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Simply Living for Him

Simply Living for Him

It’s May…

It’s May. The month I have loved for so many reasons. I got married in May. It’s the beginning of truly warm weather. We can plant the garden officially. The birds are busy. The flowers are blooming. The days become longer. I love the early mornings.

 

 

And for the past 13 years, May has always been a time where the school year is ending and the anticipation of summer is upon us. I have always loved this time and the longer days have signified the beginning of the season I love- summer.

Last week, I opened my eyes one particularly warmer morning with the windows opened and the birds singing early before the full sun was even up. I basked in the glory of knowing that summer will be here soon enough. There is a light at the end of the dark winter, and I rested in the fact that May would be upon us in just a few days.

And then it hit me, not real hard…but like that little pinch you get as a child when your parent is reminding you to pay attention or to refocus…a little reminder…

This May is different. Instead of the usual celebratory feeling that the end of a school year is in sight as we break for summer before beginning the next one- this time things are changing.

My oldest is graduating, so May means not a temporary break in school but a true ending. An end to this chapter in our lives.

This ending is about so much more than just school ending. It has been a faith journey. One I can hardly describe in words. If you all know the story of how we began homeschooling, you’re right there then understanding why this is such a significant time in our lives. A true milestone. And a true testimony of Gods work in our lives.

May. It’s here. Soon she will be having her very last day at our fine arts program that she has been a part of for 13 school years. Then her last concert. her last dance recital. Then the prom. And then…May will turn to June and she will graduate. It’s coming. Faster than I’d like yet in perfect timing. God’s timing.

Even with the bittersweet moments, God is so good to give me moments of such confidence and such peace in His plan. As much as I can hardly think of her not being here in the fall every day, as she goes off to college…I have a very deep sense of peace knowing she is going to be where God has led her. I mean, I wouldn’t want her any way where else but in His will. 

It’s a funny thing to have deep sorrow for the things that will no longer be, coupled with the high anticipation of what is to come, and quite frankly the anticipation far outweighs the sorrow. You can’t live in the past and the past is what prepares us for a future. We are never meant to stay mourning the past but eventually to look fondly on the memories knowing life marches on. And I am walking in that steadfastly.

So here we go…it’s May. It is different this year, but exactly where God has us at this time. He is a good Father and I am comforted to know He is in control.

 

 

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God is So Faithful: Two Homeschool Moms Take on Arkansas

Well this post is long overdue, but I still felt the need to get it into words.

Two weeks ago, I spoke at Teach Them Diligently in Rogers, AR. This has been one of my favorite events to speak at these last few years. The location, the people, the venue…all of it is my favorite!

The past two years, my daughter has joined me on this trip. We have sure made some sweet memories. But this year, being it is her senior year and she is incredibly busy, she wasn’t able to take the trip with me. So, a dear friend joined me.

Here is where I get sentimental. You see this friend and I started our homeschooling journey back in 2006 together. We were both so eager, yet had NO idea what would lie ahead in the next 13 years! Especially, that I would eventually have a ministry and would write and speak about homeschooling! Only God!

And it was just fitting that here, as we prepare now to graduate those once itty bitty five-year-olds, we traveled to the convention together.

Not only was this friend integral in our homeschooling journey, but really in my spiritual journey. Someday I will have to tell the story of how we met and how it was clearly appointed by God and His divine intervention, but He used her to bring us to our current church. And that is the church where our family grew so much spiritually. It is truly amazing to see how He has woven our lives together.

Arkansas was a fabulous trip, and once again God proved faithful. For the first time at TTD, I was actually flying into town the day I was scheduled to speak. My flight was set to land at 12:40 pm and my session was scheduled for 4:30 pm. Now, I thought this would be plenty of time because the Arkansas airport is so small and easy to manage. There are no crowds. No lines. And the route from the airport to the venue is a county road drive of about 15 minutes. Easy peasy.

(And anyone who knows me, knows this a huge testimony of how less anxious I have become over the years. I would NEVER have traveled on the same day as speaking before, just because of sheer nerves.)

