Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Five Minute Friday: Start


12 years in the planning.  When school started for my pudgy, stringy-haired, academic loving youngest, "the end" was a mere acknowledgement, nothing more.

12 years.

Now, here we stand, 7 months from G-day (Graduation) and I can't help but marvel at the speed with which life runs in the midst of "blinking".

It is bitter sweet.  Truly.  I have watched so many moms suffer deep heartbreak when that last one collected their diploma and stepped over the threshold of academia into the great beyond of LIFE.

A new start.

An aching heart.

I determined, early-on, to try a different approach; pouring into my children while also allowing God to pour alternate purpose into me.  I can't promise the transition will sail perfectly after "the end" but I can admit I am growing more and more excited for this new START.

It will be a start for my daughter, my fourth, my youngest.  Adventuring out into life and all the possibilities it holds.

It will be a start for me as I explore life, for the first time in 25 years, without educating kids and worrying over their rearing at its center. I've had glimpses of this pending start, mixed with potential good and hard... I believe, as long as the Lord's hand is guiding the days of this new fresh start on the future, good will persist to encourage me along it's crisp path.

***
This has been a Five Minute Friday post, please visit link in text to see other great authors as they write about START!  


Blessings,







Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Summer's Wind-down to What's Ahead

Hey everyone!  My planned July hiatus turned into an all-summer un-plug!  First our trip west to visit my mother-in-law, then a busy July trying to knock out as much of my summer bucket list as I could. Just as I was about ready to sit down, lesson plan and resume blog posts, a pressing medical test required my return to northwest Montana in order to further assist my mother-in-law.  She is doing ok now, though one more test will shed more light on what the next few months hold.  As it stands; planning Brooke's graduation for next May just might also include preparing for a BIG move for my mother-in-law so she can be closer to us for more direct assistance when needed.

Phew.


So, with the unexpected extra trip, lesson plans which would normally have been completed in July are only just now in their final stages. 1 1/2 classes left to write up and we will be prepared for our last first day of school on September 3rd!  I'm not too worried though, all the other classes came together in about one-a-day... I just need to wrap my brain around how we are going to tackle English and then I will be able to knock that one out in no time!


Did I mention newsletter deadline approaching as well?!  (Are you signed up btw? If not, see how at the bottom of this article.)  I actually had August's almost ready when everything went down so, sadly, the blog wasn't the only platform neglected for the past 2.5 months!  It is coming together though.  Mostly in my brain and perhaps also in 1s-and-0s-land when I am done with this post!!!

More than just traveling and bucket lists and lesson planning, this summer has also opened doors of QUIET to really hear the Lord on certain issues.  As a result, elements of the newsletter, and this blog, will be going through a transformational stage.

Years ago I was reading an article written to encourage housewives and stay-at-homes... the author shared how we should look at our 'job' as we would any other.... what we lack in confidence, knowledge and understanding, we ought to gain through study and seeking peer leadership.  We should look at our various roles in the home and consider opportunities to further educate ourselves on how to fulfill each role in their ever-transforming ways.  This advice has never left me.


On the in-betweens this summer I read about discipleship as well as about the blessed role of housewife.  I soaked up an inspirational fiction series which covered the scope of a life.  I also dug into the Word and prayer to seek Peace and Guidance.  I've stood in awe inspiring places and soaked up silence... I've bowed my head in noisy places where the bustle of brokenness was nearly deafening... and in it all, these short 2.5 months, I have seen areas in my life and heart which needed some shoring up.  Places where I knew I could and should be doing more as a Voice.


I've struggled and triumphed.
I've cried and laughed.
And as I sit here today tapping away at these keys I can't say that I have all the answers still, but I can say I have a lot to say.

In the weeks and months ahead I know I will continue to wrestle with the overwhelming concepts God has been unfolding, yet, one thing has been made clear to me: I need to write and share in the process.

Expect articles of raw brokenness.
Expect ideas for success in light of many failures.
Expect passion on issues of some debate.

Expect, too, more inside glimpses to this mysterious life of a stay-at-home and the all-so important tedious jobs we perform.
Expect reflection and projection as a teacher preparing to graduate her last.
Expect revelation as new seasons of life open.

Expect hope.

Biblically, if I were to sum up, in one verse, what God has been showing me, it would have to be:

Do not be conformed to this world...
Romans 12:2a

As a writer, a housewife, a mother, a daughter of aging parents, a middle-aged woman (yes, I said it!), but most importantly, as a Titus 2 servant of my King, I must constantly be mindful not just of the world around me but also of my role (every Christian's role) to be a light in the darkness which threatens us at every turn in today's culture.

I hope and pray you will join me in the light, sharing hard truths, exploring important places in heart and home, and growing together as sword sharpens sword.

I'm excited for all that lies ahead.  Please forgive me as I get the hang of new content amidst a new school year schedule starting up!  A rhythm will be re-established soon!

Some parting shots from the last few months...
FINALLY made it out to see Shakespeare in the Park!
Cotton candy sky right after a storm.
Re-vamping menu plans
Went to a painting class with Brooke, Brenden and my mother-in-law during our visit.


SENIOR pictures by the lake Brooke grew up on!!!!  What do you think? 1st or 2nd?
 
