Bruised Reeds & A Trip to the Beach

When our vacation started on Thursday morning I was already worn to a pulp...

Let me start by saying that we have not been out of town as a family since May. While all of our friends and literally everyone on Facebook reminded me that Summer was the time to take these awesome family vacations, I was at home counting down the days until our long weekend at the beach in September. Ok, back to the weekend...

We decided to forego school on Wednesday in order to get the house clean and everything packed up so we could leave early Thursday morning. And as it often happens with these planned out "productive days," one mess after another happened. And if it wasn't a mess, it was a distraction. It was breaking up fights and talking it out and cleaning up lots and lots of spills. When Adam got home Wednesday evening I told him I felt like a hamster on a wheel all day long. So when we left on Thursday morning, I was mad. I was mad at my kids, mad at my not so clean house, mad that I had spent 3 hours folding laundry the night before vacation, and now I was mad at my husband who reminded me with a smile, "A load a day keeps the mountain away." Thanks a lot, hun.

Done. I was done. The day I had been looking forward to for months now brought anxiety, condemnation and tears.

But, we were officially on vacation now so let's put on a happy face and hope there's some rest for mama to be found on this trip. I so desperately need rest....

Count Your Blessings

Grace. Blessing. Favor.

Whatever you want to call it, God gives it to his people. Like, in abundance.

But if you're anything like me there are times when you just want to go stick your head in the sand. Or dig a hole and never come out. Or simply just lay in the bed and not face the day.

I have 3 small children, so while there are days I'd rather not deal with life, life is still happening. And people need me. And people need me to get in the game. So what in the world can I do to shake that head in the sand feeling?

Farm Life Outfitters: The Birth of a New Business

So I've been a little busy.

All the blogging masters will tell you not to apologize for an absence from your blog, but here I am. I apologize for being absent over the past month. I have a good excuse....well, a couple of excuses actually.

First of all, I'm a mom. A homeschooling mom, at that. And my babies and husband will always take precedence over "work" any day. I think that's so important to come to grips with. So that's a pretty good excuse, right?

And next, Adam and I have been working on something that we are super excited about!

Reality Check Wednesday #6

Reality Check Wednesday | Spiritual milk and solid food. And how babies just surprise us!

They have a mind of their own. Just when you think you have them figured out or have established some sort of routine, they surprise you. So this week's reality check is brought to you by.....Babies.

Example #1: My sister-in-law was pregnant with my first nephew a little over a week ago. And last Monday night she went into labor. She was only 25 weeks. Talk about scared to death! And shocked. Bless her heart. But y'all, God is so gracious. He allowed my nephew to live. And he's doing so well! My sister-in-law got to hold him yesterday for the first time at one week old! This whole ordeal was nothing short of a miracle. God is so good!

Example #2: My son stopped nursing a couple of weeks ago. Just flat out gave it up. I had planned to nurse him at least until he was a year old. But no, he had other plans. He doesn't like to be still and well, you have to be somewhat still to nurse. I think he was just bored. So he refused repeatedly. And sometimes the reality that I likely just nursed for the last time in my life hits me. And I have to think about something else quickly before the big ugly cry happens. Which it likely will at some point. I'm waiting on it. And prepared for it.

But there is also something promising about his refusal to nurse. He wants something more. Something more advanced. I'm reminded of when the apostle Paul told the Corinthians that they weren't ready for solid food yet because they were still living in the flesh.

But I, brothers, could not address you as spiritual people, but as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ. I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. And even now you are not yet ready, for you are still of the flesh. (1 Corinthians 3:1-3)

I still feel like a babe in the faith sometimes, and I crave that milk. But then I also crave more. I want more of whatever God has to offer. When you are confident that you are ready to move from milk to solid food, there is peace in that. That's from Him.

So, I'm going to remind myself of this the next time I feel that big ugly cry coming on because my son is ready for more than just milk. God has so much more for us. But that milk, that precious spiritual milk, kept us alive and bonded us to Him when we were just babes in the faith. And we will never forget that time with Him.

Why do we pray in Jesus' name?

Guest post written by Adam Barringer (Michelle's hubby!)

Why do we pray in Jesus' name | When we pray we should be seeking to glorify God and not ourselves. THIS is why we pray in Jesus' name.

12 "Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father.
13 Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
14 If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it. - John 14:12-14

When you pray do you always say "in Jesus' name" at the end?  Why do we do this?  Are we supposed to?  Is it a habit?  

As I was studying John 14 a couple of weeks ago I was convicted about how I was praying. 

I find myself saying it when I am praying out loud or in a group, not when I'm alone or praying silently. I've noticed that when I have to pray in front of a group of people I am so concerned with my words and if what I'm praying makes sense. Or what will these people think if I say such and such? And then I always say at the end, "in Jesus' name."  

He is so gracious to answer these prayers but I don't think this is what Jesus means.

Reality Check Wednesday #5

My kids love dirt. This is my reality. And it's ok.

I don't know about you, but dirt makes me cringe. 

And my kids....well, they loooove dirt. My girls could be perfectly content one minute holding an elaborate tea party in their room complete with "real" dishes and princess gowns.

And the next minute this happens.....

Dirt Happens.

A Study of Canada for Kids

Here are some good resources we used in studying Canada.

For the last two weeks with Classical Conversations we've been studying Canada. Oh, Canada! 

When you love all things Prince Edward Island as much as I do, you get really excited about teaching your kids about Canada!

I actually grew up addicted to all of the Anne of Green Gables books. They were my fave...and still are! After I made my way through the entire series, I started on the Road to Avonlea book series and movies (oh, I just adore them!). So naturally, I've gotten my little girls hooked on these as well. You guys, these are amazing books to read with your kids and the movies are just as wholesome. I never have to worry about what my kids are hearing or seeing when I have this series playing. And in this day and age, that is a blessing.