“Have you remembered everything?” If I had a toonie for every time my husband has said this to me in the last 8 years (since our first child was born), we would totally be mortgage-free! Hah.
The problem with this statement, is that he always asked it when we were 5 minutes down the road and I invariably had forgotten SOMEthing! But, as I always reminded him, I did remember the other 500 items we had to bring with us, so I figured the percentage of items I remembered far out-weighed the one item I forgot (unless it was diapers)!
These days, he doesn’t ask me! I usually run through a list in my head as I’m getting ready to walk out the door; which is really just as bad, because I still forget something. My brain is not what it used to be and I find it increasingly difficult to rely on it as a good reminder of what I need to bring. My husband has become better at looking around before we leave, though, and seeing what I’ve missed (unless it’s my coffee, which usually gets left on the table, horrors!).
Lately, though, asking myself if I remembered everything has really come home and become something incredibly personal. And that has to do with making sure I’ve spent time with the Lord each day. This is not even about just reading my Bible. It’s about turning to Him in every circumstance. Every time I’m tempted to lose control, or am faced with a circumstance I’m not happy about, I ask myself, “Did you remember to pray? Have you talked to God about this?” And many times, I remember to ask myself this many hours after the fact (face palm). I kick myself because I know that many hours of worry and fear could have been replaced with trust and peace in the midst of whatever storm I am or was going through.
Making this question a habit has been something I’m working on.
“Did you remember to put God first?”
Remembering to ask myself this first, instead of last.
I watched an incredible movie last week called, Tortured For Christ. It is the story of Richard Wurmbrand, a Lutheran Pastor who was tortured by the communists for being a Christian. I was absolutely broken when I finished watching it. He spent his life being tortured for talking to people about Christ and I found myself asking, “Did you remember to talk to someone about Christ today?”
Talking to people about the Lord should be as natural to us, as Christians, as eating or breathing. And yet I find myself at a loss to explain how I can go to the grocery store, or visit with neighbours, without sharing Him! How can I call myself a follower of Christ when the simplest action that should accompany that statement is often forgotten?
We have this really sweet woman, Violet, who visits our church every so often and let me tell you, I doubt she ever forgets! She prays, she praises, and man, does she ever promote Christ!
How about in your home? Do you remember Christ in every action and word that’s spoken? Ouch. That one hits home, too! “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily as to the Lord, and not unto men.” Colossians 3:23 I know I’ve forgotten the Lord sometimes when the chores pile up and I’m tempted to complain. Sigh.
One area I’ve really been working on when it comes to remembering Him, though, is with my kids. Too many times obedience is made less about honouring and glorifying God and more about how we as parents look. One of the things I have been striving to help my children understand is that our obedience should come because we love the Lord and because He commands it. Not because we want to make mom and dad happy. It diffuses a tense situation 9 times out of 10 as soon I bring the Lord into it.
So, how about yout? Have you remembered everything? I know I have a lot to work on when it comes to remembering the Lord in every aspect of my life. I also know, though, that it’s really important for me to work on making remembering Him at the top of every list I make!
Who likes having seasons of pain? One of my favourite songs says, “Who doesn’t wish for sunny days? When the skies above us would never turn grey. But life isn’t always sunshine, we have times that leave us asking why…” Ecclesiastes 3 has always been a passage that I go to when I’m going through struggles. The Lord never promised us a life without pain but He did say we would have a season for everything; seasons for birth and death, times for weeping and laughing, and seasons for mourning and dancing.
We don’t particularly like those seasons of pain. When death, weeping, and mourning come it’s hard sometimes to pick up the pieces and continue to move. Depression can become very real to people and resting in God’s promises is hard. But it’s necessary.
Homeschooling through seasons of pain can make that season feel even more difficult. I feel for every wife and mom that is going through this season right now. The last almost eight weeks have been hard ones for us. Multiple doctor appointments or necessary bloodwork have made getting our weekly assignments done almost impossible. Last week, I took the opportunity of feeling better to clean the house and absolutely no school was accomplished all week. And that’s okay!
