The Long Hard Winter

The Long Hard Winter

I felt like I lived a chapter in The Little House – “The Long Winter” this winter. Totally not what I expected here in Middle Tennessee! Have you read the Little House books to your children? What are your favorite stories?

There are so many lessons to be learned from Pa’s wisdom and Laura’s passion for life. I was always encouraged reading to my children about the honor that was clearly practiced in the Ingles home. Honor often gets lost today in families when parents are busy outside the home in high demand jobs. In the Little House books the whole family was involved in meeting the needs as a family. Working together was a behavior learned from necessity. It promoted the desire to help as something the children wanted to do. Laura wanted to help Pa get ready for winter by helping him with the farm work. Today there is a sense of entitlement that has taken over many children. The end result is a lack of appreciation for their family and all that has been provided for them. I sometimes see in homes where both parents work, that they give things instead of giving of themselves, their time.

I was also touched how the oldest child had a special place of privilege. Younger children each had to earn special privilege as they grew. Even though great care was naturally given to little Gracie, Mary had privileges the others had to grow into. At Christmas Mary got to open her present first. In today’s world, however, it often seems that special privilege is given to the youngest.

Laura’s passion for life was at times a true blessing, but it could also turn into a time of learning the lessons of life the hard way.

In The Long Winter Pa explains to Laura that muskrats build by the instinct God gave them. They don’t have a choice; they do what they know to do. We humans, however, were made with a free will, a brain to think with, and a heart to ask for wisdom. He explains that if we follow wisdom we do well. If we take short cuts and choose foolishness, we will suffer the consequences.

He goes on to show his point in the lesson of building a house. The muskrats all do as they know to do. Man on the other hand makes a home as he chooses. If he is wise he will build one that is sturdy and safe for his family. If he is foolish and cuts corners, he takes a chance the weather will be his enemy and his family will not have the comfort of a home that can withstand a storm.

Sounds like the parable of the man who built his home on the sand.

Matt. 7: 26 “Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27 “The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell—and great was its fall.” (NASB)

How about building a home on the Word with your children literally? Together find scriptures to memorize that have action associated with them. Point out how they can put action to the words they have memorized.

dogs wait front of house for foodDraw a brick house together (the size depending on the age and the size of your family). Make the bricks big enough to write in your child’s name and the scripture chapter and verse.

When your house is built by filling up all the bricks with scripture references, frame it in a nice frame and hang it somewhere prominent in your home.

Help us all out and send us the scriptures your family has chosen. Write to us at melodyhopetikvah@gmail .com.



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