Category Archives: my opinion

Spending Time on Purpose

Recently, most of our activities were cancelled due to an usual amount of snow for our area.  Two glorious weeks.

And I noticed that towards the end of the second week, I began to see things develop in my younger boys that I had so enjoyed in my older children.  We watched “Life on the Mississippi” to go along with our history, and two of my sons built a lego steamboat.  While we were taking books of a shelf so their daddy could paint, they discovered some literary treasures that I had previously told them were awaiting discovery.  My sons who did not normally read for pleasure picked up a stack of books to read….for fun.

It was a treat to have t-i-m-e.

Theater, basketball and Bible Bowl probably have a permanent  place in our lives.  They are things that we have determined, at least to this point, important enough to sacrifice time.

But it’s important to arrange time in the day, in the season, in the year where there are lulls. These lulls don’t need to be filled, they can be savored.  There can be time to read. 

And these decisions need to be made on purpose.  It is important to choose, to submit to the Lord and His plan for the good works He is preparing your children for and for the good works that He has for you.

There are too many things that detract us from our purpose, that disrupt our calm.  We need to have our minds ruled by His peace, and play to an audience of One.

I honestly know of no better resource to help you discern this than Marcia Somerville’s new book,  Love the Journey. This is truly not a 300 page sales-pitch, even though she also authored the wonderful curriculum, Tapestry of Grace.  You could easily read her book and know the that Tapestry of Grace is not for you.  But after reading and applying this wonderful resource, whether you are just contemplating homeschooling or a twenty-year veteran, it will help you to do what you do on purpose!

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Handwriting

Handwriting….is it going the way of tatting and home-cooked meals?  Is it a necessity or a luxury?  Is there a  real purpose?

Personally, I have found that I write different things on the computer and by hand.  And if I really need to remember it , I write it, repeatedly.    If I have emotions to sort out, I often write it out.   And I often journal personal, spiritual things.

I love mail of all kinds-electronic and written.  But a handwritten note is definitely more like a personal gift.

Here is a great article about handwriting that inspired me to share my thoughts on this.

Here is a very interesting article that describes connections between handwriting, learning to read,  learning and remembering!

 

I.S.I.S and Christmas

Fear.

Will I really stand if and when that day comes when I face pain for Christ?

Will I look to Christ, the author and finisher of my faith, who for the joy before Him endured…..

Could  I do as my brothers and sisters in Christ have done and stand firm in the face of threats…and death …of those I love?  Do I love Him more?

It’s questions that have haunted me since Middle School.

I take comfort in the fact that He says He will enable.

And in Corrie Ten Boom’s story of the train ticket.

Today…today… I needed something more than the willpower to think about the right things.  I wondere what I could listen to as I went about some tasks that would enCOURAGE me.

And I remembered my Christmas playlist.  What better thing to infuse into my heart and mind this morning than the incredible Incarnation and Redemption!

courtship ready?

