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Simply…Living For Him

Simply...Living For Him

Sheltering

We have a garden greenhouse. Last year Steve ordered seeds and began the little seedlings inside in their little pods. He waited for the day to be able to put them outside into the big garden. But it was a process.

He would have me check the temperature of the greenhouse and make sure the conditions were not too harsh. He cared for those seedlings carefully and intentionally. They certainly weren’t ready for the ground as seeds, and as seedlings, they needed to be strong enough to be transplanted. And even within the greenhouse, they needed to be kept at the perfect conditions to strengthen them.

They were taken outside into the sunshine during the day but were taken back into the protection of the greenhouse at night. They were given doses of the outside with just the right amount of protection until they were ready.

If we had tried to transplant those seedlings into the big garden right away, they would have shriveled and died. They wouldn’t have been prepared and their roots were not strong enough. They would not have survived extremes in weather or unexpected conditions.

But then the day came. Once they were ready…they were taken from the protective greenhouse and planted into the garden and we watched them thrive.

They grew. They produced. They did what God created them to do.

And just like my children…they are seedlings in the greenhouse that will one day be transplanted when they are ready.

For the age-old argument that homeschool is sheltering- yes, in a sense it is. Who wouldn’t protect their kids from what they were not prepared for? In a way, our homeschool and our home have been that greenhouse. We’ve exposed them bits at a time without putting them into that garden permanently until they weren’t ready.

But here we are, getting ready to transplant the first seedling this year. She will be graduating homeschool and I am more than confident that she is prepared for life.

I patiently wait for the day when we will transplant that seedling into the big garden. Ready to plant those roots down firmly in the soil and grow. And grow tall. Reaping a harvest. And thriving as God intended.

 

Simply...Living For Him

It is All Fading

A few days before Christmas we were out shopping– the stores were packed, the shelves were packed, and people were all striving to find those last minute perfect gifts. Everything looked so shiny and inviting. Each aisle promised excitement and satisfaction. It was easy to give in to the temptation to spend and to buy. Everything in sight held the promise of enjoyment.

At that moment the energy was high, it was palpable in every store. The excitement of the sparkly items was evident.

 

A few days after Christmas, we walked into those very same stores. The very same aisles. I was taken aback by the stark contrast. Just days before, what was so alluring and pretty was now a disheveled, hollow, and stark space. Most of the shelves were empty, but what was left was a mess…and those sparkly shiny objects? Now they looked different. They no longer held the promise of must-haves, but they were marked down to 90% off just to get rid of them. No one was interested in them anymore. They didn’t seem so exciting. Many were now broken and tattered.

A stark contrast indeed.

Isn’t’ that the irony of this world? We want and want. Things clamor for our attention. They seem so inviting and so alluring. And so quickly, what captivated us at first, fades away and becomes old in an instant. What was so coveted becomes a throwaway item just like that. The anticipation, the joy, the excitement of the pre-holiday rush melted into a heap of exhaustion or relief that it was over.

It’s like the white glistening of a fresh snowfall. We marvel in its beauty and sparkle and pure whiteness, and just days later we trudge through the brown slush. Everything on this earth fades. We can never hold onto it. Whether it is a new gift, fresh snow, or even a feeling at the beginning of something new. It all fades. The very things we anticipate so fully pass by so quickly and are just memories.

We simply can not hold onto things of this life. We can’t hold onto things that aren’t permanent. We are always moving forward away from this earth and toward the one thing that will never fade- eternity.

As we go into the new year, my prayer is to live like Jesus. To seek after things that matter. To let Him use each moment of my life for His glory and His purposes.

May I not get caught up in the shiny objects of the here and now, but keep my eyes fixed on the one thing that will remain long after all else has faded.

Simply...Living For Him

My Biggest Prayer

We often pray for circumstances to be changed. Whether it is a situation we are in or a future we are unsure about, we pray for those things that we think would be best for us.

We pray for things. We pray for health. We pray for others. And that is good. The Bible tells us we should pray and ask the Lord for our needs.

But more recently, my focus has been on my heart. I want my heart to right in all circumstances. I don’t really want to pray for the externals but for the internals.

How is my heart in those circumstances? What will it be like if the situations don’t turn out the way I have prayed?

I recently heard someone say they want the healer above the healing. The HEAL-ER above the HEAL-ING. That was a beautiful thought. 

Ultimately I want God above all.

Sure, ideal circumstances and health and things are good things. But what good is it if my heart is relying on those things to fill me rather than God?

Ultimately, I want Him.

My prayer lately has been, I want You, Lord. I want Your Spirit in me. I want my heart to do Your will. Whatever the circumstances.

Let me be changed through circumstances, but not be reliant on them.

I want my heart above all to love God, and not only when things go my way.

Because ultimately His way in the only way. And sometimes circumstances are confusing or hard or just plain impossible. 

But God.

He is in the middle of them and He is what we want. He is the One constant that will remain while circumstances change moment by moment.

And sometimes what we see as the worst circumstances, are what is best for us. His ways are not our ways. His thoughts are not our thoughts. And He will use all kinds of things to grow us to be more like Him.

If we live dependent on our circumstances, then we don’t live dependent on Him.  

But ultimately, if we have Him, we can live in any circumstance.

Yes, Lord. I want You above all and in all. May our prayer be…I want You, Lord, in all.


