Homeschooling with All Your HEART

Homeschooling with All Your HEART
Since today is Valentine's Day, I thought it would be a perfect time to share a bit from a workshop I'll be teaching in Reno at the end of the month. The theme the leadership has chosen is "With All Your Heart," and after much prayer and consideration, I'll be teaching about three "heartfelt" principles from Scripture to keep us on track and homeschooling with all our hearts.

As you likely already know, this calling is not for the faint of heart! Thankfully, we have the Word of God to exhort and encourage us, so let's dig in and see what Scripture has for us!

Proverbs 4:23 Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. 

CHECK YOUR HEART - It's important to schedule spiritual "cardiology" appointments!
First, have our hearts been deceiving us? Jeremiah 17:9 tells us that our hearts are deceitful and desperately wicked. Friends, we should NOT follow our hearts! However, Ezekiel 36:26 gives a great promise. God will give us a NEW heart and a NEW spirit! Once we have accepted His gift of salvation, we are no longer under condemnation (Romans 8:1); we are set free from the law of sin and death. Therefore, we can have confidence in our calling! Check out these words from 1 John 3:20-22:

If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from him anything we ask, because we keep his commands and do what pleases him.

When we walk in confidence instead of condemnation, we can courageously live out our God-given purpose. If we follow the world’s advice–follow your heart–we will end up pursuing our own agenda, our own purposes. But when we align our hearts with God’s, we find that by themselves, our purposes are far too small. God’s eternal purposes are far more glorious! And when we are living on purpose–for HIS purposes–we can persevere even when things get difficult (Rom. 5:3-4). And that leads to our next encouraging principle…

DON’T LOSE HEART - What do you do when you are downhearted?
2 Corinthians 4:16-18 begins with these wonderful words: "Therefore we do not lose heart." The passage goes on to say that "our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." Perhaps our earthly struggles don't feel light. In fact, they can feel downright heavy. Praise God, though we have a High Priest who understands our weaknesses. Hebrews 12:2-3 invites us to consider Jesus, "who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart."

And I can't help but refer to one of my favorite "Momming" verses, Galatians 6:9, "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up."

When we refuse to lose heart–when we consider what Jesus has done for us–when we think about how superior eternity is to our temporary circumstances–when we remember a harvest is coming!–we can dream God-sized dreams; we can envision and pray about possibilities far beyond the day-to-day tasks. I don’t know about you, but when God lays dreams on my heart, I get pretty fired up! Praying about the possibilities actually spurs us to be more productive, to be good stewards of the time, energy, and resources he has given us. 

SET YOUR HEART - What are the greatest desires of your heart?
We don’t usually get to choose our circumstances–but we CAN choose our response to our circumstances. When we have new hearts and the Holy Spirit guiding us, we get to direct our hearts to align with God's.

Psalm 119:30 I have chosen the way of truth; I have set my heart on your laws.
Colossians 3:1-2 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.

When we align our hearts with God’s, we find more and more our hearts are longing for eternity. We find a growing passion for the things that glorify Him. And guess what? God doesn’t call us to lay down who we are! He created us for His own good purposes, yes, but also to blossom and grow into WHO He made us uniquely to be! So when we walk in these God-given passions, living out the desires of our heart (which He has given us, Psalm 37:4), we actually end up fulfilling our God-given purpose. 

Dear Mama, take heart! Jesus knew we would have troubles in this world, but He promised that He has already overcome the world. We can trust Him with our hearts!

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NEW! The BE ROOTED Program

NEW! The BE ROOTED Program
The last month has been full: I had the privilege of being one of the workshop speakers at the Teach Them Diligently homeschool convention in Round Rock, Texas, where I presented a session with the following title:

Be Rooted in Your Homeschool:
Survive, Sustain, & Succeed for the Long Haul!

What a joy to meet and fellowship with like-minded homeschool moms and dads, who are educating their children not simply for all of the wonderful FRUITS homeschooling can provide, but also because they desire to help ROOT their children in the love and truth of God.

My convention session provided an opportunity to share our testimony. And God used it to confirm a calling that He put on my heart to speak to and mentor Christian homeschool mamas. Two weeks after the conference I offered a free virtual webinar (still available to view) to dive a little deeper into the 3Ps of the homeschool seed:


I'm so excited to launch the BE ROOTED program, a 6-week discipleship and coaching program specifically for Christian homeschool mamas who desire to raise kingdom-minded disciples of Jesus. You can learn more about the program here!

I know there may be questions...feel free to contact me and we can set up a time for a quick chat to see if this is the next right step for YOU in your homeschool journey.
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How to Stand Strong in 2023

How to Stand Strong in 2023
As I prayed about how the Lord would have me direct my focus this year, I kept coming back to the image of a tree. Some of my favorite Scripture memory passages talk about trees. (I’ll share more about those in posts to come!) And recently, as I looked at some bracelets hanging on my jewelry board, I remembered a theme we discussed in a women’s Bible study some years back.

Be Rooted.

These are the words on a bracelet I purchased partly to support a friend’s fundraiser and partly to remind myself of what we were learning as we took a deep dive into Colossians 2:6-7. 

“So then, just as you have received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.”

