Thursday, June 24, 2010

"Unplugging the Thumb"

Well... I have to stop Luk from doing the one thing that really keeps him from being a BIG boy. Luk is a thumb sucker, but I have to say that he is not like an obsessive thumb sucker. He usually only does it at nap time or bed time. He doesn't usually do it just to do it. If you ask him why he is sucking his thumb he will say that he is tired. It is even something that I don't have many pictures of, it isn't stopping him from being a socialite, and it isn't something that is causing him to have a speech delay. I actually found two pictures of him sucking his thumb, both were WAY past his bed time because we were out or because we had family visiting.
It is not even something that he needs to help him stay asleep...

So... after doing some research, I have pick my method of dealing with this last little babyish thing that Luk does. It almost breaks my heart to do because I think he looks adorable doing it, however I have to put myself in the position that I love my son, and I want what's best for him. He is at a healthy age to stop it, he mature enough to handle it, and I know that it is something that he and I can work through together. I don't want it to get to the point to have to use guards or liquid solutions.
Today, I looked at Luk, and I told him that if he wants to be a big boy he needed to stop sucking his thumb, and that he could do it. He said, "Okay, I can do it." He has already caught himself going to do it and didn't. I was proud. He said, "Oh, I can't do that. I was going to suck my thumb, but I'm a big boy," and off he went. =)
If I need to I plan on using "Unplugging the Thumb", the method is based on your child making the decision to stop, and you helping them do it with you support. Luk is already doing really well with it as of today. Check back in a couple of days for an update on the progress...

Clarity on the last post

I wanted to clarify some thoughts from the last post. It can be hard to read the last BIG reason to homeschool, and I want to make it known to those that do not homeschool, it is still VERY much a personal choice and conviction. You either have a calling or you don't. I was not homeschooled, however my parent's were involved in my life. There can be a balance with students in public school, but the challenge is very difficult when you have everyone else working against what you are doing at home.

One thing my mom told me everyday was that she started (still does) praying for mine and my brothers' spiritual lives. My mom for a short time was a single parent, and she knew this was her needing to pray that we would remember what she was teaching at home and when we were at church. So, I implore you to pray for your children beyond their health. Pray that they may fight the pressure of ungodly environment that they face everyday for 12+ hours. Pray that they may conquer temptation, and pray that they choose friends that will help them with their walk with Christ.

You may not want to believe it, but school is worse than when you were there. Kindergartners are hearing about sexual activity, sexual orientation from peers that are hearing about life through their ungodly parents. Be wise while our child attends, Be attentive to what they ask and need from you as far as knowledge goes.

Just some extra thoughts from my end that I didn't get to last night.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Public School, the biggest stumbling block of all!

A friend of mine has given me the pleasure to read one of her old issues of "The Old Schoolhouse" The Magazine for Homeschool Families, and I must say I am in love with this magazine. I love how everything is Christian based. In the Winter 2008-09 issue, David d'Escoto wrote an article called "10 BIG Reasons Not to Send Christian Kids to Public Schools," and I was highly impressed. There was obvious reasons: 1)Public schools do not seek to teach according to your child's individual gifts and callings; 2)more tax money for academics, yet lower tests scores that are causing lower high scores to make the students look advanced; 3)your authority as parent shifts to the teacher, coach, principal, you have no control over sex-ed; 4)family first in Christian life becomes family last in the school system structure; 5)child seeks peer acceptance becomes do whatever you need to necessary against parents to find peer love "The Bible has already forewarned us about what happens to 'a companion of fools'"(Prov.13:20b); 6)the norm for students being grouped in 25-30 kids in a class for 12+ hours a day leads to poor attitudes and low self-esteem; 7)SEX, SEX, SEX, who will teach you child the Biblical way to learn about sex; 8)the Bible is being ripped from the hands of students in schools; 9)the falling away of the Bible, Christian homes are losing their children to Satan at college age and then there is number TEN!

I want to quote this because honestly, I have thought this, but never knew how to word it. I agree 100%.
"Scripturally Unsound" My final point may be the most controversial, but the fact is that public education is causing millions of children to stumble in their walk with out Lord. Can we not logically conclude that it is unbiblical for us to send our children there? Bold words, some may say-I would say they're rather Biblical. Please open your Bible and read Matthew 18:1-6, 1 Corinthians 8 (focusing on verses 11-13), and finally Romans 14:13-23 (focusing on verses 13 and 21). Do you see it? the Bible is making the following facts clear to us: 1)Believers are no longer under law. 2)Believers do have freedom in Christ. 3)A believer's freedom (liberty) in Christ must never ever be used as a license to sin and/or cause another weaker believer to stumble/sin."

Now, I know that many of Christian friends that take their children to public school, and this is not to disrespect their choice, but seriously do we want to force stumbling blocks on our children? Reson has always mentioned that I am not a person that will stay around people that are stumbling blocks to me; so, why would I do that to my boys? When David put the tenth reason into those words above, it just clicked for what my thought processes are for schooling Luk and Logan (and if I am blessed with more, God willing).

The calling to homeschool your child is scary, but in the end it can be the most rewarding thing you could for your family and the highest glory you can give to the Lord. Man, if that doesn't pump you up, I don't know what would... =)

Monday, June 21, 2010

Happy Anniversary! Seven years and counting...

Seven years ago, I married my best friend. We have been together for 10 years, and the Lord has blessed us with such a wonderful life that really we couldn't have even imagined. I laugh at what we thought we were going to do in life, and then I see all the curve balls the Lord has thrown at us to makes us go where He wants us to go. So, in remembering the past seven years, here are pictures that have captured those moments...

So, there was this boy in my ASL class...
I married him.

We moved to Kentucky, to work, work, work, and oh yea, go to college. We did go on vacation in NYC an weddings.

Three years later we had Luk Aeron Holt in May 7, 2006.

We grew together as a family of three. We loved the idea of just having one baby. We traveled everywhere with the little guy. Pumpkin Patches, Weddings, Richmond, VA. If we went, he went.

But we still did many things alone!

Then our family grew to four, our second baby boy, Logan Nathanael Holt in October 17, 2009.

We still do things alone...

We love the seven years the Lord has blessed us, we went from two to four and have gained so much more!

Reson, thank you for your continuous love and support. Without you, I would be missing so many of the teachings that God has wanted to instill in me. I love you.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Thought Process

I have been thinking about what it means to have joy in your heart. When you read the book of Psalm, there are many references to joy. Now, I would like to think that I am a joyous person, however how do have joy and contentment. When you feel that God is calling you to do something more, but it can't happen at the moment, how do you seek the contentment? I say this with the thoughts of missions. I know that at this moment my prayers are being answered with "wait." As Luk would say, "Yellow means wait, Red means NO, and Green means YES, Mommy!" Thanks for the reminder, and that's a four year old telling me this. Yep, I got it, Luka, Thanks bunches! =D
Now, I can find that I am content with the way God has placed things in my path, and so I move forward with that joy of contentment there. Waiting with an impatient content heart (is this an oxymoron?).

Moving on to some more joyous thoughts. Luk was sitting on the couch with my mom. They were watching "Night at the Museum 2" or whatever it's called, and it was coming to the scene where the Pharaoh is calling his "servants." Luk asked if he was a bad guy. Mom reading at the moment said, "Well, not really. He doesn't hurt anyone." I replied, "Well, he is trying to be godlike and take over the world. He wants everyone to serve him." Mom answered, "that's right, Luk. I didn't remember what was happening." Luk joins in on the conversation, "Well, then he is bad because you don't put anything above God. You don't make yourself idol, that's the second one." My mom and I looked at each other with astonished faces. It was not shock that he knew the commandment (we knew that), but that he used it so clearly in an application. I praised him for his accuracy because I even had to open up the brain Bible folder to remember it being commandment two.

