Ever Have to Get Hit Over the Head with the Word of God?

I see the lightIt has been my experience that God has to drum things into my somewhat thick skull. Whenever He is attempting to teach me something new, I end up seeing the same message over and over and over and over and over and…well, I see it a lot. Until I am finally forced to say, “Well, duh, I think God is trying to teach me something here!”

Over the past few days I have been in the process of working through some relationship issues with some folks who are close to me. There have been some hurt feelings, some texts and then a series of emails back and forth between all parties. This morning as I was mulling over some of the responses in my head, I came across this verse (while searching for something completely unrelated.) “Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law.” Psalm 119:18 NIV A few seconds later I saw this post on a friend’s facebook page. “You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'” Galatians 5:13-14 NIV Then I started doing some looking and I found this awesome verse that I don’t ever remember reading before. Continue reading

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What Are Your Holiday Traditions?

NativityThere is very little I love more than a good family tradition. And I really love it when my two year old recognizes one. We decided to make backyard S’mores today so off traipsed the Woodsman and the two munchkins. They headed to our little local store to pick up marshmallows, graham crackers and Hershey’s bars. Recognizing the ingredients, the clerk asked them if S’mores were in the works. The two year old replied, “We goin’ campin’!” At just two years of age, he already associates S’mores with our family camping experiences.

My six year old is at that great age where she is really beginning to identify with our family’s unique character. I love it when she recognizes something that is meaningful to us and correctly interprets it. For instance, she has been told stories of my childhood nickname – Continue reading

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It’s The Most Wonderful Time of the Year! (Or not yet…)

AdventThere is a raging debate going on right now on my Facebook feed. Okay, maybe not such a hot debate as much as a bit of a strange dichotomy. On one side there are those who are disappointed and fed up with the retail madness as they see it. They want a bit of time to bask in the afterglow of Halloween and some time to lead in to Thanksgiving. On the other side there are those who have already put up their Christmas decorations and are loudly blasting “Silent Night” out of their car windows everywhere they drive. I don’t mind telling you that I fall squarely…

in the middle! For a long time, I adamantly refused to acknowledge the coming of Christmas until after my birthday in early December. My mom usually didn’t decorate until after my birthday in order to make sure that those in attendance at my birthday party did not become confused about the reason for the season just yet. 😉 Continue reading

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Things My Children Teach Me: Prevarication and Self-Preservation

Me, Myself, MineSo the other day I had one of those “Mom moments” where I just had to laugh, even though it was entirely inappropriate in the situation. I was asking my six year old and my two year old (keep those facts in mind – these perpetrators are only six and two years old) which one had removed blankets from storage and scattered them around the room. The six year old hopped from one foot to the other and whined, “I don’t know!” The two year old, lined up next to his sister for this questioning, twisted his mouth, looked out the corner of one eye at his sister and answered, “I don’t know.” I couldn’t help it! I laid my head down in my lap and laughed silently, hoping they would think I was sobbing. At the tender age of six and two they have already begun to conspire against me!

Such is the nature of our human selves. From a very young age we begin to prevaricate and try to turn events toward our own self interest. Whether that means conspiring with a sibling to try to confuse mom as a child or lying to the bank to try to get an overdraft fee removed as an adult, it all boils down to the sins of lying and self-absorption.

These thoughts led me to this passage this morning: Psalm 119:35-57.

Direct me in the path of your commands,
for there I find delight.
Turn my heart toward your statutes
and not toward selfish gain.
Turn my eyes away from worthless things;
preserve my life according to your word.

This is my prayer for my children, for my husband and for myself. That we will all be turning more and more toward God and His direction and more and more away from what we want and think we should have.

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Outdoor Musings: Reading From My Husband’s Blog

My husband blogs on occasion, too. He blogged yesterday about outdoor adventures and I really like what he wrote (maybe I am biased…)

At the Ranch

Are You Really Experiencing the Outdoors?

The other day I was out with the family on my dad’s ranch – one of my favorite places to be. I was just enjoying the day and watching my kids run and play with no worries, as free as   birds. On this particular day as I leaned on a horse pen and watched a hawk play up on the hill, I was listening to my dad and kids as they were driving down to the back forty on the quad to feed the cows. As I thought of them enjoying the time with their grandpa…

Read the rest of his post over here at Joe’s Call of the Wild.

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You Know What You Know

Rose Colored GlassesThe other day my mom-in-law said that she wished that some folks could see through the eyes of others, walk in their shoes a bit, before making judgements. Today, I listened to the audio testimony of an old (well…he is getting up there, but maybe I shouldn’t refer to him as old) long-time friend. As I listened I got a little chill. Though I had heard quite a bit of his story before, he explained some of his thoughts and subsequent actions during the time that he and I mostly hung out and I began to see some things from that time in a whole new light.

In truth some things are right and some are wrong. We have every right to (as Christ did while clearing the temple) take strong action when we see a wrong being done. And every right to judge it as wrong. What we are not allowed to judge is someone’s heart. And that is one part of what was revealed to me today. As Proverbs 20:5 points out, “The purposes of a man’s heart are deep waters…” A saying I have recently come across time and time again is that “perception is reality.” Which I take to mean that we all come to the things around us with a unique perspective based upon our own experiences – a collection of experiences which absolutely no one else on this earth has had. So, there will never be any two people that will ever completely 100% agree on how the world works. We all see the world through our own uniquely colored glasses and there is no other way for us to see. We may sometimes (as I did today) have a bit of another person’s color revealed to us and through that gain a bit of understanding, but when it comes right down to it, as another friend used to say all the time “you know what you know.” And whatever you know informs your view of the world time after time.

Another place to which my thoughts traveled today had to do with why our family chooses to ‘do church’ in the way that we do. I use the term ‘do church’ loosely. In much the same way that our family uses the phrase ‘do school,’ We don’t really ‘do’ either. Continue reading

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Our Homeschool Journey Part 6 – Our Unschooling Lifestyle

In this final installment of this series, I explain more about our homeschooling philosophy and how it actually works in our household.

If you do a search on the term unschooling, you will likely find many and varied definitions. Just the other day I was watching something on a local television station in the evening and they kept playing a promo about a news segment they were going to do on unschooling. The piece turned out to be about a local government school that is choosing to use a more child-led approach to their curriculum – which is a use of the term I had certainly never heard before.

Our family sees unschooling as the way we live our life. For years, my mom told those new to homeschooling that it really ought to be viewed as a lifestyle, rather than just a different way to do school. A friend of mine said something very remarkable the other day that I completely agree with. She said, “We are a home, not a school and the world is our classroom.” Continue reading

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