Friday, April 28, 2017

Last Friday of APRIL, weekly encouragement and snapshots!

Wow, did you realize it is the last Friday of April, spring is going by too fast and so is this school year! We have two weeks left of homeschooling before we take a little break. Though during our break much is planned to be accomplished, plan out the 2107-2018 Raising Arrows learning year, go through all our books, start our summer reading, and I want to start incorporating art/nature journaling, poetry, hymn study into our days. By starting this summer, I hope that by the time we start back with our routine using our regular curriculum, they will be made into habits and be a part of our day-to-day.
I have great intentions to do things, but many times they get pushed aside because we feel we need to get our other stuff done. We have been reading poetry, but I want them to learn more about the poetry than just read it. I have read how poetry enhances our writing skill (plus other areas) and I feel that is an important skill to have; because someday they will be required (maybe 😉) to write essays and do research papers. I lack in this area, so I am also excited to learn more too! I feel that doing art/nature journaling and hymn study brings in beauty, truth, and goodness. Also, these activities will just enhance our learning, being more aware, tying in creativity, math, science, and writing. It is what makes learning fun! One of the many reasons we choose to homeschool, to be able to turn everyday moments into learning opportunities, that also enhance our awareness of our ever present God! I look forward to our new learning year and building these habits that also nurture us, because what we spend our time on matters, what we read, music we listen to, and do matters, not only for us, but for God's kingdom.

Excited to be part of Lisa Whittle's new book launch, Warrior Boots! She is a truth teller!

Encouraging reads and finds:

This life is not about me; it’s about him. And my supreme delight is not to rest in anything in this world. My delight is to be in God. The best gift he can give me is not health or prosperity or happiness, but more of himself — a blessing that can never be taken away; a blessing that grows richer with time, and lasts throughout eternity. http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/the-greatest-gift-is-god-himself
Fix the gaze of my soul on Christ. Stop tinkering, start looking. http://www.karipatterson.com/for-all-the-wandering-hearts/
God wants so much from me. What should I give up? What should I lay down? What should I do more? http://sarahbessey.com/god-is-for-you/
So in life, we hit walls along the way. But finishing the race well is so gratifying in the end. But the secret when we hit wall, is to keep going, to leave all of our burdens in his hands, to breathe in the rest that comes from someone else being in charge. Then, when we have left all in His hands, have rested in peace, we are ready to keep running the race. To find new strength, to do what it takes to finish the race and to not be disqualified. Don't compromise your ideals when you are weary, don't follow unwise friends. http://sallyclarkson.com/blog/2017/4/22/be-a-friend-who-draws-out-the-best-a-new-podcast
We were created to be dependent on God. We're not self-sufficient. We can't make it on our own. We're not designed to be able to make it on our own. So any effort to try and make it on our own is guaranteed to be futile. We need help. Am I right? Do I hear any "amens" to "women need help"? Men need help; we all need help. https://www.reviveourhearts.com/radio/revive-our-hearts/when-women-serve-other-women-day-1/
God gives you grace and acceptance before you overcome your sin.
Because it’s His grace and acceptance that let you overcome your sin.
You don’t overcome your brokenness to have God’s love.
It’s God’s love that has you overcoming your brokenness.
http://annvoskamp.com/2017/04/how-to-survive-in-a-world-of-loud-critics-judgers-including-the-repetitive-one-in-your-mind/
Great question! What would you do more of?

 Snapshots of our week:

Observing the caterpillars. They things literally grow overnight! Fun science activity
We saw a beautiful double rainbow (pic didn't turn out good) and sunset at end of our day Sunday. Thankful for a sky full of promises and God's glory!
Out on our walk, thought we send the hubs a pic, letting him know we were thinking of him and of course the first pic is this! Love my crazy family! Real life! Railroad family!
Beautiful day for some golf practice, and the hubs even took a pic of me swinging the club. It's been years since I have picked up a golf club, only time I do know is to help the kids with theirs. This game takes a lot of patience and concentrate, which I limited with! HA!

It was a Steak'n Shake kind of night after karate! Little man's favorite place!
She was excited to hold the flag during our prayer and announcement time at co-op this week!


Monday, April 24, 2017

Unsinkable Faith book review and blog tour!

Who wants a faith that is unsinkable, um meeeeee!!! You know Jesus has set us free, for those that choose to follow and believe Jesus, right? I hope you do, and if you don't please, don't delay seek HIM out, Jesus is waiting for you. However, I still stumble, fail and struggle, but thanks to God's Word and promises it makes overcoming my struggles easier and living in this world easier. I enjoyed the book Tracie Miles wrote about having Unsinkable Faith. Tracie shares her personal struggle and other stories in this book, and what she and others did to get out of the pit of despair, sadness, failure, negativity, or whatever it is that causes you to sink. She shares Biblical truths, encouragement, and wisdom so you can be the person God has made you to be and so that you will be able to stand strong in the midst of troubles. We were never promised an easy life, but God did promise He would be there for you.

