4.18.2014

Sunday's Coming...

Reposting this from a few years back....

We just finished reading through Matthew 26-28~Jesus' Crucifixion and Resurrection. I don't know that I can adequately write in words today how I feel about my Savior. Humbled to tears and on my knees...

On this day, know that I pray for every person to know the freedom and joy that comes through a relationship with Jesus Christ.  We are free, indeed. For eternity.

I leave you with this powerful message.  Be Blessed. Sunday is Coming!


4.14.2014

He HAS Provided


Lately my thoughts have turned against me at times to worry. Worry over the future. These are the things that can come up when major life changes are on the horizon.

Especially for a recovering worrier like me, this is the time for it to creep in. I need to be on guard and take every thought captive.

I am thankful for a husband who keeps pointing me back to the Lord, and the Truth. I am thankful for his patience and care and comfort.

Truth is, we have always been provided for. Always. We have lived these verses:
Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?  Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?  Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?  So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
So today I am focusing on that fact that He HAS provided, and not asking the question WILL He provide? I know the answer...He has, and He will. He is faithful.



4.11.2014

A Simple but Powerful Example...Lessons Through His Creation

I am reposting this from awhile back. Still one of my favorite lessons from Creation.

I took Rachael Carmen's advice last weekend at Apologia Live. She mentioned how we should use the season of Spring to point our kids to the Lord. Notice Him in the simple daily things. Look at what He has done when he springs forth life from a dead winter each spring.

I took out a dried bean the other day. I said to the kids, "Let's watch God's miracle happen.  Let's see what happens to this dried up bean, when given light and water."

I placed it in sunshine and added a bit of water. A few days later and look:



I called the kids,"Come and see! This dead bean has burst forth with life!  Look what God does!  Look!"
They all came running in to see. That dead bean had sprouted with life.

We talked about how the bean needed water and the sun.

We need water. We need the SON.  We need Him to grow!  We need His Light. His Living Water.

"When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12

"but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life." John 4:14

And then, I continued..."Look! Look at the roots!  The dead shell of the bean is gone, and the roots are searching. Looking to bury themselves deep in the water."

He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit." Jeremiah 17:8

I love this bean. I have it set on our table. I see His example.  
He takes our old, dried, up shell that is in darkness. He releases us from the shell, and we burst forth in the Light and living on water.  We plant our roots.  We are made new.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! 
2 Corinthians 5:17

I was that bean. Dead. But He brought me forth with life.  From His Living Water and His Son. I am new!

Use these lessons in nature. See Him in everything. Show your kids the Him through these simple examples, yet full of so much Truth.  


"I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.
John 5:24
Since then, we have been watching that bean sprout keep growing, but this week it tied in perfectly with our devotion from yesterday.  You see, the bean had sprouted some new beans, and then they withered this week. The bean sprout, which was once growing so quickly before our eyes each day, has pretty much stopped. The roots have been going down, and searching for soil, but have found none.


We are just like that. We can grow very quickly, but if we do not have good and rich soil for our roots to take hold of, we will not grow to our potential with God. 

Sure, we may grow quickly at first, but without proper nourishment, we stop bearing fruit, and we don't reach our full potential.

Last year in our garden we had tons of green beans. The kids and I spent time remembering how tall they grew, and how they spread all over the garden, intertwining with other vines and becoming so strong.  Just like we will- if we have the proper soil to nurture us, we will grow to our greatest potential, bearing much fruit.  We will intertwine with others, growing stronger.

I am in awe of how God uses His Creation to demonstrate so many things. The kids can make connections to His Word when they see real life things in comparison. It paints a  beautiful picture for them.



Called Home: Finding Joy in Letting God Lead Your Homeschool is also available for $0.99



To read more about simplifying, Simply Homeschool is now just $0.99 for download or for Kindle at Amazon.com  Click here for more info:




3.28.2014

Linger Over the Moments...



Last night I laid with my baby girl one last time before bed as a child. Today she wakes up a teenager...or a young lady as I like to refer to it.

Thirteen years has gone so fast, yet in ways so slow. So much has happened in those years since I was a young mother just starting out...

As I lay there with her, which I do most nights before bed, I realized I didn't want to leave. I almost couldn't bring myself to get up. Knowing this would be the last time before she reached a new milestone.

So often I race in to give her a kiss before bed and she asks me to lay with her, and I sometimes I do, but more than likely, it is a quick moment before I need to move on.

This time though it lasted. I lingered. I prayed. My mind went back to the little baby girl with the teeth stuck out from sucking her thumb...the little girl that slept with her "wa wa blankey" every night...the little baby who gave me so much joy...and continues to do so each day.

Linger moms. Linger over the moments. Life truly does go by so fast. Linger and squeeze those babies, whether they are in young lady bodies, or not...they are always babies.

Happy Birthday my dear girl. I love you. God loves you.

3.21.2014

We Are Moving (Lord Willing!)




It's been an exciting, roller coaster time lately...and one that has been steeped in prayer. We have decided to move and I can not wait to share the journey with you. Oh, do I have lots to write about in regards to simplifying now! Try getting our house down to looking like no one really lives here, with six of us actually living here, and homeschooling during the day. Quite exhausting, exciting, and interesting all wrapped up in one!

