Thursday, January 30, 2014

Home Management

 For the Lord your God moves about in your camp to protect you and to deliver your enemies to you. Your camp must be holy, so that he will not see among you anything indecent and turn away from you. (Deuteronomy 23:14)

I am the keeper of my home (how I view the camp in this verse). It's my job to keep the peace in my home, to invite God into my home daily. It's my job to teach my children the Word of God. It's my job to guard my home.

There are many things I am doing in an effort to make our lives a bit more simple and easy considering our new addition arriving in the spring. One thing I've purposed to do is have a better handle on our home.

I have to invite God into my home. I want God to be at home in my home. I want God to dwell in my home with my family. To protect us and not find anything indecent among us. I have to guard my home's peace and atmosphere. I have to set the "temperature" for my home. One way to do this is to guard my spirit (my attitude and thoughts, my heart).

I mean the WHOLE house. I've gotten into the habit of washing a load of clothes once every few days so that they will not get too backed up. I've noticed that when I don't feel so overwhelmed with housework, my spirit is not so riled up.

 Now I'm on to getting everyone onto a routine (I won't say schedule because some days we sleep in, others we're up before the sun, but I want to keep the routine the same). This is more than me wanting to do this but my husband, the leader of my home, requesting that we all be on a routine, that we all be in decency and order. And as his helper, the keeper of our home, it's up to me to instill it.

One thing that's getting fixed in permanent is Bible copy-work time, which we do after breakfast then we discuss the verse/passage. I decided to implement this as Cupcake (our 6 yr old daughter) reads pretty well now and soon I will have a newborn to care for on top of Happy Feet (our 2 yr old son) and will need to have a more simple but still effective Bible time with the kids.

The next thing is meal planning. I've read the blogs where some meal plan for an entire month. That doesn't work for us. Some days I'll have a meal in mind and before I start cooking I'll get a suggestion or request for something different (using the same/similar ingredients). So what I have started doing is deciding what meats I plan to cook with while grocery shopping then I may meal plan weekly, leaving room for change.

Next thing on my list is detaching from Social Media. Even when I'm not posting, I may be on..reading. 
I think it will be in my entire family's best interests that I back up off of Social Media especially because I know my time will be cut short soon. Not only is my time cut short but my focus does not need to be so much on Social Media, my phone or computer BUT on God, my family and my home.

So I want to create boundaries for myself. These boundaries will limit me to only so much time on social media a day. I'm thinking max at 2 hours a day, since I have a Good Morning Girls group that I participate in. I want to have only so much time on social media. I want to focus more on God than on social media. I want to give my family more of my undivided attention.

 This will be the biggest change in habits for me.

So tell me, what are some ways to create boundaries? Have you created boundaries for yourself? How did it go?

(Cupcake and Happy Feet after church at their great-grandparents' house)

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

To Home-school Or Not to Home-school

Recently I decided to include more of what home-schooling looks like for us. As we are not a traditional home-schooling family. By traditional I mean completely detached from the public school system, your own lesson plans, your own curriculum. We participate in FLVS (Florida Virtual School), which is an online k-12 school that is apart of Florida public school system.

What we have done however is add in a bible lesson each morning before starting the day's lesson (which I teach to my daughter. Then she does an online assessment afterwards to show her understanding and knowledge.). What I can say I really like about FLVS is that they provide all the curriculum FREE of cost your family, all you need is a computer, internet access, and a telephone (for teachers to call and check monthly). This works best for my family when we started homeschooling because we've been on a strict budget. I know people say well find freebies online and print them out. That can take up quite a bit of money as well considering printer ink and paper has to continuously bought.

(This is our kiddos in the morning doing our Bible lesson, in which they copy a verse from the Bible and we discuss it.)

