family, homeschooling

My Homeschool Journey

Wow!! I am looking through all my books, videos, papers, tests, and thinking, so this is how it feels…I have no more curriculum to buy. No more science DVD’s to watch, no more papers to grade. My homeschool journey has come to an end. Our youngest daughter has officially graduated!

When I started this windy road of homeschooling 17 years ago, I never dreamed it would have taken me the places it has. I had to learn patience and perseverance. I had to learn time management, realizing more often than not, that my timing and God’s timing are two different things. I had to learn to be still and quiet even when I wanted to scream. I had to lean on my husband for sound advice and to trust that it was all going to work out. I learned that stopping and smelling the roses is much better than rushing a child who isn’t ready.

God made each one of us in a unique way. It’s what makes our world so fantastic. But, because of that we don’t all learn the same way and you can’t fit people in a box. I have three kids and they all learned differently.

By homeschooling, I learned intimately how each child thought. I learned not to compare my child to anyone else, no matter what. I learned what their likes and dislikes were. I learned what their love language was and how to make them feel special. Most importantly I learned that building relationships is far greater than anything a textbook or essay could ever teach.

Was it hard? Absolutely! Did I want to quit? Yes, many times. Did I love it? You bet I did! Would I do it again? In a heartbeat.

Now, I pass the torch to those who dare go down this crazy, beautiful road. It is one of the most difficult things you will ever do, but in the end it is so very worth it.

Congratulations Sarah! You did it!!

Psalm 32:8 ~ I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.

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family, marriage

Day 20 Prayer: To be a Good Father

I love my dad. My father is one of the most humble, gentle people you will ever meet. Is he perfect? No. However, his Godly example is bearing fruit not only in my life, but in the life of my kids.

My earliest memories are of him reading his Bible every morning while eating his breakfast. (My mom did this, too, but we are talking about fathers.)

My dad is a hard worker, a man of integrity, and has great knowledge and wisdom. He also has a funny side. He is a man of few words, but when he speaks, we always wonder if he will say something wise or funny.

Maybe you didn’t have a good father. Maybe your dad wasn’t even around. It saddens my heart when I hear stories of fathers who didn’t stand up to the plate, and were absent or were abusive either verbally or physically.

The wonderful thing is, we can pray for our husbands to be a good father to our children. Regardless of their upbringing, God can do awesome things in the heart of a man who is willing and ready.

Day 20 Prayer: To be a Good Father

Thank God for the children he has given to you and your spouse.

Pray that your husband will be a Godly example to your kids.

Pray that he will not provoke your children to anger. (Ephesians 6:4) If this has happened in the past, pray that he would be able to use his words wisely and discipline without anger.

Pray that he would be able to communicate and be interested in your children. If he struggles with the desire to be an interactive father, start there. Pray for a change of heart.

“The righteous who walks in his integrity-blessed are his children after him.” Proverbs 20:7

family, marriage

Day 7 Prayer: Dependence on God

I want to bring up the importance of dependence. It’s a topic I have learned quite a bit about living off-grid. I even wrote a book on it called Beautiful Dependence.  I am not talking about being dependent on vices in our life, such as alcohol, drugs, or food. The dependence I am speaking of is true dependence on God for everything that we need.

When we become too comfortable in life, we often forget about our need to go to God daily. We become complacent. We think Life is good – until it’s not. Then we have a trial that comes our way and we quickly realize how weak we truly are. Jesus is our example. He woke up early every morning and prayed before He did anything else. He went to the Father for direction, guidance, and companionship.

In my own life I fought for independence. I wanted to be the strong girl who could conquer anything set before me. In many cases I succeeded. However, after living on a snow-covered mountain, with a vehicle that wouldn’t get us up the hill any longer, I suddenly realized how important my neighbor was to me. Or, seeing how wonderful my husband was to get up every morning and start the fire, so my kids and I didn’t have to wake up to a cold cabin. Trials became something to expect on the mountain. I knew in order to make it through those trials I had to cry out and depend on God to get me through them.

I have never liked trials. At one point in my life, I was willing to be a lukewarm Christian because I noticed the more I grew in the Lord, the more tribulations came my way. I wanted nothing to do with hardship. I wanted things nice and cozy. Until I realized you can’t stop bad things from happening. We are in a fallen world and its a promise. Jesus says it in John 16:33 “In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” 

Now, I am not afraid of trials. I know I will be refined and grow into the person God wants me to be as a result. I will also have compassion for others going through similar circumstances.

