Thursday, February 19, 2015

The World Is Crazy and What Can I DO?

Pick you poison.

Sex Slaves.
Freedom to Bear Arms.
Mandatory Vaccinations.
GMO foods.
ISIS terrorists. 
Parents rights.
Co-Ed Bathrooms.

It can be overwhelming!

I totally disconnect with this modern view going around that getting involved in "politics" or "political issues" is useless and actually looked down upon. Especially in the Christian realm (which should be the quite opposite!!)

It's only because the people who came before us laid down their lives for certain issues (freedom of speech, thought and conscious, prohibit slavery ect) that we are able to live the way we do. 

If we aren't getting involved somehow, then we are responsible for the disintegration of the quality of life our children will have.

So... here are some practical, simple, non-time consuming, family friendly ways we can get involved. 

(1) PRAY! 1 Timothy 2:1-4 says: 

Therefore I exert first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life all goodliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight for God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

Make this a daily thing. Add it to your personal prayer time. Add it to your family prayer time. Get a book that helps guide your prayers or gives you ideas on what to pray for. One book that I often go through over and over is called 30 Days to Change a Nation.

Pray for the president, your local officials, the police and fire department, those in the military, your pastor and children's Sunday school teachers, your husband, your sons and daughters ect.

(2) Get Informed. I LOVE to listen to podcasts during nap time. My husband (my wise protector ;) ) has warned me on what not to listen to since I am easily swayed by my motherly instincts of protecting my young ones, and am therefore easily overwhelmed with fear. But here are a few podcasts/people that I listen to:

There is another person I just discovered. She's super funny! I have only listened to a few of her videos, so I don't know if I fully recommend her, but here is her link regardless. Eden Cultures

Anyways, listen to REAL news. Look at sites outside of the US. Get your news from places other then FOX or CNN. Compare both sides of every issue. Get statistics that are reliable and unbiased. REMEMBER to FOLLOW THE MONEY! Research who endorses certain news sites so you know if they are being persuaded by money to lean a certain way. 

A great example of this, and what I currently learned, is the current Measles outbreak and the whole issue over whether we should make vaccinations mandatory or not. I was listening to several different sides of the topic and found this interesting: Did you know that OVER HALF of the children contracting the measles HAD the vaccine? Did you know that SO MANY MORE children have died from vaccinations then from the diseases these vaccines "prevent"??

(3) Sign Up for Mailing Lists: There are SO MANY great websites that will email you and alert you when things are going on in your city or around the world. Here are a few my husband and I follow:

There are SO MANY MORE! Do some web browsing and find sites that align with what your convictions are.  But the point is to get informed and then you can do the next step:

(4) Get Involved: Visit abortion clinics, go to tours at your local government centers (great for home educators/home schoolers), attend debates or meetings that are open to the public to voice their concerns and opinions, email or mail your local representatives and let them know what you believe in. 

My husband is the one who does more of this then I do. I have emailed some state representatives and shared with them my concerns and opinions on certain issues. My husband and I have shown up to city meetings and shared our concerns with certain construction projects that were being planned in our city. We share information with others and encourage people to get involved in things. 

I asked my husband what he would say if he were doing this post and he said to start by simply volunteering. Once you get your feet wet in different areas, you will get a feel for what you're passionate about. You will also meet people and hear about other ways to get involved.

(5) Raise Your Children to Stand Up for What's Right: 

In homeschool, we are currently learning about the early church and the martyrs like Polycarp, Saint Valentine, and the emperor Constantine. 

My children see mommy and daddy talking about certain issues and praying together. 

They see our passion for defending God's Word, our freedoms, and standing against the works of Satan, but even more so, standing FOR the Word of God in any capacity we are able. 

They see us standing in the gap between freedom and bondage, interceding, and fighting for the freedoms that their children will hopefully be able to enjoy. 

We immerse our children in the truth so they are able to identify lies. 

As they say, we're only one generation away from Christianity or even our freedoms being extinct.

(6) VOTE!!! 
Please, please, please vote! We Americans sometimes most times neglect the most basic freedom that other countries are so envious for! Our ability to vote our government leaders into office.  

Do I think it's important?

I am so thankful for this country and the freedom's I have. 

I intend to fight for the freedom of my children and grandchildren. 

Will you join me??

Sunday, February 8, 2015

My Bedtime Prayer

The pressures of this life
The fears that stealthily come
The distractions that wave their colorful ribbons
If not vigilant, we become numb

We let them tiptoe into our hearts and minds
Not realizing they're planning coup
Stealing our hope, our joy, our focus
Please don't let this happen to you!

