Friday, March 29, 2013

When You Realize the Cross is All That Really Matters

Easter is almost here.  It hasn't been until the last 6 or 7 years that I have started to celebrate the holy week that precedes it.  Remembering what happened on those days leading to Jesus's death is part of truly preparing our hearts for Good Friday and Easter Sunday.  Having little kids means that my celebration of holy week involves lots of age appropriate crafts that I hope make things more real for my children.  This year did not pan out the way I had planned.  I'll just be honest and say that I was in a horrible mood for the first half of the week.  I could not seem to shake a case of the crankies.  And I really tried.  Really.  In the midst of yelling at the kids and feeling like I was spinning out of control, I would think to myself, "something is wrong here.  This should be a week of reflection and excitement should be building for what's coming- Easter."  But I could not force myself to do any of the things that I normally enjoy doing.  I felt like a failure all week.  I failed as a parent, as a wife, as a person.  My tendency is to beat myself up and dwell in my failure but God showed me something in the midst of all the failure.  "This is why I came," Jesus whispered to me.  He died for the sin that has been heavy on my heart all week.  It's gone!  I don't have to dwell there!  I ask for forgiveness from my Lord and IT IS FORGIVEN!  And I ask for forgiveness from my family and they forgive as well. And grace abounds in this house.  And I fall on my knees in awe and worship of my God and this love that does not make sense. The truth of "while we were yet sinners,"  and "when we were dead in our transgressions," pierces my heart. I am loved because He is God and God is love and so the cross. It had to be. That's it.  That's all.  On this Good Friday, there is reflection.  Reflection on the cross on a hill over 2000 years ago and the torture and killing of deity that took place on that day.  We bow low and tears are shed for what Christ endured for us. And there is reflection on the reasons why- because of God's insane, crazy, make-no-sense, wonderful, makes-you-want-to-dance kind of love.  And we know that Friday is not the end so we prepare our hearts to celebrate because Sunday is coming!!!!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013


So thankful for the snow.  Why is it so difficult for me to wipe my slate clean for the day of the "to-dos?"  The snow started falling earlier this morning and I was mesmerized by it's beauty while the kids were excited to just play in it.  But wait, we have too much "to do" this morning.  And  just like that I almost missed the blessing.  The gift. Of my kids rosy cheeks, and silly giggles, and imagination in what snow creatures could be created, and cold tiny hands that welcomed warm mugs of hot chocolate.  How could something so simple as white dots falling from the sky be the cause of so much joy?  Because the One who created them created us, created joy.  IS joy.  And deeper still than even our enjoyment in watching it fall softly to the ground and delighting as it falls on us, is the reminder it brings.  God whispers, "This is how I see you.  Red blood was shed on a hill on a cross so that you could be washed white as snow.  Made clean."  And I am brought to a place of worship once again.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Motherhood-what they don't tell you

No one could have prepared me. No words spoken could have gotten me ready for this crazy thing they call motherhood. It is exhausting and glorious. It is draining and refreshing. It is sanctifying to the point where you feel done and that it sanctifys more. Doesn't make sense. There are moments I look at my childrens' faces and I'm moved to tears by their beauty and loveliness. And I think, "God has entrusted these amazing people to me? To me?" I am overwhelmed with gratitude. Then there are moments when I want to run away. I want to run from the piles of laundry, from the dishes stacked up on the counter, from the countless toys littering the floor, from the toothpaste that spots the bathroom sink. But God whispers to me, "This is it. Even in this, I AM." And I think I am learning to turn the moments of despair, of overwhlemedness, into moments of praise and worship and quiet and stillness with the One who created me. And isn't that what life is about?

