water wheel

I just returned from a retreat for homeschooling moms. God took our simple plans for a refueling, reviving weekend and He blew it out of the water!  The theme was “From Empty to Overflowing”. We talked a lot about allowing the Lord to fill us. Several times we delved into Psalm 23 and listened to what God had to say about His plans to fill us and provide for all of our needs. I learned so much from Him this weekend.

I have to admit that one thing I resent about mothering is the constant serving, constant demands, constant turnover of laundry, dishes, messes, food, etc.  How futile and unappreciated many of my responsibilities seem. I have been praying like crazy for God to fill my heart with joy as I serve at home. I long to be filled with joy no matter how many times I have to clean something, cook something, put something away.

I realized this weekend that my problem is that I want to be filled by the Lord, but I do not want to be emptied out! Each moment that I spend seeking His face and pouring through the pages of His word results in the filling of my “cup”.  God showed me that the reason He fills me is not so that I can stay full.  He does it so that I can be poured out into the lives of others around me. Then I can go back to Him and be filled anew… to be poured out again.

God brought to mind a water wheel, and I thought about how each nook collects water on the lower part of its journey and then pours the water out on the upper part of its journey. The wheel goes around and around, repeating the same actions over and over again. To look at one revolution of the wheel, one would not be impressed with the outcome. However, as it moves through countless cycles, energy is produced. The wheel shows its effectiveness by plodding away, hour after hour, never giving up on its assigned work.

What a picture of motherhood.

I’m asking the Lord to fill me with joy and to remember that the repetitive revolutions of my day are accomplishing the great work that He has called me to:   raising educated, respectful, passionate children that will love Him and go wherever He wants to send them.

So, here I go again….

thriving

I’m no longer concerned about saving money for my children’s college education. What I really need to do is start a therapy fund for them. They are going to need some professional help after being my child for 18 years!

Many things combined to make this week another difficult one. Baby and I were hit with a cold. My hormones are performing one death defying loop-the-loop after another. I am allowing homeschool to present an endless list of to-do’s instead of fun learning experiences.

This morning, I read a timely devotion from Streams in the Desert. Here’s the part that got me:

Left alone. What different emotions these words bring to mind for each of us! To some they mean loneliness and grief, but to others they may mean rest and quiet. To be left alone without God would be too horrible for words, while being left alone with Him would be a taste of heaven!

Our Master (Jesus) set an example for us. Remember how often He went to be alone with God? And there was a powerful purpose behind His command, “When you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray.”  (Matthew 6:6)

Earnestly desire to get alone with God. If we neglect to do so, we not only rob ourselves of a blessing, but rob others as well, since we will have no blessing to pass onto them.

The fact is that when I do not find time daily to be alone with God and allow Him to fill me, I am getting by instead of living. I am surviving instead of thriving.

This week I realized that when I am only surviving, then my kids are doing the same. I want to see them THRIVING, not surviving. They deserve the best! I need to lead by example here…. and I can only do it by getting alone with God!

the d word

My baby boy has slept through the night for several days now. I knew he could do it.

When I went to women’s retreat a couple of weekends ago, the Lord showed me that my boy was capable of sleeping 8 or 9 hours straight. He did it at the hotel. Little stinker!! At home, he would get up every two, three, or maybe four hours in the night. I knew that God was giving me the go-ahead to be firm with my little buddy.

So, when I got home from retreat, I stopped feeding him in the middle of the night. Boy, would he cry. It was hard for him to go back to sleep. However, I knew that a boy in the 100+ percentile for height and weight did not need a midnight and three a.m. snack. I pressed on. Rearranged everyone in the house… put them in rooms where they wouldn’t hear my boy protesting. I cried ALOT. I just kept hanging on to what I knew was true… with some discipline, my son would learn to sleep through the night consistently.
And here we are! We’ve had several good nights in a row. He’s also doing better during the day… I can put him down awake and he falls asleep by himself. That’s another milestone that seemed out of reach at one time.

Discipline. That’s a word that can make me shudder. The bible says that no discipline is pleasant for the moment, but it yields a wonderful, and necessary harvest. That sure rings true in our home right now.

I know that the Lord is trying to discipline me too. I have some areas of my life that are out of control. He is giving me grace for now in some areas (like food) but He is bringing discipline to my life in others. One example is time-management.

I homeschool my two daughters (3d & 6th grade). What issues I’ve been having with the older one!! She cannot use her time wisely. The other day, the Lord showed me that I am no better!  So, He has been showing me how I can grow in this area. I’ve tried the habits and solutions He’s shown me, and we are making slow progress.

Today, I made a very foolish decision regarding time and school work, and it wasn’t long before I was sobbing! God was disciplining me by showing me – clear as day – the results of my decision. He was so kind, whispering to my heart that I should not beat myself up, but just learn from what He showed me.

So, tomorrow promises to be a better day. This discipline is not pleasant… but it will yield the harvest that I need to become a better person, mother, and teacher.

Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father?  If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons.  Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live!  Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness.  No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. Hebrews 12:7-11