7.31.2015

It's Almost August...

REPOSTED FROM 2014 

It's almost August.

The feeling changes in the air.

The excitement and anticipation of summer...the long days, the late nights, the fireflies, the ice cream, the expectancy....has now faded and become the usual. The nights are just a bit shorter, the things we waited for are becoming familiar.



August. The month where we live still in summer, yet with an eye on the next month knowing it will soon be over....

I see the age of thirteen pretty much the same as August....

The baby days I dreamed of, the days of childhood, the excitement of beginning a journey....now these things have become the usual..and we are just like in August....still in childhood, yet a foot is now into the door of adulthood...just like summer...it will soon be over...




In August I consciously tell myself not take for granted the beautiful summer mornings, the birds chirping to wake me...not to take for granted the ice cream nights, the popsicle stained faces, the muddy prints in the house....

...because soon summer will be over.  I try to relish in every moment...always with one eye on the next month...knowing this will soon be a memory.



Just like August I am feeling the same way about my teenager...on the cusp of a new chapter. One foot still in summer...or in childhood.....trying to consciously enjoy it all...knowing all too well it will soon be over...


We are at the point where I have a glimpse of the end in sight. I am no longer the naive new mommy thinking babyhood and childhood is forever...knowing that, just like August, the days are getting shorter...the sun is setting on summer...and on childhood...



Only...August will come again...next year...



7.28.2015

Less Clutter Means More Joy


Last year when we moved, I wrote about how we took all that we had into a 26 foot U-haul. Taking only what we needed with us was essential for me in keeping it simple.

The house we moved into is actually much bigger than our previous house, yet we have less stuff. And I love it.

I have no desire to fill it up.

It is much easier to manage life when there aren't piles of stuff to manage.

It feels less stressful to walk into a room and have space.

Space to fill with friends and family.

I am enjoying space to invite people over...and to practice hospitality.

Not entertaining, but hospitality.

I enjoy the surrounding property and don't need fancy decor. God has provided beauty all around us.








If you are looking around now and see nothing but clutter, choose today to start small. Evaluate what you need. Evaluate its purpose.

Here are some questions to ask:

Do you need it? (or more than one of it?)

Is it useful? What is the purpose for keeping it?


Now if you are looking around and don't even know where to begin, remind yourself to just begin with something. 

If you look at the overall task it will seem overwhelming, but if you promise to get rid of one thing each day....you will be on the road to progress.

Less clutter means less to manage and more time for real things, which leads to freedom and joy.

You don't have to be a slave to your stuff. You can be free!

Picture yourself walking into a room and just enjoying it for who is in there! Don't fill spaces trying to fill voids.

Enjoy life...real life, with people, not stuff.

7.18.2015

Real Homeschool: Letting Go of the Pinterest Perfect and Instagram Ideal Homeschool

New Book Coming Soon!

Available August 3rd on Amazon! Screen Shot 2015-07-14 at 11.13.42 AM

I have been praying and working on this book for months. I wholeheartedly believe in the message and can not wait to share wit with you all! This book is based on Romans 12:2:
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect (ESV)
With all of the "internet ideals" out there these days, it is easy to start conforming and sometimes we don't even realize it! I want to be transformed by God and not conforming to worldly patterns.


I also long for the day where women hold each other up, stop comparing, and start walking together, hand-in-hand with God leading us all. 

When we are real with each other, we are free to have relationships, not based on superficiality, but on genuine and authentic principles. 

Let's be real. Together. It's a beautiful picture.

The book will be available for Kindle or in paperback! Look for it August 3rd!

Share this post with your homeschooling community! Let's make being "real" contagious!



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7.14.2015

A Simpler Life: Less in Not More



Everywhere we turn these days life is guaranteed to get simpler. Try this new product and it will change your life. Eat this food and you will feel great. Or do these quick simple steps and you will find happiness.

We are promised more for less...and we embrace it. We all want more with less work and less time.

But the kicker for me is the "quick-read Bibles. "

Everywhere I look these days I see the same message:

Read the Bible in just a few minutes each day. 

I see all kinds of Bibles with titles such as "The One Minute Bible." or "The Five Minute Bible."

Huh?

We want to read the Bible less? 

No.

The Bible is the one thing in this world that we want to do more of...the more time we spend, the more we are transformed.

If we want to live an easier and simpler life, the truth is we need to read the Bible MORE, not less. The more we read, the less we desire to be like the world. The less we will desire the quick fix or the easy path.

The more we read and connect with God, the more the desires of the world fade away, and our souls are at peace...we are transformed. Life gets simpler right there.

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:2 (ESV)


I have been really focused on this verse lately. I want my mind transformed. I don't want to conform to the patterns of this world.

And the patterns of this world offer a quick fix, but the Bible is a lifelong gift. We don't want to shorten our time or try to "market" it as something that we would even desire to do quickly! We should want to spend more time in the Word.

I know the more time I spend with God, the more time I want to spend with Him. The more I read, the more I am energized. The more I listen, the more I am transformed.

Don't succumb to the quick. Linger over God's word. Stay longer than you had planned.

That is where the transformation will take place. God's Word doesn't offer the promises this world does. It is not a quick fix.

It offers so much more than you ever imagined. It is alive and powerful and it will transform you.

Make it a priority. Each and every day. It is not a chore, but a life-giving, life-transforming practice.

God's Word is the answer to all of our questions. Why would we want to spend just a minute or five minutes a day there? 

7.07.2015

Live Like That

originally published July 2013

"I want to live like that." 
The song plays over in my mind.
"Everything I say and do...points to you."

I want it. I truly do.
And then it happens.

I am distracted. I am worried. I am consumed with other things.

I've been really thinking so much lately about all of this. How I really want to live like that.

Life passes by so quickly. It is a mere vapor in the wind. Yet we live like this is all there is. Such a paradox.

When I truly met Jesus my life changed. The old truly did pass and the new was here. Yet, why do I still live like the old sometimes?

When it's just me, my Bible, and my Lord, I am so free. So free to be me. So peaceful. Then the noise creeps in, the daily life, and it slowly goes away.

My first step in living more boldly, is writing this post. You see, part of my prayers lately have been for those who are not free.  Those who are still searching, still seeking, still wandering. Oh, that was me. Without going into details, I was always searching for something, always filling a void.

My life is evidence that God does exist. There is NO way one earth, that I am changed by my own strength. It is simply not possible. He worked a miracle in me.

When God stepped in, there was a peace that surpassed all understanding.

HE is the reason so many walk around searching and seeking. So many are fearful or wandering. Because they have not yet let Him in.

There IS only one way to peace. It is only through Jesus. This isn't my opinion or my feeling, but the Truth. The Bible is so clear and once you get to understand it and read it, it truly fills you with His Sprit and the blinders are off and you can SEE. You can see so clearly what held you back all of those years, or weighed you down. Or confused you.




I have this gift of knowing the God of the universe, yet I hide it too often. I want people to remember me after this life and say, 


"Wow she knew Jesus. She lived for Him. She knew the Truth. She was FREE. "

If one person, just one person in my lifetime is changed because of my witness, then my life had purpose. If one person also is set free because God used me to minister to them, then my life had purpose.


I want to live for Him. For the eternal and not the temporary. Yet the temporary is all we see, so it is easy to get sucked in.

And its not that this ife doesn't matter, because it does. What we do here does matter. What we do with our time, our gifts, our love. It does matter.

But I want it to matter for Him. I want to stop living with one foot in both worlds.

I want to stop pretending that I am a citizen of earth and live as a citizen of heaven. I've been studying Acts this summer, and those early disciples were so BOLD and so on fire. Oh, Lord that I would be the same. That I would not let my fire go out when I step away from my Bible and out the door.



If people see me as crazy, so be it.
I am crazy about my God and the freedom of knowing I am His, means I don't have to worry about what others think. I. AM. HIS.

Do you want that freedom too? DO you want to live for the Truth? DO you want to be FREE from the burdens of this world? DO you want to fill the voids that you feel? OR to rid of the fears?

There is JOY in the Lord. Joy in the Truth. Freedom and joy.

It is NOT about what we do for Him, but what HE has done for US! He sent His Son to die for us, so that we may live!! Truly live. For eternity. I can never earn being good enough. Being a Christian isn't about being "good." in fact, it is about understanding that we are not, but He will make us clean.



I've been thinking about this post for awhile and today it came spilling out through my fingers, only by His power. I prayed as the words came through this keyboard, that my life would not be in vain.That someone, somewhere would know the Truth.

I imagine a person just stumbling upon this site, and then they see. They NEED Jesus. There are no accidents. The Lord gave me a vision to write this, and He has a purpose for it. Someone, somewhere can be FREE by me pointing to HIM. It is all about Him.

This is the post that needs to go viral. FOR HIM.  So share it if you feel led...so that someone, somewhere, can be free. 

If you are reading this and want to be free, please email me and I will pray with you and for you. If you want to know more about how you can have a saving relationship with Jesus Christ, and be assured of an eternity in heaven, please know I will answer any questions you have. Or simply, pray.



