Tuesday, July 3, 2012

I know it

My cousin Jeneice Lynn Ikirt died in her room a few weeks ago.  She was only 21 years old.  Her death has torn my heart.  This is my second cousin to die tragically.  I guess I shouldn't say that.  All death is tragic.  I hate death.  It leaves us with such loneliness.  I use to look at it as a way of escape.  A way out of the miseries of this world, but not anymore.  It's wicked.  Death is darkness and there is no peace in darkness no matter how pleasant it may seem.  Some people embrace darkness. I use to.  I use to, until I became aware of its deception.  It is not my friend.  It is not a place to go to get away from the pain.  It is the place that causes it.  It is what rips the hole in our soul.  So, on second thought, I will not say she died.  She is sleeping.  Death did not take her.  I believe Jesus took her to be with Him.   He is alive and so is she.  We are the ones left lonely, because we forget this or do not know it, or choose not to believe it.  Some of us let the pain eat us away, because it is better than being numb.  Others seek out the numbness.  But that really is death, isn't it?  Numbness is death.  And so we actually do have walking zombies in this world.  Those that walk around dead.  I use to be one of those searching out drink to ease the pain.  I don't want to be one of those again.  However, sometimes the loneliness is So intense that I find myself searching out zombie land.  It is so easy to be deceived.  It is so easy to turn to Him and yet it is so easy to forget to.  What is easier-grabbing that drink, taking that pill or opening the book?  Grabbing the drink or taking the pill is so much easier, because opening the book hurts like hell. When you do so, you stand face to face with your demons.  They can be nasty little buggers.  Then also, you stand face to face with your God.  And the fear of Him can make you tremble. When we don't hear from Him, when we don't listen, when we want the pain to immediately go away-to feel better right now- then we find ourselves in the Hotel California.

'Mirrors on the ceiling,
The pink champagne on ice
And she said "We are all just prisoners here, of our own device"
And in the master's chambers,
They gathered for the feast
They stab it with their steely knives,
But they just can't kill the beast ...'

But Jesus did.  The hole can only be filled by Him.  Only Him.  It doesn't take much to embrace Him. and yet it is so hard to do.  He stands there with outstretched hands accepting you no matter what.  And yet it is so hard to do.  Because to do so means we have to trust that He won't hurt us.  And we have been hurt so many times before that we don't believe that he really loves us. We don't love ourselves.  And yet we want pleasure for ourselves.  It comes down to faith.  You have to step out in it, even when it doesn't feel natural to do so.  Our natural tendency is to curl up in a ball and find a way to go numb, let ourselves get kicked down again and again or to fight like hell on our own accord until we collapse from exhaustion.  You have to feel the pain on its own.  All of it.  You have to feel the heartache.  And then you have to literally Give It Over to Him.  Trust baby, trust.  Do I do this?  Not always.  It usually has to get bad before I 'remember'.  How easy we forget.  But once I turn to Him, He takes me back in His arms and I know it will all be OK.  I know it will.

He took her.  She didn't die. I know it.  He took her, because she loved Him. He is alive and so is she.  I know it.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Bah Humbug

