This is the time of year that we begin to think about winding things down. We’ve worked very hard this school year to get things done. There are many times that I wonder if we’re accomplishing anything. It seems like we’re always behind, always too busy, always trying to catch up. I thought I would go back and look at what I planned for us to do this school year and compare it to what we’ve actually done. Here’s a link to the post I shared our plans on: School Schedule 2012-2013.
The first thing I listed on that post was who my students were. The 3 listed are my own children and they have each had a birthday so are all now a year older. Plus, we invited a brother and sister over to join us in part of our school day 4 days a week. They are 14 and 10.
The next thing on the list was our outside activities. They have been consistent the whole year. Over the next few weeks, they are all coming to an end one activity at a time. These activities are a lot of fun and very beneficial to the kids but I will be relieved when they are done for the year.
Most of our together time stayed consistent. We read quite a bit together. In fact, we read about 2 hours everyday. The following is a list of what we have finished reading or are almost finished reading:
The Bronze Bow
The Great Turkey Walk
Burgess’ Bird Book
Charlotte Mason’s Ourselves
Jean Fritz’ 100 Years Around The World
Apologia’s Flying Creatures
Morley’s The Bee People
A Cricket In Times Square
Edith Nesbitt’s GrammarLand
Genesis, Exodus, Joshua and Judges
In co-op the kids read Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar and The Taming of the Shrew and about half of Augustus Caesar’s World.
All of these readings were done orally. The kids read books on their own that I won’t take the time to list here. I will share a reward system that was revived after being dormant for many years. My 11 year old found out that I had, at one time, paid my older boys a penny a page if they read a book and wrote a book report about it. Being an avid reader and one not afraid of writing, he got busy. To keep up with the times, I doubled the amount to 2 cents a page. I don’t know how much he raked in this year but he has felt pretty good about having a little cash in his pocket. He recently helped his little brother, who is a very reluctant reader, write a couple of book reports for the Magic Treehouse books he has read. Now he is very highly motivated to read. I’m not usually big on rewards like this but it has paid off quite well.
On the individual schedules for the kids, I have listed Greek. The two younger ones sort of let that slide but Timothy has done pretty well with it. Hopefully next year we can get it going again. I’m not too concerned because they did very well with their Latin class in co-op.
We changed our approach to Language arts for the younger two. I discovered Edith Nesbitt’s Grammarland and just had to read it to all the kids except Timothy. Since it went so well with it, we started Winston Grammar. It’s been a little tough for the younger ones but I think all have learned something from it. We also added Spelling Power for the 4 younger ones. They all seem to enjoy it and I have already seen improvement in my youngest’s spelling.
Bible memorization has progressed well. We have been using Bob Waldron’s 17 periods of the Bible — reading and memorizing from each period, studying each period for a month. We finished up the Judges this week.
Early in the year, I realized I could help the 14 year old with his reading. He was willing to do the scripture reading during our worship services on Sunday evening but needed a little practice. I started by having him read the following Sunday’s passage to me. There was immediate improvement. My 11 year old had not started reading in front of the congregation yet but he wanted to get involved in this reading time at the house so he joined in and before long, the two younger ones decided they wanted to do it as well. Each day, each child reads the passage aloud for the following Sunday evening’s scripture reading. All four of them have improved in their reading skills.
One of the issues the 14 year old was having was reading the punctuation. He was pretty much ignoring it. Once I got him to pay attention to the punctuation, his reading improved very much. We’ve practiced reading slower so those in the back of the auditorium can understand. We’ve talked about not swaying back and forth and avoiding other distracting habits. An added benefit is that they hear the passage read 16 times — each child reading the passage four days a week. They have become very familiar with the passages. I don’t remember where we started but they read Matthew 25:14-30 this week.
Piano lessons were difficult to get to at times. Maybe if I paid myself I’d make sure they got their lessons. Even though they didn’t have lessons as consistently as my private students get, they both (Jonathan and Benjamin) improved their piano skills. They are also playing in my orchestra (one on viola, the other on cello). The two friends that come to the house play violin in the orchestra as well so they are all getting plenty of music.
The one subject I’m disappointed in is math. We’ve done better as the year has progressed but it was a little rocky getting started. With math, consistency is key and the more consistent we’ve been the easier it has been for them. I plan on continuing math throughout the summer.
Looking at it all written down, I’m pleased with our progress this year. I need to see to it they do more writing, improve their handwriting skills and be more consistent with math and piano. Having the friends join us for part of the day has been challenging but has kept us on target with our reading. I think we have all benefited from the arrangement.
I have been working on quiet books for my grand babies for 3 months. Not everyday for 3 months. More like, a couple of weeks and then a 2 1/2 month break. I finished one. Gave it to my sweet Everlee and then had to take it back to make a small repair. I finally got around to repairing it tonight.
When my oldest son was a baby, I decided to make him a quiet book. It took me several weeks and was a huge, tedious mess. Back in those days (26 years ago) there was no Pinterest to get ideas from. I borrowed 2 different patterns, chose the pages I wanted in the book and made a couple of my own design. My original plan was to make one for each of my children. That was the only one I made. All 6 boys used it and loved it.
Now that my oldest 2 boys have had their first babies I decided I would attempt to make each family a quiet book. Hopefully, by the time my 10 year old has his first baby, I’ll still be young enough to make him a book.
In the meantime, I thought I would share pictures of the one I have finished. I hope to add a few more pages but for now, this will do. If you’d like to see where I got my inspiration from, check out my Quiet Books board on Pinterest.
The binding of the books is made with a length of gros grain ribbon sewn down the center with key rings spaced evenly. The pages are attached to the rings with grommets
The puzzle page has 2 four piece puzzles. Each puzzle piece is attached by a ribbon.
123 and COLOR CHAIN
I found these cute 123 buttons at Wal-mart. Each number corresponds in color and and amount with the beads next to it. The color chain at the top corresponds with the colors of the numbers as well. The chain fits together with velcro.
The I Spy page was a bit of a challenge. I’m still not convinced this is the best way to do it but it will do for now. The pieces hidden in the I Spy packet are buttons. Matching buttons were sewn on the page itself so my sweetie will know what to look for. The packet is a bit heavy which makes the book heavy. I may eventually take some of the clear beads out to lighten it a bit.
This is the only page that is similar to the original book. It is a super easy one to complete and a favorite one with the kids.
The beehive was fun to make. The bumble bee (there should be 3, I think I’ll have to crochet some more), is crocheted and hides in the hive with the zipper closed. The flowers can be unbuttoned if desired.
There is a lot of button practice with this one. The leaves button on to the flower stems and the stem button onto the flowers at the top.
A chubby pink pig. Who doesn’t love that. This piggy bank has a slot at the top to put coins in and a zipper at the bottom to let the coins out.
I recently lead the discussion in our ladies’ Bible class. We were finishing up a study book by Wilson Adams — Building Up One Another. We found this book to be very enjoyable to study and to discuss with each other but the point of this post is not to promote the book.
The last lesson was on encouraging one another. Wilson made the statement that encouragement was “to put courage in”. Now, I know I’m pretty slow about things sometimes but this one surprised me. I had seen and used the word encourage most of my life and I had never realized that courage was its root word. If courage is the root word of encourage, it must also be the root word of discourage.
As the light bulb goes on, I see that to encourage someone is to fill him with the courage and confidence that enables him to face difficulty, danger and pain. So someone who is discouraged must lack courage, confidence and be filled with fear when facing difficulty, danger and pain.
There are lots of things in this world that require courage. A soldier, policeman, fireman all need courage. They face danger on a regular basis as they defend and protect us from harm’s way.
Some people need courage to do what they do even though no one’s life is in danger. A violinist (I’m familiar with this kind of courage — or lack of courage) needs courage or confidence to stand up and play a very delicate instrument with very intricate music in front of an audience that is watching every move she makes. A baseball player must have courage as he stands in the batter’s box waiting for that ball to come hurling towards him (hopefully not hitting him) while the other team wants nothing more than for him to fail and every eye in the stand is watching his moves knowing that they could do a better job.
Other people need courage to face decisions they have to make. They may need to face the bully in their school or work place. They may need to stand alone against the crowd for one reason or another. It may be that as the boss, someone has to talk about a worker’s need for improvement. It may be that everyone is wanting to go one way and you see that it’s the wrong direction. It takes courage to stand against the crowd.
