The Mission of Motherhood Bookstudy- The Faithful Mother {Chapter 12 part 2}

Jul
19
- by Misty Krasawski - Leave a Comment
The Mission of Motherhood Bookstudy- The Faithful Mother {Chapter 12 part 2}

“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for; the conviction of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1

Right there, mama, is a major key to motherhood.

As mothers, we have many hopes, goals and plans for our children. We want them to display certain character traits, to accomplish certain tasks, to attain particular levels of education.

Unfortunately, sometimes we forget that once our faith becomes sight, it is no longer faith!

In other words, faith is the assurance of things hoped for. And by definition, those things are not visible in the present (they are “not seen,” as the verse says).  This means that if we are to walk by faith, we spend most of our present looking toward the future.

And yet we must not neglect the present or the future will never arrive. We must not give up our hope, or the work will not be accomplished which the Lord means to use to form our children’s lives.

Motherhood requires a very firm hold on the hand of the Father of all. We must trust our children to Him, and trust Him to reward our work. Place your children there in His hands. Place your efforts and hopes and secret dreams with Him and ask Him to increase your faith, even on the difficult days. You will see your reward!

“It is not perfection that God expects from mothers. There is no perfect personality that does the job best. It is not our background or training or the way we keep house that qualifies us to be godly mothers.
God designed mothers to partner with Him in His eternal work, and He has promised to reward our faith and our faithfulness. The precious children He has placed in our hands are hoping that we will be faithful and endure so that they will have a reason to hope and an example to follow in their own lives.
It is for the children’s sake that we give our lives. WE are protecting future generations that they might be strong for the battle of life. We are the real, in-the-flesh, tangible picture of God’s loving hands, strong arms of protection, and encouraging words of hope to our children. May God’s strength sustain you as you embrace the heroic mission of motherhood in the days and years ahead.” -Sally Clarkson

Something to Read:

I Peter 5:8-9 “Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world.”

What kind of battle are you up against in seeking to build a godly heritage? Who would love to discourage you in your commitment to biblical motherhood? According to this verse, are you alone in the battle?

Something to Do:

Spend time talking to God about all the worries and stresses you have tried to bear alone. Thank Him that “He who began a good work in (your children!) will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6!

To Discuss in the Comments:

This is the end of this study! We are so glad you’ve joined us, and look forward to our next book together. Details to come! We would love to hear any suggestions you have, as we wish to know how we can serve you better. Thank you!

The Ministering Mother- {The Mission of Motherhood Chapter 11 Part 1}

Jul
10
- by Misty Krasawski - Leave a Comment
The Ministering Mother- {The Mission of Motherhood Chapter 11 Part 1}

"The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Therefore, beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest." Matthew 9:37-38

We are living the answer to this prayer in my house this week, and it's been tough on this mama.

My second-born son left today. He is headed to Denver, where he will serve in a friend's church, then head out six weeks from now to teach English in Xining, China. He is a God-follower who longs to bring the life and light of Christ to the world.

We've spent hours reading missionary biographies on the couch; prayed hundreds of prayers that our children would be used in the kingdom; felt our hearts break as we heard stories of needy people around the world.

The outcome of these years? Soon, one piece of our hearts will wing its way into a country hungry for the truth of the gospel.

Sally shares about helping our children see their value as ministers in chapter eleven.

"Helping our children understand that they were designed uniquely by God to serve the needs of others helps them to realize their position in God's kingdom. each person will have an opportunity to live out a story of how God used them uniquely to bring his light into the world. The real foundations of a positive self-image are built upon the significance bestowed upon us by God in allowing us to be part of the work of His kingdom. Whether that work involves leading someone to the Lord, feeding the poor, writing a note of encouragement to a depressed friend, visiting a lonely and unloved neighbor, it is all significant to the Lord.
But how does a family specifically serve God and others? For us, the focal points for training our children and serving as a family have been hospitality, helping those in need, and evangelistic outreach. Through what we teach and model in these areas, we hope to pass along God's purposes to our children and to the families they will establish."

Something to Read:

Matthew 25:34-46 "“Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.' Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’

“Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘ Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.’ Then they themselves also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?’ Then He will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

This is a long, difficult passage! Are there people in your life right now who need the love and service your family has to give? What can you do?

