Jesus' Precious Little Lambs

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

The Legacy of Homemaking

Is homemaking a lost art?

I was at a baby girl shower recently and I loved overhearing my friends mother in law encourage her to keep the art of homemaking alive with the things our grandmothers did so beautifully–gardening, canning, quilting, embroidery, knitting, crafting, soap making, etc. Her gift to her new granddaughter happened to be a sweet handmade baby quilt made from reproduction vintage seed sacks. She also provided the favors for the party–hand harvested honey from her bee hives packaged in apothecary jars! I love to see and hear from women the refreshing originality and thoughtfulness they pour into the everyday lives of their families. Sitting there listening, I felt inspired again to keep the dream of creative homemaking alive and well in my own heart.

Whether moms work as a stay at home mom or out in the work force, God has made mothers the hearts of our homes. Strong homes must be made, they do not happen coincidentally–strong homes require home”makers.” I have come to fashion my definition of the art of homemaking as: a timeless expression of living life beautiful in Christ as wives and mothers with the high calling of nurturing hearts at home.

I think its wonderful that we can carry out even the most mundane tasks of homemaking as a holy expression of our life in Christ, but personally, I get even more excited about imprinting my little daughter with the aesthetic aspects of homemaking in Christ. That’s the fun part for me! Good homemaking surely consists of both the mundane and the aesthetic, with both being of equal importance; the latter without the former makes a chaotic home, and the former without the latter makes a home that is void of personality and sparkle. In order for a home to thrive, both must be in balance, so we shan’t forget to add the sparkle nor to take joy in the mundane!

Some have come to feel like homemaking is mostly mundane or dull, and I have heard many a mom say, “I am just not creative!” But I believe we all can light up our homes in different ways, and we are all indeed creative because we are all made in the image of the Master Creator and Artist. However, creative muscles and joints must be used, or they become stiff from disuse. For both creatives and creatives-to-be-discovered, I encourage you to make a list of what are you good at and also what would you like to learn. Then find some women who can invest in you, and find some women you can invest yourself in as well!

Here are some ideas to help you make that list and build more ‘Homemaker Culture’ into your life – creative activities that nurture your heart so that you may in turn nurture the other hearts at home.

Singing, musical instruments, choral music, calligraphy, computer skills, administrative skills, writing, sign language, public speaking, blogging, problem solving, wood working, making/refinishing furniture, hospitality, gardening, working with children, photography, teaching, floral design, foreign languages, homeschooling, marriage, family, financial stewardship…..

Etiquette, tea parties, cake decorating, home decorating, baking, cooking, preserving/canning, scrapbooking, basket weaving, candle making, soap making, essential oils, card making, quilting, embroidery, sewing, quilting, knitting, cross stitch, needle point, holiday celebrations and traditions, cleaning and housekeeping, planning and organizing……

Field trips, camping, hiking, nature, health and fitness, artwork, drawing, ceramics, oil painting, pottery, watercolors, nature, health and fitness, drawing, reading……

Serving, spiritual warfare, Bible study, devotionals, missions, evangelism, journaling, leadership, community service, counseling, special needs, elderly, homeless, needy, giving, encouraging, mentoring….

 

The week after my friend’s baby shower, I was excited to meet with some friends at Mom’s Night here to learn how to crochet and discuss Proverbs 31. Sounds like a Christian homemakers dream night, right? I have never done much sewing of any kind, and was eager to learn from a gifted friend how to crochet for the first time. It was really fun and a little challenging too; so far I have crocheted a bookmark but somehow its supposed to turn into a washcloth if I just keep “yarning over.” 🙂 The best part of the night was studying the Bible together in a very relaxed atmosphere with friends who had searched their hearts before the gathering for answers to questions such as:

  • How does this proverb apply to me today?
  • How can I apply these principles to my life to improve my marriage and family life?
  • What does it mean to be a diligent wife and mother?

The first several times I read Proverbs 31 in my personal study time, I was pretty much a blank slate, but many readings later, ideas began to form as the Word penetrated into my understanding. Bible study felt more like the “study” that I imagine it should be, rather than simply the “reading” I usually do, and getting to discuss the passage with friends afterwards was a very motivating cherry on top for me. It was so enjoyable and rewarding that I am hoping deeper Bible study can become a more regular part of my life as well as Mom’s Night discussions!

