Endless Gifts

The slim grin of the moon and her companion star sparkling against the cold, deep night; so bright

Chocolate on a long, hard day

Lularoe from my sister! I can’t believe how much I love it.

Voxer. It is fun!!- for all its crazy loudness. And how much we sound alike. Love. Super fun to be driving children around and leave a little Vox for my sister who is also driving children around. Ha!

A flaming Maryland sunset with my love

Two resin bluebirds on my windowsill

February: a month of beauty

My darlings playing trains

The birthday cake that landed itself in almost first place family favorite. Pefection!

A birthday so sweet and full of love… and

their beautiful, happy pictures made just for me

an unexpected bouquet of fragrant, pink-rimmed roses

a clean kitchen and his glad surprise

the day I found myself at the table with my five sons…just them and me.

Her- playing Pachelbel’s Canon… and those strings…just sing. And we play a bit, together.

Birthday dinner tradition with my brother and conversation. Good food and dessert!

How I gather my basket and my books round myself and the wave of homesickness…and the feeling of “missing”  -that is the only way I can define it- just fills my heart…Like something so essential to myself has returned to me. Can you be homesick for yourself? Perhaps this is an introverted thing? It just felt like coming home. Several journals, and  my prayer books, my prayer prompt cards, my Bible study, The Power of A Praying Parent, The Power of A Praying Wife, the old edition of Heartfelt Discipline, Life Giving Home and Mission of Motherhood, and the little stack of novels that children have recommended me to read. A room in my heart- alive again.  I hope.

The whole world of Mitford at our feet

 

 

 

 

 

A Poem for February; A Poem for Love-George Herbert Love (III)

I can’t remember if I shared this before on this blog. We are celebrating God’s Love and this is the poem selection that was supposed to grace our Table.  Valentine’s Day celebrated better late than never! Note: I never cared to celebrate Valentine’s Day for years and years…finding it a holiday that can wreak emotional havoc. However, I have discovered that it is a perfect ministry opportunity to pour out love and grace upon my family. So, now I celebrate wholeheartedly for the Lord and for the grace He has poured out in my life.

Love (III)

George Herbert, 1593 – 1633

Love bade me welcome: yet my soul drew back,

Guilty of dust and sin.

But quick-eyed Love, observing me grow slack

From my first entrance in,

Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning

If I lacked anything.

“A guest,” I answered, “worthy to be here”:

Love said, “You shall be he.”

“I, the unkind, ungrateful? Ah, my dear,

I cannot look on thee.”

Love took my hand, and smiling did reply,

“Who made the eyes but I?”

“Truth, Lord; but I have marred them; let my shame

Go where it doth deserve.”

“And know you not,” says Love, “who bore the blame?

My dear, then I will serve.”

“You must sit down,” says Love, “and taste my meat.”

So I did sit and eat.

The Things They Say

After several days too many, finally- its evening and I am down. I am curled against my favorite chair. A small son draped comfortably next to me. I am listening to eager chatter. So much eager chatter. And it is doing me

SO much good. So good.

An hour or so earlier, I was gallantly rallying reluctant troops. Trying to reclaim my domain. I was rising up… albeit sickly and faltering, but rising none-the-less.

He is talking, sharing thoughts, ideas, I comment about his schoolwork, I ask if his clipboard (school checklist) needs to be refreshed and suddenly, in the midst, he is speaking my very own mind…

how comfortable this chair is… how cozy sitting together… we are so cozy…

Then! in his very own trademark way…

“Tomorrow’s going to be ‘crack-the-whip day!’ Tomorrow’s is going to be ‘crack-the-whip-with-the-clipboard-day!”- he says emphatically.

Oh! How I laughed and laughed and laughed and laughed some more. And we raced together to this screen so I could capture it.

Because he is right. Tomorrow is going to be crack -the-whip day and he knows it all too well. May I reclaim my domain with grace and love and patience and sweetness and kindness and goodness….and not with whip cracking fierceness. 🙂

The Things They Say. Joshua.

February: A Month of Beauty

images captured but not in chronological order

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A little arrangment: resin bluebird! remnants of an absolutely delish birthday cake in the background

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A brief February Snow

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Those clouds…they were actually heavy brooding blue and floating with purpose across the sky

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February afternoon sky the day of snow

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new letters for the mantle

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Pippin Love

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and Cuteness

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Revisiting this old favorite

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with my own little ducklings

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His darling brown patch

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A clean section of the table is a thing of beauty to me

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Birthday Roses

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Beauty in so many senses: sight, smell, touch. Velvet beauty. I press my face to them almost every time I walk by.

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2.6.17- that February sky- stretched cross cloud; sky blue and almost balmy

Online Tutoring- Resources and Opportunity

(Note: this post contains referral information and links. I may benefit if you go through one of these links and become a contracted tutor.)

Work from home opportunities that can fit within a homeschooling lifestyle can be hard to find. For many years, I have cried out in my heart to the Lord for help in this area. I am thankful to say that He has answered abundantly! While I am still very new to everything, I have been so pleased. I am grateful for these opportunities.

I am sharing them here, on the blog! I have three opportunities to offer.

I have found wonderful opportunity as an English and Writing Tutor. However, Calculus, all Math, Science, Computer Science are all in high demand and actually receive a higher pay rate. There is also opportunity to tutor in career fields like nursing. So, if you enjoy teaching in any capacity, this might be an opportunity to consider!

The first is Varsity Tutors. I have been so pleased with this company. Their support is excellent. Their live, online platform is terrific. I have greatly enjoyed the clients I have worked with so far. They have a video interviewing process with follow-up phone calls and emails. I have found communication with this company to be reassuring and of the highest caliber. Varsity Tutors connects students in real life and also online. I use a headset for the online tutoring feature with this company. This company also has the best referral opportunity both for referring tutors and also students. You can also earn money by creating practice tests and quizzes. Very interesting!  From Varsity tutors: Great tutors across all subjects are needed. We have an especially high need for math, science, and test prep tutors, including SAT, ACT, GMAT, GRE, MCAT, and LSAT.

The second online tutoring company is called Chegg. This company also has a terrific online platform. Out of the three opportunities I am sharing, I have found it to be the hardest to obtain clients. I think this might be because of the subjects I am certified to tutor. They have a wonderful written lesson function that I enjoy as a Writing Tutor. I can tutor live online without the headset. This can be very convenient! They rely on a chat/message feature to promote communication between students and tutors. Once you connect with a student, you are to schedule or move to the live lesson space. All tutoring takes place in the live lesson space and payment begins immediately once the lesson begins. I have had a great experience with Chegg customer service. They are helpful, kind, and informative. They do seem to have a stronger focus on the STEM subjects. However, I have tutored in my expertise on their platform.

The final opportunity I would like to share is Brainfuse. I have found the most work, so far, with this company. I am contracted through their Writing Lab and also on their live, online tutoring platform. This platform is entirely chat based with a whiteboard and document share feature. The whiteboard has many components and there are all kinds of tools for STEM tutors. They only offer a referral fee if you refer them a tutor who teaches physics, calculus, trigonometry, geometry, or chemistry and teaches for them for two months. After the two months, there is an email process that has to be followed- so if this does work for you! Please let me know. 🙂  The live online tutoring is a great opportunity for working at home in the evenings or weekends. (Mostly 🙂 I am still getting used to structuring everything.) The Writing Lab is a feature where students submit essays, papers, and other works of writing into the system and tutors grab them and return them by the due date which is (usually) about 24 hours later. If you are interested in this, I would ask you consider contacting me and I can provide more information!

I have really enjoyed the opportunity to provide help and instruction in the subjects of Writing and English. It has translated positively in my homeschooling, also. I have more confidence and the tools I use with online students have helped me tutor my own sweet ones.

Once again, Varsity Tutors is my favorite! I had a little bit of a struggle with a situation and they were available and kind throughout the process.

