Review: Manhood Journey Father’s Starter Kit

Manhood Journey Father's Starter KitWe firmly believe in training up children in the admonition of the Lord. We’re constantly on the lookout for resources and materials which help us accomplish this. So when we were offered Manhood Journey Father’s Starter Kit for review by Manhood Journey & City on a Hill Studio, you can imagine we were pretty excited to get started.

Manhood Journey Father’s Starter Kit is a six-week small group father-son Bible study covering the topic of Biblical Manhood. The kit comes with everything needed to start the journey: A stack of “Maprochures”, a group discussion guide, a one-on-one discussion guide for fathers and sons to explore together, and a DVD with introductory videos for all six modules. The kit also came with a bonus free copy of Wise Guys: Unlocking Hidden Wisdom from the Men Around You.

For our review, our family was mailed a Manhood Journey Father’s Starter Kit to explore. When the kit arrived, my son and I started his journey by perusing a ‘Maprochure’ and watching the introductory video on the DVD. While the remainder of the study was done by my husband and son alone, I was drafted to layout how the program works and give my husband a quick rundown of the journey. Once accomplished, the guys set out to enjoy the adventure.

Manhood Journey Fathers Starter Kit2

My husband and son decided to use the Manhood Journey Father’s Starter Kit as a bedtime devotional over the course of our five-week review. At the start of each week, they would watch the introductory video and read from the group discussion guide. During the remainder of the week, a section of the one-on-one discussion guide was covered before bed.

While my husband and son were able to use the starter kit as a nightly devotion, they both mentioned it would have been more fun doing this in a group setting. Unfortunately, my husband’s schedule being what it is, that was not an option. In the future, they would like to go back and do this with a group of guys from our homeschool group. Not doing the Manhood Journey Father’s Starter Kit in a group setting is possible, and done by my guys quite well, however the materials lean in that direction and lend itself to greater possibility in such a setting. Something to keep in mind!

The materials in the Manhood Journey Father’s Starter Kit, themselves, were of good quality. My son enjoyed the ‘Maprochure’, viewing the journey and what lies ahead. The group discussion guide and DVD were easy to follow, well laid out, and brief. However, the one-on-one guide proved a little more challenging for my guys. Unfortunately, my husband struggled with understanding which portions were for himself alone and which he was to share with our son. Thus, little man listened to a fair portion of the guide which was meant Manhood Journey Fathers Starter Kit3for my husband, but no harm done.

Overall, my husband found the Manhood Journey Father’s Starter Kit to be well-paced for young boys and their fathers. The lessons were brief and fit for young learners. Before moving on to a future study, I believe they will attempt to go through the materials once again. This time in a group setting. Here’s praying the Lord brings it all together in His timing.

If you’d like to learn more about Manhood Journey & City on a Hill Studio, in addition to Manhood Journey Father’s Starter Kit, please visit them at their website. You can also find Manhood Journey on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Be sure to look up City on a Hill on Facebook and Twitter as well!

To read helpful reviews like this one, and gain more insight into what the Manhood Journey   Father’s Starter Kit has to offer, please visit The Homeschool Review Crew!

Review Crew Disclaimer

Your Turn!: Does your husband have a specific Bible study he’s working through with the kids?

Want to stay connected & up to date with A Homeschool Mom? Don’t forget to follow on FacebookInstagramTwitter& Pinterest!

Redeeming the Time

Redeeming the TimeThe last time my wife asked me to guest-post, I wrote a brief description of homeschooling from a father’s perspective (well, from this father’s perspective, in any case). This time I was asked to write about the importance of fathers in the homeschool process, and I’m primarily addressing men here. Because it’s such a vast subject encompassing so many aspects, I’ve chosen to begin on one particular aspect: Time         

…For what is your life? It is even a vapor, that appears for a little time, and then vanishes away.
– James 4:14

The older you get, the more you realize how short life really is, and you realize how little time you have to do all the things you’d like to do. Let me say right now that if you spend all of your time trying to fulfill some “bucket list” you’ll probably miss out on the important relationships that really matter. No man on his death-bed has regrets about never having had a chance to sky dive. What a dying man inevitably regrets is all the time wasted on useless things while neglecting his family. If there’s only one point I can get across to husbands and fathers is that you need to be attending to your relationship with your family. If that means you miss a football game or time on the golf course, so be it. Better to miss a few meaningless pursuits than to come home one day and find that your children have grown and are gone, and you missed out on the whole thing.

Work – Let’s face it, guys need to work. Given the state of the economy, a man’s got to do whatever it takes to make ends meet. This may eat up most of his time, and the family just needs to understand that dad can’t always be around. My only advice to dads is that they only work as much as necessary to properly provide for their families. I won’t define “properly” here, because everyone’s circumstances are different. Suffice it to say that you shouldn’t be working more than is necessary if it means you’re neglecting your family to make a few extra bucks for that new car you’ve been wanting. Like I mentioned earlier, no man will look back on his life and regret not getting a new car. He will, however, regret not spending more time making his kids laugh. It’s the little moments we take for granted.

Labor not to be rich: cease from your own wisdom… for riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward the heaven.”
– Proverbs 23:4-5

Education – So what does all of that have to do with education? It’s constantly being repeated that homeschooling is about using every opportunity to teach some lesson. This means that, as a father, your involvement in your child’s education includes every moment you spend with them, which is why I wanted to focus on the importance of time spent with your children. If you’re not spending any time with your kids, then you’re likely imparting no knowledge to them. And take note that education isn’t all about academics. It’s about teaching your kids about truth, beauty, wisdom, justice, goodness, order, and about the God who provides a rational ground for making these things intelligible in a coherent, correspondent world view.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
– Proverbs 1:7

Teaching your kids to cook, ride a bike, or play an instrument are all educational experiences. It should also be noted that the classical understanding of why we receive an education is not to get a degree so that we can go out and get a high-paying job. Rather, we educate ourselves so that we might glorify God as we live a moral, intellectually robust, winsome lives, while helping others. I’m not suggesting that a job isn’t important as well, but only observing that no certificate of degree has any value if it doesn’t correspond to having actually gained some wisdom. The world isn’t short on idiots with degrees.

Training – We’ve all heard about the social ills due to fatherless homes, so I won’t touch on that except to say that most of it is due to a lack of discipline. I won’t pretend to have this down perfectly, but dads need to be teaching their children (especially if they have a headstrong son, which I do) that their behavior has consequences. It’s better to spank your child’s bottom and teach him this lesson while he’s young, rather than him learning this lesson the hard way when he’s an adult, at which point the consequences might be permanent and more severe. Fathers who fail to teach their children the harsh reality of consequences are doing their children a great disservice.

“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man sows, that shall he also reap.”
– Galatians 6:7

With respect to headstrong boys, let me say that a man’s nature is to be the dominant sex, and so a headstrong boy will have a difficult time taking instruction from a woman, even if it’s his mother. He’ll rebel and protest and refuse her instruction, often to the point of disrespect. If you have such a son, you’d better be ready to discipline this child and communicate very clearly to him that you will not tolerate his treating your wife this way. You wouldn’t let another man treat your wife poorly; don’t let your own little man treat your wife poorly. You’ll also be doing his future wife a favor if you teach him now to have respect for women, so love and cherish your wife and show your son how to be a loving husband.

Leadership – Some people are natural leaders. They don’t even have to try, and yet people will look to such people to lead them. My wife is such a person. She doesn’t have to ask anyone to follow her. Other women just seem to do so. Men, on the other hand, are called to be the leaders of their home, whether or not they have any natural leadership abilities. I happen not to be a natural leader, so this role of leader isn’t easy for me. Suffice it to say, men are called to provide for and protect their families. That’s not the difficult part. What is difficult is being the spiritual leader, and here’s where most of us, including myself, come up short. Rather than wasting time lamenting this situation, let’s just say that we need to step up to the plate and begin praying with our families and leading them in devotions. We need to be the one to set the godly example. We need to be the one to encourage them when it’s time to go to church. Most importantly on this point, we need to lead by example, not by force. People can only follow you if you’re out in front. If you’re pushing them from behind, you’re driving them, not leading them. Your family is not cattle. Don’t treat them as such.

Finally, much of this may not seem related to homeschooling, but again, every aspect of your relationship with your family is a lesson taught to your children. Your wife already carries most of the academic teaching, so use what little time off you have from work to spend with your families and be the man God calls you to be, one of those roles being that of teacher to your children.

