Peace Day 8 – Where Has All The Peace Gone??

 

 

T-minus 48 hours till we relocate to another state for my husband’s job. I have been pretty peaceful till today. The house was a wreck and I hadn’t gotten a lot of packing done yet. The thoughts of the people we were leaving behind choked me up. Especially the tender thoughts of my 17 year old who just found out that she was pregnant. I feel so torn. I want to just hold her and have her be 5 years old again. Other times I want to cry for her, because she is losing out on precious teenage years. Years where you grow and find out who you are. Now, she has to figure it out quickly. There is a life coming into this world soon.

And is it wrong that at 37 I am not ready to be a grandma. Oh, how that word makes me questions so many things. I still have a son that is 7 years old at home. I am still raising my own children. And the what ifs …. keep on a rolling. The guilt and wondering if I did enough as a mom?? Sleep aludes me the last few nights as we get to ready to leave, as if the what ifs are going to swallow me whole.

 

“The Hardest Peace” by Kara Tippetts


As all of these thoughts mull around inside of me, I have been reading this amazing book about a mom my age that has developed cancer again for the second time. How she talks about loving the small moments. Even the ones that are hard. Those words rings in my ear with sweet redemption of remembering God’s forgiveness.

I don’t have to feel guilty or like I let my kids down. I am definetely not a perfect mom, but I give it all I have everyday. The rest is up to God. And as He reminds me, every soul has a free will in life to choose what they would like. To love a child even when its hard. To look past the choices and see their hearts. To know them on all levels. Then to just pray. Let go and pray.

 

“My child the troubles and temptations of your life are beginning and may be many, but you can overcome

and outlive them all if you learn to feel the strength and tenderness of your Heavenly Father”

~ Louisa May Alcott, Little Women

 

So I hold on even tighter when the what ifs roll in, like a tide that wants to pull you under and toss you around. I pray knowing that the ultimate control is in your hands. The only prayer is to know that God is truly there for you, then to stop, and live for right now. We may not have tomorrow.

 

“Dear heart, the purpose of life is not longevity.” 

The Hardest Peace by Kara Tippetts

 

But I beg to differ. I think about growing old with my husband. Seeing my kids get married. Holding my grand babies. Loving till I am really old. So in a sense these words make me really angry and yet they tug at my heart to wake up and see what is really important.

 

“What is the chief end of man?”

~Westminister Confession

 

To know God and make Him known. To glorify Him in all that we do. Don’t we see that to do this we must love in a way that shouts, this may be our last day. Not in a hurried, scarred sort of way. No, in a way that says I am going to love all the moments in my life, good or bad, till I go home to heaven. Home where the streets are golden. Home, where the chains are broken. Home, to where we all belong.

As I read Kara’s story of losing her hair to chemo. Being so sick she couldn’t get out of bed. A mom with 4 kids at home. Yet, she finds grace in all the hard moments. The time to listen to her kids and love them, even when she is so tired that she lies in bed. She holds to each moment as if it were the most precious gift ever given her, even the moments that hurt.

 

“With that, I can also take note that sometimes when the dread enters, I’m not doing the hard work

of quieting my heart to listen. … He would walk with us and lift the dread. …. They steal joy, create

chaos and fear, and leave me utterly wrung out. Dread exposes my fear and weak faith and 

failure to trust where my eternal security rests.” 

The Hardest Peace by Kara Tippetts

 

The peace comes if I quiet my heart and listen. The fear subsides to a drop so small that I don’t even hear it anymore. The whatifs dissapate to a mere glimpse and then vanish. All I feel is peace. Jesus’s peace. A wonderful gift that He left us. A gift that we already have, if Jesus is in us.

Peace, is not a feeling due to a situation; but to a have peace in any situation.

 

“Don’t worry about anything, instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all

that he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace which exceeds anything that we can understand. His

peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Jesus Christ.”

~ Philippians 4:6-7

 

So here is to welcoming day 10 this year on learning how to live in peace,  with open arms. Knowing that I get to go with my daughter to her first ultrasound. And that I do not have to do this alone. God is right there with me loving me, so that I can love on her, even when it is hard.

What is holding you back from experiencing God’s peace?

There was an issue loading your exit LeadBox™. Please check plugin settings.

