Tag Archive: Christ


My Favorite Thing…


Rambling through this ole mind of mine trying to identify my most favorite thing has been quite interesting. Well, you may wonder why I would embark upon such an adventure, and, no, it wasn’t because I have been listening to the sound of music! God forbid!!! No, I am warbling about mentally because of a wee lil challenge that was put forth to word press bloggers…blog about your favorite thing.

For me, this challenge summoned memories of cold, winter mornings at Van Buren Elementary school in Van Buren, Ohio. Steve Scothorn’s Dad, Mr. Scothorn (of course) attempting to corral all of us energetic, wiry,¬†and, frequently, out of tune youngsters into the choir room so that he could teach us to sing. I look back and marvel at his patience! “My Favorite Things” was a song he introduced me to and has remained a favorite ever since, especially during the holiday season.

On a side note, I was never one to place too much value in musicals, especially the filmed kind, so I had never viewed “The Sound of Music”. In fact, I avoided it like the plague when I was a child!

So, can you imagine my utter surprise as I sat with my daughters watching “The Sound of Music”and discovered that a singing nun was the source of my song?!

Just for the record, I still love it just the same, despite its shady past! ;D

For me, it conjures wonderful memories of all things Christmas. I just could never relate well to musicals despite my love for music itself…still trying to figure that one out. ūüôā

All of that to say, music did come waltzing down the central corridors of my memory, as a favorite, but it doesn’t quite qualify as a possession and that is what this week’s challenge is about…my favorite possession.

My silver teaspoons that make breakfast delightful? No. Though, they are quite wonderful.

Going through the list of items I own, though I really enjoy them, there are very, very few things that I find incredibly important to the point that I would call them a favorite.

The one item that continues to come forward in my heart and mind is my parent’s Bible.

My father gave it to my mother as a Christmas gift in 1977, two years before the demise of their marriage and our little family unit.

One may question the value of an item that holds that memory with it, but because my father gave it to my mother, it tells me that it meant something to him at the time.

It holds more importance to me than just that, however. This Bible has a prominent place in my office. It is a reminder that I do what I do in my home, I study what I study and I do the job I was called to do in order to encourage more little family units to stay together and to learn to grow more in love with Christ and through that more in love with one another.

For me, it is not just another book. It is the Word of my Lord. The One who completely changed me, who has in the years since 1977 has changed my parents and despite the break-up is still reconciling and making new all that was broken.

For me, He is the key; He said that He is the Word represented in that Bible on the stand in my office and I believe Him. He has shown Himself faithful in the lives of my family, though we often have chosen not to be.

I took it down this morning to flip through the contents. There a few faded, yellow letters from my father to my mother tucked inside. My Dad’s handwriting communicates family history as he knew it. Those are the things that I, also find to be precious. They are the icing on the cake, so to speak.

So, my favorite thing? My Bible, which represents my Lord, which represents His power to keep my family together and many, many others. That…my friends… is my favorite thing.


follow the megaphone guy!

I was speaking with a woman recently about the relationship she and her child have in regards to education. It occurred to me that this mother was trying to achieve meeting her own needs through her child. When they were not met the way she desired, she became angry; her daughter is struggling with being respectful, there is something that she is wanting, too. The breakdown in their communication has caused problems, because each can only see what they, personally, want and are not receiving.

The book of James says that the things that cause fights and wars among us is the fact that we desire something that we are not getting; that we covet and kill but do not get what we want because we will not ask of the Father and when we do we ask, often we ask amiss to use it on our own pleasure rather for the glory of the Father.

So, how does this apply to communication in the new school year? Throughout the next months that make up our school year, there will be things that we and our children will want from one another. And, there are specific ways in which we have learned to communicate; ways that are both good and bad. This is important to accept and understand, because communication is a tool. It can be used as an implement to build and restore or it can be wielded as a weapon to tear down and destroy.

We, as parents, can set the example of loving communication that deals with problems as they arise in gentle truth, allowing our children to flourish and grow as they begin to see that we are committed to loving them the way Christ loves us.

We can teach the way He did…consistently, lovingly and truthfully, with God’s glory in mind…not our own.

When we communicate to our children that we are “here” and willing to commit to responding to them in the love of Christ, we build trust.

As I mentioned before, however, communication can also be a tool of destruction…it can be detrimental to the lives of our children.

