Spiritual Anorexia

 Is your Bible woven intricately into every area of your life? Does it consume you? Do you understand the thoughts of the Psalmist saying ‘As the deer pants for the water so my soul longs after you’?

That phrase used to confuse me. I’d think to myself, “I’m not desperate for my quiet time with God like a thirsty deer hunting for a stream.’ I figured the Bible teachers I’d heard mention it must be faking that feeling….

At that same time the thought confused me I was starving for help and life was getting to be way more than I could handle. I hadn’t realized yet where my nourishment came from and I was bordering on spiritual anorexia.

As my hubby says, if you’re not going to eat your spiritual food don’t complain about your hunger pains!

When was the last time you devoured your Bible? Not a Bible study book…. not a commentary… not a Christian living or devotional book… but the tried and true Word of God all on its own? … for more than 5 or 10 minutes???

We are pretty big on getting people into Scripture in these parts because many of us have experienced the awesome consequences time after time in our own lives, and we are so excited to pass on the simple advice that will change other’s lives, too!

We’ve watched as prison walls have been torn down in lives over and over. We’ve also had to watch the consequences of many who don’t love on their Bibles, too… and it ain’t pretty. Hard to witness such things, but praise God for the many who He teaches to ‘pant for the living water’ and those that are washed by the Word daily!

As you pick up your Bible today, and every day, think of these words I found in my bible study notes from a couple of years ago (I preach to myself CONSTANTLY 😅) because maybe you need this reminder, too?

Always be willing to revisit the word of God. He is constantly revealing more of himself to the christian through it. Always ask Scripture good hard questions, it can handle it. Whether you will bear it or not may be a different story. Ask God to help you handle it.

Prepare yourself to be cut and maimed and destroyed every time you open the Word. God uses it to cut away every bit of self government and reason humanly speaking, and works to bring you under the subjection of the One who holds the sword, no matter what He may say.

Always be humble enough to hear other men’s views on what those inspired pages say but wise enough to honestly sift them through the whole of Scripture to see if they are in keeping with the Word – not necessarily in keeping with what you have always understood the Word to say.

Jump into your Bible today! Expect BIG THINGS!

Haven’t heard about the Bible Challenge? Here it is in a nutshell… It’s an awesome addiction.

~Shannon

Some Favourites & My 2019 Word

So my Word for 2019 is Quiet.

I told my husband not to get too excited. Not the kind of quiet that keeps me from sharing my opinion, asking questions, or generally talking up a storm. That would take a super miraculous, end of times, kind of act of God 😅.

No, the ‘quiet’ I’m talking about is what Psalm 91 talks about. Be quiet and trust God to take care of things…. he is able. I need this word to be active and full force right now. So I’m working at memorizing this amazingly comforting chapter.

In December I had been thinking about how I wanted to jump out of the boat like Peter did and learn by doing. He headed into the crazy-hard, life threatening experience with just Jesus to look to and learned how capable God is of handling his storms and bringing quiet to a troubled soul…. then Nikki surprised me with the AMAZING piece of art by one of my favourite painters in the world!!! Gasp!

I now have a constant beautiful reminder of Gods sovereignty in my troubled waters, right here in my living room. I sneak a peek at it often each day. Glory.

I do not have Facebook but here is Holly’s Art page for you to check out. Let me know if the link doesn’t work! I’ll have to console myself if you buy all my favourites. 😉

What’s your word for 2019? Leave it in the comments!

Another new year kind of habit you can start is to become a bookworm. So often I meet up with a lady who says she’s not much of a reader. It makes me sad…. and frustrated for them. If you aren’t reading you are missing out! Be a reader! Be teachable! There are so many ideas to mull over and stretch your brain!

Fit To Burst is my latest read. FANTASTIC! My sister gave it to me for Christmas and it is a must read! 🙌🏻 Praise hands all around🙌🏻! You could finish it in an afternoon. Not a big book, but it is PACKED with goodness.

