Messages of truth, hope, love, faith so that we can know and serve God more is at the heartbeat of all that we do at Whole Heart. Clay and I always want to We love sharing the messages God has put on our hearts with you!
Creating traditions over the year with your family will cultivate a family culture unique to your own heritage. Each of us has agency to decide what is a priority to our own family with consideration of our unique values, personalities and preferences. Yet, when a celebration is practiced year after year, together, pathways of security are roughed out in hearts and minds to remember these practices as moments that speak of love, home and intimacy shared to build life-long community.
There are times in life when we all long for the world to be a place of rest, only beauty, good news and hope. Have you ever wished that just for a small, brief time, life could be happy, without burden, without guilt, without struggle? Just happy and easy and free to enjoy? I have. As a dreamer, romantic, idealist, I sometimes wish life could be as lovely as I can imagine it to be in my heart.
Take time to regroup today--Go eat some chocolate, and don't feel guilty as you are eating it (that would certainly be a waste of good chocolate!) Listen to some beautiful music, watch a heart-warming movie, take a nap, eat off of paper plates to save cleanup! The rest of December is still coming and you will be the better for it. I'll be praying for you!
Today on my podcast, I am introducing you to my friend, Malcolm Guite, a scholar in Cambridge, a Poet and very winsome and informative teacher. You will love hearing about why and how we celebrate Christ throughout the church year.
I hope you will enjoy my podcast today as I share about tea time discipleship with you and I know you will love the chapter. It could change your relationships as it has mine—such a treasure, such a simple secret. Enjoy!
Contentment is a heart issue. We cannot change our emotions and selfish desires by force. Our only hope is to look to God, to ask Him to teach our heart to be contented, to want to trust Him and not live in ungratefulness or in looking to what others have. Choosing to be content, resting our desires and dreams into God's hands, learning to love and bring light into broken places is the beginning of learning to be content.
As you prepare to cultivate a people, a place and a community within your family and at table, remember, it is the daily celebrating of life together, that will prepare for you a heritage and deep friendships that will satisfy the deepest places of your soul the rest of your life. It is a gift to inherit and one of the greatest works of your life.
This week, every day, notice the things that God has provided. Practice thanking Him for each way He has worked and blessed in your life. Have your children write thank you cards to friends of family for whom they are grateful. Breathing thankfulness into all the minutes of the days, creates a great pattern for life and helps you and your children to become more satisfied with what God has given.
True discipleship must reflect the fact that God values our voice, thought, and will. Dinnertime discussions reflect and enact this value, making a place where everyone can be heard, be exposed to truth, and have the space to develop convictions in the context of community. Through dinnertime discussions, convictions can be formed, confidence can be gained, conversation can be practiced, and consideration can be taught.
As we approach this week's way, let us understand that helping our children practice forgiveness over and over again, will establish a pattern in their hearts to remember when they must make this choice as adults. Train up a child in the way he should go--in forgiving 70 X 70 X70 and so on, and forgiveness will become a part of his paradigm for life. If we all loved this way and forgave, the world would indeed become a place open to the heart and message of Christ.
I am so excited to share this Mini-Podcast with you. We sat down quickly together and recorded this conversation after a quick breakfast the morning I left for Nashville. I know you will enjoy hearing his lovely accent and his insight about stories, an inspirational poem and thoughts from C.S. Lewis about table time.
The starting point of your influence is the state of your own heart, mind and soul. If there is purity, wisdom, strength, faith, love and righteousness there, then when you pour out your life, those around you will be blessed indeed.
Serving others helps children to learn how to think of someone other than themselves. Often, serving others softens their hearts, and when they are the one served it comforts them in times of need, and obviously makes their loads in life easier. Serving is a skill and character quality that is easy to spot because it is so rare in adults today.
The story of the Clarkson family has been written at tables. Not with pen and paper, but with words and people, food and fellowship, talk and time. Whatever kind of table it might be—breakfast, lunch, dinner; picnic or deck; plain or fancy; small, tall, wood, metal, or rock; bare or cloth-covered; even the ground—it becomes our family table when we sit down together to eat and drink and be and belong. The delightful fruits of God’s creation we share together fill and fuel us as God’s life- breathed and image-bearing creatures, and our shared story grows from the table’s Spirit-infused life coming alive in us.
Love must become a trained habit. Living by feelings is not a choice. We must help our children to "become strong inside" by choosing what is right, beyond negative feelings. Living in submission to the power of the Holy Spirit and choosing to practice love is what is at necessary here. Obedience to practicing love and learning to forgive is a pathway to maturity.
What does it mean to be transformed, changed, and reshaped as an antidote to being conformed to the world? In this episode, Sally ponders these ideas as she discusses chapters four and five of the Life-giving Table and teaches us about how family culture has the distinct and grace-giving power to both change and protect us. She inspires listeners to instill a sense of "this is who we are" and "this is what we believe" into the hearts of her children as they gather at the table, and gives tools to not only create a vision to define our own family culture, but to practically cultivate a legacy.
How are you painting a vision for the person they will become when they learn to "take the reins?" How are you cultivating a vision for the person you might become when you allow God to take the reins and lead you?
The more you cultivate happiness for yourself, the more happy you will be--and the happier your children will be! Practice being thankful every day--take time to look at the antics, and into the eyes of your children and thank God for them.
Teaching children to obey is essential to their character and moral strength, but it is a process. The beginning of learning obedience is to learn a value like this one--We honor and obey our parents with a respectful attitude.
One of the pleasures of hosting a podcast and be engaged in ministry is the sweetness of getting to rub shoulders with women who deeply love the Lord and are kindred spirits. Ellie Holcomb is such a woman. Her deep love for God, His word, a joyful reverence for life and a deep love for children combined to give us such a wonderful time to visit recently.
A heart that is filled with and informed by Biblical convictions does not just happen. It is shaped intentionally over many years, day by day, circumstance by circumstance, repeated literally thousands of times.
It all starts with a mom who is willing to train and disciple her children and to pay the price of commitment, time, and winsomeness and preparation over many years of time.
Take time to notice the miraculous, to hear the music, to dance to the joy that today might bring and to rest in the endless love of one who is preparing a feast for us in the not too distant future.
When we learn to give value to others by serving them, we will be much more likely honor God--and honoring God is the first commandment. Loving God and honoring Him with our whole hearts is the starting place for appropriate worship, which says He is worthy of our praise and service our whole life long. Honor is a heart attitude.