Thursday, December 27, 2007


This morning I sat down to do some reading in the book of Esther. Before I had even begun the Lord spoke to me. I have been struggling with my schooling (mostly because of fear and feeling inadequate) and have been feeling very convicted about it. So, today the Lord showed me this:
My girls are going to emulate me. If I am not consistent with our homeschooling, they will not be consistent with schooling their children. It is my job to show them the value of homeschooling. They will never see that value if our schooling does not take on a major place of importance in our lives. The same can be said for so many things : submission, Bible reading, prayer, housework, servanthood, faith, etc. After He showed me this I read this verse "...women of nobility who have heard about the queens conduct will respond to all the king's nobles in the same way. There will be no end of disrespect and discord. Esther 1:18" How I behave will also dictate what my son looks for and expects in his wife. If I want the best for my children, I must give my best to them. As I continued to read I had another revelation (maybe just a reminder that I am equipped) "...And who knows but that you have come to royal postiion for such a time as this. Esther 4:14" So often I feel inadequate to prepare my children for what God is calling them to and what this world is becoming. I must remember that God's timing is perfect and He has placed me here in this family with these children, "for such a time as this."
Be blessed today and know that you are equipped and more than adequate (with the Lord's help) to accomplish everything He has set before you!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Joyce Meyer Quote (sort of)

I was watching Joyce Meyer this morning and she said something worth repeating. I don't remember it word for word but the gist of it was this :

"You can't be selfish and happy at the same time."

Just wanted to share. It may be convicting, but it's a good word.

Thursday, December 6, 2007


I just emailed this to some of my friends and family, so if you are reading this for the 2nd time, sorry, but I just wanted to share it here too.
I just wanted to share something that the Lord just revealed to me in His word.

Proverbs 1:1-4 The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel: for attaining wisdom and discipline; for understanding words of insight, for acquiring a disciplined and prudent life, doing what is right and just and fair; for giving prudence to the simple.....

There's no telling how many times I have read this and of course wisdom always sticks out, because that's what proverbs are for, right, attaining wisdom. Well, tonight the word prudent seemed to jump out at me. So, I had to dig into it. I used this link to look the word up (the link is to Webster's 1828 dictionary). Here are some definitions that I found there.

Prudent - cautious; circumspect; practically wise; careful of the consequences of enterprises, measures or actions; cautious not to act when the end is of doubtful utility or probably impracticable. (See Prov. 14 &22)

Prudence - implies more caution and reserve than wisdom; it is excercised more in forseeing and avoiding evil than in devising and executing that which is good.

Circumspective - looking round every way; cautious; careful of consequences; watchful of danger.

Ok, so I get how important it is for us to be wise and how much we need to ask the Lord for His wisdom, but how many unpleasant situations might I have avoided if I had coupled asking for wisdom with asking for prudence. How many times have I said or done the wrong thing, when a little prudence might have gone a long way. Oh, to be constantly aware of the consequences of my words and deeds. So many times the words are out of my mouth and then I think of how they may have sounded or I act out of haste and then panic because now I have to figure out how to fix what I've done. I know this is so simplistic, but that's me (I was thankful for the reference to the simple), so many of the things of the Lord are new to me. It seems so often my biggest revelations are the simplest ones. I don't know if this was for anyone else or not, but I felt compelled to share. I'm going to post this definition somewhere where I can read it often and I'm going to be prayingl for wisdom.....and for prudence.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

What our prayer should be

I came across this on another blog ( It is beautiful and it should be what we desire every day. I pray it touches you, too.

Make Me an Instrument of Your PeaceLord,
make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred,
let me sow love,
Where there is injury, pardon
Where there is doubt, faith,
Where there is despair, hope,
Where there is darkness, light,
Where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled
as to console,
not so much to be understood
as to understand,
not so much to be loved,
as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
it is in dying that we awake to eternal life.
- St. Francis of Assisi

Friday, September 14, 2007

Raising Children

I have been so blessed with well behaved children. I would love to think that it is all parenting, but I know that so much of it is just who they are, who the Lord made them to be. I also know that I am only the parent I am for two reasons:

1) By the grace of God. I did not inherit good parenting skills, while I love my mother very much and have a very close relationship with her, she just did not have time to do a lot of parenting, between dealing with my dad and working, we just didn't get as much of her as she would have liked to give us. I do believe if she had more time with us I would have learned much from her, she had an amazing upbringing. My dad has had major depression and anxiety issues my whole life, so I didn't inherit any parenting skills from him either. He mostly parented out of anger.

2) My husband taught me. As you probably have realized he was married before and already had a child from his first marriage. He is very good about learning from his mistakes, so he brought to the table what had worked with his son and what didn't and lots of patience.
Many times people comment on our children or ask what we are doing that is working. So, first I want to let you know that we are no experts. We still have battles all the time and it isn't uncommon for me to dig out some books and have to try to figure out how to deal with it. Know that we will never be perfect here, so though we may improve our parenting skills we will never be perfect parents. But, we can work at it and learn as much as possible so when they are grown our good will win out over our bad. I wanted to share some parenting books that I have found to be very helpful.

Parenting with Scripture (A Topical Guide for Teachable Moments) - Kara Durbin This book works with topics. For instance the first topic is anger. First it gives you the definition of the word then it gives you scripture. For anger it gave Genesis 4:6-7, Psalm 37:8a, Proverbs 15:1, Proverbs 22:24-25, Ephesians 4:26-27 and James 1:19-20, each of these has the verse already printed on the page. There is a see also section that gives you verses to look up. There is then a discussion section that gives you ideas of how to talk to your kids about it. Then there is a take action section, essentially a challenge, something to do to work on the problem (i.e. For one week Take a deep breath and count to ten when you feel angry, use the time to think how you can handle the situation calmly). I love this book and really use it. Yesterday the girls were arguing about really silly stuff that easily could have been worked out if they had not been being so selfish. I had them sit and write the definitions of the words self-centered and compromise and then a couple of verses to go with each one. I read and discussed them with them before they had to write them.

Creative Correction (Extrodianary Ideas for Everyday Discipline) - Lisa Whelchel This book also gives scripture, but my favorite thing about it is the object lessons. I am not naturally very creative, so it's very helpful to have a resource for this. I do believe that children learn more when they are doing something. For instance when her son was using hurtful words toward his sister, she had him go outside and hammer nails into the fence posts, then she had him pull them all out. She told him those nails were like his words, that even though the nails were no longer there, there would always be a whole left where they had been, just like our words. (I hope I explained that well enough, I told you I'm not creative). She also gives prayers for them to pray when they are dealing with something in particular.
To Train Up a Child - Michael and Debi Pearl Okay, I really like this book. I think it packs all of the important aspects of discipline and training into a pretty short, but very wothwhile read. I will caution you that I don't agree with every single thing that they say and do (as a friend of ours says "Even a mule knows to chew around the briars") I do believe that this is a very biblical perspective on raising children and I believe that with consistency it will produce very godly children. A word of caution the first few chapters seem to only deal with discipline and can make the pearls seem pretty harsh, however when you get on into the book (chapter 4 I think) they begin to talk about tying the heart strings, about how important having a close loving relationship with your children is. He will tell you that discipline without relationship and training will only produce angry children. I encourage you to read it and tweak it to fit your family.
Also check out .
I also want to add that no matter what you do, it will not be fruitful if you are not consistent. I believe that consistency is one of the hardest parts of parenting. I go in spurts. I will do really well for a while, then I will begin to feel like my home is getting out of control and that is always a sign to me that I have dropped the ball and need to regain some consistency.
I pray that you will find this helpful. Be blessed!

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Feeling a little better

Ok, I'm sorry my previous entry was so dark. I am feeling a little better. I called and talked to a friend (she was my counselor when I went through all of this before) and she reminded me of some truths that I needed to be living in. She also helped me distinguish which parts of what I am going through are flesh and which are attacks from the enemy. This was extremely helpful, because I actually believed it was all flesh and I was beating myself up for living in my flesh.

Just an FYI. It is so important to recognize the voice of Satan. I had somehow forgotten how important. If we think that what we are dealing with is flesh but it is really warfare then it will not be taken care of. You cannot combat them both in the same way. While both do require that you get and keep your focus on the Lord, they also require some other very different things from us. For instance, I must die to my flesh daily, but I must speak the word to the enemy, etc.

Also, a good quote from my friend : Whatever I am focusing on will control me. (If I'm focusing on someone else's faults that will control me, If I'm focusing on good and evil that will control me, If I am focusing on the Lord He will control me, etc.) I hope I explained that well.


Do you ever have days when you just think, " I don't want to do this anymore". I mean anything "I just don't want to do anything anymore". Everything just seems so hard right now, like so much work, nothing seems to be coming naturally. I just don't feel like I'm getting anything right. I'm discouraged. I'm broken. The Lord brought me to this place about 3 years ago and I made a million changes. So many that I sometimes barely recognize myself. I became a better wife, mother, friend, etc. Now, I'm here again, I've made many changes (Lord knows I still have a long way to go), but I'm still back here. I must say it is much more of a helpless feeling this time. Last time I knew I had so much to change, so many faults, I knew I was bringing most of the hardships on myself. Now what? Now I'm not that person. I'm the one that works hard at being a godly wife and mother, who rarely ever lashes out at her husband and children, who isn't as insecure as she used to be (although I still struggle with this), but still I'm back here. Back to feeling unworthy, overwhelmed, fearful, etc. I'm sorry to be so gloomy, I'm sure I'll be better soon. I know the Lord is walking me through this for a reason and I know what it is. I've taken my eyes off of Him. Not all the way off, but enough that He's not the main focus. I know what I need to do, but for some reason, I'm resistent. I'm just tired, I'm weary, I want things to be easy. Please pray for me. I'll let you know how I'm doing.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

How To Change Your Mate

You Can't!!!!!

The only person that you can change is yourself.
God has really been laying this on my heart lately. I tried for years to change my husband and I blamed all of my problems on him. Lately God has been really prodding me to share this.

