Tag Archives: teaching

Something personal

God is a God of details as well as the big picture.

He has attention for all things and He does not miss anything.

His faithfulness has been incredible and I have learned so much each and everyday.

It humbles and blesses me.

This weekend I had a moment of learning.

It was something small and personal to me, but it reaffirmed God’s loving care.

We have white dishes we keep set out on the dining room table for meals.

Years ago when everyone had the responsibility of dealing their own plate it made sense to place them back on the table where each person sat so I could easily tell who had followed through on taking care of their dish and who had forgotten.

After living here for a bit Anne began to make a pot of tea and set it on the table for breakfast.

Jase and I thought this very nice and we all enjoy drinking tea each morning.

We have been using my Grandmother’s china cups for our morning tea and although I enjoy using them I have found myself wishing we had an everyday set of tea cups.

Each time I caught myself thinking along that line, I tried to make sure I was turning that desire over to the Lord and thanking Him for the tea cups we already have and enjoy.

Because tea cups are not a need and I do not want to waste time wishing for those things God has not given me.

Thus, when we were unpacking a box from a unit my husband had recently purchased and there were six white tea cups and saucers I was hesitant.

They matched our everyday set of white dishes, but God had not told me if I was to sell them, give them away, or keep them.

Days went by and I kept praying about what to do with these tea cups until one morning this weekend.

I had gotten up and walked toward the tea cups with the intent of using them for morning tea and the Lord spoke to my heart.

You have not asked Me

“Oh dear! I am so sorry Lord! You are right! I did not ask. Please forgive me!”

I turned around and went about getting breakfast without the tea cups.

Later, I was in my room praying about this.

“Lord, I am so sorry about almost using those tea cups! I feel awful!”

You have not asked Me.

“Yes, Lord! I know I didn’t ask and I will sell them or give them away. Just please tell me which You want me to do.”

Silence.

After praying for other things I went back to the kitchen for something and my eyes feel on the tea cups.

The Lord spoke so clearly to my heart.

Child, you have not asked Me for them.

-blink-

“Wait…Lord, do You want me to have these? Would You be willing to give these to me?”

Would you give them to your child if they asked?

“Yes, of course.”

Then ask Me.

“Lord, may I have these tea cups?’

Yes, of course.

I set the table with the white tea cups and brewed a pot of tea.

My shortsightedness almost caused me to blush, but my God’s love and care for me brought me to tears.

Happy tears of realization that I still have so much to learn.

Not long later we all sat around the table eating breakfast and drinking our tea.

Our son was thoughtful and quiet for a time and then looked up at me.

“Mom, when I grow up and leave the house can I have these tea cups? I love them.”

I smiled.

I am sure God was smiling too.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You so much for Your patience with me. I am so amazed at how You know exactly what I need to hear and You speak straight to the real issues inside my heart. Lord Jesus, thank You for Your loving care. Thank You for walking with me in so many things and guiding my life into a closer walk with You. Lord, I want to be a reflection of You to all those around me. I want other people to know You and to experience the incredible love You have for them. Lord, You alone are worthy of all praise, all honor, all glory. May Your light shine brightly to those who have yet to see Your truth and even brighter to those who have put their trust in You. I love You, Jesus. Amen.

Teaching wisdom

Come, you children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
Psalms 34:11 NKJV

How important it is to fear the Lord.

“The fear of the Lord  is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”
Proverbs 9:10 NKJV

And it is equally important to share that with others.

For reverence is due the Lord.

Reverence of God Almighty is worth being passed on.

Teaching reverence should come from God’s Word.

When looking for wisdom in bite sized chunks Proverbs is a good place to turn.

The book of Proverbs is full of wisdom and truth, and it’s not packaged with difficult verbage.

Instead it’s startlingly easy to grasp.

It’s often used for memory verses and definitely worthy of repeating.

Penned by Solomon, it’s his instruction for his son.

“The proverbs of Solomon, the son of David, king of Israel: The fear of the Lord  is the beginning of knowledge, But fools despise wisdom and instruction. My son, hear the instruction of your father, And do not forsake the law of your mother;”
Proverbs 1:1‭, ‬7‭-‬8 NKJV

It is a book which can be taken a verse at a time, but also links together into chapters which hold profound truth.

Where did Solomon gain the insight he wrote out for his son?

God, of course.

2 Chronicles 1:11 KJV — And God said to Solomon, Because this was in thine heart, and thou hast not asked riches, wealth, or honour, nor the life of thine enemies, neither yet hast asked long life; but hast asked wisdom and knowledge for thyself, that thou mayest judge my people, over whom I have made thee king:

How did Solomon know what to ask for?

