Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Roll with it

Rolling with the punches.  Working to establish a new normal.  It all happens around week 6 of the school year.  I have a near total breakdown about our family's calling to home school, how efficient and/or effective I am as a mother, and all sorts of other conundrums my brain comes up with.  The mind is a powerful tool.  For me, sometimes it's hard to decipher what is emotion driven and what is legit.  I've learned to pray it through and not make any decisions when I'm tired (which is usually a top factor of unsatisfaction).
I earmarked a blog a year ago, but only recently spent time reading through its contents.  Erica, over at Confessions of a Homeschooler, has developed a superb blog.  Her schedule is realistic (not getting up at 4:30am to fit in a workout!), her schoolroom is my dream, she creates curriculum for PreK and geography, and wrote an excellent post on why her family home school's.  While Erica has great ideas and shares some of her best practices, she keeps it real.  Her writing has given me some keen insight into simple changes that I can implement without having a school room.  It's also imperative to remember (frequently) why we home school because there will be a day (days) that it seems like a losing battle.
I have always been a morning person.  Until 2013.  I don't know what has drastically changed this year.  Maybe years of mothering has curbed the get-up-and-conquer-the-world-by-7am.  However, I feel convicted about it.  Our mornings are different when I have rested well and wake up before voices begin chanting "Milk! Milk!"  The other game-changer is no TV in the morning.  Even nice cartoons or the Today Show - any TV in the morning smothers our energy and excitement for getting things done.  This can be a hard line to toe because I like 30 minutes of "alone" time while I get the first cup of coffee down.  And, to be honest, most TV (of any kind) is not created around honoring the Lord thus creating all kinds of internal struggle (attitude, how we interact with others, entitlement, etc.).
We are changing our school lay out too.  During Kindergarten we realized that it was best to do school during Caleb's nap time.  It just works for us.  But, this can be a challenge also because sometimes we all need rest/quiet time.  Or, we get sidetracked by something and it takes us longer to finish our school work.  And, if Caleb wakes up while we have more to gets complicated fast.  I have realized that some school work does not require much one-on-one time.  We are implementing those during our morning routine.  We read our devotion, Bible, and missionary story during breakfast.  Afterwards we work on Scripture memory and sometimes read through our Social Studies.  After a short play time we do morning chores.  Abi empties the silverware and Eli empties the rest of the dishwasher.  They pick up blankets and toys, and do a quick pick up of their rooms.  I start/change laundry, clean up the kitchen.  Since we're not relying on TV, we're working in group activities (coloring, games, outdoor play).  After lunch, Caleb goes down for a nap.  Depending on Abi's emotional stability (can I get an Amen?) she will nap, have quiet play time in her room, or join us for some PreK worksheets.  Eli and I then spend time on reading, writing, science, and math.  He gets to choose the order we do them in.  He likes having "control" over this.  If his work and effort has been exceptional over a few days he is rewarded with either a special snack or iPad time.  (Plus a good public report to his Dad!)  This all frees our afternoons up for play time!  I'm using evenings more productive too.  Taking a few minutes to plan the next day's activities.  And, to read.  I love reading and there are so many benefits to reading for pleasure.  Currently I'm reading In A Pit With A Lion On A Snowy Day.  Not light reading, but I like to read with purpose.

Don't get me wrong.  We do not have it all figured out.  Yesterday was a rough day.  Tears.  Loud voices.  Exasperation.  But, praise Jesus! I know that the morning brings new mercies!  The pilgrimage is not an easy journey, but we know our destination.  It was no accident our Bible reading yesterday was Psalms 84.  This Psalms has very significant meaning in my life.  Today our devotion was on God's faithfulness to keep his promises.  The scripture we read has been a pillar of faith in my adult life.  Around the table, Eli (6), Abi (4), Caleb (2), and I prayed for the Akebu people who do not have the Bible in their language, the Marsh Arabs who live on house boats, and for the missionaries who serve them.  He is Jehovah Roi - The God Who Sees into the four walls of the Osmon home.

This is really a reminder to me of how home schooling is a journey - some days are easier than others.  Adjustments have to be made.  Results are left up to the Master Teacher.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Beth Moore - LIVE This Saturday!

This Saturday is Beth Moore's annual Living Proof Live Simulcast!  She will be speaking live and "in the flesh" in West Virginia and thanks to technology, the event will be streamed live to host churches across the world!  Yes, the world!  If you've done any of her studies, or read any of her books, or watched a youtube video of need no convincing of what a gifted teacher Beth is.  She is hilarious, captivating, and speaks Truth to women like no other woman I've known.  Her ability to discuss the color pink, Starbucks, hair coloring, and shopping and wrap it in life-changing Truth from the Living Word is a God-blessed gift.  Don't forget her love for Mexican food!

Anywho, this Saturday is the live simulcast.  For those of you in the NWA/NEOK area, my church is a host church.  It is Second Baptist Church in Siloam Springs (1950 Hwy 412 E, across from Dickey's BBQ).  Our doors will open at 8:00am, worship with the amazing Travis Cottrell begins at 8:30am, and Beth's first session (of three!) begins at 9:00am.  The cost is $10 (a steal of a deal) and includes both a workbook and lunch.  

This year, Beth is celebrating 15 years of Living Proof Live events!  We will have for purchase the LPL anniversary t-shirts.  The cost is $15.  These shirts are a high quality and a woman's cut (which I appreciate immensely).  

Hear directly from Beth, inviting you to the Simulcast.  If you'd like to find a host church in your area, click here.

Monday, September 9, 2013

The Living Word

I'm a believer.  Yes, a born-again believer.  But, I am also a believer in the Living Word.  This is my most-favorite description of the Bible.  Because, the Holy Spirit infuses the ink on the page and it permeates my heart.  Permeates: sinks in, takes over, changes, leaves nothing as it was.  My life took a dramatic turn almost 4 years ago when I decided to get in the Word; not just a Sunday/Wednesday night/Bible Study thing, but .in. the Word.  Memorizing.  Meditating.  Inhaling.  Exhaling.  I have found that in my darkest moments of solitude, despair, and perplexity that the Living Word indeed spoke fresh life into me.

And, He did it again this morning.

Ministry is hard.  My parents (and my brother and I) went on the mission field when I was 7, I began teaching Sunday School at 9, I went to a Christian college, I have been a lifelong member of a local church body, and have been a part of beginning new churches.  Yet, ministry is still hard.  There is growth and maturity, but it is still hard.  I am, after all, a redeemed sinner still living in the flesh.

Anywho, we have a major women's event this Saturday.  I love it.  It stresses me out.  It is always an Ebeneezer encounter with Jesus.  I wouldn't miss it.  But, it is hard.  It is hard because every time I go to church I mentally take note of who has/hasn't signed up to come, has/hasn't signed up to help, has/hasn't XYZ.  It's amazing how when there is a ministry event, people will down right .avoid. talking with you, or even making eye contact, for fear of being asked if they're coming!  The cat's out of the bag, people!  We know you do it!!!  The planning process involves a lot of mental discipline to focus on Jesus, what He has done for me, and purposing to serve for His glory alone.  It's hard.

But, today as I was finishing ordering/recapping/writing/following up/texting reminders/making lists, He did it again.  Breathing life, truly Life, off of my worn Bible.  So, I leave you with it.  Would you kindly pray over Saturday?  (And, if you're in the 479 area and would like to come, please let me know! Under the picture is a link to the event information.)

Beth Moore's LIVE Simulcast - Link to info at host church Second Baptist Church in Siloam Springs

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Super Woman

Super Woman.  The elusive pursuit that we all seek after.  If you're like me, what Super Woman looks like changes often.  She depends on how I'm feeling, what I've eaten lately, how my clothes fit, how my kids are behaving, how my husband is behaving, what my checking account balance is, how much gas is in my vehicle in relation to pay day, how much time I've been in the Word, what I'm feeding myself in regards to media, and the list goes on.  The truth is...

Whew!  I need that reminder at least once a week!  At. Least.

So, this morning as I was trying to determine how to best fill my day {laundry? meals? clean floors? shower? mow the lawn? what's the best time to start school?}, I decided that I didn't need to be Super Woman.  She is not God's goal for me.  God's goal for me is much better and when I allow myself to be molded by Him and for Him; well then I am my best!  And, what gets done gets done! And, Mama is happy, calm, and engaged in her family!

This morning I enjoyed coffee outside while the kids played "planting a tree." I knew it would result in dirty little toes and more dirt in parts of their bodies that I wouldn't find for hours.  But, I also knew that outdoor imaginary play pays out dividends for their development, friendship, and energy levels.  {Which is a way better payout compared to cartoons or Ipad time.}

As the rest of my day unravels at the pace the Lord sets, I leave you with this picture of 30 dirty toes.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Let's start over...again...

I'm a bad blogger.  Not that that needs to be clarified here.  Honestly, I'm not ever going to have the cool looking blog with awesome pictures and editing and cool layout design.  Sigh.  I think that's why a lot of people burn out on blogs...the perception of not being able to "keep up."  Whatever that means.
But, the Lord is continuing to lead me on a great pursuit.  Full of daunting dreams, endless work, and the potential for family-changing blessings.
So, to best document the ups and downs, decisions, changes, and (insert the unknown), I've decided to take a stab at blogging.  Again.
No promise of great writing or great insight or the resemblance of a lifestyle that's put together in a modern, clean, and crisp format.
Who are we kidding?  I'm a stay-at-home-wife-of-1-mom-of-3-homeschool-teacher-adjunct-faculty-member-church-member-with-the-inability-to-say-no-and-whatever-else-you-can-hyphonate-please-insert-here.
This should be fun.  Quick updates in between cups of coffee, potty breaks, and changing the laundry over.  Forget ironing or dusting.  Those are special treats in our neck of the woods!
Ok...about the dishwasher...gotta go! See you soon (as in not waiting a year for another post)!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Running, Rain, and Tender Plants

I run.  It is my first love when it comes to exercise.  I very specifically love to run on a treadmill.  For all the reasons people don't like to run on one, I love it.  I wouldn't classify myself as a graceful runner or anything near that.  I can count no less than 10 times in my years that I've "quit" and then had to start back at the most basic of training levels.  I also don't have fancy equipment - my treadmill is coming up on 9 years old and most of my running clothes were purchased pre-children.  I purposefully only run listening to praise and worship music because He is the encouragement I need- Emmanuel, God with me.  But, it's rarely an upbeat set of songs- more melodic and spa-like.  And, rarely are my runs a mindless escape from the daily grind.  My time on the treadmill is logged with fervent prayer and reflections on what the Lord has been showing me.  You'd be amazed at how He speaks directly to my heart- despite my loud heart beat and feet hitting the tread and the radio blaring in my always-cramped garage.  

This morning was no different. 

Hurricane Isaac changed our plans to travel to Louisiana for Labor Day.  Instead we spent a few days in Branson with my parents, sister-in-love, and nephew.  And, alas, the remnants of the hurricane have been upon our area for the last 24 hours.  

While cooling down after my run, I began to thank the Lord for all he has given me in regards to the ability to exercise.  And, for the glorious rain falling (after all, I keep my garage door half open!).  It has been a soft and steady rain this morning.  As Chris calls it "the good rain" that actually soaks into the ground instead of just running off into the drains.  After a summer of extreme heat, the ground has been parched.  

And, then, a reminder of what the Lord spoke to the children of Israel, the most famous desert wanderers, via the Song of Moses:::

"Let my teaching fall like rain, and my words descend like dew, like showers on new grass, like abundant rain on tender plants." Deut 32:2

This is the Good rain for me, a tender plant ready to soak Him in!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Joshua 3:5

Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the LORD will do amazing things among you.”

I have been pondering this verse this week.  It's very applicable in every area of my life.  It's a hard road- a road of intentional consecrating.  Of purposeful diligence.  It may seem like redundant words- but, if you've lived in a season of daily intentional choices...well, you know it's hard. And, lonely.  And, often dry and dark.  And, usually with a handful of misunderstandings.  Many want the Lord to do amazing things...but they don't want to consecrate themselves.  And, my experience has shown that they don't usually want to be around those that do.

We don't always get a literal "tomorrow"...but, the promise of the Lord doing amazing things among us is worth it all!

More than a clean house, clean children, clean self (b/c that's not always a constant!), or clean appearances to others...I want the Lord to do AMAZING things among me!  

Yes, I do!, I consecrate.