Loving the Little Years: Motherhood in the Trenches is a book for all young mothers. Living in the trenches with littles is hard work! Rachel Jankovic, mothering with humour, shows us how to live in Christ. With 5 children under 5 she speaks from rock hard experience. Her antidotes will have you laughing, while you rethink your parental training. This little book is a nuts and bolts story of mothering. Read these short chapters, while doing your ablutions. : ))
In Chapter 4 she is talking to parents: About us getting a fruit of the spirit speed quiz. Little tests for patience, for our peace, for our kindness. They are easy Christian living challenges brought to us daily by our children, and the allotted time is our waking hours. Sometimes sporadically through the night. Day after day…. and we begin to get it, we get new problems, harder ones. So what’s our attitude. And what is our children’s attitude? They may have gained a victory over one thing only to find us upset about the next! “It is not as though our children are going to emerge from their current problems into perfect holiness if only we give them enough swats. They are going to emerge from one set of problems into the next, and that is good.”
In Chapter 5 she talks about little girls and training them to deal with their emotions. “We tell our girls that their feelings are like horses. Beautiful, spirited horses. But they are the riders. We tell them that God gave them this horse when they were born and they will ride it their whole life. God also sets us on a path on the top of a mountain together and told us to follow it. We can see for a long way–there are beautiful flowers, lakes, trees and rainbows. (we are little girls after all!) This is how we “walk in the light as He is in the light, and have fellowship with one another.” (1 Jn 1:7) Our emotions act up and the horse begins to bolt we rein them in and get back on the path.” If we see one of our siblings off the path we help get them back on. this is beautiful, training small children to deal with sin issues that overwhelm us in adulthood, because we aren’t taught to rein our horses in.
I couldn’t resist Chapter 6 because it again speaks directly to parents : )) The chapter is on fruit bearing. As a young person Rachel laid in bed at night and heard the apples dropping to the ground. Not a few, but continually dropping, during the night. “God does not tell us to necessarily be strategic with our fruit. We do not need to know what will happen to the fruit. Will someone check on it every day? Harvest the best to make a pie? Or will there be a junior high kid sweating around among the yellow jackets trying to pick it all up–wishing that we were not quite so bountiful?” She asks if we hold ourselves back from doing things afraid to fail or afraid that it won’t measure up to our standards? All we need do is be fruitful, we don’t need to assess the outcome. Mothering is giving all and then some!
A snippet from chapter 9: When there are 4 children with individual issues, and you discipline an individual for a collective situation, you are alienating that child, without dealing with your own issues or the issues of the others. Such good stuff!
I wish I had seen Loving the Little Years: Motherhood in the Trenches when I was young, when I was mothering littles, and later when I was extremely overwhelmed. Such a treasure of wisdom and discernment. Truly a book about heart issues in our children and ourselves. This small book is not a complete parenting guide. I don’t agree with everything written, but this book is well worth the cost and your time to read. Chapter 20 mentions a scripture in Ecclesiastes 5:19: “Everyone to whom God has given wealth, and possessions, and the power to enjoy them, and to accept his lot and rejoice in his toil–this is the gift of God. For he will not much remember the days of his life because God keeps him occupied with joy in his heart” Let our hearts be filled with joy as we toil in the day to day, oft times menial labor of our children. We will not remember most of the labor of planting, when the harvest comes.
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