"If no one is accusing you of being too legalistic, then you probably aren't living a holy life. If no one is accusing you of being a bleeding heart, then you probably arne't loving enough. If no one is accusing you of being too dogmatic, then you probably aren't standing for the truth. If no one is accusing you or criticizing you, then you probably aren't doing anything significant."

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Why We Do What We Do

"Education is DISCIPLESHIP", they said. "Homeschooling is not about curriculum its about character", they claimed. "It's more about you than your children", they stated. So many thoughts, demands, and questions.
This past weekend Patrick and I had the opportunity to attend the NYS LEAH Homeschool Conference and I have never posted my "notes" online for others to read. I have never been so blessed by the speakers or topics of choice as I was this year. So, I just HAVE to share!! We have attended the conference now for six years and I usually go to organize my thoughts and prepare for what will be for the upcoming school year (Yes, I have three little children but I like to plan ahead).
However this year was so counteractive to what my plans were initially meant to be. I was so excited to buy curriculum, lay it all out, lesson plan the first month (or even more) for the upcoming year and complete a temporary schedule that we will definitely stick to for the year.
Going to the first speaker, I realized that the Lord had much different intentions and this year it was going to be about my heart. WHAT!? At a homeschool conference!?
The speakers were used by God to totally speak into my heart, pull me out of me and allow me to be filled with Jesus. Sometimes as mothers, we may just try to have it all together but, in our busyness we forget why we are doing what we are doing for our children and perhaps even the vision we have for them gets muddled in the everyday expectations of just "wash your hands, stop picking your nose, I will be right there to wipe you up!!!" So...to encourage all of us (especially homeschooling moms) I was reminded of the following things:
- We homeschool for character not EDUCATION. Throw the curriculum out the door, "Don't buy a book on how to brush you teeth, brush your teeth with your kids". More importantly than teaching them academics, teach them to love Jesus.
-If we aren't on our knees as a parent, we are doing something wrong. The Lord wants us to know, "His strength is made perfect in our weakness." Encouragement is not found in someone who has it all together.
- Catch a Vision, know why we are homeschooling and walk with Jesus Christ.
-Homeschooling has NOTHING TO DO WITH PATIENCE!!! God has called you to do it, so DO IT! Who has mastered patience anyway? It is by faith that we do it.
- Don't try to prove yourself to your kids or anyone else, fruit takes time to grow.
- Guess what? Super homeschool mom? She DOES NOT EXIST.
-Kids are taking their memories of you with them, get them excited about LIFE!!!
- Your marriage is the priority relationship in the home, if homeschool comes first, doing something about it, because its WRONG!! "Don't sacrifice your marriage on the alter of ministry".
-The legacy to leave our kids: Love JESUS, Love SPOUSE, Love THEM.
-"Lay Down the banner of homechooling and pick up the banner of Jesus Christ.
-Are you scolding your children out of a desire to impress others?
- Its not time management, its me management.
-If you spend all your oxygen on your children and homeschooling your priorities will not be in order.

These are literally notes taken from the conference. I encourage all of us moms (and dads) to read them, not because of me but because these came from seasoned families truly seeking Christ and are seeing the next generation of their children following the Lord.
One last thing I want to share that really brought me to my knees was what do people see in us? Do they see a love for homeschooling or do they see a love for Jesus? There was a woman who was BEAUTIFUL, not HOT, but BEAUTIFUL. She did Yoga everyday, ate organic avocados, did everything she was supposed to. Those around her were exhausted, exhausted because they felt incomplete not able to attain to her standards or her ability to "have it all together". Then there was another woman, simple, quiet but restful. She was not PERFECT but people saw the love of Jesus in her and her desire to follow and live in the grace and truth of Christ. Which woman are you? I know I want to be the woman people can rest in, and someday people say, "She loved Jesus, not homeschooling."

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Pearl Earrings for Christmas

So this Christmas, I got pearl earrings. Big deal right? Not to you maybe but to me it was an absolute symbolic meaning for the love Jesus has for us. On one side of our family for Christmas all of the girls in the family received pearl earrings, (not real ones but earrings, something pretty) except for me. Usually I would not be bothered by this as pearl earrings have never been something I've treasured but something pretty would have been nice to receive. I received a blanket. Great as I am always cold but blanket-earrings you do the balance. When this Christmas was over I must admit I was a little hurt because I felt denied something special, more than the earrings, I felt denied love.
We went to another family's for Christmas a week later, no one knowing of my disappointment. After all of our gifts had been opened, we had played with them for a while it was time to clean up. We picked paper after paper up (we had been blessed) and just as I was ready to throw the last bag away in the bottom was a tiny red box. It was to me so I opened it and you can guess what they were...pearl earrings. It could have been anything else, the person that got them for me had no idea the symbolism of this situation but it was pearl earrings.
As I opened them I cried I realized that the only one that I need to know loves me is Jesus. This may sound absolutely ridiculous to some but for me it was probably one of the best moments of my year, Jesus showed me that he loved me in those earrings. The gift could have been anything, I could have opened them in the chaos of everything else being opened, but it was a moment for me to reflect that even when we feel abandoned and in last place, we can be reassured that Jesus has pearl earrings for us. For me, this was something I usually read about but in this case, it was a special present for me and I am so thankful.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Baby Silas

After investing heavily into the pregnancy test section of any store available, this September I was finally able to walk in one last time and thank God for the two pink lines I so desperately hoped to see over the past nine months. So many emotions rush when you see the lines as any mother can attest to once seeing them and especially wanting to see them. So you can only imagine that I wanted to tell my family, express my joy with my church family and friends. There is so much joy in a child, how can you not celebrate the rejoicing of the anticipation of one?

I wanted to be careful in my excitment, cautioned my joy, and prayed to God for every single sign of pregnancy I could think of. Exhausted, sick, and hormonal I began to let joy overflood me and though still hesitant felt that small voice, "Faith is the evidence of things hoped for, not seen." Letting go of fear, but still not ready to let go of the fear, I started to let others in on our precious secret..until "safe".  Our children were so excited. Liam made pictures for the brother he wanted to share his room with, told me how he would hold the baby in his bed, and Natalie would change the baby's diapers and she also had a baby in her belly but not until Sunday. Rebekah pointed to her belly and said baby. So much joy in sharing family joy with your children. We planned where we would put the carseat and how if the kids had anything that had a set of four the other one would be for their new brother (Liam is determined that he would have a brother).

Still, an uneasiness had settled in the pit of my stomach and telling others I just wasn't ready for. So we kept it to ourselves as much as we could, I slept over 12 hours a night so it wasn't very difficult.
We had decided to not wait to go to the doctor's because we just thought it was better that way. But I finally decided at about nine weeks, I was ready to see my baby's heartbeat.

I had told my family, after the ultrasound we are in the clear and we can tell everyone, we just need that heartbeat. We got to the hospital and we were so excited in our great anticipation and then I remembered I need to be scared, I need to be nervous, something is not right. It was like a huge weight (and wait) in the bottom of my stomach, and my joy was shoved down because it was such an uneasy feeling that I felt. We went in to the room and very quickly the warm goop was on my belly and the thingie went across my stomach and then I saw baby's head. Thank you Jesus! We made it!! And then that moment was shattered as I could tell by the technician's face and the lack of movement, there was no heart beat. There was no movement, there was no little picture moving up and down symbolizing life in my baby. I was very quickly done my ultrasound and began the long wait to confrim that my baby didn't make it.

I cried and cried and cried, hoping it would diminish the pain that I felt so badly. I didn't want to go through this sadness, this loss, the realization that the last doctor who stated my worst fear was right. No, this was a baby I saw him, I saw his arms, and legs, and a head, though only as big as a grape there was a baby. I couldn't live with this. I couldn't tell the kids, the ones we had told, its too hard, too painful, too sad.

As I walk through the sadness of my loss in this moment, and cry, and ask all the what ifs, or what should have been, what could I have done, and put all of our joyful hopes on hold, I have had a desire to tell others about this child. I so badly wanted to tell all of you and felt halted because I didn't want to tell others about the loss.  I felt conviction, how do you not rejoice in the hearing of a child, how do you not share with those you love, make pictures, and plan, and love immediately. So I am writing only to really say, that we have a child that will never cry, never hurt, never get sick, or ever face sadness. His name is Baby Silas and he is with Jesus. Please rejoice with us as we celebrate his life with us, his anticiaption we shared, and the joy he has in his Daddy's arms for eternity.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


The term loved has taken new meaning for me over the past week. I have truly learned loved and how to love through the many events that have taken place in my life this week. About a month ago I found out I was pregnant after having been told not to get pregnant again, our family rejoiced as we were going to welcome a new life into our home to love. Last week I lost the baby. We cried as a family and we rejoiced as a family all at the same time.
Once receiving the phone call that it was over anger flooded my body, frustration overwhelmed any sad emotions I had. I could not control this situation no matter what and it wasn't going the direction I had so hoped it would. As I cried that evening all I could ask God  was why. I was okay with the way things were going, why did I feel His voice leading us in a direction, why did I feel like it was okay to be pregnant again and what could possibly be His purpose in all of this. I just want to sit down with God and seek His heart and have His love fill my spirit. Instead I felt like dirt, like my face had been smashed. How dare I. How dare I think that the God that died for me, died the most painful death imaginable would be unkind to me, would not have my best interest at heart. Forgive me Father for being so selfish.
   As I think about our little baby in heaven it was a life for such a short time but God holds each and every life in His hand and if that is true than our baby has the best Father/Mother. Way better then I could ever strive to be. God has a purpose in everything and if we believe that then we have to trust that admist the trials we are in.
 I miss my baby. But I know that God loves me and He knows what is right for me, I know that He wants me to have children, that desire has only increased. I am so excited for our family and the passion that He is giving us for children regardless of how we have them.
I rpay that our family is a ministry to those children in need and that we can teach our children the grace of Christ that He so lovingly gives us and we so undeservingly receive through Him.
So how are we? We are Loved.

