Wednesday, May 31, 2017

FPEA 2017-Sarah Mackenzie

Sarah Mackenzie was AMAZING!  She is a fascinating story teller and inspired a crowd of thousands.  Here is what spoke to my heart­čî║

1-When setting your homeschool goals ask yourself this question:  "If someone were to ask your child about their homeschooling 20 years from now what would you want them to say?"

PERSONAL APPLICATION:  One of my personal goals is that I want to have memories of us digging into scripture, character building, and book discussions.  I want to remember watching my boys find their moments of aha.  So on a crazy day I have to guard against letting task oriented emergencies steal from relationship building times together. (I fail at this all the time). 

2-No veteran has ever said that by the time they finished homeschooling they had nailed it.  It's about finding perfection in IMPERFECTION.  

3-It's not our job to create the miracle.  We do our part...cultivate the soil, water, feed, nurture and let GOD create the miracle. (Fruit)

4-You are going to fail every single day and HE is going to delight in rescuing you.  

5-You have absolutely everything you need to homeschool your children.  You've got this because HE's got you.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Three Things That Steal A Mama's JOY!


SARAH MACKENZIE TAKE-AWAYS!   The Lord stirred my heart and this is a place to process out ideas and take-always. 

Three things that steal a homeschooling mama's JOY! (any mama for that matter)


We go on social media and we see several moms all snapping pictures of moments in their life where they are shining.  One mom is great at doing crafts, another lives life through field trips, your girlfriend rocks reading a loud big lengthy classic books. But then the enemy comes along and without us even consciously knowing it we combine all those women into one super woman.  We then begin to feel condemnation that we can never measure up.  We think we must strive to become what we admire and we lose our joy in our journey.  

"I get so frustrated when my ideal doesn't match my ordinary" -- Sarah Mackenzie 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:  Write a job description of what you LOVE doing in your homeschool...what gets you excited!  FOCUS ON THAT and make sure those things are happening in your homeschool.  

PERSONAL APPLICATION:  Putting one verse a week up on the board that we pick apart, memorize, pray. 20 years from now these will be our precious memories.  

PERSONAL APPLICATION:  I love coffee and getting out of the house.  Seth has been asking to do school at Panera.  I finally have older children that we could actually do this.  Make this happen.  20 years from now these will be our precious memories.


PRACTICAL QUESTION TO ASK YOURSELF:  Twenty years from now your child is at dinner with a friend and the friend asks..."So you were homeschooled what was your mom like"?  What do you want their memories of you to be?  Then be purposeful in your actions so that they line up with the goals that God has given you.  

Stop making things harder than they need to be out of a sense of duty.  Relax, have fun, be consistent in the little things. If you find something simple is working for you and see a great article or idea of how you could make-it-more...DON'T DO IT!  That simple task that is working well and brings you a feeling as satisfaction and joy will turn into a 500 pound boulder on your shoulders when we make things harder out of a sense of duty.

Have just-because-we-can-days.  The truth is that we have to do things we don't want to.  Consistency creates our habits, diligence builds character, BUT WHEN YOU FEEL THE ATMOSPHERE IN YOUR HOME HAS BECOME TOO SERIOUS it's time for a just-because-we-can day!  

What is a just-because-you-can day?  When you feel like it's a waste of time you're on the right track!  You're doing it just because you can.  Put down the math books and go to a movie, go to the beach, go grab yogurt. (These are occasional days throughout your school year) 

PERSONAL APPLICATION:  A little bit of something done well is better than bells and whistles done occasionally. 

PERSONAL APPLICATION:  Find things that bring you joy doing with your kids.

PERSONAL APPLICATION:  Bigger is not better.  More is not better.  Simplicity is KEY!

3-Stop making giant overhauls and instead tweak what you have❤️

Sarah gave an example that was beautiful.  She talked about how she likes to start there day at 9am with prayer, but that she was always feeling anxious and angry because she had spent the hour before making sure kids were up, teeth were brushed, breakfast was eaten.  By the time they came to pray she was not very joyful.  A simple tweak she made to her homeschool was to open with the Doxology instead and then she had us do it with her.  It was beautiful.

Convention 2017--It's a WRAP!


