Catching Up…

Catching Up…

I’m alive. I really am. Just in case any­one was wondering.

Life has been insanely hec­tic lately. You too?

I was invited to go out to the Men’s Advance in Troy, MO, with Covenant Fam­ily Church to spend some time speak­ing with the wives and daugh­ters who accom­pa­nied their husbands/fathers/brothers to the week­end of teach­ing. It was such a blessed time for me. I brought my old­est daugh­ter, Pey­ton, with me. It was our first mother/daughter get­away. To a Men’s Advance. Haha… A tad bit ironic. She’s too young to be look­ing for a hus­band, and I already have one. Thank­fully, we had lots of women and girls to meet and spend time with. We both felt so wel­comed and loved.

Flying to Missouri

Fly­ing to Missouri


Then, we came home, and Mike took the fam­ily ski­ing. I tagged along, although I don’t ski. I have a bum leg, and can’t do dan­ger­ous, high risk things. And, if you know me at all, you know that any­thing that takes grace and skill is high-risk for me. I stayed in the lodge and worked while watch­ing the chil­dren careen down the moun­tain. Even Faith gave it a try this year. One so short shouldn’t be doing such crazy things. But, she loved it. She told me she has a new favorite sport. Ski­ing. Funny. I don’t have a favorite sport. The idea never crossed my mind.

We came home, and then my hus­band whisked me away to a cas­tle. We spent the week­end away for our church’s annual mar­riage retreat, which my hus­band orga­nizes every year. So roman­tic. We arrived to a snowy win­ter won­der­land {The photo above the post title is the view from the win­dow in our cas­tle room the night we arrived.}. Absolutely loved it. The next day, it was warm, much of the snow melted, and we were able to spend a cou­ple of hours walk­ing out­side, sit­ting on a bench talk­ing, hold­ing hands, learn­ing, grow­ing together. Such a great invest­ment! One of the assign­ments he gave the group was that we were to talk together and each make a list: some­thing we want the other to stop doing, some­thing we want them to start doing, and some­thing we want them to con­tinue doing. I really strug­gled to come up with my list, but once I got going, it seemed to flow. He also encour­aged that the con­tinue doing list can be 4–5 things to add to the encour­age­ment. We both learned a lot about the other, and what was on our hearts. Things we might not have known before. We laughed, cried, and grew stronger. I highly rec­om­mend this exer­cise. Be open, be hon­est, and don’t be afraid. Start. Stop. Continue.

marriage retreat small

Oh! And Faith was invited to par­tic­i­pate in a com­mer­cial for a local SEO com­pany. She had so much fun. She got to wear a tiara and blow pixie dust. What 7 year old lit­tle girl wouldn’t love that? It was right up her alley.

faith commercial smallSo, that’s been our life around here lately. Busy, full, good. I’d love to hear what you have been up to! Any­thing fun?



How to Save Your Marriage from an Axe Murderer

How to Save Your Marriage from an Axe Murderer

We have cre­ated a world that has lit­tle account­abil­ity, easy access, secrecy, and vir­tual iden­ti­ties. We can be who­ever we want to be when we are online. And it can prove to be very dan­ger­ous for us.

The other day, I received a pri­vate mes­sage through my Face­book account from a man who was one of my “friends.” We have sev­eral mutual friends. When he friended me long ago, I checked out our mutual friends, looked at his page to see what he was all about. Every­thing checked out. He is like-minded, our friends in com­mon hold the same con­vic­tions our fam­ily holds (and I *really* know most of them). So, I accepted his friend request and never had a word of inter­ac­tion with him. Until last week.

He sent me a com­pli­men­tary note, which both shocked me because of who I thought he was and the fact that I am mar­ried. I stopped in my tracks and con­sid­ered my options of response, if any. Do I tell my hus­band? Do I say any­thing? A sim­ple thank you? What is right and good and appropriate?

While I was con­sid­er­ing my options, he quickly sent me two fol­low on mes­sages which became aggres­sive and assault­ing. And angry.