God is doing some great things in that boy's heart. As I see him grow to love God, my heart grows fonder of what God's will is for his life. Luk is always asking if a character in a movie has Jesus in his or her heart. My response is, "only they know if they have Jesus in their hearts." His response, "Well, I know I have Jesus in my heart." Hmmm... this kid, I tell you what I couldn't ask for a greater big brother for Logan! Just to tell you another story of how much this boy shines, Luk's friend went with his mom to buy Luk a birthday present. The mom (a friend of mine) asked her son, "what is something that reminds you of Luk that we can get him?" The response, "Well, I know that Luk loves Jesus!" sigh... Proud and humbled that God entrusted this beautiful mind to Reson and me.
It is at this point that the first paragraph of this blog should just ignored!

Here's my Mr. Smarty and Logan...

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Waiting... waiting... waiting... FINALLY

I had been waiting for it. I was waiting for the moment that God would give me something to say. As we have been doing the discipleship program, it was asked that we write in our journals daily. However, this week, it was not happening. I have been reading "Vintage Jesus" (great so far), but I had nothing to say. I like some key points that were made, however my mind was not able to put into words my thoughts. The thoughts in my mind have been scattered and on many topics.
Then it happened, today, it was filled with meeting with some great friends discussing Co-op scheduling, and just a nice time of talking. I put the boys to bed, and then Satan decided to use someone against me. I should have known something was coming because like we have told the youth in the program numerous times, your friends are going to be stumbling blocks to what you are trying to pursue here. Satan will use whomever (or whatever) he can to bring you down as far as he can.
I'm grateful that I just stayed silent. I'm sure to the person who was outspoken about their problem felt that it was a cop-out or being a wuss, but it isn't. It is hard to turn away from defending yourself from an attacker. We are so selfish in the world that if someone hurts us in anyway, we automatically assume they are vindictive. We assume that they want to hurt us, and then at any chance we jump at them to defend the all mighty powerful ME!
No, no, God said clearly through David in Psalm 2:4-5, "Don't sin by letting anger gain control over you. Think about it overnight and remain silent. Offer proper sacrifices, and trust in the Lord." Hmmm... Yes! Now, that is what I needed. In my silence Lord, you help me gain control, and it is through this sacrifice of selfishness that I trust in YOU!

John Sherill has a song called "Obey."

I will trust, I will obey,
I will follow where You lead, come what may.
I will die to myself, and Your cross I will take,
I will trust You Lord, I will trust You,
(I will trust and obey).

     You alone are worthy of my offering,
     You alone are worthy of my praise.
     You alone are Holy, You are all I need,
     So find in me a faithful heart I pray.
It is that reminder that we are to be faithful to Him, and to be faithful of things that He 
commands. Remain silent, and allow the Lord to work in your heart so that you 
may have obedience and faith in Him. 

Sunday, June 6, 2010

What our thoughts turn to when someone dies...

Someone I went to high school with died yesterday. She was 26 years old, had a husband, and a two year old son. My mind cannot wrap my brain about it really. The thought of leaving Reson with Luk and Logan without be is like someone ripping my heart out, but should it. If I believe in the gospel, I would have a comfort in the fact that I would be with my Heavenly Father, and that He would provide for my boys. I know that if it be His will He will provide a wonderful Christian woman to help Reson raise my boys. Yes, this thought makes me cry because I wouldn't want anyone but Reson and I to parent our kids, but I have confidence in the will of God.
Then my thoughts go to what would I do if I lost Reson?  I was never one to go out on dates just for fun. I knew I wanted Reson to be my husband from the first day I saw him in high school. So, how can you find someone to be as amazing as Reson. To me, it would almost be impossible, but God makes all things possible. Deep down, I know that God would provide, even if that meant a Father figure in someone that would not become my spouse. Sad thoughts, but thoughts that come into the mind when tragedy strikes.
My heart goes out to this husband as he tries to wrap his brain around losing his wife, his son's mother. My heart goes out to the fact that the boy is going to ask where his mommy is, and why isn't she coming home? Those are the tough points. I pray that the Lord gives him the right way to word things. I pray that their son will know that his mother loved him with all she had. I pray that as time goes on that their son embraces his mother's loss and cherish what she did to make him who is.
I don't like thinking about if God will take me when Luk and Logan are young, I do pray He doesn't, but ultimately He knows the plan for their life and mine. I pray for peace of mind when tragedy strikes, for a hope that only God can deliver.
Hope, Peace... Grief... Rejoicing in the Lord God for His Sovereign journey of our lives!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Reflection: Psalm Five

