A Panagram- by Micah

Today, I was preparing to write this blog post- feeling in my heart that it was time to share a link to some of Micah’s creative writing. Then discovered later today that he won four regional awards for four writing pieces in the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. It is fitting indeed. 

Micah has been taking Creative Writing through The Potter’s School this year. It has been a wonderful “capstone” class for his senior year; one that he has thoroughly enjoyed and has helped sharpen his abilities.

Throughout the course, students build a blog to showcase their work and interact with their classmates. They submit assignments through their study place account and also post them on their blogs.

I have often pondered sharing a link or two-

but today, I was delighted to read one of his latest assignments- A Panagram.

And so, I would like to share this piece here via a link (with his permission) to his own personal writing space.

~Rebecca

Mentoring Mondays: Mission of Motherhood Chapter 3 Part 2

Chapter 3 part 2: Mission of Motherhood: An Undivided Heart

From Waterbrook Press 2003

For Thought And Reflection:

These are the Four Scriptures (ESV version) referenced in this section:

Proverbs 14:1

14 The wisest of women builds her house,
    but folly with her own hands tears it down.

Matthew 6:20,33

20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal

33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

Galatians 6:7

Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.

Romans 12:1-2

12 I appeal to you therefore, brothers,[a] by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.[b] Do not be conformed to this world,[c]but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.[d]

Today, I am going to reflect and respond to Romans 12:1-2

Questions from the book: “According to these verses, what does God consider to be the most effective kind of worship? In what ways can we do this, and how does it apply to the way we live as parents? According to verse 2, how do we keep from being conformed to this world? In what way can we transform our minds? (See 2 Timothy 3:16)” page 57

I think that the most effective worship is the one that is of the whole self. My life, my mind, my body. How can I do this? …by the mercies of God… in light of and in view of God’s mercy, I am granted grace to present myself a living sacrifice. We keep from conforming to the world by orienting ourselves in a correct posture unto the Lord and by renewing our minds according to the Word. The renewal of the mind by the Word is transformative according to this Scripture. O! This is life-giving. Lately, I have been feeling very discouraged by some of my tendencies. This verse offers such hope! Transforming power! I have been believing a lie but this verse ushers me into truth.  I can be transformed by the renewal of my mind and I can discern the will of God. Praises!

Something to Try:

I am refreshing and renewing my commitment to be the mother God has called me to be. I am not sure how I will flesh this out yet. I have several things on my heart but I am not sure what or which I will actually be able to bring to life at this time. However, I do need a mind renewal and re-dedication in this area.  What about you? I was recently in a home that made a strong impact on my heart. On many walls, there were beautiful Scripture verse art. The art was full of grace and truth. Wherever I sat, there was a feast for the eyes and food for the soul. It made such an impact, I still feel all the beauty, light, truth and goodness when I close my eyes and quiet my heart. I would like to build such beauty and grace in my own dwelling. There is precious treasure and oil in a wise man’s dwelling. Proverbs 20:21. 

Lord, thank You for grace and renewal. Revive me according to Your will.

 

66 Books on Fridays

I am honored to share Fridays at 66books with my son Nathanael in 2018.

I am hoping to post links to our posts regularly.

You can find him here (posted 1/26):

Genesis 49-50; Galatians 4

When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said “It may be that Joseph will hate us and pay us back for all the evil that we did to him.” Genesis 50:15 ESV

In Genesis 50, Joseph’s brothers are terrified because their father died. Joseph is one of the most powerful men in Egypt and they are worried that without their father, Joseph will take revenge for all the wrong his brothers did him. However, Joseph does not have revenge in mind.

Read the rest here!

The School that Started It All

This came yesterday, January 24, 2018.

0124180924a

This is the school that started it all. The journey to AP classes. The full-hearted, full-on, all in, test prep. The school that planted a seed of hope for what the next step of Micah’s life could look like.

We do not know if this is the end point, but this is a landmark, a monument, a remembrance stone.

This is (at this time) his first choice.

When we stared down the tunnel of college applications/admittance last year (winter 2017), we were fully aware that he might not get in to this school. But, like a flame of golden light, we lit up with hope at the thought of a rigorous school where intellectual inquiry was valued and he could have the satisfaction of interacting with classmates who were serious about learning; the joy of a robust, intellectual environment- with a cohort of like-minded students. There was/is this emphasis on… the pursuit of the good, the true, and the beautiful.

I heard about Hillsdale because a young couple at our church went there (met there and later married) and I was impressed by their intellectual and spiritual vigor; much as I was impressed by a couple from Grove City I also met at church.

I received very good advice from a trusted academic friend who told me to call the Admissions Office (when I had a question about a particular course requirement for senior year.)  When I called, they said they screen applicants carefully for aptitude and ability to succeed in their rigorous classes.(it wasn’t necessarily about whether he had physics on his transcript or not.)

Thus, began a true journey- for him and for me.

And…  now-

he got in. 

The beacon ever before us; the light ahead of him… helping him to press on and press in.

I know, regardless of whether Hillsdale is the final destination of this part of his journey, and the next step for the next one…

he will say: it was all worth it.

Yes. It is and it was.

Homeschool to College. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mentoring Mondays- Update!

I lost my book for a bit. For more than a bit actually- as I write about in the beginning of my post: Chapter 4 part 2.  Lost it, and now it is found… and Chp 4, part 2 is finished—

when I went to see where I left off- I discovered that I only posted Chapter 3 part 1 – and that was in August. O my! I have Chapter 3 part 2, Chapter 4 part 1, and Chapter 4 part 2 all ready and waiting. And unpublished.

The school year has been very intense. And, I didn’t schedule the posts I have had waiting in my drafts.

Sometimes, most times, I tuck deep in and go very quiet when things are at work on the inside.

But I am back and at work, once more.

Steady on, forward, go!

-Rebecca

 

 

a new year… a new word(s)

In 2016… I chose {nourish}… it was a gentle call, a whisper… and I didn’t give myself fully. I wish I would have- because everything I could have learned, I still have yet to gain.

In 2017… I chose {freedom}… it was a rally cry… a calling. An ephemeral glimmer always floating on the outskirts in every decision.  It was a wind in the air, in my sails, in my hair, against my face, whispering in my ear.

2018… and… I chose {invest}… although it is seconded always and continually by {tend}… and I think the two will dwell hand in hand… a tend(ing) invest(ment) in many! areas of my life.

How this word is informing me this year:

{Invest} in (this is in no particular order)…

  • the Scriptures
  • my marriage
  • my children
  • my relationships
  • my health
  • my mind
  • my body
  • my soul
  • my spirit
  • my church and community group
  • my family

{tend}

my physical self, my homeschool, the physical needs of this life(these lives), the house, the people

I have, in general, been quiet on the blog. I have been quiet about a “word.” I have been quiet in my life. I keep pondering my purpose and intent. I miss certain bloggers who have “gone away,” silenced their voice, or “hidden” from view. I don’t want that to be me.

One thing I know: I want to be real. Forever and always.

2018: the journey is {to invest}… what’s yours?

~Rebecca

 

 

Heart-Call

Next Day

I sit on the floor with a wee, still small- but growing O! so fast, four year old tucked on my lap, her hair against my cheek. Picture book in hand. She helps turn the pages. By my side, the six year old twins squish in… listening. The comfort of this moment reaches deep into my soul.

And I am glad. Glad. Glad. And my heart and mind race down years. Seventeen years. Years of reading to small children tucked next to me… and us all being soothed in mind and heart. Together. Making connections and weaving a story. Gold threads in our own tapestry. I look ahead and I hope for small grandchildren gathered round me, who I can impact for eternity. I only hope, because I have loved. And I am busy about this present day… with many too faces growing too quickly before my clouded eyes. There is much work to be {continually} done.

I look at the present faces all around me. Each one’s precious life a gift from God.. and my heart set to minister. To “see” each one… however, imperfectly- so very inadequate…but by faith.

I think of all… all! the imperfect and sloppy days living this life. I think of the relentless press and pursuit forward with all that I am. I think of how I lay down my life for Jesus’ sake. I think of how that is misunderstood in so many ways; again, again. And how poor I am at communicating the full impact of the vision of my heart; the obedience of my life; the unending questioning, analyzing, suffering of the path that is ever before me.

*************************************************************************************

Prior Night,

I sat in a small group of Christians who I do not know very well, and who do not know me. They know about me. They know what they think of me. Perhaps some unwittingly admire me or think I am “something” that I am most assuredly not… because of *very outward*  circumstances of my life.

They ask interested questions. And I try to answer. All the ways I have answered over all the years. And all the corrections offered and the judgments given. How do you convey an entire life given to God, however imperfectly,- no.- so very imperfectly- in a fifteen minute- or even a 60 minute sound bite, when the journey has traversed so much hardship, difficulty, suffering, angst, frustration, confusion, and pain. I can’t.

How do you let people in who look at you with bright, rosy eyes expecting a picture you cannot provide? And how do you guard your heart from the shudder of hurt felt when the warmth turns chill- which it always does. Because.

The story above has also been played out down years. Years and years. Perhaps not seventeen- but close to it. Yes. Close.

I feel sometimes sick at the replay of these conversations. In the end, I determine to continue on. In obedience, by striving ever more to watch my words and guard my heart.

I think of all the words I choke back. The ones I blurt out. The ones I wish two days later, I would have shared. I think of last year’s word: Freedom. I let it wash over me. Freedom.

Free in Christ. Free to live. Free to choose. Free to do. Free. I am free. Free to not ever think again about anything said to me, and every misunderstanding, and bright eye- dimmed.

Free to run toward ALL the fullness of Christ for me that no man can ever lessen.

***************************************************************************

In these new middle years of my life, I find so much different.

I don’t regret one moment of laying down my life for my family through faith in Christ and giving my whole self to this ministry and calling. My imperfections and weakness; my failures leave their mark. But that is not the fault of the call or the choice(s).

I know I will stand before Christ and the fear of God is real in my soul. But I also know His understanding knows no bounds. He knows EVERY crack, crevice, mote of dust; all the tears, all the pain, all the broken-ness. He is informed by all and above all.

*********************************************************************************

To state that “I have been going through something” this year, is such a shadow of the full impact in my life.

My whole life (since 1999) has been connected in and through each of my children and Todd. I gave my body and I gave my heart. I gave willingly. I gave in faith. I surrendered. The fact that the full surrender has led to pain is not wrong. God is with me in the pain. In every season, Christ.

I do believe that I am most fully developed as I exercise my ministry in and through my family. And, in these days, I see this played out again and again as a new season of employment has been upon me for over a year. And in this employment, it is the strength of my family behind me that provides wings for the excellence before me.

I have learned that

when I surrendered to Christ, I surrendered to difficulty I could not see and I could not predict. I gave myself to going through the things He allows. When I said, like Mary, “Be it done to me according to Your will.” I invited Him, His holy Presence, to overshadow my life. And so He has.

The choices I have made find their source; their root; their seed here:

12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.  John 15

16 This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.  1 John 3

24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 25 For whoever wants to save their life[f] will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. Matthew 16

Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. 25 Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me. John 12

I know that I can trust the Lord through every season and rest in Him as He orders my circumstances. I know that the gifts and the calling of God is irrevocable and He will quicken and bring life to me appropriate to my days.

I know that the pouring out of a whole heart and life was not and is not wrong. Nor will I be left helpless, alone, with no identity, and/or lost, because in all things: Christ and in every new season: the work of my hands, heart, and soul for Him.

What do I say to the young father who asks: Should I keep a portion of my life just for myself? These children grow and are meant to leave.

I say: Lay down the whole of your life for Christ. Lose your life, to find it.

I say: Children require the full focus of a life. They are designed to need it so. The impact of this choice is eternal.

God’s design is good, even when it hurts.

In all things, Christ.

Let it be so.

~Rebecca