Gigi's Blog » Tales of the Mortician's Wife

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  • Welcome to the Gigi Blog!

    Blessed to be a mother to half a dozen girls & one boy. Wife of an undertaker.
    Photographer. Homeschooler. Daughter of the King. Chicken and goat raiser.
    Lover of Jesus and all things pink and vintage. ♥

Daily Life & Decluttering {Blessing our Home}

The snow is swirling in a blizzard-like fashion out my frosty kitchen windows. All babies have been tucked into their beds for an afternoon rest and quiet time. The house is fairly clean and dinner is simmering on the cookstove. I have poured my cuppa tea and opera music is playing faintly in the background ….

Earlier this morning, with the warmth of the cookstove keeping the kitchen cozy, it seemed like a good idea to give Loyal his bath in the kitchen sink. He is growing so fast and I just adore his chubby little body! He’s like butter in my hand – so soft and gentle.

 

My husband and I have decided to transform a tiny extra room we have (on the main floor) into a school room with desks for the girls. As they are getting older and needing more quiet areas for studying, we thought this would be a good use of space. We were inspired by a visit to a friend’s house recently. They had a separate room set up with individual built in desks for their eight children to do their school work, keep their books organized, etc. It was just what I was needing for a mid-winter project inspiration!

So this afternoon, after the school books were closed, we set to spending 25 minutes to emptying out the back room, bit by bit. My husband asked me why I wanted to start this project of emptying out the room when the built -in desks are not even made yet, but I don’t think he realizes how long it takes to get things done with a baby and toddler… homeschooling and, well, life.

So the girls and I started today – I have this procedure where we only do small cleaning projects for about 1/2 hour to an hour as everyone gets a little distracted and frustrated if we spend too much time in the basement, cleaning off bookshelves, etc. So to ensure the children still have free time in the afternoon, I tell them we will put on a timer and set to work for a short period of time. After that timer goes off, everyone will receive a freshly baked cookie (or treat of the day) and the little ones are tucked into bed for rest. It is a good way to get things done in the winter months, when we are all cooped up inside (especially on a wintery, blizzard day like today), but ensure the task or chore does not snowball into a huge day-altering project!

 

[In just half an hour, we have 7 bags of items to toss to the local thrift store. Amazing how clutter can build up. I am always surprised at how much we collect when I feel as if we de-clutter monthly! Is this, perhaps, a large family problem, or perhaps just a problem in general?]

 

With the back room nearly cleaned out, I needed to make room in another area for the hutch that was storing fabric for sewing projects. I decided to try it out in the kitchen. We shall see if I like it or if it will feel too crowded – sometimes I change things around too often that the girls always ask me if another baby is on the way… I guess they know me well. 🙂

I love to re-arrange and make the home look fresh and pretty. Yesterday, we took down all the white lace curtains and washed them in hot soapy water. They were hung up by the afternoon, fresh and clean. The week before, we washed down all the kitchen walls which were very dirty from our wood cookstove. We also took down the lace curtains in the kitchen and washed and hung them, freshly cleaned. It did not take long with all of us working together and it was a good way to get warm during a very cold day that came our way (-30 degrees!). Those who were the coldest were the ones that climbed the ladder to wash the 10 foot walls – height rises, you know … they were soon warm enough to throw off their sweaters.

I always find myself encouraged after a room has been cleaned, freshly washed curtains are hung up and shelves are dusted. It makes such a difference! I love making a house a home – it is such a nice way to bless with minimal effort. Lighting a beautiful homemade candle can make a room smell lovely and cozy, as well. It’s a personal goal of mine to ensure dinner is cooking on the cookstove, as well, by lunch time – the house smells yummy and delicious, as we all await the lovely dinner hour. Tonight, we are having lamb chops, raised and butchered by our neighbour, (seasoned with olive oil with thyme, garlic, pepper, salt and rosemary) and garlic mashed potatoes.

Last night, my husband brought home some roses that were being thrown out after a funeral – they are so lovely and give such cheer to winter kitchen. It would have been a shame to throw them in the trash – I am grateful for them! I love roses, but of course, they are so expensive to buy, especially in midwinter.

What are your favorite ways to bless your home?

