Friday, January 28, 2011

Food For Thought Friday

"Hell will be full of people who thought highly of the Sermon on the Mount. You must do more than that. You must obey it and take action."
-John MacArthur

"The first Reformation...was about creeds; this one's going to be about our deeds. The first one divided the church; this time it will unify the church."
-Rick Warren

"The poverty of our century is unlike that of any other. It is not, as poverty was before, the result of natural scarcity, but of a set of priorities imposed upon the rest of the world by the rich. Consequently, the modern poor are not pitied...but written off as trash. The twentieth-century consumer economy has produced the first culture for which a beggar is a reminder of nothing."
-John Berger

"Christ has no body on earth but yours,
no hand but yours,
no feet but yours.
Yours are the eyes through which
Christ's compassion for the world is to look out;
yours are the feet which He is to go about doing good;
and yours are the hands with which He is to bless us now."
-St. Teresa of Avila

(Quotes all quoted in The Hole in Our Gospel by Richard Stearns.)

For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat,
I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink,
I was a stranger and you invited me in,

I needed clothes and you clothed me,
I was sick and you looked after me,
I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink?
When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you,
whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine,
you did for me.’

-Jesus, Matthew 25:35-40.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Being Taught

I have always considered myself "a learner." I enjoyed school (for the most part) from an early age and still enjoy learning and discovering new things.

So why is the learning process itself so difficult and unpleasant?

For example this weekend I baked a red velvet cake from scratch. I thoroughly enjoy baking, but know little about baking cakes. This was my second attempt at a cake from scratch and let's just say it did not "rise" to the occasion. (Who knew that you need really fresh baking soda for a cake to be more than two inches tall? All of those who have made this mistake before obviously from the google results of "why did my cake not rise?") While the cake was yummy, I was fairly disappointed in its looks, but I know I had to go through the learning process of a short, dense cake to learn to use fresh leavening next time.

And to be honest, the cake is one of the easier learning processes I have gone through lately. While I have prayed for a while now,

"Teach me to do Your will,
For you are my God,
Let Your good Spirit lead me on level ground."
Psalm 143:19,

I still squirm and fight most of the learning process. Being taught implies I am not doing something right. It implies that I make mistakes, that I am not perfect and that I do not know everything. (GASP!)

I want to learn how to make a great (fluffy) cake, but I don't want to go through the many baking disasters it will take to get there.

I want to learn to follow God more fully, but I don't want to go through the trials of faith and the shaping of character it takes to be more like Jesus.

I want to learn to be a great mom, a great wife and a great friend, but I don't want anyone (including the Holy Spirit) to tell me how I could be better at my relationships.

While I want to learn, I simply do not want to be taught.

I struggle greatly with having a humble heart and a teachable spirit. I realize more and more that life is in the process of learning, not in the end product. For me to get the most out of this process, I must not only desire to learn, but desire deeply to be taught, no matter how difficult the learning process might be.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Did I Tell You?

Did I tell you that life seems really busy lately and that I haven't had time to blog much?

Did I tell you that we got to celebrate Caleb's birthday with a trip to the Great Wolf Lodge? It was a lot of fun and I hope to do a post reviewing it, but till then know that the accommodations, service and water park were fabulous, the price not so fabulous.

Did I tell you that we got to visit the new children museum in Huntersville? Discovery Place Kids is HUGE. I forgot to take my camera (a bad habit of late,) but the boys both loved the water table (till Caleb took a shower with it) and the Nascar car you could service. I will try to do a post reviewing it too...maybe.

Did I tell you that we are trucking along in school and are enjoying most of it? We are half way through our 1st quarter and things are going well. I would like to redo how we do our calendar time each morning, but am still thinking on this one.

Did I tell you that my mind was fried after Classical started back up today? Fried.Seriously.

Did I tell you how sweet tea can revive the friend brain? Revived, enough to blog.Seriously.

Did I tell you that sometimes it is possible to be terribly lonely in the middle of a great crowd of people?

Did I tell you how awesome it is to have a friend to call you up and invite you out to something on a day when you are feeling lonely?

Did I tell you that today I sent off my passport to be renewed?

Did I tell you there is a good chance that I will be blessed with the opportunity to travel to west Africa in the spring?

Did I tell you how super excited I am about that? SUPER.excited.SERIOUSLY

Did I tell you all I need to tell you?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A Year

A year since earthquake shattered the lives of millions in Haiti.

A year after
...and at least 1 million people are still living in tents.

A year later
...and at least 300,000 of those in tents are children.

A year gone by
...and only 5 percent of the rubble has been removed.

A year of


We wait in hope for the LORD;
he is our help and our shield.
In him our hearts rejoice,
for we trust in his holy name.
May your unfailing love be with us, LORD,
even as we put our hope in you.
Psalm 33:20-22

Monday, January 10, 2011

What We Do School Edition

I have divided Caleb's school days into two time periods, morning and afternoon. (Creative, I know.) Each time is taking us about 40 minutes to complete, which seems to be just long enough without getting too long.

The morning activities are mostly what I think of as extras to most Kindergartners, but essential to us. In the morning, we do our Bible work, Calender work, Memory work (for Classical Conversations), Sonlight readalouds, Sonlight Science K and anything else that I want to throw in there. We are gone two days a week in the morning, so I am trying to pack a lot of stuff in a little time. I also would like to add a craft at least one day a week, but I think Caleb will be clamoring for more crafts than that.

The afternoon activities are what I consider essential essentials for the K'er- Math, Phonics and Handwriting. I chose to do these in the afternoon because Nathan sleeps and we aren't out nearly as much in the afternoons as we are in the mornings.

For math, we are starting Rightstart Math A.
In handwriting, we are using Handwriting Without Tears (We are on the preschool book for this subject).
In reading/phonics, I am using The Ordinary Parents Guide to Teaching Reading.

We have only been in each for less than a week, so my opinions are still forming on these. One thing I do like so far is that I am choosing to do them at our pace. I am not determined to teach a certain number of lessons per 6 week session. Instead, I will speed up and slow down as necessary. I am ok if it takes us one year or two years to finish up what we have started. Each of these works very well with that thought process.

That is our school day for the first six weeks. I will adjust as needed and rework after the first break. While only a week in, I am enjoying the time with Caleb and I think he is enjoying the time too!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

New (School) Year, Here We Come!

January is a month of new beginnings, so why not make it the beginning of our school year? We finished Caleb's preschool curriculum in October and have been winging it since then. (I have to tell you winging it is NOT my favorite thing to do by far), so new (school) year here we come!

I have been sitting on the Sonlight Kindergarten Curriculum that I got a great deal on last year and Caleb just turned the big F-I-V-E, so new (school) year, here we come!

I am hesitant to call it Kindergarten yet since Caleb will not promote into the Kindergarten classes at church and in our activities till September...not to mention he is still kind of young for K'er work. But he is eager and a little bored and I am losing my mind trying to meet his insatiable need for crafts, so new (school) year, here we come!

My plan is for us to work six weeks on and one week off (two for Christmas.) This gives us some flexibility to take a smattering of days off when Da is off work or when school just is not going to cut it. I have worked on planning the first six weeks and will do my planning for the subsequent six weeks during our week off. We started this week and will be plugging away till mid-February, so new (school) year, here we come!

Check back early next week to see what we are studying during this Kindergarten(-like) year!
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