Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Reality Blogging!!

I am new to this blogging thing and since I have started I have been reading a lot of other people's blogs.  The most prevalent thing is that they all sound so perfect.  They all eat all the right things, they all have wonderful marriages, they all have perfect children that sleep all night without rocking, they all stay on schedule, they all have beautiful blog pages with all this added stuff, and they all kind of depress me.  Sometimes when I am having a really bad day, I don't want to hear how perfect they all are, I want to know that someone else is going through the same challenges that I am.  Life is messy!!  Here is glimpse into mine!

I live in the real world.  I don't always make the right decisions for my kids.  I spend too much money on groceries.  I yell too much.  I spend too much time on the computer.  I am not always respectful of my husband and I know that I am not grateful enough.  My kids are wonderful blessings that act like animals at times.  We work at eating healthy and do a lot better than we use to, but sometimes we just want ice cream with lots of chocolate.  My kids are older so they do sleep through the night, but I loved  rocking  my children.  So what if they didn't sleep through the night all the time, I had these wonderful moments with them, just me and the baby rocking in a quiet room while I hummed or prayed over them.  It was for a short time, and yes I was sleep deprived, but I am still here and kicking.  As for a schedule, I realize that it takes discipline and I am lacking in that area.  That is one thing I am going to work on.  I can't really figure how to use the blog page very well, which makes me feel like my brain cells are dying off faster than I thought.  I don't color my hair and so the gray is taking over.  The laundry never seems to be done.  There are always a few dishes or sometimes a lot of dishes that need to be done.  My room is the catch all and never seems to stay clean very long.  The 2nd most heard statement around here is, "just put it in my room."  The 1st most heard statement in our house is actually a name, "Joshua Larry."  This name is heard echoing throughout our house many times a day, as my 7yr. old terrorizes the house. 

We were the perfect parents and then when I became the mother to 5 instead of 1.  I discovered that my oldest was the one almost perfect and I was barely treading water when it came to parenting.  My kids struggle in different areas in school.  They are always respectful, thankfully, but not always obedient.  They can't remember from one room to the next what I sent them for.  They mumble and then wonder why I ask again.  They mumble and then are frustrated when I didn't realize they were out of toilet paper.   The youngest is frustrated that he is not as old as the others and therefore is always mad that he can't do what they do.  

My husband is tired in the evenings and doesn't want to do anything.  I don't get poems or bunches of flowers from him.  He barely says hello at times.  He yells at the kids and then regrets it.  He is the fire chief at our local volunteer fire department and so he jumps up from the table quite regularly and runs out the door.  We are getting ready to leave and he has to go help granny up off the floor.  Some moron decided life was not worth living and took a handful of pills knowing someone would find him before he actually died.  Or some complete idiot pours peroxide in his eyes for an infection trying to save money.  He never helps with the finances and wouldn't know how to cook a meal to save our kids lives.

Then there is the other side of my life. I work really hard for hours on end to put up food for the winter.  I choose to homeschool because I love my kids more than any possession I might could afford if I worked.  I absolutely adore my husband of 22 yrs.   I treat my parents with love and respect.  I am working hard to change the other areas of my life that are a mess.  I have the most wonderful husband anywhere.  He is loving, caring and thinks that I am the best wife in the world.  He never goes one day without telling me that I am beautiful and must tell me 20 times a day that he loves me.   He is a hard worker and never misses a day of work no matter how sick or injured he is.  We have many projects here at home that even after working long hot or cold hours as a logger, he manages to finish.  He eventually finds time to play games, or go swimming, or build an engine, or fix a 4-wheeler with our kids.  I am so proud of the person that he is in our community.  He risks his life to save people from a burning home.  He gets up at two in the morning to go and comfort a lady whose husband just shot himself.  He leaves his hot meal to go and help someones grandfather get back in his wheelchair.  He misses the family outing to help find someones disabled child.  He provides a living so that I can stay at home and home school our children.  He encourages me to look for ways to save money so that we might take a little trip.  

I have the most precious blessings ever.  My children have a sincere desire to serve Yahweh and others.  They look for ways to help me around the house and make me so proud with their serving in front of others.  They are respectful and never back talk.  I have 3 teenagers still  in the house and I do not face any of the junk that others face.  They go to bed on their own and sleep through the night.  They keep their own rooms done, sort of.  They do all the bathroom cleaning, dusting, vacuuming, sweeping and mopping, wash the car, mow the grass, clean the pool, pick the garden, water the horses, feed the dogs, and even give moma a foot rub.  They all give the best hugs and kisses.  I married off my daughter last Oct.  and the witness that she and her husband set before others is amazing.  They each kept themselves pure and innocent for one another and married righteous before Yahweh.  They presented me with the most adorable grandson on July 29th. 

So my room is still not straight most of the time.  The dishes are not always done.  The laundry is not always caught up, except it is today, thanks to Kim my second oldest.  My husband might spend the entire evening on the couch snoring, but that is o.k.  I get to stay home with my babies and his snoring is an easy price to pay.  My kids will probably still have to be told the same thing over and over, but at least I have them here to tell.  I don't really get offended when people I don't know comment that I have my hands full, because at times I really do.  There are times when I think back to that woman that only had one child who read books on end and prepared these small meals, with a sigh.  Then I realize how empty her life would be now that her daughter is married and has a life of her own.  I do not always respond with the most loving voice and I make more mistakes than I would care to admit.  But the reality is that we are all that person at times and I am working to become the wife and mother Yahweh would have me to be. 

We can all look around and see our world from different perspectives.  I am not the petite, beautiful and perfect blogger than most of them seem to be.  I don't always have it all together.  My kids don't always look perfect in every picture.  My husband is not the most thoughtful and loving person, all the time.  What we are is a family that is doing the best that we can.  We are making it.  We love with all that we have.  Family is still the most important physical thing that matters in this world.  We are learning more and more about how to do things in our life better.  We are keeping our eyes on Yahweh and knowing that He is the goal of our life. To keep His Torah, to honor His sabbath and to celebrate His feasts.  To live like He would have us to live.  To walk like Yeshua walked.  To be a pleasing sacrifice to our Creator. 
So if your life is not perfect, then you are not alone!!!  Change what you can, learn to live with what you can't, serve with all that you have, love with all your heart and keep your eyes on Yahweh!!

Shalom My Chaverim!!!
Peace my friends!!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Home Schooling - A not so politically correct view

Every year around this time, I have to fight the envy that I feel.  Mothers are breathing a sigh of relief and sitting down with a good book and cup of coffee in a quiet house.  They are having lunch with friends and getting their nails done.  Mothers are shopping without the constant talking and they can actually concentrate on their task.  Mothers are getting a much needed break from the constant neediness of their children.  They are refreshed when their children get off the bus and run in the door.  Then I step back and repent!!  I am highly blessed among women!!   I get to spend all my time with my children!!  I get to sew into their lives all day every day.  I get to determine what they see, hear, do and learn!!  I get hugs and kisses off and on all during the day.  The greatest gift I get is the shalom of knowing that I am being obedient to the leading of Yahweh.  When I see on the news a story about a shooting or stabbing at a school, I stop and pray for them but I also pray a prayer of gratefulness that I know where my children are and what they are doing.  I never have to have that moment of panic and wonder where my kids are.  If there is bad weather, I know that my children are safe with me.  If there was a terrorist loose, I would know that my children are with me.  There is such peace in my life knowing that I decide what is safe, or what is healthy, or what is appropriate for my children.  I decide what curriculum that I use.  I decide what my children will learn today.  I decide what books that they will read.  I decide what friends that they will have.  I decide what trips that they will go on.  One of the greatest blessings is that I get to insert Yahweh into everything that we do.  We have scripture time during our school day.  When teaching math I explain how we need math to understand the complexities of Yahweh's creation.  When teaching science I get to tell how Yahweh created the heavens and the earth.  When teaching history I use the Scriptures to tell my children how the world began and what Yahweh wants us to learn from our past.  It is an awesome responsibility  that we have been given as parents.  Why do we want to hand that responsibility over to people that we do not know?  Why do we trust others to know better about what is best for our children?  Why do we let them walk out that door  knowing that for 8 or 9 hours we will have no idea what they are seeing, hearing and learning?  Yahweh did not design public school, man did.  Just because that is the norm and what everyone else is doing, won't let us off the hook for being responsible for our chilren's lives.  I have nothing against the teachers or administrators.  They are doing a job, a difficult job.  We as parents have relinquished our responsibilities and therefore someone must take up the slack.  It is very politically correct in the home school movement to clarify that we don't think home schooling is for everyone.  That it is a choice that we choose, but it is o.k. for you not too.  However, I am not politically correct.  I think that we as parents are accountable for how we raise our children.  I also believe that everyone that claims to be a believer should pull their children out of the public school system and teach them at home.  If you want to be a follower of Yeshua(Jesus) then you should be able to see the corrupt influence that public or private school has on your children.  Every where I go people are impressed with the behavior of  my children.  A lot of people that I come in contact with will say things like; I wish my kids behaved like that, I wish my kids respected me like that, I wish that I could home school, I wish that I had the patience to home school, or the one I hear the most is, I think I will send my kids to your house to learn how to behave.  Ughhhh!!  How embarrassed I would be, if I said any of those things.  I am nothing special.  I have no patience!!  My children pay every day for the mistakes that I make.  What I am, is obedient!!!  What I am, is a mother who puts the needs of my children always above the needs of my own.  I do without!  I sacrifice!!  I work hard!!  I have bad days when I am selfish and don't do what I need to do, but then I get up the next day and get back at it.  What will matter at the end of our lives?  What will we have to show for it?  What will be your legacy?  College, money, possessions, accomplishments, business opportunities, friends, trips and a great retirement.  Or will your legacy be children that are happy, healthy, loving, respectful, grounded, pure, innocent, righteous, giving, serving, smart, and will look back and call you blessed!!!  I home school because that is what Yahweh told me to do.  I love home schooling because I love my children above anything else in this world.  I choose home schooling because one day I will stand before the Creator and make an accounting for how I raised the precious gifts that he gave me.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Taken Captive by Torah!!

I decided to blog about how we came to be walking in Torah!!  I was raised a preacher's daughter and my husband was the elder's kid.  We were in church every time the doors were opened.  I can remember as a little girl of 10 asking my daddy why we didn't keep the law.  Of course, he had all the practiced answers of how that was all done away with when "Jesus" died on the cross.  I also asked why we didn't worship on Saturday as the Bible told us to.  He told me that it changed to Sunday and that to fit in with the norm of church society, we all worship on the same day.  I always look in envy at the people worshiping on Sat.  

So anyway, life just goes on.  I married and we continued the "church" pattern.   We were involved in whatever church we happen to be attending.  We hopped around a lot.  Not because anyone was asking us to live a better life than we wanted to live or asking us to work in the church and we didn't want to.  We were searching for a set apart people.  People that actually live by some kind of standard.  People who walked the talk of the Scriptures they claim to read.  So we were never happy.  All the sermons were about how much "God" wants to bless you and give you things.  Women were dressed so skimpily that I thought I was on a street corner instead of church.  I actually had to move my family of 7 because of how short the women's dresses were in front of us.  I was angry every Sunday.  We fought all the way to church and I spent the whole time going home saying, "now, kids that is not Scriptural, or what the pastor said is wrong or he just twisted the verse to mean what he wanted it to mean."  I got tired.  Really tired.  So we left!!  

We decided to "home" church.  We would just teach our children from the Scriptures.  Nothing added or taken out.  We decided to have a home school gathering at our house to work with the horses that Yahweh had given us.  Something always kept interfering with our plans.  I would have to cancel for one reason or another.  I sent out an email to everyone on the list.  It went out to everyone but the Williams, who showed up, unexpectedly, at my door.  I told them it was canceled and they turned to leave.  I decided to invite them in to talk.  We thought that they were nice, but really odd :)   She mentioned that they didn't go to church but home churched, interesting.   They were wearing tassels on their clothes which I found to be bizarre. They were all so skinny and talked about how they were healthy eaters, whatever that meant.  So they went home and we thought, oh well.  Bev called and invited us to supper on Sunday night, which happened to be Yom Teruah, the feast of Trumpets.  I had to convince my husband to go.  I told him not to worry that we were not going to believe like they did and we certainly were not going to start eating like they did.  My husband knew me well enough to be very worried :)  So we went over and they had other odd people there with them, the Nitz family.  Every where we went in "church" circles we were the big family, not here.  They each had 7 kids.  I had lots of questions and John answered them all carefully.  I enjoyed myself and the kids really did.  It was Casey's first exposure and he just saw all the odd things about them.  John gave us a business card with a website on it before we left.  We said goodbye thinking that we will never get together again.  Little did we know!!  Britney and I came home and 3 days later looked up their website.  Man Oh Man!!!!  We were blown away!!  To say that our eyes were opened is the understatement of the year.  We each got out our Bibles and were looking at the verses he was using and were looking at each other in absolute amazement!!  I was 41 at the time and I finally had all the answers that I had been searching for practically my whole life.  Yahweh was right there telling me what I always wanted to know.  That is why I am convinced that He opens the eyes of who He wants, because I was hungry and searching for years but only found it when He was ready for me to.  

