Tag Archives: Homeschool

Tall, Grande, Venti

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One of the most important decisions when ordering coffee is what size you want. Each size has its own merit and each size has its own cost. We have to weigh the cost against the amount of coffee we feel we need and can finish. Oh how like life that is! Each decision we make has a cost. Each cost reflects the worth.

In working with others, our decisions matter. Each decision effects others and reflects our opinion of their worth. Jonah had this problem. He felt the people of Nineveh were not worth his time, effort, or his God. It seemed to hurt more than the fish bite!

Jonah chapters 3-4

Jonah Goes to Nineveh

3 Then the word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time: 2 “Go to the great city of Nineveh and proclaim to it the message I give you.”

3 Jonah obeyed the word of the Lord and went to Nineveh. Now Nineveh was a very large city; it took three days to go through it. 4 Jonah began by going a day’s journey into the city, proclaiming, “Forty more days and Nineveh will be overthrown.” 5 The Ninevites believed God. A fast was proclaimed, and all of them, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth.

6 When Jonah’s warning reached the king of Nineveh, he rose from his throne, took off his royal robes, covered himself with sackcloth and sat down in the dust. 7 This is the proclamation he issued in Nineveh:

“By the decree of the king and his nobles:

Do not let people or animals, herds or flocks, taste anything; do not let them eat or drink. 8 But let people and animals be covered with sackcloth. Let everyone call urgently on God. Let them give up their evil ways and their violence. 9 Who knows? God may yet relent and with compassion turn from his fierce anger so that we will not perish.”

10 When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he relented and did not bring on them the destruction he had threatened.

Jonah’s Anger at the Lord’s Compassion

4 But to Jonah this seemed very wrong, and he became angry. 2 He prayed to the Lord, “Isn’t this what I said, Lord, when I was still at home? That is what I tried to forestall by fleeing to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity. 3 Now, Lord, take away my life, for it is better for me to die than to live.”

4 But the Lord replied, “Is it right for you to be angry?”

5 Jonah had gone out and sat down at a place east of the city. There he made himself a shelter, sat in its shade and waited to see what would happen to the city. 6 Then the Lord God provided a leafy plant[a] and made it grow up over Jonah to give shade for his head to ease his discomfort, and Jonah was very happy about the plant. 7 But at dawn the next day God provided a worm, which chewed the plant so that it withered. 8 When the sun rose, God provided a scorching east wind, and the sun blazed on Jonah’s head so that he grew faint. He wanted to die, and said, “It would be better for me to die than to live.”

9 But God said to Jonah, “Is it right for you to be angry about the plant?”

“It is,” he said. “And I’m so angry I wish I were dead.”

10 But the Lord said, “You have been concerned about this plant, though you did not tend it or make it grow. It sprang up overnight and died overnight. 11 And should I not have concern for the great city of Nineveh, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left—and also many animals?”

Sometimes we get mad at God. I was taught that getting mad at God was unnatural to a Christian. That isn’t true. A relationship with God is not one sided. If that is all God wanted from his creation, the animals would have sufficed for company. God wanted beings he could communicate with. Although God’s motives are pure and he never makes mistakes. Ours are not, and we mess up every day.

4:1 But to Jonah this seemed very wrong, and he became angry. 2 He prayed to the Lord, “Isn’t this what I said, Lord, when I was still at home? That is what I tried to forestall by fleeing to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity. 3 Now, Lord, take away my life, for it is better for me to die than to live.”

One thing that struck me about Jonah was he got mad at God for who he is. He got mad at God for doing something good. Do you ever get mad at God for doing something good? I have. As a mom, this happens to me frequently, as a foster mom even more! Sometimes I even get mad when God gives me what I want and I realize it isn’t all it was cracked up to be. “These kids are hard. This house is not meeting my needs properly. This child shouldn’t be here. God why did you bring me to this place?”

I love how God responded to Jonah.

4 But the Lord replied, “Is it right for you to be angry?”

5 Jonah had gone out and sat down at a place east of the city. There he made himself a shelter, sat in its shade and waited to see what would happen to the city. 6 Then the Lord God provided a leafy plant[a] and made it grow up over Jonah to give shade for his head to ease his discomfort, and Jonah was very happy about the plant. 7 But at dawn the next day God provided a worm, which chewed the plant so that it withered. 8 When the sun rose, God provided a scorching east wind, and the sun blazed on Jonah’s head so that he grew faint. He wanted to die, and said, “It would be better for me to die than to live.”

