Ramblings

Sometimes We Have to Quit

I have never been one to say I quit. Doesn’t matter what it is, I have always had the need to succeed. Perfectly. Without flaw. I am realizing but there are some things that we need to quit.

Yesterday was one of those days, my kids were just on a mission to drive me insane. Lol

We all have those days of course. One of the major perks to choosing to home educate our kids. I think I read somewhere that it’s, holy sandpaper.

My poor baby girl who is 3 now, struggling with some strange digestion issues. We are considering possible food allergies.

My oldest son, I don’t even know what to say. So difficult. Everything is a battle. Whatever we expect, however we ask, she is stubborn and angry and belligerent. I watch my boys and sometimes think of Cain and Abel.

My husband trying to just do the best he can with our finances and so many things that needs to be done and have to simply wait. And he has me for a wife. Who is the exact opposite of all he is. I see her too often I push my expectations on to him. I think of an old saying about how the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

And all of my struggles and anxieties I know that it can be so easy if I just admit it and quit it. Instead I sit and wish about this or that. If only…that always make things better yes? 🙄

When I was a child my mother would always say that you were either good at something or you quit something. I always understood that to me in but whatever we struggle in we need to just let go of. But as I get older I wonder if what she really meant was that we need to quit trying and start determining.

I know I can spend so much time beating myself up over things I “cannot” do and the truth is, I didn’t really want to in the first place. I think it’s learning how to determine what we really want versus what we are simply wishing for. The difference between loving music and loving creating music. Some things we enjoy and some things we enjoy so much we do them.

This is where we need to transform and renew our minds. With God all things are possible. But we must move our feet. We must change our perspective.

It’s so easy when things aren’t going the way I want them to, to look back and consider how I envisioned my life when I was younger. To grasp hold of those dreams I had as a child. That is so much easier than acknowledging the struggle and finding a way to move my feet forward in the midst of it.

Will we live our life or will we simply endure it? I got the other day about the importance of embracing the life that God has given us. Right where we are, when we are.

I have not been embracing it. I fear I have been fighting it. I think sometimes my vision takes over. I am not patient but more of a dictator. Demanding a way that I believe is better. Whether it really is or not I tend to take the lead, the bull in the China shop. Not the best way to do things?

God tells us, don’t look back. Look up. We need to keep our eyes fixed on Him. It is when we look away, we get distracted, that we struggle. Peter walked on water as long as he kept his eyes fixed on Jesus. I need to quit looking everywhere else. I need to quit seeking after my own vision and claim His vision for my life. And then it with joy unspeakable. This world is not my home. No matter where I look that will never change.

Greater is He in me, than he that is in the world. ❤

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TOS Schoolhouse Crew Review

St. Bartholomew’s Eve {Review}

I don’t know about you all but there are some companies that my family and I just adore! We eagerly await every new material that is presented; I feel like I should start singing, “these are a few of my favorite things..” Heirloom Audio Productions is just that for our family. Every single time. We have been collecting the dramatic stories they tell through these for some time now and every single one has been a huge hit! I was thrilled to see that this time around they were doing, St. Bartholomew’s Eve, another amazing tale brought to life from G.A. Henty. This came to us as a 2 CD set which has already been enjoyed too many times to count. 🙂

I know I have said it before it past reviews but this is so much more than just an audio version of the story. This is a theatrical experience. I am always in awe of the high quality that every one of these contains. With an amazing cast that includes names like: Brian Blessed (Star Wars), Elizabeth Counsell (The Chronicles of Narnia), Brian Deacon (Bonhoeffer), Andy Harrison (The Secret Garden), and Hugo Docking (Oliver Twist), this really is just like being there! For two hours, journey to 16th century France and be a part of the Huguenots persecution and massacre that became known as the St. Bartholomew’s Day massacre.

While this is recommended for ages 6 years and up, even my three year old daughter was captivated as we listened to this story. For two hours. It helped that we were also on a rather long drive – these are perfect for road trips – still, all four of my children were captivated by every word of this tale. I admit, I was a bit wary when it came to the content of this story since it is a rather tragic story. Any story that speaks to persecution is certainly a difficult one. Yet my children really were inspired even in the moments of sorrow. As always, we look too, to the many conversations which we are able to have because of the experience we are sharing. And are we not told that in this world we will have tribulation? Yet He has overcome the world so whatever comes our way, we need to know and be sure in our faith, so that we will not be shaken.

Because I have an older son who often chooses not to participate in worship services right now, I found the very beginning of this story to be spot on! As we begin our adventure we meet Sir George and two younger boys who are not exactly where they ought to be. This is where begin to hear the story of the Hugenot Wars; of the freedom to worship that was won for us so long ago through great faith. We travel back and meet Phillip (and his cousin), who is quite the swordsman. Only 16 yet choosing to go to battle to fight for his right to worship the Lord. I think we all enjoyed watching Phillips grow from an immature and impulsive individual to a strong and loyal young man who is willing to do whatever it takes to serve his God.

