Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The Autumns of Life*


Autumn leaves and a canopy of amber painted the walls of my living room warm and golden as the sun flit through the leaves.  I love this time of year.  Crisp air.  Crunching under feet... it is like a pause before a long sleep.

Three day's time and but a breath away, a blanket descends... first, the blanket of leaves, almost instantly and completely to ground, then, snow masking that amber autumn ever resided in this place... hints only from those trees which held tighter to the rainbow stems... they tower and pepper our street with a back-drop of splendor.

It is too early for 'winter'.  But I don't mind.  Winter of the heart has whisped, flowing in-and-out for more than a year... but winter under feet; snow crunch, wind biting nose... did not exist in the warm south and south-west where we traversed these same months a year ago.

And as all this weather climbs and falls, so does the call on my heart which I have attempted to ignore since earlier this year.

God gave me a "One Word" for 2013.  I asked if He might, I saw the memes.  But I submitted... whether yes or no... and He said YES.  He called me to BLOOM.  Blooming in all aspects of life and faith.  It has been hard... accepting Truth and conviction... but it has been good.

Through this process and the many changes in the past 12 months (the past 3 years) I have also struggled.  Struggled with time and struggled with the hard calls like the one I'm here to share today.

The different aspects of BLOOM require time.... time invested in people... time away from the screen...  and brain power poured into noticing, absorbing and responding to all that flows around me.

I have known this for months and fought it.  I love to blog.  I love to share my life.  But as the busy holiday season hits, I can't be and do all God has called me to in this season of year and, most especially, in this season of my life without focus... focus on people and focus on life here.

I humbly admit, when the vision of BLOOM was given to me, I saw a multitude of avenues and I wanted to travel them instantly. However, it is like I tell my children all the time:  I can't get from Montana to Chicago with one giant step... it takes many steps to reach my destination.  I have been trying to transport to my destination since about February!!  But One Word 2013 is a process.  God is processing me and when 2014 dawns, I believe with all my heart, He will bring me to my destination and give me words to share it all!

It is hard for me as a writer to do this... but I must say... I'm taking a bloggy break.  A fully submitting rest to live and breathe and focus and HEAR all of what God is saying to my heart as the blooming of 2013 weaves its way to a close.

I'll be back in January and in the mean time, I pray you have a wonderful Thanksgiving and a very Merry Christmas.

May God give you rest and peace this holiday season!

Blessings,





P.S.  I will still check in on Facebook :-)





Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Carnival of Homeschooling, Learning Inspiration Edition


Homeschool Carnivals are a great opportunity to see what others are doing to train up and teach their children at home.  This week's submissions were quite the bundle of inspiration and ideas...

My number one pick, as we stand mid-autumn and prepare to launch into November and a month of thankful-fors is....

Other inspiring submissions to this week's Carni-event:

For those grade-school aged kiddos out there, here are some fun ideas for pocket charts and wall calendars at Mustard Seed Mommy.

Tea Time with Annie Kate also shared some wonderful information on a great novel writing program for those budding writers of all ages!

What do you do for History in your homeschool?  Eclectic Momma inspires us with some helpful tips on coordinating a History Fair Sharing event.

How about traveling Down a Rabbit Trail with Rebecca Taberski as she gives us a glimpse of some unexpected fun in their school day.

Do you test in your homeschool?  Have you thought about it and are curious what other homeschool parents out there do?  Visit Joyous Lessons and sample a detailed "Term 1 Exam" for this mom's second graders.

As we wrap up the list of wonderful submissions to this week's carnival, take a moment to be encouraged by Henry Cate's article, The Next Generation of Homeschoolers.  How can we inspire our children to be more than just learners... to become teachers themselves.

My submission is this... Whatever you do and however you do it... do it for the Lord and not for man.  States have expectations, individual families have expectations, but the greatest expectation is that of our Lord and Savior which is to grow in the Word and in Truth. Be sure to steep all lessons in this.

And Jesus increased in wisdom and in years, and in divine and human favor. 
Luke 2:52

Let us foster an environment where our children might grow as Jesus grew!

Be blessed for a marvelous homeschool week.  Thank you for visiting this edition of The Carnival of Homeschooling.  Be sure to submit next week.  If you would like to HOST the Carnival of Homeschooling, contact Henry Cate and he would be happy to add you to the schedule.  Also, thank you to all those who participated this week!