Now I will admit we are considering the ABEKA system this year. It does require purchasing the curriculum, however we keep the curriculum after the year is over which is one thing I really like. I also like that the entire curriculum is Bible based. So hubby is really leaning toward that curriculum for the kids going forward. And honestly so am I. I like having the free curriculum and taking the guesswork out of lesson planning BUT I hate having to keep up with public school's schedule & turning in assignments for someone else to grade. I do like that they keep a grade book, which is something I would have to do. 

So it will be quite the weighing of pros and cons over the next month or so (which is when we would buy the ABEKA curriculum for the fall).

So tell me what do you think about ABEKA (if you have used it)? Or recommend to me some good home-school curriculum.


Friday, January 24, 2014

Intentionally Focused

Today marks the end of the first week of the intentionally focused study on Good Morning Girls.
So I decided to do an overview since I am doing the study in a group on Facebook.

This week's theme is being focused on the race ahead. Some of the SOAP verses have the central theme of running the race marked for us. The race is life. As we are born each of us have a race, a path that we are on. God has marked this path out for us before we were even born and our prize is eternal life with Him in Heaven. And all of the SOAP verses tell us to remain or gain focus.

Monday's SOAP verse was: Ephesians 5:1
follow God's example, therefore as dearly loved children.

Tuesday's SOAP verse was: Psalm 90:12
Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.

Wednesday's SOAP verse was: Hebrews 12:1
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.

Thursday's SOAP verse was: Ephesians 5:15-16
Be very careful, then, how you live-not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity because the days are evil.

And today, Friday's SOAP verse is: Philippians 3:14
I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

One thing that I have taken from this week is that we all have the ability to be sold out for Christ and focused on Him. Scripture has no exception on anyone. We are given the charge to follow God's example since we are His children; to learn to be grateful for each day since the next is not guaranteed to us; to circumcise our lives, get rid of the sin that hinders us in persevering in this race called life; to live wisely as the days are evil meaning they are a countdown to when we reach Christ; and we press forward towards the goal, heavenward in Christ Jesus. 

There are two main definitions for the word press: (1) move or cause to move into a position of contact with something by exerting continuous physical force. (2) apply pressure to (something) to flatten, shape, or smooth it, typically by ironing. I think both of these definitions apply to today's SOAP verse. As our walk with Christ will not always be easy peasy. There will be some hard days that require us to press forward because simply walking is not enough.

So whether you are in a season of easy or in a season of struggle and you need to press. Don't worry and don't focus on your season, focus on your prize: Eternal life in Heaven with Christ Jesus.


Monday, January 20, 2014

Is it necessary?

Today I was on twitter and I was going back and forth with a follower on topic.
Then I got convicted deep in my spirit.

The conversation I was having was unnecessary. It was not building me or the other person up. All we were doing was giving our opinion on a situation. However I realized my opinion is not always necessary or warranted. Even if I see a post that asks for advice or asks for the opinions of others, I don't need to give mine.

Then I got even more convicted when the person assumed they knew me. They assumed that because they could read my TL, read my commentary on a few things that they knew me. That they knew my faith, that they knew my walk. And I had to step back.

What impression do I give of myself for a person to think they really know me via social media? Yes I speak on my faith but that's me. Any topic thrown at me will have my faith sprinkled all over my response.
Do I give the impression of perfection? *gulps* I surely hope not because I'm so far from perfect its not even funny. I have many issues. Just because they are not on broadcast, which some are, doesn't mean they don't exist.

Something I realized today. People will assume. It's in our nature as humans to assume we know. It hurts us though because many times our assumptions are wrong. In this case, I mean every conversation that does not bring God glory, that does not edify or educate a person is many times unnecessary. I think many times we will have these conversations. What does foolish talk do for me? Nothing.

Stay away from foolish, useless talk, because that will lead people further away from God. (2 Timothy 2:16)
Stay away from foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they grow into quarrels. (2 Timothy 2:23)

Some conversations need to be had to educate people. Whether they want to heed/yield or believe is on them. But the fact that I shared is what's important. You can lead a camel to the water, you cannot make them drink.