I Know That I Haven’t Lived The Way That I Should Have, But …

     Every year as we head towards the new year, I look back at the previous year and realize that I haven’t lived the way that I wanted to live. That there were parts of my life where I behaved in a way that was wrong. I could easily make an excuse, but if you only knew what happended to me that day, or what I had been up against the month before then you would understand. I don’t want to live my life with excuses that allow me to keep being the same way that I have always been. I need to stand up, look at myself in the mirror and change. Easier said than done!

 

Why Would I Want to Examine Myself


This post came from the sermon that my Pastor was preaching about this past Sunday. When he asked, “Why examine yourself,” all I thought about was because I want to be more like Jesus.

I read the Bible quit a bit, (I would love to say everyday, but I can’t). I love the words that jump off the page. Wise people hold their tongues, love your neighbor, in prayer and petition, etc. It is only when I put these words into practice that they ever really make sense to me.

So when I examine myself, I need to do so with practical testing. A test looking at what I have physically done. I can put down check marks for each day that I read the Bible, however, if I do not physically do something with those words, then I have failed the practical testing portion of my examination.

 

Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ

Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test? ~ 2 Corinthians 13:5

 

To refine a piece of metal you need to first get rid of the crude metal (impurities) that is within. You can do this with fire, that melts the metal down, causing the impurities to seperate. Sometimes this method takes more time than others. It depends on what type of impurities are in the metal. Other times, you would need to make the fire hotter for the impurties to come to the surface, so that you can remove them. Once the impurities (crude metal), is removed then it is thrown away. It is of no use to anyone.

 

“Many will be purged, purified and refined, but the wicked will act wickedly; and none of the wicked will

understand, but those who have insight will understand.” ~Daniel 12:10

 

God continuallys tries to refine us. Everyone feels pain, heartache, and has bad times. It’s through these times that we have the chance to change. To get rid of the impurities within us that shouldn’t be there. Some of them may be removed easily, others may take more time or more fire (hard times) for us to even see that they need to be removed. This is why at the end of each year, we should really take the time to examine ourselves and see what impurities we still have within us.

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because

you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work

so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” ~ James 1: 2-4

 

By What Test do we Examine Ourselves With


     It’s easy to walk around the world looking at how others live their lives and determine what we think is right and what we think is wrong.  But we should not trust our own understanding and knowledge of what is right or wrong. It differs from person to person, as it should, and that leaves a society whose moral compass sways from one side to another, causing a ripple effect of emotions, leading to a roller coaster type of life.

 

“You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge

another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. Now we know

that God’s judgement against those who do such things is based on truth.” Romans 2:1-2

 

“One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in

his own mind. The one who observes the day, observes it in honor of the Lord. The one who eats, eats in honor of the Lord, since 

he gives thanks to God, while the one who abstains, abstains in honor of the Lord and gives thanks to God. For none of us live to 

himself, and none of us dies to himself. For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or

whether we die, we are the Lord’s. For to this end Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and the living. Why

do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For we will all stand before the judgement seat of God;

for it is written, “As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.” So then each of us will give an

account of himself to God.” ~ Romans 14:1-12

 

Our judgement of what is right and wrong can not come from our own knowledge of what we have seen in the world. You must use the Bible to test yourself in the true way. And in knowing the Word of God, then and only then can we go before God to truthfully examine ourselves.

 

” When people commend themselves, it doesn’t count for much. The important

thing is for the Lord to commend them.” 2 Corinthians 10:18

 

 

How Our Pride Gets in the Way


Do NOT let stubborness and pride get in the way.

I don’t know about you, but I am about as stubborn as they come. I have come a long way from where I was, thank God, but I still have a ways to go before my stubornness is conquered.

“Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfactionof a job well done, 

and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else.” ~ Galatians 6:4

 

I spend way to much time of my life, comparing how I am better than others (pride). Then if people suggest that I have done something wrong, sometimes I bristle right up, get defensive and start proving how they are wrong and I am right (stubborn). This can happen a lot when it comes to my spouse. The check lists of, but I did this and this and this, and what did you do? I love you more than you love me. See I can prove it. The problem is all of these strategies that I have used my whole life, set me up for a false interpretation of what is right and what is wrong. So this year I am setting out to find the truth in all of this, by practically testing myself a lot more and finding the impurities that are not suppose to be there.

 

Setting A Goal or Two


My family and I decided to sit down and write out a few goals for the year. We each did a spiritual goal and then at least one other goal. We sat down today and started looking up Bible verses to memorize to help us to accomplish our spiritual goals. My younger son chose anger. My middle daughter chose doubt. I chose peace. So I showed both of them how to look up these topics in the back of the Bible and then how to find a verse. They had to write down at least 2 verses and start memorizing them. These verses will be the foundation for everything that we do spiritually this year.

