Encouragement, Homeschooling

When Mommy Goes Back to School

 

 

“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream”

C.S. Lewis

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Your daily routines… same things, just on a different day. You know what to expect and though life can at times seem mundane, you are seemingly happy, peaceful, and content. But then, just when you feel like you’ve kind of got your stuff together and are feeling pretty good about all of your efforts, with everything is in its place, and you know what lies ahead of you, God throws a curveball into your life that you never saw coming. A curveball that knocks your lights out and leaves you trying to grasp if those birdies looming above your head have just become your new reality.

2019 has been a year of big changes for us! In case you didn’t know… change is difficult for me. I don’t like it at all. I hate uncertainty. I thrive off of schedules, routines, and lists. I love the safety and security that comes with having a routine. I love making to-do lists and the satisfaction that comes from putting that little check mark beside a completed task. After an extensive self analysis, I discovered that I found a large portion of my self-worth in what I was able to get accomplished. Life felt great without the worries of what I was going to be doing that day, the next, and the following week…or so I thought.

Yeah, I thought I pretty much had life my planned out. The problem being, I had gotten so caught up with “being in control” and “scheduled”, that I began to rely more on myself than I did on God. I prayed and asked God to help with situations as they would occur, but instead of leaving things in His hands, I took it upon myself to try and remedy the situation…usually making a big ole’ mess of everything.

As a homeschooling mommy to six children that had made her place as a wife, mother, and homemaker, I never envisioned myself going to college, but God had a plan for me. At 32, after being out of school for almost 15 years, God provided me with an opportunity to further my own education. I have to admit, I was overwhelmed with the fear of failing. I just didn’t know if I could handle full time classes and schoolwork on top of everything else I already had on my plate, but when God has a plan for your life, He always makes a way for you! I have been able to further my education while being at home with my children, and for that I am so thankful!

Returning to college has been an amazing experience thus far. This process has richly added to our homeschooling  journey. I have been able to incorporate some of the topics from my coursework into fun and exciting unit studies for my children. We have been learning new things together and I enjoy the experience and opportunity that much more for it. I recently wrapped up my first semester back to college with a 4.0. God has been so good to me and has been with me every step of the way. I don’t know what God has in store for the days ahead, but I know that I trust Him, and I’m excited for the new paths that He is paving in our lives.

 

Encouragement

If We Are Faithless, He Remains Faithful

2 Timothy 2:13 If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.

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Life… it’s totally unpredictable. Sure, we all have plans for our future and have set goals for ourselves that we strive to achieve during our lifetime. Some of them come to fruition, while others are left unfulfilled. Life is beautiful but at times messy. It’s seemingly peaceful whilst still teeming with chaos. It’s joyful yet at times filled with indescribable sorrow. Life and the situations that we face within it influence us in one way or another, whether we like it or not.

But here’s a simple truth… our lives won’t always reflect shiny rainbows, sweet gumdrops, and glitter doused unicorns. Death, loss, grief, unemployment, loneliness, sickness, disappointment… Why is it that during the seasons of good fortune that our faith seems so much easier to pronounce? The procurement and profession of our faith when things are going the way we want them to occurs almost effortlessly, but when life takes those unexpected turns, why does it suddenly become harder for us to stand on the same platform that we so easily stood on before?

During those trying times when our faith seems to dim and hope begins to waver, it’s important to remember that God’s faithfulness to US does NOT. It never has and it never will. God remains faithful to us despite what we might be facing or enduring. He promised He would NEVER leave us or forsake us. He promised us that we could trust Him. He promised to supply our every need and that He would make all things work for our good. God loves us despite our mistakes and mishaps. He loves us despite our shortcomings and failures.

We have the ability to be content in every situation, in every season, and in every circumstance in our life. (Philippians 4:11-13) We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. Things might seem dark, difficult, and maybe even hopeless right now, but cleave to your faith my friends. God will answer. He will provide. He will make a way. He is faithful! Never give up on God, because He never gives up on you.

 

 

Momma Prayers

Today I Pray For The Momma That Is Waiting

WaitingToday I pray for the Momma that is waiting. I don’t know what her needs are Lord, but I know that You do, and that you have known them before she even asked. (Matthew 6:8) She has poured the desires of her heart before you Lord, and is struggling to understand why she has been met with silence. With each day that passes Father, doubt, fear, and uncertainty begin clouding her mind. The enemy tells her that there is no hope, she should give up, and just accept things for the way they are. Lord, during this season of her waiting, remind her that you are working in her life. You are molding her and shaping her into what she needs to be for the days to come. I pray that she will feel your love radiating around her, and that You will speak peace to her troubled heart. Remind her that though she may not understand what you are doing right now, that one day she will. (John 13:7) I pray that you will strengthen her during this season of waiting Lord. When her hope begins to waver,  I pray that she will be reminded of Your plans for her; to prosper her, and to not harm her, to give her hope, and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11) So Lord, whether she be waiting for that baby that she longs to hold in her arms, the call for the job that her husband needs to provide for their family, the report of the cancer being in remission, her lost loved one’s salvation…whatever her circumstances may be today Lord, help her to declare victory through Christ Jesus and give her a renewed hope! We know that while she is waiting, You are working. I thank You for what You are doing in her life right now Lord, and know that the best is yet to come for her.