One of the struggles many homeschool moms face is how to keep the momentum in their homeschool going when all they want to do is curl up in a ball on their bed and ignore the world. I’ve dealt with chronic health issues for many years, sometimes with many good months before a crash hits. It’s too easy to want to ignore my responsibilities when I’m not well.
I’ve seen the posts from moms in a similar place. They’re asking for prayer, for guidance, and for a way to pick up the pieces and keep going. They receive a lot of good advice on these forums but today I wanted to just share a few things I’ve learned as I’ve navigated seasons of pain and how the Lord has helped me through homeschooling and more.
#1 Piece of Advice
One of the biggest pieces of advice that many moms give is to allow yourself a season of rest. Rest and good food are really important for healing. If at all possible, just give your kids a break from schooling and allow yourself some time to grieve, to heal, and to be still in Christ. The story of Elijah always reminds me that it’s just as spiritual to sleep and eat then to be busy all the time.
But for those moms who need to keep working with their kids, whether because of government laws regarding homeschooling, or because taking time off every time you’re not well would mean little school gets done, here are some other ways to keep yourself from burning out.
How to Homeschool Through a Season of Pain
Keep it relaxed. School does not need to look like a public school day. It doesn’t need the same structure, form, and teaching that a classroom requires. You don’t need to all be sitting at a desk. You don’t need to do every subject every day. And you don’t need to put unneeded pressure on yourself by doing every activity in every book. Keep it relaxed, do what’s necessary and let the rest go.
Teach laying down. There have been many days I have worked with my children from a prone position. Some days I have lain on my bed while one or both worked on the bed beside me. Other days I have lain on the couch while they sat on the floor with their books on the coffee table. It does not affect their quality of work at all and they actually find they get more one-on-one time with me and enjoy it.
Teach one child at a time instead of trying to work with multiple children at the same time. My kids actually love when I do this. Most kids adore one-on-one time with their mom. Don’t get me wrong. This does not mean I help them with every question. My 3rd grader is an independent worker. And those times I work just with him, he’s still working independently beside me and I’m getting some rest time in. Answering the occasional question from one person instead of from multiple children at the same time reduces a lot of stress from your day. Sometimes I will work on school with one child and do multiple days of work and then the next day do the same with the other child. If you have more children you may need to opt to do one in the morning and one in the afternoon in order to fit them all in in a week.
Encourage them in other activities such as independent reading, musical study (piano practice, etc), nature study (playing outside), using their imagination (playing with legos, etc)
Use this time of rest to teach them skills regarding household chores and cooking/baking. My 8-yr old gets more time in the kitchen when I’m not well than he does when I am! He doesn’t always clean up after himself, hah, but he loves to make supper on those days I’m at my worst. It allows our children to show compassion and love to us but we have allow it.
The important thing for us to remember is that this is a season and only a season of life. I love the verse in Psalm 30 that say, “Weeping may endure for a night but JOY cometh in the morning.” That season of pain may seem like it’s lasting for a long time but God has something for us to learn through it and the joy that comes later will be that much sweeter if we learn to lean on Him and trust Him through it.
*Disclaimer: I received this book for review from Celebrate Lit. All opinions are my own. **Some links on this page may be affiliate links. That means if you click through and purchase something I receive a small commission. This just goes to support my blog. I appreciate your support.
Last year I shared with you all a book review on the life of Hagar from Shadia Hrichi. I highly recommend that devotional and was excited to have the opportunity to review her newest book, “Legion: Rediscovering the God Who Rescues Me.”
I’m really enjoying this series that Ms Hrichi is bringing out, highlighting people in the Bible who are many time glossed over or forgotten. She does her research and the material she presents is Biblical, convicting, and encouraging.
This devotional is not all about Legion. In fact, one of the take-away points for me from this book was on establishing a Sabbath in your home. A day of rest. It’s something that I’ve been working through for a few years in my own life and she just renewed the desire to have that one day set aside for the Lord.
