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Coming of Age

Raising Arrows No Comments

The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God, and keep his commandments; for that is the whole duty of everyone. Ecclesiastes 12:13

Today we are having a coming of age celebration for our oldest son.  We are calling it a Bar Mitzvah in the truest sense of what that implies, both historically and Biblically.  It’s been sort of distorted these days, being almost synonymous with “big fancy party.”  We are having a dinner in our home, with a guest list built by our son–close family members, friends and mentors.  We will reflect on his 13 years, challenge him to walk in true manhood–integrity, mercy, faith, humility, servant-hood.  Guests will each speak a blessing over him, give him prophetic gifts, and affirm the man he is becoming.

Coming of Age

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Coming of Age

The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God, and keep his commandments; for that is the whole duty of everyone. Ecclesiastes 12:13 Today we are having a coming of age celebration for our oldest son.  We are calling it a Bar Mitzvah in the truest sense of what that implies, both historically and Biblically.  It’s been sort of […]

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Chores for all! (age appropriate chore assignments)

Blog | Raising Arrows 9 Comments

Chores for all

Between us there are 10 children, ranging in age from 17 months to 14 years old.  That’s a lot of laundry, a lot of dishes, a lot of sock-matching and bathroom cleaning.  If we felt it was our job as mothers to do all the housework we would never see the light of day.  And we’d have a few more wrinkles.

Thankfully, we do not feel it is our jobs as mothers to do all the housework.  Our job is to train our children to be mindful and responsible members of society–and that starts in the home! They need to learn as soon as they are able to pick-up after themselves, to lend a hand in everything from meal preparation to basic repairs.  We are all members of this family and we all love this home.  Therefore, we are ALL homemakers.  In recent years our children have been doing more and more with us and for us–from helping us to host retreats to catering Christmas parties for clients.  They do amazing things with skill, beauty and most of all WILLING HEARTS!  This didn’t start when they turned 12.  This started when they were just wee ones toddling around our homes and making messes.

To encourage you in training your children to be equal and capable participants in your home life, we offer a list of what we consider age-appropriate chores for all.  Have thoughts about this? Leave us a comment and let us know what chores your children could do when?  And which ones do they despise and which ones do they like?  And most of all, which ones are you most eager to push off on them because you hate it so much? (I submit the dreaded job of matching socks.)

2-4 years old

  • change hand towels in the bathroom and/or kitchen
  • help put away non-breakable dishes
  • help put away groceries
  • help set the table
  • put toys in toy boxes and shelves

 5-7 years old

  • Tidy toys and bookshelves
  • Put away dishes on their own
  • Set table
  • Clear table
  • Water indoor plants
  • Help with food prep (such as peel garlic, wash vegetables, tear lettuce and greens for salads, etc.)
  • Sort dirty laundry and fold and put away clean laundry
  • Take kitchen scraps to compost bins or chickens
  • Make bed (basically just pulling up the covers)

8-10 years old

  • Sweep porch, steps, walk
  • Clean bathroom
  • Wash dishes (minus difficult scrubbing for pots and pans)
  • Clean cobwebs
  • Dust
  • Vacuum area rugs
  • Prepare simple meals such as PB&J sandwiches, fruit, yogurt, etc.
  • Use stovetop with supervision
  • Help with food prep (such as chop vegetables, bake muffins and cookies, boil eggs, etc.)
  • Do own laundry (sorting, washing, drying or hanging on line, folding and put away)
  • Iron own church clothes
  • Hand raise animals
  • Collect eggs
  • Wash dog
  • Make bed (with higher expectation for neatness)
  • Change sheets

Kids Can Do Big Things

11-13 years old

  •  Help with meal planning and shopping list making
  • Prepare basic meals, including using knives, ovens and stove
  • Sweep and mop
  • Vacuum
  • Wash dishes, including scrubbing pots and pans
  • Clean ovens
  • Organize common spaces (pantry, linen cabinet, coat closet, etc.)
  • Tend to garden, including helping design and plan, harvest, etc.
  • Walk dog
  • Clean chicken pen
  • Tend to compost

14-16 years old (Our children are just entering this phase, so these are our goals for them.)

  • Handle meal planning and grocery shopping
  • Change the oil in the car
  • Change a tire (they must learn how before they get their driver’s licenses)
  • Start a little business to make some money of their own (tutor younger children, give lessons in instruments or dance, baking, babysitting, etc.)
  • Volunteer on a regular basis

Chores for all

Between us there are 10 children, ranging in age from 17 months to 14 years old.  That’s a lot of laundry, a lot of dishes, a lot of sock-matching and bathroom cleaning.  If we felt it was our job as mothers to do all the housework we would never see the light of day.  And […]

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Finding Vocation

Blog | Raising Arrows 3 Comments

While praying for our children’s vocations, let’s not forget to find our own. God has called us to something and being faithful to that call is where we meet the gladness God intends for us.

