Saturday, November 17, 2012

Living Love; The Best Way To Grow Up A Family

Sometimes I get so wrapped up in checking off the boxes that I forget the purpose of why we're doing what we're doing. Three years ago when we first ventured out in this home-schooling venture, I came across one family's seven daily goals on a blog. This amazing, godly woman described them so eloquently and I closed my computer screen inspired after reading her post several times over.

And why reinvent the wheel when God brings wise women all around?

So I wrote down the seven daily goals on an old piece of wood that I had found in our barn when we first moved in and I set the wood up on a shelf in our school room. Days and weeks have gone by and the wood is now covered in dust.

But this past month I've been wondering about the ways that I'm being intentional about pouring into the hearts of our treasures. Sometimes there can be so many tasks that need doing in a home-schooling day that I forget that the tasks are just that... tasks. And tasks in and of themselves do not grow up oaks of righteousness, oaks that display the splendor of GOD. (Isaiah 61:3)

If I accomplish the tasks, but forget to tend the souls, then really, I just might have missed the boat.

If I want my treasures to be knowledgeable and wise then I must remember that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. (Psalm 111:10)

So we have begun anew.

We continue to complete our tasks.
We dip into math, and we soak up bits of science.
We read books and we attempt grammar.
We write stories, we jump on the trampoline, and we bake cookies for the neighbors.
We read silly poems and laugh at ourselves as we aspire to be great artists.

But in the midst of all of it, we ask Him for purpose.

Ann chose seven goals for her family, but for us, in a season with many small children running around, we aspire to daily live four...

First to,
"My Sheep, hear my voice; I know them and they follow me." (John 10:27) 
The best days on the farm are the ones spent reading, listening, soaking up, and memorizing The Word Of God. 
More often than not, that's the place that He speaks. That's the place where we gain more than knowledge, we gain pure, unadulterated  wisdom. That's the place where we ask, where we seek, where we knock, and He promises to open the door to all His glory. (Mathew 7:7) And when we learn to listen to the tender yet mighty voice of our Savior, we learn how to better listen to one another. 

When we practice the discipline of listening, we find that James was right when exhorts, "be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry." 

Listening... a way of the Spirit... and the best way, to live any day.


"Love never gives up.

Love cares more for others than for self.

Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end."

Who can live this way apart from Christ? No one. No one in this house anyways! :)

Ann said it so well, "If we, with our children, only grab hold of this rung daily, laying down time for Jesus and for others, we’ve scaled the one rung that ultimately matters. Love for Jesus and for those made by His hand is the one needful thing of each day."

Love, a way of sacrifice.

We learn to put ourselves aside, daily, often hourly, that we might learn to love the way that He loves.

A way of serving. "Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant,  and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." (Mathew 20:26-28)

The continual giving of ourselves and thinking about others above ourselves, can be best learned through a continual flow of opportunities to serve our family, our community, and our nation.

Plainly put, no education is complete without some good old fashion hard work.

"Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain." 
(1 Corinthians 15:58)...

 "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters." (Colossians 3:23)

May we see it as our privilege to work hard and serve each other each day.

In our home... we read good books. We read books about quality people. We read books about how things work. We read that we might discover the glory and sovereignty of God in all that He has allowed throughout history. 

The ultimate goal of not only our days, but the entirety of our lives, is that we would use each moment that He gives as an a moment to know Him more deeply, more intimately.

"These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts.  Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.  Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.  Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates." (Deuteronomy 6:6-8)

For the Cowboy and I, these younger years with our treasures have been, and will continue to be, this incredible gift to grow up together with them towards our sweet Savior. 

Might we learn to LISTEN to each other, 
to LOVE one another selflessly, 
to work hard for the glory of God, 
and to read a lot of really great books?

A simple, yet brilliant way to grow up our family towards Jesus.