Legion was a man that the Lord met after a wild storm. His name is not given, but the word, Legion, refers to the devils that inhabited him. How the Lord rescued him! What an awesome and powerful testimony this man left the hillside with that day.
I highly recommend this series as a devotional that will change you! Ms Hrichi always brings it back to Scripture and that’s something I really like in a devotional. It’s find for author to “comment” on a passage but I want to know what the Scripture itself says. And the Points to Ponder that she asks us to fill out will help to fix in your mind exactly what the Scripture is saying and what the author is hoping for us to take away from her devotional.
Check out the rest of the reviews of her book through the links below and be sure to scroll to the end to enter the giveaway.
About the Book
Author: Shadia Hrichi
Genre: Bible Study
Release Date: Oct 8, 2019
How far will Jesus go to rescue one lost soul?
Tormented, chained, and living in a graveyard, the man known only by the name of the demons that tormented him had no one to help him–no one to intercede for him. No one but Jesus. Climb into the boat with Jesus as He heads into enemy territory. Witness Jesus’s power and passion as He battles violent storms and armies of demons in order to rescue . . . one . . . lost . . . soul.
Through this six-week, action-packed Bible study, you will experience God’s relentless love as you celebrate the impassioned Savior Who moved heaven and earth to rescue you.
“SHADIA HRICHI is a passionate Bible teacher, author, and speaker who has a heart for seeing lives transformed by the power of God’s Word. She has received a master’s in biblical and theological studies from Western Seminary as well as master’s in criminal justice from the State University of New York. In addition to LEGION, Shadia is the author of several Bible studies, including HAGAR and Worthy of Love. Shadia is often invited to speak at churches, conferences, and other events. Her insightful, witty, yet vulnerable teaching style reveals a compassion for the hurting, love for Jesus, and uncompromising commitment to the truth of God’s Word. Visit shadiahrichi.com.
More from Shadia
If there is one universal truth, it is that every human heart longs for paradise. A perfect world without death, pain, or sorrow. A world at peace, where each of us is secure, treasured, and loved. But the reality is that the world as we know it will never deliver; it cannot. Scripture tells us that “the whole world lies in the power of the evil one” (1 John 5:19).
As a result, you and I live in a broken world. A world that has been drifting off course ever since that slippery serpent enticed our first parents to reject God’s authority in that garden paradise so long ago. In that moment, they unwittingly handed over dominion of the earth to Satan on a silver platter. But this then begs the question. Why was God willing to risk rebellion in the Garden? And why would God allow His perfect creation to fall victim to the enemy’s schemes? And if God is good, why does He allow evil to exist?
Through this six-week study, you and I will explore the answers to these questions and more as we step into the fascinating story of the man known only by the name of the demons that tormented him. To be honest, I don’t know why I am attracted to the hard stories in the Bible. The messy stories. I suspect it stems, in part, from my own broken past. I can relate much easier to the broken people. The ones who experienced times when they felt unseen, or unloved, or unwanted. At the same time, their stories captivate my heart because when God reveals what He is doing behind the seen, His power and glory are displayed in ways that make my spirit soar!
So I invite you to come with me as we climb into the boat with Jesus and head into enemy territory. We will witness Jesus’s power and passion as He battles violent storms and armies of demons in order to rescue . . . one . . . lost . . . soul. Tormented, chained, and living in a graveyard, the man had no one to help him. No one to intercede for him. No one but Jesus. As a result:
A demoniac becomes a disciple.
A house of demons becomes a dwelling for the Living God.
The chained becomes a champion of good news.
You and I live in a world crying out for rescue. And just as Jesus was willing to cross the sea and rescue one man from the enemy’s chains, He crossed the heavens to rescue you and me from a fate even worse: eternal chains. But praise God that through His sacrifice for sin, Jesus conquered all the forces of evil and opened up the gates of paradise to all who embrace His mercy. So come with me. Let’s rediscover the God Who Rescues Me!
“For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son.” —Colossians 1:13 NASB
**Disclaimer: I received this book for review from Celebrate Lit. All opinions are my own. **Some links on this page may be affiliate links. That means if you click through and purchase something I receive a small commission. This just goes to support my blog. I appreciate your support.