I feel like this year is going to be the best year for us spiritually. It may not be the most blessed year, the happiest year or even the year where everything goes just the way that I want it to (how I can hope). It will be a year where the Holy Spirit encompasses our lives more, to allow us to have peace no matter what happens. Faith when it feels like every news channel is reporting that the world is coming to an end. Even Joy, in the midst of the hardships that are sure to come.

You see, we need to learn to evaluate ourselves so that we can live the life that God wants us to live. No matter what that may look like. And not just live it, but really enjoy every moment. That also means JOY during doing the dishes, when the kids are fighting, when your husband is grumpy because you won’t give him any that evening.

I want to live a life just like that. I want to say that I not only believe in Jesus but that I am walking very close with Him. I hope you want the same for you and your family this year. Please take the time to write down your families’ goals for the year. Post them in a place where everyone will see them everyday. Help your kids learn how to find Bible verses that match their spiritual goal for the year and write the verses down on index cards. Tape them up in a place where they can read them everyday (bathroom). And take time for your own spiritual goal. We are of no use to our kids if we are not modeling what we expect from them.

Please take pictures of your family holding their goals or working on their goals and post them on here or the Homeschooling Women of God Facebook Page. Lets encourage one another throughout this year to change spiritually and become more like Jesus everyday.

 

There was an issue loading your exit LeadBox™. Please check plugin settings.

FREE Printable Advent Calendar that Reminds us the Reason for the Season

 

I didn’t grow up in a home that made Jesus part of our Christmas. Don’t get me wrong we had a great time every year. Now, as I am the mom and my faith in God has grown exponentially, I feel compelled to make Jesus a big part of our Christmas season. So I decided to learn why we celebrate the advent season.

 

Where Advent Comes From


Advent comes from the Latin word “adventus,” which means coming. Originally there was little connection between advent and Christmas. It wasn’t until the 6th century that the Romans tied Advent to the coming of Christ. Then in the Middle Ages Advent was linked to the Christmas Season. Today, Advent last for the 4 Sundays leading up to Christmas. The first two Sundays are to look forward to His second coming. The second two Sundays are to look back at His first coming.

O Come, O Come Emmanuel

O come, O come, Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Rod of Jesse, free
Thine own from Satan’s tyranny
From depths of Hell Thy people save
And give them victory o’er the grave
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Day-Spring, come and cheer
Our spirits by Thine advent here
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night
And death’s dark shadows put to flight.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Key of David, come,
And open wide our heavenly home;
Make safe the way that leads on high,
And close the path to misery.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, O come, Thou Lord of might,
Who to Thy tribes, on Sinai’s height,
In ancient times did’st give the Law,
In cloud, and majesty and awe.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel

 

Printable Advent


I looked at all the advent calendars at local stores and online. None of them seemed to be just what I wanted. So I decided to create my own advent calendar. The kids and I went to the Hobby Lobby and picked out some cute envelopes, stickers and clothes pins that had numbers on them. Then we spent a night creating our own advent calendar. I printed out our daily scripture and activity cards and placed them inside each envelope, along with a little treat in some of then. Then we strung our cards up on a string. And just like that, we had our own, fun, hands-on advent calendar that would remind us of the reason for the season while also having quality family time. Please print and enjoy.

Advent cards

There was an issue loading your exit LeadBox™. Please check plugin settings.

Where Has All the Thankfulness Gone?

 

I was talking with my husband last night about how many moms that I know, that want to quit homeschooling. It broke my heart to look into their eyes and see their pain as they discussed the idea of giving up and sending their kids back to public school, (or to some sort of institution for the first time). Each time I hear their stories, I pray that God will give me the wisdom to talk them out of their decision, but more times than not I do not know what to say. But last night as I was talking to my husband, God helped me to realize that sometimes our calamities are from a perspective of unthankfulness. Now I do not mean that in an unrespectful way to any mom who is struggling in their lives, but when God spoke to me about our lack of thankfulness, he was even talking to me.

 

Our Perspective Needs to Change


“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in

Christ Jesus.”  ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:18

 

“And whatever you do, whether in word or in deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus,

giving thanks to God the Father through him.”  ~ Colossians 3:17

 

The word thank, in various forms, is in the Bible over 130 times. Asking us to be thankful, to give thanks, to have thanksgiving and more. Even Jesus himself prayed to God 5 times in the Bible, thanking God his Father. How much more thankful should we be then!?

I know as a homeschooling mom it is so easy to complain about having to do the dishes for the 100th time that week. Or you look at the laundry that is a mountain on your couch and wonder when you are going to have time to get that done. Maybe it’s Monday and you dread doing school work with the kids for the whole week. Whatever your circumstances are they could always be worse.

Most of us live in a house that has running water. A house that keeps us warm and dry when the weather is horrible. We have a bed to sleep in at night. We have food in our bellies. And many other amenities that people around the world would love to have. Since we have had these priveleges in our life since we were born, we tend to take them for granted. I know when I go to brush my teeth, I am not in awe that I can just turn a handle and water comes out. I have become desensitized to the wonderful blessings that God has given me.

 

How to Change Your Perspective


1. Spend Time in God’s Word

So how do we change our perspective, it all starts with spending time in God’s Word. God reminds us that He sent His one and only Son to die for us. He died a horrible death for us sinners. Sinners that are still sinners today. How God’s grace has covered us, through our whole lives. Yet we tend to take that for granted too.

Being able to read my Bible, has felt like a chore some days or a  something to check off for the day, instead of something that I need, like air. I live in a country, where for now, I can freely read my Bible. I can write this blog post without worrying someone will come in my home and arrest me. I get to read God’s Word and the delight that wells up in my heart reminds me of the awesome powers of our God.

Reading the Bible also helps to me to renew my mind.

 

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing

you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:2

 

It is harder than it seems to not want to live like the rest of the world does. To want, to demand, to be selfish and have things done the way that you want them done. However, this is not how God wants us to live. Trust me, if you wake up everyday and spend time in the Bible, it will help you to reset your mommy meter for the day, which is what God wants us to do. Rely on Him to help us to be the parents that we cannot be on our own.

 

2. Living Your Life For Others

I do not know how many days that I wake up with a check list in my head. I need to get out of bed, work on my website, take a shower, get the kids out of bed, eat breakfast, feed the animals and all before 8:30. My day starts with the mentality that everything is about ME. All I think about is what I need to do for the day. Then, there are days that I get out of bed and spend time in God’s Word allowing my heart and eyes to open up to what He wants from me for the day.

It is so easy to live a life of checklists, not even paying attention to the world around us, including our kids. Those days when I do not pay attention to my kids and wonder why they are upset easily and stressed out. It’s because mom is too busy completing her checklist to take time out for them, leaving them feeling less than loved. I know that if my husband treated me like that, when I needed to really talk to him about something that was bothering me, I would feel angry and unloved. All of this could be avoided if we woke up each day, spent time with God and then asked Him what He needed us to do that day.

But what about all the things that I need to do? How am I suppose to get all the things done that I need to get done, if I am spending time with God or asking Him what He wants me to do for the day?? Easily, with patience, love and grace. God covers our whole day for us with grace if we allow Him. Grace that allows us to rely on Him for our strength. Grace that loves us even when we do not deserve it. Grace that opens our eyes to see the world through God’s eyes. A world that is in need of being loved.

So lets start living our lives each day for God.

 

3. JOY

This is a word that we use all the time in our house. “What does JOY mean?” “It stands for Jesus, others then yourself.” Even as my kids tell me what the word means, it reminds me of my own selfish nature. The ME, ME, ME merry-go-round that I can live on, if I am not careful.

 

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first greatest 

commandment. And the second is like it: ‘ Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets

hang on these two commandments.” ~ Matthew 22:37-40

 

Living your life for Jesus (God), then others and yourself last can change your whole perspective on life.

 

Carrying This into our Homeschooling Life


So our first move needs to be that God is put first into our lives, so that we can be the best mom that we can be. The mom that has patience when her kids have been fighting all day. The mom that takes time to listen to her kids, when all she wants to do is hide. The mom that has those beautiful words of wisdom in times of need. The mom that holds it all together at home and still makes time to help others. I don’t know about you but I need God to do all of this.

And when those thoughts about quitting homeschooling arise, we will face them with the certainty of prayer.

 

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition

with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” ~ Philippians 4:6

 

When we come to those crossroads, not knowing which way to go, just give it to God. He sees the bigger picture when we cannot. And knowing what form of education our children should have is a plan only God knows.

 

How do you cope with homeschooling when things get rough??

There was an issue loading your exit LeadBox™. Please check plugin settings.