Thursday, May 31, 2012

Who us...normal?!?!?

Something struck me today about my family. We are not normal!!! I came as a shock to me too...ok, actually I've known the truth for sometime! We have never tried to be normal, we have never tried to be something we are not, we have always tried to be real. I think that could explain the following collection of family pictures and why they are all my favorites. We do not do good with conventional posing. So please, enjoy a bit of the real Haynes family!! We are just a family who loves Jesus, loves each other, we laugh together and cry together, and can't take a normal picture!!

Ok, this picture needs an explanation. When Ashley went away to school her first year we gave her this picture of the four of us to keep her from getting too homesick!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Word Filled Wednesday...human effort

I read this verse yesterday and it was such a good reminder to me. This move has been orchestrated by God, why then would I allow myself to worry over all the little details? After reading this verse yesterday, I felt a huge burden lift from me. God is in control. We have a little statue of a sailboat in our home given to us in our last move. It reads...Where God guides...He provides. How could I forget that He lead us down this path. He cares about the details, He will provide!! Our home will His timing...not mine! Now, that doesn't mean I just sit back and relax for the next 6 weeks. I still have a to-do list that I need to work on, but I need to quit carrying the load and trying to do everything in my own effort! Since releasing this burden yesterday, I have found myself going through my list of things to do with joy, not dread!

So what are you hanging onto? Give it to God, stop trying to do things on your own effort!! You won't regret it!!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


As you know our family is set to make a move in July. Normally I love moving, I love packing and organizing and most of all, getting rid of  stuff. This time however, I find myself not as excited about the whole process. I found myself torn.

First there is the part of me that is really excited for the move. We have met the people and they are wonderful. God has called Brian to minister in this town, whenever Brian talks about this new job he just lights up. We have no doubt that this is where God wants us. Facebook has been amazing, it has helped us start friending some of the people and the "stalking" has begun! I already feel like we are sharing life with them. This is the fun part of the move.

The other side of the move is the hard part..the saying good-bye part. On Sunday at our son's graduation party so many people told us how much they are going to miss us. It was during that party that I realized just how deep we have planted our roots in not only our church but in this community. I find myself sad at the fact that I won't be wearing red and black next year to cheer on Caleb's old teammates. I won't be worshiping in the fourth row center pew at Faith Baptist anymore. We love Hampton, we feel God brought us here. We feel we grew closer as a family here. But this chapter of our life is coming to a close, and its hard.

It truly is a time of mixed emotions in my world. I am excited to find a home and start dreaming about how I will make it into our home. On the other hand, I have a house here that needs to sell. I have a house that needs to be gone through, stuff needs to be organized. What will we keep, what will we sell, what will we finally just throw away? My mind is working overtime right now. The to-do list seems overwhelming.

As I feel overwhelmed, I have to remind myself it's ok to cry. More importantly I have to remind myself to spend time daily in the Word, to soak up what God has to say to me. He is my Rock!

Cast all your anxiety on Him, for He cares for you. 
1 Peter 5:7

It seems with each move there is a song that is meaning to Brian and I. Following are the words to the song that is meaningful to us for this move.

I Will Follow (Chris Tomlin)

Where You go, I'll go
Where You stay, I'll stay
When You move, I'll move
I will follow...

All Your ways are good
All Your ways are sure
I will trust in You alone
Higher than my side
High above my life
I will trust in You alone

Where You go, I'll go
Where You stay, I'll stay
When You move, I'll move
I will follow You
Who You love, I'll love
How You serve I'll serve
If this life I lose, I will follow You
I will follow You

Light unto the world
Light unto my life
I will live for You alone
You're the one I seek
Knowing I will find
All I need in You alone, in You alone

Where You go, I'll go
Where You stay, I'll stay
When You move, I'll move
I will follow You
Who You love, I'll love
How You serve I'll serve
If this life I lose, I will follow You
I will follow You

In You there's life everlasting
In You there's freedom for my soul
In You there joy, unending joy
and I will follow

Where You go, I'll go
Where You stay, I'll stay
When You move, I'll move
I will follow You
Who You love, I'll love
How You serve I'll serve
If this life I lose, I will follow You
I will follow

Lord, we will follow you. We do trust you. Be with us in this time of limbo, this time where we feel torn. Comfort us when we are sad, and help us to remember it is ok to be excited as well! You have great plans for us...continue to guide our footsteps and yes we will continue to follow you.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Goliath Academy's Final Graduation...

