I tend to be one of those people who really struggles to let “it” go. Whatever it may be, I have a terrible habit of analyzing and picking it apart (whatever it may be)… I let it go and then I take it up again. Fortunately for me, I recently realized this.

It’s funny how sometimes, something little, can stir up something deeper within. I have been working to find someone, somewhere, who can teach my teen some basic welding skills. A friend’s husband is willing to apprentice him so – It really matters to him (and me) that we find a way for this to work. One thing after another though, we are starting to lose hope.

As I call and talk to folks, who find so many creative and kind ways to say “no” I get frustrated. I tell God what I need; ask and it shall be given (taken out of context right?). I tell my son, we just have to be patient and it will all work out. Sometimes we have to wait. Then I go into my room and fuss and rant at God about why this isn’t moving along as I imagined it to.

Howe silly of me to say one thing and then seconds later, fall into hopelessness? Over something so silly. If not now, certainly later. I have to stop.

We all want more. We all want it now. We all worry and fret, especially when it comes to our kids. Homeschooling, unschooling, it is so stressful. Especially when its with a kid who is such a differently wired, exceptional kind of learner. How can we not worry about our kids and what they are or are not able to do? Especially when they struggle to find their “thing”.

It is good to want more. I think we should all want more. More experience, adventure. More peace. More of God. Especially God. All the time. I want the spiritual gifts. I want to speak in tongues, I want to prophesy, I want to know that if I lay hands on someone and I pray for them they will be healed, delivered, freed from chains that bind them. I want God’s glory and his power in my life and in the life of those I come in contact with .

Sometimes we forget when we are in a mess, when things just aren’t going our way. We forget that how we feel and what we see isn’t all there is to things. We get ourselves so worked up with worry and anxiety. As I wring my hands and stress about all the hows and why’s and what if’s…God spoke so clearly:

We plant a garden, we plant the seeds, the bulbs, the trees. We plant them and we leave them there. We don’t see a whole lot happening, sometimes for quite a while, but we know that in time, something will begin to appear. In the meantime we do what we can. Water. Light. We know that in time that seed will produce something. We have faith in the process. We wait. We care for it. We do what we can. And while we wait, we have faith in what is to come.

How I need to raise my children, care for my family, walk in the way with the same faith. Every moment of every day. Just knowing that God has a plan and there is nothing that comes my way that isn’t meant for good. Creating a place that is full of God’s goodness; that honors Jesus. Placing opportunities in the regular day by day, for my children to see and know God for themselves. To see what their place is in His Kingdom, to understand how to seek Him. How to go after Him when they are in need.

How vital it is for us to trust God in the process. To remember, our children, they are also made in His image, created for good works. The just shall live (and walk) in all things, by faith. Lord, increase my faith. ❀

Don’t Dig it Up

Posted in TOS Schoolhouse Crew Review

SchoolhouseTeachers.com {Review}

Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.

 

 

Every year that I am a part of the Crew is amazing and it isn’t just because of the great materials that we get to review! Right now, we are exploring SchoolhouseTeachers.com with the Ultimate PreK-12 Annual Membership. Can I just tell you right off the bat, ultimate is an understatement. Currently I have four kiddos at home, ranging in age from four to fourteen. Since every child is different in where they feel led to learn and how they learn, I always appreciate something like SchoohouseTeachers, to give us plenty of variety for each one of our kids. This can easily be your “curriculum” or if you prefer, you can use it to enhance your child’s learning in a variety of areas based upon their interest.

I tend to be one of the least tech saavy moms out there, so I truly appreciate the many tutorials that are a part of this site. Heaven knows, doing so many different classes online (and my kids have quite a few) I easily get overwhelmed and lose track of where and what we ought to be doing. But they have videos for all of that and more. SO the first thing we ALL did was sit down and watch these from: Scope & Sequence, to How to Choose a Course, Bookmarking and Record Keeping. All so very valuable to me!

