Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Jeremiah 29:11 and the Goliath Academy


For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

This verse has been my favorite verse since the day I first read it. I love the hope contained in this verse. God's plans truly are greater than mine. I may not always agree with Him at the time, but I am beginning to not question His plans for me...well not as much as I used to!

When our oldest daughter was 5 and ready for school, we did what we thought you were supposed to do. We put her in kindergarten, mainly because that's where we went to school and as we thought; "look how good we turned out!" However, those were not exactly the plans that God had in store for us. You see there was another option for us, one that we adamantly refused to even consider...homeschooling. We didn't just refuse to consider it, we actually thought the idea was ludicrous. We were about as anti-homeschooling as you could get.

I'm not sure exactly how God changed our hearts so that we could more clearly see the plans he had for us, but I am so thankful that he did. You see as it turned out, homeschooling was exactly God's perfect plan for our family. Would our kids have done ok in the public school? I'm sure they would have...but we would have missed out on the plan God had for us. A plan that helped my children thrive, not just do ok.

In 1997, we began homeschooling Ashley, she was in third grade. We kept our daughter Abby in public school, because we wanted to ease into this unknown territory (perhaps we were still unsure if this really was God's plan).  One year later our homeschool tripled in size as we brought Abby home and Caleb began his kindergarten year with us. Was it always easy? No! I was very overwhelmed at the beginning. I didn't know what I was doing, I didn't know my own kids learning styles and so we went through a few different approaches before we settled into a good routine. Did I ever make my kids cry? Yes. Did they ever make me cry? Yes. Would I change a thing about our experience? No.


God had a plan for this family and it was a homeschool we named the Goliath Academy. Why that name? Because in the Bible Goliath was huge and David was small, there was no way that David could conquer Him. However, through obedience to God's plan, David did defeat Goliath. So to us homeschooling was our Goliath, but with God's help and guidance we made it! The Goliath Academy has only one student left...he graduates on May 19th. These days I find myself looking back over the past 14 school years and marveling at where God has brought us.

I will miss this amazing homeschool experience. I will miss spending every day with my kids. I will miss the joy of new discovery in my home...even though these days my son is smarter than me and his new discoveries are actually over my head!! In the next few months there will be tears (mostly mine), I will have a lot of extra time on my hands. But Jeremiah 29:11 still rings true...God has plans for me, awesome plans. I just need to open my eyes and see what those plans are!

How about you? Are you allowing God's plans to direct your life? I am so glad my husband I and finally tuned in and allowed God to show us the best plan for our family. In the next few weeks, I will be reflecting back on this amazing homeschool journey of ours...I hope you come along for the ride!


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Friday, April 20, 2012

5 MInute Friday...Together

Wow...I have not posted anything since last Friday. Life with graduation quickly approaching has found me without much time to ponder. But, I will always take a break for my favorite day...5 Minute Friday. Gypsy Mama has redeemed herself this week with one of my favorite words...TOGETHER!


My family is close. We may not all be living under the same roof anymore, but we remain close. I still get excited about the fun details of their lives, I still hurt when they hurt and my favorite thing is when they text me for prayer. What a privilege that is for me!

Just over 10 years ago our family did a prayer journey that was the ultimate family togetherness. We spent 6 months traveling. We prayed in 48 of the 50 states (Alaska and Hawaii we still owe you some prayer!). Anyway, we literally did everything together and in very close proximity for 6 months. We sat in the Suburban together, we slept most nights in the same room, and we prayed often...together. We were together physically but we were also together in our mission. We all had the same goal. How exciting to see our young children take this mission so seriously.

How exciting to see that today, even with us not being physically together, we all still have the same mission. We all are striving to serve our Lord Jesus. We may not all be doing it the same way, but we all serve the same Lord, and I know that we are all eagerly anticipating hearing our Lord say to us "well done good and faithful servants!"


**one fun note about our prayer trip and togetherness. after spending so much time together in the car, in such close proximity you would think we would spread out when we could. we discovered as we were walking through a store one day we were walking extremely close and in the same order that we had been sitting in the suburban. Brian to my left, with Caleb behind, Ashley behind me and Abby in between them! maybe just maybe we had been together a little too much!!!


Friday, April 13, 2012

5 Minute Friday...My least favorite word...good-bye...

 Each week I look forward to 5 Minute Friday. However as I saw the word for today, I was less than thrilled. You see today's word is my least favorite word. But despite that I knew I needed to plow ahead and write for 5 minutes. Today's word is Good-bye!


 

Today I look to the great philosopher....Dr. Seuss. He said..."Don't cry because it's over...smile because it happened!" This phrase has become my theme for an event coming up in our lives that I am looking to with some hesitation and tearfulness...the empty nest!

Yes, it is coming quickly. I am in the midst of finishing my son's scrapbook, the invitations for his open house are sitting waiting to be addressed, the party is planned. I love a good party, but when its a graduation party it is so bittersweet. This party will be followed all to quickly by a good-bye.

Ready or not, its coming. I have been praying. Caleb is ready. He will do great, in that I have no doubt. Its just that good-bye that proceeds a very long drive home without him that I am not looking forward to. We've done this long drive before as each of our girls started out at a school in Texas. Caleb is attending a different school, but it is in Texas. So on that long drive home, I need to smile that it happened. Being a mother is such an amazing blessing. I will always be their mother, my role is just changing.

