Dear Scared, Worried (Overwhelmed) New Homeschool Mom

Dear Scared, Worried (Overwhelmed) New Homeschool Mom

I received a text from a sweet friend last night, one who is in the thick of her first year or two of homeschooling. As she'd spent many sleepless nights cradling and nursing her newborn infant recently, thoughts and concerns flooded her mind over the progress of her 6-year old daughter's reading. 

Anyone who has been in the thick of homeschooling for one year or 10 remembers those days well. Not one of us is impervious to fears, second-guessing, unmet expectations, and the torture of comparison. What follows is a version of my response to her concerns, that she and I agreed, should be shared with you as well.

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Mama, Your Body Matters

Mama, Your Body Matters

Babies. Time. Gravity. Busyness. Injuries. Disease. There are so many ways and events that can fester a special kind of dissatisfaction with our bodies. As mamas, we know the power and strength that is inside of us- that created, nourished, and cultivated life, then pushed it out into the world. We know the purpose behind these bodies, but more often than not, as the battle scars of life begin to tatter our flesh, we can question our very worth and purpose.

We battle our stretch marks. We battle the extra pounds. We battle the cellulite, the sagging jaw line, and the embedded lines that show we’ve expressed joy daily. The world tells us that these signs of life are undesirable and less than beautiful. The message to these generations is that as we grow in wisdom, virtue, experience, and strength, we are now less than we once were because we wear the battle scars of a life filled with living.

Despite what the magazines on the rack say, the Book I look to says differently. The Book I look to says that my body is sacred, chosen, strengthened, and redeemed. The only Word that matters says that I house the Spirit of the living God inside these dimpled thighs and amongst all those wayward hairs.

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5 Things to Know When Your Husband is an Unbeliever

5 Things to Know When Your Husband is an Unbeliever

We all have unbelief- sometimes in ourselves, in our spouse, in a child... All to varying degrees. We aren't born believers, unfortunately. God must pursue our hearts until we willingly submit to him and lay our lives at the foot of the cross. 

When the root of unbelief is in our own hearts, we need only cry out to God in earnest desire to fully believe. As the father of the sick child in Mark 9:24 cries out to Jesus, "Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief!" so too can we cry out, and he will surely answer. 

The more challenging aspect can be when we live with a loved one who is shrouded in unbelief. We don't have control over that situation at all. We desperately WANT to. We see with clear, unveiled eyes every single lie that our husband or child believes, the Biblical wisdom they lack that could bring them so much freedom, and the burden that their own unbelief places on them. 

My personal experience is with an unbelieving husband, so that's where I'm speaking to specifically. My childhood sweetheart and I married 16 years ago as unbelievers.

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5 Unique, Christ-Focused Christmas Gifts for Your Teen (+ COUPON!)

5 Unique, Christ-Focused Christmas Gifts for Your Teen (+ COUPON!)

I don’t know about you, but as my children grow older, they’re harder and harder to shop for. While my two oldest (14 and 12) will always just say, “Give me money!”, I’m not a huge fan of that. We try hard to keep our hearts focused on Christ through the advent season. I like to make sure the gifts my kids receive Christmas morning are exceptionally good.

Good does not have to mean expensive. What “good” means is that the gifts are good FOR them AND good in a way that demonstrates I know their hearts, their interests, and their needs. It’s my intention that the gifts that we give them (as their parents) demonstrate in a tangible way the GOOD gifts from God, and the good gift of Christ. God knows what they want AND what they need, and he fulfills those needs fully, through Christ. I hope that our Christmas gifts to them will reflect the heart of our Heavenly Father.

That’s a lofty goal, right? Keep in mind, as I share these 5 items to consider this Christmas, that both my older children are girls. I’m shooting for gender neutral as much as possible!

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A Simple Biblical Solution to Distracted Living

A Simple Biblical Solution to Distracted Living

I want to add to this title that I also deeply believe that this simple solution is an incredible remedy for anxiety and worry. Once I say what it is, you may shoot me an eye roll and want to click away. I promise I'm not crazy.

So what's the solution? Knitting.

I said you may roll your eyes or leave. But give me 45 seconds and hear me out. The first thing to keep in mind is that knitting is not the "only" solution. Rather, I would posit that all "handicrafts" are a potential solution that IS Biblical. And I have proof!

Before I get into the scripture, let's run through a common Mom/Child scenario that I believe results in a massive amount of our everyday stress, conflict, and impatience. 

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"Women of the Word" Review + Cheat Sheet

"Women of the Word" Review + Cheat Sheet

Have you ever read Women of the Word by Jen Wilkin? New believer or mature Christians alike have the opportunity to understand God's written word in new and profound ways. In this book, Jen discusses several Bible study "errors" or traps, and I fit squarely into each one. 

Adopting her Bible study methods have deepened my faith and broadened my understanding in significant ways. While the book is a short read, it's not necessarily a quick read as it's incredibly rich in content.

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You've Been S'Mored! FREE Act of Kindness Kit + Preschool Printables (CUTE!!!)

You've Been S'Mored! FREE Act of Kindness Kit + Preschool Printables (CUTE!!!)

Who doesn’t love smores? Even with gluten, dairy, and corn allergies in our home, we’ve managed to still enjoy them. They’re a fall staple in our home, and we enjoy them immensely. A few years ago, I was thinking about s’mores and had a brainstorm for a random act of kindness. What if we chose several friends whom we love and packed s’more baskets up just for their families?

We decided to do just that! They were extremely popular. We got found out pretty quickly (despite our excellent ninja-skills), but we continued to do them each year. This year will be our 4th year and we are so excited to get them packed up and ding-dong-ditch them next week!

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Give Your Family a November to Remember! {FREE Calendar + Ebooklet}

Give Your Family a November to Remember! {FREE Calendar + Ebooklet}

I am so so so excited that you have found Thanks-GIVING For Your Whole Family! The fall months and the holiday season have always been near and dear to my heart. I love the sights, sounds, smells, and feelings- cool crisp air, pumpkin pie scented candles, marshmallow-loaded hot cocoa, a crackling fire, and all of my loved ones close at hand.

Obviously, this means I also love Thanksgiving. I get to spend time with family, and there’s always a good football game. In celebration of Thanksgiving and anticipation of Christmas, it’s generally my goal that November would be filled with acts of service that demonstrate our gratitude and worship.

A couple of years ago, I developed a schedule of thanksgiving celebration in which our family focuses much more on genuinely giving than just saying how thankful we are (which, there’s definitely nothing wrong with that!). I am convinced that it creates the perfect space in our hearts to enter into worship in December.

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You ARE a Good Mom

You ARE a Good Mom

You're a good mom. And I should know- I'm a good mom too, so I'm qualified to judge. 

Here's how I know that we are both good moms: 

I've also felt shame, self-hatred, condemnation, overwhelming guilt, and humiliation over every single one of those things. If you can fail in some way as a parent- I've done it. 

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If I Hear "Mama" One More Time

If I Hear "Mama" One More Time

In the last 20 minutes, I've literally heard the beckoning of "Mama" 38 times. Literally. To keep my sanity, I started counting. As I lay my youngest down to sleep, I pondered the huge milestones we'd met this week of potty training and weaning all intermingled with the frustration and just plain exhaustion of, "Mama, Mama, Mama."

In my heart, I cried out to the Lord to strengthen, encourage, and bless me for the rest of this day and all that it still held... And for the many, many "Mamas" that had yet to be said... 

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