Gigi's Blog bio picture
  • Welcome to the Gigi Blog!

    Mother to six Little Women and Two Little Men. Married to a Happy Mortician. Caretaker to goats, chickens and many, MANY bunnies. Photographer. Homeschooler. Lover of Jesus, coffee & tea and all things pink & vintage.

Looking Up in the Winter Sky

The way a crow
Shook down on me
The dust of snow
From a hemlock tree
Has given my heart
A change of mood
And saved some part
Of a day I had rued.
-Robert Frost

 

 

The air was crisp and chilly, a perfect January day. With all our mild weather lately, we were delighted to have a simple full-fledged winter weather. The little ones and big ones alike found their skates, some dull with use, others sharpened with the hand-sharpening tool their daddy kept on hand … laces were tied and everyone stumbled excitedly outdoors.

This winter, we have had a lot of trouble building a skating rink [sadly, too many issues to list – but nothing is never as simple as it seems, am I right? The girls joked that we could write a book with the title, “Fifty Ways to NOT Build your Rink”) …. so the children’s daddy decided to just flood the front yard where water naturally forms in the spring. The idea was brilliant and, indeed, it worked – and the girls are quite delighted to have their spread of a skating “rink.”

 

Gliding skates over rough, bumpy surfaces, ice crackles, sunlight streaming through the barren silver maple trees made up of the old-fashioned skating scene in our front yard. I watched with wonder from our front parlour window. Delighted with the vivid entertainment, my one year old thumped the window pane, calling to his sisters with glee. Our daily formal school time was finished for the day and children were now free to explore outdoor activities.

Here is the benefit, I believe, in using a Charlotte Mason method for our home education, in which afternoons are used for other means of learning besides formal schooling.

Just at that moment, a big yellow bus rumbled past along our road, most likely on it’s way to pick up children and courier them home from their hours at a the local government school. My thoughts wandered a little … while schooling the children at home means catering my life and time around teaching and instructing, monitoring and encouraging, it is bursting with rewards, as well.

The time of freedom that comes with home education is a such a blessing – I love that my children can enjoy this fresh air, sparkling snow and sunshine on their skin in the middle of the day. There is much to say for the joys, the blessings, the benefits of school together in this informal way.

 

 

Suddenly, out of the corner of my eye, something in the sky caught my attention.  Looking across the lovely blue horizon into the farmer’s field, four large birds circled above, two landing swiftly on a large barren tree above the neighbour’s pond. I stood baffled as to what I was seeing … bald eagles! – two bald eagles, majestic and strong, now circling above … and two other large, dark mottled birds of prey … following close behind …

“Look, girls,” I called out, opening the front door to point to the direction of the wonderful birds. “Eagles! Over there in the sky!”

The six girls and one wee boy stopped skating, eyes facing upward as they watched with wonder. The four large birds circled not thirty feet from the ground.

The eagles spread their wings and were soon soaring overtop of our house and property … seeing the third and fourth bird closer puzzled me … they did not look like bald eagles, but certainly appeared to be of a similar size.  They were mottled with dark brown or black and white feathers…we all watched carefully as the two bald eagles swiftly flew away, right overtop of us, with the two mysterious large birds following closely behind.

 

[Sadly, I did not have the right lens ready for my camera … I am now prepared for the next possible eagle sighting.]

Later, while gathered around the noisy kitchen table at the lunch hour, my children told me they had seen those four large birds the previous day. This is now the fifth or sixth time we have spotted Bald Eagles from our yard – and with a little further research, we discovered the two spotted-type birds of prey were actually younger bald eagles, ones that have not quite grown their adult plumage yet. We talked about how fascinating it was to see these birds of prey in the wild, we looked up their markings in our bird book and later promised we would watch a documentary on eagles.

Lunch dishes were washed, the kitchen cleaned and all the young people decided to scamper outside and try out skating again. I stoked the fire and added some more wood to the woodstove and made my way back to the kitchen to prepare a pot of hot chocolate for their return.

Home education, I thought,is not so challenging — if we keep our eyes in the right direction.

The girls filed past the back kitchen door on their way back to their “rink” … I called after , hoping that perhaps we would see our large-feathered-friends again…

“Keep looking up, girls!”

