Crossing
Your
Jordan Ministries
Embracing God's Promise of Abundance When Hardship Endures
A Word of Encouragement for Moms Homebound WITH Kids
by Jenny on March 16th, 2020

"Encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children . . ." Titus 2:4

Hey Moms! Anyone feeling overwhelmed at the thought of having your sweet, beautiful children home all day, every day . . . for an indefinite amount of time? It's okay to admit your fears and reservations!

By NO means am I an expert. God fashioned each of us moms with different personality types, so the words that follow may not prove helpful to you. BUT, in his letter to Titus, Paul challenged "older women" to "train, or encourage women to love their husbands and their children . . ." (Titus 2:3-4) While I'm not sure I like the "older woman" part, as an initially-VERY-reluctant-homeschooling-mom-of-ten-years, I DO know what it is like to end up home with your children all day, every day . . . for an indefinite amount of time. And I would love to encourage you. Not because I have all the answers but because I know the struggle is real.

FIRST. God chose you--yes, YOU--to be the mother of your children because He knew you would be perfect for them and that they--yes, your children--would be perfect for you. Your children can have other teachers but YOU are Mom. "Children are a gift from the Lord." (Psalm 127:3) Children may not always feel like a gift (just being real here) but Scripture proclaims that they are. Let us ask God to give us eyes to see the beauty in His gifts.

SECOND. Know your personality type. I am an Introverted Mom (click here for an EXCELLENT read on this topic. Hint, even if you are an Extrovert, being with your children all day, every day, for an indefinite amount of time may bring out the Introvert in you). I recharge by being . . . alone. Thankfully I've had nap-age children for fifteen years. We STILL have an afternoon "rest-time" for one hour EVERY afternoon, even on weekends. My youngest naps, my middles shamelessly watch PBS or another educational program and my olders read or listen to audio books or play a non-technology related game with a sibling (think old fashioned board games or card games). Since we are ALL together ALL day EVERY day for an INDEFINITE amount of time, "rest-time" gives EVERYONE a chance to have a "break" from each other. Because "alone time" refuels me, I also wake up two hours before my children. How do I know I have two hours? Because other than potty-breaks, we have asked our children to remain in their rooms until 7am. Knowing I have until 7am to prepare for my day gives me the time I need to pray, study the Scriptures, pray more, respond to e-mails, etc. At 7am, I'm "on-the-clock," so to speak. On the other hand, you Extroverted Moms will THRIVE being with [little] people all day, every day for an indefinite amount of time.

THIRD. In addition to being an Introverted Mom, I am also a type-A, thrive-on-structure type of mom. Before you tell me to loosen up, remember I'm outnumbered 6:1 during the day! I read one time that because their bodies, and therefore their little worlds, are constantly changing, young children especially perform better with routine. I like to call it "flexible structure" (how's that for an oxymoron?). Whether you find yourself homebound with your children for an extra week or an extra fifteen years, find a routine that works for your family.

Loosely speaking, M-F, all of our children, teens included, are expected to arise by 8am (see, there ARE perks to not having to rush off to work or school each day). TV is off by 8:30am (and on no earlier than 7am). The kitchen closes at 9am. Chore-time follows until 10am. School begins no later than 10am (olders often begin their school work before 10am if their chores are complete). Snack for littles at 10:30am (something quick like fruit or nuts). School runs until 12:30pm, sometimes 1pm. Then lunch followed by rest-time. School resumes from 3pm-4pm or 4:30pm, followed by an afternoon snack and at least an hour of OUTSIDE time, rain, sleet or snow! Cleanup house (because I also can't stand clutter, though dust and even a little stickiness on the floor doesn't bother me as much) and/or cleanup kids, and dinner prep around 5:30pm, dinner around 6pm, bedtime [begins] for littles around 7pm, olders to bed around 9pm. 

