Saturday, April 30, 2011

Get Up & Keep On Running!

"I am giving you a promise NOW while the seed is still in the barn. You have not yet harvested your grain, and your grapevines, fig trees, pomegranates, and olive trees have not yet produced their crops. But FROM THIS DAY ONWARD I "WILL" BLESS YOU."-- Haggai 2:19
God is doing a work in my life.  He is changing old bad habits that have led to sin.  He is teaching me how to be "consistent".  How to "cultivate". I love planting and I love harvesting but it's that whole "walking in it" that seems to discourage me and makes me want to give up.  
Last night I began to grieve for how much easier it was when I was able to just engage in what came easy rather than work for what will bring freedom.  As I cried out to the Lord He poured living water, filled with promise, deep into my heart!
"Mary, I am giving you a promise NOW while the seed is still in the barn.
While you're still working on it.  When you can't see victory because
you are in the middle of the dessert. 
You have not yet harvested your grain, and your grapevines, fig trees, pomegranates, and olive trees have not yet produced their crops. But FROM THIS DAY ONWARD I "WILL" BLESS YOU.
I PROMISE you all this intentionality will be worth it daughter.  You can only see today but I see your victory that comes tomorrow!  Hold on, keep the faith.  You WILL harvest an abundant crop!!!!
"Do not grow weary in doing good for at the proper time you will reap a harvest if you do not give up!"


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Friday, April 29, 2011

Preparing For Success.... A Few Of My Favorite Things!

 5# Bag Of Frozen Berries for our protein Shakes

 Cooked Chicken Strips For Salads

 Fresh Broccoli Florets For Dinner and Omelets

 Boneless/Skinless Chicken Breasts For Meals 

I LOVE these low-cal salad sprays!


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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Allowing TRUTH To Dispel LIES!

I have been camped out in Haggai thanks to Lysa TurKeurst. She stirred up a hunger when she shared verses 4 through 8, from Chapter One:

“Is it a time for you yourselves to be living in your paneled houses, while this house remains a ruin?”

My immediate thought is that I have spent my life helping to encourage others. My husband, my children, my friends. The truth is, encouraging others (for me) is very selfish. It makes me feel good. God made me an encourager. It fills my cup, energizes me, brings me unspeakable joy to speak life and truth into someone else's life. But I took something good and used it as the very thing that can keep me from all that God has for me. You see, my house (health) has lain in ruin while I am busy encouraging someone else to walk in victory in their area of struggle.

Now this is what the LORD Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways. You have planted much, but harvested little. You eat, but never have enough. You drink, but never have your fill. You put on clothes, but are not warm. You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it.”

As I give careful thought to my ways I realize that I can be so focused on helping get "others" to God that I am forgetting to get myself there at times. I love to praise and worship Him. I love to pray for my families needs, the needs of my friends, my homeschool, but I have not invested in the uncomfortableness of rebuilding His holy temple, (My physical body) until recently. Thank you, Lord that you pursued me and got my attention through your Word.

This is what the LORD Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways, Mary. Go up into the mountains and bring down timber and build my house, so that I may take pleasure in it and be honored,” says the LORD.

Right now, I am bringing down the timber. My back aches, my shoulders throb, my knees buckle as I consistently add exercise, strong nutrition to my life. I also find myself weary at times as I purposefully retrain my heart to hunger after Jesus, MORE than it hungers after food!


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Finding MY Proverbs 31 Woman!

She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future. When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness. She carefully watches everything in her household and suffers nothing from laziness. Her children stand and bless her.Her husband praises her: “There are many virtuous and capable women in the world, but you surpass them all!” Charm deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised. Reward her for all she has done. Let her deeds publicly declare her praise."

This verse used to intimidate me.  Let me tell you when I look at this I certainly do not think it represents me very well.  I know that I have moments of fear about my future or the future of the ones I love.  Though I wish all my words were wise and filled with kindness I have days when it is the exact opposite.  There are days where laziness reigns and responsibility.... doesn't.

The problem with The Proverbs 31 woman is that it only gives us a momentary overview or glance of who she is in general.  I know she had days when she woke up crabby because she was feeling hormonal, or irritated because her husband left his towel on the bathroom floor. (My husband would laugh and tell you that "I" am the one who does that in our home)  

The part of the verse I can claim boldly is that I do fear the Lord. (Not afraid but I know who He is and because of that I revere Him)  I understand that Christ holds my future in His hands and for that I am forever thankful.  I know that my legacy is not in my final outcomes but in how I run my race.  Do I get up when I fall down?  Do I depend on God or do I depend on me?  Do I love others or do I love myself?  

My Proverbs 31 woman is still in the making.  It's riddled with mistakes and victories, but through it all there is a deep love for my Lord and for my life.  There is an understanding that this life is not about me but abut Him.

The message of the cross is foolish to those who are headed for destruction! But we who are being saved know it is the very power of God.  As the Scriptures say,   “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise and discard the intelligence of the intelligent.” -- 1 Corinthians 1:18-19

His ways are not my ways.  His wisdom is different from this worlds wisdom.  My hope is in Him!


Tuesday, April 19, 2011


“I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love.  When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love.  I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!  This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. -- John 15: 9-12

We are taught to remain in God's love so that we won't tie our happy to anything but God!


Monday, April 18, 2011

Tying My Happy To Wrong Things

"Tying my happy to the WRONG things is partially what caused my weight gain in the first place."-- Lysa TurKeurst

I remember when I was a young mom and had lots of little ones.  I loved throwing myself into my mama role.  I read books on training my children's hearts.  I took great satisfaction in setting up teaching opportunities to help my children practice good behavior, and took time to stop and lovingly correct bad behavior.  Sounds good, right?

Before that I invested hours in learning how to be a Godly wife.  We attended seminars, read books and made purposeful plans to stay in madly love.  Now that definitely sounds like a well thought out idea! 

I can't help but think about our homeschooling.  I did the exact same thing.  I checked out every library book I could get my hands on, attended conferences, conventions and support group meetings.  I invested time, money and my heart.  Isn't that what any responsible homeschooler should do?


There was something wrong with each one of these situations.  Do you know what it was?

One morning as I was quietly sitting before the Lord He revealed a truth that so shook my world I sat completely stunned.  

I was trying to tie my happy to my marriage, my children, my homeschool.  All of those things are wonderful gifts but they can't become more important than the gift-GIVER!

I want more of Jesus!  I want to crave him with my whole heart.  I want to wake up with overwhelming anticipation of sitting before Him, completely focused on Him.  Not on my prayer list, my to-do list, or my day, but HIM!  

Lord, let me only tie my happy to YOU!

How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord Almighty!  My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the Lord: my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God!  Psalm 84:1-2


Saturday, April 16, 2011

Love My McKinnon's!

 Maggie was trying to muscle her way into Isabel's seat

 Oh Well, I guess I'll share

 Auntie Mary's little girl.

 Proud Moment:  Brandon knew the names of all the Power Puff Girls!

 Handsome Husband Alert!

 Jacob getting to play a big brother role for the first time

 That look means he's feeling confident. (Pride cometh before the fall)

She's so smart and cute!


Thursday, April 14, 2011

Overcoming Sin

“Then they will come to their senses and escape from the devil’s trap. For they have been held captive by him to do whatever he wants.” -- 1 Timothy 2:26

My dear friend Debbie always says, “You have a choice. You can be
UNcomfortable for a little while, right now and live a life of FREEDOM, or you can choose to be comfortable right now and live a life of bondage and captivity.” TRUE! This statement is so true.

I am in an exciting, scary, freeing, wonderful season right now. The Lord is clearing my plate of responsibilities that were getting in the way of Him. In some areas I’ve had to go back to square one and start all over again. I needed to learn to be a student, to be teachable. He has me letting go of things and people that are keeping me from HIS best. It is humbling AND FREEING at the same time. I absolutely hate feeling vulnerable.

However, one day I will close my eyes here and stand before a HOLY GOD.  I want to hear:

Well Done Precious Daughter!

"Now go up into the hills Mary, bring down timber, and rebuild my house. Then Iwill take pleasure in it and be honored, says the Lord."--- Haggai 1:8


Monday, April 11, 2011

Preparing My Heart & My Budget For FPEA CONVENTION!

I so look forward to the annual FPEA Homeschool Convention.  Here's just a few reasons why:






In this economy it can be tricky to justify extra expenses. (Believe me, I know) I encourage you that if you are able to attend make it a priority!

When I worked outside my home as a nurse I was often sent for continuing education credits. (CEU'S) It kept me up to date on what was going on in the nursing world.  It helped my heart remain loyal to what I was doing and why I was doing it.  

That is exactly why I believe homeschoolers should attend convention.  It's our CEU's.  It keeps us up-to-date with what's going on in the homeschooling world around us.  It helps build the big picture of why I'm doing what I'm doing and shows me how to squeeze every minute out of our year.

I do have a confession to make! (blush) Believe it or not I did not attend convention the first nine years of our homeschooling journey.  I couldn't justify spending money on the room, food, gas, etc..,  I mean really?  I would rather use the money to just invest in my curriculum, right?


As I began my 10th year of homeschooling some dear friends offered to let me stay in their room and I went.  WHOA!  I had no idea what I had been missing.  One of my biggest regrets is that I missed 9 YEARS of this amazing experience!  I completely changed my perspective.

So Excited That Time4Learning Is going to be at FPEA this year!

Convention is not only practical in that you get to look at curriculum, learn new idea's to go home and implement, but it is completely inspirational as well.  

Information can only take me so far, inspiration helps me to keep on when it gets hard.  Listening to speakers who have been there, done that helps us to feel empowered!  Seeing 14,000 homeschoolers walking around reminds me that I am not alone is this journey.  We are STRONG in numbers!  

As a mom I am busy all year long pouring out to my children.  Convention is my time to fill my cup so I can go back and do it again! 

I hope to see you there.  FPEA has extended their registration to April 15th.  Check out the website for more details:  FPEA CONVENTION WEBSITE


Sunday, April 10, 2011

Made For More- Haggai 1:2-8

“This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: The people are saying, ‘The time has not yet come to rebuild the house of the Lord.’”

Then the Lord sent this message through the prophet Haggai:  

“Why are you living in luxurious houses while my house lies in ruins? This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: Look at what’s happening to you! 

  • You have planted much but harvest little
  • You eat but are not satisfied
  • You drink but are still thirsty
  • You put on clothes but cannot keep warm
  • Your wages disappear as though you were putting them in pockets filled with holes!
For years, I've made excuses to not take care of my body which is God's temple.  For the first time in my adult life I am making the journey out of the darkness into His marvelous light.  

 It's not easy!   

It's not perfect! 
It's not pretty! 

But obedience can be a little messy.  God's not looking at how pretty I look, but how holy I walk.  Do I love Him enough to trust that HE can fill my every void, my every need, my everything?  Is He more important than food?  For years, I've said yes with my mouth and no with my actions.  I loved the closing of this precious verse from Haggai:

Now go up into the hills Mary, bring down timber, and rebuild my house. Then I will take pleasure in it and be honored, says the Lord.