Dinner Disciplines

The life of a homeschooling parent requires discipline. Unfortunately, two areas that were totally undisciplined in my life were cleaning and organizing my home. At the end of each homeschooling week, my house was the perfect reflection of that lack of discipline.

There seemed to be no solution to my problem until God gave me a new motivation to care for my home. Because we desired more social opportunities for our children, we began a Sunday noon ritual of inviting guests for a pot roast lunch. Our children took turns inviting their friends over, and we all benefited from the time together. Our children enjoyed playing with their friends, we developed friendships with their friends' parents, and my house was cleaned and organized in the process. When it was time for deeper cleaning, God disciplined me further by using extended stays of visiting family members to motivate me to spring clean.

Living a godly life as a Christian also requires discipline. We all struggle with areas that cause us to stumble in our walk with God. However, God knows the discipline we need to overcome these temptations and find the victory that will glorify Him. Satan would have us continue living in the dirt and clutter of our fleshly lusts, but God commands us to be controlled by the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:16). Like cleaning and organizing, no discipline seems to be pleasant, but God's Word does promise that discipline will yield the fruit of righteousness after we have been trained by it (Hebrews 12:11).

How disciplined are you? How you teach is closely related to how disciplined you are in following God. Homeschooling will force you to make changes in your spiritual life as you depend on God for wisdom and strength. Perhaps that is one reason why God called you to homeschool in the first place.

Lord, thank You for the blessing of homeschooling my children and the discipline it brings to my life. Fill me with the Holy Spirit and teach me to stay close to You as we walk together on this homeschooling journey. In the name of Jesus, Amen.

Comments(19 comments)

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JENNIFER I 03/05/2009 10:44:51

This last part really touched my heart, "Homeschooling will force you to make changes in your spiritual life, as you depend on God for wisdom and strength. Perhaps, that is one reason why God called you to homeschool in the first place." Though I never saw it coming way back when, LOL!

MELISSA W 03/05/2010 07:35:53

Seeing this realy makes me think of why God is calling me to homeschooling. I have been looking into information on homeschooling fro my boys. It has been a difficult road because i have to convince thier dad that it is a good idea. I am leaving it in God's hands as to the path taken. Because christianity is "not his thing" it does not bother him that his kids are in the school district. But I know that I could use a lot of orginizing in my life. This would help me to also teacj=h that to my kids. thank you

ELIZABETH J 03/05/2010 22:30:51

haha why is it that the house is a wreck until my husband calls and says were are having unexpected company??? We kick in, a within 30 min. you can't even tell that those were just the bedrooms that were totally destroyed a few minutes ago. My kids also LOVE having company and I actually have an open door policy because I am so strict about where my kids go and who is influencing them I allow them to have company almost any time, but...if the rooms aren't presentable company is kept in the living room or outside. Discipline is a struggle for our family as Christians, as parents, and as home schoolers! We take it in stride one day at a time. thnx for the post!!!

LESLIE S 03/05/2011 05:45:31

This one hit me right between the eyes!! I have known for a long time discipline is one area I am severly lacking in and always have been. The Lord really started working on my heart this year to be disciplined for the very first time in many areas of my life, food, cleaning, getting lessons ready the night before, time alone with the Lord you name it!! It has been hard work to let the Lord change who I am, but has been totally worth it. I feel better about myself physically, spiritually, I a not stressed every morning trying to get lessons ready while the kids are staring at me waiting or wandering off because they are tired of wating. I can\'t do this on my own because I am not a naturally disciplined person only the Lord can bring about this change. Thank Goodness!!

ANGELA G 03/05/2011 07:20:14

This was right on time! I have been struggling with a lack of discipline and organization in my home my whole life. I never thought of the idea that God was bringing people in my life for the purpose of my learning the discipline of keeping house! I have resisted that lesson, even with people coming over regularly, to the point where we get few visitors. Thank you for opening my eyes.

BRENDA S 03/05/2011 07:55:43

Gods words touches every part of our lifes no matter how large or small-I think I\'ll go clearn that room that I have been putting off and who knows whats next with the help of God.

ELAINE P 03/05/2011 08:12:58

Since the kids are in the house now all week all day, I have realized I cannot keep them as tidy as I used to. I have learned that home schooling is a life style. These words of encouragement everyday help me to further enjoy and embrace changes that this life style choice has given, and not to \"sweat the small stuff\".

LAURA S 03/05/2011 08:43:42

Wow, this is a tough one. I would LOOOOOVE my house to be very orderly and tidy and clean, and I do see it as a self-discipline issue, but for us it\'s not a lack of discipline to clean or even pick up after ourselves as much as it\'s an issue of too much clutter and too many choices. We have a large house do everything out of our house and there are multiple projects and competing focal points. Everyone in the house is creative and innovative. We\'ll clear the table for a meal and right after we eat, there\'s a playdough session or a drawing class or a music lesson. I could accomplish a lot with a day in my house ALONE once each quarter, but that would have to be as important to my husband as it is to me and it just isn\'t. If the dishes are done, the laundry is done, the garbage is out, the bills are paid and the livingroom is in order and I\'m sitting by his side in his office he is content... And that is just it for me now, at this time in my life.

