Sunday, December 15, 2013

So ... that is what Christmas is all about?

If you ever want to see the most selfish, self-center, heartless, non-compassionate people ever, just wait until November.  You get to watch them until the end of the first week of January.

No, I don't like the holiday season and I haven't since 7th grade.

I remember sitting in church when I realized how much I despised the last two months of year and how much they depressed me.  Now the mother of six and in my early forties, I still despise most of it and struggle to find the "Joy of Christmas" each year.  It isn't the Nativity hating atheist that does it to me.  It isn't the Yule loving Pagans.  It isn't Santa Claus.

It's the "Christians".

The very ones who are suppose to be focusing on the birth of our Lord and Saviour are the worse offenders of all .  Why?  Well, they're suppose to be setting an example of the love of Christ to the world and few of them do.  They don't care who is missing Thanksgiving with their family so others can pick up that can of forgotten cranberries.  They don't care who is working 14-16 hour shifts and having baked turkey in the break room while their spouse and children eat Thanksgiving without them.  They don't care who is missing their children open their gifts on Christmas morning so they can go to the movies for entertainment.  They don't care which children are parentless for the holiday.  They don't care who is missing their last holiday with an older or sick beloved family member in order for others to get more crap for people who haven't room for the crap they already have.

They just don't care.

And I don't know which is worse: the amount of greed and selfishness and the lack of compassion, or the fact that it no longer amazes me.

The human eye can see a candle flicker from 3.1 miles away (that is when the curve of the earth takes it out of human view).  On a dark night looking down from a mountain, you can see a candle from 30 miles away (Live Science).  I am so thankful for the lights of those who give so much during this time of year for those around them.  They do it all year long, and they give so much of themselves showing the true Jesus inside of them.  I am also incredibly thankful for my children who don't ask for a ton of stuff at Christmas, but are instead content with what they have.  It is because of the flickering lights in my line of vision that I eventually find the Babe wrapped in swaddling clothes lying in the manger.

It is nine days until Christmas.  I am ready now to get a tree and decorate our home for the Birth of the Saviour.  We'll still have Santa and gifts, but most of all, we'll have Jesus and family.  And that is what this season is really about.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Hello Fresh!
Chicken Polpetti

A little delayed by the winter storm. Lots of ice, no snow. Sad about that, 
BUT here is my second review on Hello Fresh.  

Yesterday one of my sons asked about the chicken meatball dish I had made for lunch one day while he was at school. My homeschooled children had told him how delicious is was and he really wants to try.  Well, it was one of the recipes I had made from Hello Fresh. The Chicken Poletti was definitely the favorite!

Instead of beef, ground chicken is was used to make the "meatballs". 
I had never used ground chicken before; it was a little different to work with than ground beef, but the directions did say to wet your hands before forming the balls which made a big difference. 
I was able to make a total of twelve nice size chicken balls.  
I know chicken balls sounds a bit odd, but that's what we call them.

After they were browned on all sides, they were simmered in homemade sauce while the pasta boiled.  

We wound up diving it four ways.  
My 18-year-old said it was just the right amount to fill him without stuffing him 
and everyone agreed.

 The 3-year-old took a bite and said, "That is aMAZing!"  
I  have to say that one of the things I really enjoyed about reviewing Hello Fresh is that the recipes were ones I would never thought of trying. I doubt I would have made "meatballs" out of ground chicken, but now, it's being requested! Adding new and different recipes to our family meal menu has been great. 

One of my friends pointed out that one of these would make a great gift that is different and unique. Plus they get a recipe card with all the ingredients and instruction so they can make the meals again. Go check them out, and if you decided you want to try them yourself, use the code "T7QDA8" when you sign up for $20 off your first box.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Hello Fresh Review 1 of 3

Hello Fresh!
This was fun!!!

About a month ago a friend told me about an opportunity to review a service called Hello Fresh.  This service allows you to select three meals (regular or vegetarian), THEY do all the shopping, then deliver it to your door so you can have all the fun of playing chef at home without searching for new recipes and running to the store to shop. It sounded like fun, so I signed up right away. 

On November 20th I received a FAAAABULOUS box!!! It was filled with everything I needed to make three meals: recipe cards with full illustrated instructions, meats, FRESH HERBS, veggies, etc. I've taken pictures, and today I am posting my first set; pictures of the box and all the amazing goodies inside! Over the next few days I will be posting reviews of the meals with pictures. Go check them out, and if you decided you want to try them yourself, use the code "T7QDA8" when you sign up for $20 off your first box.  For more reviews by other people, click here.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

... sighs ...

You just can't oppose corporate greed while supporting the actions of greedy corporations.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Praise and Thanksgiving in Homelessness

This homeless man singing praises to the Lord to the song 'God of Second Chances' is too beautiful for words and a much needed personal reminder, "Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus."  ~1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Passing on the Art of Bread Making

Be sure to play the music while you read ...

Give us this day our daily bread.  
~Matthew 6:11 (KJV)

 For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater:  
~Isaiah 55:10 (KJV)

Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness.  
~II Corinthians 9:10 (NIV)

Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw the signs I performed but because you ate the loaves and had your fill.  Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.”  
~John 6:26-27 (NIV)

He will dwell on the heights,
His refuge will be the impregnable rock;
His bread will be given him,
His water will be sure.
 ~Isaiah 33:16 (NASB)

Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”  
~Matthew 4:4 (NIV)

Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty."  
~John 6:35 (NIV)

And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. 
~Acts 2:42 (KJV)

When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them.  Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight.  They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”  
~Luke 24:30-32 (NIV)

 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.  
~Acts 2:46-47  (NIV)

 23 For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread:
24 And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.
25 After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.
26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death until he comes.  
~I Corinthians 11:23-26 (KJV)

4 1/2 cups warm water
4 1/4 tsp yeast (2 packages)
1 T Sugar
1 cup bread flour

Let proof, then add:
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup honey
2 eggs
1 cups coarse ground oatmeal
1 T gluten (if you have it)

Then add:
1 cup bread flour
3 cups whole wheat flour

Knead for 10-15 minutes adding flour as needed.
Let rise for an hour.
Punch down and form into loaves.
Let rise until doubled.
Bake in a 350 oven until brown on top and sounds hollow when tapped.

