Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Relentless Pursuit

I can't even begin to describe where God has taken me these past few weeks. But I'm sure going to try!

All year long I've been having this gentle nudge to just give it all up. Give it all to Him. I kept being pulled this way and that. You know? My heart longs for every bit of God it can handle...the world longs for my time and energy.

I kept trying to figure out how to sort of do it all but still keep God first. Then a few weeks ago God whispered to me. Just seek me. Nothing else. Devote your whole self to me, and we'll do this together.

I've been working all year (on and off) on myself. My style, my health, my weight...me me me...
I've been feeling great and enjoying the process but this worldly pursuit of health and style leaves one empty. I've gone back and forth with what my boys should eat, I've researched until I'm blue in the face, and guess what? I still didn't know!? I was on the normal roller coaster up and down and all around with God mixed in there somewhere until I was flat sick and tired of it.

I asked God to teach me how to be devoted to Him in this world. At first I prayed for wisdom on how to be devoted to Him and be a godly wife, and loving mother, and good friend etc. Then He answered me by giving me wisdom...that resulted in a prayer that just asked Him to help me be devoted to Him daily. Nothing else. No Him and anything. Just Him.

He's given me ways to take my everyday life and offer it as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to
God, knowing this is true and proper worship. That is true and proper worship. 

I know I'm always a work in progress, but wow! I now understand Psalm 84:10. Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere.

This last week alone has been better than the whole year combined.

I can honestly sit here right now and say I desire Him. All of Him. Only Him. Of course I still get pulled, we all do, but I pray daily that my focus stays right on Him.

I had someone tell me a few weeks ago that I needed to make (something irrelevant) my plan A. I would be lying if I didn't say I threw a fit at that remark. Honestly, that thing wasn't even on my plans..not even a desire in my life. I threw a fit more at myself thinking what on earth have I been doing for this person to even think this would be a priority?! I feel like that's what wrong with modern Christianity.. We don't even know what we desire. We don't know what our priority is because we don't have one, we have a list of them. Priorities.

Last week I sat with my family at Thanksgiving just so incredibly thankful and content. We had a newspaper sitting beside us and I quickly flipped through the hundreds of ads filled with thousands of things we don't need, but even better..I didn't even want. Nothing. My friend texted to see if I wanted to join her early the next morning and I felt so happy to say "no, thank you! I think I'll sleep in with my husband in the morning." And that's exactly what I did. It felt amazing. Content in God is an amazing feeling.

So, here I am on this relentless pursuit. Chasing after God!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Everyday Life

Today is rainy and cool. In my opinion, the perfect Autumn day.

We have finished school today, a big thanks to Liberty's Kids for taking over History for us today :)

We've finally(!) started painting around here. No beautiful colors, but fresh paint always feels so nice.

The boys wrapped up their fall soccer. We did Upward this year and absolutely loved it. They learned so much more than soccer. They loved it so much that we are started basketball in a few weeks. They've never played, but I'm sure they'll love it!

Speaking of a few weeks. Uh hm. The holidays are already upon us!? I kinda thought this year just started.
I am pretty excited about sharing another holiday season with the boys. They absolutely love this time of year. It's so special.

I'm reading Women Living Well and joined the Bible Study over at Biblical Homemaking. I am learning SO much. I truly appreciate the wisdom of godly women.

I found these pictures Tristin took of Brighton last week. Oh these boys make me smile!



Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Balloon Glow

We love the annual balloon glow in our little city. Every year we wake up before sunrise and head 30 miles south. We follow a long line of cars down into the canyon. It's dark, it's freezing, but it's beautiful.



We loved this spider pig :)




This is one of our favorite traditions!

Take a look at last year's beautiful photos.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

A NINE Year Old in the House

He's been counting down the days. Every single year-no fail he starts the countdown sometime in the summer.

I think every year he tends to get up earlier and earlier too ;)

We love to celebrate him. He loves to feel special, so we try and make sure he knows he is. He brings such joy to our lives. He is so very helpful and is turning into quite a young man. He has worked extremely hard this year and is trying so many new things. I can really tell he is growing up.




