Home: Where a Child Knows No Shame.

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Josiah recently stopped wearing nappies and is now a full-blown toilet user {can I get a high five? Whoop!}. Aside from the awesomeness that is this milestone, God has used it to bless me in another way.

This morning, I was making Josiah’s bed after helping him get up on the loo. From the bathroom, all I could hear was this high, sweet, just delightful sing-song voice as our boy sat on the loo, happy-as-larry, completely unaware that this could be in any way, embarrassing. 

A grin just broke out on my face and my chest filled with the glory of love.

How comfortable how freehow completely able — Josiah was to just be himself, half starkers on the loo, without fear, embarrassment or shame to sing while he was doing his toilet thing.

As a parent, I have lost many toilet privileges. It’s not often I can have uninterrupted bathroom time. I have lost any sense of shame or privacy about sitting on the toilet with the door open so my kids can come in and pull things out of the drawers or show me their boo-boo or sit on my lap.

I’m okay with this. In fact, most of the time, there is something sweet about it. We’re family after all, nothing to be embarrassed about.

But the blissfully unaware way our two-year-old sang his songs on top his throne, the door wide open, interspersed by productive silences?

God just impressed upon my heart once again, how beautiful and how simple it is to give our children a home.

My heart felt full that our son feels home here, that he knows nothing else. He knows love, he knows security, he knows what it is to be fully himself – clothes or not – and be safe

How many children are there who don’t know this security? How many children are there that can almost feel no sense of shame or embarrassment that Adam and Eve felt before the Fall? Too many don’t. Oh, Lord, protect their little hearts.

Mothers, make it our aim to provide what every child’s soul needs – the ability to be fully themselves. Embrace their nudey silliness, sing along with their songs sung on the loo, smile as they run to you, proud of their toilet success {or any other such  potentially shame-inducing accomplishment}.

I remember, as a tween, home was the only place safe for me as a bullied schoolgirl. I could endure the days at school only because I knew at home I was safe. I could be me and not have to worry about all the things I was teased for. I cannot imagine what it is like for teens now when, what they endure at school, now comes home with them in the form of the internet and social media. I never had that and it saved me.

Shame is something that will come to our children, as it came to you and to me. But let us never let that awful feeling come from within the walls of our home. Home is safe. It must always be safe. Protect that safety with everything you can.

More Thoughts on the Proverbs 31 Wife.

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This is another installment in my on-going series Beautiful Examples of a Proverbs 31 Wife. My first post can be found here.

The incredibly high standard of the Proverbs 31 wife often has women grinding their teeth in insecurity, rebellion and a stubborn refusal to accept that this portion of Scripture may be someone God wants us to emulate. I am at the front of that line! I have battled MANY feelings about this woman, but over the years, as God has brought me closer to him, my heart has softened towards her. I now have a desire to actually work at becoming this amazing woman of God.

In several of my readings today, I came across some commentary on this passage that encouraged and challenged my heart. I would love to share them with you.

From What Is A Family?  {yes, I talk about this book a lot, it is that good}, Edith Schaeffer says that, among the many others, there are two vitally important points to remember about this virtuous wife. 

First, her husband trusts her to manage their home, physically and financially.

…{{silence}}…

These two areas are my biggest struggles as a wife. Lack of organisation and understanding finances have been sources of contention between my husband and I. I have already talked about my growth in this first struggle, but I have never talked about my weakness in math and money.

I won’t go into my history of math, but let’s say it is infamous and that there is a wall in my mind that I cannot climb over. Furthermore, in the small area of money I do overlook in our cash system, I regularly lose money. To me, I cannot think where it has gone or how it has been spent. To my husband, there is much slow breathing and patience!!! Tim does organise most of our money, but the physical money we use on a daily basis {grocery shopping, petrol, birthdays etc} is my responsibility – and I have sadly failed in this area many times.

I know I am at fault because I know my heart. I know I have let Tim down and this area of the Proverbs 31 woman is a big mountain for me to climb.

But, Edith is very encouraging, she says,

“If a woman has ability to be a good manager, she ought to have some scope in which to show forth this ability and have it be a practical help to the family. Always remember that trust needs a very real place to be demonstrated, and ability needs an opportunity to develop.”

I can grow, I can get better, and I can honour my husband in this area. I’ve already talked about how managing our homes honours our husbands — handling the money they earn and managing that well is something that they really need us to do.

