My All’s Grace List

Ann over at The Holy Experience, http://www.aholyexperience.com/ , has a list of 1000 gifts that has been ongoing for some time. Perhaps this is the perfect time to start my own.

My son sitting in my lap while I type…

The memory of Mom putting up the curtains in my kitchen because, “you have to have curtains up in your home”…

The amazing people who are loving us through this time…

Hugging Gram and Gramp last night…

Munchkin asking for a picture of Grammy for her dresser…

The love of God…

Pictures of Mom holding her grandchildren…

The smell of unleavened bread baking in my kitchen…

The cold snow, painting the world white…

Because He Lives

A friend brought us supper last night, and she also brought one of her kids’ books for me to read to my children. It’s titled God Gave Us Heaven. It’s a wonderful book for explaining the concept of heaven to kids. Arynne and I read it this morning. I cried through part of it, but she didn’t mind. Afterwards we talked a bit about heaven and Jesus. I told her that Jesus had said that He was going to prepare a place for us in heaven, and we read John 14.

John 14

1Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.

2In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

3And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

4And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.

5Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?

6Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

7If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.

8Philip saith unto him, Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us.

9Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father?

10Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.

11Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake.

12Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.

13And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.

14If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.

15If ye love me, keep my commandments.

16And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;

17Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

18I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.

19Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.

20At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.

21He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.

22Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world?

23Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.

24He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.

25These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you.

26But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

27Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

28Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I.

29And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe.

30Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me.

31But that the world may know that I love the Father; and as the Father gave me commandment, even so I do. Arise, let us go hence.

What a wonderful chapter of scripture. I cannot tell you the comfort it brought me to read it to Arynne. Jesus was right. The peace he gives us is not of this world. It does not depend on circumstances. It comes straight from the God of all comfort, from the Prince of Peace Himself. Because He lives, we live. Because He lives, Mom is more alive now than ever. Make no mistake, this in no way diminishes the grief I have, but the Comforter that He sent will be with me forever.

“Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.” 1 Thessalonians 4:12-13 NIV

Please understand, my heart is truly breaking. I have no idea what to do, now that Mom is gone. I can still hardly believe it’s true. And there is one terrible hole in our lives right now. If I did not have this reassurance from God, the despair would be crushing, and I would not be able to bear it. I will grieve, for a very, very long time. But I will not grieve like one with no hope. The Source of that hope is the only reason I am able to face another day right now. “Because He lives, I can face tomorrow.”

Come Soon…

My mom is gone. I can still hardly believe that it’s true. I never would have guessed yesterday morning when we visited with her that it was for the last time. You always know in the back of your mind that you will likely outlive your parents, but it’s still a shock when it actually happens.

I’m not sorry for her though. I will miss her every day for the rest of my life, and I would never want to get to the point where I didn’t miss her. But I envy her in a way. She’s with her Savior. She is with the One she followed faithfully and loved with all of her heart. I take great comfort in that knowledge, but I still miss her.

I woke up this morning and looked out the kitchen window. The world went on like it was any other day. I couldn’t help thinking that it shouldn’t have. It isn’t any other day. This was the first day without Mom, how could the world just keep going on like nothing had happened? Reaching into my kitchen cupboard, I found a tin of the coffee Mom always liked. I don’t drink it, but I kept it for her whenever she was here for a visit. I took the tin off the shelf and just held it for a minute, and then I put it back. I don’t know how long it will stay there, but for now, I just want to leave Mom’s coffee in my kitchen.

I’m finding reminders of her everywhere. As much as I cry, it also comforts me to have reminders of her all around. I’ve saved the birthday candles from the cake we shared on her 54th birthday just last week. We only had eight candles, and we were joking that it was one candle for every decade. I remember laughing with her over that. Having her here for supper on her birthday was a spontaneous idea, but I’m really glad that it occurred to me. We had so much fun having dinner together and playing cards until late that night.

I started knitting a sweater for myself. I’m using the last yarn that Mom gave me for it. I’m also still knitting on a lace scarf that I’d started for her. It’s done in alpaca and silk because she was allergic to wool. I considered setting it aside unfinished, but perhaps finishing it will be good for me.

