Still Life…

It’s that crazy time of year. Lots to do and lots to celebrate.

I’m the first person to acknowledge that lately it’s hard to stay focused and to keep my peace.

We traveled for this last holiday and while it was nice to get away it was even nicer to come home again. For the moment anyway.

But then we get to unpacking. Trying to find a place for everything so everything has a place. And in our little house that can be a real challenge. Maybe even an exercise in futility? Haha

I often remind myself that those other houses we visit that are so clean and tidy and organized are full of people who work and whose children go to school. I remind myself that my children are educated at home and all the work that I do is done at home. A perfectly tidy and always clean home would be impossible.

Yet even remembering that there are days when the piles of stuff and the mess and the toys strewn all about the house gets to me. When there isn’t enough time it can be frustrating and when you aren’t even sure where to begin that can make it even worse. Has anyone else ever joked that it would be easier if the house just burnt down?

As we have been moving further away from doing formal school at a table and has made it even more challenging to manage the home. So many projects. So much experimenting and creating. Oh all the wonderful things… but where does it all go?

We have drawers and closets that are full of things. Many of these things my husband put there for safekeeping. Boxes of stuff that we keep just in case…. but just in case what?

As our family grows and as our children explore it seems the stuff becomes more and more. My younger son: wood carving and tools . My oldest son: leather working and painting and drumming . My oldest daughter: ballet and baking and stuffed animals. And my littlest lady: dolls….lots and lots of dolls.

So where can it all go? And what do we really need?

Being that for as long as I have had children I have been organizationally challenged I know things need to change. I know that the mess cannot continue to exist. I accept that there will be some mess but our current mess just won’t work.

So I pleaded with my husband to consider letting go of some of the stuff that we have been hanging onto just in case I asked by children to reconsider the books and the stuff that they have. Did they love it? Can they consider leaving it?

As I work each day I remind myself but it’s not about stuff. We can’t take any of it with us. Sometimes what we have the comes who we are. Other times what we have keeps us from becoming who we are meant to be.

I think about the scriptures say that the wise woman builds her home and the foolish tears it down. With her own hands. I wonder sometimes if she tears it down because she’s so stressed by all the stuff. We cannot let all this stuff getting away of the greater task that we have been called to.

It is a reminder that we need to seek first the kingdom of God. May we never be so busy or tired or distracted by the things of this world but we cannot focus our eyes on the only one who really matters.

Blogging through the Alphabet {The Letter H}


Shem is Hebrew for “name”; Ha before it being a definite article, “the”.

Phillippians 2:9-10 says that God has exalted Jesus and given him “the name that is above every other name”.

God’s name shows his power, holiness, righteousness, trust, protection, mercy and love.

When we call on his name we call upon His presence. When we act in his name, we act with his authority.

The name of God in Hebrew is only four vowels. Tradition says that only the high priest once a year on Yom Kippur could speak the name of God. This is because they knew that speaking God’s name is meant to be done wisely. It is a powerful name to speak and it is possible to misuse and dishonor him if we are not careful.

The very first mention of prayer appears in Genesis 4:26 when “the people began to invoke the name of the Lord.”

God’s name is above every other name. It is who he is. When we pray in Jesus name we pray with power. We pray to a holy God one who dwells in our midst, hears and responds to us.

Blogging Through the Alphabet (The Letter G)

Here we are, coming together for another week of blogging through the alphabet.

It has been already a powerful and refreshing kind of week for me. There is nothing it brings a mama more joy and peace then when she sees one of her babes choose to be born again baptized in Jesus name. My younger son surprised all of us Sunday night when he made this decision for himself.

My Redeemer. And now my son’s Redeemer too. Whatever would we do without our redeemer?

God is referred too often as the Redeemer or the Ga’al with in the Old Testament.

But what is a redeemer? Do we truly understand redemption?

Redemption involves winning back or repurchasing something that belongs to you or to someone else. In the Old Testament we see redemption in the exodus of God’s people from Egypt.

In some situations there might even be a “kinsman redeemer”, one who was perhaps a close relative and able to pay off a debt so land could be returned or a person could be freed.