I love:

his smile
the way he treats his friends
the way he asks adults how they are doing
how I can hear him in the mornings doing his chores without me asking
the way he is truly enjoying school this year
seeing his art work (he loves to draw, paint, and got to art class)
watching him play soccer
to see him make his brothers laugh
to hear his laugh
when he tells me all about the book he is reading
how excited he still gets over all the things us adults forget to be excited about
that he brings such light in our home

We love you Tibby. Happy Birthday!


Monday, October 14, 2013

Trying to Get My "Blog" Act Together

Hello friends.

I am really sorry I haven't been on in a few weeks. Months? Our littlest boy had some health issues for a few weeks before turning into pneumonia that he battled for almost 2 weeks. We have been to the dr 6 times in the past few weeks, but he is doing much better now! Thank God!

Dan and I went to New Mexico for a John Mayer concert about 2 weeks ago while the boys stayed with my parents. We don't do things like that often so it was really nice to have a few days with him all to myself! I sure love that guy.

The boys have been in Fall soccer and we joined Upward this time and we are LOVING it! Especially the no games on Sunday. I think it's so important to have a day to really rest in God and to be with your family. It's not very popular these days, but we love it. Brighton has only got to play 2 games since he was sick and sadly there is only one game left, but we're just thankful he's back out there.

There have been quite a few changes in our lives lately that we are adjusting to and more to come! The biggest is Dan has started a company (spray foam insulation) that is keeping him very busy along with the full time job he already has. We've also had some things come up that have made us very thankful for that business. It's funny how God chooses to take care of things we never saw coming!

I have been challenging myself a lot this year. I have had a really tough time in the past dealing with life in general. It's a lot to get into but depression and insecurities played a huge part of my life. God is gently taking me on a journey to be who He created me to be. To be a strong women because of His strength in me. To not depend on others' opinion of me for my self worth.

I'm pretty hard on myself and God is breaking me of that. He's putting me in situations that force me to be who He created me to be, not who I settled to be because of a lifetimes worth of lies I chose to believe.  He's showing me what can be done through Him that I used to couldn't bring myself to do because of the rut I was in.

So just maybe it's Him that's been challenging me? Yes, I believe so.

So this blog? It needs to get it's act together don't ya think??  I can't help if some things come up that keep me from this space, but when it's just "life" I will be here sharing our days and memories, because I love to look back on them. And sharing how God is working in our lives, because friends, He is working! And that is worth sharing!

Here we go :)

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Homeschool Series: Projects & Handicrafts

Yesterday, I showed you how I fit certain projects in our day. The ones that we don't finish in our morning gatherings are usually worked on in the afternoons.

I wanted to include beautiful art and handicrafts into our days so I've made a simple list of 1 art project and 1 handicraft that I'd like to get to per month. In addition to this, the boys have an actual art class they take on Mondays.


I purchased Simply Charlotte Mason's beginners art video on pastels. It's called Creating a Masterpiece and I've heard great things about it.

I also search pinterest  for other ideas. Last month we tried this oil pastels cow and LOVED it!



Others on our list:

rooster or watercolor
sunflowers or these 
fall landscape
bubble wrap corn
textured landforms
basket of apples

Handicrafts and Projects

hand stamped leather bracelet
pressed flower magnets
sun catcher
veggie basket
paracord bracelets
sharpies on plates the ideas are endless!

These are all valuable projects. They can be used, gifted, or even sold. Tristin wants to participate in Kid's Business next summer so he could sell the bracelets or any of these if he wants to. I'll post when we do these projects projects and if I add more to the list!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Homeschool Series: Morning Gatherings

In the past I've had a hard time getting the "extras" in our week. Those things like art projects, fine arts- composers, artists, poetry, and hymns.

I happened across this blog where she shares her morning time routine. I loved this idea and adapted it to our day. This is basically a time where we all sit together and talk about goals or upcoming events. We'll do prayer requests and our Bible time.We then go over our habit that we're working on.  We'll study our poet, composer, hymn, or artist. Then, I'll read from Shakespeare or any other literature we're on at that time. I also include our short geography lessons.

It's casual and so much fun. Really. It has changed the whole atmosphere. We fit these extras in and have loved every second of it!

