An overdue update…

I should have acknowledged God’s provisions and protection for us on here long ago and just haven’t. My husbands job was kept through the January 31st goal and beyond to even today.

He actually has visitors today and his job is still very much on the line until the end of July when the company would erase all records of coachings and a fresh start could begin with opportunities to transfer and such. He left for work this morning knowing company was there and both of us with a peace that might seem strange, we are welcoming whatever this visit brings. Even if it means he turns his keys in and is unemployed. God gave us this peace and it was with a smile and hug that I could honestly tell him before he left…  I don’t care what happens, as long as God is in control nothing will happen that He didn’t already have planned for us. :)

So… I may update tomorrow or this evening with new news, it really won’t be good or bad, just new… and completely in God’s hands. I love this part of faith!

Psalm 33:20 (NIV) We wait in hope for the LORD, He is our help and our shield.

 

Have a blessed day! I know I am!!

A recent listen… Unglued, by Lysa Terkeurst

WOW! Have you read the new book Unglued? I must say it is spot on.

I honestly don’t have the time or energy to read many books so I have a membership through audible.com for audiobooks and have LOVED being able to listen to some great authors.

In her new release Unglued, Lysa helps us take our labels off and address the roots of what “unglues” us. She shares personal experiences from her own life and how God has chiseled her through those times to Lord willing, be a better wife, mom, and woman.

I listened to her until 2am because as she is narrating her own book, she sounds like a friend in my living room. A friend that has made many of my same mistakes. I actually found myself asking God… how could you let her write “my” book? The answer was of course that He hasn’t chiseled my form quite enough yet. I need this book and the practical, common sense advice that is both simple and profound. Why haven’t I already made road maps for responses? I learned in Bible school that you should make a decision about a decision before you have to make the decision. In other words, have a plan and know how to stand in that plan. Don’t come unglued by other people, things, or events, because there is already a procedure in place to follow. WOW. A procedure that has Jesus as it’s core and foundation. How simple, how obvious, and yet how many times do I just lose it and blow my testimony, especially with my greatest ministry right now, my children. Too many times for sure.

I am breezing through this audio book for the first time because I love listening to her and find myself wanting more and more. I know that I will listen again and slow my pace to have a focused change of heart.

I highly recommend this book, and it really isn’t for only women, I have heard the men on K-LOVE radio talking about their own perspective changes that they have learned from this book.

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Day 34 of prayer for work

My Bible study today was John 1:35-42. I am not a scholar but my take on this passage today has been an encouragement.  I love that Jesus is so willing to spend time with those that want to know Him, and that from that time spent with Him, His guests are filled with joy and excitement to share Him with others and introduce those they love to Him.   Sometimes reading the Bible feels less than exciting to me honestly, but how refreshing to be reminded of the joy that comes by spending time with Jesus daily.

Dear Heavenly Father on this day I thank you for another day of work, another day of peace, and for reminding me how you love it when we visit. Thank you for the time to play with our children today and our health in order to do so. Be with our sleep and help us to use the rest and strength it provides us to glorify your name tomorrow. In Jesus name I pray, amen.

Learning curves

I’ve been learning a lot about trust lately.

As someone who has a relationship with the Creator God, I know He alone is in control of all the happenings in my life, and I love having that peace like a child… trusting my Abba Father to take care of me, my family, and those that rise up against us.

Lamentations 3:37  Who can speak and have it happen if the Lord has not decreed it?

My husband’s job is at risk in a big way right now by a person that seems to have been against us since we’ve lived here in NY. Our December felt robbed because of the drama that was brought by this person and the team that stands with her. He had 3 visits in a weeks time at one point and was also told his job would be over in three days and then called back the next day to say no it wouldn’t be, but may be the next time he is visited.

This experience has been so hard for me as a wife to see my best friend and a wonderful leader be so repeatedly professionally bullied when he has done so much good up here. It’s also served as a reminder to me that as a wife, it is not my place to save him, defend him, or retaliate against higher-ups with my words, or even in my heart. I like being in control, so this has been VERY hard for me to concede my will to God’s control and trust that He knows exactly what’s happening and nothing happens without His consent.

My husband is the one that from the beginning has encouraged our family to pray for these people in authority over him up here, I had a hard time doing that without asking for God to leave a mark (yikes!) for a long time. I honestly do pray for each of their hearts now to be reconciled with God and that maybe through this situation they may see Him through our responses to what they mean for harm.

So my prayer now that we are through the holidays (and the safety that they brought by no one wanting to be the one to terminate someone at Christmas) is for 35 more days of work. 35 days gets us to the annual cut-off time for his annual bonus which would be a blessing to have if a job is no longer available. It would also be a blessing to have as we pray that the next step that this will lead our family to is full-time ministry work.

We have been looking for years for full-time ministry but no doors have been opened for us in that pursuit over the years. Our latest talks have been with Wycliffe Bible Translators in Florida and their need for the business mind and training within my husband. We would LOVE to work among people who love our Savior, it’s been a decade since we have and we long for that communion again. We continue to search and trust that God will lead and we will be wise enough to see His path and follow it through. Many of these positions are support based so that adds an element of fear for me, but thankfully not for my husband, who keeps pointing my shoulders back to God and reminding me HE has all our needs covered.

God know the plans we have, and I pray they are a copy of His heart upon ours. I covet your prayers with me for these 35 days of prayer.

Today Lord Jesus I pray for safety in the physical snow storm that we have here in NY, that the workers would make it to work safely and prepare the business to be approved by authorities over them, I pray for those bosses you know to come to know you as well, I pray that my husband finds his strength in you, pursues your approval above all others, and maintains his testimony for you in his workplace. Thank you for being in control and being worthy of trust and trustworthy. Thank you for the peace you have given us that passes our understanding. Please grant us 35 days of work and help us to stay out of your way while you work in our hearts in this very real way. I love and trust you God. In Jesus name I pray…

Amen

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Amazon deals

This season as you are shopping, I am putting out a shameless plug and asking if you wouldn’t mind coming to my site first and clicking through to amazon with me. I would get a referral fee for any purchases made in click-throughs on my site, just in full disclosure.

I will try to keep an eye out for good grabs and of course share my finds with you. No, my site isn’t going to turn into a product bonanza blog, however, there will be more along that line for this busy season when shopping just naturally happens… and even if it’s not for Christmas, I have a feeling that this holiday season retailers are going to be offering some great savings for us. :)


This is a blu-ray, dvd, and digital copy set for $9.99! The basic dvd is only $5.99 if blu-ray isn't your game. :) This is a family favorite for us!

Here is a personal confession: this next movie is one of the two movies that my husband and I watch regularly when it's been a rough day and we just need to relax. It's on Blu-ray right now for only $8.99!

And... here is the other of our "go to" flicks (don't judge!)
Mr. Deeds! Only $4.98 right now! woohoo!

That's it for now... can you tell I love movies! Do you?
If there is something you'd like help keeping an eye out for let me know and I'll do my best hunting with/for you!

I finished a book!

I know, it doesn’t sound like a big deal for most, but for me, reading an entire book within a timeframe that I can actually remember the start when I finish is a big deal these days! I read Indescribable, by Loiue Giglio and Matt Redman. I loved it! It was a fairly easy read and a more avid reader than myself probably could read through it in a few days. I loved the science and the credit given to our great Creator for every cosmic event and well, everything. I loved how my God was shown to be so awesome of a creator in this book, how the Bible speaks to us about stars and we have found through exploration that the statements made about them in the Bible are true!

If you love to see how intimate our God is and how powerful His love and how wide is His omnipresence, I highly recommend this book. I’m in awe once again that a God so big and powerful to breathe stars into existence also created me, and loves me so much that He removed Himself from His Heavenly home and came to make the ultimate sacrifice for my soul, and yours. This fully God, fully man savior named Jesus who died on the cross laid dead in a grave for 3 days and then rose again to defeat sin in all of our lives, humbled Himself greatly because of His awesome love for us. THAT is something to be truly thankful for this season and always.


writers blur

I haven’t blogged for about a month and a half! I wouldn’t really say it was due to writers block though, there is plenty to say and write about! I’ve been in a bit of a blur since we started up school again.

A blur of curriculum tweaks and the daily discipline that it takes to make sure that our children are both educated and growing in wisdom. (those are two separate things by the way)

A blur of being the new coordinator for our church’s MOPS (mothers of preschoolers) group! I love MOPS and have been involved with 6 groups in the last 8 years. I love the community that these groups give to me, mops.org is always one of the first sites I visited for each of our 13 moves, it’s an important part of a mom’s life to have that support system close and in REAL life, not just Facebook. :) I almost started a group in GA, but God moved us, and I have been praying for a ministry, a way to feel that my love of Christ can be reflected to others. I love that God answered my prayers and allowed me to step up to coordinate our group this year and He has given me such a wonderful leadership team to support this ministry being all to the glory of God! I don’t have a childcare director yet for our MOPPETS ministry so I have also been working on recruiting workers, and planning each meetings program for the little ones. It’s really not difficult since I already have and have had so many little ones of my own, kids just need to be kept busy and in small spurts of time. It is a time taker though and has challenged my homeschool efforts at times, I pray God will keep tapping on hearts and that someone will come alongside to direct these little one’s, but in the mean time, I’m blessed (really, I am!) to be able to help show these little ones a little bit of Jesus’ love for them two Tuesdays a month! (that photo above is our theme this year, and I LOVE it!)

A blur of field trips! I actually missed an event this morning because I was not showered, dressed, or ready and only remembered it after it had been going for 6 minutes… my kids said… “Oh well!” I loved that they weren’t upset at just staying home. That is probably due to all the trips into town on behalf of MOPS, our new Sunday evening program at church, and we’ve already done multiple field trips this year! It certainly is an exciting blur and I will be posting about those trips in upcoming days. Yay!

A blur of unexpected ministry… I am the Bible teacher for our 3 to 5-year-old children on Sunday evenings for our new Word of Life Gopher Buddies Club. Honestly, I am kind of a Jonah with this age group and try to run and hide if I know someone is going to ask me to be with them. (Due to my own 5-year-old being such a strong-willed child and really wearing on me!) I’ve been praying for a way to have a better relationship with said child though and honestly believe this is why God had me placed there. I love it! It brings me back to days of quick set-up children’s programs on NYC streets. I was sick this past week so missed out, but am ready to hop back in there!

A blur of Tuesdays! Ha! This has to do with MOPS since that meets on 2 Tuesdays a month, plus a leadership meeting on the first Tuesday, but in addition to that, I am involved with a Titus 2 women’s mentor/Bible study. It makes Tuesdays a mandatory nap day for me and my two-year old since we are running from early morning and come home around 9pm from the study. I’ve never seen such a diverse group of women in a study and I am enjoying it so far, even if it wasn’t completely what I expected.

A blur of work, my husbands work that is, he’s been super busy there lately with new projects happening and deadlines and visits from bosses. This is what wears my knees out… much prayer daily for his strength, courage, safety, time, and job stability.

Of course there are also the usual and non-stop blurs of keeping a home… laundry, dishes, meals, groceries, planning, diapers, bedtimes, appointments, bills to pay… I’m sure I missed something. :)

I’m so thankful I have such a wonderful family and excellent husband to take this sometimes blurry journey with! Even as I write this though, my heart reminds me that while life seems a blur at times, it is SO important, crucial really, that my FOCUS remains on God so that my actions may bring Him glory. Daily spending time with Him (God) in His word and in prayer will allow my perspective to be focused on His will for each day.

I’ll be putting it into focus even more the rest of this month with more entries of our happenings.

Have a blessed day!

Our Curriculum this School year.

This year I was able to attend a homeschool convention and at the Geography Matters vendor booth I found our treasure for this year!

I really like the idea of unit studies in home education as it eases my workload with multiple students and keeps us all on the same learning path together.  I have tried other unit studies and they overwhelmed me with too many options of exploring the subject matter. An overwhelmed or confused mind says no, so we ended up searching for new ways of learning and that was expensive and frustrating for me. I was looking for SIMPLE and FUN in our learning path this year, and yet something that would still CHALLENGE their minds and grow their character.

Here’s what we ended up with:

For 5th grade:

  • Our core unit study- Cantering the Country,  encompasses everything we need except for math. Find it at www.geomatters.com.  This has each of the 50 states in it, an overview of their history and important facts, a list of resources for the state in general and then suggested significant people in history from that state to study, science of their state bird, tree, rock, flower; and character of their state motto or pledge.
  • We are weak in our language arts so I also have Learning Language Arts Through Literature- the Purple book, to enhance this part of our studies.
  • The Word of Life Quiet Time will be our family Bible core, even John and I have one and no matter what age, we all read the same passage. Our church is starting Word of Life Clubs this year too so it will help the kids with that program as well and we’ll have more accountability in our verse memorization too. I’m really excited about this part of our program!
  • Go Science is a 6 pack DVD set I bought from Vision Forum ministries. It has high energy science demonstrations that also have spiritual applications to point to our Creator. My 5th grader has a major hunger for experiments that I can never seem to satisfy so I am hoping that watching these will excite all of us to try them ourselves when possible or be happy some days, just watching his demonstration.
  • Math is going back to A Beka Arithmetic. We tried Teaching textbooks last year, and while he loved the computer aspect of it and many days voluntarily did more than one lesson, I felt it was leaving gaps in his math program that had been so strong with A Beka since preschool. We are actually finishing a 4th grade book before I even purchase 5th grade because I feel like he had too much fluff math and not enough of the clues and foundation that he will need in the coming years.
  • Eat your Way Through the USA is a cookbook that can also be found at www.geomatters.com. Our kids love to help in the kitchen and this adds to the sensory learning aspect of going through each state in our unit study!

1st Grade:

  • Cantering the Country unit study.
  • A Beka Arithmetic 1
  • Learning Language Arts Through Literature, the Blue Book.
  • Word of Life Quiet Time.

Kindergarten:

  • Cantering the Country Unit Study, this is for 1st-5th grade but she is very capable of learning with us.
  • Word of Life Quiet Time – Gopher Buddies.
  • A Beka Arithmetic K

That’s it! That is our core curriculum. I am looking into electives like Spanish and Art for them as well and have my eye on two in particular. (I’ll share later)

We’ll be doing lap books for each state each week (some states may take more time, some less) and I am hoping to have the kids do presentations each week on Skype for family members to:  1. help solidify what they’ve learned by sharing it, and 2. help them grow in being confident presenters.

We are doing school at the kitchen table and anywhere else we are led this year too, we tried a school room but I think we all felt suffocated in there so it is pretty much empty now. :)

Hope you enjoyed a peek inside our school cabinet! It also has fun preschool activities inside for our 2-year-old, but she is so little that the most important thing for her is beneficial busy-ness like coloring, puzzles, starting with scissors, glue sticks, and singing songs that teach too. :)

No matter what, I want to instill a desire to learn in our children. I want them to love discovery and look at each turn of the page as an exciting adventure. I know not all school is fun for every learner, and we definitely have areas to improve in, such as writing, spelling, and even reading, but the important thing for me is to keep trying to find the style that will click with them and pursue it. I think we found it this year and I am so thankful for that.

Focus

Today I pray that the Lord helps me to remember that our children are the most pressing ministry at hand and all my other lists of things are the distraction, not them.

First day of school!

We were going to start last week but I still wasn’t feeling 100% so I gave myself grace and the kids didn’t mind at all. ;)

So today we start and I have to be honest, I’m still not 100% ready or prepared with all that I’d like to have but it is enough and the focus needs to be on what we do have and we will learn together how to fill in the missing pieces.

My biggest obstacle with educating our children at home is my own discipline. I have different lists for different responsibilities that I have and sometimes I put those other things… even if it’s housework, above training our children in wisdom and knowledge both of God and the world we live in. That would be an epic fail if that path continually is not maintained and I am purposing this school year to make my ministry to my children more effective and closer to God’s heart and desires for their growth.

Tomorrow I will share what we are using this year for our three students and toddler.

In the meantime, despite my restless night, God grace is enough and He will enable me to accomplish great things today! I pray the same for you.

Todays stand out verse in my quiet time:

Ephesians 3:12 NIV

In Him and through faith in Him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.

Be confident today in His purpose for you!