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Royalty, Wife, Mummy, friend, teacher, student & fitness blogger

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Godly parenting

HS Day 592 – The end of an awesome journey

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& so begins my catch up blogs… I have been very lax in getting my thoughts down ‘on paper’ in the last few months, but in my defence, there has been a lot going on.  Hence the several posts that will follow this one.  So, get a cuppa, find a comfy chair, and put the kids in front of a suitably awesome PG movie so you’ll have a good hour and a half of peace and solitude.

During 2016, I started to have lots of things about a local state high school come across my radar, whether it be in person with a friend, a FaceBook post, something in the local paper etc etc.  I didn’t think too much of these things coming up as we do know quite a few kids that go to this school, so I was really encouraged to hear these positive things about a school that years back had quite a bad rep.  It was encouraging to also find out that young adults from our church were heavily involved in chaplaincy programs there.

As more and more things kept pooping up on my ‘radar’, I began to seek The Lord on these issues, originally simply asking why it kept popping up, and then I began asking what it meant (if anything) for our family.  I strongly felt lead to begin looking into the school itself, made a few calls, met with a few parents of kids there.  (Does this sound at all familiar to the beginning of our HS journey ??  ha ha)

As I have each of the 3yrs we’ve been a HS family, I would ask the kids around the time of the September school hols if they are happy to continue with Distance Education at home, if they’d like to return to mainstream school  (I never wanted to be a HS Mum that MAKES her children stay at home.)  Master 11 had had a particularly rough school year, part of this was because he had some serious eye issues, needing 2 surgeries in July & Nov, but mostly because his older siblings had moved onto online DE curriculum, while he remained on the ACE paces.  Compared to what they were doing, his looked boring, uninteresting and without end.  Now, a quick disclaimer here… I am in no way bagging out the ACE Curriculum as I think it’s great !!  I’m simply relaying HIS feelings about it.  We know a good dozen or so adults who went through their education with predominantly, if not all, ACE curriculum, and they went straight into Uni and onto successful careers.   2 of them are teachers at the local Christian school. So it would seem ridiculous to not see the ACE curriculum for what it is, a full & comprehensive educational material.

So, I wasn’t at all surprised that Master 11 was the first to put his hand up… and rather quickly at that.  There were some health issues to deal with first though, but that’s for another blog post.

Master 14 was quietly interested in the idea, but wasn’t at all committed to the decision until a good two months later.  Miss 15 was barely interested at all.  I was fine with that as I was only going to do what was best for each child.   If that meant one back at school and two still at home, that was fine with me.

We went along to our first meeting with the school guidance counsellor.  DH wasn’t able to attend, so I dear friend of mine came along, which I was very grateful for.  To get her thoughts and opinion on the school, the staff, their practises etc etc was a blessing beyond measure !!  Coz, guess what… sadly, some people are so willing to paint a negative light on a decision you are considering… whether it be to homeschool, return to school, sell your house, have a baby (I’m not), follow the Lord’s leading in changing churches, etc etc etc.  With this in mind, it’s always GREAT to have a good Godly friend to walk alongside you.  Their wisdom will help you through the fog of negativity and/or confusion !! Even better.. (if you’ve read my previous post re getting yourself into a Lioness Pride, you’ll see this coming), have yourself a PRIDE of warrior sisters…. it’ll help you so much in any decision making process, as well as just life in general !!

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We headed home from the school that day with the enrolment forms (and copious amount of other forms etc) with 2 children completely on board with going back to school.  Master 14 was now quite excited about it, which would end up building up to an almost annoying excitement which involved a comment nearly every day that went something like “Why do we need school holidays? Why can’t we do back to school now?”  I simply said to him that the many students that have been in mainstream school all year would strongly disagree with him.

Miss 15 was getting more and more interested in going back to school, but still had concerns about the distraction element.  She loves that she can work uninterrupted and without having to deal with break time social dramas.    She eventually made the decision to go back to school, knowing that she needs to be very conscious of making good friendship choices and also have good time management skills.  She sadly decided to not continue dance in 2017 in order to be able to knuckle down to her schoolwork.  I’m not really sure how I feel about this decision as for one thing, she’s very good at it, and two, we all need an outlet to keep us balanced.   I’m hoping the walk to and from school each day will be enough physical activity in the beginning, and maybe once she’s found her rhythm, she’ll also find time for another interest etc.  Having said all that, YAY for her commitment to her long-term goal of being a Paediatric Nurse !!

Now, speaking of walking to school… that in itself was another clink in the chain towards going back to school.  To walk to this school from where we live now would be approx 45mins, if not more.  While we do have a school bus stop right at the top of our street, I wasn’t keen on the kids getting the bus.  This is more about me being far away from the school if I was needed for some reason, then me having any issue with them getting the school bus.  So began the more intense hunt for a house close to the school and the shops (for me as I don’t drive, and for the kids to get to work.)  We had already been looking around at houses for months, as well as slowly prepping our house for sale, as we wanted to downsize, so it was simply intensified.

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We had almost given up finding anything when this lovely home became available.  It was super close to the shops and school.  We went through the motions, but sadly those motions included finding a nice termite infestation in the walls of this lovely home.  While it was super upsetting at the time, it became apparent that God had His hand over the whole thing all along, as just as this contact went belly up, an even greater house came on the market. It is a little further from the shops and school, but still very walkable, and all in all is a much more suitable home for us.

Our house went on the market as soon as we’d signed on the first home we found (the bug eaten one), but as yet we haven’t had a buyer put in an offer.  Lots of interest though, so that is promising.  I would have loved to have moved by start of school but even if we can’t, we know that God has it all worked out and we trust in His plans !!!!

While all this was going on, we continued with our interviews at the school, as each child needed a seperate enrolment interview with their respective year level HOD.  All 3 of the kids were getting really excited about going back to school, while Mum was a little (ok, a lot) teary at the idea of sending them off each day and not having them at home.  We bought uniforms and ticked all relevant boxes for what needed to be done prior to commencing school. (well, except for stationary supplies… I’m still to do that job.)

Master 11, going into High school, was able to attend a ‘High school for a day’ orientation.  It involved an assembly/sorting of classes and a tour of the school, both of which parents came along to.  Once those were done, the parents headed home and our little grade 7s were left to finish their full day at school.  At the end of the day, there was much excitement about new friends, new teachers and new routines.  He was a little anxious about knowing where he needed to be and when, but I assured him he’ll pick it up in the first week.

Master 14 had been beyond pleased with the subject selection he had access to.  He seriously was blown away by the subjects he had available to him.  (Hence his daily excitement and anticipation to return to school.) Each of the kids know people in their respective year level, so none of them are heading back to school with any nervousness re friendships.  I think this is a HUGE blessing for them heading into a new school !!

Also, personally knowing the President of the P & C has set this Mumma’s concerns to rest.  Being a Christian family heading into a secular school, I have my concerns if I let my mind run away with them… but The Lord has constantly been laying on my heart we are to be Salt & Light to the world.  This has also been a talking point with all 3 kids, that they are going into this school as a follower of Christ. They have a responsibility that needs to be taken seriously.  I’m so pleased to be able to have confidence that all 3 have taken this onboard.

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There are such exciting times ahead !!!  Still some uncertainty with our house not being sold etc, but as I’ve already said, we TRUST in the will of The Lord !!!

Here is a  couple of verses that have been particularly helpful to me thoughout this time

Psalm 77:19  – Your road led by a pathway through the sea – a pathway no-one knew was there.

& of course…… Proverbs 3 Trust in The Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him and will make your paths straight. 

And so…..  Day 592 was our last day as a Homeschooling family.  This day was sad in lots of ways, but also very exciting. We have learnt so so much in these 3yrs being together basically full-time !!  We haven’t always gotten it right.. and we still have so much to learn about ourselves and each other, but while our schooling situation may be changing, our TEACHER has not !!!  We continue to lean on HIS teachings, and strive to live by HIS ways.

Blessing Peeps !!  xox

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Awaken, sleeping Lionesses

“If ever there comes a time when the women of the world can come together, purely and simply for the benefit of mankind.. it will be a force such as the world has never known.”  Matthew Arnold,  British Poet & Philosopher.

(Matthew Arnold (24 December 1822 – 15 April 1888) was an English poet and cultural critic who worked as an inspector of schools. He was the son of Thomas Arnold, the famed headmaster of Rugby School, and brother to both Tom Arnold, literary professor, and William Arnold, novelist and colonial administrator. Matthew Arnold has been characterised as a sage writer, a type of writer who chastises and instructs the reader on contemporary social issues.)

I included that little bit of basic info on Matthew Arnold to make the point that I think he was in a very good position to have made the above statement.  And it quite frankly blows me away to think that he made that comment well over 150yrs ago.  I must say that I do tend to think that we’re predominantly in the mess we’re in since the 1960 or 70’s, as I use the rationale that when my parents grew up, there was far more respect shown to adults/elders/those in authority than there is now.  There was more modest dress, stronger family bonds & commitments, and just more consideration shown for others across the board.  So, with this in mind, it’s interesting to read his statement and note how long ago he would have made it.  Clearly, a very intuitive man.  G. W. E. Russell wrote of Arnold, “He is a man of the world entirely free from worldliness.”

This statement by Matthew Arnold has been quoted by Lisa Bevere at the beginning of her messages since beginning her ‘Lioness Arising’ teachings in 2009.

I went through the Lioness Arising teaching series in January 2012 with the lovely ladies from LifeHouse church.  I found it to be such an informative and enlightening teaching, but it’s very interesting to reflect on how I’ve continued to learn from it in these 4yrs between, and I imagine I will continue to learn from it going forward also.

The cover of the book says ‘Lioness Arising… Wake up and change your world”.  Well, wake up I certainly did that year and I’ve never looked back.

Chapter one of the Safari guide (the workbook that goes alongside the book & message series) begins with these words, “Welcome to the pride, my lovely Lioness sister.”  Now, this right here was an eye-opener for me in that lounge room that night in Jan 2012, surrounded by 12-14 relatively new friends as I’d only joined the church the previous October.  Those beautiful women became my pride for the next 3yrs and I learnt so much with and from them.  God had further plans for our family, leading us away from LIfeHouse and to the church family we now call HOME!  As a result, I have a different ‘pride’ now.  The eye-opening point though had little to do with the small group that is your pride, but realising that we, as women of God, are all in the one pride.   We support each other in our day to day within our smaller ‘prides’, but as a whole, we support the entire pride in prayer also.

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My pride today is stunning… stunning and dangerously wide awake !!  To say I love them and are grateful to do life with them is a huge understatement.   What’s fascinating about our pride is that all five of us have known each other for years…  approx 13yrs is the longest I’ve known one of my Lioness sisters, but some are a little longer, and some a little shorter.  We haven’t always been this pride…. it’s actually come together in solidarity just this year.  In these many years leading up, there’s been weddings (actually, just one, mine.  LOL), pregnancies, miscarriages, births, dedications, relationship tensions, job changes, many a school activity or awards night, family tragedy, mind-blowing blessings, and so so much more.  It continues to amaze me that God’s timing is ALWAYS spot on !  We’ve all known each other for a good amount of years, and have always gotten along, but God has seen fit to bring us together as a pride for THIS time in our lives.  All of us are riding through something at present, whether it be health, relationship, parenting, or something else.. and we’re all there for each other and in most cases can well relate to our Lioness sister’s struggles.

Another thing the 5 of us have in common… we all have a Lioness cub that has been entrusted to our care.

When someone has been given much, much will be required in return, and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required.  Luke 12:48 NLt

Our ‘cubs’ range from 10yrs up to nearly 16 (so yes, we need prayer right now peeps.. ha ha).  There is so so much to be aware of when parenting a daughter and I know it’s been said time and time again, but seriously, the biggest keys are being in a Godly marriage (don’t worry if you’re a single Mum, or your husband isn’t walking with The Lord as in those situations, The Lord is the other parent when needed) The Word of God, and having open communication with your daughter.  The next biggest asset after those is being in a Pride of fellow Lionesses also mothering a cub.

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It’s so important to instil into our girls that while they have no choice but to be IN the world, they most certainly don’t need to be OF the world.  This can be crazy hard with the influence of tv, movies, magazines, books, music lyrics & videos etc etc.  To give an example, my daughter is 15, is homeschooled, goes to dance once a week, attends a life-group with girls her age at our church, and attends youth group and church on the weekends.  She also works part-time at a coffee shop twice a week.  Now, while she is free from a huge amount of negative influences that she used to be greatly effected by when she was in mainstream school, she still comes in contact with those of different beliefs, moral standards etc etc and needs to know how to respond in those situations.  Recently there was a situation at her workplace where someone was upset and resigned.  What followed was very adult conversation topics, bad language and a lack of consideration shown by some in the situation.  I need to know that I am doing the absolute best job to equip Miss 15 to best handle herself in these situations.  I’m pleased to say that she did very well, recognising where it would have been easy to slip into the gossiping with others, but refrained from it.  #proudmummamoment .  We can tend to think that if we just have our girls in youth group/life group at our church, all will be fine, or at least better than ‘out there in the world’.  This quite often isn’t the place.  Probably better, yes, but not smooth sailing by any stretch of the imagination.  Youth group and life group usually involves community kids, so therefore worldly issues, swearing, lower moral standards etc etc.  While we would love to just keep our daughters from these, they need to experience them in these years in order to learn and effectively navigate the big world when they in fact delve into it themselves, whether that be via University, the workplace, or social settings.  Not to mention… how are we to save the lost if we don’t interact with those not walking with The Lord.

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You know another important thing to do with your Lioness sisters….. LAUGH…. Laugh until your stomach and sides ache !!  I’m pleased to say that we satisfy this unwritten pride prerequisite quite well….  especially with this one here….  Oh my goodness we laugh a LOT !!  If I’m a little down, my DH will say to me.. “You need a get together with your bestie… go belly laugh together like you always do.” :0)

Through not only the benefit of laughter, but also friendship and prayer support, we are able to journey together in our walk with The Lord, becoming best equipped to help others.  As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.  Proverbs 27:17

In her book ‘Lioness Arising’, Lisa Bevere writes..  We live in a world filled with ever-increasing opportunities.  We are not limited like our sisters in the 1800s.  We have the ability to stretch forth and reach out to others to do this well.  We must look back and ahead.

 

In Luke 4:18-19 we read God’s Spirit is on me, he’s chosen me to preach the Message of good news to the poor, sent me to announce pardon to prisoners and recovery of sight to the blind, to set the burdened and battered free, to announce, “This is God’s year to act!”   In my humble opinion, to most effectively do this, we women NEED to be in a fully awakened and dangerous pride.

To be able to confidently know not only that I would state the following, but my fellow Lionesses would too…  So now I will attack you like a lion, like a leopard that lurks along the road.  Like a bear whose cubs have been taken away.  I will tear out your heart.  I will devour you like a hungry lioness and mangle you like a wild animal.  Hosea 13:7-8 NLT.  So, who didn’t know that stuff like that was in the bible??  ha ha !!

There is so much we need to shield and protect our daughters from in this current day, but at the same time, prepare them for when they go out into the world and encounter those same things.  Matthew 10:16 says Stay alert. This is hazardous work I’m assigning you.  You’re going to be like sheep running through a wolf pack, so don’t call attention to yourselves.  Be as cunning as a snake, un-offensive as a dove.  

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Take this beauty on the right here….  Doesn’t she look all gorgeous, sweet and lovely??  well, she totally is :0)… but she’s also one of the fiercest prayer warriors I know, and she can be counted on to go to war for one of her Lioness Sisters at a moments notice if needed.

There is so so much more I could include in this blog, but the best I can do is suggest that if you haven’t read Lioness arising, or done the study within a group, GET ONTO IT GIRLFRIEND !!!  There’s simply too much at stake in our world right now, far too many sleeping Lionesses who need to be awakened.  We need to be Proverbs 31:10-31 women, standing by our men, honouring them so they in turn can be equiped to do their part in The Kingdom.  But as we all know, marriage is tough…  so we need our Pride in order to stay strong, weather storms, and not buy into the ways of the world.   I can personally testify to the fact that if you are surrounded by like minded, Godly women as your close friends and support system, your marriage is 1000% better.

I’ll finish with a list of Prayers Roars from the Lioness Arising Safari Guide.  Why not make it a new nightly routine to declare one of these.  I’ll include 7 so that you have one for each day of the week.  These really will set you on a fantastic path to discovering what you actually have in your hand, and how effective you can be in & for the Kingdom.

  1.  I realise I have the potential to be a living, breathing solution to human problems.  Lord, lead me as I embark on this journey !!
  2. I am ready to give expression to lovely, virtuous, capable, inoffensive, cunning, harmless, shrewd, trustworthy, faithful lioness daughters who enrich the lives of those around me and gather to strategise how to ‘do good’.  I am willing to take on this challenge !!
  3. This day, regardless of how I look or feel, I choose to echo the declaration “I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”God’s work in me is marvellous.  I am stunning; but more than just looking good, I choose to develop the strength to do good, I am ready to bear some weight and carry my load, because rather than being busy, I will build, I will shift my focus to gain strength and allow hardship to re-make me invincible in Him.  I embrace my strength and choose to run to win, train hard, give it my all, stay alert and not get sloppy with the Word of God, or the seasons of my life.
  4. I present my strength for you service.  God, I refuse to allow anyone to put me in a position of status.  I choose to serve and lift others by asking “How can I help?”.  I will change the way I look at my life of worship.  It is a banquet of refreshing and strength, not a draining burden.  Show me how to be a lioness among Lions and in the process, raise up others in their strength and encourage them to dream again.  I know acts of honour are never lost in translation, so I look to my future with hope because talking less now doesn’t mean having less in my future.  I am a guide, not a guard.  I live to bring people in, not to keep them out, and enlarge my life.
  5. I pray my release means release for others.  Male and female, help me to always remember that marriage is a union, not a battle.  Let me recognise the gender difference as the affirmation of our need for each other.  I need the men in my world to be all that you created them to be.  God bless the dwellings of unity in my life.  We all need redemption and you alone are worthy of my worship. I will stop being contentious and reading too much into gender differences, because you have ultimate preeminence, may you have your say in my life.
  6. Jesus, we are ready to do something impressive and significant. For your body, show me who I am so I know how to both greet and groom my sisters and brothers.  I want to refresh and restore others.
  7. I am ready to be excellently formed and marvellously functioning.  Teach me to hunt, I am ready to grow up, give me the energy and insight of heaven.  Restore all of my healthy maternal affection that fear has twisted.  I am ready to hunt with my sisters.

Many blessings my Lioness Sisters (& any dedicated blog loving Lions still reading)

Let’s stand together and be POWERFUL !!   (Note I haven’t said anything today about who we’re standing against …. coz I refuse to give him more credit than is due.  It’s like a mozzie to a T-Rex….  We are fully armed peeps with the Word of God.)

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xox

 

 

 

 

Life is continuing….

Oh my goodness, if I’d left it another two days, it would have been an entire month between blogs…that’s downright SLACK !!!

So much has been going on.. which does help to explain my slackness in the blogging department.

The highlights are –

  • Baby Boy Lucas is now HOME and powering on like the little warrior he has proven himself to be.  He’s settling in at home, putting on weight, getting to know his big brother, and is having his first immunisations today.

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  • I scored myself a not very pleasant intercostal injury about a month ago and am actually still suffering from that.  However, it IS improving (PRAISE GOD !!) so things ARE on the up & up.  I think I did it because I did either too many sit ups, or did sit ups incorrectly.  I had both an ultrasound and an X-ray on my right side chest/ribs etc but it didn’t show anything.  As a result, I’ve had to change my exercise routine …  for the first two weeks, I couldn’t do ANYTHING.  I am pleased to say though that I must have been doing just enough to keep the weight loss train going as the number has continued to drop slowly each Tuesday morning for my weigh-in.
  • We are now down to only two weeks and two days until we sail far far away across the sea !!!  Our renewed passports finally arrived so this is a relief.  I cannot even tell you how excited & humbled I am to know that I get to enjoy two weeks ‘off the job’.  No cleaning, cooking, washing….  Thank you Jesus !!!
  • Sadly there is ups and downs (more downs)  in family over the last few weeks that look to be continuing for a while.  However, God is teaching me a lot throughout.  It’s so easy to see someone’s actions as selfishness on the surface, but when looking deeper, you can expose emotional issues that deserve additional care.  Also, sadly, it is human nature to ‘arc up’ when someone does something to upset you, when in fact, we’ve been commissioned to Love thy neighbour, repay bad with GOOD, do all we can to expand God’s Kingdom, and most importantly, be the LIGHT IN THE DARKNESS !!!
  • DH is really enjoying having his aeroplane and being able to go up to the airfield whenever he can and go for a fly IN HIS OWN PLANE.  He’s been waiting a very long time for this and is LOVING IT !!  He’s also made a nice group of friends up there, which is just as much a part of the whole ‘scene’ he’s been wanting to be apart of for so long. They sit around with their drinks and discuss all things ‘planes’.  I’m really really happy for him.  & as you can see, the kids are enjoying it too.

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  • The biggest homeschool excursion (78 people) I have ever organised went off without a hitch (or any drownings)… Woot Woot !!

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  • Miss 14’s dance comps all went very well.  Now to enjoy the break before it all starts again in Feb 2016.
  • The 2016 homeschool journey has been decided on which is also a weight off my shoulders.  The older two kiddos are currently working through diagnostic testing for next year and are doing very well with them.

So there you go, that basically brings you up to speed, to a degree, on our lives.

Even amongst the ups and downs of ‘life’ I love how God makes ‘lessons’ out of all situations, good & bad.  I’ve also been reading Jefferson Bethke’s Jesus>Religion which is really opening up my view on things.

Blessings xox

Being in good company

I’m gonna be honest. .  I’m struggling tonight. 
I want to be walking the right path.. I NEED to be walking the right path as I have little eyes watching me and little ears listening to me.  (and some big eyes & ears too)
However these very encouraging facts don’t make the path any easier.  The bumps are still there,  the ‘stones’ are still thrown, the misconceptions of me by others are still there. 
I solidly believe that I not only witness to my children through things that I say,  but possibly even more so by things that I DON’T.  When I’m abused by a family member and I don’t respond in like tone or with harsh words.  When I’m treated like a ‘goodie-two-shoes’ but choose to stay silent and not ‘defend myself’.
When I’m outright verbally attacked,  but refuse to take the bait and retaliate. .. they see that.   & you know what else they see… the frustration on the person’s face when I won’t lower myself to their level. 
Isn’t it interesting (& frustrating) that we can KNOW that God’s opinion is the only one that matters and yet the darts fired by others still hurt.  I often wish that I was impervious to these comments etc but I also know that I am taught a lesson through everything single dig at me,  every single comment made. .. and every single not-so-subtle insult on Facebook. 
I actually started this blog last night but the fact that I stopped part way through turned out to be a blessing in itself as I actually needed to be reminded of my own words when dealing with someone today.  
Praise The Lord it was actually a really great day today spent at the beach with Miss 14 & niece 17 (well great day except for the sunburnt back of the legs. .. what on earth).  Lots of time to think and talk to Jesus while the girls were out paddle boarding.  Something about being at the beach (I think it’s actually in any natural setting) that gets me closer to God.

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I am constantly blown away of late with the relevance of each mornings devotion and how it has been speaking directly into current situations & struggles. If you don’t do a morning devotion,  I’d really encourage you to as it is just the BEST way to start the day. 
So, getting back to my title. .. with all that I’ve been dealing with in days of late… I am comforted knowing that Jesus was hated,  he was ridiculed,  he was treated as a fool… so when I feel treated like this. . I know I’m in good company. 
Blessings peeps xox

Godly friends help me to be my Husbands greatest supporter !!

Seriously, the school holidays just draaaaaaag on so much.  I’m sure if I could drive, we’d be here there and everywhere during every school hols, but being stuck at home just makes you feel like you may as well be doing schoolwork.  surprise surprise, the kiddos don’t feel the same way.

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We’ve certainly been enjoying the catchups with friends though.  We spent the day with some lovely friends yesterday who have recently moved house, so it was lots of fun to explore their new property etc.  We came home with a few spoils from their garden…  some cuttings and fruit etc.

We have similar age kiddos, with an extra youngster thrown in in their family, so everybody loves being together.. and has a buddy to pair off with.

And then today we’ve had another great family come to visit with us at our place.  Similar situation where there’s lots of kids to buddy up with… the kids just love it… and the Mums do too.

These great times with great friends really brings it home to me that I am hugely blessed in the sisters in Christ department.  It really blows me away when you look back over the years and see how God brings people into your lives at particular times and those friends help you in ways that you just wouldn’t have ever expected or anticipated.  Actually both of these friends I have seen today and yesturday have actually been my friends for probably 10yrs-ish but we’ve really only become very close in the last two years or so.  It’s amazing how God works things in your life in the exact way that you need it.

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With so much negativity around us these days, it’s beyond a blessing to have such Godly women surrounding me.  I know I probably say these types of things all the time in my blog entries, but it really is a HUGE thing in my life.  To be able to navigate the world as it is today, make Godly decisions, be accountable and stay humble… these types of friends are IMPERATIVE as far as I’m concerned.

It think it requires a maturity too that I didn’t have years ago, in order to make yourself accountable to these good friends.  Just KNOWING that you ARE answerable to others, that you’ve ASKED others to pull you up if needed.  It does take a strong friendship to have someone tell you you’re heading down a bad path.. and take on that advice and heed it.

I big one for me that I know I’ve mentioned before is how much I dislike wives dissing their husband amongst other girlfriends.  Even when I lacked the spiritual maturity I’m still working to improve today, it never sat well with me when women would do this.  Way back then, I didn’t even have a grasp of the spiritual implications & responsibilities of our role as a wife (pretty embarrassing to admit it, but I know I need to focus on the positive that at least I have that understanding now and can move forward in that understanding).

I definitely benefit from like minded female friends (wives) around me, and by the same token, struggle a little when around women that do put their husbands down.  It’s not just the obvious of ‘if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all” but the realisation (& then constant reminder) that we are to be our Husband’s greatest supporter.  (even when they’re being a total Jackass.)  I think what maybe others don’t understand about it is that they assume that we just ‘condone’ rubbish behaviour from our husbands when we refuse to bad-mouth them, but our responsibility goes so much deeper than they imagine.  We need to be the one our husband will go to if he is struggling with an issue (possibly that issues is being a Jackass.. LOL)… and he’s not going to do that unless we have a great relationship in the first place.

From what I’ve seen over the years of broken relationships… so much infidelity comes about because someone took something they were struggling with to someone of the opposite sex, OTHER than their spouse.  Seeing this over the years has certainly brought it home to DH & I that we need to be able to go to each other when needed, coz if we don’t keep up that open comfortable rapport between each other, we may be tempted to take it to others … and that’s just a disaster waiting to happen.

So … to sum up… I am extremely grateful for the women that God has put in my life, because they are instrumental in helping me to be a Godly wife, Mother & Friend.

Blessings peeps !!!  xox

A debate to drive a Christ follower bonkers.. or is it just me ??

While discussing the current Duggar family situation with a friend last night, some very interesting points came up.

Fall 2014 Header by Rachel 2

My concern over the situation is not at all about Josh’s alleged sin, as that in itself has two elements..  One is that it’s not even our business, and two, if he has gone before The Lord, repented and asked for forgiveness, than his slate is wiped clean.  Seeing as we’re not his judge, than none of us are in a position to make judgemental comments, or assumptions of what he has or hasn’t done in order to heal himself and his victims from this.  As we all know very keenly, while our sins are wiped away, the consequences of them are not.. so I have no doubt that the family is in a world of pain right now and for that reason, I continue to uphold them in prayer.

So, onto the points brought up last night…  While Josh, as a 14yr old boy, was certainly old enough to know right from wrong, he wasn’t old enough (or even in a position to) make the decision as to whether it was best to stay in front of cameras with their family life broadcasted all over America.  So, there is a lot to the thought that a very big responsibility falls on the parents as to whether they made the best decision moving forward after these events.  As with Josh, the same ‘rules’ apply…  we are not their judge, so whatever decision they made is not our business, but the questions is… Is it bringing Glory to God to have this TV show running at all?

That’s a pretty big question right?  It really got me thinking about TV shows, Big-name evangelists etc etc.  There is, or course, the Bates family who are extremely similar to the Duggars, having 19 kids etc.. starting to have their older children marry and have children etc etc.  I LOVE their show as it’s great to see a family, to the best of their ability, upholding Godly standards in every aspect of their lives… but once again, is the show God honouring?  This is actually a question I am asking myself… I in no way have the answers.  They would, as the Duggars would, gain financially by having their lives filmed & aired on TV.  Is this wrong for them to be doing this?  Christians are allowed to make money right? Are there limits?

bates

It’s a tricky one for me as I do love watching them.  It’s pretty easy to look at a show like ‘Keeping up with the Kardashians’ and decide straight away that it is in NO WAY God honouring.. quite the opposite in fact… also shows like ‘My 5 wives’, ‘Sex sent me to the ED’ and others basically scream favoured shows of the enemy.. but it is easy to look at a show like ’19 kids & Counting’, or ‘Bringing up Bates’ and think that they are witnessing to so many by being on the TV and reaching so many around America, and in fact the world.

While people like Joyce Meyer, Beth Moore, Rick Warren, etc etc are extremely easy to listen to, so are therefore huge draw-cards for conferences etc, (I’m guilty of this myself as I do particularly like Beth Moore and went to Colour conference solely because she was going to be speaking there).

The question is, who is the draw-card really at these big events ?  It should be our Heavenly Father, but in reality, is it?  I know this is a very tricky question and I’m sure people would come forward with the argument that these people are very good at articulating God’s word, pulling a particular bible passage apart, or generally keeping a crowd focused… but is it GOD HONOURING ??  Jesus did not have the internet, or Facebook to alert people of his next destination or speaking event.  He was hated more than He was loved, and yet whether you are a believer or not, Jesus is the most famous person in History… (hence why it’s called HIS-STORY)

Don’t get me wrong, I certainly think people are gifted speakers and are able to explain a particular part of the bible perhaps better than others, but how careful do we need to be that that person doesn’t become the one glorified?  I’m not wanting to speak negatively of anyone in order to put this topic out there, but I think some speakers certainly show a lot more humility than others.  For example, Frances Chan, Priscilla Shirer & indeed Beth Moore do jump out at me as three that go out of their way at the beginning of each speaking engagement to give all glory to God for the meeting and also stress that it is not them, but God speaking THROUGH them, using them as a vessel, to reach all those under the sound of their voice.  I must say that JM does not show humility at times when often she will pat herself on the back (literally) and openly say she is preaching fantastically that particular time.  Nearly every time she’s right, she IS preaching fantastically …  but she can’t take any credit for that…. it ALL needs to go to God.

Proverbs 11:2 When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.

Once again, this is not a judgemental thing, but a way to put this topic forward and see what you all think?  There is of course plenty of logic to the fact that the internet allows so much reach around the world … but logic also tells us that if there were enough ‘Jesus with skin on’ people around the world, covering our own circles of influence, would not the whole world be reached also?

Matthew 24:14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

Psalm 96:3 Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples!

Excuse me if I’m over-simplifying, but these passages were written a very long time before the internet.  I don’t believe God meant to wait until the age of the internet in order for these verses to become reality.

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I personally LOVED going to Colour Conference last year.. great speakers, fantastic worship times.. but if I’m honest, I loved it because it was like going to a concert non-stop for 3days.  While I certainly experienced the presence of God while there, in all honesty, I also experience His presence in a profound way when worshipping in my lounge room.

I’d love your thoughts peeps !!  xox

This ‘weeks’ character trait training !!

Yes, I have ‘week’ set apart as it seems we keep them for several weeks… I don’t think that’s a bad thing.. but it will make for a very loooooong journey… which isn’t the worst thing that could happen.

OK.. so our new CT to focus on for a ‘week’ is as follows :

Wisdom vs. Natural inclinations – Seeing & responding to life situations from God’s frame of reference. Proverbs 9:10. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.

