Value & Understanding

“Only those who value and understand themselves can value and understand others.” Danny Silk I think the best piece of motherhood advice I’ve ever received was, “take time to take care of yourself because you’re only as good to your … Continue reading

Surprise!

We recently had an incredible surprise… We are unexpectedly expecting baby #5! Ironically, we discovered this precious little miracle within days of scheduling the appointment that makes adding to our family impossible.  Paradoxically, we’d been grieving the end of our … Continue reading

Five Years Ago Today…

It’s our 5-year anniversary for one of the sweetest miracles we have walked through. Joshua Iason Noah was born in the evening of September 17th, weighing just barely 6lbs, being induced early for safety reasons and deciding to arrive so … Continue reading

Confront{ation}: denoting a result or product of action

“Can I be completely honest with you,” my friend asked me one evening as we lounged together.  These words have become comfortingly familiar.  She is a woman whose friendship has become a source of life and strength.  I often walk … Continue reading

About Our Back-to-school Plan

It’s here!  

The school year has kicked off with enthusiasm and hope.  Actually, we are in our second month of school, being the homeschooling family that we are… Ambitious?  Maybe.  However, we sat the kids down and explained a basic principle.

~Regardless of when we start, the same amount of work has to be done.  We can start early and finish early, start on time and finish on time, or start late and work later into next summer. ~

They chose to get an early start!

The school system we use is 24 weeks long.  We use a classical curriculum and once a week we meet with a large group of students, breaking into age appropriate classes.  We also meet with a smaller group of friends – other moms and their kids going through the same system.  This is the first year we are doing this, and it’s been wonderful!  The best part is we came up with a point system that challenges each of our kiddos to raise the bar in family life.  The kids spend 7 days earning points for specific goals and each time we meet they bring their accumulated points to add to the group’s goal of having a party.

We gave them fun names:

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With descriptions we all agreed on, and each of us tweaked for our specific family dynamics:

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They each get chores to check off daily.  Bigger chores for big kids, little chores for littler kids:

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And chores are explained and posted so there isn’t any misunderstanding:

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Which makes the side of our fridge into our points station:

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So far it’s been a really good start to the year.  I should add that my older two are in a challenge program working toward earning a special incentive trip at the end of the year for mastering all their school material. That’s 24 weeks worth of history, english grammar, geography, math, science, latin grammar, US presidents, and a passage of scripture memorized in english and translated in latin!  This is on top of writing & presentation assignments, memorizing grammar charts and dissecting sentences…

Have I expressed my mommy-pride loudly enough?!

It has been a handful, I have to admit.  I’ve had to become more routine and disciplined than I ever was while we were in a traditional school system.  With a kiddo just starting his school journey, two kiddos entering a new phase of their learning and development adventures, and a toddler enjoying life in the mix, a routine has become our life-line.  So has our support system – the other mommies and homeschool kids who understand both the sometimes intense pressures, responsibilities and amazing freedoms that come with a homeschooling lifestyle.  Gratefully we have both families in our classical system of homeschooling, and families who are pursuing different methods – both are refreshing, adding perspective and creativity I wouldn’t have on my own.

Whatever your schooling adventures are this year, we hope you are having a wonderful start and are full of hope and joy each day, overcoming hardships and enduring through the challenges in order to taste amazing success and victory!

Bound{aries} a line where the bound-up are set free

“Saying no to something actually means I am saying yes to something more important.” (KV)   When we first got married, my husband and I encountered one of the biggest challenges we have faced in our married life.  How to … Continue reading

Difference

There is a conflict I have been consistently refereeing among my children.  I call it the battle of fairness and sameness.

As a mom I’ve made it clear with each child from the beginning that it’s not my job to make life fair, nor will I attempt to reach the standard of treating each child the same.  Just the thought of attempting those impossible feats exhausts me.  My children are far from identical, even if they all bear a resemblance and share their Daddy’s amazingly long eye lashes.  Then there is the difference between the boys and my daughter… age differences factor in, and then each incredible personality comes into play.  Fairness and treating everyone the same just doesn’t work in my mind.

That doesn’t mean that each child isn’t treated fairly, or that I don’t love them all with the same profoundly deep love that boggles my ability to understand it.

