Tag Archives: homeschooler

Tuesday never came

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I’m up typing tonight because the last picture I saw before I tried to go bed was a picture of my friend Bonnie laying on her husbands chest. It’s the last time she will ever sleep next to him on this earth. He took his last breath on Tuesday. Bonnie is sleeping by Adams casket.The image gutted me. It reminded me how fragile life is. How time is so precious, how eternity really is more important than we think.Sikoras Bonnie is a homeschooling mom of 4. She and Adam had one of those fairytale marriages. They seriously made you jealous. Soul mates, best friends, lovers. They loved each other, they loved their kids and they loved Jesus. Bonnie said this in her post on Facebook,

This has been a time I wish I could wake up from. I want to go back and relive Monday over and over, so Tuesday never comes…but this would be my plan not Gods plan! His plan is better than mine! I fully trust that God will make something beautiful out of this. I’m broken and I hurt. I hurt for me but I hurt for our 4 children who are hurting. I know I don’t need to tell anyone how great Adam was. I was lucky to be his bride. He loved me, he did everything for me and with me. I have no regrets leading up to this horrible nightmare. We have lots of hard days ahead of us but I will continue to give God the glory! I also pray that someone will read this and see how fragile this life is. Adams life was gone in a second but I have no doubts where he is now. Tomorrow is not the day to repent and get right with God, The time is now! We don’t know what tomorrow will bring

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Adam was very healthy. he ran, ate organic, he looked healthy. Daily I watch FB posts for Plexus, Essential oils, Thrive, It Works and a host other wellness products. Posts against gluten, for organic, I myself advocate Low carb, high Fat. We often preach that Jesus is coming back. We say no man knows the hour, yet we fail to say that, that’s true to the sinner, the back slider,the saved, the healthy, the marathon runner, the organic vegan. Jesus is coming back and in fact He came back for Adam. For some of you Tuesday is never going to come. You only have THIS day. This day to know that Jesus Christ died for your sins, that the Bible says all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. Our sin has separated us from a Holy God. One thing Adam knew is that Jesus died for His sins and that His sins were forgiven. Adam did not have to worry about Tuesday. He had prepared his soul. He had put his faith in Jesus Christ and trusted Him as Savior. His children get to say “my Dad knew God”. He was ready to meet his Maker.

I have watched posts about zombies, health, children, politics. I wonder tonight how many are thinking of eternity? We always think we have one more minute, one more hour , one more month, one more year. We never think Tuesday will never come for us. We view life in light of the right now. We brag on the glass of wine we just had that we must tell our friends about, the latest phone we purchased, the designer purse we are loving. Homeschoolers brag on the accomplishments of their children, life goes on and on. Nobody stops to think today I could cross the threshold into eternity. Some think this life is all there is. Some believe in more, some just ignore it hoping maybe to avoid it altogether, others are thinking all the”good” they do will out outweigh the bad and God will let them in. I’ve had friends give me every excuse you could conjure up as to why they don’t believe. One doesn’t do organized anything. (But Unions are okay)
I know someone right now who will say if your God is real and He is so good why would he take that man from his wife and 4 kids, why when they were so in love and so happy? It’s the same hurling accusation,“if you are really the Christ get down off that cross”. Something I learned a long time ago is an atheist only believes in God when he wants to blame Him for something bad, but don’t ever give Him credit for good. Human beings lash out at authority, we hate to be controlled. We would never want a God who made us slaves, or robots. We want our free will. When sin entered the world and so death, all kinds of evil have happened, murders, rapes famine etc. We shake our fist at God and say how dare you, how could you! You don’t love us! Why aren’t you helping! But we choose. We want our free will. Yet it seems we also want a genie in a bottle and life just does not work like that. If we want free will and want to sin and reject Christ we cannot expect Him to interfere in the natural progression of our choice. It does not mean God loved Adam any less. But death happens to all of us. Adam was ready.
It’s gut wrenching that it was earlier than anyone would have expected .Saying to Bonnie you will see him again someday is nice, but honestly it falls so short, she wants him here. Everytime I think about it, I sob. I have 4 kids and I homeschool. I can put myself in her shoes and feel empathy. I have cried and prayed for her precious kids and Bonnie’s broken heart. Bonnie loves Jesus, but she’s gonna need so much prayer after all the funeral and stuff dies down. That’s when it really gets hard. The new normal starts. We live our lives and she has to try to live hers. God has placed Bonnie directly on my tear ducts. I really am so burdened for her. She can trust that God will hold her hand and allow her to lay on His chest at night. God will heal her broken heart. Jesus wept when his friend Lazarus died and Jesus cares about Bonnie and the kids. But Bonnie has a request.

Bonnie said her prayer is that some soul would come to Christ through Adams death. So I wrote this in hopes that you would share it. That you would tell your neighbors and friends and warn them that Jesus is coming back. That their Tuesday may never come. Jesus came back for Adam. Please make sure you are ready when he comes for you.
This is a great link to help you know if you are ready http://markcahill.org/<<<<<<<<<<<PRESS THIS LINK!!
SHARE AWAY!

Super mom is dead.

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Super mom is dead.

