Sharp and Light

I don’t know how your church does the corporate prayer thing, but at my church it is pretty organic in nature. If you need prayer, you come and get it. Unfortunately I do not have the spiritual gift of intercession (fancy word for prayer, specifically on behalf of others). I like to pray, I pray very conversationally with God, I pray a lot. But I do not have the gift of knowing the specifics of what to pray for someone with little to no information given.

These people at my church that do have this gift serve week after week offering prayers of petition for healing, prayers of thanksgiving for gifts yet received, prayers of power to be applied to situations. All someone has to do is come take the hand of pre-mentioned “gifted person”, give a brief rundown of the prayer need and instantly anointing is rained down on these people. Words of affirmation come flooding out of their mouths like a tiny mini-sermon preached straight into your ears only.

I have been the recipient of this situation only a few times. I should go more often, but I don’t for some reason. Dumb on my part for sure. I vow to change this.

So this past semester has been quite the roller coaster for our family. When I hear some people talk about their “bad days” or their “breaking points” or what they consider to be “hard”, I am all over here like “That sounds like my last 5 years. Ha! Is that bad? Was I supposed to give up the other day? Should I be crying right now? Do I have ice in my veins?” Oh gosh, I hope my face does not tattle tale on my thoughts when people start to have complete meltdowns about silly stuff . I guess I just do not know much difference. I have fought for a lot in my life and giving up has never been an option. If I had a dollar for every time someone asked “how do you do it”, I would be filthy rich. But not once has “today” been a good day to throw in the towel regardless of the chaos that threatens my sanity.

Well, there was this once…but I got over it pretty quick. Ha!

On the flip side, I also realize that my version of “hard” is someone else’s version of a walk in the park. Thick skin comes in different depths I guess. Like they say •FIRST WORLD PROBLEMS• I should be embarrassed to complain about anything ever. Ugh!

So this one Wednesday, it was like all the other days {cray-cray}. But we were headed to church for midweek service. Even though the day had been filled with frustration because of unmet expectations with children’s behavior, an unexpected medical bill, the dog being stupid and using the bathroom places he shouldn’t, the baby looking homeless because I was preoccupied, my car threatening to blow up while I was running errands, the provider of our home providing a little extra long (aka: working late) so now we were late too…you know, that glorious ride to church that has you questioning “why go? today as been terrible and my attitude stinks.” As we arrived though, I felt different walking into the worship room. I instantly knew I would be going to go down for prayer with one of those amazing gifted prayer people (only my third time ever). At the time I was not sure what I wanted to pray about, but I was just ready for the service to begin so I could get down there and find out why the Holy Spirit was prompting me.

Because this semester has been a tilt-a-whirl of ups, downs and sideways, it has inevitability caused friction in my relationship with my husband. Communication is not at its finest during this stage of marriage. It’s amazing how well connected we are when the kids are not around. {Did I just say that?} Yes, I did just say that. Life with kids is the perfect opportunity for Satan to do what he does best…steal, kill and destroy. So I went down for prayer and just simply said, “Will you pray for our marriage?” No other information was given. Just that.

Beautiful, encouraging words rushed from this lady’s mouth as fast as she could speak them. I am sure this is a common prayer request. So she at first prayed generally for wholeness, restoration, understanding, ect. But then two things kept coming back to her and back to her:

  • sharpen their instincts
  • lighten the yoke

in•stinct /noun/:

  1. an innate, typically fixed pattern of behavior in people in response to a certain stimuli
  2. a powerful motivation or impulse

light /adjective/:

  1. of little weight
  2. suitable for small loads

Proverbs 27:17 says, “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”

Can you think of anyone more fit to sharpen you than your spouse? No one knows you better. And of course no one knows better than your spouse as to where your dull places are. And by instincts, I know she was referring to us being made in the image of Christ.

Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

We of course have human instincts such as fight or flight. I mean, how many times do words just fly out of our mouths without even thinking? But we also have God-given instincts breathed into us by our creator to do His work here on Earth. How else do you know to give that friend a call who you haven’t seen in weeks? We do not just simply move from here to there with no intention. Everything has a purpose. It was prepared for in advance. We have to be keen in our awareness of what God has for us in every situation. Even in the uncertain roller coaster places that twist our stomachs, we need to have our eyes peeled, ready for action as soon as the opportunity presents itself. We cannot simply rely on our human instincts and just react as we feel comfortable.

Then there was the yoke part…

Matthew 11:30 says, “For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

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I don’t care who you are, you have on a yoke. You really do not control as much as you think you do. You may do your best to prevent certain things. But if you have been alive for more than 5 minutes, you know life has its way of “happening” and pulling you in ways you never intended to go. We are like oxen walking along side by side strapped to a dumb wooden yoke. Scripture does not say “I will take your yoke off.” It says, “My yoke is…” implying that either way, there is a yoke. You just need to decide which model you are most interested in. The light one (God’s) or the heavy one (yours).

John 16:33 says, “In this world you will have trouble.”

We make decisions that either lighten the load or weigh it down. Circumstances happen that either lighten the load or weigh it down. So whether it’s self inflicted or just the product of breathing oxygen here on Earth, LIFE = A YOKE

So when that sweet lady prayed for God to lighten our yoke, it was like she knew the circumstances had compounded over time and had gotten heavy at our house and our yoke was weighing us down. She prayed favor over our household that God would do what only He can do to pull some of that weight off.

This is going to look completely different for every single person who reads this. But I would love to encourage you to pray for God to:

  • sharpen your instincts
  • lighten the yoke

Move through your day with purpose and your instincts sharpened to recognize opportunity. And with the yoke lightened, you can move even faster. Life is so much easier with God handling everything. Literally. Let Him do what He does best. You are freed up to enjoy the good times a little bit more because the “bad times” do not have as much authority when your instincts kick in and remind you Who is in charge.

On a side note, when the Holy Spirit prompts you to agree with another person in prayer…just do it. It’s not weird. It’s amazing. Maybe even think about being the one who initiates a prayer over another person. We all need help to navigate what we consider to be “difficult times”. Our church’s prayer team might get sick of seeing my face before I run out of things to pray about. I’ve decided to permanently live sharp and light.

TRUNKS UP!

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I May Still be a Little Bit Childish

I may be a lot of things [loud, funny, impulsive, short…], but one thing I am not is a procrastinator. Ew. I do not even like that word because it just reminds me that “something” needs to be done, so just do it already and end the misery. Ha!

