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I hope that you had a Happy Thanksgiving!
The following is another guest post from my friend Jessica.
Once again, this brings up something meaningful for all of us to think about . . .
When I was in 8th grade Sunday school, my teacher Mr. H gave me something to think about. His lesson was about praying with your whole heart, with feeling and emotion!
As you sit in church this Sunday, listen to those around you and to yourself. I promise no matter the faith, you will hear people just reciting verbatim prayers and liturgy. In our church it’s the Lord’s Prayer, and confessions, and every responsive prayer …
There is NO feeling, there is no heart and no love… it’s sad!
Try this reading this as you normally would:
The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory, forever and ever.
Felt kinda like you where racing didn’t it? Now try it this way; read the bold with as much feeling as you can muster and take your time:
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory, forever and ever.
I can’t pray, sing praises, or follow responsive prayer this way without getting misty eyed! I would rather sound a little different and lag behind a little, and get more out of my church going experience then just going through the motions.
Think about your kids for a moment. They follow your example.
If you’re just going through the motions, how do you think they’re going to view church or their faith once they’re old enough to follow on their own? Now if you really, really ENJOY church and you’re getting something from your experience, your kids will see this and want this for themselves.
Dear God, please be with us as we follow on your path, help us to pray with love and meaning and to your glory always. Amen.
Last Christmas Eve, while most of us celebrated blissfully, my good friend Jessica said goodbye to her young children and entered the hospital to start chemo.
This is a message from her to all of us, and it is something for all of us to think about in relating to those around us . . .
Whatever happened to people’s etiquette? This has been bothering me for quite some time now.
I’m recovering from AML (Acute Myeloid Leukemia) . I’ve had five chemo treatments and have lost my hair twice. It was a long hard year, for me and my family. I’m in recovery now THANKS to God and my Stem Cell Transplant donor, who I believe was sent by God.
Proverbs 11:13 says: A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy person keeps a secret.
I implore you to be a trustworthy person to yourself and to others, if something you say could hurt someone please think about it before you say it out loud!
When you’re shopping with a loved one, and you decide to gossip about the people in the store, they can most likely hear you! Twice this has happened while I was shopping at a local store and once when I was with my sister. All three times I overheard people talking to someone else, asking if they thought I was a lesbian because of my short hair.
I’ve actually been approached twice and asked the same question, once by giggling high school girls and once by a 90 yr. old woman!
Most of the time my answer has been pretty standard: “No, I have cancer, but thanks!” And I walk away, leaving them dumbfounded.
My hair is something that I can’t control, but your thoughts are something you can!
I think that the internet has to some extent, hurt peoples’ built in etiquette filters. The internet is SO anonymous, that people can say whatever they want without repercussions. Then when they go out in public with Real Live People, they don’t know how to filter their thoughts anymore, and all this junk and filth comes out of their mouths.
Dear Lord, Please help us to filter our thoughts and our written words, so that we may speak and post thoughts in a way that pleases you Lord, and shines a light so that others know that we are of you, and not of this world!
Why does the pain of others,
So penetrate my heart?
I wouldn’t mind so much,
If there was a place that I could start.
I want to help,
I want to do.
I want to make
A big difference too.
But my hands are tied,
I do not know,
What they truly need,
God won’t you show.
Give me the knowledge,
Help me to see,
What it is,
That begins with me.
Why do I pretend,
That I know what to do?
Humbly I concede,
I must give it to you.
I can’t speak in haste,
I don’t know it all,
I admit this to you,
I can’t keep walking tall.
For next to you,
I am small.
It’s your job to do,
I can’t do it all.
I am in awe of God. I love how He works, and who He is. He is perfect parent, and the facilitator of all that is in His plan.
Just a little over a week ago my husband was offered a part-time job. Praise God! But in the year + that he was without regular work God taught us some enormous lessons that we will be forever grateful for.
He has given the opportunity to receive an attitude and perspective adjustment. I needed that. I really needed that. I hate that I needed that, but I did.
When going through a tough time, it is so hard to focus on the blessings. Sometimes there is just too much struggle in the way, and it blinds us to the abundance of good in our lives.
Why do we do this? Why do we allow the evil one to get to us and distract us in this way? In times of vulnerability it seems that we are an easy target, but that is when God means to bless us the most.
In fact, the day before my hubby was offered his job, I had a serious heart to heart with God. I told Him that I had realized that I had been focusing on the negative things going on, and that I was sorry. I cried out to Him, and praised Him for every since blessing that He was giving us. The list was long, and grew longer and longer.
