Saturday, February 28, 2015

Moving Blogs

For those of you that have faithfully followed and checked up on me between my ups and downs here at my blog, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart.  Most of you I have never met, but yet, I feel as though you are old friends. I thank God for each and every one of you. I have started another blog through Wordpress. I am just getting started there, so there is much about it that I am still working through and trying to figure out. There are a few reasons I changed my blog, but suffice it to say that sometimes we just need a change, and that precipitated my move more than anything. I feel that God is teaching me so many things about Himself, about the brevity of life, about what is most important. And although I have tried to convey that here, I feel He is moving me to go deeper and seek more of His will for my life.  It just seemed like a fresh start in so many ways. If you would love to catch up with me and my family there, I would love to hear from you. I hope to be visiting you all again real soon too.  I have missed my blogging friends. My new blog address is   My blog name is A Purposeful Life.  I look forward to seeing you there.  Love to you all!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Changing Seasons

I know you've heard me say it many times, but I just LOVE fall.  It seems I am more motivated to do fall cleaning than when it is spring.  I love the cool, crisp weather.  And it seems that the moving bug always starts to hit me around this time of year.  Every move our family has made since being in the military has always been in the summer.  And we have never stayed longer than three years in one place.  It seems to be a cycle that we find ourselves in.  We move, get our home settled, begin to make friends, feel a part of the community, get involved, really learn our way around the area (you know those secret routes only people native to the area seem to know), and then about the time we hit a few months into our third year (that would be about now)…it's time to start anticipating our next assignment.  

The older I get, the more I don't like waiting to the last minute to get things done.  Throw homeschooling full-time, year round in there and there isn't a lot of last minute time to get things decluttered and organized.  I find myself thinking quite a bit about the upcoming move.  I know anything can happen and there is always the slim chance we might be able to stay.  But, that has never happened yet with us.  

So, as I decorate and welcome fall, I am also working on areas in my home that need work.  It always brings me back to the minimalist mindset.  You really begin to think about what you need and love when you move often.  It is no fun lugging things from one place to another and having no need for them in either house.  It just takes up much needed space and time by demanding attention to clean and store properly.  

So, my fall cleaning is underway.  Right now I am weeding out curriculum that I have collected for years and know that I will not use again.  It is time to try and sell at a good price and hopefully, bless others in the process.  What are your plans for fall?

Saturday, September 20, 2014

It was never my intent to stay away this long.  But, that is what life brings sometimes…the unexpected.  So much has happened since the last time I wrote…over a year ago.  There have been health issues, homeschooling, classes in co-op, housekeeping, fellowshipping with friends and so many other things.  Some have been pleasant and good.  Others have been hard and hurtful.  But, through it all, God has remained ever faithful and that I can always say with confidence.  

There are times when we all need a break.  Time to focus or re-focus.  I needed that time. A time to hear from God and a time to prepare for what God knew would be one of the hardest times of my life.  I may feel the liberty to share some of that time, but for now, I don't sense a freedom to do so.   It is fitting that I am drawn back in the fall of the year.  This has always seemed more like new beginnings for me than January.  I really do love this time of year.  The changing leaves and the crisp fall air…smores, campfires and hot chocolate, I love so many things that fall brings.
I hope to share from my life and my home as I feel led.  It is my desire that this be a place to help record my ordinary days…days that God takes and makes something special.  After all, it is finding joy in the ordinary days that makes life so worth living!  

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Creating Great Writers

One of the areas I have been concerned about in our homeschool has been writing.  It is no small thing to teach writing, and it takes time to help proofread and edit essays. I have tried various writing curriculum, but never found one that fit with our daily schedule and time restraints. I have used the IEW program by Andrew Pudewa and I do highly recommend it.  But, more times than not, writing was more miss than hit in our home.  We key on English grammar, which of course is a foundation for writing, but I was one of those Moms who worried that somehow my lack of consistency in this area was going to ruin my children and they were never going to be able to put two sentences together that sounded good and made sense!  Have you ever been there?  Then I had all the baggage from my public school mindset that these things must be formally taught…well, you get the picture.  I went to conventions and loitered around all the tables that showed me the "best" way to teach writing to  my children.  The years passed, we never stuck with a program, and writing got pushed to the back burner.  All of a sudden I had a fourteen year old girl that I just knew would be a dismal failure in this department because I had dropped the ball.  Then, it happened.  My daughter caught the writing bug and I began to read her work.  Her sentences for English sounded like something out of the page of a best-selling novel.  I was floored.  How had this happened?  I remember something I kept hearing from seasoned homeschool Moms over and over and over.  Just read to them.  Readers make great writers.  And for the first time, I realized this is absolutely true.  So, may I encourage all you homeschool mothers out there that may think you can't teach writing, or you are daunted by the task.  Read, read, and read some more to your children.  My oldest daughter wants to be a writer.  Whether she feels that way 5 years from now, only the Lord knows.  But, I know she could be if she really wanted to do so.  Was it because I was a great writing teacher?  No.  It was because one of the things I did do consistently was to read to my children.  Historical fiction, nursery rhymes, poetry, children's books, classics, Lamplighter's, missionary stories, and most importantly, the Bible.  Writing really is caught, and all my children love to do it.  I do want to share with you next time an activity I did do in the way of writing that was a success in our homeschool. It is a fun exercise that gets the imagination going.  But, in the meantime, read to your children.  It accomplishes so much more than you realize.  

