Saturday, August 21, 2010
Such a book as Heidi challenged me to look at myself and to see if I wait patiently on God's timing or do I throw the towel in with him and say fine I'll do it myself. Do I trust him in his timing or do I rebelliously and ignorantly go my own way. Do I know my help comes from the Lord, even when I cannot see the mountains.
Another wonderful book is A Little Princess that challenges me to act as a princess everyday, even when I do not feel like it. How do I treat those around me? How do I treat the ones that treat me poorly, do I answer kindly back or retaliate?
The dearest book I long to be mentored by is the bible. To have the one who created me, who loves me the most, and longs to speak to me through His written word teach me all He wants me to know. To be comforted, to be given advice, to seek out which I do not yet know.
So many more wonderful things I have learned from both books and I can hardly wait until I turn the first page in the next classic that awaits me. Reading has become a journey I am ready and excited to take on.
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Full of ideas of love, laughter, fun and joy.
Was I ready, would I have ever been ready to give up my freedom?
But what kind of freedom did I want to keep?
The right to tell myself when, where, why, and how to do things?
Do I have that right anyways, is not that mindset only foolish thinking.
For Jesus is his name, I call him Lord of my life, the one who gave His all...even His own blood.
I had no idea what I committed to when along came one tiny life, then two more.
This I definitely was not ready for.
Now any hope of ever attaining any freedom I wanted back was down the drain.
Not knowing that every moment, every day, would require selflessness.
I do not come by selflessness on my own naturally.
Selflessness was not the easy virtue I was bestowed upon.
I have to work at remembering to serve joyfully.
Another day, another nose to wipe, one more PB&J sandwich;
one more bottle, one more supper, one more roll in the hay.
Mind, Body, and Soul zapped...
The freedom I long for, True freedom is this...
To be so in tuned with my savior that there is no resemblance of me left.
The image that others see is not me, but Him.
Not needing the compliments of the world;
A comforting shield of protection as the arrows of the world merely bounces off me.
Neither mattering, because what I know to be true of me, is what I know He knows is true of me.
Being able to give completely, freely, being able to give my all...for the one who gave His all to me.
Overwhelming and depressing is the life of a selfless one when attempted on one’s own.
It is not possible to be selfless on one’s own strength.
The result is bitterness, resentfulness, anger, emotions run amuck.
Selflessness when submitted to the Savior is possible.
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
little feet go where I go, little hands yearn to do what I do.
Little eyes want to see what I see. She believes me.
She believes me when I say I love her.
More importantly she believes me when I say Jesus loves her.
Oh Lord help me show her,
by my words and by my actions that I love you.
Little hands want to feel the pizza dough.
Little feet want to dance to a song only she can hear.
Little eyes want to see I love her even when she's disobeyed.
My little one looks to me for how to handle the big bad world.
She learns how to be angry from me. She learns how to love from me.
She learns how to communicate from me.
Oh Lord let me serve you by actions.
Lord I want so badly for her to see you in me.
Thank you for giving me your word which shows me how to live.
Thank you for showing me how to live so that I might show Maddie, Naomi, and Titus.
Little hands, little feet, little words, a little heart a sponge in the hands of my shaking hands.
Lord help me to soak my little sponges in your loving capable hands.
Let me make the choices that will teach my little one how to react.
How to love when wronged. How to persevere when under trial.
How to rejoice with others excitement.
How to trust the Lord when it seems He's quiet
and his direction unclear.
Let me soak my little ones hands, feet, eyes, and soul in you!!!
Robin Russell - 4/24/2010
I turn around, all the while still dancing and realize not only are you not dancing,
but you cannot understand why I would dance.
There is hope, can’t you see it? Do you not know it?
There is a passion inside to great to well up.
A passion so great I weep easily, anger with a tiny spark, and dance in the rain.
How my heart would sore at the mere suggestion you wanted to waltz in the rain with me!
So passionate am I, that I must dance, sing, hope, see the brighter side of life
Or I must smoother my passions.
You see me dance about as carelessly as a child, foolishness you say.
Yet my heart says freedom, my soul is set free by this “foolishness”.
My passion drives me; it is the drive that forces me to see things through.
My passion is the force behind my hope and belief of conquering.
Conquering once meant climbing a high mountain, riding a challenging horse.
These days conquering is surviving a day with everyone still in smiles.
Conquering these days means my children have acquired a passion for being educated.
Success is in my children realizing the worlds they can enter in a book.
Can you see I must dance in the rain?
I must sing along to the tune of my heart or the tune on the radio, whichever comes first.
The rain calls to my feet, “come dance with me.”
The rain sings to my soul, “Come here and smell and taste and be free in the moment of silliness.”
My passion must soar as an eagle. It must taste and see and hear and touch the world around me.
Do not cover my eyes, nor shackle my feet.
Please do not cover my ears; I know I hear what others do not. But trust me what I do hear sings to me.
Take not the sweet nectar of the succulent world I long to taste.
Who knows perhaps snails will become my delicate treat.
I know I sing a different tune and March to a beat only I can hear.
My passion allows me to love when love should not be given.
My passion allows me to hope when all hope seems to be lost.
My passion allows me to conquer; it sets me free, and adds spice to life.
My passion and spice is God given. I have to dance for he calls me to it.
I have to sing for a canary he placed in my mouth.
All songs and all dances are an expression from me to him.
I am passionate; I am free because he paid a dear price for my feet to tap a fancy dance.
It would be dishonoring, disloyal if I did not show him my gratitude and gratefulness.
I can sing of my salvation and practice my dancing for the great feast in the great banquet hall….
My dancing, my singing, my tasting, and seeing is all in practice for that final grand day;
the day I enter paradise with my bridegroom.
I do what you do not understand and what you cannot see,
Because a passion greater than me is my driving force.
Robin Russell 8/18/2010
Monday, August 16, 2010
Saturday, August 14, 2010
I am a perfectionist and I demand more of myself than is reasonable. I expect myself to be able to sew the hardest pattern even though I've sewn hardly ever. I expect myself to automatically not be a spender when I am a spender. I expect myself to be patient, kind hearted, and servant hearted all the time. God expects me to do this too but he also knows I'm human. He knows I won't do all of this perfect, he also knows some of these areas I'm learning will always be just that learning. I will have to learn and relearn and then relearn again. However in my brain relearning is humbling, it's not relearning it's failing and failing is something I don't do well. When Iworked at camp and I did something wrong my boss Becki knowing I was already beating myself up use to say oh my goodness you failed and live to tell about it! She was joking but was also serious. If I fail while there are consequnces sometimes no one will die. Thankfully God is big enough and is prepared to love me and help me through those consequences.
Breath in, breath out, breath in, breath out. This I am confident that He who began a good workin me WILL be faithful to complete me! I'm being completed to the glory of Christ Jesus! Remembering I'm not completed helps, knowing I am a work in progress and always will be is amazing freedom in knowing I will conquer and understand what God wants me to in His timing!
Thursday, August 12, 2010
What should we teach our children:
vs. 18-21 "You shall therefore impress these words of mine on your heart and on your soul; and you shall bind them as sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. You shall teach them to your sons, talking of them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road and when you lie down and when you rise up. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates, so that your days and the days of your sons may be multiplied on the land which the Lord swore to your fathers to give them, as long as the heavens remain above the earth."
We have heard this once before early in Deut. 6, I'm interested how many more times Moses said this to the people.
Vs. 26-29 "See I am seeing before you today a blessing and a curse: he blessing, if you listen to the commandments of the Lord your God, which I am commanding you today; If you do not listen to the commandments of the Lord your God, but turn aside from the way which I am commanding you today, by following other gods which you have not known. It shall come about, when the Lord your God brings you into the land where you are entering to possess it, that you shall place the blessing mount gerizim and the curse on Mount Ebal."
There are blessings when we follow and do what God has asked us to do, there are curses and consequences when we do not. Consequences that are self inflicted because of my rebellion not to listen to him.
He says; "You shall NOT bring an abomination into your house, and like it come under the ban; you shall UTTERLY DETEST it and you shall UTTERLY ABHOR it, for it is something banned."
I have been praying and will continue to pray and ask the Lord what abominations we have brought into our house and will then confess and ask the Lords forgiveness. May we strive to have nothing that would detest and abhor the Lord our God.
vs. 2 & 3 "So that you and your son and your gandson might fear the Lord your God, to keep all His statues and his commandments which I command you, all the days of your life and that your days may be prolonged. o Israel, you should listen and be careful to do it, that it may be well with you and that you may multiply greatly."
A continued theme throughout Deut. Vs. 5; "you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might."
If the Lord finds it nessacary to say it over and over we'd better pay attention! Beacuse apparently we don't get it the first time the Lord says something.
