Thursday, September 15, 2011

Hard days

It's been a hard season around here as of late. One that makes me want to run and hide instead of blog. Mostly this season has been one of learning to listen to God, to Honor and Love HIM rather than man.

It's such a deadly trap that so many of us get into, the listening, believing and living for man rather than God. We are all in some ways, people pleasers. And for myself, that has been a long and painful lesson that recurs. For as long as I can remember I have been in the business of pleasing others. So consumed sometimes with other people's opinion that it takes a tole on my health, my family, my entire life. It has changed the way I parent, am a wife, a christian and even how I have viewed myself. Some days, it has completely consumed me. Because I have let it.

There have been days I have questioned everything about the choices I've made, my priorities, what should be important to me, based on what someone has said to or about me! Ha! And who am I? Not anyone important I assure you, but often times the target of accusations, and judgements (aren't we all?).

Are those opinions important? Maybe. Are they valid? Perhaps. Should they completely alter my day, my life? Absolutely not. Are they Godly? Do they have spiritual implications? Nope!Do they hurt and scar.....yes.

That is when I almost physically have to let go others' ideas of how I should be. I have to look to God, and only God to answer the accusations and questions come. Sometimes this also means cutting out those who are critical, building walls of protection around my heart. Not out of hardness and anger but out of knowing that those who are critical in an ungodly way, mean you no good. Their intent is not to bring you closer in your relationship with God and help you grow. I have found I have to guard my heart very closely. Because the opinions of others are.....just that.

I know I am not alone in this. Are you being persecuted? Are you being criticized, judged, condemned for doing good? It could be by those closest to you, your spouse, family, friends or complete strangers. For having too many kids, or not enough, for staying in or trying to repair a broken marriage, for making choices that are best for your family or children that others don't approve of, for being a doormat, for not making enough money, or making too much, for not having a "good" career, for parenting, for your lack of housekeeping skills, for staying home or going to work, for being too skinny too fat too pretty or not pretty enough. The list goes on, and on. And when those who are in the wrong lash out, sometimes it's an innocent bystander that gets taken down. Are you that person?

Romans 12:12 "Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer." 

verse 14 " Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse."

I know, I know your human infallible mind is screaming that it's not fair....how? HOW do I bestow honor, wish someone well, invoke divine favor upon someone who has just cut me to my core? I don't know, but I do know that God's words says we should. That we will be blessed to be obedient to His word and do those things. Being faithful in prayer is a start. Even in the very midst of the problem, urgent prayers for strength not to retaliate in anger, not to (verse 17) "repay evil with evil".....(verse21) "Do not be overcome by evil, but over come evil with good."

Why!? Why should you continue to do good, to live to honor God in the middle of all of this! Because God is using this to draw you closer to Him. He is using this to Glorify Himself, though it may not be now that you see the results. 

Romans 8:28 "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose."

All things, yes even this, work towards His purpose. One we can't even begin to fathom when we are stuck in the much and mire. He truly IS greater than I, He knows infinitely so much more than I do, especially in this time at this particular moment. I have no choice but the either drown, taking my eyes and heart off of Him, or trust. Beyond what seems possible. Trust.

No matter what swirling is going on around you. It comes down to trusting the Lord. In the end that is all you can do.

Friday, August 19, 2011

NO rainbows

Have you ever felt like running down the street and just hiding somewhere, anywhere. Where no one can find you!? I get it FRED, I totally get it!

I just told Jonah to get a number, stand in line because there is too much going on and only one of me.

That is exactly how I've felt these last 2 weeks. Trying to manage 6 kids schedules is wearing on me and I'm not even in the full swing of school yet. I've got two precious trouble making babies that are interested in everything they shouldn't be. garbage cans, toilet paper, the dog's bowl.....a toddler who still needs to sit on her Momma's lap and be babied, a public school schedule to think about and plan around and 2 older kids who need a sane teacher!.

From where i'm standing, I can't see the rainbow yet,

With us moving to the house, we have seen people come and go, move from one room to the next, rearranging and then rearranging again. And we aren't really even moved in, no really, you should see the attic. Not to mention when you shuffle people, it creates chaos. So what was once organized and neat explodes, and then you find other things that have no "home" and just linger on shelves.

These last 2 weeks I've made a bigger effort to get the kids back into their routine and chores, and keep caught up with laundry and cleaning. And I'm exhausted. I .just.am. And although the laundry is actually kept up, the areas we clean become strewn with mess literally 5 minutes after we clean it. I think the people around me think I'm lying when I say, "No really I cleaned and straightened all day." My kids make me look as if i do nothing all day. 12 people and 1 house wife is entirely too much to keep things neat. It's not a good equation.Sometimes I think doing all this good for other people isn't doing any good for this person and my family.

When I scheduled out our day, I left myself an hour block of time for me, I dreamed of setting up my sewing machine, reading a book, you know those relaxing activities a busy Mom longs for. I didn't consider the time it would take to pick Bella up, or how that would alter my activities during the day, or how fair that would be to Bella to have to come here and have quiet time right away.....

From here I see no rainbows, only rain...

going from poopy diaper to poopy diaper, mess to mess to meal to meal. I'm just spent. And I'm sure I'll get into the groove of things, get used to the chaos and the new schedule. But right now, in this very moment.....just call me Fred, or George, Bob anything but Mom.

I know there has to be a rainbow in there somewhere.

The other day Gracia and I were watering the garden, I tried to point out a rainbow to her. You know the kind, water spraying, pretty rainbows. She kept running around me back and forth looking....looking for that rainbow. It wasn't until I bent down to her little petite height that I realized she needed to see from above, because from above you can see the rainbows. I lifted her up, her eyes grew big, that huge smile of hers pushing her freckles up.

She could see the rainbows, from below she could only see the storm and the pouring of water from the hose. Her sight was limited, but when she looked from above, she could clearly see....the rainbows.

They are there, I just can't see them from where I am standing.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Some days......

God whispers through out, some days the message comes loud and clear.

God isn't interested in the crumbs under the table, but the crumbs in my attitude.

He isn't proud of my ability to keep the laundry baskets empty, He cares about my empty efforts done without proper motivation.

God is not happy about a clean and tidy house, when I have a heart of chaos.

He is not concerned about the outside being kept together, when the inside is coming apart at the seams.

 Some days........I am busy with the things of this world, the things that frustrate me, and keep me from my real purpose. The crumbs, the laundry, the mess of kids......these things keep me from the eternal. It is so easy to put other things ahead on a list of priorities, when really......none of that matters.


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Sucked in

I'm not sure where time has taken me these last 4 months, but surely it has sucked me in and seemed to swallow me whole. Like living in a vacuum of sorts. How does one catch up on four months?

It's been about that long since I've had my own space, it feels like an eternity though. It's funny how being in a bigger space can feel smaller and less private, but that is what it is.

We saw the end of our second "official" homeschool year come to a close. I can say honestly it was way more successful than the first, hopefully I will say that every year! I watched a little boy blossom and grow, grasp concepts with lightening speed, and a little girl learn to read and add and do things she had been waiting to do....ever since she saw her brother do it.

Gracia finally turned 3 (though she thought she was three for months) and little Liora made it to 1. Apprehensive of her cake and all the show of a first birthday. Since then she has seemed to explode with personality and a sense of humor. I will never tire of watching a baby develop.

Summer started with a bang as we got a few things crossed off the "fun" list, planting a garden, going to the beach and pool, Awana camp, Jonah getting a permanent tooth knocked out. Oh wait, that wasn't on the list, but somehow it made it on there.Thankfully it's re-rooted after many trips to the dentist and wires and tons of blood and nervous parents. But we have survived.....and learned.

And all too soon this summer is coming to a close. The first of August brings school for Dave and heading into full time child care and homeschooling for me. With far too many items left on the list for things we never got to this summer. The next weeks bring planning and plotting and curriculum sorting, scheduling and organizing and all that goes into preparing for another year.

So this week we are trying to squeeze the last few fun things on the list.....so desperately we want to enjoy these days together, they are so fleeting, so quick. I wonder sometimes if I am really living, or if life is just going by. From task to task, never quite caught up on anything before the next thing comes undone, I find my self moving from one thing to the next. I wish I didn't get sucked in sometimes, that I could sit on the outside of the spinning vortex and just observe and absorb. I hope I learn to do this before it's too late......

Friday, April 8, 2011

Ellie~kins


video
For our Ellie~kins.....how time has flown my sweet 5 year old.

It was yesterday you were placed in my heart, in my arms. Time has been so cruel and fast ticking so wildly as I watch you grow into a little girl I am so proud to call my daughter.

I see your love for God grow each day, your understanding, your heart, your passion and intensity. You are a little artist and a little Momma, creating and loving along the way. You've taught me so much about myself in your short years here with us. You drive me to be closer to God, to be the Mom you deserve, to be a light of Jesus to you.

