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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Tackling Goliath

This last weekend Mark and I went to the MACHE homeschooling conference held
in Minnesota for two days. We learned so many tools to put in our parenting and teaching belts. We walked away with a glimpse into the different ways boys and girls learn. We walked away with a better grasp on how to engage my preschoolers while teaching my first grader. We also learned how to better teach our kids habits and character!

During one of the classes on forming habits I began to pray and seek the Lord for the habit we needed to address first. I knew that we have a fairly good grasp on obedience in our house. I had an idea of what habit to address first, but I wanted to make sure I was on the right track. I talked with Mark and we both prayed and decided the area we need to tackle first is whining.  All of our kids whine from time to time, but, one of our kids in particular thinks that whining is the best form of communication. Now that I knew whining was the  first habit to address, the next thing to do was pray, pray, and pray some more! Pray for wisdom, pray for the soil of their hearts and minds to be ready to be tilled, ready to be molded. We can plant the seeds, we can provide the training, but, if their hearts aren't ready the seeds will fall among rocks or be plucked up by "birds".

I decided to use the story of David and Goliath. We acted out the story and the kids learned that David's brothers, the ones sent to fight Goliath were grown men like their daddies, grandpa's and how David was young like their cousin Elijah. I told them that David knew that it was not himself that would defeat Goliath, but that it would be God using him to kill Goliath. I then shared with them that in our lives Goliath is not always a person. Sometimes, Goliath is the hard thing we have been asked to do. Goliath in our lives can be having to pick up the toy room, eating something we don't like, having a good attitude when we would rather whine and complain. I told them that Daddy and I were no longer going to accept whining. I told them that our new slogan was going to be "whining gets you nothing".  We talked about how David did not whine and fuss about facing the giant. He was bold and called on the name of the Lord to help him and he won his battle! When we call on the name of the Lord he will bring us help!

We have already begun operation no whining. Last night Naomi was whining at reading time and she was sent to her bed and was not allowed to read with us. Today, Maddie was having a hard time getting a grip on her whining and complaining. I reminded Maddie that this was a Goliath in her path right now and to be like David and ask for God's help. Remembering David's good attitude, helped Maddie to calm down and get control of her attitude.

We were taught that a habit takes 6-8 weeks to master. We are at the beginning stages of our training and I do say ours. Because Mark and I are just as much mastering the art of not grumbling and complaining just as the kids our.

I hopped on the Internet to find some articles on dealing with whining, one article I found it home. The author said that it is important to replace the whining with gratefulness and thankfulness
. Which excites me, because really, we are mastering two habits rolled into one. Learning the art of seeing what he have been given or are being given and being content to not have more. Learning to be thankful, learning see the blessing in what we already have.

Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord I am able to instill in my children Godly habits that will see them well through life. Scripture says, Philippians 2:14-16 "Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.”  Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life". 

Lord, mold us and shape us into your image!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Bloom were you're Planted

My man and I in the doorway
of the tack barn that made galloping possible!
Minnesota is NOT were I pictured I would be planted, but, here I am none the less. Eight years ago I was literally galloping through the rocky mountains of Colorado. I was high in altitude and high on the adventures of life. I was a rock climbing, bike riding, horse riding, cross country skiing fool! I lived in a small, four bedroom, a bit bigger than a shack of a house, and loved it! While I was in Colorado God stretched me, molded me, and refined me. Then, when God thought I was ready, he sent me back to the one place I did not sign up to go. I would have raised my hand in a second to go to the far reaches of Africa, but Minnesota, come on, really?!

What is in Minnesota? Why, about four or five generations of my family. Minnesota is were my great, great, great, great grandfather decided to build a homestead. It is were my family is. It was suppose to be a quick stop in our newly wedded journey. A couple years spent with family, then off to who knows where. Some where exciting, some where amazing. However, I got pregnant six months after our wedding, this halted our plans real quick. Then, a couple months after I gave birth to our daughter I got severe post partem and our daughter became severely colicky. About a year after our daughter was born, we even attempted to escape Minnesota. We journeyed to Oregon, then after seven months, my husband got laid off.  We then journeyed back to Minnesota. Here we are, back in Minnesota.

 So, here I am in Minnesota, not Africa, not Colorado, Minnesota. Yet, I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt. It is were we are suppose to be. It is where God has chosen to plant us and use us for his glory.  I am indeed a full time missionary! I am on the front lines of the battle field of salvation for souls. The Lord is using me right where I am! I am a wife and a mom who chooses to make sure our home is a well oiled machine and home school my three kid's. I am training my little apprentice women and my apprentice little man to love the Lord their god with all their heart, mind, and soul. I have a huge ministry to my husband and to my children.
My mission field (my kiddo's) in our backyard!

God is using me in the lives of other mom's seeking to home school their kiddo's. God is using me in the lives of me nieces and nephews. God is using me in blessing others with meals. I am simply living life, opening up myself to others, being real, being honest. Being someone others can struggle with, struggle and be set free by the truth of the word of God.

I have learned that simply plodding along in the humdrum of the everyday, is the heart of being a missionary.  I am willing, I am wanting to be used by God, and indeed he is using me!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

23 degrees! Outside they Go! Hands on learning!

Minnesota is more often snowy and cold than it is anything else. Our kids can be cooped up inside for literally months at a time. Everyone, including parents, go stir crazy. We have our homeschooling outings going ice skating and bowling. While those times are fun and let them wear off energy, there is nothing like sending them out the back door to explore their world. The fun part about sending them outside for me is watching the differences in their play while outdoors. Some go right to work finding something they can "work" on, others gaze at their surroundings mesmerized by all the animals business. Some of the kids are content watching other kids as they "work" and watch the animals. Yet, other times they play together and fine something to do as a whole group.

With their pails, shovels, trucks and cars, they go and explore the world around them. Without knowing it they experience textures, they experience working together and having to share, learning to give up what they want for the good of someone else. They learn that trying to walk up an icy hill may not be the best idea, nor the safest. They learn to be careful, they learn how many shovel fulls of snow will fit in their buckets (learning both science and math).

Playing outside is chalk full of learning experiences, but, mostly, it's just plain ole fun!!