I was convicted that I have only read Proverbs 31–all about being a Godly woman, wife, and homemaker–a handful of times since getting married 10 years ago. So along with a friend, I challenged myself to memorize verses 11-31, and I challenge you to do the same if you are a wife wanting to be inspired by God’s Word! Perhaps your homemaking or marriage could use some refreshing at this point dear one? I can attest that hiding the Word of God, the living active Word, in our hearts works in unexplainable ways in refreshing our perspective and moving us out of stuck places. For me, as the verses of Proverbs 31 have begun to permeate my consciousness the past week, I actually felt a difference in the way I felt towards my husband and those mundane tasks around the house – a little thrill of delight at the kitchen sink returning like a long lost friend.

As homeschool moms, many of us give our kids memory verses, but many of us have never really taken up memorizing the Word for ourselves. Sunday School was a long time ago ladies. “I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you” (Psalm 119:9, 11) Our hearts are easily sickened with sin–wrong thinking, misaligned priorities, idle ways–so why not let some intentional internalization of the Word be like healing medicine to the inevitable infection? I think as Christians we can become disillusioned that we are “in” the Word, but we are actually just dipping in and never really internalizing it and being transformed by it.

Shall we dig in?

Proverbs 31

The Woman Who Fears the Lord

10 An excellent wife who can find?
    She is far more precious than jewels.

11 The heart of her husband trusts in her,
    and he will have no lack of gain.
12 She does him good, and not harm,
    all the days of her life.

“Doing good to my husband” is an area that I specifically want to grow in, and since prayer is likely the most precious ‘gift of good’ wives can give husbands, I am currently reading and using the prayers and principles in the book The Power of a Praying Wife, which was recommended to me by moms at Mom’s Night.

I approached Proverbs 31 with a desire to be inspired in my homemaking and family life, but it struck me how Proverbs 31 is far more about being an excellent wife, than it is about motherhood. I think it serves to convict us supermoms of our relationship priorities at home! I am convicted of how much more I thought about growing in my ministry as a wife before I had kids. Then I let those adorable bundles of joy come and take up so much space in my heart.

In fact, I think its very easy to have a child centered home these days, rather than an “excellent wife” centered home, as it seems to be prevalent in our culture to run our lives around our kids. In some senses it is good and noble and sacrificial the way we give to our kids, but perhaps we have taken it too far and actually become overly devoted mothers? We think that intensive mothering makes us better mothers, so we are willing to sacrifice our own well being because we think it will enhance our children’s lives.

Some of us don’t have time to exercise because our schedule is so full of kid activities, even the weekends revolve around kid birthday parties and games and an extravaganza of other fun kid stuff. Some of us don’t go on dates with our husband because kid activities are the priority or sometimes because we are reluctant to let others help care for our children. Some of us spend great amounts of time preparing and providing for our kids education and intellectual stimulation, but we can’t seem to find any time to read books and develop our own minds. Some of us schedule hours of extracurricular activities each week and taxi the kids to a myriad of enrichment activities but can’t find time for any of our own interests, that would actually develop us into more interesting mothers with more to give, especially making us more relevant in the teen years. Some of us make kid food to please picky palates and thus find meal time a time we dread. Some of us let the kids bedtime preferences (“I don’t want to go to bed!”) or long ceremonial routine (brush, floss, bathe, 5 books, stuffed animal round up, a prayer and a snuggle) encroach on husband and wife time and sanity in the evenings so that we aren’t having enough quality grown up time or intimacy anymore. Some of us allow our children wake us up too much in the night and we feel tired and strung out during the day. Some of us have a hard time saying no and aren’t very good about disciplining our kids. Some of us spend all of our emotional and mental energy on the kids and feel much closer to them than we do to our husbands. I think you get the point; we can “love” our kids to the detriment of ourselves and the exclusion of our husbands. 🙂

13 She seeks wool and flax,
    and works with willing hands.
14 She is like the ships of the merchant;
    she brings her food from afar.
15 She rises while it is yet night
    and provides food for her household
    and portions for her maidens.

At first glance, it seems that there are a lot of “outdated” things that don’t apply to the modern woman in Proverbs 31. For instance, there is a whole lot of sewing happening in Proverbs 31 (and its not just a hobby)! However, I think that the message of “working with willing hands” is relevant and needed for all times.

I see the Proverbs 31 woman as someone who is not afraid to work hard, and the modern woman as someone put off by things that aren’t convenient. For example, deep down we know cooking from scratch is important to the health of our family, but we pour bowls of cereal in the morning, make never ending PB & J for lunch, and get take out food for dinner more than we would like to admit, all for the sake of convenience. On the other hand, our Proverbs 31 woman of wisdom is willing to “bring her food from afar,” and she gets up early to make sure everyone is well fed for the day. Many of us seem to be “burning the candle at both ends” despite all the convenience options we have taken advantage of. Life feels too full to make food from scratch, clean our house ourselves, or do our own gardening, let alone to take up sewing or other handicrafts! What is filling our time instead? Selah.

16 She considers a field and buys it;
    with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.
17 She dresses herself with strength
    and makes her arms strong.
18 She perceives that her merchandise is profitable.
    Her lamp does not go out at night.

I see the Proverbs 31 woman as someone who is productive in many ways, including her pursuits out of the house, but especially and first of all in the home. As I have mentioned many times on my blog, I sense that our modern day “family life” takes us out of the house in an endless array of too many activities. Our busy lives, in combination with the pull of technology, certainly plays a big part in zapping our time. Not ironically, my house sits in shambles at the moment so I can finish this blog post. Ahem, moving on then. . . . 🙂

Very interesting to me is that though the God fearing woman of Proverbs 31 has many interests and involvements, her home does not sound child centered, as previously noted. Instead I imagine her daughters learning the same skills she has so finely honed over time in herself, and they are coming into her life and adding to her life, perhaps more than vice versa. What if a child’s life revolving around the parent’s lives and interests is the way its supposed to be, for their own good, and ours too? It may be more important for kids to tag along with Dad as he goes about his weekend business, than it is for Dad to tag along with them as they go about theirs. I really feel that the former lifestyle (including both parents) is a model of discipleship that promotes maturity in our children, and overindulgence of the latter lifestyle results in immaturity. We can require them to do grown-up things well before they grow up so that they don’t feel ill-equipped and inadequate someday. What if parents were free to enjoy thriving marriages, lead healthy active lives, and pursue their own hobbies–all with their children close by their side leaning in to learn? Bringing kids into our world where they learn the skills that will enable them to thrive as adults, is homeschool in its essence, even more perhaps than the academics and books and field trips. I think the Proverbs 31 woman’s strong personal development emphasis puts a healthy balance in her mothering style and definitely contributes to her success in “looking well to the ways of her household” (vs 27).

19 She puts her hands to the distaff,
    and her hands hold the spindle.
20 She opens her hand to the poor
    and reaches out her hands to the needy.
21 She is not afraid of snow for her household,
    for all her household are clothed in scarlet.
22 She makes bed coverings for herself;
    her clothing is fine linen and purple.

I see the Proverbs 31 woman as someone who makes stuff, and the modern woman as someone who buys stuff. We have “no time” or desire for making things when we could just buy instead. If we are “fortunate” enough, we can pay for household services to be done for us, and we can certainly buy most everything that the Proverbs 31 had to make herself. In fact, we buy mountains of expendable stuff, until we are frustrated with how the house just isn’t big enough anymore, and flustered that the kids don’t know the value of a dollar.

23 Her husband is known in the gates
    when he sits among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them;
    she delivers sashes to the merchant.
25 Strength and dignity are her clothing,
    and she laughs at the time to come.
26 She opens her mouth with wisdom,
    and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
27 She looks well to the ways of her household
    and does not eat the bread of idleness.

Good homemaking requires us to “look well to the ways of our household.” My diatribe is not against us as homeschool moms who minister day in and day out from the heart of our homes, but I do wish to remind us that the ancient paths of truth are sometimes the better ones. For example, many of us Christian homeschoolers have decided to school our children at home because we believe and have come to see that the old way of educating is better. We have personally experienced the benefits of this crazy homeschool adventure that has ultimately served to tie our hearts into family and home, just as God desires, more than we ever realized it would. Even though wives do sometimes struggle against that urgency to escape and be free to go and do and be, we must admit that it is ultimately satisfying when we learn to embrace our calling at home, and that when we have done it well, we can be happy knowing that we have contributed to our husbands success as one who is “known in the gates.”

