Someone Our Children Should Know~ Fannie Crosby

I have heard, “Next to the Bible, the most important book to own is the Hymn Book.”

Fannie Crosby was a hymn writer who authored more than 8000 hymns. She wrote so many hymns that she used pen names, so her name would not fill the entire hymn book above other names.

Fanny Crosby~birthplace“Mother, if I had a choice, I would still choose to remain blind … for when I die; the first face I will ever see will be the face of my blessed Saviour.”

Fannie Crosby was not born blind.  These are her words: “When I was six weeks old, a slight cold caused inflammation of the eyes. Our usual doctor was away from home, so a stranger was called in. He recommended the use of hot poultices, which practically destroyed my sight. When this sad calamity became known, the unfortunate man thought it best to leave the neighborhood, and we never heard of him again.”

A few months after Fanny became blind, her dad died of an illness. Mercy Fanny Crosby and two younger sisters and Mrs. CrosbyCrosby, widowed at 21, hired herself out as a maid while Grandmother Eunice Crosby took care of little Fanny. Grandmother became an unforgettable, incredible influence on Fanny’s life.

Fanny’s grandmother took on the education of Fanny herself and became her eyes, vividly describing the physical world to Fanny. Grandmother’s careful teaching helped develop Fanny’s descriptive abilities. Grandmother read the Bible to Fanny, explaining it to her, emphasizing the importance of prayer. When Fanny became depressed because she couldn’t learn as other children did, Grandmother taught her to pray to God for knowledge and wisdom.

At eight years of age, Fannie composed this little verse:

Oh, what a happy child I am, although I cannot see!
I am resolved that in this world contented I will be!
How many blessings I enjoy that other people don’t!
So weep or sigh because I’m blind, I cannot – nor I won’t.

A landlady of the Crosby’s also had an important role in Fanny’s development. Mrs. Hawley helped Fanny memorize the Bible, and often the young girl memorized five chapters a week. She knew the Pentateuch, the Gospels, Proverbs, the Song of Solomon, and many of the Psalms by heart. She developed a memory which amazed others.

Fanny CrosbyIn 1834, Fanny learned of the New York Institute for the Blind and knew this was the answer to her prayer for an education. She entered the school when she was twelve and went on to teach there for twenty-three years.

Romance came into the life of Fanny Crosby and she fell in love with another blind student named, Alexander VanAlstyne, who became a professor. On March 5, 1858, they were married. He was a musician and considered one of the finest organists in the New York area. Fanny was an excellent harpist, played the piano, and had a lovely soprano voice. They had one child, who went to be with the Lord as a baby.

Fanny started devoting her time to writing hymns. She would sometimes write 7 hymns a day. Whenever Fanny wrote a hymn, she prayed God would use it to lead many souls to Him. “It may seem a little old-fashioned, always to begin one’s work with prayer, but I never undertake a hymn without first asking the good Lord to be my inspiration.”

In her own day, the evangelistic team of D. L. Moody and Ira Sankey effectively brought Fanny Crosby’s hymns to the people. Today, many of her hymns continue to draw souls to her Saviour for both salvation and comfort:  “Blessed Assurance,” “To God Be the Glory,” “Pass Me Not, O Gentle Savior,” “Safe in the Arms of Jesus,” “Rescue the Perishing,” “Jesus, Keep Me Near the Cross,” “I Am Thine, O Lord,” “All the Way My Savior Leads Me,” and many more.

At 90, Fanny Crosby declared, “My love for the Holy Bible and its sacred truth is stronger and more precious to me at ninety than at nineteen.”

Asked about her long years, she said, “My secret to longevity is that I guard my taste, my temper and my tongue.”

“Don’t waste any sympathy on me. I am the happiest person living. How in the world could I have lived such a helpful life as I have lived if I had not been blind? I verily believe that God intended that I should live my days in physical darkness so that I might be better prepared to sing His praise and lead others from spiritual darkness into eternal light.  With sight, I would have been too distracted to have written thousands of hymns.” (March 24, 1820 – February 12, 1915)

Have we taught our children about Fanny Crosby? Fanny is a heroine of faith, an inspiration to us all and a person we should know! Don’t you agree?