Explaining things to Munchkin has been hard. She misses Grammy, but I’m just not sure how much of it has really sunk in yet. I was her age when my Grandpa died. I think that will help me better know how to help her right now. She was as close to her Grammy as I was to my Grandpa. She will miss her terribly, but she will retain so many wonderful memories that will make her smile throughout the years. She told her dad last night when we got home that she needed a picture of Grammy to put on her dresser. I had to smile while I cried because for many years I had a picture of Grandpa on my dresser too.

Mr. Q will probably have some memory of her, but Camo won’t. Still, we will tell him about his Grammy and how very much she loved all of them. She will still be a wonderful example to them through our memories of her.

When my great-grandmother was dying, her last words were some that have always stuck with me through the years. “God never makes mistakes, and His timing is always perfect.” I think Mom would have said the same thing to me. She was so much like her grandmother in many ways. They were both godly women, women of faith. I don’t know anyone who met either of them, and did not love them.

I like to think that she is meeting the three children she never held here on Earth and holding them now. Then, I think she will find my two babies, Alex and Terry, and hold them too. Someday soon, I’ll see them all, and never, ever, have to say goodbye. I keep echoing the sentiments of John at the end of Revelation, come soon Lord Jesus, come soon.

Conversations With a Four-Year-Old

 

Kids truly have and amazing thought process. More so than we give them credit for at times!

I had to take our German Shepherd, Sammy, to the vet for a rabies shot. Munchkin was a bit upset, since she remembered when Grammy’s dog was sick and we took him to the vet. He didn’t come back home. I assured her that I would bring Sammy back home and that she would be just fine. After we had left, she had a conversation with her dad…

“I’m going to miss Sammy,” Munchkin sighed.

“She’s coming back, Munchkin. Sammy’s not sick, she just needs a shot,” her dad explained.

“Then why is she going to the vet? We don’t go to the doctor when we’re not sick.”

Good point. The logic skills this kid has amaze me at times, and make me laugh quite frequently!

Munchkin usually hops in bed with me for a few minutes in the morning. Once her dad has gotten up, she usually comes in and starts chatting with me at some point. She crept in yesterday morning and climbed in bed next to me and started talking. She tired of her mostly one-sided conversation after a couple of minutes.

“Mommy,” Munchkin began, “I’m hungry.”

“Mmmmmm….” her mom replied.

“Mommy, you have to get up and get breakfast for me and my brothers. We’re starving!”

“Mmmmmm….” her mom replied.

She reached under the pillow and grasped her mom’s hand. Gently tugging she announced, “Mommy, it’s time to get up now. We need breakfast!”

Mommy slipped her glasses on and stumbled out of bed, following the chattering four-year-old.

The kids had their breakfast and were playing while their dad was popping some waffles in the toaster. The scent of hot waffles wafted into the dining room where Munchkin was observing my writing.

“Mmmmm. I smell some mighty tasty waffles!” Munchkin exclaimed.

This evoked a great deal of laughter from Mommy and Daddy.

Kids are hilarious conversationalists aren’t they? Chatting with mine is always interesting!

Hand-Knit Socks

Now for a lighter topic!

Munchkin’s feet are growing quite big. Many of her socks no longer fit. The only socks that do fit are her boring white socks. She kind of misses her cute socks, so I thought that I’d knit her some cute socks!

I’ve wanted to learn a method of knitting two socks at once using the magic loop method for a while now. I have a great book that teaches this method. I pulled out the book, needles and yarn and set to work.

The author recommends knitting toddler-sized socks to learn the method, and also suggests making each sock a different color so that you don’t get the yarn for each confused. (You have to use two separate balls of yarn; otherwise your two socks would be knit together. This is a bad idea if you plan to walk while wearing your socks…) She mentions that toddlers won’t care that their socks don’t match, so once you are done with them, gift them to an adorable little kid who will love them. Unfortunately, Munchkin was not impressed with the idea of an unmatched pair of socks…

She eagerly tried on her new socks, and then asked if she could wear just the pink socks. I told her that there was only one pink sock. She pondered that, and told me that she would wear the purple socks, then. I told her that there was only one purple sock. She asked me to knit her more socks. I had an idea that I’d wind up knitting a second pair of mismatched socks for her… So, I cast on the second set, and tried to take the first pair off her feet. Even thought they didn’t match, she insisted that she wanted to wear them while she waited for me to finish the matches.