JOIN ME IN A FEW WEEKS!–> Simply Living for Him Women’s Gathering

On the Blog Last Week–>When God Changes the Plan

Missed the last PODCAST episode? Listen here—>Keeping It Real: Sharing Struggles and Joys

Christmas Links and Resources

A Seasonal Homeschooler?

BIG LIST of Christmas Homeschool Resources

Extraordinary Christmas- It Has Nothing to Do With Stuff!

Simplify Christmas Podcast Ep 70

A Real Christmas Is Not Perfect- Our Half-Lit Tree

Christmas Lessons and Using the Bible as Our Main Text

25 Days of Simple Christmas-Making Pomander Balls

Colonial Christmas Unit Study: Making Hornbooks

Homeschooling Through the Holidays • Podcast Ep 71

Making Quill Pens: Colonial Christmas Unit Study

Living Like It’s Christmas All Year Long

25 Days of Simple Christmas-Simple Acts of Kindness

Real Christmas

Bible Based Homeschooling at Christmas

READ MY BOOK—>Called Home: Finding Joy in Letting God Lead Your Homeschool

Our NEW DAILY SCRIPTURE Series

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Simply...Living For Him

When God Changes the Plan

 

This is such a hard post to write and one that I have been composing in my mind for days. Not just because it is sad, but because it has been a time of confusion between God and me and that is not an easy place to be. Yet, sometimes God needs to teach us by taking us into places we didn’t expect.

A few weeks ago I wrote about our new addition here at Love’s Farm~ Kypp the Australian Shepherd dog. It seemed like such an answer to prayer and so perfectly orchestrated by God. My daughter had been praying about a dog for years and God answered. We posted all the cute photos and were so excited to bring him into our family.

We knew it would be a transition but felt so strongly that God would guide us and lead us and work it all out since He was the one who had graciously given us this situation.

The first few days were up and down. Kypp came from a much different home environment than he had here so naturally, he would need to adjust from a family of 2 to a family of 6…and goats…and chickens…etc. 

After the first few days, there continued to be more challenges. All the while I bounced from feeling like this was just too hard, to trusting God to make it work. I kept thinking I needed more faith, I needed to be stronger, I needed to trust more, I needed to know things weren’t always easy. I was continually beating myself up over not having enough faith.

I prayed fervently. And it seemed like every time I submitted to God that I would rest in His will and work through the difficulties, something worse would happen. It was all quite confusing.

Ultimately, as a family, we came to the difficult decision that our family was not the right family for Kypp. His owners graciously comforted us and took him back. They still need to find him a good home. And we trust that home is out there, and this was just a stepping stone to finding it. He is a very good dog and will be a wonderful addition to the right home.

While I am still processing all that happened, there were a few lessons I would like to share:

First, everything isn’t always ideal. In a world of visual glimpses into our lives, we may think all is perfect when behind the scenes there is a struggle. Each cozy and cute photo we shared was in a genuine moment! But there were also times of challenge. So remember, enjoy glimpses of peoples lives knowing they are a moment in time.

Second, God is teaching me that He DID answer our daughter’s prayer. For a while I thought we heard wrong, we stepped out of bounds, this wasn’t from God. But then I remembered, every single detail of our lives is orchestrated by God. He doesn’t make mistakes, and if we think that we have made one, then it is part of His plan to grow us. I remembered the time we took the RV trip that ended badly, even though we prayed fervently about it. Or the time that we bought a farm only to have it fall through. We were so confused until we found this house and it all made sense. God works through it all! And He DID answer our daughter’s prayer for a dog! It’s just that we didn’t have him for the amount of time we thought we would. But for two weeks, she finally had a dog and her prayer was absolutely answered. Who are we to determine the parameters in which He answers?

Third, expectations aren’t always what we planned. And that’s OK. We must be open to God’s results that may look very different from our hopes.

Fourth, I need to stop trying to figure God out. His ways are not my ways. Through every twist and turn is a lesson, but instead of trying to know the lesson ahead of time, sometimes we have to just walk through it and look back on it to see what He wants us to learn. We shouldn’t try to know what He is up to beforehand.

I am a work in progress. I have learned much the past few weeks and will continue until my last breath. This whole situation brought to surface so much work I need on myself, but because is God doing the “heart” work, I can rest knowing it is all good.

And finally, all of this has me even more inspired to start my new project- Simply Living for Him #No Filter. You see, I have struggled the past few weeks with various things personally. The dog situation just brought much of it to the surface. And I learned how very necessary it is to BE REAL. We all need a core group of women that we can share our ups and our downs. We need those moments to just drop the filters and say, “I am struggling.” I had women like that get me through recently. When I felt like I was in my darkest place, to just be able to send a text or look someone in the eye and say, “I’m struggling,” immediately dispelled the darkness and brought in the Light. Women praying with me and encouraging me was essential.

So, my next project is to see how to make this idea work in real life. The purpose is to foster REAL life relationships with women. Face to face. Eye to eye. Hand in hand. Sharing in the CELEBRATIONS of life together (without jealousy) and sharing in the STRUGGLES of life together. Romans 12:15 says, “Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.”

I am working out ideas for videos, online workshops, and real-life local events to get some of these groups going! Would you be interested? Let me know!

Finally, thank you to my dear readers for following along on this journey. I am a mere human trying to do my best to give glory to God in all things. I am grateful for your messages in the past few days. I love sharing glimpses of what God is doing here as we all try to simply live…for HIM!