Routine…or Random?


Waking up early in the morning, she joyfully hops out of bed, grabs a cup of hot tea–purely organic with a touch of local raw unfiltered honey–snuggles into her favorite reading chair with her Bible while glancing out at a beautiful sunrise. When she is finished she fixes a hot meal completely from scratch for her crew.

Sounds like paradise, no?!?

Enter reality—she stumbles awake after being kept up all night by insomnia, two screaming kids, or a combination of the two. She forces her eyes to open as she realizes either her daughter turned off her alarm clock after she finally went to sleep around 1 a.m–either in mom’s bed or coming into it in the middle of the night-or she hit the clock so hard so many times it just gave up. Threw up the white flag. She’s groggy and dragging as she reaches for her first, of many, sodas for the day, hoping somehow it will give her the energy to wake up. She glances longingly at her Bible knowing that it will get read, maybe, right around lunch time with all of the kids. What was once a meal to her soul has now become drive-thru snacks. The younger kids are stir crazy unable to focus or concentrate until after lunch and the olders need to be awakened. Again. She glances questioningly at the school planner for the day. What subject first? Just where were we in Math? Who has what due today–then realizes she verbally told her kids when it was due and forgot, AGAIN, to write it down.


She wishes she could be more organized. Wishes she could just ‘get it together’ like she did when she was a nurse. She knows strict schedules with times don’t work, but a ‘flow’ to the day would be nice. She fights down her ‘fly by the seat of her pants’ urge, pulls up her bootstraps and starts the day. Breakfast for lunch….again. She sees how the house falls apart with lack of routine. Tempers flair; attitudes run rampant. They are looking to her to ‘get it together’ yet she has failed again. She promises to do better next time….but change never comes. Then HE comes in. Her loving Father….He whispers the words lovingly into her soul that she needs to hear…..

Redeem the time

Redeem the time, my daughter. They are only with you for a little while. Teach them about Me. Train them in My ways and My plans for their lives. She gets the strength to carry on. She gets a game plan in her head. She wants to do the will of her heavenly Father. And so she prays. She asks for the strength to change her days from random to routine. A safe haven for her kids. To know what is coming next….that after living in chaos for the last 5 years, routine is possible. To be prepared for the unexpected but not living defensively because of it. Her heart is soothed and she prepares to push on……

Your turn! Share in the comments whether you run your days randomly, or if you have a routine. Is there anything your heavenly Father is trying to teach you during this phase of your life?

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Redeem the Time…

torah linky


  • A sequence of actions regularly followed; a fixed program.




Oops! That isn’t the actual dictionary definition….now is it?!?

Over and over one word has been the bane of my existence: ROUTINE. Before we started homeschooling I was a very Type A Charge Nurse/ER Nurse. Pockets FULL of whatever I may need to get the job done, I was Nurse McGuyver! Syringes? Yup, I got them…and two or three different sized needles. Alcohol pads? No problem!! Band-aids….bandage scissors…tape…2×2’s…..I was a walking stock cart! Say what you will, don’t call me unprepared! I carried a patient list too with my to-do’s numbered by priority AND timed written on the back. Checked off each time a task was completed. 

And then……I became a stay at home, homeschool mom. I did VERY good the first year…then the move….then the deaths in the family….illness….hospitalizations….one by one each one broke my thinker, broke my will, and broke my independence. Things started spiraling out of control. One crisis after another…..

Then we get to the point I am now. Insomnia…a household full of it. Routines? HA! What’s that? We may have to move again….it’s only been 5 times in 5 years….it’s only 7 months until the 6 year mark. Somebody may get sick again….500 miles away….or worse, die….

Redeem the time

And yet….I wonder…am I called to live like this? Am I called to constantly live in “what if” mode? Or am I called to create a ‘routine’ for my children….a safe haven in a world that is slowly falling apart around them? Experiencing more hurt in their short lifetimes than many people have in their old age. And as I ponder this….that still small voice whispers this verse: redeem the time because the days are evil. 

Look around–the world is in total chaos right now. The weather, the government, our brothers and sisters in Christ getting executed and persecuted….but God. In all of His mercy and kindness, He whispers to us to keep going. To fight the good fight of faith. To battle our flesh which longs for that extra hour of sleep…for that extra hour on Facebook…for that extra hour…(you fill in the blank here). In a world that’s going to pot mamas’, we are called to raise cities on a hill with lights shining bright. Lights shining the love of Jesus. Training up soldiers. A MOST important mission. God may not call you to Africa, but if you are a mama and your are homeschooling….guess where YOUR mission field is? Where MY mission field is? Let us redeem the time…..let us not grow weary for in due season we shall reap if we don’t loose heart….let us fight the good fight of faith.

ghandi quote

Now it’s your turn!! Link-up your posts on anything homeschooling, homemaking, natural health, studies, encouragement or more!! As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another (Proverbs 27:17 NIV).

Posted in Homeschool, Life, Purposeful Ponderings, Torah linky, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

IndoctriNation: a TOS Crew Review

The movie

While much of our readers consist of homeschoolers, I know that there are still a few who are not. This post is not meant to disparage your choice of education for your children. It will, however, give you something to “chew on.” As a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew , I was blessed with the opportunity to review the DVD “IndoctriNation” by Great Commission Films. For this review, I received the physical DVD copy, a value of $19.95.

First of all, I was blown away by how colorful the DVD case is. Ok, admission, I’m a visual person…is that a bad thing? My husband and I began to watch the DVD with our children and realized that perhaps some of the content and discussions aren’t the best for little eyes and ears. No-it’s not THAT bad, it’s that they do discuss the sex education, drugs, alcohol abuse and even the Columbine shooting. It’s handled VERY appropriately and professionally, however our youngest two-ages 5 and 7 who have always been homeschooled-aren’t ready to hear that yet. There is a warning-which I believe I missed in the rush to get popcorn together, etc-totally my fault.

Fast forward, my husband and I are both products of the public schools. While we both had two totally different experiences, and not to mention that we are near polar opposites, some of our views were the same while many of them were not. Never knowing of any other way, (the only presentation of ‘homeschooling’ we heard of was the Duggar’s-need more children, and Wife Swap which portrayed it very negatively), we enrolled our children in public school. It was hard. Oh my mercy was it hard….on us all. The kids and I cried.

Meanwhile, I kept watching the Duggar’s and began to pray about this crazy thing called homeschooling. Confirmation was given through various sources. One not so good-a serious health incident with my son at school which was poorly handled and by the grace of God alone, did not end in his death. They near intubated him while at the doctor’s office. Needless to say, he completed 6th grade, did two days of 7th and he was out. This was only the straw that broke the camel’s back. His brother made it one semester of 4th and then a ‘move’ forced our hand-we were homeschoolers!

How I WISH this movie was available back then. FULL of interviews with both current and former teachers, principals, evangelicals, a student who graduated from a top school, education experts, news stories and more, this movie is definitely one to make your jaw drop. It made this mom thank her gracious heavenly Father yet again for this privilege, and call, of homeschooling.

The plot line is fascinating-traveling the country in a yellow school bus while doing their interviews and research, the family becomes “road schoolers” so to speak. Powerhouses such as Voddie Bauchman Jr., Ken Ham, Israel Wayne, and Kevin Swanson-just to name a few-open up in this documentary. They aren’t the only ones. Those currently in, and those who have left, the public education system also open up on what is truly going on “behind closed doors.” Rather alarming, was the stories pushing Homosexual tolerance to VERY young elementary schoolers–they were even asked to debate whether a “gay couple” should be allowed to be married. Then, there were the condom lollipops being passed around the schools–even as young as elementary students can get them without approval of a parent–heck, the parents aren’t even told. I haven’t even started on the Evolution thing, OR the kid that got kicked out of school for bringing pencils with Jesus printed on them. Teachers aren’t safe either as this film shows. Watch what happens when they stand up for their beliefs.

The movie also follows the “history” of education from its meager start to the billion dollar industry that it is today. Originally a place to learn Scripture, and Latin (what the Scriptures were in), it has been turned into a mass machine for producing government prodigies adapting beliefs and ideas from as far away as Germany and other places.

This has been one of my favorite documentaries ever and one I will watch again! I took notes when particular books were mentioned, as I would like to check them out. There is also an IndoctriNation book available. Even if you don’t agree with this reviewer, have an open mind and see what those who have been, or are IN the fire, have to say. Check out clips from the movie here.


Crew Disclaimer

See what the rest of the crew thought!!

IndoctriNation DVD Review

Posted in TOS Review Crew, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Loved Back to Life~a Book Review

What do a famous speaker, a mental hospital and The 700 Club have in common? Sounds like the beginning of a poor joke, does it not? However, for Sheila Walsh, that was her life at one point. Keeping up a fast paced, demanding and cruel schedule would eventually take it’s toll on her life. Sheila is the epitome of famous “Martha” from the Bible. Serving without taking time to sit at Jesus’ feet. That time would come in a most scary awakening during her own Dark Night of the Soul.

