Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Quote of the Week ~ November 26, 2014

      “So they committed themselves to the will of God and resolved to proceed.”
 ~ William Bradford

Monday, November 17, 2014

Quote of the Week ~ Nov. 16, 2014

"There is a strength given to all who humbly ask it, in the name of the Great Mediator; a strength to will, to do, and to endure, even to the death; a strength, given by God, enabling the timid to be brave, and imparting a consistent firmness, even to those who feel themselves ready to be shaken by every breeze. But unless we seek from Heaven this consistent firmness of principle, our goodness shall be but as the morning cloud, and as the early dew that passeth away. Without it, no Christian course can be a happy or a useful one. It is not enough to know and approve what is right. Principle must be acted upon, whether the world smile or condemn; and the diligent and steady cultivation of firmness be sought in humble dependence on God. And as the eastern traveler girded his garments from the dust, so, too, must Christians keep themselves unspotted from the contamination of vain intercourse, and the defilement of sin; and as the Hebrew matron girded herself for strength, so should we strive to invigorate our principles by holy determination, by steady watchfulness, and by humble prayer; so that we may say with the apostle, "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me" (Phl 4:13)." ~ Anne Pratt

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Quote of the Week ~ Nov. 4, 2014

"For my strength is made perfect in weakness." — 2 Corinthians 12:9

"A primary qualification for serving God with any amount of success, and for doing God's work well and triumphantly, is a sense of our own weakness. When God's warrior marches forth to battle, strong in his own might, when he boasts, "I know that I shall conquer, my own right arm and my conquering sword shall get unto me the victory," defeat is not far distant. God will not go forth with that man who marches in his own strength. He who reckoneth on victory thus has reckoned wrongly, for "it is not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts." 

They who go forth to fight, boasting of their prowess, shall return with their gay banners trailed in the dust, and their armour stained with disgrace. Those who serve God must serve Him in His own way, and in His strength, or He will never accept their service. That which man doth, unaided by divine strength, God can never own. The mere fruits of the earth He casteth away; He will only reap that corn, the seed of which was sown from heaven, watered by grace, and ripened by the sun of divine love. God will empty out all that thou hast before He will put His own into thee; He will first clean out thy granaries before He will fill them with the finest of the wheat. 

The river of God is full of water; but not one drop of it flows from earthly springs. God will have no strength used in His battles but the strength which He Himself imparts. Are you mourning over your own weakness? Take courage, for there must be a consciousness of weakness before the Lord will give thee victory. Your emptiness is but the preparation for your being filled, and your casting down is but the making ready for your lifting up." ~ Charles Spurgeon

"When I am weak then am I strong,
Grace is my shield and Christ my song."

Monday, November 3, 2014

“May He Get All the Glory”

Excellent encouragement and insight from Jenny Ervin:
Then slowly, my health began to decline. Just a few years after we were married, after the birth of our second child I lost a kidney. A couple years later the fatigue began to hit me. I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism. Fast Forward many years. Adrenal fatigue, possible chronic fatigue and/or fibromyalgia, hormone imbalances, depression, and ocd have had me barely able to get out of bed many days. Simple decisions and minor tasks many times are overwhelming. Many morning I feel like I am coming out of a coma, many evenings find me unable to wind down. The couch often is my friend, and I have to carefully plan the ways in which I should spend my limited energy. 
Where is my perfect homeschool world now? It’s gone. It is replaced by the world my Father has planned for me to have. I pray it is His homeschooling family now, not mine. I have learned that the box we often put ourselves in, the expectations we place upon us-are not of Him but of ourselves. Our relationship with Him, living for His glory, seeking Him daily, and learning day by day what HE wants us to learn is paramount. 
Through my illness I pray my children are learning compassion, servanthood, and submission to the providences He brings into our lives. They have a much keener sense of our daily strength coming from Him alone as they see their mama struggle. I pray they are gaining wisdom far greater then any textbook they could read.
Click here to read the rest

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

How a Pink Drink Was an Answer to Prayer: Plexus Slim Review and Giveaway


I have struggled with health issues for most of my life, including chronic ear infections, allergies, eczema and more. For the past eight years I have been struggling with severe, often debilitating, adrenal fatigue. Four of those years, including this one, have been spent partly bedridden.

With 8 young children growing up before my eyes this has been such a heartache to me and a great burden on our whole family. The Lord has been so faithful though. We know that all things come through His hands and that He works all things together for our good and that is a comfort we continue to cling to. We also believe that healing comes through Him and that He is the Great Physician. I have been praying desperately for this and for the first time I have real hope that He is answering with a “Yes” and it is time for me to get well.

A little over a year ago I first heard about a “pink drink” that was helping people with a myriad of health issues. I looked at it briefly, but being a little skeptical I did not pursue it any further

This year, my health plummeted again to the point of being near adrenal failure and mostly bedridden since March. I had days where I was so low I could barely talk, sit up or even open my eyes. I had many days where I was only able to be up for 10 or fifteen minutes at a time, and that was usually shuffling around the house, not even standing upright. The slightest exertion was a huge effort.

In April, we lost the little baby we were expecting. Being so sick, I did not quite know how to even begin to get well. Special diets were not a doable option when I could not even get out of bed to prepare normal meals. I was not strong enough for the hour drive to the nearest doctor and mybrain was so foggy and fatigued I didn’t even know how I should figure out which supplements, or combinations thereof, I should be taking.

I had a new determination though, that I had to make getting well a top priority no matter how hard it was. I began to funnel my grief over losing our baby into prayerfully researching some different options. As I began to research, I remembered that Plexus “pink drink” I had read about last year and decided to give it another look.


 I thought it sounded interesting and the ingredients looked surprisingly natural, so I googled “Plexus Slim and adrenal fatigue”. I found some wonderfully encouraging blog posts from normal sounding, Christian, homeschool mothers and I began to exchange my skepticism for a glimmer of hope.

I decided to give it a try and will be forever grateful that the Lord led me to do so! In the the past 4 1/2 months that we have been using Plexus products my health is continuing to slowly, steadily improve. I am no longer bedridden and I am gaining strength, stamina and energy. My brain fog is clearing away, as well as the depression that I couldn’t shake, and my awful insomnia is improving.

Plexus is not just a quick fix. It is a healing process. Slim addresses blood sugar regulation, which in turn sets off a snowball effect of health benefits. (Some people call it “Trim Healthy Mama in a Glass” since it is the same principle that the book and eating plan are based on) I have had relapses, some days better and some worse, but I am making continual progress. Having been sick for so long, I know I have a long way to go, but I am so thrilled to feel like I am finally on my way.

Living with adrenal fatigue, especially when it is severe, is very much like living with the spark of life removed. I felt like I was dying a long, slow death – not only my body, but ME inside. It has been called by a doctor who is an expert in adrenal issues the state of “the living dead”. That truly sums it up.

I have read many Plexus testimonials where people state that “Plexus gave me my life back”. It delights me now to be able to say the same. It truly is giving me my life back! I feel like “Me” again. As a result, it is giving my husband and children new life as well.

(Speaking of my husband, Plexus has been a huge answer to prayer for him as well for his years of terrible migraines!)

I am so thankful to the Lord for providing me with such a direct answer to prayer; and something simple enough for my foggy brain and sick body to be able to even handle to get started on the road to healing.

If you have health issues and are looking for help, please contact me! My heart so goes out to others, especially mothers, who are dealing with chronic illness and I want to share with you what has been the Lord’s answer to my exhausted, desperate prayer. There is hope.

Because Plexus has been such a huge blessing to us, we are spreading the word far and wide to others who struggle with their health. We just launched a brand new website full of information and testimonies,

To celebrate, we are giving away a 30 day supply of Plexus Slim! To enter, hop over to our facebook page and like it and leave a comment. To be entered TWICE watch the Plexus Freedom video there and leave a comment stating what you appreciated most about what was said. To be entered THREE times, leave a comment stating what you hope Plexus could help you with. Offer ends Thursday, Oct. 30th at midnight!

Friday, September 19, 2014

How to Homeschool When You Can't Get Off the Couch: Recommended Refreshment

Here are some of my favorite reminders that perfect schedules, curriculums and best laid plans are not necessary to successfully teach our children, nor should they be the goal. These articles, books and audio messages have lifted the weight off my shoulders; reminding me of the importance and beauty of just learning and growing daily together as we wend our ways through the twists and turns of life. We need to be mothers with a twinkle in an eye that is focused on Christ and leading the hearts of our children to Him, instead of stressed out drill sergeants, keeping everyone in a miserable quick march to the impossible dream of perfection.

If you, like me, need a breath of fresh air and some encouragement to relax and enjoy the journey, I hope you will be blessed by these as much as I have. It is a short, sweet list and nowhere near complete.

Think Outside the Classroom by Kelly Crawford
It’s hard to think outside of schedules and calendars and school years when we’ve been so ingrained in that lingo. But if we can ever just stop and look past our time tables and the way everyone else is doing it and just peel back all the stuff and remember what learning is, it gets easier.
And whether it’s Saturday night or Monday morning, we learn. We learn without deadlines to make us grumpy or timelines that compare us to others who aren’t us.
Teaching from Rest by Sara Mackenzie
 We homeschooling mamas are anxious. We’re used to working dawn till dusk to make sure our children have everything they need. We create lesson plans, make booklists, and sign our kids up for endless activities, frantically checking off our lists and plans in an effort to make sure our children know everything they need to know before they fly our coop.
We worry. We fret. We know, deep down in the core of our being, that we are not enough. That what we offer is a pittance compared to the task before us.
We feel small and insignificant because we are small and insignificant.
In the midst of all the doing, we forget the needful thing. We may sit as His feet, we may begin our day with prayer, Bible reading and supplication- but is our teaching and mothering transformed by it? Do we really trust Him? Do we live each day from a state of rest?
Ten Things to Do With Your Child Before Age Ten Harvey and Laurie Bluedorn One of my all time very favorite articles on homeschooling. Just so happens that it is excerpted from one of my all time very favorite books on homeschooling, Teaching the Trivium.

 Live your life. Invite children to join in! Education is a continuum of everyday life.
Read together.
Pray together.
Sing together.
Work, bake, garden, chore, clean, sew, fix, build together.
Don’t fabricate artificial demarcation lines between schooling and living.
Curriculum Advice Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 by Victoria Botkin So excellent. Packed with wisdom from a successful homeschooling mother of 7 children - now grown and all walking with the Lord. I think I lost about 50 lbs of self-induced stress after listening to these messages. (I am blessed to know Mrs. Botkin in Real Life and she is the Real Deal. She definitely has a joyful twinkle in her eye.)

How to Teach Your Children to Love Learning Victoria Botkin - Free! More words of wisdom.

Top Teaching Tips Victoria Botkin  I actually haven't listened to this newly released message yet, but I'm including it here because I know it will be excellent.

That's all for now, but I'll add more as they come to mind. (Brain fog is so not helpful).

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Quote of the Week ~ September 14, 2014

"But Simon's wife's mother lay sick of a fever, and anon they tell Him of her." —Mark 1:30

"Into Simon's house sickness had entered, fever in a deadly form had prostrated his mother-in-law, and as soon as Jesus came they told Him of the sad affliction, and He hastened to the patient's bed. Have you any sickness in the house this morning? You will find Jesus by far the best physician, go to Him at once and tell Him all about the matter. Immediately lay the case before Him. It concerns one of His people, and therefore will not be trivial to Him. Observe, that at once the Saviour restored the sick woman; none can heal as He does.

We may not make sure that the Lord will at once remove all disease from those we love, but we may know that believing prayer for the sick is far more likely to be followed by restoration than anything else in the world; and where this avails not, we must meekly bow to His will by whom life and death are determined. The tender heart of Jesus waits to hear our griefs, let us pour them into His patient ear"

~ Charles Spurgeon

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

How to Homeschool When You Can't Get Off the Couch: Recommended Resources

Having struggled with chronic illness for most of my children's school age lives I am always on the lookout for excellent materials that fit within my educational philosophies, but can also be done by the children independently or with minimal help or oversight by me. Video, audio and computer resources especially have been a huge help - very much like having tutors on tap.

Below, I have listed resources that we have used in the past - or are currently using - that have helped make it possible to continue to give our children an excellent education at home, in spite of challenging circumstances. I've also included some materials that we haven't used yet, but may at some point. It is not a complete list, but these are our favorites, most relied upon, or hope-to-use.

Online Lessons This is a great, free online reading program. Very well done and I have only come across one or two mildly objectionable things. You can upgrade to even more features (including math games) for an inexpensive yearly subscription fee.