I sat in my daughters horseback riding lesson, up in the upper viewing area. I sat there with another homeschool mom. We chatted for a while, it’s nice to have someone to talk to. I was reading a book on my iPad and she was going through her grocery list, recipes and printed ingredients list. I glanced over and sighed. I wish I could be like that, but really it’s just not going to happen. Not in this lifetime, nope. I started letting my mind go down the rabbit hole, you know the one. perfect homeschool mom, perfect organized house, perfect super intelligent kids. I looked at my daughter through the window she sat taller, smiled at me, I smiled back her grin was really infectious. I looked over at my friend asking her husband if he liked a certain recipe. My husband was driving my other daughter to soccer and well I don’t even think we ate. Sigh. I also forgot my daughters homework, well I didn’t, she did. The truth is she has a slight dyslexia and well her working memory is well not working for her. I chatted a little more and found out that this other homeschooling mom has 2 daughters with Dyslexia, and well she struggled with the same things I did. she just was a little more organized than me. We chatted and laughed about our circumstances and funny thing, I really didn’t care if she had all her recipes and lists. I know what my family likes. I can cook well and most days what’s a recipe?Mom

The next day I was on Facebook or fakebook, however you choose to view it. I was being informed by people I actually know and respect that if I didn’t take a particular health drink, wellness product, diet supplement ,(whatever) I was categorized as a supplement snob.I also have heard that I’m apparently supposed to be a super mom. naps are not okay and we need this wonderful , amazing , product for energy.( Where in the world did we ever get the idea that we were not supposed to be tired?? )Seriously.( disclaimer; I know people are trying to be healthy and um  make money, I’m all for it. But I am not for highschool pressure and bandwagon advertising. I’m for sustainable health that can be grown, not bought.If this particular health choice is for you, have at it. But please stay off my news feed with your sales pitches. Thanks) I mean is this highschool where we pressure moms ( who in my opinion are already under so much pressure) to purchase products?  It brought me back to one day at my high school, Nonnewaug in Woodbury Ct. I was not the kind of person to follow fashions, fads or people. I was very much just me. Save your brand names for someone who actually cares, I don’t. I’ve seen people in designer jeans punch the lights out of a sweet overweight boy and I’ve seen dept. store clothing on a skinny nerd protect that same boy from the popular bully. Clearly clothes don’t make the person. Anyway I’m in the bathroom and this popular, designer girl says to me,” Oh hey I love your shirt. Did you get this at”( totally forget where) I actually had bought this shirt after work, at the mall, but there was something in me that just could not tell her that. So I looked her right in the eye and said” Actually I got this at Kmart, On Sale.” She got really red and said, “oh um”, and walked out. I washed my hands with a special smirk on my face. So here I am on Facebook and I have absolutely NO desire to follow diet fads or homeschool fads or any such thing. I’m me. That’s it. If I like something on Facebook and my whole world didn’t like it, I like it. I don’t wait for someone I know to like it. God made me an individual. That means I’m gonna like, do and be things others completely disagree with. I will not follow the herd. I actually do not care if people talk about my blog , my choice in music or how I raise my children. I just can only do the thing God called me to do, and that means being me. (Which surprisingly is really difficult to do).

So I ignore the sales pitches on Facebook, I disregard how to organize your home in 10 easy steps. I drink my delicious coffee and smile. When I’m tired, I allow myself time to unwind, read, sleep, whatever I have to do to rejuvenate. There was a once upon a time where I felt guilty for it. I mean I’m a Christian and a homeschooling mom. I’m supposed to work harder than everyone. I’m supposed to farm, teach, clean , drive, love, be the perfect mom, wife and believer. I nearly killed myself.( and i am serious, depression, nerve pain which i still have forever, along with my mind which betrays me. bad stuff) So now that I have 4 back surgeries under my ,um belt? I decided that I definitely did not fit the qualifications for supermom. I fit the qualifications for Barb, who gets tired during the day, who absolutely loves super heroes( like cute ones LOL) who loves Ron Paul, Joel Salatin and thinks very Libertarian. Who loves Tom Woods but wishes my mind could think like him. I love my kids, but honestly this homeschooling is hard and there are days I’d ship them off to Narnia. They can drive me right to the brink of crazy and back.( I think my husband wonders if I came back) I love my husband and we have a great relationship. I don’t post mushy , I love my husband posts. Honestly we are not like that. We laugh, zing each other, yell at each other and we both accept the days of exhaustion that consume us and fall in our beds mumbling about how tired we are LOL. I don’t need people to think we are perfect or my kids are perfect. They aren’t. We are all undone right? I’m also someone who cannot tolerate heat, like the overwhelming kind. It makes me freak out and think about things I usually don’t even think about. I hate to hear about suffering of any kind, it gives me a terror or sense of dread I could never explain. I will always speak out about anyone who abuses children and I don’t care if they were your favorite Christian celebrity,rock star or President. That doesn’t make me bitter, unforgiving and helpless,  that makes me passionate and mad as heck that people abuse power and trust. Please don’t tell me how to heal or forgive with idioms or preaching videos. I honestly don’t need them. I function( most days) just fine The past is the past until it steps on the heels of the present. Then I have to refocus and regroup. Yes that is hard, yes it messes with my mind and yes i have to fight for everything I’m worth.There is no magic wand to erase the feeling of dread, of complete utter terror. It’s not going to go away. (where are the MIB when you need them?) So here’s me. A bit of a mess, A bit crazy and a whole lot sarcastic. I am not a super mom. I don’t need a super pill. I have A Super God. He’s always been sufficient, even when I’m not. Be you. Living for everyone else is just exhausting!super god

The girl with the black hair.

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I’m writing to the girl with the black hair. I know you felt so out-of-place today. I mean I know you listen to us say things like we ought to love our neighbor and reach the lost. You heard it in church. We told you we want you to come as you are, today you did, and it wasn’t good enough. You asked me before why your mom didn’t want you ” I mean I wasn’t a bad baby Mrs. Barker, why didn’t my birth mom want me? What you don’t know is I held back my tears and my hatred for your real mom. I know I’m supposed to love her, but she is so selfish and I just can’t imagine a mom keeping some children and abusing others.I wasn’t abandoned by my mother and I can only imagine what that feels like. So girl with the black hair, I wish I could say she was having a hard life or she didn’t have money, but honestly she was selfish and cruel, no child deserves to be abused. No child. I don’t care if you cried all night, spit in her coffee or said I hate you( which you didn’t) No child, None.
So now you have come to us, the people of God, and you want to be loved, accepted ,you want to know we want you. I’m sorry girl with the black hair that you have come to us and we want you to be like us. I’m sorry that we say come as you are, but we mean come as WE are. I m sorry that even though I take the time to love you and have you over, that I too fail you. I know you are so desperate for that feeling of acceptance and sometimes it’s all I can to tolerate my four kids. I don’t know why we can’t love the unlovely. I don’t know why we say we want to reach people and then we nit pick the very people we are trying to reach. I know what you feel like, girl with the black hair. I used to be you.
I came to Christ at the age of 14. I didn’t know the Christian lingo, the terms, the proper dress or the proper etiquette in church. I was just so happy to finally be loved by God. My soul was so empty and I was finally in a place where I was loved. Then one day I was out with my sister. We were shopping and I was wearing black jeans and a t-shirt. I walked into a store and saw a church member. Man I was so excited. I never saw church members outside of church. I smiled real big and held the door for her. Then my heart sunk. This woman whom I absolutely looked up to, looked me up, then down, then put her nose up in the air and walked right away as if she did not know me. I was devastated. If that women only knew. If she only knew how broken and fragile I really was. How I craved acceptance. What she knew though was she was taught certain things. The number one was to shun what she did not understand. Yeah it’s just ignorance and I too can be so guilty of it. God brought me back to him after that day. I Left for quite a while but He showed me what He was really like and that He in fact did love the unlovely. He .Loved. Me.
So here I am in all my honesty. People suck. They do.
Jesus holding girl
But our God is in the dark places. He is in the cry of a child forsaken by her mother. He is in the heart of a child so desperate for love, even in a church that only cares about not soiling their little blessings with the likes of you. What they don’t know is it will be someone like You who will reach the world. It was someone like you that JESUS died for. The ground at the foot of the cross is equal. We are all sinners before a Holy God. There is NONE righteous, no, not one!!! God is not a respector of persons girl with the black hair, but people suck, and we are.
You see He was broken for us, isn’t that what The Lord Supper is about? Remembering his bruised broken body, His beatings .He was bruised for our iniquities. His body was broken. Yet girl with the black hair, He tried to reach the world. He did not stay in His perfect Sunday best, in His perfect Sunday church. He did not stay away from the likes of you. He went to the publican and sinner. I think some of us want to keep them off our pews. Wouldn’t want the unchurched to spoil our perfect little blessings. He was broken for YOU though, so I think , no I know he wants you there. Bring your stuffed animal, even if they tell you otherwise(in fact sit next to the homeschooler who brought her doll and look them right in the eye and dare them to say something). I will fight for you, He fought for me. He pulled me out of the miry clay, He continues to pull me out of the darkness. So girl with the black hair, He knows your name. Even if they didn’t.(Psht.) He knows your name and HE wants you there. Come as you are but don’t ever leave the way you came. Let HIM change you on the inside, and when you look at them smile knowing He sought you out and loves you. Let them have their judgement. When you stand before that loving Savior, naked and complete, none of it will matter.
You. Are. Loved.

People

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She posted again. her fantastic recipe for homemade laundry soap. I just bought my Arm-n-Hammer from the grocery store. Well, at least I used a coupon? Scrolling through Facebook another friend was telling me how to home-school. If I even dare consider Common Core I must be a communist or something. The handwriting program I have for my son is Common Core aligned. “Heil Hitler? Another mom posted on modesty as my daughter ran by in her bathing suit to swim in our pond. Oops cross that off the list. I also must make Kombucha, If not I am not the Homesteading mama. I am a failure. Oh and sleepovers are completely sin. Any mother even considering it is worldly and asking for trouble. Sorry kids, I failed that one too. I guess ministering to those girls was a mistake? Teaching them to pray, to shower, to love. allowing them to have fun without judgement. Psht, what a terrible idea.I just got my scores back from the standardized testing my kids took. I have now allowed them to be data mined in the system. What a complete ignorant socialist I am. My unsaved friend told me yesterday another Christian won’t let her 17 year teen over because she is not a “true blooded Christian”. ( she meant saved) . I guess I’m not either, I allowed my son over. She’s been at my house chatting, laughing, talking about family, struggles and God.

Friends whatever happened to caring about people?

My husband taught me this the other day. We have a neighbor who is a Vietnam Vet. He is gruff. He will talk of Dem.O.Crats,( pronounce each syllable, it sounds more disgusting) women and possibly a various ethnic person. He has one eye. You can’t tell because He has a glass one. He smokes and swears. He is also very alone and will NEVER talk about Vietnam. He changes the subject and gets that faraway look. He’s worked in factories and hard construction. He has asbestosis  in his lungs. He tends to come over when my husband is working on a project or we have company. He talks and talks. My husband came in and said “Barb when did life get like this? I looked at him. He said, “so and so was over and I was getting really agitated. I wanted to get that building done. He was driving me crazy. All of a sudden I just realized. Who cares? There is nothing more important than people. When did people stop being the main thing?”

Friends people ARE the main thing.