 

 

January 16, 2018 - 9:05 am

Chris McCoy - It gives me such joy to see the impact of flowers… to think of the journey of those vendella roses…grown in Ecuador, they would have come from one of two major producers, both of which have reformed their entire growth operation to become more socially responsible…gone are e days of underpay and temporary workers to farms now which have included schooling for the children of their employees, medical facilities, education for special needs children, family support and a true desire to better the people who work for them. Then a journey by air throught the USA to the doors of Canada where the are shipped to florists and lovingly arranged in celebration of a life…knowing those flowers will share emotions of love, respect, remembrance, and all the while, the family unknowingly are feeling the chemical effects of having endorphins released in their brains (our natural healing and feel good drug) easing the sorrow of a loss. The blessedly being passed along to a family, a nursing home, a hospital, a shelter where the bring joy again to a family! They have a very long journey across the world, to come to serve such a wonderful purpose. They can be dried, make into pot porri, pressed and painted onto pillar candles with melted wax, sprinkled fresh into bath water to release natural oils, composted into soil to enrich growth of other plants…so many things. God had a good plan when He made flowers 🙂 one of my favourite things. Hugs and love to you all from our home xoxox. Chris, rob, wes and Tommy.

January 16, 2018 - 6:37 am

Gigi - Thank you, Rebecca. I love having lights around, especially in the dark winter months.

January 16, 2018 - 1:07 am

Rebecca Kurber - I love the twinkle lights in the hutch!

January 15, 2018 - 5:35 pm

Gigi - Sue, that is too funny – I do the same thing! However, I have an on going box for giveaways, not a garage sale. I don’t think I could manage a garage sale, even though it would be a great experience for the girls!
And that’s a great idea re: the electric warmer. You inspired me to pull out my old scentsy burners – 🙂 Thanks. I just added some of my homemade candle wax to the burner lid. Thank you for the idea!

January 15, 2018 - 9:25 am

Sue - We are always decluttering here also, and it is only the two of us! Our years of shopping second hand for the family have really “stuck” with us 🙂 My solution is to keep a large cardboard box at the ready to put in items that we no longer want and when the box is full, i store it away until i have enough boxes to justify a yard sale. This has been a blessing for us as we always bring in a good chunk of cash from the sale! (Maybe ladies with children can partner with other moms to get the the job done?)
I love all your twinkle lights and how you put them on your open shelving! I string mine along the top of curtain rods at Christmas time and leave them there all winter long. I also enjoy comfy smells and use candles but instead of burning the wick, i set the glass candle on an electric candle warmer. I feel like it is safer and and the smell seems much stronger as one large candle smells up our entire house! Thank you for sharing your ideas and beautiful photos of your home and family… it is a blessing to us!

January 14, 2018 - 11:05 pm

Tara C - Love this idea! Setting a timer for 1/2 hour is a great idea for getting those things done.
PS – My hubby met your parents recently (through a Kijiji purchase) and we found out that your sister attends the church that we go to. Small world! I met her a couple of weeks ago 🙂

January 14, 2018 - 4:54 pm

Gigi - Thank you, Donna. A timer is definitely a great idea. 🙂

January 14, 2018 - 9:56 am

donna - I love reading your blog. I always set a timer for work time as well. Even now, with my last two being 19 and 18, when we are starting a project they will ask “how long do you think we will work”. Thanks again for taking the time to post about your life. God bless.

January 14, 2018 - 7:09 am

Gigi - Jen, I will surely take photos! It will be a long project though…

January 13, 2018 - 7:55 pm

Jennifer - Wow! I would love to see photos your new school room for the older girls! And boy oh boy ,do your two little sons look similar! So cute!!

January 13, 2018 - 6:38 pm

Monica - We have six children so far, so eight of us. PS. I’m currently taking a break from “spring” cleaning my dining room (even tho it is near 20s outside and the fire is blazin’) so thanks for the inspiration! We burn wood as well, so my curtains were black on top! Yikes.

January 13, 2018 - 11:31 am

Gigi - Monica, I completely agree – the same thing happens with us. It is a blessing but it needs management! A good rule is one thing in, out thing out – of course, that does not always happen in the same day, but I wish it would! When we moved from our last home, our basement was filled with junk and clutter. I am determined to not allow that to happen this time around. I feel like I am constantly decluttering but it is okay, so long as I can stay on top of things. Last week, we also went through the house and de-cluttered and cleaned out all the drawers except in the dining room. It felt great!
P.S. How large is your family?

