Tuesday, October 29, 2013

A Mother's Legacy......

I hope you are having a beautiful fall day! It is gorgeous where we live today! The past two days I have been thinking how much fun Motherhood brings this time of year!  There is nothing more treasured in a mother's heart than seeing her children have fun and happy times! Laughter is such a part of our family moments! My husband has always been a FUN person!  The first night I met him he made me laugh and still does.  Sometimes I do not know if he is serious or not!   What a legacy of FUN he has passed on to our children and grandchildren! 

As a mother, a lasting legacy is also left with our children!  There are all types of mothers and we can become one naturally by giving birth to our children or they can be given to us in a completely God designed way!  When we are young, we recieve this wonderful gift of children with no training, no resume, and no interview but wow what fun and joy comes as we learn this wonderful profession, on the job training!  I have loved being a mother and I still do!  I just love my children SO much and I love their children too.......a joyous blessing comes after your children have children!!!

Mothers are resourceful and as the years go by, most Mothers will go to the ends of the earth for their child.  In my life, I have always hoped that I make each one of my children feel that they are the only one when I am with them.  In essence, time is the main ingredient about instilling and developing the virtues and values that you want for your child.  I do not care what the books say about quality or quantity, I know,  because I have lived it, it is quantity first but a good mother develops over time.  Often she is mentored by someone special in her life.  It should be her own mother, but if that doesn't happen, God will send someone your way who will model to you the important virtues of love, patience, and kindness that are so important to be a mother.  He did that for me, over and over again in my early years as a mother.  He placed people in my pathway who pointed me to Him!  Real people, who to this day, I can picture as someone who took an interest in me and my family. 

In the Bible, Moses mother, Jochebed, stands as a monument to his mother's courage against staggering opposition of the time she lived in.  She had meager means, but desired to raise her Hebrew son in the ways and customs of her faith.  God carried out her desires to raise her son in ways that only He could design.  You see, the King, sent out a decree that all the boy babies under two were to die.  In a desperate situation, Jochebed took her dilemma and resources that were available and set about her work of saving her son's life.  She took the reeds from the edges of the river nearby and constructed a woven basket with a lid and placed her baby into the water, said a prayer, and pushed him away with hope and faith in the everlasting goodness of God.  Little did she know that the King's very own daughter would find the baby and raise Moses as a Prince!  Jochebed was hired for wages to be a nurse maid to her very own child, without anyone knowing she was the child's true mother!  God had saved his life for a mighty purpose. Her example encourages me as I keep coming back to the Lord, morning after morning.  And He is there, available to me and to any mother who seeks the Lord's guidance.  He performs what He promises, and that assurance can overcome any fear you may have about mothering or the job you are doing.  Mothers are valuable!   You can read Jochobed's story in Exdous 1:1 through 2:10!

Blessings to you today!  Remember that you are uniquely designed to be the most influential person in your child's life. Wow......that is remarkable and I hope you sense God's love for you and your children. Have a Happy and Blessed Fall Day!  Enjoy your day.......

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Inspired by France.....

 Over the past few weeks, I have been changing a room in my home to include more of The French furnishings I have been collecting over the past year.  The photographs above I took during two visits to Paris and inspired me with their simple and beautiful lines.  In Paris, there are so many sights to inspire!   Every corner you turn, there is a picture!  Everything it seems is so artistically arranged, and everything paints a picture!  The French are all about vignettes......Little spaces perfectly arranged. This was our goal, to create a lovely little French space.  For our French room, we painted the walls a creamy ivory and painted out fireplace mantel a creamy ivory and used an antique paste to add an older look to the mantel.  I found two 19th century Louis XV chairs at an antique shop not far from where I live to go along with the beautiful French sofa I purchased last year and invested in a quality fabric and expert upholsterer who did an excellent job achieving the look I wanted.  I selected silk for the window curtains and used a simple French pleat with a covered button at each pleat and hung them on a simple iron rod.  I have some framed pieces of art in the room but most are unframed and framed photographs that I took in France.  I added a beautiful French inspired lamp from another room in my home and the room came together rather quickly.

I am drawn to French furniture and design because it has a sense of warmth and comfort, yet it is so graceful.  A home should be personal and filled with things you really love.  Your furnishings do not need to be expensive to be beautiful.  Add a lovely vase of fresh flowers, a candle or two, books, music, and you will have created an atmosphere that is both welcoming and warm.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Love of Books and Reading.......

The Beautiful Library at Osterley House near London

There are many treasures within the pages of books.  I remember vividly the day I fell in love with reading books! In my ninth year of school, we were often required to have a study hall period within our day and this was most often located in the library. On this particular day, I was looking straight ahead (probably daydreaming) and a beautiful book caught my eye. The book was REBECCA by Daphne du Maurier and I have never been the same! I was hooked on reading novels.  For me, they were often set in places I could escape to or dream of one day visiting.  At the same time, I began to develop a keen interest in history, mainly the United States history and over my university years, I developed a love for world history and books on art history. The years that I spent teaching middle school found my books to be my best friends!

