Trials teach us what we are; they dig up the soil, and let us see what we are made of. ~Charles Spurgeon

Friday, February 26, 2010

A MUST READ! A Biblical world view on dating.

I know I am a bit ahead of myself when reading this for my daughters but I really appreciate her wisdom in the book.  If anything, I am prepared with wisdom when questions arise.  This will be a must read for my girls.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Obedience first, Understand later

Have you ever discerned something but can't quite put it into words? I have those times. I know eventually God will spell it out for me but until then I need to heed to the Holy Spirit who whispered those words in the first place. Like the saying goes "obedience first, understand later".

So a while ago I started to ask God to reveal cultural things to me and bit by bit he has. I am sure you have heard the saying "wait a couple of years after you get married to have kids." It was said to me and in fact, I am sure I have probably said it too. I have daughters so I think of these things (marriage, children, etc.) often.

If I am suppose to raise my girls in the instruction of Lord then I want to make sure it is God's instructions coming out of my mouth and make sure I am not contradicting the scriptures.  Now, I know not all cultural sayings out there are contradictory to scripture but there are some I am really rethinking. This particular one my girls will never hear from me.

There is a responsibility and a purpose that comes with marriage and the bible is clear on that.

So like I said before I couldn't quite put words to my discerning thoughts but this guy sure did for me.

Sunday, February 21, 2010


I suspected I was pregnant so I finally broke down and purchased a pregnancy test.  When I say I broke down and finally purchased a pregnancy test, it is not an easy thing for me to do.  After years and years of infertility and tons of negative pregnancy tests,  let’s just say I really don’t like peeing on a stick any more.  Anyway, the test did show positive and of course excitement and fear began to fill my heart.  I called my doctor to let them know and they asked me to come in for a blood test, which later did reveal what the pee stick had already told me.  I was already feeling tired, bloated and hungry but I was also cramping and spotting.  After my visit to the doctors I went straight home to pray and get into the word.  I praised God for this pregnancy and I began to cast all of my cares/ fears on Him which I will detail later in the post.

As some of you know, many months ago Neal and I were convicted that we were not totally giving the future of our family over to the Lord.  We went through years and years of infertility and pleaded with God to bless us with children.  We were completely and utterly dependent upon Him during this time.  However when God blessed us with three beautiful girls, 2 of who came home through our amazing journey in adoption and our third which God blessed us through my womb, we realized we were no longer dependent in that area of our life.  After three beautiful gifts Neal and I both agreed we were done.  That was when we decided to go back on birth control.  Normal, right?  At the time we had no hesitations about birth control.  We were happy, content, satisfied and our desire had been met.  We really didn't have the desire to have more children.

Back in July, God began to change my heart and open my eyes to huge things, things I never thought would ever cross my mind.  Things that had never been talked about in the Christian community I grew up in.  Things our church didn’t talk much about.  Things that the culture (satan) had gotten a hold of and deceived me of.  And if you don't think birth control is a cultural thing then you are fooling yourself.   But is birth control wrong?  Good question.  I would point you to study the scriptures and see how God describes children. I think it is also important to read more about hormonal Birth Control which can be an abortifacient.  Lastly, but most importantly, I suggest prayer. 

So, through tears, praying, Gods word, reading, A LOT OF READING, a lot of tears, a lot of praying, counsel, debating, and wrestling we finally realized that we needed to go back to the place we were when praying for children during the (long) season of infertility.  We need to be completely and utterly dependent on Him for our family again.  Like I said our desires had been fulfilled but were His?  Our intentions/desires were of course for a family but, not too big and not too small, manageable and affordable so as to best steward our time, energy and provisions (hmmm, that is worthy of another post).  Those are all good intentions right?   As Neal and I began to dig deep we realized our intentions were lacking.  Hebrews 4:12 says... For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

The root issue why we didn't want a large family because that would mean more money (who's money?), more time/energy and more work (my selfish heart).  Neal and I began to ask ourselves questions like; do we really trust whole heatedly that God knows what’s best for our family, big or small?  Would he provide what is necessary (not above and beyond) whether big or small?  Would He actually create a life (baby) that is not supposed to be here? (Psalms 139:13-16)  How were we viewing the possibility of more children?  As a gift/reward Psalms 127:3 or as a burden?  I can't remember the last time someone gave me a gift and I looked at it as a burden.   We also realized we were on the receiving end of things and God was the giver of the gift/reward if he so desired.  That was a big one for me.  I was controlling rewards??  It just didn’t seem right.   We realized too that we needed to receive everything (trials and blessings) with thanksgiving  1 Timothy 4:4 and be open to the possibility that He may have more in store for us.  And that He did.

