Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Prayer for a Tired Mom

Dear Heavenly Father,

The day is dawning, and I feel defeated before I have even begun.

Once again, there is more work for me to do today than day to do it in. I feel scatterbrained, out of focus, and unsure of my priorities. And I'm tired. So tired.

I want to glorify you, LORD, in my life, in my home, in this family, with my children...but I confess that, most days, I don't know how to do that. I work so hard, but always come up short. Sin gets the best of me again and again and again. Come and save me from this wretched body of death. (Rom. 7:24) I need You desperately.


Teach me what Your priorities are, and help me to choose the good portion (Luke 10:42). Help me to value what You value, and despise what You despise. Help me to seek first Your Kingdom, and to trust You for the things that I truly need. (Matt. 6:33)

Oh, LORD, may I never take for granted this opportunity you have given me, to love my husband, love my children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be a worker at home, to be kind, to be submissive to my dear husband, that Your Word may not be dishonored. (Titus 2:4-5) For this life of blessing You have graciously given to me, make me deeply thankful.

May I take seriously the commands that you have given me in Your Word, and may I walk in humble obedience. May I never forget the humility of your Son, Jesus Christ, who was obedient unto death--even death on a cross(Phil. 2:8)--that I might be freed forever from the punishment that I deserve for my sin. Thank-you for giving me to privilege to teach these truths to my children. May I do so diligently, with every breath that I breathe, and every step that I take. (Deut. 6:4-9) And may I love You...truly love You, with all my heart, soul, mind and strength.

Now Father, as my children are waking and needing me, I pray that You would be with me. Fill me with your Spirit, and give me a worshipful heart. May my entire day be a sacrifice of praise to You.

May I not grow weary of doing good, for in due time, I will reap, if I do not give up. (Gal. 6:9)

And in all things, may Your good, pleasing, and perfect will (Rom. 12:2) be done, on earth--in this home--as it is in heaven. (Matt. 6:10)

For it is in Jesus' Name I pray,

AMEN

"God be in my head and in my understanding,
God be in my eyes and in my looking,
God be in my mouth and in my speaking,
God be in my heart and in my thinking,
God be at my end and at my departing."
Henry Walford Davies (1869-1941)
Thursday, September 23, 2010

A Not-So-Odd Question

Q: Tiana...
  
Hello there! I stumbled upon your blog today and I really like what you have to say.  =) However I do have an odd sort of question for you that none of the folks that do homeschooling can answer for me.  At least not without starting to talk in circular logic that doesn't go anywhere but to a migraine! 


 My son is (gulp) soon to be four so the question of how/where we are going to do the school thing has started coming to the front of many conversations.  My number one concern with homeschooling versus any other style of school, whether it be the standard public variety or the christian kind, is that how are these kids supposed to learn how to live in this world if he is constantly in the little bubble of our bible-believing world?  How is he going to know how to stand in his faith and how to deal with the questions that are asked of him as to why Jesus is his best friend and lives in his heart.  Also, why is it assumed by those who do the homeschooling thing (or at least those who I have come into contact with) that if you were to send your child to schooling of any other sort that you are not going to then talk with them about their day?? All of those that I have met just kind of assume that I would send my son to school, and allow them to teach him without ever once talking with him about his day and going over what he has learned, participating in his schooling and talking with him about what the Bible says relating to what he has learned or done that day.
 
 I know this is kind of a rambling letter so please forgive me on that count. =) If you have any articles that you have already written on this then I would love to have the links! I am doing my best to educate myself over what options there are for my son and doing what is the best situation for him.  Thank you for any and all help you can give =D

Blessings,
 Lily C.


A: Hi Lily,

Thanks for reading my blog! Making a decision as to where and how to educate our children is a tough one, and your question is not odd! It's something that I think a lot of Christians wonder about.

I do have some posts in the archives about these issues:

The first two go together--

Another one--

This last one is rather long, but it's basically the thesis statement for my blog:


In a nutshell, my main concern with public education is that of worldview. It is very difficult for young children, even those who are going to church, Sunday School, etc, to carefully evaluate what they are being taught in school. In fact, recent research, published in the book Already Gone by Ken Ham and Britt Beemer, showed that many children learn to think of their Sunday School lessons as "story time", and their public school lessons as real, factual information. This has resulted in a staggering 75-88% of children who grow up in Bible-believing churches abandoning their faith by the end of their freshman year in college.

The main goal I have in homeschooling my children is to give them a true and thorough knowledge of God and His Word.

"The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding." Proverbs 9:10

My husband and I want our children to have a solid foundation, knowing what they believe and why they believe it, before they are asked to defend it. Our homeschool curriculum choices all center around this goal.