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Spring Cleaning

I don't know about you, but when the days start warming and the grass begins to green, I get the cleaning bug.  Although it is still cooler in our part of Oklahoma than it usually is, there have been days where we have glimpsed the start of spring and relished the warmth of sunshine on our skin and the feel of the cool grass under our feet.  The birds are more active too, which is always a good signal that spring is right around the corner.  We have taken off school this week to give me much needed time to do some deep cleaning…ovens, grout, baseboards are just a few things on my list.  I have also changed out seasonal clothes and rearranged my boys drawers and plan to do the same for my girls before the week is out.

Since we school year round, it is also a time for my husband and I to re-evaluate the curriculum…see if there are changes we want to make…items to delete and some to add.  It is a time for scheduling and making lists…something I enjoy very much.  But, in all the productivity of spring, it is important that I not neglect the spiritual cleaning.  How often do we assess the recesses of our heart and decide what to get rid of and what to add?  So often we become so used to "little sins" that they don't even seem like sins anymore. They become such a part of us…gossip, harsh words, watching and reading materials that are not God-honoring..and the list could go on and on.  This is also a week to do a spiritual spring cleaning for me.  There are areas I need to dust and wipe away the grime…to get clean before my God. 

There should always be more of Him and less of me.  I am praying Ezekial 36:26... 
"And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh."

It is so easy for us to develop a heart of stone in certain areas.  When we get in a pattern of sin, bitterness, unforgiveness, anger, frustration, procrastination, it becomes a part of us.  We stop seeing it as something that needs to be eradicated, but rather look on it as a personality trait we have to live with.  That, however, is not the way God sees it.  

So, if you are like me, and you are beginning your spring cleaning soon.  Ask God to show you areas in your heart that need cleaning.  He is faithful to show us those things when we ask because our Father desires us to be righteous before Him.  And trust me, that kind of cleaning is so much more profitable than having a spotless house.  Happy Cleaning!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Battling the Lies of the Enemy

If there is one thing I know as a Christian, it is that the enemy is alive and well.  He knows just how to attack.  He knows how to say just the right things that will cause us to doubt who we are and what we are capable of doing.  No ground is too sacred for his warfare and as Christians we must always be ready for the battle.  How many times have you looked in the mirror and said…I'm too ______?  You fill in the blank.  Or, I wish I were more like _______________.  Or, I am such a failure in ________________________.  I don't have the talents or gifts that __________________ has.  If only I could do ______________, I might be more effective for the kingdom.  ______________'s children are so much __________ than mine, I must not be doing something right.  And the list could go on and on and on….to infinity.  Yes, the enemy knows just how to whisper those things to us and if you are anything like me, it is easy to fall under those attacks.  

I'll be honest with you.  This was one of the areas the enemy had me bound, until Christ set me free.  Do I still hear these words?  Yes, of course, Satan's kingdom doesn't give up that easily.  Do I ever give in to them?  Yes, unfortunately, sometimes I still do.  But, praise God, it is less and less and now I do battle rather than settling for defeat.  So, for all of you who have ever heard these words from the enemy and have fallen under them…this is for you.  I want to leave you with the weapons of our warfare.  The sword and praise.  The enemy cannot stand against the Word of God and praises.  So, the next time those voices try to remind you of what you are not…you remind them of who you are!

You are a child of God.  
 But to all who have received him--those who believe in his name--he has given the right to become God's children … John 1:12

You are a friend of Jesus.

I no longer call you slaves, because the slave does not understand what his master is doing. But I have called you friends, because I have revealed to you everything I heard from my Father…John 15:15

You are a fellow heir of Christ.

And if children, then heirs (namely, heirs of God and also fellow heirs with Christ)--if indeed we suffer with him so we may also be glorified with him…(Romans 8:17)

You have been blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places.

Blessed is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms in Christ… (Ephesians 1:3)

You are chosen, holy and blameless before God.

For he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world that we may be holy and unblemished in his sight in love (Ephesians 1:4).

You are redeemed and forgiven in Christ.

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace (Ephesians 1:7).

So the next time the enemy comes and tries to tell you all that you are not, you remind him who are you because of Christ who has set you free.  And then you start praising God for all He has done in your life and for who He is.  Trust me, the enemy will flee.  

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Rhythm of Our Days

What does the rhythm of your days look like?  I must admit, ours varies depending upon commitments, unexpected sicknesses, and a myriad of other things that demand our attention.  But there are some things that are non-negotiable in our lives.  First, we seek to spend time with God everyday.  Before we start school, our children know they are to have their quiet time with the Lord.  A day cannot start out on the right foot without making Christ the priority.  Satan will always tell us how we are too busy, too tired, too whatever to get this most important time done, but that only reminds us that this is of the utmost importance if the enemy seeks to keep us from it.

Then some time in the early morning routine we stop to have a morning devotional together.  My husband is off to work at this time, so I gather the children and we read through a book of the Bible, one chapter at a time.  We have some discussion about what that particular passage means to our Christian life and then we pray.  School always seems to flow so much smoother when our morning devotionals are not neglected.

Other activities fill our days…homeschooling, cooking, outside play, creative pursuits…but none of those compare to the time spent with the Savior…at His feet…seeking His face…asking Him to order our days.

Hugs, kisses, sweet words, I love you's…these are the things that our children will remember.  Don't forget the importance of your touch and lovely conversation in the lives of those you love.  I have to constantly remind myself that when my children grow up they won't remember the phonics lesson they do day after day, but they will remember the attitude Mommy had while doing it. My children will learn to read and do math and a long list of other things, but will they remember a gracious mother who loved them every chance she got?  That is the kind of mother I strive to be.

And it is only by loving the Lord as I should that I can love my family properly.  Only the Holy Spirit can illuminate that kind of love through us.  So remember…give the Lord your day and everything else will fall into place.