Life is an adventure to you, you walk no where and run everywhere. If you could have wings or fins you would. Your zest and excitement for everything you do is wonderful, you make life seem like one miracle after another.

You want to do it all right now, catch up and slow down, dance run and skip. And we just want to do it all right next to you.

Thank you for being a blessing to us.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Snip-its of Life

I know it's happened to most, infact it may even be a rite of passage for most 4 year old girls........



Today, my sweet little Ellie-kins cut her own hair, Bella took a wack at it, then Ellie cut Bella's hair and then they attacked poor innocent Gracia! 

To be completely honest I freaked out when I say Gracie missing a piggy tail. YES....an entire pigtail on one side. But when I walked in and saw this:::: I started laughing. I did. I couldn't help it. I was torn between being sooooooooo very upset, but I had to turn around and laugh (I think the girls thought  I was crying, they all started crying). Have you ever seen anything so funny and cute all at the same time? I haven't really. My sweet little pixie faced girl, with hair cut practically down to her scalp......total 80's crazy on the other side.  What do you do?
There were so many things running through my mind. Tell her she is beautiful. Tell her it's only hair. Tell her never to touch scissors ever ever again! Tell her it will grow back.......Tell her she's beautiful.

What do I really want Ellie to know? To know without a doubt? (obviously first that she is way too young for cosmetology school, they don't enroll 4 year olds). But I want her to know that beauty isn't her long golden hair. That her crazy actions and crazy hair do for a while, won't embarrass me (at least outwardly). That although some people might laugh at her (because she was afraid of this), it doesn't matter. Those people don't know her like we do, like Jesus does. She is loved and accepted not matter what her hair looks like. Not matter what she has done wrong. No matter how ugly the sin makes us sometimes. 

Yes, all this from a hair cut. Because this is us, in a nut shell. We are so off and jagged on wrong, and yet no matter what, we are loved and accepted by God. Of course there are consequences for the crazy things we do sometimes....

but we are loved. Cherished.

Hack jobs and all.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

In a matter of minutes

Our house is going from 8 people to 12, 4 kids to 6, 1 family to 2.......life is going to change!

My sister is coming home with her husband, Bella (Ellie's twin ;) and her beautiful little new babe. And the house will go from crazy to well, crazier!

I'm a little nervous of course, but mostly just excited! I've missed my sister and being around her husband and kids! I've missed seeing her each week and being a big part of each other's lives. So let the adventure being!

We are in for some big changes as we add Bella to our homeschool day and TJ to our love. I've already brainstormed how to do 4 kids workboxes (can't leave out Gracie right?)

This will hold the big kids stuff and Gracie still gets her work baskets! Gracie has also given up her desk for Bella (which you know, she barely uses anyway~but of course we've told her how kind that is!)

I just dug through the attic and found all sorts of baby things I thought would help.....swing, bouncy chair, play mat, bath tub, Moses basket.......I am excited to dig through Jonah's old baby clothes and see if we can dress TJ in some of those as well!

That being said, I suppose I should shower, or change or something......it's a special homecoming for us!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

No Formula

Not talking about Baby formula, not even talking some fancy 1st grade level math. Just talking about parenting.

It's a hard, rocky, difficult road at times. Sometimes it's Ataxia and Hydrocephalus, somedays it's plain ole disobedience. Either way there is no formula for how to get through those tough times except of course if you are talking about the only formula proven to work.....

God + Prayer = Life

I busy myself by reading parenting books and education books, help me here and now books. But when it comes down to it, there is only one books that needs to be sought out, undusted and ready day after day, moment after moment. God's word. It may seem like an unlikely manual at times. But for every behavior and trial there God promises in His word comfort, peace, strength......

He is waiting for me to go to Him and too often I am gazing in another direction. Hoping to see some bright shinning light flashing and glittering.

Every time, HE is the answer, HE is the formula and coming to Him is the only way to live. And love. There is no fancy quick fix solution to every problem we encounter, but HE is there, the answer I so often avoid.

I always get caught in the trap thinking there is something within me that can be different, do different, feel different, behave different....and then it hits me that the difference is Him. I am powerless without Him and it is only He in me that works. I have to open my hands and heart and truly let go, fall on my knees and sink into Him, for true change.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Valentine's Day 2011

video
We had a great Valentine's day! We invited Great Noni for a special Spaghetti dinner (what's more romantic right?) and chocolate fondue! The more children we've added, the more love we have. Yesterday we celebrated our Love.....

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Join the Hoop-La

If you are a homeschooler or thinking about becoming one, OR a parent that loves doing things with your kids outside of their school......come on over and join the Hoop-La!


Homeschool Hoop-La


Tiny Tornado

That's the name given to Gracia by our Floridian counter parts over Christmas. And that she is.

Barely into her halfway past 2 years, she is a spitfire, a firecracker and a huge big swirling dervish of love, all in her petite little body. Her big beautiful brown eyes framed by her long eyelashes, and frinkles that dot her nose will get you every time. Especially when she cocks her head to one side an grins that huge grin at you. Telling you she's 6....you might just agree and not even know what you are saying, mesmerized by her.

Her vocabulary and story telling skills are pretty amazing for her age, I admit. But it's her desire to truly be older than she is that is more adorable. These days you might hear her say things like,

"I am just so so so sorry!"

"I need that _______ really bad."

This morning when we were telling her to share a ball with her brother she exclaimed, "But I'm a mean girl, I don't share!" Oh wow.

Her toddler pronunciation of "L" is adorable as well, she's yittle you know. She'll say those "L's" one day soon enough.

Every day now she is a princess. No I take that back, everyday she is 20 princesses, and yes you can imagine what the dress up bin looks like. It's empty, the floor around it threw up sparkly dresses though. She spins and dances and twirls just like one when the music is on, clipty clapping in those plastic princess shoes.

She calls the Movie "Prince Casian" Green Balafalin
Umbrellas are Cabellas
and she named her bathtub duck....Canuna

She's also very sensitive to being scolded, especially by her Father, it's easy to give into her, unfortunatly....


Liora loves her. I've always seen a special connection between Jonah and Ellie (though they don't exclude Gracia) there is also a special connection between Liora and Gracia, it's so sweet. Siblings....

Friday, February 4, 2011

Boisterous, jovial and excited......

So as it turns out I am a bit crazy. I've decided to start another blog dedicated to homeschool and educational ideas. You don't have to be a homeschooler to do really fun and cool things with your kids! But if you want to come over and see what all the Hoopla is about, join me at


I've got some interviews and reviews lined up, and actually tons of new posts that I've been wanting to share here. So spread the word, come on over and follow me there (and here) if you want!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Time Stamped

Time has been a thief around here lately.

One second I have a little babe not able to sit or be or do on her own, I turn my head and now she's gone, from one end of this long winding house to the other. She's exploring everything. Without the need for toys, she's on a mission to just....see, and be. Leaving babydom behind, crawling quickly out of her infant stage to the next exciting venture. Finding anything just above her to reach for and pull her chubby little legs into standing positions, she reaches for the next nearest, braving herself to let go and.......sit again when balance is interrupted.

It's heart wrenching and endearing. Sad and exciting. And just as precious with four as it was with one. If I wasn't an attached parent I'd have no choice, this babe is attached to me. And though sometimes I'd like a little bit of a break, it's flattering to know no one else will do, as I do.

I can't help but let my mind wander into thinking about her possibly being our last. Some moments there are too many little bodies for me to care for, others not enough. Would I be content with the blessing of just four? Yes.....right now we are content, but I can't hold on to these moments and time forever. Time is stealing them from me with every methodical tick.

Her slapping palms on the wood floor ring out to me, she stops and smiles, the little dimple on one side, and keeps on to her unknown destination.....slap....slap.......slap.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

Well....I'm still not too late for Chinese New Year resolutions am I?

Okay here is the deal.....I LOVE freezer cooking, the part where you pull the meal out of the freezer and throw it in the oven (though you might want to thaw it first)......however. Freezer cooking is a 4 day commitment! It is TOTALLY worth it, it really is. Ever since Liora was born, I just haven't been able to pull it together though. I've struggled thought the last 8 months cooking 6 nights a week, back in the old routine of planning one week at a time, and it's wearing on me. I'm bored, I'm probably spending more money than we have in the past (because of items I forget to buy at Costco and have to pay double running across the street for), and dinner is the most stressful part of my day.

Then somehow I fell upon this blog......5 dinners in 1 Hour

I tried her recipe for coconut Chicken (I happened to have cocount AND panko crumbs in the pantry, weird I know) but that was dinner. And I loved it. It took me almost no time to prep and was yummy and healthy!

Tonight I tried her Black Bean and Corn Quesadillas......SERIOUSLY yummy. I was thrilled.

I will be jumping back on that freezer meal band wagon soon....probably when Lisa returns home. I only cooked about 10-12 meals for the month, leaving me with 2 freezer meals a week so I didn't have to think about dinner AT ALL. But prepping 5 dinners in an hour and only cooking the sides also sounds divine.

