"Thought breeds thought; children familiar with great thoughts take as naturally to thinking for themselves as the well-nourished body takes to growing; and we must bear in mind that growth, physical, intellectual, moral, spiritual, is the sole end of education." ~ Charlotte Mason

Monday, May 12, 2014

As the Day Closes

As this day comes to as close I can't help but look back on it to see where God was in all of it.   Because He was and IS in this day, His presence is the thread that is woven into each moment of the day - the perfect ones, the ugly ones, the trying ones, the prayerful ones  - His presence never leaves, He abides with me.

As I sit back and look at the day I see Him in all the fullness of these moments:

In the quiet of the morning, when the day is fresh and new.

In the school work when I breath a prayer of patience for the child who is struggling.

When I read a good book with the kids and hear their laughter intermingled with mine.

As I write a poem into my commonplace notebook.

In the food I make and prepare.

In the praise and worship song blaring through the speakers.

When I watch my hand tremor as I hold my pen to correct a math paper.

When I stop the children from fighting.

In the message sent to ask for prayers for a family who is suffering a crushing loss.

In the thunderstorm.

In the encouraging words of a husband whose very words wrap me up in comfort.

In the FB message that tells me an uncle has gone to the hospital in grave condition.

In the emotional exhaustion of a sleepless night.

In the disappointment of plans changed.

He's there, in all of it and through all of it.  His hand holds me, and my name is written upon that nail pierced palm.  He's here as I write this, He'll be there tonight as I put my kids to bed  and lay my own weary head down upon the pillow.   I could chose to ignore that He's here but it never goes well when I do.  He's the great comforter and that very present help in trouble.

I am so very exhausted today, that deep exhaustion that seeps down into your soul, but God knows that too and He meets me there.  Then He fills me up again as I empty it all out before Him.  That's just who He is.  His blood cleanses, His mercies are new and His presence is with me - always.  My Grandma once told me: "Pray to acknowledge His presence, not to receive it, because you are His child He is with you - always.".

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Mother's Day: Women of Faith and Destiny

Here I stand, contemplating my life as a women of destiny, a child of God. And I find I am more determined then ever to 'run the race,' to make each breath count as I walk this earth.  My husband has spent a great deal of time researching his family tree and as I watched him add each name he found to their respective spot, I was impacted.  They are not just names on a piece of paper, they were people who lived and breathed.  They experienced love, hardship, loss, grappled with life, succeeded, failed: LIVED.  And one day I will be on that tree.  One of my ancestors will look at my name, my husband's name, my children's names and perhaps; maybe even wonder about my life.   I visited my family's homestead a while ago, they came from England and settled some land up north.  My Dad's side of the family lived on that land, farmed it, sweat over it as they sought to make a life here.  While there, we discovered several names which had been written on bricks out in the sun room.  I brushed my hand over the signature's, some with dates and couldn't help but wonder what their lives were like and how they lived, and if they finished well.   As I look to my life I find myself asking the question:  "How shall I pass down my lineage to the next generation?"  This is a multifaceted question because it involves 'doing'.  Anyone can hear something and agree with it on an elementary level.  The 'doing' is the most difficult part yet it reaps the greatest reward.   I consider myself blessed.  I come from a line of several generations of a people of faith.  I know both my Grandma's prayed for our family and I know my Grandpa did too.  At this writing both the matriarch and patriarch of my father's and mother's family have gone home to be with the Lord, and they finished well.  I miss their wisdom and prayers.  Now that I am older I appreciate the impact their lives had on me with the understanding and eyes of an adult. The legacy they leave me with is both a blessing and a reality.  They were flawed individuals, didn't always make the right choice(s), had their quirks and struggled with sin as in the battle Paul refers to in Romans 7:15 "I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do."  They were also conquerors (Romans 8:37), courageous (1 Corinthians 16:13), prayerful (Thessalonians 5:17), loving (Hebrews 13:1), suffered long (Galatians 5:22), and loved the Lord their God with all their heart, soul, mind and strength (Mark 12:30).

As I look to the generation beneath me, I am reminded that I must continue to grow in my faith.  To hand that legacy down is the most precious gift I give to my children, and their children and so forth.  When my soul passes from this earth, I take nothing with me.  I leave it all behind.  My fervent hope is that I have truly embraced the words, "To live is Christ, to die is gain." (Philippians 1:21).  As a women, teaching my daughters (and yes, my son also!). I want them to understand and embrace the reality that their strength comes from the Lord (Psalm 37:39).  Their worth is not measured in beauty, not by the things they possess nor by what their skill set is.  It's not even by their accomplishments, their education and so forth.  Their worth needs to be fully rooted in a deep, abiding relationship with their Heavenly Father.  This is the measure of their womanhood.   My most fervent prayer is that I will be able to reflect Christ and my relationship with Him to my children so they may then pass that on to the generation(s) beneath them.  This requires building your house upon the rock, a sure foundation, so that when the winds come it will not be shaken nor will doubt come crashing down upon it like a wave blown and tossed by the wind.  There will be times when I fail and need to rest in the forgiveness of the cross, continuing to run the race looking to Jesus the author and finisher of my faith.  (Hebrews 12:1-6).  What I want my children to learn is that they can count on my prayers and encouragement to be a 'doer' of the word and not only a hearer.  The character of our Lord never changes, He doesn't lie, and He is indeed that sure and steadfast anchor of the SOUL (Hebrews 6:14).  They can fully trust in Him to accomplish the good work He started. (Philippians 6:1)

I have a passion for women and for the young ladies who are growing up in their faith.  They are women of destiny.  My prayer is that they will be faith builders who impact those around them with the reality that yes, they will sin, they will fall short but that the Lord will lift them up and determine their steps with purpose as they submit their wills to Him.  As a women, then, I pray for the ladies who walk along side me and for the generations coming up beneath me (not only my own kids but those who are apart of my church family) that they will write the word and promises of the Lord on the doorposts of their houses and hide them deep in their hearts.  That they will impact others with the proper balance of grace and truth in full measure.   They they will remain authentic people about all the struggles this life will hold but transformed by the renewing of their minds to reflect a mind that is stayed on Christ.  What a challenge this is but the very good news is that it is Christ in us that accomplishes this, He gives us the strength to live a life of righteousness as we constantly submit to His will and His leading.

A name I will be, upon a page one day, but the legacy I leave will grow with my children.  I want that legacy to be the gift of a relationship with Christ that reaches far into the generations beneath me.  My prayers, they have, as I seek to follow in the footsteps of my Lord.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Weekly Wrap Up: A Birthday Week and Slower Pace.

We began the week with Esther's birthday.  My little girl is 7 now.  It seems like yesterday she was just born!   I don't have a huge place, and right now, it's under a lot of construction (ie: painting) so I am trying to make the kids' birthdays special by other means rather then having a party.  She took her birthday off of school work.  We had a cake, and a couple of her little friends dropped gifts/cards off that day.  Later on during the week, I took Esther and her friend to an indoor play structure for the morning, where they had a blast.  She loved her week and I was glad that we could make it special for her in a variety of ways.

We have been outside a lot, as weather has permitted.  I am so pleased about getting out again with the kids. My daughter took some pictures of the blooms and flowers that are starting to unfold.  We'll use a few of her pictures to sketch on a rainy day.  And she just enjoys experimenting with different ways to take pictures. We took note of all the new changes in the nature around us as we walked up and down our street and around our backyard.  I love how they notice things: like how the back yard grass grows more quickly then the front (and why; more sun back there), and how the stages of the trees and flowers have their times.

We played a lot of math games this week.  Our program (Right Start) incorporates math games as a way of solidifying math concepts taught throughout the lessons.  We worked with exponents this past week.  My eldest dislikes showing her work, she does it in her head so quickly and right that she doesn't see the need!  She felt she didn't have to write down each part of the equation in order for it to be 'right'. :)  She also doesn't understand why learning about all this is beneficial.  I can hardly blame her, I had similar thoughts at her age.  The difference between her and I is that she is a natural at math and I was not.  My hubby was home and heard us talking about it so sat and chatted with her about the importance of showing her work.  He also talked to her about how incredible our universe is and how God wove math together to create the vast cosmos and life here on earth.  I found myself being in awe of this as he spoke about how God was so orderly and math is an expression of this order.  He's so great with the kids, doing science and math easily with them, in an every day sort of way, bringing it to their level of understanding while at the same time helping them to see it in a broader sense too.

We're coming to a close with this month's book for book club (A Wrinkle in Time).  Book club is Monday, looking forward to that and I will be posting about it the following week.  Heather will be doing a book review on Dragon Chronicles Series for Book Sharing Monday.  She worked on her book report for it this week as part of her grammar assignment.  She did a great job, just needing to fine tune it a bit here and there.

Nice week all around, despite my struggle with bouts of headaches due to the rapid changes in barometric pressure.  It's always a struggle for me that way when the seasons change.

Esther - playing with some lego on her birthday.

One of the pics my daughter took of the evidences of spring.

We are linked up with Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers Weekly Wrap Up!

Small Things: A Blog / Blog Entry Worth Reading

My heart is in agreement with a blog post I read this morning: Hard Times, Pretty Pictures.  She talks about how and why she posts on her blog and I couldn't have agreed more with her.

I remarked to a friend the other day that when I post something on my blog, particularly about my kiddos, I am highly aware that I am representing my children.  Perhaps at some point, they may even read what I wrote about them.  Small Things blog post sums it up when she says: "my heart is not the only one on the line." 

When I post on my blog, or take a snap shot for Instagram it brings me joy to capture the beautiful things we are doing, the precious moments that make it all worth it.  It doesn't mean I don't have hard moments, days, weeks or even months.  It doesn't mean that I am not facing struggles of my own.  It doesn't mean that I am being disingenuous.  It simply means that I  choose to acknowledge the good.  When I read or see about the moments others are having it makes me smile too.  And I am thankful it was captured and shared.

I loved Small Things Blog post because it resounded with me in so many ways, and was beautifully written.