The Lord's servant must gently teach those who disagree. Then maybe God will let them change their minds so they can accept the truth. (2 Timothy 2:25).

 Many times I will comment on topics because much of what is acceptable to society is not acceptable to God. And should not acceptable to His people. So that is why I speak up. Because the behavior is unacceptable. If a person is doing wrong but they don't know what they're doing is wrong. They will continue to do it because they don't know any better. You have to give people the option to know better and do better OR know better and don't care to do better.

So my goal is this: really evaluate a topic before I decide to comment. Is it worth my time? Am I educating or edifying a person? If so take the time. If not forget it and move on.



Ah loveology. How many of us don't need a course in loveology? lol.

At first I was a bit skeptical about the book. Then I started reading and it became very interesting to me.
The book tackles love from a biblical standpoint. It tackles different angles of love from romantic love to agape love but it always come back to romantic love.
John Mark Comer views love as the ultimate. It is completely God's design and consistently in use by Him. John Mark Comer takes different stories of the bible and shows where love is inter-weaved in it and how it applies today. For example many of us want to date in a way that is acceptable to God and some defend dating as we know it saying its off limits because its not directly addressed in the bible. Comer goes to show that while dating may not be directly addressed in the bible, the bible does show different relationships as they progressed and how we use that as a model for how we should date.
 In biblical times and even still in practice today in some areas of the world, the parents chose a man's wife. Now of course we wouldn't dream of allowing our parents choose our spouse. Nope we want full control of that. 
One thing I like that Comer points out is how Isaac when presented with Rebekah he immediately married her. He didn't wait a few years to see if he liked her or sleep with her first to see if they were sexually compatible. NOPE. He married her then he loved her.

I think this is where today's generation gets it wrong. They think they need to trial test people. No. If you think this is who you are meant to marry then guess what? You marry them. Isaac didn't get perfection in Rebekah! She's the same woman who encouraged her son Jacob to manipulate Isaac to get Esau's heritage!
You don't need to see if you're compatible by having sex before marriage or living together before marriage! No you know if your compatible by your faith in God. Does he/she love God more than they love you? Are you in agreeance on what you want out of life? Children, living situation, education, church, ministry??

I also love how Comer takes the relationship God wants with us and shows the romantic qualities in them. The bible refers to the church as Christ's Bride. Does it get any more romantic than that? To be referred collectively as His bride? I don't think so. Everything Christ does is with His love for us and obedience to God at the forefront. How much more loving does it get? To have a heavenly husband who pursued us and died for us so that we can be pure and blemish free when presented to Him.

This book, I got from the publisher, is an advanced copy as the actual book itself does not hit shelves until February 4th!! I really recommend you get a copy! Doesn't matter if you're already married, single, engaged, divorced. You need to know the relation of love from the beginning of time to where we are now. It may very well help you make better decisions in regards to your own life.

What do you think of loveology?

Friday, January 10, 2014

When Mama Gets Angry

What happens when mama gets angry? 
Are you a quiet angry person, choosing to shut yourself off?
Are you a loud angry person, yelling and screaming?

I think at some point everyone has acted out in anger. Is it right? No. But are we humans and do we fall short of the Lord's glory? Yes.

As a mom, I see myself upset quite a bit. Usually it is over a behavior that is not tolerated in our household. 
Ephesians 4:26 says " In your anger do not sin”[a]: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry,"

I think this is so hard to do. Why? Because when we are angry, our flesh wants to exhibit and show that anger. At times its almost as if, if we don't express our anger, we're not really angry at the situation or action.
It's even conflicting for us  because we have Scripture to tell us to do the exact opposite of what our flesh wants to do.
So what are we to do?
In 2 Corinthians 12:9 Paul tells us " But he (the Lord) said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
Each day I pray thank YOU Lord for your grace. Because His Grace is what gets me through each day. And His mercy forgives my sins when I fall short of His glory.