In the New Testament, Jesus is no more called the “redeemer” but is now spoken of as the one who offered himself as a ransom or redemption by his death on the cross. Jesus camp to set people free and his blood was the purchase price.


By his death Jesus brings us out of disobedience and into obedience. When we here his words and obey them, there is redemption for everyone of us.



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God is in the Room

I just dropped my two boys off for a week of camp with our church body and it’s quiet around here (even with my two little girls still here).

We have been having a rough time with our kiddos. It’s been a season where I have determined to put everything else aside and just focus on our hearts.

So often we get so caught up in all the academics (maybe you don’t but I know I do) and in our way is to make sure that they’re reading and writing and math are all at the “right” level we forget to take care of those hearts.


My oldest son has had quite a few struggles to this summer. Things that I don’t even like to speak out loud because it just amazes me but he knew what was right and still did what was wrong.

Someone told me that “boys will be boys” and that “puberty does that to our kids” but I just can’t accept that as the answer.

Unfortunately that means there has been a lot of fighting in our house. And not just the kids fighting the kids. My husband pointed out to me the other day that I have to stop allowing the fight. He pointed out that we can’t fight if one of us won’t engage in the battle. And I wonder sometimes we have to fight for what is right. When I boys I lost in the wilderness I think we need to fight for their hearts.

And watch my boys while you’re at the park the other day just playing. I was reminded that my boys are still children. They’re both older but they are still tender and they still take joy in beautiful things. I can’t blame them for not enjoying those beautiful things if I don’t give them the opportunity.

We get too busy. I know I get too anxious. I see all the moods and the fighting and on that bad day I forget about all the good days.

I remember a sermon I was listening to recently let’s talk about that very thing. We find Jesus and we expect that everything is going to be perfect from that point on. We do not always realize that there will still be storms that will come our way. Perhaps when those storms to come our way we fall away. Maybe I’ll face gets shaken just a bit. We were so sure before but now we begin to doubt if Jesus is really in control.

We spent a year in the book of Galatians with our churches Bible quizzing group. There was some tough times as we recited and memorized verses that spoke to our hearts. The works of the flesh… The works of the Spirit… You have no doubt which ones belong to you. And now that you know them you must claim them and cast them off.

Everyday we said those versus was a reminder to me that this word the God gave us, it is so precious and it is so powerful. He didn’t give it to us just simply read but to make a part of ourselves. We must hide his word in our hearts.

There is so much that can happen simply by knowing and calling on the Word of God. His word is always true and it is always what we need and it is always what we need! 😍

Blogging Through the Alphabet (Letter E)

I fear I have been falling behind as the weather has been getting nicer. Even though the rest of the game just started on the letter F I wanted to share my thoughts on the letter E.

I really have been enjoying blogging, this time around because I have been blogging through the names of God and I have found so many wonderful, beautiful names for our great God.

I knew that for this one I wanted to share about the El Shadday. When so many days have been a struggle, pressures and questions on so many things….I just wasn’t sure what tomorrow would hold, I was always able to stand firmly on my God Almighty.

God revealed himself as God Almighty to Abram. He spoke of the covenant that he was establishing with him. This was an everlasting covenant.

When we pray to El Shadday we are praying to the one for whom nothing is impossible.


This name is sometimes translated as God Almighty but when translated literally it means ,”God, the mountain one.”

Almighty God. All mighty.

The Creator of all things. So powerful and so wise that He never changes. He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. Like the mountains and the valleys we know that He will always be there.

Blogging Through the Alphabet {Letter D}

It’s been a challenging couple of days….You know those? Where it isn’t anything specific but it just seems to be a struggle. Each moment. Details. Things are just off.

So please forgive me for being behind on things; being absent for a time from my blog.


There are so many days lately where I feel empty; I cannot compose a thought to share. Without the leading of God, I tend to wait. There is a restlessness and a weariness in my soul.

On these days when I feel like I am stuck in that valley, I am reminded that God, is my defender. He restores my soul, He leads me, He makes me rest. He gives me strength. He reminds me that He is for me.

I am saved by the blood of my defender – When things seem to be going wrong and when it seems you are just going from one fire to the next – there is rest in God our defender. Whatever challenges we may face today, tomorrow, whatever burden we are carrying that is causing us to be weary – Let us lay it at our Lord’s feet. Let us continue to do well for we shall, in the right season, reap IF we just keep on in His strength.


