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:

8.19.2014

Simple Color Coded Meal Plan

Want to make a simple meal plan?


When it comes to keeping things simple, meal planning is very helpful. 

During the school year, I have always kept a meal plan to avoid the 4 o'clock, "What will I make for dinner?"

I started years ago by making a simple meal plan by days of the week. For instance, Tuesdays we are out of the house, so it is always a crockpot day. Fridays are always pizza. Sundays are always some kind of pasta. The other nights are designated as soup night or Mexican, etc.

This way I can vary the dishes, but the themes are the same, making it much easier to plan.

On this plan you can see that Mondays are soup, Tuesdays Crockpot, Wednesdays are "easy" days, Thursdays are Mexican, Fridays are pizza, and Saturdays vary. The colors represent each day of the week and "theme."

I have created a color coded meal plan that you can use in a few ways.

  • Print it out and use it as is- of course, substitute your family's likes and favorites.
  • Print out the blank template and fill it in 


OR

  • Use post it notes to plan- this way you can move them around as needed!


Remember, the goal here at Simply Living for Him is to spend more time on things that matter- your family doesn't care if your meals are Pinterest perfect. They just want to eat! ;) So plan ahead, lessen the stress, and enjoy family time at the table.

*These are just suggestions and samples based on our meal plan- we don't eat beef, so you won't see it on here. Substitute your family's favorites!

I have included a few days for things like trying a new recipe when you have the time, or letting kids pick the meal and let them prepare it! There are also spaces for "breakfast for dinner" etc.

Use the printables as you see fit for your family...
Enjoy!


Click on the picture to download the PDF's



Another way to keep things simple this year- download an instant library for the whole year- encouragement, planners, organization, freebies, and discounts. Over 100 items for 25 cents each!
The Homeschool Omnibus! (My ebook Simply Homeschool 2nd Edition is included!)


https://www.e-junkie.com/ecom/gb.php?ii=1363915&c=ib&aff=175046&cl=221111




8.18.2014

Simplify Challenge #2- Store Treasure in Heaven


This week our simplifying challenge is to focus on where you are storing your treasure. As I read Psalm 49 this morning, I was inspired by the commentary in my study Bible:


We are deceived everyday into thinking our lives will last forever. We are deceived in thinking all the earthly pleasures here will satisfy us. Sure some of them do, but for a limited time. As my Grandma used to say, "You can't take it with you." And she was right.

What we have here, is just a blink of an eye. We are just passing through into something far beyond compare for those who are in Christ. Yet, we live like this is it. We spend time toiling and collecting for here, and don't really focus on eternity. Yet eternity matters.

I am working this week to focus on doing more things for eternity. I am determined to keep my mind focused on the things that matter. 

How I am doing it:

  • Reading my Bible first thing in the morning. I always am more focused when I fix my eyes on Him.
  • Less computer time. I am on the computer to keep my businesses going, but I have set strict hours for myself and when time is up time is up. I want to invest my time more with my kids and family. Completely focused.
  • Reevaluating the things I think I need. Material things. We need so little, but want so much. Yet, the more time I spend with God, and the more I fix my eyes on eternity, the less my desire for earthly "stuff."
  • Investing more in people than in things. Going out of my way to share Christ's love with those around me everyday. Taking the focus off of myself and my own comfort, for others. Even when I don't feel like it, going out of my way to be a witness for Jesus.
What are you going to do this week to simplify, so that you can store treasure in heaven?

Share your thoughts, photos, and more...on facebook, Instagram, or here in the comments. We can encourage each other. Fill those newsfeeds with something positive! Inspire each other to live for eternity.





8.11.2014

Simplify Challenge #1- Our Time

Simplifying Challenge #1

This week I posted on facebook that I wanted to start a series of challenges on Simply Living for Him- challenges to not just simplify, but to get rid of distractions so that we can focus on God more clearly. There's so much out there already about decluttering, and minimizing, (which I am all about....) but....this is more than that. 

Simplifying is a posture of the heart. At the core, simplifying is about learning to live more simply... for Him. Having less and doing more. 

More Jesus. Less me.

I want to start this week with a challenge for you all to spend more time doing things that honor the Lord. We only get so many moments on this earth, let's make them matter.



One of the biggest time wasters these days (and spirit suckers) is the internet. Or maybe for you it is spending time on something else. So let's evaluate our time with the Lord and see how it compares with our time doing other things.

Is He first?

Are you spending more time with the Lord or doing other things? Now, by that, I don't mean you need to be in your Bible more waking hours than not, but having Him at the forefront of your mind and making Him a priority is a constant. (pray without ceasing) If you are doing this, then you are more aware of the times when you are wasting time, or going down a road that may not be fruitful or glorifying to Him, because you are more in line with His will.

All of our behavior should glorify Him. It is what we are made to do. It is more difficult to do that when we are engaged in activities, whether in thought or deed, that are not fruitful.

When we spend endless hours online, whether it be shopping, researching things, reading things, or whatever it may be...it can be a sign of not keeping Him first. For when He is first, the desire to fill up on worldly things naturally lessens.

For me, when I get up in the morning, if I read my Bible first and spend time praying over people and things...my focus in so much different than the mornings where I get up late, am rushed, quick read my Bible verses, etc. My heart is not in the proper place. My whole day changes when my heart is not focused early on.

So...here are a few suggestions to challenge you this week with your time.


  • Tape a Bible verse to your computer, or wherever that place may be that is distracting you or wasting time. Let it be a reminder of where your heart should be.
  • Spend time with the Lord first in the morning, but don't leave Him there. Be in constant communication throughout the day. Keep Him at the forefront of your mind.
  • Ask yourself in all you do- is this behavior glorifying to God, honoring to God?
  • Are the activities you are spending your time on fruitful? What is the purpose?
  • Keep a log of your time spent on the internet. Keep a log of the time spent studying the Word. Compare the two and see where your time needs adjusting.
  • Schedule internet time, or extra activities. When the time us up- it is up! Do not spend useless hours scrolling and surfing!
  • Print out this FREE printable and use it to help you focus your time and your heart



Journal about these verses:
Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. Ephesians 5:15-17 
So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.
Psalm 90:12

Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time.
Colossians 4:5 
If you are encouraged by these challenges, and you feel led... share them with your friends. Post a pic to Instagram, facebook, or twitter- Let's band together to Simply Live...for HIM!!
Next...share what you are learning through this. Share how God spoke to you during your Bible time, and let's learn from each other. 
Flood the newfeeds with Bible verses and encouragement! 

JUST don't spend too much time on there ;)

#simplylivingforhim #havelessdomore #Jesusisenough #lessmemoreHim

Have you listened to my free Mp3 yet? If you are preparing for back to homeschool- listen and be encouraged!


8.07.2014

Beyond the Four Walls...Life is Our Classroom!

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When I first began homeschooling, we had a classroom. 



And although sometimes our homeschool looks like this:


Over the years I have realized that school at home need not be confined to a classroom, in fact it should not.
Nowadays it looks more like this:
No, education should not be confined to a classroom but should take place everywhere else. 









Life is education. 
While it is fun to have  a"place" at home to have "school"~
 never let the confines of a room limit your child's world...











Life is a classroom...


There is freedom in homeschooling!










8.06.2014

Simplifying Back to (Home) School FREE MP3 Download!


It's that time of year...time to break out the fresh new planner, the blank lesson plans, and the newly sharpened pencils! Oh, the joy of a fresh start! This is the year it will be different...this is the year we will get it right!

Then, we get overwhelmed and distracted and quickly the joy is lost. Are you planning your new year? Are you wanting this to be the year where you finally get it right?

Well, guess what homeschool mama? Each year is new and full of challenges and that is where God grows us. Discover the joy in your homeschool when you keep focus on God and what He wants to do in your homeschool!

Don't let the distractions pull you away from your true purpose.

Wondering how to schedule? How to choose curriculum? Where to start?

Come be encouraged..you may be surprised a the #1 thing you need to do right now before you start planning!

You can download the MP3 for FREE- at Bible Based Homeschooling!