January 13, 2018 - 9:22 am

Monica - I love this post! I can definitely agree that clutter loves to “drop out of the sky” with large families. Last year I probably took 30 bags of items to our local thrift store and already this year I’ve packed up four bags awaiting the thrift store. And still the “decluttering bug” has bitten me hard. It always does with a new year. I think for us, we get such wonderful donations during the year because our wonderful friends and church family think “big family, growing kids” and they are so correct—so they bless us with wonderful hand me downs and other odds and ends. And either the things we replace become clutter or suddenly someone has way too much of something and it does pile up. I love to see how you’ve brighten your space—lovely indeed. I’ve been in a huge decorating “funk” lately so it was nice to be inspired by someone who takes what she has and gives it a new home or a fresh look. Thanks for posting—stay warm!

Sunshine in my Soul

“The value of song as a means of education should never be lost sight of.
Let there be singing in the home, of songs that are sweet and pure,

and there will be fewer words of censure and more of cheerfulness and hope and joy.
As a part of religious service, singing is as much an act of worship as is prayer.”
-E.G.W.

My six year old had just finished her read-aloud as we sat together on the pink couch in the living room. The little baby boy fussed and was quickly passed back to momma’s arms. Snow was peacefully falling outside but the winter sun was shining ever so brightly, making the snow sparkle and look like little bits of fairy dust whirling past the imperfect windows.


“Did you know the longest day of winter has passed?” my six year old piped up.

Oh yes, indeed, it has. We had pointed to the calendar and counted down the days to remind ourselves that winter is not forever. That is not to say that we do not enjoy winter … on the contrary, we love winter! There is so much to be thankful for during this season of rest …

Cozy books by the fire … family board games by the fire … knitting and crocheting while listening to audio books by the fire … baking cookies and goodies and having friendship teas with good friends whom you have not seen in so long … old fashioned movies … by the fire … 🙂 … the season of quiet in the garden is welcomed, as well, as it is a big chore come the spring time.

… but it is it interesting to note that the days are indeed becoming longer now …

Earlier that morning, just like every other morning, after daddy has left for work and kissed all his eight children goodbye, I had gathered a noisy crowd of children around the kitchen table for our morning Bible and hymn time. Sometimes it is after the oatmeal bowls have been cleaned, sometimes before the cleaning commences … today, together, we opened our many Bibles and went over the Scripture which we are committing to memory along with the hymn of the week. The hymn we are learning right now fills my heart with joy when we sing the verses together …listening to the girls and one little boy sing loudly around the kitchen table, learning beautiful words to a heartfelt song, can be the best part of this mother’s day.

“There is sunshine in my soul today,
More glorious and bright,
Than glows in any earthly sky,
For Jesus is my light…
Oh, there’s sunshine, blessed sunshine,
When the peaceful happy moments roll.
When Jesus shows his smiling face,
There is sunshine in the soul…”

It is very fitting for mid-winter song, I feel. Words written by a bed-stricked young lady from the 1800s, this hymn is now one of my favorites.

“There is music in my soul today,
A carol to my King,
And Jesus listening can hear
The songs I cannot sing…”
We had finished our hymn and morning clean up was happening now. Children were hustling about, starting their morning chores and clearing the breakfast table.

“What does that mean … songs I cannot sing?”

This time the question came from my 11 year old curious daughter. I explained there are times when we cannot sing ourselves, when we are upset or very sad, feeling so lonely or depressed, when our bodies are weary and our hearts feel heavy. This, this time when we are lowest, is when there needs to be stored-up-music in our hearts, ready to fill our souls with praise. A little music box ready to be played for Jesus.

And this is why you are taught these hymns, I told my little brown haired girl, so you can have your own music box inside your heart for those days you cannot sing.

… for those times when you are a child or adult and there is winter in your life and you find you do not have the strength to sing when you so desperately need to … this old hymn that you committed to memory, this relic song will come bubbling up in your memory and you will find your carol to your King …

“There is springtime in my soul today,
For when the Lord is near,
The dove of peace sings in my heart,
The flow’rs of grace appear.
Oh, there’s sunshine, blessed sunshine,
When the peaceful happy moments roll.
When Jesus shows His smiling face,
There is sunshine in the soul…”

When I am going through a season of winter, I can reassured it is not forever … and all those fussy details that make one’s mind whirl and feel overwhelmed or anxious, weary or worried … well, it all does not really matter because … there is sunshine in my soul!

 

January 4, 2018 - 6:04 pm

Monica - Thank you! It would mean a lot! One certainly can’t go by rating anymore.

January 4, 2018 - 11:03 am

Heather - This has been on of my favourites my entire life. I love it! Thanks for reminding me:)

January 3, 2018 - 10:11 pm

Gigi - This was a new hymn for me but now it feels like an old friend. I had not known it growing up but am so glad to have found it – as per an Elisabeth Elliot suggestion.
Monica, yes, there are some good movies to be watched together, but they are hard to find, indeed. I will work on posting a list. 🙂

January 3, 2018 - 11:06 am

Sue - Thank you for sharing this..i went to the links and also listened to the song online. What wonderful inspiration for all of us to remember! I also shared the link with a friend of mine who happens to be bed ridden at the moment with a similar ailment. God Bless You and have a beautiful, Son shiny day!

January 3, 2018 - 10:15 am

Brenda (Gigi's Mom) - I love that song … and I love having sunshine in my soul and songs in my heart. Great learning for the children about having a song that we cannot sing but it is still in our hearts. God will be there for us, all the time! and He sings over us too! “The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17 Thanks Gillian for the inspirational morning message. xo

January 3, 2018 - 9:30 am

Monica - Great idea on the hymn study—I didn’t recognize that one! We moved last year to a different church—and they sing the traditional hymns. I’m loving it and enjoying learning those great doctrinal words of faith in song!
PS. You mentioned “old fashioned movies”….any ones to recommend? Ugh—I hate having put on a “decent” movie for the kids these holidays only to have to turn it off when something “off color” is mentioned—and it seems to happen too frequently. Thanks in advance.

True Rest

“May I lick the spoon, mommy?”

 

Four little ones surrounded me as I mixed the flour, butter, eggs, sugar and molasses for the ever-loved gingersnap cookies that we all so loved. Their little bodies trapped me against the corner cupboard as the mixer whirred a happy humming sound. The children chattered away, fighting over who would get what to lick and who would get the most of such a treat. Flour flew up and generously dusted the worn countertop in front of me. With a warm rag, I wiped off the mess and was reminded of one of those to-dos – fix the counters. The marks of water and constant use on the wooden counters have required a task of sanding down the surface – all in good time, I thought.
I stopped the faithful mixer and quickly scooped out some golden colored batter on a spoon for one of the eager children – and divided the spatula, mixing paddles and second spoon between the rest of the awaiting customers.

Knowing that I had doubled the already-large recipe, I guessed it would take a while to roll, dip and bake all the cookies required for our {large} family.
Coraling two older girls, I asked them to help roll out the cookies. Many hands make light work and that is certainly true in our family. Having the children help might result in a messier endevaour but it might be faster, I thought. I knew the afternoon was quickly slipping away and we all needed some down time.

I popped Lazarus, our resident two year old boy, into his wooden high chair and allowed him the pleasure of licking the mixing paddle. His eyes lit up and he quickly figured out the best way to maneuver the delicious cookie dough from the paddle.
Indeed, this treat was well received!
Glancing at the clock, I saw it was nearly nap time –I knew I needed to wrap up this cookie-mess shortly. My three year old squealed with delight as I handed her the spatula.

“Can I really lick it??” she asked eagerly. Yes, dear, and then it’s nap time, ok?


Her dark head, hair messy and needing attention, nodded in agreement, a fresh change from her usual whining as nap time approached. “It’s good, mommeee!”

We had had an unusually busy morning – with two girls at a dental appointment and catch up-time needed for school. Of course, after a busy weekend of being out, church skating and having company, Monday also brought double-chore day for the girls (as they call it). That meant extra vacuuming, dusting and general cleaning all around. We managed to get our chores done and a haphazard morning of school accomplished, as well. It always amazes me how much can be accomplished when we all try a bit harder. The breakfast dishes were finished, floors were swept and vacuumed, dinner was prepped, the upstairs was tidied, bathrooms were cleaned, laundry was put away and school was all started before 9:30 a.m.

