10/31/2008

Pray Without Ceasing!

1 Thessalonians 5:17: Pray without ceasing.
Ephesians 6:18: With all prayer and petition
pray at all times in the Spirit
and with this in view, be on
the alert with all perserverence
and petition for all the saints.

I learned 2 1/2 years ago what this really means, what it looks like, and how to do it.
Before that time I thought it impossible to pray all the time. What could one pray about all day? I wondered.
Then tragedy struck my life. My son was attacked by a pit bull, within the next twelve months my father in law, grandmother, and father passed away. Then two years later my husband walks away from our marriage and family. It was during this time that I truly learned what it meant to rely on God and to pray without ceasing.

I prayed about everything under the sun. I praised God, prayed for my children, prayed for other family members, prayed for friends, prayed for our nation, prayed for our policemen and firemen, prayed for those we passed in car accidents or having car trouble, prayed for those we heard about in car accidents over the radio or news, prayed for the military, prayed for judges, prayed for the president, prayed for the weather, prayed for cashiers as we stood in their lines, prayed for provisions, prayed for health, prayed for opportunities to share my testimony, prayed for others children, prayed for the children that came up on the television in other countries that were starving, prayed for…

Get my point? I found myself praying daily without ceasing. There were a multitude of things to pray for or about.
It got to the point that when someone called, my children often had to ask if I could call them back because I was praying. They would hear me in the bathroom praying or see me at the kitchen sink praying. At first they would ask me what was wrong, and I would tell them I was praying. It then became a normal thing for them to see and they stopped asking because they knew what I was doing.

Sadly, I have stopped that “norm” for me and I have to say that I no longer experience the presence of the Holy Spirit as I used to. Where did that fire go, that desire to be in His presence? I haven’t stopped praying, but I don’t pray without ceasing.

So will you pray with me that I will regain that fire, that desire, to be in His presence? His Word? I miss it more than anyone can imagine and I’m anxious to have it back.

10/27/2008

Time is drawing near

It seems like ages since I last blogged, though I know it really hasn’t been all that long.
The roof will get done on the house, prayerfully a week from Friday, October 31. I’m anxious and nervous. I’m anxious because then we can get the electricity connected, the water, and the septic system. Woohooo, then we can move in. I’m really tired of living in transition, but Highly thankful we have a home.
I’m nervous because I keep wondering if we will have enough money to cover the expenses. For example, I estimated one rate to cover the gas for those coming to help, only to learn that my estimation is just a drop in the bucket. Somehow, God will provide the funds needed. I’m not worried, just nervous.
I am also excited. My dear friend and her family will be down and we all enjoy spending time with her family. We love them so dearly. I enjoy the fellowship time we have. My children completely enjoy her children. In fact, my children have been talking about this project for months. Well, not the project, but the time they will get to visit!!!
I’ve planned some good, but inexpensive meals for the time they are here. I am going to have to rethink Thanksgiving. I so wanted to go to Houston and spend the holiday with them, but with doing this roof, I don’t think we’ll be able to financially. So I guess I better come up with a plan B, just in case. God could still work it out that we have more than enough financially and be able to get away for that holiday weekend. (Praying)

10/15/2008

Begin with the End in Mind!!!

Wonder what that title made you think of?!

Almost 3 Saturdays ago, I was listening to the radio early that morning. We were on our way to a mother/daughter tea. This woman being interviewed caught my attention...at first not because of what she was saying, but because of her voice. Her voice was so proper and I was trying to peg where she was from.

For those that know me, still most don't know that I love, love, love accents (along with food). Well, I never caught where she was from, but by that point what she was talking about had caught my ear...Homeschooling thru Highschool.
How to use the Bible, Math Curriculum, and a library card to do ALL your homeschooling from K - 12.
There were a couple of reasons this caught my attention. One was, that was not the first time I had heard that concept. Hmmmmm where had I heard that before? It goes back to what we are GOING BACK to. For one year we used this curriculum called SOW. Student of the word SOW . Everything, except your math comes from the Bible. We used that and that was our BEST year of homeschooling ever.
Why did I stop? Naysayers!!! It's as simple as that. Friends and family alike said, there is no way you can use the Bible to teach your children. You'll ruin them and their education will amount to nothing and they will never be able to attend any college.Well, stupid me, pleasing man rather than God, changed the curriculum and I've been searching for the right one ever since.
Well, 4 weeks ago, it was like the Lord said to me as I was driving home...What are you doing? I said Lord if you just show me how to teach my children and what to teach them, I will obey. He said...I already did and you didn't obey, so what are you wanting me to show you? So I drove about 10 min. more and then the light bulb went off. Ohhhhhhhhh You mean that?! You really want me to go back to that? I can do that.
So when I got paid, after taking out my tithes and before paying any bills, I ordered the remaining 2-6 volume. (and I've been checking the mail every day ever since) We will use the Apologia Science and the book Keeping a Nature Journal to supplement science, Teaching Textbooks math curriculum, TruthQuest to supplement history, and finally Rosetta stone for foreign language (Latin/Spanish).
Bible will be the MAIN focus and we have two library cards (Terrell & Mesquite). I'm excited, they are leery (and I totally understand, we've changed so much since first using SOW). However, they all agree as well that, that was the BEST year we had!!!

So if it ain't broke, don't fix it!!!

She had many key points for me. I will try to put them all here and pray you don't get bored. The one that was the most interesting and intriguing to me, was one I've been saying lately over the last 6 months or so. "Who cares if your child goes to Harvard if they are going to hell? I would rather have a godly garbage collector than an ungodly brain surgeon." And you know what, I feel the exact same way.

She said "Readers succeed, non-readers don't." That is something I've been telling my children...just not in those exact words. I believe that if they can read, there is nothing they can't do. They can pick up ANY book that any teacher, professor, etc. can pick up and learn ANYTHING their hearts desire to know.

She, I keep saying she but gave no name; Carole Seid Joy, spoke about television. Now even though I have one of these time wasters in my home, we very seldom watch it. She said after watching a show, ask yourself-Did it bring you closer to Jesus?
According to a study she had, television is directly linked to ADD. Hmmmmmmm, you know when I was little we seemed to stay outside. Now you have to pry children away from tv and video games to get them outside. Read: Amusing Ourselve to Death, by Neil Postman.

I wish I could tell you everything, but I wouldn't do it justice. She gave some statistics such as,
91% (2002) of children in the church who claimed to be born again, do NOT believe there is absolute truth.
82% of homeschooled children plan to homeschool their children.

Anyway, she is an advocate of reading. As am I. I LOVE books and if you put me in a bookstore or library, I start drooling all over myself! LOL
She, like Dr. Raymond Moore (Better late than early), does not believe in rushing academics. She wants parents to read to their children. I love reading to mine!!!!

Anyway, she gave a list of books that she recommended. Sorry, she asked that we not make copies of those lists. She also gave a typical daily schedule...that I can share.

Quiet time for mama
Kids up-dress, make bed, etc.
Breakfast
Clean-up
Bible
Math
Handwriting (she recommended Italic workbook, or journaling)
Break (eat some type of protein to help with energy)
History with literature - mom reads and kidlets illustrate during this time
LUNCH
1 hour of COMPLETE sacred quietness-pray, sleep, read, think (one of these but no talking)
Nature walk-2 times a week/Science for those days not doing nature walk
Freetime - listen to classical music, prepare dinner, gardening, baking, sewing, scrapbooking, music lessons, community work, etc.
45 min. before dad arrives-clean the castle

Carole said high schoolers can keep track of their own lessons, writing in a lesson plan daily what they have accomplished. don't use grades, colleges don't really look at those. Use pass/fail or credit/no credit (google carnegie credits). High schoolers should write their first term paper in their first year and 2 in their second year. When filling out college applications, add reading lists of all books read and a resume detailing every activity.

There is no way for me to get it all in this blog, so if you think of something, leave me a comment and I'll look through my notes to see if she had anything to say pertaining to that question.

I'm excited and ready, surprisingly so are my kidlets. I'll keep you posted.

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