When we moved into our house, my mom found a wooden box full of socks that my great-grandmother had knit for her sons. Socks are a practical gift, but they are also a gift of love. I’ve heard it explained this way— socks take time to knit, depending on the size of someone’s feet, they can take a lot of time to knit. You give them to someone you love, knowing that they will wear them out. Then you knit them another pair to wear out. Anyone who knits you a pair of socks has put a lot of love into them. I know, socks are cheap, why not just buy them? If you have ever worn hand-knit socks, you will understand! I have one pair that I knit for myself, and I wear them whenever they are clean! Also, what better way to show my kids how much I love them, than to knit them socks. Maybe someday, someone will find a box full of socks that I’ve knit, and smile thinking about how much I must have loved my kids to knit them so many socks.

God and Government: Inseparable in a free society


“It is the right as well as the duty of all men in society, publicly and at stated seasons, to worship the Supreme Being, the great Creator and Preserver of the universe. And no subject shall be hurt, molested, or restrained in his person, liberty, or estate, for worshipping God in the manner and season most agreeable to the dictates of his own conscience; or for his religion profession of sentiments; provided he doth not disturb the public peace, or obstruct others in their religious worship….”

Massachusetts Bill of Rights, Part the First, 1780

Interesting considering that Massachusetts now has the reputation of being one of the most Godless and wicked States in America. Yet it is merely a sign of the time, just as this section of the Massachusetts Bill of Rights was indicative of the general beliefs of the time. The inscription on the Liberty Bell is from Leviticus 25:10, “Proclaim Liberty throughout the land unto all the inhabitants thereof.” The basis of liberty is Scripture. After all, our rights are God-given, they come from God. How can any society that values liberty, not honor the One who gave it to them? This is something that was understood by early Americans. They realized that they would only prosper and endure as a nation so long as they acknowledged God and gave Him the honor and loyalty that was due Him. Psalm 33:12 reminds us, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.” How many times has God destroyed a nation, or allowed it to be destroyed for failure to follow Him?

Our founders counted on the American people continuing in their faith and following the God of the Scriptures. John Adams observed, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” Look at what James Madison had to say, “We’ve staked our future on our ability to follow the Ten Commandments with all of our heart. We have staked the whole future of American civilization, not upon the power of government, far from it. We’ve staked the future of all our political institutions upon our capacity… to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God.” This quote is very telling, and easily explains the decline of America in recent generations. The further we distance ourselves from the faith of our forefathers, the lower we are doomed to sink. I quoted Thomas Jefferson in a previous post, but he bears repeating, “I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever.” Scripture makes it very clear that God will judge nations. America certainly has much to answer for.

Obviously, the American people have turned from God. As a consequence, our leaders have become evil, godless men and women, ruled by their own ambitions and their love of money and power. Those are the prevailing attitudes in America today; why should we be surprised when they are reflected in leadership? Still, how could this have happened in a nation where the majority claims to be Christian? Certainly there must be enough Godly people to bring about change. The answer is simpler than you might think. John Jay, the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, had two things to say that might help clear this up. Firstly, “Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty, as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers.” Sadly, we cannot claim to have followed this advice at any point in recent history. His second observation is even more important for us to understand, “Whether our religion permits Christians to vote for infidel rulers is a question which merits more consideration than it seems yet to have generally received either from the clergy or the laity. It appears to me that what the prophet said to Jehoshaphat about his attachment to Ahab [‘Shouldest thou help the ungodly and love them that hate the Lord?’ 2 Chronicles 19:2] affords a salutary lesson.” The implications of this are weighty to say the least. Can anyone who truly follows Christ elect anyone but a God-fearing man who claims loyalty to God first, even above country? When was the last time that you voted for such a man? Have you ever?

