Sunday, October 30, 2011


I want to tell you that it's not just in the teaching my children that I've learned.  I should say that I've seen it in all areas of my life;  decision making, marriage, grieving, parenting, forgiveness, friendship, leadership.  Above all of those areas though, I see it more than ever now in my job.

I am ill-equipped.


badly or inadequately equipped

This is a real downside, being that one of the goals of my life is to prove myself.  To make it evident to others watching me that I CAN do this thing, be it motherhood, marriage, or getting through the grocery store with three medium sized boys and a smile on my face.  I want to show everyone that it can be done graciously, in doing so, prove myself good.  Or equipped.  Or something like arrived.

Before you go saying that I shouldn't be hard on myself, or that "I'd never have the patience to homeschool,"  let me just say that I'm just being truthful to myself and that homeschooling only proves that I don't have the patience.

I love this job of homeschooling.  And yet nearly every week you'll find me hiding in the bathroom with tears in my eyes whispering (or yelling) to God that I just don't know what I'm doing, I just don't know how to be consistant or patient or wise enough.  This job brings me to my knees on a regular basis.

And in a way I know this is a good thing.

Maybe I'm kind of starting to get over me, thinking that life is about getting Amanda happy.

Now I'm clearly aware of my lack.  Of my need for something that goes beyond me.  I know just how much I need God, and am daily amazed at the price He paid;

He sent His only Son
             to show us how to live
He sent His only Son
              to give His life in a sacrifice that would replace the sacrifice no one man could ever pay.

You see, before Christ died, God asked for a sacrifice for every sin a man committed.  The slaughter, then burnt offering of an animal that would cover the sin of man.  But we sin daily now, don't  we, and how, ever could an animal cover the daily sin of man?

So God made a covenant with Himself, he knew man could not keep a covenant.

He sent His only Son
           to give his life in a sacrifice for me.

Me, full of holes.  Needing grace and covering everyday for my sins, all because He loves me.  All because He made me and He knew I was ill-equipped.

And as I believe in Him, I am forgiven and filled.  Filled with the light of God, the truth.

2 Corinthians 4:7 – But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show us that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.

This is so much more than religion people.

This is me; a cracked pot of sorts.  A woman who can't get it together and yells at my kids, who forgets to make dinner and has terrible quiet thoughts.  The woman who thinks about myself more often than not, then justifies it.  The woman who talks first and thinks later.  A woman who has been abused, dumped & divorced, lied to, yelled at, betrayed, left behind, disowned and just hurt.  Remember, the woman hiding in the bathroom, crying?

And this is me, still the same girl with the same issues, but full of something that is all love, grace, forgiveness.  The girl who has been healed of those hurts, who can learn to control my tongue, and can learn to forgive others and myself when I screw up because God loved me enough to forgive me, to pay a huge price so that I could live a free life, holes and all.

2 Corinthians 12:9-10 Each time [God] said,
 “My grace is all you need. My power works 
best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast 
about my weaknesses, so that the power of 
Christ can work through me. That’s why I take 
pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, 
hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I
 suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I
 am strong.

The beautiful part is that because God is in me it's okay to be inadequate.  I don't have to be perfect or together.  I can be a relaxed homeschooler because I can see this life is fluid and when life is in motion it's not neat ; not all together.

I am learning to be okay with proving to everyone that homeschooling makes life messier and busier, it stretches a woman in a way she's never been pulled.  It's work and it's lovely and for all the 2,293 reasons I've listed in previous posts it's in every.way.worthwhile.  Homeschooling =my boys get to see an all day example of what a mess I am and what a good God we love because He loves me anyhow.

I'm certain that if any of us stop & think for very long we'll be aware of our inadequacies.  True, so many of you aren't on this mission I've been to prove to the world, or yourself, that I'm NOT inadequate. But we still need more, we need God to fill in the holes and be what we aren't.  Mostly, to cover the sin and awful parts of our lives so we can live freely.

I can freely say I'm a mess.  I don't fall apart because Christ holds all things together.

If you tell me that you don't have the patience to homeschool I promise you'll be met with knowing eyes~ I know you don't.  I don't either.  If you want to ask me about being a filled up mess, please do.   I don't have what it takes to get through a lot in this life. (Teaching my boys day in and day out just highlights the fact)  I'm ill equipped.  God knows it, too.  But He has way with me.  He's making me beautiful.

