Are you HAPPY?

Are you filled with JOY? Do you want to be? Hop over to LACED WITH GRACE where I will be chatting about JOY.....

You DON'T want to miss this!


YOU MAY HAVE SEEN THIS AT THE WELL TODAY......I am thrilled to be sharing my study with the wonderful readers there. I so HOPE you will plan to join the study and share what God reveals to YOU during this makeover!

Here is the post from At the Well:

In this age of extreme make-overs, we transform everything from our appearance to our homes. Join us here, beginning MONDAY, September 13th, to explore a different kind of make-over; A Make-Over of the Heart. Come experience a complete heart transplant, allowing God to take out your old heart full of its selfish desires and replace it with a new heart….

A Delightful Heart
A Healed Heart
A Committed Heart
A Prayerful Heart

Our make-over begins with our hearts delighting in Him. Take a glimpse into the hearts of Jabez and King David, and learn what it means to truly “delight yourself in the Lord.”

So many hearts today are crying out for love and are carrying wounds of the past that so desperately need to be healed. Allow God to reveal your hidden pain, to heal your broken heart, and replace sorrow with joy by trusting Him.God wants our hearts to be fully devoted to Him. Learn how He has given us power, through the Holy Spirit, over sin, temptation, and the desires of the world to live as free women completely committed to Christ.God wants a natural, living, breathing relationship with you and prayer is the way to that relationship. He also wants us to slow our lives down so that we can be still and listen! Allow Him to transform your heart into a prayerful heart.

Each week Tracy will have a short video where she will share a bit about the weeks lesson, followed by a few words from her heart. We will have each weeks lesson right here for you to download and do at your own pace throughout the week.

We want you to be able to share and discuss as you are working your way through the study, so each week we will have a discussion question for you to ponder and answer either in the comments or by writing a post and linking it to us. We encourage you to come back throughout the week and read the comments and take part in the discussion.

If you are going to join us, please leave your link below or leave us a note in the comment section, so we can begin to pray for you now!

I am beyond thrilled to have Tracy lead us through this study and can’t wait to see how the Lord will transform and renew our hearts!

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Join me today at Laced With Grace where I will be talking about ROOTS....

AND the Cafe where I will be talking about childhood phases....and growing out of them!

How do YOU build a home?

Do you worry about a CLEAN house?

Join me today At the Well where I will talk about wise women and HOME BUILDING!

Driving home from our weekend in Streator, we were listening to songs and Ashley picked, "My Wish" by Rascal Flatts. I love this song. I wanted to share it with you. It reminds me of an Irish blessing. It is my hope for all of you...

Here are the words:

"My Wish"

I hope that the days come easy and the moments pass slow,
And each road leads you where you want to go,
And if you're faced with a choice, and you have to choose,
I hope you choose the one that means the most to you.
And if one door opens to another door closed,
I hope you keep on walkin' till you find the window,
If it's cold outside, show the world the warmth of your smile,

But more than anything, more than anything,
My wish, for you, is that this life becomes all that you want it to,
Your dreams stay big, and your worries stay small,
You never need to carry more than you can hold,
And while you're out there getting where you're getting to,
I hope you know somebody loves you, and wants the same things too,
Yeah, this, is my wish.

I hope you never look back, but ya never forget,
All the ones who love you, in the place you left,
I hope you always forgive, and you never regret,
And you help somebody every chance you get,
Oh, you find God's grace, in every mistake,
And you always give more than you take.

But more than anything, yeah, and more than anything,
My wish, for you, is that this life becomes all that you want it to,
Your dreams stay big, and your worries stay small,
You never need to carry more than you can hold,
And while you're out there getting where you're getting to,
I hope you know somebody loves you, and wants the same things too,
Yeah, this, is my wish.

My wish, for you, is that this life becomes all that you want it to,
Your dreams stay big, and your worries stay small,
You never need to carry more than you can hold,
And while you're out there getting where you're getting to,
I hope you know somebody loves you, and wants the same things too,
Yeah, this, is my wish.

