Saturday, May 31, 2008

A Note Between Posts

I am working this morning on my thoughts on this sermon. In the mean time, I would like to encourage you to listen if you have not. As I listen I am having to really stop and chew on all of it slowly. What I'm seeing is amazing. Perhaps this will all end up being just my own reflections on it and perhaps it's opening up to me because of the deep searching I'm having to do right now for the will of God concerning my kids. But, just in case it's something God has for you today too, please try to listen.
I know, I'm a very bossy blogger. It's all love, promise.:)

Formulating thought: We always define "living by the flesh" as doing those bad things that are selfish. Could it be that "living by the flesh" can also mean trying to do all those good things that make us feel righteous? Hmmmm......

"Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the spirit." Romans 8:1-4 NASB

(Note to "Life Adapted": Thank you for tagging me! I'll get to that soon:)

Friday, May 30, 2008

Sharing Part 4- "If You Are Living This Way, STOP NOW!"

First let me say, I'm sick today.:( I seem to finally have what my kids had over a week ago. Headache, swollen throat and sinus stuffies. Not enough to put me in bed, but enough to feel like I'm dragging myself around with a rope. I'm kinda taking a self declared day off from major stuff. My son is all ready in front of "The Wiggles" I love when he wants to milk out his preschool years as long as possible. I'll miss it when it's gone.

The words in quote above were not said by me, they were shocking hammers in my head spoken at church on Sunday. Many of you know, our WONDERFUL Pastor and his family are on sabbatical right now. Our leader of family ministries Shane, has been teaching. I always enjoy his teaching although his style is different. This sermon was absolutely amazing! I know people refer sermons left and right in bloggy land but this is a life changing one. It builds as it goes and by the end I was dumbfounded how loudly the Lord was speaking to me through it. You don't have an idea what the "STOP NOW" is about , I know. I want you to listen. Do you have some dishes to do? Laundry to fold? Bathroom to clean? Treadmill stroll to take? Please listen.
Here is your link. (some computers have had a hard time playing the sermon format, my desktop did, I suggest a laptop if you can't do it through your desktop)

Here is what I'm going to do. Since I'm not feeling great and not on top of my thoughts even though phrases I loved from it are swimming in my head ( I have heard the sermon three times all ready!), I will listen again and take notes. I will come back here to post those on this blog post later today.
In the mean time. If you listen, please post comment about what was amazing to you.
We are going through the book of Galatians.... a wonderful book!
I look forward to hearing from many of you! Let's gather at the feasting table of God's word and fellowship with joy about what we are fed!

On a side note: I'm totally excited and yet totally sad. "Lost" is closing is up for the season! Now, it's funny but God loves me so I know he takes this with a sence of humor. I have jokingly told him that if he's coming back soon.... can he wait till I find out what happens on lost first? I hear the kid in me "God, please don't come back till I get married and have kids!?". Oh, if we only knew what was really waiting for us we would never even think these things! Yet, in my human finite brain, the thought was there. Of course I didn't mean it and I'm thankful he doesn't plan by me! I just love Lost! There were a few episodes last season I was NOT excited about and almost dropped off the wagon. We don't have tv so we watch online and they have all four episodes on right now up to the present. The season finale is on the computer today and I can't wait for bed time tonight!!! "Kids, I think an early bedtime would be good for you tonight... you look so tired!":) Nothing better than feeling crummy and cuddling up to watch something really good. I hope it's great. Don't tell me if you know anything!
Scrolll down for the fun Lost Sawyer Nickname generator! Mine is "Lightbulb". :*

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Sharing Part 3- One Body Many Parts

So let's go back to that afternoon in the car. My prayer was that I would be led by the Spirit. That I would not be filled with any fear. That I would delight in my children and learn to love them better. Above all I prayed for peace in my heart to direct me to the will of God.
Like I said, he led me to I Cor. 12:19 which said:
"How strange a body would be if it had only one part!"

Now, you may be baffled thinking... what in the world does that have to do with anything Alicia? But, I knew immediately what it meant.
First let's back up as I did and read more in context:

So I want you to know that no one speaking by the Spirit of God will curse Jesus, and no one can say Jesus is Lord, except by the Holy Spirit.
4 There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit is the source of them all. 5 There are different kinds of service, but we serve the same Lord. 6 God works in different ways, but it is the same God who does the work in all of us.

7 A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other. 8 To one person the Spirit gives the ability to give wise advice; to another the same Spirit gives a message of special knowledge. 9 The same Spirit gives great faith to another, and to someone else the one Spirit gives the gift of healing. 10 He gives one person the power to perform miracles, and another the ability to prophesy. He gives someone else the ability to discern whether a message is from the Spirit of God or from another spirit. Still another person is given the ability to speak in unknown languages, while another is given the ability to interpret what is being said. 11 It is the one and only Spirit who distributes all these gifts. He alone decides which gift each person should have.

One Body with Many Parts
12 The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ. 13 Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles,[e] some are slaves, and some are free. But we have all been baptized into one body by one Spirit, and we all share the same Spirit.
14 Yes, the body has many different parts, not just one part. 15 If the foot says, “I am not a part of the body because I am not a hand,” that does not make it any less a part of the body. 16 And if the ear says, “I am not part of the body because I am not an eye,” would that make it any less a part of the body? 17 If the whole body were an eye, how would you hear? Or if your whole body were an ear, how would you smell anything?

18 But our bodies have many parts, and God has put each part just where he wants it. 19 How strange a body would be if it had only one part! 20 Yes, there are many parts, but only one body. 21 The eye can never say to the hand, “I don’t need you.” The head can’t say to the feet, “I don’t need you.”

Have you ever tried to put God in a box? Man, I have. I love this song because of it. One way I do this is by putting people and myself in boxes. Boxes of course represent the limits that define us. The opposite would be for God to define God and for God to define us, his body, the church. I knew immediately that he was trying to tell me (and the exclamatory sentence he chose to specifically direct me to was amazing because it got right to the heart of my box making mind) was that this burden I carried of wanting to fit in to a specific godly woman image was not from Him. I knew it the min I read the verse. You read the above passage and there is such freedom! Freedom for God, not for me. Freedom for him to say where I belong in the body of Christ, and joy to be found in serving in the way He wants me to. If we all looked the same, we would look utterly ridiculous! Yet, how we try to. In fact, we tend to try to look more the same, than we share in the joy of the differences God has given us.
While I'm on this note, I'll skip to a present tense part of this story. Yesterday Tami Rutledge did a new post called "Is it a Sin Not To Homeschool"
(Just to remind those of you who Tami is in relation to me..... Tami was our speaker at our church ladies retreat in 2007. Her message was on having Joy in Perspective. God has given her a gift that has greatly helped me and I would call it a bottom like mentality on how we find Joy in God. In a way Tami has graciously discipled me via blogs, email, and phone calls. She is has been a discipler of three girls and helpmeet of one (;)LOL Tami). She has experienced all levels of schooling with her girls but her heart has been in discipling them at home. I share this so you know more why I refer to her a great deal and why I appreciate her wisdom. God has used her greatly in my life.)
I think you would benefit from going to read her post (which is in a different location than her regular blog Rejoice!), but this paragraph is important to me in context to these thoughts:

The result of seeking God is unity, the result of seeking man’s wisdom is disunity. It is not the home schoolers versus the others. Division occurs when man sets himself up as the authority. But when with one heart and one mind we desire to please the Lord then no matter what we choose it brings unity because God leads us to peace and joy not judgment of others! God is the God of peace, there should never be anything that causes you to fear.

The very same verses that brought me joy in following God on this decision, is now convicting me to pursue unity with my brothers and sisters. You can read more on the post comments that I put on Tami's post. Again, I tend to want to use a box on everyone. Seriously, I have to fight that temptation to sin in my thinking. I am very aware of the stuck up thinking that the enemy tries so desperately to get into the minds of the followers of Christ. He wants to plant a seed that will grow a plant of bitterness instead a tree of the fruit of the spirit. He is really on me right now, and i can feel the battle taking place. I can at the same time feel Christ defending my love for my brothers and sisters who are so dear to me and in a way it's like hearing Gandalf say "You shall not pass!" Do you ever feel or hear these rumblings in your mind and soul? Pay attention... they are always there.

It is the one and only Spirit who distributes all these gifts. He alone decides which gift each person should have.

I have been fighting the fact that I have not had the gift of academic teaching this past year. I wanted it so badly, I wanted it so I could fit into this mold. The more I desired it, the more it seemed to slip further away. It brought me finally to the feet of Jesus. When I was willing to let go of the image I was trying to become, and the desire to be one body part alone, he was able to show me it was time to be used in another way, defined only by Him.

In my prayer I ended with a desire to delight in my children. This was the next stepping stone in the journey he was about to show me. My desire to disciple my children in the ways of His word, in the life issues they would need to work through, the leaves begin to unfold to reveal His desire for THIS to be my focus. My burden of heart for leading them in the Word was not to return void. It was just going to start looking different than I had thought it would. He is showing me what He wants it to look like.
More on that later.....

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Sharing Part 2

It was Monday, May 19, 2008. I had promised to pick up my neighbor’s kid at the school. I was aware of the fact that his teacher for kindergarten was the wife of my ultimate favorite teacher in my own school years. This teacher was a wonderfully joyful Christian and he encouraged me at a time when I felt I could not meet anyone’s expectations. When I got up there, I felt a strange leading that I did not understand. I felt led to meet the teacher and visit her classroom. I stood there thinking to myself “Lord, this makes no sense, I have my whole year outlined all ready Lord, don’t you know?” I had thought a lot about school in the past year as this past year had been my hardest ever in homeschooling. However, every time I thought about it I told myself that was selfish and I really needed to pray harder and try harder.
See, the past year I have been a nut case about 70% of the time. In one way or another. Some just in absolute fatigue making me unproductive, some in emotional distraction from dad’s passing, some in mental overload issues. I have not been joyfully homeschooling. I resolved to myself that it was the method. I may be right. The school we have been in is high standard, and tedious. So, I was inspired by unit studies and still think they are a awesome. That was the road I put myself on. I was even excited about it. I only did the outline though and not the specific plan for day to day. The Lord gave me a burden about this time to focus my kids hearts on his Word. I realized that even in my homeschooling I was not taking the time for the Word. My dad’s death and realizations of eternal significance gave me a passion for my kids to gain perspective early in life. So, how does the plan of public school help that Lord? I asked myself this. He seems to be showing me the answer….but more on that later. The public plan also does not seem to go along with my whole philosophy of education (that being a Charlotte Mason meat hod) so what’s up with that Lord? Again… I was asked to trust.

I’m getting off track here. I went in to meet the teacher. I asked her lots of questions and really liked what she had to say. I left there thinking that this might actually be a possibility for Superkid. That was all I was willing to think. After all, it’s only kindergarten right? I can handle the evils of kindergarten right? That is not so scary God, I can say okay to that. Okay, were good. (he had more to do….i gave him plenty of work!:)
While I was there, I went in and spoke to my old teacher. He reminded me that one you have to pray, and two that nothing is concrete. You can try things and if they don’t work, you always have other options. That is a freeing thought. That you can go forward and trust God to show you if you need to change direction. Why are we so formula crazy!? Why do we crave solutions with guarantee outcomes? Perhaps the alternative is trusting God…..imagine that.
I went home thinking… “Okay Lord, but I know Rick is very against public school…that may be the end of that Lord!” Imagine my surprise when I began telling him all that had gone on and he said something in the affirmative that God seemed to be moving us in a different direction. We talked a lot about getting honest about our motivations.
I began to realize that I had two major fears. One was the fear of the opinion of the church, the other was my fear of the kids at the school (fear of exposing my kids). They were big fears. The Lord had to work me through them. I don’t feel them anymore but as this possibility came up, they were there, and they were huge. I started to realize that they were my major motivations for homeschooling right now anyway. There was one more big problem in my heart too. One VERY big idol- ME.