Psalm 5

For the choir director: A psalm of David, to be accompanied by the flute.
 1 O Lord, hear me as I pray;
      pay attention to my groaning.
 2 Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God,
      for I pray to no one but you.
 3 Listen to my voice in the morning, Lord.
      Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly. 4 O God, you take no pleasure in wickedness;
      you cannot tolerate the sins of the wicked.
 5 Therefore, the proud may not stand in your presence,
      for you hate all who do evil.
 6 You will destroy those who tell lies.
      The Lord detests murderers and deceivers.
 7 Because of your unfailing love, I can enter your house;
      I will worship at your Temple with deepest awe.
 8 Lead me in the right path, O Lord,
      or my enemies will conquer me.
   Make your way plain for me to follow.
 9 My enemies cannot speak a truthful word.
      Their deepest desire is to destroy others.
   Their talk is foul, like the stench from an open grave.
      Their tongues are filled with flattery.[a]
 10 O God, declare them guilty.
      Let them be caught in their own traps.
   Drive them away because of their many sins,
      for they have rebelled against you.
 11 But let all who take refuge in you rejoice;
      let them sing joyful praises forever.
   Spread your protection over them,
      that all who love your name may be filled with joy.
 12 For you bless the godly, O Lord;
      you surround them with your shield of love.

The more you get into the Book of Psalm the more that a Christian should see God as our Father. He is one that shields His love around us so tight, and when we allow Him to do that, we can rejoice, we can be humble, and we can have joy. God hates sin. He hates that we choose that over His abundant love, however He still offers an abundance of grace and mercy. I have to realize that everyday is made possible because of this offer because without it I would dead and burning in Hell. It is through this thought process that I have to stand in Awe of who God really is. After Sunday, we will beginning Vintage Jesus with the Discipleship Program. I can't wait to hear how Jesus was a rugged hard working dude!

Reflection: Psalm Four

Psalm 4
For the choir director: A psalm of David, to be accompanied by stringed instruments.
 1 Answer me when I call to you,
      O God who declares me innocent.
   Free me from my troubles.
      Have mercy on me and hear my prayer. 2 How long will you people ruin my reputation?
      How long will you make groundless accusations?
      How long will you continue your lies?

 3 You can be sure of this:
      The Lord set apart the godly for himself.
      The Lord will answer when I call to him.
 4 Don’t sin by letting anger control you.
      Think about it overnight and remain silent.

 5 Offer sacrifices in the right spirit,
      and trust the Lord.
 6 Many people say, “Who will show us better times?”
      Let your face smile on us, Lord.
 7 You have given me greater joy
      than those who have abundant harvests of grain and new wine.
 8 In peace I will lie down and sleep,
      for you alone, O Lord, will keep me safe.

When I read this yesterday, I couldn't help but think about how my anger has changed over the past few months. It was about three weeks ago that I was pretty upset with Reson. In the usually case, I would yell, get pretty angry, and you can guess the rest. Now, people will usually see me and think that I am feisty, however I think that I changed a LOT in this aspect. When this incident happened, I just stayed silent, and I let Reson go about what he was doing. This did not stop me from being upset, and the tears that flowed that day were still hot. However, I noticed that the silence was more effective. It was as if God used my silence to send a VERY direct message to Reson. He even mentioned it later that day. He didn't really like my silence. =) Yet, when I read the passage, and I saw verses 4-5 it spoke a great truth to me. Trust in the Lord and your silence will be great self control. He gives us such a peace, he is our safe keeper. If we allow Him to really work in our lives, if we really let Him in and surrender what we have... The reward is phenomenal!
My Wednesday night kids (3-5 grade) were so responsive to the lesson today as I went over Psalm One, and it is just a true testament that God is working in my life. Man, He is just so good.