His father had shared God’s wisdom with him.

“When I was my father’s son, Tender and the only one in the sight of my mother. He also taught me, and said to me: ‘Let your heart retain my words; Keep my commands, and live. Get wisdom! Get understanding! Do not forget, nor turn away from the words of my mouth. Do not forsake her, and she will preserve you; Love her, and she will keep you. Wisdom is the principal thing; Therefore get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding. Exalt her, and she will promote you; She will bring you honor, when you embrace her. She will place on your head an ornament of grace; A crown of glory she will deliver to you.'”
Proverbs 4:3-9 NKJV

King David took the time to share what was valuable.

And thankfully so did King Solomon.

God’s Word is our guide and the life of both King David and King Solomon are examples of what happens when a person fears the Lord.

Both men made mistakes, but King David always repented and sought God’s forgiveness. He humbled himself before the Lord.

King Solomon, with all his wisdom and understanding did not always humble himself, nor did he always follow God.

His consequence for serving idols instead of the One True God was what sin always brings, destruction.

“Therefore the Lord said to Solomon, ‘Because you have done this, and have not kept My covenant and My statutes, which I have commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom away from you and give it to your servant.'”
I Kings 11:11 NKJV

His son, King Rehoboam, goes down in history as the one who ignored wisdom.

He turned his back on all the instruction his father and grandfather had set down and decided to be greedy instead. (2 Chronicles 10:13-15)

“The fear of the Lord  is to hate evil; Pride and arrogance and the evil way And the perverse mouth I hate.”
Proverbs 8:13 NKJV

He lost a huge portion of the kingdom and there were two nations instead of one.

How sad.

Yet, there’s opportunity even in this, to learn from King Rehoboam’s poor choices and King Solomon’s poor choices.

For those who are teachable, those who choose to apply the fear of the Lord will be blessed.

What a precious gift, to pass on such treasure to others.

What a privilege to learn wisdom from God’s Word.

May our hearts be eager to learn the fear of the Lord.

May our lives be filled with wisdom as we seek God in all things.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for wisdom, truth, and understanding. Lord You tell us that we have the answers to life in Your Word. Please open our hearts and minds to understanding. Please help us to pass on the truths of Your Word. Lord, it is in You that we find all that is good, honorable, noble, and just. Lord Your ways are perfect and we want to walk in them. Please help us to be teachable today. Thank You. Amen.

She finished them!

It’s a shame I didn’t think to get before pictures of most of the furniture.

With my husband’s vacation being cancelled, Anne was in more of a hurry to try and get these done.

But I can tell you, they needed work.

There was definitely a reason all of the pieces put together was $50.

The tall dresser was in the best shape, as the long dresser had water damage on top as well.

The night stand had three burn marks and water damage.

The bench had stains on the top and a really big black widow spider living inside.

(One of those moments when I moved faster than normal!)

It was definitely an opportunity.

Anne learned a lot about the joys of renovation.

She also got to add her own special touch by painting flowers on the different pieces and the knobs.

Through it all I prayed and praised God.

Because I really didn’t help her very much.

Monday and Tuesday I helped some, but by Wednesday she’d learned each step and took over.

When it came to painting the mirror she took her time and was super careful.

Last night, Tim and hubby carried the dressers upstairs.

The smaller pieces we did previously.

We all commented on how her hard work paid off.

I love that God gave Anne this project.

I love how the furniture looks.

I love that Anne has gained a skill along with confidence to try something new.

I love that she now has furniture to take with her, whenever and wherever God leads her as an adult.

God’s ways are always best.

I’ve needed to be reminded of that this week.

I’ve been reading the book of Job on my Bible app, but didn’t have it bookmarked in my Bible.

So, I knew it wasn’t a coincidence when my Bible fell open to Job 38 yesterday morning.

God’s words to Job were exactly what I needed to hear.

I had wanted to do this with Anne, every step of the way.

But that wasn’t what happened, because God knows best.

Yesterday, when Tim was asking about the project I honestly said, “No, I really didn’t help much. She did this.”

Instead of me working alongside her, it was Jesus.

As a mom, I find it difficult to let go.

I want to be with our children, no matter their age, to help, to encourage, to listen.

But that isn’t always what is best for them.

And God knows exactly what is.

I’m still learning how to let go and trust Him for each of our children.

And what a great reminder to that truth, these beautiful pieces of furniture that Anne and Jesus did.

Who has put wisdom in the mind? Or who has given understanding to the heart?
Job 38:36 NKJV

God did, and I’m praising Him for it!