Something to Try:

Help your children bake a treat of some kind and deliver them with notes saying, "I appreciate you!" to five people whom the Lord brings to mind.

To Discuss in the Comments:

What can you do as a family to fulfill Jesus' directions to go and be a blessing in the world around you?

The Creative Mother {The Mission of Motherhood Book Study -Chapter 10 Part 2}

Jul
5
- by Misty Krasawski - Leave a Comment
The Creative Mother {The Mission of Motherhood Book Study -Chapter 10 Part 2}
Romans 1:20 “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.”

Right now there are large, scary dust bunnies under my couch. We’ve been remodeling, so the area around the front door boasts two different shades of paint while the spackle sets. Scooters and bikes in various sizes are scattered about the driveway, and I still haven’t figured out how to take the kids’ shower curtain down from the new hooks so I can (finally) wash it.

And if I spend too much time inside, trying to subdue all of those things, I can forget what an incredibly beautiful world God has created for me outside.

Once in awhile, we need a trip to the mountains or an afternoon at the beach. Perhaps for you it’s a trip to the zoo or a local park. Whatever your family finds enjoyable, you should make time to do! Spending time appreciating God’s creation always gives me new energy and inspiration for my own. Blue sky, azure seas and tawny sand show up in rug, wall and furniture choices in one room, while the scent of gardenias drives me to hunt for the perfect candle to scent another.

Sometimes, I just flat need to be reminded how much bigger He is than all of it.

“One day not long ago I awoke in the early light of morning. I sat in a favorite chair that is positioned facing a mountain. A whirling snowstorm was blowing in clouds over the mountain, and the gentle snow drifting down onto the pine trees was a soothing balm to my then-frazzled soul. I put on some music, made a cup of tea, lit a candle, and allowed the moment to fill me with peace. It was in the beauty of this peaceful time that I spent my first few waking moments being reminded of the Lord’s splendor and quietness.
This is the picture that I asked God to place in my mind all day as I progressed to the less peaceful moments, which involved cleaning the house, getting my children ready for the day, following them through their chores, disciplining attitudes, making meals, and completing phone calls. These few moments admiring God’s creation stayed with me all day. But I had to take time to appreciate it and store it in my heart.
Our children will need hundreds of such pictures to store in their hearts in order to adequately face the battles in their lives. When we help them to cultivate these pictures for themselves, and continually pass along a repertoire of natural beauty and the touch from God’s hands, our children will indeed have reservoirs of soul food from which to feed for a lifetime.” ~ The Mission of Motherhood, Chapter 10

Something to Read:

Job 38:1-7 “Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind and said, ‘Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Now gird up your loins like a man, and I will ask you, and you instruct Me! Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding, who set its measurements, since you know? Or who stretched the line on it? On what were its bases sunk? Or who laid its cornerstone, when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?’”

(This entire chapter is worth reading!) What is God’s answer to Job’s friends, who lacked understanding of his suffering? What are some ways you can expose your children to the bigness and holiness of God?

Something to Try:

Visit a bookstore or library and bring home a book with pictures by a great painter or photographer whose work stirs awe in your hearts. Look over it together with mugs of hot chocolate or cold cider, pointing out your favorites. You could even try to copy the one you like best!

To Discuss Here in the Comments:

What beautiful memory do you have that might help get you through the less-beautiful moments of a busy day?

The Creative Mother {The Mission of Motherhood Book Study - Chapter 10 Part One}

Jul
3
- by Misty Krasawski - Leave a Comment
The Creative Mother {The Mission of Motherhood Book Study - Chapter 10 Part One}
Psalm 19:1 “The heavens are telling of the glory of God;  And their expanse is telling the work of His hands.”

I grew up in a small town in Nebraska. We lived on the outer edge, and every town in Nebraska, of course, is surrounded by corn fields. Most of the time, I thought that was pretty boring. I’m more of a mountains and ocean girl, really. But one thing I appreciated was the vastness of the sky. Since there were so few trees in the way, only rolling prairie (and corn) as far as the eye could see, it was quite a canvas. I loved to take walks in the late afternoon/early evening and watch as God seemed to do some of His best work, streaking the blue with oranges, crimson and purple, throwing a few clouds here and there for drama. When the big storms rolled in ... oh my goodness; that was the best. You could see them coming, of course, from miles away, and watch the line of rain as it approached; towers of clouds literally rolling over one another as they raced across the sky.

