Just Being Us

Just Being Us
Family, where we can be real, and feel unconditional love!

Monday, October 31, 2016

Contentment Challenge Day One {Free PDF on Contentment}



     With our day of Thanksgiving just a few weeks away, I would like to begin a 7 day gratitude challenge so our families can learn contentment and  show gratitude for what the Lord has given to us.  

     During this time of year, I actually become teary eyed when I see the greed and discontent in the hearts of people.  We barely give one day of thanks before running out to stores to buy more stuff that we think we need.  Our children make lists of everything they want.  They do not think about the little boy down the street who doesn't' even have enough food to fill his belly, or the little girl who walks to school freezing because her coat that is full of holes   We have become a society that focuses on self, not others.  We want the next new thing even before it comes out in the stores.  In a world full of lust and envy, we fall into the trap that we need things to make us happy.  We feel left out or let down if we can't have what everyone else has.  

     

But godliness with contentment is great gain. 
For we brought nothing into the world, and we can 

take nothing out of it. ~ 1 Timothy 6:6-7


      I love this verse in 1 Timothy.  It give us perspective.  We can not take anything in this world with us.  

      I love the line in the poem by C.T. Studd.  It says "
Only one life, twill soon be past,  Only what’s done for Christ will last."   The only thing that will really matter is what we do for the Lord.  Being a light in a dark world.  Showing the love of Christ to those who are hurting or in need.  Our lives have purpose and that purpose is to bring others to Christ.  

     A new phone will bring us a temporary feeling of satisfaction.  A big screen TV will give a joy for a moment.  That new toy you give your child will be played with for a little while........... BUT if you feed a hungry person, clothe a child, or just love on that person who is unlovely, you will have a lasting effect on someone's life.  They may come to know the Lord through your act of kindness.  

     This is why I want to do this challenge.  I want us to make difference in the world.  I want us to share the love of Jesus with others.  I don't want us to become discontented, greedy people who have no hearts.  

      Are you ready to join us for our challenge?  

      On day one of our challenge I would like for you to sit down with your family and make out a list of people you would like to bless during this challenge.  We will have some activities for you do over the next few weeks that will involve these people.  Your list can be as long as you would like it to be or you can choose to bless a few people more than once.  We will be trying to do many of our activities anonymously so God can be glorified, not us.  



     I have made a wonderful workbook for you to use in your homes. This workbook will help you teach your children  how to have an attitude of gratitude.  To save this workbook, just click on the link below the image.  



   
- Warren 

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Getting Real about Time-outs for Mama


     Okay so let's be honest.... Mommies need time-outs too!  We need breaks so we can get our thoughts together.  We need quiet time to recuperate from the hustle and bustle of the mommy world. If we do not get this time, we feel burned out and unable to be the mothers we know we should be.  

   I want to give you three warning signs that you are headed for disaster if you don't take some time-outs.  These are from personal experience and I pray you learn from my mistakes.

  1.   If you are feeling sick, worn down, or excessively tired almost to the brink of a collapse, you need to ask someone for help.  You need to talk to your husband and let him know that you are not feeling well. If you allow yourself to get too depleted you will be no good to anyone.  If you are drained, you could be doing physical harm to your body and that is never good. It's important for us to rest.
  2.    If you are feeling frustrated or irritable, it's time for you to take a few minutes to cool down. It doesn't have to be a long time-out, just long enough for you to feel in control of your emotions again.  
  3.    If you are feeling overly critical of everyone in your home, you need to step back and regroup.  


     Now let's talk about some ways you can get that mommy time-out.


  1.    Take time to lay down and recuperate if you are feeling ill or drained physically. Allow your husband to take over things in the house or hire a babysitter so you can get the rest you need to heal.  Many of us have friends we can call upon, but we feel that would make us look like bad moms, but honestly that is just a pride issue.  We all get sick and we all need time to heal when we do.  
  2.    When you are feeling drained emotionally or spiritually, you need to find time to be quiet and alone with the Lord.  You can get up before the kids, or stay up a little later in the evenings, but please do not neglect your time with God.  You will find that praying and reading your Bible will strengthen you and help you be the mom you want to be.  
  3.    During the daytime hours when you can't get away, and are in the middle of a melt down, just simply sit down somewhere and gather yourself.  Remind yourself that this too shall pass. Your children will grow and things will not always be as crazy and hectic.  Also remember that what you say today will have a long term significance in the lives of your children tomorrow. Don't allow a critical spirit to make scars that may not be seen, but leave permanent marks.  

