Blogging & Reading

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A while back, I made an announcement on Facebook that I was going to be reading, and blogging, through the book Desperate by Sally Clarkson and Sarah Mae. I actually made it through the first chapter, the questions, and the video. And I learned A LOT! However, while talking to the Lord, I learned so much more. The lack of peace, and the calm that I was seeking can only be found one place. Prayer. I had become very lax in my prayer life. I was also thirsting to know more about the Lord, and to learn more about the Jewish roots of my faith.

So…with that in mind, something new was placed on my heart and ANY and ALL of you are welcome to follow along with me, simply like my FB page and/or subscribe if you want to journey with me. We will start Monday! Would love to interact with you here as well.

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This is my starting point so to speak. This book is available here on Amazon in both physical form, and for Kindle, Barnes and Noble, as well as most Christian bookstores. During this time, I will also be reading through the Bible and blogging about that as well.

Would love to have you join me!!

Child-like Faith

 

But Jesus called them to Him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not forbid them; for such is the kingdom of God.” (Luke 18:16 NKJV)

Racing thoughts, a troubled heart, a disorganized life and questions…prayers….still unanswered. The answers come…slowly…often not the ones I envisioned. But yet, He remains faithful. He answers those soul searching, heart wrenching questions.

We have been so blessed lately to read the Bible in the evening as a family. My mom joins in sometimes as well. We had been following a local congregation’s Torah portions, however I had forgotten to print it out this month. A section from the OT, and one from the NT. So, we have been randomly selecting readings. Tonight, I just opened up to the OT first and came upon Jeremiah 1. The NT ‘landed’ on Luke 18. Now, I would not recommend this as a ‘constant’ way to study your Bible or open randomly for answers, but we had no clue of what to read. Boy, were we truly blessed.

For those of you who have followed the “Our Story” posts, our battles are well known. For those who haven’t….well, let’s just say that I have been praying some time for my son’s complete healing. The Lord has already provided many miracles in him. We get into Luke 18 and the Parables are there…ah yes…I love to read the Parables. The persistent widow and the ungodly judge. Jesus blessing the little children. They both made sense to me. You see, I had given up praying for my son as often as I once had. Problems have poured crept in now and I was worried. Also, I have become very active in the Nursery/Children’s Ministry at church..

I never could understand. I thought I was called to Women’s Ministry. Doors swinging wide open and working for prominent ministries. I had my own Inductive Study group. But something happened. Suddenly, my heart wasn’t there anymore. I continued to fight it. Slowly I was asked to do various opportunities with the Children. I always said that I was not called to Children’s Ministry…ummm…I LOVED it!! Now I know it wasn’t so much about me teaching them. You see…THEY are teaching me.

Praying in my shower tonight, that became obviously clear. It was as if the Lord was right there whispering into my heart that He had placed these kids in my life for a reason. So assured that, as an adult, I had to teach, teach, teach, it became certain that I was there to learn, learn, learn! This happens often with my own children, never so more clearly than 5 years ago when I felt Him tell me to clearly pay attention to them, their interactions with me, with others, but most of all with Him.

The same is true with my kiddos at church. You ask them any Bible related question and the answer is unapologetically “Jesus!” We once did a lesson from Veggie Tales on David and Goliath. After the lesson was over, we began to review. I asked a simple, yet unknown to me, very loaded question. “Who was the shepherd?” Their answer, “Jesus!” While I was looking for the answer of David, their precious child-like hearts immediately settled on Jesus, THE Shepherd.

You ask them for prayer requests and are blown away by their intimacy with Him, never believing anything is too big or too small for Him. Never feeling as though they are bugging Him. They recognize the Lord as holy, all mighty and revere Him as such, yet they feel perfectly comfortable talking to Him. Not LOOOONG prayers, just thanking Him and then asking.

My 5 year old daughter has been leading prayer some at meals, and at bedtime, and her little heart teaches me a lot. She has some vision problems and once, after reading the story of the blind man Jesus healed with mud, she simply said, “I wish Jesus was still on this Earth so He could put mud on my eyes to heal them.” No doubts, no questions, just simple faith and trust.

As I finished up in the shower, it became apparently clear why all of the doors had shut. The Lord was answering MY prayer to be taught and answering some of the questions that I had, through not only my own children, but the children at the church that I come into contact with often! This year promises to be filled with spending time with these sweet kiddos at church this year….and I am ready to LEARN!!!

