1 How blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, Whose sin is covered! 2 How blessed is the man to whom the LORD does not impute iniquity,
And in whose spirit there is no deceit! 3 When I kept silent about my sin, my body wasted away
Through mygroaning all day long. 4 For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me;
My vitality was drained away as with the fever heat of summer.
5 I acknowledged my sin to You,
And my iniquity I did not hide;
I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD”;
And You forgave the guilt of my sin.
6 Therefore, let everyone who is godly pray to You in a time when You may be found;
Surely in a flood of great waters they will not reach him. 7 You are my hiding place; You preserve me from trouble;
You surround me with songs of deliverance. 8 I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you. 9 Do not be as the horse or as the mule which have no understanding,
Whose trappings include bit and bridle to hold them in check, Otherwise they will not come near to you. 10 Many are the sorrows of the wicked,
But he who trusts in the LORD, lovingkindness shall surround him. 11 Be glad in the LORD and rejoice, you righteous ones;
And shout for joy, all you who are upright in heart.
Brave. I’m not.
I shy away from intense discussions with those around me. Something that I would have never done when I was younger. I don’t like the conflict now. I don’t like the uncomfortable stuff that comes with confrontation. I take a lot before I’m pushed over the edge into confrontation. I was yelled at this week, in public, in front of people I knew. I didn’t confront the yeller no matter how much I wanted to. I didn’t tell the person it was totally inappropriate and that they were embarrassing themselves. I just stopped talking. I’m the kind of person who walks away and thinks of what I should have said, what I should have done and that I should have been brave.
I wish I were brave.
I shy away from sharing my faith “too much”. I’m ashamed of my chickeness. It’s not because I’m afraid of the impression of others, but because I am afraid I will be responsible for turning them away. I will say something that makes them think “I want nothing to do with that God of hers” and I will be responsible for driving them away from the God that will save them. I don’t want that kind of burden, but I wonder why I’m so willing to bear the burden of what could happen if no one ever shares with them because they aren’t “brave”. Satan wants us believe that we aren’t, we can’t be, we shouldn’t be…brave. He wins a victory when we aren’t brave.
Ephesians 6: 10-16 10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness inthe heavenly places. 13 Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. 14 Stand firm therefore, HAVING GIRDED YOUR LOINS WITH TRUTH, and HAVING PUT ON THE BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, 15 and having shod YOUR FEET WITH THE PREPARATION OF THE GOSPEL OF PEACE; 16 in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 And take THE HELMET OF SALVATION, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
My husband gave me a new camera for Valentines day this year. When he took his photography class for school, I lived vicariously through him. I enjoy the opportunity to exercise the “other side” of my brain sometimes, and taking pictures is a way for me to do that. It’s not something that is ever going to make money, but it’s something I enjoy and that is worth something. This week when I was playing outside with the kids, I was experimenting with showing depth in my photos. Below are some of the fruits of the day.
Psalm 37: 23-24 23 The steps of a man are established by the LORD, And He delights in his way. 24 When he falls, he will not be hurled headlong, Because the LORD is the One who holds his hand.
Isn’t it wonderful to be reminded that our steps are established by the Lord? I tend to be a planner. I like to have my plans laid out for the day, for the week and even better if for the month. In reality, I can plan all I want to but unless my plans are in accordance with God’s will, my plans will be for naught.
God has directed my steps, He has a plan for me. For me, that is incredibly comforting. When I am in charge (or pretend to be) of my own plans, there is always that little fear that maybe I’m making the wrong plan. What if I choose the wrong curriculum for home school? What if we make the wrong job choice? But with God, He has already set a path before me.
But…it’s not always going to be a smooth road.
Did you see verse 24? “When he falls, he will not be hurled”…. Whennot if. We’re going to fall. Even if God has directed our steps. We’re going to trip while we’re on this journey. Sometimes it will be because we don’t fully trust Him and His will for our lives, so we make a choice that isn’t the best. Sometimes we trip because we allow ourselves to take our eyes off of Him and look around us and begin to fear what the future holds. Sometimes it’s because tragedy has come to our lives and we don’t know how we’ll ever make it through.