Can we even imagine what it would be like to not have the right to worship? This was certainly something that dumbfounded both my boys. A reminder that we have a choice, that was not always the case and in some places, it still isn’t.

My boys loved all the battles; I think they spent quite a bit of time too checking out details on some of the methods that were used. We talked about the value of the worship that was offered up, in the midst of the battle, first by just one, and then by the multitudes. There can be power in just one person’s example. Perhaps that could make us pause to carefully choose our words and actions a bit more. Also, we saw repeatedly how the Hugenots would work together; they would find creative solutions to problems. Like stacking up cow carcasses to keep the enemy away.

My boys also had the opportunity to learn more about tarring and feathering; as I’m sure you can imagine this led to quite a bit of research into different forms of torture that were used so long ago.

There are so many amazing lessons to be learned within this story. Certainly there were some darker moments but even in those, you could feel the light shining. And isn’t that a lesson, perhaps most important of all, to know how God is always with us.

As a mother it was reassuring to me, a reminder too, that while now, today, our children are young, foolish and impetuous, simply impossible, God works within and while one day Peter denied the Lord, he later went on to do great works for the Lord. We need to only be faithful in what God calls us to. There are so many great work God does but we cannot even see now. But when we are home at last, oh the things we shall see. Greater works than these. We simply need to press on!

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Ramblings

Hello again!

It’s been awhile since I’ve really been present here. I wish I could say that my lack of time spent here have been due to busyness but I fear it has been more due to a darkness that seems to have settled about me.

I think I have been soul searching. I have been looking back. So I can I think of Lot’s wife when I say that, but in this case I think I have been looking back to remember. In a season where I feel stuck and far from my God, and it’s about going back and recalling all he has done.

It has also been about bringing to mind my story. I heard it said recently that our testimony is the most powerful thing God has given us. I ponder what I am doing right now with mine.

I am seeking and I am waiting and I am praying. I do not know the purpose for this darkness but I feel it ever present.

I remind myself of the truths within the word of God. I speak them over myself and over my family. If I’m honest though I sometimes wonder where the power is?

Some days I feel as though we have lost our first love. I see my husband and I know he was made for so much more. My oldest son to work so hard to get away from having to work at all, potential I feel being wasted. A power and a purpose, is unity, lacking in our home. I wonder why no one else in our family feels stuck as I do.

There’s so much more that God has for us, I just know it. But we have to press in and we have to press on. We need for him to renew our mind and our spirit.

Do you ever just sit and watch others in your church service? It is inspiring to see the reckless abandon in their worship. Encourage me to pray for those who want to see just struggling to get through. We lift our hands, we lift our voices in an offer of sacrifice and praise. Or do we?

so I pray that the Lord never allows me to be in that place or I do is simply to get it done. I never want to go through the motions when it comes to my God. I never want to take for granted all the freedom and realize that I have because of His great sacrifice.

Yet lately I feel there should be so much more. More love, more power. How can we show ourselves faithful to our Lord, if we are not striving to do more each day?

I have had some hard and dark feelings. Things I needed to confront and dig into. Moments when I wish I could just run away from it all. Thoughts reminding me all the things I imagined I would do and see when I was younger, that I have not.

I see to read for him my thoughts and to search deeper into my story… I do believe I am being led to share my journey. That’s turning but it’s sometimes dark and sometimes just me feeling just awful. It’s time for some of the thoughts I think and the feelings that I feel to be shared.

The thoughts and feelings are not all right but surely I am not alone and perhaps by sharing another can find some light.

We are made for so much more. I refuse to settle for anything less than all that God has for my family.

TOS Schoolhouse Crew Review

The Brinkman Adventures Season 6 {Review}

Who doesn’t love a good story of adventure and faith? Danger and the power of saving grace? There is that and so much more to be enjoyed, for hours on end, with Brinkman Adventures. We have been enjoying these missionary audio dramas for so long and now, we are excited to share their newest one with you, Season 6: Underground Rising. While the Brinkmans’ are a fictional family, these stories are based on real-life experiences in history. A great way to grow that desire within any who have heart for missions. v We received a digital download of the audio files for this review. This is a great way to enjoy those long drives that we so often find ourselves taking as of late!

This season includes four stories taking place during World War II; learn all about the Dutch Underground in this two part story. The second half of this season contains two parts that tell the story of the Free Burma Rangers. While I have always considered myself pretty knowledgeable when it comes to historical events, these were both very new to me. I love how these stories can engage in so many ways. The stories are told in such a way that you feel as though you are there right along side the characters. And when the stories are over, there is so much you know but so much more you are eager to learn. I love anything that encourages and grows curiosity. Especially with my older son who is a rather reluctant reader and writer at this time, the value and the lessons within these adventures are powerful to me. And to him as well, even if he doesn’t quite see it for himself yet.

SEASON 6: UNDERGROUND RISING Contains the following Episodes:

55 – Dutch Underground Part 1 {During the time of the second World War in Holland; features Reng and Lynn VanKesteren, Netherlands}
56 – Dutch Underground Part 2
57 – Twice Born Fly {Understanding Salvation}
58 – I Wonder Why? {Learning to trust God’s Plan. Missionary family in India}
59 – Free Burma Rangers Part 1 {Follows missionary Dave Eubank from school through career and onto mission field in Burma, Thailand/USA}
60 – Free Burma Rangers Part 2

Each episode in this season is approximately thirty minutes long; this makes this easy to listen to any time really. I like how easily accessible and listenable (is that a word?) they are for my younger ones now. So often if we are not out and about we are hesitate to begin something that may go longer than we do. My children (mostly the younger ones) may get frustrated when we have to stop in the middle of a good story. Or when they cannot remember what happened previously. Or perhaps the story just goes longer than they would like. These are perfect for those who are still working on greater attention. My boys when they get really involved may beg me to “just drive” so they can finish the story. Easier said than done. Because of this format, whether small or large, young or old, these really can be enjoyed by all. 😛

Want to know something really cool? My oldest daughter (who is seven) really loves this part – On their website you can see photos of the actual people and places in the story. How amazing is it to be able to see the faces of the people; to hear their stories retold in podcasts by loved ones. To enjoy seeing some of the things that had so much meaning to them; like the teacups that help to provide such Gezellig. If you like learning about amazing, powerful words that exist in Dutch alone, you can find some others that really make you see things differently. My younger son got the opportunity to see and hear what it takes to be a part of the Special Forces. He was really impressed watching a video of water jumping. And what a blessing to see, just a bit, into the training that is required of those Free Burma Rangers. If only we all could complete the training they have, what a powerful change this world could see.

I love how in every episode there is something new to learn; there is a greater experience to be had. These are not just stories but they are true events based on real people who faced great trials; who sacrificed much. Who overcame trials and temptations to share, boldly, the goodness of what the Lord has done. These make you laugh (when someone swallowed a fly – I want to do a sing a long right now) and they bring tears to your eyes (as you work alongside the family in the orphanage in India – always was a dream of mine to do this – God willing!). The Brinkmans’ are like friends in our home, that’s how often we listen to and enjoy their stories. Each challenge they face, each adventure they go on and share with us, has so many powerful lessons for us and for our children. I love that I can enjoy these with my kids and that we can have some deeper, more thoughtful conversations too, because of how these stories open our eyes and open our eyes. It is my prayer that my children may be saved, that they may stay saved and that they m,ay have a deep longing in their heart to see others saved.

Brinkman Adventures Season 6 Reviews

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TOS Schoolhouse Crew Review

Books of the Bible At-a-Glance { Review}

There is nothing more important for our children than to learn the Word of God for themselves. And there is so much to learn. Much like the layers of an onion, no matter how long we study there will always be something exciting and new. My oldest son turned thirteen recently; my other children range in age from three to nine and I am always on the look out for materials that I can use with them to help them to see and understand the value of the Bible. So naturally when I learned about Books of the Bible At-a-Glance printable pages from Teach Sunday School,I was eager to explore these! One of my favorite things to do with my kids is learn “why”. Isn’t that what this is all about? Making sure our children have the information they need to choose who they shall serve? 🙂

Wouldn’t you love if there was a simple way to learn all about the sixty six books that make up the Bible? Only one page, but full of details about so many things. Who wrote that book and when? Where is it located and what are some of the stories I can find ? What better way to see how it all works together. One book at a time. One page at a time. Maybe this is for reference, or perhaps for someone new to all of this whether young or old. Learn what you can find and where you can find it quickly and simply. Of course you still want to study the books for yourself (so much goodness in every one of them) but what better way to encourage someone than this? It isn’t overwhelming and it helps to build a firmer foundation.

For this review I received a pdf file of approximately 74 pages – you can print off as many copies as you need for personal use. Each & every book of the Bible has it’s own one-page reference sheet. This is recommended to use with ages 4-12 but we used this with all four of our children. There are an amazing number of Bible printables also to use as you learn and explore the goodness of God. We did not use these for this review, but I am eager to check them out once we have completed this review because a lot of them look great! So many coloring pages and puzzles; things every one of my children enjoy. So much fun! And shouldn’t learning about the Word be fun? The JOY of the Lord is our strength.