Our God? He’s creative, all right. I’ve found my own favorite ways to be creative over the years. Drawing horses, singing and acting in plays, sewing, baking, decorating my home—all are ways I put my own creative stamp on the world around me.

Can’t you see it in your children, too? The glee on their faces as they cut construction paper into a zillion pieces, liberally dump glitter onto globs of glue, or mix blue and red paint together for the first time … it lets us know that they also bear the image of a creative Creator.

As Sally shares here in Chapter Ten:

“Creativity, after all, is one of the essential expressions of God’s personality. He is the Master Designer who has the power to make something out of nothing and something fresh and new out of the ruins of something old. His inventiveness knows no boundaries. The beauty of His handiwork is unparalleled. His creativity is awesome and powerful as well as unbelievably beautiful—He is the God of exploding volcanoes and awe-inspiring storms as well as rainbows and sunsets. Even His means of creation are creative, for sometimes He creates directly, and sometimes He lends His creative powers to His children and delights in their inventiveness.”

Something to Read:

Proverbs 24:3-4 “By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; And by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches.”

What does it mean to fill a house with “all precious and pleasant riches”? As you ponder this passage, does anything come to mind that your home lacks?

Something to Try:

Plan a trip somewhere beautiful—mountains, the desert, the ocean, the woods—just to have an adventure with your children. If possible, this outing should include active time (swimming, hiking, or boating, maybe) as well as learning time (identifying plants, animals, shells) and quiet, reflective time (storytelling around a campfire, or resting under tree boughs). Make it a special time of enjoying God’s creativity together!

To Discuss Here in the Comments:

Do you feel naturally creative as a mom? What are your strong and weak points?

The Mission of Motherhood Book Study {Chapter 9- The Keeper of the Domain Part 1}

Jun
26
- by Misty Krasawski - Leave a Comment
The Mission of Motherhood Book Study {Chapter 9- The Keeper of the Domain Part 1}

"An excellent wife, who can find? For her worth is far above jewels ... She looks well to the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness." Proverbs 31:10, 27

My mother used to chide me for being more of a decorator than a cleaner. "You'd rather put flowers on the table than wipe it off!" she would say. And I would think, "Who wouldn't?!" She was right, of course. I love beautiful things, and I love to find ways to turn non-beautiful areas into places I enjoy spending time. Over the years I've found that with some elbow grease, a can of paint, some flowers and a bit of vision, everything from a broken-down dresser to a house that's seen better days can be transformed.

When my first son was on his way, my husband and I had little-to-no money. I'd been praying that the Lord would help us furnish his little nursery. We'd found an inexpensive crib and bought it (that was back before I realized how little we were going to use it, of course!) and dear friends and family had showered us with everything from clothes to bedding. However, we still needed a place to *put* all the tiny diapers and the onesies I was folding. One afternoon we were dropping off a friend at his apartment. As we drove out past their huge dumpsters, we noticed an old dresser, just the right size, sitting next to the garbage. Into the truck it went, and within a few days I'd turned it into the perfect changing table/dresser combo.

Not everyone likes DIY projects, of course. But each one of us is called to make our house a place where each person who lives there can experience the love and grace God intended.

As Sally says here in Chapter Nine ...

  "Home--it's such a beautiful word! It's the center of our lives, the place that holds us with invisible strings of love within its walls. Home is the place where the delectable smells and tastes of "my favorite food" linger; where the comfort and beauty of "my room" and "my bed" can be enjoyed; where "my dreams" are inspired and begin to grow; where bedtime routines, prayers, and blessings give comfort; where the intimacy of deep relationships--unconditional love, grace, forgiveness, encouragement, unselfishness, laugher, and memories--is shared with people who have made us a priority in their lives. It's where appetites for favorite music, movies, books, games, art, and traditions are shaped from infancy on up.
   Home is a haven from a world that is swimming with challenges and difficulty. It is a school where one learns how precious life is intended to be. It provides the context of learning to know and love my Creator, the beauty of the world He made, and His Word, which guides me. And it is the environment where direction and purpose and values are passed from generation to generation, protecting and preserving all that is precious in life.
  The task of building our homes into places of beauty and life that will feed the hearts, souls, and minds of our children is the most comprehensive task to which God has called us as mothers. We are called quite literally to be "home makers"--to plan and shape a home environment that provides our families with both a safe resting place and a launching pad for everything they do in the world."

