Thursday, December 2, 2010
With this study I've gone from one side of the spectrum to the other. I entered the study with great anticipation, certain of my salvation, looking forward to a deepening of my knowledge of and relationship with my Lord and Savior.... then was perplexed to question my salvation- because of the depth of my sin and the ongoing nature of it. I've questioned God's grace upon a covenant broken, for the times I've made wrong choices (sinned) when I've known I shouldn't, wondering if God's judgment should/would be upon me. Then, by God's amazing grace and healing power, because of His enduring love for me, being reassured that NO sin- my sin included- is not beyond the redemptive, cleansing blood of Christ. He's shown me that I can No Longer live in such a way as to cheapen the work Christ did on the cross- the covenant He cut with Me- and You- No Longer cheapen the grace God has poured out upon Me - and You- to take away my sin- and yours- for all time: past, present, and future.
"The truth of covenant is in accepting that although we are not all we ought to be, we are in process." (2Corinthians 3:16)*
Through it all, the Lord has shown me that I've left my First Love and had begun at some point to live under the Law vs. living under the new covenant of Grace... I'm so very thankful for God's grace and desire to draw me unto Himself continually, to not let me live under the condemnation of the Law, but to bring me to living in Freedom... a Freedom that can only come from Him!
"Now the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep through the blood of the eternal covenant, even Jesus our Lord, equip you in every good thing to do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever, Amen." ~Hebrews 12:18-13:21
*Covenant, God's Enduring Promises by Kay Arthur. pg 187 pp4
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Saturday, October 16, 2010
And it can free you too... of any shameful memory, open would, unthinking mistake, or willful choice.
It is God's grace. It changes lives. In his book, "Captured by Grace-No One Is Beyond the Reach of a Loving God," Dr. David Jeremiah chronicles the lives of two men whose lives were forever changed by the overwhelming power of God's grace. In this book, Dr. Jeremiah bridges the span of time by connecting the lives of John Newton, a slave trader in the 1700's, who penned the hymn, "Amazing Grace," and Saul, later called Paul, who was chief in murdering the Christians of his day in AD 45. In so doing, he illustrates the depths of God's grace all the while challenging his readers to seek Him, deepen their relationship with the Savior, and understand more fully the extent of the grace of God.
All in all, Dr. Jeremiah takes his readers on a wonderful journey, though it was at time a little tedious going back and forth between Newton's and Paul's lives. But if you're looking for taking your relationship with the Lord deeper, this book is a great resource, and I would recommend it.
I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com <http://BookSneeze.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”"
Thursday, September 2, 2010
.... and who knows, I may even have the time enough for myself to go to the gym.... :)
That is the most difficult part of being a stay-at-home homeschooling mother is that I quite literally have no time to have a hobby or do something just because it's something I enjoy. I know this is a temporary season of life and I am so thankful to the Lord for allowing us to have this time w/ our boys, but I do long to have just a little something I like just for me (I should add 'and have the energy to do it' to that).
So, here's the scoop on our 4th Grader:
Saxon Math 5/4
Writing Strands 3
Intermediate Language Lessons
My Father's World History- Creation to the Greeks
Science (which follows the history program)
Art and Music
Reading from his reading list
Here's the scoop on our 2nd Grader:
Saxon Math 2
Adventures in Phonics 2
Language Lessons for the Well Trained Mind
MFW History - Creation to the Greeks
Art and Music
Reading from his reading list
There you have it. Our core subjects (math, language arts, phonics, etc.) we will complete this academic year, but our history and corresponding science we will take 1 1/2 academic school years to complete, which will allow us to keep a simplified schedule. :) We also have a service day once each week where we clean my mother's house and will focus on some God-directed act of service for someone else as well...
What about all of y'all?