They usually last about an hour. We don't do each one of these things every day, so if we have a project to work on then we don't do literature or maybe geography that day.

Here is an example of our day with Morning Gatherings:
(the hours are not exactly this all of the time, but close)

7:00 make beds, get dressed, eat breakfast
8:00 do daily chores
8:15 daily quiet time (we all read our bible on our own)
8:45 math
9:15 morning gatherings. Bible study, memory work, habit, fine arts study, geography, literature or projects
10:15 language arts
10:50 Read Alouds and History or Nature
11:30 or 12:00 Lunch

That's it. I'm not sure how something so simple has helped our day so much, but I'm so glad we started these. We've been doing this all summer (without the regular schedule) and it is one of my favorite things about our day!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Homeschool Series: Curriculum Year 2/3

Thank you to those of you following along my homeschool series! You can find our how I lesson plan here, and the curriculum we're using for Year 0 here.

I am doing a combined year 2/3 because I added in some classical curriculum last year and couldn't quite get everything from Ambleside's year 2 in.

Tristin does his own quiet time every morning and then we do a Bible study together and he follows along. We still use The Family Reading Bible.

This year we will be keeping a Bible notebook. This is how we will learn as much as possible using His word. So yes, we will be writing scripture and drawing pictures but we will also include any and everything you can possibly think of.

For example: if we read Isaiah 30:21

Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, "This is the way; walk in it."

We will copy it. Learn any new word we didn't know.  We could talk about different spellings and meaning of the word right. Talk and draw about which way is left and which way is right. Then, we could take it further by learning other ways to describe left and right like north and south. We could find it on maps, or go outside to figure it out. After that it would only make sense to learn east and west :)

I will be keeping track of these lessons in our notebooks and will share them on the blog as we do them


We will be reviewing multiplication and division as well as his mental math with long addition and subtraction, then we will go through Math Lessons for a Living Education. as well as Family math and Ray's Arithmetic.

Fine Arts Term 1:

A Treasury of Poetry for Young People 

Giotto Picture Study Portfolio 


Tales from Shakespeare


Ambleside online year 2   year 3 (we have read some of these already)


 combined Bible,  Story of the World volume 2, and Child's History of the World

Language Arts:

The Bible.

Proverbs to Cursive to learn cursive and then He will start copying the Bible.

He will be finding and writing phonograms from Bible passages as well as new words that go along with the phonics or spelling we are studying.

He will find synonyms, antonyms, homophones, nouns, pro nouns, plurals, compound words, the subject of the verse, predicates, diagramming etc..

He will learn to use a dictionary for words he doesn't know.

He is also doing Don Potter's Roman Reader and Gospel of mark Club.

We are using Learning to Spell Through Copy work and I will use it as a guide to plan lessons using the Bible for spelling.

Nature Study/Science:

We will be taking nature walks with a nature backpack full of sketch books, pencils, paint, magnifying glass, and jars.

Books to use:
Burgess Bird Book
Handbook of nature Study
Science in Your Own backyard
Drawn to Nature
Big Book of Science and Nature
New Way things Work
My Nature Journal

We will be studying birds, apples, pumpkins, moon phases, weather patterns, the sun, the way things work (when it gets too cold to go outside) simple machines, the earth: layers and rocks and minerals.

I think that about covers it! Are you all ready for the new year? Or have you started?

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Homeschool Series: Curriculum Year 0

If you've followed me for any amount of time you know I love Charlotte Mason. Her method is so gentle and rich in living books and learning, and that's exactly what I love.

In the last year or so I branched out to include the Classical method which I love as well, but was happily surprised this year when God interrupted my plans and asked me to use His word instead of the grammar and writing (more for 3rd grade) I had originally had been planning to use under the classical curriculum.


So with out further ado here is what we've come up with this year.

Let's start in Year 0 shall we?

Year 0 is similar to Kindergarten but very short and gentle. You can adapt this to use in Preschool as well.

He does quiet time first thing in the morning using one of the children's bible we have.This one or this one. He usually goes through the pictures or stories we've read before, and he loves to copy them word for word.

We will be reviewing the letter sounds, Leap Frog Letter Factory is a favorite way to review this and I'm going to let home make his own alphabet scrap book using Mr. Printables Alphabet book.  I will have him cut and glue items from magazines and draw. He loves stuff like this and he knows his sounds but I would like to make sure it's mastered.

Reading: 20 min a day.

I mentioned above that we will be using the Bible a lot, so this is how I will use it for him.

Every morning during Bible time, we read the Bible. He will sit right by me and read along side me. Tristin opens his own Bible and reads along with us.

I will read the same story/verse all week so he becomes quite familiar with the words.

Along with that I use The 3 R's as a guide on blending and new words. We will not get in any hurry and just keep going at his pace. We will use the Bible, Bob books, Nora Gaydos books , Frog and Toad, and
 Little Bear to practice reading.

I can go into more detail of the actual lessons if anyone is interested.

He is copying the Bible and using Delightful Handwriting


I want to finish Singapore Essential Math and then we're going to move into more of a living style math.
I love using the book Family Math for games and ideas that reinforce math. We love Sum swamp for adding and subtracting. And for oral practice and on the board I'll use Ray's Arithmetic.

Some fun math ideas and goals:

play dominoes
roll dice to 100
use beads and pipe cleaners for counting and number bands
sorting by size, color etc.
3D shapes Mummy Math
Introduce measurement, estimation, volume, estimate, money

We will be using Five in a Row
I love this because we will read the same story all week and use the guide for discussions about the history, geography, and more each day.
We may add a project per book but I haven't planned that yet.

We will also be reading the Ambleside booklist for year 0.

Nature: he will join our nature walks which I will post about, but I wanted to add that we LOVE the
Barenstain Bears Big Book of Nature


I love this List of Attainments that we'll be working towards:

"A Formidable List of Attainments for a Child of Six", a reprint of a curriculum outline from a CM school in the 1890's.

1. To recite, beautifully, 6 easy poems and hymns
2. to recite, perfectly and beautifully, a parable and a psalm
3. to add and subtract numbers up to 10, with dominoes or counters
4. to read--what and how much, will depend on what we are told of the child
5. to copy in print-hand from a book
6. to know the points of the compass with relation to their own home, where the sun rises and sets, and the way the wind blows
7. to describe the boundaries of their own home
8. to describe any lake, river, pond, island etc. within easy reach
9. to tell quite accurately (however shortly) 3 stories from Bible history, 3 from early English, and 3 from early Roman history (my note here, we may want to substitute early American for early English!)
10. to be able to describe 3 walks and 3 views
11. to mount in a scrap book a dozen common wildflowers, with leaves (one every week); to name these, describe them in their own words, and say where they found them.
12. to do the same with leaves and flowers of 6 forest trees
13. to know 6 birds by song, colour and shape
14. to send in certain Kindergarten or other handiwork, as directed
15. to tell three stories about their own "pets"--rabbit, dog or cat.
16. to name 20 common objects in French, and say a dozen little sentences
17. to sing one hymn, one French song, and one English song
18. to keep a caterpillar and tell the life-story of a butterfly from his own observations.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

How I Homeschool: Lesson Planning

It has been requested by a few beautiful ladies that I share more of how I homeschool. You're in luck! I love to homeschool and I love to talk about it with friends. So feel free to chat with me, ask questions, share ideas!

This will be broken down into a few topics over the next week or so:

Lesson Planning
Curriculum: Kindergarten (Year 0) and Year 3
The Potter's House (letting God sculpt our days and be the center)
Morning Gatherings
Projects we will include this year (art, handicrafts, notebooks)
Nature Studies
Life in a Day: what our daily life looks like

Today, we will start with lesson planning!

I usually over think things to the point where it overwhelms me and then I get stuck and do nothing. Please tell me I'm not the only one? ha

This is our 4th year of homeschoolilng and every year I grab a lesson plan book and fill up the first few weeks with what I plan to get done and then I fall behind. After that I realize I'm writing the same thing over and over again....Monday: bible, math, reading, science or history. Tuesday: bible, math, reading, science or history...you get the idea. I'll throw in a few project ideas, or verses or chapters to read, but that's about it.

