Monday, August 31, 2009

A New Lesson

School is in full swing, and I finally have some schedules made up. Since I work outside our home, it is difficult to fit in everything I want to, and we have to pair down a lot.

One thing we am not willing to "put on the shelf" until next summer are Ty's Bible lessons. He went to a religious preschool, where they read a Bible story every day and went upstairs to Chapel every week. It was nice to know that he was learning lessons of faith while I was working.

And then, last year he went to public school. Need I say more?

So, we will be continuing our Bible studies throughout the school year. Right now (while the weather is so beautiful) we'll be doing a lesson 3 days a week, though they will likely be daily when winter comes.

We recently finished a pretty long unit on the Ten Commandments. Most of the activities were ones I made up on the fly. I posted the Commandments and some of our worksheets & drawings on our pantry door. I am a little embarrassed to admit that I didn't know all of the commandments. I am happy to say that I now know all ten! (So does Ty.)
That was such a great success (Ty didn't complain about this lesson once), that I decided to create another unit to focus on a verse that I recently learned.

~Galations 5:22~
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control.

I was looking through the concordance of my Bible for all the places that the word patience was used, and I tripped & fell face-first into this one. I do struggle with some of those sometimes...

Anyway, I took the Commandment papers off the pantry door and put up a big paper tree:
As you can see from the photo, we've already begun with "love." This will be a 9-week unit, with each "fruit" being studied for a week (i.e. 3 days). I've got three copies of each fruit: 1 will have the virtue printed on it, 1 will have the definition printed on it, and 1 will have ways that we can show that virtue. This tree is going to be full by the time we're done... it will bear 27 fruits all together!
And since I have to mention both my little guys here, I'll share with you our new discovery. Our 17 month old loves coffee (with a little milk & sugar). Matt was drinking a cup over the weekend, and Wild Thing asked for a drink. Matt gave him a taste, thinking that he would make a face & be done... imagine our surprise when Wild Thing smiled, nodded his head "yes," and signed, "more!"
I was especially shocked, since, no matter what I do, I cannot cultivate a taste for the stuff.

Aren't kids awesome?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Word Filled Wednesday

You can see more inspirational words here.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Why Did He Let That Happen?

This is something I ponder often. Usually, I trust that God had some reason for allowing various events to conspire in my life. I don't always get to know the "why," but I can usually trust that there is one.

Sometimes, I look back at things that happened weeks, months or even years ago, and say, "Oh, I get it. I learned ____, or That lead to ______." Other times, I look back across the years, and I am still completely confused. I know He has a "why"... I just don't get it.

While I feel like I've only recently begun a journey to Christ, the truth is that my journey began long, long ago. It seems like a lifetime ago.

When I was little, my family didn't go to church. We didn't talk about God. I don't think this was intentional, I think He just never came up in our conversations. Prayers were said at my grandparents' house on holidays; church was a place we went with them on rare occasions. But "religion," and "faith" were not parts of our lives.

Then, when I was... oh, I don't know... maybe 8 years old (?) my parents found a new "church" to attend. I don't know how they found it, but I think maybe it was through a friend or the friend of a friend. I just vaguely remember this one evening when some people came to our home; they prayed and read the Bible and sang some pretty cool songs (& someone had a guitar!). After that, we joined them & Sunday morning became a day of worship.

The "church" was not really a church. There was no big building to go to. There was no preacher who wore any special outfit. There were no pews, and there was no organ. We went to someone's house every Sunday for "fellowship" (not "church").

This organization was called The Way Ministry (aka The Way International). It was essentially a cult. Don't panic! It wasn't like the ones you see on TV (where the FBI is shooting tear gas into a compound of KoolAid drinkers). Nobody wore denim from head to toe (or Little House on the Prairie dresses); nobody changed their names to sound more Old Testament; there was no polygamy; and it wasn't so creepy as the word "cult" makes it sound.

We remained active with that group well into my teens. Well, my Dad didn't really buy a lot of it; I think it contradicted his childhood training in the UCC. But my mom continued to take us to Fellowship on Sundays (and Children's or Teens' Fellowship on Saturday mornings) long after my parents split up.

I, being in my formative years, bought everything they taught, lock, stock & barrel. It was this group that laid the (very warped) foundation for my journey through faith. I have spent the better part of my twenties and (the few years I've had in) my thirties (ahem) unlearning what I learned there. I'm not sure if I will ever unlearn some pieces.

I feel like a child whose parents took her outside every day, and said, "See that sky? It's green. See that grass? It's blue." Only to grow up and go out into the world, always believing what she was taught when she was little, and have some stranger on the street say, "What the heck are you talking about? Are you color blind? The sky is blue and grass is green." I would imagine that for the rest of that child's life, she would always think of the grass being blue, and would always have to remind herself that, no. The grass is green.

And I wonder. Why did God let that happen? Why did He, in his infinite wisdom, allow someone to paint for me a picture of Him that was so wrong? Why would He allow me to learn all that stuff that would eventually lead me to have to fight for my faith?

Maybe someday He will reveal the answer. Maybe someday I'll get to ask Him (respectfully, humbly, of course) what the heck that was all about.

For now, I think I'll have to be satisfied with the understanding that there is a why... even if He's not telling me what it is today.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Why a "Purple Brick Road?"

That is an excellent question. Two reasons:

1) I love "The Wizard of Oz." It is one of my favorite movies. I love everything about it, including the flying monkeys, even though they kind of freak me out. I love the fact that it is presented in both black & white, and color. I love the music. I love the adventures that Dorothy has and the friends she meets along the way. And, although it sometimes frustrates me that Glinda the Good Witch made Dorothy go through all that trouble just to learn a simple lesson about happiness, I know that it was all really necessary. I like that lesson. And I like that there was a yellow brick road, a path for Dorothy to follow. Along the way she met some interesting characters, and had to make some important decisions.

I have always felt like this is a good metaphor for life in general... and mine specifically. We are all on our own brick roads. Along our individual journeys, we are faced with good times, with troubles, with new people (some friendly, some not), obstacles to overcome, and lots of choices. In my mind, though, my path comes with lots of road signs. I think God puts them there. I believe that He put me on this path, and that there is a destination that He has planned for me. Along the way, he places people and situations in my path. Sometimes they are joyous surprises and blessings, and sometimes they are put there to teach me something, to persuade me to make a certain choice, or to help me grow some important skill that I will need later. Only God knows what lies on this path.

Because I do have free will. I can choose to follow the blinking neon signs down the road He wants to lead me, or I can choose to go around the barriers and "road closed" signs to take the path I want to take. Either way, He's always with me, always looking out for me, always giving me new opportunities to make good choices, to learn, to grow, and to touch others with the gifts He has given me.

What's the other reason I think of my brick road as a purple one? That's easy.

2)Purple is my favorite color. That's it. There's no deep thought behind that one. I just really like the color purple.

So what's this blog all about anyway?

I'll touch on that now, and more as the weeks go by. Simply put: It is an honest and open account of my journey to become a Godly woman. I am learning what it means to live intentionally. I am learning to walk with Christ down this path I am on. I am learning to allow His word to be that lamp unto my feet & light unto my path. I am learning to read the Bible and actually allow the scriptures to guide my real, daily behavior. They are not just words. They are words to live by. To actually apply in our every day lives. Believe it or not, this is a whole new idea to me. I am also learning to parent intentionally through Christ. This is the task that lead me to this life-changing revelation.

For years I have tried to bring all the parts of my life - my house, my family, my job, my schedule, all the parts of my life - under control. I have tried and tried with little success to bring my life into order. And I've only recently realized that I cannot bring order to those things. Only God can put my life in order... if I will allow Him to.

So there you have it. I am a thirty-something wife and mother and Christian who is just now beginning to learn what it means to truly have faith in Christ. I am on a mission. I am on a journey. And I want to share my journey with you.