Thursday, July 26, 2007

Life Lessons Learned

My sister shared some important lessons she has learned in her life and asked me to share some of mine. After quite a bit of thinking, here are mine.

1. It really does matter what church you attend. This is a matter of life and death. Either your church preaches Christ and Him crucified which leads to life, or it fails and preaches some other message that only leads to death. Does this mean that all those attending the first type of church will be found in heaven and all those attending the second type will be found in hell? No. But the Holy Spirit works through God's Word and where it is found preached, there Christians will be found listening. Some churches, however, throw in other words and it isn't only Christ and Him crucified. I'll use Prof. Marquart's analogy I heard in a Seminary wives class some 12 years ago. The word of God is the oil in the lamp (you know, the old fashioned kerosene-type). If it has rocks in it too, the oil will still allow the wick to burn, but the less rocks, the better the burn. Find a church without so many rocks and allow God's word to be preached to you and the Holy Spirit to create and sustain faith in you. Need help on where to find such a church? First read this and then look here.

2. Discipline is hard. Whether it is disciplining yourself in good habits or your children, it takes constant repetition, diligence, repentance, and perseverance. I fail miserable at this and am constantly battling to do better and am resigning myself to the realization that this will always be the case. I won't one day be good at it all, but will always need to improve. Such is life on this side of heaven. But just because it is hard to keep up with daily reading of the Bible, daily exercises, daily chores, etc., doesn't mean it is time to give up. Just start again and again and again and again....

3. Education is more important than sports. This coming from a gal who loved sports and played in whatever she could from 5th grade on and wanted to be a professional cheerleader at some point. Those are happy memories. I still love sports and enjoy watching and sometimes participating in them. But the education I received (or didn't) is what is (or isn't) helping me today. Teaching our children to love learning and to seek out answers to questions will serve them their whole life. Focusing solely on one sport or another only lasts so long. Help to develop in them a love of reading and learning. Teach them how to find things in the library and take them there regularly. Have books all throughout your house and talk to them about what they are reading. Give them long lasting friends like Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy; or Heidi; or Tom and Huck; or Phileas Fogg; or Harry; or so many others. Friends they can learn from and share with their own children one day.

4. Real food tastes real. Cooking and eating from scratch is how I grew up. But as I am now responsible for the food on the family table, I've learned even more that anything processed is quite bland and there are so many different tastes and textures that heighten tastes buds and make dining quite enjoyable. Salads made with different lettuces than iceberg and homemade dressings are more tasty. Whole grain breads are delicious and much more filling. Real maple syrup makes homemade, whole-wheat pancakes or waffles absolutely delicious. Snacking on fresh fruits of the season is filling and enjoyable. Use real butter and real cream, they taste so much better and are better for you, just don't go overboard. Think in moderation. So save that white flour and white sugar for your homemade cookies and cakes as treats. Try new recipes, expand your gastronomic repertoire and you'll find just how bland is the food in the middle of the grocery store.


Jen Schurman said...

I agree with the food and the discipline. I am still learning discipline. I want to be a brainiac that is good at sports though :)

4Js4HIM said...

I need to be doing more of that with my cooking. But, how does one get one's hubby on board with it. He balks at just about all of that, which makes the children balk at it too. Grr!

I've been trying to catch-up on everyone's blogs, since I've been away for so long.