9.18.2014

Getting Back to Simple- Life as God Intended it To Be



Yes, my mantra here is live simply.

Have less and do more. 

Yet, it is easier said than done, right?

Life is complicated and messy and everything in between.

Just when we think we have it all figured out, something new and different is on the horizon waiting to challenge us.


Life is not simple.

But is it possible for it to be?

I read an article yesterday that really touched me. You probably saw it circulating around the web.  It really caused a stir in my heart. For this woman, she was dying and begging those left here, to live. To really live. Why does it take dying, to truly live?

Many days I will preach simple, want simple, and try to live simple, but life calls, the world calls, and I am distracted and overwhelmed.


And my purpose in simplifying is to focus on the important. That is the core reason for simplicity. To focus on the things that matter. To live the life God calls me to live. If I were not to wake tomorrow, did I live the life I preached?



I want to, but am afraid so often I get off track.

There's only one chance to get this life lived. And we never know how many more seconds we have left. So simplicity is must.

It's like processed food. We need to weed out the fillers. The fluff and stuff that piles up that really has no significance in the long run.

I've read that people refer to whole foods as the "food the way God intended it to be." Deep down in there, was something that was nutritious once, and necessary for us to live- food. Then the world decided it could be better so they added junk to it, processed it some more, and soon the good stuff had been replaced by a quick fix of additives and chemicals- that made us sick.

Then we craved it more...we craved the junk.  The natural, wholesome nutritious food never seemed enough. We wanted the extras. We wanted the junk, that left us craving more and more...

We forgot what good food tasted like. We forgot what we really needed. Satisfying wholesome food.

Isn't that what happens in our lives?

God was there to fill us. Nourish us. And we craved more...


We need to be living the way God intended us to live-Living For Him.



It is so simple. There is God. He is the center. He is all in all. He is our satisfying, wholesome food.

But the world tells us we need more. We need glitz and glamour and fluff and stuff. We toil and we work and we want to keep adding to what once was all we needed. We weren't satisfied in Him alone.



But He is all we need. He is what gives us life. He is what gives us breath. He is our spiritual nourishment. Without Him at the center, we continue to try and add more and more, seeking satisfaction apart from Him.

The world is so full of distraction. May I remember that everything around me can crumble tomorrow, but He is eternal and all I need.

May I live for that truth. Really live my life authentically for Him.

Because, He is the reason we live, we move, and we exist...
(Acts 17:28)




9.17.2014

Be Content in the Season You are In

as the leaves slightly begin to change, I was reminded of this old post:


Today I noticed that the leaves are changing already...there is a slight amber glow all around. It is quite beautiful. It made me realize the blessing of every season. This was a season I wasn't ready for...I love summer and as those long summer days start coming to an end, and the sun shines for just a little shorter time each day, my heart sinks a bit. I always miss summer...

But today, that amber glow reminded me...there is always a blessing in every season. That simple beauty was not there in the summer days. It is unique to fall.

Just like the seasons of our lives. They come and go...we yearn for the last season at times, or we yearn for a new one...yet, we forget that right there in that season, is beauty. Each season has its own beauty and its own purpose. Perfectly orchestrated by God. Each season holds its own plan.

I remember the season of being newly married. I yearned for a baby, and quickly I was in the next season. Then all of a sudden there were several babies, and here I was with a few little ones scampering around, wondering if I would ever get a minute to myself? If my house would ever be clean again?
"Oh it will be better when they are older..."

Then in that great paradox of life, they suddenly are older, and we miss the little days...Those younger years seem distant now, but they are a beautiful memory. If only I had cherished it as much while in it...

Soon, I'll be entering the teenage season..and rather than yearn for a different season, I will bask in the amber glow of this one. The beauty that is unique to this season of life.

I will be content in whatever seasons I am in. As I myself grow older, and I look ahead, I will always promise myself to be content whatever season I am in.

God made the seasons. They are purposeful, and each one full of beauty and uniqueness. Whether it is the Springtime bursting with life, the leaves of fall withering, or the snow covered ground, there is purpose.

Whatever season of life or motherhood you are in...bask in it. Cherish it. Grow in it. See the blessings. Be grateful for the season.

9.11.2014

Teach Them Diligently Convention

this post contains affiliate links

**This promotion has ended, but you can still register at a GREAT LOW price for the whole family!**

Don't miss this fantastic opportunity to save $10 on a Family Registration for Teach Them Diligently Convention!

Right now if you sign up for their newsletter, Teach Them Diligently will send you a coupon code to save $10 off the already LOW price of $45- meaning you will only pay $35 for a three day, huge Christian homeschool event for the whole family! I am thrilled to be speaking this year at three of the four events. I will be in Atlanta, Nashville, and Sandusky, OH. I hope to see you there!

So, why should your family attend the Teach Them Diligently Homeschool Convention:
  • It is an enjoyable event for the whole family!
  • Great Speakers and workshops
  • Fellowship with other Christian Homeschool Families and Speakers
  • Biblical Emphasis including Missions
  • Knowledge, Wisdom, Understanding
  • Shopping and Introduction to new educational products
  • If you are a Christian Homeschool Family, this is the Convention you want to attend. There will be something for everyone.



  Slide_2015_WholeFamily

9.08.2014

Simplify Challenge #3


Simplifying and minimalism are sort of buzz words these days. We live in such a material laden culture that naturally at some point it becomes saturated and people end up looking to scale down. The pendulum swings.

For me, simplifying is about so much more than just reducing clutter and minimizing though. So what is the difference between minimalism and simply living for Him?

The heart.

Simply living for Him is about having more of what matters and less of what doesn't.  It is about storing treasure in heaven and not on earth. It is about shifting our focus upward. The heart of simplifying is truly important because often our clutter, our excess, or our overload is a symptom of a heart that needs to regain focus on God.

