Sunday, November 27, 2011

Verse of the week -- Psalm 78: 52-53

In the past couple years God has encouraged me greatly through the life of Moses. As I walked through my own wilderness of sorts I could sympathize with his struggles to lead a "less than eager to follow" group over desert ground.


When life seems dry and parched and our perspective becomes warped with a sense of being overwhelmed, each step to follow God becomes a struggle.




Still, He doesn't desert. He leads. Even in the desert, He leads. Not just on beautiful, carefree hikes or a day at the beach. He crawls the trenches with us.

Yet, His presence is not just a warm body to keep us company. He leads. He guides.

He brings confidence to shaky days.

He brings warmth to the cold and dreary.

He brings light in the midst of storm-cloud dark.

He brings strength to the beaten down.

He brings direction to the frazzled.

He brings safety in the perilous moment.

He brings calm in the face of fear.

Psalm 78 says:

52 Then he led out his people like sheep

and guided them in the wilderness like a flock.

53 He led them in safety, so that they were not afraid,


The result -- we are not afraid. Life might not get easier, answers might not come more quickly, or resolution more smoothly, or joy less painfully, or energy more effortlessly. But, we can face it all without fear.

We have a guide who knows the rigors of human existence and loves us as His own, and knows the way of safety while also having the power to keep us in it.


Thank you, Lord, for walking the wilderness with me. ~In Jesus Name, Amen


Psalm 78 says:

52 Then he led out his people like sheep

and guided them in the wilderness like a flock.

53 He led them in safety, so that they were not afraid,

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Goals

We have survived and really enjoyed our very first full experience with a co-op. Each of the kids learned so much, made new friends, and had a wonderful start to each new school week.

Here we are at the holiday break and I have been busy with holiday planning, but also with school planning. I have revamped our PE plans, which I will have to share another time. I am very excited about putting it all into practice. I also tweaked our daily schedule and posted the revised one.

Now, I need to work on assignment sheets and make sure all the grades have been entered for our first trimester. In doing this I am also thinking ahead to the rest of the year.

I have some areas that I see need a little more attention, and so I have set myself some goals. For me, writing them down make them more real and make me feel a greater commitment to follow through.

So, here they are, some of my goals for the upcoming part of the school year.

Goals for mid-section of this school year:

- Spend more time with Faith on AAS
- Work with Nathan on pencil grip and handwriting
- Check on assignment sheets daily
- Get grades in computer weekly
- More hands on (once a week) and field trips (once a month)

How about you? How is your school year going? Are you re-evaluating anything? Any fresh goals or areas that you want to hone in on? I try to never be complacent, but always refocusing as a parent and teacher.

Love that homeschooling gives me the freedom to be what my kids need me to be even if that changes every couple weeks.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Pictures




Soccer season officially ended this weekend, so we can now think about the rest of our life.




I did find time on a gorgeous day a couple weeks ago to take some of the kids out back for a little photo shoot. No planned outfits or anything like that, just real life cuteness. :)


Thought I would share, for those interested . . . and, for the record, my 14 year old avoids pictures as much as possible especially if he knows there is a chance for anyone to ever see the picture. And, my 7 year old could find nothing to wear, so we'll have to try again another day.




Can you tell how much these two adore each other?



They grow too quickly. Love my kids. Love this crazy, non-stop season with them. So much learning, so much living, so much togetherness.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Verse of the week -- James 1:19-21

A few years back we bought a print of a beautifully painted mountain scene. We excitedly made plans to hang it in our home. When purchasing it, we figured you buy a frame and throw it up on the wall and you're done.


How wrong we were. First, we had to find a frame that fit the picture. Then came the discussion of mats. One or two, which color(s), how thick a border, etc., etc. With all the decisions behind us, we hung the print on the wall with new appreciation.


What had started as a nice print, now overflowed in beauty. Details that had blended in now shined boldly. Hardly seemed the same picture.

I often have the same experience with verses of Scripture. Words commonly heard from childhood take on a whole new meaning when framed with a certain situation or struggle.

In reading James 1 a few weeks ago I came upon the saying so common many probably forget it comes from Scripture. "Be slow to speak and quick to listen." Or, maybe the modern paraphrase would say, "You have two ears and one mouth, so you should listen twice as much as you talk."


The mind-frame I walked into this with had to do with some rough days in the parenting realm. I know my voice had risen a notch or two in volume and intensity. Frustration instead of love flashed from my eyes. The result? Certainly not the flooding of God's righteousness in our home.

19Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; 20for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. 21Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.

Muttering "patience is a virtue" only gets you so far when the same child is pushing the same button for hours on end. The change needed to take place deeper. This verse gave me the wake up call that I needed.

This mother's heart passionately wants kids that follow Christ. As they mature, I seek to see God's righteousness maturing in their lives as well. My response, complete with demeaning retorts, would not be helping them there. However, before these verses had always prodded me in relationships with others, more with peers, and I ignored their application with my children.

Take these verses about listening and speaking with deliberateness, and restraining anger into the parenting realm, and they shine with a whole new rainbow of colors. When that child manages to rile me up like no one else can, these verses nudge me a different direction.

Do I want God's righteousness to well up in their lives? Then my anger has no place in this situation.

Amazingly, as I have begun to put this into practice . . . listen more, speak carefully, surrender my anger to God, the kids' responses have changed, too. Instead of driving them away, we pull closer. Instead of escalating hostility, we share the struggle together. I cannot begin to describe the difference this simple reminder has made in my home.

I would not have classified myself as an angry mom before, but everyone's patience ends somewhere, and this verse now meets me at that point.

Thank you, Lord, for old truths with constantly new applications. Thank you for showing me a better way, a way filled with Your love that paves the way to Your righteousness. Help me to continue to walk in it. ~Amen

19Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; 20for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. 21Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.

~James 1:19-21~