Saturday, February 4, 2012
How to have a H.E.A.R.T.
I wanted to share my thoughts on Chapter 3 in Rachael Carman's book titled "How to Have a H.E.A.R.T. For Your Kids. Many mothers are participating in this book discussion at Amanda Pelser's blog. It is wonderful to hear how other moms experience family life from using Rachael's book as a model... so to speak...for assistance and instruction.
One statement made in this chapter pointed out that many in our society "value career and stuff more than their kids." In large part, I hold the public school system responsible for this pervasive mentality because young children spend too much time there when they would benefit more from time with parents. For example, my public school years did not teach me anything about putting God and family first before friends and fun. My elementary years did because I went to a Catholic school. Once I reached the middle school years, I switched to public school. There was no class that influenced me to feel special as a mother and prepare me for raising and managing a family. Everything focused on academics and getting a good job. Therefore, I went through a very difficult transition into motherhood. I had to rid myself of the poisonous mentality of valuing my career too much. It wasn't until I had little ones and began to teach them about God's Word and the richness of our faith that led me to put my priorities in their proper order. No wonder it is so hard for women. We need to manage and take care of our families as the priority and then fall back on a career. Not the other way around. Of course - unless we are single... only to a certain extent.
It is interesting to note that Rachael points out that our children can be the answer to our prayers. This is very significant because it places us, as active participants, in the position of bringing justice (good things) to our world. We may not immediately see this because the cause (of our mothering) and effect (of promoting justice) are distantly related by time. Should we really work 40 hours a week putting our mothering, which causes a higher probability for justice to flourish, as a second priority? It is so good to know that, as mothers, we are vitally important to society even though we do not get paid, receive alot of praise, eat out at restaurants, are motivated by daily interaction with peers, etc... We do not get many perks but our work is probably just as important as the president of the united states (even more so than this present one!). When we put this into proper perspective, we are doing the work of the Lord! We see love and sacrifice when we look at our Lord on the Cross. We see it also when we look at a devoted homeschool mom (or dad). The world tells us not to see or acknowledge this beautiful reality. Sorry - I say don't listen to them. Mothers need to know how vitally important they are and we need to remind eachother of this to encourage eachother and lift one another up. It is not always an easy road to travel and we can lean on eachother for support.
Also, God's timing isn't our timing. Therefore, if we have been longing or waiting for something to help us on our journey, it is good to know that "God has sent little miracles to do His bidding, and always just in time." This knowledge can assist us with the virtue of perseverance because there is always hope when we continuously pursue the Lord. We must never give up and even go to our death singing the praises of the Lord! Everything we have and do comes from the Good Lord. Our relationship with the Lord is real and our love for Him can not be destroyed.
Rachael points out that many people in the bible have started out as small, humble, poor, persecuted, or suffering individuals and, by the grace of God, they became a significant influence, model, and/or leader in our world. All of them were blessed with a mother's acceptance of them. Thus, the A in H.E.A.R.T. for acceptance. It is important for us to know that our children come from God and they are on a journey back to God. They belong to God, not us. Therefore, we are constantly open to the Lord's graces which help us accept the God-given gifts of our children. Never trying to rewire them for selfish reasons but always giving back to the Lord. We need to make the ultimate destiny of our children eternal life with the All Loving Father. Everything else will fall into place.
The homeschooling journey also permits us to 'look in the mirror' and change anything about ourselves when we direct our children in the ways of the Lord. Nobody is perfect and I've learned right along beside my children. I have to say, it is all well worth the effort. The Lord helps us 'drive out foolishness' whenever it surfaces because we have chosen to be present in the center of family life. Christians have been persecuted since the beginning of time. As Americans, we know how central the Faith is to our way of life. There are others who do not want the American way of life to succeed and will try, at every turn, to destroy it. Our children need to become warriors for the Lord. Our country needs it!