However, with this next blog post, it has been nothing short of procratination for hopes that something would change and I would not need to write about it. But then I am haunted again by the words of Parker, the usually funny but often insightful clown, “Mom, I really think God let’s this stuff happen to our family because you can be trusted with it and He knows you will not keep it to yourself. There are so many Mommy’s out there who do not know what to do for their children, and you help them every single week. I hear you on the phone all the time and I see their kids change.”

So with that being said (thank you son), I lay open my soul…

Do you remember as a child having a Christmas Eve night where all you could think about was the ONE thing you asked Santa for that would just complete your life forever? For me, it was the Barbie Dream House. You know, the one with the elevator. I had circled that beautiful pink home in my parent’s Sears catalog so big that even the aliens on Mars could not miss it. One thing I did not circle was the almost $300 price tag. I do not know about your family, but ours did not spend that kind of money on Santa gifts. But I was a kid who believed in Santa and money was not a factor for Santa. I just wanted that Barbie Dream House, with the elevator, like my friend Brooke, so we could play together, at the same time, pretend we were both Barbie.

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Well no suspense needed, Christmas morning came and no Barbie Dream House. I got lots of other amazing things. But the ONE thing I really wanted was not there. I felt like Santa had let me down.  I could hardly even enjoy the other toys because of the disappointment I had over NOT getting the ONE thing I had actually asked for that year. Thus began my suspicion that Santa was not real. Spoiler Alert *I tried to get Blake to ask for a Barbie Dream House this past Christmas, but she wanted American Girl doll stuff. So she got American Girl doll stuff. Dang it. I just want to play Barbies…in that Dream House!*

So that is an example of childish disappointment. It was very real at the time, but over the process of age & maturation, I realized that 1. Santa is not real, telling secrets to a guy in a costume at the mall does not guarantee anything 2. My parents were never going to spend $300 on a big box of pink plastic no matter what color marker I used to circle with in the Sears catalog 3. Not getting that Dream House did not send me down a road of destruction. Jealousy maybe, but not destruction. I’m fine. Really.

1 Corinthians 13:11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things.

But now as an adult passionately seeking the face of Jesus, I sit in a different type of disappointment. I sought, I prayed, I believed, I waited…still no Casano Dream House.

↓ THIS IS NOT WHAT I AM REFERRING TO ↓

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In MANY ways, our family is living this dream. A first born son, a mini-me daughter, a surprise third child, I’m a stay-at-home mom, my husband works in corporate America, etc. But the dream I am referring to has to do with peace and wholeness within our home.

If you have followed along with me from the beginning of this blog with us bringing the two older kids home to homeschool two years ago, you have also read about all the different types of therapies we have tried mainly for Parker’s Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Dyslexia & Anxiety. And now we are finding out that our daughter Blake also is dyslexic. You know the extents we have gone to research and faithfully execute whatever was asked of us in order to bring healing and restoration to our children’s brains. I in no way am discounting anything we have tried thus far. I am sure that any success we have had to this point is a combination of “things working together for our good” (Romans 8:28). But all you have to do is stay with us for a couple of days to realize, we sure as heck have not gotten out of it what we have put into it. Chaos takes over pretty quickly on school days trying to teach Blake just how to read and comprehend the instructions on a work sheet (Her favorite phrase – “I don’t get it”), trying to get Parker to settle down and focus on something (His favorite phrase – “I don’t know what I did with my book”), and trying to entertain the baby (Her favorite phrase – “Da-da-da”). We do not have the independent learning thing quite figured out around here.

↓ IT NEVER GOES LIKE THIS ↓

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Two months ago, after a 21-day corporate fast our church calls every year, our church’s Wednesday night service was set aside for a “healing service”. I do not come from a denomination that ever practiced something like this. But there is no denying the power in it and the literal physical results I have witnessed over the last 4 years of participating with my church body. Among other prayer requests, my husband and I each year would participate in the service and pray OVER and FOR our children. But not until this year did we actually bring them into the service and have our pastor lay hands on them and pray HEALING and WHOLENESS over both of our children’s mind and body. Y’all…I have NEVER in my life EVER believed for something like I believed for this. I literally was vibrating with expectation. If ever God was going to instantaneously perform a miracle right in front of my eyes, THIS was it. This healing was going to make all the struggle and heartache worth it. I had done my part, and now God was going to do His part. I claimed His word and sighted scriptural promises, I prayed on behalf of my children, I believed He could do it, and then I waited for the next morning to begin a new day…

By 10 o’clock the next morning, Parker had already slipped into his normal impulsive tendencies and Blake was in a puddle of tears from having to read…that quickly our day was wrecked. I was not giving up though. I claimed victory and told Satan to leave us alone. The kids and I had a conversation about what was going on in the spiritual realm and how we were not going to give any more of our attention to it. Day two-the same. Day three-the same. Day four…you get the idea.

By the time Sunday morning rolled around and it was time to go to church again, I had little “want” for it. In fact, by Friday evening of that week, I felt very alone. I literally felt like my best friend had abandoned me, and worse, I felt like He had lied to me. Like a child, my feelings were hurt. I knew, without a shadow of doubt, God was calling our household to fast and pray for the healing of the children’s physical brains. For so long, we have been robbed of peace in our home and I just knew it was going to be over. War was waged and we had won. Right? But as each day passed with zero change, I cannot tell you how many times I questioned my more than a mustard seed amount of faith (Matthew 17:20). What more is there for a mortal person to do but to petition God with prayer and fasting (Matthew 17:21) and then to believe Him for what you asked?

And so like any mature Christian adult would do, I quit talking to God for a minute. Okay, for a lot of minutes. Not very mature at all. I was confused and hurt. It was not just the fact that the kids were still dyslexic or that Parker’s ADHD was raging out of control and his OCD was driving me crazy. It was the fact that God had spoken to me, gave me specific instructions to follow, and then there was no change at all. Not even peace that change was coming later. I would just sit and stare at the wall wondering “What did I miss? Did I make this stuff up? Am I going crazy?”

So after many weeks of homeschool continuing to be torture, punishments given, nights of falling into the bed from sheer emotional exhaustion, and even a meeting with a therapist “to go over things”, one night Parker asks to speak to Justin and I about something that’s been on his heart.

“Mom and Dad? Can I speak to y’all about something? I need to tell you why I have been so ugly to you both lately and being even more disobedient than normal. You see, at that church service, I asked God to heal me. I believed He would heal me. I even fasted from my Kindle for a month. (insert sobbing at this point) But God has not healed me and I am mad at Him. I’ve even been calling Him names like liar and stupid.  I still have anxious thoughts and I still cannot control my temper and I still hate school and I still cannot remember what I am supposed to be doing. He lied and I am mad about it. He said ‘where two or more are gathered and agree in My name, I am there’. There are four of us in our house who believe and it isn’t enough. Why? I am so mad and it’s not fair. Why won’t He heal me?”

We sat there speechless.

He just described EXACTLY what I have been feeling but never thought to discuss with him. The last thing I would ever want to do to one of my children is plant a seed of faith doubt in their hearts. As a disappointed adult, I retreated away from God. As a disappointed child, Parker acted out toward God. I may have never called God mean names, but ignoring Him wasn’t any better.

So as a family we had to first ask for forgiveness. Then we had to go back to the beginning and remember WHO we are referring to and WHO it is that we are petitioning and what defines HIS character. God, the ultimate creator, is our Heavenly FATHER. He is a GOOD Father. There is nothing in Him that would ever want to intentionally cause us pain or misery. He does not neglect His children or play favorites. So the lack of Him healing the children on our time table means what?

Ephesians 3:16-19 I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge–that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

I asked that God strengthen our household with power into our inmost being to increase our faith when physical circumstances would shake it. We have been rooted and established in love, therefore I asked that God help us each to grasp the vastness of His love for us and for us to never question His motives again. His love for us will always surpass our understanding and so there will be times we have to trust Who He is and not our current situation. And lastly I asked God to fill us each to the top, overflowing, with His fullness and for us to find complete confidence in knowing He can be trusted.

I would absolutely being lying if I said that praying those words erased all doubt and completely restored my joy instantaneously. But we all know that bad habits die hard and I often find myself focusing on what is in front of me (a child that reads below grade level, a child that hates school, a child that is defiant, a child who cannot follow sequential order). But then I immediately remember what 2 Corinthians 10:5 says about demolishing arguments and getting rid of every proud thing that sets itself up against the knowledge of God and to take every thought captive to make it obedient to Christ. And I can also be thankful to God that these are the only major problems my children have. Even though it is hard most days, I am well aware that things could definitely be worse. Both Blake and Parker are incredible children with gifts that blow my mind. But as their mother, I will never give up seeking to eradicate what plagues them.

I am not being “Polly Anna” by saying “just tell your thoughts where to go and all will be right in the world again.” But I am saying that the more you know of God’s character and His intents for your life, the more peace you will have when things do not look very promising in the present. He cannot be both just and unjust. He is either one or the other. And because I know He is a just God and a loving Father, I choose to lift my head back up out of the funk it’s been in and walk in the knowledge of His goodness. He is for me, not against me or my family.

Psalm 143:8 Cause me to hear Your lovingingkindess in the morning, For in You do I trust; Cause me to know the way in which I should walk, For I lift up my soul to You.

Because this journey has not been at all predictable, I am ever more dependent on God showing me the way in which I should walk.  Literally..I ask, He tells, I go…I am not responsible for the outcome or the timeline. I will never receive any glory in any of this. Anything good that comes from our household is because of God alone. And on that day that it all comes together and I see His master plan unfold, I will shout from the rooftop “TO GOD BE THE GLORY, FOR GREAT THINGS HE HAS DONE!”

A precious lady in the small group I host in our home had the most wonderful analogy to offer based on how we let life affect us. She said, “Everything good in life requires a process. Baking a cake, styling your hair, building a house…they each require a process that is annoying but necessary in order to reach the intended goal. We have become so lazy in our tolerance of the process. We as Christians need to learn how to TOLERATE the PROCESS.”

Wow. I sat there stunned thinking of everything that God had put on my heart that week. Learn to tolerate the process. Children want what they want and they want it now. But as adult Christians, we are to trust that God has a reason for everything…and it is for our good. So the Casano Dream House is still coming. It’s not out of stock. It may just be on back order. But it’s coming. I have shipping confirmation. Good things take time…and this will be worth the wait.

CLICK HERE→ Give Me Faith by Elevation Worship ←CLICK HERE

TRUNKS UP!

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I am See Through

Transparent: /trans’p∂r∂nt/ adjective

  1. allowing light to pass through so that objects behind can be distinctly seen
  2. easy to perceive or detect
  3. for one’s real self to be apparent

If I had to say I had one super power, it would be transparency. ∞Captain See Through∞  Why am I referring to transparency as being a super power? It’s not because I seriously think it’s something fantastic. It’s because it seems to be so hard for people to accomplish these days. Seriously, I know people who would rather have the stomach virus for 3 days than be their real authentic self where other people truly “know” them and allow those people to speak into their lives. Why!?! However, this see-throughness of mine often times gets me into trouble. Because I do not have any secrets, I assume no one else does either. Wrong. Because I like to address the true matter of a situation and clear the air, I assume other people do too. Wrong. Such a two edged sword. Every super hero has their own kryptonite I guess. Ha!

Now I am not at all tooting my own horn saying that I am a shiny glass window in which light shines through effortlessly to reveal a perfect Christian life that has mastered the test of sin. BaaaHhhaa!! Quite the opposite.  My glass is quite smeary with mistakes and lots of cracks from past failures, oh and a few birds may or may not have used the bathroom in some key areas of my “glass” causing confusion. But it’s not glass I am too prideful to ask for insight on how to repair or enhance either. Please pass the Windex.

If we would all let our real selves out more often, I am convinced that we could receive amazing insight and repair strategies that actually serve as that Windex to our souls.  Because once we allow light to pass through, our “work in progress” selves can then be strengthened and directed towards God’s best. A clear view is always better than a cloudy view.

Because I really think there is power is authenticity, let me begin this transparency effort by offering a photo of a very messy situation in my house right this minute. Ew! Not very Proverbs 31 ish is it?.

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Clearly my laundry is begging for me to give it some attention. But God has given me such a word of encouragement that those stacks of designer fig leaves are just going to have to wait their turn. “This will only take a minute.”, says the preoccupied mother of three.

More transparency? Okay. We have a battle going on in our Three Ring Circus and we do not have a chance at winning by ourselves. More plainly put…We think God may be calling our older kids back to regular school this coming fall. face-screaming-in-fear

I vividly remember being in complete denial about God asking me to homeschool the kids in the first place. And then God made that current situation so miserable that obedience was all that was left. I often refer to my obedience during that time as a five year old who begrugingly obeys her father to clean up her dolls as she stomps up the stairs to her room. With teeth grinding I replied, “Yes, Sir. I will homeschool.”