Begin in 4004 BC and travel to 95 AD as you explore every book of the Bible. Learn the most famous verses in each book of the Bible. Since we are spending a year in Bible doctrine for our year of Bible quizzing, it was fun to explore these haphazardly. Moving from Joshua to Deuteronomy, then to the Proverbs and Psalms. As we learned verses in various books, we enjoyed looking into some of the important points made within each book. Whether prophecy or history, the timeless and powerful poetry we know as the Psalms., there are so many amazing things for us to learn. In a relaxed and simple way. These are a great way to help our children connect the dots as they see the progression of time and also begin to see some types and shadows from the Old to the New Testament.

Isn’t all this information great? Every card shows you the date it was written and the time period that particular book covers. Not sure who wrote that book? You can find out. As you can see, this is the sixth book in the Old Testament and it tells the story of Israel, the beginning of the nation. It was fun to hear my kids responses to the verses listed as most famous – some verses they already knew from years of quizzing – some times they wanted to “contest” the most famous verse, citing a more well known verse (in their eyes anyway). We also enjoyed exploring the famous stories in each book – this was good encouragement for breaking out the Bible and reading some of those stories too. I do wish this section would have included some locations in the scriptures. Still it is fun, good exercise, to search the scriptures. Finally, let’s dig into some of the important points within each book. Perhaps this is a summary of the kings who did right in the Lord’s sight. And then perhaps lessons to be learned from time spent in captivity. We see, sometimes gentle and sometimes harsh reminders, given to those who are falling away, forgetting the value and the blessing of the commandments God has given and the promises of His covenant old and new.

I have to say I am SO thrilled that we had the chance to learn about and experience the materials that are offered by Teach Sunday School. Be sure to check them out; if you sign up for their newsletter you can get their “Why Gratitude is Important” handout along with some other fun and powerful ways to encourage our children to learn and grow in their walk with God. Let our children learn and rejoice in the goodness of the Lord always!

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TOS Schoolhouse Crew Review

Forensic Faith for Kids ~ David C Cook & Case Makers Academy {Review}

 

There comes a time for every one of us, I believe, when we begin to question what we believe. We begin to wonder how we know that something is really true. We consider for ourselves, what it all means. As our children get older it is great to be able to have these conversations and times reflection. It is also helpful for them to have materials they can use on their own, in their personal search for truth. One of these we have found, and are really enjoying, is the book Forensic Faith for Kids, and its counterpart, Case Makers Academy from David C Cook.

 

 

 

One of the really neat things about this book, is that it is written by a cold case detective. This is someone who once was lost (he was an atheist) and now is found; using his detective skills he searched the scriptures diligently to find the answers to the questions so many have. What an amazing way to learn for yourself, if this faith of ours is really true!

 

The adventure begins when Bailey goes missing (who doesn’t go looking for a missing puppy). When Hannah invites a new boy to youth group and learns of his doubt that Jesus really God, she goes on a search to find proof that Jesus is indeed who we say he is. I think of how the Bible tells us that it is important for us to be ready to give an answer to any who ask, for the hope in us.

 

The book is amazing; my younger boy was unable to put it down. They loved the illustrations. My younger son really liked that throughout the pages of this book there were CSI Assignments and Detective Definitions.And of course, as a boy who already loves tools, he really enjoyed the Detective Bag where he was able to learn and read how to use, various tools in his bag of faith. 🙂

 

 

My older son is very much a visual learner. He was intrigued by the Case Makers Academy and really dug into that. This is a fun and free program that really encourages us to test all things. As you work through the challenges online there are various pages to print and complete to create your very own Cadet Academy Notebook.
Each one discusses a different topic ranging from, defining what faith is to defining what our duty as Christians is exactly. There is even a Leaders Guide to go along with each section so we mommas (or dads too) can follow along and help them to better gather and understand what is set before them. 

 

I love how both the online and the academy are full of opportunities to learn and test our faith. From puzzles, to simple exercises filling in the blanks, as we read we learn not just how to think but also what the Bible says, for ourselves. And isn’t it wonderful all of the proof that there is to show that Jesus really is King of Kings and Lord of Lords. 

 

As we read, daily we see how this is an answer to the prayer to “increase my faith.” In this day and age it is vital for every one of us to know what we believe and to know why we believe as we do. This is how we can ensure that we will be able to stand fast and be bold for our Jesus. 

 

 

Forensic Faith for Kids {David C Cook  and  Case Makers Academy Reviews}

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Blogging those Books

THE SPIRIT OF GOD ILLUSTRATED BIBLE {REVIEW}

Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty! 

 

The Word of God has so much to say about His Spirit and what a powerful and needful thing this is:

 

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, [19] To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.

 

One thing that is needful – I believe – is to be sensitive to the Spirit’s leading in our lives. In this book are approximately 40 stories that help our children to learn and understand the way that God has for us to walk in.

I know my girls especial;y enjoyed the stories in this Bible; a fun way to learn about those things that are most needful in our lives.
And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD;

 

 

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SPIRIT OF GOD ILLUSTRATED BIBLE

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