9 But God said to Jonah, “Is it right for you to be angry about the plant?”

“It is,” he said. “And I’m so angry I wish I were dead.”

The dialog recorded between them is sometimes even comical because it is so outrageously relatable. Especially if you have a four year old or a temper like mine. Jonah would say something and God would respond to what what going on in Jonah’s mind and heart, not what was coming out of his mouth. Boy is that a lesson in parenting!!! What wisdom is displayed there!! Then God would lovingly present another perspective to Jonah. Jonah didn’t take it, at least not in the recorded story. But in the end God had a “mic drop” moment.

10 But the Lord said, “You have been concerned about this plant, though you did not tend it or make it grow. It sprang up overnight and died overnight. 11 And should I not have concern for the great city of Nineveh, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left—and also many animals?”

It doesn’t matter if we respond to God’s leading and even attempt to see the other perspective he offers, truth is truth!! And God will not yield to our brattiness. Sometimes being faced with truth requires us to act against our feelings which is contrary to our natural selves. (Jonas’ obedience to God required him to act against the way he was feeling about the people of Nineveh) But God will lovingly provide fresh perspective, shade and comfort, and will show us his power over it all. If Jonah had put his eyes on God instead of himself he would have experienced a share in the power and redemption of God. When we release everything to him, he will live through us.

The same power that rose Jesus from the dead lives within us!

Every time we complain to God,he will remind us of who He is!! Once we see him and not us, he will show us what to do in light of who he is! He will never give us solutions that don’t flow out of who he is for us and through us, for his glory!

Jonah’s decision to run from God had consequences, but one of the best things that came out of it was the men of the Ship’s salvation!! God used Jonah’s disobedience and his testimony of repentance to bring others to Christ!! How encouraging is that! If God used our disobedience, how much more will he do when we do our best to do what is right. Our decisions have consequences, but a decision we make that may not be the best one but is made to the best of our ability as we surrender to God will be used!

The king of Nineveh called for a kingdom wide turning to the Lord, regardless of whether or not the Lord changed his mind.

7 This is the proclamation he issued in Nineveh:

“By the decree of the king and his nobles:

Do not let people or animals, herds or flocks, taste anything; do not let them eat or drink. 8 But let people and animals be covered with sackcloth. Let everyone call urgently on God. Let them give up their evil ways and their violence. 9 Who knows? God may yet relent and with compassion turn from his fierce anger so that we will not perish.”

That is true repentance, we don’t repent so nothing bad will happen we repent because we realize that we are wrong and our only hope is God. We are not preserving our life, we are preserving our relationship.

Jonah did not like the people of Nineveh and he did not like his calling, he did not like that The God who was gracious to him in the belly of the fish, was also extending his love grace and mercy to people he had pre judged as unworthy.

“Those who pay regard to vain idols forsake their hope of steadfast love.”

Jonah 2:8 ESV

This is the God we serve, he loves us when we are vile and unloving. When we stomp off to pout he grows a plant to shade us. He is patient with us when we are angry with him and others, he does not surrender his power or give in to our ridiculousness. But he doesn’t blast us out of the water for being human. We want to see justice done and we think we can decide what someone else deserves. God loves and forgives. Our concern for others should be to see them loved, not punished.

Those who pay regard to vain idols forsake their hope of steadfast love.”

Jonah 2:8 ESV

What decisions are you facing? Do you feel like you are paying “venti” price for a “tall” sized product? Are you mad at God for doing something good or not giving you what you want? Ask him to put your eyes on him, ask him to remind you that people are priceless, look for the shaded plants he has provided for you along the way, and trust him for the outcome and to provide the currency required for the cost!

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Bulletproof coffee

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Bulletproof coffee

Recently I took my low carb diet up a notch and gave into the fad of bulletproof coffee. The concept is simple but takes time. It promises results while furnishing you with a unique blend of caffeine, and fat, and natural sugar substitute. It is a meal replacement that propels you forward and contributes to your overall dietary needs and goals. Essentially, it “bulletproofs” your meal giving you energy and necessary calories, while protecting you from a sugar spike and eating too many carbs for breakfast.

Ever wish you could be “bulletproof?”

Have you ever felt the need to be protected? Have you ever been attacked by someone or lied about? What about your loved ones?

I don’t know know about you but if I am attacked or betrayed personally it’s painful, but I feel like I can manage. When someone I love, especially my husband is hurt it makes me feel like a soldier in a prison of war. I want to be a warrior but it feels like my hands are tied. When my kids are hurt it makes me want to fight even if I am tied up.

Hurt is a multifaceted thing. Often, especially in ministry, the pain that we go through has to be kept private. This adds another layer of pain. We don’t want to lie, but we also can’t tell the truth so we suffer in silence. We don’t want our pain to cause someone else to hurt.

Recently God has been taking my family through a valley of darkness. In this darkness I have experienced pain for myself, husband, and children. Psalm 23 is something I am thankful God took me through recently because it has had so many applications in this present hardship. That post can be found here:Brewing

But, I have been studying David’s journey running from Saul the past few days. God has used it to show me some truth that I would like to share in hopes of encouraging you but also to record it for my own altar of remembrance.

David was innocent of the charges Saul brought against him. He had dealt with Saul’s being kind then turning on him over and over. Finally he had to leave his home and run. While Saul searched for him and caused destruction all along the way, David looked back and felt it was because of him others were hurt and even lost their lives. And yet, God protected him and allowed the destruction to continue for a time.

Two separate instances have been very significant and precious to me from his journey I would like to share:

1 Samuel 21 New Life Version (NLV)
David Runs from Saul
21 David came to Ahimelech the religious leader at Nob. Ahimelech came shaking in fear to meet David, and said to him, “Why are you alone? Why is no one with you?” 2 David said to Ahimelech the religious leader, “The king has given me something to do. And he has said to me, ‘Let no one know anything about what I have sent you to do.’ I have told the young men to meet at a certain place. 3 Now, what do you have ready? Give me five loaves of bread, or whatever you may have.” 4 The religious leader answered David, “I only have bread which has been set apart as holy, if only the young men have kept themselves from women.” 5 And David told the religious leader, “For sure women have been kept from us while we have traveled. The bodies of the young men are holy even on everyday trips. How much more they are today!” 6 So the religious leader gave him holy bread. For there was no bread there but the bread before the Lord. It was taken from before the Lord, so hot bread could be put in its place. 7 Now one of Saul’s servants happened to be there that day. His name was Doeg the Edomite, the head of Saul’s shepherds.
8 David said to Ahimelech, “Do you have a spear or a sword? I did not bring my sword or any spears with me, because I had to hurry to do the king’s work.” 9 The religious leader said, “The sword is here that belonged to Goliath the Philistine, whom you killed in the valley of Elah. See, it is behind the linen vest, with a cloth around it. Take it, if you will. For it is the only one here.” And David said, “There is none like it. Give it to me.”
10 Then David got up and ran that day from Saul. He went to Achish king of Gath.

David needed help. He went to the religious leader for help. The priest thought at first that his resources were extremely limited. The bread he gave him was not even supposed to be given but he did and God used it to refresh and feed and care for David. This was something God did that was special for him. What I learned from this was to look for the bread God is providing in my life that feeds my emotional, spiritual, and physical needs. Within our situation we have seen so many things God has nurtured us with and had so many people come to us letting us know they love us and they are praying. These encouragements have been bread. Even almost “forbidden” bread at times.

David needed weapons. This was so incredible to me!!! The only sword that the priest had to give him was the sword David had used to cut off the head of Goliath!!!????!!! Wow!!! How cool is that? So the weapon David left with, was actually a tangible reminder of what God had done for him in the past. To carry with him, to help him, and to be used for the other part of the story God used to help me so much…