You have download her sample menu and give a few recipes a try. I was really impressed!

  • She includes the grocery lists (which you can shop your cabinets first~you'll find a lot of the ingredients)
  • Instructions and directions are clear and Easy
  • She gives a few tips that make the whole process seriously take an hour to prep the meals and store them!
  • The meals were great! Of course you might see a few that don't call out to you, so don't make them! But this has been a great adventure this week! 
I found another site for those of you who love your crock pot.....A year of Slow cooking Another great tool for all us busy Moms!!!! I haven't tried any of these recipes yet, but I'm excited about the find!

As you can guess this year I have resolved to get my cooking back in order.....though I've been cooking everynight (except Fridays) it hasn't been as stress free as it can be. And that is one thing I need OFF my stress list!

My other resolution was trying to become more organized and diligent  this year. With so much going on at any given point, I would like the house and school to run more smoothly, and it can with a little effort......but that is another post and a set of links!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

New Blog??? Or Just Crazy!

As if I have time to manage another blog right?......

The thing is, this blog was supposed to be filled with updates of my family for my family. And it has turned into something else. So much so I don't even really update about the kiddos anymore! And there is so much to tell as you can imagine with 4 incredibly wonderful kids.....ahem. No really they are wonderful.

However, I have been thinking a lot lately about what my passion is right now, and as much as that changes often, my passion has always been  teaching.

From the time I was young, dumpster diving at the school up the road, digging out text books and workbooks and forcing my younger siblings to "play school" in the summer {though I am pretty sure I wasn't playing and actually dolled out homework}.......I have loved teaching.

Everything teaching from lesson planning to bulletin board making to file folder game creating to meandering around the teacher store from time to time {even when I wasn't teaching}.

So I don't know. I'm kicking around the idea. I know technically I can combine the two blogs, but they are so different. And I do want to keep this as the true home of the Hawaiian Heldts.....now that I have more family away than ever.....(boo face).....

I was asked to do a curriculum review, and truly I would love to do that more often....I love curriculum.......looooooveeeeeeee it.

Even my kids know it~ and I quote Jonah, "Hey Pastor Frank, my Mom has this really cool Christian Curriculum!" What 6 year old talks about that? and calls it cool?

So.....just thinking about it, but would you follow? Would you become a fan? Would you trust me to give an honest opinion and come here for fun ideas? Just a little pole, but what do you say??

The Struggle to be weak

This week has been a struggle in so many ways. Some big heavy ugly struggles, some minor life irritants. Life right at this moment seems to be pounding out a beat I can't quiet dance to, or run to. The rhythm is off and sporadic and more spontaneous than I can handle.

I'm struggling to keep the house in an order other than chaos. The laundry, cleaning, cooking.....

Struggling with loving my kids unconditionally as the need for discipline arises again and again for the same offenses....

Struggling to hear God's voice in the chaos, to understand this season of life, to feel close to Him......

Struggling in having to care for 9 people.....

Struggling to live up to my own standards and those around me (don't know which is harder at times).....

Struggling to keep my  time and life organized, to keep on a routine and schedule.....and struggling with the thought of having to have a schedule!

Struggling with not being able to think out one complete sentence or thought, to be constantly interrupted in the simplest of tasks.....

Struggling with the things that are left undone,  the boxes still stashed around the house from trying to move in, Christmas decorations still up (yup you read that right).....

Struggling with not having any time to do anything creative or relaxing......

Struggling with watching the days slip by and pile themselves into one meaningless lump......

Struggling with knowing how to point my kids directly towards Jesus and faith and genuine relationship with the Creator......

And I struggle with doing a lot of this alone.

I poured all this out to God this week. As silly and meaningless as this list is to most, this week it was my struggle to just get through to the next step, the next thing, the next task. I know far too well the pain others are going through in different seasons of life, I know far too well that my struggles are so so minor compared to others.

Regardless......God still wants to hear them. He still wants to comfort me.

Ephesians 3:12 "In Him and through faith in Him we may approach God with freedom and confidence."

We can lay down all our worries and struggles and know He is there listening, what an awesome privilege! This powerful ruler, creator, is waiting to hear from us, on the darkest of days, we can be in His presence. Instantly! And when we are at our weakest point, that is when His power is most effective. When I come to the realization that loving my children or my husband, having the energy to cook and clean, having a good attitude in the midst of chaos, is too much for me to bare alone, it's then I realize I can rely on Christ and Christ alone. 

2 Corinthians 12: 9-10 "My grace is sufficient for you, for my 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. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong."

In weakness I am building a foundation on Christ, letting go, giving Him the control. And in the letting go, the opening of those tightly gripped fearful fingers, I affirm His strength and power in situations I cannot control. 

Because when I am in control, I don't need God. I don't need His power or divinity in my life, I got it, I can handle it, I can do God's work on my own.....but it's when I allow God's power to truly fill me, to be active and dynamic in my life~I'm stronger than I ever could be on my own. I can rest in Him knowing His power is stronger and more efficient than I will ever be.

It's just a matter of pouring out my heart and letting Him know I need Him......moment by moment.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

{Un}important

In complete honesty, most days I feel unimportant and often invisible. My job is relatively mundane, it has few perks and little or no recognition and for the most I am okay with that. But every once in a while discontentment sneaks in. Not with my role as a mother or a keeper of the home, but for some reason I want to be important to others.

I want to write fabulous blog posts to make everyone ponder deeply, write my own delectable recipes to   amaze all at my baking and cooking skills, I want to create things that are beautiful and teach everyone how to this or that, or write my own curriculum so you too can download a piece of me, snap artistic photographs, decorate my home on pennies and creativity, give reviews of my oh-so-important opinion and giveaways of the coolest finds.

In reality, I'm not that important or creative. My creative energy is spent on deciding what we are eating everyday and how to occupy the kids time to keep them from making bigger messes than I can't keep up with.I adapt curriculum to include a craft to Math or make something interesting for the bored. I get all my recipes from the internet or cooking books, decorating tips~I don't have, I take mediocre photos when I remember my camera (and I love photoshop) and really what do I know about this or that....

But what the baby wakes in the middle of the night, I become important in a way no one else is.

When a certain 2 year old wants a round of goodnight kisses and giggles or a book read one.more.time, I become important.

When Jonah wants to have a special talk (sometimes code for can I stay up late?) I become important.

When my artist needs encouragement, paint, or an art showing, I am important.

And even though I'm not cooking for royalty, there would be 9 hungry people around here if I didn't chop and simmer each day, those stolen recipes written by someone who knows what they are doing.

The world really doesn't care about me, my opinions,thoughts, my creative ideas. But in my everyday life I mean the world to those who really make me important.

Monday, January 24, 2011

And it is {Monday}




25. For sweet heartfelt eye opening talks with my best friend {otherwise known as Mom}

26. For God gifting others with eloquent writing abilities that encourage me day after day

27. For a quiet morning filled with warm coffee and God's word

28. Making connections and growing relationships

29. A little girl who wants to be a princess all all all all day, and for the gift that one day she'll know she is a princess of the Lord most High.

30. A tenderhearted boy that stands up for the one "crossed off" the friends list.

31. A little baby girl, the gift of God's light, so connected to me.

32. opportunities to be fed spiritual food.

33. Being open to change

34. For freedom from sin and my old self

35. a young girl who forces me to look into the mirror and see me.

36. a soft sunrise and gentle waking

Saturday, January 22, 2011

The makings of a {Godly} Mother:: Repost

riday, 22 January 2010

  • {The makings of a Godly mother}

    It's been heavy on my heart to be a Godly mother. I can honestly say it is one of the true desires of my heart, something I want to put my whole heart into. But how does one do that? Maybe to some the answer seems quite simplistic, straightforward and obvious. But living that out day by day is not. The decisions, actions, behaviors of a Godly mother and wife do not always come easy even when the answer is staring you in the face.

    For me it's begun with a look at not what a mother is or should be, but how God views Children in our lives. Because maybe if I view children as my heavenly Father does, perhaps then I'll get a glimpse of what it is to be blessed with that awesome responsibility.

    They are a responsibility, a fiscal responsibility, takers of your selfish time, dependents on you for everything, trouble, stress, an inconvenience at times, importers, leeches, hardships.......offensive isn't it? And yet these terms and hundreds others have been spoken by both Christians and secularists alike. This view is steeped in complete and utter selfishness. I think a view stemming from our turn in society, a turn towards selfishness covered over with the mask of "leaving a carbon footprint",  "over population", "we can't afford kids". 
    Some give advice or silent opinions and think it's Godly, "Well you should decide how many kids you can afford and then stop." or "The Good Lord has given you some beautiful children but you know, the Good Lord also gave you some sense in that head to know when to stop!" Or jokingly they remind you of their quite childless homes that they "get" to return to, the free-time they have, the extra money they have to spend on pedicures and massages. The snide comments about one of you "getting fixed" as if we were stray dogs.

    But what does God say about children? How does He view them, view you and me, since we are HIS children. Throughout scripture it is CLEAR that God views children as a blessing, a joy, a benediction from the LORD to grace our lives with fulfillment, meaning, happiness and satisfaction. Parenthood is God's gift to us!

    "This is true even in a fallen world, infected with the curse of sin. In the midst of all that 's evil, children are tokens of God's lovingkindness. They are living proof that God's mercy extends even to fallen, sinful creatures." ~John MacArthur
    The Lord is the source of children, even Eve recognized this and regarded her children as a gift and as an emblem of God's grace to her. The running theme of scriptures is non other than children being a blessing from the hand of a loving and merciful God. Children signified blessings from God and they STILL DO. Despite over population, despite your income, despite your belief! The are designed to bring you joy, happiness, contentment, satisfaction and love.

    Psalm 127:3-5
    "Behold, children are a gift of the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one's youth. How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them; they will not be ashamed when they speak with their enemies in the gate."

    Did you catch some of that language?

    Blessing:: a special favor, mercy, or benefit, a favor or gift bestowed by God, thereby bringing happiness, the invoking of God's favor upon a person.

    Reward:: honor: bestow honor or rewards upon, benefit, strengthen, support.
    God's rewards of children are not necessarily based on your actions, though I think they can be as we see in scripture. But he rewards those who are non believers as well, those who abuse and mistreat children. But that is not what His blessing is meant for. God has the power to open and close wombs, to create life and take it. It's all in His hands whether you use the best birth control or non at all.

    It's up to us as parents to view children and handle parenting with correct Biblical perspectives in order to fully enjoy the benefit of those responsibilities. If you are a parent, you know there is NO love like the one you have for your child. Nothing can even compare or come close to that type of love, that depth of love. I LOVE Dave, I've never loved anyone as much as I love him. We share a blessing and a bond I don't think many married couples do. 

    But the love we have for our children, is unexplainable to those who don't have children. It's not even in the same ballpark as the love you feel for your spouse. It would be like explaining a rose to someone who had never seen in their life. Oh sure you could come close and they could touch and smell and get an idea of what it was like, but they will never fully know what you are describing.

    Suddenly as a parent, you understand a little more the Love God has for us, His children. The heartache and joy we give him. You understand a little more why he would have any desire to save us, to extend his mercy and Grace upon us when we clearly don't deserve it. I see glimpses of that everyday in my own relationship with my children.
    For me the making of my own role as a mother has to start here, with viewing what God has really blessed me with, and how I will respond to that. To gain a right perspective of what these little souls are in my own life, help drive the way I then respond and treat them. When I am failing to view them the way God does, I allow behavior in my own life that is unworthy of that blessing. I am often amazed and literally cry out to God and ask Him why? I don't feel worthy to be a parent. It's the hardest job I've ever done, hands down. But if I could just see my children the way God does, as His inheritance!!!! Than maybe making those daily decisions to treat them as rewards, as gifts, as precious will come easier.

    Because it isn't easy....it's almost never easy.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Real Reason we Homeschool

Sure, we Homeschool for many of the same reasons other Christian parents do. To monitor learning, or specialize learning, to provide our kids with a strong foundation in a God-centered learning atmosphere.....

Slowly God has been showing my that my venture in Homeschooling is not all about them, it's a lot about me.

He's teaching my about being flexible. When things need to change, or days aren't going as planned.

He's teaching me about change, to step out of my own comfort zone and into HIS zone.

He's teaching me about patience, with myself as well as with my children.

He's teaching me about organization and being orderly, becoming more Christlike and less chaotic!

He's teaching me about letting go of perfectionist ideals of how my home should be and the school day should run.

He's teaching me about giving of myself, when I really don't want to, past the points where I think I can.

He's teaching me about trusting Him, in the smallest of things and the grandest.


Homeschooling is about them, it is about teaching and learning and sacrifice for them, but I'm realizing just how much it's about me as well. God doesn't have me in this role just for them, He's growing me up as well.

Friday, January 14, 2011

{Fun}day Fridays

So you've read we've been changing things up, and we did. And it was fabulous!! I think I am really going to love doing this each week. It makes Fridays so much more fun, relaxed and educational as well! (Gotta stick that in there right!?)

Our First Unit was on the Arctic/Antarctic Regions~ learning about the animals and the Inuit People who live in these regions! I'll include some fun links and activities I found for this week.

Videos:: (my kids love the addition of videos in our learning)
Nat Geo has great links, photos and activities. This one was short and great for some basic info:  

Answers in Genesis has one of the Ice Age which talks a little about how the Ice got there (from a creationist view point: 

What to know How to Build an Igloo??? This 10 minute video shows you.....seriously I never knew.....

Fun Links:: (photos, games, slide shows)

Critter Cam Arctic Game 

Explore this Website for Great info on the Tundra and other regions! 

Photo Slide show with info about How Arctic Animals Camouflage themselves!  

FREE Powerpoint presentations on the Inuit Tribes plus this site has all sorts of activities and links! 

Hands On Activities:: (this makes every lesson more fun!)

  • Make your own Inuksuk
  • Polar Bear Painting: Blue Construction paper, Bear shape, cotton balls, white paint.

Resources and Activities::

FREE Lesson Plans! Look around this site and download all sorts of free activities and games!

Kidssoup This is a really great resource and SO affordable at $2.15 a month. I use it all the time! There are Activities, Games (printable file folder), Activites AND Resources for Bulletin Boards, felt stories etc. New units are added every month!

SeaWorld FREE downloadable lesson

ABCteach tons of freebies, you can become a member, but I just use what is free!

Worksheets included in their Unit Folders:
  • Sonlight curriculum
  • Map of the Arctic Tundra (color and lable)
  • Color the Igloo
  • “My Book about the Inuit People”
  • Polar Bear Crossword puzzle (Jonah)
  • AA writing practice (Ellie)
  • AA Coloring page
  • Arctic Report, KWL Chart (Jonah)
 So How did it go???

Well it didn't run perfectly of course. But it was great. We had a nice relaxed paced day, watched videos, read books, learned a LOT.....and the best part is their unit activities can be worked on throughout the week. They can color, play a file folder game, work on the Igloo, write a report (only Jonah and more like a few sentences about Arctic Animals and People). I'm excited to see how the week looks.......and now off to build the next Unit on Ocean Animals! (that should be hard huh?living in Hawaii and all!)




 

Permission to Change

“Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.”
Proverbs 16:3 (NIV)
 
This is only my second year of Official Homeschooling, though Jonah and I started when he was 3 with preschool. And each year, no multiply times each year, God shows my how to change and tweak things to make our homeschooling better. 
 
I am not a creature of Change, in fact I don't like it much at all. So when I get headed in one direction I tend to stay in that direction even after I realize it's stressful and isn't working! It's one of the million things I'm learning and changing about myself through this Homeschooling journey.
 
I'm learning that God loves me and knows me so well, well enough to teach me gently.
 
We started this school year working on 6 subjects a day. (That was WAY too much for a 4 and 6 year old) I was flustered at the end of each day when it was 2pm and we had been at it since 9am! My day had evaporated, the kids were exhausted. It wasn't working!
 
So I cut down the days to 5 subjects and alternating between science and History, with one day for Art. It was STILL too much. We were still  too worn out by the end of the day to get to Science and History. Those were the kids favorite subjects and we were rushing through them and not enjoying them very much at all.
 
Then God opened a door for me and he has been slowly opening it wider and wider allowing me to peak in on what our days should look like. And I had to give myself permission to follow His lead. See even though I say I want God in control, my actions don't always speak to that. I do things the way I think they should be, set up our schedule the way I think it will work best. But in reality, I don't know best! He does.
 
He put it on my heart to have one day a week where all we do is Science, History and Art. I cried out,"But what about READING!!! and MATH!!!!!" Nope, just Science and History and Art. So we have been going on that path for a few weeks. Then this week again I was praying, giving God control and telling Him how I still wasn't happy about that ONE day. Again He showed me a new way for us to do things. I'm so excited now, I wish we had done this all along! 
 
This week I spent time (way too much time), putting together 2 Units for the kids. There are tons of great resources, vidoes, activities, games out there on Every subject! Believe me I even found a FREE power point show on The Babylonians and Assyrians! Amazing! So now each week instead of just doing the worksheets provided by Sonlight, and Story of the World.....I've added to it, plugging in FUN along the way. That way we can dig into a subject on Fridays and the kids can work through the unit throughout the week at their own pace! When there is down time, or I need to nurse a baby, they can pull out their Unit studies and do a little!
 
Eventually I'll get a post up of what that looks like (complete with photographs)......but for now, I've gotta get kids dressed and ready to learn about some Arctic Animals! BBBrrrrrrr! 

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