Oh, Lord, You say you'll guard my mind
If I keep my eyes fixed on You
I need Your peace so desperately
Purify my heart and make it new

I want nothing else to matter
But to simply hear Your voice
Everything else can fade away, dim
And in this I make my choice

I wish my mind could tell my heart 
How it should be convinced
But I often slip back into the grip
Of fear and purposelessness 

How can I persuade my own un-consciences
That it needs to care no more
About the things that "fate" could bring
And be steadfast on You, Lord?

Take my heart Lord
Take and seal it
Seal it for Thy Courts Above

Fear, my greatest enemy
So meaningless and frail
My God who defeated the Grave!
Your Spirit lifts all darkness like a veil

No enemy can prosper
No unseen forces can prevail
Not even the grave or death can hold You!
My God, All Power! All Hail!

My wicked heart still falters
Though I know all this to be true
It's like a fever I cannot break
How can I be free? I wish I knew.

Do Your Work, My Jesus
Have Your way in Me
From all this madness and sleepless nights
I truly desire to be free

I long to be like children
Just trusting in Your care
To know You have my every step
And of all these fears, You're aware

Please tell my heart that my mind is correct
And make the two unite
Thank You Jesus. I'll forever worship Your Name
Thank You Lord! Goodnight.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Started with a Nugget, Ended with an Epi Pen: Corn Allergy Gone WAY WRONG!

A Bloated Stomach: Always
Hives: Sometimes
Inflammed, Hot Skin: Usually
Neck Swelling and Closing: YEAH RIGHT!

That only happens to people with peanut allergies... or bee stings! 

Wednesday, December 28th: After about a week of eating basically whatever. A little here. A little there. Then I ate 5 nuggets. Oh, they were goooooood nuggets!
Stomach bloating.
I'm okay.
Skin raising and getting hot. 
Why did I do that?
The pain was REALLY up a notch...
We rush to the store and get Benadryl and Pepto Bismal and I drink both of those.

Thursday, December 29th: Still in pain from the night before. Put all the kids down for a nap. Pull up a chair and a home-made gluten-free granola bar (xanthan gum) and put my feet up. Soon after eating the bar, the symptoms start up again, but this time my neck started feeling funny. Slowly the muscles got tighter and tighter. I started not comprehending what was going on around me. I kept asking Siri to take me to an Urgent Care and was upset she wasn't taking me. Alyssa came in the door (PRAISE THE LORD!) and I asked my dad where I should go.

I kept my cool all the way to the ER so not to freak Alyssa out. I ran into the ER and up to the desk and lost it bawling! "MY THROATS CLOSING! I'M HAVING AN ALLERGIC REACTION!" They rushed me back.

"Mam, please slip into this gown. I'll be right here in case something happens."

I just stared at the gown. Snaps... I know I know how to do ... Snaps... "Someone help! I can't! I don't know what's going on."

"You're going into shock. It's okay. We have medicine. Hang in there."

I don't remember much else until I received the Epinephrine. I immediately felt a million times better! They also gave me a hefty does of steroids. I was given two Epi Pens to take with me.

Friday, December 30th & Saturday, December 31st: I went to the ER again Friday because my throat started closing, and again Saturday due to the same phenomena. More steroids... more drugs...


Alright... I Guess It's Time to Bite the Bullet, Eh?

All Organic. Grass-Fed Meat and Cheese. Non-Corn Fed Eggs.
My LONG list of Corn ingredients made me realize I can't really eat anything packaged at all...
It was going pretty well until...



Elias had been throwing up and having diarrhea all week.
I was so weak and dizzy from all the steroids.
I kept drinking water, but I felt dehydrated too. So I grabbed a coconut water. I didn't even think about it.

Sure enough. I felt funny. My stomach started to tighten. I got SO dizzy.
I looked at the label:

I called Kirkland and asked where their Vitamin C is sourced from. It was on my "corn list". It's sourced from "absorbic acid" which can be sourced from CORN SYRUP!

Well, maybe the steroids still coursing through my veins will help...

My throat tightened. I had the Epi Pen in my hand, but I was so afraid to use it.
My husband rushed me to the ER. I fought myself to give myself the Epi Pen, but I just couldn't.
Finally in the ER, the doctor and the nurse walked me through it and I gave it to myself.


What's Different?

When your body has an allergy, your immune system produces antibodies against the substance. The more you expose your immune system to the substance, the more antibodies your body creates. The more I exposed myself here and there, the more my immune system was building up for ... THE NUGGET!

