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.