Things I’ve Googled Lately

My brain works like hummingbird wings. How about yours?!

In light of my browser tab issues, I’ve been trying to close tabs to make my computer feel good about it’s processing capacity again. I’ve been reintrigued with soooo many topics!

 

Here are a few of the highlights of the Google adventures lately (and yes, this is literally how my brain works. I can’t be the only one with questions zipping like hummingbirds through my brain – can I?!):

 

yellowstone with family

folding cotsCamping with Families

how to make rabbit tea

benefits of rabbit manure

Is MeWe a viable alternative to Facebook

taco bell menu

Will Smith Graham Norton Carlton

make a Bagpipe out of a garbage bag

Mexican Hot Chocolate Slow Cooker Recipe

What is patchouli used for

what is the subjunctive mood

you’re fired bugs life gif

glass luncheon plates

bump underside chin

mission tortillas on sale near me

wisdom and righteousness lapbooks

name of feather duster in beauty and the beast

dvorak serenade for strings 4th movement

where is prague

fly predators

when did marco polo live

what happened to barrabas after he was released

magic 8 ball answers

where is the book of the acts of solomon

what is vaguebooking

how to make an origami bunny from a dollar

april the giraffe animal adventure park

 

What have you been searching for lately?

 

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Too Many Tabs


My computer has been having a break down. It starts exhibiting the rainbow wheel of death and then huffing and puffing at me with its fan and generally giving me the idea that I have royally ticked it off in some mystical manner.

 

I approached my resident computer expert, Lizard. Explained the situation. He happily walked over to my computer. Took a look. Reeled back from the computer as though it were a snake about to strike, and said, in a voice laden with accusation and incredulity, “Just how many tabs do you actually need open at one time?!”

 

I don’t have an answer for that because in this arena, need is a relative term. What I can say is that Pinterest was made for me when I believed it was a simple way to just keep track of interesting items or research topics. But now the super-cool folks have taken it over and when I visit Pinterest it’s always an attempt to learn how to do something in a way that’s way more creative than I can manage on my own or as a mental tool to confirm how woefully lacking I am as a mother/human being. Pinterest and I are really not friends.

 

So my next plan of attack is to right-click open all things. It works wonderfully! See a link you want to explore more later? Right click open a new tab. Researching for that road trip? Create a tab for each leg of the journey with a new tab. The possibilities are endless!

 

Then I began to notice a slight slowing of the loading speed of my web pages and thought, “Self, perhaps having 30+ tabs open in one browser window is confusing. You can’t really see the headings of the pages. This makes it difficult to navigate. Perhaps this is the reason the pages are loading slowly. Let us create a browser window for each topic of inquiry of the world wide webs.” And thus it was accomplished and for a time all things continued with purpose and speed.

 

Which leads me to my current issue. After Lizard acted so shocked, I decided to take stock of my computer habits. I currently have six browser windows up on my computer, and they have no less than five tabs open each (some… um…. significantly more…). It appears I’m going to have to channel my avenues of inquiry or face the disgruntled noises of my computer forever. Sigh.

 

How do you manage your computer tabs? Any hints for me?

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Top 10 Games for Family Nights

The best free dinner game ever! http://beautyandbedlam.com/conversation-starter-questions/

This morning I’ve already been exploring blogs on how people quit television time cold turkey. We tend to watch Netflixs or Amazon on a daily basis around here. Granted, the shows are typically educational but even so I am fully aware of the research being done that shows the negative impact of tv time. In fact, we’ve started telling the kids that the tv is making their brains rot and when they ask for more, we sniff their ears and holler, “Ewww! Stinky rotting brain!” just to make an impression.

 

One of the most consistent recommendations I’m seeing from folks that have quit tv is to replace it with something else, like Board Game Night or Family Walk or Bowling Night, etc. I’m trying to practically fit these ideas into our life.

 

We do have games to play and we enjoy them. But they aren’t all easy to do with the span of ages we have in our home – almost-5, 7, 9, 11 and eh-hem 40×2. Here are some favorites that are working for us right now… but do you have any recommendations? (All of these links are affiliate links, which means if you purchase them from this blog post, you’ll be supporting me with a fraction of the purchase price – at no cost to you! Thank you!)

