“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’” (Mt. 25:37-40)

Seasons of Learning…

Do you ever look back over a week, or a month, or a year, and see that there were patterns in what you did or experienced? I often wonder if God guides us through a series of experiences to give us practice with something, refining us so we will come forth as pure gold (Job 23:10).

I don’t always spend the time focusing on the right things. There. I said it.

I get distracted by big, hairy things that scream, “I MATTER THE MOST! LOOK AT ME!” Like work. And money. And the clock.

Thank God that He takes time out of His day to remind me where I should focus.

We have been talking a lot in our house about helping others, within our family, within our community, and as stewards of our planet. We also talked a lot about setting our priorities in a way that is Kingdom-minded, not worldly-minded. As I looked back over my week to prepare this post, I saw that God was speaking to me over and over about just this matter —  helping me to learn how to see what’s important the way that HE does.

“Freely You Have Received — Freely Give” (Mt 10:8)

When I first started homeschooling, many wonderful homeschoolers shared their experience and expertise with me. Folks encouraged me in my blogging, and I loved, and appreciated, the help and encouragement.

I noticed that many folks were copying the schedule I posted for Exploring Creation with Zoology 1: Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day. To make it easier for people to use the information, I created downloadable files with daily schedules for each month of the year, including links to helpful resources that we used in our house. I hope this makes it easier for other homeschoolers to plan their science instruction.

Remember That “Sons are a Heritage From the LORD, Children a Gift From Him” (Ps 123:7)

The other day, my youngest son asked me to help him with a video he recorded. He wanted me to upload it to my laptop so he could edit it and post it. I had a presentation to finish for the next day, and was in the middle of creating the PowerPoint. I felt panic, and a twinge of conflict. But we sat down together, and worked on his video. He did such a marvelous job, that we posted it on my blog (“Homeschool Fun With LEGOs: A Custom King’s Throne”), and on You Tube, and he shared it with some friends. You can watch it too: Custom LEGO King’s Throne.

I think he’s shown the video to everyone he knows with eyes. He can’t stop smiling. Isn’t that why we homeschool?

PS – The presentation went great. God’s good like that.

“Bear One Another’s Burdens, and So Fulfill the Law of Christ” (Gal 6:2)

My husband injured his shoulder in the fall. Ever the gardener, we think he got over-enthusiastic with hedge-trimming in September. For the past several months, he has battled pain and lack of mobility as a result. To figure out what is going on in his body, the doctor ordered an MRI, for a better look.

The first two attempts met with heart palpitations, panic attacks, and “I can’t do it.” I can understand: that tiny tube and my husband’s 6’3″ and 250 lb frame just didn’t harmonize. Then there was that gigantic, spinning magnet, and the roar of the machinery. Eesh.

The third time, the doctor gave him an anti-anxiety medicine. I cleared my calendar. Then I signed a waiver and put in earplugs so I could hold his hand during the 60-minute procedure. When he got anxious, he would open his eyes, see me, then drift back off to sleep.

The verdict? A small muscle tear. And a very relieved husband. I love him so.

“Give Your Food to the Hungry and Satisfy the Needs of the Afflicted” (Isa 58:10)

I found a new place to garden this summer: a local community garden.

What I love about this garden is that it is a tithing garden: gardeners agree to donate 10% of their produce to the local soup kitchen.  Do you have a garden like this near you?

That makes me very happy. As does the fact that I’m ordering part of my seeds from Seeds of Change — a producer of organically produced seeds and plants. I want to leave a clean place for my children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren to live.

“Remember Those Who are in Prison”  (Heb 13:3)

I have the amazing privilege of working with teachers who instruct children and adults who are incarcerated. Their students range in age from 14 to 65. All have committed crimes. All are people. They laugh. They cry. They fear. They hope.

I am humbled daily by the teachers’ caring and commitment to individuals that society has largely thrown away.

“He Who is Kind to the Poor, Lends to the Lord” (Prov 19:17)

Did you know that you can donate expired coupons to families living overseas on military bases? Military families often struggle on a service person’s salary. They can use the coupons in the base commissary for up to 6 months after their expiration date, to help alleviate this financial strain.

We have begun saving up our old coupons for the Overseas Coupon Program.  — anything I can do to help makes me happy.

“Be Content With What You Have” (Heb 13:5-6)

Often, I feel like I have to buy expensive things for my son to use when he studies at home– like I’m not being a good homeschooler if I don’t spend a lot of money.

I recently saw a pin on Pinterest that reminded me of a craft activity I did as a teen – making paper beads. What a great way to create beautiful things with the stack of old magazines I can’t bear to discard!

So I took one magazine and began creating beads. Although I was a little rusty, my efforts got better with each bead. It was fun, and peaceful, and the beads were very pretty. Each one was like a little surprise once it was rolled up.

My little guy came in the room, and said, “OOOH! Those are pretty! … Can I make one?”  I think we’re onto something good…  They didn’t cost us a dime. They recycled the old magazines into something marvelous. And the activity was a great “together” time for the two of use — to roll and talk, and just be.

I am thankful to God for re-aligning my priorities.

Homegrown Learners