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