Monday, May 22, 2017

Preparing to Make Your Vision Board

This week, I want you to pray about what the Lord has for you for the next 12-18 months. If you’ve been thinking of writing a book, do it. If you’ve been thinking of writing a song or making a CD, do it. If you’ve been thinking of starting that business, losing weight, stepping out in a ministry, going back to college, working with media production, working with children, and so many more things, why not start now? Often the things that are on your heart and mind are there because the Lord has given you that dream!

Here are some ideas to get your thought process going!


1    1. Countries You would like to visit
2. Things you’d like to collect
3.    Activities you’d like to try
4.    Beaches you’d like to visit
5.    Monuments you’d like to see
6.    Books you’d like to read
7.    Plays you want to see
8.    Classes you’d like to take
9.    Museums you’d like to visit
10. Parades you’d like to see or even be in
11. Languages you’d like to learn
12. States you’d like to visit
13. Special events you’d like to witness
14. Celebrities you’d like to meet
15. Organizations you want to support
16. Creative dates (like a romantic carriage ride in Downtown)
17. Adventures you’d like to go on
18. Creative projects you’d like to complete
19. Personal or family growth you’d like to see
20. Charitable or volunteer activities you’d like to participate in

I hope these ideas help you create a working list to pull from. In the next week, you'll choose up to 10 things (and at least 3!) you want to put on your vision board to accomplish in the next 12-18 months!

Have a blessed week!!


Friday, May 12, 2017

Friday 'Fess Up

This week, we had some challenges. Financial issues, personality conflicts, offense, and pride tried to come into our lives. We looked at the issues first. Then, we turned to the Word of God. You see, as we begin moving toward those things the Lord has for us, Satan tries to corrupt and steal them away from us.

Many of you know of my passion for vision boards. As a part of women's ministry in my church, I'm hosting a vision board party. Well, as soon as those plans were decided on and announced, my family was immediately attacked. It's in these times that it is important for us to stand on the Word and to confess His promises to us!

So we confess:

It matters what you do when trials come your way or when you are being attacked by the enemy. As Christians, we stand on the Word of God and fight in the spiritual realm with the Word of God. It is then that He is able to dispatch His angels and fight on our behalf. We just have to put the Word--His Word--into action!

Have a blessed weekend!


Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Homeschool Hump Day Encouragement

Helping Your Homeschool Students Find Their Calling

I will never forget the moment when my oldest son came in to talk to me, tears in his eyes. “Mom, I’m scared. I’m not sure what I’m supposed to do when I finish high school.”

It was a genuine concern he had and one I’m sure a lot of other high school students share. One moment they are happily learning and enjoying the homeschooling life. The next, it is time to decide whether or not to attend college, join the military, or begin an apprenticeship.
There are so many options available to our children when they finish. And, of course, we want to help guide and direct them, not add to their confusion.

This is when we need to take some time out of our schooling day and pray for our children. That is what we have done with each of our children, and our four oldest children are well on the way to pursuing their dreams. It is such a wonderful thing to see!

We want to pray that the Lord would show them what He created them to be and do for the Kingdom. Ask Him to give them dreams and visions. Pray that they would be filled with passion for that dream and vision. Pray that they would have favor with the people they are around daily, that will guide them toward their dreams and visions. And most importantly, we want to be intentional in our prayers and make time to show our children that their futures are of value to us, too.

Whether your children are nearing the end of their homeschooling journey or simply feel a tugging toward a specific profession in life, it is not too early or too late to begin praying with your children for their futures!

Joel Osteen said, “The calling on your life is irrevocable. Your shortcomings, your failures cannot undo the plan that was ordained for you.” Our children have been predestined for great things. Let’s pray with them now for the irrevocable call of the Lord!

Have a great week!


Monday, May 8, 2017

Permission to Dream

One thing I really enjoy is touring homes for sale or model homes. It's something my sister and I have done for years, and we really enjoy it. We also enjoy window shopping clothes, shoes, furniture, travel trailers, and so many other things! Did you know that is a beautiful example of dreaming? When was the last time you did any of those things? Can you imagine any of those things happening? Imaging yourself having those things, purchasing those things is the first step. If you can't imagine you, you probably won't have it.

You may think that there is no logical reason for touring model homes, especially if you already own a home or don't think you can afford to purchase a home at this time in your life or why pretend to shop for furniture you don't need right now. But that's just what the Lord wants us to do. He wants us to dream and dream BIG. The Lord is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think (Ephesians 3:20). Do you know what that means? It means that as big as we can dream, He wants to do BIGGER! 

If you haven't ever done any of those things I mentioned earlier, I want to encourage you to give yourself permission to dream--TODAY! There is no harm in window shopping and imagining what it would be like if you owned that home, owned that travel trailer, had that furniture in your home, bought those shoes. The only thing that might happen is that you begin to see what God can do for you! 

Have a wonderful, dream-filled week!


Friday, May 5, 2017

Friday 'Fess Up

There are many things that I am passionate about. Just ask me about the youth organization I work with, vision boards, the daily dose of dense nutrition I have come to LOVE, learning and education, or telling people of the love of the Lord. But it occurred to me this week that some of my family and friends have no real idea what they are passionate about. I don't know that I have ever asked them either. But why haven't I thought to ask my friends and family what THEIR passions are?

