The Promise of God's Presence

/ Sunday, November 18, 2018


I am still plugging along in the book of Exodus in my daily Bible reading and wanted to share a bit of what I'm reading. I read through Exodus once with my children and I am visiting it again. I previously read through Deuteronomy, in conjunction with the book of Hebrews, to gain more understanding of the loving Law of God.

**Interesting note: anytime we read in the New Testament of someone quoting Scripture or referring to Scripture, they are talking about the Old Testament because the New hadn't yet been formed as something to refer to.**

I am on a little quest to understand the Old Scriptures as much more than "something we don't do anymore since we have Jesus." While that is very much true in many regards, that thinking can lead to a dismissive attitude and a disregard concerning the Old Testament. That only gives way to a lack of understanding of the Father and His character. There's a reason all of Scripture was preserved for us, down through the ages (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Graciously, the Lord is deepening my understanding of the beauty of the Old Testament Scriptures as they relate to the New Testament, the unfolding of one Word of God. I'm just soaking it in, bit by bit, hence how long it has taken me to ready just 3 books of the bible--almost one year!

Any way, here is a beautiful passage of Scripture I read from Exodus 33 and I keep returning to it again and again. The back drop for this passage comes after the debacle in the wilderness where the children of Israel make a molded calf while Moses is meeting with God on Mt. Sinai. The Lord says earlier in the chapter that he will send His Angel to lead them into the Promised Land, but He will not be in their midst to go up with them, lest they be consumed on the way for their grievous offense (see vs. 1-3). Moses entreats the Lord on behalf of the people and this is the exchange:

Then Moses said to the LORD, "See, You say to me, 'Bring up this people.' But You have not let me know whom You will send with me. Yet You have said, 'I know you by name, and you have also found grace in My sight.' Now therefore, I pray, if I have found grace in Your sight, show me now Your way, that I may know You and that I may find grace in Your sight. And consider that this nation is Your people."

And he said, "My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest."

Then he said to Him, "If Your Presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here. For how then will it be known that Your people and I have found grace in Your sight, except You go with us? So we shall be separate, Your people and I, from all the people who are upon the face of the earth."

So the LORD said to Moses, " I will also do this thing that you have spoken; for you have found grace in My sight, and I know you by name."

And he said, "Please, show me Your glory."

Then He said, "I will make all My goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before you. I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion." But He said, "You cannot see My face; for no man shall see Me and live." And the LORD said, "Here is a place by Me, and you shall stand on the rock. So it shall be, while My glory passes by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock, and will cover you with My hand while I pass by. Then I will take away My hand, and you shall see My back; but My face shall not be seen." 


Ladies, I cannot express just how great the love of the Father is. Oh, His mercy is abundant and He lavishes His grace upon us, even though we deserve far worse. There is so much that is evident here: friendship, loyal love, humility, grace, forgiveness, prayer, holiness, favor, blessing, protection . . .

And as usual, a few songs come to mind. Of course that timeless hymn: "Rock of Ages, cleft for me, let me hide myself in Thee" and then a song my Grandfather would hum at any moment of any day: "If I could I surely would stand on that rock where Moses stood". . . All of these "Rock" references point us to Jesus, who is the Rock, the Chief Cornerstone. The old saints would sing: "Jesus is a Rock in a weary land, He's a Shelter in the time of a storm."

Be encouraged; stay in His Word; cling to the One who is Faithful and True.

What are you reading in your Bible? What verses do you return to again and again?





I am still plugging along in the book of Exodus in my daily Bible reading and wanted to share a bit of what I'm reading. I read through Exodus once with my children and I am visiting it again. I previously read through Deuteronomy, in conjunction with the book of Hebrews, to gain more understanding of the loving Law of God.

**Interesting note: anytime we read in the New Testament of someone quoting Scripture or referring to Scripture, they are talking about the Old Testament because the New hadn't yet been formed as something to refer to.**

I am on a little quest to understand the Old Scriptures as much more than "something we don't do anymore since we have Jesus." While that is very much true in many regards, that thinking can lead to a dismissive attitude and a disregard concerning the Old Testament. That only gives way to a lack of understanding of the Father and His character. There's a reason all of Scripture was preserved for us, down through the ages (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Graciously, the Lord is deepening my understanding of the beauty of the Old Testament Scriptures as they relate to the New Testament, the unfolding of one Word of God. I'm just soaking it in, bit by bit, hence how long it has taken me to ready just 3 books of the bible--almost one year!

Any way, here is a beautiful passage of Scripture I read from Exodus 33 and I keep returning to it again and again. The back drop for this passage comes after the debacle in the wilderness where the children of Israel make a molded calf while Moses is meeting with God on Mt. Sinai. The Lord says earlier in the chapter that he will send His Angel to lead them into the Promised Land, but He will not be in their midst to go up with them, lest they be consumed on the way for their grievous offense (see vs. 1-3). Moses entreats the Lord on behalf of the people and this is the exchange:

Then Moses said to the LORD, "See, You say to me, 'Bring up this people.' But You have not let me know whom You will send with me. Yet You have said, 'I know you by name, and you have also found grace in My sight.' Now therefore, I pray, if I have found grace in Your sight, show me now Your way, that I may know You and that I may find grace in Your sight. And consider that this nation is Your people."

And he said, "My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest."

Then he said to Him, "If Your Presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here. For how then will it be known that Your people and I have found grace in Your sight, except You go with us? So we shall be separate, Your people and I, from all the people who are upon the face of the earth."

So the LORD said to Moses, " I will also do this thing that you have spoken; for you have found grace in My sight, and I know you by name."

And he said, "Please, show me Your glory."

Then He said, "I will make all My goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before you. I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion." But He said, "You cannot see My face; for no man shall see Me and live." And the LORD said, "Here is a place by Me, and you shall stand on the rock. So it shall be, while My glory passes by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock, and will cover you with My hand while I pass by. Then I will take away My hand, and you shall see My back; but My face shall not be seen." 


Ladies, I cannot express just how great the love of the Father is. Oh, His mercy is abundant and He lavishes His grace upon us, even though we deserve far worse. There is so much that is evident here: friendship, loyal love, humility, grace, forgiveness, prayer, holiness, favor, blessing, protection . . .

And as usual, a few songs come to mind. Of course that timeless hymn: "Rock of Ages, cleft for me, let me hide myself in Thee" and then a song my Grandfather would hum at any moment of any day: "If I could I surely would stand on that rock where Moses stood". . . All of these "Rock" references point us to Jesus, who is the Rock, the Chief Cornerstone. The old saints would sing: "Jesus is a Rock in a weary land, He's a Shelter in the time of a storm."

Be encouraged; stay in His Word; cling to the One who is Faithful and True.

What are you reading in your Bible? What verses do you return to again and again?



Continue Reading

From my Instagram...

The face I make when I don't have to be out of the house for the entire week!!!!! Being on the go all the time is not my jam, but has been the rhythm for this particular season of life. So when I looked at my schedule and saw that I had a break, thanks to my #Husband sharing the load, I got happy, y'all!! 😁 Being able to be at home, working each day to care for my home life, educate my children and help my husband is. the. best. ever! To be in the place God has for me isn't always easy, but it's where I have learned God's way for family life, where I have found peace, fulfillment, understanding, joy and more. It is such a blessing that I am grateful for every day. 🌸 #growing #learning
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Quotes to ponder....
"It comes naturally, replied his wife. There's a lot of work to it, but on the whole it is pleasant work." From The Trumpet of the Swans, says the female swan to the cob, as he marvels over the way she prepares her nest 😊 #goodliterature #2ndgradereading #homeschoolmom
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"This job has been given to me to do. Therefore, it is a gift. Therefore, it is a privilege. Therefore, it is an offering I may make to God. Therefore, it is to be done gladly, if it is done for Him. Here, not somewhere else, I may learn God’s way. In this job, not in some other, God looks for faithfulness.” ― Elisabeth Elliot, on home and family 💞 #faithfulness #sacrifice
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#wife #wifelife  #mother #motherhood #mama #familyeducation #homeschool #homemaking #homelife #largefamilyliving #giftfromGod #anoffering #grateful #love #noidlebread

Happy Homemaker Face

by on Tuesday, November 06, 2018
From my Instagram ... The face I make when I don't have to be out of the house for the entire week!!!!! Being on the go all the tim...

The October Vlog is up and rolling! (I know, it's already November, but better late than never!)
Join us for a little bit of an update on our son, number 4 (thank you for your prayers); our oldest daughter (number 1) and her community college classes--education vs. indoctrination; flag football season is OVER for the boys (I'm happy about that one 😁); and we are planning to move our large family! Watch below or, click this link: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=3Ys8gZB5A6A





October 2018 {Vlog #11}

by on Friday, November 02, 2018
The October Vlog is up and rolling! (I know, it's already November, but better late than never!) Join us for a little bit of an upd...


General Review
The title for this Bible sounds a bit contradictory, doesn’t it? The ancient, modern Bible? I don’t think the
title is an accurate representation. What makes this Bible both ancient and modern is that it includes
commentary from Christian theologians, from the past and present such as Huss, Keller, Chrysostom,
Spurgeon, Luther, Graham, Augustine and Wright, just to name a few. Relevant quotes and reflections are
printed in the margin of the pages, alongside of the Scripture they pertain to.


Other ancient-modern features are the one-page biographies of the various theologians and the art of the
church. The biographies are interspersed throughout the Bible and they include the person’s name, when
they lived, and their important works. The vivid artwork is grouped in a section toward the end of the Bible
and includes images like an ancient Chi Rho symbol from the 4th century, to a 1936 piece by Christian
Rohlfs called “Death, Where is Thy Sting?”. Additionally, there is a collection of articles, written by a few
of these great thinkers of the Faith, dealing with topics such as Salvation and the Trinity, as well as a
compilation of the various creeds of the church over time (i.e. Apostles’ Creed, Nicene Creed, etc.).


This Bible is written in the familiar NKJV with a traditional text layout, such as chapter/verse divisions,
however, the words of Christ are not in red. There is a brief introduction to each book of the Bible, which
includes the author, audience, date, purpose and themes of that book. There is no concordance in this Bible,
but there are a few Biblical maps at the very end.


Personal Thoughts
I liked the presentation of the Bible--hardcover with box-like dust jacket. It has a nice logo on the front
cover with the caption: One Faith. Handed Down. For All the Saints. I don’t care too much for the thin
pages, which can be hard to turn. Although the publisher lists the font size as a feature (8.5 point size), I
don’t care too much for it--give me all the big letters, please!

Even though there are commentaries on just about every page, I wouldn’t use this Bible as a study Bible.
The commentaries are more topical in nature, true comments on the passages, not study notes or insight to
the meaning of Scripture or cross referencing to bring clarity. For personal use, I’d prefer a study Bible for
daily reading and understanding, something I can dig into. This Bible will do to have lying open on the
kitchen counter or on the coffee table (do people have those anymore?) for reading Scripture here and there
in passing. I appreciate the various commentaries and articles and those things can be useful, especially
when we are talking Church History in our homeschool. However, this will probably not be my go-to
Bible for personal use.

(I received a copy of this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.)

Book Review: Ancient-Modern Bible

by on Saturday, October 20, 2018
General Review The title for this Bible sounds a bit contradictory, doesn’t it? The ancient, modern Bible? I don’t think the title i...


Seasons of life ebb and flow, don’t they? Sometimes things are pretty easy-going, life’s pace is slow and simple.  Other times, things are complicated and with so much to do, and I feel like the Good Times theme song: “Keepin’ your head above water, makin’ a way when you can...scratchin’ and survivin’...”

I am definitely in the midst of a very full schedule for sure. But, here’s what I’m learning: busy and flustered do not have to go hand-in-hand. I can have a lot to do, but still have a sense of calm and peace in my home.

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden,
and I will give you rest.
Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me,
for I am gentle and lowly in heart, 
and you will find rest for your souls.
For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.
Matthew 11:28-30

I know in this Scripture, Jesus is referring to the extra rules and “burdens” the Pharisees placed upon the people, but it has it’s application in home life, too. We place extra demands on ourselves that are SUPER unnecessary and are wondering why we are stressed and struggling. Here are five practical things I am learning to do that make a HUGE difference when I’m consistent.

1) Begin with what Jesus said. . . learn from Him.
Really spend time learning who He is and about His Word. STUDY it for yourself!! I know that all the mom blogs out there tell you to “get your quiet, morning time in with the Lord each day” and I have probably echoed the same thing at some point. But what does that look like? Do I have to join a mom’s group and email each other what the Bible verses mean to me? Maybe. Do I have to read the latest devotional with all the pretty journal pages to match? I might. Do I have to color code my Scripture reading with special markers and doodle art in the margins of my Bible? Could be.

Although these things can be a great starting place to meet with God daily, what I’ve found is that these things can also be a distraction. While I’m emailing, I’m tempted to check social media. Or, I’m too busy making sure my highlighting colors are right and I am trying to keep up with what the rest of the group is doing, and in the end, I end up missing sweet communion with God.

