When I started this Reading, Thinking, Domesticity series in January, I mentioned that one of the definitions of the word \’domesticate\’ means to tame. We\’re taming and reclaiming the lives of those in our home but more importantly, our own life.
Dr Harold C. Mason said that:
\”Man was made to dwell in a garden but through sin he has been forced to dwell in a field which he has wrested from his enemies by sweat and tears, and which he preserves only at the price of constant watchfulness and endless toil. Let him but relax his efforts for a few years and the wilderness will claim his field again.\”
A.W. Tozer echoed this observation in his own words:
\”The bias of nature is toward the wilderness, never toward the fruitful field,\” and he defined temptation as \”the effort of the wilderness to encroach upon our newly-cleared field.\”
This \’law of the wilderness\’ operates universally and any part of our lives that are neglected will become overrun and any previous gains lost.
I was thinking of the words above in the context of 3 John vs 2:
“Friends, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.”
To prosper means to make good way and is linked to walking, so going back to the wilderness analogy, prospering requires a steady, consistent effort toward something. To stop walking is to wither.
Have you heard of the spinning plates analogy? It\’s difficult to keep all our plates spinning and they sometimes/often end up falling as we fail to keep them spinning on their sticks. Sometimes we just have too many plates. This verse in 3 John highlights the internal life, the soul/spirit, as the most important plate to keep spinning but obviously we have a responsibility to look after our physical health also.
This is possibly the last item on the agenda in many a busy home educator’s life but the older you get, the more you realise how important it actually is, and the harder it is to establish good habits!
These are some ways I\’m addressing these areas; keeping the plates spinning and looking after Spirit, Soul & Body:
‘For the Love of God’ by D.A. Carson is a daily companion that has a systematic 365 day reading plan that takes you through the New Testament and Psalms twice, and the Old Testament once. It’s based on the M’Cheyne Bible reading schedule & includes a daily commentary that focuses on one of the chapters you’ve read that day.
I’ve been enjoying this free Bible app (Bible.is). I don’t use it for every reading but it helps me fit in a lot more Bible as I can listen while I walk or when I’m in the car. It’s been helpful when I’m tired and I lose track of what I’d just read!! or when my mind wanders.
I\’ve always found C.S. Lewis to be very accessible and read many of his books when I was a new Christian. I somehow missed The Screwtape Letters although my older children have read it. It is fun while being instructive.
\’The Rosemary Tree’ by Elizabeth Goudge is such a wonderful story – quality nutrition for the soul. Just lovely! I\’ve nearly finished it and have so many passages underlined ready to be put into my commonplace book.
‘Strength Training for Woman’ by Joan Pagano is an excellent, well-illustrated book and contains exercises that may be done at home or the gym. I discovered that my bone density was low which surprised me as I eat a lot of dairy products so I\’ve been making an effort in the past year to be more consistent with weight bearing exercises. I joined the gym with my husband about two years ago but I was only averaging one session a week. I\’ve upped that to two to three sessions a week and incorporated some of the exercises in this book. My gym-going 21 year old plumber son who is built like a tank told me I now have biceps – not very noticeable, but they\’re there.
When Screwtape was instructing his nephew in how to destroy a young man’s faith he said:
‘…you must always remember that they are animals and whatever their bodies do affects their souls.’