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.

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