Wow. I really did not think my kids were paying attention.Oh and be assured adults while are you are posting stop bullying MY kids are paying attention. I guess you could not miss the noise yesterday. We had a lot of school to do and my WiFi was down. I was glad. I did not want to hear it. I’m used to scrutiny. I became a Christian at the age of 14. Nobody applauded me. My aunts and uncles were not there saying we are so glad you have hope in your life. It did not matter to them that for the first time ever my heart smiled. My brother actually was the first to hear about Christ. He was on a ship in the Marine Corps, floating outside of Turkey around the first Iraq war. He sent a letter home telling us of his decision to trust in Christ as his Savior. Later that month a lady my sister worked with came over to drop something off. She was one of “those” born-again Christians. We showed her the letter and asked questions. I decided that day in the driveway. I wanted it. I wanted this Christ. I went in my house and knelt down in that 572 sq ft house in Sandy Hook, CT and asked Jesus to forgive me of my sin and be my Savior. I was finally free. I honestly felt so imprisoned in despair. My heart smiled. Since then I have tried to be the best Christian I can be. Man I have failed at times. So yesterday I thought about what he said. Why? Why can gays , Muslims, blacks, minorities, disabled, and everyone else have a voice but Christians are hated? Please don’t think it is about the right of an individual. If that were so it would not have been directed at Jesus. Then I heard a collective voice on Twitter and Facebook after my WiFi came back on.. Maybe you could hear it too? ” Crucify Him! Crucify Him! It just keeps getting louder the throng is pushing forward. Their mouth is an angry viper spewing its venom. They hate Him. They hate what he stands for. He gave up His own life for them, yet all they can do is yell Crucify Him! This week in the quiet of my heart I know the answer. ” If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you” (John 15:18) That doesn’t mean I go out of my way to be unlikable. That’s what bothered my son. I’ve made meals, attended funerals, watched kids, sent packages, cards, prayed you name it. He said. “So where is everyone when you are in pain? When you had back surgery or Sierra was having seizures? I see what people say mom. If you were drinking alcohol with them or participated in the things they did they would help you” For my son that bothers him. Sometimes he just wants to see the evidence of the “doing”. I have been doing for a while. I guess I know the drill. Can you picture it though? Where were all the people Jesus healed when they nailed those nails into his feet and hands? We are not talking little tiny nails. Lets think tent spikes. Let’s think he had been whipped and beaten so now he is bloody and you cannot tell he is a man( is visage is marred). This is not the anemic wimp portrayed in most pictures. This is a strong carpenter who has been tortured. So where are the scores of people He helped? Then they jerk the cross into the ground. Imagine his back jostling on that cross after the torture. That is the thanks He gets. Am I any better than my Lord? Do I deserve a better reward here? Have I even done half the good as Him? I just go back to the day He set me free. Yes, I said free. The word REDEEM.REDEE’M, v.t. [L. redimo; red, re, and emo, to obtain or purchase.]
1. To purchase back; to ransom; to liberate or rescue from captivity or bondage, or from any obligation or liability to suffer or to be forfeited, by paying an equivalent; as, to redeem prisoners or captured goods; to redeem a pledge.
That is from this huge dictionary I have by Noah Webster 1828. Can you imagine me on the auction block. My Redeemer comes. He sets me free and “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.(John 8:36)
So they can hate me and yell and their voices can get louder and louder. My life was changed. He set me free. I am Redeemed.
Let the children come unto me and forbid them not. Can’t you see Him? Jesus is sitting there with the children. It’s the iconic picture we all love. We picture people singing Jesus loves the little children. Let’s fast forward to 2013. Lets paint the picture today would bring. Here’s what I see.
Excuse me children are you running? No, running! You could fall down and get hurt. Children, Children! Jesus doesn’t want all this racket be quiet!. Skipping is Not using your walking feet! Now walk over to Jesus and sit quietly with your hands in your lap. No talking. If my son Daniel was there they’d say Daniel stop asking questions.(Because you know what would happen if he asked a question?) Oh and wait please don’t touch Jesus without hand sanitizer . Yucky germs.
Everywhere I go I see it. Children are not allowed to be children. Now I am not talking about brats. I am talking about even when we say we want children to be individual. We don’t let them. They must fit our pattern of behavior. Our rules for life. Older folks cannot stand having these loud children around and I mean if they run, whoa buddy watch out. Please dont get mud on the floor(that would be Joel)
I saw this study on smiling. It said adults smile 7 times a day( one fake) and children 400 times a day.
They know how to really smile.Let’s take all the laughter and joy out of them and say no fun allowed, sorry.
What’s left? Staying inside looking out the window watching life pass you by? How about a nation with an obesity problem in kids? I drive by house after house. Where are the kids after school? Inside playing video games or on a device. What happened to exploring, to adventures in the woods? If you live in the city, how about a park? My memories of my time spent in the woods behind my house in Sandy Hook are like old friends. I remember the story lines I created. It was my escape from the real world. It was my Narnia.
Have we so forgotten what makes a child a child that we stifle them at every turn? I know kids get out of hand. I know they do outrageous things. I did them.I have four of them. I lived by Lake Zoar. In the winter the stream running down the mountainside there froze. It was like heaven for me. On this one part the road drain came out and made a frozen waterfall you could go behind. I waited all year to see this. My imagination soared. What makes a person an individual is allowing them to express this wonderful imagination. We live in such a fearful society today we don’t allow this to flourish.
So what happens when a child asks a question and you don’t know the answer? What if the child challenges your belief system? What will happen. Is it about the child or the control ? My husband told me in his public school they stopped calling on him. They would say anyone but Dan. Why? People are afraid of true individuals. We want everyone to agree politically , religiously, socially. We want to make them by rules and legislation to force them into a mold. It starts at child hood. It starts in our homes, YES in our churches. It won’t matter if you say Let the children come, we still want them coming just like us. Quiet, orderly, perfectly the opposite of an individual. If you always stifle what is in a child you will miss great moments like yesterday. Daniel came to me. He had one of those moments. He’s a reader. He has read books on every topic imaginable. I finally got him the complete Chronicles of Narnia series. I found it at a Goodwill. Every single book! So he reread the first 6 a few times then savored book 7 a while. He said “Mom I wish every book ended like this,”( me too)
You do not yet look so happy as I mean you to be,’ said Aslan.
Lucy said, ‘We’re do afraid of being sent away, Aslan. And you have sent us back into our own world so often.’
‘No fear of that,’ said Aslan. ‘Have you not guessed?’
Their hearts leaped and a wild hope rose within them.
‘There was a real railway accident,’ said Aslan softly. ‘Your father and mother and all of you are—as you used to call it in the Shadowlands—dead. The term is over: the holidays have begun. The dream is ended: this is the morning.’
And as He spoke He no longer looked to them like a lion; but the things that began to happen after that were so great and beautiful that I cannot write them. And for us this is the end of all the stories, and we can most truly say that they all lived happily ever after. But for them it was only the beginning of the real story. All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at least they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on for ever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.
Now that seems to contradict my post but it doesn’t. We spent the weekend building an awesome snow fort and of course the worms. Yet here is Daniel not focusing on the latest trend. He wanted to savor the ending of a book. He told me he could read it over and over. Individual. So today maybe when you see a sign at a playground that says no running, or when a child asks the that question that makes you feel dumb( everyday for me:) . Let them be kids, happy smiling 400 times a day kids. WHOM do you think created them to be that way?
