Monday, September 29, 2008

Fireproof the Movie

On Sunday I went to see the movie Fireproof with my husband. What a terrific movie! I was amazed at the fact that it portrays salvation in a simple yet understandable way. This is Hollywood we're talking about! Yeah for God!

One of the overall themes was that you never leave your partner, especially when you're in a fire. What a sobering reminder, that when the fires come (and they will) that's when you press in and stay with your partner.

The movie showed how loving with a God-like love is one sided (sacrificial). You don't expect anything in return for your love. I really had to stop and think, am I loving my husband without expecting anything in return?

And in the end, sacrificial love, unconditional love, that's what prevails and wins! What a feel good movie.

If you haven't seen this movie yet, GO TO THE MOVIES! I think that every couple needs to see this movie. And for those of you whose hubby's are hesitant thinking it's just a "chick flick", let them know that there is plenty of suspense in the movie! At one point I was shaking it was so suspenseful!! Also, there is a website you can go to for study materiels, etc.:

One side benefit was that after the movie, my sweet husband and I had a chance to talk about our own marriage and we discussed ways that we could improve things! Any movie with those kinds of results is a 10 in my book. You know, I have a good marriage, but any relationship can be improved. I believe we should constantly be challenged to improve our marriages and keep them alive and healthy.

Have fun - don't miss out!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Led by the Spirit

I feel as if the Lord is trying to teach me to become completely let by the Spirit. Asking God for guidance on the big things is something that I've always done. Asking for guidance on every decision, well that's another story.

With all of the small decisions to be made I am usually quick to answer and slow to remember to ask God for wisdom. The older my children become, the more I am finding a need for total dependency on God and the Holy Spirit to direct ALL of my paths.

Life has gotten so hard over the past few weeks. We've been working through character issues, and being overwhelmed with our school load (co-op can be burdensome). There has also been the transition to our new church with all of the new activities and possible areas to serve in. And lastly, finding time to write. It seems that my plate runeth over right now! What's a mother to do?

I even had a crazy dream the other night. In my dream, my whole family was attending college. I had spent many hours preparing each child for their specific classes. We had done tons of homework and I had even helped each child pick out the right clothes. Then I had to walk them to their classes on campus. At 8:25 am I dropped off the last child and realized that I had neglected to do any of my own homework and I was still in my sweat clothes and a whole campus away from my 8:30 class!! I woke up in a full sweat!

I decided it was just another anxiety dream until my Friend, Chatty Kelly, suggested that the Lord could be trying to tell me that I am not setting aside any time for me and what He wants to do through me. Hmmm??? This makes sense. How then, do I come up with more time for me?

This is where I need the Holy Spirit to help me. I can't make time, but God can! He can guide me daily to show me when I need to take time for my things. I will tell you that after doing it wrong for 41 years, this is a hard habit to break. I am certainly a work in progress - I would love to have your prayers right now.

The hardest thing for me to figure out is this: In putting others first, how do you justify taking time for you? Caring for my family and friends is a full-time job! One that I usually enjoy, knowing that God is calling me to write, this is the part I'm struggling with. Oh Holy Spirit, please lead me today and every day!!!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Living History

As a homeschooler the term, Living History, has become a part of our vocabulary. Because of our flexibility and small class size, we can travel fairly often to experience history first hand (well, maybe second hand!). (The above is a picture of the first Governor's Mansion in Williamsburg.)

We had one of those opportunities last week as we travelled to Williamsburg, Yorktown, and Jamestown. They were hosting a homeschoolers event and we had special hands on classes and tours! It doesn't get much better than this when it comes to learning about history.

One of our favorite tours, was this tour of Historic Yorktown. Here, we are being taught how the farmers lived. My oldest daughter is being taught how to turn the flax plants that the farmers would have grown into thread to use for sewing clothes. This was such a fun tour!

The tour guide showed us how the farmers were living and then explained to us why they would have even considered going to war against the Europeans. She really gave it 100%!

