Keeping in Mind the Important Things
(this was a message I shared with our homeschool group)
I’ll be honest: I’m tired, dry, and often overwhelmed lately. SO much so that I completely forgot about getting a speaker for tonight. To top it off I had no topic in mind.
About a week ago I remembered this was coming up and I panicked! Out loud. My husband looked over at me and said, “Dalyn, why don’t you ladies just talk about what’s really important?”
I knew exactly what he was talking about because he reminds me all the time-
Whenever the house is a mess (OFTEN) and I get stressed about it.
When I have juggled sick or crabby babies and appointments all day (OFTEN) and haven’t even thought of what to make for dinner-(AGAIN)- and start to feel like the world’s worst homeschool mom because I’ve sent Ben off to figure out an assignment for himself (AGAIN)because I’m too busy or too tired to even think. I’m up at night with fussy babies and up early to feed the preschooler and toddler and exhausted by 9 AM.
Or I’m feeling condemned because I haven’t been able to sit down and read my Bible for days (AGAIN)- Doug says, “Dalyn, quit complaining, so you don’t get to read it? You’re living it!”
And that’s the point right there- we are living life with our families-either faithful to God’s Word or not.
Our families- husband and kids- are more important than the laundry,
The dirty dishes,
The lack of sleep or messy house.
It’s the people who live and visit inside the house that are important.
Just this week I had a friend call me sobbing- one of her adult sons was leaving home for the first time and going to work in another state. She knew it was time for him to go and work out being a man- but all she could think of watching him drive away was that she wished she had held him and hugged him more- wished she hadn’t cared about the housework for one minute- wished she didn’t have a bunch of regrets and where in the world did the time go? It seems there’s never enough time with our kids when they’re older…days when they are little it seems there’s too much time, right? J
We women are the heart of the home. Our kids will leave home with memories. Hopefully good ones- about traditions and rituals, and favorite meals and comfort and security. We women build community and family. We make or break the whole operation. It’s a heavy responsibility, but more than that it’s an amazing privilege.
We can see that when our priorities are in line with God’s.
Do you remember when Pharaoh ordered all the Hebrew baby boys born to be killed at birth? The midwives who were given those orders disobeyed. Then they made the excuse to Pharaoh that the reason they hadn’t been killing those babies was because the Hebrew women were more vigorous than the Egyptian women and gave birth before the midwives arrived. Don’t you love that not-so-subtle dig on the Egyptians?
Do you know how the LORD rewarded the midwives? Exodus 1:20 says He rewarded them by giving them their own families!
Today’s modern woman might not appreciate that. As a matter of fact there are a number of feminists that might be offended by God’s idea of a reward.
To be rewarded with a household to care for? Hungry husband, dirty socks? Poopie diapers and dirty dishes?
Doesn’t sound like such a generous gift when you look at it like that, huh? Maybe that’s what’s wrong…focus on the negatives instead of positives. Peanutbutter and jelly fingers instead of hugs with chubby arms and gifts of dandelion flowers from a sincere heart?
Today’s modern woman might rather have the reward of an all -expenses paid vacation away from responsibilities instead. But God sees things differently and we will too when we align our thoughts with His Word. Truth is stranger than fiction. J
One evening not long ago I actually had a bit of free time. Imagine that. I turned to my Bible and an app on my iPhone that has the Strong’s definition of almost all the words in the Bible. I took apart Proverbs 14 and got stuck on 14:1 for an hour. Then I spent a little time on 14:4. These both really spoke to my situation and clarified, at least for me, God’s mind on the matter.
Let me read these to you- (Bible/notes)
“The wise woman builds (BANA- build/by obtaining children) her house (family), but the foolish (silly) pulls I down (destroys) with her own hands (means, power, direction).
Where no oxen (family) are, the trough(manger,stall) is clean; but much increase (abundance, income, produce) comes by the strength (vigor, force) of an ox.
Now, let me read a paraphrase to you in light of the original meanings of some of those key words:
The woman with God’s wisdom builds her home and family – she obtains children, but the foolish, silly woman destroys her home and family with her own power and means and direction.
14:4 An empty house stays tidy, but abundance comes by the vigor and strength of a family. (think in agrarian and figurative terms)
I was given a lot of strength with this little study of mine. It confirmed again the direction my family has taken. James 1:27 in the Amplified versions says this:
External religious worship [religion as it is expressed in outward acts] that is pure and unblemished in the sight of God the Father is this: to visit and help and care for the orphans and widows in their affliction and need, and to keep oneself unspotted and uncontaminated from the world.
I’m often the foolish woman instead of the wise- but when I’m feeling bogged down with my circumstances- dirty diapers and 4 AM feedings and early rising every morning- the Lord and my husband both affirm these as much more important than the ideals I keep in mind:
A sparkling clean house
A well-ordered and directed school day for Ben
A gourmet dinner that I’ve grown and raised from scratch- my hobbies
Those are good things. But they are not the most important.
Back to Ben and homeschooling- he may not be getting a stellar education at this moment in time, but he is learning to live generously James 1:27 among other things. I have no intention of shirking on his education for long. I firmly believe in educating and equipping my children for anything God calls them to- this just happens to be the equipping season I guess.
Ben is a 14 year old boy who:
Reads his Bible on his own
Makes homemade pancakes from scratch for breakfast and sometimes dinner too, because he likes to do it.
Changes poopie diapers without being asked. For real!
Makes me a cup of tea when he sees I’m weary.
Prays with and for his little brother.
These are more valuable to his character than acing the SATs I think J
See, I’m trying to keep in mind what’s really important.
Everyone has seasons of difficulty and trials and it’s easy to consider giving up when we feel we aren’t doing a good job, or when we feel in over our head.
But God doesn’t raise quitters. He raises up mighty warriors. Much of the language of the Proverbs 31 passage is written with military terms. We women are meant to fight for our families. We do that in so many ways. For one thing we provide the most valuable thing- a comfortable and nurturing environment in which to raise eternal beings entrusted to us by God Himself.
“So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded….” Hebrews 10:35 a
And we all know how God rewards women who please Him. J