A Retreat for Homeschool Moms!

Homeschool Moms’ Winter Summit 2015

Renew your vision….Refresh your heart…Restore your strength.

I had the honor of attending the Homeschool Moms’ Winter Summit this past January in San Marcos, Texas! An even greater honor for me,  I served in the Prayer Room with Shirley Quine. How sweet the moms were that came to the prayer room; each one wanting to walk as close to the Lord as possible. Getting to pray with and hear the hearts of these moms was a true joy for me.

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Homeschool Mom’s Winter Summit was the vision of Roxanne Parks, author of, Are You Enough? Encouragement for Overwhelmed and Exhaused Homeschool Moms. Roxanne loves encouraging homeschool moms in their journey of homeschooling.   Roxanne has an amazing team of ladies. I loved seeing how the team worked together under Roxanne’s leadership. Everything was done first class and was extremely organized!

Every year there are two summits to choose from. One in San Marcos, Texas and the other in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The weekend begins on Friday afternoon with registration, the event kickoff and a time of fellowship afterwards. Saturday morning opens with an opening session with a great speaker and then on to the workshops, which are designed especially for mom. Before the afternoon workshops, we had a delicious lunch. That afternoon we went back in the main room for a final challenge and a grand prize giveaway. Bed and Breakfast stays and a beach resort weekend were part of the grand prize giveaway.

After dinner on our own, an optional Girls Night Out/Pajama Party and Question and Answer time with Veteran Homeschool Moms filled the late evening. Lot’s of fun during this time, for sure.

On Sunday morning, there is an optional Worship and Prayer time before heading home feeling refreshed, renewed and ready to get back with a strong vision of teaching our children.

Each year the workshops are different. This year the workshop titles were:

Keeping Your Sanity Through Teenage Rebellion by Roxanne Parks

Help, I’m Stuck in a Rut- by Sheri Yates

Prayer Life in the Real World by Susan Chrisman

Surprised by the Predictable by Roxanne Parks

Joy in the Journey by Lyndsay Lambert

The Wife We Want to Be by Lisa Pennington

Prioritizing Family Fun by Kerri Naylor

Homeschooling: What Was I Thinking by Lyndsay Lambert

Can You Have a Martha House with Mary Heart by Lisa Pennington

I love how this retreat is geared to the mom; building her up, encouraging her, loving on her and giving her the tools she needs to go back to her family ready to teach, train and love her children and especially, love her husband.

I do hope you will consider attending the 2016 Homeschool Mom’s Winter Summit.

*Texas Winter Summit, February 5-6, 2016

Embassy Suites, San Marcos, Texas

*Oklahoma Winter Summit, January 22-23, 2016

Embassy Suites, Norman, Oklahoma

Go to www.HomeschoolWintersummit.com for more information and to register.

More Fruit….

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control…” Galatians 5:22-23

Thank you for following along as we lightly hit on the Fruit of the Spirit.  Galatians, chapter 5, is a great chapter to settle in on and do some deeper study.

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We last talked about the fruit of goodness.  Let’s finish up with:

Faithfulness – As a believer, we always refer to Jesus as, faithful.  Aren’t you thankful that He is?  One of the first verses I ever memorized as a teen was, I John 1:9-10 “If we confess our sins, He is faithful to forgive us our sin and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness…”  Christ doesn’t look at us and decide if we are worthy of forgiveness, He is faithful to forgive us, period.  Another verse I memorized as a young girl was, “I will never leave you or forsake you…” Hebrews 13:5.  Can you tell I struggled with fear?  When I came to realize the faithfulness of my Savior, I didn’t struggle with fearfulness anymore.

How are we in the faithfulness area?  Are we faithful in our walk with Christ?  Can He depend on us to bring glory to His name in all that we do and say?  Are we faithful to our husband and children?  What about our friends?  Do they describe us as, faithful?  We could go on and on about that one, couldn’t we?

Gentleness – What a gentle Savior we have!

There probably isn’t anything sweeter than a gentle mom with her children.  Is the gentleness of the Holy Spirit evident in your life?

Self-Control – As a follower of Christ, our self control in all situations should be evident.  If there is an area in your life where you don’t have any control, turn to the most patient, loving, gentle, kind and faithful one, Jesus.  Do you need His strength in your life?  He’s waiting patiently…. to give you what you need, ask Him!

I hope Galatians 5:22-23 is a bit more real for you and you are inspired to make sure that the Fruit of the Spirit is evident in your life.