New Year…(Mostly) New Curriculum

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Hard to believe that it’s time to start a new year! Even more surprising is the fact that we now have K, 2nd, 8th, and 11th…oh my! This is our 5th year homeschooling and we are so thankful that the Lord has chosen this path for us and breathed new life into our school this year. It’s been a tough couple of years.

We started early, and at a slower pace this year to make sure everything ‘fit’ within our why and how for homeschooling. So far, after a bumpy start, it seems to be working great! Now, onto our choices for the year!!

Bible:

With the various ages that we have, this one has always been hit or miss for us. This year seems much better.

We begin our day with a ‘meeting.’ We pray, read a couple verses then read a really meaty devotional that challenges us in our walk.

The girls will continue in AWANA starting back up next month. We also read the Torah portions from a Messianic congregation in our state as a family each night. It includes readings in both the Old Testament and the New. It has been exciting to see how certain things going on in Israel coincide sometimes coincide with our readings.

The boys and I study together, using the Apostolic (NT) Scriptures from Homeschooling Torah, our ‘core’ curriculum. We read a chapter then answer the questions in our Bible journals. We will discuss these on Friday. Homeschooling Torah is a branch off of Foundations Press, and are the same writers of the Bible curriculum that we have used the last 3 years.

Core Curriculum:

Homeschooling Torah

 

 

 

 

I ‘stumbled’ upon this website thanks to a few new friends! It was an absolute answer to prayer! It puts God’s Word right at the center, and all parts, of our day. You can mix and match, or use everything they have available. We are doing the latter. AND…it is ALL planned out for you! You get TONS of freebies, encouraging emails and FB group (I LOVE this group), teacher helps and SO much more. They use a variety of media/methods and use a “Hear, Learn, Keep, Do” method and it works wonderfully! And, for a FULL curriculum for your whole family, (high school levels in other subjects coming soon), the price is AMAZING! You can choose to pay monthly or yearly.

The History has been very interesting–my oldest boys will be reading Plutarch, Newton (his own words), and the Apocrypha just to name a few. My 14 year old is using the Science, which has a different ‘subject’ matter each day and he loves it! The oldest boys, 16 & 14, also use the daily Typing instructions–LOVE this! We started off strong with PE/Health but failed–mom needs better planning and am going back to reread all of Anne’s posts–SO helpful! We also use the Arithmetic, Phonics, Spelling, and Copywork for the girls. Both sons use the Vocabulary, and the 14 year old uses the Writing, Spelling, and Grammar. Another LOVE!!! There are also Chore instructions for you to teach the kids and I love the way she has these included! Rounding it out, we also visit Art, Hebrew, Music, Poetry, and Geography–originally I planned to do these weekly but I see that I need a ‘better’ plan for that and will fix it for next week.

Math:

The K, 2nd and 8th grader use the Arithmetic included in Homeschooling Torah, but also use the FREE All In One Homeschool for additional work based on their abilities. The 11th grader, who really dislikes Math, is currently using All In One High School, (also FREE), for a full year’s study, and credit, in Geometry. He LOVES it!! Yay! We have tried something different almost every year!

Science:

I already mentioned that my 14 year old son is using Homeschooling Torah for Science, and his little sisters will as well. The girls are also part of a local KONOS homeschool co-op that meets on Fridays and this semester is heavy on Science.

The 11th grader is working through Apologia Advanced Biology: The Human Body as a co-op with a friend of ours. She is a CRNA, and I am an RN so this is exciting for us! They will be doing dissections and so forth and she will lead this weekly class for them at our home.

History/Geography:

Again, the base for them is Homeschooling Torah and the girls are also using KONOS. We have also taken several Civil War related field trips this summer…learning never ends when you homeschool!

Language Arts:

In addition to Homeschooling Torah, the girls are doing worksheets and several other things.

 

Ava is finishing up Language Lessons for Little Ones that she started last year. She is diligently trying to learn to read–this excites her the most! Emily is finishing up Explode the Code and may finish up First Language Lessons.

The older two boys will be doing a weekly co-op here at the house that I will be teaching. We are using Excellence in Literature: American Lit and Composition. My 14 year old won’t be using the guide, his writing comes from HT, and we are using free Glencoe Lit guides for him.

Extras:

Well….we tend to go overboard on this!! Besides those included in HT, here we go!

The 11th grader is taking Japanese this year using a VARIETY of things. The grammar workbook I got at Barnes and Noble. He is also listening to a CD and repeating back the language. He is also continuing to learn about the Japanese culture, drawing Manga and studying the form.

The 8th grader is continuing Spanish. Last year he did French and Spanish both, but he is really good with Spanish so he is focusing this year. We use a lot of things for it as well, including Barron’s that we picked up at Barnes and Noble. He also plays Acoustic guitar in the middle school worship band so he practices that as well.

