Sunday, May 3, 2009

Your Input Needed


I received the following email this past week.  I know that many of you who read this blog are very intentional about your home being the church and Jesus Christ permeating every aspect of your lives and the lives of your family. 

I feel this email asks a very pertinent question of which all of us would probably like to receive feedback.  I will give some of my thoughts and suggestions in a comment below the post.  If any of you have any comments and/or suggestions in this area, it would be so helpful if you would respond.  

We are all on this journey through changing times together.  We need each other!

Dear Sis. Melani:

Thank you for participating in the panel at Ladies' Conference in spite of your not feeling well.  Much of what you had to say truly resonated with me.  In fact, that is what has prompted me to write.  I would love to hear your practical ideas concerning "de-compartmentalizing" the spiritual and the natural.  I long to have that Jesus-centered home and strive to that end, yet I often feel like I am scheduling Him into our routine or pouncing on teachable moments rather than having Him eat, sleep, live, and breathe with us.  I would like very much to feel like the physical and the spiritual cohabit naturally.  I would truly welcome your suggestions and instruction regarding keeping Jesus in all things in our family.  We are truly blessed to have a wonderful family, and I long to allow Jesus to reap a hundred fold from all that He has sown into us.  Our children are 11 and 15. Thank you for any recommendations you choose to give.  



  1. This is a wonderful question!

    It is an end to which I think we all have to continually strive. The whole purpose of Satan is to distract us and steal our souls and the souls of our families, so it is not surprising that the fight to keep our focus clear and sharp is a fight from our birth to our death. But I DO believe there are things that can help us. One of the main things is knowing there are others out there who share the same concerns and the same goals. That is why I hope that several will respond to this question and offer their thoughts.

    I'm in the middle of a storm and am continually getting kicked offline, so I will come back and post my thoughts/suggestions when I can post without interruption.


  2. Well, the storm has past and the sun is shining brightly upon the mighty Mississippi as it rushes on past me to New Orleans. So...i will continue...

    To be honest with you, we are continually fighting against compartmentalization. It's an ongoing struggle. But, here are some practical things we do to keep our home God-centered:

    1. The Oil Shelf. We keep a bottle of the original recipe of anointing oil (I just have a thing about that!) on a prominent shelf in our den. We get it out for EVERYTHING! We anoint furniture, doors, and windows. We anoint each other whenever we're sick. We anoint the dogs if they're sick. (smile!) We pray over everything. Every little thing...morning, noon, and night. We stop at any point that we feel frustration, or sadness, or illness, or confusion...we gather up whomever is close by...and we join hands and pray. It has made it so very natural to our kids. They think it is as normal as breathing. Not sure what their friends think sometimes, but that's okay....

    2. The Bible is the Instruction Manual. For everything. If there is a social misunderstanding, we go to the Word to see what it says about how to handle it. If there is any question at all that is directly addressed in the Word, we look it up to answer the question. We make a distinction as to what decisions are based on direct scriptures and what decisions are based on our interpretations of those Scriptures.

    Am getting kicked off again....will type more later. :-( (sorry.)

  3. 3. Fun. We do have LOADS of fun! We laugh a lot. We all have share the same type of humor and probably revert to it too often and at inappropriate times. :-) (Like church, weddings, funerals, etc....) ha! Then we'll apologize, say we're going to do better, and go on.

    4. Fussing. We *try* to schedule our fusses. :-) ha! (That may seem unrealistic, I know...) But if something rears it's head -- which something usually does every day or so -- we say, "We'll have a Family Meeting and work this out." This doesn't always work, but we try. In the Family Meeting, we employ Biblical principles for as many of our disagreements as possible.

    More to come...

  4. 5. Sacrifice. It has been a major sacrifice to provide the environment we think is needed to have as much of a Godly home as is possible. Our drive for church leadership, having so large a congregation that needs to be cared for, our passion for ministry...these are all good things that could take 24 hours of our day. But NOBODY else can raise the two children we brought into the world but us. Nobody. So....we have HAD to make those things secondary to our kids. Homeschooling has taken me out of the mainstream of our church for the last 5 years. But, in my opinion, it is what changed the climate of our home and is what has pointed our children in the direction they are headed at this moment.

    But there is absolutely no way to describe the sacrifice of homeschooling to people who are geared to be "on the go." However, when I look at my children, I would gladly do it all again and more. (And still have 6 years ahead of me!) ha.

    6. Challenge. We are constantly fighting against what their friends do or do not do. We try to expose them to every opportunity possible for them to grow, be challenged, and feel rewarded for that. We are currently reading the book "Do Hard Things: Teenage Rebellion Against Low Expectations" out loud at least 2-3 nights each week. We are having a "Do Hard Things" summer. They will be expected to do service projects for others, read books, and accomplish a major project. We will do our best to not let them become an irresponsible person who only seeks to sleep late in the summer, ask Mom for food, and whine about being bored. That is major sacrifice for us, but the rewards are really paying off.

    7. We Must Reach Our Potential. In our Family Meetings, we are not only challenging our kids but also each other to reach our full potential and not settle for what society will drain out of us. We know the potential and power we have as individuals and as a family--and we are constantly talking about where we are growing and where we need to grow. It's not just "motivational talk"--it is "to whom much has been given, much is required" kind of talk. We HAVE to give back. None of us will be happy with any less than that.

    Is our house perfect? Oh my. Absolutely NOT! It is a constant fight to push against the tide that we all face every single day when we drive out of our driveway. Whether we're driving to the church world or the academic world or the work world, we have to fight against man's expectations instead of God's. And it IS a fight. Some days we lose a battle. But I think the key to it all is constant communication and constant staying on top of anything in our circle of four that is ungodly or unholy or counter-productive to the goals of a Godly family.

    If it's troublesome, we talk about it.

    If it's cool, we celebrate it.

    If it's funny, we laugh about it.

    If it's hurtful, we cry about it.

    And, at the end of the day, we circle our wagons and know that NOBODY is going to break up our circle. Because within that circle lies our strength, our effectiveness, our direction, our support, our love...and it's all because we have a God around whom our life revolves.

    I know. I've gone on and on. But it's something that I think will change the whole landscape of the structure of our families if we could all really get a handle on it and fight against the tide.

    I'm done for now. But I'm not promising I won't write more later..... :-)


  5. There are typos in the above posts of which I am aware. "The storm has passed"...not "past"....

    "We all have share" does not make sense. It should be "We all share."

    "rears its head" not "rears it's head"

    In my hurry to post before getting kicked offline, I have embarrassed myself grammatically. ha!


  6. You will NEVER know... that's all I'm sayin'! Seriously, what more could be said?! This speaks such volumes to me that I will have to just email you the rest...

  7. Sis. Melani, Your comments needs to be POSTED! Get them out front where everybody will read them. Better yet, put all this in book form. You and your family are a blessing!

  8. Melani, I love it. You've definitely given Victoria and I some things to think about. Thanks for the insight. Please keep writing.

  9. Once again, I am blown away by your insight and great ability to write it all down logically. You make it all seem so simple. Keep it up, the rest of us are sharing the journey.

  10. Thanks for sharing!! I had already planned to get the "Do Hard Things" book this week (Vicki & I talked about it after your talk with the MKs). Maybe we can talk more about this Tuesday?? Love the concepts/ideas/principles you have talked about here. Thanks for opening your heart to us! Still pondering the "Keeper of the Home" lesson you taught. What a privilege!