Monday, October 30, 2006

My disciples

I was going about my usual business last week, and I noticed something. It was not an unusual thing I noticed; it was something that happened all the time. It is a normal, everyday occurrence. What I noticed about this thing was something that God was speaking to my heart: I have my very own disciples, my little children.

I went outside to hang out the laundry, and my 7-year old, 5 year-old, and 3 year-old followed me out to play. As soon as I went in, they followed me inside. When I went to the store, they begged to come along. When I go to church, they are following me everywhere, to the point that if I turn around, I often trip on one of them! I must admit, regretfully, that I have often wished they could just “go play by themselves for awhile,” so I can get something done. But this past week, as we were at a missions conference and the Lord was working in my heart about the lost around the world, He very gently showed me the little ones in my home.

“These are your disciples,” God seemed to say. As I sat in my pew, with the preacher going on and on, I realized what potential I have been ignoring. Here I have with me on a daily basis, a small group of young people completely dedicated to following me in whatever I do. They love me and want to be with me. They want to do what I do, and learn from me. What an opportunity! I can pour good things into their moldable little lives right now that I will never be able to get in later on.

I asked the Lord for forgiveness for taking such a grave responsibility for granted, and asked Him for help to teach and direct them in the right way. I soon had my first test!

Saturday morning, it was time to clean the van. Now, you have to understand a little bit about us to understand the enormity of the task of cleaning the van. We have a large 15 passenger van, and it was extremely dirty on the inside from remnants of our 4 ½ month trip. I had cleaned it a few times during our trip, but it had been awhile, and if you can imagine a family of 8 living out of their van for a few months, you can begin to imagine the disaster which we called home for awhile. It was going to be a big job, and I knew it. This job would only be made bigger and more complicated if I added some small children to it. But I knew that not only did the van need cleaned, but also the children needed to spend some time helping me clean it, so we could work together. They need to learn that work is a daily occurrence.

So, we set out to clean the van. I had four helpers: all the way from the 11 year-old on down. It took all morning, and was lots of work, but in the end, we had a very clean van, and some happy kids! I told them I would give them a few caramels if they worked hard, and they sure did work to get those things! And my, did they enjoy them when they ate them! And what a clean van we have now! I made sure I told everyone how the little ones and I cleaned the van out, and all the big kids, and even Daddy oooo-ed and aaahh-ed over such a clean vehicle! How good that made those little kids feel!

They are learning each and every day. I try to drop little bits of wisdom, and now I am trying to have them work with me as we go about our days. How wonderful it is to serve God by investing of myself in my little ones! They are my disciples.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Has Your Son Asked Yet? Part 2

I’ve been looking for the proper time to get into “Has Your Son Asked Yet?” Part 2, but it’s been a long and difficult week or so. Has it been that long ago? As most of you know, we’ve been traveling, and have finally arrived home a week ago today. Well, unfortunately, someone brought their little sick child into church Thursday night, and we all came down with the stomach flu. With a family of little ones, it’s a messy time. Thank God for a washer, and a sweet husband!

Anyway, getting back to the topic of kids asking questions and our responses - our children have a lot of information they need to daily process into their brains. As a result, they have many conflicting reports, and even thoughts that are difficult to understand, depending on their age. And, as I said before, once they are old enough to see that our family does things differently than some other families, they wonder the age-old question, “why?”

It should not surprise us that they ask. Yet, for some reason, most of us are mortified by the question. I think the fear is related to personal failure. Let me explain.

I have a dear friend who e-mailed me, saying that,

“I also remember not knowing why we did certain things, and later learning the reason why from somewhere else and telling my mom. She would just say, "You knew that! I told you that already!" She indeed could have told me a lot of these things, but either I didn't get it or didn't remember. Also, if I asked about something she got impatient or mad and thought I was trying to rebel about it.”

Why did her mother get angry? Simple: she felt threatened. She had an awfully lot riding on that little gal, and if she didn’t turn out the way she thought she should, then it spelled failure for her as a mother. Her daughter’s simple question became a personal threat.

