Thank You for Your love for me, my children, my family, my friends, my community, my nation, my world, my universe. And really all these are Yours. I thank You that we are Yours.
Thank You for your gentle and humble heart. Thank You for being our roaring lion.
Thank You for knowing what I will ask for even before the words cross my mind and my lips.
Today I feel compelled, as on many days, to pray for my children. I pray that you will bring people and opportunities into their lives that will help them to grow in stature and in favor with You and with people. I praise You for creating them each so uniquely. I pray for books, travel, mentors, videos, movies, music, food, sleep, habits to manifest and grow in their lives so they can live fully alive and invest in Your work on this planet. I pray Holy Spirit that you have full access to their hearts and minds. I pray that they will be filled with Your wonder and love.
I trust You with their lives because as much as I think I know them, they are still indeed a mystery to me.
Thank You that my youngest child spontaneously sang, “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands” when this virus started to sweep the world.
Thank You for the times my children smile at me or hug me. I trust You with the times when it feels like my children don’t like me or each other.
I trust and thank You that it is Your will that our hearts are turned toward You. Thank You for holding all of life’s victories and struggles in Your hands.
Thank You for working out all things for our good and Your glory.
Thank You for this sweet kittycat who is sleeping in the bed behind me and snoring.
Thank You that I hear my husband working upstairs in his business. I thank you that he has a computer and phone available as tools to be a great support to his company. Let his talents and gifting to be used to grow his business and support his team.
Thank you for the beautiful artists and composers who have birthed reflections of Your live-giving power into the world.
If I could go back in time and leave myself the following points on how to enjoy my children and this home education journey, I think I could have saved myself many tears, moments of frustration, outbursts of anger, and sleepless nights. But knowing my nature, I supposed I had to walk the rocky path to unearth these universal truths. I’m sharing these points in hopes that others can benefit from my experience and failures. My first child, born 16 years ago, experienced mad/anxious/image-driven mom. My last born had a few glimpses of this mom, but mostly she has experienced a mom who lives in peace – because I now choose peace. So now I’m going to take a moment to talk to my 30-some-year-old self. Please listen in as I touch on the what, why, and how of our home education transformation.
1. Think about your educational philosophy. If you believe that man is a living soul created in the image of God, then that will naturally spill over into how you intereact with your children and what materials you bring into your home.
To think more deeply and contemplate your educational philosophy, read Charlotte Mason’s writings from her books “Home Education” and “Philosophy of Education”. At the core of her writings is the universal truth that Children are Born Persons and Education is the Science of Relations.
2. Ask yourself why you care so much about the success of this educational experience. How much glory do you image taking away when this experiment culminates on graduation day? Your children are not an extension of you nor are they going to be a copy of you. Work to understand them and see their unique gifts. Can you keep in mind that these children are not your possessions to craft into idols? Who do you choose to worship? Your dreams? Your kingdom? Or your Lord?
3. Character training is fundamental. Actually, your character training is fundamental. It is through example that they learn. And to teach children to love what is good, true, and beautiful is to point them to Christ and His truth and grace. So again, first point your heart to Christ. Spend time sitting with Him each morning. Pray. Trust in His provision. Trust He is also leading your children’s hearts.
4. Your love and unconditional acceptance of your children will open heart doors. Harsh and judgmental attitudes from you will slam those heart doors shut. Read the book “Christy” and see how this young teacher reached the heart of Mountie O’Teale.
“Perhaps what she needed most was of all was to be sure that she was a real person, that someone loved her for herself….with every bit of encouragement Mountie received, each time I could tell her that she was doing better, she would try even harder. Teacher cared about her. Teacher loved her.” (Christy, by Catherine Marshall, page 154.)
5. Christ came to give us life and life more abundantly. Look at your fruit and make sure you’re planting seeds of trust, kindness, and diligence. He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.
I wonder if I was able to time travel back about 13 years and make those changes upfront, how much sweeter would my children’s memories could be?
Psalm 33:1 Let the godly sing for joy to the Lord; it is fitting for the pure to praise him. 2 Praise the Lord with melodies on the lyre; make music for him on the ten-stringed harp. 3 Sing a new song of praise to him; playskillfully on the harp, and sing with joy. 4 For the word of the Lord holds true, and we can trust everything he does. 5 He loves whatever is just and good; the unfailing love of the Lord fills the earth.
