Angela

Yesterday was by far one of the hardest days of my life… I said goodbye to my dear sister and friend Angela. I had the honour of reading these words from Romans at her memorial service …

Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
Romans 8:26‭-‬28 ESV
https://bible.com/bible/59/rom.8.26-28.ESV

What a privilege to be tasked with sharing these words from God’s word at such a special occasion. Especially because these were words that we had often encouraged each other with particularly in the last few months… She fought a long, hard and tenacious battle with cancer and so many times I cried out to God, but without knowing what to pray… We found great comfort in knowing that the Spirit himself intercedes for us. I will continue to cling to these words and to take shelter under the wings of the most high God. He is good and He is sovereign even though I don’t always understand.

In a nutshell Angela was real and she was Godly. So many verses in the Bible talk about a Godly woman (Proverbs 31, 1 Peter 3:4) – just to name a couple.

By the grace of God at work in her, Angela was a woman blessed by God, her children do rise up and call her blessed, she did have a quiet and gentle spirit, she did work hard in her home, she was trusted by her husband, she opened her mouth with wisdom, the teaching of kindness was on her tongue, she was clothed with strength and dignity. She taught other women to love and respect their husbands and how to disciple their children in practical ways.

But Ang was also as real and upfront as they come. She constantly reminded other wives/mums that she was no super hero, and that she needed Jesus just as much as the rest of us. She always gave him the glory and everything in her life was focussed on worshipping him and showing her children more clearly who he is and his love for them.

Ang had a beautiful passion for her mission as a mum and encouraging the mums around her to see their mission and calling and the eternal impact that our role as wives and mums has. Ang loved Jesus with all her heart, she loved her husband with all her heart and she loved her children with all her heart.She took very seriously her calling as a wife and mum and served with all her heart and inspired others to do so too.
She has impacted my life and family in almost every area. She has helped me to love Jesus more, love my husband more and love my children more.

On a humourous note… I will never forget discussing the Bible with my children one day… There is a verse in the book of Psalms that says

Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord , the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.
Psalms 127:3‭-‬5 ESV
https://bible.com/bible/59/psa.127.3-5.ESV

This was one of Angela’s favourite passages in the bible and she often shared with her children and others what a blessing her children were to her. When discussing this with my children Mr. 4/5 at the time said “well, that family is VERY blessed because they have LOTS of kids”. Such beautiful words in a world where Children are often looked down upon and seen as an inconvenience or burden.

Thankyou Ang for helping me to see that my children are not a distraction from more important work, but that they are my MOST important work.

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An open letter to my dear friend Angela

I am a words of encouragement person, so that tends to be how I love others. In my mind it seems obvious that if you see something or appreciate something in another you should tell them.

I love to write cards and letters, I always have… I LOVE to encourage. When I write a card or a letter I usually write it mentally first. That is, I go over all the things I want to say in my head, how I will structure it, the things I will include… In fact I often do that with my blog posts too.

I know that on Mother’s Day you would traditionally write a card to your mother, but this year I was going to write one to my dear friend Angela who I would go to visit this week and deliver the card.

Yesterday was Mother’s Day, we celebrated a day early, so my plan was that while husband was at work, kids could watch a movie in the afternoon and I would write my card.

The first thing I saw when I woke in the morning was a message that Jesus had taken her home during the night. He took her peacefully and she’s no longer in pain. My. Heart. Stopped.

I still have all the words floating in my head for her, with nowhere to go… So now I will post them here…

My dear friend Ang,

Happy Mother’s Day to you, you amazing and strong woman. It has been so hard to see you struggle physically and see your body deteriorating, but so awe inspiring and encouraging to see the faith you have. I know you’ve had moments of wrestling with God over this, but am so inspired to see you continue to stand firm in your faith and put your trust in Him.

Ang, I am so so grateful for the impact you’ve had in our lives. You have been such an instrumental person in my role as a wife and mum. You have encouraged me and helped me do things I never thought I could.