I don't know why I'm sending this out into the world. Guess I'm just tired of keeping things all bottled up. Haven't been a good Christian lately. Been struggling a lot. Getting confused by doctrine. I wasn't saved through a particular church. I was saved by Jesus. He brought me out of a dark hole. I was not brought up in a church, although, I went to church occasionally when I was young, not consistently; just occasionally. At about thirteen I found myself on the path to Wicca- witchcraft. It followed Science, which I loved. And so it fit with my 'beliefs'. I studied and participated in witchcraft throughout high school, college, and up until my oldest was about three. The more I studied the more logic began to kick in. I realized that if everyone was right, then no one was. If truth was relevant, then there really wasn't any truth and every ones' beliefs were just made up. Nothing was real. Therefore, in my mind nothing mattered. You live, you die, and worms eat you. That idea made me extremely depressed. I spirled down into a suicidal hole. Looking back I might have been suffering from the baby blues too. I don't know... What I did know was that I was not a good daughter, wife or mother. No matter how hard I tried I just couldn't be better. If survival of the fittest was right, then I was definitely not the fittest and I would do everyone else good by not being here anymore. I had had thoughts of running my car off the road and making it look like an accident. Various thoughts went through my mind. One day I was sitting in the bathroom trying to get the courage to take a razor blade and slice my neck. I was So mad at myself, because I was too scared to do it. I remember feeling like a failure and a wimp, because I couldn't end my life. I remember yelling out to this "pseudo-God" as I had thought. I said, "If you are really there then prove it, because I just ain't feelin it." The next day I came home from a very difficult day at work. I was on the verge of collapse. My husband, who had not had a job and had been taking care of our kids at home while I worked was there for me. He knew I was on the brink, and he made the decision to take over. Now, I was brought up with the idea of a strong female role. That I should not rely on any man for my supper. And if you lived in the 60's, 70's or 80's there is a great likely hood you were brought up like that too. The idea that I should make the decisions in my family was permeated throughout our culture. Women should not rely on a man. And so I had lived my life that way; taking control, bringing home the bacon, frying it up in a pan... I felt guilty leaving my kids to work and I felt guilty if I was to stay home. Guilt permeated inside of me no matter what I did or what choices I made. But on this day my husband stood up to me and told me how it was going to be. Thank God there are still cowboys in this world. I was going to stop my high paying career, and he was going to get a low paying one. He told me I was to spend some time with my kids, even if we didn't have the same standard of living that I was use to. Instead of arguing, I relented. I was too tired to fight. It felt good to give something over to my husband. It felt good for him and for me. God was in this, but I didn't know it yet.
We moved out of the big city to a small town. I began to experience God in supernatural ways. I know some of this is going to sound crazy. Some people will think I am, especially with the suicidal thoughts I had, but I know these things are real. You see, I did not believe in God AT ALL. I believed only in Science by this time. I was a sceptic. I questioned everything. Then these unexplainable coincidences began to occur. I began seeing signs that answered questions I had. I was talking with my husband in the car. I was saying we should have bought a lottery ticket. He was saying no. There before us the license plate of the car in front of us had the words shduv1 on it. It said- should have one! right when we were taking about it. My husband had decided to go to truck driving school. I did not want him to do this and was arguing with him about it. I come to a four way stop and there in front of me is a huge purple Freightliner with the word FAITH written on it. He is now truck driver and owns a Frieghtliner. I began to see Jesus signs everywhere. If it was just these two I would say, "yeh right." I would have questions in my mind and I would see a sign pinned to a tree with scripture references. They would answer the exact question I had asked in my mind! There are many many examples- too many that after a while I began to think it was more than coincidence.
My son had stuck pennies into my radio. Now I do not know the mechanics of a radio, but I think- not sure- that these pennies caused my radio to mess up. It would get stuck sometimes where the button wouldn't change the channel. I went to blare my radio one day, because I had just had it with the kids and I wanted to drown out their crying and carrying on. I pushed scan in a very angry way and the radio scanned to a Christian station. It would not change. I couldn't change the channel for weeks! If I wanted to listen to music I had to listen to the Christian station. I was SO mad. But soon the Words of the music entered in to my mind. My eye began to open.
One day while I was walking my kids around the block a lady with her own kids in tow stopped to wait for me. Now I had know idea why this lady was waiting for me. I was not a very social person. But I met her and we began to talk. Out of nowhere I asked her if she believed in God. She said yes and so I started telling this stranger these things that had been happening to me. She invited me to her Bible study. It was a CBS Bible study. I began to explore God's Word and argue with it. I argued a lot, but it seemed He always had an answer for me.
While at home going over the study ( I think I was reading in John-can't remember exactly) but I was arguing with God and I said once prove it! At that point someone knocked on my door. I answered it and there was about a 13 year old girl standing at my door. She asked me if I knew Jesus and handed me a pamphlet to let me know how to know him. I quickly and rudely grabbed the pamphlet and slammed the door on her. Then it hit me. Jesus was talking to me. He was knocking at my door. I went to take a shower and I broke. I decided to make the bungy jump and believe, and I begged Him not to hurt me. It has been a roller coaster ever since. There have been time I have felt like giving up. One time I was in my closet crying and begging God to send me help, because I didn't if He was listening to me anymore. the door bell rang right at that same moment. The kids ran to get me. I composed myself, but by the time I came to the door the person was already far down the street walking in the rain away. In the rain with no umbrella. He had long brown hair. I'm not saying he was Jesus, but I took it as answer from Him that he was listening.
When I first started reading the Bible I would have nightmares of demons. I had nightmares when I was kid too. The minute I started believing in witchcraft the nightmare stopped. I don't know why. But when I first started reading the Bible I would hear voices and whispers behind me. One night I was laying in my bed and I 'felt' my kids get into bed with me. My husband is not home night. He is on the road. So I assumed in was the kids. Actually felt them snuggle up to me. I turned to put my arm around them and they were not there. I thought that that was weird and I turned on the light to see if they were on the floor. No one was there. I got that stomach in knots feeling and called my sister, who had been a Christian for years before me. Believe it or not I use to think she was crazy. Anyway, she told me to take authority of it in Jesus name. I went through the house a said: "in Jesus name get out of my house" . I didn't ave anymore problems for a while. Occasionally, if I backslide and begin to doubt and then come back to reading the Bible again these same things will happen. I don't know why.
I'm back sliding now. My dad was diagnosed with cancer in April and I have been on tail spin ever since. I can't get out of it. I go through waves where I am reading the Word, but I have been battling whether I believe the scripture or not. I have been to so many churches- not because I don't like them- but because I want to know the truth. Each church has a different spin on it. I want to be solid in my faith, but I am getting confused with all the differences. I know people say to keep the main thing the main thing, but whether you believe in Calvinism or Armaneism has a lot to do with God's heart. I know scripture says who am I to question God's heart, but I feel like Frankenstein. Been depressed. Been mean to my neighbors-most all of them. Don't know what church to go to. Keep hearing man talking and not God. Want to be a hermit. I've prayed for forgiveness, but I feel so guilty for my words. How can God forgive me if I can't forgive myself. I denied Him yesterday. Because I didn't want my neighbor to associate Christians with people like me. Because I was not on my best behavior. I'm tired and I'm struggling with what is true. My poor kids. Jesus please help them not be as confused as I am. Please lift me out of this hole again. I don't have the strength. I have so tried to be the good Christian and good mother and participate in all the goings on. I really don't know how all these ladies I know can do it I just can't do it. I don't have the energy to do all the "right" things. Can't get out of this hole alone, but I don't want to be a burden either.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Workboxes and RC

