Tuesday's Toolbox - This Week's Item - The Kitchen Sink Mood:
happy Topic: Blog Carnivals!
Many of you know that my wife Sarah and I met while we were both counselors at Cedar Lake Christian Camp in Livingston, TN. We ended up dating (a very interesting long distance relationship), got married and had our reception at the camp, had our first child during one summer at camp (another interesting story) and then, later serving at the camp full time for three years. Although we now work full time running a mission for low income folks, we still have very fond memories of working at Cedar Lake. In fact, an incident that happened one summer there is the insperation for today's Tuesday's Toolbox item.
After spending a few summers as a counselor, Sarah was chosen to be the head of the girl Counselors in Training (CIT's) that worked in the kitchen. She enjoyed directing these neat young ladies while they set tables, served food, and cleaned up, but bemoaned the fact that the only time that she came into contact with the campers was when their individual cabins were chosen to help wash dishes. One day, though, something happened to help her understand that God uses all those who are faithful in special ways.
One day she noticed one young boy who looked sad and forlorn while he worked rinsing some dishes so she sidled up beside him to help, and to find out what was wrong. After some discussion she found that he was troubled by some of the camp fire talks and Bible studies. She came to find out that he was unsure that he would go to heaven when he died. She kindly explained once again how Jesus came to earth and lived a perfect life but then was punished by being put to death on a cross. But, He wasn't punished for anything that He did, He was punished for the sins that we commit every day. He took our punishment, so that we wouldn't have to punished by dying and spending eternity in hell. He did this as a free gift to us, and all we had to do was accept His free gift.
She told this little boy that when we accept this free gift, Jesus will wash all of our sins away and we will be as clean inside as these dishes are after they are thoroughly washed. But, the decision had to made by the little boy. Only he could choose to accept the free gift or not. She explained it so simply, that all of his doubts were removed and his questions were answered. He eagerly said that he was ready to accept Jesus' free gift right now. So, right by the sink of dirty and washed clean dishes, the little camper prayed with Sarah, thanking Jesus for giving him eternal life. The brightness on his face was proof that the decision he had made was the right one. No longer was this young boy sad and forlorn, but he was overjoyed and full of hope. And, the change was made while working over the kitchen sink.
I'm sure that many of your children have accepted the free gift that Jesus offered them, but this story proves that God can use any object or chore for His glory. Perhaps your children are already saved, or maybe they don't wash dishes, but they all desire and need our attention. The next time they are looking sad or even when they appear happy, sidle up beside them while they are cleaning their room. Join them while they are taking out the trash. Help them as they fold the clothes. Take some time to spend with your kids starting today. Use the teachable moments. Notice when they are feeling down. Allow God to use you just as Sarah allowed God to use her. You never know. It could be a life changing experience.
PS. Don't forget to head on over to Tuesday's Toolbox host page to check out all of the other tools for this week. Just click here.
When I was first thinking about starting the Men's Monday Meme, I asked the other members of the TOS Homeschool Crew to give me some suggestions on questions to ask. Wendy from Our Crew's Ship came up with a few good ones so I thought I would post one of them for this week's question. Here goes:
What is your favorite discipline tip? Who handles most of the discipline in your home, you or your wife? Why?
Ok, I know it's one of those dual questions again, but they are good questions. I'm looking forward to some of the responses. Don't forget the rules:
This is a man's meme, so the answers must be the answers from a man. Either the man can answer on his blog, or a wife can interview her husband for her blog. However, if the wife puts it on her blog, she must stay true to what her husband said.
You are encouraged to put one of the Men's Monday Meme buttons found to the left on your blog. Just copy the code below the button of your choice. The more folks who link, the more readers you may have to visit your blog.
You may answer the question any time during the week up through next Monday. After you answer the question, add the address to your post to the Mr.Linky below. If you could, please only add the direct link to the post to make it easier for readers to find the entry.
My answer along with a new question will be posted next Monday. The new Mr. Linky will be added at midnight Monday night.
