March 2018: Marriage and Treats {Vlog #4}

/ Saturday, March 17, 2018
Sooo, the March Vlog is up and ready!!!! Join us as we talk Holy Week, Birthdays, marriage, and of course, we taste what's in our next treat box.

Sooo, the March Vlog is up and ready!!!! Join us as we talk Holy Week, Birthdays, marriage, and of course, we taste what's in our next treat box.

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And they continued steadfastly
in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship,
in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.
Acts 2:42

Here's a bit of a homeschool confession:
We don't routinely say the Pledge of Allegiance in our homeschool. In fact, we rarely say it at all. (Hopefully, most of you are still with me! 😊)

We are not "unpatriotic" and are grateful to live in our country, so no worries. My older children know what the Pledge of Allegiance is and what it says, and my little ones will learn about it, too. However, we don't feel it's necessary to recite each day. Instead, we treat it more as a fact to know about our nation's history, or as part of a unit study/topic of interest when discussing our country, its laws, and government, etc.

Honestly though, at the end of the day, I want my children's strongest allegiance to be found in Christ alone. 

In the last year or so, we've begun reciting The Apostle's Creed with other Believers at Church every time we share in the Lord's Supper. And I thought, "Now that is something I wouldn't mind us saying each day as part of our morning routine!" So, we recite it most mornings after Bible study and Scripture memory. 

I am thrilled that my children are memorizing the doctrine of our Faith, and that we are able to discuss truth with them, helping them to understand, on a daily basis. Even my littlest ones join in, and ask questions. Just beautiful, y'all! The Apostle's Creed is also something we've studied over the years in our history lessons, so it's a good fit for our family.

If you're interested, I've made a free printable available below. It's nothing fancy and is very simple. Enjoy!!

Are you familiar with the Apostle's Creed? What things do you recite daily as a family?

The Apostle's Creed

by on Thursday, March 08, 2018
And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. Acts 2:42 He...

Join us as we talk a little about our daily time with God, and take a taste test of a few treats from around the world!!!!

As homeschool mamas, we have a ton of things pulling us in different directions:
marriage, women’s ministries, co-op duties, homemaking, volunteering, homeschooling, child-rearing and the list goes on. At times, we feel stressed, we feel overwhelmed, we feel inadequate, just like anyone else doing whatever work it is they do all day. So, what do you do to handle it all?
The answer is simple and you may be like, “Stacie, really?!” But here we go. . .


Put your house in order by putting things (including people!) in their proper places. Your own four walls is where you begin:

God First
This seems like a cliche these days, but as Believers, we must take Him at His Word:

You shall have no other gods before Me.
-Exodus 20:3

That slot belongs to Him alone. Make it happen with daily prayer, daily Bible reading, daily worship, and not just to check a box that you got it done. But seek the Lord, look for Him, go hard after Him and He will meet you, He will lead you, He will reveal what you need and you won’t be disappointed.

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.
-Jeremiah 29:11-13

Husband Next
Your husband is above all other earthly relationships. Period. Many times, others tend to hint that your man shouldn’t be that high on the list or maybe they feel offended that they have to “take a back seat” so to speak. Nip that in the bud as soon as possible and choose your husband first, over and over. When you said “I do” he won 1st place then, and everyone else is totally out of the running now, that includes moms and best friends.

Remember that for the Christian, marriage is not merely some contract, some flitting arrangement that you keep if you feel like it. Rather, it is a lasting covenant, a sacred agreement, a faithful promise between three: you, your husband, and God, meant for a lifetime. That is weighty, is it not? Remember that you and your husband are one, a great mystery (Ephesians 5:22-33), but true nonetheless. When you seek his good, you seek your good. So, nurture your relationship with your husband, feed it and water it daily. It doesn’t always have to be some show-stopping action because the little things add up and mean the most: his favorite meal, holding hands, asking his opinion first, a genuine smile, eye contact. And above all, call his name out in prayer, place him before the Father daily: his walk with Christ, his leadership, his decision-making, his weaknesses, his successes. Build your husband up in prayer and by paying attention to him.

Mamas, often we tend to put the children in slot 2 where they don’t belong. Of course newborns and some toddler needs must be met before anyone can do anything else, but I think you know what I mean. The overall idea is that children come after husband and teaching this truth to your children is a great blessing, as they grow and learn what a Christian marriage looks like.

Be the mom that pays attention to her children, and go for their hearts. Pray for each child daily, assess what their needs are. Follow the leading of the Holy Spirit for each individual child, because I’m here to tell you that siblings aren’t always alike and what one child needs can be vastly different from what another one needs.

Homeschooling is a sub-category here, as it is part of what we do with our children each day and if you’ve done it for any length of time, you know it becomes a way of life. Make schedules, keep routines, set boundaries, give the children responsibilities in the home, require that they meet a standard you know they can achieve, and love them. Shower them with huge doses of loving affection and praise for a job well done. Remember, you are mama before teacher. And above all else, show them how to love God with all their hearts.

Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.
Deuteronomy 6:4-5

House Work
Next up are housekeeping/homemaking duties. Sometimes these two terms are looked at as identical, and in many ways they are, since the end goal is the same: a functional and peaceful home. However, I think of it sometimes in this way. Housekeeping includes those tasks, born out of love and sacrifice for your family, that keep the house afloat: dishes, laundry, vacuuming, dusting, scrubbing, etc. Homemaking is the feminine, artistic expression of that love, the attention to detail, where you leave your personal touch in every area of the home: decorating, organizing, flowers in a vase, new curtains, pictures in a frame, inviting scents, the throw on the back of recliner, etc. Both work together to make a welcoming haven, a safe place to love and grow.

Again, make schedules, keep routines, make lists, and keep track. Don't give way to a habit of idleness, but be diligent and fond of looking after your home.

She watches over the ways of her household,
And does not eat the bread of idleness.
Proverbs 31:27

Everything Else
The categories above are our first priorities, Ladies. Everything else follows after them. Whatever we routinely place in this slot, must be compatible with our first duties. Here is where we must choose wisely. Whether it is a recurring event, like a weekly Bible study or a random lunch date with a friend, if your house is in order, you can enjoy any other commitments comfortably, because you’re confident that the folks at home are good.

Some seasons in life may mean you only have space for 1 or 2 outside commitments. Other seasons may mean you can take on way more and amaze yourself. And, if we are really honest, there are many days when we have to say “no” to the extras and rest in the peace that word brings. Remember, your circumstances are likely to look different than the next woman’s, so don’t covet her position. Embrace the place you’re in and thrive right there.

Now that I’ve got that straight, it’s time for me to go apply my words to my own household! How do you prioritize in your home? Is it difficult to say no to others for the good of your family?

What Comes First?

by on Wednesday, February 07, 2018
As homeschool mamas, we have a ton of things pulling us in different directions: marriage, women’s ministries, co-op duties, homemak...

I am not an expert in Math. In fact, I shied away from most Math problems as best as I could when I was
in school. Now, as a homeschooling mother, they are all staring me in my face--from number recognition
all the way up to Pre-calculus, numbers are everywhere!! I'm so glad I have the teacher's manuals. In all
honesty, teaching my children math hasn't been a breeze, but it has been a delight, and I'll tell you why:
God is there, too!

So often, it is easy to see all the other subjects so clearly in the Bible; there's language, history, poetry,
science, music and geography, just to name a few. As Christian homeschoolers, it's easy to teach these
subjects with a Biblical worldview. But somehow, when it comes to math it gets pretty quiet on the
worldview point, and we scratch our heads and say, "Math is neutral, right?"

Our God is Lord of all, and that includes Math! While this list is not exhaustive, here are a few brief points
to consider:

Math mirrors God's character.
Math is consistent, transcending time and culture. No matter when or where, 1 plus 1 will
always equal 2. God is the same every day, for all time and is not bound by anything.

Numbers go on and on, to infinite amounts that we don't even have words for, neither can

we comprehend. Our God is eternal and limitless and we can barely grasp that truth: He has and
will exist forever.

Weights, measurements and genealogy lists (in chronological order) display the accuracy

and precision of our great God, preserving great records and accounts for us to this day.

Numbers have Biblical significance.
Various numbers hold special meaning: 3 for the Trinity, 7 for completion (as in 6 days of
creation + 1 day when God rested), or 8 as a new beginning.

Numerical patterns: 40 days/nights of rain (Noah)--40 years in the wilderness

(Israelites)--40 days/nights fasting before temptation (Jesus); 3 days in the belly of the great fish
(Jonah)--3 days dead before resurrection (Jesus), 12 tribes of Israel--12 disciples of Jesus, etc.

These lists barely scratch the surface of this topic, but they suggest a very logical orderly God in
mathematical/numerical form. I like to point these things out to my children as we come across them to
encourage them to see God everywhere. Yes, God is in Math, too!

And mothers, may we not forget that God can meet us anywhere, even in the midst of teaching those
difficult, complex equations or navigating stinky attitudes toward Math--call out to Him right then and
there. Pray and ask Him for wisdom and help. All we do can be done to the glory of God!

How do you welcome God into your Math class? In what ways do you see Him in there?

God and Math

by on Friday, February 02, 2018
I am not an expert in Math. In fact, I shied away from most Math problems as best as I could when I was in school. Now, as a homes...

 A Little Background
Epiphany commemorates the day that the wise men came to worship Jesus, bringing with them gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. Contrary to traditional belief, a close look a Matthew Chapter 2 will show that the wise men were not a part of the nativity scene with the shepherds and the newly born Babe. With that being the case, there was some time between His Birth and their visit. There are many other details about the narrative of His Birth that many believe, but are not accurate according to the Scriptures, such as how many wise men there were. The Scriptures do not indicate how many, but somehow we are all stuck on the number three! It is important to decipher between the Word of God and man-made traditions and add ons.

With that being said, Epiphany is not a God-ordained celebration or Holy Day that must be kept. You may say, "Well, Stacie, just why would you celebrate it then?" My answer: simply to recall the order of events (history) and to thank God for His goodness. We really love Bible history around here and to speak of the wise men's worship of our Lord on a day other than our celebration of His Birth drives the point home to my children that the two were separate events.***

We also realize that, according to the Scriptures, God led these men of foreign origin (non-Jewish) to the Messiah. This is a huge detail because it is the manifestation of Jesus to the Gentiles so they could worship Him as King. Praise God, Jesus is for everyone!!

How We Celebrated
(Although Epiphany is traditionally celebrated on Jan. 6th, we celebrated a day early.)
  • Read Matthew Chapter 2 as part of regular Bible time.
  • Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh Assignment: my oldest 3 were each given one of the gifts to research and they had to present their findings to the family at lunch time.
Homeschool Assignment
  • Played Find the Cross: I hid a small cross (representing our King) somewhere in the house and the kids had to search for it. This was just a fun way to remember that the wise men set out to search for Jesus. Whoever was first to find the cross got first dibs at a sweet treat and would be the one to hang up our special prayer, described below. (According to Matthew 2, the star they had seen the East was not always visible, hence the reason they ask in vs. 2 where Jesus is since they had seen His star in the East. After their visit with Herod, the star reappears, as told in vs. 9 guiding them to Christ.)
My handsome number 5 was the first to find the cross. He was so excited!

A little background on this cross: A very dear friend of mine gave this to me when we were in college. Her father had given her a few of these little crosses to hand out to her friends, to encourage us in our faith and in prayer, to remain steadfast in the Lord. Her sweet father has since gone on to be in the Presence of the Lord, but his small gesture of encouragement has stayed with me over the years.
To my dear friend: Thank you, sis; I love you!
  • House Blessing: We welcomed the Prince of Peace into our home and hearts and lives, praying for His peace in our home and peace for all those who may come to visit this year. We prayed that our home would be a place Christ would be pleased to dwell in. And finally, we hung up a little sign (traditional to Epiphany celebrations) over the doorway of our front door.
Placed above our front door

And, that was that. . . . Well, we played "Find the Cross" two more times and had a few more pieces of candy. Then, that was that!

Of course there's tons of information on the internet. And as always, when doing internet searches, you take some and you leave some. As Christians we should seek to honor God with any tradition we keep in our homes, so those things that I thought were irrelevant or contrary to Scripture, I left out. Some of the things in our celebration, I made up.

One book that I refer to for information is Celebrating the Christian Year by Martha Zimmerman. Although I do not agree with or follow everything in the book, it is a handy go-to resource for navigating some of the Christian holidays and understanding their history and origins.

Have you ever celebrated Epiphany in your home or church? What family traditions do you keep this time of year?

***Side note: we do not believe that December 25th is the precise day of the Birth of our Lord, 
nor do we believe that January 6th is the precise day the wise men went to worship Him. 
While these may be days our family chooses to commemorate these events, 
we do not believe that it is mandatory or required of God for every believer to do so. 
I hope to post more (one day) on our family's journey in the way we celebrate 
and some changes that we are (slowly) making.

Celebrating Epiphany

by on Saturday, January 06, 2018
  A Little Background Epiphany commemorates the day that the wise men came to worship Jesus, bringing with them gifts of gold, frankinc...
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