1. Tenzi. Oh man, this is a winning game for us! We’ve been able to play it for the last year, so we can vouch it’s pretty good for ages 4 and up.

2. Monopoly. The tried and true classic – still a winner around here. The girls have been playing it for about two years, which means it’s good for probably ages 5 and up. Bubby is still bored out of his skull and not at all interested in playing.


3. Suspend. This game is fun for all of the kids, and it has the bonus benefit of being able to be used as a review game for Classical Conversations (just assign the colored tips a subject and then when they roll it, ask a review question they have to get right before they place the piece.)

 

4. Timeline. OK, OK, the kids are kind of stinky at this game. But they’re not bad thanks to the history component of their schoolwork. The parents, though, we LOVE this game!

 

5. Kerplunk. Bubby (the 4 year old) loves this game. So much so that he steals the marbles and hides them in his pockets and then I find them in the washing machine later and shake my hands in the air.

6. Apples to Apples Big Picture. This game has brought us many evenings of laughter! The photos are so funny and the kids are expanding their vocabulary as they go.

 

7. Battleship. Tried and true. Really only our older girls are liking it, and I kind of groan when it comes out because all of those pegs never seem to make it bad in their entirety to the box. But it’s fun enough.

 

8. Uno Attack. Regular Uno is fun, but Uno Explode adds an element of surprise to the adventure that can’t be replicated. We’ve ended up taking all of our Uno cards from various games and putting them in the Attack.

9. Telestrations. This one is really for grown ups and works best in a group. We did it at a homeschooling retreat where no one knew each other exceedingly well and it was hilariously fun.

10. Story Cubes. These suckers stay in my purse for when we go to restaurants. It’s really fun – the kids usually only roll three die at a time when we are at restaurants, then make up their stories from there. (Just one set is what I carry in my purse, but this link shows you all six sets available in a bundle… and mixing and matching is allowed!)

Bonus: Probably our favorite pastime during dinner is the Jar of Questions. We received this as a Christmas gift from a good friend three years ago and still love it to bits now. You can make your own easily – and here is the blog with links to the questions and template so you can print it for yourself for free: Family Conversation Starters. Really… this one is amazing!

 

What are the games you play in your family? Have you successfully quit television? How did you do it? I’d love your advice and feedback!

 

** Just as an update, believe it or not, that soccer team I wrote about last time that had never even won a game… won the entire tournament yesterday! Unbelievable and super exciting for them! I think it will be really interesting to see how their “I’m just not competitive” attitude withstands the experience of actually winning and coming in on top? I’ll keep you posted!

 

 

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Copyright © StealingFaith.com 2010-2013 | All rights reserved

Soccer Resilience

It’s a late night over here as we just arrived home from a soccer tournament. During the drive home I literally began to envision the taillights of the cars in front of me as Minnie Mouse heads with red bows around the ears.

 

That’s the way my brain works.

 

Lizard has been coaching a club team for soccer this year, which means that once a month we travel to a tournament. His team has great kiddos on it, but, bless their hearts, they just aren’t that competitive. Like… hm… if the team attitude were to be a simile, the kids are like a dog that rolls over and offers easy access to the jugular upon meeting anyone new.

 

For Lizard, who tends to be significantly competitive, this has been a coaching challenge. He recognizes that he can’t play the game for them, and that he has to just keep casting the vision and look for the victories that occur with a great pass or strong defense and pretty much ignore the final score of the game. In all of their games this year, they have never won and mostly they have been trounced.

 

Until today.

 

The early game was a tie and then, my friends, the evening game was a win!

 

Everyone was super excited for the players but then afterward we learned that for some of these kids, it was their first win… ever. They all have been playing soccer for a number of years before they ended up on this club team. But they had never, ever won a game.

 

This knowledge puts a whole different spin on the idea of team soccer for me. To be honest, if I spent years attending practices, dragging my family to tournaments, etc. and we never, ever won, I would quit. I would say, “Enough is enough!” and make comments about discretion being the better part of valor and take my soccer shoes and shin guards home to hide in the dark recesses of my closet.

 

However, these kids have figured out life a little better than I have so far. Day in and day out they chose to live with the defeat but still show up the next day to practice, still make the commitment to appear and put in effort.