So we realize that school at home has blessed blessed blessed us in life changing ways- like giving us an amazing discipleship opportunity with our children, for one example. Perhaps then, we should ask ourselves, what else could be a huge likewise blessing to our husbands and families as we further consider and implement the ways of old outlined in scripture? If homeschool has been wonderful, I wonder what else once added (or eliminated!) might help us to more passionately build up our homes? The Proverbs 31 woman is a blessed woman living a blessed life, which is something we all desire; God is calling us wives of today to reflect on how we might practically follow His ancient pattern for blessing.

28 Her children rise up and call her blessed;
    her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women have done excellently,
    but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
    but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
31 Give her of the fruit of her hands,
    and let her works praise her in the gates.

The feeling of a life wrapped up in store bought items simply can’t replace the warm feeling that comes from covering our children and homes in handmade things by moms and grandmas (even if we can purchase the items for less than we can make them!). We may cry that we would never have time for such things, but what a keepsake we have when our own Grandma’s quilt or artwork is passed down to us! If she was a Christian, her work becomes part of her legacy as “a woman who feared the Lord,” and we cling to those beautiful things she left behind for us, those things she made with willing hands, those things that tangibly express the beauty of a life spent with Christ. When we see all she has done, we “rise up and call her blessed.”

Will there be beautiful keepsake items to pass down to our children someday? Will our daughters learn how to work with willing hands? Or will the art of homemaking be lost in this generation? Proverbs 31 ends with, “give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates;” in other words homemakers, the work of our hands shall be part of our reward and legacy. May God bless you with willing hands to love on your home and family.

XO

September and October Pictures

First Day of School

Family History Book Letters

Mary and Joseph learning to address envelopes for the first time (Christmas has started early here)

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Making Lasagna, a Family Recipe, with Grandma

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Story Time with Grandma (Family History Project)

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Learning Embroidery Skills, Even the Boys Were Excited

Learning to write his name in cursive

Daniel Devising His Own School Work

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Learning to draw faces. 🙂

A Great Math Lesson on Number 6

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Noah Enjoying Model Trains; He Wants to Be a Train Driver When He Grows Up

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Fearless Faithy, the only one in our family who would hold a tarantula

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Bless His Heart

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Daniel’s 3rd Birthday Party Prayer

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Jammin’ in the Morn

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Art with Aunty Tara and Cousins

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Putting on His Own Shoes

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Painting the 7 Days of Creation

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The Bubble Lady Show inspired these two bubble makers

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Prayer Journal Time

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Map Making in Geography

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Waaaay Too Much Fun at School

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Helping Mommy Make Breakfast Everyday

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Our Apple Hill Tradition Tripimg_0020

A Cooking Project Success!

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Preschool Table

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School Table

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Our Completed Monet’s: Water Lilies (you have to stand back to get the full effect of the impressionism) 😉

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Air Show

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Devotion Duo

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A Trip to the Zoo for Faithy

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A Geoboard Bomb Disposal Robot

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Making a Growing Pattern that Grows by 8’s and then Charting it

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Oh My

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Love our Ameraucana Chicken Eggs!

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I assigned Imaginative Narration based on the book Yellow and Pink, so Noah and Faith excitedly scurried around the house preparing for a “Puppet Show”

I was proud of their adorable first attempt at a puppet show (although the house sounds like it was falling down, thanks to babies and preschoolers; Noah has to whisper Faith’s lines to her most of the time; and Roman is looking backwards the whole time because I am holding the picture book up in the back. Good stuff. The second video is a little more interesting perhaps.)

Strobe Light! (Red Light, Green Light)

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A Baby Ladybug

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Autumn Fire

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“Funny things happen to me whenever I wear this shirt.”

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Happy 6th Birthday Faithy Breakfast Was Soooo Yummy

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A Sweet Shower for a Sweet Friend and Her Baby Girl

Mom’s Night – Crochet and Proverbs 31 Discussion – Nourishment for our Souls

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Discipling Our Children at HOME Sweet HOME

God’s Design for Family:

Family is the cornerstone, the basic building block of Christ’s kingdom here on earth. Parents following God’s design must diligently teach their children the things of God at all times, in all places and in all ways (Deut.6:4-7). This builds Christ’s kingdom here on earth. Christian worship, teaching, & ministry is primarily a function of the family. This is God’s design for family.

I love to blog here about how discipleship with our children is a relational process that God designed to happen best at home with parents who can do it better than anyone or anything else. As everyone I know seems to be so sincerely concerned about giving their child every opportunity through various after school activities, and families just seem to keep getting busier outside the home, today I would like to put a plug in for……..staying HOME! I will share what God is showing me about building up our homes–the living breathing God given places for discipleship to occur–for the highest purpose of reaching and influencing other families for God.

