Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Reflections of Family Camp!!

 ** Our second annual Memorial Day Weekend Family Camp was this past weekend here are some highlights:



1) The weather was BEAUTIFUL!!!


2) The boys did a great job playing an acoustical set around the campfire on Friday night!!

 
3) Family Camp doubled in size from last year!!
 

4) Our speaker, Boomer Roland, did an amazing job!!


 
5) Mike and I had the strength to get through the weekend!!
(Thanks for the PRAYERS)
 
 
 
6) We had opportunities to pour into the lives of each family who came!

 
 
7) We had great leaders to do our workshops & nursery!!
 (No picture as I did not have time to ask for permission; they know who they are!!)
 
 
8) There was a three year old who went down the black banana THREE times, he went to do it again but decided he could not as he could not get his "teeth to stop chattering" this little boy also made a memory as he was asked his age to which his reply was "I'm STILL THREE!!!" (very cute & adorable)


9) Our work project went well, had several families participate!!
 
10) Our passion grew even more to work on a full time basis with families to share what God can do in a family unit!! I am constantly reminded of God's restoration in our marriage and how he has bonded us together through the grace and forgiveness he offers. I want others to see the redemption by sharing with them and giving them tools to help equip them to spread the word! I am reminded of the verse John 10:10 "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life and have it to the full"
 
 
 
 
Satan will do what he can to steal our focus, to steal our priorities, to steal our joy that we find in balancing our lives so that we may have life and have it abundantly.  He will kill and destroy our hopes, our desires & our dreams.  But, our ways are not ours and our thoughts are not ours. We must constantly be transforming our minds instead of conforming them to the patterns of this world so that we may have the life He has promised. The road is not easy, but it worth the fight.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Friday, May 9, 2014

It's hard to believe!!

                                                 
                              
     It is hard to believe that another year has passed since I began the journey of homeschooling.  Each year has proven to be a challenge in many different ways, and this year was no different.
     Looking back over the year I continued to struggle with the balance of "staying on schedule" The year started later than I had anticipated due to a few situations that was out of my control.  I quickly worked on our schedule and did some adjusting, which eliminate any and all prospective days off.  The thought lingered in the back of my mind if we would be able to finish "on time"  Technically, when you home school we have a whole year to complete the curriculum. Because we serve at camp in the summer, time does not allow us to do that, which puts us on a strict timeline. The flexibility that home school offers is probably one of the many rewards with schooling at home.  Speed up the year and now I'm wondering how the year went so fast?!! 
     My daughter is very task driven, and goal oriented like her father. Although she doesn't like school it does come easy for her for the most part. As we approached the end of the race, she saw the finish line and took off like a freight train.  We began the 12-14 hours of school to cram it was easy to do with her as she embraces the challenge, not so easy with the other two. But after the LONG, HARD week we have had I sit here in admiration of the endurance and diligence that she displays, not only has she completed her 7th grade year, she did it a week early!! Furthermore, at 11:30 p.m. last night my oldest son completed his Last Final Exam of is High School year!!  
      I have been preparing for his graduation since January, but nothing prepares you for the actual day of completion! I am both excited and sad all at the same time as I begin to think of his future. As many mothers can attest; the feeling of stepping into a different season of life with parenting brings much anticipation, but also a level of insecurity as we walk into the territory of the unknown.  The "what ifs" plaque my mind, and at times can be crippling, but drives me closer to the one who does know our future

                              


Comparison robs you of joy. Comparing yourself to others will always cause you to regret what you aren’t, rather than allow you to enjoy who you are. It will always steal the joy and happiness that is within your reach… and place it just outside of your reach instead.

Soo, what can you do? Celebrate who you are. There are many wonderful things about your life. You are an artist… or a businessman… or a mother… or a good listener… or a generous soul. You have much to celebrate and are entirely unique. Any comparison between you and another person is like comparing apples to oranges. They aren’t living your life, you are. Therefore, you should expect the results to be completely different.   My middle son brings up the rear in this race to finish; he should finish today or Monday to conclude the year.  Again, I am amazed and honored to watch as he struggles through his challenges and overcomes the obstacles.  I have always tried to explain to each child their uniqueness and how each child is fearfully and wonderfully made. We have had many lessons in the strength/weakness department, along with comparison.  Comparison robs us of the joy of who WE were CREATED to be. It takes our focus off of where it should be.

    Oh, the qualities I love about this BOY!! He is so dedicated, hardworking, energetic & as such an amazing music talent!
Never, do I want my kids to feel as if my focus is on one child more than the other. MY three children bring me such blessings in different ways. 
The one thing I truly admire about our journey is that; although our attitudes conflict more times than I would like, God knew what he was doing when he called me to home school this one especially.  I have had my fair share of trials but I can say with confidence that I have gained an understanding, empathy and respect that has created a deeper bond that truly was needed.
The hardest process proves to be painful but produces much beauty in the end!!

                                            

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The juggling act!!





As the year is winding down I feel as if I am in the middle of a juggling act; I'm sure many can relate. We are trying to finish up our schooling, plan Family Camp @ Rivercrest, organize a graduation party, & prepare to host out of town family amongst the daily activities all before the heart of summer begins.  
Because we are having family visit due to Kirk's graduation we are trying to finish school a week early. With this also comes studying for final exams. With two kids who struggle, this is a challenging task. I want to make sure they are actually learning the material but all the while wanting to finish ALL of our curriculum.  My mind is mentally exhausted; I have Algebraic equations, wars, compositions, research papers, verses, biology & science all running through my head.  Let me tell you, there is a party going on up there!! (LOL) Not too mention, I am trying to stay on top of grading, & recording papers so that I can finish Kirks' transcripts in a timely manner.                                          
 
 
Family Camp is right around the corner. We are so excited for our 2nd annual Family Camp. We have a great speaker lined up; wonderful, godly models to present our couples workshops; and great leaders for the teens & kids! We have crammed a fun filled schedule into a weekend, and it is our passion and desire to see families connect and make memories.   We are still praying for at least three families to sign up!! If you would like to sign up for Family camp or want more information please visit www.camprivercrest.org
 
I am so glad I began preparations for Kirk's graduation party earlier in the year. I feel I am on top of this for the most part. There are some things that just have to wait until the last minute.. shopping for food, making food, set-up etc. etc. The good news is I have all the decorations made, and boxed up ready to go! Because of friends who have helped me along the way & Senior Sunday I feel I am prepared in this department. Of course, I could always do more  but... Kirk is a simple person and I need to keep reminding myself of this!! The last major thing I need to do with the graduation is prepare my speech and finish is transcripts!!





      As I begin to balance all of these extra things going on in my life right now, I am reminded of my word once again for the year, which was BALANCE... God is truly pruning all areas of life. One of the biggest things I am trying to remember in balancing my life right now is..... prioritizing!!
In the (in)Courage article "Finding Balance" by Melissa Michaels she writes   "Looking at John 15:1-2 I find even more inspiration from what life should look like:  ”I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.”  He wants us to be more fruitful! God doesn’t want to waste time on things that aren’t bearing fruit nor does He want us to exhaust ourselves or lose sight of our priorities by not remaining in Him. It’s a spiritually balanced life.
 

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

What if I don't feel Christ LIKE????

   

    The other day I let my guard down. I had an incident happen that allowed me to reach my limit. I was angry, hurt, disrespected and offended. Frankly, I just didn't "feel Christ-like" I crawled into bed and began to sulk.
For months now, I had allowed small things to roll off my shoulder and pretend like it didn't bother me. Little by little each small thing begin to mount up and before I knew it, the burden of it all became a mountain. I was wounded, I had fallen and to be FRANK... I didn't want to get UP, at least for that moment!!!
    I misconceived an action of another, which for me was the final straw. I pondered on why something so minute would bother me so much. The more I thought about it the more upset I got. I realized that there was a root to this problem. I had allowed personal boundaries to be walked on. I do not like confrontation, negativity or conflict for the matter; I felt the healthy way to deal with these matters were to "move on" & not deal with them.
    I have been blessed with being relational, and seek out opportunities to encourage and build others up with the gift of friendship and hospitality, I feel close to Christ when I can see others through his eyes, using my strengths of positivity and empathy. But that night I lied in my bed seeking the truth. I was lost, and felt un useable. I did not want to show empathy, I did not want to be positive, I did not want to go through this!
As sure as I was having a pity party for one, a friend showed up on my door step. She had seen me earlier in the day and didn't accept the "I'm okay" that I quickly gave her as an excuse. After she allowed me to completely vent, and I was back in bed, questions bombarded my mind.... Questions like
Why do I feel this way?
Why have I allowed someone to make me feel this way?
Why do others have to be so controlling and selfish?
Why do I still have to be in the station that I am in?
What or where is our next direction in this journey we are on?
What do I need to learn from this?
Who should I talk to?
What have I done wrong?
Why do keep allowing others to overstep their boundaries with me?
Does God even still want to use me?
Am I making an impact?
Why? What? Where? Who? How? When?

I do know that in this world we will have trouble. But God has overcome this world for ME, for YOU!!

   I don't have answers to some of my questions at this point, but I do know that when life throws a curve ball and knocks me down, I will get back up..(eventually)  It may be slow, and it may be hard; but I have the hope that I do not have to be perfect for God's grace and faithfulness.  I may not know all the questions to my situations, but I do have  a God that loves me no matter what I am going through, even in "my" moments that I don't feel "Christ-Like"