Wednesdays Words of Encouragement: Dear You… (video)

do hard things

How many of you have children that *lack* the confidence and faith that they can do hard things?

Maybe You, the home educator, doubts your ability to do hard things as well.

Well, if you are a follower of Christ then you *must* be aware of His truth that He speaks from His *true* and *living* word…….

Philippians 4:13
“I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” NIV

“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” (KJV)

“I can do all things in him that strengtheneth me.” (ASV)

I challenge you to began to dream and pray with your children along this focus.

What hard things may the Lord be calling your son to or your daughter to?

What is already in their hearts to do but they just can’t fathom them doing it?

What *Kingdom* work are they being called to…..now.

I ask this question regularly of my children and of myself.

Put aside any thoughts about this TV host….but look at the vision behind this young lady, Willow, that is being interviewed.

What a visionary!! And she is homeschooled too. 🙂

 

The sky is the limit.

Serving Your and Yours,

Angela Perry, UCHU Director/Owner

 

Wednesday Words of Encouragement:

5 Simple and Random Things That I Love…

            These past few years, God has shown me a lot about being content with what I have.  We have been stretched pretty tight paying off bills and living on one income while I home-school these babies and live within our means.  I love the verse, “Keep your life free from the love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.” – Hebrews 13:5 (ESV).  As we’ve had to simplify, I’ve discovered that I LOVE simplicity.  It’s changed my life and I’ll never go back!

            So, I thought I’d blog from a different angle today. I’d love to share with you 5 simple and random things that I have discovered that I love through this penny-pinching time in our lives.  These things all make me ridiculously happy.  I hope you’ll gain an appreciation to for one or all of them.

  1. My Bible app

I am not a techie girl but I love the app by You Version.  I’m following the one year Bible reading plan right now.  You can pick the translation, highlight verses, set them to cool backgrounds to share on other social media sites.  It has short bible studies on every topic imaginable.  Best of all, it sends reminders to my phone so I don’t forget.  It’s fantastic.

  1. Castile Soap

This stuff is amazing and dirt cheap.  You can find it on the bottom shelf in the soap aisle at Walmart.  I buy it by the bar in packs of three.  It’s all natural, fragrance free, and very multi functional. To make my own liquid version, I chop up a bar and put it in a quart jar and fill almost to the top with boiling water.  Shake it when you think about it for 2 or 3 days and you are left with a jar of the liquid stuff.  I use it as a base for shampoo, dish washing liquid, and cleaner.  I wash veggies with it and children with it because it’s just so gentle. Just use caution as a baby wash.  It’s still a soap and will sting a little if it gets in their eyes. 

  1. My Library Card

I have a basket beside my favorite rocking chair that is filled with a variety of library books. The simplicity of reading a book in my favorite chair at the end of a long day calms and slows everything down.  It just makes me happy.  My children have discovered a love for reading too. This has been the best addition to our home-school curriculum.  These kiddos crave good books and enjoy reading.  I haven’t even had to push them.  Our library is just that great.  We also love to check out the videos, magazines and MP3 players that they have available.  There are also some GREAT programs throughout the year for the kiddos.

  1. Vinegar

I always have this one hand.  I buy it in the biggest jug  I can find.  I happened on this one by accident when I checked out a library book on this liquid gold.  I use it to clean, to make quick pickles, to wash windows.  You can even wash dishes in it  if you run out of dish washing liquid. We also put it in a spray bottle in the bathroom and give it a spritz when the bathroom smells not so fresh.  The vinegar smell dissipates very quickly and neutralizes the odor with no chemicals.

  1. Mason Jars

I saved the best for last.  I have mason jars everywhere, all sizes.  I use them to hold items such as toothbrushes or pencils.  They are excellent for food storage.  Mine are filled with fresh milk, salad dressings, leftover soups… We love to use them for drinking glasses.  If we are traveling, we screw on the lid and pop them in the cooler to go.  My sweet hubby even made me a cool light fixture out of mason jars.  My favorite thing to do is fill them with fresh flowers and set them out.  Mason jars are awesome and someone is always trying to get rid of them.  Crazy people.

bouquet of flowers

            So there you have it…5 simple random things that make me ridiculously happy.  What are some simple things that make you happy?  I’d love to know.

 

Elizabeth Doan's fam 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: Hands and Feet (guest blogger)

Five years ago we started our ministry journey by running a meals on wheels route around town on Friday mornings. We loved it. We loved seeing our kids being God’s hands and feet. So we put legs on our prayers and decided to sell our house so that we could leave a bigger handprint and footprint for God. We were tired of just getting by paying our bills with very little left at the end of the month to bless others. We were ready for whatever ride God had for our little family of five.

We sold our house quicker than we anticipated and had no idea where we were going. Crazy. Yep, that’s us.

We were blessed to stay in a 1 bedroom cabin next to my parents with a loft.

Fast forward a year later.

We sponsored orphans, went on a mission trip, found a smaller house, a precious church, great friends, had a sweet baby. In the hectic pace of a new baby, a fixer upper, and several other things, we stopped being hands and feet.

I didn’t realize it until our favorite friend on our meals on wheels route passed away. We loved Mrs. Essie. We planned our route so that she was our very last stop and we could spend time with her. Her family invited us to her funeral. I was amazed to hear stories of how she gave more than was expected and how she blessed others on her small income. I realized that we had no excuse.

At 101 years old, Mrs. Essie had still found a way to be God’s hands and feet. I told God I was sorry. I promised to do better. That week we called up Mobile Meals in our new town. We started a new route in honor of our sweet friend Mrs. Essie.

My children loved it. I did too.

Our income still isn’t huge but we can fix a meal for someone that is sick. We can send cards to someone who is sad or lonely.

We can help out a family member or friend that is going through a hard time.

We all have ways to be God’s hands and feet.

I’d love to hear some of your ideas.

In what ways are you serving with your families?

God Bless 🙂

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive your inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.” -Colossians 3:23-24

 

Elizabeth Doan's fam 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

 

Wednesday Words of Encouragment: Worst Mom Ever (guest blogger)

Last Sunday we went to church with my parents at the church I grew up in.  I love going back.  I love seeing everyone.  I love dressing up my kiddos and showing them off.  I want these sweet people who helped me grow up to see my family and think, “She’s doing a pretty good job.”  I know. I know.  Shame on me.  The good Lord humbled me for it.  Keep reading…

            Fast forward to after church at my parents house.  We were all sitting down to eat lunch.  I started fixing plates for each kid.  1 kid, 2 kids, 3 kids… Wait.  “Where’s Sam?” I asked.

             “He didn’t ride with me.” my mom said.

             “I don’t have him.” My dad shrugged. 

            My mind raced back to the last time I saw him.  We were in the sanctuary after church and I told him, “Go make sure your sister Sarah isn’t in the back.  I’ll meet you at the car.  I promise I won’t leave you.”  Yep, I left him.  I raced back to the church.  As I was driving, I was searching the sides of the road just in case he decided to start walking the few miles back to Papa and Nana’s house.  I wished I could teleport.  It was the longest drive ever. 

            As I pulled into the parking lot, I noticed my cousin’s jeep and there was a sweet little kid sitting in the passenger seat.  My Sam!  I hugged him.  I thanked her.  I hugged him again and promised that I’d never leave him.  I meant it this time.  She said that the secretary found him wondering around the church before she left and called her because she knew her number and knew she was close by.  Sam later told me he figured I’d be back eventually for a baby shower that they were having later that day for my best friend.  I don’t think he was too worried.  He said he saw me pull off but he wasn’t the type of kid to stand in the parking lot and scream so he just figured I’d be back sometime.  What a great kid.  I guess I left the right one.  His sister would have been scarred for life and reminded me about it often.  The other sister would have just played in every room of the church and left the biggest mess ever.  The baby stays joined at my hip for now so it’s pretty hard to leave her.