Books written by the wonderful authors, Sally and Clay Clarkson, wisely speak on building a home according to God’s design. If you were only going to buy one homeschool book, ever, I would tell you to get Educating the Whole Hearted Child, by the Clarksons, as it is a foundational book for any Christian homeschool. It has all encompassing information on how to set up a Christian homeschool, but is also filled with the most heartfelt and wise words of mentorship from a family whose grasp on God’s design for the family is amazing. I have been engrossed in its very meaty content for months now. Sally, who coaches younger mothers in the calling of motherhood, also has a few different books that teach how mothers build their homes as homemakers. In her book, the Mission of Motherhood, she exhorts, “the task of building our homes into places of beauty and life that will feed the hearts, souls, and minds of our children is the most comprehensive task to which God has called us as mothers. We are called quite literally to be “home makers.” When we homemakers think “build up our homes,” we can think of lovingly and daily building it with our own hands and words.

HomeMakers Beautify Their Homes, and Beautiful Homes Nurture Children’s Spirits

Lately, when I think of our own home, I think of cozy candle light, afternoon or evening tea times, always homemade food, the aroma of apple cider or popcorn, daddy’s Bible drills and Saturday morning omelette specialties, hearts joining over family reads like Heaven is For Real, hearing bare feet running up and down the hall, craft time extravaganzas, nature park collections lighting up the mantel and tables with seasonal decor, and intensely celebrated movie nights and game nights. It hasn’t always been this way. When we were first married, we lived in a barren one bedroom apartment and had almost no traditions. Home has come a long way for us, but it hasn’t happened overnight. As He so masterfully does, God pulled on our hearts, and is centering us on home and the building up a strong sense of family, and we are delighted with His increasing creative expression of beauty in our home. Having a home that is welcoming and beautiful happens to be a Cravalho family core value, and little by little the walls of our home reverberate more with the life of God. As Sally Clarkson says, “God is a God of creativity and dimension, and so He is pleased when we we co-create beauty in our own realm, through the power of His Spirit. It was a profound realization when I understood that I could become an artist with my very life.” As homemakers, we can make our home interesting, captivating, colorful, creative, and full of life.

The activities and traditions that we have at home are not just fun family “things to do”, they are the platform for ministry to our children, as a real life tangible expression of the life of God. As our children’s 5 senses are nurtured at home through these types of cozy sights, sounds, and experiences, their soul’s need for joy and delight is satisfied, which opens the door for their spirit to be reached. All that is done at home–from tea time to decorating to holiday traditions– is for the purpose of nurturing the life of God into the souls of our children, so that they want to know and follow Him. An inviting home provides access to our children’s spirits, and is therefore a strong foundation for discipleship. A home is a cistern from which our children may willingly choose to quench their thirst, rather than anywhere else in the world, if it is indeed a fountain of life.

We can give our children reasons to always think of home as the best place to be. Working hard to make home as fun as possible helps form strong family ties (rather than friends houses or outside activities being the greater draw). Rich family literature, family movie nights, game nights, tea times, traditions, and special homemade foods all help to enrich home and family life. When we make our homes vibrant and warm, we are nurturing our children’s spirits and winning their hearts.

A Home is Perfectly Designed to Reach the Lost

Families need to be together on several levels: at home as a faithful family, fellowshipping at church with other faithful families, and ministering to the world as a faithful family. I really want me and my family to be used by God. Yet, I always feel like my time is too tied up with small children to be of any use to the ministry of my church. However, as a Christian, I feel the never ceasing pull of the call of the Great Commission. My predicament knaws away at me because I was heart and soul involved in church ministry before children. Ideally, I know that now with children, I would want to serve in some way that would directly feed into the discipleship process of my children, but I can’t find any church ministry that can be done very easily side by side with a 1, 4, and 5 year old! Why is finding time to serve at church and wholeheartedly raising a house full of children always at such odds with each other? Must I choose one or the other? Hello, home based family driven ministry! God can use the building up that is occuring in our home through homeschool and various family practices, the very things we have our hands and hearts tied up in anyway, to be a main source of ministry–ministry that is easy and natural to do in this season of life because its at home, not church.