6 The Lord merely spoke, and the heavens were created. He breathed the word, and all the stars were born. 7 He assigned the sea its boundaries and locked the oceans in vast reservoirs. 8 Let the whole world fear the Lord, and let everyone stand in awe of him. 9 For when he spoke, the world began! It appeared at his command.
Have you ever watched a video that shows you the perspective of flying away from earth to the outer reaches of our known universe. Those images leave me in wonder and all my worries melt away. If our Father created all this by speaking, why should I worry. Yet many days I send my throat constricted and my chest feels weighed down. There are some relationships in this life that feel very broken. “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” All through my life I’ve seen His working together. So when I’m feeling like crying or anxiously weighed down by what doesn’t feel “right”, I soak in The Truth of His unfailing Love.
Just a couple days away from this 31-day challenge and I’m thrilled to see some progress.
Becoming emotionally healthy, holding love and tenderness in balance with boundaries. Lizzy and I posted a new vlog on Youtube at Kim Huitt. We talk about working together through our days. We both have desires and expectations of course. It’s challenging when those desires seem to be at odds. I’m so thrilled we can share a bit of our story. There are so many inspiring homeschooling families who are doing incredible work. And the options are so diverse. I’ve noticed that each family has it’s own vision which makes sense. Sarah Janisse Brown shares how her family of 15 home educate using interest-led learning. Cindy Rollins home educated using Charlotte Mason’s ideas with her family of 8 sons and 1 daughter and influenced us with her Morning Time. Durenda Wilson had 8 children she home educated using her unhurried style. I’ve learned so much from each of these families and we are able to implement waht works for our unique family. I’d say the biggest piece in common between us all is the dependence on God for direction and His loving favor.
Reading two books a month and not grazing over 2 and never finishing a book. Still haven’t finished a book. That’s ok. I keep these two before me and dip in when I have a chance.
Staying on target with spending plans in time and money. My personal morning time of prayer/journaling/reading the Word are the anchors to my day. Without this, really none of the other habits matter. Prayer is so powerful. I see people coming to the Lord in droves now to pray and seek Him above all else! So amazing to see the Holy Spirit working so visibly. Keeping up the spending log seems natural now. I’m working on reining in the time by being more intentional. My to-do list is growing! I’ve put some things on the back burner, partly because of my emotions and also partly because of house repairs that recently surfaced. The new dishwasher works extremely well so that is a big win! The kids were getting pretty tired of having to hand wash every dish, pot, cup, and spoon (First World Problems!).
I pray we live in light of the Good News today. We will set our minds on what really matters. Much joy and peace to you.
(Colossians 3:12 – 13) Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. (Colossians 4:16 – 17) After you read this letter, pass it onto the church at Laodicea so they can read it, too. And say to Archippus, “Be sure to carry out the ministry the Lord gave you”.
Being reminded again and again to be tender and forgive. We are reminded who God is, that Christ is in us, and that we have this common language of healing woven throughout our whole history as people on this planet. We all have our unique calling and ministry to carry out. Read the letters, share the messages, set our sights on the realities of heaven where Christ sits at God’s right hand.
As a parent, I can get bombarded with varying and conflicting suggestions on the optimum way to rear children – free range, classical, Charlotte Mason, private, public, co-ops. Each of these styles seem to focus either exclusively on the child or the teacher/author. But ultimately it comes down to each child realizing they are here for a purpose. God has fashioned them with unique gifts and bends. Let us find our reason and purpose in Him and loving others. Let the word of the Lord ring out from us to people everywhere. We are looking forward to the coming of God’s Son from heaven – Jesus, whom God raised from the dead. We can pray for this, press into this, trust God for this for ourselves, our children, and our world.
This desire has urged me onto the step up to the 31-day challenge. I was up at 6:40 which is a bit later than I had planned, which in the past would have derailed me, but I got up and started in on the rhythms of the day. Got dressed. Lit some candles. Prayed and journaled for the first early hour of the day. Tried not to get lost in the vortex of the internet. No perfection needed, just stepping in with tenderness. Focusing on these three areas are hopefully helping me to align my values with my actions:
Becoming emotionally healthy, holding love and tenderness in balance with boundaries. This ties in closely with my second challenge of reading two books. “Boundaries” by Dr. Henry Cloud and “Try Softer” by Aundi Kolber are turning my world upside down. I really had no idea that I was living life so backward for so many years. Being honest with myself and being myself was suppressed because of fear. “But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for it is light that makes everything visible. This is why it is said: “Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” (Eph. 5:13 – 14) I can really say that I’ve suppressed living because of fear of failure or rejection that I’ve felt dead. It’s time to wake up and come alive.
Reading two books a month and not grazing over 2 and never finishing a book. I’m still reading through those books but also slid in “Persuasion” as well to add fiction and delight.
Staying on target with spending plans in time and money. Well, so far so good. I cannot believe it is January 23 and I’m still using the budget and still on target. So many years have passed where I just dropped off doing this about week two because I felt that if I didn’t do it exactly right then I’d failed and so I would quit. Holding onto perfection, hiding away when all things seem to fall apart, expecting too much of myself or others – these are habits that need to go. Starting up new healthy habits is startling. Which reminds me, I need to add “drink 75 oz water a day.”
Wow, this was longer than I expected to go today. It’s already 8:00 a.m. so time to get going on the day. How is your 31-day challenge going? It’s never to late to join in.
Woke up a little late this morning. We had a wonderful time with our homegroup family and didn’t seem to want to leave, and not just because it was so cold outside. Started my morning at 7 a.m. and jumped into prayer/journaling. Almost fully ready for the day and just need to start breakfast and wake up the kids.
So I’ll just jump in today with the new progress:
1. Becoming emotionally healthy, holding love and tenderness in balance with boundaries. Finally called Dr. Brock and have an appointment to meet with him this morning! Whew hew! Today will be a life-school day because we have passport pictures and applications to submit (that trip to England is coming up soon), a counselor to meet, and new running shoes to find for my eldest daughter. She is taller than me now and I think she wears my size shoes!
2. Reading two books a month and not grazing over 20 and never finishing a book. This month the books are “Try Softer” by Aundi Kolber and “Boundaries” by Dr. Henry Cloud. I so appreciate these two books. As a parent I feel so guilty that I’ve done anything to hurt my children but realize I could not be nor was I expected to be perfect. We just keep praying and bringing our little loaves of bread and fish (and make needed appointments with solid biblical counselors).
3. Staying on target with spending plans in time and money. We did meet for morning time and breakfast yesterday morning at 9:30 and had a surprise visit from my Dad. He is in town because the pipes froze and burst in his home (not fun) but it is enjoyable having him in town for a week. Input our spending from yesterday and now it’s time to tighten the belt and use what is in the pantry and fridge. Man that money gets used up quickly! I wonder if next month I’ll withdraw cash for the eating out portion of the budget. That might slow us down in that area.
And as a sign off for today I’ll include a wonderful verse to memorize. This gives me hope for my children who suffer from my parenting fumbles and gives me hope as a child myself.
For the mountains may be removed and the hills may shake,
But My lovingkindness will not be removed from you,
Oh no! Everything I typed for the last 10 minutes vanished! Well, take 2 of day 2. This will make me be brief for sure!
1. Becoming emotionally healthy, holding love and tenderness in balance with boundaries. Going to call Dr. Brock today to set up my appointment. Along those lines I’m still reading the books mentioned below.
2. Reading two books a month and not grazing over 20 and never finishing a book. This month the books are “Try Softer” by Aundi Kolber and “Boundaries” by Dr. Henry Cloud. Several people have mentioned that they are going to be reading “Boundaries” or have just started it. Apparently the book is free on Kindle right now!
3. Staying on target with spending plans in time and money. Last night I updated my spending log with totals for the midway point of the month. Now I have a good idea of what we have to work with for the remaninder of January.
I was up at 6 a.m. for prayer/journaling, started typing this blog at 7 a.m. and am going to get fully dressed and put together before wake up time at 8 a.m. Still need to come up with a menu plan for the rest of the week. I’ve just been using what’s in the pantry and fridge or going to Subway (wink).
