“The home is the fountain of civilization. The value and character and appetites of a people are greatly determined by the reading, training and cultivating of moral and spiritual appetites in the home.
Mothers, you are the divinely-appointed teachers and guides of your children; and any attempt to free yourselves of this duty is in direct opposition to the will of God. If you neglect them, the consequences are swift and sure. …, Spend most of your time with your children. Sleep near them, attend and dress and wash them; let them eat with their mother and father; be their companion and friend in all things and at all times.”
From Mother, Home and Heaven from Poetic, prose and literature Of all ages and all lands. Copyright 1878-1880
Being with my wildly idealistic children, living through the noise of our exuberant home (drum set in the basement, electric piano and real piano upstairs, almost always with someone blaring away, singing, listening to ipod music on their new ipod stations; rousing, lengthy, loud discussions at the dinner table; wrestling with the dog and watching movies and playing games and feasting with our whole family at home,)has reminded me again, that all the trouble was well worth the effort. It all mattered. Really.
Even through all the exhaustion, meals, dishes, late nights, attitudes, weariness--it is of utmost importance.
January's are always a bit difficult. The time to be tempted to give up.
How I got to this point--this far and still in tact, was through years and years of defining and redefining ideals and seeking the Lord and then living through one day at a time, for a million days. Yet, I see life and beauty in the souls of my very individualistic children--the palpable life of the Lord--who is building them and growing them into healthy, vibrant adults.
Now that Christmas is over, I am bubbling over with excitement for the months ahead. I can't wait for our conferences which I love and enjoy so much. I can't wait to encourage all the precious moms who will attend, because their lives matter--their love, correction, work, is all building a legacy from their lives that will live to glorify God throughout eternity! And that is what the conferences are all about--keeping the ideals alive!
The words above were written over a hundred years ago are still very powerful today. This, in a culture where the imagination of the importance of mothers to the overall well-being of soul of the next generation has been lost. How affirming it is to see that truth of past generations still applies to us today.
Often, I find that in the absence of a clear enough vision for their children and homes, mothers replace conviction and vision with lots of activities and distractions for their children. This hyper-activity and rushing around to an endless list of expensive lessons and experiences and toys, and the buying of the newest expensive curriculum and technological options make moms feel like they are accomplishing something.
However, when the home-life of children is rich with excellent, classic literature and great stories, passionate Biblical devotions, rousing dinner-table discussions around sumptuous, tasty meals, lots of love and affection given and household chores attended to— a child will become committed to all that is good and excellent and develop a moral and compassionate soul for all the divinely important values.
From the beginning of time, God created the home to be a place sufficient to nurture genius, excellence, graciousness and grand civility. But the key factor is nothing that can be purchased or owned. The accomplishment of this grand life is found only in the soul of a mother, through the power of the Holy Spirit, personally mentoring her children.
It is a personal relationship with a real person whose soul is alive in which the deepest imprints of life are given. The secrets and deep emotions shared during the goodnight hours in which a the soul of a child is tender and open; the comfort of warm, home-made food shared in the early evening as ideas are shared and discussed and prayers and devotions given; the laughter, stories, advice given in the midst of washing dishes together or sharing of a meal; the heroic and riveting stories read aloud and shared together that establish common patterns of morality, values and dreams in the comfort of the blazing hearth, mugs of steaming hot chocolate and squishing against each other on a den couch are those heavenly things which are food to the soul and nourishment to the mind and conscience of a child fully awake to all that is important in life.
There is no computer, television, software or text book that can pass on such passion, love and motivation.
It is indeed the personal touch of a mother’s heart that creates grand civility, deep affection, care and commitment to the foundations of a family. When the invisible strings of a mother’s heart are tied to the heart of her children through loving sacrifice and nurture, the stability and foundations of a nation become secure and stable.
A mother, living well in her God-ordained role, is of great beauty and inestimable value to the future history of any generation. Her impact is irreplaceable and necessary to the spiritual formation of children who will be the future adults of the next generation. Fun, comfort, humor, graciousness, spiritual passion, compassion for the lost, hospitality, chores, meals, training, life-giving words, hours and hours of listening and playing and praying and reading—all are parts of the mosaic which go into the process of soul development.
So, though the weariness of the busyness and celebration of Christmas is still upon our hearts and felt in our bodies, the Spirit and vision of His life in ours will keep us going--the refocusing on His great call, will fuel our commitments to keep going, to keep loving and to keep believing. Taking time with Him this morning has fueled my own soul with new excitement. May He grace you all with His encouragement--right where you are, in whatever season--to know that it really matters. Grace and peace and rest be yours in the days ahead!
PS You can still help us this month by advertising the conferences and letting Jennice know. She will enter you into the drawing that we will do on Monday, January 4 to see who the 2 winners are of the $50 for any books we carry, or two free registrations. Go here for registration info and press under the conference location that relates to you. Above that will be resources you can use for your adds in blogs, websites, announcements, or whatever! Thanks for your help in getting the word out!