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Simply…Living For Him

Simply...Living For Him

The First Visit Home From College: Rose and Vanilla and Life Moving Forward

I couldn’t stop jumping up and down and screaming as I saw the lights coming down the road…they got bigger and bigger as they came closer to the house and the car slowed down and made that familiar turn into the driveway. I hadn’t seen that sight in two months. My baby girl. Coming home.

I was ecstatic as I opened the door squealing and getting her inside quickly as the rain was relentlessly downpouring. I was thrilled that she was home, after three hours on edge as she drove through the torrential rain in the dark.

Yes, just like that, she was home.

The boys were out so we were able to spend some time together. She ate the soup I had made for her and I was cooking up some more goodies- I wanted the house stocked with her favorites!

As I cooked, she told me all about her life at college and I soaked it all in. She was all smiles and excitement as she talked about all of her new friends, her new experiences, her new life.

She dropped her bags and put her shower caddy in the bathroom and I just remember seeing it on the counter and smiling. She was home. Her stuff was here. And her fragrance filled the air. It was heavenly.

She was home. I was one happy mama.

Going to sleep that night, knowing all six of us were under the same roof was a dream. I went to bed with the lingering smell of rose and vanilla, her fragrance. It was sweet dreams indeed.

The next few days were cozy, and fun, and family. We adventured like the old days…shopping and having fun. She visited with family and friends. We went to get pumpkins and do “fall things.” All the while I knew it was temporary, but I tried to relish in the moment.

It is funny how life can slap you in the face left and right sometimes. Two months ago I cried tears like never before when she left. But after a few weeks, I had grown accustomed to our new life and I was so happy for her that the tears were gone. We were settled into our new routine at home and she was starting a beautiful life out there.

So when she came home I hadn’t really been missing her the way I was when she left. I was too happy for her to be sad for me. Life had moved on, and I was filled with joy for all of us.

But when she was here, it all changed. It was like a taste of the old days…and as soon as we started to settle in, it was time for her to leave again.

This morning I woke up with that dreadful feeling again. She’s leaving today. My stomach had a knot in it. I went downstairs and saw all of her bags at the door, packed and ready to go. Just days ago they were a joyful sight to see coming in the door…and now they’re all packed up again, ready to go out the door. The bathroom counter was, once again, empty.

But I was comforted by the fact that she was going to be leading worship at church with her old worship team this morning before she went back to school and I couldn’t wait to see them all together again. And when I walked into the sanctuary and I saw them praying before service, I just started to cry.

It was like a terrible tease. A piece of the past, here in the present, but it wasn’t the same. 

And I have realized life doesn’t stay the same. And that’s good a thing.

If I had kept her home because it was comfortable and easy and everything would be the same, I would have stifled her growth. At college, she is thriving and living the life God intended for her. She has numerous opportunities, is meeting amazing people, and doing exciting things.

That’s what is supposed to happen. God has a plan for her. And it isn’t here.

And that’s OK. In fact, it’s more than OK. It is good. God is good. And He is leading her.

So tonight, I lie in bed feeling melancholy, but also knowing tomorrow I will wake up again, and life will continue to move on and change and grow. Life is a journey, and it can be happy and sad with tears of joy and sorrow co-existing. It isn’t supposed to stay the same and it may not always be comfortable. But when we rely on God, we are content in every circumstance. And we trust that He is working in our lives for a purpose far greater than ourselves.

As I drift to sleep tonight, I will savor that little bit of rose and vanilla scent lingering in the air knowing that tomorrow it will have faded. Until next time.

Simply...Living For Him

October and God’s Goodness

It’s October. September’s golden hour has faded in autumn’s amber dusk. 

Admittedly, September was a difficult month at times, but looking back, it was really a good month. So many changes, and even hard things, that were necessary. It truly was a changing of seasons. As September transitioned from the carefree sunny days of summer to the cooler crisp darker evenings of fall…our family transitioned from a full-time family of six to one of five here at home.

This college journey has been just that…a journey. Words are not sufficient in a blog post-slice-of-the-internet to truly encompass all that has happened in our family. But it is good. Oh so good.

And it isn’t good just because circumstances at the moment are. It is because God is good all the time. The plans He has for our family, regardless of how they even cause pain at times, are still good. He can’t be anything but good and neither can His plans for our lives.

See, that is where we as humans get confused. We think if circumstances are good, then God gets praise. And we shout, “Praise the Lord.” But God is always good, even when our circumstances are not. And through every tear I shed and every sorrow I felt, He was still good. And He was always working toward our good. 

If I had tried to keep things comfortable or feeling good, I would have been getting in the way of His plans. Thankfully, nothing can thwart His plans. And the tears I shed and the grief I felt were all good in the end. 

My life has changed this past month in ways I didn’t expect. And thankfully, I have seen more clearly than ever, my goal to lessen the “stuff” of life and the things that distract me from my purpose. I have a grown child now. Time isn’t infinite here on earth. Just as they always say, “babies don’t keep…” Life moves and I am clearly defining my purpose more than ever. And that purpose has less and less to do with “things” of this world, and more and more to do with Jesus.

As we go through this autumn season, and the leaves give off that glorious glow before they fall to the ground and make way for bare trees…I am also letting go of the things that are dead so that I can allow for things that give life.

I have fixed my eyes on Jesus even more firmly than before. Somehow, letting your child go off into the world really does make you see what truly matters in life. And it is good. All good. 


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Simply...Living For Him

Called Home Online Book Study- Join Now!

NOW OPEN! Join the Called Home Online Study!

After many years and thousands of readers who have reached out to me and shared how much my book Called Home encouraged them on their homeschooling journey, I have decided to do something to go beyond the pages of the book!

Called Home book

More Encouragement and Practical Advice

We are launching the Called Home Online book study! This is not your typical book study- it is an extension of the book, with me, the author, diving in with you while going through each chapter in depth, citing real-life examples of homeschooling experiences, and practical ways to put what you have learned into action.

So many of us read a book, get inspired, and then all we have read becomes a distant memory as life hits us head on each day (ask me how I know!) So many of YOU have told me you’ve read the book several times- often when you need to be reminded of the encouragement. Now, with this online book study, you can watch the videos to take what you have read further and also go back to them when you need inspiration. You will have lifetime access to view them on your own timeline. PLUS you will become a member of our online community group so that you will never walk this journey alone. A group of moms supporting one another is key to our keeping our eyes on the main goals!

If you read Called Home already, you will be further inspired as we dive into each chapter even further. I have expanded on every chapter. There are also questions to help you look to the Word of God to keep you focused on what He says about the issues.

If you haven’t yet read Called Home, then you will be able to read the book and access the study together! A win-win!

How Can I Join?

The weekly discussion will take place via Facebook Groups. There is a $10 membership fee to join. This will give you lifetime access to the videos, early information for any upcoming specials or new launches at Simply Living for Him, and access to special freebies throughout the year.

Videos Start October 1 @ 10 am ET

Every Tuesday, a new video will go up weekly and will be recorded live, but you do not have to be present- the videos will stay up and you can come in at your leisure to watch. And if you happen to catch it live, then you can join in the discussion! Discussions will also take place at any time in the community group (rather than a set time weekly-I can hardly gather my real-life friends at the same time each week, let alone mamas all over the world!) and we will leave it open always. I will check in weekly to answer any questions, take any prayer requests, and more.

If you do not use FB (I understand this is a valid concern) you can still make a private profile to use for the group only. We are choosing the use FB Groups right now because it is the most convenient for the majority (I understand not for everybody, but we have to do what works best for most, knowing nothing will work best for everyone.)

To purchase a membership, simply click the button below.

What is Called Home?

Karen DeBeus wrote this short little ebook in 2013 and the impact has been beyond what she ever imagined. She wrote about her own experience with being called to homeschool (even when she went kicking and screaming!) and how her homeschooling journey has been dependent on letting God lead. She talks about the years she took her eyes off of Jesus and how she floundered, she addresses issues such as the comparison trap, choosing curriculum, etc., but most of all she points you back to Jesus! Let’s face it, many of us homeschooling moms get distracted by the things of this world. Karen believes wholeheartedly, that homeschooling is a calling and must surrender our homeschools (and our lives) to God and let Him lead. And we will find true joy in our journey when we surrender.

Since the publication of this book, tens of thousands have been sold worldwide.

Where can I read the book?

 The book is available on Amazon in Kindle and paperback. I recommend paperback so you can write in the journal section in the back of the book. Find both here.

Who is Karen DeBeus?

Karen is a nationally known speaker, author, and podcaster at Simply Living for Him. She is a veteran homeschooler who has graduated her first and is still schooling her three other children at home. For years homeschooling moms have been encouraged by her talks at homeschooling conventions across the country and her weekly podcast Simply Living for Him. Her mission is simply to point others to Jesus. She lives on her little hobby farm in rural NJ, where her family traded in the rat race to live more simply for the glory of God.




homeschool life skills
Simply...Living For Him

The Most Important Life Skill To Teach Your Child

Homeschoolers are notorious for teaching life skills. Along with math, reading, and writing, we focus on many of the necessary life skills- balancing a budget, managing a home, cooking a meal, and so on.

But I have found the most important life skill we will teach. Because from it all of the others will fall into place.

Seek God first.

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Matthew 6:33 ESV

Truly. We get so caught up in preparing for life and teaching for a test and making a transcript. But if we teach our children to seek God first, then all that they do will come from keeping God at the center of everything.

What does it mean to seek God first? It means not seeking after self-satisfaction. Not serving oneself. But seeking after what God has laid out in His word- the truth. It means following after God and living out His purposes for our lives. It means building His Kingdom and not our own self-serving little kingdoms.

It means striving for righteousness. Living a life that glorifies God. It means choosing holiness above happiness. Because ultimately our happiness is found in our holiness. It is truly living for God.

If we teach our children to seek after God, we can rest assured that everything else will fall into its proper place. God is ultimately in control of our children’s lives, and we must teach them to depend on Him. Not on us. Not on schoolbooks. Not on achievements. Nope. None of it. Depend on God first and He will order everything else.

Academics fall into place when we are living a life with God at the center. Because ultimately our children will work hard and be diligent because they want to please God. And ultimately God will lead them in all areas of their lives, including academics.

Society has it backward. They say teach your children to be self-sufficient and self-motivated and pursue happiness. But God says, He is sufficient, He is what drives us, and we are to pursue holiness.

Teach your children that only what God says matters. Measure everything against His Word. That is truly the most important “life skill” they can have.

Biblical discernment. A life that is lived for God. Those things matter. And ultimately they will recognize every breath they take comes from God.

Teaching our children life skills are important, but without this life skill, it is all for naught. Follow God. And everything else in life will be an outflow of that relationship. And everything else will be in its proper place.

To learn more about my Homeschool Consulting and Mentoring visit: Homeschool Consulting and Mentoring. Don’t walk this journey alone.

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Called Home: Finding Joy in Letting God Lead Your Homeschool: Updated, Revised, and Expanded with Journal Section

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