As for today’s schedule, we are going to do our Chemistry 101 course video with homeschool friends, need to mail a package, pick up my son’s suit from the tailor, and grab some books from the library for my middle daughter. Since I was up so early and getting things done I think we might be able to get it all done today!
Hope your day is off to an empowering start! These verses spoke to me today. I wonder what encouraged you this morning?
I waited patiently for the Lord; And He inclined to me and heard my cry. He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay, And He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God; Many will see and fear And will trust in the Lord.
Since the beginning of the year I’ve felt nudges to start an accountability journal – a daily journal that I will post to remind myself of The Plan and the documentation of The Action. I’ve been struggling year after year with great intnetions at the beginning of the year followed by the emotional currents of: “I don’t feel like it, I’m too tired, it doesn’t really matter”. Specifically I’m working on:
1. Becoming emotionally healthy, holding love and tenderness in balance with boundaries.
2. Reading two books a month and not grazing over 20 and never finishing a book. This month the books are “Try Softer” by Aundi Kolber and “Boundaries” by Dr. Henry Cloud.
3. Staying on target with spending plans in time and money. We have had a budget for years and I imagine staying in those borders. I also have a lovely schedule of rhythms for the day but have not set down a specific time to start all those lovely rhythms. And I cannot forget to mention how I get side tracked by beautiful distractions and savoring quiet mornings alone.
So I could get all tied up trying to find the perfect format, perfect place, perfect time but that never seemed to work. So I’ll just show up as I am, here, quietly typing away but feeling a sense of “I can do this and you can too!”
In addition, I’d like to give a shout out to two women – both named Cindy – who have taken the time to mentor women across the world. So these two ladies have been obedient to pray, listen to God and trust Him with their ministries. I’m inspired by their faithfulness and joy in the Lord.
Cindy Rushton is championing a Jumpstart 2020 challenge to get women engaged with their missions in life. It’s time to step out, stretch, challenge ourselves to be fully expectant that God will dream impossible dreams for us and lead us into those paths.
Cindy Rollins is mentoring a group of women through her Patreon site and encourages us with her Saturdays with Cindy sessions as well as educational practices based on the Charlotte Mason approach. We are reading through beautiful poetry and books that help to educate the mom’s heart and mind. Cindy Rollins is also leading a group of ladies to an educational retreat in Ambleside, England in April, which miraculously and through the grace of God I will be able to attend. (God answers prayers – especially the ones He places in our hearts before we even made any plans.) My family will also be joining me and we will turn it into a European vacation. Thank you Father!
Now that I’ve procrastinated long enough, this is the part where I start to squirm – stating what I have done in alignment with the plan. (See how I love to plan but the putting into action has become sticky?)
Wake up and pray/journal: 6 a.m. (I woke up at 7 a.m.)
Start breakfast and start morning time with kids: 8:30 a.m. (It’s already 9!)
Keep a daily log of all expenditures: I’ve done this each day this month and only need to add up the columns. I tried doing this online with excel but going to paper is much eaier for me and I don’t liek the idea of putting my financialy into on a budgeting service site.
Menu plan for the week: I still need to do this and will this evening with my husband and kids.
Becoming emotionally healthy: Well this is a lifelong process but I will be calling to set up an appointment with my counselor, Dr. Brock, and will continue to read the two books on my focused list.
Whew! Well that wasn’t too painful. I think I can do this! And you can too. I wonder what you’d like to plan and take action on this month?
Our exceptionally warm and sunny weather gave me ample time to sit on my front porch early every morning to read, journal, grow, and be inspired. We are approaching a different season in which I will need to find encouragement from things other than the sun and leisurely mornings to drink tea and think dreamy thoughts.
So as the new year of schooling begins and plans are underway, there are a few scriptures that come to mind. These ideas fashion the vision for this year. We can take shelter in His words because we know that we cannot survive in the desert of false ideals. In all the advice we come across in the internet about how to homeschool well – we can take to heart what is found in The Word.
GUARD OUR HEARTS
Guard your heart above all else,
for it determines the course of your life.