You see, writing this blog isn't about telling you how I have it all together, how I school my kids so perfectly (I certainly DON'T!), or how I am a Super Mom. That is why this blog is called, "Super Mom the Illusion"! I don't have everything completely figured out. But I know there are other women out there who feel the same. So today, I want to give you a printable that will allow you to tell others what you're passionate about.

If you don't know where your passion lies, read 2 Corinthians 7:7, and ask the Lord to show you. Some ways of finding your true passion are to think back to things you played as a child. Maybe you played school or had adventures in your backyard that you pretended to be another country or were a motorcycle police officer or maybe you had twin dolls and dreamed of the day you'd be a mother. Ask the Lord to show you the dreams of your youth. Then, begin to write what the Lord shows you, even if it doesn't make sense to you! That is where you passion lies; in the dreams He gave you in your younger days. Don't give up on them! No one else can do what the Lord has called you to do!

I've included this printable for you to write down what you're passionate about, print it out, and put it up where you can see it daily! I would love for you to share with me what you're passionate about, too!
Have a great weekend!!


Thursday, May 4, 2017

Homeschool Hump Day Encouragement

As a homeschooler, I often found myself bound by the textbooks and workbooks my children needed to work through each year. I saw their incomplete work as a bit of a failure on my part, and I believed I was letting them down by not finishing each year. The reality was (and still is!) that they are getting far more in their education than the textbooks. They are getting real world experiences, some of them now also get real work experience as part of their schooling, too!

Two weeks ago, my youngest daughter and I were on a trip to visit my best friend (the one who is like a sister to me that I mentioned in a previous post!). We went to the zoo in the area, a crocodile farm, the beach, and a space center! My daughter was getting an advanced version of school for the next week that her brothers didn't, but there is so much more that she was able to learn on those field trips than she could learn by reading or working in a book.
(C) SuperMom the Illusion 2017
Where could you go that would give your children a more in depth look at a topic (or several topics!) that isn't like traditional schooling? Always look for opportunities for your children to learn and for you to teach!! They're out there--I guarantee it!!

Have a great week!


Monday, May 1, 2017

Passion and Purpose

Has someone told you that think you're really good at doing something specific, like maybe working with kids, organization, public speaking, or crafting things? Do you know that they are simply recognizing that God-give talent and gift you have? It's true! Think about this: Your passion is directly related to your purpose and your potential!

First Corinthians 7:7 in the Amplified says this:

Don't think you don't have a special gift or talent. We've talked before about getting back to that thing you enjoyed as a younger person, the things you played with your brothers, sisters, and friends. Get back to those things! 

God has given each one of us something unique that will place us in the right place, at the right time, in the right faith-frame of mind for His purpose! Your gift is a part of your DNA. It's what makes you YOU! So if gardening is your thing, DO IT! If scrapbooking is your thing, DO IT! If teaching is your thing, DO IT! God won't let that gift go to waste if we are willing to let Him use it in us.

Pray this with me:
God, I know you've given me a gift for something. Even if I think it is small and insignificant, I want to use that gift. I am willing to be used by You! I know my passion for (fill in the blank) is connected to my purpose and my potential in the Kingdom. And I'm ready right now!

Revelation 3:8 says that He has set before each of us an open door and no one can shut it! Each day is a new opportunity for us to use our gifts. How will you use yours today?

Have a blessed week!


Monday, April 17, 2017

Relationships: Greater Love Has No One...

This week, my youngest daughter and I are travelling to Texas to spend a week with my best friend and her family. I am so excited because I have really missed her! She's like a sister to me, and it is a friendship based on mutual love and respect for each other. It's like we're sisters with minor arguments and discussions ending up in still loving each other after the fact. Have anyone like that in your life?

You know God gave us these relationships to build us up so we can build each other up and others up, too. We can read that in Proverbs, John, Romans, and First Peter ( and many more!). Here's what the Word says about our friends:

Our friends, our sisters in the Lord, refresh us, renew us, and bring us up in the faith! I can't wait to see my best friend, and I'm sure she feels the same way! I hope you have a sister in the Lord that you feel as close to (or closer!) than your family. If you are longing for that, ask the Lord to bring you a sister in Christ who is as close as your own family!

Have a blessed week!


Friday, April 14, 2017

Friday 'Fess Up

You've heard before that I am a list maker. I like to make sure I write down important things to do or that I want to accomplish in a day or week. This past week, my husband was off for vacation. We didn't go anywhere, but instead purposed to accomplish certain things on the every-growing list of things to do, or my "honey-do" list. 

My confession today is that while we didn't get everything completed that we had set out to do, we did get several things checked off. I think it's important to aim for something, even if we only hit 50 or 75 percent of those things. It's certainly better than aiming for nothing and hitting it 100 percent!

Though we didn't get everything done, we were able to knock that list down to some more doable chunks that the kids and I can complete in the coming months as my husband begins his new driving route. We will be able to get those more minor things done and see the results of our efforts. 

I read a post today that said this:

Are you interested in your vision or are you committed to accomplishing it? I understand that many of us are busy. We have work, perhaps homeschooling, church obligations, children's activities, and more. Today, I'd like to you be honest with yourself and ask if any of those things are actually pulling you away from your vision, your calling, your passion, or even just those things on your "to-do" list. Then see what things you can decrease or cease altogether. When you focus on what the Lord has for you, He will begin to show you the bigger picture of what He has planned for you and your life!