What a GREAT day!  This girl is TIRED!  It has been quite the month, but I am SO glad I came.  God stirred, moved, and spoke to my heart intimately.  He is so faithful to fill us up when we COME TO HIM❤️. Loved seeing this beauties today....

I LOVED seeing the Riddle's!

Diana Snyder was loving Sarah Mackenzie


Catching up with sone Clearwater girls

What Kind Of Fruit Tree Are YOU?


People and their lives are like trees. Good trees bear beautiful, tasty fruit, but bad trees bear ugly, bitter fruit. A good tree cannot bear ugly, bitter fruit; nor can a bad tree bear fruit that is beautiful and tasty.  But I will say to them, "I never knew you. And now, you must get away from Me, you evildoers!" -- Matthew 7:17-18,23 Voice

Apart from you Christ we cannot bear beautiful and tasty fruit.  In our own strength the effort is wasted and worthless. Father, we ask you to walk before us into this day.  Teach us to be GOD-DEPENDENT and not self-sufficient.

Trusting Him with our pace and our PLACE!


FROM THE BOOK UNINVITED...On busyness and agenda's:

Imagine a little girl running with a cup in her hand sloshing out all it contains.  She thinks what will refill her is just ahead.  Just a little father.  She presses on with sheer determination and clenched teeth and an empty cup clutched tight.  She keeps running toward an agenda HE NEVER SET and one that will NEVER SATISFY.  She sees Him and holds out her cup.  But she catches only a few drops as she runs by Him, because she didn't stop long enough to be filled up.  EMPTY CAN'T BE TEMPERED WITH MERE DROPS.

"If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you"  John 15:7 (Key phrase:  HIS WORD ABIDES IN YOU so that we're asking according to HIS will) 

"Jesus doesn't participate in in the rat race.  He's into the SLOWER rhythms of life.  Like abiding, delighting, and dwelling--all words that require us to trust Him with our place and our pace." 

"Delight yourself in the Lord and HE will give you the desires of your heart." Psalm 37:4

Friday, March 10, 2017

The Source Of My Strength.....


The Eternal is the source of my strength and the shield that guards me. When I learn to rest and truly trust Him, He sends His help. This is why my heart is singing! I open my mouth to praise Him, and thankfulness rises as song. --- Psalm 28:7

HE is the source of my strength....I woke super early yesterday morning with this phrase gently repeating over and over and over again in my head.  Little did I know the Lord was preparing me for what HE KNEW was coming just a couple of hours later.  (Though I certainly did NOT).  At approximately 8:30 yesterday morning, as I was getting ready for a long awaited MRI, I received a phone call from my beloved cousin that when checking on grandma he found her confused and unable to walk and that she needed to go the hospital.   Though I immediately heard that "other" voice whispering to me to panic, to worry, to give into my feelings of fear, I was able to not engage and instead to turn and talk to God.  He reminded me of what He had just shown me two hours earlier....He alone is the SOURCE of my strength.  Because of that I truly can rest and trust Him.  What should have been a day filled with chaos and crazy turned into a day filled with worship, praise, and PEACE!  

I am thanking Him for teaching me how to praise Him in all things.  Hardships are simply an opportunity to turn to Him, to have conversations with Him and not with myself.  Hardships give Him an opportunity to display HIS strength in my weakness.  I don't have to do anything except surrender and be purposeful in keeping my eyes on Him!


Thursday, March 9, 2017

She Plucked And Ate!


As I was reading through Genesis 3 today I was struck by a pattern taking place in the Garden 2000 years ago that I see in my own life today.  (The life of all women) This scenereo sneaks up on us and pulls our focus from the life GIVER to the peace stealer!   A whole lot happened before Eve "Plucked and ate" the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.  

  • SERPENT:  "Is it true that God has forbidden you to eat fruit from the trees of the garden"?   Genesis 3:1
  • EVE:  "No, serpent. God said we are free to eat the fruit from the trees in the garden. We are granted access to any variety and all amounts of fruit with one exception: the fruit from the tree found in the center of the garden. God instructed us not to eat or touch the fruit of that tree or we would die."  Genesis 3:2-3
  • SERPENT:  "The truth is that God knows the day you eat from that tree you will awaken something powerful in you and become like Him.  You will possess knowledge of good and evil.  Genesis 3:5
  • EVE:  "The woman approached the tree, eyed its fruit, and coveted its mouth watering wisdom.  SHE PLUCKED AND ATE..  "Suddenly their eyes were open.  For the first time they sensed their vulnerability.  Genesis 3:6

Chapter three goes on and shows how both Adam and Eve chose to blame each other rather than to take responsibility for their own actions and repent.  I see how God had provided this beautiful place, filled and full of wonder and awe, and because of Eve turning away from God and turning towards the serpent, they lost it all.  

I sit here this morning and I ponder this question....What if Eve had not engaged the serpent at all from the very first question?  What if instead, she had turned away from "it" and turned to "God"?   (Romans 8). 

I know that may own sinful actions begin when I turn my focus from the lover of my soul to the one who loves to fascinate and then assassinate.  

Catch the foxes for us, The little foxes that spoil and ruin the vineyards of love, While our vineyards are in blossom.” -- Song of Solomon 2:15

Did you notice that this story did not start with..."She Plucked And Ate".   Eve's outward behavior did not engage in sin until AFTER she had engaged in listening to that "other" voice.  I wonder how many times we ponder the words of our own sinful nature without even knowing what we're doing?  I pray that God would help us to catch those foxes before they steal the fruit of our vineyard.  .     

Monday, February 6, 2017

Salt & Light--Denying Ourselves


Last night was our second official week of Salt & Light Discipleship.  It was amazing.  We were thrilled by our numbers considering it was right smack dab in the middle of the SuperBowl.  I love how much we are loving being in His Word!  His Word is POWERFUL!  It's EMPOWERING!  It's ENCOURAGING!  It's TRANSFORMING!

If you want to follow Me, you must deny yourself the things you think you want. You must pick up your cross and follow Me.-- Matthew 16:24

I loved every part of last night, but my favorite was when we dissected Matthew 16:24.  Here is how God spoke to us through collective conversation:

1-If you WANT:  We have to pray and ask God to give us want-to

2-MUST deny:  Denying is not optional.

3-THINK you want:  How many times do we "think" we want something, only to get it and find out it doesn't satisfy our soul the way we thought it would.

4-Pick up YOUR cross:  Not our children's crosses, or our husbands crosses, or our friends crosses.  We can get each other back to God and through the power of the Holy Spirit we can be empowered to pick up our cross.  We cannot do it in our flesh.  God has to transform the way we think and THEN we can change our behavior.

Golden Thread-Knocking

Now pay attention; I am standing at the door and knocking. If any of you hear My voice and open the door, then I will come in to visit with you and to share a meal at your table, and you will be with Me.--Rev 3:20

Just ask and it will be given to you; seek after it and you will find. Continue to knock and the door will be opened for you. All who ask receive. Those who seek, find what they seek. And he who knocks, will have the door opened.-- Matthew 7:7-8


Such a sweet treat!  Thank you Lynn Doto for making SUGAR-FREE muffins as I am learning how to deny my flesh.  You are such a sweet gift to me. 

Monday, January 30, 2017

And It Begins....


Faith Covenant officially launched it's first ever Salt & Light  groups last night!  It was awesome and amazing and full of  God's Word and personal application.   The evening was magical.


We spent 8-weeks in the fall building the strong foundation to launch Salt & Light by walking through the Freedom Workshop.  Two weeks ago we held our first S&L Introduction class and last night we LAUNCHED!   

SIX classrooms of women eagerly sitting at the feet of Jesus to hear from Him through His Word.  I wish I had a video of our closing assembly.  

The JOY was palpable as the women flooded back into our main assembly.    

Women were eager to share how God spoke to them through His Word.  Not only from our own personal reading, but then as others shared scripture the Holy Spirit gave them we continued to be counseled by the Word of God.  There were tears, laughter, and lots of aha's!

We missed you Mary Jane, Bernice, Amanda, Dreama, Cathy, and Erika.  We cannot wait to see you next week!  


Each week we try to find God's Golden Thread where we see Him moving with the same message on many different hearts.  This weeks was from Isaiah 40:31:

But those who trust in the LORD will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.