Friday, December 30, 2016

Friday 'Fess Up

Good evening, friends! I'm sorry this has been delayed in getting out to you all. But it really fits so well with my confession today. I confess that I have really enjoyed stepping back from all the "things" I usually do! Not this blog, of course! But those things that pull me away from my family, from church, from the assignment God has given me. Can you relate?

Usually, I have school to work on (mine or the kids), have the youth organization where I was the leader, prayer groups, and other miscellaneous meetings that just rob me of my time focusing on and working on those things the Lord has called me to do. Well, I've stepped away from two of those things, and I can honestly say, I don't miss them! I miss the people, but I don't miss the time they sucked away from my Kingdom work.

Tonight, and into tomorrow as we look forward to a new year filled with new beginnings, new opportunities, and new adventures, I want you to seriously consider how busy you are.
What things can go?
What things SHOULD go?
What do you want t focus more on?
What do you want to accomplish?
What do you want 2017 to be for you?
How do you want your life, business, family, relationships, finances to flourish?

Pray about those things and write them down! If you write them down and look at them every day, you're 93% more likely to accomplish them! What have you enjoyed during this holiday season? What things is the Lord showing you need to be removed and need to be your center of attention? Whatever it is, allow Him to reveal that to you as you pray, as you sleep, as you go about your day! Say this: 

Have a blessed last day of 2016 tomorrow!


Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Homeschool Hump Day Encouragement

Vision boards and One Word are my passion! If you've read my blog long enough, you know this. Today, I want to talk to you about vision boards and One Word for your children. If your kids are about 7 or older, they are capable of choosing goals (maybe with a bit of assistance to keep things realistic!) and to create a vision board. So now you're thinking, "How do I get my kids to make goals when they won't even clean their rooms?"

I want to help you guide your children toward their passions, callings, and visions the Lord is beginning to reveal to them in their lives.  If you read that sentence thinking, “My elementary/middle/high schooler doesn’t have a CLUE what his or her vision, passion, or calling is!  How can I guide my child toward that?”  Let me assure you, there are steps you can take, one year at a time!

Whether you or your child knows or sees it, he or she is being molded into the person God planned.  Learning how to focus in on your student’s purpose and calling requires a few steps, even if the student already has a clear idea of his or her calling in life.  This is your opportunity to encourage them, build them up and challenge them to put their faith in the Lord to reach those goals.

 You might ask them open-ended and leading questions to see if they are thinking about future careers and the call God has put on their lives.  Ask them:

  • Was there something you enjoyed doing when you were younger that you still do now?
  • If money were not an issue (maybe you would get paid, maybe you wouldn’t), would you do this activity, hobby, etc.?
  • When you grow up, which of the following jobs would you most like to have?  Why?

-The chief of a major company like General Motors
-A Navy SEAL
-A United States Senator
-The president of a great university like Harvard or Yale
-The personal assistant to a very famous singer or movie star

  • What are your biggest dreams?
  • How can I help you get started toward that goal?

You don’t have to have all the answers.  You just need to listen, believe in them, and help them see things from a different point of view sometimes!  They will look to you as an example, a role model, for what they can accomplish in life.  Just being there is often the best thing you can do for a teen.

In the Scriptures we read that:

“It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone. (Ephesians 1:11-12, The Message)

Helping your child find his or her passion and get a clear vision is one of the most amazing things you can do. Getting their eyes on the Lord and off into the world will catapult them to accomplishing what God has predestined them to do for the Kingdom.

 What your students can imagine themselves doing in life, what they have in their hearts to do for the Lord, they can become!

Monday, December 26, 2016

Heading into the New Year!

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas weekend with family and friends celebrating Jesus' birth! I was blessed to have all my children and grandchildren here at our house and my heart couldn't be more full!

As we look back on the past year, there are many things that were on our vision boards that we were able to complete! YAY for all your achievements! But there may have been things that were on your vision board that you weren't able to accomplish. I want to encourage you that it's not that you missed something, didn't work hard enough to achieve that, or that it wasn't meant to be. Sometimes, it's just not the right time or right season in our life for the dreams and goals we have. Don't lose hope, though! Keep putting it on your annual vision board and seek the Lord. Ask Him to show you what the right time is, the right season in your spiritual and personal life, and to give you the desire of your heart! He didn't give you that dream or vision for nothing. He has a time--and a purpose--for everything that He has given to you as a dream.

Finally, I want to remind you to pray and think about what your One Word will be for 2017. In the past, I have shared my words and they served to give me focus and direction in the year. Think about what you want to accomplish, what goals you have for 2017. Is there a common theme? Maybe a word that connects all of them? Maybe that is your One Word!

I'll be praying for you and if you would like a One Word badge as seen on my Super Mom the Illusion home page, I'd be happy to make one for you! Send an email with color requests to:

May you have a blessed and prosperous New Year!!


Friday, December 16, 2016

Friday 'Fess Up

We've talked a lot about vision boards and making goals. The goals we make--and write down--we're more apt to achieve. A year ago, I wrote out some goals that I wanted to accomplish. Below are the Top Ten Goals for 2016 I made and some that I missed. It's not that those goals weren't God-goals or weren't meant to be accomplished, but maybe the timing wasn't right. So let's see how my year went:

I worked with youth, I'm continuing my Master's degree, getting ready to publish one book, took those three family vacations with family (one trip with my dad and sister, one with 2 grandsons and 3 youngest kids, and one with the whole family), became a state public affairs representative, and had nearly $1,000 of credit card debt forgiven! Praise the Lord for those successes!

Of course there were things that I didn't accomplish either. Our women's ministry is still a work in progress, I was not able to increase my income, I didn't publish 2 books (just the one above), I didn't get to Canada this year, and my husband and I didn't get to take that missions trip to Germany and Poland. But everything is in God's perfect timing. Just because they didn't happen this year, doesn't mean they won't ever happen. That's the same for your goals that were missed this year. 

Don't get down on yourself for not accomplishing those things either! We have to rely on God's direction for seeing the vision to completion, not our own power! Remember, even if you only hit SOME of your goals, you were successful! If you aim for nothing, you'll hit it every time. I'd rather aim for 100% and hit 50% than not aim for anything at all!

What were your goals last year? Are you planning to make goals for 2017? I'd love for you to share them with me and my team so we can pray over them!

Have a great weekend!!


Wednesday, December 14, 2016

My Personal Testimony of Receiving the Baptism of the Holy Spirit

When I was a journalism student in college just eight years ago, my voice and presentation professor told me that I had a face for radio (as opposed to television news). That comment scarred me for a long time, especially because I was a 38-year-old non-traditional student whose peers were mainly 19 to 21-year-olds!
But here it is! One of the few videos I've done. I felt that the message and my own testimony were more important than my fears and insecurities. The Lord is redeeming me in those areas, and the fear of what others think has less of an impact on me than in years earlier.  Please watch the video, and if you have never received the baptism of the Holy Spirit and you would like to, send me a Facebook message or email. I'd love to pray for you in that area of your life!

Thanks for visiting today!


Monday, December 12, 2016

The Gift of the Holy Spirit

When that pivotal moment in our lives came, and our eyes were opened and we had a divine revelation and knew that we needed a Lord and Savior, we accepted that gift with great rejoicing and gratitude at the sacrifice of Jesus for our sins. Do you remember that feeling, that day, that moment? I do.

What about the moment you received Jesus' precious gift of the Holy Spirit? Do you remember when you received and accepted that gift? Maybe you haven't yet. Join me tomorrow when I share my personal testimony of my baptism of the Holy Spirit!

If you've been baptized in the Spirit, I'd love to hear your story, too!

Comment here or share on Facebook:

Have a blessed Day!


Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Homeschool Hump Day Encouragement

One of my favorite things about homeschooling is the ability to be flexible and think outside the box when it comes to school. Traditionally, students go to school, are taught from a textbook, and are guided to learn the material from that book. I suppose even as a student myself, I never really liked textbooks. My philosophy of education is to teach children how to learn and to learn to be lifelong learners.

You may be wondering how you can teach your children without using textbooks or you may think I'm completely wrong about tying education to anything but using textbooks. The fact is, children learn in many different ways just like adults do. What was the last thing you learned? Maybe you watched a YouTube video on how to crochet or took a free online course or maybe you even learned how to make a vision board from reading a blog! Have you ever considered additional ways for children to learn some of the academic subjects or electives that interest them?

Here are some ideas of ways to teach your children that are a bit "outside the box":

What kinds of things do you do with your children that move away from textbooks?

Have a great homeschooling week!


Monday, December 5, 2016

What Are You Saying About YOU?

I am a believer in positive affirmations. Ever since I took a class back when I had my first baby, I was convinced that speaking good things over my children would be beneficial to them later in life. I also used that same technique, if you will, with my husband, encouraging him in the pursuits and goals he had for our family and for himself as the head of our household. But I forgot about the one person many of us women neglect to consider--ME!

How often do we go without so our kids can have something more, something better? How often do we make sure everyone else is taken care of? How often do we long for time to ourselves only to be called to kiss a boo-boo, stifle a conflict, or soothe a crying little one? How many times have we felt defeated as moms, feeling as though we're lost in our homeschooling or parenting?

I came across a perfect treasure at a local thrift store and before I knew it, I had set it in the cart with my other purchases. I call it my "Reminder Glass." It reminds me of all the things I am or at least that I strive to be. And most importantly, how God sees me.

Some of the words on the glass include:

Just saying those words and speaking them over my life, out loud even if I'm the only one who hears them and believes them, is so empowering to me! It's a way to remind myself that just because I had a bad day doesn't mean I'm a bad person, doesn't mean I'm not loved, and doesn't mean that God doesn't see me as those wonderful things anymore.

What positive things do you say about yourself, especially when you've had a particularly tough day?

God's mercies are new every morning! Believe it, receive it by faith!
What happened today doesn't define me. Only God can do that!

Have a blessed week!


Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Homeschool Hump Day Encouragement

As home educators, we strive to teach our children all they need to know in academics. We make sure they are at or exceeding in their grade levels, we challenge them more and more with math and science, and we work diligently on proper grammar usage. But do we work as much on our children's spiritual education as well?

Beginning our day in prayer and studying God's Word is the perfect start to our homeschooling day! When we put God first in our day, He will cause the rest of our day to fall into place...with perfect peace in our schooling day.

You may be wondering how to begin, especially if you have young children. It's simple. Begin by purchasing a children's Bible and read stories from that until the children learn to read on their own. Then, you can encourage them to start reading from the Bible, too.

By beginning our day in the Word, we set the tone for the rest of the day, too. The Word says:

Start the day in the Word, train your children in the matters of the Word, and it will get into his spirit and come back to him in times of trouble!

Have a blessed homeschooling week!


Monday, November 28, 2016

Preparing for the New Year

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday! We were blessed to have all 8 of our kids and our daughter-in-love and son-in-love join us for the weekend, and I always love having my grandsons around.

