Wednesdays Words of Encouragment: Top 10 Reasons I Need A Break from Facebook (Guest Blogger)

 

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Social Media and I have a love hate relationship.

Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s a great thing for most people, it’s just not working for me.

It’s more like an addiction and it’s a habit I just can’t seem to shake.

My justification for still being on it is that I have a 20th high school reunion approaching.  I need facebook to help me find classmates.  It’s been a great tool to have but after the reunion is over in a couple of weeks, we will be parting ways for a while.

Will it be permanent?

I don’t know.

All I know is that this girl needs a break and here are my reasons why:

  1. Every thought I think enters my head as a potential facebook post. “So much fun at the tea party,” or “Pajama Monday all day at the Doan house.”  My brain is just a mess.
  2. I have a facebook photo spread completely up to date but my house still doesn’t have a single picture of my now 1 and a half year old daughter hanging up. I know.  It’s really sad.  I should be ashamed and I totally am.
  3. I am tired of being angry all the time when I log on. Politics stink and this politician’s daughter just can’t handle it anymore.
  4. I never feel like I am enough. Everyone else’s Tuesday is so fantastic and I’m home telling my child to stop eating her buggers and trying to keep the 1 year old out of the dog’s food…again.
  5. I haven’t wrote in my journal in ages. I don’t feel like I’ve had an original thought that is my own in goodness knows how long.
  6. It’s just too easy to check status updates and I check them all the time. 2 am and the dog needs out, just let me check facebook while I’m up.  Y’all, that’s crazy.
  7. I need to sing more lullabies to my sweet Sadie when I’m rocking her instead of checking to see who’s doing what. My last sweet baby is growing too fast and she needs to grow up hearing You are My Sunshine and Bye Oh Baby Bunkin.
  8. I miss getting birthday cards in the mail and sending them out. Nothing good ever comes in the mail anymore.
  9. I need to call friends more and see them in person. I need to make memories or I’m very likely to turn into a hermit because I could so be a hermit and that seems pretty okay right now.
  10. Truthfully, I’ve always been a little bit weird. I’ve been a vegetarian, no shampoo for a month, poison oak eating girl for a long time.  Those that know me and love me will just shrug their shoulders and be like, “There she goes again.” and that’s okay.

 

Blessings,

Elizabeth

Doan Family pic

Elizabeth Doan is married to her hubby David for 14 years.  Mother to four wonderful kiddos: Sam (10), Sarah (8), Evie Joy (4), and Sadie Rose (6 months).  Homeschooling Momma for 4 years with 17 years to go!   Elizabeth’s favorite quote in the whole wide world is: “Life is frittered away by details.  Simplify, simplify.”  -Henry David Thoreau

 

Wednesdays Words of Encouragment: You Are Enough (guess blogger)

You are Enough

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            In the last few years I’ve had several friends reach out to me and ask about homeschooling.  So many were on the fence. In the end, most of them decided that they couldn’t homeschool.

Their reason?  “I’m not a teacher.  I didn’t go to school to be a teacher.”

Now, I believe that every family is different.

God calls some of us into the public schools.

God calls some of us to private schools.

God calls some of us to homeschool.

The saddest thing though is to not listen to God’s calling because voices tell you that you simply aren’t enough.

Mommas, let me tell you……… YOU are enough.

            I’m even going to go at it from a different angle and I hope that it grabs your attention.

See, I have a teaching degree in education.  I have a masters degree plus about 36 more hours in education.  I’ve been through the classes and then some.  I taught for 10 years in a classroom before we began our homeschooling journey.

Did they help me for this journey of homeschooling? 

I’ll break it down for you.

The first two years of college consisted of core classes such as English 101, Philosophy, Sociology, Speech, and a lot of others that I can’t remember.

Have I used them in teaching? Not really.

A lot really was garbage and I had a lot of liberal professors that frankly didn’t share my philosophy or my views on society that I want to pass down to my kids.  Once I got into my education classes, I learned a lot of different educational philosophies and heard a lot of different opinions on child development.

These didn’t really help me either.

You see, I have four little people under my roof that are different combinations of their dad and me.  If I don’t understand them, I try and remember what it was like when I was young.  If I am really confused, I’ll pin it on their dad and ask him what to do.

Mostly, I go to my Heavenly Father in prayer and His philosphy is perfect.

Once I got in a classroom, every teacher had a lesson plan book in just about every subject with step by step instructions.

Can you get your hands on these books?  Yes, and even more depending on the needs of your child which you know because you are their mom.

There’s no way that I could have found a book to fit every child as a teacher.  This is the beauty of homeschooling.

You study what they love.

You read good books.

