August 26, 2016

That last quarter of the year already?

FOR TODAY...

Friday, August 27th, 2016

Outside my window...

Hummingbirds visiting the bird feeder.

I am thankful...

For people I can trust.

I am wearing...

A tan skirt with a pink top and flip flops.

From the kitchen..

Nothing fancy, just our old stand by's:

tacos
eggs and toast
smoothies
chili dogs (nitrate free!)

In our home school...

Cramming in more math before we start a new year.

I am creating...

A new schedule.

This year we will incorporate:
Archery/Shooting 2x a month
Piano lessons weekly

God willing, perhaps:
Robotics
Continuing Violin

I am enjoying...

My neighbors house.
We're keeping an eye on it while they are in Europe.
What a beautiful view of Colvos Passage and Mount Rainier they have. 






Teaching "Bump, Set, Spike" to Noah.
You'd be proud Uncle Glenny!



I am going... 

To return to work next week. 

I am remembering...

How full our Summer was:

Beach days
Museums
Walks
Sleeping in
Math, Math and more Math
Splitting, Loading, Stacking Firewood
Visits with friends
Jubilee week at church
Helping our neighbors with this or that.

I am reading...

Help for the Disquieted Soul, by Judith Gruver
and
Several Reading lists as we compile our Homeschool Schedule

Around the house...

Sunshine and cobwebs

I am hearing...

Silence. It's nice. 

A quote to share...

A man's real belief is that which he lives by. 
What a man believes is the thing he does, not the thing he thinks.
~ George MacDonald

What I am thinking about...

Giving. We don't give much because we see our "stuff" as our provision.
But, as Christians, God is our provider, not our job, our schedule, or our abilities.

Jesus said, "this poor widow has put in more than all those who have given for they gave out of their abundance, but she out of her need, gave all that she had."

In our economy, she gave nothing. In God's economy she gave the most.

Wow.

I'm thinking that being in need is our chance to be the most generous to our Lord.
Ultimately, we do all things as unto Him.

Some of my favorite things...

Laughing

A clear flowing river.

A good sermon to chew on.

A few plans for the month:

Start a new bus route.
A gun class.

A picture thought to share:


Kids admit they will miss their favorite teacher, Mr. Howe, 
even though he taught their most hated subject: math.

August 13, 2016

My friend, Simplicity

Silence is a welcome guest this Saturday afternoon. I spent the morning changing sheets, cooking, cleaning then cooking and cleaning again. All my preparations for teaching Sunday school are completed.

Finally, I enjoy the silence of the afternoon, watching the warm breeze blow the lace curtains, the birds fly from here to there, the cottonwood tree wink at me. My thoughts come out from behind To-Do lists to play. Memories, stories and conversations past invite me to remember.

Money was always tight when my children were young. I sigh with a smile as I look back. Simplicity emerges crowned with gentle beauty and I recall mud pies in the back yard, hours spent painting rocks, a swing hung in the magnolia tree.

The television broke when Noah was a baby; we never replaced it. Every other Saturday we would drive to Port Townsend to go to the beach. The children would play in the sand or enjoy sometimes cold or windy walks on the trails.

Snacks were simple: chips and avocado slices or apples dipped in peanut butter. The long drive meeting the joy of the destination turned any food into a happy picnic. Occasionally, though, we would splurge on clam chowder and hot crab dip. Those were special times. The tea was savored and the children sat nicely knowing it was a privilege to enjoy such luxuries.

Birthdays tested our friendship because of my longing to celebrate full force. Tears blurred my vision of the few small bills and pile of coins spread before me. Just as Jealousy and Self-Pity were about to comfort, my beautiful friend, Simplicity, would blow in laughing joyfully at my riches.

A balloon tied to a chair and breakfast turned into a smiley face became tradition. Each member of the family took a quarter of the chalk board to create a personal message while the birthday child was loaded down with homemade cards rife with secret messages, riddles, mazes, or puzzles. Small presents wrapped and decorated with whatever could be found were oohed and aahed over.

I don’t know how she did it, but Simplicity had her way for years. With beaming smiles, a whole roll of lifesavers, a page of stickers, a simple toy became treasures to cherish.