I would love to hear from you in how the Fruit of the Spirit, is real in your life.

Until next time,

Good People!

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness…..” Galatians 5:22-23

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A good heart, is a beautiful heart!

 

Have you ever me someone that was just a good person. They just seemed to do things right. They love people, they don’t have issues all the time and they just take people as they are. If someone has an issue with them, they just shrug it off and say, “I’m who I’m supposed to be, I guess that is their problem.”   Good people are good stewards with their talent, their homes, their money and their possessions. That is how I would describe a good person.

Goodness is closely related to kindness. It seems it would be hard to have a kindness without having a good heart. That is what is interesting about the Fruit of the Spirit description. They all are evident when we know who our Savior is and we live it to the fullest.

How do you describe a good person?

Do you want to be known as a good person?

Share the goodness of God today with those you meet today!

Kindness….

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy peace, longsuffering, kindness…” Galatians 5:22

Kindness is the next fruit to talk about. If you have seen my posts on Facebook during the month of March, you would have seen a “kindness tip” each day. Everything from how we can show kindness to those in our own home all the way to the stranger on the street corner.

I just love the word kindness. To me it says so much. If you describe someone as kind, I picture someone that naturally cares about others. They care about the words they speak, the tone of their voice and making sure others feel comfortable. Don’t you just love being around someone that is kind?

Are you finding it easy to memorize Galatians 5:22-23 by taking a portion of the verses each day?

Be conscience at being kind today to store clerks, waiters, clients, neighbors, strangers, EVERYONE you come in contact with. *Especially, our own family members.

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When we teach our children to be kind to one another, we are doing something great!  Don’t miss the opportunity to instill kindness into your children!

Is there a difficult person in your life? Have you heard the term, “kill them with kindness?” That means, be so kind to them that their unkindness can’t survive. Granted, I know personally that there are some really unkind people around! They need your kindness the most.    As I’ve said many times before, “we are responsible for our own kindness, not someone else’s.”

Have a blessed day and go be kind to someone!

Give Me Patience! Now!

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy peace, longsuffering…” Galatians 5:22

Welcome back, as we continue with our discussion about having the evidence of “The Fruit of the Spirit” in our lives. We were all deeply grateful and encouraged by Shawnna’s writing on how having peace has helped her to get through this sad time of losing her beautiful much loved daughter.

Today, we will take a quick look at the fruit of longsuffering; which is, patience.

We live in a world where everything is fast. Have you ever stood by the microwave while waiting for something to heat up in 30 seconds and it just wasn’t fast enough? What about being in traffic that just isn’t moving fast enough for us? I’ve been in both of those situations and it let me know that this is an area that I have to be aware of and I am working on having more patience in my life.

Patience

 

 

I recently read an article by the Navigators. This article was speaking on having the Fruit of the Spirit in our lives; how it isn’t like a fruit salad to just pick around and decide which fruit we want.   This list that Paul gave us in the book of Galatians are the qualities of having Christ in our life.

“This kind of life, a life that exhibits character qualities that reflect Jesus, is attractive to those around us. A life full of the fruit of the Spirit points people toward God.” –Carla Foote, editor of Disciple by The Navigators

Isn’t that our main goal and purpose in life; to point others to Him?

May today, we show a glimpse of Jesus to those around us by the patience that we display in our life.

How are you doing on memorizing Galatians 5:22-23?

If you haven’t read the previous posts on love, joy or peace, click on each fruit and the link will take you to that post.  Also, click here, to read the very beginning.

Challenge:

When you are in a situation where you can feel the impatience coming on, ask the Lord to give you patience and concentrate on showing patience on your face and in your actions.  I was in a store yesterday and I was a little overwhelmed and a bit tired.  The lady checking me out was so kind and friendly.  So friendly that she talked for at least 10 minutes while holding my money to give me my change.  I was really wanting to just go after our already 45 minute visit while shopping in the store. :)  The entire time I was asking the Lord for patience and I concentrated on not being in a hurry and I really did have time to listen and visit, I was just tired and that is no excuse to be rude and cut someone off.  I did enjoy the visit, but I almost let my selfishness ruin an opportunity to show and share Christ.  I would love to hear how your patience is working today.

Have a fruit filled day!

Peace in the Storms of Life!

 

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace….” Galatians 5:22

We have talked about the fruit of love and joy as we are doing a quick discussion on the Fruit of the Spirit.   How are you doing on memorizing Galatians 5:22-23?