“And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might. And these words, which I command you this day, shall be in your heart: And you shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.”
– Deuteronomy 6:5-7

Want to stay connected & up to date with A Homeschool Mom? Don’t forget to follow on FacebookInstagramTwitter& Pinterest!

Will Someone Help Me, Please?

Will Someone Help Me, Please?I had gotten myself into this mess. Needing help but not asking for it. No one else was to blame for me standing in a kitchen by my lonesome, washing dishes, staring at a dirty floor, and thinking on the multitude of tasks I still had to finish before getting to relax for the night. I wanted to scream out, “Will Someone Help Me, Please?” Instead, I stood in my kitchen stewing and that can only lead to trouble.

I do this to myself far too often. For a myriad of reasons, I allow myself to become overwhelmed by responsibility, then look for somewhere to cast the blame when I should be reorienting my thinking and asking the Lord for help.

Praying About My Perspective – I am reminded of Pastor Lusko’s words of wisdom. We should not pray for what we will not pay for. In other words, I shouldn’t pray for God to use me, then complain about feeling used. When I’m feeling overwhelmed by the cares and responsibilities of this world, this is the perfect time to pray. God knows what I can handle and how to help me move forward. I only need to reach out and ask for wisdom.

p.s. I also need to be on the lookout for those pesky messages the enemy will send my way as means of attack. He wants me to feel used, abused, and overlooked. He wants me to think of myself as undervalued; for my pride to take over and anger to take hold. Why should I give in to his foolishness and let him win?

Biting Off More Than I Can Chew – Truth be told, I often find myself in this situation because I have overstepped my bounds and gone outside of God’s will. I said, “Yes” far too often or added more to my to-do list than anyone asked of me. I need to learn to say, “No” and/or limit my tasks for a given day. I am not Superwoman.

Swallowing My Pride – Because of that Superwoman tag, I often fail to reach out due to my own silly pride. Somewhere along the line, I got it into my silly head seeking assistance was weak. I can do it on my own. This is my job, after all. If I ask for help, I’m not earning my keep. Unfortunately, I buy into this lie far too often. This is pride talking, and it needs to be quiet.

Asking For Help – Why am I in the kitchen, bathroom, laundry room… by myself? I didn’t ask for help! Instead of making this a fun, family time – one where we can laugh over chores together, while making memories – I pridefully told everyone I could do this by myself. Now, my family is off enjoying a game and I’m all alone working. Together we could have had fun and gotten the job done faster. Together we could be playing after the satisfaction of cleaning up. But, it starts with me and a simple question.

If I’m feeling as if I’m overworked and needing aid, it’s more than likely because I allowed myself to fall into this trap. There is danger in thinking I can do everything by myself; that I don’t need help. It can also be a problem if I am unable to ask for help, either due to pride or embarrassment. I need to be open to receiving help, communicate my need for assistance, understand this doesn’t make me week, and graciously accept an offer of help.

Through God’s leading and the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, I am learning to swallow my pride and ask for support. In prayer, I will bow my head, asking to be reminded of the true heart of ministry and help to keep my eyes focused on His vision for my family. Will someone help me? Yes; if only I ask!

“Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.”
~ John 14:13-14

Your Turn!: Do you have trouble asking for help?

Want to stay connected & up to date with A Homeschool Mom? Don’t forget to follow on FacebookInstagramTwitter& Pinterest!

Psssst… Your Tank is On Empty

2.Your_Tank_Is_On_EmptyThat fateful gauge is staring you in the face, glaring at you in an angry red, reminding you of your failure to pay attention. Anxiety begins to take over, and you fearfully look around, praying a station will magically appear before you stall on the side of the road. You’ve failed to fill your tank and you’re running low. You, my friend, are on empty. Again.

Sounds silly, doesn’t it? Who in their right mind would let their gas tank become so empty they are now running on fumes? But let me ask you this: Are you being filled with the Holy Spirit, or are you running on empty?

Let’s face it, we’re busy people. We get up early, fill our days with endless activity, rush around finishing errands, shove food into our mouths when we find a moment, and stay up late to get just one more thing done. It can be all too easy to push aside our need for spiritual filling, choosing to instead focus our attentions on the multitude of tasks in front of us.

Just like that silly gas tank, we need to make a point of refilling with the Word. We ought to be carving out time each and every day to allow God to speak to us, renewing our strength and filling us with His peace. When we choose to not make time with God, we slowly (sometimes not so slowly) begin to run dry. That is the real danger. Running on empty is ugly and dangerous.

Now I’m the first to admit I don’t know much about cars, but I do know this much, if we run on empty often enough, our engine starts to suffer. We start pulling up the gunk and junk which has settled to the bottom of our tank. When our tank runs out of gas, that junk starts circulating throughout our engine and can ruin our car.

As with that overworked car, our life will start to show the consequences of an empty spiritual life. We start running on our own steam, and the junk we’ve been carrying around in the bottom of our hearts starts overtaking our daily living. We become bitter, short-tempered, and act out in response. Our relationships with others start to suffer, and our ministry becomes jeopardized. Try as we might to continue pouring out to those around us, the fact is we are dry. Because we have failed to fill up, we are unable to pour out.

Unlike our car’s gas tank, which can run safely until the gauge nears quarter tank, I highly discourage allowing our spiritual life to reach that danger point. In fact, our goal is to be always leaning toward ‘FULL’; being constantly filled with the Holy Spirit, gleaning from the Word of God.

One thing I have noted, sometimes God will allow us to run on empty. He will permit us to run, and run, and run, until we hit a point that we are dry. Why does He do this? To show us how much we need Him! He will not forcefully fill us or chase us down to be filled. He will patiently wait until we hit a point that we recognize just how empty we are without Him. Then, He will fill us to overflowing.

Here’s the exciting part, God wants to fill us. He wants to have a relationship with us and renew our spirit. But He will not force Himself on us, He is a gentleman. We have to choose to spend time with Him, sitting at His feet.

I wish I could say my spiritual tank is always on ‘FULL’, but that would be a lie. On occasion, I get caught up in my own goals and activities, pushing aside much-needed fellowship with Christ. By His grace and mercy, the Lord quietly waits for me to realize just where I’m headed and prods me to remember He is waiting.

I cannot begin to explain the vast difference between doing things on my own steam and doing all things through Christ who gives me strength. On my own, I am nothing. In Christ, I have peace, grace, love, and understanding. In Christ, I am able to continue pouring out His affection to those around me, ministering to those who I come in contact with. In Christ, I am full.

“And the disciples were continually filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.”

Acts 13:52

Your Turn!: How full is your spiritual tank?

Want to stay connected & up to date with A Homeschool Mom? Don’t forget to follow on FacebookInstagramTwitter& Pinterest!

Waiting For ‘Real’ Ministry to Begin

Waiting For 'Real' Ministry to BeginDo you ever feel as if you’re not moving forward in ministry? You desire to serve the Lord, but where would you find the time? There’s learning which needs to be done, a house which needs to be cleaned, meals which need fixing, and a world of responsibility sitting at your feet the moment you open your eyes each morning. My friends, if you’re waiting for the ‘real’ ministry to begin, it already has!

The ministry which surrounds us daily might not be glamorous; no one outside our immediate family may ever know our name or see the impact we make on the world around us. This does not make our ministry less real. The roles we are currently playing are vital and as real as it gets.

The Ministry of Marriage – The Lord is constantly reminding me that marriage is more than a relationship, it is a ministry. We are connected, but it is a bond which requires work and a call to serve the Lord together. Done right, our marriage will point people to God and His saving grace.

The Ministry of Parenting – We have a unique call to train and disciple the next generation of adults. Positively a full-time role in ministry. Never let anyone tell you otherwise.

The Ministry of Education – As we teach our littles, we have the unique ability to reach their hearts, souls, and minds for Christ. Every lesson builds and strengthens, helping our children increase for God’s glory.

The Ministry of Friendship – We thank God for the few people He has brought into our lives who minister to us in this capacity. That girlfriend who just stops by to say hello? You just made our day. The gentleman who calls to encourage my husband and ask how His Bible study is going? Love that! Where would we be without awesome friends who take time just to ask how we’re doing, and occasionally stop in for a visit.

The Ministry of Edification – We might not have physically met, but our goal here at A Homeschool Mom is to edify everyone who reads these pages. While we’re perusing your thoughts, questions, and helpful tips, we’re often edified. Together, as brothers and sisters in Christ, we use this blogging community to edify one another, encouraging closer relationships with Christ.

