Friday, February 12, 2016

Friday in pictures and encouragement for the soul!

I posted about Lent on Facebook this week and shared what it means to me and why I am participating in the season. (Throughout the Bible you see 40 days as a time for praying, trial, testing and preparation. Lent is another season of 40 days for which we remember what our LORD has done for us, how He forgives us and love us. I need this season and I need the LORD every moment!)
 Joel 2:12-13
“Yet even now,” declares the LORD,
“return to me with all your heart,
with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning;
and rend your hearts and not your garments.”
Return to the LORD your God,
for he is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love;
and he relents over disaster.

Thing is, I am baptist and well baptists really don't partake in Lent, though I do have catholic and lutheran roots, we did not practice it growing up. However, now that I am older (maybe a bit wiser) these last couple years Lent actually has meaning to me. It is taking me deeper and I must say time studying and reading God's Word is never wasted, what a great God we have and many times I fail to remember. But He is growing me and changing me, it is what my journey of faith is all about! I desire to be present and not distracted by my surroundings, so during the 40 day Lent season I am working on getting rid of two bad habits. I know this may challenge me, but I also know it will be a blessing! When I think of all Jesus did for me, there is no comparison to what I am giving up, oh Lord how truly blessed and thankful I am because of your great sacrifice! In addition I am reading through a devotional Lent book titled Journey to the Cross. I enjoy reading the scriptures, confession, and reflections in this book. (The point of giving things up is not to be reminded of how much we miss them, but rather to be awakened to how much we miss God and long for his life-giving Spirit. This means, of course, that Lent is not only about giving up things. It is also about adding things, God-things.
Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God. Teach us, Lord, to count our days that we may gain a wise heart. Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, so that we may rejoice and be glad all our days. Through Christ, our Lord. Amen.)

This week it was a bit chilly and we received a dusting of snow! This mama is over winter, but I am thankful to have those days when we can stay home and be together. We had a fun week getting together with our homeschool co-op, having fun, and making Valentine cards to take to the nursing home. Oh the joy to see those the smiling faces of those we handed cards out to. You really can make a person's day just doing simple things!

Bible verses speaking to my soul:
This is our focus verse this week in school and God is always timely, I needed it! What a God we have!! Joshua 1:9~Here's what I am commanding you to do. Be strong and brave. Do not be terrified. Do not loose hope. I am the Lord your God. I will be with you everywhere you go.

Encouraging reads of the week:
Lent Challenge List
I love these lessons and taking them to heart! Top 10 lessons of homeschooling!
Give yourself permission to simply move and do that one movement.
When we make small changes each day, it makes all the difference in the overall direction of our life.
The year we learn how to take a breath when we most need it, rather than pushing through the overwhelm?
Yes, this is so true….As homeschoolers, we are blessed to be able to let our kids be kids. Why rush to grow up so fast?

Pics of the week:
Headed out to the Sweetheart Banquet at church!
Working on Valentine's!
Kids surprised the hubs and I with Valentine cards!
Spring is coming, a gift from my children!
Early in the week I captured this beautiful sunset, a reminder of God's light!
Special home-made treats, apple turn overs!
Read-a-loud time includes hot chocolate on cold days! 

Kids school book pile this week!
Mama's book pile, plus Kindle (The Fringe Hours, Better Together, Journey To The Cross)
Yes, we woke up to snow one morning this week, just a light dusting!
Never know what you might see, a cute butterfly practicing piano!
My cute Valentine's!
Got a little crafty, made ornaments.
These two had fun at their Valentine's Party with our homeschool co-op this week!
Some very talented card collecting boxes!
Announcing prizes!! Abigail won 2nd place in girls division!
Making cards to take to the nursing home!
Story time!

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