Friday, January 30, 2015

Friday 'Fess Up

The first month of the year is nearing an end, and it seems to have come so quickly! I have been going over my Top 10 Goals for 2015 and I feel that I am no closer to accomplishing any of those goals than I was the day I wrote them down. It's as though I am already failing when in reality, I still have eleven more months that the Lord can turn things around in an instant and cause every single one of the goals on my list to be fulfilled. It's not over until God says it's over, and it's not over until I win!

Dear friends, if you are finding yourself discouraged with how the year is going so far, remember that the year is just beginning. This month, whether good or bad, does not define you and it certainly does not define how the rest of the year is going to play out in your life!
This is going to be your BANNER year and your better days are here NOW!


Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Homeschool Hump Day Encouragement

The other day, I sat down to write my next blog post. But my desk had papers all over it. School work from my children, printed forms for Civil Air Patrol, recipes I had intended to make throughout the week, and a few books awaiting my timely reviews. I just couldn't ignore it before I began my writing and ultimately, cleaned it up before beginning any part of my scheduled activities for the day.

That's how our walk with the Lord is sometimes, too. We get cluttered with so much stuff that we didn't even realize was piling up until one day we just have to stop and clean it up. That is what the Lord is waiting on us to do, turn to Him for help when we can't take the junk piled on us any more.

Today, if your homeschool feels out of whack or you notice it has become cluttered, take time to spiritually, prayerfully, and maybe even literally, clean it up. Ask the Lord to show you areas that have been piling up with junk and then remove it once and for all. The refreshing feel of being organized, back on track and moving in a forward direction could be just what you and your child need to re-energize your homeschooling days!


Monday, January 26, 2015

One Word Can Fill Your Life with Surprises!

This year, I chose a word to help me stay focused and to intentionally direct me in my walk with the Lord. My One Word is pursue, and that is what I strive to do as I go about my day. Sometimes pursuing the Lord or His will for me is a daily choice I have to make. As a mom, I get wrapped up in the routine of my life: make breakfast, do school with my kids, write blog posts, call a parent back whose son is interested in Civil Air Patrol. The list goes on and on. But pursuing Him is something I have to deliberately think about doing. I have to daily choose Him first and foremost as the day begins.

But what better way to start the day than to purse Him?! Today, our pastor was teaching about pursuing our passions in life, like writing, travelling, teaching, helping others. He said that if we submit to God and then pursue our passions everything will fall into place (Matthew 6:33). If we choose to pursue our passions without the Lord, He will pursue us until we turn back to Him. How cool is that? He wants us to choose Him so our passions, ministry, dreams and goals can be realized. But if we don't choose Him first, He'll wait for us and be right there when we're ready to run to Him!

Sometimes when I have errands to run, I ask my kids if any of them would like to go with me. Every once in a while I will surprise whoever goes with me by taking them out to lunch or going somewhere unexpected. I don't do that every time, but I do it because I love them and want to show them. God is the same way. He wants to surprise us! He doesn't do it every time, but He does it because He loves us (Matthew 7:11).

Let me leave you with this thought today from Job:

If you haven't already chosen your One Word for this year, I encourage you to do it soon. Allow the Lord to show you a word to guide your focus for your passion and all that He has for you this year!


Friday, January 23, 2015

Friday 'Fess Up

This week has been refreshing and a bit slower than normal for me. The kids and I are recovering from colds, my husband is back to a more predictable schedule at work and I feel like I'm getting back into the swing of things for the first time since Christmas!
I did some decluttering this week, too. In the process, I happened upon some very cool papers. I found my acceptance letter to college (I attended from August 2007 until graduation in December 2008!), my acceptance letter into the Journalism program and most importantly, a notebook with my plans for classes to take at community college and university.

That was an important find because it was proof to me that what you write down, you accomplish. What you see, you become. This is just what we've been talking about with vision boards, writing our goals and keeping them in front of us !
If you have yet to set goals or allow yourself to dream dreams, start today!


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Ultimate DIY Bundle is HERE!!

Disclosure: I have included affiliate links in this post. Read the fine print about this bundle and read the answers to frequently asked questions about the bundle.

There aren’t enough hours in the day, right? With work, helping the kids with their homework, preparing meals, cleaning up after everyone and putting yet another load of laundry on, there’s very little time for sleep – let alone DIY and crafting!

But do you look at that bare wall in the den and that tatty tablecloth on the kitchen table, and just wish you had a few hours to do something about them? Or do you browse through those wonderful crafting successes on Pinterest and think to yourself that “one day” you’ll have a few more minutes to yourself so that you too can create something incredible?
You’re not alone – there’s a huge community of people out there who are feeling just as frustrated as you are!

Thankfully though, there’s an exciting new product to help you quickly and easily get into (or back into) the creative projects you’ve been desperate to start. It’s called The Ultimate DIY Bundle, and it’s a collection of carefully curated DIY and crafting eBooks and eCourses from the world’s leading authors and bloggers in the industry.
For the crazy low price of just $34.95, you get access to a carefully curated library of 76 eBooks and eCourses. And let me reassure you that this really is great value: the Ultimate Bundles team (who produced the resource) has spent MONTHS seeking out the most respected experts in the industry and asking them to contribute their premium-quality eBooks and eCourses. These really are the best of the best when it comes to DIY and crafting advice and information.
Topics in the bundle include:
  • Home decor
  • Furniture painting
  • Photography
  • Chalk pastels
  • Handmade gifts
  • Homemade skincare products
  • Cake decorating
  • Photography and photo-editing
  • Paint colors and interior design
  • …and a whole lot more (76 eBooks and eCourses in total) – to help you be inspired or get started with your next DIY or crafting project!
There’s no need to worry about information overload though: The Ultimate DIY Bundle comes with a complete guide to getting started, so that you can know exactly which resource to use for your specific crafting or DIY project and jump straight into it with confidence!

Hurry though! The Ultimate DIY Bundle will only be on sale for 6 days – from 8am EST on Wednesday, January 21 until 11.59pm EST on Monday, January 26.
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Not only that, but The Ultimate DIY Bundle comes with 4 awesome bonuses, worth over $118. That’s 3x the price of the bundle alone! These include…
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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Coming Soon...The Ultimate DIY Bundle!!!

This year, I am planning to get more creative, especially with my DIY projects and gifts. Sometimes, as busy moms, it's difficult to get into the mood to create. But the Ultimate DIY Bundle has so many things for busy moms like us to encourage and inspire our creativity!! So, if you're like me, you don't want to miss this Bundle for sale starting January 21st!

For now, you can click HERE and receive a FREE mini course on Jump Starting your creativity!!!

Check back on Wednesday, January 21st for the Ultimate DIY Bundle!!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Get Ready for the Unexpected

Surprises Are Coming! Are Your Ready?

Are you the kind of person who likes surprises? Are you the type of person who thinks no one can surprise them because you always seem to find out before your friend or family can achieve the surprise? Well, guess what? Whether you think you can out-smart the surprise giver or not, God is on the move to surprise you with what He has planned for you this year!
Last week we talked about this being our BANNER year and what that means. But even beyond what we can hope, think or even conceive in our own minds, God wants to do MORE than that for us, and I believe this year is going to be a year of unprecedented favor, blessings and surprises than we have so far. It is going to be a year filled with better for us and our families! Greater possibilities, greater opportunities, and greater surprises from the Lord.
Job 5:10 in The Message says:
"If I were in your shoes, I'd go straight to God, I'd throw myself on the mercy of God. After all, He's famous for great and unexpected acts; there's no end to his surprises!"

I think sometimes we're a bit unsure of the extent of what God has for us, so we limit Him by our words. We say things like, "Well, that would be amazing, but God wouldn't do it for me." With that phrase, we've just limited God to what we will allow Him to do in our lives. Let's replace phrases that limit Him with phrases that give Him "free reign" to do what He wants in our lives.


Friday, January 16, 2015

Friday 'Fess Up

Another week is coming to a close. How did it go? Are you keeping your goals in front of you?

This week I started back to the gym. I really enjoy going, but I find I lack motivation to do anything more than the treadmill. I go to the gym alone and as much as I have the motivation to go and walk and jog, I feel that is my world of protection from the other gym attendees.  I'm not a die hard muscle builder, runner, weight lifter or even body sculptor. I just like walking and watching TV or listening to my tunes and I can't do that at home.
But I don't know how to find motivation to venture beyond the security of my treadmill with its defined but open walls. Has anyone else experienced this? I've asked friends to come, but they aren't available when I can go.

Today, my confession is that I like to be isolated sometimes! I like to be in my own little world closed off from others. And that's okay! I get to spend time with God in the midst of the crowd! 
So much of what I do involves being with people and I do enjoy being with a variety of friends, family, ages and groups. But I think for me, secretly, I don't WANT anyone to come with me to the gym! I want to be there for me...alone.

What about you? Are there times you long to be with people and times you want to be left alone?

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Homeschool Hump Day Encouragement

Last week we talked about getting back into the swing and routine of school after the long holiday break some of us take. This week, I want to encourage you in the advancement of your student. Does your child seem to get bored with the things you are working on now in school? Does your child finish an assignment and begin to fidget or get into things that should wait until after school time (like getting out the Legos, dolls or kinetic sand/play clay?

Your child may be ready for more advanced skills or topics in the subjects in which he seems to be getting more easily distracted or completes quickly. Tim Hawkins, a famous Christian comedian, has a wonderful song about homeschoolers (check it out on YouTube) and speaks about this subject frequently. He says that he is asked what grade his kids are in and he doesn't know what to respond except to say, "We homeschool."

It's true that many parents assign a grade level to their students, but I would say that is just to give an age-related grade level for testing or evaluation purposes. If your child is excelling in Math and could be challenged (and not overwhelmed!) by being moved to the next level, I would encourage you to do that. Many curricula have assessment tests available, too, so you can ensure you are moving your child to the next grade or level when they are in fact academically ready and possess the knowledge and understanding needed to move on.

Likewise, if your student is struggling with a higher level math, assess their understanding and if the child isn't ready for that level, don't be weary of moving that student to a lower level for that subject. You aren't changing the child's grade level necessarily, just the level of that subject.
This is why I believe Tim Hawkins' comments on homeschooling and the grade level our children are in is so appropriate! At one point I had a child enrolled in first grade, doing 5th grade reading (and comprehending what was read!), 3rd grade math and first grade science and social studies. Additionally, I have had children who were behind in math compared to their grade level, but excelling in the other subjects.

Remember, homeschooling isn't always about filling up a child with knowledge but teaching them how to become learners who desire to learn more! I want to encourage you to not worry about standardized grade level expectations and instead to set goals for your children each year that will give them an excellent education and will help them identify and develop their special passions and talents.


Monday, January 12, 2015

This Year is Going to Be Your Banner Year!

Your Banner Year

Have you ever thought about the phrase, "Banner Year"? Just what does that mean? Banner means successful, and includes these meanings:

I know there are some who think this is just positive thinking or something along those lines. But it's more than being positive. It's being sure of what the Lord says and promises in His Word! Let's look at some key verses to stand on this year.

Amos 9:13-14 (The Message):

"Yes, indeed, it won't be long now. God's decree. Things are going to happen so fast your head will swim, one thing fast on the heels of the other. You won't be able to keep up. Everything will be happening at once--and everywhere you look, blessings! Blessings like wine pouring off the mountains and hills. I'll make everything right again for my people Israel..."

One of my favorite speakers, Terri Savelle Foy, says, "When you're ready, get ready! Something is going to happen!" And that is just what Amos says, too. Stand on the promise of the Lord that things are going to happen so fast, your head will swim!! This is going to be your banner year! A year of blooming, blossoming, flourishing, prospering, and thriving! 

Lastly, Zechariah 10:6,10 (The Message) it says:

"I'll put muscle in the people of Judah; I'll save the people of Joseph. I know their pain and will make them good as new. And why? Because I am their very own God, I'll do what needs to be done for them...I've set them free--oh, how they'll flourish!"

So, get ready!! It won't be long now!!


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Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Homeschool Hump Day Encouragement

Getting Back Into A Schooling Routine

It's 9 a.m. and some of my children are still in bed. We were supposed to get up, eat breakfast and begin a new lesson in math this morning. But, well, getting back into the routine of school after the holidays sometimes happens at a snail's pace. Can you relate?
Maybe it was the chaos of family members visiting or the busyness of church activities or maybe you started a new life adventure with the birth of a new baby or moving to a new home. Whatever the reason for struggling with getting back into the routine of school, know first that you aren't alone. We all struggle with that at some point in the school year. But how do we get back into the swing of things and back on track? Well, we set a goal each day until we're back up to speed. 
For example, my kids are still trying to wake up. But I have planned to do this particular math lesson with them all at some point today. We will do it! It just might not be on my initial proposed timeline. It's not necessarily the fault of the children (I'm still in my pajamas as I type this!). But the key is to set new goals each day. Revise lesson plans, if you write them. Change the timeline for the day. But purpose to accomplish those lessons each day. 

Also, look at what you're doing in everyday life. I'm sure your children are still learning even without a textbook or workbook to guide them. So don't be so hard on yourself if you're not back in the full homeschooling groove just yet. Remember, if we wanted homeschooling to look and feel like public school, we probably would have our children in public school right now!


Monday, January 5, 2015

This Year is Going to Be YOUR Year!

As we begin the New Year, I know many of us will have made resolutions. I don't make them myself, but I think I create mental lists of things I want to accomplish in the new year in general. Things like writing and publishing more books, missions trips and speaking at more conferences top my list. 
But if you're like me, there are a lot of things you want to do! So how do you narrow your list to a more practical, workable one? 
Try this challenge:

Write down your Top Ten Goals for 2015 right now.
Tomorrow, don't look back at your list, and write the list again. Do this every day for 30 days and you will see your top goals. They are the ones you easily remember.

This weekend my husband and I went on a sort of retreat to listen to the Lord and what He has for us to accomplish and do for the Kingdom. We were listening to Terri Savelle Foy's "Five Years From Now" series. In it, Terri says, "Take five minutes and just stop and think." How simple a task that seemed. Stop and think about what you want to do. Those thoughts you're having of doing things in ministry, in writing, in adventure...God gave you those thoughts for a reason!

Even if what you're writing seems silly, if you're thinking it, there's probably a reason and a purpose! I want to be clear that I'm not talking about things like buying a pair of new shoes every month or things that are sinful. I'm talking about things like writing three books this year, especially if you're feeling like it's something you want to do and you've never written anything before now!

You can go back later and fine tune some of these things. Here's a list of things to keep in mind once you've created a list to help keep you on track and ensure success:

  1. Your goals must be in writing. Habakkuk 2:2-Write the vision. Proverbs 29:18-Without vision, the people perish.
  2. Your goals must be measurable. Writing 3 books is measurable. Simply saying you want to write books is not.
  3. Your goals must be specific. If you want to pay off debt, find out exactly how much your debt is. If your goal is a family vacation, find out the specific amount of money needed.
  4. Your goals must be realistic. If you want to If your goal is to write and publish a book a month, I can tell you from experience, it just won't happen. The process of writing and publishing a book is more than just a 30 day process.
  5. However, your goals should stretch you. That is not to meant to confuse you. You must stretch out in faith to see this goal accomplished; it's not something you can do in your own power.
  6. Your goals must have a deadline. You want to write books, lose weight, travel to a specific place? Set a date that you want to accomplish that by.
  7. Finally, your goals must be in sight! You must keep them in front of you, on you (print out a copy and keep it in your purse, wallet or as your phone's wallpaper!), so you see if everyday!

I can't wait to hear your goals and see what God is going to do in each of your lives. This is going to be YOUR year!!



Thursday, January 1, 2015

New Year, New Look

I'm sure you noticed the new design theme for Super Mom the Illusion. It was exciting to work with my middle son to create a new look for the blog and to get alone with the Lord to see the direction I should take with my readers.

I am going to be keeping some things the same and some things will change. You will still be able to read Homeschool Hump Day Encouragement  and the Friday 'Fess Up. Mondays will be dedicated to working toward our dreams, visions and goals and ways we can realistically move toward accomplishing them. I'm so excited about that because, as you know, vision boards and achieving our goals is my passion!


As we begin the New Year, you may remember that I post a word that will guide and direct my attitude, activities, and thoughts. I have been doing this now for three years through the One Word movement, and this year's word is one that I am super eager to share!
My One Word for 2015 is:

I chose this word because I realized that while the Lord is always there for me and will pick me up when I'm down, struggling through a storm or in need of His loving arms, His desire is for me to want to be with Him, to pursue Him in all that I do. I am pursuing other things that I believe the Lord has led me to and my husband and I are pursuing things as a couple. It is exciting to see this One Word already beginning to change the course of my life for the good!
Oh! And if you would like to choose your own One Word for 2015, please go visit my friend's Website: She will create your One Word to direct your year, too.

Post your One Word in the comments if you'd like! We can support each other in our journeys throughout the coming year!!