Telling the Story

I wrote this

and then I read this-

“I had always felt life first as a story: and if there is a story there is a story-teller.” G.K. Chesterton

Hoping to weave that story web of grace and love

in my home

tomorrow.

His Love and our love.

1 John 4 (NIV)

God’s Love and Ours

 7Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son[b] into the world that we might live through him. 10This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for[c] our sins. 11Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

 13We know that we live in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. 14And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God. 16And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.
      God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. 17In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him. 18There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

 19We love because he first loved us.

Four Favorites for Two Year Olds

Four Favorites for Two Year olds:

 Lauri Shape Sorter: so many uses.

Teach colors, shapes, patterning, and exercise fine motor skills!

 Lauri Number Train: delightful!

Teach colors, number recognition, counting, “puzzle-fitting”, exercise fine motor skills!

Toot Toot Beep Beep:

Delightful, loved, favorite read aloud.

Variety of colorful vehicles with descriptive “noises.”

“Whoosh Whoosh” for the pink limousine.

 Tip Tip Dig Dig:

As beloved as above.

Variety of hard-working construction vehicles

working together to build a happy surprise revealed

at the end of the story.

Everyday: “Read ‘t me. Read t’me. Read books me. Read “Toot Toot Beep Beep.” chirped in sweet two voice.

And so we do.

What’s On My Mind

What’s On My Mind

 Proverbs 12:

25(A) Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down,
   but a good word makes him glad.

It has been a busy and full couple of weeks.

I completely overturned a major aspect of our homeschool and it involved late nights, research, studying, decisions, money, and time. And now we are in the “adjustment period” where we begin a new learning dance and then find ourselves again in the midst of it.  Right now- we are still learning the dance.  Ourselves haven’t totally surfaced yet. But I look forward to seeing us again- once we have adjusted.

I am also keeping our hearts tuned toward “The Three and the Five” – sometimes with help from Todd.

I fight pressure as my oldest son rises into fifth grade- jumps both feet first into the Logic stage and I make ready for these next important years leading up to high school. I want to dialogue with him through these years and give him all I can in Christ, all I have within, as we navigate these very new waters.  Will they be rocky? Everything in me, at times, blares-“Yes!” And I shiver- a- little… as if that cold ocean spray- just caught me- a little.  A rocky sea.  I keep hold to the Anchor. Christ. And I continue to seek hearts with all I am. Help me, Lord.

And we have sweet weekend with tender memories-and yet- some not so good memories, too.

Saturday, we have delicious breakfast, and beautiful, blue hazed Greenway walk. With mountains cloaked in gauze of smoke. With little girl, upraised arms, sweet vision in pink and brown, chasing butterflies, and Little Boy- strong and confident, biking hard and biking slow.

And tenderheart- sweated hot, clasped hands with me, whole walk.

With daisies for me and daisies for her and daisies for the future hope- picked sweet by Love.

And we love. And we walk.

We head home- and I come back to car from grocery stop- to laugh with happy delight. Daddy is storytelling and it is a tale of Pinky and Sally and Newty and…

And it is FUNNY … the whole car is caught silent in the silky web of his tale.  The whole car of six.  Listening still. And they laugh and they cry, “More, more, More!”

Family Fun Night and pizza and popcorn and I went “carb” crazy and felt horrible this morning- but now- I am back on track.  (It was a special pizza recipe just for me and no sugar- but I just ate too  much of it!! Too much!)

And today- we again, head out to the Greenway. Sunny day. Perfect blue sky. Bikes loaded. We’re ready.

But strong son has a crash and scrapes arms. And Tall Son gets overheated and ill. Yes ill. As in throws up on the road on our walk.  And I ponder school so long and so hard- dirt collects in all crevices of our house.

Sweet Sunday with roast, and stir-fried green beans, boiled potatoes, and applesauce. Homemade crusty bread and chocolate covered strawberries. But I can’t enjoy one single bit cause of my strong reaction toward vomit!

Thankfully all the rest of my family (including said sick son) enjoyed their meal and began the last book in the Focus on the Family Narnia drama.

And there was more this weekend…more little thorns to prick the joy in our days and threaten rain.

Proverbs 12:

25(A) Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down,
   but a good word makes him glad.

 Onward! toward Monday and new chore assignments and new school routines and materials.

Remembering to love and to live in His Grace.

~Rebecca

The Final Installment: The Three and The Five!

The Five

(Special note: these five things are five things specifically for my family. They might not be The Five or The Three or The Seven or whatever… for your family! So…keep that in mind while reading. Much Grace~ Rebecca)

Picture this:

Checklists detailed out for six children.

Day spins crazily.

List isn’t complete.

Discouragement reigns.

Secondly:

For a long while I have felt that our morning meeting is very, very important.

Never mind that we recite Scripture during our school time,

never mind that Bible is included in their curriculum.

I just couldn’t shake the very strong

conviction that no matter what- we needed to start our day together,

around our table with praise, prayer, and the Word.