Have a blessed week!


Monday, April 10, 2017

We Were NOT Meant to Live in Lack

Leaning on the Lord in All Things

MY God shall supply ALL my needs according to HIS riches in glory by Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19)

This morning I was looking at our bank account. My husband just received his paycheck via direct deposit, but it wasn't as much as we were expecting. We haven't spent money on Christmas presents or been lax in the handling of our finances, but we haven't exactly been prudent about it either. The pay is not enough to cover our bills for the next two weeks. We need God to show up in a big way and provide for us. But when our bank accounts don't match what our needs are, we have two choices:

Freak out and try to figure out what WE can do.
Praise God for taking care of us and meeting every need.

Yes, there are consequences for our foolish handling of our provision. Yet He desires us to be dependent on Him and to run to Him rather than trying to do it all with our own power. It says in the Word that without God, we can do nothing (John 15:5). One move by Almighty God can turn a situation around for our good and His glory in an instant! Your current circumstance is subject to change! We don't have to sit in self-pity shaming ourselves for the errors we've made. No good will come from that! Instead we can praise Him--at ALL times--in every situation, good or bad.

Your first reaction reveals your heart. Like Paul said, "The good I want to do, I do not do; but the evil I do not want to do, that [is what] I end up doing...I thank God--through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin." (Romans 7: 19 and 25).
We are at a constant battle, a warring within ourselves to do the will of the Father, but turning towards the will of the flesh. The good news is, you don't have to fight that battle alone! God will fight for you! Put first things first and seek HIM first in any situation.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Finding Your Calling

If you're like me, at one point in your life you turned your face toward the sky and asked God, "Why am I here? What is my purpose?" You know that God predestined you for some position in the Kingdom, but you may not know just what that assignment or calling is. So how do you know what you're supposed to be doing? That's what we're going to talk about today!

First, think back on things you did when you were younger and write those things down. Don't discount anything, really. For example, if you played with dolls, write that down. My sister and I used to play two different things, for the most part. We played TV newsroom, where I was the reporter/news anchor and she was the weather girl. Then, we played school where she was the teacher and I was the student. Today, I have a degree in journalism and my sister is a teacher! She was made to work with children, first her own as a homeschooling mom, then as a public school teacher. Isn't it amazing how God prepared her for that?! While I don't work for a newspaper, I do write and edit a nationally distributed magazine. Sometimes, we just need to get back to what God put in our hearts when we were young to find our calling.

Next, ask yourself, "What brings me the most happiness and am I passionate about?" The things you're passionate about, by the way, are those things that you can talk about easily, you get excited about when someone mentions that thing, and that you would probably do (or are doing already!) even if you didn't get paid to do it! That thing you thought about doing last year or the year before or the year before that? That is more than likely something God has for you to do!

Finally, pray. I know this probably seems obvious, but I think it's necessary to mention. When you pray, ask God to bring back to your memory those things you were passionate about. If you have ever had someone tell you they could see you doing this or that, it could be something the Lord had previously asked you to do or given you a dream for and that person was carrying the message to confirm that to you. Ask the Lord what He has for you and commit to doing whatever that is! 

As Paul said to the Corinthians:

(C) Mandie Vigil 2017 Used with Permission

Have a blessed week and start walking toward your calling!!


Friday, March 31, 2017

Friday 'Fess Up

When you put first things first, the enemy will immediately begin attacking you! He's jealous of God. He wants to distract you from focusing on the Lord and will stop at nothing to keep you from fulfilling what God has called you to do for His kingdom.

We daily have to battle distractions that aim to take our focus off the Lord, off of our goals, and off our productive plans for the day. How many times have we said that we were going to purpose to eat correctly? What about those times we've said we would begin working out more regularly? And devotional time we promised the Lord and ourselves that we would put first? How often have those things taken a back burner or have we gotten to the end of our day only to realize those things we set out to accomplish, we had forgotten about?

I'm so guilty of all of the above! That's my confession to you today. I found this true this week in two areas: my devotions and my workouts. I'd get to the end of the day, getting ready for bed, and sit and get a bit bummed that I was only now remembering the devotion and the workout that I had planned to make a first priority each day this week. I began to beat myself up about forgetting time with the Lord. 

But that's not what the Lord does to us! His Word says that His mercies are new every morning! So, if your week turned out much like mine, don't get upset, don't beat yourself up about it, and don't stop aiming for those goals! Know that tomorrow is a new day, and it is our opportunity to begin being intentional again.

Have a blessed weekend!


Thursday, March 30, 2017

Homeschool Hump Day Encouragement

Spring Break! It seems everyone goes away or takes a special trip during this time. But what about homeschoolers? Should we take Spring Break and other breaks and holidays when public schools do? I say no. Here's why.

One of our family's favorite vacation destinations is Disney World. We really enjoy our time there. For me, it's all about seeing the dreams of one man manifested in this one place. It's about getting away from the busyness and chaos of home life and also about going when fewer folks are visiting.

Enough about that! What I really want you to take away is this. When our kids are working more on completing their lessons, they will complete that textbook or workbook, and they will advance more rapidly through grade levels. I believe that our children have an assignment placed on each of their lives. It is up to us to prepare them for that. There is still time for family trips, but not at the same time as their public school counterparts.

