Trials……

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Before we moved, I heard our dear pastor say more than once, “You are either going through a trial, coming out of a trial, or getting ready to go through a trial”.   Over the year that I heard him say that, life was good.  Not perfect, but it was good.  The last three months, however, I have come to appreciate and really understand what he was saying.  Trials……….they come in so many forms.  Health, financial, spiritual, family………..just to name a few.  What the trial IS, is not really important.  The important thing is how do you deal with it.  I believe that even in a trial, you should have peace.  If you do not, you are not on the right path.  When we submit to God, our lives, our fears, our worries, when we give it ALL to him, we will have peace.  I KNOW this.  I UNDERSTAND this.  And yet, I fight this.

Yes, I have been in the midst of a few trials during the past few months.  I have been researching and spending hours on the computer.  I have neglected my family by trying to solve one trial on my own and thus creating even more trials.  It has become a cycle.  And today, sitting in church, I began to understand.  The funny thing is, the sermon that I was listening to really had nothing to do with my revelation.  Honestly, I think that it was the first time in a long time that I just sat and was quiet.  I was able to hear God because out of pure exhaustion, my mind was not on other things.  It was refreshing, and I left the service today a lot lighter than I had entered.  It was a great feeling.

Today I spent the afternoon with my youngest daughter.  Away from my research.  Away from the computer.  We baked cookies and finished reading  The Secret Garden.  I had time later in the day to discuss an opportunity that has presented with my husband.  He immediately gave his full support and encouragement.  Exciting things, that are a bit outside my comfort zone, are getting ready to move quickly.  I have peace about them.    The trial that has consumed me the past couple of months, has been given to God.  It still requires action on our parts, but it does not require my constant attention and research.

Do you have trials you are going through now?  Have you given them to God and ask Him to lead you, to comfort you and to direct your every path?  If not, I encourage you too. 

Psalm 27:1  “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?  the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?”

 

Is that the voice of God?

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I wonder.

I think it is.

No, maybe not.

Yes, it must be!

Does this happen to you? Do you ever try to discern if a reoccurring thought is a message from God, or just a creation of your own? I do. I have, for years now and it is on the same subject. So my question is, HOW DO YOU KNOW???

Please allow me to think out loud for a moment as I attempt to make sense of this.

1. Is it biblical?

Over time, these are the scriptures that I have “stumbled” upon. James 1:27, Matthew 18:5-6, Psalm 83:3

2. What does my husband, as leader of our family, have to say?

He is not against the idea. He would support the idea. However, he does not speak of it unless I do. It has not been put upon his heart as it has mine.

3. Do we have the means (finances, physical, emotional capabilities)?

It would be an adjustment for the entire family. But so was moving across the county and we survived that! ūüôā
Phil 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

4. Does it follow our priorities? God first, family second, everything thing else last.

I think so. But which category does it fall under? Is it sharing the Gospel (God), considering the needs of my family (family), or does it fall under “everything else”.?

Ok………..now that I have thought out loud. Let me share that the issue I am struggling with is Foster care. I have requested information in 2 different states during the last 5 years. I have researched, prayed, talked with foster care moms, prayed some more, talked with my husband and children, prayed some more. Is God calling our family to fostering? If he was, wouldn’t my husband also know this rather than just agreeing to it because it is on my heart? I would greatly appreciate if you would share any wisdom, experience or thoughts that you might have. I would also greatly appreciate your prayers.

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kids outside

kinsley outside with crossbow

 

 

 

Life has been crazy.¬† Good, but crazy!¬† We got so much accomplished in school this week and we hosted a tea party for 6-year-old girls this afternoon! I didn’t get any good pictures, but we used the real china, and had fairy bread and fruit cups for snack.¬† They day before the party, I started receiving messages from the moms because we were supposed to have freezing rain/sleet by this morning.¬† Last night, during her bedtime prayers, Kinsley said, “Jesus, can you please make the weather nice, because I really want to meet my new friends. Please.”¬† We woke up this morning to sunshine.¬† No rain, snow, or sleet.¬† Our party ended at 3 p.m. and it is just now starting to cloud up.¬† Seriously, the sun has been shining ALL DAY!¬† Thank you, Jesus, for hearing my little girl and saying yes to her heartfelt request.

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Today is the 4th¬†week since we started our 1/2 day of cleaning on Friday.¬† It is working SO WELL!¬† I have tried so many different systems and methods of cleaning over the years.¬† You know what FINALLY worked for us?¬† When I quit using other people’s¬†systems and made my own!¬† It is the perfect fit for OUR family and OUR schedule and OUR lifestyle right now.¬† If my kids were much older or younger, it probably wouldn’t work as well.¬† If we didn’t homeschool, it probably would work as well.¬† I’ll share in detail soon!¬† ūüôā

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And now I am waiting for my wonderful husband to get home so we an snuggle up and wait for the winter storm to arrive.¬† Tomorrow is his birthday!¬† We were planning to spend the day “in the city”, but with expected ice and snow, I had to prepare a back up plan.¬† Yesterday I picked up a nice steak for him, ice cream¬†and frosting to decorate his chocolate chip cookie cake!¬† Bring on the snow!!¬† I could use a weekend of family games and getting¬†all snuggled up on the sofas watching movies!

A Minecraft Party

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We moved into our house in November.¬† It started to snow and turned very cold shortly after that.¬† We have only met one neighbor and that was because he stopped to chat while driving by.¬† The kids have not made any new friends, even though there are signs of children in our neighborhood.¬† We just have not seen anyone outside.¬† Since we chose not to join a co-op this year, we don’t even know any homeschooled children in our town.¬† So we decided to host a minecraft party!¬† I posted it on our local homeschool forum and the planning began!¬† Three families responded within the hour!

The boys worked with their dad to make sure that we could tie all computers together to play on the same server off line.  We made a snack menu, made a few decorations, and had a blast putting everything together!  When the day finally arrived, we had one last minute cancellation.  A second family had a medical emergency with Dad in the hospital (everything is ok now).  The third family with 2 children did come and they are the exact ages as my two oldest minecraft fanatics!

We started out with a very short video introducing us to castles.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_w4FGgOVsM

Then we learned about a medieval castle just a couple of hours from us!  Then the kids got busy creating their castles!  It was soooo quiet in here as their creative juices were flowing!  After 45 minutes of building, we had a snack and then they shared their creations!  Each one was very different, but very impressive.  It amazes me what these kids can do on this game.

Our goal in hosting this party was to meet like-minded friends the same age as my boys.  Mission accomplished!  The kids got along so well and the mom and I enjoyed some grown up conversation!  Next week we host a tea party for girls my daughters age!

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Classical Conversations………anyone??

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We are considering Classical Conversations. I am attending an informational meeting next month.  Anyone have any good or bad experience with it?  Any thoughts at all?

When we first started home education, I was all about the classical method.  Then I learned about the Charlotte Mason method and tried it for a while.  I suppose now you could describe us as eclectic!  I am just finding that the older my son gets (13 now), the more I want him challenged in every area.  Please share your thoughts!

Chill out mama bear!

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Before I had children, I would seldom speak up against those who wronged me.¬† I would tolerate the offense and go on with my day.¬† Then I became an advocate for these little people who call me mom.¬† If they were wronged by an adult, or a child old enough to know better, I would not hesitate to politely call them out on it.¬† Unfair teachers, coaches, parents………….if you didn’t treat my children kindly and fairly, you would hear from me.¬† Now don’t get me wrong, it was not a daily or even a monthly occurence.¬† But when¬†my sons¬†teacher kicks a trash can and calls his class a bunch of idiots, you can bet he is going to hear from me.¬† Or when the school principal insists that the kids play basketball on the gym floor in sock feet, he’s going to hear from me.

