I have a list of books that I reread every year. During the colder, windy months of winter here in Arizona, I usually find the time to read through the whole Anne series. I find that my favorites are Anne of the Island, because she finally "sees" Gilbert, and Anne of Ingleside because of their houseful of kids. I enjoy reading about their escapades and the loving and gentle way Anne deals with a houseful. It actually gives me encouragement. In a fictiony sort of way. ( Is that a word? Apparently not because my spellchecker came on!) I have also read through One Thousand Gifts again. Actually I guess that was 2011. I read that book twice in one year. I will probably read it again. I have also read through some homeschooling books. I find I usually need the encouragement and push to get through the rest of the year after Christmas. This year is no exception with now entering my third trimester and feeling tired all the time! :) I am almost through reading Seasons of a Mother's Heart by Sally Clarkson, and there was a line or two that caught my attention. Thought I would share them:
"There is no law that can create God's spiritual fruit in our lives. It comes only from the Spirit of God in our hearts as we let Him live through us."
"Freedom comes not from depending upon someone else's wisdom, but from following the Spirit's leading into my own convictions that guide the decisions and allegiances of my heart. I walk by faith. I cannot let someone else walk by faith for me......I personally need to keep my mind renewed with this truth of God's Word so I don't subtly fall into the trap of thinking I need a formula to please God, or worse, begin to suggest that others do. Living by faith is not a life of formula, but a life of freedom. I want to be sure I'm living in that freedom and offering it to others."
I was struck by how often I look for a formula. A proven method to produce fruit, not only in myself, but in my children. I want a manual on how to raise my kids, how to be a wife, how to be a friend.....basically everything. I just want someone to tell me how to do everything so I can't fail and will produce good fruit. Only thing is, God doesn't work that way. He is a personal God. Not a one size fits all. What works for one mom may not work for me. I am living in a house with individuals. I find this in homeschooling. I will ask a friend about a certain curriculum, about schedules, about balance, and there is nothing wrong with that. We can glean so much wisdom from our friends and family. But if what works for them doesn't work for us, we can't walk away feeling like failures. I need to be in the habit of first going to God and asking Him if this will work for my family. I am realizing how little I include Him in my plans. And in order for me or my children to produce the spiritual fruit I am praying for, I need to let Him in. Let Him guide and direct me. And if people disagree with my method, that's okay. My obedience needs to be to my Heavenly Father before anyone else. So I want to start being more intentional. To ask and wait for the answer. Oh, the waiting is so hard. But so essential. Part of the process. The refining.