Welcome to my blogspot!

This is where I will post various bits of information concerning all of the crazy stuff I do. There will be homeschool posts for Classical Conversations. There will be music lesson updates for my private lessons students. There may be information on Heritage Makers specials (online scrapbooking), and other creative outlets I participate in, such as crafting, decorating, and painting. There also might be "normal" blog posts if I get so inspired!

Monday, June 27, 2011

A sad look at our teenage generation

I have been reading (well, attempting to read) the book "Total Truth" by Nancy Pearcey. My book club is reading it, so I am plodding through. I keep telling my husband I am not smart enough to read this book, because it is so jam packed full of information I don't always comprehend. Don 't get me wrong - it is an amazing book! I have just learned that I need to take it in little doses, and "chew" on them awhile before I read on. Basically, it is a book about developing a true Biblical worldview, and how so many Christians do not really have one, and why that is, and what the dangers in that truly are.
She says that "the danger is that if Christians do not consciously develop a biblical approach to a subject, (ex. biology, ethics, law, etc...) then we will unconsciously absorb some other philosophical approach.' This usually involves gradually letting ideas creep in that are in reality totally non-biblical. Christians also often "segment" their lives into the "church" activities and then everything else - school, jobs, etc... We don't know how to integrate our faith INTO all other areas of our lives.
Pearcey then takes a detailed look at Darwin and the "theory" of evolution (which really isn't even a theory by the way), and secular humanism, and how they have impacted nearly every aspect of society. It is really fascinating, yet terrifying. Again, this book is really technical with really complicated words that sound like they are from the National Spelling Bee, so I feel much smarter after each chapter. She discusses how if we teach in schools that you come from nothing, that you are an accident of the cosmos, then how can you possibly expect children to have any self-worth whatsoever? The idea of relativism, that there is no absolute truth, has truly scary implications if taken to it's logical conclusion.
On Saturday afternoon, I watched a video by the Institute for Excellence In Writing. Andrew Puduwa was actually explaining the writing system, but in the process made a few comments that were along the same lines as Pearcey's book. He stated that when God was removed from the public school system, something had to be inserted in God's place. Other 'gods' crept in. The god of 'creativity' over all else is one example. According to relativism, if you were 'true' in your 'creation' of something, no one else can say it's 'wrong'. Oh my. He also said that the reason we "lose" so many teenagers in high school is because the questions that teens most want to ask are "illegal" to talk about in the classroom. The literature they study doesn't ask the questions that they need answered. The way history is studied, (with relativism) makes it impossible to infer any right or wrong. The three things weighing most on adolescent minds? Who am I? Why am I here? What am I supposed to do with my life?" Well, the answers to these questions require absolute truth, which is not permitted and looked at as offensive.
So today I was watching this weekend's episode of the "Glee Project". For those of you who are not aware, I am a gleek, due to the fact I was actually Vice President of my high school glee club, and used to direct my own show choir for many years. I am fully aware that the Fox TV has a LOT of problems, (which I won't get in to now...) but the "Glee Project" on Oxygen is a reality show where 12 teens are competing in a singing contest to win a guest spot on Glee on Fox. I love singing competions, so I am hooked. Well, this week they were working on "vulnerability" in their music. They were going to perform the song "Mad World" and they had to write a word on a big poster tied to them that descibes them. Then they had to walk around Universal's Citywalk while wearing their sign. I almost cried watching this. The words they wrote: misunderstood, used, gay, anorexic, numb, rejected, fake, and fat. These are the words they picked. And I sat there realizing that the reason they are so lost, is because of the reasons I stated earlier in this post. America is raising a generation of people who believe they came from nothing, and that there is no absolute truth. That IS depressing.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Time For Tea

I have not blogged since last year! Can you tell it's been a busy season? There have been times this school year when it has been VERY difficult. Schooling a 5th, 2nd and 1st grader, while having a 3 and 1 year old is a bit challenging sometimes! People always ask how I do it? Well, somedays, I myself hardly know. I can tell you though, that it is only the grace of God. I have had to remind myself alot that God planned these specific children, and He will supply ALL my needs according to His riches and glory! And - praise the Lord - the year is OVER! We all survived!

This year I have read two of Sally Clarkson's books. "The Mission of Motherhood" and "The Ministry of Motherhood". I highly recommend these books to all moms. She is so encouraging, and has so much to say about Biblical motherhood. I have been personally convicted this year about the idea that parenting is truly discipleship. If we study the life of Jesus we can model our parenting on His discipleship style. That has always been one of the main reasons that we homeschool. Discipleship requires TIME. A lot of time. Time spent in character training, study, and all the various things we do all day. I feel so blessed to have so much "time" with my kids. I have "time" to see all those little character issues that pop up throughout the day. They have "time" to see me work out my faith in everything I do. I have also tried to implement more "one -on -one" with the older kids, to do some more intentional discipleship.

So today, Kassidy and I had our first tea time/Bible study. This will be a weekly date for just the two of us to have special time together. I purchased a Bible study about Biblical beauty, and what God has to say about true beauty. When I mentioned doing this to Kass a few months ago, she got SO excited. She has been looking forward to this ever since, and so many ideas for treats. I could tell she really felt important that I would carve out time just for us. It was a sweet time together, studying God's word, and praying together. I am praying that this tradition will plant seeds in her that will grow to maturity in the next few years.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A Year for Giving

On Christmas Eve this year, as we were sitting in the very back row of our church for the midnight service at 4:30 PM, I had one of those "moments". The kind of event that kind of slaps you in the face and makes you think. I'm pretty sure this one was from the Lord, especially for me at this particular time of my life. It was offering time, and I reached in my purse because I knew I had a few loose dollar bills, and it would occupy the littles for a few minutes to get to plop it in the bucket all by themselves. The little ones aren't usually in "big people" church with us, so they don't get to help with this task on a regular basis. As I watched my 5 and 2 year olds holding their dollar bills, I was amazed at how they literally could not sit still from the excitement of getting to give their dollars to God. I realized that I am never that excited to put my tithe or offerings in that bucket on a weekly basis. In fact, if honest, sometimes it's very difficult, and in this season of financial uncertainties, there have been times I've neglected what God has commanded me to do. But these little ones were effervescent with joy to give their offering. And it's not that they don't "understand" money or what it stands for - these same kiddos are absolutely greedy with it at home, if they find loose change, or are given a dollar or two. They want to go to the store right away and buy candy or some small toy. The Bible does say that "God loves a cheerful giver" (2 Cor. 9:7) and that unless we "change and become like little children", we will never enter the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 18:3). And so while sitting there on Christmas Eve, my children gave me a gift. This year I will truly make an effort to be a joyful giver. And not just in my tithes and offerings. I want to be joyful in all I give out; my time, my energy in homeschooling, housekeeping, parenting, and in my areas of service and responsibility outside our home. Thanks, kids!

Monday, November 22, 2010

A Thanksgiving Challenge

Thanksgiving week is now upon us! Woo-hoo! It's officially my favorite time of year. As I was reading my current devotional Saturday, I came across something that inspired me, and I want to share it. I am reading "The Power of Motherhood - What the Bible Says about Mothers" by Nancy Campbell, of Above Rubies ministry. (Which I LOVE). The current chapter is about mothers being prayer warriors, and making our homes "houses of prayer". She wrote about how it is so easy to bring our requests before God, but we often forget to thank Him. Philippians 4 :6 says "Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with THANKSGIVING let your requests be made known unto God." She noted that we need to make it a habit to constantly thank the Lord. We need to thank Him for everything and anything : salvation, our children, creation, His goodness, etc.... We need to teach our children to be thankful and to cultivate the habit of thankfulness. It is hard to remember to be thankful sometimes, especially in the midst of our often crazy busy days. So, she suggested we use our kitchen timer! Set it for 30 minutes. As soon as it rings, stop for a minute and thank and praise the Lord. Then set it again for another half hour. Repeat. This will start to develop the habit of continually thanking the Lord. If we do this with our littles, this is how we can train them to be "overflowing with gratitude" (Colossians 2 :7). What is interesting and humbling about this exercise is that the timer will surely go off while the kiddos are fighting, or while you are about to "blow your top"! What a great way to remind us to repent of our bad attitudes and praise the Lord instead! Yes, sometimes we don't feel like praising the Lord. Feelings come and feelings go. We cannot let our lives be governed by our feelings. The Bible commands us to thank God in ALL circumstances and at ALL times. Scheduling praise does sound a bit "sterile", but after you start, your attitude changes. Thanksgiving week is the perfect week to implement this exercise. We started this morning. My usually resistant and grumpy child expressed his disdain as expected, but the others were ready for the challenge. Wouldn't you know it, Mr. Grumpy-pants is now one of the first to announce his thankfulness and praise each time that buzzer rings! They say developing a habit takes1 about 6 weeks... we're starting with this one! Ooh - do I hear the buzzer? Thank you Lord! Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