Thankyou for your constant encouragement in homeschooling and in discipling our kids. Thankyou for our endless chats and always having a listening ear. Thankyou for always loving me where I’m at. Thankyou for not always trying to fix things, but just listening. Thankyou for the tears shared, the hugs shared, the laughs shared.

It breaks my heart to see you like this but we continue to pray with you that God will heal you, but that if he chooses to take you, that you’d continue to suffer well and cling to Him. We pray for strength for you many times a day.

I wish I could take the pain away. How I long to see your health restored. I long to hear your voice again, praying that God would restore that too. How I long to see your house a buzz with all the activities and hospitality you love to do.

Thankyou that your door has always been open, for the countless times you’ve welcomed me and my tribe in unannounced or very last minute. Thankyou for all the times you’ve just added a few more plates and fed us too.

Thankyou for teaching me to be intentional with my kids, especially when it comes to sharing my faith with them. Thankyou for showing me practically what that looks like.

Thankyou for opening your home ALL. THE. TIME.

Your hospitality and generosity towards us has been such a huge blessing. Your family has enriched our lives greatly. More than I can put into words. You have blessed us beyond measure and for that we are eternally grateful.

I love you so much my dear friend. I pray for you daily and constantly. I am pleading with God that he will heal you. It breaks my heart to see you suffer so much and so long. You are loved and you are cherished… A Godly woman of great worth. What an inspiration and encouragement you are to me.

You are the woman of Proverbs 31, always working hard, your husband trusts and adores you and treasures you, your children will rise up and call you blessed (mine do too 🤣), you fear the Lord, trust the Lord and give him all the honour.

“She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.
She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her:
“Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.””
‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭31:25-26, 28-29‬

Ang, you have glorified our God greatly to all who know you. I am honoured to have your friendship.

All my love,

Rach

Mother’s Day

Today is Mother’s Day in our house. My husband works on Sundays so declared this year we would have it a day early as it’s almost impossible to do it properly on Sunday (he leaves the house at 7).

So on Thursday night he and the kids went to the shops to do their shopping to prepare for today. They all came home very bubbly with excitement, especially our youngest who I could tell was struggling to keep the surprises hidden for now. I teased the older two asking lots of questions about where they went and what they did and why I couldn’t come… But I knew it would be just too much to do this to the youngest… Hehe.

This morning my heart is full as I’ve woken up to the sounds of my husband and children bustling around the kitchen and house making a special day for me. My heart is full of gratitude that they want so much to love on me and honour me. The sounds of giggling and excitement are almost too much for my heart.

What a blessing these little people are to my mama heart. Being a mum has been the hardest thing I’ve ever done… It has stretched me beyond where I thought I could be stretched. Many times I’ve wondered why God chose me for this task when there seems to be many others who would be ‘better’ at it than I. But God did choose me… He gave me these precious little hearts to love and disciple. Sometimes I’ve even wondered whether I would’ve done it all of I knew how hard it all would be… But I think that’s why children are so cute. I’m not sure how, but in God’s good and perfect design a child can wipe a days frustration away with just a little curve of their mouth, or the sweetness that drips like honey from their mouths.

Today I feel treasured, I feel loved and I feel honoured and privileged beyond all measure that God has bestowed on me this truly humbling, and at times exhausting and crushing task. It’s hard to say all that God has taught me through these small people, but I am not the same woman I was 9 years ago. There are things I miss about life before kids… The freedom, carefree nature and spontaneity of life… But my, what a blessing and honour it is to be gifted these little people to disciple and how sanctifying it is to do life with them.

Thankyou to my mum who taught me what it is to love and serve your family self sacrificially.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the mama’s out there… You are changing the world, one little heartbeat at a time.

I always cling onto these words from 2 Corinthians

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

I don’t need to be strong and powerful… I need to see my weakness and put my hope and my strength and trust in Jesus. My greatest prayer for my children is that they would see Jesus, know Him and love Him and grow to serve Him together.

I am weak, but He is strong.