As I stop and reflect on the previous year, I am encouraged by the things that the Lord has helped me accomplish and opportunities He's given me to fulfill the visions and dreams I have. With a little over a month left of 2016, I thought it would be a great time to start thinking about our One Word for 2017. My previous words included: Imagine, Intentional, Pursue, and Genuine.

 We will talk more about how to choose that One Word in the next few weeks, but this week, I want you to begin by brainstorming, writing a list of words that come to mind when you think about next year, things you want to accomplish, new habits you want to form, and changes you want to make in your life, to your health, in your finances, in your activities. Today, I want you to start!

Four years ago, a friend of mine offered to make a design for those who chose a One Word. I'm offering that to you, my friends, for 2017! Just be sure to get your word to me before January 31, 2017!

Have a blessed week!!


Friday, November 25, 2016

Friday 'Fess Up

Over the years, I've gathered a lot of family traditions. Every year on our birthday, I go to be an all-day guest at the school my twin sister teaches at. It's a great time of confusing her students. Our family goes up to a local town in the mountains just like my step-dad used to do with all of us. We go to family reunions in June and September. Road trips in October to our favorite event in Texas--Icing! And my sister and I (along with some of our daughters!) always go Black Friday shopping. This will be our 15th year, too!

But my confession today is this...we get up as early as 3 a.m., head out to the mall or other stores--and RARELY make any purchases!! That's right! We go out, drive around in the cold (until the car warms up anyway), walk around the crowded stores, and hardly ever buy anything! You see, for us, it isn't about finding the great deals, checking off things for loved ones from their Christmas lists, or getting that hard-to-find gift. It's about spending time together. It's about having that time to fellowship, to laugh, to be silly, and to enjoy being with the girls.

What fun traditions do you have for the holidays?



Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Homeschool Hump Day Encouragement

I love this time of year! Thanksgiving and Christmas always brings our family together. In our homeschooling years, we have found that taking off all of December works well since we are all so busy with events and activities. But Thanksgiving is a little different. Here is a prime opportunity to work in school with fun and lifelong lessons.

Today, several of our children will begin making their chosen part of assembling our family meal. Our menu consists of turkey, stuffing, green bean casserole, Jell-O Salad (a family tradition!), mashed potatoes, garlic mushrooms, gravy, pumpkin pie, and banana pudding! What I do is have each of the kids chose something they want to make. That means that they must assemble all the ingredients, find a bowl or something to make the dish in, and most importantly, clean up after themselves! 

You can do the same thing! Even smaller children can help mash potatoes or mix green bean casserole or even set the silverware on the table! Next, during the meal, you can go around and say some of the things you and your family are thankful for. This is always something we try to do every day, practicing an attitude of gratitude! It's even more special to reflect back on the year, and see what God has done for us.

May you have a happy and blessed Thanksgiving!!


Monday, November 14, 2016

Turn Your Dreams Into Reality

We all have things we dream about. Things we want to do in life, things we want to accomplish personally and professionally, and things we are willing to step out of our comfort zones to get done. We've talked at length about why to create vision boards, how to create them, and what to put on them. I want to move from that now, though. That's all elementary information! We know what to do and how to do it. How do we move from our dreams and what we can only see on our vision boards to seeing them manifest? We need to put our faith along with our dreams and visions to see those things we dream of become realities! 

Hebrews 11:1 says:

Faith is for here and now while hope is for the future. So we don't sit back and HOPE our dreams come true. We activate our faith, and we put that to work connecting us with the invisible. When we have faith for our dreams and visions to come to pass, we tap into the favor of God. Something we can not earn, but something God gives us. We walk by faith and not by sight, so we have faith that our dreams, goals, and visions will happen! 

Have a blessed week!!


Monday, November 7, 2016

It's Not Too Late...

A couple of months ago, I began travelling more than usual. I slowly noticed that some of the habits I had incorporated into my life like working out, eating a lean diet, focusing on writing, began to slip. They were no longer priorities for me. Then, I began to see the effects of letting those things slide to the back burner. I began gaining weight, I wasn't getting the good sleep I had been, and my book deadlines needed to be pushed back in order to finish them.

You know, I felt like leaving some of those things right back there, out of sight where I wasn't reminded of my slacking off, my failure. But I made a choice to not quit, not this time! Today is a new day, a new opportunity to begin right where you are right now. The Bible says, "His mercies are new every morning!" (Lamentations 3:23). 
Don't worry about where you had been, what you had done. Make the decision to start again. It's not too late! My personal trainer has a positive declaration that he tells all his clients and it's even in his email signature so he sees it multiple times a day: 

  • What have you let slip to the back burner? 
  • What are you keeping back their telling yourself it's not a priority? 
  • Do you really feel it isn't a top priority like it once was? 
  • If it still is, what's stopping you from getting back to it TODAY?

You can still get back to those things! It's not too late to start!

Have a blessed week!


Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Homeschool Hump Day Encouragement

I was talking to a friend who began to get discouraged in her homeschooling efforts. As we talked, I discovered her discouragement came from the people she was talking to. She was listening to people in the public school system who were attempting to convince her that the best method of education for her children was enrolling them in the local elementary school. She is very much against that, but started to doubt her own abilities to educate her children. That's when I knew something had to change for her.

Maybe you've felt the same discouragement. Have you considered who you are listening to, though? If you want to be encouraged and empowered in your homeschooling journey, don't turn to public school teachers. Many simply don't understand the benefits of homeschooling, and they don't understand the laws. Instead, surround yourself with blogs that support and encourage you, friends who homeschool, and find a homeschool support group of like-minded people who will lift you up rather than tearing you down in your homeschooling efforts!
Today, I want to encourage you to consider who you are listening to when it comes to your homeschooling journey. Are those people encouraging you, lifting you up, supporting your efforts? If not, ask yourself why you're listening to them at all!

