Tag Archive: God


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. 🙂

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.


English: Fiddlehead ferns

When I was a kid, I was absolutely fascinated with plant life. So much so, I remember receiving a small terrarium as a gift from my Mother.

To say I was excited was a bit of an understatement! For those of you who have no idea what I am talking about, a terrarium is a small enclosed container in which plant life and even small animals can be kept for growth and observation.

[I think I just officially revealed just how nerdy I really am! 😛 ]

At any rate, I loved that thing. I got started by planting the tiny seeds in the soil provided. I added the recommended amount of water, put it in a window with partial sunlight and waited.

And waited…

and waited.

It seemed like an eternity before my tiny little plants began to unfurl from within their humid enclosure, but there they were… growing! I was so excited! From here, I set out to help them grow. “The trick?”, you might ask…

Consistent watering. That’s it. They didn’t need anything more than I had given them in the beginning. Good soil, water and sun. The Lord did the rest.

The funny thing about looking back upon these little plants is they were not stressed out, running all about trying to make themselves bigger, prettier, more fruitful. I WAS waiting after all!

No, they did want they were supposed to do. They grew at a steady rate…much slower, I might add than my little impatient nerdy self would have liked, but they made it! They became a beautiful, self-contained miniature garden. They did what they were created to do, even in the midst of being impatiently observed.

My point? REST. Yep, you heard me. REST.

In the book of Isaiah, chapter 30, God told the people of Israel that “in returning and rest you shall be saved, in quietness and confidence shall be your strength, but you would have none of it.” So, off to captivity they went to learn what it meant to rely on the Lord and rest in Him and His work in them.

For all you students running around trying with allllll your youthful might to make yourself the best you, you can be. Trying to bring in the grades. Trying to have the ‘right’ social life. Get into the ‘right’ college or grad. school.  Rest. The Lord knows who the ‘best’ you is and exactly how to accomplish it. Trust Him.

For all you parents running around not only trying with all your older might not only to be the best you, you can be, but you are trying to force your children to be the best of your ideal version of them. Rest. God declared that He had a good plan for both of you before either of you were even conceived! Rest.

Besides, for all of our rushing, fussing and stress, we cannot change one hair on our young, or more mature (for us older folks) heads.

The Lord knows what we need. He understands all too well that our lives, much like those of my precious little garden plants of childhood, are lived in a proverbially terrarium. People are watching…and people have opinions…and they talk!

Just like I was of the opinion that my plants were not growing fast enough, there will be those who just don’t think we are getting the job done. But the thing is, if we are waiting upon the Lord, we are trusting Him and we are allowing Him to transform us into His image, it will happen. Just not in their time. But it will happen. Rest.

Sometimes, we are the ones who analyze ourselves to death. I am a professional over-analyzer, when it comes to my life. You know what the message to me is? Rest. Let the Lord direct and grow me. He has planted me in the fertile soil of Himself, He waters me with His Word and He provides the warmth of trials to grow me. He knows what He is doing. Rest. In trusting Him, I have my confidence and my strength. It is when I am running around trying to make it happen that all of that goes away. I crumble. My relationships crumble. I need to learn to rest, too.

I know, I know…”But, But, But…”

Just rest. Ask Him what He wants you to shoot for today. Do it, relying on His strength and His provision. He will see what He began in us to completion. He promised.

Just rest…



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.


KINDNESS...LOVE IS KIND

Today, we are going to examine the idea of kindness.

It is the second characteristic listed in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, and, WOW, does it have powerful implications and applications.

In American culture, we have often been well trained in the idea of looking out for Numero Uno, number one, me, myself and I. With very little ,or any, thought given to how our daily actions might affect those around us.

In fact, kindness is often seen as a sign of weakness, something that we Americans just don’t appreciate. Unless, that is, we ourselves have been at the receiving end of someone who lacks kindness, then all bets are off. We expect it….even demand it. We are appalled  that someone has had the audacity to treat us with anything else, but kindness!

Unfortunately, we often forget that kindness begets kindness. You know, the old concept, you sow what you reap. We treat people as we wish and then, expect a very different attitude to be given to us. It’s kind of lopsided, is it not?

So, if we are to be loving and being loving involves kindness, what does it look like in everyday living?

Well, let’s look at what kindness really means. The word “kind” used in this particular Scripture is from the Greek word, “chrēsteuomai”, which simply means to show oneself mild, to be kind or use kindness. So, what is kindness, then? Kindness means to be gentle, to show consideration or to be helpful, being benevolent, which means desire to do good to others.

Knowing what this means, you can see why I had stated earlier that it applications and implications are very broad. Kindness can, very literally, be applied to every area of our lives and extended to every single person in our lives, whether we know them personally or not. That is pretty wild to me. To think that God has given me a mighty tool to affect the lives of others and by doing so, change my own heart, as well. I become more conformed to His image with the practicing.

That being so, how can we apply kindness in our idea of organizing from the inside out and let folks know they are loved?

First, we need to acknowledge those areas that we do not show kindness and ask the Lord to help us stop being unkind. He died for us when we were still enemies of the Cross and guess what? In doing so, He showed us immense kindness and patience!

Secondly, we can ask the Lord how to begin showing kindness to all men. Not just the ones we like and who like us, but to all. After all, if we are to partake in the sufferings of the Lord, we, too, should demonstrate the same kindness that He poured out upon us, right?

Thirdly, look for practical ways to help someone. I was once told that just my smile made someone’s day brighter. This person was just a person passing on the street who I had chosen to smile at. Apparently, they needed that. Smiles are free and are easily given!

Perhaps you know someone struggling in this economy, you could share some of your food with them. It may be that you are acquainted with some students that need help with Algebra and you know Algebra like the back of your hand, maybe that is your way to encourage and show kindness, by helping them understand Algebra better, thus, relieving their stress.

There may be a person who aggravates the dickens out of you, maybe, just maybe, you could be the one to extend the hand of grace. Showing them kindness and patience, even if they do not extend it back. Jesus did not demand our love to be given Him, though He demonstrated His for us!

Finally, in the organizational realm, maybe you are a mother or father, a husband or a wife and you see your family members struggling to keep up. Maybe you could organize on of their drawers for them. A closet? Come alongside them to set up a list of things they need to accomplish in the course of the day, week or month.

Look for small items daily that you can encourage people with. Don’t overlook the most simple things…they, often, are the very things that make the most impact.

For me, today, I am going to focus on my children and husband. I have organized my day so that I can accomplish my homework, teach my younger children and then, prepare some surprises for them for Valentine’s Day, tomorrow. Life has been so busy, I think these surprises will refresh them a bit. (I will share more tomorrow, in case they are reading this today!  ;P)

Love is patient and love is kind.

In which ways will you purposefully seek to show kindness today? When you find those ways, will you share them and let me know how they changed you?