 

 

Lesson planning not your thing? They have a wide range of lesson plans available to help you succeed. I love how these break it all down, lots of detail in what to do day by day so you will always be ready. These can be a great way to encourage independence in some of our older kiddos too – these are literally so easy to use, our kids (within reason) can follow along on their own as they work through courses on the site. I know we try, especially as the kids get older, to follow a plan of some sort, while also leaving room for exploration and some spontaneous fun, but it is nice to have something to help us keep steady, when we do get a little (or a lot) off course. My oldest son was the first one to really dive in! Since he has hopes of visiting an old exchange student we hosted in France, we both agreed that French, would be a good course for him to take, if nothing else, to brush up on his abilities. Turns out there is only one level 😦 He also chose to take the Health 101 course, which I thought was great because it is so important that we know how to keep the body we have strong and healthy. Besides, if he can see and read about all those benefits that come from eating kale, and broccoli, carrots, and salad – Awesome! He has found photography, drama and speech (not long ago he got to assist with some puppet/marionette shows and just loved it!). The fact that he can explore so many different things, taste and see, is a real benefit to him. Since he is thinking of one day writing and publishing a book, there are some great tools to assist him in strengthening his skills in writing and story telling. In some cases even a bit of learning about how to be organized and plan things out, may seem silly or small, but can make a big difference in how our work is done each day.

 

 

 

With my younger kiddos, there are courses like ABC with Me and Everyday Copywork both which make daily reading and writing so much fun! Some of the assignments revolve around various holidays and celebrations. Because right now with my younger ones we are really focusing on a stronger foundation in these areas, this is a favorite of mine. My two girls really love doing copywork Bible verses, poetry and now and then French too. For my older boys I like that I can print out cursive pages so that they can get some practice too while also learning great quotes, poems and historical events. Some time ago I had tried to get my oldest son to start a Book of Commonplace – while that didn’t seem to work for him, the copywork we are using on this site seems to be doing the job quite well (even if he may not appreciate it right now). They Lived for God is an amazing course! My younger son is always very curious about some of those people and places we read about and so given the chance to see over 30+ videos that brought to life some of those men and women from long ago, this was quite a treat for him. We learned about Augustine, Sarah and Jonathan Edwards, Martin Luther, Fanny Crosby (what a beautiful story her life is) and so many other men and women. As we seek to inspire and encourage our kids to greater things for God, things like this, I believe, only help them to see how possible all things really are. So many stories of miracles, signs and wonders that show God’s goodness and love!

 

There is so much to love about this site! We will be continuing to use this for as long as we are able. Since my oldest son will (hopefully soon) be starting an apprenticeship as a welder, we are planning to take advantage of all of the advanced math courses we can. Math is not my thing, it’s not his either but this is something that you need to have strong abilities in. As time allows of course, I hope to take advantage of many of the Courses Just for Parents because we all know how important it is for us to be feeding our soul too. From helping us to build strong and faithful kids and marriages, to learning and growing in the Charlotte Mason way. As I navigate these teen years I especially plan to complete the courses on Dealing with Emotions (we have some really big ones around here, sometimes rather explosive) and there are so many more that I think can help us learn how to connect with our kids, how to teach Biblical stewardship, how to be encouraged and encourage.

 

We have also been enjoying movies about the life and work of sled dogs, we enjoyed a unit study or two. When my younger son saw Following the Iditarod (Family/All Ages) by Dena Wood, he was determined to check it out. There are just a TON of great rabbit trails within this (and other) unit studies on this site. From history, to Bible, geography, puzzles and lots of links and references for additional study. This can definitely keep you busy for quite some time if you have kids that want to learn more about this. If that isn’t your cup of tea, don’t worry, because they have so many more unit studies available in just about every topic you could imagine. There are even unit studies for us parents!

