education, Homeschooling, Motherhood, My Walk, Parenting, The Kiddos

Homeschooling: The Right Choice for Us

We know that at this season in our lives, homeschooling (HS) is the way to go. I don't pretend to know what the future holds, or what God will place on our hearts at a later date. Right now, however, this is our great calling.

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People who’ve known me my entire life were surprised when I announced that at the end of my daughter’s first grade school year we were removing her from public school (PS), and beginning a new journey. We’d decided after a lot of prayer, discussion, and consideration that we were going to travel on the Homeschool Highway (which, by the way is an excellent book).

Our Reason

Many won’t understand this, but even more people will. As a parent it is our responsibility to do what is best for our children. In our case, we felt that included removing our daughter from the questionable curriculum, associations, and experiences she was having in the public school system. As a first grader she had become far more worldly than any six year old should be.

She and I had many discussions about what she wanted from her education, and honestly, neither her father nor I felt she would receive that in the public school environment.

Where public school is not necessarily *EVIL* and works well for many people, our goal was to allow our daughter the freedom to become so much more than we are. We wanted her to have the freedom to become whoever and whatever she wanted to be.

Where We Are Now

Not much has changed since we made the decision to pull her from public school. We knew then as we know now that during this season in our lives, homeschooling (HS) is the way to go. She is thriving, as is her brother who has joined her in a life of continuous learning. We’ve been on this journey for three years now, and it continues to bring blessings to our family.

I don’t pretend to know what the future holds, or what God will place on our hearts at a later date. Right now, however, this is still our great calling.

Have you made the decision to homeschool your children? What was the deciding factor for your family?

Blessings,

Sare

 

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Faith, Homeschooling, My Walk, Parenting, The Kiddos

Not Every Day is Filled with Happiness

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My daughter is an amazing person. She has a wonderful heart, loves her brother, and loves to give to others. As a person she is more than I ever could have hoped for. Her beauty comes from within and radiates from her.

Even for happy, caring, and giving people, not every day is a good day. Not every day is filled with joy and happiness. Not every day is a day we want to repeat.

Recently, my daughter and I have been butting heads. Our issues aren’t over anything major, but I don’t want to set a precedent that allows her to believe having a bad attitude is a key to success. I try to keep in mind each time things get tense and emotions run high, that she is learning who she is. She is entitled to opinions, feelings, frustrations, and to make her own choices and decisions (within reason). As her mother though, I know it is my responsibility to guide her through these experiences. To help her make better choices, or to learn a different way to approach a situation.

I’m trying to help her understand there will be times in life where something needs to be done that isn’t fun, or exciting, and doesn’t bring us joy. Not all things in life are meant to entertain, but we can learn from every situation.

Though I’m her mother and I require she give me respect, as I require she give her father and other adults respect, I also want her to know that I respect her. I try to show her that respect isn’t something guaranteed, but is earned. I want her to respect others because they respect her. I also acknowledge to her that I make mistakes too. Just because I’m an adult doesn’t mean I shouldn’t be respectful to others, but sometimes I mess up. I know I’ve messed up with her before. When that happens I try to lead by example and show her when we make a mistake it is important to admit it, say you’re sorry, and ask for forgiveness.

So even though as I write this my daughter has been grounded to her room for a few hours, and has lost bike privileges for the day, I hope that when she gets over her anger and frustration she will be able to think of other ways to express her opinions with kindness and respect.

Do you have children or do you remember a time as a child where you made a mistake because you wanted to be heard? I’d love if you shared with me in the comments.

May the LORD bless you,

Sare

Faith, My Walk, Parenting, The Kiddos

Loss

On December 30, a dear friend of my niece’s went home to the LORD. She was a young woman with plans and dreams. She was a new mom with a little boy about the same age as my own son. Her loss was as unexpected to her family as it was to my niece. Although I didn’t know her personally I’d like to take a moment to pray for those affected by her loss.

Please, join me in praying for her family and loved ones.

Heavenly Father,

May her family and loved ones find peace in Your Greatness. May their hearts be filled with happy memories of her love and laughter. May her son grow up hearing wonderful stories of her love for him. LORD I ask that you comfort her family and friends while they grieve and help them to find solid ground once again.

Amen.

Sare

Church Wisdom, Faith, In the Beginning, My Walk

Walking in the Desert with Jesus

Reading about Jesus' time spent in the desert, and how without fail He stood up to Satan and his promises of glory and power, has made me even more grateful to be a daughter living in the New Testament Times.

Our LORD, Jesus spent 40 days and 40 nights fasting in the desert. Something some might think He didn’t need to do. For instance, if I were to walk a mile in His sandals, and I knew I only had a few years to get my work done, I’m not sure I would have taken the time to go out into the desert alone. I would most likely have been trying to find all the right people to make things happen. I’d be out there putting up “Help Wanted” fliers, and searching out my Disciples–possibly eating as many chocolate cookies and cakes dipped in chocolate, and served with a side of chocolate, as I possibly could.

This of course, is just one of an unimaginable number of reasons why Jesus is Jesus, and I’m just a daughter trying to live my life in a way that would be worthy of His grace.

He went out into that desert because he was “led by the Spirit” (Matthew 4:1). It didn’t matter that He was on a time crunch, or that He already knew what His future held. He followed the Spirit, straight into 40 days and nights of hunger, only to be met on the other side by the slick serpent, Satan (now you try saying that ten times fast).