Rub butter on top and cool 10 minutes before cutting ... if you can.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

It is well with my soul. Is it well with yours?

As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God.  My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?  My tears have been my food day and night, while men say to me all day long, "Where is your God?"  These things I remember as I pour out my soul: how I used to go with the multitude, leading the procession to the house of God, with shouts of joy and thanksgiving among the festive throng.  Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. My soul is downcast within me; therefore I will remember you from the land of the Jordan, the heights of Hermon -- from Mount Mizar.  Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me.  By day the LORD directs his love, at night his song is with me-- a prayer to the God of my life.  I say to God my Rock, "Why have you forgotten me? Why must I go about mourning, oppressed by the enemy?"  My bones suffer mortal agony as my foes taunt me, saying to me all day long, "Where is your God?"  Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.  ~Psalm 42

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Cleaning out ...

A few days ago I spent the entire day cleaning up and cleaning out my cabinets.  Today we had friends over and I made sure that the living room was vacuumed and picked up.  The kitchen was clean.  The table was set.  I showed off my newly organized cabinets and pointed out that the top of my fridge was no longer loaded with stuff, but instead had only a decorative cookie jar and my recipe box on top.

Later, somehow my and my husband's bedroom came up.  It's huge with a jacuzzi tub in it and a fire place.  The master bedroom was what sold us on the house.  I told her  it was a total wreck and even showed her our room with the plastic storage boxes filling one corner, the bed unmade, towels on the floor, and the three-year-old's toys all over the place.

I am currently working on cleaning and organizing our pantry when this thought came to me.  We spend so much time organizing and cleaning what others can see, but try to close the door to real mess.  If we make the part that everyone sees neat and tidy, somehow we think they'll believe that the rest of the house is the same way when it really isn't.

As Christians our lives are the same.  We want what the world and our friends to see to be neat, tidy, admirable, something they might want to emulate.  But what we show on the outside isn't who we really are.  Who we REALLY are is what we hide behind that door, like our office and master bedroom.  As humans, we have a tendency to shove the messy untidy parts of our lives into secret places where we can hide them. The problem with that, particularly as Christians, is that eventually we have to let others in to see ALL of who we are if we plan to truly serve Him.  Sometimes we don't even have to let people in because there is only so much space to hide stuff, then it starts to trickle out.

As servants and followers of Christ, we have to stop trying to hide things instead of dealing with them.  The Bible says, "A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil out of the evil stored up in his heart.  For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of."  (Luke 6:45 NIV)  You see, we can't hide it forever.  Eventually we have to let people in or it comes out on its own.  I hide quite a few things, or least try.  Those who know me know that I can be judgemental and critical when I fail to be humble.  I can complain and have fear when I fail to remember to be thankful for the amazing provisions of the Lord.  And he has provided so faithfully all these years!

So I am deciding right now to spend more time humbled before my Lord and thankful for all His blessings.  I am asking Him to prick my spirit when I judge or complain so that I will remember these words that I have written.  You see, the best motivation to clean out the junk that burdens us is the motivation of the something better and fulfilling taking its place.  I choose the better.  I choose the Spirit of the Lord.  I choose to toss out harsh criticism and judgemental thoughts for the indwelling Spirit of compassion and love.  I chose to dispose of complaining and uncertainty for the Spirit of peace.

You see, these things ARE choices.  And I choose to put on my new self.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Happy 238th Birthday U.S. Marines!

Today is the 238th Birthday of the United States Marine Corps!  Please take a moment to pray for the safety of not only our Marines, but every brave and honorable member of our U.S. Military.

As a proud mom-ma, I especially covet prayers for my son, my Marine. He is currently stationed stateside. 

Turn up your speakers!!! 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Growing Older Gracefully

So many women I speak to loathe growing old.

I don't.

I look in the mirror at myself and I see beauty.  I see the beauty of laugh lines around my mouth and the start of crows feet at my eyes; the result of joy, laughter, and yes, sometimes tears.

I see the white hair that has come in to frame my face; the memories of years gone by of meeting my husband and true love, the birth of our children (one now grown and out of the house with several more following suit soon), and the growing of our family through good times, bad times, love, and loss.

I see my body with its stretch marks from carrying six amazing children, and I see the affects of gravity.  I no longer have the body I had 10 years ago, but then again, I would no no longer wear what I wore back then, so it doesn't matter.

I see myself growing older.  I see the marks of time written all over me for the world to see.  And I'm choosing to do so with grace.

The Bible says many wonderful things about being older:

Gray hair is a crown of splendor; it is attained by a righteous life.
 ~ Proverbs 16:32
Yet so many people, especially women, cover their "CROWN OF SPLENDOR" each day.  Of course is it only splendor if you live a life of righteousness.

The glory of the young men is their strength, gray hair the splendor of the old.
 ~ Proverbs 20:29
The young show off their strength, their glory; but too many of those growing older see their splendor, hide it, and hold tight to their youth.