Saturday, August 21, 2010
So, with that said, I have accomplished goal #1: a bi-weekly menu plan! (The plan only includes dinners.) And I have to say that my husband is an amazing man for being on board with this b/c he does appreciate variety (hence the two-week plan). So, here it is:
Sunday: Leftover Chili
Tuesday: Leftover Mexican
Wednesday: Family meal at church
Thursday: Crock pot- pork, w/ rice, steamed veggies and salad
Friday: Brinner (eggs, sausage, toast & juice)
Saturday: Chili w/ Salad
Sunday: Leftover Hamburger Soup
Monday: Chinese- General Tsao's chicken & sweet & sour chicken, fried rice and salad
Tuesday: Leftover Chinese
Wednesday: Sandwiches, fruit and veggies
Thursday: Pasta night! Chicken alfredo and salad
Friday: Homemade pizza night
Saturday: Hamburger soup
Now, while this is the plan, dinners will vary a little depending on my dear husband's work schedule... homemade pizza night (one of his specialties) will probably be for his day off so he and the boys can make dinner together, etc. Overall, I'm REALLY excited about this since I can have a standing grocery list and regular grocery day each week (the trick will be figuring out which day will be grocery day! lol).
Phase 2 of my scheduling madness (and yes, it is madness) is a workable daily schedule and as I've written out most of our weekly activities, I've realized that life is just be BUSY and I need to quit complaining about it, embrace it and rejoice in and trust the fact that the Lord has given me the strength, endurance, and patience to go where we need to go and do what we need to do. (Though I do long to return to the days when we were home all day most days and were out and about only a couple.)
The problem with all this scheduling madness is that my husband is not much into scheduling and planning and is much more spontaneous and fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants than I have become. (I used to be that way until having children forced me to become more structured.) I have very often wondered why the Lord gave me such a husband that loves spontenaity (spelling???) when I find the most peace in structure and stability... probably since my own childhood could be characterized by unstability and chaos much of the time, so I learned to just go with the flow and fly under the radar so I wouldn't be noticed too much. :) So, with that said, I do need to keep an attitude of flexibility in the midst of all my scheduling madness.
All in all, I'm looking forward to another amazing school year!
Monday, June 28, 2010
"In the beginning God..." Genesis 1:1
God... Elohim... was there in the beginning. The name Elohim designates God as God. 'El' means "mighty" or "strong", and the 'him' ending of the name Elohim is a plural ending- more than one. The triune God. In the beginning there was nothing else just God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. He is timeless. He had no beginning like we did, He has always existed.
"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." Genesis 1:1
So, in the beginning there was God. Nothing else. Then.... God created... light out of darkness, form out of the formless, life where there was no life.
"The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters." Genesis 1:2
All He had to do was speak...
"Then God said, "Let there be light"; and there was light." Genesis 1:3
He is our Creator... the Creator of all things- not just at the beginning, but everything and everyone since then- including you and including me. I was created in this time, in this place, for His glory... and so were you...
"For you formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother's womb. I will give thanks to you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; wonderful are your works, and my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth; Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; and in Your book were all written the days that were ordained for me, when as yet, there were not one of them." Psalm 139:13-16
Monday, June 14, 2010
This is an excerpt from the back cover of Richard Stearns' book, "The Hole in our Gospel" in which he explores these questions and challenges his readers to re-examine the depth of their faith, to step out and care for the widow and the orphan, the poor and needy of our world. He begins the Prologue with an account of him sitting with a young boy of 13 years who was orphaned and caring for his younger brothers in Uganda... a powerful story that brings tears to your eyes. Stearns then tells of how God called him to be the President of World Vision, his struggles and insecurities of leaving a lush, affluent lifestyle and a world he was familiar with to a life of complete surrender and service to the Lord - a world full of hunger, sickness, utter poverty. The book ends with a Question and Answer section from Stearns' wife, as well as a Study Guide for personal use or use with a small group. All in all, this was a deeply moving book and I would recommend it to everyone who longs to wholeheartedly follow Jesus.
I received this book from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their booksneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to post a favorable review- the opinions/review posted are my own.
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
To have the opportunity to have a husband, children and a home to care for is an amazing gift from the Lord, yet, the author consistently complained about how unfulfilling it all was for her - both in being a stay-at-home mother and also in her marriage. Though I understand she was not at that time in her life seeking the Lord, I never did receive that one awesome 'God' moment, where the lightbulb went on and she sought after him with all her heart and was blessed for it. Instead, she set out to prove her self-worth in going to college, divorcing her husband, and making it on her own... all of which she has done.
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
I'm wondering what y'all do to tame the restlessness within?