To help you on your way to become a lover of books here’s a link Charmin sent me just this morning that my husband and I are going to give a try.

2019 BOOK CHALLENGE

I’m following the directions and beginning with the light list and see how far I can get. 2018 was a challenging year for me and I only got through 13 books. 😔😔😔 But maybe this year will be different.

And last but not least. Please check out this AWESOME SERMON . I laughed out loud, wanted to wave some hankies, and contend for the faith a lot more by the time all 28 min of this message were complete!

Hopefully I’ll be able to share some favourite things like in this post every couple of weeks. So if you enjoy these links make sure you ‘follow’ this site to know when more are posted!

~Shannon

One Word for 2019

It changed entire years when I started. It wasn’t like those New Year’s resolutions that you get depressed about because you fail almost as quickly as you start. This is totally different.

Some blog, somewhere long ago, gave the idea to choose a word/theme to work on for the new year in place of setting resolutions. You have a whole 365 days to learn, mull over, make progress in your word. It changed my life!

My first year with this idea I think I chose the word ‘Prepare’.  I was tired of always feeling under the gun, like I would be late, not have enough food, not have that gift ready, etc. So I began, day by day, focusing on preparation for the day ahead. I was learning to think of what would be expected of me in the next 24 hours and what I could do to best take control of my domain. I didn’t set a resolution of having every single thing prepared for every single day, or I would have felt defeated within a very short time. Instead I tweaked how I did things each day as I progressed a little at a time and created new habits both in thought and action that made my life go more smoothly as the year progressed. I learned so much without being overwhelmed! And many of the lessons I learned that year while caring for my home and family are now implemented to prepare for our conferences each fall!

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In other years the words I’ve chosen have been Simplify, Organize, Family, Surrender…. And every single one has been used by God to teach me much throughout the 12 months I’m focused on it.

My 2018 word has been Hearts. The word Hearts has been written on my little Dollar Store chalkboard sign in my kitchen since January 1st of this year. A constant reminder that all day every day I am preparing for, molding, feeding, reprimanding, cleaning for, spending time with, HEARTS.

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When my door bell rings I am meeting another heart that has just as many emotions and worldly cares as I do. When my child comes down the stairs in the morning and sits at the counter with bedhead and asks what’s for breakfast, I am looking at a fragile being that I can make or break with how I respond and speak. I’m interacting with hearts all day, every day.

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A number of times I’d catch a glimpse of my Heart sign and have immediate twinges of guilt because I had forgotten my important word and knew I had failed much. I was also thankful for the visual right there to remind me before I lost too much time. God is gracious and I have learned much this year about myself and God has been kind and not allowed me to lose my mind as I waited up many late nights for my ‘hearts’ to return home after evenings of hockey games, campfires, and random fun times with friends. This past weekend I automatically thought of all the Hearts involved as I waded through the mounds of boots and jackets and toys and food scraps from my house full of family and friends saying goodbye to some special people who will be moving soon.

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Hearts… I’ve been given a new focus for the people in my world this year. I see them differently. I have been humbled, given courage from, learned to care deeply for, and connected on a whole new level with the hearts in my world.

As you can tell from our pictures we often have a houseful. We love having our family and friends around us. I have had to let my dreams of a Pinterest style home go, and enjoy the relationships with all my people. The words that I’ve chosen over the years have all lended themselves to this same conviction that our life is about relationships. When I chose ‘Simplify’, I realized I was simplifying so that we could enjoy the right things, not the extras that weren’t eternal. When I chose ‘Organize’, life for all my people became easier and more enjoyable and we were able to include more relationships into our days. When the word was ‘Family’, I learned to focus more on my innermost circle because its super easy for me to get caught up in all the action going on around me. The ‘Surrender’ year taught me that I was selfish and need to let go of a lot of my own wishes because there were others I live with all day every day that had wishes, needs, and dreams too.

