Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Monday's Musings ...

I hope y'all had a good weekend,
a blessed Lord's Day,
and a good beginning of the week. ;o)

Sunday is always a wonderful day for us.
Being in the Lord's house is always
so encouraging, convicting, and refreshing.
This Sunday was the first Sunday of Advent.
We have never participated in Advent before.
I did not grow up with this tradition
and had never heard of it until a few years ago.
I think finding more and more ways
to keep our focus on Jesus Christ at Christmas time
is a wonderful (and necessary) thing to do
so this year, I decided to do it with the children.
Reading Jodi's post was especially helpful.
The children and I went out to gather the supplies.
(It's amazing what you can find at a dollar store)
Below is our Advent 'wreath'...

We enjoyed lighting the first candle on Sunday,

reading prophesy Scriptures of Jesus' birth,
having discussion, and singing
"O Come, O Come Emmamuel".
I was delighted to see how the children responded.

Monday we loaded in the van
and headed to friends' house for fellowship
and so the mommies could do some 'paperwork'...
Before I share what we were doing,
I should share this brief preface...
In our read aloud time, we have been reading
the second book in the Moody series,
"Autumn with the Moody's".
In this book, the family has resumed their homeschool
because, after all, it is fall.
As they are falling back into their homeschooling,
we (very clearly and often) see
that they follow a schedule
(after all, the author's parents are the creators
of a very well-known scheduling system among homeschoolers).

As I was reading this book aloud
(and all about their scheduled days)...
well, first, I should mention that it is well-known,
by many who know me, that I am a relaxed homeschooler.
This was a gradual process, much of it due to
having babies/toddlers in the house,
plus I LOVE the relaxed, natural way of learning.
But, I confess, that in that relaxed-ness
I was/am given to laziness at times.
With this freedom in relaxed
(and sometimes lazy) homeschooling,
I have avoided a 'schedule'
(cringed at the word),
feeling it would stifle our relaxed, natural way of learning
(plus, again, I confess, I just didn't want to be held accountable to it).

That brings me back to our read aloud...
I was reading aloud to the children on Friday evening.
The author mentioned how their homeschool was beginning
and how they had a schedule to follow.
(poke by the Holy Spirit,
though I allowed it to pass by quickly)
Also, in our reading, we saw how the mother was ill,
due to pregnancy, and the family was gathered
at the breakfast table with Dad
as he went over the schedule with the children.
(poke... poke... poke...
the Holy Spirit convicted and inaudibly said,
"You know, your beloved would like this...
having his home in order, a little more structured,
having a little 'extra' (visible) assurance
that things are getting accomplished at home.
He is, after all, a Marine...
think of how his work is in order, structured,
detailed, disciplined, etc...)

I continued reading aloud, as these thoughts remained,
though hushed a bit.
As I was reading, I thought of my son,
who is very much like his daddy,
and how he would, probably, love this idea
and would thrive on it very well.
I even made a comment to a friend on Saturday
that I was just waiting for Will to say something
about getting a schedule.
Guess what happened Saturday night
as I was putting Will to bed, tucking him in...?

"Mom, I think we should have a schedule, too.
You know, like in our book we're reading?
So we know when to brush our teeth, floss,
do our school work, play..."

"Well, honey, why don't you pray about that?"

With a serious, a little confused, face
and a respectful tone,
"But I don't want to pray about it.
I just want you to do it."

(Big poke by the Holy Spirit)
I looked at this young man and said,
"Honey, pray for mama, then.
I will pray, too"

I kissed him good-night, walked downstairs,
wrestling with my thoughts.
The Holy Spirit used my son to 'seal the deal'.
It wasn't that Will didn't want to pray,
he just knew that I was the one that was responsible
to put a schedule together and put it into action.
He knew that he could pray about it,
but he knew the responsibility to make it happen
was with Mama.
I'm sure he prayed, as did I.

Back to Monday...
We arrived at friends' house.
The children enjoyed playing together
and the mamas enjoyed fellowshipping
as they worked amidst all of the
papers, pens, sticky tack, and MOTH books
that covered the table
as they worked diligently together
to create schedules for their families.

