Don’t Give Up!

     

The weather outside has become wintery and the skies have turned a winter gray, but it is a great time to buckle down and enjoy the homeschool journey.  It’s this time of the year that the homeschool BLAH’s can set in and cause us to become a little down in the mouth. I believe the shorter days and darkened skies can make the days seem dreary and move as slow as a child doing their chores! How do you keep yourself from losing your proverbial mind? How can you make it through the winter doldrums?

Get Alone With God, DAILY!

This is an absolute must for you. Get up and get motivated to sit and read His word for a few minutes each morning and PRAY that He will be glorified in your homeschool and life. Perhaps start reading in Psalms, and move your way through that book as winter progresses. There are 150 Psalms and winter will be over before you’re done! I created a reading plan for this and you can download it from here

90 day Psalm reading plan

Psalm 119:15-17

15  I will meditate on Your precepts
And regard Your ways.
16  I shall delight in Your statutes;
I shall not forget Your word.

Recently, I have had to re-adjust my personal time. I was getting lazy and short sighted in it and had to remind myself of the valuable spiritual discipline of personal quiet time. Life gets in the way and before you know it you have set aside the most important thing in your day for the dross of life. Ask the Lord to help you be faithful in this endeavor to know Him and commune with Him.

Pick a Family Project:

                Your kids are probably going as crazy as you are and getting them involved in something more than screen time can be valuable to their brains! (and your sanity!)

Last year our family decided to do a backcountry hiking trip.  If you’re not familiar with backcountry hiking and camping, it’s where you pack all your needed gear in to a LARGE backpack and carry it into the wilderness where you will stay 2-3 days.  We had to plan and prepare for this ALL winter long. There were gear lists and clearance shopping trips, practice hikes, learning about bears and snakes in the area we were going and more! We had a full winter prepping for our trip. The CRAZY thing about this is that last week one of my kids said, “I can’t wait for winter hiking. It’s my favorite time to hike.” **Insert an incredulous face of a mom here.**

Your family project should reflect you and your family. It can be anything. How many puzzles can your family finish over winter? You can take outdoor adventures in national or metro parks in your area. Make foods from different lands and read about that place or watch a library video about it. Learn to paint or sketch as a family. There are so many wonderful things you can do as a family from free to expensive. Your choice!

If you want to read about our outdoor adventures feel free to check out the blog:

Our Adventure Blog

Set A Schedule:

            Winter can make you lazy. The dreary, dark skies may cause you to get out of routine. Make a loose schedule of your day and try to stay with it. I mean LOOSE! No mom can plan around sick kids, nursing babies, and free-lance messes made by toddlers, or teenage drama, so just make a general plan for the day.

Plan a “free” day every week. It can be a day to laze around the fireplace, do an activity or go out to dinner. It gives you something to look forward to and the kids will know there is a day where you are relaxing or working on that family project. Fridays have been our “free” day for years and we use to enjoy the life that God has so graciously given to us.

Homeschooling can be challenging but you can have a successful winter semester. Embrace the cold!! Sing praises to the Lord for a time where you can slow down a bit and work on school. Grab that cup of coffee or tea and sit in the living room and enjoy the crazy. While the weather outside is frightful, winter homeschooling doesn’t need to be!

In His Grip,

Brandy

Open My Eyes:

Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law. Psalm 119:18

“When we come to hear or read the word of God, let us pray, ‘Lord, open my eyes! Persuade my soul! Bow the neck of my soul, the inner man of iron. Take away my hard heart, and teach me.” ~Richard Sibbes

Have you ever just sat at your devotion time and just stared at the Bible? You know you want to read it but are not sure where to start. There is the nagging discomfort that even if you do read it you won’t understand it. I have personally had times where I would be frustrated before I even started.  How was I to grow in Christ and in His knowledge if I did not read His Word?

When I read the quote by Richard Sibbes, I was encouraged. I was reminded that in the times I do not understand the Word I should pray, “Lord, open my eyes! Take away my hard heart.” It was a simple and gentle reminder to pray to the One who wrote the Bible by inspired men so that through the Holy Spirit my eyes, heart and mind can be enlightened. (Eph 4) Why do we doubt that He can give us understanding? May He take our hard hearts and give us knowledge!

Today, should you be hesitating to read the Word because of lack of understanding or passion, bend to your knees in prayer that He would encourage your heart to read it.  Then let Him do the work in your heart and mind  to understand it and you do the work of obedience by reading the Bible. (John 14:26)

Proverbs 1:10-11 “For wisdom will enter your heart And knowledge will be pleasant to your soul; Discretion will guard you, understanding will watch over you.

 

To the younger woman reading this, if you have small children or a lot of children, something is better than nothing (5 minutes)! You may think you don’t have time. Little kids that are up at night and knocking at the door from sun down to sun rise. You run here and there. How is this even possible in my busy woman/wife/mom world? Start small and do not be discouraged!

 

Dear Young Momma,

Psalm 22:20 “The Law of the LORD is perfect, restoring the soul, the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.

Dear Momma,

Oh, what a full plate you have. You are pulled in a million different directions. The phone is ringing, the baby crying, your toddler is dumping out toys, the house is imploding, your husband needs a date night and you probably have not slept well in weeks. You know there is to much to accomplish but everyone and everything is demanding that you do it. I remember these days all to well!

Dear sweet sister, in all the busy don’t forget to nurture your soul. It is vital that you make sure you find time to fill your soul with the Word of God. When I was in my 20’s I began journaling and reading the Bible as consistently as I could. My early attempts at quiet time with the Lord were small, but it was all I had to give. Those little seeds of time have produced fruit that have helped me endure through parenting, chronic illness in two of my children and homeschooling 20+ years. If you don’t start cultivating your heart in the Word of God now you won’t have what you need when difficult times come. Where your set your affections now will determine what weeds will be in your heart in 10 or 15 years from now. Read the Word and cultivate and weed your heart NOW!

I read a quote in, A Woman After God’s Own Heart, by Elizabeth George that said, “Something is better than nothing.” I remember thinking, I can do that, I can do 5 minutes a day and I went for it! I have never looked back and thought, “I wish I hadn’t read the Word and grown in Christ.” It’s quite the opposite. I wish I had spent more time filling my heart and mind and less time on the “little things”. There have been seasons where I have not been consistent. For example, newborn babies, sicknesses, or devastating circumstances. It is during these times I am drew from the well I had previously filled with His Word. I promise you, dear sister, the reward of spending time with your Savior is worth it!

In the end, the dishes will still be there, the messes will remain, but your soul will be renewed and fresh as you rise from your time with the Lord to do the tasks that will be at hand. You’re going to have bad days, but rather to have a bad day bathed in the Word than a bad day without it!

Take care of your soul!

Love,

Brandy

Wife, Mom, Speaker, Writer, Encourager

These are just some of the “name” hats I wear. 🙂

I’ve been excited to launch this website and share what I am learning and growing in. I hope you’ll come along with me! I’m looking forward to sharing my love of Christ with you! If you want to know a bit more about me click the ABOUT link.

Currently I am reading,

Women of the Word by Jen Wilkins

Crossway publishers

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and

Voices of the Past 2 a collection of Puritan devotionals:

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