To You I lift up my eyes, O You who are enthroned in the heavens!
Psalm 123:1

 

 

 

P.S. As we learn new hymns weekly, I came across these lovely lyrics about winter. It seemed fitting to share.

 

Tis winter now; the fallen snow
has left the heavens all coldly clear;
through leafless boughs the sharp winds blow,
and all the earth lies dead and drear.

2 And yet God’s love is not withdrawn;
his life within the keen air breathes;
his beauty paints the crimson dawn,
and clothes each branch with glittering wreaths.

3 And though abroad the sharp winds blow,
and skies are chill, and frosts are keen,
home closer draws her circle now,
and warmer glows her light within.

4 O God, you give the winter’s cold,
as well as summer’s joyous rays,
you warmly in your love enfold,
and keep us through life’s wintry days.

January 16, 2019 - 9:50 pm

Gigi Diane, that is just wonderful! I love to hear the whistle of wings – but even more amazing if it comes from the wind of eagles’ wings!

January 16, 2019 - 4:10 pm

Sarah Wow! What an amazing blessing to see a family of bald eagles! I am sure it will be a special memory your children will cherish all of their lives.

January 16, 2019 - 2:15 pm

Diane Your pictures are stunning GiGi, and that beautiful coat on Lavender! Sounds like a wonderful homeschooling day. We live on the Kalamazoo river and we frequently see bald eagles. My daughter loves to take pictures of them. We had 2 that flew together right through our back field last fall. I could hear this whistling noise in their wings it was so close to our deck. So beautiful! I love the freedom of homeschooling. We only have a year left after this one. This will be 23 yrs for us. Now my Grandkids are being homeschooled too.

January 16, 2019 - 6:34 am

Gigi Kristal, that is so lovely to see them nest. We would LOVE to see that. 🙂
Well, yes, I would write a post on home schooling – sometimes, I start one and then I am overwhelmed at how much there is to write. Do you have suggestions on what exactly you would like to hear first? There is much to discuss.

January 15, 2019 - 7:18 pm

Kristal How fun to see some bald Eagles. We have a few the nest at a river nearby our house. We always like taking the time to go bird watching by the river whenever we can. I was wondering Gigi, would you ever be interested in writing a blog post on your homeschooling? We are homeschoolers too. We blend a bit of classical and Charlotte Mason together. I would love to read your thoughts on homeschool and the materials you use!

A Life of Discipline

“Don’t go around with a Bible under your arm if you didn’t sweep under the bed.”
-Elisabeth Elliot

 

 

The dough had risen … an hour had passed and it was time for my 12 year old to help prepare the dinner buns … the warm kitchen smelled wonderful as aromas of yeast and homemade bread filled the air.

 

With the calendar pages turned to a new year, I have been pondering over what challenges may lay ahead for the older girls, as they grow and learn and mature.

“Do you think, perhaps, it’s time to read through the entire Bible? It’s a new year and it would be a great time to begin,” I asked outloud to my daughter, as she buttered the rolls. She nodded, thinking, pondering … then spoke up that one of her friends who is the same age has already read through the entire Bible twice.

 

[Choose your children’s friends wisely, mothers! And mothers, guard who you are friend with, as well! We are influenced by those around us!]

“Sure,” my daughter said, “Yes, I’ll try it.”

 

 

 

And so later that day, during nap times and a quiet hour, I printed off the schedule of the Bible readings – one that will have the older girls read through the Bible in 365 days. It will require four chapters of Bible reading per day – fairly manageable and not too daunting. Having just finished this disciplined task myself, I was eager for my older daughters to experience the joy of God’s word.

 

 

 

It’s mostly just discipline – getting up, reading the Bible, even if it means you feel like sleeping a little longer or doing something else. Disciplining yourself to do the same task every day  – until one day, you realize you are reading the Holy Word of God and that will just change everything. Humbly, you will read the words of the Scripture and feel so blessed and filled …

 

Parenting, mothering … even being a wife … so much of our lives are about discipline. The world says do what you feel is right, but that is not, truthfully, good for you. Children would eat sweets every day- and for morning, lunch and dinner, no doubt! – if parents did not discipline their children to eat healthy. Toddlers would never want to nap or be potty trained. Young children would skip out on menial chores and daunting schoolwork. Even parents, without personal discipline, would soon become lazy themselves and have poorly run homes and, in turn, families.

 

“Freedom begins way back. It begins not with doing what you want
but with doing what you ought – that is, with discipline.”
 -Elisabeth Elliot

 

Getting up earlier than the family, preparing the house for the day, reading the Bible, personal devotions and stay on track with your tasks, even just cleaning the house and sweeping the floors … it is similar to teaching your children to get up on time, get dressed, make their bed, tidy their rooms, and accomplish their daily chores around the house. Yes, it would be easier at first to make your child’s bed and clean their room for them, but that does not teach your child the disciplining act of being tidy and neat.

“Great thoughts go best with common duties.
Whatever therefore may be your office regard it as a fragment
in an immeasurable ministry of love.”
– Bishop Brooke Foss Westcot

 

 

This year, I am going to work on disciplining myself – one area in particular is with prayer. I realize I need to pray, specifically for my family, more often – the girls have each made me a prayer bracelet with their names from simple little beads. The goal is to wear the bracelets every day and move them from one wrist to another as I pray for each of my children. It will require discipline, but I am encouraged to keep at the task.

 

{Idea credited to Above Rubies}


“It is not easy to find children or adults who are dependable, careful, thorough, and faithful.
So many lives seem honeycombed with small failures,
neglectful of the little things that make the difference between order and chaos.
Perhaps it is because they are so seldom taught that visible things are signs of an invisible reality;
that common duties may be “an immeasurable ministry of love.”
The spiritual training of souls must be inseparable from practical disciplines,
as Jesus so plainly taught;
“the man who can be trusted in little things can be trusted in great;
the man who is dishonest in little things will be dishonest in great.
If then you cannot be trusted with money, that tainted thing,
who will trust you with genuine riches!
And if you cannot be trusted with what is not yours,
who will give you what is your very own?” (Luke 16:10-12 JB).”

-To Keep A Quiet Heart

 

 

I have learned that the life of a discipline may not always be exciting or adventurous – but it is necessary for one who wants peace in their life. A home that is never tidied will not feel peaceful. A child that is never disciplined will fail and grow into a reckless youth and soon, a irresponsible adult. An adult who is not disciplined in his or her life can quickly fall into a lazy slump.  Doing what we don’t want to do, getting the tasks completed and over with, training ourselves to be thankful, cheerful, and polite – even when it’s not something you would prefer to express – takes discipline.

 

Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous:
nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness
unto them which are exercised thereby.

Hebrews 12:11

 

 

 

January 16, 2019 - 6:34 am

Gigi Thank you, Dianne. I love that your daughter is an early riser now. 🙂

January 9, 2019 - 3:10 pm

Diane Love your dining room! Discipline is a timely thing to talk about this time of the year. I was injured right before Christmas so I am learning to discipline my time even though I am not able to do most of my housework. Thankyou for this beautiful blog. I am teaching my youngest daughter from it. She is learning about rising early right now and the importance of it as she is a young woman now.

January 7, 2019 - 6:04 pm

Debby in Kansas, USA I love those bracelets! I was always having trouble remembering to regularly pray for my husband. I know, that’s terrible!! I’d do good for 2 days and then life would distract me. Well, one day I was talking to a friend about housework. Another friend talked about how much she hated it. The first friend said that it was during housework that she did her best praying.
She explained that when she washed and folded clothes, she prayed that they acted as shields of protection for her family and that the love she felt for them rubbed off the clothing and went deep into their hearts. When she cleaned the bathrooms (always a non favorite lol), she thanked God for indoor plumbing & fresh water. And her daily shower as a sort of baptism for a fresh day of serving the Lord.

She went through several things and I was so impressed by the idea that I began doing the same thing. I found that it made me realize just how grateful I was to have a toilet to clean at all!! (I said ‘grateful’, not that I learned to love it!!) I also managed to hook up praying for my husband when he leaves for work by the sound of the garage door opening. Right there and then I pray for safe travels, a productive day, & his safe return.

I think those bracelets will do the same!

January 7, 2019 - 9:35 am

Monica Yes! I had already been pondering on this for the new year. Being the CEOs of our homes, so to speak, while the fathers are daily away, it’s easy to just do things how we FEEL like doing them and not always how we should. But as you said, for the house to run smoothly, there are disciplines that have to be in place. So I find I have to constantly choose….my feelings and suffer for it or discipline and reap rewards?