I knew, by naptime this afternoon, I would need a few minutes for a tea break. We were, indeed, all tired.

The two girls continued to roll out the cookie dough, giggling at their creations as they flopped them into a small bowl of cane sugar. Sugar crunched under my worn slippers as I wiped down my now-sticky-but-happy little boy and whisked him into my arms. Nap time was here and it was time for some quiet moments for everyone.

Finished with their task of rolling out four dozen cookies, the girls disappeared to play chess together and quietly read in their room.

Tucking in the toddler and his sister for their naps, I kissed them before their little heads rested on their pillows. Shutting the nursery door with a click, I closed my eyes and prayed a silent prayer to my Heavenly Father. Thank you, Lord, for helping me be patient with my little ones. It truly is not always easy when one is weary, tired and needing rest. But when the day – when the week is busy, when the moments fly by and yet it seems little is accomplished, when my goals of homeschooling at thrawted with important real-life appoiintments – and when there is no quiet time to be found, where does one’s rest come from?

Once back downstairs, I popped the first set of cookie trays into the now warm cookstove and poured a cup of Earl Grey tea for my weary body. Sitting down at the kitchen table, my mind was reminded of one of my favorite verse – one that is taped to the front of my fridge… and one that is highlighted in my Bible.

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden,
and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me;
for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.”
Matthew 11:28-30

 

Yes, Lord, rest is only found in You.

Nowhere else. You will not find it in a fancy spa, an expensive remote vacation or an elaborate restaurant on your night out or even during a humble tea break during nap time – true rest, the kind of rest we all need and crave in this busy, demanding world, is only found with one source:

Jesus.

I sipped my hot tea and tasted the freshly baked gingersnap cookie. The snow dripped outside into puddles on the windowsills and I found my place of rest in a noisy, busy Monday.

 

P.S. Here is the recipe for the lovely gingersnaps, shared from our dear friend, Miss Amanda.

Gingerbread cookies

-1 cup butter, softened

-1 & 1/2 cups sugar

-1/2 cup molasses

-2 eggs, lightly beaten

-4 cups flour

-1/2 tsp. salt

-2 & 1/4 tsp. baking soda

-2 & 1/4 tsp. ground ginger

-1 & 1/2 tsp. ground cloves

-1 & 1/2 ground cinnamon

In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until light-coloured and fluffy. Beat in molasses and eggs; set mixture aside. In another large bowl combine flour (no need to sift), salt, baking soda, ginger, cloves, and cinnamon. Blend thoroughly with wire whisk. Gradually mix flour mixture into creamed ingredients until dough is blended and smooth. Roll dough into 1 & 1/2 inch balls. (It should make about 3 dozen cookies.) Dip tops in granulated sugar. Place 2 & 1/2 inches apart on greased cookie sheet. Bake for 11 minutes at 350 degrees. Do not over-bake. Cool on rack. Store tightly in a covered container.

 

December 23, 2017 - 10:03 pm

Renee - Hello my friend, we too were baking up a frenzy in our little cabin in the big woods. Lots of Christmas cookies to decorate and frosting covered faces to clean up lol. Wishing all of you a splendid Christmas. Much love, from your friends in the west. xo

December 23, 2017 - 10:02 pm

Renee - Hello my friend, we too were baking up a frenzy in our little cabin in the big woods. Lots of Christmas cookies to decorate and frosting covered faces to clean up lol. Wishing all of you a splendid Christmas. Much love, from your friends in the west. xo

December 20, 2017 - 10:42 pm

Katy - Beautifully written! Indeed….our true, most satisfying rest lies in Christ! 🙂 It reminds me of a quote by John Piper: Christ is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him. I always enjoy your blog posts! Glad I found you! 🙂 I pray your week is going well and most enjoyed with your sweet family!

December 20, 2017 - 11:33 am

Gigi - Sue, it sounds like a fun week indeed! You are blessed!
I love reading Keepers at Home. I will have to go look to see if I got my winter issue.

