Easy Bible Reading for YOUR Family by Cindy Rushton

Cindy2015Bible Reading. Sound tough? Do you really want to instill the habits of daily Bible Reading and quiet times with your children, but have NO IDEA of where to begin or what to do? Well, here is a little bit of help!

  • Pray…Never begin a time of Bible Study on your own! As everyone settles in for read alouds, go to the Lord in prayer! Ask Him to teach each of you. He will be faithful to meet you every time you come to Him!
  • Review from your last reading… As we read through our Daily Bible Reading, we begin by reviewing the passage from the day before. I allow our children to do this. They love this!
  • Read aloud from the Bible! Yes, directly read from the Bible. Choose YOUR FAVORITE version. Begin wherever you prefer. Need suggestions? We recommend beginning in the book of John or Psalms. Proverbs can also be a great place to begin.  As for versions, we use a wide variety of versions.  Since my children have gotten older, we often read the same passage from different versions. Talk about enriching our reading and discussion! We begin anew each year reading through the Bible. Each day we read the passage that leaves off from the day before until the “story” or section ends.  Some sections are not as friendly for making a “story.” We read until we get to a good stopping place. The next day we pick up where we leave off.
  • Narrate the story or discuss the principles from Scripture…This is simply letting the children re-tell what the passage is about. If it is not a passage that is easily shared in a story, then let them share their insights into the passage!
  • Discuss ideas, any questions, and any difficult words. Look up any new places on a map. This is WHY you should read/study Scripture WITH your children. This is when you will share insights with one another… glean deeper truths from Scripture…really search for more than the casual glance at Scripture!
  • Mark your daily reading in your Daily Bible Reading Log. We designed a Daily Bible Reading Log for our children to see HOW MUCH they were (and weren’t reading!!) each year! It has been awesome to see how much Scripture we are reading together, individually, and even in our church studies. If you need a log that is ready for your family to use, check out our pricelist. They are wonderful!
  • Pray… Finally, end your Bible Reading time in prayer. Ask God to really work in your lives to make your study applicable in your lives!

Need more help? Don’t miss Cindy’s AMAZING Half Off Sale! Everything–ebooks, audios, seminars, etc– is half off. Look for our Organized Mom Super Set or our Quiet Times Seminar Set. You will get even more help!

Psst! A Secret to Scheduling Success! by Cindy Rushton

Cindy2015Want to know one of my biggest secrets to homeschooling the easy way? Want to know one of my biggest secrets to scheduling success? This one secret can make your daily schedule finally fit. It can end your scheduling frustrations forever.

I am not a “schedule by the minute” type of person. (GRIN)  I fail with schedules like that. They don’t meet my needs. My life includes too many areas that have different needs daily. Timed schedules just do not work for me.

So, what has worked for me? Setting up a framework to my day. This is one incredibly powerful tip. It can make a HUGE difference in your day as well. It just might be the secret that has alluded you through the years.

Wondering what I mean by a “framework” for your day? By framework, I mean a general flow to each day that includes all of the areas of my life that I juggle. But, how do I do that? Here are some quick tips:

1. Decide what should be included in your daily schedule.
Look at what you are all about. Look at your goals, activities, values, priorities. Look at your husband’s schedule–wrap everything around him. Look at what you need to include in your day to get everything done–quiet times, lessons, homemaking, read alouds, work, etc. This is important. Otherwise, you will include things in your schedule that may not be the very best choices. And…one big risk…you may never get around to the things that matter the most. Decide what really needs to be a part of each and every day for your day to be successful.

2. Decide the best time for the tasks you need to complete each day. This will help you get a good flow to your day. For me, quiet times are just best at the beginning of the day. Chores are great right after them–I need them completed so my brain can focus on the table time.  Our business work and errands need to be done in the early afternoon. Read alouds are best before bedtime.  You get the picture. When I tried to read aloud over lunch, we had so many distractions that we could never fit it in. Trying to work the business in the morning would never work…and of course, we couldn’t take care of business errands at night. See how important it is to really look at the best time to get tasks done. Look at the best time for all of the tasks that need to be done. Look at the best flow to get everything done easily each day. You may not get this right at the beginning, but you will get closer and closer each day. You will love it!

3. Balance your day.
Don’t let any one area of your life get out of balance. Everything that we do in our day has a tendency to grow into a big time thief–homeschooling, homemaking, home business. Those important aspects of our life can easily grow out of their boundaries. While I love each of them, they can get rather exhausting if we don’t keep them in balance with the other things that we have to do. The best way for me to stay balanced is to be reasonable about what I expect for each day, keep things simplified and easy, and keep everything inside of its time of the day. I don’t mind those days that we want to dig deeper in a topic that we are studying. I also don’t mind those days that we tackle a messy room. I don’t even mind those days that we have a special business project that needs more time. But, if those areas were demanding extra time every day, it would be easy to get burned-out, frustrated and battle with our time each day. Want to make it work? Find a balance for your day.

4. Set up routines.
Talk about a HUGE help for me. Without routines, things can get so frustrating every day–there are constant decisions, there is more strife in the family, there is no consistency. Routines help us to make things go faster, without the strife and struggle of figuring things out DAILY. Routines reduce the stress of making decisions daily. Routines help our children to know what to expect so they can move through all of the things that they need to do each day. Routines are crucial. They assure a smooth ride. They keep us on track. They keep us out of the ruts. They take us in the direction that we want to go. One of the toughest things I ever did was develop routines in my home. However, one of the most rewarding things that I ever did was develop routines in my home. When I got very, very sick, everything kept going. During those times that I have been stretched, things kept on going. All because of routines. Set up routines. Then, your children will know what to expect. They will learn what is next and next and next. The decisions will be made for you. They will be able to “just do it” with or without you. Set up routines for your family. Develop one set of routines at a time–look for the time of day that things go haywire. If it is morning, for example, look at all that needs to be done. Brainstorm. Make a to-do list for that routine. Write it out. Work it as a checklist until it becomes a habit. If you see other things that need to be added into that set of routines, add them. Tweak it until it is smooth. Then, move to the next troublespot. Do this for all of the times of your day. Watch to see how much it helps!

5. Prune anything that is not necessary. Truth is, we cannot do everything. What we do in our day keeps us from doing other things. It zaps our time, energy, strength. We need to be picky about what we add to our day. Every single thing that we do costs us something. We need to constantly prune those things that are not necessary. Prune anything that hinders, distracts. Be honest. Be ruthless. Prune. Even the good things! Go for the best!

6. Take the squeeze out of your schedule. Watch out for the squeeze in your schedule. Don’t fill every minute of your day with something to do. Why? Because there are always going to be crisis situations, interruptions, melt-downs, delays. If we have our schedule maxed out, we will constantly be overwhelmed, overworked, and squeezed. Find ways to take the squeeze out of your daily schedule–cut out extra running, watch out for time thieves, prioritize your daily to-do’s (and eliminate any that make the day too tight), cut out extras that are unnecessary, keep the day simple and easy. Keep a relaxed atmosphere. Constantly, take the squeeze out of your daily schedule.

7. Stay flexible! Stay adaptable! Actually, one of the reasons that we really want to develop a framework to our day is so we have more flexibility, so we have more “space” in our day to be adaptable. We want to be able to seize opportunities that come our way. We want to be able to slow down and enjoy our children. We don’t want to miss teachable moments. These days just go by too fast. We want to enjoy every second. We want to make sweet, sweet memories. This requires that we stay flexible and adaptable. So, take the time to develop your own framework to your day. Do the tough work. Get your plans together. Work on these suggestions. Then, stay flexible. Stay adaptable. Grasp on to all that God has in store for you!

Need MORE Help?

Check out Cindy’s New Organized Mom Super Set! It is full of great ebooks and audios that will help take you by the hand and plan the best homeschool year ever!

Unplug! by Cindy Rushton

Cindy2015We just got back from a fabulous trip to Italy. Ok, soak this in…VENICE! Oh! YEAH!

