Sunday, July 31, 2011

Whose Opinions Are You Living For?

Enjoying summer days before school starts back.  I wish it wasn't so hot, but I do love pool time...always have.  Garrison is like hour tops and they are done.  Not me!  Nope, I could stay in the pool all day with a good book...probably why God hasn't opened the door for me to get one yet!  hee hee

I have never put homeschool planning off this long.  Usually I have the next year planned by spring of the year before!  I dunno what is different really.  I am seeing myself just relaxing more all around.  I think it's a good thing, but maybe it's making me procrastinate a bit too much.  Not sure yet...I'll let ya know!  (smile)

Anyway, I do have a plan down now, though I still need to study up on how to record high school credits.  It seems that my firstborn wants to graduate asap.  He is so driven and motivated...wise beyond his years.  Such an easy child to parent in most ways...though his leadership anointing is going through some tempering lessons right now.  I told him not too long ago that I felt sorry for his kids.  He asked why, and I said, "Because you are going to be all parent-ed out by the time you have them!"  He wanted to give me a dirty look and lecture me...I could tell!  (bhhhhaaaaaaaaaaa!)  But, that would be wrong, so he held it in.  Little Mindy...oops, I mean, Alex piped up from the backseat, "Yeah Garrison, it's because you boss us around all the time!"

I just have a feeling Garrison is going to get a son that acts a lot like Alex.  And, I'm not gonna will be funny to watch.

I have to get Alex and Trey caught up on some math.  I am still learning (the hard way) that they are VERY different from their big brother.  They definitely don't have the same self-motivation when it comes to school and cannot be trusted at this point when they say they did something...or did it well.  They would rather be playing...or wrestling...or just about anything.

Oh well, live and learn right?  I was pretty upset about this little setback at first, but then I thought, who cares...what does it really matter in the grand scheme of things?  They will catch up on this 1/2 year of math in no time.

See?  Can you believe the change that is happening in me!  It feels liberating!  I feel like my soul is awakening from the traumatic shut-down it went into!

Have you ever thought about how much you act and react based on what other people might think?  It's amazing to see how much we do, not because it is what brings glory to God, but because we fear people, want to please people, or don't wanna look "off."

I just shout a giant WHO STINKIN' CARES now!  

I challenge you to ask God to show you this week what all you are doing with the real motivation being to please people.  Let Him open your eyes to it.  I will share in the next post some of the things He has shown me!  Until then...go ahead...set aside some you time...some time of self-discovery in the light of who God calls you to be!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Curriculum Choices

Since I have friends wanting to know what we are using this year, I thought this was the best place to post the list.  Hope everyone enjoys their year of learning!

Curriculum 2011-2012
My Father’s World, 1850-Modern Times
Children’s Encyclopedia of American History
Tales of Persia
Trial and Triumph
In God We Trust
Story of the World, Vol. 4
Instant Immersion Spanish
Creativity Express
Music Ace Deluxe
Typing Instructor
Martial Arts Class
Homeschool Band-guitar maybe

GARRISON-8th Grade (working mostly independently now)
Teaching Textbooks Algebra II
Write Shop I
Analytical Grammar
Word Roots B1
Analogies I
ACE Biology or Apologia Exploring Creation through Physical Science
The Fallacy Detective
BBC Manual:  Turning Your Bedroom into Bible College
But Don’t All Religions Lead to God?
Daring to Live on the Edge:  The Adventure of Faith and Finances
How to Stay Christian in High School

ALEX & TREY-5th Grade
Daily 6-Trait Writing Grade 5 (Evan Moor)
Teaching Textbooks 5, Daily Word Problems Grade 5 (Evan Moor)
Grammar Ace
Sequential Spelling
Word Roots A2
A Reason for Science E
Daily Geography Grade 5
Critical & Creative Thinking Activities Grade 5 (Evan Moor)
Answers for Kids Bible Curriculum (Answers in Genesis)
A Young Person’s Guide to Knowing God

Family Read Alouds
The Great Turkey Walk
Hudson Taylor
Lincoln:  A Photobiography
Across Five Aprils
Slopes of War
Dragon’s Gate
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry
Caddie Woodlawn
The Great Wheel
Story of the USA, Book 3
Little Britches
The Great War
The World Wars
Tales of Persia
Moonshiner’s Son
A Letter to Mrs. Roosevelt
Farewell to Manzanar
Miracles on Maple Hill
Corrie Ten Boom
Brother Andrew
The Winged Watchman
Story of the USA, Book 4
Peace Child
The Cross and the Switchblade
In Search of the Source

Garrison’s Literature
The Red Badge of Courage
Cameron Townsend
After the Dancing Days
Blue Willow
Nothing to Fear
To Kill a Mockingbird
Out of the Dust *
A Year down Yonder
Maniac Magee*
My Side of the Mountain
From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler
Dear Mr. Henshaw
The Green Book

*Progeny Press Literature Study Guide to go along with this book

Alex & Trey’s Literature
Sing down the Moon
Shades of Gray
The Perilous Road
Freedom Train:  The Story of Harriet Tubman
George Washington Carver
Turn Homeward, Hannalee
Helen Keller
The Terrible Wave
The Story of Thomas Alva Edison: Wizard of Menlo Park
The Wright Brothers
All of a Kind Family
Thimble Summer
Hero over Here
In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson
Gone Away Lake
Plain Girl
The Seventeenth Swap

Monday, July 11, 2011

Love One Another?

Just caught up on a lot of blog reading.

Can I share what I noticed?  

We are all on a very personal journey.

People handle their journeys very differently.

I noticed some people blog more when they go through rough spots and some blog none.

I noticed that I'm a none-blogger.

When I am processing things, I withdraw and I think.  I would like to say I pray and sometimes I do, but I find myself thinking more than praying most days...a trend I really wanna change in my life!

I noticed that some of my friends are hurting but some are saying very little, giving only hints of what is going on inside them.

Some are laying it all out there...not giving a care as to what others think about them just expressing their humanness.

And you know what?  I like that!  I wanna be more like that!

I'm so tired of pretense and image.  I'm tired of tip-toeing and trying so hard. 

I'll try it now:  you know what I actually felt very tired of lately? Caring.

Yep...caring.  About anything.

I was thinking about how much I care and how exhausting it is.  

I care about what people think, what people do.

Sometimes it's good caring and provokes me to good works.  But, sometimes it isn't good caring.  Sometimes it is downright judgment and criticism.

I hate that about myself.  I tell myself to stop it.  I have labored to cut it out of my life, my mind and my heart.

I feel like I fail miserably.

On the other hand, I care a lot about people and want to help them.  I love to mother and nurture.  I love to see people brought back to health and wholeness.  I love restoration in all forms.

I hate strife.  I hate contention.  I hate fighting and even conflict.  I hate anything that feels like fighting and conflict.  I hate when people don't get along.

But, I also hate fake peace.  I hate pretense and saving face!  

I hate that I find myself participating in these things.

I hate that I give and give and give of myself and feel like I am a good friend to others, but when things get rough for me, I look around and see few people that are really HERE.

I hate that life gets so busy and the enemies of our souls try to keep us so chaotic that we become selfish.  And, I hate that I go through cycles of being determined to not be selfish and helping others, only then to find myself being selfish again and having an attitude of why bother!

For me to even speak this candidly is a leap.  I am in a battle of giving up caring what others think of me and being judged.

I am in the depths of meditating on God's grace and what that really means.  His grace toward me...His grace toward grace toward others.

I just came from being a counselor at a youth camp (with my family) where the theme was The Amazing GRace.  It was truly amazing to see so many young people get some revelation of who they are to God!  

My oldest son was helped tremendously in understanding that as far as the east is from the west, God has removed his sin from him.  We have tried to get this across to him for years, but finally, it clicked for him!

My middle son, whose "thing" is humor, pushed another counselor's face in cake at one of the meals.  In our family, at our house, this is good, clean fun.  

My son likes this man and sees him as playful.  Humor is how Alex connects with people.  Humor is what he thinks he is good at. He loves to make people laugh.

The man didn't think it was funny. Actually, he was quite upset. He felt very disrespected.  I can understand that.  But, it wasn't meant to be disrespectful.

The man let my husband know that he didn't think Alex showed remorse and what he would do to him if that was HIS son.

So we talked to Alex.  He was so confused as to why this man would be so upset. He had, by that time, already went back and asked for his forgiveness.  I saw my son's heart. 

I saw the boy I know in my home.  I saw his bewilderment, his hurt, his desire for things to be okay, and his condemnation.

I watched him try to enter into praising his Savior, while trying to understand what it was that he did so wrong.

I've been there. I've had a pastor preach an entire message directed at me because of what he thought I had done.  I remember sitting there thinking, just walk outside to the road and step in front of a semi.  This torment could all be over.  No one believes you.  No one is on your side...not even your husband.

I know the depths of loneliness and condemnation.

I looked at my boy.  I saw the tears coming down his face.  I recalled the conversations I had already had with him about him hating himself for his actions...about him wishing he was never born or that he would just die.  Him asking, "Why do I do this stuff Mom?"

He is TEN.

My heart was wrenched.

All this because of cake?  REALLY?


Because of acceptance.

We all want to be accepted.  Loved. Treasured. Cherished.

Not despised.

That's why we care what people think.

In the midst of the message of GRACE that was supposed to be coming forth at this camp, my son was sitting in the heap of condemnation and Evil had used a human being my son loves to bring it on.

And just when I am begging God not to let the enemy steal this message of Love from my boy, this other adorable, little bitty boy (who, from talking to him one could tell probably got in trouble a lot!) falls down at the altar and begins to cry.  

And then...I watch my son, in his own brokenness, walk to him, kneel down beside him, lay his hand on his back and begin to pray.

Was it because maybe he thought the little boy could be feeling the same way?  Maybe he was feeling lost, confused, sad, and worthless?

Whatever it was that moved my baby to bubbled up in him, surpassed his own self, and poured out to another.

And THAT is what I labor as a mother to teach my sons.

I started thinking about how my son's one action caused him to be seen by people as a rebellious, disrespectful delinquent because through their eyes, it was "sin."

My son's other action was probably viewed as "righteousness" because it was seen as compassionate, respectful, and kind.

How many times have I judged others through my cloudy eyes?  How many times have I cast my call on their "sin?"

How much do we need to be thankful for God's crystal clear vision?  How much gratitude should we have because the full fury of God's wrath was taken out on Jesus FOR us!  

Even WHILE WE WERE YET SINNERS, Christ Jesus chose to die for us. And for those of us IN CHRIST there is NOW NO CONDEMNATION!

How I desire to extend that same grace to others.

How I desire for my son to understand that because, AND ONLY BECAUSE, of Jesus, he is forever forgiven, highly favored, greatly blessed, and deeply loved NO MATTER WHAT any other human thinks of him.

Lord, help us to love one another the way You love us.

I hate that some care about who wear skirts and make-up.  I hate that some care about who speaks in tongues.  I hate that some care about who sing hymns and who dance to instruments.  I hate that some care about who has a mo-hawk and tattoos. 

I hate that we allow ourselves to get hung up on outward things when God concerns Himself with our hearts.

I hate that we let our offenses separate us.

They will know we are Christians by our LOVE.

1 Corinthians 13 (The Message)

The Way of Love
 1 If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don't love, I'm nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate. 2If I speak God's Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, "Jump," and it jumps, but I don't love, I'm nothing. 3-7If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don't love, I've gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I'm bankrupt without love.

   Love never gives up.
   Love cares more for others than for self.
   Love doesn't want what it doesn't have.
   Love doesn't strut,
   Doesn't have a swelled head,
   Doesn't force itself on others,
   Isn't always "me first,"
   Doesn't fly off the handle,
   Doesn't keep score of the sins of others,
   Doesn't revel when others grovel,
   Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
   Puts up with anything,
   Trusts God always,
   Always looks for the best,
   Never looks back,
   But keeps going to the end.  8-10Love never dies. Inspired speech will be over some day; praying in tongues will end; understanding will reach its limit. We know only a portion of the truth, and what we say about God is always incomplete. But when the Complete arrives, our incompletes will be canceled.
 11When I was an infant at my mother's breast, I gurgled and cooed like any infant. When I grew up, I left those infant ways for good.
 12We don't yet see things clearly. We're squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won't be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We'll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us!
 13But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.