"In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace
that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding." Ephesians 1:7-8

Monday, July 9, 2012

Heart Surgery

I'm a verbal processor. I need to talk or write to sort through what I'm feeling.  Processing internally is NOT a strength of mine. My thoughts get all muddled up in my "to do" list and I can't keep anything straight.

Enter the summer... somehow, we have been "off" from school since the end of May and instead of slipping into easy summer routines we have cranked up the pace many notches. I start the day in God's word and I am very protective of my time reading during room time, but somehow I can't seem to quiet myself enough to have a long conversation with the Lord. Or even find a length of time. And oh, how I'm craving that! He and I talk all day long in little snippets. Sometimes out loud in the heat of the moment, "Oh Lord give me patience. Help me to love this little boy!" But it's never long enough before I'm needed by someone or I fall asleep.

We have had a delightful summer in so many ways, and yet, it has become obvious to me that we need to do a little heart surgery around here. Arguing, complaining, whining, revenge, and selfishness are some of the hot topics we're dealing with. After attending the homeschool convention in June, I was super encouraged by what I re-learned from Ted Tripp about the importance of reaching the heart of my children. It struck me how important it is to intentionally teach the boys what God says about our heart instead of waiting for a moment of correction. And so we began creating a heart notebook that we have been working on three days a week.

I don't think it's an accident that as I sit in this place of feeling unsettled this summer (not finding the time to process with God all that I'm feeling), God is using every little thing to catch my attention. I started this heart notebook with the boys to address some of THEIR ungodly attitudes. 
However, as I study God's word and prepare these lessons for them 
it has been revealed to me that I NEED SOME HEART SURGERY TOO!

 We're moving pretty slowly. It took one whole morning to decorate 
and set up our notebooks. (Which they loved doing!)
 I love these boys so much and I want them to walk away from this house knowing 
the love of Jesus and knowing who they are as a child of God. In order to know that, 
they need to understand the brokenness that comes with being a sinner and the huge amount of grace given to them in Jesus' death on the cross. And the hope that comes with the resurrection!
 Most, if not all, of MY ungodly attitudes and behaviors (being quick to anger, love of self, pride, envy - to name a few) are rooted in me not fully living like I believe the gospel. Not fully living like I understand my identity in Christ. I know I won't live perfectly this side of heaven, but am I quick to repent or do I become nonchalant about the "little" sins?
 I don't thinks it's an accident that I am attending a summer women's Bible Study on "Our Identity in Christ and the Inheritance We Receive." It's all sinking in to me how much God loves me that He knows just what I need when I need it. Can you believe that? This omnipotent, almighty God cares about the little details of my life!?!?! He knows how much I need to repent of my sinful heart and so he uses my lessons with the boys to teach me that. He knows that I need to re-learn who I am as his daughter and so He presents me with an opportunity to learn about that with great women this summer. Truly humbling and amazing.
 As for our heart study, we're still in the beginning stages. Each day we read one verse from the Bible about the heart. We discuss it, the big boys write out the verse for handwriting practice (Ethan sometimes just fill in the blanks of some words), and then we illustrate it. 
Aaron has been mostly content to cut and paste and scribble. 

Sometime next week, we're going to move on to discussing 12 ungodly attitudes of the heart 
and the correlating Godly attitude. I'm hoping and praying that this heart notebook is reaching my wiggly little boys and giving them an understanding for how much God is concerned 
with their hearts. I know He is teaching me.  :) 


  1. Hi! Yesterday and today I've had the joy of hearing Ted Tripp speak, and was inspired by his idea of a Heart Notebook. I needed more info, but he told me it is not explained in any of his books, nor does Shepherd's Press have a supporting resource! Your blog was the only info I could find on google; thank you! Do you have any additional guidance you could give on implementing a heart notebook? How did it go for your family? Did you alternate one day on the ungodly attitude, and the next day on a verse for the godly attitude? I'd love any insight or direction! - Marni

    1. Marni, Sorry it's taken me a while to reply. If you'll email me I can share the document I created to make the heart notebook. However, I will say that I tend to start things with gusto and then fizzle out. My boys were 8, 6, and 4 when we made these notebooks but we didn't "finish". We still pull them out every now and then and add to them. Happy to share with you. djlsmith at verizon . net