I did some research, asked a mutual friend who I trust very much if he actu­ally knew him, and I dis­cov­ered that this man is not who he says he is. A sim­ple inter­net search told me that he has a crim­i­nal record, has served time in prison for assault­ing a female and false impris­on­ment. And appar­ently, he does this thing with inap­pro­pri­ately con­tact­ing mar­ried women. From what I have read, it can get uglier than what I expe­ri­enced by the things he sends to the mar­ried women he inter­acts with. Pic­tures and such. This “safe man” is any­thing but.

What I really want to dis­cuss is how to pre­vent the oppor­tu­nity for strangers to get under your skin and into your head. How to bol­ster your mar­riage so that when the temp­ta­tions come, you won’t be pulled toward them and away from him. And they will come.

As I dis­cussed it with my hus­band later, I noted that had I been a wife who felt unloved, unap­pre­ci­ated, dowdy, frumpy, and neglected, I very well may have found myself intrigued enough to respond with a sim­ple thanks. Or more. I could have found myself bait­ing for more com­pli­ments. Never imag­in­ing it would go fur­ther than that,  or that I could have found myself in very real dan­ger. Maybe not from this man, but from any stranger out there who knows enough about me based on what I post online to talk the talk I’m com­fort­able with. And, to note,  most peo­ple who fall into affairs never imag­ine it will get to THAT point. We all think we are stronger, more godly, above that pos­si­bil­ity. Yet, from what the recent sta­tis­tics are say­ing, 54% of women admit to hav­ing an infi­delity in a rela­tion­ship they’ve had. 68% of women say they would have an affair if they knew they would never get caught. Even more stag­ger­ing to me is the sta­tis­tic that shows that 31 per­cent of peo­ple have had an online con­ver­sa­tion that has led to in-person sex. 1 in 3. Is your mouth gap­ing? Mine is. I pray that those num­bers don’t include Chris­tians, but I would be naive to think it is impossible.

So, how to pre­vent your­self (or your hus­band) from becom­ing one of the ugly sta­tis­tics is impor­tant to fig­ure out. I have some ideas to share with you:

1. Stay deep in the Word of God daily. Med­i­tate on His Word day and night. Don’t leave room for the enemy to get a foothold. This one should be obvi­ous, so I won’t dwell too long here. But know this: the more you spend in God’s Word, fill­ing your heart and mind with God’s beau­ti­ful truth about who you are in Him, the more equipped you will be to fight off the enemy. And don’t be fooled:  Be sober, be vig­i­lant; because your adver­sary the devil walks about like a roar­ing lion, seek­ing whom he may devour. (1 Peter 5:8) He is actively seek­ing to destroy you and your mar­riage. Don’t get lazy in this.

2. Pray for your hus­band. Pray for your mar­riage. Pray for your chil­dren. Remem­ber­ing these aspects of your life daily in prayer will remind you of the impor­tance of these peo­ple in your life. An affair will shat­ter their lives right along with yours. When you are dis­ap­pointed or angry with them, pray dou­bly for them. Pray that the Lord will give you an abun­dance of love for your hus­band, a respect that shines in your eyes. Focus on your role as his wife, not on his short­com­ings and irri­ta­tions. You can’t change those. You can work on you, which remark­ably tends to have an effect on him. Funny how that works.

3. Apol­o­gize and For­give daily. I don’t know how to break it to you, so I’ll just say it: You are mar­ried to a sin­ner. And so is he. As much as you want him to over­look your three or four imper­fec­tions, be will­ing to over­look his. Be sin­cere in your apolo­gies and for­give­ness. Don’t do these begrudg­ingly. I strug­gle with this one. I so eas­ily caveat every­thing with the silly notion that my part of the prob­lem is so minor com­pared to his. And some­times they actu­ally are. I find myself think­ing too highly of myself way too often. This doesn’t build my mar­riage, it tears it down.

The wise woman builds her house,
But the fool­ish pulls it down with her hands. Proverbs 14:1

4. Smile at him more often. I know. The daily grind gets exhaust­ing. The dia­pers need chang­ing con­stantly. They ALWAYS want to eat. every. day. The laun­dry piles up. You don’t get “employee of the month” bonuses or park­ing or even recog­ni­tion most of the time. Drudgery and dis­con­tent can surely move in and set up  house in your heart before you even hear the knock­ing on the door. Smile. With a twin­kle in your eye. You are a team. He’s yours, and you’re his. Let’s act like we are happy about that!

5. Respect him. I’ve shared this before, but my hus­band likes to fly me places for spe­cial events, like my birth­day and our anniver­sary. It always amazes me how I respond to these lit­tle jaunts. I sit there as his lone pas­sen­ger in the plane watch­ing him do his thing. He flew fight­ers in the Air Force for 20 years. I knew what he did, but I never saw this highly respected guy danc­ing in the skies with his jet, doing maneu­vers that would make my head spin. It occurs to me that most of us don’t see our hus­bands at work. They go to work, inter­act with peo­ple there, do their thing, and come home tired and hun­gry at the end of he day. We get the hun­gry and tired, but don’t see the respect they get from oth­ers. We don’t see how trained and skilled they are in their work. And they labor daily for us. I have heard it said that respect must be earned. Really? What does scrip­ture say?

 How­ever, let each one of you love his wife as him­self, and let the wife see that she respects her hus­band. Eph­esians 5:33

How would we feel if we were told that we had to earn the love of our hus­bands? If your hus­band said to you, “Wife, when you start act­ing lov­able, I will love you!” I think we would cry foul pretty quickly. How hor­ri­ble to be told such a thing! We expect uncon­di­tional love. Right? BUT-the com­mand for our hus­bands to love us is writ­ten the same way as the com­mand for us to respect our hus­bands. It isn’t based on works. Do you sus­pect that some­times it is just as hard for them to love us as it is for us to respect them? And maybe this is why God so wisely instructed us to do so? My hus­band has shared with me that the quick­est way to show him my love effec­tively is by respect­ing him. Pub­licly and pri­vately. Don’t just do it for show. Again, what if his love towards you was only for show when oth­ers were around? Do you think you might actu­ally resent it? Be sin­cere. Look at your hus­band with fresh eyes. He is the man God has gifted you with to pro­vide for you and to pro­tect you. To love you and to cher­ish you. Help him by remind­ing him through your actions why you two got mar­ried in the first place.

6. Actively LOVE him. Phys­i­cally, emo­tion­ally, every way you can. You know, you can’t love him too much. Find out what makes him tick. Does he like you to just sit with him? Does he like it when your hand touches his? What makes his heart soar with the knowl­edge that you love him? Find out if you don’t know. Ask him. While you are meet­ing his emo­tional needs, make sure you explore how to meet his phys­i­cal needs. Per­haps you have an idea in your mind of what fills that need. But, I want to encour­age you to ask him. Ask for specifics. You may be sur­prised at what he tells you. What you may feel is enough, may not be to him. Or, it could be the other way around. You never know unless you talk about it. Don’t be shy. He is your hus­band, and you don’t belong to your­self. You each belong to the other like nobody else on earth. This is such a beau­ti­ful gift. If you find that you are over­whelmed with the basics of life that this aspect of your mar­riage is suf­fer­ing, talk about it with him. Are you neglect­ing him because you have sev­eral young chil­dren who demand too much of you to have much left at the end of the day for him? Are the laun­dry, dishes, mop­ping, food prep tak­ing all of your energy? Tell him. He actu­ally may have dif­fer­ent pri­or­i­ties than you do. Many men would rather pay some­one to come help you dur­ing the day in order to have you at night. No amount of house­work is worth the sac­ri­fice of your mar­riage. And the chil­dren grow. Don’t be strangers at the end of the day. Make him your first pri­or­ity after your rela­tion­ship with God. And don’t put God at the bot­tom of the pile either. It’s not much con­so­la­tion to a man to know he’s right behind God on your pri­or­ity list, only to find out that God is way down there after every­thing else in your life.

7. Flirt with your hus­band. Admit­tedly, this is some­thing that will look dif­fer­ent for every cou­ple. It’s hard to put this one in a sim­ple box. But, show him you are think­ing about him through­out the day. Text him lit­tle mes­sages. Or email, what­ever works for you. Hug him and whis­per sweet words to him when he walks in the door after work. Linger. Remind him sub­tly and not so sub­tly that you are his wife, and that you embrace this role in his life. Keep his eyes focused on yours in such a sweet and inti­mate way. He’s your man. God has given you to each other. 

He who finds a wife finds a good thing,
And obtains favor from the Lord. Proverbs 18:22

While we, as women, are vul­ner­a­ble online to temp­ta­tions and advances of men, our hus­bands are also sub­ject to the same sort of issues. Many years ago, my hus­band received an email from a woman who was flat­ter­ing to him. She explained that she wanted to write an arti­cle about him. She gushed (in my opin­ion) about how mar­velous he was in all of his endeav­ors, and thought he’d make a great sub­ject for some­thing she was writ­ing. Since we have an open pol­icy about read­ing each other’s email, I saw their cor­re­spon­dences. I warned my hus­band that I thought the woman was insin­cere about her motives, and I cau­tioned him about con­tin­u­ing the cor­re­spon­dence. He wasn’t sure he agreed with my assess­ment, but in an act of honor towards me, told her that he needed to end their cor­re­spon­dence. If she wanted to do an inter­view, then I would be with him for that time. Inter­est­ingly, she became very irate and hate­ful. He hadn’t accused her of any­thing, but she responded as though he did. Her response spoke vol­umes, and my hus­band real­ized that I had been right in my assess­ment of her. Yet, he had been naive about it. We joke that the woman just seemed to be a smart, astute per­son who appre­ci­ated all of his won­der­ful qual­i­ties. I’m thank­ful that we have a strong rela­tion­ship based on trust and pru­dence. He eas­ily could have found him­self trapped in a place he never intended to go.

So, as we hang out with friends online, it’s good to remem­ber that we actu­ally may not really know the peo­ple behind the key­boards. While we invest in their lives, we may be set­ting our­selves up for real dan­ger. Please be care­ful. And, per­haps instead of fear­ing what might hap­pen in the great unknown out there, we ought to be invest­ing in the real life rela­tion­ship with our hus­band. Spend­ing time build­ing our mar­riages may in fact be the sin­gle most impor­tant thing that pro­tects our mar­riages from being vul­ner­a­ble to the crazy stalker who is look­ing for a way into our lives. And while we are at it, we are bless­ing our chil­dren and grand­chil­dren with a faith­ful­ness that over­flows into many gen­er­a­tions. What a legacy and gift! May the Lord be pleased with all we say and do. Noth­ing is secret from Him!

I’ve linked this post at Cor­ner­stone Con­fes­sions and Grow­ing Home. Be sure to stop by and check out other arti­cles you might find interesting.

Routines and Flying {by the seat of my pants}

Routines and Flying {by the seat of my pants}

We started back to school last week. It felt good to get back into a rou­tine of sorts. The chil­dren seem happy to be back, and eager to learn their new sub­jects. Mostly any­way. Latin has been fun.

We’ve been using the same cur­ricu­lum since my old­est was in sec­ond grade. Our sixth child is start­ing sec­ond grade this year. And as far as we can tell, she’s our last. So, it’s the last time I will be going through this par­tic­u­lar rou­tine. It’s odd. And I find myself get­ting some­what sen­ti­men­tal about the whole thing. We put the phon­ics cur­ricu­lum away for good. The girls asked if they can use it with their chil­dren one day, so I’m keep­ing it. That just made me smile. They liked it quite well.

Faith is learn­ing his­tory for­mally for the first time. She loves it. I’ve been down this road a few times. From Cre­ation through present day (we go chrono­log­i­cally through his­tory). So, I am savor­ing the teach­ing, watch­ing her see what new hori­zons are out there.


Faith working on her math.

Faith work­ing on her math.

I’ve been sort of on autopi­lot for the last cou­ple of years. You know, same song dif­fer­ent verse. Just do the next thing and keep going.

I recently asked on The Vir­tu­ous Wife Face­book page if peo­ple sched­ule their week or fly by the seat of their pants. I’m curi­ous about how peo­ple attack life (or ease into it, as the case may be…). Some­one flipped it around on me and asked what I do.

Ha! I don’t feel quite so “vir­tu­ous” by my real­ity. I like the idea of a sched­ule, but in all hon­esty, I tend to fly.

This year is dif­fer­ent though. I’ve returned to my old days of school­ing: I have a plan mapped out. Days on the cal­en­dar. Check­lists. The whole shebang.

And con­trary to what I assumed it would be, I find it to be quite lib­er­at­ing. I feel more in con­trol and like we can actu­ally do this thing well. No more guess­work. No more check­ing at the end of the year to make sure we schooled enough days {and run­ning into July to fill those missed days}. I know what we have to do. THEY know what they have to do. And they are as excited as I am. They love the idea of check­ing off their lists (I made lists for them also.). I feel like I actu­ally have more time in my day to do the other things that are impor­tant to get done. Like laun­dry. And cook­ing. And a host of other things that are impor­tant to the run­ning of my home.

So, what was my impe­tus to get orga­nized? Hon­estly, it is my desire to honor my hus­band. He is the clas­sic Type A guy. Super duper orga­nized, pre­pared, straight­for­ward guy. And he mar­ried a stacker, an “I’ll get to it later” girl. And, as patient as he is, I know it dri­ves him crazy. I know it. And I’ve ignored it most of our mar­ried life. Oh, I have dreams and desires to be more orga­nized. But, when the rub­ber meets the road, I’m busy fly­ing from task to task, hop­ing I didn’t for­get any­thing majorly impor­tant. Like din­ner. {They really do like to eat EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. What’s with that?} And I know that, while I get a lot accom­plished in a given day, I don’t get as much done as per­haps I could if I had a plan.

So I have a plan.

I orga­nized my laun­dry room and school room this sum­mer. It makes the task of putting things where they belong so much eas­ier, cut­ting out wasted time in search­ing for that one thing I can’t find because I don’t quite know where I put it. I can breathe again.

So, do you have a plan? Are you super orga­nized? I know some women who are incred­i­bly so. Do you fly from task to task, hop­ing noth­ing major is being for­got­ten? Good thing chil­dren and pets squawk when they are hun­gry, huh?

But, what would your hus­band like you to do? Does he have a desire for your home to be run in a way that is con­trary to how it is actu­ally run? Do you make his pri­or­i­ties your pri­or­i­ties? That’s the hard one. That dying to self and serv­ing oth­ers thing. I resisted for so long because I was afraid of los­ing con­trol over my sched­ule. What sched­ule? Well, the idea that I can meet an emer­gency that arose, or a friend who needed help or time. But the thing is, I was wrong. I actu­ally now have that free­dom because I know where I am. My chil­dren can stick to the plan even if I’m not sit­ting right beside them. They have it mapped out for them.

Don’t be like me. The stub­born part any­way. If your hus­band is ask­ing you to change some­thing in the way you run your home, try it. You might be sur­prised, like me, that his insight is actu­ally very wise and will be help­ful to you.

I’m thank­ful that my hus­band is very patient, gen­tle, kind, not demand­ing . He has never forced his way with this. He has encour­aged, sug­gested, requested, yet giv­ing me the lee­way to make the final deci­sion about my day. He is so under­stand­ing towards my heart in it all. But I wish I had made more effort years ago. He really is a smart guy. I don’t know what I was so afraid of.

Now, let’s see how long I will main­tain this new rou­tine and sched­ule. I pray it will be for good!


Happy Anniversary!

Happy Anniversary!

Today we cel­e­brate 24 years of mar­riage. How can it be? The time has flown by.

We mar­ried the day after Mike grad­u­ated from the Air Force Acad­emy. It was the first day we were allowed to get mar­ried. We wasted no time.

And then we set off on a grand adven­ture, which has spanned three con­ti­nents, six chil­dren, and one daugh­ter in law.

We have been blessed.

It hasn’t always been easy. I don’t think it ever is. We have had our fair share of heartache and tri­als. And we have had many joys.

I can’t imag­ine embark­ing on such an adven­ture with any­one else. Who would get my jokes? Who would lay in bed with me late into the night laugh­ing at the antics of our chil­dren? And draw­ing pic­tures for me on the iPhone?

Who would try not to laugh at my mis­quotes? You do still try, don’t you babe?

I love the life we have made together. God has truly been the One who has been the con­stant, keep­ing us together, guid­ing you as you guide me.

Two are bet­ter than one; because they have a good reward for their labour…

And if one pre­vail against him, two shall with­stand him; and a three­fold cord is
not quickly bro­ken. Ecc 4:9, 12

So, here is to another 24 years! May the Lord con­tinue to work in our lives, sanc­ti­fy­ing us through each other. {I think you get way more of that with me than I do with you!}

I love you most!



It’s that time of year again! Home­school con­fer­ence sea­son is upon us. Are you going to one this year? What do you like best about the con­fer­ence you attend? Do you like to get inspired by the var­i­ous work­shops and speak­ers? Do you love to thumb through all the cur­ricu­lum (cur­ric­ula?)? Or do you sim­ply enjoy the oppor­tu­nity to visit with friends that you know or meet there?

For so many peo­ple, their home­school con­fer­ence means cur­ricu­lum. They love to touch it, put eyes on it, pour over the var­i­ous options. I, too, love to see it in per­son before I make a final deci­sion. It’s great!

In the vendor hall with Peyton

In the ven­dor hall with Peyton

I often have peo­ple ask me what cur­ricu­lum we choose. To be hon­est, when we finally landed on our cho­sen cur­ricu­lum, I was so excited about what we had found that I wanted every­one who was home­school­ing or con­sid­er­ing home­school­ing to know what we were using. I thought it was the PERFECT choice! It had every­thing that I thought we’d need to home­school suc­cess­fully. {I shud­der at how obnox­ious I likely was!} And, mostly, I have been very happy with my choice. I haven’t felt a need to change much of what we have been doing for these last 15 years or so. But my per­spec­tive has changed sub­stan­tially over the years. I’m not quite as quick to share what we use. I actu­ally hes­i­tate to tell any­one what we use. I have learned that it isn’t the be all and end all for me or any­one else. Cur­ricu­lum never is, no mat­ter what the shiny brochures tell you.

I have learned that cur­ricu­lum is just a tool. It makes no guar­an­tees. Well, if it does, I’d be seri­ously con­cerned. A par­tic­u­lar cur­ricu­lum can­not promise that your child will be a doc­tor, a lawyer, or a can­dle­stick maker.  What I have dis­cov­ered, and maybe I am way slower than every­one else out there, is that what really mat­ters is that we spend those impor­tant years teach­ing our chil­dren about Jesus, about doc­trine, about for­give­ness, and about lov­ing our neigh­bors. With­out this very basic empha­sis, we are wast­ing our time.

I have also learned that char­ac­ter far out­weighs find­ing the solu­tion to a math prob­lem. Some­times that char­ac­ter is found in the pain of find­ing the answer to that math prob­lem, to be sure. But the true prize is the char­ac­ter, not the value of x. All the books and courses in the world won’t be worth much of any­thing if your chil­dren lack char­ac­ter. You can put the best math books in front of your son, but if is too lazy to work the prob­lems, he will never learn it, much less apply it! We tend to spend so much time and effort find­ing the per­fect cur­ricu­lum, but for­get to think about how impor­tant it is to develop char­ac­ter. We don’t need char­ac­ter train­ing books for this. We need the Bible. And we just need to live with our chil­dren and pay a lit­tle bit of atten­tion to them. We also need to look in the mir­ror and teach them about humil­ity and repen­tance by being an exam­ple to them by our actions and words when we are wrong and sin against the peo­ple in our home. I find that this can be a daunt­ing task, but it is a must for every Chris­t­ian home.

Also, the cur­ricu­lum needs to be thor­oughly Chris­t­ian. World­view really does mat­ter. If your child is tak­ing in the philos­phy of the pagans all day, at the expressed or non-expressed approval of the experts (you and your hus­band), he or she is going to believe what it teaches. If it teaches that Cre­ation is a myth or just one of sev­eral optional beliefs, then they are likely going to pick up on that and believe it. If you put books in front of your chil­dren that teach that his­tory is ran­dom, with chance being the only con­stant, then they likely won’t see God’s hand through­out all of his­tory. Alter­na­tively, if you emerse your chil­dren in God-honoring and God-fearing cur­ricu­lum, they will learn that see­ing the world from God’s per­spec­tive is the obvi­ous way to look at things. While it can be very time con­sum­ming, and we won’t get it right all the time, we must make every effort to place before our chil­dren books and infor­ma­tion that will build a strong foun­da­tion before we try to place the antithe­sis before them to ana­lyze. Some chil­dren can han­dle the antithe­sis more read­ily and eas­ily than other chil­dren. So, what we choose to expose them to and when to do so will be some­thing we need to care­fully weigh for each child. Unlike a pub­lic or pri­vate school set­ting, home­school­ers get to man­age the infor­ma­tion that goes into the stu­dents based on each indi­vid­ual stu­dent. What a great priv­i­lege we have!

