Tag Archives: God

5 Things I learned in my First Year of Homeschooling.

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Our first year of homeschooling will be over in a couple months and I’ve found myself reminiscing ( and yes I’m using the correct word here) about all the worries and anxieties I had leading up to the beginning of the school year.  Here are 5 things I’ve learned about myself and homeschooling.

1.I AM NOT A TOTAL REJECT!! 

To explain, I have never been very confident in my ability to make friends with women as an adult woman. Now to keep me from sounding like a recluse I will add that I have a lot of women friends but the difference is that I made these friends when I was just a girl. When we were just girls. I still have friends that I’ve had since elementary school, those are some of my closest friends. I have friends that I made when I was in a youth/college group at church and a very good friend that I made at my first ever job, Hobby Lobby. But the entire realm of women makes me shutter. Now as a homeschooler, you might not think I meet very many grown ups or see anyone at all ever that is over 4 feet tall but in all actuality I do and it was one of my biggest fears going into this. The kind of homeschooler I wanted to be was not the one that came natural for me. (Hey look, I have social anxiety and I was public schooled… more info on this in # 4.) We got out of the house, we joined a co-op where we knew practically no one going into it. We have play dates consistently and guess what… I am surviving. I sweat a lot but not as much as I did those first couple months of Thursdays, meeting people and trying to get to know all the different mothers.

I like the word mothers better, makes me sweat less than the word women, lots of different women. Eek. And I really can’t explain the fear because I am one.

2.HOMESCHOOLING CAN GET REALLY EXPENSIVE!! 

I didn’t really realize this until I started searching around for next years curriculum. We are doing My Father’s World 1st grade curriculum right now (which was not so cheap itself) and looking at future purchases with them would be going into a lot of several hundreds of dollars, not just several. I’ve realized through blogs and blogging myself that you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars to teach your child. You don’t have to get one big curriculum package. You can buy used, which is what I’m looking into for this next fall. Going cheaper does not mean you will lose any of the quality that you are wanting. My son is only 5 and we are doing 1st grade this year. He is amazing and a super fast learner, I don’t know if all my children will learn at this rate but if so I shouldn’t have to spend much on anything else right? :/

All that being said, we do absolutely love My Father’s World so may still get the bulk of it through them.

3.IT’S NOT ONE SIZE FITS ALL!!

Going into this I really didn’t know what to expect but I had a feeling, after hours of searching for curriculums and subjects and grade levels that I was in for quite a ride. And it really is hit or miss. Some things that we have loved this year and last (preschool) others have not so much. For instance we absolutely loved almost everything about Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons, my child really took to it and the only thing I had a real problem with was the stories got kind of repetitive. My son got a little bored with it so we skipped a few here and there. He picked it up quickly though. Now once I started talking to other mom’s in our co-op I learned that some of them didn’t care for it because it didn’t click for their kid and they found something else that did. I think I will find this happens a lot more as we go along and my own children have a different way of learning.

4.MY CHILD IS STILL NORMAL AND I BELIEVE HE WILL CONTINUE TO BE!!

I’m not gonna lie and say this wasn’t a huge worry I had, probably because it’s one of the most common misconceptions people have about homeschooled children. They will be socially awkward or they seem just a little different. Honestly it’s really funny now that I think about it. I went to public school and I was a a little weird and awkward so if my kids ends up like that it’s most likely genetic. Here is a great post about this very topic. It’s Because They’re Homeschooled: No, Actually It’s Not. I know several homeschooled children and several public schooled children and you know what… I wouldn’t be able to tell the difference. Some kids are shy, some are not, some are very active, some are not.

Personality, Personality, Personality!!!!

5.IT’S A LOT HARDER AND A LOT MORE REWARDING THAN I EXPECTED!!