   Let me be real here.  As a young mom, I failed at every suggestion I just gave you.  I didn't want help, I didn't think I needed help and I thought I could handle it all.  I didn't take time to rejuvenate, and it left me feeling empty. In turn, I was an overly critical mom with a bad attitude.  My kids didn't have a mom that parented with grace, they had one who parented with an iron fist. When I finally figured out that I needed moments of rest, relaxation and recuperation, my older three were already blemished. When God revealed to me that I need to ask their forgiveness, I did that, but that did not erase the "scars".   Physically they were fine, but emotionally they were tarnished.  

    I pray that anyone reading this will glean from my past and stop trying to be "Super Mom" and instead become a super mom.  Give yourself grace and allow those times of rest to replenish you so you can be mom your kids deserve.  



    

Friday, October 28, 2016

Friday's Fun with Food: SOUPS ON!

  As the weather outside is changing from summer to fall temperatures, I begin craving soups.  This week I want to share some favorites.  I hope you enjoy them as much as we do.  Just click on the links below the images to go to the wonderful sites with the recipes for each soup.  
















Let's Get Real about Homeschooling Co-Ops



    I have been homeschooling for 19 years now.  We have tried many different things over the years.  We have been a part of a few co-ops as we have lived in three different counties since beginning our homeschooling adventure.  Our personal experiences have had both pros and cons.  We enjoyed many aspects of joining the co-ops or groups, while having some issues with it.    

    I would like to give you a list of what I feel were the pros and cons.  Let's begin with the positives.

1.  Each mom or dad can bring their talents to the group.  You can take turns teaching different subjects.  One parent may be good at teaching art whereas another may enjoy teaching music.  

2.  The families involved can bring new perspectives to each subject that is being taught.  You can learn different ways of teaching that your child may respond to better than the ones you are currently using.  

3.   Your children will be obtaining social skills as they mingle with many other children of different ages.  They will also learn how to respect others in authority over them. 

4.   You can form relationships with other homeschooling families.

5.   You can plan field trips as a group and that can make visiting some places cheaper for everyone involved.


Now the negatives.

1. They are a HUGE commitment.  You will not have as much flexibility in your homeschooling days/weeks.  You will need to be at a certain place at least once a week and there is no wiggle room.

2.  You may not agree with the way certain subjects are taught. 

3.  For larger families, it can be very expensive.  

4.  It adds to your curriculum you are already using and can get a bit overwhelming.  

5.  If you are not a social butterfly or you have a student that is not an extrovert, it can be very trying at times.  


   Personally a co-op is not a fit for our family at the moment.  We have other ways to keep our kiddos "socialized".  They seem to be thriving so we won't be changing anything anytime soon :) 

  

Please come and like our page on Facebook!  Training Our Children in Godly Character

This blog post made the Top 100 Homeschool Post of 2016.  
To see the list follow the link below the image .

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Thursday's Thoughts on Marriage: Let's Talk About Submission

   


     When I was first married, I had no idea what I was doing.  I didn't know how to respect my husband.  As a matter of fact, I treated him like dirt.  I wanted him to meet my every need, and worse than that, I wanted him to know my needs before I told him.   It made for a rough marriage.  I honestly can't tell you why we stuck it out, except God placed an angel at our door and wouldn't allow either one of us to leave.  

      Adding children to the mix didn't help the issues.  It added financial burdens and conflicts in our parenting methods.  I felt we were totally incompatible.  I also felt resentful and angry.  He worked many hours when he was a mechanic in the field of construction.  I was left at home with the kids.  I was expected to care for them, deal with all the household chores and be the good wife.  

