And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
A Guide to Praying Intentionally
When it seems like discouragement abounds, we tend to look at the glass half full. But here is a list, in no particular order, of 6 best practices for the homeschool mom that will get her ready to turn the glass upside down and have her thirst for the living water that only Christ can bring.
I read an article recently about two brothers who were taught a good lesson growing up. No matter what bad situation they were going through, they learned that being happy wasn’t dependent on their circumstances. Their mother showed them that “optimism is a courageous choice you can make every day, especially in the face of adversity.” This is true for the home school mom who is in the tyranny of all that begs for her attention. Life is good when we can avoid griping throughout our day. Our gripes are usually about what we can’t control anyway, so we should remember what Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to [his] purpose.” I take comfort knowing that all things signifies just that. All things, whether good or bad, have a way of working for good. The condition is to love God and take the call He has purposed for us.
Count your blessings
Ever since we moved into our new town, we’ve been collecting blessings in a galvanized milk jug. It is our jug of blessings. The children think of something they are grateful for and write it on an index card and put it in the jug. Over Thanksgiving, we pulled out all the blessings and read them to each other. Some had been forgotten, some had been remembered. It’s a reassurance that God keeps on giving when we don’t deserve anything. It keeps our mind on Christ as the giver of all things, not because we are good, but because He is good. Proverbs 10:22 says, “The blessing of the Lord, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it.”
It is important to go to our prayer closet when we need to communicate with God. We read our Bible because we need to hear from God, but we go to God in prayer when we need to speak to Him. The prayer closet is that room where we pour our grief and afflictions on the throne of Christ, and where we can rest. Matthew 11:28-30 says, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” I want to learn from the Lord and praying is the best way I can find the rest I need from a heart heavy with the burdens of this life.
I find that when I sing, I release joy welled up in my chest. I sing with my daughter as I comb through her hair in the mornings. We sing “Jesus loves me” and it is so sweet to listen to her praise the Lord with me in this very sincere way. We start our day like this and it forms our mood for the rest of the day. Proverbs 17:22 says, “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.”
I heard a long time ago that if you see a need, take the lead. One day, in the bank, my children sat waiting for me while an elderly couple arrived. My eldest son gave up his seat for the old man. He said to him, You’re a good boy. Not many like you these days. The simple acts of kindness, the kind words to others, can make a big difference in the world we inhabit with our neighbors. Proverbs 19:17 says, “He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the LORD; and that which he hath given will he pay him again.” We have more to gain by being kind.
This one takes more work than the others, but the benefits are huge! Yes, we need to take care of our mind, our spirit, our souls, but we must not neglect our bodies. We may have heard 1 Corinthians 6:19 before: “Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?” How do we keep the temple of God holy? We are vessels and our bodies are the residence of the Spirit. This is a convicting thought, isn’t it? It is good to feed ourselves that which is good and pure. When we exercise, the happy hormones (endorphins) kick into full gear and it feels ever good! We’re more limber and our energy rises. Our tank is full and we can keep chugging away in the toils of motherhood with a better sense of awareness.
We may not have all that the world proclaims is good and necessary for happiness. But with all these areas of our lives, we are rich! I would rather be rich in the Lord, than rich in wealth and possessions. I would rather cleave to that which is good. There is always a new year to renew the vows we have made with the Lord, to follow Him and live for Him, in all things.
What else would you add to this list?