1 Samuel 24 New Life Version (NLV)
David Did Not Kill Saul
24 When Saul returned from following the Philistines, he was told, “See, David is in the desert of Engedi.” 2 Then Saul took 3,000 chosen men from all Israel, and went to find David and his men in front of the Rocks of the Wild Goats. 3 He came to the places where the sheep were kept on the way. There was a cave there, and Saul went in to get rid of his body waste. Now David and his men were sitting farther back in the cave. 4 David’s men said to David, “See, this is the day the Lord told you, ‘See, I am about to give the one who hates you into your hand. You will do to him what you think is best.’” Then David got up and cut off a piece of Saul’s clothing in secret. 5 After this, David felt guilty in his heart because he had cut off a piece of Saul’s clothing. 6 So he said to his men, “May the Lord not let me put out my hand against my leader, for he is the Lord’s chosen one.” 7 David stopped his men with these words. He did not let them go against Saul. So Saul stood up and left the cave, and went on his way.
8 After this David got up and went out of the cave and called to Saul, saying, “My lord the king!” When Saul looked behind him, David put his face to the ground, showing much respect. 9 David said to Saul, “Why do you listen to the words of men who say, ‘David wants to hurt you’? 10 See, your eyes have seen how the Lord gave you to me today in the cave. Some told me to kill you, but I had pity on you. I said, ‘I will not put out my hand against my leader, for he is the Lord’s chosen one.’ 11 Now, my father, see the piece of your clothing in my hand. I cut off the piece of your clothing but did not kill you. So know and understand that I have no desire to do wrong to you. I have not sinned against you, yet you come wanting to kill me. 12 May the Lord judge between you and me. May He punish you for your action against me. But my hand will not be against you. 13 As the men of long ago said in their wisdom, ‘Out of the sinful comes sin,’ but my hand will not be against you. 14 After whom has the king come out? After whom are you running? After a dead dog? After a little bug? 15 May the Lord be the One to judge between you and me. May He see and help me, and save me from you.” 16 When David had finished speaking to Saul, Saul said, “Is this your voice, my son David?” Then Saul gave a loud cry. 17 He said to David, “You are more right and good than I. For you have brought good to me, while I have done wrong to you. 18 You have said today that you have done good to me. The Lord gave me to you and you did not kill me. 19 If a man finds the one who hates him, will he let him go away safe? May the Lord bring good to you for what you have done for me this day. 20 Now I know that you will be king for sure. The nation of Israel will be made strong under your power. 21 So promise to me by the Lord that you will not destroy my children after me. Promise that you will not destroy my name from my father’s family.” 22 David gave Saul his promise, and Saul went home. But David and his men went up to the safe place.

The weapon David carried was used to produce the evidence of his innocence. David used the sword to cut off a piece of Saul’s robe and decided not to harm him. We have to remember that our weapons are not always to do harm and usually aren’t. Even the whole armor of God is to be used to stand.

His innocence was proclaimed and peace was brought to the situation.

But David didn’t just go home with Saul and say everything was fine. There was forgiveness and afterwards David went back to the safe place. Relationships can come to a peaceful place and still not be safe.

The biggest thing I see from this lesson in my life and how God has used it in my situation is first and foremost his love and provision for me and my family. I can protect myself and family simply by standing for the truth. I can know that God will provide bread and the weapons we need to come through this trial in peace.

What are the things in your situation that you can see are “bread”? These are the things God used to minister to you physically emotionally and spiritually.

What “weapons”do you have at your disposal? These are the things God gives us that are tangible reminders of things he has done for you in the past. (Like his Word!!) How are you choosing to use those weapons? Are you choosing to obey God or Man?

Being bulletproof means to be protected. Being bulletproof does not stop bullets from coming and it doesn’t stop the pain when they do. Being bulletproof does mean that through the danger and pain you are able to stand. I pray he will continue to reveal his love and power and provision to us. That he will show those who would bring us harm that he loves on both sides. I pray he will continue to bring clarity and peace. I pray as the bullets keep coming that he will teach us how to apply his armor and the weapons we carry will remind of us his past provision and that we will use them for his glory! I am thankful for the bread along the way, I pray he will use it to nourish us while we run, while we stand, while war is raging and when peace comes. And that afterwards he will give us wisdom about where to go next!

Courage is not the absence of fear….I hope

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I am a planner by nature. I enjoy the process of making lists, executing tasks in an orderly fashion, organization is one of my favorite areas of study. All too often I make the ability to plan for every eventuality a god in my life. Change is hard for me. Especially since I crave change and have the tendency to freak out when it actually happens. I am impatient. I resist fast changes and ones that take forever. I like change to come within my (planned for)control. I am a control freak. Why am I saying all of this? It probably qualifies me for entrance into some kind of institution. Oh well.
We are in full nesting mode here at the Andersen abode. With in the next two months we should be ready (ready?hmmmm can you ever be ready for this? Ok fine we will be as ready as possible) to take in foster children.
Our desire is to open our home to a sibling group under three years old. I am so excited. I am so excited! I am terrified!!!!
This is not like getting ready for company. It isn’t like preparing for a baby. There really isn’t anything I can compare it to.
I am attempting to acquire baby gear. I have no idea what the sex of the baby or babies will be. I also don’t know if we will have a toddler too, or two, and what their age and sex will be.
When I think of these children that I don’t yet know my heart yearns to give them everything I can. Some things I am struggling with today as I make my lists are as follows:
It breaks my heart that I can’t give them brand new beautiful only-for-them things like I did when my biological babies were born. I want them to feel like we have been waiting for only them when they come. I want to create a special place in our hearts for them. A place that remains open to them even if they have to go. A place that includes their biological family regardless of the kind of relationship we will or won’t have with them. They will be a part of our story and us a part of theirs.
It breaks my heart that in order for them to come to my home they have to be abandoned, neglected, abused or all of the above.
I want each child who comes here to know that they are loved,wanted, planned for, supported, and cared for.
I am scared of the pain that is coming no matter what happens for them and us.
I am enjoying the planning to be ready for anything. Yet I am yearning to personalize these things for the individuals who will be in our care. I want them to leave with way more then they came.
I don’t want to make rookie mistakes and have rookie expectations. (Yeah I am doomed in that department huh)

Most of all I am praising God that he will lead and guide us as he has been doing throughout the last two years of this journey. I am thankful for my husband and I can’t wait to dive into these deep waters with him hand in hand. I am thankful for my children who are willing and eager to share their rooms, parents, space, and hearts in ways they have never had to do. I pray God will protect them. I trust that God has brought us here and I can’t wait to see this all play out. I am also good with waiting. Wow that is really true?!How uncharacteristic of me!
A song comes to mind……🎶there is a happy dale far far away…🎶. #iamcomingwithyouteddy. If you know what that is from I will give you an imaginary medal and be your best friend lol

We prayed for these children…

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For the past two years John and I have been following God’s plan to expand our family. There are so many different avenues to pursue, and at one point or another we have been on the path of just about all of them. We have talked through our desires, our needs, the needs of our kids, our future plans, and how more children fit into those things. It’s been a roller coaster and sometimes I just don’t think my faith is tall enough to ride it.

Matthew 25:14-30English Standard Version (ESV)

The Parable of the Talents
14 “For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants[a] and entrusted to them his property. 15 To one he gave five talents,[b] to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. 16 He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. 17 So also he who had the two talents made two talents more. 18 But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master’s money. 19 Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. 20 And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here I have made five talents more.’ 21 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant.[c] You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ 22 And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me two talents; here I have made two talents more.’ 23 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ 24 He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, 25 so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.’ 26 But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? 27 Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. 28 So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. 29 For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. 30 And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

Investment is a risky business. Just like the servant who hid his talent in the ground, I want to keep what God has already given me safe. Yet, somehow, I am not at peace with that. God gave us a wonderful family. Our kids are so looking forward to having a little brother and sister to mentor , love, and be friends with. John is longing to spend his vast amounts of fun, love, protection, relationship, and strength on them. I feel that denying these new children the chance to know them is a disservice. I cannot wait to hold them, love on them, take care of them, homeschool them, and share all God has given me with them.

The aspects I struggle with are the when, the how, and protecting my kids from hurt, and negative influence. No matter what we do, our lives will change forever. I want to ensure that change is good.

I have seen God change and recharge my heart through all the twists and turns he has taken us through. Each new situation brings growth. Amazement overtakes me when I consider all he has done, and peace has come in the waiting.

Isaiah 40:31English Standard Version (ESV)
31 but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint.

All along, the one thing I have refused to let go of is the protection of my children. Funny, I prayed for my kids from before they were conceived, prayed with them through each stage of their lives. I stood before God at church with their father and gave them back to him. And every time I feel the tug of my heart to do something risky (like be a foster parent),I start running to “bury my treasure” under the reasonable excuse of “I have to protect the kids I already have”. And today God said to me “you prayed for these children, you gave me these children, now let me take care of them the way I see fit” Wow, touché God!