Have a blessed homeschooling week!


Monday, October 31, 2016

Activating Your Dreams--Do Something!

Do Something--TODAY!

One of my favorite songs by Matthew West talks about how we all see problems and things that need fixing around our communities, but we usually don't do anything because we want God to send someone else to do something instead of us. But what if our dreams, our vision,s and our goals hold the answers to fixing some of those things in our towns? What if we decided to do something--TODAY? 

Over the past several months, we've talked about our visions and dreams.  I want to give you some ideas of how to find just one thing to take a step toward your goals. Terri Savelle Foy says:

  • Pray.  Earnestly, honestly and diligently seek the Lord's Will for your vision.
  • Do a Google search for conferences related to your dream or vision.  There are so many types of conferences!  You may just find one in your area.
  • Find a class that teaches something within your vision.
  • Teach a class within your vision. For example, if you've always dreamed of creating inspiring art, take an art class.  
  • Realize you are not so great at your talent that you can't improve in some way.
  • Write out a one-year from now plan for your vision.
  • Write down where you want to be with your vision or dream within the next five years.
  • If you're thinking of doing something new, buy the things needed (or at least a few things) to get started.  For example, if you're going to start painting, by some acrylic paints and a canvas board; if you're going to begin writing, by some journals; or if you're going to travel, buy some maps of the areas in which you plan to travel.
  • Volunteer with an organization that relates to your vision.
  • Research what it will cost to achieve your dream.  
  • Have a vision-based budget not a budget-based vision!
  • Find others who share your vision and meet regularly.

These are simply suggestions to get you motivated and thinking about how you can do just one thing TODAY to get your vision moving forward!  What can you do?  What will you do TODAY?



Friday, October 28, 2016

Friday 'Fess Up

As I shared earlier in the week, I've had some struggles and trials in the past few weeks. I felt so alone, like I couldn't talk to anyone about what I was going through, and that I just couldn't handle it, I couldn't do it on my own anymore. But God...

But God knew just what I needed and sent friends in my path to encourage, even without talking about what was going on.
But God sent people to refresh and renew my spirit just by simple words of encouragement.
But God didn't condemn me for the feelings I was having, and He knew just what I needed.
But God hasn't given up on me! He has the best plans laid out for me.
But God was just waiting for me to let Him know that I surrender ALL to Him.
But God is a good, good Father!
But God...

My story is not unique. The Word says that God does not play favorites! What He has done for me, He can and will do for you, too. We all have stories of how God turned our lives around, turned our mourning into dancing, and more. What's your "but God"?

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Homeschool Hump Day Encouragement

I am a list maker. I love to make lists of things to do in homeschooling, groceries, meals, keeping track of articles for the magazine in which I am the editor, church events, and blogging topics. Many times, I check things off those lists. Recently, I was challenged by a friend to ditch the lists! At first I was a bit put off by her request. But the more I considered what she really meant, the more I knew she was right.

Lists can begin to define us as parents, educators, spouses, and people in general. I don't get my worth and value from the things I've accomplished each day. Although, I'll admit, I think I really did at one point! No, we get our worth and value from what the Lord says about us and who He tells us we are!

I want to encourage you, Homeschooling Mama and others! You are more than the things you do (or don't!) accomplish on your lists. So if you've fallen behind in math or language arts just aren't going the way you planned, don't be defeated by that. You accomplished something far beyond what you and your children have done in school for the day. You're investing in their character and giving them a gift that has no price: your time!

Have a blessed week!


Monday, October 24, 2016

Praise Him in All Things...But Do We?

I had a situation arise a few weeks ago that left me feeling angry. I wanted to hold on to that feeling for awhile, though I'm not really sure why. I couldn't see why the Lord was allowing this to happen, why I was made to go through this situation. It was such an intense feeling that I felt my arms tightening, my hands curling into fists, and could even tell my face had changed in appearance as I thought about the circumstance. And as often happens when I begin to get angry, I was overcome with tears...

I knew that wasn't something God wanted me to dwell on, but I was having a difficult time shaking the feelings I was having. I wasn't praising Him in this situation at all! I knew something had to change, and I was the one who had to change it.

I turned to the Word of God for my answers. First, I began saying over and over, "Jesus, Jesus, Jesus..." Then I turned to Romans 8:28. It says "And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose" (NKJV). Finally, I meditated on First Thessalonians:

While I may not like what I am going through, I may not feel like praising God in this storm, and I may begin to be filled with anger, that simply isn't His will for me! I have to make a point of turning to the Word to find the answers I'm looking for knowing that God has my best interest in mind, knowing His peace is all I need in this situation.

Whatever you're facing today, whatever storms are tossing you about, remember to thank Him and praise Him keeping a cheerful heart. We aren't ignoring our problems. We're just turning them over to the Father to handle on our behalf!

Have a blessed week!


Friday, October 21, 2016

Friday 'Fess Up

The past few weeks I've struggled with life in general. Things I've not talked about that I've kept bottled up, things that weigh heavy on me, and things that have kept me up at night. But in each instance, each time I begin to feel that troubling spirit come over me, I turn to the Word of God. I have to because nothing else, no one else, can give me peace like hearing the Word and getting it into my spirit. 

