Making the Most of Our Time

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making the most of our time

this is re-posted from our 2010 archives…..

I love the verse, “Teach us to number our days that we may present to Thee a heart of wisdom”. (Psalm 90:12)

I’m sharing with you something the Lord has been impressing on me recently. I am a person who lives by my lists. I write down things I need to get accomplished each day and delight in crossing items off my list as I complete the tasks.

Contemplating the end of summer drawing near, I was struck with how I don’t feel ready for it to end. There is so much I wanted to do, that I haven’t gotten done due to the busyness of life; things like cleaning and organizing projects, like special days with the grandkids, like fun stuff with Kelley and Kasey- things we don’t seem to get to do during the school year- things like family day trips to historical places, and so on!

And yet, I’ve crossed a lot of things off my list. The Lord seemed to prick my conscience causing me think, “Yes, I’ve crossed a lot off my list, but what have I accomplished for eternity? What really counts? Am I just crossing off items on my list and feeling a false sense of accomplishment or am I making the most of every day and every opportunity to be used of God in the little things?”

For instance, we’ve had a lot of functions this summer- friends showers, weddings, anniversaries, etc. Yes, a lot are crossed off my list, but did I find someone to impact while I attended those things? When at church, did I just sit there or did I find someone to encourage?  Am I just crossing off the lists in my life or am I making a difference in God’s scheme of eternity?

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10 Ways to Encourage Your Kids

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encourage 2

Our time with our kids is so short. Psalm 90:12 says, “So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.”

Purpose to realize that your days with your kids living in your home are numbered. They grow up so fast. Remind yourself of that when the day seems long and hard. Everyone needs encouragement. Be your kids biggest cheerleader!

Here’s some tips to help you focus.

1. Don’t complain.  Proverbs tells us ” A merry heart doeth good like a medicine”. You can actually be a healing balm to your children by maintaining a merry heart. Griping brings discouragement. It surely does to everyone- the griper and those listening. Your cheerfulness will make your kids want to be around you and later listen to what you have to say.

2. Acknowledge their attempts to do well. Yes, I mean their attempts. Maybe they wanted to help you clean up but spilled the lemonade on the floor while carrying it to the kitchen. Oops. It’s just a mistake. Acknowledge their attempt to be helpful. When they find something difficult- maybe long division- and finally get a problem correct, praise them. It’s been a long, hard road, but hey, here is a small success! Encourage them.

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Am I Depriving My Child of Extra Curricular Activities?

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extra curricular

One thing I’ve discovered in 36 years of homeschooling is that to effectively homeschool, you have to be home! Sounds simple, but honestly there are SO many good opportunities to involve your kids in that it’s hard to accomplish.

I found it really hard in the early years to say no to people. There are so many ministries to be involved in, athletic events for kids to participate in, group sports, multiple lessons, classes to be taken, etc. The list is endless.

I found it necessary to constantly evaluate. Is this opportunity a distraction from my priorities or my kid’s priorities. Busyness is normal in our culture, but it’s possible to be too busy to think properly.

I want my kids to have opportunities, but too many opportunities clutters up their life and thinking.  God’s Word is number one priority and maybe the easiest thing to put on the back burner if we are not vigilant about it. NOTHING is more important than our relationship with the Lord. We must cultivate it, though. We have to take time to have a quiet heart before the Lord and develop our relationship with Him.

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Q: Did You Allow Your Children to Attend Sleepovers?

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sleepovers

*First of all- let me clarify that this is a question we were asked. We’re not at all saying if you make a different decision in this matter, you are wrong. This is simply the position we chose to follow when our children were young.

A: In raising our kids we chose to be on the cautious side. I’m not sorry that we did. Now as the world seems to be on a slippery slide into depraved immorality, I think parents need to exercise even more caution to protect their children. That’s one of the functions of a parent! If we don’t do it, who will?

One of our jobs is to train our children to learn discernment. Discernment is learning  how to distinguish right from wrong and using that sensitivity to make wise choices in life.

When our kids are young, we need to be the filter for them and make our decisions cautiously.  We need to be careful not to put them in situations where they are faced with moral dilemmas and not have us there to guide them through.

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Why We Didn’t Have a TV When Our Kids Were Growing Up

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no tv

I have been asked often why we never had a TV during the years we raised our children.

For one thing, our backgrounds played a part in this decision. My husband grew up in a broken home where his mom had to work to earn the living. He says in many ways, he was raised by a TV set. His mom was just too busy, working to survive. He didn’t want his kids to be raised by the TV, too.

Finances were another reason. When we first got married we were very low on funds and for that reason, we just didn’t get a TV set. We learned to fill our time with other things and pretty soon we realized we didn’t miss having one.

Content was the biggest reason we chose not to have a television in our home. As time went by, when we would see even commercials at other’s houses or shows that were aired, we couldn’t believe how things were becoming corrupt so quickly. When I was a kid we watched Leave it to Beaver or Timmy and Lassie, maybe Bonanza on Sunday nights. Most shows made it clear that there was right and wrong. The good guys were rewarded and bad guys punished. But we began to see a big shift in this in the television world as new philosophies arose. Also you can’t control what comes across the TV screen. Even if you are fairly certain the show is “good”, the many commercials are filling your mind with untrue messages.

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How to be a Contented Mom

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Fresh lavender flowers

“Boy, I wish…”

How many times do you find yourself thinking or saying this? It’s so natural to think life would be easier, better if only……”

The truth is, God has given us everything right now that we need to be content. Contentedness doesn’t depend on outward circumstances. Contentedness is a matter of the heart and is dependent on our trust in the Lord.

Philippians 4 tells us, “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: everywhere and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”

Truth is, we can’t do it on our own, but we can choose to let Christ do it through us. Or we can complain, wish, covet, make excuses and reap the result of making ourselves and those around us miserable.

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