Okay, in advance of this video, please prepare: Do not be jealous of Sally when you hear the secret of how she never loses any of Clay's socks. I'm just sayin.'

Something to Read:

Prov. 6:6-8 "Go to the ant, O sluggard, Observe her ways and be wise,

Which, having no chief officer or ruler, prepares her food in the summer,

And gathers her provision in the harvest.."

What does this passage teach us about how we should manage our lives? What home-making task tends to overwhelm you the most?

Something to Try:

Make a list of the stressors in your home that most disturb you and pull at your spirit. A chronically full sink? The daily grind of getting dinner on the table? Socks in the living room? Pick one item from your list and brainstorm with your family ways to alleviate that pressure (paper plates during the day, periodic snack meals instead of full-fledged dinners, a special sock hamper for the living room?)

To discuss here in the comments:

What's your favorite way to make your home beautiful?

The Mission of Motherhood Book Study {Chapter 8 Part 2- The Gardener of Our Children's Souls}

Jun
21
- by Misty Krasawski - Leave a Comment
The Mission of Motherhood Book Study {Chapter 8 Part 2- The Gardener of Our Children's Souls}

“Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.” Philippians 4:8

A few weeks ago I took a wild chance: I bundled all seven children remaining at home (my seventeen year old would probably not appreciate being referred to as a child, but there it is!) and we headed somewhere we hadn’t been in awhile: our local art museum. Since I had children stairstepped down to two years old, I knew I needed a bit of an angle and they’d need a reason to pay attention, so our first stop was the gift shop. I chose seven postcards featuring art currently hosted by the museum, handed them out, and off we went, with each child in charge of finding the subject of his or her card. We had a great time. And though the visit was shorter (and a bit noisier!) than I would have been able to enjoy alone, it was a great time together and one they’ll hopefully remember fondly.

Transient

Chapter Eight is full of great thoughts about the way we train our children as we live together at home. Sally focused here on four specific areas … 

Cultivating Real Skills

Because families and children are so different, each family has a unique opportunity to define their own particular heritage of skills to be shared with children—skills the parents already possess and want to pass along, skills the parents value and are willing to hire a teacher for, or skills the parents agree to pay for because of special interest on a child’s part. Learning to play sports, speak a foreign language, cook, farm, garden, work on cars, play an instrument … these are just a few examples of skills that can enhance the lives of children.

Cultivating Appropriate Life Experiences

Exposing children to many different life experiences—within the context of family relationships and parental teaching—is essential to broadening their understanding, their interests, and their compassion. If we want to train our children to help bring God’s kingdom into the world, we need to prepare them by letting them come along with us as we reach out to others.

Cultivating Manners and Graciousness

Transient

I am convinced that mothers have a lot to do with the manners of their children. And yes, I am really talking about yet another set of real-life skills. No child I know is naturally polite, thankful, and prone to take the initiative. No child instinctively knows what to do in a social setting. And yet a child who doesn’t know how to act with others will suffer socially the rest of his or her life! Cultivating our children’s manners and gracious attitudes not only makes them more pleasant to live with, but it also helps give our children a platform of confidence on which to build their future lives.

Cultivating Appetites for Excellence

As a person’s palate is trained to enjoy the foods he has been accustomed to, our midns tend to prefer those things that were introduced to us at an early age. This is what I was trying to do in exposing our children to quality literature … expanding this principle to include the best in art, music, toys, videos, movies, and computer games has helped determine how we would invest our money and what “things” would best serve our purposes. We want to fill our home with what is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, of good repute, excellent, and worthy of praise.”

Something to Read: 

Proverbs 22:29 “Do you see a man skilled in his work? He will stand before kings; He will not stand before obscure men.”

How does providing your child with real skills give him or her the opportunity to excel in life? What does this verse imply as far as your daily work as a mother?

Something to Try:

Spend some time hunting down local opportunities to expose your children to excellent things! Choose three such places—perhaps a museum, historical site, a theatre—and schedule times to visit one each month for the next three months.

To Discuss in the Comments:

What are some “excellent things” your children have learned to enjoy with you?