When we are faced with trials, when things are overwhelming us, the best thing, the most important thing we can do is to turn to the Bible. You may think that the Bible doesn't have anything to say about your particular situation. But it does! Nothing happening in the world now or ever is new to God! So there isn't anything that God hasn't dealt with or doesn't have the solution for in your life and mine.

Derek Prince gave these guidelines for knowing where we place value in God's Word:

God proves to be good to the man who passionately waits, to the woman who diligently seeks. It's a good thing to quietly hope, quietly hope for help from God. It's a good thing to stick it out through the hard times. When life is heavy and hard to take, go off by yourself. Enter the silence. Bow in prayer. Don't ask questions: Wait for hope to appear. Don't run from trouble. Take it full-face. The "worst" is never the worst. 

Keep the Word. Keep Him first in your life, in your focus each day. Your breakthrough is coming! Just hold on to His promises and see!

Have a blessed weekend!


Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Homeschool Hump Day Encouragement

Do you have trouble staying on target with your homeschooling? Do your children sometimes forget their assignments? Something I'm frequently asked about in homeschooling is how I manage to stay focused. Well, the honest answer is that I don't, not always. But to keep myself on track with homeschooling, I buy yearly planners for myself and my kids at the start of each school year. This way, the kids can write down all their important events, activities, and assignments in one place. I also keep my own calendar and planner. 

Every time I can write things down, I get at least two opportunities to look at the important information. I Plan it, then write it down, and look at it again at the beginning of the week and each day. If we keep our plans in front of us, we are more likely to remember them and to complete them. Kind of like Habakkuk 2:2 says, "Write the vision, and make it plain." We can certainly apply this verse to almost everything we do on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis, right? 

Your planner doesn't have to be fancy, and if you haven't yet started your school year with planners for either yourself or your kids, it's not too late, it's NEVER too late! Start today, start this week, but start! Write things down. Get a planner or a clipboard and start writing down the things you need to do in your homeschool this week. Encourage your kids to do the same. If they can't write, help plan with pictures!

Soon you'll be seeing your homeschooling days in focus more and more!

Have a blessed week!


Monday, October 17, 2016

What Are You Saying?

This past weekend I had the pleasure of hearing a wonderful motivational speaker, Terri Savelle Foy, at her annual Icing event. There were many things that she passed along, but one that hit home for me. She asked, "Why do we focus on what we don't want instead of what we do want?" She asked how many times we've said something like, "I don't want to get sick. I don't want to be fat. I don't want to work in this job I don't like, why can't something good like that happen to me?" Why do we seem to focus on those sorts of things? Those are actually negative declarations!

We need to train ourselves to focus on the positive instead. The Word says to speak those things that do not exist as though they do. We have to fight those negative thoughts and words, and we do that with positive declarations. Where you are right now, isn't where you're supposed to stay! So how can we move in the direction of our dreams and those things we want?

1. Learn to be grateful. Keep a gratitude journal and write down the things that you are grateful for, the things the Lord has blessed you with each day.
2. Learn to encourage yourself at all times. For example, if you want to be a writer you might say out loud every day: I am a great writer. I write books that attract publishers. My books impact other people in a positive way. People are encouraged by my stories and want to buy more and more of my books!

These are just examples, but I think you get the idea. You can apply that to anything you want to do in life from weight loss to finances to ministry to launching a business!

Joyce Meyer says, "Always live according to your vision, never according to your eyes." Remember, we walk by faith not by sight! We have to believe in the dark what the Lord has told us in the light. Hang on to His promises. Declare what God says about you and your success. When you fall, arise! When you are faced with darkness, the Lord will be a light to you!

Have a blessed week!


Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Homeschool Hump Day Encouragement

I am the kind of homeschooler who looks for learning opportunities for my kids every single day. There is so much that can be learned, things that don't fall into the category of English, math, science, or social studies. Oh, sure! You can probably find ways to fit most learning into one of those categories, but it's certainly not necessary.

One of the things I enjoy the most is watching my kids dissect the creativity (engineering, art, writing, architecture, etc.) of one of our favorite theme park destinations! They get a great dose of "If you can dream it, you can do it!" and we encourage them to try to replicate those design aspects that interest them.

I want to encourage you today to look for those teachable moments, those moments when you are able to interest and capture the attention of your child without thinking about completing the workbook or textbook on time, following a scope and sequence, or being governed by a book that says what you child needs to know when.

The Word says that we are to teach the things of God to our children, when we wake up and before we go to bed, as we walk along, and throughout the day. That's the Shema.

Try something new this week. Look to the Word of God for learning and education. Your children may just have an "a-ha" moment and finally understand a concept you've been trying to teach.

Stay focused, Homeschooling Mama!!


Monday, October 10, 2016

Happy 5th Anniversary, Super Mom the Illusion!!

Five years ago, I started writing this blog. I had heard for the umpteenth time that having raised and homeschooled my eight children, I must be a "Super Mom" or something. Well, it is definitely an "or something" feeling I had then...and now! My posts were raw, but were from the heart. In honor of my first few posts and the birth of this blog to help other moms who can relate to all I'm going through, I'm sharing this post from October 9, 2011...