Sibling Rivalry is not Normal~ Part 2

Continuation of: Sibling Rivalry is Not Normal ~ Part 1

Let me ask you some questions:

1. While you were growing up, would you say you had a fairly good relationship with your siblings, or did you and your siblings not get along well?

2. If you had a good, close relationship with your siblings, did your parents encourage that behavior?

3. If you and your siblings did not get along well, do you wish today that your parents had stepped in and encouraged harmony between you and your siblings?

Instead of Sibling Rivalry, let us seek Sibling Harmony for our family! Sibling Harmony is God’s Way.

Kelly, a friend who homeschools, gave me permission to share her letter she wrote to me.

Kelly writes:

“I always use your family as a standard for how to raise my kids. For my children, your son and daughters are such amazing role models of young people who did it God’s way. Most people don’t understand why I have these standards for my kids, but the reason is, I have seen these standards succeed.  Thank you!”

Kelly continues, “I also overwhelmingly agree with this statement you made to me and have taught my children it every day: ‘Brothers and sisters do not have to fight.  They need to be each other’s best friend.’ I totally have made our three children believe this, and I love that they don’t fight. They never fight physically though sometimes disagree, but they are truly close. I am thankful to you for helping me realize that it’s okay and usually best to go against the world’s stereotype. I am eternally grateful!”

Because I was not a perfect parent, I cried out to God constantly for wisdom and searched the Bible for truth. Our standards we had in our family were not church standards, a friend’s standards, societies standards, but Bible standards. If God said it, we put it into practice. I believed, even before I was saved, “If I can’t trust God’s Word to be true, I have no hope.”

Our children~~The Bible teaches:

(1.) Every child is foolish. (Proverbs 22:15)

(2.) A child should not be left to himself. (Proverbs 29:15)

It meant so much to my husband and me for our children to get along. Why?

  • We believed if siblings get along well, they will get along well with their future spouses. It happened! I wish you could ask our grown children’s spouses how well our children get along with them.
  • We knew our children would have better character if they learned how to handle disagreements appropriately.
  • We knew siblings would be happier getting along, rather than miserable and fighting.
  • If siblings became best friends and showed each other kindness, our home would be peaceful.

It would take some doing on my part, but I needed to be more attentive to what was going on with our children. I tried very hard to be on top of things in order to intervene and train our children by teaching correct behavior. I needed Holy Spirit led parenting.

This is what we did:

1.  We encouraged our children to work through conflicts in a respectful, productive and non-aggressive way. Name calling or mean teasing was not allowed.

Look at what the Lord has to say about teasing at another’s expense:

“As a mad man who casteth firebrands, arrows, and death, So is the man that deceiveth his neighbour, and saith, Am not I in sport?” Proverbs 26:18,19

2.  If our children had a friend over and the friend was being unkind to the sibling, our children were taught to defend each other. Loyalty to family was taught.

3.  We did not allow our children to raise their voices or to use physical aggression. “He that is slow to wrath is of great understanding: but he that is hasty of spirit exalteth folly.” Proverbs 14:29

4.  We daily read Proverbs as a family which encourages kindness and respect for others. Teach children to desire to please the Lord by showing love to each other. “Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.” 1John 4:11

5. We usually did not allow our children to watch any shows with siblings being unkind to one another. If we happened to watch a show with siblings fighting or being mean spirited, we had a lesson on why that is not done in our home.

The good ole days~our children have always been a joy!
The good ole days~our children have always been a joy!

6. We emphasized to the older child, the importance of that position. She was the example to the younger children.  Our eldest, Kristen turned out to be a tremendous example to her younger siblings by the time she was five. She took her position to be the example seriously. We taught Brandon, he was the example to his younger sister. Even the youngest can be taught privately she is the example to her older siblings.  It is good for a child to realize their behavior is being watched, so they need to be a good example to others.

