Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Moving Day.....

Good Bye Blogger.....  It's a new season of blogging for me...

Blessed Beyond a Doubt has moved here.

All my posts from this blog as well as my previous blog has been moved over to the new Blessed beyond a doubt...  Check out my new simple look!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Book Review ~ Amish Values for Your Family

This book is for readers who long for strong families that know how to truly enjoy life together, there is much to learn from the Amish. Values like community, forgiveness, simple living, obedience, and more can be your family legacy--without selling your car, changing your wardrobe, or moving out to farm country.

In Amish Values for Your Family, bestselling author Suzanne Woods Fisher shows how you can adopt the wisdom of the Amish when it comes to family matters. In this inspiring and practical book readers will find charming true stories interlaced with solid, biblical advice about parenting, marriage, and all aspects of family life. As readers get an intimate glimpse into the everyday lives of real Amish families, they will learn to prioritize what's truly important, simplify decision-making, slow down as a family, safeguard time together, and let go when the time comes.

My thoughts:

This was truly an easy, inspiring, and encouraging read. I have always been attracted to the Amish simple life style. Not that I have ever wanted to actually become Amish, but simply I marvel at their strong family values by living with less.  I really want my family to engage in a simple life centered around God.

The Amish Values for Your Family is written in simple terms and offers practical suggestions to enhance your family values at the end of each short chapter. I was encouraged by the chapter, Laundry Days.  The dedicated mother chose to continue washing her families laundry by hand rather than using a washing machine.  She valued that precious time because she prayed for each of her children during her laundry day.  Being a mother of 6 children, I often have loads of laundry and many tedious tasks that I tackle each day.  Praying to my Heavenly Father for my dear children puts a whole new light on my chores.

About the Author:

Her interest in the Amish began with her grandfather, W.D. Benedict, who was raised Plain. She has many, many Plain relatives living in Franklin County, Pennsylvania, and travels back to Pennsylvania, as well as to Ohio, a couple of times each year for research.

Suzanne has a great admiration for the Plain people and believes they provide wonderful examples to the world. In both her fiction and non-fiction books, she has an underlying theme: You don't have to "go Amish" to incorporate many of their principles--simplicity, living with less, appreciating nature, forgiving others more readily-- into your life.

When Suzanne isn't writing or bragging to her friends about her first new grandbaby (!), she is raising puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind. To Suzanne's way of thinking, you just can't take life too seriously when a puppy is tearing through your house with someone's underwear in its mouth.

Suzanne can be found on-line here.

Pondering on the Amish Proverbs in the beginning of each chapter is thought-provoking.  Also, words from the Amish themselves is intriguing and fill of wisdom. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is longing to live simple and practical.  A book full of wisdom and discernment from a biblical standpoint.  Great read for new families just starting out, too.  

Enter 8/15 - 8/31!

See what others think about this charming book, click here.    Interested?  Purchase here.

I received a free copy of Amish Values for Your Family from Litfuse in order to give you my honest opinion of it.

Monday, August 1, 2011

2011-2012 school year is in session.....

School is in session!  Many things to encounter and ponder on this year.  Our spine is the Wisdom booklets.  Our goal is to complete #3-8 this 2011-2012 school year.  We are loving the Wisdom Booklets and are growing spiritually and academically as a family.  A true blessing in our homeschool. 

Wisdom Booklets ~   for grades 5-9 and loosely with Grade 1

Grade 8 and  9 ~ my baby is in High School...
Making Math Meaningful ~ Level 6 and Algebra
Character Quality Language Arts ~ Green Series, Level B
Progeny Press Literature Guides ~ they will complete 2 this year and will read several biographies to enforce the Wisdom Booklets.
See the Light
Auto Upkeep with our homeschool group

Grade 5
Language Lessons for the Elementary Child
Spelling by Sound
Just Write 2
A Reason for Handwriting
Progeny Press Literature Guide , Pathway Readers, and reading several chapter books
Making Math Meaningful ~ completing Level 3 and 4

The boys are very active in 4H and each will complete a record book at the end of the school year.  They are also involved in the book club that meets monthly.  We read the book assigned as a read a loud during lunch time. 

