Sunday, September 30, 2012

My Favorite Season

One of the trees from our recent Arboretum visit

 I love Autumn. 
There are so many simple things I love about fall, and I find that treasuring these little blessings brings peace and joy to my heart. I decided to make a list of some of these things I love about it.
  • The crisp, fall air and the beauty of the leaves as they change color.
  • All things pumpkin; pumpkin bread, pumpkin spice coffee, pumpkin decorating, visiting a pumpkin patch while my son picks out his pumpkin.
  • Finally needing a blanket at night and cuddling underneath its warmth as the air is cool around me.
  • The beautiful colors of fall; the deep oranges, reds, browns. So rich and lovely.
  • Baking all different kinds of treats; cookies, breads, etc. Using the oven freely.
  • Catching glimpses of various migratory birds we rarely get to see.
  • The melodious honking sounds as the flocks of Canadian geese fly above on their migratory journey.
  • Curling up on the couch with a blanket and reading a good book.

Over the weekend, we celebrated my husband's 50th birthday. I have to say L is one of the most nonchalant people I know. When I asked him how it felt to turn 50 (he is 8 years older than me), he said "It's just another day." I tried to make it special for him. We had a nice visit to Devil's Lake in Baraboo on Thursday and then took a lovely walk in our local Arboretum on Saturday. 

Here are some pictures from our time in the Arboretum:


Nature ABC's

We are enjoying our homeschool time. What a blessing this is. I am so glad I found Hearts of Dakota with the lessons all put together for me. I just look in my manual and know which page to go to in each different subject (handwriting, fine motor skills, math, history, Devotional/Bible study, science, phonics and reading). My son and I are having a lot of fun with it. 

This quote I found from Mom Heart Online really spoke to my heart as one of the reasons I cherish this opportunity to homeschool.

"To prepare our children to fully live out God’s plan for their lives, as parents we must: intentionally pour into them God’s precepts and truths, fill their hearts with grace and love, expose them to beauty and mercy, and whisper into their lives principles that will guide them when the world gets loud and distracting." 

I feel this is one of the main things we are doing in spending my days with my son while homeschooling. Time is such a precious commodity and it moves so quickly. I know the years will move fast and then my son will be leaving the home to be on his own. Investing in him in this way is what I feel called to do and a response to what God teaches in Deuteronomy about raising children. (Deuteronomy 6:7 and 11:19). Choosing what my son learns is a huge part of why we homeschool, yet redeeming this time (that would otherwise be lost to public schooling) is deepest in my heart. For such a time as this and our budget allows, I cherish spending each precious day with my son and like in Ephesians 5:16 to make the most of every opportunity.

Investing in our Marriage
This summer my husband (L) and I celebrated 10 years of marriage. What a blessing! It is also challenging and yet such a huge opportunity to grow when we allow the Lord to convict us and surrender (our junk) to Him. One of the things we find so important is spending quality time together. We like to take time each day to reflect together over what's going on in our lives, and how the Lord is at work in us and through us. I like the Greek word "koinonia". This word occurs 20 times in the bible, usually translated as "fellowship" but meaning a type of communion or spiritual intimacy with another believer.

When L's summer schedule doesn't allow very easily for this, we see how important it is for the health of our marriage. When we seem to be drifting apart or not getting along, we know we are in need of this special time. Right now, we are going through a book by John Piper called This Momentary Marriage. John Piper has become somewhat of a mentor in my husband's life; we even traveled over 250 miles this summer to meet him and hear him preach. We are looking forward to how the Lord will be working to strengthen our marriage and continue to help it be a signpost to others. 

These are just a few of the things that have been going on in my life lately. So happy to be able to share it here. 

Thanks for visiting!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Time to Catch Up

Wow, it seems like forever since I've been writing regularly on my blog! I now have about 5 posts all in draft form, but just haven't completed them. It has been a wonderful summer filled with lots of activity, and just this week the weather finally started turning toward fall. Fall is one of my favorite seasons. Just today I enjoyed a Pumpkin Latte and we're looking forward to a lovely fall getaway next weekend in Door County, Wisconsin. I love the changing colors of the leaves, wearing warm sweaters, hiking in the woods on a crisp fall day, and picking pumpkins for fall carving just to mention a few.

I have to share a movie I watched within the last week that really touched my heart, The Encounter. It's a movie where five strangers take refuge in a diner where the proprietor seems oddly all-knowing. They truly have an encounter with Jesus. While some may certainly find the premise and even the acting cheesy, for some reason it didn't hit me that way at all. I'm glad my heart was in the right place to receive it. I heard about the movie on somebody's blog and I agree with this person who shared the following comment:

"I saw this movie just last night on Netflix. My parents recommended it and I must say, it is the best movie I have EVER seen. The way Jesus is presented seems to be parallel with what Scripture details Him to be like, and I was very, very impressed with the character development, setting, plot, and overall quality echoing throughout the whole film. Besides being a source of superb visual entertainment, The Encounter was extremely uplifting and really made me think about my own spiritual relationship with the Lord. I was also very surprised at how well it explained the difficult question of why God allows us to suffer if He loves us, and how suffering helps to lead us to Him. I mean normally that's a very touchy subject, but here it was explained succinctly. What an incredible feature! I'd recommend it to everyone!"

What an incredible movie!

I am also enjoying our year-long reading of the bible with our church using You Version, our study is called "Eat This Book". I have never "listened" to the bible before, and it has been an amazing way to have my quiet time. I just enjoy reading along with the narrator and then stopping every so often just to journal what the Lord is teaching me. Lately, the verse that says "the last shall be first and the first shall be last" (Matthew 20:16) has really convicted me. The way God is using that verse in my heart is amazing. I'm becoming very sensitive to seeing how many times I feel "wronged" or upset when something didn't go the way I wanted, planned or expected. This shows up in so many different places in my life and I'm glad the Lord has brought it to the forefront.

On another note, I have decided to homeschool J for at least the next few years. I am so blessed to have the support of several other moms that have been homeschooling for several years and have really encouraged me in taking this step. I found a curriculum through Hearts of Dakota called "Little Hearts for His Glory". It's a 2-year Kindergarten program and we'll be starting on Monday. It's good that we can ease our way into it, and J can't wait to get started. After doing "Tot School" and home preschool for the past couple years, I feel led to continue in this way. I am truly blessed to be at home with my son in this season of life, and can't think of a better way to invest my time than through this homeschool journey together.

Looking forward to posting again soon!

Thanks for visiting!