Monday, September 17, 2012

New Homeschool Blog!

Just wanted to let some old followers know I have started a new blog! All homeschool related...hope you will join us on our adventure.

A Charlotte Mason Education: Southern Style

Friday, March 23, 2012

I always needed closure...

I did. I do. I always will need closure. I could just let this blog sit out here in "space" until I have time, or even the desire, to write. But I believe the time has come to say, "The End."

God has taken me so many places since I started this blog two and a half years ago. I started searching for myself outside motherhood and found motherhood is where I am to be for this season of my life. And this season of life has opened to me the evidence of my ever, constant presence needed by my children.

I often think about things I have wrote about on here and recently shared with a friend how arrogant I have been to offer my opinion and advice on mothering, homemaking, and homeschooling. All things I am very, very new in myself. In the past years of writing, I have found myself bordering on legalism and losing grace. I have found myself caught up in blogs and book suggestions that have left me depending on man to tell me where I should go and forgetting that only God can tell me what is right and good for our family. I think about past posts and my desire to go back and edit so many of them...knowing that the rigid thoughts I may have held even one year ago I know longer feel the same about. I praise God for the path He is taking me on and where I have been as well.

So, I move on. Maybe starting over one day...far away when God has given me much more wisdom. I leave here to focus on my God, my family, my freedom in Christ, and His never ending grace. And to my own surprise, even myself. Sometimes, we come full circle realizing balance can be an all too important thing and denying yourself for the sake of Christ doesn't necessarily mean neglecting yourself.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Christians and Birth Control: Did you know?

While reading about the new federal requirement that will force religious-affliliated medical facilities to provide birth control to their employees by 2013, I couldn't help but think of how many pro-life Christians continue on without the proper knowledge of the possible abortive effects of birth control.

In an effort to continue to inform, I ask, please read this series of posts at Desiring Virtue. After thinking over the news article, I was once again lead to reread her posts. I hope you will take the time to make yourself more aware of the possibilities. I, too, have researched just the way she did to determine the truth behind whether or not birth control pills have possible abortive effects. I believe her series of articles provides sufficient information for the Chrisitan family to think about their use of birth control.

Begin with Part 1. The end of each post will lead you to the next post in the series.

Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, The fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one’s youth. Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them; They shall not be ashamed, But shall speak with their enemies in the gate. Psalms 127:3-5

Monday, January 9, 2012

Grace Living

Last week when everyone else was determining their “words” for the year, I was left wondering what one word would I want to lead me through the upcoming year. Thinking perhaps I should just move on and leave behind any yearly resolutions or words, it dawned on me.

At the end of 2011, I began to realize the burden of self-reliance I had been carrying through much of the year. Every corner I turned was about how I could make all the difference. I could make the difference in my home. I could determine my children’s obedience. I could determine their future. I could determine what people thought about my family and me. I became so caught up in the appearance of godliness that I lost the heart of true, Holy Spirit-driven godliness. For the first time ever, I was looking at myself and thinking, “Legalism? Me? Nooo!” The sin of self-righteousness was speaking boldly to my face. I knew what had crept into my heart this year.

So, Sunday I claimed it. Grace. This year is my year of grace. The year where I remember His grace...

Grace in regeneration.

Grace in sanctification,

Grace in parenting.

Grace in relationships.

Grace in communication.

Grace in living.

I want to see grace in what I read, in what I pray, and how I walk. I want to give grace as it was given to me. I want to precede knowing that God receives glory out of ugly, rebellious, disobedience just as much as He receives glory out of lovely, devoted, obedience. I mean, without the ugly how could we really know how much we need Him?

God hasn't left me alone to search for grace but is immediately making grace real in His word and through the story of Joseph. Joseph, betrayed by his own brothers and yet so willing to offer grace to them. Not only grace, but the very best of everything he had. He kissed them and wept over them, the same men who planned his death and took him away from the land he knew. Joseph truly understood God’s sovereignty even through His hardships. He spent years in prison for being wrongfully accused…and yet, he could see God’s purpose in it all. He could see that God glorifying grace is not always lovely and not always what we would choose for ourselves.

“His brothers also came and fell down before him and said, "Behold, we are your servants." But Joseph said to them, "Do not fear, for am I in the place of God? As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today. So do not fear; I will provide for you and your little ones." Thus he comforted them and spoke kindly to them.” Genesis 50: 18-20 (ESV, emphasis added)

2012...a year to remember and grow in grace.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

New Plans for the New Year

The time is upon us for reflections and resolutions. I'll spare you the reflections and move onto some of my own plans for least in the world of literature and such.

I was rather surprised with what I was able to finish reading in 2011. Allow me to apologize, make way for a small reflection. Books that I actually finished in 2011 were: (links to these books can be found on my page Books and Stuff)
  • Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God by Francis Chan
  • Think: The Life of the Mind and The Love of God by John Piper
  • The Shaping of a Christian Family by Elisabeth Elliot
  • Loving the Little Years: Motherhood in the Trenches by Rachel Jankovic
  • Lies Homeschooling Moms Believe by Todd Wilson
  • The Excellent Wife by Martha Peace
  • The Mission of Motherhood by Sally Clarkson
And to add to my reading was much time, although not enough, spent in God's Word and time, probably too much, spent reading numerous blogs and articles. Nate laughed at me when I told him I was going to make a small goal of four books for the upcoming year. I suppose he thinks my goal is a bit puny. I say, at least I know it's doable.

My plan is to finish the book I'm currently reading, Give Them Grace by Elyse Fitzpatrick and Jessica Thompson. I won this in a book giveaway and will probably be coming back to say more about it. It is definitely making me rethink our methods in parenting and how we view the gospel as a whole in our home.

My three I plan to add to this extensive list of four are:
  • The Hiding Place by Corrie Tin Boom I've attempted to read several times and just haven't been able to finish.
  • Charismatic Chaos by John MacArthur This has been on my list for awhile. I have some family that is interested in the charismatic movement and really want to see how he deals with this movement.
  • And number four is something by Francis Shaeffer. I haven't decided yet. Maybe The Christian Manifesto? or How Should We Then Live?
I also plan on continuing to look through Large Family Logistics. While we are not technically a "large family," I love some of the ideas she shares in the book.

And of course, I can't leave out a Bible Reading Plan. I found the perfect plan that will give me a few minutes after each meal to spend reading from three different sections of the Bible, starting in Genesis, Job, and Matthew. Nate and I thought this would be a good way to read through the Bible in a year to the little ones, too! I also hope to spend more devoted time to studying Proverbs. A few weeks back I started studying Proverbs alongside Matthew Henry's Commentary. I have taken a break but really hope to resume that in depth reading as well on my own.

For the wee ones, I plan to continue Catechisms for Young Children and doing scripture memory. Earlier this month I began using this system for scripture memory. It's still early on using it so we haven't got an excellent feel for how this system will work over time.

And we have finally decided on a reading curriculum! After looking at three different curriculums, we have decided to use Reading Made Easy. I'll keep you updated on my thoughts on this system and how it works as we go along. Reading lessons will be short and simple. We will also continue reading good, twaddle-free books and spending lots of time outside when the weather is just right for exploring!

So, do you have reading plans this year?

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

You said WHAT to my child?!

Dear “Girl That May or May Not Still Work at Food City,”

Our encounter last night was a first for me. I was quite taken back by what you said. Those who knew me before will know how He has changed me by how I responded to you. They know what the old me would have done.

I really just grinned and nodded as you kept prodding my children about Christmas. I nodded in assurance to my shy little girl as you kept asking her about Santa and all the wonderful gifts he will be bringing her. See, you don’t know that she has reached the age where she is at the same time in awe and yet, confused about this strange man who Mommy says is not real. You didn’t know she was conflicted on how to answer you. But even though you didn’t know all these things, you shouldn’t have said what you did. When I politely told you we don’t do Santa at our house, you should have said what everyone else does, “Oh, OK.” But you didn’t, you chose to ask my daughter why not. And when she said, “He isn’t real,” you placed yourself in a bad situation with your response. You told my daughter I was a liar. That’s what you said to her when you looked her in the eye and said, “Oh yes he is!”

And that is when I gently placed my hand on her back and walked away.

You see, we serve a King who I believe is sickened by this charade called Santa Claus. Because my King, is the only one who knows who has been bad or good… (There is none good, no not one. Romans 3:10) We teach our children it is the righteousness of Another that makes them good before God. This King doesn’t think it is OK to lie. Ever. Even if it is just fun and harmless. He is Holy …always…so do you really think He says, “Ah, they’re just having fun, it's Ok to lie this time.” This King doesn’t like to share His glory with anyone or anything else…probably because nothing could possibly hold a candle to His greatness. So, we serve another God and not the god of Santa Claus and mammon that this holiday is so smothered in.

I would appreciate it, that you not tell my child I’m a liar. I’m teaching her to believe in something much bigger than a make believe character that will one day be nothing to her. I’m teaching her to believe in a Sovereign God, the Maker of all things, and the only One she will ever give thanks to for the many blessings and gifts she receives…the one that doesn’t turn out to be a phony. See, because sometimes our faith can be kind of hard to hold on to, we want her to know that her parents never lied to her and we wouldn’t tell her about something we don’t have one hundred percent faith in.

So, please, leave the parenting up to the parents. And think before you speak.

Thank you,
A Mom Determined to Tell the Truth
I must say, over the past eight years, I’ve softened quiet a bit on my views on Christmas. My husband and I have went from completely ignoring it to attempting to figure out what traditions we want to adopt in our own family during this time of year. We know there is a way to do this that is Christ honoring and we feel rest about Paul’s teachings on Christian freedom. At the same time, much of this holiday makes me angry and confused. I don’t understand how Christians continue to adopt such secular ways of celebration. I pray that there would be a way to reform the holiday…even if it is just one family at a time. I pray that more families would evaluate why they do what they do and see how it is honoring to God. I especially pray this year that people will be spending the Lord’s Day in church because it is a day God has commanded us to observe; Christmas is not; yet, numbers of Christians will remain home and forget the Lord on the one day He has given us to set aside to worship Him.

So, Here is wishing you and yours…a Happy…or a Merry…I don’t know…I think Lily says, “make sure to tell them, ‘Happy Christmas!’”

(Note: I still haven’t brought myself to verbally say, “Merry Christmas” to someone…so that was a little awkward. Give me a break, it's been EIGHT YEARS since I've even considered celebrating the day. It's bound to be awkward!)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Busy Seasons

Wow. It has been almost two months since I've been here. Life is busy even when you're not busy with the season. I want to write. I just can't take the time. Little hands and little hearts need me more than this space of mine. So, where is my mind?

On the little boy with the black eye and the pink hat...who is now potty trained!

And the little girl who can't get enough of her new doll and makes me smile as I see her reach out her hand to help her Momma every day.

On my dear husband who worked very hard on Saturday to help my effort to tidy and purge our house of unneeded and an unloved stuff. I love my new shelves!

Do these pics really need a caption?
And on flowers picked especially for me on a warm day in December.

My mind has been on how I wish everyone could keep this image in their mind.

My mind has been on sin and "if God hasn’t specifically called something a sin, I shouldn’t." How I can't help but wander if I've crossed this line...

My mind has been on how awesome God is that He brings His flock together to send up prayers from all over for the same family who most of us have never even met.

My mind is a bit all over...even with you at times.

Until next time...whenever that may be.