Great post friend and such a cozy home you have! My husband also printed our two oldest children off a through the Bible plan. I think he got theirs from Ligonier (online). Have a wonderful day, friend! Thank you for the challenge!

January 7, 2019 - 12:14 am

Our Home of Many Blessings Your kitchen is so beautiful,warm and inviting…I to am trying to pray more for family,friends,my husband and dear children of mine.I am also trying to keep myself from ever being lazy so to speak….in a large family there is always something to do anyway,lol.Beautiful post.Just what I needed…

January 6, 2019 - 11:38 pm

Lynda Lu Gibb Thank you for the word for 2019.. Ny great friend Pat always chose a word for each new year. I have been pondering which one it should be for this year.. discipline it will be for 2019.

I like your idea of the prayer bracelets.. moving them from one wrist to the other will be a gentle reminder. .

Thanks for sharing your insight Gillian.

January 6, 2019 - 11:11 pm

Teresa@ Simply Farmhouse There is so much truth to this post. We all need discipline in our lives and teaching to our children as well. And you are so right about choosing friends wisely. Thank you once again for another inspiring post. Have a wonderful week with your sweet family.

When Toys Are Seen

The Toy Strewn Home
 
Give me a house where the toys are strewn,
 Where the dolls are asleep in the chairs,
Where the building blocks and the toy balloon
And the soldiers guard the stairs.
 
Let me step in a house where the tiny cart
With the horses rules the floor,
And rest comes into my weary heart,
For I am at home once more.
Give me the house with the toys about,
With the battered old train of cars,
The box of paints and the books left out,
And the ship with her broken spars. 

Let me step in a house at the close of day
That is littered with children’s toys,
And dwell once more in the haunts of play,
With the echoes of by-gone noise.
Give me the house where the toys are seen,
The house where the children romp,
And I’ll happier be than man has been
‘Neath the gilded dome of pomp.
 
Let me see the litter of bright-eyed play
Strewn over the parlor floor,
And the joys I knew in a far-off day
Will gladden my heart once more.
Whoever has lived in a toy-strewn home.
Though feeble he be and gray,
Will yearn, no matter how far he roam,
For the glorious disarray …
 

Of the little home with its littered floor
That was his in the by-gone days ;
And his heart will throb as it throbbed before,
When he rests where a baby plays.
Edgar A. Guest

January 1, 2019 - 9:13 am

Our Home of Many Blessings Little boys in overalls and little girlies in pigtails are so wonderful and sweet!!!Love your photography!!You truly have a gift.Happy New Year!

December 30, 2018 - 3:04 pm

Gigi Shirley, yes, I am grateful for this extended motherhood time of little ones!

December 29, 2018 - 6:41 pm

Shirley So precious Gigi…. I love the focus on their little faces as they get lost in a world of play!

The little boys and their tractors are adorable, and the sweet little one with her kitty just made my day.

You are in a wonderful season of life.

Shirley

December 29, 2018 - 4:06 pm

Gigi Teresa, tractors … yes, my boys love them! I never would have thought I’d be in your shoes as a mom of boys, but it’s just wonderful! I love having tractors and small wooden guns (shocking? Boys are boys …) around the house … they are such a delightful addition to our home and family.

December 29, 2018 - 3:35 pm

Debby in Kansas, USA What a sweet poem. Even with no kids, I have a couple of toys on my hearth. I have a Cabbage Patch doll from the early 80’s & her stuffed pony. I can’t tell you how many kids have walked into my house over the years, gone right over, & started playing. Their moms always worry cuz I’m childless, but I assure them that they’re welcome to play with them.

My mom would’ve asked if the poet wrote this after Legos were invented. My poor mom used to step on my brother’s Legos and let out these awful screeches in pain! I didn’t understand until I stepped on one. Ouch!

The kitten looks just like my RIP Roscoe looked when he was a small fry! So sweet.

December 29, 2018 - 1:20 am

Teresa tears in my eyes seeing your boys playing with tractors; oh to have some hours/days back with my boys little and playing with their tractors, enjoy these days of littles 🙂

December 28, 2018 - 11:02 pm

Monica Love this!! ❤️

Twenty-two Teacups {Brighten the Corner Where You Are}

 

From the hot kitchen, where dinner was ready and waiting, I heard the back screen door slam, followed quickly by children’s screams of delight.