As you know if you have read my blog for a while, we homeschool year-round. It is for the reasons mentioned about that we do this. Education is necessary in every child's life. Some may need more math and science, other more English and writing for their future careers, but allowing them to explore the world around them and to set them on the path that God has for them is our priority.

We don't want homeschooling to look like public school at home necessarily, so we are diligent in working throughout Spring Break as well as most of the public schools' Summer Break.

I'd like to hear your thoughts on homeschooling and taking traditional breaks off!

Have a blessed week!


Monday, March 27, 2017

Righteous: Why Being Right Is Who We Are!

Ask any of my close friends and they will tell you, I do my research, and I know that I'm right when I'm right! Sometimes, I just feel like I have to be right! Can anyone relate? Have you ever met someone like me who just has to be right? If you have, I'm sure you've gotten frustrated with us as we argue our points, complete with data and facts. Am I hitting a nerve? Well, did you know there is a Biblical reason why people like me are like this? Let me show you!

You see, God created us to be right. He made us righteous. Here's what righteous means:

God made us to be right! Now that doesn't mean we are free to argue with each other. But it shows that being right is part of our DNA; it's who we are, and who He made us to be. We can strive to be right by filling ourselves with the Word of God. He is the One who grants us wisdom when we ask for it (James 1:9), and He made us righteous (Romans 10:10, Psalms 98:2, 2 Corinthians 5:21).

Have a blessed, righteous week!!


Monday, March 20, 2017

Redeeming Our Time: A Friday 'Fess Up On Monday

This past week was very stressful for me, more than usual. I'm not just talking about the normal busyness that I live in but those "Oh! I didn't realize that was an all day thing or that this assignment was due THIS Sunday" kind of stressful. 

I missed posting the "Homeschool Hump Day Encouragement," and I realized on Friday night when a friend mentioned how much she loved reading my "Friday 'Fess Up" series that I hadn't posted that either! Then I learned late Thursday that an assignment I thought was due next Sunday was really do this past Sunday! On top of that, an event I had committed to back in January turned out to be an all-day event, not just a 9 a.m. to noon thing like I thought. I could literally feel the hours in my weekend being stolen from me!! Have you ever felt like that?

Well, today, I want to confess to you that I did something on Sunday afternoon that I should have been doing this whole week: I sought the Lord--FIRST--today. I know, I know! Some of you are thinking, "DUH! Why didn't she do that in the first place?" Well, sometimes, we just get so fixed in doing life and going through the motions of all we have to do, that we forget that we need to intentionally seek the Lord.

You know what happened yesterday when I set time aside to be with the Lord? He redeemed my time so I was able to finish that assignment ON TIME, I made it through a successful event on Saturday, and here I am writing a sort of double-duty post! It's amazing what the Lord will do for you and help you accomplish when you simply seek Him first, isn't it?

What have you seen the Lord do in your life when you put Him first?

I hope you all have a great week! Catch me again on Wednesday for "Homeschool Hump Day Encouragement" where we'll be talking about assessment testing and the homeschooler!

Have a blessed week!


Monday, March 13, 2017

Where Do You See Yourself 5 Years From Now?

Every year since 2013, my husband and I intentionally go away just the two of us to talk about and pray about what the Lord has for us for that year. Sometimes, it's far away; sometimes, only an hour away. But we have come to realize the importance of getting together, away from other influences, to talk about and plan our goals and vision for the new year.

This year, we discussed many things from our ministries to getting our physical house in order to planning for 5 years from now. We wrote those plans down. Detailed ways of accomplishing those goals, and prayed over them. Today, we start on one of those plans: Cleaning out the garage! Now to you, that might now seem like a big deal or a real vision. It is the start of the plan to get my husband back to his woodworking, and without a clean, functioning garage, he just can't do that. So you see, what you plan for today, will directly affect an area tomorrow.

If we don't plan to start or don't start at all, that other goal, creating a Celtic cross for an upcoming art show, won't be realized either. If you don't start setting money aside for that family vacation, you won't go on it. If you don't start walking, buy the gym membership, or invest in a workout DVD, you're not going to get moving. If you don't sit down at the computer and start writing that book, you're not going to get it published. If you don't look into creating, renting, or buying that office space, you won't start your business. Do you see how what you do today affects what happens tomorrow?

If you're like me, you don't want to be in the same spot, doing the same thing 5 years from now as you are today, right? Have you ever taken the time to write down where you see yourself in 5 years or where you'd like to see yourself? Matthew McConaughey said once that his hero is himself 10 years from now. Let me share some statistics with you about some well known companies. 

Did you know:

  • Whole Foods grew by 1000% in just over 6 years?
  • Qualcomm (cell phone maker) grew by 1000% in 6 years.
  • Staples, the office supply store, grew by 1000% in less than 5 years.
  • Coffee giant, Starbucks grew by 1000% in 3 years!
  • Yahoo! grew by 1000% in 2 years.
  • grew by 1000% in just ONE YEAR! 
  • Auction powerhouse, eBay, grew by 1000% in just 6 short months!!

If these companies can grow, flourish, and become thriving entities in around 5 years, what more can your Father in Heaven do for you and your vision? Psalms 37:25 says, "I have never seen the righteous forsaken nor his seed out begging bread." Read Deuteronomy 28:3-14 and see what the Lord will do for you! See that He will make you FLOURISH this year!

