Friday, October 31, 2014

October Blessings

October has flown by and I have not kept up with our blessings as well as I would like. There have been so many in everyday life that I want to record, but when I get the chance to write I battle to remember everything! (Can I get an amen on that?) So here is what I can remember from this month. I'm also listing some that I had forgotten from last month

  1. Getting to meet Jim for lunch during his on campus time for his modular class
  2. Seeing God move in Jim's heart
  3. Laughter of children in the back of a car during a road trip
  4. Watching Jamey grow as the oldest
  5. Seeing friendships beginning to form between our kids
  6. God consistently drawing me out of a thought life that is damaging
  7. God digging out lies that I believe and bringing me to life and freedom in Christ
  8. Dedicating Samuel to the Lord
  9. Getting to go to our first Redeem Marriage event
  10. Going to the Word and Words conference
  11. Growing in my love for the Lord
  12. Desiring more than ever to know the love of God and teach it to my kids
  13. God's love for us
  14. Sam turning 6 months old
  15. Celebrating Sara's birthday
  16. Working on my books
  17. God using hard things to draw us closer to Him and each other
  18. Celebrating new life with friends
  19. God's mercy and grace being poured out on us
  20. Jamey telling me he wants to obey
  21. All of our kids learning to play together well
  22. The kids asking to go outside and play
  23. Jim and I growing in love for each other 
  24. Jim and I communicating better
  25. Reading more again 

October Evaluation

  • Spend at least 10 minutes praying daily- Yes
  • Spend at least 10 minutes reading and reflecting on the Bible daily- Yes! 
  • Memorize verses with the kids - Still doing this every week of school
  • Memorize Proverbs 31:10-31 and Romans 1 (I hope to add more to it, but this is where I want to start)- I have made Proverbs 31:10-31 part of Lillian's school curriculum for this year and have  most of it memorized generally still need to get it in solidly. Sort of looked at Ephesians 1
  • Go out for a date once a month- Still going on 1 a week and I think this is our new goal
  • Go on a night away once this year- Yes, went overnight to Lexington for our 10th anniversary
  • Read 3 books together this year- We have been reading lots of stuff for school of missions, but have not completed another book together yet. We started a book that we will hopefully get through next month.
  • Discuss plan weekly on Sunday afternoon- Still improving, but mostly
  • Spend 30 minutes of one on one time with each child every week- We are still improving on this, but we are getting closer to this goal. Right now we are really evaluating what we want our days and weeks to look like with new rhythms
  • Go to playgroup each Tuesday- Missed a couple due to weather
  • Take kids to Science Center or Zoo at least once a month- No and this will not happen the rest of the year
  • Write in individual journals at least 3 times this year- Worked on these this month
  • Finish Jamey's 1st year Scrapbook- I did not even try to work on this. Clearly this was a little over ambitious for this year. Maybe in 2015
  • Keep up with cleaning schedule- Still are not doing well with this. Hope to improve as we work out new rhythms
  • Keep up with my calendar- Did fairly well with this overall, still room for improvement
  • Being fully present when with my family- Getting better at this. God has been really working on me and helping me to do better in this area
  • Continue to host Women's Prayer once a month- Yes
  • Have at least 4 Childbirth Conversation classes this year- This may have been too, lofty of a goal. I do not see getting another one in this year as it stands right now.
  • Start Childbirth Conversation blogYes! It is finally launched. You can check it out here
  • Read a book a month aside from Class material- I'm reading a lot between reading with Jim, school with the kids and by myself, so we finished some books with school, and this month I finished "A Love That Multiplies"
  • Journal 5 days a week- I think I averaged this this month
  • Write (books) 3 days a week- Worked on writing a couple of days. We are seeking the best way to get this into our new rhythms
  • Edit novel to prepare for publishing and research publishing options- Did a little editing one day
  • Complete Childbirth Conversation book- Did not work on this at all
  • Plan for next novel and write in November- I don't think I will be doing this. There is just too much going on.
  • Finish Rosetta Stone Russian level 1 and begin Level 2- Have not worked on this
  • Continue to meet once a month with writing group- Were not able to meet this month but planning to meet tomorrow!
  • Blog 3 days a week- I don't think I quite reached this, but wrote more than I thought I would
  • Go to water aerobics once a week- Still not getting this in. Would love to, but still working on family priorities
  • Maintain weight until birth
  • Lose weight after giving birth- I joined Weight Watchers and I am down almost 15 lbs! 
October has flown by in so many ways, and yet some days were like molasses. I did not get as much done in October as I would have liked, but a couple of weeks ended up far more challenging in other ways that I had anticipated. One thing God is continuing to teach me throughout all of this is He knows what priorities should be at the top and when other things come into play and we must listen to Him to know how our days should go. God is good and continues to teach me a lot as I fail to reach goals, but learn how to live the life He has given me to live.

