Humility

 

My son Ammon helps with the cooking

 

“Father, where shall I work today?”
And my love flowed warm and free.
Then He pointed out a tiny spot
And said, “Tend that for me.”

I answered quickly, “Oh no, not that!
Why, no one would ever see,
No matter how well my work was done.
Not that little place for me.”

And the word He spoke, it was not stern;
He answered me tenderly;
“Ah, little one, search that heart of thine;
Art thou working for them or for me?

Nazareth was a little place, and so was Galilee.”

 

—Meade McGuire

The King of Me

Self-control is so sorely lacking in our society! Troubles caused by lack of self-discipline range from littering to illegitimate babies to college shootings. We must start very young in teaching our little children to master themselves. They can never call God “Master” until they can call themselves the “King of Me”.

“The Bible teaches us to discipline our children and to love them. These are not opposites. They blend together. Loving discipline will grow in the child into self-discipline. And that is a prerequisite for the life of learning we hope he will lead.” (Ruth Beechick)

It starts by learning to obey Mommy when a child is not yet even able to talk. Teach your children that they must learn to be masters of their bodies and their minds. Coming first time when mother calls, sticking with a chore, not eating candy until after mealtime, saying “please” and “thank you”, or sitting quietly in church and during family devotional are all good practice. They really can learn to do it, little by little!

I like my little ones to memorize this clever poem to remind them who is really in charge! Making a paper crown with the words “King of Me” on it is a good reminder too.  You’ll realize great benefits by teaching your child to govern himself!

King of Me

I said to my feet, “Keep still!”
I said to my hands, “Just stay!”
I said to my all-over-everywhere self,
“I’m in charge of you today!”
I’m ruler of my mouth,
And I’m the “King of Me”
So when I tell me it’s quiet time,
I’m quiet as can be! 

 

 

 

 

Mama's Boy

This very old story is one of my favorites and I’ve kept it and re-read it from time to time to help me remember to see life through my children’s eyes, and to never forget the power of a mother in the home.   —Diane

Tommy began to get the feeling even before Billy punched him in the ribs. It was afternoon, and Miss Deering was putting number work on the blackboard.

“Lookee here,” Billy said, displaying a small, plastic jeep, shining new, from the top of his pocket.

Tommy looked at it with interest, wishing he could have one just like it.

“And lookee here,” said Billy, showing a bright top and a sack of marbles, still in their red mesh bag. They were beautiful marbles of clear, polished glass, and caught the light in small pools of blue, yellow, crystal, and red. Tommy’s fingers wanted to touch them, but he didn’t reach out. Billy always had new things—new pencils, new erasers, and new toys.

“Where’dja get them?” Tommy asked.

Glancing around, Billy leaned closer. “Come with me down to the five-and-ten after school, and we’ll get you some.”

“I haven’t any money,” said Tommy.

“Don’t need money. You just take them. I’ll show you how.”

“That would be stealing.”

“Naw! All the kids do it. They got lots of stuff down there.”

“I don’t want to. My mother wouldn’t want me to,” said Tommy.

“Yah! Ha! Mama’s Boy,” jeered Billy, forgetting not to whisper loud.

Miss Deering looked at them, which meant not to disturb the class.

When Tommy tried to be still the feeling came stronger and stronger. He looked out the window, but that didn’t help. Only there was dirty snow and black smoke and chimneys and ugly brick walls. It wasn’t like Still Valley where you could see the foothills, except for the cottonwoods along the creek bed.

All these things crowded in on Tommy until he couldn’t stand it—even the things in the room, the wigwams and the green trees and the reared-back Indians that the second graders had painted on wrapping paper with poster paint. All at once Tommy had to get out, or he was going to bawl. He had to see mother.

Miss Deering’s voice reached out to stop him when he left his seat and went toward the door, but he went right through the sound like wading the little canal when the current was swift. Sometimes she just let him go, but today she followed him out to the hallway where he was putting on his galoshes.

