family

Empty Nest…

I always wondered what an empty nest would feel like. Now that my husband and I are in the midst of this new experience, I have had many emotions ranging from happiness on one end of the spectrum to sadness on the other end.

I knew this day was coming and we have obviously known for sometime. But it really didn’t hit me until I came around the corner near our house and I fully understood that no more kids would be waiting our return. I got teary eyed as we came around the bend. I knew I wouldn’t be greeted with a smile from any of our children.

As we make this new transition, some things have been great-like less dishes in the sink and our grocery bill has gone down considerably. Our daughter, Storm, who lives next door to us and does grace us with her presence every now and then has been able to eat dinner with us on occasion and it’s been wonderful having the three of us share a more intimate time together. So, are we true empty nesters if one of our kids lives next door? Probably not in the true sense of the meaning, but we are still going through a transitional phase.

The wonderful part is that my husband and I have always been best friends and we aren’t having to get to know each other again, which is what happens to so many couples. We are just continuing to live life, talk, reminisce, make new memories together, and become closer because we truly have one another to lean on.

The end of the school year is upon us and being a teacher, I am looking forward to summer. Please don’t get me wrong, I enjoy teaching very much and love all my students. However, it has been a crazy few months for us and part of me just wants to rest and love on the people that God has currently in my life.

I find myself thinking, did we prepare our kids for the real world? Are they ready to take flight? We tried to protect and nurture our children, while not having them live in a bubble. They experienced hear-ache and the sinful nature of man. They had some tough times. On many occasions I had to ask forgiveness because of my bad, freshly attitude. So again, I ask, “Are they ready?” Maybe. Maybe Not. What I do know is that God is bigger than our mistakes. I can rest in His assurance that His Word doesn’t return void. (Isaiah 55:11) Will they struggle? I guarantee it. Will God see them through? Absolutely!

So, here’s to my BFF husband, relaxation, ministry, and ever growing friendship and prayers for my adult children!

Psalm 127:3 Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. (ESV)

homeschooling, marriage, Uncategorized

A Marriage Proposal

“He who finds a wife finds a good thing, And obtains favor from the Lord.” Proverbs 18:22

What a week it has been! Our youngest daughter took her final exit exam for high school, graduated, and got a marriage proposal!

We have prayed for our kids’ futures since the day they were born. We prayed for God’s will to be done in their lives and if marriage was part of that will that they would find the perfect spouse that God had created specifically for them.

I believe Sarah has found the man God intended for her. It is exciting to watch and see how God worked it all out.

Sarah was 16 when we moved to Mexico. Needless to say, she wasn’t very happy with us. She was leaving her friends, grandparents, extended family, and everything familiar to move to a foreign land that may or may not have running water.

She was bitter and had been plotting how she could get back to the states before turning 18. She thought maybe she could go live with my parents and come down to visit us every so often.

After three weeks of being angry, she talks about how she realized that she had two choices; She could stay with us and be resentful the whole time, or she could have an attitude change and look at all the beauty that is in Mexico and learn all she could about living in a foreign country. Thank goodness she chose to do the latter and have a heart change.

Upon doing that, she met the man that would one day be her husband. He is a missionary here, in Mexico and works at the local orphanage. The neat thing is, early on God told my husband that this young man was going to marry our daughter.

We have gotten to know Cole over the last year in a deep way and have come to love him as part of our family. He is a neat young man that loves God, works hard, and has a great sense of humor.

His marriage proposal was one of the most amazing things I have witnessed in a long time. It was full of humility and excitement mixed with peace and love.

My husband and I are all for (Christ-centered) marriage. I have said it before, a healthy marriage shines Christ more than anything else on this planet. When done right, it is a picture of the selfless love that Jesus showed us and I don’t think it’s just coincidence that Jesus’s first miracle was at a wedding.

We are the bride of Christ! When I look at these two young souls in front of me and how much they want to be together and the love they have for each other, I am reminded that Jesus looks at me the same way! He can’t wait to be with us, His bride! We are invited to partake of the marriage supper of the lamb! (Revelation 19:6-9)

How exciting is that?!

Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. (Revelation 3:20)

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

christianity, marriage

Three Kisses a Day

If you’ve ever read the book, The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman you know that we show our love via five different ways. Those five ways are touch, acts of service, quality time, words of affirmation, and gifts. We also receive love through those same ways.

For me the two that stand out most are quality time and words of affirmation. My husband, on the other hand, is touch, touch, and more touch! Some of you wives know exactly what I am talking about. He thrives on being touched. The love language of touch for me however,  is on the bottom of the spectrum.

Therefore, I have to consciously make an effort to touch my husband. When we were first married, I had to really think about touching him. Now, that we’ve been married over 21 years it has become more natural.

As I was seeking out a way to remind myself to make the effort to touch my beloved husband, I realized I eat three meals a day. I then had the wonderful thought of giving him three kisses a day. At first it wasn’t hard to do, I simply remembered the three meals and would give him a kiss when we woke up in the morning, another one when he left for work and one more when he came home from work. He loved it and began to even speak my love language more. I could see a huge change in him and he seemed so much happier and willing to do things around the house that I wanted done.

But, as is often the case life moved on and so did my excitement for showing my husband I loved him. My three Kids got in the way and drained my desire for kissing or giving a gentle hand-hold to my husband. I felt like I was constantly being touched by everyone around me and being that this was my least favorite love language I began to draw away even more. Our relationship was beginning to suffer.

I knew something had changed but couldn’t figure out what. As I was pondering I suddenly remembered I hadn’t been showing affection to my husband. I knew I had to get back on the band wagon and be consistent in showing my love for him. When I thought of ways to get back on track I thought, “Wow, I can remember to do things that are far worse than showing love to my main man. Like doing dishes and making the bed every morning.” Kissing is way more fun than any of those things! hands

A new thought process began to change in my brain waves. Thus the three kisses a day has been a main stay in our marriage. It has changed everything and I encourage anyone who struggles with showing touch to their spouse (if that’s their love language and not yours) to try the three kisses a day. It works!

 

christianity, homeschooling, homesteading

Rite of Passage

“This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.” Matthew 3:17

This weekend we got the pleasure of blessing our only son with a “Rite of Passage.” In our American culture we don’t have a ritual that brings a boy into a man. Having a son and, seeing the need to make a statement that, “He is now a man.” my husband and I started thinking of a way that we could have a meaningful celebration for our 19 year-old son. stream

We decided it would be great if we could take him into the woods for three days and two nights with a tent, some water and firewood, and have the godly men in his life bring him the food he needs one meal at a time.  The thought was to have seven different mentors (one at a time), bring him seven different meals and not only give him a meal, but give him encouraging words along with words of wisdom, and a verse from the Bible to hold onto. We wanted the men to discuss what it means to be a godly man in our world today.

We have been so overwhelmed with the response! My son has been blessed beyond our wildest dreams! But, not only our son, the reply from the men involved has been amazing. Each one of them has told us that they had a great time sitting and sharing a meal with our son, Aaron. The verse “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” (Proverbs 27:17) comes to mind. Sitting and talking about the trials and troubles this world has in it, but being encouraged because we have each others back and we are not alone in this life is such a wonderful thing.

Tonight my husband will bring all the men together and speak a blessing over Aaron. They will share one last meal as a whole group. I couldn’t be more pleased that the Lord put this on our hearts to do for our son. God is in the details!