I know, especially in the home-school community we think making our own laundry soap, resisting common core, remaining separate, all of those things they are the main thing, But when you stand before that all-wise, ever-loving Creator, do you think he will care if you made homemade laundry soap? I mean honestly okay you milked your goats and it’s hormone free. But he called, and he needed to talk. So your children were on that schedule and you had to put them to bed instead of coming to church. But she was struggling with the diagnosis she just received.You weren’t there and she gave up, most likely not stepping foot in our church again. How about you were so busy making that utopia, you did not know your child was struggling with porn. It’s happened.woman-consoling-her-friend

Life is not supposed to be this hard. Cherish the seconds. Take advantage of the cup of coffee. Talk of our Savior at the Beach. Invite that dirty family over for supper. Love on those two unruly girls at church. Show them the Dad they should see in you. Not a man who only concentrates on rules and order. Learn to love. Learn to put people first. I will warn you. You will get hurt. They will abuse your love. I know. In light of eternity, it’s so worth it.

We have made Homeschooling. homesteading, and homemaking our idol. We have forgotten Jesus when he said, “John 13:34 – A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.” Be the person who is like this,

Jude 1:22-24

22 And of some have compassion, making a difference:

23 And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.

Friend it’s about them. Not our perfect, little obedient homeschooling families, it’s about people. I might add that your kids matter, laundry soap might make your clothes clean but it does not tie heart-strings or cause sticky kisses and hugs from your son.

For Christmas our gruff neighbor gave money for Christmas, for my kids. He said we have always been good to him and he wanted to help. ( What he did not know was we had taken a huge pay cut so my husband could get closer to home, we were struggling with doctor bills and having trouble with our mortgage. We had been agonizing over Christmas.)

I was making dinner the other day. my son came in from visiting a friend. He walked over to me and hugged me. He said,” Thank You Mom”. I said for what? Knowing my 15-year-old teen usually wants something. He said for teaching me my faith is not blind. I was able to talk to so and so about God. You taught me to defend my beliefs with or without the Bible. I just wanted to say Thank You. I never appreciated it until now.” What he will never know is that every night I pray for my kids and ask God to forgive me for failing them. This meant more than any A or academic achievement. People matter. If he learned nothing else, at least he learned this.Helping-Hand

Hannah Forgotten

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Can you imagine it? Dropping off your young child at the Prophets house. I mean this is the child you cuddled, held at night when his cries pierced the silence. This is the child you nursed at your bosom, and  the child that made you feel whole again. For this child you prayed. All the hope wrapped up in this boy. So much potential. Watching him grow, listening to his giggles full of life. The running, happy son, so full of life.

Woman-Praying

I think it’s probably the hardest scenario for me to read. How did she do it? She must have been some woman. I think I’d never stop the ache, the longing for sticky kisses and soul melting hugs. How do you ever get over it?

Friends we have forgotten about Hannah.

I remember when My first son was born. I told the Lord that He had all of me and I promised I’d give my son to Him. Somewhere along the way I forgot about the job God gave to me. My kids do not belong to me. God gave me a job to do for a little while. I should be working myself out of a job. 

But God I have to protect my kids, I have to micromanage their lives, and at all costs I need to make sure the family unit is together, no one breaks the family, it is first.

I don’t really think like this, but that’s what has happened. I mean I teach my kids about this Living Savior and I trust Him with my salvation, but then I become fearful. If I really believed what I say I do, wouldn’t Christ be sufficient? Why do I, you,we grab on for dear life and don’t let go?

Recently in a Home school group the discussion of the infamous Duggar scandal created like 43 different posts with a zillion comments and opinions back and forth. OBVIOUSLY if you read my blog at all, I am not in favor of the perpetrator . How can I? Anyway I was kind of appalled at the Christians saying what Josh Duggar did was “just a mistake“, “teenage Curiosity”, and “no big deal”.  I thought Lord don’t you say,

But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.

James 1:14temptation-apple-and-snake

I just shook my head. Then I just thought, “but that can’t be it. Is there more?”

I think there is.

I think we have made our children our idols. (I know inflammatory words in the home school community)  What if we have forgotten Hannah? I mean I think what those moms were getting so defensive about was the fact that he could have been their son. They could be suffering public humiliation. They could have been the ones to decide if they should call the police and put their Dear son in prison, thus ruining his life and the image of their family. I totally get it. I have four children and I cried almost every night after my daughter told me she did not feel safe while having seizures. I mean what an awful feeling for a 6-year-old to say. How could I help her?

The only problem is we don’t get to decide what constitutes justice. If someone breaks the law in a way that harms another human being, then for the sake of others in society we should definitely go to drastic measures. That might mean you feel like a traitor and turn in that boy who once gave you sticky kisses and soul melting hugs. The boy whose first smile lit up your world. I don’t think that is easy. I think it is the most devastating choice a Mom or Dad could make. How do you turn in your own flesh and blood?

I don’t know.

I do know what it feels like to have the same reoccurring nightmare of a two-legged panther, who steals you away. I scream and scream. The back light collects moths and night insects. My brother has his tackle box on the picnic table, he can’t hear me. My neighbor is in his yard and my voice is gone unheard. I’m so scared because he’s heading for the basement. I know what that means and I claw at him I scream and scream and wake up thanking God that this time it’s not for real. I know what it’s like to have to shower after a family campfire because the smell makes my heart race reminding me of a 16 year old I’d rather forget.. I know what it feels like to not trust people, to know when that “spidey sense” goes off and you stay away from certain individuals. I have extra special warning system for abusers. I know what it’s like to have my husband morph into a monster after spending the best day in the world with him. I know what it’s like to be on the other end.

So what of Hannah? Do we trust that what we taught our kids will keep them? Do we give our kids to God and say no matter what I will do right, or do we decide based on appearances  embarrassment to the family, and the fear of losing our children?

How can we  say we are called to a” higher standard”  then forget the suffering and hurting. How can we make excuses for sinful behavior?

Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be right.

Proverbs 20:11

How can we sit in sermons and hear how our children belong to God and,  “AMEN!” when Hannah prays to give the child to God, then when God asks us to do the same, we( bow at our man-made idols) keep our children to ourselves out of fear?( I realize at this point you may be saying” There is nothing wrong with protecting my kids from the world”,. or There is nothing wrong with defending my kids). No there is not, but we have long since left the protecting from the world and created a very introverted lifestyle. It is no longer about reaching this world, it is about keeping our little world.It is about how many children we have and the image we want to keep. It is all about us.We think love is holding on, but really that is not love. It is fear.

The two are not compatible. Perfect love casts out fear. We live as if what God says He does not mean. We are so afraid one day with Grandparents ,who have different standards, will poison our kids. (Forgetting that our parents once raised us, deserve to be respected and a part of our children’s lives), We think that going to church instead of sticking to a schedule, a nap routine, will hinder our kids for life( Forgetting the Bible says not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together). We think that going to the church fellowship ONCE a month and eating with the church family will forever shatter our kids healthy eating.( Forgetting that their are hurting souls who just might need us there).We are so fearful for our children that we won’t even allow the other children in church or neighborhood to play with them, thinking they will be corrupted(Forgetting that we are to be light to the world and maybe they need to see and know your family to see a real Christian home) When did it become about us and ours. Whatever happened to them and theirs? 

I can think of no better thing then for my son to hear the voice of God.This is what Hannah paved the way for when she gave up Samuel.

I mean I definitely have failed my kids. Who REALLY does their best? We ALL could do more. I know that when my kids talk to their friends about Christ, invite friends to church, when they come to me with their failings and we get it right, when my kids are mad about what makes God mad, it makes me think of the day I gave them to God. I think of the hard moment of opening my hands and saying” here God, they are yours”. It’s kind of the defining moment when you realize you can do everything right and they STILL could choose to go a different way, maybe even a way that goes against God.

Let’s give our children an authentic life, built on love and not fear. Teaching them to do what’s best for those who are suffering, for the lost and dying world, for the child who does not know unconditional love, who never had a dad, who wants more than anything to have a real home. This world needs us so bad. Please remember, “you are not your own, you are bought with a price. Therefore glorify God..”.. Glorify God in your home, but don’t make your home your idol.

For this child I prayed and well for this child, I. Let. Go. 

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Don’t forget Hannah.

Whatever happened to community?

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So the year is coming to end for most homeschoolers. I’m not in the do school year round camp. Keep your “gifted children.” I’m making memories with my kids. That being said a lot of blogs are talking about how easy it is to homeschool. Hmm. I totally disagree. Nothing ever worth anything should be easy. If it doesn’t cost you something, it probably isn’t worth doing. I guess I don’t think homeschooling through seizures,dyslexia, back surgeries, job changes, sickness or lack of family very easy. Maybe I just don’t have that supermom status going for me. Homeschooling might have been easier if I had something essential for all humans, COMMUNITY.
com·mu·ni·ty
kəˈmyo͞onitē/Submit
noun
1.
a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common.
synonyms: district, region, zone, area, locality, locale, neighborhood; More
a body of nations or states unified by common interests.
2.
a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.
“the sense of community that organized religion can provide”

I just went to a homeschool get-together and one friend wanted me to meet another friend. Apparently we live close and this person wanted to have homeschoolers in the area do stuff together. So I walked up to the woman introduced myself. “Hi”, I said. “So and so told me you live close and wanted to get together with homeschoolers. Blah blah.” The usual conversation of what curriculum do you use( which could be a turn off) . So she says,( now remember she wants to get together) “Well maybe some time we could do something in the evening. I am soo busy with blah, blah, blah.” I smile. Nod my head.( Seriously it’s a good thing people do not hear my thoughts) Then today on a homeschool forum/group a woman was complaining about how her kids need friends and she did not want to travel 30 mins to meet people.?????? TRANSLATION- My life is so important and I am SOO busy I really will not make time to connect. I am only complaining but never want to take the time to actually do anything about this. Here’s a little tip for you. You have to leave your house, it helps. The reason you are milk white is because you have forgotten the outdoors exists. (Sarcasm completely my own.)

Now some of you will think I’m being a mean. You got it. I am so sick of excuses. Actually let me give you another scenario. Recently my husband was sick with C-Diff. I have never seen him so sick. I mean he’s usually unstoppable. There’s nothing he won’t get involved in. From being a linemen to farming it’s pretty much open. The last few months he goes to work and comes home to sleep. That’s it. Kind hearted, well meaning people say” if there’s anything we can do for you, let us know”. I know they mean well, but you know what? Do you think I am going to say, “Hey would you fix our broken lawn mower?” How about, “The tree fell in our back yard, will you cut it up?” If we are all honest we don’t want to burden anyone as much as they really don’t want to be burdened. So imagine my surprise when I look out my back window and see a 67 year old man cutting up the tree in my backyard.( who was just diagnosed with Lyme disease) Then imagine my surprise when two more neighbors (who are close to 70) grew and gave us plants for our garden. They knew my husband was sick and took it upon themselves to grow and give us plants. Community.

There was a time Long, Long, ago when people helped each other, WITHOUT being asked. Somewhere along the way we have forgotten that we are not the most important thing in the world. God actually does not need us. Amazing thought. You can be replaced. I love homeschooling and I am a Christian, but I think it’s sad that Christians can be the last ones to actually have community. Seriously the homeschooling community can get so involved in their all important busy lives that they forget that there are needy people, and life is not all about them.( Who knew?)