 
 
Breathtaking views on our trip back through the Rockies
Another play, this one indoors, to see one of Brooke's friends perform.
This may not look like much but visit my Instagram stories to see my big Bucket-list check: Attic clean-out! Complete with CRAZY before and after pictures and tips for the process.
This simple tip is mentioned in my Instagram stories on the attic clean-out process

New cookbook I found at the Farmer's Market along with some Zucchini which baked up into these delicious and healthy muffins!
Chores, more chores, and a needy cat during break time!
Fair time
Major storm with hail wreaked havoc on our trees and destroyed most of my garden, BUT the good Lord protected our home in the process and no major property damage occurred!!  Have had to spend a lot of extra time on clean-up though.
How was your summer?  I pray you had moments to better connect with family, friends and, most importantly, with the Good Lord who sustains it all.

Blessings,







*Are you subscribed to my newsletter?  You might want to be.  Why?  Well, the newsletter contains bonus material you won't find on the website... not to mention, in those busy months when I can't get regular blog articles up, you can count on this periodical popping up in your email in-box each last Thursday with all new content!  What exactly does the newsletter contain?
  • Encouraging articles on Faith, Home(making), and Homeschool
  • Free printables under different themes each month
  • Insider info on the latest goings-ons with all things on my blog and writing related
You won't find all this great bonus material on the blog so be sure to sign up so you don't miss out!  It's Ok, hop over real quick, right there to your right, see it on my sidebar where it says, "Subscribe to my Newsletter" with a  picture of the "Faith and Home Times" logo above it?  Ok, now enter your email in the box labeled "email address" then click "Subscribe"....(don't worry, it doesn't hurt and I promise not to spam you!). You should receive a confirmation email from me.  

I look forward to sharing Faith and Home Times with you!!

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Go Ahead, Disciple Her

I've been taking some time off from the blog through June and July to just unplug (if you don't count an abundance of Instagram posting!), craft, garden, clean, travel and, best of all, READ!  On that note, I had to take a break from my break to share this amazing book with all of you....


Disciple Her: Using the Word, Work, & Wonder of God to Invest in Women by Kandi Gallaty kept me turning pages.  I am pretty particular about "advice" on discipleship because there seems to be so many misunderstandings and down-right unGodly discipleship practices out there.  In all honesty, I initially dove in as a skeptic!  But I came out SOLD on her message and method.

I began to suspect I was in for something a bit different as I browsed the table of contents where a synopsis of each chapter was included with the chapter headings and page numbers!  Kandi doesn't try to drive her readers with suspense or mystery, no, she dives in, gets to the point and maintains interest and attention simply by filling you with Truth and easy to understand perspective and advice you plow through to soak up more and more of!

Moving on, the first few chapters lay ground-work for defining Biblical discipleship and the importance of each key element of a Christian life: Bible Study, Prayer and Fellowship.  She shares a GREAT Bible read-thru plan and her method of study.  Yet, as she shares these details she also encourages women to not feel obligated to her style, but rather, she implores exploration into other methods which may work best as a given situation requires.

The remainder of the book unpacks the model of discipleship via D-Group settings.  She thinks of EVERYTHING and while she shares examples from her own D-Group meetings, she iterates the importance of making discipleship your own.  The pages in these sections will discuss everything from rogue attendees to inspiration for a typical meeting layout to discerning spiritual maturity to handling deliberate sinful behavior.  No stone is un-turned as she imparts years of wisdom and experience!

My favorite part of this book is Kandi's passion!  I know that isn't a "part" but it permeates every page.  Years ago, when God called me to learn and teach the Bible, I was driven by the idea that every woman should be able to pick up their Bible, open it, and read it meaningfully.  Not that pre-packaged Bible studies are bad... but that I knew we were Called to not use them as a crutch.  Kandi not only breathes mounds of grace and compassion into the overall idea of discipleship but she also animately encourages and equips the reader (like the women in her D-groups) to study the Bible in a more impactful way for themselves... and to invite other women in to join the journey.

This book has easily shot to the top of my list for Book recommendations every woman should read!!  If you aren't sure if YOU are ready to disciple others.... read Disciple Her and you will see how applicable and attainable a process it is.  Before you know it, you will find yourself praying over who God would desire you to begin discipling!!  If you are like me and already actively discipling others, you will find this book to be an encouragement as Kandi equips you with additional tools for your discipleship tool box!

What great books are YOU reading this summer?


Blessings,






I received a complimentary copy of this book from Lifeway in exchange for my review. This review is my opinion alone.


I may be blog-breaking this summer but my Instagram account is VERY active as we putter around the house... and around the region!!  Be sure to pop over and give a follow.  Regular blog posts will be back in August.  Oh, and.......

Would you like to be entered into a drawing for FREE stuff?!  My newsletter for June/July not only contained some inspirational articles for summertime but also an opportunity to be entered for some FREE loot.  If you are interested in checking out my monthly newsletter, Faith and Home Times, read below on how to subscribe.  I will send the current issue along to your inbox and you can learn more on how to enter the latest drawing!

*Are you subscribed to my newsletter?  You might want to be.  Why?  Well, the newsletter contains bonus material you won't find on the website... not to mention, in those busy months when I can't get regular blog articles up, you can count on this periodical popping up in your email in-box each last Thursday with all new content!  What exactly does the newsletter contain?
  • Encouraging articles on Faith, Home(making), and Homeschool
  • Free printables under different themes each month
  • Insider info on the latest goings-ons with all things on my blog and writing related
You won't find all this great bonus material on the blog so be sure to sign up so you don't miss out!  It's Ok, hop over real quick, right there to your right, see it on my sidebar where it says, "Subscribe to my Newsletter" with a  picture of the "Faith and Home Times" logo above it?  Ok, now enter your email in the box labeled "email address" then click "Subscribe"....(don't worry, it doesn't hurt and I promise not to spam you!). You should receive a confirmation email from me.  

I look forward to sharing Faith and Home Times with you!!