We are responsible for our own behavior, that's it. We can't even change our childrens behavior. However, their behavior is dictated by ours (i.e. am I being consistent with discipline and training, am I equipping them with the knowledge that they need to choose right behavior, am I living a life worth imitating, etc.).
My life is proof that changing yourself can cause others around you (your spouse) to desire to make changes in themselves. But, it will never work if that is your goal. You cannot change yourself for the sole purpose of getting what you want from other people. And, no matter how hard you try, no change done in your flesh without God's help and out from under His will, will ever last or be effective. You must make changes only for the purpose of becoming who God has called you to be. We must realize that we don't deserve anything (i.e. I deserve to be treated better than this, I deserve more help, etc.). We are born sinful, deserving nothing and it is only by Christ's act on the cross that provides us with righteousness through Him, but we will never obtain it on our own. I know that sounds depressing, but the point is that we should look to God to meet all of our needs and that must be enough. When it becomes (more than) enough, you will be willing to wait on your husband to allow the Lord to change Him and if he never does that has to be ok. Your focus has to be on you and the Lord. Are you living a life worthy of the calling God has placed on your life? Are you seeing people through God's eyes and loving them more? Are you spending time in your word and in prayer? Are you allowing Christ to live in and through you? Are you dying to your flesh daily? When we meet the Lord He is not going to say well done you managed to change your husband. He is going to be looking for how we lived in spite of our circumstances. Were we joyful no matter what He placed before us?
There is a lot of really good stuff in the book of James about the way we ought to be living. First, I want to point out some things about our walk in general. (But let me remind you that so much of this book should apply to our marriages.)
"Dear brothers and sisters, whenever trouble comes your way, let it be an opportunity for joy. For when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be strong in character and ready for anything." James 1:2-4
"God blesses the people who patiently endure testing. Afterward, they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him." James 1:12
"My dear brothers and sisters, be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. Your anger can never make things right in God's sight." James 1:19-20
"If you claim to be religious, but don't control your tongue, you are just fooling yourself and your religion is worthless." James 1:26
"So whenever you speak, or whatever you do, remember that you will be judged by the law of love, the law that set you free. For there will be no mercy for you if you have not been merciful to others. But if you have been merciful, then God's mercy toward you will win out over His judgement against you. " James 2:12-13
Ok, too much there for one post. I will add more really good (and rather convicting) verses to a later post. But here is the big one that I wanted to get in: "What is causing quarrels and fights among you? Isn't it the whole army of evil desires at war within you? You want what you don't have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous for what others have, and you can't possess it, so you fight and quarrel to take it away from them. And yet the reason you don't have what you want is that you don't ask God for it. And even when you do ask, you don't get it because your whole motive is wrong - you want only what will give you pleasure." James 4:1-3
So are you slaying your husband with your tongue to get what you want from Him? Are you praying that God will change Him because it will make your life easier or because you love Him so much that you want God's best for Him? What are your motives?
Do you read books about marriage or being a wife and say to yourself "He needs to read this book, I think that was written for him, etc." Do you think about things he needs to be changing while your reading the Word? If you do, you need to check your motives? If you don't know them ask God, He will show you what they are. Don't read another book on marriage until you are ready for it to be all about you, until you are ready to be who God has called you to be, regardless of your circumstances. I hope this helps someone. I know I wish I had understood this much earlier than I did. I highly recommend that you sit down and read the book of James and really examine your behavior and how each verse applies to you.
Also, while we were away for anniversary we read a really good Marriage book. My husband usually has trouble getting through these because they are often very dry and a really heavy read, but this one was light and funny, but it touched a lot of major points. We just ordered it for ourselves. It's "Clues for the Clueless: Marriage"
Be blessed today!

Friday, August 31, 2007

Our Homes (with children in them)

I read this poem this morning and wanted to share it.

Excuse This House

Some houses try to hide the fact
That children shelter there;
Ours boasts of it quite openly,
The signs are everywhere.
For smears are on the windows,
Little smudges on the doors;
I should apologize I guess,
For toys strewn on the floor.
But I sat down with the children,
And we played & laughed & read;
And if the doorbell doesn't shine,
Their eyes will shine instead.
For when at times I'm forced to
Choose the one job or the other;
I want to be a housewife...
But first I'll be a mother.
-by Cindy Jacobs

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Really cool animal sounds

I am reading "Little House in the Big Woods" to the kids. Today we read chapter 2 and there was a story about a panther that was screaming. The kids were wondering what that sounded like. So, (thank you Lord for the internet) I got online and found this cool site. It'll almost scare you just hearing them. There were lots of other animals on there as well.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Free Copywork

wanted to share some free copywork links with you. I like to use these when I'm in a hurry and don't have time to dig through something they are doing to find something to copy. Some of them are also good if you are looking for something to memorize. Some of these sites also have free alphabet practice sheets. I hope you find them helpful.
Check out this blog for tons of resources about every subject. Scroll down in her blog for lots of copywork links.
Some of these sites also explain why copywork is important and what your children will learn from it. So, even if you are not yet doing copywork you might want to check out these sites.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Everything by Lifehouse

Check out this awesome youtube video. It gave me chills. My kids have been learning about temptation, so I'm gonna have them watch this later.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Things I Should Have Done

I just thought I would share with you some weaknesses in our previous homeschool years that we are now going back to correct. I hope this helps you not to make the same mistakes that I did.
Sight Words and Spelling. We did a lot of phonics. I thought if they learned phonics that they would learn to read and spell. While phonics is very important, they still really need to learn sight words and have spelling. You can use spelling curriculum or you can use words they have misspelled or didn't know in their reading. I recommend using sight words as spelling words while you are learning them (kind of kill 2 birds with one stone). Do an internet search for Dolch word lists and Dr. Fry's instant words.
Dolch -
Dr. Fry -
Math Memorization. I thought if my children understood the concept and had lots of practice everything else would fall into place. I do think that learning the concept first is key, but the definitely need to memorize addition and subtraction facts, skip counting (by 2's, 5's, 10's, etc.) and multiplication tables. Work on memorizing this stuff and test what they know by doing timed math drills. I like . I started by having them do a sheet and seeing how much time it took them, then having them try to beat their own time. I think this is a less intimidating way for them to do it.
I also wish I would have had them do more creative writing and copywork. I had them do their handwriting workbook and that was it. So now we are really working on creative writing. They are doing a lot more writing this year.
I wish I would have had them read aloud to me more often. KH reads very well. KG reads lots of words very slowly and I have noticed the more I have her read aloud to me, the better her reading gets (Fluency).
I really am focusing on catching up in these areas before we move on this year. Of course that's part of the beauty of homeschooling. If we get behind or spot an area of weakness, it's not too hard or time consuming to catch up.
I hope that helps.

