Fear

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“Poor Jazz.”
“What a mess.”
“Well, at least she’s trying.”
“Trying? She’s a mess. They all are.”
“Ah, no, they’re good people,” Corrigan said. “They just don’t know what it is they’re doing. Or what’s being done to them. It’s about fear. You know? They’re all throbbing with fear. We all are.”
He drank the tea without cleaning the lipstick off the rim.
“Bits of it floating in the air,” he said. “It’s like dust. You walk about and don’t see it, don’t notice it, but it’s there and it’s all coming down, covering everything. You’re breathing it in. You touch it. You drink it. You eat it. But it’s so fine you don’t notice it. But you’re covered in it. It’s everywhere. What I mean is, we’re afraid. Just stand still for an instant and there it is, this fear, covering our faces and tongues. If we stopped to take account of it, we’d just fall into despair. But we can’t stop. We’ve got to keep going.”
“For what?”
“I don’t know—that’s my problem.”
~Let The Great World Spin by Colum McCann (pg 29,30)

I think this perspective on fear is more accurate than a lot of us would like to admit. A good example of how sin works in our world. How it’s everywhere, inescapable….

another great writer on fear….
A Chance (Coco J. Ginger)

The Sacred Mundane

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cuptower
“The best things in life are nearest: Breath in your nostrils, light in your eyes, flowers at your feet, duties at your hand, the path of right just before you. Then do not grasp at the stars, but do life’s plain, common work as it comes, certain that daily duties and daily bread are the sweetest things in life.”
~ Robert Louis Stevenson

Little drops of water
Little grains of sand
Make the mighty ocean
And the beauteous land
~Anonymous

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I have found such joy in simple things;
A plain, clean room, a nut-brown loaf of bread,
A cup of milk, a kettle as it sings,
The shelter of a roof above my head,
And in a leaf-laced square along the floor,
Where yellow sunlight glimmers through the door.

I have found such joy in things that fill
My quiet days: a curtain’s blowing grace,
A potted plant upon my window sill,
A rose, fresh-cut and placed within a vase;
A table cleared, a lamp beside a chair,
And books I long have loved beside me there.

Oh, I have found such joys I wish I might
Tell every woman who goes seeking far
For some elusive, feverish delight,
That very close to home the great joys are:
The elemental things- old as the race,
Yet never, through the ages, commonplace.
~ Grace Noll Crowell
(h/t Magistratrium)

Yesterday, we all got a sick. Scratchy throats and stuffy heads. Caci had a fever. I baked cinnamon rolls with an orange glaze, went for a walk and cleaned. The girls played in giant mud puddles and watched movies. We are missing homeschool co-op today because I want us to get better. I was supposed to teach preschool, oh well, I feel bad about that. It snowed this morning, crazy weather. I read “Bittersweet” by Shauna Niequist, I liked her food metaphors mixed in with her writing. “…and the morning light from the east on the three seasons porch is just the softest, most perfect light, like angel food cake….” I’m getting excited for Easter, I have the candy bought but I still need a gift for the girls. Maybe I’ll go out tonight after Luke gets home? I like the idea of new Easter dresses representing us being clothed in the robes of Christ to cover our sins. I had never put that together with the reason for new Easter clothes.

Saturdaze

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Who knew kids’ soccer games on Saturday mornings would wipe me out for an entire day? Luckily we have neighbors who spend their weekends gardening and seem to love it when our children come and follow them around for hours. Yesterday was a sneezy, humid, hot day, and our home became suddenly ant infested. We painted t-shirts, I planted two peonies and took a walk holding hands with Sophia. Luke made his amazing fajitas, we ate too many rice krispy treats, our bed became piled high with laundry, and the shoes in front of the door seemed to grow another foot deep. It ended with the most amazing thunder/hail storm. Thunder and lightning constantly flashing across the sky for hours. Luke is studying like crazy for his exam and I watched Fringe on the tv (an excellent show but a bit gory).

Great Things I Learned At The Homeschool Convention

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As some of you know, I went to a homeschool convention last weekend.  Much of it was review and encouragement but the main thing I walked away with was a conviction that I need to get up early and pray hard for my family.  To wake in the early hours and begin my day, my life with prayer.  How everything begins with prayer.  I know, it seems kind of boring, but it feels huge to me and it’s exactly what I needed to hear.

I also was reminded that the amount of money I spend on curriculum in no way influences how intelligent and creative my children will become.  I think we are planning on stepping out of the curriculum bubble of My Father’s World this next year and I am going to write my own.  I’m still planning on following their subject ideas though, like for 3rd grade we are going to study other countries cultures for history and for science we will be spending the entire year learning about animals.  I thought I could take a country per week and have fun exploring it, doing crafts about it, cooking their food, wearing their historical costumes….I don’t know where it will take us, but it is going to be a fun year.  I’m already getting excited.  I think I will be more involved because I am choosing what we are doing instead of following a curriculum.  My husband has agreed to take over the bible part of our education, and I say “our” because I need to memorize those scriptures just as much as the children do.

Reminding you (and myself) that the amount of money you spend doesn’t influence how intelligent or creative your children become.  I would like to show you some of my favorite, shiny, new things I discovered that I would like to have.

I already bought this and my 3 yr old is loving it.

just bought this and it’s a big hit with my 3 yr old.

for studying other country's history

for studying other country’s history

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Lamplighter books, this one recommended for 2nd/3rd grade girl. Going to check at library.

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required reading materials for 1st grader, goes well with studying other countries

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we need a decent globe

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want to check this out at my library

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a spelling book that takes them from 3rd grade to adulthood $65

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perfect for the ages I have

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I want to look for this for myself at the library

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would be fun required reading for Sophia, goes along well with studying other countries.

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story of the world, history curriculum? Not sure about this one, maybe for next year?

 

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science curriculum, maybe?

Morning Time: It’s A Liturgy (Ordo Amoris)

 

Becoming A Better Writer Through Copywork

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In homeschooling, copywork is praised as being a great way to teach kids how to write well.  It is an old-fashioned idea but I believe it has merit.  And I’m thinking of giving myself assignments, not my kids.  :)  I’ve heard writers usually have 2-3 mentor writers who they try to imitate and learn from.  I know I love Ann Voskamp for the way she creates art by quilting stories together, C.S. Lewis for his profound imagination and solid themes, and F. Scott Fitzgerald for  his very realistic writing style.  Who are your favorite authors/writing mentors?  Have you tried copywork as a way of improving your writing skills?

Shauna Niequist’s Book Recommendations For Writers (Modern Mrs. Darcy)

Relationships Are Temporary, Of The Flesh, Not Who We Really Are

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“Mother and son. But only in the flesh, and this is a small thing. This is why our Master said that we must hate our mother, father, spouse, child if we are to follow him and find his narrow way. He meant that we must not cling to them. Most can’t fathom his meaning. If you look to anyone to satisfy your longing, you will think you need something more than him and what he has made you to be complete and at peace. The expectation of fulfillment in relationships will always fail you, and you will hold grievances that darken your world. You will become blind to the light that guides to the narrow path…………
….The truth settled over him. His suffering was due to his attachment to his own mother. He had allowed himself to need her. The feeling had felt so natural, but it wasn’t his Master’s way. And yet….
“She needs me,” he said.
(mother)”I do?”
………..
(mother)”Like you, I’m of two minds, one that sees clearly and is at perfect peace, the other that holds grievances against those who I think have wronged me. All human suffering comes from grievance. The inability to forgive that which offends us and turn the cheek. And yet we have the power to forgive and receive forgiveness. We are just blind to it most of the time.”
……
“I don’t need to be rescued, my son. I’m whole already, in perfect peace with my Father.” Ted Deckker Outlaw
(mother) was added by me for clarification

Once again, Ted Dekker does not fail in taking a theologic idea and expounding on it in new ways.  This idea of holding our relationships on earth very loosely is not a new one for me, but he pounds it in page after page about how we can let go of our grievances, our failed expectations, because we are completely whole and at peace in Christ. Once free, we can become a servant to all, completely loving them, serving the One who loves us and fills us completely.

He also took this idea and directed it towards our fleshly desires, not allowing our body and desires to control us, but remaining in control of them. Remembering at all times that a part of us is “insane”, “a costume we wear on earth”, and “already dead”. While the other part of us is fully alive, fully at peace, and full of power.