Blessings,







Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Couch Reflections and the Hi-jacked T.V.*


"We don't have T.V." I hear my husband state as he smiles to the cable salesman at the door, "and we don't want it."  He is kind but firm.  It was the 2nd cable salesman we saw this week... and it was only Monday!!  He turns and closes the door, still smiling.  We both are shocked by the persistence of cable sales in the area.

Me, I glance at our television set, a 38" gift from God... literally... it sits in a corner, in easy view to anyone who ventures to our door stoop.  I smile back at my husband, there must be a spark in my eye, as I quip, "But we DO have T.V." and I wink.  He shakes his head, knowing I am being particular and teasing, I add, "You need to articulate, 'We don't have broadcast T.V.'"

We once did.  All the channels and then some.  We sold satellite t.v. service for about 5 years.  Dish installs, home entertainment hook-up.... the whole 9 yards.  I was an HDTV, DIY, Hallmark, AMC watching mama when I was nursing our relaxing... or even making excuses to relax!!  My kids, at that time, were up on all the latest Disney shows, PBS, Nick Jr... what would Blue want to do today?!

We received FREE service as satellite dealers so there was no limit to what we could watch.  We had it all.  When the recession hit, our business went under and we began the slow, steady climb back up. We also lost our FREE service.  I went through withdrawals.  I had my husband hook up a high-power antenna (we were remote) so I could still get PBS and Antique Road Show.  We got a few network stations as well and the kids could still see Elmo each morning.

But that went down too.  So we dried out.  I began to recall our CPA one time, when I tried to sell him on our services, he said, "How do you have time to watch T.V."  This small-business owning, father of 4 was serious!  I thought... how do you NOT have time for T.V.?!?

And then it happened.  Life really began to move.  Sure, we had a DVD player and would enjoy movies from time to time... but the time did fill up and before we knew it, we were asking... How DID we have time for T.V.?

When we began homeschooling we thought we would invest in a small monthly subscription of all the better educational channels.  But a few strange things happened as a result of all that time without:

  • At first I nearly reverted to my old T.V. habits!  So excited to have it again.
  • then I noticed the commercials.... the sickening commercials.... even on the children's channels.  How did we ever watch those before and NOT be affected?!
  • Finally, I noticed the content... there were no sitcoms we could watch as a family without embarrassment or explanation.  There were few children's programs which truly built my children's character in Christ.  And worst of all...  much of the educational program we subscribed for, required correction from me.  Whether it was evolution vs. creation or the liberal view of history and defaming accusations against many of the men and women from our history.  Even the historical programs on the Bible were not represented in a Biblically accurate manor.  Our T.V. stations had been hi-jacked!

We cancelled.

We haven't looked back.  We haven't desired to.  We have t.v. for family movies and educational films we occasionally discover at the library, on RedBox or in our collection.  We do NOT have broadcast t.v. and we honestly don't have time for it!  How could we... without sacrifice, that is?


Last night, as I made my way to the living room after dinner clean-up, I found Brenden at one end of the couch reading Lord of the Rings (yes, my 8th grade dyslexic child is reading LOTR!!  It is amazing what all that non-t.v. watching time can be used to practice).  Every so often he would laugh and his younger sister, poised at the other end of the couch with a crochet hook in her hand working away at a tiny basket for the yarn dolls they made yesterday, would engage with; "What, what is it now?" and he would share a quip from the story and they would laugh together.

As I took my seat between them to work on grocery lists and to-do lists and party lists, Ashley worked away on my computer which sits in its own little cubby right off the living room doorway.  She is intent on writing her memoir after inspiration from our writing curriculum.  She pipes up periodically to clarify details from our trip this past year.  I look up from within this scene of domestic, non-T.V. bliss to answer her and then smile to myself... Why would we want broadcast t.v.?  Moments like these would be frittered away? 


Everyone has their own opinions and uses for T.V.s  I share our mini testimony on the subject here because it touches my heart each time it happens... and I thought it might touch yours!  I pray, whatever your t.v. choices are, that you enjoy the beautiful moments of a child's self-discovery as well... and your own discovery; taking time to be with the Lord, family, and peacefulness.

Blessings,







Monday, October 21, 2013

Carnival Ahead!



ATTENTION! ATTENTION! CARNIVAL AHEAD!
I will be hosting The Homeschool Carnival a week from today.  If you would like to submit an article, visit the link above. 