NOTE: total screen time = 1hr MAX for toddler/baby, 2-3hrs MAX for preschool/elementary-school age, middle-school/high-school = 4-5hrs MAX including schoolwork such as on-line math course, typing papers, etc. Because our kids are with us all day, every day, for an indefinite amount of time, we feel our kids don't need phones until high school. We have an old-fashioned land-line--$10/mo with Vonage--that they use to talk with friends. If our kids left home every day for school, we would likely have given them a phone at an earlier age. If kids are home with you, consider limiting phone time to an hour or so before lunch, an hour or so in the afternoon, an hour or so in the evenings. And . . . see if you can't do the same.

On "school-work." Because we homeschool, I have all of our schoolwork at my finger tips. Until/unless schools send work home with students, consider other brain-engaging work. The Critical Thinking Co. offers MANY fun brain-teaser workbooks for young and old. We've also used Paragraph Editing workbooks for Grades 2-8 during summer breaks.

FOURTH. Ask the Father for help. In every moment, with every child. If you don't know the Father, or don't know how to talk to the Father, or fail to understand how in this world the Father can actually help you (because He seems to live oh, so far away), let's talk! The short answer is that we are born apart from the Father (Ephesians 2:12), with no way back to Him on our own. Sin separated us (and though we "seem" good-enough, God's standards are so high, none of us can achieve communion with God on our own). Christ died in place of us, took the punishment for our sin which was death SO THAT we COULD be reconciled with God. We simply must RECOGNIZE (BELIEVE) that Jesus died for us. The moment we make a profession of faith IN Jesus, God's Spirit indwells us, and THAT is how He helps us in every day life. The Spirit of God helps us live in a way that pleases God, IF we will yield to the Spirit's leading. The fruit of the Spirit, meaning the evidence or the proof or ability of the Spirit is love (not hate), joy (not misery--even at home with children all day every day for an indefinite amount of time), peace (not chaos), patience (yes, the Spirit of God will HELP YOU BE PATIENT with your children all day every day for an indefinite amount of time!!), kindness (you get the idea), goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and yes, even self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23) You need Jesus so that you can spend eternity with God. You need the Spirit to help you live moment by moment, day by day for a definite amount of time, which God only knows.

Obedience brings God joy. (1 Samuel 15:22) Obedience in believing Him and all He says in His Word about our condition and about His love and forgiveness and provision. Obedience in wherever He has placed you and your children during this season. Let His joy be your strength. (Nehemiah 8:10)

God has power over this virus and any that will follow in the weeks, months or years to come. In the New Testament Jesus commanded gems to die, and they did (Luke 4:38-39). Jesus can still command germs today. God has allowed this season for a reason. Rest in His plan. He has you at home with your children for such a time as this. God WILL call you to do more than you can in your own strength SO THAT you learn to trust in Him. 

Second Corinthians 1:8 reads, "We were crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure, and we thought we would never live through it." Paul is speaking of a situation far more fearful than being home with children . . . but the feelings are mutual. Paul continues in verse 9, "But as a result, we stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely only on God."

May that be how God turns what the enemy meant for harm into GOOD. May you and the children God has given you draw closer to Him, and to teach other, during this time.

As moms (or other care-givers) homebound with our children, let's continue to encourage each other. We are a community. Leave your comments here today, or in the days and weeks to come.


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Welcome!
Crossing Your Jordan

I am a stay-at-home, homeschooling, Bible-teaching mom of six, and wife to my college sweetheart. I believe everyone can live a life of abundance through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and radical obedience to His Word.

Do you have a relationship with God through Christ? If not, I would consider it pure joy to tell you about God, why you need Him, and how to be reconciled to Him through Christ.

If you know Christ as your Savior, do you know how to follow Him as Lord? If, like me, life's challenges have caused you to question whether you truly want to follow God's plan for you, or you simply don't know how to recognize God's ways due to a lack of biblical literacy, I would love to teach you what I've come to know about God through His Word.

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Visit the following link to read or search through Jenny's posts dating prior to August 2014. www.jennyhander.blogspot.com