joy in surrender {our homeschool}

joy in surrender {our homeschool}


Did you know there are a bazillion options when it comes to homeschool curriculum and styles? It can be absolutely overwhelming. Add in five children and a mother who all learn differently and you will soon discover that one size does not fit all. Confession: for the past few years we have been using a curriculum that I wanted to use. I loved it, everything about it. The books, oh the books! I love reading and I love books, so any curriculum that uses real books to teach have my eye. However, as much as I loved this curriculum, our children weren’t thriving. We struggled and wrestled our way through school. As much as I hated to admit it, what I wanted wasn’t working. I had lost my joy for homeschooling. It felt like drudgery, to all of us, no matter how much I loved what we were using. Homeschooling wasn’t going as planned. It didn’t need a few changes,  it needed a major overhaul!

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New Year, New Mom??

With a new year, we often make resolutions. Most of which fail within the first week, right? If you are anything like me, maybe you resolved, “New Year, New Mom!” with gusto, but really you feel like it’s a question, “New Year, new mom?” If you want to be a new mom, but need help, keep reading! As much as I love being home with my children all. day. long, it doesn’t mean I have the patience of Job every day. Actually, I have some flare-ups, like when my children embarrass me. I might turn into the Hulk on occasion. Anyone else with me? Are you brave enough to say, “I’ve been an angry mom and I want to change!” If you are resonating with this, I’ve got something for you! Read More

Surrender {my word for 2018}

Surrender {my word for 2018}


transitive verb
1a : to yield to the power, control, or possession of another upon compulsion or demand
b : to give up completely or agree to forgo especially in favor of another
2a : to give (oneself) up into the power of another especially as a prisoner
b : to give (oneself) over to something (such as an influence)
intransitive verb
: to give oneself up into the power of another : yield
Thank you, Webster, for the definition of surrender. 😉 As 2017 ended and 2018 began, I started working on my Powersheets. I was able to do as this picture says:
While I am a little behind in sharing my word for 2018, I am not behind in how long I’ve known this was my focus. Surrender was spoken over me by a handful of close friends, one being my hairdresser of all people! She’s a great friend of mine, and let’s be honest ladies- getting our hair done is more than self-care; it’s often a therapy session. She spoke the word surrender over me back in December and it resonated so deeply within my soul that I knew that was my word for the year. When she spoke this over me, I even said, “Darn you. Why’d you have to say that?!?!?!” I knew she was right, but let’s face it, it’s not a word I wanted to claim as my own.


A word none of us like to hear, let alone use about ourselves. I do believe Webster defined it well, didn’t he? To yield, to give up completely, to give oneself up. Those three beginnings alone make me cringe. However, I am finding great freedom in surrender. I have been in a season of giving up what I want for the better, dare I even say the best, for those around me. This includes a major change in our homeschool curriculum. There are days I have been in tears over knowing I need to give up what I thought would work for something else. Something that is everything I haven’t wanted because of my own personal preference.

surrender in our homeschool

If you follow me on social media, you may know that we have been using Sonlight for the past few years. While I have most certainly enjoyed it, I am struggling to keep up. I have been a little down in the dumps for the past few weeks. I’ll have a good week or two, and then I go back to just struggling to keep the house clean, getting dishes done, having dinner ready, and hopefully, staying on top of laundry, let alone schooling and disciplining my children. If I’m honest, which I always try to be, this has been me on and off for probably the past year. I have days where I get up and when Greg leaves for work I really just want to climb back in bed. I don’t, but my ability to function on a daily basis has not been optimal.
For this reason, we have made the decision to switch to Abeka. Not just Abeka, but their video program. I will confess that I have never wanted to use Abeka video. I did not desire school-at-home for my homeschool. In my own perspective, that is how I viewed Abeka video. However, I have seen the freedom in being able to say, “I need help. I can’t do it all on my own right now. I am willing to surrender what I want for what is best for my children.”
Was that easy? Heck no. Not at all. But I am willing to lay my pride down and say that what worked for us for a season is no longer working for us. In return, the Lord has given me a renewed excitement for our homeschool! At this time we will use the videos for our older three. children and I will teach our youngest two.

surrender in my weight loss efforts

surrender the scale

My next place of surrender is my health. Or should I say, my weight? I am once again re-focusing on health and not weight loss. I’m surrendering the scale, again, and tape measure for the whole year. I am giving up using them as measures of my worth. As a Revelation Wellness® instructor, I know better than that and yet I still fall into the trap of defining my worth based on these simple measurements. Instead my goals are strength, endurance, and recovery. I have once again already discovered the freedom of letting go of my weight in exchange for me health. This is something that will most certainly be a work in progress this year. I am giving up my attachments to “results” and looking more at the work being done in my heart in the process of surrender.

surrender of my will

Lastly, is the all encompassing surrender of my will. There are some very specific circumstances to this one, but I am not free to share at this time. Hopefully soon, I will be able to share. This one has possibly been the most difficult for me. Shocker, right?? Can we not all agree that the surrender of OUR will is a serious struggle? It has been a time of patience, diligent prayer, and letting God do the work. I have had to say “God, this is what I want. But my desire is for Your will more than my own, even if it means not getting what I want.”

Let me tell you friend. That’s a hard prayer to pray. Once again, the Lord has proven faithful and good and I can see Him moving in our lives. It gives me faith to continue to surrender my will to His good and perfect will. In His time; which is normally not on MY time! His rarely early, never late, and always on time. I have truly been able to look over the past few months and see how HIS timing has been perfect.

verse of the year

For 2018 I have chosen Deuteronomy 5:32-33:

You shall be careful therefore to do as the Lord your God has commanded you. You shall not turn aside to the right hand or to the left. You shall walk in all the way that the Lord your God has commanded you, that you may live, and that it may go well with you, and that you will live long in the land that you shall possess.

I have been reading through the Bible chronologically and when I came to this verse, again, it just went deep into my heart. While Moses is saying this to the Israelites, doesn’t it apply to us as well? Are we not to be careful to do all the Lord has commanded us to do? We need to stay in our own lane, run our own race, be obedient to what the Lord has called us as individuals to. What He has called me to is specific to me. I want the blessings of the Lord, but that requires my obedience. Whether the task He sets before me is big or small, I want to be found faithful and obedient.

So, how about you? Have you chosen a word for 2018? How has the impacted your life so far this year? I’d love to hear what the Lord has spoken to you for this upcoming year. I don’t know about you friend, but I am excited to see all that the Lord is going to do in 2018! I’m putting on my seatbelt and holding on tight!

Meal Planning & Grocery Shopping Trip

If you missed my Facebook live, here is a recap on my menu plan and shopping trip for this week! Even if you saw it, this will be here for you to easily come back to and reference.

Meal Planning

Meal planning is my number one tip for saving money on groceries. That, and shopping at Aldi! We love Aldi and I am so glad that there is one close to us. I don’t have to clip coupons or compare prices. It is rare for me to find something cheaper at Walmart or Kroger. Also, we eat almost every meal at home. So, 7 people, 3 meals a day, 7 days a week on a budget of $200. I think I do okay! 🙂 I eat to be healthy not skinny, so you won’t find a perfect meal plan here, just real life of a homeschool mom of 5 who wants to stay sane. Read More

are you making time or excuses?

If you want to do something, you make time for it. If you don’t, you say, “I wish I could!” then make excuses.

I say I can’t give more, but I’m happy to treat myself to a cup of coffee or lunch from Panera. I make the excuse that what I spend on those things isn’t enough to give. But if we saved our $5 from getting coffee every day from just Monday to Friday, we’d have $25 a week to give. If math isn’t your strong point, that’s $100 a month! You can’t tell me $100 a month wouldn’t have an impact on someone in need!

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my quiet time {summer blessing giveaway!}

my quiet time {summer blessing giveaway!}

My quiet time is really important to me. As a homeschooling mama, I like having the quiet of the morning to get myself ready for dealing with the day and any attitudes one of my five children may bring with them when they walk down the stairs for breakfast. I don’t have a consistent “how” in the way that I enjoy my quiet time, but there is always a cup of coffee involved! I’ve been asked in the past if Greg and I study the Bible together. The answer is– yes and no. We study individually, but at some point during the day usually discuss what we are learning. It is very edifying to hear what the Spirit is teaching my husband through his own time in the Word! Read More

misconceptions of homeschoolers

Last week, I was hanging out with a fellow homeschool mom and we got to discussing misconceptions people have about homeschoolers. I want to share this with you because whether you homeschool or not, you most likely come into contact with a homeschooling family. It is quite possible that you, yourself, are guilty of some of these self-imposed ideas you place on homeschooling families. The following misconceptions can lead to frustrations as a homeschool mom: some of them make us feel like we can’t be real, while others just make us shake our heads. Read More

don’t be a chicken! {have ‘the talk’ with your children}

don’t be a chicken! {have ‘the talk’ with your children}

“The talk.” Sometimes most parents seem to dread having with their children. Depending on how you were raised, sex may have been a very taboo topic. You might have been told how bad it is or not to do it before you were married or you’ll get pregnant. Possibly, your parents never even had ‘the talk’ of any kind with you and just figured you would find out on your own. Mayne you had the ‘birds and bees’ conversation. No matter how you were raised, now that you are a parent you have a responsibility to talk about sex with your children. Don’t be a chicken! I’m not going to leave you stranded here, so stick with me! Read More

children, don’t exasperate your parents

children, don’t exasperate your parents

Don’t you wish the Bible included the clause “Children, don’t exasperate your parents!” right after it says “Fathers, don’t exasperate your children”? I know I do! Just the other day, Aliyah, our almost 6 year old, was asking me one question in a million different ways. Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating a little bit. If you’ve ever had a 5 year old, you know what I’m talking about! I just looked at Greg and said, “Why doesn’t the Bible say ‘Children, don’t exasperate your parents’?” Read More

Strong over Skinny

Strong over Skinny

Once upon a time there was a girl. Dealing with disappointment, comparison to other women, unmet expectations, feeling the need to keep the eyes of her husband (because let’s face it, he’s pretty cute and other women think so too!), this girl turned to Dr.Google for losing weight. She learned if she worked out and cut calories, she could lose some pounds.

And so she did. She worked out with one of the most popular fitness professionals via DVD. She used My Fitness Pal to track every bite of food that went into her mouth. She could eat less during the day to splurge on dessert that night and still stay within her calorie range. Guess what? She lost weight. She thought she had found her value and worth by being skinny again. While not pre-pregnancy weight, it was the least she had weighed since having kids and well, that felt good to her.

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