People often say that New Englanders are cold. I hear it all the time. (I live here in North Western PA. Cold is an understatement.) I’m from CT. When I lived there I regularly had invites to dinner, parties and fellowships at church. We laughed and hung out till late in the evening. Here the only invites I get are from , well no one. I know tons of people and have many”friends”. TOO BUSY? Do you know there is not a weekend that goes by where someone is not at my house. Do you think it’s because we are super Christians? Haha. Nope, I just know that everyone needs someone. We cannot thrive as islands. We are needy people and if I can do one thing to help someone on this journey called life, then that’s what I will do. I want to be clear. I am a Christian. I love Jesus, the Bible and God’s people…but we all need some improvement in this area. Don’t preach that we are the hands and feet of Jesus and then sit on your hands and feet. Get off your butt and change the world.( Please stop saying we have to get together sometime. You are a liar. You don’t even mean it) How about that neighbor down the road or the friend who is going through a divorce. Okay, so you don’t agree with divorce( most people don’t until they find themselves getting divorced) Do you honestly think they thought it would turn out like this? Help them move. Send them cards. Please don’t say I’m praying for you and never connect again. Life is hard enough. Stop asking what can I do for you and go do it.
hos·pi·ta·ble
häˈspitəbəl,ˈhäspitəbəl/Submit
adjective
friendly and welcoming to strangers or guests.
“two friendly, hospitable brothers run the hotel”
synonyms: welcoming, friendly, congenial, genial, sociable, convivial, cordial, courteous; More

I also want to add what it means to be HOSPITABLE. We had missionaries at our house. It’s common at our house to make a basket up for vistors so they don’t feel funny always asking for food or drink etc.. We also make big breakfasts and homemade food for meals. You get our undivided attention. We do not keep doing what we always do. We stop and we make you the focus. That’s what I thought others did too, but people we need to go back to Hospitality 101. These missionaries thanked us profusely. They said the last 5 places left them donuts and granola bars for breakfast. Not that they were un-thankful but, Hello, used tea bags anyone? They were left alone until it was time to preach. Now come on. We preach that to help the least of these is serving Christ. The preacher gets up and announces the missionary and we all assume they have been taken care of and the Pastor knows the missionary well. Is it really that hard to stop being a self centered and focus on something besides yourself? If our lives are a vapor and we are made from dirt, who in the name of all that’s good do you really think you are? I guess making eggs is so laborious, and making a salad or some homemade meal is incredibly hard. My husband and I were just talking about places we went to where it was as if we were not there. I mean we knew we were there but our”hosts” apparently were so important that they could not even take time out for us.Their daily lives could not stop. I mean what would happen? The world would fall apart if you did not( fill in the blank.) God forbid I ever do that to someone. Remember
mayaangelou

Silence is complicity.

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Part of home educating my kids is that I have opportunities to address issues that show up. We discuss these issues at length. Some issues are more adultish in manner , but I have never talked to my children as if they are intellectually inferior. They are adults in the making. I am not raising children. I am raising adults. Sometimes the hard issues come up. Sometimes I am forced to talk about things I don’t want to talk about. I can’t talk about. I think its time though for me to finally just address this kind of issue.

I am originally from Sandy Hook, CT. A virtually unknown place until the tragic murdering of precious innocence. I lived about two minutes from the school. I rode my bike past that school many times to go to the Deli( where I bought candy) or the pizza place. Everyone says Newtown is a safe town. That tragedy never happened there. As if evil had passed over it because, well didn’t you see the news? The picture perfect town. Postcard image. Except I lived in a 550 square ft. house in the less fortunate side of Newtown. My parents were divorced and well sometimes my life was not a picture perfect postcard. The thing with safety is it’s deceiving. Silence from evil does not mean it is non-existent. I have hidden a secret the whole time I went through the school system. No-one knew.
I had been molested by a 16-year-old babysitter . He also threatened to kill me and to make sure I knew it( and because he was sick and crazy) threw me in our dryer and turned it on. Don’t worry though everyone said I wouldn’t remember. Oh and that teenager.. the social worker said he was a good boy. I don’t have all the pieces as to why the Newtown police department did not arrest him and throw him in jail but let me assure you, your brain NEVER forgets.

Two days ago I was scrolling Facebook , the internet etc.. and an old video from Sandy Hook showed up. I watched it just because my heart breaks for Sandy Hook. I hate evil. Almost to the end of the video a man says“I am for strict gun control…blah blah blah….” I look below at the description of the interview. He looked familiar.His name. Oh God. There he was. Speaking about gun control. My hands were shaking so bad, I felt sick. I immediately thought of his sister, whom he also molested. I heard from an old neighbor that she took her own life. I wonder why. Here he was free. Yet when someone has had trauma, or abuse forced upon them they are never really free. The mind is an amazing thing. It remembers the things you ignore and pretend never existed. Which I did.

