Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Homeschool Hump Day Encouragement

As the year is winding down, I have this thought in the chaos of end of the year events with my children's supplemental school:


Monday, April 27, 2015

More Than a Moral Compass...The Holy Spirit is Our Guide!

Have you been in a situation where you're hanging out with your friends, thinking about the fun times you're having and one of those friends wants to do something that just doesn't sit well with you? I'm not talking about anything illegal or even anything bad perse. They just want to flirt with a waiter or be a bit more obnoxious than usual or do something that feels...wrong, to you anyway. That's often referred to as your moral compass. But it's much more than that.

God has called us as His children and followers of Christ to live set apart lives. So when you're friend wants to leave a tip in a glass of water instead of on the table or wants to intentionally trip someone while they're walking or jokingly harass someone else and you begin to feel a twinge in your heart, your spirit, that's not some ethereal, mystical compass pulling at you. That's the Holy Spirit! He's letting you know that whatever your friend is doing, is not right or good and you shouldn't participate in that. 

Leaving that friend alone for a bit here, have you ever received more change back than you know you should have? Did you choose to keep it? Or was there something rising inside of you, in your heart or mind, that made you speak up and say something to whomever gave you too much? If you spoke up because you felt you should or that you needed to, that was the Holy Spirit speaking to you. It's how God speaks to us to show us what's right and what's wrong that we're doing in our lives. Without it, we would not have a reason to have morals and values. Nothing would matter that we did because it wouldn't feel right or would just be what we wanted to do all the time.

The Bible is the basis of that moral compass and the Holy Spirit is that guide that shows us when we're going down the wrong path and when a change must be made. In Galatians 5:17 the Word shows us that our sinful nature is to do opposite of what the Spirit wants. These two forces are constantly fighting each other so we struggle with doing the right thing sometimes. But when the Spirit guides us, we produce the kind of fruit in our lives that is pleasing to God: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

Have a blessed week!


Friday, April 24, 2015

Friday 'Fess Up

Today's 'fess up is about music, specifically Christian music. Lately, I've been troubled by the lyrics to a recently released song from a popular group. The lyrics are talking about a husband and wife's marriage and how they're both broken. But what the song says beyond that is that "maybe you and I were never made to be complete....the only way we'll last forever is broken together."

Maybe it's just the way I interpret things, but I believe Jesus makes us complete through His sacrifice on the cross! That got me to thinking about some of the other Christian songs I have been listening to. One says "you must think I'm strong enough to give me what I'm going through..." If I'm going through something bad, I don't believe God GAVE that to me and He certainly doesn't push me to the point of hitting rock bottom, as the song goes on to say. Lastly, there is a song with lyrics that proclaim that He (God) gives and takes away...While I do agree that He gives us favor and blessings and He does take away pain, the condemnation of our sin, I do not agree that He gives us things and takes them away. 

I'm trying to be more intentional in what I listen to and what I allow into my mind and ultimately my spirit because I know it does affect me and my attitude, behavior, mood, etc. So this week, listen more intently to the lyrics of the music you listen to. What are they speaking to your spirit? Are they building you up or tearing you down? Do they reflect your values and morals?

Maybe it's time to alter your playlist!


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Homeschool Hump Day Encouragement

Do you feel like you lose momentum toward the end of the school year? I know what that looks like. You're so close to the end of the book, you think you might just stop right now. After all, most textbooks pick up with the new school year right about that place the last textbook left off, right? They overlap in teaching and learning some of those later skills.

Or maybe you're like me...the end of the textbook is so far away. You've worked hard on the material all year, but there have been struggles--yours and the kids! But the end of the textbook is almost out of sight, out of reach before the school year is over and what's the point of all this homeschooling if I can't finish the textbook? I've caught myself thinking that!!

Homeschooling Mama, this is the time to take a step back. You need something to refresh you and your homeschooling even if it's just to get through the rest of the school year. Try going to a park, taking a field trip, exploring your town or area, take the kids grocery shopping for certain items and incorporate math, or just flat out PLAY!

We lose momentum because of the monotony of what our homeschool day has become. But it's okay to deviate from the norm or what you think SHOULD be a normal homeschool day! Changing things up reenergizes not only the kids to get them ready for more learning but it gives you a new outlook, too. You can focus on the task and accomplishing it with ease rather than with struggle and conflict. Pray that the Lord would give you new ideas of teaching your children.

You know, in the Old Testament, there weren't textbooks, a normal school year or grades given out. But Deuteronomy 6 says this about schooling:

You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. (Deuteronomy 6:7-9).
Teaching your children doesn't all have to come from textbook and workbooks. They are great aids, especially when we don't know where to begin in our homeschooling journey. But think of the world around you and what you can show and teach all of your children from God's creations!

Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego had similar quests for knowledge and understanding. They worked for the king and God gave them knowledge because they also prayed and worked for God!

Don't get discouraged, Mama! Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it!


Monday, April 20, 2015

Do You Walk By Faith...or By Sight?

This weekend at church, I went up to receive prayer for healing. I've been battling a sore thumb/wrist area for a few months and I know the Lord can and will heal me. I just hadn't gone up to be prayed over until Sunday. I'm not sure why. Maybe other pressing issues or situations in my life or just had a day when I had forgotten about the slight pain that comes and goes.
So, I went up and received prayer. Its was amazing because I literally felt tingling in both hands and I received that healing right then and there! The pain was gone except for this tingling, which was not pain, but I can't exactly describe the feeling. Has this ever happened to you? Have you received prayer and answer or healing immediately? I hadn't experienced this before, so I was quite excited!
After lunch, we came home and I began to work on the computer. Well, it wasn't long before that familiar crampy, achy pain came back and it seemed even stronger than it had been. You know, Satan likes to do that to us to get us to doubt and start to fester unbelief that our healing actually took place. He wants us to lose faith in the healing power of Jesus! And that, dear sisters, is when we must turn from what we are seeing, feeling, and experiencing and hold fast and strong to what we believe. Jesus died and took our sickness, pain, disease on Himself! To deny that we are healed and to want to hold on to those things is to say there was no reason for Jesus' death. 

Jesus conquered more than death on the cross, though. He bore everything Satan created to destroy us. Jesus was made sickness that we might be healthy through His sacrifice. If you believe your are healed, you were prayed for and you have faith in the power of Jesus' Name to overcome sickness and disease, then don't let your faith waver and stray! Hold on to the promise that He bore all of that for matter what you see in the natural. It's been settled in Heaven and God is preparing to manifest your healing in this realm even now!


Friday, April 17, 2015

BOOK REVIEW: The Story of King Jesus by Ben Irwin

This book is just what parents of young children have been looking for to tell their children about Jesus! Irwin very plainly explains the Israelites' captivity in Egypt, the need for a Savior, Jesus as our Lord and King and the fact of His life, death and resurrection!

I read this book with my grandson who is still quite young, but he enjoyed the pictures which are simplistic and colorful. I enjoyed the short sentences on each page and it was easy to read and relate the details of each part of the stories.

I think this book is a wonderful Mother's Day gift for a mom-to-be or for a mom of young children. It allows her to simply share the stories of Israel, Jesus and what God has for each of us.

To buy this book visit:

Barnes and Noble
Christian Book Distributors


Friday 'Fess Up

Have you ever experienced the goodness of the Lord and want to share so badly, but you know that your friends are in the midst of trial so you really want to share the blessings you've had...but you don't want to make them feel worse than they already do in their present situation?

Have you ever been the other person in the trial and on the receiving end of the good news, but felt something rising up inside you that made you feel maybe a sense of jealousy, being slighted that you're not receiving a blessing, or offended by their happiness? (Just me?!)

The Word says that in every trial we need to count it all joy (James 1:2). It also says, "Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, in the day of trial in the wilderness (Hebrews 3:8).

Believe me, I know how tough it is to see others receiving, especially when it's unbelievers that seem to prosper, achieve and accomplish things you are trying to do! But the joy of the Lord is our strength and we don't have to be jealous, envious or desire what they have because what the Lord gives us, in His time, is going to be greater and better than what we see others receiving because it will be chosen just for us at the right time, right place, and the right faith-frame of mind!!

Be a faith superhero and hit those feelings with these powerful verses that will boost your faith until your breakthrough comes!!


Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Homeschool Hump Day Encouragement

The school year is nearing an end...unless you're a year-round homeschooling family. But how do you know if you should school during traditional school months or if working on lessons year-round is best? Well, you don't really know until you try it and transitioning into summer is a great time to try.

There are a few thoughts on how to do year-round schooling, but I prefer to simply start a new textbook or workbook once one of my kids finishes the old book. This way, they continue the learning process and do not have to spend the first part of our schooling year refreshing the information they had learned at the end of the previous text.

Another option is to take off a month of school two or three times a year instead of taking all three months of summer off at one time. Again, the reasoning with this process is that there is greater retention of information and less need for remedial instruction of skills.

We tend to do a little bit of both. We take off all of June and all of December in homeschooling year. This is because we often have family reunions, Civil Air Patrol events, or other obligations during each of those months. It's just easier to give our attention to those things that cannot be altered than to try to maintain the chaos of a much too busy schedule.