But now I actually prefer homeschool. Imagine that. The very thing that I was so reluctant to do turns out to be WAY easier and better than I ever thought. [So-Much-Freedom]

The first year was meant to get Parker back on track academically and allow time for all the sensory therapy he was scheduled for. But we actually CHOSE to continue homeschooling for the second year, because we liked it so much and it really was in Blake’s best interest too. Guess what though, I am starting to get the memo that there once again is change in the air. Ugh! For once in my life can I have some peaceful stability? Um, nope. My skin was born thick and clearly God has plans to use it for His glory. But to be honest, I feel that little five year old girl inside of me starting to grit her teeth together. My feet are getting heavy and they want to stomp.

This second semester of school has just about ripped me to shreds. I need to get into the greek & hebrew text to find a word good enough to describe how I feel. It’s not that the curriculum is harder or that anything in our schedule has changed. Adding the baby last semester has actually been the easy part if that gives you any idea the degree of difficulty I am referring to. It is literally like our classroom has been invaded by a spirit of defiance and apathy. I do not mean to freak anyone out by referring to spiritual warfare, but the stuff is real. Don’t believe me?…Go live your life full out for Christ with zero concern for what others think and then take a look around and tell me you do not see and feel the battle waged against you. When you are a threat to Satan’s game of convincing people that “good” is okay and “better” is acceptable instead of God’s “best”, he has a battle plan to crush your efforts. I am here to tell you I am raising warriors and my children are threats to Satan’s schemes to fill hell to the brim.

My current problem is trying to discern if the stress on the Casano College school front is 1.) Satan trying to make me so discouraged that I throw in the towel and just put them back in regular school OR 2.) God allowing me to become so miserable that I am now open to another option.

Here’s the deal though, according to scripture, this is a battle that I am not expected to fight. I know without a shadow of a doubt that my carnal self is not equipped to be a homeschool mom. There is nothing in my DNA that is capable of having the mercy, compassion and patience it takes to educate my own children. Everything to this point in our homeschool journey has been by God supernaturally pouring His ability into me.

I am reading a book by Jentezen Franklin that talks about how in 2 Chronicles, King Jehoshaphat knew he was about to go to battle against a much larger army. There was ZERO chance his army was going to win. He was not equipped to fight against this larger army that was already pursuing him. Like me, he was rightfully scared and apprehensive. But what he did next was monumental: he sought the Lord through prayer and fasting

We have no power against the great multitude that is coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are upon You. 2 Chronicles 20:12

Transparent moment…I do not know what to do. I know that there are a multitude of spiritual things against our family and our children in particular, but I have no idea what to do about it.  I am not naturally equipped to know the answer on my own. However, my eyes are upon the Lord begging for His mercy and wisdom. It forces me to get outside of my natural self and lean into my spiritual self where I find favor and guidance from God.

God told them that the battle was not theirs but His. He told them exactly where the enemy would be, but He said, “You will not need to fight in this battle. Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord.” 2 Chronicles 20:17

Do you hear this? Do you really understand this? The battle for our children, the next generation, is WAY outside of our natural abilities. There is no way we could ever fully understand all that is at stake here or we would probably mess it all up more than we already do. Ha! We know that there is a war waged in the heavenlies that affects us here on Earth, but we do not know where the enemy is always hiding or what his motives are in every situation. But our all-knowing, all-seeing God does know the entire blue print of both sides. I often times give myself more credit than I am due thinking I figured out Satan’s mode of attack–Only to have the rug pulled out beneath me with a sneak attack I never saw coming. [Embarrassing!]

Encouragement moment…scripture promises in Jeremiah 29:13 & 2 Chronicles 15:2 that if you seek Him, you will find Him. And throughout the story of Abraham being called into ministry, Abraham HEARD God’s voice, BELIEVED what he heard, DENOUNCED comfort, had COURAGE to follow God’s direction and had the TENACITY to focus on the promise not the problems. Abraham sought God and found Him. King Jehoshaphat sought God and found Him. ↑More goodies from Jentenzen Franklin’s book↑

My husband and I are earnestly seeking God on the topic of what lies ahead for our children’s academics. We believe we will find Him in this.

This may not be as big of a deal for some families, but for our children who do not learn the traditional way, this is a HUGE point of concern. We believe we are hearing God calling us away from homeschooling this fall. We are denouncing the comfort that homeschool has become for us. We are having courage to tour local schools and make some life altering decisions. And we have the tenacity to not whine about the fall out and to finish the race with endurance.

I have confidence that this upcoming battle will be one that we will not have to fight at all. Our family has no power against learning & behavioral difficulties or the cost of private school tuition. We have done ev-er-y-thing in our power to remediate this situation and it has led us to this point of letting the Lord alone fight for us.

So if I am going to be completely transparent in the hopes of showing someone else that they are not alone, I have to admit that I am at a loss and I am broken. I do not have the answers on my own very often. Never did I think raising children would require such a level of humility. But I am also VERY grateful that I am now at the end of my rope where God promises to do battle on my behalf. This promises to be a fun show.

The More I Seek You by Kari Jobe ←CLICK HERE

I Won’t Go Back by William McDowell ←CLICK HERE

TRUNKS UP!

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P-P, What Begins with P?

I have to admit, I am still a little immature when it comes to things like calling out the spelling word “but” to my then first grader last year. We both fell out laughing…”Mom, you told me to spell butt!” “No Blake, I told you to spell b-u-t, like the conjunction, NOT the body part.” So when I looked over my notes of what God has been speaking to me about, I again started laughing…”P-P”. I think it is just the stage our family is in right now. I am either changing a pee-pee diaper, cleaning up dog pee-pee or wiping pee-pee off a toilet seat that should have been lifted before using.

Regardless, the letter •P• is jumping off the page at me right now with some key words God keeps reminding me of as He has been leading me down a very (very) long road that does not seem to have a final destination quite yet. I keep wanting to put a nice pretty bow around a situation that obviously is not ready to be boxed up and put away.

I so desperately want to be done with all things therapy related. I just for once want to not be spending money (lots of money) on correcting something that “should” come naturally. Why is it so difficult for Parker to not run everywhere he goes? Why can Blake not remember a sight word that was in a sentence on the previous page? Why can Parker not follow simple sequential order instructions? Why is Blake so easily distracted? Why is Parker so obsessed with having a plan?