Where does courage come from? What makes a policeman willing stop a car at night and approach it confidently? What makes the violinist walk out on that stage and perform beautifully? What makes the baseball player willingly expose himself to a super fast baseball thrown within inches of his body? Courage comes from confidence. Confidence comes from preparation. Preparation comes from taking the time to learn about whatever it is that needs to be done. Seeking experts to help mentor and give advice. Practicing, practicing, practicing. Everyone that succeeds in standing alone, either on stage, in the batter’s box, in the role of boss or on the side of the highway next to a car you’ve just stopped has done just that: prepared, sought advice, practiced.
God commands us to be courageous. While He would want us to be courageous in our secular endeavors, His command for us to be courageous is directed to our walk with Him. We must be courageous as we face the world. We must be willing and able to stand alone if need be. We must have the confidence that we can endure the trials we encounter from those who want to bring us down. We must fight the spiritual war we are in without shrinking back, without getting discouraged.
Sometimes we do get discouraged though. What can we do? Is it time to give up? We need to “put courage in” or get encouragement. Just like the people mentioned above with their secular activities, we must prepare, seek advice and practice.
Prepare: Our source of encouragement comes from God Himself. He has provided us with all we need to know about Him and about life in His word. We must go to God’s word, the bible, for our encouragement. The more we delve into His word, study it, meditate on it, share it with others, the more we encouragement we receive.
Seek Advice: Another source of encouragement God has blessed us with is the local church. Our fellow Christians who are seeking God through His word can help us when our confidence begins to fail. We need to be involved with each other. We need to search out our brethren’s expertise. Many of them have been through the same experiences that have caused our discouragement. Learn from them.
Practice: No one can be courageous if they have not practiced being courageous. Practice doing the things we read about in God’s word. Decide ahead of time, before we are faced with a temptation or trial, how we will react. Determine that we will follow God’s way not the easy way. Each time we succeed in being courageous, the next time will be easier.
As we become more courageous we need to share our courage with those that are discouraged by encouraging them. Be aware of those that need to be filled with courage and set about to help fill them up. Encourage them to seek courage in God’s word and pray for them. They will then be filled with courage and then be there for us when we become discouraged.
God has given us a command and has given us the tools we need to be courageous. His ways are never complicated and are different from the world’s ways. Many people will seek other ways to obtain courage but until they realize that God is our source of encouragement, they will always be discouraged.
The reasons have changed through the years. Originally, I didn’t want to send my sweet little 5 year old to the elementary school across the street because they found a kid with a knife. Now, I’m thankful for that kid. I don’t know him or anything about him but he propelled Danny and I into a decision that has altered our life dramatically from what it was going to be.
Recently, a veteran home school mom wrote about the reasons she home schooled her kids and why others should as well. This pretty well sums up why we are still home schooling 21 years after that little boy carried a knife to school. I want my children to spend their days in the counsel of the godly, the path of the righteous and the seat of the respectful. I want them to delight in God’s Word so their faith will be as strong as a big, healthy, productive tree.
Blessed is the man
Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,
Nor stands in the path of sinners,
Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;
But his delight is in the law of the LORD,
And in His law he meditates day and night.
He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water,
That brings forth its fruit in its season,
Whose leaf also shall not wither;
And whatever he does shall prosper.
The ungodly are not so,
But are like the chaff which the wind drives away.
Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment,
Nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.
For the LORD knows the way of the righteous,
But the way of the ungodly shall perish.
Tags: Psalm 1
I was searching through some old files on my computer and discovered this little gem of a recording. It was in a most unlikely place so instead of passing it by and hoping I’d remember where it was, I decided to upload it here and share it with everyone.
Andrew wrote this little song — I’m Bored — in 2008. He spent quite a bit of time strumming his guitar back in those days. He also spent plenty of time playing video games and being bored. What he loved most in the world was playing baseball. He would rather do that than any of the other things mentioned above. This song gives a logical solution to anyone saying they are bored.
Click on the picture to hear the song sung by Andrew himself. Please excuse the blurry picture.
Organic food is the “in” thing these days. You see it everywhere. Whether it is carrots in the produce section of a large grocery store or potato chips at the health food store, all kinds of foods are labeled organic. Organic food is considered healthier because it has not been treated with chemical fertilizers or pesticides. Many people have made the choice to only eat organic food. They want the best for their family. They don’t want to add any foreign substance into their diet. It’s a good thing to want to improve one’s diet. Continually filling our bellies with food that has been treated with chemicals or altered from its original state as God created it is not a good thing.