There was no turning back for Britney and I.  The kids went along, but hubby was like, "you promised."  I know I said that we wouldn't believe like them, but they are right!!  I am humbled everyday by Yahweh choosing to open our eyes to the truth of His Torah.  His law is not burdensome, it is the most freeing thing in my life.  I am free to live a life that is pleasing to Him!!  I am free to live a life set free from the bondages of sin!!  I am free to live a life that has sloughed off the traditions of man!!  I am saved by the blood of Yeshua, but I am obedient to the commands of His Father!!!  We jumped in with both feet and it was over our heads.  We tread water well.  We learned so much in the first days, weeks and months.  We gave up all the traditional and pagan holidays of man.  We embraced the Feasts of Yahweh.  It is such a blessing to read the Scriptures with my children and say, "hey, we do that" not, "now, that is no longer applied to us and we don't have to worry with all those rules and laws. We are all covered by grace and can sin all we want.  We have the get out of hell free card."  I am so glad to discover that Yeshua's blood gave me so much more than just a ticket out of damnation. 

Of course, it was not long before we switched to a healthier eating, not quite as far gone as they are, but we are eating much better than 2 years ago.  I have only bought 3 loaves of bread in that time.  We make our own from our fresh ground wheat!!  I can refer to the Williams and Nitzs families as odd, because now we are too. Yahweh has done so much in our family it is amazing.  Britney was almost 19 when we first met the Williams.  Her greatest desire was to serve Yahweh, but her next greatest was to be a wife and mother.  We had looked at several young at the churches that we attended and after watching their lives and seeing their Facebook pages, we would know they were not pure enough for her.  She was discouraged, but knew that Yahweh was in control.  The Williams came to the rescue!! :)  Yahweh worked it out so perfectly!!  Jay was the oldest son of  John and Bev.  He too was sheltered and kept himself pure and innocent.  Britney was head over heels in no time, but it took a little longer for Jay.  However, just 8 months later they were engaged.  They married in Oct. just 13mo. after meeting and nine months after that, they gave us our first grandson!!  There is nothing that could ever happen in my life that would make me turn back to the life that I had before.  To be obedient is my highest desire.  It is a privilege every week to honor His day of rest on Sat.  At sundown on Friday is the sweetest time I have ever known.   Every feast is a celebration of Yahweh's ways and shows us how Yeshua's life lines up with Yahweh's patterns.  We changed to using the true name of Yahweh.  Every religion calls their mighty one, God.  What makes us different, His name!!!  So here we are!!  Striving every day to be a pleasing sacrifice to our Creator.  Looking forward to the day that we will truly be home in the land of Israel.  Anticipating the return of our Groom!!  Rejoicing over the events in the world as it prepares the earth and His bride for the upcoming Marriage Supper of the Lamb!!!!  I am going to end this with the website that Yahweh used to open our eyes!!   Watch out!!  It could radically change your life!!!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Adventures with Molly and Bella

Molly- 5yrs old
Years ago, we had a red dachshund and she was grouchy and unpleasant at times.  We loved her, though.  Doxy died in Feb. of 06.  My beloved daughter, Britney was so heartbroken that we got another dachshund in Sept.  So Molly entered our lives.  Molly is the exact opposite in personality to Doxy.  She is loving, sweet, pleasant and the kids are crazy about her.  She is not too bright and house breaking, even after all these years, is patchy at best.  She has developed allergies and has to be taken to the vet for shots once a month.  All the times that I get fed up and decide, "that is it, she has to go," don't seem to matter to Molly or her owners.  They take up the slack and are in charge of all her "accidents."  They dress her in the clothes that go to their bears from Build a Bear.  They used to ride her in the stroller.  Doesn't hurt that she is absolutely one of the prettiest dachshunds you will ever see.  A sleek black coat that just shines in the sun.   So here we are with a  dachshund that contributes nothing financially to the family,  but pulls her weight in the love department.

