Saturday, March 31, 2012

A Child's Point of View

Tiffany -- "Mom, are the ladies of the church still going to give Josh & Kristi a shower?"

Bethany -- "Why??  That's just Awkward!!!!!"   

Tiffany -- "Not that kind of shower!!!"  ;)

Friday, March 30, 2012

Make Me a Blessing: Reaching Out to Those Who are Lonely and Hurting

"Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one for another. Love each other as brethren, be sympathetic, be courteous, 
not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing, but contrariwise blessing, knowing that ye are called thereto, that ye might inherit a blessing." ~ 1 Peter 3:8-9

We all know that God has called us to be a blessing, but so often, we get totally pre-occupied with the myriad details of our busy lives that we don't take the time to look for ways to bless others.  Have you ever thought of praying that God would make you a blessing??  Then just open your eyes, for He will bring people across your path that you can bless!

Today I had an opportunity to have lunch with a lady who is hurting and lonely.  In the course of conversation, she began to share her heart, revealing some areas of deep hurt, shame and regret in her life.  After sharing very transparently with me, she expressed fear that I would not want to be her friend anymore.  My heart went out to her, and I assured her that I would still be her friend, still meet her for lunch, still look at her just the same!

On the way home, I began to reflect on our lunch and to think about how many people there are all around us who are secretly hurting, lonely, sad, struggling. How can we be a blessing to them??  Here are a few thoughts:

  1. Be available.

    This is not always easy or possible for busy, homeschooling mothers, but as much as we can, we should try to be available to spend time with those who need a listening ear.  We may not be able to go out to lunch, depending on the season of life we are in, but we may be able to open up our homes or give encouragement over the phone or via email.

  2. Listen attentively.
    It is difficult to focus entirely on what another person is saying in this day of distractions, with people all around, cell phones going off, etc.  But one way we can show the worth of a person is by giving them our undivided attention.  So, whenever possible, we should attempt to focus solely on the person we are with, listening with our eyes, ears and heart.

  3. Don't judge.
    This lady has had a very difficult life.  She has suffered much at the hands of others.  I don't know what I would have done if I had been in the same set of circumstances.  I can't assume I would have made better choices.  My job is just to listen compassionately and make her feel loved and accepted and of value.  God loves her every bit as much as He does me!

  4. Love unconditionally.
    As I said, she has repeatedly expressed concern that I won't want to be her friend anymore if I know certain details about her life.  I know that God knows all about me and loves me anyway!  It is my goal to love others with the same agape love.  I know this lady needs to feel that unconditional love and acceptance more than anything.  As I show her a glimmer of that kind of love, maybe it will give me an opportunity to introduce her to the only One truly able to love her unconditionally.

  5. Offer tidbits of wise counsel.
    I say tidbits, because it is easy to overwhelm someone with advice, or to make them feel like you are trying to "fix them" or preach to them.  I don't want to push my new friend away!  But, I don't want to miss any natural opportunities to share with her the love of Christ and the wisdom of following his principles.  I want to give her
    Hope and not let her continue operating on the basis of the world's wisdom.  Only God's principles offer true Freedom from bondage!

  6. Pray for wisdom!
    I kept praying that God would give me the words to say and would show me when to speak and when to be silent.  I wanted to be faithful to share the Words of Life with her -- but I knew I had to be careful not to give her more than she was ready for.  Only God can show us what to say and when.

I am truly grateful for this opportunity to demonstrate the love of God and to be a friend to this woman who really needs a friend!  She has no idea of her true worth!  Is God opening the door for you to bless someone who is lonely, hurting, discouraged, and who needs a friend?

"Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." -- John 15:13

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Why I'm Doing Something I Promised Myself I Wouldn't Do

When I first learned about Pinterest, I promised myself I would not go there!  I heard how addictive it was, and I didn't want to allow any more of my time to be sucked into the black hole of cyberspace!  So, I resisted the temptation. . . 

However, the lure that finally caught me was Josh and Kristi's upcoming wedding.  I was told repeatedly that the "only way" to plan a wedding on a tight budget was to glean from the many creative ideas shared on Pinterest.

So, I took the bait . . . and was hooked!

I did spend some time initially browsing for wedding ideas and also really enjoyed looking at decorating and craft ideas for the holidays; however, I am happy to report that I have kept a tight rein on my Pinterest time, and not gotten carried away!  In fact, I really haven't spent that much time just browsing on Pinterest -- not that I wouldn't like to!  It is a fun source of endless ideas!  

Actually, I've found a way to use Pinterest that doesn't take up time that I don't have, and even helps me save time and be more organized. It saves me time by enabling me to find recipes, articles, and ideas easily whenever I want to use them! It also keeps me from cluttering up my inbox by emailing myself all the links I want to be able to find again!

Let me share how I use Pinterest to help me be more productive, not less:

First of all, I installed the Pin It button on my Google Chrome Toolbar.  (Instructions can be found here.) 

Then, whenever I am on the internet browsing my favorite blogs, discovering yummy recipes, interacting on social media sites and following links for thought-provoking articles and ideas, I just click on "Pin It" to save the health article, craft idea, wedding decoration, or nutritious recipe for later reference.  At that point, I can scroll through the "pin boards" that I have created and select the most appropriate one for pinning the new information, idea, article or recipe, or I can easily create a new board that better suits this new piece of information I've discovered.

For example, awhile back, I discovered a recipe that looked yummy to me -- Black Bean Salad with Corn, Red Peppers, Avocado, and Lime-Cilantro Vinaigrette.  (See photo above!)  I love anything with lime or cilantro, and it looked so healthy and colorful!  So, I pinned it to my Nourishing Food board.  I also pinned it to my Recipes to Try board.  I figured I would go looking on one or the other of those boards when I was ready to try a new recipe!  

Then, last Saturday when I needed to make something for our church fellowship meal, I didn't have to rack my brain, trying to remember where I had seen that recipe!  I knew exactly where to find it -- on Pinterest!  It was so quick and easy to find and print the recipe so I could try it out!

Of course, it is undeniably fun when I find a few extra minutes to just peruse Pinterest and watch my creative juices flow.  However, most days I don't spend any extra time on Pinterest -- I just use it to organize helpful pieces of information I encounter, as outlined above.  

What about you?  Are you on Pinterest?  How do you use Pinterest to serve you and not derail you?  Would you like to see the things I've been pinning?  I'd love for you to Follow Me on Pinterest!!

Oh, and by the way -- the black bean salad was delicious!  My family liked eating it like a fresh salsa, scooping it up in tortilla chips!  :)

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Strategies for Success in College

Sometimes it is hard to believe that I've been homeschooling for 22 years!  My daily life has changed a lot during those years!!  While I remember a time when I was stretched to my max attempting to teach children in six different grades plus keep up with a pre-schooler and a nursing infant, I am now in a totally different season of life.  I only have two children younger than 13; I have four awesome teens; and four of my kids are in their twenties!!  I'm still very Busy -- but in a totally different way.

My oldest two daughters graduated a few years ago -- one from a 4-year college and the other from a 2-year Bible school, and I currently have three sons attending college!!  (Joe is doing dual-enrollment -- so he is taking two high school classes and two college classes this semester.)  Fortunately, the skills they all acquired as homeschoolers -- such as, learning to work independently and learning to think for themselves -- have helped them be successful as they have pursued higher education.

Another skill that is necessary for success in college is learning how to manage your money and your time -- since there is never enough of either one to go around!  All of my kids have had to work while in college in order to help pay for their education (and their car insurance!), so they have had to learn time and money management skills.

One of the often under-estimated expenses for college students is the unbelievably high cost of textbooks!  My kids have learned that the most expensive way to obtain the necessary books is to take the book lists from their professors and buy all the books listed at the school bookstore.  That will easily cost several hundred dollars or more!  They have learned to employ a few strategies to reduce the amount of money spent on books, such as finding out from other students which books they really need for that class and which ones they can do without, sharing a textbook with a sibling or a friend, and buying books on Ebay, Amazon, or Half-Price books.  Recently, we've become aware of a new option that allows a student to save even more money  -- renting textbooks!