I want to encourage you, if you haven't yet this year, to sit down and get with the Lord and, if you're married, your husband. Talk about the things you want to do, write down plans for doing them, and pray about accomplishing them. Don't talk yourself out of it or you won't do it at all! You don't have to figure it all out right now. But you do have to start with a plan and you DO have to start!

Have a blessed week!


Friday, March 10, 2017

Friday 'Fess Up

This week, I was met with many challenges and trials. My knowledge was challenged and even the content I posted on my youth organization's Facebook page was questioned. Well, dear sisters, I'm human. I privately emailed the person in charge and told her of the things that had been done to me. Then, I stepped away from the organization. Sadly, I did let my emotions rule me in those moments I was composing the email. However, I have forgiven those involved, and I'm moving on. I have a renewed peace and freedom in stepping away, and I'm now ready for whatever the Lord asks of me next.

Maybe you've been taking a lot recently. Maybe you believe that, as a Christian, it's your duty to be a doormat and to allow yourself to be walked all over. Sister, let me assure that is not the case! We don't have to fight battles because the Lord will fight for us. If we react in anger, as I did, I think we need to humble ourselves, admit the wrong, and ask forgiveness. We're human. We react, we speak, we more than likely regret what was said, sometimes we get angry, not with people but more the situation. There is forgiveness for us in the Lord. It is in these times we must strive to be more Christ-like.

Today, I am committing to be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger. What area do you need to practice this verse?

Have a blessed weekend!


Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Homeschool Hump Day Encouragement

When you think of homeschooling, what are the first things that come to mind? High academic scores, well behaved children, proficiency in playing instruments, and dedicated parents are what I think of. When one of those areas is lacking, there needs to come a time of remediation or retraining the children.

Recently, a friend posted that she had taken a month off of schooling to work on attitudes, correct bad behaviors, get back to eating healthy for the whole family, and work on creating habits of daily chores like making beds, cleaning the bathroom, and doing dishes.

You see, homeschooling goes beyond just teaching academics and seeing how much information our children can retain each year. It is an opportunity for us as parent educators to sew into our children's lives and into their spirits. We can teach things like forgiveness, compassion, hospitality, servanthood, obedience, love, integrity, leadership, humility, and patience as part of our homeschool education. 

Today, I want encourage you to assess your children's attitudes. 

Do they argue often? 
Do you find you must ask them to do a chore several times before it is completed? 
Are two or more children angry with one another?
Do you see them looking down on others, like the homeless?
Do they change plans spotaneously to fit what they want to do?
Are they frustrated with school work?

Make the decision today to work on fixing those character flaws and assist them in striving for stronger, Biblically-based traits.

Remind them of the fruits of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).

Take time for daily prayer time encouraging your children to forgive and ask forgiveness, too. Book learning will come, but these years that our children are in our care are short. Take this time to build and empower our children to be full of the love of Jesus and walk in the fruit of the Spirit!

Have a blessed week!


Monday, March 6, 2017

The Power of the Name of Jesus

This week I want to share with you the power of the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord. The name of Jesus has such power. Here are just a few examples that I found as I meditated on the Word.

  1. At the name of Jesus every knee will bow on earth, in heaven, and those who have died (Philippians 2:10). That's power! Power to have everyone bow to Jesus no matter where they are, alive or dead.
  2. Demons have to flee at the name of Jesus (Acts 16:18).
  3. Whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved (Romans 10:13). The Name of Jesus has the power to save, the power to grant salvation to all who call on Him.
  4. Our help is in the name of the Lord (Psalms 124:8), and He is our defender (Psalms 20:1).
  5. The name of the Lord has the power to bless us (1 Chronicles 16:2).
  6. There is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved (Acts 4:12).
  7. Whatever we ask the Father in Jesus' name He will give us (John 16:23).
  8. The name of the Lord is a high tower and the righteous run to it and are safe (Proverbs 18:10).
  9. The power of the name of Jesus will make us whole, healed, and restored (Acts 9:34).
  10. His name gives us the power to do what Jesus did and greater works we will do (John 14:13).
  11. We are baptized in His name (Matthew 28:19) and justified in His name (1 Corinthians 6:11).

Everything we have need of, every bondage that needs to be broken, relationship that needs to be healed, sickness that needs to be overcome, the very name of Jesus can and will restore!

Yes, there is power in the name of Jesus!

Be strong and of good courage, for to this people you shall divide as an inheritance the land which I swore to their fathers to give them! (Joshua 1:8)

Have a blessed week in Jesus' Name!


Friday, March 3, 2017

Friday 'Fess Up

I am usually pretty transparent with you all, and I don't want today to be any different. The past few weeks, I've been more emotional than is typical for me. I can't read one of those "missing my mom or dad" posts or reunions with soldiers or fur babies who have died recently without tears flowing uncontrollably. When I hear of friends and loved ones whose marriages or relationships have ended, I sob as though I were going through it! I get easily angered in situations that I have no real control over. And I feel like I'm drowning in this sea of emotions. I don't know why I feel this way either. And that makes me even more upset. 

