Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Seeking and Finding

I just have to update again about how God is leading our home learning!  It is so exciting to watch His steps for us unfold!

We are still studying ancient China this week so we looked at the invention of paper.  At the same time, we moved on from ants in our science to trees so it worked out fabulous to study the two together! 

We have been through seasons this year when I have had a zillion and two things to get done (it felt like :) and the younger boys have had worksheets to get us through, but it is so much more enjoyable for all of us when we can dig into living books and watch videos that bring the concepts to life!

We watched a documentary last night on Netflix about fire ants.  Oh my, I felt like things were crawling all over me by the end of it, but it was incredible to see what these little creatures can do.  Trey said, "Can you believe people think this all happened by chance?"  The theory of evolution is so ridiculous to them now and that makes me so happy!  God reveals Himself to ALL who seek Him!  

Monday, February 18, 2013

Plowing Forward

Another Monday.  Another fresh start it feels like.  I have been trying so hard to develop new lifestyle habits.  I have dealt with many varied health issues over the last couple of years, and I know, with God and wisdom, I can make it better from the inside out.  Spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and physically, I needed to make some changes and slowly I have done so. At times, I feel like I keep getting knocked back down every few steps.  Though quite discouraging some days, I have managed to pick myself up, dust off, and get going again.  Today was such a day.

This morning I began a new book called Integrative Wellness Rules: A Simple Guide to Healthy Living by Jim Nicolai and Andrew Weil.  Dr. Jim and his family, I happen to have the pleasure of knowing, as I was blessed to take care of his second born for a while.  When his daughter was born, my dear friend Laura took over.  So it is very exciting to see Jim be able to get his words published after much hard work.  I pray this blesses his family, himself, and all those who read it.  It certainly has already inspired me!

Jim wrote a section in his book about keeping journals of his life.  He has kept these records of events since his twenties, which I think is pretty great for his children and grandchildren!  (Of course I do...I blog right?) 

As I was reading though, I began to think about how the Bible instructs us to write the vision on the wall.  Always before, I thought of that passage as meaning to write down our goals or plan, and I do think it means that, but I had another thought today.  By keeping journals of our lives, we are also writing the vision...as it is unfolding and perhaps for a loved one's future.

Think of that for a moment.  What if some of the dreams God puts in my heart will be birthed through my children's and grandchildren's lives and not my own?  What if I am building for them as well?

Our church is called Legacy Life.  Our pastors have captured God's vision...fathers and mothers raising up sons and daughters to become fathers and mothers who produce fruitful sons and daughters...

This is God's way...His plan for mankind.  Be fruitful and multiply!  Subdue the earth and carry forth God's plan for generations.  Oh how far we have moved from that to chasing our own agendas.  But, a remnant exists who still seek to bring God's kingdom on earth! 

A legacy is being left by those who aren't concerned with storing up treasure on earth, but rather who seek to store up treasure in heaven where nothing can destroy!  What a twisted and perverted society we are living in, but God still says in this day, "Who will go for Me?  Whom shall I send?" 

The brave remnant says, "Send us Lord.  We will go!  We will build on Your firm foundation, and we will leave a legacy of You...an inheritance for those who will keep plowing forward.  Place your dreams in our hearts and we shall prepare the way of the Lord to come!"

It isn't easy to keep pressing on is it?  Tired, broken, bruised, we want to lay down and give up some days.  But we press on for the prize and the joy of the Lord is our strength!

Be strong in the power of HIS might.  

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Letting Go of My Plans

We are having a fun school week so far.  God is showing me more and more how to let Him lead us!

Some people have wanted to know how this looks practically, so I am going to give you a glimpse.

Letting God lead me doesn't mean I don't have an overall vision.  I pray in the spring and summer and ask Him to lead me to the materials best for us.  The new challenge to my life this year was to have an idea of what we would study (ancient history for example), but give God reign in the weekly and daily "how" of that.

This was a stretch for me.  I like lists and plans and step-by-step "how to" guides!  I don't want to feel like I am messing up or leaving something out, etc.