I am reminded, as I think of friends who are experiencing difficult times or when I think of the loss of our son Knox, that God doesn’t allow us to be hurled headlong. We will fall. It will hurt. But God is holding our hand. He will help us up. I remember after Knox was born that I felt like I wouldn’t be able to smile again, I wouldn’t be able to engage in life again. I had fallen. But God holding my hand, helped me heal and while I still grieve, I am standing. I am following the steps He has designed for me.
We’re not promised an easy road just because we trust in God. But we are promised that He is guiding our steps and will keep us from being hurled headlong.
My husband was a little skeptical of this recipe because they’re “white sauce” enchiladas, but they’re a huge hit at our house. They’re on our menu this week and I can’t wait to eat them.
1 med chicken, (I usually buy several whole chickens and roast them in the oven then de-bone and freeze for later use)
6-8 large tortillas (you’ll need a few more in my experience)
2 small cans black olives (we totally leave these out)
1 large can green chilies, chopped (I used Pueblo Chilies)
1 onion, chopped
Sour cream to taste (I usually use about 6-8oz)
1+ cup shredded cheese (I’ve used cheddar or a ched jack mix)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
Mix soup, sour cream, green chilies and milk. In a 9×13 pan spread just enough of the mixture to cover the bottom of the pan. Shred chicken (if not already done). Put equal amounts of chicken in tortillas and a little cheese and onion (and olives if using). Roll tortillas and place in pan seam side down. Pour remaining sauce over the top. Top with remaining olives, onion and cheese. Bake at 350 for 25-35 minutes or until bubbling.
Sometimes there are no words…just empty. It’s so easy to get lost in our day to day living that we forget about the substance of life. This week was one of those weeks for me. I was so busy trying to survive most days that I completely forgot to take joy in my children and my family.
I am ashamed to say how many nights I went to bed this week feeling guilty because I was working from the time I got home until my children went to bed. So much so that I didn’t hardly engage in conversation with them. I always went to bed vowing to do better the next day and yet I fell into the same trap the next evening.
I could make excuses for it. The fact that I am teaching full time, that the days I spend in the office are often 14 hours days (usually 2 days a week or so) or that I’m also teaching online for 3 other schools to help make ends meet. I could blame it on the fact that my husband and I work hard to juggle our schedules so that we can home school our children while both working outside the home. Or I could own up to what I think it really boils down to…Sometimes I’m more worried about what others think of me than what my children think of me. I want someone else to praise me and to recognize the “good” job I’m doing, but I’m not willing to give the same weight to the opinion of my kids.
I take for granted that there will always be another day with them. There will always be another chance to spend time with them. But what if there isn’t? What if? I am assured that there is ALWAYS work waiting. I want so desperately to be at home full time with my children. I anticipate the day that I come home full time almost hourly. But yet, there are evenings that I am guilty of not putting them first. I fail at trying to “have it all”. I live so often in the future of “I’ll have more time when” or “if I can just get this project done, I will…”
I am reminded though, that God’s design is for me to be at home. Not just my body, but my mind and my heart. Mommy sitting on the couch working on a lecture or grading papers isn’t what God has designed for my family. It’s not what He has designed for my children. My priorities have to change, I have to be better at setting boundaries, but most of all I have to remember what I was made to do. The best that I can do is pray for wisdom, discernment and obedience to God’s prompting. I spent time talking to my husband. Seeking his guidance and advice for the change that needs to take place. There is a definite end to this mess in sight. I’m not at the point where I can say it yet, but I can see the light. In the mean time though, I’m unwilling to continue going to sleep feeling like a failure as a mother because I put work ahead of my children.
I am ashamed to say that I was empty this week. I spent so much time giving to my work that I wasn’t able to give to my family. They’re so often left with whatever energy, time, or stamina I have left. Unfortunately this week, I was completely empty. This blog post was part of a Five Minute Friday Link up. The idea is to write for 5 minutes with no editing on a specific topic. This is what came to mind with the word “Empty”. Visit the link up here…
Let’s face it, boys are different (in most definitely a good way). As a homeschooling mother to 4 boys I had to learn how to teach them differently. They’re rarely content to just sit and do workbook pages all day long. It has been a delightful adventure finding new ways to teach them the same concepts I learned in school sitting at a desk.