Day 7 Prayer: Dependence

  1. Pray your family would become more dependent on God and less dependent on the things of this world.
  2. Pray for a humble heart for you, your spouse, and kids. When you see someone struggle to ask for help on a task, pray that they would be able to get rid of pride and ask for the help they need.

“I am the vine, you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5

family, marriage

Day 6 Prayer: Work

Work can be a difficult topic. Some people work hard and long, while others seem be on the lazy side of things. In the end, there is a balance that needs to happen especially within the family dynamic.

When Adam and Eve sinned, God told Adam in Genesis 3:19 “By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground..” Meaning he would be working hard for the food for his family.

When we diligently work, we get a satisfaction that comes with it. Sometimes that satisfaction can grow into validation and that’s where, I believe, it gets dangerous. If you have a spouse who tends towards being a workaholic, or even find yourself leaning toward that, remember God created the Sabbath for rest.

Day 6 Prayer: Our Work


  1.  If your spouse has a job, thank God for the job he has. If he is out of work, pray that God would provide a perfect job for him.
  2. Whether you are a working wife/mom or a stay-at-home wife/mom, pray that God would give you the ability to be the helpmeet that God created you to be; that you would greet your husband and kids with a smile on your face and a loving greeting each day.
  3. Pray for your kids to be hard workers with integrity regardless of what they want to do in life. Its not about the job, its about being diligent and walking in truth.
  4. Most importantly, if you are able, designate one day each week to family time and rest.

One of my favorite verses is below and found in Proverbs. I have prayed this many times, especially when we lived off-grid and even now as we are living in Mexico.

…”Give me neither poverty or riches, but give me only my daily bread. Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, “Who is the LORD? Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God.” Proverbs 30:8 & 9

 

family, marriage

Day 5 Prayer: Look Ahead

Our past is something that can haunt many of us. As I get older, I remember childhood memories more clearly. My childhood was pretty good. I have many fond memories and happy times. But, I also had tragedy, as many of you know, with the suicide of my brother.

I also made some bad mistakes in the past. My husband had his share of mistakes, as well. This brought some “baggage” to our marriage, as you can imagine.

But, thank God for His mercy and redemption! We are able to look ahead and with forgiveness in our hearts, let go of past hurts.

Day 5 Prayer: Look Ahead

Myself: I pray that I will not listen to the negative words that have been spoken to me in the past. That I wouldn’t build my wall back up to try to protect myself. I pray I will listen to the life giving words of my husband, friends, and family.

Spouse: That he would be able to know that He is a new creation in Christ and that he doesn’t have to stay in the box that people have put him in. Also, that he would know that the former things have been forgotten as far as the east is from the west. (Psalm 103:12)

Kids: That our children would be able to forgive anyone who hurts them, so that bitterness and anger won’t be able to grow. That they would know they are children of the King and that they are very precious.

“If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17

family, marriage

Day 4 Prayer: Purpose

Each one of us has a purpose in life. Our ultimate calling is to glorify God in all that we do. However, how that plays out in each one of our lives is different because we have different talents or gifts.

Sometimes we see the potential in our spouse or children long before they recognize what their calling is. Some of us even fell in love with the potential and then become dismayed when our spouse didn’t live up to that potential. This is when we need to pray.

  1. Pray that our hearts do not get cold while we wait for our spouse and/or children to grow into their purpose. We can begin to nag when we think they should be doing something more than they are.
  2. Pray that God would reveal His calling to your spouse and children and they would accept His purpose for their life.

“Our bodies have many parts and God has put each part just where he wants it…In fact, some parts of the body that seem weakest and least important are actually the most necessary.” 1 Corinthians 12:18,22

family, marriage

Day 3 Prayer – Repentance

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9

Sometimes ignorance is bliss. As my children are getting older, they have started saying things like, “Remember when…well here’s the real story.” Then they proceed to confess things. Some stories are funny. Some aren’t so funny and cause me to pause and take a deep breath.

Repentance can be a difficult topic. We don’t like to admit when we have done something wrong, let alone confess it. Yet, its in the confession that true repentance can take place. Repentance isn’t just feeling sorry for the wrong things we have done. Its a reversal or turning away from doing those things.

My prayer for today is that all of us, including myself, would be able to get rid of pride and humble ourselves and confess sin in our life and truly repent, so that we can receive forgiveness.

Day 3 Prayer:

Thank God for His mercy and forgiveness.

Prayer for the whole family: Search me and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. Psalm 139:23, 24