and Self-Control….


This book is the boys favorite addition to our homeschool routine.  I use it to start all the days that I don’t have a poem for.  The next book is MY favorite addition to our homeschool routine.  I read  from it right after we pray and sing our hymn of the week.

photo 2Disclaimer:  This book is by NO means a substitution for the ACTUAL reading of the Word of God.  It throws in a couple of verses each day and includes some great Biblical principles to live by, but for the most part it’s just very interesting quips about the amazing creatures God has made.  For example:  Thursday’s reading shared how some scientists documented self-control in chimps and orangutans by offering them a bowl with a piece of chocolate in it.  If the monkeys ate the piece of chocolate that’s all they got, but if they left it in the bowl they got more.  Eventually they all learned to wait until their bowl was full of chocolate!

Of course I had to try that one out.  I set cups out in plain view with their names on them and put one giant M&M in each.

Now, as the Holy Spirit would have it, we all needed a much bigger lesson that day in Self-Control than just holding out for more chocolate.  My most impulse prone child chose that day to really display his true colors and my own nerves were entirely on edge as well. It seemed like everyone in the house was having a hard time controlling their volume and their bodies and their wills.  And there sat the cups with their one little old piece chocolate.

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You see, originally I had thought to keep adding more chocolates as little rewards throughout the day but I saw pretty quickly that Thursday was just not going to be a reward-earning-kind-of-day for any of us, myself included.  Then I remembered the words to a dear, old hymn we sang last week in choir.

“He giveth more grace as our burdens grow greater,
He sendeth more strength as our labors increase;
To added afflictions He addeth His mercy,
To multiplied trials He multiplies peace.

chorus: His love has no limits, His grace has no measure,
His power has no boundary known unto men;
For out of His infinite riches in Jesus
He giveth, and He giveth, and giveth again.

When we have exhausted our store of endurance,
When our strength has failed ere the day is half done,
When we reach the end of our hoarded resources
Our Father’s full giving is only begun.”
(Annie Johnson Flint)

No, Thursday was not going to be a rewards kind of day. Thursday was going to be a
grace kind of day. You see, our God prepares a table for us even in the presence of our enemies, even when the enemy is our own sinful nature.  I knew no matter how badly we were all behaving, at the end of the day those little cups needed to overflow.  

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I don’t think any treat had ever tasted so sweet.

Oh, and on a related note.  That globe in the previous picture is a great illustration of holding out for the greater reward.  I’ve lived without a globe in our homeschool classroom for 3 years now and have been tempted many times to pull out the credit card and order one new (it’s hard to find used stuff like that around here).  I’ve even prayed for one knowing how the Lord has so faithfully provided the little things we’ve need in the past.   Wouldn’t you know it, He waited till the VERY WEEK we started our world geography lessons to provide one for FREE!  All along He had the whole world in His hands just waiting to hand us when we needed it most.  There are countless times that I would have missed out on seeing his rich and timely provision if I had rushed out and used my own resources to acquire what I thought I needed that very moment.  It really is so much sweeter to wait.