December 20, 2017 - 11:13 am

Sue - Just this morning, i read the article in the Winter Keepers At Home mag, “The Short Years” by Amy Engbretson and i thought of you. It is excellent inspiration especially for mothers that have young children in their care. In short, Amy speaks about Isaiah 40:11. I love how she gives the analogy of Jesus gently leading “those that are with young” and mothers leading “those that are with young”. She shares, “The knowledge that i am gently led should also make me a gentle leader”. Its like a revelation to me! I will have our 7 grandchildren here in our home this week to make gingerbread houses lol. Lord, help me to remember this and be a gentle leader 😉

December 20, 2017 - 6:36 am

Gigi - Yes, I still love that redneck cookie recipe! Yum! Glad to hear you are using it as well, Rebecca.
And thank you for the encouragement, as well!

December 19, 2017 - 5:05 pm

Rebecca - I’ve been contemplating that verse a lot lately. Thanks for the great post and the cookie recipe! A long time ago you posted your “redneck cookies” recipe and it’s our favorite cookie recipe now! I’ll have to try these ones as well — they look great. Thanks for posting your recipes and encouraging us with your posts!

December 19, 2017 - 10:03 am

Monica - Such a true statement—true rest can only be found in Jesus! Also, I have struggled with looking to other things for *joy* as well—and that can only be ultimately found in Him, also! He is truly our everything! So glad you felt His peace and rest for your soul. We do need it daily with these little ones. Hugs!

The {Shared} Birthday

His little toddler arms encircled my neck and squeezed. It wasn’t much of a squeeze but it went straight to my heart. In this little-big family, we all love Lazarus’ little hugs. They are so soft and gentle, even though he tries so hard to give us a tight grip. We laugh at his not-very-strong little arms and we wonder what it will be like to have an older boy around the house and home in a few years. Will he take over carrying in the firewood? Will he love to be beside his daddy, working on the tractor or tinker on broken motors littered around my husband’s workshop? Will he take over mowing the lawn for his daddy, a chore dreaded by the girls? Will he be a book-ish boy or an outdoorsy boy?

We don’t know what it is like to have a “big boy” around the house to help out, but we do know what it’s like to have a little boy.

And it’s adorable and fun.

We love his little piles of dinky cars that we trip over [perhaps that will change over years of stubbed toes]. His growing pile of tractors – green and orange – are amusing to the older sisters in his life. Right now, his whole two-year-old world revolves around one word : “ta”. (For you see, this is his word for tractor.)

 

In fact, he doesn’t say much at all- maybe that is a welcomed change in a house full of chatty women. 🙂

[His vocabulary so far consists of the words “mommy”, “daddy”, “ta” and “wa-wa” for water or milk.]

 

The December snow was falling lightly outside on the barren lawn, but inside the home, it was cozy and warm. Eight children laughed in excitement of a simple homemade-party for their little brother. Nothing fancy, just family together. I lit the candles on his farm-themed-chocolate cake, baked by his grammie, and carried it into the dining room. The chocolate frosting tempted the children and there were fingerprints already in the sides of the three layer cake. Cuddled by his biggest sister, this little boy was quite content.

This small son of mine … we nearly share a birthday, a few hours apart , and for that I will always cherish the day he was born in an special way. I had hoped he would be born on my birthday but God allowed him to wait just until after midnight of the following day. I, myself, am only a week apart from my mother’s birthday. There’s something special about being so close to someone’s day of birth.

“A happy birthday to you, a happy birthday to you,
May you feel Jesus near
every day of the year…”,
the girls sang out in chorus.

 

 

His little face full of wonder took in the two glowing candles, one shaped as a little red barn and one in the shape of a beloved tractor. What should he do with them? He did not know how to blow them out yet. The sisters took care of that task quickly and efficiently. The cake was served with dollups of melting vanilla ice cream and a side dish of love and sticky fingers.

Happy birthday, my son. I am so glad God blessed our family with a dash of baby-boy blue.

 

 

 

December 16, 2017 - 7:37 pm

Gigi - Thank you, Sue!

December 16, 2017 - 4:32 pm

Sue - Happy Birthday wishes to you Gigi and little Lazarus! And Merry Christmas to you and your family…may God bless you all richly in the new year!♥⛄

December 15, 2017 - 7:58 am

Gigi - Thank you, Regina!

December 15, 2017 - 7:55 am

Gigi - Thank you, Katy. Happy birthday to your son, too!

December 14, 2017 - 9:33 pm

Katy - Happy Birthday to you and your boy! 🙂 My youngest just had a birthday at the beginning of the month! He is my only winter baby as my other two were summer babies! 🙂 Such a gift our children are! 🙂

December 14, 2017 - 11:33 am

Regina - Awww such a sweet little boy! I just want to kiss that little face Happy birthday to both of you!

{Home Library} A Faith-filled Life & Faithful Wife

“According to my judgement the most important point to be attended to is this:
above all things see to it that your souls are happy in the Lord.
Other things may press upon you,
the Lord’s work may even have urgent claims upon your attention,
but I deliberately repeat, it is of supreme and paramount importance that you should seek above all things to have your souls truly happy in God Himself!
Day by day seek to make this the most important business of your life.
This has been my firm and settled condition for the last five and thirty years.
For the first four years after my conversion I knew not its vast importance,
but now after much experience I specially commend this point to the notice of my younger brethren and sisters in Christ:
the secret of all true effectual service is joy in God,
having experimental acquaintance and fellowship with God Himself.”

George Müller

 

The six girls  sat around the large, worn kitchen table, coloring pictures that I had printed off on our home printer. Outside the December winds blew but the grounds remained barren of snow. The little toddler boy was tucked upstairs in his blue room, ready for his morning nap. My arms were filled with my two month-old baby, nestled in my lap, wrapped up in his crochet blue sweater. His chubby cheeks were soft and sweet and he sighed a content whimper.

Crayons and pencil crayons were scattered across the long table. I knew little and big ears were listening to the morning real aloud time, even if it seemed that to lack general order at the table. The bigger girls had sharpened pencils, perched beside their books, ready for notebooking. I turned the page of the chapter book and continued to read. A brown pencil crayon rolled off the table and fell to the braided carpet that covered the tile floor.

“Maybe this was all a mistake after all,” George Muller said.
Mary walked over to her husband and put her hands on her hips in a determined stance.
“How can you say that, George Muller?
Look at all the prayers God has answered for us! Isn’t the house an answer to prayer?
Look how much money has been provided.
Isn’t that an answer to prayer, too? And the calico, the dishes, the furniture,
everything in that house is an answer to prayer and we both know it.”

 

The girls were taking in the details of this great man’s life, and while yes, his life and incredible faith is a story to be told and retold –  it was the submission, the gentleness and the quiet faithfulness of his wife, Mary, that was being impressed upon my mother’s heart. As the wife of a man of faith and vision, Mary Muller had to walk alongside her husband, supporting and encouraging him, without complaining, with the ability to be flexible and give up her fine beautiful china, her home comforts, her family securities in order to follow her husband’s leading. From the death of her little baby son to the barreness of their kitchen cupboards to the lack of a regular salary to pay bills, Mary’s faith was indeed tested year after year in her marriage to George Muller. Yet, she stood by him, encouraging this man of great faith, trusting in her Heavenly Father.

“Mary was silent for a long time as they continued to walk along the seashore.
The only sounds were from the waves lapping against the seawall
and the gulls squawking overhead.

Finally, Mary spoke.
‘Do what you think is best, George.
I can trust God, just like you do.'”

 

The life story of George Muller is indeed a beautiful, amazing story of incredible faith and in my opinion, humility of a great man and his partnership with his wonderful wife.

“Every year our happiness increased more and more.
I never saw my beloved wife at any time,
when I met her unexpectedly anywhere in Bristol,
without being delighted to do so.

George Muller -Delighted in God

During our school time, after reading through a chapter of the book, the older girls would notebook a page of his life while the little ones would draw or color a picture to illustrate what was read. I myself would ponder the actions of his lovely wife and wonder how I could apply her methods to my every day life.

Throughout this book, the girls were learning about the miracle of prayer, the wonders of faith and the patience that it requires to wait on the Lord. And I, as I read the words outloud and rock the baby in my arms,  discover what a godly, prudent wife looks like.

