Friday, June 30, 2017

Last day of JUNE! Weekly rewind, commonplace notes, encouragement, and snapshots!

Commonplace Notes:

  • Do not settle for a wimpy theology. It is beneath you. God is too great. Christ is too glorious.~John Piper
  • Disordered love leads always to misery and breakdown. The only way to ‘reorder’ our loves is to love God supremely. ~Tim Keller
  • Doctrine that produces self-righteous, critical, contentious, dry-eyed defenders of truth is not truly sound-because sound doctrine is not only true and right; it is also beautiful and good.~Adorned by Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth
  • There is only today, with holes in our pockets, with time spilling out. We cannot keep it for tomorrow. We cannot mend our seams to hoard, save, carry. Ask a bird to fly and it might tell you to remove the weight from your wings.~Chasing Slow
  • When we see each other's scars, we love each other more.~Only Love Today
  • The getting of knowledge and the getting of delight in knowledge are the ends of a child’s education.” (pg 242 Philosophy of Education)
  • 2 Corinthians 7:1 Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.
  • Come to a place where prayer is like breathing.~Women Who Move Mountains, Draw near to God...He will draw near to you.~James 4:8
  • Encouraging
    Encouraging reads:

    For all of us, knowing Christ through His Word informs how we serve and work. It’s not in competition with our work. You can love theology and love the work of the home. 
    My availability to God’s call to sacrifice—Abraham’s availability to God’s call to sacrifice, your availability to God’s call to sacrifice—is predicated on understanding that God doesn’t need any more messiahs.
     I realized that in our time of history, living in the throes of a technological world where everyone rides in cars with closed windows and subways that speed along, when we stay inside our enclosed boxes (houses and apartments) to watch television and to play with our machines (computers and gaming devices), the creation of God is blocked out. Often, too, this kind of living produces isolation from real people--and that is a dangerous thing, to be sure. 
    We are constantly noticing needs, evaluating behavior, noting things to be done, and thinking things through. On top of that, we listen to children’s chatter, keep up with phone notifications, and maybe even top it off with a podcast in the background. 
    Grace! It is a gift created just for us. It comes at just the right time, in just the right way. 
    God made us for more. He created us with purpose and carefully designed a life plan for each of us. When God calls us to step into the unknown, He cradles our uncertainty with His strength. There is nothing impossible when we align ourselves with God.


    Weekly Snapshots (small peek into our lives):

    Thankful for this calendar freebie in helping me to plan our homeschool year and breaks for the year as we start back in less than a month!! Breaks are important, thus the use of pencil and erasable pens, plus one can only plan so much! Thankful to not be in control of all, that is God's business!
    This week has been perfect for some evening walks in our neighborhood! The corn is tall and a blue sky's. So much to be thankful for, but especially my two little blessings!!
    Lucky dog, bless him, he is wore out from doing nothing, wish I could say that same, lol!! Dog's Life! And really where does that saying come from "worked like a dog"? I think that person who wrote that needs to rethink that or didn't realize just how spoiled a dog can be! 😉

    Proud of these two, we have some green belts now!!
    Our nature study this week was about pine-cones, not an easy thing to draw for us! But hey we are learning and trying and we really do enjoy our nature study art time, that is what matters!

    Tuesday, June 27, 2017

    WOW! The Good News in Four Words~review

    Yesterday I received this beautiful vibrant book in the mail,Wow! The Good News in Four Words by Dandi Daley Mackall. What is not to like about this book? Right away my kids wanted to look at the book. The book is short and sweet, but has a powerful message in it! The sadness of sin, but then the wonderful awesome news about JESUS!! You know me, I like books and pictures books, I would definitely recommend this one for your children.

    From the publishers, Tyndale:
    For anyone looking for a fresh way to present the gospel to young children, Wow! The Good News in Four Words is a perfect resource. This whimsical and fun book outlines the gospel in a simple and memorable way (for both adults and kids!), using fun words to highlight the story. The book will present Creation/Genesis (Wow!), The Fall (Uh-oh . . .), Redemption/Jesus’ Life and Sacrifice (Yes!), Restoration/The New Heaven (Aaahhhh), ending with one last Wow because we get to go out and tell the Good News!
    Product Details
    Published:July 18, 2017
    Trim Size:10 x 10 in. 

