The Church at home

 

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I have been out of practice in having a quiet time.

I have 4 children, and there is very little time in the day where someone isn’t awake needing something. I hit the ground running in the morning, and I’m emotionally drained at the end of the day. When the 6 month old is finally asleep at the end of the night, I am reluctant to go to bed (even though I’m exhausted) because I’d like to spend some time to myself. This is not a complaint, just a reality.

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My mother recently told me about a devotional she’s been doing, and I decided to try it out. It doesn’t take a lot of time, and I’m in desperate need of that well that doesn’t run dry. Two days ago I tried it and I felt nothing. Yesterday I cried because I realized what I have been missing for a while. Today I had a revelation.

Today was different. I woke up this morning and thought, I’m not going to get a few minutes alone. So far that’s been true; I haven’t. BUT. I sat down anyway with the devotional on my phone app, and decided to read it out loud to the kids. They may not be able to understand all of it, but they don’t understand everything being taught from the pulpit on Sunday mornings at our family integrated church either. I knew I needed to spend the time with God and if it had to be with the kids so be it. I’m so glad I got through it.

This devotional is set up very much like a contemporary church service. It starts with a song, continues with the Word, gives some guided prayer, has a motivational conclusion, and takes maybe 15 minutes to complete. For a busy mom, short and sweet with something to leave me thinking on for the rest of the day is perfect.

On an ideal day, after I’ve served the kids their breakfast, and everyone has gotten dressed, we will do a morning basket. We start with prayer, reading a portion of Scripture, learn a hymn, and read some books on different topics.

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However, as I shared this devotional with my family, it dawned on me that this is what I should be doing daily with them. Not the devotional itself, but church. Somehow I hadn’t equated morning time with church at home. I equated it with school. But as a Christian mom and homeschool mom, my home and my school are my daily church. I’m a director of sorts, and the children are the congregation.

As a teacher it is my responsibility to teach them subjects, as a mom I need to teach my kids how to tie their shoes, and how to have good manners, but most importantly as a Christian, my children are my disciples. They will learn from me, good or bad, who Jesus is, theology, and whether or not those things are important. I am the assistant pastor of our home. My home is a mini church where I train my children during the week to participate in a larger service on Sundays. My family is a mini community where I train my children to be part of a much larger community locally and worldwide, and that they should love each other because they are each others neighbor.

In viewing my home and family this way, I am also challenged in my thoughts an attitudes as a mother, teacher, and missionary to my family.

FYI, I’ve had the Caedmon’s Call station running on Pandora all morning as a result of my revelation.

Psalm 34:1 ESV I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall be continually in my mouth.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

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knitting friday

I said I would post my knitting once a week. This way I can show you if you’re interested. If you’re not, you only have to endure it once a week, and not EVERY DAY!

Here is some of my pre-Christmas knitting:

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1. baby booties!

2. girl version baby blanket (still need to finish my boy blanket)

3. leaf garland headband that I improvised (my husband is a good sport)

4. a mounted deer head given to one of my nephews

5. a commissioned hat I knit for a friend to give her husband for Christmas (my first paid work!)

I had put down my needles pretty much from Christmas till this week. It has been rough because I had volunteered for a test knit (so sorry Justyna!), have a a baby hat swap hat to make and mail out by the end of the month, 2 items still to knit for my niece and nephews (Andi, the gifts will arrive, I promise) and send, and a KAL (knit-a-long) project to finish by the end of the month. Phew! I feel like I have more knitting to do this month than I did for Christmas!

Not to mention that I have yet to take our New Years Photos and have those mailed out (so sorry family). 3 weeks of either being off your feet or taking care of others really puts you majorly behind!

Well I picked them up again this week, and knit a couple of things to get myself motivated to to fulfill my knitting obligations . I felt absolutely overwhelmed by the things that are left to do, and yes, I am going to try to get them all done in less than 2 weeks (I’m insane). Each project I tried to get back to, I had zero motivation. No inspiration for what patterns to pick for a special niece and nephew, no desire to pick up any already-started project (or WIP as we say in the knitting community). I needed to get my head in the game.

This usually means a bit of quick baby knitting. It did just the trick to get me back in the knitting groove.

IMG_1370My little Knit-a-Long group is hosting a mitten pattern donation KAL right now (Click here for details, there’s still time to join!), and I had started the project. So I picked up my half finished mitten and figured I’d better at least finish one of them!

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1. Camilla Babe Sweater

2. Dew Drops Mitts

That’s all till next week where I plan to have ALL of my required knitting DONE!!

self-sustainability for everyone #8

passing on our values / /

Something I’m learning is very important to the self-sustained lifestyle is to pass on our values to the next generation. There is so much knowledge and skill that for the most part has been lost within the past two generations, and now as adults we are trying to relearn things that most people learned as children a hundred years ago.

My grandmother was born in 1913 and raised in a home, like all of us. Unlike all of us, she knew how to get by without indoor plumbing and without her family having to run to the grocery store every week. As a child, her family didn’t even own a car. Her father was a butcher and when she grew up she married my grandfather, who was also a butcher. However, her father was the sort of man who raised his own meat, while my grandfather butchered meat off a truck in a grocery store. My grandfather didn’t want his children to learn butchery because he wanted them to get a “good job” and make “good lives.” In one generation so much had changed! Not that there was anything wrong with wanting a better life for his kids, but society’s idea of what defines a “good life” had shifted.

