My heart has been heavy the last little while. Heavy with some attitudes and behaviours that are cycling around in circles it seems. 6 weeks of chaotic life left us with less discipline, little intentionality, less wisdom and lots of issues. After a really good conversation with some seasoned homeschool moms, my husband and I decided it was time to knuckle down again and really deal with what’s been going on. And it has not been easy at all!

Last week we dubbed training week. I sat down with the kids and told them just what was going to happen, and what the expectations were going to be. We had completely fallen apart and out of line as a team-working-together family, and everything and everyone was helter-skelter most of the time. We needed to re-lay the groundwork for obedience and come down hard and fast when it wasn’t happening.

Christmas Joy

Some of the areas we really focused on were

  • Coming RIGHT AWAY when called.
  • What was expected when mom or dad said “Time to go out!” somewhere (IE use the bathroom, socks and shoes on, jacket on, older help younger, wait by the door).
  • Our morning High 5 – make bed, get dressed, pee, brush teeth, clothes away – should be done in 10 minutes, and you’re timed.
  • The evening High 5 done in 5 minutes – or less.
  • Clearing dishes when you leave the table.
  • Being responsible to put away your things when you’re finished (we’ll be working on that one for a LONG time :D).

I’d also been praying through Amanda’s Praying God’s Word for your Kids on self-control. The We Choose Virtues card we chose was also on Self Control. We made a list of the areas we all struggle with in self control. Mommy’s big one? Not losing her temper. I bet you can guess what I REALLY struggled with – all week long.

At the end of the week I was exhausted from not sleeping well, drained physically and emotionally, NOT overly happy, let alone joyful – yet we’d seen some improvements in the kids. It REALLY takes staying consistent and on top of things to see the full effect, the full fruit.

Keekers Christmas village

I also have to admit I was not in the word much. Ouch. How many times do I have to tell myself – not being in the word = TRAIN WRECK! So today I picked up again in a study I’m doing with the #hellomornings girls through James. And verse 2 hit me like a train:

James 1:2 Count it all joy my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds

Count it ALL joy. ALL of the junk. ALL of the difficulties. ALL of the struggles, tears, prayers, fatigue, sleepless nights. ALL. JOY.

Christmas village

So that’s where I’m starting again. Counting it ALL joy. Because verses 3-4 say “for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”

When will I be perfect and complete? Not until I leave this life for my Saviour’s arms. When will I have to stop counting joy and never face another trial or struggle? When God calls me home.

Counting it all joy = faith = steadfastness = lacking in nothing.

COUNTING JOY in #1000Gifts:

3 Gifts Harvest

580. Small groups

581. Laughter/love/prayer with others

582. True caring

3 Gifts Found in Bible Reading

583. 1 Peter 4 – suffering as Christ suffered

584. Colossians 1 – praying for each other

585. Psalm 103 – God’s grace and mercy

3 Gifts of Remembrance

586. Heritage of Christianity in our families

587. Grandfathers who fought for our country

588. Christ’s sacrifice for me

3 Gifts at Noon

589. Read-aloud time

590. Food ready for our tummies

591. Time spent together

3 Gifts Behind a Door

592. Daddy home from work

593. Laundry that needs to be cleaned (we have clothes! :D)

594. Christmas decorations to be put out

3 Gifts Golden

595. Cream in coffee

596. Almost 9 years of marriage

597. Sun rising over the rooftops

3 Gifts of Laughter

598. Little toddler laughing at my children’s antics

599. 2 kids in the tub (fully clothed!) making faces into the tap and laughing their heads off

600. Funny jokes from kiddos