Here’s why…

We are all born with a nervous system. Not a system that is nervous (that’s a whole different blog post on “nature vs nurture”…no-thank you), but the part of your body consisting of your nerves that coordinate your voluntary movements with you involuntary movements. Your Central Nervous System includes your brain and spinal cord. Then there is the Peripheral Nervous System that includes everything else but it is divided into two categories, the Autonomic and Somatic.

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The Somatic System includes the things you choose to make your body do: open your mouth, kick a ball, scratch an itch, etc. The Autonomic System is exactly what you would think it is, the things your body does automatically without you telling it to: the beating of your heart, breathing, pushing your food through your intestines, etc.

Now take that Autonomic System and break it down one more time into the Sympathetic and Parasympathetic Systems. The Sympathetic System can be given a thumbs down for making you sweat when you get anxious about something. You did not choose to get anxious nor did you choose to get sweaty pits because your kids are embarrassing you in public. It just happens because your heart rate increases, your pupils dilate, you feel light headed because all of your blood is rushing to your legs and arms…this is your “fight or flight” response. You want to run and hide under a rock, but instead you end up screaming for them to stop mooning their friends from the top of the park slide (or maybe that kind of stuff just happens to me). Whereas the Parasympathetic System can be given two high fives because it is responsible for making you feel chill mainly because during these moments your blood is primarily in your core area. Take inventory next time you eat your favorite comfort foods or spend time with your best friend.

Now, one more nerdy thing (hang with me)…the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus is a very small portion of your brain that works with your Autonomic Nervous System. It’s job is to maintain your body’s version of “normal”…emotions, metabolism, fluid balance, temperature, etc. It automatically adjusts your body to maintain a certain level of normal that your body is comfortable with.

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Your visual system is part of your central nervous system. Your optic nerves from both eyes meet and cross at the base of your hypothalamus. At this point, the information coming in from both of your eyes is combined and split according to the range of your visual fields. What is actually “seen”(or not seen) is then sent to the brain to be processed.

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L  O  N  G story short is that our eyes play a MAJOR role in our everyday, walking around selves. Our vision fields control how we perceive and reply back to our world. If one part of the nervous system happens to be unbalanced, the entire nervous system is whack. Hello ADHD and OCD.

Remember, the hypothalamus is in the Forebrain. The Forebrain is a part of the Central Nervous System. The Forebrain is behind the eye sockets. So we can get to the hypothalamus via the eyes and change vision fields using colored light therapy. Therefore, in theory, we can balance the entire nervous system by increasing visual fields to a “normal” range. Once the eyes can take in correct amounts of information, that information transfers to the brain to be processed and gives a correct output. If the brain is processing correct, balanced information then the Peripheral Nervous System can have healthy  Sympathetic and Parasympathetic responses. If it is not receiving correct, balanced information, the output will be unbalanced in order to compensate for what it perceives to be missing therefore creating erratic, unpleasant Sympathetic and Parasympathetic responses.

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When we first began this Visual & Sensory Therapy with Parker, this is where his visual fields lined up. This range is what is referred to a binocular vision because the visual fields did not cross and there is a huge “blind spot”. [Blind spot does not mean a dark spot in actual vision, it means that information cannot be processed at all in this area.) In fact, if you will notice, one eye’s fields are even smaller than the other. Double trouble. And can you imagine seeing your world through a pair of binoculars?

After one normal round of light therapy (one color only) and one aggressive round of light therapy (four colors), this is where his vision fields are now. Notice how the fields are off the paper and the blind spot is significantly smaller within the normal range.  The fields now cross as they should (creating one image) and the blind spot is much smaller.

Now, let me be clear…just because I am the one writing this information based on the research and the many conversations I have had with Dr. Snider does not mean I fully understand ANY of it. I am just as in awe and dumbfounded as the next person about how intricately the human body is formed. God is so incredibly creative. What my problem right now is why is it all not happening as fast I want it to? We have done what is required of us. We are consistent with school, diet and at home therapy. We have made the financial sacrifices to get Parker every single option there is within geographical reach. I mean, seriously, aren’t you glad our version of wealth is God’s version of pavement? Because these days we could use a little heavenly gravel in our travel. I seriously just might explode if one more round of something is prescribed.

But even after ALL of that, I hear the Holy Spirit whisper to me…P-P, what begins with P?

  • Process-this whole raising kids thing, much less raising a kid (or three) with a few challenges, is a process that is not a quick, over-night-results oriented game
  • Patience-this process will require more patience than I was born with therefore requiring me to access a level of patience that only comes from God
  • Progress-this patience will pay off and progress will be evident in a form that I could never have imagined or dreamed up myself and ALL glory will be given to God

Here’s the truth of the matter…Am I jealous of people who have children that seem to float through life and school because their nervous systems were born balanced? YES!! Do I like to hear God tell me that even more patience will be required in the coming years? NO!! In fact, I hate that little “P” word. Do I trust that His word never fails and that if He promises results, then results are what I am going to see? YES!!

My God is not limed to a nervous system. My gosh, He made the darn thing anyway. If He had wanted it different from the beginning, He would have balanced it Himself while Parker was still growing in my tummy. He does not require me to get the heavenly memo about man-made light therapy units. However, I do know He has an INCREDIBLE future ahead for Parker that includes kingdom work. So by me, Parker’s mom, understanding there is a process to every good thing and having patience during the building process, I get to participate in the progress that is made. Therefore, when I get to heaven, my God will be able to say to me, “Well done my good and faithful servant.” And at the end of my life, that’s all I want to hear from Him anyway.

TRUNKS UP!

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A Grammar Lesson in Faith

Many (many) years ago, I graduated from high school where I learned way more than I ever intended about grammar and the English language. But in college I did not have to take a single literature class. So I thought I got off easy and my days of diagraming sentences were over. Who knew some 18+ years later I would be responsible for relaying this ever so important information to my own children? Unfortunately for them, everything I remember is pretty much based off of what I ignored collected as an adolescent. That scares the socks off of me on the days my son’s grammar curriculum calls for stuff like prepositional phrases or subject verb agreement. So what do I do on those days? I do like I tell them to do: I read the blue highlighted box at the top of the worksheet. It’s like I am going through 5th grade grammar all over again. That may not be a bad thing after all. Just ask my parents.

Did you know there are 13 verbs that can be used as helping verbs in the English language? Yeah, me neither. Of course some have different forms bringing the total to 26. Who cares? I mean, who knew? According to Your Dictionary, “the helping verbs help the main verb by extending the meaning of the verb such as to convey expectation or potential”.