Second, there is no competition with the husband.

In the context of this point, Edith is writing a chapter on the economic unit of the family. And, as part of her thoughts on the Proverbs 31 wife, she is speaking of the role of the husband to earn the money to provide for the family {as part of Genesis 3} and the work the wife does within the home to contribute. Edith is quite clear that she believes women are not to be bread winners at the expense of the family. If there are children home, the mother is to be as well.

She says,

“Whatever this wife, this virtuous woman, does, it enhances her husband’s leadership and his place ‘in the gates and among the elders of the land’ [vs.23]. She does not compete with him. She does not put her work before his and cause his place to be diminished.”

Whatever she does…it enhances her husband’s leadership. His work is her work. 

This is so contradictory to every single message girls growing up in our society hear. The main message is this: Do your own thing. Get what you want. Follow your path. You can be whatever you want to be. Girl power.

…But, many times, at the expense of the person you love the most. We cannot have the marriage we deeply desire and pursue a career with everything we have. Something has to give. Career’s will always eat up time, money, energy, focus, priority, emotions and drive.

“Two people with two separate careers and living in one house, but infrequently together – with children who are more frequently cared for by other people than by their parents – have not really formed a family, and the economic things have become a kind of people-eating monster taking all the humanness out of relationships….

If affluence is the goal – no matter what – it can only be the result, with the family completely lost.”

Though I don’t work outside the home, that doesn’t mean I cannot be distracted away from my family. Am I competing against my husband in other areas? Am I jealous of — his fitness, his relationship with the Lord, his friendships, his gifts, and, his position in the family? Our mother Eve knew what it was like to covet Adam’s position.

Our main goal, as we pursue the Proverbs 31 wife, is to deeply and wholeheartedly love our families before ourselves. We’re industrious, we work hard, we may earn money, we have many gifts and talents. But they are to be invested in the service of the Lord towards our families. 

To finish, Edith says that, in all her busyness and hard work,

“Her children have enough of her time, however, and know her well enough and are happy enough with her as their mother to ‘arise up, and call her blessed’, so this speaks of a family life of some very definite kind, as well as a good relationship with her husband who ‘praiseth her’.”

A FREE Devotional Tool For You.

My unskilled hands have been a little busy, making something special for you and myself.

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You see, I am a busy mother of two toddlers who really wants to get into God’s word to feel refreshed and draw from that discipline of grace. My children are up early, my son doesn’t nap – I don’t get much time to spend time in His word. My prayers are arrow prayers most of the time.

Does God mind? Not at all. He sees Jesus’ righteousness in me. But I mind. I need him, desperately…And I am sure you are like me, too.

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I try and go to bed early and have some devotional time several nights a week – around eight, or a little later, depending on what Tim and I have been watching. I grab my Bible, a book, journal etc. and I have as much time as I can with the Lord before I get too sleepy ;). During the days, when Rosalie has her nap, I try and read my Bible so that Josiah sees his mummy in the Word. But, like moth to a flame, so is a child to his mother when he sees she’s trying to do something just for her! So often my reading is skimming, interrupted and broken.

But God is good. Somehow, his precious Spirit still fills me up, and I keep going.

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Getting into His word deeper is a goal of mine and I have been looking everywhere for a free tool to help me. There were a few out there, but none that suited me and my personality. So I set to work to make one I can use in my evening quiet times, getting into God’s word in a deeper way. And, so that I can see what I have been studying, what I have been praying and learning. I’m going to make a devotional binder especially for these study times to keep my pages in, for reflection and keepsakes.

And I thought you might like this tool, as well.

There are four sections:

  • The Facts – a place to jot down context, things we know for sure about the text etc.
  • Scripture – copy out a verse or a bigger chunk.
  • Application – what is this verse saying and what it means to me.
  • Prayer – a place to pray the scripture out into words before the Father.

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I have made two copies: one unlined, the second lined. I prefer lines on mine but, because of my unskilled talent, the lines were a bit squiffy :S So for those who would prefer *near* perfect copies, try the unlined one.

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Keep it in a binder, print off as many as you need, and enjoy that deepening relationship with your Father.

Taste and see that the Lord is good. ~ Psalm 34:8

Please share with reference, and please do not sell.

Let me know if you print one off and use it. I would love to know if and how it blesses your quiet and special moments with the Lord.