Saturday, August 30, 2008


Have you ever seen Homeschool Planning as a daring, extreme sport?! Um...yeah well...I do! Sometimes I feel like I am walking a tightrope without a safety net! After all, what if I do it *wrong* or *mess it up* or worse, mess *them* up? Homeschool planning might not be an extreme sport but it sure is a step of faith and a walk of faith!

Within that step of faith you have to dare to be different, like this pink phlox that decide to invade the white I originally planted!! LOL!!

You have to dare to stand alone, again like this stubborn pink phlox that invaded my oregano...what is it about pink phlox anyway?? (I didn't plant it but I sure do love it!)

I have been thinking about this school year coming up. I am seeking to nail down the plans today. The first thing I have to do is pray, pray, pray!

"If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously without finding fault, and it will be given to him." James 1:5

"Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails." Prov. 19:21

Why all this? Well, this year I am feeling led to change it up a bit!

Tyler is a Sophomore in High School this year. Next year we are planning on him taking some college courses. So, my biggest priority with him has to be making sure he is ready for college level studies. For us that means emphasizing research skills, critical analysis, and shoring up math skills. Some of his courses will have to be a bit more "fluffy" if you know what I mean, to make room for what is really important! This year it will be vital that I don't let myself be ruled by a certain curriculum's provided schedule. That's not easy for me; I love to check off those boxes!! LOL! But I'll have help...he is enrolled in a writing class through someone in my church, a careers class through my homeschool group, and will be attending a "help with homework" program led by our Youth Pastor (who tutors in Math...yee-hah!).

For Christian in Rachel, in 6th and 5th grades, I really want to be a bit more interest driven and hands on than I was last year. Having the perspective of Tyler's journey, I know my tendency is to push, push, push! I need to emphasize the basics and bring life and fun to the rest. Solomon was so right, "The words of the wise are like goads, their collected sayings like firmly embedded nails--given by one Shepherd. Be warned my son, of anything in addition to them. Of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body." Eccle. 12:11-12

So, I am praying and planning today. I'll prayerfully plan it, but also pray the Lord's plans will prevail over mine! Who knows? I may plan something (white phlox), but God will do his own planning (pink phlox)! I hope no one is too surprised or disturbed when I hang a sign over my plans that says, "Subject to Change!"

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Homekeeper's Journal

See "The Homekeeper's Journal" at The Christian Homekeeper

(The Homekeeper's Journal is a new feature I am adding to my blog. Hopefully you I will have it up each Monday. Basically Sylvia, over at The Christian Homekeeper will be writing devotional. She has writing prompts at the end so that I and others can respond. So, each Monday you will see my response to the topic here)

The Laying Down of My Life

"I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life." John 12:24-25

What one thing can I lay down, one thing that will cost me something to lay it down and serve God?

I lay my life down each time I choose God's will over my own. I can build my own kingdom here on earth as my focus in life or I can build God's Kingdom, I can "seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness" (Mt. 6:33). I am the single seed in John 12:24. If I choose to lay down my life to God, God can use me to produce many seeds.

In my own life God has asked me to lay down my plans and desires and homeschool my children. I have to admit there are many days I would rather knit or quilt or garden or do many things. They are good things, all of them. But I have to give up the good things for the best thing. Homeschooling means laying down my time and lots of money too!! Obeying God is the best thing though and I have been blessed as I have followed.

Recently God called me to be the Children's Ministry Coordinator at my church. I have to confess that when I said "yes" to this ministry I told my pastor, "I can do this job but I cannot recruit workers. I am not good at that." I had fears about looking people in the eye and asking them if they thought God would want them to serve in our Children's Ministries. Quite frankly I was afraid of looking stupid, or being rejected by all the "no's". Well, God really convicted me that I was saying "no" to part of the job He had asked me to do and it was because I was not trusting Him. He showed me how to recruit by showing me Mt. 9:37. Now I know to "Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field." (And by the way, God has been faithful to me every time to provide the people we need for our ministries!!)

Is my time being spent wisely, spiritually?

I spend lots of time serving but I need to spend more time sitting quietly with God, reading His Word and praying to Him. I need to never put off that time but to give my first fruits to Him. Seeking needs to precede serving in my day!

Do I dread laying down my life? Why? What am I afraid of? Is my fear legitimate or is there scripture that assures me of God’s love and care for me when I obey Him?

In general I have to say "no", I am not afraid. When I am, God convicts me right away with the same words, "Trust Me".

There have been times in my life...early on in my marriage we thought that God might be leading us to the jungles as missionaries. I wasn't afraid of the people, I was afraid of things like snakes and spiders and wild animals! LOL!! But I was willing to go, trusting that God would give me the grace when I got there.

These days, evangelism sometimes scares me. If someone starts a conversation then I am all there. But it is hard for me to start that conversation or to knock on that door. I suppose it is wrapped up in liking to be liked or a fear of rejection. Here is one verse that applies:

"Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please me, I would not be a servant of Christ." Gal. 1:10

Monday, August 18, 2008

Home Again...

For the last two weeks we have been away, renting a cottage on Square Pond in Acton, Maine. It felt good to get away from our normal routines. :)

The weather was rough. It was cold and rainy most of the time with lots of thunder showers but that did mean that I got to take lots of pictures of rainbows and ominous clouds! The kid didn't mind the weather too much; their dad was an equally good sport. They swam and canoed and fished the time away! On a really horrible day we saw a movie or went for an ice cream or played board games. It's all good when you are on vacation!

Here is some fun on the dock:

Tyler and Christian in the paddle boat:

Christian and Rachel:

Here are some *weather pics!*

You'll see more pictures in the coming days...I suppose whether you like it or not! LOL!