An awesome champion for families and author of Family Driven Faith, Voddie Baucham Jr., describes how the love that grows in a home following God’s pattern for family, produces an exquisitely attractive expression of ministry. He says, “Our homes must be rife with the aroma of love. Those who visit us should notice immediately that they have left the world of self-serving, egocentric narcissism and have entered a safe harbor where people value and esteem others above themselves. Outsiders should enter our homes and never want to leave. Our neighbors should find excuses to visit us just to get another whiff of the fragrant aroma of love. The brokenhearted should long to be near us. The downtrodden and the abused should seek us out. Families on the brink of disaster should point to us and say, “Why can’t our home be like that?” A home made beautiful by its inhabitants and their infectious love for each other and Jesus, is how God designed families to effectively and powerfully live out Jesus’ Great Commission.

Sally Clarkson likes to share personal “In Our Home” snippets that bring her family lifestyle to life for the reader. She explains how her family purposely sets apart some time to meet with the Lord during an evening of fellowship with visiting guests, and how that simple act of ministry has served as an instrumental form of discipleship in her children’s lives. Sally shares, “There is always the challenge to balance fun and faith, but we regularly have other families over and dedicate part of our evening to talking about the Lord, sharing testimonies, singing hymns and praise songs, and praying together. Even if we keep the time short, it still creates an indelible mark on our children’s spirits. Even now that they are older, they still remember times of significant spiritual fellowship, if only because such times are becoming more rare in our isolated culture.” Her words have stayed with me for months. The way that the Clarkson’s use their home to reach out to others really makes perfect sense to me. They embody true family ministry, and the higher purpose that God designs families for. Ministry doesn’t have to involve running around in separate directions all the time if we think of the home as the major source of outreach, rather than the church. Families can simply live a vibrant life rich in God, making their home life an irresistable fragrant aroma, and then invite people in to experience the sweet reality of God present in their family driven faith– all so that other families may “taste and see that the Lord is good.”

From a good old fashioned book of Acts house meeting rounded out with food and fun, to an intimate little family gathering with grandparents, any type of gathering can be used to glorify God in our homes. Our personal new family goal for gatherings is to bring everyone before God in some meaningful way, no matter who comes over–family, friends, or strangers. If the things Sally described as part of her family culture, aren’t a regular part of our family ways, then it would be an awkward effort to try to drum such a thing up for company. However, if its just what we always do at our house anyway, then replicating it will provide a natural, authentic, and wonderful experience for our unsaved (or saved!) guests to taste and see the life of God that flows in our home. And no need to worry or strive– “demonstrating God” to outsiders can be very simple. We just begin with whatever we normally do together as a family. For example, since our family is currently reading Heaven is For Real, we can include our guests in our after dinner chapter read aloud; we could read from the Bible as we usually do in the evening, or pick a slip of paper out of our Giving Jar–because its what we do in the evening together anyway. Whatever naturally flows out of the life we have built up together in this season is what we can share. What an easy way to share our faith! If we didn’t normally and regularly do the things Sally mentioned in our home at night as a family, then it won’t likely transpire with any authenticity when guests are visiting. I believe that a gathering without any Jesus time should be considered a shame, since inviting people to share in the life of God that flows in the unique way that it does at your house or my house, is the easiest and most powerfully effective witness that a family has.

Being able to minister to others as a family all starts with holding regular family worship/devotions. Pastor Voddie explains the importance of family worship, “Reading and memorizing Scripture and the catechisms of the church [as a family together at home] results in incredible development of children, both spiritually and intellectually. What families regard as important is evidenced by the manner in which they spend their time. Therefore, regular family worship shows the children that their parents believe that Jesus Christ is central to all of life. This practice leaves a legacy that will benefit thousands in generations to come.” If we share with people the natural ouflow of our homeschool gleanings and family life of worship, we are using what God has given us for His glory, and will experience the exquisite joy of being a family that can ministers to others together. I believe that ministering through our homes, together with our children, will be the most instrumental of discipleship experiences that we can offer our children.

Home Discipleship is Awesome!

