Friday, April 22, 2016

Passover begins tonight!

It has taken me five years of stumbles, stops and starts, to get to this point.  I am learning so much, but I still don't have a lot of answers.  God's Word is an amazing gift, but it is inexhaustible.  We won't ever know it all.

However there are some things I can and do know for sure. Jesus is the Messiah.  He is the only way to salvation, He redeemed my life, He shed His blood for the sins of the world.  I have eternal life because of Him.

I grew up in a house that observed some Jewish traditions (my great grandmother was a Jew, but she also believed Jesus was the Messiah), we belonged to/were very involved in a non-denominational Christian church, and I attended Catholic school until sixth grade.  I grew up thinking the minister had all the answers and hardly (if ever) cracked open the Bible for myself.

Then life happened.

And it hurt.

I was desperate for answers so I began to dig.  And dig and dig and dig.  I read the Bible through from Genesis to Revelations more than once.  Things I had believed my whole life to be true, I found not to be located anywhere from the first to the last page.  I had simply, quietly followed what the teacher or minister or Bible study leader told me to be true without verifying any of it for myself.

I (five years ago) began to study Torah, keep Sabbath, and learn/observe the feasts of the Bible. Tonight is the Passover Seder and I am very excited!!!!!

Yesterday God met me in my morning reading (which didn't happen ironically until lunch).  Let me back up for a bit and explain a few things.  We have had a bit of doggie drama in our house this past year.  Since the story isn't just mine to share, I will/can not share it here.  But after months and months of hard and tears and goodbyes we brought home the sweetest, cutest eight week old puppy.

I have a habit of overestimating my capacity to deal with life and the results are often times not pretty, messy, and chaotic.  I have a lot of responsibility on my plate - a special needs child, all three of my children were diagnosed with something hard this past year, we homeschool, I try (and fail) to keep an organized/tidy home...enter a week of no sleep with a new short I was a mess.  I felt like all the plates I try to keep spinning on a daily basis were crashing down around my ears and I was overwhelmed.

I sat down here at the table at lunch time yesterday and pulled out my Bible.  Morning had zipped by and breakfast felt like a blur, so tacos dripping from my hand onto my plate I found my spot (John 6:25-29) and was stunned to read Jesus' Words.  I felt like He was speaking to me.  Here I was striving and toiling and scraping moments together and forgetting the most important, the holiest part of what is required of me.  Not to keep my plates spinning, but to seek after, cleave to, hold tight to the author and finisher of my faith.  He holds our planet suspended against a backdrop of darkness, He lived and died as the lamb of God, He is my Passover sacrifice.  Everything will be fine.  It might not be easy or picture perfect, but it will be fine because He is my Messiah and God is still in control.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Storybook Summer

I have been thinking and reading and digging around for ideas to make this an awesome summer.

A few years ago I remembered stumbling across a blog that organized their recommended read alouds by month and grade level, but then my trusty laptop died so I haven't had access to my hard drive.  I have been using my kids' iPad, & since I could not for the life of me remember who published that lovely list I was sure I'd never see it again.  Sigh.

Long story short I finally stumbled across the list last week!  Yippee!

It was a list put together by Elizabeth Foss, and although heavily catholic in nature, it it AMAZING and if interested, you can find it here.  I spent a few days digging through it, consulting our local library, and read another blog post by Elizabeth Foss about how she had a storybook year a few years ago and I got really, really excited.  Although we are (mostly) way past the picture book stage of life, I absolutely love the artwork in children's book.  It is sooooooooo beautiful and whimsical.

So,  I decided we are going to have a storybook summer!  From David Adler's Picture Book Biographies to the enchanting world of Jill Barklem...I can't wait.  I will keep a running list on the side of my blog of what we read, sometimes if we focus on one author/illustrator I will list just that, otherwise I will include the title too.

Besides having a storybook summer we are going to continue to wage war on the suffocating clutter of our home (tidy is my focus word for 2016) & do quite a bit of writing - whether it's cleaning up our handwriting and perfecting our sentences or the letting go of the floodgates of our imagination, we are going to write, write, write!

Speaking of reading, I have a stack of my own books to get through - the Narrated Bible in Chronological form,  Daring Greatly, Cinders and Scarlet, How to Teach your Children Shakespeare, Fervent, Teaching From Rest (again), & Simply Classical (again)

So keep the hot (decaf) coffee coming, the kool-aid and water ice cold :) it's going to be awesome!