Mamas don't beat yourself up when you fall short. 
Get on your knees. For the Lord said His grace is sufficient for you, for His power is made perfect in weakness. It is when we confess that we are weak and in need of His grace that it truly works in our lives. Helping us to become better mamas to the babies He has blessed us with.

So mama, each morning ask God for His grace for your day and each night thank Him for His grace and mercy. Confess where you have fallen short at and leave it at His feet.

God loves you more than you will ever know, more than you can ever comprehend.


Thursday, January 9, 2014

The Christian Life

What do you think the goal of the Christian life is?

Is it to have more things? To be seen by the masses? To be commended by people for a life well lived?

I think it is to encourage and point the next person to Christ. I think we are to live life Christ-like so that people who watch our actions, see our lives will want to know Christ for themselves. Especially when they knew us before we sought out God.

I don't want to just get it (my relationship with Christ) right for myself. I HAVE to get it right. I have children who will look to me to be the example. At this moment I can say I am failing them because I tend to yell when I'm upset with them. I'm learning to not yell, it's hard and I struggle. This is one of the many moments when I need God's grace. And HE said "my grace is sufficient for you" (2 Corinthians 12:9). I thank God for His grace that is sufficient for me. That gets me through each day.

The point of this life is to get it right ourselves so we can help the next person get it right. Even if they never listen to a word we say...our actions will speak loud enough for us. Plenty of times Paul made it clear that we can better lead people to God with our actions rather than our words.  In our online presence, its our consistency to God's Word to encouraging others. I read a lady's Facebook post today she said "I deleted someone today for talking about God today yet was posting porn yesterday." We have to be consistent in everything we do! If we are going to live for God we've got to do it wholeheartedly. People are watching. You may not EVER know they are watching but they are. And they pay attention, to what you post, what you "like", what you retweet. And tells about you, whether you think it does or not.

Paul tells us the race is not given to the swift nor to the strong but to those who endure to the end. So we have to endure to the end. And not just endure but encourage others to endure. Not just seek God, His kingdom, and righteousness but encourage others to seek God, His kingdom and righteousness.

Paul, not only did he live a life pleasing to God, he sought to take the Gospel where it had not been shared so that people who had not heard could hear and have a chance to seek God as well.

That's our job now. Carry the Gospel out to others. The difference is that we can go online and touch people around the world without actually going to them. However start in your own backyard, help those who are around who need the encouragement and example of Christ's love.


Monday, January 6, 2014

Intentionally Focused!

So today is the first day of enrollment for the Intentionally Focused Winter Study on Good Morning Girls.

I am announcing it here because I am going to blogging during the course of the Study and posting the readings here on my blog for those of you who decide to follow along!
I have been doing these studies for over a year now and I love them! I also like that you can include your children in the study (they have free materials for them too) AND they have the free materials available in other languages!

So please visit the website and enroll if you want the free materials delivered directly to your email! Or stay tuned here!


Thursday, January 2, 2014

Happy New Year!!!

OMGoodness!! It's 2014! Seems like 2013 passed by so quickly to me. 
I am so thankful for everything we have learned and experienced in 2013. 
I am thankful for my expanding family.
I am thankful for my Lord God who has shown us that no matter what happens He has held us in the very palms of His hands. 

At the very end of last year I decided a few things:
  • I plan to start my accounting firm. Nothing big just me with prayerfully a couple of clients.
  • I want to add more consistent content with this blog.

So on to the books! In 2013 I reviewed a quite a few books. I think in 2013 I may have done too many book for 2014 I plan to be more selective with the books I review. I think I will limit myself to 1 per month or 1 every other month. Thus far there is only 1 book on my list of those to read and review Loveology by John Mark Comer (currently reading now). From what I've gathered thus far this book aims to really tell the story of love going back to the beginning.

This book does not release in stores until October be on the lookout.

Are there any books you plan to read this year?

Beginner's Bible Bedtime Collection

This is a collection of Bible Stories for Bedtime Stories. So instead of the Mother Goose rhymes or other books for bedtime stories, we...