To be honest, we have the nation and government that we deserve. We have exactly what we have asked for. If the actions of our leaders are not in accordance with God’s laws, then why do we continue to elect them? The “lesser of two evils” argument can’t hold water. It implies that even though you are choosing the lesser of two evils, you are still choosing evil. Would God truly have us ever choose evil in any form? The argument that there are no Godly men running for office is a rather transparent lie. There have been plenty of Godly statesmen, willing to serve at every level of government, but the “Christians” refuse to support them because they are not “electable”. In light of all of this, I feel completely vindicated in saying that we have got what we asked for. We knew exactly the kind of men and women we elected in the past. Their thin veneer of spirituality was never truly enough to deceive anyone who did not want to be deceived. We all know that the politicians are adept at playing the “religion card”, so why are we such fools as to keep falling for it? The truth is, we aren’t. But we are comfortable. Why would we want liberty, when security is so much more comfortable? Why would we want to fight for our children’s future, when we can borrow against it to make ourselves appear prosperous for a day?

Patrick Henry’s parents were part of the spiritual revival that preceded the American Revolution. A fact that is largely ignored by believers and unbelievers alike, but I digress. Young Patrick grew up in an atmosphere of true Christianity, a movement devoted to following Christ regardless of the consequences, and believe me, the people involved in this movement faced great consequences! He later said, “It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians, not on religions, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ!” That is why America was free, that is why we valued people and liberty. That is why we flourished for so long. That is why we prosper no more. We have forsaken God; worse still, we outright oppose Him—we mock Him. How do we dare even utter the phrase, “God bless America”?

Make no mistake, God is love—but He is also righteous and just. Our rights, our laws, everything good about America comes from God. Is it any wonder that there is little good left in America anymore?

Recall the words of John Witherspoon, “There is not a single instance in history in which civil liberty was lost, and religious liberty preserved entire. If therefore we yield up our temporal property, we at the same time deliver the conscience into bondage.” Remember, as we allow our rights to be chipped away one by one, worse, as we freely offer them up, we will eventually lose our freedom to worship God. At that point the American people will be so subjugated and disarmed that we won’t even have the will or the means to fight. God is just; Israel learned this many times in the Old Testament, now it’s our turn.

Life Happens…

I’ve survived my daughter’s 4th birthday, and her subsequent illness. Her party was quite fun, with her grandparents and aunt and uncle in attendance. (I have to say, I LOVE having room to entertain!) The next day, the poor kid came down with a stomach bug. Fortunately, it seems to have been just a 24-hour thing, and she has been fine today. I hate it when my kids are sick. I told husband that when she is sick, she just sits there, she’s just not my Munchkin. That’s what I dyislike most about it when my kids are sick, they just aren’t themselves. Here’s hoping that she was athe only one to come down with it… Time will tell.

I know that I promised the next post in a series soon, but as you can tell, a few things have come up! Hopefully, I’ll have the chance to get that finished. Maybe I can carve out some time to do that tomorrow, but I won’t promise anything yet! Stay tuned!

PS– Hope you all survived Valentine’s Day, I have mixed feelings about the holiday. The best part is the chocolate that goes on clearance the day after, LOL!

The Dreaded “D” Word

It’s a nine-letter word. It starts with the letter “D”. People mistakenly believe it is synonymous with liberty. Any guesses?????

Answer: DEMOCRACY

The 1928 Army Field Manual defined democracy as: “a government of the masses. Authority derived through mass meetings or any other form of direct expression. Results in mobocracy. Attitude towards property is communistic-negative property rights. Attitude toward law is that the will of the majority shall regulate, whether it is based upon deliberation or governed by passion, prejudice and impulse, without restraint or regard to consequences. It results in demagogism, license, agitation, discontent, anarchy.”

That doesn’t sound very much like liberty, does it? In fact, it sounds pretty unattractive. In 1952, that Army Field Manual was changed, and the previous definition omitted.

Personally, I much prefer a Constitutional Representative Republic, or republic for short. What’s the difference? I thought you’d never ask!