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I can’t even hope to pretend that I’ve mastered any of those areas. But since that wasn’t the point, learning was, I can walk away from those years thankful and know that I’ve grown and made some progress.

So, since this simple practice has changed my life in a bigger way than I ever expected, I want to share the idea with you. Take the month of December to think about your word for 2019. Ask God if He’s got a word already picked out for you. 😉

I’d love to know what word you decide to conquer!!!

~Shannon

Add this to your Bible Challenge!

Another Bible Challenge update for you. This time I’ve added one of my favourite and most helpful ideas to the video. You just might want to adopt it as well! 🙂

New here? Check out the previous videos to catch up:

Bible Challenge Introduction 
Bible Snippets 1
Bible Snippets 2  

Have you been trying the challenge out? I’d love to hear from you! The testimonials I’ve heard so far have been wonderful!

~Shannon

Bible Challenge Snippets 1

So excited to hear how many are jumping in to this Bible Challenge, and the difference it’s making in their lives already! Praise God for the simplicity of reading the Bible and how He works through it!!

Here’s an update for those interested, with some snippets from my conversations with Jenn (fellow Bible Addict). Feel free to watch and stay tuned for more thoughts in this journey of loving your Bible.

Here’s the link to Video Introduction to the Bible Challenge. If you don’t want to watch the video, I’ve added the poster to the bottom of this post to give you the challenge in a nutshell.

Challenge poster

~Shannon

 

 

A 2018 Challenge

Here’s something I’ve wanted to pass on for a looooong time. I just used my iPhone, and it isn’t awesome quality, but that’s not the point…. When I say this will change your life, I do not say that lightly. I hope to be sharing often this year on the blog all the ways this simple challenge has made a difference for me since I began 19 years ago. Check it out and I double-dog dare you to try it! 😉Challenge poster

 

 

~Shannon

Summer Appetites

Summer is here. And if your family is anything like mine summer can take on a life of its own. The sun is out longer and there are so many activities that can be fit into a day, and before you know it life is at a whirlwind pace.

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I’m asking all of us moms to consider taking a step back and enjoying the old fashioned kind of summer. You know, the kind that enjoys time at home with family & friends, and taking the opportunity to learn to work.

Way back, like 20 years ago, when I was watching a documentary, I heard a mom of many say that she wanted her children to love being home and so she worked hard at staying home and making it a great place to be. They didn’t run the roads or sign up for programs. They just enjoyed home. She cultivated that and created an appetite in her children to love and care for home. I think that when you are content at home you lose the need for constant gratification elsewhere. I love being home and I love it when my kids want to invite others over. Our house is full. A lot. I love it. It is exactly what I would wish. I have been thankful for that lady’s testimony many times over the years as it reminded me of that same goal in my life.

Through the summer we take ample time to sit by the pool and relax. So thankful for downtime. But summer is also when we have had the majority of time to work on our kids work ethic throughout the years. Berry picking, lawn mowing, wood stacking, yard cleanup…. so many opportunities to cultivate a love of working hard. Plus, as they get older and better at it they can work away from home and have money in the bank and learn to save, and spend wisely with ever-watchful dad & mom showing how its done. It’s not easy to cultivate the appetite for hard work in young children. There were a few days this momma just cried, and still does. It’s rough sometimes and I’m a weak and frail and a selfish human being. But there were so many more days that gave hope. On those hard days I remember Proverbs 31 says that, ‘She shall rejoice in time to come…” Not now. Now is the hard work. But in time, after we have sown many many many seeds, we reap a bountiful harvest.

So while you enjoy all the things summer is to you, remember you are creating appetites. You are sowing seeds in your children that will reap a bountiful harvest. Make sure you are sowing the right seeds so that you will be thrilled at what you see when it’s ripe and ready!!