After church today, we came home, and I was looking after our oldest dog, Jazz.  She is an 11-year-old miniature dachshund and she had been fighting with our 2-year-old doxie-min pin mix  (Belle) a few days ago.  Jazz sustained what I thought was a small laceration and I cleansed the wound and put antibacterial ointment on it.  Today, I felt the Holy Spirit guiding me to investigate the injury more closely, and I discovered the wound was much worse than I thought which made me feel horrible!  I questioned whether we should take her to the vet to get checked out, thought maybe she might need sutures to close the wound and wondered what I could have done to discover this issue sooner.  I felt as though I had failed my old dog.  The trouble was that Jazz wouldn’t let me look at the wound, so I could only see a part of the injury.  But I cared for her as though it were worse than I could see.  After reading a Website about wound care for dogs, I learned that dog bite wounds in animals are rarely, if ever, sutured closed because of the high incidence of infection.  What I read was that normal and usual treatment is to cleanse the wound daily, apply antibiotic ointment and possibly administer oral antibiotics.  I had 11 days worth of an antibiotic left over from Jazz’s recent dental surgery and I began giving her those pills.  Now, I feel like I am doing something to facilitate her further healing. 

Often, as with my dog, we as parents we don’t quite know what to do about or how to handle a certain situation with our children.  We begin by doing something that we think seems right and make adjustments from there.  This is absolutely what we should be doing!  Sometimes we only see failure as we try to grasp that one thing that has the answers to the issues we face with our kids.  We need to start doing something to correct, solve, answer or change the situation rather than sitting by and waiting for the right solution to manifest itself.  Prayer is the first step in this process.  It leads us to the Lord and to the solution for what we need to do.  I felt as though the Holy Spirit was guiding me with the treatment I should give my dog, but had I not even begun that treatment, how would I have ever read and realized that what I was doing was right?! 

With my children, I desire to correct and esteem them quickly so that they can learn from what they were doing right or what was a wrong behavior, attitude, decision, etc.  Once we begin treating the wrong, we can start building on what they are doing right.  This will lead us to victory over those strongholds of rebellion, selfishness, desires of the flesh and many others.  Through GOD we can be victorious in these areas because we walk by faith and not by sight and through faith we have victory.  So, next time there is a disagreement, a time when you feel you have failed your child, when all you see is failure, remember to seek the victory over the situation through prayer and faith!

Have a blessed week!


Friday, October 7, 2016

Friday 'Fess Up

This week has say the least. I determined to make a move in my organization that will position me to continue on with the vision the Lord has given me, but I have subsequently seen the Enemy's hand trying to distract me! Well, I have news for Satan--I WILL NOT BE MOVED!

Sometimes, we just have to remind ourselves AND Satan of that. We need to keep the Word of God before us-in our mouths, in our hearts, in our minds. If we're thinking about the Word, Satan can't get in!

If you don't know where to begin, try searching for your solution by searching for a word or two that involves it. Want financial increase? Search for prosperity! Looking for a relationship to be restored? Search for reconciliation! Do you desire peace in your home? Search for peace! Are you catching on?

Find a few verses to stand on. Don't let them go! Even if it's just those two or three you hang on to, keep them in your thoughts and on your lips! Satan flees at the name of Jesus! Remember that!

Here are a few verses to get you started:

Have a great, faith-filled weekend!!


Friday, September 23, 2016

Friday 'Fess Up...With a Twist!

I originally posted this in January 2014. But it's so relevant for me today! I want to reignite the passion for my vision and my calling that I had when I first knew what it was I wanted to do and knew what God called me to do. Sometimes we have to look for opportunities to refresh that vision and go after it like we did in the beginning.

Enjoy this flashback!!

Ignite a Fire for Your Passion

(C) Captured Memories 365
I've been thinking lately about the surprises God has given us and those He has in store. Good surprises to propel us and our visions to their ultimate fruition. One of the things that excites me have been attending writer's conferences. I went to my first conference last year in Spokane: Inland Northwest Christian Writer's Conference. It was amazing and so very exciting! I had no idea whatsoever what to expect. I left feeling as though I had gotten all the keys to writing that I needed to start me on my journey. Conferences are like school for me, continuing education credits for my profession. They just excite me and surprise me all at the same time.
So what excites you? What lights a fire in you that you get really excited about doing? When God created you, he predestined you for a specific assignment and calling. And the goal of that assignment was winning the lost for the Kingdom.
Today, I want to hear from you about your passion. What is it that excites you that the Lord has called you to do?


Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Homeschool Hump Day Encouragement

Originally posted February 2014:

Leading Children to Jesus

Recently a friend told me that she was told by her child's public school teacher didn't think her child knew the difference between reality and imagination and pretending. The teacher had apparently asked the child what he wanted to be when he grew up. The child's response was that he wanted to be a Transformer! At this point, I think it is necessary to mention that the 5 years old! The public school teacher dismissed his idea of a potential idea because it clearly did not fit her idea of a career when the child chose a career.
Now I remember when I was a young girl, I wanted to be Wonder Woman (I'm a 70s child!), my sister and I pretended to be Ponch and Jon (from the TV show CHiPs), I wanted to be a truck driver like BJ (BJ and the Bear), and I really had no idea what I wanted to be when I grew up. My point is, we all had unrealistic, non-reality based ideas of what we wanted to do as we grew older. Those child-like concepts are influenced by television shows often, but rarely has a child who wanted to be a super hero actually become one!
As we lead our children to the true "transformer," we can arrange for a real and meaningful knowledge of the Lord in their lives and introduce them to Jesus, our real super hero!
I wouldn't say feed the child's fascination necessarily, but definitely be more intentional with the transformer and saving grace of everyone and the Savior and super hero of us all--Jesus!



Monday, September 19, 2016

What's My Calling?

Originally posted September 2013:

Ways to Find Direction & Get the Vision God Has for Your Life

We've talked about getting the vision God has for you, but you may be wondering how to start identifying what your purpose is.  Prayer is a great place to start!  Ask the Lord to show you what He made you to do for Him in this world and in this life.  And then take an active role in seeking to close in on that purpose.