All this pain
I wonder if I'll ever find my way
I wonder if my life
could really
change at all

All this earth
could all that is lost
ever be found
could a garden come up from this
ground at all

You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things
Out of the dust
You make beautiful things 
You make beautiful things out of us

All around
Hope is springing up 
from this old ground
out of chaos life is being 
found in you

You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things
Out of the dust
You make beautiful things 
You make beautiful things out of us

You make me new
You are making me new

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Building Challenge...

Hop on over to our new Builders Blog!  There are challenges for kiddos (and creative folks) to take part in....

Lookee here...

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

a few of my favorite things...

Outside my window...leaves are hemming us in.  Sycamores, broad and beautiful.  Our porch is covered in pumpkin and gourd.  I love, love Autumn!

I am thankful for... my camera.  It's fine!!  A weeks' long rest in a bath of rice brought it back to life and I'm thrilled, so, so thankful!

From the learning rooms... Lots of learning games as of late.  Lots of the three r's.

Tutoring (known as teaching to the non-CC world) is going well.  I feel that after a year's experience I'm really getting in my groove and it's less work and more fun.  I'm delighted to get to know each of the 8 kiddos in the class and love watching them learn and grow.

From the kitchen...just finished two big batches of Green Chili Chicken.  My family, ALL of my family had 2nds.  Now, this is a moment in time to behold.  EVERYONE ate what I cooked for dinner.  We have a finicky boy who usually just eats veggies and fruit and bread for dinner.  But he ate tonight!  Horray!  The other batch is in the freezer.  More goodness for a rainy-too-tired-to-cook day!

I am wearing...favorite jeans and Ralphie's sweatshirt.  Comfy!  Again.

I am creating...a lesson plan for next week (right after this).

I am the Pumpkin Patch with my four boys on Friday.  :)

I am reading...The Lion, the Witch and The Wardrobe to the boys.  Caught in the Rebel Camp with Joey.  The Glass Castle on my own, Experiencing Jesus and Fearless.  And how to teach tin whistle for this dummy in Classical Music for Dummies.

I am hoping...that someone I'm thinking of is doing okay.

I am hearing...the hum of the heater, clock ticking, quiet.  We hit freezing last night for the first time.

Around the house...purged in the living room and shined it up last week.  This week I'm on to the laundry room.  Purge, clean, organize and decorate just a bit.   Little by little...

One of my favorite things...a few minutes of quiet.  Non-hormone days.  A good night's sleep.  Hanging out in my jammies on a Saturday morning.  A good book.  My cute husband coming home from work.  A good nap. The holidays.  A good, hard run.  A cute princess kitten. Autumn.  (Ok, a few of my favorite things....)

A few plans for the rest of the week: pumpkin patch, book sale, dog-sitting, karate.  

Here is picture thought I am sharing...
This boy is happy to read...

Friday, October 21, 2011

Really, it's not so bad....

Last night I really wish I had my camera.  We were at a BBQ at a friends' house and I glanced at a white board.

The 'to do' list written for their daughter read:

clean your room
apply to colleges
apply for scholarships

I immediately thought, "Ok, life isn't so bad.  First, I'm not the girl that has to fill out all those applications AND clean my room. AND I'm not the parent that has to be sure those unsurmountable tasks get done.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Overheard:  Eli says:  Nate, why don't you tell about the house when we lived in Virginia?
                    Nate says:  EeeeLi!  I don't remember that!
                    Joey says:  Back then, Nate was just a speck!

...a speck, indeed

Monday, October 17, 2011

For Today...

Outside my window...the red and golden leaves crackle-giggled at us today as our bike tires rolled over them.  We called out the signs of Autumn as we saw them, breathed in the smoky air and enjoyed a day of sunshine.  The world is quieting down and I'm still Autumn's biggest fan.

I am thankful for... a new win-win!

You see, I homeschool.  Therefore, we live in our house all day, using potties, making dishes, laundry and dirty floors.  I am always in a pinch to keep up.  The boys are taking on more chores all the time and doing really well with their zones.  But I still fight for the right time to get an hour of housework done after school (tired) and before dinner or running around.  I love doing housework in the morning.

And, if you've been reading my blog for long at all you'll know how much I detest the monster that lives in my basement.  That glowing monster sings stupid songs and beckons to them all throughout the school hour...."Come and play my stupid little games!  You might get more points or better yet, to the next level."  I simply cannot permit my sweet students to be rushed by their desire to wallow down to the dark, gloomy basement to be entranced by that machine....

