Thursday, June 30, 2011

Can I just get an essay test please!!!

Anyone that has tried to live for the Lord for more than a day knows that satan will attack you every chance he gets. Although the Lord allows us to face these tests He is faithful to be there with us till the end. Each test, trying as they may be, is really there to strengthen our faith. Now I have always been a pretty good test taker. Throughout school essay tests were always my favorite. I know, I am kinda weird that way. In high school everyone else groaned when Mrs. Cooper (Sr. English) would announce that the entire final would be done in essay form. I rejoiced! In college, when I found out that every single Philosophy test would be 1 to 3 questions-all essays-I knew I had a A for the semester. Unfortunately, in our Christian walk, we are not normally given the kind of test that we always do well with. Oh no, that would be way too easy and our Christian growth would come so slowly with each effortless battle won. Instead the Lord teaches us the same way that we homeschool our own children.
If you fail the test you retake it until you finally get it right!
This is not some government run system. There is no moving on to the next level until you are really ready. There is no option for skipping ahead. Not only is skipping ahead not allowed, your test will get harder and harder until the lesson is learned through and through.
Let me tell ya, I am really wishing there was an essay test available now! You see, the tests that I am a big failure at are the financial tests and I do believe they may just be the hardest ones out there!
It all started about six years ago. We bought a house with a mortgage payment based on 2 incomes. Within months of buying our house the Lord got ahold  of my heart and opened my eyes to the fact that I was not living for Him or raising my children for Him. No Problem!  We started being faithful to church. A+ Each week, it seemed, brought to light more worldly things we needed to get out of our daily life and we did that (for the most part-I am definitely not claiming to have removed every sinful thing from our home then or now but there were some serious changes fast!) A-  A few more months passed and the Lord showed me where He would have me to be as a mother and a wife-at home! Monty and I immediately began to make plans for that to happen. God saw our plans but implemented His own timing which sped our plans up significantly. We didn't fight it. A It was great to be following the Lord's leadership and each step seemed to be lit with a bright flashing arrow from the Lord leading to the outcome that He desired. Just a few more months and Monty got saved. Now he was also faithfully in church with the kids and I. A++ Another unmistakable flashing arrow appeared showing us that the Lord's plan for children was to be learning from us at home. You got it, Lord! A+ Within about 18 months we went from a 2 income family trying to live the American dream with a new mortgage, a little too much credit card debt, and a car payment to a homeschooling family living on about 1/2 the income we started with and the Lord was faithful through it all. The car and the credit cards were somehow paid off even without the extra income. You would think passing several tests of faith so easily would have built my faith up enough to make it through anything but then the Lord said it is time for you to tithe faithfully and support My church. Ok, we can do that-until something unexpected comes up. B- Whoops! That one wasn't so easy. So we try again C and again D and again F and each test gets harder and harder. I really do understand the importance of honoring God with our finances. I am sure I could write an awesome essay about just that but an essay is just not gonna cut it this time. My heart reminds me that my God is faithful but my head keeps reminding me of that mortgage(based on 2 incomes) that is passed due regardless of the fact that the truck HAD to have 2 new tires because the others had wires sticking out AND 2 new shocks to replace the broken ones that we discovered while changing the tires, AND a new battery because the old one had to be jump started every single time-all in one month. Not to mention the electric bill that should arrive any day now reflecting the charges incurred by 10 days of 100+ degree weather already this summer and it's not even July yet! Oh, yeah-there is still the rest of next years curriculum to buy.
Now I am not telling you these things as an invitation to my own personal pity party but because I need your help!
 NO! I am not asking for money!
I need something with much more value than money. Oh, me of little faith! I need your prayers and I need them badly!!!! You see, I know how this works now. I see how much harder each test gets when you continue to fail and I am really ready to move on. I HAVE to pass this time and there is no easy A coming my way. !

Friday, June 17, 2011

And I'm the crazy one?!?!

LORD, how are they increased that trouble me! many are they that rise up against me. Psalms 3:1
I know it is to be expected. I realize that the Bible warns us about it. People will hate us for His name's sake. The choices we make will often convict others about their own lives without us ever saying a word. They immediately get defensive and go on the attack when all we were doing was raising our children the way God has led us to raise them. It happens almost immediately when you start making changes in your life to honor the Lord. It is sanctification- setting us apart from the world and unto God. It is the growing pains of our Christian life. It is wonderful yet painful. Especially painful when the people you love are the ones against you which, in my experience, is most common. Most difficult for me is trying to remember that their eyes are often still closed to the truth. No amount of arguing and defensiveness will change that. I have made that mistake and have the ruined relationships to prove it. The hardest thing for me is to hold my tongue when other's logic makes NO sense!
Here are several of the things I heard when we started to homeschool and the things I thought(or said-probably too often):
"Well I could never homeschool." Ok, well I didn't ask you to.
"You just want to keep your kids home so you don't have to be held responsible" uuuhhhh...what? I believe now 100% of the responsibility is on me. I wont have the chance to blame the teacher but you still do.
"I think Christian kids need to be in public school to be a light to the others" so let me send your kids to school for years then college to prepare them before sending then into the world to have a career and support themselves but a Christian child should be held responsible for the salvation of others by the time they are 5 (which is very often before they themselves are even saved)?
"How do you even know they are learning anything" Well, let's see. I am with them 24 hours a day. I see what they do in school and then how they are applying that in everyday life. How do you know? Oh, right! They brought you home a paper that said so.
"Well you can't just keep them hidden away from everybody" Of course we can' least not until we finish the moat! ;)
Well now that we have been homeschooling for 4 years the people that know me must be convinced that they will NOT sway me on that one so they have to move on to another issue. The hot topic as of late has been purity, modesty and courtship. I can understand some of the questions about homeschooling but why anyone would not want purity to at least be the goal for their children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins or any other child is just beyond me! Now understand, my children are only 13, 9, and 8. Really it is only the 9 and 8 year old that I receive these comments about. For some reason my son's choices seem to be ok with people but the raising of my not even teen age girls is who people seem to have a problem with. You see, there is still several years before even my opposition would be comfortable with my girls dating so the topic is not one that comes up naturally. Some of these people could make big bucks writing for late night talk shows with the inventive ways they come up with to segway into this issue just to cause conflict and start a debate. Here are some of my favorite arguments:
"That isn't fair, did you and Monty wait?" Maybe it is just me but I thought all parents wanted to prevent their children from making the same mistakes they did.
"I would NEVER ask my daughter to wear a dress all the way to her knees!" Now your on the right track-I don't ASK my daughters either. I am the mother so I TELL them what is expected!
"That (courtship) is never gonna work. You know Keslee has a mind of her own and will do what she wants to!" First of all, ALL of my kids have a mind of their own and that is kinda the point. They are being taught to think for themselves instead of just doing what everyone else does!
"You don't want them to date?! You can't just never let them meet people!" Since when did "dating" mean "meeting people"? We live in a town, we go to stores, libraries, parks, restaurants and every single time there are people there. There are people at church. There are houses all around us and people live in all of them. They already meet people all the time and haven't dated yet so....
"I understand God has the perfect spouse picked out but what if that person never comes?" That either means you don't think God is powerful enough OR your ok with my kids settling for less just in case. Either way....WRONG!
"Expecting your kids not to kiss other people before they get married is just plain stupid!" Even if you think it is an impossible goal, why would anyone not support it as something to strive for? What good ever comes from making out with lots of people before marriage?? Can you give me one benefit.....didn't think so!
And I think my all time favorite would be "Every time I talk to you, you just sound crazier and crazier!" to which I say Thank you! That tells me that I am most definitely on the right track!
Now everything I have written are quotes from various people in my life. All of which claim to be Christians and all of which claim to love me and my children. If either of those are really true I wonder why it would be perfectly acceptable to them for my children to grow up to be promiscuous, scantly clad, relationship hopping adults. Some of the same people that told me "you only fail if you fail to try" when I was growing up are now telling me "Your goal is to hard and it is stupid to try!" with my own kids. People that ask their own kids "if everybody else jumped off a bridge, would you jump off also?" argue to me that I must be doing things wrong because I don't want to do it like everyone else. And then of course there is "I know what the Bible says but..." STOP RIGHT THERE! If you are convinced you know more than He does and could have better explained what He meant to say than the way He already said it then this is obviously something you need to take up with God before you bring it to me!
Now let me get this straight...the ones that refused to let me listen to Michael Jackson but now have no idea what is on their own child's ipod; that ridiculed me as a teenager for wearing a knee length denim skirt because it was not proper to wear to church but now allow their own teens to run around in itsy bitsy teeny bikinis; the ones that say "when your child is out of your sight they are in danger" but send their own children to spend 8 hours a day to be supervised, taught and indoctrinated by a person they met for 10 minutes at meet the teacher night; the ones that told me I could be anything I wanted to be and do anything I set my mind to; the ones that have had innumerable physical relationships that didn't work out; The ones that say we should live for God but now tell me am going overboard for my stance on Biblical principles.....These are the ones that think I am the crazy one!!??!!
Yeah! OK! Gotcha!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


What a weekend! We were busy, busy, busy! Just a quick rundown of what all we had to do.

Friday-make a modest swimsuit for Gabby before camp. spend the day doing laundry. get the girls clothes ready to pack for church camp on Monday. Family fun night at church from 6-midnight. Our theme verse for the year is "As Newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word that ye may grow thereby." My preacher is helping us all to focus on growing in every aspect of the word; grow in grace, grow in knowledge, grow in numbers, and grow as a (church) family. One way we grow together as a family is to spend time together, laugh together, get to know each other, work together and play together. Every other month we have a family fun night at church where we get to do all of those things. We have food, devotions, games and movies. The movie we had this month was "As with Roses The true untold story of Obadiah Holmes". Unfortunately I was trapped in a Monopoly tournament (that I did NOT win but I DID beat D.J. in one round so my goal was accomplished!!)and missed the movie so I will definitely have to borrow it from the church library.

Saturday-got up early to sell candy bars for the last camp fundraiser. Kenyon had a birthday party for a fellow scout right after the fund raiser. Monty took the kids out to sell a few more candy bars that we have left, continue laundry, finalize my children's church lesson and pack the girls suitcase.

Sunday-teach children's church, come home, cook lunch and take a nap, go back to church, birthday supper fellowship after service. Only I did not get to enjoy the fellowship.

Right at the end of the service our cell phone went off 3 times(it was on vibrate in Monty's pocket). Since someone was calling non-stop, Monty checked and it was Greg. Greg is Mamie's husband and Mamie is my good friend with a baby due in a few weeks. I slipped out and called him back (Mamie had not been feeling well so they stayed home from church). I called him back and he told me that Mamie's water had just broke. We made plans for them to come by the church and drop their other 3 kids off and pick me up. Monty agreed to take her kids home and Jacinta went to babysit. It took about 25 minutes for them to get to the church and then we had about 30 minute drive to the hospital. Mamie's contractions were coming about every 3 minutes so I was able to help "coach" her through them as Greg drove (80 mph down the turnpike!) When we got there they checked her and she was already dilated to a 7 so they moved her directly to her own room and started the IV. As soon as that was finished the nurse checked her again and she was fully dilated. They did all they could to get her not to push since the doctor was not there but the baby was not waiting. She was crowning without any pushes.

One push later Shaelynne Grace was born-less than 2 hours after labor started, less than 30 minutes after we got to the hospital with no doctor present. It was the first time I have personally witnessed a birth and it was AMAZING! I stayed with them until around 12:30am and drove their vehicle home to throw the rest of the girl's stuff in their suitcase.

Monday morning I finished the paper route and then woke the girls up about 7:30am so I could fix their hair. I like to put Keslee's hair in lots of braids so she wont have to worry about it at camp. With hair as thick and as curly as hers you either know how to fix it or you don't so it is best if I just make sure nobody has to worry about it. We then loaded the car, went and picked up Mamie's 3 kids and headed to the hospital. They all got to meet their new baby sister. We passed the baby around for a little while then loaded back up and headed to the church. Keslee, Kalysa and Gabby (Mamie's daughter) and the rest of the group headed out for Church camp. When Kenyon and I got home around 3pm, it was definitely nap time!!!
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