The word “faith” is found 336 times in the Bible (according to Google). I cannot decide if faith is a noun or a verb. Of course faith is a thing, so that makes it a noun, right?.

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not by your own doing; it is the gift of God. Ephesians 2:8

But faith is also an action, so that makes it a verb, right?. Who knows?  I am just going to make the executive decision to put a helping verb with it and make faith a verb. HAVE FAITH

Have faith in God. Mark 11:22

But when you ask, you must have faith [believe and not doubt], because the one who doubts is like a wave tossed by the wind. James 1:6

What good is saying you have faith if you are not acting like it. Faith is an action because it cannot be proven if not put to the test. It’s like a person saying they are calm all the while screaming like a maniac. Sure you are calm. I can totally see you are in control. Not!

Faith works the same way. James 2:17 states a very obvious notion that “faith by itself, not accompanied by action, is dead.” Here’s the deal though…where does our help come from? It comes from the Lord Himself. We can state we have faith in this or that all day long. But the Lord has to be the One you rely on to accomplish the action. Here’s the example that comes to my mind.

In Genesis, the story of Isaac and Rebekah is documented. Abraham wanted a bride for his son Isaac from his own land, not the land where they lived presently. So Abraham sent his servant back to his homeland to seek a wife for his son. Upon arriving, the servant finds very young Rebekah who [having faith] goes with the servant to marry Isaac–sight unseen. So Rebekah had faith in God and wed Isaac. Fast forward several years, this same Rebekah has twin sons, Jacob and Esau. Jacob was Rebekah’s favorite even though he was not the first born son. She wanted the family spiritual blessing to be on her favorite son, not the rightful heir Esau. So Rebekah came up with a devious plot to get what she wanted and in the end Jacob did receive the blessing from Isaac.

Here’s the deal…In both circumstances, Rebekah possessed the noun version of FAITH. But only in the first example did she have the verb form of the word. Clearly Rebekah must have had faith in order to even consider leaving her family to travel hundreds of miles to marry some old guy she had never even met. But it was put into action the moment she saddled her horse and step by step made her way to his doorstep to then take his last name. Whereas in the second scenario, the noun form is present because clearly she knew God has a blessing to give, she had faith that God had a plan. The trouble this time though is that she took things into her own hands and removed the action of the word FAITH. She did not go in the way of the Lord. Her works did not reflect the faith she claimed to have. Because had she truly had faith in the God she wanted the blessing from, her actions would have proven otherwise.

The same Rebekah who without hesitation followed a servant to an unknown land to marry Isaac is the very same Rebekah who then years later manipulated Isaac by purposefully putting her favored son in front of him to falsely receive the family blessing. Again, what is faith without it being an action? Faith as an action got Rebekah to Isaac. But faith as only a noun lead Rebekah to take things into her own hands. How often we could rename our own selves “Rebekah”?

I without hesitation signed up to homeschool, then often falter and try to manipulate the final outcome. “Sure God. Yes. I will teach my own children at home.” Fast forward a couple of weeks…”Hey God, how much longer do you want me to do this?” Fast forward to the next semester…”Um, so God? I have a couple of suggestions that you might want to consider.” Then this all leads to me researching what the public schools are doing, what each private school is doing, ect so that I can compare it to what we are doing. And each time I find an area that is different than what we are doing (good or bad), my faith begins to drag. I start questioning why would God want us doing something so different. I start questioning when could my kids go back to a regular school situation. I start questioning where would they best fit in based on what we have been doing here at home. That doubt creeps in and robs my noun form of FAITH.

Then I snap back into reality and remember what the book of Mark says about “Have faith in God.” This whole homeschool idea was His in the first place. Faith is a verb people. Every Single Day I have to purposefully put one foot of faith in front of the other and forcefully move through second and fifth grade curriculum. There is zero sense in me looking at what other students are doing at other schools and concocting some plan to streamline my kids to fit that model. God has not given me any directive in that area at all. Gosh, I wish He would [because I am a planner like that].

Just like when He told Rebekah that the first born gets the birth right, He has told me that I am in charge of teaching my kids about verb tenses and math equations and phonics and reading comprehension and whatever else comes down the pipe. Rebekah thought she would be slick and get her favorite kid in on the good deal. I sometimes think I am slick by making sure my kids are up to par on the status quo, you know…just in case. I think I hear God laughing now saying, “Just in case? Just in case of what? Like I am going to all the sudden mid semester realize, oops didn’t mean for you to be in charge of THAT subject. Daughter, please. Trust me. I’ve got this. Just get your little dry erase markers out and show that little girl how to form a cursive S. My ways are SO much higher than your ways. Have faith in Me.”

TRUNKS UP

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Koom-By-Yah

With the end of the school year rolling around (GLORY!) and spring fun happening every single day (GLORY! x 2), it is about time for my family to plant our summer garden. I love my garden for two particular reasons: it forces me to make time to go outside everyday to water the plants AND it produces food that I am in control of nurturing.

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I, like many other people I am sure, am VERY affected by the weather. I most especially am affected by sunlight, or the lack there of. I am not self diagnosing myself, but I do know there is something out there that has to do with sunlight and mood. I am also very much affected by the foods I eat or do not eat. If I even think about skipping a meal it is a downward spiral that my husband especially cannot stand to watch happen (He will say “feed the beast!”) And if I do not eat healthy for a couple of days, it takes twice as long to recover from that “poisonous coma”.

Now would be the time to click that little square box at the top of your screen with the “X” in it if you and your family get all the sunshine and healthy food your bodies can take OR if you or your kids never have a bad attitude. Dang, I wish I was you right now.

But for the rest of us normal people…proceed

All that to say, it’s fine and dandy if I want to self destruct my own body and live in a cave and eat biscuits and drink grape kool-aid all day. However, I have created two identical physical & emotional versions of myself (that just happen to look a lot like their Dad). The little princess and circus clown in this three ring circus are just as sensitive to nature as I am if not even more.

I have posted before about a health scan I and my son had done called a zytoscan. Because my college degree is in health and nutrition (Dietetics), I have been aware of food and its physiological properties for a LONG time. However, gluten allergies were just on the rise when I graduated, avoiding red dye seemed only for the wacky folks, and kids were being prescribed ADHD drugs left and right. The affects food & nature have on children’s behavior was not discussed much in my classes. Not to say there was not ANY research on the subject. But I can promise you, in my child nutrition class, the word “gluten”, “leaky gut”, or “protein enzyme deficiency” never came up when speaking about normal American children. And I can also guarantee that during my child development classes, the connection was not brought to the Dietetic student’s attention that ADHD and other behavior disorders should be looked at through the lens of the dinner plate.