Finding or Losing Faith

"So then faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God." Romans 10:17
I found a great website . It has daily devotionals and all kinds of other good stuff.
I'm always looking for ways to get deeper into the Word. Like using my concordance, lexicons, dictionary, etc. On this particular subject Lara uses a Thesarus to look at opposite words. It is very eye opening. I hope you find it helpful. Follow this link to this devotional .

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

A Good Word

I wanted to share with you a really good word from LeslieN ( ).
She has a daughter with Downs who has had many health problems and is facing her best friend and neighbor for I think 18 years moving out of state. What she has to say really touched me. Be sure to visit her blog.
"I find myself reflecting on so many things. It seems that every place holds a memory - from our homes to roads we've travelled, times we've shared and places we've been. Memories keep flooding my mind - many of them from long, long ago. We've watched our children grow up - and had planned on doing it until we were old. *sigh* We've done a lot of growing up ourselves. I really don't understand God's plans. That is true for much of what has happened over the last 8 months though. Don't get me wrong - I can see good that God has wrought through this. I am thankful for the ways that He has blessed me in the midst of this time. I just wish that it hadn't all been like this.
I remember hearing a speaker (Sally Clarkson) talk about her daughter going through a trial and hearing God ask her if she would rather her daughter be deep and godly or shallow and happy. Yes, we all want deep and godly. Yet most of us don't want to walk the path to get there. Who would? While I think we do look back and are thankful for the path and it's results, but it is still hard to walk it. I also remember my not so godly response as I turned to Catherine after hearing that question and said that I was voting for some time of shallow and happy. This was in March - I had been through a very difficult last three months and heart surgery was still looming in front of us. I didn't want to be shallow. It just seemed that happy came with no worries or cares. I wanted happy - but is that really what I wanted?
Or am I looking for joy? Something much deeper and richer than just being happy. Something that isn't a result of the circumstances of my life, but rather is a result of God in my life. Yes, I think that's it. I want joy. My sweet Eliana Joy is a good reminder to me of that. I'm guessing that she will continue to remind me of so many things. That she will continue to teach me many things including what really is important. Lessons I thought I had learned, but clearly not to the depth that I needed.
I know that through all of this, that God desires good for us. I only wish that it were not so very different from the good that we desire for ourselves sometimes. Doesn't that sound awful?! Like a small child demanding my own way. I know that God can use this for good in us - but why does that so often involve pain?
I remember many years ago when Catherine and I were doing a Bible study together. I think at the time we had only 2-3 young children between us (We have 10 now.) and we weren't yet neighbors. We were talking about people that had a deep faith and how so often it seemed that this came through trial. We both observed that we really hadn't had much happen in our lives in the way of trial. We both desired a deeper faith - but honestly didn't want to go through fire to have to get it. We wondered if this was wrong - to want the benefits without the work. I don't think it was wrong to want it that way - it's just a natural response. We all long for a deeper walk with God. I wish that it could come without having to be broken. Pain leaves such deep marks - holes even. Maybe though we can't have joy without having the holes that pain causes. Maybe joy can only flood into our spirits when there is room. Room that can't be made on our own. Perhaps the happiness that comes with being shallow is because there is no depth for the joy to pour into. I'm not sure. I pray that I would leave myself open to God - to flood my heart with His joy, peace and love.
I am abundantly blessed and yet my heart just aches. I have joy and hope in the One that loves me. I know that trusting Him does not mean a life without pain - even Jesus had much pain in His earthly life. I know that loving and serving Him does not mean a life without heartache and sadness. Jesus experienced this too. I am thankful for a Father that loves me so very much. I can't imagine walking this road without Him!"
With love,
I hope that touches you the way it did me. It really made me think. Do I want to be happy and shallow or deep and godly? What am I willing to go through to get to deep and godly? What a powerful word!

Kids Room Cleaning Zones

I read this on a website yesterday. I think it may have been . I decided to try to implement it. I think my kids will be less overwhelmed. It breaks their rooms down into different zones that they clean each day.
This is what I came up with for my 9 year old twin girls shared bedroom:
Monday – Laundry – Take all of your dirty clothes downstairs and sort them. Put away clean clothes (ask Mom if you’re not sure where they belong). Take out any clothes that you know don’t fit or are torn and give them to Mom.
Tuesday – Dressers – Clean off the top of dressers. Straighten drawers.

Wednesday – Toy Boxes (Barbie box, Dress up box and toy box) – Remove any toys that are broken and bring them to Mom. Take out anything else that doesn’t belong in them and put in the correct place.

Thursday – Bed – Clean out from under the bed. Put anything that doesn’t belong in the correct place. If your covers are messed up, then remake your bed correctly.

Friday – Chifforobe - Straighten drawers and shelves. Remove anything that doesn’t belong and put away. Make sure the door will close.

Saturday – Floor – If you keep up with your other chores daily and keep up with minor daily maintenance, the floor should be easy. Place dirty laundry in baskets; throw away trash, put away toys, clothes and shoes.
Bench – Make sure throws and pillows are where they belong on the bench. Fix canopy over bench.

