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Archive for September, 2009

Welcoming Autumn

AutumnattheMill

No spring nor summer beauty hath such grace as I have seen in one autumnal face.

John Donne

Today is officially the first day of Autumn… although outside my window doesn’t yet proclaim it’s warm inviting tones but they will soon follow to my delight. I so admire this season. It is lightly raining outside over here…

“Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!”

Isaiah 6:3

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Job 1:21

“The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.” 

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Precious was our cat… precious is our time… for so many reasons… precious for the eternal purposes and glories of God, precious for the angelic beings watch and learn, precious for it is like a vapor, precious for our holiness and precious for the little hearts that we have been given. Our dear sweet Precious was suddenly taken away from us this Friday morning and with her went a piece of my heart. I loved her dearly even though she had a very bad habit of terrorizing me at times…. she brought a peacefulness into our home and a comfort to me that I can not explain… she was a precious gift that I am so thankful for today. My heart aches for her presence again in her usual daily routines, in our daily rythyms. My piece has been disturbed as I long for her… home doesn’t quiet feel the same. I ask “Why?” honestly… what is my lesson? What does He have to teach me from this?  Oh why has He taken something so sweet and good from me? I get little anwsers… mostly silence with a few  hints of a whisper here and there… “was that You God?” I don’t know.  Why do I keep crying? She was just a cat? Is there more to this that I am not getting… I seek to simply understand and grow. I ask earnestly for His direction… does He hear me? Oh I plead that He would hear me and allow me to understand. What do I do with all this sorrow? Cast it in the shallow waters of everyday work and pleasures?  It only comes back to find me sulking in my room… I continue to ask Him “what do I need to do?” I try to hand over my sorrow, my pain, my memories in exchange for His peace and comfort… I receive it at times but grab it all back, where is this going? No where.  I admit now that He has anwsered me only I have said with in my heart, “that is not enough… I need something more”. I admit my heart is not right in thinking that as if He alone is not enough, that is a lie from the pit of hell… get behind me satan.  

I consider the possiblity of my sorrow being more of a result of a brokeness over my own sinfulness and guilt of it’s leading, of being disciplined by my Father (Hebrews 12). I realize that my sinfulness the other night caused certain things to happen… she should have been inside that night as we always let her in but on that night I decided I wanted to sulk and dwell in my sinfulness instead. The interesting things is I have been praying for this, not exactly this but for the Lord to humble me and bring me to a place of brokeness that I could not bring myself… He has answered my prayer. I will miss her but I am begining to understand… my Father knew what He needed to do for my good and as hard as it is I am going to try to listen to Him when He says…

“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. “

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Through the pain of her absence and my sin I find a heart of thankfulness… for her life, all the many joys she brought to me over these years, the goodness of God for giving her to me (what a blessing), of brokeness, of His work with in my heart, His faithfulness and for listening to me and being so patience with me. I didn’t deserve such a good gift, such a good little furry companion and I didn’t deserve the ultimate gift of Christ on the cross taking my sins upon Himself  and drinking the cup of God’s wrath that I was meant to drink…

God is most glorified in you when you am most satisfied in Him… in the midst of loss…” John Piper 

I long for Him now to come and fill this broken vessel with His Spirit… that in this and any loss I might face in this life I would be completely satisfied in Him… that nothing would be so precious to me other than Him and Him alone… not even the gift of time. It is so easy to put our gifts above our Giver, and misplace our joy, our trust, our peace, our hunger and thirsts and our treasure on what He has given us… setting our eyes and our hearts ultimately on earthly temporal things instead of eternal heavenly things. May we protect our hearts to love… but to easily let go for the sake of His good works and eternal purposes.

Precious will be deeply  missed… and she will always hold a very special tender place in my heart and in my spiritual journey… I wonder if in the truth that all of creation will be restored if we will be reunited… a silly but pleasing thought ;).