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You so much for this opportunity. Thank You for teaching Anne how to do all these things. Thank You for giving her this opportunity not only to learn, but to stretch out into something new. Lord, please continue to guide and direct each of our children. Let their hearts be molded by You, that their lives might bring You glory. Lord, thank You for reminding me that Your ways are best. Thank You for teaching me another opportunity to let go. Please continue to speak into our hearts and minds. Please continue to bring us closer to You. I love You, Jesus. Amen.

Bubba and Faye

Being a Grammy has been more fun than I could ever have imagined.

My husband can tell you I’ve been looking forward to this for a long time.

As a teen I used to say, “I can’t wait to be that sweet grey-haired old lady who gives out cookies to kids.”

I’ve learned a great deal since my teen years about being an adult and dealing with children.

Parenthood taught me a lot and I’m still learning daily.

Now as a Grammy I’m learning more.

Proper boundaries are super important.

My husband and I value our daughter and son-in-law too much to purposely ignore their “do”s and”don’t”s.

We have enjoyed getting to watch them teach Faye things.

I’ve also enjoyed sharing moments with her as a Grammy.

Something we’ve done, since the weather has allowed, is go outside and pet the plants.

It might sound strange, but I wanted her to be safe.

Before she was old enough to understand this lesson, she got a handful of my potted indoor plant and jerked out a large section.

I didn’t mind the damage to the plant, but it brought to my attention the need for her to learn what is okay and not.

Since both her parents had taught her the word gentle and it’s meaning, I thought she’d be able to put it into practice in the garden.

After all, little people often put what is in their hands in their mouths and many plants are not for eating.

So, she went on many garden walks with me and knows how to handle the plants.

She gently touches them, sometimes over and over with her little fingers very carefully.

She has pulled a few blooms off now and again, but each time is another opportunity to instill in her how to touch without harm.

So, I was extra blessed when we got to see her with Bubba.

Her little hand reached out to explore this new sibling and her momma cautioned, “Gentle.”

Softly, like on a rose petal her hand touched her brother.

Then she let go.

All of us made all kinds of happy noise as her little pink lips placed a gentle kiss on him.

It was adorable!

I’m already praying for their relationship as brother and sister.

I pray they will love and support each other.

That they will look out for the other’s best interest.

That they will grow to be great friends.

Most importantly, that they will know Jesus and put their trust in Him.

That they will encourage one another in righteousness.

What a wonderful gift God gives when He blesses a family with a child!

Truly they are precious in the eyes of the Lord.

Psalm 127:3 KJV — Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.

Matthew 18:10 KJV — Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You so much for children. What an incredible blessing it is to be with them. Lord, often it can be difficult to know what to teach and what to let go of. Sometimes our own desires get in the way of hearing from You as to what is best. Please help our children be wonderful godly parents. Please help us to be parents of integrity, truth, and love. Lord, help us know how to support our children as they support the little ones. Please help us to not grow weary in doing good as we have fewer children at home. Please help us to finish well. Thank You so much for these blessings. May we honor You in all we do. Amen.

Holding on to faith

Since it was their anniversary, they asked us to babysit while they went on a date.

Of course, we love to babysit!

In one short year, our granddaughter has taught me so much.

Like, reliving life, from her perspective.

Holding her on my arm, while we stroll through the backyard, has been an opportunity to learn.

The two of us go around and pet all the plants.

We’ve done this since the veggie garden was put in.

She likes to feel the different textures and as long as I hold her, she feels safe exploring.

Which brings me such joy.

It encourages me spiritually, as well.

When her little arm is clinging to mine and her little face is smiling so contentedly, I think of God.

She feels safe and therefore is willing to reach out.

I want to hold on to Jesus like that.

To be so secure in His embrace that I’m willing to reach out when He leads me to.

These words of Jesus speak so clearly:

“Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.  Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”
Matthew 18:3‭-‬4 NKJV

If I hold tightly to my faith in the Lord Jesus, there is no room for fear.

It is only when I let go of the truths of scripture, the faithfulness of the Lord in my life, and the security of His salvation that I’m in danger.

When our granddaughter becomes frightened, her first reaction is to hold up her hands, her little eyes expressing her emotion and the security she’s seeking.

I want to be like that.

With each day, each moment, each phase of life.

Lifting my life before God Almighty, surrendering myself before His Sovereignty, and clinging to Him in faith.

Because I have seen the peace upon our granddaughter’s face when she secure in her Daddy’s arms.

And I know I can find the same in mine.

For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.”
Romans 8:15 NKJV

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You so much for making a way for all to be children of God. How great is Your love towards us that You would make us sons and daughters! Lord, please continue to hone my heart into Your way, teach me by Your truths. Make me a reflection of You. Thank You so much for loving me as Your child. Thank You for teaching me to hold on to faith. I love You, Jesus. Thank You. Amen.

Blue Jay

(Sorry, He wouldn’t hold still, so you get a blue flower!)

After two nights of bad dreams, I awoke this morning feeling panicked.

Instead of following my normal routine of prayer and Bible reading, I began searching the internet on my phone.

This lasted for a bit, when He spoke.

What are you doing?

stop.

“Lord, I have no idea. Please forgive me for allowing myself to be driven by fear.”

I closed the internet and opened my Bible.

Incline my heart to Your testimonies, And not to covetousness.
Psalms 119:36 NKJV

After spending more time in prayer, I got up and began my day.

Yet, I just couldn’t get past my poor choice this morning.

I’ve fought fear as long as I can remember.

I felt ashamed that I had walked in it for any length of time.

Because it’s an old foe.

In this case it took a familiar form.

Fear of the future driving me to make plans and secure items in case…

To have everything I might possibly need because the future is uncertain and I might not…

Piffle!

What utter nonsense!

Like I have any idea what is best?

Do I really have so little faith in God’s provision that I think I have to figure it all out?

The moment the Lord spoke I could see it all clearly as a lie which I’ve fallen into before.

And I was disgusted with myself.

But God is so faithful.

His mercy is broad.

After I confessed and repented, He brought me another reminder.

A blue jay.

I was opening the house and startled a fledgling who has been hanging out with his mom in our yard.

He clumsily flew to the vegetable garden.

As I watched him I remembered earlier this week.

I’d been near the fence, pulling a weed in the flower bed, when a loud sound caused me to look up.

There he was barely hanging on to the top.

From the sound of things, I gathered he’d hit the fence first and then managed to hang on instead of plummeting to the ground.

Of course I scared him badly and he lept into one of the trees.

The memory coupled with the fledgling hoping around the tomatoes helped me let go of my shame.

“Thank You, Lord. Sometimes, I’m going to hit the fence instead of land on it. Thank You for showing me that I’m really just a fledgling, still so much to learn.”

God wants to free us from sin, not burden us with shame, because we are sinners.

Of course we shouldn’t go overboard the opposite direction and think we can behave anyway we like either.

It’s a delicate balance.

And it takes walking with Jesus daily to remain on the narrow path.

Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.
Matthew 7:14 NKJV

With my errors and scrapes of late, I’m spending today seeking Him.

I’m so thankful He is shining His light into my heart, but I also want to be cleansed completely of anything else which might cause me to stumble.

And it takes time with Him to become clean, renewed, and taught.

Turn away my reproach which I dread, For Your judgments are good. Behold, I long for Your precepts; Revive me in Your righteousness. Let Your mercies come also to me, O Lord — Your salvation according to Your word.
Psalms 119:39‭-‬41 NKJV

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your mercy and grace. Thank You for forgiving me of my poor choice this morning. Lord Jesus, I choose to trust You alone, not put my hope in things or people or even times and seasons. Lord, You alone are worthy of all my praise and worship, I do not want to look to anything else. Thank You for teaching me and loving me always. Thank You for humbling my heart and making the truth clear. Only in You is there peace and security. I praise Your Holy name, Jesus! Amen.

Watercolor

I didn’t expect it.

It wasn’t really any plan of mine.

But one of the things which has changed with our move has been my way of homeschooling.

In prayer, I was asking the Lord how to bring in more enjoyable lessons so we would have a variety.

That’s when the Lord talked to me about Art and Science day.

We try to do it once a month.

We began with watercolor because it’s what I had on hand.

I wasn’t expecting it to be such a hit.

But I’m so glad it is.

Our Anne has been painting in her free time.

It has been such a joy to watch!

Saturday, I was able to purchase her some better brushes and watercolor paper.

Yesterday, we both enjoyed watching a video watercolor lesson and creating our own pictures.

It’s been a two fold blessing.

First and foremost, I’m thrilled to watch our daughter learn and enjoy something new, something creative, something she enjoys.

But I’ve also been surprised by God’s love and His understanding.

As a child all I wanted to do was art in school.

I loved it.

I would sign up for Art class any chance I got.

But adulthood pushed that joy of creating into other forms.

Holding a baby in one arm makes painting very difficult.

So, I’ve scrap booked, I’ve made my own cards, I’ve sewed, and sometimes I have drawn.

My best creative outlet has been crocheting.

Rarely, even when teaching my kids or a class have I painted.

But it’s been good.

