Tuesday, August 12, 2014

First post in over 2 years!

I am reviving this blog.  Poor little thing sitting here all by its lonesome for 2 years.  Time to dust it off and jumpstart it back to life.

My reason is this:  Like many others out there, I have fallen out of love with Facebook.  Yes, I will still be on Facebook because, apparently, if I'm not I will no longer have anyone to talk to and will become a social outcast and people will think I have died.  

Don't get me wrong.  I'm not a FB hater.  I like to post my deep one-liner thoughts on there as much as the next person.  It's a wonderful place to quickly connect with people who share your interests all over the planet.  So, I will still be a presence there.  However...

I want a place to post my more intimate thoughts about life, homeschooling, Jesus, my kids, my husband, eternity, cooking, housecleaning,  cats, whatever...without being inundated with advertisements in my newsfeed.  Ya know what I mean?

Ok, now on to why I am really here.  I am a part of the Good Morning Girls online bible study.  During the short summer break my group decided to continue with a study on our own through the YouVersion bible app.  The study we chose is called Soul Detox and it has been fantastic.  It is today's  reading and devotion that prompted this post.  It's taken me an hour or so to find my blog and figure out how to post again, so I apologize for the lack of links and cute pictures.  Don't worry, I will figure that all out again too. 

In the meantime, here are my thoughts today on detoxifying your soul with the word of God.  Today's
focus:  Fear


"For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. 

Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you—guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us."  (‭2 Timothy‬ ‭1‬:‭7, 14‬ NIV)

The four fears listed today:  fear of loss, fear of rejection, fear of failure, fear of the unknown.

As a child and teen, fear of rejection was the ruling fear for me.  That morphed into fear of failure as an adult,  this fear kept me from following my hearts desires and taking risks using my natural 

giftings.  It saddens me to think of all that God may have had for me to accomplish in His name, that never happened because I was too overcome with fear of failure and doubt to try.

Thankfully, God is patient, and gracious and merciful and has not given up on me.  Although this fear of failure still is a big problem for me, I have learned to step out and move forward in the direction God has called me to go, even though I am afraid to fail.  I have learned that with failure can come the biggest gain in growth spiritually.  I have also learned that when I do step out in faith despite the fear I feel, God doesn't let me fall.   It is in that moment that I feel His presence the most, and I know that any success that is achieved can only come from Him not me.   His presence is tangible in that moment.  It is a pretty incredible feeling.   

One of the biggest risks I have taken as an adult has been the decision to homeschool.  Lots of fear about that.  So much so that I still have to take that one to God more often than I care to admit.  I am still plagued with fear of failure in this area from time to time.  Since homeschooling is not a quick 

process, but rather a risk that I must choose to take daily, every day for years, it has proven to be a wonderful exercise in choosing to overcome fear and break it's hold over me.  For the sake of my 
kids, I am far more willing to take risk and do things I wouldn't normally do for myself.  And surprise surprise, there has been immense joy and satisfaction in the process...but not until after I commit to stepping out in faith despite my fear.

That is the key.  I use to think that I shouldn't feel fear if I trusted in the
 Lord completely and so therefore if I was afraid it meant that I was spiritually weak.  I no longer think that is the case.  It's stepping out in faith despite the fear that is a true sign of faith and spiritual growth for me.  

Thank you God for showing me that even in my fear you can use me and carry me through to fulfill the plan you have for me.  Lord help me to remember that the spirit within me does not make me timid, and to trust that instead it equips me with power, love and self discipline.  I want to boldly step 

out in faith, to not let fear bind me, but instead to shake off those chains and walk freely with you.  Oh the freedom in that!  I am so thankful for the freedom that is in You!  

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Just a Little Homeschool House Keeping

This year has just been marching right along, hasn't it?  We are steadily making our way through our curriculum, activities, and Cambodia.  I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and I am getting a little excited! 

The girls and I have enjoyed this year of school.  Not in the same way as last year, but still, it has been a good year.  So much ground has been covered for both of them.  They are both reading, writing, doing math, memorizing all the books of the Bible and bodies of water that were important in the Old Testament, drawing maps, learning about weather patterns, our solar system, and the water cycle.  They measured the size of Noah's Ark, started ant hills, captured a caterpillar and planted gardens.  We went on bike rides, hikes, camping trips, and to the beach.  It has been a pretty eventful year of learning, and we are not done yet!

We still have about 2 months left before we wrap up for the summer.  However, I feel like I am just hitting my stride.  The first half of this school year was more work than fun for me.  So much of my energy, and thoughts were on Cambodia.  I learned that, according to my husband, I do not compartmentalize well.  Hmph!

I have been home for 5 weeks and can say with confidence that I am back physically, emotionally, and spiritually.  However, I came back from Cambodia changed.  I have a stronger sense of purpose than I did when I left.  My relationship with Jesus has deepened, matured, grown. 

Upon returning, I felt uncomfortable in my own skin here at home.  I felt out of place, discontent, frustrated.  It took several weeks for that to slowly change into a greater sense of purpose, focus, and true appreciation for all that I have.  I have found that it is so important to be content right where I am.  I look for God's handiwork in my life no matter what I am going through. 

I now ask God questions all throughout the day.  I did not do that before Cambodia.  I used to not want to bother God with my "silly" questions, but as it turns out, He desires for me to ask those questions.  He wants to be in relationship with me all the time, and part of being in a relationship is communicating, asking questions, sharing my deepest feelings, thoughts, ideas and then sitting still and listening to Him.  I regret that I did not do that nearly often enough before Cambodia.

As I learn to ask God more questions, I am also learning to appreciate the multitude of questions my girls ask me throughout the day.  It can be exhausting sometimes, but when I am patient and give them my attention, answering those questions can be incredibly rewarding as well. 

On the subject of school, I decided to start teaching the girls Spanish.  I am not fluent in Spanish by any stretch of the imagination, however, I know a little, and more importantly I know a lot of people who are fluent in Spanish!  So, I took the advice of a mom more experienced that I am in this area, and I purchased a few immersion workbooks for the girls to start with .   So far the girls like them a lot and I have found them easy to teach from. Here is some of what we are using:

We are on Day 95 with My Father's World 1st Grade.  Last week the girls began the New Testament, which was very exciting for them!  The can now recite all of the books of the Bible up to 2 Corinthians.  Soon, I will be posting a video of them singing the song they have learned.  That is if they let me:-)

And with that, I will say good bye for now.