A lifetime of dreaming… 

As a little girl… Like most little girls I suspect I spent many years dreaming of growing up. How glorious it would be to grow into a woman, to become a wife and a mother. I dreamed of the home I would create with the companion God would provide. I dreamed of the safe haven I would nurture for my family, a place of rest and of grace and encouragement… A place of refreshing for my family. I dreamed of a big family with lots of children, of enjoying my family, teaching and instructing them and learning together and worshipping together. I dreamed of being a good helper for the man whom God would provide. I dreamed of thriving in a world of passion and creativity with my children, I dreamed of cultivating in them a love of nature of God and of the world he gave to us. I dreamed of creating in them a passion to create and I dreamed of a place of rest. I dreamed that home would be a place we’d love to be. I dreamed that home would be a place of ministry – where grace and love would abound and the gospel would flow.

Now, as I reflect on my life… Alot of those dreams have been crushed. I am not the woman, helper, wife, friend, mother, sister I desire to be. Every square inch of my life is shadowed by ill health and a wet blanket of depression which seems to seep into every corner of life. Every breath and every step is made heavy by the emotions that plague me. I will not have a big family because I simply cannot cope. Sometimes I think I was foolish to even have the children I do have. Our walls are not filled with life giving words or laughter or songs as I dreamed they would, instead they’re more often filled with words of regret and a overwhelming sense of guilt for yet another failing of speaking life. Yet another failure to add to my growing list of regret. My husband is weary and tired because so often he has to work a full day then come home and pick up the pieces of ruin I’ve left… He never knows what he will come home to but knows that it will usually not be a haven of rest as his soul so deeply desires. He is gentle and patient with me – for this I’m thankful and yet hate myself even more because he deserves so much better.

Instead of being a place of rest and encouragement our house is littered with dirty washing, clean washing waiting to be folded, dishes strewn throughout, the days activities left abandoned throughout the rooms, unruly and insecure children, and a weary exhausted mother who struggled to get through each day.

Everyday my husband lies trapped in a marriage to a woman he does not know. I am not the woman he married 10 years ago. Life and hormones have stolen his bride… She’s been replaced by an emotionally unstable mess of a wife… One whose mood he cannot predict nor measure. A woman who cannot be relied on. These are not his words, but my own. I don’t know who I am… I am not me, my body has been kidnapped, taken prisoner by illness, a mess of hormones and depression… I am trapped in here, wanting so desperately to get out… To be me and yet constantly being drowned by these things which seem to be here to stay. I have pleaded with God time and time again to take these horrors away and still he does not rescue me from this pit. He continues to reassure me and encourage me with his word but that scares me even more because perhaps that means these things are here to stay.

I feel torn, I love my family with such intensity… But sometimes think they’d do better without me. I know that sounds morbid, but I don’t mean it in a suicidal sense or that I would leave, just in the sense that they’d have been better not having ever known me. I know that doesn’t work in the context of God’s sovereignty… I know he’s created me with purpose. I know he’s given these children and this family to me… There are just so many things I don’t know and I don’t understand.

I just wish that the good days outweighed the bad… I wish I could be more than I am, I wish I could give more and I wish I could serve more and I wish I could understand more… I wish I could be more than I am… I wish I could just even be me… To know who I am again without feeling weighed down by the burden of all that I am but don’t know and dont understand… 

Diary writing – Creative writing and Copywork

  • This idea was given me from a good friend of mine and covers a range of topics/outcomes for schooling including: Reading, writing, spelling, copywork, story writing/telling, etc. The kids each have their own diary and can choose something from the past week to write about, something we’ve done or places weve been. They start by drawing a picture of it. Then writing about it. Depending on their age and capabilities writing can be done in stages… You should assess where your child is at and what they’re capable of. 

    The stages are as follows (going from easiest to hardest) 

    • Child dictates to you what their picture is about – you write on lines provided in book. 
    • Child dictates to you what picture is about, you write on separate piece of lined paper and on lines provided in the book. You cut out words and the child sticks them into book in right order below the writing. 
    • Child dictates to you what picture is about, you write on separate piece of lined paper and on lines provided in the book. CHILD cuts out words and the child sticks them into book in right order below the writing. Then have the child read the sentence back to you. 
    • Child dictates what the picture is about, parent writes in pencil on lines provided – child traces over parents writing. Then have the child read the sentence back to you. 
    • Child dictates to parent what picture is about, parent writes it out on lines provided. Child copies on the lines below. Have the child read it back to you. 
    • The next level up is for the child to tell you what words they need help with. Parent writes those words out on a separate piece of paper and the child uses those words to construct their own sentences. 
    • The top/most advanced level is when the child is able to construct and write sentences without any assistance. 

    All of this is helpful in children learning correct spelling and letterform. Also learning correct punctuation and as a bonus you will have diaries in years to come showing their development and the things that are meaningful to them. It will give you an insight into their character and the things they value. 

Marriage… it’s worth fighting for!

Everybody has things they find hard… my thing is marriage breakdown.  Every time I hear of a marriage breakdown its like a dagger pierces my heart.  I don’t know why but marriage breakdown seems to hang heavy on me like a wet blanket, it deeply saddens me and I feel weighed down every time I hear of a new one.

It seems to be far more common these days, and far more acceptable than it was in my childhood years.

I am thankful that both my husband and I grew up with a rather healthy (I think) view and understanding of marriage.  We both had strong and Godly examples of marriage in our own homes as children.  Both were given a realistic and age appropriate understanding of marriage.  Knowing it would be hard and dark at times, but also knowing that the joy in marriage is worth fighting for and the tremendous gift it is to your children when you love one another and lay down your life for one another.  That’s not to say that our parents did everything perfectly or had perfect marriages, but it is to say that we saw and still do see our parents working for, fighting for and experiencing tremendous joy in each other.  Even as adults, what a joy it is to know that our parents love each other and choose to spend moment after moment, day after day, by God’s grace honoring the promises they made.

I can see how the pressures and business of life can drive a wedge between husband and wife and that’s why its so important to take time to have dates.  Have fun together and remind each other of where it all began and what you love about each other.  In the end, relationships are what count.  The more you learn about marriage, the more you understand of God and His love for His bride – the church.

We have a rule on dates that there are 2 things we don’t talk about.  Kids and money.  Granted at the start we will usually have 10 or so minutes to discuss these things as they’re both part of our everyday life.  But after that we try to avoid those and discuss deeper things.  One of my favourite things to discuss on dates is scripture.  It draws us both closer to God and each other.  It allows my husband to care for me spiritually and to be my pastor and my leader.

This year we celebrated 10 years of marriage and I praise God that He has enabled us both to keep our promises to Him and each other by His grace alone and for His glory alone.  Marriage has not always been easy, but I am thankful for a friend by my side to share in lifes ups and downs.  I am thankful that our strength and identity comes from our maker and not ourselves or each other.  I am thankful for the joy and sanctification that has come through marriage.  The longer I’m married, the more I realise that it’s not about my happiness, but His glory which is made perfect in our weakness.

Last weekend we had the joy of spending a night away together in the city.  We had ALOT of fun together just hanging out without having to wipe bums and noses can be quite refreshing.  We played a very overpriced amount to play mini golf at Elizabeth Quay, but it wasn’t about the money, it was about finding something fun to ‘play’ together.  I get there’s not always money to spend, and that’s when we’ve found board games a useful investment.  We have a stack of board games we’ve bought in the last 10 years and when we want a cheap date we play a board game at home together.

Fight for your marriage, fight by choosing to love, and fight on your knees in prayer.

 

 

 

 

God speaks life…

Struggling with some of the stigma attached to starting on the home schooling journey, and feeling inadequate to begin on this journey I brought it to God… These are the words of life he spoke back to me.  I am His.

You are not defined by being a home schooler.

You are not defined by being a mum.

You are not defined by being a wife.

You are not defined by what you can do.

You are not defined by what you cannot do.

You are not defined by the things of this world.

You are defined by me.

You are defined by who I AM

You are defined by what I have DONE for you.

You are defined by the fact that you are mine.

Overwhelmed? Simplify!