1. The number one way to help boys (and children in general) learn is to have realistic expectations. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to sit at a desk all day. I hate sitting through hour long meetings 3 times a month. So it’s unrealistic to expect our children to sit there and be happy about it. If we, as parents, don’t have realistic expectations for our homeschool, we hinder the learning that takes place. Having unrealistic expectations makes our home stressful, we put pressure on our children to meet those expectations and we they don’t, we get cranky. It’s much easier to adjust our plans and be FLEXIBLE than to try to push our agenda.
2. Let them wiggle! Is it really such a big deal if our 7 year old stands up while he does math? Does it really matter if he needs to dance around a little bit while he’s remembering his spelling words? I really don’t think so. Some kids learn better when they can move around. I know I did. I remember being in nursing school and being able to retain information so much better if I could read it or try to learn it standing up. I distinctly remember taping the flow of blood through the heart on the back of my closet door. If I could stand there and shift my weight back and forth I was able to retain it so much better.
3. Show them how to apply it. Very few people enjoy learning stuff they never get to apply. The same goes for our children. It helps solidify the knowledge in their little brains if they can learn about something in our school and then apply it in real life. For our boys, the excitement (yes I said excitement) for math comes when they learn a concept such as subtraction and then see how we use it in real life. Or in Bible when they memorize scripture, but later can apply it to a life situation or circumstance. How awesome that they get to actually USE the knowledge they’re getting. The same goes for the little guys. My 3 year old is delighted when he recognizes a letter we’ve been learning in school on a sign in the store. His eyes light up like it’s the coolest letter Z he’s ever seen!
4. Let them study something they like. While there is a time and place for them to learn the “boring” stuff, sometimes they should be able to learn about something that fascinates them. My 9 year old son just finished reading a book from Vision Forum called “Mini Weapons of Mass Destruction”. It was all about how to build these mini weapons out of household and “junk drawer” stuff. He collected stuff to build them, he built the weapons with dad and then tried them out on Lego guys and stuffed animals. It wasn’t in our curriculum but he learned some great lessons in trajectories, geometry and weights. We did have to set some limits on when he could break out the book, but it served as a great motivator to complete his daily work.
5. Take learning outside. Even if we’re just “doing math” the boys enjoy learning outside. When Otto was learning to add we took it outside. I would say “Otto! Go get me 3 rocks as fast as you can!” He’d run around the yard and find 3 rocks. Then I’d say “Otto! Go get 5 more rocks.” He’d run and get 5 more rocks. Then I’d ask “How many rocks do you have?” He would say “8” fairly quickly. Then we’d write the math problem in chalk on the sidewalk in front of us. If I would have just written 3+5 on a piece of paper in the house it would have taken 30 minutes some days to get him to do the problem, which resulted in frustration for both of us. We do nature walks when the weather is nice enough to be outside. We have really enjoyed watching our trees start to blossom or the seedlings sprout in the garden. Kids are meant to be outside. There is no reason they can’t be.
The most important thing we can do to help our children learn is to have fun with them discovering the world around us. Remembering that we’re not re-creating a public classroom at home, but we are learning at home, together.
Since this is a new blog launch and I know that I have some new readers out there I thought I would take a blog post to tell you a few things about me.
I grew up in a small Mennonite town in Kansas, much of our family still lives in the area. I loved living in the country and one day hope to be able to raise my children in the same kind of place where I grew up. I married my high-school sweetheart when we were 19. My husband proposed the August after he graduated high-school. He poured concrete during the day and painted my parent’s barn in the evenings after work to pay for my ring. He has always been a hard worker and for that I am thankful.
We have been blessed with 4 sons here on earth and 3 children in Heaven. We had 2 early miscarriages (2003 and 2009) and lost our 5th son Knox at 15 weeks in December of 2011. You can read my blog posts about how he touched our lives here. We are trusting God for more children in His timing and are learning to rest in Him. Our boys are 9,7,3, and 19 months. I have had 3 c-sections (my first 3 births) and my 4th son was born at home with a fantastic midwife who believes in the body that my creator made. I am passionate about birth and birth choices for women.
