Friday, March 27, 2020

Ideas for Home ~~Redeeming the Time

A few weeks ago, I shared a blog post titled Making the Best and wrote about how our acceptance of our situation reflects a surrendered heart toward our Heavenly Father. So many times, "acceptance" of our situation is a hard pill to swallow~we all need the Lord's "humbling" hand and that heavenly perspective given to us at various times of our life~~what a mercy that the Lord is patient with His people . . . 

And now, we come to a time when many of us are "stuck" in a  situation that is beyond our control. A virus that no one has ultimate sway over has spread to our country and most of us have been "sent home," so to speak, in order to stop the further spreading of this illness. 

Whether we like it or not, and whether some of the sheltering measures are "right" and in the best interest of our country or not, here we are and our acceptance of our situation will determine the attitude of our heart (ultimately) toward God. We can "stay home" in our "pouts," or we can make the best of the situation. It will be a daily and hourly choice for us. 

Our family lives in the rural Midwest and we home school our children and stay home a lot (much of this is due to the fact that my husband and I share a vehicle and he needs it to go to work) but I do get out with our children occasionally--usually once or twice a week to run errands and then during the weekends for church, etc. :-). Our Governor issued a 30 day sheltering order and so we are anchored here at home for now. Oh; how I am missing my occasional Dunkin' Donuts coffee! But don't worry; my husband has kept me well supplied with creamer so that I can make my coffee at home . . . I figure that this 64 fluid ounce bottle should last me at least 3 days in proportion to my coffee consumption . . . ;-). 

During this time, I've been thinking about some creative ideas that might encourage you as a family as you stay home for the next (indefinite) amount of weeks . . . these are ideas and activities that our family has benefited and been blessed from over the years or that we have benefited from individually. Maybe one or several of them will pique your interest and be a blessing to you and to your family during this time  . . . please feel free to share your ideas below in the comments as well! 

  • Memorize Scripture. This is a wonderful time to memorize Scripture together as a family or individually. Plant the Word of God in your child's heart from the time that they are young and it will have a lasting effect upon their lives. Use the extra hours that the Lord has given to your family during this time to place the Word of God in your hearts through Bible memorization. And it doesn't need to be boring! Set a goal of a certain amount of Scripture verses that your family can memorize together and then decide together on a reward for your children or for the entire family when the goal is reached. My children and I have done this together over the past several years and it has been an incredible blessing to them and to me. The Word of God will always bless and will never "return void." 

  • Plant a garden. We are "exiled" ;-) at home at the perfect time to pursue this! If you have a small yard, put together a few boxes with scrap wood and fill them with garden soil. If you have a larger yard, plan a bigger garden if you would like to. This is a great project to work on with your kids over the next few weeks, from starting seedlings inside to tilling your soil and readying your garden to plant. Talk together about what seeds to plant and research how to grow the different vegetables and herbs that you choose to grow. Get your hands in the soil and thank the Lord that you and your family can spend some time outside together during the long days at home. It will also give your family a fun summer project to pursue together as you weed and take care of your plants.

  • Plan and prepare a puppet show or skit.  This past winter was a long one for me and for my kids who were home a lot. We decided to use the month of February to plan and prepare a puppet show and special celebration of Purim. This lightened up the long winter nights at home as we made puppets, read the Book of Esther together, and wrote the script together for the play. We invited our family over and everyone brought a "Jewish dish" to share for the day of the play. This was such a blessing to us all and helped to get us through those long days of winter in the Midwest. This time at home is the perfect opportunity to do something similar with your kids. Pick a story from the Bible or a favorite book and plan and prepare a puppet show or skit. Use the time at home to develop closeness with your children as you work on a project together.

  • Watch a good, edifying film. A verse in the Bible that has always convicted me is "Turn my eyes away from looking at worthless things . . . " (Psalm 11:37). There is so much "froth" available to us that we need to sift through it and find the things of substance. It's funny, but some things we know are just "wrong" and we stay away from them. But we also need the Lord to give us the discernment to turn our eyes away from what the Word of God terms "worthless" things--things that won't benefit our soul and will just drag us down with distraction and meaningless nonsense. As humans, we are all prone to this . . . how we need the grace of God! However, in my "travels" I've also come across many films that edify me (and others as well, I'm sure) in my faith and point my gaze toward my Heavenly Father. The following are some films that have really blessed and nourished my heart and that I would heartily recommend to you for watching during this time of social distancing. These are all in the Christian film category--there are many "secular" films or films without an overt Christian theme that I love as well, but I'll only include the "Christian" ones on this list for now--Here a few of my "favorites"--a lot of these would be great to watch for a fun date night in with your spouse--they are not (in my opinion) for young children (except maybe certain parts of the Ten Commandments). But they are wonderful for young adults/adults . . . here you go! :-) 

                 ~Bella: One of my favorite films with a strong pro-life message that is not "forced." A sensitive look at a young woman's life as she considers having an abortion. This artistic film is a beautiful one with careful well-executed humor in light of the overall heavy theme of the film in general. 
                 ~Old Fashioned: Those of you who know me well know that this is one of my absolute favorite films--one that I could watch over and over again. I love the sensitivity of the male character in this film and the way in which he treats women in general with love and old-fashioned respect~~something very rare in today's society, even among believers. You may read my review for that film HERE
                 ~Love Comes Softly: Another sensitive, beautiful film based on one of Janette Oke's novels. I love the theme in this film of "beauty from ashes" and again, the way in which the male character treats the female character with sensitive love, compassion, and patience. 
                 ~Chariots of Fire: If you have never seen this film, you are missing out on one of the best films ever made (in my opinion :-)). Chariots of Fire tells the story of Eric Liddell, Olympic athlete (and then later a missionary to China) and his decision not to participate in the Olympics on the Lord's Day in accordance with his personal convictions. 
                 ~Fireproof: This film has more of an overt Christian message which is done in an evangelistic way. This is a great film for couples and reinforces the importance of being faithful to marriage vows. 
                 ~The Ten Commandments: Such a great, classic film! A wonderful film for families with older children. The Ten Commandments tells the story of Moses and of how the Lord used him to deliver the Israelite people from slavery in Egypt. 

I hope and pray that these ideas/suggestions will be a blessing to you! May we each of us continue to keep our eyes fixed upon the One Who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life amidst all of the chaos and uncertainty and be on our knees. 

Much love,

You might find me on these link-ups:

Inspire Me MondayLiteracy Musing MondaysThe Modest MomRaising Homemakers, Classical HomemakingA Wise Woman Builds Her Home, Woman to Woman Ministries,  Testimony TuesdayTell His Story,  Imparting Grace, Thought Provoking ThursdayGood Morning Mondays,  Counting My BlessingsThe HomeAcre Hop, Mommy Moments Link UpGrace and Truth LinkupFaith Filled FridayRaRaLinkupWord of God SpeakBooknificent ThursdayCoffee For Your Heart Weekly LinkUpYou're the Star Blog HopHomesteader HopFresh Market FridayHeart Encouragement Thursday Sitting Among Friends Blog PartyFabulous Warm Heart PartyOh My Heartsie Girls Wonderful Wednesday LinkupWriter WednesdayTea and Word

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