Fun Fridays with Mom

We, like most people, live busy lives. As a homeschooling mom, you would probably assume that I spend a lot of time with my children. I do, but it’s always time-with-a-purpose. I’m teaching them school, or how to do a chore, or talking to them about the upcoming activities, or correcting them. I rarely spend “fun time” with them. Before our schedule became so packed, I would take a different child grocery shopping with me each week. We would talk and they got to pick out a few of their favorite things for the week (like cereal or yogurt). Life required an adjustment to this routine and therefore, we no longer have this one-on-one time.

I had really missed our shopping trips so I instituted a new thing: “Fun Fridays with Mom”. Each Friday, I take a different child to lunch, their choice of restaurant (fast food). If we have time after lunch, we will go look in a store for something, go to the library, or get a Starbucks drink.  It’s not a time for me to lecture them on something or teach them something, it’s just a relaxing time with them alone. I have enjoyed being able to focus on each of them individually this way; to be able to listen instead of talk.

I haven’t taken a photo every week (because I forget sometimes), but I did get one of each of the kids the first time we did this. I took them in birth order, so Lauren was first.

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Lauren and I went to Dairy Queen together for the very first “Fun Friday with Mom”. The weather was pleasant  enough for us to eat outside!

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Mitchell asked for Greek food, then we went to K-Mart to do some clothes shopping for him.

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Leslie picked Chik-Fil-A and then shopping at Goodwill. (She is very good at putting outfits together!)

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Laci also picked Chick-Fil-A and then we went to the mall to find her an autumn church dress. (I took Leslie and Lauren at anther time.)

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Matt picked Wendy’s and then we went to Walmart so he could spend some of his savings on this:

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If they start up the draft again, Matt is ready!

It’s been a hectic few months with homeschooling, co-op, church secretarial work, and housework. Add in a kid getting hit by a car, some sickness, and the death of our family pet and you could say it’s been downright difficult. The Lord has been so gracious to hold us up through all of the ups and downs. We are bountifully blessed!

It may be a crazy life, but it sure is a wonderful one.

With love,

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Theological Term of the Week: Preservation

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This week’s term: Preservation – The work of God whereby He, by grace, controls and guides all circumstances around and within His elect, which results in their being unquestionably, and without exception, delivered unblamable into His everlasting kingdom. This work is totally of God, always perfect, and never enhanced by human cooperation.

Last week’s term: Adoption – In Biblical terminology it means to be placed as an adult son. We presently enjoy this position by faith through the Spirit of God within us. (Romans 8:15) We shall enjoy it in a fuller sense at the redemption of the body. (Romans 8:22-23)

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Theological Term of the Week: Adoption

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This week’s term: Adoption – In Biblical terminology it means to be placed as an adult son. We presently enjoy this position by faith through the Spirit of God within us. (Romans 8:15) We shall enjoy it in a fuller sense at the redemption of the body. (Romans 8:22-23)

Last week’s term: Salvation – Deliverance. The word properly carries with it the general and composite effect of all its various aspects, such as redemption, reconciliation, regeneration, calling, preservation, perseverance, and glorification. The word, in its general sense, should not be confused as being inherently synonymous with any of the words describing particular details thereof.

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Theological Term of the Week: Salvation

Theology-image

This week’s term: Salvation – Deliverance. The word properly carries with it the general and composite effect of all its various aspects, such as redemption, reconciliation, regeneration, calling, preservation, perseverance, and glorification. The word, in its general sense, should not be confused as being inherently synonymous with any of the words describing particular details thereof.

Last week’s term:  Sanctification – The state of being sanctified, or holy. Scripturally, this state of the believer is to be seen in two different aspects or senses:

Positional Sanctification: That is the position of holiness, innocence, and perfection, which we have in the sight of God, through the imputed righteousness of Christ.
Practical Sanctification: The realized and progressive growth in grace, which we have in the sight of ourselves and others, as a result of the imparted righteousness of Christ.

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Make a Difference

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Mom and Dad, at Mom’s farewell party at Jessieville Elementary School. Photo courtesy of her friend and colleague, Mrs. Cheryl Kastner.

