"Behold, children are a heritage frm the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward." Psalm 127:3

I love bringing forth children... and this is my journey in training them for the King

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Recouping with Imagination

Yesterday was apparently too much for this pregnant momma to handle! I baked fresh bread, made a batch of homemade yogurt, cleaned my bathroom, and completed roughly four loads of laundry. I was on my feet most of the day, and even though I put my supportive tennis shoes on, my feet were KILLING me halfway through the day!!

So, today... I'm recouping. No formal school assignments for us. Just basic chores such as dishes and yes, laundry from yesterday. Other than that, we're reading books and playing outside. Speaking of which, my children have been trying to recreate Roxaboxen lately... too cute! I tried to capture some pictures of them in action today *sly grin* (and yes, I participated) :)

Corbin has a restaurant... He's selling Hayden macaroni and cheese (go figure!)

I ordered a cup o' tea :)

Hayden went for apple juice

My tea got stolen... like usual

This is their serving counter?? I believe it was tea, apple juice, and crackers... Yes, everything has been burned. They went digging for treasure. Only theirs was extra crispy instead of desert glass, lol.

 Apparently, Corbin is also grounds keeper. He's airing up the tires on his mower so he can take care of the lawn...

And filling it with gas... ahem, I mean grass :)

Look out! There's been a raid... Corbin (aka Prince Caspian) is wearing his "warrior face"

And Hayden I mean, 'Susan' (The Fierce?) That's a bow, but she's showing it off like a shot gun... LOL!


"Run 'Susan'... 'Caspian' is after you!" (I'm not really sure when they switched from Roxaboxen to Chronicles of Narnia, but it was all happening so fast, I was just trying to capture the pictures. :)

Everyone should read this book to their children! This book is the re-creation of a city that was birthed out of the imaginations of children many years ago. There is a park in Yuma, Arizona you can visit, even today, where Roxaboxen lives on for the generations to enjoy.

*Please note: No children (or Mommies) were harmed in the use of their imaginations today! :)

Monday, February 27, 2012

My Testimony Is Still Being Written...

What a treasure to sit in a living room with sweet, young, moldable hearts and share what God has created as my 'testimony' so far. Rest assured... My testimony is still being written! I feel alive and growing... overflowing with nutrients at this point... being stretched, in a way, as new fruit begins to develop underneath.

I wish I could recount all the wonderful things God poured from my lips last night, but I simply can't remember. Dwight says those are the best times! "You know it was Spirit-led when you can't remember, because it wasn't you speaking at all." (I just adore his encouragement!) :)

I do know, that everything just felt right during that time. I am humbled that after all the messes I've made through the years, He still WANTS to use me to bring others to Him. He is still creating a testimony in me... one that continues to grow and change... gaining more depth of His beauty, grace, tender mercies and compassion for the hearts of His created ones. I am thankful the Lord is redeeming the time I traded in for the world!

Thank you for your prayers... They were felt! :)

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Ministry Opps & House Update

I'm about to head out to share with some 'young women' for a Titus 2 ministry a friend of mine is leading at her church. I'm excited... anxious... (and to borrow from Fox and the Hound 2) as nervous as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rockers! LOL

I thought I was ready, but at the last minute was kind of asked to share about something I hadn't planned. So I asked the Lord this morning to clarify what HE wanted me to share. He gave me a couple other passages that tie in the majority of what I had already felt led to share... so I go prayerfully!

Lord, let me speak only the words You have for these ladies! Let my speech be gracious and seasoned with salt. Set a guard over my lips that I may only speak Your words & not my own. Give me boldness to share Your truth with love and tender mercy...

Please pray with me as I step out in faith for what may be the beginning of ministering to other women. *If you don't know what I'm referring to, see my previous post about the Lord telling me about this ministry opportunity.

On a side note...

We just got a call from our realtor. We have an offer on the house, praise the Lord! We haven't decided if we will accept or counter back. Stay tuned for more updates on closing this chapter of our lives! :)

Friday, February 24, 2012

Guarding the Deposit

You know how when you're pregnant, you're so cautious about what you take in... the things you eat, not drinking too much caffiene, not eating too much salt... or sugar, trying to not inhale second-hand smoke, and so on?

As a Christian, with the Holy Spirit dwelling within us, shouldn't we be the same way? Shouldn't we be just as cautious about the things we allow into our hearts and minds... the things we watch, listen to, the people we allow to speak into our lives, the counsel we seek, etc.?

Now I'm not necessarily speaking about foods. Jesus himself said:

 "Hear and understand: it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person... Do you not see that whatever goes into the mouth passes through the stomach and is expelled? But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a person." - Matthew 15:10, 17-20a
The apostle Paul gives us a guide, or filter if you will, for us to use in determining whether or not something is benefical for us and our walks with Christ.

"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me- practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you." - Philippians 4:8-9
 I like to use this guide for myself and my family. I admit, there are times when something seems to fall through the cracks, but thankfully God extends grace and forgiveness in time of repentance!!

Oh that I would be just as cautious about protecting the Holy Spirit within me as I am about the growing baby in my womb!

"The good person out of the treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks." - Luke 6:45

Thursday, February 23, 2012


I'm reading Seasons of a Mother's Heart by Sally Clarkson right now with some of ladies in the home school group I'm a part of. In this book she corrolates the four different seasons of a year with the different season of life we go through as mothers. I just finished reading the last chapter of the winter section entitled Enduring with Grace. While I thought I was ready to move on to the spring section of this book on the heels of Sally's conference, because my cup is overflowing with excitement about cultivating and nurturing growth in my children's lives, the Lord had a different plan... naturally. :)

This chapter on endurance was exactly what I needed to hear, and what do you know... the perfect timing for it too!... Thank you, Father, that You know what I need better than I do... I would like to highlight some of the wonderful encouragement I gleaned from Sally's book today.

"When strong winds buffet a tree, it develops strong fiber and relies on its deep root system to withstand storms. This is how we develop fortitude, persistence, and the strength of heart that enable us to meet adversity, pain, and persecution... There is no greater challenge, no higher calling than to persist in the things of God."

-William & Nancie Carmichael in Lord Bless My Child

"...if I am doing the will of God by choosing to homeschool my children, then I need to endure. If I throw away my confidence in God- the confidence that he will work in my life and in the lives of my children- then I am throwing away the rewards God wants to give me for doing his will. When I feel like giving up, I may think what I need is divine deliverance, when what I really need is endurance."

"For the Christian, endurance is bearing up under the weight of persecution, difficulties, or suffering. Although that may sound like gutting it out, true biblical endurance is never just a passive or meaningless exercise. It is always forward-looking. It always has in view a desirable end, a worthy goal, or a divine reward. Biblical endurance is active and purposeful."

"I knew deep in my heart that God designed me, as a mother, to be at home with my children. To even think of settling for something else would be to step out of his will. No matter how difficult the homeschooling lifestyle might become, my commitment was to do God's will, not my own. Even though I could selfishly choose an "easier" lifestyle, I would have to disobey God to do so. I know in my heart that God has called me to homeschool and that there is no turning back, no matter what today or the future holds."

"We don't much like the word today, but during the Victorian era "duty" was a valued virtue. To perform one's duty meant that a person did what he was supposed to do because it was the right thing to do, regardless of his feelings or the personal cost associated with that duty... In a sense, endurance is the duty of living by faith. It is doing what I should do, regardless of how I feel or what it costs, because it is what God wants me to do... I don't know exactly what lies ahead of me in this life, or even how my children will turn out, but I know with certainty what my duty is before God. Despite the certainty of difficulties and struggles along the way, I must faithfully endure. If I do, I will find, at the end of this path called life, the God who has faithfully walked with me every step of the way. And then I will see the eternal fruit of my faith."

This chapter for me is more than just a band-aid... it's not even a soothing sauve... rather more like the peroxine you put on a cut before you try to protect it. These words go deep into so many feelings and thoughts I've been struggling with internally. They are, in essence, cleaning out the dirty, ugly thoughts and feelings that began to infest my heart... toward homeschooling... toward my children... toward myself and my inabilities. Sally's transparency and encouragement have helped me to see that my struggles of late have been a buffet of lies Satan has offered me to feast on.

I could really keep quoting her... probably just type out the entire chapter, but I don't want to ruin it for you. You should read it for yourself because the Lord may have something in it just... for... you!

"Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain."
 - 1 Corinthians 15:58

Gentle Reminders

This morning I was sitting with coffee in hand studying the Scriptures, asking the Lord for words to share with a group of ladies this weekend, when my little early-riser appeared next to me. It was barely after 6, and I hadn't even been awake for very long.

As you might imagine, I was a little irritated... at myself for not getting up earlier... and at Corbin for getting up so early. He knows the rule is to stay in bed until his clock says 7:00 specifically so Mommy can have alone time with Jesus.

