The Beegees and the Bible

The drama class that I teach is doing a show with a 1970s theme. In keeping with this, I’ve been checking out music from this decade. I ran across this beauty.

I was born in 1979, so I’ve heard the song. It’s one of those earworm songs that you sing for days after hearing it. I even knew that the Beegees sang it.

But, I’d never seen a picture of the Beegees.

I was shocked. At first, I thought someone had made a lip synched video of this song using weird white guys in tight pants with windblown hair singing Stayin’ Alive.

And then I realized…That IS the Beegees!

All these years, my impression of that group was that they were a group of black ladies! I don’t know where that idea came from but it’s been firmly cemented in my brain for my entire life.

I’m questioning everything I know abut my life!

Seriously, though this situation reminds me of myself far too often.

How many times have I thought something was in the Bible, perhaps even telling it to someone else to learn later, embarrassingly, that it’s not.

Stuff like

“Cleanliness is next to godliness.” (Not in the Bible)

“God helps those who help themselves.” (Nope. Not in the Bible either.)

“Hate the sin, love the sinner.” (Ironically, this is usually said when people are being rather unkind toward the people whose sins are being discussed. But nope, not in the Bible either.)

Anyway, there are things that people say all the time that sound good, but they’re not necessarily part of the Bible. As Christians, we need to make sure that all that we believe is grounded in the truth of God’s Word. And the only way to know God’s Word is to get in it.

We won’t know if we’re hearing Biblically based preaching, reading a book that complements the Word and our understanding of it, or know whether or not that statement that our relatives always say is, in fact, true.

The whole foundation of our faith rests upon the Holy Word of God. Don’t take for granted that you already know what’s in it. There’s no substitute for picking up the Bible and reading, studying, and learning about what is in it.

Yes, it is that important.

Even more important than knowing who the Beegees are!

 

Christmas…A Story of Grace


**This is an edited excerpt from an email that I wrote to my students.

I’m gonna say something surprising here, but really, Christmas kind of stresses me out. Yeah, I know. In the blog world, there’s tons of posts of crafts and decorations and “Yay! I
love Christmas stuff.”
But for me, that’s not my experience of Christmas.

The busyness overwhelms me. I dislike shopping, decorating, and the frantic pace of Christmas, and the fact that it starts before Thanksgiving makes it even worse.

The last few weeks, I’ve wanted to hide under the bed until it’s all over. There’s just too much to do, and the pressure to make things magical and special drains the fun right out of it for me. I’m generally a grumpy cat about the whole deal right up until the week before Christmas when things start settling down.

I feel that God turns my heart to Him in the final week before Christmas and I can truly consider the whole celebration from a spiritual perspective.

That happened this morning.  I was reading my Bible, and I turned to the first chapter of John. This isn’t one of the typical Christmas passages in the Word. But I really love reading it during the Christmas season. I guess it’s because it takes the whole baby in a manger, shepherds, and such and plops it right into the greater narrative of Grace that is threaded throughout the Bible. Because even if we do consider that Christmas is about Jesus, it’s not just about a young woman giving birth in a stable. It’s about Grace. Grace that is utterly undeserved and greater than I can ever fathom.

John 1: 14 “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory. Glory as of the only Son of the Father, full of grace and truth.” and in verse 16, “And from his fullness, we have all received grace upon grace.”

Have a wonderful Christmas and consider that it’s not about parties, pageants, angels, and gifts. But rather, it’s all about grace.

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Should You Put Them Back In School?

In many areas of the country, school has been ongoing for a few weeks. For homeschoolers and typical schoolers, life has settled down into a somewhat predictable routine. For those who have started homeschooling for the first time this year, generally one of two things have happened. Either the routine is working and you’re loving the homeschooling life or things are way harder than you expected and you’re having some doubts. If you’re in this second category, this post is for you.

You feel that you’re in over your head. Perhaps the toddler dropped an entire roll of toilet paper in the toilet during math yesterday and the baby just won’t stop crying. The laundry is piled so high you can’t even see the washer, and you ate the kids’ leftover pizza crusts off their plates for your supper last night. You’re wondering if you’re cut out for the homeschooling life and that big yellow school bus rolling down the street at 7 a.m. is extremely tempting.

Should you put the kids back in school before the rest of the class gets so far ahead they won’t catch up?

