Home business, home education and health challenges: what makes us tic?

Posts tagged ‘Elijah’

Storms, calms, highs, lows, deep breaths and stepping back.

After my last post, I took a little time for reflection. It seems necessary in this life to step back and gain some perspective, and some of us need to do this more often than others.

The very next day, we sat down, zoomed through all our school work with no hassles of any kind, and the girls spent the rest of the day exploring their best friend’s wonderful new house and riding bicycles. It was idyllic for them and gave me a chance to evaluate things. I realised that I had expected far too much: we’d already done 30 minutes of maths when we had our altercation, and that was after reading, language, writing and Bible studies. Without a break. No one can be expected to stay focused for that long, especially when the work at hand is boring and repetitive.

I don’t think I was wrong to reiterate the value and importance of focus and concentration, but I do think I pushed too hard. I’m grateful for gracious daughters who forgive and understand (as much as they can) that their parents are human.

We all know the idiom “Calm before the Storm”, but I’d like to introduce (or revisit) “the Low after the High”. This weekend and the few weeks leading up to it have been full of energy and achievement. We’ve had wonderful family devotions, learnt valuable lessons, applied those lessons and seen the fruit of our labours. We have been deeply aware of God’s blessing in our lives on every level, and the activity seemed to culminate in DH preaching one of his most successful sermons on Sunday.

Since then, not so much. There seems to be a slump hanging over the whole family. Moods are low, health is quivering and tempers are short. I was listening to a sermon on the radio recently where the pastor described this very scenario. He gave some Biblical examples of it, too: Peter acknowledges Christ’s deity and messiahship, then denies Him three times! Elijah defeats and destroys 450 prophets of Baal in one of the Bible’s coolest demonstrations of divine power, then runs and hides in the desert from a single (albeit powerful) woman.

It’s comforting to know that we’re not alone in these experiences. Even heroes from the Hall of Faith share them with us, and received their due reward.

It was also interesting to be reminded of Elijah’s trials, since we’re studying this prophet’s life in Konos at the moment. In fact, we’ve just covered that very bit about the prophets of Baal being destroyed and we’re heading towards Elijah’s flight to the desert. When all the messages from all the channels say the same thing, you can be sure God’s got a lesson in there for you. What is this one? Well, I suppose it’s trust.

As I was trying to get through the appropriate amount of educational material today, while juggling some perilously late deadlines, I began to spin into my panic-mode: we’re only studying Elijah. We’re not doing any contemporary history, geography, science … I’m not giving my kids what they need! I’m a terrible mother – and everything else. AAaarrghh!

I took a step back.

I returned to the Konos resource material and saw that we’re about to start a unit full of geography, history and science. I remembered that this week the girls presented some of their own parables: allegories for Christian living today. The metaphors were rich, detailed, accurate and full of scripture. What a blessing! Who really even needs history or geography when you have a living relationship with the One who made and owns the mountains, who was there for all the history?

When I have a chance, I’ll transcribe and share their beautiful parables, but just for today I take comfort in the fact that they are getting what they need: they’re getting Life.

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Gospel Gourmet.

Let me start by admitting that I’m exaggerating with the title here. This is neither Gospel, nor is it Gourmet. But it is food, and it was inspired by the Bible, so that’s got to count, right?  We’ll call it blogger’s license and leave it at that.

As we continue working our way through the unit on Trust, we’re studying the life of Elijah and how he clearly modeled faith in God. Konos recommends using well-written biographies of the characters being studied to help children learn about them in a deeper and more permanent way than a single paragraph on Wikipedia might offer. I’ve struggled to find good biographies that I can read to my girls as Family Reading books. Granted, I’ve only looked in our local library, and that could be the reason behind the struggle. However, I love to write. The girls both would like to write to some degree some day, and certainly need all the practise they can get. So I considered, and decided that if we wrote our own biographies, we’d learn so much:

  • Lots about the character in question.
  • Lots about the process of writing a story.
  • Lots about actually writing: grammar, spelling, sentence construction etc.

And I’d let them illustrate the books, of course, so there’s Art, too.

We’re starting with Elijah. Instead of a quick overview we’re studying his life in depth, making notes, creating spider diagrams … it’s fun! One of the stories we read this week was about Elijah staying with the widow who has only a small jar of oil and a handful of flour left before she and her son would expire. Elijah encouraged her to use that to make a cake – for him! And another for her and her son, of course. And he promised that the flour and oil wouldn’t run out, which it didn’t. I loved how Elijah trusted and obeyed God without question, and how the widow trusted and obeyed Elijah without question. In each case, they did not surrender their ability to reason, nor their autonomy and self-respect. They simply obeyed, and were immensely blessed for it!

Interestingly, we were in a similarly frugal state as I was reading that so I was inspired to try my hand at a similar kind of “cake” for the kids’ lunch. I cheated a it by adding a little milk, some water (there was a drought in the story, remember?), some herbs, salt, and a sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese on top. (Yes, I do see the irony of having Parmesan in the fridge when we’ve used up the bread, but there were Extenuating Circumstances). I am hopeless at pancakes so I crafted some herby crumpets and the girls loved them! They really enjoyed seeing what the food could have been like, as well as just really enjoying the taste, too.

It actually led me to another train of thought about Bible food, but I’ll cover that somewhere else, I think.

The recipe is here.

Gospel Gourmet: Elijah Cakes

These delicious flatbreads bear little resemblance to ours, but don't they look delicious? Click for more delicious recipes.

These delicious flatbreads bear little resemblance to ours, but don't they look delicious? Click for more delicious recipes.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder (Because Elijah never left the house without it, of course.)
  • 1 cup of milk (we used soya milk)
  • 1 cup + 4tbsp of water
  • 1 cup +4tbsp of oil
  • Salt to taste
  • Herbs to taste
  • Oil for frying

Method:

  • Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl.
  • Add the herbs.
  • Add the wet ingredients and mix well.
  • Heat the oil over a low heat, and pour spoonsful of batter into the pan.
  • When the batter starts to solidify and bubbles pop on the surface, turn over the crumpet.
  • Serve with a sprinkle of Parmesan and a dash of salt.
  • Enjoy.

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