 

“Daddy!!!!!” the younger ones cheered with joy, loudly announcing their father’s arrival to home after a long day at work. Outside, the winter sky was already dark, the evening cold and homes were being lit up across the country road with gentle lights.  Dinner was prepared and the table set – I wiped my hands on my apron and left the kitchen to greet my husband. He was still standing at the back door, his dress shoes on, his arms full of a big cardboard box.

 

 

 

 

“Here, someone left this for you today,” he said, extending the box my way. Taking the box from Mr. Gauthier, I peeked in to see the contents.  To my delight, my eyes fell upon a vast array of gorgeous, delicate teacups, all tucked away gently in the brown cardboard box.

 

I could not believe my eyes … such a treasure, I thought, as I carefully carried the box away from the noisy crowd, who were now trying to climb their daddy and give him hugs, others bouncing and asking random questions what he ate for lunch or how his day was … I tucked the precious package away from sight until after dinner, when things would calm down and I could take each teacup out and examine it’s beauty.

 

 

 

Over the dinner meal, as dishes were passed and the excited chatter began about our day, I inquired about the lovely arrival of the teacups.

“Someone gave them to me and I knew you’d like them,” my husband explained. And that was it.

Incredible! Delightful! No reason at all behind the giving, just a simple explanation – but what joy it was bringing to my heart! The generosity and kindness of such an act filled my heart with appreciation and gratitude.

 

 

 

Later, after  bedtime stories and devotions, when the children were tucked into bed and kissed good night, I tiptoed back downstairs and carried that cardboard box into the parlour. Unwrapping each teacup in the gentle light,  I placed each lovely cup onto the table to view the pattern, the colours and the variety. There were teacups with sunshiney-yellow, cheerful and happy, delicate flowered teacups, aqua blue and pale pink roses, even one with pretty birch bark trees displayed …

 

 

They were beautiful! So many! Counting them, I happily discovered there were 22 lovely teacups nestled in that box, all in perfect shape, no chips, with matching saucers and absolutely perfect.

Looking over each pretty little cup, I felt so blessed and grateful for such a random act of kindness. This wonderful box of twenty-two teacups certainly brightened up my dark winter day …

… and then my mind brought to attention the hymn the children and I have been learning ….


Brighten the Corner Where You Are

Do not wait until some deed of greatness you may do,
Do not wait to shed your light afar;
To the many duties ever near you now be true,
Brighten the corner where you are.

Brighten the corner where you are!
Brighten the corner where you are!
Someone far from harbor you may guide across the bar;
Brighten the corner where you are!

Just above are clouded skies that you may help to clear,
Let not narrow self your way debar;
Though into one heart alone may fall your song of cheer,
Brighten the corner where you are.

 

Whomever thought to package up these teacups and give them away may not have been thinking about brightening up someone’s day or bestowing a great blessing but that is exactly what it was – a blessing. May I, too, find ways to brighten the corner where I am – to look beyond my own little trials and find ways to bring sunshine into someone’s day … it may be something so tiny and small, but it may bring a little brightness into their darkest winter day.

 

 

 

The next morning, I showed the curious girls the dainty teacups displayed on the dining room table. We sang our daily hymn at the 100-year-old piano and I asked them to find a way to brighten a corner for someone … later, we made little presents for some new friends … friends that would not expect presents … we invited them over for tea and we had an afternoon together on the darkest day of December. Twinkle lights were strung, the table was set, goodies baked, food was served and friendships formed. On the darkest and shortest day of the year, what fun it was to brighten a dreary corner, even with just a simple tiny gesture of kindness and humble hospitality.

 

 

Post Script: I have created the below Brighten the Corner graphic for you to print and download, if you so wish. You may follow the link here to print. I do hope you can find a way to brighten up a corner this week.

 

December 30, 2018 - 3:17 pm

Gigi Laura, yes, I was so excited!!

December 28, 2018 - 5:51 am

Gigi Sue, that is a wonderful idea. I am giving one girl a hope chest this year for her birthday. I will save some teacups for the girls, for sure. Thank you for the inspiration.

December 27, 2018 - 7:05 pm

sue Well, this post really cheered me up and brightened my corner! The cups are amazing and your photos are beautiful. I was thinking how neat it would be to put one tea cup aside for each of your girls as a surprise addition to a hope chest for each of them to open later. I did that for our daughters 18th birthday and she loved it!

December 27, 2018 - 4:06 pm

Laura Smith What a wonderful surprise to receive those beautiful tea cups. I would be over the moon. May they continue to brighten your corner and all who share a cup of tea with you.

December 26, 2018 - 4:11 pm

Gigi Yes, I was very much overjoyed! It was such a treat to look through the box. 🙂

December 26, 2018 - 3:22 pm

Debby in Kansas, USA Oh, my!!! That was my first thought when I saw all those lovely teacups! They’re so incredibly beautiful. I can only imagine how your heart skipped when you peered into that box. I probably would’ve cried!! What a wonderful gift. I wonder if you’ll ever learned who gifted you such a treasure. With the sets you already have, you may just have enough to use a different one every day! Enjoy!

December 25, 2018 - 5:03 pm

Monica What a lovely, lovely gift!! I can see a hutch with the teacups displayed on it…yes I can. Have you thought of how you’ll display them? They will add some whimsy to your home, no doubt. 🙂 So happy for you and what lovely photos these beautiful cups make! ❤️

December 25, 2018 - 6:11 am

Rebecca What lovely teacups! There are some really gorgeous ones in there! Merry Christmas to you and your family!

December 24, 2018 - 4:34 pm

Gigi Thank you, Paula. I love your memory of your grandmother – how special!

December 24, 2018 - 1:15 pm

Paula Merry Christmas to you and your family. I printed your gift out and will look for an old frame for it. Thank you. I appreciate all your posts. Your words quiet my heart. Your children will remember those teacups forever. My grandmother served our morning breakfast tea/cocoa in a teacup whenever we stayed with her. A great memory for me to keep once she was gone….

The Red Sled

“I believe women come nearer fulfilling their God-given function in the home than anywhere else.
It is a much nobler thing to be a good wife than to be Miss America.
It is a greater achievement to establish a Christian home than it is to produce a second-rate novel filled with filth.
It is a far, far better thing in the realm of morals to be old-fashioned than to be ultramodern.
The world has enough women who know how to hold their cocktails, who have lost all their illusions and their faith.
The world has enough women who know how to be smart.

It needs women who are willing to be simple.
The world has enough women who know how to be brilliant. It needs some who will be brave.
The world has enough women who are popular. It needs more who are pure.
We need woman, and men, too, who would rather be morally right that socially correct.”
-Peter Marshall, 1942

 

The little wooden red sled was propped against the brick wall of our north porch. Fresh snow had fallen over the yard and the energetic children were bursting with energy and excitement to go outside and ‘just play’.

Lunch was simmering on the wood cookstove – soup, again.  Most of our school lessons had been accomplished for the day. There’s always more we could do, but how long can a little child sit without getting irritated and requiring a healthy dose of fresh, cold winter air on his face?

Mittens in piles, boots scrambled up, snow suits lay on the ground as seven out of eight children rushed to be the first one outdoors.

 

 

“Help you little brother,” I said, with more of a command than a request, mostly directing my comment towards the older sisters. What takes them one minute to do would take their little brother 10 minutes. Zipping up my 4 year old’s coat, I tucked her messy braids in behind her hat. She giggled and smiled, then stuffed her feet into her winter boots.

 

“May I take Loyal on the sled, mommy?” The question came from my warmly dressed Lovelyn, eight years old and with a heart of gold. This little girl, stuck completely in the middle of a large family row of siblings, is a true meaning of her name – full of love and care.

“Sure, he’d love that,” I said, sorting through the pile to find the one year old snowsuit.

A few minutes later, pulling the lace curtain aside from the window, I watched from the front palour as Loyal, in all his happiness and glee, was pulled along in his favorite little sled across the front yard. He didn’t seem to mind the chilly air or the sting on his chubby cheeks. Usually I would take him for his little ride outside on the frozen snow, but today’s kitchen mess needed a mother’s serious attention. The little sled gracefully glided across the crusty snow, pulled gently by the big sister … the fresh snow sparkled, the trees creaked with icy groans and children’s laughter echoed across the expanse of the yard.

A to think I could be missing all of this … I thought … as I returned to the kitchen to make a pot of hot chocolate for the children upon their return. So many mothers, misled by the world and it’s agenda, return to work after having their children. For one reason or another, they are misguided, told it is okay to leave their children in the care of someone else [a daycare, nanny and more]. The thought of missing these years of childhood of my younger ones brings sorrow to my heart.  The greatest opportunity for our family unit has come in the form of educating the children at home – where big ones help little ones, we learn together or separately, big sisters have the beautiful advantage of being with their little siblings when generally they would be off in the school system. Would they even know their little brothers that well if they were gone seven hours a day?

With the water set to boil on the stove, I picked up the well-used broom and began sweeping up the lunch crumbs littered underneath our large kitchen table. How can mothers know to return to home unless someone tells them it is the place to be, I wondered … will they miss out in the grand scheme of the workplace or will they weigh out the missing, precious moments at home? Seeing your children in the evening for only a few hours does not make up for the lost time in between.

My thoughts rambled to a day when I was working with my photography studio- a client had brought her two little girls in for photos … one of the girls was very fussy, crying, not wanting to be put down. After many attempts to cheer up the little one, I asked the mother if her daughter had been feeling well that day.

“Well, the daycare said she was fine … they wrote down what she ate, they told me she went the bathroom and was playing just fine with the other children,” replied the bewildered mother, as she tried to calm the upset daughter on her lap.

I remember, upon hearing this, my thoughts froze. A day care reports what the child eats and even when they go to the bathroom?

Those are little details, but yes, I suppose they are very important in the lives of little children – and yet, they are details I am made aware of day after day without realizing it.

How would a mother know what is upsetting her child if she is not with her child for the majority of the day?

When you are at home with your children, you know what they eat, if they feel sick, generally you know why they feel ill, what makes them tired and when they need rest. You know when they want a some invigorating fresh air or a little sled ride or when their eyes need a rest from math problems and grammar lessons. You know when they need to clean up their room (and under their beds), tidy up their drawers and practice (longer) on  the piano.

 

The back door slammed and I heard Lovelyn calling out my name.

 

“Mommmmeeee, Loyal wants you,” she shouted, stamping the snow off her boots.

Stepping into the back room, avoiding multiple puddles of melted snow, I collected my rose-cheeked one year old into my arms. Stripping off his snowsuit, mittens and hat, I settled in on the rocker near the woodstove. I pressed his cold cheek against my warm one and thanked God for my chance to be right here – with the children, at home.

_________________________________

Post Script:

While I am not writing here to call myself noble, I am writing to offer encouragement – even for myself – during the lovely years of Motherhood. We can choose to surround ourselves with Biblical teachings and godly encouragement or we can be confused and muddled by the world’s teaching.

Some lovely teachers on Mothers at Home:

“This leads me to the more important subjects of women at home. Eventually, even mothers will be home without children, as they grow up and get families of their own.
The presence of the woman  is still necessary to give the home a feeling of love and warmth.
As she gets older, she has to think of her health.
Staying home, even with no children, brings out the feminine qualities in a woman:
softness, sweetness, goodness, lack of hurry or worry.
I do not believe that children can have the proper physical, emotional, social and spiritual nourishment
if they are not at home with mothers who are willing to spend the time with them.
It is tragic that women today think that making money is more important,
and they are depriving their children of these wonderful memories.
I do not even think that debt is a good enough reason to abandon your home life and go to work.
Your children will know that money is the foremost thing on your mind, and what is that teaching them? ”
Lydia Sherman
From Pastor John MacArthur:

“… they [women] are to be workers at home…workers at home. What does that mean? That means what it says, workers at home, home workers. God must have written that for our day when millions and millions and millions of women are working mothers outside the home. Millions of them have young children. In fact, the statistics of the number of women who work outside the home and have children under three is staggering, it’s something like a third of all mothers with children under three work outside the home.

You wonder why there are delinquents? This is a very fascinating term, workers at home, oikourgos from ergo, to work; and oikos, home, work at home. Your task is at home.
A woman’s task, a woman’s work, a woman’s employment, a woman’s calling is to be at home.

This isn’t hard to figure out. This is a divine principle.
Abandoning children to work outside the home is a violation of Scripture.