As I mentioned in previous posts, I was led to set up our school year where we go for four weeks and then have one week off.  I also said this made sense to me logically, so we have a break from academics, but last week I realized God was using that time to keep our hearts connected with movie time, game time, reading, field trips, visiting with grandparents, and serving/volunteering.  It is just as important to train the whole child.

When I began to plan for this week at the end of the last one, God once again changed things up.  It's getting more exciting than nerve-racking to me now.  I look forward to the new adventure He has planned.  I think it is teaching us all how to listen closer to His voice.

In my original plan, we were not going to study ancient China, but God spoke to me about adding that in for the next 2 weeks.  He also led me to a living book on science that is more like a story.  

Yesterday, we read about ants (something my boys have just never gotten interested in) and we watched a You Tube video where they poured concrete into an underground ant network then excavated it!  They said it was the equivalent of men building the Great Wall of China.

Pretty neat connection that I certainly didn't plan, but God did.  We read about Confucius and his wise teachings (which were all about the character of a person) and talked about what the Bible says about not being lazy but looking at how hard the ant works and learning from it!  

Today we watched a video about ants that was put together for a company to show the workers the importance of team work...while we read about the Legalists that took over China for years and certainly weren't willing to work with everyone for a better society.  They didn't care about unity or team building and killed many citizens.

Man makes his plans, but God directs His steps.  This seems to be the truth of Scripture God wants me to see this school year.  All these divine connections impacting my children and bringing the concepts alive so they stick in the minds!

We are reading through the Old Testament and learning how the Bible is set up and what was taking place in the history of God's people while we look at what was happening in the rest of the world.  The younger boys are reading a simple book on Bible stories of the OT and as they examined yesterday (again) what God originally planned for mankind and how Adam and Eve forfeited that but God sent Jesus to bring us back into the family, we also watched a Netflix video called China's Lost Girls about China's one child policy and how many little girls are in orphanages.  We are learning how God adopted us and praying about if He would have us adopt.

It is so freeing to get out of a mindset that has held me captive with rules that are only man-made.  It is exciting to see God's personal touch on my family.  He is weaving a tapestry that will only make sense in the end, but I'm starting to see some small pictures come together.

Don't be afraid to step out of the box.  God loves your children more than you do.  He knows what they need more than anyone.

Now...since it is snowing, I think we will drink some cocoa and read a book on snowflakes :)

Monday, February 11, 2013

Hangin' On

We had a nice week off school last week.  We did a few things school-related, like watching movies about ancient Egypt, but otherwise, we just reconnected with one another.

I love how God will lay an idea on our heart and we implement it, thinking, that's a pretty good idea.  Then, a time comes when it all clicks and we see what God really did for us!

I had that moment over our break last week.  Here I thought back in the summer while planning for the school year, that this "break" time was just about academics.  Nope.  God had plans and knew all along that it would be a time of keeping my heart knitted to my children's hearts.

As homeschoolers, it is so easy to fall into the rut of rush, rush, rush...get the assignments done and move on.  Even if we aren't rushing, we can become so habitual that little time is left for relationship and that is when character issues are usually addressed.

I love that my boys still enjoy just being with me and their dad.  I pray that doesn't change.  I don't expect it to; I won't expect that!  I know too many godly young people who enjoy their family.  I won't settle for accepting teenage rebellion or attitude.  I don't read that anywhere in the Word of God :)

So this week, we head to ancient China to explore daily life from that time period.  We will learn about Confusious, dynasties, papyrus and the Great Wall, as well as read a favorite superhero story from the culture!  

Alex and Trey started into Teaching Textbooks for math again now that we are back on track!  That's a relief!  They are reading a living book on various science topics, practicing Spanish, and reading through the Old Testament.  

Garrison is plugging away at Algebra 2, almost finished, and tackling all similar subjects as A & T, but on high school level.  He will be starting Chemistry soon.  Can't believe my lil boy is so grown up.

Trying to hang on to every precious moment!  So thankful to be home with my guys.