“O mothers of young children, I bow before you in reverence. Your work is most holy. You are fashioning the destinies of immortal souls. The powers folded up in the little ones that you hushed to sleep in your bosoms last night are powers that shall exist for ever. You are preparing them for their immortal destiny and influence. Be faithful. Take up your sacred burden reverently. Be sure that your heart is pure and that your life is sweet and clean. The Persian apalogue says that the lump of clay was fragrant because it had lain on a rose. Let yourlife be as the rose, and then your child as it lies upon your bosom will absorb the fragrance. If there is no sweetness in the rose the clay will not be perfumed.”

Home-Making, J.R. Miller, pg. 106

You know how it takes about 30 minutes away from your kids to remember how much you love them, feel guilty about how time is slipping away, to come up with all the things you’re going to do differently/better? Well, it was definitely one of those weeks. The second we drove away for camp, I was thinking about all of the above and more. But here’s what is great–this book, Home-Making” by J.R. Miller is hitting all of those points in such an inspiring and eloquent way that it takes the guilt away and is completely bringing me to my knees. So here are some pictures from this weekend and some of the amazing quotes that are rocking my world.

“Oh that God would give every mother a vision of the glory and splendor of the work that is given to her when a babe is placed in her bosom to be nursed and trained! Could she have but one glimpse into the future of that life as it reaches on into eternity; could she look into its soul to see its possibilities; could she be made to understand her own personal responsibility for the training of this child, for the development of its life, and for its destiny,–she would see that in all God’s world there is no other work so noble and so worthy of her best powers, and she would commit to no other hands the sacred and holy trust given to her.”

Home-Making, J.R. Miller, pg. 104

“You cannot give your child what you do not possess: you can scarcely help giving your child what you do possess. If you are a coward you cannot make him brave; if he becomes brave it will be in spite of you. If you are a deceiver you cannot make him truthful; if you are selfish you cannot make him generous; if you are self-willed you cannot make him yielding; if you are passionate you cannot make him temperate and self-controlled. The parent’s life flows into the child’s life. We impress ourselves upon our children less by what we teach them than by what we are. Your child is a sensitive plate; you are sitting before the camera; if you do not like the picture the fault is with yourself. One angry word from your lips will outweigh a hundred rebukes of anger. One selfish deed, one social deception, will do more to mar than a hundred homilies can do to make.

What we want to do with our children is not merely to control them and keep them in order, but to implant true principles deep in their hearts which shall rule their whole lives, to shape their character from within into Christlike beauty, and to make of them noble men and women, strong for battle and for duty.”

Home-Making, J.R. Miller, pg. 104-105

8 thoughts on “

  1. i mentioned both of those first quotes to my ladies in bible study the first week, i need to repeat it for those that weren’t there. it is awesome how something can be so encouraging and so convicting at the same time.

  2. okay. woah. it has been wayeee(!!!) too long since i’ve logged in to get the low-down on your life. (dad’s place … hit by tornado?) days at camp. pictures of those amazing (beautiful) kids. soooo good to catch up, aubie! i’m only sorry i’m not a little more consistent with my (cyberspace) visits!

    a few things to say:

    1. as soon as i move into my “real place” (right now i’m killing a few months in “interim-housing”) — it is top-priority to find that digital camera of mine (packed down-deep in one of fifty boxes) and make good on what has now become (after visiting your blogspot) top-priority: catalogue-ing my life w/visuals. it’s just gotta happen. (thanks for the inspiration!)

    2. personal disclaimer (so as to keep my expectations in line): i will not expect to capture the moments or life-expressions as you do (one-of-a-kind, chica) and, in fact, won’t feel embarrassed when they are less than “quality” visual representations! good, bad, or ugly … (i’m going public with this commitment; keep me accountable!), i’ll shoot for one/week starting in november. ah. (i feel better already.)