Here are some ideas to get started:
  • Brainstorm things you enjoy doing.  Just write down anything and everything you like or think you would like to do.
  • Write down hobbies you used to enjoy.
  • Write down jobs that interest you.
  • Write down what you would do if money were no object.
  • Write down nations that come to mind.
  • Write down people groups that move your heart.

Those are all great ways to identify what the Lord has placed in you, in your DNA, to do with your life!

So get to jotting down those thoughts and ideas!  May the Lord reveal your purpose as you meditate on those dreams.


Friday, September 16, 2016

Friday 'Fess Up

Today I intended on getting this post out early. I was obviously late in doing so, but I didn't allow myself to just brush that off and give up on writing today. I made a commitment to myself, to God and to you, my readers to be intentional about writing blog posts. So today's 'fess up is that I didn't quit or give up! That's what Satan wants us to do though. He wants to distract us and keep us from fulfilling the purpose God has for us. But you know what? We are overcomers! So don't quit and don't give in!!

What did you do today to keeping moving and not allow yourself to quit?


Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Homeschool Hump Day Encouragement: School Hacks

Originally posted August 2014...

Our friends at Organized Chaos Online, Patti and Tawsha, have so many clever life hacks for back-to-school! Here are just a few:

All photos (C) Organized Chaos Online

Do you have life hacks for back-to-school to share?


Monday, September 12, 2016

Creating Unique Ways of Keeping Your Vision in Front of You

Vision boards, Journals, Memory Jars and More

We've been talking a lot  about vision boards.  They are my passion and what keep me focused on the calling and assignment God has placed on me.  But creating a vision board isn't for everyone.  Some people like things more simplistic and others like things more private.  There is nothing wrong with either of these methods of keeping the vision in front of you!
I've been thinking about how we can keep our visions and dreams in front of us in unique and practical ways.  Do any of these sound fun?  Think you might use one for your vision, dream or goal?

  • Write/type your vision on colorful paper
  • Create a small poster of photos of things related to your vision
  • Make a quilt to represent your vision
  • Create an mp3 playlist of songs that reflect your vision
  • Write in a journal
  • Use a special memory jar and place notes that encourage you and relate to your vision
  • If your vision requires making a purchase of some sort, say a motorcycle, make a savings bank for it 
Your vision board, journal, memory jar or whatever you choose to keep in front of you to remind you of your vision are just as unique as the visions themselves!  Dare to step out of the box and try something different.  The idea is to keep your vision in front of you and thinking on it often, however that works for you!

If you've done something unique like this with your vision, will you consider sharing it with us?

Have a blessed week!!

Highest Expectations

Originally posted on September 5, 2013:

Trusting God in Every Step of Your Life

Recently, I found myself meditating on the idea of trusting God in every aspect of my life.  Throughout various situations over the past several years, I would tell friends when my husband and I were adding another baby to our family, "I'm trusting God for the number of children we have."  Or I would say, "I'm trusting God for the right job for my husband."  The problem was, until recently, I'm not really sure how much I really did trust God in those situations. 
You see, there is a difference between trust and mental agreement.  Trust requires a level of respect, love, and devotion.  Mental agreement just means that you can justify agreeing with facts or reasoning, but requires no commitment or relationship.  So I began asking myself:
  • Do I respect the Lord?
  • Do I love my God with everything I am?
  • Am I fully devoted to doing whatever He has for me and receiving all that He has planned?
Last year, our pastor challenged the congregation to write down three of our highest expectations of the Lord for the year.  That is my challenge to you, too.  What are three things that God would have to do, not that you could accomplish yourself, but that you have to fully trust God to see completed in your life?  
  • A better paying job?
  • Publishing a book?
  • Clients for your business?
  • Working at your dream job?
What would you include?

Friday, September 9, 2016

Friday 'Fess Up

I have a difficult time taking care of, well...ME! I make sure the kids have new shoes when needed, make sure they get mental breaks from school, or intervene in situations on their behalf as needed. I put them and my husband first very often while neglecting the refreshing and recharging that I need.

But this time, for the next several weeks, I'm going to be working on me and renewing that passion for ministering to women that God gave me. For the rest of the month, I'll be posting previous posts for the Monday blog posts, Homeschool Hump Day Encouragement, and Friday 'Fess Up so that I can focus on me and my family while we are on vacation. It's no fun being with your family while your mind is actually somewhere else.

So, my confession this week is that I'm going to take care of me!

If you struggle with making YOU a priority, I want to encourage you to pencil yourself in on your calendar. Give yourself several hours or even a full day just for taking care of you and recharging, refreshing, and renewing your relationship with the Lord. You'll come back more prepared for the things God has called you to, I guarantee it!

Have a blessed rest of September and I'll see you in October!!


Thursday, September 8, 2016

Homeschool Hump Day Encouragement

One of the things I liked most about homeschooling was the ability to customize my children's schooling programs to fit their needs, not to fit that of a book or some random scope and sequence. I found that there are many things throughout our normal day, whether schooling or not, in which my children had an opportunity to learn. And isn't that what our end goal is...for our children to become independent, lifelong learners?

I began having my children find the best bargains when grocery shopping, follow recipes to make dinner, and do yard work. We planned a garden, worked to create a new backyard patio, and studied a variety of art media. Remember, school doesn't have to look like a brick-and-mortar building or like public school at all! Learning that is fun, child-led, and guided will produce confidence in children to investigate those things that interest them potentially directing them to the calling God has on their lives.

How do you deviate from a normal homeschooling day? What sorts of things do you and your children learn throughout the week?

Have a blessed week!