Latin for Children This is one we have not done yet, but I have my eye on it. We love Song School Latin and other products from Classical Academic Press (see below) so I plan to use this or the DVD version soon. CAP also offers online teacher led courses.

Classics for Kids This is a wonderful resource for composer study! I need to use this more.

Veritas Press Self - Paced Online History We love these! We completed the Old Testament and Ancient Egypt course and are part way through  Explorers to 1815. They also now offer Bible courses and courses for older students. These are packed with information and taught classically with lots of memory work accomplished by games, review and timeline songs. They are also full of pictures of places, people and things from the lessons.

The courses we have done have only had two real negatives. One, I do not care for the way the history guides treat each other, especially in the Old Testament course. It is meant to be funny, but is just plain old disrespectful. Lots of eye rolling, belittling comments etc. between husbands and wives. I point this out to the children as not being acceptable.

The other issue was just with the OT course. We purchased the timeline cards (pictured above!) and I was quite horrified at some of the art that was used. Let's just say that some people in the pictures were lacking clothing. I worked around these few cards by printing out my own pictures and gluing them over the top of the picture on the card. Worked great! The cards were shown on the lessons online but were smaller and these issues weren't as noticeable.

Other than these two drawbacks, I highly recommend these lessons. They work wonderfully as a spine or outline to work from if you are able to add in other books. You can see sample lessons here and they are currently on sale!

Bob Jones Distance Learning Although it doesn't line up with my Charlotte Mason mindset, the distance learning program from Bob Jones is really quite excellent. It was a wonderful solution for us early on and my oldest even learned to read through their lessons. Some of the lessons are a bit long, but they are well done with teachers who are just exactly what you would hope your school teacher would be. They are similar to children's television programs with puppets, themes and props, but are Christian , even more educational and come with plenty of printed materials to go along with the programs (much of the paper stuff is optional and we only used a few workbooks).

We have only used the lower elementary levels, so I'm not sure what lessons are like for older children. The biggest drawback is the price. They aren't cheap, but they do have a payment plan option. The other drawback is Mr. Nice Guy on the Kindergarten program. He is quite babyish and rather disturbing. In real life, I wouldn't let him near my kids. In the lessons he just pops in once in awhile, thankfully. You can view sample lessons here.

    Computer Based

Sequential Spelling came highly recommended to me and I was delighted when they came out with the DVD. Short, simple lessons the children can do on their own on the computer. We also have the companion workbooks

Teaching Textbooks We haven't actually used these, but the reviews are excellent. We are already using Math U See, but if we weren't, I would go this route.


Math U See I am very happy with Math U See. Short, well taught video lessons that the children enjoy and work books and math blocks to go along with the lessons.

Netflix Not something I recommend, per say, but a very useful tool that has gotten us through many difficult days when I truly haven't been able to do more than lay on the couch or in bed. I appreciate the fact that they allow you to have different users on the same account, so the children have their own which goes directly to the "Kids" section and avoids any unpleasant stuff on the home page. Some of our favorite programs are Curious George, Busy Town Mysteries, Leap Frog, Blues Clues, Country Mouse City Mouse, Fireman Sam and How it's Made. Daniel Tiger gets watched too, but he is only favored by a few, short minority. A couple of those shows aren't currently on Netflix, but I'm hoping they will be again. Again, these aren't necessarily recommendations - more just a list of the best options we have found when I need the children to be able to just sit and watch stuff, while I keep an eye or an ear close by. There are also a ton of educational movies and documentaries, but some of those you might need to preview first or watch with your children.

Liberty's Kids This is an excellent, very well done series that we just discovered. The children love it and I am impressed. I'd say it is the video equivalent of a living book. The children laugh and talk about Lafayette and what a cheerful undaunted fellow he was, they speak with awe and respect of George Washington and they were horrified at the betrayal of Benedict Arnold. (They did not know his story and the series does a masterful job of leading up to his treachery. The children were shocked when he turned out to be a traitor and it made quite an impression.) This series has spurred lots of interest and reading now on the American War for Independence .The DVD is currently on sale at Amazon for only $5.00 for the entire series! Definitely a great deal. Highly recommended!

I Can Do All Things Art Lessons We have only done the first few lessons, but they were a hit. This is a set of 4 DVDs for beginning drawing and painting. These set off a drawing frenzy in our house!


Audio resources are some of our favorite. My children love to listen to audio books and have learned so much this way. Each child has an inexpensive MP3 player (one of my favorite homeschool tools that I plan to write more on later) and I can load it with exactly what I want them to listen to. Latin songs, catechism songs, music from a composer we are studying and lots of audio books. The possibilities are almost endless. More and more curriculum publishers are offering an audio book version of their materials and I look for those specifically. Listed below are just a few

Song School Latin  Highly recommended! The book and CD are excellent as is the DVD. The workbook is very nicely laid out, the songs are well done and pleasant to listen to and the DVD gives even more information. All gently, but effectively, taught. I have been very happy with anything I have purchased from Classical Academic Press. I also highly recommend Song School Latin Vol. 2 Book, CD and DVD.

God's Great Covenant Also from Classical Academic Press. This is a great Bible study program, nicely laid out in workbook form. It could be done by a child individually or as a family. It also comes with the Bible stories from the book in downloadable MP3 format.

My Audio School This website is full of public domain books in audio format. Each book is laid out chapter by chapter or as a complete download , along with lots of illustrations that correspond with the book. Some of the content is free and the rest is available for a very low yearly subscription.

Exploring Creation from Apologia I love this series so far. Only one book is available on audio at the moment, but others are in the works and I am very much looking forward to that!

Mystery of History  We are not currently using this, but now that Volumes 1-3 are available in audio format I am hoping to incorporate it.

Introduction to the Classics This is a great series on composers that we are slowly working our way through

Jonathan Park Our children love these and have learned so much science through these exciting, but highly educational, adventures. Highly recommended!

What in the World? Ancient history, taught with enthusiasm by Diana Waring  Audible is a treasure trove of well-recorded audio children's books and classical literature. They offer multiple download options, or you can listen right from the computer. You can join for a free, month long trial.

Jim Hodges Audio Books A wonderful collection of classic literature, beautifully read! I especially recommend Stories of the Pilgrims, one of our family favorites.

Audio Memory My siblings and I listened to the songs from Audio Memory back when we were being homeschooled and I can still sing the states and countries! We also carried them in our family's homeschool bookstore and they were customer favorites. Planning to use these this year with my own children.


Language Lessons  This wonderful workbook series by Sandi Queen teaches phonics, grammar, copywork, poetry, picture study (with full color paintings) and narration in simple, short  lessons. The older ones can easily do them on their own and for the little ones the lessons are so short and easy that I can manage them on a day where I am feeling better.

Kumon Workbooks A wonderful series of workbooks for the little ones with plenty of cutting, drawing, tracing, writing and more

That's all for now! Again, this is not a complete list, and what works for me, might not work for you. If you are in crisis mode, see my Netflix-Non-Recommendations and ignore the rest! We have definitely never accomplished all of this at once. These are truly just resources that have been hugely helpful to keep us on track when I am well enough to set them in motion. There have been plenty of days where Real Life Learning has taken precedence or Netflix and Amazon Prime have proven their educational merit. Pray and seek out the best for your family and your situation. I'll leave you with some sage advice from Mystie Winckler:
You are the mother. You are the teacher. You might not know the subject as well as the author of the material, but you do know your child much better. You are not teaching a generic classroom of averages, but your own house of individuals. Your job isn’t to pull them through the gauntlet laid out by the curriculum, but to determine your curriculum – the path you take – and use the materials as means to get there, always being the one in the driver’s seat.
What are some resources you have found helpful in your own homeschool?

This post contains affiliate links to and other recommended companies or products that may render the website owner a small commission.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

How to Homeschool When You Can't Get Off the Couch: Why I Love the Deuteronomy 6 Method of Home Education

One of the greatest lessons the Lord has been teaching me in my long struggle with chronic illness is Letting Go of Perfectionism 101. I am afraid I am a very slow learner.

I am a researcher. I research, I pray and I seek out the best I can find. The best homeschool philosophy for our family and the best resources within that philosophy. When my older children were toddlers I discovered the Charlotte Mason and Christian Classical homeschooling methods. I was delighted. I had been praying for guidance in how I should teach them and I was thrilled with how the Lord had answered. I still am.

I have spent many happy hours devouring articles and books on both philosophies (which have many similarities and can be beautifully blended). I love how these practical, gentle, yet powerful methods merge perfectly into daily family life. Short lessons, lots of read alouds, nature study and living books. I could do this.


Seven years ago, my two eldest were finally old enough to "do school" and I was eagerly looking forward to our first real school year. The Lord had other plans for us though and I hit a crisis point with my health from which I have never fully recovered. Instead of cuddling on the couch reading books or heading off on adventurous nature walks of delight and discovery I was focusing on things like breathing and staring at the ceiling. The most effort I was able to put into anything was playing Tetris on my phone since I only had to move my thumb - and that was on a good day.  (I did get really good at Tetris.)

School was put on the back burner for awhile (and thankfully the children were still young enough that this really was OK) and focused on survival. I recovered from that crisis point, but for two years I was still sick enough that my sister lived with us.We managed school with video school from Bob Jones - much to the horror of my Charlotte Mason loving heart. (More on Bob Jones later! He really is actually a pretty decent guy.)

I have had years where I have been better and years where I have been worse, but every year has been a struggle. The children have continued to learn and grow in spite of this and I am so thankful. Yet, one of my greatest sorrows is not that my children are not learning - it's that they are not learning in the way I long to teach them.

I still firmly believe that my beloved methods fit perfectly with Scriptural principles, are conducive to a happy childhood and would produce excellent results in the children both short and long term. But , in spite of the fact that these are simple methods, I still can't fully apply them exactly how I have always dreamed.

This is why I am so thankful that undergirding every other homeschool method that I love is one that I can attain to. The Deuteronomy 6 Method:
And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.
And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:
And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.
And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes.
And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.
These verses not only tell us the most important part of education and what needs to be the foundation of everything else we teach - they teach us how to educate.

Many times I have wondered why the Lord called me to homeschool and then allowed me to be crippled in a way that has made it so difficult. When I read these verses though, I am reminded that I am  equipped to teach my children. Maybe not in the way my perfectionistic little mind would prefer, but capable none the less.

I so love that the Lord's commandments are not burdensome. He gives us plenty of options in what education can look like. He doesn't say " Teach your children between these particular hours with this particular curriculum, in this particular way. At a desk."  Nope. Life is learning and learning is life. We can teach them as we live.

As Kelly Crawford says:
 School doesn’t begin at our house. But it doesn’t end either. I don’t have any opposition to starting school or new notebooks and new curriculum. But for us, learning is too intertwined in our lives to mark it with stops and starts...
And whether it’s Saturday night or Monday morning, we learn. We learn without deadlines to make us grumpy or timelines that compare us to others who aren’t us...
Not that we don’t have order or schedules or times set aside for learning specific things, but I’ve learned that life is too precious to be crowded out by the expectations of others. Time is too fleeting to let “school” elbow our relationships aside.
I don’t want to be ruled by charts and clocks and tests and grades. That’s not real life. Life is learning about anything and everything all the time, beside the ones you love. 
The more I realize this, the more my burden is lifted. I might do a lot more sitting and lying down than rising up and walking, but I can teach my children just the same. This has been such an encouragement to me as I face another school year that will be a challenge and will not fit neatly into all the lovely charts, booklists, schedules and detailed plans I still insist for some reason on making.

I do feel true grief at the time I have missed with my children and the memories we have not been able to make. It is one of my greatest heartaches. Because I do believe that life is intertwined with learning my goal is not to just have them "do school". Although I certainly want to have them be independent learners (something we are accomplishing!) I also want to learn and grow together and we have not been able to do this nearly enough. For this, I have to swallow very hard and trust that the Lord's ways might not be our ways, but they are the best.

God knows my heart for my children. He knows the greatest prayer and desire that my husband and I have is not only to see them well educated, it is to see them walking with Him all their days. He is the one that laid this on our hearts and these trials have also come through His hands. I would not have chosen them. I would have made life as easy as possible for our family if it were up to me. Yet, I have a hunch that left to my own devices, my children would not have the character that is being forged in them as the Lord has faithfully afflicted us.

As Mystie Winckler sums it up in her excellent article "Virtue is the Goal of Education"
"To be virtuous, however, we must be diligent, persevering in the midst of adversity. Virtue isn’t a magic trait that smooths paths and makes life soft and easy. Rather, the opposite is more true. Virtue is forged in the furnace of trial, temptation, and difficulty. You can’t have courage without fear. You can’t have patience without irritation. You can’t have self-control without warring desires. Virtue is a fruit God grows in us through adversity."
I still believe that the Lord led me to the educational philosophies that I so believe in. They mesh beautifully with the principles of Deuteronomy 6 and still influence and shape our days - even when I am only able to loosely apply them. I still look forward to and pray for the time when our school days might have more of a pattern and steady rhythm and I will be able to better implement the methods I hold dear. I still love to read the many excellent Charlotte Mason and Classical blogs out there and tuck away ideas.