Now, I’m not saying that I believe that we are definitely called to be foster parents. What I am saying is that I believe that God doesn’t want me not to be a foster parent just because I refuse to allow him to dictate my children’s lives. I have marveled at his ability to change my heart and open it in a split second over and over again. Why would I expect him to do any less for my kids? Who am I to say “God you are just an honorary parent, I am the one who has to protect them”? God is the best “banker” I could ever entrust my treasure to! He will make sure it is protected and grown the proper way. After all, the servant who was given the most, invested the most, and reaped the most reward. He didn’t loose his treasure, he multiplied it. Speaking of multiplying: didn’t God tell Adam and Eve to do just that?

For those times after much change….

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Almost a year ago my son went through a period of depression. For almost two months I was in his room every night, sometimes for hours, encouraging him, counseling him, praying with him and for him. We cried, we even laughed a little. The days were filled with erratic behavior. There were highs then lows. John and I prayed together and shared the burden with our parents and some close friends who were all on their knees for us all. I would describe it has the most difficult time of my mommy career, and yet, looking back, I can see it was a sweet time also. It presented me with an opportunity to share with my son my history with depression as well as my family’s. He listened and I could see first hand him putting into practice what I taught him.
During that time, I was spending a lot of time by his side, and John wondered why it was me he called for every night. It broke my heart, and I encouraged him to talk to his daddy too. I am so thankful that my husband loves our kids and is a man of wisdom and integrity. He has much to give! One night he asked for John, I didn’t find out till later what he said.

He finally did come through that time of struggle, and praise the Lord I have seen him stay on a more even keel ever since. I see him begin to struggle, then without going to extremes he returns to “normal”. The things God has taught us about our depression have really helped and have changed our lives drastically.

Times of rapid change have a tendency to bring depression into our world. The last few months have brought many twists and turns and our life today looks very different that it did a year ago. One of those changes was a recent opportunity to take in two children. My kids were so excited! We were all excited! We had a home study and got the house ready and waited only to hear that they were not coming . We were devastated. I came out after sobbing on the phone to John, knowing I needed to tell the kids. I told them. Johnny just went to his room, got his bible, and started writing. He showed me later. It was the entire chapter of Matthew 6. About how worrying will not help and how we can trust God for what we need. He had given a very long devotional to us around the fire about that passage just a week before. I had seen him struggling a little and I wasn’t sure how this would affect him, but he was fine. He was strong. He was relying on the Lord. I was amazed at this. I am so Thankful to God that Johnny is learning now, as a child, how to handle his depression and triggers. It means that when he grows up, depression will not have the stronghold in his life as it has mine!

Here is the absolutely mind blowing part. Matthew 6:25-57was the verse John shared with him that night during his depression. Matthew 6:25-27 Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? It was that passage that has become his life’s verses. That passage that God has used to be the foundation of his ability to work through those hard times. Each lesson learned is like another brick built on top to construct a staircase of escape from depression!

Yesterday John preached at our church from Matthew 6. He was able to share the story of how Johnny broke his arm last week and in the ER he had reminded Him of that verse and how Johnny had just shared it with us around the fire the night before. It was a major bonding moment for father and son, and a tremendous testimony of God’s grace!

Through all the changes in the past year, (this was just one example)our roles have evolved. The growing pains have been intense. John preaching yesterday and my opportunity to be a music leader in our church, combined with recent opportunities to build relationships like never before, has been amazing! When I married John 12 years ago I never would have even guessed that God would be allowing us to serve together in this way. Working together as husband and wife, parents, and leaders in our church;These are the times that I stand and look at all God has brought us through and where we are now and I can say as David did: for the sake of your word and according to your will, you have done this great thing and made it known to your servant.

Thank you God for all you have done! It is worth the pain, the change, the struggle, and everything! Thank you for letting me see your marvelous works in me, my husband, and my children!

First day of school

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This post should actually be titled first 9 weeks of school, but oh well. The 2014 part of the 2014-15 school year has progressed admirably. It has been quite eventful. Many changes needed to occur to make it a success, and I praise the Lord for all we have been through.

Because of the need to school the kids separately this year, I decided to close our back porch school room, in favor of a huge-wicker-trunk-chalkboard-in-the-living-room combo. It is working out fabulously! We school in the living room, dining room, and sometimes Kait and I snuggle in my huge bed and do math and English together. Here are some pictures of how our school trunk is laid out.

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In my last posts, I shared Johnny Boy’s journey and our discovery of dyslexia. Our change in curriculum has been such a blessing. For the first time ever Johnny isn’t struggling miserably through every day of school. We have actually giggled together while doing his Barton System, and he is almost completely independent in Math! “Don’t worry Mom, I got this” has been his mantra. It is wonderful to me to see this growth and happiness in him! He still rather be doing anything else but school work, but it is mainly because he’d rather be in the woods or climbing his ropes, or practicing his sword skills. Every day I learn something new about him or discover a way to meet his needs. It blows me away to think of God’s work in his life and I am so thankful to get a front row seat!

With Johnny now being so much more independent and being able to do Barton with him separately, I am free to really interact with Kait in a way that has been a struggle in the past. We sit together and do her work and spend a lot of time discussing books and art. She is a veracious reader (just like her Mama). She is on the A-B honor roll at Andersen Academy and is loving school so much she asked to do it on Saturdays. On Friday, while Johnny is at SAINTS (a P.E. Program) Kait and I go shopping and hang out together. Our routine has solidified and it has been really fun.

We have also been attending a creation science based co op where we are studying human anatomy and physiology. That has been so fun! The kids have participated in quizzes, games, and experiments to reinforce our study with their friends at co op. This has also given them the opportunity to experience a class room setting and multiple teachers. We all really enjoy it!

Sorry this post is so long, I am shutting up now. Here are pictures from our year so far!

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Otherwise known as Andersen Academy

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20130912-184302.jpgLet me explain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up. (in best Indigo Montoya voice) Our first few weeks of school have flown by and have been very exciting! Johnny finished four Math tests receiving a 100% on each one! Kaitlyn has learned about grouping numbers together in addition, and she has learned how to alphabetize words. We started Co Op again! I have learned to relax and enjoy every day (so far) savoring each moment of school time with my kids, and that has spilled over into our regular life as well. We have been so blessed!

This week, on Wednesday, we welcomed a new student: My nephew, Preston! Johnny attended Turner’s Tutoring to get ready for his math test with his Aunt Cheryl. Preston joined Kaitlyn and I for his first official day of K5. A fun time was had by all! Kaitlyn held the title Assistant Teacher for the day and thoroughly enjoyed reading Preston’s Bible lesson to him, as well as writing his math problems on the board for him to solve using pennies, and watching him pull prizes out of the prize box!
Through all this God provided several needed experiences. Kaitlyn got to be the big sister, Johnny got to relax and learn math in a fun and hands on and different kind of way that is showing him how to think in a new way, Preston got to go away to school and have fun at our house with out his siblings!
Homeschooling really does enable us to meet our kids’ needs based on their individuality. They learn self reliance (aka self discipline based on depending on God) working well with others, appreciation for the friends God gives them, a safe platform on which to learn how to deal with bullies or those who they have personality differences with, and a trust for their parents and love for their families. Their strengths are supported, their interests encouraged, and their needs met. They are sheltered and protected but not hermitized. It isn’t conventional but the tradition is special. I have seen God provide my kids with everything they need with out subjecting them to the laundry list of pitfalls and hardships that can come with conventional school careers. It’s extremely efficient and I thank God for it!
Now, I am not saying no one should put their children in school, nor am I saying mine will never go to school. What I am saying is that for our family this is such a blessing! I love it! We are happy happy happy (in best Phil Robertson voice).
Here are some pictures from this week. Oh and by the way…Johnny aced his word problems on this last test using his critical thinking skills. That is HUGE!!! Thank you Aunt Cheryl!!!
On a crazier note: Kaitlyn nailed her spelling test this week and I promise it had NOTHING to do with the fact that I gave her the last word on the test, and instead of giving her a sample sentence to illustrate, I accidentally spelled the word FOR her. “Ok Kait, your next word is “that” T-H-A-T that” mmhmm best teacher EVER! Oh Man!!

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