OK men. I have tortured or made your wives torture you all week long, so now it's time for my answer to -
How do you divide up the work at home? Do you help out with housework?
We have a very unusual situation at our home. We run a mission to the low income housing area in our town, and we live in a house attached to the mission. So, we both work from home. And, not only that, but we also homeschool, so our children are always at home with us! Another interesting dynamic in our household is that we have two children that have sensory issues - one has been officially diagnosed with asperger's syndrome. A typical middle class home we are not!
Having said that, Sarah's and my personalities are totally different than what you might expect. For example - Sarah likes to mow. It is her time to talk with God, so, although I enjoy it as well, she probably mows a little more than I do. I, on the other hand, don't mind doing laundry. It is kind of a challenge to me. Joshua, our aspy, showers and changes clothes two to three times a day. Sometimes he'll put on the same clothes, often not. Joshua, our youngest, has bladder problems. It's something that we have been to a specialist to see, but to no avail. He drinks a lot, and he wets a lot - even at night. So, we are often having to change the bed. A typical household with three active boys would have a ton of laundry on its own, but with the two problems I just mentioned, our laundry is enormous. I like the great feeling of having it all caught up (which doesn't happen too often).
Therefore, I would have to say that we split the outside tasks and the inside tasks pretty evenly. I do most of the homeschooling and help out inside. She probably does most of the inside, but enjoys working outside as well. Both of us don't do enough to plan our time wisely, but I am probably worse in that area. We tend to find other ministry or family things to do that are more pleasurable to us. We also need to train our boys to do more work around the house. We have focused so much on finding help for our special needs kids, that we have failed in training them to do the every day things that kids should be trained to do. We are getting better at that, but we still have a lot of work to do in that area.
So, you see, we do have an unusual family. I'm sure that no one would say that their family is totally normal. There probably isn't really any cookie cutter households out there, but ours is pretty uncookiecutterish. Is that a word? Oh well, you get the picture! I guess you'd have to say, considering the topic for this week, that we have our work cut out for us !
New Thru 30 - Day 1 - Matthew 1:1 to 12:50 Mood:
happy Topic: Bible Reading & Devotions
Check out what I have to say about day one of the New Thru 30 Challenge by clicking here. If you haven't commited to the challenge yet, there's still time! Today's the first reading day. If you can't begin today, you can always use the make up days, or just begin a few days later and end a few days later!
Tomorrow's the First Day & Shhhh! Don't tell Angelfire! Mood:
a-ok Topic: Bible Reading & Devotions
Tomorrow's it! It's the first day of the New Thru 30 Challenge! Are you ready. Some of you may have already started. Really, if you have been using the plan, you know that it officially started yesterday, but the first day of reading is tomorrow. But, I decided to get a head start, and I read the first day today so I could have a full day to think and pray about it before I blog about it.
Now comes the "Shhhh! Don't tell Angelfire" part. I've begun a new blog! In fact, the above picture is the header for my new blog. I'm not quite sure what I'm going to do with it yet, but it's started. Angelfire has been great to me, and I probably will never completely leave it, but I have been having some technical problems with it lately. If you have noticed, I haven't added any links on the left for quite a while. That's because for some reason the blog platform won't let me. The place where I go to add the links etc. is all messed up. I don't know if it is Angelfire's fault or my fault, but even after contact with Angelfire, it still isn't working. That's one of the biggest reasons for starting the new blog. It isn't all the way up yet, but I am going to start out by posting my thoughts from New Thru 30 on it. We'll see where it goes from there. I would love for you to visit me over there as well. The address is http://familiesagain.blogspot.com/ . Please come over and visit! At least for a little while, I will be posting a link here every time I post something new there (did that just make since?). For right now, unless I say otherwise, this will be my main blog and I will point you over there when I post something new. When you visit the new blog, you'll see that I should have posted a "Pardon Our Dust" sign because it is still "in the works", but thanks ahead of time for visiting and being faithful readers.