Our theme will be Halloween Alternatives, celebrating Halloween without focusing on darkness and death, rather, focusing on hope and the light of Christ.  Costume ideas? Party ideas? Any ideas that do not involve trick-or-treating or scary 'stuff'! If so, please share!  If not... check back October 28th to see what ideas come in!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Moments.*

These are the moments...











...the moments I want to hold onto.  Those quiet moments.  The noisy moments.  The ones where we cuddle and keep and pray and read and sleep and be.  Moments where life, yes life, is lived... breathing, laughing, soft tears crying.  Close. So close.

Moments that mark.  Moments that dwindle.  Moments that whisper and sit on a shelf dusted when old photo boxes, trinket boxes, tucked away treasures reveal.  Vivid, blurred, fading, fast.

The moments of life, the ones that echo, when standing in the distance, running but nowhere.  'Then' gets farther, tomorrow gets closer.  Good-byes, soft sighs, more tears and trembling and wondering... wondering how.  How do I live without.  How did I ever think I could.  Years trickle by, like the ripples on a pond when a soft breeze blows.  What was life with?  Without?  With... it all streams together and you wonder.  Wonder when you will blink and all...all of it is gone.

So today.  These days.  When I linger longer in the soft cushions of our old warn couch... the cushions which have held many babes, dried many tears, endured many bounces, spills, and splatters... if I linger there with warm bodies pressed closely around, voices drifting in and out of words from Tolkien or Alcott or Virtues long forgotten.  It is because these moments, these ones that are trickling by on that pond of life, these are the only real ones.  The ones that matter and last and live.

If, today.  This day, you find me bent over a rolling pin, a flour splattered, paint splattered, worn out table making biscuits or pies or things that linger in the senses.  Standing there longer than I should.  Longer than I could.  Standing and moving and swaying with the rhythm of a kitchen and chatter and sharing and clatter.  It is because these times are but a blink, a drifting, a fleeting, a sensation that will sift through the generations to 'remember when' and 'wasn't that wonderful'.

If now.  Right now, I slide away from the keyboard more to listen more to the voices and the noises and the din which is youth.  The din that some days hurts my heart and others lights my life.  The din that rises with a.m. and Bibles and buzzing around dishes and sets only when the last goodnight kiss and hug, one-more-hug, blinks dark... it is to say, when a spider web head wonders and wanders and still glimpses and remembers, yes, even the chaos was grand.

In the love and loss and life gone by, the memories fading, the people fading, the process of old and then and now which has settled in the midst of my heart and those I hold dear I stand firm in LIFE in now and know... for them it was a blink... for me it is a blink and only a blink more until tomorrow is today and today fades away.


Be blessed in the moments that are.  No matter how up or down or in or out.  They will pass, both good and bad and they will be longed for and missed, forgotten and wished.  Each.and.every.one. It is the path we have chosen, the path we are walking, the path which is Lit and Lived and Led which leads us Home.










Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Lessons of Grace*


I sit and sip in the gentle aroma of Earl Gray from a sturdy, yet delicately decorated, cup which had been buried in boxes and paper until only a few weeks ago.  This new life, in a new place, old things, new routines... it is adjusting.

In adjusting, the Kohosh which has kept me sane these last 10 years since my surgically induced menopause, was forgotten.  Surely I don't still need it... it has been 10 years.  I learned, this week, I mostly certainly need it... or stock in Earl Gray and Rogaine.

The climax came yesterday, day two of our fullish day of school schedule, and my 13 year old with his earmark deep yet crackly voice... his speech impediment from being def for the first three and a half years of his life... his dyslexic sideways-upside-down way of tackling all that he does... yes, that 13 year old challenged me in my raw state beyond what I felt capable of enduring.  Agitation riddled most of what I said and did, though the years of teaching two of my children with disabilities has trained me in better self-control... it has not yet trained me in the BEST self control.

My heart ached... it literally ached.  My veins were sore from the pulsing as I wearily set out dinner.  Hubby home, all smiles and cheers.  Me, wondering if Rogaine fits in the budget and not daring to suggest it for a spelling word that will never be mastered, I moved quietly, wishing to be invisible.  Wishing to be alone.  Wishing it wasn't so hard.  Fearing for what will become of my child who just-doesn't-seem-to-get-it.

Dyslexia, Amanda, he has a heart to learn and serve... don't loose sight.  Spelling challenges, unintended attitude with a seeming-to-him odd request from his mom as we worked on an unpacking project... he is my sweet child... oh, 13, give him back.  It whirred as I sat, taking my place at the table and bowing as 13 was picked to pray.

So quick, the speech impediment, the strings of ridiculousness at odd things asked, the playful-at-all-the-wrong-times disappeared as his prayer drifted through the air.  The prayer of a young man not a 13 or a child or a soul lost and searching.  No.  The firm, confident, prayer which cut straight into my aching and tumbled heart as I slumped across the table from this man child who had challenged me all day,

"And thank you, Lord, for our teacher...and thank you, that our teacher is our mom." Tears broke through the rims and only a miracle of the Spirit kept me from sobbing.  I had been so short with him, so intolerant and unwilling to offer up grace for the moment.... the new school year, the new schedule, the new ways things are being done in this new place.  I missed how compliant and willing he was.  I missed how hard he worked (even in-between the goofing off).  I missed his desire to conquer his challenges and overcome in order to achieve a greater goal and purpose in this life (and the next).  I didn't deserve gratitude... but he wanted to give it.

Oh, the lessons of grace from the sweetest, simplest, most undeserving places... from someone who did not care about the temporal, rather, only for the eternal.  Oh how Christ-like my man child has become.

But that is homeschooling.  More than book-learning are the lessons in the moments between.  The ones where student and teacher look oddly unexpected and the material becomes that which hands can not hold but hearts treasure forever.

Be Blessed in all the moments God has granted.





 Also linking up with some of these





Thursday, September 12, 2013

Monthly *Vlog* and a note on Hospitality*



It is that time of month again where I try not to embarrass myself in front of my webcam!  Where I also still seem to fall short on keeping it... well.... short!  I will get there... someday!  But, hey, for the first time it actually gave me a thumbnail where I am smiling!



The book is Open Heart Open Home; How to find joy through sharing your home with others by Karen Burton Mains. My copy is a 1976... seriously! So the subtitle on the new one is a bit different (and the cover has changed).



The *vlog* challenge comes from Jen Ferguson at Finding Heaven Today I think it is a GREAT idea for our sister bloggers to create community and get to know each other more personally.
Jen Ferguso Pop over and check it out.  I think it is a GREAT idea for connecting with our sister bloggers on a more personal level!

Because hospitality is often mis-understood and under-estimated, I plan to share more on it.  Be sure to email or comment with questions and I would be happy to respond!

Be blessed, be hospitable, and be open to sharing God through your home!

“Hospitality, however, seeks to minister. It says, "This home is not mine. It is truly a gift from my Master. I am His servant and I use it as He desires." Hospitality does not try to impress, but to serve.”
Karen Burton Mains, Open Heart, Open Home: The Hospitable Way to Make Others Feel Welcome & Wanted










Also linking up with Michelle at intentional.me today 


 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Deep Under Old Familiar*


It was this wild idea.  A string of events that came together at that perfect point.... what does a disciple do?  See what I do... you do it too.  Me... I'm studying the book of John.  So I asked... do you want to too?  Yeses and requests began popping up, even in the unexpected. Our little group is growing, it is exciting and as I teach and share and search and lean... I am growing.  Why wouldn't I?  Anytime we crack God's Word with a serious and searching heart... should we expect anything less than growth, change... profound revelation???

So yesterday I sprawled on my couch, cozy against the corner with the pages of my young yet worn NRSV open and highlighted to the hilt, notes and scribbles all over the words of John's gospel.  I interrogated, because that is what I have learned to do.  ASK, search, ASK, pray, ASK and wait and know God has a message.  He had a message then and He still has a message now.

God, what is the message today?  What do you want me to see in these old familiar words I have read so many times in John's 5.  "Stand up, take your mat and walk." and he does. HE DOES, Lord, but what more?

Then I hear it, that beautiful voice of my Father, lean closer, child....

6When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had been there a long time, he said to him, "do you want to be made well?"

Jesus SAW HIM

Jesus KNEW his circumstances

Jesus ASKED HIM do you want to....

Jesus sees ME
Jesus knows my circumstances
Jesus asks me do you want to....?

Do I?

This sick man makes excuses.  Is he excusing himself?  Is he saying, yes, he wants to, BUT?  There must have been a 'yes' implied there somewhere because, then...

8Jesus said to him, "stand up, take your mat and walk."

It isn't just the command that gets me though, it is the response that follows which drives it home....

9At once the man was made well, and he took up his mat and began to walk...