We are thoroughly convinced that many young people who make professions of faith are actually not yet born again. This is evidenced by the number of our youth who walk away from their faith when they reach college age, as well as the fact that not many Christian children are doing much evangelism in their public schools. Additionally, the public school system is a challenging mission field, even for mature adults! We believe that sending little children, even those who have a strong faith, into the government schools, is much akin to throwing them to the lions. They are much better off having their first evangelistic experiences be with parental supervision, with unsaved family members, neighbors, and friends. I do know of several families who, after homeschooling during the early years, send their mature, believing teens to public high school as a mission field. While I'm not sure that this is a choice I would make personally, I certainly respect it.

As to your question about talking to our children about what happens in school, I question whether or not it is effective enough to counteract the secular, and often blatantly anti-Christian biases being taught. I'm in my 30's, so I attended elementary school in the 80's--a time when the government schools were far more conservative than they are now. I lived in a very conservative community, in one of the best school districts in our state, with involved, Christian parents. My mother regularly asked me about what happened in school, and we had a great relationship, so I always gave her a thorough answer. However, I still learned anti-Christian things that I am sure my parents never found out about. I learned a pro-choice view of abortion in the second grade. I learned that one day the sun was going to burn out and, if humanity hadn't figured out how to destroy itself before then, we would all freeze to death because of the death of the sun. I learned some very explicit sexual concepts from boys in the hallway, and even had a boy grab me inappropriately on the playground. These are just a few examples off-the-top-of-my-head...and I'm just talking elementary school. Unless you are with your child in school all day long, you cannot guarantee that you will know about everything he is taught--either officially or unofficially.

So, all this to say that I'm not about keeping my kids in a bubble, but I do believe it is important to introduce concepts at age-appropriate levels, from a distinctively Christian perspective. I believe that the best way to do this is to educate my children at home. This will prepare them, when they are mature, to go out and live lives of great service to the LORD in His Kingdom! A great, relatively short read, is When You Rise Up: A Covenantal Approach to Homeschooling, by R.C. Sproul, Jr. He says so much of what I've been trying to say on my blog, only better. :)

I hope that helps. God Bless you on your journey!

Tiana
Saturday, September 18, 2010

Now This is What I Call a Field Trip!


Hiking a wooded trail with my family has it all over a large group tour of the children's museum any day...


My four favorite people...outside the womb, that is...


Little Big Man


Princess Acacia Lily


Micah likes sticks.



Yes...this was before the haircut...




Micah learns that some "sticks" are actually tree roots, and don't pick up so well.


Asher finds an acorn.


Sweetie girl...




Babes in the woods...




At the water's edge...


Nope. Couldn't have picked a better place to be on a Saturday afternoon...




Acacia, despite her best efforts, managed not to fall in...




What fun are you having with your family this weekend?
Friday, September 17, 2010

A Name, A Legacy -- Naming Micah Paul

*This is the fourth installment in a series of posts on choosing meaningful names for our little blessings. You can read the first three posts here:
A Name, A Legacy
A Name, A Legacy -- Naming Asher Joseph
A Name, A Legacy -- Naming Acacia Lily

Micah Paul, about 4 months old


Naming a third child presents a unique set of challenges. For most of us, it is fairly easy to choose a name for baby #2 that "sounds right" next to child #1's name. Add a third child in to the mix, however, and the task becomes trickier. On the one hand, you don't want him to feel like the "odd man out". On the other hand, choosing a name that is too similar or thematic might been seen as overly-cute or just plain corny.

Harmonious, yet distinctive, is the goal. And it's a lofty one.


When it came time for us to choose a name for our third child, my initial favorite name for a baby boy was yet another "A" name. I campaigned hard, but Chris insisted,

"Two 'A' names is a coincidence. Three is a pattern." And he's probably right.

Back to the drawing board...or the index card, as the case may be.

You see, my husband knows that I'm a baby name fanatic, and have been since childhood. So, he allows me the fun of researching names, and then asks me to come up with an index card of favorites from which he can choose a "winner".

Sounds good--on paper, at least. It broke down, however, when I handed him an index card of my top 5 boys names, only to have him declare that he didn't like any of them enough to give them to our son. And girls names? I didn't even have a list!

I will admit, perhaps to my own embarrassment, that somewhere around second trimester, I started to panic. We had Asher's name virtually set in stone by the time I was eight weeks pregnant. Acacia's name was decided before she was even conceived, having been the name Asher would have received had he been a girl. This whole scenario was starting to freak me out. How could I be this far along in my pregnancy and not have names yet?!

After having spent a long summer morning on the back porch (in the middle of third trimester) with the little ones and yet another baby name book from the library, I finally had one girl name that I was truly happy with. I wrote it on a note card, with an explanation of it's meaning, and the words, "Pretty Please with sugar on top?", and placed it on Chris's dresser. I awoke the next morning to find the note card on top of my dresser, with the words, "Yes", and "You're welcome", and "I love you" written on the bottom.

So that was decided. However...to state the obvious...we had a boy.

So, how did we come up with Micah Paul?

If you're sharp, you may be asking yourself whatever happened to the boy's name from my second pregnancy--you know, the name Acacia would have been given had she been a boy? It has to exist, or I wouldn't have been able to sleep at night, right? Right.

Remember that note card full of boys names? It was on there. Along with the rest, it was declared unusable by my dear, yet sometimes fickle, husband.

Then, one afternoon, just a few weeks away from my due date, Chris was reading aloud a list of "nature names" (from still another baby name book). Names like Aspen, Bay, and Birch. When he got to the "M's", he paused.

Chris: "Mica. Why not Mica?" (it is a mineral, you know...)


I just about hit the floor.

Me: "Micah--with an H, like the prophet--was the name we picked for Acacia had she been a boy!"


Chris: "Really?"


Me: "Yes! Micah Paul. 'Micah', meaning 'who is like God?', and 'Paul' after your grandfather."


Chris: "Then why have we been spending so much  time looking for a boy's name?"


Me: "Because you told me you didn't like it anymore."


Chris: "I did? I don't know why I would have said that. I'm sorry."

And so, it was decided. Now I could have a baby.

Acacia Kissing Baby Micah, Hours Old


Not long after Micah's birth, I knew we had made the right choice. "Micah" suited him better than any of the other names that had been on "the list". And Paul? Well, Grandpa Mueller was tickled pink. Somehow, with 11 children, a plethora of grandchildren, and Micah himself being great-grandchild #11, non of his progeny had yet received his namesake. We were happily surprised.

In hindsight, we realized a couple of special things about Micah's name that, again, could have only been planned by God. For one thing, we learned that we were pregnant at Christmas-time, and Micah was the prophet who announced that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem.

"But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from old, from ancient days."
Micah 5:2

Also, I noticed that the meaning of his two names, when put together, make a statement of humility.

"Micah" asks a question: Who is Like God?
"Paul", meaning little, and being the name given to Saul after his dramatic conversion on the road to Damascus, seems to answer: Not me.


Today, Micah is an energetic, exhausting, but very fun 2-year-old. He has an endearing smile, his daddy's love of the outdoors, and the ability to eat an entire bunch of bananas in one day given the opportunity. He has a great sense of humor--although, I'm pretty sure that he still thinks that the "baby in mommy's belly" is my idea of a joke!

And he loves to say his name, with gusto, "Mmmmmm...icah!"

Happy Birthday, Micah!


"With what shall I come before the LORD and bow myself before God on high?
Shall I come before Him with burnt offerings? Shall I come before Him with yearling calves?
Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams? With ten thousand rivers of oil?

Shall I give my firstborn for my transgressions? The fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?

He has shown you, oh man, what is good;
and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice,
and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God?"

Micah 6:6-8

These words moved me deeply when I sang them as a college choir girl, but they mean so much more to me now that I am a mother.

The fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? 

Thank-you, Father, for giving your One and Only Son, as the perfect sacrifice for my transgressions. Without His sacrifice, neither I, nor my children, would be able to do justice, love kindness, or walk humbly with You.

Thank-you for your grace, mercy, and compassionate forgiveness. Thank-you for your blessings.

In the name of Jesus I humbly pray, Amen.
Friday, September 10, 2010

Not A Baby Anymore

My baby, Micah Paul, is 2 years old today...

It's been two whole years since I held him, exhausted but glowing, having given birth to him at home, in my own bed...

It's been a year since we last made birthday soup...

And now, Micah is 2, and he's going to be a big brother in just a few short weeks.

He's not a baby anymore, so I suppose it is time that I stop seeing him as one.

And so, I took Micah to the Barber--the same Barber that has cut his father's, grandfather's, uncle's, and brother's hair--for his first haircut.


Yeah...he's ready...but am I???


He sat so still, and so quiet...


Good-bye, curls...sniff...sniff...


Hello, big boy!


Suddenly, Micah looks so much like his big brother...


...so grown up...Father, give this mama grace...


"Don't I look handsome, mom?"


A sweet reward...


...and the end result! Take a look at all that hair!!!


"And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature,
and in favor with God and man."
Luke 2:52

Father, thank-you for continuing to grow my little boy. My he mature in all ways as your son, Jesus, did, and may he walk in your ways. May he love, serve, and follow you all the days of his life, and may he dwell in the House of the LORD forever. Amen.

Happy Birthday, Micah!!!
Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Pray for Micah Andrews--UPDATE

Little Micah Andrews is really making progress, everyone! Thank-you so much for your prayers!