Monday, April 5, 2010
Saturday, April 3, 2010
Walked Christ my Savior, weary and worn;
Facing for sinners death on the cross;
That He might save them from endless loss;
Blessed Redeemer, precious Redeemer;
Seems now I see Him on Calvary's tree;
Wounded and bleeding, for sinners pleading;
Blind and unheeding, dying for me;
"Father, forgive them," my Savior prayed;
Even while His lifeblood flowed fast away;
Praying for sinners while in such woe;
No one but Jesus ever loved so;
Dying for me;
Oh how I love Him, Savior and friend;
How can my praises ever find end;
Through years unnumbered on Heaven's shore;
My songs shall praise Him forevermore...
This song 'Blessed Redeemer' by Casting Crowns is one of my favorites... I couldn't have expressed myself any better than this...
Thank you Lord Jesus for your Redeeming Grace....
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Oh, how I ferget that gentle, tender, reassuring nature of the LORD! Yes, I'm forgiven, I'm redeemed, but more often than not I imagine God in anger/disappointment mode with all my daily failures. Yes, I know in my mind that gentle, loving part of His nature, but in my daily walk do I really live like I believe that? Sadly for the most part, no.
My prayer is that my Lord would break down that barrier of how I view Him according to my personal life experience and really show me who He is according to His Word...
Friday, March 19, 2010
So, a few months ago, the Lord put on my heart that I really needed to work to build the bridge between our families... to actually 'love my neighbor like I love myself'- as much as I didn't want to. Quite honestly I wanted to just be mad at them for being negligent parents, and 'stand my ground' against the inconsiderate friend. But, of course, that's not God's way... and when He convicts a person to do something, He doesn't just let it go and forget about it. He'll make sure you feel the 'Pressure' until you do it! Last week Thursday I pulled into the driveway to find the inconsiderate friend parked in the driveway and Brianna getting the girls buckled in her car. So, I waited patiently to pull in, naively thinking the friend would back her car up 5 feet so I could finish pulling in and then they would be on their merry way. Oh, but not so. She pulled forward and tried to force me to back out- which I did not- and actually I thought she just might hit my van (she was very close). I 'stood my ground' and waited until she backed up to let me in- all the while I could see she was in quite a rage (not the first time I've seen her cursing me).
I was feeling very badly about that incident and decided I needed to really 'wo-man up' and go talk to Brianna. I took her flowers on Sunday - after much prayer of course- and apologized for not having a very humble heart on Thursday, and asked if she would be willing to come over Friday afternoon and 'hash it out.' A big step for me, as I've never really 'hashed it out' with anyone. So she came over this afternoon and we talked for a long time about life in the bubble, our expectations, hopes, desires, and frustrations. It was really good. The Lord blessed us through this time and we both are looking forward to a much better- more PEACEFUL - summer this year! Thank You Jesus!!
Saturday, February 27, 2010
That blindness... where did it come from? It wasn't always there... I remember a time when I could see everything so very clearly. I could see my love for all that he was and all that he could be, and it was amazing. Everything was so perfect. He was perfect, our lives were laid out before us with so much hope and expectation of great things. Great things did happen, you know. Like when our first daughter was born, then our second and third. Things got really hectic when they came along, but oh, how he loved them with all his heart and so did I. He was so sweet with them, I loved to watch him hold them, cuddle them, play with them. All our energy went to raising them. I'm sure he didn't mind when I bought new furniture without talking to him first... I mean, really, it was a great deal! I know things were tight for us for a while, but everything turned out okay. I sure was busy with school for quite a number of years- it was always my dream to go to college... what does he mean I haven't talked to him much lately, doesn't he know I'm busy with my schoolwork? What? Does he think this is easy? I deserved to follow my dream of getting my PhD... I gave up so many years when our daughters were young. Why is he saying these things to me? Doesn't he see that I deserve this? He's just being so selfish! I never noticed how awful his hair is before, and that morning breath, seriously, I can't stand it when he tries to kiss me before he brushes his teeth. Ugh! Sex AGAIN??? Is that all he thinks about? Can't he see how tired I am? I've worked all day and now this?!? Sheesh! We were just together last.... last..... oh, I don't remember, but it wasn't too long ago. When did he change? It seems as though it happened so quickly, but if I think back and try to remember, I don't remember the last time I actually looked at him. But why would I want to? He's off in his own world now, and I've got mine. He's so selfish, always working and going camping. He asked me to dinner last night... how could he even think I could do that? Seriously! I have so much to do... oh! wait, I'm going to take a break and play a game of Solitaire. I CAN'T believe IT!!! He's been having an affair!!! What a jerk! How could he do that to our family??? I need that income to support our family, after all I don't get a paycheck all summer long until August! AND SHE'S UGLY to boot!!! After all I've supported him through, how could he do this to me and our girls??? I can't believe I ever married him! He needs to figure out what he wants... either he comes crawling back on his hands and knees begging for forgiveness and proves to me he is worthy of me or he will never step foot through my door again!