Neal and I realized we were lacking in our knowledge of Gods word and also felt we were lacking in our faith.  So we chose a different path for our family.........."and whatever is not from faith is sin." Romans 14:23 

John Piper explains it well: "This, I believe, is what lies behind Romans 14:23. Sin is anything, any act or any emotion or attitude, that does not sprout from the soil of such confidence, in the God of hope. 'Whatever is not from faith is sin.'"

I know some of you are probably thinking we are crazy, we have lost our minds and that’s okay.  Really!  This is the choice God has called us to make.  If you are truly interested in reading more about the choice we made  READ HERE. 

Anyway, like I started to say in the beginning of this post, we are pregnant.  Well..... we were pregnant.  This morning we miscarried and I can’t begin to tell you the comfort I felt even before the miscarriage.  And the peace I have felt does surpass my understanding.   As I mentioned earlier I had fears that began to fill my heart when I realized I was pregnant.  Some of those fears were; I was already cramping and spotting (which I know could be nothing) but I have miscarried before and I believe it was my lack in progesterone.  I am pretty sure that was what helped me sustain my pregnancy with Madi (not to mention it was by the grace of God I carried her in my womb).  This time around I realized I did not have any progesterone on hand and I could not get some quick enough for it to make a difference.  Another fear is the insurance we currently have does not cover maternity.  

After praying through my fears God began to bring things to my mind that has put my fearful heart at peace.  He reminded me of the study I did not too long ago In Exodus 16.  God supplied for all of the Israelites needs and if God could “rain bread from Heaven” then He certainly could supplement for what my body was lacking.  Also, a while ago, before I even knew I was pregnant I was contemplating a home birth.  I had already been doing some research on midwives and Neal was open to the idea as well.  So whether a home birth was the answer to the lack of maternity coverage or not, we truly felt God would provide.  We have been off of birth control for a while now and we are in the search for affordable maternity coverage and God knew that.  He could have allowed the pregnancy to happen sooner as well as later but He chose now.  

After finding out I was pregnant I found this video.  I have played it at least 10 times a day and if it was not playing out loud it was playing in my heart.   It has brought so much comfort.  This morning I woke up to find out I was miscarrying my two oldest girls (who do not know yet what mommy is going through) were singing JJ Heller’s song “His Hands”.  God was bringing comfort through my daughters.  How sweet that was to my heart, tears of sweet comfort.  This miscarriage was also another opportunity for my husband to protect me and love me!   
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.  Romans 8:28

I am sad and my heart is grieving right into His comforting and loving arms that hold me still.  We have received His peace and we still completely and utterly depend on Him for our family.  He is the giver and taker of life, the one who purposed life, the one who knows exactly what our family needs, the one who is the giver of “our daily bread”.  The one who will bring good out of any situation, the great provider and protector, the one who is so worthy of our trust and praise.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Modern Parables- Looks like a very cool study

  Watch the explanation video here on the website to get a better idea what these films are for.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

I am so grateful for the ones who have gone before me.

As I prayed over the decision to homeschool God brought much encouragement.  One of the many ways God has encouraged my heart was through a special friend.   I see her walking in shoes I hope to fill one day.  To know her is a great pleasure, to watch her walk is life changing, and to see her fall publicly on her knees in humbleness slices me to the core.

Here is a piece of her heart that has encouraged me and still does to this day.  This is posted on her blog and I have read it before but as I read it again today I am remembered why I love her so much.

Enjoy and be encouraged........


People ask us all the time why we home-educate. The second question is usually.... "Is it hard?" And then......"Are you monitored by the state? And...."Do you need any special credentials?"

Once, I met a lady in the pool who was besides herself beyond horrified because our kids would never be exposed to people from different cultures. I eased her fears as best I could...reassuring her that our kids are not lacking in that department...having relationships with friends from various back rounds including the Philippines, Hollywood, Haiti, China, and the Salt River Indian name a few. I informed her that they kids...were living with siblings from Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Her concerns turned to spiritual matters. How would they have contact w/people of other faiths? Again, I assured her that our kids are surrounded by all sorts of different people from different persuasions. We have non-believers under our roof and in our co-op right alongside the believers. We have our whole Jewish side of the family and all our Jewish friends. We've got Catholic family & friends and LDS family & friends. We've got new-agers agnostics, atheists, and more....all within our circle. Sadly, I'm pretty sure this lady in the swimming pool was still besides herself.... beyond horrified that our kids were not in "school" as we parted.