It unifies us to be together at the breakfast table.

I make announcements, share news of the week,

we memorize their Scripture passage,

I read passages I want impressed upon their

hearts forever- passages like Psalm 91 and Psalm 121

and Ephesians 4:29.

I teach from special resources

like “Our 24 Family Ways.”

We pray. I take requests round the table.

I lay out those requests before the throne.

We sing and thank God for the day He has

given us.

It is the one time we are all together-

with me as their teacher- and

we can work on things together.

It is the official start of our day.

 These two things combined compelled

the direction for

the five things:

 Our five things are:

The morning meeting

Personal Bible Time/devotion (for all who can read)

Math

Read Aloud

Family Bible (evening with Todd)

 My reading children all have independent

work they do each day regularly.

There is teacher intensive work as well.

But we complete these above five nearly every

day.

We “check” these five things off our

list and we have a successful day.

We have that yoke laid low on us

and we sigh easy with His grace.

This grace ground works soft

wonders for that lively learning.

It springs up in midst with grace

not burden and more efficient

we become.

 My detailed checklist, sweet boxed schedule is

our goal. We strive.

These five things, they are the always important.

We can feel satisfied.

We work toward that scheduled list with grace.

And so I complete this series with the verse that I

began it with:

But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart

and a good conscience and a sincere faith. 1 Timothy 1:5

without these three things- really what have we accomplished?

A policeman, speed racers, and distracted me

We have been spending a lot of time on our deck lately. It is an ideal place. I can sit in a chair, read home school catalogs and The Well-Trained Mind. The children can ride big wheels, push bubble mower, enjoy fresh air. Sometimes they get a little “overactive” on their bikes. We have two bikes and they are usually careening at top speed up and down the deck with a variety of different children taking turns.  A day or so ago- we were out together. I was nose deep in a home school book. Little one was cuddled up against me, probably in protection of his life, in the face of the rapid rides racing up and down. Suddenly, Tenderheart appears on the scene.  Before I realize what is going on, he is outfitted with sticky notes and pen and is rapidly handing out “tickets” to speeding children. The more they speed and “bump”, the more severe and dramatic the ticket.  I deep smile inside.  This sweet child- he is my rule enforcer. He dots his i’s and crosses the t’s and he notices every inconsistency.  A perfect policeman- he made- to the deep, deep delight of his siblings- and the consternation of me- his Mama- as I noted the rapidly dwindling sticky note pad.  It had to end- but it is a meaningful memory.  A few firm words from me settled the rapid racers, ended the sticky note extravagance, and brought us all inside.  I smile wide at how appropriate a role it was for this dear son and how the riders truly were in need of tickets.  Some things- I notice not- but this one, this son- he does. His siblings were in need of a little “check” toward their hectic racing and his lithe sense of humor rose to the challenge. 

Open my eyes, Lord! Help me to see…

Little One: The Things They Say

Little One: The Things They Say

“Mommy…Jesus comin’ t’day?”

He asks me seriously. Blue eyes bright.

I gulp inside. Where did this one come from?

I bend down, get face-to-face.

“Joshua, Jesus says no one knows the hour or the day

but the Father. We must be ready. Are you ready?” I ask

him- all of two, blond tousled blue-eyed.

“Ch-yes” he says in his imitable way.

“The Bible says you must believe in your heart Jesus is Lord

And confess with your mouth that God raised Him from the dead.

Do you?”

He answers “Ch-yes” in his own sweet way. I don’t take

it to heart… but I also don’t neglect…

I answer little person seriously.

And later- I answer again. And I will

answer again.

 I get down, I look into eyes one-on-one. I hold sweet cheeks

in tender hands. I give the truth. As best I can.

 And later- once more- random and out of the blue,

“Mommy, Jesus comin’ t’day?”

 The things they say.

The Two and The Five is now The THREE and The Five

The Two and The Five now morphed to: The Three and The Five

 As we have been living this series in our home and in our homeschool,

I felt a “gentle” Holy Spirit tug on my heart.

A third over-arching priority was rising.

A third most important statement has been added. 

1.) We Love

2.) We live for God in our family relationships

3.) We live for God by doing our duty joyfully.

What is our duty?  I ask children ringed round table. Bright faces shining.

They know. They know without any prompting. “Do our school.” “Do our chores.”

“Obey Mom and Dad.” 

I think hard inside myself. I need to do  my duty joyfully too. Set eager hands to ready work, dig in.

With joy.

Some Scriptures to motivate toward working joyfully:

Proverbs 12:14  From the fruit of his mouth a man is satisfied with good, and the work of a man’s hand comes back to him.

Proverbs 16:3  Commit your work to the LORD, and your plans will be established.

Proverbs 28:19  Whoever works his land will have plenty of bread, but he who follows worthless pursuits will have plenty of poverty.

The first half of Ecclesiastes 9:10  Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might…

Colossians 3:23  Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men…

Romans 12:11  Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord.