Sunday, July 26, 2015

Stopping By

Hello, dear readers!

My husband has been at his new job for a week and a half. We're adjusting.

And what do I have to say about re-entering the corporate job world schedule?


That wasn't a word, but it is now. You have my permission to use it.

In all seriousness, our new life has been both easier and harder than life with a small independent business.

The part that's easier:
  • Set hours
  • Regular income
  • Guaranteed income
  • Health insurance
  • Steady work

The part that's harder:
  • No help at home
  • Far less daddy time and family time
  • Schedule and workload set by an employer rather than self

My main conclusions:

(1) I am extremely thankful for the Lord's provision through this job.
(2) I hope that my husband will be able to work from home again at some point.
(3) We both have some learning to do to work into our new schedule.

In some ways it's felt like taking up where we left off three years ago, when my husband left the corporate world, and that's nice - we've been here before. It's not all new territory.

But both of us are still having to learn to be more independent rather than interdependent, and that's a challenge.

My secondary conclusion is simply that this new life of mine leaves almost nothing left over for extras.

When I get up in the morning, I set immediately to working through my daily routines. When those routines are over, it's time for bed.


Time for blogging? Hobbies? Even little things, like extra cleaning projects?

Nope. Not one bit.

And I'm also good and tired. Except for our one-hour daily quiet time, there's no down time. Not that there was before, but there were more breaks - for example, when my husband took the older children to run an errand, or when he watched the children play outside while I cooked dinner.

So... I'm tired. Very tired. I'm trying to pay attention to the things that need to get done, and to jettison all else.

It's very good discipline for me. I need it. And it's always good to learn to make better use of the time that we are given to steward. My husband, too, is learning to steward and guard his time more carefully.

But there's very little time for blogging, even though I have half-written posts running through my mind most of the time. Right now I can't even make it to my inbox to answer email or respond to comments in a reasonable time frame.

As an aside, I would also appreciate prayer for our family, as my husband's mother received a diagnosis of cancer this week. While it's supposedly an operable form with a decently good prognosis, we are all still concerned (especially as she already has numerous other serious health challenges).

And I'll try to update on recent events, the homeschool convention, etc., when I can, which will be... sometime.

Readers, have a wonderful Sabbath! Love to you all.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Tidbits and Snippets for July 22nd

Get the Digital Baby Monitor Out of the Nursery - Well, crumbs. Just after we bought our first one (and can't return it). (Deep Roots at Home)

Planned Parenthood Sells Baby Parts - What surprises me is that this surprises anyone. (Get Along Home)
"In our day, murder, as long as it is “legal”, is just a distasteful thing that has to be done, while a dozen other, lesser sins are considered to be utterly unconscionable. It’s not the deaths of the babies that are outrageous, but the subsequent selling of the parts. After all, that is illegal.
"That’s like saying the Jews probably needed to go in a lot of cases, and maybe just a few were unnecessarily killed, but the real horror was in the theft of their property and making lampshades of their skin. Yes, the Nazis were bad for murdering so many Jews, but if it had been illegal to then use the remains for lamps, surely they wouldn’t have done that. They only go as far as they’re legally allowed! When what they are legally allowed is the absolute worst they could do to a person, we certainly can’t expect them to behave in an “ethical” way afterwards, can we?
"Why shouldn’t they, and we, benefit further? The babies are dead anyway, aren’t they?
"And we wonder why God is rapidly dismantling our nation. Come quickly, Lord Jesus."
(Read the whole article.) 
On the same topic, don't miss this excellent article - Preserving the Precious, Protecting the Weak (Ready to Be Offered)

Life Hack - I needed to read this. I hope that it blesses you too! (Contentment Acres)
Also, don't miss her great piece on doing housework with children. Oh, goodness, is this an area of my life that needs work!
Truth and Beauty: Rebuilding Culture By Doing the Next Thing - The material and pertinent points apply to both Protestants and Catholics. (Wildflowers and Marbles)

From the Bookshelf

Humanae Vitae

I've read about it for years - now I need to actually read it.

The Return of the King

My easy reading for the month.


