When the kids were little ones, a friend called to ask if I was interested in a small wooden table with four chairs. I jumped at the opportunity. Picking up this old but sturdy table, I began imagining all that I could do. I sanded it until it was smooth, cleaned it well, and then decided to paint it a gentle cream color with matching chairs. Finally, I set it up in the kitchen. This treasure became the place we did school during the formative preschool and elementary years.
After a few weeks, I felt something was missing and decided to stencil a Scripture verse around the edges of the table. I was a new Christian and was learning to memorize verses that helped me overcome my natural, and sometimes not so nice, tendencies. Matthew 6:33 was stenciled in a floral pattern: But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
Having been raised to work in corporate America, staying home and having five kids in seven years was an amazing experience; yet I struggled to find value and meaning. There were days when the only conversation I had was with a preschooler about peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and how the moon glowed at night. I was young, in my twenties, and needed a reminder that raising children and homeschooling was seeking first the kingdom of God in my life. Having a table stenciled with Scripture where I worked with the children was a constant reminder and a source of encouragement.
One of my more recent goals with Family Magazine has been to center each year around a passage of Scripture. As 2017 drew closer, the Lord continually brought me back to Philippians 2, a section of Scripture that reminds us to be like Christ. It seemed like such an appropriate passage to dive into for the magazine’s tenth anniversary year, and meditating on the passage has challenged not only myself, but also the other writers, to be more like Christ in our marriage, parenting, and homeschooling.
Meditating on Scripture forces us to think outside the box, pondering new ideas and thoughts that relate specifically to where we are in life in our homeschooling, parenting, marriage, and other relationships. And as we meditate, we are able to share with one another through writing, conversations, and other interactions that edify, equip, and challenge each other toward godliness.