Ok, so I don't write much. I know it's been awhile. But I wanted to post my system for the Robinson curriculum and workboxes. So here it is. We have just begun using the RC curriculum. http://www.robinsoncurriculum.com/ I love it! I do not subscribe to everything the curriculum entails. He gets into details about what the kids should eat and how much tv, computer ect.. they should have. Although I agree less is more on those fronts, I have not eliminated those things entirely. What we have done is use the idea of independent learning. He has a book list, the actual books, a grammar, spelling and vocabualry program on his cds. All the books are public domain, so you don't actually have to purchase the cds from him. But I think the grammar, spelling and vocabualry exercises that are included on the cds are well worth the price. I printed out all the vocabulary exercises and flash cards, which I must say is a lot. However, I wanted to have it done and easy to grab when needed. I grab a worksheet( that is in the yellow box on top) and put it in their vocab box. I printed out the grammar lessons and bound a grammar book for each child. I printed out the checking book for grammar, so the kids can check their own work when done. This is how it goes: Each child has their own set of boxes. Each box is designated as a subject. Our subjects are writing, reading (RC), reading (mom pick), vocabualry, grammar, math (which doesn't fit into a box. I set it on the space in the cabinent.), and music practice. I also have some extra boxes if I want to add subjects later. But for right now we are sticking ONLY to the basics. I used shoe boxes and shoe holders to create the system. It is in the kids hallway and I got the dark color so that it matches our furniture. It doesn't stand out too bad. The three white boxes in the middle hold their supplies, pens, clay, glue, rulers, ect.. One of the white boxes has cards in it I made with directions of what to do. I can put these in their boxes if they need cues of what to do. The kids begin a subject in the morning. All the boxes start off with the lids off. As they finish each subject they put the lid on the box. That is all. I can look very quickly and see if they are done with their work. If the lids are on, they are done. If the lids are off, I know where they are. For math, they put the math book on top of the notebook if they are done. If they are not done, then the notebook goes on top of the math book. Easy peasy!!! With Robinson you stick with the basics- reading, writing and arthimetic. I can always add subjects for fun if I want, but the majority of the time we do these. Now of course vocabulary, spelling and grammar are all under writing in our homeschool. I use IEW for writing. I put lined paper and IEW paragraphs into a floppy notebook like this so it easily fits into the box.
Spelling and vocabulary go hand in hand. The program comes with exercises for vocabulary. The vocabulary goes with the books they are reading. I use the same words for spelling lists. We use the matching sheet that comes with RC for a weekly vocab test on Friday and then I give them a spelling test on Sat using the same words.
We use Saxon for math, which is recommended with the program. The grammar book has exercises that follow the books they are reading also. I love it! I wish I had done this a LONG time ago. Don't let the sugar and tv thing scare you away from this curriculum. There is a lot of value in it. I can now get my housework done and the kids know what to do each day. They start themselves, check themselves, and finish themselves. I periodically check them to make sure they are doing what they should and that they are on track. I have become more of a guide and disiplinarian and the books, curriculum and themselves have become the teacher. I think it creates better study habits for them. They know they will be tested by mom through narration of the books, their writing and vocab and spelling tests. So, they are motivated to get it done. Plus they have to get all subjects finished before they can play for the day. So, they are really motivated to work hard so they have free time in the afternoon. I also wanted to add as far as reading is concerned...We follow the RC list of books for one hour each day. The second hour of reading is a mom pick book. Now this is where I can add in subjects-like science and history or art appreciation. See? Mom pick box allows me to add what I want them to learn. I would like to add geography, but I can't seem to find the time. Maybe once we get this system going I can pick a day to add this in. We'll see...Some days I may want to do art with them. So I may be able to switch up a box. We'll see... There are only so many hours in a day. My kids, starting this at 10 and 11 years old, need to get their basics DOWN PAT. I think this curriculum will allow them to do just that. No more playing around with various subjects. They will have plenty of time for fun in the future. Right now is critical for me to get these basic in their brains! They are growing up so fast. I do wish I had started this earlier, but we will begin from here. One last note: I am not going to be printing and binding all these books. I have done some, but I just purchased each child a Kindle and we are going to load the Kindles with the books. It is better for their eyes than the computer and it will save me time and money in the future on ink and paper. Ink can add up. Also, with the Kindles we can all have a copy of a book and read together in the evenings. Bible study and family reading time will work well this way. They can follow along with what I'm reading, because everyone will have a copy of the book. If you decide to follow this curriculum have fun with it and make it your own. It is pretty versatile.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Homeschool Week 2