Next we were living the life of luxury as we toured the Indian's long houses in Jamestown. My 6 year old is enjoying the many furs that they had for bedding! She told me that she wanted to be an Indian, she reads every book about Pocahontas that she can get her hands on.

Then we learned how the Native Americans made their canoes. They would carefully burn a large tree trunk and then they would scrape out the ashes with oyster shells. We are given the opportunity to try our hand at scraping.

Here we are able to get onto one of the boats that they first brought over to America. We learned that they didn't have much space, and they had a 10yr. old boy who would clean out their chamber pots! YUCK!

Here's a picture from inside this very small boat. I don't know how they could stand being aboard this ship for six months!

Now we had to become soldiers marching into war.

The armour that they had to wear was very heavy! Glad we've come so far with technology today.

Of course, no trip is complete until you've cleaned the place up!

If you haven't been to Williamsburg/Yorktown/Jamestown, Virginia, I highly recommend that you take the time to visit. It is really fun to live in the moment of history.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Apples or Oranges

Luke 10:38-40a And as they went, it happened that He entered into a certain village. And a certain woman named Martha received Him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus' feet and heard His word. But Martha was distracted with much serving.

I was reading in Luke for my devotions today, when the last part of verse 40 really struck me. I've heard teachings on, "are you a Martha or a Mary" many times before, but this time God showed me something.

Martha was the one who received Jesus into her house (heart). I had never noticed that before. Then, the last phrase, 'she was distracted with MUCH SERVING' got me thinking about my own life.

We are attending a new church that is close to our house. On Sunday they had an extra page in the bulletin, a list of ministries that needed volunteers. As I read over the list, I just didn't feel the Holy Spirit prompting me to volunteer. I wondered if I was in tune with God or if I had shut my ears, until I read this verse.

God has a very specific calling on my life right now. Knowing this, I can test each area of need within my church to see if works into this ministry. If not, maybe I need to let someone else fill the need.

God doesn't call us to be busy for Him, He calls us to bear fruit. I believe that Martha was a christian, but she got caught up in serving which didn't produce the fruit in her life God had intended for her. She wasn't balanced.

I am not going to volunteer at this time, and I have a peace about it. How about you? Are you distracted from your calling because of too much serving? I believe that distraction is a key tool used by the devil to keep many of us too busy to focus on the specific calling that God has placed on our lives.

Not volunteering can be difficult, especially if you are in a small church. There may be times when you need to step up and fill in until the Lord can raise up someone else. Just be sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit - He will always lead you in the paths of righteousness.

Sunday, September 14, 2008


I am in Williamsburg for the week with my kids. We are on a homeschooling field trip. Since we are studying American history this year, it is a perfect trip to be on. Jamestown, Williamsburg, and Yorktown are all centrally located to make it fun!

I don't have Wi-Fi in my condo so I'm going to be off-line until Sunday!

I'll be praying for you all this week.

Thank you for being there for me! I really love reading your blogs and your comments.

God Bless,

Friday, September 12, 2008

Ministering Spirit

Did you know that God has a call and a plan for your life - A unique ministry that you were created for?

Ephesians 2:10 God has made us what we are, and in our union with Christ Jesus he has created us for a life of good deeds, which he has already prepared for us to do. (GNB)

Over the weekend my husband and I had the chance to go on a road trip together. As we prepared to drive for five hours, we stopped at a convenience store to buy some water and gum. Just as we had gotten back into our car, a man started knocing on my husbands window. He was a young man, with a crew cut and glasses. He had visible tatoos all over his body. I was praying for protection!

My husband opened the window to see what he wanted (I wouldn't have done that!!). He asked us for money to pay for gas. He gave us some unlikely story of how he had been robbed at gunpoint the night before and he needed gas money to get home. My hubby reached into his generous pocket and gave him some cash. He turned on the car and we were on the road.

Has this ever happened to you? Because this kind of thing happens ALL THE TIME to my husband! There are so many instances like this that have occurred in his life. It's always people needing money, and he always gives.

After a few minutes on the road I said, "honey, why do strangers come to you asking for money?" He laughed and said, "You know, it happens to me all of the time, and amazingly I always have cash to give them."

We both know that God's call for my husbands life is to give on every occastion as the Lord leads him. My husband is supposed to give into the Kingdom to support missions, churches, and strangers on their way.

I was baffled by this. I do believe that my husband is right on target with knowing the call on his life, but how do these strangers know?

I think it's a spiritual thing. The only explanation I can come up with - he has a spirit of giving on him and other people's spirits sense that and they come asking for money. I know this sounds wierd, but why not? If we fight not against the flesh, but againsst spirits - why not have God's spirits open the doors for us to walk through in our ministries??

Tell me what you think. I want to know if you have a grasp on your life's calling and if ministry opportunities are presented to you regularly. I'd also love to hear of any scriptures that support this. I'm so glad to have all of you, my blogging friends!!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Accountable Kids Program

One of the biggest struggles we face as parents is teaching our kids how to be responsible. Teaching them the right attitude about chores and money and helping others seems to be a very tough task. But I have found a program that has transformed my homelife!! It's called, Accountable Kids, by Scott and Traci Heaton (

I bought the program at our local homeschool convention back in June. The program consists of a book, a quickstart CD, and wooden pegboards with lots of different chore tickets, etc.. to put on them.

The idea of this program (in a nutshell, and really you need to read the book to fully understand it all!) is that each child has their own pegboard, placed in a prominent place in your house. You put the responsibility reminder cards onto their boards. These reminder cards are color coded according to the time of day in which they need be completed(isn't it brilliant!). There are 3 times, morning, day, and night. As the child finishes a task, they move the reminder card onto the finished peg. You, as the parent, are to keep an eye on the boards because they need to finish the task with the right attitude, and before the allotted time is up. If they complete all of their morning tasks, they then receive 1 ticket.

The reward tickets can be handled many ways. At our house, each ticket gives them 30 minutes of either TV, computer time, or video gaming (at the appropriate time of day). There are also extra chores that they can do to earn more tickets (you also choose what the extra can be). Then there are chores that earn money. But, they don't receive the money until the weekly family meeting, when they turn in their money ticket for dollars. This teaches them patience.

Another important part of the program is the behavior card. They earn these for showing good behavior, you know, going above and beyond what is expected to be kind or helpful.

Then there is the privilege pass. This is earned by eliminating a specific repeated negative behavior that you have noticed in your child. You point it out and suggest ways to overcome it, then if they consistently overcome it they earn this pass. When you have your weekly family meeting you praise that child's ability to overcome named issue. It's a great way to use positive reinforcement!

Then there is the discipline side of the program. If they are showing a bad attitude, or any other specified negative actions, they lose a ticket (or 2). This really hurts because it will take away privileges.

I'll end with a quick testimony. My son is easily distracted. I've tried every other chore thing out there to get him to do the most basic of things, like make his bed, and brush his teeth. Every day it's been the same thing, me nagging him until he does them. Until Accountable Kids. Since day 1 I have NOT had to remind him to do any of these things!!! And he's also doing his daily and weekly chores in a timely manner, with a good attitude!!

I hope this program can help you out if you are struggling with every day tasks. Let me know if you try it out!

Monday, September 8, 2008


It has been a very busy weekend for this blogger. My hubby and I drove from VA all the way up to Philly to buy him a car. He is a car connoisseur therefore the whole USA is his playground. We had planned on only staying for one night, but after trying to drive home in tropical storm Hannah, we decided another night away wouldn't be a bad idea. Thankfully we have loving families. We called our Mom's and one watched our kids on Friday night, while the other watched them on Saturday night. Thanks Moms(and Michelle, Mike, and Dad) we love you!

In the meantime, I've been honored with two awards from two bloggie friends! WOW! Go offline for three days and miss everything. Here are the two special awards that I am graciously going to post about. On Wednesday I'll post about the book, Accountable kids, if you have kids at home you won't want to miss it!

This special award was given to me by Debra at Sparrowgrass. Debra's blog is full of the most amazing pictures. She takes the beauty of the things around her and brings it to life. If you haven't yet been to her blog, click on her blog name above and give your eyes a treat! Thank you Debra, this was very special to me!

This next award was presented to me by Nancy, at Olive Leaf Ministries. Nancy is a more recent bloggie friend. She has been given a difficult hand to deal with as she has a special needs child. God has graciously given her the strength and love that she has needed to raise up this child AND to start up a support group for other parents in this situation. She has also written devotionals and several books. Please take the time to visit her website. Thank you Nancy for thinking of me!

I feel so honored, but really, all the glory be to God! We need each other, we need to lift one another up. That's what this blog world is all about, and I am glad to be a part of it.

Friday, September 5, 2008


Exodus 20:9-10
You have six days when you can do your work, but the seventh day of each week belongs to me, your God. No one is to work on that day--not you, your children, your slaves, your animals, or the foreigners who live in your towns.

How are your Sabbath's going? Mine have been busy. I seem to allow my chores to pile up and I tend to spend Sunday's playing "catch up" so I'm ready for Monday. This is a bad habit! God broke that habit for me last week. I had planned to do so much and He had people stop by to visit and that took up my entire afternoon and evening.

I realized that He was serious about having us relax and enjoy our Sunday's so I had better get serious about planning ahead. I read that if you want to rest on Sunday you have to work backwards to get your chores done by Saturday night. This is true! This week I made sure the laundry was done by Friday. Then on Saturday, I cleaned house, went grocery shopping, and paid the bills. It was exhausting! But it was done. That left us wide open to pursue friendships or just relax at home on our Sabbath! It's worth the effort.

I want to encourage you to look at your Sundays and decide what you can do ahead of time to allow yourself to really find rest in the Lord on His day!

God Bless you this weekend.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Serve Where You Are

1Corinthians 7:17
In every church I tell the people to stay as they were when the Lord Jesus chose them and God called them to be his own. Now I say the same thing to you.

I love this verse. Paul is telling the followers of Christ to serve God right where you are. If you work, serve Him there. If you are a stay-at-home mom, serve God from there. If you are single, serve God in that setting. If you are married, serve God there.

1 Corinthians goes on to talk about serving God as a slave, if you were a slave while called, etc...

There is tremendous freedom in this verse. This is telling us that we don't have to be perfect in order to serve Him. We don't have to be like the person standing next to you on Sunday morning. If you are a Christian, you have been called to serve God right where you are!

Come on Ladies, look around you and see how God can uniquely use you today.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Building Character

This past week was our first week of homeschooling. It started off really great and everyone seemed to be on task and working diligently. I even began implementing a new program called, Accountable Kids, I'll devote another post entirely to this as it is a fabulous tool for parents.

By the end of the week, we were starting to see some character issues coming out. We woke up Thursday and had the power go out! After several hours of wondering, we gave it up and went out for the rest of the day. I think that episode got us off track. By Friday my kids were struggling to stay on task. It could have been the fact that we had too much sugar while we were out!

My son ended up saying something that was down right mean to my daughter. I was really shocked! We had been working so hard on not saying more than necessary and I thought we were doing great in that area. But there it was, mean words, how do I handle this?

Well, God was so good to me. I sent up an S.O.S. prayer and He allowed me to stay calm. I told my son if he ever said that again the punishment would be swift and painful. He began to cry. My daughter was already crying. I then told him to go to his room and pray about this.

God met him there. He came out of his room a while later and had a repentant heart. He sought forgiveness from his sister, crying while asking her to forgive him. It was a sweet thing for this mom to see. Reconciliation comes from God. His whole being is about reconciliation. I am so grateful that He spoke to my son that day and that He allowed my kids to reconcile.

2 Corinthians 5:18 And all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given to us the ministry of reconciliation.

If only adults could reconcile so quickly and lovingly. ??