This has been a full week and weekend in our home. Our son Caleb graduated from high school. Such a bittersweet time for all of us. We are so proud of the man Caleb has become and so excited for his future. There were tears a plenty...mostly from me!

On Friday night Brian invited four men to our home to have supper with Caleb. He invited men who have been great examples and mentors to Caleb. Each man spoke to Caleb about what being a man means and they challenged him to live his life as a godly man. (I wasn't invited, since I'm not a man!). They each gave him an arrow with their challenge on it. The four areas he was challenged in are reject passivity, accept responsibility,  lead courageously, and expect the greater reward. (from Robert Lewis' book Raising a Modern Day Knight). This was a special night for Caleb.

Caleb receiving his arrow from our son-in-law Larry.

On Saturday, we traveled to Des Moines so Caleb could take part in the Network of Iowa Christian Home Educator's graduation. There were 65 graduating in the afternoon session with Caleb. The way this graduation works is pretty neat. The parent's and kids all march in together to Pomp and Circumstance. The kids are seated together in one section and the parents in another. There is a speaker and then my favorite part...handing out the diplomas. We met Caleb on stage, he presented me with a rose while down on one knee...I cried...then Brian presented the diploma. While we were doing this a narrator is reading about Caleb and then read a message to him from Brian and I.

This is what was read:

We are both so proud of the man of God you have become.  We look up to you today physically but also spiritually because of the man you have become.  Keep standing tall for the Lord.  God has blessed you with so many gifts.  We pray you will continue to use all of your gifts and abilities to serve the Lord wherever He places you in this world.
Mom and Dad

A big hug for my graduate!

The girls missed him....but I got a kiss in there!

Graduating Class of 2012

He looks smarter already!
 On Sunday, we had the party!!! Lots of prep, but all totally worth it. We celebrated Caleb that day with lots of ideas from Pinterest!! Oh where would be without it? We served cupcakes...but not just any cupcakes. We made them to look like the periodic table to celebrate Caleb's choice of college major...forensic chemistry.

First me made a giant periodic table...

The table with all the cupcakes placed in their spots.

What's a party without slushies??
Chocolate grad hats...very popular!!

Son-in-law hard at work manning the slushie machine!

Guest book table...we had people sign the Dr. Suess book "Oh the Places You'll Go."

Table decorations...complete with smarties and Caleb confetti.

Abby posing with Caleb's basketball poster.

Caleb enjoying good friends coming to celebrate with him.

More awesome friends...

Four of my favorite people ever!!!

Friday, May 18, 2012

5 Minute Friday...Perspective...from God's view...

 Today's word is Perspective....

Oh to have the ability to see things from God's perspective...

That person who cut in front of me line...maybe they are rushing because they have a sick child at home...
That person who was rude to me on the phone when I called their business....maybe they just got laid off...
That person who stands alone in the corner at church...maybe they are suffering and just need someone to reach out to them...
That person who always has a smile on their face...did I know it was an act and they are suffering from extreme loneliness...
We all see but a snippet of someone's life and we all tend to judge a person based on what we see. But we all wear masks, we all have a deeper story. Thankfully God does see everything about a person. Maybe just maybe He allows us to cross paths with that person in order to reach out to them.

Have you ever had someone's name come to mind and you wondered why? Maybe God is prompting you to act. Even if this person seems to have life together or seems unapproachable...why not reach out and see what happens?

All of life is perspective and how we look at things. I know I want to see the world through God-colored lenses. Can you imagine just how different people would look to us if we did?

Saturday, May 12, 2012

More on Jeremiah 29:11...

God's plans are not always the same plans we would chose for ourselves. However, His plans are always best for us. He has plans to give us hope and a future...plans to prosper us and not harm us. I believe God gave me Jeremiah 29:11 as my favorite verse because He knew I would have many occasions in my life where I needed to remind myself of that!

God's plans for Brian and I currently include making a pretty major move. After several months of praying, seeking God's will and trusting Him, Brian has accepted a call to a church in northern Minnesota. So in July sometime we will be moving from Iowa to Minnesota.

We have mixed emotions about this move. We are very excited for the new ministry ahead of us and the chance to get to share life with the amazing people at First Baptist Church in Roseau. Right now we are on the tough side of the move, the part where it hurts. It is hard to tell our church family and our close friends that we will be leaving them soon. Our family has put down some pretty strong roots in this community, this is home.

