Why I am Glad We Did Not Have Much Money

I feel a bit strange saying that we didn’t have much money. Compared to most of the world, we were rich.  But in our country, when I stopped working after our first child was born, Barry and I were struggling to make ends meet . Changing from a two income family to a one income family was a gigantic adjustment. We felt it important for me to be home with our children.

When it came time for Kristen to go to school, I had never heard of homeschooling.  I thought I had two choices:

1. Public School- not an option for our family

2. Private School

The Christian Private school we had our hearts set on was way too costly. I would have had to go to work to put Kristen in that school; plus, pay to put our other children in daycare. Barry and I knew that for me to go to work was not what God wanted for our family.

I was approached by a Pastor to come teach at the church school. If I did, he said Kristen could go to school and the younger children could stay in the church daycare free, plus I would get a paycheck. Barry and I did not have a peace about our children in daycare. Even though I would be close by our children, the daycare worker would have to tell me all the “firsts” our younger children would be doing. I wanted to see their “firsts”.

I remember crying out humbly but passionately to God in prayer saying, “I don’t understand why You say in Your Word we are not to have the love of money when money buys the best for our children. Money buys the best Christian Private Schools. Lord, these are Your children.  I put this matter in Your hands.  Please show us what to do.”

Not long after, I received a phone call from an out-of-state friend.  I picked up the phone and this is what I heard, “Linda, what is going on with you!  Every time I pray, your name comes to mind!”

1.  Wow! Does God ever care about the details of our lives!

2.  It pays to have praying friends!

3.  It pays to pray crying out to God!

4.  There is praying, and there is “praying with passion”. I have found if I don’t pray with my whole being begging the Lord for an answer, I am not really praying. “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” James 5:16b

I poured out my concern to my friend.  She has never homeschooled her children, but said, “Have you considered homeschooling?”  I told her I had never heard of homeschooling and asked if it was legal. (Remember, back in the 80’s to homeschool was not cool.)

I then mentioned to my husband about homeschooling, and he said he would like for us to try to homeschool.  That very night, the Lord came to me and woke me three times confirming in my heart His will for our family to homeschool.  I guess I must be hard-headed for the Lord to have to wake me three times. God also answered my question about money by speaking to my heart, “I will  provide everything you need”.

I am so thankful to God we did not have much money.  I would have never thought to pray about school for our children if we had money.  The Christian Private School I had my heart set on was what I thought best for our children.

This was one of the many times, the lack of finances caused our family to cry out to God.  We saw first hand, The Lord God is Jehovah Jireh, our Provider. What I thought was best was not His best. I was trusting in my own understanding, so I had better remember to pray, pray and pray some more about all decisions!!!

Wonderful Scripture: Proverbs 3:5,6 “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”

George Mueller ~ He Prayed Believing

I love biographies of the heroes of faith. I was so encouraged to teach our children about George Mueller, a man of prayer. We have his biography on our book shelf. Please feel free to use this lesson to teach your children of Mueller, the man who had such faith, that when he prayed, he believed God would answer the impossible.

George Mueller is known for caring for over 10,024 orphans in his lifetime.  When God put it into the heart of George Muller to build orphanages, he had only 50 cents in his pocket. A man of faith, without making his desires known to any man, but to God alone, over $7,000,000 were sent to him over the years for the building and maintaining of these orphan homes.

Among the greatest monuments of trusting the Lord to provide are the incredible orphanages covering thirteen acres in Bristol, England. The orphans were provided such a good education under George Mueller’s care, that he was accused of raising the poor above their natural station in life. He also established 117 schools which offered Christian education to over 120,000 children, many of whom were orphans.

George Mueller was born in 1805 and grew up a rebellious child.  He was a thief, liar, gambler and an immoral youth.  His father unwisely entrusted his young sons with considerable amounts of money to teach them to acquire the habit of possessing cash without spending it.  This back-fired! George devised numerous methods of using the money for himself without being detected.  When he was 10, he started stealing government money from his dad who was a tax collector.  At age 14, George Mueller was out drinking and gambling when his mother died. He was arrested for trying to defraud and imprisoned when he was only sixteen years old.

Mueller went to college and diligently studied to look good outwardly, but inwardly he was still rebellious.  He penned, “But whilst I was outwardly gaining the esteem of my fellow-creatures, I  did not care in the least about God, but lived secretly in much sin, in consequence of which I was taken ill, and for thirteen weeks confined to my room… I cared nothing about the Word of God.”