On this trip, I was able to check off three, yes three, of my biggies on “My Bucket List.” It was a spectacular trip! And, it was more than just the trip or the place, God was speaking to my heart the whole way. In fact, He is still teaching me lessons from Italy and we have been home a week! 🙂 Just today, He taught me another lesson as I opened my laptop! REALLY! Well, stick with me….

Before I left for Italy, I was on stress overload. I was hoping that Italy would be my “catch-up” time. Well, OBVIOUSLY I had never travelled abroad, much less to Italy. Ha! Italy was perfect for my stress overload. I was forced to getaway, refresh, renew, unplug, and make sweet memories. It was incredible. In fact, I am forever changed from my trip to Italy–more on that in a bit. [Read more…]

Pursuing Proverbs 31: Be a Blessing (Part One) featuring Cindy Rushton

Cindy2015Ready for another session in our online study through “Pursuing Proverbs 31?”

This week Cindy will continue in our study through Proverbs 31. She will dig into ways that we are a blessing to our husbands and families as we step up to the call to become a godly woman. Don’t miss this one! It is going to be a super study!

SPECIAL NOTE: Part Two of this topic is separate from this audio. Don’t miss it!

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You, Yes YOU, Called and Equipped to be a Godly Help Meet! by Cindy Rushton

Cindy2015The first introduction to the word “help meet” in the Bible is found in Genesis 2:18-25…

“And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a help meet for him. And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof. And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field, but for Adam there was not found a helpmeet for him. And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made He a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.”

What a beautiful picture of God’s provision for man!

God had literally given Adam the whole world but He knew that was “not good” because man was still alone. So, in great provision, God created a “helpmeet” suitable for Adam. Not a helper to work in the garden for Adam so he could spend his days playing golf (or hunting!). Not a doormat to walk upon! Instead, God provided Adam with a “helpmeet,” with a very special purpose of being the completer of Adam!

What is a Helpmeet?

Help in its verb form means “to aid or supply that which the individual cannot provide for himself–conveying the idea of aiding someone in need.”

Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines helper as “one who helps (gives assistance, strength, promotes, delivers from difficulties or distress, advances a purpose, relief, to contribute strength or means, aids or assists, furnishes or administers a remedy, one who supplies with anything wanted.”

Meet comes from the Hebrew word meaning,  “opposite… according to opposite of him, meaning that she will complement and correspond to him, she is to be equal to and adequate for the man.”

The meaning of this is also deepened in Webster’s 1828 Dictionary, correspond: “to suit, to answer; to agree; to fit; to be adapted to; to be equal; to be adequate or proportioned.”

A Helpmeet is to provide what is needed or lacking. She is fit for her husband. She is suitable for him. She is adapted for him and she is adapted to him. She is compatible to him. God created her for his companion, his partner!

Look at the various ways that we come alongside our husbands as their helpmeet…

The Praying Helpmeet…

A helpmeet is marked by a life of prayer. She will pray for her man! I am not talking about a simple little “God bless him” prayers, I mean earnest, continual, unceasing prayer. Prayer with a burdened heart until you “pray through” for him. Committing to fast and pray for different needs in his life. So often, more time is spent grumbling and complaining about one fault in our husbands than we spend in prayer for them in a whole year! A helpmeet will be busy praying and fasting for her man.

Let’s do a check–up:
–>  Do you pray earnestly, continually, and unceasingly for him?
–>  When was the last time that you prayed about a problem of his until it was answered?
–>  Do you care enough about his struggles, his dreams, his concerns, and his desires to pray and fast for God’s answers?
–>  Do you take your concerns to the Lord or try to handle them yourself?
–>  Would your husband call you a woman of prayer?
–>  Can he depend on
you to be praying for him?

May we commit to become a praying help meet today!

The Supportive Help Meet…

A few years ago, my husband and I were talking about the needs of men as I was preparing for my book “Hidden Woman.” (Grab your copy here.) It was very interesting that his first response to the needs of men was that they needed three things…prayer, encouragement, and support.

Wow! He went on to share other things…which are the outline of this article (and the book) but he felt that he could not withstand the demands of his job in Law Enforcement or now the demands of his business if those three ingredients were not primary in our relationship.

I agree here on this one! Our husbands’ heartbeats must by our heartbeats. We must really believe in them when the going gets tough! We must purpose to stand beside him EVEN when we have a different plan, or shall I say, ESPECIALLY when we have a different plan. This support must be unconditional too–not based on our moods or their performance.

To check up on this area, ask yourself…
–>  Do you really care about things that are important to him (his job or hobbies or dreams or concerns or his heart’s desires)?
–>  Does your spirit motivate your husband to be the true leader in your marriage or do you just “take over” when you think he can’t do it himself?
–>  Do you trust in his ability to handle decisions and provide for ALL your needs?
–>  Does he know that you are on his side?
–>  Does he feel your support or does he feel all alone?

Oh, sweet friend! Purpose to be that support structure that he can lean upon as he walks his Christian walk!

The Help Meet Who Respects Her Husband…

The area of respect is the area in which many women unknowingly begin to hurt their husbands. As a result, many begin to destroy their own home in the process. Instead, let’s become like the Proverbs 31 woman and create even more respect for him! Proverbs 31: 23…”Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.”
Respect for our husbands begins at home. They should be fully confident that we would never harm them with our tongues or attitudes. Trust me, if you ever say anything bad about your husband everyone will immediately get their little evil minds going and think 100 times worse than you are saying. Be real careful about this. Our husbands deserve our loyalty in this area. If others see that you honor and respect your husband, they will too.

OK, check yourself in this area…
–>  How do you speak to your husband?
–>  What about your attitude, what does it say?
–>  Do you roll your eyes…act disinterested in what he says…do you correct him the whole time he is talking?
–>  How do you speak about him…Praise? Complain? Whine? Admire?

Make it your ambition to be like the Proverbs 31 woman by creating respect for that darling man!

A Helpmeet Admires Her Man…

I heard a message not long ago by Denny Kenaston in which he said, “Every man should know what it is like to be a king! He ought to be a king in his own home!

Well, what is it like in your home…is your husband king? We ought to have our days wrapped around things which bless him. We should admire Him exceedingly. Esteem him. Respect him highly. We will get much, much farther with our husbands with admiration than with nagging, comparing, complaining or whining. We will find them drawing near to us as we treat them with the respect that God created them to need.

Yes, God wants our marriages to be a picture of the church’s relationship with King Jesus.

So, how are you doing…
–>  Is your husband the “King of His Castle?”
–>  Do your actions and words show admiration, esteem, and respect?
–>  Do you stop what you are doing to listen to him?
–>  Do you create an atmosphere of excitement about Dad coming home?
–>  Do you treat him like you would KING JESUS?

The Love of a Help Meet…

I know, I have finally gotten to a “given” with this point…of course, we LOVE our husbands? RIGHT? Well, I am afraid if it were always that easy the Bible would not have commanded that the older women teach the younger women HOW to love their husbands. We must learn how to really love our husbands.

True love is loving them unconditionally–EVEN when they do not perform as we might want. It is pouring our whole life into him–making HIM great. Honoring his wishes. Pouring our whole life into loving him. Oh, how much tougher–it will take purifying our hearts to fill this great need.

I Peter 3 says that it is the conversation, manner of our life, that will win them over. This requires that we focus on KNOWING God, becoming conformed to the image of Christ, and becoming holy. As we purify our hearts, we will find his heart changing into a heart seeking after us!

What about it dear friends? How are you doing?
–>  Do you miss him while he is away?
–>  Do you willingly do what he asks?
–>  Do you honor his wishes even when he would never know?
–>  Do you revolve your life around him?
–>  Do you love unconditionally?
–>  Is your heart pure?
–>  Are you purposing become like Christ or are you too busy trying to help God conform your husband to your standard of LIKE CHRIST?

Let’s purpose to become our husband’s helpmeet by surrendering ALL to God…waiting on God to do the work necessary in our husband’s lives…becoming our husbands’ friend as they step heavenward…never slipping into the flesh by trying to MAKE our husbands into our idea of what God wants!

The Encouragement of a Help Meet…

This was another one of those biggies that my husband shared with me that was vital for him to be successful. I have to agree. Boy, this one is important!