oh! What a week! We began our new fall schedule last week. I had it all planned out. I had written out EVERYTHING: chores had a time schedule, each subject was timed, extra curricular classes were in their time slot. I was ready. Week one came. It was hard. We had to adjust. I received resistance from the kids. They did NOT want to be scheduled! We went to all our activites, did all our homework, and performed all our tasks. There was complaining. We got through. Then came week two. It started on Sunday. Aidan got sick. Fever of 101.7 with Tylenol. This week nothing on the schedule has been accomplished. Aidan has been sick for five days now. The fever is gone, but the cough remains. Now it seems as if his sister is getting it. I realized today that I have control of nothing, except how I react to the situation at hand. This is the time when I need to give it to God. We can make plans, schedule our time, but ultimatly we are not in control of how those things are carried out. After week one I was burnt out. I think the kids were too. So, that brings me to question of: What is important? In life, in education, what is important? We say God is important. But, do we live that out? Do I live that out? Not always. When things get messed up do I really turn to Him? I pray. Sometimes my prayer goes like this: Help Me, Help Me, Help Me. But am I really turning to Him. Am I enjoying being in His presence? Am I just saying Help Me and then going about trying to contol the situation, or turning on the tv and giving it up? I think I do give up, but not always do I give up to God. I give up the tv or computer or some other enjoyable activity. I do something to take my mind off the stress I feel. I don't turn to Him like I should. How to be alone with God- that is the question?

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Bike Hiest

The kids got their bikes stolen yesterday. We don't have a garage, so they keep them on the side of the house. They went to ride them and now they are gone. The bike thiefs probably got them while we were gone at the coast. It is puzzling why someone would steal a kid's bike right before Christmas. The person must be very desperate. I pray for that person. I hope the bikes can make someone else very happy this Christmas. The kids were first in shock and then disapointed that their bikes were gone. However, this experience I hope will lead them to appreciate what they have and to know that material things are fleeting. Matthew 6:19-23 talks about not storing your treasures on earth, but in heaven "where moth and rust do not destroy, and where theives cannot break in and steal." This is a good lesson for us to remember.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Wonderful Weekend

Had a great weekend at the coast. It was really cold, but the indoor pool was warm. It was the best time to go to avoid the crowds. We had such a nice family time. We really needed it. Might make this a Christmas tradition.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

New Day

God is Good. It's been a long two weeks without my husband home, but I'm seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. I have never been diagnosed with depression before, but I know I suffer from it. Maybe, it's just my hormones going wacky every so often. However, when it slips into my heart, it is hard to get rid of on my own. Prayer helps me a lot. Getting to the point of prayer is difficult when stifled with saddness. But if you can get there it makes all the difference. Sometimes it takes just a small step to change the power it has over you. A step such as: turning off the tv, and opening the Bible. Turning to a christian webpage instead of facebook. Or getting dressed as soon as you wake up in the mornnig instead of lying in bed lettting the walls close in around you. It's a good thing that I'm not allowed to wallow too long in the hole. My kids make me have to come out of it. I know they need to do their lessons and I know I need to get the lessons together for them. They need breakfast, lunch and dinner. And so I pull myself up and reluctantly step forth to brave the world wanting all the while to get back in bed and wallow. It seems that the depression comes more often when I am isolated and when I am not busy. But sometimes it comes when I'm too busy. So, I pray for a balance in my life. I pray for a balance that can make me stronger and a better example to my kids.