Slowly building houses
So it’s the end of the first term for 2015, well, almost, there is actually still about half a week to go but who’s counting J, and I found myself completely exhausted and drained (this was last week by the way).
As I sat in my bathroom head in hands and tears dripping on my new glasses, feeling guilty and condemned for not being such an energetic, organised, on the ball ready to jump home school mom as I ought to be while crying out to my Heavenly Father that I just don’t see how I can help my two boys be successful one day when at this point I can’t seem to even fully complete reading and language let alone move on to the other subjects. I felt hopelessly defeated and an utter failure. Then, as if standing beside me all along with His hand on my shoulder I hear His Fatherly voice say; “How do you build a church?” I answer; “Slowly”. “So how do you build boys and raise them into strong young me?” I replied; “Slowly…” And then as if a dam sluice was released I really started crying and mouthed; “But Lord, it is really taking so very, very long.” In a tender yet firm voice He responded; “You can do it, for I am with you always, My strength is made perfect in your weakness.”
With having two boys I need to read all their work to, one because he is still overcoming severe dyslexia and the other because his curriculum requirements are still such that I do most of the teaching and yes, I follow the ‘Better late than early’ philosophy so his reading is not quit fast and strong enough to read chapters of science and history on his own either. Hence all their academic needs rest squarely on my shoulders, as to when the girls were these ages they sufficiently self-studied successfully I only checked that things were still on par and work was getting done and completed. This is the reason I was feeling it is all taking “so very, very long” J.
My eldest and wise daughter looked at me in my despondent state and explained that I need to also take into account that this year did start with a rather big bang! So besides teaching all morning, I still have to run the housekeeping, clean, wash, iron, plan weekly meals, shop, drive around for cricket practice and matches five times a week and watch the matches of which I miss most because they clash with the six times a week athletic practice and race once a week, and the twice a week dance class, and once a week art class, then there’s Robotics and Woodwork as well, plus teaching swimming on Saturday mornings and building a photography portfolio. Then its church care and obligations (which we entered into willingly as the Lord lead) so Youth Cell on Tuesdays, house hold on Wednesday, MBC Cell on Tuesday and Band of Brothers and Holy Women meetings one Thursday a month, the girls function on Sundays in the Scribe orbit, dance leading, live streaming and it’s technicalities and sound. That’s rather busy, for me at least.
But thank the Lord for a church where the older women teach us younger women! Through one of the wise older moms I learnt to train my children in the house with me from when they were very young, so the girls take turns to help plan the weekly meals and cook them on the afternoons they can stay home. All of us make an effort to rotate chores of cleaning and tidying so that the load is spread and also they can cope and live on their own once they are ready and able to leave the nest.
What I realised I forget sometimes is the burden of responsibility we take on ourselves when we choose to home school regardless of it being out of obedience to God calling us to do so, or a matter of life style choice, it is a huge responsibility, and this in its own is taxing on any parents emotions. Then combined with spending just about all our time together every day of the year and dealing with the emotions of the various ages and phases in life, not forgetting that they also still deal with things like peer pressure, life choices, they are also bombarded with thoughts and voices from the spirits of this age, they to are forming opinions and want to reason through things so as to make the right decisions and draw accurate conclusions. We still deal with personality clashes and character formation in the family unit, so it is a constant “job”, with no break from one thing to the next, it all just flows into each other and as moms we forget to take a time out as we need to acknowledge we to have to fill our emotional tanks because after giving to husband and children every day we too run empty, and I think of single working moms especially. I really have respect for working mothers who still manage to have healthy balanced family relationships, I do not have faith for that, so I really honour them, I do not think it is easy. When I speak about time out I don’t mean the selfish ‘me time’ the world is constantly telling moms to take, I’m talking about taking an hour out of your week or ten minutes out of your day and to just sit in the garden, close your eyes and listen to the birds in the trees, the wind in the air, the clattering of the leaves when the wind moves through the trees. To curl our toes in the grass and smell the soil, time to just float in the pool where the water blocks your ears from hearing any other sound but your own breathing and steady heartbeat. I’m talking about taking time to feed your soul with beauty. Go to the once a month cake tasting, or visit an art gallery. Listen to a symphony or read poetry.
As moms in general we tend to neglect this, and I have found among most home school moms we tend to ignore it all together, whether deliberately or unconsciously, but we do. It is not a good thing as it tends to cause us to be despondent, wrestle with self-pity, resentment and depression. We need to make the effort to take care of ourselves without feeling guilty. If we don’t, how then can we build these beautiful buildings we call our children?
For me as a mom or as a woman, to train my girls to become God-fearing women, wholly dedicated to the Lord, chaste, modest, good home makers and such, is not as daunting a task as I am a woman and I just teach what I have been taught, but how do I train my boys to become God-fearing men with strong character, who knows how to treat women and walk a life time dedicated to the Lord? There are so many voices against our young men, deceiving them into what a real man is and what makes you a man.
