Jesus' Precious Little Lambs

A Charlotte Mason Christian Home School: Preschool – 3rd Grade :)

4/24 & 4/26 Down on the Farm

Love can not be forced.

I used to try to force my kitten to love me by holding her down when she wanted to get away. I wanted her to love me more like a dog would so I tried to force her to cuddle with me. Now she is a feisty, bitter cat that swats at innocent children walking by. How many times have I wished that someone in my life would love me more or differently only to find it go awry? I wish my husband was more romantic, my parents spent more time with me, my children were more affectionate, my friends more loyal. There hasn’t been a single person in my life that I am close to that hasn’t disappointed me at one time or another. Ouch. And then sometimes I try to change them so they will love me more, which usually pushes them away. I wonder if I am alone in this, a strangely overly needy person, or if others share in this propensity for forcing love?

Grace.

Now I find myself wanting every Little Lamb family to love school so much that they do everything I hope they will. We are a cooperative and everyone has done a great job of working together. But when some things fell through the cracks and didn’t happen, or didn’t get done on time, I wondered what we were supposed to do. If Little Lambs belongs to Jesus, will it work if we really just put it all in His hands and not take matters into our own hands? Is His conviction more poignant than man’s? OR…….do we write “I will remember to……” on the chalkboard 100x? Charge late fees? Assign makeup work? The more my mind went down this ridiculous road, the more reasons I found to be disappointed, and thus more need for “punishment”. Envisioned penalties were stacking up like pancakes. I realized I was in a negative downward spiral that only caused me to have unhappy feelings towards others. This must not be God’s way for our school. Plus, petty penalties seem so much like the pattern of this world. Do petty penalties ever really change someone’s heart to want to do right? Its how businesses and other schools are run, but this is Jesus’ school. What would Jesus do? What did He do with his own disciples? I know He never fired anyone, not even Judas. I know his teachings of grace, patience, and forgiveness were superior to the law. The Old testament law only shows us how wrong we are so that we are acutely aware of our need for grace, and New Testament grace given through Jesus Christ actually changes hearts to want to do right. Love naturally flows out of hearts that want to do right, and hearts that want to do right are because of grace. The methods used by most schools or businesses will keep some order through their law like discipline, but never change hearts. Hence, rarely do people LOVE going to work. When grace does not dominate, love is weak. After wrestling with these thoughts, I knew that my highest dream for Little Lambs is for grace to abound so that our hearts are changed rather than merely disciplined.

Choice.

I am so pleased with all the hard work families put into Little Lambs and it shows our love. My desire for Little Lambs is that we all serve in excellence because we LOVE what we are doing here like crazy. If we do our duties here out of necessity or obligation, I think we suck the love of God out of the atmosphere. Is it even possible to love out of obligation? I don’t think obligation and love co-exist together well. For example, even God gives us all free will to love Him or not because being loved by people who are forced to love Him, would not be real love at all. Giving people choice allows Him to be truly loved by those who choose to. We who are called to do this homeschooling journey together are tied together by a true bond: love that is chosen. My dream for Little Lambs is that nothing would be done out of compulsion, and all things, incredible things would happen because of the strength of our love. Love is an unstoppable force.

May grace abound in all your relationships and love be fiercer than the noonday sun.

Farm Animal Science with Miss Cherie

Bacon comes from pigs (actually its turkey bacon mommy)

Wool comes from sheep

What’s its like to milk a cow?

Food coloring and dish soap in milk makes an exploding kaleidoscope of colors

Down on the Farm Centers

Piggy bank coin counting was fun

Making a bird feeder all by myself

Tayler’s proud “p” for “pig” handwriting

Cooking Project Using Farm Veggies

Doing my own cutting

Taste Tester

Mmmmm! Gruyere, asparagus, artichoke, and bell pepper frittata

Getting Ready for Mother’s Day

Tea party invitations for Grandmas

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Love, Love, Love, Love, Crazy Love

As lesson planning time for February is upon us, here are some questions to ask ourselves and get us thinking about love, our next theme for February………

Important Question #1: What can we do to show our students that we LOVE them this upcoming month?