The New Year is a fun time to pick up a new devotional book. Honestly, I thought I was only getting the e-book to review as it’s not common for Canadians to get an actual copy of the book. So it was a pleasant surprise when I received an actual copy of this book in the mail.
And I’m glad I did, because it gave me a completely different view of how the book is laid out and works. And I have to say, I love the layout of the actual book. Plus, it makes it much easier to access the recipes that are included in the book. The size is like a workbook (8 1/2 x 11 standard size of paper).
This devotional is based on Proverbs 31 – but it’s more than a commentary on how to be a good wife. She takes time to examine each part of each verse and apply it to our lives today. Not in a, “you have to do everything and be everything” kind of way, but a practical, “this is how to work out these verses in your life” kind of way. I love her balance in defining the verses, but also how Biblical it is.
The one lesson that stood out to me was about being a servant. The author looks at the verse that says that she gave a portion to her maidens and shares how the Proverbs 31 woman didn’t expect her servants to make their own meals but that she served them and treated them as part of her family. Something I had never really seen before. Are we that much of a servant to those around us?
What I Liked
I liked the shortness of each day’s devotional. They’re not super long so I had plenty of time to incorporate my regular Bible-reading schedule after. It has a list of questions for reflection that you could leave out if wanted, but I felt they would work really well for a Ladies’ Bible Study. I loved the layout and thought it would be fun to do with a group of ladies and incorporate some of the recipes once a week as a group.
Then there is a page for prayer/journaling. I like these kinds of pages. I love journaling and I like having a place in the devotional book that I can do that. The full-sized page was really nice as I find sometimes that a lot of devotional books only give you enough room for a paragraph at best.
The unique part of this devotional is that it comes with recipes for each devotional. She gives 5 week-day meals and then a weekend wrap-up dessert recipe. I really liked how she explained why she had included recipes. Because as we study Proverbs 31, we see that it’s really about relationships. One day is meatballs and spaghetti and she talks about incorporating your kids in making the meal and working on your relationship with them. With another she talks about opening your home for hospitality and using the included recipe as your meal.
I love the uniqueness of this devotional and would love to do this with a group of ladies some time. I found it encouraging and highly recommend it.
About the Book
Author: Vickie Burns
Release Date: November, 2019
Priceless: A Devotional Cookbook Based on Proverbs 31 is a Bible study and cookbook combined. The author, Vickie Burns, takes the reader verse by verse through Proverbs 31, showing them how precious and loved they are. At the end of each day’s study, meal suggestions and recipes are provided to fill their homes with tantalizing aromas and great food. Even young children can help with meal preparation so they learn that dinner doesn’t just magically appear on the table.
For women who’ve read Proverbs 31 and felt inadequate, like they could not possibly live up to God’s description of the perfect woman, Priceless reveals that they have more in common with her than they ever imagined.
“Today’s busy mom rarely finds time to steal a few moments of peace and quiet to spend with the Lord each day,” Vickie says. “On top of that, she most likely does not take the time to flip through endless sections of cookbooks to plan a unique evening meal. Priceless encourages women to view their tasks as God’s call to an abundant life, empowers them by providing a daily word from Proverbs 31, and eases their minds by providing a full menu for the evening meal each day.”
Vickie Burns is passionate about showing women how to love and live the abundant life that Jesus Christ offers. Through Bible study, public speaking, and writing inspirational cookbooks, Vickie inspires women to love the Lord with all their hearts, minds, souls, and strength; to see and love themselves as Christ does—PRICELESS; and to love others through genuine hospitality. She lives in Texas with the love of her life, Todd Burns, and they have two daughters.
More from Vickie
This book, Priceless, is not my story but it was birthed from it. I was raised in a single-parent Christian home after my parents divorced. I watched my mom handle everything: cooking, cleaning, bills, homework, a full-time job, etc. I had no idea until I became a wife and mother all that she must have been through while raising three children on her own. I do know that she had a strong relationship with the Lord and that she had friends and family support.