Daily –
Keep a trash can with a bag in it at all times. Throw trash away as soon as you see it. Empty trash as soon as you see it is full.
Always put dirty clothes in the basket as soon as you take them off.
Put away toys and books as soon as you are finished using them.
Make your bed as soon as you get up.
When you leave the room and when you first come back in pick up what you see is out and it will not get messy.

This is for my 5 year old sons room. Of course someone will have to read it to him and help him implement some of it.
Monday – Laundry – Take all your dirty clothes downstairs. Make sure your clean clothes are in thebasket so Mom can put them away.
Tuesday – Red Toy Box – Make sure there is nothing in there that does not belong, if there is, then put it away. Take out broken toys and take them to Mom.
Wednesday – Blue Toy Box - Make sure there is nothing in there that does not belong, if there is, then put it away. Take out broken toys and take them to Mom.
Thursday – Beds – Clean out from under and behind your beds. Put everything where it belongs. Ask for help making up your beds.
Friday – Trunk & Dresser – Clean off your trunk and dresser. Put everything that is on them away.
Saturday – Closet – Make sure there is nothing in there that does not belong, if there is, then put it away. Straighten it up so it looks nice.
Daily –
Make your bed every morning before you come downstairs.
Put your dirty clothes in the basket when you take them off.
Put your toys up when you are finished playing with them.
Every time you leave your room and when you first come back in pick up whatever you see in the floor.

Who knows, if I find this works well for them, I may try it in my own room. I definitely feel less overwhelmed when jobs are broken down into smaller tasks for me. It makes it seem more attainable than to think I have to have the whole house done all at once or even that I have to finish the whole room at once. Besides, if we implement this and follow it, the rooms shouldn't really even get very messy

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Parenting Just Isn't Easy

I just want to share something that is on my heart about parenting. Ok, here's the major revelation...........It's not easy. Shocked aren't you?
Here's my point. Yes, there are people who are just naturals at it, but they too have bad days. You know we even think it should be really easy to have a close relationship with our children, that we should know them better than anyone else does just because we carried them and gave birth to them. Here's the problem with that concept. It doesn't take into account how busy we are, especially as homeschooling mom's. You know, I have recently shared with you that I am having to work on winning my children's hearts, because at some point along the way I began to lose them. I know why it happened. It happened because of busyness and responsibility. Between, cooking, cleaning, homeschooling, bill paying, errand running, training, disciplining, mothering, wifing (don't think that's a word, but you know what I mean), laundry, refereeing, etc. I began to lose their hearts. Does that mean I wasn't being a good mother? Of course not, they are very well taken care of. All of their physical and spiritual needs are met, just not their emotional ones. So what does that all mean? It means I have to work at it and that's ok.
My point is, don't look around at all the "supermom's" who seem to have it all together and measure yourself. For years I felt insecure in my role as a mother. I felt totally inadequate. I had a messy house, depression, problems in my marriage (my fault) and major anxiety, but my friends thought I was "supermom". They said they would never have guessed what I was actually going through. From the outside our marriage seemed to be working better than just about anyones (I do have an amazing husband, Thank you Lord), my children always looked so cute and were so well behaved and I always seemed so put together and like I had it together. Obviously, looks can be deceiving.
Just don't let the enemy make you think, that because it doesn't all come so naturally and that you acutally have to work at it and don't always get it right, you are not a good mother. I don't know if that was clear or not or if anyone needed that right now, but I felt like it was what the Lord wanted me to share.
Just remember that God blesses obedience and sacrifice (and He knows our motives), and obviously if you are home with your children you are sacrificing and being obedient. Don't let the enemy steal the peace and security that comes from the Lord!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Sharing About Anxiety

Pretzel Family

Aug. 8, 2007 - Finally Shared!!
I had the opportunity to share my testimony about the Lord freeing me from anxiety with a young friend. I didn't get into a really detailed conversation about my past, but I shared the major stuff and all of the things that I had to do in order for the Lord to free me. I shared about releasing control and trusting the Lord. I also told her that praying about it and claiming a few verses was not enough for me, the only way that ever worked was if I prayed, claimed and read the Word all the way through. What I mean is I couldn't just say a prayer and repeat a couple of verses and have it immediately go away, but if I stayed persistent and prayed, claimed and read without ceasing until the anxiety was gone, then I felt peaceful. Then I felt victorious and it would always be a longer stretch of time before it would happen again. I had to do that so many times and I had to remind myself that at least for a while the harder I fought with the Lord's help the harder the enemy was going to fight to keep me in that bondage. I hope to one of these days be able to sit down and spill it all and really share a detailed testimony of what the Lord has delivered me from. For now though I'm just excited that God gave me the words when I didn't think I had them and even though it was all coming so fast, it still made sense to her.
So, please continue to pray that I will feel more and more confident about sharing. Because, I feel that so many women (mom's especially) are secretly fighting this same bondage.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Capturing Your Child's Heart