7.  We did not show partiality to one child over the other.  Genesis 37 is a good deterrent to that.

8.  We did not put our children in a position for unfriendly competition with each other.

Note: Our children were loyal to us and honored us. Even though our children were extremely close to one another, they did not dishonor us by talking behind our backs to each other. We, as parents made sure we had our children’s hearts by having a close relationship with them.  See: “Special Time With Mom” Kept Our Daughter From Rebelling

We just had all our grown children and their spouses and their families at our home for a week of enjoyment.  It is so very wonderful to not only love our children’s spouses, but to like them and enjoy them too. We all get along so well. We are very blessed!!!

Our grown children and their spouses today:

Our daughter, Kristen and her husband, Pastor Dwayne
Our daughter, Kristen and her husband, Pastor Dwayne

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our son, Brandon and wife, Jodi
Our son, Brandon and wife, Jodi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A fun picture of Melinda, our daughter and her husband, Jeremy.
Our youngest, Melinda and husband, Jeremy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Would you like to share any other suggestions that encourage sibling harmony instead of sibling rivalry?

Room Time! A Sanity Saver!

“Room Time” was written by Kay Lee. I met Kay in my home when Melinda, our daughter taught art lessons to Kay’s precious children. The photo to the right is Kay Lee’s five year old son having “Room Time.”

 

Kay Lee
Kay Lee

As a homeschooling mom of three kids, (my daughter is sixteen, my sons are about to be fourteen and five) I have read countless books on parenting. I have yet to read a parenting book that I agree with completely. My parenting style has emerged as a blend of parts of these books, much prayer, plus many other influences.

There are  several things I have learned over the years that I am so very thankful for, things that have made my parenting journey more joyful and less stressful. I would like to share one of those with you.

Itʼs called Room Time.

The idea is that once your toddler gives up his nap time, he transitions to room time. Rather than sleeping during this time, he may play in his room instead.

I used a baby gate at the door of my toddlerʼs room to ensure he stayed in the room, made sure he was safe, and stayed within earshot in case he needed me. Most days that process was just as easy as it was to write that last sentence describing the process. However, there were days of little chubby fingers grasping the baby gate as the tears fell! Determination on my part, not giving in although it would have been the easier path, made Room Time successful.

Room TimeOverall, Room Time was a great experience for both mom and child. When my kids were little, it was an invaluable time to return phone calls, have a quiet time, pay bills, or any other activity which a toddlerʼs presence would not enhance! The child could play and sing and create the imaginary world of his choosing all in the safety of his room. When my older two needed my attention for school in the mornings, my little one would do room time. Now, as the little one is doing kindergarten, he does his room time after he and I finish his schoolwork allowing me to spend time with the older two.

Some great benefits have come from Room Time.

My kids can all easily entertain themselves.

My sanity~ One of the most difficult things of being a mom to multiple kids, for me, is that feeling of being “pulled” in several different directions at once.

Mother Teaching Daughters To Cook~
Mother Teaching Daughters To Cook~

Room Time has helped me focus on one or two kids at a time without the other continually pleading for attention.

 

I hope Room Time will be a blessing to all the moms who try it!

Embrace Homemaking! Embrace Homeschooling! They are God’s Gift To You!

Another school year is beginning, so I wanted to repost this article to give you encouragement! Homemaking-homeschooling Mom, what you are doing counts for all eternity! I pray you have an abundantly blessed school year and may your children grow up to love the Lord with all their heart, soul, mind and strength!

A mother’s work day is exhausting!  And then… top that off with homeschooling? Whew! Her workday does not end at 5:00 P.M.

Being a homemaker, wife, mother and homeschool mom is super hard work!  Did you know God said the hard work you are facing today is His gift to you? That’s right! God calls homemaking, wifely duties, motherly duties and the work of a homeschooling mom a gift from Him to you. God also said He gave work to you for your enjoyment.
“It is good and comely (beautiful)….for one to enjoy the good of all his labour that he taketh under the sun all the days of his life, which God giveth him: for it is his portion (inheritance)…every man…rejoice in his labour; this is the gift of God.” Ecclesiastes 5:18, 19

Did you wake up this morning rejoicing while you thought about all the work you have to do? From this Scripture God says:

  1. The homemaker is to rejoice in her labor.
  2. The work of homemaking was given as a gift from God to the homemaker.
  3. The work of homemaking was given by God for enjoying life.
  4. The work of a homemaker is her inheritance in this life.
  5. God said the work of a homemaker, wife, mother and homeschooling mom is good and beautiful and rewarding.

