Saturday, May 31, 2014

When You Share What You Know

When you share what you know...

1. You teach

2. You encourage

3. You motivate

4. You inspire

5. You help

6. You give peace

7. You give understanding

8. You promote oneness

9. You are generous

10. You make yourself vulnerable

11. You mentor

12. You bless

13. You give wisdom

14. You help prevent problems

15. You show the way

16. You lead

17. You comfort

18. You give insight

19. You calm fears

20. You  _________________.

I was blessed this week by a group of homeschool moms that made time to get together and share what they know about teaching and parenting. I can't tell you everything I much more than I imagined...even to some degree so much more than I can even completely comprehend. I'm still sorting through the wealth of advice, encouragement, curriculum and ideas that we exchanged. I'm beginning my 8th year of homeschool and find myself still needing the blessing of friends who walk this road too.

Whether you homeschool or not isn't really the point of this post...It's sharing what you know. When we are selfish and keep what we know a secret for whatever reason, we rob others of the wisdom God has given us through our own life experiences. You never know who will hear your story and be inspired and motivated. Let's be a people that is eager to share with those around you. Stingy people don't get nearly the satisfaction and fulfillment that generous people do.

Be generous. Share.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Homeschool 2013-2014 Recap

In my head I had all these plans of homeschooling hands-on and enjoying every moment with my kids as we learned around the table or kitchen sink or in the garden or at the library. It was going to be a beautiful, nearly holy, experience. I envisioned quiet afternoons of me reading orally to the kids while they hug on every word of some classic. 

And instead....our school year went more like this:

Messes...big ones
Marker marks on the table
Forcing them to stay awake as we read orally
Serving Others
Unsuccessful projects
Unused books
Unread biographies
Fractions (need I say more???)
Dance breaks
Tom Sawyer

And moments of questioning my sanity....many moments. I'm not even going to say the good outweighed the bad....But I will say God's grace outweighed my frustration, doubts and tears. You see, when I realized God was calling me homeschool both my kids (I've homeschooled Savannah since kinder) I was 100% sure that I heard Him correctly. And when I resigned my teaching position, I was 100% sure I was doing what He had asked of me. But fast forward a few months to a string of bad days, difficult math, frustrated kids and mom and a deficiency of diet coke...and I wasn't sure about this act of obedience. In fact...the struggle is still very real. 

I'm still wondering..

Did they get what they needed this year?

Did I do a good enough job?

Is this really what's best for our family?

Are they stronger spiritually because of this year?

Do we do THIS again? Or something different?

It's not really any different than any other decisions we make for our family...seeking God, His will, constantly reviewing our decisions to be sure we are still on track with His plans. But listen...when His plans and your obedience are all about molding, shaping and modeling Christ to this next generation...well, it can get a little scary. I can't do it alone. Just saying'. So I'm listening more closely after a year....trying to be super-sensitive to His plan for us. Some might not think it's that important or that I take this calling too seriously but really??? What is more important than teaching and shaping and showing this generation about what's really important to know...Jesus. And sure...I know reading, writing and math are important...but who really wants to be around anyone who knows it all but lacks grace and love and peace??

Besides, it's only by HIS strength my crew even made it out alive from this year! And thankfully His mercies were new every single morning. And I am counting on that again tomorrow and the next day and the next. 

And my kids will be ok as long as they learn those lessons...about grace and new mercies and listening to God's voice. Because in the end...that's the most important lesson of all.

So what's in store for us for next year? Homeschool again. Different curriculum for some classes and lots more reading....and writing ....and arithmetic, with heavy doses of grace and mercy...every day. 

Tuesday, May 20, 2014


Krusteaz Cookie Mix Snickerdoodle 17.5 oz

I wasn't raised on this cookie..I tasted my first one in my early 20's (from scratch) 
and then again I found it in my late thirties...I know...

I am sure that you might have a made from scratch recipe that is awesome....but I've tasted Mammy's snickerdoodles....and nothing really compared to its awesomeness until...
Last Christmas when I was making a quick pass through at Big Lots and came across this...and thought to myself....why not? For $1.67? Sure, I'll try it. 