I was on my way to some 'alone time' (I was going to lock myself in the bathroom), when Corbin peeked out the living room curtains. "Wow, Mommy... Look how beautiful the sunrise is this morning!" he said.

His excited expression and sweet words kept running through my mind while I was in lock-down. I couldn't escape him even in there! Then gently, the Spirit spoke to my heart, "Don't miss out on an opportunity to minister to his heart for the sake of ministering to women you don't even know... Go spend time alone with him!"

So I emerged from lock-down to find him sitting outside the bathroom door waiting for me. I asked him if he'd like to have some coffee, tea, hot chocolate... something to share with me while we sat looking at the sunrise and talking. He decided on his 'usual'... a cup of cold milk with a straw. :)

I am so quick to dismiss my children sometimes... To brush them aside when I'm doing something 'important'. Thankfully the Lord has given me a couple sweet friends who are quick to remind me of the 'Good, Better, Best Rule'.

Not everything we do or choose not to do is so black and white. There are things we do that are not good. Mostly, I think, we strive to do the good things in life. However, often times we settle for the 'good' when we could've chosen the 'better' thing. There are even times when we should pass up both the 'good' and the 'better' to go after the BEST choice.

This morning, this rule fit perfectly to my selfish delima. The 'good' choice was to get up and read my Bible period, even though I was tired. The 'better' choice was to study and pray that God would give me words for the sweet ladies I will be speaking to this weekend... but the 'best' choice was not missing out on an opportunity to first minister to my child's heart-need, which just so happened to fall in the same time frame as my 'time with Jesus'. I realize now that I am spending no less 'time with Jesus' by sharing the Father's beautiful, creative sunrise over a cup of something fabulous with my precious son!

Thank you, Katie and Robin, for being faithful to remind me of this practical rule... and thank you, Holy Spirit, for nudging my heart to follow you this morning. It sure was a great memory to create with Corbin!

This wasn't this morning, but from the other day. All three of them crawled up in my dad's old recliner to watch a movie together. Such a sweet picture! :)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

A Change in Perspective

One of my favorite passages regarding children:

"Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep. 
Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one's youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate." -Psalm 127
This morning I was disgussing this passage with my dear husband, when he gave me a whole new perspective on this beloved Psalm of mine. On the heels of the MomHeart Conference this weekend, and what my friend, Jennifer, spoke about there (and later blogged), he approached this Psalm with a new outlook.

Allow me for a moment to divulge.

The first two verses (the first paragraph above) eludes to the Lord building the family, watching and protecting it. When we, as mothers, have a mentality that we MUST do all these things to keep it running smoothly, we enslave ourselves to a mentality of 'sacrifice'. "Oh this mothering thing is so hard... and I'm not any good at it... I try to keep my house clean, but my children are always coming behind me leaving messes... I try to keep the laundry up, but someone is always changing their outfit... I try to teach my children, but they just don't seem to be getting it!... I don't think I'm cut out to be a great mom..." And so goes all the lies the enemy wants us to believe and wallow in. We have to release ourselves from the bondage this mentality can create. We have to give ourselves grace, knowing we're human. Yes, we strive to live our lives wholly unto the Lord each day... but try as we may, we just won't be perfect... at least not everyday! ;-)

We must renew our thinking and take on the attitude of the last three verses (the second paragraph above). We need to see motherhood as a gift and a blessing... our children are our heritage- enjoy them! We are blessed with a reward we can take to heaven with us. Yes, motherhood is hard work-  no question about it!- but what we work for on a daily basis has ETERNAL value, Ladies!! Let us not labor in vain.

A few notes I took away from Sally on 'opening your child's heart with grace':
  • My job, as a mother, is not just to teach my children the facts of life. Rather it's to light a fire in their hearts!
  • I can't make my children righteous, holy, or godly, but I can show them, by example, what those characteristics look like.
  • I am the Bible my children are reading now.
  • The key to opening my child's heart is a loving relationship.
  • A relationship always requires patience, time, and work.
  • Yes, I will have to correct my children... but do it in love!
  • I have to take time to listen to them when they're little so they will WANT to listen to me when they're older.
  • To be a heartshaping mom, I have to embrace Jesus, and learn to be Jesus in my home.
The truth is, training and teaching my children is going to be a long, drawn-out process. I will probably have to repeat myself more times than I care to. I will have to demonstrate attributes and characteristics over and over again. I will even have to referee arguments, manage to keep my cool when my children act like mere children, and probably even get embarrassed a few times when they say or do something in the company of others that they know they shouldn't.

Just like training a baby to feed himself is messy and watching them learn to walk on their own can cause some pain, preparing my children to stand strong in the midst of battle and weild their sword with great strength and precision will sometimes look messy and be painful... but I might as well enjoy it at each season of their lives! Afterall, someone is going to train them for life whether I do it or not. It just so happens that God thought I was the perfect one for the job! :)

And God blessed you with your children because He thought YOU were the best one for the job, too.

Monday, February 20, 2012

A Change Has Come

Last Thursday I wrote a post titled A Change is Coming! Well, Friday evening the Lord brought about a change. Not the one I was expecting but a welcomed one nonetheless.

Allow me to rewind the story for a moment.

My husband had been called to fast for a period of time we weren't clear on. One of those 'just until I say it's been fulfilled' kind of things. We thought maybe it was until we got an offer on our house... perhaps God wanted sacrificial obedience before He was going to sell it? We didn't honestly know, but I am SO thankful my husband loves Christ enough to be willing to obey in such a capacity... What an example he is to me and our children!

Well, last Monday morning my sweet little Corbin told me that God asked him to fast for three days. I try not to minimize the Lord speaking to my children, but I also wanted to make sure he wasn't saying that just because Daddy was fasting. So Dwight and I talked to him about the purpose of fasting, the sacrifice it would take, and the importance of obedience until completion. He said he understood all of that and he still knew God wanted him to fast for three days. He even said he wasn't supposed to eat any food... just juice and water.

Monday evening, Dwight told me that just the night before he'd prayed for God to send him help... he was growing weary and needed some encouragement. So he believed God spoke to Corbin to bring about that help.

Three days came and went, and Corbin courageously obeyed and completed his fasting period. I was so encouraged by his sweet sacrificial obedience! At five years old, he has already fasted longer than I have in my lifetime. I am ashamed to admit this, but I say it to show just how amazing God is that he can affect the hearts of our children from such a young age if we foster that in them! I am extremely proud of Corbin!! :)

Friday evening, as I was returning to the MomHeart Conference from a dinner break, Dwight text me that he felt like God was releasing him from his fast. He was brought to a place where his perspective about the fast was realigned, and the worry and anxiety about what might happen to the house was lifted. The truth is, there is nothing that can happen to it that will affect our eternal destination if we are simply obeying the Lord's leading. What a freedom that brings to both of us!

For the sake of misrepresenting his revelation and feelings upon receiving it, I have decided, with his permission, to just repost his Facebook status from that evening...

"A while back God called me to do something and walk in obedience not knowing an end. That day has come to an end but not the way I thought it would. Today I felt a release from the burden God asked me to carry but the reason I share this is because of my 5-year old son. Monday morning he came to us and said God asked him to fast from food for 3 days. To our amazement, we explained what it was ...and he confidently said he would...because God told him to. His fast ended Thursday and I am proud to say he was faithfully obedient. But there is more! Today, my burden came to an end. You see, Jesus, the Son of God, was faithfully obedient during His 'burden' He carried and after the 3rd day, He conquered in order to fulfill my release through faith in Him. I was awestruck today with tears as we were praying as a family and God gave me this revelation...Corbin, my son, fasted those 3 days in faithful obedience, so that I could have my release. You see, my son was fasting for ME!!! I have no words to explain my emotions right now except to say I am just captivated, and overwhelmed by love!!"
So, no we haven't sold our house. We don't even have an offer on our house. But what we do have is far greater than that... we have a clear understanding of God's love for us through the sacrifice of His only Son, Jesus... we understand that our house has very little bearing on our walk with Christ... we are reminded, once again, how much bigger God is than our temporary circumstances, yet He has control over it all!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Desperation Doesn't Have to Mean Isolation!

So this weeked I attended my first MomHeart Conference with Sally Clarkson. I had been feeling great anticipation and yet a heavy, heavy burden the entire week leading up to it, but I didn't really quite know why. All I can say is, "Wow!" You should get to one of Sally's Conferences next year! Go with a friend, your sister, your mom, your neighbor, go alone if you need to... just GO!

I also attended the PossibiliTea with Sally on Friday morning. I had no idea what the tea was about until I was on my way there. I just thought it'd be cool to have tea with Sally Clarkson!! (Can you sense the 'star struck' tone in my words?) It wasn't until my sweet friend told me what the purpose of the tea was that I realized God had orchestrated me to be in that place, at that time, to confirm something He placed in my heart a few days before. Well... really several months before, but I had forgotten about those puzzle pieces until the weekend was over. :)

Long story short, God told me a year ago that He wanted me to share a message with other women. Did He say what that message was exactly? Of course not. He wasn't finished revealing it to me yet. But this weekend Sally said something that resonated with my very soul...
"Mothers must prevail again Satan because they need to continue protecting and training the souls of the next generation... We cannot give up!"
You see, John wrote in Revelation chapter 12 that the devil had come down with great wrath because he knew that his time was short. So what did he do to make the best use of his time here on earth?
"And when the dragon saw that he had been thrown down to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child... Then the dragon became furious with the woman and went off to make WAR on the rest of her offspring, on those who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus." (emphasis mine)
Satan knows if he can steal the souls of our children, he can begin taking entire generations away from God's Kingdom hand over foot! He also knows that we, as women, are vulnerable when we are isolated... especially when we don't have like-minded friends to hold us accountable and encourage us to endure the seasons of drought and despair!

Ladies, Mothers: We MUST get together to admonish and encourage one another, we have to lift each other up (sometimes even physically), we have to take each other before the Comforter, Healer, King of all Kings... to the Throne of Grace and plead for Christ, who is able to sympathize with all of our weaknesses, to intercede, on their behalf, to the Father of all creation!!
"Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near." - Hebrews 10:23-25
We MUST "teach what is good and train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled." (Titus 2:3-5)

So I am praying that God will show me what He wants me to do to be obedient without delay. What is His will for my life as a woman, my role as a wife, my calling as a mother RIGHT NOW? Lord, what is the message you have for the women you've placed in my life? What is the message you have for the next generation? How can I reach them and not neglect my own children... because I know they are my top priority? I'm listening God...

Please share with me. What are you struggling with as a woman... as a wife... as a mother? I want to know the heart-needs of the women in my circle of influence. I want to know your burdens. I want to know how to pray for you. I want to encourage you, if you'll let me.


Thursday, February 16, 2012

Change is Coming!

There is so much going on inside my soul right now. I have wanted to sit down and type out several posts about various things lately, but when I do, I just can't seem to find the words. My mind rambles on and my fingers go to work... and then I just delete it all because when I proof it, it just doesn't sound right. Every had that feeling?

Well, know this, friends. The Lord is doing something. There's a breakthrough on the horizon, and while I can't see what it is yet, I know it's coming! I am reminded, just now, of Elijah's servant going back to check for the cloud over Mount Caramel... 7 times... he saw NOTHING until that 7th time. Then he saw a cloud like a man's hand rising out of the sea. The rain was coming just as Elijah said it would... after 3 years of drought.

Rain often symbolizes hard times or a dreary season of life. But what about rain in the Spring? It fosters growth and new life... change is evident with every falling drop. The flowers go into bloom, the grass becomes green and lush after many days of ugly, brownness. I can usually tell when it's coming, too, because I can SMELL it.

Well, change is on the horizon... and I can smell it!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Powerful Video, A Must See!

The other day I shared a guest post over at The Kindle Crew about why Dwight and I have chosen to homeschool our children. I understand that not all people will agree with us, whether we have come to this decision based upon Scriptural conviction or not. However, I wanted to share this little seven minute video with you that I came across this morning. I feel it is the very heartbeat of our desire for our children... to disciple them, and teach them the sanctity of marriage and family in the context of God's plan. We feel completely responsible for making sure our children are fully trained to know and understand the Gospel before we send them out to fight on their own. The war Satan is waging against their soul is very real... and VERY vengeful. His desire is to destroy our children and the generations that follow. Until our childern are fully armed, we will not stand by and watch them be slaughtered by him or his demons. We resolve to fight... with the Word, with prayer, with the help and guidance of the Holy Spirit... trusting the Lord is also fighting with us, if we obey His leading... knowing victory awaits us because of what Jesus accomplished on the cross! Hallelujah!

Please take a few minutes to stop and watch this short video clip. It is an excerpt of Voddie Baucham's speach at the D6 Conference. I promise it will be worth your time! :)

Saturday, February 11, 2012

The 'Good Things' in Life

"If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!" - Matthew 7:11

I have often wondered what those 'good things' consist of. Many might interpret this verse to mean material possessions, but I think it has a deeper, hidden meaning. The Father's thoughts and ways are higher than ours, so we must put on an eternal perspective when considering what He may deem 'good things'.