He goes even further and tells us:
vs. 7 you shall teach them diligently (not when you have time, not if you feel like it) to your sos and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and whenyou lie down and when you rise up.
vs. 8 you shall bind hem as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead.
vs. 9 you shall write them on the door post of your house and on your gates.
Why is this important? Because when riches come and we are well taken care of we forget the land we came from. We forget who brought us into our riches and who brought us into the land of milk and honey.
vs. 10-11 "Then it shall come about when the Lord your God brings you into the land which He swore to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give you, great and splendid cities which you did not build and houses full of good things which you did not fill, and hewn cisterns which you did not dig vineyards and olive trees which you did not plant, and you shall eat and be satisfied.
Caution: vs. 12 watch yourself that you do not forget the ord who brought you fromt he land of Egypt out of the house of slavery.
When our Children ask us why we pray, why we worship the Lord our God, we are to say because he brought us out of the land of slavery and brought us into the promise land. I may not be an Israelite, I may not have been a slave in Egypt. But I have been a slave to my sin, I have been a slave to temptations, and things that distract me from my relationship with God. God has brought me out of the bondage of slavery and lies into a new journey towards the promise land...heaven.
vs. 22 Moreover, the Lord whoed great and distressing signs and wonders before our eyes against Egypt, Pharoh, and all his household; He brought us out from there in order to bring us in, to give us the land which he had sworn to our fathers.
It is commanded to me to speak of the wonders of the Lord all day, everyday. To be ready to answer there questions of why we follow him, why we do what we do.
Deuteronomy was written by Moses; "to all Israel across the Jordan in the wilderness, in the Arabah opposite Supha, between Paran and Tophel and Laban and Hazeroth and Dizahab."
The setting is this: Moses is giving final addresses in the last days of his life. The Israelites where getting prepared to go into the promised land. The people were facing war, temptations, and a new, settled way of life-all under the unproved leadership of Joshua. This generation of Israelites had not personally experianced the red sea or the giving of the law at Sinai. Moses was reminding them of God's power and God's laws.
application: If God found it nessaccary to remind his people twice and is written down twice in the bible, I had pay double attention!
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
I have wanted to study Deuteronomy ever since my boss in Colorado had me study it as a bible study. I have always wanted to reread it, pick it a part and glean as much as I can from it. Reading Thomas Jefferson education has inspired me to not only see the bible as a classic which there is much to glean and learn from. But to be faithful to be mentored by the one true mentor, my creator, the one who literally knows it all! Deut. 8:3; "He humbled you and let you be hungry, and fed you with manna which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that He might make you understand that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord."
If we live by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord and if the Lord speaks to us and teaches us from his word, then if I am not talking with him, reading his word everyday I can be nothing but dead.
With that said here's what I gleaned today from Deuteronomy 10:
vs.1 What does the Lord require of me? To fear the Lord my God, to walk in all His ways, and love Him, and to serve the Lord my God with all my heart and with all my soul. To keep the Lord's commandments and His statues which he commands me, for my good.
I learned of his Character:
vs. 17 He is the God of gods, the Lord of Lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God, he does not show partiality, nor takes bribes. He executes justice for the orphan and the widow, and shows His love for the alien by giving him food and clothing.
vs. 18 He reminds us to show our love for the aliens for we were also aliens at one time.
We are to:
vs.20 Fear the Lord our God, serve Him and cling to Him, and swear by his name.
Because he is:
vs. 21 Our praise, our God, who has done great and awesome things for us! Which indeed I have seen with my eyes!
Application to my life: God tells me to do things not to hear himself talk but because it's for my own good (vs. 13). He loves me enough to tell me what to do, where to go, and how to go about it. He is my one true God, he is Lord of it all, I am to not put anything in his place. I am to serve orphans and widows. I am to not only fear the Lord, serve him, but I am to CLING to him! not simply hold on during the ride, I am to cling to him as if being rescued from the dangers out there. If I am not clinging to him I am vulnerable and an easy target. I am to remember what I have seen the Lord do in my life and not forget them.
I'm excited to see what tomorrows chapter holds!
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
http://innisrecipes.blogspot.com/2010/08/einstein-never-used-flash-cards-by.html is my cousins view and perspective on the same book. It's fun to read another blog on the same book and say yes I agree with that too!
