Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Homeschool Hump Day Encouragement

For today's encouragement I want to tell you something, homeschooling momma. You are seen. You are appreciated. You are listened to. You are honored. You are valuable! I know sometimes you want to sit in the bathroom (one of the few places we can have a little bit of privacy!) and just cry. The lessons didn't go the way you planned. You ended up having to run and unexpected errand that set your whole day back, the baby took a nap in the car so you missed your nap, a friend needed to talk and you Facebook chatted for 47 minutes, a complete stranger at the grocery store felt compelled to unload her life's problems on you so you prayed with her, and you forgot to buy the chicken for tonight's dinner.
It's okay! Sometimes the day goes wonky, crazy, and completely not the way you had wanted it. But you're doing a good thing for your children. You're teaching them to be flexible. You're teaching them that it's okay to take a "time out" for yourself. You're teaching them that even when things don't go the way you planned, the day will still go on and turn out fine. You're teaching them to give the day to the Lord and to allow the Holy Spirit to turn things around and in your favor and for His glory. You're teaching them to trust God and most importantly, you're teaching your children.


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

TIP TUESDAYS: Easy Cleaning for Spring

These tips will help keep you on target for maintaining your home throughout the Srping and Summer months. When the kids are out of school and the house seems to get more easily cluttered, these tips will make getting back on track more practical!

Make a list of things to do seasonally. Today we will focus on cleaning for Spring!

Once a month:
Clean mirrors
Change bed sheets
Mop/Vacuum floors
Clean out the refrigerator
Change heating/cooling systems filters
Wash windows
Clean gutters
Clean, repair, and refresh outdoor living spaces

What chores do you do seasonally?


Monday, April 21, 2014

Ecclesiastes Week 8

Today marks the end of our Ecclesiastes series! Yay! You've made it through! This final part of the Scripture is open to just as much interpretation as the previous 7 verses:

The Word is pretty clear that we are to love one another as Christ loved us. We also know that God is love. In First Corinthians 13:4-8 we read:
"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails." 

It's not always easy to walk in love, especially when people have hurt us in the past. It is often difficult to forget the pain, disappointment, and frustration and anger that come when we feel betrayed. But there is never a time to hate someone, in my opinion.

I believe rather that there is a time to hate sin, hate the actions of others, and hate outcomes or certain situations. There is a time to hate those things. And there is a time to fight against those things, too. There is a time to hate lying, iniquity, and blasphemy.

Finally, there is a time for war and a time for peace. There is a time to fight and a time for living in peace. Throughout the Old Testament there are examples of the Lord commanding kings to go to war, and they were victorious. And there are many other stories about great men and women of the Lord living great lives in peace and obedience.

As we finish this series on Ecclesiastes, it's nice to reflect on what the Lord is saying to us through this verse. What have you learned, gleaned and had new revelations about? What has the Lord been showing you regarding these verses? 


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Homeschool Hump Day Encouragement

How are you all getting along since Spring Break? Feel like you're even further behind? Did you get ahead so you can finish on time or early? Homeschooling, momma, don't get discouraged if you aren't where you want to be. Maybe the curriculum you've chosen for this year wasn't what you expected and it made school a challenge. Maybe you were more tired trying to accomplish all that your lesson plans required of you. Maybe sickness was a stumbling block and caused you and your children to get behind unexpectedly. That's okay! The beauty of homeschooling is that not only are we striving to teach our children in academic excellence but we are also teaching them character!

So look back over your year. Have your children attained a certain character trait such as compassion and generosity? I witnessed a young boy comforting his mother in church on Sunday. That is a huge thing! Whether she knows it or not, she is teaching him to be a man even in his young age, and that mom can be proud that her son knows how and when to console.
While we tend to look at our children's academic accomplishments at the end of the year, let's not forget these life skills and character building that they have gained as well!


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

TIP TUESDAY: DIY Remodeling on a Budget

Have you ever looked around your home and thought, "I need a change!" And then never addressed that again because you thought you couldn't afford it? Well, I have some tips for inexpensive changes that will make a huge difference in the decor of your home!

One easy fix is to simply change the switch plate and outlet covers. This can be anything from changing out yellowing off-white plates to white plates or converting all the covers to colored or nickel or bronze colored switch plate and outlet covers. Prices for these range from 26 cents to $32 for traditional outlet and switch plates.

Another easy change is painting. You can get mismixed paint for 50% off or more at home improvement stores, you just have to check. Colors of course are subject to availability, but you might be pleasantly surprised at what you can find.

Finally, move the furniture around in your living areas. Just changing the flow of the room and maybe adding certain new pictures can make the space feel as though you just completed a major remodel!


Monday, April 14, 2014

Mom's Night Out Movie!

What does a mom's night out look like to you?
Do you even go out with your girlfriends since you've gotten married and had children?
What do you talk about? The kids? The husbands?
Have you forgotten what it's like to just be with the girls instead of with young children?!

Then this movie is a must-see Mom's Night Out event!  And the makers of the film are hosting a giveway trip for 2 to the Los Angeles premier, too!  You can enter at the link below:

Ecclesiastes Week 7

First, I want to thank you for your patience while I took the week off to serve those in our community! It was a fantastic event and such an honor and privilege to be used of the Lord in working with Kenneth Copeland Ministries! Now on to our study...

As we close in on completing this study, I have to say I have found that there are always complimentary reflections on "a time to..." There is always a time to act this way and do that or to not act this way or not to do that. Today, we are focusing on two things I struggle with: when to be silent and when to speak. Here's what the verse says:

I want to talk about the second part of the verse first. A time to keep silent...
I enjoy talking. I like to "visit" and chit-chat and learn more about others while telling them about myself. I used to like to gossip, though. Now, I didn't think it was gossip at the time, but that was a lie Satan was telling me. Do you know what gossip is?! It is talking about someone or something that really has nothing to do with you at all! When I would talk to my girlfriends about another woman being too skinny or another dressing too revealing or the hair of yet another woman, that was gossipping! This is the time to keep silent, at least when it comes to speaking about these women. If you have concerns for a sister in the Lord, don't talk about those concerns to other women. Go to the ladies directly. OR better yet, go to the Lord and see how He would have you handle the situation.

As I mentioned above, there are always complimentary reflections. So there is a time to speak up, too! Matthew 18:15 says that if your brother (or sister!) sins against you, go and tell her of her fault, but keep it between you and her alone. And Luke 17:3 tells us that we should pay attention and always be on our guard, looking out for one another. If your brother (or sister) sins, tell her and correct her. If she repsonds, forgive her even if it's seven times throughout the day.

Moving back to the first part, I researched this as much as I could. I am still confused about the part that says there is a time to rend (tear apart, cut away). I think this part of the Scripture might mean that there are some things in our lives-relationships, business ventures, lifestyles, thoughts-that we may need to cut out. Maybe we watch television shows that slowly introduce situations that are not pleasing to God. Maybe we have friendships that are stealing our joy and actually have pulled us away from a strong relationship with the Lord. And Maybe we've just allowed the things of the world to become more and more prevalent in our lives. Cutting those things out of our lives will be difficult. If being a Christian and living a Christ-like life were easy, I believe more people would commit their lives to Jesus! Be ready to stay dedicated to living for the Lord!

A time to sew is one of my favorite lines! You'll notice sew in this instances does refer to sewing with thread, not sowing as in sowing seed. One version says "a time to mend." I like that! There are times when relationships are torn apart by our words and actions. And we need to recognize our role in that and make an effort to mend and heal that broken relationship.

This week, let's look at this verse with a deep honesty with ourselves. Are there things we need to cut out of our lives? Things we need to mend? Be more aware of times when we should just not say anything and times when we should speak up!