It’s so great when a plan comes together. When I awoke this morning/last night? at 1:45 a.m. I didn’t know what today’s show was about. But just a bit of prayer (and because I went to bed after John prayed with me about it) I knew! Perseverance and patience.
And everything I listened to, read, and experienced told me I was right on track – Dave Ramsey in Entreleaders, Sheila Walsh’s joy infusions (Rebekah will be sharing from that on the show today), The Home School Mom’s Devotional Bible, Harriet Beecher Stowe, two sermons I caught in the middle of the night, and just the beautiful, wonderful Word of God – patience, perseverance, power. They go together, so let’s get together on the show today and celebrate!
Also, I have a special giveaway today – a book by a famous movie star/homeschooling couple, who are also the stars of “Let There Be Light”!
After a particularly trying day with my girls, ages 4 and 3, I met John at the door with a long lament. When I finished he said these immortal words, “Some day these girls will be your best buddies and you will enjoy every minute you have with them.”
Years later I am admitting, as I have to do so often to John, “You were right.” What a gift back to me are these children I’ve been blessed to stay home with, to love and educate as priceless treasures, as though they were (THEY ARE!) royalty. My lamentations gave way to praises a long time ago, and today Rebekah Parker will grace all listeners as she joins me on The Homefront Show!
Look at your lament as a leading. That’s Part I of today’s Homefront Show Broadcast on http://www.1360am.co at 2:00 Mountain Time.
Rebekah Parker will be on with an infusion of joy from Sheila Walsh, I’ll answer the question, “Which is more deadly, typhus, typhoid, or selfishness?” and Real Man John Parker may chime in about something brilliant.
The aforementioned lament is about handling major differences of opinion with other Christians, and how a lament can either be a fearful road to nowhere, or the impetus to get aboard God’s Love Train and have an adventure!
There’s more, such as why studying Benjamin Rush’s life would be a great home school project, and my favorite part of David and Goliath’s story, and why Zorro rocks. Perhaps the most important part is where we understand the difference in being disappointed in a child, vs. for a child, and how to communicate this to bring healing to all parties.
I’m enjoying a book called The Rhythm of Familyby Amanda and Stephen Soule. As I was reading Amanda’s writings about canning and crafting and all sort of creative and beautiful activities, I was comparing my efforts of past years, when my kids were young.
And I found myself weighed in the balance and found wanting– can you relate? Could we all just stop doing that? I stopped myself with a positive “yeah, but . . .”
Yeah, but my kids made a hammock in the top of a tall oak tree, forts in the woods, ships on the creek, trains in the garage. They made up and wrote stories about the local rabbit family and buried and hunted treasure, caught and lost crawdads and lizards, and slew as well as drew great dragons.
They loved and were loved by an oddity of a dog. He seemed odd to us, that is, but to him his behavior was absolutely normal. I’ll share more about this dog in a moment, but back to my kids’ having a childhood – maybe they didn’t live on the ocean in Maine and maybe their mom wasn’t the craft queen of the universe. But she made them homemade fingerpaints when it was raining, and turned grape juice into popsicles when it was hot, and they know how to make artisan breads, and what a snake smells like when you get too close while you’re picking blackberries.
They still remember reading Timothy Tattercoaton a quilt in the shade with a thermos of iced tea and peanut butter on saltines. And through Timothy, a desire was instilled in their hearts to live where he lived, in the mountains of Colorado.
I mentioned our old dog, Buster, who died by the way, chasing a car, and as we told the kids – he died instantly as his head connected with a fast-moving fender, and it was probably painless.
Buster was better at chasing cows – they and he knew who and what he was.
We were walking in the country a long way from home one day and we came upon a pasture full of cows, in the corner farthest fro m the road. Buster went across the pasture, herded those cows to the opposite end of the field and they did exactly as he bade them. He was the boss of these big and theretofore unknown cows.
Not so Chihuahuas. There was a lady who walked her three chihuahuas past our house every day. Benjamin, age 7 then, called her Mrs. Chawalla. I guess Buster thought her dogs were giant rabies-infested rats – he was terrified and hid under the back porch and cried every day when they went by.
As for snakes, he would step on or over them and not even see them. Amazing. But when it came to doing what he was created to do, he meant business. He knew who he was. He was a cowdog. An Australian Shepherd.
We come to know who we are when we grasp that great truth that we are created in the image of God, who is Love, and we are therefore, when being our true selves, LOVE.
