Monday, January 12, 2015

Precept Upon Precept

I just returned from a weekend training with Precept Ministries, and I am now trained to teach a Precept Bible study.  More than that I now understand more about inductive Bible study and am excited to learn more about the Bible and my Lord through this program.  If you're not familiar with Precept Ministries or inductive Bible study, clink through their name above and go check it out.

We're just about settled in our new home and getting our homeschool kicked back off for the new year, as well.  Whew!  DH and I have about decided that we are ready for retirement from the military and looking forward to the next two to three years as we prepare and look to God's plans for us.

Something God has been pointing out to me is that though DS is doing mostly 9th grade work and we are teaching him to be an independent learner, I still need to be available to him.  I had gotten so busy with my own life, ministry, serving, etc., that the relationship was growing distant.  God reminded me that was one of the main reasons He had called me to homeschool DS in the first place.  Homeschooling isn't just about education and academics it is about relationship and fostering a life-long love of family.  Remember that if you homeschool, don't allow the busyness of life or ministry to keep you from relating daily with your children and drawing their hearts closer to God and you.
Praise God for His mercies that are new every morning!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Changes and prayers

The news is so full of lately of scary events and other things happening around the world.  

Praise God we find our peace and comfort knowing the One Who holds us in His hands.

Praise God for His loving care, knowing His plan for us is sound and He never changes.

However, with the threats from terrorists against military families, DH and I made the decision to remove any personal information from the blog including our family pictures.  I will be working to remove any personal photos of us.  We appreciate your understanding of our need to be prudent in protecting ourselves.

Continue to pray for our military, for Christians being persecuted around the world and for our country to rise up and bless God again.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Yes, so here I am again saying I will post more and hope to do better.  Last year was a busy year working through 8th grade with our precious son while serving on my local PWOC Board as Administrative Coordinator.
I wish I had written more along and along because God graciously grew me and showed me so many  things last year.  It was quite a year of spiritual growth for me.  And a year of healing.  Much healing.
This year kicks off with us starting 9th grade!  I have a high schooler in the house.  I honestly never thought I would homeschool this long much less be homeschooling in high school.  Our son has grown and matured tremendously this past year and it is thrilling to have him at an age where we can have these deep conversations.  And what a blessing it is to have him home to have those conversations.  
I also want to take some time to share an article with you from Michael Farris, from Home School Legal Defense Association.  For a brief time, we used the ATI, Advanced Training Institute, homeschooling materials.  However, we never felt comfortable within that community.  I also bought many toys from Vision Forum and invested in Jonathan Parker CDs for our son.  That I do not regret though I had concerns about some of the teachings that were held by Doug Phillips of Vision Forum.
After two years of using the ATI materials, mostly as supplements to our existing curriculum, we could not reconcile some of the teachings within that community.  Legalistic and man-made teachings.  Not of God's law but of man.  And many created a very real problem for our son who has quite a gift of discernment.  He saw through the rules and wondered often how they lined up with Scripture.  
Again, no real regrets for having used some of the ATI materials but regrets for trying make man-made teachings fit into our family instead of following the God who made our family and our son.  I am also not going to jump onto any bashing bandwagon for that does no real good.  We reap what we sow and I cannot cast a stone.  But I share this article as a reminder for all of us to be diligent to follow God, not man.  Ask for and practice wisdom and discernment with your life and especially your children's lives.  And pray for these men.  
And, hopefully, more to come as I learn and grow.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Re-Birthday Parties

What's a re-birthday party?  I have no idea if anyone else has come up with that term, I'm sure they have.  For us, it means our son rededicated his life to Christ recently.  So we're planning a re-birthday party for him.  We want him to grasp the importance of this one act in his life, not just for the here and now but for eternity.  Not that he did not know Christ before but the time he accepted Christ into his heart happened when he was young enough to not have a memory of it.  So this time we're planning a nice party for him.

We are inviting our good friends from here, ones that have walked this journey with him and us and we're excited to see a group of young people that seek to encourage one another in their daily lives and in their Christian walks.  I'm humbled to see those that have rallied around Wyatt and are as excited as we are in this moment in his journey on this earth.

I have been reminded of St. Augustine's mother during this time.  He surely led a raucous life as a young man and I know she cried many tears for him.  But more than that, she prayed for him.  I'm also reminded of Ruth Bell Graham and the story of Franklin Graham.  I read his book, Rebel With a Cause a few years ago and pull it out every so often.  I imagine she cried many tears over him, too.  But I also know she prayed for him.  And I'm sure she prayed hard, too.  Though the walk back to God for our son was shorter than most, we've known for years we had a child with a iron-clad will and a bent towards rebellion.  Though my prayer is that God removes that rebellion from him, I have grown to realize that it is those very traits that will be part of what he will become and what calling God has on his life.

It seems the world is becoming a darker place.  Evil and wrong seem to take hold more easily.  But we can't rely on simply what we see.  As I have been pondering Psalm 37, I am reminded that to God these times are short and He does see evil and wrong-doers and will see His revenge.  But it is for those very reasons I'm glad our son has a stiff spine, so to speak.  I believe he will need it.  One of his primary spiritual gifts is Prophecy and I believe he will be used to bring the Word of God to those who need to hear it. 

Praise God His Word does not leave His mouth and return void, but it returns accomplishing what He intends.  Praise God no one is beyond the grip of His irresistible grace!  And praise God our son responded to that call on his heart to return to the Lord with his whole heart.
So we will dance and sing at his "Re-Birthday Party!"

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

PWOC Training

This past weekend I was able to travel to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, to attend Leadership Training for PWOC, the Protestant Women of the Chapel.  PWOC, as I have mentioned before, is a military religious organization for women associated with the military.  While mostly made up of wives of military troops, active duty and retirees are involved as well.
The training was superb and I came away with loads of wonderful information.  Wonderful speakers, topics and fellowship made for a perfect weekend.  I traveled with two other ladies, a new friend and a fellow Chaplain's wife and dear friend from our time on active duty.  We had so much fun and had many good laughs mostly over one little town we drove through in Missouri on our way to Kansas.  No one would believe us so I will post pictures.

We found it especially amusing that there was a bank in this town and the bank's name was equally amusing.  With the sequestration and many budget cuts across the military, PWOC has been taken from an international organization with an international board down to being run at the local level for each installation.  With that budget cuts for each local PWOC have also come.  So like most in the military, we find a way to laugh in the midst of change.
We choose to laugh because it is all too easy to cry.  One thing I learned this weekend is that people perceive change as loss.  Military folk are usually flexible and adapt easily but too many changes bring about stress.  So many of us "milies" choose to laugh.  We even took a picture in front of the bank with my friend who will be serving PWOC as the Financial Liaison this coming year.  

Some of my take aways from this weekend are as follows.
  • Ministry happens in the messy complexities of communities.  There is nothing clean about ministry.  True, living ministry involves getting in the trenches with imperfect human beings and that is messy. (2 Timothy 2:2)
  •  We need our Barnabas and Timothy.  
  • Your ministry is an offering  to the Lord.  It is not something to be held onto.
  • Your legacy is built by daily choices.
  • Division gives the devil a foothold.  Don't give that to him.  Petty differences can be the biggest events to give him that foothold.
There was so much  more to the weekend that wasn't even in the actual training sessions themselves either.  As in the military community, I was reminded that ministry isn't to just those I want to minister to or those I, in my sinful heart deem worthy.  The military and the world is multicultural, multiracial and multi-generational. 

Far be it from me to decide who is worthy of my offering of ministry.  

Friday, June 21, 2013

Summer updates and changes

I have several old drafts sitting here in Blogger that I never posted.  Seems I'm becoming more forgetful some days.  :-)
Let me update our lives a tad bit so I can clear my poor brain and see if something else comes to mind.
First.  We have a teenager in the house!  Yes, our son turned 13 in February.  We had a fun time with fellow teen guys coming over for pizza, snacks, and cake plus a movie.  We've done this a few times with this core group of super young men.  It has been wonderful to connect with godly military families with like values and with sons that are godly friends.  It has been exciting to have them over, watch mounds of food disappear seemingly right before our eyes and listen to them as they hash out funny jokes or serious conversations about concerns.

Our son also joined Civil Air Patrol here and received his first promotion and stripe earlier this week.  We don't know if the Lord is calling him to the military or what but it has been a great experience for him.  For now he says he thinks he would like to become an Army Chaplain like Dad but he has also found a love for Apologetics.  

