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Fi mum23

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

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pondering

Expand our boundaries.. drive our tent pegs deep

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Sunday night at church, Pastor Nina preached from Isaiah 54.  It was a fantastic message that re-affirmed what’s already very clearly in store for my 2016.

Enlarge the place of your tent, and let the curtains of your habitations be stretched out;
do not hold back; lengthen your cords and strengthen your stakes.

3 For you will spread abroad to the right and to the left, and your offspring will possess the nations and will people the desolate cities.  (ESV)

While I don’t usually like referring to The Message translation, this time, I think it’s a good read.

Clear lots of ground for your tents! Make your tents large. Spread out! Think big!
Use plenty of rope, drive the tent pegs deep.
You’re going to need lots of elbow room for your growing family.
You’re going to take over whole nations; you’re going to resettle abandoned cities.
Exciting right !!!  While I completely realise that this text speaks of what was going on at that time, I firmly believe that we can learn from this and apply it to our lives today.  (as we can of all scripture)
On Sunday night, Pastor Nina used a fantastic (& very entertaining) illustration of having a children’s play tent on the stage, which she actually climbed into, showing how little room there is in there, how cramped and uncomfortable any length of time in there would be.  To flipside of that though is that some people choose to stay in that tiny tent, seeing it as safe & secure.   “I need not have any fear of God asking me to do anything big, because I simply don’t have the room to do it.”  (Side note – Believe me, I completely get that stepping out is scary…  you never know what God is going to ask of you (Jonah), but I can tell you right now, it’s so worth it.)
In contrast, a big comfy chair and a large tent covering a decent sized area was brought up on stage, showing how we can spread out, allow God to have the room to work in our lives, equip us for ALL that He has in store for us.   It immediately took me back to the vision that God gave me a couple of years ago (I’m pretty sure I blogged about it).  I was shown myself, wearing a VERY BIG, like CRAZY BIG fur coat (I assume it was faux, to be fair to all animal lovers out there.. I would never buy a fur coat.)
I was initially very confused by the vision and enquired of God what He was trying to tell me.  I immediately got a response from Him, explaining that the coat was very big, in order for Him to fill it… with Blessings, with provisions, with skills, gifts & talents in order to equip me with everything I would need in order to do His work in His Kingdom for His glory !!
The ‘drive your tent pegs deep’ really spoke to me also.  To not just have a surface commitment to the things of God, but to dive in deep, have solid foundations, set aside decent time.  Once again, of course, I nearly ALWAYS find in any message that it points back to two things.
1.  We need to have a close personal relationship with Our Heavenly Father, Jesus our Saviour & Redeemer, and The Holy Spirit.
2. Be actively studying His Word on a daily basis.  Imagine it’s liquid in a big ole’ bucket and you wanna tip it over yourself in your quiet time each morning. :0)
Yes, I know I point these things out all the time, sorry for the repetition, but I really want that point to get across.  If we’re doing these two things, we’re on a very good path with The Lord and all that He has in store for us.
What I learnt/was reminded of today – Being shown things in illustrative form is often a very effective way to teach a biblical truth, or be reminded of a truth that maybe you’re not submerged yourself in of late.
What scripture verse am I soaking in today?  The one above, Isaiah 54:2-3.
Blessings Peeps !!  xox

Positioned like a see-saw

I remember sitting under a teaching a few years back about how our posture as a disciple of Jesus Christ should be with one hand stretched upwards to someone in a mentoring capacity.. to someone who is further along in their walk with The Lord than us. Meanwhile, the other arm reaches down, ‘pulling up’, encouraging & discipling someone coming along behind us.  Someone that is a little further back in their walk with The Lord than where we are.

The person you’re reaching up to has a little more life experience than you, so is able to teach and help you through similar situations.  In turn, you can teach & help the one you are encouraging, because of the trials, struggles and victories you have walked through.

I also remember receiving an image about this, back when sitting under that teaching, of one long road with people littered all along it, all at different stages.  I probably should have drawn in it seeing as I wasn’t able to find something that I felt represented it, but this gives you an idea.

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When I had this come to mind last night, the Holy Spirit gave me an image of a seesaw, but it wasn’t like one end was completely up and the other completely down…. it’s not normally positioned in that way, and I don’t believe it would be nearly as effective either.  I think the image of a set of scales where one end has a slightly heavier weight onboard than the other shows a more accurate picture of the common situation, but as the ‘weight’ part of the image makes no sense, I think the seesaw is better.

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This one is more like it.

The person reaching down needs to have the HUMILITY required to fulfil this role in another’s life, while also having the WISDOM to take on this responsibility.

Something that simple cannot be in the equation is pridefulness !!!

Just because I like definitions, let’s look at some now…

First, a ‘secular’ definition of Humility –the quality of having a modest or low view of one’s importance.  While in essence, this is true, I don’t like it one bit as it doesn’t sit well with me when you consider that we are a temple of The Holy Spirit.  We have the power of Christ within us, so when I consider our ROLE in God’s Kingdom, we certainly do not have a low level of importance.  I guess what it comes down to though is the importance of that role, as opposed to the importance of us as a person.  That’s where the pridefulness can come into it.  If we are prideful about our own importance & think that that importance is  seperate to God, that’s when we will run into trouble.

A biblical definition of Humility  –God says when you are humble, you are free from pride and arrogance. You know that in your flesh you are inadequate, yet you also know who you are in Christ.  I LOVE this !!!  So so true !! Free from pride & arrogance !!

Now for Wisdom… the quality of having experience, knowledge, and good judgement; the quality of being wise.

Not bad…. let’s look at it from a biblical point of view though.

Wisdom begins and ends with the fear of the Lord. It isn’t a fear of being struck by lightning or fear of being struck dead but it’s a deep, abiding, holy reverence and respect for the Lord and for His Word, the Bible. The Book of Proverbs has more to say about wisdom than any other book in the Bible. For example in Proverbs 9:10 Solomon, who was the wisest man on earth, at least until Christ came, said that “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.” Where there is fear, there tends to be obedience and God has said He prefers obedience over sacrifice (1 Sam 15:22; Hosea 6:6). Sometimes obedience comes before understanding and when someone obeys what they know to be true, understanding usually follows. Wisdom begins with reverence for God and a fear for Him and His Word. That’s where wisdom begins. Where there is no fear of the Lord, there can never be any true wisdom. It’s just not possible.

Now, both these two traits can be tricky, and not always easy to uphold, especially in weakness during struggle.  It takes real DISCIPLINE to be HUMBLE & use WISDOM  to take the right path when in a struggle or under attack.

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Two other words that I really think needs to come into the scenario is COMMITMENT & RESPONSIBILITY !!  We need to be there for our ‘person’ at all times, even at times of our own struggles.  The only way we can do that is by walking closely with The Lord, digging into The Word & being accountable.

As a mentor, your role is to teach and inspire by words and example, so you can come alongside someone in their personal development and learning development using your life, Christian experiences, and education as tools.. You are a role model to someone. This is a precious responsibility that is to be taken seriously, but also enjoyed. You need to be one who is growing in the Lord, and who takes His Word and precepts to heart and to life. Because someone is placing his or her trust as a counselor and teacher in you, you need to be real and growing to do this right. Therefore, you are the one the Lord will use to provide opportunities for spiritual learning, development, and growth.

Matthew 12:36 & 37 tell us … I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak,  for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”  Words hold power peeps.. in so many ways, so be careful with your words !!!

If The Lord entrusts you with a ‘mentee’  (that’s probs not actually a word, but you know what I mean) then see it as the privilege that it is, and ENJOY it, but never ignore the commitment and the responsibility that goes along with it.

Oh.. and one last thing…. DO NOT TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THIS RESPONSIBILITY !!  Treat it as the GIFT that it is.  You will grow through every moment as a mentor too… it’s not a one-way deal.  Another thing that has been evident in my walk and I believe I can pass onto others and it be of help, is this…  When God leads you in a different direction… be it towards a different person, or away from a person…. LISTEN TO HIM & ACT ON IT !!

Maybe you will be in a mentor type relationship with someone for a very long time, but often you will not.  People with this need or gifting come in & out of our lives at GOD’S will, not ours !!!  We may be of help, or receive help from someone for a season and that be all God intended for each of our journeys.  When that happens…  seek confirmation from Him.. and then accept & move on, being ever watchful for new doors being opened.

Isn’t it FUN being a child of God !!!!!  Seriously, I LOVE IT !!!!  So much to learn, grow in and become !!!!

Blessings peeps !!!  xox

 

 

Why worry… God totally has this !!

Who woulda thought, but man oh man, it’s complicated making decisions in regards to your children’s schooling pathway.  As you al know, I homeschool my 3 treasures, but it’s more accurate to say that they do Distance Education.  We are ‘homeschooling’ this particular semester due to changes at the school we were enrolled with, but this was always going to be a temporary arrangement until I found the best DE fit for my children.  I thought I had found it when I was told of a new College opening only 2 suburbs away, but further investigation proved that maybe it wasn’t.  Nothing against their curriculum or activities on offer, (that, in fact, was awesome) but I’ve been finding that my children are getting rather bored with their ACE paces.  While they probably would have reasonably happily continued with their paces throughout their schooling, I don’t believe I’m being a responsible parent to just continue with something they’ll toretate, but should find something that they will actually LOVE. (well, ok, at least really like.)

DH has also shown some concern over this year and last with the kids not doing a huge amount of computer work, with their curriculum being almost 100% paperwork etc.  This is always been a little bit of a concern for us as it doesn’t entirely prepare them for university where they will predominantly work on computer, transferring files, uploading /downloading files, making spreadsheets, scanning in & emailing images, getting files from one digital device to another etc etc.  As well as future workplace proceedures possibly involving all of the above and maybe more.  The on-line DE will much more thoroughly prepare them for the future.

SCHOOL-Textbooks

So, as a result, everyone is very happy with the decision to go with on-line DE as of first semester 2016.  Well, Master 10 won’t be so happy, as he has a further year of paces before he can go onto on-line curriculum as a grade 7er in 2017.

It has certainly been an interesting journey if I look back on the kids starting school, until now.  It seemed like it was going to be such a seamless pathway.  In lots of ways it was while they were at ‘mainstream’ school, but I guess with Miss 14 getting into the high school subjects, it makes things a bit more challenging.  Decisions needs to be made etc so as to have the BEST pathway mapped out for her to reach her desired goal.  And with Master 13 only two years behind her in school, these decisions aren’t far away for him either.

While the ACE paces hold a lot of great content, and revise a lot of important topics often, they are proving to be a little boring for the kids at the end of this second year.  Now, having said that, I don’t want to knock ACE as a curriculum as I really do think it is a sound resource, but I think it just comes down to different kids suiting different styles of learning, etc.  It is a real blessing to have been able to have these 2yrs with all 3 kids at home on the ACE paces and I don’t regret this pathway.

God has truly been so faithful to us through this time. One of those ‘memories’ came up on FB last week. It was a memory of the school holidays ending 5 yrs ago and I was saying that I would miss the kids when they returned to school, and then jokingly said “Maybe I should homeschool them”…. followed by a comment that went something like this “Nah, I care too much for my sanity to do that. LOL”  Very funny to read back on when you see how the journey mapped out later.  Is my Sanity in place??  Probably not at times (LOL), but I know that I’ve followed God’s leading throughout.

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With all this in mind, it makes me pretty excited to see what God has in store for us in the future.  Even when something has seemed confusing or illogical, we’ve always been able to look back and see that it was the best path for us as a family…. proving that God’s totally got this !!

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6

I can’t blog about this without once again mentioning the great Godly friendships that I have in my life, both homeschooling Mums, mainstream school Mums, and also educators.  I know that God has placed these people in my life to confirm leading from Him.  (& when needed, correct me of misunderstood leading.).  It’s also beyond beneficial to have friends going through the same decisions and being able to discuss things with them, bouncing ideas off one another etc.  I am also so grateful for the help we’ve had from seasoned homeschool parents who’s children are through and now into university, or even completely through uni and now in the workforce.  It’s been of great encouragement to have these seasoned HS parents to speak to as it really highlights how much diversity can be in a child’s schooling pathway.  For example, I have some friends who have solely schooled with ACE from Prep to 12 and now their children are either in Uni or successful in the workforce, others did part HS (with ACE or other great curriculum) and part on-campus schooling.  (This seems to be more prevalent in the southern states… it doesn’t seem to happen so much up here… although that could be changing.)

Also, there are many situations where children are HS’d up to grade 10 and then they go to a good day school for senior. I just love the diversity and that we as parents can really take control of our children’s education and make sure they are learning in a way that is best for them as a whole person !!

There are certain elements of our homeschooling lives that I won’t change with the transfer over to this new DE plan.  The most obvious being normal household chores and responsibilities (Some might be saying “Well, why would you think of changing these anyway?” but I’m mentioning it because some of these are within the school day, so I’m just making the point that these will continue around the on-line schooling set-up.).  The 2nd being our Character training.  I’ll still have the kids work on a particular character trait and corresponding scripture verse for a period of time that I will determine as suitable.  Also, excursions separate to those of the school we’ll be enrolled with.  I will continue to attend other homeschool excursions, as well as organise excursions with other homeschoolers.

So now to dive into the on-line diagnostic testing !!  Woot Woot !!  Fun times ahead !

Blessings Peeps !!  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

Character Trait training – Hospitality vs. Loneliness !!

Cheerfully sharing food, shelter, and spiritual refreshment with those God brings into our lives.

Hebrews 13 : 2   Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.

This one seems like an easy one right?  It seems pretty self explanatory as well as a very easy thing to do.  I guess not everyone loves to entertain and be hospitable, but I LOVE it.  I like nothing more than throwing a party, or having people over.  If anything, delving into this particular Character trait has re-energised me to organise more opportunities to be hospitable.

I know the word ‘shelter’ doesn’t need to mean literal shelter, as in a home.. it can be almost like a sanctuary.  We can be a sanctuary for people to come to when in need of emotional support.  In order to be that sanctuary for others, I believe we need to personify the fruits for the Spirit.

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As always though, I did go further with my research on the topic and here’s just one commentary that I found.

The following commentary is from Gills’s exposition of the entire bible

Be not forgetful to entertain strangers,…. By whom are meant, not unconverted men, who are strangers to God and Christ, and the covenants of promise; nor saints, who are as pilgrims and strangers in this world; but such as are of another country, and are unknown; and even though wicked men, they are not excluded; though such as are obliged to quit their own country for righteousness sake are chiefly designed; all strangers in distress are meant, and hospitality is to be exercised towards them; which lies negatively in doing nothing to distress them, and positively in providing food, raiment, lodging, &c. for them, and in comforting, counselling, and directing them in all matters in which they may stand in need thereof: and that this is a duty, appears from the light of nature, and practices of the Heathens, Acts 28:2, from the express law of God, Deuteronomy 10:19 and many others made in favour of strangers, binding on the Jews; from the sundry exhortations to it in the New Testament, Romans 12:13 and from the exhortation here not to forget it; and from the great regard which Christ will show to such as mind it, and his disregard to others at the last day: the persons who are to exercise it are not only the ministers of the Gospel, who should be given to hospitality; but all the saints, even the meaner sort are not exempted, but should use it according to their ability; though it is chiefly binding on those that are rich. And this should not be forgot, but pursued and followed after; it should be frequently performed; men should be given, and used to it; it should be done without grudging, and in a friendly and loving manner:
for thereby some have entertained angels unawares; as Abraham, Genesis 18:1, he knew them not to be angels at first; they appeared as men, and he treated them as such; but they were angels, yea, one of them was Jehovah himself; and hereby he received many favours, Genesis 18:10, and Lot, Genesis 19:1 who knew not that they were angels he took into his house; but they were, and he was delivered by them from the burning of Sodom; yea, some have unawares, this way, entertained Christ himself, Luke 24:15 and indeed, entertaining of his members is entertaining him, Matthew 25:38. It is an observation of a Jewish writer (r) upon the first of these instances;

“from hence we learn (says he) how great is the strength (or virtue) of the reception of travellers (or hospitality), as the Rabbins of blessed memory say, greater is , “hospitality”, than the reception of the face of the Shechinah.”

And this is said to be one of the six things which a man enjoys the fruit of in this world, and for which there remains a reward in the world to come (s).

(r) R. Abraham Seba in Tzeror Hammor, fol. 18, 4. (s) T. Bab. Sabbat, fol. 127. 1.

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An interesting reading to say the very least.  I’ll leave you to ponder this as I will during this coming week.

Blessings Peeps !!!  xox

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