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Posts Tagged ‘friends’

An Adventure–and Then Some!

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

How do you describe the wonderful time a family can have on a 5283 mile trip “out East”?!

My girls have done a much better job keeping up–both on their blog as well as in their visual journals!  I wish I could have worked on mine in the van as we were going, but that never seemed to work out!   Guess  they have had more experience working in tight quarters than me!  ;)

It was definitely worth all the packing and planning and persevering to make it happen!

I really have to give the girls a LOT of credit—I became extremely ill the Saturday before we left.  In fact, even until Thursday I was beginning to wonder if we were going to have to postpone the trip!  But I started feeling better and well enough to get my stuff washed and packed–nothing like waiting until the 11th hour!!!!

We knew it was an ambitious trip and that we couldn’t “see it all” no matter how much we wanted to!    It was great, though, to do what we could and at least hit the highlights.    And learning continued to take place–the girls would look things up on the internet when we got to a hotel or McDonald’s (for free WiFi!).   Road Scholars, indeed!  :D

We were gone 19 1/2 days.  We only stayed at hotels 7 of those 19 nights!  The rest we stayed at the homes of wonderful family and friends, and even had a few quick visits with family and friends sprinkled in between those!   Sometimes it made it hard to leave in the mornings, though, because we enjoyed the fellowship so much!   And a few times, it meant we bumped a few things off “the list” to be able to enjoy that fellowship!

Was it worth it all?!

A resounding YES!!!!

Fabulous Family Friday–Friends Part 2 & The Great Escape!

Friday, July 2nd, 2010


First thing–please pray for some dear friends whose 5 year old daughter has meningitis.  She is in the hospital and last I heard with a 104.9 temp.   I also don’t know if it’s bacterial or viral.   Her name is Susannah.  Thank you for your prayers!



One area of friendships I didn’t address last week was–mama’s friends!

We need to be just as careful to not form closer relationships outside the home than we have with our family (and it goes without saying with the Lord first!).   I have had times where I had to pull back from calling or going to things with friends.   Again, you can both be the most Godly of women, but after awhile…well, we are fleshly and all it takes is one wife who needs to deal with God about her attitude towards her husband, but it’s soooo much easier to talk to her friend(s)….and before you know it, you have devolved into a husband bashing session! 

Oh, we’re quite spiritual about it!  We wouldn’t say, “That no-good bum!  He expects me to do ____ and _____ and all he does is ______……”  

But we can “ask for prayer” even for “my attitude” and still paint our husbands in a less-than-favorable light.   There are times when we may need to bare our hearts to one trusted friend to pray with us.  But not every friend you have in exquisite detail!!!

I challenge you to honor your husband, even when perhaps he is not acting honorably.  Of course there are times to seek counsel–I’m not talking about abuse here.  I’m talking about the usual “he doesn’t pick his socks up” or “he doesn’t lead us in Scripture reading” or “he doesn’t play with the kids enough” or “he doesn’t discipline the kids enough–he’s a big kid himself!”

That’s just about our husbands–we can do this about our mother-in-law, our other friend, our children.  Again, there is nothing wrong with being honest and asking for prayer!  But if around certain people you start griping more than just sharing, and come away feeling more bitter instead of better, and if they “take your side” vs. praying with you and encouraging you, even in a difficult situation, then you might evaluate how much time you spend with those kinds of people (whether in person or on a phone or e-mail).

If our friends aren’t encouraging us in our walk as Godly women, wives and mommies, then those should not be the people we spend the most time with!

Even if you have great friends, you can end up spending lots of time interacting with them, then you  might be less content to “just be with the kids at home” or your husband.   Those are just some warning flags to watch out for!   We can’t expect our children to turn their hearts toward home if ours isn’t also turned toward home!

Of course, friendships can also become a part of something else I’d like to talk about….


What do I mean?!

Escaping our mundane, routine duties.  Oh, a vacation or little break is quite nice!  But when our heart would rather do something else than train and nurture and face life head on, we might evaluate whether what we are really doing is escaping.


The phone (cell or otherwise!).  Facebook.  Twitter.  Blogging. Texting.  Visiting.  Play days at the park.  Homeschool get togethers.  Field trips.  Eating out.  Shopping.  Educational opportunities.

None of the above are sinful actions by any means!  Unless….we are turning to those things to fill the God-shaped vacuum inside.  Many times, especially as mamas at home, homeschooling, training children 24/7, we feel we need a break.  And again, a little break is nice.  But when we’d rather have lots of breaks and very little time at home or taking care of the task at hand….then, we must question where our hearts are.