Whenever I start feeling as if I’m not doing enough to serve the Lord, I remember a line from Francesca Battistelli’s song, “He Knows My Name“. It’s not important that my name be in lights. I am not living for applause. The God of the universe knows my name and loves me; just as I am, just where I am. He has me here for a reason, and He’s asking me to be faithful with what He’s given.

‘Real’ ministry is here and now. It’s not ten years down the road, it’s not ten minutes down the road. It’s right where I am. The real question is, what will I do with the ministry He’s given?

“But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.”

~ Acts 20:24

Your Turn!: Show of hands… Have you read The Ministry of Motherhood?

Want to stay connected & up to date with A Homeschool Mom? Don’t forget to follow on FacebookInstagramTwitter& Pinterest!

So You Think I’m Wrong? (Personal Advice on Offering Objections)

So You Think I'm Wrong? (Personal Advice on Offering Objections)What should be our inspiration for offering correction when we see someone stepping out of line? A heart to see them right with God. A desire for righteousness. If you think our family is making a wrong move, here’s some personal advice on how to offer your objections to our family’s life choices. Hint: It doesn’t involve yelling!

Before overwhelming us with a verbal attack, here are a few solid tips on how to approach us when you think we might be stepping out of line:

Pray for Us – Before approaching us, ask yourself this question, “Is this Biblical wisdom or just your humble opinion?” If the Lord is prompting you to speak to us, kindly pray about not only what you’re going to say, but how to say it. Pray for us as well, that we would receive your helpful advice as it was intended. We, too, want this discussion to go well. It starts with humility and a desire to seek the Lord in all things.

Speak With Us – Please read that again, carefully. Don’t yell at us. Don’t talk at us. Don’t talk over us. And don’t talk about us to other people. We would love to work this out and resolve the issue, but we can’t do that if we don’t speak. Nicely.

Ask Questions – Odds are you have some questions, and we’d love to answer them for you. We understand not everyone is going to agree with our choices and you may want clarity on why we’ve gone in this direction. Just ask, we love sharing why we do what we do!

Show Respect – While we appreciate your good intentions towards our family, these children are our responsibility. You don’t have to agree with our choices, but you ought to respect them. Mocking us, muttering complaints under your breath, and posting on social media is not the answer.

Believe it or not, we appreciate your advice and questions. Our goal is to constantly grow and increase in wisdom. Maybe the Lord wants to use you, and your words are His tool. However, please consider we might already be following God’s plan and doing our best to be faithful. We don’t make our choices lightly or without care. Believe it or not, a great deal of thought, time, energy, and research goes into what we do and how we do it. It might look a little odd to you, but this is a grand adventure and we take it very seriously.  

May we be inspired to not only give instruction with gentleness, but receive instruction in humility; may we direct people towards Christ and His desires, not our own personal opinions and ideals; and may we be granted strength to stand against those who violently oppose.

(Please note: We are not discussing issues of abuse today. Such difficult situations would call for immediate action, not debate. Instead, we’re referring to differences in parenting decisions such as education, discipline, health choices, and the like.)

“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.”
Proverbs 3:5-6

Your Turn!: How do you handle unsolicited advice?

Want to stay connected & up to date with A Homeschool Mom? Don’t forget to follow on FacebookInstagramTwitter& Pinterest!

Don’t Talk About Me! (Discussing Our Children With Others)

Don't Talk About Me!It’s amazing how our children cannot hear us when we’re standing right next to them, talking in their ear. But, somehow, through a noisy room, their ears perk up when mom mentions their name. They give us that look, and we know what it means. “Is this good or bad?” Perhaps, it might even be, “Please, don’t talk about me.”

Truth be told, we all have hard days. Whether it be a struggle with parenting or a homeschooling concern we’re dealing with, some days are just plain difficult. Maybe it isn’t just days. It might be weeks or months. When we finally have an opportunity to fellowship with friends, we let it all out. It felt so good to get that off our chest. It felt good to us. But what about those little ears listening across the room?

Understanding the Boundaries of Family – Are there things we’d prefer not be discussed outside the family? Maybe my husband only wants certain issues shared with him, and we can tackle these concerns together. Before I go to the “village”, I need to understand what is permissible to share and what is best left at home.

