Thursday, October 1, 2015

Homeschool Hump Day Encouragement

I know this is a day late, but I thought about some of the things we teach our children aren't academic but sow into their character...

This week, my husband, three of our sons and I helped a friend move out of her hold home and into a new one. We didn't do school that day at all. But we were able to show, through example, compassion, service and willingness to help others. We don't always have to be wrapped up in completing the workbook and textbook. 

Filling our kids with information is not all there is to educating them. We must also remember that we are raising competent, intelligent and capable children who will become adults who have strong morals, values and beliefs. Instilling good character in our children now allows them to be prepared for situations they will encounter throughout their lives. Consequently, instilling a strong relationship with Jesus will help us in teaching these valuable character traits in our children.

Don't be afraid to step away from the books to help someone move, to spend the day with an older person from church, or to help someone around their house with cleaning. This is school, too, even if it doesn't LOOK like school!


Monday, September 28, 2015

Use It Or Lose It!

Have you heard  can't that saying before..."Use it or lose it"? What does that mean to you? In some instances it might mean a skill you learned in school, like quadratic equations or diagramming sentences. It might mean a coupon for a free latte. It could even mean the talent God has given you. And that is what I want to talk about today.

Each one of us was born with specific talents and gifts to be used in some way for the Kingdom of God. We were given the talent of writing or speaking or compassion or helping or service or a number of other things. And only you can use the talent you were given. I can't write stories in the same way my favorite authors write their stories nor will I reach the same people they will reach. It's the same thing with each of us. We may have similar talents, but they can and will be used to reach different people. 

Consider the master who gave his servants each a specific number of talents. To one he gave five, to another two and to another just one. What happened to each of those servants when they were given their talent? Here's what the Word says:

I want to be like those guys, don't you? But what about the third servant? The Scripture tells us that the last servant was afraid he would lose what he was given, so he hid that one talent! He buried it.
"And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.’ “But his lord answered and said to him, ‘You wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed. Therefore take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents" (Matthew 25:25-26, 28).

How often have I thought my writing wasn't up to the same caliber as my favorite authors and thought there was no point to me writing my stories? More often than I should have, that's for sure. But I wrote them and I wrote them afraid. Afraid that I might fail, afraid that no one would buy my books and afraid that people would think my stories belonged in the garbage! But I chose not to hide and not to quit.

My dear sisters, whatever talent the Lord has given you, USE IT! Don't be afraid of what others might think. God gave you the talent He did that it would reach and touch even one person and change their eternity for good! Terri Savelle Foy says, "Someone is waiting on the other side of your obedience." Meaning, someone is waiting for you to do what God has called you to do! 

Start moving in your talent today! If you don't use it, just like the servant who hid his talent, it might be taken away...


Friday, September 25, 2015

Friday 'Fess Up

This week has been busy, but good. I've enjoyed sleeping again since taking care of my mom following her knee replacement surgery. It has actually been my pleasure to take care of her! But that's not my confession today.

My confession is that today when my sister asked me if I had heard back about a job I had interviewed for, I had to tell her that I had honestly forgotten about the job! That made me stop and think a little bit. If the job had been important to me, would I have remembered I was waiting to hear back about it? Was I just too wrapped up in the duties of the week to remember? Or is it not part of God's plan for my life right now so He removed it from my mind already filled with tasks?

I really don't have the answer. But I do know that if it's something I'm supposed to do, I'm going to be thinking about it. I'm going to be looking at everything I can do to impress on those who do the hiring process to "pick me!" But I'm not doing that. I confess that while taking care of my mother this week and losing sleep shocked me and for a brief amount of time made me a bit angry, but I'm so glad to be a part of seeing her getting better and better everyday!

Maybe you're rushing to get back into the workforce after having children. Maybe you are looking forward to the time when your children go off to school. But don't be too eager to move on to the next phase of your life. Enjoy where you're at now.


Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Homeschool Hump Day Encouragement

Today, I wanted to share links to some of my favorite websites for worksheets and curriculum! Since there is a vast amount of curriculum options available, I thought you might like to see what I have used and let you visit the sites yourself to check it out for your family!

What curricula does your family currently use? What do you like about it? What have you tried and decided against using? Feel free to share your own experiences!! You may help another homeschooling mom choose the best curriculum for her family, too!

Printables and Worksheets:

Links to Curriculum:

Monday, September 21, 2015

Not My Power, Lord, But Yours

For the past few days I have been stretched thin, more than I ever have before, even with raising eight children. I got a total of 4 hours sleep last night, and, in the process, I cleaned the kitchen at 3:30 a.m. I have dreams that interrupt my sleep and cause me to not be able to fall back to sleep so easily. It has been a battle for me because as much as I want to help, I can't do it in my own strength. 

The Word says: "He gives power to the faint and weary, and to him who has no might He increases strength, causing it to multiply and making it to abound (Isaiah 40:29, Amplified). So no matter how tired I become, how in a fog I am going through daily tasks, or how much I think I should just throw in the towel, I know that He will give me the strength I need to finish this particular race! 

If you are like me, you need to be reminded of that regularly. You know, we can accomplish what we're given to do each and every day! We can run this race, tired and exhausted and ready to give up! We can complete the thing that He has called us to in this season in our lives! 

Don't give up!!


Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Homeschool Hump Day Encouragement

This week, my mother had knee replacement surgery. It was a great opportunity to explain to my kids just why the surgery was needed, what happens during the surgery and how we can believe God for healing no matter where our faith is, meaning believing Him for healing, the surgery to be a tool in our healing, etc.

My children were able to visit a different environment than our schooling environment and it exposed them to possible future careers. One thing I am a proponent of doing is allowing kids explore the "what if" of learning. What if my son was captivated by the physical therapist's role in health care? What if my daughter decided clown ministry at the hospital is something that she would like to learn about? What if the smells at the hospital turned my other son's stomach? And the "what ifs" are endless.

Next time a relative has surgery or a friend's son enlists in the military or you check out your local grocery store think of the learning opportunities and teachable moments that are present. It will open your child's mind to the possibilities in life!


Monday, September 14, 2015

But in everything...

Last night, our church celebrated Rosh Hashanah and the Feast of Trumpets. It was an exciting and moving time as we lifted up Israel in prayer. It was also a motivating time for me. I want to do what the Lord has called me to do! I want to be found on the day of His return immersed in work for the Kingdom of God. Recently, though, I've been feeling conflicted with just what that is.

I thrive on doing social media posts, writing, sharing information, meeting and talking to people, and educating my children. I know I have a calling to write, minister to women, and work with youth. So how does all this fit together? How can I accomplish all of this myself?

The answer, surprisingly, is that I can't!

I can't know from my own knowledge which door to walk through, which "job" is the right one for me to accept, or what group to work with. I can approach each door in prayer, though. 

You may find yourself in a similar situation. Maybe you have some decisions to make, and, like me, you want to make the "right" decision for you, your family, and most importantly, for God. You may feel as though you aren't hearing from Him on which route to take. That's okay for now. Just pray about each opportunity and ask Him to open the right doors at the right time so that you know it was Him. I can assure you that if you seek Him, He will not abandon you, leave you in the dark, or be silent. 

The Word says, "This is the confidence we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him" (1 John 5:14-15, NKJV). Let's boldly ask in prayer for the Lord to reveal to us His plans, His path for our open opportunities, and be found doing what He has assigned us for His Kingdom!