Monthly Archives: April 2013

PEI Days

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I never realized before how much I appreciated the action of sitting. I told you in a previous blog I was in pain. Well I am. I have a herniated disk which is pinching a nerve, making sitting near impossible. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not whining. That’s not something I usually do. I just want to be thankful today for the things I’m sure I don’t even realize I take for granted. I haven’t blogged in a while. I usually get up at 4:30 am when it’s quiet. The rooster isn’t even crowing then. The quiet gives my mind a chance to just flow. Well I also sit in front of the computer, with my coffee:O) and savor the alone time. None of those things are appealing to me right now. I’m in a state of perpetual motion. But I looked outside today and the sun is shining. . It’s going to be 80 out, the wind is blowing. I love the wind. I can’t lie. I’m in agony. The pain meds are not even helping. Home educating is so frustrating. There is something about the wind though.. it’s like a balm to my soul. I remember going to Prince Edward Island with my husband. We stood there on the cliffs and felt the force of the wind. Scan0057Ever since we call these types of days PEI days. You know those days. When your soul feels like it has wings. It doesn’t take away my pain. it just makes me stop and remember that God has not forgotten me. I hear his still small voice. Only it doesn’t seem so small. It’s pretty loud. The trees rustle, The red brush grinds, the clouds are whipping by. The forest is bustling with activity. I need this reminder. That amidst all my pain and all the crazy bombings and factories exploding, the evil in this world, God is still in control. He hasn’t forgotten. He is still In charge. He still gives me these PEI days. The pain tries to overwhelm me. Home educating becomes a chore. Portfolios are the last thing I want to do. He hasn’t forgotten me. I can still cling to the knowledge that yes, I do know the Master of the wind.
The Wind by Robert Louis Stevenson
The Wind by Robert Louis Stevenson<a

Are you a Reducer?

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We all know Reducers. To reduce means this:
re·duce
/riˈd(y)o͞os/
Verb
Make smaller or less in amount, degree, or size: “the need to reduce costs”; “a reduced risk of coronary disease”.
Become smaller or less in size, amount, or degree.
Synonyms
diminish – decrease – lessen – abate – lower

You know that particular someone who you cringe when they come near. The are the ones who without a doubt will say something negative to “help” you in someway. In casual conversation they have to tell you(for your benefit of course) that your child has committed an infraction. They will put down your goals. Put down your kids. Put down you. All in the name of “help”. Yet they are older or more experienced. They are the leaders. A scenario like this just happened to me. In casual conversation I was talking about one of my children. Smiling, I said a positive. The reducer said in counter,” Yes and your other child was doing such and such.” I blinked . As if I already don’t know how my children behave. I mean it’s not like I spend all day watching their lives play out before me.Here’s what I learned about reducers. They don’t have all the answers! In pointing out the flaws of your life they miss the bright sign pointing at themselves. We are always spouting the Bible verse “thou shalt not judge”. I think we also miss the overwhelming evidence of God telling us to encourage each other, to edify, to uplift.
feminine-grace
A reducer expects you to discipline your child on their behalf. DON’T DO IT! Throw away the “help” of the reducer.NEVER discipline your child for what others think. This is performance based parenting and Christians are so guilty of it. My kids were given to me by God. They were born sinners, just like me. They are not spiritual, they are little conformists. Do I expect my kids to always perform for me? Are they robots programmed by a master controller? No, they are kids with personalities and a will of their own. I can train my kids to do right, but in the end I cannot make them. A reducer will only see the negative. This particular reducer practically ran to tell me about my childs misbehavior.( which I already knew via a tattling sibling) Am I saying never to listen to correction? No . I don’t listen to those I know have an ulterior motive in informing me how “bad” my kids are. Trust me I already know the areas they need to work on. I am already working on them. The truth is this reducer makes me sigh every time they come near. I think it’s a “my kids are better than yours.” Here’s what they fail to see. I’m not in competition. I’m trying to please ONE and I don’t live my life based on the opinions of others. I decided to use this for good. I am consciously aware of how I treat others. There are some times I want to say something( and thankfully people can’t read minds) but I always think” do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Do I like being reduced? Do I like this person coming to me informing me of every flaw in my life?( in the name of I am more godly than you)I’m sure this reducer walks away very proud that they helped me grow. Yes, thank you for showing me that I NEVER want to be the one reducing people down to size.
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“Life is so urgent it necessitates living slow.”Ann Voskamp

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Slow-Down-You-Clown-Newby-Head-England-GB-road-deserted-field-country-street-cloud-grass-rolling-hills-left-hand-sign-road-quiet-travel-tourist-Europe
I watched the sun rise this morning. All the colors rose slowly until they met in one burst of brightness. It felt like an eternity. I was sitting there alone doing what people call devotions. It didn’t feel like devotion , it felt like wonder. God was speaking to me. I’m always in a hurry. It might be just my natural inclination or being raised in CT. I’m not sure. Most times I don’t even know why the hurry. It’s just. hurry to get school done, hurry to prepare supper, hurry to church. It’s so exhausting. I am not in a position to hurry right now. I guess God is trying to slow me down. You could say I wrestled with God. I hate admitting that I’m in pain, so here it is. I’m in pain. I read this morning. “Life is not an Emergency. Life is brief and is fleeting but it is not an Emergency.” Ann Voskamp I think of yesterday. The moments I want to take time to remember. All of us standing behind Joel praying he finally beats the boss on Timez attack. He had tried 32 times. We all feel his pain. Failure is not an option for him. He finally got those last three facts. We all cheered. I could have missed that moment. I had so much to do. In this moment I decided to stop. I joined in the struggle. It felt like my victory. Dyslexia has many aspects to it. Memory is really affected by it. Sequencing, memorizing steps in math, all affected. I know that the Dyslexia movement keeps saying it’s a gift. I wonder if they ask a child who has it. In hind sight one can always say it was a gift, but in the struggle, sometimes all you see is the struggle. I told my husband yesterday as we watched Joel build a fort in the front yard ” you would never know he is the same kid who took 32 times to beat a level on his Timez attack. He is happy, confident hammering away( with my husbands tools he is sure to lose.) I know why he built it in the front yard and not on the rest of our 60 acres. He wanted his dad to come home and see his fort. He was super proud. Today I just wanted to remember the moment. Each tiny, little moment. Haste makes waste people say. I know why, we are in such a hurry to get to the next moment we miss the magic of the one we are in.
racing to the next moment
Gotta go. I’m missing the sunshine and many magical moments.
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Everyone drops the pickle jar!

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The only thing I heard was” Cheyenne use two hands!”The next sound was glass shattering on the hard pavement. I waited. It’s the moment I knew was coming . Then came the crying. I stuck my head out the door. “Cheyenne what happened?” Through sniffles and little tears her broken heart said, “I dropped the pickle jar”. We had just come home from grocery shopping. First of all shopping with my husband is always interesting. We shop at Aldi’s a lot. I’m too brain-dead to coupon right now. So he decided we did not need anymore bags.” Okay”, I said “but they are going to roll around in the car.” I just shake my head and smile. He’s helping me is all I can repeat silently:O) So back to the driveway Cheyenne is in tears. I yell “Cheyenne everyone has dropped a pickle jar before, don’t worry Daddy will clean it up.( As the Amish are clip clopping by smiling at me) Just get away from the glass.”broken pickle jar All Cheyenne could see was . I failed. I had this one job and I blew it. So she comes in the house and I hug her. For some reason today I knew I understood better than other days. I told her. Cheyenne I am so glad you’re( please don’t think I’m being corny here. I’m not one of theses moms who goes overboard .)helping. It’s okay that it broke. It’s just a jar of pickles. I used to drop everything( Haha who am I kidding, I still do!)We hugged and I wiped the tear away. She smiled when I offered her a strawberry. (somehow I think I may have been had) I said “now why don’t you help me clean off this table.” Cheyenne was restored. The pickle jar was already in the past where it should be. I stood there for a moment thinking about this. Cheyenne is the child in my house who is full of life. I mean it is bursting out of her. She does not do anything half-hearted. Jumping on the trampoline with the other kids goes like this” Daniel says, “mom watch this”, then Cheyenne rolls in jumps higher and says, “wait mom watch this.” Daniel stops because Cheyenne is a tiny peanut. Daniel tries to speak again ( just picture dash from the Incredibles) Cheyenne is flipping, jumping, smiling, arms flailing, hair flying, all heart. Daniel says(sarcastically) “Never mind mom I’ll just sit on the edge and let Cheyenne show you.” We both grin. What if when Cheyenne had dropped that pickle jar I yelled “Cheyenne, come on we told you two hands, look what you did!” The weight of her mistake would have bore down on her spirit crushing her. Then every time she helped with the groceries we said” Cheyenne you cannot help carry in the pickle jar. You broke it once. She would be forever broken realizing we judged her about the broken pickle jar.
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I could not help think of this ,(John 8:1-11)
8 Jesus went unto the mount of Olives.

2 And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught them.

3 And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst,

4 They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act.

5 Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou?

6 This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not.

7 So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.

8 And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground.

9 And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.

10 When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?

11 She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.
I know this about home educating. I think more than anything my kids educate me. In every circumstance I can see God speaking to me. I saw it in the insignificant pickle jar. I see it when Cheyenne smiles those 400+ smiles a day. When she holds our chicks and tells me each quirky little name. Home educating happens everyday.
So this woman, can you imagine today? We would post about her on Facebook. She would never out live her past.Not because she did not want to, but because WE wouldn’t let her. We’d let everyone know. She was the adulterer. Look what Jesus says” Woman where are thine accusers?” Then he tells her He does not condemn her. Amazing. If our Lord can forgive someone like that, if he can see past her past, why can’t we? No accusers. Imagine if all God’s people treated each other like that. Instead we feel the need to share and warn others. To post about people on Facebook. Let God be the judge. Put your stones down. Everyone breaks a pickle jar. We just need someone to be there to help us clean up the mess and be restored. Jesus says I don’t condemn you. Let them post. Let them think what they think. You have no accusers. What a great lesson for us to see. He is for You.
Whether it’s broken pickle jars or broken lives, The Master Teacher once again shows me through my children how to treat others . Don’t you think that is so awesome!? I’m humbled as usual.( Always feel free to comment. I’d love to hear your thoughts.)woman_9 He is for You.