Sunday, July 27, 2008

BFS #18: Youthful Dreams

"I thought this week we could write something fun or just take a look back at our lives and what we wanted to do when we were so young!"

Hey, I just did this a few weeks ago at our Bible Study group.  That just makes it easy, I guess.

My earliest memory of what I wanted to do/be when I was a grown-up was when I was eight  or nine years old.  I knew that when I grew up I wanted to have three of four boys and then a little girl at the end. 

When I was a teenager, I loved my high school Physiology class and so had visions of study and research in this field.

When I was grown-up, I became a Mommy and EVERYTHING changed!

Now, I am a homeschooling mother of four — three boys and one little girl.  I never imagined that I would homeschool — I had never even heard of homeschooling until my sister-in-law started to homeschool my niece.   Now I cannot imagine any other way to raise children in the nurture and admonition of the LORD than to teach them at home and instruct them when they rise up, and when they lay down, and as we walk by the way. 

What a wonderful, graceful, and merciful God we have!

To see others dreams @ Blogger Friend School, click HERE.

This post originally published @

BFS #16: Shopping Spree


"This week you are given $1000 PRETEND online spending money! The rules are simple for this assignment. Using ANY online store…write out a shopping list of what you would buy!  You can even post pictures of the items.  These things should be things for YOURself ONLY!"

Wow!  I started to do this assignment, really I did.  But as I was thinking of what I might buy with $1,000, the thought kept coming into my head of how much stuff we have that we need to get rid of!  Truly, I am blessed beyond measure and instead of buying new things, I need to be a good steward of what I already have; which really means that I need to quit hoarding so many things for "some day" and start cleaning out so that my home is an organized place of peace, and not taken over with clutter and junk that constantly needs servicing.  I want a home that serves me, not me serve IT!

So, no shopping spree here.  How about a selling spree?  What if I could sel all of my extra stuff and donate the money to Gospel Link for the support of National Pastors!  Now, that would be a Blessing!!

To see what others did for their Shopping Spree @ Blogger Friend School, click HERE.

This post originally published @

BFS #15: Button Tales

This assignment is to tell about our buttons.  I don’t have any sad or funny stories about my button collection, just the buttons and the very sweet way that I got them.

I actually have a pretty good size collection of buttons, although I collected none of them myself.  They were all a gift from two older ladies in the church. 

One of them, Miss Bea who had been a widow for many years, was cleaning out her house in order to move into a retirement center.  She was having a yard sale, "Come, come over," she said.  So we went.  As I recall my daughter got a sweet handmade cloth rabbit with an apron, I got some kitchen utensils and a purple Pyrex casserole dish, and the boys got a few games.  We stayed to chat and help, and after a bit Miss Bea asks if I sew.  Of course I do.  So she immediately gets up and heads over to a pile — reaching out, she brought forth a large parmesan cheese container filled with buttons.  "Then would you like these?"  All shapes and sizes of buttons are in there, and the best part is that she said some of the buttons were her mothers’ buttons.  Of course I gladly accepted this gift, given with graciousness and joy and received with honor and thanksgiving.   When I got home and looked through the jar, I marveled at the resourcefulness and thrift of the women who clipped buttons and snaps off of old, worn clothing while thinking ahead to the day when a few pennies would be saved by using them again.  Several of the larger buttons still had cloth attached to them and I sat and imagined the elegant or utilitarian coat that at one time held these buttons.  Did the hand that fastened this button do so getting ready for church one Sunday morning just after reaching out and fixing a stray hair or two from a child’s head?   The life and stories that the buttons could tell were endless.

The second set of buttons I received were from Miss Betty, another widow who no longer sewed, in two tins, very old, and full to the brim.

I have all of these in their original containers still, because I think that the containers add so much to their story and their charm.  One day, when I am blessed with inquisitive grandchildren, I may put them all in a large jar to be viewed and sorted and counted and enjoyed.  But I’ll remember to tell about Miss Bea and Miss Betty, and their mothers and their families from which all these treasures came.

For more Button Tales at Blogger Friend School, click HERE.

This post originally published @

Let Everything That Hath Breath Praise The Lord

These past few weeks we have been regularly reading the Bible together, the children and I.  Proverbs in the morning, Old Testament history during school, reading through Galatians & Ephesians one chapter at a time in the afternoons, as well as a character study a few times a week.   

Also, with the setting up of our new bookcases, I was able to get some great little books out of my room and on the new shelves where the children can have easy access to them.   One of those little books is called Little Pillows, or Good Night Thoughts for Little Ones.  Its an old reprint from Keepers of the Faith and DS3 has been reading it, one very small story at a time, before going to sleep at night.

The story tonight started with the verse I, even I, am He that blotteth out thy transgressions.  Isaiah 43:25
After he had read, he called me in to pray with him.  As I was sitting at his side, asking him what he would like to pray about, the  LORD spoke to my heart and I knew that he was going to ask about being saved.   We had such a great conversation, my sweet sunshine boy and I, late at night, in the dark, with quiet and stillness surrounding us.  And then we prayed.  His child-like voice spoke words that were coming from his heart as tears flowed from his eyes.  I prayed and cried, and then he prayed more. 

Now I am rejoicing that my dear son desires the LORD Jesus Christ as his Saviour, desires to have his sins blotted out and his life made new, desires to obey and serve.

Join with me in my rejoicing, and also join with me in prayer for this child, who at 12 is starting on a new path.  Pray that his feet would be firmly established in following Christ, that his heart would be well-watered with the Word and this seed would grow deep, strong roots, and that is ears would be quick to listen and his feet quick to obey the voice of the Holy Spirit speaking within him.

This post originally published @

BFS #14: Love Letter To Jesus

BFS 14 - 2

Jesus, Lover of my soul, let me to thy bosom fly; While the nearer waters roll, while the tempest stillis high; Hide me, O my Savior hide, till the storm of life is past; Safe into the haven guide, O receive my soul at last.
Other refuge have I none, hangs my helpless soul on Thee; Leave, O leave my not alone, still support and comfort me; All my trust on Thee is stayed, all my help from Thee I bring; Cover my defensless head with the shadow of Thy wing.

Thou, O Christ, art all I want, more than all in Thee I find; Raise the fallen, cheer the faint, heal the sick, and lead the blind; Just and holy is Thy name, I am all unrighteousness; Vile and full of sin I am, Thou are full of truth and grace.

Plenteous grace with Thee is found, grace to cover all my sin; Let the healing streams abound, make and keep me pure within;  Thou of life the fountain art, freely let me take of Thee; Spring Thou up within my heart, rise to all eternity.

Jesus, Lover of My Soul, written by Charles Wesley

For more Blogger Friend School, click HERE.

This post originally published @

BFS # 13: Meet My Bible

This assignment is about my Bible.  Or more particularly:
  1. How old is your Bible?    My current Bible is only about three years old.
  2. Why did you chose this Bible?     It is a King James Version which I chose specifically after doing much reading about the different Bible versions.   I will no longer use any other kind of Bible.
  3. Do you highlight/mark passages in your Bible?      Yes, I highlight and marks passages in my Bible.  I used to have a friend who said she never wrote in hers, that it was a book and she was taught to never write in books – but for me the Bible  the Word of God, living and active.  Just as the Holy Spirit continually opens my eyes to new understanding in its’ pages, that discovery is recorded in those same pages.
  4. If so, what is your system for marking passages?       At different times I will do word studies and so will go through and mark similar/applicable passages in the same color.  For example, every verse that mentions wisdom is underlined in blue.  A word study that I did on desire and its synonyms covet, lust, imagination, and delight, are marked with differing symbols in red and orange.
  5. Do you have notebooks to record things?     No, I do not use a notebook.
  6. If so, how many and what do you record?   See above.   
  7. Where is your favorite spot to read your Bible?     I most like to READ it, no matter where that may be.  Probably my most cherished time is in bed at night – I meditate on the scriptures and a hymn from my hymnbook before going to sleep.  Another favorite would be in the early morning snuggled in the corner of the couch while I read and look out my window.
  8. Are there any special thoughts about your Bible you want to share?   Special thoughts?  Only that I wish I read it more and listened more to the Holy Spirit’s prompting in my heart to obey it.  More, I want more of it.  More of its truth, more of its peace, more of Christ.  And to impart that desire for more into my children so that they seek it as gold and find the treasure within to the saving of their souls.   
For more responses to this assignment from Blogger Friend School, visit HERE.

This post was originally published @

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Developing Individuality in Children

"Keeping in mind that individuality is inborn within each person, how then do we develop individuality in our children?  One of the most important benefits of minimal socialization outside of the home is daily opportunity for the child to explore and develop the gifts within himself.  Daily, uninterrupted grace-based routine at home cannot be surpassed for a quality educational environment which has been arranged for individual family members.  The frequent complaint of boredom usually results from children who do not spend enough time at home with purpose and direction.
Parents need to be careful to provide many creative, stimulating outlets for the children so that their lives truly become centered in the home.  Deception enters in when we think we are denying our children’s needs by remaining at home, but when, on the contrary, a pattern of indulgence has been allowed to take root.  It is healthy for preadolescent children to remain in a happy, purposeful, environment that does not continually experience disruption.  In this way they become strong in who they are and have the opportunity to acquire purpose at a young age."
Taken from The Science, Art, and Tools of Learning by Marilyn Howshall

How true have I found this to be in our own homeschooling experience and what can I do to foster this in my children?
I know that when we have a plan for the day and when each child has an interest or an activity they are pursuing on their own, they are more content and our home is peaceful.   Purpose and direction really seem to be key here. 
"Parents need to be careful to provide many creative, stimulating outlets for the children so that their lives truly become centered in the home. "  When I first read that I thought she was speaking of stimulating outlets OUTSIDE the home – speaking against activities outside of the home.  But, yes, when I re-read I understood that she was reinforcing the idea that our children need to be creative and stimulated at home in order for them to desire being at home and that there is value in the home for them.   I can so see the other side of this – if the child is only creative or stimulated or challenged – feels a purpose – outside of the home, whether as part of a class or an organized sport, a friendship or project, then he returns to the home where there is only an empty routine of school books and chores, how much will he desire to leave the home once again to return to that excitement of discovery or direction that the outside activity offered him?   This child will grow to be the man or woman who constantly seeks to be out of the home for one reason or another, still seeking after that feeling that only comes when they are out and busy.  Instead, how much better is it when we find our fulfillment inside of the home;  where home is seen as providing purpose and direction, and then the things we do outside of the home, whether as service projects or ministry or fellowship, are all an overflowing from what is happening inside of the home instead of a substitute for being home.
How much I need the LORD’s direction in seeing each of my children as individuals and encouraging them in each of their unique ways and interests; allowing them the freedom to grow in their own way, within the safety, security, structure of our home.

This was originally posted @ on July 26, 2008