Today, I look back at my childhood with renewed respect for my mom. My husband, Todd and I did our best to raise our two girls to honor the Lord while we went to school for our master’s degrees and tried to keep our household running smoothly. I had the help of a husband and was still overwhelmed while working as a teacher, trainer, coach and administrator in public education. On top of that I was still a wife, mother, friend, sister, chef, chauffer, nurse and more. Over the years, as I have gotten to know other women, I realize that I am not alone. We all long for ways to balance work and family, cooking and cleaning, physical busyness and spiritual warfare.
As my heart broke for the busy women in my life (to whom I totally relate) I longed to try and make life a little easier for all of us. I began to study God’s Word for answers. As I studied, I learned that God created us for relationship with Himself and with others. I learned that sharing our burdens with one another is His design. I found out that love should drive every word and action as we relate to others. I discovered that the crazy life that we are trying to balance is actually our ministry to our families and communities. I also realized that hospitality isn’t just something that was dreamed up by Martha Stewart. God ordained hospitality from the beginning when He created Adam and Eve in His image and placed them in the garden of Eden. God touches the heart of mankind with a piece of His own. There are examples of this throughout scripture. The biggest deposit of God’s heart within us is the gift of His Spirit. This gift is what makes genuine hospitality possible today. When we touch another person’s heart with a piece of our own, we are showing hospitality, sharing the love of Christ, and making connections that impact our world. This revelation was the birth of my ministry. I call it The Heart of Hospitality. Through my writing and speaking engagements, I share with women how to see the tasks and responsibilities of our daily lives as a calling from God. Beyond that, I help women understand that viewing their lives in this way is what Jesus meant when He said He came to give us “abundant life”.
My prayer for you, as you read this book is:
that you will be touched with a piece of God’s heart.
that hospitality will come to mean something new to you.
that each devotion in this book exposes your pricelessness in Christ.
that you will know beyond the shadow of any doubt that you are rare, unique and have significant meaning to your Creator.
It’s Christmas Day, and I’m sharing a book review. I know, it seems an odd choice. But since we’re assigned our days to post, I decided to make the most of it. =)
Honestly, though, I think this book would make the best Christmas gift for your husband. Not for him to read, but for you to read and to grow and learn to be the crown to your husband that Proverbs talks about.
*Disclaimer: I received this book for review from Celebrate Lit and Romans 8:28 Books.
I first heard about this book from one of my favorite authors, Chautona Havig, when she posted about the book during it’s launch. I was intrigued by the review when I originally read it and jumped at the chance to get a copy of the book. It was even more exciting to have a paper copy sent to me instead of a Kindle copy. I much prefer holding a book in my hands to a digital copy.
If I hadn’t seen Ms. Havig’s review, I probably wouldn’t have asked for the book, in all honesty. The author, Nancy Kaser, is part of the Calvary Chapel movement, which appears to have ties to the Charismatics in terms of baptism of the Holy Spirit. I don’t agree with it but saw no evidence of that theology in this book. I did find it interesting that she runs a website to help homeschoolers with teaching Language Arts and History. It might be something I look into for my kids at some point.
Books on marriage are difficult. I struggle with most of them. And I’ve tried, I really have! A few years ago, I did my best to find books on being the wife God wanted that I could add to my book list for women here on the blog, because I think there are some really rich truths in the Bible that our culture glosses over about our role in the family unit.
I purchased a few on Amazon and was SO disappointed with the content. Some of them continue to be recommended by Godly women that I respect, but I can’t recommend them. When books tell us that we, as women, are required to be more that what God created us to be, I have an issue with that. The worst was the one that stated that we, as wives, are responsible for our husband’s spiritual growth! Completely un-Biblical!
This book was refreshing, to say the least. Everything I read was grounded in Scripture. Her writing style was easy to read and made me want to read more.
I liked how the book was separated into 6 categories of 5 lessons each. This book would be perfect for a Ladies’ Bible study in giving 30 weeks of lessons. Each chapter has a section at the end for answering questions that help you to dig deeper into your life to evaluate how you are doing in specific areas.