Reading about Jesus’ time spent in the desert, and how without fail He stood up to Satan and his promises of glory and power, has made me even more grateful to be a daughter living in the New Testament Times.

I’ve been doing some thinking on this, especially after Pastor R asked if anyone had been led to the desert, and what happened from it. At the time, I didn’t really have an answer. Especially since, I have never gone a week without food, never mind five weeks (and yes, I’ve got a tendency to be a little too literal. Something God is helping me with). I’ve realized though, that I do have an answer. Several, actually.

Being new to this walk, I don’t always see the proverbial forest for the trees. I don’t always see what is right in front of me. Not until much later, when, while doing what must be my 4,000th weighted elevator squat, the answer smacks me between the eyes.

Before my little family moved back to the PNW, we lived in a tiny little town in the high desert of Southern California. This place was often referred to as Satan’s Arm Pit. Not to be confused with Satan’s Butthole, Death Valley. This town was desolate, dirty, and lonely. The buildings were run down and the locals were mostly consumed by their need for Meth or whatever other drug they could put into their already ravaged bodies.

The four years we spent in that particular desert, were what I credit as my saving grace. They were my time of fasting. We had been placed there for a reason. I hadn’t heard the actual command to go there. I hadn’t even realized we were being led there. We went because that is where the Marine Corps sent us.

It was while we were there I realized something was missing from my life. There was a huge gaping abyss inside me that nothing seemed to be filling. I was thirsty, but I didn’t know for what. The day we found out we were heading back to the place I’d run from nine years ago (hello, liquid sunshine and evergreen trees), was the day a light went on inside my heart. That thing I was missing. That thing that would fill the black void inside me. It wasn’t a thing. It was a greatness, a joy, a forgiveness. It was God.

Obviously, I hadn’t been listening. God had sent my husband and I into a real desert, because I’m incredibly good a denial and God must have realized a figurative desert wasn’t going to be enough. I’d been blocking all His little nudges, all His taps on my shoulder. He needed me in that desert so that the blinders would fall off. It was that desert that led me to this path.

So yes, I’ve been in a desert. I walked that desert and came out the other side. I’m stronger for it, just like Jesus was.

We’ve all got our personal deserts to go through, just remember while you’re walking along those scorching dunes of sand, you’re not alone. You’ve been led there, and God would never leave you alone to navigate alone.

Blessings and Love,

Sare

My Walk

Listening to the LORD

I’m new to this whole prayer, Bible reading, and listening to what the LORD is saying to me. Often times (okay, pretty much all the time) I feel like I’m never going to get it. I feel His presence in my heart, like the sun warming my skin after the cold, but I don’t ever really ‘get’ what he’s saying.

I’ve prayed about this daily, and it’ll probably remain in my prayers for years to come, because I really do want to understand the words being spoken to my heart. I need to understand where I’m supposed to go, the lessons I’m supposed to learn, and the life I’m supposed to live.

Mostly, I feel like I need an interpreter.

Does anyone know of a “Voice of God” interpreter I could make use of?

Recently, while reading my daily selection for the Bible in a year reading plan I’m on, my Bible had a study guide for “Hearing the Lord”.

Excellent.

I was overjoyed and ecstatic the LORD had visibly shown me a sign. For the first time, I think I ‘heard’ Him. I’m of course, making use of the verses listed within that study, which leads to more praying, and more listening, so I have hope that one day all those warm rays of light hitting my heart will make sense to me.

Until then, I guess I’ll just enjoy the peace my time with God brings me each day, and keep looking for an interpreter.

Blessings,

Sare

Parenting

Building Character One Tooth at a Time

My son is eight months old, and is cutting teeth. Of course, like with everything my son does, he can’t do it part way. He isn’t interested in cutting just one tooth, but four. He is working on having eight teeth inside his once gummy little mouth. Some times, this isn’t bad, but there are times when those tiny little teeth get the best of him (and me).

This morning, Boy Wonder woke up just shy of the 2 AM mark. A time not meant for anyone to be up. Even after a bottle, diaper change, and snuggles he couldn’t be comforted and would melt down in volcanic proportions. These things always seem to happen when my husband is away from home. He hasn’t ever experienced the all night wake ups with our children. That is an experience they’ve saved just for me.

So, there we were snuggled in my bed, him giggling and kicking his legs at the cat– who was inching her way to the pillows–and me humming (possibly whimpering) softly to him in the hope he would show signs of sleepiness, when it hit me.

I am truly blessed.

Before I started this journey, I wouldn’t have felt this way in the wee hours of the morning. I would have felt irritation, frustration, and sleepiness. Not blessed. It’s amazing how things have changed.

 

Yes, I would have loved to have slept through the entire night like we usually do, but in that moment the only thing important was the tiny little person God had entrusted to my care. This was reiterated this morning when after barely three hours of sleep, my little man once again became inconsolable. With a lack of sleep and a migraine, having already finished my volunteering in my daughter’s classroom, I came home to a little boy who couldn’t understand the pain he was in.

After much snuggling, the demise of my favorite necklace at the hands of an unhappy boy, and many meaningless sounds of comfort, my son once again found his happy. While we were curled together on the futon, the cries turned to giggles and a tiny smile formed. In these moments I knew, without a doubt, this is what life is about. Being with my child while he is miserable, to experience that one moment of joy when the pain lessens and he can once again smile. I wouldn’t trade it for all the sleep in the world.

I am blessed, because the LORD sees something in me that I don’t often see in myself. He sees comfort from the pain of teething, and a love that is unconditional.

Blessings,

Sare