Saturday, November 6, 2010

Our Week in Review

We had a great week! I was starting to feel better (sinus infection & migraines - yuck!!). So, I did something with Jacob that Joshua and I used to do all the time: I painted the bottom of his feet and let him walk across a paper path we had laid out on the kitchen floor. OHHHH...was he thrilled! He loves art time - the messier the better!! My only regret: I didn't take any pictures. We are still working on learning the letter A...and numbers 1-5. Slowly, slowly we will get there!

Joshua completed school this week with a GREAT attitude and in record time! We enjoyed reading Hittite Warrior together and discussing it. He even asked every night if I would come into his room and read an extra chapter before bed. He brought me the book at lunch, at breakfast, at break time..."Mom, do you think you could read an extra chapter to me?" Somewhere in the last week, God has given me my son's heart back. It was so encouraging.

We studied Ephesus and other places in Turkey for Geography. It is so exciting to learn about the places that Paul traveled and see photos of it. We even get on-line and look at extra pictures. Joshua's favorite thing was studying the ten plagues God brought down on Egypt. He said, "Mom, I did not know that every plague was to judge a specific one of their false gods. But they still didn't get it." How exciting to have my big guy understand that God had a purpose for each plague - not just to make the people miserable but to show them the uselessness of their false gods - just like He has a purpose for everything He does in each of our lives! Joshua is reading the Lord of the Rings series for reading. His adventurous heart responds to them. For poetry this week, he did a great painting...without following the directions exactly..something I love about art!!

Friday, November 5, 2010

"Forget Him Not" Friday is my very first "Forget Him Not" Friday. I want to forget not what the Lord has done for me, so I am going to spend each Friday posting one of God's amazing miracles in my life...and I am trusting that He will continue to remind me of His goodness and mercy all the days of my life.

For my first post, I want to tell Jacob's story...the beautiful, unexpected story of the third child the Lord brought us. After eight years, I had finally surrendered my desire for more children to God....and God wrote His peace into my heart. I had discovered that He is better than ten sons!

But satisfied heart once again began to ache with the longing of a mother who desires more children. I cried out to God. I begged the Lord to do the one thing that I could not do: remove this overwhelming desire for more children from me. I wept and begged. I no longer dared ask for children, I no longer hoped for hope was in the Lord and that He who satisfied my heart with good things would satisfy this longing in me if I just sought Him...that I would seek Him and He would be enough.

As always, God stepped in and did the unexpected. He cracked open a door to adoption. I was afraid to step through because...well, because I did not want more heartache. I just wanted God to take away the heartache. It was November of 2007. We began working with a wonderful adoption agency. God was opening doors. God was moving. We attended an adoption dinner, met with adoptive families, began working with a social worker. Suddenly, the adoption agency put every adoption on hold.

I felt discouraged...I was angry with God for leading us down a road that was seemingly empty. I kept crying out to God, but felt like He was not hearing me. Finally, on Easter of 2008, I voiced my hurt and anger to my family. I told my sisters and my husband that I was sick of crying out to God. I was becoming bitter. That night, I cried myself to sleep, crying out to God to take this desire for children away, to heal my heart, to fill me with Himself...the only One who would truly satisfy me. Little did I know what He was up to.

At 11:30 p.m., the Lord awoke me. I wept as I heard His voice. It wasn't audible, but it was there...speaking to my heart to "arise....take a pregnancy Me."

"But Lord, I don't want another negative...I don't want to see it."

"Trust Me."

So, I did. Three minutes later I was waking up Todd. I couldn't even speak. I couldn't even believe what I was seeing.

"Why are you handing me a pen??" asked his confused, half-asleep voice. "Is this what I think it is?? Oh..Oh...oh..." he exclaimed as tears formed in his eyes.

Late into the night we talked about and prayed for this child. Who he was, how amazed we were that God had begun knitting him together in my womb. Yes, I was not just pregnant, but 4 1/2 months pregnant (who takes a pregnancy test when they can't have children?). And God showed me at the right time.

God's protection: three days before I discovered what God already knew, I went to the pharmacy to have a script filled. They did not have the meds in stock and wouldn't for three days. I later found out that the meds were extremely hazardous to the unborn baby. God is sooo good!

July 31 our little Jake joined the family...his birth was as unexpected as the pregnancy. I went to the doctor for a non-stress test. The doctor discovered that the baby's heart was not beating, Jake was born via emergency c-section at 37 weeks.

Praising God that He does not treat me as my sin deserves but treats me according to His tender mercy and lovingkindness.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


I am living the blooming good life, then it has to end and begin with God. It has to be so focused and bent on Him that nothing else could possibly thwart me.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Strike Three...He's Out

of the Bible quiz that is! Today was Joshua's first ever Bible Quiz Meet. He was so excited...and I, to my shame, was D.R.E.A.D.I.N.G. it. First of all, I have real issues with saying we are doing something for the glory of God when what we are really trying to do is outdo someone else. YIPPEE...I am so godly and now I know more than you...and now I can outdo you. If pride weren't part of it, then the winning team wouldn't say,"Yippee! WE won! And I quizzed out - and how many questions did I answer right? And how many did you miss? And...I only missed.." What a godly way to lead our children to the sin of pride. Todd and I talk and pray about this a lot. Let's teach our children Scripture, and let's teach them to sin at the same time. YUCK! We are praying through this, so if any of you have any godly insight, please feel free to input. I have already heard that "The Word of the Lord never comes back void." Yes, I know. I also know that pride comes before a fall...and ummm...well...we are sending in the kiddos to beat the others up...ummm...isn't that going to lead to...ummm....PRIDE!!

Anyway, I am letting it go...I have to because I just don't get it and Joshua is having FUN! So, even with my ill feelings about it, I was such a nervous mama bird and just kept committing him to the Father. He did great...UMMMM...if you count erroring out two of the three quizzes great...and if you count his team losing every session great. Seriously, though, God let Joshua serve Him today, and that was good. He led the session in prayer, and he answered questions right, he celebrated with the winning team and he did his best. He was not afraid...he was strong and courageous and the Lord his God was with him. And... he was EXCELLENT at jumping off his seat...ahh...too good, obviously, because he got three questions wrong in each of two of the three quizzes and so, "quizzed out" twice. To me, it is kind of like striking out in baseball. Poor baby! Seriously, though, he didn't care. He was so excited to be there and be part of his team.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A Gift from my Father

Don't you love it when a plan comes together?? Well, I do...and I especially love that it is neither a plan of my making nor of my is just God, being God...doing far more, abundantly, exceedingly more, than I could ever ask or imagine. it goes. I so love using Heart of Dakota curriculum. I did not have the money to buy it last year, so I just bought the guide and whatever books I could not get out of the library. I was sure that this year would be different. I have a scholarship, the books will be 50% paid for...etc. The only catch is that I have to pay for the books up front.

Enter the problem: I don't have any money to pay for the books up front. Oh, I could have used a slew of different curricula. My friends all offered theirs to me, but I just knew that God wanted me to use HOD. So, I prayed...and I prayed...and I prayed...and I waited...and I waited...and I waited....for what? Well, certainly I did not know what it was going to look like, but I knew that it was going to be a God moment, and He would intervene. That much I was sure of!

And today, He made it clear to me that He has heard my prayers and has answered! I received a package. ..and in it was...drum roll please....the Creation to Christ Instructor's Guide and The History of the Ancient World! Praise God! He hears me when I cry and He answers. He knows my desire to raise my children to know Him and honor Him...and He has led me to HOD because of all the curricula I have tried or used, it is the one that helps me accomplish this goal! Oh, how amazed I am and how moved to tears. I celebrate the faithfulness of my Father, my Redeemer and my King! Praising God!!

Monday, September 6, 2010

An Amazing Provision

God is so good!! I am often overwhelmed by His loving kindness and goodness to me. I have done NOTHING that would cause me to deserve His loving kindness or His forgiveness...and yet, His love for me is so great that He chooses to make a way through Jesus for me to be forgiven, for my sins to be cleansed. Then, not only does He give me forgiveness, cleansing me, but He also provides for my every need...and generously gives me so much more than I could ever ask or imagine!

One of my devotionals this weekend was about seeing all of our circumstances through that truth. Whether difficult things are happening or wonderful things, we can be assured that His intentions toward us are loving, good and kind. My job is to not let my circumstances dictate my understanding of God, but to let the Truth about who God is interpret my circumstances, constantly looking for evidence of God's is there! His Word is TRUE regardless of my circumstances.