When our children’s mistakes arise ( and they will, just as our own do) it is imperative to remember, that like ourselves, they need to be corrected, but gently, kindly and with loving patience. Is that not what the Father does for us?

He does not scream, throw things, give us labels such as “stupid”, “dumb”, or “incompetent”, storm off or ignore us. Rather, He tells us the truth in¬†love. He calmly addresses the heart, and then the actions that came out of the position of the heart. Then, guess what? He¬†gives us room to grow…to practice!¬†He is not intimidated by not getting exactly what He wants from us as His children. After all, if He waited to meet us and help us until we responded perfectly to Him each time, He would be waiting an awful long time, even among those of us who call upon Him as Savior! We do not respond to Him perfectly and yet, He is always faithful in every way. Our children will not do things perfectly, but that should not keep us from committing to loving them, teaching them, being faithful parents and setting an example that they can follow and respect, as we ourselves, submit our desires to the Lord.

As we look to begin a new year in school, what would you like to see as growth in yourself and your child by the end of the school year? Lay these before Him and let Him equip you to equip your child.

Set the example of praying for both your needs. You will not be sorry.

When looking at your goals for the year, begin to also examine what is working in your relationship with your child in regards to communication.

If it working, praise the Lord for it!!! We are so good at looking at the bad in a relationship and completely missing all that is good about it!

Let’s start off the year right…Looking to the Lord, looking at the good, noble things about our relationship, give thanks and rejoice over those things and then, set off to do what the Lord shows us. Communicating with one another in love, so that our parent/child relationship will show to the world that there is a God who cares that we stay together and that we stay together because of love, not just because we are a parent and child.



This was ‘liked’ by a young man who is a friend of our younger son on Facebook this morning. It cracked me up, because from a teen’s perspective, it encapsulates exactly what they feel.

I also got a good laugh, because as a home educating ¬†mother, who LOVES spending time with her children, school is not necessarily the easiest way to do that, enjoy my children, that is. We, too, face the daunting reality of “Okay…the start date is upon us.” SIGHHHH…Take a deep breath…breathe out, slloowwwllly now…”Here we go…”

For many parents, particularly mothers (it’s seems that there are more homeschooling Moms, than Dads…sorry guys, not disqualifying you!), this time of year not only brings on a busyness we were able to lay aside for the summer, but also some common ‘nags’ that tend to rear their ugly heads in regards to educating our children.

“Are they really getting what they need as a group?”

“Is each child receiving what they need individually?”

“Am I challenging them enough?”

“Am I pushing too hard?”

These are typically the questions that scream at me throughout the year, from the first day til the last.

So, what do I do?

First, make sure that you are sure of your calling. Then, rest in that truth. If you are called, God WILL equip!

Both my husband and I feel very strongly that this is the direction the Lord has given us for our children’s education. It is what I am called to do for this season of my life. I can rest.

Secondly choose  what I am going to believe. I can walk in fear and be completely paralyzed, or I can choose to focus on the truth. The truth is, I am not going to provide every little detail needed educationally with perfection. But neither will a private or public school. And there is still the fact that a God who loves each of my children, wants to ensure they have all they need, will see to it that they are equipped to fulfill the ministry that He will call them to.

I can allow my fear to convince me to become indifferent or lazy. But that is not the calling the Lord has given. I am to prayerfully be diligent to walk out what He directs of me each year, as well as day by day, for the good of my children. He knows how He created them, and He knows perfectly how to meet those needs as we look to Him for the answers.

Finally, I must learn to rest in God’s peace, joy and love. ¬†Or, I can continue in fear and lose the joy that He intended me to experience through this season of life. My children are gifts, treasures from my Father. He will give us wisdom and we can rest. Enjoying each and every moment of the journey. It is the bumps in the road which will strengthen us as parent and child(ren), not the easy sailing. When the breezes are great and the sailing is good, I find that I do not dependent nearly enough of the goodness of God. Rather, when the storms arise, I realize all too quickly my insufficiency, cry out to Him and He calms me, even if the storm continues to rage awhile.

So, while resisting the beginning of school is, indeed, “futile”, as my young brother in Christ has observed this morning, we can choose how we will embark upon it. We can choose how we will live each day of the year. Full of joy or full of hopelessness and misery?