SUZY W 03/05/2011 10:55:21

Suzy S. Let\'s not forget ladies who Jesus Himself siad had the BETTER PART. Martha, Martha, you are worried about much but your sister Mary has chosen the better part. Sometimes, time alone with the One who LOVES us so much and gives us His sweet presence to us; or spending time with that 2 year old on the kitchen floor playing and loving IS the better part, instead of having a super clean house. Also, because of illness of mothers/and or children -it isn\'t practical or realistic to have a super clean house.

NANCY K 03/05/2011 14:38:33

Just recently found your site and started receiving your devos. I am really loving them!! They are very encouraging and I love that they speak to me where I am at!! Thank you very much!! It really is true that when we have others over it does encourage us to keep the house better! Thanks again, you have blessed my day! Nancy

CRYSTAL M 03/05/2011 20:07:37

I don\'t think this post is getting after anyone for not having a super cllean house... I believe this post is directed to people like me, who are just so lazy or non caring at times. I know I can do better, but the internet keeps my attention, or watching a movie just feels a whole lot nicer. I am the kind who desperatly needs to starts disciplining myself in this area...I avoid it like the plague and it is showing. We are called to be keepers of the home- and God is not a God of chaos. How we keep our homes can show a great deal of our walk on the inside. I am one who needs to repent of this. The goal is not to impress with my home, but to have my inner convictions match my outward lifestyle. Lord, I repent of being lazy in this matter. Wow, this is going to be hard to do... but character is measured by those who do the hard things. Ugg, I guess that means for me to get off the computer now. Thanks for the post.

SHANTELLE M 03/05/2012 03:10:27

Amazingly right on time. I just woke up at 4am praying to God to help me get things back in order with home, new decision to homeschool, finances, etc. God placed in my spirit to get up and start throwing things away to get rid of the clutter. As I was preparing myself to get started, I heard my email alert and to my surprise it was this message on getting organized and having to depend on God for strength and wisdom. Additionally I just signed up last night to receive these devotions. God is always on time. Thank you for sharing and providing that confirmation needed for me to move in this direction. Even the idea of purposely allowing friend invites was awesome as my kids were afraid they would no longer see their friends. May God bless you for listening to what was needed to be shared.

CHRISTINE M 03/05/2012 07:01:41

I do need to rely on God for wisdom in this area, but have also learned that sometimes relationships are more important. I don\'t let a less than clean house stop me from inviting friends over anymore! It is what it is! They don\'t come for the house, they come to be with us. I have to say, I always feel more at \"home\" in a place that is a bit more lived in than a showroom! However, my husband is a clean freak--so it\'s never too bad. We are striving for wisdom and balance in this area. I think setting a timer at the end of the day and everyone tidying up is great...it\'s nice to start the morning with a clean house.

TRISH M 03/05/2012 07:03:57

I agree...this devo hit the nail on the head for me! AND Crystal M, are you sure you are not in my head somehow??? LOL Your post could have very well been written by ME!! I get so much encouragement by finding others who are struggling in the same areas I am, hope from those who post their experiences, and GUIDANCE from Him as most of these devotionals seem to answer some area I have questioned Him in. I too am waiting on the Lord to convince my husband this is GOD telling me to home school next year; I feel the calling within every fiber of my being, but still have allowed doubts to enter in from the \"clutter\" and lack of organization/discipline to thinking we do have a pretty good school system. BUT I also know that if I don\'t \"jump in\" and do it, I will always look back and wonder what if I had been obedient to the call...what blessings would we miss out on!

DAVID C 03/05/2012 07:09:54

This is Jennifer.... It is a constant battle to know when to focus on the house and when to focus on other important things. As a homeschooling mom, there is not enough time for it all. I try to let the Lord guide me as to what his will is. However, it helps me to think that I am loving my family by keeping the house tidy. ...and I am loving them by teaching them how to keep the house tidy...they will have their own homes and families someday. When I started thinking of my housecleaning as a way to show love, it motivated me. Even so, my house is not as clean as I would like,and I have found that company is also a great motivator!

TABITHA J 03/05/2012 08:19:03

This is the area that my husband and I need to work on, especially when we are planning on starting a family soon. The motivator that I use is when we have company over for our open houses that we have for our businesses, and pray to God that we can use that income alone to support our family and allows us to homeschool our children.

