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!!