Here are some things I already knew that were reinforced and some new things that I learned at the homeschool convention about capturing the hearts of our children. The speaker was Christie Berry, see more from her at .
- The only person I can change is me. If I don't have their hearts I need to evaluate what I am doing.
- Get involved, do what they want to do and make sure my heart is in it. They will be able to tell if it's not.
- What behaviors do I see in my child that I don't like are behaviors that I have taught them?
- If I am not obedient to the Lord my children will not be obedient to me.
- If we want to encourage them to change, we should court them and encourage them.
- Don' react to their misbehavior, respond to it instead.
- Let our children see us learning from our mistakes and always say we are sorry and admit our faults to them. If we are not real with them, they will not be able to relate to us.
- Pray for them, pray about how to parent them, pray for there future, PRAY, PRAY, PRAY!!!!!!
- For every negative word you say to them, they need 10 positive ones to make up for it.
- It will be easier for God to win their hearts if I have won it first.
- We should work on having their heart before our focus is on education. They will be much easier to educate if they love and respect us because they know that we love and respect them.
I hope this is helpful. Some of it was convicting for me. I will definitely be working more on this now. If we don't win them while they are young it will be much harder to do it later.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Dyslexia (might be a bit controversial)

One of my twins has been diagnosed as dyslexic. She was the 2nd one born and the one who had the most problems in the hospital. They were born at 27 weeks. We began having behavioral problems with her when she was about 3. By about age 4 I knew something was not right. She would not pitch a fit if you told her no or disciplined her, but you could tell her to go get her shoes and it was the end of the world, she would scream for sometimes a couple of hours. So, I began to think that she was frustrated and could not explain to me why. Well, to make a long story short, after a lot of testing and pushing people to help me figure out what was going on, she was finally put into speech therapy with an auditory processing problem. Her speech therapist told me then that she was pretty sure she was dyslexic and at age 7 we had her tested and it was confirmed.
So, we have struggled a lot with reading and math all of these years. Many times I have felt ill equipped to teach her, but thankfully have been reminded often that our state does not recognize it as a learning disability, so the teachers here aren't equipped either.
Anyway, this past Sunday we had one of the Pastor's from our parent church preaching. He preached about God not being the author of confusion. 1 Corinthians 14:33 says "For God is not the author of confusion , He is the God of peace". While we were at church I was applying this to myself. I have lived the last several months in a very confused state about what my beliefs really are. My husband and I have been really searching the word to make sure that we know why we believe what we believe. We have different church backgrounds I grew up baptist, he grew up episciplaean and then became baptist as a teenager and now we are at an inter-denominational church. So, we wanted to make sure our beliefs were based on the truth of the Word and not just what we had been told from the pulpit. That's why I thought the sermon was for me.
Well, I can't tell you exactly when it happened. But, I know the Lord told me I needed to apply that to my daughter and stop calling her dyslexic, because by doing that I am speeking that over her. And He told me that I should start praying to break the spirit of confusion over her.
Okay, here's my disclaimer. I am not saying there is no such thing as dyslexia. I am also not saying that anyone is causing their child to be dyslexic. What I am saying is, this is my personal conviction for my child right now. I am sharing it with you to give a different perspective. Ask the Lord if it is for you. If it is great, if it isn't that's ok, too.
Anyway, I feel now like I need to treat this as if she were sick. I would be crying out to the Lord for her healing and not embracing a diagnosis. Maybe this will really help someone else. I don't know I just know that this is what I felt led to share.
Here is my prayer for her:
Lord, I ask that you will break the spirit of confusion that is over KG, I rebuke the devourer and remind him that he has no place in the mind of my child, for she is Your child first and You will protect her. I pray for clarity for her, that she will see clearly and understand everything that is placed in front of her. That her eyes and ears will be opened to things she has never understood before. I pray for peace in her mind and a calming of her frustrations and I proclaim her the healed of God. Thank you Lord for the cross, Your blood and the healing it offers. Thank You for Your promises. I praise You, Lord and thank You for what You are already doing in her and what You will continue to do. AMEN

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Getting Started Homeschooling

I have talked to several of you lately who are new to homeschooling, and have shared with you all some similar things. I thought it might be helpful if I put it in writing so you could remember and if I gave you some resources as well. (I do not proclaim to be and expert, I can just tell you what has worked and hasn't for us and what I have learned along the way.)
1. Do not let yourself freak out about the first few grades. It will be ok. If you can read and do elementary math and your children respect your authority, then you can teach them. I was reading this morning and came across another of my favorite verses. "for God has not given you a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7. When I read this the Lord reminded my that anxiety is fear. So, remember if you are anxious, stressed or overwhelmed, you are exactly where the enemy wants you.
2. This year do the best you can with what you have and let it be ok. Cover them in prayer and read the Word to them, read lots of good books, get a foundation in phonics and math and you are in good shape. But also spend this year asking the Lord what His vision for your home (and homeschool) is and how you can implement His vision. (This has been the single most freeing thing for me, because I realized that He does not want me to replicate school at home.)
3. Also, try to figure out what your child's/children's learning style is. I recommend doing a search for Learning Styles online. There is also a book that a lot of homeschoolers have used "The Way They Learn by Cynthia Ulrich". Knowing how they best learn will help you better choose a homeschooling method and curriculum that caters to their learning style.
4. Learn about the different homeschooling methods. Try . There are some brief descriptions on here. Read over them and see which ones peak your interest, then do an internet search for just those things. Besides using just textbooks, three really good ones are Charlotte Mason (I am using mostly this this year), Classical method (I'm doing a little of this) and the Unit Study method (We will probably do some of this, too). I think what you will find is that very few homeschoolers will use just one method. Most of us are what are called "eclectic". For instance this year I will be using a couple of workbooks, lot's of Charlotte Mason's philosophy/method and a little Classical and unit study.
5. Learn about what Curriculum is available. The first thing I recommend is visiting and ordering a catalog. Not only do they have some of the best prices, but they also have reviews written about most of what they sell. I don't think I could do without it. Whenever I get a new one I pass my old one along to someone who is new to homeschooling. Visit . She also has a really good book called "100 Top Picks For Homeschool Curriculum". Visit , this site has curriculum reviews and lot's of valuable homeschooling info. Mary Pride also has a good book called "The Big Book of Home Learning". These are all really good resources and you can probably get the books at the Library. I know my library has them.
You don't have to have all of this down right now. Be patient, spend this year in prayer and research, and be peaceful. Once you feel like you know the Lord's vision for your home, you know how they learn, have found a method that you think will go along with those things, then choosing curriculum and scheduling your days will become much easier. Remember each year is better than the last. Your confidence will improve and God will give you lot's of reminders about why he has called you to do this.
I love you all. Email me or call me if you have any more questions. Or you can leave a comment at the end of this blog.
P.S. You should be able to click on the web addresses above and go to each website. I hope this helps.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Life Lessons for a Homeschool Mom

Lots to cover today.
First of all we have been having a hard time with the kids and their chores. They always do them and don't give us attitude, but the quality of their work is not good. We have decided that we really need to work with them on giving their best. So, I told them that we could go swimming today if they got all of their chores done. Well, they did them but it was not good. I decided not to let them go swimming today (which was hard because the pool is only open during the week for one more week). I also sat down and revised their job descriptions (I have these posted in each room). I put on their everything they needed to do and what the room should look like when they are done, then I added a verse to each one. Here are the verses :
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
Galatians 6:9
So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
1 Corinthians 10:31
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.
Colossians 3:23-24
Our people must devote themselves to doing what is good, in order that they may provide for daily necessities and not live unproductive lives.
Titus 3:4
There may have been some better ones to use, but these where what I found. Then I sat them around the table and explained the problem that we have been having, told them what I expect of them and why and let them know what the punishment would be (today it meant no swimming, from now on it will be an added chore). All of this was a bit of a victory for me, because I usually just fuss at them and get frustrated. So, this is something I am trying to work on and I could tell this approach is going to be much more fruitful.

Next topic:
I've learned something that I think is going to make our school year much more fruitful this year. I am naturally a very unorganized person, I just don't know how to do it. So for years I've just accepted that. Well, it finally hit me that I wasn't supposed to accept it but to change it (kind of like we're not supposed to accept our sinful nature). I am beginning this school year with a lot more organization and planning (and more to do still). I have spent the day working on a schedule and a menu. I finally get that I shouldn't let the schedule control me, but guide me. I decided on a menu because I think it will make meals easier, grocery shopping easier and cheaper, and will keep the kids from eating so much junk for snack. I used to make out a supper menu, but somehow got away from that. This is a first for the Breakfast, lunch and snack menu, though, but i really think it's going to be much more helpful.
I think a lot of this organization was spurred on by a good friend giving me a Keepers at Home organizer.
Thanks, BJ!
Last topic (Kind of ties in with the previous one):
I've also decided that we need to simplify (which will make it easier to organize). We need to stay home more, plan a specific day to run errands go to the library, etc. Get rid of lots of stuff and just be more laid back in general.
I learned a couple of years ago that if I am feeling overwhelmed, anxious and stressed then I need to start praying and trying to figure out what I have placed on myself that God didn't give me to do. This has helped so much, and I am determined to have a much more organized, disciplined and simplified year. This always seemed stressful to me, but now I finally get how much freedom and peace it brings.
Thanks to those of you who have poured into me to help me learn these things (BJ and GD), I love you guys!!!!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Cheesy Chicken Recipe

This evening I was going to make chicken casserole. The one I usually make has ritz crackers on top. After I had the chicken and noodles cooking I went to get my crackers and of course the kids have eaten them all. Hence, the birth of a new recipe. Some of the ingredients were in a chicken spaghetti that my cousin made not long ago, so it's kind of a combo of the two recipes, but simplified. Here goes:
Cheesy Chicken Veggie Casserole
1 1/2 - 2 lbs. chicken, boiled, then shredded or diced
1 pkg. wide egg or no-yolk noodles
1 can cream of chicken soup (you can use 98% fat free)
8 oz. sour cream (can use light or fat free)
1 can rotel tomatoes, drained (I used mild)
2 cans mixed vegetables, drained
1/4 block velvetta cheese
8-10 slices american cheese
Prepare your chicken and put your noodles on to boil. In a seperate pot mix soup, sour cream, tomatoes, mixed vegetables and velveeta cheese. Heat until cheese is melted. When noodles are tender, drain and mix with soup and cheese mixture and place in a greased 9x13 baking dish. Bake on 350 for 20-30 minutes, until sauce is somewhat thickened. Place slices of cheese to cover top and put back in oven until cheese is well melted.
That's it, we didn't even add salt and pepper to ours and really didn't take me very long to put it all together. It was a big hit, and it was filling enough that we have enough leftovers for another meal.