The next day a miracle happened and my hubby was offered a job during an interview. (This just does NOT happen right now!) Two days later we were offered something that we really needed from the abundance of a ministry at our church . . . just out of the blue! And a few days after that I received an anonymous card in the mail containing a verse that I have been meditating on (Jeremiah 29:11*) and a gift card to buy a few other much needed items! Praise God!
God is not a lucky rabbit’s foot or a safety net. He is perfect parent to those who come to Him in earnest. Like many of us, He just wants to be understood, respected, and most of all . . . loved.
Thank you Lord for loving us, even when we struggle with your plan, and we focus on the wrong things. We love you. Thank you for your blessings. Please continue to watch over us, and provide for us, as we learn your ways. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen
(*Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (NIV))
I have to laugh! Ha ha ha
Sorry, like I said, I had to laugh!
Admittedly, there are some closest to me that are probably tired of hearing me joke about the whole “socialization issue”.
You see, I’m the stinker that will catch my children heavy in social conversation with their *gasp!* friends, and say out loud sarcastically in public places, “Wow, you’re such an unsocialized homeschooler!” Imagine my amused surprise when a fourth grade teacher at the city park thought I was serious, and anxiously reassured me that the boys were “just fine”! My younger son had just spoken to him, and is doing fourth grade work. I had a hearty chuckle over that one, and reassured him that I was only joking about the whole homeschooler/socialization issue. I don’t think he got the joke. Oh, well . . .
The thing is, it still amazes me that it is such an issue for so many people. It is almost literally every non-homeschooler’s first question and concern! As if, as a homeschooling mom I just decided that my kids didn’t need to be social, and I locked each of them in a closet with their school books all day. Uh . . . no! But unfortunately, I believe, homeschooling is largely misunderstood in many ways and by many people.
Now about the look on my older son’s face in the picture above. He loves to observe, and he’s just concentrating. Glad I could clear that up, but I digress.
The picture above was from a mock dinosaur dig, and my boys had a blast! Just imagine, a whole lawn of homeschool kids split into small groups and playing paleontologist. What joy, what fun, and they were all . . . working together!
Every homeschooling mom is bombarded with the question of “socialization”, but in our support group there really isn’t much concern about it, because we know our kids are just fine in that respect. The ironic thing is that as most of us are such social creatures, as homeschooling moms, we are constantly “exposing our children to social situations”.
As a family, we personally take art classes, go to a gym day with our friends, we take enrichment classes within our support group and our community in general, we go to church, and we are hosting a small group bible study(among many other things). We do all of this as a family, and we have many friends. Just as my husband and I are very social people, our children are very social people.
There are those that are concerned about homeschoolers functioning in “the real world”. We are learning and growing in the “real world” every day!
Last night I had some “social time” . . . mommy style. I love the support group that I belong to. I love the ladies. I love their friendship. I love their faith. I love watching our kids play together. I love the fact that together we are always striving to give our kids the best in education, life, and love . . . and that we are on this journey together.
Lord, you know that we would love to live in a world where we are better understood by those around us. If it is in your plan, please give us this blessing. But even if that never happens, thank you for the blessing of you. You love us and understand us and bless us as homeschoolers and moms. You are working in us for your plan and vision for us, and the families around us. Thank you for blessing us on this journey together. Amen
I didn’t used to be so concerned about getting a deal. I was one of those blissfully naïve people that paid full price for everything and thought nothing of it. But I’ve learned a thing or two the last few years. I had to. It was sink or swim time. When the finances take a nose dive, you have no choice. But, I have to say, in the end it made me a smarter woman.
Being a homeschooling mom has also forced me to be even more conscience of my purchases. See the picture above. That is one awesome easel. It’s a classroom quality easel, and I never could have paid full price for it normally. The local educational resource store had this easel on clearance. It was missing the little tray that holds the paint, and was marked down from about $80 to $20. Sounds good to me!
Recently I needed a new winter coat. The old one didn’t fit right anymore. A local store had a sale on their coats ($16.99), but they weren’t that great, quality wise. Head down the road to the thrift store. I walked into the thrift store and found a really nice down winter coat for $16.99 that was much better made than the coat at the last place. But wait . . . it was 50% off that day. It was only about $9 after tax.
Today my younger son and I went out to a restaurant to celebrate our birthdays together. We had a delicious meal, and chocolate sundaes at the end of the meal. Because our birthdays are less than two weeks apart, we both used our free birthday meal certificates. My only cost was the tip.
I am learning to be a good steward of what God has given us, and I refuse to go back!
How are you able to save money in ways that blesses your family?