In the beginning we got our share of "Wait! What about
socialization?" Seriously, that one just makes me chuckle. Enough socialization has NEVER EVER been a problem.

Years ago...our boys attended a private school here in town. It was a lovely by lovely people. They were learning and doing well. But the Lord began tugging at my heart. This was not His BEST for our family. I processed the tugs for more than a year...ignoring, turning a blind eye, justifying why it was alright to stay...etc. But, these were the bottom line thoughts that would follow me around after I dropped the boys off early every morning... Someone other than me is with my kids all day long....Bradley and I are responsible for them....not Mr. or Mrs. So and So...and....... the mighty god of education is an idol.

That summer...during a six week long missions trip...the chains were broken. I compiled research, read, read, and read, compiled more and more research....highlighted...filled notebooks with, read, and read some more.

Bria was in third grade and Mcabe was in first when they came home. I knew what I had to do and I was confident I could do it. We had curriculums, we had, a schedule and we even had a principal! The boys and I stood in the kitchen on our first day and pledged allegiance to the flag by the t.v. These were the days when they still wore matching sweater vests to church and gladly sat for Sears portraits :)

Well, it's been over 9 years now and #1 Son has graduated out of "High-School." We have not accomplished everything we would have hoped as overseers of his education...but we have accomplished more than we could have ever dreamed of. That is my desire for all of our children....that they would not be hindered by our weaknesses and that they would surpass our dreams for them. Spiritually, relationally, artistically, and academically. Did you notice that I put academically last? I am such a bad home-educating mother. Academics come last on my list. It's not that I do not think that academics are important. I do. It's just that I think other things are more important. I tend to align myself with the Hebrew Worldview (do) rather than the Greek Worldview (know.) Assumptions That Affect Our Lives. I know...and I bet you do too.... a bunch of highly intelligent fools.

We (I especially) started out being VERY concerned about academics. I overbought everything I did not need and would never wind up using at the local Curriculum Convention. I attempted to recreate classroom settings with which I was familiar. It didn't take long for my misery to kick in. The kids were miserable too. I had us on a treadmill. Utter waste of time and energy...getting us nowhere fast.

Gradually, I realized that it was insecurity and fear which was motivating me and I relaxed big time. Then, I discovered Marilyn Howshall's Wisdom's Way of Learning.

She reiterated everything I was feeling and thinking.
I realized that the Lord gave these specific children to Bradley and I because He knew that we had specific ideas, abilities, and talents that He wanted us to impart to our kids. He trusted us with their stewardship. I remember that Bradley and I are creative individuals w/artistic bents and I began to see the big picture.

Some people think it's weird that I don't really consider (or know) what grades my kids are in...especially the younger ones. I mean...I have a "general" idea. Lower Elementary...Elementary...Middle School...etc. As they grow and mature....and gather experience...we ponder if and when they are ready to move ahead. Eventually, they will graduate High School when they show they are ready to move on to some form of "Higher Education."

We feel that if we can raise God fearing, God loving, God honoring individuals who know their purpose and desire to walk in His ways...individuals who are able to put coherent thoughts together and articulate them well....then we stewarded and shepherded as we were instructed to do so.

We live transparently and authentically in front of our kids. It's the only way we know how... and we are hoping for Godly results when this home-education journey of ours draws to a close.

One thing I've learned over the years is that there is nothing like being home with family members all day long expose the sinfulness of our own hearts. Fertile ground for daily life lessons.

Something I must be honest about...

When the going got tough...I was personally tempted to give up on a number of occasions. A friend lovingly confronted me with a few questions. "Is this a calling from the Lord...this home-educating thing? Or are you operating on your your own strength?" You see...I've discovered that even amongst home-educating circles there is a prevalent idea floating around out there...that "we take things year by year"...we "see what comes from each season to the next." I fell into that mindset for a short while....specifically at the "entering high school / panic stricken crossroad." The Lord exposed my distrust and firmly planted a commitment to home-education in my heart. I home-educate as an act of obedience.

He does not always call the equipped but He does always equip the called.

Her facebook status reads: 

Given the fact that I am a beast...I need a verse that stops me from dwelling on the fact that I am a beast.... because that limits the finished work of Christ and stinks like pride.



If you were not a beast how would God use you as the beautiful example you are?  You are a godly, transparent example and one beautiful beast, inside and out.

Love you