You say, “Well my kids aren’t home while I’m at work.”
That’s not the point. That doesn’t change the obligation because they went to school. It’s the home that you prepare when they aren’t there that makes the home a home. If you arrive when they arrive and leave when they leave, it’s unlikely that the home will be the kind of home the children need. Working women contribute to lost children, delinquent children, children who have lack of proper understanding of God-ordained roles in the home, terrible decline, drugs. We don’t even talk about the working woman phenomenon of adultery and divorce. And for a woman to be the bread winner…you say, “Well our house payment requires two jobs, we both have to work.”
Then get another house and have a family.”
Pastor John MacArthur

 

December 26, 2018 - 9:49 pm

Katy I couldn’t agree with you more! It saddens me when women choose work/career over their children! I am also deeply sad when I know single moms who *have* to work and have no other choice. Oh how I wish the world valued mothers at home….tending to their own children! It is a noble calling and I am so thankful that I have been able to do it. The Lord is so good. May He draw more hearts to Himself and open the eyes of mothers everywhere to see what they are missing! I feel so sad when I see people dropping their children at daycare. 🙁 Or even when grandparents babysit their grandchildren all day….they end up raising the child instead of the mama!

A lovely post! Thanks so much for sharing it with us!

December 24, 2018 - 6:59 am

Gigi Hello, Sue! Thank you and I hope you are blessed this month. Thank you for your encouragement. I truly appreciate it.

December 22, 2018 - 10:24 pm

Sue Hello Gigi, its been a while since i posted but I wanted to make sure and wish you and your family a Merry Christmas. Also i wanted to encourage you that the seeds you are planting in your children today as a stay at home mama, will most definitely reap a big reward. My mom stayed at home with us and because of her example, i was able to follow in her footsteps and do the same. God bless you all!

December 21, 2018 - 4:30 am

Rebecca Great quotes! I’m totally gonna write those down somewhere! I like the quote about how even if your kids go to school during the day, that your being at home, making meals and things, contributes to the home. When my brother and I started going to school in Junior High (we had previously been homeschooled), my mom went back to work. And that seems to be the normal thinking — that if mom has kids in school, she should work. I personally homeschool so it doesn’t apply to me, but I think this is a very good point! *And little Loyal in that sled is just too cute for words!

December 19, 2018 - 5:20 am

Julie Such truth! Our daughters need to know this is most important and our sons need to know it is the role for his wife. No matter what the world may tell them. Love the last line by John MacArthur “Get another house and have a family” Priorities are so backwards now days.Young couples need to hear this. Thank you for your encouraging words!!

December 18, 2018 - 6:59 am

Gigi Monica, yes, grace! Thank you, Lord, for grace!

December 18, 2018 - 6:59 am

Gigi Domestic momma, you are welcome.

December 18, 2018 - 6:58 am

Gigi Debbie, yes, everyday moments are just as important, I believe.

December 17, 2018 - 11:44 am

Debby in Kansas, USA I think you point out such great little details that one might not think about. Most think of the monumental moments like the first step, the first laugh, etc. While missing any of that would break my heart (if I had children), I think the everyday stuff is probably the most special.

And something I’ve never thought about in my 56 yrs. is how a family splitting up everyday affects how siblings grow up. I have 4 and the last one I spoke to was a month ago. Another was 6 mos., another 3 yrs., and another about 10 yrs. We obviously didn’t grow up close.

I loved the quote you posted at the beginning. That’s another one going into my Homemaker’s Encouragement file! Thanks!!

December 16, 2018 - 2:31 am

A domestic mama serving Christ This post, as so many others of yours, is such an inspiration and a blessing! Just what I needed to encourage me 🙂 Thank you so much for sharing this =)

December 15, 2018 - 5:29 pm

Monica Sadly, I have a few of those daycare papers that tell what my child ate that day and how many bathroom visits were had. I would feel less convicted when I read those, thinking my child was being taken care of, when truthfully what he needed was ME at home, seeing about him and his needs.. I’m so glad the Lord was gracious to bring me home not too long after. Great post, well written and gorgeous photography! Hugs my friend, thanks for being a shining light. Love the quotes!

December 15, 2018 - 11:13 am

Teresa Another heart felted and beautiful post. This is my heart as well.
Merry Christmas to your blessed family sweet friend.