'Who is your family? What habits and traditions do you enjoy together that express your family’s character and help you see that facet of God? Maybe you’re artistic, and you feel a special connection with the colors and designs God uses to paint and shape our world. Maybe you’re a family who builds, and you relate to God especially as creator. Maybe you travel, fix things, or work the farm or the garden.
Think about it, not to become self-conscious, but rather to consider how God is reflected in your family and in the activities you especially enjoy.
Our regular “everyday” traditions give shape and order to our days [as well]. Even the most spontaneous person needs some predictability in his life. God is not the author of chaos. Our children are soaking in some of his character when there are at least a few regular patterns and traditions in our homes."--Noel.
Time is another topic of recent interest, as I feel I don't have any. For example, this is the first time I have had by myself to just get into the word and meditate on God without a child connected to me in some shape or form. It’s actually very refreshing to sit next to a warm electric fireplace and just…. Be alone. Praise the Lord for a husband who cares!
But the problem really isn't not having time. It's not properly 'shopping' for it or being humble and requesting it from my dear husband.
Right now, I am reading through a book called "Shopping for time", by Carolyn Mahaney and her daughters. The first section (I will review it for you) speaks about shopping with our time like we do our groceries. When we don’t, we can misuse our time, allow our hearts to be flooded by the world instead of by the Lord and not live as effectively as we could be. According to scripture, we are encouraged to “walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love…” --Eph. 4:1-2. The book didn't reference the second part, but I included it since it has a lot to do with how we are to walk, which is opposite of our society really. It is to walk pleasing to God, not others around us or our culture. With patience (definitely something God has been emphasizing in my life right now) and bearing with one another in love, not holding bitterness or pointing the finger —which is entirely too easy to do when the world endorses these fleshly methods instead of letting the Spirit take over (both verses we, Andrew and I with the Hasslers, have been trying to memorize for our walk in parenting)—Hebrews 12:14-15 and Proverbs 28:13, which state:
“Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. See to it no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no root of bitterness [the Hebrew for ‘root of bitterness’ refers to idols that pull us away from God] springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled.”—Hebrews
“Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.”—Proverbs
And, as these verses speak, it’s not just about your own soul that you should flee from idols or materialistic ideology, but it’s for others that YOU change and reflect the glory of God by how you manage your time, striving to please God and not man, so that others can see Christ instead of our world. We should confess the things that tempt us to bitterness with other believers and our husbands so we can be more effective tools for God in how we go about living out our lives and keeping him center… with EVERYTHING we do, in the every day and the exceptional days in our lives.
“Look carefully to how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.”—Ephesians 5:15-16
“His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of your master.”--Mat 25:21
And don’t we all want to hear those words.
Finally, the challenge?
Look over these questions and pray that God help you assess where you need to change in order to be more pliable in His shaping you into the servant He desires:
Also, you will notice I have tabs at the top that lead to pages (which currently contain nothing) of several topics of interest: The Home, running, recipes, training, etc. I am doing a trial run with these to see if I can make this blog easier to navigate and search for topics of interest. We will see if it works or not!
This post will EVENTUALLY (since it is time consuming to work on this new tech-y organizational aide)be placed under "The Home" and "The practicing of the Arts" since I want to challenge you in two different areas relating to your home today, just as I am challenging and praying through how I would answer each (and I am leaving you with a craft idea):
1. The challenging questions in "Shopping for Time".
2. How will you make your everyday traditions--such as your daily schedule and responsibilities--and your upcoming exceptional traditions (thanksgiving and Christmas) be different this year, for God's glory?
And the fun crafty idea:
I have also gotten a bit crafty lately as God keeps putting a dear friend of mine on my heart. I wanted to give her something to encourage her, as she awaits her upcoming arrival of her baby, so I put together a hospital survival kit printable. An idea I got from Tip Junkie (great site!). Here is the result: