Last Christmas I read a great book called “Large Family Logistics” by Kim Brenneman (a mom of 9 who blogs here). As I was reading I made numerous notations of great tips that I want to try to do. But as I was still struggling postpartum (yes, even though baby was 6 months old), I set the book down and planned to get back to it later. Well, baby is now 12 months old and I’m still struggling. I don’t know why seven children has been so much more difficult for me than 6 were!
A month ago I found a couple of new blogs that I’ve been enjoying. Four of the ladies join together every Thursday and are “4 Moms, 35 Kids!” This month they are discussing the “Large Family Logistics” book, so I decided it was time to crack it open again. I was hesitant because I knew I’d read all these things that I’d like to do but don’t have the time or energy to fit into my schedule. However, I was surprised that I had forgotten that the first 15 chapters weren’t about that at all! They say in a nutshell that the secret to success is. . . Fearing God.
So, here is what I learned from re-reading this book. It doesn’t matter if I don’t have the time or energy; it’s what I have to do.
I need to be wise, and wisdom comes from fearing the Lord. One way to learn to fear the Lord is by reading His Word. I should read Proverbs daily, so “it will get in my heart and come out of my mouth.” I want the law of kindness to be on my tongue (Proverbs 31:26) and to have my words fitly spoken so that they are like apples of gold in settings of silver (Proverbs 25:11).
Colossians 3:23-24 says “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” If I read God’s Word, apply it to my life, and pray continually, I’ll be content no matter what problems life (or my kids) throws at me. If I can remember to do everything, whatever it is, as for the Lord and not men, I’ll be wise and happy!
What is my goal for my life right now? To raise “godly offspring” (Malachi 2 :15) It’s not to have a clean house, kids who could get into Harvard, or to be able to get all my “projects” done. So, if there is a heart issue that comes up with one of my kids, I need to stop the other things I’m doing immediately to deal with it. Yes, it will mean numerous interruptions all day long. And lots of self-discipline. This is so hard for me! I’ve often told my husband that I feel like I’m playing the Whac-A-Mole game. I deal with one issue (hit one of the moles on the head) and immediately another one pops up! (I found this game at a thrift shop last week. Now, I know what I’m supposed to think every time I see my kids playing it!) If I don’t deal with the issue, I’m being lazy. I also need to listen to myself to make sure I’m not repeating myself or I’ll be training my kids to continue disobeying until I’ve said it a certain number of times.
So, how do I gain self-control over my negative emotions? By renewing my mind (Romans 12:2). A great way to do this is memorizing Scripture–Romans 12:1-2, Colossians 3:23-24, and James 1 are what I’ll start with. Another way is to read the Psalms (as well as Proverbs as already mentioned) daily.
Attitude is Critical–“We must do right even when we don’t feel like it. . . Guard your hearts against [hypocrisy and pride] by daily confessing your sins and by staying sensitive toward your own bad attitudes.” One very practical thing that Kim does in her family is that she doesn’t allow anyone to say, “I can’t. . .” I’m embarrassed to admit how many times I say it. I’ve been catching myself lately and trying to replace it with praying without ceasing and remembering that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Phillipians 4:13).
Here was a convicting chapter: Kim says it’s not “me time” that we need, but more of God. “Deny yourself and cling to the cross.” I pray that I will be able to incorporate all of the above into my life!
(This post is linked to the following blogs: