Quote from "Stepping Heavenward" by Mrs. E. Prentiss

"She says I shall now have one mouth more to fill and two feet the more to shoe, more disturbed nights, more laborious days, and less leisure or visiting, reading, music and drawing.

Well! This is one side of the story, to be sure, but I look at the other.

Here is a sweet, fragrant mouth to kiss; here are two more feet to make music with their pattering about my nursery. Here is a soul to train for God; and the body in which dwells is worthy of all it will cost, since it is the abode of a kingly tenant. I may see less of friends, but I have gained one dearer than them all, to whom, while I minister in Christ's name, I make a willing sacrifice of what little leisure for my own recreation my other dear darlings had left me. Yes, my precious baby, you are welcome to her time, her strength, her health, her tenderest cares, to her lifelong prayers! Oh, how rich I am, how truly, wondrously blest!"

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Below is a copy of one of "Laine's Letters". Her writings have so blessed me over the years. If you have a moment to read, you will surely be blessed by her writings. If you enjoy the letter below, you can find more at: http://www.lainesletters.com/

Dear Sisters,
The LORD is so good. I just love Him! And I just love His ways. Oh, to be sure, His ways are not what you will see practiced over and over in this world. No wonder He tells us that if "we cease listening to Instruction, we will stray away from the Words of Knowledge." Oh, but if we are saturating ourselves in that Instruction, the Words of Knowledge begin to be practiced through us. That is an incredible thing. Weakness bound up in strength!

This week I have seen more of His strength in my home. As I have told you before, I am still suffering from years of "household debt." But I can see more and more of this debt being paid off, and it is getting easier and easier to manage my home these days. God is so good! What has it cost me? Oh, discipline. Blessed discipline.

"Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them; shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of our spirits, and live?" Hebrews 12:9

I am really such a weak woman. But something extraordinary happens each morning in my kitchen. I get up feeling as I always do. My back is hurting. It is cold and the bed is so warm. It's still very dark outside. I don't think I can do this day. So many people depending on me. I shuffle to the kitchen and bypass the dirty clothes piled in the hallway for me to wash. I turn on the stove. Then I get down on my knees and admit my weakness. How I need Him. I can't even go into His Word if He doesn't guide me. I fall asleep two times in this crumpled position. I wake up as the coffee pot bubbles. I turn it off and head for my chair. His Word. His Word. I need it more than I do my liquid refreshment. At first my eyes are not focused and I have to keep blinking them to force away the sleep. As I slowly sip and read, I begin to see my God anew. It is still and quiet in my kitchen in the predawn hour, and I can "see" my Father afresh and anew. No wonder Jesus also drew away with Him in the predawn hour. It is the perfect time to be alone with Our King:

"Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, Jesus went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed." Mark 1:35

If you read the verses above this verse, you will also see that Jesus had had a late night, as the whole city was gathered at the door of the house after dark. He spent a lot of time healing those who were sick and casting out demons. Yes, Jesus is well acquainted with people being dependant on Him. Yet, He still found it necessary to pull away and talk with His Father. Even after a late night ministering to people.

I find it necessary, too. Oh, I remember when it was more of an obligation than a love of mine. But I kept coming back each and every morning. I can't quite tell you when it began to be a love, but now without a doubt it is one of my driving hungers. I have to get alone with Him. And not for a short while. I have to pull away from everyone to listen to His beautiful Words and to tell Him things that I would never tell another soul. He also reveals to me through His Word incredible things that tell me, "Laine, this is no ordinary day." Why? Because we're working together. Because He has transformed my mind once more. Because of what He revealed to me that morning:

"And Jesus said to them, "To you it has been given to know the mystery of the Kingdom of God." Mark 4:11a

Each morning is a treasured gift sitting at His Feet learning of the Kingdom of God. A Kingdom I belong to. It's not something to be crossed off my "to do" list. Rather it is an outpouring of love and a gathering in of love. I could not do what I do in a day without His Presence. He does the impossible through me. I cannot believe what He has done in my heart and in my home these past years. My work from this point on in my day is just a further outpouring of love in His Presence. I get up and get going now with renewed direction and reaffirmed love. It is an incredible way to begin your day. My back is now feeling better, I am awake, and I find that I have renewed inner strength. It is an incredible miracle that I see happening morning after morning in my kitchen.

So what has changed in my home? Well, I don't "play" first anymore. He has taught me in the wee hours of the morning the value of discipline. Blessed discipline. Now after spending time in His Word in the morning, I see my husband off to work. Then I get to work. I love this time of the day more than I can say! It is still quiet in my home, and I put on some quiet praise music. Then I tidy the living room. It is the first room that I do in case the LORD brings someone by. Next comes the bathroom. Again, in case the LORD brings someone by. After this I start my "servants." I get the washer going. I get the dryer going. I get the crock pot going. I get my two bread machines going. I do not get the phone going, as I used to. This was "playing" first. Now I shut that "servant" off until my work is done and my children's lessons are completed. Discipline. Blessed discipline.

Next I make my bed while calling for my children to get up. I try to have my bed made first, if possible, as I have them make their beds upon rising and I like for them to see my bed all nicely made. Then I set up their chore lists. Each child gets four different chores a day. So they all learn to make the home run smoothly, and I can get lots of chores that might get overlooked (such as cleaning the top of the fridge) done in no time. With ten busy hands, it is amazing what can happen in a home. I feel so "rich" to train them in the many areas that they need to learn. And having a chore list with four different items on it every weekday affords me that privilege.

Once we've completed our chores we begin breakfast and then it's time for lessons. Lessons last until 1:00 or 1:30 p.m. We all get something to eat for lunch during that time, if we're hungry, or we eat after we're finished. I also fold my clothes and put them away while they're doing their spelling or dictation practice. Oftentimes I make my tea treat at this time, too. By early afternoon I am usually ready for a big break! I clear the decks and send them all outside. They are more than happy to go. Oftentimes I will take a short nap at this time, especially if it is a certain time of the month. ~Smile~

The LORD has helped me so much in mornings. I cannot get over the change. I was a woman who spent far too much time on the phone in the mornings, then I would do my work as fast as I could so that I could "play" some more. I never saw the value of my job, nor had the gift of enjoying it, until I began to sit at the feet of Jesus. Now I cannot get over the fact that I get to do this job, and how much I love it!

Presently, the LORD is helping me my afternoons. Just as I have seen His incredible strength in my mornings, I am now beginning to see His incredible strength in my afternoons. For it is at this time that I usually write to you all. A little each day. It is amazing to me that I am now able to encourage other women with the encouragement He has given to me. It brings me such joy! I cannot believe that I used to use this time to sit in front of soap operas and then talk shows. God can do above all that we ask or think if we will give up the "chaff" and dive into the "wheat." Discipline. Blessed Discipline.

"Because the good hand of His God was upon Him. For Ezra had set his heart to study the law of the LORD, and to practice it, and to teach His statutes and ordinances in Israel." Ezra 7:9b-10

"For what it really is, the Word of God, which also performs its work in you who believe." 1 Thessalonians 2:13b

I believe! I believe! And I have seen His Word perform its work in me. God be praised! Now when my husband comes home, I am not filled with guilt at how I wasted another day. I do not sit anymore and complain about everything that went wrong in my day. I have dinner cooking, rather than a wonder as to "what I will ever put on the table tonight.?" I don't spend time at the stores or mall anymore. I don't spend time in fictional romances now, rather I read books that will help me acquire needed skills in my home. I have seen my new practices helping my children to be stronger, our finances to be in better shape, and far more "quality control" going on in my home than ever before. Why? Because I have trained myself to sit at His Feet these past seven years. His Word means more to me than my daily food.

"But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil." Hebrews 5:14

Solid Food. The more you delve into the Word of God, the more rich it becomes. And God helps you to do the impossible. Which is to practice it. That is why we need to pray. How we need to pray and practice His Word! As we practice His Word, we "see" what is good and what is valuable. Especially with the twenty-four hours in a day that each of us have been given. For without God, this is not possible:

"Through wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches." Proverbs 24:3-4

Discipline. Blessed discipline. So they wonder why I don't run with them anymore to the mall to spend money we don't have, or sit and yak over the phone talking about things we ought not, or hang out at their house for the day, with a soap opera or talk show thrown in, while we try to think what we should have for dinner. They wonder. This is why:

"Blessed is the 'woman' who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; but 'her' delight is in the Law of the LORD, and in His Law 'she' meditates day and night." Psalm 1:1

"Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded." James 4:8

Yes, changing our lives and our practices takes discipline. Yes, we will fall and make mistakes. But our Father is our Father, and He will pick us up and brush us off to keep going. And discipline is just what He uses in our lives to move us to what is Truth and what is Treasure. Everything that He purges from our lives, we never needed in the first place. And what He will replace with it, oh, our hearts will never be more amazed.

We're still working on my afternoons, and there's still the night to come! There's so much more to learn and to practice. But I know He is teaching me and training me. I look forward to what He will do. Discipline. Blessed discipline. Oh, it is not pleasant at the moment, but the fruit it brings is indescribable!


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