A republic is based on the rule of law. We are governed by a Constitution whose purpose is to assure that our rights are not infringed upon by the government. In fact, said document severely curtails the power allowed the government. The people are sovereign in a republic, not the politicians. The people are to elect statesmen to represent them in carrying out the limited functions of government and to see that the people’s rights are not infringed upon. Very little legislation and regulation is required in a true republic. A republic tends to foster a nation of innovation, personal responsibility, creativity, self-sufficiency, generosity, peace, justice, education, and general well-being. Why is this? Perhaps because people are free to pursue their ideas and dreams without unnecessary interference. As long as you do not infringe upon the rights of others, you are free to live your life as your conscience directs. What a novel idea!

Speaking of rights, another common misconception is that our rights come from the Constitution. No one can grant to another that which is not his to give. Our rights are God-given. Handed to us by our Creator. Every person is entitled to the same rights because they were given to us by He who is the God of all. No man can ever take those rights from you. They may oppress you, they may stifle your rights, but they can NEVER take them from you, because they are from God alone! The Constitution was a document written by men in an attempt to ensure that the new American government would not infringe upon the God-given rights of the people, as every other government on Earth had. It was an imperfect, but nonetheless, brilliant document. Sadly, we did not heed the advice of Thomas Jefferson, and bind down the government with the chains of the Constitution. Instead we gave them free-reign to trample the rights of any whom they chose, so long as we were not terribly inconvenienced ourselves.

It has been said that in a democracy, 51% of the people trample the rights of the other 49%. An accurate assessment. Thomas Jefferson said, “The republican is the only form of government which is not eternally at open or secret war with the rights of mankind.” Jefferson was not a fan of democracy, but a champion of liberty. John Adams noted, “Democracy… while it lasts is more bloody than either aristocracy or monarchy. Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There is never a democracy that did not commit suicide.” His son, John Quincy Adams admonished us, “Posterity: you will never know how much it has cost my generation to preserve your freedom. I hope you will make good use of it.” How could we explain our current state to him? Benjamin Franklin had an amusing analogy for democracy: “Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote!” By now you get the point I am trying to make. The early American patriots and founders loathed democracy and championed liberty. That is why they established a republic.

However, republics are hard to maintain. History has given us examples of this. Traditionally, a nation regresses from republic, to democracy, to imperialism, to dictatorship. That is why when asked what kind of government we had been given Benjamin Franklin replied, “A republic, if you can keep it.” Prophetic words indeed. In fact I would argue that we are firmly in the imperialism phase of government. The Great American Empire has been established, but it will surely fall. Make no mistake. Empires always fall in the end. As Thomas Jefferson noted, “I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever.” Words more true now than ever.

The tyranny that we face in America today is more than tenfold the tyranny that sparked the American Revolution. The reasons cited in the Declaration of Independence for breaking with England, can be cited in reference to our own government today. Samuel Adams said, “If ever time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in Government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin.” That time has come. Thomas Paine noted, “It is the duty of the patriot to protect his country from its government.” From the Declaration of Independence we read, “That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it….” It is our right, even our DUTY to set things to right. Or, shall we choose to leave it to our children? I’ll quote Thomas Paine again in response, “If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace.”

Mark Twain observed, “In times of change, the Patriot is a scarce man; brave, hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, however, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a Patriot.” Men and women with the character to be patriots are sorely lacking today. We are far too comfortable in our apathy. After all, they haven’t come for us, why get involved? Make no mistake, if you attempt to hold on to even a shred of liberty, they WILL come for you. By then, there may be no one left to defend you, because you did not choose to defend those who would have come to your aid. To once again quote Mr. Franklin, “We must, indeed, all hang together or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately.”

 

Stay tuned for the next post in the series addressing God in government.

Seeing it All Again

School with Munchkin is interesting, fun and at times challenging! Of course, just being a Mom is all of that and so much more! We are making progress, and she is enjoying learning new things. I wonder how much of it Mr. Q will just pick up on his own while I work with Munchkin. Kids are amazing.

I finished knitting a nice, wool sweater for myself. With it being so chilly lately I figured that I could do with a warm layer to throw on. It came out quite nice, but the sleeves were four inches too long. So, I just cut off the excess and refinished the edges. Cutting was scary, but it turned out fine, and now it fits perfectly. I think that’s one of the things that I like about knitting. Every project can be salvaged. Even if it means ripping the whole thing out and just using the yarn for something different! Anything can be fixed one way or another.