“Tommy, come back,” she said. “You know it won’t do any good to go home. Your mother won’t be there until five. Why won’t you stay until school is out?”

Tommy didn’t answer, just went on fastening his galoshes.

“Don’t you want to be promoted? If you keep going home every day in the middle of the class period you will not learn all you should. You will have to stay in the second grade a long time, and people will think you are dumb!”

Still Tommy didn’t answer. It was just words that the teacher was saying. The sound of her voice beat up in his ears in waves, like irrigation water backing up against a dam. She put her hand on his shoulder, but he wriggled free and ran out the door and down the steps.

Maybe mother would have a headache and would have sick leave, like she did one Saturday, when she was home all day. She pulled him in bed with her and he was warm and comfortable, almost like being in Still Valley again.

It was nice there, especially in summer when the cottonwoods floated gauzy seed pods down, and when you could lie on your stomach on the bridge and fish for pretty rocks, or look into the glassy water until you could see yourself speeding upstream.

Mother’s fingers were sometimes butter-sugary from making cake, and you could lick the bowl. You could go with her to see if the setting hen had stolen her nest in the woodpile. Mother knew why a four-leaf clover had four leaves, and where God was, and why the old sow grunted instead of talking.

“Heavenly Father, make mother have a headache,” he prayed as he went along, and then almost skipped. He almost remembered that she had been sick a little before she went to work. He was sure she would be home this time.

But mother didn’t have a headache, and she wasn’t home. The furniture was there—the new pink davenport and the overstuffed chairs that you couldn’t put your feet on, but the house was empty. Tommy ran through it shouting: “Mother! Mother!” so loud his ears rang when he quit, but there was no answer.

The little hand on the clock was between two and three, so Tommy took it down off the shelf and sat with it between his knees on the living-room floor, because the kitchen had cold breakfast dishes on the table, and the beds looked like old hens at molting time, and the bathroom had damp towels on the floor.

Tommy waited and waited and cried awhile because he thought she might not come at all, and it seemed like a million years until the little hand was on five and she opened the door.

“Mommy!” he said, and was so dazzled he couldn’t tell what she looked like.

“Tommy Haran!” she said, snatching the clock from him. “If you break my alarm, I’ll never get to work!”

It was then that he noticed the two straight marks between her eyebrows, and that her hair was tight in little iron curls and her mouth was sticky with red stuff she used to “keep herself up.”

When she saw that he sat so still and that his mouth was dumb with the lump in his throat, she hugged him and said: “I’m sorry.” She even smiled, but her face was like the apartment when he came home. Her features were there, like the furniture, but she was gone.

“We have to hurry now—get the house cleaned, supper and to bed with you. Mother’s having company—some of the girls from the plant.”

“I don’t want them,” said Tommy. “Call them up and tell them not to come.”

“Why, Tommy! That wouldn’t be polite. Besides, this is your daddy’s last night on swing shift, and he’ll be home evenings after this.”

They weren’t girls, though, when they came. They were big ladies, like mother, and they sat in mother’s living room and laughed and all talked at once, and sounded like the pullets when you jumped suddenly into the coop and said “Boo!” Tommy was shut in the bedroom and he still wanted his mother.

“Mother! Mother!” he shouted until the cackling all stopped, and mother came through the slit of light from the opened door. “There’s a Tiger in the closet,” he said, so she left the door open a little crack, and said “nonsense.”

“Children are certainly a headache,” she said when she went back to the living room. Maybe Heavenly Father had answered his prayers.

“Tommy’s always been such a mama’s boy,” she went on, and Tommy, hearing her, wiggled with shame. “You know he gets so homesick for me he just gets up and leaves the schoolroom every day. Just like that—nobody can stop him.” They all cackled again.

“His father wants me to quit work and stay home,” his mother continued.

“That would be a mistake,” said a lady, and her voice sounded like she thought she was smart. “He’ll have a mother complex if you don’t look out.”