    3. pray for me, sis. a lot is up in the air and i’m eager to see how god wants to bring it all down. (and i know this is a strange venue in which to drop such a loaded-statement [but when else will i tell you?] and i’m not even sure i can articulate the “lot” … and know you don’t need me to fill in all the details before you’ll say a prayer … which is probably why i’m mentioning it here, like this in the first place. so … just pray, eh? i’m needing (or wanting?) a better handle on how god’s at work (or wanting to work) in and through me.

    4. i love the way your quotes talk about the “immortal life” that exists in your children (and has been given you to steward). i’ve been reading a book recently that’s been rocking my world; (you may have seen a couple of excerpts on my blog). n.t. wright’s latest, _surprised by hope_. anyhow, he’s writing to help christians gain a robust understanding of what it means to be alive as resurrected people (who live in bodies that are just as important as their souls, though one day they will be transformed, as was the resurrected body of christ). anyhow, in light of all i’ve been learning (and all i’ve been challenged by), I wanted to add another quote to the many that have been recently stirring your mind and soul and (dare we say?!) shaping your bodily existence. here ’tis (please forbear with its length; it seemed a bit of context was important)…

    “mostly, jesus himself got a hearing from his contemporaries because of what he was doing. they saw him saving people from sickness and death, and they heard him talking about a salvation … that would go beyond the immediate into the ultimate future. but the two were not unrelated, the present one a mere visual aid of the future one or a trick to gain people’s attention. the whole point of what jesus was up to was that he was doing, close up, in the present, what he was promising long-term, in the future. and what he was promising for that future, and doing in that present, was not saving souls for a disembodied eternity but rescuing people from the corruption and decay of the way the world presently is so they could enjoy, already in the present, that renewal of creation which is god’s ultimate purpose–and so they could thus become colleagues and partners in that larger project …

    “the point of the resurrection, as paul has been arguing throughout [his] letter, is that the present bodily life is not valueless just because it will die. god will raise it to new life. what you do with your body in the present matters because god has a great future in store for it. and if this applies to ethics, as in 1 corinthians 6, it certainly also applies to the various vocations to which god’s people are called. what you do in the present–by painting, preaching, singing, sewing, praying, teaching, building hospitals, digging wells, campaigning for justice, writing poems, caring for the needy, loving your neighbor as yourself–will last into god’s future. these activities are not simply ways of making the present life a little less beastly, a little more bearable, until the day when we leave it behind altogether ….

    [last paragraph, i promise …]

    “mention salvation, and almost all western christians assume that you mean going to heaven when you die. but a moment’s thought, in the light of all we have said so far, reveals that this simply cannot be right … when god saves people in this life, by working through his spirit to bring them to faith and by leading them to follow jesus in discipleship, prayer, holiness, hope, and love, such people are designed–it isn’t too strong a word–to be a sign and foretaste of what god wants to do for the entire cosmos. what’s more, such people are not just to be a sign and foretaste of that ultimate salvation; they are to be part of the means by which god makes this happen in both the present and the future. that is what paul insists on when he says that the whole creation is waiting with eager longing not just for its own redemption, its liberation from corruption and decay, but for god’s children to be revealed: in other words, for the unveiling of those redeemed humans through whose stewardship creation will at last be brought back into that wise order for which it was made. and since paul makes it quite clear that those who believe in jesus christ … are already themselves saved, this stewardship cannot be something to be postponed for the ultimate future. it must begin here and now.”

    miss & love you aubie …

  3. you have the most beautiful children. i love these pictures.
    i saw aimee at church this morning. i was at west ridge visiting kirsten and brent. and i actually asked aimee if you were at that service. EMBAR! i know you don’t live there anymore, but the whole time i kept thinking i was going to get to see you. i miss you girl!

  4. Oh, you have such beautiful children!
    I just LOVE all of those pictures!
    Your home is full of so much life and love!

  5. Wow. That’s all I can say, Aubin. 🙂

    You’re awesome!

    Oh geez. And it’s Annette again. Logged in as good ole scparris…

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