I choose hope, joy and peace and these all come down from the Father above.


¬†“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude; it does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8¬†

 

As an organizer, I see a lot. A lot of clutter, a lot of dirt, a lot of STUFF, but one thing I don’t see often is an understanding that¬†a life that flows well, actually comes from a heart attitude.

We can produce a lovely home, an organized home and clean home and, yet, lack of peace can press in on all sides.

On the other hand, we can also have an incredibly disorderly life in the physical and not be concerned a bit, while those around us are about to pull their hair out, because of the chaotic fruit our lives produce.

A truly organized life is one where peace flows from the inside out, spilling its sweetness to all who some near. Ironically, these types of lives are well ordered…not dogmatically or stringently, but lovingly.

The month February boasts Valentine’s Day, an internationally celebrated day, signifying love. Ahhh, the sweet fragrance of love. Isn’t glorious to love and ¬†loved?!

So, for the remainder of this month, I want to look at how to show true love to those around us through our organizational skills. I will issue challenges, and offer tips. Every day or so through the rest of month of February, I plan to introduce a concept, along with some tips for working on that concept.

My goal? By the end of the month, armed with the Holy Spirit’s counsel, the strength of the Lord and a few tips, we will practice loving ‘out loud’ the precepts listed above in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8.

I thought this would be an interesting little challenge, because we can say “I love you” till the moon is blue, but showing it through everyday living is much, much more powerful. And, it is much more difficult, because it requires something of us, personally.

The first challenge I will issue is “Build your Patience day”. One of the hardest things we face is learning to be patient for the sake of another. It is one way in which we can lay down our life for others, just as Christ did for us.

I am confident that if I asked the question, “Do you want others to be patient with you?” the answer would, of course, be “Yes!” We all long for that. However, providing that for others is quite another story. It is difficult. It requires us to lay aside our demands and walk the issue out with them at their pace. Not at our own. That is, at times,¬† hard. We, often, forget that we, too, at one time, were learning these skills and that we needed someone to be patient with us as we grew in our understanding and capabilities. Patience is one way that we can walk out the command of the Lord and edify the body.

So, in honor of love…TRUE LOVE…choose an issue to walk out patiently with someone you care about. Show them that you love them by what you do and what you say.

Here are a few tips to get started:

1. Really listen to what is being said to you.

2. Ask questions, if you are in doubt of the other person’s message.

3. Ask what would be helpful to them in tackling whatever they are trying to accomplish.

4. If the person wants you to actually work alongside them on a given project, give them room to make mistakes, ask ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†¬†questions and discuss solutions without becoming testy with them. They may just process through things differently than you do. ūüôā

5. Finally, whatever their response is, pray for them and with them, if they will allow the latter.

Lifting up even the smallest situation to the Lord strengthens both the hearer and the listener and it demonstrates a gentle heart.


I don’t know about you, but when I begin to look at all there is to DO in 2012, my head begins to swim with all the excitement (for the fun stuff!). But along with the fun, there is some confusion in the areas of life I am contemplating taking up or laying down; then, there are some areas where I am downright gasping for air at the sheer magnitude of them!

That being said, I am the kind of chic who guffaws at a challenge, simply because I can. I may laugh loudly at the road that lies ahead, but that does not mean there are not moments when my palms feel like they are leaking Lake Eerie! This dichotomy within myself, puts me in mind of a time when traveling that we decided to go to the !Explora! in Albuquerque, NM. For those who are innately curious, it is a divine little place. One can look, touch, read, experiment, etc. with all kinds of things.  Like I said, divine.

At any rate, on an upper level of Explora! there is a sweet little ‘attraction’ called the “High-Wire Bike”. The whole concept of the exhibit is to demonstrate the capabilities and importance of counter balances. The exhibit is two stories up and involves a “loading station”, a¬†cable which runs across the length of the upper level, and a bicycle equipped with a counterbalance perched blithely upon said cable.

If you decide, in fact, that you want to become a living participant in the experiment, you line up in queue, and wait for your turn. When that decisive moment arrives, the fearless (or fearful) creature that you are climbs out onto the seat of the bicycle. To begin the experiment is very simple, you begin to pedal backward across the wire. Yes, it is very simple, but I left out one little, tiny detail… there is no net to catch you, should the bike flip…no net to catch you should you decide to bail…no net!

