Monday, January 31, 2011

Drinking In the Word

I have been walking around my home feeling...  odd.  Am I depressed?  Is it the pregnancy?  What is wrong with me?

I could not put my finger on it until just now.  I've been empty.  Empty.  

In His gracious way, the Lord led me to Isaiah 55.  

"Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters.... Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare."

As I read this, my soul cried out.  I prayed, "God, meet me where I'm at!  Please, can you come to me in my home?  With my sleeping children and son playing in the next room?  Who am I that you could come to me..."  and then my mind was filled with the image of drinking ice cold water on a hot day.  The sensation of fresh water hitting my mouth, filling it and racing down my throat.  I can feel it all the way to my stomach sometimes as it cools my insides.  

This is how the Father wants to come to us.  But we have to pause and drink in His presence.  It is hard to pause in the middle of life.  A quiet moment in my house is rare unless all the small ones are sleeping.  And even then...  The pause to drink in the Word and the very presence of the Almighty God is so worth it!  

"Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near." Isaiah 55:6 

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Evolving School at the Keys

"I hate school!" is Isaiah's mantra recently.    

When he first stated the above comment, I backed off with schooling.  It was the holidays, I was mourning the loss of my miscarriage, and it was easy to pause school.  I even tried my hand at "unschooling'.  There are various definitions of unschooling.  Some unschooling families do absolutely zero formal schooling and allow the children to learn on their own accord.  Other unschooling families do some formal schooling, but leave most subjects to the whims of the child.  I have a very dear friend who unschools, so if you leave a comment, be sure to be nice! **smiling politely**

After two months of no formal school, I questioned my unschooling decision.  I realized if I didn't teach my child to read, he would fall quickly behind his peers.  While I battled within myself why that mattered, I prayed for direction and guidance from my Source of wisdom, the Almighty God.  During this time of prayer, I picked Isaiah up from Sunday School and noticed a piece of paper in his hand.  His teacher expected him to be able to read it.  Ah.  One reason why it was OK to expect Isaiah to be on the same learning level as his peers.

In my prayer time over this issue, God reminded me of various issues in my life that I do, even though I don't like doing them.  For example, cleaning toilets.  I hate cleaning toilets.  And doing dishes.  Eating healthy foods.  Requiring Isaiah to knuckle down and learn how to read is good for him, even if he "hates" it.  Often, God requires us to do things we do not want to do.  It is good for us and builds character.  

We are on week two of knuckling down and continuing formal learning.  We set the timer for 30 minutes, once in the morning and again in the afternoon.  The younger children are gently banished to their bedrooms and Isaiah and I focus on his lesson.  The biggest improvement we have made to school time is we now invite God to join us.  We start each learning session with prayer, asking God to come and give us both patience, perseverance and strength.  

My ultimate goal for my children is that they love the Lord their God with all their heart, soul, and strength.  I want God to be number one in their lives; this is my deepest prayer.  One of the most powerful ways I grow in my relationship with the Lord is by seeking His truths in the Holy Word of God, putting my ability to read to excellent use.  Teaching Isaiah to read enables him to begin to search the Word for himself, bringing him closer to the Father.   

"Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed."  Proverbs 16:3

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Motherhood Follies: The Sunday Cereal

Jason graciously offered me the extra hour of sleep a few Sundays ago. Our kids rise with the sun, or shortly before it. This particular Sunday, Jason gave me the morning to sleep in. I enjoyed the extra sleep, but I relished the down time. My morning was absent of the usual begging and pleas of the children.  I joyfully got out of bed and took my bathroom break minus two-year-old Samuel's usual visit.  It was wondrous!

Jason brought me breakfast in bed, assuring me that the kids were fed and getting ready for church.  My stress free morning seemed too good to be true.  I ate in peace and enjoyed the quiet time with my husband.  

Shortly after the quiet morning meal, I began getting ready for church.  A child escaped Daddy's firm hand, Rose skipped to my bathroom door and asked for help putting a clip in her hair.  I noted a layer of crumbs on her tights.  

"Were you rolling on the floor, Rose?"  

"Um, no.  Sam spilled some cereal on the floor," she said.  

I dismissed the crumbs and finished her hair.  She scampered off happily.  I finished getting ready and headed out the bedroom door.  The kids ran about, putting shoes on and looking for coats.  Jason grinned at me, pleased with himself and his morning offering.  

And then I saw it.  My payback for a peaceful morning.  Two full boxes of cereal were emptied out on the kitchen floor.  Tan crumbs filled every edge of the tiles.  My breath caught in my throat.  I paused and stared at the mess.  Ignore it, I told myself and headed for the fridge.

CRUNCH.  CRUNCH.  My high heels crushed the cereal into tiny pieces.  I gritted my teeth and kept walking.  CRUNCH.  CRUNCH.  With a low growl, I whirled around and crunched quickly back across the floor.  I grabbed the broom out of the closet and began swipping the offensive mess.  

"This is what I get for taking a morning off!" I hollered into the empty room.  Jason rounded the corner.  

"Put the broom down, Jessica," he said.  He held his hand out for the broom.  I snarled.  He glared.  I knew he was drawing the line, but I just couldn't bring myself to give in.  

He sighed and turned around.  I swept the dad gum floor, grumbling internally in my heart.  

On the way to church, I calmed down and we discussed the mess.  

"I was gonna clean it up," he said.  

"Ha!" I tried to tone down the sarcasm.  "When?"  

He sighed loudly.   

I should have kept crunching across the floor and ignored the mess.  I want to be The Mom who is not moved by circumstance.  The kids were happy.  My man was happy.  I was happy...  before the cereal discover, that is.  I gave the cereal, or the mess, power of me, allowing it to influence my attitude.  

Next time, I'm gonna tap the crumbs off my Sunday heels, smile broadly, and head out to church.  Next time....  

revolutionary love

I have experienced revolutionary love. Love with no strings attached. Jesus Christ loves me and made a way for me to have a relationship with the One True God. God desires a relationship with you, too. If you have yet to experience this revolutionary love, please email me at jandjkeys@hotmail.com so I can share this amazing experience with you. Blessings, -Jess