Wow! Has it been almost a month? I looked at the date of my last post, and I thought about the number of days that I’ve meant to sit down and give an update. I had so many plans—I have pictures of my youngest’ first lapbook on plants (her sweet potato is now a lovely vine in a potted mixture of greens), I wanted to show off my fall garden, and I’m behind on the “I Am” Bible study. Yet, I am busier than a three-legged dog in a kicking contest! All I could do is change the family picture, look longingly at the last posts, and check in to see an occasional comment from the faithful blogging angels who continue to be such a blessing to me. Even this post will bounce as I have about 48 hours of house and school work to complete between now and 10 a.m. on tomorrow. I need skates! So many great things are happening right now, and as the season slows down, I’ll have time to write about it all, because I look forward to sharing what God is doing in our lives. We overcome Satan by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony, and so if there is one thing I’ve learned in Blogland, it is that you never know when a simple sharing about your own life will bless someone else.
We are having a ball with school this year. I bought a set of notebook pages from www.notebookingpages.com, and the kids have been able to pull together all the work they’ve learned in art classes and all the language arts we’ve completed over the years to recreate beautiful home-made history books. History has historically (HA HA) not been one of their favorite subjects, but now they are loving it and pulling together a number of stories that they’ve heard over the years. A few weeks back we traveled to Nacogdoches (east Texas) to the Caddo Indian mounds. I am learning to time our field trips to be more “in the moment” so that they come alive in the context of what we’re studying, and though it has cost us some fellowship opportunities with the local homeschooling networks, it has been very effective in putting pegs in our studies. My son is covering flying animals this year, so I’m looking forward to seeing some of the bat colonies in Austin soon. We placed a couple of feeders outside the window where we have school, and we are all like kids becoming distracted each time the birds visit the feeder. Though little has occurred at the thistle-filled feeder, we had a flock of migrating chipping sparrows (at least that’s what they look like based upon the field guide) that went through our sunflower seeds as if they were the last meal on Earth. The Eurasian Collared Dove took full advantage of our popcorn, but then the cats began to rear their ugly heads in our yard. I’d never seen them before, but suddenly we had at least three feline guests! I’m taking it as it comes with the youngest—she’s really having to work at phonics and learning blends, and on some days she does the best acting job of “Ooooh, I am sooooo tired” when she’s gotten bored or frustrated. So we work in spots, and we play a lot of games. Though I sometimes get frustrated with having to interrupt the other tasks that make up my day, I am pleased, and moreover, amazed at how much she is learning as I stay obedient to the teachable moment. She can actually write her own name minus the “S”, and nobody at church thinks she’s a 4-year-old, based upon her abilities, until I tell them.
I was asked, by nothing but the grace of God, to participate in what will be a life-changing opportunity for thousands in the years to come. I haven’t been away from the family since I traveled frequently in my corporate days, so there is a side of me that is really struggling with all the preparations. Yet, you never know how the Lord will use you when you are obedient to the open door. I want my life’s testimony to be, if nothing else, that I was faithful even when I was uncertain of where that faith would lead. I have fasted and prayed for almost a month now to not approach this opportunity in the spirit of Belinda—bold and candid to a fault—but instead to walk humbly with God and to be slow to speak and slow to anger. Please keep me in your prayers.
Well, as much as I could keep writing for hours, I must go. There is a great yam/sweet potato soup to prepare, there are clothes to be packed, and papers that need grading. On the graded papers, one of the reasons I’m in the hunt for skates was that I bit off a number of classes this semester. I believe that when parents send their kids back to school, they make the decision to return themselves, so I find myself teaching quite a bit each fall. However, I’ve never taught this much! I again walked through each open door, but I keep wondering if part of my test was to say no at some point. My overachieving nature normally doesn’t allow for that. I will say, though, as I continue to seek the Lord about my schedule, that He has been faithful, and even in my fatigue, I’m enjoying being able to minister in this way to adults who are returning to academia. Praise God from whom all blessings flow.