Achieving Balance, the three R's:
Ask yourself, why am I enrolling 3-year-old Maddie in this calls? Does she really like dance? Do I feel pressure to make sure Maddie has a let up on other children her age? Am I trying to make every moment count? Would we all be happier and less frazzled if we had some extra time for unstructured play?
"It takes courage to resist forces that tell us faster is better. We hear out friends as they bast about their children's new found talents discovered (at some cost) in Melanie's music class. We live with the anxiety of knowing that while we are at the park, Janie took Ralph to art classes and sue had Phyllis at Chess for Cherubs! Resist. Play=learning!
"Think back to the teachable moments you learned. These are teachable moments not just for my kids, but also for me. Each time you engage in a teachable moment-each time you play with your child-you are seeing child development in action. You are connection in a new way with your child and have become a more sensitive and responsive parent."
"It's not what you know but how you know that will help build creative thinking and problem solving in math, reading, and language. And your children will even be happier with some downtime so that they can connect with you and with their friends."
Monday, August 9, 2010
The book that gave me a deep sense of yes I could do that, let me rephrase that, yes God could do this through me. Was this book The Basic Steps to Successful Homeschooling. She literally takes your hand and walks you through the steps that make it easier to homeschool. She covers everything from getting organized, state laws and possibly facing being taken to court by our school district or other government agency, to curriculum. She shares what she has done and also what other homeschool parents have done that has worked.
She also suggests for $100 a year you can retain HSLDA www.hslda.org. If you are challenge with your right to homeschool and you have retained them you are able to call them up and they will take your case for no extra cost. Mark and I are highly considering doing this because if we are ever faced with a moment where our parental right to homeschool our children is in jeopardy we want the people with the right tools to come in and fight for us. They have been around since 1983. They also keep an eye on legislation both federal and state wide insuring that parental rights that would jeopardize our right to homeschool are not infringed upon.
She even talks about walking your kids through learning chores. She says for example if you are dusting have your child follow all the places your rag goes. Do this for a couple days, then reverse it, you follow your childs rag everywhere, reminding them if needed where they missed. But being careful to allow them to do it there own way, not just your way. She said then let them do it on their own, check it. After awhile continue to make it a game so they stay interested, she suggested using pennies, as they dust they find the pennies. They get to keep all the pennies they find, however if they miss a couple of places you get the pennies and they dust where they missed. I tried this with maddie dusting her room and she thinks it's a very fun game. She even comes and asks me if we can play follow the leader with the rags! She is learning to get them out, get them wet, wring them out, and then be able to dust her room, and put the rags back where they belong.
I do not feel qualified to homeschool Maddie, but God knows that and he is equipping me with all I will need. He has allowed others to walk before me both friends, family, and in books. What the Lord puts into motion, he will see through.
Mark and I are convinced that as of right now we are called to home school our kids. It is very overwhelming realizing that our children's education and training is our responsibility. But we also believe that God has equip us and will continue to equip us with everything we need to accomplish the race he has set before us.
One book that has inspired me and given me a jumping off point is "A Thomas Jefferson education" by Oliver Demille. His approach to education is using a method called classic/mentor Education. Through reading the classics Little Red Riding Hood, Dr. Seuss, and working your way to more complicated readings, and so on. This type of education is to create students who think for themselves. Who dissect what they are reading and talk about it with their mentors. What did the characters go through, how do we apply what we read to our own lives. The mentor guides the student through what they are reading, helping the student digest, think, and apply what they are reading not only pertaining to their lives but also how it pertains to them in the world.
"There are two types of great teachers which consistently motivate student-driven education: mentors meet face to face with the student, inspiring through the transfer of knowledge, the force of personality, and individual attention. Classics were created by other great teachers to be experienced in books, art, music, and other media." TJE pg. 20
I firmly believe I was one of the students in the public school system that passed under the radar. I believe that I did well enough to keep getting passed until I graduated, but I don't believe I was educated. I do not believe I was well equipped with what I needed to know. I still stink at math, English is better but still difficult. I clung to what I needed to know at the moment and as soon as I was done with it I chucked it out the window. I have to say what I did retain was because my parents worked long hours with me at our dinning room table. Also the first book I ever read was called "Will you be my friend", which my dad taught me to read. I had a mentor but it was my parents who took the time to help me grasp what I needed to grasp. Who encouraged me, challenged me, and loved me through the tears of learning. If I had been able to learn at my pace, if my environment had not depended on tests and how I should have been doing compared to my peers, but focused on educating me and giving me a desire and passion to learn I believe I would have accelerated beyond what I would have even imagined for myself. I also had a couple teachers who did not know how to teach something in a different way. So it was my fault for not understanding what they where trying to teach me. I was not a behavior problem, I tried to do my work, I tried to pay attention, I really honestly could not understand what they were teaching...and to them it was my fault.