     To comply with new regulations introduced by the Federal Trade Commission, Tyndale House Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for my personal review of this book.

    Monday, June 26, 2017

    Doing Busy Better

    This new book Doing Busy Better~Enjoying God's gifts of work and rest by Glynnis Whitwer is a recommended book for us women that struggle with doing vs. being! The message from this book is much needed as it seems this world pushes being busy and doing, doing, and not taking enough time to rest, especially the right kind of rest, which is resting in God! Also, I think may of us struggle taking on things we think we should be doing because there good things and we think it is OK, but God didn't call us to do everything. I would have loved this book years ago when I really struggled with doing and doing and not resting. However, it is never too late to glean some wisdom and I sure did, I still have much to learn. This book has been helpful as I just started planning out our 2017-2018 homeschooling year.

    Here are some of my notes of what resonated with me from her book:
    • I was reminded God see's me as His child. I am a child of God, oh how I need to repeat that to myself daily! I do not need to be concerned with what I am doing or what others think I am doing, it is not what you do that brings you worth, it is whose you are, a child of God! It is never about me, all about Jesus and how my heart reflects Him. God's identity for us in unchanging and independent of our actions. We are His chosen and beloved children. 
    • Her explanation from Genesis about work, that God designed Adam to work by naming and taking care of animals and garden. God gave Adam a purpose and a gift of work, it showed God's love and trust of him. (however we know later on he messed it up, but that isn't the point right now) God is our provider and work would be a calling, and rest would be a gift. How do we approach work, do we put God first, we should do few important things well not a lot and not well, God modeled a simplicity of work that feels refreshing and focused in creation. Home is our first line of ministry (Titus 2:3-5), all work has value because we are serving Jesus, are motives need to be right to be doing that. Work is truly God's gift to us. He designed us for it. He assigns us to it. He refines us through it. So we shouldn't feel guilty when we are doing/working and we also shouldn't feel guilty when we are resting. As God also designed us for rest, our bodies were not designed to run non-stop, they need rest to restore our physical strength and cognitive functions, this is how God designed our bodies. Spiritual rest happens when we cease striving and give it all to God. This teaches us that God is our source, portion, and provider. God does His best work in me when I rest and God leads. 
    • Without boundaries, we will sacrifice the important for the urgent and margin allows breathing area. We have responsibilities and are often provided with many other opportunities, but not all are good for me. Good intentions can lead us down paths that cause complications for us. If we aren't wise about our busyness, we will find ourselves frustrated at how little gets done. So we need to be good stewards of our time, at work, play, and rest. Busy isn't always bad. Only when without boundaries and doing the things God didn't call us to do. It is one way the enemy takes a hold of us. 
    • We can't hurry and love at the same time. God's to-do list always involved loving others fully, being patient, and only doing the things HE assigns me to do. I have been guilty of having a to-do list that isn't a God to-do list, so I am thankful to have learned this lesson, though it isn't an easy one to learn. 

     Glynnis shares her struggle with busyness and rest, and she pulls lots of biblical wisdom and scripture into helping us understand how we can do busy better. Go to her web-site to learn more about Glynnis and her book at and while you are there be sure to check out the book and some great free preorder gifts before July 1.

    Sunday, June 25, 2017

    Coffee For Your Heart review

    So thankful to have received Holley Gerth's Coffee For Your Heart~40 Mornings of Life-Changing Encouragement to review and share with my readers! I have been reading Holley's blog   for years and I have read a couple of her other books. She shares encouraging truth and I have been linking up with her blog for a while now, so I have gotten to know some of her readers and what an encouraging group of people. So be sure to check out her blog and weekly link-ups for more encouragement.

    Now onto this wonderful little gem of a book! First I love the cover, I mean a picture of coffee with a heart of cream, what is not to love for a coffee-lover, right! But that is not what is important, it is the words inside the book that are. I love the reason behind the book and why she wrote it. It is so important to let God's love fill you up, not the voices in our world. We live in a loud busy world, full of messages and distractions everywhere. Oh and side note this book is small enough it fits in my purse, so it is easy to bring along with me and enjoy while I wait for my children at their activities. I did just that this week with the book. Each devotion is short and sweet, but packed with powerful truth encouragement and a couple questions for some pondering and prayer time. Each one takes 5-15 minutes depending on how much the words resonated with. So far, each one has for me. Another plus to this devotional, is there are 40 different topics, as you can see on the contents page, so you could choose which one to read, especially if you are dealing with a specific need. This is not a book you have to read in order and will make a great book to keep going back to from time to time, even after reading it all.

    Last week I was struggling one day with feeling inadequate and that I was not enough (and I am not without Jesus) but, I let satan get the better of me and I know better, however, he is sneaky. Thankful for the power of Holy Spirit, God's truth, prayer, and some encouragement from Holley's book I was able to shake off satan's attack. I choose to read the chapter on Accepted and Enough.

    From Accepted: "It's easy for me to believe God loves me. I can understand HE has forgiven me. But making the leap to believing HE truly has accepted me is another story. Perhaps that's because we experience so little true acceptance with each other. The preacher talks about grace but gives us a list of rules to follow. Friends promise to always be there for us, only to turn their backs when we don't meet their expectations. Families boast of unconditional love but withdraw it when we choose a different path. So like Adam and Eve in the Garden, we hide from ourselves, each other, and God." ..."Thankfully, there is Someone who wants to speak this way to our hearts every day. When Christ went to the cross, HE made it possible for us to stop hiding. All of our sin, shame, and guilt have been erased. The Lord looks at us with eyes of love. His scars bring healing and even beauty to our own."...We can drop the veils of performance and people-pleasing." ..."Here's the secret and the miracle: The acceptance we long for is already ours if only we'll dare to embrace it. You are accepted." 

    From Enough:
    I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.~John 15:5 "We all get disconnected from the vine at times. We feel as if we have to strive for love and acceptance. Yet God invites us to come to HIM and believe that no matter what the world may try to tell us, no matter which lies have wounded our hearts, no matter how inadequate we may feel at times, we are enough."

    In what ways have you tried to earn love or acceptance? (look at the following verses)

    2 Peter 1:3-11 (NLT)

    By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence. And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires.
    In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone.
    The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But those who fail to develop in this way are shortsighted or blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their old sins.
    10 So, dear brothers and sisters, work hard to prove that you really are among those God has called and chosen. Do these things, and you will never fall away. 11 Then God will give you a grand entrance into the eternal Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

    Be sure to stop by Holley's book for more information about the release of this book and all the places to get it. It will make a great book to give!! FYI: For those who have her previous book God's Heart For You, this new book is an updated version and with a new title. Thank you Harvest House Publishers for complimenting me with a free book to share a review. #coffeeforyourheart

    Friday, June 23, 2017

    Weekly rewind, commonplace notes, encouragement, and snapshots!

    Welcome and thanks for stopping by for some encouragement and small peek into our week! Happy Summer!! I'm on a somewhat of a writing and computer break.

    Thank you Jesus! Posted from our homeschool umbrella!

    Love this truth posted by Blue Chair Blessing!
    Commonplace Notes:

    • You remember that: Love only wins when we lose our lives for others. Love only wins when we die to self so He gets the victory. Love only wins when we live given.~Ann Voskamp
    • As Christians, we need to live deliberately…" all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love." 2 Peter 1:2-8
    • “This job has been given to me to do. Therefore, it is a gift. Therefore, it is a privilege. Therefore, it is an offering I may make to God. Therefore, it is to be done gladly, if it is done for Him. Here, not somewhere else, I may learn God’s way. In this job, not in some other, God looks for faithfulness.” ~Elisabeth Elliot
    • A person is not built up from without but from within.~Charlotte Mason Philosophy of Education Vol. 6
    • Trying + failing =learning ~Chasing Slow, Erin Loechner
    • Small actions make a difference.~Only Love Today
    • "Life will never be meaningful "under the sun" until we made contact with the ONE who is above the sun. Those who try to find meaning with out living their lives to the Creator inevitably see life as an "interminable soap-opera". Is it any wonder?"~Every day with Jesus Daily Bible

