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Sunday, July 5, 2015

10 Things In 30 Years

Did turning 30 make you stop and think about your life? Did you reflect on the last 30 years and wonder where it all went? The days can be long, but the years are short. Time has a way of passing. Life has a way of happening.

I have to say that my upcoming 30th birthday keeps coming to mind. I keep thinking about my life and what I have/n't done. I am sure my life looks much different now than I expected it to be 15 years ago. But, what I keep thinking about is the truths I have realized over the last 30 years.

10 truths in 30 years

Friday, July 3, 2015

Celebrate Red, White, and Blue!

I have been browsing Pinterest for fun red, white, and blue foods, activities, and d├ęcor to use for our Independence Day Celebration! Here is a link list of some things I have found. Be sure to follow me on Pinterest for more great ideas!

Independence Day Ideas Link List

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Point Of View

We all know that life experiences have a direct impact on our point of view. It doesn't matter what it is, whether practical, spiritual, environmental convictions ... what we have been through and experienced for ourselves will give us an unique point of view on things. How do we know which view is correct?
Everyone has a point of view, so how do we know which view is the correct one?

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Becoming Who I Am

Have experiences in your life changed you? For better or for worse?

My mom has been gone since 2007. Sometimes it feels like a day and other times it feels like a lifetime already. I often wonder what life would have been like if she hadn't been sick all those years, if she were still here now.

Who would I have been? How would it have affected my life, our marriage, my kids' lives? The other day, my husband & I watched a short video clip of her smiling, talking, and singing. I was choked with sobs of grief I've held inside for years. 

I leaned into my husband. He let me cry and commented, "life would have been so different if she had lived, wouldn't it?". That rocked me back to the present and I thought about what he said. I know God has things happen for a reason. I know that He is shaping us into who He wants us to be and I am so thankful my mom is at rest and peace with Jesus!

Maybe I wouldn't have been able to deal with my oldest daughter's sickness as well, if I hadn't already had to deal with my mom's. Maybe I wouldn't have survived the loss of my son, if I hadn't already lost my mom. Maybe I wouldn't have accepted this life I have been given, where I have had to embrace being a "homemaker" more literally than some.

I sometimes feel like I would be stronger if my mom were here, but would I be? My life might have been easier in many ways, because honestly, my mom would have been a huge help and support to me over the years, but would I have been stronger?? I don't think so. I think I would have been more selfish, more dependant ... less compassionate, less caring.

Not that having my mom here would be bad at all, but going through so much with her during the last few years of her life when I was just 17-21 years old changed me. I learned a lot, became a different person in many ways. If she hadn't been sick, if she hadn't died... I wouldn't have gone through those things and I wouldn't have learned what I have.

Every day is a learning experience, really. Take each day as it comes... learn from it... be thankful for each moment you get with loved ones... and most importantly never forget what Jesus has done for us... that's what I have learned! Our lives' changed drastically in mere seconds one day in February of 2003 when my mom had a major seizure which led us to find out her brain cancer was aggressively growing again.

It was a lifetime ago and much has happened since then. My oldest daughter was diagnosed with a debilitating disease in 2008, my son died 88 minutes after his birth in 2011, I was very sick and diagnosed with an autoimmune disease in 2012, and I've given birth to 6 children since her death. I'm not sure my mom would recognize me now... or maybe she was able to see a glimpse of who I would become before she left, in the years my siblings and I helped my dad care for her? I hope so.

Who I am all comes down to a few facts. I am simply a sinner, saved by grace, molded by His hand. I have been shaped by experiences, failures, accomplishments, loss, and gain. Every day, I am changed a little more. He uses my husband, all 8 of my kids, my friends near & far, my work, my health, my routinely mundane life to create in me a new creature.

I have been through things I never expected I'd face. I've been blessed with gifts I never thought I'd receive. Reflecting on the last 15 years, I realize that I have been becoming who I am. And who I am is nothing without Jesus Christ.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Finding JOY in Hurt

I have experienced death and disease and yet I still have JOY...

Life is full of milestones. We reach them by various means, whether through time on earth or through experiences lived. This year I will reach a time milestone: my 30th birthday.

I feel like in years, I am still young. In experiences, I am old. Oh, I know that there are many experiences I have not had and many more that are to come. However, I have experienced a lot. I've heard that eyes are a window to the soul. I believe it. My eyes reveal an old soul.  

I have experienced a lot of grief in my 30 years. Through death, and through loss of a life we thought deserving of. I lost my mom and my son to death. I lost my oldest daughter to a disease and with that disease went a life we thought we were deserving of.

Fifteen years ago, before cancer, death, and disease, we thought we would simply live a "normal" life.  No death, no grief, no disease. We would have missed out on a spiritual growth we never knew was possible.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Encouragement For The Christian Homeschool Family

Have you ever felt discouraged and alone in this homeschooling journey? Do you ever wonder if there are others out there who believe as you do?

As a Christian homeschooling family who is quite conservative, we have often found it difficult to find others with similar beliefs. Sometimes we have wondered if there were anyone else who believed the same way we do, who desires the same lifestyle as we do for our children. And if they were out there somewhere, we wondered where we could find them!

Have you ever felt discouraged and alone in this homeschooling journey? Do you ever wonder if there are others out there who believe as you do?

Monday, June 22, 2015

SmartKidz Media Library For Homeschoolers Review

SmartKidz Media Review

Do you like to use video for some of your homeschool subjects? We especially like to use documentaries for Science, History, Social Studies, and Geography in our home. Or, perhaps you'd like better media options for your children during their screen time? Either way, I think you'll be interested in this review! Smartkidz Media offers their subscribers an unique opportunity to have access to educational and child-friendly media with their Smartkidz Media Library For Homeschoolers.
In-depth review of Smartkidz Media Library, access to educational videos, eBooks, games, and more!

Monday, June 15, 2015

The Legacy Of Amazing Women

Elisabeth Elliot (1926 - 2015) passed away today at the age of 88. I have spent the last hour listening to her speak at a ladies' luncheon via a YouTube clip. And I am listening again while I write this.

What We Can Learn From Elisabeth Elliot
Wow. Wow. WOW. Absolutely amazing speaker. I have been convicted and encouraged tremendously while listening to her.

She is down to earth and straightforward, and the thought that my mom would agree with her words came to my mind while listening. Mostly because of her wise advice of using God's Holy Word as our "reference point" in all of life.

"Compare our experiences to this (God's) Book" - Elisabeth Elliot.

One of my greatest struggles is not allowing my emotions, experiences, and thoughts control how I live. The truth is, I shouldn't trust myself. I must use God's Holy Word as a reference point and compare my thoughts with His Word. The Bible is the one truth.

I love the 3 points that Elisabeth spoke about:

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Working From Home While Homeschooling: Our New Schedule

We have been getting hit with one medical thing after another the last several weeks. It has been ridiculous! Through it all, we have been trying to continue with our seat work, but have gotten less completed than I'd like to admit.
Working from home while homeschooling, how we schedule it all

Saturday, June 6, 2015

How We Study The Bible (30 Days Of Bible - plus a freebie & huge giveaway!)

I am all about keeping things simple and I'm no different when it comes to embracing God's Word. We do not need fancy Bible Study books and guides on what to read. Though, those can be a blessing if used purposefully.

Join me and 27 other bloggers share how we study God's Word


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