We can choose to eat wholesome, organic food or unhealthy, processed food. Food that has been boiled, dried, minced, re-hydrated and shaped then packaged in plastic and cardboard in a pretty package. It is packaged so nicely and we are told about its convenience and value, so we buy it. We eat it. We think we are healthy because of it. Are we? After all the watering down, dehydrating and additions added, much of it has no nutritional value at all. What was once good and wholesome has now become useless, if not harmful.
We make the same choices about the words and pictures we expose ourselves to everyday. The words and pictures we fill our hearts and minds with can determine our spiritual health. Choosing whether we are going to see or hear something that is evil is usually an easy choice. It would be like choosing to eat a rotten egg or drink sour milk. An obvious decision.
What about things that are packaged in pretty packages and sold to us as being uplifting, inspiring and good for our souls? Are they good for our spiritual well-being? There are a lot of people out there writing books or making films that want to sell us their product. Some of these products are harmless enough but many can damage our heart and mind. They have taken truth and altered it just as processed food has taken good food and altered it. Some of these products have very little “nutritional” value to help sustain our hearts and minds. We devour the latest series of books with delight but our soul is left deprived. We watch the latest movie as the larger than life pictures fill our minds with unimaginable thoughts and ideas. We become bloated with the latest inspirational writings promising us a life of ease if we just follow their ideas for financial security or spiritual wellness. Our families will be happy if we will only do the 50 things to make our marriage work or 30 things every parent must say to their children or 100 places every parent must take their children.
All of this gives a feeling of spiritual fullness. We are comfortable. We are satisfied. But our soul is begging for proper nutrition. We have been feeding it twaddle — nothing to sustain us, just fill us up. Our hearts and minds, our souls need real nourishment. We need words and pictures that are authentic. We need to fill our minds with good things, real things — the organic word of God. We need to fill our minds with His words, His thoughts, His ideas so much that there is no room for the twaddle that normally consumes our time, our finances and our energy.
How do we determine if the words and pictures we hear and see are worthy of our consumption? Paul gave the Philippians a list to help them:
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. Philippians 4:8
True, noble, just, pure, lovely, good report, virtuous, praiseworthy — that’s quite a list. Before opening that book, before settling down to that TV show, before putting down your hard-earned money at that theater, before listening to that discussion consider this list. If it doesn’t fit with these guidelines, put it away. It will not nourish the soul. It will leave the soul dehydrated and starving for true nourishment. We must take charge of what goes into our soul. We must protect our family from the harmful, twaddle that is presented in such pretty packages. We must give our family and ourselves the real thing — organic soul food.
I wonder if Mama Tchaikovsky felt this way. Hearing a full orchestra of professional musicians rehearse a piece my 16 year old son wrote was amazing. I have heard this piece from the beginning. He would write a few measures then ask me to listen. “What do you think?” he would ask. What could I say. It sounded good to me but I’m his mom. Not a very objective opinion. He continued to work on it for about a month. It just seemed to blossom.
This is a picture of Timothy meeting the conductor, David Mairs.
The contest rules said it had to be between 5 and 7 minutes long. His was over 8. What to do? He started cutting a little here, reworking a little there. Before long, it was better than it was. It was very enjoyable to listen to but, again, I am his mom. Not a very objective opinion.
So we (his dad, 2 brothers and myself) sit, the only audience in the huge concert hall, to watch and listen as the Austin Symphony rehearses Timothy’s composition. Where’s Timothy? Perched on a stool on stage, right next to the first violins. I wish you could have seen it. My baby, sitting all by himself, listening intently as 40 or so musicians play the notes he had written.
Up until that moment, all he or any of us had heard was what the software program spit out in all its digital glory. A good representation but not the real thing. This night, the music came alive. The personality of the musicians brought out parts of the music in a most extraordinary manner. Watching the conductor as he prompted the musicians to perform the piece in the way he envisioned it was exhilarating.