How­ever, my favorite part of the con­fer­ence is hear­ing the var­i­ous speak­ers share their wis­dom and heart to those in atten­dance. We have learned so much from many con­fer­ence speak­ers. One such speaker, 13 years ago in Cal­i­for­nia, opened our eyes to a vision for our fam­ily that we never imag­ined or even con­sid­ered pos­si­ble. He asked the men in the room, “Men, do you have a vision for your fam­ily?” My hus­band relates that he felt like he had been hit by a 2x4. Vision? A man can have one of those for his FAMILY? I mean, my hard work­ing, devoted hus­band had great vision for his job. He had huge plans. And he was liv­ing them. But, for his fam­ily? He has a say in that? And it mat­ters? Appar­ently so. And our fam­ily has never been the same since. Sure, we still strug­gle. We have issues. We are human, and we are sin­ners. But, we have a plan, more or less. My husband’s focus changed from one of self-serving, career build­ing, man pleas­ing pur­suits to look­ing at his fam­ily, serv­ing us, lead­ing us, teach­ing us, invest­ing in me and our chil­dren. And God has led my hus­band in a beau­ti­ful way as he relies on Him. My hus­band was once a reluc­tant home­school­ing dad. He allowed me to home­school as long as I did every­thing right. Send­ing the kids back to pub­lic school was a threat that always hung over my head. As long as I didn’t mess up (what­ever that meant), and my hus­band was “allowed” to con­tinue to pur­sue his career, all was well. But now, thanks to God open­ing his eyes at that con­fer­ence all those years ago, he is a strong advo­cate of parent-led edu­ca­tion, of fathers lead­ing their fam­i­lies in right­eous­ness to the cross daily for their encour­age­ment and growth and for­give­ness. He’s a dif­fer­ent man. I didn’t shove it down his throat. I didn’t lead him to this. I didn’t “force” him to lead his fam­ily. {I find that con­cept odd.} God, in His per­fect tim­ing, showed my hus­band a bet­ter way to lead his fam­ily than what he was doing.

All from a talk at a home­school conference.

I want to encour­age you not to get bogged down by all the choices and flash of cur­ricu­lum. I find that it can make me feel so inad­e­quate about our lit­tle school. Are we doing art? What about sci­ence projects? Sports? For­eign lan­guages? Music? What are we miss­ing? Oh, what’s down this aisle? Geog­ra­phy, geol­ogy, geometry…Oh, my! Spend some time before your con­fer­ence, fig­ure out what your goals are for this next year. Dis­cuss them with your hus­band and chil­dren, and don’t be afraid to tweak some things. Make a list of what you need. If you can get ahold of the list of ven­dor hall booths before you go, take a look and see where you can shop for what you need. Get what you came for, put them in your car, and then go soak up some encour­age­ment from the speak­ers. You can look at cur­ricu­lum all year long online. But, that won­der­ful oppor­tu­nity to be fed some encour­age­ment by moth­ers and fathers who have been doing this for years is price­less. Please, don’t defeat your­self before you even start the new year. You can­not do it all. I know you know it. But, it is so easy to lose that focus. And it is so easy to get frus­trated. Soak up the godly coun­sel, the hope­ful words spo­ken. And the hard words. We all need some hard words, too. But they are for our good, and the good of our chil­dren, to help wake us up from our slumber.

So, what cur­ricu­lum do I use? Who cares? It’s just a tool. It’s so much more impor­tant that I love God, honor my hus­band, love my chil­dren, and teach them to love the Lord with all their strength, heart, mind, and soul. The rest will fall in place as the Lord ordains.


Photo credit: jim­miehome­school­mom / / CC BY

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