The zytoscan results we had revealed some information that I think is more relevant to the general population than anyone realizes. My family is not 100% organic and healthy 7 days a week. But comparatively speaking, I would give us an 8 out of 10. We still like a glass of sweet tea, I sometimes fall victim to the local donut shop, we get busy and find ourselves eating Mexican late after a baseball practice, etc. Who doesn’t like a treat every once in a while? But my pantry & fridge are both full of healthy options so that we do not make bad choices at home. And yet still, that zytoscan showed us having significant nutrition deficits and toxins all related to the food we ingest and chemicals we are exposed to (and I was told our results were on the high side of the new normal).

I was so appalled that I immediately changed the way we did “food” around here. And long story short, positive things started to happen. For the duration of this post I am going to focus on my son because he is the one that is most affected my environmental factors and he is the one I think most parents who are frustrated with their children’s behavior can relate to.

Parker’s main behavior issues are:

  • Impulsive & Obsessive
  • Fidgety
  • Talks too much; interrupts
  • Cannot complete a task without reminders

Changes we made:

  • No (or limited) wheat products
  • No (or limited) refined sugar
  • No red dye products
  • Must sleep at least 8 hours
  • Must spend 30 min per day in sunshine

The reason I put “or limited” on wheat and refined sugar is because I cannot literally control everything that goes into his mouth. He can recognize red dye products on his own, but if he is at a friend’s house or at art camp, etc I do not want to draw further attention to him by him having to be the kid with a list of “food issues” that are not even allergies, they are just preferences. And for the most part, if he has been “clean” several days, one cookie really doesn’t throw him into a tail spin. A dozen donuts, yeah we’ve got major problems. Ha!

A few minor changes produces this affect…

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The sleep and sunshine thing again goes back to the way God made us. The Bible in 1 Corinthians 6:19 says “Our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit. You are not your own.” My college studies as well as just a thirst to know more about how God made us forced me to look over the years at what man’s original design was in The Garden versus what we have forced it into today. Were we made to be indoors 90% of the day sitting more than moving? Was our digestive system designed to eat food containing preservative chemicals? Honestly I think it is simply amazing that our bodies do not just self destruct and give up when we neglect it this way…or maybe it is self destructing…slowly…and we are ignoring the obvious signs.

Before you conclude that I am a health-nut, I am not in any way. And honestly, I think it’s hilarious that going back to nature and the way folks ate 50 years ago is now considered “weird”. Think of how many “health food” grocery stores you know of that are not really strictly “health food” by definition, they just carry pure ingredients. They refuse to stock items that contain the normal list of ingredients that you would find in a local food market that the government deems as “okay enough” for the general population. Those US government approved ingredients are banned in other countries, but not here. So I will gladly pay 4 times as much for that produce, chicken breast, or tomato sauce in a glass jar. Because you know how the saying goes “Pay Now or Pay Later”…it is SO true. Ask the lady who has first generation diabetes, or the child whose stomach constantly cramps because of celiacs, or the 10 year old who just got her period 3 years earlier than her mom did, or the woman who cannot figure out why she cannot get pregnant (that was me, yes nutrition related 100%). It’s all nutrition related.

If you have stuck with me this far and have not written me off as a fanatic. Let me offer one more suggestion that has worked enormous wonders in our household. Ok, get your running shoes on just in case this pushes you over the edge…

Again referring to the zytoscan, our bodies were filled with a very unhealthy load of toxic chemicals that could be targeted specifically at what our skin touched (what you clean with or put on your body) and what we ingested (medicines). A friend of mine had already been sharing with me her success with essential oils, so this just caused me to look further into again NATURE’s way of doing things.

Did you know that Lavender takes the pain of a burn away immediately? Or that a blend of Peppermint, Lemon and Lavender push seasonal allergies away for hours? Why take a pill for that stuff if you do not have to? You can make your own kitchen disinfectant, your own bug repellent, natural bathroom scrub. You name it, there is an oil for it. And it is CHEAP.

My most favorite testimony of using essential oils is my son’s story. If I never use them for anything else but to keep my son off of AHDH medication, it is good enough for me. I use a brand of essential oils that has have a focus blend and an emotional grounding blend. The focus blend helps my son to have a healthy thought process leading him to sustained focus and staying on task. The grounding blend creates a sense of well being and calm when he is feeling anxious, nervous, or hyper. I apply those two oils on him in the mornings before homeschool. Ten minutes later, we can begin our day.

The most recent story happened two weekends ago during a baseball tournament. My normally confident circus clown was feeling anxious about his first tournament of the season. So he asked if I would put his school oils on him because he wanted help to focus in the field and just chill out. I did not think to tell his Dad or the other coaches. But after the first game, my husband said to me “Parker said you put that oil stuff on him. I hope you brought it with you because he is ZONED in and I am loving not having to get on to him every 5 minutes.”

Look, I realize every child’s behavior problem cannot be solved simply be removing the honey bun and replacing it with almond butter (which is really good by the way). Or by slathering some “hippie oil” on the bottoms of the feet. But I am surprised at the amount of parents who do not question what the school cafeteria feeds their kids, make a boxed meal for supper and then wonder why their child is suffering academically, physically, socially or behavior wise. Thankfully every child is not as sensitive to these factors as my children. But for those of you who this might have struck a chord with…test me. Change the household diet (yes, it takes extra effort to MAKE food), pack your child’s lunch (yes, it costs more to do this), push your kids outside and then see if anything changes over the next two weeks. Be willing to think outside of the box and apply a natural remedy instead of just writing a child off as “bad”, “loud” or “wild”. If nothing changes, go back to eating frozen pizzas and pre battered chicken nuggets. At least you tried. Trying worked for us, it might just work for your family  too. You will never know unless you…TRY

TRUNKS UP!

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CONFESSIONS of a homeschool Mom

I am laughing at this title because it sounds so scandalous…but then there is that phrase “homeschool Mom” that totally gives the punchline away. Nothing intriguing or mysterious going on here. But since confession is good for the soul, let’s proceed.

