"When you go through a period of time, and almost every marriage is tested to find out what it’s made of, you begin to test the metal of whether you are going to live for yourself or whether you’re going to live for someone else." -D. Rainey
Friday, January 29, 2010
Thursday, January 28, 2010
What I like about this curriculum is that it has a Christian focus. It meets and exceeds Kindergarten Readiness Standards. It provides a detailed, weekly lesson plan with many ideas and ways to teach. In addition, the site provides links for other educational sources, worksheets, and activities. Oh, and the best part: ITS ALL FREE!
I've discovered this year that the girls and I both seem to enjoy a literary focus. The best part of the day, in which they learn the most, is story time. I'd like a Kindergarten curriculum that has that kind of focus. Any suggestions?
Monday, January 25, 2010
...until I discovered the most gorgeous photos!
Juli McKendrick is the eldest of Tricia's 12 children, and a very talented photographer! Recently, I have fallen in love with her photos and I'm trying to plot a way to get a photo shoot with her, even though she lives Texas!
Below are some of my favorite photos from Juli. You can check out more of her work at Juli McKendrick Photography!
Friday, January 22, 2010
I am back to blogging and television viewing (though not quite as fanatically as before;) So, in honor of my "media-return," I thought I'd share a song with you.
I first was introduced to John Waller and his BEA-U-TI-FUL music while checking out this lovely blog. Below is a video featuring his song entitled, "While I'm Waiting." This is one of the songs we heard in the movie Fireproof (which you should really see if you haven't already).
Since the beginning to the 30-day Challenge, I have been working to build my faith through the word of God, and I am at a point where I am really learning how to wait on the Lord in faith.
Consequently, Wallers' song just so happens to capture the sentiments of my heart.
Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD (Psalm 27:14).
Sunday, January 17, 2010
I was relieved and feeling quite satisfied with all of the non-media time that my family was experiencing. We were bonding. The children were expanding their creative imagination. I was getting out of the house more.
And then it happened.
My loving brother, who (God bless him) declared my not having a working television as Un-American, bought us a 26" HDTV for Christmas.
The word relapsed may just be an understatement.
Let's just say if you had visited us anytime in the past few weeks, you wouldn't have been able to keep count of the number of times you heard the question, "Where is the remote?"
Furthermore, instead of a normal family in the living room, you might have actually found this...
Nevertheless, God has granted me an opportunity to redeem my life from the clutches of the couch and the world of high definition. This week I will participate in the Prayer Revival hosted by my local church.
The Prayer Revival takes place a few times annually, and it calls for a fast and a "media-break". Thus, not only will I turn off my television, I will take a break from the internet as well.
Not checking in on the blogoshpere will be the most difficult part for me. However, we could all benefit from some time to consecrate and focus on prayer and bible study, could we not?
So, until next week!
~ Mrs. L. Couch Potato
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
If you have young children and are homeschooling and/or thinking of homeschooling, you will probably appreciate her advice as much as I did!
Here is an excerpt from her post on homeschooling with young children:
When I decided to keep my first daughter home, my first inclination was not to formally "do" anything--just live life and let her develop and see how things went. But a well-meaning relative, one who already was sure I had jumped off the dock and was headed for the abyss, insisted on buying my first year's curriculum.
When the box came I was excited. I loved flipping through the colorful texts and wanted to get started right away.
It wasn't long before I was quite frustrated. The babies kept getting into everything or crying or the phone would ring. Worst of all, my daughter hated the materials and didn't catch on like she was supposed to. What an awful mess it was!
Then I would get pregnant and sick, and the whole thing would seem to shut down for a while, except that it was in these times that things actually progressed. The children would then have fun just drawing and playing legos and exploring. Since I was pretty sedentary, I would read novels aloud to them--Little House on the Prairie, Old Yeller, and the like. It was during these times that I would research and find out that I could relax.
And so I would like to offer some simple suggestions for those with many children up to age 7:
- Don't be afraid. You taught your child how to walk and talk, and reading isn't that complicated. Take the pressure off and you will do much better.
- Have these supplies on hand: Paper, scissors, glue, crayons, a cheap watercolor set (these items will cost you less than ten dollars during the "back to school" sales), some home-made salt dough, some picture books from the library or thrift store and a good set of phonics flash cards and number cards.
- Invest in a child gate. This is good to keep the kids "corraled" so that the mess they make is localized, instead of letting them have free reign over the whole house so that you never feel as though you can get anything accomplished!
- Keep food simple. We used to eat just two different breakfasts and lunches every day. The kids never got tired of them--and I always knew what to fix!
- Have a stash of snacks for yourself. I learned this after I went through a time of being about 10lbs underweight. I would feed the kids and then forget to eat!
- A good book to have on hand that will teach you how to teach reading is Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons. My kids usually get tired of this book by lesson 50, but it lays a great foundation for more advanced reading.
- Don't have a schedule, follow a routine. Prioritize--what are the most important things that need to be accomplished? First, people need to be fed three squares a day. They need to be clean and rested. They need clean dishes and clothes. They need to be loved and listened to. Only after these basics are accomplished should anything else be added. It doesn't matter that Suzie Q. runs all over town and volunteers at church--you are not responsible for her. God has given you your family and that is all you have to do for now. The outward-focused life is for another season.
- Have paper, pencils and crayons always available, with parameters set up to prevent waste. One way I have done this is to tear my sheets of paper into quarters, and in this way if they make one scribble and decide to move on, the whole sheet is not wasted.
- Save the messier supplies for "special" times. This preserves you and your house.
- Have daily "quiet time" after lunch and clean up--do this for your marriage as well as your own health.
- Keep media to a minimum. I don't allow computer time to children this age at all. Television (they don't watch cable or networks) is only for special times.
- Read aloud daily, if at all possible. Even if it is the same book over and over. I think I have Green Eggs and Ham memorized almost completely.
- Answering questions is about the best thing you can do. You are the walking book that a child refers to whenever he is puzzled. Count it as a privilege!
- Use the necessary errands of life as learning experiences. Tell them stories about your childhood and God and sing together in the car. Teach them how to behave in public. Explain things to them as you are doing them so that they will feel included and important to you.
- Teach them how to tie, whistle, blow bubbles, hopscotch, ride a bike, fold a towel. These are both fun and inexpensive activities and help them to develop the fine motor skills necessary for all the other stuff.If you just live and love your child, he will gain a much better education than he could ever receive during these years in some institutional setting or with some formal curriculum at home. It's not "parental perfection" but loving response that is key here.
Saturday, January 9, 2010
There are some Best Blog Awards going around and thanks to Mandi at Capital Heights Mommy, I have one! Thanks Mandi!
I am going to accept the award and pass it on to 5 of my favorite blogs.
Here are the rules for accepting the award:
1. To accept this award you must post it on your blog with the name and a link to the person who gave it to you.
2. Pass on the award to about 15 other bloggers who you recently discovered and think are great! (I'm going to do 5 this time).
3. Contact the other bloggers and let them know they have
been chosen for this award.
Here are my 5 Bloggers I would like to give this award to:
She not only expounds on what it means to be sanctified, or set apart for God, she further explains that we should be boldly take a stand against the things of this world, even when it comes to the way we dress!
"For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek"(Rom 1:16).
Thursday, January 7, 2010
It brings back wonderful memories. Ah...nothing quite like that born-again experience, is it?
Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?
Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again (John 3:3-7).
In Part 1 of this series I made the point that what we wear sends a message. If you missed Part 1 of this modesty series you can read it here.
In Part 2, I would like to go further into the fact that as Christian women, God's will is that we make certain that the message we are sending by the way we dress, is one that reflects his will for us.
Here are some points that will help us understand God's will for us in this area:
#1. God wants us to be modest.
1 Tim. 2:9 In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;
Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. 4 You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God.
The word of God admonishes us to adorn ourselves modestly; meaning in a way that is moderate and restrained. The versus above also let us know that God wants us to be more concerned with our character and with having a meek and quiet spirit, than with our hair, makeup, outfits etc.
#2. God wants us to understand that immodesty leads to sin.
Mattew 5:28 says, "But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart."
Adultery is a sin. The verse above lets us know that if I man even looks at a woman and lusts after her in his heart, he has already committed adultery and has sinned.
Men are naturally visual and attracted by what they see. So, can you imagine how much sexual temptation is bombarding men in the sex-saturated culture we live in?
Can you imagine how difficult it is for a man to guard his eyes and his heart from lust with all of the half-naked women on television, in magazines, on billboards, on the street, at work, and at church?
Yes, I said, "at church" because they are there too. What a shame it is when a man who loves God and has come to church on Sunday to enter into the sanctuary to praise his God can barely even look around because of all of the breast, butts, and hips that "the women of God " have on display.
#3. God wants us to be apart if the solution, not the problem.
God hates lust. He died to deliver man from it. Lust is a huge problem for many people and it leads to adultery, fornication, pornography, and other sexual addictions. It is destroying peoples lives.
As a Christian woman, if I am dressing in a way that is causing men to lust, then I am apart of this problem, not the solution.
But if you cause one of these little ones who trusts in me to fall into sin, it would be better for you to have a large millstone tied around your neck and be drowned in the depths of the sea. 7 “What sorrow awaits the world, because it tempts people to sin.
Temptations are inevitable, but what sorrow awaits the person who does the tempting. 8 So if your hand or foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It’s better to enter eternal life with only one hand or one foot than to be thrown into eternal fire with both of your hands and feet (Mattew 18: 6-8).
On the other hand, when I am modestly dressed, I glorify God by not only being an example of what is pleasing to Him, but people can be comfortable in my presence because I am not dressed in a way that is distractingly provocative and that might cause them to stumble.
Don't get me wrong, I don't think there is anything wrong with being cute, or what I call "Modestly Fashionable." Seriously, if I had it my way, I would resemble someone who just stepped out of a J. Crew catalogue.
Nevertheless, I want to make sure that I don't follow trends and fashions off the deep end. Regardless of what our style or particular absolutes may be when it comes to what we wear, God wants modesty.
Furthermore, I do realize that even if every Christian woman walked around wearing a potato sack, some men are going to lust regardless, because they have a lust problem. This is sad, but true. Even so, this fact does not change God's word or mind on this issue. God is still holding us accountable to be be apart of the solution, not the problem!
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
Look at my body.
Look, but don't touch.
Either I don't care what God thinks, or I haven't thought about what God thinks.
Female beauty is defined by sexuality.
None of the comments are surprising when you really think about the way in which women are usually portrayed in magazines, music, movies, and videos. In fact, during this time in American history, if someone could make a very long list of things we are lacking in, sensuality, sex, and seduction, would not be on it.
In Modesty: Does God Really Care What I Wear? , Nancy Leigh DeMoss explains,
"Now clothing also communicates a message, sends a message, about our values, our character, our attitudes...For example, in Proverbs 7:10 we read this phrase . . . it's talking about a seductive woman, and she's married, and she's trying to lure a man who is not her husband into her bedroom.If someone can have on the "attire of a harlot" then someone can have on "the attire of a godly woman." What's the difference?
It said that she had on the "attire of a harlot." Now, it doesn't describe in that passage what that clothing looked like. But when I say that, is there an image that comes to your mind?
The woman is dressed in a way that you can look at her and see that her motives are not pure toward this man. There's another passage in Genesis 38 that talks about a woman named Tamar, who was a widow and she wanted to seduce a man that she was not married to.
The Scripture says in Genesis 38:14 that "she took off her widow's garments." There was a specific type of clothing that would have communicated that she was a widow. She changed her clothes, and she put on the clothing of a prostitute.
The man she was trying to seduce knew her. In fact, he was her father-in-law. But when she changed her clothes, he didn't recognize who she was. He just looked at her clothes; he believed she was a prostitute, and he went in and was sexually intimate with her. Now, I say that not at all to justify him but just to say that clothing sends a message.
Women today are sending a message with their clothing. Many of them know exactly what message they're sending, but some are naive. They don't realize what they're sending. They've been so influenced by this culture that they don't know any other way to think about clothing."
In the midst of an over-sexualized culture that values the outward appearance above the character, what does God want from Christian women?
What message do people hear when they see us? What message does God want us to send?
I had so much to say on this issue, I had to break it up. Look for Part 2! Its coming soon!
Friday, January 1, 2010
Can you remember where you were 10 years ago?
Can you imagine where you will be 10 years from now?
When I think back on last 10 years of my life, I can't help but to rejoice over all of the amazing things God has done! I also can't help but to feel excited about the future and about getting closer to God in this next decade.
One way I want to get closer to the Lord is to grab hold of, and to spend more time reading and speaking the word of God. The 30-day Challenge is a great start, but I don't want it to end there.
In her book, The Power of a Praying Woman, author, Stormie Omartian outlines 10 great reasons to read God's word.
10 Good Reasons to Read God's WordWith God's word, we can't go wrong! Let's grab hold of it and go higher in Him!
1. To know where you are going.
"...Direct my steps by your word, and let no iniquity have dominion over me" (Psalm 119:133).
2. To have wisdom.
"...The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure. making wise the simple"(Psalm 19:7).
3. To find success.
"...This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it, day and night, that you may observe to do all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperouss, and then you will have good success"
( Joshua 1:8).
4. To live in purity.
"...How can a young man(woman) cleanse is way? By taking heed according to your word"(Psalm 119:9).
5. To obey God.
"...Teach me, O Lord, the way of your statutes, and I shall keep it to the end..."(Psalm 119:33).
6. To have joy.
"...The statues of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes"(Psalm 19:8).
7. To grow in faith.
"...So then faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God" (Romans 10:17).
8. To find deliverance.
"....If you abide in my word, You are my disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free"(John 8:31-32).
9. To have peace.
"...Great peace have those who love your law, nothing causes them to stumble"(Psalm 119:165).
10. To distinguish good from evil.
"...Your word have I hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against you"(Psalm 119:11).