Back to the book:
The solution to the American Education Question is to focus on great teaching rather than education. Each semester at George Wythe College I (the author) am moved by a new class of young people who literally come alive during four months of coming face to face with greatness in mentors and classics. Suddenly learning is magic, like falling in love; doors and eyes open and students become thinkers, creators, and leaders. pg. 25
Demille says there are three types of education:
I. public education: which tries to prepare everyone for a job, any job, by teaching them what to think. This includes rudimentary skills designed to fit them to function in society.
a. historically the primary goal of public school's, the reason they instituted was to educate the poor so they could get a Job and take their place in society (the middle class already had private schools and apprenticeships, and the wealthy were tutored at home.
b. Public schools come with a down die. consider three successful cases: ancient Rome, Eighteenth century Germany, and nineteenth Century Britain. Each instituted Free public schools to educate the poor, and the standard of living increased. But eventually the professional and leadership schools deteriorated because they simply couldn't compete with free, government-subsidized schools.
II. Professional Education: Derived from apprenticeship and trade schools to law, medical and MBA programs-which creates specialists by teaching them when to think.
a. private schools arose from the apprenticeship tradition of training youth for specific trades or professions.
b. The purpose is to get them into college or technical school, then trade or law school, and then law school, CPA or MBA school, medical school, etc.
c. this type of training allows you to be an expert at whatever you choose to do, however it only works in an interdependent system where other experts tell them when their knowledge is to be applied and what to do outside the scope of their expertise.
III. Leadership Education, which I (the author) call "Jefferson Education," which teaches students how to think and prepares them to be leaders in their homes and communities, entrepreneurs in business, and statesmen in government.
Leadership Education has three primary goals:
1. to train thinkers, entrepreneurs and statesmen-individuals with the character, competence and capacity to do the right thing and to do it well in business, government, church, schools, family, etc.
2. to perpetuate freedom, to prepare people who know what freedom is, what is required to maintain it, and who exert the will to do what is required.
3. teaching students how to think.
a. Those who know how to think are able to lead effectively and are able to help society remain free and prosperous.
"Those who know only what to think or when, no matter how valuable their contributions to society, are not capable of maintaining freedom or leading us to real progress without additional leadership skills. the success and perpetuity of our society depend upon leadership education."
He also talks about schools being a conveyor belt. Setting up school systems like factories. You enter kindergarten, you continue on to 1st grade, 2ND grade, and so on. Then you graduate. Then you continue on the conveyor belt when you enter college. You then are stamped with a guaranteed to be educated. Anyone can basically get on the conveyor belt to do just well enough to pass and be done. But with the conveyor belt comes conveyor belt professionals. We are no longer taught to think outside the box but we are taught that anything outside the box is nonsense and sometimes crazy.
I love the thought of teaching Maddie to be a leader, not someone who gets on a conveyor belt and does what she's told, because she's told to do it. I want her to think is this right or is this wrong. I want her to not think or do, because it is what you do (in the eyes of other people). I want her to question. I want her to bring it before God, to compare it with God's word to see if aligns with His word and go from there with her though processes.
After talking with Mark we agree that we both love TJE. We also agree we believe we do not want to use this alone when homeschooling our kids. We believe that incorporating various types of learning is also beneficial to out kids. We believe this because one we need records to show the state here is what we are doing and here is where are kids are on the learning journey. But we think it is beneficial for our kids to have experience being taught in different ways.
Do we have it all figured out, of course not. We are still reading, learning and when we are in the middle of school I'm sure we will still adjust and change with the way our kids learn. I'm excited, timid, but not discouraged that homeschooling is a path we are to take. I'm excited to explore with my kids the world of learning. I'm excited to be guided by the holy spirit as to what will spark our kids to love learning, to seek out learning, and continue the life long process of learning.
I have begun to look for the classics at the salvation army and rummage sales. I have recently been given many fabulous books that others have passed on to me. For example I found Heidi at the salvation army for $.49! I was given Grimm's fairy tales, we've been given a couple of different kids bibles, and the list goes on. I love opening up a world of learning to Maddie simply by reading to her!