We are possibly looking at Soccer for the boys and gymnastics for the girls. My daughters LOVE gymnastics…and all things crafty! In another year, my 7 year old will be old enough to take classes at JoAnne’s so I am looking forward to craft classes with her.

We have also been studying and playing around with essential oils, natural remedies, candle and soap making. We make a lot of our own products around here. We will continue this, adding Botany while mom finishes the Foundations of Herbalism course from Vintage Remedies! We are loving learning to, and praying to, become self-sufficient. We are currently growing Basil, Sage and Thyme!

Ex-Muslim; a Book Review

Told in first person, we learn the  story of Naeem Fazal, a Pakistani born and raised in a Muslim household in Kuwait. After living for a while in a war torn land, Naeem was sent to the United States to stay with his older brother for a bit. Little did he, or his parents, know the impact that decision would have. While over here, Naeem ‘prayed’ a prayer to Christ. Actually, it should probably be worded more like a challenge than a prayer. Not only did Christ answer that prayer, but it was in a way that no one could have expected.

I truly enjoy reading stories of how Muslim’s come to the Christian faith especially when they talk about how they were raised. It often takes my breath away to read of the level that God often goes to get their attention. It also inspires me to dig a little deeper into my own walk. This one was no different, with a few exceptions.

While I did enjoy most of the book, it was a little more difficult to get into. Often the author jumped between time periods, places and characters…sometimes within a few paragraphs of each other. There was also a lot of the author’s Christian beliefs, as in sermon type stuff, in places almost making it seem part memoir and part doctrinal read.

Review disclaimer

Right Where You Are

You Are Loved 2

Image Courtesy of Good Morning Girls

This week, our study at Good Morning Girls really hits home for me. Chapter 6 of our book is titled, “You’re Invited!” How often do we, as moms, feel that what we are doing isn’t important? That to do ‘something big’ for God means anything OTHER than what we are currently doing? Homemaking? Homeschooling? Any other home related job you can list, and it’s a resounding, “Nope, not big enough!”

Quotes from Angela Perritt in the book:

  • She saw her mom open her Bible in the mornings to read it and spend some sweet time with Jesus. Peggy’s mom talked to her about God, about the importance of telling others about God’s love and free gift of salvation. Peggy’s mom made Jesus’ mission in life of seeking and saving the lost her mission in life, too, so she passed that same desire and passion to her daughter. (pg. 93, You Are Loved)
  • Our main job here on earth is to give Him glory as moms, grandmas, working women, and single women. Every stage and area of our lives should point to Jesus…..You never know who is watching and whose life may be impacted. (pg. 95, You Are Loved)
  • Don’t for a second place a value on your life by what you see. What you are doing in your home with your kids, in your neighborhood and community, matters….Be women who plant simple seeds of faith in your homes, work places, and schools. Then trust God to water those seeds and create a mighty harvest. (pg. 95, You Are Loved)

 

Dear friends, this is something that has been on my heart lately. I, too, have chased that lie that the world has given us that motherhood simply is not enough. But don’t be troubled–we can find much hope and encouragement in the Scriptures too! Our jobs ARE important! Building the next generation….Kingdom Building Mamas!!

  1. Proverbs 31:10-31
  2. Proverbs 6:20-23
  3. 2 Timothy 1:3-5, 3:14-17
  4. Deuteronomy 6:6-7
  5. Deuteronomy 11:18-19

These are but just a few verses encouraging us in our walk, and important calling of motherhood. I also wanted to end this note by sharing a quote that I hold dear in my heart that came to me as I was making a major decision and feeling that ‘teaching my kids’ just wasn’t enough. It now stays in a Note on my phone to read when I get discouraged.

“Let no exhausted mother, with her hands full of home and children, bruise her soul with the conviction either that she has no way of serving Christ in this way or that she is somehow  prevented by her children and her home from doing something worthwhile. Rather, that is the very sphere of her labor. Her mission field is at her feet (and quite possibly under them and in her arms and on her back and currently drawing something indelible on something irreplaceable). Indeed, for her to feel falsely guilty about what she is not doing or to transfer that guilt to her children in resentment and bitterness will only prevent the good that she is called to do as a minister to her children. Consider some of the earlier examples of Augustine, Spurgeon, and Paton, to name but three. We tend to look at those men and think that they are the evangelists,but each of them was first evangelized by his own parents.”

(Jeremy Walker, The Brokenhearted Evangelist)