I read in my devotional this weekend. She says in so many words, Can I only find true wonder in exotic places. Do I have to travel the world to marvel? Can joy and wonder be found in the mundane? In the laughter of a child. In the twinkle of a star. What if the wonder is captured right here where we live, in these moments we experience. What if I could find that wonder even in a worm?This weekend I caught up on something I have been trying to get to forever. I usually am running around for everyone else. Saturday I finally said that’s it we are changing my worm Bin!!Yep, I am a Worm Farmer:o) I read a book a while back called Organic Farming. In it he described all about vericomposting. Vermicomposting is the process of using red worms to convert organic waste into rich humus(worm poop and just great soil for the garden or plants). I honestly thought they were dead. I have been to workshops on them. I was already supposed to have changed the bin. So here’s what I do. I put strips of Newspaper, hay, organic soil in a bin( the lid should have tiny holes drilled, not big enough for flies), lightly moist.I ordered red wrigglers. Not the same as earthworms. These guys are skinny and long. They eat your garbage. The books and workshops I went to made me feel overwhelmed. This is so easy. Put your worms in. Start adding compost. Leafy greens, egg shells( they say rinsed but I can’t say all mine were), coffee( no problem here), no hot spicy peppers. I added pumpkins but hard-shelled things didn’t do well..No snacks, No junk food. They won’t eat it! No citrus! They breathe through their skin so you really don’t want to imagine that horrific experience. Worms are both male and female. But they still need two to mate. They kind of curl together when mating.The eggs look like little white balls. You’ll probably think they are maggots or something. It’s exciting. Now at the bottom of my worm bin my awesome husband put a funnel with a screen . There is a tube coming off this funnel going into a container. I save this”worm tea”. It is concentrated black gold. A little fact about the castings or worm poop, or humus. The university of Georgia had one study that found plants fertilized with worm castings saw a 126-percent higher growth rate than those treated with chemical fertilizers!!! I did not need proof of a study . I use this on everything. My diluted worm tea goes on my garden. Forget Monsanto’s miracle grow. Sorry folks. Chemicals are not miracles! This was an awesome science project for my whole family. I love my worms. My worms were not dead, in fact there are so many we are doing two more bins!!
The kids got in the poop . Had a blast. So you are probably wondering if it smells? Nope.If you put the food under the top layer of hay or paper they eat it, no smell. You are doing it right! The worms eat half their weight in food. They say two pounds of worms eat one pound of waste. All I know is I put it in and they eat it!! Probably more than you wanted to know but I love it. Just think of all that garbage everywhere and these angels sent by A Creator to get rid of it for us. Amazing creatures . Sit back and wonder.
So yesterday I was able to get a live history lesson. I had some friends over who homeschool in our church. Oh and FYI before you say” Hey come over for lunch” check your daughter’s room. Oh. Man. Talk about freaking out. Oh, wait, we homeschooling/ home educating moms NEVER do that. We are always very calm, speaking in low tones. Anyway after I maintained some order and my friends arrived the beautiful sound of kids filling my small farm-house. Snow is STILL falling here (thank you Lake Erie) so the kids were in and out, mud everywhere , snow everywhere. It was great. I mean that. One mom had to run and get another daughter to soccer. So I chatted with my friend who stayed behind. I was telling her about where I grew up. So I told her I grew up in Sandy Hook , CT. She gasped. Yes I know some of you are now going, Wow. Before the tragedy though you would have said where is that? I grew up in a small house on 41 Farview Dr. It’s still there. My neighbor Janice still lives there. We were not wealthy and most of the people where we lived in Sandy Hook were not wealthy. I will give my thoughts on that whole thing another day, today I want you to focus on History. I told my friend that the kids in Newtown were not nice about the fact that we were poor. They threw coins at my sister and said “alms for the poor”. Yes, in picturesque Newtown. My friend began to tell me what I had been dying to know about this great country we live in. She said this:” Yes we were very poor in Czech republic too. But then so was everyone. That is the way the Communists wanted it. They wanted everyone equal. Oh, but the leaders were not poor. The thing is there was no way to rise above it.” I said” So you had no hope of anything better?” She said “No we could never make it better.” She said it bothered some people that they could not travel where they wanted or go out at night but her parents did not care because they never had the money to so why be mad. I looked this up on MyCzechRepublic.com
The Communist Party seized complete power after the coup d’etat on February 25, 1948. This event marked the start of the Communist totalitarian regime that lasted until the Velvet Revolution of 1989. A second wave of nationalization took place and 95% of all privately owned companies became the property of the state. There were a number of political trials and executions in the following several years. The economy went steadily down under the socialist regime. Basic human rights were suppressed.
This is what I wanted to know . To teach my kids living history. When they take away our freedoms and stomp on my Jesus it means more than left verse right. This is living history. Our founders knew what they were doing. The Czech Republic is not under communism any longer. She said it changed so much. I did some studying on it and found the History fascinating. They gave communism the boot. Yet here in America we want everyone to be equal. We think no one should be rich. I don’t know about you but I look at the bleak picture my friend painted for me and shutter. Do we so soon forget?
So I watch the snow fall. I talked with God this morning. I know he is the Only King whose Anthem shall never fade but this living history spoke to me. Our founders knew what worked. The Constitution is an Awesome document written by intelligent men. They saw tyranny. They knew the power of unlimited Government. They knew what happens to people when they can’t rise above their circumstance. They start a Revolution, and end up with a Republic.( If we can keep it.) Thank you Ben Franklin for the reminder.
Okay I wasn’t sure if this quite home educating but it is for me. I am reading a devotional by Ann Voskamp, called One thousand gifts. I started off reading on her site online. Probably a couple of months ago. My sister showed me. Then I forgot about it and My daughters piano teacher posted and I was like, “oh yeah.” So I bought her devotional, So it would be in my hands. Tuesday I read something so profound . I shared it Grandma Barker. I have been thinking on this one paragraph all week. It resonates with me because of Joel(with his dyslexia) and something in my past I have struggled with. I Listen to others home educating stories and think, I want that to be MY story. Here’s what she writes;
No, God? No, God, we won’t take what You give. No, God Your plans are a gutted, bleeding mess, and I didn’t sign up for this and You really thought I’d go for this? No,God, this is ugly and this is a mess and can’t You get anything right and just haul all this pain out of here and I’ll take it from here,thanks. And God? Thanks for Nothing.
Isn’t this how we feel. Can you not hear yourself in this anguish of spirit? No thanks God. I’ll take plan B. I mean I don’t think it gets more raw than that .If I stopped there it would be blasphemy . So the part I want to continue with is here:
I open a Bible, and His plans, startling,lie there barefaced. It’s hard to believe it, when I read it, and I have to come back to it many times, feel long across those words, make sure they are real. His love letter forever silences any doubts. He means to rename us-to return us to our true names, our true selves. He means to heal our soul holes.
Can you just picture it? The Creator reaching in and like a careful surgeon, repairing those soul holes. Oh ,how I know I need that. I picture a Father comforting His child. I see my husband holding my tired children.
So that’s a glimpse of why I get up early. To know this God who wants to heal our soul holes. Grandma Barker and I both agreed what a startling revelation that was. As you home educate today I hope it is for you too.
Yesterday Sierra had piano practice. I showed up there to too many cars for my liking. I was rushing. I was in pain. I was not sociable. I brought Cheyenne with me and left the boys home to clean and finish school.( at least school got finished) So I come in and her piano teacher tells me her mom has invited some ladies over. I look in. I know them. I smile. I start my inner language. Should I join them? So I walk over” Hi I’m going to invade you guys. ” One of the ladies I read her post every day on Facebook. Her husband was injured in a car accident because of a young lady who had been drinking and using prescription meds. He now has a traumatic brain injury. Her world has changed. Melanie has been in the paper and during the court hearing she forgave this young lady. Wow! What a legacy. She has left such a pattern behind for her children.The legacy of forgiveness. So these ladies were chatting, we had coffee. Melanie is really positive and full of life. I know people with less problems who post daily about their colds. They need to take lessons. We got talking about homeschooling because she is no longer able to. And no I do not think she is the spawn of satan. None of us know what life may bring us. God has her where she is. I can’t live her life for her and make her choices. She is a wonderful women who is going to make the best choices for her kids. That’s all each of us do. I left there later thinking how Melanie encouraged me. I’m so discouraged about my back sometimes, but she lifted me up.
I got to thinking today. What is my legacy? How will my kids remember me? Will Joel remember that yesterday we learned about a volcano in Mexico? Will Sierra care that I got her interested in music? Does it matter to Daniel that I steer him into science? Is Cheyenne going to only remember that I love Cheetahs? Is there a greater Legacy I can leave besides my home educating? Is that the most important?