“It comes from the Latin vocare, to call, and means the work a man is called to by God.  There are all different kinds of voices calling you to all different kinds of work, and the problem is to find out which is the voice of God rather than of Society, say, or the Super-ego, or Self-interest. By and large a good rule for finding out is this. The kind of work God usually calls you to is the kind of work (a) that you need most to do and (b) that the world most needs to have done. If you really get a kick out of your work, you’ve presumably met requirement (a), but if your work is writing TV deodorant commercials, the chances are you’ve missed requirement (b). On the other hand, if your work is being a doctor in a leper colony, you have probably met requirement (b), but if most of the time you’re bored and depressed by it, the chances are you have not only bypassed (a) but probably aren’t helping your patients much either.

 

Neither the hair shirt nor the soft birth will do. The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.”

 

(Frederick Buechner, Wishful Thinking, A Seeker’s ABC)

vocation

vocation

While praying for our children’s vocations, let’s not forget to find our own. God has called us to something and being faithful to that call is where we meet the gladness God intends for us. “It comes from the Latin vocare, to call, and means the work a man is called to by God.  There […]

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Required Reading (A short list of books that our children will read before we release them on the world)

Blog | Raising Arrows 15 Comments

[We’ve been writing and sharing a lot lately about raising our children into adulthood.  This post is part of that series. You can find all those posts here: Young Adults. This post may contain Amazon affiliate links. The Provision Room is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.]

What you read, especially what you read when you are young, is one of the most formative and trans-formative forces in life.  We still remember certain books we read when we were trying to find our way in the world–how we felt when we read those words and how those words changed us.  We are both big readers, always in the middle of at least a half-dozen books at any given time.  And we talk about what we read and we debate with people what we read and sometimes fight with what we read. Often we fall asleep with our noses in books.  There have been times we have gotten so upset with what we’ve read that we’ve thrown a book across a room or in the trash. (It happens. It’s not pretty.)  Sometimes we love a book so much we anthropomorphize it, we dream about it, we buy a dozen copies and hand them out like Gospel tracts.

Required Reading

Although we both read very widely, there are only a few books, that are on our must-read list.  Before we send our young adults out into the world to turn it upside down (or right-side up, as it were) here is what they must have read:

BIOGRAPHICAL

This short book is written by the former president of Columbia International University about the decisions and journey he made while caring for his wife with Alzheimer’s disease.  This book is the definition of love and commitment.  All our children will read this (at least once, perhaps more) before they begin even thinking about romantic attachments.

The love story of Jim and Elisabeth Elliot, how they pursued God’s best and put God and one another over their own passions. Their love story was actually brief, for Jim was martyred shortly after they got married.  But their love story and passion is still inspiring young people today.  Daja’s mom would give a copy of this book to every potential suitor or “special friend” of her children when they were teenagers and young adults.  It seemed to work.

True stories of suffering for Christ. We want our children to have that kind of resolve to serve God and advance His Kingdom, no matter what!  After imprisonment and torture, the Wurmbrands went on to found Voice of the Martyrs.

FICTION

We love this because it reinforces the concepts that education is a way of life and not something that is limited to school hours or school buildings.  Also drives home the point that those who take responsibility for their own education and advancement are the most successful. When you are motivated to learn, you find a way.

Integrity, courage, perseverance.  The kind of story you want your young people reading.

This is a play based on the true story of St. Thomas More.  Challenging and heart wrenching, this book (and the movie made from it) puts the idea of conviction and integrity to the test.  How far are you willing t0 carry what you believe? Do you have convictions or just preferences?

THEOLOGICAL

What do you believe? Why do you believe it? And how can you faithfully live that out.

Right up there with Mere Christianity! This book really gets down to bare bones–what does it mean to have “right belief”?  How can faith and reason walk together? Read. Ponder. Repeat.

This is by far the best book we have ever read about communication, boundaries and maintaining connection in relationship.  We have already read it as a family and individually.  But it will be on regular rotation until our children leave our homes.  This book will give anyone a really solid foundation for successful relationships–whether romantic, business, extended family, etc.

People either love or hate this book.  Doesn’t seem to be much middle ground.  Daja has read this book more times than she can count and has probably given away more copies than that!  The section on understanding men is the best we’ve read in any marriage book anywhere.

Just as we want our daughters to understand men, we want our sons to understand women.  We want them to leave our homes equipped with the skills to lovingly lead their families, exercise self-control, and courageously stand up for others.

This little book should be read by women and men everywhere.  How much better life would be if we understood a woman’s dignity and vocation!

This is a gem. A must read for every Christian. Learn to live in God’s presence continually, even in the middle of a busy chaotic world.

Homemaking is for everyone.  This lovely book encourages you to make your life a work of art, whether you live in a hut in Africa or in a flat in New York or a farmhouse in Kansas.

SHOCKING BUT TRUE

We all know that talking about sexuality with our children can be difficult, but by no means can we ignore that when we launch our children into the world, they are going to be faced with the harsh reality of the modern day hook-up culture.  A culture where all sorts of consensual sexual activity is going on without any thought of being in relationship.  Now we hope and pray to send our children out into the world ready to stand up against this type of living having filled them with the teachings of the church and the bible, but there’s nothing like a good stiff kick-in-the-pants reality check and this is what this book provides.

So there you have it! Our short but important list of books that we think everyone should read.  Have we left out your favorite? What’s on your list required reading?

 


Required Reading

[We’ve been writing and sharing a lot lately about raising our children into adulthood.  This post is part of that series. You can find all those posts here: Young Adults. This post may contain Amazon affiliate links. The Provision Room is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide […]

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Prayer for week of August 3 — Vocation Awareness Week

Prayer Closet | Raising Arrows 2 Comments

This week is National Vocation Awareness Week.  We are continuing to pray for the calling of God on our children’s lives.  Join us?  Let’s keep the young people in this country covered in prayer and ask the Lord to call them into His service. “Pray you therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth laborers into his harvest. Matthew 9:38Vocations

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Vocations

This week is National Vocation Awareness Week.  We are continuing to pray for the calling of God on our children’s lives.  Join us?  Let’s keep the young people in this country covered in prayer and ask the Lord to call them into His service. “Pray you therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will […]

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The Importance of Role Models

Blog | Raising Arrows 1 Comment

Role Models

Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ. I Corinthians 11:1

Role models are important–not only in the lives of children, but in the lives of adults.  We all need that person we can point to and say, “That is the example I want to follow.”  Often however, we don’t have role models–we have celebrities and idols.  We look at someone and want what they have and not to be who they are.  We want the wealth or the fame or the hit selling album or the hot body or the groupies or the show on the Food Network.  But those people don’t always have character we want to emulate. Read More

Role Models

Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ. I Corinthians 11:1 Role models are important–not only in the lives of children, but in the lives of adults.  We all need that person we can point to and say, “That is the example I want to follow.”  Often however, we don’t have role models–we have celebrities […]

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Um…Nope. 10 Reasons We Don’t Celebrate Halloween and 3 Alternatives

Blog | Raising Arrows 5 Comments

10 Reasons We Don't Celebrate Halloween and three great alternatives

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Philippians 4:8

We love holidays. All sorts of holidays. We love Advent. We love Lent. We love Christmas and Easter.  We love Passover, Purim, and Sukkot. We love Julia Child’s birthday.

We hate Halloween.  Read More

10 Reasons We Don't Celebrate Halloween and three great alternatives

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Philippians 4:8 We love holidays. All sorts of holidays. We love Advent. […]

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Baby Steps To Abundant Home Centered Living

Blog | Goals | Raising Arrows | Relationships 16 Comments
Baby Steps

(Original photo by Haus of Straus)

If you’ve been hanging out in The Provision Room for any length of time, you know that we are just consumed with the idea that home is where it’s at. We believe in joyful and abundant home-centered living.  We feature other homemakers from time to time to inspire you that home-centered lives are possible at every phase and in every sphere.  We share recipes and prayers and our struggles and adventures.  All aimed to celebrate and encourage you to live your best home centered lives.

But, let’s be real….it’s tough! The world we live in doesn’t make home-centered living easy.  Read More

Baby Steps

If you’ve been hanging out in The Provision Room for any length of time, you know that we are just consumed with the idea that home is where it’s at. We believe in joyful and abundant home-centered living.  We feature other homemakers from time to time to inspire you that home-centered lives are possible at […]

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Making Home: Bishop Gabe

Blog | Raising Arrows 4 Comments

(We believe in Home-Centered Living.  We believe it’s good for women, men, children, society, the earth. This post is part of an on-going series we are calling, “Making Home” looking at the diverse lives of homemakers and those striving to live Home-Centered Lives. )

Making Home

Today we are talking with Bishop Gabe Abdelaziz of Alpha Beth Ministries and The Revival Center.  He just so happens to be Daja’s dad.  And you’ve met his other daughter and his wife already! He’s passionate about family life.  It has been the focus of his preaching and ministry for more than 40 years.  Enjoy…. Read More

Bishop Gabe and Pastor Dorothy

(We believe in Home-Centered Living.  We believe it’s good for women, men, children, society, the earth. This post is part of an on-going series we are calling, “Making Home” looking at the diverse lives of homemakers and those striving to live Home-Centered Lives. ) Today we are talking with Bishop Gabe Abdelaziz of Alpha Beth […]

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Increasing Responsibilities

Blog | Raising Arrows 1 Comment

[We’ve been writing and sharing a lot lately about raising our children into adulthood.  This post is part of that series. You can find all those posts here: Young Adults.]

Have you noticed the lengthening of childhood years?  The seemingly acceptable putting off of responsibilities?  Here in the United States children can stay on their parent’s health insurance until they are 26!  This is no joke!  What happened to being an adult at 18? Read More

Anna Cooking Collage

[We’ve been writing and sharing a lot lately about raising our children into adulthood.  This post is part of that series. You can find all those posts here: Young Adults.] Have you noticed the lengthening of childhood years?  The seemingly acceptable putting off of responsibilities?  Here in the United States children can stay on their […]