I have felt the need, intensely lately, to simplify my life. I need to institute some major disciplines in our household or as one movie character said, "I will go insane and I will take you with me!" Now I do constantly have people tell me that they are amazed at how I "do it all." My house is definately not in the running for Country Living Magazine. Neither is it just this side of condemned.
It just seems that my household doesn't lack ability they lack incentive. If the Mama is home then everybody is forced to get their chores done, school is accomplished and everything runs smoothly. Of course, children always try things when a babysitter is present or life is a little different. I am not expecting perfection. I do however want to some how motivate my children to learn CHARACTER. As I was sharing with my sil the other day; I would rather have strange looking children (maybe some dyed hair or something silly like that) with a heart for God than children that are clean-cut, toe-the-line and have pharaisical hearts far from the Living Lord. So how do I do that?
The Bible says that if the Lord doesn't build the house then we labor in vain. It also says that I can do and be many things, but if I have not love I am nothing. It also warns of the woman whose feet are never at home, but constantly running around spreading gossip. Of course Proverbs 31 has much to say on a keeper at home's character. Hmmmm...
How does that all come into play? I do believe that the Lord's Word is sufficient for all of life. What does that really mean in the day to day grind of my life?
I have been truly convicted as of late, ironically enough, from a couple of lines from Sense and Sensibility. Elinor asks Willoughby about Colonel Brandon, "Why should you dislike him so much?" To which Willoughby replies, "Why should I like him? A man that everyone speaks well of, but never speaks to." I don't want that to be like my relationship with the Lord of the Universe. Do I speak well of Him? Do I read about Him? Discuss Him? Think about Him? Then fail to speak to Him and LISTEN to Him?!?!
I am not feeling like I need to have "the sacred quiet time." I do feel that I need to institute some major core changes in our household so the Mama can spend some intimate time with her Savior. I recognize the truth one author on Ladies Against Feminism wrote about: Me time can turn into a quest for yet more me time that turns into shirking our familial duties and giving into selfishness. We do however need to get time alone with the Lord. That refreshes us and envigorates us to serve our God-given blessings. So Lord willing I am getting things in order.
Some changes I have made are to the chores. We don't have allowances, but we have instituted Heath tokens. Each Monday Kindergarten and above children receive eight. It is up to them to keep them. Chores rotate on a chart so no child is stuck with a chore they detest. They might have to do it today, but they know they won't have to do it tomorrow. If they aren't finished with chores at devotion time in the mornings then they give up a token. Tokens are good for computer time, movies and gum. If another child does a person's chores for them then that child gives a token to the chore doer. It is an experiment right now. We will try it and evaluate it. It seems to be a pretty good deal right now.
I am also really trying to have Saturday be my Day of Preperation! The Jews took their Sabbaths seriously. We generally have guests on Sundays. I LOVE having company and an open home. That has translated into no days off for the Mama. I have tried a few times now to do all the work for Sunday on Saturday. It has turned out really well. While the boys work outside on Sat. I work inside. This last Saturday I made pancakes that lasted until Sun. morning. I baked four loaves of bread and had our contribution to the Sunday Potluck done. While we have Love and Respect on Sat. nights this month I can't have everyone bathed before bed, but we will get back to it. I usually have little girls bathed and in their jammies. The boys usually take showers Sunday morning (they don't need mom's help anymore). This past shopping trip I even figured out menus for Sundays. When the food is at our house, I can make sandwiches ahead of time for lunch. I also can put stuff in the crockpot and just pop it in on Sundays. I hope to really establish this as a routine. It makes Sundays time I can relax and enjoy our company.
I think we can benefit from the wisdom of our forefathers if we care to pay attention:) I also know that if we ask God, He is faithful to give us wisdom. So here goes...