Sneak Peek

Just a sneak peek of what is going to be taking place here at In the Shadow of Grace starting next Sunday, July 31.  Six friends of mine who are wonderful wives (and one husband), mothers (father), and women (man) of God will be sharing their thoughts on different aspects pertaining to creating an Intentional Home and training up our children to be men and women of God.  It is my hope that what is written will encourage you, strengthen you, and give you some fresh ideas on how to create an Intentional Home.  Come back on Sunday to read the first post where I will introduce what the concept of an Intentional Home entails.

** Digital Scrapbook paper used for the Intentional Home header and button are courtesy of Right- Brained Mama

Becoming a Daniel

I am two weeks into Beth Moore’s twelve week Bible study on Daniel.  So far, it is absolutely spectacular!

Maybe it is the history teacher in me, but I am loving the amount of historical information that she includes regarding the Babylonian and Israelite nations.  One of the historical facts that has struck me this week was that most historians believe that Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah (Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego) were likely 15 years old when they were taken from Israel and placed in King Nebuchadnezzer’s palace to be trained in the Babylonian ways.  Only 15 years old! I had always pictured them being men at this point, but due to the relevance of why they were there (Nebuchadnezzer wanted to indoctrinate them at a young age to make them loyal to the Babylonian crown), it makes sense that they were that young.

That lead me to thinking- would I have been as brave or as resolute in my convictions at my present age of 29, much less 15? I would like to think I would be, but it does make me sit and wonder.  If I want to be a Daniel, how do I cultivate my personal integrity in every situation at all times, regardless of my mental, emotional, or physical state? These is a question I continue to mull over in my head.

I also got to thinking about what type of parents must have raised these young men, that at 15 they would be courageous and so mindful of God’s ways that they would dare stand up to the ruler who just conquered their nation?  I can’t help but think that Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah’s parents must have been people who modeled the need for integrity in a fallen world, who stood for God’s ways even when it was unpopular, and who taught their sons what Scripture says beyond just the feel good stories of Moses parting the Red Sea or Noah’s ark.

“Teenagers” or the concept of adolescence is actually a pretty new phenomenon and mostly found in Western cultures.  In previous generations children went directly to being considered adults without a middle stopping ground of being a “tween” or “teen”.  We expect our teens to mess up, to be irresponsible or uninterested in spiritual matters.  That wasn’t so for Daniel’s or his friends’ parents.  They expected their sons to know who they were, where they came from, who God was and is, and how to live to please God.  And please God they did- tremendously! I want my boys to be young men and adults who will please God.  Nothing makes me worry more than thinking of those Christian kids who I taught at a Christian school, raised in Christian homes, who are no longer living for God.  As I continue to muddle through this study, I want to soak up even more of how to be wise in raising my boys so that they will be Daniels in the midst of a Babylonian world that hyper-focuses on youth, money and intelligence.  And prayer…lots of prayer.

The Importance of Play

Payton is officially done his afternoon nap (if you strain your ears you might be able to hear my cries from where ever you are sitting right now).  Although this will be good in the long run, and will make his afternoons at preschool this fall much easier an adjustment, it is a little sad for me right now.  We’re in the process of implementing an afternoon quiet time so that I can catch some downtime, but I will miss the absolute quiet that I normally got for two hours while both boys slept.

That being said, I am also excited for this new just Payton and Mommy play time.  As Dev usually sleeps for at least two hours, and Payton’s quiet time will only last for one hour, that means that we will have our own daily hour of play.  As I was thinking about what to do with my “big boy” in that time, I began to think about the importance of playing and learning.  Although my thoughts were originally drawn to learning as in printing, science experiments (we did one using toys, stairs, and gravity last week), and art projects, there is much more that he learns through play, and even more when I specifically play with him.  Rachel Meeks of Small Notebook wrote a spectacular post on the importance of play in a child’s spiritual life.  The original article is available here.

I’ve found that Pinterest is not just about home decor and fashion, and I’ve been coming across lots of ideas for making and playing with Payton.  Some of my favourites are:

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Payton is all about pirates right now.  We even have two swords for pirate sword fights and making unsuspecting teddy bears walk the plank.

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What do you do with your child(ren) while younger siblings sleep? Art project ideas/science experiments/learning activity ideas all appreciated!