Sunday, December 13, 2009

Pause and Ponder-- Twelve : Twelve and Thirteen

Ecclesiastes 12: 12 & 13

But beyond this, my son, be warned:
the writing of many books is endless,
and excessive devotion to books is wearying to the body.

The conclusion, when all has been heard, is:
fear God and keep His commandments,
because this applies to every person. 

As a brand-new mom and new Christian,  I wanted to do the best job I could to raise my daughter.
I didn't have, at that time, a living example of what godly mothering looked like.

I knew godly mothers but either their children were much older or I didn't see them often enough to glean practical, everyday help to train up a godly child.

I remember be given a lot of literature from the OB's office and again at the hospital before being discharged.  Although there were some good things written, the overwhelming feeling I came away with is that people were sharing what worked for them with their children and it was simply their opinion.

Before I move too far along, we can and should learn from one another.  Many older moms have spoken truth into my life and have helped shaped my parenting. My hope and desire is that the things I've learned along the way are helpful to other women as I've shared.

But in those early days, I remember feeling so frustrated when two "very trusted" books would have differing opinions.

I wanted to do what was best for my child and the only one who could possibly know what the best was, was the One who created her-- God.

My very first One Year Bible was a gift from a friend and I started to spend each day reading from His Word.  Each day I wrote out the verses that struck me or questions that I had about what I had just read.  I would also write out a simple prayer to the Lord.

I began to trust the peace that settles into your heart when the Lord speaks to you.  I made decisions for our first and subsequent children that didn't always fit with what other moms were doing.
But somehow I knew that it was right for my children.
Although I wasn't always consistent to carve out that time in the mornings, the Lord has always been faithful to show me what I should do.  Now, whether or not I always did it, is also another story.  But I learned, often the hard way, that when I did what I felt He would have me do and I confirmed it by His perfect Word, things were blessed and good.  But when I didn't heed the prompting in my Spirit and what was clearly written in Scripture, it was a bit of a disaster.

Thankfully along the way, I've learned repentance is a wonderful thing and that the Lord is quick to forgive.

As I read the first verse, I was reminded all over again, how faithful God has been to our family to guide us and train us.  I was reminded how when I had no clue what to do, all I had to do was ask Him and He showed me-- either in His Word during those early morning hours or during church service on Sunday mornings or during a bible study.

(I keep saying "I" because, it is a post for another day, but I never used to consult my husband about parenting and for years refused to allow him to be my God-given covering. I can be  quite stubborn.)

Anyway, as our children have gotten older, the issues of parenting are different.  Over and over, we find ourselves in unfamiliar waters.  Over and over, we find that God is faithful, to my husband and I, to show us what is right for children at any given moment.

(Yes, the Lord finally got a hold of me and boy, was it painful... good, but painful.)

I used to read a lot of books.  It wasn't uncommon for me to read 25-30 novels a year.  But I've found that I read "books" less and "the Book" more. I find that I reach for tried and true literature and re-read them only to discover more gems that were unnoticed before.

As a homeschooling mom that chooses to share portions of her life on a public blog, I want to be very clear that the things we do are the things that we have prayed about and feel at peace with our family doing. 

Whether it is a book or a blog, I have to remember that the things written are the experiences and opinions of the author and can/ should be used as a jumping off point for prayer or discussion with a spouse or parent (for those unmarried). But that I should, nor would I want my children to, blindly follow something or someone just because someone took the time to write it down.

But my hope, for myself and for my family, that everything we read would be run through the sieve of God's Word to discern whether or not it is good, right, and true.

I've mentioned before that I have to be very careful what "goes in" as far as books, movies, and music.  I hope that you are also careful, not just for yourselves, but for your children, the things that come before their eyes.

We watch and read with our minds as well as our eyes and I can't help but think about these three verses:

I will set no worthless thing before my eyes;
Psalm 101:3


Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. 
Philippians 4:8

and finally,

For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he
Proverbs 23:7

All these things lead to me our second verse...

The conclusion, when all has been heard, is:

fear God and keep His commandments,
because this applies to every person


Anonymous said...

I needed this post today, a good reminder that we need to do what's right for our family and is in accordance to God's plan for *us*.
Thank you :D

Lainie said...

You are very welcome! Thanks for being here... love the name but I have to say, every time I read, "SeriousCakes" I smile :)

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