 

 

Did I mention this site includes an amazing video library? With kids who are very visual, I love knowing that I can help them learn, in a way that works for them. There are 450+ videos in several different areas we can all explore: kids’ entertainment, marriage, parenting, apologetics, Bible study, and lots more! With this video library two of my kiddos have been able to strengthen their skills in guitar and drums. My youngest daughter has made friends with Donkey Ollie and we are all enjoying learning so much about things like Film making, Apologetics, Biblical/Historical Geography and science comes alive as we watch and learn. πŸ™‚

 

 

I cannot forget to mention World Book which is separated into ten Libraries, listed on the World Book Resources by Libraries page. These are also separated into grade and subject. This can be so very helpful for Early Learning, Timelines, Science and so much more! Another great benefit to using SchoolhouseTeachers.com. There are currently two membership options available:

  • Ultimate Membership – PreK – 12th Grade – Access to Every Course
  • Standard Membership – PreK – 8th Grade – Access to Hundreds of Courses.

Once you lock in your membership, you keep that price for as long as you are a member. There are no fees per child, and no additional materials needed for any of the courses.There are also payment options available – we want to make this work for you – these include annual, monthly or quarterly automatic payments.

January 2020 Fresh Start Sale SchoolhouseTeachers.com discount coupon code valid until 31 January 2020

 

Through the end of January you can join SchoolhouseTeachers.com for only $99/year using the discount code: ONLY99 or $12/month using the discount coupon code: ONLY12

 

Connect with SchoolhouseTeachers:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/SchoolhouseTeachers/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TOSMag/
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/tosmag/

Is anyone else pondering friendship and community right now? Searching for our tribe; a place where we “belong.”

I think because we are creatures of habit we tend to gravitate towards who we know and who we are comfortable with. We fear what might happen should we reach out.

“Biblical friendship exists when two or more people, bound together by a common faith in Jesus Christ, pursue him and his kingdom with intentionality and vulnerability. Rather than serving as an end in itself, biblical friendship serves primarily to bring glory to Christ, who brought us into friendship with the Father. It is indispensable to the work of the gospel in the earth, and an essential element of what God created us for.” {The Company We Keep}

I think too in this day and age with all these devices and screens it’s so easy to just not look up. We don’t see beyond our screen… sometimes we don’t want to. Do we even hide behind it perhaps?

My husband is of the opinion that by the time people are the age that we are, we have already established our relationships and we aren’t really looking to branch out.

We have hosted a few exchange students through the years and they come and often comment on the very same thing. They tell us that it is so hard to make friends!

And we are all so busy. When do we have the time anyway?

In this day and age, I think it is vital we slow down. We seek real, deep, filter-free relationships. How can we grow if we don’t ever really know one another?

Only recently did it really begin to both me that all the years in our church and I have never felt “home.” I have never really felt “belonging” outside of just knowing “we are all part of the Body of Christ” which is not enough for me. Not anymore.

Could it be that this could really be true? If God says it…. He is the greatest friend.

As this year begins, I feel I am embarking on so many new things. I am uncomfortable. I am also desperate. For more of God. For more of all that God has for me.

It is time to reach out, to get outside of our self and see the beauties of others. After all, we were designed to not just need but to grow, in relationships that God has for us all!

I love my little house church; I love the small, intimate gatherings. How tested I feel as we search and examine His word and our works, together. It is all meant to be for His good and glory. When iron truly sharpens iron great things can take place for the Kingdom.

Are we willing to go beyond? Taste and see that the Lord is good. β™₯️

Let us pray this year that God will give the ability to understand biblical friendship better, to receive the grace and courage to pursue others with a glad heartβ€”even if our attempts sometimes go unrequited.

Who’s Friend Am I?

I know every year many like to choose one word for their year. This year I determined to choose one phrase.

Passionate Pursuit.

This past year I have spend much time in the wilderness. I have felt never more isolated and lost, and I have also never felt so close to my God.

