1/3 of our Homeschool Year is Completed!

Our Homeschool year began July 1st, and it has been filled with all the main subjects like math, language, history, science, and reading, but it has also been a time of serving at conferences, trips to First Nations communities, opportunities to use the Spanish they know (and learn more), and fun times like exploring the creek where Mike used to play in as a child and eating an impromptu meal of meat, cornbread, and cake at an Ache First Nations home.

Our children’s homeschool is unique, and they absolutely love it!

They are our first ministry, and together as a family, we takes steps beyond our comfort zone to serve the Lord. We count it a joy and privilege to homeschool our children, but even more so, the opportunity to ground them in God’s Word and walk alongside them as they get older, encouraging them to obey God and His Word. 

This week, it is extra hard to keep focused on our main subjects, as we are only one week away until our Florida vacation that has been planned for over 10 months! We didn’t take a vacation last year due to ministry changes, and we look forward to taking advantage of time at the beach and spending time with both sets of grandparents as well as some uncles, aunts, and cousins. 

Pray for Trisha as she guides the children in their homeschooling. Pray for safety and a time of refreshment during our trip to Florida.

Book Review: Ordinary Graces

In “Ordinary Graces: Word Gifts for Any Season”, Lucinda McDowell encourages the Christian follower by using short devotionals that include a daily Bible verse, where she selects one word and expands on it by sharing a reflection, short story, a quote, and/or commentary and then, ends with a prayer. 
 
In the beginning of her book, she says,
To me, ‘Ordinary Graces” are surprising gifts that come to me while simply living my story. If I am in a hurry, I will miss them. If I am distracted, I will ignore them. But for anyone weary from effort yet thirsty for more, God offers grace, strength, gratitude, and life.
These four words become the key words for the 120 daily devotionals in her book. 
 
While I read, I was encouraged by every devotional. The one focus word for the day allowed me to see and reflect on the “gift” that God has given me.  One of my favorite devotionals was “Chose”, under the section of Gratitude. The key verse was John 15:16 NLT You didn’t choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit. In the devotional, Lucinda quotes,
Choose in the New Testament Greek is eklego, which means to ‘pick out or select, especially with the motivation of love and kindness’. God’s grace is a gift to all and, as we embrace it, we each become a chosen one-specially selected. The question becomes, will we choose to accept this gift?
Lucinda’s style of writing is unique as she focuses in on one word from the Bible verse, allowing each devotional to became a time of personal growth and reflection.
 
When you read “Ordinary Graces: Word Gifts for Any Season”, you will find encouragement and hope as you take time daily to read a devotional and learn more about God, the One Who gives grace as well as word gifts that are taken from His Word – for every season of life. 
 
I received a complimentary review copy by the publisher and author as a part of the launch team. This review is my honest opinion.

Through inspiring devotions, Lucinda Secrest McDowell reveals biblical blessings that remind us that: God’s promises give us strength, God’s grace can be most evident at our weakest points, a proper response to our abundance of blessings is simply gratitude, and the “more” we are all looking for is the same abundant life that Jesus came to give us.  

Learn more about Lucinda Secrest McDowell and purchase a copy of Ordinary Graces: Word Gifts for Any Season. #ordinarygraces

Serving Him Wholeheartedly

At the young age of six years old, I was challenged to walk out my faith and go beyond the borders of my country to an ethnic group that did not have access to the truth of God’s Word. Now, I did not truly understand what serving Him wholeheartedly meant, but I did know that it was something that I wanted to do. In my early childhood, I heard stories of ethnic groups in Papua New Guinea in need of someone to tell them about God.
 
My life verse became Romans 10:14-15 NIV: 
How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”

Read the rest of my #WalkItOut story, Serving Him Wholeheartedly, on Tricia Goyer’s blog. 

Book Review: Walk It Out

In “Walk It Out“, Tricia doesn’t shy away from challenging the Christian follower. Be ready to be challenged to the core to walk out your Christian faith by obeying God’s Word and impacting the world or don’t read this book. I can guarantee that if you take the challenge to read “Walk It Out“, you will never look at your Christian life the same again.    
 
She quotes,
God designed us for a purpose that will impact His kingdom. The purpose we all share as Christ followers is to worship God, love Him, love others, and live a godly life.

Move Beyond

I’m so excited that I had a part on Stacey Thacker’s launch team for “Is Jesus Worth It?“! This article was inspired by the book. Learn more about “Is Jesus Worth It?” and read my book review here.

Stories of excitement, passion, hardships, and challenges. Stories that show a heart of obedience as well as disobedience. Stories that shout out God’s goodness and faithfulness.

Each of us have a story. Each one is unique. Yet often times, we have a hard time moving beyond our fear to speak up and share it.
 

“I know that there are girls who need to hear your story. Will you teach a session?” This was the question asked of me by a friend recently, who also happens to be the director of a Paraguayan organization which organizes a yearly missions event for youth.  

A Parent’s Responsibility

“I’m so excited that I had a part on September McCarthy’s launch team for “Why Motherhood Matters“! This article was inspired by the book. Learn more about “Why Motherhood Matters,” and read my book review here.

As I read September’s book, the one thing that really stood out to me was how every family has to decide their foundation for training. My husband, Mike, and I have three children, ages 15, 13, and 11, and I can say without a doubt that for our family, our foundation for training is God’s Word.
 

Take a Risk, or be at Risk

I’m so excited that I had a part on Clay Scroggins’ launch team for “How to Lead When You’re Not in Charge“! This article was inspired by the book. You can read my book review here, or visit Clay’s website.


Leading when you are not in charge is risky. Yet, not leading at all is risky too, especially if it means going against what you value. Every person, at one time or another, has to decide for themselves: 

 

Do I have the courage to take a risk by stepping out and leading, OR will I be at risk of going against what I value?

Book Review: Is Jesus Worth It?

In “Is Jesus Worth It?“, Stacey shares as one girlfriend to another how knowing Who Jesus is changes everything. He is worth seeking, worth trusting, worth following, worth drawing near, worth listening too, worth knowing intimately, worth holding fast, worth our worship, worth the sacrifice. Jesus is worth it all.
 
Stacey quotes, 
With no one to turn to but Jesus, I found Him profoundly faithful and deeply tender. Jesus is truly all you need.
I related to the personal story that she shared, and I could tell you personally stories when I have found myself alone, with absolutely no one to turn to but Jesus, yet in those moments, that is where I have found my faith deepen. My love for Him. My prayer life increase. Him and Him alone. In the valley, but not alone. He is enough.    
 

Book Review: Why Motherhood Matters

In “Why Motherhood Matters“, September shares her heart, her experiences as a parent, offers truth to live by from God’s Word and practical steps to take in order to see specific, parenting principles implemented.
 
As a wife and mother to 10 children, she knows that 
A home is the foundation of our very essence and the beginning of who we become and where we go. When a family thrives with a heart of service and instills an others-oriented principle, those who enter, live, and leave will thrive in an environment of learning and service.