     It didn't make for a happy life let me tell ya.   We were not "ONE".  As a matter of fact we were the opposite of that.  We were growing apart day by day.  We didn't know how to fix it.  Our communication was mostly me yelling at him and him tuning me out.  

     So, how have we gotten to our 23rd anniversary?  GOD'S GRACE!  He began working in our lives.  It wasn't as a couple at first.  I believe He had to work on us separately before He could work on our relationship.  We began to talk to each other instead of at each other.  Communication was the key to healing this marriage.  It is still a work in progress.  We are always tempted to fall into our old habits, but since we have grown spiritually, we are able to see when that is happening and we are quick to stop it.  

      After being honest with you about my marriage,  I would like to speak to the wives for a moment.  I would like to address the topic of submission. Now I also want to say that this advice is for women in a marriage that is not abusive.  That is a totally different subject.  

     So what is submission???   Submission: to give over or yield to the power or authority of another.  In the Bible, wives are told to submit to their husbands, and husbands are told to love their wives as Christ loves the church.  


     So many women today are afraid of the word "SUBMIT".  I like how the New Living translation says "wives must accept the authority of your husbands".  This is not an option for us wives.  God is commanding us to give ourselves over to the authority He has given our husbands.  This is another reason why it is so important to marry a  man who loves God and allows Him to lead them.  In 1 Peter 3, we see that if we submit to our husbands, we are being a godly witness for Christ.  If others see that we are obeying God's word, they will be won over by that powerful testimony.  

      The other day, I was talking with a friend about this very subject.  She was hurting and said her husband didn't deserve her respect. I had to remind her that the Bible didn't say for us to respect our husbands when they deserved it, it just says do it!   However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband. ~ Ephesians 5:33  Yes our husbands are told to love us, but that is their responsibility and rather or not they obey God's word, we are still responsible for our part.  There are no verses that says we are only required to do our part if our spouse does his.  

       When I write posts like this one, I always pray that it is received well.  I know this is a touchy subject.  I will tell you that if you do your part and walk in obedience, God will bless you.  If you have a spouse that is not right with God, your testimony is what God may use to bring him to Christ.  I want you to know that I pray for you everyday.  It is not easy to be the wives and mothers we are called to be, but having a close relationship with Jesus makes it easier.  He is our rock and our fortress.  If we are well tuned into Him by reading His Word and praying, He will be our guide.  

      I will not lie to you and say that I do not struggle in the area on a daily basis.  I have a strong personality that likes to lead, so this is hard for me.  I don't want to defer to anyone.  It is even difficult for me to relinquish control to God.  I have to pray about it everyday!  

      I want to  encourage us all  to make some changes today.  Make it a point to show our husbands respect.  Defer to him for decisions, never mock him in public or while talking with friends, always speak words of love and life.  Ladies we can do this!  Let's be set apart from the thoughts and actions of this world, and lead a life that is pleasing to the Lord.  

     Before I leave you today, I would like to give you an image to print for yourself.  It has the lyrics to a powerful song titled "Household Of Faith" by Steve Green.   I believe if we strive for a household that has faith in our Lord Jesus Christ and if we put Him first in all we do and say, we will be able to have a happy and godly marriage and family.  Here are the lyrics: 

   Here we are at the start committing to each other
By His word and from our hearts
We will be a family in a house that will be a home
And with faith we'll build it strong

We'll build a household of faith
That together we can make
And when the strong winds blow it won't fall down
As one in Him we'll grow and the whole world will know
We are a household of faith

Now to be a family we've got to love each other
At any cost unselfishly
And our home must be a place that fully abounds with grace
A reflection of His face

We'll build a household of faith
That together we can make
And when the strong winds blow it won't fall down
As one in Him we'll grow and the whole world will know
We are a household of faith 

To save this image to print, just right click as you hover over the image 
and choose "save image as..." 



Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Wednesday's Words of Wisdom: Leaning On Him

   

      There are days when I feel like a complete failure as a parent.  Some days I have a short fuse and I yell, other days I feel like I will never make it through the next hour.  I am sure we all have days like these.  We are not perfect. We mess up.  We fail.  We are in need of forgiveness and grace.

