Tag Archives: faith

twaddle

There’s a word that gets thrown around in a lot of homeschool circles that’s always kind of bugged me. “TWADDLE”

In this context, it usually means a piece of literature that isn’t “quality”. The idea is that you want to spend your energy (and your children’s energy) on consuming quality material. You want to fill your mind with what is true and beautiful and good.

And I get it. I really do.twaddle.jpg

I think it always rubs me the wrong way because it’s a word that tends to get used by people who present themselves as experts in what is quality and what is twaddle. Since I have a natural tendency to question someone who tells me they know everything (a blog post for another day), I immediately bristle. It irritates me most because I immediately wonder, “Who are you to decide what is twaddle and what isn’t? There’s not a list anywhere handed down from God, is there?” Though, let’s be honest, there is some seriously pitiful stuff out there.

Today, though, as I sat in a multitude of workshops designed to aid and guide the homeschool teacher, I found myself thinking about the word again. There were a couple of sessions that half way through I thought, “This is a waste of my time. Why am I here? Maybe I should just leave.” And then I looked around the room and wondered if everyone else felt the same as I did. Surely they must! Clearly this is twaddle!!

And then, without fail, at the end of the workshop, someone from the audience would go up to the speaker and ask questions. Thank them for having shared. Tell them how something they said made such a difference. And then it hit me.

What is twaddle to me, is clearly not twaddle to everyone. What I find to be good and true and beautiful, may not be beautiful to someone else.

And THAT’S OKAY.

That’s the way God designed us to be. We are each and every one beautifully and perfectly created in his image. And if you find something beautiful, then it must be beautiful! Whether I think so or not.

And that’s the case for most everything in this world. Books. Music. Artwork. Even homeschool convention workshops.

looking up

This is actually a repost from my old blog… I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately.

“But I don’t want to do it,” she whispers just before her shoulders start to shake and her lips start to quiver.  In a heartbeat my carefree, silly baby girl is sobbing and broken before my eyes.  Her frustration at being different, at having to work harder to do what others do so easily, at having to spend time doing activities that don’t make sense to her and seem ridiculous and just aren’t fun overwhelms her.

So I hold her and her daddy tickles her and we laugh and I try to explain the why.  Why does she have to spend time doing “eye exercises”. Why does it matter that her eyes and brain don’t work together properly.  Why does she even need to read and write and calculate.

Then, in the dark, after she’s gone to bed, where she can’t see, I find myself whispering the same things to God.  Why my girl? Why is this so hard for her?  “Thank you, Lord, for putting the right people in our path to help us find and fix the problem, but where are we going to get the money to pay for this?” What if it doesn’t work? What if I push too hard or not hard enough? Why didn’t I see this before? How will she function in small groups and classroom settings if she can’t read or write?  Where is the “good” in this situation? What are we supposed to be learning here, and why didn’t being out of work for 5 years count for whatever lesson this is? Surely we’re due for a break…

But, knowing myself as I do, I know I have to step out of the situation and simply look at the facts.  If I don’t, if I allow myself to stay where I am, I’ll drown.

 

i-life-my-eyes-to-the-hills

So, what are the facts? Our precious eight year old girl has a visual processing disorder.  I have a ten page document next to my bed that lists out the seven medical diagnoses explaining why she hasn’t been able to learn to read and why she forgets things and why she’s clumsy.  In a nutshell, her eyes and her brain do not work in concert together.  Her brain considers controlling her eyes as a separate process to complete rather than a natural exercise like breathing or moving.  The result is that when she does anything that requires use of her eyes, her brain doesn’t want to do anything else, like remember things or take pictures or process information.  It’s basically a wiring issue.  Fortunately, God’s creation is so amazing that we have the ability to rewire our brains.  Like teaching a stroke victim to walk and talk again, it becomes a matter of remapping and rewriting the connections.

Unfortunately, that takes time and work and dedication and way more experience and training than I have.  Thankfully, we’ve been led to an incredible optometrist who specializes in these problems and he has an amazing team of therapists who love kids and are brilliant at what they do.  Unfortunately, we live in a culture that does not recognize visual therapy as a “medical necessity” and thus insurance companies don’t believe in paying for it. Which brings me back down into the pit.  How can we possibly afford the $9,000 it will take to get her treatment? Where is this money going to come from? Do we go further into debt? Do we live like hermits cutting ourselves off from the rest of the world to save money? There’s no downsizing to be done since we’ve never been able to “upsize”.

But back again to facts – Jesus himself tells us not to worry, not to be afraid.  He will provide all our needs like the lilies of the field and the birds of the air.

Psalm 121:1-8
I will lift up my eyes to the hills—From whence comes my help?
My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth.
He will not allow your foot to be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, He who keeps Israel Shall neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord is your keeper; The Lord is your shade at your right hand.
The sun shall not strike you by day,Nor the moon by night.
The Lord shall preserve you from all evil; He shall preserve your soul.
The Lord shall preserve your going out and your coming in
From this time forth, and even forevermore.

Maybe the lesson for me here, as it always seems to be, is to simply trust and believe.  But like the distraught father whose child Jesus healed in Mark 9, I find myself constantly crying out “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”

Oh how grateful I am that God is full of mercy…..

get in focus

I am the queen of failed New Year’s resolutions. Seriously. I’m pretty sure that I’m the inspiration behind the joke that my resolution for the new year is to make no resolutions. 😉  Every year I would make the same resolutions. And every year they would be out the window within a week. It’s not that I don’t have drive or dedication. The problem is that I’m a perfectionist. So the second that I bobbled on perfection of completing my resolution, I was done. Forget it. No need to continue. I was a failure, yet again.

So then I started making “goals”. You know. I will read more and I will study more and I will exercise more. That didn’t work either. Nothing like being totally vague to get the motivation going. Said no one ever.

Finally, a couple of years ago, I came across the idea of a “word for the year.” I honestly have no idea where I heard it or saw it. It turns out that there’s a book and a movement… who knew!? For me, it’s perfect.

One word. Just one word.

The first time or two, I’m sure I was still pretty generic. I must have chosen words like “joy” or “faith”. I surely don’t remember what I chose. But last year, I really prayed about it and focused. I came up with the word “trust”. Trust. Trust God. Trust the process. Trust myself. Trust the people that care about me. Little did I know how many opportunities I would have to practice trusting! Especially when I suddenly found myself immobile for almost 4 months!

So this year, I’ve chosen the word “focus“. get-in-focus

According to dictionary.com, focus means:

1. a central point, as of attraction, attention, or activity:
2. Physics. a point at which rays of light, heat, or other radiation meet after being refracted or reflected.
3.  Optics – the clear and sharply defined condition of an image.

So, what does that look like in a person’s life? Truthfully, I tend to be a little ADD. It’s easy for me to have 3 or 4 different things going on at one time. And then I rarely finish any of them, unless someone else is holding me accountable. So this year, for me, my goal is to be focused on whatever the “task” is in front of me.

I want to focus clearly on Jesus. On what He is showing me, and where He is leading me. I want to focus on our homeschool. Determine what we are doing well, and where we need to grow, and then focus on getting it done. I want to focus on my business. Spend dedicated time strictly to growing and developing my business, my team and myself. And finally, focus on my family. Be present when I am with them. Pay attention to the little things. Listen. Really listen when my kids are talking to me. Not allowing myself to get distracted by my phone, or my book, or my thoughts. (when I can help it.)

And the beauty of having one word, is that it’s vague enough for my perfectionism to not panic, but specific enough that I have something I can really hold on to.

So, I ask you. What’s your “one word”? The one thing that you really feel God calling you to hone in on this year? If you don’t know yet, there’s no deadline. Think about it. Pray about it. The Bible app has a couple of good, short studies designed to help you get your focus (see what I did there!?). And then share with me what your one word it. I’d love to celebrate with you. Maybe we can keep each other accountable? Deal?

Until next time!

T

the time is now

I have always been enamored by the biblical story of Esther. If you aren’t familiar with it, here are the cliffnotes:

A young Hebrew girl loses her parents and is raised by her politically active male family member (uncle perhaps?). Meanwhile the reigning queen angers the king and becomes exiled. The king decides to find another wife from within his kingdom, and after some deliberation from him and beauty treatments for her, he settles on young Esther. Enter the evil Haman who works closely with the king. There is no love lost between Haman and Esther’s uncle. As soon as he has the chance, Haman arranges to murder Uncle Mordecai (and all the other Jews because, why not?) Mordecai speaks to his niece and entreats her to go to the king and intercede on behalf of their people. When she hesitates, Mordecai tells her, “If you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”

I don’t want to totally give away the story for you. But I do want to ask you this. What is God asking you to do right now? Whose name is God whiscrown-1049927_1920.jpgpering in your ear? What is it that is going on in the world around you that is tugging at your heart strings?

We don’t have to have all the answers. Esther surely didn’t. We don’t even have to know what to do first. We just have to take a step in that direction and begin.

Make no mistake. God’s purpose will be done regardless of what you and I do. But just imagine with me for a moment how amazing it will be to play a part in God’s plan? Perhaps you too have come in to the kingdom for such a time as this.

Sweet friend. Lift up your head.
Take a deep breath. Straighten your crown.
And walk boldly into the life to which God has called you.