She’s sort of like a doctor, only for learning disabilities. She worked hard for many years helping hundreds of students who struggle. She makes learning fun. She knows how to teach the mind and touch the heart- a rare combination. I suppose that’s why her success rate is so high. In the end, she knows it’s not about the grade average or the test score, it’s about the student’s feeling of success. Are they smiling more? Do they laugh? Is there a sparkle in their eye that wasn’t there when they first walked into her classroom? Have they gone from “I can’t” to “Maybe I can!”? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then she has succeeded.

Who is this miracle worker? She is someone I know quite well, she is my mother.

I’ve seen it happen over and over. Parents would walk into Mother’s classroom on a summer afternoon while we are setting up, decorating bulletin boards. Sometimes they have their child with them, sometimes not. They see me standing on a chair, stapling wavy, corrugated border onto a cork bulletin board and instantly feel as though they have interrupted. What they need to say is private. Mother steps out into the hall. I see her shadow as she is talking quietly, and listening intently, to this concerned mother. Her child is struggling, and not only do they struggle with learning – a monumental trial for any child – but they also deal with the insults from their peers. After only a few minutes of conversation with Mrs. Courtney, however, that mother feels the burden lifted. She has hope, because her child has hope – a mother’s greatest desire. She knows that her child has a friend, an ally, a partner, in a little red-headed teacher some call “Mrs. C”.

The school year begins, and this wonder woman has an enormous task ahead of her: helping a group of students beat the odds, which are not in their favor. She writes the IEP’s (Individual Education Plans) for each child, and begins executing those plans. She has some discipline problems, but nothing she can’t handle. There are peaks and valleys, wins and loses. But through it all, Mrs. C keeps her smile, her energy, and her cheers for the student who is ready to give up. She loves the underdog; she loves to see the one who is discounted, count. And each one leaves her classroom knowing that they mattered to her.

Not one parent ever asked my mother how she voted. They never questioned her as to whether she was a racist or asked her religion. They judged her character by her actions, and therefore knew she was a good person and a great teacher. That’s the real world. It isn’t what we see in the headlines or on the morning news shows. It’s the people we know in the life we’re living now. We all make a difference when we give of ourselves to the world in which we live. We offer our skills, our love, and our time to a real person, and hopefully, we make them better for having known us.

That’s what my mom did. And that’s what I want to do, too.

And of some have compassion, making a difference: ~ Jude 22

With love,

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Theological Term of the Week: Sanctification

Theology-image

This week’s term: Sanctification – The state of being sanctified, or holy. Scripturally, this state of the believer is to be seen in two different aspects or senses:

  1. Positional Sanctification: That is the position of holiness, innocence, and perfection, which we have in the sight of God, through the imputed righteousness of Christ.
  2. Practical Sanctification: The realized and progressive growth in grace, which we have in the sight of ourselves and others, as a result of the imparted righteousness of Christ.

Last week’s term: Justification – The aspect of salvation which deals with judicial righteousness or vindication. It is never self-acquired, but always given as the result of Christ’s substitutionary work (Romans 5:9). It is realized by faith (Romans 5:1). It is demonstrated by works (James 2:22-24).

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Theological Term of the Week: Justification

Theology-image

This week’s term: Justification – The aspect of salvation which deals with judicial righteousness or vindication. It is never self-acquired, but always given as the result of Christ’s substitutionary work (Romans 5:9). It is realized by faith (Romans 5:1). It is demonstrated by works (James 2:22-24).

Last week’s term:  Covenant Theology – The Catholic, and later the Protestant “Reformed”, doctrine which states the “Church of the New Testament”, like the “Church of the Old Testament”, is formed on the basis of the same covenant, namely the covenant God made with Abraham (Systematic Theology by Charles Hodge, p. 549). Therefore, they conclude that the children of believers have the right to baptism by which they are actually regenerated. (Systematic Theology by Charles Hodge, pp. 546-547). This notion is essentially held by all infant baptizers.

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