    I know there’s a lesson in all of this.  Here’s what I’ve got so far:  I love my little boy to pieces. I love him so much that it hurts a little.  Does it mean I’m perfect?  No.  As much as I don’t want to, I’m going to fail him.  That should scare the living daylights out of me but my heart is at peace though because my son knows that the Lord is perfect.  Does the Lord love my Sam? Yes, very much.  Will he ever leave him?  Nope, thank goodness.  I may fall short but the Lord never does.  I want my son to have faith in me but more than that, I want him to have faith in the Lord.  I want him to know that even when I mess up, God never does. 

    As we were riding home I got a text from a sweet friend saying, “It’s okay.  Didn’t Jesus’ mom loose him at church?”  Sarah chimed in from the back seat, “That was our sunday school lesson.”  Oh, sweet irony.   

 

                                                                      My Sam 🙂

 

“It is the Lord who goes before you.  He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you.  Do not fear or be dismayed.”     -Deuteronomy 31:8  ESV

 

Elizabeth Doan's fam 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

Wednesday’s Words of Encouragement: Perfect Peace (Guest Blogger)

Perfect Peace

            Being a homeschool mom was not even on my radar when my son entered kindergarten.  However, as one week turned into the next, I began to feel unsettled about it. It wasn’t that I didn’t like the school.  I taught at the school for 8 years before staying at home.  His teacher was the best of the best.  Still, something wasn’t right.  I just didn’t have a peace about it.  My husband and I prayed and prayed about what to do.  Homeschooling became something that was on my mind more than it wasn’t.  At the end of his kindergarten year, I decided just to try homeschooling.  My thought process was, it’s first grade.  What am I really going to mess up?  I don’t remember much about being 6 myself.

It was very strange that next August.  All of my friends were posting pictures of their kids with their new clothes and backpacks holding their chalk board signs with their new grade written on them.  Sam started his first grade year in his boxers. I don’t even think he put a shirt on until his daddy came home! (His choice).  His little sister wore an old flower girl dress with a crown and decided she would start school too.  She even dressed the baby for the big day!

Perfect Peace Elizabet Doan pic

That first year was NUTS!  But I felt a perfect peace.  That doesn’t mean that our days were always perfect.  Some days were SO HARD that I wanted to cry and did cry.  However, I saw God’s hand in our journey.  He sent encouragement through new friends, through aha moments from my children, through his word, and so many other ways.  On top of that, my kids LEARNED, sometimes much to my amazement!

We’ve been homeschooling now for 4 years and every year we continue to pray for God’s will his sweet peace in how we educate our children. I understand that our journey is not another family’s journey.  Mercy, I wouldn’t push homeschooling on anyone.  I’ve found myself in the middle of the homeschooling vs public schooling debate when I’ve least expected it. In those times, I yearn to be a turtle and just stick my head in my shell.  That’s not my fight.  I’ll quickly find a good excuse to flee. I see Satan all over that.  He loves to pit momma against momma.  It’s legalism in the worst way.  Sometimes, a mother will come to me asking advice whether to homeschool or not.  My advice is always the same.  Pray about it.  Pray for God’s will and peace about your journey.  Our journeys are not the same, nor should they be.  Let’s encourage each other mommas.  In the end, we’re all hoping to be in the same place.

“You will keep him in perfect peace,

Whose mind is stayed on you,

Because he trusts you.”

-Isaiah 26:3 NKJV

 

Elizabeth Doan's fam 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

 

Wednesday’s Words of Encouragement: Whac A Mole (Guest Blogger)

Whac a Mole pic Elizabeth Doan

Whac A Mole… It was my favorite game at the Roller Land Skating Rink.  Sideways pony tails, tight rolled acid wash blue jeans, hair band ballads, disco lights… Oh where was I?  Oh yeah, I was hitting the living daylights out of that little fellow with my rubber mallet. If only I would have known how that game would represent how I feel about my grown up life.  Let me explain…

I’ve lived my whole life like that little mole, sticking my head up into the sunlight and being hit on the head with that oversized hammer.

Found the love of my life.  “Sunlight!”

Let’s start a family…miscarriage.  “Whack!”

Oh, we’re preggers and 9 months later we have my sweet baby Sam.  “Sunlight!”

My husband went back to school and finally graduated! “Sunlight!”

