Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Thankfulness Journey

Give thanks in all circumstances, 
for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:18

It is fitting that I was distracted when starting my thankfulness list. I wrote at the top of my page "Thankfulness Journey" instead of Thankfulness Journal, which was my original intent. However, I like the idea of this project being a "journey." The idea certainly was not original, just something I've "heard of" several people doing. But, it was an idea borne out of frustration with the constant, "Can we go/have/dos" and the "We never gets...." and the "But I don't haves..." that I feel like I'm constantly hearing. It seems like we leave one fun activity that was super fantastic, and they're already asking what's next, instead of lingering over how great that activity was. The "thank yous" are far and few between, without reminders, and I'm frustrated.

But then...perhaps I haven't been the best example. I've been feeling incredibly discontent with things in my life. While I do treasure the little things, and am grateful for them, and rarely forget my own manners, I have had a discontent spirit. My furniture is falling apart now, after many years of being used as a vault and mat, my floors still are not finished, my kitchen looks like a picture of something from the Brady Bunch, and we are struggling to put groceries on the table. What I tend to forget, is that God literally provided all our furniture, and we didn't pay a dime for it! I forget to be grateful that Hubby the Hero mops all my floors (and he's doing it now). I also forget that some of our most amazing memories come from that antiquated kitchen!

Not only have I struggled with discontentment in my "home" but also with the people in my life. Sure, they are all sinners and will let me down (and that is true of myself of course) but they are also blessings! My discontentment has spread to relationships! I shudder to think how dangerous this is! My dissatisfaction with my kids, my husband, and myself have led to dissatisfaction with my God. It is viral! It spreads like fire in a windstorm! And, it is so dangerous. And, I'm sorry! I'm sorry to my family and friends who have had to deal with my sour attitude. And, I'm sorry to God for allowing it to grow inside of me and affect my relationship with Him!

SO- the cure for this nasty virus.... I will be intentional and purposefully thankful. As I've told the kids, each day it gets harder to make that list, we need to be keeping our eyes open for opportunities to be thankful. What nice things have people done for us? What are things we don't like/enjoy and what about them can we be thankful for? For example I don't like washing dishes, but sure am thankful to have food! What can we learn about God from this? I've started two projects to help me be intentional. The first is, as you have already seen here, the list the kids and I are making together during our Bible study time. We will continue to daily list 5 things we are thankful for without repeating. If we list a person, it has to be followed by something specific that they have done to make us thankful. It is making it so that we have to pay attention during the day. The second project is to help remedy the dissatisfaction I have felt in my relationship with my husband. He truly is a guy most other wives would want! Other husbands should take notes.... but I've taken that for granted, and I want to remedy that. So, without saying more, just know that I'm working on that, and I will eventually share some details.

I'd love to know if you are interested in joining me in this journey. I'll email you the details of the project for Hubby if you like, and will probably "advertise" heavily about it when I'm done, but would love to have you join me on any part of this thankfulness journey.

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of Jesus, 
giving thanks to God the Father through Him.  
Colossians 3:17

Give thanks to the Lord for He is good;
His love endures forever.
Psalm 118:1
I'm linking up here:

Monday, July 30, 2012

Singing Verses

You may remember, I wrote before that my main focus this year was to have a consistent time of Bible study with the kids.  Part of that includes our Hymn Study and our Scripture Memory.  I'm happy to report it is going well.  There are times, like this week, that we'll miss a couple of days of Bible because I won't be there, or I'll be sleeping due to work. But, for the most part, I have been sure to make this the last subject we skip, instead of the first.  I do that just as much to remind me that God's Word is more important than math, as it is to show the children that God's Word should be a priority in life...

Several years ago I was blessed (and have been many times) to hear Pam Tebow speak.  One of the many gems I picked up from her was that they put their memory verses to music.  What a cute idea, right?  Well, my son absolutely loves this idea too and is such a great help at coming up with song suggestions and helping me to fit the verse into the song.  Now, sometimes the verses are short, and we just use motions.We are using Simply Charlotte Mason's Scripture Memory System to keep reviewing our verses and it is working really well!  SO, we've taken two great ideas, and combined them!!!  I thought I'd give you a list of verses that fit easily into some popular kids' songs.  There are others that aren't as easy to fit, so this will not be an exhaustive list of verses that we have done, but some of the easier ones.  Maybe you can have as much fun as we have!

Tip: I write/type the verse on one side of the index card, and put the title of the song we use on the back.

Phillipians 2:14-16 (Jingle Bell Rock) *repeat 1st line at the end.

Ecclesiastes 12:1 (The Birdies in the Treetops)

Acts 2:17 (Jesus Loves Me)

Luke 11:13 (Keep Walking- from Veggie Tales)

Psalm 46:1 (God is so Good)

John 4:24 (Pizza Angel- from Veggie Tales) *speak the address at the end

Colosians 1:16-17 (Keep Your Tongue From Evil...which is another verse!)

Psalm 56:3-4a (Big Bad Wolf)

Psalm 22:28 (3 Blind Mice)

Revelation 4:11 (Doe a Dear) *This verse fits such that you sing it twice and the second time through starts at so (a needle pulling thread).  I really like this one!

Judges 5:3 (Jingle Bells)

Deuteronomy 6:18 (Row Row Your Boat)

1 Samuel 16:7b (London Bridges) repeating the words so that the first sentence is verse 1 and the 2nd verse 2.

My personal favorite:  The Great Commission fits perfectly into.... Yankee Doodle!  Matthew 28:19-20

*Disclaimer* Some of these verses were put to songs by one of our very talented teachers from CBS.  Others my son and I did. 

Have fun!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Weekly Wrap-up

This week has been amazing... a few field trips, a little school, some time in the kitchen, and wonderful fun together, as well as a nice surprise... I can't believe I'm already to the end of the week, and about ready to head back to work! It will probably be easiest if I go day by day for this wrap-up.  

Monday was a fantastic day.  I was just getting over my 24 hour "death bug" and might have overdone it, but it was wonderful!  Swim team is over. . . that means no more leaving by 0730 every morning!!! Woohoo!  So, back to my wonderful routine! Mommy is so happy!!!  However, we didn't have school on Monday.  Just a field trip.  Baby T spent most of the day with some friends, while Crazy K, Bean Boy, and Little Bit and I went to this great place called Yes You Canvas!  They painted these amazing monkeys that I'm going to hang on my bathroom wall!  *I got the hooks, and then discovered I don't have the right nails! Geesh!  I'll post a picture of the completed monkeys after I hang them.

And, it all started from just one yellow circle! The instructor was great!  Step by step he led each student through and they all made fabulous monkeys! 

After that, we went to visit Hubby at his work/internship.  We were able to have lunch together.  What a treat for us all. Then it was back to get Baby T, home for a short siesta, and then the cooking commenced...

I organize a casserole swap where each participant makes a casserole for all of the other participants.  So, this time we had 7 people sign-up... I made 7 tonight, 1 for myself and 6 for the other families...all the same casserole.  The girls had fun helping in the kitchen... Yummy Chicken Enchiladas from Skinny Taste!

One of 3 pots of chicken I made to go in our 6 casseroles... fortunately I had some left over I was able to freeze.
 The girls were so helpful all doing whatever was asked of them, and offering to do even more! I'm so blessed!

 Well...they're all piled in our deep freeze waiting to be exchanged now.  It has been invaluable to know that once a week I can pull something out of the freezer and dinner is ready!!!

 Oh... and, Hubby the Hero even helped clean up the mess! And what a mess it was!


Tuesday was just a regular old school day! I'm so thankful that Bean Boy had the opportunity to be on swim team, but even more thankful that it is over, and I have my mornings back.  We spent the morning doing chores and school, and then the afternoon was spent at the gym while the girls tumbled and jumped and walked on their hands!  Nothing special to report except that routine makes me happy!
1st grade math is fun!


Wednesday was some more routine, with a twist.  I had bought some clipboards for the girls and myself to keep our daily "list" on.  This year I started to use Scholaric for keeping up with our lesson plans and Bean Boy is starting to get some grades that Scholaric will keep up with too.  So, I print our lists from Scholaric and put it on the clipboards...anyway- all this to say that I got to spend some time using my creativity to color and decorate the clipboards with Crazy K.  It was something I wouldn't normally do, and was a ton of fun and very relaxing.  As time started to get by, we started to sing our memory verses and hymns while we were coloring! Then onto Bible and so forth.
Baby T saying her memory verse with hand motions!

Wednesday is also a gymnastics day, so I dropped the older two off at the tutor and headed to the gym.  On the way, I got a phone call from a friend who was ill and said she couldn't go to the painting class she had signed up for at Yes You Canvas... she wanted to know if I wanted to take her spot.  I wasn't sure about this.  I did want to, and the picture they were painting was one I had wanted to do, but it was just outside of my comfort zone.  When I talked to Hubby about it, he actually pretty much told me to go.... so I did.  And, I'm so glad that I did!  I had a good time, though I found some parts unnerving and a little stressful, I really like my painting.  What do you think? 


My MIL comes once a week to play, I mean school the kids.  ;) She does a lot of the stuff I don't like to work on... flashcards, drills, rote memory type stuff. Usually she comes while I'm sleeping or going to appointments or such, but today I didn't have any of that, so I cleaned! It was fabulous. I cleaned out Baby T's drawers, cleaned the bathroom, cleaned the kitchen (which was a nightmare!) and more!  Then I took a shower.  The kids and I said goodbye to Grommy and headed out to lunch and bowling.  We had a great time bowling with our friends (despite several break downs of the ball return machine!).

After bowling, we returned home to start on dinner...then the ladies came to swap our casseroles... 6 new yummy casseroles in the freezer.  I have one free pass for the next 6 weeks!!! Yippeee!


I'm writing this ahead of time, but the plan is to school, have lunch with my mom, and then I go to work...nothing special.  Another week will have gone by, and we will not have finished our lapbooks before the start of the Olympics! :( BUT, we will finish them next week! Then onto our government study, hopefully.

Favorite Part of the Week

I've noticed a spirit of ungratefulness in my kids lately.  And, I must confess, I've had a spirit of dis-contentedness.  So, last week I asked the kids to list 5 things they were grateful for.  They were not allowed to say people, unless it was a specific thing about that person or something they had done. We continued the list each day, and they were not allowed to repeat anything.  This starts to get hard after several days.  I'll share a couple of things from each kiddo here and probably make a whole new post on our Thankfulness Journals.  It is interesting to see the progression from day 1 to day 5...

Crazy K
Day 1:  House, food, God, Peace, Love
Day 2:  Happiness, animals, Bible, bed, stuffed animals
Day 3:  Ms. Kristy keeping me this summer, my family is healthy
Day 4:  Little Bit saying good job on Baby T's clipboard, quiet time with God
Day 5:  Grommy doing school with us

Bean Boy
Day 1:  math, rain, monopoly, pets, Josh cuz he is funny (Bean Boy's writing cracks me up!)
Day 2:  Bible, God, exercise, scientists, Life of Fred
Day 3:  Ozzie (our dog), physics... and I just caught that he re-listed Bible.... I guess I can't complain
Day 4:  Mom cuz she is my teacher, Dad cuz he is my math teacher
Day 5:  water, my brain, clothes

Little Bit
Day 1:  movies, Mellow Mushroom, shelter, clothes, toys
Day 2:  furniture, trees
Day 3:  going camping with my family, money for our family
Day 4:  Mommy doing my clipboard, Bean Boy being nice to me
Day 5:  ice cream, Jesus

Baby T
Day 1:  family and friends, God dying on the cross for us, house butterflies and rainbows, toys
Day 2:  chickens (our chickens are hers), Little Bit making breakfast, gymnastics
Day 3:  God, Crazy K helping with chores, flowers
Day 4:  Crazy K and Mommy making my clipboard nice, sunset, thankful that we sing our memory verses

This proves that we have so much in our every day lives to be thankful for.  Many of these things are things others don't have... sadly including Jesus!  We are so very, very blessed.  What a lesson I'm learning as I keep a journal too!  It has been a great way to start our Bible study.

Our Bible Time... Thank you Jesus!
 I'm linking up with Kris again at Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers.  Have a great weekend and week

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Summer 10

"Summer" is more than 1/2 way over now!  Can you guys believe that?  Public school kids go back to school in 3 weeks!  I had a list of all of these fun and wonderful things I wanted to do this summer.... I cringe as I sit back and evaluate how far I've come... We school through the summer, so that of course is on my list.  SO... I'm taking a deeeep breath... here goes nothing! (in no particular order)

10.  Free bowling.  CHECK
 9.  Summer Movies. CHECK
 8.  Swim Team. CHECK (This one is going to kill me!!!! It is every morning from 8:00-9:00!!!)
 7.  Read to my kids.... um... well... er... uh... ok... didn't I say I still have 3 weeks left?
 6.  Keep up with school.... we're doing ok with that.
 5.  Swimming.  Uh...well... other than swim team, I don't think we've done much of that.  We are limited too, because I'm afraid Baby T's rash might be sunscreen related!
 4.  TV production.... This one needs a little explanation.  It was actually on my son's list of things to do.  He wants to create a news production with a few of his friends.  We gave out assignments and are waiting to do the filming in August.  We have a guy from our church that will help with the "techno" stuff and even use the green screen!  We're super excited, and I will post on that later.
 3.  Olympic study... we are moving along in this, hopefully will finish by the end of this week, or early next week.
 2.  Election study... well... I'm hoping we can pick this up as soon as we're done with the Olympic study, but not sure we'll get to it either.  Keeping fingers crossed.
 1.  Bible study.  CHECK.  That has been my number 1 goal for this school year, to be consistent and faithful in our Bible study time.  So far, so good.  In my Curricula Corner, I posted about my curricula choices. You can check there to see what we're doing for Bible.

