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In the Midst of it all - Issue 202
May 27, 2011
Hi there! ....

This week I’ve noticed that my youngest isn’t getting the play time he wants with his older siblings. This is tricky – they are growing up and have other things on their minds, and other things filling their days and yet he still wants a tumble, he wants adventures outside and he wants someone to laugh with. As I said, this is tricky and yet as a family we need to address this, each one of us will need to be aware of him and be prepared to give a little time. How easy it is to overlook the youngest one at times. We can overlook their training in lifeskills, we can overlook them taking on responsibility and we can over look their social needs as they get swept along with the rest of the family. Though really this isn’t a just youngest child situation because we need to be aware of the needs for each of our children – are the needs for each and every unique individual being met in your family? They all have physical, emotional, moral, mental, spiritual needs. They all have talents and strengths that need encouraging and weaknesses that need working on. It is tricky to balance it all and to be honest, we can’t address them all at the same time. But when we become aware of something specific that needs addressing we need to take the time to see how the family can work together to meet that need and not let it slip into the busyness of family life.

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In the Midst of it all

This week I read the verses in Habakkuk 3:17-19 Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Saviour. The sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights.

It struck me that this was a verse for mums – we needed to listen to the heart cry of Habakkuk, and look at our own circumstances and see if we would respond to God in the same way.

We are a society driven by success, and mums, even stay at home mums, or homeschool mums are sucked into this just as much as career driven folk. We assess ourselves based on what we have produced. We ask ourselves – Was it a good day? Have I achieved my goals for this month? This year? Where are the results?

Habakkuk was in a serious situation here – he had no food, no profit to tide him over for the coming dry season, he had no hope when he considered the natural circumstances and yet he chose to be joyful in God.

When we look at educating our children – maybe we haven’t finished our lesson plans on time, maybe there are gaps beginning to show, maybe we are simply behind – major! We look at our education goals and we say “we have produced nothing” but can we say – “yet will I rejoice in the Lord”?

When we look at our children’s lifeskills and we say – they have so much to learn, or we find ourselves in a situation and we say “I can’t believe I haven’t taught them that yet”. Our training has not gone the way we expected – we haven’t produced the skills we dreamed of but can we say – “yet will I rejoice in the Lord”?

Our children have walked away from the faith and values that we taught for so long and though I have not experienced this, I ask you – can you still say – “Yet will I rejoice in the Lord” – as your parenting has not produced the things your heart so desired.

When Habakkuk saw his circumstances, saw how little he had produced, he made two choices:

  1. To rejoice, or to be joyful in God and secondly,
  2. To recognise his need for God

When we look around and see that things aren’t as we had hoped for – be it in our day, our home, our family, our homescool etc we can make the same two choices – rejoice because God is God, and then recognise our need for Him.

I was reminded of the DVD “Facing the Giants” (a family favourite). One of its core messages was “If we win we’ll praise Him, if we lose we’ll praise Him.” This is having our eyes fixed on Jesus regardless of our circumstances, regardless of how much you have produced, regardless of the results.

Will this be my attitude today – if today goes well, according to plan I will praise God but what if everything gets turned upside down and shaken and we achieve nothing will I praise Him? I know I will praise God when my house is clean and someone comes to visit, but what about those times he sends someone along and the house is a mess? Will I praise him then? What about with our end of homeschool results – if my child goes onto university I will praise God but if my child has gaps in their education will I praise God?

Praise comes from a complete trust. It isn’t based on results but rather based on who God is. Do you trust God? Trust him with your day? Trust him with your children? Circumstances change but God doesn’t change and neither should my response to him.

You can insert your own circumstances here…
Though the children fail at math, and there are no essays to score
Though the house is a mess, and no food in the fridge
Though there are no to-do lists checked off, and no lesson plans made

yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Saviour.
The sovereign Lord is my strength;
He makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
He enables me to go on the heights.

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Until next week

Belinda Letchford
Living life with her kids in Australia!

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