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Sharing A Bit of Back-to-School Encouragement with You!

   Well, here we are, on the brink of a new homeschool year. Wrapping up another summer and moving into fall.  I wanted to share a few things with you today that will *hopefully* serve as tangible sources of encouragement for you - and to make an impact on the way this school year plays out for your family. Let's jump right in! First, here is a fun quiz to find out what's missing in your homeschool. Check that out HERE . Next, I recently had the pleasure of meeting an author who write Christian fiction for middle schoolers, and after hearing her heart for children ages 9 to 12, well, I had to share about her books here on the homeschool blog. Her name is Jill Osborne, and if you have a middle schooler and would like to offer them some books that could benefit them as they lay a foundation of who they are in Christ and help them discover what God may be leading them toward in their future, her fiction series are worth looking into. Check that out at her website here . You can or
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A Brief Word About Prayer

 For so many of us, prayer is a challenge. Maybe because it can be hard to find the time for an extended prayer session. Or there is a lack of guidance to help us as we pray. Sometimes the prayer meeting can feel more like a gossip meeting, and that has never helped anyone to grow a healthy prayer life. We may not even know what, exactly, we can and should pray for and about.  I don't want to make this one bit more complicated, confusing or challenging. What I do want, however, is to see more people pray more prayers and receive more answers. This blog post won't be written perfectly, and there is no well-mapped out flow for what I share here. There is just my heart for God's people and my belief that He is still in the prayer-answering business. So here I am, in all my imperfection, to offer you this brief and somewhat untidy word about prayer. Thought #1 -       God's promises are long lasting. They are imperishable. And they have a very long shelf life... as in, an e

Our Qualification Comes from God...

 I think I had a sum total of 17 days during my homeschool years when I felt confident & qualified...maybe. 17 days plucked out of the midst of 25 years is not all that many days. I've heard that confidence is key, which may be true, but it isn't a key I have access to and so the doorway to completely confident living remains locked tight. In my daily Bible reading, I came across these words:  "We are confident...because of our great trust in God through Christ. It is not that we think we are qualified to do anything on our own. Our qualification comes from God. He has enabled us..."      - from 2 Corinthians 3:4-6, New Living Translation Even though the youngest of our five children finished her fourth year of college last month, in spite of the fact that I haven't done a single lick of homeschooling in over four years - nevertheless, I read those words this morning and thought about how they applied to my life as a homeschool mom. In and of myself, I wasn

Summer Is a Great Time to Work on Art Projects (and you can count the time spent on summer art as part of next year's homeschool days - WIN/WIN!!)

 So, one pretty terrific trick of the trade that I discovered during my quarter of a century of home education was that the classes & online courses & lessons (including sports lessons) my kiddos participated in during the summer months could be counted toward their school days the following year. (In our neck of the woods, 180 teacher contact days were required to fulfill the academic requirements legally - so we aimed to hit that number each year.) Take skating lessons for my children - I would simply keep track of all the time spent at the ice rink during the summer in my planner and before we started the new school year, I would add up the hours spent on the ice and calculate how many days of "schoolwork" it counted for.  I also kept track of art camps, books they read, online courses they took, missions trips and service projects, and even things like rebuilding a lawn mower engine or painting a bedroom (small engine repair and life skills/home economics are real

Something B-I-G Is Coming SOON!! (and a fun little giveaway for ya!)

 Well, hey there! It's the very last day of May. And honestly, after the last couple of years I feel that it is more important than ever to recognize and celebrate as many milestones and opportunities as we possibly can. The end of a season - the end of a homeschool year - is worth celebrating. The start of a season - the beginning of a summer that doesn't feel quite as constricted & contained & confined as the last couple of summers have felt - this is also worth celebrating. If you've just finished up the homeschool year, I'm over here yelling "CONGRATS!!! Way To Go!!!" at the top of my lungs. And if you are still working on school stuff over the summer months, I'm over here cheering you on, pulling for you, believing in you, and reminding you that what you do makes a huge difference. You matter, your children matter, and so your work as a homeschooler matters. I'm so proud of you! (That might sound a bit cheesy, but I 100% mean it.)  So, my

The Righteous Cry, and the Lord Heareth Psalm 34:17 - A Timely Verse for An Untimely Season in A Broken World

 I'd like to share this excerpt from my eBook All Things Homeschool - Devotions for Moms Volume 2. In light of the astounding evil we see in the world around us, both on the other side of the globe and right here in these United States, a verse like this one is as needed as it is timely. Keep praying - keep crying out to the Lord, and believe the promise from Psalm 34:17 - He hears. And He answers.  Father, my prayer today is that You would move to comfort all who are in need of comforting, to be close to the brokenhearted and those who are mourning. May the people who know Your name weep with those who weep and be a source of love and support in these trying times in which we find ourselves. Lord, protect the children in our land. All of them, the born and the unborn. Give parents wisdom and guidance as they raise their children. Remind us of the hope we have in You. Keep us close to Your heart and centered in Your will. Equip us for the work You planned for us to do, and strength

Perfect Peace

Fixed on You... Stayed on You... Stops at You & goes no further. May my thinking & my living, the way I love others & the words that I speak, my attitude & my intentions in any & every situation come to the Lord my God and then stop right there. I do not want or need to take my thinking one step beyond my God. My reasoning fails, while His is perfect. My worries overwhelm me, while He has no worries. He is the strength of my heart & my life - shouldn’t He also be the strength of my mind, as in what I think & where my thoughts go? If He wants to keep me in perfect peace (and Isaiah 26:3 states that He does!) then I ought to want that, too. Lord, Your will be done. Today, and everyday, may my mind stop at You - not pondering a problem past Your will & Your wisdom. You are a good God, & I rest in You today. - Jan L. Burt host of The Burt (Not Ernie) Show podcast & author of The Power of God’s Will - 40 Days of God’s Promises devotional  

Can I Just Say... This Devotional Is Ideal for This Time in Our World??

  So, there’s this. A devotional created for - ahem - WORRY.  Anybody else a bit of a worrier? Anybody else feel like worry has been a staple in their life the last couple of years? Anybody…? The book “5-Minute Devotions for Worry” by Jenifer Metzger is an excellent resource for anyone dealing with worry.  The subtitle of the book is “Ease Doubt and Find Peace with Prayer”. And if you happen to know me in real life (or via social media, which is like knowing me in pseudo-real life) then you know I am a woman who prays. Not a woman who believes in prayer, which I most certainly am, but a woman who actually spends time in prayer. A lot of time. So, a devotional that offers peace in place of worry and has an emphasis on prayer? Sign me up! Right from the get-go, Jenifer’s honest introduction pulled me in. Like, I could actually FEEL what she was describing. And in all honesty, I think a whole lot of us need to do some “FEELING”. We’re sort of starting to transition out of what has become

Yesterday Was National Rare Disease Day

  People. People matter so, so much to the Lord. And so, people really ought to matter to those of us who follow the Lord, who are disciples of Jesus. When you follow someone, then what matters to that someone should be what matters to you. Yesterday was National Rare Disease Day. And it just struck me that there are so many people all around the world dealing with health issues that are uncommon and, as such, probably go unnoticed, misunderstood, and perhaps they even feel a bit forgotten. Now I don't have what would be considered a rare disease, so I won't get all "overly fluffy"  and pretend that I know what it's like to live with a rare disease. (I have faced a rare combination of two different electrical problems with my heart which made treatment pretty much impossible, but I have always been able to find cardiologists and electrophysiologists who could provide me with some answers to my questions and at the very least explain the finer points of what it mea

One & Only Chance To Use This Coupon For This Week's Life Skills Leadership Summit For Parents - Don't Want You To Miss Out On This! :)

 Just dropping by my blog to share this friendly (but getting close to the very end!) reminder about the Life Skills Leadership Summit that is taking place this week. I've got a couple of sessions in the summit, and if you want to grab the FREE Basic Pass , you can watch all of today's sessions (but only for 24 hours). I also have another session on Friday (again, free for 24 hours with the Basic Pass ). Now, while I'd love for you to at the very least grab your free Basic Pass ticket option (along with  a  personal invite to check out my 2 sessions at the summit - "The Encouragement You Need for the Work of Parenting Well" & "Who Do Independent Thinkers Grow Up to Be?") I also want to make the VIP ticket option available to you just in case you missed some of the sessions that have already been released.  And you will also get  a  couple of free bonus items directly from me.  If you decide to purchase  a  summit ticket via my link, I will send you