A Relationship Requires Communication

I often use this example to share just how much we need to talk and listen to God:

I’ve told my kids:

Mommy and Daddy are married. And we live in the same house. What would it be like if every day, we went about our day and never talked to each other? If in the mornings, we went about our day and didn’t even acknowledge one another? What would it be like if all day, we just walked past each other and didn’t even communicate with one another? If we just lived in the house but never talked? We just walked by each other?

That is what it is like when we walk by our Bibles sitting on our shelves each day!

That is what it is like when we say we are in a relationship with God, but we don’t read His Word and listen to what he has to say!

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Now there have certainly been times in my life, especially as a new believer where I have done this very thing. I wanted a relationship with the Lord but found myself communicating very little with Him. And if I was communicating, usually I was doing all the talking.

As I have grown over the years, I have come to fall in love with His Word. It is my life and my very breath. I can’t live without it. And it transforms me.

So that is why I am passionate about passing that on to my children and encouraging others who may be at a place where there Bible reading has become stagnant or maybe even non-existent.

Read the Word

 

If we are in a relationship with someone we must communicate!

If His Word seems too hard to understand, keep reading! Trust Him to teach you. If you say you don’t have time, then you must prioritize! His Word should come before everything else (Matthew 6:33). If you say you are struggling with getting in the Word, then that is even more the reason to get in it!

The Lord is our ultimate love and we must communicate with Him daily. Talking (praying) and listening (reading His Word.) You don’t have to start with an in depth study, just read it! He is enough and His Word is enough.

I have been so transformed by the Lord. I can’t imagine life without Him. But He must be first in everything we do. We can’t expect to live a life for Him and then put Him off to the side…or His Word off to the side on a bookshelf.

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I encourage you. Just start reading His Word. Make it a habit every single morning that no word will go before your eyes (text, email, etc.) until HIS WORD has gone before your eyes.

You can watch my recent session on being a Transformed Woman of the Word below from my YouTube Channel: 

GET MY FREE EBOOK!

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Jesus is Enough

This summer, I am hosting a women’s retreat in Gettysburg, PA. In a world of excess, we are going to focus on that fact that Jesus is enough. The world will tell you YOU are enough. But truly, HE is enough. He is all we need. We don’t rely on ourselves, or earthly comforts, but on Him alone.  I have lived with it all stripped away, and I have seen that yes, Jesus is enough. In fact, Jesus is MORE than enough.

Early Bird Registration is Open! Join us for this life changing and life-giving event. You will spend two days with other sisters in Christ, tired of what the world offers, and ready to live the life that HE offers.

Check out where I am speaking in 2018—-> SPEAKING (UPDATED)

Listen to the Podcast—-> PODCAST

Watch my YouTube Channel–->YouTube

 

 

Taking the “School” Out of Homeschool

I’ve been preparing for my new session at Teach Them Diligently this year – Preparing for Life. Not a Test. I remembered this post from years back and republished it this morning!

Enjoy!

 Taking the “School” Out of Homeschool

I don’t know why we use the term homeSCHOOL sometimes.  I have been finding more and more when we take the word “school” out of our day, we actually learn much more.

I spoke last year at an Online conference about Education as an Atmosphere.  I want my home to be a continuous atmosphere of learning.  Not a 9am3pm time of enforced drilling of facts.

A typical day in a homeschool looks like LIFE.  It can range from anything from:

  • a day of research on a topic of the child’s choice
  • an afternoon spent listening to Mozart while painting
  • a day in the yard observing an anthill, a robin’s next, or a bee hive
  • a morning gardening, while learning all about compost, seeds, and zone planting
  • writing creative stories, plays, or poetry
  • a construction project in the home. complete with preliminary plans, blueprints, and the execution of the plan with the proper tools
  • cooking up an authentic cultural feast after weeks spent reading about that country
  • analyzing the nutritional content of your pantry
  • grocery store math, while grocery shopping
  • a day out to see a play or visit a local museum
  • a visit to the local nursing home
  • writing a letter to your sponsor child in Africa
  • designing buildings on the computer
  • helping with the finances by watching dad pay bills and budget (or do taxes!)
  • chores, chores and more chores…all life skills!
  • figuring out the how to build rockets, legos in 3D, and more
  • raising chickens
  • spending the day at work with dad as a mini-intern
  • learning all about how day to day life works by being immersed in it and not a classroom!
The list is truly endless.

Life is a classroom. Life is what we are preparing our children for. What better way to learn that with the hands-on lesson of life?

I have found lately when I loosen the structure {not throw it away}, the kids are free to pursue their interests and that is when they truly learn.


When I don’t see a separation between learning and life…they thrive…


This is a video I love of my boys learning in nature….


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© copyright 2012 – All rights reserved

SimplyLivingforHim

The Best Friend Interview by Deborah Bode

A New Children’s Book For Those Who Have Experienced Loss

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If you ask a child today who her best friend is, chances are her answer will probably be different next week. Children have many “best friends,” “good friends,” and “acquaintances.” Sometimes they form a special bond with someone and that friendship can last a lifetime. Unfortunately, situations can change and the friendship may end because a child moves, different interests develop, or even the unfortunate case of death of one person.

Losing a best friend can be devasting to anyone, especially a child. The main character in the book experiences the loss of her best friend. She tries to cope with the situation by replacing her. She soon realizes that no one is capable of replacing her best friend. Instead of finding a replacement, the mother in the story helps her daughter validate her feelings of sadness and loss. She encourages her daughter to find a special place in her heart to remember her best friend and keep the wonderful memories alive that they shared together. Mom’s advice reinforces the idea that if you are fortunate enough to have a true best friend than one should consider oneself lucky. The main character comes to the realization that even if a friend is no longer in one’s life for whatever reason, that friend can remain in one’s heart and never be replaced.

 

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This book is incredibly near and dear to my heart for so many reasons. My beautiful sister wrote this book as a tribute to her best friend who had her life taken much too early this summer in a tragic domestic violence incident. That incident also left her three children behind with no parents.

From my sister: On July 6, 2016, my best friend, Michele Sabia was shot and killed tragically. Her husband shot her multiple times outside their home on the front lawn. Her three children now ages 15, 12, 10 witnessed this horrific scene and as you can imagine have suffered tremendously. After barricading himself in their home for hours, her husband then shot himself, taking his own life. As a result, the children lost both of their parents that horrible night. They are currently living with the maternal grandparents, who are both close to 70 years in age. Michele’s entire family is amazing and the love and support they have provided for her children is incredible. However, one can only imagine how all of their lives have changed tremendously. The children are currently in counseling but are struggling emotionally. A Go Fund Me Account has been set up to help the children financially, and fortunately, to date $81,659 has been raised. Michele and I became friends when we were just three years old. Our fathers were friends when they were growing up so you can imagine our families share a lot of history. Michele was my best friend and will always be my best friend. She truly touched the life of everyone she met. I’ll never forget the day of her funeral as we left the church and drove to the cemetery a few towns away. There was a police escort that led us and numerous roads were blocked off as we entered each town to her final resting place. The procession of cars was close to 75 long. I had never seen anything like it. She was truly being honored and it was obvious how highly she was thought of and loved by the entire community. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about Michele, her children, and her family. I’ll never forget watching the news on Channels 2, 4, 5, 7 and 11 that night and next day and trying to understand what had happened and why she was gone. I wanted to do more to help and decided to write a children’s book based on memories of our friendship growing up. My purpose in writing this book is to honor Michele and help her children. All the proceeds from the book will go to benefit Michele’s three children. I’m sharing this story because having a best friend like Michele was truly a blessing. If you would like to help her children, you can purchase the book, “The Best Friend Interview” on Amazon.com. Thank you for your help and support. Now an angel in heaven, Michele is watching over her children. Your generosity is greatly appreciated by us both. – Debbie

The outpouring of love after MIchele’s death by her family, friends, church family, and community was a testimony to a life well-lived. My sister wants this book to be nothing more than a blessing to her children and a way to honor Michele’s life.

Would you please consider purchasing this book? This is a beautiful story for children who may have experienced loss. In a world where there is so much darkness, we can do something to bring light!

Thank you!!!

You can buy it by clicking below:

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Family- Dependent and God- Dependent

I took this photo today and posted on Instagram.

 

It truly warms my heart when I see my children and the relationships they have with each other, that grow deeper each day.

One of the biggest benefits of homeschooling is seeing how they are family-dependent and God-dependent, but not peer-dependent. I remember when I was young, my peers were my everything. I spent most of my time with them, and family ( even though ours was pretty close) was totally separate. It was almost like two lives. (this is just my experience and I am not saying this is the same for everyone and that homeschooling is the answer to everything…just my experience 😉 )

I also know that for us, our family is close.  As I often say, we are like our own “clique.” We spend so much time together, doing life togetherhomeschooling, running family businesses, hobby farm life, etc., that we naturally are developing really strong ties within, because we do life together.

We also are really close with several families that we often get together with. The kids all hang out together, as do the parents. And there is quite a bit of hanging out between parents and kids too! So social activities that involve other families are really important to us as well.

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Homeschooling is about so much more than academics. it is doing life together. With each other. With others. Learning about life together. Learning to grow together. Seeking the Lord together. The list could go on and on…but mostly it includes quite a bit of togetherness and I wouldn’t trade that for the world!

It’s HERE! The revised edition of Called Home is NOW available- expanded with a journal section!

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Watch the replay of my Live broadcast on facebook and hear the back story behind this book!

God is faithful!

Homeschooling- Just a Small Part of Discipling our Children

Yes, I am a homeschool advocate. Yes, I am pro-homeschooling, for my family. Yes, I love homeschooling (most days! ;)) Yet, I will never go so far as to say it is the absolute choice for every family. That is not my place. I believe it is a decision for each family between them and God, and I am answering to Him for my family, not any other family.

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Lately, I have been thinking about our children’s childhood, and now that I have two teenagers, with another on the horizon, I am in awe most days of the drastic difference between their teenage years and my own. I had an extremely volatile teenage life. There was drama, dysfunction, rebellion, and everything in between. It lasted into the college years when it really peaked at its worse. 

Then, I met Jesus.

My hardships were nothing my parents did or did not do. They did their best.The only remedy to my chaos was Jesus.

So as I watch my children grow and I realize how stable, how functional, and how undramatic their life is, I just keep praising God. I see how much they enjoy being together. We all do. Our family is so close. They have great relationships with their friends and with others. They are hard workers and helpful and serve. And it has nothing to do with me. It is all His work in their lives.

They love Jesus. They are walking with Him, and growing. 

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Yet, I stop short of saying homeschooling has been the answer. 

Because in the end, Jesus is the answer.

Disciping our children, with homeschooling as a part of that, has really been what has kept them on a mostly straight path. Teaching them His Word, and trying to live it out as exmples (even if we fail at times) is key. There is no better teacher than example. Surrounding them with other families who are on the same path has been essential. Keeping Jesus at the center of everything has been our life.

And when we fail….we mess up. But even then, there are lessons for grace, when you keep Jesus at the center of it all.

Homeschooling is just a part of discipling our family. I believe our family closeness has been a result of our homeschooling for sure –spending so much time together, working together daily in school and in life, has really knit us tightly together. 

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And I wouldn’t have it any other way 🙂

But homeschooling is not the means to the end. It is just a part of what we are doing to make disciples.

 

 

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Bible Before Books – How Things Evolve as Children Grow

Lately, because we study our Bible in the evenings as a family we haven’t been doing a set Bible time together in the mornings. I read my Bible first thing when I wake up (no words before my eyes, before HIS Word has been before my eyes) and then I ask the kids to do the same. We all sort of have our own Bible time in the mornings. Nothing wrong with that, it is just different from previous years where we always did Bible time first thing before any schoolwork.

I am still trying to decide if I should add something in together in the mornings, or just leave our study time at night and let them study on their own in the morning. After all, they are getting older and I like the idea of them getting into the habit of their own time with the Lord. This is preparation for life 🙂

However, it is something I need to make sure happens. I posted this on Instagram yesterday:

Mom-bun, my Mickey Mouse mug, and a table full of possibilities today. Waiting for the boy to read his Bible since he came to do math, and I asked him if he read it yet. He said he hadn’t. Sent him back to THE most important book before we tackle that math! Make sure you, Mom, do the same! Set your heart right before the Lord BEFORE jumping into the day. His Word is living and active and nourishes and sustains us! Be transformed by it! Don’t let it sit there while you go about your day. Seek Him first!! Who’s with me? #simplylivingforhim #transformed #seekJesus#Biblefirst #biblebasedhomeschooling

How are you studying the Bible as a family? Do plans evolve and change as your children grow older? Share in the comments below!