These have been wonderful years and I wouldn’t exchange any of the things the Lord has brought into my life.

Yet, He has never forgotten my love of creating in this way, even though I had.

It’s just another beautiful example of how good, how loving God truly is.

Praise the Lord!

An opportunity to change

Throughout my journey as a home school parent I’ve wanted to teach our children a variety.

Math facts and reading fluency are super important.

Yet, the human mind and heart need more.
Just like our bodies need more than meat and potatoes.

It’s with this in mind, I’ve tried to find ways to engage our children.

Friday was one of those days.

I wanted to do something different.

We began with a simple lesson in Watercolor painting.

Later, we moved into dissection.

(Anne decided it wasn’t too horrible after all.)

The school day ended with me reading aloud from a novel.

I have read this book aloud every Christmas season for years.

Yes, we could have done another Math drill or Phonics or Editing practice.

No, we won’t be able to schedule this kind of extra day every week.

Yes, it was lovely.

A chance to change our schedule.

An opportunity to allow learning in a different format.

It’s not such a priority that it will usurp the every school day schedule often.

However, it was a welcome change.

And it helped me to appreciate the Lord even more.

With the vast array of wonders all around us.

What better way to bring praise to our hearts than to stop and learn about something God has made?

While showing our children pictures in Watercolor by John James Audubon, I was reminded of the amazing creatures he captured with ink and brush.

Each beautiful feather, bill, and beak a master piece, done by the Master.

As I watched the kids learn how to apply pigment and water in different amounts to paper, I was reminded that the creativity inside each person is simply a reflection of the Creator.

Although dissection isn’t something I want to do often, it’s incredible how the Lord put a small worm together.

How it breathes through it’s skin is amazing.

The tiny organs which each function to provide the worm with all it needs to survive are incredible.

All of these details hidden under our feet.

Yes, God’s fingerprints are evident.

And lastly, the joy in hearing a story they’ve heard many times, points back to the Greatest story every told.

The birth, life, death, and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ is the thread which holds our lives together.

If Jesus hadn’t saved me, my priorities would be vastly different.

If God had not provided so many resources, I’d not even be aware of all I am trying to teach.

If Jesus and His salvation were unknown to me, I’d not be pouring so much effort into passing on the knowledge nor of training our children to do the same.

But He has saved me.

He has provided for me and is continuing to teach and train me.

He is the most important knowledge I can ever learn about or pass on.

Jesus is the truth.

What a blessing!

Moments

Anne has been doing more baking.

I love it!

For so many reasons.

The biggest one, no not so I can eat it, but it’s a definite plus, is what it gives her.

She is the 3rd daughter and I have often noticed it’s tough for her to feel she has any giftings.

How easy it is to look at others’ gifts and miss our own.

Baking is a chance for Anne to shine in a gift God has given.

And it has been a moment of learning for me.

I’m not helping.

Frankly, I can’t.

My body has simply not allowed me to.

It has been a lesson for both of us.

Anne is learning to try on her own.

She’s working without help.

I’m learning to trust God to teach her through the process.

I’m learning to let go of my ideals on motherhood.

Because as a Mom, I keep thinking I am the one who guides and directs.

I am learning to rest in God’s instead.

How much better to allow the Lord to teach and train?

To know when to speak and when to be silent.

To know when to lend a helping hand and when to step back.

To know that ultimately Jesus loved them first and will always love them most.

I am so thankful for these moments.

How Great is the Lord God!

May His glory fill the earth.

It’s a test.

“It’s a test.”

“I know, but it makes no sense!”

Frustration was in every fold, each line and feature.

“It’s a test.

Child, jaw tight, pencil in a choke-hold, lip quivering…

“Take a deep breath. Try to calm down. Just do your best.”

My heart ached.

I want to help, but giving the answers doesn’t show what the child knows.

A test is to help both child and adult see what has been learned and what needs to be taught again.

For me,

I know God is well aware of what I know.

The test is to show me what I still need to learn.

Nope.

It isn’t fun.

Yep.

I have been the frustrated child on more than one occasion.

But just like my heart aches for the youngster, God’s heart is even more compassionate.

Yet He loves me enough to teach me, to show me where I’m lacking, to bring to my awareness a lesson which needs review or a weakness in an application.

And tests teach trust.

I know God is testing me, but He’s also teaching me.

He’s right beside me.

He’s reminding me of what I’ve already learned, what I already know, and

He’s promising to continue my education.

There’s always more to learn about Him, myself, those around me, and life.

And whether I realize I’m in a test or not I can praise God for Who He is.

“Praise You Lord! What an incredible teacher You are.”