I have told Brian that kids really should come with warning labels. I never imagined when they were little how hard saying good-bye to them would be. I of course know it needs to happen, not matter how much I tease Caleb about not allowing him to graduate. This is an exciting time in his life, and no matter how much I will miss him; it will be so much fun to watch God grow him into the man he is meant to be! I have been watching God work in my girls and the only way for them to grow like this is fly out of my nest. If only there were a way to let them go without that pesky little good-bye!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Word Filled Wednesday...knit

My favorite Psalm is Psalm 139. Growing up I didn't have a lot of self confidence. I felt like I was an accident, not meant to be here. However, this Psalm proves otherwise, it is one I turn to whenever I feel a bit down. When I question what my purpose is, it reminds me that God knew what he was doing when He made me. It is so soothing and so comforting!


Psalm 139
O LORD, you have searched me
   and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
   you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
   you are familiar with all my ways.
4 Before a word is on my tongue
   you know it completely, O LORD.
 5 You hem me in—behind and before;
   you have laid your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
   too lofty for me to attain.
 7 Where can I go from your Spirit?
   Where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
   if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
   if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
   your right hand will hold me fast.
 11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
   and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
   the night will shine like the day,
   for darkness is as light to you.
 13 For you created my inmost being;
   you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
   your works are wonderful,
   I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
   when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
 16 your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
   were written in your book
  
 before one of them came to be.
 17 How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
   How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
   they would outnumber the grains of sand.
When I awake,
   I am still with you.
 19 If only you would slay the wicked, O God!
   Away from me, you bloodthirsty men!
20 They speak of you with evil intent;
   your adversaries misuse your name.
21 Do I not hate those who hate you, O LORD,
   and abhor those who rise up against you?
22 I have nothing but hatred for them;
   I count them my enemies.
 23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
   test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
   and lead me in the way everlasting. 



Saturday, April 7, 2012

Finished...


Saturday before Easter is always an interesting day. There's usually much preparation for the meal, deciding what to wear to church, and in our house sometime preparations for the church service itself. We do all of this because we know that tomorrow we will be celebrating our risen Lord! But today I find myself wondering what it must have been like all those years ago, to be one of Jesus' followers. They heard the words Jesus said on the cross...it is finished. Did they know what Jesus meant? Did they think well, this is it...it really is finished? Did any of them really understand when Jesus told them he would come back? That Saturday for them was most likely not a hope-filled day or a day filled with excited anticipation. Today, it is rainy and miserable outside here...is that how the hearts of Jesus' followers felt that day...dark and miserable? Imagine how their emotions are going to change...Sunday is coming....

Friday, April 6, 2012

5 Minute Friday...Light

Today is 5 minute Friday. Please read my post and then head over to Gypsy Mama for more interesting posts on this word. Today's word is LIGHT..

...Light of the world you stepped down into darkness...


Jesus is truly the light of the world. He willingly stepped into this dark world. He came knowing how it would end for him. Today is Good Friday...the darkest day in history. The day Jesus was sentenced to death...beaten to almost death...forced to carry His cross...the subject of insults...He was nailed to cross. His suffering had to be immense...beyond comprehension. The people that day tried to extinguish the light that Jesus was. If the story ended on Friday...they would have succeeded. But we know the rest of the story...Jesus rose again!!!!! What a glorious day that was!!! His light now shines all over this world. It shines in each one of us. When you see someone who is truly in love with Jesus, there is an unmistakeable glow about them. Thank you Jesus for stepping into this dark world....for me! I would be lost without you!!!

...opened my eyes let me see. Beauty that made this heart adore you...Hope of a life spent with You.... Here I am to worship... Here I am to bow down... Here I am to say that You're my God...You're altogether lovely...All together worthy... All together wonderful to me...

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

One more wedding post...



I know I have already shared several posts about the wedding, but this week Ashley and Larry got their pictures back from the photographer and they are too good not to share! It has been so much fun looking through these pictures and reliving one of the best days ever!! Today is their one month anniversary. Let's just say my daughter is loving being a wife. I am pretty sure her love for Larry has grown by leaps and bounds just in this past month. I love talking to her and hearing the joy in her voice! So please enjoy one more glimpse into their special day!

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. 
But the greatest of these is love.




Ashley and Larry chose not to see each other before the wedding. This is them holding hands, but not seeing each other.

Pretty sure Brian had just mentioned kids here!
Brian handing Larry the keys. For an explanation see A Day Unlike Any Other....







These are the keys.


First Dance

Father/Daughter Dance

Whole family dancing.

Brian taping Abby's song...he's so proud...




 Somehow these girls got Caleb out on the dance floor!

 

 
This girl loves to dance!
 
Me and my sweetie!

Even sisters can dance together.
 
Minn. vs Iowa contest....Iowa won!
 
Enjoying the exhibits.

Time for cake!
 
View of the dancing from the exhibit floor.
Thank you Pinterest for this wonderful idea.


Some of the exhibits at the Science Center