I now have the worst level of allergy towards corn...

I'll have more posts about how I am working through this as far as life style and my walk with the Lord and what's He's been teaching me through it all. He hasn't taken me home yet! ;)

Plus I'm so wiped out from the adrenaline followed by the drowsy Benadryl...

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Why We Home-Educate

Every Family Is Different.
Every Parent Is Different.
Every Child Is Different. 

The beautiful complexities of family living; 
the gorgeous intricacies of how a parent is perfectly suited to meet every need of each specific child.
How the personalities all mesh. 
How strengths and weaknesses grind together as iron sharpens iron.
It's so wonderful!

This, my friends, is my firm belief. 
I really, honestly believe that no one can teach my children as well as I can. I don't think anyone has pieces of the same DNA that my children do, like I do. I don't believe anyone on this earth can be as connected to them as I am. I understand there are exceptions to this... but this post is about why we homeschool... so I can rant about whatever I want :)

Reason #1: No one can teach my children as well as I can. 
I know my Ahavah sounds out words to read them. 
My Alecia memorizes words and then can fly through a story. 
My Hayven likes to act things out with play and often needs to reinforce things she learns in several different ways to fully understand something. 
My Elias likes wheels, needs to be active, and loves Little Pim videos! He hates reading, unless there are cars in the book. 

All my kids take to music very well! Anything put to song they soak it up. When I speak to any of my children, I have great influence over them. They respond to me and have a relationship with me they can not have with anyone else on this planet! It's so awesome!

Reason #2: My husband's biggest reason is that he HATES how schools nowadays teach. He hates the whole relativistic worldview. He hates how we are taught to accept everything and stand for nothing. He just dropped out of a "history class", which was more of a religion class, where the professor actually said, 
"We won't be using any textbooks in this class." 
"There are no 'facts' in history." 
"I won't be teaching any of that Founding Father garbage."!!!! 
My husband keeps up on what schools are teaching children. Did you know only 50% of children in Saint Paul graduate high school?!

Reason #3: We can allow our kids to go at their own pace. I've seen a lot of parents use this as their excuse to slack off in homeschooling and we are very cautious NOT to do that. 

In fact, my twins are 4 years old, and they are right now about 1/2 way through kindergarten. They are reading basic easy reader books. They are brilliant at Math! They are taking a science, history, and handwriting class also. We're starting them on the piano this coming year. My twins should only be just going into preschool learning letters and colors... 

Now my Hayven just turned 3 and she is 1/2 way through her second year in preschool. She knows all her letters, how to count, all her colors, and more! She shouldn't even be starting kindergarten until about 2 years from now (since her birthday is in December)

Reason #4: Flexibility with Time. We are able to travel (which we do several times a year). We are able to stay out until 3am in the middle of the week if we want to. We are able to do our school in the morning (which we usually do), or we can do it in the afternoon, or the evening if dad wants to participate in something. We can accomplish 5 days worth of school into 4 days and have a 3 day weekend. We can take months off and do school year round, or we can follow what other kids do and take summers off. We can take a sick day none of my kids will miss anything.

Reason #5: We can teach the Bible and raise them doing ministry. We all do devotions together in the morning and study a chapter a day of a book and plow through books of the Bible. Each kid reads the Bible in school once a year. We memorize scripture and practice this every day. We pray in the morning, during school, at meals, at night as a family. We bring our kids to the church building to set up, to peoples house to minister and fellowship, to the church coffee house for feasts and things. They serve along side us picking up trash, watching and playing with other children, or in whatever capacity they can. 

My kids have seen more of this country then met high school students. I hope we can go on missions trips in the future and they can see places all around the world. 

Yes, I think it would be so much easier to simply send them on the school bus and have the day to myself. 
Yes, there are days when I want to quit. 
It's a lot of work
But, really, what could be more important?!? 
I can't think of a single thing. 
I am going to die and there is no amount of money I can earn that will make any sort of difference in this world. 
No song I write is going to be sung for hundreds of years. 

BUT the investment I make on a daily basis of pouring my all into my children will last! 
It will last for as long as I live. 
It will be with them their whole lives. 
They will raise their children with how I raised them imbedded in them. 
Their children's children will do the same.
 Not to mention the treasures I am storing up in heaven leading my little lamb's hearts to the saving grace of Jesus Christ.

Teaching them how to pray. 
Showing them how to deal with hardships and trails. 
Showing them how to fight for the helpless and the outcasts. 
Equip them with diligence and a solid work ethic that they can take with them in any avenue of their life. 