The first few lessons on Yielding she talks about the different definitions of the word “yield” (she does this in numerous places, actually, with different words) and opens our eyes to a different way of looking at that word. It’s not just about always putting ourselves under someone else (although that is part of it). I loved the analogy that yielding ourselves to God’s commands will yield us a bounty of blessings. Too many women see yielding as becoming a slave and fail to see the blessings that doing so can afford us.
The six sections are Yield, Help, Smile, Order, Gift and Increase. I mean, seriously, 5 lessons on “Smiling”? Which really is just a fun way of saying, We need to watch our attitudes, Ladies!
Honestly, this book is one that I think will be read over and over. I know I will need to remind myself of these truths often. Check out more about the book and the author below and enter the Giveaway to get your own copy.
About the Book
Author: Nancy Kaser
Genre: Christian Non-Fiction, Biblical Marriage
Release Date: August 20, 2019
Whether you’re in the honeymoon stage or celebrating your fiftieth anniversary, you have never before been in this season of your marriage. Your family dynamics, finances, health, emotional state, location, ministry, employment status—all the factors of your life—are in a perpetual state of transition. As a married woman, you are continually wife-changing. The Scriptures never change, but they can always be freshly applied to every season of marriage.
Crown is a resource that combines solid Bible teaching, humorous and humbling tales from the author’s own marriage journey, and dozens of compelling stories from real women just like you. Based on Proverbs 12:4, “An excellent wife is the crown of her husband,” Crown includes concrete Scriptural truths and real-life examples that will equip you to be the excellent wife God created you to be. Complex issues such as biblical roles within marriage, physical intimacy, communication, forgiveness, and home management are all addressed with candid honesty, encouragement, and biblical substance. In thirty wife-changing lessons, you will be instructed, challenged, and motivated to walk in obedience to God’s beautiful design for marriage.
Nancy Kaser is a passionate pastor’s wife and veteran missionary. For over twenty-five years, she has taught women’s Bible studies, provided biblical counseling, and been a dynamic women’s conference speaker. Based in Southern California, Nancy teaches literature and history classes at The Writtenburg Door. She and her visionary husband also lead short-term mission trips with the Calvary Chapel movement and run a child-sponsorship organization.
More from Nancy
Closing the church door after my seventh counseling appointment that week, I was overcome with the realization that every appointment had been relatively indistinguishable. The women I counseled from our congregation were generally unsatisfied, disappointed, and disillusioned with their marriages, and some were downright rebellious in their role as wives. The same anxieties, the same troubles, (and the same sins creating the anxieties and troubles) came up in almost every meeting. Though these church ladies may have been well-versed in the scriptures, no one had taught them how to live out biblical principals in their everyday lives.
As a pastor’s wife, I wished I could meet with every married lady in my church and offer practical discipleship with this hope: that a glorious, fulfilling, and God-honoring marriage—to the same guy she is married to right now! —is absolutely possible through obedience to God’s word.
Crown – 30 Wife-Changing Lessons is a resource that combines solid Bible teaching, humorous and humbling tales from my own marriage journey, and dozens of compelling stories from real women just like you. Based on Proverbs 12:4, “An excellent wife is the crown of her husband,” Crown includes concrete, scriptural truths and real-life examples that will equip you to be the excellent wife God created you to be. Complex issues such as biblical roles within marriage, physical intimacy, communication, forgiveness, and home management are all addressed with candid honesty, encouragement and biblical substance.
Whether you’re in the honeymoon stage or celebrating your fiftieth anniversary, you have never before been in this season of your marriage. Your family dynamics, finances, health, emotional state, location, ministry, employment status— all the factors of your life—are in a perpetual state of transition. As a married woman, you are continually wife-changing. The scriptures never change, but they can always be freshly applied to every season of marriage. In thirty wife-changing lessons, you will be instructed, challenged, and motivated to walk in obedience to God’s beautiful design for marriage.