The devil seeks to steal, kill and destroy... and he's doing it with our friend's marriage...
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Saturday, February 13, 2010
Last night in our small group the ladies committed to reading Proverbs 31 each day- my personal commitment is to read it each day for 31 days- and seek the Lord as to what He would change in me during that time...so I don't know if I'll be able to keep up w/ a daily check in, but I'll give it my best to do that... :)
Day 1... I've read Proverbs 31 several times, listened to different teachings on it via radio, etc. and have always come away with something(s) that God is working out in me to continue conforming me to the image of His Son... so I'm looking forward to what He has in store for all of us during this time... :) My prayer is very simple... 'Heavenly Father, show me what you have for me here in Your Word'... though I have no major revelation, the verse that sticks out to me is this:
26 ~ She opens her mouth in wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue...
I have quite the tendency to just rattle stuff off without thinking first both w/ my blessed husband and with my dear chlldren... my desire is to always use my words in such a way that will honor and glorify our King ...
May your day be richly blessed...
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
We survived so far with no h1n1 flu, no sinus infections, no bronchitis, no croup, no walking pneumonia, no ear infections... Praise the Lord!! Our typical fall-winter-spring sickies usually begin in October and go on and off regularly through May. Caleb is usually the one who gets the worst of it with his allergies and all. This is such a big deal for us because our insurance is not great and we really cannot afford the extra expense at this time... once again (as always)the Lord has provided for our needs! :)
For us, the sickies usually include movie time (Jacob D's favorite), reading time, and snuggling up on the couch together... oh, and don't forget Mom waiting on the stricken party hand and foot... "Mama... would you get me something to drink?" "Of course, sweetheart," I say from across the room. "Here you go" and hand him his glass (which happens to be on the coffee table in front of him. Yup. My dear mother doted on me just the same way when I was sick as a little one, so I'll continue the tradition. :)
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
She has some really great and fun projects for kidlets of all ages/grades, from the simple to the more complex (at least in my mind- I need things that are simple!) Anyway, give it a try if you're looking for something a little different for your curriculum...
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
To play..Grab the questions..copy them onto your blog..answer them..come back here..put your link in and let the Sunday Fun begin!
Let's get this party started!!
1. Do you iron your sheets? ABSOLUTELY NOT!!! I don't iron... period!
2. Your dream car is....? The one I'm driving! Stow-n-Go is the only way to go!
3. Do you have an innie or an outie belly button? Innie
4. What meal do you look forward to the most..breakfast, lunch, or dinner? Probably Breakfast... I really love a good bowl of cereal and a piece of toast
5. Favorite mascara? I have no idea... whatever looks like it will do what it says it will (or won't) do- like leave smudge marks...
6. What would you say your decorating style is..traditional, modern, eclectic, country, french country, shabby chic, etc..? The "undecorated style"... yes, it's true... I took a 'find your decorating style' test on HGTV's site and that's what came up... so I guess my house is perfect for me! NOT!! LOL
7. Have you ever been skinny dipping? Even during my most rebellious seasons of life I would not go skinny dipping!
8. I hate the smell of...? Fish!!! Ugh!
And there you have it folks!
Monday, January 25, 2010
Friday, January 22, 2010
Without faith it is impossible to please Him; for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him (Heb. 11:6).
It seems like just yesterday when I heard those two precious words... "HE'S beautiful!" And I knew we had our Caleb... This weekend we celebrate his 9th birthday (his actual b-day is next Tuesday). It will be a fun time for him and his friends and family that will come and celebrate with him, and yet a little bittersweet for me... As he gets older I find I seek the Lord's wisdom more and more in just how to shepherd his heart... we're hitting the 'tween' years, which are quickly becoming almost as dreaded by parents as the 'teen' years (though I don't feel that way and hope I never do). Anyway, I'm so thankful to God for this precious gift! Children truly are a heritage from the Lord. "Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are they. Blessed is the man whose house is full of them."
