7.05.2016

The A,B,C's of Simplicity || Part 3 in the Motherhood Series


This blog post is a short summary of the last session that I did for young mothers (with 4 or more children) from our church.  I am posting it in hopes that it will be an encouragement to many other mothers who are in the "trenches", as my dear husband describes those mothers with many young children. Many times mothers are overwhelmed more by the "extras" than they are by the actual responsibilities of raising children.  It is my prayer that mothers will evaluate their lives for the purpose of simplifying their lives so that they can be keepers at home, love their husbands, and love their children.

A-Ask for wisdom.

James 1:5.  Prayer is the best organization tool ever!  Ask God for wisdom in how to order your days.  Many times, God has given me creative ideas on how to motivate my children to do their school work, how  to cook simple but nutritious meals, and how to get done what needs to be done in one day.  

B-Be in submission to your husband.

Your husband can protect you from doing too much, from saying "yes" just because you want to do a project, and from making decisions which might bring unnecessary stress to your life.  I can testify that there have been many times that humbling myself in asking my husband's permission to do something has saved me from unnecessary grief, stress, and cost.  I also have unwanted memories of the opposite-those times when I followed my impulse or feelings without checking with my husband. :(

C-Clear your schedule.

Eliminate those activities which keep you from doing what you need to do as another.  It could be Facebook, home parties, texting, internet, impulse shopping, etc.  Put the "big" stones first in your day-time with God, housekeeping, training your children, homeschool, and especially enjoying your children. Then if you have time, read an encouraging blog post.  

D-Declutter your life.

More clothes equals more laundry.  (Don't ask me why, just trust me-this is the TRUTH!!)  Less is better.  Leas toys, less clothes, less school curriculum, less house decor., less shopping.  As you simplify your life, you will find you will have more time for doing ministry with your family, playing games,  reading aloud to your children, going on walks, etc.

E-Enjoy your children.

Your children will be happier when their cups are full.  Take time everyday to enjoy your children.  Make your work your play.  Sing while you do the dishes.  Put the sprinkler on after you work in the garden together. Read good books, (One of these days I will put a book list on our website.)   sing hymns, and Scripture songs together, and ESPECIALLY memorize Scripture. Recite Scripture to your baby while you change diapers.  

F-Food for the brain and food for the body.

Listen to good music, read good books, and watch GOOD dvds.  (Did you notice that I didn't mention GOOD video games????)  Look for agendas and what is being taught in all books and media.  There just aren't amoral products.  A few examples:  In "Curious George" books,  children learn that a good ending justifies acts of disobedience.  The "Bernstein Bears" are disrespectful to their parents, Mrs. Bear runs the home, and Mr. Bear is a wimp. Most Disney products are full of story plots that elevate disrespect, disobedience, and dishonor. (not to mention pervading themes of witchcraft, "save the planet" mentalities, and "follow your heart" story lines.) 
 Periodically review your libraries, cd collection, and movies to check if they meet the criteria in Philippians 4:8.  "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."

Eat real food.  More nutrition may cost more up front (unless you have the privilege of growing most of your own food) but it will mean less Dr. bills and more energy.  Serve fresh and lightly steamed vegetables often.  They are usually economical and take very little time to prepare.  Fresh or frozen fruit served with a hot cooked cereal (oats, millet, quinoa, etc.) is a quick, economical, and nutritional breakfast.  Eggs are a simple and delicious option, too.  A high protein breakfast will give the family energy and brain food for the morning's activities.  Bags of browned hamburger, cooked chicken & beef, and cooked beans in the freezer will enable you to make last minute meals for both family and guests.

Conclusion: 

Life is short, childhood is ever so much shorter.  You will not regret the minutes, hours, days, and years you spend in enjoying/training/loving your children.

{written by Becky Bontrager}

8 comments:

  1. What is wrong with children watching movies that tell them to follow their heart if they are supposed to have God in there? Wouldn't that mean they are truly following him?
    Why do you have to ask your husband for permission to do anything? Can't you decide for yourself if it's a good choice?
    Why cut down on curriculum?
    How can you apply these things if you don't homeschool?

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  2. I love these posts, Aunt Becky! You are a wonderful example of a Godly wife and mother, and I'm thankful for your willingness to share these nuggets of wisdom with young mothers. I really liked the idea of reciting scripture during diaper changes. Since there are many of those in my day, I'm going to implement that idea today! Love, Marissa

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  3. Hello Lauren,
    Jeremiah 17:9 "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?" There are many other references in Scripture that remind us to follow God's leading, not our hearts.
    I don't ask my husband's permission for everything. :) There are many decisions that he would rather that I make on my own but I am referring specifically to activities that will take me out of the home, that do not involve my duties as a mother/wife, and require a significant time commitment.
    My reason for simplifying curriculum is so we can focus/do with excellence whatever we do. I also want them to practice music; learn skills like cooking,sewing, gardening, mechanics, etc.; and be involved in ministry opportunities. I find that we cannot do everything so I prayerfully choose what is best for our family.
    If you send your child to school, you can still limit their non-curriculum activities so they have time to be with family. You can also simplify your life so that you can focus on your children when they are not in school.
    This post is offered as a guide/encouragement, not as a set of laws/legalism. Above all else, spend time with God and respect/honor your husband.
    Blessings,
    Becky

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  4. I have a comment about the books you talked about.
    I grew up with curious George books and Fhe Bernenstain bears books and I was not disrespectful to my mother or other authorities. My mom also bought many books for me at book fairs at school and I never showed disobedience or other bad behaviors. I feel that families should practice their own discretion with books, movies, and television shows. Parents can read the books or watch the shows/movies on their own and see if it is okay for their children.
    I am not a mother but i appreciate these posts for ideas for when I am a parent or even as an aunt as I am right now.

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  5. Like I said earlier, this post is not meant as a set of rules but rather as guidelines. My heart is that mothers will seek God and read His Word for direction. Truthfully, we do read Curious George and Bernstein Bear books, but we don't have them in our library or make them a regular part of our reading diet.
    It is so important for young ladies to use their single years to learn about motherhood and to spend time helping mothers with young children. May God bless you as you serve Him!

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  6. Thank you so much for this encouraging post! It truly blessed me.

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  7. Mrs. Bontrager, thank you so much for posting! I shared this with my mother and she really enjoyed it!

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  8. Thank you for sharing your wisdom. My oldest just started taking off reading, so I look forward to your book list!

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