For far too long, the church has had a strange relationship with mental illness. From ordinary depression to any number of ailments that affects the body of Christ, we often take two separate approaches (this is average-not all). Either build up mountain moving faith in prayer, rebuking/denying/not claiming the problem, or staying far away/casting out demons from the person. Both views are damaging. Both views this reader has observed with her own eyes. If the person isn’t healed? Either their faith is too weak, or the one attempting to cast out the demon has weak faith. Why do we do this? We point the blame or just ignore the person. That is SO not like our Lord.

Part memoir, part inspirational book, many of us overscheduled/multi-tasking until we break/Type A people will totally empathize with her. It very well *could* be our story. Read along about her life, her awakening, and be inspired by the advice she lovingly gives.

I highly recommend this book, especially to anyone who has been hurt by a member of the body of Christ while suffering depression, anxiety, etc. I highly recommend this book to those IN the church to understand what the other side looks like. As one who has suffered from anxiety/depression since a teenager, I can tell you that sometimes, the ‘church’ hurts more than it heals. After the birth of my last child I developed severe post-partum anxiety/panic and thyroid issues. It was a very scary time in my life. My family, my Jesus-they were there for me. My church at the time? See above. Please pick up a copy of this book today!

Review disclaimer

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Weekly Wrap-Up Week 2

torah linky

This has been an interesting week here @Faith, Hope and Homeschool. Near record freezing temps has made for a lot of indoor activities and tons of congestion, coughs, and a recurring croup issue with our youngest. Come Spring!!

(WordPress is acting up this morning so I will have to add the pictures of our day later-sorry.)

My 7 year old finally took off with a love of reading! I was SO concerned about this. She *could* read, but reading for pleasure seemed like a chore. Imagine my delight when I saw her snuggled in a chair reading a Children’s History book for pleasure! We have been hard pressed to keep her in books now. She started with the Junie B. Jones books (super cheap at our local Goodwill bookstore), and recently found a new series she loves called Doll Hospital (major thrift store score for 75 cents!). The one she read is called Goldie’s Fortune, A Story of the Great Depression. Shh..she was learning History too! These books include collectible paper dolls inside, and even this thrift store book had it!

This week in our homeschool, we have done lots of hands on stuff. That is a primary perk of our main curriculum, Homeschooling Torah is that it appeals to all types of learners. My girls are all about the hands on! It helps ‘seal the deal’ for them so to speak.

 This week in Math for example, the youngest was learning Skip Counting by 4’s. We used a Hundreds Chart and goldfish. On the lesson plans was a video from YouTube with a funny horse. My girl LOVES horses!! So, we watched the video together once. Then I paused it and had her place the goldfish as the horse was singing. Finally, we watched again and I paused it before the next number to see if she knew. It worked great!

Next up, Science! My kids are all about Science! We watched how a plant “gets water” by placing two celery stalks, the ones with leaves works better, in a glass of water that had red food coloring added. After 24 hours, they got to see how the water ‘traveled’ up to the leaves-turning them a slight shade of pinky red.

As always, one of our favorite parts, copywork done directly from Scripture! We have a whiteboard with verses on it and we split longer verses up over the course of a few days. We usually get our verses from our Homeschooling Torah email newsletter, plus maybe something I have been studying or a character trait we need honing.

Now, onto the feature posts from Tuesday’s linky AND the weekly wrap-up linky for you to share your week with us!

Two sweet ladies linked up the services they offer with us. Both deal with natural health. Stop by and visit Bekah @Living and Eating for Wellness and see what she offers! The next link is something I have looked into for our homeschool as well. Check out the Biblical Health curriculum offerings from Roots 2 Fruits!

Next up is a great post from Chestnut Grove Academy sharing their homeschool week with us! I LOVE the Home Depot class offerings, and have looked into several myself. Check out all the fun pictures!!

I absolutely always love what my friend Ashley @Jubal’s Daughter shares! I usually print her posts for future reference too (wink wink). This week she is sharing with us about Learning Styles and how she incorporates that into their day!

Last, but definitely not least, is a hilarious post from my friend Patty aptly titled “I gues I’ll go eat worms!” Check out her reasoning for eating Biblically! Love her humor!

Now, it’s your turn!! Link up as many blog posts as you like on weekly wrap-up in your homeschool, any homeschooling related post, natural health, eating, encouragement or Bible related posts. Can’t wait to read them!

Posted in Torah linky, Uncategorized | 4 Comments