Possession

7 08 2014

Possession is nine tenths of the law.
We have all heard this at one time or another pertaining to various objects or things we own, especially in disputes over them. How does this apply to our children though? Sitting here in car pool line for VBS , I just can’t let go of something my dear friend Lori said in an earlier conversation.

“Nobody has the right to be around your children. You decide who has the privilege. You are the gate keeper to that access.”

I never took that honor seriously until I started homeschooling. Who we associate with, who we spend time with, sends a silent but unequivocal heavy message to our children.

Heavenly Father commands us to love our neighbor. Jesus asks Peter three separate times if Peter loves Him. Each successive time Peter confirms His love for Jesus, He commands him to tend to His flock. ” Feed My Lambs”, ” Shepard My Sheep”, and “Feed my sheep” (Tyler 2010) Jesus expects us to love one another. Heavenly Father expects us to accept people where they are at too. Ponder those words for a moment. How do you model loving your neighbor to your children? What type of boundaries do you set for loving them? What do those boundaries look like?

I am noticing a disturbing trend over the years. Parents do not seem to be modeling any boundaries for there children. There seems to be a Laissez-Faire attitude towards parenting. Children don’t just pick things up, they need guidance and nurturing.

Our neighborhood has provided many opportunities to love our neighbors with boundaries. Homeschooling placed this at the forefront of our discussions many nights at the dinner table. We live In a lower middle class area, with high crime. Break ins occur frequently. Theft of Christmas and Halloween decorations occur yearly! Neighbors do not take care of their homes like they should and this just encourages those with bad intentions even more.

Access to playing with our children for some of my neighbors is strictly monitored. Some are no longer permitted access any more either. It has to be this way, as Heavenly Father placed it on my heart. Sexual predators are everywhere. Many parents here don’t give a thought about knowing the neighborhood children at all. Many parents do not take the time to even introduce themselves to other parents either. I am not that parent.

Over the past few years, several of my closest friends have dealt with some sort of sexual abuse in their neighborhood or home.
The last 24 hours, I have been on my knees praying for a sweet friend and her daughter. Her daughter refuses talk about what happened to her. All the signs are there. She had been sexually abused somewhere in her short life. Her anger runs deep. She hides her suffering quite well.

This has to be acknowledge and nurtured…..No matter how painful, because any type of abuse, especially sexual is generational. Generational. It will repeat itself. Parenting mindfully is a lot of work. Memories of my own deep dark secret crept up during this time. I never told anyone about my sexual abuse. I shoved it down and hid it. Unlike so many children, I walked away and did not allow it to define me. A neighbor, someone trusted by my parents, inappropriately touched me. These incidents, coupled with a recent one involving a neighborhood child and my daughter reset all our family boundaries.

A little girl in our neighborhood inappropriately touched our daughter. Thankfully I walked in on it. After a long conversation with her mother, my gut screamed denial on the all ready over worked and over burdened neighbor. But my first concern is Darbylynne. Not pleasing her mother or saving her child. Cold hearted as this sounds, I will not allow this happen to her.

Sexual abuse scars the soul. Those scars heal very, very slowly. No longer do I trust people so freely. I have no problem accepting people where the are at, but they will not have access to my children until I know they are safe to be around. We will meet the parents of our neighborhood children, or we will not play with them. Getting to know a bit about them is paramount before my kids are allowed in their home, or even having their kids in ours. I used to feel sorry for those less fortunate than myself and go overboard in my classroom and in my neighborhood to help others. I would sacrifice to help others, I still help when am able but I will not sacrifice my self or my children. There are healthy ways to help others.

It is not a right to be in our lives though. It is a privilege.

I urge you to step outside your four walls and be an active participant in your neighborhood. Your children need you. They need to see you care about their friends. They need you to model how to love your neighbors with healthy boundaries.

