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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

You cannot force a cocoon or a petal to open!

You cannot force a cocoon or a flower petal to open. You can force them, but both will be destroyed and the extent of their beauty will be destroyed. This is also true of children, you cannot force them to be ready for something. As much as we would like to force our hand in situations, it cannot be done.

However, in the midst of waiting for the flower pedal to open, it does require soil, sunlight, and water. It does require care. This is also true with kiddos. One example of this is my Madeline. Last year she began kindergarten and we began putting together letter sounds to form words. Learning C-A-T, spells cat and D-O-T, spells dot. We worked on memorizing words you simply cannot sound out. We have also read to Maddie since she was in my womb. We read semi hard books, easy books, just about anything she shows interest in.  Blending words, especially big words can be quite overwhelming for the new reader. But, we pushed through. We continued working on letter sounds, putting the letter sounds together and reading words together. We learned how to find word families and to blend them together to figure out the word. There were light bulb moments going on all through the year at different times. I was giving her the information she needed and letting her grasp the concepts as her brain and emotions were ready. Sure enough she has exploded as a reader.

Another example is Madeline learning to swim. She has been afraid of putting her face in the water, afraid to go in even shallow water without her life jacket. We have had her take swimming lessons to get use to the water and learn swimming strokes. We have swam with her, we have let her jump to us in the water, we have helped her feel safe in the water. Then today I took her in deeper water with her life jacket on and showed her that she would float with her life jacket on. Once she realized she could float, she then realized she could swim for real, then she went in shallow water were she could touch and taught herself how to swim.

Patience and the willingness to continue to teach tools that will aid in their success of grasping a concept is priceless and very well worth it! Sometimes a tool looks like teaching letter sounds, sometimes it looks like teaching them they can float in water, sometimes it is teaching them that I am trust worthy. Sometimes the tool is working on a character trait that needs to be strengthened.

I have been encouraged over and over again as I have anxiously waited and prayed for my kids to grasp what I am teaching. Sure enough, they do!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The big jig saw puzzle

I have always had a heart to minister to others and I have always had a heart for ministry. I began ministry by leading a small group bible study while I was in high school. I have lead kid's clubs, worked for the salvation army day camp, lead campus crusade on a college campus, worked at a christian camp ministering to staff, campers, and families. I have co-lead a singles ministry and now I have a ministry raising my own three kiddo's.

When I married I had just come off of a three year run as head wrangler at Camp Redcloud. I was burned out and needed a break from ministry, but the ministry break didn't really come until we had the twins. I have been on a three year sabbatical of raising and surviving twins and their big sister and working on my relationship with Mark.

God has used my time of raising kids, working on my relationship with Mark, and homeschooling my kids to come to the place were I am today. Mark and I have gone through stages of metamorphosis! Going from a egg, to a caterpillar, molting numerous times, and finally emerging as a butterfly. Then we will begin the cycle again as God we continue to raise our kids and go through life becoming more in His likeness and going through yet another metamorphosis.

I am excited at the place God has finally brought Mark and I. We have struggled, we have cried, and God has turned our tears and sorrows into joy. He has triumphed in our lives, He has the victory over sin and struggles in our lives!

The Lord let me have a time of quiet, a time of giving to Mark and the kids, and a time of being quiet. Now, God has brought both Mark and I on board with a heart towards ministering again. We have no idea what this looks like. It could mean moving and joining another camp or other ministry. It could mean ministering within our church. It could look like ministering to our neighborhood. We don't really know, we simply know God is moving in our hearts and lives and we are ready to see what the next piece is to our puzzle.

This week I have had the chance to pour truth, scripture, and prayer into the life of a precious dear young lady in my life. Helping her to walk through her struggles and love her at the same time. Giving her the same truths that were given to me by people who loved me through my struggles. Praying for God's triumph in her life and God's victory of freedom in her life! I am both humbled and thrilled that the Lord is using me again in the lives of others for His glory!

God is using me where I am at in my life in the lives of others. My willingness to submit to my husband and raise the kid's God has entrusted to me in the way I know he wants me to raise them, is ministering to others in powerful ways. Oh, yes Lord, use me!!!

I am so thankful for the down time God has given me from ministry but I am SOOOO ready and SOOO excited to jump back in with both feet. One of my very favorite aspects of ministry is inviting people over to share meals with us. Allowing the setting for conversation to flow in any direction it wants or needs to go. Simply living life with others and being real with them.

God is using me and I am so ready!