I thought again of what the Lord had told me about building a church is a slow process. I thought a bit about the church we are blessed to be a part of and when it was the Lord told Apostle Andre and Prophetess Nola to plant this work here in Cape Town? It was 1991. So from 1991 to 2011 when we started seeing a clear shift in the church beginning to take place and especially 2014 where the Lord brought us out of hiding (so to speak) and out into the open it has been twenty four years, plus minus. Now thinking of young men specifically, when are they ready for “the real world”? After completion of schooling and tertiary studies and maybe apprenticeships, is also round about the age of twenty four or twenty five. Yes there are the exceptions to the rule that marry younger and work successfully, but it is not the ‘norm’. Then there is the question of when is my son a man? Taking this into account, as well as a revelation form 1 Kings 2v1 – 3 the Lord gave me last year when I thought about how to tell my sons when they are ‘officially’ men, in which David explains to Solomon what it means to be a man he says;
Now the days of David drew nigh that he should die; and he charged Solomon his son, saying,
I go the way of all the earth: be thou strong therefore, and shew thyself a man;
And keep the charge of the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, to keep his statutes, and his commandments, and his judgments, and his testimonies, as it is written in the law of Moses, that thou mayest prosper in all that thou doest, and whithersoever thou turnest thyself:
The New King James says “…show yourself a man…” and the New Living Translation says; “Take courage and be a man.”
When one looks at the verses that follow (and one can read the entire chapter of David’s commissions to Solomon) we see David lists a few things that as I interpret it proves that you are a man if you do them and these are;
ü Keep the charge of the Lord
ü Walk in His ways
ü Keep His statutes
ü Keep His commandments
ü Keep His judgments
ü Keep His testimonies as it is written
SO THAT you may prosper in all that you do and wherever you turn.
I read it also as applying the Word in your life, living what the scriptures say, obeying the Lord and submitting to His rule and way, that is what makes you a man. Keeping His testimonies believes the Word of the Lord, it means studying the Bible and practicing it. In the New Testament there are similar examples and both boys and girls or young men and young women can and should apply them, but as I’m writing about my experience with my boys I am focusing on them;
Titus 2v 5 – 8 Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded in all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness,
gravity, sincerity, sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you.
The New King James says; “Likewise, exhort the young men to be sober-minded, in all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works; in doctrine showing integrity, reverence, incorruptibility, sound speech that cannot be condemned, that one who is an opponent may be ashamed, having nothing evil to say of you.”
Yes this passage from verse one speaks to the women and young women as well, so it is a good passage to have handy as we train our children in the way they should go so that when they are older they will not depart from it (I always ad ‘by faith’).
Another one is Paul exhorting Timothy in both the first and the second letter to wage good ware fare with his prophesies, to have faith and a good conscience, to keep teaching the people in that which is right before God like healthy eating habits and to get married and living God-fearing lives. Paul encourages him to not despise his youth nor allow others to despise Timothy’s youth because he is a mature man in the spirit and in the eyes of the Lord despite his natural age. He tells him to continue being a godly example to those in the church, to keep in the genuineness or realness of faith which he learnt from both his grandmother and mother. Paul writes in two whole letters to encourage Timothy in living as a man. Going back to the Old Testament we see Solomon doing the same in the book of Proverbs telling his son hear, obey, remember and continue in the instruction of his father and not to forsake the law of his mother. For me, the ability for a young man to do these proves him a man. All these encompass the words of David in the book of 1 Kings 2. A wise woman builds her house through faith and patience and that is how we as mothers build our sons into men, it is layer upon layer, precept upon precept, line upon line, here a little and there a little. It takes time, just like a church, slowly over time. Age is not what makes them men, it is the maturity of character brought by the working of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God in their lives. - With this I am not saying academics is not important, of course it is, as men they will have to provide for their families one day through some form of work or labor, so we do not neglect education. - But rather that despite the pace of learning, let’s continue to build, patiently, with grace, and much long suffering, for once they step out into the world, they are forever adults, they are forever men, no more free and careless young boys living from adventure to adventure and the most important part of their day is the cricket match on Saturday or the paintball game at the end of the term, or catch tadpoles in the stream, and building forts in the yard. So let’s be patient, let’s shower them with affection, so they are balanced and strong, reliant on God as their source of strength.
Another vitally important part is how we treat our husbands and how we speak of them. I am eternally and unspeakably grateful to God for the man He gave us to, to be a husband to me and a father to my children (read more about this in the entry – Life according to the truth of Jesus). He is a God-fearing man, a stable provider knowing Who his Source is, he has a good reputation inside and outside of the church, he is faithful both in the church and in the work place, he is a man of integrity, valour and there is no guile in him, he is self-less, generous, not given to wine or strong drink, not greedy for money, power or gain, he is a gentleman with old values like opening a car door for his wife, pulling my chair out for me to sit and all the old chivalrous ways, he is a peaceable man, kind, gracious and gentle, a shepherd. If I want my boys to firstly notice these aspects in my husband and then to follow them, I need to be submissive to him, treat him with respect and honour him. Use him as an example when I explain what character is desired in a situation or how to handle things refer to instances my husband handled things in a godly manner.
The way we treat our husbands and our sons play a very big role in them desiring to do as David explained or to rebel against it.
So I heed my Fathers instruction and encouragement, and I choose to believe He placed everything in me to raise my boys into the men God ordained them to be, and I choose to be patient with myself and with them and to build them into strong building like a great master builder because the Master Builder lives inside of me and I have His blue print and user manual in the Bible.
(c) Celeste Glass
(c) Celeste Glass