  • I am really tired {1 Corinthians 6:19 “Our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit”}

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If you come to my house unannounced, you will probably get some version of this. Who am I kidding? I wish I looked that good without make up. But you get the idea. I’m trying to spare you of my real homeschool mom look. I have such good intentions everyday to get myself together before everyone else rises, but we all know where good intentions lead us. I cannot even say I bathe every day. Bare necessities people.

  • I sometimes skip church on Wednesday nights just so I can go to the grocery store by myself {Hebrews 10:25 “Do not give up meeting together as some are in the habit of doing.”}

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I seriously love my church, a LOT. But dang, I love my sanity a LOT too. Have you tried taking three people with you to the grocery store? They all have something else to talk about, want different things put in the buggy (that are not on your list), get cranky at different times and run off because they see someone they know (well, not the baby of course, but she will too eventually I am sure).

  • My kids usually do not cooperate {Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go, when he is old he will not turn from it.” Ephesians 6:12 “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, authorities and powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil.”}

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Most days I feel like my training method is jacked up. So many times parenting is like taking 2 steps forward and 25 steps back. And why does this verse say when they are older? I want some instant gratification. All I do is train train train small people all day long and someone else gets to reap the rewards when they are older??? I will also bring to our attention 2 Corinthians 10:6 “We will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, once your obedience is complete.” My version in Elizabeth chapter 1 verse 1…Children be warned, Momma don’t play.

  • I get lonely {Proverbs 17:17 “A friend loves at all times.”}

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I spend on average 3-5 hours in the classroom per day with just me and the kids with the baby in her super cool automatic rocking cradle. That is really great. It really is. Then there is breakfast, lunch & supper to prepare and clean up, that mound of laundry to attack like a ninja, whoops, the baby just pooped on herself again and needs to be fed and bathed again…tomorrow’s lesson to prepare, a fight to break up between the older kids, my small group to email that leads to other emails to return, dishwasher to unload for the second time today…oh look, the sun is setting. Yeah, it’s just me and them most days. It’s awesome, but I miss my friends too. Heck, I just miss adults in general.

  • My laundry is never done {Proverbs 31:13 & :17 & :21-22} ←BIG OOPS! That lady was a hawse.

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Will it ever be done? Is that really obtainable? A baby (’nuff said), a son that is disgusting at best (I mean that in the best way possible. But bird guts? Really?), a daughter who thinks every activity has to be coordinated and a husband who has three phases of his day (gym time, professional time and coaching time). For me, refer to bullet point number 1. Remember, I do not bathe everyday. And this is just another reason why. Just kidding. Not really.

  • I do not breastfeed {Proverbs 31:15 “She gets up while it is still night; she provides food for her family.”} IMG_8921

I tried. I really did. I even prayed about it before the little monkey was born. And I know it is God’s best for babies plus it’s free. And being at home all day should have been a perfect set up. But honestly I am just not good at it. I even pumped during the day to keep from scaring my 10 year old son for the rest of his life. But when all was said and done and I kept having to miss things because I was somewhere else nursing, a friend shared with me some wisdom. She said, “With three kids and homeschooling older ones who also have afternoon activities, someone is always going to get the short end of the stick throughout your day. So give yourself a break and open a can of formula so you can be there for the older ones who will remember this time.” Wow! Okay then.

  • I know way too much about bee hives and the ear canal {Proverbs 4:7 “The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding.”}

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This is actually the part of homeschooling I like the best. I can do without complete predicates and fractions. We end up spending most of our quality learning time discussing futile matters like how to fold an American flag or how the Egyptians built those pyramids. However, few people get high achievement test scores based on their understanding of how bee hives are winterized. 

  • I do not enjoy teaching children how to read {Proverbs 31:26 “She speaks with wisdom and faithful instruction is on her tongue.”}

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I do not have to explain this confession to anyone who has even read with a young child. Oh my word. The word is CAT! C-A-T. cuh-ah-tt. It’s CAT every time. Stop sounding it out. I was not called to be an elementary school teacher by trade. This season of my life is for my children only. Which leads perfectly into confession #9.

  • I raise my voice…actually I holler {Romans 12:18 “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”}

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I do not loose my cool about school work specifically. I begin to steam at repeat bouts of laziness, lack of self control (there’s the pot calling the kettle black), and/or a bad attitude. I can take a lot of c-r-a-p, but I just wish children understood the sacrifice mother’s make and just do what they are asked to do the first time. Like maybe, eat the supper I prepared instead of asking for mac & cheese every meal. Not that I am the poster child for this suggestion. My parents often remind me that I re-created myself three times over, especially with the middle child (the one addicted to microwave mac & cheese…Eww!)

  • I try to multi-task too many things at one time {Ecclesiastes 3:1 “There is a time for everything, a season for every activity under the heavens.”}

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This is just the school schedule. And if you for one milli-second think our days go exactly like this…you are crazy. I love a good starting point though. And this schedule makes sure I do not forget anything important during school hours. But then there is the afternoon schedule mixed with the baby’s schedule mixed with anything else I remember to do that I never actually wrote down…all while checking Facebook & Instagram because they are my best friends. It’s my social outlet. I am pitiful.

Whew…glad that’s done. I feel better now. Thank you for being my virtual online “priest in a box”. And that’s just the top 10. I am also jealous of women with long legs, I sometimes exaggerate stories to make them more funny, I sneak and eat a few grapes when I am grocery shopping to see if they are sweet enough to buy, wait…none of those things have anything to do with homeschooling. I got a little carried away.

Bottom line is we all need grace and I am incredibly thankful God had that idea woven into the story even way back in Genesis when Eve starting this roller coaster of screwing up. 2 Corinthians 12:9 reminds us that “God’s grace is sufficient for us, for our power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weakness, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” Romans chapter 6 is the perfect follow up to this grace because it also encourages us to not camp out in our sin. Grace is not a permission slip to stay where we are comfortable and expect everyone else to just “get over it”. Sin is sin and it is wrong, which is why it calls for confession. It’s the very thing that put Jesus on the cross. I also realize periodically falling short on our “mom duties” is not necessarily “sinful”. But aren’t you glad we have a forgiving God who is our biggest cheerleader on our journey to recognizing our weaknesses? He gets all the glory when we finally overcome an attitude or action that has plagued us for way too long.

Now that I have outlined at least 10 items I need to address, I think I will begin tomorrow with a new start knowing “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13 Maybe I should invite my friends over for a laundry party while I breast feed and let the kids read a novel to us. But then that violates confession #10. Never mind.

TRUNKS UP!

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