    Encouraging blog post reads:
    Human life—every choice, every thought, every word, every deed, and every attitude—really, truly matters. As you awaken to that, you awaken to the fact that you really need help. You’re able to say, “God, I really need you. I need your strength. I need your forgiveness. Give me the grace to care about things that really matter.” 
    “We are women, and my plea is Let me be a woman, holy through and through, asking for nothing but what God wants to give me, receiving with both hands and with all my heart whatever that is” 
    Live the gospel in the things that no one sees. Sacrifice for your children in places that only they will know about. Put their value ahead of yours. Grow them up in the clean air of gospel living. Your testimony to the gospel in the little details of your life is more valuable to them than you can imagine 
    Will you proudly bear the family name – Christian – and dedicate your life to the family business? 
    From one of my favorite online devotionals...A real encounter with Jesus changes everything.

    Weekly snapshots (just a small peek into our lives):

    Last Sunday was Father's Day and I am so blessed to be this man's wife and him the father of our children. He is truly one of the best. I love him more and more everyday! I am thankful for the hard work he does to provide for us, the fun he brings to our family, and being his partner in training up these little arrows!

    Of course this is my daddy, who helped raise me to be the person I am today. I think he did a great job, wink-wink! But seriously he is the best daddy!

    Not sure who I was teaching to one morning this week, but we had fun learning! Summer homeschooling, because leanring never stops!

    This is from game 3 of our season, I love the team atmoshpere of the PGA Junior League, this is Abigail and her team-mate.

    It's a ruff-life, dog days of summer!

    Mowing grass, I wonder if the is ready for the real mower, hmmm. They really need to make kid sized mowers that actually work, LOL! He sure is a little cutie though!
    Quiet peaceful night, a beautiful reminder of this truth..Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
    I stand in awe, what a blessed beautiful sunset the Lord has made!

    Nature study this week was Blue Heron, we choose this bird since we have one that visits our pond. Not easy to draw.

    ➽📓Linking up with Coffee for Your Heart weekly link-up 💕 and
    From Messes to Messages   
    Porch Storiesand Fresh Market Friday

    Monday, June 19, 2017

    be UNCOMMON book launch

    Excited to be part of Carey Scott's book launch team for her new book releasing soon!! This is a book for us women, whom desire to grow strong in our faith and to be Uncommon: Pursuing a Life of Passion and Purpose. As I read through this book, Jesus's Words kept coming to mind, that as Christians we are called to to be lights in this world and Jesus said in Matthew 5:16 "let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven" and I also like these powerful words Jesus said in John 17 14 I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 15 I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. 18 As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. I certainly want to live by those words, but yet it is a struggle at times in this world to be a light and be who we are called to be.

    It can be a struggle in this world to be a Christian to a world that seems full of hate and/or selfish, but when you are in the Word and growing a relationship with our Father God, you will see His beauty and the need to share His message. That is what this book shares. Carey tackles issues us women deal with today, using scripture and biblical stories of women from the Bible. At the end of each chapter is scrirpture to focus on and memorize, questions to study with and prayer. May we be strong in our faith to not be common like the world but uncommon because that is what we as Christians are called to be in this world, salt-seasoning. As Carey stated in her book, "72% of Americans believe our morals are in decline." She states..."The Bible is very clear about how we are to live and how we are not...the Bible is an all-inclusive blueprint for how to do life." These words stir my soul... "When you become a believer you choose to exchange these ways/worlds way for HIS ways. God doesn't expect us to do it perfectly, but HE is hoping you do it purposefully. God's spirit is the one who calls us to live better and gives us the ability to do so." I so believe that! I want to be uncommon! "HE wants us to be different in how we run our families, ministries, community groups, and companies." "Truth is as Jesus followers we won't always make sense to the world. We weren't designed to fit in here. Instead we were designed to shine Jesus into the world. Our job is to listen to what God wants us to do, even if it's not what the world thinks we should do." No wonder I feel like a black-sheep some days and maybe you do too? So if we’re going to be women with uncommon wisdom, we have to ask God for it. Because He is the only source of it.
    “As an uncommon woman, you will find yourself:
    1. relying on God above all else
    2. full of hope in the hard places
    3. standing up for what’s right
    4. holding on to joy no matter what
    5. able to step out of your comfort zone
    6. willing to risk your reputation
    7. resolved to not give up or give in
    8. untangled from your past failures, fears and insecurities
    9. capable of looking past your circumstances
    10. understanding there is a calling on your life
    11. trusting the plan and ways of God.”
    Carey Scott #beUncommon #booklaunch

    Right now, through the end of the month Carey is offering a free chapter and some preorder goodies at her web-site

    Friday, June 16, 2017

    Summer mode: Weekly encouragement and snapshots!