KATHY S 03/05/2012 09:11:34

I can remember back when I lived in my very first apartment, I was about 24 or 25 yerars old. My mother made sure she gave me one of her vacuums as I moved out of her home (probably because my room at home was always a bit messsy). After moving in, I continued my 60-80 hour a week work schedule. I was single, no child, just me. I managed (to everyones surprise) to keep this apartment spotless. I ironed my sheets and pillowcases, (which now, I keep thinking why??) nothing was ever out of place. Never a dustbunny under my bed or in the spare bedroom either. People would come over and tell me my place looked like a \"doll house\", and they loved it. I was good friends with the UPS delivery people. I would come home worn out from work with packages awaiting my opening outside the back door. A new peice to enhance the beauty of my little home. My landlord used to comment that my apartment was so clean , you could almost eat off the floor. The only thing I was missing at the time, was Jesus, Jesus, really in my heart. Those days are now gone. At 33 I had my son, had to move into a 3rd floor apartment, and with my son\'s special needs, I had 4 different types of therapists coming back and forth to our place 7 times a week. I brought up to my doctor/therapist how I was \"stressed out\" about my apartment being a disaster area, and I was going on 4 or less hours of sleep with my baby crying all the time, I was worn out. I can remember the Doctors kind words to me \"Do not worry about how everything looks at the house, do the best you can with it, keep your attention on your baby, he is the most important, and you will never get this time with hiim back .\" This Doctor had a beautiful accent, and I frequently hear her advice in my mind. She has since gone home to be with Jesus. I did take her advice at the time, I did what I could, and just had to \"let go\" of the rest. God saw my situation, he knew I was under water so to speak. 12 years later, I am still battling with my apartment,( not the same one, my body wouldn\'t make it up and down those 3 flights of stairs anymore). It seems to be more cluttered than dirty here. And I really get what the writer and other have expressed about \"homeschooling\" and the extra mess all the time. When my son attended school, that was at least the time where I \"attempted\" to clean and organize the house. But the pain he endured at school was not worth my house being a little cleaner. We are trying together now to get in better order here, Birthday coming up, having guests, don\'t have a \"cleaning lady\". It\'s slow, will not be perfect, but my Beloved Doctors words will still \"chime in\" during my attempts, and somehow that makes it a little easier for me to accept, and not get overly stressed out. Again, I know the writer\'s point, and appreciate the words, it\'s a good idea to have more company, it\'s fun to visit, and it is a motivator for straightening up the house. I just wanted to share that (in my world here) the battle will always be before me, and aside from God giving me better health and the will to get the house more orderly, I just accept our \"imperfections\" in our home, focus on my son, his needs, his homeschooling, and God. And, for me it\'s O.K. . Thanks for the devotional, and thank you for letting me share my story too.

LYNN S 03/05/2012 09:36:31

Trish M and Melissa W, please do not give up or get discouraged concerning your husbands reluctance to Home School. Mine was very doubtful. I began to ask Jesus to open his eyes and his heart and to lead him down the path, but if I had waited on him to get the ball rolling our daughters would still be in public school. Today my husband is very involved in the process and he loves it. This path also has been a blessing to our marriage and relationship. He believes in the process. We both began to run into people we respected who were home educating their own children and all 3 were involved in the same system. That started us and I began to gather little facts and printouts and information and pray about those things and then I would give them to him to read. He spoke to the Head Master of the school our daughters are enrolled in himself and then we attended a meeting together.We then jumped into it and now two years later after tears, misunderstandings,mistakes and doubts eliminated, blessings flowing we are still excited about the process. So many people just do not understand this process or calling. They will state an opinion and challenge you but they did that about your relationship with Jesus and your faith too. I pray that you recieve courage from the promises and word of God about your responsibility as a parent and ignore them and move on. I pray for those who challenge me and I pray that Jesus will help me to respond with mercy and grace and help me to endure. No ones opinion matters more than Jesus. I draw strength from focusing on the plan Jesus set up for me. Do we stop attending Church because others dissagree that it is important or neccesary? No! Do we reject Jesus and turn away because some people deny who he is and that he matters? No! We know in our hearts that Christ Jesus loves us so we hang on to that faith everyday. One of the most effective prayers I have ever prayed has been ... Lord, open their eyes and show them the truth through your eyes and remove the hindrances and distractions from their hearts and minds. I pray that this process will become easier and more simple for you today. May Jesus bless you richly today and may we all be better stewards of the homes Jesus has blessed us with tidy or not!

TRISTA J 03/15/2012 12:46:09

I want to thank each of you for your coments. Some days reading the thoughts, reactions and struggles of people like me are even more helpful and encouraging than the daily focus itself! Like some of the ladies who posted, I also am not a naturally disciplined person, but have been struggling to become more so after hearing God\'s prompting to reflect my beliefs in all I do. Bless you all for your advice, encouragement and prayers!

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