Saturday, December 18, 2010


"Mr. Carter, do you expect the world to 'pad their corners' for you, because you are blind?"
(excerpt from our current family read-aloud, "Follow My Leader.")

This quote was especially thought-provoking for me last night. I really mulled it over in my mind. As we homeschool, there are so many philosophies and paradigms and ways of thinking.
Each family is so unique, and must submit to the Holy Spirit and discern wisely what is best for their children. In our approach, we wanted to start with God, and His Story among the nations... including the ugliness of idols, sin, wickedness, and war and gore, and tell His story of redemption. Now, this is not to say that we never censor anything!! (And of course, each individual child is different in what they can handle, and age is a factor here too). In fact, we find ourselves on the very conservative end of movies that we allow, music, etc. But what I loved about this quote is that it reminded me to examine myself, and to ask myself whether I am preparing my children for "sharp corners" in this world, by talking with them, answering questions, making them aware of certain things, or am I am padding the corners, teaching them to expect the world to change for them? Because this world is full of ugliness. But it is also full of beauty. And this world is not going to change for them. But, one day, this whole world will once again bow in submission to it's Lord, and it will all be changed and made glorious. I don't want to "pad the corners", but I do want to make them aware that there are some sharp ones out there.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Decorating Grandma's Tree...

We asked our kids what some of their favorite Christmas traditions were... and of course, decorating Grandma and Grandpa's tree was high on the list!! So we got together with the cousins and had a blast. Ezra was sick that evening, so he missed out. But the older kids enjoyed themselves immensely:

Uncle Scott and Ethan finishing up the tall places.

The finished product. =)

I had a couple of adorable videos of the kids singing some Christmas songs, but unfortunately, the annoying pregnant lady leading them in song can be heard much too loudly. We will try again soon.

The Nutcracker Ballet...

Well, for our special Christmas date, Ben took both Emma and I to the Nutcracker Ballet. It was very exciting, because at age 7, Emma really is the perfect age. It was her first time going to a real ballet. And to top it off, it was a local ballet company which included a young woman from our homeschool co-op, who played the role of the Snow Queen, among other things.
It was a delightful evening, and our sweet girl seemed to feel loved and treasured all around.
Oh, how she loves that Daddy of hers....

We were able to find some suitable souvenirs, including a Clara ornament (holding her Nutcracker, of course), as well as three small Nutcracker ornaments, each in a different color for the boys.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010


One of the things that just amazes me about the living God, is that He knows us each so intimately, and allows us to know Him. It is astounding to think about coming to know Him, but it is, at times, even more astounding to think that I am known by Him.
"But if anyone loves God, this one is known by Him." 1 Cor. 8:3

Anyhow, for the last couple of years at Christmas time, I have just been amazed, and in awe of this concept: Emmanuel, God with us.
I love the Casting Crowns song:
God is in us, God is for us, God is with us, Emmanuel...

As a momma, we all go through different seasons. There are seasons where you feel like you can barely catch your breath. Like the waves are crashing over you and you just don't have enough in you to do all that needs to be done, taken care of, disciplined, washed, and put away. The Lord was so sweet to me. I was at our homeschool co-op, feeling like I had just barely made it there. I was scheduled to be on prayer team, which is normally my favorite, but for some reason, I just wanted to sit in a chair and not get up (and eat the delicious food!). (The Lord KNOWS me so well!!) Well, for some reason, that day, none of the food was appetizing. So, no reason to stay and eat... might as well go pray!! It ended up being me with two other lovely, godly women. One of which has 8 kids!! They so sweetly encouraged me and prayed for me, and then we all in turn praised God and prayed for the other families there in the co-op. But my dear friend with 8 children (most of whom are grown now) said something, something that would not have meant the same to me unless the Lord had already been working out this awe of Emmanuel in my heart.
She said, "There were days I would come to the door, holding the baby. My husband would walk in the door and ask what we did that day. I would tell him, 'Nothing. Absolutely nothing. We didn't get anything done for school, we didn't clean. Nothing!' And he would respond...."But, who was with them?" "I was." "That's all I ask. That you are with them."

I thought about that.... It is amazing that our truest, greatest need is to have the wrath of God removed from us. And the way that God did that was to be with us. For Christ to enter in, to be near us, to be for us, to be with us. And then He bore that wrath on our behalf.
Being a mom, especially of a large family, is sometimes exhausting, overwhelming.... And homeschooling sometimes adds a responsibility that can make you lose sight of what you started in the first place. But as I relayed the story to my husband, he emphatically agreed that my job is not to produce rocket scientists, or presidents, or engineers. My job, is to be with them. My job is character training, under the leadership of Christ, through the power of the Holy Spirit. My job is to be honest about my own failures and short comings, and to always point them to Christ, who bore God's wrath on my behalf too! And what the Lord develops from their personalities and their gifts.... well, that's His job.

I saw this verse in a new way this week... I have had the first part heavy on my heart the last two years, the second part was heavy on my heart this week:

"Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world." James 1:27

Just trying to spend my time with the kids these days being with them. Not distracted, not busy, not overwhelmed.... just with them. And whatever we get "done" is just a bonus. (I do normally find that when I am truly "with them", we seem to accomplish so much more. Hmmmm......)