Monday, April 17, 2017

Relationships: Greater Love Has No One...

This week, my youngest daughter and I are travelling to Texas to spend a week with my best friend and her family. I am so excited because I have really missed her! She's like a sister to me, and it is a friendship based on mutual love and respect for each other. It's like we're sisters with minor arguments and discussions ending up in still loving each other after the fact. Have anyone like that in your life?

You know God gave us these relationships to build us up so we can build each other up and others up, too. We can read that in Proverbs, John, Romans, and First Peter ( and many more!). Here's what the Word says about our friends:

Our friends, our sisters in the Lord, refresh us, renew us, and bring us up in the faith! I can't wait to see my best friend, and I'm sure she feels the same way! I hope you have a sister in the Lord that you feel as close to (or closer!) than your family. If you are longing for that, ask the Lord to bring you a sister in Christ who is as close as your own family!

Have a blessed week!


Friday, April 14, 2017

Friday 'Fess Up

You've heard before that I am a list maker. I like to make sure I write down important things to do or that I want to accomplish in a day or week. This past week, my husband was off for vacation. We didn't go anywhere, but instead purposed to accomplish certain things on the every-growing list of things to do, or my "honey-do" list. 

My confession today is that while we didn't get everything completed that we had set out to do, we did get several things checked off. I think it's important to aim for something, even if we only hit 50 or 75 percent of those things. It's certainly better than aiming for nothing and hitting it 100 percent!

Though we didn't get everything done, we were able to knock that list down to some more doable chunks that the kids and I can complete in the coming months as my husband begins his new driving route. We will be able to get those more minor things done and see the results of our efforts. 

I read a post today that said this:

Are you interested in your vision or are you committed to accomplishing it? I understand that many of us are busy. We have work, perhaps homeschooling, church obligations, children's activities, and more. Today, I'd like to you be honest with yourself and ask if any of those things are actually pulling you away from your vision, your calling, your passion, or even just those things on your "to-do" list. Then see what things you can decrease or cease altogether. When you focus on what the Lord has for you, He will begin to show you the bigger picture of what He has planned for you and your life!

Have a blessed week!


Monday, April 10, 2017

We Were NOT Meant to Live in Lack

Leaning on the Lord in All Things

MY God shall supply ALL my needs according to HIS riches in glory by Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19)

This morning I was looking at our bank account. My husband just received his paycheck via direct deposit, but it wasn't as much as we were expecting. We haven't spent money on Christmas presents or been lax in the handling of our finances, but we haven't exactly been prudent about it either. The pay is not enough to cover our bills for the next two weeks. We need God to show up in a big way and provide for us. But when our bank accounts don't match what our needs are, we have two choices:

Freak out and try to figure out what WE can do.
Praise God for taking care of us and meeting every need.

Yes, there are consequences for our foolish handling of our provision. Yet He desires us to be dependent on Him and to run to Him rather than trying to do it all with our own power. It says in the Word that without God, we can do nothing (John 15:5). One move by Almighty God can turn a situation around for our good and His glory in an instant! Your current circumstance is subject to change! We don't have to sit in self-pity shaming ourselves for the errors we've made. No good will come from that! Instead we can praise Him--at ALL times--in every situation, good or bad.

Your first reaction reveals your heart. Like Paul said, "The good I want to do, I do not do; but the evil I do not want to do, that [is what] I end up doing...I thank God--through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin." (Romans 7: 19 and 25).
We are at a constant battle, a warring within ourselves to do the will of the Father, but turning towards the will of the flesh. The good news is, you don't have to fight that battle alone! God will fight for you! Put first things first and seek HIM first in any situation.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Finding Your Calling

If you're like me, at one point in your life you turned your face toward the sky and asked God, "Why am I here? What is my purpose?" You know that God predestined you for some position in the Kingdom, but you may not know just what that assignment or calling is. So how do you know what you're supposed to be doing? That's what we're going to talk about today!

First, think back on things you did when you were younger and write those things down. Don't discount anything, really. For example, if you played with dolls, write that down. My sister and I used to play two different things, for the most part. We played TV newsroom, where I was the reporter/news anchor and she was the weather girl. Then, we played school where she was the teacher and I was the student. Today, I have a degree in journalism and my sister is a teacher! She was made to work with children, first her own as a homeschooling mom, then as a public school teacher. Isn't it amazing how God prepared her for that?! While I don't work for a newspaper, I do write and edit a nationally distributed magazine. Sometimes, we just need to get back to what God put in our hearts when we were young to find our calling.

Next, ask yourself, "What brings me the most happiness and am I passionate about?" The things you're passionate about, by the way, are those things that you can talk about easily, you get excited about when someone mentions that thing, and that you would probably do (or are doing already!) even if you didn't get paid to do it! That thing you thought about doing last year or the year before or the year before that? That is more than likely something God has for you to do!

Finally, pray. I know this probably seems obvious, but I think it's necessary to mention. When you pray, ask God to bring back to your memory those things you were passionate about. If you have ever had someone tell you they could see you doing this or that, it could be something the Lord had previously asked you to do or given you a dream for and that person was carrying the message to confirm that to you. Ask the Lord what He has for you and commit to doing whatever that is! 

As Paul said to the Corinthians:

(C) Mandie Vigil 2017 Used with Permission

Have a blessed week and start walking toward your calling!!


Friday, March 31, 2017

Friday 'Fess Up

When you put first things first, the enemy will immediately begin attacking you! He's jealous of God. He wants to distract you from focusing on the Lord and will stop at nothing to keep you from fulfilling what God has called you to do for His kingdom.

We daily have to battle distractions that aim to take our focus off the Lord, off of our goals, and off our productive plans for the day. How many times have we said that we were going to purpose to eat correctly? What about those times we've said we would begin working out more regularly? And devotional time we promised the Lord and ourselves that we would put first? How often have those things taken a back burner or have we gotten to the end of our day only to realize those things we set out to accomplish, we had forgotten about?

I'm so guilty of all of the above! That's my confession to you today. I found this true this week in two areas: my devotions and my workouts. I'd get to the end of the day, getting ready for bed, and sit and get a bit bummed that I was only now remembering the devotion and the workout that I had planned to make a first priority each day this week. I began to beat myself up about forgetting time with the Lord. 

But that's not what the Lord does to us! His Word says that His mercies are new every morning! So, if your week turned out much like mine, don't get upset, don't beat yourself up about it, and don't stop aiming for those goals! Know that tomorrow is a new day, and it is our opportunity to begin being intentional again.

Have a blessed weekend!


Thursday, March 30, 2017

Homeschool Hump Day Encouragement

Spring Break! It seems everyone goes away or takes a special trip during this time. But what about homeschoolers? Should we take Spring Break and other breaks and holidays when public schools do? I say no. Here's why.

One of our family's favorite vacation destinations is Disney World. We really enjoy our time there. For me, it's all about seeing the dreams of one man manifested in this one place. It's about getting away from the busyness and chaos of home life and also about going when fewer folks are visiting.

Enough about that! What I really want you to take away is this. When our kids are working more on completing their lessons, they will complete that textbook or workbook, and they will advance more rapidly through grade levels. I believe that our children have an assignment placed on each of their lives. It is up to us to prepare them for that. There is still time for family trips, but not at the same time as their public school counterparts.

As you know if you have read my blog for a while, we homeschool year-round. It is for the reasons mentioned about that we do this. Education is necessary in every child's life. Some may need more math and science, other more English and writing for their future careers, but allowing them to explore the world around them and to set them on the path that God has for them is our priority.

We don't want homeschooling to look like public school at home necessarily, so we are diligent in working throughout Spring Break as well as most of the public schools' Summer Break.

I'd like to hear your thoughts on homeschooling and taking traditional breaks off!

Have a blessed week!


Monday, March 27, 2017

Righteous: Why Being Right Is Who We Are!

Ask any of my close friends and they will tell you, I do my research, and I know that I'm right when I'm right! Sometimes, I just feel like I have to be right! Can anyone relate? Have you ever met someone like me who just has to be right? If you have, I'm sure you've gotten frustrated with us as we argue our points, complete with data and facts. Am I hitting a nerve? Well, did you know there is a Biblical reason why people like me are like this? Let me show you!

You see, God created us to be right. He made us righteous. Here's what righteous means:

God made us to be right! Now that doesn't mean we are free to argue with each other. But it shows that being right is part of our DNA; it's who we are, and who He made us to be. We can strive to be right by filling ourselves with the Word of God. He is the One who grants us wisdom when we ask for it (James 1:9), and He made us righteous (Romans 10:10, Psalms 98:2, 2 Corinthians 5:21).

Have a blessed, righteous week!!