To read other posts in this series:

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Understanding the Bible

Understanding the Bible by John Stott– ON SALE!

Understanding the Bible

This book answers foundational questions: Who wrote the Bible? What is its message? Why is it thought to be a “holy” book? How does one read and interpret it? Best of all, though, you’ll broaden your vision of Jesus Christ, the focal point of Scripture. How? By better understanding the geographical, religious, and historical concerns that shaped the world in which he lived. You’ll see Jesus as never before: both as a man of his times and culture, and as the culmination of a divine providence that prepared the way for the ministry of the Messiah. Written by renowned preacher, writer, and apologist John Stott, this new, expanded edition includes – Questions at the beginning of each chapter to help you focus – New, up-to-date maps for the chapters on history and geography – An index to help you speedily access areas of interest.

 

The Whole World Needs Jesus

I received a copy of this book for review. All opinions are mine and are not altered in any way.

The Whole World Needs Jesus

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In the world we live today, it is more urgent than ever to share the Gospel. We are a people commanded to bring Jesus to all. We can be a light in the darkness.

The Whole World Needs Jesus is a delightful read-aloud book the whole family will enjoy. With its rhyming text and whimsical illustrations, this 8.5 x 11 hardcover children’s book focuses on the Gospel and God’s Great Commission. For homes, churches, schools, and ministries, it’s an enjoyable tool to encourage kids to love God and to love others, with a life-long heart for unreached people and global missions.

Head over to learn more about this beautiful resource for your whole family—-> The Whole World Needs Jesus

 

See my video this week where I shared this new resource! We enjoyed reading it together as a family:

https://www.missionmindedfamilies.org/p/kids-book

We Finished Job- God’s Perfect Timing- #BibleReadingFamily

#BibleReadingFamily

Our Adventure Reading Through the Entire Bible as aFamily

Job

Sometimes it is difficult to write. Time is lacking, circumstances around me are swirling, or I just don’t have the words. All of these hold true for me lately. Life has been a whirlwind. Tragedy has struck around me, in many different places. Life is hard. Words are few.

“Though He slay me, I will hope in Him.

Job 13:15

However, through it all, we have been in the book of Job. God is so good. He knew exactly where we would need to be in our Bible reading and he had us in Job at this time when we would need to wisdom of this book more than ever.

I am so grateful to be reading through the Bible with my family. I never had a time schedule on how much we should read each day, but I am fully confident that God knows exactly where we needed to be and at this time and I am grateful we are on His schedule that He planned for us. Job is the exact place we needed to be at this point in time.

We finished the book last night and I must say, I am looking forward to beginning Psalms and reading through some of those very healing and soothing words. But Job…so much needed at this difficult time.

We were reminded ultimately that we will suffer. No one is immune in this world from hardship, calamity, or suffering. And most of all we were reminded that God is sovereign. His plans are perfect. He knows abundantly more than we do, and we are not to question His ways. What I learned most from Job is that knowing God is more important than knowing everything. And the comfort of knowing He is in control no matter what is priceless.

I also know that out of the whirlwind, He will answer. Just when life is more unbearable than we think we can handle, He is there.

Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind and said…”

Job 38:1

What are you studying these days? Share below in the comments!

Here are some Job resources for your family:

Hidden Treasures in the Book Of Job

Waiting on God in Difficult Times (Wiersbe)

Our Study of Job (previous)

Studying Job

Join me on Mondays at 3pm on Facebook LIVE!

This week during our Monday check-in we talked about how to share Jesus in difficult times and I shared a brand new resource for your family!

Join me each week for a check-in, live chat, Q & A, prayer requests, and more!

Check out where I am speaking in 2017—-> SPEAKING

Listen to the new Podcast episodes—-> PODCAST

EARLY Bird tickets are available for our ladies weekend in the summer of 2017!

Grab a ticket now before prices go up!

 

simplyretreat2017