In Times of Sorrow

/ Wednesday, November 15, 2017

This blessed life God has given us to live is not without its rough places. As homeschooling Moms, we have a unique opportunity to live out our daily lives, in a real and raw way, right before the eyes of our children. They see a wide range of emotions, successes, failures, frustrations, stellar and golden days, bland and ordinary days, and flat out terrible days. This is a great opportunity because we can show our children the realities of life and how to live them out, while trusting in God, Who is greater than any circumstance we face. We are available to teach our children through the challenges of life, modeling love and faith before them.

We had a bit of sorrow in our lives recently. A very good neighbor of ours died of stage 4 liver cancer, leaving her husband behind. It was all so sudden, from her finding out about her condition to her passing, it was just about 6-8 weeks. The sadness and the devastation were real and heavy on our hearts. Disclosure: I have some fear issues when it comes to death and dying that I’m working through. Often I feel like, how can I be of any help to someone in such a private and vulnerable situation?

So, I was torn: succumb to my own issues (which would have been selfish) or give of myself, in spite of my issues? Well, this is where my kids gave me the push I needed to be selfless, because I recognized this as a chance to teach them how to help others in a dark time. So, our family committed (among ourselves) to go by weekly to offer comfort with our presence. Once we dropped off some donuts and I got to sit with her a talk with her, and hold her hand and listen to her pain and hug her, and then hug her again.

Next, a few of the kids got together and painted a golden sunshine to offer cheer. When we went by, the door was closed, which was our sign that it wasn’t a good time to visit. So we left the pictures they’d made in the mail box with a note attached. My neighbor’s husband hung that little golden sunshine on their front storm door for days and days.

Finally, my little ones and I made applesauce bread and took a loaf over to them. My neighbor was sleeping and I simply just peeked in on her and whispered prayers in my heart. Her husband could barely contain his grief as he took the bread. Later, he called to say thank you and to tell me how tasty it was. That was our last time.


On the day I stopped by with the donuts, later that afternoon, my neighbor had her husband call us to see if we wanted these 2 little red chairs. Of course, I said yes, and they are now in our school room. Not only do we put them to use, but they are a sweet, visual reminder of her and how kind she was to our family. Over the years, she would give us little items like this if she thought we could use them. When she heard that we were going to be homeschooling, she gave me a HUGE stack of stickers. Six years later and we're still using them.


Even after her passing, we’ve continued to stop by with goodies, just to check in on her husband to see how he’s doing. He and my husband will have those “end of the driveway chats” just to say hey, you’re not alone. We don’t go as frequently as once a week, but maybe every 2 or so, to give him space to grieve, but also to let him know we care.

What we’ve learned as a family is. . .  
giving in times of sorrow doesn’t have to be some huge, heavily, orchestrated event.
you don’t have to be intrusive to be kind.
little things, like hand drawn pictures, really do mean a lot
kids don’t need all of the details in order to be on board with helping
presence is comfort
kind words are a salve
prayer is always in order

Don’t shy away from these types of very hard, but important life lessons for your children. Even in the sadness, there is the joy of serving others, of showing them love, of bringing a smile to their faces, no matter how brief. It is in these circumstances that God can mold us and our children, shaping us for His Glory.

He heals the brokenhearted
And binds up their wounds.
-Psalm 147:3


This blessed life God has given us to live is not without its rough places. As homeschooling Moms, we have a unique opportunity to live out our daily lives, in a real and raw way, right before the eyes of our children. They see a wide range of emotions, successes, failures, frustrations, stellar and golden days, bland and ordinary days, and flat out terrible days. This is a great opportunity because we can show our children the realities of life and how to live them out, while trusting in God, Who is greater than any circumstance we face. We are available to teach our children through the challenges of life, modeling love and faith before them.

We had a bit of sorrow in our lives recently. A very good neighbor of ours died of stage 4 liver cancer, leaving her husband behind. It was all so sudden, from her finding out about her condition to her passing, it was just about 6-8 weeks. The sadness and the devastation were real and heavy on our hearts. Disclosure: I have some fear issues when it comes to death and dying that I’m working through. Often I feel like, how can I be of any help to someone in such a private and vulnerable situation?

So, I was torn: succumb to my own issues (which would have been selfish) or give of myself, in spite of my issues? Well, this is where my kids gave me the push I needed to be selfless, because I recognized this as a chance to teach them how to help others in a dark time. So, our family committed (among ourselves) to go by weekly to offer comfort with our presence. Once we dropped off some donuts and I got to sit with her a talk with her, and hold her hand and listen to her pain and hug her, and then hug her again.

Next, a few of the kids got together and painted a golden sunshine to offer cheer. When we went by, the door was closed, which was our sign that it wasn’t a good time to visit. So we left the pictures they’d made in the mail box with a note attached. My neighbor’s husband hung that little golden sunshine on their front storm door for days and days.

Finally, my little ones and I made applesauce bread and took a loaf over to them. My neighbor was sleeping and I simply just peeked in on her and whispered prayers in my heart. Her husband could barely contain his grief as he took the bread. Later, he called to say thank you and to tell me how tasty it was. That was our last time.


On the day I stopped by with the donuts, later that afternoon, my neighbor had her husband call us to see if we wanted these 2 little red chairs. Of course, I said yes, and they are now in our school room. Not only do we put them to use, but they are a sweet, visual reminder of her and how kind she was to our family. Over the years, she would give us little items like this if she thought we could use them. When she heard that we were going to be homeschooling, she gave me a HUGE stack of stickers. Six years later and we're still using them.


Even after her passing, we’ve continued to stop by with goodies, just to check in on her husband to see how he’s doing. He and my husband will have those “end of the driveway chats” just to say hey, you’re not alone. We don’t go as frequently as once a week, but maybe every 2 or so, to give him space to grieve, but also to let him know we care.

What we’ve learned as a family is. . .  
giving in times of sorrow doesn’t have to be some huge, heavily, orchestrated event.
you don’t have to be intrusive to be kind.
little things, like hand drawn pictures, really do mean a lot
kids don’t need all of the details in order to be on board with helping
presence is comfort
kind words are a salve
prayer is always in order

Don’t shy away from these types of very hard, but important life lessons for your children. Even in the sadness, there is the joy of serving others, of showing them love, of bringing a smile to their faces, no matter how brief. It is in these circumstances that God can mold us and our children, shaping us for His Glory.

He heals the brokenhearted
And binds up their wounds.
-Psalm 147:3

Continue Reading

Trying to hang in there each day, but as you will see, I missed a few days for this challenge. I'm thankful for God's tender mercies that are new every morning. He is faithful, friends!

I'm starting this week off with our school room in overhaul mode....





So Saturday morning and afternoon was spent taking EVERYTHING out of our #schoolroom and moving it into the garage. (Some of you may remember that our schoolroom is a stand-alone room, literally a little one-room schoolhouse just outside our laundry room.) Husband is having the dry wall redone this week, which means a new paint color for mama!
#homemakingministries #day15#photochallenge #goal#oneroomschoolhouse #365homeschool#homeschoolfamily #love #noidlebread
On my "desk" ...well, I mostly use my corner of the kitchen table. 😁 Anyway, it's my 5-year-old's interpretation of The Starry Night by Vincent Vangogh, which is who we're studying for art appreciation this month.
#homemakingministries #day16#onmydesk #art #365homeschool#homeschool #number4 #firstgrade #love#loveeveryday #noidlebread

My favorite thing about fall: the colors. Orange is one of my favorite colors (a very, very close second to purple--actually, maybe it's a tie). Anyway, I love all the shades of orange, yellow and red this time of year. This is my bit of fall for the kitchen table. 🍁🍂🍁🍂
#homemakingministries #day17#favoritethingaboutfall #fallcolors #love#noidlebread


Today's photo challenge is a #throwbackthursday so I took it waaaay back. I'm in the red sweater, with my dad, mom, and baby brother. I was 3 years old, I think. (@tashinda80 Is that right, mom?) So, who looks like who? EVERYONE says my kids look more like #Husband than me. 😁 Anyway, I love these good folks right here, they are where I started. 💖
#homemakingministries #day18 #theparents#mybabybrother #love #loveeveryday#noidlebread

Working through the book of Ephesians lately for my quiet time. Ephesians 2:4-10 is the highlighted portion you see.
Soooo eternally #grateful for the grace of God and the shed Blood of the Lamb, Jesus Christ. My sin (in its entirety!) in exchange for His forgiveness, peace, and eternal life--as I tell my kids, it's the best deal ever. So, as my #Grannywould have said: Thank God for Jesus!
#homemakingministries #photochallenge#BIBLEreading #day20#byGracethroughFaith #love #noidlebread

What am I never without?? For the last 3 years or so, one or both of these 2. Oh, they know where their mama is at every hour of the day, every single day!! Lol And honestly, I LOVE it because I also know that these days are fleeting. I blinked and my oldest (14.5yrs) is making jokes about taking the keys to drive herself to the library. 😂😏😨😱
#homemakingministries #photochallenge#neverwithout #numbers6and7 #sisters#littlegirls #mybabies #love #loveeveryday#noidlebread



A few more pics to come as we close out the month of October. . .
Life is bustling with happily noisy children, projects with Husband that have spilled into the following week, various activities our family's involved in, and some different ways the LORD is stretching me and growing me. Life is full and that fullness is a blessed gift.

The children wanted dinner by candlelight. 💗
#homemakingministries #day8#somethngcozy #dinnertime #lovethemso#love #loveeveryday #noidlebread
  • The No Idle Bread Kitchen, in the middle of the day.... dishes to put away, homeschool planner on the counter, little girls' laundry to fold, kitchen table spread with math and history. Just through the door to the right of the stove is my laundry/pantry area where swim clothes and towels are being washed and dried. #Mondayswimday

    I love this kitchen, not because it's huge and fancy--it's anything but that. What I love are all the memories, all the lessons, all the laughter, even the tears, all of the fellowship, all of the time spent. It is a sacred place, in a way, because so much of my work each day is done here... daily offerings to the Most High by serving my #Husband and children.

    One of my favorite quotes says:
    "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
    #homemakingministries #day9 #kitchen#dailyofferings #service #love#loveeveryday #noidlebread



  • This is a peek into my homescool planner.... also known as my brain on paper! Lol! I use @tinashomeschool Tina's Dynamic Homescool Plus to piece my planner together each year, which is so much fun and FREE! #homeschoolmom She has TONS of different planning pages, forms, cover pages, calendars, etc. I've seen some mamas print their planning pages and take them to an office store to have it spiral- or comb-bound. I just throw mine in a binder and use page protectors as needed. I quit buying planners because they couldn't handle more than 3 children to plan for #largefamilymama and they would have pages and charts and articles and such that I never used or read. #waste 
    #homemakingministries #day10#homeschoolplanner #love #noidlebread



  • So, what's on my hooks?? Nothing right now, but I'm hoping to do something about that soon! The weather has finally cooled and fall + crochet go hand in hand. My #number6 is modeling a blanket I made about 4 years ago. Crocheting the granny squares (3rd pic) helped keep my sanity when my #number4had surgery last January. 💗
    #homemakingministries #day12 #hobby#crochet #love #noidlebread

  • Today's #homemakingministries photo challenge: a pic of the #Husband. (He actually let me take a pic, and yes, he does smile...sometimes! Lol) 
    Y'all don't know how much I love this man right here! 😍😍😍😘😘😘 Super glad to be his wife and the mother of his children. #Grateful God allowed us to meet back in our "late teens"😂😂 and that we've been sticking together ever since.... tough days, good days, horrible moments, delightful moments, pain and tears, laughter and happiness, through thick and thin, he has seen me and held me at my worse and pushes me to be my best. #Thankful that our lives are forever intertwined. 💖
    #marriage #holymatrimony #covenant#oneness #covering #blessedgift#iamloved #love #loveeveryday#noidlebread

My favorite spot in my home? I couldn't pick one. So, I'm going with my whole house as my favorite spot--probably not a shocker to most. It isn't the house itself that I'm super attached to {{if you see farm land at a good price, holler at me!!}}, but I love the people that live here. I love that all of us, as a family, make this over-half-a-century old house a home.
#homemakingministries #day14#favoritespot #home #family #love#noidlebread

The next week of October happenings is on its way!

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