Is not wisdom found among the aged?  Does not long life bring understanding? 
 ~ Job 12:12
So many are saddened at the signs of long life and want to look younger.  They fail to see that with long life brings WISDOM and UNDERSTANDING.  They are gifts.

Stand up in the presence of the aged, show respect for the elderly and revere your God.  I am Lord. 
 ~ Leviticus 19:32
This one is my favorite though.  In the SAME BREATH God commands that the younger stand out of respect for those who are older and to also revere God.  Amazing!  He placed respect for elders on the same level as reverence for God!  If that isn't enough to make a person realize that the signs of growing older, and even growing older itself, isn't something to be proud of, I don't know what is!

The world glorifies youth.  GOD glorifies those with a "crown of splendor".

Sunday, September 22, 2013

"Return on His Investment"

This morning, as I was cutting up a pineapple for us to eat today before it went bad, I started to consider the leftovers in the fridge that needed to be thrown out and the leftovers I had thrown out earlier this week.  Such a waste!  Such poor stewardship!  I started adding up in my head how much money was quite literally going in the trash.  I couldn't help but think about how that money could have been used to feed other people.  For $38 a child can be fed for a month through Compassion.  I'll have thrown out about $10 of food this week alone.

Then the Parable of the Bags of Gold came to mind.

Matthew 25:14-30

14 “Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his wealth to them. 15 To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags, and to another one bag, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. 16 The man who had received five bags of gold went at once and put his money to work and gained five bags more.17 So also, the one with two bags of gold gained two more. 18 But the man who had received one bag went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.

19 “After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them.20 The man who had received five bags of gold brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five bags of gold. See, I have gained five more.’

21 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’

22 “The man with two bags of gold also came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with two bags of gold; see, I have gained two more.’

23 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’

24 “Then the man who had received one bag of gold came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25 So I was afraid and went out and hid your gold in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’

26 “His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? 27 Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.

28 “‘So take the bag of gold from him and give it to the one who has ten bags. 29 For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. 30 And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

The man who hid the money and gave it all back was wicked and cast from the sight of his master.  How much worse must it be to throw the Master's money away!!!!  That is what we do when we waste what the Lord has given us.  You see, the money we have isn't ours.  It ALL belongs to the Lord!!!  He gives each as He sees fit, but he expects us to be faithful and give Him a "return on His investment."  

There are so many ways to waste His money besides just throwing food away.  He promises to provide for all of our needs, and I don't believe He minds when we spend time together building relationships and enjoying ourselves, but when we live outside of our means and start living on debt, we waste away His money with the interest we pay.  Blowing money on yet ANOTHER "toy" is a waste as well.  A smartphone is an absolute NEED because a basic flip phone isn't good enough, right?  And apparently, for a teenager, that $200 phone with the $70 a month phone plan is something they can't live without ...

But where is His "return on investment" in all of these things?  So often we say that we wish we had more to give, all the while finding it so tempting to waste so much.  It must the "flesh and blood" thing and the "need and want" thing.

So here is the challenge I am taking:  Each time I find myself throwing food out, I am going to take the time to add up the cost of that food.  Then each week I am going to remove it from my grocery budget and put it in a jar for His work.  If the next week I still throw food away, I will start removing that additional amount of money from my budget as well until there is no more food waste.

I am excited to see how much work can be done for His glory through this simple act of waste cutting!  I may not see the "interest" until I one day kneel at His feet, but it excites me just the same! 

Saturday, August 31, 2013

The Deep, Deep Love of Jesus!

When I hear this song I am amazed at where I am now and where I was just a few years ago.  I thank and praise the Lord of Hosts for His deep and unimaginable love, forgiveness, and redemption!!!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Death of a Friend

A friend of mine died of a brain aneurysm around 2:00 a.m. Saturday morning.  He was buried today.  I've never had a friend my age die.  He was just 3 or 4 years older than my husband.  His wife is left to raise two high schoolers and two elementary children alone.  Three of them are boys.  I talked to her this evening on the phone.  She's exhausted.  We talked.  We laughed.  We cried for about ten seconds.  She's too tired to cry and I can't expect a widow to carry my grief over the death of her husband.  His 24-year-old son from his first marriage is moving down to help his step-mother and his siblings.

My friend was a Christian.  He was a real person.  Not phony.  He was who he was and he was wonderful.  My husband and I loved him.  And now he has gone home.  His wife is trusting the Lord to provide.  And He already has.  His employer paid the over $10,000 for his funeral and is going to pay for his family's health insurance for 6-8 months while she sets up life without him.  His burial plot was given to them by the church.  I know He will carry them through.

Sing to God, sing in praise of his name,
   extol him who rides on the clouds;
   rejoice before him - his name is the Lord.
A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows,
   is God in his holy dwelling.

                                ~Psalm 68:4-5~

Sunday, July 28, 2013

An Example for Christians on Giving ... by Creator of the Simpsons

Sam Simon is dying from cancer and is giving his fortune away.  "He founded his eponymous charity in 2011, an organization that provides food for families in need, spays and neuters cats and dogs for free and trains service dogs to help vets who are hard of hearing.  He established the nonprofit entirely with is own funds and the organization does not accept public donations, according tot he charity's website."

I don't know if he is a Christian or not, but the last two paragraph are an amazing lesson for Christians who give money grudgingly, give only the tithe they believe is required of them (if you study the Law of the OT, Jews actually gave away 1/3 of their income, but that's for another time), or don't give at all:

As for what's motivated Simon to give so gernerously, he says that's pretty simple.

"One thing is, I get pleasure from it," he told the Hollywood Reporter.  "I love it.  I don't feel like it is an obligation."

He gets pleasure from it.  "In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remember the words of the Lord Jesus himself said: 'It is more blessed to GIVE than to receive.'" ~Acts 20:35

He doesn't feel it is an obligation. 2 Corinthians 9:7 says, "Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a CHEERFUL giver." ~2 Corinthians 9:7

Is there really anything else to say?

Tuesday, July 23, 2013


Okay ... I get a bit excited when school books arrive.  But as I've already admitted,

I have an addiction.

As much as I enjoy pulling out the books that my previous children have used, new ones in the mail are just joyous!!

I have more coming, but this is what arrived yesterday.  I've spent yesterday afternoon and this morning doing lesson plans for the new ones so we're all set to go in a couple weeks.

Let's see ... for my SENIOR we stuck with Power Basics.  Physics worked wonderfully for us last year.  It was enough to give him a good understand of the basic fundamentals of physics without overwhelming him.  I strongly suggest these for those amazing children who are busily conquering mountains!  This year we will be doing Chemistry and School to Career.  According to, it,

"Give students the skills they need to succeed on the job!"
  • Helps students transition from school to career
  • Provides helpful information to assist students in getting a job
  • Covers the skills needed for success on the job
  • Addresses workplace communication, evaluations, and challenges
I spent an hour going through it.  I'm going to use this with my other children when they get older.  It gives a lot of practical advice and the workbook activities present possible situations for the student to consider and learn how to respond in order to prepare them for the workforce.  I can't wait to use it!

Our senior will also be doing Math-U-See's Stewardship (he did great in MUS Geometry and wanted to stick with their program).  Again, spent time looking through it and I wish I had something like this before entering the real world.  I love that there is a devotional for each lesson to teach the Biblical principles along with the "mathy" practical side.

The senior is also doing Easy Grammar again, a tried and true staple,  but we are trying the Progeny Press study guide for The Scarlet Letter.  I am interested to see how this works for him.  I am really hoping that we will be able to do three more books for a more rounded out English IV.  I want him to know that he CAN do this.  We're going to take a full quarter for the book.  I may have our 8th grader do it as well later on, but I believe he'll be able to do it in about 3-4 weeks.  We've never had a study guide that had us look up Scripture and use it to analyze the book.  Can't wait!

Our 6th and 8th graders will be doing History Speaks...Bill of Rights.   It's a unit study.  They learn each right and then read about actual cases/situations where these rights came into question, such as the Brady Bill.  They analyze each situation and draw conclusions using what they've learned.

Finally we have Learn to Write the Novel Way.  This is put out by KONOS and it directs the student in how to write a book.  Of course the length of the book will depend on each person and their age, but this gives .  My 8th grader has been wanting to write a book for quite some time and has even started a few, but he gets stuck.  I came across this by accident while perusing CBD and thought of him.  It had two five star reviews.  I really hope he likes this.  He sounded excited when I told him I was ordering it.  My daughter isn't interested in writing a book, but she's going to do the exercises to write short stories and poems instead.  At the end of the year we're going to have their books published at a local printer.  It says it's a full year of English Composition and that no other grammar is needed, but we are doing this in addition to Rod and Staff's grammar program.  We LOVE LOVE LOVE Rod and Staff Grammar.


Saturday, July 20, 2013

School is almost here!!!

Yes, yes.  I am an addict.  Here is a list of signs that you may use to check yourself for homeschool addiction.  It is not complete.  Feel free to add your own symptoms (or call me with them).

1.  You start making plans for the next year before finishing the current one.
2.  Lesson planning is fun and you have tables and Excel files to prove it.
3.  Your house has enough books in it to start a public library.
4.  You have enough homeschool books to start a private school.
5.  You get excited for the school year to end, but  jump for joy when the new one begins.
6.  School supplies are fun to shop for.
7.  Your school supplies are color coded for each child.
8.  Art supplies are the BESTEST!
9.  You get a rush when ordering school books for the new year.
10.  You get another rush when the boxes arrive.
11.  Your favorite curriculum is as warm and cuddly as a teddy bear.
12.  You consider your yearly reporting/portfolio as a work of art.
13.  You spend your free time studying homeschool curriculum.
14.  The thought of your last one finishing school gives you a tinge of sadness.  Fortunately for me, we have a three-year-old!!!

Expecting books next week!!!!  YIPPIE!!!!!!!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

It's been a while...

It's been crazy around here while we prepare to move.  Our eldest graduated from bootcamp and is now a MARINE!!!!  Oooooooooo-Rah!  We are so proud of him!!!!

I hope to post a REAL post soon.  So for those few who read this, and you know who you are (yes, people actually do read this, not many, but a few, and they call, text or email instead of posting online ... I'm not sure why) I have tales to share.

Many blessings!!!

OH!  I made some lavender soap today, and I promise to share!!!!

Friday, April 26, 2013

A Reminder of Why I Homeschool

It's from 2009, but I've just come across it ... by accident ...

HOME-SCHOOLING: Outstanding results on national tests

I miss these days when the table was full of homeschoolers!
Their ages now are 20, 17, 16, 13, 11.
And of course now we have the three-year-old
who isn't in the picture.
 The U.S. Department of Education (DOE) estimates there are more than 1.5 million children being taught at home. Furthermore, the DOE estimates that home-schooling has been growing at 7 percent a year for the last 10 years.
Two related questions many people ask are, “Why has home-schooling become so popular?” and “What is motivating parents to take on this daunting responsibility?” In the most recent report by the DOE, parents gave three basic reasons for choosing home education: to provide religious or moral instruction, concerns about the school environment, and dissatisfaction with academic instruction at other schools.