Let’s break it down…

First of all, have you received Christ Jesus as Lord? This means you’ve recognized that your sins have separated you from our holy Creator God; that you’ve accepted the death of Jesus on the cross in your place; and that in believing in his death and resurrection, you’ve received forgiveness for your sins and have a relationship with God that will last for all eternity! Oh, sister, I hope this is true for you! Whether or not it is, I invite you to meditate for at least a few minutes on some words just a few verses down, Colossians 2:13-15.

So for those who have received Christ as Lord, we are instructed to:
  • Continue to live in him…
  • Rooted and built up in him…
  • Strengthened in the faith as we were taught…
  • And overflowing with thankfulness. (Notice how each part builds on the previous phrase?)
If you’re an English nerd like me, you may find it interesting that only the first and last parts of the instruction are active on our parts. The rest is passive. Being rooted and built up in Christ, being strengthened in the faith, even the teaching of that faith–all of those things are done FOR us! A seed doesn’t actively decide to send down roots as it grows. It just happens–provided, of course, that the conditions are right for that seed to grow! Likewise, our “rootedness” comes about as a work of grace on our behalf. We certainly have choices when it comes to the conditions surrounding our seed, though, don’t we?

To foster conditions that would yield strong spiritual roots, I would suggest…
  • Watering our seed daily with the Word (Colossians 3:16, Isaiah 55:10-11)
  • Prayerfully spending time with the Son (see what I did there?! Son…sun…get it?!) (Colossians 4:2-4, 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)
  • Guarding our hearts and minds, choosing to meditate on that which is true, pure, lovely, admirable… (Colossians 3:1-3, Philippians 4:8)
Dear homeschool mama, as this new year begins, are you rooted? I pray you are and that you know what to do to keep from being tossed by the storms of life! When YOU are rooted in your own relationship with Jesus, your children will learn to be rooted as well (just like the verse says, “strengthened in the faith as you were taught”). And helping our children be rooted in their own relationship with Christ will prepare them to fulfill God’s purposes in their own generation!

If you're not already in our supportive community for homeschool moms, I invite you to join us so you can receive encouragement as you grow your roots and help your children do the same!

And if these verses and thoughts resonate with you, I invite you to dig a little deeper with me in this 7-day "Be Rooted" challenge. No sales, no spam, just short, daily emails with a more in-depth look at Colossians 2:6-7. If you don't already have a Bible study going, this might be a way to get back into the Word. And if you do, perhaps the daily opportunity to meditate on this portion of Scripture will encourage you to BE ROOTED!

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From Heartache to Hope

From Heartache to Hope
Earlier this year I had the privilege of being one of the speakers for the Wives of Integrity Conference. My workshop session was titled "From Heartache to Hope." It was a joy and an honor to be able to speak to many other Christian women about how to move from heartache and trauma to finding hope and even joy after difficult circumstances.

That workshop and all the related materials were behind a paywall for a period of time. I'm excited that I can now make it available to others, and I would like to give you access at no charge

In the session, I share the testimony of our journey with Verity. If you haven't heard that story, it's definitely worth a listen!

We also take a deep dive into the beautiful truths of Romans 5:1-5. If you love studying God's Word, I believe you will be blessed and encouraged by this session.

If you're already on my emailing list, you should receive the links and tools for this program via email this week. However, if you're not receiving my updates, you can access From Heartache to Hope here.

The program includes access to the 35-minute teaching video, a note-taking guide, the HOPE Spectrum tool, and HOPE Scripture cards.

If the title resonates with you, I hope you can carve out some time for yourself to fill up your cup so that you can encourage and bless others.

If you are currently in a season of heartache, I pray the God of hope will fill you with all joy and peace.

If you are currently in a season of hope, I pray our God will use YOU to shine His light and truth in a dark world.
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Our View of Suffering

Our View of Suffering
"Our suffering should not change our view of God; our God should change our view of suffering." 
--Jordan Wootten

This quote in our Bible study stood out to me this past week. While our family isn't in a season of suffering now, we certainly have experienced our share of trials in various forms. Lately we've found ourselves walking alongside dear friends who are facing extremely painful circumstances. And even beyond our small circles, we grieve and pray for those facing devastation beyond description such as hurricane damage or war crimes.

The older I get, the more I mourn over the brokenness in this world. It wasn't supposed to be this way. Parents aren't supposed to lose their children. Innocent civilians aren't supposed to be brutally murdered. Places of safety aren't supposed to be upended. And yet here we are, clear evidence of the toll sin has taken on our planet and all the inhabitants thereof, down through the ages. 

Ironically, though, the more I mourn, the more fiercely I cling to true hope and PEACE. The very fact that life isn't supposed to be this way points me to the promise of healing and redemption to come. One day true justice will be administered; one day every tear will be wiped away. At that time, "at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." Phil. 2:11

Another verse from our study in Romans is appropriate to ponder here: "Do you show contempt for the riches of His kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God's kindness leads you toward repentance?" Rom. 2:4

"The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance." 2 Peter 3:9

"Bear in mind that our Lord's patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him." 2 Peter 3:15

**Study referenced: RightNow Presents The Book of Romans: Part 1 STUDY GUIDE
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