It's complicated and stressful when I fall behind because something came up and we didn't get all of our Tuesday work, but am now staring at what needs to be done on Wednesday too. So, this year I decided to do my own thing and simplify. What may work for one may not work for another. I'm just sharing what works for me.

So instead of buying a $20 planner, I grabbed this $2 notebook and called it a day.


It's small enough to grab and go if needed. It's filled with book lists I can take to the library, and projects and supplies I can grab while at the store. All in one place. I know planners have places for that, but the thing about this one is that it's laid out the way my mind works haha, so it works for me.

When you open it I have our daily schedule written out.
*this is ideal but doesn't always happen*


I will go into more detail about our schedule on another post.

Then I have the tabs. These are sticky tabs you can pick up in the office supply section of most stores. The first tab is Brighton's Kindergarten tab.


This is where I put the Math games and activities about what I'd like him to know throughout the year. I will just start at the top of my list and play games and find activities for whatever it is we are working on at the moment. On the back of the page I have specific games and activities I have found on Pinterest or in books.
That being said, I do NOT over do it. I write out the projects I think will benefit us most and I know I can get done without a hassle.

I write out lessons I'd like to get done with him in literacy, plus a few extras we can do if we make it to that point. Again, I'll share more on my curriculum post.

And then I have a literature list of books we'll read together that will make library trips and amazon orders much simpler. I leave space to add to it...but not too much space!

Next tab is Tristin's goals for year 2/3.


His subjects are divided by tabs, and what I'd like to get done and use in each one. Brighton does participate in some of these.

Morning Gatherings (which include habits, memory work, fine arts, geography)
Language Arts
Nature Study


In the rest of the notebook is room for me to take notes, write out field trip ideas, do record keeping, and whatever else I feel I want to add.

I LOVE this notebook. It's simple and easy to get an overview of the entire year. I simply open it and choose what we'll work on that week, and get it ready before hand. We will work on it until we're ready to move on.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Summer Fun

As the summer started to fly past us, I realized I hadn't done much of anything that felt like "summer" with the boys. Everything was moving way too fast and I couldn't keep up.

We don't have a membership to a pool like we used to, so it's a little hard to make myself find something equally as fun. Last week I saw an advertisement for a summer fun card in our area. For $20 a person it will get you into 3 different area pools/water parks. I ordered each of us one immediately and I declared Fridays Family Fun Days!

Dan had the next 3 Fridays off, so we decided to pack them with tons of fun! Yesterday we headed an hour north to a small town to visit their pool. We've been once when Tristin was 2, so this was a new experience for them and they loved it. We stayed for 4 hours. Like a mini vacation :)

You'll have to excuse some of the pictures, the sun was so bright I couldn't tell on my screen what they looked like haha!


The water was very cold so these two were easing into it.


Exploring the pirate ship.


They spent a lot of time sliding down the slides and playing volleyball.


Taking a break.





After we got home, we headed out for a night at the drive in movie theater. We watched Turbo and Despicable Me 2. I fell asleep but the boys stayed up until 1 AM! Oh my.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Bits of Summer In Our Home

We honestly have not done much to our house at all. It's just not a priority at the moment. I have a few plans in mind but who knows when I'll get to them. :)

We finished this cabinet a few months ago and I just got around to decorating the top. I just used a mix match of frames and pictures I had on hand.


Summer fresh flowers. I love this bright and cheery area.


And a pop of color to brighten up the kitchen by Katie Daisy.



And then my lovely view from my back porch. I just adore the raspberry color of our neighbor's house and their flag swayin' in the wind :)


I hope summertime is treating you all well!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Every Day Life

We have had the busiest summer. I think every single day had somewhere to be in June. If you know me you know I don't love being busy all the time. I find you can't make time for what's most important when you are going 100 miles an hour. This month, thankfully, is a bit slower. Although this week is still quite full, it's full of important things like celebrating the life of a wonderful man and hugging his sweet family...our family. And then a date night with my husband. It's been a long time and I just can't wait to see him. Then on Friday I have a family day planned. In fact I have one planned for the next 3  Fridays in a row. I found a card for $20 each we can get into 3 area water parks/pools. We've never been to any of them and the boys have no clue. I can't wait to surprise them!

For Father's Day the boys picked a one on one date each with dad. This one picked ice cream and the zoo. They loved having dad all to themselves. I love this picture because it shows the stick collecting phase this boy is in!


We finished soccer! this was Brighton's first year. He did a great job and had a really cute little team.


We spend many mornings and evening out here on the porch. It's one of my favorite spots!


Sometimes he just needs a few minutes to himself. I find it so nice that he's taking the time to regroup when he needs it. I remember at his age walking alone in the dark around my block just talking to God. I loved it.


One night we decided it was time for a good ol' shrimp boil! No reason at all, just because it's summertime.


After the shrimp our neighbors asked if we wanted to join them at the splash pad for a bit. So we did.


It's been unusually chilly for July in Texas so I think they spent more time on the playground than in the water that evening, but still so much fun.

This week is in the 70's and rainy. That's my kind of weather!!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Summer of the Birds

Sometimes I have a hard time with nature study. We don't live in a place with just a whole lot going on, but just like the old saying goes, if you "stop and smell the roses" you will find some interesting things.

God really does have a lot going on no matter where you're at.

One morning I went out to water my hanging fern and a little finch flew out and right over my head. So I gently lowered the plant down and sure enough, inside were the four sweetest little eggs. I called for the boys to come see, and from then on we watched that nest like a hawk. :)


At first we thought this was a sparrow, but after seeing the beautiful daddy with red markings drop by we researched and found that this was a House Finch couple.

I never got a picture of him, but he really was beautiful.


A week or so after the discovery we peeked in and there they were!


We thought there was only three. A few more days went by before we finally noticed the forth little one was in there.


We loved watching the fledglings as they were developing their wings...and fuzzy heads.


And just like that, they were ready to go.


Our boys have learned so much about birds this year. They are loving every bit of it, and so am I! We picked up Thornton Burgess' Bird Book and can't wait to read it!

Linking with Nature Study Mondays!

Show and Share Saturday

Discover & Explore Weekly Themed Linky

Monday, July 8, 2013

Loving Our Children

We go back and forth with the things we need to work on. We go from bad attitudes, talking back, and complaining to helpful, obedient, and patient. And I'm not just talking about the children. :)

We called the boys to do bible study one evening. They "paused" their playing as they quietly grumbled to the table. Honestly? It broke my heart. What are we even doing all of this for? They don't want to be here right now. They are full of their own selfish desires. I can assure you though it's not just them.

I got to thinking. It doesn't matter how much of God's word we read to them,  how much I quote, or how much we memorize. We could do all this and God could still say, "I never knew you."  We could read the Word until we are blue in the face, but that won't make them love God. It certainly never made me love God. Not until one understands God's love does he then truly love and know God. It's at that time when you want to open His word and get to know Him even more.

This humbling thought came across me. There is not one thing I can do to make sure my children love God, except them seeing God's love toward them in me. Even that's not me, it's all Him.

“Any obedience that isn’t motivated by his great love is nothing more than penance.” Elyse Fitzpatrick, Because He Loves Me

I've poured over countless books and even scripture trying to figure out how to correct and train our boys.  I I soon realized that if I love them through the eyes of God, only then will their hearts turn to Him.

 I read a post by Ann about Katie that captivated me. Talking about this 24 year old mother of 13 girls she said, "You mother as well as you know your Father. I look at Katie and all I can think: She mothers like she’s memorized the face of her Father. It is a holy witnessing."

Their is no secret to raising children who love the Lord. They see Him and feel Him through us. I don't want to move in any way with these boys unless it has the face of God all over it.

"Jesus did not save us so that we could do motherhood on our own, apart from him; he saved us so that we would be forever connected to him, forever dependent on him– on the sustenance that flows through the cord of his unending love. Jesus was cut off from the Father that we might not be cut off from him." Ruth from Gracelaced

Saturday, July 6, 2013

A New Direction

For the past few months until about 3 weeks ago, I was in such a dry spell spiritually. I decided on a whim to join Good Morning Girls Bible study and book club reading the book Anything by Jennie Allen. I have been listening to the book on audible while I take notes and then do the bible study that goes along with it, and let me just tell you, God is speaking to me. He's moving me and making me realize things I guess I was too prideful to even recognize.