However, I am learning ("learning" being the keyword there) to loosen my death grip on my plans. Not that I don't still do the best I can in whatever our current circumstances are, but that I accept that this is my best and then leave it with the Lord. I am finally beginning to rest in  the fact that school for our family needs to fit our family, our circumstances and our season - and that although it might not remotely resemble perfect (which doesn't exist, after all), it is good. 

If you are in a difficult season of life that makes educating your children at home a challenge, I hope you will be encouraged. Take heart and a deep breath. Remember,"Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it." (1 Thess. 5:24) Hang in there. Or rather,  maybe stop hanging and let go. Rest in Him (I'm writing this to myself too). We and our children are in His hands and His strength is made perfect in weakness.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Quote of the Week ~ August 31, 2014

"Wait on the Lord." —Psalm 27:14

"It may seem an easy thing to wait, but it is one of the postures which a Christian soldier learns not without years of teaching. Marching and quick-marching are much easier to God's warriors than standing still. There are hours of perplexity when the most willing spirit, anxiously desirous to serve the Lord, knows not what part to take. Then what shall it do? Vex itself by despair? Fly back in cowardice, turn to the right hand in fear, or rush forward in presumption? No, but simply wait. 

Wait in prayer, however. Call upon God, and spread the case before Him; tell Him your difficulty, and plead His promise of aid. In dilemmas between one duty and another, it is sweet to be humble as a child, and wait with simplicity of soul upon the Lord. It is sure to be well with us when we feel and know our own folly, and are heartily willing to be guided by the will of God.

 But wait in faith. Express your unstaggering confidence in Him; for unfaithful, untrusting waiting, is but an insult to the Lord. Believe that if He keep you tarrying even till midnight, yet He will come at the right time; the vision shall come and shall not tarry. 

Wait in quiet patience, not rebelling because you are under the affliction, but blessing your God for it. Never murmur against the second cause, as the children of Israel did against Moses; never wish you could go back to the world again, but accept the case as it is, and put it as it stands, simply and with your whole heart, without any self-will, into the hand of your covenant God, saying, "Now, Lord, not my will, but Thine be done. I know not what to do; I am brought to extremities, but I will wait until Thou shalt cleave the floods, or drive back my foes. I will wait, if Thou keep me many a day, for my heart is fixed upon Thee alone, O God, and my spirit waiteth for Thee in the full conviction that Thou wilt yet be my joy and my salvation, my refuge and my strong tower." ~ Charles Spurgeon

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

How to Homeschool When You Can't Get Off the Couch: Introduction

One of the biggest logistical challenges I have faced as a mother with a chronic illness is homeschooling my children.

Although we had no idea of the struggles we would be facing with my health for the majority of our homeschooling years thus far, our circumstances have not changed our reasons for educating our children at home. The Lord has been faithful and He has been teaching our whole family many things over these years that we would never have learned otherwise. I have had to learn to relinquish my lessons plans for His.

It has not been easy, and our homeschool day might not fit the exact picture of my dreams, carefully studied methods, and Pinterest boards, but it is still possible and doable. Some years have been easier and some have been harder, but the Lord has been gracious and we have still been able to stick with it. Over the next week or so I'll be sharing with you resources and tips that I have found extremely helpful as I have learned how to provide my children with a rich education while dealing with chronic illness. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Testimony Tuesday ~ August 26, 2014

Time for another story of hope and recovered health !
I suffered in silence for many years, un-diagnosed, and told "there is nothing wrong with you" so many times that I lost count! I also had surgery that turned out to be unhelpful and unnecessary. I became a recluse, stopped enjoying social functions, and focused on nothing more than raising my boys and surviving! It was all that I had the energy for! Over the years, I was put on pain medications, anti-anxiety medications, anti-depressants, sleep medications, hormones, and told to see a therapist! The relationships I lost still break my heart. The losses I suffered physically, financially, and emotionally are too numerous to count! A full blown thyroid storm put me in the hospital this past November, and I finally got a diagnosis in December! Even WITH the diagnosis though, I was deeply saddened by the "expert" Dr's who told me that there was basically nothing they could do until my thyroid finally just gave up and stopped working all together... which could take YEARS! That was NOT ok with me, and that's when I started researching! I was determined NOT to let this disease have my life and now that I had a name for it, I was a girl on fire! Fast forward through some "trial and error" diets, self medication with supplements, more prescriptions, etc, etc... and the end result was God leading me to PLEXUS! Did the other stuff help? Yes, a little! But it wasn't until Plexus that I found ME again! I feel like I felt when I was 25! I feel like the ME that I knew I was, even when I was unable live it out anymore! We are sicker, as a nation, than God ever intended! We are killing ourselves with our lifestyles and eating habits! Will Plexus cure the world? I don't know! But it's curing ME! It is changing real lives... bringing real people back to life... and helping so many take control of their bodies and minds back! I can't think of a SINGLE person I know that wouldn't benefit from these products! Not one! HOPE is a beautiful thing! I finally found mine and I want to share it with YOU!"
Read more testimonies here! If you would like to learn more about Plexus products click here.

This product testimonial is an individual's experiences, reflecting the real life experiences of the individual who used Plexus products. However, individual results may vary. We do not claim, nor should the reader assume, that any individual experiences recounted are typical or representative of what any other consumer might experience."

Monday, August 25, 2014

Simplified Organization

Learn to love what must be done

I have so enjoyed Mystie Winckler's blogs and her insight and wisdom on homemaking and homeschooling. Mystie just launched a brand new e-course called Simplified Organization with principles that can be applied to the situation of each individual family.
As a self-paced ecourse, Simplified Organization is always there for you, with bite-sized pieces of encouragement, action steps, and guides. You can return again and again, as many times as you need to, to continue on the journey or to get back on the path. 
The course has audio messages, habit plans, action steps, a blueprint project, and many tool guides, all to help you wrap your head around your life and live it to the full. In addition, there’s a private G+ community with live chats every 6 weeks where we can chat about how we’re doing, ask questions, and get ideas from one another.
You can read more about it and watch a video tour here.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Quote of the Week ~ August 24, 2014

"Where reason cannot wade there faith may swim." —Thomas Watson

That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. 1 Corinthians 2:5

Friday, August 22, 2014

Dear Stressed Out Mama: Words for Your Life

Wise, wise words from Kelly Crawford at Generation Cedar :
Dear Stressed Out, Young Mama:

This is the older me telling the younger me that I see in you, that it’s all going to be OK.

But I’ve learned some things and if I could get you to take some advice from someone a few years ahead of you, I think you would find this life more enjoyable. Maybe? 
1. You don’t have to iron so much, or hardly at all. If you hang clothes up out of the dryer (or off the line) most are not too wrinkled to wear. There are the occasional pieces that will need ironed for church or other nice events, but for most things, non-ironed clothes will suffice, especially for young children. Cherish a neat appearance without obsessing about perfection. And really, ironing is just an example of all the ways we feel pressured to be perfect. Give your best, but know that your best will vary in different seasons of life. If your best, with a house full of little people, is getting them out the door with matching shoes (or shoes at all), exhale and accept it. In a different season, your best may look…better.  
Click here to read the rest.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Testimony Tuesday ~ August 18, 2014

I love, use and highly recommend Plexus products.  The testimonies are what first broke through my skepticism about Plexus and what keep me marveling at how amazingly this stuff really, actually works.

Since I am never quite sure what life will look like one day, or one week, to the next I hesitate to ever devote a blog theme to a specific day. However, I am hoping to post a health testimony here every Tuesday. Even if it is the end of Tuesday.

I hope that by so doing you will be encouraged! You may have been sick for a long time, as many of the people in the stories I will be posting were. These folks did find help and healing. Don't lose hope.

From Trina:

"I am writing this today to give my testimony.

This is called, " MY MIRACLE"

I would like to start by saying a heart felt thank you to my family and close friends, and my Lord and Savior for always being there and supporting me through this, even though I know it was just as difficult for you.
I have been battling 2 auto-immune diseases called inflammatory neuropathy which gave me the secondary disease of fibromayalgia. They effect all body nerves and muscles and have caused nerve damage in my legs, feet, arms and hands and some muscle damage in my legs. Every treatment given for these diseases I have turned out to be highly allergic to. So, my only treatments were pain pills and muscle relaxers.

They considered my case to be extreme because my body was overly sensitive to meds, ran a constant low grade fever, prone to staph infections, mini seizures, body stopped producing folic acid, pancreas not producing enough digestive enzymes to absorb nutrients from foods, and extreme pain and fatigue. Depending on how physical the activity I did one day, would put me in bed for several days to recover. I would go into remission about every 6 mths until around 3 yrs ago. The pain pills and muscle relaxers could no longer keep up with pain and I ended up in bed more than I was out of it.

I found a neurologist who agreed to do a high powered IV infusion treatment that consisted of a 2 day, 2 hour treatment every month. At first, the horrible side effects were worth the decrease in pain and increase in mobility but after a few months it became more of a poison to my body and started making me sicker instead of relieving the pain.

So, he decided to send me to a spinal injection specialist who at first refused to give me the treatment until he did a test injection to see if he could even numb the nerves. When that worked, he agreed to take the risk (because I was allergic). The injection did not work as well as we had hoped it would and caused more pain in my legs and I just felt sick.

By this point, my body, mind and soul had had enough. Instead of praying for God to take away the pain or to heal me, I was praying for Him to take me and for it to be over for me and my family. I didn't feel like I had anymore fight left in me and didn't want my family and my kids to have to suffer along with me anymore. I told Michael, my husband that I wasn't in a good place and so he took me to church and God answered my prayer his way. I can't explain what happened to me that morning other than to say that He ... showed me mercy and took the worst of my pain away from me. It was the most profound and amazing experience of my life. That blessing lasted for 3 long glorious weeks and then the pain started to come back full force.

I was getting ready to go back for another injection, when I believe God stepped in again. My husband was noticing a difference in his Fire Chiefs over all health and weight and decided to go talk to him and his wife, Melisa about the products they were taking. He comes home and shows me the information and is excited and yet both skeptical that it could help my condition. ( been there, done that and tried just about everything). Michael convinces me to go to the meeting; thinking I will just go to support him because he's excited about losing weight and improving his blood pressure; when a woman starts talking about herself and her daughter. Struggling with a disease that effects the collagen in their bodies and the joint pain and fatigue they suffer from and how these products were helping them and how her blood work came back improved.

After listening to her, we looked at each other and I said, "okay, I'll try it ".

I am so excited to report that I have been taking Plexus Products for 4 weeks and I have not taken one pain pill or muscle relaxer since I started.

I have been able to stay active and out of bed all day long. I can do what I want, be active all day long and get up the next morning like a normal person and start all over again. I am not saying I am cured or pain free but the worse pain is tolerable and my limb pain in minimal. I haven't been able to do this in forever. I EVEN MOWED MY LAWN !!! You should have seen the look on my husbands face when he came home and saw what I was doing. lol PRICELESS !!!!

Thanks to Plexus and to my Lord and Savior, I have my life back. My family has me back.

Even Michael was seeing results with his weight and heartburn issues within 2 wks of taking the Plexus products.(slim, biocleanse & probio5)

Noah, my 15 yr old football player is no longer suffering from severe IBS symptoms that have sent him to the ER and says he just feels better and really loves to drink the slim. (gets mad if we run out) ha ha (slim, biocleanse probio5)

I am putting my story out there now, because when God blesses you and your life, you are to be a witness to others and share it so that others can see and receive his blessings as well. And that is what these products and this company Plexus are to me, " MY MIRACLE"."

Read more testimonies here! If you would like to learn more about Plexus products click here.

This product testimonial is an individual's experiences, reflecting the real life experiences of the individual who used Plexus products. However, individual results may vary. We do not claim, nor should the reader assume, that any individual experiences recounted are typical or representative of what any other consumer might experience."

