Monday, August 11, 2014

Teach Them Well


This is in response to some questions that came my way on Facebook, after mentioning verse memorization and having a desire to immerse my children into the Word of God in coming months and years.

Our verse memory used to be Awana. We no longer participate in Awana, so with the start of school we began memorizing Proverbs 3.

Three verses in however, I found John Piper's Fighter Verses System, and I'll be ordering that soon for our family.

Not only do I love that it's 5 years worth of verses, I love the memorization system that it uses---the same system we are using for poetry in our EIW course for school. It's a tried and true way of getting things to stick. (I'll describe that more, at the end of this) I also love that like Awana, our children can earn visuals to show how many verses they've learned. They also have music CD's with the verses, charts to keep track of the memorization process, and even posters that can be printed out. It's an awesome system!

To help us memorize, I have a dry erase board in our school room with the week's verse on it, plus a dry erase board in our dining room. This keeps it always in view. We simply repeat the verse many times a day together and when we're taking walks or driving in the car, we see if we can remember it. :)


For devotions. I've been doing them at night but if we're out late or get to bed late, we often miss devotions. So I'm going to take a friend's idea and try doing them during our morning snack time this week. Maybe we can find more consistency that way. 


I LOVE Leading Little Ones to God. It's old school (I grew up with it) but it's solid. I return to it again and again. 


The Jesus Storybook Bible is what we use with Mason right now. I can not speak highly enough of this Bible storybook. It even grips MY heart. 


We have also enjoyed The Gospel Story Bible and recently I received a copy of the first of two accompanying devotionals with it, Long Story Short (This is the OT based devotional. The NT devotional is Old Story New
I also recently discovered the Children Desiring God website and am intrigued to go through those devotionals too, in the future. They will probably be our summer Bible, when we are  done with our school year Bible Curriculum which is Bob Jones Bible, a Protestant based Bible curriculum with catechism--again, something I can not speak highly enough of!


Lastly, another great resource for older children is the Precepts Bible studies for kids. I tried it with Mira but she was a bit too young. It's pretty deep! I love that fact, I just need to wait a bit before she can fully grasp it. :) 


So in answer as to how we immerse our children in God and His Word.
1. We memorize Scripture
2. We use BJU Bible as one of our core subjects in school, giving it as much emphases as reading or math, etc. 
3. We recite the Q&A catechism that comes with the BJU curriculum (and we've only memorized a very small portion of it so far!)
4. We do daily devotions. 


And I am always, ALWAYS conscious, that while the head knowledge is crucial as a foundation to them being servant warriors for Jesus as adults, it's the HEART relationship that is even more vital. Head knowledge can breed legalism. I had much head knowledge growing up but it wasn't until my late 20's that it started to become relationship. 


So it is my constant prayer that I LIVE what I teach them--that I see every opportunity to relate what we are learning logically, with our hearts, to a life situation---that I guide them in seeing God and His hand in our lives, whether it's a tragedy or just the beauty of nature---that we talk to God as easily as we talk to each other, whether to praise Him or to ask Him for something as simple as finding keys---that our knowledge does not make us self-righteous but instead, gives us broken hearts for the world around us and that we take that with us to Wal*mart or church in the park, or painting fire hydrants for the community, or harvesting potatoes in the Fall for CHOW, or opening up our home to children who need a place of love and family. 


My prayer is not that they can recite hundred of verses and have a Protestant based catechism memorized but that they LIVE a RELATIONSHIP WITH Jesus and that spills out into a life of LOVE.

PS: As far as the memorization system, we're combining both Desiring God's prompts, as well as our EIW system for memorizing classic poetry. 

Example:
Week 1, Verse 1
Week 2, Verse 2.   Now begin reviewing verse 1, for the next remaining 23 days, for a total of 30 days review.
Week 3, Verse 3.   Review Verse 1, 2.  Now Verse 1 has 16 days left of review, and Verse 2 has 23 days left of review.
Week 4, Verse 4.   Review Verses 1, 2, and 3. Verse 1 now has 9 days left of review, Verse 2 has 16 days, Verse 3 has 23 days left
Week 5, Verse 5.   Review Verses 1, 2, 3, and 4. Verse 1 now has 2 days left, Verse 2 has 9 days, Verse 3 has 16 days, Verse 4 has 23 days left. 
Week 6, Vese 6.    Continue with the daily review of Verses 2, 3, 4, and now 5. 

Now switch the review of Verse 1, to every 2 days, for the next 30 days (this is where a chart is helpful. I have one I can try to copy and scan for an example, for anyone that might be interested in what it looks like. It came with out EIW curriculum.

Continue reviewing the other verses daily until the days end.

As each verse ends a daily review, switch to a review of it, every 2 days, alternating them, for the next 30 days. There will be several review verses a day with this method. Again, the chart I have is very helpful for this.  

Once all verses have been reviewed every 2 days for 30 days, then review them every 3 days for 30 days. I have a chart to track this too.

Once the three review methods have been done after the initial memorization, they should be solidified in the memory.  Hope this is helpful! :) 

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Thursday, October 17, 2013

Quiet Ponderings

I can't imagine not writing. . .

      but right now, I can't imagine writing.

My life is so incredibly rich and full right now, as well as bursting with the anticipation of our coming children as we near ever closer to finishing our certification and dwelling in order to bring them home. . . 

and there are glorious Fall days and the delight of learning and sharing that with my little loves and soaking them in as they are flying through this growing up process, and sitting and holding Handsome's hand at night as we just talk and just be, and friendly chickens that think we're all that and more when they come for cuddles, and the very satisfying outdoor work of Fall before the blowing snow flies, and oh, the richness of friendships that keep my phone busy with calls and texts every day, all day. . . 

and as a result, my writing is on the shelf.

I'll be back. 

For I have to write.

But sometimes the writing dries up and the only way to get the spring flowing again is to take an extended break.

Kind of like running I've found. Sometimes I lose the motivation. But then I go 3 days or 4 days and I am writhing in my skin wanting to hit pavement. I figure it will be that way with writing. Only it will be longer than 3 or 4 days. It could be that many weeks, or that many months. And maybe it will even push a year.

Who knows.

I'm just going with it.

Which is a big deal. Because I'm a Type A who doesn't just typically "go with it".

But I look at the computer sometimes, as I head out the door with the kids or as I'm playing with my camera or I'm fiddling with some other thing of delight and I send up a prayer asking, "Should I be writing?!"

and He---the Author who guides my hands into words---just smiles in a way my heart feels all the way to the inner depth and says, "There is a time for everything. . . and right now, this is your time for silence and storing up the beauty that is your life, within your heart, and preparation and the very slow, gradual unfolding into a new chapter of the life calling you were created to fulfill---and pondering it all privately like Mary did as it comes forth. Sometimes you must share to encourage others. And sometimes, things are kept in the secret place between you and I, hidden, and yielding a deeper intimacy than ever known before--for the over-flowing time when you once again emerge at My beckoning to share your heart with others so that I may receive the glory."

And I say, "So when will I return? Will I return!?"

And still smiling into my heart I sense Him say, "You'll know when, because you know My voice and My prompting. . . until then. . . enjoy the beauty of your hidden valley life as wife and Mama."

And so I am and I will, and when the time is right I'll be back to share from the newly filled and spilling over storehouse treasures of my heart that this time of solitude in my hidden valley
(which just happens to be up on a hill ;),
has yielded within my heart.

Until then,

Sweet blessings and
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Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Trusting

The gift
    Carrying the unseen
             sacrifice that wrings the heart
   into a million pieces
      because of all it represents
   and symbolizes.

Reaching into a pool
   of love deeper than
     the heart is capable of giving
         alone
            in it's own strength.
A pool that begins
          as a stream
    at the foot of
A Cross. 

Tears fall in abundance
    as the open hands
       represent the open, surrendered heart
crying out,
    "Your glory, True Love,
          Your glory!
Not my will. . . Yours!"

Asking for the experience of
    True Love in exchange for every offer,
         and an overflow of His heart,
               that sweeps
   away the broken pieces of the selfish,
self-protective heart
    longing for the guarantee
             of no ache,
                    no loss,
    but brokenly willing
              to learn the contentment
         from the yield of Love Himself
               even as the all of self
                    is emptied out
      and
         has nothing left.
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Monday, September 30, 2013

Do it for God's Glory

AHHHHHH!!!!  What do I eat!?!?!? What is the right way? I am so confused and turmoiled and I don't know what's right and what's wrong!

This has been me. And it's been some of my friends as we say it to each other, and try to muddle our way through caring for our bodies and doing what's best for our children and doing it all in light of a budget and financial stewardship and oh, time too, because healthy eating just plain takes time most days. Juicing? Smoothies? Making your own healthier option snacks? Home style meals instead of out-of-the-box?
Time, time, and more time. 

Healthy eating can bring nothing but confusion and frustration and even guilt and shame when we don't feel we are doing it right, or worse, can't do it "right".

So what do we do?
Give it up all together?
Read more?
Try harder?
Or find a balance using Scripture as our reference?

As I wrote a friend on Facebook the other day, who was expressing this very place I've been so many, many times before, in the past few years:

Oh my, this has been such a struggle of mine until a few months ago, when I quit researching so much, and started praying for guidance instead.
Before I started praying, I was freaking out with "this is good but this is bad---oh wait, this is bad but this is good after all! What way do we eat!?!?!?!?"
The ways to eat---GAPS, Paleo, vegetarian. . . they, and the books with them, were throwing me into tailspins of obsession and confusion -- until I decided to start asking Him to show me the right way.

We ate at Burger King on the fly Tuesday. I didn't freak out like I once would have, at the hormones and potential "pink slime" we were ingesting as we ate our meat. Like you said, God is in in control.
Yet, back home again, we had a nice healthy supper of wholesome foods that I had been able to afford during my latest grocery trip. And I gave thanks for both meals that were provided---BK and the whole food one -- and I also gave praise that God is Lord of our lives on this earth that isn't the Eden ideal and that we have the hope of perfected bodies in heaven, as we struggle to do our best here.

I literally have started praying before I menu plan and praying before I grocery shop, and even during my shopping. Last week---I bought some Applewood organic lunch meat because it was on sale (!!! LOVE that!) but then, the steaks I knew my husband would love for a weekend treat, I couldn't afford organic---heck I can barely afford regular---so I bought non-organic steaks.

This all can become a spiritual walk that pushes you closer to your Father, instead of a whirl of confusion, if you let it push you to prayer for direction. This is something that I've learned in the past year, am still learning, and finding great freedom as a result.

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Saturday, September 28, 2013

Work Out Update

Because a few are actually interested. . .

Before I left for parts unknown, to do respite for my cousin, the satisfaction for the current fitness level, was soaring. While not where I wanted to be by August of this year, per the "Fitness Goals" paper near my desk, I at least felt more there, than ever before in my 38 years.

Then I left town. And I moved into the role of sole caretaker for 8 days, balanced with two children who quickly grew homesick and bored. As a result of both exhaustion, as well as no other adult around to give me some alone time each day, working-out bit the dust.

It stayed in the dust in the two weeks following, once at home.

So much to catch up on!

Finally, back at it these past two weeks. And at the start, came the harsh reality check of how missing "just" one month's worth of working-out can put a person ten steps back.
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Friday, September 27, 2013

This boy



I find myself in tears. Broken by the failure.  Flooded with emotions I hate and despite.

This boy. 
This. Boy. 

Saturday, this boy, was "that" child in the stores. 
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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Disclaimer


Welcome
and
Disclaimer:


While this is stated on the blog purpose page, it is also an important enough disclaimer for me to feel a need to give this it's own special place, especially because of the kind words of those who visit and state that they enjoy this blog.

I am a stay-at-home-wife and mother, busy with home educating my children, doing daycare, and preparing our church-turned-home to embrace special needs and terminally ill children in need of a forever family.
These "Hidden Valley" ministries are my first, and top, priority.
 
While the passions that drive this blog are a close second, they are exactly that --- a second. And so, there may be periods of time where no new posts appear.
 
Rather than take your time to check in every day, the best way to be aware of when I do post, is to either subscribe by email, like the Facebook page, or subscribe via a reader of your choice. (Links found at the bottom of the page) These will notify you when a new post has made it's appearance. (NOTE: Facebook settings much be adjusted on Facebook for this to appear on your newsfeed.)
 
If the blog is quiet, it hasn't been abandoned. Instead, my first ministries have taken up all the time God allots me each day. I'll return as soon as I can, for I can't imagine a life without writing, sharing what God shows me in this Hidden Valley I dwell in, in order to encourage others, and of course, playing with photography and by doing so, share the beauty that is my life.
 
Thank you for visiting.
I pray you are blessed somehow, someway a a result of being here.


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Monday, September 23, 2013

All Natural Living | Post 12

It's been awhile. :)

Even with a trip out of town, we kept up pretty well with our natural living goals. I was very happy. Usually trips result in everything going to seed and we have to start all over again.

Of course, there were more sugary treats than usual, especially for the kids, as relatives offered them to them. But we stayed on course better than we ever have before in situations like that and have slowly detoxed the yuck and are back on course as of (finally) grocery shopping yesterday. My counter is laden with fruit, so is my fridge, and the Vitamix has been dusted off, ready for an afternoon smoothie.

As we've progressed, Phase I and II have blended in with each other.
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Thursday, September 19, 2013

It's been awhile
Take a picture every hour and show us what a day in your life is like.
Taken with the cell phone. 
READ: poor image quality. 


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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

In the Dirt, on Our Knees



Sometimes church is dirty.

It's getting on your knees and digging in newly turned dirt and mud in a field and the back aches and drizzle soaks and chills and it's working alongside strangers who don't know your Jesus but you hope they are meeting Him because you're beside them.
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Welcome
and
Disclaimer:


While this is stated on the blog purpose page, it is also an important enough disclaimer for me to feel a need to place on this front page for first-time visitors.
I am a stay-at-home-wife and mother, busy with home educating my children, doing daycare, and preparing our church-turned-home to embrace special needs and terminally ill children in need of a forever family.
These "Hidden Valley Ministries" are my first and top priority.
While the passions that drive this blog are a close second, they are exactly that --- a second. And so, there may be periods of time where no new posts appear.
Rather than take your time to check in every day, the best way to be aware of when I do post, is to either subscribe by email, like the Facebook page, or subscribe via a reader of your choice. (Links found at the bottom of the page) These will notify you when a new post has made it's appearance. (NOTE: Facebook settings much be adjusted on Facebook for this to appear on your newsfeed.)
If the blog is quiet, it hasn't been abandoned. Instead,my first ministries have taken the time God allots me each day. I'll return as soon as I can, for I can't imagine a life without writing, sharing what God shows me in this Hidden Valley I dwell in, in order to encourage others, and of course, playing with photography and by doing so, share the beauty that is my life.
Thank you for visiting.
I pray you are blessed somehow, someway a a result of being here.