Simply Living for Him starts in the heart.

Anything that comes before God becomes an idol. Anything that takes the place of Him needs to go. Our culture is so noisy and material laden, that is very easy for our focus to get lost.

When we crave more stuff, it shows we aren't satisfied in Him.

Simply Living for Him is about shifting our focus back to our first love. When our hearts are set on Him, and we are truly putting him first, all of the other things fall into their proper place. Our desires won't be to fill up on more things, but on Him. We won't fill our minds with endless information, but on the Word.

Simply living for Him isn't something we just do, 
it is a way to live.

We won't need to worry about constantly fighting clutter because we have shifted our focus to need Him, and not stuff. We shift our focus on what He says, and not what the world says.

I challenge you this week. Turn off the noise. Seek Him. Let your priorities become in line with what the Word tells us, not the world tells us.




I challenge you to seek Him above all. I challenge you to get to know Him above all.

Start each day in the Word no matter what. The first thing you read in the morning before any emails, texts, etc. should be His very Word. It will start your mindset off in the right place.

Do it. Vow to start your day with your heart lined up where it needs to be. Start your day in His Word before anything else has a chance to steal your heart. Fill your mind with Him and let Him fill your heart.

Realize that Jesus is enough. He is all that matters at the end of the day and at the end of this life. Earthly time is short and eternity is forever. Grasp that concept and get to know Him-

Let me know how it goes. Join the conversation on facebook. I promise, you will be transformed. His Word is powerful and active and it will transform your thinking and your heart.




9.06.2014

Finding Balance in Jesus



The pendulum is always swinging back and forth...I'm so organized...the house is a mess...I want routine and order....let's unschool this week...I want adventure...I want to be a homebody...the list goes on and on. The eternal pendulum always swaying from one direction to the other.

You too?

What is it about us that causes this fluctuation of ups and downs? The constant ride of the roller coaster in life. The constant swinging motion of our inner pendulum?

We want one thing, and then we swing back the other way.

I know so many times I yearn for something, only to have it, and start to feel discontent again. I want order and schedules, until I feel too confined. I want to have freedom, until I need boundaries. I want to travel, until I feel homesick. What is going on?

Is it just our personality? Is it something more?



Discontent lies at the core of our souls. 
The pendulum that swings needs a weight in the middle to keep it stable. 
That weight is Jesus.


When we have Jesus and we are focused on what HE wants from us (not necessarily what we want) we don't have the huge shifts back and forth. The pendulum swinging is usually a result of focusing on our emotions and what we desire, and not what He desires. We want to feel good. We want to feel satisfied.

The truth is the earthly life never completes us, and never satisfies. We were made for eternity. We will constantly seek more or something else when our eyes are gazing downward instead of heavenward.

We were made to live for Him. 
We will never be satisfied on this earth without truly grasping that truth.

The pendulum doesn't matter in light of eternity. We need to take our eyes off of ourselves and fix them on God. When we go with our emotions and our desires we will always end up swinging back and forth. But Jesus grounds us in the center.

A life focused on God and how He wants us to live means not  always relying on our emotions. It means keeping our eyes fixed on Him and what He wants for us. It may not always feel good or be easy or comfortable, but we can rest knowing we are fulfilling our purpose in Him.

So choose today to let Him balance you. Get rid of the distractions on this life that are constantly begging for your attention and causing your pendulum to swing back and forth. Choose to be balanced  in Him.


9.01.2014

Nine Years...Walking With the Lord Through the Homeschooling Journey

This week we will begin our ninth (gulp) year of homeschooling. For those who know my story, it is truly by the grace of God that I even write those words. To think that nine years ago, I was trembling this week at the thought of what I was doing...and I was in tears most of the week...questioning if I was doing the "right" thing. I said it would be for one year.



Well, one year turned into two, then three, and here we are at nine. What a journey it has been.





I have not only fallen in love with homeschooling, I have daily seen the blessings of this lifestyle for our family. We have grown as a family, and we have walked this journey clinging to God ever so tightly. I wouldn't want to be anywhere else.


The homeschooling journey has also given me opportunities I never would have dreamt up in my mind. To write, to speak, and to minister to other families.

What an amazing God I serve.

Looking back over the last nine years, I stand in awe. I am in awe of where I have been, where I am now, and look to the future with eyes opened wide, wondering where we will go.

Nine years. And thankful for each moment.


I am grateful most of all for choosing to walk the simple life...to keep my eyes focused on Him each day. While I fail many times, I make progress nonetheless. I yearn for even simpler many days, and I will continue to walk a step behind Him each day, letting Him lead the way.





8.27.2014

Simplify Challenge- Is Prayer on Your To-Do List?



A few years back I met with two dear friends weekly to pray- we would pray for our children, ourselves, our families, our homeschools...whatever needed covering. It was a sweet time.

Yesterday I spent the afternoon with a friend and we spent time praying over each child in our families as we prepare for a new homeschool year. We prayed for each other and our families, as well as all families, homeschooling or non homeschooling.

I was reminded just how important this is. Make it a priority to find a friend or friends that will pray for you and with you regularly. This should be a top priority on your to-do list.

So often our to-do list gets cluttered with so many things, we are forgetting the most important priority in our day. Scheduling this with a friend helps keep you both accountable, and provides a time of fellowship as fellow moms lift up requests together in agreement, in Jesus' name.

So why not reach out to a friend and schedule some prayer time. Or better yet, hold a weekly or monthly prayer time at your home. Make it a priority on your to-do list before all the others. Pretty soon, your other priorities will fall into their proper place. I promise you, the rewards will certainly last and have eternal value.


I have a free printable to assist you in praying over your homeschool. Get it by clicking below: