Hi dear ladies, congrats on making it to January. We can all take a deep breath and also take a minute to realize what we’ve accomplished. We’ve navigated another holiday season. Although it was done imperfectly, the fact remains that we served our families to the best of our abilities, did all the shopping, choosing, planning, decorating, cooking, wrapping, sizing, baking… and all the other things. God is gracious to give us such a reason to celebrate and the strength to make it special for our dear ones.
You can read our family Christmas Update 2021, here.
Just two things have been on my heart for the year ahead.
Micah is a thoughtful child and he has a way of saying things that my other kids didn’t necessarily verbalize. Here are three recent little exchanges that give us glimpses into the heart and mind of a four-(soon to be five)-year-old boy.
We have a little section of wall in the hallway where the kids mark their height from time to time. We were looking at it a few days ago and remarking over the growth of each one. Me: “Wow Micah, you are getting so big!” Micah: “Well, I don’t want to grow up and get married. I’m never going to get married!” Me: “Why not?” Micah: “Because then I will have to go away from you. I’m never going away from you!”
Look around at whatever God has given you. In front of you, beside you, in your hand. Do you know what these things are? Gifts, yes. But not just gifts, as if God is continually giving you birthday presents. All that you have can properly be called tools. Tools for what, you may wonder.
These tools are given to you for the purpose of building the kingdom of Christ in this world. Nothing should be an end in itself– if it is, it has become an idol in your life.
Pick up where you are, with what you have, and go forward. Build the kingdom. There is ground to take, there are enemies to be defeated. It won’t look the way you’d like, because building will always be messy and laborious. But take whatever you’ve been given (fresh tomatoes, a kitchen, good health, a ukelele, a dozen children…) and get busy building, for the glory of God. You have a part to play in this Grand Story. ♥
Q: I am taking a look and considering our schedules at home in light of promoting the gospel to our children. I was wondering what a typical day/schedule/routine looks like for you in summer and school year. 🙂 I know it sounds like a strange request, but I was curious seeing what you do…also especially curious on how you approach devotions with the kids.
A: Promoting the gospel to our children takes so many forms as it interweaves itself into our family life. All of Christ for all of life… a phrase that says so much (not original with me). But specifically for this post– family devotions! (I will try to answer the daily schedule question in another post… my answer to the devotions part is long enough for one post!)
Anything created by God will flourish best wherever it is placed by God. Remove that created thing from where God placed it, and it will die (at worst) or not reach it’s full potential (at best).
“…the wise tried to see where God placed individuals in the natural order of things, the assumption being that since God is good, the environments that He puts things in naturally help them to flourish.” – C.R. Wiley
As we seek to raise a child so that he will thrive, not just survive, in this harsh world, we should remember where God placed the child to start with. The child is placed within the mother’s body first, and then in her arms, and then by her side– and all within a home and in a family. This placement has everything to do with allowing the child to flourish.
The Household and the War for the Cosmos This is an excellent series with deep and relevant content. We have watched the short videos and are soon going to be reading the book. I wish every Christian parent today could hear, understand, and emulate these concepts. From the book description: Because people saw themselves as part of an ordered whole, they also believed that they had obligations to the people around them. They were not just autonomous individuals, but members of households with unique duties to past and future generations. Words like “piety” and “religion” did not refer to what you did in your quiet time, but were more like the seemingly obsolete values of “duty” and “honor.”
Ring-a-Majigs I found these little toys at a consignment shop while we were deep in the winter doldrums about a month ago. I was instantly taken back to my childhood! I had these toys as a child, in the same container. Anyone else remember these? Turns out they are as much fun today as they were back then.
K’nex Also during the winter doldrums, this classic toy provided hours (literally hour upon hour) of constructive entertainment. Toby and Sammy especially enjoyed making some very complicated creations, including some with moving parts connected to a little motor. We have some books of designs with detailed instructions which helped them with ideas and specifics. Did I mind having K’nex all over the living room floor, 24/7, for weeks on end….? Yes, but not really, if that makes sense.
Before this month completely gets away from us, here we are with the second edition of our product share feature!
We use this rice cooker all the time. We eat quite a bit of rice and it used to be that the rice would so easily burn when being cooked on the stove. Now it never burns, which is the best part of using a rice cooker. It also has some convenient settings such as a delay start option. I have made different types of rice in it, and all has turned out well. Read the instructions carefully, because the measurement for the rice is a little different than you might expect. The only thing I don’t like is that, when cooking the rice, it doesn’t tell you how much time is left until it gets down to 10 minutes, and then it gives you a countdown. It usually takes about 40 minutes to make a batch. It will keep the rice warm and ready to eat for hours, if you need to cook the rice ahead of time.
I absolutely love the milk frother whisk I got recently. I use it to blend anything in a cup, like hot chocolate or my daily greens powder. What’s amazing about this little tool is that it works wonders for mixing things that tend to be lumpy. I made homemade hot chocolate earlier, and getting the cocoa to incorporate is usually quite a challenge. I took this quick video to show you.
Happy Valentine’s Day! Below are some thoughts and quotations that I gathered from my Commonplace Books, on the theme of love.
My prayer for you today is that you will learn to love others more deeply as you more fully comprehend the love God has for you. If you are a natural-born pleaser/achiever like me, it can often be difficult to realize and remember that God’s love for you is not based on any merit of your own. He loves you in spite of all your failures and sins. He loves you, and not because of anything you have done or anything you are currently doing. You cannot and you will not measure up. His love is undeserved, yes, a thousand times yes, and that is what makes God’s love toward us so exceedingly precious.
This truth has come home to me over the past few years, and it repeatedly brings me to tears, because it speaks to my soul.
“How deep the Father’s love for us, how vast beyond all measure, that He would give His only Son, to make a wretch His treasure.” -Stuart Townend
God’s love was expressed in a supreme Sacrifice. Wherever there is true love, there must be giving, and giving to the point of sacrifice. Love is not satisfied with giving trinkets; it must give at the cost of sacrifices; it must give blood, life, all. -F.B. Meyer
Here on Treasuring Home, we will be giving away a lovely one-of-a-kind piece, skillfully created by my talented sister-in-law Esther. She designed and wood-burned this beautiful piece of home decor, by hand. I love placing decor around our home that will remind us of truths, especially Scripture.
We tried hard to capture some photos that would do this piece justice. We *almost* succeeded.
To enter the drawing:
Sign up on the email list for Treasuring Home (if you are not on it already). Use the subscribe button at the bottom on mobile devices, or on the sidebar on a desktop. **Be sure to check your email, in order to confirm your subscription. You may have to check your promotions folder or your spam folder. You are not actually subscribed until you click the link in the confirmation email.**
Next, leave a comment on this post, here on the blog. (A Facebook or Instagram comment will unfortunately not be counted.)
Doing the two things above will give you one entry into the contest.
After you have done that, if you would like a bonus entry, either share this post on Facebook and tag me (Jennifer Hall), or tag my account in an Instagram post or story (@treasuringhome). If you do both, it will count for two bonus entries.
That’s it! The giveaway will close on October 31, a name will be randomly drawn (out of a literal hat 😜), the winner will be notified.