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Mama the Conqueror

romans-8-37 Romans 8:35-39 “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” “Mom, since you and dad are getting divorced, does that  mean when we grow up and get married we will get divorced too?” My ten year old rarely asks questions about the fact that his father and I are separated. However, his innocent, and slightly fearful question, shows much going on beneath the surface. “No. It does not necessarily mean that. Your Gran and Papa and your Maw Maw and Paw Paw have all been married more than 30 years. Every couple is different. But you know what? Even if you do grow up and get divorced, you will be okay. If you are a child of God you will always be okay.” Mothers are we teaching our children that they will be okay? Are you teaching them that within the hand of a Holy, all powerful God “all things work together for good?” Or are we instilling in them a sense of dread and fear in hopes that if they are careful enough they will walk a straight line that will not bring us shame? Our children need to know that life is messy, even for Christians. There is no magic wand or secret formula that is going to give them “happily ever after.” They will be happy, joyful and content when they trust their life to their Father, circumstances have nothing to do with. The peace of God has nothing to do with our circumstances. Children who grow up in fear become adults which base their choices on fear and outward appearance. Do I want my children to find wonderful spouses with whom they can spend a lifetime? Absolutely. They have many great examples of couples who stay together and thrive. But I want them to know that if that does not happen they will be just fine. If they never marry, then can be joyful Christians. If their spouse dies, they can be joyful Christians, if they get divorced they can be joyful Christians. If they have a houseful of babies they can be joyful Christians, if they have no children they can be joyful Christians. If God gives them a sick and crippled baby they can be joyful Christians. If they are rich they can be joyful Christians, if they are poor they can be joyful Christians. “Live today in such a way that your children know we will all be okay”

I love, love, love how beautifully The Gypsy Housewife has captured the essence of motherhood as she describes why she loves being a mommy, so I thought I’d share with all of you!

thegypsyhousewife

Fellow homeschool Mom blogger over at http://www.mommymeditations.wordpress.com has been so kind as to give me a nomination for the Beautiful Mama Blog Award.  I really appreciate that. Motherhood is beautiful and I love when women are able to give each other that affirmation. Every mama is beautiful……..I’m taking Blue-eyes word on that. A new baby in the womb or in arms makes every woman beautiful.Image

So….three things I love about being a mother. I’ve been thinking about that this morning and it’s hard to narrow it down to three things. But if I must then here goes.

1. I love how babies are made, no seriously, I love that a young maiden marries a young man, full of potential,  hopes and aspirations for his family. For HIS family, the one thing that will tell the world who he really can be. With nervous hands and a humble heart he sets out to…

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Beautiful Mom Blog Award

beautiful-mama-blog-award1I was nominated this week for a Beautiful Mom Blog award by Ms. Victoria at Homaking with Heart. Victoria has a great blog with lot of info on mothering, healthy eating (which I really need to read ) and homeschool ideas which have already been a blessing to me as I ordered my Apologia Science just yesterday!!! Please check out her lovely sight at  www.homemakingwithheart.com

Now as part of this I get to share three things I love about mothering.

1. I love morning cuddles. My children have inherited my “morning moping syndrom” which means we get up, but only to migrate into the living room and sit all on top of each other for a while before we are actually able to get going. And perhaps super scheduled homeschoolers might see this as laziness (cause it will still take us another hour to eat breakfast, get dressed and do our chores) we NEED this morning cuddling. It is getting harder as the boys get bigger (and heavier), but even my eight year old stumbles into the living room in the morning, all sleepy in his pjs with his arms open saying, “Mommy, hold me!” I will miss this alot when they are gone so the schedulers can just hush.

2. I LOVE listening to my children read to me! Only my two oldest can read yet, but it makes me sooooo happy to listen to them and think…”Oh, wow! I taught them how to that. I taught them how to do this miraculous thing that will make such a difference in their lives.

3. I love it when my children sense I am sad or upset and start  making up little songs to cheer me up and (my absolute favorite) making up hilarious dances to make me laugh. Usually as they are dancing crazily around they will ask, “Is this making you wanna laugh? This is gonna make  you laugh!” They are so entertaining, and really are my best little buddies.

Now, my nominations for The Beautiful Mom Blog award are:

The Gypsy Housewife over at www.thegypsyhousewife.wordpress.com A really cool lady who is keeping it real and natural with her seven babies!!!

Cristina at www.thehomeschoolmomblog.wordpress.com Tons of good info here on homeschooling and mommyhood

And I save the best for last:

Tiffani at www.tiffibug.blogspot.com My “real life” friend for life. We have literally been friends for…..well after a certain age counting years just makes you feel old, so lets just say a LONG time. Beautiful lady, amazing mother, awsome crafter!

Please check out these lovely ladies, and have a wonderful day in the Lord!

Absolutely had to reblog this great article by J.D. Blom. This is a topic I’ve wanted to write about for a while, but he nailed it so well, I’ve decided to just share this great devotional author’s take on the subject. If you enjoy this devotion. please check out his blog A Devoted Life http://www.boyslumber.wordpress.com

A DEVOTED LIFE

“The vexation of a fool is known at once, but the prudent ignores an insult.”  Proverbs 12:16

“You are going to have to grow some thicker skin.”

That is a saying that I have made to younger, discouraged, engineers on many occasions.  It was a statement that was made to me.  We usually receive this bit of wisdom after someone in our office has experienced a particularly harsh exposure to the public, delivered the bad news to a short-tempered contractor, or had to eat the fruit of a client’s bad day.