A flood of emotions instantly goes through my mind when one of my children questions why we do what we do. They don’t know? Where have they been all this time? Have I failed to communicate this to them? How unsettled are they on this? Is there anything else they are questioning? Are they questioning this because they don’t want to do it? Don’t they want to please God? Are they headed down a path of rejecting truth, ending in certain destruction? HOW HAVE I FAILED? All these emotions become balled up in our hearts and can come exploding out the mouth, and we can say ugly things to our beloved children, even accusing them of rebellion, when perhaps all they want is information.

This emotional, uncontrolled response will only drive a wedge between our children and us. Before long, they will stop asking questions, fearing the nuclear explosion that is sure to follow. But it will not help them come to a proper conclusion in the matter in question.

If we are prepared in advance for the questions when they come, it will surely help us to field them. How can we prepare? 1) Be much in Prayer 2) prepare – study up on your convictions. Be sure they are convictions before enforcing them on your family. 3) remember how the Lord led you to that conviction, and be prepared to tell your children. And 4) Make sure your explanations are rational and logical. Many young people think they are rational, for the most part, and want to have things explained to them as though they are able to think through some difficult topics logically. Encourage them to understand that submitting themselves to God is their “good and reasonable service.”

The Bible says, “bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” Blowing up at them is not nurture, nor is it biblical admonition.

Let’s ask the Lord to help us know how to answer our children, so that we can lead them in the right paths.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

SAVE 30% OFF MEAT! is doing Frugal Fridays, so I am participating when I can think of a frugal tip!

Anytime I can save money, especially on meat, it is a blessing! I found that the Walmarts in my area mark their meat down 30% on Thursday, to make room for the shopping rush on Friday & Saturday. If I went early enough (they begin marking down at 6:30am!), I could get many different cuts of meat for 30% off Walmart price, which is already usually pretty low.

A few months ago, I went to the meat department and asked them when they mark their meat down and they told me. It has been a real savings for our family!

Thursday, October 12, 2006


After 4 ½ months on the road, the Rolling Raub Ranch has come to a temporary halt. We are finally home – for now.

It was like Christmas all over again, with the little ones seeing all their long-since forgotten toys, and us trying to remember where everything was, including the dishes! We arrived home at around 6:00pm last night, and immediately looked over the property. With our 11 acres, it was no small task, but we did it nonetheless! Then we found out that none of us had the key to the house! Within a few minutes, however, someone produced a key which had long been forgotten about, and we went into the house with much trepidation.

Thankfully, everything was in great shape. It was a bit dirty from the hustle of preparing for the trip, but otherwise pretty good. But not for long – we began carrying 4 ½ months worth of accumulation, and it soon turned into a war zone. As of this writing, 11:25 pm the next day, we are slightly dug out, but there is still much to be done.

But for now, we will enjoy being home, and between periods of digging, we will enjoy each others’ company and keep you posted!

Friday, October 6, 2006

Frugal Fridays! Sponsered by

My tip:

Finding inexpensive gas while traveling:

We travel a lot in the ministry, so it is imperative that we find inexpensive gas in the areas we are in, or going to. I just go to and plug in the zip code of the area I am in or going to, and it will give me to location of the cheapest gas in that area.

This has been invaluable to us on the road, since every penny saved in the tank is a penny used to feed my 7 kiddos!

Thursday, October 5, 2006

Busy times

Never fear; I haven’t forgotten – Has Your Son Asked Yet Part 2 will be forthcoming!

We have been traveling, and are having revival meetings this week. It makes for a very busy day when we have school during the day, prepare all the kiddos (baths, etc.) every afternoon, and meetings during the evening.

The Lord has been gracious in allowing us to sing and preach (my husband, of course,) this week. My Beloved is preaching on the Potter and the Clay – a series of 3 parts.

In the meantime, while I am still writing Part 2, I would love to hear from some of my readers. Please leave a comment so I know that someone is out there! It is strange sometimes to write for a faceless audience – I’d appreciate your comments!