It started with the realization that so many (me) say that we would do anything for God. But, when anything is truly broken down into everything, I realized that I indeed was a liar.

Do we even know what we're saying when we say we'd do anything? Jesus did anything.
How grateful I am that he did because I can't or is it...won't?

Then it came. What God wanted me to hear:

"Everything is keeping you from anything"

Here I've been sitting for months making plans and goals. Lose weight, and here's how I'm going to do it.
Keep the house clean, and here's the schedule. Home school, and here's the curriculum. All these are the everything keeping me from anything.  I remember earnestly wondering how people do this. How do they have a healthy balance? How can I balance God and all this other stuff like everyone else seems to? But the truth is, these goals were my gods. There is no balance.

 *Mathew 6:24 "No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth."

*2 Kings 17:41 Even while these people were worshiping the LORD, they were serving their idols. To this day their children and grandchildren continue to do as their ancestors did.

*James 4:4 You adulterous people, don't you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.

Have we come to a place where,  "God's gifts become gods themselves?"

 We've become accustomed to thinking that if we love Jesus then we (rightfully) will be blessed by Him and our lives will become simple and easy. And isn't that what we all want? If we have a problem we lay on our faces crying out to God. We are keenly aware that He is the only source that could relieve us and comfort us. But, we pray for Him to take away our burdens, and without even realizing, we are praying to be at a place in life that we don't even recognize our need for Him. 

I remember a few years ago when I was homeschooling Jaiden while he was having severe meltdowns lasting 6+ hours. I just knew God had lead me to home school him and couldn't believe it was taking such a toll. I would sit in prayer and tears those 6+ hours every day. A friend stopped by one day and as I was crying, she said to me, "I think that if this is God's will you would feel peace and it would be going smoothly." When she said that I felt such relief both physically and in the fact that most everyone thought I was crazy for having him home. Soon after, we enrolled Jaiden in a private special needs school and though I got physical relief the hours he was at school,  I quit praying and needing God those 6+ hours a day.

 You read in the Bible all the stories of people who loved God. Truly love God, and well their lives were never easy or simple, and yet, those are the ones God said had hearts after Him.

Proverbs 21:1

The king's heart is in the hands of the LORD, like the rivers of the water He turns it wherever He wishes.

Have you ever read the book of Job? :) Job suffered most because he feared God the most.

What about Paul? During the hardships of captivity, he says in Philippians 4

11 Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.12I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need.13I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.14 Nevertheless, you have done well to share with me in my affliction.

Every person that loves God wrestles. It's okay to wrestle. After all, we don't know what is truly good or bad. Only God really knows. And I trust Him.

The other day I sat down to write in my journal. I usually write goals for the month, but this time I asked God. What are the things you'd like to help me with this month? Turns out they had nothing to do with saving or making money, decorating, home school curriculum,  losing weight, or cleaning house. He wants me to spend time getting to know Him and hear what he has to say, and to train our boys the way they should go.  Two plans for me, though not simple, but most important.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Vacation Part 2: Big Cedar Lodge

After a few days in Branson, we headed about 20 minutes away to Big Cedar Lodge. This place is stunning!
We hiked, rode horses, ate wonderful food, roasted marshmallows for smore's, and did tons of swimming.

This was really one of the most beautiful places.
Especially for people who love to be outside :)







After a nice little hike we had lunch in this adorable cottage cafe. I could've lived here!





We played some miniature golf. (I whooped them all!)



The next day the boys got to ride horses. Brighton just loves animals, he couldn't leave this one alone haha.






Every evening I enjoyed the walk from the pool, back to the lodge. The glory of God just had me in awe.






I kinda love it at the end of the day when the boys are completely worn out, and we came to this cozy room and ordered room service. They even had a little patio we would just sit out on and enjoy.


But, not every night. The last night they had a bon fire and smore's. Yum.



And lawn games.


And amazing sunsets.


And. Movie night. At the pool.



We sure were sad to leave this place. The boys made lots of new friends that they enjoyed swimming with in the evenings, they hated saying goodbye...but...we actually already set up another trip there very soon. Yay!


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