Mueller heard about a Bible Study from a recently saved friend and decided to attend.  Mueller writes, “After a hymn was sung they fell upon their knees, and a brother, named Kayser, who afterwards became a missionary to Africa, asked God’s blessing on the meeting. This kneeling down made a deep impression upon me for I had never either seen any one on his knees, nor had I ever myself prayed on my knees.” The meeting impacted Muller’s life. “I was happy, though if I had been asked why I was happy, I could not clearly have explained it.” That Saturday night in mid-November, 1825, turned him around as Christ became his Saviour.

At age 20, the unstable heathen found the power of God to overcome his moral weaknesses and a transformed new life began. “That evening was the turning point in my life. I went again to the house of this brother, where I read the Scriptures with him and another brother; for it was too long for me to wait until Saturday came again. Now my life became very different… My wicked companions were given up; the going to taverns was discontinued; the habitual practice of telling falsehoods was no longer indulged in… I now no longer lived habitually in sin, though I was still often overcome…, and not without sorrow of heart. I read the Scriptures, prayed often, loved the brethren, went to church from right motives and stood on the side of Christ, though laughed at by my fellow students.”

The true believers at the University increased from six to about twenty in number before Muller left. They often met in Muller’s room to pray, sing and read the Bible. Mueller witnessed to his family, and gave away thousands of Gospel tracts, and spoke to many persons concerning the salvation of their souls. He preached his first sermon on August 27, 1826. During this time he lived for two months in the Orphan House in Germany built by August Hermann Francke, Professor of Divinity at Halle.  Here, the seed of the idea of the orphanage was sown that was to come to fruition later in Bristol, England. George Mueller also became convinced of the necessity of believer’s baptism, and was rebaptized.

Romance entered George Mueller’s life. In January of 1830 he undertook a monthly preaching engagement lodging there with Mrs. Hake, an invalid.  24 year old Mueller found himself greatly attracted to the 29 year old housekeeper, Mary Groves. Nine months later, they were joined in marriage.

What sweet words George Mueller wrote about his wife. “Were we happy? Verily we were. With every year our happiness increased more and more. I never saw my beloved wife at any time, when I met her unexpectedly anywhere in Bristol, without being delighted so to do. I never met her even in the Orphan Houses, without my heart being delighted so to do. Day by day, as we met in our dressing room, at the Orphan Houses, to wash our hands before dinner and tea, I was delighted to meet her, and she was equally pleased to see me. Thousands of times I told her—“My darling, I never saw you at any time, since you became my wife, without my being delighted to see you.”

Tragedy strikes the Mueller home: On March 19, 1834, their son, Elijah, was born but he died the next year, from pneumonia, leaving the Muellers with only one child, Lydia.  The summer of 1835 found Mueller himself in very poor health, slowing down his pace and giving him time to write The Narrative of the Lord’s Dealing with George Mueller. “To learn strong faith is to endure great trials. I have learned my faith by standing firm amid severe testings.”

Three weeks after Mary and George’s marriage, being like minded, they made a decision of faith: We will depend upon God alone to provide all needs.  They carried it to the extent that they would not give definite answers to inquiries as to whether or not they were in need of money at any particular moment.

“But my God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:19
Miraculously, at the time of need, there would always seem to be funds available from some source.  No matter how pressing was the need, George Mueller prayed, and either money or food always came in time to save the situation. “The beginning of anxiety is the end of faith, and the beginning of true faith is the end of anxiety.”

For some time George Mueller had been thinking about starting an orphanage in Bristol.  After five days of prayer, $300 came in and it seemed they might now have enough money to rent, equip and furnish a house.  The other request was for Christian people to work with the children.  His basic aim was to have a God pleasing work which pointed to as visible proof that God hears and answers prayer.  His heart also went out to the many ragged children running wild in the streets, who were looked down upon by most citizens.

The work of Mueller and his wife with orphans began in 1836 with the preparation of their own home at 6 Wilson Street, Bristol, England for the accommodation of 30 girls. Soon after, three more houses were furnished and there were now 130 orphans. In 1845, as growth continued, Mueller decided that a separate building designed to house 300 children was necessary, an architect was appointed and Ashley Down in Bristol England was opened.

The author, Charles Dickens, heard a rumor that the orphans were being mistreated and came down from London unannounced to verify this. After being shown around, Dickens went back to London and wrote a wholesome report on the activities of the orphan houses in his publication “Household Words.”