David Crowder Band's song "How He loves us" is just a portion of what we can expect from our God.

He is jealous for me,
Loves like a hurricane, I am a tree,
Bending beneath the weight of his wind and mercy.
When all of a sudden,
I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory,
And I realize just how beautiful You are,
And how great Your affections are for me.

And oh, how He loves us so,
Oh how He loves us,
How He loves us all

Yeah, He loves us,
Oh! how He loves us,
Oh! how He loves us,
Oh! how He loves.

We are His portion and He is our prize,
Drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes,
If grace is an ocean, we’re all sinking.
And Heaven meets earth like an unforeseen kiss,
And my heart turns violently inside of my chest,
I don’t have time to maintain these regrets,
When I think about, the way…

Man, love like a hurricane, that is intense! He is our prize, His grace redeems us, and just to think that He loves us that much is almost unbearable to accept. Good Stuff!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Reflection: Psalm Two & Three

Psalm 2 1 Why are the nations so angry?
      Why do they waste their time with futile plans?
 2 The kings of the earth prepare for battle;
      the rulers plot together
   against the Lord
      and against his anointed one.
 3 “Let us break their chains,” they cry,
      “and free ourselves from slavery to God.”
 4 But the one who rules in heaven laughs.
      The Lord scoffs at them.
 5 Then in anger he rebukes them,
      terrifying them with his fierce fury.
 6 For the Lord declares, “I have placed my chosen king on the throne
      in Jerusalem,[a] on my holy mountain.”
 7 The king proclaims the Lord’s decree:
   “The Lord said to me, ‘You are my son.[b]
      Today I have become your Father.[c]
 8 Only ask, and I will give you the nations as your inheritance,
      the whole earth as your possession.
 9 You will break[d] them with an iron rod
      and smash them like clay pots.’”
 10 Now then, you kings, act wisely!
      Be warned, you rulers of the earth!
 11 Serve the Lord with reverent fear,
      and rejoice with trembling.
 12 Submit to God’s royal son,[e] or he will become angry,
      and you will be destroyed in the midst of all your activities—
   for his anger flares up in an instant.
      But what joy for all who take refuge in him!

Psalm 3
A psalm of David, regarding the time David fled from his son Absalom.
 1 O Lord, I have so many enemies;
      so many are against me.
 2 So many are saying,
      “God will never rescue him!”
 3 But you, O Lord, are a shield around me;
      you are my glory, the one who holds my head high.
 4 I cried out to the Lord,
      and he answered me from his holy mountain.
 5 I lay down and slept,
      yet I woke up in safety,
      for the Lord was watching over me.
 6 I am not afraid of ten thousand enemies
      who surround me on every side.
 7 Arise, O Lord!
      Rescue me, my God!
   Slap all my enemies in the face!
      Shatter the teeth of the wicked!
 8 Victory comes from you, O Lord.
      May you bless your people.
The reflection of these two chapters is one that solidifies that I don't need tons of friends to feel accepted, if anything they will make me feel alienated because of my Christian walk. I will not be afraid to share my thoughts about what God has planned for me because is my protector. This is a very comforting thought as the world begins to crumble in sin. These chapters are the reassurance we need when this is happening. We should not waste our plans on things that are not going to show God's glory. When I type that sentence it makes me think about the recent research I did to buy Luk/Logan's school curriculum.
Reson was worried about me because I was nonstop planning what I was going to get for their schooling. It is a stressful idea knowing that their education is in my hands. I read night after night into the wee hours of the morning about all different subjects, curriculum, standards... and I wasn't resting for peacefully. All I could think about was the Convention, and hoping that God would show us clearly what we were to buy. We there only the first day, and God made it VERY clear what we were to buy. I feel confident that I did not waste time in planning because we are building our boys to be men of God. This was more than just "school," but a decision that would build our boys in our Heavenly Father's image.

God is indeed my shield, I will fear him for He knows what is best for me through His will.