Thursday, August 30, 2007

Oh... how I NEEDED this!

So, we use an amazing curriculum called Five In A Row. Not only is the program super-cool, but the creators are EQUALLY as cool.
I am a part of the FIAR message board where other moms, similar to myself, can hang out and discuss... well... EVERYTHING!
One thing that most of us unanimously agree on is that this mom/wife/friend/teacher "thing" is down-right DIFFICULT! Sometimes is challenging to find the support you need amongst peers - those going through the exact same thing.
Then, this evening, I log on to find this amazingly beautiful letter of support and encouragement from the publisher of FIAR, Steve Lambert.
Praise God!
He really does know WHAT we need and WHO we need in our lives.
I needed this in my season...

I've seen the posts this week, both signed, and anonymous, about the disappointments, frustrations, heartbreak and disillusionment of homeschooling.

"Dis-illusionment" is good. That means you no longer have any false "illusions" about the job that you've undertaken.

It's easy to to have all kinds of false illusions about what it means to be a parent, to homeschool our children, to make a marriage work, to survive financially in a world that's determined to have "more" every day.

Anything worth doing is generally a challenge. If it were EASY to have a great marriage- everyone would have one.

If it were EASY to raise great kids- everyone would have them.

If it were EASY to homeschool- everyone would do it.

But it isn't. It's hard. All of it.

But Jesus never invited us to take a path without opposition. The scriptures are filled with admonitions and warnings about the challenges we'll face, the opposition that will stand in our way, the cost of discipleship and the price of servanthood.

Homeschooling is no more a panacea for bad kids than a church wedding is a panacea for bad marriages.

It's work... hard work... all of it.

The "formula" for raising great kids isn't homeschooling. If there's any "formula" it's to daily throw yourself on the mercy of the One who created your children, who knows them and to invest your lives in your kids- spending time with them, sacrificing some of the alternative ways you could be spending your time and money, etc. Homeschooling HAPPENS to be a fairly convenient way to do those things- but it's no guarantee!!

The "formula" for having a great marriage is the same. It's to cry out to the One who created your spouse and by working hard and self-sacrificially toward building a better relationship with your mate. Like parenting, it's about both quality AND quantity of time spent together. There are no shortcuts.

And yes... there will be opposition. There will be challenges. There will be setbacks. There will be disappointments.

What does Paul say: "We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed."

That sounds a lot like some of the posts around here lately.

Well... almost!

Some of the posts have been more like: "We are hard pressed on every side; perplexed; persecuted; struck down."

But Paul adds the other portion, reminding us: "We are not crushed; not in despair; not abandoned; not destroyed."

So I'm not worried when I read that you are hard pressed, perplexed persecuted and struck down in your homeschooling journey or marriage or finances.

That's NORMAL!! That's PREDICTED!! That's what we're told to EXPECT!!

But I want to remind you that the end of the story hasn't been written yet. There are parts and players in this play that you don't even know about yet. There are scenes yet unwritten in this movie which is your life.

And we may be lots of things- but we are NOT crushed, despairing, abandoned nor destroyed.

My grandmother used to say that her favorite verse in the Bible was, "And it came to pass..." She'd say "It didn't come to stay- it came to pass!"

There is a reward for those who persevere- for those who do the mundane drudgery of planting, hoeing and watering there WILL come a harvest!

Great children don't just happen.

Great families don't just happen.

Great marriages don't just happen.

Great character doesn't just pop forth.

I'm not telling ANY of you ANYTHING that you don't already know. I'm just reminding ALL OF US of the eternal truths.

It's the beginning of the new year. Bad habits have been formed over the summer perhaps. Routines and patterns have been disrupted. And the enemy wants to convince you that your efforts are pointless and your future is hopeless.

But don't give up. Don't quit. Don't waver.

Purpose to do a little better tomorrow than you did today.

I PROMISE YOU there will come a time in the not too distant future when you will look back on this season in amazement as you realize how that cloud has lifted and those insurmountable battles have disappeared as surely as the morning fog evaporates by mid-morning.

Bless you as you walk by faith,


Wednesday, August 29, 2007


Some things need to change.

Why do we hold onto things that eat at our hearts?

“Bitterness is like swallowing poison and expecting the other person to die.”

I got that quote off of a friend's blog, she's not quite sure where she heard it, but it's stuck in my head. When things that I'm not conscientiously focusing on stick with me thoughout the day, I discern that as the voice of God.

Bitterness, lack of forgiveness, whatever you want to call it...

Life is just too short.

Brandon Heath - I'm Not Who I Was

I wish you could see me now
I wish I could show you how
I'm not who I was
I used to be mad at you
A little on the hurt side too
But I'm not who I was

I found my way around
To forgiving you
Some time ago
But I never got to tell you so

I found us in a photograph
I saw me and I had to laugh
You know, I'm not who I was
You were there, you were right above me
And I wonder if you ever loved me
Just for who I was

When the pain came back again
Like a bitter friend
It was all that I could do
To keep myself from blaming you

I reckon it's a funny thing
I figured out I can sing
Now I'm not who I was
I write about love and such
Maybe 'cause I want it so much
I'm not who I was

I was thinking maybe I
I should let you know
I am not the same
But I never did forget your name

Well the thing I find most amazing
In amazing grace
Is the chance to give it out
Maybe that's what love is all about

I wish you could see me now
I wish I could show you how
I'm not who I was

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Stickin' to it...

It is safe to say that schedules and I do not get along.

Having children has made me realize that a schedule can be good - although I am still strongly in favor of "flying by the seat of my pants". It just allows so much more room for fun!

Some of the secret joys of living
are not found by rushing from point A to B,
But by inventing some imaginary letters along the way!
-Douglas Pagels
When it comes to schooling, and the children getting older and needing a little more "educational beef" in their diet, I have decided to commit to a schedule... definitely for their benefit - possibly for mine. I'm thinking that if I post my schedule on the wall at home AND here on my blog, it will greaten my accountability!

Okay, here it goes (keep in mind, I will STILL scrap everything to run outside and discover a bird call)...

8 - 9: Morning Jobs (including breakfast) I gave the girls a check-list of things to get done before the day begins, i.e., make bed, brush hair, get dressed...

9 - 9:30 Bible & Prayer

9:30 - 10 Mystery of History (MOH)

10 - 10:30 Open (walks, PBS, play, snack...)

10:30 - 11:30 Five In A Row (FIAR)

11:30 - 12 Math U See (MUS)

12 Lunch, core learning complete

1 - 2 Reading Rainbow/Between the Lions (great for rainy days!)

In the afternoon we will work in Sequential Spelling/, Silent Reading, educational games, Art (if we don't do it during FIAR), baking, grocery shopping (and other important Life Skills), group activities with friends...

We're starting on September 10th!!!
Our core day (on the 10th) will end with a visit to Chuck E. Cheese with a group of friends.
We are still participating in GRACE Co-Op on Fridays at Kensington Community Church. The group has been such a blessing to our family (and the Support Group, as fun as homeschooling can be, IS CRUCIAL!!!) There are days where I couldn't do it without them!

So... there you have it!
We're ready to begin, but first Mom and Dad need to spend a little time together in New York City!!!!!
After that, business as usual!