God has reminded me over and over again

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Shine On!

There are times in all of our lives when we wonder, what difference what we’re doing really makes… It has been that season for my family.

As we have been trying to settle into a more relaxed pattern of learning for the summer I have begun to wonder…. I believe in home education with all of my heart. I believe that when God says that there is a way that is right he really means it.

My oldest son always reminds me of my need to put on the armor of God each day. He really wears me down as of late.

I sat with him the other day and tried to get some ideas from him as to what he would like to do. I was hoping to see some sparks… Maybe some direction, curiosity. My younger son knows exactly what he wants to learn and do. My older son is almost apathetic about everything lately. Except video games. And in case you can’t guess I’m not a fan of video games.

He is disgruntled and wants nothing to do with learning of any kind. He says we do too much already, even though he barely does anything at all. Bible study and reading, writing and math… It is such a struggle to get any of it completed each day. He has just decided he hates learning. He has decided no one can tell him what to do.

Oh, Lord give me wisdom.

Since my father-in-law passed my husband has been really reconsidering where we are and where we ought to be. He came home from morning prayer a little disgruntled the other day. It was the holiday weekend and there was talk of a get together. Nothing we were invited to. He can be quite sensitive sometimes.

It got us talking about the fact that even though we love our church, even though we are a part of the body of Christ, it doesn’t really feel like it’s where we belong. It never has. And it was a reminder to him that we are are that family. Left out and uninvited.

Yet when we visit the church is parents attend up north we feel at home no matter how long it’s been. Small and simple, they preach exactly what the Bible teaches. There is always a feeling of peace there.

Left out and uninvited. I never really minded it. I always say that I don’t come to church for the people who are there but simply for the Lord. And I have my family who even on those days when they challenge me, they are still blessing enough.

I feel for my husband. A bit of Sorrow that Our family in our home isn’t enough. And then I feel his pain also. Although I am not close to my family, certainly his father was one of those people who everyone enjoyed being around. It’s hard I know.

Know Your Worth

I have recently begun delving into a bit of Biblical Hebrew. I have wanted for some time now to study more deeply like this.

I decided to begin when I did because honestly so many things seemed to be coming apart… In the midst of all the chaos I could hear God calling me to come and sit at his feet.

And so I have taken a break from the harder work. I have slowed down and spent a lot more time listening.

Are we not told to be quick to hear and slow to speak and slow to wrath?

I don’t know about you but I can certainly use some practice in these areas. 😋

I’ve spent some of my days questioning the how and the why of our home education. Mostly as it relates to my oldest son who becomes more and more resentful and rebellious with each passing day.

I think of little boy he was who sang with such gusto and played I got such a heart for God and I know he is somewhere in side of this bigger boy who’s struggling and making some awful decisions.

I tried to give him space and I try to trust that God is working within. I cannot see it but there is a great struggle going on inside of this young man. This time in his life when he is questioning things and needing to see you for himself… Although I wish he could live this life for God simply because he always has I know that there has to be more. I know that he needs his own experience. Perhaps his own moment of wrestling with God.

In times like this when things seem to be falling apart (my husband is just now really feeling the effects of his father passing away; compounded that with his oldest son making some very unwise an ungodly decisions) it is so important for us to step back and see things from God’s perspective.

It is so important for us to know our worth. This is the times when we must stand on the Promises what God has for us. We cannot be shaken. We rest remembering that we already have the victory.

I read the other day, “though we are as insignificant as dust, we reflect the glory of God himself. Sadly too often we struggle with knowing our true worth. We foolishly use competition and tried and comparison to try to build ourselves up but all to no avail.

Herschel wrote, “seeing each human being there is God’s image ought to lead us to the love of our neighbors and even of our enemies.”

Praying For IT

In this season I’m learning a great deal.

Not just about myself but also about my relationship with my Lord.

I am seeing some gaps in my faith.

It was confirmed to me this weekend at my father-in-law’s funeral. It was so eloquently put how my father-in-law was a man who sought after peace and who always was speaking to add to his faith.