Momma Prayers

Today I Pray For The Momma Who Has Lost Hope

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Lord, today I pray for the momma who has lost HOPE. She’s so tired God. She’s fighting just to hang on, but she doesn’t know how much longer she can keep going. The enemy is filling her mind with doubts, telling her that she is only wasting her time. He tells her that things are never going to change for her and that she should just go ahead, accept it, and give up…Give up the hope for the baby that she longs to hold in her arms…The hope for the diagnosis to be reversed…The hope for her broken marriage to be restored. I don’t know her battles Father, but I know that you do. I know that you see her aching heart and that you hear her cries. God, I pray that you will renew her hope today. Fill her with a new breath of confidence in you. Send your Holy Spirit to minister to her heart and to bring her comfort today. Remind her Father God that she can trust you, and that she never has to doubt your goodness or your love for her. Give her the wisdom and courage to combat the enemy and all of his lies. Help her to find solace in your word and in your presence. Surround her with people that will love her, encourage her, pray with her, and help to lead her closer towards you Father. I thank you for what you are doing in her life today God. I know that she may not see it right now, but I have HOPE…and that hope is in YOU. I pray for this momma today Lord, whoever she is, and wherever she may be, in Jesus name. Amen.

Momma Prayers

Today I Pray For The Momma Who Feels Like Giving Up

Today I pray for the momma who feels like giving up. I don’t know the battles that she is facing today God, but I know that you do. Today, she may be hiding her tears behind an exhausted smile and attempting to cover her broken heart through the sounds of forced laughter. She might be pushing herself just to make it through this daily charade and is left wondering if she’s strong enough to endure even one more day of this life. The mountains in front of her seem so tall Lord, and her mind is racing with thoughts that she is struggling to control. She feels like the enemy has her backed into a corner with no escape. Today, she feels like giving up Lord. Father God, I pray that you will speak peace to her troubled heart today. I pray that you will cover her in your love and fill her with a joy and a new found hope like she has never experienced before. Help her to realize that you are with her, and that you are fighting for her! Teach her to draw her strength from you Father and stir up within her a courage of David to stand against these giants in her path. Remind her that your plans for her are good and that you will never leave her or forsake her. I pray for this momma today God, whoever she is, and wherever she may be, in Jesus name. Amen.

Momma Prayers

Today I Pray For The Momma That Is Battling Addiction

Lord, today I pray for the momma who is battling addiction. I don’t know her struggles God, but I know that you do. I don’t know her pain, but I know that you see every tear that she cries. Lord, I pray that you will speak peace to her burdened heart today Father. I pray for the healing and restoration of her body, mind, and spirit. I pray that you will give her strength and a renewed determination. I pray that you will fill her heart with a new song of hope and joy. Cover her in your love Lord and please keep your hand of protection upon her. Help her to realize that nothing she has done in her life could ever separate her from your love. Help her to see just how loved, valued, and precious she is in your eyes. I pray that you will place people in her life that will help to lead her towards you and that they will offer her love and support along her journey. I pray that you will break the chains of addiction that have her bound and that you will bless her life Lord. I pray for this momma today Lord, whoever she is, and wherever she may be, in Jesus name. Amen.

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Photo by Kat Jayne on Pexels.com
Family Food & Fun

Banana Nut Bread

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Whenever I buy bananas, my kids either inhale them instantly, or they don’t touch them at all and they turn brown and get mushy. If you have some leftover bananas that are a little past their prime, this is a great recipe to use them in!

1 1/4 Cup All Purpose Flour

1 tsp Baking Soda

1/2 tsp Salt

2 Eggs

1/2 tsp vanilla

1 Stick Butter

1 Cup Sugar

3 Bananas

1/2 Cup Pecans

Sift the flour, baking soda and salt together. Whisk the eggs and vanilla together in a separate bowl and set aside .Brush pan with butter. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.

Cream your butter and sugar together. Gradually pour egg and vanilla mixture into the butter and sugar while mixing.

Add in your bananas with a spatula and then mix in the flour mixture. Fold in the pecans.

Pour the batter into a greased baking pan and bake for 55 minutes. Let the bread cool for 5 minutes before removing it from the pan. Wrap your loaf in plastic wrap. Your bread will become very moist and it tastes even better the next day!

Family Food & Fun

Feed Your Family For An Entire Month Within Hours

FREEZERCOOKING

Life is busy mommas! All of our beautiful momma chaos … the crying babies, dirty diapers, housework, errands, school lessons and homework, cooking, sporting events, church functions…throw some college classes, part time work, and sleep deprivation into the mix, and you can very easily find yourself in a state of overwhelming exhaustion before you even know it. During this busy season of my life, I have to strive for simplicity, and one of the ways that I have found to help make my days just a littler easier has been freezer cooking! Not only has freezer cooking helped to save me time and energy, but it has also helped me to save money.  $$$ Cha-Ching $$$  With a little planning, preparing, and some freezer bags, you can prepare healthy home cooked meals for your family simply by emptying a bag into your crockpot or popping a pan into your oven. VOILA…dinner! I like the sound of that my friends.

