So this morning when I finally rolled out of bed at 7:00 – an hour later than I planned but it was a late night. Sitting down at my table with the candles flickering, I felt compelled to read from Isaiah again. Flipped open to Isaiah 40:28 – 31. “God never grows weak or weary, He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless, trusting in Him will give new strength.” Jesus spoke words very similar to Isaiah in Matthew 11:28 – 30. “Come to me all who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. I AM humble and gentle at heart.”
Since today is January 22, I read from Psalm 22. “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” This cry for help culminates in David declaring that “even future generations will head about the wonder of the Lord and His rightenous acts will be told to those not yet born.” Psalm 23 follows and reassures the psalmist of the previous chapter that “The Lord is our sphepherd and we have all that we need.” Jesus spoke the first lines of those psalms at his death. All those in the area who heard him would have known those two son
I love seeing that golden thread woven through thousands of years showing that suffering can lead us to trust in God. These words were spoken by Isaiah, David, Jesus and now flowing through me, then through my children, and someday through their children. These words of praise and trust are an inheritance, a treasure. This rich history reminds us to Trust in The One who made this universe or time and space. Relax into “Tenderness”.
Working on the 31-day challenge and here is the progress:
1. Becoming emotionally healthy, holding love and tenderness in balance with boundaries. Meeting with Dr. Brock this Friday. On a day-to-day basis, I’m recognizing my anger and the need to let some things go. Trying to live a life of “nice little box with a pretty little bow on top” isn’t serving me well. It’s actually an idol. Instead of worshiping Jesus I can end up worshiping peace and calm and flip out when life is not feeling tidied up.
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. These are amazing books. There are also YouTube videos with Dr. Cloud speaking about boundaries. Got a little side tracked – I also picked up reading “Persuasion” by Jane Austin but I also wanted to add some fiction into my life. Reading only non-fiction can make me way too cerebral and not connect to imagination and whimsey.
3. Staying on target with spending plans in time and money. Surprisingly, this area of my life is actually the easiest part of the challenge this month. Maybe because it’s something quite tangible that can give me a sense of control. When I’m stressed or sad I retreat to cleaning and organizing. So keeping a budget and working plans feels comforting to me right now.
Well it’s about time to start breakfast and get this day going. I hope your intentions are helping to lighten your load from heavy distractions and misplaced focus. It’s already the 22nd and it feels good to see progress in 2020!
Whoever pursues righteousness and unfailing love will find life, righteousness and honor.
Today is January 21 so I was reading in Proverbs 21. Verse 21 spoke loudly to me so I guess today is the day of 21!
I woke up at 6 a.m., prayer and journaled in the dark of the morning, inspired by candles and hot tea and now some soaking music is awakening the house.
So let’s jump into my three top priorities for this 31-day challenge:
1. Becoming emotionally healthy, holding love and tenderness in balance with boundaries. I’m so thankful this year’s word is “Tenderness”. My usual method of dealing with hard things in life was to create a hard outer shell. Well now I’m being reminded to stay tender and soft. Trust God with my heart and emotions. By the way, made another appointment with my counselor. Good things happen in counseling. I have some new things to cast off and pray through.
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. Again, these books come at an amazing time. When difficult situations come up with other people’s demands of me I was living out of fear of losing love, fear of someone’s anger, fear of loneliness, fear of not being accepted. That is not love. Love is being honest and setting healthy boundaries. Love is also trusting in the only One who brings true Freedom and that is in Christ. Anyone who expects me to keep them happy will be sadly disappointed (and vice versa). And that has happened many times. It used to rip me to shreds and make me think that I was not enough, bad, unworthy. But I’m learning that is putting expectations in the wrong place. I’ve allowed myself to hide for too long. I can actually be honest and fully present and don’t need to fear being abandoned. Because I never will be abandoned. You will never be abandoned. God is love and He is with us.
3. Staying on target with spending plans in time and money. I’ve been recording our expenses each night which actually feels amazing. When I’m tempted with lazy or procrastinating feelings I just recognize it and tell it “No” and go do it! What a relief. As for grocery shopping, it’s been very busy and eratic around here with unexpected visits and holidays. I do have a menu and stop at the store to grab only what is needed for those meals. But I’ve yet to make one big haul for the week. But at least we have a plan and I’m sticking with it. Not having to think about the plan is half the battle. I think I’ll need to go Wednesday night for a thorough grocery visit because tonight the family will be at a basketball game and I’m at CPC.
So there we go! Into the third week of January and actually sticking to some rhythms and habits that I really want to take root this year. Hope you’re January is off to a good start. It’s never too late to start. You can start right now! What habits are you planting?
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.
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?
I’ve been reviewing 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, etc., and notice a significantly concerning trend. As mentioned many times in prior posts, my twitch is to look for solutions, purchase books and curriculum, and buy into other people’s view of what homeschooling ideal is the “best”. After many years it appears I’ve taken by eyes off my children and focused them on following Facebook and Instagram feeds. So late last year I completely deleted Instagram and Facebook. What a relief! I feel I can breath again and my children have my attention.
Now that the firestorm of voices trying to sell me an idea or ideal is turned off I have time to calmly walk through our house and see the huge piles of books and papers I’ve accumulated. Extravagant hours and money have been spent to try to become all the things the voices said I and my children should be. It appears I was trying to use osmosis to learn because we have not actually read most of the books. Instead of taking these years to walk our own unique journey I stopped at a fork at the road and dug a deep trench filled with a varied and deep library that is not relevant to our family. My children stay very busy and curious studying a few select things which gives them time and energy to be curious and discover their own talents.
So as a journaling lover, I’ve decided to put a few rails in the road to help me to stay focused on God and my children instead of the materials. One way I plan to train myself to not twitch into purchases is to go through a real planning and implementation exercise. With the Christmas break I have time to reflect and create. Super fun! So I thought I’d share some images of my journals. This system is birthed out the desire to have some stretching and strengthening in crafting my personal intentions (I like that word so much better than “goals”) while also being able to use my personality and creativity to track and implement my intentions.
This simple and creatively inspiring journaling process will be helpful in keeping my intentions. Deeply rooted into the Cultivate What Matters yearly journal and the open-ended Daybooks are the expectations that flexibility and changes will need to be occur. I can make changes along the way but all the while checking in with my heart and seeing where the Lord is leading us.
For God is working in you, giving you the desire and power to do what pleases Him. (AMEN!)