living on pb & j

Ordinary moms living on Prayer, the Bible, and Jesus!


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What I Have Learned So Far: Some Encouragement for Homeschooling Moms

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Of all the days of the week, Tuesday is probably my least favorite day. Why? It is the one day out of the work week when my hubby doesn’t come home for lunch. He is usually only home for 30 minutes, but even in just 30 minutes, he makes such a difference in my day, and in our children’s day. When he is home we usually share with Daddy how our morning has gone, which for the kids involves playing and having our school time, and for Mommy it means laundry, keeping an active 2-year-old boy from eating cat food or playing in the toilet, and teaching during school time.

This is our first year of homeschooling. Our oldest is in K5 and our next oldest is in K4.

Even in the short time our family has been homeschooling, the Lord has taught me so much. I am so thankful for His patience with me as I’m learning these lessons over and OVER again.

A few things I’m learning:

1. Be flexible. I’m a pretty organized person, so I don’t like to differ from a schedule. Homeschooling (and motherhood in general) has definitely taught me to not be ruled by a schedule but by the needs of one or more of my children on that particular day. It may mean changing the setting (room) of where we are doing school or just taking a break from school to address a heart attitude.

2. School is not limited to the pages of our curriculum. The most valuable lessons I will teach my children on any given day do not come from our lesson plans. The most important textbook I can use, and must use in light of eternity, is God’s Holy Word. Someday all my children will be able to read and to count and do all things considered important academically, but if they don’t learn about our Creator God and His redemptive plan in sending His Son, Jesus Christ, to the cross to pay for the sins of the whole world, then I have failed in teaching them what is truly important. Also, are my children seeing in me daily examples of what to do when things don’t go as planned? Am I being patient, using soft words, having an attitude of thankfulness and showing Christ’s love in my actions and reactions? A missionary’s wife that came to our church recently talked about not looking at situations in life as interruptions, but as opportunities to teach God’s truth. This has really helped change my perspective when things don’t go as I would have planned.

“And these words, which I command these this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.”
Deuteronomy 6: 6-7

3. It is because of God’s enabling power that I am able to homeschool my children. So many days we have come to the school portion of our day, and truthfully, my heart has not been in it. What we started with great excitement in August, somewhere along the line has fizzled out. I need God’s constant reminder that His strength is perfect in my weakness. We pray before we being school each day. It seems like I can always tell when I fail to start this way. Even on our most discouraging days when it seems that no one wants to pay attention or work together to get something done, God can still help me to find joy just by doing what He wants me to do.

 “Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in Thy presence is fulness of joy; at Thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.”
Psalm 16:11

4. Staying in touch with other homeschooling moms has been a great source for advice and encouragement. I am so blessed to know several other homeschooling moms. All of them have been a blessing to me at one time or another. It helps so much to know moms who have “been there, done that” so that I may reap their advice. Many times the encouraging words of another homeschooling mom have been used by God to turn my day around. I pray that God can use me to be an encouragement to other homeschooling moms someday as the ladies who God has put into my life have been to me.

“Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellers there is safety.”
Proverbs 11:14

A couple of these ladies have shared some encouraging thoughts with me that I would like to share with you:

“Something that I actually read in a blog recently has been a huge encouragement to me. It was a reminder from Deut. 6 that the only “curriculum” that the Bible requires parents to teach their children is to fear God and keep His commandments. It’s so easy to get caught up in comparing what you’re teaching (or what body of knowledge your children have) to others. While I believe we have a responsibility to teach our children certain things in order to function in society and be used of God, the standard I should be comparing my homeschooling to is Deut. 6 and similar verses/concepts in Scripture. This was an encouragement to me again today as we have had so much sickness in our house and business with purchasing a new home over the last few weeks. It has made school very difficult and I start to get very discouraged. But through Deut. 6 I’m reminded that my kids are watching and learning from my reactions to all of the sickness and stress. The academics can wait until another day when we’re sick. But the discipling cannot.” – Rebekah G.

“First: make sure you are homeschooling for the right reason!  For the Glory of God & not for others, because not many “others” will give you “glory” for homeschooling!  In that, make sure you are called to homeschooling, because if not, you’ll give up when the going gets rough!  And it will get rough ~ there are no substitute teachers in the homeschooling world!
Second: Character is MORE important than reading, writing & arithmetic!  That said, many a day “school” didn’t get “done” at my house, as we sat and straightened our heart and attitude! Third: get a mentor and friend [maybe even a few!]  who can encourage you in the Lord and in your curriculum!  You will need her to hold you up in prayers!  You will need her to dry you tears & shove you back in the ring.  You will need her when you don’t know “where to go from here” with your curriculum! God bless you, homeschool Mama!  You are doing the most important job in the world!  Money can’t buy time with your children. As a mom with a high-schooler, I can tell you “The days are slow but the years are fast!” Hold on to every moment!  But you DON’T have to make a every moment a “teaching” moment! Just ENJOY!!!!!” -Jamieson B.
If you’re a homeschooling mom and this day hasn’t gone as you had planned, take heart. God knows what you’re going through and He will give you strength and hope to keep pressing on. He loves you and your children. Look to Him for the task which in your strength is impossible but through His strength can be accomplished.
“Ah Lord GOD! behold, Thou hast made the heaven and the earth by Thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for Thee:”
Jeremiah 32:17


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Stress-Free Sunday

It’s Sunday afternoon and I’m exhausted!  My son woke up in the middle of the night screaming his head off due to YET ANOTHER ear infection. It was a “fun” night not filled with much sleep. I got out of bed later then I should have, had to deal with a very cranky boy, and got my daughter and myself out the door in time for church.

This morning could have been VERY stressful and I will admit it was not one of my favorites,but a few things that I started doing a while ago saved the day.

Sundays, in general, are stressful. It means getting your family, nicely dressed, to church, fed and happy by a certain time. It is also the day that the devil seems to attack MOST families. If you are pastor’s wife or a single mom, it means that you are probably getting your family ready by yourself.

After a few years of stressful Sundays, I decided I would have to eliminate the stress. Since, eliminating church was not an option, I came up with a few ideas that would help me. I have shared this post in the past, but since it’s been so helpful to me, I felt I must share it again for those who may have not seen it.

PREPARATION IS KEY

1. Start preparing on FRIDAY

Because the devil is smart and my flesh can be lazy, I start 2 days out so that I am prepared and ready. Saturday can be busy and stressful which, in turn, can make Sunday stressful.

I pick out and iron all of our Sunday clothes on Friday so that they are ready to go. Then I finish all the laundry from the week and put it away. Finally, I do a thorough cleaning of the house.  This way there is a more relaxed atmosphere for the weekend. Then, I don’t clean or do laundry again until Monday. I mean how much damage can the family do in 2 days. HAHAHAHA BUT, seriously, it does help.

2. Prepare on Saturday

I give the children each a bath on Saturday night. The next morning, my child may wet himself or there might be some accident (IT DOES HAPPEN) but it does give you the upper hand if you don’t have any accidents.

I try to make extra food Saturday night so we can have leftovers on Sunday afternoon for lunch. Another idea is to prepare a crock-pot meal.

Finally, I place anything I need to take with me to church by the door, so that I will see it when I head out the door. I also check my diaper bag and make sure it’s stocked.

3. Sunday Tips

I usually try to give my son a hearty breakfast so that he will be full; this will hold him for a while at church. I DON’T DRESS THEM until we are done eating. “A” usually sits at the table in a diaper at breakfast. This way food will not get spilled on my child’s Sunday outfit.

When we get in the car, we play some praise music. It helps to get your mind in the right place.

This Sunday, it wasn’t super stressful. Why? because we had clothes ready to go. I had a lunch ready for when we got home. I didn’t worry about the house. I just worried about getting to church to worship. For the most part, I was prepared.

I hope some of these ideas help. Sunday is God’s day.

You know, we plan for 3 months to a year for a wedding. Why? because it’s important. Is God and His’ day important to you? Let’s make it important.

Rejoicing,

Joy T


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Laughter In The Next Room

We had such a wonderful time in church yesterday morning (in the evening service, as well). It was a blessing to our family and our church to have our “far away” child and family to be with us for a few days and be able to attend church with us. Then we all gathered for lunch.

After we’d finished….kids running everywhere…in and out, as it was warm enough to be outside, I began the cleanup…and focused on the sounds still coming from the dining room. Blessed sounds. The sounds of my 3 grown children talking and laughing in the next room. (I wondered about this as they were growing up with all the fussing they did…lol)

Why BLESSED sounds, you say?

There are many families who don’t/can’t be together….whether it be miles that separate….unforgiveness….grudges. I love the times when we are all able to be together, for they are rare.

Last week we attended a funeral, and when I asked where a certain person was, I was told there was some “squabble” in the family and they wouldn’t come. Even when there is death! How sad!

I know I shouldn’t have worried, for it is wrong, when our kids were growing up, that they would love and serve the Lord, but it was….and still is….the greatest desire of my heart.

So, we did our best to delight in Him, as His Word says…to love Him….to want what He wants….striving, STRIVING to do His will. And by His being SO merciful and showing SUCH grace to us, I can say I believe our kids love the Lord with their whole hearts.

Are they perfect? NO! Are their homes perfect? NO! Do they make mistakes? YES! ( I mean, this Momma wants to say they’re near perfection, but….lol) Are they…are we above “falling”? NO!!

But I think they are close enough to the Lord to see their need and ask for His help.

So to you whose children are still home….maybe you are having some of the same “worries” I did. ….”should I do this”…..”am I doing this right”……”what if”……”what decision do I make here”.

The best advice I have is Draw nigh to Him. Seek Him. Love Him. Trust Him.

We must pray. We must read His Word. We must be faithful.

I just wanted to share my thankful, rejoicing heart today.

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