Yeah, I’m one of those people. A fixer. I like to fix things. If something is wrong, I have the irrepressible urge to FIX it. Problem is, I can’t. I can’t fix everything. I can’t even fix most things! Leaving it up to God to take care of is a challenge for me. I keep wanting to tinker, wanting to get it done faster. (Can you tell that I’m not a patient person?)

I suppose that’s one more thing I like about knitting. It’s been compared to meditation for some. I guess it’s true for me. It gives my fingers something to do, while leaving my mind free. Free to think, to imagine, and free to pray. I like to converse with God while I knit. I sometimes have a hard time just sitting still, and the repetitive motions help me to calm down, and just be. Once I calm down, then I can really pray, or even just meditate on whatever it is that God has been showing me lately.

It’s interesting where God meets us. He meets us wherever we happen to be. That’s so amazing to me. Explaining the concept that God is everywhere to my children has brought back some of the awe of the fact that God is right here, with me, right now. To them it is amazing that He is right here, even though we can’t see Him. Seeing their amazement has brought back some of mine. Telling my children about Him has given me the chance to see it all through new eyes again. That’s one of the gifts that God gives us when he gives us children. The chance to see it all again for the first time. The chance to remember meeting Him for the first time.

First Day of School

Munchkin had her “first day of school” yesterday. Truly, we begin educating our children from the day they are born, but since she is almost four and quite bright, I thought that setting aside some time each day for an actual lesson would be good. It lasted for 35 minutes, which at her age is quite good for an attention span. She learned about the color red, and practiced writing the letter A and a. Writing will take some practice, but I expected that. She did not. At one point she looked up at me and said, “I’m having a hard time learning…” I hugged her and explained that she was doing just fine and it takes some time and practice to learn things. After 35 minutes she declared, “I want to be done with school!” So, after she finished that round of writing A and a, I sent her into the living room to play with her brothers. I think that she expected things to progress much faster! We can’t learn to read overnight, unfortunately! She will do just fine though, and I have no doubt that once she learns to read she will follow in her parents’ footsteps and become an avid reader.

I think that it is impossible to be well-educated without being well-read. I am constantly surprised by the number of people in my age bracket that tell me they don’t really read anything except magazines. I cannot imagine never sitting down with a good book! There is so much to be learned through reading, I could never run out of reading material. The founding fathers of America had impressive personal libraries. I think this is a good indicator of how vital reading is to good education. Already we are establishing our own personal library, and we already have several books that are on the required reading list for our children!

I find it interesting that during colonial times in America, the literacy rate was quite a bit higher than it is now. Rather surprising in this day of compulsory school attendance. That a largely home-educated populous were more literate than we are today is rather telling.

A commonly held opinion in that time period was that it was important for children to learn to read so that they could read the scriptures for themselves. Remember, the abuses of the Church of England was quite fresh in the minds of these people. An awakening was preceding the Revolution in America, and people wanted their children to discover a personal relationship with God through His Word. In fact the Bible was the common “textbook” of the day for teaching children to read. What better first reading material!

The goals of education have changed greatly over the past 250 years. I do not have the goal of simply teaching my kids reading, writing and arithmetic. No, my educational goals for my children go far beyond that. I want them to learn to read so that they may read the scriptures for themselves. I want them to learn history, so that they may see the blessings granted a nation who follows God, and the judgment that befalls those who do not. I want them to learn science so that they may look in awe upon the order and majesty of God’s creation. I want them to learn mathematics so they may understand the just weight and measure that God calls for in the Bible. I want them to learn to write so that they may share with others what God has revealed to them. Most importantly, I want them to learn the Scriptures, so that no man may sway them from the truth.

A homeschooling mom once said it best. The most important things we will ever teach our children cannot be measured on an achievement test. Character cannot be measured by any but God. Our childrens’ character is what we are to carefully shape through education. God commands parents to teach their children of Him constantly. God has entrusted us with a precious child, our greatest task is to point their heart to the cross.