Blessings,

Rebecca

To Thine Own Self Be True

A long time ago I was a little girl in the back of a beloved neighbor’s car, driving home from church.  Sweet, sympathetic neighbor- who I now realize was more truly kindred than I ever comprehended in my youth, listening to the overflow of my turbulent heart. She offered me these wise words of advice:

To Thine Own Self Be True

“Becca, to thine own self be true…” I still remember the feel of the car seats, the saltines generously filled with peanut butter offered to slake the after church hunger, the inward turmoil roiling again and again in my soul.Such advice offered as I wrestled with many emotions and relationships all around me. Those hard junior high years! Better words for me couldn’t have been spoken… as down through all these many years, I still struggle.

I struggle with really knowing ‘my own self’ …how can I be true to what I cannot define?

I struggle with being true. It is easy for me to open wide all the doors of my heart when I should be hunkering down and pulling back.

And…I struggle with defining the borders of my own path through this life.

And yet, in the midst of this struggle…down all the years so far- I have learned:

The Lord defines my borders.

I am found in Him. I need this deeply. I need to rest in His beauty.

The Lord is the portion of my inheritance and my cup;
You support my lot.
The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places;
Indeed, my heritage is beautiful to me. Psalm 16:5,6

Lately, I have also been seriously reflecting about how I don’t want to ride on anyone’s bandwagon. I have been on way too many. The driver jumps off and I am still riding. Usually, that driver is loudly waving for me to join them on their new ride.

No.

I want to be true. True to the deep down depths. True to my God and true to this authentic life He has given me.

And I want the story of my life and the ideals of my heart to sing true. Ideals and missions are beautiful things. They are gifts cupped from God. They are not God. Everything in its proper place.

I can’t deny the hurt I feel when people disappoint. The words written or spoken utterly belied by action or lifestyle. The utter disregard for the people embraced under the care and ministry of the mission who are now forsaken. It is a tremendous reminder that we must always be going lower. Never higher. Never lifted up. Jesus, lifted up.

Yes. 

Side note: I heard a tremendous podcast featuring Ann Voskamp that unveils this truth so beautifully:  about how we are to always be going lower in such a clear, beautiful way. Find it here.

No more riding for me.

Again, again this phrase rises.

From Hamlet. Spoken by Polonious. Act 1, Scene 3

…This above all- to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.

It is an interesting study to read varying commentary on this excerpt from Hamlet. So often with literature and poetry, my heart and mind make intuitive leaps that I can find hard to define. How to bring forth this inner knowing? This sense of something more? Yet, I know, know that leap… is there… and it is the unveiling of the meaning and connection that forms the great insight, the beam of radiant light. In a gentle way, I read and read again. And over time, the layers reveal.

Thou canst not then be false to any man.

Rock solid, to the toes, integrity. This is what my heart longs for, this is what I need.

Sit in quiet, find this self- united with the Lord-  ,  and align myself to be true.

The message must be true to what is authentic within. The words, the song, the lilting praise, the cry.

It is an interesting study to ponder that we have individual callings from the Lord. A message. A journey. The fulfillment of our own individual callings…yes, this comes from You, Lord.

29 For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. Romans 11:29 ESV

It comes from You. You who define what that is, how it fleshes out, what it looks like in the daily every day.

10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10 ESV

Finding myself, walking through this path of life, comes from being true. True to You. True to me. True to the precious ones I gather under my wings. And heart- take heed- true, true to Your Word which I cannot handle rightly without You. This I know.

And -this is where it gets so hard for me- sometimes…true to my own finite, human limitations. Not trying to be something I’m not…And not sinking down in the despair over many failings. Over who I am not.

I can only stretch so thin. The ones under this roof, born from under this heart, these dear ones are my first mission. And it is an always turning and turning again. My heart to theirs. Help me turn, Lord.

When I am offered kindly advice… advice that doesn’t fit. Advice that comes from a different place than the seat of my heart, I have to be brave. I have to be bold. I have to be relentless in my pursuit of my personal call and the ministry to the lives entrusted to my care. I have learned ( and continue to learn) to be humble and small. I have learned to listen and take heed. I have also learned to set my face like steel and walk on. Walk on.

As I face so many different settings, expectations, and cultures in this season of life

from deep within my heart…I am remembering:

To Thine Own Self Be True.

This Self is oriented toward God and when I am True, there can be no regret.

~Rebecca