Monday, September 28, 2015

Use It Or Lose It!

Have you heard  can't that saying before..."Use it or lose it"? What does that mean to you? In some instances it might mean a skill you learned in school, like quadratic equations or diagramming sentences. It might mean a coupon for a free latte. It could even mean the talent God has given you. And that is what I want to talk about today.

Each one of us was born with specific talents and gifts to be used in some way for the Kingdom of God. We were given the talent of writing or speaking or compassion or helping or service or a number of other things. And only you can use the talent you were given. I can't write stories in the same way my favorite authors write their stories nor will I reach the same people they will reach. It's the same thing with each of us. We may have similar talents, but they can and will be used to reach different people. 

Consider the master who gave his servants each a specific number of talents. To one he gave five, to another two and to another just one. What happened to each of those servants when they were given their talent? Here's what the Word says:

I want to be like those guys, don't you? But what about the third servant? The Scripture tells us that the last servant was afraid he would lose what he was given, so he hid that one talent! He buried it.
"And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.’ “But his lord answered and said to him, ‘You wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed. Therefore take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents" (Matthew 25:25-26, 28).

How often have I thought my writing wasn't up to the same caliber as my favorite authors and thought there was no point to me writing my stories? More often than I should have, that's for sure. But I wrote them and I wrote them afraid. Afraid that I might fail, afraid that no one would buy my books and afraid that people would think my stories belonged in the garbage! But I chose not to hide and not to quit.

My dear sisters, whatever talent the Lord has given you, USE IT! Don't be afraid of what others might think. God gave you the talent He did that it would reach and touch even one person and change their eternity for good! Terri Savelle Foy says, "Someone is waiting on the other side of your obedience." Meaning, someone is waiting for you to do what God has called you to do! 

Start moving in your talent today! If you don't use it, just like the servant who hid his talent, it might be taken away...


Friday, September 25, 2015

Friday 'Fess Up

This week has been busy, but good. I've enjoyed sleeping again since taking care of my mom following her knee replacement surgery. It has actually been my pleasure to take care of her! But that's not my confession today.

My confession is that today when my sister asked me if I had heard back about a job I had interviewed for, I had to tell her that I had honestly forgotten about the job! That made me stop and think a little bit. If the job had been important to me, would I have remembered I was waiting to hear back about it? Was I just too wrapped up in the duties of the week to remember? Or is it not part of God's plan for my life right now so He removed it from my mind already filled with tasks?

I really don't have the answer. But I do know that if it's something I'm supposed to do, I'm going to be thinking about it. I'm going to be looking at everything I can do to impress on those who do the hiring process to "pick me!" But I'm not doing that. I confess that while taking care of my mother this week and losing sleep shocked me and for a brief amount of time made me a bit angry, but I'm so glad to be a part of seeing her getting better and better everyday!

Maybe you're rushing to get back into the workforce after having children. Maybe you are looking forward to the time when your children go off to school. But don't be too eager to move on to the next phase of your life. Enjoy where you're at now.


Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Homeschool Hump Day Encouragement

Today, I wanted to share links to some of my favorite websites for worksheets and curriculum! Since there is a vast amount of curriculum options available, I thought you might like to see what I have used and let you visit the sites yourself to check it out for your family!

What curricula does your family currently use? What do you like about it? What have you tried and decided against using? Feel free to share your own experiences!! You may help another homeschooling mom choose the best curriculum for her family, too!

Printables and Worksheets:

Links to Curriculum:

Monday, September 21, 2015

Not My Power, Lord, But Yours

For the past few days I have been stretched thin, more than I ever have before, even with raising eight children. I got a total of 4 hours sleep last night, and, in the process, I cleaned the kitchen at 3:30 a.m. I have dreams that interrupt my sleep and cause me to not be able to fall back to sleep so easily. It has been a battle for me because as much as I want to help, I can't do it in my own strength. 

The Word says: "He gives power to the faint and weary, and to him who has no might He increases strength, causing it to multiply and making it to abound (Isaiah 40:29, Amplified). So no matter how tired I become, how in a fog I am going through daily tasks, or how much I think I should just throw in the towel, I know that He will give me the strength I need to finish this particular race! 

If you are like me, you need to be reminded of that regularly. You know, we can accomplish what we're given to do each and every day! We can run this race, tired and exhausted and ready to give up! We can complete the thing that He has called us to in this season in our lives! 

Don't give up!!


Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Homeschool Hump Day Encouragement

This week, my mother had knee replacement surgery. It was a great opportunity to explain to my kids just why the surgery was needed, what happens during the surgery and how we can believe God for healing no matter where our faith is, meaning believing Him for healing, the surgery to be a tool in our healing, etc.

My children were able to visit a different environment than our schooling environment and it exposed them to possible future careers. One thing I am a proponent of doing is allowing kids explore the "what if" of learning. What if my son was captivated by the physical therapist's role in health care? What if my daughter decided clown ministry at the hospital is something that she would like to learn about? What if the smells at the hospital turned my other son's stomach? And the "what ifs" are endless.

Next time a relative has surgery or a friend's son enlists in the military or you check out your local grocery store think of the learning opportunities and teachable moments that are present. It will open your child's mind to the possibilities in life!


Monday, September 14, 2015

But in everything...

Last night, our church celebrated Rosh Hashanah and the Feast of Trumpets. It was an exciting and moving time as we lifted up Israel in prayer. It was also a motivating time for me. I want to do what the Lord has called me to do! I want to be found on the day of His return immersed in work for the Kingdom of God. Recently, though, I've been feeling conflicted with just what that is.

I thrive on doing social media posts, writing, sharing information, meeting and talking to people, and educating my children. I know I have a calling to write, minister to women, and work with youth. So how does all this fit together? How can I accomplish all of this myself?

The answer, surprisingly, is that I can't!

I can't know from my own knowledge which door to walk through, which "job" is the right one for me to accept, or what group to work with. I can approach each door in prayer, though. 

You may find yourself in a similar situation. Maybe you have some decisions to make, and, like me, you want to make the "right" decision for you, your family, and most importantly, for God. You may feel as though you aren't hearing from Him on which route to take. That's okay for now. Just pray about each opportunity and ask Him to open the right doors at the right time so that you know it was Him. I can assure you that if you seek Him, He will not abandon you, leave you in the dark, or be silent. 

The Word says, "This is the confidence we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him" (1 John 5:14-15, NKJV). Let's boldly ask in prayer for the Lord to reveal to us His plans, His path for our open opportunities, and be found doing what He has assigned us for His Kingdom!


Friday, September 11, 2015

Friday 'Fess Up

My 'fess up this week is that I am finally feeling like I'm getting back on track with the calling the Lord has given me. And yet there are some things I am still unsure of, but I know the Lord will work it all out. Sometimes you just have to push some doors to see which ones will open and which ones you need to leave alone!

If you've had a time of uncertainty, wondering where you're supposed to be going in life, and how everything is going to play out, just trust the Lord. He has plans for you better than you can ever hope, think, or imagine! He has your best interest in mind and He knows the gifts you have to be used at a specific time and place. Don't get so wrapped up with thinking that confuses you. Meditate on the Word and know that He is in control!


Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Homeschool Hump Day Encouragement

"Help! I've just started my homeschooling year and we're already behind!"

Homeschool mama, if this is you, know that you are not alone! You may be wondering how, at the beginning of the school year, you got off track. I've been there. Life gets busy. The kids have activities and events, appointments come up, and we find ourselves doing school on the run. The books seldom come with us, so in my mind I begin to think, "Oh, no! Another day without doing school!" 

As we have discussed before, school goes so much farther than spending time in textbooks and workbooks. It's about teaching our children to want to learn about the world, people, the way things work, along with how to read, write, perform mathematical calculations, understanding science and remembering history. All of those things work cohesively to form in our child a desire to learn and that is the end goal, in my opinion. 

So today, Mama, if you are behind and wondering how and why that happened, just remember the things you are doing outside of the books and ask yourself, "Did my child learn something new today?" Teaching how to learn is our job!


Friday, September 4, 2015

Friday 'Fess Up

I confess that this week I didn't accomplish the things I wanted to. I felt like I was playing catch-up all week after returning from vacation. I didn't plan very well. I thought I would just jump back into my normal routine after rising early and going to bed late for a week playing at our favorite theme parks!! That so didn't happen.

But the good news for me, and for you if your week has been less than successful, is that His mercies are new every morning for us! And with this long holiday weekend coming, we can take that time to get back into the regular good habits we might have been slacking in last week.

Being conscious of the fact that we each have a call on our lives and a job to do, work that must be accomplished, we can focus better when we face a new day. It's not a do-over but rather an opportunity to get back on track with God.

Have a wonderful Labor Day weekend!!


Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Homeschool Hump Day Encouragement

I remember when I was a new homeschooling mom. The choices in curricula were overwhelming, but I wanted to chose just the right one for my children. I also wanted to make sure I was within our state's compliance for homeschooling and wanted to keep detailed accurate records of all the work that each of my children did...every year! I had meticulous notebooks with schedules, lesson plans, attendance sheets, hours worked, etc. Still, something was missing.

I realized as I became consumed by these records and little details, I was missing out on some precious teaching moments with my children. I was concentrating more on making sure they finished the workbooks than allowing their exploration of the world around them. I was wrapped up in paperwork that I thought I needed to have in place. And I missed opportunities with my older children that I can't get back. Thankfully, I have been able to implement change with my younger children and they thrive on learning and investigating things that peak their interest.

Today, remember that it isn't necessarily about the paperwork, finishing the workbooks, having lists and schedules, and making sure documentation is in order. Take time to ask your children what they are interested in and begin showing them how to learn more about that topic. You'll open the floodgates of learning that will make them lifelong learners in all they do. And no amount of proper planning and paperwork can duplicate that!