The author talks about strongholds and how negative thoughts and feelings can be considered a stronghold in our life. "A stronghold is anything that holds us back from living life the way God intended and hinders our ability to live with optimism and full of peace, love, joy, and hope. When it comes to the term stronghold, people typically think of the obvious issues, such as sins, lying, stealing, worry, addictions, and so on. Yet all too often, it is our negative attitude that becomes a stronghold and keeps us from living a joy-filled life, not necessarily the external factors that influenced our attitude." I am a fairly positive person, however many times I have struggled with worry and negative thoughts, but I have learned through God's promises and HIS Word, God can transform those. We can not let feelings be the boss of us! We need to be intentional with those thoughts and take them to God and HIS Word. We need to anchor our hearts in God, so we don't sink! As believers we can be thankful we can fight this battle, I love this verse she shared... "We use our powerful God-tools for smashing warped philosophies, tearing down barriers erected against the truth of God, fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ." 2 Corinthians 10:4
The author shares "Graciously, though, God will reveal to us the misconceptions we've believed, so that we can learn to overcome them and find life-giving freedom." We need to keep our faith in Jesus a priority and focus on God's love for us and allow HIM to transform us.
When we do this the author discovered "That my value, my identity, and my worth as a person was in HIM and HIM alone. I learned that my value isn't tied to a person, position, salary, accomplishment, or a met goal. It isn't tied to being the perfect wife, mom, friend or sister. It isn't tied to what I do for God, or what I don't do for God. My value is only tied to the cross, where Jesus thought I was valuable enough to die for. He died for you as well, because you too are valuable to HIM." Wow, that is powerful and full of truth, are we living it, are we believing it! We need to stop the misconceptions in our minds, because it can lie to us. We need to focus on Jesus!! Satan wants though for us to suffer, to doubt, and distort our thinking, but God! "God is faithful to surface the misconception and lies that have anchored us in negativity, doubt, and despair." If you are struggling, get this book to help you see God's truth, love, and how to let HIM transform your mind.

At the end of each chapter are Chapter Challenges, questions for you to answer and act on. Also, each chapter has Mind-Renewing Memory Verses, truths from God's Word for you to memorize, write, place on note-cards and carry with you.  Be sure to go check out the author's web-page for some freebies and more details about this book, Unsinkable Faith http://traciemiles.com/unsinkable-faith/



About the author:
Tracie Miles is a national speaker with Proverbs 31 Ministries and a bestselling author who's spent the last twelve years inspiring women to become who God called them to be. She's the author of "Your Life Still Counts" and "Stressed-Less Living," and a contributor to Proverbs 31 Ministries daily devotions.
Find out more about Tracie at http://traciemiles.com
Join Tracie and other readers on April 25th for a fun Facebook Live event and the Anchored in Faith Prize Pack Giveaway (details here http://litfusegroup.com/campaigns/unsinkable-faith-tracie-miles  )!  
#UnsinkableFaith #thinkpositive @traciewmiles

http://litfusegroup.com/campaigns/unsinkable-faith-tracie-miles">Miles pin 2
  (“Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255:  “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”):  Many thanks to Life Use Group.  I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post. My thoughts and review are my own.

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Friday, April 21, 2017

Weekly encouragement, good reads, and snapshots of our week!

Happy Friday!! I have been keeping the shipping and delivery guys busy this week, curriculum and books have been arriving. This is the time of year I stock up on books for us to read, research and order curriculum for us to use. Part of doing this entails looking for good deals. This mama likes good deals! I have been finding some great used books for sale in Homeschool Facebook groups and at our local library. Also Rainbow Resource Center is another great place. Next month there is a homeschool curriculum sale I will go to and then should have all we need for the year! As of today, we only have three more weeks to go to finish our 2016-2017 school year, whoohoo!!



This week I shared a post on book recommendations from my own personal pile, you may check that out here: http://ajourney4life.blogspot.com/2017/04/books-worth-checking-out.html

Here are some encouraging posts and quotes from this week:
Beth Moore shared this, great message! Much needed
BEHO'LD -to fix the eyes upon; to see with attention; to observe with care
to fix the attention upon an object; to attend; to direct or fix the mind http://titus2mentoringwomen.com/2017/04/behold/

So in the seasons when joy is not coming, and weeping is tarrying in our seasons of night, may you look outside today. Go ahead and look out a window. Take a peek at the sunshine and maybe step out into the warmth. It is amazing how God brings hope to our hearts when we look up and remember He is faithful. The dark and doubting moments will overwhelm, but His love remains the same. http://www.sarahefrazer.com/2017/04/pocket-truth-fight-fear-darkness/
No matter how good a teacher I think I am, there are going to be days when no matter what I do, my children are not going to receive what I’m offering. For one reason or another, they are hearing my words but not taking in wisdom and knowledge. Maybe it’s time I explore the reasons why. https://thehomeschoolmomblog.wordpress.com/2017/04/17/our-children-are-hearing-but-not-receiving/
It is the glue that holds homeschool together. https://practicalpages.wordpress.com/2017/04/17/read-aloud-solve-a-lot/
Here are ten easy things to try when homeschooling is hard: http://simplehomeschool.net/burnout/

(1)    that we are all busted up, strung out sinners who have no hope apart from the mercies of God, and (2) that God has met that need richly through the life, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus https://scottsauls.com/2017/04/confessions/

Tozer knew how to bring a message!

My heart for all those struggling, remember you are beautiful and loved by a mighty God!

Snapshots of our week:
We had a late Easter dinner this year, we didn't have our meal till my husband was home from work on Tuesday. However, over the weekend, we decorated eggs, finished our Ressurection eggs and countdown, and painted crosses to celebrate our Lord Jesus Christ for dying on the cross and saving us! 

Beautiful evening for a walk with my little peeps!
Perfect rainy day game, Spot It! My brain hurt afterward, fierce competition!
Enjoying a little stroll! One of my favorite parts of the day!
Beautiful creatures, excited for a little snack of apples!
This girl loves horses, thankful we live next to neighbors who have horses!
An exciting learning adventure arrived this week!!
I am so glad I got this book before they sold out! Homeschoolers if you have not heard of Wild and Free, check them out!
Books and more books, these are some great used priced books I found for us. My daughter is an avid reader, like me, so we like hunting for good cheap reads! The poetry books will be used in my co-op class I am teaching next year!
Another box of curriculum arrived, this is through Rainbow Resource Center!
➽📓Linking up with Hip HOMESCHOOL Moms  Weekly Wrap-Up   and Fresh Market Friday

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Books worth checking out




It has been a little over a month, I have finished and started some new books on my book list! If you want to go back and see what I shared so far this year (these don't include the book reviews I take part in), I shared it here: http://ajourney4life.blogspot.com/2017/03/weekly-encouragement-books-and-snapshots.html






Here are some new recommended reads:
  • Falling Free by Shannon Martin, this is one I had just started last time, but have recently finished. Do yourself a favor and put this on your reading list. It is so good, it opened my eyes to seeing how to do ministry differently and how to trust God completely, that includes your finances and future. This couple gave up their wants and desires to do for others, reached out to those that made them uncomfortable, but yet in return, they have received so much more! I believe it is what we are called to do, but we hold back! This message of this book wrecked me in a good way! "God has not made us not merely to consume but to cultivate, steward, and bless." "If I follow Jesus, I should care about the things HE cares about, especially if it costs me something." "We can trust God with our future, hurts, finances, and kids~but do we?" "Falling into the will of God takes guts and grit we don't have...and that is precisely the point." "See the beauty of the fall." "We get to collaborate with greatness."
  • 40 Days of Decrease~A Different Kind of Hunger, A Different Kind of Fast by Alicia Britt Chloe, this book is recommended for reading during lent, but I would say you could read it anytime and gain from it. This book takes you through Jesus's journey on earth and offers up some challenging fasts, that draw you closer to God, not the type that ask you to give up something. "Revelations are often followed by trials" "We people are afraid or think it is to difficult, we want comfort, not inconvenience." 
  • Liturgy of the Ordinary~Sacred practices in everyday life, by Tish Harrison Warren. She offers lots of great wisdom for us moms from a biblical point. "To seek peace, we begin where we are." "We cannot seek peace out of your own strength." "Do not miss the greater, when work is always at hand." "Time revolves around God-not me-what He has done, what He is doing, and what He will do." "Waiting is a gift." "When we enjoy God's creation we reflect God himself." "Goodness and beauty are connected to the divine." "My habits reveal and shape what I love and what I value, whether I care to admit it or not." "Those who were winning at life saw no need for this life-disrupting Savior. The people of God are the loser, misfits, and broken." "Retrain them mind not to bolt at the first sight of boredom or buck against stillness." "Often we want to skip the boring, daily stuff to get to the thrill of an edgy faith, but it's in the dailiness of the Christian faith-the making the bed, the doing the dishes, the praying for our enemies, the reading the Bible, the quite, the small-that God's transformation takes root and grows."
  • The Broken Way by Ann Voskamp, I recently got the ebook version as it was on sale. I am a 1/3 way done, but it is perfect coming out of lent season. I will share more after I finish, but here is one reason to add it to your list "Remember the heart of God, the cross, communion, crucifixion, broken and given." Because of Jesus..."You have only one decision every day, how will you use your time?"  Give It Forward Today...So I am glad I did get it!!
  • In His Steps by Charles Sheldon, this is one my pastor mentioned one Bible study night. I just started it, basically this is where the What Would Jesus Do challenge came from. 1 Peter 2:21 ...Jesus left us an example, we should follow in His steps. Can't wait to read more...
  • Every Day With Jesus Daily Bible, so this one I started last year, it is a Bible, set up to read through a year, well I stopped last August 3, I have several reasons, though none really matter. I am excited to dig back into the this and the first Words spoken to me in the reading I picked up... Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast number, for the battle is not yours, but God's. Did what was right in the Lord's sight. Teach us to number our days carefully so that we may develop wisdom in our hearts.  ~What a reminder to not be discouraged, all is the Lord's battle, God is working it out, Jesus has already won!!! And that was proven on Easter day!!





  




















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