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 

Friday, October 28, 2016

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.


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.



Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Let's Get Real About Homeschooling Schedules {Free Calendar Printables}

   

 A few years ago I would have told you that in order to have a good day, your day must be scheduled and you must keep to that schedule.  I really thought that was true.  THEN, the Lord changed my heart.  He showed me that even though I crave structure and a rigid schedule, my children need me to be more flexible.  I also needed to be more open to what the Lord wanted us to accomplish throughout the day.  He may want us to open our door to a person in need or sit and pray for a family who is struggling.  In my world of schedules and charts, those things were not important.  I have changed a bunch!!!!  Just ask my older children.

     We still have a schedule, BUT we are also free to break from that schedule when the Lord leads us to do His plans for the day.  We are lead by the Holy Spirit instead of my rigid schedule.  This schedule below is what I like to see happen each day, so we can stay on track with our lessons and activities, but I also have learned to let this schedule be a guideline not a cast iron, set in stone way to live our lives.


      As a mom who was homeschooling 6 children at one point in time, I was sure that things would be chaotic without a plan for each day, but let me tell you, after 19 years, I have seen this schedule hold us back from learning.  It kept us on track, but sometimes that meant missing out on REAL learning opportunities.  When I followed a strict agenda, we weren't free to do nature walks, or serve in the community, or just have fun.  Do we need a game plan.... SURE WE DO, but we also need to be flexible with our timetables.  We need structure to be responsible with our time,  but with the knowledge that God may have bigger plans for our day.  

      So with all that being said, I encourage you to have an agenda for your days.  Write out a list of things you would like to complete, just be very adaptable to changes that may need to occur and don't let it frustrate you. It doesn't matter if  you choose to just jot down a few ideas for the day or if you plan each subject, there must be some strategy to get everything done each day or the minutes and hours will fly by and nothing will get accomplished.   

  Whoever works his land will have plenty of bread, but he who
 follows worthless pursuits lacks sense.
~Proverbs 12:11



       As parents,  we begin teaching our children as soon as they are born.  We instill values along with academics.  We are consistently teaching them character qualities.  We work on manners and how important it is to treat other the way we want to be treated.  Be sure to use daily situations as teachable moments.  Little things that occur during the day can be used to train in righteousness.  Our number one priority in our homeschool is to point our children to Christ so that when they are ready, they can lead others to Christ.  

      I also encourage you to write out a Homeschool Mission Statement and a Household Mission Statement and place them somewhere you can read them on a daily basis.  This will be your goals to shoot for as a homeschool and family.  Here is ours: 




I am praying for each of you today!  
God has a good plan for your family! 


I would also love for you to get some great FREE CALENDAR PAGES 
to print out to use for your family. To download the PDF, just click on 
the link below the image. 




   

   


Monday, October 17, 2016

FREE PDF: CHARACTER QUALITIES

 Today I am sharing my PDF with 18 wonderful character qualities to teach to your children. 

To download this PDF, just click on the link below the picture. 

Monday Mornings with Jesus: A Personal Relationship

   

      As our children grow and learn, we are responsible to encourage them to seek God in a very personal way.  It is great to have family devotions and prayer time, but it is important to help them understand that they need to spend time alone with God each day.  Our children need to see us taking time out of our busy days, to sit down and read God's Word and pray.


Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. ~ Proverbs 22:6

     When we had our first 3 children, I was not close with the Lord at all.  I regret not being the example to them I should have been.  It was a rare occasion for them to see me reading my Bible or praying.  I believe God had a hedge of protection over my kids during that time.  He was their godly example.  I was failing to be the parent I was called to be, but He was there, leading where I was lacking.  I thank Him for that everyday!!  

      At 26, my eyes were open to the fact that I was not living a life that was pleasing to my Savior.  I was convicted and repented.  I began seeking a real relationship with Him.  For the first time in years, my children saw their Mama seeking God with all her heart.  They saw me reading His Word and praying for His guidance.  I was finally able to be the godly example they needed here on earth.  

       If you think your children are not watching you, let me share a story.  My husband has a few Bibles that he reads during his time with the Lord.  They are different translations, that he enjoys reading through daily.  One afternoon, our 11 year old came to me and said "Mama do you have any Bibles I can have?"  He only had one at the time.  I said "Well sure baby, why do you need more Bibles?"  He proceeded to tell me that he wanted to be just like Daddy and have lots of Bibles to read too.   My husband and I didn't realize he even paid attention to that, but sure enough he did.  Even when we think they are not watching.... they are!  