 

It puts a new facet on the word resilience for me. Yes, the kids are fairly non-competitive in personality, but my esteem for them has raised even higher today as I recognized how resilient they are to keep on keepin’ on. There’s such beauty in being willing to do something even if you’re not the best person who’s ever tried to do that thing.

 

Our team is resilient. That knowledge makes the good time even sweeter.

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The Dead Stuff is Disappearing

This has changed my life forever.

My heavens, friends… Let me share something that has changed my life.

 

Swiffer Dusters.

 

Really.

 

I’ve never been a fan of dusting. It seems like the whole purpose of dusting is just to suck joy out of your life one dust mote at a time. As a kid I remember dusting sporadically, and it caused me to sneeze, which wasn’t enjoyable because one thing I inherited from my dad was the ability to sneeze at volume similar to a sonic boom (and it’s literally thrown my back out before during allergy season).

 

To make matters worse, as an adult I learned that the majority of dust in your house is actually dead skin cells just floating through the air. Ewww! After learning that, dusting seemed like a way to have a close encounter with a dead essence and so I’ve felt pretty secure in my decision to avoid dusting until there’s enough built up to actually create mud when dampened. (Lets not even talk about the layer of nastiness that exists on the ceiling fans. I’m pretty sure crickets could use the dust babies on the fan blades as a snowboarding play area.)

 

However, it’s come to my attention that Grown Ups Dust Their Homes. (At least a little.) And though I’ve found that most things grown up seem to be not nearly so much fun as I thought they would be when I was a kid (except eating. I find that the best part of being a grown up is getting to choose what food I eat, when, and where…) I do attempt to act with maturity on occasion.

 

Which brings me to the dusting conundrum.

 

We have dust. Lots of it. And I want to live in a clean house. At least a little.

 

I did some research on the dusting problem and the Google took me to blogs that told me that dusting really doesn’t have to be a swishing of dirt from one locale to another accompanied with sneezes that could shake the rafters. They told me that Swiffer Dusters are statically treated and actually trap the dust on the cloth.

 

I didn’t believe them. This is crazy talk. But when I saw them at my local bulk warehouse I decided the initial financial investment was small enough to at least give it an attempt, even if it ended up a total failure.

 

Oh. My. Heavens. {I need a moment to compose myself before I go on. Don’t worry, give me a minute and I’ll just breath through the emotion.}

 

They work. These little suckers work. They trap the dust, keep it out of my nose and from falling to the floor. They work!

 

I’ve dusted the computer. The printer. Every picture frame, the window sills, the venetian blinds, the front of my cabinets in the little ridge that looks pretty from a distance but kind of gross from far away… I’ve dusted the light fixtures, the top of the mantle, and the wrought iron ivy leaf wall hanging that hasn’t been cleaned since it was hung. I dusted the potted plant leaves and then, feeling terribly courageous… I dusted the ceiling fans.

 

It worked!

 

This has literally changed my life. Now granted, the fluffing up of the swiffer deal and sticking it on the handle did make me feel a little like I was getting inappropriate with Babette from Beauty and the Beast, but I got over my inhibitions once I saw the glorious cleanliness emerging behind the fluffy wonderfulness.

 

It was so exciting I called my mother. She was suitably impressed that I was willingly dusting for the first time in my life and seems to feel like she might like visiting our house a little more, now that there aren’t floating dead skin cells all over the place.

 

So there you have it. My current obsession and victory. If you want to be like me, feel free to scoot on over, order this sucker, and try it for yourself.

Swiffer Dusters Handle and Refills Unscented, 24 Count

 

And that’s all I have to say about that.

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Copyright © StealingFaith.com 2010-2013 | All rights reserved

“Yet Not With a Whole Heart”

I’m very, very slowly making my way through reading the Bible in its entirety. I’ve been on a “read through the Bible in a Year” plan for, well… almost two years. I’m 49% through as of today. However, as long as I keep doing it and moving forward I’m not going to let timelines get in my way. Slow and steady wins the race, right?!

 

This morning my reading took me to 2 Chronicles 25 where the reign of King Amaziah is recorded. In verse 2 it reads: “And he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord,  yet not with a whole heart.” (emphasis mine) 

2 Chronicles 25:2
2 Chronicles 25:2

 

Chapter 25 goes on to talk about the wonderful things Amaziah accomplished, how he was faithful to the laws, he “took courage” in the Lord, and then… he just… changed. It records that he set up the idols of other peoples in his own land. He stopped listening, to the prophet, to other leaders, and to God. His heart changed.

 

I’ve been pretty entranced with this concept of whole-hearted living for a little while now. It started with a secular researcher named Brene Brown and her book the Gift of Imperfection. She has an amazing TED talk on the power of vulnerability you can find here. Within Brown’s work, she has learned that being “whole-hearted” rather than “half-hearted” is one of the main indicators of satisfaction with life.

 

When I put this into a Biblical perspective, filter it through the lens of Truth, I find that God hope is for us to turn to Him with whole-hearted living. That our lives would be filled with satisfaction in the ways that bring glory to Him. When I came across 2 Chronicles 25:2 this morning, I stopped in my tracks. How many areas am I living in a “YET not with a whole heart” mentality?

 

Over and over in Chronicles I’ve been reading of kings who did what was right to start with, but then became bored or distracted, or prideful or envious and… they changed. They lost their focus. It’s becoming evident that the real challenge of living a God-centered life is not in the decision to make a right choice, but in the consistent, boring, tedious repetition of making right choices with a whole heart over the course of an entire life time.

 

I have found myself praying about difficult situations, “God, I have followed your direction, I have responded to the best of my ability in this thing – why are you making it so hard! I’ve proven myself to be faithful, can you just let up for a little while already?!” I have felt like my past performance ought to give me a free pass by present and future difficulties. I’m tired of making the right choice. I’m tired of the struggle. I’m tired.

 

And YET. Prayerfully, I’m not done with my life for a good while. I don’t want to lose track of the goal of an entire life lived well with the distraction of a portion of a life lived well. I have to make continual decisions to live whole-heartedly for Christ no matter how tired, distracted, etc. I become.

 

Even though these Old Testament books aren’t my favorite to read, the names are difficult to track, the stories are hard to follow, I’m really happy I’ve been able to get Truth out of their readings. So now I’m off to begin a day that will hopefully be filled with one whole hearted choice after another.

 

Pssstt… I have really loved the She Reads Truth app for my Bible reading plan. They offer both paid and free Bible Studies, Bible text, and beautiful screensavers. Each day there is the plan, then you can comment about what you’ve learned or noticed with the She Reads Truth community. There’s just something I find extremely pleasing about the interface! Check it out!

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Copyright © StealingFaith.com 2010-2013 | All rights reserved

Providence vs. Coincidence

Coincidence Fate ConversationProvidence vs. Coincidence: To recognize that our circumstances do not exist by chance but instead by intention for our good. (Ephesians 2:10)

The word Providence has not been a regular part of my vocabulary. Last year when we listened to an audiobook about the Pilgrims I realized that the Pilgrims attributed everything to Providence and I thought that was proof that they had an almost mystical perception of God’s activity in their lives but I didn’t see how that applied to me.

Up until now I have absolutely preferred the word “Coincidence.” Inexplicable things happen as a coincidence all the time and if you use the word coincidence you have very little chance of offending someone of a different belief structure. Coincidence is a safer word that (I have believed) still covering the sentiment put forth by that old-fashioned and dreary word, Providence.

These word choices came back to me this morning as I came across the idea of Providence again in my quiet time. I did a google search for word definitions and the first thing search result  for Coincidence was the dictionary definition: “a remarkable concurrence of events or circumstances without apparent causal connection. from the Latin coincidere, which means to coincide or agree.”

In contrast, I had to scroll WAY down the page past blurbs about Providence, RI before I found the definition for Providence: “divine guidance or care, God conceived as the power sustaining and guiding human destiny. From the Latin providentia, which means to provide or care for.”

While both Coincidence and Providence offer a glimmer of the mysterious and inexplicable, after looking at these two definitions, I realized there is no way I should be supplanting Providence with Coincidence in my daily word choices. They mean totally different things! Additionally, if I apply the differences in the definitions to my every day, my perspective shifts.

For example, if it was simply a coincidental meeting of egg and sperm that just happened to develop into my daughter, then I can consider her personality, growth patterns, and being a chance of nature – she just happened to be the luck of the draw that encounter and I get to deal with the results.

However, if I consider that that fertilization was PROVIDENCE it means that my daughter is not in any way chance, that her personality, growth patters, etc., are all designed specifically for my life, my family, and our stewardship of the child/parent relationship. She is specifically fitted for our circumstances and blessing right this moment. (Reminds me of C.S. Lewis writing these are not “mere humans” we work with in our schooling!)

Removing “coincidence” and replacing it with “providence” changes everything about the heart of how I parent.

Further, if I stop believing that things are happening in my life by coincidence and chance, but instead embrace everything I face as providence – whether it’s a challenge or a victory – then I begin to see that what I do right this minute has significance and purpose. My family, my profession, my community – they are all in my life by providential design. How cool is that to consider when I’m loading the dishes or folding the 20th load of laundry this week during our laundry marathon?!

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Copyright © StealingFaith.com 2010-2013 | All rights reserved

13 Ways to Practice Hospitality Every Day

A. Burton / freeimages.com
A. Burton / freeimages.com

My facebook feed has blown up in recent weeks. Between SCOTUS decisions and vaccine soap boxes the everyday back and forth between intelligent people I typically see has take on an ugly life of its own.

 

I have seen more statements of “unfriending” than ever before and I have heard many real-life confessions of online hurt feelings.

 

I don’t have a solution for this – let’s face it, I rarely have answers! While I might sometimes have a humorous observation, I mostly see my writing as a way to recognize and process the world around me.

 

Right now, in the wake of all I see on facebook and hurt feelings in real life, my mind is deeply engaged with the concept of hospitality.

 

The Google gives the definition of hospitality:

hos·pi·tal·i·ty
ˌhäspəˈtalədē/
noun
  1. 1.
    the friendly and generous reception and entertainment of guests, visitors, or strangers.
    synonyms: friendliness, hospitableness, warm reception, welcome, helpfulness, neighborliness, warmth, kindness, congeniality, geniality, cordiality,courtesy, amenability, generosity, entertainment, catering, food

    “we found nothing but hospitality among the local inhabitants”

 

While this outlines a working definition of hospitality, my brain is coming to see hospitality as a broader term: the ability to show value to others by how I welcome them into participation in my own life. The welcoming may take a physical nature, but more importantly to daily interaction, I think it must take a philosophical bent.

 

Henri Nouwen in Reaching Out says it like this:

“Hospitality means primarily the creation of free space where the stranger can enter and become a friend instead of an enemy. Hospitality is not to change people, but to offer them space where change can take place. It is not to bring men and women over to our side, but to offer freedom not disturbed by dividing lines.”

 

How do we extend hospitality to others in our daily interactions in order to create a safe space? I recently attended a talk presented by Monica Irvine of the Etiquette Factory. I’m changing a few words, but the bulk of these practical definitions come from that session.

 

13 Ways to Put Hospitality Into Action

 

Hospitality is Graceful. Grace assumes the best and Doubts the worst. Stop and park on that for a minute. What if you were surrounded by people who actually live this philosophy. Wouldn’t it be liberating?!

Hospitality Does What’s Right. Even when it’s inconvenient or uncomfortable, a hospitable person will still do what they are called to do.

Hospitality is Kind. Kindness is a most desirable quality! It bears ones another’s burdens, listens attentively, and encourages others to live according to their ethics.

Hospitality Does Not Gossip. Hospitality always speaks the best of a person. If the words you say will cause others to think less of another…. do not speak it. Even if it’s true.

Hospitality Does Not Complain. There is a difference between airing a genuine and truthful grievance and casually complaining about everything from the weather to the business of your day. Casual complaining displays a lack of gratitude and becomes a burden on the people around us.

Hospitality Does Not Conform. It is not necessary to compromise your own standards in order to be hospitable. It is okay to “agree to disagree,” but that disagreement should still come from a place of valuing the other person and does not always require a confrontation.

Hospitality Keeps Commitments. Consistent people are trustworthy people. Choose the best “yes” out of all of the many options available to you and when you say you will do something, do it.

Hospitality Admits Flaws. The moment you see a mistake, own up to it. “I’m sorry, but…” is not a real apology that takes ownership, so when you apologize for something, own it completely and simply.