    So since it is summer, our schedule is a little different, less sitting and learning, more exploring, spending time together relaxing, lots of play time, and getting together with friends. We certainly took advantage of that this week, yes, even this introvert, can you believe it! Since I am spending less time on the PC and social media these days, I am going to do a little different format to my weekly blog post. I will still share some snapshots of our week and encouraging links, but also share some quotes and scripture from my journal notebook. Some people call these commonplace notebooks, but I have been writing quotes, thoughts, scripture, prayers, and blessings before it was the thing to do. So call it what you may, here are a few (and when I say it is just a few, I write pages and pages a week in my notebooks) written words for you to ponder on, much like I am doing:
    • Choose to be kind. Choosing kindness takes courage~from the book Uncommon by Carey Scott
    • Love from the center of who you are; don’t fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good. Be good friends who love deeply; practice playing second fiddle. Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder. Help needy Christians; be inventive in hospitality. Romans 12:9-13 msg, from the Bible of course 
    • We are all under God's authority. ~ from For the Children's Sake by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay
    • Change your habits and you can change anything into a possibility. Make gratitude your attitude of habit. Habits are the spine of our self-control. To love your life, do nothing with rush or resentment. When you work faithfully, creativity comes faithfully, keep sowing. Read more words on paper than on screens. A habit of hope can resuscitate anything. ~words from Ann Voskamp
    • As long as you are breathing, it's not too late to be the person you hope to be. ~from Only Love Today by Rachel Marcy Stafford
    • We want an education which shall nourish the mind while not neglecting either physical or vocational training. In short, we want a working philosophy of education. ~from Charlotte Mason Volume 6 
    • Sometimes the most holy thing we can do is be still. ~from Chasing Slow by Erin Loechner
    • Do we publicly use HIS name for my own glory? "Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order tobe  seen by them...Matthew 6:1 It's all about the heart. Each time we call out HIS name publicly, we must carefully examine; am I doing this to be impressive,or  am I doing this because HE's impressive? ~from She Reads Truth, prayer in the Bible
    • Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little. Then He said to her, your sins are forgiven. Luke 7:47-48 Bible
    Encouraging reads: 
    I share a lot about books and read a lot, but this is the book that I love and is alive!!! “The Bible is a living book that has lasted already more than 2500 years and even though scientists, scholars, and archaeologists have tried to pull it apart they have not been able to stop God’s Word from spreading all over the world… just as Jesus predicted.” 
    4 Crazy Things People Say When They Find Out We Homeschool 
    I have a dream (lol)… The dream is me always smiling. I stand in my kitchen watching over my children while we homeschool happily. I am always dressed to perfection and own a spectacular apron which personifies the glory of homemaking. There are fresh-baked cookies in the oven ready for my family to devour. We get through our lessons with little fuss, anxious to continue exploring. We play games together, cook together, and we are constantly encouraging each other. 
    For reals, haha 10 Things I Hate About Homeschooling 
    They are little sinners, and they are immature, and we are too.
     Simply endure. Two little words… one big command. 
    our home is simply one context provided for the freedom of our making. It is our canvas. 
    Because of Jesus, no matter what, you’ve got this…I’ve got this… even when we feel like we don’t.

    Snapshots from our week:

    Ready for movie and pizza night, watching Trolls again and she is rocking it with Troll rings!
    PJs and ice cream for dessert!
    Saturday was fun day at home, but definitely need to up-size in our pool. Not so little anymore!
    Bless, she fell asleep while reading.
    Little man watching the road crew retarring our road from afar!

    From the book Women Who Move Mountains

    ➽📓Linking up with Coffee for Your Heart weekly link-up 💕 and
    From Messes to Messages   
    Porch Storiesand Fresh Market Friday