This is my wish
I hope you know somebody loves you
May all your dreams stay big...

-Rascal Flatts

Why are you homeschooling???

Boy, I have heard this question A LOT over the past few weeks! Often, I am not sure HOW to answer people because I don't have TIME to explain in the few short minutes they are expecting the explanation to take!!!

Bad experience at school? Nope. We actually LOVE our elementary school and desire to stay in "community" with our Bowman Woods Elementary School.

Kids "falling through the cracks"? No....not really. Do they receive the attention they should get individually to help with struggles? As a former teacher myself, I understand how IMPOSSIBLE it is to give ALL kids the desired one-on-one time needed.

Why? Why? Why? Why are you choosing to pull your children OUT of public school, where they have attended several years already, away from friends and familiar faces, away from the "experts" who get paid to educate your children????

*Sigh*

Where do I begin?

First, I have to say God began working on my heart several years ago (8) at a Hearts at Home conference. This is where I first heard the word "homeschool". There was a whole ROOM dedicated to resources for homeschooling moms, including moms there to talk with others who may be considering it. I was very interested.....but didn't take the plunge.

At that time in my life, though, God did call me to STAY AT HOME through daycare. During that season of my life, He placed a desire to stay at home with my children, but help our family financially by providing in home day care for a few other families. It was a WONDERFUL time in my life with 7 preschoolers/babies running around my house. Looking back, I WAS homeschooling THEN! We did Christian lessons, art projects, and character training every day! I was always teaching them! And, that is one thing we must always remember as parents- we are our children's FIRST teachers and always the teacher in their lives with the most impact!

Over the years, living in Iowa, a very "pro-homeschool" state, I have had the opportunity to meet many homeschooling and duel-enrolling(part homeschool and part public school) families. I have many friends who homeschool. And, in the past 5 years, I have made many friends online who homeschool. Needless to say, I have been open to the call of it. But, I have always prayed that "God, if You truly want me to homeschool, then You must make that clear and work in Brian's heart as well." Brian has never been opposed, but has always had some reservations. I knew if we were to be a homeschooling family, then Brian would have to be "on board" 100%!

So why now?

God has given me such a DESIRE to do it! It really has been a CALL from Him, whispering, "now is the time." Our whole family is excited about it!

There are many "reasons", the biggest one that I want to control what my children are learning in school. Although I love our elementary school, I am very careful with curriculum. As a parent (and for all of you who have kids in public school, this is for YOU!), I was finding that I needed to be SO ON TOP OF what they were being exposed to, especially at the middle school. Thankfully, Andrew is very open and shared, so that we could discuss different issues. There were (are) many times I regret sending him to middle school. But, "God works all things together for good" (Romans 8:28) and He can redeem all things. What I will say, as a mom, I MUST BE IN PRAYER CONSTANTLY for Andrew. He is going on to public High School this year. But, I know going in that I have to be ENGAGED constantly in what he is learning- academically, socially, and spiritually! I have to do the spiritual warfare for him daily!

I am also homeschooling because I want to give my children a biblical education. I found that it was hard to find time to teach the bible and have quality bible study when they have gone to school for 7 hours and come home with homework (not to mention they need to play!). So, we will begin our school each day with Bible time. I am so excited about this! I am THRILLED to be able to pass to them my love for the Word! I know my excitement for this beautiful Love Letter will impact them and His Word will change them forever! Also, lots of the curriculum I am using uses scripture for things like spelling sentences and grammar. Cool!