Friday, July 20, 2007


Submission. Sometimes that is a tough word for us to swallow. I know it was for me. All I had ever seen and heard most of my life made me feel like it was not anything that i ever wanted any part of. As a matter of fact I went through about 9 1/2 years of marriage doing exactly the opposite. As far as I was concerned, no man would ever tell me what to do and I told my husband that. I tell you, it is by the grace of God that he stayed with me through all of those years.
Well, about 2 1/2 years ago, I went through a major transformation. I went to counseling and dealt with a lot of stuff, but most of all I learned how to have an authentic relationship with the Lord and I learned what submitting really means. There is no way that topic can be completely covered at once. But, I am going to share a few major things that God revealed to me and how it changed my marriage.
1) If I was not submitting to my husband then I was not fully submitting (or trusting the Lord). He called us to be submissive and he didn't give us a lists of requirements. That means it didn't matter if I didn't think that my husband was as "spiritual" as I was, or if he prayed as often as I thought he should. As if it is our responsibility to judge our husbands hearts, or that I'm actually qualified to do that. It amazes me how prideful I was. The fact is that as long as he was not asking me to sin, I was meant to submit to him.
2) God also showed me that I did not marry a man who would want to control me. That, my husband loved me and really wanted the best for me and our children. I may not always agree 100% with his decisions, but sometimes that's because I'm wrong, and other times he wants my opinion so we can make the decision together. We also need to remember that God blesses obedience, and if we are not submitting we are not being obedient.
3) I also was always griping because my husband wasn't being the Spiritual leader. Well, God very boldly told me that he wasn't the leader because there was only room for one and I was filling that role. So, when I stepped out of the way he was actually able to fulfill that role for the first time. You know, I chose every church we ever went to together. When we moved and we had to choose a new church, God showed me that I needed to step back and let my husband do it. I argued with the Lord and was sure that he wouldn't choose the right one. And, again the Lord told me that if I was obedient he would bless it. So, he chose and we are in the best church we have ever been in. All of our children have gotten saved since we've been there and we have all grown so much, have made such good friends and this is the one I would have chosen, but if I had chosen it my husband would have always had a bitter taste in his mouth about it.
4) I always was telling people how passive my husband was and the Lord revealed to me that he had to be passive to keep the peace. I made him that way!
5) The biggest one of all for me was that I needed to be in control of everything. I had been hurt so much that this was my way of protecting myself. The only problem was when you do anything in the flesh you are going to fail. So the best of my plans always managed to fail, and then I would blow up! I was driving down the road one day and the Lord not so gently reminded me that I control nothing. He controls everything. When, I was able to release control to Him and my husband, I gained more peace than I ever thought possible. You know we have had about the craziest year I could have imagined and I've been peaceful through all of it. Before, I would have been distraught and somehow a lot of it would have been my husbands fault.
None of that was an easy pill to swallow, but things were so bad I had to try something different. After all my husband had bent over backwards for me and nothing had improved. So, I knew I had to trust the Lord and His design for marriage. Wow, when I did it changed everything. It opened the door to more spiritual growth for both of us than we have had in almost 12 years of marriage, it has made our home a peaceful place to be and I truly feel like we are back within the will of God and are under his wings of love and protection.
I'm sure i'll share more on this later. I hope it helps, and if you didn't need to hear any of that let it at least serve as a reminder of how awesome our God is and how much bigger and better His plans are than our own.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


You may or may not know that I suffered from terrible anxiety for years and sometimes depression. A couple of years ago I was really about as low as I thought I could go and I sought help through a lady at our church who was about to get her certificate to do family christian counseling.
I learned so much! At the end i felt like I was seeing with new eyes and hearing with new ears. It' so hard to describe how much the Lord changed me. Sometimes I wish more people knew me back then because they would be amazed at what God can do. The anxiety and depression were destroying my marriage and my ability to be a godly mother to my children. Thank you Lord for redemption!!!!
Anyway, through a combination of many things (learning about God's character, how He feels about me, who I am in Him and He is in me, about submitting to my husband [Lots more about that later] and much, much more) my life was absolutely changed.
Well, more and more often God is placing in front of me people who are dealing with the same things. I never really feel equipped to help these people, but I know that God brought me through so much of that so I could minister to people who are dealing with the same things. Mostly I try to share my testimony, instead of telling them what they need to do differently. So please be praying that God will continue to teach me how to minister to people with these issues. Pray that my words will be His!
Oh, and if you are dealing with these things or your just curious about my testimony, please ask me I love to share how Awesome our God is!!!!
I also wanted to recommend some books that really helped me :
Who I Am in Christ by Neil Anderson
Lies Women Believe (& Walking in the Truth, the workbook) by Nancy Leigh DeMoss
Battlefield of the Mind (Devotional) by Joyce Meyer (I'm sure the regular book is really good, too.)
Love Ya'll

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Wooing My Children

I just had a friend over. The purpose was to talk homeschool. We are both using Math U See for the first time this year and she is trying to integrate more literature in their schooling. We talked some about building relationship with our children. Isn't it interesting that we pour all of our time and resources into our children because we love them so much, but we get so busy that we forget to get to know them. I adore my children, but I'm not sure they know that.
God has really been showing me how much work I need to do in that area. My 5 year old so graciously told me the other day that "Daddy is the funnest one". I used to be fun! What happened. I think a lot of things, busyness, strictness, homeschool, etc. Wow, did it somehow become more important to me for my children to be well behaved, than it is for me to hang out with them and love on them. Maybe it did, but it's sure not going to stay that way. Just like any other relationship we have it has to be nurtured. We need to woo our children. I need to be likeable to them and show them all my good qualities, so they will not just love me because I am their mom, but be in love with me.
Lord, teach me to know my children and make myself known to them. Help me to be real with them, so they see who I really am. Help me to be a daily example to them, not just in my words, but even more in my actions. Thank you for conviction Lord, without it these changes may have come to late. Thank you for covering my weaknesses. I love you Lord Jesus and I give all the praise, honor and glory!!!!! Amen