Don’t get me wrong, I had a feeling it would be hard but it’s a different kind of hard once you are deep in the thick of it. Before we started I was worried about all of the above, about curriculum choices and normal kids and me being the biggest, nerdiest mom ever. But now those have pretty much faded away, every once in awhile they will pop up again but it’s nothing I can’t handle. What was unexpectedly hard is realizing that there are some days when neither of us want to do school. Somedays my temper is a little shorter than I would like. Some days showing grace doesn’t seem like much of an option. While we make school as yell free and stress free as possible that doesn’t mean that some days aren’t harder than others. There is a fine balance in being the mom and the teacher of your children. I don’t think I have quite gotten it down yet but I’m working on it. Another hard thing is just wanting them to succeed, wanting to do the best thing for my child and when they are struggling with something or not figuring it out the thought pops into my head, “Maybe I’m not good enough to do this job.” and then that’s about the time the rewarding part comes in. I have found that about the time when I am starting to second guess our decision to homeschool there is a grace that blankets our house and it’s definitely not from me. Whether it’s just peace that washes over me or me seeing my son figure something out that he’s been struggling with. I’m reminded that I didn’t go into this decision lightly. Lots of prayer and thought and discussion went into this and I know that at this time in our lives this is what we should be doing and God never fails to remind me of that when I am starting to get a little stressed out.

I really was not expecting or planning on writing down all of my thoughts that I have been having this last month or so about schooling but I’m so glad I did. It was a great way to reflect and see that the prayers and worries I had earlier on were answered in one way or the other, which then gives me hope and faith that the worries and struggles that come along now and in the future will not overtake me.

If you are struggling with a decision about homeschooling, whether it be to try it out or not or just how in the world to start off, I’m always here. I definitely don’t have all the answers but sometimes it’s just nice to talk to someone who gets it. Support is a very necessary thing, whether you homeschool or not!!

My Journey Back

Proverbs 1- Wisdom calls aloud in the street, she raises her voice in the public square, at the head of the noisy street she cries out. How long will you simple ones love your simple ways?

I’ve been drowning in a bittersweet pool of daily chores, school work, teaching, mothering, wifing and all around trying to be a put together human being. I’ve been so busy keeping all of my blessings in check that I have forgotten to remember who gave them to me in the first place. I have forgotten to give credit where credit is due. I’ve blamed my lack of sleep on the children, who for the most part sleep through the night, sometimes in our bed but they still get a solid nights sleep these days. I blame my lack of quiet time in the Bible and a real relationship with God on everything from my checklist when really my checklist is, well let’s face it….. Crap!

I believe that being in the Bible daily and having a moment (and sometimes that’s really all it will end up being, just one moment) with God will change the course of my day. I believe this because I’ve lived it. Before I let this world get ahold of me, before my list of priorities became somewhat skewed, I’ve felt that change, that strength, that patience, that love, all those things that can only come from a growing relationship with God course through me when I needed it most. (Usually around 2:00 everyday) But for the last several months I’ve been more irritable, I’ve been biting my tongue a lot more when my son isn’t figuring something out as quickly as I think he should throughout our school day. When in all reality I want to be able to possess the grace and the compassion and the patience that I try to instill in my children everyday. How can I do that when I am lacking those qualities myself?

I’ve known I’ve needed a change and I’ve known how to fix it for awhile now but still my priorities weren’t quite cutting it. I wasn’t making the changes that I needed to. I just kept my worries and yearning for something more bottled up inside of me. Do you believe that God puts people in your life at just the right time? I definitely do. I’m sure it’s happened a lot more than I’ve actually noticed but this time around I definitely did. I’m 31 and I have a new friend. A person who I’ve gotten close to just within the last few months and we have both realized how much alike we actually are… but I think she is much lovelier. She is so kind and considerate and thoughtful. Well a few nights ago she invited me on a trip with her to Hy-vee to pick up some groceries she’d ordered online. Haha she admits that it was kind of an odd invite but I said “sure, I needed to pick up coffee.” So away we went, on a Friday night I believe. What else are two moms to do on a weekend? Anyways, she got to talking and then I got to talking and I finally worked up the nerve to ask her what kind of devotion or study she uses to motivate herself to get up at 6 am every morning and spend time with God. I wanted that so much but honestly I’ve never been all that open when it comes to sharing my spiritual needs with someone else. Well, she made some suggestions and by the end of that trip to Hy-vee I had a new skip in my step. I felt lighter within my soul. I’m not sure how to explain it but I knew that confiding in someone else who has this beautiful heart for God and letting them in, helped me. I knew that I would wake up the next morning (I’m still working on getting up at 6am) at least a little earlier than usual and open my Bible, open my notebook and just spend a little time with God.