Grade 1
Christ Centered Curriculum ~ completing B and will start C ~ I LOVE this phonics program!
Rays Arithmetic ~ Primary
A Reason for Handwriting
Heart of Dokota ~ using very loosly
Draw Write Now
RightStart Math Game

Pre K
Preschool ABC Series

And lots of Nature Reading books to browse during Book Basket Time daily.  I want to dedicate Fridays for Nature Notebooking for the little ones when the weather permits.  Also, we sing and dance to bible songs and read Leading Little Ones to God every morning.  The Princess dances like a hoot!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Faith alone....

I spent precious time in scripture and meditating on Philippians 3:1-11 yesterday.  I am seeking through the book of Philippians this summer with other ladies at Inspired by Action.  It actually is a 5 day week study, but I decided to peek into the next week.

The Holy Spirit spoke so clearly to me about the free gift of salvation. Honestly, I have never been convicted otherwise, but I find it mysterious why others believe that works is part of justification.  So I dug dipper into God's Holy Word.

The Holy Spirit revealed to me...

In Verse 2, Paul is diligently warning his brothers to use discernment because there are many false teachers out there. I believe he is talking about justification here.  Paul clearly states in verse 3, put no confidence in the flesh.  Paul is saying that true Christians do not trust in anything they do in order to earn their salvation.  My flesh provides nothing, zero.  Salvation is a gift of grace, Romans 6:23, Roman 3:24, and Titus 3:7.  Thank God for your mercy!  No one is righteous, no, not one!  Not even me.  Paul declares this in Romans 3:10.

Second, in verses 4-8, Paul is stressing that it is extremely foolish to boast in your religious credits or in your heritage.   Paul listed his impeccable Jewish credentials. He faithfully followed the Mosaic Law, yet he tells us in this verse that it is all rubbish when it comes to his salvation. I know that I can't earn my way to God by participating in any religious duty or ceremony. In verse 9, he tells his brother in Philippi that salvation is through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God.  Paul also explains that justification comes by faith in Romans 5:1.

Please don't misunderstand my point here about works, I strongly believe that when I was justified by faith I was regenerated in Christ.  My life was changed.  My real faith in Christ Jesus produces good works because He lives in me.  I whole heartily believe Romans 11:6But it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace.  Amen!  Thank you Lord for your grace because I so don't measure up to your righteousness.

How am I going to apply Paul's teaching to my life and teach the truth to my children?  Simply taking absolutely no credit for any thing I do.  I often get asked how on earth do I manage to stay sane while homeschooling my 6 children every day.  I 'm going to stress,  it's not me, it's Christ living within me.

I'm going to concentrate on my faith and not so much on the tedious things in life.  I am going to immerse my self  in God's Word daily. Whether or not, I wear a skirt or not, is rubbish!  Whether or not, I pop in a family friendly movie for my early risers while I complete my devotion each morning is rubbish!  Whether or not we worship to hymns or contemporary Christian music is rubbish to Him!  He wants us to have faith in Him!

I was highly encouraged by John MacArthurs teaching, Religious Credits Don't Impress God which pertains to the passages, Philippians 3:4-8. 

My prayer is that you will seek the truth in regards to justification by allowing the Holy Spirit to speak to you through His inspired word. It's all right there for you in His Word.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

WFMW ~ a clean room....

Call it whatever you wish, bribery, disciplining or parenting.  Whatever suits your fancy, but it works wonders for me.
 All 5 of my boys share the spacious loft upstairs bka, "The Man Cave."  We recently moved into this home, so sharing one bedroom amongst all 5 of them was a painful adjustment to say the least.  The older ones were complaining that the little ones were slobs.   Imagine that?

Oh yes, I am taking credit for this one.....

I have a "deal" with the 3 younger ones....

If their room is "mommy" cleaned before supper, they each get a Popsicle after Sissy goes to bed.  However, there are several stipulations...

*  I will remind them only once about 30 minutes before serving time
*  There will be no fighting, yelling, choking, spitting, or whining during clean up
*  Everyone must do their share
* An older sibling will inspect before supper begins

VIOLA.......Their room is always clean, organized, and perfect before supper!

Can I hear an AMEN or two!

What bribery compromise works for you and your children?

Visit We Are That Family for more genius ideas.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

The true joy of my motherhood.....

I've been pondering and reflecting on the last 6 months..... There have been praises, blessings, major changes, disappointments, and confusion, but one thing remains so true to my heart.  I adore having my 6 children at home with me every day.  Do I encounter disappointments and confusions in my season of motherhood?  Absolutely!  But the latter side of the coin, is incredible joy!  

We live in such a fallen world today where children are view as burdens, costly, and time consuming.  I agree with the third point, yes, children are time consuming.  If you train your child in the way he shall go, most of your time will revolt around your children.  Whether it is wiping a runny nose, spanking a bottom, or simply holding a child when a family pet expires, it takes your time.  No denials there.

My dh and I have made a vow to trust the Lord with our family size.  We have been mocked and been called crazy, irresponsible, and ignorant even in our own home.  I would be denying the fact that their comments do not stir hurt or pain.  It does.  It's not so much their secular opinion of me that dives deep, but when looking at my children, my heart aches.  Each one of our blessings is unique and wonderfully made.  They were created in His image.  Don't get me wrong, my children are greatly loved outside our immediate family which is a true blessing.  But to think that we are foolish to have so many children, confuses me.  Which child was the foolish decision?

I often hear friends say they can't afford to have any more children and have voluntarily discontinued fertility at 2 children, which seems to be the popular norm in America.  I agree most families can't afford to have more children if they continue to reside in their current lifestyle.  Most choose the luxurious house with all the latest gadgets, but it seems relatively odd to me that most aren't home enough to enjoy their possessions because they are too busy running their children to soccer, ballet, play practice and whatever their neighbor kids are partaking in.  Which in deed,  cost money. None of these things are necessarily wrong, but one must know moderation which seems to be the culprit to the dysfunctional family values today.

We have elected to live a simple life by choice not by foolishness.  We have chosen to value life rather than things. We have made the decision not to own new cars, to live in a over sized home , and not hug Mickey Mouse every year, but have chosen to welcome each new blessing into our family.  Just simple living by seeking His will for our lives.  I find joy in spending time with my children in our simple home every day guided by the Spirit.  It's a choice.

This is the true joy of my motherhood. 

1John 1:15-17 has been on my heart in the last few weeks of pondering...

15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world. 17 And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

His Word ~ Part 1

For many years it has been on my heart to memorize scripture.  I have never been successful at it, perhaps memorizing a verse here and there, but I definitely would not win any awards. In other words, I have failed at every attempt.   Shamefully , my children can probably sincerely recite more verses than I can. I set out two years ago to memorize Psalm 23 and still don't have it hidden in my heart.

I could blame it on the fact, that I was not expose to scripture until my adult life, but that was 11 years ago.  So for one of my summer of purpose goals, I decided to memorize Psalm 51.  Honestly, it seemed like it would be easier for me to run a marathon than instill Psalm 51 in my heart because half the time I forget my own name.  BTW ~ I can't even run to the mailbox without panting.  LOL!   Immediately, I started to be in earnest prayer for the Spirit to work in my mind and heart to assist me in this what seemed like a hopeless goal. 

Within a day or two, the Lord answered my prayer.  I was discussing my goal with a friend at church and she suggested a book she read, His Word in my Heart by Janet Piper.  I ordered the book online, but began to initiate memorizing Psalm 51 while anticipating it's arrival.  I was slowly, but surely memorizing the Psalm, but not as intensely as I desired.  

After receiving and indulging in the book, I was so encouraged by Mrs. Piper's diligence in memorizing whole chapters and books of scripture at a given time instead of memorizing random verses.  It all makes so much sense to me now.  Memorizing and meditating on chapters or whole books truly engraves God's whole message to me in my heart, teaches me who He is, and what He expects of me.   Oh, how I long to know and please Him.
I have a much grander goal than just memorizing scripture, but to grow intimately with my heavenly Father.  Hiding His Word in my heart has never had so much spiritual power in my life than in the last few weeks.  I have more joy throughout the day, when I utilize my time to meditate on His promises and His love for me. There are more minutes in a day for me now.  Imagine that!  I can mange to Hide His Word in my heart while training my 6 children at home with His help.  If He requires me to know His Word and to keep His Word within my heart then He will guide me. I strongly believe we can keep His commands if we seek Him.  Something I wasn't pursuing before. 

I encourage you to start with a favorite chapter in the bible and to study, memorize, and to meditate on one verse per day.  Don't move on to the next verse until it's hidden in your heart.  Sometimes it takes me a day to work on one verse, other verses it takes me additional time.  It's not about quantity, but quality.  I sometimes feel led to spend several days meditating on a specific verse to encounter the message God is teaching me. 

What is your favorite scripture that you have hidden in your heart?

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. – Psalms 119:105