You just love them.

Where you feel like you are lacking (science anyone???)…there’s a book for that.

Mommas (and daddies) you are enough.

You are the parent.

God is going to cover the gaps with His grace.

If you’re still on the fence and homeschooling is in your heart, this was my philosophy when they were little….

What’s one year?

How bad can I really screw up primary school?

This rolling around in my head got me to the start of year one.  By the end, with God beside me, we were loving it and we’ve never looked back.

Mommas (and daddies), you are enough!

  “For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, ‘Fear not, I am the one who helps you.”  -Isaiah 41:13


 

Doan Family pic

Elizabeth Doan is married to her hubby David for 14 years.  Mother to four wonderful kiddos: Sam (10), Sarah (8), Evie Joy (4), and Sadie Rose (6 months).  Homeschooling Momma for 4 years with 17 years to go!   Elizabeth’s favorite quote in the whole wide world is: “Life is frittered away by details.  Simplify, simplify.”  -Henry David Thoreau

Blessings,

Elizabeth

Wednesday Words of Encouragement: Contentment (Guest Blogger)

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            My favorite quote has always been Philippians 4:13.

“I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.”

I’ve said it to myself as I’ve ran races, went to job interviews, walked through hard times, raised babies…

With this quote, I’ve achieved many things but I’ve also spent my life chasing many things, never happy with the moment I am in. I found myself always looking for the next moment.  This achieving mindset is good to have, but I pushed it to an extreme.

Going, going, going.

Chasing, chasing, chasing.

Spending, spending, spending.

In my spirit, it led me to be extremely discontented.

So a few years ago, with a marriage on life support and stress that made us buckle, we decided to stop chasing, live within our means, and be content and grateful. We took some radical steps.  But that’s another blog post.

I read books on contentment, simplifying, teaching your children gratitude.

When my pastor said he was preaching a sermon on contentment Sunday, I was super excited.  He started off reading Philipians 4:13, my verse.  Then he backtracked and read the verses that were before it, Philipians 4:11-12.  Paul wrote:

“I am not saying this because I am in need,

for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.

I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty.

I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation,

whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.”

 

That’s when it hit me, with a little help from Pastor Bruce.  Maybe Paul knew we’d need God to give us strength to be content. That’s why he put Philippians 4:13 after 11-12.

That the contentment we are always chasing can only come from God. He knew we’d need God’s strength to achieve full contentment.  Everything I’d been looking for in books had been right there before my favorite verse the entire time.  He knew I’d need help with contentment when we had couches that’s slipcovers needed slip covering.

He knew I’d need help with contentment living in a 100 year old house that always has a project underway.  He knew I’d need help with contentment driving a van that squeaks the first few minutes until it warms up a little.  He knew I’d need help with contentment at 5:00 in the evening when dinner is burning, kids are fighting, a baby is hanging on my legs, and the dog is barking wanting to be let outside.

After that sermon, I looked at my favorite verse with a new perspective.  I prayed for God to give me contentment, the kind only He could give.

When we got home from church my hubby and I talked about what we were grateful for and how much God had blessed our little family.  We looked around at this 100 year old house and saw all that we were able to do with God’s help and how far it’s come.

We watched our four healthy children playing, laughing, goofing off.

When we went to bed that night and I looked over and asked him, “Did you have a good day.”

“I did,” he said.  “I’m very content.”

“I am too,” I told him.

And I was.


Elizabeth Doan is married to her hubby David for 14 years.  Mother to four wonderful kiddos: Sam (10), Sarah (8), Evie Joy (4), and Sadie Rose (6 months).  Homeschooling Momma for 4 years with 17 years to go!   Elizabeth’s favorite quote in the whole wide world is: “Life is frittered away by details.  Simplify, simplify.”  -Henry David Thoreau

Blessings,

Elizabeth

 

Wednesdays Words Of Encouragement: God’s Word in a Sticky Note (Guest Blogger)

Our pastor carries a Bible and lots of sticky notes.  He receives God’s Word every morning and writes it down on a yellow sticky.  He reads from his sticky note during Sunday worship.  He carries sticky notes to the hospitals and reads from them to encourage.  If you see him around town, you can bet that he has a sticky note in his pocket.

I thought of Pastor Bruce and his sticky notes this morning when I read my verse of the day.  As soon as I can figure out where I put the sticky notes, I am going to write this one down.

matthew 6.33


This verse was exactly what I needed this morning to quiet my soul.  I’ve been overwhelmed a little lately with doctor bills.  It’s really not fair.  They are all from a gallbladder surgery that went crazy wrong and ended with a 1 week hospital stay.  I didn’t get to bring a baby home after this visit. As a matter of fact, they kept my gallbladder and just sent me these “stinkin bills.”  I’m trying to maintain a little perspective. 

I am home. 

I am well. 

I get to mother this wonderful little family and be a wife to this cute husband of mine.  I know all of this.  Yet, Satan creeps into my thoughts and stirs that big pot of worry.         

This verse reminded me that God has this.  That He has our family in His hand.  I have seen God provide when we give our finances to Him.  I have seen Him take care of us in ways that blow my mind.    I still firmly believe that He’s called our family to be debt free.  He’s been with us this far.  I will not let worry and fear creep in where faith stands firm. 

Now to go find that sticky…or maybe I will just ask Pastor Bruce if I can borrow one at church tonight.

Doan Family pic

Elizabeth Doan is married to her hubby David for 14 years.  Mother to four wonderful kiddos: Sam (10), Sarah (8), Evie Joy (4), and Sadie Rose (6 months).  Homeschooling Momma for 4 years with 17 years to go!   Elizabeth’s favorite quote in the whole wide world is: “Life is frittered away by details.  Simplify, simplify.”  -Henry David Thoreau

Blessings,

Elizabeth

Kiss Him and Kiss Him Often! (guest blogger)

When I was a little girl, I knew that my parents loved each other.  We had an older Ford Bronco and a lot of times my mother would scoot over to the middle seat beside my daddy and he’d put his arm around her.  They called it scooterpookin.  My sisters and I would giggle as we sat in the back.  I remember my parents hugging in the kitchen while we took turns trying to squeeze in the middle.  We also knew that neither would ever go against the other and take our side.  They were a team.  We knew they loved each other.  We knew they loved us.  We felt safe.

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            My hubby and I will be closing in on 15 years in December.  We have four kiddos of our own.  Life is far from perfect and it’s crazy but they also know that I’m crazy about their daddy.  Let your kids know you’re crazy about their daddy.  Here’s my favorite ways to do so:

  • Smooch and smooch often. When I give him a smooch and they giggle, I’ll tell them, “When you get married, you need to kiss your honey a lot!” We hug often around our bunch. We hold hands when we get the chance.
  • Try to date or get as close to one as you can. Grandparents aren’t able to babysit a lot for us during this season and the budget is tight. Sometimes we’ll chase them to bed early and put on a movie and make popcorn because Momma and Daddy need a date. When we do get the chance to go out, I will tell them, “Daddy and Momma have a hot date.”  They know it’s a big deal.
  • Build that hubby up. My man is a words of affirmation kind of guy. I’m always telling the kids, “Look how strong your daddy is.”  “Doesn’t your daddy look handsome?”  “We’re so lucky your daddy is such a hard worker.”  Bonus points if the hubby hears you also.

            Marriage is such a mess today.  I want my kids to see what a real marriage is.  Their parents are 2 imperfect people doing the best they can but they love each other 110%.  We are making an effort everyday.  Sure there are times that I would sell their daddy to the circus for a quarter and he’d do the same to me but we’re not going anywhere.  I really am crazy about this man.  He makes me happy 10 times more than he makes me angry.  My hope is that my children will feel safe and one day they will carry some things into their own marriages they see growing up.  I hope they kiss their spouses often.  I’ll be happy to watch their babies so they can go on HOT dates!  May they always build their spouses up in front of others.  What a wonderful legacy that would be.

Mark 10:6-9

“But at the beginning of creation, God made them male and female.  For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one flesh.  Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

Blessings,

Elizabeth

Elizabeth Doan is married to her hubby David for 14 years.  Mother to four wonderful kiddos: Sam (10), Sarah (8), Evie Joy (4), and Sadie Rose (6 months).  Homeschooling Momma for 4 years with 17 years to go!   Elizabeth’s favorite quote in the whole wide world is: “Life is frittered away by details.  Simplify, simplify.”  -Henry David Thoreau

Wednesdays Words of Encouragement: Beans and Rice Budget (guest blogger)

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How We Homeschooled on a Beans and Rice Budget

by Elizabeth Doan

            I have had so many mommas in the last few months ask me about homeschooling.  Most are on the fence about whether to take the jump or not.  Many see it as overwhelming and once they start looking into curricula, the cost can send some running.  We knew our year would be lean.  We had a new baby and were still renovating our fixer upper on top of trying to pay off debt.  I remember praying and asking God how we were going to make it work.  Over and over in my prayers I heard him whisper to trust Him and I felt a total peace about homeschooling another year.  I have a third grader and a fourth grader.  I spent less than $100.  I figure that’s $50 a kid.  It comes out to a week’s worth of groceries.  Not to shabby.  This is how we did it:

 

  1. Shop the back to school aisle. I stocked up on markers, crayons, scissors, pencils, glue, etc… My favorite find was index cards.  I bought 10 packs and used them for vocabulary, spelling, multiplication facts…you name it.  I also picked up a 3 ring binder for myself and divided off sections for each kid to keep track of attendance, work samples, and curriculum notes.
  2. I shopped the homechool used curriculum store and used curriculum sales. It was a great place to get my hands on many different books and flip through them. I decided on a workbook by Comprehensive Curriculum. The books were less than $10 and included math, reading, reading comprehension, English, and writing.  If my children needed more help on a subject, I could find many different enrichment activities on sites like pintrest.
  3. We used our public library. I pulled many different books through out the year for our science and history studies but I found that my children learned the most with books they picked out for themselves.  I was amazed that they were drawn to great books and loved the classics without any prompting from myself.  Score!  We also scheduled an hour of quiet reading time every day which they would read their library books (for my own sanity as much as their reading). 
  4. Ebay is fantastic, especially mid year. Around Christmas, I noticed that my son really enjoyed being able to work independently and mark off his work as he completed it.  I found a great deal on a used Switched on Schoolhouse curriculum in all subject areas for $50.  This was a steal and something that I can reuse with my other children.
  5. Don’t buy into the hype. The first year, I set up a mini schoolroom.  Guess what?  My children would rather sit around the kitchen table and work after breakfast.  The schoolroom eventually got turned into a playroom and we still continue to school around the kitchen table.
  6. Have a quiet space for each child to work. Each of my children has a small desk in their bedrooms where they can go and work if they need peace and quiet.  When we’re not having school, they can use it for other things. 
  7. Last, but most important, PRAY. Pray a lot.  Pray that God will bless each day.  Pray that he will cover the gaps.  Pray for strength and patience because some days are great but others are REALLY REALLY hard.  I am always amazed at the end of every school year how far my children have come.  This is not because of anything I have done, but because of everything he has done. 

 

            Be encouraged Mommas.  It can be done, no matter the budget.  It just takes prayer and a willing heart.

“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”  Isaiah 41:10

Elizabeth Doan is married to her hubby David for 14 years.  Mother to four wonderful kiddos: Sam (10), Sarah (8), Evie Joy (4), and Sadie Rose (6 months).  Homeschooling Momma for 4 years with 17 years to go!   Elizabeth’s favorite quote in the whole wide world is: “Life is frittered away by details.  Simplify, simplify.”  -Henry David Thoreau

Blessings,

Elizabeth

Wednesday’s Words of Encouragement: Prayer (guest blogger)

Last month one of my best friends from childhood got very sick after having a sweet baby girl.  We’d just come back from visiting her and her new baby when they put her in the hospital that night with extremely high blood pressure.  She lives a couple of hours away so I couldn’t be right there with her through it all.  I remember feeling so helpless being far away.  With 4 kids in tow and a husband working long days, I just couldn’t bust up in the hospital with my crazy train.  I was telling another friend just how helpless I felt and how worried.  My friend encouraged me to pray and that God is so much bigger than we are.  So I prayed.  I prayed when  I got up, when I was washing dishes, when I was in the car.  Whenever I thought of my friend, I prayed.  I prayed for healing, for peace and comfort for her, that she could get better so she could get home to her sweet family.  In a few days, she was able to do just that.  I’m so thankful God answered that prayer.  She is one of the best and sweetest people I know.  I love you to pieces Joy. 🙂

Fast forward to a few weeks later.  I found myself in the hospital after an emergency gallbladder surgery, a blood clot, and then a touch of pneumonia. My grandmother also passed away and I had to miss her funeral.  It was awful and I was scared.  The doctors couldn’t figure out exactly what went wrong with the first surgery.  No one had answers and I just wanted to get better and get home to my babies.  There was nothing I could do but pray, so I did.  I also felt the prayers of others rolling in.  I can’t explain it but I could feel them covering me, bringing me peace.  It was amazing.  I remember closing my eyes and just feeling the power of people praying for me.  I’ve never experienced comfort like that.

I did get to go home a week later.  I feel almost 100% now that it’s been almost a month.  I’m so thankful God answered prayers.  I’ve since talked to people that were praying me through.  There were mommas with a house full of babies praying for me.  There were sweet senior adults at the church I grew up at praying for me.  My children were praying for me.  Old friends and new friends were praying.  We had pastors come to visit that prayed for me. My sweet husband would lean over me and hold my hand and pray for me.  Joy returned the favor and was praying for me too.