Monday, August 18, 2014

The Care and Feeding of Your Microbiome

This is an excellent, excellent article from Kitchen Stewardship on the importance of gut health, how it impacts our entire body, reasons why gut health is compromised and great recommendations for healing. I've copied some snippets here, but I highly recommend reading the entire article:
Although there’s plenty to read about the microbiome and we will likely be inundated with more for years to come, I hope to give you a nice foundation of basic information today, something you can refer to as you read about the microbiome in the years to come just to make sure you understand where these bacteria come from, a few examples of the importance they play in our health, how imbalances might occur and what we can do about it, at least with the knowledge we have at this moment... 
I read something a few years back that described antibiotics as a “hand grenade” that obliterates all bacteria in its path, both good and bad. This can totally destroy even a healthy microbiome instituted via a natural birth, and if the newly upturned (and rather empty) soil of your system isn’t repopulated with healthy bacteria first, it’s most likely that the diet and environment typical to most human beings in industrialized societies will quickly populate the gut with “bad guys.”... 
Unfortunately, most folks don’t even realize they’re in a battle for the health of their own microbiome, and they certainly don’t know the weapons they need to employ to come out victorious. If you’ve had antibiotics, if you’ve grown up on processed, sugary foods, if you know you suffer from candida or IBS, what can you DO about it?... 
...(M)ake sure you have plenty of “good guys” to edge out the bad guys. Good guy bacteria are called probiotics, and they assist in many aspects of digestion, immunity, and even metabolism. (Who knew you had such a team on your side?!)... 
If your bacterial balance has been thrown off by a lifetime of processed foods, a few rounds of antibiotics or even as far back as a C-section birth, you need to help the probiotics find their way back to your gut so you can shift the balance back toward “helpful.”... 
Basically... the lining of the intestine becomes too porous as a result of certain drugs (birth control may be one), food sensitivities, alcohol and more. When food proteins “leak” through the wall of the gut, it causes not only intestinal distress, but also further food sensitivities and bacterial imbalances. It’s a vicious cycle, and our gut bacteria are at the hub....
Click here to read the rest 

Also, if you are looking for a good probiotic I highly recommend the one from Plexus Worldwide. It is a candida killer as well as a probiotic. In many cases the gut cannot heal until a candida overgrowth is dealt with and probiotics will not be as effective. In some cases eating fermented foods - recommended for gut healing - can actually feed the candida thereby making the problem even worse. Probio5 from Plexus addresses this issue by combining candida killers and probiotics together - killing off the bad guys while sending in the good guys to take over. This makes it highly effective and I have read many amazing testimonies of health issues being resolved from those who use it. More info here.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Joy Can't Die

Don't miss this hugely encouraging post from Rachel Jankovic at Femina:
So here you have it in a nutshell. God’s mercy doesn’t need any memorial – it never dies. It is the one legacy that we can give our children that does not just melt away in time. God’s righteousness will not fade in the sun or break under the weight of snow. There is no grave that can hold that. It is explosive from one generation to the next. 
I find myself looking differently at all this work we are doing – the most enduring legacy that we can give to our children is God’s grace to us. When I indulge in a petty attitude about my work at home – I am choosing the thing that cannot last over the thing that cannot die. When I seek God’s grace to overcome the temptations that are before me, however petty, I lay up very real inheritance for my children.
When we fight for contentment and joy, we fight for generations of blessing – for generations of the strength of righteousness. When we do not indulge in selfishness or shrillness or bitterness because we are living in the joy of the Lord – our children will be strengthened by that. And in a hundred and fifty years – what will have become of these adorable little children of mine? They will have poured themselves out for the next generation – and Lord willing, those children of my children will be fighting the good fight. Not just for organized closets – but for the Glory of God. And they will be fighting with the mercy and grace and strength that God poured out so long ago on us.
Click here to read the rest

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Christ in the Sick Room - J.C. Ryle

Words of wisdom from J.C. Ryle:

Look through a telescope or microscope at anything which God created and you find nothing defective. How then can we account for the power of disease, decay, and death over the body of man?

There is only one book that supplies an answer to this question. That book is the Bible. The fall of man at the beginning has brought sin into the world, and sin has brought with it the curse of sickness, suffering, and pain. These are not things which God created at the beginning. They are the consequences of man's transgression. To suppose that a perfect God could deliberately create imperfection, is a supposition too monstrous to be believed. It is man that is to blame—and not God. The countless bodily sufferings that we see are the just consequence of man's original disobedience.

Here to my mind lies one among many proofs that the Bible is given by inspiration of God. It accounts for many things which the Deist cannot explain. When I see a little infant, too young to know good from evil, convulsed with bodily pain and hovering between life and death in a weeping mother's arms, I would be utterly puzzled and confounded if I did not believe the Bible. I would ask myself, "Where is the justice and mercy of allowing such distress? Where is the wisdom and love of the Creator?" But when I turn to the Bible the mysterious problem is solved. I learn that suffering is the result of Adam's fall. That infant would not have suffered if Adam had not sinned.

In the next place I ask you to learn from this chapter that sickness is not an unmixed evil.

That King Hezekiah received spiritual benefit from his illness I think there can be no doubt. The beautiful and pathetic language of his "writing," which Isaiah was inspired to record, places that beyond question. The good man saw things in his sickness which he had never seen clearly and fully in the days of health. "By these things," he says, "men live." He might have added, "By these things men learn."
I do not say that sickness always does good. Alas! We ministers know to our sorrow that it frequently does no good at all. Too often we see men and women, after recovering from a long and dangerous illness, more hardened and irreligious than they were before. Too often they return to the world, if not to Sin, with more eagerness and zest than ever; and the impressions made on their conscience in the hour of sickness are swept away like children's writing on the sand of the sea-shore when the tide flows.

But I do say that sickness ought to do us good. And I do say that God sends it in order to do us good. It is a friendly letter from heaven. It is a knock at the door of conscience. It is the voice of the Savior asking to be let in. Happy is he who opens the letter and reads it, who hears the knock and opens the door, who welcomes Christ to the sick room. Come now, and let me plead with you a little about this, and show you a few of the lessons which He by sickness would teach us.

1. Sickness is meant to make us think—to remind us that we have a soul as well as a body—an immortal soul—a soul that will live forever in happiness or in misery—and that if this soul is not saved we had better never have been born.

2. Sickness is meant to teach us that there is a world beyond the grave—and that the world we now live in is only a training-place for another dwelling, where there will be no decay, no sorrow, no tears, no misery, and no sin.

3. Sickness is meant to make us look at our past lives honestly, fairly, and conscientiously. Am I ready for my great change if I should not get better? Do I repent truly of my sins? Are my sins forgiven and washed away in Christ's blood? Am I prepared to meet God?

4. Sickness is meant to make us see the emptiness of the world and its utter inability to satisfy the highest and deepest needs of the soul.