Courtship has been a buzz word you have either likely embraced or avoided in the last decade or more.  There are so many really good article, books and speeches, outlining “why”.  A few on “how”, but not many.
  When I wanted to outline our “how” twenty years ago, my husband wisely advised we would wait, because each situation would be different, and any “rules” we laid down were likely to be affected by the circumstance.  How right he was!  Our plan, whatever it might have been, probably wouldn’t have been appropriate for our daughter courting a widower!
But one thing I have seen over the years concerns me. Standards are great, and there are some you shouldn’t waiver on—like is the potential partner is a believer who is walking with the Lord.
  But I’ve heard about and seen many who expect 30 year marriage maturity out of couples who think they may be interested in each other, and discount a potential suitor (or  “courtee”) because they lack maturity in some area.
  Personally,I think what matters is where they are “going”.  I know many couple who married VERY young, but are doing well!
While you evaluate if the man or woman that your child may be interested in is an appropriate mate, ask if your child  “there”:?  Are  you even  “there”?   What defines “there” for you, and why?  Is it born out of your own struggles within yourself or your marriage?  Is it born out of fear or a sense that if you would just “do it right” everything would end up fairy tale for you and your child’s new family.
There are other ways to look at this.  I will speak from the girls’ parent’s perspective, but it needs to be looked at from both directions.    Does he have an interest in Christ?  Is he growing?  Teachable?  Manage his money well?  Look to the needs of others? (Not just :her” right now) Hard , diligent worker?  Respectful to his parents and grandparents?  Respectful of his church leadership?  Given to too much pleasure?  Self-centered? Insist on his own way?  Manipulative?  Given to anger?
What do they want to “be” in ten years?  This may change.  But do they have a heart for serving the Lord for How they  thinks they can serve the Lord better together than apart?  How does he expect to provide?  Do they agree about children?  What do his parents think?
Examine your goals for courtship.  Are your “standards” out of fear or a need to control?  Remember, the Perfect Parent raised His first “kids”  in a perfect environment and it didn’t turn out so well .  God raised Adam and Eve in Eden.  We surely are not going to be able to manipulate a situation that is better than what God provided.  And we are all now sinful, fallen beings.
So is it hopeless? No.  We have  a Redeemer.  And He has a plan.  Seek His face, not your plan.  Seek His wisdom, not the approval of others.  Seek to see through His eyes, hear through His ears, watch through His heart.
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Rest in the Lord!  Ask His guidance and trust Him.  There are some times we have walked things that make me wonder …then I remember that He does guide, and just because something is His will  doesn’t mean it will be easy.  There will be hardships.
  Like Teri Maxwell says in Homeschooling with a Meek and Quiet Spirit, you know things won’t go right all the time.  What we need to do is PLAN how we will respond in a godly way when they don’t.  She says this in relationship to children and disobedience.  We live in a fallen world.  It will happen.  But I think it’s applicable to so many other areas.  And so many believers forget 1 Peter and even Jesus’ promise that in the world we will have troubles. Our children will too.  It’s a strange, western “christianity” that thinks once we trust God, lifepo here will be smooth and happy!   The point is we have Someone to live for, who loves and redeems us…we have a real future…a purpose…..and someone who can see us through hardships, even situations that are a result of sin and even use them for good.
So where does that bring us in the “how”?  We still try to “do it right”, meaning in a manner that is seeking to please the Lord and the good of others.  We don’t seek to please the crowd we run with (or want to run with) or to be control freaks trying to protect our kids of inevitable pain.  Fear leads to sin.
Hopefully,  we have started to train them to deal with disappointment, relational hardships and the like in a God-honoring way.  The point is that marriage is a reflection of Christ and the Church. We don’t expect any many to embody the perfection of Christ.  The goal matters most.  The place on the field we are starting from matters as well.
But we don’t start at the finish line.

Answers to a Common Question

How do I teach my child the Bible.

The obvious answer:  Read it to him!

But do you need some help in giving him the big picture.  Here comes a Bible Survey class by the creators of Veggie Tales!

I love this resource. It talks about hard things,  It talks about hopeful things.  And never stops talking about “God’s rescue plan”.

Will you agree with everything that is said?  I hope not.  The only time that is going to happen is either it’s Scripture itself or you have made the movie!  Watch it with your children- and least the first time, and teach your young ones to “Be Berean”

And for a limited time you can get a free copy.

You just might decide that for $5 a month, access to the complete “What’s In the Bible ” series, other videos, games and more is a good investment! .

If you even suspect your child has dyslexia, read this!

Finally.  Someone is saying what parents have  suspected for so long.

A pediatrician once told me that even when a parent cannot give you a clue about what is wrong, if they continue to suspect something, they are nearly always right.

So if you think your child just might have a struggle in reading, take a look at this.

If you give them some extra, positive attention in this area, or even get outside help and they didn’t really need it, you haven’t lost much in comparison to what would have happened if they needed help and you didn’t act.

Yep. There are all those stories–both ways.  And some of them are true.  But God made you the parent of THIS child for a reason.  Pray, trust the Father and step out!

One Thing I Wish I’d Done Differently

Of course, there is a million and one.

But this one can make a change.  not only in my life, but yours.  And that of those you love.  Do I sound like a Public Service Announcement yet?    I  may be.  But do tune IN for this alert!

Parents, especially of those children with challenges, are fragile people .

Resilient.  Resourceful, Relentless. YES!!

But Fragile.

We fully know that this is about the person of our child, not us.  And many seek to stay firmly planted in the background.

Years of sleeplessness, consuming crisis, and vigilance take their toll.

Then someone, out of the blue, looks us in the eyes and ask “How are you?”

And they really see.  The pain. The fear.  The w-e-a-r-i-n-e-s-s

the months, years, decades with few oases.  and so very many crying to us for water.

This song  was a watershed for me.  I listened.  and cried .  and listened again, when no one was around.  and cried healing tears.  then ordered her book like a runner grasping for Gatorade after a race. –

Dancing with Max, though her journey was different, helped to begin to heal, too.

Then there was the friend who helped me see God’s refreshing with there.  I just hadn’t been reaching for the cup very often, and when I had it was in the manner of the angry, deprived  person snatching what was meant to be freely given.    She led me to Soul Keeping.   She is watching over me, urging me to drink, the right amounts, the right time, the right way.

And I was reminded that it needs to be deliberate.  And consistent.

May you find your Living Water and the true well, whatever your journey.