The company he interned with went through a merger and the only place they are hiring is in Idaho.  “Whack!”

Now we have three kids and we’re finally completely debt free!  “Sunlight!”

Surprise fourth baby on the way! “Sunlight!”

Very high deductible having to be met after having that sweet baby.  “Whack!”

Our sweet old dog gets very sick and passes on after lots of expensive treatments. Bring on the debt again.  “Whack!”

You probably are getting the pattern so I’ll try my best to connect it all for you with God’s word.  Just stay with me.

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”  Deuteronomy 31:6 NIV

Gosh those whacks hurt but I love the sunlight.

Love it!

The sunlight in my life makes that whack so worth it.  I’d go through them all over again to experience the light!

Mommas, God didn’t give us a spirit of fear.  He gives us courage.

Courage so that we will keep poking our head out, because we know that even if the hammer comes down, it’s not the end of the game.

We know how this game ends.

Keep pressing on.

Keep popping up.

Let our kids watch us.

Teach your sweet kiddos to have courage in this life.

Teach them to pop back up too.

Encourage them when they get hit by life’s hammer.

I leave you with Aaron’s prayer of blessing from Numbers 6.

Be strong.  Be courageous.  The Lord will never leave you!

“The Lord bless you and keep you;

The Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you;

The Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.” 

-Numbers 6:24-26 NIV

 

Elizabeth Doan's fam 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

Wednesday’s Words of Encouragement: Shadow of Your Wings

Elizabeth's nephew

 

This sweet boy is my nephew Landon.  The big sweet guy holding him is my daddy, his Papa.  Landon hasn’t had an easy go of it lately.  He’s been in the hospital more than any little guy should during his short 13 years.  But when you look at this picture, the first thing you notice is that big smile on Landon’s face.  The reason for his smile…Papa.  Landon loves his Papa.  He lights up when he sees him.  Papa is his most favorite person in the whole wide world.  “Papa” is one of the handful of words that he can say and is his favorite word to sign.  If I’m ever around Landon and Papa isn’t with me, Landon starts right away making the Papa sign and dragging me to the door.  He associates me with his Papa and knows that where I am, Papa is usually close by.  There is an unconditional love between Landon and his Papa.  The most pure and sweet kind of love.  Landon has no expectations of Papa.  He just wants Papa’s attention and time. He doesn’t realize it, but in return, Landon gives us all so much.  Look at this kid’s joy.  It’s just contagious when these two get together.

Lately I’ve been thinking about these two and how it compares with my relationship to my heavenly “Papa.”  Do I love him unconditionally and expect nothing in return?  I can do better with that.  Sometimes my expectations of happiness, prosperity, etc get in the way of my unconditional love. Am I full of joy and excitement during my quiet time with the heavenly father?  Am I happy just to be in his presence and be close to him or do I rush through my time with him so I can get to the next thing on my list?  My sweet Daddy always stops what he’s doing to be there for Landon. Do I do that for God?  I can do better.  Do others associate me with my heavenly father like Landon associates me with his Papa?  Can they tell that I am one of his and that I’ll do my best to bring them in his presence as well by what I say or do?  I can do better.

Dear Lord,

    Help others to grab onto me to get to you.  Let them associate me with you in all that I do and say. May I enjoy just to be in your presence and expect nothing in return. Thank you for two of my favorite guys.  Thank you for their example of your love in my life and the lives of those around them.  Continue to bless them both and their relationship with each other.

Amen.

Psalm 36:7 English Standard Version (ESV)

7 How precious is your steadfast love, O God! 
The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of your wings.

 

Elizabeth Doan's fam 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 Encouragement: Apple Pie (Guest Blogger Elizabeth Doan)

apple pie Elizabeth Doan

When my son was about 7, I sent him next door with a big apple pie that I had made my brother in law as a thank you for fixing our reliable old car.  Apple pie is Uncle Joe’s most favorite thing in the whole wide world.  That pie was a thing of beauty, made with fresh apples that we’d picked at the orchard a few days prior.  I worked my tail off peeling, cutting, mixing, cooking… And the smell.  It smelled like fall yumminess! 

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