      So today, I want to encourage you to be an example to your kiddos in the area of a personal and real relationship with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  Allow them to see you seek Him in all you do and say.  Help them set time aside to worship and pray everyday!

For more information, please come to our Facebook page: Training our Children in Godly Character

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Free 5 Day Thanksgiving Bible Study for Kids, Adults or Families

Free 5 Day Thanksgiving Bible Study for Kids, Adults or Families: Get a FREE inductive Bible study for yourself or your kids, or complete the study with your spouse or as a family! It is possible to give authentic thanks, even during the toughest circumstances! Get this amazing resource—perfect for Thanksgiving!—here!

Friday, October 14, 2016

MANNERS: A FREE PDF of our Manners Study


I thought some people would like to have a PDF version of our study on Manners.

Just click on the link below the image to download it.




Let's Talk Manners: Don't Be Rude



Choose a good reputation over great riches; being held in high esteem is better than silver or gold. ~ Proverbs 22:1
     
     We need to encourage our children to be a godly example for others.  As they play and talk with their peers, they need to show them love, respect, and kindness.  Our goal is for us to train our children to show the love of Jesus where ever they go.  Rather it be on a soccer field or in the lunchroom at school, they should exhibit the fruits of the spirit, so others will see a Light in them.  

     When we see our children acting in a way that is unlovely or rude, we need to step in and correct them.  If we catch them being good, we need to be sure to tell them how much it pleases us and God when they act this way.  Our children respond to our words.  If we tear them down, they will have low self-esteem and will tend to do the same to others.  If we encourage and build them up, they will respond accordingly.  They will want to do the same for others.  

     Our responsibility as parents is to set a godly example for them so they can go into the world and be a light in a dark world.  We need to let them see us treating others they way we would like to be treated.  They must see us loving others just like Jesus.  

     How do you encourage your children to behave properly? Do they put others above themselves? Are they considerate of other's feelings? Do you set the right example for them to follow?   Just a couple of questions to leave you with today. 




Here is a great free coloring page for you to save and print as a reminder to always think of others.




To save these images, hover over it, right click and choose "save image as...".

Thursday, October 13, 2016

BIBLE VERSES AND QUOTES {FREE PRINTABLE PDF}





     Today I decided to sit down and make a free printable PDF file for everyone.  This file contains verses and quotes that will help us conquer fear and worry.  In a world with so much confusion and disarray, we need to be reminded of where our hope lies. To download this file, just click on the link under the photo. Enjoy and God bless you!!!





Let's Talk Manners: Learning Respect and Consideration



     According to the Bible we are to respect our elders.  The word respect actually means to place a great value or high price on something.  In our world today, I do not see people respecting others.  I see inconsideration for those who are in authority over us or are older than we are.  We do not want to think of others first. We only want to please ourselves.   

     Disrespect is a huge issue.  If we allow our children to disrespect us and those God has placed over them, then they will disrespect God and His commands as well.  I believe most acts against others, like stealing, lying, and even murder,  stems from disrespect and a disregard for the value of others and their belongings.  


     1 Peter 5:5 ~ Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for 
“God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”

      Children learn to be respectful by our example.  If they see us dishonoring our bosses, leaders, or pastors, they will think that is appropriate behavior.  We must exhibit respect or deference towards those God has placed in authority over us.  Our kiddos are watching us even when we do not realize it.  They listen to our words.  They hear contempt in our voices when we speak poorly of people.  They will mimic our attitudes, actions and vocabulary.  

     When our children are trained to be in control of their attitudes and words, they will be able to establish good relationships.  No one wants to deal with someone who has a belief that they are entitled to act in a way that is haughty and prideful.  Everyone enjoys being around those who are humble and who puts others needs above their own.  

      As your children are learning this concept, be sure take opportunities to teach lessons in humility.  When they see that most times they are displaying a lack of respect is derived from an attitude of egotism, they will be able to figure out ways to change and improve their dispositions.  You can ask them questions on how they could have handled a situation, or how their attitudes could be more pleasing to God.  Together you can look up verses in the Bible on how to act and react properly towards those in authority, and pray that next time they will have the right response.

Obey your spiritual leaders, and do what they say. Their work is to watch over your souls, and they are accountable to God. Give them reason to do this with joy and not with sorrow. That would
 certainly not be for your benefit. 
~ Hebrews 13:17

To save this image, hover over the picture, right click, and choose "save image as..."

For more great information, please come check out our Facebook page: Training our Children in Godly Character