June 13, 2012

Because of the Hardness of Your Hearts

Have you ever studied forgiveness? If you have you may have already stumbled upon what I am relearning today. Check out Matthew 19:8


"He said to them, “Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, permitted you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so."

Here is a scripture where Jesus answers the question, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for just any reason?" While you and I may not be in a position where our spouses are contemplating divorce, or separation, I want to encourage you to look deeper at the answer Jesus gave in response.

...because of the hardness of your hearts...

Did you catch that? Jesus looked beyond the circumstance and nailed the real issue.  Has someone, even your spouse, done something that you feel is unforgivable? If your heart is hard, you will be unable to forgive them. Your relationship will be destined to fail.

Jesus never turns away the repentant sinner. Neither should I.

(Hard swallow). If I harden my heart by clinging to my own pain, my own hurt, my own rights, my own expectations then I can easily believe that I am justified in my unforgiveness. Truth is, that is a lie from the enemy of our souls and families. My marriage and  relationships are profoundly affected by the condition of my heart. My flesh hates this.

When someone hurts my feelings, or wounds my heart the last thing I want to do is forgive them. In fact, my flesh loves to marinate in that nasty pride that can whisper to my intellect, "See they are a bigger sinner than you". 

Jesus would whisper to our spirit, "harden not your heart".

It is out of obedience that I share this with you today. My prayer is that both you and I would be so wrapped up in our loving God that when someone around us falls, sins, or wounds our heart that we would be quick to forgive.

May it never be so that a relationship of mine (or yours) fails because of a hard heart.

June 8, 2012

A Better Way to Homeschool is Born

The end of the school year crept up on me this year. I found I was out of energy long before the school year was complete. In desperation to not give up before the race was won, I found a "pocket book" kit for my 8th grader to complete on the Civil War. If you have never complete pocket book studies, you really need to check them out. The entire packet is jammed full of stories, recipes, dates, important characters and more historical facts than I ever learned in traditional school as a kid. Each topic is divided into it's own pocket where the student can display and store the appropriate pieces of information and completed activities. My 8th grader loved this project and my 3 younger boys begged me to make them a copy of their own.

 I did a lot of relflecting as we worked on all of our final projects. What was my vision for my kids homeschool experience? Did I love the activities and assignments we worked so hard on the year before? Were there any things I would change if I could do anything I wanted? Then it hit me. Pssst. You are the teacher. Your husband is the principle. You can do whatever you want.

A lot has changed in me in the last few months. I am so excited to have the privilege to teach my children each year. This is something I DO NOT TAKE FOR GRANTED! I love watching the light bulbs go on as they finally "get it". In a burst of inspired enthusiasm, A Better Way to Homeschool was born. I am so excited about this new website I can barely sleep at night.

I have always had a heart for the new homeschool mom and their children. I know that it took me years to understand that although I was homeschooling my children, my home did not need to look anything like a traditional classroom. If I can help even one family by sharing what I have learned, I would be so blessed.

We support our charter school by allowing our children to take their standardized tests each year, no one would ever understand the unique needs, gifts and abilities of my children better than their personal teacher (me) and their mentor (their dad).

A Better Way to Homeschool is a newly developed and growing resource for homeschooling families. We will be focusing on enriching exercises and supplies that can be used along side of any curriculum or subjects. It is not for me to ever say what you should teach your children. Instead, my hope is to inspire you to seek hard after a better way to teach your children. Granted, it is my own idea of a "better" but I believe it is worth sharing. My kids love learning, love to read, and are a joy to be with each and every day.

We are blessed as homeschoolers to have our fingerprints all over our children's education. My prayer is that you can glean from what has worked successfully for us and implement at least one "Better Way" in the place of some piece of "busy work".

Come visit our new site. Look around, and check back often. Here's to a new journey!