Monday, November 17, 2014

Getting through the rough spots

Sometimes when I'm homeschooling, I get frustrated because I want to stick to "the list" and get the tasks done—and not have to deal with diversions (interruptions, attitudes, etc.).

Here's what Deborah Wuehler, senior editor of The Homeschool Minute, has to say...
"Instead of looking at everyday life issues and attitudes as obstacles to doing what we want to do, we need to look at the obstacles as part of the life God intended for us to live, and teach around those. It's how we live that life that brings glory to the One Who designed it."

What great insight!  The obstacles are part of the life God intends for us to live!  To break it down further... a "successful life" isn't getting through the "task list"—but how we live out life, obstacles and all!

Another old paradigm bites the dust. :)

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Victory in Christ!

I love modern worship songs.  They are so joy-filled!  If you had asked me yesterday whether I prefer hymns or modern worship music, I would have emphatically said the latter!  But this morning I have an old hymn ringing around in my head—A Mighty Fortress is Our God.   As the words started pouring into my mind, I started to cry!  I love the truths about the unseen battle going on around us and that GOD will PREVAIL!!  (This is one thing that modern worship songs are lacking!)

I just feel compelled to write out the words... they are so amazing!  Wait!  Don't tune out yet!  Please read them... they will encourage your soul!

A mighty fortress is our God,
A sword and shield victorious;
He breaks the cruel oppressor's rod
And wins salvation glorious.
The old satanic foe
Has sworn to work us woe!
With craft and dreadful might
He arms himself to fight.
On earth he has no equal.

No strength of ours can match his might!
We would be lost, rejected.
But now a Champion comes to fight,
Whom God Himself elected.
You ask who this may be?
The Lord of Hosts is He!
Christ Jesus, mighty Lord,
God's only Son, adored.
He holds the field victorious.

Through hordes of devils fill the land
All threatening to devour us,
We tremble not, unmoved we stand;
They cannot overpower us.
Let this world's tyrant rage;
In battle we'll engage!
His might is doomed to fail;
God's judgment must prevail!
One little word subdues him.

God's Word forever shall abide,
No thanks to foes, who fear it;
For God Himself fights by our side
With weapons of the Spirit.
Were they to take our house,
Goods, honor, child, or spouse,
Though life be wrenched away,
They cannot win the day.
The Kingdom's ours forever!

(text by Martin Luther)

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The heart behind parenting

This quote from Jim and Lynne Jackson struck me as a pivotal concept in how we train and discipline our children:

"It is often said that consistency is an important key to effective parenting. We agree wholeheartedly.
"However, we believe consistency is not so much about the method we choose, but the heart behind the method. If our heart is consistently operating from an abundance of God’s grace and truth in our lives, we can effectively use any variety of methods for dealing with our children’s misbehavior. But if our heart is filled with frustration, fear, or anger, no method for dealing with misbehavior is likely to be effective."

Faith

"Faith does not eliminate questions.
But faith knows
where to take them."
-Linda Watkins

Saturday, October 18, 2014

He will show me the path of life

Oh my.  It's been a long time since I've blogged.  Can you tell school is in session again? :)  Not only have I been striving hard to stay motivated to home-educate my 9-year-old, but also to be disciplined with my health goals which include: daily exercise, eating whole foods, no processed food, no coffee, no joy, and drinking 72 oz. of water daily.  (This isn't just some optional "nice thing to do"—it is vital to my mental and emotional health!)

Those two focal points consume a ton of my energy (physically and mentally).  Add in maintaining the house (cooking, cleaning, laundry—the usual stuff) and I seem to have little energy left to connect heart-to-heart with my Lord... which leaves me feeling spiritually dull.

Earlier this week I read this bit of inspiration in a weekly e-newsletter called The Homeschool Minute.  It was sort of one of those "V8 moments" (if you remember those old commercials!). Senior editor Deborah Wuehler writes about being strengthened by "eating Godly bread" throughout the day, and gives this example about how to meditate on a Bible verse:

You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore. Psalms 16:11  
  1. You will show me the path of life: Nothing and no one is able show me the path for my life or for the lives of those around me except God. I can read books or blogs, talk to friends, purchase the right curriculum, but ultimately it is God alone who will show us His path, the reason we are here, and how to live. If I am lacking direction, I have probably begun to walk in my own understanding instead of seeking His.
  2. In Your presence is fullness of joy: Nothing else and no one else can bring me joy. I can look for joy in many things, but will only find it in one thing: the presence of the Lord. I can look for joy in material wealth, or physical healing or close relationships. I may hope for joy in dreams fulfilled or just in the lack of chaos. But I will never find fullness until I am in His presence. It's not about the things in this life that have to come to me in order to bring joy. It's not about the things in this life that have to leave me in order to have joy. It's all about me in the presence of God and the presence of God in me!
  3. At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore: I tend to seek pleasure away from closeness with God. I am prone to wander and look for pleasure in earthly things or people. I think I will find it in time to myself and by myself. Pleasure is found at the right hand of God. Stay close to Him. A wandering heart will only find pain and loneliness and confusion. Wander right back to Him. We can sit in the heavenly places with Christ even if we are on this earth as we fix our hearts, souls and minds on Him; He is our pleasure.  
I just really, really needed to read that TRUTH about where my joy—fullness of joy—comes from: His presence!  Seems like a woman who has been walking with the Lord for 18 years shouldn't need to be reminded... but I know I need to schedule-in that precious time with Jesus!  Nothing I pursue on earth can replace the joy of His presence and the peace that only He can give!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

We're a work in progress

This is my new mantra:  We're a work in progress.

It is SO much easier to handle the day-to-day stresses involved in child-rearing when you realize and accept that you cannot control the outcome, but you can trust God to work all things together for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28)!

I am reminded of Philippians 1:6... The One who has begun His good work in you will go on developing it until the day of Jesus Christ.  (Phillips)  We all make mistakes. Sometimes intentionally.  [Gasp!]  But we are a "work in progress" which God is developing... molding... shaping... continually refining... until Jesus returns!  We won't "arrive" at perfection here on this earth.  Perfection is really not the focus—growth is.

I also think of Philippians 2:13... For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases Him. (NLT)  Have you ever felt disappointed in your behavior?  Guess what?  It is GOD who has given you the desire to please Him!  He also doesn't give us an impossible task—He will give us the power to do what pleases Him too.

Ahhh.  Proper perspective makes such a difference!


Monday, August 18, 2014

Houses

If I got a chance to do it again—buying a house, that is—I would choose a house where the bedrooms are upstairs and the kitchen, dining room, and living room (which would be on the main level, of course) are open and flow together without walls between them.  Here's why.

My children are early risers.  I am too.  However, I would like to rise before they do.  But, living in a rambler—where the main living area and bedrooms are on the same floor—if I'm making any noise in the kitchen, they hear me and get up.  What's the point of getting up at 5:30 if the chil'uns are up then too?

Regarding having what I believe they refer to as a "great room" these days—having the kitchen, dining room, and living room one open space without dividing walls—would be beneficial for parental supervision purposes.  Presently, I can be working in the kitchen and all kinds of shenanigans and tom foolery are going on at the dining room table, of which origin I cannot discern because I do not have x-ray vision!

Anyway... just thinking.  Truthfully, I am happy with my humble abode, all in all.  We have a warm, cozy home in a safe neighborhood with kind neighbors.  What more could we ask for?  (Well... er... see above... hee hee)