     Do you know how important it is for your children to see you being human and real?  If they can't see you make mistakes, then they won't see you leaning on God for grace, mercy, love and forgiveness.  If they see you fail, but not give up, they will learn how to act and react to times they fail.   Our children learn by our examples. They watch us even when we don't realize they are watching. They need to see us falling to our knees asking for forgiveness.  They need to see us humble ourselves and admit when we are wrong.  When we have those days where we completely crash and burn as a parent, we need to go to our kids and apologize.  This will show them their need to ask for forgiveness when they are wrong.

     When our kids, who are old enough to know right from wrong, mess up and their sinful natures take over for a time, we need to tell them what they are doing is wrong and allow them time to process why it is wrong.  They need to make the decision to apologize and  work through it with The Lord,  just as we do.  When we sin, God gently reminds us of our sin, then He waits for us to come to Him to make it right. Our Heavenly Father is the greatest example of a perfect parent and we need to follow His example daily.  I am slowly learning this as I parent my children. I am trying hard to follow God's ways and leave my own selfish ambitions to the wayside.

     Our Bible verse for this blog and Facebook page is Proverbs 22:6.  It says this:
 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when
he is old, he will not depart from it.    

      This verse is telling us to direct our children in God's direction.  We can't point them in the way we want them to go, instead we must show them who to follow, and that is Jesus Christ. We can't make this decision for them, but as they grow up, we can gently guide them into a real relationship with Him.  The more they see us having a real and honest relationship with God, the more they will want it too. Don't just be a fan of God in front of your children. Show them you are a true follower, willing to do anything and everything for The Lord. 


     I encourage you to go and make things right with your kiddos if you have failed to apologize for messing up. They will love and respect you for your act of humility and love.  God will reward you for your obedience to His Word. 

Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him
and make our home with him. ~ John 14:23

I wanted to give you all a wonderful PDF about God's love for you to print and use with your children.  I pray these will be a blessing to you and your kiddos.
  There are some specialty pages just for parents.
To download and print, just click on the link below the image.


Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Tuesday's Training Time: Bold as a Lion

     


      Sometimes  I feel we have lost the ability to be bold about our faith.  We need to do what is right, no matter what may happen to us.  In the Bible, there are three words that are translated to the word bold: Tharrheo, Parrhesiazomai, and Tolmao.  Tharrheo means boldness in the face of death.  Parrhesiazomai means a boldness to speak the truth.  Finally we have Tolmao, it means a boldness to accomplish great things for God.  Today I want to talk about the latter two.

     We need to be bold to speak the truth.  Yes, we must speak the truth with love, but we need to be careful not to compromise the Bible, while trying not to upset those we are speaking to.  Jesus always spoke the truth with love, but He was BOLD.  He would love on the person, but tell them to repent of the sin in their lives.  We need to follow Christ's example.  Sometimes  I will hear people say, well if I tell the person what they are doing is wrong, then I am judging them.  This is not true if you are speaking with love and truly concerned for the person's soul, and you are standing on Biblical truths.  I mean you wouldn't have any trouble telling a murderer that killing people is wrong, so why do we have trouble with other areas of the Bible?

 And pray for me, too. Ask God to give me the right words so I can boldly explain God’s mysterious plan that the Good News is for Jews and Gentiles alike.  I am in chains now, still preaching this message as God’s ambassador. So pray that I will keep on speaking boldly for him, as I should.
 ~ Ephesians 6:19-20

     Now let's talk about boldness to accomplish great things for God.  If you can speak with boldness, you are ready to accomplish great things for the Lord.  God is looking for someone who is humble, yet bold.  Someone who is willing to tell the Good News to everyone they meet.  He is looking for the Daniels and Gideons of our day.  Those who have a heart for God, and are willing to step out of their comfort zones in order to do what He has called them to do.  He wants a person wholly surrendered to His plans, and ready to die for what is right.   Is this you???
   
And they have defeated him by the blood of the Lamb and by their testimony.  And they did not love their lives so much that they were afraid to die. ~ Revelation 12:11

     Do you know how to teach your children to be bold?  The best way to teach this character quality is by example.  Live a life that exhibits BOLDNESS in front of your kids.  Let them see you stand for what is right.  Go over Bible verse that speak about these three types of boldness.  Daniel is a great Bible book to help teach about boldness in the face of death and peer pressure.