I have felt and God has confirmed that my place is not in a pew but going out. Reaching out to those I see everyday. Developing relationships in and out of my home.

God has so much more for us. I know I have been guilty of settling for what is instead of seeking what will be.

I have been depressed and anxious, angry and bitter, restless and discontented.

I have felt all of these things as deeply as I did because I was not pursuing that passion.

We can get stock right where we are and forget that we can always go deeper.

This year I am going to build that passion within, the fire within my soul will burn hotter still, and I will pursue the Lord’s passion as my own.

2020 – Purpose and Passion

About a week or two ago I was browsing around in some unschooling groups online. Just looking for some wisdom and inspiration.

There was a posting from another mom expressing the desire to connect with someone. Just spoke to me because while I do talk to many people, there are really no real connections I feel. And I know that this is something that we cannot do alone. So I responded with a quick note including my email address, and I was so thrilled when she responded.

It’s been two or three weeks now but she and I have been chatting back and forth. Sharing our fears and anxieties, talking through our thoughts on everything. Religion and politics; there is nothing that isn’t on the table and I just love that about this mama.

Her background and mine are, educationally, quite similar. She has one daughter and just divorced. I have four children and am married. She follows various New age paths, while I believe there is only one Lord and one path and it’s Jesus.

If there is one thing I have been learning though since our connection first began, it is the god really does he was all things for good. She has opened my eyes to some things and I do believe God is opening her eyes to some things.

It’s all about being willing. It’s all about praying and believing.

For quite a while I feel like I can say I was tormented by memories from my past. Old friends and experiences but I prayed for God to take but never really believed He would. There has to come that we just stop. We have to be ready to just stop.

We cannot be still and know that He is God when we are running and talking and about so much business. Besides, we are supposed to be about His business. 😁

God works all things for good.

My younger son plays ice hockey. I have been “talked to” buy some who fear this is taking the place of Jesus. I have to reassure others that this is not about the sport but about going out and reaching out. It is also about my younger son having an opportunity to pursue a passion.

As I write this my oldest son is taking a tour of a small machine shop in the hopes that he will become an apprentice. This would give him the chance to learn welding and molding and polishing…I am not exactly sure what all of these things mean but I do know he wants to learn a trade and I find this to be so inspiring.

We all are making connections right now. We are learning and establishing relationships. We are trusting God as we walk this path. I will say this path isn’t an easy one to walk. It is lonely and it is hard. When was anything worth doing ever easy?

There are so many things that have changed for us this year. So many realizations and revelations. The Lord is doing a new thing in every one of us!

All I know, is that I will go, wherever the Lord sends me, however the Lord leads me. No matter that I fall, I will rise up again for the Lord is my strength. πŸ’“

It All Works for Good

I sit at the ice rink this morning watching my daughter prepare for her upcoming ice show. We are preparing so that we will be ready when the time comes.

At the same time I sit and pray. I pray for my daughter and her coach. I pray for the other kids and families that we know. Being in both figure skating and ice hockey we have been getting to know so many people.

This morning I read, slowly, about the hour of temptation. As the days go by, as my children grow, I feel more and more sure that we need focus so that we will be ready for the Lord.

I read about his disciples. For so many years they walked with him. Yet when Jesus was asking them to watch and pray… They were not strong enough to be present in His time of need. How we need to be spiritually attentive.

I cannot help but wonder: if we (I) were there in the Garden of Gethsemane, would we (I) too have fallen asleep?

Jesus said his soul was deeply grieved; He gave such clear instruction. I don’t know that there was any room to doubt or wonder what he meant. Yet still, even when he was grieved to the point of death, they were overwhelmed by the darkness and they fell asleep. I cannot imagine how that could be.

I also have to remind myself that I too could easily fall asleep. If we aren’t careful every one of us could fall asleep when Jesus is calling us to watch and pray. We could fail at the most important time.