I see those fears that no one else sees. I see those struggles that no one else could ever imagine were there. I feel the pain that is just quietly aching. That is why God gave me that extra dose of encouragement just to help him!
Your husbands are no different! Let’s encourage them to fulfill their goals, to reach for their dreams, and to go where God is leading. Let us be faithful to encourage them with our prayers and let them know that we have been praying for him. Let’s seek God for HIS WORD for them and encourage them with scripture. It is always a blessing to get a copy of the scripture that God has given you to encourage him. Psalm 37 was a special gem that God gave me when my husband was going through a very difficult time. It was an encouragement to know just how God sees things and how He works! This is so encouraging for our husbands when they know that we care enough to go to God on their behalf, to seek God’s Word of encouragement just for them. It really shows them that their struggles are our struggles. As you see him struggle, write notes of encouragement or even love letters about his strengths that you admire.   Let him know that you are with him, cheering him on all along the way. And, never underestimate the power of hugs! They are always an encouragement!

So, how do you do in this area?
–>  Are you praying for your husband’s struggles?
–>  Are you God’s vessel of encouragement for your husband?
–>  Do you share special gems from scripture with your husband?
–>  Does your husband ever hear what you like about him?
–>  What does your husband think of when he thinks of you–she is happy to be my wife, she has faith in me, she needs me, or she would rather do her own thing, she doesn’t have to have me, all I am is a paycheck…I can’t please her?

The Helpmeet Promotes Her Man…

What is the real difference between the feminist and the Christian Help Meet? I think it is WHO is built up and promoted.

The help meet can get her fulfillment in God’s design for her life–His purpose. The help meet doesn’t have to strive to promote herself, her rights, and her own life. She can relax, trust God, and forward her husband. She can dare to advance her husband. Contribute to his growth, enlargement, or excellence. She values him. She exalts him. She elevates him. She raises him up before herself.

How are you doing?
–>  Which are you busy promoting…yourself? The kids? Or you’re darling husband?
–>  Are you willing to take the back seat as you forward and advance your husband’s call?
–>  Are you willing to set aside all your own dreams to help him pursue his?
–>  Are you ready to change your plans to go along with his?
–>  Are you willing to pour all of your gifts, strengths, wisdom, etc…ALL into pushing him into the front?
–>  Are you willing to be a hidden woman?

The Helpmeet Affirms Her Man…

Have you ever-paid attention to men? I think that they all have a great need to have that one person who affirms their manhood–their leadership abilities, their masculinity, their sexuality.

Be the one to comfort any of your man’s insecurities. Let him be your hero. Let him know that no one else can take his place. Make him firm- steady, fixed, constant, stable, unshaken, not easily moved, solid, not giving way.

Establish Him as a leader. To establish is to settle or fix what is wavering, doubtful or weak, to make good. Submission will establish him. Through your submission, he will take leadership and will be strong, unwavering, sure, and strong. Affirm him by being loyal to him. Be loyal even when he makes mistakes, when he is facing difficulties, when he is suffering, when he is excited.

How well do you affirm your husband?
–>  Does he know that you appreciate him as a man?
–>  Does he believe that you cannot live without him?
–>  Do you really need him?
–>  Are you encouraging his leadership? –>  Are you surrendered to his leadership?
–>  Are you loyal to him?

The Inspirational Help Meet…

Our husbands need for us to believe in them and inspire them to go for their dreams. They need for us to inspire them to absolute greatness. Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines inspire as “the infusion of ideas or direction.” This definition helps us to see our role very seriously.

We should be encouraging them to have ideas, goals, and dreams. We should be the first one to encourage and embrace his ideas, goals, and dreams. Sweet friend, have a vision for all that God calls him to do. Often this is the little spark that they need to really know that they can do what they dream of doing.

How do you know if you are doing OK in this area?
–>  Do you believe that your husband is really great?
–>  Can God use you to share direction with your husband?
–>  Do you encourage your
husband to have ideas, goals, and dreams?
–>  Do you lovingly embrace his ideas or beat him down?
–>  Have you ever really seen God’s Vision for your husband’s life?

Why not create that spark?

The Challenge of a Help Meet…

In so many marriages the only challenge that a man might get is when he is doing something he believes in and the wife does not like it! Yuck! I am not talking about that being the kind of challenge of a godly helpmeet. A godly helpmeet can challenge her husband spiritually, mentally, and physically.

Take a peek at 1 Peter 3:1-2…

“Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the Word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation (manner of life!) of the wives; while they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear.”

Yes, this kind of challenge spiritually is not the nagging, fussing, complaining, whining, bossing that so many women use to BE the Holy Spirit for their husbands. Instead, it is becoming godly yourself, allowing him time to spend alone with God without becoming jealous, and letting GOD deal with any disobedience in your husband’s life. This means that we dare to be the REAL DEAL. It means that our faith inspires them to step heavenward. It means that instead of being a stumbling block for them, we become a stepping stone–being that person that inspires them to grasp on to all that Christ died to give them.

The mental challenge comes in as we purpose to know our husbands. Not just know about them, but this means getting to KNOW them. Becoming a student of them and their life. This includes getting to know what he does for a living so that you can understand his job/business AND so you can understand his struggles along the way. This means taking interest in his hobbies enough to “talk” about them. It means that we get to know about current events so we can carry on a decent conversation with them. This means staying sharp!

The physical challenge comes as we challenge them to stay fit and healthy. We influence their health in so many ways–in what we prepare for them to eat, in how active we stay as a family, and in making time and priority as a family to hit the gym. We can make it easy OR very, very difficult for them to stay fit and healthy. Our call is to challenge them to stay fit and healthy.

What kind of challenge are you?
–>  Do you challenge him to be godly or do you chase him away from God?
–>  Do you keep yourself so close to God so he can respect your godliness?
–>  Do you know about things he is interested in?
–>  Are you stimulating?

The Honor of a Help Meet…

I will never forget the influence of my husband’s grandmother who became my best friend until she died. Her marriage relationship was a model of what I believe God wants for us in our homes. She was an honor to her husband. Others would make demands of her but it was Papaw’s wishes she always honored in spite of her desire. It may have been actually her fault that these Rushton men are so spoiled because she showered her husband with attention and all these guys think that all women should do the same. 🙂 I watched her and began to see a model of honor that we could all follow. Her honor for her husband set her marriage apart.

Create excitement about them. Wrap your day around them. Do special things-bake cookies, etc. to surprise Daddy. Pray for him with your children- for his safety, his courage, his ability to minister to others, for his wisdom in making decisions, for his health, etc. Lift  up your husband before others–especially your children and other young women!

Remember Titus 2:3-5? You cannot teach others to honor and love their husbands any better way than by your example. It is an ornament for you to honor him with your words and attitudes and actions. It is SO UGLY for you to tear him down and that is SO easy to do. Remember that honor is not based on performance but on position. Treat him like you would treat Jesus. Our homes hurt from a lack of honor. Satan chips away at the home and the man when we talk about them or rebel against them-THIS IS A LINE TO NEVER CROSS!

What about the area of honor?
–>  Are you honoring your husband as you would Christ?
–>  Are his wishes priorities?
–>  Do you create an excitement over his homecoming each day?
–>  Are you doing the little things that build HIM up?
–>  Are you wrapping everything around him?
–>  Are you being a good example for your children and other young women?

–>  Are you watching your attitude so that it does not communicate something different than what you deep-down desire?

A Challenge…

Sweet friend, I know that this article is a lot of heart surgery but where are you? How are you doing?

You are so priceless. You are so vital. Your husband NEEDS you.  Your husband needs for you to be ALL THERE.

How are you doing? Are you so busy doing everything else that you can not take the time for your sweetheart? Are you recognizing the need to build that relationship?

The good news is that God is more than willing to do that work in your life, in your marriage. He has created and equipped you to be a godly helpmeet. Today, step up to that call. You have an incredible journey ahead–I will be cheering you on all along the way!

Need more help? Don’t miss our Marriage 911 Flight Plans! Each month, we come alongside of you with a “plan” for helping you build a passionate, forever, happier-and-happier-ever-after marriage. Check out all of the details here: CLICK HERE