So our conversation, the one my children and I have been having is about Silence. Can you hear it? I walk out to our field every morning with my daughter. We feed our horses and cow. It is a refreshing walk down the trail into the field the neighbors called “the hidden field” . Our dog Rocky comes with us. He bounces around chasing all the things we can’t see because they are hidden in silence. Every once in a while a deer will come flying out of nowhere and bound off it the woods. She was there, the whole time, but we never saw her. Silence in the face of evil is not standing up to the evil , it is complicity to the evil. Pretending it is not there does not make it go away. Trust me. I tried. To say to someone who has been abused don’t talk about it, we’ll just ignore it, is just allowing the evil to continue. Do you know that a monster shows up when you least expect it.In the darkness. Let me tell you he’s shown up in my life more than I care to say.
The statistics out are 1 in 4 for females to be sexually abused before the age of 14. Seriously people does anyone not just inhale and forget to breathe here??? This is happening in our churches as well. When Pastors are told not to report the evil, I think the world has gone mad. The church should be the refuge for the broken, the abused, instead you will find time and time again the women silenced and the perpetrator is allowed to continue his deeds. The fact that my two best friends have similar pasts and that about a month ago a man sat at my table who was sexually abused by a PASTOR, makes me want to VOMIT. Heres the thing, if you think I protect my kids. This won’t happen to them. Uncle, Grandparent, babysitter and Pastor. Anything here about a psycho pedophile? Does he look creepy with dark eyes and tattoos? No, he is someone you know. He is your friend, your relative, your trusted advisor . When females remain the object for man to buy and sell. When hollywood and the world makes the female a commodity she is only good for one thing, her body, she is marketable. It does not matter if they tell you to have self-esteem. The Victoria Secret models flaunt it for all the world to see’ Here I am come buy me”. Prepare your little girls too. Make men desire them. When our tv and Movies just show females as nothing but a body, no wonder a depraved mind can’t get his fill. He will not be reformed. They never are.

Please do not tell me just Trust God. I cannot even tell you how much that is a cop-out. Please tell me, What the heck does that MEAN?? When I wake up in the middle of the night and my monster was real, can you please tell me how that will clear my mind? Does that help me when I’m in an MRI machine and all I can think is,” I’m being cooked to death. I can hear it.” Does that help me when you tell me some horrific story about child abuse and I want to scream at you and say”Stop! Stop! I can’t listen. Don’t tell me.” I instantly have a wave of fear and panic come over me. Does it help me not feel his breath when I kiss my husband? Stop saying stupid things. Christ has been the One light in my life, but don’t use Christian clichés as an excuse to not help the struggling and abused. We think you are an idiot.

So here’s the thing everyone always says you have to talk about it. That’s funny. The more I have been talking about it , the more I have been getting SILENCE.Yes you’d think support, but people either don’t want to feel guilty or they just don’t care. So here it all is. Once it’s out there it’s out there. I hate it. It’s vulnerability and that’s something I never want to be. Ugh. I did this for the start of my journey to stand up and stop being quiet about the things that matter. There are other little girls and boys out there who have been silenced. If my two closest friends have the same background and I have met them at different points in my life , can you imagine the others. It really needs to stop. The condescendng talk towards women in general needs to stop. I will not teach my kids to be complicit. This is also for them. They get to be free from monsters. Stop being silent. Women are just as guilty as men, especially in the church. If you know someone going through any kind of abuse emotional, physical, sexual they need you.They need counseling from a professional. Encourage them to go. Don’t say” I don’t want to get involved.” Don’t agree not to talk about it. Stand up . Speak out. SILENCE IS COMPLICITY.

For such a time as this.

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I usually write just for myself. It’s my time in the morning to get clarity. The kids are sleeping. The house is dark. I actually can barely see the keys. I make plenty of mistakes, but I do it for myself. I enjoy it. Today not so much. Today my heart is a mixed load of sadness and blessings. Today some very important people in my eldest sons life are moving. Don’t get me wrong they have a great opportunity. God opened a door and I think it’s great. Sometimes someone elses blessing can become your trial..in a good, bad sort of way?

The first time my son came to the teen group Daniel was unsure and hurt. His once happy full of life self had been defeated and we were unsure if we should even let him go. Mr. B took Daniel in and made him feel right at home( a choice he may have regretted:O) Daniel would come home from teen group every Wed. and discuss the lesson in the car. He’d ask what we thought. He was totally engaged. He never felt like a teenager was to be silenced or at any moment was going to be rebellious, because we all know that’s what teenagers are. Mr. B talked to Daniel like a human being. Like he was important. If there was anything in this world he could not miss it was the teen group. It wasn’t because of the teens, it was because of Mr. B.

The one thing I appreciated about Mr. B is his willingness to allow the kids to question. To ask those hard things every teen struggles with. He did not shoot them down as heretics or unchristian. It was okay to just say I don’t know. He laughed and smiled and the teens loved him. He didn’t prove he was a man by strength or outward things, but by love and an inward love for God. He did not pretend to be who he was not.

I know Daniel was challenged intellectually. He looked for the loophole. He never just accepts the Christian answer. He always will challenge. Mr. B allowed(most) of his challenges.(If he allowed all, they would be there all night, Daniel can Talk. Haha) That led Daniel to a deeper study of God. Had he quieted that in him. It would have turned him away.

His wife Sarah gave just as much as he did. She was always baking and doing things for the teens. The teens became part of their family. I know Daniel felt awful because he wanted to say something to you publicly on Sunday. So this is his forum. I’ve seen his struggles. I know the real truth. I know how spiritually broken he really was when we came to you guys. I also know the tears he cried when he found out you were leaving. Daniel is not ashamed to cry. I want you to know that you have impacted lives here. My prayer is that you go and impact more Daniels. Thank you from a grateful mom. Thank you for showing my son, The Savior.

Go outside and play.

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My husband and I had a visit to the ER yesterday. We knew this one was coming . It was only a matter of time. When you encourage your kids to “get off their butts and live”( that means go outside) . Something is going to happen. If something is going to happen it’s going to happen to Joel.

