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Dependability - Issue 290
March 08, 2013
Hi there! ....

This week Busyness took its effect on us this week. I didn’t get enough lesson prep done last weekend and consequently lessons didn’t go as smoothly as they have been. When I’m not prepared it is easier to find other things for the kids to do. So though we had a good week, doing good things, it wasn’t the best. But that is okay. We have these cycles – sometimes they are created by busyness, lack of discipline, sickness, or other priorities in life pushing in. I hope by my sharing some of these cycles that happen in our home, that it helps you see the ups and downs, the flow of family life.

A highlight for us this week was our homeschool concert. This is a yearly event and it seems to get better each year. It is a delight to see the kids gaining confidence in standing in front of a crowd and performing. Of course some of that confidence comes as they grow older , some comes as they get used to being a part of the group and some comes as they practice their skills. A lesson to be learnt from that is that the reluctance, or timidity of a 5 year old, does not mean they will never ever be able to stand up in front of people – they grow into these things and we need to give them the space to do so.

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fulfilling what I consented to do,
even if it means unexpected sacrifice.
~Character First

Dependability is all about what we promise and that others can count on you.

What does it mean to make a promise? The Bible tells us that we shouldn’t have to make promises – we shouldn’t have to ‘spit and cross our hearts and hope to die’ but that our word should be binding enough. When we say we’ll do something – that is a promise – we need to keep to our word.

Who are we making promises to? When we discussed this many years ago it was a lightbulb moment for my young kids to see that when they say, “yes Mum” that was a promise. They had agreed to do something. The same idea continues today – when we say ‘yes’ or ‘ok’ to something we have made a promise – we need to keep our word.

This means we shouldn’t be saying ‘yes’ or ‘ok’ absentmindedly. This is something for both adults and children to think about. What are you agreeing to do? King Herod made a rash promise to give his step-daughter anything she asked for, upto half his kingdom. When she asked for John the Baptists head, he was exceedingly sorry and yet, he kept his promises, and John the Baptist was killed. (Mark 6:17-28) This story is a good example of making a rash decision – making promises – and regretting it.

I think we can see very clearly that we say ‘yes’ or ‘ok’ to God and to other people and that those commitments need to be taken seriously. But we can also make commitments to ourselves – these are the ones that we often ignore. These are the commitments we’ve been talking about in our house.

My routine, my to-do list, the little decisions I make that direct my days – these are the commitments I make to myself. These are the times I’ve said to myself ‘yes, I’m going to do that.” Am I dependable? Do I do what I say I will do? Can I count on myself?

Dependability requires sacrifice. The definition Character First gives says as much… even if it means unexpected sacrifice. We aren’t very comfortable with sacrifice. Being dependable means I may have to give up on a little pleasure and get my responsibilities done first. It may mean I have to say no to something even though I really really want to say yes. We are comfortable helping our children through these decisions (though it is hard) I am sure we’ve all talked through the issue of having accepted one invitation, even though the second one that comes our way is more exciting. It is the same issue when we look at our to-do list and something else pops up. We already have a commitment to get something else done. We need to be dependable – do what we have said we will do.

Just like the kids didn’t realise saying ‘yes mum’ was a commitment – something they had promised to do – we don’t always realise that in taking on responsibilities we are saying ‘yes, that is what we will do’. Even though I don’t make a daily decision to make home, feed my family or train my children it is a responsibility I have taken on – there is a commitment to do so – that is what I said I would do – I need to face those tasks with dependability: fulfilling what I consented to do, even if it means unexpected sacrifice.

I blog throughout the week at Live Life with Your Kids! This week I wrote:

My Bookshop

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 book/e-book - A heart focused parent will keep their attention on their child's heart for God, instead of on external behaviours.

Restoring the Heart, Mind and Soul of Christmas Do your Christmas celebrations line up with what you believe? Do your celebrations help your children learn more about Jesus?

This e-book is based on a workshop I held for a couple of years to help families see that Christmas can be a significant tradition in our family life. If we are intentional about how our family celebrates we have the opportunity to use this time to teach our children about Jesus, and his love for each one of us.

My Sitemap is a quick reference to all you will find on Lifestyle-Homeschool. I encourage you to have a browse around!

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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

Live life with your Kids newsletter is about being a deliberate parent, about enjoying family life and using the opportunities that happen to teach and train your children in righteousness (right living with God). I hope that you will find regular encouragement as you live life with your kids!

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