~Shannon

Getting Prepared for a Conference

We are entering the season of homeschool conferences, and if you have ever attended a conference you know that it can be an overwhelming experience. There are a lot of people, a whole bunch of vendors, thousands of books, and so much information. It really helps to go prepared for the onslaught of awesomeness… Complete with random pic’s from life that I love. 🙂

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I always feel a bit sorry for ladies when they tell me they have been homeschooling for a number of years and have never attended a conference. If you are one of those ladies I hope this year you will try to make it to at least one and see what you are missing. There is so much out there to learn and be encouraged by!

Charmin, Cheryl, and I have complied a list of things that we believe will help you to get the most out of your conference experience. Check them out:

  1. Make sure you know what your homeschooling style is!  It helps to know your ‘flavour’ when you make your list and are talking to the vendors in order to be more directed. Often the vendor is excited about something that doesn’t suit me at all – not a bad curriculum, just not a good choice for my situation. I’m a victim of marketing and am drawn to programs that aren’t a good choice for us for whatever reason, and then I talk to the vendors and they recommend other programs and I want it all. I don’t consider my teaching style, my schedule, my educational goals, how demanding my established programs are. I open a catalog or look at a website and I want them all. The more I understand myself and my situation, the more prepared I am to help the vendor find what I need. I am like the waves driven by the wind and tossed without an idea of my needs and strengths. Which brings us to the most important advice of all….
  2. Spend some time praying and asking the Lord for help in choosing.
  3. Write down and list curriculum and books that you are interested in for each child. Less brain work for you as you search for them. You can take a look at them in depth at the conference and make sure it’s going to work for your family.
  4. Contact the vendors prior to the conference (don’t wait until a day or two before. They have a lot of prep work and are very busy the week before a conference!) and ask them if they could have what you’re interested in on hand at the conference. They have a lot of inventory and cannot possible know what everyone would like to see on their table and they can’t bring all their wares, so it’s helpful to know what you are interested in.
  5. Don’t be afraid to bring your homeschool supplies catalogues that you have marked up and sticky-noted.
  6. ALWAYS check for books on sale second hand first. If you can save money on the things you need that frees up some cash for extras and fun stuff at the conference. Swap & Sell sites are good and Cheryl always has lots of inventory at HomeGrown Homeschool Consignment & Supplies. A quick message to her and she can tell you if she has what you’re looking for. The prices there are great! Look for HomeGrown on Facebook as well.
  7. Bring pens and a notebook to jot down new curriculum or ideas/thoughts and big, heavy duty shopping bag or backpack to carry your goodies (books get heavy).
  8. Bring a homeschooling friend to help you make decisions and bounce ideas off of. I’s always more fun with a friend.
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  10. Write down any questions you will want to ask the speakers/ vendors/ friends & new acquaintances.
  11. Don’t just talk to people you know about what curriculum they use and how they ‘do’ homeschool. Part of the great experience at a conference is seeing homeschool through someone else’s eyes. You don’t have all the answers & best methods, and neither does the next lady. Chatting together about what we each do opens us up to new possibilities…. or confirms that where we are at is perfect for us.img_6482
  12. Talk to ladies who are far ahead of where you are at. Do you see older children that have learned and are accomplished in
    areas that fits with your homeschooling vision? Talk to that mom that has already accomplished those same sorts of goals. Don’t just talk to mothers that are in the same season you are in.
  13. And last, but definitely not least!… Read ‘Lies Homeschooling Moms Believe’ by Todd Wilson. This will help you keep your wits about you when you see those seemingly perfect perky homeschooling moms walking around the conference area. You know, the ones whom you are sure have got it all figured out. This will help you see that they aren’t perfect and have ha
    rd days and mess up just the same as you… It will also take the pressure off of trying to appear like you have it all together and how discouraging that is to all of us other moms when you do that.

So that’s what we came up with. We hope this helps! Please feel free to leave a comment if you have thought of something we’ve left out. And if you see us at a conference come on over and say hello. We look forward to meeting you!
~Shannon