Are we still growing? Are we still aware?

I have always loved to learn. I have always firmly believed that the goal is to be better tomorrow then I was today.

It it sometimes it’s easy to fall into a state of ambivalence.

Obedience and kindness. Patience and humility.

As of late I have felt like I do not have the fruit that I ought to have.

There is something missing.

I think that I often pray fervently.

More than anything I pray in the spirit…..

I absolutely believe and make a point a fasting and prayer.

I study the Scriptures daily.

I’m always searching for a greater understanding.

Is there anything better to have a deeper walk with the Lord?

I think of how important it is for us to add to our faith. And daily. As we move into a new season I see the value of praying even more fervently. Of desiring more love… Especially for those who are lost.

Let us pray together that the Lord would create in me a clean heart and renew a right spirit in me. That he would give me such a love for the lost that like so many of those great men and women within the pages of our Bible we would stand in the gap for them. We would boldly petition the Lord that they might be saved.

Less Can Be More

Can I tell you a secret?

For a long time I have been that Mom. You know the one that hovers?

Super involved in every little thing. Quick to jump in when a kid needs something.

In my in my opinion this was always the best way to ensure that my children were cared for and protected. For a long time I was certain that if they knew that I was there and if I met their every need all the time they would feel loved and we would have an amazing relationship.

Fast forward to my oldest son who turns 13 this fall. We are struggling quite a bit. As my husband and I were talking about it the other day, he pointed out to me that even though I don’t realize it, I have hurt our kids by being so present for them all the time.

So what is a mama to do? When we have always hovered what do we do when we don’t anymore?

I I tell you this mama has started really buckling down and reading more. Because I love to read and it’s so seldom that I really get a chance to read something that I want to read. Don’t get me wrong we do a lot of reading aloud in this house but most of the time I am trying to gear it towards things that interest my kids.

I do enjoy ballet and I love a good story of knights and Pirates. But there is something about being able to sit down and read Jane Austen. Or enjoy one of the works of Shakespeare.

I’ve even had the opportunity to pull out some books on crochet because I would really like to be able to crochet. Or net. And when I stop hovering, I have to be able to do something else of purpose.

So what can a mama do to encourage Independence in children she is coddled for too long?

It all starts with making a plan and teaching them how to do those hard things.

For my kids it started with making some goals. I had each one of them make a list of the things that they wanted to learn.

We talked about what matters to them. My younger son wanting to master the art of telling time. My older daughter wanted to learn how to draw unicorns and ballerinas. And my oldest son decided he wanted to really learn how to play hockey.

I think we could all agree that we can get so busy doing that we don’t have enough time to reflect and plan. We are not purposeful or intentional. We simply do whatever is before us at the time.

Do we know what we really want out of life? Or are we simply getting by doing the next thing we see?

It’s a concept I have been working on for both myself and my oldest son. There are so many things in our path each day, we have to be wise as to how we will spend our time.

Sometimes the thing that is right in front of us isn’t really the best use of our time. It is important for us to be good stewards of the time which God has given us.

For the moment cartoons or video game may seem like a great idea but at the end of the day when we’re at the table completing reading and writing and math instead of having fun family time, we have to admit it wasn’t the best decision we could have made.

Can we start encouraging independence in our kids by being more intentional ourselves?

It can be hard to sit back and watch as they struggle. You want to jump in and give them something to do when they complain that they’re bored.

But how much more do we learn when we are given the time and the space to figure things out for ourselves.

So so if you are looking to help your children to become more independent start by taking a step back. Expect a bit more.

Do some strewing. If we surround them with opportunity and inspiration they will step out. But we have to expect more. And we have to give them time.

I often say that home education is nothing more than walking by faith. The fruits of our labor may not be seen for many years and sometimes it may seem like what we are doing is all for nothing. But that is where faith comes in.

It’s the little things that make the difference. Seeing the older brother help his sister learn how to read. Watching the kids work together to learn how to draw dragons or 3D shapes.

Can we just trust the process? Each one of our children is fearfully and wonderfully made. Created for Unique purpose by our great God. Shirley whatever God’s plan is for each of our children we need to encourage them and help them learn how to speak and hear for themselves.