DH graduated with his Doctorate of Ministry in May.  I'm so proud of his determination and perseverance.  He's been in school since the day we met in 1995.  Literally.  Two Masters degrees, some further masters level work and then his DMin.  He is thoroughly enjoying teaching Ethics here  and his ministry is vibrant.  He still loves counseling and has many opportunities each week.

The most exciting news is that DH's book, The Cat Chronicles, is being published.  Again.  It was published two years ago by a self-publisher that we were not happy with and found out later there were many problems within the company.  Thankfully the Lord graciously allowed that contract to be ended.  The Cat Chronicles has been picked up by a "real" publisher, and a Christian company at that, and has recently entered the production phase.  We are looking forward to the re-release of The Cat Chronicles within this next year.  Once it is released, I will post links to it in the sidebar.  We ask that you would join us in praying for its release.  We have committed the book to the Lord and will use all proceeds towards ministries and setting up our foundation for the ministry the Lord is calling us to after DH's retirement from the military.  I will share more on that later.

I am still taking care of our four kitties and homeschooling.  There have been some changes for me in that the Lord is calling me out of one season of my life into another.  I am now serving on the Board for our local PWOC group as the Administrative Coordinator.  Though something I wasn't looking to do, God made it clear He meant this for this time in my life.  Yes, it is stretching me greatly but I am enjoying serving the military ladies through this ministry.  We are also involved in some other outside ministries that are growing us as Christ's servants and enjoying what God is doing here.

We continue to homeschool our son and feel the Lord may lead us to continue through high school.  He will be in eighth grade this coming year.  We've made some changes to our curriculum since his interests are moving and changing, too.  We'll begin using Cornerstone Curriculum's Starting Points.  It is a Worldview curriculum and Wyatt is quite excited about it.  That will be our main curriculum and will supplement with what Wisdom Booklets we have left from our time in ATI and other things we have collected over the years.

Before I close this post and actually post it instead of leaving it in "Drafts," I have to say that it has been an interesting journey for us these past two- two and half years.  There have been some tough storms and disappointments but God's grace has overflowed and it has been humbling to see His hand in our lives.  
It would have been easy to let the enemy have a foothold and plant a root of bitterness in each of us but through God's grace that hasn't happened.  Though Wyatt struggles with some of the things that have happened in the past, we continue to point him to God's Word and pray for him.  We learned that Wyatt truly has the gift of Prophecy so righteous justice is important to him.  He's having to learn grace and mercy always go hand-in-hand, though.

Hopefully I can try to blog a little more frequently.  I have thought about giving up this blog but receive encouragements not to and encouragement to get back to writing more frequently.  I will try to do that and share how God is working in our lives.  Until then, enjoy your Summer!

Friday, January 11, 2013

New seasons

Kickoff for the new semester for PWOC was this past Tuesday and I'm quite excited about the new study I'll be taking.  We'll be going through Counsel From The Cross.  I can't wait!  I've been reading through the book since a friend passed it along to me this Summer.  I believe this will be an amazing journey this semester.  As a lay person I can see the benefits but as a Chaplain's wife I see the need for this "back to the basics" of healing through the Cross of Christ.

We've kicked school back off this week, as well.  We took time off around the holidays and then we were fighting the yucky stuff going around our area.  But we're on the mend and back to work.  We've decided to add Khan Academy back into our daily routine for Math.  Our son just struggles with Math and though Teaching Textbooks has been so helpful to his style of learning I think the Khan Academy will further cement his learning and help build his confidence.  He is working hard to have victory with his ADD daily and I'm so proud of his efforts.  He does still struggle with getting lost in thought but he is learning that he can have some control over this.  I would have never chosen this battle for him but through it I am seeing him draw closer to the Lord.  He has never gotten angry or upset with God, either, which is pretty mature for a 12 year old boy, I think. 

DH and I are also going to meet with a local Christian private school to begin consideration for our son for school next year.  I'm a huge homeschool advocate and honestly believe it's the way to go.  However, the Lord has taught me not to be so dogmatic with that and, especially being military, being open to what else He might be doing in our lives and in our son's life.  We're not sure if this is the direction to pursue, but we're having the meeting to begin praying about it.  They used to offer a day for your child to come shadow a student and if they still offer that, we may take a day and let our son have that experience especially if we feel led to pursue this option for school next year.

He has been taking an online History class through The Potter's School this year, too.  It has been a wonderful experience for him and his teacher is fabulous!  We might consider adding some more TPS classes to our homeschool next year but we're still in the praying and seeking stage in it all.  He does want to take German, which continuing to homeschool and signing him up for German through TPS would work well.  He is also interested in some computer programming classes, which he could also get through TPS, too.  We know those opportunities would be less available for him if he went to private school so we will definitely have to be seeking the Lord's guidance on it all.

We would covet your prayers as we seek to find what next year will hold for our son and us, as well.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Coming home

Yes, I'm home.  I seriously thought about giving my blog up for many reasons.  I haven't been here to see the new changes on Blogger till today.  Wow!
But at the request and encouragement of a dear friend I am back "home" on my blog and deciding to blog again.  Perhaps with a renewed vision.  Perhaps nothing will change.  I'm not sure yet.  For now, I will start with an update on what is happening in our lives and our new duty station.

We simply love being where we are stationed.  I have always loved the mountains so this is a wonderfully perfect place for us.  Yes, we've had to adapt to not being right at everything we could possible want but there is a simplicity in that.  Usual shopping arenas like Target aren't close and require planning a trip to go.  I do more online shopping now.  Yet, we have enjoyed making the most of the two small towns outside post, getting to know small local dealers and shop owners personally.  We've learned the joys of small towns.
We also spend a lot of time as a family now doing things we haven't normally done in the past.  We're outside more.  Lots of hiking and trails and rivers nearby.  In fact, there is a cave complex and hiking trails right on post along with swimming holes along the river that passes through post.  We also enjoy car rides with a drink and snack or an ice cream as we meander through the countryside exploring this gorgeous scenery.

Other perks of our new duty station is that we are in a wonderful neighborhood on post in a great house!  We have dear friends and fellow Chaplain family down the street and a large homeschool population here.  It's simply refreshing to be able to tell our son to just go ride his bike or take a walk and not have to worry for his safety.  We are part of a new co-op of military families and have enjoyed building relationships with dear sisters who walk this crazy milie walk like we do.  Our son has begun 7th grade here and we are seeing improvements with his ADD...Most days.  There are still struggles and I still daily have to give him to the Lord, trusting the Lord's plan for him.

I've been reconnected to the military organization called PWOC, Protestant Women of the Chapel.  I've missed being a part of PWOC and have enjoyed getting reconnected within this body of believers.  I love this year's theme of Generation to Generation.  It strikes close to my heart especially as I long to encourage women in their walk and seek to encourage younger women, too.  This alone has been worth the move away from home and SC to here.  :-)

DH is thoroughly enjoying his job as Ethics Instructor here.  It is a unique position for him and gives him time for counseling, which is his love and gift.  He has also been blessed within this position to have the time to work on his dissertation.  As always, the soldiers he meets love him and the civilians he works with have welcomed him into their midst and enjoy his GI Joe collection and his little coffee shop he sets up out of his office.

We have also left our city roots behind and learned all about nature and wildlife we've only read about before.  Our neighborhood is surrounded by woods and we have a great deal of wildlife that comes up out of the woods.  The one thing we have had to get used to is the skunks that love to wander around.  One morning, DH was late to work because a skunk had positioned itself near enough to his truck, he couldn't get close to it!  It was quite humorous.  We had twin deer this summer that wandered up into the yards each evening and we enjoyed watching them grow, lose their spots and then develop their antlers.  We had a groundhog family living in a drainage pipe in our backyard, too.  What interesting creatures to watch and read about.  We've also learned that moles have nothing on armadillos when it comes to destroying a yard.  And they seem to really prefer our yard to anyone else's yard on our street!
There are many varieties of birds and I can sit at our office computer or in our schoolroom and watch the many birds that visit our feeders.  We're still learning all the different birds we have.