Well...it's not a super exciting list, but we've had a lot of fun regardless.  Remember, I'm doing all this while continuing to go to gymnastics twice a week, work 2 nights a week, swim team 4 days a week, make meals,clean house, take care of my wonderful chilies grocery shop, and tackle whatever else comes along....

All I can say is THANK YOU GOD for allowing me the time to find time for the fun things, and for all the good things! 

I'm linking up with Angie from Many Little Blessings...check it out...

Top Ten Tuesday at Many Little Blessings

Monday, July 23, 2012

Feeling Inadequate

This weekend proved to be a doozy!  I ended up calling in sick for the first time in over a year!  It started out as one of those bugs you think you can push through and work through it... but ended up being a, "honey come rescue me off the bathroom floor," nightmare!  Thankfully, it seems like it was just a 24 hour bug!  I'm getting back to normal...

I know many of you are getting ready to start your school year, or have even just started.  I thought I'd share something I wrote several years ago.  I wrote this during the time that we were having our son tested and diagnosed with ADD/Gifted... I actually gave this at a talk for a small group.  I re-read it tonight, and thought some of you might find it encouraging.

Feeling Inadequate
When I was asked to speak here, I said, "sure," willingly, thinking no big deal this should be easy.  Then we started having some struggles with our oldest, and I became EXTREMELY discouraged.  I thought, Lord, I am not the right person to do this talk… right now I have nothing encouraging to say… Well, you know how God is! He worked in me through those struggles, and well, now to encourage you, I am going to talk about… being inadequate!  

Pretty much that’s what I find encouraging these days…the fact that I AM inadequate.  Well meaning loving friends tell me that I am quite adequate or FINE, but we all know we really aren’t.  Now that I have you all squirming in your seats about my backwards view of encouraging, I’d like you to take a moment to really ponder where you struggle the most with not feeling good enough.  Is it with cleaning your home? Being a mom? A wife?  Teaching your children? Anything else?  Really think about it.

Lord, please show us where we really don’t measure up.  Help us to be honest with ourselves about where we aren’t good enough.  Lord, please help us to place our confidence in you.  May you personally show each of these women where you fill in the gaps in their inability to measure up. And Lord, even though it may seem backwards, I pray that you’ll use each lady’s inadequacy to encourage them, and to help them have hope in You, and to glorify You!  We love you Lord, Amen.

Ok…so, that oldest child of mine that I alluded to…well, he’s been challenging since he could speak!  Strong willed, defiant, needing constant attention, talking without ceasing, know it all… Oh my!  He’s in 4th grade now, and still not really able to do independent work…so, we had him tested, and it turns out…he really does know it all!  He’s gifted and ADD-fortunately, not the hyperactive type.  So- the entire week prior to and after the diagnosis I kept thinking…God why would you give me a kid who is smarter than me??? I can’t raise this kid! I can’t teach this kid!  While at this point, I may have more knowledge, I certainly won’t for long…not at the rate he reads! I can’t do this, I’m not ready, I don’t know how, I can’t, I can’t, I can’t!!!  I walked around for about a week and a half ready to give up the fight for my kid’s soul, thinking there is nothing I can do, because I’m not enough!

God really showed me how discouragement, and feeling inadequate, are a good beginning… God knows me.  He knows Bean Boy.  He knows what He’s given me and how He made me.  AND, despite how I feel, Bean Boy did not get switched at birth, nor did God make a mistake! So now what? Prayer!  And, relying on God’s promises.  I’m not sure which came first, but along the way God reminded me several things.  First, He said, “Kristy I know you; for I have created your inmost being, I knitted you together in your mother’s womb.”  In that same chapter (Psalm 139) He declares that He knows when I sit down and rise up, He discerns my thoughts from afar and before I utter a word, He knows it!  This isn’t a God who knows me from afar.  He knows me intimately…and He knows where I am in my walk with Him, and just how I need to be challenged, strengthened, stretched, and loved.  

I’ve learned over the years to pray about everything.  I mean EVERYTHING.  I guess I’m actually still learning…but God cares about the little things, so I talk to Him about them.  I’ve prayed about everything from schedules, to naps, to lunch, to patience, strength, faith, and the hearts of my children.  God has given me insight on the small things.  He says in His Word for me to cast all my anxieties on Him, because He cares for me.  I’ve heard many of you talk, and aren’t those the things that make us anxious?  Shouldn’t we pray about them too?  

A couple of years ago, we had a huge medieval feast for my son.  I spent months gathering decorations, sewing costumes, planning a traditional medieval meal, researching how to roast a hog, and even practicing with many chickens!  I bought shields (cardboard ones) and spray painted them gold.  I had asked a friend to paint the virtues we were learning on them, and said that just plain black was fine.  Well, I had the table set with real silver candle holders, real silver goblets, and as much gaudy silver and gold as I could find.  We had a throne for King Jesus, and I had decorated it with a red table cloth…it looked like a red backed throne!  When the shields arrived, I was amazed.  Theresa said that no paint would stick.  She tried several different kinds.  The only thing that would stick on my gold shields was silver glitter paint…it proclaimed valor, humility, teachable, honorable, etc. were our virtues!  And, on the shield that would sit on the throne…red glitter paint saying King of Kings!  Now- I know that in the scheme of things, all of that isn’t important.  I certainly did NOT pray about the letters and their colors…I was busy praying the hog would turn out edible, and that Baby T would behave (she was very sick that day). But I honestly did think about it quite a bit…that black really wasn’t going to look great… BUT- God KNEW!  HE KNEW!!! It was very important to me to have it all beautiful and magnificent and even matching.  I felt so loved, and was convinced that He cared about the little things!!! He discerns my thoughts from afar and before I utter a word, He knows it!  What kind of God is this?  What kind of love is this?  Not even my husband cared about the letters!!! Now I have more boldness in asking for even the little things.  Mentally make a list of what they are, and test Him…see if those things that seem little but are important to you, aren’t important to Him as well. God calls us His friends, and the little things are a HUGE part of our friendship with God…

The next thing I’ve learned through being inferior; is that it’s ok, because in my weakness He has been made strong.  There are just times when I can’t. I don’t have the words, the strength, or the wisdom.  I grapple with these feelings of inadequacy the most when I think about my children’s hearts and souls.  Oh how I long to be the mom with the right attitude, words, touches, and perfect sentiments all given at the perfect time… But, I’m not.  I’ve come to realize though, that even if I were the BEST mom out there, it still wouldn’t be enough!  My kids need the Holy Spirit working in them and working in me, more than they need me to be perfectly capable of handling everything.  There was this one time when I thought Bean Boy might be cheating on a spelling test…he just kept looking down and I thought that was weird.  When I questioned him saying, “What are you doing,” he said nothing, and we went on with the test.  I didn’t notice it again.  All tests were done in the same spiral notebook so I wouldn’t lose them… When the next week rolled around, and I had him go do a practice test, he came to me crying.  When he began to tell me why, I could feel my anger rising up, and began to pray (very unlike me by the way).  He confessed that he had indeed cheated on his last spelling test because he had never gotten all of them right and he really wanted to.  Somehow, the Holy Spirit overrode my fleshly desire to pummel him, and turned this into a moment neither one of us would forget.  I was able to say that he was forgiven.  I tore that spelling test out, which had been a reminder to him of his sin.  Then, I threw it away, and told him how when we confess our sins, they become like this paper and are thrown away and forgotten! 

Ladies…I must reiterate that I did NOT plan that ahead or come up with it on my own.  My short little prayer of “Lord, what do I do, help me not to kill him…” was enough for the Holy Spirit to take over in my weakness.  

I want to take this opportunity to say we aren’t perfect.  We aren’t all going to be like that person in our mind…you know the homeschool mom whose house is always picked up, kids are perfect, has a great husband, has all the fun during school…I think we all secretly have someone specific we are thinking of right now!  I have 2 and one of them is here tonight!!!  It’s ok if you’re not like that mom!  In fact, there’s no room for improvement when we are already perfect or perfectly competent… we are supposed to be in the process of sanctification- we are being made to shine, not already “shiny”!  There will be challenges this year in school.  Everything will not go according to plan.  Our kids, our husbands, our friends, and ourselves, will all let us down!  But God won’t.  Take time to pray. Pray about the BIG things. Pray about the SMALL things.  Trust Him.  He knows you. He loves you. He wants what is best for you.  Allow yourself to be weak so you can rely on Him more.  

One last thing… God is faithful.  Did you hear me?  HE IS FAITHFUL, and hope does not disappoint. There is a cycle of suffering here. We suffer in feeling inadequate…it is a painful feeling.  But, as we learn to pray and look to God, we learn He is faithful. We learn He is trustworthy, and we have a little more faith for the next time!  Record God’s faithfulness in your life, and look at the record or put special markings…Romans 5:4-5 Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. 

My feelings of inadequacy could really keep me down.  They are discouraging!  Until I remember, that this is an opportunity to see God work…and the work He is doing, is usually for me and in me…to make me more like Him, to bring me closer to Him, to strengthen me, and to glorify Himself.  And, well, as hard as it is I love Him all the more because of it.

In this time of challenge with my son, I would love to see God just totally redeem the situation…either by making me gifted and ADD too so I can understand him, or by making his brain normal.  BUT, I’m ok with the fact that instead, this is an opportunity for me to persevere and for God to produce character, for me to hope in Him, and for His faithfulness to be proved. While the outcome is certainly uncertain, I am already seeing Him do a work in me.  He is so good!

miscellany monday at lowercase letters

Friday, July 20, 2012

Weekly Wrap-up

This week went by both in slow motion and super speed, if that is possible.  I felt like I was always racing to the next thing, but that the routine made it drag out. We were very faithful in school this week, and I think I met most of my goals! (I rarely meet them all!)

We did manage a few fun things this week.  In fact, there was not one day that we didn't leave the house!  However, Friday is here to change that, until I go to work tonight!

Monday- started with swim practice, we did school, and then I surprised the kids with their first ever bowling trip.  You can read about that here as well as watch a totally hysterical video of Little Bit!

Tuesday- swim team, school, gymnastics

Wednesday- swim team, school, gymnastics, date to see Brave with Little Bit

Thursday- you guessed it, swim team.... after the tears (see how crazy I am?), movie, lunch, school, rest (sorta)

Friday- school, nap, work....

What is really working for us right now is the routine.  Kids are loving the Olympic study (though I think they are tired of cutting) and our science lessons with Apologia's Land Animals book. Today is the experiment... (ok...I'm writing this early on Thursday night, just now realizing I forgot to make the jello for the experiment tomorrow... guess what I'll be doing tonight!)  I can't wait to finish the Olympic study next week and have 4 new lapbooks to show off!  I WILL remember to take pictures this time!

How was your week?  I'm linked up with Kris at Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers.

Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers

Thursday, July 19, 2012


Back in March or April, I signed us up for the summer free bowling program.  Well, we've been so incredibly busy, and I've been trying to keep up with school... Needless to say, we haven't been yet... until yesterday (Monday).

My kids have never been bowling!  What a special treat it was to be able to take them for the first time.  It was quite funny too!  Little Bit bowls like a maniac, running up to the lane and then barely able to toss the ball hard enough to get it to go all the way down.... the ball goes down the lane (slooooowly), and her entire body is flailing!  It was hysterical.  Baby T is so strong, I had to tell her several times to roll the ball underhanded... it's not a softball!

Here is a video of Little Bit... this particular video is the only one I took, but wasn't the funniest bowl she had...but typical!

Bean Boy and Crazy K (my God-daughter) were in a fierce competition... the three of us rolled an equal amount of gutter balls!  I impressed myself by bowling over 100 the first game... Oh my- the second game was HORRIBLE!  Little Bit beat us all, and was 1 point away from 100. She did have the gutters covered though! We will definitely be going again!

Sacrifice? Not really....

Yesterday, as I pulled up to the gym where the girls take gymnastics, I pulled up, got out of the car looked down, and there it was.... a stain on my shirt.  Oh, wait...there were 2!!!  My hair was in the usual ponytail-turned bun and frizzier than you can imagine due to the imminent rain.  I thought to myself, "Ok, here we go again.  Frumpy, messy mom entering the gym, embarrassed to be seen looking this way, but completely out of options."  I felt like the mom with a baby that always has spit-up on her shoulder....only I don't have a baby anymore!

This morning found me in tears as we headed out the door for another 0800 swim practice.  Once again I had not had time to dawn make-up, fix hair, eat breakfast, etc.  I did manage my cup of coffee... Here I am running, running, running, for everyone but me!  Then, I took a nice bath in self-pity for the rest of the day... even while at the movies with the kiddos, during our Bible time, and well, the rest of the day!

Suddenly, I snapped out of it. Got dressed up (mostly before Hubby arrived), dawned make-up, and played my get out of jail-pity card to Hubby.  He took us out to dinner.  Later we went for a walk, and I was able to vent my frustration.  I was able to finally verbalize the root of what my problem is.

While yes, I would occasionally like to have time to myself, fix myself up and act like a girl, I really don't mind sacrificing those little things for the bigger picture.  The blessings that I spend all day serving and sacrificing for are so worth it.  I would do anything and give anything for each of them.  It really isn't a sacrifice.  My true problem, is that I'm frustrated I can't do more.  As the weekend draws near, and work is coming into focus, my heart is heavy.  I'm sad that I'll miss the championship swim meet this weekend, and the party next weekend. I'm frustrated that all the housework, laundry, grocery shopping, etc. has to be done and things organized and ready to go for the weekend.  It makes my heart hurt when Little Bit says, "Mom, I thought we were going to make icees this summer."  I can't do it all!  I want to, oh do I want to... but I can't.

Hopefully, one day, they'll see the sacrifices I make.  They'll see the love I pour out into each one, and know that I did the best I can. I am doing my best- and far better than I ever thought I could  thanks to Hubby and Jesus.  Even if they don't understand, I would still chose to do it over.  I would still chose carefully every labor of love and every sacrifice. 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


Sometimes it's really hard to explain just how in the world discipline can be a good thing!  But sometimes, God gives you insight that is just incredible... (or, in my case, He gives it to my hubby!)  The last several weeks have been a time of high intensity discipline for my son.  The results, as God has promised, have been good... and, it should be noted that their was high intensity love and compassion to go along with the discipline... At the height of the conflict, or maybe right at the breaking point, Hubby and my son had an interesting discussion.

No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace. Hebrews 12:11

First I should explain that for just under a year, I have been seeing a chiropractor.  I started at 3 times a week, and have backed down to 2 (most weeks).  We have "therapy" first where the muscles are loosened so that when Dr. Burke adjusts us, everything moves more readily back into alignment.  At first, Bean Boy, Baby T and I were the only patients.  Recently my husband and Little Bit have begun going as well. Hubby was very amused to sit back and watch.  He would giggle, ask a million questions (we wonder where Bean Boy gets this) and just really be an active observer.  But, when it came to be his turn...well, it was my turn to sit back and giggle!  He really does not like to be adjusted.  He complains, stiffens up, and later says things I can't repeat!  It is so funny!  Laying completely still makes him feel completely vulnerable.  Because he won't relax and lay still, the effectiveness of the therapy is lessened. He also won't go as often as recommended.  It makes Dr. Burke's job harder and it makes it take longer, with more repetition in order to achieve release and properly align the spine, and a longer course of therapy in general due to his less frequent visits.  Once he is properly aligned, he will agree that he can feel improvements, and apparently, they are good enough to keep going back for more.   

Back to the discussion at hand.... Hubby was able to use the analogy of the chiropractor to show how discipline is good.  He pointed out how Bean Boy has made far greater improvements than Hubby as far as his alignments go.  But, Bean Boy has been far more faithful to go, to do therapy at home, and to cooperate while there at the chiropractor.  Bean Boy has been far more willing to be vulnerable to Dr. Burke and to trust her with the work she does than Hubby has.  He just gets right up there on the table and lets her do her thing.  Hubby then explained that when we are "stiff-necked" and stubborn before authority, whether it be parents, a boss, or God, we are much like Hubby is at Dr. Burke's.  If we do not submit, allow ourselves to be vulnerable, and trust, we cannot see progress in our hearts.  However, when we trust our authority, submit and allow ourselves to be vulnerable, God is able to adjust our hearts, and it won't take as long, or be as painful. The only thing I have to add to this analogy, is that the therapy that keeps us "loose" and ready to be "aligned", is meditating on God's Word.  If we "hide His Word in our hearts"....we might not "sin against Him." Psalm 119:11 (my paraphrase). 

I'm afraid that sometimes, this analogy isn't just applicable to my son.... sometimes I resist God's therapy. I resist God's discipline in my life.  I won't trust Him. When I find myself under some sort of discipline, I find it especially difficult to submit, and am more likely to rebel.  I want to argue and stiffen up, and go before Him less and less.  Isn't that just like us?

My son, do not despise the Lord's discipline or be weary of His reproof, for the Lord reproves those He loves, as a father the son in whom he delights.  Proverbs 3:11-12

Hubby and I will fail Bean Boy.  We won't discipline perfectly. We will make mistakes.  Not intentionally of course, but obviously, we don't have all the answers, can't see every situation perfectly, and can't truly judge his heart.  But our Heavenly Father has none of the limitations Hubby and I have.  He can see every situation and all sides of it.  He won't make mistakes and He does have all the answers.  His discipline for us is perfectly selected to adjust our hearts back into alignment with His will.  Isn't He good?

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Weekend Special

Well... I'm sooo excited, and sad! I just spent the entire weekend with my family!!! AWAKE too! A whole weekend! As I mentioned here, I work most Friday and Saturday nights.  I do this so our school weeks can be as normal as possible.  BUT, as you read in my other post, I worked 3 on 1 off 1 on... torture, but it freed up my weekend.

Originally we were going to go to the homeschool conference.  Instead, the girls spent the night with a friend, and my son was with my mom.  We had an entire night alone together.... it was great!  I can't remember the last time we had real alone time.  We went to dinner, rented a movie... I even slept in!  All the way to 0730!  HAHA!  Yes people, for me that is sleeping in!   Once the kids came home, we went to the bookstore, out to eat (3 times in one weekend...I was truly spoiled!) and came home....this is the fun part.... the girls cleaned the inside and the boys cleaned the outside (and our neighbor's yard). I slept in today too... to about 0739! Then, I got to go to church with my family, take an afternoon nap, grocery shop, and watch a family movie... We Bought a Zoo... many tears over that one, but it was good.

I know that probably doesn't sound amazing to you guys.  For most of you, it's probably a pretty typical weekend.  But, of all the things I miss the most about my former (pre-work) life, weekends are pretty close to the top of the list.  And, when I have one off, it's usually because we have something to do.  It is a very rare weekend where we can hang out and watch movies, clean the house, and go to church together. Very rare, indeed.  I'm so glad we got to enjoy this time together and that this week, I don't have to try to squeeze it all in to 5 days!


Saturday, July 14, 2012

Curricula Corner: 2012-2013

Our local homeschooling conference is this weekend.  This will be the first time since my oldest was 4 that I will not attend!  It is kind of sad in a way, but I did get to go to our state conference, and I really don't need anything else... plus, instead of going, we shipped off our beloved chilies to a friend's house, and are enjoying the time alone!!!! WOW- that RARELY happens!

It seems that conference times bring planning times, and there is a lot of that going on with my friends, and in the blogging world.  So, I thought I'd share what we are doing around here.

I've put the girls together. They are in K and 1st...

Bible/Hymns/Scripture Memory
My one main goal this year has been to have a worship/Bible study time.  The past few years we have attended Community Bible Study which I HIGHLY recommend for a great in-depth Bible study, a wonderful homeschool program, and kids program.  BUT, with my work schedule, we struggle already to get our school work done, so one more day out of the house just isn't a good idea for us.  SO, I searched high and low for something my 6th grader reading on a 9-10th grade level could share with my K/1st graders.... I didn't find much.  What I did find was Bible Study Guide for All Ages.  It was really inexpensive, so I figured that if we don't like it, I haven't wasted too much money.  It is a little childish for my 6th grader, so he does all the oral readings for us.  AND, what I've noticed that is just the added benefit, is that he is helping the girls, we have more community in our family, and the kids are growing closer.  We also use a Scripture Memory box/system like the one described here.  We put most of our verses to music- some of our favorite Veggie Tale songs, nursery rhymes, hymns, etc.  One day I'll have to blog those to share with you all!  And, we do a hymn study using 101 Hymn Stories by Kenneth Osbeck, and following the monthly schedule set out by ???? the url is not on my printout and after a long time of searching, I am unable to find it- though we don't do the handwriting with it. 

Right Start Mathematics  *my son absolutely loved Right Start, and I even learned so much the first time through. He is taking very slowly the Geometric Approach level.  It will be interesting to see what I learn this time around with the girls.  We actually have 2-3 lessons in level A to finish up, then on to level B.   Baby T may need some remediation, but she seems to be catching up.

Bean Boy is also using Life With Fred Fractions and will have that finished next week already and be on to Decimals.... He was having problems with these in his day to day work.  Now I will never be allowed  to leave the Life with Fred series.... He LOVES them!!!!

My other BIG goal is to get both of the girls reading mostly independently.  Little Bit has really struggled in this area. Baby T has really excelled in this area.  We have used an eclectic approach to this to try to find ways to help Lydia.  I have used Spell to Write and Read, Simply Charlotte Mason's Delightful Reading, flashcards, and just any beginner book we can put our hands on.  Unfortunately, Little Bit still hates it... I keep praying that will change! 

If we could just do science, I would be a happy momma!  I'd love to do daily nature study.  I would love to get through all of Apologia's science curricula, and probably their other stuff too.  I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE their books.  This year we are doing Land Animals of the Sixth Day.

I truly have a love/hate relationship with history.  I LOVE to study it, read about it, teach it.... but I know so little of it, it makes the teaching part difficult.  Since we are in survival mode this year, I went with Story of the World, Level 3.  Both Little Bit and Bean Boy are listening to the CDs and doing some workbook pages, and such. We haven't really done any of the projects, though I would love to extend our days to 50 hour days so I could do more of this too! Baby T pretty much does gymnastics as quietly as she can while the others are listening...

Computer Programming
Despite my having started a blog, and what you may think, my poor kids have been cursed with having parents that are technological idiots!  Seriously!! If you're not sure, look at my posts that have videos in them... I digress. I am confident one day my son will take over as our technological expert!  He wanted to learn about programming, so I found KidCoder when we were at our state conference.  He loves it, and is motivated to keep going, learning independently.  I did ask the vendor, and yes, he can call or email them for help so I don't have to learn this!  This makes me happy!!!  He is motivated, because in the 2nd book, he will learn to program games!  Happy all around!
I also read aloud from various books.  Right now, Bean Boy and I are finishing up a book that I can't wait to be done with....Robert Louis Stevenson's Kidnapped.  Ugh.... I don't like it!!! Anyway, as soon as we are done, we are going to read.....drumroll please!!! The Hobbit!  We are both very excited about that... then I will unleash him on the trilogy on his own!

The girls and I are reading many short, fun books, as well as the Thorton Burgess Bird Book for Children.  We finished his Animal Stories and really loved it!

We do practice handwriting daily, but usually just from printouts we find on the web, or cards we are making for friends, or something to keep us practicing....

Well, I do believe that about sums it up.  You can read about our Olympic study here.

Link-up here with your plans in the curricula corner, so I (and others) can get more ideas!
I'm linking up to Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers too!

Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers

If you use Apologia, check out Sarah's blog. She has linked up with other Apologia users to help share ideas...
My Joy-Filled Life
Also linking up with iHomeschoolNetwork Not Back to School Blog Hop

Friday, July 13, 2012

Weekly Wrap-up

Well, I told you about my crazy schedule earlier in the week.... 3 nights on, one night off, and one night on!!!  For those of you who have never worked night shift, it is the every other nights that really do you in.  Plus, I didn't have a full "normal" day until yesterday....and by 3:00, I was DONE!  Thankfully, hubby made dinner, and let me sit alone in my room with my computer.

Bean Boy
Bean Boy has had a difficult week too, learning really hard lessons.  I've turned over the discipline to my hubby.... it has been painful for Bean Boy, but the follow through has been something he has needed.  I guess the mommy in me has "given in" more than I'd care to admit. I will admit that I would have given in again!  BUT, the yes ma'ams have returned to his vocabulary, and there is a much sweeter spirit.  In fact, last night, after dinner, I very casually said to my husband that brownies would taste good.  I disappeared into my room for some alone time with my computer, and Bean Boy, unbeknownst to me, found a box of brownies and made them... just for me!!!!  That is the single most thoughtful thing he has EVER done for me!!! No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on however it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who are trained by it. Hebrews 12:11

Baby T
Baby T had an exciting week.... for her birthday back in May, we had asked people to give money to buy her a gym mat.  I've been waiting and waiting for her Aunt to help me (she's a gym coach) get the best mat for the best value....but she works night shift as a nurse too, and we never work the same schedule!  So, I finally manned up and picked one myself.  I showed it to Baby T on the internet, she wanted purple, and I wanted free shipping!  We both got what we wanted!  It was funny that when the box arrived no one (maybe Bean Boy) figured out what it was!  When they opened it, there was a lot of cheering! :) That makes me smile!!!  As if we didn't have non-stop gymnastics already!  At least I don't have to worry as much about their heads on the concrete floor!!!

Her rash has come back, so please pray for her.  This time it is not as extensive.  I'm thinking it is an allergy to sunscreen because we went swimming the day before it started, and it is only in places where we put sunscreen.... We may be seeing a dermatologist or allergist.