I am a nurse. I teach for a local community college and online for several schools. I currently work outside the home 2-3 days a week. When I worked in the hospital I worked in labor and delivery and I miss it sometimes. Nursing has always been where I felt like I was called to be. However, in the last few years God has really been calling my heart home with my family and children. It is our hope that there will come a time when I can be home with our children full time in the near future.
We home-school our children. We feel as though we have been called by God not only to educate them at home, but to disciple them. We have many family members who are public educators, they have difficult jobs and we commend anyone who provides education to someone else’s children. We are thankful God has given us the opportunity and the provision to be able to teach our children at home.
I am still learning to be a wife and mother. My husband and I half-joke that we have been married for 11 years, the last 7 of them have been really great! The first few years of our marriage were rocky to say the least. We both had a lot of learning to do about being the spouses God wanted us to be. When we were first married my husband was an unbeliever and through God’s grace was brought to a saving faith shortly before our first son was born. God is continually stretching and growing me to become the woman He’s called me to be.
I enjoy gardening, music, cooking and spending time with my family. I am teaching myself to sew and am learning to enjoy running. I am working towards running a 5K in May. I am an avid reader. I usually have 2 or 3 books in various stages of completion sitting on our end table. I enjoy writing, but until the last year or so have really kept the things I write to myself. I found after Knox was born that writing helped me put meaning to my feelings and allowed me to express things that I had too many tears for if I tried to say them.
Now for some fun facts that some of my usual blog readers may not know about me…
I play the drums in our church worship band. I played in high-school, but never played the trap set. When our drummer got married and moved away I got nominated. I enjoy it more now that I have a drum set in our basement and can practice. I also play flute (although drums sound more exciting don’t they?)
If I couldn’t make it in nursing, I wanted to be an actress. I enjoyed being the center of attention when I was younger and enjoyed drama a lot. I used to participate in forensics meets when I was in high school. I’m not as excited about being main stage now, but still enjoy drama and think about doing some community theater every now and then.
I would like to learn how to swing dance. My husband is a little harder to convince, so I’m holding out for the day when one of our boys is big enough to dance with me and we’ll learn then.
I blog partially to make myself write down the memories and things happening around me. I’m not the most disciplined when it comes to keeping a journal, but this gives me a creative outlet to do so. My children are growing so quickly and I’m afraid that I will forget what an awesome blessing it is to watch them grow up. I also hope that what I write here will touch the lives of my readers and bring glory to God.
Welcome to FillingQuiver, I encourage you to explore my site and read some of my other posts. Leave me a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for reading and may your time here be blessed!
Delighting in our children seems so counter-intuitive in the world today. I was reminded this week about just how foreign that concept seems to those around us. I had to take the boys to the doctor on Monday for a routine check up. I was stopped by a lady in the elevator and our conversation went something like this…
Her: “Are they all yours?”
Me: “Yes they are!” (I really wanted to roll my eyes and say duh!)
Her: “Why aren’t they in school?” (She was pointing at my older 2)
Me: “We homeschool them”
Her: “I could never do that! My kids drive me nuts and I only have 2!”
Me: “We really enjoy it! It gives us a great chance to spend time with them and learn together as a family.” (My older boys shake their heads in agreement and I can tell she’s a little uncomfortable by the thought of being home with her children all day)
Her: “I don’t know how you do it, especially with 4 boys! Your house must be nuts!”
Me: “Oh I love it! I was totally made to be a mom to boys! They’re so much fun and there is always something going on!” (In my mind I’m thinking okay seriously lady…how many times are you going to insult me before we get to the second floor?)
The elevator dings and we’re on our floor (Thank goodness!)
Her: “Good luck! I would never bring all those kids to the doctor by myself! That’s just asking for trouble.”
Me: “Thanks! I’m sure we’ll have a great day! I’m looking forward to it. Enjoy your day!”