My niece, Amber, recently rented a textbook from, where she saved a lot of money by not purchasing a book she doesn't care about keeping.  (And if she were to decide she wants to keep the book, all she has to do is pay the difference and the book is hers to keep!)

Renting textbooks is an excellent way for home educating families to reduce the high costs of a college education!

Renting from offers many benefits:

  • save 40-90% off of bookstore prices
  • free shipping both ways
  • can highlight in the textbooks
  • flexible renting periods
  • risk-free 30-day return period

In addition, every time you rent a book, donates a portion of the proceeds to Operation Smile, which is an organization that performs life-changing cleft lip surgeries on children whose families could not otherwise afford it.

Operation Smile

Here is a short video explaining how textbook rental works.

Have you rented a textbook from  Please share about your experience.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Tummy Toning Tuesday - The 4-Step Tupler Technique



Welcome back to Tummy Toning Tuesday, which is what I've decided to name this series where I share my journey with the Tupler Technique for curing a diastasis recti.  If you missed my first post, you can read it here.

I did not post an update last week, while I was out of town enjoying a visit with my parents in South Carolina.  Between Spring Break and going out of town for 6 days, I confess that I was somewhat derailed in my efforts to consistently implement the 4-step Tupler technique.  Since returning home, I've been trying to get back on track, but have continued to face some obstacles.  This program does require focus and commitment to bring about the desired results.

Today I am going to share with you what the 4-Step Tupler Technique entails.

The 4-Step Tupler Technique® includes:

  1. Tupler Technique® Exercises (Elevator, Contracting & Headlifts)
  2. Splinting with the Diastasis Rehab Splint®
  3. Using your abdominals correctly with activities of daily living
  4. Getting up and down correctly

Over the next four weeks, I will discuss each of these components in greater detail.

Step One - Exercises

The Tupler exercises are designed to help you strengthen your transverse muscle (which is commonly called "the core.")  They include a series of contracting exercises where you learn to isolate and strengthen your transverse muscle by squeezing the muscle as you think of bringing the belly button back to the spine.

Julie Tupler also answers many common questions about her exercises on her website.

Things You Need to Know About Your Transverse Muscle:
  1. Gravity affects your ability to engage the transverse muscle.  It is best to exercise in a seated or standing position.
  2. Belly breathing puts the transverse muscle in the right starting and ending position.  
  3. In a backlying position when the shoulders come off the floor, it is impossible to engage the transverse muscle.
  4. A forward crossover movement will make the diastasis larger.  Avoid activities such as tennis and golf until your diastasis is healed.
  5. NEVER do sit-ups or crunches, as these movements actually create a diastasis or make one larger!!

My Journey with Strengthening My Transverse Muscle

I am finding these simple exercises to be quite challenging for me personally!  I obviously have a very weak transverse muscle!  When doing the strengthening exercises, I find it nearly impossible to contract my transverse muscle without "asking for help" from nearby muscles!  I find myself tightening my legs, my shoulders, even my jaws when trying to contract my transverse muscle!!!  

I continue to work to strengthen my transverse, and have decided to repeat week 3 this week.

Who Wants to Join Me?

A few of you have emailed me or left me a comment on my blog or Facebook to let me know that you are ordering the DVD and splint and will be working to heal your own diastasis recti.  Will you please do me a favor?  If you are joining me in this journey, will you please leave a comment on this post letting me know?  That way, we will all know who is joining in so we can encourage one another and keep each other accountable!!

To follow the Tupler program, you will need the Lose Your Mummy Tummy DVD, guidebook and splint, which can be ordered directly from Julie Tupler for $78 here.  I've also seen the DVD on Amazon.  I would encourage you to get the DVD rather than the book, which needs updated, as most people will do better being able to actually SEE the exercises being performed.


OK -- we can do this!  If any of you are seeing results already or have healed a diastasis recti previously, please share your results or your progress to encourage the rest of us!!