I realized a few things during this time of contemplation of my emotions. 
First, I believe I am having these emotions because I'm choosing to not deal with other situations in my life. I recently stepped down from a leadership position within the youth organization in which I work and suddenly feel as though I'm not really needed nor appreciated. That should be okay to not be needed! After all, that's one of the reasons I stepped down! But that has me upset. 
Next, my best friend is moving. Not just a few blocks away or a few miles away or a few hours away. She's moving 18 hours away! I'm so happy for this adventure she's going to be on with her family. But I'm also going to miss her very much...
Finally, I've been missing my step-dad an awful lot lately. "That's normal," you might think. And I suppose it is. But this is the 11th anniversary of his passing, and his absence is so strong to me that I can't ignore his missing so many exciting things that are happening in my life, my mom's life, and the lives of my children. It's all so overwhelming to me, and I think it's just spilling over in my emotions.

My confession today is that while God gave me free will and emotions, I should not and cannot allow myself to be ruled by those things! Derek Prince says that the Bible " life as it is. It takes account of human weakness" ("Through the Psalms," Derek Prince). He goes on to say that in the life of faith, there is a conflict between our spirit and our emotions and that our spirit will not yield to the dictates of emotions. Rather our spirit says we will turn to God and remember what His Word says, finding the promises of God that meet our needs. That's what I'm going to do starting now! 

Today, if you find yourself stretched, frustrated, overwhelmed by emotions, and in need of the Lord, declare the promises of the Lord over your situation! Just open up the Word of God and ask Him to show you!

Have a blessed weekend!


Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Homeschool Hump Day Encouragement

This is a special encouragement for those homeschooling families who may be moving to new areas and faced with new challenges with homeschooling in a new state.

We have lived in a few different states while homeschooling. I have learned some valuable lessons along the way that I'd like to pass on to you today. First, find out the laws in your new state. This will keep you covered legally and allow you to continue your homeschooling journey without intrusion from local school officials.
Next, find a local homeschool co-op, support group, or other homeschooling entities. This will help you get clarification in the laws, options you might have, etc. Plus, it's a great way to make new friends! They might also be able to suggest a local church that you can attend and get some homeschooling support from there.
Finally, be confident in your decision to homeschool in your new area, too. Nothing has changed with your schooling, only the location has become different. 

Have a great week!


Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Rise Up, Mighty Women of God!

This past Sunday, our pastor presented a topic that was empowering and encouraging to me, especially in my ministry to women! So often, we hear about the men in the Bible who have accomplished much, had the hand of God present in their lives, and been chosen for certain greatness for the Kingdom of God. But what about the women? 

Today, I'm going to show you several women that God used. Now we of course know of Esther and Mary, the mother of Jesus. But there were so many other women whose obedience to the Lord, both in the Old Testament and New Testament are models for women of today.

First, let's talk about Miriam. She was the sister of Aaron and Moses. She was also a worship dancer! (Exodus 15:20-21). The Scriptures call her a prophetess. She was held in the same regard as Moses and Aaron!
Next, let's talk about Deborah. She was also a prophetess and was judging Israel at that time...she was a judge, too, and the people of Israel knew her as a judge. They actually came to her for judgement. She was with the ten thousand men who were under the command of Barak along with Zebulun and Naphtali (Judges 4:4, 10, 14). 
What about Huldah? Haven't heard of her, I bet. But she was a prophetess, too. In fact, she was the keeper of the wardrobe (not the one from Narnia!), the palace garments. When Josiah was king, his ancestors were so far removed from the Law of the Lord, they didn't even know what it was until the priest, Hilkiah, found it in the temple in one of the cities they purged from idols and images. See, Josiah knew following the Lord was important to his father, David, but he had never done so as his father had. Huldah was the only one who had a word from the Lord for Josiah. (2 Chronicles 34:22)
In the New Testament, there was Anna, a prophetess. She served the Lord by fasting and praying day and night. 
There were women who ministered to Jesus, too. Mary, the sister of Martha, who poured perfume over Jesus' feet and dried them with her hair, Mary Magdalene, and Joanna and Susanna who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities.
Paul greeted Priscilla and her husband, Aquilla, who were joint pastors of the church in their own home. They pastored together!
Philip's four daughters who were virgins and prophesied. God gave them that gifting.
In John 2:1, we read about the greeting given to the elder and to the "elect lady and her children, whom I love in truth..."

You see, women hold a special place in the Kingdom of God. We can change our husbands into the men we want them to be, but we can certainly pray for them, and, as our pastor says, duck, and get out of the way of the Lord! 

Have a blessed week, Mighty Women of God!!


Wednesday, February 15, 2017

When Mom Is Sick: A Resource for Dealing with School

*I originally posted this in 2014, but since I've been sick for the past two days, I felt as though it was relevant to share once again! I hope this helps you in your homeschooling week. Enjoy my glamorous picture, too! 

So many of my homeschooling mom friends have been dealing with being sick a varying levels. I thought I would re-post this wonderful guide and resource for you so you can create your own fall back plan for the times you are not feeling well or need a fallback plan for blah days!

I've created a sort of list of ideas for homeschooling moms when it is Mom that is sick!  After all, some learning can be outside of the box on a day when Mom just isn't feeling well.  So what sorts of things might a homeschool mom have for her children to do when she is down for the day?  As the mother of a Civil Air Patrol cadet, I often hear my son call his element the week before their next meeting and tell them the POD, plan of the day.  But how exactly do you create that in advance?

Well, perhaps when you are feeling well, you can create a "Mom's Sick" folder that has lists of things the kids can do, that have some educational value, while you are in bed, trying to breathe, or not feeling altogether able to school that day.  This folder might include things like a list of games to play such as Sorry, Yahtzee, Scrabble, Candy Land, Chutes and Ladders, etc. (this will be dependent on how old the kids are!), watch movies such as Anne Frank, The Hiding Place, Disney movies (if those are something you normally watch), etc. (Again, age appropriate...mine are 10 and up!), writing prompts, math drills, and books to read. Then they are prepared to go to the folder if need be, and everyone sort of knows "the Plan"!

Another thing I did when I was on bedrest with my second son and had a 2-year-old running around was to purchase plastic knives and put the peanut butter and jelly where he could reach it.  I simply showed him how to make sandwiches and put things away and he thought that was the coolest thing.  He made them everyday for about 5-6 weeks!!  Plus, I knew he would eat PB&J.  This  may seem a bit like a "fend for yourself" attitude, but I honestly could not get out of bed and didn't have anyone to help!  So lunch was always taken care of for him.  He ate breakfast with my husband and members of our church brought dinners nightly!

Finally, when mom is sick, this is a great opportunity to teach your children to be compassionate, caring and nurturing.  After I had my wisdom teeth removed a few years ago, my youngest daughter asked me all the in's and out's of caring for my mouth after the procedure.  She made a point of knowing that I needed table salt and warm water after eating, and when I needed to take the antibiotic, that it needed to be taken with food, and how many pills I got.  She was almost five years old and knew not to take any medication unless Mommy says it's okay, but she would bring me the pill bottle and I could take my medicine.
In December 2007 after I had all four wisdom teeth removed!  I know, PRETTY!

These are just a few examples of getting through a school day when mom is sick or otherwise not able to perform her teaching duties, but I would love to hear how you might handle some sick days in your family!

Monday, February 13, 2017

Vision Boards and Dreams: Are You An Owner or An Employee?

We've talked a lot about our visions and dreams and the importance of a vision board in accomplishing our goals. Today, I want to talk to you about how you think about your vision or dream. Have you ever worked from someone else? There's a distinction between being an employee and being the owner, right? Let's consider some of these things:

  • Leaders take initiative while employees wait to be told what to do, where to do it, etc.
  • Leaders identify and address challenges and work to fix them while employees may never really know the full extent of the challenges themselves.
  • Employees ignore problems, refuse to talk about them, and hope they will go away.
  • Leaders focus on their own priorities while employees are made to focus on others
  • Leaders plan other people's future while employees futures are often planned without their knowledge
  • Leaders own their dreams and visions, employees work toward accomplishing someone else's dream

God wants us to reign in life. He wants us to realize the dreams He's placed within us! We also need to take action to do this. We need to seek out successful people and spend time with them. If there is someone who has what you want (increased finances, business owner, author, someone in ministry, etc.), get together with them! They will eventually rub off on you, and you will begin to flourish in all that you do.

But if you sit at home, imagine all that could go wrong, come up with reasons why you can't accomplish the goals on your vision board, and doubt that God not only can but will help you achieve those things, that's exactly what you're going to get.

Change your thinking today! Own that dream you put on your vision board. Sit down and start writing that book. Find out what needs to happen for you to open that business you've always wanted and take a step toward that today! Come up with a plan and don't be afraid to dream BIG!

Have a blessed week!


Friday, February 10, 2017

Friday 'Fess Up

This week I confess, I am FLOURISHING!

The Lord has blessed us more than we could have imaged this week! Some things we thought would be costly or difficult, were less expensive and simple. Tasks that looked complicated were accomplished. And I completed something I started two years ago. And in all of it, I give God the glory for these things being done! We are flourishing like palm trees (Psalms 92:12, NLT).

What has your week looked like? Can you see your One Word in the week? How has your One Word aligned with your vision and dreams for this year?

Take time to get together with the Lord and ask these things:

I'd love to hear how your vision, dreams, and One Word are going so far this year! Comment on our blog or our Facebook page!

Have a blessed week!


Thursday, February 9, 2017

Homeschool Hump Day Encouragement

The children of this generation are confronted with seemingly more than we battled as school-aged children when we were growing up. Bullying has become more intense, standards have been both raised and lowered, and technology usage and knowledge is unlike any generation before! So that leads us to this week's topic: How can technology be integrated in homeschooling? There are good reasons for including technology (YouTube videos, tablet/iPad apps, online curriculum) in homeschooling. Most of their public school peers are learning to use technology, the future of technology is thriving, and we want to give our children every advantage we can.

Screen time is definitely something that you as a family need to determine for your children. But there are some effective ways to use technology in education, too. If your child is interested in batch coding, there is a free, online curriculum for that. Kids can, with the assistance and guidance of a parent, find information on how to do a number of things (like solve Rubik's Cubes!) on youTube, can learn grade level sight words using interactive, engaging apps, students can learn those tough math topics using Khan Academy online tutorials, younger children can learn number and letter recognition and colors and shapes, and older teens can even take online courses from reputable universities like MIT, Harvard, and more through free programs like Coursea and MOOC.

A balance between textbook/workbook learning, Bible studies, and technology is a valuable thing for our children. We can help propel them in knowledge, skills, and topics while preparing them for the future simultaneously.