“That’s what I think,” agreed his mother. “Besides, I want to get a few things.”

“Do you think you’ll go back to the farm after the war?”

Tommy held his breath, listening.

“I’ll say not! Never a new thing, and nothing but work! I didn’t know how bad it was until we moved. I finished paying for my overstuffed last pay day. Now I want to get two tables and two blue lamps—”

Tommy’s stomach hurt with disappointment, and he cried a little because he couldn’t remember what his mother looked like with her hair loose and her eyes soft, but the next day he didn’t come home. When the feeling came, he chewed his pencil and thought fast about the blue lamps and about her thinking he was a mama’s boy.

And after school he went with Billy down to the five-and-ten.

 

— Alice Moore Bailey

Chivalry, It's Up to Us!

My daughter Emily (17) came home from high school thoroughly disgusted. Emily is a very upbeat, happy spirit and she loves everybody and everything, so it shocked me to see her upset. She only attends 2 classes at our local charter school, and is very studious and diligent in her homeschool assignments. She tells me regularly that she loves homeschooling best, which brings me great delight!

Anyway, Emily was upset. Turns out that she had to go to a Senior Graduation meeting and when she arrived at the building, the boys didn’t think to open her door, but just walked in, in front of her, letting the door slam in her face. As she got to the classroom for the meeting, the seats were all taken—by boys! Many girls stood through the long meeting, and the big, strong football players lounged in the chairs without even a glint of recognition on their faces.

“Where are the mothers?” is always my war-cry! It takes mothers (and fathers) teaching kids to be respectful and mannerly, and if moms are occupied otherwise, the whole generation suffers from a plague of rudeness!

The next time Emily was summoned to a Senior Graduation meeting, the teacher had written on the chalkboard, “Boys: Give Up Your Seats”. She was a rather old-fashioned teacher, and apparently it had bothered her too. But, even with the posted notice, the boys did not all give up their seats. But the big surprise was that there were enough who did that there were empty seats in the classroom. There were also girls standing, who refused to sit down. (What!????)

How can boys possibly learn to be chilvarous if girls will not even allow them? How did this gentlemanly thing go so hay-wire?

Moms, Dads: it is up to us! Let’s teach our boys that someone female will bear their children someday and make a family for them to be loved by, and to come home to, and to work for, and to give their life meaning. Please, let’s teach our girls that boys honor that someday possibility by treating the whole feminine gender with respect and kind consideration, and to shun it is to do themselves (and other women and girls) a disservice.

Rudeness doesn’t have to be the order of the day. It is all in the hands of parents—what we model, what we teach, what we expect.

 

Whom God Trusts

Parenting is a big deal!

In the eternal scheme of things, what a parent does, or does not do, is crucial! No, it is more than that: it is life-threatening! Even more—it is civilization-threatening!

Did you realize you had so much power?

Who does God trust? In Genesis 18: 19, God is speaking to Abraham telling him he can trust him to raise his children to honor God, and to live true to the values Abraham holds dear.

“For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him” (which was, that all the nations of the earth would be blessed through his seed).

To have God trust you is a huge compliment. It is not enough for us to live a righteous life ourselves, but we must do all we can to ensure that our children will honor God. If it takes all of our time and best effort, so be it.

 

Heroes

 

 

God is training up

His heroes,

and when they appear,

the world will wonder

where

they came from.

—C.S. Lewis

The Family Bible

family bible

Old Brother Higgins built a shelf
For the family Bible to rest itself
Lest a sticky finger or grimy thumb
Might injure the delicate pages some.
He cautioned his chldren to touch it not,
And it rests there still with never a blot . . .
And the Higgins tribe are a careless lot.

 

His neighbor, Miggins, built a shelf.
“Come, children,” he said, “and help yourself.”
Now his book is old and ragged and worn,
With some of the choicest pages torn
Where children have fingered and thumbed and read;
But of Miggins’ children I’ve heard it said
That each carries a Bible in his head.