Category: Uncategorized

I’m Sorry I’ve Neglected You!

I’ve had some flare ups this past week (the 13th-19th) as I’ve NOT had the will power to resist the delicious meat I’ve been feeding my family.  We made the decision to give it up as a family for at least two weeks, maybe longer.  I’ve also been reading some new books and watching some videos that have piqued my interested very much and I’m going to try giving some of these ideas a try.  The books I’ve been reading are by Dr Joel Fuhrman, specifically his books “Eat to Live” and “Disease Proof Your Child”, and I’ve just begun reading the book “Whole” by T. Colin Campbell.  All VERY interesting thoughts and are bringing a sense of confirmation to things I’ve already been suspecting through my own research and experiences.  I will elaborate as I can, but suffice to say, my dietary notions have been changed once again (they are in a constant state of evolution, and I think we always need to be striving to learn more, so I don’t see this as a bad thing).

I’m on day 3 of NO animal products at all in my diet – I experienced some detoxing symptoms in my hands throughout yesterday and I’m still feeling the aftershocks, but I see this as a good sign.  This is a milder version (thank the Lord!!) of what I experienced when I first changed my diet, so I feel as though it’s my body saying “this is the right direction”.  Perseverance is the name of the game, it makes me think of James chapter 1 (one of my most cherished passages in the bible), that says:

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds,for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith,with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man,unstable in all his ways. (James 1:2-8, ESV)

Through this whole experience I really feel as though God is testing / proving / refining my faith.  My experience is not about my suffering, but it’s about him and how much I value him.  The video below pretty much sums up the last few months for me (concerning my spiritual journey).

UPDATE: March 13th

Well if you haven’t figured it out already, the 31 days to an organized home fell by the way side because the FLU decided to pay the Scott family a visit.  This one is a nasty bug and we all haven’t been this sick in YEARS!  DaddyScott seems to be the only one who has escaped having any major complications from it (to God be the Glory!).  He has kept us afloat, taking off time from work as necessary, taking children to the dr, keeping the laundry moving, and making sure everyone is fed.  We seem to be nearing the end of illness, but I suspect it will be another good week before we’re all feeling well and somewhat normal again.  That is all, just wanted to “check in”.

I’ll leave you with Psalm 25, as the Lord has used it to greatly encourage me this morning as we are, Lord willing, nearing the end of this trial.

In you, Lord my God,
    I put my trust.

I trust in you;

    do not let me be put to shame,
nor let my enemies triumph over me.
No one who hopes in you
will ever be put to shame,
but shame will come on those
who are treacherous without cause.

Show me your ways, Lord,
    teach me your paths.
Guide me in your truth and teach me,
    for you are God my Savior,
    and my hope is in you all day long.
Remember, Lord, your great mercy and love,
    for they are from of old.
Do not remember the sins of my youth
    and my rebellious ways;
according to your love remember me,
    for you, Lord, are good.

Good and upright is the Lord;
    therefore he instructs sinners in his ways.
He guides the humble in what is right
    and teaches them his way.
All the ways of the Lord are loving and faithful
    toward those who keep the demands of his covenant.
For the sake of your name, Lord,
    forgive my iniquity, though it is great.

Who, then, are those who fear the Lord?
    He will instruct them in the ways they should choose.[b]
They will spend their days in prosperity,
    and their descendants will inherit the land.
The Lord confides in those who fear him;
    he makes his covenant known to them.
My eyes are ever on the Lord,
    for only he will release my feet from the snare.

Turn to me and be gracious to me,
    for I am lonely and afflicted.
Relieve the troubles of my heart
    and free me from my anguish.
Look on my affliction and my distress
    and take away all my sins.
See how numerous are my enemies
    and how fiercely they hate me!

Guard my life and rescue me;
    do not let me be put to shame,
    for I take refuge in you.
May integrity and uprightness protect me,
    because my hope, Lord,[c] is in you.

Deliver Israel, O God,
    from all their troubles!

Subculture

It had been ages since I had gone to Jammin’ Java in Vienna, VA for a good ol’ rock show. That cute little Christian coffee shop and music venue. Fast-forward a good ten years. Greeted by a scene oozing the vibe of post-punk and hardcore, I’m met with a confusing option of coffee and booze. It’s dark. A club-meets-bar with a dash of musician’s flair. I’m starting to feel uncomfortable, mainly all the awkward feelings of a decade – no, a lifetime – ago surfacing.
I’m trying to make sense of this with my “maried for a decade plus, parent of 8 children, college graduate, moved to suburbia, steady job, striving for a safe and comfortable life” viewpoint. Are these people real? They all look the same, which is the same as they looked a decade ago. Even I try to blend in with my skinny (not the skinniest there) jeans and TOMS. It’s possible I’m on the older side of this crowd. I can accept that. But are we really that different. That far apart?
Thoughts are filling my mind as the room, forever stamped with the smell of sweat, begins to fill and bands begin to come on stage. It’s obvious a few girls (and maybe guys) are there to get a glimpse of a favorite rockstar. It’s likely that a crowd that looks like this is all lost or at least confused, right?
But as the night progresses, the bands matter less and less. The name of Jesus is being lifted. Arms are raised. Prayers are raised. This must look unusual. We even sing songs we’ve sung in church. However, they are lead by a 14 year veteran hardcore drummer. Smashing the drums and singing his hear out. The passion for Jesus is obvious. So is the passion for the lost.
So, where did this subculture come from, and where do I fit in? I’m wrestling from within my comfort zone with genuiness of it. What do I do with it when I go back home, to work, to church? Do I keep those thoughts at a safe distance? Can I keep Jesus at a safe distance?
What I saw in the people there, in the crowd, the bands, myself were sinners desparate to not look the part of sinners. I thought of my neighborhood, my church, my work. The same thing. I’ve been hiding under one disguise or another, one subculture or another. But the apostle Paul declares himself the chief of sinners. And he finds freedom in that. Liberty – because all hope in himself is gone. There’s nothing to hold on to and no facade to uphold. Only then can he say his treasure is Christ. His hope is Christ. His righteosness is Christ.