Anyhow, I have discovered a sweetest compromise.  As long as my boys are esteeming each other over that machine called the Wii, I have been permitting them, after their chores, to play games for a a bit in the morning.  They are up early, so why not?  THEN (this is the beautiful part) I can run around like a crazy lady for a 1/2 an hour and get an amazing amount of housework done.

It's working, for a few weeks now (who knows about next week) and I'm loving it.  I'm also able to stretch our "fun" part of school out a little longer b/c the machine has been silenced and so has the laundry.

I'm so thankful for tricks and seasons.

From the learning rooms... Lewis and Clark, digestive anatomy and diagramming sentences of course ( I love diagramming!) Also a fun new math game I contrived.

Math Crossword

On a White Board I create a grid and one by one I line up numbers so that three numbers in a row usually create some sort of equation (3, then 5, then 8= 3+5=8)  I fill in the entire grid coming up with as many appropriate problems that I can.  For my boys I'm doing only addition and subtraction.  My oldest math whiz will study the grid until he finds a problem using his math.  

Then the kids take turns showing me a math problem and they get a 'point' for each answer (points mean nothing) until the board is exhausted.   A very fun way to practice math facts together and it's working for us all.  :)

From the kitchen...leftover Lasagne for dinner, but I just finished making these for Ralph for take-to-work breakfast.  He will be happy when he gets home.  :)  Oh, and my kitchen is clean.  This is a new trend.

I am wearing...slippers.  And yoga-comfy pants and my glasses.  Comfy.

I am creating...a little order around the house and soon, a Christmas gift project.  This year is a make-gift-year for the most part.  Lean is good, isn't it?

I am iron.  In 10 minutes.  Oh, and apple picking.  Soon.

I am reading...Amos Fortune: Free Man by Elizabeth Yates.  I love it.

I am hoping...that my camera survives.  I may have killed it.  *BIG sigh.*  I accidently left it outside after a wonderful late night fire we had in the back yard.  I took so many great s'more photos...and then was so worried about getting the fire banked I left my camera out.

It's in a tub of rice, I'll update you when I know...

I am hearing...rhythmic thumping of Mr. J on the chair while he reads, and Eli playing with Nika, the spicy, sneaky, scratchy kitten.

Around the house...I'm still purging, still organizing after our move.  I know it's been a year, but these things take time.  I like this house.  No, I love it.

One of my favorite things...clean sheets.  Tonight is clean sheet night.

A few plans for the rest of the week: karate, soccer, Awana, CC, school, Nika to the dr., BBQ, and hubby's game night here.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...
Mr. N and his 72 lb pumpkin!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Autumn Wind

Maybe it's the wind that pushed through the trees all night overhead. The comforting whistling that sang to me while I lay tucked in.

Maybe it's the number 6 that he has behind his name. Maybe it's that my littlest boy, who is not so little, lost his first tooth and does not at all resmble the little one who toddled after me for so many years.
Maybe it's the sense of urgency that's waning. Everyone runs around trying to get the last of that good summer fun in. Finally, thankfully our world is slowing a bit. Enough time to watch the leaves turn and fall, fall, sway to the ground. I know it will soon be a flood of leaves.
Enough time to sit and read another chapter, to get my mind out of the crazy-making, to slow down and count some things in the hours to be so, so thankful for.

Or perhaps it's in that all too familiar beckoning I hear whispered at me…Abba. My Father, He whispers at me to know Him more. To know the meaning of the Cross and death and new life. To taste redemption and freedom.
I am grateful that God hasn't forgotten me. I am grateful that He's relentlessly committed to seeing me become all that He made me to be.
"being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on unto completion until the day of Christ Jesus…" Phil 1:6
and His promise is that He's not done with me and the seasons roll around again and I'm thinking of Christmas and a new Calendar but He is thinking about the good work He started in me and wills or permits my circumstance to get me there.

I'm slow to learn.
But God is patient. And I'm worried about time flying by too fast and how I'm going to get all this done, or even what on earth my blog is for…but God is committed to me and waits for me when I meet with Him in the early mornings or long afternoons on my knees with my heart in my hands.
And He is the healer. He soothes the soul, my God, He soothes. He whispers promises to me and presses me on beyond myself, alone I cannot be who I want to be. To do…Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, self control. I fail ridiculously without Him.

So these are the thoughts my heart ponders in Autumn. I see the garden fade and the pumpkin swells with orange and delight. I wonder about the new season of my life, and am hopeful for all the good God has in store.
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Monday, October 3, 2011

Do you build?? Have Builders?

Introducing a new challenge blog!

Hop over to the Building Block Blog to check it out.