Oh, weary mom!
Remember THIS!
Hold onto this!
This world comes up against homeschooling so much. 
Don't believe the lies! 
Keep pouring yourself out like a drink offering unto the Lord and into your precious little lambs. 
Daily lead them beside still waters.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Much about Nothing

JUST kidding... it's my little brother!

This is me and my littlest sibling Aaron Matthew. This is only the second time I have held him and he's four months old! He has finally been released from the hospital this last week. I want SO badly to be there to hold him and kiss him!!!

Here is my sisters and I with AaronMatthew. 

Nana (Grandma) having a craft time for the grandkids and kids. 

My little sister enabling my little brother to paint all over himself...

My husband and I.

 Yes I crafted too!

Hayven my 3rd painting away!!

Eating at a GREAT corner shop in Detroit. I forgot what it was called...

... but we were definitely the center of attention there... and pretty much everywhere we go where dad lives...
I was able to assist in leading worship at an afterglow service in Ann Arbor, MI.

I can't think of any specific reason I am writing this post other then that I want to babble about how life is right now... 

My husband started school Monday. He works every morning and has school every evening. We have our lives pretty scheduled out as far as how our days are going to go to ensure we have enough time for the Lord, each other, family, work, school and ministry. We have weekly date nights planned, weekly family nights, and weekly nights (sometimes twice a week) where we meet with people over dinner and fellowship. We make sure we all have our personal devotional time, devotions and prayer as a family every night, and I have about an our a day to work on worship sets, and time to write songs and get some recording done. 

My SUPER MAN!! In training... 

Homeschool's going awesome! 
Were half way through Kindergarten and Preschool. I am working out what books and such I need for next year already (I'm a huge planner if you haven't noticed already). 
My girls are reading more and more fluently everyday. It's so exciting!
Hayven has become so much more diligent in her work: chores and school work. I'm so proud of her and love watching my babies mature into little women. Even my son has become hard working in his chores that he does every day (picking up toys and throwing away garbage). 

My Hayven and I with our matching winter gear :) She insisted we get a picture taken together. 

Oh my, I can't tell you how much I LOVE being a mom :)
There's just No Greater Joy!
**someone should title a blog that** ;)

Monday, December 29, 2014

Am I starting the New Year Right??

Detroit here we are again. 
Dad's new house has a really nice interior, but is located in the #1 worst zip code in the USA. 

On our way here, our car broke down about an hour away from dad's house. We followed the wrong highway, got off on the next exit to turn around, and were just about to get back on the correct highway, when the serpentine belt under our hood shredded. We backed up (on the on ramp) into a car dealership. The owner happened to be a believer! He had signs that said:
"God Bless You in Jesus' Name"
There also happened to be a coffee and chocolate shop right across the street. Coincidence??!? I think not! We spent a few hours there fixing our car. We got back on the highway and broke down only a few exits further down! We left our car to get fixed overnight. The car happened to break down this time minutes from a Calvary Chapel. 

So Sunday morning we went to the Calvary Chapel in Ann Arbor. It was an awesome time of fellowship, encouragement, and the Holy Spirit even gave me words for the pastor and his wife. They invited us to come to their New Years Afterglow service Wednesday night. I was even invited to assist with worship! We are planning on doing this provided the Lord allows it. 

I won't go into too many specific details on how the rest of the trip is going, but I will say that it's so important to hear from the Lord on things. Even decisions on if to travel and when. Circumstances told us NOT to come to Detroit during this time, but we knew the Lord was in it. He provided all the funding, the time off work, and so much more! And we see Him leading and guiding our every step in this trip. 

I want to tell a story of how ridiculous we look in this city! 
We were at dad's church building/thrift store and we decided to run across Gratiot Street to get some energy drinks from a gas station. We walk in and everyone in the store stops and looks at us. One lady who was with her boyfriend jut points at me and laughs. She's staring at me, looking me up and down saying, 
"What are THEY doing HERE?" 
I just smile. 

So I named this post "Starting a New Year Right??" because I wanted to make a point. 

Do you make decisions based on how circumstances appear, or do you rely on the Lord's voice and His leading you

Do you let "logical thought" be your first or your final marker on the choices you make?

Do you let fear lead you, or God's loving Spirit that casts out all fear?

Do you let your desires lead you, or the fact that God wants to be glorified?

I hear so many times Christians thinking that when things go wrong, or get hard, the Lord must NOT be in it! 