To operate and grow in all 3 levels of togetherness–at home as a faithful family, fellowshipping at church with other faithful families, and ministering to the world as a faithful family–obviously takes much time spent together! Building a home of family driven faith requires spending considerable time at home. Does our current schedule, choices, and priorities allow for these 3 levels to become a reality in our lives? Do we find ourselves saying, “I don’t have time!” Lets be careful of the “good things” we are involved in that may be eating up our time, and taking up the place of “better things.” I challenge us all to bring our children home more, for deeper and more regular strategic discipleship influence. If you don’t feel convinced yet, just pick up a copy of Educating the Wholehearted Child and read chapter 3, Home Nurture; or chapter 10, Discipleship Studies Methods: The Study of the Bible. Those two chapters especially opened my eyes to see just how big this job of discipling is! Just to skim the surface of what is discussed, let me list some of the areas that God can use us to disciple our children:

  • hold regular family devotions
  • help our children form personal devotion habits
  • train them in the gift of grace by ministering hospitality to neighbors together
  • train them how to listen for God’s voice in the Word and in prayer
  • teach them how to search the scriptures using Bible study helps (commentaries, dictionaries, encyclopedias, concordances, etc.)
  • engage the family in dinner table talks surrounding Biblical topics
  • create a fun home Bible club or weekly scripture memory challenge/drill
  • read inspiring biographies about heroes of the faith together
  • create and practice our own list of family values
  • get involved in a regular service project together
  • volunteer as a family for a church ministry
  • make care packages or write pen pals to get involved in world missions
  • give to the needy

Awesome (and time consuming!) responsibility moms and dads!!! Just envision how much God can do through our families when we decide to make the time to go deeper. Help us to go there Jesus!

As I study the words of family coaches like the Clarksons and Pastor Voddie, I envision a home with an atmosphere of great drawing power–both on our children and anyone in our life who may need Jesus. I am realizing how a family that spends a lot of time together at home is able to better tend and nurture the children’s spirits, as well as win their hearts for the purpose of discipleship. I am realizing how important a strong home is in order to disciple children, as well as reach out to others. I am realizing that the nature and extent of parents’ commitment to nurture, disciple, and educate their children will dramatically effect their view of home, how much time they spend at home, and how they choose to spend their time at home.

Home is where the heart is, and home is where we can best reach our children. It is our homes that give God the most undistracted access to our children’s hearts and minds. The home is a God designed dynamic learning environment for children. Therefore, we as a family commit to being at home, together, a lot, in order to build our home. We desire a slower paced environment and atmosphere in our home, where our children can soak and drink deeply of God, rather than us always rushing in and out, building up much of our lives outside of home, and separately. With some intentional thought, we can make our home a place that our children prefer over any other place. With the holidays coming, it might just be the right time for all of us to slow down and cozy up together at home, work on beautifying and warming up the atmosphere, open up our homes to minister through hospitality, while seeking God to expand our vision of home discipleship.

Love you.

Picking Popcorn at Ardenwood Historic Farm

Picking Popcorn at Ardenwood Historic Farm

Happy Harvest

Happy Harvest

Nature Boy

Nature Boy

Happy 4th Birthday Faithy!

Happy 4th Birthday Faithy!

Big Boy

Big Boy

Good Daddy

Good Daddy

I Want to be a Diver When I Grow Up (and an astronaut)

I Want to be a Diver When I Grow Up (and an astronaut)

Learning how to spell and sound out "space"

Learning how to spell and sound out “space”

Noah's Pyramid Idea

Noah’s Pyramid Idea

Daniel's Praying Hands

Daniel’s Praying Hands

Do I Have to Mommy?

Must I Mommy?

Noah's Block Pyramid Idea

Noah’s Block Pyramid Idea

Craft Extravaganzas, My Favorite Moments

Craft Extravaganzas, My Favorite Moments

A Kid Inspired Project

A Kid Inspired Project

Putting Some Blessings Together for Our Neighbors

Putting Some Blessings Together for Our Neighbors

All Ready!

All Ready to Go!

Sweet Karla Invited Us to Play on Her Putting Green

Sweet Neighbor Karla Invited Us to Play on Her Backyard Putting Green

Astronaut Faith

Astronaut Noah at the Chabot Space and Science Center

Astronaut Noah

Astronaut Faith

In the Mercury Capsule

In the Mercury Capsule

At the Nature Park on a Rainy Day

At the Nature Park on a Rainy Day

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The Creek is Flowing Again!

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Free Play is Wonderful!

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This is Pretty Much How We Look at the End of the Day

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Costumed Cuties and Our Giant Homegrown Pumpkin

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Blasting Off in Our Cardboard Rocket

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Three in a Row!

Daniel at School

Daniel at School

What Can I Say?

