The LORD lives, and blessed be my rock, and exalted be my God, the rock of my salvation
2Samuel 22:47

26 May 2010

A Side Effect of. . .

Home Education: Vocabulary

This short post can otherwise be known as 'Reason number 341 to home educate':
Your 4-year old will have a stellar vocabulary {and he will even know what stellar means!} For instance:

Dad: "Langston, why do you have such a long face?"
Ryland (He answers for his younger brother, because that is what older brothers do): "That's just because he's been so cross today!"

Or, during a Saturday morning snuggle, when Ry came running to Dad with his Bible:
"Dad, I was coming to see if you were available to read to me?"

Or, upon explaining something to him and he replies:
"I'm concerned about this."

And, on a typical Nebraska afternoon (umm, that means WINDY for those out-of-staters)
"I believe it is too gusty to fly my kite today."

There are many more 'Rylandisms', but I wanted to share just a few of our latest favorites with you. And also encourage you, especially mothers, to read {and don't read twaddle, either. Charlotte Mason, anyone?} with your children, discuss the stories with your children, use real language with them {no baby talk!} and then see if they can narrate {explain what they understand from the reading} back to you. Even a 2-year old is capable of this, at a 2-year old level of course. It is fun and rewarding, and the mothers who are reading this and have already discovered the treasures listed above can affirm with their own testimonies the incredible vocabularies of their own children. {Disclaimer: your child may blurt something out in Church. This is not a reason to avoid conversational style learning with your children, just a friendly warning. It's not a reason to avoid going to Church, either. Please don't ask how I know. . .}

*And*, this is just my own personal belief and speaking from my experience, I truly believe that if children have the words and ideas to express themselves correctly and in context, they tend to be less frustrated in general. That's a good thing. Anyone relate?

Concluding, Hollie :-)

P.S. Almost forgot to mention - we haven't even started 'formal' pre-school yet. Hmmm...

17 May 2010

Ordinary Thankfulness

". . .give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." 1 Thessalonians 5:18
Looking around at the ordinariness of my day, and my home today, I found so much to be thankful for. How often I overlook the ordinary, take these things for granted, when they are some of God's greatest gifts to me on this earth.

Lord, I am thankful today for the rain you are giving us. It is making this world colorful and vibrant. It is growing our garden strong and healthy. No one makes water like you, fresh from the heavens, it is pure and healthy. Thank you, Lord. Thank you for the little plants that are thriving and will provide food for my family, neighbors and friends in a few months.

Thank you, Lord, for laundry. My family is clothed - amen! The dirt speaks of healthy adventures, hard work you have given us, funny spills, good times. Thank you that I can wash our clothing with the simple push of a button, instead of down at the creek {although I'd like to try that for fun someday, I am thankful that I have the choice not to.}

Thank you, Lord, for dirty dishes. My family is well fed, because of your faithful care for us. Thank you that we have fresh water in our home with which to do dishes and prepare food with. Thank you for all the helping hands that are learning lessons in keeping a home, that they will one day be able to minister to their families in the same capacity.

Thank you, Lord, for a small place to keep pretties and earthly treasures. Though I know material things have no lasting value, this pretty little place gives my eyes a place to rest and refresh. I am so thankful for this area of our home.

Thank you, Lord, for the books you have graced our home with. Thank you for the incredible blessing of being able to give our sons a home education. Thank you for the many people you have graced with wonderful words, that we can enjoy the gifts you gave them and be fed by their ideas and thoughts to make ourselves better people.

Thank you, Lord, for rest. This is one of my favorite gifts, I am so thankful. Sweet, sweet, rest.

So thankful.

Thank you, Lord, for the friendship you have given my sons with each other. I will continue to pray that you will keep them as each other's best friends. Thank you that they enjoy being with each other, encouraging one another, cheering for each other, playing with each other. I'm even thankful for the fights- thank you that you allow us to learn about unconditional love, giving preference to one another, forgiving each other in a manner that honors you. Thank you that we are able to learn these lessons in the harbor of our home.

Thank you, Lord, that you have given us a place to rest our heads each night. My Lord grants rest to those He loves- thank you for loving me so much, Lord.

Thank you, Lord, for shoes on our feet. That we may accomplish the work you have for us to do, and also that you give us enjoyment in doing that work and being together. I am so thankful for the coming warm summer days.

Thank you, Lord, for the full life you have given us. We have so many activities that bring us good friends and fun memories.

