My son just returned from his school day with a big smile of satisfaction on his face. As we left to go on holiday the day before the schools officially took a break after a very busy first term, we only received our son’s report card this afternoon, and what a ecstatic surprise it was!
Let me start at the beginning;
As a young woman we have no idea what we are in for once we fall pregnant. We have no idea what an adventure we are in for once that little person comes into this world. Even less of an idea the death to self, the un-glorified labor of love, the quiet suffering and the anxieties and fears we are about to face as we embark on this new journey of life. But, when we allow God to shift our focus, reform our view of motherhood and parenting we are also in for a very exciting and utterly gratifying journey.
As a young mother I wanted knowledge and understanding but I didn’t want to read books upon books and magazine on magazine and end up confused and not knowing what end is up and what end is down, so I turned to the one book that has it all…..the Word of God, the Bible. I searched and searched the scriptures and prayed the prayers instructed by the apostles and prophets in the scriptures and leaned on the Holy Spirit to guide my every move. I also drew from other mothers who had their little ones before me and were in the same frequency of spirit as I and I used one book written by a Portuguese nurse whose basic knowledge every mother needs so as to not run to the ER for the slightest sniff, cough, rash or spot.
It so happened that I didn’t have just one little person enter my life at a time, well, every so many years, but ended up having a new addition to the family every year for three years straight! It suffices to say that by the time number three was added I was getting desperate for some sound face to face advice J
The Lord never leaves us nor forsakes us and so put it on the heart of the co-founder or our church to start a weekly woman’s meeting for one and half hours once a week at her home. I grabbed this opportunity with both hands, both feet and all that was in me!
For eight years straight I went every Thursday morning unless one of the children or I myself were ill, and yes, I took them with.
We were taught that a child can from the age of two to three start helping around in the house, let them help clean even if it takes longer. Let them sit with their feet in the dish water as you wash dishes (sharp utensils removed of course) and play with their feet in the water and help wash. We were taught how to make our children part of everything we do.
Let me just jump backward quickly, when I had my three elder children we were living in Germany, I had no help or nearby family and my husband was a chef in top restaurants and hotels so he couldn’t be home all that much though when he was he was all hands on. So because of that I was used to having to do everything with my children, shopping, showering, washing, ironing, vacuuming, cooking, you name it, they went with. I remember at one stage I would walk around with one child in a Carrymore on my back, one in a Baby Bjorn on my stomach and one in a pram and so I walked to shop, the park, I even often walked in the house like this till they fell asleep while they were all sick and crying at the same time! Insane, I know! But that was life, and I loved and sometimes hated it, but had to make peace with it.
Back in Cape Town as I said we started woman’s meeting.
We were taught that by allowing your children to be with you they develop a high level of intelligence as well as the natural ability to have common-sense in everyday life skills.
I was also a selfish mommy, once my children were the age to go to play group at four or five I sent them, despite very clear warning and encouragement to keep them with me. None the less they went to school till my eldest was in gr.3 the second in gr.2 and the third in gr.1 before I finally listened and took them out to home school.
(Just need to quickly add something here: my son then in gr.1, was finally noticed as having definite learning hindrances and in June of gr.1 suddenly realized he ought to have remained in gr.R and here we were, stuck! We were sent to a developmental psychologist who after evaluating him said he would amount to nothing and be no more than a shelf packer. I got into a bit of words with this person and in the end said I’ll home school him rather, to which he smirked and mockingly said, “You as a mother can never have everything the specialists can offer, you will never succeed without continual help from O.T’s, physiotherapists, psychologists and remedial staff.” I took my bag, my son and left. And there and then took them out the very next day)
I could see which of my children were never supposed to go to play group and which one was fine with it. So for a couple of years I had to deal with my guilt and shame and get to a place where I make peace with my mistakes and allow God to turn into good that which I missed cause I love Him and I am called by Him.
I homeschooled much according to the Charlotte Mason approach of just being with your children and we learn by discovery. This meaning, for instance they went through a phase of collecting garden snails as pets, yes, pets, and we then would look at the shape of the shell and what it was made of, and even draw our snails. We’d look at the healing properties in snail slime, what they eat etc. So at times I felt that I was doing nothing with my children and they were going to grow up idiots and not know anything. But the Lord is faithful and ever encouraging and I had to learn to stand on His Word and believe it and His promises to ward us. The thing I did most of all was to involve God in everything we did, we learnt scripture verses, we meditated on the teachings of the apostles and took some of the Bible college material and worked through that, like Hearing God’s voice and then Id incorporate a study on the ear, how it looks what it does and we would even make our own model of the ear. FUN I tell you!!
My one son just never seemed to make it on the reading and writing side and started showing some other “deficiencies”. I battled year in and year out believing we heard God, believing we did the right thing, believing we are obedient, believing I’m doing my children good and not harm. It was a battle of my faith for five years, last year being the pinnacle! I felt like a failure and the worst parent in the world! My son wanted to go back to school ‘cause he wants mom to be mom and school to be school (we had to start more disciplined style working).
Today I write, pleased to report, God’s wisdom through His prophetess who instructed us in godly mothering paid off! We received my son’s report card as I said, and he scored a B aggregate, he got A’s for Economics and Management Science, Life skills and Orientation, Natural Science, Art and Culture! These are all practical subjects that require observation and practical problem solving, things children learn by being part of our daily activities and life. (Let me just say, moms with children in school can also have outstanding in tune children if they incorporate them in everything they do outside of school hours, keep them as part of your life and spend time with them. I know mothers with school going children who apply the same teachings I do and their children stand out cause they have common-sense and are sensitive to what goes on around them) I have been ridiculed, mocked, despised etc. and had to resist the spirit of this age that just works for self and self-love and selfish ambition and submit to God’s Word. But it paid off. My son is well loved at school, he has a good testimony.
Apply the wisdom of God given through the older women in the church as Titus 2 instructs us. Bite the bullet and do it, ‘cause those who call upon the Lord will not be ashamed!
As moms we are allowed to have other interests, I swim and take photos, we are allowed to just read a book or have a quiet cup of tea or coffee with a friend or alone, but that striving to look and sound accepted to the world should not be what consumes us. God first, husband, children, house other activities and church, a well-rounded and well balanced mommy makes for happy kiedies. It takes time, it took me almost fourteen years, yes, my eldest turns fourteen on Sunday.
But allow the Spirit of the Lord to work in us, line upon line, and precept upon precept, here a little there a little layer by layer.
Wisdom is justified by her children. I feel justified! No one said anything or patted me on the back, those who read this are the first to hear this report, but I feel justified. Reading that report was like having the “Well done!” of the Father spoken to me.
It is all by grace, thank You Jesus for Your Spirit and for the wisdom in the Godhead bodily, the genius of God, His church.
May all mommies who read this feel encouraged, stand, therefore stand for the Lord is our salvation!
(c) Celeste Glass
(c) Celeste Glass