When I think about the lessons that I want my daughters to learn, the one that will underline all of the others is the idea of being teachable. If they can be teachable, then the principles we instill in them will at least get mulled over in their hearts and minds. By God’s grace, those lessons will stick, but it begins with each of them having a humble heart and open mind to receiving instruction.
Proverbs 2 begins like this:
“My son, if you receive my words and treasure up my commandments with you, making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding…if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.”
1. Receive the words of instruction. This is one of the hardest parts. It requires listening and humility of heart and mind. Sometimes I can see in my girls an unwillingness to listen to instruction, let alone actually receive it and allow it to change them. I’m trying to teach, and model, what it means to truly listen and take to heart the instruction given. This applies to simple things like when I explain to them how to tie their shoes, to bigger things like showing kindness and being gentle with their words.
2. Making your ear attentive to wisdom. Pay attention–that’s what I take away from that. We can listen, we can receive, but the next step is to observe the world around us and see how the instruction that we’ve received should shape our learning and shape our lives. I want my girls to filter everything through their knowledge of God’s Word. So, when they learn things at school or from their friends that don’t align with what they know from the Bible, they can accurately conclude the Truth.
But I also want them to pay attention to simpler things, lessons that might seem small but become meaningful because we learn from them and we can be better in the long-run by changing what may need to be changed.
So, for example, when they notice that they are spilling crumbs on the floor using a certain method of wiping the table, I want them to pay attention to how that happened, make the necessary change, and learn to wipe the table well. Sometimes these things may need to be pointed out, but by pointing them out, I’m teaching them to start noticing things on their own.
Maybe that’s a silly example, but when we pay attention to what’s happening around us, with our eyes and our ears, we learn and grow and can continue to change.
3. Incline your heart to understanding. There is an idea here of this being a constant state of the heart. We will never have God and His Word completely figured out. There is always something new to learn. When I graduated from Bible college I thought I had a good handle on theology and how to accurately interpret Scripture. But you know what? The more I study God’s Word, the more I realize how much I don’t know. And even when we do have an accurate understanding, we’re constantly being convicted by the Holy Spirit with truths that we may have learned as a child.
It’s my heart that needs to be open to always learning. Always learning from God’s Word so that I can increase in my understanding of Him.
And always learning from the world around me.
I want my girls to learn about History, Art, Math, Science. I want them to learn how a car engine works. If they want to know how to knit or crochet I want to provide them that opportunity. Learning new things challenges us and gives us further opportunities to serve and use our gifts to honor the Lord.
For all of these reasons above, I try to participate in Emily’s monthly link-up of “What I Learned“. I’ve learned a lot from Emily through her blog writing and her books. But one lesson from her that I think on every month is to pay attention to what I’m learning. Whether it’s what God has been teaching me in my heart or just the little things that have helped to shape my days. Each one has its place of importance. So, in no particular order or state of importance, here’s what I learned in September:
Following my first IEP meeting for Mason, I treated myself to a White Mocha (my go-to drink from Starbucks) and a pumpkin cream cheese muffin. The muffin was okay, but there were pumpkin seeds on top. Pumpkin seeds do not taste good. Does anyone really like them?
My husband has been working on losing weight and part of that process has been eating a lot of salad for lunch. It was taking me a long time to cut up veggies every day, so I decided to try and cut up all the veggies on the day I shopped and have them ready for the week. In about 20 minutes, I had this pile of veggies and it lasted us more than a week. We used it in salads, soups and the kids’ lunches. Definitely saved time. I didn’t eat as much of it as I had hoped. Don’t tell my Doctor who is seemingly obsessed with telling me how much weight I’ve gained at each OB visit.
School is great for my two oldest girls. And we are still so thankful for the decision to put them in a public school this year. After school one day I noticed they had written on their hands “I love God”. Our biggest prayer is that they will be a light to those around them and never fail to trust in the Lord. We’re seeing signs of this in both of them and we couldn’t be more thankful for the work that God is doing in their hearts.
Starting a hashtag on Instagram and having people participate is so fun! I’ve been using #lifewithtruth to tag some of my photos over the past year or so. I made a photo challenge for myself to count down the last 12 weeks of my pregnancy and invited my readers to join in. I don’t have a huge following on Instagram, but it has been SO fun to see people participating! (It’s not too late to join in–we still have 9.5 weeks to go!).
“Holiness is not about being perfect, it’s about being more honest”, words spoken by our Pastor two weeks ago that are still ringing in my heart. We’re studying 1 Peter at church and it has been just what I need during this season of life. The call to be holy, to love from a pure heart–such high commands, but we’re given the power to do it through the Holy Spirit. We’re only three weeks into this study and it’s been incredible!
Are you teachable? Paying attention? Always learning? Keeping track of what you’ve learned on a regular basis is a great way to evaluate this.
This is Day 2 of a series “Lessons for my Daughters”. Click here for a complete list of posts.