Whatever options you choose to do with your family and in your homeschool, know that you are making the best decision for your own family. It doesn't have to look like my family's homeschooling year or anyone else's. Homeschooling is not cookie cutter education but rather individualized family schooling. You've got this homeschooling, Mama!!


Monday, April 13, 2015

Full Steam Ahead!

FORCE Yourself!

Flashback to my years in graduate school. I was finishing up one of my college classes one week.  The projects weren't difficult; in fact, it was a Power Point presentation, which I enjoyed making, and a 3-5 page paper that was nearly complete.  I'm a writer and these are the things I enjoy doing!  However, earlier that week, I wrestled with motivation to actually complete the projects.  I lost interest somewhere along the way.  As I said, for me, these projects weren't difficult, but I looked at them as things on a never-ending "to-do list" that needed to be checked off.  
Now, if you're like me (and my kids, for that matter!), you make these lists and do the easier, more fun things first and the less exciting items toward the end.  That's where I found myself!  The continuation of these assignments became less and less entertaining for me.  I read a post by my brother-in-law ( and began to think about how much of life I have to force myself to do.  These times sneak up on us and tend to rob us of the time we could, we should, be spending doing the work the Lord called us to.  Years ago, I remember forcing myself to get up even though the baby had been fussy most of the night.  Still, his or her siblings needed to have breakfast, so I got up.  I forced myself to overcome a fear of being in my house alone following my being a victim of rape; forced myself to exercise and walk around a lake when I so badly just wanted to sit in my room watching television; and forced myself to get up and go to church when staying home or going somewhere else would have been more "fun."
You see, all these things we have to force ourselves to do are simply distractions by Satan.  He tries to keep us from completing tasks given to us by the Father because when we succeed, it gives God glory and accomplishes something for the Kingdom!  Satan would like nothing better than to have us waste what time we have by getting lazy or distracted.  But we have the Spirit of God living in us, and that power, that force, gives us all we need to overcome barriers like lack of motivation, laziness, and procrastination.  He makes us a force to be reckoned with, with spiritual warfare as our defense!
Next time there is a particular chore you put off doing, a phone call to a friend you hesitate in making, or a meeting you try to find an excuse not to attend, remember, that is just Satan filling your head with lies to keep you from God!  Force yourself to complete the chore; force yourself to pick up the phone and call; and force yourself to attend that church meeting.  Before you know it, you won't have to force yourself any more!


Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Homeschool Hump Day Encouragement

Today I want to shake things up a bit! I want to hear YOUR questions about homeschooling!

Maybe you're wondering how to talk to parents and other family members who aren't "on board" with you educating your children.
Maybe you're not sure how or WHERE to begin!
Maybe you're not sure it's working for you and your children.
Maybe you just need to hear someone is feeling the same way, going through the same issues as you.

This is the time and place, a safe place, to explore those questions more!

So come on! Let's hear what's been on your mind lately!


Monday, April 6, 2015

Expecting Opportunities

Last week my oldest daughter and I were grocery shopping. A woman came up to us to admire my grandson and we found ourselves in a conversation with this woman about veteran's benefits. Well, that eventually led to us discussing the country's need for God once again and to my surprise, this woman agreed! I shared the three Scriptures in a nonchalant manner and she was very receptive. She then told us she prays every morning that the Lord would be with her and he's answered prayers in ways she never thought possible. It was a nice, brief moment in the coming together of two believers, and it was an opportunity to trust the Lord and share His love with a total stranger.

I've begun to make it a point to ask God to give me more and more opportunities to share His love and the gospel and come to expect that at some point in my comings and goings, I'll run into a stranger who needs to hear or to be encouraged like the woman in the grocery store. These opportunities often don't take much time and it will build your faith in the Lord in the process. All we have to do is be willing to start speaking.

As you go about your week, whether a regular week or Spring Break, ask the Lord to bring opportunities to you to share His gospel and love. Someone needs to hear your story and only you can tell it!


Friday, April 3, 2015

Friday 'Fess Up

Well, this week, as you've probably noticed, I dropped the ball again with the blog posts. Monday night was a big event that I planned for the youth organization I work for and it was a stressful time for me. The night was absolutely fantastic, and I was so relieved it went so well. I hardly had any time to relax and debrief from the pressure of all that planning an event of this caliber entailed, so this week, I didn't write on the blog. I needed to take some time for me again to just sit back and not have any demands (other than family obligations).

You know sometimes, as moms and homemakers, we just need to step back and take time for ourselves! And that is okay to do! In fact, it's almost essential to get yourself back on track with the Lord on a regular basis. That might be once a week, once a month, or just any time that gives you the opportunity to debrief from the events of your family's life, whether busyness, new baby, moving to a new home or after illness.

Take time and draw near to the Lord and He will give you rest.