I’m always amazed at how much can change by just simplifying your life.  Everytime I am overwhelmed with anything in life I am amazed at how much calm can be found when you remove/simplify things.  In my life clean house = clean mind.  In short, if my house is a mess so is my mind.  Consequently it works its way out into every area of my life.

We’re in the midst of a big time of change and transition as we prepare to move house and begin on the journey of home school for the time being.  For the last few weeks since we made the decision I’ve felt confident and excited about this new chapter.  This last week someone asked me what program we would be using…. I felt like I didn’t answer the question confidently and as fully as I would’ve liked to.   This has happened a few times lately and consequently doubt began to creep in…

Today I sought clarity and confirmation from a friend and was reassured once again that it’s in the simple things (especially at this stage in my children’s schooling).  A lot of our learning/teaching will be in the everyday and incidental learning through life experience.  I don’t need an ‘official’ science program because I will teach science as we garden, cook, question, research, learn and discover about God’s world.  He has gifted all my children with inquisitive minds that want to know and understand the world and how it works… therefore we tend to do science fairly ‘naturally’.

Physical Education and Arts come fairly naturally to me also.  I love being active and being outside so this will be a regular part of our life/schooling.  We’re looking forward to lots of bike rides together, morning fitness, some swimming lessons, maybe dance.  There are so many activities that I cannot wait to expose my children to, now that we won’t have hefty school fees.  My kids all love to dance and swim and I want to encourage that and nurture those potential gifts, even if it’s just a gift of loving those things, not necessarily a particular outstanding ability.

My husband and I are both naturally creative and both loved and experimented with lots of different art forms during our schooling years and we’re excited to share that passion with our children.  Teaching them about different art mediums and ways of expressing themselves in creative form.  We love to see them design and create and want to feed their love of creation and creating, just as their heavenly Father created them and their love for creation.

One of the things I love about our children is their love of learning.  They’re curious, inquisitive and naturally and regularly question the world around them and how it works.  They’re interested in the History of our family, our country, our world.  They love hearing about the way things used to be and how things have changed and the History behind that.

I am in awe at the way God has created His people to question, learn, grow, function and develop.  We are all created in the image of Him and reflect His nature in many ways.  I am in awe of seeing how my children grow in their hunger for knowledge of who they are and the world we live in and how it all works together.  I am in awe of the little people who God has entrusted to me and I’m excited about the opportunity to teach, mentor, love and disciple them in knowledge of God, a knowledge of His creation, and how and where we fit into it.

 

 

Why Homeschool?

A question I have often asked and always answered with NEVER.  In short, I think the answer is it IS a CALLING, by God to specific people.

I don’t believe there is a ONE SIZE FITS ALL answer to schooling.  I believe each family needs to find what works for them and their individual children.  I was always adamant that home schooling was not the schooling solution for our family, nor would it ever be.  My advice? Never say never.

For years I have struggled with Post – Natal Depression (PND) and also alot of mum-guilt because of it.  Guilt of not measuring up to the picture of the ideal mum I had thought up in my mind.  Guilt of not being the amazing mum who can do all kinds of creative things with their children.  Guilt of not being the laid-back mum who can handle sheets all over her lounge room in the name of building forts.  Guilt over not being the mum who takes her children to the park every day.  Guilt.  Guilt. Guilt.  This was a huge factor in why I always said never.  I didn’t want more things to add to my list of failings.

As well as that the thought of knowing everything I had to teach these little people was overwhelming.  I thought I’d have to write the curriculum, and what if I got it wrong?  What if I ruin my children?  What if ?

Over the last few months, God has been working in my life in a subtle and gentle way.  Over the last few years, He’s provided me with many contacts in the home schooling world who’ve all been understanding of my decision not to.  But I always knew that if I chose to, I’d have a great support network from the word ‘go’.  The last few months God has put the idea in my heart and my mind a few times… a few times I’ve entertained the idea, but then swiftly shut it down.  Like Jonah, I ran.  I pushed it away and said it is not for me.  Time and time again, I said no, and yet God kept prompting me.  God in His goodness has been leading me and preparing me for the events of the last couple of weeks. As well as prompting me in thinking about home school, He has taught me alot about his grace to me as a parent.  His grace is sufficient.  I will make mistakes, I will fail. But ultimately, his grace covers me.  His grace will provide for my children.  His grace will cover my shortcomings.  His grace will save my children, not me being a “good” mum.  His grace alone is powerful enough to save my children.  Yes, I am called to be a good steward with the gifts He’s given me (in this case, my children) and I am called to be a good ambassador for Him, I am called to gospel my children and I am called to point them to Christ, but it is His grace and His grace alone that will save my children.

In the last few weeks, we have been offered a house closer to church.  For the last 3 years we’ve been driving at least 35 minutes to church.  My husband was called into ministry there 3 years ago, but the church is yet to employ him due to finances.  Roughly a year ago we left because the travel and pressure got too much for us to handle as a family.  We visited a few other churches for a few months, but felt the pull on our hearts to go back to North Coast Church ever so strongly.  We went back to visit and instantly knew we were home.  This was a good experience for us, as it confirmed for us that God was and is calling us to serve Him there. That meant that when we were offered this house we knew without a doubt that God has called us to North Coast.  A friend challenged us that we needed to work out where God is calling us to serve and that if it is North Coast, we needed to move our lives there for the sake of the gospel.  Having had the confirmation that He is calling us to North Coast we made the difficult decision to move away from a very close and supportive community and move our lives closer to the ministry God is calling us into.

School has always been one thing that I’ve held onto very tightly.  We LOVE the school that our children are in.  We love the friends they’ve made, and the friends I have made I will cherish.  It has been such a special time of nurturing for our children and even me being part of the community at their school.  But I realised too that I was putting my hope and security in their school.  Their salvation does not depend on the school I send them to.  With the move, came the question of school as it would be too far to drive.  Again, the idea of home school came up, but this time it wasn’t just God planting the idea in my heart and mind, he used some one I least expected it to come from to pose the question.  This also served as an encouragement to us as it came from someone who we know we’ll need their support.  We began to pray together about the possibility and came to the decision, peacefully and (with growing excitement) that this is the path God is calling us down.

We know it is only of God, as He has completely changed my heart toward it and has given me a desire to shape, nurture and help my children to grow in their love of Him and the world He has created.  We know it is of God and feel deeply persuaded that this is His calling because of the many many ways we’ve seen Him prepare us for it and given us a desire for it.  We are hanging onto that in this season of our life as we embark on a new and exciting adventure. God has provided for us a rich and strong network of other homeschooling families to support us without even having to go looking for it.

For now, for this time in our lives, we’re excited to start the homeschooling journey.  If you’d told me 5 years ago or even 1 year ago that those words would be coming out of my mouth, I’d have told you, you’re dreaming,  but God has done a work and for His purposes is calling us to it.

I am excited to train my children in the way they should go.  I’m excited to spend more time with my children, intentionally sharing the gospel with them in our home, as I rise and as I sit, as we walk along the way.  I am excited to share with them the world God has designed and created.  I’m excited to teach them and nurture them.  I’m excited to see them grow in their understanding of God and the world around them.  I’m excited to be a tool in the hand of the almighty.  I’m excited to learn and grow personally.  And I am thankful, ever so thankful that God’s grace is sufficient for me.  I know there will be hard days and I know there will be days I will want to give up, but for each step of the way, He WILL give me grace.  He WILL guide me and He WILL make our paths straight.  I WILL stuff up, I WILL fail, I WILL need his grace daily.  But His grace is mine, and it is sufficient.  He WILL be glorified in my weakness.  I can’t save my children. I can’t give them salvation but I WILL share His grace with them and pray for His mercy on them.  I WILL trust in Him and I WILL rest in Him.