His ways are not our ways

Some of my best pondering happens in the early morning, as I get ready for the day ahead. It actually may be my only real thinking, come to think of it. Before all the little peoples wake up, it's so quiet and still. Just me and the Lord. This morning during those sacred moments, a couple of things occured to me. #1 - I HAVE NOT MISSED GOD'S CALL ON MY LIFE FOR FULL-TIME MINISTRY. It turns out, His plan and my idea of what it was going to be were not the same. Imagine that! You see, as a teen, I truly felt the call of God on my life, beckoning me to full-time work for Him. As a singer, I was convinced that this meant I was destined to be the next Amy Grant. (Wow - that dates me!) I really, honestly, wholeheartedly thought that would happen. I was musically blessed, and He had called me, so OF COURSE that is what he would use me for! Duh! So, life has progressed...and I never became that famous Christian artist. Did I miss His leading somewhere along the way? Have I failed His call? These thoughts plagued me numerous times for most of my 20's. Now, I have known for awhile that God's plan for me was not to be a famous singer. I have gone through many years of the heavenly Sculptor chiseling away at my ambitions and sinful pride over my talents. I has been painful. It has been difficult. But I have emerged as a person who realizes that I was forcing my "dreams"into my idea of what His plan was for my life. His ways are different than my ways. His plan was for me to be a Mommy. A Mommy who knows that being a Mommy IS a FULL-TIME ministry. A much higher calling than being a pop-star! This morning as I was thinking about this, I started thinking about the disciples, and other Jewish people in Jesus' time, who TRULY thought His plan was to establish His earthly kingdom. His disciples were with Him ALL the time. They basically LIVED together for those 3 years of His earthly ministry. They heard Him preach, witnessed the miracles, and saw His service to all He encountered. And they still got it all wrong. His plan was different than their idea of His plan. So, it is really not so strange that I got His plan a little confused. The disciples did, and they were right next to Him! It just shows our human, sinful nature that we always try to shape it into something that benefits us in some way. His plans benefit Him. His ways are not our ways. They are better. I have 5 incredible little people to disciple and lead to His throne. And as all Mommy's know - this ministry is totally full-time.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Soapbox moment - What's wrong with our schools?

So, once in awhile I will write "soapbox moments". I may rant and rave and offend, but I pray I can throw in some insight and encouragement as well. The other day I saw a national morning news show that was doing a spot on "what's wrong with our nation's schools." Oh, brother! They talked about test scores, cut arts programs, yada yada yada. They hoped to implement new government programs to throw more money at the schools to fix stuff. I wonder if they really think that will help? (Although, if you throw money at me, it will help, I think...) Anyway, as you probably know, I homeschool my kids. It is what God has called our family to do, and I am fully aware that not everyone is called to it. It is hard, and sometimes I want to give up. But I have a unique perspective in that I used to be a public school teacher before I had kids. And I loved it. I really, really loved it. I was a music teacher on the elementary and junior high levels. I cherished my time with those kids, and we had so much fun together. But I also did get to experience some of those "problems" that the news show was discussing, and it was frustrating for other teachers and myself. There really are great teachers in our schools, who honestly care about educating the children they see everyday. And there are awesome kids too! Many of them try very hard to do their best. But the 2 biggest problems I saw were......wait for it.....Darwin's theory of evolution and the lack of parenting at home. I know people may hate me for saying this, but it honestly is the parents' responsibility to be in charge of their kids' education. And this is NOT just a problem in our public schools. I know of parents of private and home-schooled kids who are not embracing their God-given responsibilities to the fullest. Ouch. Sometimes I fall short as well, but I am seeking God and His word continually to raise and educate them as He wants. When did parents develop the idea that we could trust the education of our children to the government? Can we trust them with other stuff? Looking back into our nation's history, we see a time when people were much better educated than today. Literacy rates were higher. And parents were largely responsible for the education and training of children. When "factory-like" schools became the norm, things started going downhill. Then came the theory of evolution, and children started to be taught there was no reason for their existance other than chance. If you take that theory to it's logical conclusion, there is no right or wrong. Ugh. No wonder they aren't trying. Basically I have an idea what could fix the schools more than money -if Moms and Dads truly begin to invest in the education and training of their kids...that will change the schools!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Today is October 1st. It has FINALLY cooled down a bit here in Florida. I am super excited to get out the fall decorations and get the house all cozy. I LOVE decorating for fall - the rich colors, and yummy candle smells! Yippee! I really am a bit down this morning about a few things, and I wish we could skip schooling and I could "play" with my decor. But I am reminded of the verse (and song) --"I am pressed, but not crushed, persecuted, not abandoned. Struck down, but not destroyed. I am blessed beyond the curse for His promise will endure, and His joy is gonna be my strength! Though the sorrow may last for the night, JOY COMES in the morning!" SO - I am off to fill the workboxes full of math, grammar, writing, history, etc... And I will pray that I can "get beyond myself" today and be the teacher and mommy my kids need today. They need to see that in the ups and downs, happy times and sad, I will have faith and trust in the Lord. In all I do.