After my somewhat melancholy post last week I thought I’d step into a more joy-filled sphere and share what we’ve been up to.

Christopher has been home for a few weeks, whilst waiting for his new job to start. It’s been absolutely wonderful having him home. He’s been an enormous help with all the big jobs on the land and he’s just been a joy to have around. He’s 21 now and it seems that maturity has really begun to take a hold. He’s thankful, polite, kind, helpful and everything I pray my children grow up to be. It gives me such hope, because he was a really challenging child, full of energy and very difficult to engage with schoolwork. It’s so good to see all that energy being put to good use helping us and also when he’s working on the farm where he’s now employed. God had a great plan when he gave us our little whirlwind, but we didn’t know that on the tough days when his frustration would wear us all out.

Jonathan and Christopher recently climbed Scarfell Pike, another opportunity to use their boundless energy. Jonathan was on his way back from a trip to Scotland, as part of his degree, and Christopher met up with him, so that they could meet the challenge of climbing England’s highest mountain. They took a very difficult route, in the snow and with 80 mile an hour winds, but they made it and built a deeper friendship with one another in the process.

Madeleine is loving college and is now home for Easter. A couple of days ago, Jonathan was on his way back from Portsmouth and he spontaneously decided to pick Madeleine up from college and he took her out for dinner. These are the moments that warm this mother’s heart and give me strength to keep going. To know that my children are friends with one another means so much and fills me with joy.

Elizabeth and Madeleine chose to go shopping together today. It’s interesting seeing their different styles emerging and watching them banter over whose style is best! In all the jokes over town versus country style, they still seem to enjoy each other’s company.

Matthew, Hannah and Stephen are busy making a film with some of their home educating friends. Together they have written a script and are busy making costumes, props and learning editing skills. This is all on top of their schoolwork, but seems to be teaching them a huge amount, all without my input, it’s a win win.

Michael, Katie and Timothy are currently into den building and love making dens out of cushions. Now the weather is warming up they are all going outside to play a lot more (I’m always relieved when Spring arrives). Katie and Michael use our driveway as we used to use our street, riding their bikes up and down, without me needing to watch them every second. I’m so grateful for God’s provision of our drive, and land, which gives the children the freedom they need to thrive. Timothy has recently made firm friends with the sheep, who have taken up residence in the field behind our house. Everyone in the family takes it in turns to take him outside, so that he can watch his ‘baas’ (he can’t say sheep yet!).

Phil and I are as ever very busy, but knowing we are doing what God has called us to gives us both peace, even in the storms. We are a team and together, with God at the centre, each day seems to work out. God is good.

I asked the children if I’d ever done anything to help with the process of them becoming friends and one thing did stand out. I’ve always taught the children to appreciate the unique gifts each of us has and to work together as a team. If we can embrace the differences and work with them, we can get lots more done and find value in each and every person. It’s a work in progress and sometimes the differences spark frustration, but on the whole I think this approach has considerable merit. The other thing I do consistently is pray. I pray for each of them to become friends, to value their differences, to love each other and for each of them to put Christ first in their lives. None of us can really get along with awkward people unless Jesus helps us and there is often no one more awkward than siblings. With all these different personalities, it is Jesus who becomes the most essential family member, to keep the peace and by His spirit to help us all to love one another.

Raising our large family is a huge blessing and one I never expected, it’s a daily challenge, but I’d have it no other way. With Jesus at the heart of all we do, it’s a blessed life and a brilliant adventure.

I like it keep it real and I could mention, children squabbling, endless washing, never enough time and yet those things really aren’t important. When we look at the big picture it’s really beautiful and the difficulties we experience add character to the canvas of our lives. If I had my choice, I would do it all again in a heartbeat. I thank God for giving us the faith and the strength to do what He has called us to do.

Sending blessings to you all, Vicki

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1 thought on “When Siblings become Friends

  1. Members of God’s Family


    I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family … derives its name.
    Ephesians 3:14-15

    “…there may have been times when you felt left out. Perhaps you have no spouse, no children, no other family members close by. You are alone, spending most of your time by yourself. Perhaps you’re wishing you could be part of some family structure.

    But when you are a Christian, of course, you are part of a family: God’s family. All of us, regardless of our circumstances in life, are “fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household,” as Paul says in Ephesians 2:19. You and I have been adopted into God’s family and have become God’s children (Romans 8:16). God’s family becomes visible on earth through his church. If you are no longer able to join God’s people on Sundays, make sure God’s family comes to you. Let someone know about your loneliness, and ask them to spend time with you so that you can enjoy your family.

    God’s family on earth, the household of faith, must go out of its way to include people who are alone. We are to bear each other’s burdens, and we must see that those who have no family or who are confined to their homes are regularly reminded that they are part of the family of God. If you are able, make a call, invite someone to your home, or send a card to someone in your church who does not have the blessing of a family.

    Father in heaven, thank you for making us a part of your family through our Lord Jesus. And help us as your family to include people who feel left out. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”

    Here is the link to the above copy & paste

    Matthew 12:46-50 ESV
    46 While he was still speaking to the people, behold, his mother and his brothers[a] stood outside, asking to speak to him.[b] 48 But he replied to the man who told him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” 49 And stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! 50 For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”

    Good Friday Prayer
    Almighty Father,
    look with mercy on this your family
    for which our Lord Jesus Christ was content to be betrayed
    and given up into the hands of sinners
    and to suffer death upon the cross;
    who is alive and glorified with you and the Holy Spirit,
    one God, now and forever.

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