Regarding the third reason, there is new research showing that the average home-schooler who takes standardized achievement tests is doing very well. The study, commissioned by the Home School Legal Defense Association and conducted by Brian Ray, an internationally recognized scholar and president of the nonprofit National Home Education Research Institute (NHERI), is called “Progress Report 2009: Homeschool Academic Achievement and Demographics.”

The study included almost 12,000 home-school students from all 50 states who took three well-known standardized achievements tests — the California Achievement Test, the Iowa Test of Basic Skills and the Stanford Achievement Test — for the 2007-08 academic year. The students were drawn from 15 independent testing services, making it the most comprehensive home-school academic study to date.
This one is now 13.

The results reinforced previous home-school studies conducted over a period of 25 years.

Five areas of academic pursuit were measured. In reading, the average home-schooler scored at the 89th percentile; language, 84th percentile; math, 84th percentile; science, 86th percentile; and social studies, 84th percentile. In the core studies (reading, language and math), the average home-schooler scored at the 88th percentile.

The average public school student taking these standardized tests scored at the 50th percentile in each subject area.
Beyond academics, there were significant results regarding achievement gaps. It is common knowledge that gender, as well as parents’ income and education levels will greatly affect a public school student’s academic results. Public schools have invested greatly to try to close these achievement gaps. The study, however, shows the achievement gaps found in public school were greatly diminished for the home educated.

For example, home-schooled boys scored at the 87th percentile and girls at the 88th. Household income had little impact on the results of home-school students: Children of parents with an income between $35,000 and $49,000 scored at the 86th percentile, whereas children of parents with an income over $70,000 scored at the 89th percentile.
These two are now 16 and 11.
As one would expect, the education level of parents did affect the results. For example, home-school students of parents without college degrees scored, on average, at the 83rd percentile for the core subjects. When one parent had a college degree, those students scored at the 86th percentile, and when both parents had a college degree, those students scored at the 90th percentile. There was virtually no difference, however, between the scores of students whose parents were certified teachers and those who were not.

In summary, the results were slightly better than the most recent large academic study regarding home-schoolers (the 1998 Rudner study), and the average home-school test results continue to be 30-plus percentile points higher than their public school counterparts.

In my opinion, there are two main factors for these outstanding results: the educational environment where learning takes place, and the individualized, one-on-one instruction. Most home-school students are directly taught by their parents, who love their children enough to make the sacrifice to stay at home to make sure their child is taught in a safe and loving learning environment. Second, one-on-one instruction emphasizes the best interests of the child rather than the best interests of the group.
In a sentence, home-schooling is a recipe for academic success.

Monday, April 22, 2013

So Much to Do ... So Little Time!

My family is moving 1,000 miles away this summer.  We have a lot to do!  We've already made one trip to look for houses.  We are working on getting our house ready to list.  We have to make another trip to try to find a house to fit all of us.  There is still three weeks of school for us to complete.

I'm a bit worn out ... but following the Lord's leading.

Three years ago the Lord gave this to me:

Where I go, God has been.
If I go where God has been, He has prepared a path.

If God has gone before me and has prepared a path
He has prepared and provided for everything along the way.

If I believe that where I go God has been,
that He has provided a path,
and that He has prepared and provided for everything along the way,
then I can rest knowing in full confidence that everything will be okay.

IF I follow the path He has made for me.

~ Written April 1, 2010

Please remember us in prayer.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013


I came across a brownie recipe that really intrigued me.  It has no flour.  It uses black beans.  Yes, I know it sounds pretty gross by I just made them and they are absolutely FANTASTIC!!!!!!  I found the recipe at Chocolate Covered Katie.

I ended up pouring extra chocolate chips on top, letting them soften, and then spread out the chocolate like frosting.  We decided that was boring, so I sprinkled some powdered sugar on top.

They are definately two-year-old approved.  The other children found them amazingly wonderful and they couldn't taste the black beans at all!!!!

Her recipe called for canned black beans, but I was making black beans for dinner tonight so I measured out 1 1/2 cups of the soaked beans, simmered them for a while, and then let them soak in the hot water until they were soft.

Here is the recipe off of Katie's blog:

No-Flour Black Bean Brownies

  • 1 1/2 cups black beans (1 15-oz can, drained and rinsed very well) (250g after draining)
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder- dutch or regular (10g) (add a little extra if desired)
  • 1/2 cup quick oats (40g) (See nutrition facts link below for all substitution notes.)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup or agave (Honey will work, but not for strict vegans.) (75g)
  • 2 nunaturals stevia packs or 2 tbsp sugar (or omit and increase maple syrup to 1/2 cup)
  • 1/4 cup coconut or vegetable oil (40g) (See “nutrition facts” link for all substitution notes.)
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup to 2/3 cup chocolate chips (115-140g) (Not optional. Omit at your own risk.)
  • optional: more chips, for presentation

Preheat oven to 350 F. Combine all ingredients except chips in a good food processor, and blend until completely smooth. Really blend well. (A blender can work if you absolutely must, but the texture—and even the taste—will be much better in a food processor.) Stir in the chips, then pour into a greased 8×8 pan. Optional: sprinkle extra chocolate chips over the top. Cook 15-18 minutes, then let cool at least 10 minutes before trying to cut. Makes 9-12 brownies.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Encouraging My Son at Bootcamp

My son as been at boot camp for six weeks now.  When I got his first letter telling me that he misses us and was homesick and a few other things I search the Bible for a verse on strength.  I found this one:

 It is God who arms me with strength
    and keeps my way secure.
He makes my feet like the feet of a deer;
    he causes me to stand on the heights.
He trains my hands for battle;
    my arms can bend a bow of bronze.
You make your saving help my shield,
    and your right hand sustains me;
    your help has made me great.
You provide a broad path for my feet,
    so that my ankles do not give way.