And I did.

Starting in Proverbs, with a chapter a day. So far I haven’t had to search very hard to feel lead to write down parts of the chapter that moved me. That have inspired me. (There have been so many.) I felt like the first chapter of Proverbs was fitting to get me started on my journey back to God. To building on a relationship that I’ve let slip through my finger tips. I’ve found that searching for wisdom and guidance and love is only possible through his word, it’s only possible when there is a relationship there. An ever growing relationship that is so much more important than my timeline, my comfort, and my sleep schedule.

 

3 Day Quote Challenge (1) Romans

I was recently challenged by Palatable Adventures  to the 3-Day Quote Challenge.  Thank you so much Kristy! Her blog is so fun, go check it out when you get the chance!

My first quote is a verse found in Romans 8:31. I absolutely love this verse.

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“Who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31) The answer to this is “no one.” Sure we can be persecuted and hurt here on earth, but eternally we will live and bask in the Glory of Christ forever. – Article by Derek Hill. You can read the rest of the article here. I love this article, it pretty much sums up how I feel about this verse. I hope it gives you peace even during the pain here on earth as much as it does me!!

If you accept this 3-day challenge, post 1-3 quotes for 3 consecutive days, nominating 3 fellow bloggers to do the same.

I am nominating the following bloggers today to this challenge.

Adventures in Teaching My Own

Blogging with Britt

Strings to Wings

Here’s to happy quoting!!

Be Still My Heart

Conversations with a 5 year old

5 year old son – “I wanna go in my heart.”

Me – “You want to go in your heart?”

5 year old son – “Mommy, I wanna go in my heart.”

Me – “Why?”

5 year old son – “So I can see God, do you wanna go in my heart so you can see God?”

Why yes, I would absolutely love to!!:)

My Stuff is Better than all of Your Stuff

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My stuff is better than all of your stuff.

That is what an almost 4 year old told me today. I’ve heard the same thing from this same little kiddo a few times but this time I was deeply offended.

Yes, an almost 4 year old deeply offended me. (Oh I love kids and how they can make you feel bad without even knowing it or trying. Yes I was offended, I’m not proud) It’s not because what they said is true or that I’m envious of “all of their stuff” but it’s more of a situation where as a parent of the same age kids I can’t imagine my kids saying this to anyone and for that matter multiple times. (It would break my heart just a little if they looked at things like this or made other kids feel bad. I’m sure there will come a day though…:/) I know that kids will be kids and they say stuff not knowing really what they are even talking about but I have explained it to this particular child so many times. My kids have even responded with…

“But we have to be happy with what we have and what we get.”

My response is about the same, just a little more in-depth such as,

“Your stuff is better than my stuff, huh? Well your face…. ”

Pause, remain calm, I am 30 and this is a child… approach changes…

“It’s not about the things we have but the people who we get to share it with, like our brother and sisters or our neighbors and even people that we don’t know but don’t have as much as we do.”

My kids seem to understand this (and I’m not saying they are rays of sunshine all the time themselves.) There have been fits when they don’t want to do something or leave a certain place. My daughter is as stubborn as they come. I get it, they are kids and they are learning how to express their feelings and emotions and how to respond to certain situations and sometimes it’s not always how I want them to act. Okay okay okay now that all being said…

“My stuff is better than all of your stuff.”

Said in various ways to me and my kids the last few times we’ve been around this child is really starting to get under my skin and I automatically think, this kids parents are creating a monster. (Those are just my instant ideas, I’m sure it’s not true and I’m sure they are just lovely!) I have to pull my annoyed feelings inwards because again I do realize that this cute little kiddo is only 4ish.

