Friday, February 12, 2016

Friday 'Fess Up

This week, I was reminded that the Lord's favor is all around us, even when we least expect it. I had a situation arise with the organization I work with, and the Lord was all over it, even when I wasn't expecting it. But then I meditated on that for a while...His favor surrounds us when we LEAST expect it. The problem here is that we don't necessarily EXPECT the Lord's favor in our daily lives.

Do you expect favor when you go to the grocery store and you're looking for a parking space? Do you expect favor when you go to the bank drive through and get behind a line of other cars? Do you expect favor when a situation arises at work? Do you expect favor when you're schooling your children, doing Bible studies, or as you scroll through Facebook?

These are just a few examples of areas we can EXPECT the favor of the Lord to be operating in our lives! What areas have you experienced God's favor? I believe expecting favor increases our faith because it causes us to trust in the Lord more and more. Today, let's extend our faith by expecting favor in every area of our lives!


Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Homeschool Hump Day Encouragement

I was reading
a post on one of the homeschool sites I follow, and a new homeschooling mom wanted to know if anyone had used this particular curriculum successfully from Kindergarten through high school graduation. Let me first tell you that when you are starting out, don't look at high school as you begin Kindergarten. Homeschooling is a year by year decision, and while you can certainly have high school graduation as the end goal, you will stress yourself if you look at that rather than the current grade your child is in.

When we decided to homeschool all of our children, we knew public school was not an option. The overall plan was to homeschool through high school. We have done that successfully with five of our eight children and look to the same conclusion of homeschooling with the remaining three. But you have to take homeschooling year by year. We need to present here and now as we educate our children and focusing on the end as we begin Kindergarten could sabotage our homeschooling efforts altogether. Even public schools don't use the same curricula from Kindergarten students to high school students! And we certainly made adjustments and changes to our base curricula as we schooled our children, mainly because each child learns differently.

Today, as you homeschool your children, remember to be here with them and their learning now. You can definitely plan to school through high school. But if you have young children, don't be concerned with if this curriculum or that is going to make you successful for the next thirteen years! Focus on providing them, instead, with the best education you can no matter what curriculum you choose to use.


Monday, February 8, 2016

Vision Boards: One Step At A Time

If you're like me, you have a nearly finished vision board, a clear direction of the things the Lord has spoken to you to accomplish this year. But you're still not sure how to begin on this journey. Well, like anything else, you have to take a step. That may be a step of faith toward your goal such as signing a contract on a house or putting down a deposit for that family vacation you've wanted to take. It may just be a step in the direction of your goal, such as sitting at the computer and typing the first few paragraphs of a book or making business cards for your new business. The bottom line is that no matter what your goal is, you have to make yourself constantly take steps that move you toward accomplishing your goal.

Here are some ideas for a variety of goals:

  • Find a writing prompt website and begin to write from there
  • Make greeting cards to sell at local businesses
  • Put a deposit down on that dream vacation
  • Make savings jars for big purchases
  • Photograph a scenic location near you
  • Enroll in a gym
  • Write lyrics to a song
  • Write music to lyrics
  • Research recording studios
  • Seek out craft shows in your area
  • Enroll in a college course (there are FREE online courses if you don't want to spend money!)
  • Price that camera and set up a plan to purchase
  • Ask the Lord for creative ideas for funding your vision!
I've said it before, but I'll say it again...You have to START! If you don't start moving toward your vision or goal, you are less likely to actually achieve it!

What plans can you make to accomplish your goals this year? I'd love for you to share your ideas!


Monday, February 1, 2016

Making Lists: Get Organized, Stay on Track!

Last week, I posted about completing some things on my daily to-do list. A well-meaning friend sent me a comment because she thought it sounded as though I was finding my worth in my to-do lists. So that made me stop and think for a moment. Do I gain my worth from my lists? Actually, I think I do...but in a positive way!

I asked my Facebook friends to share what they consider to be a productive day. What does that look like to each of us? Many had lists, literally, of the things they like to accomplish in a day. So I began to think that accomplishments make us productive and accomplishments make us feel more like we're getting things done because, well, we are. One of my good friends offered this insight:

"(There is a) feeling of success at having accomplished your list. Most of us feel it by some sense of having done something. (This friend is) mixing up accomplishment with worth!"

Another friend said that she considers a productive day to be one in which she is able to get up, get coffee, and spend time in the Word before she tackles her daily list of things to do. Still, another makes lists on clipboards for different areas of her life like housework, her home based business, and homeschooling.

I began to see a pattern in each friend's response. We all seem to make a list of some sort throughout the day or week. Our time is valuable to be used spending it with the Lord in devotion time and prayer, serving our families, and working on the things that need to be accomplished everyday.

When we make lists we are organizing our time. When we organize our time, we stay on track with accomplishing things for the Kingdom of God and the direction we're headed where our visions, dreams, and goals are concerned.

While I agree there is a danger in finding our worth in our lists, let's not forget that our time is worth something, too, and we need to make sure we stay focused on accomplishing our goals and those things on our vision boards! Those goals, dreams, and visions were given to us by the One Who holds us as highly valuable!


Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Homeschool Hump Day Encouragement

Many homeschoolers have more than one child. And I am frequently asked, "When should I start schooling my younger children?" The answer is, NOW!

When my children were younger, I often taught the bigger kids a subject or topic and had the little ones sit in on the teaching. If you think back to when we were in school, we learned a topic, like facts about the pilgrims and as our time in school increased, we built on what we had been taught in previous years. This is the same concept. I refer to this as a one-room schoolhouse.

In a one-room schoolhouse of the past, the younger children remained in the classroom while the teacher taught math concepts, science, English, etc. and the younger children read quietly or worked on their own mathematics. This is similar to how we can teach our children all together.

For those of you who have more than two children, what ways have you found to incorporate schooling with younger children?

Remember, Homeschooling Mama, you CAN do this!!


Monday, January 25, 2016

Are You Keeping You From Achieving Your Vision?

Now that we are almost done with the first month of the new year, and we have created our vision boards, what have we accomplished? Are we moving forward and toward accomplishing our goals? Are our words aligning with the Word of God when we speak about our vision? Or are we subconsciously sabotaging those visions?

When I first began creating my vision board in 2012, I looked at some of the things on my board and thought, "Why did I put that on there? I'll never accomplish that." And you know what? I didn't! But those things that I focused on and chose to work toward, those were the things that I actually achieved!

I've mentioned the story of the man walking on the beach who simply uttered the words, "I could never imagine..." and the Lord told him he would never have that house because the man indeed couldn't imagine owning that home. Stop and think about what you've been saying about your visions. Are you trying to figure out how you can achieve it yourself? Maybe you're mentally trying to work out the finances of owning your own business or the amount of time involved to write a book or even all that you would need to do in order to go on a short term missions trip. Well, let me encourage you with this: STOP TRYING TO FIGURE IT OUT!

God gave you that dream, vision, and goal! If He gives it to you, doesn't it make sense that He would equip you to achieve it?! So, why are we still trying to do it on our own? Plus, He totally knows us. He knows if we can accomplish that goal on our own, we risk the possibility of boasting in our good works.

Next time you catch yourself saying something negative about your vision, even something like, "I can't afford that!", STOP! Replace those words with what the Lord says.


Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Homeschool Hump Day Encouragement

Around this time of year, public school children begin preparing for annual assessment testing. This often sparks thoughts in homeschoolers as to where their children rank in knowledge and comprehension. I want to encourage you today, mama, with some things to keep in mind when you do your annual assessment testing or evaluations.

First, children learn at different rates. This is probably one of the reasons that you chose to homeschool your children in the beginning. We want to encourage consistent learning and growth and try not to make children feel inadequate for not measuring up to state standards.
Next, most states will allow parents the option of either submitting standardized assessments or evaluations. You might consider an evaluator that will determine if your child has made a year's worth of progress in a year's worth of time as a means to know where he or she is academically.
Finally, know which ever method of evaluating your child you choose, the important thing is to praise a child for wanting to learning and for what they have learned in character, life skills, and academics.

You're doing a great job, mama! Keep pressing on toward the goal!!