My Country, ‘Tis of Thee

America
(My Country, ‘Tis of Thee
)
Samuel F. Smith
(1808-1855)

My country, ’tis of thee,
sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing;
land where my fathers died,
land of the pilgrims’ pride,
from every mountainside let freedom ring!

My native country, thee,
land of the noble free, thy name I love;
I love thy rocks and rills,
thy woods and templed hills;
my heart with rapture thrills, like that above.

Let music swell the breeze,
and ring from all the trees sweet freedom’s song;
let mortal tongues awake;
let all that breathe partake;
let rocks their silence break, the sound prolong.

Our fathers’ God, to thee,
author of liberty, to thee we sing;
long may our land be bright
with freedom’s holy light;
protect us by thy might, great God, our King.

The “No Electronics” Challenge

 

This coming week, Monday through Friday from 9am to 5pm, we as a family (here at home at least) are going to go tv/computer/iphone/gameboy, etc free!  I’m hoping it will increase our general productivity and focus this week.  It’s just an experiment so we’ll see how it goes.  If you’d like to join us, please let me know!  After before 9 or after 5 of course ;).

Adventures in Getting Organized

I read this article on Classical Conversations.com and thought it could be quite applicable to lots of different schooling situations (both home centered schoolers and out of the home schoolers).  I found I was already doing a few of these, but I know doing a few more of them would be VERY helpful.

HERE is the link, and here is the article 🙂

Getting Organized: Garlands of Hosannas

By Courtney Sanford

There is a period of craziness in my house between summer vacation and the start of the school year when I try to get organized. My school room is in what is supposed to be the formal dining room. Unfortunately, it is right by the front door so anyone who comes to my door knows right away that we homeschool and do lots of creative things. I so long to have a house that looks like the ones in the magazines: clean and beautiful! I asked other homeschooling moms for advice on getting organized. Here are the unofficial top ten organizational tips of Classical Conversations moms:
10. Designate a shelf for each child and at least one for mom. That is where all books and notebooks should be when not in use.
9. Hang shower board on the wall to use as a whiteboard. You can buy shower board at a home improvement store for much less than you can buy a dry-erase board. Write on it with dry-erase markers and clean it with window cleaner. Some Classical Conversations dads finish these whiteboards with decorative woodwork—or even make a shelf above them to keep markers out of the hands of toddlers—but just screwing them into the wall works, too. (Note: some people call it thrifty hardboard wall panel.)
8. Use adhesive cork squares for a bulletin board. Trim it with borders from the school supply store. Then you can contain information, drawings, activity information and chore lists in that spot as the information hub.
7. Keep a basket or bucket on the school table with pencils, pens, and dry-erase markers so the children have everything they need right there.
6. Keep library books in a laundry basket in a designated reading spot so that library books don’t get lost. (Take the laundry basket right into the library with you…everybody there probably knows you homeschool anyway, so don’t worry about how you look.)
5. Use nice-looking bins or baskets to contain clutter: one bin for crayons and scissors, one bin for memory work items like timeline cards and flashcards, and one bin for math manipulatives, dice, cards, and flashcards. 
4. Invest in some large, clear, organizing tubs with lids for science project materials and art materials and keep them in a closet or garage. Keep a plastic table cloth in each bin so the kids remember to use it. (You don’t have to wipe paint off every time you use it…just let it dry before putting it away.)
3. Use a large dry-erase calendar. You could make your own out of shower board or find one at a school supply store. Get the children involved in recording their activities on the calendar.
2. Buy a three-ring binder for each child for each subject. Put all copywork and artwork related to that subject into the binder.
1. Make a “To Do” list for each child, laminate it, and let him or her use it as a guide for getting all his or her school work done. Keep it general so the children can use it every day. For example, it might read: (1) Math Lesson, (2) Math Facts Practice, (3) Spelling, (4) Grammar, (5) Writing, (6) Reading, (7) Memory Work, and so on. Each child can check things off with a dry-erase marker as he or she goes. 
I spent a week trying to get rid of the clutter in my house. When I came to my bulletin board, though, I couldn’t bear to part with a few things that looked messy but were just too important to put away. One was a large, detailed, colored drawing of the world done by my seven-year old because he wanted to do it…not because I told him to. There is also a large drawing of a ship he did at a GeoArt camp. I also couldn’t part with postcards sent to me by my older son from his backpacking trip, photos of the kids on vacation, and a progress report from a Classical Conversations Challenge tutor. These messy things remind me of how precious my children are and how much homeschooling means to me. I couldn’t cover them up or hide them. 
A phrase came to mind as I looked at all these things draped on the bulletin board. In The Message Bible, Psalm 32:7 reads, “God is my island hideaway, keeps danger far from the shore, throws garlands of hosannas around my neck.” I think this clutter is really made up of garlands of hosannas that God has thrown around my neck and around my house. So, instead of getting the house spotless, I redefined things. I have a home “decorated with garlands of hosannas” and it is my heart that has been cleaned up. That is a good way to start the school year: messy house; clean heart. I can live with garlands of hosannas. Will my daughter and I ever learn to see her Type 1 Diabetes and insulin pump as garlands of hosannas? That’s a tough one…we’re working on it