As we looked at homes last weekend, I found this to be a much more emotional experience than I ever thought it would be. Tears were shed and I found myself overwhelmed. This was new to me, I am one of those odd people who loves to move. I love packing, I love setting up a new home, I love the whole experience. But this move is different. As we were looking at houses, a few things dawned on me. First of all, I don't need a homeschool room anymore; second, my children will visit us at this new home, but this will not live here with us. We have only lived in one place since we were married that it was just Brian and I...I have always had our children in mind as we picked out a new house. This time, they are still in mind, but it will be different.

Are we crazy to have so many life changes all at once? In the span of just a few short months we will have married a daughter, graduated our youngest, given our blessing to our middle daughter to begin a dating relationship, and moved to a community that is closer to Canada than Walmart! This is why I have to cling to my verse. I need to see all of this as God's plan. None of what is happening is bad, but it is a lot to process. I am so thankful I have God to lean on and am so thankful He has given me a husband with shoulders that allow a few tears to fall, a man with arms that will embrace me when I need it, a man who I get to share this new exciting chapter of life with!

Friday, May 11, 2012

5 Minute Friday...Identity

My computer has been out of commission so I have missed posting for over a week. I thought a nice was to dive back in would be on my favorite day...Five Minute Friday! Five editing.

Today's word is IDENTITY...

Most people identify who they are with what they do. Whenever you meet someone for the first time you are likely to ask or be asked, "so what do you do?" We often ask little kids, "what do you want to be when you grow up?"  Most kids will answer with fireman, astronaut, ballerina, model, doctor, lawyer, mommy, etc...

Yes, most of us place our identity in what we do.  This is dangerous, because what we do can be taken away from us quickly. For me today, I am going to focus on one verse to give my identity.

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20

This verse gives me my identity. I am a child of the King, I am precious in His sight, all that I am is because He gave all that He had for me!!!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The Goliath Academy...part 2

As I have shared, I am in a reflective mood these days. This is one of the many side effects of graduation! This graduation is just a bit different from the two before it...this one is the last graduate of The Goliath Academy. Therefore, I am just a bit more sentimental these days about school.

When we started our school, we knew we would get questions as to why we had decided to go this route with our kid's education. Brian and I decided we should sit down and write up a document that would explain our choices. I thought today I would share that document with you

Haynes Homeschool Notes (we had not yet named our school at this point)

Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, 
The fruit of the womb is a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior,
So are the children of one's youth.
Psalm 127:3-4 NKJV

Parenting is a tremendous responsibility and blessing from the Lord. Listed below are some of the reasons we have decide to homeschool our children.

We believe it is up to each family to pray about and decide which school choice God has led them to as a family.

The top ten reasons the Haynes family has chosen to homeschool

  1. It is a more efficient use of time.
  2. It provides positive curriculum choices.
  3. The opportunity to integrate spiritual truth into life experiences.
  4. The freedom to customize the curriculum to meet the child's needs.
  5. Teaching our children in areas that they have an interest.
  6. The negative impact of socialization in the public school.
  7. God has given us the desire to homeschool our children.
  8. God has given us the ability to homeschool our children.
  9. Learning is a life long process that is not limited to "school hours."
  10. God has entrusted these children to us and we answer to God a to how we were as parents and stewards of these young lives.
Be very careful, then, how you live-not as unwise but as wise, 
making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.
 Ephesians 5:15-16 

And do not be conformed to this world,
but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, 
that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
Romans 2:2 

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

This form is dated August 3, 1998

The whole process in deciding whether or not to homeschool and then figuring out exactly why God was leading us this way was a great experience for Brian and I. We have always tried to be intentional parents. When we set forth a rule for our children, we wanted it to be for a reason, not just because "we said so." Therefore we didn't want to go into something as big as homeschooling without having a plan and a purpose behind it. As parents, we should all put forth much prayer and thought into the ways we raise our families. If we do not go in with a plan, society and the world will take over our parenting for us. That is my prayer for parents today...that they pray about how to raise their children and follow the plans God has set forth for them. All our paths will not look the same, but if we are all following God then we will be on the right path!

Next week, I will share some of the common questions, comments and misconceptions we have heard over the years.