Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Giving our all

I've been thinking quite a bit lately about the opportunities we give or don't give our children. Society says we ought to have them running from here to there, involved in sports, music lesson and anything else they might show a vague, passing interest in. If we fail to do so, we are not giving them the advantages they need to succeed.

Unfortunately, I've bought into a bit of that thinking and allowed myself to feel guilty. Times are tight and there is no room in the budget for violin lessons for our six year old, or gymnastics lessons, or many other things they could be doing. Would they enjoy them? Yes. Are they going to be held back in what the Lord has for them if they don't have that opportunity? No. If the activity is one that is imperative for the path God has for their life, then He will provide the means.

I was thinking about Susanna Wesley and the impact she made on her children, despite many difficulties in her life. The mother of 19 children, several of whom died young, Susanna determined to change the world by starting at home. She didn't do it through offering her children music lessons, or sending them to fine schools. Instead, she gave what she had - her time. Here's an excerpt from a letter written to her husband during a year he had deserted the family.

I am a woman, but I am also the mistress of a large family. And though the superior charge of the souls contained in it lies upon you, yet in your long absence I cannot but look upon every soul you leave under my charge as a talent committed to me under a trust. I am not a man nor a minister, yet as a mother and a mistress I felt I ought to do more than I had yet done. I resolved to begin with my own children; in which I observe, the following method: I take such a proportion of time as I can spare every night to discourse with each child apart. On Monday I talk with Molly, on Tuesday with Hetty, Wednesday with Nancy, Thursday with Jacky, Friday with Patty, Saturday with Charles.

Despite meager circumstances, she determined to give her children the best - her time. I can do that. What will it cost me? Everything -dying to myself and giving up my time for my children. Is it worth it? You bet.

As you probably know, two of Suzanna's sons went on to found the Methodist church. She did not set out to impact the world, but through her children she spoke volumes.

“…although she never preached a sermon or published a book or founded a church, is known as the Mother of Methodism. Why? Because two of her sons, John Wesley and Charles Wesley, as children consciously or unconsciously will, applied the example and teachings and circumstances of their home life.” (Pellowe)

I may not be able to give them much, but I can give them all I have.


  1. That is really well said. Our time is always what they want and the hardest to give at times. Only by the Grace of God can we give it all. And 19 kids, I guess 5 isn't too hard when I think about it;)

  2. Beautifully inspiring. Thank you for taking the time to share this.

  3. I love when God confirms truths. I was having this kind of conversation tonight with a homeschooling Mom who has been sidetracked and derailed by her desire for a fulfilling career. She has taking on a time consuming job and her eldest daughter has drifted away into the wrong crowd. Her family is paying dearly for her lack of attention. Her example is the negative one - what happes when the Mom isn't around.
    Your post speaks to the positive and affirms the importance of our role as Mom and people-shapers.

  4. We just watched a NETFLIX movie about John Wesley. Very interesting...

    One little tidbit about his mother -- she trained her children to cry silently. Very helpful if you have as many as she did.

    So I thought -- Well -- I'm going to try that. I don't say, "You can't cry." I do say, "You must cry with your mouth closed." It has saved my sanity at times. I'm so glad that these ladies have written down things that we can read and use now in our lives. Times may have changed... but training up our children in the way of the Lord hasn't changed much. Ü

    Thank you for the encouraging post.

  5. Beautifully said, Angela, and truly expresses the desire of my heart.

  6. We just can't really know who we are the mother of - what our dear children will become or how God will use them.

  7. Amen!!! Now I don't feel so bad about not having my child involved in every little thing. I get the same shocked look when people realize that we don't do soccer or music or such (it's all OK...we just don't do it) as I get when they find out that we homeschool. What a shame! What has become of society? :(


  8. Thanks for this, Angela. Just a few moments ago I was thinking about "everything" I don't do for my kids. The trips, the lessons, etc.
    But Matthew and I sat together this afternoon and played on Webkinz - and he came up with some really good words for our game. We hugged and kissed, high-fived and laughed.
    I think moments like that may be more memorable than karate lessons.

  9. Amen!!!! We have been on the road of not participating on everything under the sun for awhile now. Last summer the Lord showed us we would not be participating in individual sports. Everday I realize more and more how little time I have and how much I have wasted taking care of too much stuff or running to and fro. Thanks for stopping by. You have been on my mind. Call when you can. Love, your friend


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