Thursday, February 24, 2011

Running Ahead

"Nathan, STOP!" My mommy voice raising several decibels, I dart through the parked cars after my two year old, in his excitement, has run ahead of me in the middle of a crowded parking lot. Flashes of recent news stories of similar situations ending horribly course through my mind. With him only a couple of steps away from me, I lunge for his coat hood and jerk him back to the safety of my arms.

Swallowing the urge to yell and shake some sense into his small two year old frame, I calmly explain (again) why it is important to hold mommy's hand and not run ahead. "Nathan could get hurt and mommy loves Nathan." A small frown and a mumbled, "Sorry mama," and we continue on our way to the car.

And life goes on... but for the briefest of moments, I think I might have just seen a peek of what my relationship with God must look like at some points. God, in His goodness and mercy, begins to prepare and point my heart toward some idea or new life situation and in my excitement, I run ahead of Him. I begin to make plans, imagining what things will be like, brainstorming all that I will need to do.

I, like Nathan, get impatient and run ahead out of the safety of God's loving arms.

If it is an idea that I am truly excited about, my mind and imagination begins to run as fast as it can at the mere suggestion or glimpse of what just might be. Recently God has been nudging me quite a bit for letting my imagination run ahead of His timing. In 2 Corinthians, it says we are to capture every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

"Every thought" includes those that are good thoughts of great Godly things, but are just running ahead of His perfect timing.

I am thankful that God has grabbed me back into His safe arms, calmly teaching me once again the importance of holding His hand and not running ahead.

I remain confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the LORD
in the land of the living.
Wait for the LORD;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the LORD.
Psalm 27:13-14

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A Few of My Favorite Sites

After talking to a couple of moms about homeschooling their kiddos and what sources I used and leaned upon, I thought I would share some of my favorite websites on the subject. While these are great for homeschooling, several of them would also be great for fun crafts or extras even if you are not homeschooling.

1+1+1=1- A great source of preschool ideas and lots of free printables done by a homeschooling mom.

Homeschool Creations- Another great mom-made source!

Confessions of a Homeschooler- Another great mom-made source!

Alphabet Worksheets
- Free printable worksheets and crafts that can be used as an alphabet based curriculum.

The Homeschool Classroom- Features a variety of articles on different subjects pertaining to homeschooling. Great ideas and support in knowing you are not alone!

Homeschooling through the Early Years
- Lots of ideas, articles and support! I heard her speak at the conference last year and she is great!

Paula's Archives
- This is one of the first websites ever suggested to me as a mom considering homeschooling. If you are schooling little ones, their articles on preschoolers and 3-4's shouldn't be missed!

Typical Course of Study
- For a reminder when you feel you aren't doing enough, you are doing far more than you think!

Enjoy and I would LOVE to know of any of your favorite sites as well! Please share away!

Friday, February 11, 2011

King Peter and the Barking Seal Go to Egypt

King Peter and the Barking Seal Go to Egypt...or something like that in these random musings for Friday:

Nathan does an impressive seal impersonation. Oh, wait, that isn't his seal impersonation but his horribly croupy cough that he woke up with this morning. The cold Caleb and I shared earlier this week has finally hit little man and his chest doesn't seem to like It doesn't help that it gets worse the more your brother is annoying you and that said brother thinks it is his duty today to annoy you by sitting on you whenever he can. Poor little man, he looks really pitiful and sounds just, well, just like a congested barking seal.

Epic battle has been ongoing this week in the imagination of my favorite five your old. Eagles have rained down boulders as King Peter (aka Caleb) saves the day! Nathan is King Edmond (after I vetoed his being the White Witch. I could see that going no where good really fast.) Sky is Queen Lucy and I am Queen Susan...or at least I was till I was informed that I made a better Beaver because I helped make all of King Peter's battlements. From a Queen to a Beaver. Yup, that is about right. (We are on the third book of C.S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia and watched the Lion, Witch and Wardrobe this past weekend. Caleb is EATING it all up.)

I can't help but wonder what kind of kids I am helping my boys to become when I call them in from playing outside to witness the celebrations in Egypt over their president's resignation. I can't help but smile when they came eagerly and excitedly and watched with me for quite awhile. (We have been following the protests daily since they started, talking and praying about it with Caleb.) I am a self-confessed international politics nerd and am happy to see a little bit of my nerdiness rubbing off on the next generation.

While thinking about Egypt, say a prayer for this nation today. We know it is God who raises up and tears down rulers. (Daniel 2:21) Pray that the transition is peaceful, that justice rolls down like waters, righteousness like an ever-flowing stream. (Amos 5:24) and that this is a major turning point for this nation.

That's all I got for ya folks. I hope you have a great weekend!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Yummiest Cake Ever!

Generally, I am not one to brag, but this is too good not to mention...

Can you believe, I made this!

Which made this...

and lots of this...

and especially this...

Thanks to America's Test Kitchen for the yummiest coconut cake recipe ever!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Marriage Is Worth It

Sometimes you have thoughts that simply shock you. This September was one of those times for me. I can remember driving home from having dinner with my husband on one of those nights when he wasn't going to be home before 10 pm and thinking, "I could just leave." I began mentally to make plans where I could drop the boys off and where I would go and for the briefest of moments, I believed me leaving was the best thing for us all.

Knowing that I would not do anything that night, I pushed the thought aside and went home, put the boys to bed and set on the couch and cried.

The following days, I entertained the thought a couple of more times, but I knew that it really wasn't what I wanted to do and it would not fix any of the problems. Leaving would truly only exasperate an already difficult situation.

(Sidenote: Looking back I now realize it was the situation more than anything else that was difficult for me. It is this same difficult situation that has since drawn my husband and I closer to each other and to God in new and exciting ways. Difficult situations have a curious way of doing that.)

After that night, I prayed, buried myself in the Word, talked with my husband and to a few Godly women friends and was reminded over and over again that leaving was not God's plan for me or my family.

(Sidenote #2: This is one reason it is HUGELY important to have wise friends...instead of encouraging and validating my desires to leave, they gently, but firmly turned my eyes and heart back to where my focus needed to be.)

Marriage is hard. Really hard.

It takes work and effort. Some days, it takes all that we are to stay and fight for our marriages, but in the end,

Marriage is always worth it.

I think looking back, I was a little surprised that I was not immune to such desires and thoughts. Here I was, a good Christian mom and wife, with a pretty great marriage, how could I ever want to leave? Seriously, it is only those who have really awful situations that want to leave, right? Wrong.

No one is immune from the desire to run from a hard situation.

And truly, no marriage will succeed, unless you and your spouse recognize the importance of investing and growing in your marriage.

To that end, I am TRULY excited to share an opportunity you have to grow in your marriage:

Seriously, after going through thoughts of leaving in September and since reading the book "Sacred Marriage," I cannot use words enough to encourage you to attend this event. Married, separated, single, whatever.

The message that will be shared that weekend is one we all need to hear and one from which we will all grow.

(I am only majorly bummed that I will not be able to attend because I will be in Africa during it. I can only hope there will be tapes available when I get back!)

Check your calendar now. Click on the image above now. Register now.

Marriage is hard, but it is worth it.
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