I also want to give them a strong historical education. I want them to have the "big picture" of history, from ancient history until now and understand how we all fit in. I want them to know their Founding Fathers of this country and the sacrifices they made to establish this country. I want them to be SATURATED with the PRINCIPLES of the founding and the constitution. I know for a fact that schools are changing history by teaching partial history saturated with opinion. Being an avid history lover, I want the kids to have a true understanding of what the REAL history of our country is. One of the problems is that young teachers don't know this because they have been through a system that has indoctrinated them. Ashley had an AWESOME history teacher last year (5) who was also passionate about this. She supplemented her curriculum because the books no longer contain the accurate picture. But, what happens when these teachers begin to retire? I saw a real difference with Andrew's teacher who also taught "history." He was a young teacher......new to teaching. Thankfully, Andrew is also a avid history lover and is already knowledgeable on American History. There are so many politics in school and it is usually a liberal agenda. We as are conservative (no, NOT Republican- it is about PRINCIPLES and ideals not an "R" or a "D" at the end!) and want our children to be taught conservative/constitutional/biblical ideals.

So.....*deep breath* we are jumping in! I am so EXCITED!!!!!

Couple things.....I don't want anyone to feel guilty if they are NOT homeschooling!!!! I do NOT believe that you must stay home and homeschool to be a "good" Christian parent. I believe God will CALL you if that is His plan for your family!

And, if He has been tugging at your heart, but you feel scared, remember:

God doesn't call the equipped, He equips the called!

Stay in prayer....He will help you!

Next week, I will be sharing more about my journey to homeschool....more the "WHY" and our curriculum with you! Come back, won't you?

Happy Birthday, Sweet Aly!

Miss Aly.....we love you so much, sweet girl!

You make us giggle and laugh....you have such a funny sense of humor. God gave you such a gift to make people smile.

I love your snuggles and hugs. I love that you are so kind and caring and express your love so quickly and generously.

I am so thankful for you, sweet child of mine. I know God has great plans for you....plans for hope and for a future! Girl, you were born for such a time as this! I know God is going to do GREAT and AMAZING things in you and through you.....child of God!

I pray His richest blessings upon you on your birthday....this special 10th year....and forever.

We love you.

Homeschooling.....ME? (and WFW, too!)

Drum roll please......ba ba ba ba ba BAAA........

We are HOMESCHOOLING this year!

Some of you may know this....for others, I am sure it is a SHOCK!

But, we are so THANKFUL for all of your prayers....please continue to pray for our family as we begin this new adventure!

Why, you may ask?

There are so many reasons (please come back later this week to read all about them), but the MAIN reason was that God was pulling at my heartstrings and using this verse:

"Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up......" Deuteronomy 11:18-19


Now don't mistake me....I don't believe EVERY Christian family must homeschool, but for our family, the choice became so clear. I really need to spend more time with my kids. I had been struggling with the "teaching.....when you sit at home (WHEN?????is that????)....the lying down and getting up." For us, in our busy lifestyle, with 5 kids, God placed this desire in my heart to take a more "serious" role in the teaching. MORE details to follow, I promise!

And, we decided NOT to homeschool Andrew, our oldest (at least this year) as he is entering high school. So, all prayers are appreciated for HIM as well!

For now, we are standing on His Word, following His lead, and expecting HIM to do GREAT things this school year!

Please check out the Cafe for more great inspiration and WFW!

Word Filled Wednesday....

This is a cross I have hanging on my wall at home. I love it.

It reminds me of things I need to remember.

Like how much God loves me. That He will always be there for me. I don't have to worry....be afraid....be anxious....because He is with me. The God of the universe. The Creator of life and everything that exists.....of me. And, as BIG as He is, He is "small" enough to be intimate with me.

He loves me.

Please join us at the Cafe for more wonderful inspiration!

In the quiet.....

In the quiet......Lord, here I am...at 2:18 AM......because I haven't found time with You in the quiet for awhile.

So, You call to me.....in the Quiet....

So much on my mind.....so much activity. So many things You have called me to do...

but, if it is all truly from You, then I know You will equip.....

So, here I am Lord.....in the quiet....

waiting.....listening.....

fill me.

I love You, Lord.