Photo of girl’s uniforms in the Mueller House Museum.

Wonderful stories of God providing for the orphans are told: “One morning, the plates and cups and bowls on the table were empty.  There was no food and no money to buy food.  The children were standing waiting for their morning meal, when Mueller said, “Children, you know we must be in time for school.”  Lifting his hand he said, “Dear Father, we thank Thee for what Thou art going to give us to eat.” There was a knock on the door.  The baker stood there, and said, “Mr. Mueller, I couldn’t sleep last night.  Somehow I felt you didn’t have bread for breakfast and the Lord wanted me to send you some.  So I got up at 2 a.m. and baked some fresh bread, and have brought it.”  Mueller thanked the man.

No sooner had this transpired when there was a second knock at the door.  It was the milkman.  He announced that his milk cart had broken down right in front of the Orphanage, and he would like to give the children his cans of fresh milk so he could empty his wagon and repair it.  George Muller noticed that as the numbers of orphans he was taking care of increased, the Lord’s provisions also increased. God always answered George Mueller’s prayers with just the right amount of food or money, never too much, never too little. And, no meal fed to the orphans was ever more than 30 minutes late.

No wonder, years later, when Mueller was to travel the world as an evangelist, he would be known as “the man who gets things from God!”

“Faith does not operate in the realm of the possible. There is no glory for God in that which is humanly possible. Faith begins where man’s power ends.”

I thought I would share the schedule for the Orphans.

Daily routine

6:00 Rise, finish washing and dressing, older children helping the younger
7:00 Girls knitting, boys reading
8:00 Breakfast
8:30 Morning service
9:00 School (some older children first help to make beds etc. to 9:30)
12:30 Playtime
1:00 Dinner
2:00 School
3:00 Playtime
4:30 Evening service
6:00 Tea
6:30 “useful work” – girls “at their needle”, boys in the garden
8:00 Younger children to bed
9:00 Older children to bed

Please join me in prayer: Lord, I desire abundant faith, so I will dare to trust You as George Mueller did for ‘great and mighty things’ (Jeremiah 33:3). I am believing You for the impossible! In Jesus Name, Amen!

Sibling Rivalry Is Not Normal~ Part 1

When our children were very young, they would disagree and get upset with each other.  I had always been taught sibling rivalry was normal, but in my heart I hoped it was not. I knew:

1.  The child who suffers sibling rivalry is miserable.

2. The child suffering sibling rivalry will turn to friends instead of the siblings.

3. The home becomes a place of unrest, discontentment, and disharmony.

4.  Bad habits are formed at an early age as a result of sibling rivalry.  These bad habits are the sins of:

A. Selfishness

B. Thoughtlessness

C. Jealousy

D. Unfriendly Competition

E. Anger

F. Bullying and maliciousness (sibling abuse)

G. Pride

5.  Bad Habits formed early are hard to break. I still wrestle with bad habits learned in the younger years that want to creep back into my adult life.  Bad habits can be overcome, but it sure is much easier to not start bad habits at a young age in the first place.

6.  The sinful destructive habits resulting from sibling rivalry in the home can easily be carried into one’s future home causing problems in the marriage.

We can help our children avoid early sinful habits by NOT believing the lie that sibling rivalry is normal, and by working to encourage sibling harmony.

I asked the Lord for wisdom about sibling rivalry, because that was something I did not want for our children. The Lord showed me something:

1.   Disagreements are a part of life. The disagreement is not sibling rivalry.

2.   It is the ways the disagreements are handled that are important. Handling disagreements in an immature manner is one outcome of sibling rivalry.

3.  When our children have disagreements, it is a “teaching moment” to teach them to get along with others and to handle the disagreement in a wise way. Our children should be better prepared for life and for marriage, if they learned to get along well with those in the home and to handle disagreements well.

The Bible teaches that (1.) every child is foolish and (2.) every child cannot be left to himself.   See Proverbs 29:15 and Proverbs 22:15.

Our little children can’t figure out by themselves how to handle problems with their siblings.  They desperately need parental instruction.

Parental instruction starts when you hear the child say “mine”.  Seeing the other child taking the toy away and running off  is a time for parents to step in and patiently help.  Our darling little children have to be taught to share and to be unselfish.  They don’t know how.  It comes easy to them to be jealous of the other.  They must be taught to want the best for their sibling.  It comes natural to compete in an unfriendly way.  Kind competition must be taught. Good character is both taught and caught.