You can read a full update here:

http://welovemicah.blogspot.com/2010/09/micah-andrews-update.html

"The LORD is righteous in all His ways and kind in all His works.
The LORD is near to all who call on Him, to all who call on Him in truth.

He fulfills the desire of those who fear Him;
He also hears their cry and saves them.

The LORD preserves all who love Him,
But the wicked He shall destroy.

My mouth will speak the praise of the LORD,
and let all flesh bless His holy name forever."

Psalm 145:17-21


By His Grace,

Tiana
Tuesday, September 7, 2010

4 Ways to Jumpstart a Bad Day

We've all had them...

...days when we feel like throwing in the towel.

...days when we wonder whether or not "they" are right--"they" meaning, those who think we're crazy, and maybe even doing harm to our children, by homeschooling.

...days when the kids whine and complain, the baby won't stop crying, and the toddler continually finds mischief.

...it happens...to all of us...at one time or another.

Before resolving to quit homeschooling (at least for the day), why not give these ideas a try instead?

1. Get In. -- When the whole house is in a state of tension, sometimes you need a good snuggle to remind yourselves that your are indeed a loving family. Cuddle up in bed or on the couch with a good book....or 2, or 3, or 8, and feel the stress melt away. You might find that the younger ones--or even the older ones!--were really in need of a nap.

2. Get Out! -- Put on your shoes, get out the stroller, the bikes, and the baby carrier, and go for a walk. Go to the park and have a nice, long recess. Call a friend and have a play date. Find a nature trail to explore, or visit someplace "special"--the local bakery qualifies around here. You'll get fresh air, vitamin D, exercise, and maybe even some adult conversation.

3. Get Up! -- Even if the weather won't let you get out of the house, you can still benefit from getting your blood moving. Choose a CD of upbeat worship music, and sing and dance together. To be honest, I usually employ this strategy at least once a day. We all love music, and this is a great way to improve everyone's mood. On a similar note, a CD of preschool "action" songs can help keep little ones busy and entertained while older children work on more serious projects.

4. Get Down. -- This ought to be first, but I save it for last because it is so important to remember. When Satan attacks our homeschool (because that's really what this is all about, isn't it?) we need to get down on our knees and pray. We need to confess our sinfulness, our selfishness, and our inadequacies, and ask our Heavenly Father to forgive us. We need to ask Him to remind us of why we're doing this in the first place. We need Him to strengthen us. We need to recognize that we cannot do God's Work, God's Way, without God's Hand.

Take your heavy burden to the cross. Jesus will meet you there.

"At that time Jesus declared, 'I thank you, Father, 
Lord of heaven and earth,
that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children;
yes, Father, for such was your gracious will.

All things have been handed over to me by my Father,
and no one knows the Son except the Father,
and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take your yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."
Matthew 11:25-30

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About Me

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I'm a Stay-at-Home, Christian, "crunchy" mama. I have been blessed with the calling to be a godly wife and mother. I am passionate about bringing up my children in the discipline and instruction of the LORD, through home education and discipleship. Helpmeet to my best friend and soulmate, Christopher since 1/29/2000, and mama to four little blessings, including a tiny, precious, newborn baby girl.

My Writing Elsewhere...

Fixing Your Heart on Titus 2

Did you pray for your
husband today?
Monday--His Work
Tuesday--His Integrity
Wednesday--His Mind
Thursday--His Purpose
Friday--His Health
Saturday--His Protection
Sunday--His Faith

Carnival of Homeschooling

Carnival of Homeschooling
Features God Made, Home Grown

Charlotte Mason Blog Carnival

2009 Nominee!

2010 Nominee!

My Wired Style

My Wired Style
Success is not learned. It is discovered and nurtured. What was your child born to do?

Our Curriculum 2010-2011

Bible--Child's Story Bible by Catherine Vos, Apologia Biblical World View Book 1, "Who is God and Can I Really Know Him?"
Catechism-- "Training Hearts, Teaching Minds" by Starr Meade
Phonics--Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons
(Kindergarten), Year 1 Booklist (1st Grade)
Handwriting--Bible Copywork, made using Educational Fontware
Spelling-- All About Spelling Level 1 (1st grade)
Math--Math-U-See Primer (Kindergarten) , Math-U-See Alpha (1st grade)
World History--Simply Charlotte Mason's Genesis Through Deuteronomy and Ancient Egypt
American History--The Light and The Glory For Children Series
Art--Interest-led projects and handicrafts
Geography and Missions-- "Hero Tales" by Dave and Neta Jackson, as well as various other missionary biographies, incorporating globe and map study
*We will be studying music and phy-ed., participating in a writing club and nature club, as well as attending various field trips, with our church's homeschool group.*

Disciple Like Jesus

Disciple Like Jesus

Raising Homemakers

Raising Homemakers

Quiverfull Family

The Modest Mom

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