Some Resources for Families at Home

My heart goes out to the families new to homeschooling. I remember all too well how hard it was when I started 18 years ago.

I spent my first few years home schooling focusing on teaching my children that I loved them, that they should obey and that they should love God and others. That wasn’t my PLAN. My plan was to teach them to read. But God had better plans.

If your children learn that you love them, that you have their best interest at heart, that they should obey their parents and that God wants them to love Him and love others …. then homeschooling is a success!

In the process of learning these foundational principles, my children also learned to read, write, do math, learn about the history of the world and the science of creation, and yours will, too. Here are a few resources to start you on your journey.

These are great devotionals
for parents to read with their children.
The ESV Family Bible
is excerpted straight from the Bible.
Leading Little Ones to God gives you a great little study, plus some discussion questions,
a prayer, a brief Scripture to look up
and even a few song lines.
Nancy Guthrie’s devotionals are great.
I have her Dinner Table Devotional
to read with our children
as well as one for my own prayer time
Here are just a few excellent books to read aloud with your family.
Get your children ready – either snuggle on the couch or in bed, or get them some coloring pages or Legos or playdough so they can keep their hands busy while they listen,
or take everyone outside on the deck to relax while you read.
I’ll be hosting a ZOOM call
Tuesday, April 28 at 7pm.
Leave a comment if you’d like the link.
Do you follow me on Facebook?
I’ll be reading a chapter book aloud on Facebook live M-F at 1pm.

You can search my blog for my series called “Favorite Things” for more detailed homeschool resources. And check out my post from a couple weeks ago for 5 tips for laying out your day at home.

Of fishing, baits and lures

I grew up fishing. I fished with my parents on camping trips. I fished with my uncle in a pond on his farm. As the crazy little sister, I was the one who baited the hook with live, wiggling worms and I was the one who took the fish off the hooks.

In reading the Bible, there are lots of allusions to fishing. In Matthew 4:19, Jesus calls Peter and his brother, Andrew, to leave their fishing nets and to follow Him, that He would make them fishers of men. After Jesus’ death and resurrection, Peter himself writes in 1 Peter 5:7 to CAST all your cares onto Jesus because He cares for you. This word CAST is the same word for a fisherman casting (throwing) out his net. It is active, hard work, this casting of nets and casting of cares.

Yesterday, my husband and I were studying James 1:12-15 with our small group.

Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death. (James 1:12-15 ESV)

According to Blue Letter Bible, that word “lured” [exelkō] means “to draw out” and “is often used in hunting and fishing as game is lured from its hiding place, so man by lure is allured from the safety of self-restraint to sin. In James 1:14, the language of the hunting is transferred to the seduction of a harlot.” Like the seduction of a harlot, temptation lures you off the narrow road and onto the wide one.

The following word, “enticed,” [deleazō] [G1185] is also a fishing word meaning to “bait” or to “catch by bait.” It comes from the root word dolos [G1388] which means guile, subtilty, craft, deceit.

Different lures attract different fish, and different temptations appeal to different people, but ultimately all kinds of temptation lead us away from our good Father’s good gifts and toward our own selfish passions.

Bait is designed to deceive a fish into thinking it’s something good, drawing it out from safety to hook it, leading to its demise.

Isn’t that like the deceitfulness of sin, the allure of temptation? Holding itself out as something good, something that will bring us happiness … and instead bringing despair, heartache and death.

Praying for my own heart, and yours today.

-TWIG

Birds Doing What They’re Made to Do

Make sure your sound is on!

My kids and I have been sitting outside, enjoying the beautiful spring weather, while I read aloud a great book.

The trees are giving us shade. The sun is warming us. The breeze is gently blowing. And the birds are singing their song. They’re doing what they were made to do.

And so am I.

What was I made to do?

I was made to bring God glory. I was made to enjoy Him, to love Him, to love others, to share the good news with others that they would enjoy and love Him, too.

The Heavens declare the glory of God, but so do we! I am God’s handiwork, God’s creation, created on purpose for good works which He prepared in advance for me to do. (Ephesians 2:10)

I can bring God glory in my own backyard with my own kids. I can bring God glory in the early morning hours soaking in His Word. I can bring God glory by encouraging a sister in Christ or by praying for my enemy. There are so many ways to glorify God.

How about you? How can you fulfill your God-given purpose today? I’d love to partner with you to glorify God together!

Today is a new day.

47 Things I did by Myself or With My Sister as a Latchkey Kid Growing Up

Some of you don’t know what it’s like to grow up without a bunch of neighbor kids to play with.

Some of you don’t remember having days on end without a mom or dad at home telling you what to do or entertaining you.

Considering all those parents who suddenly find themselves working from home and are looking for ways to keep their kids busy without devices and without friends and without your constant input, I thought these ideas might help you.

So … here’s 47 ways I occupied my time growing up as a latchkey kid in an urban area without electronic devices. Looking at this list makes me extra thankful for my sister. Even though we fought, I’m so thankful I had her.

Read books – lots of books – to my stuffed animals, to myself, outside, inside, in the attic, in the basement, in my bedroom, in the living room, picture books, chapter books, old books, new books, fiction, non-fiction, short, long … lots and lots of books.

Built forts with chairs and sheets

Made zoos with stuffed animals

Climbed trees

Jumped rope

Hula-hooped

Swung on our swing set

Made kites out of all kinds of stuff

Made paper airplanes 

Made paper snowflakes

Made signs and cards for my mom and dad

Played croquet 

Played badminton 

Played tennis at the high school a few blocks away

Played Connect Four

Played Guess Who

Played Pay Day

Played cards

Played school 

Played house

Played dress-up

Played with an old doll house

Played with my cat

Looked at old photo albums

Made a newspaper to sell to my neighbors for 20 cents each

Used an encyclopedia to write articles about animals I liked

Made up jokes and wrote them down

Recorded nonsense of all kinds on a tape recorder

Drew pictures with pencil

Drew pictures with chalk

Painted with watercolors 

Colored coloring books

Put together puzzles

Made stuff with wood scraps, a hammer, some nails and glue, and sometimes even my dad’s drill press and handsaw

Made-up crazy recipes in the kitchen

Made real recipes in the kitchen

Napped all over the house – on floors, in closets, behind doors, on couches – but rarely in my bed

Played piano

Fought with my sister

Made up with my sister

Blasted music and sang along, while acting out the lyrics, with my sister

Took care of whatever extra pets I had at the moment – hermit crabs, fish, turtles, frogs, mice, hamsters, gerbils, or stray kittens

Took a walk around my neighborhood 

Picked flowers 

Rolled down the hill next door

Played in the sprinkler in the summer or in the snow in the winter

Day dreamed on my front porch

As we have this time on pause, let’s give our kids some time to return to the simpler things, things that don’t have to be plugged in, things you don’t have to have a crowd to do, things that use your creativity and (dare I say) things that invite you to be a little “bored.” 
Being bored isn’t always bad.

Humility or Pride? Two types of people.

In reading Luke 23, the account of the crucifixion of Jesus, I see two reactions: pride or humility.

Pilate finds no guilt in Jesus, yet sentences Him to death to appease demands of the crowd. Pride.

Herod treats Jesus with contempt and mockery, dressing Him in splendid clothing, sending Him back to Pilate. Pride.

Jesus cries out to His Father, “Forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Humility.

The soldiers mocked Jesus, offering him sour wine, saying, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!” Pride.

One of the criminals crucified with Jesus, mocks him, saying “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!” Pride.

The other criminal recognizes his own guilt and Jesus’s righteousness and asks for Jesus to remember him when He comes into His kingdom. Humility.

A Roman centurion praises God saying, “Certainly this man was innocent.” Humility.

The crowds return to their homes beating their breasts in grief over what they’ve just witnessed. Humility.

Which type of person are you? Be honest with yourself.

Are you seeking the truth with humility or pride? Do you want to know the truth, no matter what it costs?

We can either humble ourselves and seek God’s face, asking for His grace and forgiveness, or we can harden our hearts in pride, scoffing and mocking at the message of the gospel.

I have been both.

I will be forever thankful for the grace of God that forgives even the blasphemous who turn to Him in faith.

God is giving the people of the world time right now to consider their own mortality. You are not guaranteed tomorrow. Be thankful that God has given us this opportunity to wake up, so that we can be born again TODAY to begin our new lives with Him TODAY.

If you want to make this choice, let today be the day. I would love to read through the Bible with you or talk about it more.

If you want to surrender your life to Christ, ask Him. He will not turn you away. And then find someone to help you in your new life with Christ. I’d love to walk with you on your faith-journey.

God is real, friends. He wants you to know Him and trust Him.

Nothing Wasted

Are your kids wasters? Mine are, and in this time of conserving paper products and groceries and cleaning supplies, I am noticing their wastefulness even more!

Quit using so much barbecue sauce.

Did you need that many paper towels?

Don’t waste that cleaning spray!

Today, when I was talking to my kids about being good stewards of the things that God has given us by not wasting them, I was reminded of how important it is to be good stewards of the other precious gifts that God has given to us: our time, our talents, and our testimonies.

Which is worse: wasting barbecue sauce or wasting your life?

Which is worse: wasting paper towels or wasting your spiritual gifts and God-given abilities?

Which is worse: wasting Windex or wasting the life-changing message of the gospel?

How can you make the best use of your time, talents, and treasure today?

But, just know that God never wastes a thing. He always has purpose for everything He does. You can trust Him.