August 30, 2010

Come along side

Today I had the opportunity to live something that I've read about on other blogs relating to teens & almost teens.
J spent this morning with a wonderful lady from our church, working as a mother's helper.  She's done this several times over the summer, but today she also had a full schedule of school work to accomplish.  She worked all morning, came home, had lunch and finally got to start on her schoolwork at about 1pm.
She and B worked on their Latin review - there is a major test on Friday.  She worked on a History lesson, also knowing there is a quiz on Friday this week.  Then there was some science reading and answering some questions before working on an experiment and writing up a lab report.  Then pulling out her schedule and taking some other books off the shelf she became over-whelmed and started to cry.
I hugged her as she sobbed on my shoulder,
"There is too much work!  I can't do it!"  She sniffed, as her tears soaked my shoulder.
I took a deep breath and hugged her again.
Gently I said, "You can.  I know you can.  Wash your face and bring your book out with me to the swing."

So she washed up, took the math book & her notebook and we went out to the deck and sat on the swing.
We sat together, she worked problems and we talked.  She did the entire section - all correctly - as we sat together.  Then she worked on her literature assignment, reading me passages and talking with me about the humor of G.K. Chesterton.
Then... she was done - all assignments finished.  No more tears.
We did it together,her working along, talking, sharing some laughs... that is one of the beautiful things we enjoy being here together for school. 
I am so thankful that God has called us to this journey of home schooling.  The blessings can't be measured on a test (though they test well and get good grades).  The relationship.  The learning that hard things can be accomplished.  That it is a lot of work, but they CAN.  It's amazing to watch them as they grow and learn.
I am so very blessed.  Our life isn't perfect, not every day is stellar, some can even be pretty dreadful at times...but in the end.... it's all good.  We are building LIFE and focusing on the things that last for eternity.  Loving each other.  Learning together.  Living these golden moments that God has gifted to us.
Blessings on the journey~

August 27, 2010

A very good start

We have finished our first full week of school here and it was a very good beginning.  Both J & B have worked very diligently and accomplished everything I had planned for them - all with good attitudes and without working till late in the day. 
J actually told me on Thursday that she loves all her curriculum this year and thanked me for choosing so well for her.  Now I know those feelings may change as the year progresses - but for now... I'll take it ... with much thanks to God for His mercies and blessings.
I've even managed to get in some sewing this week (3 pairs of pjs and a small flannel baby quilt) and kept up with laundry, most of the housework, baked some bread and mostly followed my meal plans.  All in all it was a wonderful week. 
Steve surprised me and took the day off today. He came to J's last horse riding lesson of the summer and got to see some of what she's learned this year.  We topped it off by an afternoon outing to our favorite ice cream spot in town - all 5 of us!
Now I have 2 loaves of bread rising on the stove and will start on some home-made pizza dough in a bit for dinner.  This weekend has nothing planned but being home together.  I love my life. :-)
Blessings on the journey ~

August 10, 2010

Gearing up and slowing down

Now isn't that just a clever post title? I love when people have clever titles that make me want to read what they've written, so I thought I'd attempt a turn of phrase. happy
Anyway... the reason for the title is that is pretty much exactly where I am right now.  After talking with Steve, I decided that we won't begin schooling again until the 23rd.  It's been on again, off again with some schooling this summer - which in itself is different for us.  The weather has been incredibly warm and humid this summer and it seems that we've been hiding from the weather a lot this year.  Last summer we were staying out of the rain most of the summer.  I suppose that just goes to prove that God likes to mix it up.
I'm going to spend the next few weeks trying to get my house in order - quite literally - and spending time just being 'still'.  (Psalm 46:10)   I've felt for quite a while that God is trying to to tell me or show me something important for the 'next thing' here.  I haven't the faintest idea what it may be, but I also have felt lately that there is just too much NOISE in my life for me to be able to hear Him effectively.  I know He is a patient God, He knows I really DO want to hear and listen and be obedient.  So I'm going to try to be intentional in my listening.  Focus on my immediate priorities of family, home, school prep.... and listening.
Now before anyone thinks that I'm a nutcase and hear voices in my head that are going to tell me something crazy.... don't worry!  That is NOT what I mean when I say that I'm waiting to hear from God.  While I know that there are people who claim to hear an audible voice from heaven - I am not in that camp.  I think ... and God knows me best... He would know that I'd be doubtful of audible voices.  I can be a skeptic of many things.  I think it is pretty amazing how God knows exactly how to communicate with each of us in a way we can hear if we are paying attention.
For me, generally, God speaks to me through repetition.  Maybe I'm slow to catch on and He knows I need to see/hear things a few times (or a LOT of times) over to really get it. happy  I have been doing more reading this summer and have finished one Bible study and am part way through another.  Have had the opportunity to talk with more people than normal for me - and Steve is very patient as I mull/process things out loud to him and elicit his input and opinions.  God will bring up a theme, a phrase, even specific verses...over and over and over again, in many different places and through people too.  It's pretty amazing when the light-bulb finally comes on for me to see what He is putting before me.  I don't always understand where it is going, but I can really feel in my heart that there is something that I'm supposed to pay attention to or focus on or just be ready for the next thing now that I've gotten the first part. 
So... that is the slowing down part that really needs to happen. I desperately don't want to miss whatever the next thing is and I'm convinced that my own 'busy-ness' can be a hindrance to hearing God in my life. 
And the gearing up?  Well, that relates to my home and the kids and school prep.  We are still working toward the simplifying and being to busy is not conducive to that.  Like Steve says - stuff has to LEAVE the house to make it less cluttered. So that is a goal.  And the kids need some close time - not hovering/smothering... just time to 'be' and enjoy and learn together.  We need to work together on some individual goals for each of them for the coming year.  I need to get a bit more planning set up for the beginning of the fall, hunting down books, etc.  It's all good. 
It seems funny that in this culture of more/hurry/rush, I find the most joy in the stop/stay/less of my life.  God loves me.  Steve loves me.  My kids love me.  I really have all I need and more.  I am so very blessed and need to be mindful of it all.
Blessings on the journey~

August 8, 2010

Goodbye Grammie

My grandmother went home to be with the Lord yesterday. 
Louise Grace (Valley) Frost (1926-2010) was a daughter, a wife, a mother, a nurse, a grandmother and a great-grandmother.  She taught many, loved many and finished well.  I'm sure the angels had a warm welcome for her as she crossed the final bridge on the journey into the arms of her Savior Jesus. 


August 5, 2010

The Rain Falls

It is raining... no... it is pouring outside and I am thankful for the rain on parched ground. 
And tears fall here too, from the heart of a daughter who hurts for her mother's sorrow.

My mother just called me from Maine, sobbing her heart as she has said goodbye to my grandmother.
My grandmother has Alzheimer's disease and is standing on Heaven's doorstep waiting to meet Jesus.
She has lived for the last few years in a wonderful care facility up in Maine and now is - according to the staff - just about ready to go home.
I rejoice for my grandmother and my heart aches for my mother. 
She wants to rejoice at the home-going and feel God's peace, yet family conflict between siblings and generations is tearing her heart.  I'm praying for God to grant her solace, to hold her tightly in His eternal loving arms and comfort her.  To ease the generation of pain from years of sibling/family hurts and harsh words and grief.
I pray too, for my children.  For them to love one another always.  To follow Christ fully and embrace His commands to love one another and honor one another above themselves.  I pray that I can be the support my mother needs here and offer God's words to her and help her walk this thorny path with my prayers for God's grace and mercy.
And I pray... for those people who are hurting my mother's heart.  Those people who should be a comfort and aren't.  Who profess Christ in name and yet... *sigh*

We live falling so short every day.  I fail...over and again to shine Christ's love to others on this journey. 

Oh God forgive me, by your amazing grace and mercy, set my feet again on your right path.  Grant me wisdom and words and actions that show Jesus' true love in my life. Amen.

Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.~ 1 John 3:18

Blessings on the journey~