Unfortunately, rude and insulting people are not limited to the work environment.  The world seems to have an endless supply of rude and insulting people.  They are in stores, restaurants, automobiles, sporting venues, the internet, family trees, and the Church.  We have all clashed with that person.  If you have not, then you might be that person, which is…

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Books for Our Spirit

It is common knowledge to those who know me that I am a book worm. Unashamedly! In my younger days I thought reading period was virtuous, that there was not a better pass time and it didn’t matter what you were reading as long as you were reading. As a result I was not very discerning in some of the material I exposed myself to. As I’ve gotten older, though, I’ve come to understand how very influential the written word can be on our spirits. This works both positively and negatively. Obviously the word of God is the most influential of texts, but there is much to be said for other spiritual books that can help shed light on our Christian/human experince. I am a firm believer that good spiritual books and biographies of spiritual leaders should definitely be a part of our quiet devotion each day (secondary to the scriptures of course). So every so often I will be reviewing such a book here to share with you little literary treasures that have helped me on my spiritual journey and that could perhaps also be a blessing to you.

untitled Today’s book is probably one of the first spiritual books I ever read as a young lady. My mother purchased it for me when I was 18 years old and I’ve lost count how many times I’ve read it. “Stepping Heavenward” was written by Elizabeth Prentiss, a great Christian author of the 19th century. It’s a lovely, old fashioned book. It is fictional but heavily based on the author’s own experinces as a young woman, wife and mother. Written as journal entires spanning a woman’s life from her young unmarried days, through the early years of her marriage and even down the dark path of losing a child and growing older. It is more than just a diary though, it is a documentation of her spiritual journey through the years, and how the Lord changes us over time into more beautiful creatures. It is one of those books that every time you read it you will learn something new, and see yet more and more you can relate to. Definitely one of my favorites. This is a lovely book to read and meditate on during your quiet time with the Lord.

Homeschool Myths VS. Homeschool Realities

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We had our monthly homeschool meeting last night and this month instead of our children making presentations on topics, the parents were asked to present helpful tips and things they had learned through homeschooling. Well, soon as I heard what the topic was going to be I decided I would NOT be making a presentation. My reason,was that this has been an awful school year for me/us and frankly I do not feel like I’m in any position to share much of anything! Espcially when you consider that our church is full of some very seasoned, gifted homeschool parents. What could I possibly say to help any of them? But then Tracy (who was heading up this month’s meeting) called and said, “So what are you presenting?” I told her nothing and explained why. And then she flipped my reasoning on me (much like her father, my pastor of 25 years, often does). “Well, then you should share something about being discouraged.” Hmm, I had no argument for that. So I began reflecting on why this had been such a discouraging school year for me.  Lord began to shed His light on my frustration and confusion. He is always faithful to do this when we sincerely inquire. He showed me that my frustration is a result of His removing certain fantasies I had about homeschooling and replacing them with cold, hard reality. When God begins to remove our fantasies and replaces it with reality it’s called “disillusionment”- to lose your illusions. This is a very unpleasant, painful and humbling process, but very necessary if we are to ever reach a higher level of maturity and spirituality. I  know my God is faithful to lead me back out of any tough spot He has led me into so I keep getting up every day and keep homeschooling my children even though right now I don’t feel I am at the peak of anything.  I did decide to jot down and share with my homeschool group some of the fantasies or myths that God was trying to replace with reality for me right now. Please know, I in no way think ALL homeschoolers believe these silly, prideful things that I once believed. These are my own personal myths!

Myth- Homeschooling will make me a better parent than the average parent.

Reality- Somedays I’m still an awful parent.

Myth- Homeschooling will my kids better than the average kids.

Reality- Somedays my kids are still awful kids.

Myth- We will always stick to a carefully planned routine in which all of our chores, goals and lessons are accomplished everyday.

Reality- Somedays we don’t get started till noon and somedays we are still in our pajamas.

Myth- I am intelligent and capable enough to juggle homeschooling, housework, church activities, kids activities, husband’s activities, meal planning, grocery shopping, cooking, laundry, my own personal fitness and my own hobbies each week.

Reality- I can usually only manage to hit three or four out of that list each week and even those are exhausting.

Myth- If I very carefully choose my curriculm and teach it right my kids will be  more intelligent and advanced than everyone else’s.

Reality- Each child learns at a different pace and in a different way. It’s not about intelligence it’s about development as a human being.

Myth- If I’m a good homeschooler my kids will love doing school everyday.

Reality- Most kids (espcially boys) do not like structured, indoor activities of anykind. This is the nature of children not a reflection on me as a homeschooler.

Myth- If I homechool my children will have better relationships with each other than the average siblings.

Reality- Some days I am certain my children are going to murder each other and there will be a cheap tv movie made about us called “Homeschool Horrors in Georgia.”

Myth- We will spend the chilly, rainy, winter months doing fun crafts, working ahead in our lessons, drinking hot cocoa and reading children’s classics aloud.

Reality- The months of Nov-Mar are very depressing to me. I can barely mope my way through half a days lessons before I’m ready to call it quits and make everyone take a nap.

Myth- If you are very organized, and run a well disciplined home, and buy just the right books, and do everything just perfect homeschooling will be a breeze!

Reality- Homeschooling is hard no matter what! Most of the rewards will not be realized until years down the road, and even then some of our children will not appreciate what we’ve done for them. Some of our children may even resent us for choosing this lifestyle for them. But we must hope that they will see the value in what we’ve given them and what we’ve spared them from. We must hope, because without hope we will be “of all  men most miserable.”

The only thing I am certain about in homeschooling right now, is this: IT IS THE PERFECT WILL GOD FOR ME TO BE DOING THIS FOR MY CHILDREN RIGHT NOW! Even in my stumbling, imperfect way I am in the will of God and there is much joy to be had in that!