Sunday, September 2, 2012

The problem with time...

Does anybody else get overwhelmed by how fast time goes by?  I have been looking at pictures from the past years and thinking about how long it has been since...or how many years we have been... and I cannot believe how fast time goes by without me noticing.  Another reminder to try to slow things down and relax a bit and enjoy the time as it is actually passing.  It is so hard to remember that, when I am in the day to day grind of things.Then I have an aha moment, and I realize what I am doing and the need to take notice of the activity that is going on around me.

I have taken several deliberate steps so far to really enjoy this school year with the kids:

1.) Get every time saver, schedule helper in place now-  here are examples of a few things I have done, self-grading math programs for the younger crowd, pre-printed handouts for Tapestry of Grace,set up files for each week of Tapestry of Grace now, research crock pot recipes and use the crock pot, let others plan and cook dinner

2.)  play lots more games with the kids, board games, review games for school, family game night

3.)  more laughing, any time things are funny or even not so funny try laughing, lots of laughter

4.)  less stress, a little more mess and ease up on the reins of control-I don't have to be the one who is doing it all, all of the time, delegate and look the other way and smile when others do the chores around the house

Well, it is a short list, but it is my attempt to take real steps at enjoying the new school year that stretches out before our family with such promise.  I want to be present in every moment of it! 

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Inside Out Kind of Love

Zephaniah 3:17 The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.

I came to a "deep" realization yesterday...God loves me from the inside out! How is that for profound? I have been reading a lot about LOVE, love between husband and wife, love for your kids, love for yourself, love of country and of course, love for God. It struck me yesterday that God loves me from the inside out. What I mean is that He loves me despite what is inside of me, tucked away, for no one else to know but me. That is the kind of love that overlooks all faults and shortcomings and encourages you to continue on in, walking with Him and living for Him everyday. He works on the inside and His love shines to the outside of me. He isn't afraid to get in the darkest places of my life and love me.

I am crazy about that kind of LOVE! Inside out Love, loving someone past all their yuck and encouraging them to become all that God has created them to be. Getting a glimpse of who God is growing them to be, by loving their inside. I want to love with this kind of love, my husband, my kids, my family and friends, and myself. Lord, help me care for others the way you care for me, and to see them as you see me. I want to love with an inside out kind of love.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Back to Writing

I have been gone from the blogging world for awhile and thought it was time to start writing again. Life has passed quickly these first 6 months of 2012 and now we are getting ready to finish up our 11th year of homeschooling. We now have rising 11th, 8th and 5th graders in our homeschool. Wow! The time is slipping by so quickly. At our homeschool association meeting last night we received our beautiful yearbook for the 2011-2012 school year. I get all misty eyed when I look through all of the pictures of families doing their family things and all of the activities homeschool kids find to do during the year. It gave me a new sense of urgency to make sure we are hitting all of those things I always wanted to do before our first student graduates from our homeschool. Wonder if he will mind making salt maps, picking apples, and going to the rodeo in the coming months. All kidding aside, it did encourage me to once again make the days count as I see them slipping by.  Back to writing and back to being more deliberate in living each day.


Monday, January 30, 2012

Refining Process

Much like other aspects in a Christian's life, I find the homeschooling of our three kids to be a refining process for my life. It is funny because you wouldn't think things I love so much, like books and reading and organizing could be so refining, but add them to being with three kids all day, every day and you get REFINEMENT.

I have to laugh because sometimes I just don't see it when I am in the middle of a heated discussion about long division and why it is important even though we have calculators. God uses all things in a Christian's life to refine the heart. He is constantly chipping away everything old and replacing it with more of Him.

Actually that sounds really great. As I homeschool my kids I am becoming more like Christ, when I allow Him to be in control of the homeschooling! Plus, I am being renewed! Renewal is a good thing.

So bring on the endless questions, tears, and mounds of papers needing to be dealt with. My God is a BIG God!

Psalm 51:10-12
10 Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me from Your presence
or take your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of Your salvation
and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Fabric, Buttons, and Foam Oh My!