 How often do I need help yet I pray only for the way I see out.  How often does Christ stand in front of me and say "Do you want to...?" with His intention being to fix the problem in an unexpected way?  And (sadly) how many times do I miss it because I am busy telling Him why I can't?

Jesus SAW HIM.... He sees me.... Do I see Jesus?
Jesus KNEW his circumstances... He knows mine... Do I trust that the circumstances are inconsequential to the King of Kings?
Jesus ASKED HIM... He asks me... Do I respond with excuses or anticipating a miracle?

Whether it is a rut, a catastrophe, or even a fleeting moment of challenge; I suddenly feel more deeply inspired to not just KNOW Jesus is in control but to SEE Him, Focus on HIM (not the circumstance) and Focus on His solution... not just what my eyes can fathom as the solution.  If my eyes, thoughts, heart never leave His face I will certainly find myself getting up, taking my mat and walking.... and even Pharisees won't stand a chance!!!

I pray you find deep roots in old familiar passages of God's Word.  I pray you know each moment of each day rests in His tender eyes, His capable hands, His loving heart.  I pray you see Him, trust Him and respond to him with anticipation.

Blessings,





 Also linking up with some of these




Tuesday, September 10, 2013

A House Called Home*

NOT our new home!*

 Well, I made it!  Off the BIG Roller Coaster and onto the runway.  Lots to see, lots to do... and yes, I know "lots" is not proper grammar!

We are in our new home, having traveled 1000 miles round-trip in the last 2 weeks to retrieve our household items from storage and plant them within the walls of our new surroundings.  Friday, as I nestled into the familiar soft corner of my old couch in my still barren walled living room... I felt it.

Home.

I scribbled deep thoughts in my journal from that cozy corner.

Home.

I opened His Word and searched for His mighty arms.

Home.

Yes,I was Home.  No more in-between.  No more borrowed space.  No more contingencies or questions or wondering/wandering....

HOME

Such a word was never so sweet then at the end of a three year journey of simply yet radically following Christ where he led out of "home", out of familiar, out of comfort to places I could have never imagined... into situations I would have never dreamed.

As I tarried in that old familiar spot Friday, I journaled and prayed and dreamed and studied.  God showed me many things but most profoundly He showed me Faithful.  The whispers and murmurs of the last few months... wondering the purpose and plan of this cozy little website where my fluttering heart often rests and my wandering mind sets down beside the babbling brook....

He showed me.

There is a HOME in Faithful HOMEschool.  A home that is missing and needing and calling to be shared.  There are mamas who, yes, need HIS Word to lift their weary hearts, but there are also Mamas who need to know this crazy journey of life, mothering, teaching and LIVING has, beyond its nucleus of our Lord, ties they sometimes get lost in trying to connect.  Being Faithful in the kitchen, in the laundry room, in the school room, in marriage, parenting, friendships.... in every detail and every aspect.  Devotions each day are just the beginning.  Tie-ing God's Word into the inner workings of life... that is when we begin to LIVE.

And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.
-Deuteronomy 6:6-7

I will be starting a new series next week.  Chronicling and sharing my journal pages beginning a year ago this month as we traversed this great nation west to southeast to southwest and finally north again.  I will share the trials and tribulations of living as a mom/wife/woman/homeschooler on mission.  A continuation of sorts of the Traveling series I was working on during the summer... but with a twist!  I will also be sharing more deliberately on hospitality notes, scheduling experiences (and experiments), wifely thoughts, parenting, and teaching moments.  And, of course, I will still share a devotion each week.

It will take time and adjusting as we learn our new schedule and routine on this end... but I am excited to see where God takes us, takes Faithful, on this new branch in life planted in south-central Montana with a focus completely altered as the result of the past years' journeys and this life's calling to live missionally right where we are.

From the house I call home, I pray you have/know/find home... even if it isn't a place but a state of being where focus must stay on things eternal and that Mansion with many rooms.

Deepest Blessings,





*As we get settled we still don't have proper internet so I can't upload pictures of our actual home... the picture above is from a cute house I found not far from where we use to live!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Book Launch: Keeper of Reign by Emma Right {Giveaway - $100 Amazon Gift Card!}

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About the Book:

Books written in blood. Most are lost, their Keepers with them. A curse that befell a people. A Kingdom with no King. Life couldn’t get more harrowing for the Elfies, a blend of Elves and Fairies. Or for sixteen-year-old Jules Blaze. Or could it? For Jules, the heir of a Keeper, no less, suspects his family hides a forgotten secret. It was bad enough that his people, the Elfies of Reign, triggered a curse which reduced the entire inhabitants to a mere inch centuries ago. All because of one Keeper who failed his purpose. Even the King’s Ancient Books, did not help ward off that anathema. Now, Gehzurolle, the evil lord, and his armies of Scorpents, seem bent on destroying Jules and his family. Why? Gehzurolle’s agents hunt for Jules as he journeys into enemy land to find the truth. Truth that could save him and his family, and possibly even reverse the age-long curse. Provided Jules doesn't get himself killed first.
Download today on Kindle for only $0.99!
(offer ends August 16, 2013!)

Before You Enter our Giveaway:

Be sure to subscribe below to receive a FREE PDF download titled "Devotional Questions for Keeper of Reign." This PDF is a great guide and help on how you can use Keeper of Reign as a tool to help teach your children about Biblical principles that are found in the book Keeper of Reign.
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Enter the Giveaway:

Enter below for your chance to win a $100 USD amazon gift card sponsored by author Emma Right. a Rafflecopter giveaway This is a Becoming Press LLC book launch. Sign up here to become a book launch blogger!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Why am I blogging? and the Roller Coasters of Life*

 
Why am I blogging?  That is the question I ask myself when life gets all whirl-windy and I can't see through the storms.

Why am I blogging?  Comes back again when the storms settle but business overtakes.

Sometimes I respond to self and think, 'I will take a month off'... just to re-settle and refocus.  Then article after article pops into my head and I can't bring myself to stop!

I blog because God called me to.  The Faithful Homeschool was envisioned as a platform for articles on faith, home, schooling, marriage, family.... and all the rest that comes under the scope of life in obedience to the Lord... an obedience which shines out to our children, our spouses, and beyond.  A life walked out in faith so that faith can transform life.


Since we touched down in Billings, Montana the last week of April, I have found myself in the unexpected position of roller coaster passenger.  Not the typical, kiddy-coaster all of life just happens to trumble along on.... NO, the monster, mega, massive, sometimes 6-g-how-did-they-get-that-past-inspection, kind of roller coaster! Many ups and downs as we find our way here.  Search to see where God is working here.  Look for an illusive house here.  Simply adjust here.

I don't like roller coasters.  I did when I was a kid.  But not anymore.  However, God has been teaching and growing me through the climbs and falls, loops and tunnels.  And while the roller coaster hasn't yet stopped (and I am still not certain when the ride will switch tracks back to the kiddy-carts) I am getting better at holding onto the bar and focusing on One Point so I don't get queasy!


Straight track ahead?

     We have a position in our church.  Praying to bring Him Glory and praise in it.


Breaks being applied?
     We have a line on a house.  Praying it works if God so wills.


Curves under the wheels...
     We still don't have a car.  Many here have been lending wheels which bless us.  We trust God will provide our own vehicle in His time.

Loops still in view...
     I have ordered NO curriculum for the coming school year (math books most desperately needed) and I still can't estimate when we will officially begin since all the rest of our reserved-for-this-year books are still in storage 450 miles away.  Realizing typical beginning-year review can be accomplished with what we have on hand.  Also remembering: we can accomplish more in a  GOOD homeschool day then most public schools accomplish in a week.  We will make up lost time easily once settled.


360s... 180s... is that formation even legal???
     How will we manage the massive trip to transfer our household goods from storage to Uhaul and then the long drive back to be officially here (and making do with NO furniture of any kind in between?).  It is a tall feat with many details and contingencies, but God has always taken care of us, always provided what we needed most when we needed it and I have NO doubt he isn't about to stop.


My new life in this new place is already filling fast.  Some days I am queasy... loop-d-loops make my head spin a bit.  But then I Focus and I trust.  Our nomadic life right now may make it difficult to have a tangible, stationary schedule.  A predictable routine that pockets all tasks into neat little piles.

But life isn't about neat piles of predictability.

Life is about serving and loving the Lord with all your heart.


So if my blog is a little bare lately and updates are few and far between.  Know that it is because I asked, "Why am I blogging" in the middle of a roller coaster ride with piles of STUFF flying everywhere.  God said, For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven ... this is a season of living and growing and keeping my eye on him and Trusting and knowing.... at the end of the road I will get off and all that STUFF will settle neatly into its piles and routines and predictability will return and in some, crazy, small way.... I will miss the ride.

I pray to be posting next time from the den of my new home, settling back into a neat sort-of routine.  And if not.. I Trust God has a purpose for that too.



May you find peace on whatever ride God has asked you to take.  Whether it is the tilt-a-whirl, the roller coaster, or the merry-go-round! May you rest in the palm of His hand, with your eyes on His, Trusting His mighty purpose with your life.

Blessings,

 
  


 Also linking up with some of these

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

My Traveling Missions Life


A few weeks ago, over at LisaJoBaker.com, 5 minute Friday was kicking in gear with the theme, "Rhythm" and the following Friday, again, with "In-between".  I could have wrote for miles more than 5 minutes on both these words but instead I wrote for 0.  "0" because I have been "in-between" and trying to find the "rhythm"!

Rhythm, a metric undertone that moves our day through ebbs and flows.....
In-between, the place I feel has become my new place of residency as I can't see before me and I can barely see behind me.


Where are we without these elements gauging our day?  How do we walk, do, be... as women, mothers, wives, even homeschoolers...without it's measure to mark out the spots where we need to step.

Maybe you are someone who is GREAT at shooting from the hip.  Maybe rhythm is clatter to you.  I praise you, for you are much more pliable than I for the life that God has called me to live!

Missions - Motherhood
Missions - Housewife
Missions - Doting wife
Missions - Teaching
Missions - Missions

I am the type of person that bounces when I walk... sways when I sing... taps when I wait.  Rhythm underscores my very heart.  And at the places in-between, when God calls us from point-to-point-to-point, I loose track of the rhythm... the jumbled movement creates clatter and the motion is near chaos.

 
 
 

They don't tell you this when you read books on God's Work.  You don't see it in videos about serving in the field.... smiling or crying faces, holding babies, praying for the lost, ministering to the broken.  You just see the work.

But those are PEOPLE.  God's chosen to walk among the weary when we ourselves are weary.  To speak to the hearts when our own cries out for a voice.  To love on the unloved while our own loved ones need our attention.  To teach the dailies while our own dailies cry for completion.  Helping others when we ourselves ache for help.

I'm not trying to scare anyone from missional living, making daily sacrifices and reaching beyond self for the Kingdom's Call.  Nor am I trying to detour anyone from outreach treks in this nation or another, truly stepping outside 'comfort' in order to comfort the lost or help the church.  But as I reflect on my time as a traveling missionary around this great nation we call the United States, seeing what I never could have thought or  knew could exist in such contrast through just one country.... I want to be REAL.


Missions life is not a cake walk... but it is the icing on the cake of hope and fulfillment of kingdom work in our hearts.


Missions life as a mother is a juggling act... but the motion is an exercise of ever expanding love.

 Missions life as a housewife swings the comfortable, typical rhythm of daily to-dos into a free-fall of sometimes daily re-adjusting what is suppose to look like a schedule so all physical and health needs are properly attended...but in the free-fall others are often ruptured up into our presence and relieved to see WE ARE REAL TOO! We cry and hurt and bleed.... we work, and scrape and manage... and they can too.


Missions life as a wife is a challenge to the design of a biblical marriage, warfare seems to hit hardest when the enemy knows a united couple is disaster for his divisive plans... but the challenge calls us to rise to new heights and dig to greater depths to find true unity as we encourage unity in others.

 
 

Missions life as a teacher of my children is often marked by outside-the-box learning... but outside the box we find so much more to learn and, ultimately, end up teaching others also!


Missions life as a missionary called to live and serve radically in the states and beyond pushes and stretches understanding, often leaves me tiered and regularly rocks the plans of every.single.aspect of my life as a woman... but life any other way is foreign.

I have grown in the stretching... and I know I will continue to,
I have drawn up from the most vital Source of Strength when I am deeply weary,
I have made buildings out of rock-slides... some are lopsided but most are strong!

Matthew 11:28

New American Standard Bible (NASB)
28 “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.

Footnotes:

  1. Matthew 11:28 Or who work to exhaustion
 (Bible Gateway.com)


The next time you open your planner, or nestle into your rhythm, or bask in the moments of destination... pray for a missionary who can't steady a planner, or is struggling with clatter in the search for rhythm, or is needing to learn how to dance in the hallway in-between as they give their lives over to the service of the Lord!  And don't be afraid to step out with them!


Next week I will try to share HOW I capture moments of rhythm in this crazy life I lovingly know as Missions!

Blessings to you!
 
  


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