Powered by Blogger.

Not Equipped To Handle It

>> 2.07.2012

The ladies' Bible study and I are in a 6 session study by Lysa Terkeurst called, "Becoming More Than a Good Bible Study Girl."  This last week, week 3 of the study, has probably been the most personally challenging to me thus far.  There are several reason for this.  Let me share some of her thoughts first, though.

Key phrase #1 of this sessionWe must operate IN God's love, WITH God's love, in order that we may REFLECT God's love.

  Lysa sets forth the premise that if we allow let God's love cover our own insecurities we would then  better use those insecurities to serve others.  To overcome our insecurities we must CHOOSE to operate under the Word of Truth-- i.e. memorize those verses of Scripture that speak directly to our own areas of insecurity and choose to believe the TRUTH when it comes to that area. (Thus, operating in God's love.)  "Operating in God's love means understanding how His love can redefine my natural thought processes.  Using God's Word, I can fill my thoughts with His truths to combat the lies tangles around my feelings." (p. 90)

  She then goes on to say, having accepted God's love as truth for ourselves, we can then operate with God's love and allow his truth to be the catalyst by which we serve others.  When we can get past our own thoughts about what others may think of us, we can then serve them more fully.  (I.E. We can choose to open our home to a neighbor or fellow church member and not be afraid of what she might think of our broken couch or squeaky table -- or is that just me that has those two items? I can open my home being secure in the fact that it's not possessions that make others feel welcomed or make me "look good", it's my willingness to minister to others that is pleasing to God and that's all that matters.)

 By operating in God's love and with God's love, you can see then how natural it would be that we then would reflect His love.  It's an outflowing of the inner flowing peace and beauty He is creating in us by allowing Him to fill up all those insecurities instead of looking to other "people, possessions, or positions" (phrase used in session 1 by Lysa) to do that for us.

Now, that all SOUNDS good, but really.  That's just TOO easy, right?  Here's the catch: the comparison trap!  We wake up in the morning and we feel good and we read some Bible, have some coffee, sing some songs, go about our day (doing good so far) and then, as it is for me, go to some one's house that night and see their beautiful leather (leather is good for children because when illness comes knocking, then you don't have to try to Resolve your way out of that vomit stain! So if I could, I'd want leather right now =) couch...brown, just the way I'd like, and suddenly I don't feel so "God is great" any more.  I begin to doubt His provision is enough-- and I end up dwelling in the land of discontentment, while all the while I have so. many. stinking. wonderful. blessings. sitting. right. in. front. of. me!  Would a couch really fix my discontentment anyway?!

Oh, there are so many other "more important" comparisons -- jobs, relationships, health,etc. -- the list goes on for miles and it's so hard to combat those thoughts of wanting things we don't have.  But continuing to do so is a sin (remember that "do not covet" phrase?) that has consequences (discontentment and leads to resentment that leads to bitterness= a really ugly person and miserable testimony for Christ) which is why God tells us NOT to covet in the first place! (He's so wise!)

Then Lysa reminds us of a great truth.  She says, "Too many of us live with an uncontrolled thought life.  It is possible to learn to identify destructive thoughts and make wiser choices.  Instead of letting these thoughts rumble freely about in my mind, I make the choice to harness them and direct them toward truth." (p101,102)  And, what we haven't stopped to consider, is that for every person that has...a beautiful brown leather couch, let's just say... that person also has their own burdens (and that couch may just be the best part of their life.)  We ASSUME other people's lives are one way, and in reality we just never know what burdens and hardships they have to deal with.

Lysa says something that is meant to help us when we're in the thick of mental battle with comparing our situation to anothers'.  I think will stick with me for the rest of my earthly life and I hope you will find worth the time it took for you to read this lengthy blog :

Key phrase #2: "I am not equipped to handle what they have -- both good and bad." (p. 99)

"I am not equipped for her good.
I am not equipped for her bad.
I am not equipped to carry the weight of her victories.
I am not equipped to shoulder her burdens.
I am not equipped to be her in any way.
I am, however, perfectly equipped to be me.
Therefore, thank You, God, for only entrusting me with what I have and who I am." (p.102)

If not an "ah-ha" phrase for you, it was for me and I wanted to share it with you today, dear friend.  Wherever this finds you, may you be growing in grace learning to operate IN God's love, WITH God's love, so that you may then REFLECT God's love to those around you!

(In a few days, I want to write more to you sharing another part of this process: being secure in your  unique calling.  Difficult stuff-- but so good!)


Bible Study Tools

>> 2.06.2012

In keeping with my recently started women's Bible study group, I wanted to post some great online Bible study tools all available for FREE!  Perhaps you already know about them, but maybe you don't!  Check them out and get started on your way to digging deeper into God's awesome, transforming, Word!

www.navpress.com (home to many resources and tools)
www.navpress.com/pray/ (Magazine PRAY!)

Those are just a few.  If you DO check them out, leave a comment and let me know what was something new you learned!

** Will make this a TAB soon...**


Mid - Year Evaluation

>> 2.05.2012

I think most homeschoolers do this -- and probably more frequently than just every 6 months!  If truth be told, I feel as though I'm evaluating every week and trying to figure out what best suits the needs of my child as he/she grow.  (Obviously they grow and change A LOT, right, so I've tended to feel a bit like I'm constantly spinning!)  BUT, there are a few things that remain our "constants" so that I can give our kids a sense of direction and accomplishment.  Here are a few of those:

Reading together -- reading LOTS together (Need to invest in a different couch so I can fit all four around me at the same time without giving my neck a cramp from one of them ending up behind my head!) Among others, the boys' favorites have been old fashioned Hardy Boy mysteries!

Bible "Study" -- we've been spending time working our way through Marian M. Schooland's "Leading Little Ones To God" and memorizing the Word together as the kids work on their AWANA material.  (Next year I'm looking to add some Kay Arthur Kids' Bible studies...but I'll tell you about that when I get there!)

Learning Through History -- I'm not so sure about the other parts of Heart of Dakota (see below under "Things We're NOT doing now;)  But we will finish out the year reading through and learning about early American history.  This week and next we'll be getting into our own books/materials on ben Franklin!

Math Mammoth -- Pros:  good price (less than $100 for 6 complete years), on the Singapore approach side (which is what most math is heading towards), good amount of practice (as it is mastery based).  Cons:  I've learned that early ed little learners do not do well with mastery-based approach!!!!  Well, at least my little learners.  I LOVE it, and they, well, get bored with it!  Sigh...so...contemplating next step with this but trying to add in my own hands-on to help supplement the missing element left out.

Alphabet Island -- I'm a big one on feeling more accomplished myself if I finish material we've started.  This material is good, but a bit more geared towards younger learners and a bit incomplete-- rather not enough practice-- for older ones.  When introducing new concepts on the 2nd + grade level, it only provides 1 practice sheet for each concept!  So... that brings me to what I'd like to add:

All About Spelling -- For those "in" the homeschooling field, you know that there is lots of buzz around this.  I wanted to see it for myself and wait til I was completely comfortable with the set up, etc. -- and well, after seeing the material IN FRONT OF MY EYES, I know it will work for me...and probably be helpful to at least ONE of my little learners=) 

Things We Will NOT Be Doing More Of:

Heart of Dakota -- all I can say about this: good concept, good books, not a layout for me.  If it's for you -- great!  Enjoy it!  That's what I love about homeschooling. =)

Now, this post might not have been any good for anyone else to read but myself, but it sure was helpful to me to sort out!  (Is there a term for external thinkers through blogging???)  What this means, however, is the I will not be putting on the HOD spelling and will be taking that out of my tabs asap.  (And "soon" probably means by the end of March.)  Not a big deal to anyone else...only means I have to clean up the blog a bit!

BUT-- I am going to be adding Bottle Cap activities, etc. because my younger two will be using them.  So, if you like those, keep checking back!.


(Milk) Bottle Cap Activities

>> 2.02.2012

So I haven't posted anything particular to what we are working on here on the homeschool front for awhile and, frankly, that's because I've been a little uninspired!  You know how that goes-- what I'm learning is just part of the "ebb and flow" of the homeschool year.  Well, with this wonderful weather and growing interest of a certain now 5 year old girl, I've had a slight change of tune-- and attitude.  Though I'm still finding it difficult to really give as much attention as I'd like to my daughter, these oldies (but goodies!) have once again come off of our shelves and into our daily homeschooling life.  What are the "oldies", you may ask?


Earlier in the year, I had printed and laminated a couple sets of letter disks from Erica over at Confessions and then glued them to my growing collection of bottle caps.  (Of course, one can always just write the letters on bottle caps and skip the printing, laminating, and gluing, but I'm not too fond of my handwriting and a little on the perfectionist side so I wanted them all to match!)  I then started to create a few printables to give my Pre-Ker something to do on her own while I worked with the olders.  After a few dull attempts (the inspiration had yet to really hit;), I thought to look online ( I know, it takes me awhile sometimes) to see what others were doing with these WONDERFUL, RECYCLABLE caps!  I found just a couple of blogs that had much of anything on them but it was enough to give me that much needed inspiration.  Posted below you'll see those sites -- one that I really liked was applying these to teaching/learning music staff and notes!  I already use these site reading activities from 1+1+1=1 so I just made another activity to go along with it.  PLEASE check her if you like the activity I made with those out if you haven't already and download her site reading activities for free! 

Here's an example of one activity we did this week using the caps: 

Click on these for the Alphabet Mat (lower case), Sight Word Set 1, Sight Word Set 2 (both site word sets correspond with You Can Read units by Carisa at 1plus1plus1equals1).

You'll find lots of way to make and use these wonderful caps at these following sites:

For many ideas to use with pre-schoolers click here (highly recommend, lots of ideas!)
For use with math click here.
For use with music click here.

I will be adding my own alphabet mat (seen in the pictures above) and the activity mat that goes with the You Can Read sets hopefully later tonight-- but it probably will be over the weekend!  (They are made, but supper is not and right now that's more pressing!) So PLEASE, check back if you are interested in printing those off for your use! 

** Why I like bottle caps:
  •  SO easy to collect (just ask a couple friends and in no time you'll be overrun, I promise!)
  • Easy for little people to get their fingers around
  • perfect to come up with many activities all using the same manipulatives
  • my own "littles" love them!  (Didn't get a picture of it, but my 3 year old matched letter this week too-- and right now he only knows one of those actual letters-- so it's fun to see him drawn into learning with these, too!)

What do YOU do with bottle caps?!?  Leave a comment and let me know!  (Even if it's to say "throw them away" ;)


  © Blogger template Webnolia by Ourblogtemplates.com 2009

Back to TOP