Now I am faced with a different situation and it is one where I know that I need to just CHILL OUT!¬† My son recently received an invitation to try out for a top notch¬†travel soccer team.¬† It is a team of 16, 17 and 18 year old boys.¬† My son is 13.¬† He was quite flattered by the invitation and gave it his all.¬† He went to every practice (on time or early), spoke with the coach before leaving, to get his tips and feedback.¬† There were 26 kids trying out and only 18 will make the team.¬† He found out this week that he did not make the cut.¬† Disappointment!¬† ūüė¶

 

Hunter soccer action Hunter soccer action2

Playing for the orange team

The “unfairness” of it all is that the coach told the kids,” if you want to make this team, show me that you care and show up for practice”.¬† The last 2 practices, only 14 boys were present out of 26.¬† My son felt certain that he would make the team and said that he thought he could tell who wouldn’t make it. (confidence and arrogance can be a fine line :))¬† And then I was ticked that the coach would talk to only my son and not include his parents in this disappointing news.¬† I mean after all, he REALLY wanted this and shouldn’t WE be there to help him through this.¬† I should call him.¬† I should call the coach and tell him all of these things.

On the drive home we talked about his options.  The coach invited him to continue practicing with the team and told him that he will hold try-outs again for the Fall season.  This means that he will not be playing games for an entire season.  OR, he could play with a rec league, OR he could try out for another travel team that practices 40 minutes from here.

That night it occurred¬†to me that I needed to not run interference between my son and this dream.¬† This is a HUGE teaching moment.¬† Is it fair?¬† Maybe it is.¬† Maybe his skill level just isn’t where it needs to be.¬† And maybe LIFE just isn’t always fair.¬† Suck it up and move on.¬† He has some hard decisions to make.¬† Last I heard, he planned to continue practicing with this team because he respects the coach and the players.¬† I am very proud of this kid.¬† While he felt disappointment, he didn’t mope around and talk about how unfair it is like I did! (self talk, not aloud).¬† I see now that if I had called the coach, I would hinder my son’s growth, maturity, and maybe even his spot on the team in the Fall.

There is a difference between being an advocate for young children and teaching them to have the “poor me” syndrome.¬† I want to raise leaders.¬† I want my children to reach their goals by never taking “no” for an answer.¬† And that is why this mama bear is chosing to just chill out!

 

 

I don’t “do” used………

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Those words were on my mind today as I flipped a U-turn and redirected my truck to our local Goodwill store. My husband was home today, so he became teacher for the day while I headed out to buy groceries. I was sitting at a stoplight when I had an AHA moment………..I was alone. No one whining that they are hungry, or too hot or too cold, or tired, or bored. No one was fighting, or trying to negotiate our electronics rules. The silence was golden and I was going shopping!

As I parked, and walked into Goodwill, I kept thinking about my friend that I met last summer. She is in her 60’s and lives alone. Her only living relatives are a sister-in-law that lives 2 hours away and a nephew that lives 16 hours away. She is very kind and our family just adopted her. One summer evening, I invited her go to area yard sales early the next morning with the kids and I. “No thank you.”, she said firmly. “I don’t do used”. WHAT?? REALLY?? She explained that she would rather do without if she can’t buy clothing or furniture brand new and she has NEVER worn used clothing. Ever.

I’m pretty sure that my jaw was on the ground. It was too hard to wrap my head around. I mean, who doesn’t love a bargain. I teased her and told her that I would convert her, but she was adamant. Her mother used to love shopping yard sales and my friend kindly drove her, but she said that she never got out of the car. Wow!

So today I walked away from Good will with 2 pair of black yoga pants and a make up bag for just $5. Everything I purchased is like new. It is not visibly worn. Sure, I would love to go and get the $60 pair of Under Armour, and maybe someday I will. But for now, I am happy with what I have! I LOVE saving money! ūüôā

What about you? Do you “do” used?? Why or why not?