“What Can I Say?”

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Adventures in Nature

Golf at the Nature Park

Golf at the Nature Park

Fall Finds

Fall Finds are Gorgeous

Faith and Mommy's Leaf Turkey

Faith and Mommy’s Leaf Turkey

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My Beautiful Mother on Her 70th Birthday

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Noah’s Tree Study in his Nature Journal

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My Nature Journal in Progress

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Awesome Rocket Art

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Dinner and Stories with Neighbor Doris

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Daniel’s Finally Starting to Walk!

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Noah’s Number Arrangements for 6, 7, & 8 (a design with combinations, which enable you to quickly determine what number it is)

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Ancient Egyptian Pharaoh Decides to Make a Play Dough Megalith

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So sweet how Faith brushes Daniel’s hair every morning, and he loves it.

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King and …..Queen??? History is Getting Weird.

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Shape Puzzles Were the Perfect Math Challenge for Faith

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Mothers Day Tea Party

Mothers are Homemakers

I think nostalgic is the word that sums up our lovely mother’s day tea party. Nostalgic: a yearning for the past, often in idealized form. Fine china, frilly doilies, fresh cut garden roses, celebration of family, a hot pot of tea, time with loved ones, homemade goodies, a time to give honor. I think my grandma would be pleased to know that her begonia china is still being used to gather together women of several generations who enjoy the pleasures of tea time. To me it seems priorities and interests have changed over time, as Cherie and I both realized that we know no one our age who owns fine china. People are busier with things outside the home now days and naturally moms aren’t as thrilled about spending an afternoon hand washing fine china after a party. So paper plates, plastic tablecloths, and plastic silverware are the norm. Our society is becoming more casual as our lack of time demands it and as many women work outside the home.

I understand that many mothers have to work now, but for the children, it makes me sad!! I am not against mothers making money as I am sure the Proverbs 31 woman did, but only when it effects a woman’s first calling to her home. I think it is too much to ask a full time working mom to spend 40 hours at work, and also have her heart fully into her calling to be a homemaker (Titus 2:4-5). Homemakers are so important because strong homes do not happen coincidentally, strong homes are made. Homes are made from the hearts of mothers, or homemakers. As a mother duck plucks feathers from her own breast to line her nest, mothers take the best of what they have and make their own home. The sacrifice may hurt, but out of our own bosom, and nothing less, our nest is built. Our best is given to our children in the form of lessons; lessons of perseverance, courage, kindness, and love. It takes time at home and serious dedication at home to give our very best to our children. These life lessons are among the key lessons of home and community life, not lessons learned at school. Unfortunately, between school outside the home and stresses peculiar to two income families, family time is swallowed up. Family time at home is where pillar lessons of charity, work, faith, making a home, and becoming a whole man or woman are fleshed out day in and day out.

Financially speaking, while sending off children to do school outside the home, families today are buying houses they can not really afford in order to get into better schools. Households dependent on two incomes can actually become a trap for middle class families in many ways, and our middle class is actually more broke, with less discretionary income, than the single income middle class households of the past. I seriously wonder if this could be due to our collective and individual choices to violate God’s order for the home as stated in Titus 2:4-5. We have seen how sending women into the workforce has not had the positive impact our society had hoped for. Many working women are stressed out because they are misplaced. Children are confused, indifferent, violent, immature and dependent, with low self-esteem because they are displaced. However, God’s intended plan is for children to be securely placed within the warmth of a home, and learning life’s lessons from a loving mother (Deuteronomy 6:7). The happy hearts of children raised by the ever present, life shaping love of a mother contented at home is beautifully nostalgic.

Homemakers, rejoice if you must scrape by to stay home with your kids. God provides for those who stay in his order! Lets remember generations past, our grandmothers who set forth timeless principles of honoring God at home, and be homemakers ourselves, willing to raise and teach our own children for the glory of God.

Lovely Tea Cup Candles We Made for the Grandmas

Jelly Jar Candles We Made for Tayler’s Mommy and Aunty

Whimsical Tea Table Decor 

Tea Time is Nostalgic

My Sweeties

Tamsey, David, Cherie, and Dalila

Sheila, Miriah, Tayler, and Afton

Cherie Honors Grandmother’s with Amazing Grace on the Bagpipes

Little Ones Honor Grandmas with a Song and Scripture Performance

Girls and Grandmas

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