Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Yes, I CAN have Joy!

This morning while reading my Bible, I came across a verse that JUMPED out to me, and filled me with peace and a smile.

They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. 
 ~Psalm 126:4~
I believe this is a hyacinth.  I snapped this picture while in Monterrey, CA in November, visiting a dear friend.

Yes, I believe that is true!!!  For two plus years I have cried and cried.  I've been in a rut.  Actually, our family has been in a rut.  

Here's the difference I see now:  JOY, PEACE, HOPE

I can see a return of joy into my life.  To be honest, I didn't think I would ever feel that again--never.  It seems nearly impossible when you've buried your child.  It seems nearly impossible when you have a hole in your heart, and an ache in your soul beyond comprehension.  

But I want to to you there is JOY.  Where there is God, there is HOPE.  Where there is HOPE, we can continue on this long, dusty, sometimes dark and painful road of grief.

Don't give up.  As someone at a GriefShare meeting said in our video:  LEAN into Jesus.  But how?

Let me be really, really honest.  Before Ethan passed, I was at a very happy and fulfilling point in my life both spiritually with the Lord, and in my marriage and family life.  

After Ethan passed, my spiritual walk fell apart.  NOT my faith.  But my consistency in Bible reading of any sort went completely away.  I was broke.  I HAD to lean into Jesus;  to sit in His lap and just...be.  

We ALL, believers or non-believers in the One and True Creator, WILL walk through the valley of the shadow of death. Be it through loss of a loved one, illness, disease, etc.  

It's choosing to follow the Lord and trust Him that will make you or break you.  If my faith had not been intact, I would have fallen apart at the seams.  

Because the Lord is not a liar, and He keeps ALL of His promises, I can sit here and write this today:  I have joy!  

It's not to say that my grief will not deepen again.  Because it will.  This I know too well. The grief will come and go, and sometimes surprise me and give me a real swift kick I didn't see coming.  It's clinging, literally, to God's word that will make ALL of the difference in the whole entire world!

May I pray for you?  Feel free to comment or send me an email privately.

May you be blessed and JOYful!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Jesus in Disguise

Yesterday, after soccer in the morning and a few errands, it was time for lunch.  We headed to a sandwich shop called Which Wich to grab a to-go order for Evan, my mother-in-law, and myself.  We were going to take my MIL lunch and join here at her place of employment.  

While there, we were blessed.  It's not the big things in life, like winning a sum of money or such, but rather, the kind gesture that reminds you that, YES, there is one God--our Lord and Saviour--and He is good always!

While in sort of a line (it was rather people staring at the menu and blank paper bags, figuring our HOW to order their sandwiches!), two middle-aged men entered the store.  Evan and I were still figuring out what we wanted to eat, and we started to chat with the two gentleman...not uncommon for us.  We just like to chit chat and make the time go by when we are waiting, and well, Evan and I are both extroverts at times.  Anyway, one of the two gentleman asked Evan if he was homeschooled, and Evan said,"Yes."  He went on to say that his sister homeschooled her 8 children, 1 of which is special needs.  We chatted a while longer, and he told me,"Whatever you and your son want, it's on me."  I told him,"Oh no, you don't have to do that."  And he said,"You guys have good personalities, and I like that in people.  I'll buy your lunch."  

First of all, I was blown away!  This man, who had no idea who Evan and I are, decided to bless us!  That small act of kindness BLESSED my heart beyond belief!!!  To Evan and I, he was Jesus in "disguise" in a sense, because he was kind to a stranger.  He spared his money to buy for someone he didn't know, and quite frankly, he could have spent that money on himself...but he chose to bless others.

Dear sir, I do not know you, but if you somehow stumble across this post, THANK YOU for blessing our hearts!!!  

When Plan "A" Doesn't Work [Changing up what we learn]

As the holidays were nearing us here at our quaint, country home here in Texas, I felt the need for change in our daily routine.  It seems as though when we get half way or so through a "boxed" curriculum, we are ready to do something new and exciting.  Nothing against boxed curriculum, but I think after 3 plus years of homeschooling, I've learned it's just not a fit for us.

Last week we started back to school.  Well, Evan didn't know we did!

At dinner earlier this week, Daddy asked Evan what he did today, and how was school time.  Evan's response:  We didn't do any school today!

I whispered in my husband's ear that we indeed did do school, but in a different way.

I've been intrigued by Delight Directed Learning for quite some time.  Basically, whatever interests your child, you build their learning sort of around that topic/interest.  At least, that's how I've been doing it.

For example, Evan adores Botany and plants/trees/flowers/gardening, etc.  For our reading, he did a plant journal.  We hopped onto Youtube and watched a new video each day about one plant he received for Christmas.  The first day was his Pony Tail Palm he received.  I had him record the date, name of plant, watering amount, temperature to keep plant at, light (indoor/outdoor, etc.) amount, etc.

I had zero whines out of Evan, and accomplished reading, writing, and science all in one lesson!

This week, we added in All Nature Sings from Queens Homeschool Supplies (which, by the way, I LOVE!!!), Learning to Spell Through Copywork from Queens Homeschool Supplies, and McGuffey Eclectic Primer reader.  He is enjoying all of this, and each particular lesson in each book is gentle and easy!

How is your school year?  Don't be afraid to sell or give away what's not working for you and your children.

Be blessed,

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

God's Plans Aren't Always Ours

There are many plans in a man’s heart,
Nevertheless the Lord’s counsel—that will stand.

May you and yours be blessed in 2013!