5. Sickness is meant to send us to our Bibles. That blessed Book, in the days of health, is too often left on the shelf, becomes the safest place in which to put a bank-note, and is never opened from January to December. But sickness often brings it down from the shelf and throws new light on its pages.

6. Sickness is meant to make us pray. Too many, I fear, never pray at all, or they only rattle over a few hurried words morning and evening without thinking what they do. But prayer often becomes a reality when the valley of the shadow of death is in sight.

7. Sickness is meant to make us repent and break off our sins. If we will not hear the voice of mercies, God sometimes makes us "hear the rod."

8. Sickness is meant to draw us to Christ. Naturally we do not see the full value of that blessed Savior. We secretly imagine that our prayers, good deeds, and sacrament-receiving will save our souls. But when flesh begins to fail, the absolute necessity of a Redeemer, a Mediator, and an Advocate with the Father, stands out before men's eyes like fire, and makes them understand those words, "Simply to Your cross I cling," as they never did before. Sickness has done this for many—they have found Christ in the sick room.

9. Last, but not least, sickness is meant to make us feeling and sympathizing towards others. By nature we are all far below our blessed Master's example, who had not only a hand to help all, but a heart to feel for all. None, I suspect, are so unable to sympathize as those who have never had trouble themselves—and none are so able to feel as those who have drunk most deeply the cup of pain and sorrow.

Men and brethren, when your time comes to be ill, I beseech you not to forget what the illness means. Beware of fretting and murmuring and complaining, and giving way to an impatient spirit. Regard your sickness as a blessing in disguise—a good and not an evil—a friend and not an enemy. No doubt we should all prefer to learn spiritual lessons in the school of ease and not under the rod. But rest assured that God knows better than we do how to teach us. The light of the last day will show you that there was a meaning and a "need be" in all your bodily ailments. The lessons that we learn on a sick-bed, when we are shut out from the world, are often lessons which we should never learn elsewhere. Settle it down in your minds, that, however much you may dislike it, sickness is not an unmixed evil.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Quote of the Week ~ August 12, 2014

"The moment we come into any trial or difficulty, our first thought should be not how soon we can escape from it or how we may lessen the pain we shall suffer from it, but how we can best glorify God in it and most quickly learn the lesson that He desires to teach us by it. Had we grace and faith enough to do this, our trials and troubles would be but as so many steps by which we should climb to the mountaintop of continual fellowship and peace with God." ~ Susannah Spurgeon

Monday, August 11, 2014

Treasure in Mother's Jar of Clay

(This beautiful post by Bambi Moore of  In the Nursery of the Nation was such an encouragement to me. She has graciously allowed me to republish it here)

We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek. Hebrews 6:19

Over the last six months, our lives have taken twists and turns. God has given grace and sometimes I reach out and take it, while other times I reject his goodness and instead, edge closer to that deep pit called Self Pity.

A cycle of sleepless nights, tears, doubts and anxieties have hit me like a ton of bricks. I have spent more time in the Word and prayer, even when it seemed pointless. I have rejected real feelings that I knew weren't true, but feelings that threatened to destroy the sound mind I've been promised, nonetheless.

I've cried out to God, remembered that His Word sustains and asked others to hold me up in prayer. And I think that is so very important. To admit weakness and frailty isn't glorying in sin or making light of the grace of God. It is giving others the opportunity to bear burdens. To weep with those who weep. We don't give others a true picture of gospel grace if we never allow others to see that we too have issues and that we must hold to an anchor. Why would there be any need for an anchor if we could hold steady all on our own? The treasure we have in jars of clay is to show the surpassing power "belongs to God and not to us."

So I am here today, to do just that.  No blog, no book, no human being however wise, can anchor our souls but Christ Jesus, especially when seasons change, afflictions arise or the soul is downcast. And what's more--we must remember that we battle not with flesh and blood.  

This morning, my husband sent me this quote below.  Since "there is nothing new under the sun" I know there are others of you out there who may need this good word too.  And Kevin added some thoughts at the bottom as well, so please read to the end.  (He said I could include it if I didn't make him sound like a better man than he is, in this blog post. So I tell you, he is not perfect, but his love and understanding, and bearing with me as a weaker vessel, has encouraged me so greatly today).

"Since the first hour in which goodness came into conflict with evil, it has never ceased to be true in spiritual experience, that Satan hinders us. From all points of the compass, all along the line of battle, in the vanguard and in the rear, at the dawn of day and in the midnight hour, Satan hinders us. 
If we toil in the field, he seeks to break the ploughshare; if we build the wall, he labours to cast down the stones; if we would serve God in suffering or in conflict- everywhere Satan hinders us. He hinders us when we are first coming to Jesus Christ. Fierce conflicts we had with Satan when we first looked to the cross and lived. Now that we are saved, he endeavours to hinder the completeness of our personal character. 
You may be congratulating yourself, "I have hitherto walked consistently; no man can challenge my integrity." Beware of boasting, for your virtue will yet be tried; Satan will direct his engines against that very virtue for which you are the most famous. If you have been hitherto a firm believer, your faith will ere long be attacked;if you have been meek as Moses, expect to be tempted to speak unadvisedly with your lips.The birds will peck at your ripest fruit, and the wild boar will dash his tusks at your choicest vines. Satan is sure to hinder us when we are earnest in prayer. He checks our importunity, and weakens our faith in order that, if possible, we may miss the blessing. 
Nor is Satan less vigilant in obstructing Christian effort. There was never a revival of religion without a revival of his opposition. As soon as Ezra and Nehemiah begin to labour, Sanballat and Tobiah are stirred up to hinder them. What then? We are not alarmed because Satan hindereth us, for it is a proof that we are on the Lord's side, and are doing the Lord's work, and in His strength we shall win the victory, and triumph over our adversary. ~ C.H. Spurgeon
This made me think of your labors here at home. Anything worthwhile for the kingdom of God will be opposed. Thankfully we have the encouragements of scripture to spur us on. Galatians 6:9 '"let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap, if we do not lose heart." 1 Corinthians 15:58 "therefore my beloved brethren be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of The Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in The Lord. "

The Lord is your help. He takes your efforts performed in faithfulness and multiplies their effectiveness for His own glory. You may not see fruit of your labors now, but in time, there will be a season for reaping. Remember, God is not mocked, for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. I love you. Will pray the joy of The Lord will be your strength today.

Thankful for you, 
Used with permission by Bambi Moore at In the Nursery of the Nation.