Today, we will touch on the fruit of “peace.”

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So peaceful seeing a little one sleeping.

 

In our world today, there is so much troubling news, not only in other countries, but in our own country. It can get a bit scary, can’t it? Heartache is at every corner it seems. Some of the most tragic situations are occurring. Sometimes these tragic things happen to us or to someone that we know and love. Have you ever met someone who has been through a hard time in their life and yet, they seem to have a peace about them. Yes, they are hurt and devastated, but there is still something about them that you can see that is a bit different.   It is called peace. Peace that only can come from our Heavenly Father.

I asked a sweet friend, Shawnna, who I met several years ago at church, to share her story. Shawnna lost her precious daughter suddenly only two weeks ago. Shawnna knows where her peace comes from. She is a beautiful testimony of the grace of God.

When hard times hit, may we know and display this kind of peace.

Thank you, Shawnna, for sharing with us and encouraging others even when you have been through one of the hardest things for a parent to go through.

 

 

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

 

 On Tuesday morning, March 24th, my world changed forever. I received a phone call that my 42-year old daughter had passed away. I was in the parking lot of a grocery store loading groceries, when I received the most horrific news I would ever hear in my life. I don’t think I even made a sound, but 4 women who were loading their own groceries, or gathering baskets from the parking lot immediately circled me, asked if they could pray, and just stood around me praying over me as I talked on the phone hearing all the details as to what had happened to my beautiful daughter. God went before me, placing these four Angels there to be His hands and feet and extending grace in such an amazing way. Over the next several days, as we had to make so many decisions, I had no strength but, I always had peace. Peace that only God could give. When I would feel myself loosing all control, God would give me another “God moment”. I came to a place that all I had to do was say I need a God moment and He would provide one. My peace would return. My God moments were things like receiving verses from friends through texts, people that God would place in my path at particular moments, or silly things like seeing my grandsons name written on the side of a truck. My list is pages long and it has only been two weeks since that phone call. God’s peace is with me as long as I keep my eyes vertical and not on the circumstances around me. I keep my eyes looking up to Him, knowing He has me in the palm of His hand

 

My peace comes from knowing that God is good all the time, all the time God is good.

 

None of us are exempt from suffering, loneliness, discouragement, unjust criticism, or death, because God is developing within us the character of Christ, and, in order to do this, he must take us through all of the circumstances in life through which he took Christ.

Does this mean God causes tragedies? No. God is good, and he will not cause evil or do evil. But God can use dark and stressful times for good. He’ll use them to teach us to trust him, to show us how to help others, and to draw us closer to Him.

 

“We were crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure, and we thought we would never live through it. In fact, we are expected to die. But as a result, we stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely only on God, who raises the dead.” 2 Corinthians 4:8-9

 Thank you, Shawnna, for sharing your story with us. We will continue to pray for you!

Challenge:

When things are getting rough, ask the Lord to give you peace in the situation.  Several years ago, I went through a situation where I was deeply hurt.  Hurt by some that I considered my friends for life.  I looked up and admired them as a young teen until this happened.  I had a choice; I either could get upset, mad and give up.  Or, I could look up and give it all to the Lord and when I did, He gave me a peace that assured me He was with me and my family and wouldn’t leave me.  Granted, it was hard and those feelings still pop out every now and then and once again, I give it back to Him.  I learned some very valuable and serious lessons through all of that and how thankful I am to have the peace that passes all understanding.  What is it in your life that you need to give back to God and rest in His peace?

How’s Your Joy?

April shopping

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy….” Galatians 5:22

In my last post, we talked about the Fruit of the Spirit and focused on love. Today, we will take a quick look at joy.

We all know people who we would describe as joyful. They are happy, funny and always excited about something. These types of people are fun to have around and be around. The joy that this verse is talking about is a bit different.

When we have Christ in our lives and have realized what He did for us on that cross many years ago, we can’t help but have joy. Joy in knowing we are sinners saved by grace! Joy in knowing that He loved us so much, He sought us and called us to Him. This is a joy that is deep within us. When life has its bumps, we can still have that joy. We know who we are in Christ and nothing can take that away. We may be sad or discouraged, but we still have joy.

Don’t let life get you so far down, that you can’t find the joy. If you are struggling with having joy in your life:

*The first place to go is to God. Ask Him to put that joy back in your life.

*Get into the Word of God and be reminded of who God is and how much He loves you.

*Listen to music that is uplifting.

*Read a book that encourages you to live a life devoted to God.

*Be careful what you watch and put before your eyes.

*Surround yourself with people that are living a life for God. Encourage one another.

Have you heard the saying, “We are excited that you have joy in your heart, but you might want to tell your face.” In other words, let the joy be shown in your countenance. You have something in you that you need to share, but, if your face doesn’t know about it, you might have trouble convincing others about this amazing love.

Next time, we will talk about…..Peace.

In the mean time:

Memorize Galatians 5:22-23

Read James 1:2

Thank God for your joy!

If you are struggling, ask God to give you a true joy!

Challenge:

Think on good things today.  Do you have a tendency to look at just the bad things and wonder why you don’t have any joy?  Many years ago when we were serving at a church in a very small town and had two small children, I struggled a bit with getting down.  I had to search for my joy many times throughout that time.  The church we were serving in had been through some hard times and just a handful of people were left.  Many…okay not many, maybe most, didn’t have any fruit of joy…..at all.  I would find myself becoming almost depressed due to the circumstances we were living in and the people that were around us.  I determined I was going to make the best of it and I had to realize where my real joy came from….not my home, not the people, not the church, not from the neighbors, not from the grocery store clerk, not from those that I hoped would reach out to me, but from my Heavenly Father.  That is how I made it without becoming depressed.  Is there something in your life circumstances that you are having a hard time finding that joy?  It’s there…..if you have put your faith and trust in Christ…that joy is there.  Begin a list of all the things Christ is and has done for you and I have a feeling, your joy will show up.

Until next time,

Do You Have Love?

 

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love….” Galatians 5:22

In this passage the word love is speaking of an Agape Love, (unselfish commitment) which is God’s love. When you have God’s love in your life, it will bubble out in every situation. Yes, even the not so pleasant events of life. This love will give you a joy and a peace within! People around you will see it, feel it and know it!. Some may find it hard to comprehend and understand why you have the love that you do.

The world’s love is conditional. God’s love is infinite and unconditional. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16   Have you stopped and really pondered that? God’s love is so vast and overflowing! He chose to give His Son to save the world. He gave His Son to save you and me!

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I was 14 when I learned of God’s love for me! I made Him Lord of my life and have never looked back. I’m truly grateful!

 

When we read in I Corinthians 13:1-13, we find a listing of what this type of love is.

Love:

Is longsuffering

Is kind

Is not jealous

Is not boastful

Is not arrogant

Is not rude

Is not selfish

Is not resentful

Does not think evil

Rejoices in truth

Bears all things

Believes all things

Hopes all things

Endures all things.

How are you doing in the love department?

If you are like me, you have some failings. Have you heard the saying, “God loves you just where you are, but…He loves you too much to leave you where you are.” The first step is to spend time talking to God about it.   If you are struggling with one or more of the things listed in the I Corinthians 13:1-13, don’t say, “oh, that’s just how I am!” or “you just don’t understand what I’ve been through!”   If you have made Christ your Lord and Savior, love will be evident.

So many times, we see people ministering to others and yet their family members are left with something other than God’s love. Don’t let that be you. Begin with your family. Do they see God’s love in you? If God’s love is real in your life, your family and those closest to you should be the first to notice!

Tomorrow we will talk about the next fruit; joy!

In the mean time:

*Work on memorizing Galatians 5:22-23

*Read I Corinthians 13:1-13

*Read John 3:16

*Join me in searching our hearts, confessing our sin of not showing God’s love to the world, which includes those closest to us…our family members.

If you are reading this and you have never trusted Christ as your Savior, you have come to the right place. As you read previously; God loves you so much that He gave His Son to die for you, to save you from the depths of hell. He wants you to live eternally in Heaven with Him someday. Just bow your head and pray this simple prayer:

Dear Lord Jesus,

I do believe You are the Son of God and that You died on the cross to pay the penalty for my sin.

I invite you to come into my life, forgive my sin, and make me a part of the family of God. Come into my life and take control of it.

Thank you for Your gift of eternal life and for Your Holy Spirit, who has come to live in me.

I ask this in Jesus’ name.

Amen!

If you prayed this prayer, I am so excited for you and I would love to hear from you!

See you tomorrow!

Is Your Fruit Showing?