1 Timothy 1:5 But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.
(In everything let my goal be to live in the Love of God through Christ Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit.)
Matthew 5 5 When Jesus saw the crowds, He went up on the mountain; and after He sat down, His disciples came to Him. 2 He opened His mouth and began to teach them, saying, 3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. 5 “Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth. 6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. 7 “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. 8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. 9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. 10 “Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 “Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. Disciples and the World 13 “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men. 14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; 15 nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.
(These words from Jesus speak to me of complete surrender to the life I am living. I have no need to feel insecure, no need to compare my life to others. We are all unique and living the life that God designed before He spun time and matter into being.His beautiful promises are available to us all. And because of our position we can be filled with His Light and Love.)
Matthew 6 25 “For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? 27 And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? 28 And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, 29 yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! 31 Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ 32 For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
(We are greatly cared for and adored by our Father. He knows all our needs. He is doing His work in ways we cannot see and will do more than we can imagine. We can be confident in the Heart of your Father who tenderly cares for us.)
Hebrews 2 16 We also know that the Son did not come to help angels; he came to help the descendants of Abraham. 17 Therefore, it was necessary for him to be made in every respect like us, his brothers and sisters,[h] so that he could be our merciful and faithful High Priest before God. Then he could offer a sacrifice that would take away the sins of the people. 18 Since he himself has gone through suffering and testing, he is able to help us when we are being tested.
(Amazingly, we are considered the sisters and brothers of Christ. He is able to help us in every aspect of our lives. He suffered and is our understanding High Priest.)
Romans 8:13-15 So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.”16 For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children.
(We are God’s children and our spirits are joined to His.)
2 Peter 1 3 By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence. 4 And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires.
5 In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, 6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, 7 and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone.8 The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
(Because of His kind intention and powerful will, we share in His divine nature and have all we need for living a godly life.)
Proverbs 1:23 Come and listen to my counsel. I’ll share my heart with you and make you wise.
(This tells me that God shares his wisdom with us. He joins are hearts to His.)
I could literally type up all the scripture here because it all speaks or who God is and ultimately who we are in Christ. This journey is His and ours to share. It is amazing how many times little coincidences appear and connections are made when we listen and watch. Spend time looking for the fingerprints of God in this academic school year. Write up the scriptures that resonate with your heart for this coming year. I wonder what splendid stories we will be able to share at the end of the 2019 – 2020 school year?
We are entering into year 10 of our homeschool journey. I wish I could say that we have been forging ahead on a laser-focused path. It seems we homeschool the way I do life – hopping from one idea to another, looking for the next best thing in an attempt to make the work of homeschooling feel more like play. I tend to experiment with one method or another and end the year with a desire to do better the next year.
In years past, my prayers were too small and short-sighted. This year, 2019 – 2020, I pray for Light and the Power of the Holy Spirit to flood our hearts with His Truth so we walk in deep-seeded belief.
” I have come into the world as light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.” John 12:46
Shall I tell you the next best thing I found? Ha! I have to laugh because I’ve done this every summer. I spend three months relaxing in Alaskan summers, foraging for ideas, searching for answers. Then I take that research and turn it into a year of big dreams and visions of reinventing my children and our family. Well – I did learn a lot this summer and I do have big dreams. But instead of trying to find a method that “works” for each of my children I’ve been encouraged to read from wisdom. I do this not to find a guarantee or ensure success in our lives but because I truly do believe The Word contains Truth and Life. The outcome of our lives I trust to Our Father. I’ve not stumbled upon anything new. Just as G. K. Chesterton felt he found a New Thing but stumbled upon something ancient, I’ve found the ancient and feel it’s a New Thing.
So thank you to a woman from Ambleside, England for her life’s work to teach us that “children are born persons” and that “education is a science of relations”. Thank you to all the other sojourners who have taken a similar path and let their Light shine before men, therefore bringing glory to our Father. Thank you to a homeschool mom who mentored other moms this summer and invited us to live more fully alive. Thank you Father for providing surprise funding so my family can take a capstone trip to England this Spring after studying about the Middle Ages, Renaissance, and Reformation. Your fingerprints are everywhere.