That’s what I discovered. I want my Legacy to be more about pointing others to Him. Education is important. illiterate uneducated kids DO NOT represent an Intelligent Creator, but there is a loving God in all that education that I want to make sure my kids are not missing. Oh Happy Spring! Hope you are enjoying your sun.
“Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. Accordingly a genius is often merely a talented person who has done all of his or her homework.”Thomas Edison
This past weekend Northwest PA had its Maple taste and tour. It always amazes us the fascinating people who live right around the corner from us, and we never even knew it! I was talking to my kids yesterday and like most kids they have there favorite actors and people in life they admire. Frankly Hollywood doesn’t impress me much. I actually ran into a Hollywood star at age 16( I mean literally) he asked me if I’d like his autograph. I asked him what for? It did not go well for his inflated ego. I began to think what really merits success. Is one successful because they have money? Is that all we raise these home educated kids for. Now you have attained knowledge, go to college to become rich. You’re life is complete.( You have to say this with a sophisticated voice to get a good feel for it:O) Sad picture. How about knowledge itself. Do we push our kids for that. Make them stay up late studying, striving for perfection so they will become the perfect student, the doctor whatever we deem this success looks like? I have seen these lifeless, tired kids. No thanks.
At this particular maple tour was a man maybe in his 30’s who had a love affair with steam. He knew all about it. He could tell you Psi’s and all different kinds of things.( which I can’t) He had his entire Maple system run from this old steam tractor, in a cabin by the creek. He was not wealthy. By the worlds definition he was not successful. He told us he had been interested in steam his whole life. He loved it. We walked up the hill into his garage. His mom and fiance were in their selling syrup and maple cheese cake( which was a success. I tried it) His mom said” Isn’t he so smart, He did that all himself.” His fiancée was smiling from ear to ear. They didn’t have to convince me. I already thought he was amazing. My husband and I got into a lengthy discussion on what this world honors. The media show all of the “beautiful” people. Yet this man by pure ingenuity and hard work is doing something no one else is. He is the Thomas Edison’s and Ben Franklin’s of our time. The men people won’t care about until they are no more. The value of hard work has been replaced for a handout. Children are disgusted by people who get dirty. The skill of a laborer is not seen as “amazing”.
My husbands grandmother teases us a lot because we constantly make friends with older people. There is something to be said from a generation of people who lived and worked. You should meet my husbands Papa, who also has Dyslexia. He has taught my husband everything he knows. My husband thinks he is the most amazing man in the world.We just wish he would believe it too. We learn from them. We listen. These folks truly are AMAZING. This is what success is. Finding what you love and working hard at it. I want my kids to find God’s will for their lives. Not what this world tells them is supposed to be His will. If Success means riches, their name in the spot light, so be it. If success means a cabin by the creek then that is just as amazing as the spot light. Who would have thought Thomas Edison , A dyslexic kid who said this” My teachers say I’m addled . . . my father thought I was stupid, and I almost decided I must be a dunce.” would be so Successful!
Today I rise from the wounds of a friend. When I started this blog. It was to prevent my mind from becoming stagnant. I actually write all the time. The words never make it out of my mind. I keep them there for safe storage. I have written whole novels. This blog was my beginning.I decided I was sick of keeping them trapped. This weekend My son again discovered how hard it was for him to struggle with this monster of Dyslexia. Yes, sometimes he brings it upon himself. This weekend it was a combination of this. It was a disaster in the making. So I woke up today and stared at the screen. I can’t write about this. I have been up since 4:30 am. I decided I have to. My friend crossed the line with my son. I called her and told her. She did not understand (at all) Dyslexia. People most times only see what they want to. I find I can say it. I can tell them of my day, but they already have this preconceived notion. Joel must be lazy and rebellious.(Trust me Joel can be both. In this circumstance, the issue wasn’t rebellion but lack of focus and Joel not being able to sit still.) I must not be disciplining him.(Yes, I regularly feed him cake and ice cream as a reward for bad behavior)This is why I write on this topic frequently. Now you’re wondering, Are you still friends? Yes. I don’t let things go anymore. My son is more important than that. I just went home feeling broken. Actually so did Joel. He was off all day. He has a heart. He was causing fights and tearing up all day. He knows. I don’t want to make Joel a victim. Poor little Joel. He has it so bad. Which is why I did not do any of this in public. However I do stand up for Joel when the need arises, and I will stand up for my parenting. We have home educators need to realize the things we say can hurt others.I do it too. I realize you are Homeschooling mom of the year, but I have done that threes table six times and my son is crying. I don’t care if you know trig. I want to cry with him. I sigh every time a Homeschooling mom says “I have been homeschooling since birth because isn’t that what we do.” Actually I just wanted oldest my son to stop crying. He still talks too much :O) I came away from yesterday listening to one of my favorite songs. You are for me. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UbSMfL5LuSo
I am so thankful when it feels like everything is against me. My God is for me.
Happy Birthday Albert Einstein!!! I was talking to someone last night also struggling with Dyslexia. So what does the famous genius have to do with it? He was Dyslexic!!! We privately talked about our struggles. I want to go back to Wed. I want to give you a glimpse of my day with my kids. Here I was sitting on our couch reading Joel’s Geography with him. If you let him read it alone by the time he’s done he will have no idea what he just read. Cheyenne my youngest asked me what this word was. she spells it. q.u.i.e.t. I say quiet and move on. Daniel comes over and says mom I need help with this math problem. Joel and I stop.( now understand stopping with Joel means two things : one he’s going to lose his place and two he’s going to escape!) I sit back down Cheyenne now frustrated says “Mom I asked you for help and all you told me was QUIET!” HAHA. Now I’m laughing. I say ” Cheyenne QUIET IS the word.” She giggles. Everyone is now laughing. I get back to Joel. We took about an hour or more just to do Social Studies. I am on my third cup of coffee. Later in the day I had to pick up a friend for teen group. I come back and Joel has rearranged my living room. Daniel looks at me and says” hey I told him not to.” I smile. You know one of those smiles. I’m actually thinking,”God please let spring come early.”
Dyslexia for us is more than just a language processing disorder. Dyslexia is a way of life. Dyslexia is actually hereditary. I have a family member who has it. Looking back I can see it so clearly. When Joel loses his pencil (every five minutes) when I have searched our sixty acres for his shoes(and bought three pairs), when we have done the same multiplication problem three days in a row and he still can’t remember the sequence , I know it is all part of this monster called Dyslexia. I read a book a few years back called The Gift of Dyslexia. Try asking Joel if he thinks it’s a gift. He came to me on Wed. and said “Mom, I hate Dyslexia.”
Me too, Joel.
I watched this video though and I wanted you to see it. It gives all of us hope no matter what our kids struggle with. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l_qGJ9svUbM It’s called the Power of Dyslexia. I think what happens is while in the struggle a dyslexic child learns to overcome. These kids certainly did. I am writing this post today because Albert Einstein was a genius. I’m not. My friend was struggling. I don’t have all the answers but I know what it’s like to struggle. I know God knows our struggle. Don’t lose hope. We do have a great God who endured the struggle for us. Become a mom who knows this God well. He will hold your hand in the struggle. I have gone to him many nights. I get up early and ask him to help me be patient . Joel has the ability to drive me crazy. Yes, I have four kids, but if you know someone with Dyslexia you know what I mean. One minute you feel bad the next you are ready for that fourth cup of coffee and a very exotic chocolate bar( actually scratch that, just give me the Costa Rica vacation:O) As I type …Got up late today, Joel is driving someone crazy about a pencil. You know what though, He has the biggest heart of anyone in this house. If you tell anyone a crazy story about him they all smile and laugh and just the mention of his name can make Grandma and Papa grin from ear to ear. So hopefully he can manage not to kill himself before he reaches adulthood.
I’ll keep lots of coffee and chocolate bars on hand( especially in Feb.). To my Friend I say. God is there. Smile today. Shake your head a little. Sigh. Grab Gods hand and give it your best. That’s all we can do. So Thank You Albert Einstein for showing us that “The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination.” Our kids certainly have enough of that!