 

Mom’s Notes

These past few weeks I’ve been listening to a CD called ‘Mom’s Notes’ in the car.  I wanted to gain a better understanding of the different personality types and how that interacts with and affects the way we parent.  There have been a few good things come out of this.  First is that I realised that our two older children are completely opposite personality types.  I know, I know… Those who know our children will be reading this thinking “duh!”.  But it hit me in a new and profound way.  Our firstborn pumpernickel is a Choleric/Melancholy.  Our second born middle child, aka “squirt” is a Phlegmatic/Sanguine. The first one being their primary type, second one being minor.

We have used alot of the same parenting techniques, consequences and styles with the second one.  Basically whatever worked with the first, we’ve used on the second.  It has now occured to me ‘why’ alot of these techniques that were useful with the first are not so with the second. For instance, when we send the older one to time out, we need to set a time and be in control of when restoration occurs.  This is because she’s a choleric and fights for control in every minute detail of her life.  However, with the second one, I need to say to him that he needs to come and find me when he has his self control and is ready to listen.  This is because he is phlegmatic, they are characterised by a lack of initiative and are also very stubborn.  If we set a time, he will just wait it out and may still have a hard heart at the end of it. Getting him to come to me, means that he needs to take initiative and I know that he will be ready to submit.

A major difference is that the older one will fight for control and “I can do it myself” in EVERYTHING.  She will want as much freedom and responsibility as she can get her hands on.  The younger one, however, will seek to get out of as much as possible for as long as possible.  To the extent of convincing his parents that “its too hard”, “I can’t reach”, “its too heavy”, ANY EXCUSE UNDER THE SUN.  Alot of parents (myself included) are guilty of giving up and deciding its just easier if I do it myself… which it is… in the SHORT term.

So in short, we have 2 completely opposite personalities to take into consideration when parenting.  One child who we need to carefully monitor and not allow too much freedom in choice, lest she thinks shes in charge.  And another who we will constantly need to push knowing that he CAN DO IT, if not, he CAN LEARN to do it.

The third one, I suspect will be Sanguine/Choleric.  Which will be interesting to see how the one with major Choleric and the one with minor choleric tendencies will navigate those conflicts in years to come.  Who will be the Queen Bee?

Its also been interesting, beggining to prepare myself for the parenting challenges that will arise as the little sanguine begins to assert herself.  She is particularly vocal already and seems further advanced than the others were at her age, probably because she’s number 3.  Sometimes I have to remind myself that she is not even 2 yet, as I find myself thinking of her as an older child and maybe sometimes expecting too much of her, consequently.  I have paid close attention to the sanguine strengths and weaknesses, but I’m sure I’ll have to go back and listen again at a later stage.

On the upside, my children have been hearing alot of this also, as they’ve been in the car with me alot of the time.  The Choleric child is loving this – cholerics love to be in control and to have order and be organised. Therefore she’s taken it upon herself to make sure that she is doing her chores and has a list written down.  She is soaking it all up like a sponge.

We had a major breakthrough with her tonight.  She often struggles with self control (unfortunately a trait passed on from her mother).  When we got home, I was dealing with another child and she got frustrated because she started trying to talk to me.  Before I knew it she walked to her bedroom, sat on her bed, put her hands together to get her self control.  I was amazed!! Needless to say we made a BIG deal of that!!

Then, after dinner hubby was taking the middle child out for ‘man-time’.  He tries to have regular one-on-one time with each of the kids.  Though the older one tends to have more because her love language is ‘quality time’.  I instructed the older one to go to the bathroom and get ready for a bath.  She said “mum… I think I need to go and sit on my bed and get self – control…” I said, “ok, you better go do that then”.  After I had the younger one sorted in the bath, the oldest asked to talk to me.  I sat down and she asked for help because she was feeling selfish.  She was jealous of the middle one going out with dad (even though she had a date last week).  We prayed together and asked God to help us have self control and to put others first.  What a precious moment to share with my daughter. She was not instantly cured and we continued to talk about the struggle that it was… but she used her self control and didnt take away from the boys joy of going out together.

It truly is satisfying when we can work with our children in meaningful ways like this.  What a privilege and a joy to disciple them in knowing, loving and serving Jesus.  I pray that he will continue to work in her little heart and life.