Oh, the contrary!! 
God calls His children to a life of persecution. 
A life of hardship. 

He warns us of it over and over in scriptures:

John 15:20 Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. 

1 Corinthians 4:12-14And labour, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it: Being defamed, we intreat: we are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things unto this day. I write not these things to shame you, but as my beloved sons I warn you.

We see all throughout scriptures God calling His people into situations that were not comfortable, nor did they make any sense to the "logical instinct" of man (Abraham, Daniel, Jonah...).

It makes no sense to choose a life that denies the flesh, that denies the "luxuries" that our flesh craves. I am learning this lesson more and more. I SO desire to be set free from the bondage of fear, and to be set free from the pull of this flesh! I long to desire all God has for me and my family. I crave to be the bold, fearless child of God who goes forward without counting anything dear to myself except the cross of Jesus Christ. 

And we are applying that right now, at the beginning of this year. 
In the most dangerous zip code in the USA. 
Drug deals, shootings, hookers, fear, and darkness. 
Oh, Jesus, how much this world needs You! 
How much I need You!

So, in light of the New Year, I want to grow so much more in love with Jesus this year, that all else fades into the background. 

I want to throw off this cloak of fear once and for all of where our country is headed, and the fear of the enemy becoming too strong. 

I want to be an example to my children how to stand up for righteousness in a world that LOVES sin. 

Will you join me???
Christmas Eve at my mom's house.

Christmas Morning at our house. 

Monday, December 22, 2014

MeRrY ChRiStMaS!

Merry CHRISTmas from the Deputies!

Carl the Snowman
We built Carl the Snowman on a BEAUTIFUL day in December, only to have him melt about a week later. 
We currently have no snow AND... no Carl :(. 
We were loading up the car on a Sunday morning for church and Hayven says in a very deep, creepy voice:

"When we get home, I'm gonna kick that snowman! Time for fun, Fun, FUN!"

We had an Agape Feast at our church coffee house and Elias tripped over someones foot and got a deep gash on his forehead. We had it all bound up nicely. Then he decided to jump of the table and fell right in the same spot resulting in two black eyes, a swollen nose, and another egg on his forehead. He THEN jumped out of the car and hit it AGAIN on the curb on a Thursday night and hit the SAME SPOT a THIRD time!!! 
Needless to say, this wound it now on the way to being healed...

We stuck with our family tradition of making a ridiculous amount of sugar cookies and bringing them to every event we go to through the holiday season. Hayven's best friend was able to join us this year! It was very fun! 

A few Saturday's ago, the girl's CKC (Calvary Kid's Club) class went roller skating! It was a blast and the girls won some prizes for dancing the Hokey Pokey, and knowing how many wise men came to bring gifts to Jesus.  

We celebrated Hanukkah a few nights and thanked Jesus for being the light of the world and the worker of miracles. We watched some movies on the story of Hanukah and what it means to us today.

We also learned all about the Christmas Story in school! In our science class we learned about the properties of water and how it becomes a snowflake. We then proceeded to make snowflakes and had so much fun we got carried away! Our dining room is a beautiful winter wonderland!

We also had fun decorating around the house of a Christmas party we hosted for the women at the church.  

Christmas time is my favorite time to spend time laughing, snuggling, planning trips (which we are doing!!!), making cookies and baked goods, and reading and reflecting on the FACT that Jesus Christ,  the Word of God in flesh, humbled Himself and became a baby to be born in a smelly stable and to live His life here on earth just to be hated, ridiculed, and crucified by us and for us. He then rose from the dead and defeated sin and death! We now can have fellowship with God and forgiveness of sin thanks to Jesus Christ!

But this year we actually have plans for Christmas! AND LOTS OF THEM! 

Christmas Eve: We will celebrate Hayven's birthday at her best friend's house. Then we will head over the my mom's for our like 25+ year tradition at my Grandma's old home.

Christmas Morning: We will spend the morning here opening stockings, then we will go to Alex's family to celebrate with good food and family.

Friday: It will be all packing and cleaning because...

Saturday: at 3am we will be leaving to Detroit to visit my dad, step-mom and brothers!!!! We plan on being there about a week. 

Speaking of brothers, my littlest brother had open heart surgery and is still in the hospital recovering. Even though the news has been up and down, he seems to be recovering well. I am anxious to hold him and kiss him and tell him how much I love him!!

AND I have a Christmas gift for YOU! 
Leave me a comment with your email address and I will email you a song that I finally got recorded called "Immanuel"
It's specific for Christmas and I hope it blesses you!