It wasn’t so much that this lady said something negative about a number of things that I believe in strongly, but I felt bad for her and her children. The joy she is missing out on by choosing not to delight in her children! Children are such a blessing and a joy to behold. We are so fortunate to have the children that we do. I think my perspective has changed a bit since Knox was born, but I have always delighted in our boys.
It’s not always easy. But my heart breaks for children who’s parents don’t delight in them. It’s not enough to just tolerate them or their noise and messes. We should be finding joy in spending time with them, in being with them and in who they are.
How are we to delight in our children? First I would say we have look at why we should delight in then. In Psalm 127:3-5
“3 Behold, children are a gift of the LORD,
The fruit of the womb is a reward. 4 Like arrows in the hand of a warrior,
So are the children of one’s youth. 5 How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them;
They will not be ashamed
When they speak with their enemies in the gate.”
The Lord clearly calls children a gift. How blessed are we whose quiver is full of children (That’s why my blog name is Fillingquiver! We hope for the blessings only God can give)!
So how do we delight in our children?
One way that we can show we delight in our children is to disciple them. In our family we do this by homeschooling our boys and taking time to show them the ways of the Lord and to teach God’s principles to them daily.
Another way you can show delight in your children is to model for them the character traits you’re teaching them and you’d like to see them develop. Titus 2: 7-8 says “7 in all things show yourself to be an example of good deeds, with purity in doctrine, dignified, 8 sound in speech which is beyond reproach, so that the opponent will be put to shame, having nothing bad to say about us.” We do a lot of talking in our house about character traits, we memorize them, we talk about developing them and we expect them, but do WE (as parents) model them for our children. Remember, children will do what you do and not what you say. They learn by your example.
Do you discipline your children out of love for them and not out of your own anger or embarrassment? Proverbs 3:12 says “12 For whom the LORD loves He reproves, Even as a father corrects the son in whom he delights.” We should discipline our children, but it shouldn’t be done out of anger or embarrassment because it reflected poorly on us. It should be because we want better for them, we want them to be obedient to GOD and because we love them.
When your children ask you to if they can “help” do something with you or if they ask if they can come along with you on an errand do you turn them away because it will take more time or do you gladly welcome their company and the opportunity for training? Delighting in our children means that we’re willing to take the extra time it means to train them or that we’re willing to spend time with them even if it might slow us down. Use the time you spend with them to disciple them, to search their heart, to learn to know your child. Even Jesus welcomed children unto Himself when the disciples and society would have turned them away. Matthew 19:14 “14 But Jesus said, “Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”
Children desire to be with their parents when they’re little. You are the person your child looks up to most when they’re young, but even a child gets tired of being rebuffed time and again. Parents will lose their children’s hearts when they don’t delight in their children. Their children’s hearts turn towards those who are willing to give them time and attention, unfortunately in today’s society sometimes that means TV, video games, gangs and other poor influences on our children. It’s too bad that so many times the gifts that God has given us in children are seen as burdens, punishments for bad decisions and inconveniences to our lives. While being a parent requires self sacrifice the gift of a child is so worth it. Philippians 2:3 says “3 Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves”
We should be seeking every opportunity to win and keep the hearts of our children. The first step in doing so is to delight in them. And make sure they know that we are delighting in them. We do it by wanting and seeking to spend time with them on a daily basis, by raising them in the nuture and admonition of the Lord and by LOVING them for the gifts that they are.
I made these wonton wraps for our family super bowl party. I got this recipe from a friend of mine in Kansas. They were a big hit with everyone!
Bag of slaw mix,
small onion diced,
3 garlic cloves diced,
cooked chicken (or pork) (I used chicken)
fresh grated ginger.
In pan with olive oil and soy sauce add all ingredients and stir fry quickly. Add 1/4 cup to the middle of each wrap and fold-easy fold on the package. (I used smaller wonton wraps, but when I make them again, I’ll use the Egg roll wrappers). I did add a bit of chili garlic sauce to the mixture when I was stir frying it.
Spray baking sheet w/ oil and bake them at 350 for 10-15. Shell should be golden brown and crispy. (The first batch didn’t get as brown on the top as I would have liked, so the second batch I broiled a bit before I took them out).
We dipped them in wasabi or sweet and sour sauce.
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