Blessing,
M

Zan Tyler, Tools for Cultivating Your Child’s Potential (Anderson, IN: Apologia Press, 2010), 45

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Mindfully spending time…

21 07 2014

image

 

Recently our family ticker has focused on the theme of mindful parenting. For myself, it started a year ago with Heavenly Fathers insistence I become more mindful of who and what I spend my time on. For those of you who are unaware, homeschooling is not all about eating bons-bons throughout the day.  It can be a logistical nightmare if you do not learn how to effectively juggle.  You learn, and I might add very quickly, to juggle housework, schooling, spouse time, and the ever important personal  time to prohibit crazy mom syndrome from appearing,  all while juggling activities for  each childs’ individual needs.  It is not an easy feat.  Through this process, I became extremely  mindful about what we did as a family and as a school.   These lessons came crashing down pretty hard on my hubby all at once when Larkin needed him the other night.

Homeschooling is still new to him as he was on his 4th deployment when we experienced our first year. He missed so many things. During this past week off work, our son Larkin, who is shown in the above picture, broke out into another rash.  So often I submit my tired body to the cause of motherhood and whenever nurturing is needed, I jump in head first. Natural instincts kick in during times of stress. This time was different. My son requested his father’s presence until the medicine kicked in for the hives. He wanted Jeff to sleep with him and snuggle with him. This was new territory for both of us.

My hubby and I were never ones for co-sleeping with our children. I changed when we had Darbylynne.  It went into over drive when Jeff deployed.   I needed her with me because I missed him immensely. She was still small and I was lonely.  Additionally, the kids and I started weekly slumber parties.  Sometimes we would read or play games. Sometimes we would invent stories and often times we would pray together.   Now we are constantly asked if they can sleep with us. We even take turns snuggling with them and sleeping with them  in our bed or theirs.

After Jeff and Larkin’s boys night,  my hubby realized  how much the boys needed him. He felt it in his heart.  Keep in mind, I have been praying for this realization for Jeff for two years. I have told him repeatedly how much they need him.  He never felt it until now. It never really sunk in how much they loved him and looked up to him until Larkin expressed a need to be with him.  Over the last few days and series of conversations, this realization has evolved into the idea that what we give our children and what they need are two very different things. Sound familiar?

Three years ago we were paying for the best local private school in the area. I was volunteering and doing all the right things for our children; things that we perceived they needed in order to be successful in this world. The one thing we were not doing though, was spending quality time with them. Rushing from activity to activity was keeping us busy, and we were not mindful of what they really needed, which was our time.  By our actions we were telling our children that the things we do were more important than time we spent with them. Homeschooling forced us to be more mindful of whom we associated with; it forced us to examine what morals we wanted installed in their character. It forced us to reexamine every aspect of our parenting. Character become one of two focal points in our homeschooling education program; mindfulness of Heavenly Father was the other.

We are asked to spend time with Heavenly Father daily and weekly in prayer. We are asked to cultivate a relationship with him. Relationships take effort and time.  Doing things for our children is not the same as spending time with them.  It is in spending time with them, we learn about their personalities and we are able to guide them through their lives. Children need guidance from their parents. They need to be shown how to be Christian men and women in a fallen world and that takes effort and mindfulness on the parents part.

So many parents do the right things and forget to spend time. Society suffers because of this. Prison population is on the rise. Gang membership is on the rise. Teen pregnancy is on the rise as well.   So many parents do not have balance within their own lives to even notice the children they have given birth too. They are too worried about paying the bills and doing their job to even realize the gems they have right in front of them. They leave it to the schools, the neighborhood and the church to raise their children. Trickle down economics does not equate with raising children.

I am not boasting that our family way is the best way to accomplish mindful parenting and I certainly not saying that our way is the correct way. But what I want to challenge you to consider  are you spending enough down time outside TV, play dates, schoolwork, doctors appointments, activities and life in general with your children?  My husband had a great father, but he has no memories of spending quality time with him. He has no memories of sharing intimate thoughts or emotions with him either. He was expected to understand what manhood is without intimate guidance from his father, as was I when it came to motherhood.

I do not want this for my children. I don’t want to wake up one day and realize that I do not know them intimately, know their quirks, their fears or even what makes them laugh. Heavenly Father expects us to be transparent in our relationship with him as well as intimate too. You can’t be intimate with your children if you do not spend time with them, just like you can’t be intimate with Heavenly Father if you do not make time for Him either.

I really close friend of mine is about to lose  her father in law. In talking  with her yesterday and sharing her story with my hubby, all three of us came to some pretty deep conclusions. Our hearts ache for this situation.  This  man, who will be leaving  this world, knew  he fell short with his children. He was given the gift of more time with a  dilapidating disease.  He did nothing with it though. He never moved into a more intimate relationship with either of his sons.  So as his sons go to see him off, he leaves this world knowing he failed them and this causes baggage. Baggage that could potentially keep him from a beautiful life with Heavenly Father; his soul is in pain when it should be a beautiful time to rejoice. My soul grieves for all the loved ones involved here. I am not sure about you, but when I go see my Heavenly Father I would prefer to not leave behind any unfinished business.

My prayer for you today is you become more mindful of your time and who you are spending it with. I pray you find balance in your own life not only as a parent but also with your spouse.  I pray you are more mindful with how you spend time with your children. Lastly,  I pray they become the focus of your life after Heavenly Father.

Be at peace,

~m

 





For whom do I speak?

16 07 2014

Matthew 10:20

For it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.

I have messed things up. I have hurt people’s feelings. I have spoken with my heart though and relationships are messy. I have loved others as I am called to, even when it makes no sense for the outside looking in. I have made mistakes. I am a sinner.

Living transparently with His guidance is tough. It is not cut out for the faint hearted. But nothing ever worth its salt is ever easy and if we rely on Him He will get us through it. He says so in Psalms 91.

Unfortunately, too many of us hide behind our fears. Heavenly Father wants us to speak and act boldly. He encourages us to follow Him even when it makes no sense, He expects us to act even when we are overwhelmed and not at the top of our game. Sometimes people and their issues happen to get in the way, because relationships are messy!

I have been afraid to blog because of my fear of what others may think. This was a very difficult hurdle for me to cross over, let alone to admit too. To you my dear reader, I owe you an apology. To my Heavenly Father, I ask for forgiveness from straying from the path He placed before . I had a fearful heart. I was afraid to execute. I ask for His and your grace.

You see this past few years,I gave myself so completely and thoroughly to what my Heavenly Father called me to do.. I forgot that an attack from the other side was emmnant; attacked I was too.

One of the things that hinders my journey is my lack of knowledge on how to have healthy relationships. The mistakes I made caught up with during my time of focus hurt my relationships after. My other hindrance, which is low self esteem, was hijacked by the other side on top of that. So I kept hearing accusations whenever I returned to our current church. I kept feeling shame. Other peoples actions just magnified this situation. The other side used this to keep my relationship with Heavenly Father in a state of fear. I was unable to focus on my task at hand because of the noise I was hearing at church. The other side used my unhealthy relationships to make me feel even more unloved, unimportant and unwelcome at a place I used to love and cherish. For a child of narcissistic parents, this state of mind created another level of heartache. Whenever things fail in my life, I go to place where it is always my fault. This is how I was trained. There was never forgiveness from either my parents. It was all about them.

My relationships at church suffered also because of others humanness. The blockades to heavenly father continued to grow. It was just a matter of time before I stopped attending. Many other things played a part in this decision too, but coming out of it, I realize how beautiful my current friendship are now. They are transparent friendships, which led to spiritual growth and also emotional growth. Authenticity leads to transparency and many people today can’t handle authentic, transparent Godly relationships. Stepping away from some unhealthy ones, lead me to develop healthy relationships with boundaries for the very first time!

I have been told what we do in our family is not christian, it is Wiccan. I have been told I am too passionate. I have been told I am too pushy. I have been told that I may not be at the right church by one of our own pastors as well. People I once respected hurt my heart more than I could adequately describe. But I see now, this was not just about me, but also others.

For someone with my family history , these things ate at the very essence of my soul. My shame for the woman I became at this point was doubled while my husband was gone. But I pressed on.

My Native American heritage is mostly unknown to me. But what I do know and practice could be nothing further from anything dark. I know my heart for The Lord is beautiful and radiates. I am His to command. For the first time ever, albeit small, I understand what it like to be discriminated against for my heritage.

Two years was the length of time it took to come to terms with this situation.
Two years but worth every minute.

What I learned from all of this is walk strongly and boldly for Heavenly Father. Transparency, authenticity are the fruits of the spirit we are to share with one another no matter what the rest of the world does. There will be times when you are misunderstood. There will be people who will judge you. Despite your best efforts to be a follower of the great white spirit someone will always judge you. It will hurt. It may tear your soul up for a time too. Don’t give up though. He will be with you and He will love you despite your fears. Remember too that those in church with you are sinners as well. Otherwise they would not be there.

My prayer for you is walk, speak and act boldly every day for Him!

Blessings,
m





Raising a Modern Day Knight, By Robert Lewis

29 05 2014

My husband created a contract for our two boys last year when he arrived home from his 4th deployment. The content of this book inspired him to “raise the bar” on character education in our home. One of the things I learned my first year of homeschooling is how important character education is in the development of our children. The mastery of any subject,  which is not limited to math and science, will come. A person’s character will determine their success.  It also determines what type of contributing member they will be in our society. How armed do you wish your children to be?  Each child moves at their own pace both spiritually and academically. But when character issues rear their ugly head,which of course they always do,  they need to be addressed immediately and many times over and over again throughout  the course of their lifetime.

The contract he created reads as follows:

Strength and Honor:
Strength: In mind and Body and Spirit.
~Mind– through school, reading, studying; be a life long learner.
~Body – through exercise, eating healthy, hard work, fun, rest; maintain a healthy balance
~Spirithrough prayer, church, Bible Study, fellowship; seek God always

Honor: God, Others, and Yourself.
~God – Love Him, Respect Him, stay close to Him, let others see His love through you.
~Others- Respect (give it /expect it), be honest, show kindness and mercy, love one another
~Yourself– Be confident, speak and act boldly; be responsible for your actions; hold fast to your integrity

For the next few weeks, I am going to prayerfully discuss each sub topic. Despite my limited knowledge of the Bible, I know we will learn something with each new blog together. I allowing Heavenly Father to work out the details. He does it so much better than I do.  I hope you will join me on this journey. My only question I have for you dear reader is which one should I start with first, Strength or Honor? Thanks for your input.

Blessings,

~m





Another miscarriage.

25 05 2014

It happened again. This time I had the honor of no notice; no warning signs at all. I went right into labor for almost 7 hours Monday night. It continued for the next few days until I had a DNC.

I do not want your pity, nor do I wish any sad looks in my general direction. Because I am afraid of that,  I am actually scared to show my head in church tomorrow. Why? I mean how silly to not want to go to church because I miscarried again. Reason being, with every look of pity, I am reminded of the loss that I experienced. I will see it in other peoples eyes. How do I combat that? With every “I  am so sorry”, I am reminded how much my faith is challenged each time it happens.

I am not angry. I am grateful for the time I had with my little ones. Even at 2 months the body changes. With twins it changes even more. I gained 15 pounds. I tried so hard not buy any maternity clothes. I finally broke down the week before because my bras were actually so tight they were hurting my back. But Heavenly Father has reasons for everything and it was time for them to go home. The last time it felt this bad was when I lost Brendan at 7 months. Heavenly Father may have not stepped in and stopped it but the blessings on the other side were tremendous. It took awhile but we had Darbylynne. I finally had my girl.

Another challenging part to all this is acknowledging my birthday. I am 44 today. We have been trying for 12 years to complete our family. One more. Just one more.This is where our mindset has been for a few years…. But for the first time, I am not sure I want to try any more. I will pray on this, but not yet. I am just too numb to do it right now.

It feels incomplete when we sit at the table. We are one short. Our family is just too small. Maybe it is time to consider adoption….This is the best way to describe why we kept trying.

But I am not sure we will try any more. Plans are in motion for my hubby to get fixed. Prayer is the focal point right now.. at least it should be.. but I just can’t go there yet. I can’t ask for His wisdom right now because my heart aches for the children we have lost since we started.

 

 

 

 

 

 





Something to call your own.

7 03 2014

Balance. 

A Time for Everything

 ECC 3:3

There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens

We often times forget that we as mothers need something to call our own. For the past few months, I have fought having something of my own. Even though I felt Heavenly Father calling me  to get up early and start working out and spend some time with Him I ignored it.  I struggled last year with moving my family into homeschooling. My hubby deployed and from day one it was a battle. Not only with my children, which I expected, but with all the other outside influences that come when my hubby deploys.  Here I was following Heavenly Father’s call to witness to my own children and I was miserable. Not because of that act of homeschooling, but all  the  outside stuff  that worked into our every day lives and kept me from being the best teacher I could be in our school. Never mind a calling to run and spend time with Him.

This past weekend I had the pleasure and honor of participating in the Disney 10K Princess Run. I went with a group of beautiful God-filled women. In addition to that, we spent our family vacation at Disney. This was the 2nd time we went as a family.   Amazing does not quite cover the feelings and emotions associated with this run and our trip. Almost 9,000  men and women participated in this event. Eight thousand participants were women!  Sit and ponder that amount of people!

I honestly did not want to do it. I tried getting into shape, but it was a daily struggle. After a deployment you also have an adjustment period when your spouse comes home. My hubby was amazed at how much our family structure changed with homeschooling. We were closer. We were not watching TV and we were a reading family.  Couple that with my hubby reaffirming his relationship with Heavenly Father and we were two very different people when he arrived home. We are still adjusting and at times we are not doing it well.  But we have Heavenly Father guiding us; this has been our saving grace.

Ever had a time in your life when the act of getting out of bed was a gift?  That was how the last year went; lawsuits, loss of friendships, homeschooling, deployment, the end of my volunteering, the end of my schooling, and a host of other really big issues.. I was exhausted emotionally, physically and spiritually. If there was a problem, I ran into it during my husband’s absence. I was pushed to my limits. I did not know then, I was that strong of a person. But  I needed to be humbled.

Fast forward: a week before the run.

I could not get into regular running. I was only up to 4 miles at a time and spinning 3 times a week. I was freaking out. But the Running Princesses came in strong. They prayed for me. They even supported me during the run! They surrounded me with His love and theirs. So off I was to Disney with my family.

Fast forward :the morning of the run.

The fireworks went off and we started. I was in the last group. The very last group of 9000 people! For the first few minutes it took a lot to navigate the crowd. I eventually stepped off the pavement and just ran on the grass. I had to, if I ever wanted to pass anyone.  I closed  my eyes right as I  started. Silently, I asked for His wings to carry me. Up to this point, I had only trained for 6 weeks. Every time I tried to get further than 4 miles, I felt mentally defeated. Physically, I felt every year of my 43 years when I trained.  I never started running at my weight. I always waited until I was under 200 lbs.

I purchased a new iPod for the run and even created a playlist the night before. But that did not matter. I was not meant to listen to any music this time. I lost my ear buds  in the crowd.  Talk about a bummer! Initially, I was a bit upset by this. But as I took one step in front of the other, I realized I needed to be in the moment. I needed the mindfulness of what I was attempting to accomplish right then and there.  I felt every breath in my chest, and heard the rocks crunch under my feet. The people around me just disappeared.  I was alone in my head. Something that had not happened for 18 months! Immediately I felt a surge of energy . His wings lifted me up. I felt like I was the frog in a game of Frogger and my Heavenly Father was moving me! The energy was invigorating. Just run. Just keep running. Don’t look back and keep focused on the goal at hand–to finish! Finish I did. I cried like a baby. I had an asthma attack. Something that  has not happened in 5 years!

After the run, I started thinking about the whole experience.  We live in a fallen world. It is the property of Heavenly Father; perverted in some ways by the other side. So many people do not have a relationship with Heavenly Father. They do not know the good news at all. My heart weeps at this thought. Some symbolism started to appear in relation to my run.  The cement course, which was hard, tough and grueling, reminded me so much of our lives without Heavenly Father. I never did it well when I was without Him. Ever. Don’t get me wrong, we have some humdinger of moments with Him on our journey too, but cement road is toughest surface and the worst surface to run on. Runners prefer to avoid it.  Life is so much harder without Heavenly Father too.  We just can’t do it as well as He would.   We try to and usually fail miserably. I looked for a softer surface ; just like I chose to walk my journey on this earth with Heavenly Father. I needed to save my feet from blisters. I all ready had two. So I ran on the grass. The grass , which is a softer surface compared to that of cement, symbolized my journey with Heavenly Father. Sure I had to avoid the potholes. There were quite a few just like He promised we would shave some challenging times. I mean seriously how many of His disciples died for their beliefs?  But the surface gave some leeway as I ran. Just like He guides us when we allow Him too.

Steeping off the cement path, symbolized running with Heavenly Father. When we are called to walk with Him, we often face trials without support from this earthly realm.  I still had to navigate; I still had to choose which path to move forward.  But I was not alone. He was with me. There were even  times He took over. Towards the end of the run, I could only think about the focus on my pain. My body hurt and I was exhausted. He led my feet one stride at a  time.  Like in life, sometimes you just can’t avoid tougher surfaces.  Some times we have to muddle through it.  We have things we must navigate whether they are good or bad.

Galatians 6:9  Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

The run in its entirety symbolized a mental and physical challenge. It was the culmination of a year and half worth of struggles for myself and my family.  I was not about to give up. After all, I had Heavenly Fathers back! But so often in the crux of great strife we forget about balance. We forget about honoring Him and also honoring ourselves. Our bodies our temples. They are the only bodies we have in this life. We should take care of them.   I love being a mother. I love being a teacher, but what I missed most of all is doing something that is just for myself.

So often we forget that we have desires and hopes too. It is easy to get caught up and even lost in motherhood. It is a consuming job. Whether you work or stay at home, you need to learn to balance the many hats stored in your closet. I was not balancing my needs very well. I was not balancing my time with Heavenly Father either.  This run exemplified the importance of my needs in the equation of success for my family and my walk with Heavenly Father. How are you balancing your needs? How you honoring His Glory in your walk?

~m





What’s the U.N.’s “Global Education First Initiative” and “Academic Impact”–and what do they have to do with Common Core?

11 01 2014

What a great big picture of common core and the un

COMMON CORE

This post is long. But I cannot “byte” these pieces apart for easier consumption. They have to be seen as a whole.

Thanks for reading –and sharing. Unpaid parents and teachers like me (and there are many of us) —have to report, because the so-called “real” reporters are failing to give us real reports with actual evidence and fact-checkable links about what is going on in education.

Today I’m reporting that the Common Core developers (in corporate and governmental partnerships) and the United Nations’ global education developers (also in corporate and governmental partnerships) are working hand in hand to deliberately take away classical education. Yep. They call it “whole system revolution.”

Actual classic literature and classic math takes up too much time that the globalists desire to use to teach environmental “education.” (Why? It sounds so nutty.)

The reason is both sneaky and evil. The one-world-government believers…

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