Friday, April 13, 2012

The Beauty of Motherhood Part 1

Raise your hands out there if you have days where the thought of running away from home crosses your mind? Let's be honest! If you're a stay at home mom, I'm sure that you raised your hand a little, if only halfway. The moments come for all of us, don't they? When we ring our hands together and want to scream (and sometimes do)? On the flip side, there are so many more moments when I just grab onto my kids and hug them so tight they have to remind me, "Mom, you have to let go now." Oh the crazy, mixed up world of motherhood!
I have had many moments in the last week when I have been in awe of my kids and so thankful that God has tasked me with the gift of raising these beautiful people.
Levi is such a "boy." He's wild and crazy and I don't know how he makes some of those sound effects come out of his mouth, but he does it constantly. The noises he makes as he plays are never ending. I don't even think he realizes he's making them. And when he gets the giggles, it makes my day. He has a laugh he does when something is funny that causes him to lose his breath. He loves people. Making friends is what energizes him. I actually had to take away outside time (where he plays with all his buddies) as punishment the other day and it almost broke my heart to see how far his face fell. He was crushed! Hopefully, he learned his lesson though. And he's a thinker. He mulls things around in his head for awhile and brings things up hours/days/weeks later. James opened presents for his birthday on Wednesday and then the kids had to go to Awanas. While gifts were being opened, Levi wanted to know which was the favorite. James commented that the he loved the gifts he got from Levi and Lilly. On the way home from Awanas (2-3 hours later), he said to James in the car, "Dad, I think you should like mommy's present too. We don't want her feelings to get hurt." You could tell he had been thinking this over and was concerned for my feelings. Such a tender heart!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Review of Time4learning

We just finished our 30 day trial of time4 learning and I am ready to review! First, the good things. I really enjoyed all the options to choose from for learning time. My preschooler asked to do it almost every day and she was able to maneuver through without much help from me. I liked the way that the student was able to pick their own pace and would sometimes find my kindergartner doing it long after "school time" was over. I'm not sure that he even realized he was working on his phonics rules. So my kids enjoyed it most of the time which is always a good thing when it comes to learning.
On the negative side, I had a hard time figuring out how to track what they were doing. They're still young, so I watched over their shoulder a lot to see how they were coming along, but I thought there was a way to log on as the parent and just see how they had been doing. I couldn't figure it out and I consider myself pretty computer savvy. Also, we are already using a curriculum, but if time4learning was our core choice for curriculum, I feel it would be repetitive and lacking a little. My preschooler went through most of the games in 30 days and I'm not sure that they would have held her attention for a full year. The kindergarten level was the same thing.
I really liked the time4learning for supplemental, educational fun for kids. They could easily understand everything, the directions were clear, and they could work through most of it on their own. However, we would not use it for a core curriculum even in kindergarten. There just is not enough material, in my opinion, for it to stay interesting to them for a year of school.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


I've been invited to try Time4Learning for one month in exchange for a candid review. My opinion will be entirely my own, so be sure to come back and read about my experience. Time4Learning can be used as ahomeschool curriculum, for afterschool enrichment and for summer skill sharpening. Find out how to write your own curriculum review for Time4Learning.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Snakes and Snails and Puppy Dogs' Tails

So, in case any of you out there were wondering if there truly is an instinctive difference between boys and girls let me just tell you - there is!!! That rhyme from our childhood rings true to me daily about sugar and spice and everything nice vs snakes and snails and puppy dogs' tails. Just the other day the kids were playing outside when Lilly comes running in the front door so excited, cheeks cherry red and an exuberant smile on her face. "Mommy, mommy, I picked these flowers just for you," she said as she held out this tiny bouquet of purple wildflowers. Five minutes later, Levi comes running through the front door yelling, "Mommy, mommy, can we please keep these," as he holds out a pair of blue crawdad claws pulled from some now armless shelled creature in our yard. I sighed as I told him, "Not in the house, but on the porch," gazing at the pretty flowers from my other child now making their home in a small cup on the table. Oh the differences!! Of course I relate more to the girly girl that is my middle child, but I strive to learn daily how to better relate to my son. He is so much like James in his curiosity of life and how things work and "why does this do this," and "what makes that do that?" So we explore life together and learn how to worship God together as we examine the world He made.