And, here is one example of His goodness in the midst of difficult financial situations.
We had a great "work" weekend. And, being Labor Day, we had an extra day together, celebrating and enjoying our family. Saturday we drove an hour to pick up an INCREDIBLE swing set that someone chose to bless us with (God in action!!). Then, zipped on home and Todd and Joshua began "shop class"...a two day adventure in assembling this massive wooden structure. Finally, this afternoon, the boys enjoyed it together. Josh likes to climb up on top of the monkey bars and sit...just like his mama used to do when she was a young girl (am I really old now??). Jacob uses the sandbox under the wooden deck as a house. He invites us in and shows us around with pride. The boys are just too cute! And...we just praise God for His abundant provision of this swing set. It is so much more than we could have imagined! At a time when we can not afford to do the smallest thing for our boys, God is busy doing BIG things for them. He is building their faith and ours in ways that we could not even begin to imagine if we could just go out and buy everything on our own.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

School News

Well, our first and second week of school are behind us. I, as always, am exhausted. Joshua is THRILLED with CHOICE...our Friday co-op. He gets to take Logos: A Study of Latin Roots, Spanish, a writing class (IEW), leadership, music and choir. He is such a "social butterfly" that he thrives there. I have the privilege of returning to my roots and teaching Spanish. I have been out of the classroom since Joshua was born, but it is always good to use God's gifts for His glory.

Our weeks have been filled with Heart of Dakota's Hearts for Him Through Time: Creation to Christ - I am just using bits and pieces until God provides the funds to purchase all of it. Actually, He has provided the funds through a scholarship (Northwest Ohio Scholarship Fund), we just don't have the money to pay up front yet - they reimburse. We will...God will provide it. Anway, We LOVE HOD. It is exactly what I have been looking for in a curriculum. The focus from the beginning of our day to the end is God. We get to read great books and discuss them in comparison and contrast to God's Word. We are studying history and science from a biblical perspective. Oh, I am so excited to find a curriculum that so wonderfully fits our family!

I am eventually going to begin the preschool program, Little Hands to Heaven, with Jacob. He is only 2, but he likes to sit in on our painting projects and our read alouds...well, sometimes. He also likes to be read to. Last week he began recognizing some letters and actually said "Squirrel" and "Spider"...YIPPEE!! For those of you who don't know, he is a late bloomer when it comes to speech. He has not been talking, but he understands everything perfectly. Oh, and he went to co-op with us on Friday. He had quite the exciting day and even attended one class. I think it was the Playdoh class (ahmm - can you actually call that a class??). Unnaturally, when I went to get him he threw a fit and cried - it is usually when I leave him he cries. Obviously, he really enjoyed it and did not want to leave. At two, Jake really likes to be with other kiddos. It is so fun to watch him blossom!!

Looking forward to another great week focusing on our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! And, prayerfully, ordering the rest of my books.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Unexpected Gifts

Friday, August 6th, God gave Joshua an unexpected gift. Ever since our cat Smokey died last October, Josh has wanted another cat. We have visited the local animal shelter, prayed and come to the conclusion that we could not afford a cat - the $100 fee was just too much right now. We already have a 4 year old black lab/golden retriever who doesn't see the vet often enough. So, on Thursday, the dog decided she wanted to see the vet...she tangled with a squirrel...pretty funny that a HORSE of a dog would need to see the vet after fighting with a squirrel...but...she is not a hunter. After the vet checked her out the next day, he walked us out to the reception area. As I was paying the bill, the vet casually asked, "So, would you like to buy a cat?"

Josh excitedly said, "How much?"

The vet smilingly answered, "A good home, lots of hugs, some food and fresh litter."

And, thus, Boots joined our family. He is what we recognize as an unexpected gift to our son for his eleventh birthday. God gave Josh something we could not! God cares more than we do. He hears the prayers of a child and He answers in ways we don't expect. Better still, we now get twenty percent off of our veterinary care for Boots!

I explained to my dear son how his dad and I had been praying about getting him a cat for his birthday, but did not know where the money would come from. Joshua immediately knew it was a gift from God. We praised God all the way home and were delighted to discover that Boots' personality is a perfect fit for our family. He is not one of those aloof cats that hides, but is a great balance between playful and cuddly. And, blessing of blessings, he is first and foremost attached to Joshua. God is so good! I praise Him for His faithfulness and the way He perfectly acts in our lives to build our faith and the faith of our children.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Isn't He Amazing?

God is so amazing!  I don't say that lightly.  I say that with the knowledge of His Word and the many experiences He has given me to prove it.  Boots is one of those things...his story to follow!