Hospitality is Confident. A confident person is one who can quickly, easily offer genuine compliments to other people. Before seeing a person think ahead to the meeting and prepare a kind and thoughtful compliment you can offer to them.

Hospitality is Trustworthy. A hospitable person works to make others fee valued. As such, they do not reveal confidences. If you are tempted to reveal a “secret,” measure the motivation for why you are sharing the information against the damage created to your own integrity.

Hospitality is Honest. Some studies state the average person lies at least four times a day. Most of us don’t see ourselves as habitual liars, but what about hyperbole? What about when we might omit details of a story to make ourselves look a little better to the listener? Honest takes hard work!

Hospitality Avoids Being the Center of Attention. Hospitable people avoid extreme behavior that will cause them to be the focus of a group. Clothing choices, hair, actions, etc. all of these things can be used to grab attention and force it to ourselves, whereas a hospitable person is always looking to the comfort of others. Extra attention is not necessary to receive value.

Hospitality Strives for Balance in Conversation. People who are hospitable ask questions of others. In person they lean forward with attention, make eye contact, mirror facial expressions. Strive to not speak without passing the conversational ball for more than two minutes at a time. Hospitable people also work to remember key elements from previous conversations so they can follow up on those points.

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Copyright © StealingFaith.com 2010-2013 | All rights reserved

What Do You Have To Prove?

A. Khatir / freeimages.com
A. Khatir / freeimages.com

A few months ago as I was out and about I ended up having a conversation with an older gentleman I’d never met before.

 

He was old, the kind of old where his skin had given up on the whole concept of elasticity and instead folded in upon itself in valleys and peaks across his face. He was a World War II veteran and I thanked him for his service in the midst of our talking. He didn’t want to talk about his service in the military and instead looked at the four children I had on display and turned the conversation toward them.

 

“Where to they go to school?” he asked me.

“We homeschool,” I replied. He looked affronted. With so much skin available to him for use his expressions were magnified. It was obvious he was reevaluating my placement on the “normal” to “psychopathic killer” stranger scale.

 

“Well, what do you use to teach them reading, writing, and arithmetic?” he asked. I explained our educational plan and how we are careful to meet the state standards in these areas and go beyond the standards when it makes sense.

 

“Hurumph,” said my octogenarian friend. His face showed that he was trying to help me see the error of my support of home education without being rude. “Well, what about socialization?!” he asked me.

 

A little part of me was amazed that I was getting all of the stereotypical complaints against home education in one conversation, but I responded with an explanation of our civic groups participation, our weekly gatherings of youth activities, and how the flexibility afforded by homeschooling allows us to visit interesting places like museums regularly.

 

He was unimpressed and equally unwilling to let go of his belief that home education was foolhardy. So he finalized his questioning with what he saw as the knockout question:

 

“So, I guess you got your degree in education to be a teacher, then?” he asked me suspiciously.

 

The reality is that no, I don’t have my degree in teaching. I shared this with him, including the research that most home educating parents don’t have teaching degrees, yet their children are able to perform as well or better than their publicly educated peers on standardized tests and ultimately are able to find success as happily employed adults. I mentioned the studies that cite example after example of hiring professionals valuing skill sets encouraged by the home education lifestyle: autonomy, ability to respond to changing situations, problem solving skills, etc.

 

But then, seeing his interest had completely faded in the barrage of information I was using to convince him our family is educating “properly” and he wasn’t going to change his suspicious nature regardless of anything I said to validate my perspective… I just stopped talking.

 

He didn’t notice. He looked the other way for awhile. Eventually we said goodbye and went about our respective business. I don’t expect we’ll ever see one another again.

 

As I played the conversation over in my head later, one question echoed:

 

“What am I trying to prove, and to whom? Why?!”

 

Having just returned from our state’s homeschooling conference, I have educational models and methods on my mind. I am inspired and challenged, convicted and overwhelmed. I feel supported in this educational lifestyle choice we’re making, and like I’m part of a larger group of likeminded people.

 

I learned that there are more children homeschooled in this country right now than there are in parochial schools. The pendulum is swinging.

 

That being said, we must figure out what we are trying to prove with our home education and to whom. We must know our why are explore the underlying motivations.

 

If we homeschool because it’s the new trendy thing to do we will not be successful. We will simply be sheep following the next new thing.

 

If we homeschool because that’s how you prove to others that you’re a real Christian, we will fail because real Christians educate their children in all sorts of different ways. This isn’t a competition.

 

If we home school because we are out to prove the public education system wrong, to prove our kids are all little geniuses, we will ultimately be left with an empty spot in our heart because we push so hard for our children to “succeed” we push them right out of our homes with our perfectionism.

 

I’m of the opinion God blessed us with these children and we are called to be stewards of their individuality, to shine the spotlight on the ways they are gifted to be unique, they ways they can be used to impact this world.

 

It’s our job as educators to give them the skill sets necessary to allow those giftings to bloom.

 

For example, if I have a child who is gifted in design it behooves all of us to teach her the skills necessary for engineering so that the visions in her head can find a place in reality.

 

If I have a child who has a gifting in leadership it’s my educational responsibility to expose her to reading so that the stories of past great leaders, of people who learned to use their leadership not to “boss” others but to “empower” them, will be present in her brain and she can learn from their wisdom.

 

It is not my job to convince others to home school. I don’t know their stories or what they witness in their own families. I can’t compare.

 

It is my job to sacrificially educate our children with the tools needed to accomplish the work God has laid out in advance for them to do. I need to educate and then get out of the way… because this is the task God prepared for me to do!
And when it’s all said and done:

“When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and I could say, ‘I used everything you gave me.'” — Erma Bombeck

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Copyright © StealingFaith.com 2010-2013 | All rights reserved

Denim Jumpers are Out, Rolling Crates are In

Times are changing...
Times are changing…

Friends, I’ve just returned home from my very first visit to a state homeschooling convention.

 

First, it was awesome. There’s no way to get around the fact that we were surrounded by several other thousand people who were strangers and yet like-minded and that was pretty cool.

 

Going in to the experience I was a little nervous, as I assumed I would be entering into a sea of calico yoke-dresses and denim jumpers. I was confident the women would all have very long hair and sprinkle their conversation with adoring mentions of their families, “where all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking, and all the children are above average.”

 

I was wrong. While there were definitely old-school homeschooler sighting out and about, I am surprised to report the vast majority of attendees would not be immediately identifiable as home educators in a police line up (or airport people watching marathon, for that matter!). They pass as normal, friends! The face of homeschooling is changing!

 

That being said, one thing did become crystal clear during the experience: while the Age of the Home School Denim Jumper has passed the Age of the Rolling Crate has arrived.

 

The rolly-crate is the new denim jumper.

 

From a practical standpoint I totally get the rolling, collapsable carry all, especially as a practical aid for the home schooling parent purchasing a year’s worth of curriculum in a frenzy of conference discounts and new educational model exposure. Who really wants those plastic bags cutting into your arms constantly when you could instead scoot along the convention center hallways unburdened by texts and workbooks and penmanship guides, paper airplane models and STEM aids and safety-dulled pocket knives?! That’s right. No one.

 

But a word from the perspective of the person who wasn’t dragging a rolly-cart here: stop running over my feet with your wheeled, heavy carriages of educational doom! Accept the inevitable fact that if your crate dimensions are 16″ x 16.5″ x 14.5″ it will never, ever fit down a row of auditorium seating leaving only 12″ of space from chair front to seat back. Don’t even try to squish yourself down the row of the workshop. It’s not happening.

 

I don’t intend to be a downer, but facts are facts and if you can’t identify that your rolly-cart isn’t going to go vroom like a greased Rubix cube … well, I know there has to be a perfect math curriculum available for you in the exhibitor auditorium just down the hall. Go check it out.

 

Homeschoolers used to look like this:

Homeschooling used to utilize copious lengths of fabric... now, not so much.
Homeschooling used to utilize copious lengths of fabric… now, not so much.

 

But now, with the changing of the old guard, homeschoolers look like this:

The rolly-crate is the new hallmark of the home schooler.
The rolly-crate is the new hallmark of the home schooler.

 

And we’re all the better for it.

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If you like this post, feel free to share it (with attribution).
Copyright © StealingFaith.com 2010-2013 | All rights reserved

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