Monday, March 26, 2012

Marriage Monday: How to be a Help Meet to Your Husband


Last week we talked about how women are designed by God to complement, complete and help their husbands.  (See Genesis 2:18) Today I wanted to identify some specific ways that a wise wife might be a help meet to her particular husband.  This list is certainly not exhaustive -- nor prescriptive -- it is simply meant to illustrate the many ways that an individual woman might fulfill her calling as a help meet to her own husband.

Each man has a unique blend of skills, talents, personality traits, and character strengths and weaknesses, which he uses to help him accomplish specific life goals and to fulfill the particular life calling which God has impressed upon him.  Likewise, each woman also has a unique mix of skills, talents, personality characteristics and character strengths and weaknesses that she brings into a marriage.  When a couple marries wisely, these should compliment one another, enabling the wife to be exactly what the husband needs to help him fulfill his life calling and occupation.

Because of this set of variables, a particular wife will find that her role as help meet is somewhat unique depending on the needs of her own husband.  Here are some specific ways that a biblical wife might help her husband:

  1. Being his faithful companion and best friend.
  2. Meeting his need for physical affection and intimacy.
  3. Embracing his life calling and helping him accomplish the vision God gives to him.
  4. Complementing him by compensating for his weaknesses with her strengths.
  5. Encouraging him.
  6. Cheering for him.
  7. Praying for him. 
  8. Helping him with his business endeavors in whatever capacity he most needs.
  9. Supporting his ministry and helping him be more effective in that ministry.
  10. Washing and ironing his dress shirts or uniforms so he looks professional on the job.
  11. Planning and preparing nutritious meals that help him maintain good health.
  12. Researching specific health concerns and medical procedures that he faces.
  13. Partnering with him and God in the creation and bearing of children.
  14. Nurturing, training, educating, and discipling the children that God gives.
  15. Creating a clean, peaceful home environment where he can relax and refuel.
  16. Showing hospitality to his friends, business clients, and ministry contacts.
  17. Stretching his income through careful money management and being a good home economist.
  18. Helping to bring in additional income, if necessary (preferably part-time or from home).
  19. Caring for his parents in their old age with the same tenderness she would care for her own parents.
  20. Believing in him when no one else does.

I'm sure you can add to this list.  What are some creative ways you have been a help meet to your husband?  Please share!

Have you ever seen the movie, The Glenn Miller Story, starring Jimmy Stewart and June Allyson?  This is one of my all-time favorite movies!  Why?  Because even though this is not a Christian movie, Glenn Miller's wife in this film exemplifies what it means to be a help meet to her husband!  She adopted her husband's vision and made it her own.  She used her "miserly" ways (gathering the change in his pockets and depositing it in a savings account) to enable him to start his first band. She made sacrifices and did everything she could to encourage him to "find the right sound."  By creatively embracing her role as a help meet, she helped to make her husband successful!!  Ladies, this is what I'm talking about!!!  :)


Your Turn to Share 

Every Monday, I plan to explore some aspect of marriage here on my blog.  I invite you to share your past or present marriage-related blog posts, as well.  Please link up with me by entering the URL of your specific blog post in the Mr. Linky below, and make sure you grab my blog button and add it to your post!  (Just copy the HTML code under my button and paste it into your blog post.)  It's that simple!  (If you don't want to copy my blog button, just insert a direct text link to my blog.  That works too!!)

I also welcome your comments!  My blog has been awfully quiet lately, so be sure to speak up and share your thoughts!


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Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Secret to Overcoming Grumbling and Complaining

It is easy to thank God when you wake up feeling rested and eager to meet a new day, when the sun is shining and the birds are singing, when you hear laughter coming from the children's rooms, when your husband is in a good mood, when the pantry and freezer are full of the staples needed to put together a meal, when you walk into a clean kitchen, with a shiny sink and a clean dishwasher full of dishes and a pot of freshly-brewed coffee to help you start your day.  Don't you agree?  