Which means – aha! – that I can rejoice in and admire the strengths and successes of other moms, and perhaps even emulate them in some areas; I can look back with appreciation for what I did right and ABSOLUTELY forget about what I might have done differently; and I can do a great service to my kids now, whatever their ages, by modeling the rest and contentment that comes from knowing who and Whose I am.
Today on the Home Front Show we’re gonna rant happy, give God glory, get in the face (gently) of those “Christian” conservatives who can only see the negative, who give what Satan’s up to way more facetime than the new mercies of God in this new day!
We’ll begin with Helen Keller’s assertion that, “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing,” then discuss the adventure of home schooling, and end with John Parker’s thoughts on the adventure of turning what Satan intends for evil to good via instantaneous, weapons-grade forgiveness.
And of course, much more, like the Domestic Bliss of becoming a Fermentista, and the Three P’s of Power, and a really tough Challenge of the Week for us all.
Just as I predicted, with the election of Donald Trump, the American economy is exploding. And I believe that will mean fewer marriages ravaged by financial stress, more opportunities on all fronts, and most of all, I hope it means more moms will be able to be at home. Homemakers, homekeepers, hearthtenders.
I not only hope, I earnestly and diligently pray that we are about to, once again, become a society where people are nurtured in the most excellent place of all – home. And by the most blessed and privileged of all people – homemakers.
I wasn’t so privileged when I got the “education”, bought the Italian pumps and sported the chic haircut. I had a fancy office all my own and a degree – a piece of paper – to prove I was somebody.
But now I have “medals”. “You and John have medals,” a lady at church recently said to me after we stood together as a family before the congregation. The pastor had asked our oldest son to come forward for prayer, along with John and me, before leaving for officer training in Fort Benning, Georgia. Our other three joined us as well. The pastor prayed, John prayed, and I managed to pray through the tears of an utterly full heart.
There were other words spoken and joys shared and then those words from a lady I didn’t know. “You and John have medals.” She paused and I waited as she gazed at our children. “Your children are medals.”
Indeed. And we fought for them. We fought financial fears when I chucked that fancy job to stay home with Benjamin. “It’s an opportunity to trust,” I said to John when the doctor said if I didn’t abort Hannah I would not survive. Told I would miscarry Rebekah, again we donned the full armor of God and we fought. Recovering from the C-section that brought us Seth, I battled for my health and vitality, and John prayed me through those wearying days.
Attempting to hear God and not our own insecurities or preferences, or the opinions of others, we stood our ground when we decided to home school. John prayed as I sought self-discipline, self-control and patience.
Always, we suited up for battle with the Word of God in our mouths, saying what He said about our children, rather than what we wanted to spew out of our mouths. This child is impossibly strong-willed, stubborn, willful, and I am at my wit’s end with her! was the thought. The words were prayers and positive scriptural confessions: “This child is my great and glorious gift, fearfully and wonderfully made for God’s purposes and she will live in the light and bring blessings all the days of her life.”
And so on. Through the years I have made the most powerful and eternally profitable investment a woman ever has the privilege to make: I have raised my children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. I have been a homemaker.
For John, the husband who supported my determination to do whatever it took to raise my children (for a time we took all four of them with us on our trim and tile jobs) I am grateful beyond all measure.
Because I raised my older children as a single mother, or rather they were raised by the daycare center and the public school system, I know the immeasurably high cost of a “real” job, of a society-sanctioned career. I know the ever-diminishing returns on that kind of investment – investment in the world’s ways.
“I simply can’t go through that again,” I said to John when we talked about my returning to work and finding childcare for Benjamin. It wasn’t just about my baby, it was about me, and my peace of mind. It was about that deepest of needs in my heart, the need to make a home for my family, to be a homemaker.
A homemaker who is also a homeschooler has it made in the shade, especially if she has a strong and good husband. Her life in no way resembles the stereotype of the harried and frantic chicken-with-her-head-cut-off mommy. Rather, if she seeks the impartation of wisdom freely given via simply asking the Holy Spirit and reading God’s Word each and every single morning, she grows ever more skillful in battle, ever more confident and in full receipt of her rewards. Her life is lived in rhythms of grace, rather than in sorrow and regret.
If I had it to do over in what I call my “first life” I would have cleaned houses and taken my babies with me, or lived in a tent by the river, or moved in with family. But I would not have sacrificed my children on the altar of career, I would not have bought the line that I “couldn’t afford” to do otherwise.
