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Monday, May 25, 2009

Well...

We have been out of school for a week. Yes. Our little private school decided to let out while it was still cold outside for summer. Does anyone know why? Me either.

So we have had one solid week of sleeping in past o-dark-thirty and we have had a few days of just hanging out. Not being on a schedule has been nice. However...

So far I have heard 376 questions about what we are doing next, 147 requests to be on the computer, 789 requests to watch tv and 1,989 requests for more food and 25 questions about why the other kids in our neighborhood are still catching the bus.

Oh. My. Word. I may not live.

I have to say. I have also cleaned out closets and drawers, worked in the yard and made returns of items that have ridden around in my car for ever because I have not had time to stop due to working (some) teaching Bible study and running my little darling hither and yon.

We have had lots of quality time together. We have read books, done some math and reading exercises and we've been to lunch. We have been to dinner with friends, to church activities and we have done puzzles in the playroom... after we sorted the 5 different puzzles that she mixed on the table in the playroom causing it to be very difficult for her to understand why the pieces weren't fitting. Yep. Quality.

We have also had some smart mouthed, eye rollin', spankin' earnin' disobedience that my husband calls "sinning against God in all manner of ways!" (He sounds like Andy Griffith when he talks like that).

One day we just kept saying..."Keep it up. You are working towards a spankin!" Until the next morning when she got up and (while lying on the floor in her Sunday dress mind you) started spoutin' off ... "WHERE'S MY BREAKFAST!?" Oh girlfriend!! Bless her heart... it's all I am gonna say.

Ah yes. Summer time. 15 weeks of it. We have had 7 days off and 5 of the 7 have been rainy days. LORD PLEASE HAVE MERCY ON ME!
Sunday, May 17, 2009

When LIfe Gets Hard

Sometimes I would like to just run away and HIDE!
Wouldn't you?

Sometimes when there are a million things to do, the house is a mess and your family is in disarray it is truly overwhelming and makes me think..."wonder where I could HIDE so no one will find me? Wouldn't it be nice to just disappear for a few days?"

Unfortunately, it's not always an option to just check out. No matter how hard life gets and no matter how much I would like to RUN as hard as I can in another direction that isn't what God has called me to. AND while vacations are fun and relaxing they do come to an end and reality is still back at home waiting for me.

Well, I have figured it out. I have to hide in the shadows.





The people of Israel were being defiant against Jesus. They were unsettled and in turmoil about Him. They were killing Christians and not living the way that God desired for them to live. Jesus said, "how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! Look, your house is left to you desolate." Luke 13:34b-35a

Perhaps I do not live in TOTAL defiance against Jesus. I am still a sinner.
Perhaps I do not kill other Christians. I do not always live the way that God desires for me to live.

BUT I do know this. To be gathered under His wings of protection and love is where I want to WILLINGLY go!
I know that I am going to mess up. It's true that sometimes when I am overwhelmed it's because I have over scheduled myself and it's my own fault. It's not fair to take it out on my husband or my daughter when my house is a wreck when I know that I have not made the time to do my job! (Yes, it's their job to help, but ultimately my role is to care for my home... and I WANT to!)

And I know it is true that others bring stresses into my life. Others are not going to always accomodate me and make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. I am not always going to agree with everyone and that can be unsettling sometimes. I can't run from it... it's not in my nature to just allow things to go unsaid or feelings to just hurt when something can be resolved. And yet those situations truly make me WANT to just run and hide.





I want to be a little girl that runs and hides in the shadows of her Daddy's legs and find comfort for a while. I want Him to whisper that He's still in control and that I need not worry because He's taking care of me. I want Him to say "that old world is defeated so you just don't worry my darling child." I am learning to run to Him and rest at His feet. And I can hear those words if I take the time to open HIS!


Psalm 17:8 "Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings."


Psalm 16:1 "Keep me safe, O God, for in you I take refuge."


Psalm 16:8 "I have set the Lord always before me. Because He is at my right hand I will not be shaken."



It would be so nice to disappear for a while, but what beauty He brings when we rest beneath Him. Watching Him work. Waiting on Him and trusting His promises. It's not easy to rest sometimes. It's not easy to wait. It's not easy to stay calm in the trials that come our way. But I know that He loves me. And I know that He's working. And I love my Daddy.

Psalm 51:10 "Create in me a pure heart O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me."


Thursday, May 7, 2009

Here's What I Want to Say

I love Jesus. I love Him and I want to live for Him and be changed by Him every day of my life. I do not want to be changed just one time and then let that be my only encounter. I want to encounter Him every day.. ok.. every minute of every day.. for the rest of my life.

