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We Set the Tone - Issue 142
March 05, 2010
Hi there! ....

This week I’m trying to establish a new habit – reading books. I read a lot on the internet, I dip into a lot of books, and I have established a habit of reading a fiction book just before I go to bed but I need to get back to reading good, solid, helpful books. I have decided to stop and sit while I eat lunch (usually I just nibble and keep going) and read for at least 15minutes. 15 minutes isn’t long, but it is better than what I am doing now – 0 minutes!! I can see this 15minutes stretching to 30minutes and then I’ll be happy. I’m also disciplining myself to take notes while I read – this not only helps with my retention and learning but gives the children a model for their reading journal.

Before I came to this decision though I had to find the book I wanted to read. I had 4 short piles in different places around the house of books I had put aside to read, or read for a second time. Jessica helped me collect them, categorise them, prioritise them and make a short selection of 4 books. These are now on my reading pile, the rest have found their way back to the regular shelf. I think this was one reason I wasn’t reading – I had too much choice, so I just didn’t do anything. Now I have purpose.

Live life with your kids!

We set the Tone

Expressing joy in each task as I give it my best effort
~Character First

I had one day this week that was a tough day – I woke up and it was just all wrong! I felt blah, I was unprepared, overwhelmed and disjointed. I had to take the girls into town, do a little shopping and come back home to have some one on one time with Daniel. On my drive home things started to stir in my heart – Enthusiasm – I sure wasn’t showing much in my day. A little song came to mind: The joy of the Lord is my strength. I pondered this for the rest of my drive home – my enthusiasm was to be in the Lord, and by His strength.

As I studied “Joy of the Lord” I came across this verse:

Although the fig tree shall not blossom,
neither shall fruit be in the vines;
the labour of the olive shall fail,
and the fields shall yield no meat;
the flock shall be cut off from the fold,
and there shall no herd be in the stalls:
Yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will joy in the God of my salvation.
Habakkuk 3:17&18

Can’t get much more going wrong than in that passage – the fig tree, the grapes, the olives, the fields, the flock, and the herds – all failing! Talk about me having a bad day!!

Yet, will I rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation, says Habakkuk. Nothing takes away the truth that God is God, even in those bad moments. Nothing takes away the joy of our salvation, even in those bad moments. The decision is ours though –will I say, regardless of these things I will rejoice?

Enthusiasm is a choice – to decide to express joy regardless of what is going on, a choice to give each task my best effort with a smile on my face.

As I progressed through my day, with these thoughts in my mind things started to look up. I didn’t feel much better but I had a different attitude. The thing that struck me – and concerned me though – was the atmosphere in my home – everyone was dragging their feet. It made me realise the influence that I have in our home – I set the tone, the atmosphere. And I hadn’t done a very good job of it at that point. Things had to turn around and as I started to show enthusiasm in even the mundane tasks that needed to be done, the atmosphere in the home started to lift - it was catchy

I think the lesson I learnt this day is relevant for so many areas in our life – My attitude sets the tone in our family. I can set the tone for learning, I can set the tone for a heart of worship, I can set the tone for helpfulness and kindness and so much more.

Enthusiasm isn’t just over-energetic, bold noise and excitement. Enthusiasm can be quiet, gentle and consistent. Enthusiasm is being inspired, showing eagerness, passion and devotion to the task at hand. Enthusiasm is doing something with your whole heart. Enthusiasm is letting your passions show through on your face via a smile!

Is this how our kids see us throughout the day? If they do, I’m sure the atmosphere in our home will be light and life-giving because enthusiasm is catchy!

Website Updates
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Blog Updates
Goings ons at our Place - a few photos showing what's been happening at our place.

A New Tradition - we now have a new tradition for Sunday evening - well, something we hope will develop into a tradition.

Blending Life with Lessons e-book - Does your everyday life challenge your homeschool ideas? This is my journey as I discover that it is possible to disciple my children in today's busy lifestyle.

Heart Focus Parenting - A heart focused parent will keep their attention on their child's heart for God, instead of on external behaviours.

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Until next week

Belinda Letchford
Living life with her kids in Australia!

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About Live Life with your kids Newsletter I know homeschool mums are busy with lots to read, so I have divided my newsletter into four sections and you will receive one section a week; short but regular newsletters!
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