How was your October?

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Felicity Learns A Lesson

I read Felicity Learns A Lesson with Lillian as part of our homeschool day. I enjoyed this book far better than the first for several reasons. As Lillian and I study the Proverbs 31 woman, there were many things in this book to talk through that related to this passage such as taking care of a home and doing good to your husband and family. It was also good to talk through trusting God and obeying His commands and how to respectfully disagree with authority. We also enjoyed the end with historical note about school during that time period. It is a fun way to learn history in fiction.

I would give this book 4 stars.

Monday, October 20, 2014

A Love That Multiplies

This second book by the Duggar's I was really excited to read. As a whole it was an interesting book, much of it not being surprising since I have watched some of their show. It begins with the story of Josie's birth, which I had seen. It is well written and sounds much like they talk. Since the first 2 section of the book was more retelling, it was not very interesting to me, but would likely be for someone who is unfamiliar with their story.

I really appreciate their emphasis on prayer and their love of Scripture. There is a lot in their lifestyle I could get behind and even follow. I enjoyed the chapters on homeschooling, marriage, Jim Bob's hobby, and Michelle's heart for moms. Some of the tips they gave are very useful and I need to go back and read again. (I really need to read it again and write down things I like.) They clearly love Jesus and desire to please Him.

There were several things I did not like about the book. I was very saddened by their emphasis on effort and little to none on grace. Though many of their ideals seem good, there appears to be a lot of legalistic tendencies, which I either fall hard for and buck fully. I struggle with reading things like this as I battle this balance. I was also saddened as I read their chapter on dating. It seemed from what they said, I would never have been allowed to marry Jim. I may be reading too much into what they wrote, but that is the impression I got. I see so much of separating themselves from the world that I do not know how to read things.

I think I would like to read it again to wrestle through some things and write down what I think is good and appropriate. Because of the mixed things I saw, I would only give it 3 stars, but I would still recommend people reading it.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Sam at 6 Months!

Sam turned 6 months old this week! I cannot believe it has already been 6 months but in other ways it's not hard to believe at all. It has been a roller coaster since Samuel joined our family, but we are so thankful he is here, as his life reminds us everyday that God hears his people, He gives us strength and He is the giver of all life.

Sam has been welcomed into the family by all his siblings. Jamey dotes on him the most, playing with him, comforting him and making him laugh. He is always telling people about our new baby, even though Sam is 6 months old. All of them seek to help him and play with him. Reuben is really beginning to grow into the big brother roll, giving Sam a bottle and lots of kisses. Gabriel is still trying to figure out how to be a big brother and usually prefers to sit on him, but for an almost 2 year old it is affection. Lillian does whatever she sees Jim, Jamey or me doing. She loves him, but is still not venturing out on her own in this.

Samuel is so big now. He is moving by rolling and scooting and is very close to crawling. In the past week he has started on solid food trying avocado, bananas and green beans. He likes to feed himself, we discovered today. He loves to play with toys and has come to really enjoy playing in the exerscauser. Sam has become very verbal and greets us in the morning with a string of "da-da"s and blowing raspberries. He likes to be out and about and being with people. We are so blessed by him.

I am so thankful for Sam everyday! Father, thank you for giving Samuel to our family to raise and set out into the world. I pray You will save him by Your grace and shower him with Your love. Remind Sam daily that You hear the prayers of Your people and give them strength and life. Make Sam Yours! In Jesus Name, Amen!

*Thanks to Becca for the pictures

Monday, October 13, 2014

Cross-Cultural Connections by Duane Elmer

Jim and I read this book for School of Missions, and I am so thankful that it was part of the curriculum. This book has a wealth of knowledge and is very good at making you think about yourself and where you stand on issues. It is practical as well as Biblical and all around informational in helping people to understand those that are different. It even helped Jim and I talk through something that we had not considered before. I also really appreciate that it asks to you look at what you consider right, wrong and different. It is a great book for self evaluation in many areas that you may not have considered previously. Whether you plan to live in another culture or if you simply want to engage other people well, this book will help you in understanding yourself and other. I am so thankful this book was recommended to us and I readily recommend it to others. Read this book!