My dear in-laws come in from Wisconsin this afternoon to spend the weekend with us... we are very excited because they are coming in early and staying until Monday! YAY!! :) My dear sister-in-law and nephew are coming up from Detroit on Saturday, though we're not sure if she's staying until Sunday or not. There's always contention there as she's not a believer, and, in fact, is quite antagonistic towards Christianity and Christians. My heart aches for her, her husband and our nephew for the empty life they lead filling their void with crazy working hours and lots of material stuff... so I keep praying for them that the Lord will reveal to them the true source of their emptiness. Saturday finds us celebrating Caleb's birthday with friends and family, and Sunday worshiping the Lord with our church family... a glorious weekend indeed filled with many blessings.
May your weekend be just as blessed as ours will...
Monday, January 18, 2010
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
"Do you love Me, or do you love Christianity?"
WHOA!!! Stop the presses!!! Aren't they the same thing? Well, we all know the answer to that.** The truth of the matter is that I love Jesus... but I've lost sight of that and begun to put too much importance on 'being a Christian' and doing all the things a good Christian woman should be doing. Do you struggle with that? My heart longs for the day when I am so completely consumed with Him and His ways that my normal response to situations is exactly what Jesus would do...
Are you pursuing church or are you pursuing the Kingdom? When Jesus heard this, he said, "Healthy people don't need a doctor - sick people do." Then he added, "Now go and learn the meaning of this Scripture: "I want you to show mercy, not offer sacrifices. For I have come ...to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners." Matt. 9:12-13
Lord, hear the cry of my heart...that I would be a woman that truly loves you with all her heart, all her soul, all her mind, and all her strength...
** the answer is 'no' if you didn't already know that
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
This year, I am going to play more with my children- without an agenda...
This year, I am going to seek the Lord each day- especially those days that are chock full of activity...
This year, I am not going to feel guilty over my failures, but will give them over to the One who can Heal all those broken pieces...
This year, I am going to read the Bible with the intention of knowing Him more intimately, not just to add to my personal "Christian to-do list"...
This year, I am going to seek the Lord in being a better wife in a couple of areas in which I am failing...
This year, I am going to take better care of myself spiritually, physically, and emotionally... and finally...
This year, I am going to learn to rest in the Lord...
Monday, January 4, 2010
The truth is I'm not...
The truth is I'm just as weary as I was in October, November, and December...
The truth is that for no reason in particular, I am just a little sad...
The truth is that I crashed a long time ago and I don't know how to get back on track...
The truth is that I know all 'the right things' to do, but have little to no energy to actually do them...
The truth is that I am not half the person I desire to be and worry that my children will suffer for it...
The truth is that I wish I had someone to really talk to about it all...
The truth is that this year will be a great year and God will do amazing things in me, in our family, in our church, in our community, and in our country...
Saturday, January 2, 2010
The latest book I've been reading by author Emerson Eggerichs entitled, "The Lanaguage of Love and Respect," is an excellent follow-up to his previous book, "Love and Respect." Though I didn't read the original "Love and Respect," my husband and I worked through Eggerichs' DVD series of the same title with our small group Bible study. This was eye-opening for both of us - as we have on occasion disagreed on different matters, and ended in a frustrated heap with our heads reeling wondering, "what in the world just happened???"
"The Language of Love and Respect" is an excellent addition to any married couple's library. One of the greatest things about the book is that you don't have to read "Love and Respect" prior to this book, as Eggerich thoroughly covers the 'Love and Respect' basics before tackling more specific communication challenges couples typically face. There are tons of practical helps for women and men who literally don't know how to respond when their spouse says/does something that seems unloving or disrespectful. As with anything, the suggestions and helps in this book are not a 'cure-all' nor are they a formula for a marriage that is perfectly happy all the time... marriage takes work... but with the tools presented here, a heart and mind open to the Lord, and a willingness to living up to God's calling as a wife or husband, anyone can make a blah-marriage into a great one.
All in all, Emerson Eggerichs' "The Language of Love and Respect" is a great book for married couples in all stages of their marriages. From the honeymoon phase to the separated, being able to communicate WITH one another is a vital component in a healthy - and happy marriage... it has certainly made a difference in my marriage!
I know my children are very creative and love adventure, but I certainly hope that I- nor anyone else in our home- would have any broken bones as a result of their creativity...