Man… this is certainly one we ALL wrestle with… that darn natural inclination kicks in very easily. It most likely stems from this worldview that we are fed constantly, that tells us that it’s all about us… we deserve all the we desire.. and in the words of Loreal Paris… “Because I’m worth it”.

It can definitely be challenging to see a situation from God’s frame of reference, as opposed to our own. It’s so easy to think (& sing.. LOL) “What about Me?.. it isn’t fair.. I’ve had enough, now I want my share.”

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The ears of the great horned owl allow it to “see” from a second perspective. The owl’s ears are offset so that it can hear in all directions. This allows an owl to recognize and track its prey using only the sounds of footsteps.

This is a very good way to consider things… Do we ‘listen’ and ‘see’ with all the skills we have at our disposal ? Most likely not. It is certainly a very WISE thing to do. Is this skill set in the owl the reason why it is thought to be such a wise creature? Very plausible.
Another very interesting observation… the bible rarely encourages us to seek ‘knowledge’, but repeatedly instructs us to seek ‘WISDOM’. I think it’s fairly safe to say that a LOT of people believe they are one and the same.

Job 12 : 12 -Is not wisdom found among the aged? Does not long life bring understanding?
I love this scripture and believe it is one largely ignored in the world. The respect of elders that even I had 30yrs ago as a child, seems to have disappeared. The respect shown by today’s teenagers, or even young adults, is lacking to say the least. I really think it’s a no-brainer… The majority of People who are further along the road than you automatically have experienced more life lessons than you, so therefore have something to offer you. Now, don’t get me wrong.. what they have to offer isn’t always going to be Wise & good.. but that comes down to your discernment in each situation. A wise person will seek counsel from one they know they can trust.

Proverbs 4 : 6 & 7 -Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you. Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding.

Much to ponder on and further investigate over the coming ‘week’.

Blessings Peeps !!

xox

The week that was the battle between Self Control & Self Indulgence…

Hi all..
Well, let’s just say that the Self Control CT week was tough to say the least. Master 9 particularly struggles in this area, and he was up on full volume this past week. Man am I tired. Also, throw in a couple of really emotionally draining days for other reasons, and you’ve got an emotionally weary Mumma.
We should have gone onto another CT on Monday, but I’m in two minds as to whether I should do that, or hold off a bit… I struggle between the mindset of “Have we nailed this one down” or “OK, we’ve tackled that one for a bit.. now let’s move on, and we’ll come back to this one at another time.”. I think the second option is better… as I think there may be some butting heads against brick walls so to speak if we continue on this one.
Dear Hubby is away with work this week and will be back on Friday. I miss him a lot. It’s a weird situation though as whenever he is away, in lots of ways, the house runs smoother. I have spoken to lots of other Mums, whos husbands also travel for work, and they say the same thing. There’s something to be said for an uninterupted routine. Having said that… I’ll be very glad to have him back on Friday.
OK peeps.. short & sweet blog entry today. I hope you are all doing great.
Blessings.
Lv Fi xox

Monday morning !! Time for a new CT week !!

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So, today begins a new school week… and a new Character Trait to focus on for the week ahead.

Self Control vs. Self Indulgence

Instant obedience to the initial promptings of God’s Spirit.

Galations 5:24-25

And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.  If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spriit.

This is a particular week that I am both look forward to, and also dreading.  The reason is that it is something that my children do struggle with, so the week ahead will be interesting to say the least.  I’m confident that that God will do great things in this week…  teaching myself and my children (& my husband) many great things to do with this particular character trait.

It’s a very interesting one, as the world basically instructs us to be self indulgent…. it’s everywhere, on TV, on billboards, in magazines, on food packaging.  I believe it’s one of the enemy’s biggest tactics, as it puts people’s focus on themselves, and far from on others.

 

Some other verses I came across are below….. One of them particularly describes our current world reality very well.

Phillipians 2:3 – Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant that yourselves.

2 Timothy 3:1-5 – But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For some people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power.  Avoid such people.  

2 Corinthians 9:7 – Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 

Proverbs 18:1 – Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire; he breaks out against all sound judgement.

John 3:30 – He must increase, but I must decrease.  (Simple, but so powerful !)

There is so much to be found on this subject… but I’ll leave that fun exploration for you guys to enjoy.

As I said when I decided to begin this learning journey with Character traits, I was a little scared because I knew that each character trait focused on for that particular week would be on show full force….. Well, today has not disappointed.  :0(  Let’s just say it’s been quite a trying day when it comes to lack of self control in my children.  BUT, the upside is… plenty of teachable moments… and great opportunities for great discussions on this exact subject.

Man, isn’t parenting just so much FUN at times??  LOL

OK…  if there is any blog followers out there praying with me through this journey… please continue… as the ride is sometimes bumpy and stressful.

Blessings peeps.

xox

 

 

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