The Well-Trained Mind

I started it, panicked, quit, and sent it back to the library. Now I'm starting again from the beginning. This is an excellent book, even if it does have the tendency to induce hyperventilation in homeschool mamas.

Birthing God's Mighty Warriors

This is a fascinating book. Besides decrying what seems to me an overuse of italicized print, I agree with a vast majority of it. There are some theological points on which I disagree (or just question), and it's obvious that the author and I come from different Christian subcultures (she seems to be more the charismatic type; I'm more of the don't you dare ask me to lift my hands during worship type). But aside from that, this is an excellent text, and I recommend it.

The Wheel on the School

A children's read-aloud from our history program. I am enjoying this thoroughly! Yet another children's classic that I missed during my own childhood and am now getting to enjoy. The wonderful joys of having children!

Have a wonderful week, dear readers!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Tidbits and Snippets for July 15th

Do Less and Live More - Especially relevant for homeschool mamas. (Becoming Minimalist)

Pastor Starts Movement to Lower American Flag - It should never have been otherwise. (Titus 25)

Hope, Redemption, Grace and Cost. From Gay Activist to Follower of Christ - "Dr. Rosaria Butterfield talks about her journey from a lesbian and gay activist, to meeting Jesus and what Christianity costs us." (Generation Cedar)
"There is simply no price you can put on the peace of God... There's no price you can put on a God who loves you enough to give you the gift of repentance."

What's So Wrong With the "S" Word? - "I can attest that there is at least one person on the planet who was sheltered as a youth and who, now in her 30’s, makes her way in the world quite well. That person is me. Actually, believe it or not, there are others like me. Many others. You might not know it though because, well, we’re just so adept at socializing." (The Modest Mom)

Preparing Homeschoolers for College Success: Reading Aloud - I loved this. (Smockity Frocks)

These Indescribably Precious Children of Mine - Taking this in a very unusual (and very convicting) direction. (Get Along Home)

What Should Christians Do in Troubled Times? - Yup. (Contentment Acres)

Have a wonderful week, dear readers!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Really, Really Random Ramblings

Hello, dear friends!

It's been a bit since I've checked in. As I mentioned, I've been super-busy lately - both with the usual run of life, and with the extra preparations for my husband's start date with his new job.

During the coming week, we will be getting our baby his annual check-up, taking the children to swim twice plus our church's kids' club, hosting two sets of family, working madly on shopping trips and home fix-it projects, getting my husband ready for his job, and preparing for and attending our state homeschool convention.

I'm tired just thinking about it!

Needless so say, I probably won't be around much for the next week or two. That's okay, of course, but do know that I am thinking of each of you!

Additionally, for the past few weeks I have been a bit down. To be specific, I have been grieving deeply over the recent Supreme Court decision here in the United States.

My head and my heart are bowed.

I am grieving for a people who have yet again made another step away from God - and which decision is both approved and applauded by leaders and populace alike.

I did not expect the decision to go any other way. The writing was on the wall, and the decision was made years (decades? centuries?) ago. But I still grieve.

I do not wish this blog to turn into a war zone. If you want to fight, please go elsewhere. But I would like to say that this issue is not "Big, mean, stupid Christians who want to deny civil rights to a repressed minority people." It's about Christians who believe that there are transcendent truths regarding human behavior, and that there is a God who has laid down the laws for human existence - laws that cannot be trifled with without severe long-term consequences.

And for a country that again has thumbed its nose at the Bible, and the Bible's God - I grieve for this country.

Thus, though we had a great 4th of July celebration, it was a bit subdued. It's hard to celebrate when one feels that our country has just made a decision both horrible and basically irreversible.

However, truth be told, our country has a long history of departure from God. It is now over 40 years since we declared open season on our precious unborn babies. And the ground of our nation is now stained with the innocent blood of millions upon millions of wee ones who were slaughtered in their mother's wombs, all with the full approval of the American courts.

It has been many years since this nation honored God - certainly not in my lifetime.

Friday's decision was just another step in the same direction.

As a matter of fact, it feels silly to be writing about this at all, because I spent hours upon hours (that I should have been using elsewhere!) writing an extremely long post about the topic last week. In many ways I am retracing my steps.

But I'm not sure whether or not I'll ever publish that article.

Firstly, I'm not a skilled debater (and I do not enjoy heated arguments).

Secondly, I don't really want this to become an issues-based blog.

Thirdly, as I discussed last week with a dear friend, it's hard for us Christian mommy bloggers to find the fine line between blogging and doctrinal teaching. God's Word forbids women from teaching in the church, and the written word from a blog is just as much teaching as the spoken word from the pulpit. I don't want to cross that line.

So I'll have to sit on it for a while. We'll see.

In the meantime, I will share two observations:

The fallout from this decision is going to be horrendous for the Christian church

If you choose to stay faithful to the Bible in coming years, you will pay. Your family will pay. Your church will pay.

Are you ready?

Are you ready to hated for following Christ? For following the Bible? For refusing the swim with the crowd?

(Am I ready?)

I am incredibly fearful (though I should not be), because I can see quite clearly the direction that this is heading, and it will most likely be ugly for the church. I do not think that we believers in this country (who have always known both respect and freedom) have any conception of where this could be headed. But our rights (of religion, assembly, expression, parenting, personal choice, etc.) are clearly on the way out in favor of extreme government power. And that scares me.

For those of you who claim to follow both Christ and the crowds - dear friends, please consider. You will be called to choose one or the other. We cannot choose to love God and to love the world's hatred of God at the same time.

(I know there are those who will respectfully disagree with me on this point. I love you anyway.)

Secondly, I invite each of us to consider how we, the church, helped lead our nation to this point. My other article (which will probably never be published) examined this issue in depth, but to put it briefly - by our actions (or lack thereof) we have gutted heterosexual marriage. And in doing so, we created a homosexual definition of marriage for ourselves - and then acted upset when the homosexuals wanted in on it. We can blame only ourselves for our selfishness, and we can begin to address the larger culture only by addressing the sins within our midst first.

Justin writes in his first-class summing-up:
"And yet, the people are getting something they deserve. While the courts and the government have set the American cultural slide into motion, the people have embraced it. When no-fault divorce came along, there was little real opposition, and today, many churches simply accept it. When coverture was overturned, no one batted an eye (today most people don’t even know what it is, and most pastors balk at the concept). Americans thrust themselves whole-heartedly into the idea that women ought to be able to take care of themselves, and as education and career replaced marriage, the churches were silent, or even encouraging. For decades, Biblical marriage has been slowly relegated to the dustbin of history, and only an outspoken few did anything to stop it."

And Cindy adds in her excellent article:
"While we’re calling gays to repentance, don’t we have some repenting of our own to do? While we’re rightly demanding the government to restore marriage, don’t we need to restore it in our own understanding, as well?
"Or do we prefer to continue treating marriage as if it were ours, to be entered, enjoyed, and disposed of in whatever fashion makes us happy? If so (and I sadly suspect it is so, given the number of Christians who have called me a fool for saying this utterly unsurprising and thoroughly biblical stuff), then I suggest you line up behind those confused, degenerate, hell-bound gays and affirm their marriages along with the government. If we’re not as a people going to get back to treating marriage as a sacred covenant, rather than a personally beneficial economic and sexual arrangement, then we might as well put the rainbow on our own Facebook profiles, because they only want the same thing so many professing Christians already have, and that is not traditional marriage, no matter what we want to call it."

I invite each of you to visit the links below. I regret that it is not a more exhaustive list - I only started keeping it recently, and thus missed a great many excellent articles.

There are at least three positives here:

(1) The Christian church is most likely on the brink of beginning to experience true persecution in this country. This is scary. But fire, while it burns, also purifies - and the church is in desperate need of that purification.

(2) The rise of the issues at hand has caused me to dive head-first into massive amounts of reading and research. I have learned so much! I have learned about marriage, human behavior, human sexuality, life ethics, theology, church history, politics, law, and theology and the Bible in general. I have also begun to make a lot of the "X led to Y" connections that are missing for so many of us in our understanding of history. This has been amazing and a huge blessing to me.

(3) For those of us in the church, we are going to learn a new skill - how to trust God when we don't have the security of respect from the culture and freedom of worship guaranteed by the government. We've been used to these securities, and I, like many, feel panicky as I survey the possibility of losing them. But many of our brothers in other countries have never known the freedoms we take for granted. It may be our turn soon to join their ranks.

(I apologize for my pessimism, but I think it's justified.)

Please pray for our country. For the Christian church. For our people.

Hope is not lost, but the trajectory of this time in history is clear.

Now, read!

(Readers, I do apologize for the downer tone of this post. It is a faithful reflection of my mood at the time of writing, however, and is now impossible to edit out. If I had had a more faith-filled response, here is what I would like to have written instead. Follow the link and enjoy!)


Fox, J. Mark (June 29, 2015). Christians, Practice What You Preach [blog post]. Retrieved from
Kainz, Howard (July 7, 2011). If Contraception, Why Not Gay Marriage? [journal article]. Retrieved from
Alexander, Lori (June 27, 2015). Grieving Over the Supreme Court's Decision [blog post comment]. Retrieved from
French, David (June 26, 2015). The Supreme Court Ratifies a New Religion That Is Incompatible With Christianity [journal article]. Retrieved from
Mohler, Dr. Albert (June 27, 2015). Everything Has Changed and Nothing Has Changed - The Supreme Court Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage [blog post]. Retrieved from
Dyer, Cindy (June 29, 2015). I'm Not One to Say I Told You So [blog post]. Retrieved from
Lawler, Leila (June 27, 2015). Bits and Pieces [blog post]. Retrieved from
Headmistress (June 26, 2015). Supreme Court Rules We No Longer Live Under the Rule of Law [blog post]. Retrieved from
Challies, Tim (July 1, 2015). You Don't Really Know Who Your Friends Are Until... [blog post]. Retrieved from

Douthat, Ross (June 26, 2015). Gay Conservatism and Straight Liberation (jurnal article). Retrieved from

Steyn, Mark (July 2, 2015). Going with the Flow (online journal post). Retrieved from

Jacqueline (July 5, 2015). Top US Hospital Embraces Political Correctness Over Truth (blog post). Retrieved from

Justin (July 6, 2015). Justice Anthony Kennedy to Be Excommunicated? (blog post). Retrieved from

And for encouragement in dark times:
Don't miss these!

Neal, Rebekah (July 4, 2015). Love That Wins (blog post). Retrieved from

Haupt, Heather (July 6, 2015). Intentional Parenting Means Raising Daniels (blog post). Retrieved from

Mackintosh, Jennifer (June 30, 2015) Truth and Beauty: Rebuilding Culture by Doing the Next Thing (blog post). Retrieved from


Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Tidbits and Snippets for June 30th

Do You Really Believe It Will All Burn Someday? - "We spend too much of our time on this earth and short life on the stuff that's going to burn and not enough time and thought on things eternal." (Always Learning)

The Definitive Guide to Napping - We Americans can spend hours on the computer or TV without batting an eye, but napping has a definite social stigma. I nap every day, but have never been able to shed the American guilt-trip over it. This is a great post on the science of napping, and why it's GOOD for us! (Mark's Daily Apple)

"In most Western nations, napping is a sign of weakness. Those who do it — or, even worse, need it — are slothful wastes of resources who can’t hack it in the “real world.” They lack grit, determination, and stick-to-itiveness. They’re getting old. Why nap when you can put in more hours, be more productive, make (your employer) more money? ... 
"That’s a real mistake, because not only do humans have a long and storied tradition of snoozing in the middle of the day, there are also huge benefits to naps. Far from being anti-productivity wastes of time, a well-timed nap can boost cognitive function, improve work output, and make you healthier, happier, and a better employee (and person)."

What's at Stake? The Gospel Is at Stake - What's really going on when the issue of Adam's historicity is brought into question? Important stuff, and something I've lived personally (that is, running the gamut of beliefs on Adam and Genesis 1-3). (
"The teaching of God’s Word is at stake here. God’s character is at stake. The gospel of Jesus Christ is at stake. Accepting an Adam with evolutionary origins immediately impacts what it means to be human, created by God in His image. It opens a Pandora’s box of theological problems—from Adam’s relationship with his animal parents and surrounding community, to the doctrine of sin and the fall, to God’s holiness, goodness, and justice. It immediately impacts the doctrine of Christ as the One by whom all things were created, as well as His incarnation and work of salvation. It’s an issue that touches so many others: from soteriology to race relations to sexual ethics to the new creation at the second coming." 

I'm Not One to Say "I Told You So" - The best article I've seen by far on the topic of Friday's Supreme Court Decision. (Get Along Home)

* I have actually, dear readers, departed from my usual stay-away-from-controversial-topics habit and penned my own post on the subject of the Supreme Court decision. But since posting when I'm upset is always, always a bad idea, y'all will have to wait a few weeks or months while the article matures and I pare away at the overly emotional bits. In the meantime, make sure you also catch Auntie Leila's post with all of the pertinent links (I'm still working through them).

“When the weight of current events feels crushing, remember one thing that shouldn’t surprise you: The antidote to what is huge, overpowering, and violent is that which is small, meek, and humble. In this case, the remedy is found in the heart of your home. Your own prayer, the prayer of your family, the life you live in union with the Church — will save the world.”

- Auntie Leila, “Like Mother, Like Daughter,” June 2015

Have a wonderful week, dear readers!


Thursday, June 25, 2015

Big Changes Ahead

In October of 2012, my husband's company laid off his entire division. In the space of one phone call, we went from stable, steady, and predictable to the land of unemployment.

At first, my husband did the usual job search. Emails, phone calls, employment agencies, the works. Nothing turned up.

After a while, he decided to pursue a long-time dream of owning his own computer repair business, and that has been his occupation for the past two years.

My husband has learned a lot, and he has had a wonderful experience of learning and growing in a way that only independent employment can generate. It's been a great growing experience.

But despite that, the business has not developed into a self-sustaining income. And over the past half-year, my prayers have degenerated into one disorganized mess of, "Lord, please get us out of this mess!" In other words, please make this business succeed, or please provide some other source of income.

This past week, God answered our prayers.

On Monday, my husband ran into a friend who mentioned that he was hiring for new positions with his company. On the spur of the moment, my husband asked, "How about me?"

On Wednesday he interviewed for the position. Twenty minutes later, he was hired. In thirty-six hours, we went from owning a struggling small business back to the corporate world.

I think I'm still in a state of shock.

When my husband was laid off, it took about a year to get used to having daddy home. It was honestly a very difficult adjustment. And I know that having daddy go back to the corporate world is going to be a similar shock, and mostly likely a much harder one. There are lots of perks to having daddy home, and we are going to lose those.

Additionally, the children hardly remember a world in which daddy has not been home. The littles, indeed, have never known anything different. And before we had daddy home full-time, he had a job that had two work-from-home days per week. So it's been many, many years since we were in the full-time corporate world.

For us, this is (at least temporarily) the end of a dream. When my husband first came home and we discovered how different it was to do life together, we decided that we infinitely preferred to have daddy home. Starting a small business was as much about having daddy home as it was about the desire to be independently employed.

That dream is on hold for now, and I know that it is going to be challenging for our family to adjust to having very little time with daddy at home. I think that both my husband and I have a long-term goal to have him back at home again, if it ever becomes possible.

But for now, this job is a godsend. We knew that something had to change, and we are so thankful for God's provision for our family.

The job makes about 75% of the salary that my husband made before he was laid off. Our family size has doubled in that time, so this is definitely not riches! But it is much better than we could have expected after nearly three years of unemployment, and we are very thankful for it.

In the few weeks that we have before my husband's start-date, we are scurrying to finish up several things:

* We're trying to work on household projects.

* We're trying to cross items off of our to-do list.

* We're rearranging our weekly schedule so that my husband's evenings are clear to be with his family (instead of running errands like he often does now).

* I am rearranging my schedule so that some daily items like children's baths can be done before daddy gets home in the evening (again, to clear daddy's evening schedule).

I am also trying to rearrange my head into the mindset of operating more independently again. Frankly, I'm spoiled. I'm used to the luxury of having my husband available for help. I need to get used to single parenting during the day, not having help during pregnancy (ack!), and running my own errands. (I am the world's laziest errand runner.)

Similarly, my husband is also used to having me around. And he will be getting reaccustomed to traffic, commuting, work politics, and set hours.

This is daily reality for most families, and we'll be rejoining that reality.

Some day, we hope to have another opportunity to have daddy working from home. For now, we'll be working on regaining some stability (health insurance, yay!) and rebuilding our finances.

In the meantime, I will most likely have even less time for this blog than I usually do! Thus, you'll know why I'm not around if I'm more than usually absent-minded with regard to keeping up this blog.

Mamas out there with work-outside-the-home husbands, any tips for keeping sane? I can use your advice!

Friday, June 19, 2015

My Thirty Seconds of Fame

Many of us, I think, have visions of grandeur when we start blogging.

Hey! I'm going to start a blog! Everyone will read it! Maybe I'll even make some money!

Then reality hits. A very few do make it big. Some make it into the middle-grade blogging levels. And many of us, myself included, realize that we're going to stay in the minor leagues. Fame and fortune ain't happenin' - at least via blogging.

But a few months ago, a big-time blogger contacted me to ask if she could share one of my posts on her blog's Facebook page. Of course, I said yes!

And the next morning, I awoke to... blogging fame. (At least temporarily.)

Now, for a normal post, I usually get between 25 and 75 clicks. For a super-popular post, an article might get upwards of several hundred clicks over the long-term.

But when I woke up the morning of my post being shared on Facebook, I watched in amazement as my click-recorder rose by something like a hundred clicks per hour.


In the end, the post leveled out at something like 2500 clicks. I'm pretty sure that this will be my lifetime record. Fame and fortune (or at least fame) indeed.

I drew several conclusions from the experience:

Firstly, social media is a powerful tool for networking - for blogging and for businesses in general. Extremely powerful. Harnessing this power is extremely useful for building readership (and clients) and spreading your internet presence.

Of course, this is bad news for me, as I just deleted my Facebook account, and I don't plan to join any other social networks. But for those who choose to stay, Facebook can really work to a blogger's advantage.

Secondly, I learned that people put an unwarranted amount of trust in unknown online sources.

I'm a blogger. I share about my life on my blog. I am not an expert in homemaking, home education, or anything else.

But having my article posted by a major blogger sent a whole bunch of people my way - people who instantly regarded me as an expert. And they started sending me questions, most of which I was completely unqualified to answer - and some of which had nothing to do with my areas of knowledge at all.

Blogger: Let me tell you about all of the ways you can season a roast chicken!
Commenter: So, can you tell me the best vacation spots in Vancouver?

Friends, just because someone has a blog does not mean that she's an expert. Choose your advice sources wisely.

Thirdly, I learned that I really don't want to achieve blogging fame.

Why not?

#1 - Big-time blogging takes a major amount of time. Answering oodles of comments and questions, writing articles, dealing with sponsors and give-aways and all of that stuff. It can amount to more than a full-time job. Even medium-grade blogging can eat up serious time. That's time that I don't have.

#2 - The internet can be an ugly place. Just drop in to any major article and watch people chew each other to pieces in the comments. (Common civility, where have you gone?) I do not want to deal with the dark side of the internet more than I have to - and unfortunately, any sort of major site draws toxic individuals who enjoy hurting people.

So there you have it. I've had my fifteen minutes of fame. It was fun. It's over. And it left me profoundly thankful that I am a small-time blogger who can share her heart in a small corner of the internet without creating huge waves of fame or notoriety.

Life as a small-time blogger is good.

Fellow bloggers, I'd love to hear from you. Do you like being a small-time blogger or medium or big-time blogger, whatever applies? Do you wish you could be at a different level?