That is what is so cool about the collaboration of musicians performing a piece. The composer has an idea and attempts to put it down on paper so that other musicians can understand what he is thinking. The conductor attempts to conduct it in such a way to convey his own message. Each of the musicians have their idea of what the piece means. By the time the composer, the conductor and the musicians have put their personalities and interpretations into it, it’s almost done. There is one more person involved — the listener. Each person in the audience brings their own thoughts and ideas to the piece. The end result can be awesome. It is a different experience for everyone in the room. In this case, on this particular evening, for this mama, the end result was more than I had ever imagined.
You might wonder what Timothy’s response to all this was. His first words after it was all done were, “Did you hear the trumpets?” He had kept saying, while writing the piece, that the software program was not portraying the trumpets like it should. He was thrilled to hear the musicians playing it just like he had imagined. His Facebook status when we got back to the hotel was, “I just heard my piece played by a professional orchestra. It was probably the most terrifying experience. :)”
While this is just a recording of what went on this particular evening, I wanted to share it with you. Let you be the 4th person, the listener, in creating this piece of music. This is An Evening Storm by Timothy Dow during a rehearsal of the Austin Symphony Orchestra conducted by David Mairs.
The opportunity to have Timothy’s piece performed came about through a composition contest the Austin Symphony sponsors. The top 2 compositions were being rehearsed to be performed at Austin area high schools later in the week. In April, it will be performed again in the concert hall along with 9 other compositions from the contest. In the foreground of the video you can see a couple of people moving around. These guys are putting together a documentary on the composition contest. They interviewed the two composers, the conductor and did quite a bit of video and still photography. The documentary should be aired late this summer or early fall.
That’s right. My son became a saint today. A saint just like Paul and Peter and Stephen and Matthew. My son has not done anything extraordinary. He has not had any profound impact on society. He has not performed any miracle. My son did not go through a canonization. My son is an ordinary 11 year old boy that did a simple yet powerful thing today. He repented of his sins, confessed his faith in Christ and put on Christ through baptism. This simple act of obedience to God brought him in contact with the blood of Christ just like God said it would. Now my son is a Christian. He is a priest. He is a child of God. He is sanctified, set apart, holy to God. He is part of the church that Christ died for. He is part of the family of God with all the blessings that come with it — brothers, sisters, mothers, houses. He is saved. His sins have been forgiven. He is a saint.
If you would like to know more about how you too can become a saint, here are some passages from God’s word to get you started:
What my son did:
Luke 13:3 “…unless you repent you will all likewise perish.”
Romans 10:10 “For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”
Mark 16:16 “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.”
What God did for him:
Acts 2:47 “And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.”
What that means for my son:
He is a saint (sanctified, set apart, holy):
Phil 1:1 “To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, with the bishops and deacons:”
1 Corinthians 6:11 “ And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.”
He is a priest:
1 Peter 2:9 “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;”
He is a child of God:
Galatians 3:26-27 “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.”
1 John 3:1 “See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. ”
He is a Christian:
Acts 11:26 “And the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.”
He is saved:
1 Peter 3:21 “Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ”
His sins have been forgiven:
Acts 22:16 “And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.”
As part of God’s family he receives blessings:
Mark 10:29-30 “So Jesus answered and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My sake and the gospel’s, who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time—houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions—and in the age to come, eternal life.”
I recently came across a touching video on Youtube. It demonstrates the power of music. The main character is an older man who has resided in a nursing home for 18 years. For the most part, he does not speak or communicate with others. Things changed dramatically when music was introduced. Not just any music. Music that he loved. The change in his demeanor and his ability to converse with others is amazing.
As I was watching this I wondered if music had the same effect on everyone. While I think music in general can have a profound affect, this man’s response seemed extraordinary. What could make him respond this way? The key is in what his daughter said. She described him as a man that loved music. As she spoke, I could just see him with his small children enjoying the popular music of his time. Teaching them to love music through his enthusiasm.
That must be the key. He loved music. He wanted to share his love of music with those he loved. It was this love of music and exposure to music that enabled him, at a time when he could not relate to others around him, to have something beautiful to think about. This alone is a good reason to surround yourself with beautiful, pure and lovely things. The more we surround ourselves with beautiful things, the more we have to draw from when and if we come to a point in our lives that we cannot relate to others.
If we surround ourselves with God’s beautiful creation or beautiful pieces of artwork, if we place these beautiful things deep in our memory, then if the day were to come that we lose our sight or if we find ourselves in a situation that is not so lovely, we can draw on the memories of these beautiful things to help us cope. If we surround ourselves with beautiful music — whatever kind makes us happy — we can draw on the memory of this music when we are in times of difficulty to bring us peace and joy. Reading and memorizing great works of literature or meaningful poetry can do the same thing. When we are down and out or in ill health or just in a difficult time of life, these comforting words can help us get through. What a wonderful gift to give ourselves. Fill our minds with beautiful scenes, beautiful thoughts and beautiful music. No one can take it away from us.
In addition to and more important than music, scenery and thoughts is the word of God. We should be filling our minds with God’s word in an effort to learn more about Him and what He wants from us. We should also fill our minds with God’s word so we can hide it in our heart to be remembered when times are difficult. I spend a lot of time with my children and my students memorizing fairly large chunks of scripture. It’s not just a mental exercise. It is my desire that they will someday be able to use the scripture they have hidden away to comfort either themselves or someone else in time of need. Memorize some of the wonderful poetry God has given us or some of the great truths Jesus spoke in the sermon on the mount. Memorize things that build up and encourage us to continue following God even if we are thrown in the “lion’s den”.
Surround ourselves with beautiful things, things that build up, things that bring joy and happiness. Enthusiastically, give the gift of these things to others — especially our children. Hopefully, when we are old and going through difficult times, our children will remember our love of these things and share them with us again as the young lady at the nursing home did in the youtube video.
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy -— think on these things. Philippians 4:8
We had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Our two boys from Florida, James and Andrew, drove all night to get here. That was pretty special but in the car was my newest daughter-in-law, James’ wife, and my newest grand baby, Titus. If you haven’t heard about this sweet baby, you can see what I wrote about him shortly after he was born here: Have I Mentioned My Grandson.
We had a wonderful visit. Titus is such a good baby and it was a joy to watch his parents, who were just kids not too long ago, take care of him with such tenderness and love. Andrew, who is getting married in May, was a lot of fun to be around. He always has something funny to say and no one is immune to his quick wit. Andrew preached twice for us on Sunday. James led singing Sunday evening. My buttons were busting.
Danpa thoroughly enjoyed getting to know his newest grandchild. He got to introduce him to his own dad. His dad is suffering from Alzheimer’s and has been in a nursing home for several years. Whenever you go see him, you’re never really sure if he’ll recognize you or even respond to you. The day Granddad met Titus was good for all.
In the bulletin Danny publishes for our local congregation, he wrote a short piece about his thoughts while rocking Titus. I wanted to share them with you here:
I Rocked Titus Last Night…
by Danny Dow
Last night I rocked my 4 month old grandson, Titus, to sleep and beyond. As I did with my own sons, I stared intensely at his little features and thanked God for this precious addition to our family. God’s word whirled through my mind as I prayed.
I stared at his little eyelashes, tiny ears, sweet lips and button nose which were all “fearfully and wonderfully made.” (Psa. 139:13-14) A precious soul made in the likeness of God (Gen. 1:26-27). This adorable child is priceless — given life by the Great Creator.
I thought about the words of the Psalmist, “Lo, children are a heritage of Jehovah; And the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows in the hand of a mighty man, so are the children of youth.” (Psa. 127:3-4) I held in my arms one of the greatest physical gifts God had ever given to man. I reflected on the great challenge that laid before my son and daughter-in-law to train, spiritually prepare and shoot this little arrow forth into a vast world. I am confident that with the Lord’s help they will be successful in teaching him to love and respect God.
The sweet innocence and complete trust that this little baby placed in me and others made me think of Jesus’ words. “suffer the little children to come unto me: for to such belongeth the kingdom of heaven.” (Matt 19:13-14) “Except…ye become as little children, ye shall in no wise enter into the kingdom of heaven. “…humble (yourself) as this little child.” Matt. 18:3-4) Is this how the heavenly Father looks at me? Is it possible (even as a sinner) I am as strongly loved and as precious in His sight as Titus is in mine? I must strive to be more childlike.
I was also reminded that although I may not be Titus’ father, I am his father’s father and I am responsible to keep God’s Word ever before him. As Moses said, “…make them known unto thy children and thy children’s children.” (Deut. 4:8-9) I will strive to help his parents and do my best.
“Children’s children are the crown of old men; And the glory of children are their fathers.” Proverbs 17:6