Friday, November 11, 2011

A Mom's Friday Night

I remember the days when Friday nights would not be the night chosen to "express my thoughts" to anyone or even considering sitting down and working at a computer. Oh how those wild and crazy (not to crazy) Friday nights seem like forever ago, where you stay up as late as possible because you know you'll get to sleep in on Saturday morning.
A lot has changed since long ago... I went to the grocery store a couple of Fridays ago and there was some rap music on in the van and I, yes me, was rocking out-totally Mom style. It was only for about 30 seconds because after that I realized that the people in the vehicle next to me might call the psych ward thinking one got loose. Needless to say I went a picked up my movie and drove back home. When I pulled in my home, I was overwhelemed with a sense of pride and love for my family. I have the most amazing husband waiting to spend his time with me, his Friday night.  I have three children all sleeping soundly eagerly waiting to get up in the morning so they can have their Lucky Charms for breakfast and cuddle with Mommy before the days begins.
Its amazing because for a brief moment I'm sure we all have those moment where we do want to go back in time and "party it up" and by party it up its play card games way to late and toilet paper someone else's car. But that desire passes so quickly for me. I have a family that loves me and desires my presence, as much fun as the "single" life was I so enjoy my Mom Friday night: drinking my dt. Pepsi, sitting in front of a computer, knowing that when my Liam has a boo boo all I have to do is kiss and it will be better, seeing Rebekah giggle when I pull the blanket from over her head and putting a blanket over Natalie's head because that's how she sleeps. The best part: knowing that in just a few hours my husband will come home.
  I absolutely adore my husband. He is absolutely the best person in the world to me. I am so thankful for his heart to serve God no matter what, no matter the cost, his love for me and his continued devotion to my heart. How he loves his children and even when they might not be lovable at times. I am so proud to be called his wife, and I support him one hundred percent. I hope to be with him the day that he gets to hear God say to him, "Well done my good and faithful servant."
I know this is long but it really has been awhile.
A few nights ago I watched the Duggers (oh to have 20 children....). One of the questions they were asked was how do they deal with their tempers and their response totally convicted me and sent me to my knees. The father said, "When we are angry with our children and we express that anger towards them, it separates our relationship with them, causing division."  Hearing this hurt so much and cut really deep. How many times lately have I been so quick to get angry and really? because things aren't going my way. But yet I expect the kids to act a certain way and Liam says, "Be angry and do not sin, right Mom?" OUCH!
How can we teach our children grace and mercy if we don't show that to them? How do we teach them that the Lord is slow to anger and abundant in mercy and grace if we don't express that to them...? Grace! The Lord gives us grace and through that shows our children that Mom and Dad aren't so perfect but He is.  Lord teach me to be slow to anger, teach me your grace, teach me to remember that it's not all about me. Analyze the sitaution that's making me angry,because its probablythat something that isn't going my way.

I literally got on my face and asked God to forgive me, to help me, to be the strength when I can't. I don't say this for super Christian points I say this because what an amazing difference. I'm so thankful for my God who takes care of me, who holds my children closer to his heart than I do, who loves me enough and takes me in my weakness and I am able to actively see His grace shine.
I'm defintely learning but I'd say it was a pretty successful Friday night and quite a powerful one for just a Mom's Friday night.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

It's Been Awhile

Its been awhile since I feel like I've had time to sit and actually complete a full thought.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Vanilla Ice Cream and Chocolate Syrup

When I was a little girl I would spend two weeks out of my summer with my grandmother. She was the only person I knew at the time that I had captured her entire world. She in short-was definitely my hero for all of my childhood. As much as I knew my parents loved me, no one could replace her or even try to step up to what she meant to me.
The other day Liam had vanilla ice cream and chocoloate syrup for the first time. As I squirted the syrup out of the bottle I was instantly brought back to those summer days when my Grandma and I would have this every night before bed. (How is it that you can pull that off as a kid but now? not a chance.)
Later in the week we went to the store and there was a certain smell that brought me back to the times with my grandmother, it was almost as if I was there with her.
How is it that someone can have that lasting of an impact on someone? Because she knew me, inside and out! She was there for me-over and over again, and very simply put-she just loved me. She didn't have to prove her love to me she just did and I knew and that was enough to this day.
I hope that I can have that kind of impact on those I come in contact with in my life. I hope I can just love and not try to prove anything, not try to fix anything, not try to make people someone who they aren't.
Really all I need to know is if they like vanilla ice cream and chocolate syrup.