Thursday, December 31, 2020

Wrapping up 2020


 

While some cannot wait to bid adieu to this bizarre and isolating year, I must admit it wasn't entirely horrible.  The lockdown provided me a season of rest I have not experienced since the year I gave birth to my third child. Okay, I understand that statement doesn't make a lot of sense. Let me clarify. It was not restful in the sense that I got a lot of sleep, but in the sense that my life my life was unrushed and simple. It was the year that my husband took nine months paternity leave to help with our older girls while I concentrated needs of my infant son. 

I find myself in a similar season now, although my circumstances have changed remarkably. I now homeschool three children,  live on acreage, work part time,  have more square footage to clean, a hobby farm AND a "fixer upper", but I feel at rest.

I find myself wondering, why I feel rested when my life is actually more complicated that it ever has been before. Is it a mindset? Is it the pace and beauty of country life? Is it my maturing faith in God and his word? Is it that I am getting a full night of rest nearly every night and don't have to rush out the door to get my children to the bus five mornings a week? Is it the fact that I have all my children in my nest and know how they are doing and what they need at all times? Is it that I am finally cultivating the sort of home atmosphere that I have envisioned ever since I decided to have children? Is it that my husband and I have have a strong, confident love that has taken seventeen years of dying to ourselves? Is it that my work outside the home is satisfying and a continual reminder of how much I need Jesus? Is it that I finally have a "forever home" to slowly decorate as time and finances allow? Is it that I am not overcommitted and stretched to the breaking point by obligations outside my home? I really don't think it is anything specific, but rather a combination of all of the above.  Life is not easy friends, it is a grind any way you slice it. However, I think there are things that we can do to ease our burdens and invite peace into our day to day toil. I live in a household of sinners and there are plenty of tears and disagreements, but there is also an abundance of love and forgiveness and togetherness. 

I have no idea was 2021 holds but I am fairly confident that life will continue to get more complicated, that sorrow will be inevitable and that trials will abound. I am not searching for happiness, but rather contentment. My hope for the future lies in something so much greater than myself. He is the author and the finisher of my faith. The alpha and the omega over my circumstances and the one that weaves all the ragged and beautiful threads of my life into a beauty tapestry. 


Tuesday, December 15, 2020

These days: December


 Listening

To Kari Jobe’s new album“Rest”on repeat. 

Reading 

"Come Let us Adore Him" by Paul David Tripp

One Year Chronological Bible. I am nearly finished reading the whole bible in the order in which it was written and it is been so POWERFUL! This unique viewpoint allows you to read the whole Bible as a single story and to see the unfolding of God's plan in history. 

"Another Gospel: a lifelong Christian seeks truth in response to progressive Christianity"" by Alisha

"How Should We Then Live: The rise and decline of western  thought and culture". by Francis A Sheffer

"The Madness of Crowds: Gender Race and Identity" by Murray Douglas

The Color of Compromise: The truth about the American churches complicity in racism". Jemar Tisby

"Wild and Free: Reclaiming wonder in your child's education." by Ainsley Arment

Thinking 

About how the pandemic is going to effect our future global economy, politics and freedom. 

Currently

Purging my house of necessary clutter and putting everything I want to keep into labeled totes. Yesss! 

Learning

All about the human body with my children. We are so wonderfully made! 

Reading 

“The Nutcracker” by ETA Hoffmann to my children. It’s an older addition and I often have stop and explain various words, but hopefully it is stretching  their vocabulary. We found this book  on the app Scribed

Memorizing

The verse “ For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given. The government shall be on his shoulders and He shall be called wonderful counselling, mighty God, everlasting father, prince of peace”.

 - Isaiah 9:6

Dreaming 

Of ways to make our dusty , cluttered, unfinished basement living room cozy and functional

Baking

Butter tarts, coconut clusters, German cinnamon stars and  chocolate dipped hazelnut cookies.

Planning

On transitioning to only working one day a week in the new year.

Longing 

To have my favorite people over for tea, treats and good conversation. 






Tuesday, June 2, 2020

These Days: June



Listening
To Emily Brimlow on Spotify and Farmhouse Chic on Podcast. 

Reading
Homeschooling Bravely by Jamie Erickson
The Art of Homemaking by Alison May
FULL by Asheritah Ciuciu
One year Chronological Bible ( currently in Proverbs)
Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv

Reading to my children
Ocean Anatomy by Julia Rothman
How Great is our God by Louie Giglio

Eating 
Sourdough toast with farm fresh fried eggs

Ordering
Watercolour books for the girls and I. Hoping to do lots of painting and note-booking over the summer.

Listening 
to fascinating discussions on the Dave Rubin show, and speeches by apologist  Ravi Zachariah 

Cuddling 
My favorite chicken Pippin.  

Trying
To wake up up before 7:30. It’s SO hard to motivate myself. 

Longing
To spend some time learning how to play some worship songs. I have to relearn how to play so many chords that I have forgotten. 

Hoping 
To start using a book called Cook Once, Eat All Week by Cassy Joy Garcia.

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Nature Journalling

Just wanted to share a few photos from a nature journaling session we had the other day. 















Making room




I thought it might be pertinent to share a post I wrote some time ago - especially in light of all that has transpired in the past couple of weeks.  I initially wrote this blog post in November when I felt the Lord beginning to speak to me about homeschooling my children. I thought I would share a few of my journal entries and give you a peek into the internal dilemma I was having during that time.

November 15th, 2019


"While painting our walls I was listening to a podcast called "Courageous Parenting".  Every single podcast challenges me to disciple my children from a biblical perspective.  While I have not listened to all the episodes listened on their webpage, I have intentionally avoided one entitled “11 Reasons Why We Home School Despite Initial Doubts”. My initial thought was "NOPE I am done with that chapter in my life. I did my time"!  I knew that if I listened to what they had to say, I would agree with them. When I finally had to guts to push play, my suspicions proved correct. Oh help me Lord!"
November 20th, 2019

"I am often astonished at how much work is required to get everyone out the door at an appropriate time. I start the day at five am and feel as though there is heaps of time only to find myself breathing deeply when Levi is playing with his digger in the mud instead of buckling himself into his car seat. Lunches, socks, breakfast, hair, shoes, teeth, car seats, (deep breath), squabbling in the car, untied shoes, and a  forgotten backpack. I drop the children off at the bus stop, smooch them goodbye and apologize if I raised my voice. Afterwards I typically cry out of pure frustration or relief that I survived another morning. I then listen to REALLY loud worship music on my commute into work. I arrive at work wearing my big girl heels and suit and breath a sigh of relief as I settle into my work chair armed with a hot cup of coffee. Did I mention that I get to sit? All day.  I also get to think without being interrupted AND take an hour long lunch break. It's almost wrong that I get paid to do something that I am good at. In light of what I just wrote, it is ludicrous that that I am entertaining the prospect of homeschooling my children next fall - all three of them! I think that I am insane! 

December 15th, 2019

"I just dropped my kids off at the bus stop a few minutes ago and now I am sitting here with a cup of cold tea in hand, writing out a list of reasons why I should home school my children. My heart is in my throat. The very thought of being responsible for all three of my children’s education makes me want to burst into tears. It makes me want to slump against a wall and wail.  However, long ago I committed my life to serving the Lord.  I told Him that when he called me to something, I would obey. I want to live a life that is Christ led, not self led. I do however want quiet, space, time to pursue my hobbies, interests ect. I thought this was my year. I thought that I had “arrived”. All three children in school, Hallelujah! The first two months were all I had hoped that they would be: I worked, grocery shopped, helped my hubby renovate our fixer upper and even started trail running again- all without children underfoot with their relentless requests and interruptions. Bliss! I started to imagine all the things I could do once spring arrived. I was enjoying leading moms’ group and finally had time to adequately prepared for our discussions."

One day I was  having a rare day home alone when I to the song "Make Room" by Jonathan McReynolds. I had a huge realization: If I truly believe in God, believe that he knows what is best for our family and children, then who am I to question what He is asking me to do. If I believe that God calls us to instruct our children in His ways then I need to step out in faith and obey. When my faith is nothing more than theory, it isn't worth much. It's easy to say "trust God" until He actually asks you to sacrifice something you value.  I realized that I believe in ETERNITY that sacrificing a few years of my life to educate my children is an investment that could have eternal significance. It could be the difference between them choosing to serve God or not. I realized that I must MAKE ROOM for what is truly IMPORTANT and stop filling my life with what I think is important. I want to raise my children to KNOW the word of God, to store up scripture in their hearts, to see their parents live out their faith on an hourly basis, and to KNOW their purpose in life.  Proverbs 22:6 says "Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it". 

 I REALLY struggled with my decision to register Levi for school last summer. I KNEW school would be a challenge for him as I suspect that he has ADHD.   I had initially planned to keep Claire home for another year and teach Levi kindergarten but I chickened out.  I don’t believe that every mom should home school. I hold an intense respect and awe for mom's who have chosen to but I also feel sorry for them.  No breaks, no downtime, and SO MUCH PLANNING!!! While it sounds daunting I do believe that if the Lord calls you to something, you need to obey.  All sorts of interesting thoughts had been sloshing around in my heart and mind when I finally decided to listen to the podcast. 

Everything started to shift when I received my first call from the principal’s office a couple weeks ago.  My son had kicked another student. From there his behavior continued to spiral out of control.  My despair over his violent behavior began to pull me into depression.  I started to dread going to the school as the prospect of being seen as the mother of a bully.  I began keeping Levi home on the days I didn’t have to work and focused on spending quality time with him. 

My eldest daughter began experiencing bullying on the school bus and lost count of how many times she had been sworn at my a group of older boys after she stood up to them. She expressed frustration over being in a 4/5 split and not being challenged enough.

Claire is the only one who currently LOVES school.  Homeschooling her last year was HARD but not as hard as I thought it would be. While I struggled, I managed t bring her up to grade level in most subjects. We had to start at the basics and re-learn everything she had been taught. I remember how painful it was for her to write out the alphabet and numbers 1-100 when we first started. Now she loves multiplying numbers.  I am, however, concerned that she has a learning disability as her reading and writing are significantly delayed. 

In addition to all of the above I found myself becoming more and more frustrated with some of the things my children were being taught at school. I had to write a letter to the school to excuse my children from participating in yoga after discovering that it was something that they were exposed to on a regular basis. I kept it short and sweet and to the point. I find it so interesting that the school would incorporate ancient Hindu philosophy  and advocate “union with the Supreme Being” when singing about baby Jesus at a Winter school concert is no longer considered appropriate. Furthermore, I have issue with the  SOCI curriculum the school district is using. While I am passionate about treating people with dignity and respect I do not want my children being indoctrinated to believe that people can choose their gender based on their feelings. *Sigh*

Nevertheless, I said “yes” to the Lord and started to research curriculum, not knowing when he ask me to pull them out of school. I assumed that I would let them finish the school year and then begin the fallowing fall. I began to get really excited about a curriculum written by Rebecca Spooner. She is a RCMP member’s wife (like me), a Christian and prescribes to the Charlotte Mason theory of educating children. She created a fantastic curriculum called Gather Round which allows families to learn together.  I decided to order one of her unit studies to try out with my children over the Spring Break. I thought that it would be wise to see how it worked for our family  so that I could look for alternatives if it didn't. I ordered the North American birds unit just before Spring break and it arrived the day before the school announced that they would be closed for an indefinite period of time. My heart nearly exploded with gratitude that the Lord had prepared my heart in advance. God is good!




Thursday, January 16, 2020

Currently: January


Loving 
the fact that our recent snowfall pushed pause on life. My little one is sick with the flu but we have still managed to enjoy the snow to the fullest extent. 

Thinking
About garden design and what plants I want to grow. It's a long way off, but I can't help but daydream. I have started hacking blackberry bushes around the area we intend to use as our garden. Hopefully in February we will purchase some piglets and allow them to turn the soil over and clear the underbrush in that area. 
Reading

Watching 
YouTube channels:  Homeschool On: She provides in depth curriculum reviews as well as honest views on the challenges and joys of homeschooling. Roots and Refuge: Mamma of many and gardening extraordinaire. 

Continuing 
to feed my family with only one element, a crock pot and a rice cooker. I have my eye on an Insta- Pot. I think it would make life a whole lot easier!

Aspiring
to start working out in a space I recently carved out in our current storage room. I want to complete the 100 workout challenge I found on my Beach Body app. We recently moved our belongings from our storage unit into a steel bin on our property. During the move I managed to locate my weights and recently acquired squat rack. I still have to convince my husband to put it together. 

Appreciating
the fact that my husband has a myriad of skills that allow him to  renovate our home. It keeps our costs low and gives us the opportunity to work and dream together. Progress might feel glacial at times but I just keep reminding myself that "little by little" gets the job done. 



Thursday, November 28, 2019

These Days: November



Singing 
"Anchor" by Skillet at the top of my lungs

Longing
to have a space to work out in and the energy to make it happen

Hoping
to have  a stove and a semblance of a kitchen by Christmas

Enjoying
my new wool mason jar sleeve

Trying 
to wake up at 5am

Wearing 
my vintage Givenchy jacket, pencil skirt and tom ankle boots

Eating
way too much popcorn, chips, and hummus in the evenings

Watching
The Crown and Elliot 

Listening
to podcasts by Courageous Parenting and apologist  Ravi Zacharias