~Psalm 18: 32-36 (NIV)

I printed it out on nice linen cream colored card stock atop a watermark of the American flag with the Marines' Eagle, Globe, and Anchor.  I glued it to this nice Marines red scrapbook paper and then on black card stock.  It looked really nice.

After I sent it I thought it would be a good thing to send him one each week.  Last week was:

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.

~Ephesians 6:13-18 (NIV)

This week was:

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.

~Deuteronomy 31:6 (NIV)

I wanted verses that would be of help to him now as well as later when he is overseas facing danger and battle.  I hope that they are an encouragement to him.  I am so proud of my son and the man he is!

Thank you, Lord, for giving me such an amazing son.  
Thank you for giving me the privilege to raise him.  
I hope that I did my job well in Your eyes.
Keep him safe in his days to come.
Give him courage and strength.
Always let him feel you with him.
And when he feels fear or challenge or loneliness or sadness or desperation, be especially close.

Monday, March 25, 2013

A History Lesson - 14th & 15th Amendments and Some Neglected Truth About American Slavery

As I was writing up the curriculum for the state of Kansas I learned something new in history which isn't taught in school. Kansas was the first state to pass the 15th amendment. Which is a fun thing to know, however, I also learned... that when the Republican congress passed the fifteen amendment to the Constitution that 11 northern states had no problem ratifying it. They were ALL Republican states. Four states would not ratify it. They were ALL Democrat states.

Furthermore, the southern states were fighting against allowing freed slaves to vote and the four Democrat states of the north were helping them in this fight. In order to ensure suffrage to the freed slaves, the Republican congress passed a law which required any state to be readmitted into the Union to ratify both the 14th and 15th amendment (the 14th amendment made the freed slaves legal citizen status). The democrats fought it tooth and nail, but lost.

Then I remembered Anthony Johnson. Now Anthony Johnson is the reason slavery was made legal in the U.S. to begin with. He lived in Virginia and came over as an indentured servant. He later bought his and his wife's freedom and then brought over five indentured servants of his own. They were all black (contrary to what is taught in schools, many Africans came here willingly as indentured servants, the same way many white people came here). Now there were some slaves in the colonies, but the legal status of being "owned" by a master did not exist, and many of those slaves were Native American and also white. *

One of Johnson's indentured servants, John Casor, wanted to buy his freedom, but Anthony Johnson fought in court the right to keep him forever as his slave. The court sided with Johnson and Casor became the first legal slave in the Americas. Interesting note is that Casor came as an indentured servant and thereby had a RIGHT to buy his freedom. It was Johnson, his black master, who went to court to take away that man's right.

So there you have it. A truth that is willfully ignored in school, a black "master" was the first one to formally fight for the right to legally own a slave.

*The first slaves in America were actually white and made up 1/2 to 2/3 of the population of the original colonies. The Royal Company of Africa when created to import black slaves AFTER it was determined that there weren't enough WHITE slaves to do all the work. After the abolition of the African slave trade, slaves were brought in from China and India. And we can't forget the Native American slave trade. Just as many Native Americans were sold on the auction block as there were Africans, many times Native Americans were traded for the Africans. The Native Americans were then sent off to work sugar plantations on the islands because when kept in the colonies they escaped. I won't even START on the Trails of Tears because there were MANY of them and there isn't nearly enough focus on what can only be called attempted genocide in America. These FACTS are important when we discuss the history of slavery in America, as are the FACTS that while the history books try to rewrite history, the TRUTH is that both African and Native American waring tribes sold each other into slavery.***

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Soap! Soap! Soap!

It had been a while since I had made soap.  In fact, my family had been using COMMERCIAL soap for several months.  GASP!!!!  A friend contacted me on Facebook and asked if I still made soap and if I would be interested in selling it in her store.  Their entire store is about re-purposing things that others find useless.  They are very down to earth people ... and they homeschool!  Anywho ... I've not been in her store, but I've read her blog (Patina in Paducah) and I have seen many pictures up on Facebook.  I very excitedly said, "Yes!  Yes!  Yes!"

Okay, maybe it was only ONE yes ... but inside me I doing a happy dance.  And it came at a perfect time for me.

So my daughter and I started getting busy making homemade lye soap (my daughter also created and earned a Create Your Own Badge for Girls Scouts).  I think they came out quite lovely and I enjoyed the time with my daughter teaching her something she had only watched me do before.  If you ever have the chance of using lye soap DO IT!!!    If milled properly with a good recipe, it rinses clean away leaving you squeaky clean.  My mother-in-law says that my Oatmeal, Milk & Honey is the only thing that keeps her eczema clear.  

The first ones we made were the Lavender Goat's Milk and the Cinnamon Scrub with Nutmeg & Clove (the little soap up front is a Gentle Milk Handsoap that came later ... it was leftover).  The Lavender smell so relaxing and it great for shaving legs and the Cinnamon Scrubs exfoliates amazingly (it smells yummy too)!

The next soap made was Avocado Peppermint Burst.  I had never made this before.  I wanted to try something new, so I added two pureed avocados and peppermint essential oil.  The main bars were all the standard square, but I decided to get creative with the leftovers.  The round one came from a finish round "block" of soap that set up in a tall plastic cup.  The heart one was poured into a heart shaped mini cake mold.  I carved a mesage in it for my lovely daughter.  I have been washing my rather long hair (down to my waist) with this soap for a little over a week.  My scalp has cleared up and my hair is super soft without using any conditioner.  YEAH! a few less chemicals on my body!!!  It's really a good morning wake up soap.

Another new soap for me was the Jamaican Morning Coffee.  Coffee soap is good for removing odors, I've been told, so I made my own.  I decided to try using cupcakes tins for another mold.  I think it's cool how the cupcake papers made ridges on the sides.  The next day when we made the Oatmeal, Milk & Honey, I set some plain soap aside, added milk to it, then put swirls on top the soap to make Mocha Latte Cupcake soap.  My beautiful, sweet and amazing daughter said they needed decorating and added the coffee beans.  She's so creative!  My 13-year-old son decorated a few as well.  The leftover from the "latte topping" was swirled on freezer wrap to make small palm sized soaps.
The last soap we made was the Oatmeal, Milk & Honey.  The cupcake soap was left the way it was, but wanting to experiment with something new, I double milled the bar soap.  That means I took out of the mold the next day, broke it up, added some water, then set it in a warm oven for an hour stirring and mushing every 15 minutes.  Then when it was nice and thick I spooned it back into the mold.  I used the back of my spoon to make peaks on the top.  I think it looks a bit rustic.  I couldn't be more pleased!  

 Our next creative soap endeaver will be making a soap cake ... 

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Wonderful Fellowship!

I was so blessed to spend 1 1/2 hours on the phone with a very dear friend, mentor, and brother in Christ.  He and his wife are such a blessing to us!  B isn't a phone person, so we email, but J and I can, and do, talk at length. I am reminded of Paul's longing to see his Christian friends, " I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong—that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith."  (Romans 1:11-12)  As we closed in prayer, my arms ached to hold my friends again, to see them smile, to hear them laugh.

The Lord brings people into our lives for a reason or sometimes for a season.  J & B are lifelong (nearly 20 years now), and I praise God for them.  They are a true brother and sister in Christ.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

42 TODAY!!!!

I woke up this morning singing Mighty is the Power of the Cross.  I thought it was a perfect reminder of the greatest gift one could ever be given!!!

What can take a dying man and raise him up to life again?

What can heal a wounded soul?
What can make us white as snow?
What can fill the emptiness?
What can mend our brokenness?

Mighty, awesome, wonderful
Is the holy cross
Where the Lamb laid down His life
To lift us from the fall
Mighty is the power of the cross

What restores our faith in God?
What reveals the Father's love?
What can lead the wayward home?
What can melt a heart of stone?
What can free the guilty ones
What can save and overcome?

Mighty, awesome, wonderful

Is the holy cross
Where the Lamb laid down His life
To lift us from the fall
Mighty is the power of the cross

It's a miracle to me [2x]
And It's still a mystery [2x]
It's a miracle to me
The power of God
For those who believe

Mighty, awesome, wonderful
Is the holy cross
Where the Lamb laid down His life
To lift us from the fall
Mighty is .......
Mighty is.......
Mighty is the power of the cross

Thank You for the cross [2x]
Love the cross [2x]
So Powerful...... ohhhhh yeahhh
What can take a dying man?
And raise him up to life again?

Worship You Jesus
By your wounds we are healed
By your wounds we are saved
Mighty is the power of the cross [2x]
Thank You Jesus for the Holy cross

Monday, February 18, 2013

Turning 42!

I'm turning 42 on Wednesday.  I AM SO EXCITED!!!  Yes, I am one of the few women who look forward to their birthday each year.  I have no problem growing older.  Although, I do wish my children didn't do it so fast!  I blinked a couple times and my eldest is now at boot camp ... **sigh**

Anyway, we have a big day planned!  **cough cough**  There are three dental cleanings and a minimal amount of school work to be done (just enough to keep each one busy while their siblings have their appointments).  Then I'm going to relax for a few hours and read.  I haven't decided yet what I am going to make for my birthday dinner.  Maybe panCAKES ... !!! 

Friday, February 15, 2013

The Bondage of Anger

I am in bondage to anger.

Anyone who knows me knows how difficult it is for me to admit this. 

I have always been a fighter.  I'm actually quite good at it.  I've always fought for the little guy and against the injustices of this world, but being a fighter brings with it a certain amount of anger. 

Or maybe it's the anger that brings about the fight in a person.  I'm not sure.  And at this point I don't really think it matters. 

I know that anger in and of itself isn't a sin, even Jesus got angry.  I think it's the kind of anger that one harbors in their heart that turns into sin.  That is the anger that gives the "foothold to the devil."

Maybe some brutal honesty about the anger will help me lay the roots of it all at His feet and maybe then I will be able to move on to truly enjoy all the wonderful blessings He has given me, namely my husband and our six children.  And at the moment, this adorable two-year-old who has put on his Batman mask and would like me to tie a blanket around him to serve as his cape.  :)

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

We're sick.

Yeah, that's about it.  :P~~~~~~~~

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Going Away and A Little Bit of Mischief

We had our son’s going away party Saturday. My best friend of over 30 years made his cake.  It was wonderful to have so many people there to support him. Even people who weren’t able to attend sent cards. One of the children who was there made a huge card for him telling him by taping 8 pieces of paper together. She colored it and wrote in the inside of proud of him she was and that she would be praying for him. One of the little boys painstakingly colored several pages from his coloring book for him. It was so sweet!

After we left the restaurant, my mom and lifelong best friend and her family, came back to our house. There was just a little bit of mischief going on when people weren’t looking…

What my best friend encouraged my mother to do to my bathroom...

What my best friend and I did to my mother's car ...

What I did to my best friend's car the next morning while she was still sleeping ...

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

It's All My Sister's Fault!