I give this book 5 stars. 

Check out the book here.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Dedicating Sam to the Lord!

"Now this is the commandment - the statutes and the rules - that the Lord your God commanded me to teach you, that you may do them in the land to which you are going over, to possess it, that you may fear the Lord your God, you and your son and your son's son, by keeping all His statutes and His commandments which I command you all the days of your life, and that your days may be long. ...
Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is One. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently, to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates." Deuteronomy 6:1-2, 4-9

Today we dedicated our 5th child, Samuel Hezekiah, to the Lord. I love doing this every time, but this time was a little different for me. I've known these words and sought to do them, but have really wrestled for so many reasons. Recently, God has really been teaching me what it means to love Him with all of my heart and all of my soul and all of my might, and I desire more than ever before to pass this along to my children. I know I am far from loving God as I should, but I pray that I will grow more in this everyday and that as I grow in loving God I will love my children better and they will experience the love of God and come to know Jesus. 

I am so blessed that God has chosen me as His child and that He has blessed me with 5 children. I do NOT deserve this at all, which I know more now than I have ever known before. Only in Christ can I hope to be what I need to be to mother these children that He has given to us. 

Thank You, Father, for blessing me with Jamey, Lillian, Reuben, Gabriel and Samuel. These children are Yours that You have loaned to me for a little while to teach and train diligently in Your ways. Help me to teach them, train them, discipline them as you are teaching, training and disciplining me. Father, save them by Your grace. In Jesus name, Amen!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Homer Price

This book was also a read aloud in our Core B curriculum this year. Though the stories in it are fun, it was not my favorite. The writing style was odd to me and the chapters were a bit long. What I did like about this book was seeing a different time in story. Written in the 1940s, it is fun to get a glimpse of how small town America ran back then. Jamey enjoyed it some but did not talk about it much after it was read. I think it's a good book for boys in a lot of ways, though girls may appreciate it as well.

I would give this book 3 stars.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Little Pear

Little Pear was one of our read alouds in our Core B curriculum. It is a fun, whimsical book telling the adventures of Little Pear, a 5-year-old Chinese boy. It is a good book for teaching lessons to children and to also see adventure in others. The writing style was not bad but also not my favorite. I enjoyed hearing about children in another culture and being reminded that children are generally the same all over the world. Jamey seemed to enjoy the stories in the book and enjoyed talking about a couple of them later on.

I personally would give this book 3 stars, but Jamey would likely give it 4 or 5.

Monday, October 6, 2014

He Said ?

There is a really catchy song out on Christian radio called "He Said" by Group 1 Crew. The first two lines of the chorus says:

"I won't give you more, more than you can take
And I might let you bend, but I won't let you break"

This sounds so nice, but where is it in the Bible? In the middle of hard times this is what we want to believe, but the reality is that God will give us far more than what we can take.


To show us that we cannot do it! To show us how much we need Him! If we can take it on our own, why in the world would we need God?

And God will absolutely break us.


So that He can mend us and make us new. He is the potter. Sometimes the potter has to completely destroy what is already there so that He can make a new vessel that is usable.

Jesus said, "Come to me all who are weary." Those who are weary are the ones who have been given more than they can take and recognize that they need Jesus to give them rest. This doesn't mean life will all of a sudden be easy. In fact, quite the opposite is true. When we surrender our lives to Jesus life gets so much harder, because now we have a huge target on our backs for Satan to aim at. Hard things will continue to come, but we have Jesus to help us, shelter us, help us to take what is thrown at us and hold us together.

We will be given much more than we can take. God will break us. But He does it so that we will be more like Jesus.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

September Blessings

September has flown by and I did not keep track of my blessings as I should have. Believe me when I say there are far more than what is on this list. Here are the highlights I can remember.

  1. Reuben turning 3!
  2. Family trip to St. Louis
  3. Seeing God's grace all over our lives
  4. Seeing Jamey grow in knowledge of God
  5. Reuben and Gabriel loving to learn more
  6. Lillian growing in doing house work
  7. My kids wanting to read, work and play more than watch TV
  8. Seeing our marriage grow
  9. Jim and I reading together often
  10. Lots of communication
  11. Starting School of Missions 
  12. Jamey and Lillian liking to clean dishes
  13. Samuel growing and rolling
  14. Learning more about God
  15. Learning to really hear God's voice
  16. Our CG multiplying
  17. Having Brothers and Sisters to walk through life with us
  18. God teaching me in everything