I was trying to fit in what I had defined as a godly woman mold. I am trying not to be too hard on myself for doing this (there is therefor now, no condemnation for those in Christ!), God is good to show me really. What is hard for me to realize is that I did not see myself doing this for so long. God did though. It made sense to me, to push as hard as a could to become this woman I had defined as "godly". A godly wife and mother would sacrifice her time to be home teaching her kids. That’s what godly mom’s do. What he started to show me was that what I was thinking was wisdom was actually fear, and that what I thought was self-sacrifice was actually incredible selfishness to drag everyone with me as I tried to cram into this mold not matter what. Somewhere in the last year, my motivations became sinful in homeschooling. It was so slight, I did not even see. This is where God is intimate with each of his children. It is he godly plan for many mom's to homeschool! It is his joyful, purpose and path for them. It was for me for the time he ordained it to be, and now He is moving me. This attitude of mine was my stubborn resistance to his changing will. I write it not to redefine godly motherhood, but to share how my heart had been distracted by the goal of the glory of me, not the glory of God. Intimately God deals with each one of us .....ladies, this makes him more powerful! He knows the in's and out's of each of us! HE judges the thoughts and intentions of the heart. In His great love, he wants to weed out whenever we take Him off His throne and put something, even ourselves or an image, there. THAT is what I had done. That does not mean that is what each homeschool mom has done. You must understand that today. You must, it is crucial. Yes, it is a good thing to check your motivations in what you do, either way. You need to find one thing in the end, the goal being purely the Glory of God, and the Joy of the path of obedience. That joy will overwhelm you with His goodness and sovereign work. It will be your free fall into faith, and into the hands of the Heavenly Father. It will be your pathway to a closer walk with Him. It will look like only one thing.... the will He has for you. Anything else is a replacement and praise Him, HE IS A JEALOUS GOD!!!!!
More on this later as well.
Two days later, my husband and I had talked and decided we would look into public school for Lilo tool (the Lord had my hand like a mother has the hand of a toddler clinching what he/she does not want to give up... prying my fingers ever so slowly). We went up to meet all three second grade teachers. I knew the kindergarten one was a strong christian, and the third grade teacher is my old favorite (her husband) but I wanted to see who was teaching second. Rick and I decided that the only way to discover God’s will was to pray and move forward every slowly. We heard a lot of good things. Things that were great but not worthy of making a decision on. Things like the fact that the school principle is a christian and use to be a pastor, the teachers telling us that the majority of the teachers are Christians, all that sort of thing. Rick and I knew enough to know this meant nothing really. It’s not like you can ask “Yes, but how is their walk with the Lord?”. I was however, impressed at the freedom to speak about even being a Christian, and in the fact that having a bunch of leaders with even a slight judeo- chrisian (sp?) world view was not as hard as battling leaders with a strong liberal agenda. But, see, that didn’t matter…. If this was God’s doing it made no difference at all. It was just a nice bonus but not a foundation for security in the decision process.
We liked the second grade teachers. One was a little interesting as we asked our Christan questions (what kind of family issues do you discuss? What do second graders talk about? That sort of thing), she kept reminding us that this was a public school and therefore a melting pot of ideals. I was not threatened by this but wondered why she kept reminding me. My old teacher told us later that she is the leader of the union at the school and it all made sense.
Our plan from there was that the two younger ones may be supposed to go, but not Princess. Princess was to vulnerable. You can have these two God… not her. That thought was scary above all. Fifth grade and second grade are two different planets God, don't you see that! I was still dealing with fear on that one. We began to look into a Christian academy for homeschoolers for her. We went and visited and really liked what we saw. It seemed like the plan was falling into place.
I was still in shock at this point, joyful shock, but shock. We were in town one afternoon as Rick and the kids had to go into the locksmith for something. I decided to sit in the car. I took the time to pray and pull out my little bible I carry with me. I read psalm 139 which has been a great comfort to me, especially this verse:
even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.

I cried out to God. I wanted to be moved by His Spirit and not my own thinking. I wanted to be brave enough to do something that many I knew would think was wrong if God wanted me to do it. I reached out for the hand of my almighty God, and found it. He spoke to my heart and said to read 1 Cor.12:19. I had no idea why this reference came to mind, I had no idea what the verse was. Here it is:
“How strange a body would be if it had only one part!”

Wow, God.
More later.......

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

"Alicia, I'ts Time To Start Sharing!"

The more I write down this journey, the more God is pushing me to share. I told you a few post ago that Rick and I needed prayer for a big decision. We do. I did not want to share at first for prideful reasons. This direction He is sending us in was first shocking, then humbling, then scary, then amazing, then joyfully shocking, joyfully scary (yes there is such a thing), joyfully humbling, joyfully God working! So, the more I write it down, the more I realize that although it makes me vulnerable, the fact is that God's testimony to his great power need to be shared. I don't know why he wants me to do this, it's not to my benefit socially speaking.
I did not want to share at first because I feared the opinion of the christian community. I had no idea why God was changing course for me into something I originally was totally against. Turns out, I was against it for the wrong reasons. He has searched me, known my anxious thoughts, and shown me the wicked way in me and I feel awesome because of it! I'm ready to jump off the cliff Lord! So here we go.

The Lord is leading us toward public school. (I can feel the wind hitting my face even now) Gasp! Gasp again! Gasp until you are choking cause that's what I did at first. Funny, because it was the same reaction I had when he led me to home school. "No way God, that's so scary!" "I really want this to work out Lord (the public school thing), I don't want to home school!". Now this is me" Now way God, that's so scary!" "I really want this to work out Lord (home school), I don't want to put my kids in school!" I have learned that this is how God works.... pushing me toward one thing FAITH!! And, without faith, I cannot please God! I can work my plan till I'm blue in the face but HIS plan is the plan of faith.
Now, I have to say, this will come in pieces. So, don't feel like it doesn't make sense, there is so much testimony to share. I have been trying to write it down in secret. It's amazing. Just yesterday I was reading on the Internet all the opinion on schooling. I actually googled something like "support for christian parents in the public school" and there was NADA. It all came up with godly opinion against. I read a lot of it. I read opinion spoken that it was actually sinful. The amazing thing, was that though this made me turn to God and say "are you sure?" he gave me total peace and assurance of his intimate guidance. He gave me joy.

The fact is though, that our children are not being made aware of this. The reason? We are still in deep prayer and seeking council and the Lord. We don't want to send them around any emotional bushes until we are sure. We covet your prayers. It all seems so upside down from where we were headed. We want to protect them from this roller coaster especially if the Lord just leads us to the fact that He wanted to show us something about or motivations alone. He wanted us to just let go but not jump. We don't know yet. We are being led, but we are not sure where yet. So, if you know me, I ask that you keep this to yourself. I know most of us don't have kids who read blogs, but if you do, this is an important point. Thank you.

Here is phase one of my journaling. Grab some coffee or'll need it...

The legal system was putting up a threat a few months ago to homeschoolers. There was a case in the state of CA that brought up legislation to make homeschooling illegal for anyone who does not have a credential. I was alarmed. I do think that most of my alarm was for our rights being taken away. However, I received a letter from Tami Rutledge where she asked me to tell her under what conditions I WOULD feel comfortable sending my child to public school. Little did I know that God was using Tami to get me to think about some of my core motivations. Here is some of our correspondence:
(I originally sent out a note to all contacts of my email about he UN threat to the rights of the parent)
Please take the time to check out this website. It is really important that as many people as possible join this campaign by signing their petition. brings together everyone who agrees that the vital role of parents in the lives of children should not be undermined by government action or policy. I'm standing with them and you should too!
I am so glad that our God is bigger than the U.N.!!

Do not be anxious or afraid, rather rejoice, God is on our side. if God is for us who can be against us. This doesn't mean everything goes well according to us, this means God is in control. His ways are higher than ours. Rejoice!

Lamentations 3: 37 Who can speak and have it happen if the Lord has not decreed it? 38 Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that both calamities and good things come?

Psalm 27: 1 The LORD is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life— of whom shall I be afraid? 2 When evil men advance against me to devour my flesh, when my enemies and my foes attack me, they will stumble and fall. 3 Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me,even then will I be confident.

Lead the way to peace!

Then came the alert to the homeschool threat. I sent out another note. I don’t have a copy of it.. but here is our conversations from there:

If you have the time could you answer a few questions for me and please be very honest...

what scenario would make you feel at peace about sending your child to public school...

come up with something no matter how ridiculous it sounds...

for example....

"if I or my husband could be with them all day every day..."

"If we could choose the curriculum"

"if we could choose what they hear or see"

if we knew they had a good friend who would be with them all the time"

come up with something that would make you feel comfortable and as worry free as you would be about your children being at home with you.

thank you..

I wasn’t sure where she was going with all this… but I LOVE when people want me to think out my reasons for things so I was anxious to reply!

I would be comfortable with public school if I knew for certain that my children would not learn about sex, especially homosexual behavior/choices, before I had the chance to introduce these concepts to them myself first under the guidance of the word of God. I would be comfortable if Christianity was as welcome as the respect they have for Muslim children to have the freedom to bow to Mecca at the appropriate time each day because that is their religion. I would feel comfortable if I knew they would not be called a bad person(i.e.some kind of bigot) for believing that a family should be a mom and dad, or that God created the world.

I have no problem dropping them off, having them presented with evolution or novels that I don't like. All these would be fine at the appropriate ages as long as there was a mutual respect for a Christian world view on these issues. If I knew they could have the freedom to disagree and voice it or write it in their composition w/o being told they were needing to be seen by the school counselor.

Does that make sense?
What are you up to my friend:)?

I am so excited you wrote back to me!

I would like to have the honor of your honesty with something.

If you would .... I would like you to help me with something... but you must try very hard to not agree with me...

I would like you to be defensive and defend home schooling tooth and nail so to speak....

I will tell you right up front what I am up to and I want to "argue" with you. I would love you to discuss this with your husband too of course.

I believe that Satan - the great deceiver who masquerades as an angel of light has found the most sneaky way to get our eyes off of Christ. It is through our children. We as believers love our children and want the very best for them. this is so passionate to us that in many ways the Christian culture and godly leaders have come up with a seemingly wonderful way to protect our children from the evils of this world with the goal of raising strong Christians. Home schooling (home school in itself is not wrong or bad our thought process is)

we have looked at schooling and leaning on our own understanding have decided as a whole that schools can be rated as such...

best home school - this is how I can best accomplish my goal of raising a godly child.

next best - private school - If I must put them in school this option will be the most conducive to me` raising a godly child and protecting them from bad influences.

and worst - public school tries to undermine everything I am trying to build in my child. basically they are out to brain wash my child - this represents danger for my child and God's best for them would not be realized.

our choices are based on fear we think they are based on wisdom but you know of they are based on fear simply by this one test...

tell a` parent they might lose their right to home school and if that causes fear instead of joy then their choices are based in fear.

fear negates who God is...

If we truly understood the power of God and remembered that our number one goal is not to protect our children but to glorify God then we would begin to see why God's command to rejoice and give thanks in EVERYTHING is so key.

This that is happening with the home schooling is not an attack on home school it is God calling out to His Children to remember His attributes... to rest in Him... signing a petition is fine but fear and anxiety are not.

God wants us to rest and rejoice

If we understood his power and his love and Prov 3: 5-8 and that his ways are higher we would see that with God.... Home School, Private, Public ... they are all on one level with Him... the best is simply where He says they should be.

If we simply understood God's power we would drop our children off at a public school in san francisco with peace and joy.

It is that we have a small view of Him and a big view of our understanding that is why we lose peace and reap fear.

But we call our fear wisdom. The problem with our wisdom is that it doesn't lead us to joy or a gentle and quiet spirit.

you said..

I would be comfortable with public school if I knew for certain that my children would not learn about sex, especially homosexual behavior/choices, before I had the chance to introduce these concepts to them myself first under the guidance of the word of God.

is it possible for your child to hear anything before God's appointed time. How powerful is He. Can he close ears?

I would be comfortable if Christianity was as welcome as the respect they have for Muslim children to have the freedom to bow to Mecca at the appropriate time each day because that is their religion.

1 Corinthians 2:14 The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.

I would feel comfortable if I knew they would not be called a bad person(i.e.some kind of bigot) for believing that a family should be a mom and dad, or that God created the world.

Acts 5:41 The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name.

I have no problem dropping them off, having them presented with evolution or novels that I don't like. All these would be fine at the appropriate ages as long as there was a mutual respect for a Christian world view on these issues. If I knew they could have the freedom to disagree and voice it or write it in their composition w/o being told they were needing to be seen by the school counselor.

Matthew 10:38 and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.

Would you feel comfortable dropping them off if you knew that God alone decided what response would come to whatever the did or said and that the response was a part of His loving design to mature them and draw them into a deeper love relationship with Him

If the God of this universe promised to stay with them and that in His sovereign love He would design everything that happened in their day and if He promised that good or bad it was all a part of doing the work that He promised to do in them would you feel comfortable.

or would you say.... "well God, that is nice of you to offer, but I would feel more comfortable if I could design their days so I will keep them at home, but thanks for the offer?"

my point simply being... I think home school is wonderful, but I think wherever My lord ants His child is fine with me. I am content with His choice. one is neither better or safer than the other. And actually for training purposes I consider public school to be one of the best ways to prepare my child for service as a soldier, and when He called us to put 2 of our kids there we did it with joy and peace. And when He called them out we did it with joy and peace.

I am not called to protect my child, I am called to train them up. If God can call Samuel to live with Eli (bad dorm parent) then I believe he can protect my child.

this home school thing is a cry to rally in Joy around our God who is worthy of our trust....

John 14:26But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

I have more to say... but lets start here....


read psalm 37 and understand that the desire of your heart is that you might be strong in faith so that you might glorify Him more

blessings of joy and peace to you my friend

Honestly, I was taken back by Tami’s letter. First of all my pride was hurt that she took my answer and picked it apart. God is so good! We should never say anything that we are not willing to take back down into pieces and examine truth, His Word, and how that relates to what we say and our motivations. I know that now, because this experience humbled me. I did not know it then and I was upset at Tami for a while (LOL Tami! I know you can handle me sharing this after the journeys we have been on together). My pride….oh, my pride. I did not, because of the block of my pride, get what she was trying to say for a long time. My life got busy and I failed to even get back to this letter and respond. God knew that, and he was not done with me yet. When I talk about this and think back on it, it excites me to extreme that God is so gently working the future when I am too finite to see.

I did think about the letter, but not often.

In the back of my mind somewhere however I began to ask myself what my motivations were for homeschool in the first place. As I thought more and more ahead to the next year, I began to wonder what the right thing was to do. Every day of schooling got harder and harder. I seemed to run out of steam. I think the past two years I have been running on adrenaline and it just seemed to have stopped this spring. I was not doing a good job of mothering let alone schooling. We felt like we were just surviving all the time. Through this time I would think that maybe I was supposed to put the kids in school and ever time I thought that, I would criticize myself for being selfish and giving up. I told myself I had to pray more, try harder. I reminded myself of the thing that I’d heard so many times that the worst day with me was better than the best day at school. I didn’t know what to do, but I didn’t think or pray about it. I was sure that homeschooling was the righteous answer and I pressed on to plan for next year. I did tell myself that this year was my last good hard try. This whole time I am ashamed to say that I was not seeking God’s will. I just assumed that since I was pressing on to do something that the church community defined as “better” that I did not need to check with God on what was stirring in my heart.
Sigh. Deep, deep sigh.

Then, the day came last week when he decided to wake me up.

Monday, May 26, 2008

The Many Faces Of Larry the Cucumber.... how does he do that?

It's ironic really. I read post comment from Judy from a few posts ago and she encouraged me to not forget the sayings of my kids on the side bar. Fact is, I have to be real good at remembering when they say things and write them down right away so I don't loose them. Right after I responded to her, I went in to kiss Superkid goodnight.
First you have to know that tonight was the birthday party of his best buddy RW. RW got the playset for "The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything" for his birthday. Much to his delight. He and Superkid enjoyed playing with them the rest of the evening. Then, Superkid got home, and got into bed with his Veggie Tales crate that has the Jonah boat (similar since it also has the Pirates in the set) and his Duke and The Great Pie War Castle set in it. He was playing around with them in near darkness when I came in for kisses and hugs. He was telling me how Larry could change into these different characters (i.e. Larry Boy, Duke, and Pirate Larry). Then he said he did this by "swoosh!" changing in a telephone pole. "A telephone pole?" I asked. "Don't you mean a telephone booth?" "No, mommy, a telephone pole". So, I immediately had my new kid funny. I'll add it later to the side bar but I felt the irony of timing deserved it's own post.

All I can say is, it's a benefit to Larry the Cucumber that he is rather pole like himself. If anybody can change in a telephone pole, it may just be him!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Thoughts on Respect From Kids

I have not been great at reading blogs this week. I'm trying to catch up slowly. I went for a visit to one of my favorites, Rejoice, and found a wonderfully challenging and convicting post my Tami. I hope you read it.

This is just really my thought after reading it myself.

There was a lot of good presented to me in my upbringing. There was some bad. This is no surprise to my folks, or me now that I'm a parent because we know we are fallen people trying to do the best we can in the strength of the Lord. I do know that the issue spoken of in Tami's blog post has been a generational parenting philosophy problem passed down in my family. Well, it's been passed down through humanity I'm sure, but when a family does not have healthy intervening Godly changes made it just keeps carrying on and on. The pattern is that of demanding respect as a parent simply on the basis that we, the parent, deserve it. It is something Rick and I both have picked up from our upbringing.
Now, the idea itself, that parents are to be respected is true. I think what Tami addressed is our attitude of heart when we don't get the respect from our children. I have been guilty of thinking I deserve it because of my position. It really is not a Christlike attitude for parenting. Tami talked about humility. Does the humble parent let the child therefore walk all over them? The amazing thing is that you can be strong and humble at the same time. In fact, I become stronger in my humble leading because the very power of the Lord is in my parenting when I do that. Any time we give up ourselves we find Christ instead. When I don't I become a selfish stubborn roadblock that creates a division between my child and me, and my child and God because I am not leading them to Him.
There is so much that can be said on this topic. I especially struggle with demanding respect from my kids. Why? Because it is a quick fix right? They just do it and I have accomplished my mission. Right? "Say Yes Mam!" "Say Yes Sir!" We got what we want from them, so we are respected. This is what I've been programed by. It's the style of parenting I've seen and taken on naturally myself.
The greatest struggle is to reprogram parenting habits. Not just taken from what you were taught, but what you have been doing for the past x amount of years. Yet, with God all things are possible. I have such a hard time taking something like this and actually finding change. Something Tami said hit the nail on the head for me:

Be an example, live your life in such a way that your are respectful. Then you will not focus on whether or not you are respected, your focus will be on whether God is respected. You see, the key desire we should have for our children should be that they show their honor and love for the Lord by respecting and obeying us.It isn't about whether or not we deserve it, it is that God deserves it. You need to be an example of respect to your children. You need to portray humility because humility is the only way you can have the fruit of the Spirit in the midst of rebellion.

That is what it's all about, living by the fruit of the Spirit. I forget that so often. I then, will hear something like this great post from Tami and say "This is it! I'll try harder to do this!" only to find disappointment as I fail and revert back to my selfish patterns. How do I practically apply wisdom passed on to me like this? How can I be free from patterns that seem to be the very fibers of my parenting?
I think the answer is prayer, and renewing of the mind. The power behind them both being the work of the Holy Spirit. I can so easily feel defeated and think "I just can't seem to do this and I just proved it by failing again. Others can parent this way because they started from the beginning.... lucky them. I'm forever doomed to this bad way of parenting. It's all I know."

Wow, what a deception from the enemy. The thing that God has used Tami for in my life, and used His Word spoken through her for, is to remember the joy of my salvation. I have a hard time keeping joy. I know I am not alone. The reason I know it is because I think it is the one mission of the enemy to steal that treasure that has been given by Jesus to his children. Then we are open to deceptions when our joy is stripped from us. We start to seek out temporary joys in temporary solutions. We have a momentary egotistical joy that our kid just submitted to us only to ignore the fact that what we just got from them was a sweeping under the rug of the dirt in their heart just so that we can look and deceive ourselves that they look behaved.
Joys response would be me keeping my eyes on the goal, renewing my mind with scripture (not like some works oriented monk chanting these verses and banging my head on my bible all day long, but by praying always in the Spirit with I walk by the way, when I sit down, when I get up...... as the breath of His Spirit moves me) and praying. Joy does not discourage with failing but rejoices with the truth. What is the truth? The truth is that I am held by God in equal measure at all times. Alicia tends to discourage with failing and forget the truth. Alicia tends to lean on a formula instead of leaning on God. Alicia would rather be lazy and sweep dirt under the rug rather than pull out the power of God to address the removal of the dirt in her kids life. Alicia tends to get angry at the dirt rather than find joy in the fact that God pointing it out is an act of love to her so that He can use her as a clay pot filled with his Holy Spirit to address that dirt through him. Alicia needs to be okay with dirt showing up again and again because it is a joy to have the job of leading her child in the process of renewing their hearts.
I'm getting on a rabbit trail..... a dirty one at that...:*
Anyway... I thought the post was excellent and I think I'll read it a few times. You know, another practical thing is to print these and things that the Lord uses to speak to me and read them over a few times in the week and then pray for the change He wants to make in me from them.
I'm sorry if I lost some of you in my dirt analogy. Sometimes I loose myself in there somewhere too.

What We Have Been Up To

Rick was off this whole week, but we did not achieve the greatness we had hopped for. Our camping trip took a day to recover from just in our tiredness level. I think if Rick had to be to work the next day, we would have had a shot of adrenaline but since he didn't we were sluggish just knowing we could. Then, another day to clean up camping and Rick started to get sick. So, we really only got one thing done this week, our Garage Sale. It was yesterday. We did pretty good. I always forget how exhausting those sales are though. It was a blessing that the day was cool. We ended at about 1:30 and then my friend needed her four kids watched at 3:30. That was fine thought because there is one at each of my kids place to play with and I got to cuddle with the 10 week old baby. We also had two neighborhood kids over playing and so we ended up having nine kids for dinner (baby does not really count since he did not eat pizza:). It was a delight but Rick and I are so tired! We woke up this morning ready for our Sunday nap now. We always make a policy of Sunday afternoon rest times since our kids have not napped for three years on any other day of the week.
We are taking a neighbor to church this morning so that is fun. She is a third grader and her aunt lives next door. Her uncle died a few months ago, he was young. Prayers for her please if you think of it.
Also, Rick and I are going through some major prayerful decision times. The Lord is working in our hearts on some family issues. I cannot blog openly about these things but will post my journal when appropriate. I just mention it to ask that you pray the Lord would be close to us and give wisdom. Also that we would be willing to do whatever HIS will is, and not our own. Thank you.

On the last note, the ants seem determined to take over our house. We get them as soon as they show, but they just find another corner. We have never really had an aunt problem at this house so it must be a bad year. I hate ants. I should be glad they are not the Indiana Jones kind. :)

Friday, May 23, 2008

In Memory of Maria Blog

Maria is in the lap of Steven Curtis Chapman... she had just turned five.

First of all... thank you Kristen for the heads up about the Chapman family's tragedy. We were very sad to hear this news. What a precious little girl.
I found a blog set up in memory of Maria and there is where people can post their condolences to Steven Curtis and his family.
They will be in our prayers.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Church Camp Out 2008:

I have to tell ya... I'm a little too tired to get these in any order, so I'll just explain each one and that will be it!:) Rick has been on vacation and we are trying to get some stuff done, but he was sick with nausea and fever yesterday so it's not been what we expected so far.... such is life.

Anyway.. here we go...

Princess and our dear Mrs.F. on the kayak

Lilo floating behind in the blue and pink life jacket.

Superkid floating/swimming in the lake. With our temps over 100 the whole time, the kids wanted to stay in the water constantly.

Gathering for the Baptism of sweet Sandi F.

Singing to the Lord in the heat!

Sandi giving testimony.

As close to dunking as was captured on film!:)

Superkid and his little buddies...
Just hangin' out and havin' fun....
Princess found a fun thing to play with the boys, some drawing battle game.
More hangin' out and "who knows what" conversations...
Rocks, dirt, shade... all ya need.

Setting off to fish in the very early morn.
Sunrise on a golden hill.
Sunrise over the lake.
Don't we have the cutest church buddies ever!?
Here we are again.. hangin'

More sunrise shots.
Little RW smiling sweetly.

Lilo morning smiles around the fire.

Happy about hot chocolate!
I have no idea what inspired this funny face.:*

Princess helps sleepy RW get in a chair. Did I mention it was early?
Superkid at the door of his and daddy's tent. We were thankful for the fence, it was a cliff after that!

Morning hot chocolate smiles again.

Night time bonfire with everyone... AH! My marshmallow is on fire! Yummy!
Before sunrise.
I told you these were not in order.:*

The path down the the water, a good chance for plenty of exercise for the parents of three certain children who wanted to go up and down many times. I had sore muscles... so I know it was workout.
Awww... aren't they cute!? This tent ended up being empty and became a great play tent for the little rascals.
Tricia and I prepping something or other. We stayed pretty busy keeping bugs off our attractive green dishes. The bugs thought they were flowers, then, of course look at my table cloth! Duh! Next time I'm going plain!
Back to that evening bonfire and smores.

Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
Psalm 139:7-10

Sunday, May 18, 2008

A Bunch Of Exhausted Sun-soaked Campers

Hi Guys!
Good to be back...though you didn't know I was gone... I know.
We just got back from our Church camp out, and our first more than one night camping trip as a fam! It was fun, but we are all beat!
We are headed out to go to dinner and "Prince Caspian" by-way-of Mr. George W. Bush..... So Mr. President.... My husband thanks you, My daughters (especially Princess) thank you, my son thanks you, and I thank you!!

I will have pics to share in the next few days.

Thank you for those of you who prayed for our family on Saturday, May 17. My sweet sister Joan, thank you. Your message was not heard till the next day, but it was so precious and encouraging. It was good to be out in God's creation to think of Dad, and heaven. Yet, he would have LOVED to be out there too, so that was a pensive thought. My church family prayed around the campfire for my mom and us and I was just so blessed that he was remembered.
Thank you for every little prayer to comfort.....for your loving thoughts.

(ps Joan.... I still don't think my email is getting to you. I saw you asked me about one... I am thinking of switching providers. Until then, I'll chat by way of your website okay!? Love ya!)

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Interview With The Birthday Boy

Mommy: "So, Superkid, today is your birthday! Do you feel like you are five?"
Superkid: "I feel like I'm 3, and 4, and 6."
Mommy: "Since today is your special day I wanted to write down a little about you..okay?"
Superkid: "k"
Mommy: "What do you think is the best part about being five now?"
Superkid: "My presents"
Mommy: "Now that you are five, what is your favorite thing to play?"
Superkid: "Superhero's little Lego's"
Mommy: "How about your favorite food?"
Superkid: "Um, my favorite food...macaroni and watermelons."
Mommy: "If you could go to one place in the world where would you go?"
Superkid: "To my friend Riley's house and the beach."
Mommy: "What is the hardest part about being five?"
Superkid: "About getting something really high."
Mommy: "What would you like to learn about by the time you turn six?"
Superkid: "I would like to learn about superhero's"
Mommy: "Who is your favorite superhero?"'
Superkid: "Superman, Batman, Spiderman, and Larry Boy" (is that narrowed down?:)
Mommy: "Do you like to draw?"
Superkid: "yeah, yeah!"
Mommy: "When you draw, what do draw?"
Superkid: "supermen, elephants .. all kinds of stuff that I want to draw."
Mommy: "What is your favorite movie?"
Superkid: "Larry Boy and I really like to watch "The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything".
"okay, can I go and play now?"

Mommy: "yes."

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

I Could Not Resist Being Cynical

Okay, I did not plan to blog tonight and I really wanted the last post of Superkid's birth story to flow right into the next of his birthday thoughts....

But I could not resist a moment to be cynical....
I just got home from the grocery. On the way home I passed a church billboard sign that read:
"Don't' Give up, Moses use to be a basket case"
I'm slow people...real slow so it took me a moment..
oh, "basket case" I get it....euh...blak! (I don't know how to properly spell spewings with phoenitics out my mouth..sorry)

Now..if it took me a moment, and I grew up in a christian home, hearing one bible story after another, and have walked with the Lord reading them over and over.... how do they possibly expect the every day guy on the street to even know the significance of the basket punchline?!

I spewd for a few moments in my mind about how annoying these christian billboards are to me and then I come across another just a few blocks up:
"Christian love creates global warming."
THIS IS OUR ONE THING WE SAY TO THE ONE PERSON WE MAY HAVE ONE CHANCE TO SAY SOMETHING TO FOR THE CAUSE OF CHRIST?!!!! "Christian love creates global warming" (I'm not sure whether I'm hearing it in a dunce voice in my head or a prissy girl voice... I bounce back and forth).

People, people, people....

The world must really think we are quacks.... let alone TERRIBLE comedians.

I remember actually before I had kids and had a job working with a guy who took the bus a lot. He drove by this one church that has a billboard visible from the freeway. He would just go on and on about the stupidity of the stuff they came up with. It use to bother me because I knew that Christians were not nitwits. His impression was that we were, from these silly signs.

Now mind you, I realize that a non-believer will always be critical of the gospel in a way because they their nature is to run from it.... but people, let's not give them more material to back their case shall we?!

What should be on these billboards? THE VERY WORDS OF GOD! The scripture right out and untampered with.

For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Heb. 4:12

Are we trying to win them with our sharpened whit (if so, we better get help) or the sharp and alive word of God. The Word of God can meet that person right where they need to be met. We don't have to worry about timing, whether they get it or not, whether it's appealing....It's God's word and HE will use it!

I wonder if the church tries too much to "candy" people into the gospel. Like someone handing out lollypops in the road verbally. To make it sound fun, sweet, funny, popular. These should not be our concerns. You are trying to reach one person in one moment for one time in their life and this is all ya got?

If I didn't believe God was sovereign can use ANYTHING..... I'd say that these billboards are just us shooting ourselves in the foot.

Superkid's Birth Story

Tomorrow is Superkid's 5th birthday. I thought I'd start the story today so I don't stay on the computer much at all on his special day. Today we are going shopping for a watermelon and macaroni and cheese to have with BBQ chicken sandwiches for dinner, his favorite things.
I always make the kids favorite dinner on their birthdays and they get to pick out a junk food cereal for thier breakfast.
Rick and I had two beautiful girls. I had always pictured myself having a boy first, I don't know really why, you know how those girly things go. We wanted another baby and were sure it would be another girl. I was of course okay with that, especially because I thought I'd be having five kids, not just three. God had different plans!
We found out in mid September of 2002 that we were expecting, and we were elated! However, life kinda goes on and I was very busy caring for a four year old, and near two year old on top of all day long nausea so I don't remember much until half way when IT happened.
We took off on a big trip to see Rick's folks. I was about 18 weeks along. We had so much stuff to carry. When we got to the airport we had to hurry to our ramp for some reason that I don't remember. He had Princess plus luggage, plus car seat.... I had Lilo, plus luggage, plus car seat. I remember feeling like I was over doing it but I kept thinking I was only half way so nothing could really happen. I was beyond where it could go wrong, and not yet to where he could come.....right?
Well, we got up there and things went fine but I did become rather homesick and went through some real emotional stress. My in laws are very quiet people and my kids have never been quiet playing children. It was Christmas and all children, well, MY children, get really hyper around Christmas (not to mention it was both their birthday's!). Anyway, I started to feel what I thought was the baby pushing really hard against the sides of my belly . I had been feeling him for a while so I just thought that he was big (and he was, but). We went to see "The Two Towers" in the theater while there and I remember him wiggling around so much to the sounds of the movie, especially the wings of the nasgul. Then, the same scene back home: bags, girls, car seats...
When I got home I was feeling the pushing more and more and in patterns. I remember I sat down in my glider rocker one afternoon and just paid attention. It scared me. I called my friend Charlotte who had been on bed rest (I had been put on bed rest with Lilo to but only for about two weeks until I hit 34 weeks and then they just let me up, it was for early laboring) for a long time. I described to her what I was feeling. She said they did sound like contractions. No way! I was only 20 weeks!
We went to the hospital. I was contracting, and I was dilated to 2cm! I was put down and told to stay down for three months. My church family and MOPS group jumped right up to help. Oh, they were so gracious! The girls were on a rotation of going to a different friend each day of the week. Rick had to get them up early every morning and take them off to someones house and pick them up after work to bring them home. We had food brought every other night. We had friends come clean up the house for us. It was hard but amazing. I most of all missed out on my baby, Lilo, learning to talk. She said near to nothing before this but because of her need to tell people what she needed, she started talking.
I had to have an emergency ultrasound upon going into labor. They started it up and were happy to see that my inside report was good. Baby was great. The doctor said "Do you want to find out what the baby is?" We had all ready decided that we would, since we had never had it done with the girls and I wanted to know if I could buy boy stuff or not. "Well, he said, what do you have?" We told him we had two girls. "Well," he said, (and I thought for sure by his tone that we were having another one) "it looks like you girls will have a little brother to play with!". Immediately Rick sprung out of his seat and present me with high five. My mom was there too and on the walk to the car she got on her cell and called Dad to tell him the "Well, guess what!" news. It's a memory I'll never forget.
I finally reached the end of my bed rest, after many books, Martha Stewart shows, Pride and Prejudice watches, crocheting, and note writing moments. I continued to labor the whole time off and on. I was on Tributiline for months (that stuff is awful... you are told to lay down all the time but it makes you feel like you have drank ten cups of coffee). When I got up I was still contracting. It was so hard to know when the baby was going to come. We had three false runs to the hospital. I mean these hurt, bad, and would come in three min intervals and I would get all the way to the hospital, get hooked up and they would start to die down. Finally I was about 12 days from due date and worn out from all the labor. Superkid (Rick and I alone knew his name) was really big by this time. Oh, and the other thing the ultrasound told us at 20 weeks as the doctor put it "This baby has extremely long femur bones!". This was before he said it was a boy and I thought "oh, my, am I going to have an extremely tall girl?!" Anyway... she said I could come on in the next day and she would break my water.
The most ironic thing about being on bed rest that I hear from many women is that when the baby needs to come, you have to be induced. That was the case here. I was even put on pitocin. That was the bad part. They were supposed to be really careful because I was a double V-back (meaning, for those who don't know, I had a c-section with Princess and a natural birth with Lilo). Instead, they did not pay attention and I was given too much. It is a miracle I did not rupture. I was at 3 cm for hours. All of a sudden I told the nurse I was feeling a lot of pressure. I had my epidural and I was still feeling it. She said, no, there was no way. I shut up but not for long. No, something was going on. I asked them to check. I had jumped from 3 to 10 in about a half hour! Basically Superkid had been slammed into the birth canal because of the high dose of pitocin (the one nurse I did not like was in control of my drip lines, she also forgot to re-set my epidural and it ran out by the time I was actually giving birth). He was sideways. His shoulders were vertical. OUCH! Especially with no epi, I felt them more than I did his head. He does have broad shoulders too. It took three hours to push, he got stuck. The room was full of people. My mom got scared (my brother had a stroke in birth from the same thing and he has Cerebral Palsy because of the lack of oxygen so you can see why she was scared. I think it was like re-living out her own scary story. Now days, they make you stop and breathe through every third contraction and even though the birth was traumatic on my body, his oxygen levels were great and he was fine). They finally used a vacuum for a few minutes and he was out.
I had nearly gone into shock though the pushing and was shaking uncontrollably. I was just glad he was okay.
And that is how Superkid came into this world. Long arms, long torso, long legs, long feet. His first word was "ball" and mommy bought him a little basketball. Who knows!
Tomorrow I'll talk more about
who little Superkid is as of five.