Understanding My Children’s Boundaries – If we enjoy our privacy, shouldn’t we afford our children a little of their own? I don’t wish to damage the relationship I have with my kids by over-sharing struggles they are currently working through. Openly discussing a learning disability with anyone and everyone might put a damper on that or cause them shame. I want to be selective about when and with whom I share.

Being in Prayer – Am I looking for help or an outlet for my frustration? Before I open my mouth, I need to pray about what’s going to come out of it.

Being Selective – There is such a thing as TMI. I can get help with a learning disability or character development without explaining every detail of my child’s issues. I want to leave them with some dignity. It might be enough to simply explain we’re dealing with lying, and ask for prayer.

On this note… Being a blogger, and having a minor presence on social media, I should also point out our need for being selective online. My kids read my blog – crazy, I know – they see what I post and how I address each issue. Generally, I don’t discuss matters which are personal to them and never that which would cause them shame. This goes for ALL medium.

Being Gentle & Kind – How I speak will determine how people see my children, and my parenting. Will I leave them with the understanding we’re not perfect, but genuinely seeking the Lord’s will, or an angry mama who can’t stand her kids? I might be frustrated now, but ten minutes from now regret the words I spoke. Gentleness will prevent harsh words.

Being Positive – This isn’t an opportunity to trash talk the kids. (Even if you’re positive they’re being ridiculous.) If we need help, I definitely should speak with a councilor or close friend. However, this isn’t time to complain. It’s time to get answers and be honest with where we might need improvement.

May the mediations of my heart be pleasing to the Lord, and the words of my mouth be edifying to the hearer. May I speak from a humble heart and listen with the intent to grow. And may my children learn God’s love towards others by how I love them.

I need to remember little eyes are watching. If I’m not careful, our children will pick up bad habits and begin to repeat my mistakes. And, really, what parent wants to hear their child trash talk them?

“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”
~ Ephesians 4:29

Your Turn!: Here’s a question… Do you feel comfortable sharing photos of your children online?

Want to stay connected & up to date with A Homeschool Mom? Don’t forget to follow on FacebookInstagramTwitter& Pinterest!

When Pop Comes Home

When Pop Comes HomeI frequently read lovely posts about preparing for Daddy’s arrival back home at the end of each day. The ladies might perhaps put on a pretty blouse, touch up their makeup, and spritz themselves with perfume. Moms are wonderful about making sure the house is straightened up, the kids are in decent order, and dinner is just about finished. I wonder though, what do those women do whose husbands are home all day?!

I find myself in this predicament and often wonder how many other women are in the same boat. My husband, generally speaking, works at home. There is no touching up makeup before he gets in the door, there is no sprucing up the house, or cleaning up of kids; he sees it all.

While we are together the bulk of every day, I would like to think there are a few things I can still do to bless him. They might not be astounding, but every little bit helps!

I make sure we are groomed. This might seem silly to some ladies; I mean sweats are clothes, right? While my husband doesn’t mind what I wear, I still prefer to get up before everyone else and get dressed. I put on “street clothes”, no sweats or pajamas. I put on just a little makeup and do my hair. I want my husband to know that I look nice for him, not just when I leave my house. Periodically I will touch up my makeup, as needed, to ensure I keep looking fresh. My kids are also trained to get up, get dressed, and be presentable.

I make sure the house is fairly decent. While messes can’t be avoided, we do try to keep things more livable. We have trained our children to keep their toys to one room or area at a time. This ensures that the mess can be cleaned up fairly quickly and if my husband walks out of his office, he is not overwhelmed by disorder.

I make sure to touch bases. While we might both occupy the same house, that doesn’t mean we are actually communicating. At various times throughout the day, I make sure to pop my head into his office and see if he needs anything. Perhaps he might like some fresh coffee, a snack, or a hug? Near the end of the day, we talk about when he would like dinner and I get busy.

When my husband does leave the house, I try to walk him out and greet him on his return. I want to be the last thing on his mind when he leaves and the first one to welcome him home.

While I don’t have the benefit of preparing our home before Pop’s return at night, I believe we are doing our best to make him feel welcomed and appreciated whenever he steps out of his office.

Your Turn!: How do you prepare for Dad at the end of each work day?

Want to stay connected & up to date with A Homeschool Mom? Don’t forget to follow on FacebookInstagramTwitter& Pinterest!

The Dilemma of Sleeping Children in Parents’ Beds

The Dilemma of Sleeping Children in Parents' BedsFor years, no matter how hard we tried, my son would not sleep through the night in his own bed. Oh, he would start the night out in his own room, but somehow in the middle of the night he always managed to sneak into the room and tuck himself in with his Pop. We tried having him sleep in his sisters’ room, we tried keeping a nightlight on, we tried any number of things. There was no substitution for Pop.

When he was little, it had been suggested that we train (read = paddle) him to stay in his own bed. Helpful friends mentioned we should lock our door. Others were adamant we let him cry it out. My guy and I didn’t care for any of those solutions, however. Sure, any number of them would have worked, but why?

While we weren’t getting as much sleep as we could and there were some nights we were wrestling with our son to stop moving around so much, it was nice to have him close. We only have our children for a short time and we appreciate the closeness they have with us. It would seem a shame to prevent them this brief moment in their lives. It won’t last forever.

While our son no longer sneaks into our room every night, on occasion I will wake to find him sleeping on the floor alongside the bed. It seems something bothered him during the night or he felt lonely and needed our company. He needed comfort and security.

I’m not sure where you’re at right now. Perhaps your littles are still in need of constant attention, and you’re about ready for them to grow out of this stage. Maybe you’re where we are with kiddos who still sneak into the room in the middle of the night. You might even be ‘done’ with these foundational years of parenting, with children grown and ready to move out. No matter where we are, may we learn to embrace each moment and rejoice in its gift. For a gift it is, indeed.

And, hey, we can sleep when they’re older, right?

“And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.”
~ Malachi 4:6

Your Turn!: Do your children sneak into bed with you?

Want to stay connected & up to date with A Homeschool Mom? Don’t forget to follow on FacebookInstagramTwitter& Pinterest!

Are You For Us or Against Us?

“Now it came about when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, a man was standing opposite him with his sword drawn in his hand, and Joshua went to him and said to him, ‘Are you for us or for our adversaries?'”
Joshua 5:13

are_you_for_us_or_against_usI’m sure we’ve all read this story hundreds of times, both for ourselves and with our children. The object lesson is usually along the lines of teaching God can do anything, even bring down walls of a city. Nothing is too big for God. And this is true. But it wasn’t until quite recently an entirely new lesson was brought to my attention, speaking to my heart.

For those who might be unfamiliar with our story… Joshua is the new leader of God’s people, Israel. After forty years of wandering in the desert, God has brought them to Jericho and the promised land. The only problem? A huge city, with a seemingly impenetrable wall, stands in their way.  While out perusing Jericho, Joshua sees a man and asks his question, “Are You for us or against us?” An understandable question. The response, “Neither.”

If I were Joshua, a flood of emotion would be coursing through my blood. Relief. Disappointment. He isn’t here to kill me, but help would be great too. Frankly, I would be missing the point entirely. The question isn’t whether or not this man – an angel of the Lord, by the way – was with Joshua. What mattered was whether Joshua was with God.

Now that, my friends, is the question of a lifetime.

Often, I find myself praying for God to be with me. (Read: To be on my side.) I want Him to make my homeschooling day successful. Meaning easy and fun. My budget to be prosperous. Oh, and having fewer parenting woes would rock. Who doesn’t want God on their side?

But, what I want is not really important. I should not be asking myself if God is with me and my silly plans. Instead, I should humbly be confessing my desire to be on the side of my Lord. It is His plans which matter and His plans which always succeed. The question is whether or not I am going to seek Him out, asking for vision and clarity.

In Joshua’s story, we see a lesson in obedience and faith. The Israelites do as God planned, and God is glorified. We see the people blessed beyond imagining. If we were to keep on reading, do you know what else we would see? A history of obedience to disobedience and back again. Another lesson. When we stop asking ourselves if this is God’s plan, and start following our own, we end up in trouble. 

Today, may we be encouraged. I pray the Lord would humble me, reminding me of where my heart belongs. May each of us be filled with faith to the fullest, able to follow God no matter where He leads, even to the walls of our own Jericho; knowing God is greater. May we not stray from the path, whether through a valley or mountaintop; continually asking God to lead.

Instead, you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.'”
James 4:15

Your Turn!: You’re walking through the valley, with fruit trees all around. Which fruit?

Want to stay connected & up to date with A Homeschool Mom? Don’t forget to follow on FacebookInstagramTwitter& Pinterest!