Monday, November 12, 2012

Trusting in Horses

I sat in the middle of stacks of workbooks - some never opened. Boxes and tubs overflowed with math manipulatives and games - most very well used. 

The tools of my trade and twenty years of homeschooling had been pulled out of the cabinets and off the shelves. It was time to let go and move on to the next chapter in life. My kids were grown. 

But twenty years of homeschooling offer perspective and perspective is a powerful teacher with those who have ears to learn

Everywhere I looked around me I saw - not just stuff - but memories. The first picture book my daughter read, the first chapter book my son read. 

The read alouds recalled hours with a little one in my lap, two more children on each side, and another draped across the top of the couch, pressing in to hear my words. Sweet memories!

There were reminders of the moments when my youngest students "got" phonics when they sounded out their first words or worked their first addition problems with counting beads. All by themselves!

AAHH!  The dissection kit for the biology labs. Who knew that my son would think it was gross but my delicate daughter would love it and go into nursing!

But those were the good days. Homeschooling offered many challenges. You never choose it as the "easy road."

Why did I have three different spelling programs and scads of writing and grammar workbook series? Two of my children never seemed to "get" Language Arts. I kept thinking:  If I can just pick the right program, it will all click and they will become brilliant students! Voila!!

I had to laugh over the workbook series on settling arguments between siblings and creating tranquility in the home. Other families always seemed to have it together and looked more loving and peaceful. Perhaps the workbook series would be the missing key to a harmonious home life.

Some trust in chariots
and some in horses,
but we trust in
the name of the LORD our God.
Psalm 20:7

Perspective has taught me a humble truth. I had a missing homeschool ingredient. Tearful talks with other moms over coffee and play-dates were only momentary bandaids. 

I trusted in EVERYTHING but the name of the LORD my God. I checked the boxes on the lesson plans and added the credits on the transcripts but it wasn't until I came to the end of my own inventions that I desperately cried out to the the LORD.

Bottom line: Do the best you know when it comes to choosing curriculum and teaching your children Biblically. Stay in touch with a mom support group. But, first trust in the LORD and pray over everything each day. 

Those children who just couldn't write - are writers now. Those siblings who fought earlier are now very close and God used even the discord to bring them closer to Him and each other. 

Nothing is wasted in God's economy. He delights when we bring him our biggest - and smallest - problems. The variety of ways He can show Himself to be mighty in our lives are innumerable if we trust Him first in everything. 

Monday, July 16, 2012

No Worries

I love New York City. My son and I are here for his work for several weeks this summer. At first, our favorite saying was, "We aren't in Kansas anymore." Everywhere we turned we saw something we've never seen in our small town in East Texas. 

Today as we walked from the subway to the theater, I saw a sign in the middle of the sidewalk reading: 


I looked up—nothing. Well, something could fall on my head but I'd be oblivious just like the millions of other NYC pedestrians milling around. 

I started smiling as I walked and thought What if we put this sign up?


Everyone keeps asking how I'm doing this—living and working in the city, riding subways, losing my son in the crowds, finding an apartment to rent. 

I saw something the first time we stepped into Times Square. You won't find it in the guide books—I tried to find it and it wasn't there. 

It's a statue—a large one—right in the middle of the lights that never go dim or the plaza that never empties. It's a cross on a war memorial. 

At first I thought, how odd! Now I see it and just remember that in the city that never sleeps there is a God who never slumbers as well. 

Indeed, he who watches over Israel

never slumbers or sleeps.
Psalm 121:4

 No worries, God is on His throne and I don't need to worry. 

Sunday, July 15, 2012


Knight's Helmet
Wandering around the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City has been exhilarating and thought provoking. Everywhere are fabulous ancient artifacts—decorated weapons, funeral pieces and musical instruments. 

I'm with my teenage son so viewing it through his eyes is interesting. We had a funny chat over a lunch about all of the intricately decorated weapons from hundreds of years ago. We tried to picture our present-day GI's with decorated weapons.....didn't work very well. 

Highly detailed armory
Items left from various ancient civilizations are odd—combs, dishes, weapons, jewelry, doors. Some of the pieces are common and every day; others are elaborate and only used on ceremony days. 

Legacy. What will last from our civilization in 100's of years? What will last from my family in 100's of years or.......for eternity?

Much of the carved art—small and detailed or massive—had to do with funeral ceremonies. The more elaborate it could be made, the better the afterlife of the deceased or the longer they would be remembered. 

Remembering and celebrating the ancestors was important. Without massive or memorable landmarks, the person's life fades into oblivion. Becomes meaningless. 

Funeral Art to Memorialize the Dead
from Oceania 
So what is meaningful in my life? What do I want to last? How would I want to be remembered? we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
2 Corinthinians 4:18

The only thing worth remembering about me or passing on to my children are only the unseen, eternal elements. Nothing else really matters. 