Winter all around has been extremely frigid. I don’t mind snow. I don’t mind cold. I do mind temps. below 20 degrees. It has been brutal. The kids go out for ten minutes and they come right back in ,of course that leads to the most ridiculous fighting you have ever heard. If it’s not a fight, they make one up. Thank God for winter activities (indoors.) Anyway usually when one of our children pulls a really dumb stunt, we the parents get scrutinized. You know it’s better to allow your child to sit and eat chips while playing Grand Theft Auto ,than let them climb a tree. ( I don’t recommend jumping off bridges into snow piles, on frozen ponds. BAD IDEA). I was pleasantly surprised yesterday.

I walked into the room and the doctor told me his name. I took a deep breath. My husband was still parking the car. He said, “so Joel how did you hurt your foot?” Joel’s smile is infectious. It makes me smile. He says, “I jumped off a bridge”. The doctor looks at me. I smile. It’s a nervous habit. I know he’s picturing the George Washington Bridge,George_Washington_Bridge_NY but really it’s just a little bridge on a country road. So Joel tells him he was jumping in the snow with friends. He’s the only one who hurts his foot.The doctor says,(with kind eyes) “Well I am sorry your foot is hurt but kids should be outside in the snow. We see a lot of kids who play outside regularly. That’s how it should be. Let’s get an X-ray.” His foot ended up being broken in two places. He’s pretty tough when it comes to things like falling from trees, being chased by bulls, making a goal running full speed on a 95 degree day . Joel just has endurance. If he can’t walk. He broke it.

I think back to a conversation and a video. We were watching this :http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dYw4meRWGd4
Joel watched this and said “I want to be the first one to break his record.” Thinking about that now I don’t know if he was serious or not, but I’m thinking I might be on a first name basis with the ER doctors. It’s going to be a long 8 weeks. Long enough for him to finally sit and take the photography class I tried to get him to take. Yes, that means no pictures hanging upside down from trees, or in the middle of the swamp, but I’m sure he can find something to film on crutches…..Joel Barker 2014 029

All credit goes to Joel. Who sees beauty in everything.

Dislxiu

Standard

I wonder if when a person hits the “post” button they have actually let those words filter through their brain. Are people so desperate for recognition that they have let the whole world know that they are clearly superior intellectually or can they just let it slip?( which I clearly am not) I see the posts everyday. People telling other people the different types of there’s. People telling others how and when to use commas.( what a badge of honor. Thank you so much!!!) The person let’s you know that they have the awful burden to notice every grammar mistake on a sign at a grocery store. People seriously we all know auto correct messes up half of what we say and others are human errors. Then I’ll see one that grabs my heart because I have taught one his whole life. The spelling errors are all over the place. People will tear this one up. I think to myself how did he slip through the cracks?
dyslexia bubble
I know how people slip through because I just heard another story. My husband was talking to someone Who said the first key words” “I hate reading”. He actually has been through college and is now in a good paying job. Your thinking so he hates reading.He has a job, the worst you can say is that? He was asking my husband” how do you spell..this, and this.?” My husband finally started asking questions. He struggled all through school. Spelling was not his best subject. He hated reading. Of course the public school assigns you remedial reading because obviously when you already can’t read you should read more? It’s the same old broken system that has never worked. He got pushed through. He found a way . To get where he is today he had to struggle , work twice as hard and rely on friends. His teachers thought he was dumb. His word problems in math looked like hieroglyphics. No one knew to call it dyslexia.
dyslexia-shirt
With the introduction of the Common Core and all of its assessments I can’t imagine a dyslexic student in the public school. The race to the top initiative is leaving people behind. Students like this. I guess though the public school is set up that way. That is why we homeschool. My son is not going to be left behind while others race to the top. The President may have sounded good with his eloquent speech but his children get their education paid for. Most dyslexic students need very expensive tutoring. The intervention required in the public school is usually not adequate. Most parents turn to private tutoring. I myself love it when homeschoolers say “let the children educate themselves.” I’m sure that will work very well for my son who is dyslexic. There is an element of independence, but to completely allow unmonitored schooling is hogwash.

I used to really worry that we were not doing the right thing. Progress was slow. My son was struggling so bad. Every dyslexia specialist has a different technique they prefer and it’s crazy trying to discern what works best for your child. I was told by someone who was an expert that certain things we were doing would not work. Only their program worked. Their program was thousands! We were already spending that much. We just slowly plodded along because our son liked what he was doing and fought us on the experts program. Guess what? We are seeing tremendous progress. The new spelling curriculum we got has also helped. It’s slow, tedious, repetitive. He actually loves it. He’s gone up a grade level in reading and comprehension. I’m more excited about the comprehension part. He actually is reading the King James Bible with his Dad every night ( if you have ever seen a King James Bible, please clap with me now).I also love, love the immersion narration from Kindle . It’s an option with some of their books and replaces the robotic like reading my son HATED. He would not even bother trying to read along with those TERRIBLE narrations. He was last heard reading along with Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer on some adventure. Who would have thought that possible? In case you are wondering about my title. He spelled that.He will never be “cured” of dyslexia. He is always going to have an element of struggle.He most likely will be a poor speller his whole life. Aside from his dyslexia I’m more proud of him for something else. I told him about this korean pastor who started this box in Korea so that people could come and bring orphans. The people came they dropped babies off in the box and the Pastor and his wife took care of them. My son said to me” Mom when I grow up I want to go there and adopt those children and help that Pastor. Why doesn’t anyone want those babies? I was telling him about the Pastor and the good he was doing, he was focused on the need of the children to have parents. That’s my son. Always seeing the hurt in others. Struggles only become a handicap if you let them.
piglet