I never really noticed that Jesus asked them for help in prayer. And when he approached them while they were sleeping, he spoke mostly to Peter. He was always so bold and so confident. He proclaimed his willingness to go to prison and to death, all for Jesus, yet we all know what happened hours later.

Are we so cocky? Are we so overly certain that we are ready?

Solomon says,”The prudent sees the evil and hides himself, but the naive go on and are punished for it.”

Perhaps we are worn down, my sensitivities perhaps dulled by the things of the world. Just like Samson who slept peacefully in Delilah’s lap and awoke to find God’s strength gone from his body.

When the Son of Man comes will he find faith on the Earth?

Jesus commanded us to watch and pray so that we would not enter into temptation. If only we knew as surely as He does how weak the flesh really is.

This morning I read a statement that said, “The Pharisee never sees how sick he is.”

Jesus said that He came for those who are sick. We must learn what that means if we truly desire mercy and not sacrifice. He did not come to call the self-righteous but the sinners to repentance. We need to know how weak our flesh really is.

For the Son of man is come to seek and to save, that which is lost.

Let us not be lost for eternity.

Simply Sit

Correct me if I am wrong. I hear all the time from the pulpit and from those in the congregation how bad sports are for your walk with God.

I used to feel that way myself honestly. I saw it simply as a distraction from the greater things of God.

Then my younger son started playing ice hockey. He was good at it. Throughout the season we were invited to so many get-togethers, our whole family. traveling to tournaments and just getting the kids together so they could all play and have fun off the ice.

This was totally different than what I always thought team sports was. Sure these kids were pushed hard sometimes. They worked hard but they also played hard. Everyone was so supportive of everyone else too.

I think what really changed my heart was getting to know so many of these families. Certainly there were some that I thought push their kids too hard, but everyone embraced everyone else. There was no division. There were no get-togethers that we’re only for this child or that part of the family. We even received emails that’s spoke of the team as being part of the family.

This wasn’t just about ice hockey. I’m sure many other youth sports are this way too. it causes me to reflect and consider if everything I thought I knew was really wrong.

I ponder all the work that the church does to get our families away from these things. We invite them to church over and over again… But do we ever go to their events? Perhaps we need to consider what it really means to be saved.

No way we’re in the Bible does Jesus ever come and us to find people and bring them to church.

Now I’ve been doing a lot of searching. I have been questioning everything. I have recently begun attending a small house church and seeing how many things I really don’t know.

The Bible says that whenever the saints fellowship they met in one another’s houses. What a natural and beautiful way for people to learn and grow in the Lord.

This leads me to believe that we really have it all wrong. It isn’t that all about getting people to church. Certainly there is nothing wrong with attending a church but certainly there is so much more for us outside the walls.

God never says come and sit but He does says go, and teach.

When we train up a child we don’t send them to someone else. It is a work that we do together. It is a call to building relationships. Certainly we cannot expect anyone to hear what matters to us if we are not hearing what matters to them.

God is so amazing! He draws us to him and then as we respond He draws others to us. But we need to develop those relationships and go outside of our box if we truly want to see people saved and living boldly for Jesus.

Why aren’t we willing to miss a church service to watch a relative’s child play a game? We expect them to miss a game to attend our church.

I am beginning to see things upside down. I don’t need to bring them to church. I need to be the church and that means I need to show them the love that Jesus has shown me. And sometimes that means I have to get outside of myself.

Maybe, just maybe, God can touch some people while we sit in the stands at a hockey game. His Spirit can move upon people anywhere, at any time.

We need to get out there. We need to have faith that his Spirit can move wherever we are.

I want to see people saved but first they need to get to know my Jesus. The Bible tells us when we love God we will keep his commands. But we can’t love what we do not know.

The time is short and I do believe that God has great work for all of us to do. but I also believe that in order for all of these amazing things to happen we really do have to slow down and listen. We have to be willing to do things in a different way. We need to be willing and bold, walking in His way.

Church Goers Hate Sports