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To be like Christ. To displace self from the inner throne, and to enthrone Him; to make not the slightest compromise with the smallest sin. We aim at nothing less than to walk with God all day long, to abide every hour in Christ and He and His words inus, to love God with all the heart and our neighbors as ourselves… It is possible to cast every care on Him daily, and to be at peace amidst pressure, o see the will of God in everything, to put away all bitterness and clamor and evil speaking, daily and hourly. It is possible by unreserved resort to divine power under divine conditions to become strongest through and through at our weakest point. (Bishop Handley Moule, Thoughts on Christian Sanctity)

Sanctification… the process of becoming more and more with each breath like our savior. Sometimes the breathes come slowly and with little progress though.  Especially when when we try to do it in our own power instead of with the power of the Holy Spirit who is the only one who is able to inable us to be like Christ.  Life can get overwhelming and in a second we can become convinced to take our eyes off of Christ and placed them inwardly… forget the power is not of us and be deceived into thinking we must do all of this on our own and with our own strength and then it is then that we fail and fall in the grips of a circle of dispair because we have misplaced our King from His throne in our hearts and insufficiently replaced Him with ourselves. We start to feel like everyday we are alone… folding laundry, cooking meals, teaching, correcting, cleaning… going through the Christian motions while our heart sits in a dark corner unengaged and uninterested.

I don’t know about you but I need His Spirit to fill up this old heart… to find His power working out in my life with zeal and passion that can only be of Him. More of Him less of me. Reading over the fruits of the Spirit I know that those things do not come naturally for me… I cringed inwardly at them and fear getting to close to them for the reflection I might see of my own heart, but I want to be useful to God, a servant of His grace and a faithful daughter. I must examine this old heart and it’s old ways and prune it and surrender it to Him fully and completely… I bring my heart this morning broken and lay it upon His alter… sweet surrender to His will, however humiliating it may be to deny self with each breath from person to person, if that is what it takes for Him to be seen in me then I will endure for His glory to radiate through this broken vessel, this jar of clay. I pray that with each step He will take my hand and guide me deeper and deeper into His lovingness and that I would know my Savior more intimately than before. 

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit. Psalm 51:10-11

Oh, this is my cry oh God.

The sacrafices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not dispise. Psalm 51:17

Oh, my God I desire for this to be real, for Your Spirit to be real… powerfully working in my heart and through my life… not another emotional experience that comes and goes… an experience that transforms this heart to live a faithful and righteous life radically for Your glory… that the fruit of Your Spirit would be evident in me, that You would give me Your eyes and let me come close to Your heart, that each day You would fill me up with Your Spirit and lead me to walk in love, in joy, in peace, in patience, in kindness, in goodness, faithfulness, in gentleness and in self control… that my flesh would be crucified and my idols smashed.

If we walk  by the Spirit we will not gratify the desires of the flesh. In this journey… let us not focus on our fleshly desires but only on the fruit of the Spirit, not on the sin but on Christ. Recognize what it is that we struggle with and then quickly with out much thought replace it… let us walk.

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A Journey

I have decided to take a journey… a spiritual journey that I am sure will lead me deeper into the heart of God and lead me through self examination bringing me out in His grace and prayfully with each step peeling layers of callous dead layers off of the flesh of my heart… exposing more of Him and less of me… so I begin here…

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. Galatians 5:22-25

So won’t you walk with me… don’t pack  just escape leaving all of your old bags behind… let us walk together by the Spirit and allow with sweet surrender for Him to fill our hearts drowing anything of ourselves…

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It is so humbleling to realize how fast time goes… and how quickly we allow the moments to slip through our fingers into the past never to be experienced again… I long for each day to be a lovely path to remember not a dark valley.  The Lord has been very good to us the last 2 weeks, guiding us and providing for us in energy and in love.  Superman really enjoyed our file crate work box system as well as T-Rex…. Butterfly saw there excitement each day and wondered where her fun crate filled with things to do was… working on that this weekend :).

This week Superman enjoyed another week of history with daddy, yay! We also had fun, we enjoyed our grammar poetry appreciation with Rober Frost…

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Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, what a joy it has been to bath in this poem for a week… being blessed by it’s presence everywhere, so lovely.

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He finished all of his delighted learning for the week and enjoyed each of his file folders, he exclaimed to me on Tuesday that he really liked the file folders I made, they were so much fun. Yay!! 10 points for mom ;).

Want to see them? If you are like me… I know you do!! I love seeing what works for other homeschool moms.

T-Rex and Superman's file crates and their Done box

T-Rex and Superman's file crates and their Done box

Right now I have Superman and T-Rex’s file crates on the floor (for lack of a better place) along with their done box. When they finish something from their crate they put it in the done box where I go through it later and either dispose or file.

Superman's Crate

Superman's Crate

Here is Superman’s crate… right now we only do 10 file folders, that is plenty for us. I throw in some fun activities as well to keep him motivated moving from folder to folder :). For instance I put in a Take 10 card, a Computer Game card or a Outside Play card and I also always put in a bag of snack at some point. In the back I have a little box with all his supplies in it, notebooks for his subject notebooking (a new thing for us) and his clipboard (not shown) for copywork. Every he need is in there. Here is a close up of what I put in the folders for one day…

 

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This weekend I am going to be making laminated cards to stick in the file folders for things that either can’t fit or is not something that can go in the folder such as a Nature Walk. I don’t know if I am going to make the cards that they hold to velcroe the cards of the things they have done like the original workboxes, they may like that more.

T-Rex and Butterfly had a blast in their 2nd week of the letter A and they both have successfully learned it’s sound and are able to recognize it… yay! Here are some pictures of them enjoying themselves…

Making an Apple Tree

Making an Apple Tree

T-Rex gluing tissue paper on an apple

T-Rex gluing tissue paper on an apple

Getting the ant to the apple maze

Getting the ant to the apple maze

Playing bears with the Apple Trees

Playing bears with the Apple Trees

Playing a fun Aa game

Playing a fun Aa game

Making a lil Aa Book

Making a lil Aa Book

Paint stenciling Animals

Paint stenciling Animals

 Tonight we are finishing up the week making Apple Dumplings and watching the Apple Dumpling Gang II… super fun family night.

Next week we journey through the letter B and number 2, explore birds, enjoy poetry with Robert Louis Stevenson and cocoa, listen to the story of Tchaikovshy and admire Audubons work.

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John James Audubon

John James Audubon

Our general nature study focus is Birds for out first trimester of the year. And our focus with in that focus 🙂 this week we are going to be the Blue Jay.  Our artist study is John James Audubon and I have been admiring his Blue Jay’s portrait… and so I will bring the 2 together this week.  We will read pages 27-44 in the Handbook of Nature Study about birds, take a trip to the library and find some books on the Blue Jay and color and fill out a little workpage found here.

The Blue Jay

Emily Dickenson

No brigadier throughout the year
So civic as the jay.
A neighbor and a warrior too,
With shrill felicity

Pursuing winds that censure us
A February day,
The brother of the universe
Was never blown away.

The snow and he are intimate;
I ‘ve often seen them play
When heaven looked upon us all
With such severity,

I felt apology were due
To an insulted sky,
Whose pompous frown was nutriment
To their temerity.

The pillow of this daring head
Is pungent evergreens;
His larder — terse and militant —
Unknown, refreshing things;

His character a tonic,
His future a dispute;
Unfair an immortality
That leaves this neighbor out.

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Our first week of school was inspiring and a fun filled experience… I am excited about a new week ahead of us.  We were orignally going to have school today, but after such a long day yesterday decided to call if off.  This last week went very smooth,  I really enjoyed teaching my little ones as well this year.
Amaris about to paint

Amaris about to paint

They had so much fun learning and playing. T-Rex continues to be a challenge in any formal learning but that is okay… taking it slow.             

Kai Beading

Kai Beading

His nelace

His nelace

Magnet Play

Magnet Play

Transformer Robots

Transformer Robots

Eli says his favorite thing about school is doing History with daddy 🙂

Eli and Daddy learning about the Minoans

Eli and Daddy learning about the Minoans

Eli working on his worksheet

Eli working on his worksheet

We went on a little expedition in our backyard, chased butterfly’s, examined the dark hole in the old stump (what could be in there?), saw mushrooms (of course), listened for birds, marveled at the ugly beauty of neon colored spiders and a vine wrapped around a tree.

Mushroom

Mushroom

A Vine

A Vine

Nature Journals
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Eli and Kai's Journal Pages

Eli and Kai's Journal Pages

Kai's Journal Page (mushrooms, sun, flowers and treehouses?)

Kai's Journal Page (mushrooms, sun, flowers and treehouses?)

Eli's Vine

Eli's Vine

Eli's Mushroom

Eli's Mushroom

What a blessed week we had! I am now working on making a few tweeking changes because there is always room for improvement. I feel like these things called workboxes would be a great addition to our daily adventures… I don’t have the money to invest in he workboxes themselves but found another idea that I can do for now… so this week hopefully we will be doing this.

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