Thursday, October 25, 2012

Peace and less clutter

I am so thankful to have a dear friend who happens to also be an older lady who is my mentor. It has been such an encouragement to my life in all areas. I would encourage anyone to seek out that kind of relationship if it hasn't yet materialised. I continually see the fruit of her wisdom play out in my role as a wife, mom and in general life too. We have been working through two books which I have not finished reading through yet but HIGHLY recommend if you have the chance to get hold of them.

The books are written by Donna Otto and are titled:
  1. Finding your purpose as a mom- How to build your home on holy ground
  2. Secrets to getting more done in less time
I can just tell that they are the sorts of books that I will re-read and discover other very helpful points that I may not have noticed as much in my previous reads.

One of the points that Donna makes in one of the chapters is to try to set your home's thermostat on 'peace'. That everyone living there should feel like home is a refuge and a safe place to be. We have a thermostat in our home here and whenever I glance at it, I remind myself to set our home's thermostat onto the peace setting. :) It is interesting to see how much influence we have as mom's and wives. It is very convicting!

The convicting thermostat!

Also, she made another helpful point about how righteousness and peace go hand in hand- that Scripture in Psalm 85:10 is so vivid,
"Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other." So, when we are faithful in our management of our home and trust the Lord to enable us by His grace to be righteous in all the areas of our lives, there will be peace. I find this such a helpful truth to ponder on.

Also, it is interesting to see how clutter can get under your skin and cause you to feel overwhelmed and irritable and I began with a home project named, "Operation Declutter" for one week! Well, I soon realised that it is really a weekly project and not something that can be done once off. But a helpful tip that I read on a blog recently was to always try to leave the room with something in hand- it makes me feel more purposeful and sometimes I catch myself smiling at how stream-lined some 'room-to-room' trips can be! 

My dad's mom was lovingly known as Goggo by all the grandkids (it is the Xhosa term for grandpa but my one cousin had thought it was the name for grandma and we all began using it and once we had figured out it was the wrong name for our darling gran, it was too late- she WAS Goggo and there was no turning back!). Well, she taught me something profound too. It is a motto that seems so simple, but if you really manage to implement it into your life, it will change it! It is, "DO IT NOW!" In other words do not procrastinate! It is fascinating to see how things often take less time than I think they will and just getting them done is such a relief.

In conclusion, in one of the chapters I read recently, Donna mentioned that we are more tired from what we don't do than what we do do! Isn't that sooo true?!? I hope this blog post has motivated you as much as it has been motivating me! 

My prayer is that your home's thermostat would be set on peace and you would be diligent workers for His glory!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

The little things...

After working through Titus 2 for some time, I thought that I would like to keep track of what the Lord is teaching me through being at home and the various experiences that it affords! This is simply a 'diary' of what He is helping me to think more clearly about through the word, books, blogs etc.

A dear, dear friend commented on how Izak needs tools to be an effective seminary student and in just the same way, I need tools to be a diligent worker at home. It just hit home for me! Every time that I have undertaken a new job, it was necessary to be shown the 'ropes' and to trained up for the position that I needed to fill. In this case, I needed to pursue training to customize our home for our family's needs so training and research to be an effective worker at home was very necessary to avoid wasting time and becoming deflated when I didn't have goals to work towards.

A little beaded heart that my mom-in-law sent me, I hung it in the kitchen to remind me to have a heart that pleases the Lord and worships Him even as I do the little things...
The first thing that I would like to reflect on is how difficult it can be to put Quiet Time first. It fascinates me to no end that it is such a simple truth and yet can be won over by 'urgent' visible duties! So often, I give in to the temptation to do the dishes first or get other things done and before long, Quiet Time in His presence is long forgotten! This typically involves a heart that has not been softened and submitted to His purposes!

It also never ceases to amaze me to see how much more I get done when I do it trusting in His strength! John 15:5 sounds clearly: APART FROM HIM I CAN DO NOTHING! Even if I had a productive day without first coming to the Lord in prayer, (unlikely) it is so sad to think that I would try and tackle it without first asking for His grace and strength and doing it with Him. Hehe- just to think that I would prefer doing it on my own when I could have the Creator of the universe with me throughout the day and have His prerogatives instead of my own!

I was listening to a sermon series on Instructing a Child's Heart by Tedd Tripp (It is available on Grace Church's website - and one of the points he made just arrested my heart , he said something along the lines of, 'our children need to grow up in awe of the God we love'. It just made me think about how by neglecting quiet times, it sets a precedent for our little ones without saying a word.

My prayer for myself and anyone that reads this post is that we will love the Lord more and be devoted to spending time with Him reflecting on His beauty, His word and earnestly praying for things that He places on our hearts.