Happy International Blog Day!

Did you know it was International Blog Day? I didn't even know there was such a day until I looked at the calendar. Once I saw what day it was, I had to come post something. It would be wrong not to. Wouldn't it?

School began today for the high schoolers. As usual, the first day made us look forward to the rest of the year with great expectancy. It has to get better, right? Yes, it was one of those days. It was also the first "real" day of my healthy eating. The past four days have been conditioning. I'm not sure that I planned the timing very well. The first school day and the first day of diet on the same day? What was I thinking? Not about school and diet at the same time. That's for sure.

All in all the healthy eating is going very well. How could it go any other way? There are four young people watching my every move. "Are you supposed to have that? Is that on your diet? MOM!!! You can't eat that!" . Realizing that they have my best interest at heart, I'm doing my best to take their loving "help" in stride by reminding myself that they do this because they care. There may be a part of me way down deep that just wishes they would leave me alone. As I said it's way down deep and I refuse to give it voice. Instead I'm focusing on being thankful that I have been blessed with such wonderful children who care enough to notice I'm on a diet. Not only do they notice, they are extremely sweet about helping in any way they can. They want a healthy mama.

I am such a blessed woman. As I listen to the pat-pat-pat of little feet running through the house, my mouth can't help but smile. That little sweetie is covering the windows with his cute little handprints, and I'm still smiling. There was a time when I wouldn't have been smiling as a little one made a mess, a time when I would have said "oh no!" and worked furiously to clean the windows until they sparkled. I'm so glad that time is gone. I'm so thankful that God has changed my heart and given me the ability to relax and enjoy the blessings He bestows.

Most likely, I'm more sensitive to this blessing today than other days. Why today? Because today, my very first baby girl started her senior year of high school, my dear, sweet Not of This World. No mother anywhere has ever been blessed with as sweet and good of a girl as my Not of This World. This dear girl has been through it all with me. When I say "all", I mean "all". She is the little one who endured her mother's obsession with perfection. She is the little one's whose hands I would have taken off the windows and taught to "not touch". Oh, I enjoyed that little girl and I would have kissed her little hands when I taught her not to mess the windows, but I ought to have enjoyed her more and cleaned less. Possessing a servant's heart as well as the gifts of teaching and administration, she has cared for our family in her special way day after day.

As much as my girl's help and assistance bless me, there is something greater still. She is my friend. We grew up together she and I. Being not much more than a girl myself at 20 years old when she joined our family, this child has been with me through everything, the early years of marriage, two children being flown to larger NICU units after birth, hormonal changes and the moods they create, moving six times, new houses, no house, motels, new churches, new people, homeschooling off and on, building a house, enduring the unbearable, loss of loved ones, new babies, she's been there through it all faithfully working and cheering me on. When her Papa worked out of town during the week and was only home on weekends, she was my faithful partner and sidekick.

We've had a lot of adventures this one and I. Some of them neither one of us wish to repeat. Others leave us shaking our heads in disbelief as we can't believe we did this or that crazy thing. The winner in the "what were we thinking?" category would have to be the Fourth of July that we wanted to celebrate in a big way and also surprise the other children. Not of This World would have been somewhere around nine. There she and I were after dark the night of the third trying to put up a three room tent ourselves by lantern light! The tent was taller than either one of us, but we did it. We didn't give up, not my oldest and I. Our greatest "what a woman" moment though was when we disposed of the bullsnake that had gotten into the house during construction---all by ourselves. We had our "girlie" moment of hopping around wondering "what do we do?", but in the end, we were "what a women" and the snake? Well, he didn't have such a good day.

Not of This World is much wiser than I even thought about being at her age. She is funnier, smarter, more kind, and better than me in every way. I'm so glad. That's how it ought to be. Most importantly, she is a mighty young woman of God. She doesn't just profess a faith in God. She walks it out on a daily basis. That blesses this mama's heart more than anything ever could. What a comfort it also is to know that my other sweet girls have a Godly, mature example to look to and learn from. Is she perfect? Oh no. She is human and possesses her own, individual quirks as we all do. Knowing this, I still want to be just like her when I grow up.


As you grow up and go on your own chosen way
As you travel God's journey of love each day
May you never forget that He cares for you dear
That He chose you and bought you so you could draw near
To His unending love and His ever present grace
Until that blessed day will come when you see His loving face

Be strong my sweet girl, don't give up, never quit
Hold tight to Jesus, He's sailing your ship
Hold tight to Jesus, you know He'll never let you go
Just hold tight to Jesus, the way He will show
When the way is unclear and the skies they are dark,
He'll carry you through the most difficult part

So hold tight to Jesus, His ways strive to keep
And rest in His love for He's given His peace
Yes, hold tight to Jesus on the paths that are new
For the road might be long and the friends could be few
Whether sunshine or rain, in loss or in gain
Just hold tight to Jesus, it's for you that He came


Preparing My Heart

School days are fast approaching. For many they have already begun. As a homeschooling mother, school preparation involves a myriad of details. When all the menus are planned, the lessons are readied, and schedules have been fine tuned, will the preparation really be complete? Will I have prepared my heart? Meals can be prepared and frozen. Folders can be labeled. Books can neatly line the shelves. However, if I have failed to prepare my heart, the most important work remains undone. In order to shepherd the hearts of my children as they learn, my heart must be free from the distractions of emotional clutter, scrubbed of the bondages of sin, and filled with the riches of God's Word.
Just as a homemaker spends time caring for the physical needs of her family, I must spend even more time preparing to meet their inner needs. It is only during intimate moments of worship this can be accomplished. Investing of my time in prayer for the school year ahead is also a necessity. How can the purpose of God for school be revealed if I haven't had any conversations with Him? Such preparation isn't only for the homeschooling mother. This is a need of us all no matter what our position in life. As the beginning of school goes on around us, and the memories of new shoes and bookbags fill our minds, let us also remember to prepare our hearts so that as Philippians 1:9-11 AMP says, "...that your love may abound yet more and more and extend to its fullest development in knowledge and all keen insight [that your love may display itself in greater depth of acquaintance and more comprehensive discernment], so that you may surely learn to sense what is vital, and approve and prize what is excellent and of real value [recognizing the highest and the best, and distinguishing the moral differences], and that you may be untainted and pure and unerring and blameless [so that with hearts sincere and certain and unsullied, you may approach] the day of Christ [not stumbling nor causing others to stumble]. May you abound in and be filled with the fruits of righteousness (of right standing with God and right doing) which come through Jesus Christ (the Anointed One), to the honor and praise of God [that His glory may be both manifested and recognized]."