I have a crazy confession. I am overwhelmed by fabric stores. When I walk in the store I see rows and rows of fabric and have no vision for what to do with any of it. Once when I was a teenager, my Mom and I chose fabric and even pinned it to a dress pattern and never realized the dream of the end product. It sold quite nicely at a yard sale to someone else who could realize our dream. I don't sew, I don't really craft and I so want to join the club!

This morning was different. I had the fun of going to a local fabric outlet store to choose some fabric for recovering loveseat cushions in our bonus/school room. I went with a friend that loves fabric and can see the vision and realize the dream. I have visited this store before, but not ever to actually be the person buying the fabric.

I had so much fun! There are rows and rows of fabrics of all kinds and colors and for every budget. Foam, buttons,cording,and tassels and every thing else fabric fill the space. This trip it all looked like possibilities. I had a very good guide who definitely knows her way around all things fabric. I saw lots of fabrics. One type of fabric had monkeys and palm trees while another fabric had big purple swirls with orange accents. Being pretty conservative in taste and knowing the cushions are on loveseats that teenage boys sit on frequently,I chose a chocolate brown herring bone pattern. I love it! I can get a pop of color with all kinds of different wacky pillows. I am excited to see how the cushions turn out for the room.

I had such a good time and the folks were so friendly and actually very funny. For sure next time I need to look at fabric, I won't be as nervous about heading to the store. I believe I can see the vision now and will realize my fabric dreams. What fun!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Heavy Heart

Today I am sad. It is not just a passing twinge of sadness, but a heavy hearted weighty sadness. There are so many "hurts" that I am aware of in my own life, in the lives of family and loved ones, friends, and even casual acquaintances. I am looking for the Balm of Gilead to soothe these "hurts".

I know JESUS is the only answer for these "hurts". He is the Balm of Gilead. He is the great comforter and the ultimate in peace giving relief. So as I go throughout my day today, every time I feel a twinge of that deep sadness, I am going to pray for the "hurt" and the person that goes along with it.

I will lift up those twinges in prayer today, remembering Zephaniah 3:17 "The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing." I am thankful there is something to do with all of sadness and that JESUS holds the ultimate relief.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Joyful 2012!

My homeschool support group, Lighthouse, is getting ready for our January meeting on the topic of joyful mothering/homeschooling. I sent this out to our group in preparation for our time of sharing and encouragement this month. I am looking forward to hearing some fun ideas to keep JOY as part of our daily homeschooling routine.

When I think of the word JOY, I always think of this time of year, probably because of the Christmas carol "Joy to the World". Take a minute and read through these lyrics of this familiar carol:

Joy to the World , the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare Him room,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven, and Heaven, and nature sing.

Joy to the World, the Savior reigns!
Let men their songs employ;
While fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat, repeat, the sounding joy.

No more let sins and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make His blessings flow
Far as the curse is found,
Far as the curse is found,
Far as, far as, the curse is found.

He rules the world with truth and grace,
And makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders, wonders, of His love.

Pretty amazing words, I thought, as we move into the new year. For me JOY is rooted in another word PEACE. "My peace I give to you..." John 14:27 In a devotion in Charles Stanley's IN TOUCH magazine, he explains how Jesus said this to his disciples just hours before his crucifixion. There certainly was no JOY in that situation but his Joy and His peace were not dependent on the circumstances surrounding Him. Jesus gives every believer His peace which leads to JOY. Our faith is how we experience this gift of Peace and ultimately Joy.

Charles Stanley points out some truths to remember to help us in our quest for joyful mothering/joyful homeschooling. These same truths are echoed in the words of the carol "Joy to the World".

1. God is in control of everything.
2. He loves me and will see me through all circumstances.
3. To have Christ's peace(and JOY) I must yield my life to Him.
4. I have a limited perspective and understanding of my circumstances and God's purposed for allowing them.
5. The Lord promises to work all things out for my good.
6. I must live in sync with God.
7. Scripture is my foundation for peace.
In Touch magazine, December 2011

I am looking forward to our meeting Tuesday and the sharing and encouragement with ideas for joyful homeschooling as we start our new year.

Happy 2012! Happy New Year!