As I was, prayerfully, putting the schedule together,
the Lord was giving me peace
and I was even getting a little excited.
He helped me see that the children
will, overall, respond very well to it...
knowing what they are doing and when.
And He helped me see that
the children will, also, hold me accountable,
which can be a good thing. ;o)
He gave me peace.
It is not a strenuous schedule
and I know that I, prayerfully,
will not be a slave to it
but, at this season in my life,
it will be a blessing to have
as a tool to guide us through our day.

Here is a shot of our new schedule
(over 5 years old with newly adjusted time slots
and two new children included Ü)...

I praise the Lord that He is always faithful
in convicting me, changing me, molding me,
teaching me, guiding me, enabling me.

"I will sing of the mercies of the LORD for ever:
with my mouth will I make known
thy faithfulness to all generations."
~ Psalm 89:1


Tracy said...

I'm in tears over this post. For years, I was scheduled, and then I gradually became more relaxed. Even lazy. I think that it is wonderful that you heard, and listened to the Holy Spirit's prodding, and beckoning.

Ron and Ginny said...

I understand about "schedule resistance". I am afflicted and I don't know that I will ever recover. Sometimes I want to, but other times I am very happy to be so afflicted. ;-) I hope it works out for you and you have many wonderful, scheduled days ahead.

Dina said...

In Malta the advent wreath consists of only four candles, one candle for each Sunday before Jesus Christ was born.

Pam--in Jerusalem said...

I remember having an Advent wreath growing up -- I thought it was a Catholic thing. I never considered it having a "good" meaning; that will be interesting to look into.

Funny...a friend and I were just commenting today how relaxed your schooling is and were admiring how well your family does with that. We were kind of feeling inferior because we relied on our schedules. I guess things aren't always what they seem in bloggy land. I'm so glad that you gave into the Holy Spirit's pokes! I'm sure you'll all be very happy and content inside His will.

Tina said...

Christina, God has been dealing with me too on this very thing!! In fact it was just really startling how much it is like the struggle I have been having. I take this as another gentle prodding from the Holy Spirit guiding me in the same direction. Now i just need to find the time and DO IT!

What a blessing your son is!

debhmom3 said...

Oh, thank you so much for posting that Christina. I so needed to hear this. We have been on and off the schedule wagon all year. When we go off, it is mainly because *I* don't want to follow it or want to be lazy. The truth is my children thrive with direction to their days. The love looking at our schedule (which is on a white board in the kitchen) and know exactly what their day is going to look like. Thank you so much. The Holy Spirit used you to give me a push in the right direction. I set the tone in my home as the mother. If I reflect an attitude of laziness, eventually my children will as well.

Happymama said...

It's funny how the Lord will use our children to get a message across to us even though we alread know what He wants from us. He's done that on more than one occasion with my kids too.


Anonymous said...

We've gone on and off the MOTH schedule....was feeling so constantly stressed by it, like we could never be spontaneous. But it has worked well in certain seasons of our lives. May reconsider it once this baby is born and dh leaves for his deployment.


Tina in AL said...

I really enjoyed your post. (I always love your blog.) I can identify so much with your desire to remain relaxed yet feeling the Holy Spirit nudging you toward more schedule in your household.
I've gone through/go through the same type of thing. I really love routine but have a hard time keeping one. (Life is so unscheduled. We tend to have some weeks of routine and then life throws us events that require flexibility. My girls and I are always happy to be back in routine though when things slow down. There's just some comfort in it.)
All that to say that I really identified with your post and enjoy following your journey with you.
In His love,
Tina in AL

HsKubes said...

Tracy ~ I am thankful, too, that I am listening and thankful He is faithful. We will still be relaxed in many ways but it's time to not be lazy. ;o)

Ginny ~ Yes, that's how I am, too. I am praying the Lord will give me victory. ;o)

Dina ~ The 5th candle is for Christmas Day. ;o)

Pam ~ We are enjoying using the Advent wreath to focus on Christ more.

Yes, we have been/are quite relaxed and we do LOVE it. I have every intention of staying more relaxed, too, continuing in our living books, natural learning approach, however, the Lord has showed me that it is time to get an order of events during my day, though we will remain flexible and welcome 'interuptions' that He sends. ;o) It is, also, mostly in the morning and right after lunch. Our afternoons are pretty open.
But I know the order of events (a.k.a. schedule) will be a blessing in many ways. The Lord is faithful in teaching me more and more and showing me how He will be using this to mold my own character. ;o)

Tina ~ I am thankful the Lord has used what I've shared. Praying for you. ;o)

Debhmom3 ~ Again, I am very thankful the Lord is using what I've shared and am learning.
Yes, the responsibility is ours and we do set the mood for our home. But what a blessed responsibility it is. ;o)

Kristi ~ Yes, I do appreciate how He uses our children to teach us. ;o)

Catherine ~ I understand that. I, too, began ours about 5 years ago, was overwhelmed by it and threw it aside. But since then the Lord has taught me how to relax a little more (though I sometimes can be a little extreme). I am praying the Lord will help me in finding the balance the He would have us to have in our home. I know it can be difficult, too, with being pregnant and having babies but praise the Lord for the different seasons in our lives. Praying for y'all while your beloved is away. ;o)

Tina ~ Thank you. ;o) I agree... there will be times/days that our schedule simply won't work due to outside activities, etc... I look forward to using this schedule as a tool to help our home run a little more consistently, in a way that honors the Lord. We will surely allow for flexibility and not be a slave to the schedule. As I mentioned, we do LOVE being relaxed but, for me, lazy time must be over. ;o)
Thank you for sharing your thoughts, too. I sure appreciated them. ;o)

~ Christina

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Christina, for that post. I do have a schedule but most days, the things that interrupt it just overcomes the whole thing. (plus my own laziness to pick up from where we left off..)

Well, I'm excited about doing next year's schedule with new goals to meet by the grace of God.


Nikki said...

I love posts like these...when God is working in our hearts. I've never been a scheduled type person but God has been dealing with me as well to be more structured where it matters.

Life is just so busy with 3 children and being a pastor's wife that I feel like everything is done by the seat of my skirt.

I need to schedule my daily routines such as: getting up at a decent time every morning for the children and myself, certain times for devotions, reading, breakfast and lunch, chores, etc.

What I need to relax on is the school. I get so stressed out if we miss a day. I'm the one who wants to finish every page, every problem on the pages, and ultimately the whole book. I don't want to stifle my children's natural love for learning. God has been dealing with me about that. Pray for me that I will do His will. I want what He wants, which is what is best for our family. He knows, doesn't He?



Good job, Mom. I am sure your son is very pleased and proud of his Mom. God even did things on schedule, He made different things on different days. He makes our bodies to follow a plan in how they work, etc. So I am sure that He is pleased with your schedule what ever it is. May God bless you as you carry it out, not to be a slave to it but to see that things are done decently and in order. You are a great Mom and I appreciate you and your family more than I can say. connie from Texas

momofmhasr said...

Praying for you as you implement this new structure into your family christina.

Anonymous said...

I love this post, so honest and true not ashamed to say that you too get the occasional poke from the Spirit to remind you of things that are in Gods plan as far as your whole life. BTW love the lil CHRISTmas decor on the top of you blog.

Jodi said...

Christina ~ I was so happy to see your Advent arrangement. We find it such a nice additional to our family worship time in December; I hope you all enjoy it as well. :o)

I enjoyed your honest sharing about the schedule. I had my MOTH book for over a year before I finally used it and did the schedule. We have times when we need to loosen up a bit and be more away from it than on it, but that also usually means it's time for the schedule to be tweaked. We find that most of the time our schedule really helps us get more done in less time, and we have more time for our hobbies and play in the long run. I hope yours works well for you. :o)

Kristy Jo said...

I have been dying to get my hands on the MOTH books... I am afraid to spend the money and then not use them *blush*
Tho I did talk them over with my dh and he seems to at least be interested in looking at them with me.

THanks for the homeschool advice and I am looking forward to checking out your "sidebar" :D

Anonymous said...

Hi Christina,
Wonderful post! I love your Advent centerpiece. And we are reading Autumn with the Moodys right now too! We are at Chapter 18 now. :) Very insightful thoughts about your husband being a Marine & use to order and schedules. I am naturally a VERY organized/goal orientated person and our first years in homeschool were very reimented - too much so, but as the years pass, I relax more and more. Well, this summer, I decided to put us on a schedule so we could get more garden/yard/horse time in, but stressed to the girls that we needed to remain flexible. Well, they really held me to the schedule and it was nearly the death of me, lol. I need to find a happy medium somewhere as I'm really enjoying being relaxed, but my girls really like to stick to a plan to a "T".
Your MOTH plan looks wonderful! Keep us posted on how it goes.

Ron and Ginny said...

You all must be pretty busy. I haven't seen any "Tuesday Tidings", "Wednesday Warblings", or whatever those things are... I hope you are having a nice scheduled week. :-D

wilkersonhome said...

Thank you for your post! I was so excited to see the pictures of the MOTH schedule. I spent some time making one (I had to add spaces to the right of mine!), but we have not got it tweaked yet. This was encouraging to me to hear this from you as I respect your heart for your family. I ditto what Nikki said--that's where I am! Thanks! Jeri Lynn

HsKubes said...

Suwei ~ Yes, it's by God's grace we'll have victory. ;o)

Nikki ~ I have never really been a 'schedule-type' person either but I look forward to what the Lord has to teach me. ;o)
I know what you mean about life being so busy. I have, particularly, felt that way this year. We are looking forward to having our "Sequence of Events" laid out for us so we can do all things "...decently and in order." 1 Corinthians 14:40 ;o)
I'll pray for you regarding school. I would highly recommend reading some of the books on home education that I have listed in my sidebar, particular the ones on Charlotte Mason methods.

Connie ~ Thank you so much for your kind and encouraging words! They are such a blessing.

momofmhasr ~ Thank you, Michelle, very much, for your prayers. They are greatly appreciated. ;o)

Jeannie ~ Thank you. Oh, yes, I do get 'poked' by the Holy Spirit, often. Not all of it I share but He is ever faithful in working, which I am so thankful for. ;o)

Jodi ~ We have been enjoying this addition to our family worship, as well. Thank you for sharing what y'all do. ;o) Thank you, too, for sharing your thoughts/experience with your schedule. I appreciated what you had to say. ;o)

Kristy Jo ~ Praise the Lord you husband is willing to look with you. Praying for y'all's decision.
I'd love to know if you read one of those books in the sidebar. ;o)
Happy reading.

Plain Jane ~ How neat that y'all are reading that, too. You are quite farther than we are at this point but I hope to pick up the pace real soon. ;o)
I really enjoy being relaxed, too, but know the children (and I) will thrive on having a sequence of events and I know the Lord will bless our time and efforts as we are aiming to redeem our given time. ;o) Though I am, prayerfully, remaining quite flexible. It's always nice to hear from you. ;o)

Ginny ~ Yes, we've been pretty busy and my blogging seems to be slacking. I hope to, at least, post brief, frequent tidbits when I am able. ;o)

Jeri Lynn ~ How great that you spent time making one for your family. I had to laugh with the adding spaces comments. ;o) I know that ours will be in the 'constantly tweaking' mode but it will be a blessing to have it as a guideline/event sequencer. I'm thankful this post was an encouragement. Thank you for your kind words. That was a special blessing to hear.

~ Christina

MarineMama said...

We are doing advent this year too!
It is something I did growing up, but we hadn't done it as a family yet though we talked about it and prayed for the right time. It is such a blessing to do this family devotion and worship in honor of our saviors birth!
I'm so excited that you felt the Lord's "poke" and you followed it! =) I felt that "poke" last year and play around with the MOTH schedule all the time. I sorta made my own version on the computer. It really blesses our home to know when I need to do things. Especially when it's just me to take care of the Littles. It blesses my Beloved when he is home to know that things are taken care of and things will be already when he comes home. Also while he is away to know that everything is ok. I pray that it blesses your family too!
Christian Love,


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