Thank you, Lord, that we were able to register for 2011 Life Action Family Camp. Thank you, Lord, that we only have to wait 8 more weeks until our week in Michigan, surrounded by like-minded families that desire to love you and live fully surrendered lives to you. Lord, you know the prayer in my heart concerning our family at Life Action. Please bless and supply abundantly beyond any human comprehension. May you keep your hand of blessing and protection over Life Action and your servants there. Thank you for Family Camp, Lord. Thank you.

Thank you for Creation, Lord. Oh how we have enjoyed watching the hummingbirds feed and play outside our window!

Thank you, Lord, for the door that welcomes us in at all times of the day. Thank you for the desire to welcome any and all into our home. Thank you, Lord, for making the walls of this home a safe haven for all who enter, that they may feel your presence and experience your glory. May the walls of our home always reflect your glory and prompt praise to you. May we always stay humble before you as we desire to minister as your hands and feet to each other and all who enter. Thank you, Lord, for our home.

Thank you, Lord, for green grass. We are so blessed by this springtime carpet you have given us.

Thank you, Lord, for Mother's Day flowers. Thank you for giving me such a wonderful and loving family.

Thank you, Lord, for my husband. He works so hard, thank you for blessing him with strength and wisdom. Thank you for the unconditional love he faithfully gives to our family. Thank you for protecting him, bringing him home safely every night to us. Thank you for his dirty boots, that he has work that he so willingly does for our family, and his enthusiasm and conviction about raising our boys to be hard workers, but mostly thank you that he wants them to love you more than anything else. Thank you, Lord.

So thankful for the ordinary things. Count your blessings, name them one by one. It is so amazing when one stops to really do this. I deserve nothing - worse than nothing - I deserve hell. I am so thankful for the grace that has saved me, so thankful for the ordinary gifts that are miracles that He has given me.
Gratitude is a choice. Today I choose to be thankful.

09 May 2010

To the Mothers. . .

Of the precious little ladies

Who will one day

Belong to our family through marriage -

Thank you. I honor you. I pray for your girls. My sons are praying for their future wives. Today, I am praying for you. Thank you. . .

* Thank you, for teaching your daughters about our Savior.

{Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." John 14:6}

* Thank you for raising your daughters in the fear and admonition of the Lord.

{. . .but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. Ephesians 6:4b}

* Thank you for demonstrating and teaching your daughters that marriage is a covenant, meant to be forever. Thank you.

{"Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, 'Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.'? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate." Matthew 19:4-6}

* Thank you for teaching your daughters that creating and maintaining a home is a high, holy and blessed calling.

{The wisest of women builds her house. Proverbs 14:1a, Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Psalm 127:1}

*Thank you for teaching your daughters that children are a gift and a blessing, not a burden.

{Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward. Psalm 127:3}

*Thank you for teaching your daughters to be industrious, that one day our children will be able to live on one income and therefore fulfill the Biblical and blessed roles that God has created within a family.

{She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Proverbs 31:27}

*Thank you for teaching your daughters to love, in so many ways.

{ [Older women] are to train the young women to love their husbands and children. Titus 2. . .} *Thank you for teaching your daughters not to give into selfish whims or desires or lust after fruitless passions. {. . .to be self-controlled. . .} *Thank you for teaching your daughter to think holy things and keep themselves pure for marriage. {. . .pure. . .} *Thank you for teaching your daughters how to be competent wives, mothers and homemakers. {. . .working at home. . .} *Thank you for teaching your daughter compassion for others. {. . .kind. . .} *Thank you for teaching your daughters what freedom and protection is with Biblical submission. {. . .and submissive to their own husbands. . .} *Thank you for teaching your daughters to love and revere our God and His word, and doing everything for His glory, praise and purpose. Thank you for teaching your daughters for Him. {. . .that the word of God may not be reviled. Titus 2:4-5}

To these mothers, I give my heart to you. One day, your precious girls will hold the hearts of my sons, whom I love dearly. Thank you for preparing them for blessed marriage.

I can't promise you that my sons will be perfect. I can tell you only that we, too, are in the trenches, preparing them for the day they will be united in marriage to your daughters. My sons are learning to value character, they are learning that they will have a wife and family that they will need to tenderly love, ferociously protect and diligently provide for. My sons are learning that Jesus is their salvation, and that a relationship with Him is the only hope.

Thank you, mothers, for joining with our family in the battle for the family. I honor you. I am so thankful for you and I lift you up in prayer for the hard work you are doing. You are my family. I will continue to do my best, pour out my heart, soul and strength into my family to prepare them for your daughters and our grandchildren someday, by God's grace, I will not give up.

"But the steadfast love of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him, and his righteousness to chidren's children, to those who keep his covenant and remember to do his commandments." Psalm 103:17-18

With all my heart truly,