Are you going to damage their educational success by continuing to try this experiment?

Wouldn’t the whole family be better off if you could get a few things done each day instead of adding ‘educate the kids’ to your daily to-do list?

The answers to these questions are not simple. The decision to homeschool is an extremely complex one and individual to each family. Here are my thoughts.

First, regarding “being behind the rest of the class;” If your child is younger than the fifth grade, I wouldn’t worry too much about this one. A few weeks or months of slow but steady learning will not hurt your child.If you don’t get to history, science, or art for pretty much the whole year, your child will not be damaged in any way. The key is to keep trying and make a diligent effort every day to do *some* math, *some* English, and *some* reading, at least for the first month or two. If you don’t get to do a full lesson each day, just do what you can. Put in a reasonable amount of effort and let the rest go. The key is to start getting the whole family into a learning routine. As you go, you and the kids will get a bit better at time and family management.

Second, are you going to damage your kids learning like this? As long as your kids are learning and progressing, they’ll be fine. Slow for the first few weeks is okay. Just be diligent.

Third, the doubts about whether this is working are much more difficult to assess. I’m not one of those people who believe that homeschooling is for everyone. Each family is different. However, I would encourage you to give it three or four weeks of diligent effort before you throw in the towel. You can discern then whether or not it’s going to work out long term.

If you feel constantly overwhelmed with the chaos of juggling littles and teaching lessons, perhaps you should put this undertaking off for a year or two. It’s okay to admit that this is not the season for homeschooling for your family.

However, if you really want to make it work, figure out some strategies for making it doable.

If household chores are making you crazy, learn a solid housekeeping routine and get the whole family on board. Be realistic though and understand that your kids won’t like that very much and you will have to tell them again and again to do their chores. You could hire a maid or just do all of your cleaning and laundry on the weekends. After all, you are working when you are teaching your kids, so treat your household work like other working moms do.

If littles are an ongoing struggle, try to figure out a way to address it. Perhaps there’s a homeschooled teen living nearby who would love to earn some money playing with your toddler for a few hours each week. Maybe you could put your toddler tornado into mother’s day out once or twice a week. Use nap time as a good time to study. Or, just study with your kids while your little guy takes a bubble bath, plays in the sink (the floor needs mopping anyway), or sorts Fruit Loops. Your kids can also have a rotating assignment of entertaining the toddler as a part of their school.

If the kids are struggling to adjust to mom teaching them and taking their turns with her, brainstorm ways of making school work better for the family. Everyone should take turns and be fair. Maybe the kids can figure out better ways of juggling mom and the baby. I promise that they’ll be more invested in working a plan if they have a hand in creating a solution to the problem.

In the end if you do decide to put the kids back in school, know that it’s okay. You didn’t fail. You tried something and it didn’t work out the way that you planned. Maybe next year. Let go of the guilt and enjoy your kids while they are home in the afternoons and evenings.

 

 

Summer

Can it be that summer is almost at an end?

Sigh.

It’s never long enough.

This summer has been busy but not quite in the way I expected.

On a side note: Is my life ever the way I expected it? Each time I make a plan it falls to pieces. And yet, the most important things get done.

I never did get my big vegetable garden. I still have to write about 4 scripts for my drama class, which begins in about 2 weeks. I haven’t planned anything for school. (Was hoping to start next week)

So…

It’ll be okay. Remember what I said about planning? Have I really given up on it?

No.

I’m just procrastinating and not wanting this summer to end.

What I did get done:

Re-did my house’s landscaping.

Wrote quite a bit. (not on this blog, but on some others)

Painted all the exterior doors on the house.

Organized the garage.

Spent time with my baby brother who will be moving to Turkey soon.

Next week is our Estimated Start Date.

And if the schoolbooks don’t come. It’s okay. We’ll get started when they arrive.

 

 

 

Homeschooling Myth: Homeschooled Kids Don’t Have Activities

This homeschooled kid myth makes me chuckle. In fact, on the right day, I might just laugh out loud. This homeschooling myth is totally out of date. In many areas, there are limited homeschooling opportunities. But for many other places, the homeschooling community is vibrant, interesting, and exciting.

Homeschooling parents usually don’t wait on the community to offer fun homeschooling activities. To wait on someone else means that it won’t get done. So all over the nation, homeschooling parents band together to make memories for their kids.

