Wednesday, December 16, 2015


On a great day, my alarm sounds at 5am. It's quiet and still in our home. That's when I meet with God, uninterrupted and unhurried. I have at least an hour, yes an hour, to spend with the Lord.
I have been neglecting this 5am quiet time lately. Admittedly, my husband has a new work schedule, and my daily routine has changed. Our pace of life is different. And quite honestly, I've been too tired, more like exhausted, to get in the Word - especially at 5am. I'm still tired from the day before... and I'm exhausted at the thought of what the current day will bring. 
Consequently, I have been going through my days not only lacking physical energy... but spiritual energy as well. And I have been defeated. A lot. I have been defeated in my thoughts. I have been defeated in my actions. It seems like I have been spinning my wheels, and getting no where... Driving with 4 flat tires.
But I thank God for His reset button. You see, as much as I desired to get back on track, I don't have the means within myself to pull it off. But the Lord does! Not because I'm so good, but because He's so faithful. Yes, God continuously draws us to Himself - even when we're faithless. 
So what does that look like in real life? Let me tell you. Just this morning, I silenced my alarm, and woke up 2 hours later, already defeated. But by 7am, there remained an unusual silence in our home. And I knew the Lord was calling me to use this time to spend with Him.
I was a little leary, as I anticipated the pitter patter of little feet that would soon be coming down the stairs. But I went ahead... sat down at the table, and met with the Lord. And my children, who normally wake up at 7am, remained asleep, until 8:05am. Coincidence? Absolutely not.
God cares for me! And He loves me enough to let me struggle on my own, in my own strength... just long enough to let me see that I can't do it! But oh, He doesn't leave me there! In His unconditional love, mercy, grace... He picks me up, and HE places me on the right path!
Do you need a reset button?... Whether it's physical, mental, spiritual... Go to the Maker of your very soul! And even if it ain't pretty... Allow Him to reset you!

He restores my soul; He leads me in the path of righteousness for His name's sake.
~Psalm 23:3

Monday, December 14, 2015

Progress Report!

Homeschooling. We call our gig Reese Christian Academy, also fondly known as RCA. It's been 80 days! Yes 80, but who's counting? So far we're surviving. Well, more like pressing our way through, with the patience of my kiddos and utter reliance on God's grace!

So how's it really going?

I tell you, I get asked this question all the time. And usually in a fog, I do my best to spit out some coherent statement about education... and children... and stuff like that.  But, like any good teacher, there comes a point in which I need to actually sit down, process, and evaluate what exactly has been going on for the past 80 days!

What works for us?
  • Reese Rally. Every morning when the school alarm sounds, Khloe (age 3) goes running around screaming, "It's school time! It's school time!" Then we rally together and begin our day with prayer, scripture, and songs galore! 
  • Independent work. The kids are divided into 2 learning groups... the uppers and the youngers. Each group has a collection of work to do while I focus on the other. This includes written work, computer games, puzzles, stretches, and from time to time, a movie! Let's keep it real.
  • Stretch break. We stop whatever we're doing... every 30 minutes... and streeeeeeetch. Then get back on the grind!
  • Headphones. Quiet time. Enough said.
  • Recess. 60 minutes of play, 60 minutes a day! This time is precious and unique, and I love it. You see, I can either play with the kids... orrrrrrr.... have a quiet moment to myself, in which these people are sternly warned to stay far, far, away! (Don't worry, I can still see them... usually.)

What doesn't?
  • Afternoons. We haven't quite mastered that yet. Some days we get it, some days we don't. Yup, still trying to find that groove - especially with my uppers, while my youngers are napping. The set up is there, but my motivation usually isn't. Again, real talk.
  • Laundry. I've never been perfect at it, per se, but I once had a system that worked well for our household of 7. And for some reason, ever since we started homeschooling, I just don't do laundry anymore. Strange, I know! Disastrous, most definitely. 
  • Paperwork. Attendance sheets. Written work. Lesson plans... I just don't like it! 
  • Mom guilt. I was a much better teacher (by profession) than I am a homeschooler. And I battle that thought every day. Honestly... every single day. I question what I'm doing. I wonder if it's enough. I compare my old "nice, fun, patient, loving, laughing" self to my new "mean, short, mad, tired" self... and it's ugly!

Where do we go from here?

<<WARNING... Control freak ahead>> Welp, we're going to sure up those things that are lacking, of course! Our second semester plans are officially in the making. I am tightening up the afternoons, getting back to my 2 loads per day laundry routine, and cleaning up the messy paper work! 

Now what about those thoughts? What about the guilt?  What's my plan there? Not quite as easy of a fix.

Truthfully, I have to leave it at the feet of Jesus...  all of it.... including my incredibly perfect plans.  Let me bring you into my prayer closet, and expose my real life stuff. Each and every day... and then again, several times throughout the day... I'm crying out, "Lord, I messed up again!"... "Lord, I can't do this!"... "Lord, You have to help me!" ... "Lord! Lord! Lord!" Are you hearing me? I'm living a life of continuous pressing, persevering... and PRAYING! Oddly enough, there's no room for my prideful perfection. 

It's more clear to me now than ever before... that no matter what season of motherhood I'm in, the outer circumstances are working in me a greater good! Truth is, you don't have to be a homeschooling mom to experience readjustment, laundry piles, and mom guilt.  All of this outside pressure is designed to point us to our Maker.  And I must ask, how's that progress report looking?

Humbled. Grateful. Learning in this season. 

80 days down... 100 to go... We're going to press on!