Do you get the picture of how special you are to God?  He has personally given you the gift of work to enjoy life.

Today, let us embrace our life even if we have troubles. Let us choose to love life in the midst of troubles. Most of life consists of daily routines.  God wants us to embrace the ordinary. A lot of what we face in a day is hard.  We can still enjoy life by embracing the goodness and blessings of God in the midst of hardships.

Let us make a decision today to love life. We embrace God’s gift of work when we know:

  • God loves me.
  • God is good.
  • God wants His best for me.
  • God has given me the gift of work for me to enjoy life.

When I go through a day, I have two choices:

  1. I can groan, mope and complain about my hard work.
  2. I can squeeze every ounce of happiness out of my work.  Why?  My work is God’s gift to me; a gift to embrace joyfully. God never gives bad gifts.

HomemakingPS.  Looking back, being a homeschool mom was the hardest job I ever had, but it was the most fulfilling job I ever had!  When God calls a mother to homeschool, He equips her to do what seems to be impossible. What a loving Heavenly Father to give you and me such a wonderful gift of work. Just like a parent enjoys seeing their child happy when given a gift, our Heavenly Father delights in watching us being happy over His gift of work to us. Smile, because today is a day in which to rejoice! :) Embrace your gift from God!

If someone were new to homeschooling, what advice would you give them? I would love to hear from all of you! Huge Hint!

11 Painful Mistakes Parents Make

We are having 11 days of a family reunion, so I am reposting some favorites.

I finished shopping, opened the car door, put the bag on the car seat and slammed the door all the way closed…on my hand. Yes, I did! I could not believe it either!  Jumping quickly into the car, I yelled in agonizing pain, because I didn’t want anyone in the parking lot to hear me.  Yes, I did that too! My hand was already bruising, but I could tell that nothing was broken.

Thank the Lord for the rubber cushion now installed in cars, instead of my hand being enclosed between steel. But, it hurt enough to where I am now extremely cautious and alert when I shut my car door in order to not repeat that painful action. I learned my lesson the hard way.

If you are like me, I would rather learn from other people’s mistakes instead of my own.  Sometimes though, I don’t even learn from my own mistakes.  Not learning from a mistake would be like shutting the car door on my left hand and then turning around and shutting the car door on my right hand. The best way to learn parenting is from God.

We read the Proverbs of the Bible daily as a family to learn the wisdom of God.  We wanted to avoid making painful mistakes as parents. We wanted to help our children make wise decisions. We also received wise counsel from others on parenting.
“For wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it.”  Proverbs  8:11

11 painful mistakes parents make with their children:

  1. Not walking with God, not relying on God’s Word, not seeking His wisdom.
  2. Not doing what they know they are supposed to do.
  3. Not being respectful to one another.
  4. Not being alert to dangers within their home: Not checking out what their children are seeing and hearing on the different medias within the home and not checking out what is in their rooms.
  5. Not being attentive to friends who may be leading them astray.
  6. Not being sincere by behaving one way around certain people and behaving another way within the home.
  7. Not apologizing to them when wrong.
  8. Not being a family of prayer.
  9. Not keeping their children’s hearts. Not taking time to listen to them and talk with them.
  10. Not going to a Bible teaching local church.church~~
  11. Not disciplining them effectively. See Proverbs.

Many times, becoming a new parent grabs the parent’s attention, and the new parent will make changes to walk with God. That is what happened with Enoch in Genesis 5:22.

After Methuselah was born, Enoch started walking with God.  How is our walk with God? Does our walk with God make our children and grandchildren want to walk with the God we serve? Should there be any concern on our part if if our children and grandchildren follow in our footsteps? Do any changes need to be made in our lives?

“Lord, I pray we will be wise parents and grandparents.  We have the power of influence on the lives of others. Empower us to be good influences. We desire to live our lives to honor You! Lord, just a closer walk with Thee. May our children and grandchildren grow up to live to honor You.  We thank You! In Jesus’ Name, Amen. “