I am a curious creature by nature and love the idea of adventure. I love going to new places, seeing new things, delightful things, mind you, and I love to see if I can succeed at various things. Yet, at the heart of this adventure lover, there are two sides warring. The fearless side that says, “Just do it! You will be finnnneeeee….” then,¬†¬†the much more practical side, which needs ALLL the answers before I am inclined to move. Well, I can assure you that the practical side of me was looking at the fact that there was no net, while I stood in queue for my turn. Hence, the waters of Lake Eerie began to flow forth from my palms, my heartbeat hastened, debating just how sound I might be, if I climbed onto that bike! All the while, the other side of me screamed, “Quit being afraid of everything and DO it! Look, it has a counterbalance that has been proven to work! Just do it! You will regret it if you don’t.”

To make a long story a bit shorter, I climbed on that blasted bike, was properly strapped in, and began the journey backward with no sight. I couldn’t turn around and check my progress, though even if I had, I am sure that I would have been distracted by the fact that I was stories in the air, pedaling a bike on a cable! Moving backward, the pedaling seemed a bit more strenuous than I would have expected and the bike wobbled. I looked at all the people below me moving around in miniature and tried very hard not to think about the lack of netting.

Finally, I hit the natural stop at the end of the cable that signaled that I had reached the wall on the other side of the building. With a sigh of relief, (after all, I had made it halfway) I began to pedal forward.

If I was concerned about the backward pedaling being a tad strenuous, it is safe to say, I was terrified about the ease of forward propulsion!! The pedaling was much easier, much faster and A LOT more wobbly. Torrents poured from my hands and beads of sweat made their appearance upon the bridge of my nose and I prayed all the more fervently that I would, indeed, arrive safely back at the station.

What seemed like an eternity passed as bike and rider found their way back to the dock. Trembling inwardly, I dismounted and rejoined my family who had witnessed the whole episode. My darling husband, upon whom I had kept my eyes locked the whole time; my children and nieces and nephews, some of whom had laughingly reminded me of my impending doom during my adventure on the high-wire, all welcomed me back.

As some of them decided to take their chances upon the high-wire, I began to catalogue what it had meant for me to jump into the line in the first place and then, climb onto the seat. In the end, I realized that for me to be willing to climb aboard for the adventure, I had to have had more trust in their system than I had of distrust. Could it have been disastrous? I suppose it could have been. But, in the end, it wasn’t. Their point was proven. The counterbalance worked; it had kept me upright and alive.

So. What does all of this have to do with organizing one’s life and all the things that we may take on in the year 2012?

Well, for me, it means that I need to look at those things that offer a nice counterbalance to the weight of responsibility. While I am making my list of “to do’s” for 2012, I need to be aware of what makes me fearful and if it is a fear of God or a fear that is otherwise placed. If it is a fear based upon anything other than serving the Lord, then I know that I will miss out on some great and exciting opportunities. However, if I seek Him and ask for His wisdom, then I will have some wonderful ¬†adventures. They may make my palms leak, and, at times, make my heart palpitate, but when I look back at them, I will be able to say, “WOW! Look at what You brought through and TO, Lord! How fantastic!”

We are all called to live responsible lives and, for that, I am thankful. But remember as you are looking at what you would like to accomplish this year, that trust, peace, and joy need to intertwine with that responsibility. Are some of our responsibilities and callings scary? Sure. But, in the end, if we trust the One who called us to them, the peace and joy will follow.

What are some of the things that beckon you in 2012? Do they make you weak with ungodly fear? Or do they make your heart sing with excitement? If you look to Christ and ask if it is safe, jump on that proverbial bike and start to pedal. It doesn’t matter that you cannot see all the way around, HE DOES! He will get you from point A to point B. Keep your eyes upon Him, and the benefits and joys that He gives that counterbalance that fear. Go out in the strength of Christ and do the good works He has prepared for you ahead of time.

This year, I am looking to finishing my degree, to paint more with my younger daughter, cook more with my older one; sing with my younger son and play  more chess with my older one. I am, also,  looking to build a bigger business with my husband. Some of these things are pure joy, some are scary, but I am on the bike, nonetheless.

Are you on the bike? What will you do in 2012, that will challenge and fulfill you?