Through my daughter’s school career she participated in the following:

Handbell Choir

Drama Club

Monthly Homeschooling Enrichment Days

Homeschool 4H Club

Homeschool Game Night

Writer’s Club

Homeschool Prom

Homeschool Graduation

These are the activities that she did that were open only to homeschoolers. Other activities that she did were not merely limited to homeschoolers. The 4H Club for our county included her in many of their activities when the homeschool club no longer met. She also volunteers at a community food pantry where low income people come for food assistance. She’s done youth group at our church and gone to church camps.

Even if the homeschooling community is limited in your area, your kids don’t have to sit at home, bored and lonely. And, you don’t have to just limit your kids’ social interactions to other homeschoolers. Many public schools allow homeschoolers to participate in the extra curricular activities in the school for which they are zoned. So, things like sports, clubs, band, and other activities may be a possibility for your kid.

There are so many homeschooling activities available in our area, sometimes I despair of getting our schoolwork done!

Job 26:6-14

Job is not my favorite book of the Bible. Poor Job. He’s got a lousy set of know it all friends, a rotten wife, and one tragedy after another hits him. The book can be a little depressing. I’ve always felt sorry for him because he probably didn’t know why he was tormented.

However, in the book there are some lovely scriptures. This one is one of my favorites.

Job 26:6-14

Sheol is naked before God, and Abaddon has no covering.

He stretches out the north over the void and hangs the earth on nothing.

He binds up the waters in his thick clouds, and the cloud is not split open under them.

He covers the face of the full moon and spreads over it his cloud.

He has inscribed a circle on the face of the waters at the boundary between light and darkness. The pillars of heaven tremble and are astounded at his rebuke.

By his power he stilled the sea; by his understanding he shattered Rahab. By his wind the heavens were made fair; his hand pierced the fleeing serpent.

Behold, these are but the outskirts of his ways, and how small a whisper do we hear of him! But the thunder of his power who can understand?”

 

I love the last verse; it reminds me that all of the beauty and glory that we see on this Earth are a tiny fraction of the power of God. And despite his amazing, unimaginable power, wisdom, and majesty God still wants to love us and have a relationship with us.

It truly is amazing.

 

Musical Monday: Danny Gokey

I just love this song and I LOVE the music video. I mean, who puts a boxer and a ballerina in the same music video?

I discovered Danny Gokey about a year ago, and I think he sounds a lot like Phil Collins.

At any rate, this song means a lot to me, and it’s rare that I hear it without tearing up.

Musical Monday: The Star Wars Cantina Song

Oh, this is so much fun. Last month, my drama group presented Nerd Night. This was one of the songs we included.

What makes a good Mommy?

It is interesting to see how people define what makes a good mom.

A good mom cooks three meals from scratch each day.

A good mom breastfeeds each infant until they self-wean.

A good mom co-sleeps with her babies and never lets them cry.

A good mom homeschools all of her kids all the way through high school and gives them ALL a stellar education.

A good mom does crafts with her children, creating lovely works of art with them.

A good mom stays slim, exercises an hour a day, (with baby in a backpack) and does it cheerfully.

A good mom…..

Fill in the blank.

We all have these ideas in our heads about what it takes to be a good mom. We put so much pressure on ourselves to perform at ridiculous levels.

We worry that our children will be overweight if we don’t cook them a tasty, nutritious dinner each night and have them in 2 sports every season.

We worry that our kids will flunk out of college and live in our basements for the rest of their lives if we don’t kill ourselves teaching them algebra in the fifth grade.

We worry that our colicky babies will grow up damaged if we gently set them in a crib alone for 5 minutes so we can go to the bathroom and get a grip on our emotions.

Where do these expectations come from?

It seems that moms are really hard on themselves these days. Perhaps it’s the Pinterest/Facebook generation. But for whatever reason, we feel that we have to prove to ourselves, to our kids, to the world that we are good moms.

Here’s the truth of it. Here’s how to be a good mom.

Do the best you can.

Love your kids.

Listen to them.

Don’t let idealogy and parenting experts run your home.

Do what’s best for your kids and your family.

And most of all.

Pray. Read the Word. And trust Him “who is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy.” (Jude 24)

Don’t let unrealistic expectations rob you of the joy of motherhood. Parenting is easier than you think.

 

Musical Monday: Super Mario Brothers

Ah yes. This is fun.

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