Through this scary time I have learned that if you ever feel helpless in a situation and you don’t know what to do, stop and pray.  Your prayers are more than enough.  They are more than just words whispered aloud.  God has shown me that he is faithful and that prayers are important.  I’d do it all over again just to see the beauty that comes from others prayers, I really would.

Philippians 4:6-7 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Doan Family pic

Elizabeth Doan is married to her hubby David for 14 years.  Mother to four wonderful kiddos: Sam (10), Sarah (8), Evie Joy (4), and Sadie Rose (6 months).  Homeschooling Momma for 4 years with 17 years to go!   Elizabeth’s favorite quote in the whole wide world is: “Life is frittered away by details.  Simplify, simplify.”  -Henry David Thoreau

Blessings,

Elizabeth

Wednesdays Words of Encouragement: Learning a Lesson (guest blogger)

Learning a Lesson

            Sometimes our kids don’t learn a lesson by watching us do something that’s good.  Sometimes they learn a lesson by watching us do something so bad.  I hate to even write this post because I sound like such a jerk.  However, when the Lord lays something on your heart and it just won’t go away, you just have to bite the bullet and do it.  So, here I go…

            A couple of weeks ago my dad lent us his tiller so we could start a garden.  Tried as we could, the thing wouldn’t crank so we took it to get it repaired.  When we picked it up we were hit with a pretty expensive repair bill.  So I called my dad and let him know and asked him to pay half. Of course, he said he’d pay all of it but I told him we’d get the other half.  Now that doesn’t sounds so bad until you know how good my dad has been to me.  Let me fill you in with the big parts…

            My Daddy paid for me to go to college.  He told me, “Finish in four years, and I’ll pay for all of it.”  He did.  He paid my insurance through college even though I had 13 wrecks in 6 years.  Yep, you read that right.  He sold us the house we grew up in for a great deal and when we sold it to move, he let us keep the equity.  All of it.  He wouldn’t take a dime.  He let us stay in a little house he owned for free while we fixed up our new house for A WHOLE YEAR!  See where I’m going with this?  And I asked him to pay for a tiller.  Yep, I sure did.

  I posted on Facebook a couple of days ago that we were finally debt free.  I felt so great about it reading all of the comments and seeing all of the likes.  Then I went outside and saw that tiller.  I. Felt. Like. Crap.  I wanted to call my dad right there but it was getting late so I decided to wait until 9:30 the next morning.  At 9:23 I couldn’t take it any longer.  I called him and told him that I was so sorry for asking for money to fix that tiller.  I thanked him so much for everything he did for me and told him I’d love to pay for that tiller’s repair bill.  Of course he said, “No, I’ve got it.”  That’s how he is but this time, it’s on me.  I’ll never be able to repay him for everything he’s done for me but I can start somewhere.  I can start with that tiller.

            In the midst of all of this, my kids overheard the conversation and I told them what their dumb ole momma had done and how wrong I had been.  Sam told me it was like parable in the bible where two debts were forgiven, one large and one small.  Which person in debt felt the most grace?  The person with the biggest debt of course. I think it’s like that man who had his debt forgiven and then asked his servant to pay up and refused to forgive the debt as his had been forgiven.  To say I was convicted is an understatement.  So, if I had to post my debt free comment again, I’d say I was able to reach it because of two fathers that love me, my Heavenly Father and my Earthly Father.  Neither one has ever asked for anything in return.  Neither one has ever brought up a debt that they’ve forgiven.  My Dad has probably already forgotten how dumb I was about all of this because that’s just how he is. I’m so glad that God can use something that is so wrong to teach us and show us how good he is.  Thank you God for everything you’ve done for me and thank you Daddy.  I love you both so much.

“Two people owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty.  Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he forgave the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more? Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt forgiven.” “You have judged correctly,” Jesus said.-Luke 7:41-43 (The Parable of the Two Debtors)


“So when his fellow slaves saw what had happened, they were deeply grieved and came and reported to their lord all that had happened. “Then summoning him, his lord said to him, ‘You wicked slave, I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. Should you not also have had mercy on your fellow slave, in the same way that I had mercy on you?’…Matthew 18:31-33 (The Parable of the Wicked Servant)

 

Doan Family pic

Elizabeth Doan is married to her hubby David for 14 years.  Mother to four wonderful kiddos: Sam (10), Sarah (8), Evie Joy (4), and Sadie Rose (6 months).  Homeschooling Momma for 4 years with 17 years to go!   Elizabeth’s favorite quote in the whole wide world is: “Life is frittered away by details.  Simplify, simplify.”  -Henry David Thoreau

Blessings,

Elizabeth