We don’t just want to teach ABOUT love, we want to SHOW love. Showing, or living what we teach, is so important considering that anything we teach must come out of us if it is to be truly taught. It must exist inside of us in order to REALLY be put it inside of them. We must love in order to teach love. Otherwise we are just saying a bunch of words that may sound well put together but there is no life in them, they are dead, empty shells, ineffective, and after the tons of work we put into our lesson planning, wouldn’t it be sad to have it all fall on deaf ears, unmoved hearts, unseeing eyes…..because our words were hollow? I have seen it again again–the more I teach from my heart (something that I asked and allowed God to put there for my sake and for the sake of the children), the more the kids hang on every word spoken during a lesson. Why? Because the words are alive with the very life of God! It is truly a miracle.

I think it would be a great start to approach our lesson planning with the 5 love languages in mind. Showing love in a variety of ways to our students is important because everyone has their “language” for giving and receiving love: words of affirmation, quality time, gifts, acts of service, physical touch. With that in mind, do you guys have any practical and simple ideas for showing our little ones love?

Important Question #2: How well are we loving others?

This may be a good time to honestly assess our love for our family, our husband, our children, our home, our friends, our God, our students, our neighbors and community, our homemaking, our school, our interests. Personally, I feel that I need to focus some love my husbands way right now as starting up a homeschool has consumed so much of my time and interest lately. (Pray for me?) Doing a heart check  can help as we may find that our affections are a little unbalanced, or that one or more areas is altogether lacking and suffering. Not that we must be perfect in our love before being good teachers of it (not at all!), but praying about the lack and making a concerted effort to remedy it will go a long way in keeping out the staleness of teaching from an unchecked heart.

How about you? Is there an area you are willing to share with us that could use some extra attention?

Important Question #3: What does God say about love in scripture that stands out to you personally?

“God is love.” 1 John 4:8

How will we ever know love without knowing God? Studying the Bible to know Love will be our first and most important resource in preparing for February at school. God is the author of love, the absolute source of love, and the creator of love. Only He can fill my lack, and so try as I may to work up loving my husband or loving my housework, I am not the source (God is) and can not create love (God does) that does not exist. I am such a failure on my own! I marvel at how botched things get whenever I purposely or accidentally leave God out of something. Did you see the list of people and things we need to love in question #2?! That’s a lot of love!! Its a relief that I don’t have to work up all the love that’s required in my life on my own, I just have to ask for help. I love you for that God.

“Love the Lord God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and love your neighbor as yourself.” Luke 10:27

I like that this scripture prioritizes things for me because I need that. If I love God with everything I am and everything I have, everything else falls into place. That long list of who and what we need to love becomes doable and not daunting anymore when we prioritize our love this way. If God is put first, He takes an undying interest in ordering and prospering the rest of our relationships and responsibilities for us. Loving God provides that constant heart check that we need as He is always peering inside of each one of us and is the only one who truly understands us. We can breathe easy knowing that He is at work in everything that concerns us.

Is there a verse you would like to share?

Important Question #4: What are some practical examples of love that we can offer our children to very personally illustrate the concept of love to them?

This is a list that is very personal to the growth that I would love to see in Noah in the area of love:

*Desire to spend time with God everyday before playing with toys (not forced devotions because forced love is not love at all)

*Honoring daddy with a cheerful hug and greeting when he arrives home from work

*Saying “I love you” first to mommy and daddy

*Letting sister play with him and his toys

*Helping sister/friend when he or she falls down or gets hurt

*Obeying immediately, cheerfully, and thoroughly

*Initiating hugs and kisses

*Taking care of younger children

*Giving compliments, saying nice things to others

How about your little one? I want to take each of our little one’s areas for growth into consideration when meditating on what to discuss during morning Circle time and as discussion opportunities arise throughout the school day. This is homeschool, not school, and so it can and should be very personal to the needs of our children. (Don’t you LOVE that?!)

As things come to mind about the topic of love, please add them in our post. It will take all of us putting our heads and hearts together to answer these 4 questions well. So why don’t we co-author this post as thoughts about love come up (or at least leave comments below)? These are just my attempts at bringing us closer to finding some answers, but there are things we all can share to encourage and sharpen each other. Perhaps you have an additional question to pose to the group? You are welcome to add it in! At the very least I hope this gets us thinking as lesson prepping is so much more than pom poms and printables, it starts in the heart!! I love you guys!

I will continue to update this post myself as well as more thoughts come to mind………

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