Bella -3yrs old
I was only 8 the first time that I saw Pepper, the Great Dane.  He lived down the street.  He was gray all over with black spots.  I thought that he was the most beautiful dog that I had ever seen.  I decided then that I would one day have my own Great Dane.  In July of 03 we had just legally adopted 3 children.  I decided that we all needed a new puppy.  We picked up Maggie at the end of August.  We was gorgeous, all black and shiny(seems to be a pattern with us).  Unknown to us, the kids mother was expecting.  We were called on Sept. 16th and had a new baby on the 18th.  Maggie went to live with someone else the following year.  It was still in the back of my mind.  My husband who did not grow up with dogs in the house, said that I could have one, but not in the house.  Great Dane's do not do well outside, so I said no way.  One day, he found a "free" Great Dane in the paper.  The rest is history!!  Bells is practically perfect in personality!!  She is loving, sweet, smart, well behaved, and no matter what others do with her, she remains my dog.  She loves me so much.  I fell completely in love with her.  However, there has been nothing free about this dog.  She went into heat 3 days after we got and had to be spayed.   She developed a breast tumor from having puppies too young and then after the surgery developed fluid and had to spend a week in the hospital.  She now has come down with the red mange, that she got from her mother.  When we tried to treat the mange, she had a bad reaction to the meds because we didn't know that she had heartworms.  So she spent another week in the hospital.  We treated her for the heartworms, and now are treating the mange.  But, of course, she is not responding to the treatment.  I take her back in yesterday and she now has a fungal infection.   I say all this to say that love comes without conditions.  We either love or we don't.  Now, of course, there are financial limitations and we have just about reached them.  We are still working to save her.  She is such a blessing to my family, but especially to me.  I cannot imagine having to give her up!! So we wait and pray.  We are expecting things to turn out o.k.  Just taking a little longer, but that seems par for the course!!  If you don't have dogs, then of course your house may smell a little better than mine at times, but you are missing out on a lot of laughter and love!!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

My Family!!!

My husband, Casey and I.
I am blessed more than most, less than others, but perfectly for me.  I spent my entire childhood wishing and praying for a family of my own.  I wanted a house full of kids.  I married my best friend and then we had one child.  After 12 more years of trying and miscarrying many little ones, we adopted.  So altogether, we have 5 wonderful blessings!!  My oldest blessing, Britney is married to Jay and they have just presented me with my first grandson, Isaac.  That is a very important time in your life.  You realize that you have become a member of the upper tiers on the pyramid of life.  I remember when my last grandparent passed away and my dad pointed out that they were the top.  There was no one above them.  I am only one tier from the top now.  I am the grandparent that will influence my grandchildren.  I pray that my life will be a shining example of how to be a child of the Creator and a follower of Torah!!!    Here are some pics of our family!!
My 5 blessings! 

Britney's wedding

Granddaddy with Isaac
Nana with Isaac

Our first grandson, Isaac!!

For the Love of Torah

When I look at my life, it is hard to believe that I ever lived without Torah.  Torah has changed me in so many ways.  I hardly recognize the person that I have become.  I pray that I am reflecting more and more of the image of Yeshua.  I love the 119 chapter of Tehillim.  Dawid has such a love for Yahweh and His Torah!!

Psa 119:16-18 I delight myself in Your laws; I do not forget Your word. Do good to Your servant, Let me live and I guard Your word. Open my eyes, that I might see Wonders from Your Torah.

Psa 119:32-35 I run the way of Your commands, For You enlarge my heart. Teach me, O יהוה, the way of Your laws, And I observe it to the end. Make me understand, that I might observe Your Torah, And guard it with all my heart. Make me walk in the path of Your commands, For I have delighted in it.

Psa 119:47-48 That I might delight myself in Your commands, Which I have loved; That I might lift up my hands to Your commands, Which I have loved; While I meditate on Your laws.

Do we live our lives in a way that lets people know what is important to us?  Our children live in the house with us, do we live the right example in front of them? 

I became a grandmother a little over a week ago and now my life has entered into another phase.  I wasn't so ready for this one, but life does not stand still.  It is always moving forward.  I could do without the gray hair, but Scripture tells us that it is a sign of wisdom and so I shouldn't begrudge a single one of them.  I always said that I would grow old gracefully and gratefully.  I need to remember that :)     What a glorious time in Yahweh to be alive!!  He is moving and shaking things up.  I can see the coming of His Son on the horizon!!  I know that all the moaning and groaning of the earth is just Yahweh preparing us for the return of Yeshua.  Prayer needs to be our sustaining strength!!  I have to remind myself that things will not go on like they are today, that things will begin to change for me and my family.  Are we prepared?  I am not sure, but we are striving to do what we feel the Father is leading!! That is why I think that the love of Torah is so important.  As we face challenges that we cannot imagine now, our grounding in His Torah will be our saving grace.  Being obedient and walking in His favor make us prepared for anything!!   May we all be looking forward to the future and to returning to the homeland of Yisra'el and to the coming of our Groom, Yeshua!!!

Ahava and Shalom!!