Monday, May 28, 2012


Waiting is not something I do easily. When I believe God has directed me down a path but I can't see the end, delays are wearying and faith-stretching.

Right now I'm in God's waiting room with three of my kids. All of us are anticipating futures to unfold and goals to be realized.

Patience is a quality God requires over and over in the Bible. God always has his own timeline and he is always on time. God's people have to continue on a course that he provides without knowing the destination schedule. 

Monday, April 23, 2012

Chuck Colson Tribute

As parents of a young family, we feared raising children in such a crazy upside down world. We wondered how we would ever maneuver through the minefields of moral corruption. How could we raise good kids in the midst of so many bad influences?

We sought advice from those wiser and our reading lead us to a book by Chuck Colson, Against the Night, Living in the New Dark Ages. Where we saw a blurry dangerous world outside our front door, entering daily through our television screen, Colson saw clearly. Colson armed us with understanding of the ongoing moral slide in most areas of society—political, educational, financial even in the church. Understanding gave us courage and determination to say, ENOUGH, when it came to our children.

We realized that the goals that government schools had for our children were not our goals—not the goals that we felt God had for the children He had given us. We chose to stand up and counter that tide. We chose a different path for our family. We never looked back although it is harder to swim upstream at times. 

My kids have almost all emptied the nest after 27 years of parenting. They turned out as moral, independent thinkers who do not buy the world's moral "anything goes" attitude which grows each year. They understand that this world is God's creation and they were created by Him for a purpose. 

Thank you, Chuck Colson, for giving us wisdom and courage through your words. This is one family that was drastically changed through your writing and we've never regretted it. 


Thursday, February 16, 2012

Deity in the Ditch

America's oldest building date back just 250 years. As my husband and I travelled across England this summer, the ancient sites were the most impressive. It was common to see structures from the 1400's. 

Bath, England provided a look at the oldest building, a Roman bathhouse from A.D. 70. At the same time the Christian church was in its beginning stages in the middle east, the goddess Sulis Minerva was worshipped as the source of the healing thermal waters in Bath. 

The engineering feats of hot and cold running water, steam baths and heated flooring were marvels for A.D. 70. Interwoven in the daily bathing rituals was the worship of the source of the waters—the goddess Minerva. Her face, masterfully cast in gold could be seen in a nearby temple. 

No explanation was given for the sudden exodus from the town. The rich temple and bathing facilities were abandoned, possibly when the Romans left England for good. 

The building was left to ruin and the massive goddess disappeared—until only recently. Sewer workers found the golden goddess face down in one of the underground sewers. 

How glad I am to serve an eternal God. He isn't thought up by man or crafted by an artist's hands. Worship of the one true God doesn't fall in and out of fashion. 

But the LORD is the true God
he is the living God, the eternal King.
Jeremiah 10:10

Sunday, February 12, 2012

What Not to Wear

I'm a What Not to Wear fan. My daughter and I love to grab a cup of tea and savor the latest recorded episode together

The show takes place in NYC. The hosts, Stacy London and Clinton Kelly, "kidnap" the worst dressed women in America and work with them for a week to transform their appearance—and usually their opinions about themselves. 

The women are nominated by well-meaning friends and family. The candidates have to take all of their clothes to the studio in NYC and agree to throw out whatever the hosts say goes. But, they get $5,000 to buy a new wardrobe with Stacy and Clinton's rules.

Before their clothes are tossed the women on the show are asked to select three of their favorite outfits and step into the 360 mirror to take a good look at themselves. Their faces usually show the dawning realization of the truth of their  whacky clothing. 

From here they get lessons on how to choose clothes that fit and flatter. The women shop with the guidance of Clinton and Stacy. To finish the new look, the women have a makeover with a hair designer and makeup artist. 

What do I like about it? I think it's the total transformation that takes place within women. They go from grungy, frumpy, or just plain outlandish to polished and sophisticated. 

The women on the show are all shapes, sized and ages. They don't all have perfect bodies. Yet, on the show they learn so much about how to dress themselves, fix their hair and put on makeup. 

The outcomes are miraculous—not only on the outside appearance but usually within. The women's attitudes towards themselves are part of the transformation as well. 

Redemption and transformation! I don't mean to over-spiritualize but the show reminds me of what Christ does in my life. 

At times he takes me to the 360 mirror and peels my hands from my eyes to see the real me. I see my attitudes and actions that at times are down right ugly. 

I see a different style to put on when I read His Word and learn the right attitudes. He models the righteous life that I need to follow. 

After a season of learning to throw off the old and put on the new man in Christ, He spins me around in the style chair and I see the new creature in Christ that I've become.