Friday, November 30, 2007

Online Mentoring

Although I am aware that the Internet can be used as an endless opportunity for sin, I am so thankful for some uses of it. Often in the evenings when I am too tired to do anything else, I will check up on my favorite blogs. One, called Large Family Mothering, is the writings of a home school mother of 14. I don’t know about you, but I personally don’t know any mothers with 14 children. I hardly know any that have as many as I have. But what is so wonderful about these blogs, is that I am constantly encouraged and mentored by these moms I don’t even know. Even if I did personally know a mom like that, how often would she have the opportunity to tell me why she does what she does and how worth it it is? But online, I get to read about what her life is really like and how she really feels about her family. It is clear to all who read her posts that she is truly blessed and happy.

Here, I got to read an article about a couple in their late 50’s who has 20 adopted children. They started by going to Russia to get a few children and just kept going back. To hear about families like that just puts everything in life in perspective. You see people living out a life that really isn’t about them. The article tells us that this couple has spent several hundred thousand dollars in adoption fees. The Mom says: "You could buy a yacht, or you could save some children's lives and build a family." I like how she put that.

There are some things that you need to hear over and over. The worthiness of giving your life to be a wife and a mother is one of those things. So I encourage you women, if you have some extra time on your hands, go to some sights and find out what makes these women tick. I promise you, you will be astonished and amazed. You will be astonished when you learn that they delight in waking up with: “18 feet wiggled together under a huge comforter on our bedroom floor.” Or that these women are so happy that they actually feel guilt and are sorry for those who are trapped by the world’s small-family thinking:

“I know that I am thought to be "retarded" in the eyes of the world, what with all of these children all about me. But I feel actually guilty at times because I feel so blessed and have so much fun here on earth. You could actually call me happy--imagine that!” (Read post Here)

I just can’t resist another quote:
“I guess some would say we have too many children. This must mean that we have too many beds, too many shoes, too much noise, too many trials and needs and interruptions.
But what they really need to know is that we have more than enough. More than enough love, more than enough hugs, more than enough concern, more than enough smiles, more than enough laughter, more than enough shoulders to cry on, and more than enough of God's provision, and care and wisdom, even in the smallest details of our lives.”
(From "Too Many Children?")

The point of these blogs is never to point fingers at small families who get their organs tied after two kids and say “you’re bad” and try to make feel guilty if they don’t have a lot of kids. The point instead is entirely the opposite because it is entirely positive. The point is that it simply shows something beautiful and positive. It puts flesh and bones on the verse: “Children are a gift from the Lord.” So that it is no longer something we “take on faith,” with a raise of the eyebrows and a “whatever that means” dismissal. Instead, these women show their love for their homes, their husbands and their children in such a way that you can’t help but wanting what they have. I think that many women who have decided to never have children because they want a career instead and read these sights, would come away feeling that they are jipping themselves. It's not the: "if I become a Christian God's going to make me be a missionary in the jungle" mentality. Ho, humm, I have to have all these children or I'll be disobeying God. Absolutely not. Instead it is an act of catching the vision. Look at how wonderful this is.

Women have to be taught to “be busy at home, to love their husbands and their children.” Because the scripture commands that it be taught, we know that it does not come naturally. I am thankful for the many women who, although they are already extremely busy home schooling their 14 or so children, take time to share with the world what makes them tick and why they do what they do.

Here are a few posts to get you started:
Reclaiming the Lost Vision of Motherhood
The Wonder of Babies
A Vision of Glory and Splendor
The Duggers Website (Family of 19)

(Actually, post by Leslie)


Laura said...

Even though I'm not a mom, I enjoyed reading the Large Family Mothering blog you recommended. Her suggestions for living simply and inexpensively were creative and fun, not repressive. I think I may add this to my blog reading list...

Ashley said...

I couldn't agree more with being encouraged by various women and their blogs..... by the way, I had my baby on Oct. 25th. She was 8 lbs and is very healthy. We named her Allison.

Leslie said...

Congratulations Ashley! We are so happy for you guys. Where are you attending church these days? What is Cory up to?

Grace said...

Hi Leslie,

I wholeheartedly agree with your post. Since I'm the only stay at home mom that I know in our town, I have derived much encouragement from these women (yourself included!) who not only choose to do their life's work in the home for the glory of God, but in doing so, raise many children and still are able to provide inspiration and a real-life example to us young moms who need one! Thanks for pointing out some great posts.

Grace Halsey

maryannie said...

Hey Leslie, it's Mary Anne! I loved your post. But I gotta know-- do you ever worry about a crisis of overpopulation on our planet? What do you think about that? I mean, our resources will soon be dwindling if we keep consuming the way we do. Do you think that part of being stewards of God's creation may mean, in this day and age, considering a smaller family? Just curious to hear your thoughts. I don't know exactly what I think about the issue...

Ashley said...

Thank you!
We are still attending Grace Bible Church in Mitchell and have been there almost 3 years. It was a church plant about 5 years ago and our numbers are now around 100. We don't belong to a denomination yet, but you could call us a Reformed Baptist church. Corey is currently serving on the leadership team and is the youth minister. He is also working full-time as an Appliance Repairman, although he finished school last May with a Bachelors in Biblical studies. I am blessed to be home full-time and am adjusting to and enjoying motherhood. We really miss you and Chris and your beautiful children... I wish I could have met your new additions... ;) You were such an example and encouragement to me personally while we were at CGS. I am still encouraged by your blog.


Leslie said...

Hi Maryannie(cute screen name)

Unfortunately I haven't researched the topic of population growth and our planet's resources, but there are a few things that I've heard people say: not sure how true they are. One is that this country is actually facing a population dirth. Less and less people are having kids and the ones that are having them are having fewer and fewer so that we are not replacing our population. Maybe at some point I'll look that up and try to figure out if it's true or not.

Another thing I've heard people say that I tend to believe is that scientific advances will enable us to better use the resources God has given us: i.e. electric cars, renewable sources of energy. I've also heard that the population of the world could "live comfortably" in the state of Texas. That probably wouldn't include the room to grow the food to sustain the population, but I'm really not speaking from knowledge here, only heresay.

Another thing I think about is the verse where God commands Adam to "fill" the earth. So from that I don't believe that filling the earth is bad. But I am of the mind that trampling of God's creation is wrong and so is excessive consumerism of which the byproduct is squandered resources. At times the Bible speaks of the land as spewing the people out because of their sinfulness. Surely creation suffers when a culture is given over to consumerism and excessive wastefulness, but I'm getting off the subject of overpopulation.

I guess I haven't really looked into it and I should so I actually know what I'm talking about.

I hope you are enjoying Seattle and your Doc. program. Is it cloudy all the time?


maryannie said...

Yeah...the biggest problem really is our disgustingly excessive consumption, not the number of kids we have. I definitely agree with that.

Seattle's great! It does rain a lot in the fall and winter, but it doesn't get cold! So I'm ok with it!