And all was right with the world as we sat on the plane, no delays, and set to arrive in Arkansas with plenty of time. Until the pilot got on the speaker and announced we were 22nd in line on the runway and we ‘d be sitting at least 30 minutes. (welcome to Newark, folks!)

Although it would still allow ample time, I was thinking, “Yup. It wouldn’t’ be a speaking trip for me if something didn’t test me!” Ha! And I really didn’t sweat it. I knew God was in control and it would be exactly how He wanted it to be.

Lo and behold, we arrived in beautiful sunny Arkansas with time to spare, and even time to freshen up and grab a bite to eat.

Teach Them Diligently Conventions are truly a blessing for me to speak at. The atmosphere is so friendly and the families always bless ME with their kindness. I love speaking with folks after my sessions and hearing how my words have somehow encouraged them.


I even had the chance to enjoy some time with two ladies I met there last year! I just love connecting with readers and podcast listeners! They gave me this gift, which BLEW ME AWAY. I couldn’t wrap my head around it, but can only say…God is so good.

One highlight was also hearing from a mom who said that she always remembers me saying, “I want to point you to Jesus” because she had a conversation with her son and he was struggling with something. But she remembereed my words and thought, “Point him to Jesus.”

That right there, is why I do what I do. One person pointed to Jesus. It’s all about Him. I don’t need to be known, but I want to make Him known. 

With this current culture in a downward spiral, my mission to share Jesus, see families transformed by His Word, and see new generations raised up in the Lord is my heart’s desire.

And so, my friend and I enjoyed our getaway fully! And I do not think it is an accident at all that she came on this trip, at this time. It was a testimony to me of all He has done. Praise the Lord. 

If you have the opportunity to attend a Teach Them Diligently Convention, I encourage you to DO IT! You will not regret it. They are a phenomenal event for the WHOLE family. You will leave refreshed and renewed, not just in your homeschool, but in your faith, marriage, parenting, and life! 

I will be in Waco, Texas April 11-13 and Denver, Colorado May 23-25! I would LOVE to see you there!

 

Get my new e-course! Bible Based Homeschooling!

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Kids Are Not Born Little Adults: Preserving Childhood

Sometimes my heart just really hurts for children these days. Everywhere I turn, the world is telling them it isn’t ok to be a kid. With the rush for earlier schooling, more schooling, busier schedules, all while making sure they are “well-rounded,” it’s like the world forgot what it means to be a kid!

I recently saw a huge facebook battle over the fact that some schools want to impose a later start to their day. As it is, in many places, kids are getting on school buses before the sun is even up. And with the numerous studies showing that kids, especially teens, need more sleep there is a push for later school times. Yet the opposition thinks it’s outrageous. While many of the arguments were from working parents who need their kids on the bus before they go to work (still sad in my opinion), most of the reasons were because kids need to learn how to function in the “real world.”

The last time I checked, kids do function in the real world. But we are forgetting to let them function as kids in that world. 

You see, with the faster-paced society focused on external successes, somewhere along the way, we have equated adults with kids. 

But kids are not born little adults. They are born infants, who grow into toddlers, and then children, teens, and eventually adults. It’s a process. And it involves time and growth.

When we use the excuse to make kids fit into our adult lives and say it is because they will need to be doing it “someday,” it makes no logical sense.

When I birthed my babies, I didn’t feed them pizzas as newborns because well, “someday” they will need to eat pizza so they better get used to it now. No. In fact, I only fed them milk because that is all their little stomachs were made to handle. Then we moved up to baby foods, toddler portions, and adult portions when they were older. If I had tried to feed a newborn pizza it would have never worked and it would have been harmful.

We do the same thing to our children when we make them fit into an adult schedule because someday they may work an 8-5 schedule (which quite frankly, still doesn’t make sense, because many of us don’t “work” those typical hours either. Many of us have non-traditional schedules that don’t fit with the corporate world.) 