Now, before you hit the hills running, hear me out. I know that the thought of cooking for an ENTIRE MONTH at one time can seem like a daunting task, but if I can do it, then so can you! Now, let me preface this by saying that what works for me might not work for you, and that’s okay! Adaptation…use what works for YOU! Below are a few tips that could help you get started with freezer cooking for your family too.

1) INVENTORY & ORGANIZATION : Before you do anything else, go through your cabinets, pantry, freezers, and fridge and inventory what you already have. Jot down everything that you have and all of the quantities.

 2) USE WHAT YOU HAVE FIRST: Always try to use what you already have on hand before buying more. This cuts down on waste and your pantry and fridge always stay neat and tidy in the process. Double win

3) BRAINSTORM SOME IDEAS: Write down some meal ideas that you frequently have with your family and any other recipes or meals that you want to try. Include any meals that you can put together from what you already have in your pantry and fridge from Step #2. Plan for meals that will fit your budget. If you need to only do a week or two at a time that’s fine! Remember, do what works best for you!

4) COMPILE YOUR LIST AND BREAK IT DOWN BY WEEK: For example, in our family, we have ” Family Fun Fridays”. The kids usually want to have pizza on those nights, so I menu plan for homemade pizzas on Fridays. Take into account days that you will have outings, errands, and appointments and plan accordingly for your cooking time that day. ( I’m going to be gone all day so I just need to dump dinner in the crockpot before going out the door days versus I have time to do a little prep work and put the casserole in the oven to bake for an hour days) Also include special events that are happening that week (birthday parties, etc.), and if you have plans on going out for dinner or having other people over for dinner.  Here’s a Meal Planning Sheet I made that you can use if you would like to. (Just right click and save the picture to your computer so you can print it out)

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5) HAVE A SAFETY NET : Don’t set yourself up for failure! Mommin’ ain’t easy my friends and some days are just going to be “one of those days”. Life is going to happen, and there are going to be days that don’t go how you originally intended that they would. Give yourself some “safety net” meals that you keep on hand as staples in your home. (hot dogs, spaghetti, mac and cheese, etc.)

6) MAKE A LIST OF WHAT YOU NEED FOR YOUR MEALS : Write down all of the things you need for each meal. For example, on Taco nights, I need our assortment of fresh vegetables, salsa, sour cream, tortilla chips, taco shells, ground beef, seasonings, etc…

7) MAKE YOUR SHOPPING LIST : Compile all of the items you need for your meals along with the quantities that are needed. Don’t forget to include your “safety net” meals, special occasions, and household staples. (sugar, flour, salt, milk, eggs, etc.) Don’t forget some good quality freezer bags, disposable aluminum pans if needed, aluminum foil, and some saran wrap.

8) *OPTIONAL*  SHOP SALES I used to shop sales and coupon more than I do now. Maybe one day I’ll have the time to devote to doing this again, but right now… it is what it is and I’m okay with that.

9) COOK, COOK, AND THEN COOK SOME MORE : Set aside several hours based upon your menu choices and get to cooking momma! Include your little ones in the process as it is a  wonderful learning experience for them, and not to mention, they make great little helpers!

10) WRAP, INSULATE, AND LABEL YOU MEALS Make sure to wrap your freezer meals thoroughly to prevent freezer burn and to seal your freezer bags well making sure to remove as much air as possible before sealing. Label your meals with a description and cooking directions just to make life that much easier.

And that’s it! I hope that these tips help to give you some ideas that might work for you and your family. God Bless my friends and happy freezer cooking!

 

 

Encouragement

Who Am I?

 

untitled.pngWe each have our own personal identity. We have driver’s licenses containing our photos and personal information and assigned numbers from the government used to help identify us. Our fingerprints, medical and dental records, and other unique physical characteristics can be used for purposes of identification. We also tend to classify ourselves into groups…our job title ( I’m a doctor, lawyer, business owner,student). I’m a wife/husband, mother/father, daughter/son, family member/friend. As a society, we have created a plethora of identifying criteria for ourselves that we use on a daily basis. We even make the mistake sometimes of letting others classify us as this or as that, and we even start to believe their words at times (some of which can be quite hurtful) I love seeing others happy! It’s an amazing rush that flows through me when I see those smiles and hear their laughter! However, I all too easily allow myself to fall into a self made “people pleaser trap” if I’m not cautious. I start to draw my self worth from the opinions of others. I start identifying myself by what others think of me. When those thoughts and opinions aren’t so nice…I STRUGGLE  But why? God knows my heart and my intentions so why do I let what others say and think about me affect me so greatly? THE ANSWER: I’m trying to find my identity in the world and in others. My identity needs to be found in Christ! I AM WHO HE SAYS I AM! I am REDEEMED. I am FORGIVEN. I am LOVED. I am ACCEPTED I am CHOSEN! Not everyone is going to like me…and that’s ok! The world can call me what they will, but I know who I am…and I AM HIS! So, with that being said…DO YOU KNOW WHO YOU REALLY ARE?