This Is Not Only It

No, this place, earth, what we call home is NOT only it.

We want it to be.

It feels like home or it may not. 

We make it as if it is, we try oh so hard. 

All the investment, all the niceties, all the trips, all the schooling, all the degrees.

But its not only it. There is more.

To draw near is to believe, "This is Not the end."

What material is invested on earth is short lived. Temporary happiness's that fly fleeting out the window, for the Spirit finds no comfort in things of earth only things of Him.

And that is what we take when it ends and only it, the Soul.

Not our belongings, money, degree, not our friends or dear family or children. 

"This is Not only it." 

For far beyond what anyone can fathom lays a world of His greatness, beauty, power, and light that does not conform or appease the minds of material earth but abides only in Him.

To think upon His expansiveness, His majesty, His glory, undermine not His awesome Power.

For he holds this momentous sphere with various elements and rock, His creation, suspended by His power and might. 

It hangs there this sphere by invisible strength, these pulling forces where masses intersect. One cannot be without the other. But this force this pull that keeps the sphere afloat remains so because of perfect balance and this perfect balance, as in all things He keeps in the "palm of his hand."

He sits, waits, watches. He sees all things. Everything directed by His call not until "my words reach every ear." His sons feet will not trod the earth again until every ear has heard. The love of the Father towards His creation, us, His greatest masterpiece. 

He is this invisible being, this force that draws Spirits together, that touches the soul with good, that causes men to cry out in sorrow and shame, that brings out the shield and sword against sin, that speaks forgiveness, that showers healing, that gives laughter and joy, that Saves, that is Him in us. 

To hear over and over that "this is NOT only it" is to prepare His Spirit in us, our homes, families. For it is the one thing that cannot be taken from us. Flourish the Soul for the longing of His Eternity.

He is eternity and He sits and He waits for us to make Him ours.

The Light that Outshines

Being a Mom means never being able to sleep in, at least in our home.

There's that rapping, clawing at the door, pushing on its exterior, those soft wails, more pushing as if something or someone too great to ignore lies just outside their reach that they can't grasp.

And when they do break in they make their rounds through the room checking the drawers, surrounding areas as if they are undercover agents trying to find something and they do and it's exciting that pen, magazine, piece of loose paper, old pictures, flashlight, nail file, books.

He has today off and for the only day of the week is home all day. A few hours to myself today even if it includes banging with fists on the door by little hands.

The weekend started off with a bang, rushing kids into their seats, the screech of rubber tires, all because time vanished without me seeing it.

The word "late" applied all weekend.

If only I had opened my eyes a little earlier, gotten ready a little quicker, packed the bags a little faster, planned a little better, the "if only" words, my least favorite.

The weather breathed warmth on Saturday, the sun showing just enough of its light to tempt with a trip to the park. I envied the couple, sitting on the bench, sipping their drinks as their children calmly rode their bikes.

Mine were dangling from ropes, hanging from cliffs, and if there was a stumble or trip that could be found they would find it.

With sighs and sadness that no other kids wanted to chase or play, I offered to be the "it." That word I dread from my mouth every time it escapes.

It  used to be so easy when you were younger, the art of lifting the legs in fast movement.

I could imagine being that young girl again but I could never be her again with that same sure quickness or liteness of leg and heart.

But I could laugh and I did and they did even if it was for a short moment.

Until it bled, his hand, how and on what I wouldn't know.

Crimson red covered his thumb and fingers. With sobs from both of wanting to stay and with watchful eyes following us, we left. There were no bandages, clean tissues, or cloths.

Burdens, sometimes the days moments seem full of a heaviness that will crush, test, and trap the goodness of the spirit. 

The stresses of the day, the work, the schooling, the cleaning, the cooking, and lastly comes you. You strive for happy moments and with it, it brings disappointment.

Sometimes it's as if your the only one on this massive sphere that breaks, crumbles, crashes, and feels helpless. But your not and everyone is.

Cast it off, draw near to the goodness and joy of the day, my reminder!

Bring into light the moments of joy for the light always outshines the darkness.

And the children broke into my room this morning excited to show me their gifts of light....
Zion wanted his picture taken, his favorite plate
Josiah's traceables

His Marble Run

10 Things I love About My Oldest Son

Sometimes I dwell on the negativity, on the things I wish I could change, on the annoyances of everyday life so much that it sweeps me up, this pessimistic negative attitude, and gloats itself high and lofty over my days.

 "Change him, he's not good enough, he will never make it, other kids his age can, he can't catch a ball to save his life, your holding him back, he needs help.." And it goes on and on and can soak up the spirits faster than praises from my own lips. I become soaked and then I wring myself dry. Because I see him. There he comes in my room bright and early with a cup full of coffee proudly presenting it to me as if I had just won an award and I had, he was my award.

Focusing on negativity or pressures only ruins the soul. To stay alive by dwelling on the things that are lovely, true, and good by not conforming to the pressures of the world, is where joy is found. "Let the little children come," Let the little children live, be free, love learning all while being guided by love and wisdom.

 With swirling remarks and thoughts of inadequacies running thorough my mind of things he couldn't do during a day I decided to make a list of things I loved about him, things he could do. Focus on them, dwell on them, grow the list, be grateful and thankful for the list that I even have one! There are more and even if there were none love would surely abound, overflowing. Thinking upon, writing the list, it draws the heart out and pushes the negative thoughts back where they belong unseen, invisible, flushed out, no more.

10 things I love about my son

1). He wants to make me proud. He tries his hardest to understand a concept or do something right because he thinks it makes me happy. He longs to please me everyday, to make me proud of him. This one just breaks my heart and I tell him always that I love him and I am proud of him even if he doesn't  master everything that comes across his plate. I give him loads of praise and tell him that I am proud of him. I think further down the road this one characteristic of him may pass and so I soak it up for as long as I can.

2). He is willingly helpful. He offers help without having to be asked. He seeks out ways to help me around the house especially in the kitchen and he is proud when he does so rightly. Of course usually the helping gives way to me being restrictive due to possible messes or more work on my part but he is so happy when he sees me smile from his helpfulness. I need to relax and relish the mess.

3). He misses me. Its nice to be needed and its even more wonderful to be missed. He tells me just about every night when I turn out the light that he will miss me and can't wait until morning to see me. This is true when I go anywhere without him its the "Hug and Kiss" and I will be greatly missed.

4). He is artistic. I love this about him! And yes I am sure there are those who see nothing fabulous in his art work and think I make a mountain out of a mole hill but when I see his dedication in his work him sitting there for sometimes long periods of time to draw, paint, or create I love it. I leave out markers and pencils every morning and he would get up early and draw. Not worried about possible stains, lost marker tops, or paper being used up I wanted to see him have what he needed to express his art, be free doing it. I love it because he is passionate.

5).He wants to see the good in everything. Even at a small age he never wanted to watch TV or movies where bad people were depicted winning or dying or anything bad in general. He always wanted the bad people to be good in the end and couldn't understand why anyone would want to be evil and die evil when they could just be good and go to heaven if they believe. Even if they were bad he would always want them to turn good never giving out hope that somehow they would be good in the end. I love this sensitivity in him, his desire to care,  his concern.

6). He has a musical ear-Sometimes he can blow me away with what he can musically remember. When he was a young boy he loved classical music and still does humming to himself in perfect pitch a song he heard in his head from a long time ago. I love listening to him sing worship songs, dance, and play the piano.

7). He can build -railroad tracks, legos. Elaborately he builds his rail road track twisting the pieces around, over and under bridges until he comes up with his city scene full of paths that intersect. I am glad I never glued the pieces together back when I first bought his train set when he was three. Needless to say I wasn't happy about all the train track pieces all over the place and I had whined and complained about the mess but he suddenly began building better train tracks then what the directions showed that I decided to let him design his own and he builds different ones all the time.