When Joe and I talk I know for the most part he feels like a lot of the stuff we do, or that we have desires to do, that he should already have learned as a child. He is frustrated that the country boys of the 1800’s learned woodworking and animal husbandry and farming as children from their fathers. Young girls were taught very young how to cook and plan meals based on what was grown and fed in their yards, they knew how to sew, mend, knit, embroider, clean, and make a lovely home with very little. Now we live in an industrial, materialistic, hoarding, money hungry, rat race that has left most people feeling empty and unfulfilled.

Joe and I talk a lot about the things we will teach Piper as soon as she is able to put her hand to the task. She is already helping me make the bed by passing me the pillows. Soon I will teach her to bake and cook by measuring ingredients and chopping vegetables. Eventually she will have indoor and outdoor chores. She will be taught to milk the goat, and help plant seeds and then transplant the sprouts. She will one day be allowed to go out hunting with her father when she has developed the patience to be still and quiet. We will teach all our children these things.

But teaching skills isn’t enough. We have to teach them why it is important. If when they get older they see it is easier to push pencils than to till fields, they may abandon the things they are taught as children if they do not have the foundation of values to show them why it is a better life to be self reliant.

the values we teach / /

Everyone pursuing a self-sufficient lifestyle will have different reasons for doing so. I assume health is probably the big one, but the rest of the reasons may vary from person to person. Whatever your values are, explain them in detail and often.

Joe and I believe it is God’s call on our life. We believe that God created the world and left humanity with the responsibility to care for the land, plants, animals and environment. We will teach our children that it is God’s call on their life to continue to carry out that responsibility.

We also believe that parents have the greatest influence on their children. Good parents will have a positive influence and bad parents a negative influence, but either way, it is a strong influence. The more time a parent spends with their child the more lasting the influence. So we plan to school our children at home and keep enforcing the positive influence of our own values. We plan to teach them about the world, but we also plan to monitor the influence that society would have in causing our children to be influenced contrary to our values. Once they reach the age to be able to reason for themselves and make their own life decisions we will let them go. If they choose to reject our influence at that point, it will be their decision, but by then at least they will hopefully have skills and values to fall back on. Or maybe they will choose to carry on the legacy we have fostered for them.

thursday thanks

7 of 8 chicks that have hatched…several more eggs remain unhatched

Taking time to reflect on God’s goodness, no matter the circumstances.

Thanking God for:

  • the opportunity to see chickens hatch. It is such a cool experience.
  • not being able to find my canner. There must be a reason I shouldn’t make dill relish today?
  • P being able to poop again, and for the wisdom to figure out it was a [cows] milk allergy.
  • being out of the woods with my morning sickness. Now just waiting for the burst of energy that comes along with the second trimester.
  • getting to meet with my midwife on Monday.
  • the wisdom imparted to me by my parents.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 “Give thanks in all circumstances for this is the will of God concerning you

a love of thrifting and antiquing

I have always loved the feel of things that are old-timey New England. I love cobblestone streets, brickwork, monuments, and even old New England farmhouses (even though my plans growing up were always to be a city girl). I also like 50s-70s housewares; everything from 50’s housewife dresses, to olive green leather upholstery, floral wallpaper, and colorful Pyrex. You might call my style retro rustic?

Joe and I are approaching our 2 year wedding anniversary this September, and looking back, I think planning my wedding was when I truly started honing my love for things old and antique. I thrifted ALL the plates and mugs for my place settings.

After the honeymoon, we lived with my grandfather for several months, and close to where he lives were a couple of antique stores that I fell in love with. I would pick things up here and there as I had need of them, or if i thought they would compliment my style for what I wanted our home to eventually look like. I really like the idea of reusing old things in this way. I feel like I have recycled something no longer in use, am using it instead of allowing it to collect dust and fall into disrepair, and I’m cherishing something from the past that has history and character.

One day I brought Joe along with me, and all of a sudden he was hooked too. On old-timey farm and hand tools! Now whenever we get a little money to spare, we go on dates to the antique store to see what we can find.

I hope to start sharing a little bit of my interior homesteading style which comes as a result of my thrifted and antiqued finds. I also hope you will share with me the little treasures you find as well. Share photo from your blog with me, and I will share the link! Now doesn’t that sound like fun for all? Also, I wonder if that would make a good blog hop? Would anyone be interested in that?

Photos by Kasey & Jessie Photography

thursday thanks

1 – our 1st ripening tomato / / 2 – pretty purple potato blossoms / / 3 – summer squash / / 4 – nursing kid / / 5 – goat hugs

Taking time to reflect on God’s goodness, no matter the circumstances.

Thanking God this week for:

  • restoring my computer to me!
  • the added blessing of a second goat in milk
  • fresh raw milk every day and homemade yogurt from said milk
  • learning new skills
  • the provision of food that is brought forth from the earth whose source isn’t the supermarket
  • cheap thrifted finds
  • a long afternoon nap for the little one
  • keeping me humble when I start to get a little self-righteous
  • my husband; without whom, my life would not be what it is. That he works so hard to make a reasonable place for our family and animals and that he challenges me to become more industrious, a harder worker, and a gentler wife, mother and woman.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 “Give thanks in all circumstances for this is the will of God concerning you