouraged sometimes and felt like giving up. But just aswell he didn't! :)


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!


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.


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.


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!


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.


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.