8). He loves Human Anatomy. This he began learning at a young age and he has still carried the interest with him over the years and he has just astounded me with how much he knows. He was (still is) curious about each tiny detail and how it works and functions that I bought him human anatomy books and models. He knows the organs and there functions much more than I ever did and still do. I love showing him how the Creator made the human body a wonderful, powerful, magnificence. And yes, whenever we need a doctor he is here with his medicine bag to help us get better and he loves going to the doctors office.

9). He recites the Bible to me, from memory. Of course only verses here and there and they are usually right on target with my attitude. At first this irked me that my six year old son was "preaching" to me from the Bible and accurately but then I realized he was right and my attitude was wrong. I could only thank him and praise him for "pointing it out." I love how he prays when I sneak in and see him, memories to hold onto for a lifetime.

10). He is sweet, tenderhearted, curious, and loves God. Yes, he is sweet but he also has a testing nature but he still has such a tender, sweet hearted nature that it overwhelms me and makes my heart melt. If I could only hold onto these sweet moments, remember them forever, and hold them close so that when the testing comes I can remember who he truly is, good, sweet, and a gift from the Lord made in His image. He's not made in the image of evil or badness but made in Gods image! And this sweetness I pray it in him always.

Spirit Fruit: Peace

The screams always seem to arise the moment I reach for my coat. 

Those piercing, startling cries that render you stopless in your tracks as you turn to tend to the cry. Redness on the forehead is noted and ice is applied. 

Pictures flash through my mind of actually getting to church on time, finding a place to park, then finding a place to sit, and then hopefully being able to sing one worship song before the sermon begins. Those pictures fade replaced by motherly condolences.

Illness has struck our home as winter brings its viruses inwards rendering children with high fevers, stuffy noses, and somewhat crabby attitudes. My attitude at that moment could be just as crabby as theirs with or without the fever. 

It was my time alone yesterday morning. My time to arrive early, sip my coffee, take notes, and bask in song and devotion yet all that wandered my mind was a screaming child, a dirty house, children still in their pajamas, and breakfast dishes that will need cleaning once I came back.

Peace. "Shalom," His word.

Where was my peace? It was on a row boat drifting away on oceans waves towards it destination of sand, solitude, palm trees, and tiny bungalows fit perfectly for just one. The only problem was the boat was empty and I would never be on one.  It was missing that tranquility, quietness.

Peace. Misread, misinterpreted this peace. Peace "not as the world" gives with its perfect bungalows or spas or films that swallow time, or those special my times away. That Peace is short lived, temporary never amounting in completion or wholeness of soul, spirit, and mind for I would always have to go back to the mundane, back to the daily habits, face the challenges that tear away at me. 

Turmoil, hardships will find me but through Him there is Peace everlasting. Those moments of testing, hardships, of sufferings are fleeting in His presence. How I handle the situation is where rest and peace is found. 

Giving those moments of testing Peace is seeing through His lens of rest and joy in trials, true Peace. My outward response in those times of hardships dictates what's in my spirit. 

This Peace that Christ gives us in the Spirit is Peace amidst the chaos, the disorder, the flailings, not FROM them but IN them. A Spirit Fruit, Peace.

Escaping, hiding from those possible occurrences are only temporary fixes. To face the challenges no matter how big or little they may appear, for everyones are different, facing them with His peace is where stillness is found.    

I arrived to worship.  But I remembered I had forgotten those clothes for the children sitting on the kitchen counter at home. My tired mind had remembered that morning but then the cries came. 

Arriving back home to small whines and lunches that needed to be made, the thought crossed my mind to just stay, return them but those children...I journeyed back bag in tow, peace.

Homeschool, Day in the Life

Sharing our homeschool day in the life with SimpleHomeschool today! 

Minutes and hours make up the day but in our homeschool day there always seems to be a shortage. 

Rush, hurry, quick, there's more to do.

Never enough minutes. 

I'm going on my second year of homeschooling and I have learned or I am still learning to slow down

Each day is a gift that cannot be given back, time cannot be borrowed. 

One of the many joys of homeschooling elementary is that learning doesn't have to follow the same mandates as regular schools in how they learn just that they learn.  I am resting knowing that they are learning. I can see the uphill climb especially in my oldest who has ADHD. 

I can see that where he was months ago is not where he is now. And yes, homeschooling him takes a lot of time, planning, and hard work but when I see how far he has come, how his focusing is improving, it makes homeschooling even more rewarding, a joyful sacrifice.

Sometimes I tend to think that if I just sit back and watch he will learn it on his own eventually and eventually he will. My main job is to make learning fun, appealing, and to provide an atmosphere where they can succeed.

Here is our typical day of learning at home. Of course this changes if theres book club which is three times a month or if there's piano once a week or any other field trip outings. I have never been one to have them make up their work that they should have done at home because they were out learning elsewhere.

!!! Yes, I wish there was an early time here where I woke up before the kids! I read the other Mom posts and see how many get up early but since I am up late, I sleep in if I can. During the warmer days I do try to get up early and walk before the kids wake up.

7:30am the kids wake up. My husband is up with the kids making breakfast and on most days feeds them and plays worship. I have quiet time in my room, read devotionals, answer emails etc. He even brings me coffee in my room on my most mornings!

8:00am I shower get ready, dress the kids, eat breakfast, and watch as my husband leaves at 8:45.

9:30am Is when we usually get the lessons started. We start off with "Calendar time," Bible including a new verse every week, along with a new Character Trait every week.

10:00am is Phonics time. I spend time at the whiteboard with my oldest while my two year old plays.

10:30am Break time for my first grader and whiteboard time for my two year old where we go over ABC's and numbers.

11:00am-Worksheets. My oldest completes two pages of phonics while my two year old completes one page of early learning.

If we do a craft it usually falls into this place.

11:30am- Reading and Science time with my oldest ( next month it will be History, changes). I usually put a show on for my two year old to watch while me and my oldest do reading.

12:00pm Lunch followed by a long break where they play with blocks, read books etc.

1:30pm Math. My two year old is napping while I teach math, my first graders least favorite subject. We do whiteboard time, followed by two sheets of Math. But if I feel its too much or too repetitious I cross it off.

2:15pm More Reading time on the couch. He reads and then I read a book aloud that I have picked out. We are now reading "Mr. Popper's Penguins" by Richard and Florence Atwater.

2:45pm He gets a break and picks something that he would like to do if its not with me then I do chores, clean up the house etc.

3:30 My two year old is awake from his nap. If its nice outside we go walking outside "exploring" or to a park. If its too cold we stay inside and do puzzles or books.

4:30pm I start making dinner while the kids play or they usually do Lego's at the table if their not helping me cook.

5:30pm Dinner followed by playtime.

7:00pm-Piano lessons. I have found that this is usually the best time to get my oldest to focus on piano lessons. For some reason right before bed he practices and does pretty well!

7:30pm Bedtime for my oldest.

8:30 Bedtime for my youngest.

9:30pm is usually when I have the house cleaned up by and lessons ready for tomorrow.

Then its "me" time! I write, browse the internet, read a book, and then finally go to bed at....

12:00am! (too late, I know)

Blessed to be able to stay home and teach my children, thankful for the time I have to be with them. Times are changing in todays world, making the most of every moment with them while their learning at home.

And that's a regular homeschool day for us!! Thanks for stopping by!   

His Words on Hearts

We hang up hearts.

Simple hearts.

Surrounded by bright lights the hearts glisten among green limbs twice marked on sale.

The excitement, the stomping, the laughter, and eager anticipation.

A simple heart with a hole and a string.

Ways, small ways to show Love.

So much joy. So much happiness from a heart.

Written on the hearts, verses of Love from the Creator,  the Holy, Loving Father.

I read and they listen. They hear. I hear.

They may not fully comprehend but they hear and they will and they do, I pray.

Pray to see Love not only in human expression, but in an eternal everlasting Love as displayed by the God who created it.

Love notes from God these verses of how TO Love, of how THEY are loved, of how He loves.

Verses of Love to and for all generations.

To know the Love that surpasses that of any earthly relationship, that Love that will follow them, chase after them, never breaking their hearts, never ceasing, always present, always saving.
To see that Love abides aside from the chocolates, candy hearts, the stuffed animals, and cards.