When I was in elementary school my big sister taught me the following chant:

I must!  I must! I must increase my bust!
The bigger the better,
the tighter the sweater!
The boys depend on us!

While you chanted it you were suppose to press the heals of your hands together and make your chest move.  I didn't know what it was all about exactly, but she was my big sister and I faithfully executed the exercise many, many times.  Eventually I stopped as I grew older, but the deal was done. 

I sit here now with my DD's, sore back, and indentations in my shoulders and have decided that it's all her fault.  She who ended up with much smaller boobs than mine. 

I miss my sister!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Random Thought

Before we are saved here is a battle for our heart and soul.  After we are saved, the battle is for our mind.  That is why there is a need to surround ourselves with uplifting music and Scripture.  It is too easy to be distracted (aperispatos) by things of no consequence and that are of little importance. 

"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things."  ~Phillipians 4:6

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

What are You Hoarding?

Scriptures Used
Genesis 41:49
Proverbs 6:6-8
Proverbs 27:12
Matthew 6:25-34
Luke 12:20-21
Mark 10:21
Matthew 6:19-21

I watch a lot of Hoarders Buried Alive. I am constantly amazed at the amount of stuff and junk people can collect. As I was thinking about last night’s episode, it came to me that while some people have actual medical reasons that they hoard, like they’re OCD or autistic, but most people are just insecure and worried about tomorrow. I think that most people have a little bit of hoarder in them, by hoarding I don’t mean keeping a few special keepsakes as long as you don’t go overboard, but I do believe most of us have some stuff, be it a lot or a little, that we should probably clear out.

First off, hoarding isn’t the same as preparing. We are actually taught in the Bible to prepare. We SHOULD be responsible and plan ahead. Even God told Jacob to store up grain. “Joseph stored up huge quantities of grain, like the sand of the sea; it was so much that he stopped keeping records because it was beyond measure.” Genesis 41:49

Proverbs also tells us to not be lazy and to prepare.

Go to the ant, you sluggard;
consider its ways and be wise!
It has no commander,
no overseer or ruler,
yet it stores its provisions in summer
and gathers its food at harvest.
~Proverbs 6:6-8 (NIV)

A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions.
The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences.
~Proverbs 27:12 (NLT)

There is nothing wrong with being prepared. The Bible actually says it is prudent. It is prudent to have emergency supplies available. When we lived in Florida, we were prepared for hurricanes. Now in the Midwest, we stay prepared for ice storms, snow storms, and tornados. In California, you would prepare for earthquakes. This is not hoarding. It is following the example of Jacob.

Hoarding is excessive. Hoarding is an inability or unwillingness to throw unneeded items away. Hoarding gets in the way of day to day living and fills up space. In short, hoarding owns you.

Why do people hoard or act like “pack rats”? Fear? Worry? Making sure they die with the most toys? While most certainly hoarding can be psychological, I think it is also partially spiritual.

Let’s first look at fear and worry.

Matthew 6:25-34

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

I love the first seven words, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry…” ***I SO need to impress that inside my brain as my son leaves for the Marines in just a few weeks!***   Back to the topic ...  God promises to supply all of our needs so there is no need for worry. We live in a worry filled society and have become a worried filled people. Worry is a distraction. The Greek word for distraction is ‘aperispatos’ which literally means ‘to draw away’ or ‘impediment’. Worry either draws us away from trust in God or impedes our trust in God. Either way, it isn’t good.

The passage goes on to tell us that our Heavenly Father, who cares to feed the birds and clothes the flowers, cares far more for us than he does “the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire.” (v.30) He is certainly capable of providing for not just SOME of our needs, but for ALL of them. Those who do not trust him spend their live chasing their needs (v.32), but the Christian can have peace, instead of worry, knowing that He who created us knows how to care for us ... if we just have faith and seek Him, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (v.33) Of course we are expected to WORK and not be lazy as we are warned in Proverbs 6:6-8 above. However, it is still He who “gives you the ability to produce wealth.” (Deuteronomy 8:18a)

In one sentence, hoarding over worry is a spiritual issue based in a lack of faith in our Lord and Savior to provide.

Well, what about those who hoard and accumulate in order to “die with the most toys”? Let’s take a look at Luke 12:20-21:

20 “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’ 21 “This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.” (NIV)

Those are pretty harsh words. This excerpts comes from the parable of the Rich Fool (Luke 12:13-21) In short, the rich man had so much grain that he decided to pull down his old barns to build bigger ones to keep more grain in so he could then sit around an be lazy. So many wrong attitudes here. One, he wanted to keep it all to himself so he could, two eat, drink, and be merry and lazy!!! I’d like to assert that his wealth wasn’t the problem. The problem was that his earthly wealth far exceeded his spiritual wealth. He wasn’t “rich towards God.” He was focused on his “money”. It had become his “aperispatos”.

There is only one cure for this type of hoarding. It is found in Mark 10:21, “Jesus looked at him and loved him … ‘Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor … Then come, follow me.’” How did the rich young ruler respond? He walked away with his face down. His “hoard” of riches was more important that his spiritual wealth. This doesn’t mean that wealth is bad. Look at Solomon! But if one is “hoarding” to have the biggest, the best, the most, instead of earning to invest into the Kingdom of God and to help those in need, there is a deep spiritual void.

So take a look around you. What do you hoard? Is your collection of garden gnomes overtaking your home? Do you have a difficult time not purchasing every one that you see? Maybe it’s time to sell them off and use that money in a way that serves God and stores up an even greater reward in heaven.

I conclude with Matthew 6:19-21

19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

I have said these things unto you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.
~John 16:33