I would have said, “What I can’t afford is the breaking of the little hearts and spirits of my children by leaving them in the care of, at best, indifferent workers while I go and chase the almighty dollar.
I am eternally grateful for this second chance, but regarding my older children, there are no overs. I urge and exhort you, if you have young children being raised by others as your heart yearns for them, pray and believe God for the highest of callings and privileges, that He will make the way, that He will be the author and the finisher of your parenting, your marriage, your family. Your home.
Then say joyously to all who ask who you are and what you do: I AM A HOMEMAKER.
I’ve stopped the lament about the dearth of edifying, smut-free, uplifting and thought-provoking books being published recently. I’ve even taken a further step and am reading well-known classics (some are awful, by the way, and don’t deserve finishing) and lesser known but quite excellent books, such as Beverly of Graustark, and Elizabeth Goudge’s ever-so-marvelous Pilgrim’s Inn.
But today I have made up my mind to read books recommended by my family, books I’ve resisted for a number of years, throughout our home school journey.
Experience says this is a good idea. Case in point: The Hobbit. Since high school when my girlfriend urged me repeatedly to read it, I have said, “It’s not my thing. I know I won’t like it.”
My kids have also relentlessly pestered and badgered me to read The Hobbit, and finally, after years of resistance, I relented and read it. And loved it! And over the past three weekends, the three Hobbit movies have been our excellent viewing entertainment (greatly enhanced and understood because of first reading the book).
So where does all this go? To the classic literature they have all read, the books they pity me in my ignorance of, and stubborn resistance about – The Lord of the Rings Trilogy.
There seems to be a sort of secret affinity and understanding, a club of higher thinkers if you will, that those of us who haven’t read The LOTR books simply cannot fathom. Therefore, it would behoove me, methinks, to read these literary masterpieces and make everyone in my house believe there is hope after all, that miracles do indeed happen, and that Mom is redeemable – perhaps even interesting – now that she is learning the difference between an orc and a ring wraith, and can even speak a bit of Gollum.
Here’s the Challenge: Read things you don’t think you’ll like, just to make someone else happy. Who knows what could happen? Maybe the next time I want them to read something marvelous about which they have reservations, they’ll just read it!
What a concept – reading something new and different just because it will make someone else happy, just because it’ll give you insights into their strange conversations, just because it’s the way into “The LOTR Club” of higher thinking individuals. This sounds like a no-lose deal.
And who knows, I might even like it, orcs and all.
Tomorrow on the Home Front Show (1360 am radio in Johnstown, Colorado) I have about three hours of material to fit into one.
I’m going to share from The Founder’s Bible excerpts entitled Saturate Yourself in God’s Word and A Most Interesting Act of Kindness. I’ll be discussing how the Bible doesn’t talk about New Year’s Resolutions – rather, we are shown by example to make New Day’s Resolutions.
Resolutions in January? January, rather than being fit for get-up-and-go activities, is much more suited to hibernation, fireside chats, and thick socks and sweaters. And even if you live where it’s 80 degrees, just think of January as a lovely time for recovering from the holidays, for thoughtfully and prayerfully and gently easing yourself into the new year.
But back to the Home Front Show (Friday, Jan 6 at 2:00 p.m. Mountain Time): I’m going to call on the written words of wise women tomorrow, regarding marriage and homemaking. I’ll be sharing marriage thoughts from my own book, The Maker’s Marriage, as well as choice words from Dr. Laura’s The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands. Time permitting Edith Schaeffer will be quoted, and I’m going to rock a few boats with thoughts from Bringing up Bebe.
As almost always there will be a plug for Home Schooling. Bringing Up Bebe is actually a book I recommend for moms who can’t wait until their kids are old enough to send to school, and another author who probably never thought she’d be used for this purpose is Jane Brocket. I’ll be suggesting that Jane’s books might be almost all you need for a fabulously fun and productive home school curriculum for girls.
The show will go on – to other topics, in particular that of personal identity, and protection from “identity theft.” In December I started talking about identity theft in our society, but didn’t get very far due to time constraints. So, January’s shows (every Friday at 2:00 p.m. MT) will all at least touch on this, with a special and eloquent speaker on the subject joining us for the final January show.
The Home Front Show is all about building your home through building your faith. So, as I always say on the broadcast (or something to this effect), “Do you have a friend who could use a boost? Call her or him and say, ‘Tune in to the Home Front Show!'”