 

During the month of March, each of the 31 days on my FaceBook, I posted a “Kindness Tip.” I was encouraged to be more intentional in being kind to others. I will be listing those on my blog soon for those that don’t have FaceBook.   I was challenged by a friend to carry on with the tips, but, use the “Fruit of the Spirit” from the book of Galatians.

I had a plan with another project, but as I was reading through Galatians, I thought, I might give it a try. So, here we go…..

Reflections of Christ

When we see a tree and notice that it has apples on it, we say to ourselves, “that’s an apple tree!” We see the evidence with our own eyes of what kind of tree it is.

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When we meet or see a Christian, we will hopefully, see the attributes of Christ.

In the New Testament Book of Galatians, we find where Paul wrote a letter to the Churches in the Galatia region. This message is also for churches in every generation. Paul has three main themes that he wants us to know and they are:

*Justification is by faith, not by keeping the Law;

*Christian freedom, which is freedom from the Law and freedom for service to God, is declared; and

*Guidelines for Christian living are given.

When you get to Chapter 5, verses 16-21, you read about the works of those that don’t live for Christ. When you reach verses 22-23, you find what we call the, “Fruit of the Spirit.” Many of us taught this to our children and helped them to memorize these verses. As adults, this is a good way to do a heart check and make sure we are truly walking in the Spirit of God.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is:

love,

joy,

peace,

longsuffering,

kindness,

goodness,

faithfulness,

gentleness,

and self-control.

Galatians 5:22-23 NKJV

For the next nine days we will take a look at each “fruit” listed and we can see how we are doing.

I hope you will join me as we can encourage one another to “Have a Heart Like His!”

In the mean time, I have homework for you.

*Read the entire book of Galatians. Don’t worry; there are only 6 chapters.

*Underline the verses in 5:22-23 and memorize.  If you have never memorized scripture before, this could be your first!

*Take note of verses 16-21; if any of the deeds listed, are in your life, you might need to work on those asap. Just sayin’.  (*yes, I’m talking to myself, too!)

Showing Kindness to the Homeless

If you follow me on FaceBook, you’ve followed along as I am sharing,  31 Kindness Tips, for the  month of March. Today, I wrote the following:

“Kindness Tip #11 – Yesterday I saw a man on the corner with a sign that said he was needing help. What struck me was how healthy and young he looked. It broke my heart as I passed in thinking that he had reached the point in life where he had to be on the street corner begging for money. Many times they have signs saying they will work for food. I don’t know about you, but I’m not taking anyone home and asking them to work and then feed them. I don’t think that is too wise. wink emoticon
What I believe to be the kind thing to do is to care and remember what my role is.
!. Have compassion. See what their life has become in the way of standing on a corner all day expecting to get money from people. That makes me sad.
2. Pray for them as I pass. I always wonder if they have children somewhere that know where they are. What must their life have been like growing up. Only the Lord knows where they have been. Pray that they can find their way.
3. Offer help. Give them money or food when I can. I don’t worry what they will do with it. When we give in Jesus name, we just give and trust that it will help.
4. I decided that I’m going to make some bags to carry in my car with some items that may help. I’ll use a large ziplock bag and put a water bottle, snacks, and some money. I’ll put the money in clear site in case they want to throw the bag away smile emoticon I’m also going to put a note of phone numbers to local shelters, police, etc. with quarters taped to it. Do pay phones still exist? I thought of a small Bible, but may just put a track in it instead.
With warmer weather coming, I’m sure the corner will be filled with opportunity to show kindness.
I know there are people out there who are not honest and are not safe. But, when someone looks right at you and is asking for help, how can we just ignore them? I’m responsible for me, not them….I want to have a kind heart, not a hard heart.”

I was determined to complete this project today.  I did and prayed over each bag and now they will go in a larger bag in my car.  Hopefully, they will be a welcomed gift for those that are on the streets asking for help.

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The items that I included in my gallon size Ziplock bags are:

1 Small Water Bottle (I wrote, Jesus Loves You! on the label)

1 Package of Hand Wipes

1 Protein Bar

1 Chapstick

1 Scripture Card

1 Track

1 Mini Bible (very small Bible with key scriptures in it)

1 $1.00 Bill

1 List of phone numbers/addresses for Police and area shelters with 2 quarters taped to it.

I wrote on the Ziplock bag, the words, “Someone Loves You!”

This is something small that I can do and maybe it will make a difference somehow.

I would love to hear what you have done or plan to do to show kindness to the homeless.