We have had an offer accepted on a farmhouse (squeal!) not too far from where we live now.
It's like a dream, and we are praying that we are in God's will. We are so excited!

I have been paring down more than ever here, and realizing how very little we need indeed. I am constantly writing blog posts in my mind about this adventure, yet haven't had the chance to actually write them yet! So stick around...and join me on this next journey! I promise, there is much more to come!

And finally...if you know of ANYONE in the New Jersey area looking to buy a home, please send them my way. We must sell our current home to purchase the farm! Email me at karen@simplylivingforhim.com and I will give you more info!

And please pray with me? That we do all things for His glory during this time? 
Until the next update....Karen





3.11.2014

Real Refreshment- A Real Community of Homeschooling Moms


Education is not the answer. Jesus is the answer.~Rachael Carman 
I don't know that I could properly articulate in words just what a meaningful time I had at this year's Real Refreshment Retreat. God's presence was palpable in every corner- from the worship, to the speakers, to the fellowship, and then in the beautiful prayer circle that ended the weekend. Ladies, linking hands, and praying for one another. A beautiful picture.


"We need to stand shoulder to shoulder" with each other on this journey- Rachael Carman

What is Real Refreshment?

If you have never attended before, Real Refreshment is a homeschooling mother's retreat that is given by Apologia. Yet this weekend has very little to do with academics, and everything to do with speaking to the mother's heart. It is a weekend filled with speakers that share my heart- to put God above all else in your homeschool and in all areas of your life. They speak in the most real and authentic way. They sit amongst the ladies all weekend and share candidly and authentically.

If we raise our kids to have high test scores and not to include serving, we are raising a bunch of arrogant kids ~Zan Tyler
Real Refreshment also has time dedicated for prayer and worship. Anne MacCallum was such a blessing as she led worship time, and being in a room filled with other sisters worshipping, gave just a glimpse of the glory that is to come some day.

This year the theme of Real Refreshment was Living Water. I was time and again blown away by each speaker and of understanding how Jesus is the Living Water running through all of us. We are thirsty, and He quenches. He is the only life sustaining substance that lasts forever. He is the Living Water. I came home with such a new understanding of this concept, and it is something I plan to study further.

"We are not so much as living, as SWIMMING in our Creator." Anne MacCallum

There is also amazing fellowship at Real Refreshment. Time and again the speakers reminded us that there is no competition- we stand shoulder to shoulder on this journey as sisters. We walk alongside each other, with our eyes fixed on Him and not on others. One of the biggest blessings was that I made many new friends, and wrote down their names on a prayer calendar that Apologia provided. Now I have a day to pray for each one of my new friends.

There is nothing like Real Refreshment. Fellowship. Authentic and real moms. God's presence. I am telling you...don't miss out next year- SIGN UP! It is well worth it. It is truly real refreshment for your soul.

Most of all you will be joining a community of faithful sisters, ready to walk alongside with you. You will be a part of those women standing shoulder to shoulder.

And I know I came home...truly a Refreshed Mom.

My dear friend and me at Real Refreshment


"If we can trust Him with eternity, can we not trust Him with the lesson plan?" ~Rachael Carman

Join The Real Refreshment Community at :
https://www.facebook.com/RealRefreshmentRetreats
https://twitter.com/RealRefreshment
www.RealRefreshment.com

2.28.2014

Simply Homeschool



Do you have joy in your homeschool? Or are you just getting through the day? Are you buried in papers and assignments and schedules? Are you feeling like you are just going through the motions? Are you yearning for summer?

I hear from so many moms who are feeling this way, and so many times I have been there myself...but I want to tell you...it's not about you. It's about God, and what He does on through your homeschool journey..He gives each of us the power and the strength to answer the call. We could never do it in our own strength.

I want to tell you to stop. Slow down. Stop chasing. Stop striving. Stop making about it about the world. Make it about Him. This world and all it has passes away, but He is eternal. 

Stop. Look in your child's eyes. Focus on the relationship with the child. At that moment. These are the things that matter for eternity.

Let the extras go...if they are bogging you down, then they aren't meant to be there. This journey isn't going to last forever. In fact, each year it gets shorter and shorter...so do it well.

I always tell my kids to do all tasks well.
Whatever lies before them, whether how big or small, do it well. So we as homeschool moms...are we doing it well? Are you stretched so thin we are giving a little in a lot of places? Or are we focused on what really matters? 

Stop spending hours on curriculum choices. Stop spending hours in a flurry of activity because you want to make sure you are doing enough. Stop spending hours worrying that you aren't doing it right.

Spend those hours in prayer. Spend those hours face to face looking into your child's eyes. Know them. Love them. 

Spend those hours truly schooling your children in what matters. Spend the hours focused on the tasks before you. Spend those hours getting back to the heart...

Simply homeschool...and do it well.

I had the privilege to be a guest on Rebecca Brandt's podcast yesterday, Rejoicing Daily. You will love her heart...visit her over at Mom's Mustard Seeds.



Called Home: Finding Joy in Letting God Lead Your Homeschool is also available for $0.99


To read more about simplifying, Simply Homeschool is now just $0.99 for download or for Kindle at Amazon.com  Click here for more info: