I am part of a newly formed homeschool mom's support group. We are friends from another group and decided that we really wanted to do a book study together and encourage each other as MOHS (Mothers of Homeschoolers). We are reading through The Ministry of Motherhood by Sally Clarkson. In it she looks at what we as mothers should be passing onto our children with the acronym GIFTS (grace, inspiration, faith, training and service). We are half way through and I am really enjoying it. It's challenging me to focus on relationship with my kids not just a checklist or the "end goal". Sally is good at reminding you about delighting in (and creating) the small moments that make memories and open up space for conversation.
From the Grace chapters:
I realize my love and service to them must come before any of my great words, my teaching and training.What they won't just listen (especially as they get older) because I'm their mom!
If they fear our strong condemnation and possible rejection, they will hide their sin, perhaps even deceive themselves about the nature of it. They will definitely not avail themselves of our mature direction in their lives.
From the Inspiration chapters:
When she talks about following Jesus she says
And this may mean leaving behind things we really care about - involvements and pursuits that seem important and worthwhile but may not be God's will for us.
A child who does not have the opportunity to marvel at the bigness of God, the wonders of his creation and the reality of his supernatural work will tend to measure the questions about "who God is" according to his or her finite, limited perspective.
This section really challenged me to inspire my kids to be who they are in His image - not my own finite ways. If you know the story of Sally's kids you realize that she has done this with God's grace.
From the Faith chapters:
If they can keep eternity before their eyes, they will be able to live in hope no matter what happens to them in this life.
He is concerned that I, his daughter (their mother), should have a strong, shining character and such character requires training and discipline.
If you give yourself license to get angry and frustrated every time you feel you can justify it, then you risk sacrificing your testimony as you grow older.Ouch!! .
It's natural to let life irritate you and to get angry. It is supernatural to be patient and loving and gracious. That's really the secret to the Christian life - to learn to yield our lives and our emotions and our actions moment by moment to him.In discussing her older children she reflects on the work of the Holy Spirit by commenting that
My children must learn how to walk with the Lord without my help. But they won't be alone.So, that's the first half. Such great wisdom from a woman who has been there and faced multiple trials. I so appreciate her candidness and constant focus on looking to Jesus.
See what others are reading at Wednesday with Words.