I am grateful that we are able to homeschool and to raise our children out here in the simple life. I must keep my eyes focused on Jesus and our goals and not what the world says. There have been times when I have questioned my own parenting and choices and then I remember…they are kids. They are learning as they grow. It’s ok to let each stage take its course.

Today we were able to spend some time in the much-needed sunshine. My ten year old and I walked the property identifying animal tracks in the snow. He wasn’t just learning about the animals, but he was allowed to explore, be curious, and take time to just be a 10-year-old boy. He grabbed sticks, trudged through mud, pounced in the stream with his muck boots. He found a snail in the stream. He noticed the skunk cabbage is just starting (hurray for Spring!). I pointed out how God created the seasons and how magnificent God is. Plus, he was able to enjoy so many other things about our woods he just wouldn’t have time to do if I made him “act like an adult” and sit at the desk for a day.

 

Let kids be kids. I promise you there is time for them to be adults, and they will be productive, well-rounded adults when their childhood was allowed and enjoyed.


A few years ago, we threw out the curriculum and taught our kids for one year using the Bible as our main textbook! It was an amazing year, and so many have asked me just how we did it. So, we have finally put together an e-course that will show you how you CAN teach all subject from the Bible, and even if you don’t choose that for your family, you will be encouraged to always keep the Bible as the firm foundation in your homeschool! Our generation needs to teach the generation  God’s Word!

NOW AVAILABLE!

 

Simply Living for Him

What Does the Bible Say About That?

What does the Bible say about that? It is a question we are answering with our kids these days during our family Bible time. For the past several years we spend time together in the Bible every night. First, a few years back, we read through the entire Bible. It took us 2.5 years, but we really solidified our time together in the Bible during those years. It really became ingrained in us to sit down as a family every single night and read God’s Word. It is just part of what we do every night.

When we finished reading through the entire Bible about a year ago, we then went on to do some theology studies, then read through certain books or would pick a verse for the day and read it and discuss it. Just recently though, we are trying something new.

In an effort to prepare our children for what they will face in this culture, we are sitting down each night to address different issues in the world and asking, “What does God say about___.” Then we ask, “What does the world say about___.”

Because quite frankly, it doesn’t matter as much what we say about the issue…but what God says about it.

 

Because quite frankly, it doesn’t matter as much what we say about the issue…but what God says about it? He is the absolute truth we are seeking and His Word will give us the truth we need to discern the never-ending issues in our culture that we are all facing these days.

So, how does this look? So far we have addressed poverty, money/debt, and are now on life (abortion/euthanasia will fall into this.) We are probably going to be on this last topic for a little bit. We have found Bible verses to really see what God says about these issues. Then we discuss them. Sometimes I might bring in a good article or sermon, as long as it is from a reputable source. 

Because face it, everyone has a lot to say, but are we asking what does God say first? We can only discern biblical truth by being in the Word. We have to be careful not to face the issues with what other people say until we have found what God says.

We have had some interesting discussions lately that stemmed from what the Bible says about the topics we addressed so far, and it really helped to even talk about government issues (ie: socialism) and culture issues. We plan to continue going through many more issues such as gender, homosexuality, marriage, God (vs. atheism), moral laws, etc.

We are also comparing what the world says with what the Bible says. And most times, it is contradictoy.

I have three teenagers and a tween, so it is of the utmost importance that we are teaching Truth. There is a world waiting out there to pounce on them with beleifs that are in direct conflict with the Word of God. We can’t be surprised if they follow the things of this world if we haven’t grounded them firmly in the truth. We believe it is our job to not only teach them God’s Word but to teach them discernment. And that will come through their study of the Bible.


Coming Soon! Bible-Based Homeschooling e-Course!

We are thrilled that the e-course will be released this week! Stay tuned. You will hear me screaming from the rooftops when it’s ready! 😉

This course is a guide where I will walk you through exactly how we used the Bible as our main textbook in our homeschool for one year. So many folks have asked me over the years just how we did it, and I sat down to make this course as a guide, but not a curriculum! I want to inspire and equip you if God is leading you to do this, and even if not, to remember that the Bible is still the foundation upon which we build our homeschool.