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!