I want to know His love. I want to know His freedom. I want to know His forgiveness.

I want to know Him.

I do not want to be satisfied with who I am and I do not want to be complacent to live like I have this life figured out. I do not.

His willingness to even look my way amazes me. Why He would want to spend time with me or fighting for me is too much to get my mind around.

How can He be so patient? How can He show so much grace when I mess up so many times? How does He love me like this?

How can He take His Word and use it to transform my mind and heart into something that I no longer recognize? And then when I forget His word... when I struggle to spend time with Him... when I treat His promises with flippant attitudes and lack of respect He STILL chooses to have mercy on me and meet with me when I decide to come back.

How?

I want to be more like Him.

I want to have such love for others that they may not understand.

I want to have peace that calms every part of anxiousness within me.

I want to have joy... joy that is deeply rooted in who I am and not in my circumstances.

I want to extend grace and patience when it seems that there is none left within me.

I long to be kind. Not just kind to strangers, but kind to my family and kind to those who are not use to someone being kind to them.

I need to be gentle. Gentle with others. Gentle with my husband. Gentle with my child. Gentle without an ounce of judgment.

I want more of Him and less of me. I am tired of me. I am tired of my foolish choices and my lack of control and my restless heart. I am tired of the attitude and the thoughts of being better than someone else. HOW am I better than ANYone? I am not.

I remember when I told the Lord that it was me and Him. I was alone with no family around and no friends to speak of. It was sweet fellowship. A sweet time of total dependence on Him and Him alone. I want that again. No, I don't want to do away with my friends and family, but I WANT that total dependence again.  I want that full abandon, total dependence, total trust, total ME AND JESUS time to come back and be a normal part of who I am. Not a season. A LIFETIME of me and Jesus.

People are people. They try, but they are human. Circumstances are ever fickle and uncertain.

Only Jesus is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. I can not continue to live thinking that any person or any circumstance will fill me. They will not. They cannot and it's unfair to expect them to.

Only Jesus. He is the only one that protects, loves, forgives and holds all things together perfectly. I want to know Him more and more everyday. I do not want to stop this pursuit of Him. Ever. Not ever.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Summer Reading For Kids

Here's a summer reading idea that I hope will keep our kiddos motivated and not quite so bored this summer. It seems pretty effective in keeping them reading and they are less likely to get off task when there is a big motivator as a reward... like... a movie with mom!

Once we get out of school and are off of our schedule it is sometimes hard to get motivated to read. OR days just go by and we swim, go to the park, sleep late, etc. and we don't keep up on our reading. In our situation (where school is already a challenge) that is REALLY not a good thing! SO... I need a plan.

SO we are going to come up with a plan before school is even out and this is how it will go...

One thing we will  do is start with what my sweet and precious cherub already has horded up her room. OR we will start in our  DVD stash and work it the other way.

We will go through our books and movies and come up with the ones that have a match... either a coordinating book or movie. That does not make sense... let me show you.

Forgive the fuzzy picture, but it will help me explain my point!

For example, this year for Christmas my mom gave Caroline this in DVD:

MV5BMTI3NDA3ODE0N15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNjE0MzU1MQ@@__V1__SX99_SY140_

I plan to schedule a weekly trip to the library where I will find the book (FREE!) and read it with Caroline. Then we will head back home and watch the movie together (while munching on popcorn!) and then we will probably write a short paragraph about the book and the movie.

Another idea (that will take a little longer) is to find a book that is a little more challenging (last summer we read Charlotte's Web in chapter book form) and then use the movie as a reward. We talked about the details in the movie that we remembered in the book and we wrote about our favorite part of the story.

You can also go online where they sometimes have activity pages that go along with the books that you read. HOW cool is that?

Sometimes you may have the opportunity to go see it in the theater. Anytime a kids movie comes out check to see if there is a coordinating book. Challenge your kid to read the book before you go and look for similarities or differences. It will help with critical thinking, checking for details, and problem solving!! (and it will give them a goal of finishing a book before the reward of a movie day!)

Checking the library for movies to rent is another great way to find topics that might interest kids. Then look for the book while you are there and PRESTO! You have a reading project right before your eyes... and it is free!!

Disney movies will probably be the best source for us to find both the book and the movie! We have yet to see Lady and the Tramp and other classic stories on the big screen!! We've read them, but not seen them.

Kids learn in so many ways. Movie time does not need to be every day, but you can definitely incorporate it into your educational journey and it keeps kids reading along the way! Keep a list of all of the books you read and set a goal! Reward your kid for working on their skills during the summer months and keep them reading!!!