Saturday, March 23, 2013

Peter Pan At The Bass

Drew and Nana at the Bass

Mommy and Drew at our first Peter Pan Performance

Can Drew stay a child forever?

Peter: Forget them, Wendy. Forget them all. Come with me where you'll never, never have to worry about grown up things again. 

Wendy: Never is an awfully long time.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Why We Homeschool?

I'm writing this post, off work for a whole week with nowhere to be but home with my kiddo's cleaning the house and catching up on life. It has been a rough two years of work and growth and learning to set boundaries, so my paying job doesn't consume every ounce of who I am. It was a year where my ideals were  challenged and my priorities were pushed aside. It has not been a great year, I'll be honest - but it solidified in my mind that the corporate world is not for me in this age and phase of life. My impact on the generations will not be lived out in front of a computer or in balancing balance sheets, it will be lived out in front of these 6 little eyes who watch my every move and hear my every conversation. In fact, I feel that all that hard work for my company doesn't actually produce much change or good in this culture - its a lot like the government, to much politics and bureaucracy to be effective. It makes me glad I'm a mom and that I can subdue and effect something with my life!

Why did we choose to homeschool?

  • ...because I love being with my children, being with them all day means the corrections I make into their lives are more readily excepted because they have been with me all day and their hearts are receptive to my instruction. If they run off to school, they would be at school more hours than with their momma.
  • ... because crazy schedules and busy days make me anxious and grouchy.
  • ... because doing homework after 8 hours of school seems insane and I wonder when they get to be kids and play outside and use their imaginations?
  • ... because my kids try my patience and shape and change me as a believer and that makes me a better mother. Not more "me" time or break time, its the pressure that refines me most days.
  • ... because I want to plan what they learn and see the progress, I want to slow down and speed up based on the child's gifted'ness and struggles. No child walks or talks or crawls on cue to a schedule, nor does a child learn to read, write or memorize.
  • ... because I care more about my children's character than their intelligence  and character is forged at home with a loving parent who instructs and guides and prays for wisdom.
  • ... because my Faith in Jesus is a significant part of my life and I want my kids to see that lived out - the great and the ugly. I want them to hear me ask for forgiveness and hear me pray for more patience. I also want to start the morning in prayer and bible and not rush off to an institution that doesn't enforce my core beliefs.
  • ... because I'm not a morning person and the idea of waking my kids up at 6:00 am just sounds like torture! Call me selfish or lazy -  I don't mind, I love my sleep and I'm a better mother because of it!
  • ... because my children are uniquely designed and therefore need unique learning opportunities.
  • ... because life is short and I only get to be a mom for a few decades, I don't want to miss a thing!
  • ... because I hate making lunches and school food is full of crap, harmful additives that I don't want my children to consume. 
  • ... because I think that heading to the Zoo is just as valuable, if not more so, than sitting at a desk.
  • ... because children learn by moving and wiggling and asking a bazillion questions - something an institution isn't capable of managing with 20-30 kids per class and is often annoyed at.
  • ... because testing produces anxiety and is a horrible way of evaluating the intelligence of children - especially in the younger grades.
  • ... because schools are all geared towards instructing girls and do not recognize that boys and girls are not created the same and do not learn the same ways (Read: Why Gender Matters). Since I have two boys - it didn't seem very logical to me to send them off to receive a feminized education.
  • ... because no teacher is committed to the success of my children, more than I am!
  • ... because I am made of flesh and I am very selfish when left to my own devices, I know if my kids were off at school all day I would waste my hours away and loose focus on the ideals God has set in my heart for our family.
  • ... because God has called me to homeschool since Drew was just a tiny little baby - somethint that wasn't very popular. God always directs me to His perfect plan and I learned a long time ago that obedience produces great faith and blessing.
  • ... because it never felt natural to me to send them to a bus stop or drop them off at school  5 days a week.
  • ... because family is important and I want my children to love one another - to be united and a team - homeschooling naturally produces this environment.
  • ... because  I am blessed with a husband and a job that also support this lifestyle. I also live in a great state that has a lot of like minded homeschooling moms.
 So, on the next homeschool day that brings me to the brink -- I will read my words - written while fully awake (12am to be exact) and having been well fed - an encouragement to my weary body to never give up, to not grow weary of doing good, and that refinement and perseverance produce their desired results. Also - remember to smile Melissa  - its contagious!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Abby and Speech Lessons

Abby has been in speech class for almost 3 months - I think we've learned more about how to correct her than her teachers have taught, she is now talking non stop. There are many days when I wonder why we wanted her to talk - now I have three talkers and Abby is the most demanding. Then I remember the days of 8+ temper tantrums and thank the Lord she can now communicate - all those thoughts just needed to come out. As you can tell from the video, she loves to be bossy and talk our ears off! I love this girl of mine! Her personality is exploding and she is already getting into "school" things like her brothers. Finally a kid who begs me to teacher her by sitting and touching and playing at the table. She will have a grand time this coming Fall when she finally gets her turn to start Preschool.

Such Blessings

I just love my kids, they are so funny and sweet and just a delight to be around.