Little Bit
Poor sweet girl!  She woke up this morning at 0530 throwing up!  I'm not sure what this says about me, other than showing how selfish I am, but my first thought was....well, my date plans with hubby are ruined!  The girls were supposed to spend the night with a friend and Bean Boy with Grandma.  Of course, when I joined her in the bathroom, her first words, with tears in her eyes, were, "I won't be able to spend the night with [my friend]".  Like mother, like daughter!

Despite the working, and the sickness, we had a good week in school.  Bean Boy finished everything on his list (or will by the end of today).  The girls will have a sick day today.  Yesterday we went to the $2 summer movie and watched How to Train Your Dragon.  That's my favorite kids movie!!!  A little scary for Baby T, but it provided sweet snuggle time. 

Even with the illness, I am looking forward to having a weekend off.  It is probably the thing I miss most since I've started working...weekends. Don't take them for granted! :)

Thank you Lord for another week with my wonderful family.  Even though we have a sickie, I am looking forward to the weekend. Be with us and help us to make the most of our times together!

*Check it out, I've linked up with Kris at Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers!

Thursday, July 12, 2012


It's a funny thing how my love of music has progressed over the years.... It has actually been less consuming due to the fact that I married someone who doesn't care for it.  But, every once in a while, when I need peace in my soul, there is no better way than through the soothing balm of music, the Holy Spirit, and well, belting it out!!!!

Lately, for belting it, I have been enjoying a gift from my best friend, a copy of Come to the Well by Casting Crowns, my favorite band.  The words to their songs are so very thought provoking and just really lead me to worship.  Today in the car we had some deep thinking (as much as the 11 year olds and 5 & 6 year olds can....).  I love the song, Jesus Friend of Sinners. I encouraged the kids to listen to the words and figure out what in the world it meant to "open our eyes to the world at the end of our pointing fingers".  Another line, "help us remember we are all the least of these, let the memory of your mercy bring your people to their knees;" and another, "you are good and your love endures forever".

This is soooo what God is teaching me. Mercy.  It all boils down to mercy.  I got it for free. I should give it for free.  It should "lead my heart".  But, I'm too busy noticing all the wrongs that have been done to me!  Thank God that He is not like that!!!  Instead, He has befriended me.  His love endures forever.  He is good.  So, thank you Casting Crowns!!! Love how your music helps me worship!

Here is a link to the youtube video.... song for thought! 

Please also consider watching the "behind the song" clip too... It was really thought provoking and humbly honest!


I'm so very excited that there are 2 special events going on this year that I get to teach my chilies about.... Can you guess?  Of course, it's the 2012 Olympics, and the Presidential Election.  We are going to spend the next week or so studying the Olympics with the help of several resources.  If you haven't tried out Homeschoolshare, they are the best place to go for all things lapbooking!  And, they're FREE!!! We used their templates as well as a study guide I got from CurrClick.  Hopefully by the end of the study that each kiddo will have an amazing lapbook that they can share with others!

We started yesterday (ok...Monday... been working on this for a while)!  It was so wonderful to have all the kids (including my God-daughter) around the table cutting away while I read to them about the history of the Olympics.  I'm learning so much too!  We will study the history, the timeline, the different emblems, logos, prizes, and so much more.  Then, we are going to highlight certain competitors that I think will inspire the kiddos.  My son started on swim team this year.  We had fun watching the swimming trials and for the first time he really got into competition, and I heard him cheer on Michael Phelps.  That was so fun- and man, the competition between Phelps and Lochte is making for a very interesting competition.  And, of course, my sweet gymnasts were allowed to stay up VERY late to watch the gymnastic trials.  The whole time Baby T was saying, "I'm going to do that one day!"

I think this will be such a fun, fun study, and a break from our normal... nice to do since we always school through the summer!  I would love to see link-ups to what you guys are doing for Olympic study, or election study, or lapbooking....

So- I'm also wondering how you guys go about doing your lapbooks.  I like to have them do all the cutting while I'm talking... a little each day goes a long way.  This year (we usually do 1 big one/year) I punched holes in all the papers and gave each kid their own 3-ringed binder.  Then, per the suggestion of the study guide we had, we used duct tape at the bottom of a ziplock bag, and used that bag to hold the smaller cutouts, glue, and small scissors.  This has been the best organization of all the years.  I have tried large ziplock bags to hold it all, folders, crates, etc., but the 3-ringed binder really seems to make a difference.  For some reason, they can clean it up easier, and without complaining....maybe too it is just because they are older... who knows!

Finished Product
I promise to post pictures of our finished products when they are done....hopefully we will start gluing next week!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Good for my soul...

So, I've promised myself this blog is not going to go by the wayside... BUT, I'll have you know that I worked Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights from 7pm till about 8am every morning...these are supposed to be 12 hour shifts, but nurses can't leave until the job is done, or passed off to the next nurse!  Then, I slept for 2 1/2 hours Monday morning.  After that, I managed to wake up, feed everyone... oh my word, I can't even remember!!! I think we went out to lunch with my bestie and came home for school... Today is only Wednesday.  But, I had to work Tuesday night, the same hours.  Now, today, I did get about 4 hours sleep....only not all at one time!  I had to get up, pick up my son, take him and my God-daughter to our writing tutor, take the girls to the gym, then come home and crash for the rest of my 4 hour nap.... Somehow on Monday and Tuesday I was able to get some homeschooling done, everyone ate all their meals (I think) and they are all still alive!  Me however, I want to die!  I'm exhausted of course.

I have such a mixture of emotions when I'm this tired and sleep deprived.  First off, let me just say I'm very grateful.  I'm so thankful that God has given me a job that pays well enough to support us while only working 2 days!  Whew... I can't imagine adding another night of work into this craziness!  I can't imagine not having any income either!  I am thankful that my husband respects my role as the family manager, and will assist with meal prep if it is already planned, accepts it when I say, "I don't have a plan tonight", and wings it when he needs to.  I am thankful that our strengths and weaknesses compliment each other and we are able to keep afloat during these times of merely surviving.

But then, I'm sad.  I'm sad that I have to leave my kids at night, that we don't enjoy many weekends together, and that our life isn't what I had dreamed....even if it is for only a season.  Next, I feel incredibly angry.  Angry at God, at my husband, my mom, my best friend, the car in front of me... it's silly really.  And of course, the close partner to anger is irritation.  I'm the crankiest girl I know sometimes!  I know it is exhaustion, but it's still an area God has room to improve me!  Until then, the roller coaster ride continues. 

Then, I'm grateful to all of those who love me anyway!  I'm thankful to all of you who will pray for me after reading this! ;)  All this to say that I am continuing this blog, because it is good for my soul.  And, I hope it can be good for yours too.  I did start another post about our Olympic study, but it needs a little work, and I'll be posting it soon!