But what about when you wake up grumpy and tired, when storms are brewing within and without, when the pantry is bare and the bank account is empty, when the kids forgot to run the dishwasher and the coffee pot is broken, when the future is uncertain and the trials of life are pressing down on you.  Do you thank God then??  

I know that the Bible says to give thanks in all things, whether I feel like it or not.  But, I must confess that sometimes I don't care.  I find it hard to give thanks for my circumstances.  Some days my unthankfulness may stem from a mountain of small irritations and disappointments; and other days it may be because of huge, heart-wrenching trials.  But it doesn't matter.  I am commanded to give thanks in all things.

Fortunately, I do have a thankful spirit most of the time.  But every now and then, I find myself grumbling and complaining and refusing to trust God.  I never thought about it before -- but suddenly it became clear to me.  In the same way that it irritates me when my children grumble and complain, God despises it when I complain and refuse to trust Him.  

However, did you know that God has provided an "insurance policy" to keep us from being destroyed by this sin??  I learned this amazing new insight this morning in my favorite devotional:
"Let thankfulness temper all your thoughts. A thank-ful mindset keeps you in touch with Me.  I hate it when my children grumble, casually despising my sovereignty.  Thankfulness is a safeguard against this deadly sin.  Furthermore, a grateful attitude becomes a grid through which you perceive life.  Gratitude enables you to see the Light of My Presence shining on all your circumstances.  Cultivate a thankful heart, for this glorifies Me and fills you with Joy."

No matter how difficult our circumstances, we are commanded to keep our eyes on God, to trust Him, to thank Him, and to rejoice in Him! Have you ever considered Habakkuk 3:17-18??

Though the fig tree may not blossom,Nor fruit be on the vines;Though the labor of the olive may fail,And the fields yield no food;Though the flock may be cut off from the fold,And there be no herd in the stalls, Yet I will rejoice in the Lord,I will joy in the God of my salvation.
How about you?  Have you learned the secret to maintaining a thankful, joyful spirit in spite of your circumstances??

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Wisdom Wednesday Link Up

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Happy Birthday Josh!

Today is Josh's birthday.  (Wasn't he a cute baby??)

His first birthday as a twenty-something young man!

His last birthday as a single son living in our home!

I made him a special breakfast -- buttermilk waffles and bacon.  You will have to close your eyes and imagine it, since I don't have a camera.  :(  The best part is the smell, anyway  . . . and I can't share that with you until Blogger adds a "scratch 'n sniff" feature!  ;)

Now, I'm making his birthday cake.  He requested this recipe.  It takes two hours to bake and then I chill it overnight.  We will have his birthday meal tomorrow evening, because he works until close tonight.

Happy Birthday Josh!  :)

A Celebration of Motherhood

When I read these words from my favorite author, Sally Clarkson, I knew I had to share them with you here!
"In every culture and in every generation, a mother and child reflect the beauty of God’s design of womanhood. God intentionally crafted babies so that they would be fragile, dependent creatures that would need the love, songs, touch, inspiration and nurture of a mother. When a woman understands that one of the greatest gifts she will ever receive from her creator is to have the opportunity to touch eternity through artfully nurturing the mind, heart and soul of a child, whose life will have implications for all of eternity, her life joins in kingdom purposes with God.
Motherhood is one of the most strategic Biblical callings for women at this time in history. When a mother understands God’s design for her to raise a godly generation in her home, who can love and serve God and pass on righteousness to their own generation, there will be hope for that nation. Moral excellence, faith, emotional health, intellectual excellence and great works of mankind all stem from the home that wisdom builds as women embrace God’s call on their lives."
Sally has a way of writing that always touches my heart!  In fact, she seems to be able to express the  innermost thoughts of my own heart in ways I never thought to articulate.  So many times when reading her writing, it is as if I wrote the words myself, they are so closely intertwined with who I am as a person and a mother.  One of my favorite books in the whole world is Seasons of a Mother's Heart!  I re-read it every time I need a dose of inspiration and encouragement!  Have you read this amazing book?

I am excited to tell you that encouragement for your motherhood journey is now just a click away!  Sally has started a new ministry and assembled a team of mothers ready to speak words of encouragement into your heart.  Mom Heart Online is devoted to equipping, encouraging, and enabling women to allow God to use them in their homes to raise a godly generation for his glory.

You will have easy access to articles like the one I quoted from above -- A Celebration of Motherhood to equip you for the arduous task of raising up a generation of young adults who will engage the culture and stand up for Jesus Christ, no matter what the cost.

Check it out -- and let me know what you think!!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Family Fun in My Hometown

Last Saturday, while in Greenville, SC, I took the kids to their favorite park.  They like it, because it has a smaller playground area for little kids, and a larger, taller playground area for big kids!  That way, they can still have fun!  (Brilliant idea, if you ask me!)  The park was built on the site of an old TB hospital, and is in a beautiful location on top of a hill, looking out over the city of Greenville on one side, with a view of the Blue Ridge Mountains on the other side.  Unfortunately, when we were there, it was cloudy and even rained lightly, so the view was not as magnificent as normal.

Bethany and her "sister" Amber!  (Actually they are cousins, but Bethany took to calling Amber her sister while she was living with us.  They did share a room and a bed, except for when Bethany kicked her out!)  :)

While the children played, I took a walk with my Mom and Dad on the walking trails that go around the playground area and two soccer fields.  My mom sped along in her "Jazzy!"  :)

On the way home, I took the kids to Burger King, because they wanted to get the FREE fries and green ketchup (gag!) for St. Patrick's Day.  We're all about FREE FOOD -- but this one didn't appeal to me at all!  ;)

Unfortunately, these are my last pictures for awhile -- as Amber headed North with her camera and my camera has been unable to be resurrected.  :(

Let me know if you see any Giveaways for cameras!  Hannah and I are entering any we see!  ;)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Thank God for Sisters!

The catalyst for my recent trip to South Carolina was to return my niece, Amber, to my sister, Rebecca, who lives in Ohio.  We met "halfway" at my parent's house in Greenville to "make the exchange!"   So, I got to squeeze in a fun little visit with my sister!  :)

On Sunday afternoon, we managed to sneak in an excursion to downtown Greenville for some "special sister time!"  

{one of our hilarious attempts at a self-portrait!  Finally, this young man, obviously amused by our repeated attempts to take our own picture, came and offered his services!!  The picture he took is a little farther down on this post!!}

When we got downtown, we headed for Spill the Beans -- this cool "hang-out spot" beside the Reedy River where young people and families congregate for specialty coffee, gourmet ice-cream and old-fashioned conversation.  We planned to order coffee, and found ourselves mysteriously holding cups of delicious, cold, creamy ice cream instead!  ;)

And about that "old-fashioned conversation" -- I've nicknamed my sister the "texting queen!"  I think everyone in Ohio was texting her that day!  :)

It never ceases to amaze me how they have transformed downtown Greenville in recent years!  When I was a girl, no one went downtown unless they had to!  It was old, dirty, deserted . . . but now it is Revitalized, Alive and Teeming with activity!  I couldn't believe the crowd that milled about on a beautiful Sunday afternoon!  We enjoyed looking out over the Reedy River, which was once a polluted, sluggish waterway that was a disgrace to the city, but is now a focal point and showcase of the city with the creation of Falls Park, which has been enthusiastically embraced by residents and visitors alike!

Look who joined us??  My daughter, Ashlyn!  :)

*Thanks to Amber for the use of her camera, otherwise I wouldn't have any pictures from my time in South Carolina!  Still mourning the demise of our only camera.  :(

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Counting Down the Miles

Home Safe!

It's always good to be home, isn't it??

Some people love road trips . . . .but for as long as I can remember, I have disliked long car trips . . . . and it's worse when I have to do the driving and can't pass the time by reading or sleeping!

Unfortunately, I get very drowsy when I'm on a long trip -- or a short trip for that matter!  ;)  I think I inherited this trait from my Dad and from his Dad before him.   :(

So, I've had to come up with some strategies to keep myself awake when driving for a several hours.  My most foolproof strategy is this:

When I see an interstate mile marker, I pop an M&M in my mouth.  I slowly suck it until the candy coating melts away, then I chew the soft inside part.  I look for the next mile marker, which shouldn't be too far away, if I've savored the M&M long enough.  When I see the next mile marker, I pop another M&M in my mouth.  This keeps me awake from mile to mile as I cruise down the interstate.

Another helpful strategy is listening to sermons, seminar sessions and audiobooks.  These help to keep me awake and engaged.  On this trip we listened to Ramona and Beezus and Jonathan Park: The Voyage Beyond.


What about you?  Do you get sleepy when you drive?  If so, what strategies do you employ to stay safe on the road??  Leave me a comment and tell me what works for you!

{Some times a road trip is just too long to complete in one day, and you have to stop and spend the night.  At such times, can help you find a family-friendly motel room that fits your family size and your budget!  Check them out!}


Heading Home

We have enjoyed being here in SC with my parents this week! In fact, we aren't quite ready to leave . . .  but I think it's time we head home and get back to school and our daily responsibilities, and let my parents get some rest and get back to their own routines.  I'm sure they are ready for some peace and quiet!  :)  So, we are headed back to the Georgia Coast some time today.  Prayers for safe travels would be appreciated!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Who Home Schools? {an interview}

Savannah, over at Hammock Tracks, recently interviewed me for her Who Home Schools Series.  If you've ever wondered why we chose to homeschool, what philosophy of education we follow, and what our vision is for our children, you will definitely want to read this interview!

Here is an excerpt:

  • What is your goal in home educating your children?

God gave me a vision for a home-centered life style with obedient and godly children. I wanted to impart my own values to my children and to give them a biblical worldview.  I wanted to protect them from the negative influences and humanistic teaching in the public schools, and to teach them godly character and love of God and family.  I also wanted to spend time with my children and encourage them to turn their hearts toward their parents and brothers and sisters, rather than their peers.  As time has gone by, these goals have only been intensified and confirmed!   

To read the entire interview, click HERE.  Please take time to give Savannah some feedback while you are there!  (Bloggers love to receive comments!  hint, hint!)  :)

Monday, March 19, 2012

Marriage Monday: Created to be His Help Meet


After creating Adam, God stated that it was not good for man to be alone, and he created the solution to this problem -- Eve!

"And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make an help meet for him."  (Genesis 2:18)
Thus, He created Eve as the compliment, the completer, the helper that man needed to fulfill the tasks that God called him to accomplish on the earth.

What does it mean for the woman to be a helper?  Virginia Fugate explains it this way in her landmark book on biblical womanhood, On the Other Side of The Garden: 

". . . the woman, as helper, is an assistant -- the one who helps to achieve the goals of the one leading.  His goals become her goals.  She cooperatively and effectively assists and renders aid, strengthening the man for his own tasks.  A woman has important work to do.  She should use her intelligence, talents, and abilities in such a way that her efforts give support and encouragement to her man.  This could range from providing a stable, comfortable home to working in her husband's business or to giving moral support of his ministry.  In other words, she helps her husband in whatever capacity he most needs her assistance."  (p. 14)

Of course, I understand that this view of women is politically incorrect in post-Christian America.  Women have been taught to believe that this role is demeaning, old-fashioned, and unfulfilling. They believe they have the right to use their gifts, talents, and abilities to pursue their own goals and ambitions, even if this causes them to compete with their husband's goals and ambitions.  God did not create woman to compete with the man, but to complement and complete the man.

Debi Pearl in her life-changing book, Created to be His Help Meet, explains it this way:

"If you are a wife, you were created to fill a need, and in that capacity you are a "good thing," a helper suited to the needs of a man.  This is how God created you and it is your purpose for existing.  You are, by nature, equipped in every way to be your man's helper.  You are inferior to none as long as you function within your created nature, for no man can do your job, and no man is complete without his wife.  You were created to make him complete, not to seek personal fulfillment parallel to him.  A woman trying to function like a man is as ridiculous as a man trying to be like a woman. A unisex society is a senseless society -- a society dangerously out of order."  (p.21)


Every business, religious and service organization has a hierarchy and an organizational chart showing the chain of command.  There is no indignity in being the Vice-President instead of the President or the Assistant Chairman rather than the Chairman.  Many times the assistant may even be more talented or skilled than the person leading the organization or company.  However, that person should still respect the office of the "president" and use his or her skills to assist the president and help make the organization as a whole more successful.  As wives, it should be our goal to assist our husbands in any way possible and to help them be successful in their jobs or ministries, as well as working to create successful marriages and families.

Debi Pearl helps us understand our divine calling:

"God made you to be a help meet to your husband so you can bolster him, making him more productive and efficient at whatever he chooses to do.  You are not on the board of directors with an equal vote.  You have no authority to set the agenda.  But if he can trust you, he will make you his closest advisor, his confidante, his press secretary, his head of state, his vice-president, his ambassador, his public relations expert, maybe even his speech writer -- all at his discretion."  (p. 23)

She then challenges us with this thought-provoking question:
If God created a special woman, perfectly suited to be your husband's helper, would you be that woman? 

Think about it -- what kind of help does your husband need?  How are you helping him in his work or ministry? How are you helping him create the kind of family he desires?  How are you hindering him?  Please share your insights!

Your Turn to Share 

Every Monday, I plan to explore some aspect of marriage here on my blog.  I invite you to share your past or present marriage-related blog posts, as well.  Please link up with me by entering the URL of your specific blog post in the Mr. Linky below, and make sure you grab my blog button and add it to your post!  (Just copy the HTML code under my button and paste it into your blog post.)  It's that simple!  (If you don't want to copy my blog button, just insert a direct text link to my blog.  That works too!!)

I also welcome your comments!  My blog has been awfully quiet lately, so be sure to speak up and share your thoughts!


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Thursday, March 15, 2012

Spring Break at Our House

It's Spring Break here this week (at least for some members of the family -- all of the spring breaks fell on different weeks this year).  Abby is here for the week; Tay is home for a few days; Amber is done student teaching and enjoying her time off -- so we've been in Fun mode around here and the house has been a hub of activity!!!

First, we filled out our brackets for March Madness!  (That's a pre-requisite for living in this household!)  ;)

Tuesday, we went to the Village to do a little shopping  and came home with one of these . . .

It was a picture perfect day!!  Highs in the low 80's with warm sun and a refreshing breeze!

We spent the afternoon hanging out at our favorite park . . . the one that is adorned with sprawling Live Oaks and overlooks the Atlantic Ocean.

The kids enjoyed playing football and ultimate frisbee in the big, grassy field.

The day was perfect . . . until Joe came carrying a "wounded soldier" off the "battlefield" . . . .

Who would have thought that a flying frisbee could crack a tooth in two leaving only a jagged triangle in little Bethany's mouth??

That meant I spent Wednesday morning at the dentist's office and proceeded from there to the endodontist's office, where the dentist sealed off the exposed nerve.  :(  More dental work will be in Bethany's future . . .   :(

Wednesday afternoon, we spent a delightful day here . . .

We finally tore ourselves away about 6 pm.  Like I told the kids, someone has to go home and cook supper!

The college kids hit the beach again today, while the Fantastic Five and I went to homeschool co-op.

Tomorrow, we are headed to South Carolina to visit my parents and "return" my niece, Amber!  Unfortunately, she has to go back to winter in Wisconsin and finish out her senior year so she can actually graduate.

So, we have a fun weekend ahead!  I can't wait to see my Mom and Dad and also my sister!  I'm also hoping to squeeze in a visit with my BFF who lives in the upstate of South Carolina.  Unfortunately, I won't be able to share any pictures with you, as it appears that my camera has shuttered and died.  (Sorry - I couldn't resist!)  ;)

I'm very sad.  I mean, what's a blogger to do without a camera?????????????

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