Life is not so easy now. Simplicity is too quiet in these noisy days. Facebook, Pinterest, and “keeping up with the Jones's” clamor for attention and promise much more. Entertainment, Fashion, Camps, Classes, and Bucket-lists, so flashy and loud consume our time.

But, sometimes, twelve-year old Noah comes home content after a solitary walk in the morning air. Sometimes, the evening is spent in gentle hours reading aloud George MacDonald or Mark Twain. Sometimes, Grandpa visits and we sing southern gospel favorites or press Sophia to play hymns on her violin well into the night. The doors are locked, the lights turned off, and as we say, “Goodnight,” we add, “What a great time!”

I see Simplicity beaming with beauty, having gotten her way again. I’m glad for her friendship, a true gift from God.





August 8, 2016

Glimpses X


Target practice


backyard "glamping"



Windy beach days


River play


Elk Sightings


"There is a river that won't run dry, It flows from the Most High."


Ferry to the city



Museum of Flight



First attempt at homemade Pad Thai


Playing Horseshoes.


Visits from Grandpa Don


Don't Go!!


Beautiful artwork.


Blackberry picking


Top of Mt. Walker

July 11, 2016

No blue sky this July

FOR TODAY...

Seven eleven sixteen

Outside my window...

The bare bones of a tee pee

I am thankful...

For the freedom to home school.

My children are not force-fed ideas inconsistent with our family values.
Today, at least, we can still choose our own beliefs. We can still live by them.
Perhaps not for long...

I am wearing...

antique earrings

From the kitchen..

Cookies by Naomi

We just finished the "never-ending" tri-tip.
Meal one: thick slices served with garlic mashed potatoes
Meal two: carne asada tacos
Meal three: steak quesadillas.

and there is still leftovers!!

Next time we make a tri-tip, you better come. We'll need help eating it.

In our home school...

Too much math for anyone, but it can't be avoided.

Naomi is sketching portraits.
Sophia is composing a medley of our favorite "goodnight" songs on her violin.
Noah's penmanship is improving.

I am creating...

New exercise habits...again.

I'm in charge of this fat and these muscles...Right?
So, "C'mon body! We're going for a walk, a fast one with hills!
Quit your moaning and stop making all those creaking noises."

I am enjoying...

An open schedule.
Free to help, or go, work, or play.

I am going... 

to host our Third Penny Auction.
I hope the weather cooperates.


I am remembering...

Nothing in my life is a surprise to God.
He knew it all before me. He will, He does get me through and

MORE than that...

He will work it all out for my good.

I am reading...

"Ourselves" by Charlotte Mason.
This book requires a lot of digesting.
I've read bits of it before, but now I'm eating it up...slowly.


Around the house...

Lit candles...grey days even in July.

I am hearing...

Noah's pretend battle noises as he plays with his Lego creations.

A quote to share...

"A Dual Self--The whole question of self-management and self-perception implies a dual self. There is a self who reverences and a self who is reverenced, a self who knows and a self who is known, a self who controls and a self who is controlled. This, of a dual self, is perhaps our most intimate and our least-acknowledged consciousness." Charlotte Mason, Ourselves

Some of my favorite things...

Essential oils for pain
Bergamot scented candles
Imagination
Dreamless sleep
Hydrangeas

A few plans for the month:

Celebrate Noah's 12th birthday
A Penny Auction at my house
Boating, Yard Sales, Visits,
Curriculum planning for next year.

Some picture thoughts to share:







A final project from the girl's Script Class.

June 23, 2016

Another June Tune

FOR TODAY...

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Outside my window...

Grey and wet.
Last night it rained heavily. Today has been a constant mist.

I am thankful...

For the same old things.
Is that OK?
Boring?

Are your children alive and well? Is your home a safe and comfortable place?
A happy place? Do you have food to eat and nice clothes to wear? How about electricity and running water? Yes? Then, you are like me! Very Rich!

But what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and yet lose his soul?

I am thankful that if all of this was gone, It is well with my soul.

I am wearing...

A black skirt with an aqua colored tank and black cardigan.

Ladies, will you join me in putting away the hoodies and jeans?
When you wear a modest dress you make our environment lovely.

A dress seems to say, "Today is important." And it is isn't it? It's the only one we have.

From the kitchen..

Maybe you should tell me what's in YOUR kitchen. It would be more interesting.
I seem to be in a meal rut.

It's either fish tacos or eggs on toast with avocado.

In our home school...

We are discussing two things: Personality and Creation

Number 1:

What does it mean "He who loses his life shall save it and he who saves his life shall lose it?"
Does the Christian own his personality?

Number 2:

God gave us His creation in order to create.
God created words, math, science, nature, color, music.
We are created to create, so, what are we creating?

I am creating...

That is the question!

I don't know the answer. I limit my thoughts to something artistic, which would be NOTHING.
But, then, I think of the environment of my home,
the training of my children,
the investment into my relationships.

Perhaps daily living is creating, creating a life for myself and those around me.

WOW. If I go there, where living is creating, I become accountable for so much more than surviving.

I am enjoying...

A summer off.

No bus driving until September.

I am going... 

for a misty walk with the kids.

I am remembering...

I need to clean all the vents in my house. They should be removed and washed with soap and water.

I am reading...

Parables of Nature by Mrs. Alfred Gatty.

I enjoy children's books, do you?

Around the house...

Pens, ink pots, paper.

Monday is, sadly, our last calligraphy/lettering class.

I am hearing...

The kids discuss their joint money.

Foot ferry and ice cream cones? Save up for a kayak? Bowling?

Now I am hearing, "MmmOOOOOOmmm!"

Uh oh. I don't want to get involved.

A quote to share...

"Rejoice in the Lord, always, and again, I say, Rejoice!"

We rejoice in the Lord, not our circumstances.
We rejoice always, not when it is convenient.

Some of my favorite things...

Ocean breezes,
Red poppies,
Children,
Tea and cookies.

A few plans for the month:

Nothing, Nada, Zip, Zilch.

Yesterday, I had many plans, but things have changed.
Again, I find myself living in the moment, this day only, wondering, waiting,
yet living still, doing the next thing.

I plan on cleaning my vents. Come over and help me...I won't splash you, maybe.

Some picture thoughts to share:


The city of Westport.






Looking up to see...

This! Inside the lighthouse at Westport, WA

June 11, 2016

Say you, say me

Another driver was in need, this time a broken down bus. I could hear the concern in the dispatcher's voice as she tried to come up with a solution. Quickly one, two, three drivers piped in on the radio offering help to transport kids or to bring a new bus.

I smiled. My heart was warmed at the quick and kind responses. Don't you love to see people reach out to help? Even better, don't you love it when you are the helper or helped? Helping is such a reflection of LOVE, I thought, "Surely, there is help in heaven." But, how could it be? Helping assumes there is a need. Could there be need in heaven? We know there will be no pain, no tears, but I'm thinking there will always be need. It is part of God's great design. Everywhere we look in creation one thing needs another for its survival, even for its pleasure.

Look, especially, at how He created our bodies with so many parts, or members as they used to be called, making up one body.

The eye is not sad; it does not suffer because it cannot hear. Nor, does the ear cry or complain because it cannot see. What about the heart or the liver? We rarely think about them, in fact we don't even see them, yet the body is dead without them.

Oh, if only we saw our need for each other! If only we LIVED our need for each other! After all, that is what God says we are.

For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. 1 Cor 12:12

It won't be lived out without humility. We are too prideful. I am too prideful, but I don't want to be. It takes effort to walk humbly, pride is such a close and deceitful "friend."

Humility requires us to recognize our limitations. "What limitations?" We immediately cry out that there is nothing we can't do. We quote scripture about it, we make lists, we pat each other on the back and encourage one another to "Go for it!" Pride also manifests in hiding. We hide our need.

Imagine if the eye was determined to hear. Imagine him snubbing the ear as unnecessary pushing himself to hear as well as to see. How foolish! Yet, isn't that how we live? We deny ourselves pleasure and capability in our effort to do or be more than was intended.

We reject one another, missing out on relationships, adamant that we don't need each other. Sure, we survive for a while. We enjoy our independence. A blind man can get along fine, so does a deaf man. But what of the most necessary members? The unsightly ones? The difficult ones? You know, the one who is always telling the truth, filtering lies as if they were toxins, like some lumpy, ugly, hidden...liver.

Eventually, the body dies without its necessary members. Who decides necessity? God does. It is obedience to His will, His plan for the body that moves us to accept and help one another.