I think Sally Clarkson is on to something in her book, Ministry of Motherhood! In it, she talks about the gifts we give to our children, as mothers. But how can we possibly give these gifts if we've never received them ourselves? How can we possibly begin to know what grace, inspiration, faith, training, and service are like without experiencing them first-hand?

The gift of grace: Grace leads us to know God and His unconditional love and to extend it to others.

The gift of inspiration: Inspiration leads us to follow God's purposes.

The gift of faith: Faith leads us to stake our lives on God's truth as revealed in His Word.

The gift of training: Training leads us to share in God's holy character.

The gift of service: Service leads us to share God's love with the world.

I believe these five gifts are just a portion of the 'good things' the Father will give to those of us who ask Him. Once we have sought Him, asked Him, searched His Word, and waited faithfully for Him to give us these things, we can then give them to our children. Once we receive and experience them, we MUST show our children, by our example, what these gifts look like. And what a wonderful set of gifts to give the generations that follow us! It's a legacy of eternal value, promising reward, and victory over the enemy's schemes to steal our children and our children's children... the ones not yet born.

As we receive 'good gifts' from the Father, let us freely give them to the sweet blessings entrusted to us by the Giver of ALL good things...

Friday, February 10, 2012

Why We Choose To Homeschool...

Today I am guesting posting over at The Kindle Crew about why Dwight & I chose to educate our children at home. So, if you've ever wondered why we continually choose to do what we do... go on over and check it out! My sweet friend, Jennifer, is doing a series of posts from fellow homeschooling moms in hopes of answering some of the many questions others ask. If you find yourself with many questions, whether they are why someone would homeschool, where you find curriculum, how you get started, homeschooling multiple ages or even more advanced ages, stay tuned to The Kindle Crew and you may just gain some insight.

One Week To Go...

At this time next Friday, I'll be in the car on my way to have tea with Sally Clarkson! I am SUPER excited as I ponder the things God wants to say to me at the Mom Heart Conference next weekend... the friends I will meet... the friends I already know, but want to know more deeply... being completely surrounded by women created in the same image I was with similar desires for their children and family.

Call it... camaraderie... fellowship... encouragement... refreshement... renewal... I don't really care what you call it. I'm looking forward to it! :)

On a side note, I'm praising the Lord for the amount of women that are being refreshed by Sally's ministry! I learned yesterday that they reserved 420 rooms at the hotel for the conference, and all of them have been reserved already!! Mind blowing...

It's not too late to go! You can register at the door if you want. They have reserved 50 extra rooms at the Wyndham across the street. So if you're thinking about attending... don't wait! I have a feeling you won't be disappointed.

I am BURSTING with anticipation! :)

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

'Come to Me'

I just wanted to share the lyrics to a song that has been, to me, a soothing salve of sorts at times lately. There are times in our walks when we become weary from the spiritual battles we fight... broken by the world around us, or when the Lord brings us to a new level of understanding of Him... burdened for the lost or the constant training of our children. Let's face it, friends, Jesus warned us this journey wouldn't be easy. But, in Christ, we certainly have reason to rejoice!

Come to me, you weary one.
And I will give you rest, I will give you rest.
Come to me, you weary one.
And I will give you rest, I will give you rest.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
Take me upon you. I will give you rest.

Come to me, you broken one.
And I will give you peace, I will give you peace.
Come to me, you broken one.
And I will give you peace, I will give you peace.
I will calm your waters, and I will whisper,
"Peace be still."
Take me upon you. I will give you peace.

Come to me, you burdened one.
And I will give you joy, I will give you joy.
Find More lyrics at www.sweetslyrics.com
Come to me, you burdened one.
And I will give you joy, I will give you joy.
You will rise like eagles, and my joy shall
be your strength.
Take me upon you. I will give you joy.

Come to me (x3)
I have been waiting for you here.
He has been waiting for you here.
Come. Come to Him.
Come and find your peace.
Come and find your rest.
Come and find your joy.
He is waiting here for you.
He is waiting here for you with open arms.
To hold you, to embrace your heart, to love you.
He is waiting here (x2)

"For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need."
-Hebrews 4:15-16

"Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial that comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share in Christ's sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed."
-1 Peter 4:12-13

If you find yourself in one of these places today, seek the One who truly comforts! He is waiting for you...

*Song is 'Come to Me' by Kari Jobe

Monday, February 6, 2012

Life-giving Memories

Well, I'm off to see my midwife today for the first time with this pregnancy. I'm excited to hear the beating heart of this life growing inside! We will all be going as a family... which I LOVE. :)

Tina delivered both Hayden and Elijah, but when we reminded the children last night that we were going to see her this morning, Corbin was the only one who remembered her. Wanting to make them a little more comfortable with her before hand, we got out the slideshow of Elijah's birth and played it. It's a twenty-minute DVD of pictures my sister-in-law, Melissa, took during the labor and delivery which she then put to the same music that was playing that evening. Needless to say, I LOVE this DVD! I love the memories it brings back... the reminder of my weakness but God's strength... the reminder of how quickly the pain and anguish cease when I finally hold that tiny baby in my arms... the joy in my heart (and on my face) when they said, "It's a boy!" Corbin was so thrilled to see the picture of himself and Daddy cutting Elijah's umbilical cord. *grin* Seeing those pictures helps me remember the people who were there to pray over me and support me... the conversations we had... the times when they held my hands (or arms) just to show they were sympathetic to me.

My children laughed and giggled at how much different they look now and how much they've grown... Hayden belly-lauged when she saw herself laying next to me in the bed with her shirt up showing off her 'baby' like Mommy was... they laughed at how big Mommy's belly was... how tiny Elijah was... they laughed at Mommy wearing Daddy's t-shirts and standing around in her panties, Lol!

Oh how I relish the memories of life and being able to have my children share in those same memories because they were there with me, to cheer me on. I am ALWAYS amazed at the beauty of God's creation, His imagination in making multiple children from the same two people and yet they are all so very different! Simply a miracle! It's the only word I can use right now to describe the creation, growth, nurture, and birth of chilren. Blessing for me would be a very close second! :)

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Life or Death... What Do Your Words Bring?

I don't want to sound like I'm bragging, (reality is: There's no reason to boast about myself), but (by God's grace) I've been doing much better lately at not yelling at my children... until today! Is it ok to have just 'one of those days'? I mean, we can be justified at yelling and losing our tempers with our children a couple days a month, right? It's bound to happen because we're human, and children can be persistant, blah, blah, blah... right?

And can this possibly have any corrolation to us talking about anger and the power of our tongues today for church? Of course not! *laughing out loud as I look toward the ceiling*

Oh Lord, You always have the perfect message for me at just the right time... *humbled*

This morning after worship, my husband shared this picture with us. He came across it this week on Facebook. Talk about a slap in my face!

I couldn't get this little boy's face out of my head... I have seen this face before on my own children from time to time. With a humble and broken heart I went to e-sword to look up verses for 'tongue'... there were 102! I guess the Lord has much to say about our tongues!! Here are just a few that stuck out to me. I share these not to bring guilt or condemnation to anyone! God has humbled me today, and His Word is exhorting me to be "quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger."

"Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things... and the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell... but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so."
-James 3:4-10

"There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing."
-Proverbs 12:18

"A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit."
-Proverbs 15:4

"Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits."
-Proverbs 18:21

"She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue."
-Proverbs 31:26

I didn't notice the chapter that last one came from until after the fact... It is one of the ones describing the woman who fears the Lord... ouch!

While I am exceedingly thankful that the Lord's mercies are new for me every morning, I don't want to go about my role as Mommy thinking and feeling justified every time I lash out at my children. I want to strive to be the best example of Christ to them as I possibly can! Now, I don't believe this means I don't ever correct or discipline them... absolutely not! That's my responsibility. How I correct and discipline them is more or less what I'm referring to.

I ask you to pray for me to have strength and endurance as I seek to be constantly aware of my words before they pass my lips. While you're at it, why don't you pray for all the moms you know... we could all use an extra dose of the Holy Spirit's power and leading as we teach and train our children! :)

Heart check: Are you quick to hear? Slow to speak? Slow to anger? (James 1:19)

Easiest & Best Homemade Alfredo Sauce

I LOVE pasta! Yes, I am fully aware that alfredo sauce is probably one of the worst things you can eat, but it's delicious... and my children love it too. If you eat it sporatically, I don't believe it'll kill you. At least that's what I tell myself. Lol!

We don't have chicken alfredo very often, but when I make it, I typically use a jar of store-bought sauce. I didn't have any on hand, but last night I was really wanting this dish! So I got online and googled 'homemade alfredo sauce'. I found this recipe on cooks.com, and I believe it completely lived up to its name. :)

All you need is:

1/2 c butter (1 stick)
1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese
1 c half and half
1/3 c Parmesan cheese
1 Tbsp. garlic power (optional)
pepper, to taste

1. In a medium saucepan, melt butter on med to low heat.
2. Once butter is almost melted, add the cream cheese (cut it into 4 pieces so it melts faster).
3. When the butter and cream cheese are melted, whisk together well. Then add the other ingredients, beginning with the half and half. Continue whisking until all ingredients are mixed well.
4. When it is thoroughly mixed and saucelike, remove it from burner and allow to thicken up. Stir every few moments.
5. DONE! Pour over your favorite pasta.

I'm not that picky about my alfredo sauce, but my mom is... and she said it was the best alfredo sauce she's ever had! The children devoured it, so I guess they approved too. :)

I think garlic bread with pasta is a must, but I didn't have any on hand. So I used some leftover hotdog buns and split them apart. I melted some butter, added garlic power, and lathered those babies up. Then I sprinkled a few with parsley flakes. They toasted nicely in the toaster oven!

In case you're salivating now, feel free to give this meal a try. It only took about 30 minutes start to finish!

I always enjoy trying new, quick meals. If you have some favorites, feel free to share them with me! I'd love to add some new recipes to my repertoire!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

'Out of The Mouth of Babes...'

Sometimes I like to sit and watch my children worship. Of course, it blesses my socks off! Then the enemy creeps in and says, "You know it's not really genuine. They are merely mimicking what they have seen you or Dwight do."

I know I should take these thoughts captive immediately to the obedience of Christ, but there has always been a part of me that really did wonder whether those thoughts were really mine... maybe even from God.

Until this morning that is...

I was spending time in the Word this morning. I'm reading through Matthew right now. In chapter twenty-one, Jesus is making His triumphal entry into Jerusalem. The people are lining the streets ahead and behind him, some waving palm branches, and they are shouting, "Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!"

Then Jesus went to clear the temple of the money-changers and those who were misusing it for their own personal gain. There he also healed the lame and the blind. And what was going on at the same time? The children were crying out, "Hosanna to the Son of David!" You see, they were merely repeating what they had heard others saying as Jesus was entering the city. Their praise further angered the chief priests and the scribes! When they questioned Jesus about it, He simply rebuked them with Scripture...

"Out of the mouth of infants and nursing babies you have prepared praise."

I believe the Lord was confirming to me that, regardless if my children are merely acting and singing as they have witnessed, He considers it praise. Oh, I am SO thankful He does, too! They only know what they have been taught... and they are innocent as doves as they raise their little hands to the Lord and sing as loud as they can "I'll never know how much it cost to see my sin upon that cross!" *smiles and tears*

Thank you, Father, for once again using my children to speak to my heart...

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Lessons from Genesis

Ok, so this is super cool to me...

Corbin and I are going over the creation of the world in Genesis so I've been studying the word meanings of certain words to use as vocabulary lessons for him to gain a better understanding of the passages. We are going to be reading about the things created on day 3 (plants, trees, etc.), so I was reading through it last night and stopped with the terminology 'yielding seed' and 'bearing fruit'... to me they seem like they might mean the same thing, so why the use of different words?

Here's what I found. The word for 'yielding' and 'bearing' seem similar but their difference is much like the difference between sowing seed and reaping the harvest. However, in both instances, the words used for what they are 'sowing' or 'reaping' means almost the same thing... in the short of it- children or offspring.

The original Hebrew word for seed is 'zera' and means offspring, children, descendants, of moral quality.
The original Hebrew word for fruit is 'periy' and means fruit, offspring, children, progeny (of the womb), fruit (of actions).

Also interesting to note that when God created the plants and trees, He made them fully grown and already fulfilling their purpose. There isn't an indication of any kind of time lapse between their creation and when they produced seed/fruit.

I can't help but wonder two things from this observation.

First and foremost, if this was His design for the plants, how much more does He delight when His most prized creation produces fruit... of course, children, but also (as Christians) when we sow seeds of 'moral quality' or bear fruit by our actions?

Secondly, does he desire for these things to take place promptly after either marriage consummation or conversion to becoming a believer?

Now, don't misunderstand me, I know children will come in His own timing, but my point is that maybe we shouldn't be desiring to 'wait until we've had time to ourselves for a while'. Rather, give our children's timing into this world completely up to Him from the very beginning of our union. And as far as becoming a new follower of Christ, sometimes it takes time to be discipled, but we shouldn't wait until we have full knowledge of the Word, etc. to be sowing seeds of moral, Godly quality.

Some may feel this is a stretch of the Word to fit any agenda I may have, but there's no denying the original word meanings. Personally I find it fascinating! One thing's for certain... God LOVES reproduction!!! :)