However, fair for one child isn’t fair for another.  And showing love to my daughter in the same way my oldest son feels the most loved would (and has!) cause her to feel suffocated and irritable.  Each of them loves it when I display that I know them well enough to know these individualities.  They love being called out for their unique contributions to our family, and being fussed over for something their sibling can’t do as well.  And all four of them have time in the limelight.

Just not all at the same time.  Or even on the same day… or in the same ways.  And this is where the battle comes in.

At times they get so focused on what they aren’t getting that all they see is what someone else has, or is receiving.  They completely forget what they’ve got and what they were just given.  Its like they forget who they are and what they like.  Not only that, but when it comes to consequences, they completely forget that they were the ones choosing a behavior to begin with.  Well… don’t we all at times?

I can’t make life fair for my children because I can’t make their choices for them.  Nor can I forget that they are so incredibly unique, requiring different approaches and styles of instruction. What one child earns another child might get gifted, simply because without the gift they’d never reach the prize.  It’s not fair.  But the child who earned it needed the exercise in growth to reach his greater potential, while the child who got a gift wouldn’t have tried without grasping encouragement in his pudgy little fingers first.   One child has privileges the others don’t enjoy.  The others don’t have this child’s responsibilities either… it’s not fair.  They are not the same people.

Isn’t it that way with adults too?  I found myself complaining to God about the unfairness of a situation.  His response was profound in my heart.  Child, I didn’t create you for fairness.  I created you to know Me and because I wanted to get to know you.  I will always do what is right for you, and I will always place the opportunities for your greatest joy within each one of your days.  And I will always be cheering you on to choose the things that are designed for your perfect life with Me.

We do this among ourselves though…  We walk into a room and size up the competition.  If it happens to be our turn in the limelight, life is so good – it’s fair.  If we happen to be repeatedly watching others succeed or gain promotions it can be as if we forget who we are and what we really love in life because we aren’t getting the attention or things we see others possess.  Jealousy’s monstrous voice  says if it’s not fair to me, then it should all at least be the same for everyone… At times becoming so focused on what is fair or how to keep everything the same for everyone that we forget what truly brings us joy. Each of us have an opportunity for immense joy every day if we choose it; if we will settle down and be content with being different.  Letting what is fair be different for each person and enjoying those differences.

Differences designed by Creator God, for His pleasure, for our joy should we choose it, and for purpose and destiny in His perfect plan for unity within His family.  Just like in my own family, in His family we are all called out for our unique contributions and skills by His love; we all have moments in the lime light.  Some of us work for what others are simply gifted.  Some of us enjoy great privileges that others don’t because we don’t carry the same responsibilities.  Some of us have to wait longer than others, and some of us receive a prize we’ve been waiting years to claim, while others begin their wait on the same day… none of it is fair.

Just different.

 

 

Psalm 91 {my habitat}

refuge; a place to go to find where you find protection from something dangerous or threatening, to flee to, a shelter for protective purposes.
conquer; to take control of, to defeat, to gain control of through great force or threat.
plague; a large number of harmful or annoying things, a disease that causes death quickly to a large number of people.
home; the place where a person lives, a family dwelling together in one building, a place where something and naturally located.

Jesus, how precious is Your name to me! You remind me that there is no place on earth, above it or beneath its depths, that I can hide from You.  No matter where I run, You are there. And You also make it clear that the only safe place I will ever find is by hiding in You. When You are Who I turn to for comfort, conversation, and instruction; when You are where I look for answers and to find provisions, when I am normally found in Your presence, as if in my natural habitat, then I am fully hidden in You.  This is where I find perfect and supernatural protection.  No evil will be able to take control over or defeat me, and plagues will bypass me.  Do I even know the value of these words?

LORD, stir in my heart and in the minds of all who love You, to hunger and crave understanding of Your ways.  Wake up sleepy minds to the present power of Your promises, the relevant application of your Word this day.  Savior, teach us to know You in such intimacy that all who are looking will find You when they see us in perfect peace.  Amen.

 

“If you make the LORD your refuge; if you make the Most High your shelter, no evil will conquer you; no plague will come near your home.”

No Weapon?

Think about it… “No weapon formed against me will prosper…” What does this really mean? Of course there are the spiritual weapons… trials, temptation, deception… but the verse doesn’t say, “no SPIRITUAL weapon formed against you will prosper,” it says, … Continue reading