We taught our children to get along with each other and to desire to be best friends with one another.  So grateful to God for His wisdom.

Homeschool was the perfect environment for us to teach our children to be best friends. Our children were loyal to us, but they were best friends with their siblings.  Our children had many friends but preferred each other over their friends. We enjoyed a peaceful home. After the toddler years, our children did not fuss with each other (except on a rare occasion); they learned to solve their problems with their siblings in a wise manner, thank the Lord.

Let’s help our children prepare for marriage.  Let’s help our children love others. Let’s help our children learn to calmly handle life’s problems. Let’s help our children by not allowing sibling rivalry in the home.

Sibling Rivalry is not normal. Sibling Harmony is God’s way!

Part 2~Coming Soon

“Special Time With Mom” Kept Our Daughter from Rebelling

“Special Time With Mom” was what Kristen said kept her from rebelling. Kristen is now a Pastor’s wife and mother of four. She is homeschooling her eldest.

Our heart’s desire toward our Lord should be “that I may know Him“. Philippians 3:10.

Our heart’s desire toward our children should be “that I may know them, and for them to know Him.” Why? So we can have a close relationship with our children to keep their hearts and win them to Jesus.

Knowing the Lord through close daily fellowship, conversing with Him is how we show God we love Him. By getting to know our sons and daughters through tenderly conversing individually with each one is one of the ways we show we love and care about them. This close fellowship we have with our children should endure the test of time. It is wonderful to be able to keep our son’s and daughter’s hearts, so when crucial decision times come, they will trust our wisdom. The goal is not controlling our sons and daughters; the goal is to guide them into making wise life decisions.

To keep our son’s and daughter’s hearts, we must earn their trust. Because we had our daughter, Melinda’s heart, at a critical time in her life, we as her parents were able to guide her to realize a young man was not God’s best for her nor was she God’s best for him. Today, Melinda is happily married to Jeremy, a godly man, who grew up in the mission field. His parents are second generation missionaries.

We must win our son’s and daughter’s respect to keep their hearts. Even if we think what a young child has to say is unimportant, remember to listen with respect to him anyway. Why?  Because it is important to the child. If we show respect, he will more than likely listen to his parent’s wisdom when he reaches his teen years. Our son and daughter’s teen years were our favorite years!

I spent 20-30 minutes with each child daily for at least three days a week. Each child loved “Special Time With Mom.”

What “Special Time With Mom” was not:  I did not correct the child during this time.  If I had used this time to get on to them, they would not have looked forward to it and it would have been “Dreaded Time With Mom”.

During “Special Time With Mom”:

1.  I praised him for his character.

2.  I listened to him to know what was important to him.

3.  I encouraged him to walk with the Lord.

4.  I asked him how I could do better as a Mom (also, if I needed to apologize).

5.  I prayed with the child.

  • I got to know our son and daughters very, very well.
  • They knew me very, very well.
  • I listened to them and found out what they thought.
  • It was a time of transparency. I asked if I had hurt them and if so, I would apologize. I asked how I could improve in areas.
  • I gave 100% focused attention to each and loving eye contact with each child when it was their one-one-one time.
  • This individual time spent with each child kept me “on top” of what was going on with them.
  • I even asked questions about siblings, and it was not considered tattling.  I had their loyalty.

You might say, “Well, that is easy for you to do.  You had 3 children, and I have 10 children.”  How wonderful to have a large family!  Susanna Wesley is your inspiration.  Mrs. Wesley had 19 children and spent an hour a week one-on-one with each child. I wonder if her godly sons,  John and Charles Wesley would have made such an impact in this world if Suzanna, their mother, had not taken the time to have “special one-on-one-time” with each child?

At a Homeschool Conference, when I spoke on keeping our children from worldliness, “Special Time With Mom” was what most mothers said they had never thought about before and were excited to put it into practice.

Hope this helps 🙂  Please let me know what you think.  May your children grow up to love the LORD with their whole heart, soul, mind and strength!

11 Painful Mistakes Parents Make

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 Bible and Proverbs 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 real (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 hearts. Not taking time to listen to them and talk with them.  See “Special Time with Mom” in the homeschool section of heavenboundhomemaker.
  10. Not going to a Bible teaching local 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? What if our children follow in our footsteps? Do any changes need to be made in our walk?

“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. “