Friday, September 2, 2016

Friday 'Fess Up

This week, I made some choices. Choices that allowed me (or FORCED me in some instances!) to step out of my comfort zone! It's not easy to do. If you've ever done something that was simply a challenge for you, not a bad thing or against the law, nothing like that. Just something that challenged you, then you know what I'm talking about!

When I was finishing my journalism degree eight years ago, I took a Voice and Presentation class. I have no problem with voice, just ask any of my friends and family: I love to talk! But the presentation part meant going on camera as though I were a real television news anchor. I was 38 years old at the time. I chose to interview a good friend of mine, which made me more relaxed. But at the end of the show (I titled it"The Lyn Parker Show"!!), I voiced my insecurity to my professor who then told me that "some people are natural in front of the camera and some are not. You have a beautiful face for radio." I was crushed.

I knew I wasn't a slender beauty compared to me 18-20 years younger counterparts. But it was that moment, those words, that stopped me from ever doing anything on television or YouTube or video again. I stopped having my picture taken with my family turning to the role of photographer so I had an excuse to NOT be in the picture! I hid, just like Adam and Eve. Now I hadn't really committed any sin in not being on camera...had I?

Well, I realized the other day that perhaps my professor didn't see me as someone worthy of a place on TV News, but maybe my Father God did! A friend called me to interview me and talk about my books, "The Breakthrough" and "Damaged." This interview would be on YouTube for anyone and everyone to view! Those thoughts of inadequacy came rushing back into my mind, and then I heard myself tell my friend, "I'd love to do that!" WHAT?! Mouth, what have you said?! I had now made a commitment to my friend and had to stick with it.

I prayed that those fears would be banished from my mind as I sat and talked with my friend and the live studio audience. And God met me there. I didn't focus on the camera or how I looked or if I was sitting correctly. I simply talked to my friend about the books and of course, about Disney! God will produce good things in us, if we just take that step of faith and of trust in His will for our lives. Stepping out of our comfort zones is hard! But it can also be so very easy when we place our trust in the God-of-Angel-Armies!

Step out of your comfort zone this week!!


Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Homeschool Hump Day Encouragement

Today, I pulled my kids out of school. If you're thinking, "Wait! Doesn't she homeschool?" Yes, I do! But we had attended a supplemental school for the past six years. And today, I withdrew my children from that school. It had evolved into something less than its previous identity, and it no longer aligned with our homeschooling goals.

Homeschooling Mama, I want to encourage you that if you feel as though you need a change, be of good courage and step away from whatever needs changing! You only get this time to educate them, to make the best choices for them and their schooling, and you have a right to do what is best for your family.

Has anyone else had experiences with making changes for the better or that turned out to be for the best for your family? Please share your experiences with us!

Have a great rest of the week!


Monday, August 22, 2016

What Are You Expecting?

Expectations are a wonderful thing to have. They can help focus you and guide your path toward the will of God. Have you ever thought about what it is, though, that you're expecting? When a farmer plants his corn seed, he doesn't expect to harvest watermelons. NO! He planted corn seeds, and he expects to harvest corn. When we work for a wage, we expect to get paid the money we've earned, not to work for free. So it is in our lives, the seed we plant is the harvest we can expect.

This weekend I had the pleasure of hearing Dr. Jerry Savelle preach as he concluded his Chariots of Light Christian Bikers tour. He made me stop and think about what it really is that I am expecting from the seed I've sown and about the great things God has for me. Personally, I had to come to understand that God wants me to prosper, so I should EXPECT to prosper. I shouldn't expect to live in lack because that's what I'll get, just what I was expecting. Instead, I should expect to prosper and expect to live in abundance! 

With that, it takes faith, and faith is an active thing not a passive action. You don't say, "I have faith for that," and sit there. No, you get up and begin applying your faith through the Word of God, speaking the Word, by looking for opportunities, and by being willing and ready when God tells you to go somewhere or do something. 

We sang a song as the service ended. The words were:

The song goes on to say that "my breakthrough's coming!" When you plant that corn seed or you work for a wage, something has to give way, break forth. The seed will begin to sprout; you'll get your earnings from working. Your breakthrough is coming! Don't give up. It could be just around the corner! 

What are your expectations? Do they line up with the Word of God and His will for you? What are you expecting God to do in your life?

Have a blessed, victorious, breakthrough-is-coming week!!


Friday, August 19, 2016

Friday 'Fess Up

Have you ever noticed that clutter seems to simply appear in a certain area? One minute your desk is clean and cleared off, and the next minute (or so it seems), it's a cluttered mess. Slowly, we place a piece of mail there, move it to the side, and another soon after. The area on your desk begins to resemble a post office sorting area before you know it!

Our lives become cluttered in a similar way. We might take on an extra hour of work, an extra duty at church, a needed role at the homeschool co-op. Suddenly, we turn around and see how busy we are and that our busyness has caused a lifestyle of clutter.

My confession today is that I'm taking time off to declutter: my desk, my school room, and my life. It's okay to re-evaluate what it is we are doing and to see if those things are pointing us more toward our goal and vision! I will continue blogging, so don't be concerned that you will miss the weekly Homeschool Hump Day Encouragement or the Friday 'Fess Up! Those will continue as normal. I'm going to take time to evaluate what I'm doing and eliminate those things that are wearing me out, pulling me down, and moving me away from my vision rather than steering me closer to it!

Take time this weekend to seek the Lord as you re-evaluate what you're doing in your life. Take time to declutter and give yourself permission to step out or away from those roles or positions that don't fit into your own vision.

Have a blessed weekend!