And here's what I found...

A moist, chewy, delightful cookie. 

I liked it so much I sent Bruce back for 6 boxes. 

Is it Mammy's??? ....well of course not...
nothing will be as good as that....but it's pretty close!

Whipped up a batch today....aren't they pretty???
Sure wish you could smell their cinnamon fragrance!
Now...Go get you some!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

10 Things My Mom Taught Me

She rivals a few of my girlfriends for title of best friend. I don't know exactly when it happened but somewhere between high school and college I realized I had more than a mom in my mom. I had a friend. I think it happens that way most of the time. Once we grow and mature and realize that all the things that we endured as children were really mostly for our own good...we find a friend in this caring individual we call mom.

Here are 10 Lessons My Mom Taught Me..

1. She was raised in extreme poverty..and because of that she taught me how to make the most of what I had. Whether it was food, or my house or even my wardrobe. She taught me to mix and match, look for bargains and use leftovers.

2. She taught me the value of using my time wisely. She was a housewife who modeled the work ethic of a career woman. She cleaned and gardened and cooked and homeschooled and served in our church.

3. She taught me to make time for friends. Before the days of Facebook and texting and even cell phones, I remember mom using the corded phone in the garage. Us kids knew that if the phone cord was wrapped around the kitchen door to the garage that she was on an important call....even if that meant she was just catching up with Ms. Nell or Ms. Shirley (her best friends). Those ladies permed each other's hair, went antiquing and could talk over coffee for hours. (Excuse me while I try to get the smell of the home perm out of my nostrils.)

4. She taught me to make fun memories with my kids. The Grist Mill at Stone Mountain Park was a small little swimming hole that we used to meet up with friends for an early morning hike and breakfast and swim. She also took a painting class and cake decorating class with me....not to mention she engaged in basketball season for all 6 years that I played!

5. She taught me the value of God's Word. She woke up early every morning, made a pot of coffee and sat in her "spot" in the living room. For years we knew that if she wasn't finished with her quiet time, we were to stay in our rooms. In school she and my dad required us to memorize scripture and long before it was cool to journal...we were journaling our thoughts about and towards God.

6. She's taught me how to trust God in the hard times. She became a widow at age 40, but long before that she knew grief. Having been raised in dysfunction, alcoholism and abuse she knew what it was like to grieve and mourn without anyone dying. Her testimony of God's faithfulness has gotten me through more than one hard time. Now it's become my testimony too.

7. She taught me to be hospitable. We had missionaries and evangelists and friends in our home ALL the time. We made pallets and slept on the floor more times that I care to remind my back. We adopted college students on the weekends and housed orphans and cousins and widows when the need arose. We were not wealthy. We struggled. But God always seemed to provide for those extra people..and mom hardly ever turned away the opportunity to serve someone a meal.

8. She taught me the value of a good education. First by sacrificing to put three kids in private school, then by homeschooling us and then by helping me find a good college to go to. But it really didn't stop there. She is a lifelong learner..she reads constantly, goes to conferences and talks with professionals in her line of work (counseling). She motivates me to read up on bestsellers and good articles. She challenges me to grow my mind.

9. She taught me how to love my husband by modeling a Christ-centered marriage to my dad. Perfect? Oh mom was a strong woman..and when they fought...they FOUGHT but it was rare and even though there was an occasional disagreement, I never feared my parents would divorce or abandon the family. She walked my dad to the door every morning as he left for work. She smooched him "goodbye" and "hello". She fixed his favorite foods and even rubbed his stinky feet. She encouraged him, pushed him, believed in him and openly prayed for him.

10. Certainly not the last lesson...but the last one for this post....She taught me to invest in people. She's a Christian counselor who pours her life into others 40 hours a week. She charges fees on a sliding scale and even does some work pro-bono. She listens as others tell their horrible tales of despair and she helps them process their lives. She's helped me on more than one occasion. She truly gives herself away.

So this Mother's Day...and every day...Thanks mom...for modeling Godly womanhood to me. Perfect...hardly.'s this imperfect motherhood that gives me hope that one day, maybe, just maybe I will have come close to being the kind of mom you are today.