Live Like That, Sidewalk Prophets
Sometimes I think
What will people say of me
When I'm only just a memory
When I'm home where my soul belongs

Was I love
When no one else would show up
Was I Jesus to the least of us
Was my worship more than just a song

I want to live like that
And give it all I have
So that everything I say and do
Points to You

If love is who I am
Then this is where I'll stand
Recklessly abandoned
Never holding back

I want to live like that
I want to live like that

Am I proof
That You are who you say You are
That grace can really change our heart
Do I live like Your love is true

People pass
And even if they don't know my name
Is there evidence that I've been changed
When they see me, do they see You

I want to live like that
And give it all I have
So that everything I say and do
Points to You

If love is who I am
Then this is where I'll stand
Recklessly abandoned
Never holding back

I want to live like that
I want to live like that

I want to show the world the love You gave for me
I'm longing for the world to know the glory of the King

I want to live like that
And give it all I have
So that everything I say and do
Points to You

If love is who I am
Then this is where I'll stand
Recklessly abandoned
Never holding back

I want to live like that
I want to live like that
I want to live like that








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I am busy getting my new book ready for release this summer! Real Homeschool: Letting Go of the Pinterest Perfect and Instagram Ideal Homeschool. Make sure to follow along on Facebook to get the latest updates:
My best-selling books are available at Amazon! Join thousands of others homeschooling families who have been encouraged:
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6.27.2015

God's Love Won


I posted this on Facebook last night:





"It is so incredibly peaceful and quiet as I sit on my deck this evening. Unfortunately, this world is anything but quiet. It is certainly difficult to see so many lost. Everyone screaming about their beliefs. I wish the world could be like this evening- quiet and peaceful. Yet it rarely is. So, we go out into a noisy world hoping to bring the true peace and hope that comes from HIS love alone. The love of Jesus Christ. It is the only real and true love that wins. I am thankful to know that love and may my life reflect it to a world that needs it more than ever."

May we all remember that God's love has already won.

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I am busy getting my new book ready for release this summer! Real Homeschool: Letting Go of the Pinterest Perfect and Instagram Ideal Homeschool. Make sure to follow along on Facebook to get the latest updates:

Simply Living for Him Facebook page

Real Homeschool Facebook Page

Real Homeschool website

My best-selling books are available at Amazon! Join thousands of others homeschooling families who have been encouraged:

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6.15.2015

Reclaiming Simple Birthdays- Celebrate People, Not Stuff




We stopped having birthday parties for my kids long before Pinterest came about, and I am thankful. I can only imagine if I lived in that world where I have to keep up with a Pinterest party!

We had a few birthday parties for my kids early on, but then decided we would just do pizza and cake with family. Then on their actual birthday, the birthday child could choose a special day. We could go on a day trip to a museum or a special dinner...whatever they wanted. That has worked out well over the years.

What worries me is not that we want to make fun and creative parties. I'm all for fun and creative! But as always, I think about the heart. Are we teaching our children that a birthday party is about something that it really isn't?

Birthday parties have become celebrations of stuff and details rather than the person. We can get so wrapped up in having that perfect decor, that we spend way too much time (and money) trying to make it just right. The focus isn't on the person, but on the stuff.

Kids want to know that they are important, not the details. They will look back some day and say, "I had a great day with my family and friends..."  and not necessarily, "I had princess cupcakes, a dinosaur cake, and all the decorations matched perfectly."

The amount of time (and money) we spend on the preparation and then implementing those details would probably be best spent hanging out with our kids. 


We recently had a graduation celebration for my 8th grader. She worked on all of the decorations herself...it was homemade, and not everything matched. Yet, she loved doing it, and I love that she helped and we were able to keep cost down and time spent together up.

My tips for keeping birthdays simple, special, and memorable:

1. If your child wants a party, then have them help decorate. It won't be picture perfect, but they will enjoy it.

2. Homemade decorations- use what you have to spruce things up. They can make homemade decorations for practically no money, and better yet...you can spend the time together.
The point of the party is to celebrate LIFE...another year with a special person. Don't get so focused on the stuff.

3. A plain ol' cake. Sure it can be fun to make that perfect cake in your child's favorite character---if that's your thing. Some people love to do it and are good at it. Me, not so much ;) It would stress me out. I stick with the old fashioned cake and throw a few sprinkles on top and call it a day. Tastes fine and fulfills the purpose.

4. Have an open house on birthday day. Practice hospitality and let everyone know they can drop by anytime during the afternoon or evening to spend time with the birthday child. Put out some snacks and cupcakes that can be enjoyed anytime a guest drops by.

5. Or forgot the party and choose a special day trip instead. Let them pick a place to visit, such as a museum, movie, beach...whatever! Spend the day as a family, and have a special meal.

Mostly, just remember that a birthday is a celebration of a life God has given. We should be focused on the person and not the stuff. Raise the next generation with a heart for God and not material items. That is a gift of enormous value.