What Type of School is Best

When my daughter was entering kindergarten, my husband was convinced we should homeschool her.  I was not as convinced but after much prayer we made the decision to homeschool without intention of sending her to public school.  I proceeded to homeschool my daughter for two years.  Honestly, we loved it.  Then it happened, that life changing moment when God calls you to completely change your life to pursue his call.  God called us to pack up and move.  He said my husband is to go to nursing school and thus I had to go to work full time and my kids needed to go to school.  Now my kids are going to a very good public school.  Guess what?  They love it.  They are enjoying all of their friends and are growing in their confidence.

Now I have been in a unique position to experience both sides of the debate of homeschool vs. public school vs. charter schools.  I have heard people say public school is awful and I have heard people say homeschooling is awful.  I have heard so much judgement.  Parents let me say this,  every family needs to make their decisions based on their kids unique situation.  Both types of schooling has merit and both weaknesses.  I miss the one on one with my kids but my kids are enjoying getting to make lots of friends.  Their confidence is growing.  I miss getting to have direct control of what they are learning, yet I believe my son who is a bit ADHD seems to respond better to his teacher than to me.

My point being if you are considering school choice, let me encourage you to pray about what will work best for you and your kids.  Pray God directs you.  I believe you can raise your kids to be well educated, healthy, And loving humans no matter what school choice you make.  Neither school option is bad.  Know that with homeschooling, you need a lot of dedication but it is fun, doable, and you get to spend memorable days with your kids.  With public school, your kids get to learn that they are able to function, make friends, and build confidence.

Moms and Dads don’t stress!  Seek the Lord and make the decision that is best for your kids.  If you mess up, no worries, God covers our mistakes and you can always change your mind,

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PRAYER IS THE MOST YOU CAN DO

Today, I found myself feeling overwhelmed and small, as I read of the devastation that has gone on around our world.  Between all of the hurricanes, the fires, the earthquakes, the flooding, and of course the constant threat of nuclear war, I found myself feeling helpless and tiny.   I felt like, I want to help all of these people some way, some how.  I donated money to Convoy of Hope but my little bit doesn’t seem like much in comparison to the vast need around the entire world.  Don’t get me wrong Convoy of Hope is amazing but I want to do more.  (If you are interested in donating to the relief efforts visit Convoyofhope.org).

In my feelings of inadequacy and helplessness I cried out to the Lord.  I poured out my heart and told The God of The Universe how much I want to ease the suffering but I don’t feel useful.  I have limited money and resources.  Then God spoke to me in my distress and gave me direction and comfort.

The Bible says this, “God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble.  Therefore, we will not fear though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.  Psalm 46:1-3

God is our help in times of trouble.  I don’t have to fix it.  I will contribute whatever I can of course, but God is God.  He is the best help.  The Bible says, “Be still and know that I am God.”

In this time of devastation across the world, this time of scary news stories, of people suffering, may I encourage you to pray!  Hit your knees and cry out to God.  God hears our prayers.  If you are somehow being affected by these issues in our world, please know that Jesus loves you! I personally love you and am praying for you and so are millions around the world.

Unity

After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands.
‭‭Revelation‬ ‭7:9‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Someday, when we get to heaven there will be people of every tongue, every race, every nation worshipping the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords. God created us, He knit us together in our mothers’ womb. He is infinitely creative, making us unique and beautiful in our own ways.

Yet here we are, divided. Every time I turn on the news there is another story of hate. This is breaking my heart. I believe God wants reconciliation. He doesn’t want us to hate each other for any reason. I believe the Lord wants to see healing happen in our country and our world.

I believe this needs to start with the church. We need to repent, we need to forgive and we need to love people. I believe there is a healing that needs to happen in people’s hearts and minds. I sincerely believe as we seek the Lord on this issue, He will be found. He will bring healing. It doesn’t matter the race, religion, or sin issues (we all have sin issues folks, the Bible says all men have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Me included)! Remember, Jesus had meals with tax gatherers and sinners.

Let us be a light to this world and show people love and kindness.

Lord, please help me show Your love to the people in my path today.

Jumping When God Says Too

It has been a long time since I have written on my blog! My family and I have experienced a sudden, unexpected change in direction in life about a year and a half ago. It has kept us very busy adjusting ever since.

Several years ago, my husband started to feel like the Lord was speaking to him about being a nurse. When you have two kids, working full time and one income, that is really hard to do. We kept trying to figure it out but it was put on the back burner for years.

In November 2015, I felt like the Lord started putting on my heart that we needed to move so my husband can go to nursing school. I told the Lord, He was crazy but God was persistent. Right before Christmas I told my husband what God was putting on my heart, fully expecting him to tell me I was nuts. He got in the shower, and came out ten minutes later and laid out the rough draft of a plan. I would need to get a full time job. We would need to sell our house, find a home to rent in Phoenix, this would likely take months. Grandma could watch the kiddos to help out (thus the need to move, we needed family). Within one week I found a job in social work paying me the 40k I needed. Serious miracle right there as I don’t have a Masters. We found a home and moved within a week and a half. Our house sold one month later.

God said to jump so we jumped. The last year and a half has been a crazy, wild ride. My husband has his CNA now and is on the waiting list to begin the RN program. I am working full time in foster care, which is an area that has always been my passion. My kids are going to a great school, enjoying making friends.

I found out later from my husband that he knew instantly that what God laid on my heart was from God because the day before a homeless man walked into his mattress store he was working at. My husband gave the man food and water. The man then told my husband he was not homeless at all. The man was a pastor of a homeless church and walked into the store because God had given him a prophetic word. The man then went on to tell my husband God wanted him to move on and pursue the call God has for him.

When I look back on this I am still amazed at the way God stopped us in our tracks and moved so quickly to get us where He wanted to be.

Thankful For the Opportunity to Get Annoyed….

Yep you read the title right…. I haven’t written in the last two months because I accepted a part time position doing adoption work.  For the last two months, my five hour a week position has been more like thirty hours.  I have had the opportunity to work closely with a birth mom.  My job was to help her through the adoption process, as she chose to pursue an adoption plan and to help her hopefully get back on her feet.  I obviously can’t say much about her case but what I can say is this.  She has more than one child and she doesn’t get to see them.  I would like to believe that I have had a lasting impact on her life (of that I can’t be sure).  What I do know for certain is that she has unknowingly had a lasting impact on mine.

I have been a Stay at Home Mom now for the last six years.  I will confess to the whole world that I have not always been thankful for it.  I get bored first of all.  Second of all, I am a self-declared not so good house keeper.  I think I had this picture of being a Stay at Home Mom in my brain that looked something like June Cleaver in Leave It To Beaver.  My house would be perfectly clean, my hair would be in just the right place, a lovely gourmet dinner would be on the table every night and the house would be perfectly decorated.  At the end of every day there would be some perfectly lovely lesson learned with my perfect little children going off to bed.  The reality of staying at home looks something like me being in my favorite shorts and t-shirt, my hair being frazzled, I’m doing awesome to get my make up on, my house is some how always messy, even seconds after I clean it.  I think the Tazmanian Devil is hiding in my house some where and comes out to mess things up as soon as I go to the bathroom.  As far as dinner goes, I have become a pretty decent cook, but June’s food always looks much better than mine.

The third thing I always had messed up in my brain was this idea that my little darling children would always behave perfectly….now that one is pretty funny.  Obviously, I was not seeing this in the Biblical truth that we are all born with a sinful nature.  For my confession, sometimes my children really, really annoy me.  I try not to show it, but sometimes it just comes pouring out all over their cuteness.

With that being said, the other day I was spending time with this lady on my case load.  She is down on her luck for sure.  Honestly, I don’t remember what brought it up.  Something (probably stupid and insignificant because I can’t even remember what it was) had happened and I was feeling annoyed with my children when I saw her.  I briefly mentioned that my little angels were driving me crazy and her reaction was something I will not soon forget.  She said, “I wish I could be around my children long enough for them to annoy me.”  She said, “Do you know I actually miss hearing them fight?”

I have not been able to get that statement out of my head.  I have not seen my children’s fights and other things they do in the same way since I heard that statement.  What must it be like to not be able to have the opportunity to become irritated with your children, because you simply don’t see them?

I used to think that I wasn’t all that blessed because we don’t have much money.  I am realizing that God’s blessings come in all different shapes and sizes.  Sure having money would be nice, but is that really what is important.  I believe that one of the biggest blessings God has given me in my life is the opportunity to get annoyed.  That’s right, I get to spend so much time with my beautiful children that they sometimes drive me nuts!  The question I have been asking myself lately is would I trade my special opportunity to be annoyed for all the money in the world.  The answer to that is clear to me.  No I would not!  I get the amazing blessing of really knowing these two sweet little people who God blessed me with.  I get to hear them laugh and cry.  I get to see them at their best and yes at their worst.  I get to see them be silly and just be kids.  I get to hear them fight with each other and love each other.

I wouldn’t give up the opportunity to get annoyed with my sweet kids for all the money in the world because every single moment I have with them are blessings.  It’s just that sometimes the blessing is a little bit hard to recognize.

Mother’s Day Encouragement

Today is Mother’s Day.  I have been thinking a lot about it.  I called my mom and chatted with her.  I wished I could see her, but alas I have a sick kid in my house.  I adore my mom.  Our relationship is not perfect but who has the perfect relationship anyway?  She worked hard and sacrificed a lot for me. She has always loved me with her whole heart.  She like every other mom, was not perfect but she was the perfect mom for me.

I also thought of my mother in law.  She is an amazing person and extremely supportive.  She wasn’t perfect either.  She loved my husband with her whole heart and still does.  I know she was the perfect mom for my husband.  Did she make mistakes?  Definitely, but God knew what he was doing when He gave my husband his mom.

I also thought of me.  I worry all the time that I am messing up my kids.  I struggle with mom guilt and self doubt.  I wonder if my mom felt that way.  Did she wonder all the time if she was messing me up?  I suspect she did.  I bet my mother in law thought that too.  The reality is if I didn’t love my kids so very much, I doubt I would worry about messing them up.  I doubt I would obsess about each decision I make for them or feel horrible every time I lose my temper.

I was praying about all of these jumbled up thoughts this morning and as I prayed I realized something.  I may not be the perfect mom.  I will inevitably mess up.  That being said God chose me to be my children’s mother.  I may not be a perfect mom, but I am the right mom for my kids.  I am so thankful that God is there to cover my mistakes. 

Remember moms, you aren’t perfect but God chose you to be your kids mom.  There isn’t any one better qualified.

Happy Easter

Today, as we celebrate Easter I can’t help to think about what it really means.  My family enjoys coloring eggs and hunting them.  We enjoy Easter baskets and candy.  We get dressed up in our Sunday best, but is that what Easter is about?

The answer to that question is definitely not.  We aren’t celebrating all of those fun traditions, we are celebrating the fact that Jesus died on the cross and rose again.  He willingly gave his life, so that we can be saved.

Today, my daughter got a little Easter egg that she was going to give to her cousin if she was “good.”  I’m glad that came up, because we talked about what a true gift is, it is not dependent on how we perform, but is freely given, just because we love someone.

Jesus did not die for us dependent on our performance, he died for us because he loved us and because he knew that no matter how hard we try we can never, ever perform up to God’s standard of perfection.  We are all fallen and fallible.  We are all sinners and we are all in need of forgiveness.  Fortunately for us, God died so we don’t have to be judged on our performance, we can simply be judged on whether or not we accepted the gift that Jesus gave us freely.  Did we surrender our lives to Jesus?  Did we acknowledge that we are sinners and acknowledge our need for the Savior?  That’s it folks.  The gospel is not complicated.  We are simply saved by grace and putting our faith in Jesus Christ.  We are saved because Jesus came to Earth, lived a perfect life and willingly sacrificed his life, so that we may live.

The question is, have you accepted Jesus?  Are you aware that if you were the only one that ever accepted Jesus, He would have still died because He loves you that much?  This Easter, take time and consider what Easter is really about.  It is about a gift that is so much sweeter than the chocolate bunny, it is about our Savior sacrificing His life so that you and I can spend eternity in heaven. May you all have a blessed and happy Easter.

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this:  While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  Romans 5:8 NIV