Simple hearts, simple ways, Love messages from God. 

Printable: Four simple hearts, four verses of God's love. Simple steps- hover over the download button, just cut, hole punch, and hang. Print more than one copy to "hide it in hearts." Verses are shortened to fit in hearts.
Download Here


We graze.

We graze upon the stillness, the serenity of days of snow.

Snow that falls, flakes, accumulates, builds in the minutes, hours, days.

We graze.

We watch.

We wait.

Silence. As if the whole world is asleep, still in the whiteness of winters birth.

The chill raps at the windows. It escapes, it drafts its way in. It stings.

The whiteness gives off its glow, inventions of man not needed.

Warmth to ease winters chill on bones, drink, though short lived.

He comes in and says its closed as are the roads.

He's home. He shovels. What number shovel it was I lost track. Last years was ran over with kids in tow. Grateful to find one left at the local store. Grateful to be able to purchase another one in a year to come.

He picks up his guitar, plays his music loud as little voices sing and dance.

We sleep and wake to snow upon snow.

                                    Laughter, eager excitement, anticipation.

Dressing of the children in snowsuits I would rather not do. But..for a few moments of temporary quiet, I dress them. Grateful he's home. Tomorrow I go it alone.

He takes them outside even though digits are single. No complaints. Only awe in the white.

Tracks are happily made by little feet. I love the tracks, of once was here. May their tracks always lead to the one who created them.

Days of graze. Days of white stillness.

This gaze, God's grace of divine splendor, a temporary stillness in the vastness that soon will be gone. It will vanish giving way to the normalcy of routines busyness.

A peace that the sun will soon shine, that the warmth will reappear, longing.

But now to graze on the stillness if only for a few moments.

Just one of those days!

It's been one of "those" days..sigh.

It started early. Messy trails from the day before were still flung all over the house.

Dishes. "Someone" forgot to turn the dishwasher on last night.

Bowls, spoons would have to be washed by hand. There
 aren't enough dishes to dismiss regrets. 

"Eat" one of my youngests favorite words until he actually gets in the chair. Then its whining followed by tired trips to the bed, then he finally takes a bite. But he still wants to "eat" and soon.

Toilet. The toilet overflows followed by the sounds of a young boy fleeing the bathroom while screaming. Towels soak it up, more washing to do. (the toilet overflows often)

I forget butter. Butter and a few others from my late night trip to the grocery store. Apologies to children for a forgetful Mom.

Josh leaves early and I watch as he drives away in the little putt putt car that I can't believe still runs, even in below freezing temperatures. Say thanks with a sigh of relief!

Tackle the kids day. 

Do worksheets, pencils break, erasers are gone. Holes in worksheets from creases in the table. Crayons are emptied by my two year old. My six year old forgets how to do addition but...ducks have oil sacs! He later remembers his math. Snacks, snack time, breakfast served an hour ago.

My eyes roll and I sigh. Thoughts of changing out of my pajamas, race through my mind.

Spelling words, spelling lists, forgets. Piano, piano lessons where's C? Zion wants to play too! 

The internet won't work. 

Read this, read that. Maybe I'll be able to shower tomorrow? Maybe I'll be able to clean the house? Nope, put it off another week. 

Netflix won't work followed by disappointed moans from children. Checking the mail I dread, I have to today! The kids want to go outside, its cold, snowy, a blizzard. 

Flick, flick the lights off, must save. Pick up toys.

Josh is coming home early for dinner and leaving right back out. Hmm do I have anything ready,!

Ode to the joy of days!

Its still all goodness!

As Moms we try and count it as goodness. As women who work no matter the job no matter how many children (if children at all) we count it as goodness. We can relate, connect through the daily grind. We are pulled, pushed, tested.

Forget not.  We can still see the day, feel it, smell it, taste it. Its all counted as goodness. 





Wrapped in His goodness of grace He makes it all good, all beautiful.

"And God said it was good."  I just have to SEE it through His EYES and.... rest.

And yes, I say yes to bubbles in the house.