Monday, October 24, 2016

Mondays Moments with Jesus: Turning Our Hearts Toward Home.

   


      Each day I am amazed when I talk with my kids.  They are so smart and wise for their ages.  They are open, honest, and sometimes they teach me more than I teach them.  One of my fondest memories is when  my youngest daughter saw a commercial that talked about going home.  She turned to me and said, "Mama don't they know that earth is not our home?  Heaven is our real home."  It amazed me how she thinks about things.  She was only seven years old at the time yet she understood that this is just our temporary home.  She knows where her true home is and that is with her Savior Jesus Christ.

     Many times as adults, we forget that this world is not our home.  We are here for very short time and we need to make the best of the time we have.  We need to be striving for eternal significance, not temporary gain.  Our lives should be focused on God's plans for our lives, and not worry about man's.  We are to preach the gospel, and love those who are not so lovely.  Our goal is to teach the love and grace of our Heavenly Father where ever we go.  Jesus gave us a great commission in Matthew 28:18-20 ~ Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,  and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

     How well are we carrying out the command given by Jesus?  Are we bringing up our children to be soldiers for Christ?  Do they know that this world is just our temporary home?  Do they see us striving to bring others to Christ?  Do they see that Jesus is our firm foundation and that without Him our lives would come crumbling down?  Do they see the importance of the eternal over the temporary things of this world? 

     In order to give our children the right atmosphere that points them to Christ and ultimately allows them to point others to Jesus,  we must have a godly home.   The setting for a godly home needs to be consistent in teaching the Word of God. What we teach our children today, will be in their thoughts tomorrow.  When we read to them from the Word, they are absorbing more than we realize.  My children know things that I didn't realize they were really paying attention to.  Even if they seem squirmy or inattentive, they are hearing you.

     We have a huge responsibility as parents.  We are required to teach our children what the Lord expects from them.  Our number one job as a mom and dad is to guide our children to God in a way that will last a lifetime.  We don't want to force religion on them, instead we want them to cultivate a real relationship with Jesus.

     How many times do you sit down with your children and just read to them from the Word?  If we did this more often, we would see a change in our households.  Lives would be changed day by day.  Our kids would see the love, compassion, and grace of their Father in Heaven.  They would hunger and thirst for righteousness.

     Have you ever been appalled by things your children say or do?  Have you really thought about what you allow into your homes via television, video games, music or computer media???  It effects them even when we don't see it right away,  just as reading the Bible effects them long term.  We must be very careful what we allow our children to see, hear, and do.  They need our gentle guidance each day.  They actually crave our instruction.


      Today I encourage you to look through what you have in your homes.  Are they pleasing to the Lord?  Would you sit down and watch those shows with Jesus?  In Philippians 4:8, we read this: "And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise."  This should be our test of what we see, think, do and hear.  

       Be mindful to realize what we sow today, we will reap tomorrow. If we sow the Word into the hearts and lives our children  we will see a harvest.  They will be able to sow into the lives of others.  They will understand that the things of this world will pass away, but the lives they lead to Christ will live eternally with their Heavenly Father. We will live lives that please the Lord.  






Sunday, October 23, 2016

How Much is Too Much?


      The other day I decided to sit down and re-read  Women Living Well, Finding Your Joy in God, Your Man, Your Kids, and Your Home by Courtney Joseph.   As I was reading,  I had to stop and read chapter 7 again.   I wanted to glean all I could from those words on the pages.  I never want to put social media over my family or husband.  It is hard in the age of smart phones, laptops, tablets and computers, not to get sucked in.   We all want to know what is going on don't we?  We want to read our friends posts on Facebook, we giggle at Tweets, we have to answer that email right away.  So how much is too much?

      If you find your children staring at you with eyes that long for you play with them, or you look up and glance at your husband and he is gazing at you with that look of  "Will she ever get off that device?"   Those are your red flags that enough is enough.  You must put down your electronic devices and spend quality time playing and reading with your kids.  Your husband has needs that you are responsible for meeting.  They need you.... unplugged from the world... and ready to listen to them.

      It can be difficult to set times to work on our blogs, or to put down our phones when we get 20 notifications, but we have got to be intentional about putting limits on our use of devices.  I can't tell you how many times I have had to ask my children to repeat what they have said, or to wait one minute while mommy read this, due to my overuse of social media.  It is addicting.  I am not proud of myself.  I have to tell myself that I will never get these moments back with my children.  They will only be this age once, and oh my it goes by so quickly.  You blink and they are grown.

     For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age.  ~ Titus 2:11-12

     We must have self-control when it comes to using our devices.   We have to think... is this beneficial to my family?  Is this pleasing to the Lord?  Am I addicted to these things and are they causing me to lose sight of my priorities?  

       Our priorities must be GOD first and OUR FAMILIES second.  If the internet or social media applications are taking their places in our lives, we have to stop using them right away.   We have to get our lives back on track.  One way to accomplish this is to fast.  I don't mean food... I mean our phones and computers.   We need to turn them off and reconnect with our Father and families.  This will not be easy, but it will be worth it.  

     I have done this a few times in the last year.  Before doing this I hadn't realized how many times I picked up my phone in a day or how many times I sat down at the computer.  I was suddenly very aware that these things were taking over my days and nights.  It was an eye opener for sure!  Now I have time set aside to write and get posts ready for my pages and groups on Facebook.  I allow myself to use my phone for 5 minutes every hour during the waking hours of the day, but the rest of time, I put my devices on the desk and only use it for emergencies or contact with my family who are not here in the home with me.  When talking with my children or husband, I look into their eyes and let them know I am really listening.  I won't be missing anything in their lives in order to keep up with things that don't really matter in the big scheme of things.  I will be present for them!   

      What will you do today to ensure your family has your presence? 


Friday, October 21, 2016

Our Favorites {FREE READING LOGS}

 Today I want to share a few of my favorite books for homeschooling parents.  They are great for those just starting out and/or those who are veteran homeschoolers.

The Organized Home Schooler
by Vicki Caruana

Help for the Harried Homeschooler
by Christine Field

Home Learning Year by Year
by Rebecca Rupp

Complete Guide to Getting Started in Homeschooling
by Mary Pride

The Ultimate Book of Homeschooling Ideas
                                                                  by Linda Dobson

I would also like to share my favorite parenting books that have                          helped me grow as a parent over the years.    

Raising Godly Children in an Ungodly World
Ken and Steve Ham

Lead Your Family Like Jesus
by Ken Blanchard, Phil Hodges, & Tricia Goyer

The 5 Love Languages of Children
by Gary Chapman & Ross Campbell

The Power of a Praying Parent
by Stormie Omartian

Women Living Well
by Courtney Joseph

A Survival Guide from a Family of 9
by Brent and Phelecia Hatch

Raising Faith-Filled Kids
by Tom McGrath

Life Management for Busy Women
by Elizabeth George

Grace Based Parenting
by Tim Kimmel

And last buy not least, I wanted to share some of our favorite chapter books we have read during reading time in the afternoons.   It is so important for your children to love reading.  It helps them grow in many ways and uses their imaginations.  

The Cul-De-Sac Kids Collection
by Beverly Lewis

The Ramona Collection
by Beverly Cleary


The Henry Huggins Collection
by Beverly Clearly

Animal Friend Collection
by Janette Oke

The Boxcar Children Collection
by Gertrude Chandler Warner

The Fudge Collection
by Judy Blume

The Little House Collection
by Laura Ingalls Wilder


The Mandie Collecton 
by Lois Gladys Leppard

The Ralph Mouse Collection
by Beverly Cleary

We wanted to give you a freebie today so we went along with our theme of reading and have decided to give you a free PDF of Reading Logs with some great themes for the kiddos.
To download this PDF, just click on the link below the image.



Friday's Fun with Food: Comfort Foods

         Today our recipes are coming from a few dear friends of mine :)  I hope you enjoy them!!!