I also realize that this is one of many times my kids may be told things like this, that children will not treat them kindly or fairly and that they will probably wonder or start feeling like they deserve more, that it’s normal for others to get everything they want right when they want it and if its normal for these other kids then why aren’t they given everything their hearts desire as well. So I really can’t hold it against this child (maybe their parents;) but I can try my hardest to instill in my children what the most important desires of our hearts should be. Not to desire things but to desire love, a generous heart, a giving spirit, our family and friends and people in general. A genuine love for God.

Those things are my desires for my kiddos and for others kiddos as well. Even the ones that tell me how horrible all of our stuff is. 😉

So, moral of the story, here’s to not letting a cute little almost 4 year old hurt my feelings… again.

Shine Bright

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Shine the brightest in your darkness, you never know who will see your glow, you never know who you will help or encourage, including yourself.

Be the light today!

” Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever.”
Daniel 12:3

” For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.”
2 Corinthians 4:6

Is This Marriage On?

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Have you ever treated your marriage like a microphone that just isn’t carrying your voice. You aren’t sure if you are being heard, if your words are coming across clearly so you just keep tapping the microphone, tapping it until you hear that loud vibrating bomp it gives off when it’s working. Occasionally I feel like I’m just waiting to hear that bomp in my marriage. Just a sign that my husband sees me, a sign that we aren’t really roommates who’ve decided to have kids together for the increased tax return. I don’t think I’m alone in these thoughts. It’s not like they are all the time but all marriages do go through slumps. If someone tries to argue with me on this please look at divorce statistics first and if you can convince me that a divorce isn’t the worst kind of slump in a marriage than I might just have to give you a gold star. Yeah, you thought about it, I’m not giving out any gold stars today am I? Same with those marriages that last 50-60 years. You can’t be under the same roof with somebody that long without a few terrifying slumps!

Mr. Lane and I have had our share of slumps, sometimes it’s just getting into the routine of turning on the television right after the kids are down and not really interacting the rest of the night. Sometimes it’s not really seeing each other, not taking the time to show our love to one another. I’ve heard people say,

“Well, you shouldn’t have to see proof to know that your spouse loves you.”

Okay, I get what you’re saying, if you are really in love then they should just know how you feel and that be that. But then come those dreaded slumps, the microphone moments when you just don’t know if that marriage, that love is working anymore. Those slumps can easily turn into slopes if we let them. Mr. Lane and I have fallen into the snare of a downward slump/slope and it took one of us noticing, one of us saying, WOAH… wait a minute here this thing, this once wonderful and loving marriage is slowly dying. Thank the Lord that one of us has always shown the other love, put the other back on top of their list of priorities and trudged up out of that slump. It takes work, it takes determination and a little humbling of oneself to do it but it can be done.

John 13:34 says, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.”

So how has God loved us? How does God love us? Well, he shows me everyday by the blessings he has given me, my children, my marriage (slump or no slump), his forgiveness and grace that constantly overwhelms me because I know I don’t deserve it. When I feel like this marriage isn’t working, when it feels like there isn’t enough love to carry it, that’s when I think of all the ways God loves. Showing I love my husband can be as small as bringing home Mike and Ikes because that’s his favorite candy or as big as a scavenger hunt around the house, which I’ve done by the way and I think I had more fun with it than he did but it’s the thought that counts. I’m sure you can go bigger than that but remember I’m a stay at home mom;).

So when you are wishing your spouse would give a little and show some love first and then you can return it, remember there is no prize for the quietest mouse game. And if there is it’s not going to be much better than a little tootsie roll which doesn’t last long and hurts later. (I’m not the greatest at metaphors but after rereading that one I’ve decided to keep it because it gave me a little chuckle.)

I understand that all marriages have different struggles and hurts. Some have seen much better days and some have already seen their final days. I just write about what I’ve learned in my marriage and what has helped us get through some not so lovey dovey marriage moments and I’m sure there will be more to come but I also know that if we love like God loves than it’s easier to get through it, easier to love with your whole heart even when we don’t feel it in return. I always think about how sad it must make God to have so many not return his love but how he still loves us regardless. I sure am thankful for that.

Here’s to turning that marriage back on!

(I wrote this a couple years ago and came across while going through my past entries. I actually read it at the exact moment I needed it so thought I would repost)