In the cozy realm of my imagination, warm temperatures replace frigid ones.
A tank top and flip flops replace my heavy coat and boots.
Lazy and carefree days at the pool replace my down-to-the-minute homeschool/blogging/ministry schedule.
Vacations replace field trips.
And long afternoons outside playing replace endless hours of cooped-up squabbling…er, I mean fellowshipping.
I also find my thoughts drifting back to memories of summer days gone by. Our September vacation to the beach this past year has been at the forefront of my mind over the past couple of days.
And there's one thing in particular that's making a difference in the way I'm viewing my life as 2015 gets underway.
It's something I've probably seen dozens of times, but I've never really given a second thought to.
It's something you might not expect, but it impacted me nonetheless.
As we drove along the coast toward our condo and I gazed toward the loveliness that is the beach, I couldn't help but notice something strange about a lot of the condo complexes peppering the landscape.
They were V-shaped.
Each V's apex skimmed the white, powdery sand, its legs flaring out toward the road we were traveling.
Now I'm no architect, but even I know that a V-shaped building isn't the most efficient.
A V-shaped building means that each unit in the condo will have multiple exterior walls. Which makes heating and cooling harder. And harder = expensive.
Logic also tells me that more exterior walls means all of the units are at a higher risk of sustaining damage during major storms. And damage = expensive.
It seems that both of those factors add up to more dollar signs than most developers would be willing to pay, doesn't it?
Why in the world would these buildings be designed in such a fashion?
It didn't take too long for me to figure it out.
You see, the designers were stopping at nothing to keep the main thing the main thing.
People come to the beach for fun and relaxation and a change in scenery.
Figuratively and literally.
People who come to the beach want to see the beach as much as possible. Even when they're inside.
And they're willing to pay big bucks to acquire that view. With that in mind, V-shaped buildings which allow each unit an ocean view make a lot more sense, don't they?
How about you?
No, I'm not asking about whether you'd pay extra to have an ocean view.
I'm asking you: what's your main thing?
If you're a Christ-following mom, I hope your answer is Christ.
And so I think it's worthwhile to consider what efforts we're making to keep the main thing the main thing.
Even if it means sacrifice in other areas of life.
To design the structure of our moments and our days toward the million-dollar view that is Jesus.
Is your life and your home reflecting the priority your kids need to see?
Here are some ways I'm striving to keep the main thing the main thing in my home:
1.)Start my day in God's Word. There's no mandate for this. But it stands to reason that the main thing just might deserve to come first in my day.
2.)Read the Bible with my kids. There's value in Christian books and devotionals written for children, but they really can't replace the living, breathing, powerful Word of God. No, they might not understand every word. But I'll be showing them the main thing in a way that will be memorable for the rest of their lives.
3.)Pray, pray, pray. Our God isn't restricted to the pages of a Book. He is alive. He is active. He is engaged. And He is constantly working on your behalf and mine, and on behalf of our children. One of the best ways to show our children these important truths is by praying as though He's really listening. Because He is.
4.)Work with my kids on Scripture memory. Our church has an AWANA program which provides the structure we need for Scripture memory. If your church doesn't, seek the accountability of a small group of friends, or implement Scripture memory into your homeschool routine. It's really as simple as picking a verse and then setting a time of day that is conducive to this task. My favorite place to work on Scripture memory is the car as we're out and about. Why waste those valuable minutes when you can make them fruitful?
5.)Talk about God often. Is God the main thing? The reason I live and move and have my being? (Acts 17:28) If He is, then it won't be hard for me to talk about Him all day long. In a way that's natural and pleasant. He has something to say about my kids' sin. He has something to say about my discipline of them. He has something to say about our service. About our relationships. You and I might realize that our familys' perspectives come from the Bible; perhaps our kids don't! Let's take the extra step and explain it to them.
6.)Make church attendance a priority. Above clubs. Above sports. Above work. Above all. There's no rule about how much. But faithful church attendance is an important way to show my kids where our family's true priorities lie.
7.)Discuss world events in a Christian context. Terrorism. Racism. Abortion. Unrest in the Middle East. Ebola. Politics. Current events provide so much fodder for rich discussions with our kids. We certainly need to be cautious and responsible about dealing with these matters on a level they're ready for. They don't need to know all the details, but they can understand the general concepts, along with the root causes and what God has to say about them.
8.)Serve together. The book of James makes it clear that “faith without works is dead” (2:14-26). One of the best ways to let your kids see that your faith is alive is by serving God together, allowing all that you know about God to be worked out in love for others. Serve at church. Serve in your community. Serve each other at home. Serve your church leadership. Serve your neighbors. Jesus' life on earth was characterized by service — a life poured out constantly on behalf of others. We're wise to follow His example in our homes!
What efforts are you making to keep the main thing the main thing in your home? I would love you hear your suggestions, and I know our other readers would, too. Please share by leaving a comment below!