We've also had some sad and happy times.  Moving with four cats was most interesting but they all did quite well.  Well, other than Dixie tearing through the mesh on her nice, new carrier.  Dusty even did well in spite of his age and infirmities.  But we did lose Dusty this Summer.  He had begun losing weight and his kidney disease had progressed.  He needed fluids that we gave to him underneath his skin between his shoulders.  As always, he was a trooper and handled everything we had to do to him with grace.  However, he lost down to about 7 lbs and we had to put him to sleep in July.  He was 16 1/2 years old.  What a privilege to care for such a special cat for so long.  Yet it was hard and there was a huge hole in our house and in our hearts after his death.
We just recently adopted an adult kitty from the post clinic who had been left behind.  We named him Asher, which means "happy" which fits him to a "T."  He has fit in nicely with our other kitties and has the cutest little bob tail!  What a blessing he's been to have around.

Through these past few months we've seen and felt God's gracious hand on us as we transitioned from SC and transitioned back into military life from school.  We've met many wonderful new friends, reconnected with friends from early in our military life.  We've felt God's leading and have such a peace in this new place.
I hope to take the time to maneuver through this new Blogger and update my blog in other ways, especially my books and curriculum, etc.
Thank you for visiting and I look forward to seeing what the Lord will do with this renewed attempt at continuing to blog and share our homeschool life and what the Lord is teaching me.
And Happy New Year!

Asher, the newest addition

Monday, April 16, 2012

On the move again ~ literally

I think I'll just skip the usual line of how I can't believe how much time has passed since I last posted and how I will try to do better.  It's obvious I'm a "hit or miss" blogger and I will admit it now.  I guess the first step is admitting it, isn't it?   :-)

We're on the move again.  My sweet husband is almost at the end of his school year so we're getting ready to move on to our next assignment.  The Army had him in school for Ethics so he was enrolled in a Master's in Sacred Theology and he will graduate in early May.  Yay!  Then we're off to the middle of nowhere. 
So for this city girl, I'll have to get some hiking boots and take up hiking.  In a way, it will be exciting for us as a family.  This has been some kind of busy year and going somewhere that is quieter will give us a chance to really reconnect as a family and focus on what is important. DH was not only working on his STM but he is also enrolled in his Doctor of Ministry degree on his own, so he was working on two higher degrees at once.  Whew! In God's grace, he is now "ABD" or all but dissertation now in his DMin and graduating with his STM next month.  Though our dreams of taking field trips galore together as a family fell by the wayside, it was nice to have him home with us every day.  Our son also was able to see what diligent study habits look like and how perseverance and diligence pay off.

Our son was enrolled in a homeschool academy one day a week this year which was new, as well.  What a wonderful experience for him!  He had wonderful teacher-moms and he learned so much.  So much of what he learned wasn't in the books per se but life lessons which took on great meaning for him.  

The year was also filled with struggles for him as we learned that our dreamer also struggles with ADD.  If you have a child with ADD I highly recommend looking into the book, Healing ADD with Dr. Amen.   This book gave us tremendous insight into him, why he does, and doesn't do, some of those things he does...And doesn't do.  We see now why it is so hard for him to stay focused and why it is so easy for him to get lost in the stories he makes up in his mind.  We tried the medication route without much success.  So we've moved to adding some supplements like Krill Oil, an exercise regimen, and adding behavior modifications to his routine.  And the routine is, well, not routine as much as it is a strict schedule.  All these together helped him but there are long days and hard days.  We haven't ruled out medication, for I believe there can be a balance.  Perhaps once we get settled in MO there will be some time to continue looking into that.

I think the Lord has especially been working in DH and me through these struggles.  We have to accept our son where is he and help him to get to where he needs to be.  It's been a year of helping him accept himself and accept God's design for him.  I can say quite confidently that though the ADD and dreamer in him makes for school struggles, God has a perfect plan for his life and those characteristics are a part of who is he and part of his calling.  I also believe they are a part of drawing our son closer to the Lord and teaching him complete reliance on Him for what he needs.  That's been a tough thing for me.  To give my child so completely over to the Lord for the first time.  I've always thought I had done it before, yet I had not at all.  I could not "fix" this in my son.  I was helpless to help him some days.  I, too, had to completely rely on the Lord.  And in that, I was showing him how to rely on Him.  Oh, it wasn't pretty most days.  Some days were quite messy and others were a wash with regards to "official" school work.  But God's grace overflowed.

I am excited about our newest endeavor and will honestly try to do better about writing about what the Lord is teaching me, and all of us, through this journey in the Army and life.  

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Lesson from nature

Bloom where you are planted.

~ Copyright ~