Tonight the boys and I had cuddle time after Abby went to bed, we watched our favorite show when Daddy works late - Dr. Pol on Animal Planet. I love the show because I get to see what my life would have been like if I had become a vet. The kids love it because ... well, they just love anything animal. So we were watching a mother pig give birth and Gabe looked at me as if he remembered some deep question he had mulling around in his brain, he said, "Mommy, you know when you looked over all those kids in the whole world and picked me, Drew and Abby to be your children? Did God then put us in your tummy? How did we get in there, that is a small tummy?" Oh bless  you dear boy, you have my heart!

 Other fun questions asked during Dr. Pol - "Mom, what is a slaughter house?"
 Abby is into dress up, she loves to be a princess or ferry!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Are Children a Burden or Blessing?

My Precious Children - Drew, Gabe & Abby.

I write to you this letter to tell you that you are not a burden to me. In today's culture my heart breaks as ignorant mothers miss the blessing of their children, they nonchalantly say things like  "I couldn't stay home with my kids all day long, I need/want to work, otherwise I might go insane," or "My children are better off in school or daycare, those people are way more patient than I ..."or "I'm just not good at being a full time mom...."

Do not be deceived little children, you will grow older;  its Satan's subtle prowling within culture that spreads lies about the  insignificance of parenthood. Without intentional focus and investment into  children - they will go the way of culture and spend their life believing the same lie and investing in the instant - - instead of the eternal. They will become like many who sit in the pews of churches today - present yet powerless because of their own selfishness and sin. Many children are leaving the faith entirely - the most recent figures state 80% of kids leave the church after high school - very few ever return.Where are all those children's mothers?

I do not believe that being an invested mother automatically produces children of great faith - there is no perfect formula, but I do see within culture very few mothers who take their jobs seriously. Is it possible that much of this is related? I first encountered the epidemic of absent mothers when I moved into the workforce at age 19 - there were tons of exhausted women who spent their paychecks on nice clothes, eating out, instant gratification and a fancy home. One by one  I witnessed their divorces, their children's lives crumble and in the end many of those women now are lonely and left to wonder how life got so off track.

My children, I want you to know that I take my job as a mother very seriously, I am stitching the very fabric of who you will  become. Satan would like nothing better than for you to remain infants in power, paralyzed to the culture war and unable to grow and mature in faith.  You are not an accident, but a precious soul; created in the image of God Himself. God created you before the foundation of the world and designed me as your mother to come along side and help sculpt His masterpiece. I am a blessed mother. I do not relish the days when I will be childless, I do not look at my service to you as a burden, but as a joy. I will stand before the Lord one day and give an account for every word spoken into your life, every investment I made and every "I'm busy" I said to you. I will not give an account for whether you choose to accept the path of life - those spiritual matters rest the in the arms of the Almighty, I will not give an account for your choices, but rather for my own. There will be a day when I will be held accountable for what I poured into your souls and what I left lacking.

For you children, you are molding me into the image of Christ Himself. If I were not a mother, if you were not home with me each day, I would not be confronted with my own sin. You are a blessing to me  because you are a mirror of my own flesh, how can I tell you not to yell at your sister if  I am yelling? How can I tell you to build up your brother if I am first not building you up with my own words?  How can I pray you will have a powerful encounter with God, if I am first not coming before the Lord and spending time with God? You learn by my example - that is humbling yet inspiring. My children, you are a reflection of who I am, just as I am a reflection of Jesus Christ within me. It humbles me that when the world see's me they see Jesus, its even more humbling to thing that when Christ looks upon me, He sees Himself - perfect and in full glory.

To the parents out there that long for a day without children - please rethink those thoughts. God says our children are a blessing to us because we are suppose to be changed - dare I say inconvenienced at every turn. It is iron being sharpened by iron each and every moment. We are not to live for the days when our children are no longer here and we can do whatever satisfies our flesh. Where is that in scripture? We are doing Kingdom work and it is significant.

Do not be deceived, being a mother is exhausting and often times selfless work that produces limited immediate gratification. If the Lord were not my Advocate and Adversary I do not believe I could make it in this profession. Being a mother is the hardest job in this entire world. There are days when I want to give up, when I find myself on my knees one more time, begging for grace and wisdom. There are days and weeks where I am convinced that I am totally screwing you up! It is by God's design that mothers come to the throne of grace daily and seek what is necessary to survive that day. Over the years the surviving turns into thriving and the blessings of hard work begin to come more frequently. I delight in the sanctuary of God's word and it reminds me how God sees my children and my impact within their journey.
"Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one's youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate."  Psalms 127:3-5

" Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change." James 1:17

“See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven. Matthew 18:10
"Praise the Lord! Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who greatly delights in his commandments! His offspring will be mighty in the land; the generation of the upright will be blessed. Wealth and riches are in his house, and his righteousness endures forever. Light dawns in the darkness for the upright; he is gracious, merciful, and righteous. It is well with the man who deals generously and lends; who conducts his affairs with justice. ..." Psalms 112:1-10
 I love the last passage in Psalms because much of what I do as a mother is done in the darkness - but the light is dawning! There are so many blessings that God provides as I walk this journey - like a child's smile, or a mastered bible verse, or an unprompted hug.

My prayer for you, my children is,   as you grow older and have children of your own, this job of parenting will be unwavering and steadfast - written on your hearts with love and that my grandchildren will be parented by those who cherish their souls and shepherd them into eternity. I also pray that as you grow in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and men,  you and I will remain close in friendship and near in heart.

Your Mother