Online programs and apps for homeschoolers can increase their knowledge and understanding of technology and put them on common ground with their public school peers. Consider how technology might fit into your homeschooling day:

  • Make a plan
  • Set boundaries
  • Have rules for using technology (See image below!)
  • Discuss online safety with your children
  • Determine how (and if!) technology will be integrated in your homeschool program

Be encouraged today, homeschooling mama, that whether you include technology in your homeschooling day or not, whether it is a little or an entire curriculum online, you are making the right decision for your children!

Have a blessed week!


*Our rules for getting screen time. This does not include any school that is online.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Dreams: A Peek Into What God Has for Us

What Are Dreams Really?

(C) 2012 Jade DeGood
How many times have I gone to sleep knowing that I will be battling for something, flying, seeing people I've never met, or journeying to a place I've never been (like an island)?  

I dream almost every night.  As a matter of fact, I dream such action packed dreams that I often wake up feeling tired.  After all, I was running around saving and protecting people or climbing mountains or flying over meadows or driving all over a major city.  Who wouldn't wake up feeling tired after a busy night like that?
Some of the things I've dreamed about were strange, like flying.  Not in an airplane (although I do dream about being at airports often!), but about actually flying, like Superman!  I have dreamed that I was in labor in childbirth, but I was also helping another laboring mom during my own delivery.  And most frequently, I dream that I'm a soldier battling and fighting the enemy.
  • What do your dreams look like?
  • Do you remember them?
  • Are they vivid and real?
  • What do you do when you wake up from a dream--good or bad?
When I wake up from a very real and vivid dream, I write it down as quickly as I can before I start forgetting it.  I keep a notepad and pen on my bedside table just for that.  Once I've written down the basic idea, I pray about it.  After writing your dreams down for several weeks, look back over them.  
  • Is there a pattern?  
  • Do you have a recurring dream?  
  • Have you dreamed something and days, weeks, months or years later actually experienced that thing, that event in your dream?
See, the Lord gives us passions and visions of what our lives can be (as we've discussed with regard to vision boards), but He also gives us dreams, little glimpses of things to come in our lives.  That's the feeling of déjà vu that we sometimes experience.  Only God can tell you or show you what these dreams truly mean, and that is why praying about them is so vital to our understanding.
I used to be afraid of dreams in which I was flying.  But that's really just a rehearsal for our life in Heaven.  God is preparing us for that time.  It's really interesting and inspiring to consider all the glimpses He gives us in our waking lives and in our dreams!
Jacob had dreams.  Joseph had dreams.  Dreams are God's way of showing us things that we can't understand or perceive any other way.  In Genesis 28:12, Jacob dreamed of a ladder and the angels were going up and down it.  Genesis 37, 39, and 41 each speak of dreams that Joseph either had himself or was able to interpret through the revelation of the Lord.  Daniel interpreted dreams as well.  In 1 Samuel 28:6 it says that "Saul inquired of the Lord, the Lord did not answer him, either by dreams or by Urim or by the prophets."  In Matthew we read that an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph, Jesus' father, and told him to flee to Egypt.  Joel 2:28 says  And it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your old men shall dream dreams, Your young men shall see visions."  
Dreams are not to be feared.  As we read in the Scripture, it is often God's way of speaking to us.  So tonight, as you're getting ready for bed, ask the Lord to reveal something to you in your dreams, and thank Him for restful, peaceful sleep. 

Have a great week!!


Friday, February 3, 2017

Friday 'Fess Up

As you know, my One Word for the year is "FLOURISH"! Our chosen word is meant to help keep us focused, keep us looking toward the visions we have, and allow us to work toward the goal of that word.

My confession to you is that this week, I didn't feel much like I was flourishing. In fact, I felt that everything was pulling against me doing anything like that! I wasn't thriving, increasing, growing, abounding, expanding (except maybe my waste line!), making steady progress, or at the high point of my life!

Then I began to take notice of things. I believe the Lord is allowing me to go through a "weeding out" process in life right now, and here is what I can see happening:

  • I've stepped out of a leadership role in the youth organization I work with, and God is giving me opportunities to work with another group of youth!
  • I've reclaimed some of the time that was being stolen from my calling, and God is giving me more women to disciple!
  • I've focused on doing my Bible School assignment more, and God has grown my faith more and more. (Remember the furnace episode?!)
  • The things that were sucking my time and stealing me away from my family and calling, have slowly been slipping away to make more time for the things He has called me to do!
I encourage you today to find synonyms for your One Word! Write them down, print them out, get them in front of you (Habakkuk 2:2), so that you may see it every day. Take survey of how the Lord is allowing you to grow and change. Can you see your One Word playing out in your life even now?

Have a blessed week!


Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Homeschool Hump Day Encouragement

In the past several weeks, you've no doubt seen and heard the chaos that is going on in our nation. While it's often easy to hide our feelings, fears, and even insecurities from our younger children, I believe our older children can benefit from knowing what's happening.

My husband and I often talk to our children about the government, politics, and the things the government has done, is doing, or will do, whether we agree with those decisions or not. We want them to have not only a well-rounded understanding of the events but also we want to encourage them to form their own opinions and know what they stand for and why. Then we pray together for our nation, our president, and those in authority over us.

Today, I'd like to encourage you to talk with your middle school and high school aged children about these things. Watch the news, read the paper, and discuss current events. For those of you with younger children, take the time to pray for our nation with those young ones! Encourage your older children to pray, too!

How do you include your children in politics and teach government? We would love for you to share!

Have a blessed week!