I’ve had to put those things aside to really read and study, eat and drink in, the Word of God and His Word alone. I’ve been reading one or two Bible books at a time, line by line, verse by verse and cross-referencing with other Scripture for understanding. I started with Deuteronomy and Hebrews, and am currently reading the book of Exodus. I’m reading at a pace that is guided by the Holy Spirit, rather than trying to cram things into a 8-week study session.  Instead I read and study a bit each day, sometimes re-reading what I read before, other times copying out passages of Scripture to remember. Sometimes it’s 30 minutes spent, sometimes it’s just 10, but daily, consistent reading is what I do. God’s Word strengthens, reveals, brings clarity, sets the record straight and on and on. It is a must.

2) Put on some music and be selective about it.
Every genre has a little bit of what feels like junk to the soul, just noise clogging up the mind. Gospel music is my favorite, but not everything labeled Gospel music is truly edifying. So be selective. This is the way I get my family in a good head space and ready to roll for the day. We’ve been listening to Fred Hammond’s music (click here, here, and here) during chores, celebrations and such. It’s mostly upbeat, makes all of us feel like singing and is God-honoring. On really busy days, we listen to tried and true hymns of the faith to keep us calm and focused (click here). The whole point is it is my job to create an atmosphere in the home that sets a soothing, joyful tone.

3) Go to sleep! 
This one is a struggle for me because I am a night owl by nature and when things are busy, I have a tendency to burn the midnight oil way too much. But, the truth is, no one ever thrives on a lack of sleep. I usually get myself into trouble trying to look up one more thing online or check over one more essay. Really, what I need to do is to go to bed at a good and proper time to be refreshed and ready to serve my family the next day.

4) Keep my priorities in check, for real!
What’s on my list may not look like what’s on yours, but some seasons are seasons of saying “no” to whatever isn’t on the list. . . no to the extra projects, no to the new book your best friend is reading, no to the fun Instagram challenge, no to checking emails and messages, no to endless scrolling and clicking, no to outside activities, no to taking on one more church group. I have to set boundaries for myself and keep the main thing the main thing, one day at a time. That often means I will have to sacrifice doing things that I really enjoy or am really interested in, but I remind myself that it’s only a season and that my family needs me more than my interests do.

5) Keep free space free. 
When I am in the midst of all my to-do lists, and realize I don’t have to be somewhere or do something, I stop to embrace it. Instead of filling that free time with more things to do, I pause and drink in the beauty of life around me, even if it’s only for 30 minutes. I play games with the kids, catch a show with my husband, read a few chapters of a good book, do my nails or whatever is relaxing, an intentional pause. This one is harder for me to do because there is always something else that can be done around the house.

But, I think it is key to remember that freedom and rest are gifts from our loving Father. He gave us a pattern, from the dawn of Creation, of working for 6 days and resting the 7th. It is the world that teaches us to work, work, work, work, work, CRASH, repeat--day in and day out. No, thank you. So, keeping the 7th day free and as restful as possible is another thing that has been such a blessing to my mindset and to my family over all.

I haven’t mastered all of these ideas yet, but when I’m consistent with them, they are a great blessing to my home and family life. What do you do to keep calm in the midst of busy seasons?


We celebrated/remembered the Feast of Tabernacles (in Hebrew, Sukkot) for the past few days. Our celebration ended on Tuesday.
As we prepped our hearts for celebrating this Feast,
we Praised God because He is our Shelter and our Provider
in every wilderness we encounter in this life. . .our Tabernacle.

We enjoyed celebrating and learning the Scriptures concerning this time. This Feast is so full of rich, spiritual treasures, it's hard to grasp all of it's beauty and delight: agricultural, historical, Israel, spiritual, prophetic, Messiah, 2nd Coming, Immanuel (God with us), sanctuary, Water, wilderness, shelter, indwelling, Holy Spirit, rain, Provider, King Jesus, Jerusalem, Shekinah Glory, thanksgiving....  The parallels between the Old and New Testaments are endless, with Messianic foreshadowing--as I tell my children, Jesus was always coming!--and with much to look forward to in the future. *SIGH* I could go on and on, but I won't overwhelm you! Plus, I'm still learning things myself.

Hard-to-see SUKKOT banner hanging near our kitchen table

We didn't build our own "tabernacle" (Hebrew, sukkah) or pitch a tent.
Instead, we used our covered patio
and ate some of meals throughout the week there.


And you shall take for yourselves on the first day the fruit of beautiful trees,
branches of palm trees, the boughs of leafy trees,
and willows of the brook;
and you shall rejoice before the Lord your God for seven days.
-Leviticus 23:40


My oldest daughter and I try to decorate a bit with our leafy branches.





It is just breath-taking to know that the very God that controls the universe longs to dwell among His people, over and over: in the Tabernacle of Old, in the Incarnate Jesus the Christ, and through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. It reminds me of a song that says, "Live in me, Jesus... Have Your way in me..." He is a God who is close and near to His people.



One final beautiful note. . .
Traditionally, during the Feast of Tabernacles, the priests of Old would teach about water and its life-giving ways and thank God for the early rain and a good harvest. Then, they would pray for the latter rain, for the ground to be saturated in preparation for the future season of sowing and planting. In the midst of all this "water teaching", the Savior declares Himself to be the Source of life-giving, thirst- quenching waters! Whew!

My heart is looking forward to the day when He will return to dwell among us (tabernacle with us) as King. Praise the Lord, oh my soul!

Feast of Tabernacles

by on Saturday, October 06, 2018
We celebrated/remembered the Feast of Tabernacles (in Hebrew, Sukkot ) for the past few days. Our celebration ended on Tuesday. As we pre...

Ever heard of the adage, “Homeschool is a way of life”? It couldn’t be truer for the subject of Health.
Things like germs and hygiene, nutrition and food choice, puberty and hormones I think are best taught
through daily living and appropriate family conversations. Not textbook, student-teacher interaction. Sure,
books can be used to aid or supplement discussions, but I feel Health is more of a natural topic for family
life more than one for school. However, my state requires that Health be taught, right along with Math and
English, from elementary through ½ credit in high school.


What I’ve Done
With that being the case, my very first inclination was to look up Health curriculum and teach it like a
school subject. But, I just couldn’t bring myself to pay for overpriced sets to have my children fill out
workbooks and take tests on things like covering their mouths when they sneezed, or brushing their teeth
each day. So, sometimes I search the internet and the library, piecing things together myself, particularly for
my younger children. Other times I’ve used a website I found that offers free lesson plans for traditional
classrooms, but are easily adaptable for home education.


We’ve covered how germs spread, what the body needs to grow, how medicine works, body systems,
organs and their functions, nutrition and food groups, regular exercise, sleep, fire safety, emergencies,
puberty and hormones, where babies come from and how they grow, drugs and alcohol--and on and on.
(Keep in mind I have a wide range of ages and each topic taught was tailored for age-appropriateness.)


After teaching on these areas year after year, I felt like I was repeating myself without much change in the
depth of learning. It was more like reminders and continuous review, particularly for my older
children--especially since these things are regularly discussed in our home life with way more depth than a
worksheet could provide. The last few years I’ve just felt like teaching Health is drudgery and there was no
enjoyment. . . this coming from someone who holds two degrees in healthcare. What a shame! This should
be my topic, y’all!


New Ideas
For my littlest ones, we’ll keep plugging along for a few more years since they still love picture books,
coloring pages and the like after a discussion. But, for my older crowd, we are going to take a new
direction. Here are a few ideas we’ve considered, some of which we will try this year. Maybe you’ll find
something fresh for your homeschool.

*Movies: Select a series of movies to watch throughout the school year, maybe once per month, that
have a health-related topic. Have a discussion afterward and log that as health for the month.

*First-Aid/CPR: These classes are now conveniently offered online, and at the completion of the course,
you can request a certificate be mailed to you.

*Healthcare History: Research the history of Healthcare in our country, how it is different from other
countries, what shaped it; this could also be paired with the period of History you’re studying to narrow
the focus (i.e., what was Healthcare like in the Middle Ages)

*Biographies: Select a series of well-known doctors, nurses, etc. and study their lives and contributions to
health care.

*Discoveries/Inventions: Self-explanatory. . .who invented the blood pressure cuff, who discovered
penicillin, who invented the microscope, how does an MRI work, etc.

*Disease and Illness: Find a sickness to research--maybe one that runs in the family;  what causes it, who is
most likely to get it, is there a cure, can it be prevented, etc.

*Healthcare Positions: go beyond what is familiar (family doctor or nurse) and research things like
paramedics, healthcare administrators, phlebotomist, pharmacist, neurosurgeon, etc.

*Meals and Nutrition: assign one meal a month that your children are responsible for making, that is a
healthy choice for your family. They will need to record the recipe, do the shopping, the prep and the
cooking.

*Bible: Seek God’s word for topical discussions on health (the body vs. soul, eating, exercise, etc.) and
learn those verses.

I hope these ideas have helped you brainstorm ways to teach Health in your homeschool.
If you have to teach Health as a subject, what ways have you approached it for your family?


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