Until then, let's enjoy the roller coaster ride- laugh, scream, and pray as needed!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Top 5...ish

This morning I sat down, determined to make the list my mom had been asking for.  I guess I blocked it out of my memory, not wanting one more thing to do perhaps, and she had to remind me the other day. She asked me to make a list of my 5 favorite Scripture verses.  I can't do it!  I can't narrow it down enough... I'm sure she's wanting to do something crafty with it and so I can't, for example, tell her I'm in love with the whole first chapter of Ephesians!  I mean, that's where God tells us he adopted us, gave us the Holy Spirit as a guarantee, and lavishes grace upon us.... I remember studying this in a group and it made me feel so special and loved by Him who shouldn't love me!  Psalm 37, is my absolute favorite chapter...couldn't she have asked me that??? Then, well, there's the entire story of Joseph, oh and Esther, and Abigail!  I'm in love with the real people God put in His Word!

So, this is what I was able to "narrow down" before I got interrupted....

Proverbs 4:23 Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. 

Psalm 37:4-6 Delight yourself in the Lord and He shall give you the desires of  your heart.  Commit your way to the Lord, trust in Him, and He will do this:  He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun. 

Ps 34:4-8 I sought the Lord and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears.  Those who look to Him are radiant and their faces shall never be ashamed.  This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him and saved him out of all his troubles.  The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him and delivers them.  Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!  Blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him.

I think I'll have to add in Gen 50:20 and/or Esther 4:14 because I love little reminders that God has a plan (even when I don't like the way things are going) and that He uses average people to accomplish BIG things!!!
Gen 50:20 As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring about that many people should be kept alive.

Esther 4:14 For if you keep silent at this time relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father's house will perish.  And who knows whether you may not have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?

By now we all know I could go on, so I'll stop.  What are your favorites?

Wednesday, July 4, 2012


Ok.... the lessons God is teaching me from my wonderful child are never ending. I posted in a comment how "sneaky" it was of God to give me children in order to teach me about Him!  But you know, what a good way!  It is all so clear with my little mirrors running around all day disobeying, having attitudes, struggling with sin. They all point right back to me exposing the mess in my heart!  Ouch!  But, they are truly God's tool to sanctify me.  Thank you Lord for your wisdom.

Last night in our "big discussion" it was so brilliantly clear to me that the reason we have the attitude issues (my personal favorite... ugh), the arguing (running a close 2nd), and sly disobedience, is because this child does not trust me.  In his heart, he has accused me of not having his best interest in mind and of serving myself first and, probably, only.  It is because he judges in his heart only with what his eyes can see.  He can't see that while yes, I have asked him to do chores, help with messes he didn't make, be loving to the difficult to love, serve others, etc., I am doing that too. He can't see that I have never asked him to do anything that I wouldn't do myself.  He can't see that my going to work, home schooling, maintaining the home, driving him all over town for functions, etc. is a constant sacrifice of myself and my wants.  He doesn't see that in this home, I am the servant. He can't realize that sometimes I answer him quickly because I have more information than he does, and that he might not be privy to that information... and furthermore, that it is well within my right because of my God-given authority to with hold that information should I see fit.  He just doesn't trust me! (Perhaps that is my fault...but that will be for another post).

Enter here, that mirror.... I can't see that God has all the information, has my bests interests at heart, etc. I can't/won't see that because I'm constantly looking at what's in front of me.  If I trusted God, I wouldn't need all the information.  I could just obey peacefully, because I know He came to serve not to be served.  It is just so much easier to trust what is right here, right now.

I'd like to know how to get to the place where I'm at least as good as Peter... where I can walk on water because I've kept my eyes on Him. I want to get to the place where I am secure enough in who He is, that the storms around me aren't evident because I'm basking in his light.  If I could simply obey and focus on Him... He is good. He is faithful. He is trustworthy.  I want to live like I believe that. I also want to live in a way that my kiddo believes those things are true of me.

Here I am again at the end of another post, and all I can say again is, thank you Lord! Thank you for the 3 wonderful sanctifying mirrors you've given me.  Thank you for patiently teaching me about you. Thank you for teaching me to trust you, to know you, to love you.  It is all from you. You are good and loving and wonderful!  Lord, save me!

Matthew 14:29-30 He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.”

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Mercy Muscles

Lamentations 3:22-23  The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.


I am a sinner.  A big, fat hypocrite.  I need grace.  I need mercy.  I need love.  Without God to supply these, I am nothing but a constant failure!  As a parent, I fail daily.  I am constantly challenged by one of my children, and daily I fail.  I lose my patience, don't listen, nag, argue, yell, get angry, lose my temper, etc.  

Just today I LOST IT with this particular child.  Now, his act was grievous and against someone smaller, but certainly I could have responded better!  I was already angry at this child for poking along when others were waiting, and for basically telling me "no" when I asked him to do something....Oh, I was HOT!  I was still angry at him for the way he treated me yesterday too!!!  I think all of these things were thrown into the mix of frustration when I lost it with him.... not to mention the constant friction and frustration  with circumstances in our life right now.... (no excuses here, I'm guilty).  

In speaking with him later, I reminded him that sometimes we have to give up the right to be right.  Let it go.  Let go the need to have the last word.  I reminded him that we have to practice grace and mercy.  They don't come naturally, but are expected from God.  It is an exercise that we must perform daily, and sometimes several times a day.  I think we as Christians often think that we just are these things.  We are full of grace and mercy... but that's just not true.  Christ certainly was, but not us.  We have it available to us through the Holy Spirit, but mercy, grace, love, faith, are all action words that we must do.  In order to do it well, we must exercise those "love muscles" or "mercy muscles".  And, unfortunately, it is a repetitive exercise!  

How often are you able to "lecture" one of your children and not have it come back to bite you in the rear?  For me, it is not often.  I have not been practicing mercy for this child.  I have not had new mercies every morning.  Instead, I have kept a record of wrongs on hand to remind me just how challenging this child can be.  I have not been practicing godly love toward this child either.  I've gotten out of practice and need to continue building up my "mercy and love muscles".  Fortunately, God gave me this child, so I would have many opportunities for more "reps"!  

Thankfully, God's love and mercy muscles are built up as much as they can be!  He is never fatigued, never weak, never out of practice.  In fact, daily His mercy muscles are re-energized and ready to show me mercy again and again!   That works out nicely for me since I mess up so frequently! ;)  His love and mercy never run out!  Oh Thank you Lord!  I do not deserve it, but am so grateful! May I be a living example of your grace and mercy, especially to my children!!!