It was many years, before we inevitably came to the conclusion that a room in our house had evolved into a library for our books.  This room was a period room with furnishings inspired by pieces found in Mount Vernon, President George Washington's home.  We had bookshelves built on both sides of a window centered in the front of the room and I began to fill them with books!  I searched antique shops for books on the Presidents of The United States of America. Our collection has grown now to include many books on George Washington and Abraham Lincoln and many, many more of our Presidents.  I have books on the First Ladies, the homes of the Presidents and other places that are important in our country's history.  Now our library includes books on decorating, travel, and books for Bible study and inspiration.  Our library is probably the most favorite room in our home when our adult children visit.  Our sweet grandchildren also seem to gravitate to the library.  All is serene in this room and it's a place I enjoy for my prayer time and devotionals in the mornings.

Our children grew up with a wonderful exposure to books.  We loved to read books to them and had boxes and boxes of children's books that have found their way into the homes of the two daughters' who have children.  They love books as we do!  

This past week, I began reading an autobiography on the life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who was one of eight children born within a decade to Karl and Paula Bonhoeffer. This book had been a gift to my husband from one of our daughters.  The Bonhoeffer family lived in Breslau, Germany when their children were young and the parents were known to take much joy in their children.  Their children were educated at home the first few years of their educational training because Paula, the mother, was distrustful of the public educational system which used the Prussian educational methods. She had higher goals for her children which included books, music, and exposure to art in everyday life. The fun of dressing up and presenting plays to each other and visiting adults was also a big part of their schooling at home.  The early years of his life, building this confidence,  prepared him for the mighty call and desire to study theology and ultimately become one of the 20th Century's most humble men of faith.  We could say he was a man of extraordinary faith and fought to deliver a nation from the curse of Nazism. Home life prepares our children for their call in life.

Books in a home, available for a child to read builds confidence.  Reading begins at birth as a child begins to observe images and associates words with what the eye sees.  Children learn to read at different paces but a child who is encouraged each and every day to read will develop a life long love of books!  A library in your home can be a room with shelves and shelves of books or it can be a little corner you provide for reading quietly.  It really doesn't matter the size as long as you encourage and develop a love for books and reading! 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Thoughts on Mothering.......

There is something beautiful about a one on one conversation with someone....especially if the conversation is about something you treasure.  As a mother, our greatest treasures are our children because they are beautiful little gifts sent to us from the heart of God!  His timing for each one is perfect.  Each one has purpose in His kingdom, so to love and nurture a child is one of God's highest callings in life. Recently, a friend asked me to quickly share ten points about mothering that I could share with young moms raising families today.  I quickly wrote down eleven.  Mothering never stops as long as we are breathing......yes, the seasons of mothering change as our children grow and change and ultimately grow up!  All the effort now should be focused with this goal in mind.  One day they will fly on their own. God does provide.  He is a God of providence!  He is Jehovah Jireh!  Thankfully our five are now grown adults.  They are independent and they make me so thankful every day.  As my husband and I say to each," we know what we prayed," and we see how God has answered.  We see how HE did over and above in all that we asked of HIM!   The circle is wider now and includes spouses, grandchildren, and our children's friends and their families.  It's beautiful!  It's golden.  It's a family only God could have sent from His very own heart.  We are humbled and it is with thanksgiving that I share these eleven points.  God is good!  He is essentially, absolutely, and consummately good! Praying His blessings on your family dear friend!  May your years of mothering be beautiful!

1.  Pray daily as a woman, wife, and mother for my heart to be clean before God.  Psalm 51:10 Be in His Word!

2. Pray and ask God to place women in my life who love Jesus and are mothering God's ways and listen to them and their their wisdom about children and the home.

3.  Pray daily and often throughout the day for each child by name, by temperament, personality, and needs. Spiritual and physical.

4.  Teach them accountability to God, to themselves, and to others. Help them see their body as a temple.

5.  Give them the perfume of love and acceptance as each longs for this from parents. Give them my blessing daily.

6.  Give them approval when they seek it earnestly and allow them to be who God created them to be with their talents, gifts, and intelligence.  Laughter is so important if one is prone to be funny, embrace this gift!

7.  Listen.  Listen to their voice.  Let them share their heart without judging.

8.  Love them unconditionally, especially in their failures.

9.  Assist them with their dreams and plans.  This would include protecting them from the wrong friendships and dating too soon.  Delicate territory :)

10.  Pray for them to sense God's supernatural presence in their life.  Share the Gospel early and often!  This would include not missing church except in emergency situations.  :)

11.  Invite people into you home who have the touch of Jesus in their heart and on their face!!!

Motherhood is about giving and preparation in bearing and raising children is such an amazing privilege!