Quotes to Ponder
As an avid reader, I regularly come across quotes that encourage, edify, and exhort. I have notebooks filled with quotes that I write down and notes that I make. I hope you will be encouraged by some of the quotes and notes that I've shared here.
It is amazing how I went from a very uncommitted person to an over-committed person. And, truthfully, some of my commitments are tiring me out.
It was late, too late to still be up. She settled into her favorite chair and reached for the book on the floor. It was Elisabeth Elliot's Loneliness.
I cringed when I realized what I was going to write about this week. You see, for the past week, I have been dealing with feelings, reactions, and thoughts that embarrassed me, that made me feel so unworthy...
A few minutes later, I was ranting at my husband and children about the state of my house and how they weren't helping me at all. How quickly I had let my frustration with a disorganized pantry turn into frustration with my family.
In the last couple of months, I've dealt with situations that were impossible for me, but I've learned, especially through my humbling and exhausting experiences this past year, that I can draw my strength from God to accomplish the tasks He has set before me.
That's when our small group leader asked me if I would quickly close us in prayer. My mind went blank! I couldn't remember the different prayer requests that had just been shared. I couldn't even think of how to open my prayer. I started to mumble something and then stopped to apologize, "I'm sorry. My mind just went blank!"
This little "thing" triggered an avalanche of emotions and thoughts. I started to remember past failures and tried to figure out what I could do to put an end to our present circumstances. It was all too much for me to handle.
It's a quiet, kind-of-lazy homeschool day. And my Lord is here, too! Thank You, Lord!
The new carpet had been a big improvement, and big expense, and now it had a green stain that wouldn't come out. I sobbed, not only because of the spot, but because I was at the end of my strength.
This has been a tough week for me, but not really. As I look back I realize just how much the Lord has been demonstrating His love for me. Thank You, Lord, for reminding me that You are my heart's desire!
Poor little Kathy! Oh, the troubles I was going through! *grin* A little dose of reality was what I needed. In my Bible reading, I was at 2 Corinthians 11 (verses 23 through 29) where Paul writes ...
My daughter was pouting. I had added to our daily list of things to do. She felt I had gone too far this time, but, honestly, I hadn't. "Something else? We already have so much to do! Aren't we ever done?" This tired cry sounded so familiar to me.
There is a favorite saying by William Butler Yeats that goes, "Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire." Imagine the fire we can light if we first start with prayer!
The following commentary is not in the usual style of the Quotes to Ponder section. As a matter of fact, I originally titled this, "Quotes NOT to Ponder". This commentary is about how I changed my opinion about the "Left Behind" series by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins.
I'm not sure how, but, even with my hectic schedule, I started reading, A New Song, the latest Mitford book from Jan Karon. I could identify with the main character, Father Tim. As he prepares to leave (temporarily) the town he's lived in for 16 years, he races from appointment to appointment, commitment to commitment, errand to errand.
I've been thinking about the learning that can take place each day. Not the learning my children are doing, but the daily opportunities I have to learn.
[H]er solution was to first be happy herself, to do what she believed best for herself and for others no matter what criticism she might receive. For a Christian mother, it does start with herself; it starts with her relationship with the Lord.
My final stroke said, "and not a care in the world." I don't want to get away from it all. I do want to care!
The word "decluttering" brings to my mind the image of boxes and bags being dumped out of a house. The house sighs with relief! Getting rid of the junk is a good first step.
I always wanted to be one of those people that had a quick answer. My hand was never the first one up in a crowd. It was not unusual for me to come up with an answer long after the question had been asked. I just don't think quick on my feet.
I was picking up her dirty cups, papers, books, socks, shoes, and other junk. Bending, twisting, reaching, and, finally, BUMP! I bumped my knee hard into a sharp corner as I reached for something else to pick up. That's when I lost my temper.
What does it mean to be a sheep? In this book, the sheep are at the mercy of the world around them. ... They are dumb animals, unable to care for themselves.
Do you ever want to strike your faith blind? Come on now, be honest! *grin* Don't you want to know, say, how your children are going to "turn out" after all your homeschool efforts?
Both my children have gone through times when they feel lonely. It's been amazing to see whom the Lord chooses as their friends. It's also been a blessing to watch them grow in their friendship with the Lord.
Last Tuesday afternoon I sat down to write last week's Quote to Ponder. I never did get to that. ... the Homeschool, Hot Topics, and Recipe Swap sections were shut down. My immediate reaction was disbelief, then came discouragement.
Guess what? I was right in that it was not a pleasant thing to do, but then Bob never did say it was going to be pleasant, just that we were going to do it. He turned out to be completely right.
Have any of you seen the guy with multi-colored hair who would show up at all sorts of sporting events holding a sign that said, "John 3:16"? I would always shout out, "There is that crazy guy with the hair!" ... Years later when I was saved, that verse finally had meaning and what meaning it held!! It was probably the first verse I memorized.
This prayer went to the heart of the matter - I was aching to find the time to spend with God regularly, constantly, to live before His Holy Presence!!!
I sometimes wonder why the Lord has let me be a mother. I can be such a selfish, grouchy woman, but I am so very thankful that He has given me this work.
It was obvious to me that beyond re-establishing our routine, we had to work on our hearts. Our hearts had to be into our work.
While the vine undergoes this death, the wine it has produced is gladdening the heart of man. Have you, perhaps, like the vine, given happiness to others, yet found yourself seemingly forsaken? Has it made you bitter?
I would like to share some paras from one of the Thanksgivings in Mitford. Sit back and enjoy the characters, the descriptions, the action, the food, the prayers, and the love woven throughout Jan Karon's Mitford ...
And, in the midst of play, learning is happening. My children didn't realize they were implementing the Scientific Method (something we had recently studied) ...
I feel as though I am in the midst of a rowdy, frustrated mob, even though I sit by myself in a quiet room. I am reminded of Matthew 5:1 when Jesus sees the multitudes and, instead of going to them, He goes up the mountain.
I was thinking about the Newsweek cover story on homeschooling and the Internet poll by ABC News that asked whether parents were qualified to teach their children. Something inside of me was hoping these could convince skeptical friends and relatives about the merits of our decision to homeschool.
It was as if my heart was squeezed tight and, like a soaking wet sponge, a flood of tears was released that I could not stop. My tears literally fell onto the floor. This reaction is not an everyday occurrence to me, but I know that I was tremendously moved by parents with a heart to teach their children.
I felt so alone. I finally turned to God. While on my knees I dumped out my anger at Him. Why had He let this happen to me? Why didn't anyone know I was hurting so badly and call me this time?
It was obvious we were going steadily down when we should be climbing up. This time we looked at the simple trail map and used our compass to figure out we were going in the wrong direction. We turned around to huff & puff our embarrassed way back to the right path.
Today, I'd just like to share some quotes that I have written down in my reading recently. Afterall, this is a feature for quotes. *grin*
As teachers of our children, we can sometimes forget or ignore that we are also students, that we are still learning each and every day. Think of all that you have to learn. Think of all that the Lord is trying to teach you.
Bitterness is deadly. It leads to other sins like resentment, anger, hatred, arrogance. Hebrews 12:15 says, Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled.
We will have tough days and super days homeschooling, but each day we can take that second look to see beyond the surface, seeking and searching for God communicating with us.
It was not the day that I had planned. My plans included starting our science study, decluttering the attic, putting up bookshelves to get books off the floor, and baking a pie. What actually happened ...
Recently, I heard a sermon that asked, "How are you spending your time on earth?" The main success story that was used to inspire us was an impressive family that worked together, ate together, and spent each evening reading and being together.
Laughter helped turned things around. A good dose of humor tore down the strong, hard walls that were being built up between the two of us. The walls that had prevented us from reaching out to each other, encouraging one another, praying for one another, and loving each other.
There was a spider web right above our head. Sure enough, an unsuspecting fly flew right into it. Each effort to get free only entangled it more. Soon it was enveloped by the silk of the spider. Success again for the spider.
When I was in high school, a good friend gave me a card with a little girl standing very straight, one arm in the air waving, shouting, "Attention! May I have your attention, PLEASE!".
I needed changes NOW! Waiting seemed impossible. I prayed all the time, crying and pleading with God for immediate results.
Sunday morning I came upon a baby hummingbird on the ground. What should I do, or not do, for this baby bird no longer than 2 inches and looking quite helpless?
I spent a good part of this holiday weekend paddling around a creek, the Glebe near the Potomac River & the Chesapeake Bay in Virginia. The peacefulness of this quiet time alone with God's creation was refreshing.
My love of literature has only blossomed in the past few years. In that short time, I have learned so much through the written word. My love for God's Word has grown immeasurably.
Discontentment, Impatience and Pride enjoy walking with me, tearing down, wearing thin and puffing up. They are usually blurred together and disguised as "Doing What's Best". In her book, Keep a Quiet Heart, Elisabeth Elliot addresses us how we can be discontent with our heavenly Father.
I love it when a character in a fiction book has a thought or comment that sticks in my mind and brings to light something I need to work on, be aware of, learn from. This happened recently while reading the book Baby Island by Carol Ryrie Brink.
Ruth Beechick's You CAN Teach Your Child Successfully: Grades 4-8 is filled with tons of wisdom and common sense. She is an experienced teacher who wants to encourage parents teaching their own children. Here are some quotes about going beyond textbooks, especially when studying history.
In her book, The Shaping of a Christian Family, Elisabeth Elliot shares a very important reason why her parents were so successful in "shaping" their Christian family.
I've really enjoyed contributing to Quotes to Ponder. It's been fun to share my thoughts and I hope you've enjoyed them, too. This is a picture my family had taken October 1998. I need to scan in a new picture. My son is 6 feet tall now! It's hard to believe how quickly our children are growing up. I'm appreciating each moment I have with them more and more each day!
Love in Christ,
I scanned in some pictures from the fall of 1999.
"And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord;
and great shall be the peace of thy children."