How I'm Homeschooling {like a boss} Part 2

How I'm Homeschooling {like a boss} Part 2

I hope part 1 of this series was an encouragement to you! We are all making a new way as we walk through our homeschool adventure, and it's challenging for each of us in different ways, at different times. My heart is that you always know you aren't alone! AND, I hope I can share some practical tips about how our days are running and which curricula we are using (and what we tried and dropped) this school year. 

I have used a system like this for about 5 years now and despite seeming a little time-consuming to plan, it leaves me feeling relatively confident that our days have some rhythm and rhyme to them. I tend to schedule down to the minute because I'm a type A, control freak... but, I also give us tons of space and grace. I expect that this fancy schedule will actually pan out like 2% of the time. The rest is hit or miss, and that's ok.

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5 Ways to Grow in Respect for Your Husband {and maybe heal your marriage}

5 Ways to Grow in Respect for Your Husband {and maybe heal your marriage}

Confession: I have not always respected my husband, treated him in a respectful way, or even thought he was someone who I ought to respect.

I'm going to assume that my husband and I are not the only ones who have ever struggled in their marriage, had deep valleys to drudge through, or huge learning curves to overcome when it comes to pursuing Biblical marriage? I'm going to assume we aren't the only one who've hit rock bottom, maybe signed some divorce papers (and then burned them in the fire)? If you have walked through some seriously rocky times in your marriage, I hope that some of the lessons we've learned together can be an encouragement to you.

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How I'm Homeschooling {Like a Boss} Part 1

How I'm Homeschooling {Like a Boss} Part 1

Ok, so that may be a reach, but I'm definitely homeschooling these day with WAY more confidence than I ever have before. We are entering our 6th year of homeschool this January, and I can say with conviction that homeschooling is the BEST, HARDEST thing I've ever done.

Over 6 years of homeschooling, I've lost my mind on my children countless times. I've screamed. A Lot. I've miscalculated, over-expected, under-planned, over-planned, overwhelmed, underestimated, overspent...

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The Secret to Beating Fear {once and for all}

The Secret to Beating Fear {once and for all}

I know fear. I know earth-shattering, mind-spinning, gut-busting fear that comes in the blink of an eye, that overruns you with anxiety for everyone you know. I know what it means to have every single "worst nightmare" scenario race through your mind every time your husband leaves the house or your child is out of your sight. I know what it feels like to have life going along with everyone being "ok" and then the next moment, they are gone.  I know it well. 

Unfortunately, sudden death is a persistent friend of mine. I've met him time and again, and despite giving him the full breadth of my thoughts about him in no uncertain terms, he keeps showing up. Sorrow and suffering, it turns out, don't take direction from us. When they show up unannounced, all that seems permanent and concrete and never-failing can begin to shiver and quake and flip the world right on it's axis. 

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How to Find Relief from Overwhelming Grief

How to Find Relief from Overwhelming Grief

Paul said it best when he said, "For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain." (Phill 1:21)

And Paul knew. He had faced hurricanes, shipwrecks, stonings, beatings, torture unimaginable, prolonged imprisonment... He knew what it was to have much and to have nothing. He knew what it was to be imprisoned, abused, starved, lonely, grieving, and ON TOP OF ALL THAT- a stinking thorn be stuck that he could NOT get relief from- "a messenger of Satan, to torment me" (2 Cor 12:7). You know he had to had times when he was like... Dear Lord- HAVE MERCY.

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How to Fully Rest in the Promises of God When a Loved One Dies

How to Fully Rest in the Promises of God When a Loved One Dies

Sudden loss- grief of any kind- can be so overwhelming. It often leaves us running for comfort to the One who holds us all. And in His Presence, He calls us back to these truths that He laid before the earth was formed.

Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber. 2 But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out... John 10:1-3

Outside our gate is the Good Shepherd, but also... the thief. The good shepherd is constant, faithful- infinitely reassuring. He waits, with his quiet presence, for the gate to be opened. He gently and consistently calls our name, shows us His Way and waits for our response. He doesn't become frustrated, impatient, or angry. He doesn't grow louder to drown out the noise. He just persistently calls out for us, lovingly and mercifully waiting for our response. He desires our readiness and willingness. He doesn't enter by force, he doesn't kick down the gate, he doesn't go in another way. His Holiness desires and persistently seeks our earnest participation and response.

He knows love can't be stolen or held hostage or locked away. He knows love only dwells in freedom and with freedom there's always choice. 

But sometimes- sometimes- the thief is loud- maddeningly, deafeningly, soul-stealing LOUD...

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3 Questions to Ask When You Want to Quit Homeschooling {Part 1}

3 Questions to Ask When You Want to Quit Homeschooling {Part 1}

Anyone who has ever homeschooled for more than a day knows it, and anyone who has only a few semesters under her belt can testify: quitting can be a nagging desire in certain seasons. We can feel doubtful, overwhelmed, incompetent, and stretched to a breaking point. We can worry that we are ruining our children's futures or damaging our relationships. 

This 5 part series is for those who are having more difficult days than they'd like and are considering throwing in the towel. Why 5 parts? Because it's that big of a deal. 

How do I know? I've been there. I've quit.

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The ONE Big Secret to Homeschooling with Excellence

The ONE Big Secret to  Homeschooling with Excellence

Not everyone is called to homeschool their children, but those who are know it's challenging on every level. And it's a challenge so often strewn with criticism and an incredible amount of self-doubt. Homeschool moms are notoriously some of the most insecure people in the world. We seem confident because we're willing to be so counter-cultural, but when it comes down to it, we're frequently overrun with doubts and fear, and so we compare and second-guess at every turn.

Jesus faced many of the multitudinous challenges we also face on a day-to-day basis (and obviously a few more). The disciples did not "get it" every time he told a story. He frequently had to stop and explain what he meant to them (the parable of The Good Shepherd in John 10 is good example of this). And even when they understood at the time, he would still have to go back over and over again explaining the same concepts, telling new stories, giving new examples. He consistently had to refresh and remind them of truth he had previously taught them.

Even when he went to the cross, they still did not have a good grasp of what he was teaching them. Only once the crucifixion and resurrection took place, and they had the resurrected Christ actively in their lives, did they truly gain access to the knowledge and understanding that he had been working tirelessly to pour into them. 

So here's the big secret, and it's a big claim (so bear with me)...

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How to Drop Mommy Guilt {once and for all}

How to Drop Mommy Guilt {once and for all}

I should be able to accomplish more...Other moms do.

My house is always a mess...If I were more organized and more creative it would look better.

I want to do some fun crafts with the kids, but I don't ever have enough time. Maybe one day I'll get it together.

Look at all she's able to do with 5 kids AND homeschooling... I guess I'm just not made to do this.

I need a nap because the baby kept me up all night, but I should be able to keep going. I'm just being lazy.

She works AND has kids AND she still is able to workout every day. What am I doing wrong? I'll never look like that.

Her kids are always so healthy because they eat, like, perfectly. I'm probably screwing my kids up for life. 

Any of this resonate for you? It does for me. This and a whole lot more. I bet you could add a few more of your own? Attacks and criticisms specifically designed to keep you worn down, discouraged and distracted: Designed just for YOU to have you walk through life weighed down by GUILT and self-critical LIES.

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What Happens When You Invite God to Landscape Your Life

What Happens When You Invite God to Landscape Your Life

Have you ever thought you were the one helping with the "landscaping" of another's life ? As a mom, a wife, a friend? Or maybe as a mentor to a member of your church? You felt like there was a little piece of life that you kinda-sorta had figured out, and so you decide that you might be able to be the one who's doing the helping instead of being helped? Then suddenly, you realize YOU are being dug down into- landscaped in this entirely new, raw, painful way- and there's a gaping wound pouring out junk you didn't even know was there?  

So you say, Yes Lord, and He begins a great big new work in YOU...

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