George stopped and hugged his wife. Tears spilled down his cheeks. Mary had been right – marriage had not become a prison for him. Instead, it had given him a partner in faith.
‘God will not let us down,’ he said, with more confidence than he actually felt at that moment.
George Muller, The Guardian of Bristol’s Orphans

Oh, that I would have the faith of this great man and his humble wife! Oh, that I would have such cemented security when earthly situations look dismal and bleak and the cupboards are barren … oh, that my children would learn the power of prayer, the wonders of believing in an Almighty God … oh, that my children would press the Scriptures to their heart and live with eyes towards their Father…

“Seek to cherish in your children early the habit of being interested about the work of God, and about cases of need and distress, and use them too at suitable times, and under suitable circumstances, as your almoners, and you will reap fruit from doing so.”
-George Muller

_____________________________

P.S. One of the most wonderful joys of homeschooling is reading aloud to the children! It is one of my favorite aspects of teaching the children at home. What fun it is to build up our home library! We have bookshelves in every room …and it is my motherly goal to fill them with educational, sound, intriguing books.

For those not homeschooling, these books would still make a great bedtime read aloud to your children. Reading to your children, especially when they are young, is very important for many reasons. Children benefit by having their vocabulary built, aiding in their future literacy skill, it helps a child concentrate better and strengthens their memory. It also teaches them to sit still and listen, a lesson that needs to be taught to young children.

It is also a simple, painless way to learn – whether it is about the Christian life, history, biographies of famous people, or inspiring tales of imagination, children do love to hear these tales and stories.

Last week, we finished a biography on Mary Slessor, a missionary to the inland tribes in Calabar, Africa. It was intriguing and wonderful! The girls were on the edge of their seats throughout many chapters. Some of the details were shocking to them (the killing of twins, for example, was something the tribes practiced), but Mary’s determination and willing spirit were inspiring.

 

December 19, 2017 - 7:44 am

Gigi - P.S. Did you receive the little gift I sent with my Aunt Audrey back in October?

December 19, 2017 - 7:37 am

Gigi - Lyndy, thank you so much. You are such an encouragement to me. Not a day goes past without a thought of you in my mind – especially as the girls are wearing their nightgowns and I am still wearing the one you made me a few years ago. You are such a blessing!

December 19, 2017 - 12:34 am

Lynda Lu Gibb - This gives me a little peek into the heart the woman of God you are continuing to strive to be. Thank you for sharing such intimate thoughts and desires.. you are blessing all of us who read your insightful writings. God Bless you for your birthday, may you continue to blessings abundant with God’s true promises.

December 15, 2017 - 8:08 am

Megan newbury - Loved this!

December 14, 2017 - 7:19 am

Gigi - Thank you for the link! I am checking out her work…

December 13, 2017 - 10:20 am

Monica - Actually that website that I referred to in my comment is http://www.jennyphillips.com. Sorry about that—the other is the actual name of the website. 🙂

December 13, 2017 - 10:13 am

Monica - We are all about reading here as well. Sadly I read a lot of “junk books” growing up and I’m making a conscious effort to carefully select the books my children read. We have the George Muller book and I don’t think I’ve read that one to the children yet! We also do that same science curriculum—the one from christian liberty press! We our children get past sixth grade, we use Apologia. You may know about this already but on http://www.thegoodandthebeautiful.com website, she (Jenny Phillips) has compiled a huge list of children’s books that are clean, free of any bad words, filled with morals, etc, and I think it’s $5 to download. It’s my list I take when I go to our library. Have a great day, Gillian! I always look forward to your posts! Love how God puts likeminded people in our paths!

December 12, 2017 - 6:30 am

Gigi - Bobbie, ((hugs))!!

December 12, 2017 - 6:29 am

Gigi - Thank you, Sarah. Your word are encouragement to me, as well!

December 11, 2017 - 10:45 pm

Our Home of Many Blessings - Me tooooo! I can’t wait to read your dear words.So lovely!

December 11, 2017 - 8:05 pm

Sarah - Gigi, I always eagerly click the link when I see a new post up in my Feedly. I am never disappointed. Thank you so much for beautiful posts, thoughtful words, and stunning pictures that inspire my heart towards my family.