I heard Marilyn Howshall 10 years ago talk about too much running.  When you have to leave for an activity, you obviously need to quit early enough to get around to go.  Then you go to the activity, then when you get home it’s hard to get everyone corralled again to do chores or school or work on projects (or work on character!  ;) ).   One day of that is one thing, but when every single day is spent running all the time (I’m not talking about a short season of extra craziness!), then we–and the children!–start looking forward to the interruption and only half-heartedly apply ourselves to “doing the next thing” at hand.

I have been guiiiillllttyyyyyyyyy of this one more than I care to admit!   And it starts out so innocently!  “Just checking e-mails really quickly” turns into an hour (there’s a time warp in front of the computer, I’m sure of it!!!).  Or just a quick text to someone, and they reply, and you reply and…..well, you get the idea!

Even books can be an escape!  I’m not talking torrid romance novels, either!  I remember on one Mom’s list I used to be on,  a mom sharing how we can read all these good books about being a good wife, a good mom, a good homemaker, a good homeschooler, etc…..but eventually we need to put the books aside and just go be those things!

I think the hardest “escapes” to nail down are the ones that look so “responsible”.   If you are a very servant-hearted person, you can find yourself “ministering” to a lot of people….but not so much your family.  Or you’re not home to catch the little foxes before they destroy the vines.

With the advent of all our technology, it’s easy to even get caught “ministering” too much via e-mail, texting, etc. 

The best thing to do is to set some limits, allowing of course for emergencies!  Don’t get in bondage over this!   Someone may truly need you right now and other things can be put on hold.  But that should not be the norm!  :)

Another good thing to do is to be accountable.  Either write down how much time you spend on the phone/computer/texting/etc. or maybe a friend at church can ask you from time to time how you are doing in the areas you are most tempted.  Your husband can also hold you accountable, if that works for you.

Be very careful–the enemy may know he’ll never get you to rob a bank or leave your husband, but if he can get you busy “serving” and not realizing you are actually avoiding the character issues and tasks at home–and especially if it can be cloaked under the “serving” category–then he still wins some battles in your heart and home.

This is not something you “outgrow” or overcome once for all!  I still fight it! 

And one of the biggest ways to fight it is to make sure you are keeping intimacy with the Lord–seeking His face and staying close to His heart (vs. checking off your Bible reading list and prayer list).  Truly the “things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace”–but we must be meditating on, beholding and pursuing His glory and grace for its light to loosen our hold on earthly things and praise!

If I have thousands of people extolling my virtues and how I helped them, but I lose my own children–what will it profit me?

I’m not naive enough to think my work is done!  I still have some younger children that need nurtured and guided, and to be honest, it’s somewhat harder now because of all this technology tearing us away and apart, if we let it!

My prayer is that we will all stay focused on the most important work–keeping our hearts focused on Him and our families.





I believe I have shared about this website before, but I decided to again!


Belinda Letchford is from Australia, and she has a wonderful website that really covers a Learning Lifestyle quite well!   I will warn you–you could spend a lot of time there!  ;)


I love her “motto”:


“Homeschool:  Live Life with Your Kids!”


She has a wonderful e-zine that you can get in your inbox, too.   She and I must be kindred spirits!   Like me, she believes their walk with God and character are more important than academics.   Not that academics aren’t important, but they are after the other two! 


Click on Lifestyle Homeschool and be prepared to be refreshed!


I would just go systematically through the pages you are intersted in.  She has many links on each segment, so again–plan to spend some time or keep track of where you left off!  Easy to navigate and just a wealth of good stuff there!


Belinda has also written a few e-books which I’ve ordered and enjoy (need to get them printed off so I can enjoy them more!)


Do start by reading the first homepage and then click on the links!  :)


Mamas, whether your children are little ones, a mixture, or mostly grown, my best advice to you would be to keep focusing on relationships.   My older daughters and I have a wonderful relationship, and I intend to keep pursuing this with my younger ones, too!  My “middle child” will be 13 in 6 weeks, and I’m so pleased that we are good friends, too!


Next week I want to cover something I’m sure every mama does but always wants to do better–praying for our children!


Have a blessed weekend and remember to thank the Lord (and all the time!) for the freedom we have in our nation to train our children for Him!



(A cellist outstanding in her “field”!  :-D )