I need you. You need me.

May 11, 2016

An Excerpt

“…bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ…” 2 Corinthians 10:5

Perspective is not Absolute Truth. It’s not even reality at times. If our perspective of reality is true we thank God because He is Truth. It is grace, love, the Holy Spirit that allows our perspective to line up with the truth.

Our perspective of Reality comes from our thoughts and feelings which we have dominion over. Just because a thought or feeling exists does not make it worthy of keeping. They could be lies.

We are responsible for our thoughts and feelings. Take fear for instance. Fear is rooted in our perspective—our thoughts and feelings—which often come from tangible experience. For instance, “Something” happened in the past, thus I am afraid it may happen again. Or, “Something” may happen, it is possible, thus I am afraid it may happen in the future.

We’re convinced our perspective is true and justified based on our past experience and future possibilities. However, God says emphatically, “Fear Not.” Fear is a sin. Anything against the will of God is sin. How can that be? Our fear is justified. “A” just happened; it can happen again. “B” may happen because anything is possible.

To obey God we have to allow that our perspective might need to be given up.

Do we love our perspective more than God? Usually.

Is fear a perspective or a result of perspective?

It is a result. Fear is the sin not the perspective. Our thoughts and emotions are not sin. To avoid sin we cannot live based on our perspective, but rather on TRUTH, on REALITY. Sometimes we cannot sense reality. We cannot see, hear, taste, touch or smell it. We must walk by faith.

But there is a fight.

Our greatest enemy keeping us from walking by faith is often Self-Defense.

Self-Defense convinces us that he loves us and has our best interest at heart. He will protect, defend and reveal to lift us up. But Self-Defense does not belong to the Christian. Jesus Christ is our Protector, Defender and Healer. He alone is Truth and reveals all. He alone is the one who sets us free.

Self-Defense promotes ourselves, justifies our actions, more deceptive even, he justifies our thoughts and feelings so that we keep them, so that we count them worthy to keep and then believe them.
Self-Defense makes us feel good and so we yield. We follow his lead. Whatever we yield to we become a slave to.

Are we slaves to Self-Defense? Consider these questions:

Are we willing to let go of our perspectives and trust God? Are we willing to allow God to defend us? Are we willing to be justified by Jesus, by His good works and not ours?

“Seek first the kingdom of God and His Righteousness.” This is what Jesus teaches.

A follower of Jesus Christ or a slave to Self-Defense? What are you seeking? God’s kingdom or your own? God’s good works or your own?

Self-Defense is a liar. His purpose is to make you believe that you know the way, the truth, and the life apart from Jesus. Depending on your bent, he may lead you to believe You  yourself are the way to truth and life. This is a popular path of belief, but it is not Christian.

To live the Christian life you may have to let go of your self perception, the thoughts you have of yourself. You may have to let go of all the “Yeah, but’s” or the excuses that begin with “Well, he did this…” or “She did that.” Difficult as it sounds, you may have to turn from feelings of fear and sadness to obey God. Obey Him by giving thanks and rejoicing, perhaps not in your circumstances, but in Him.
This is His will for you. His will is thanksgiving and joy, not based on your circumstances, but on WHO He is and on your Salvation in Him.

What weighs on you, dear one? A conflict? An unfulfilled desire? An offense? Needs? What are you afraid of? Are you willing to trust God?

It may be that you are to forgive and give grace to have the burden of conflict lifted.
It may be that you never receive your desire. Can you, no, will you be thankful and rejoice without it?

Is what you desire more valuable to you than God?

Are you in need? What if God doesn’t provide? What if his answer to your need is that you don’t need it. Will you allow that His grace is sufficient for you?

Afraid? Are you surrounded by evil? Will you trust God to deliver you from evil? What if that deliverance means giving up dependence? The source of evil in your life might be your friends, your abuser, your drug of choice.

Freedom is available. Trust God. He loves you. He is worthy of your trust no matter your perspective. 

One day every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. All our perspectives will evaporate in the heat of the one Reality.

taken from "Invisible Life" © all rights reserved 2016
Please do not reprint without permission.

Romans 6:16 “Know ye not that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey, whether of sin unto death or of obedience unto righteouseness?”

I Thess 5:18 “In everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”