This and that.

It's Friday!
The whole weekend lies ahead of us ... a time to refresh and recharge.
The older I get the more I understand why God commanded His people to REST.
It is necessary and good - for the mind, body, and soul.
So for the next two days, I will enjoy this command to the fullest and rejoice that God encourages stillness and rest.

We have a tradition in our family.
When a boy turns 13, he gets to spend a weekend away with Dennis to kick off his "Man in Training."
The boy gets to choose the where and the what, and then enjoy the time alone with Dennis. Caleb chose the beach!
They spent the weekend in San Clemente enjoying the surf, sand, a hotel, and various activities during their days together.
Caleb LOVED it.
In a large family, it is difficult to secure "alone time" with anyone, so this weekend is cherished by our sons, and Dennis willingly throws himself into the tradition.
I am confident it will be a favorite memory for him and the boys in years to come!

We were reunited with our G3 this week! Sickness kept us apart for three weeks, but we made up for it on Monday. ;o)
What do we do? We PLAY!
Everyone was in a mellow mood, so we decided to stay home instead of heading out on an adventure.
Scooters, soccer balls, blocks, swords ... all things FUN!
It was a good day. For all of us.
(Don't let Grace's face fool you. She was laughing hysterically before the click of the camera!)

~~~ After candling our duck eggs, we were sad to find that we lost five during phase one.
We had such troubles with the incubator the first 48 hours (temperature would not adjust, a hole in the water trough preventing correct humidity, etc), I wasn't sure any of the eggs would survive. I am thankful we still have seven, and pray the Lord will allow at least three of them to hatch so each of the kids has his/her own duck to love.
Only 17 days until we (should) hear the chirping of baby ducklings!

There are many reasons I love homeschooling and am thankful the Lord allows us to do so freely in America.
One of those reasons is discovering my children out in nature working on their lessons on a gorgeous, sunny, breeze-filled day!
I LOVE nature and the diversity and beauty of the outdoors, but I am not naturally drawn outside to enjoy it. I have to be intentional about getting outside - letting the sun soak into my skin - feeling the wind on my face. But my children? They need no urging.
They eat breakfast outside, play games, do school work, take naps, and anything that else comes to mind.
How thankful I am they so willingly partake of God's creation!

~~~ I have now been in a discipleship relationship for two months with a wise, gentle, godly, Titus 2 woman, and WOW! It is amazing how much can be accomplished with purposeful and intentional conversation, questions, study, Scripture, and prayer.
We meet once a month. Our first time together was wonderful and stirred me up to begin a journey that needs to be taken. I left her feeling excited, prepared, and eager to see what the Lord has prepared for me.
She gives me daily/weekly assignments, and through those the Lord stretches and challenges me in areas that have long been ignored. It's fanTAStic!
Last night I eagerly drove to her house for our second meeting, knowing the Lord was going to do another mighty work. What I didn't know, however, was His plan to reveal something I didn't know about myself - and it was going to be BIG.
We were in deep, intense discussion, deconstructing what we were studying when I looked up with wide eyes and declared, "Friend! It's not that! It's THIS!" My mind was racing, dozens of images and conversations were flooding my memory, and I just started talking through it as the thoughts presented themselves.
My sister was leaning in close to me, hanging on every word, and responding as if watching all of it play out like a movie on a screen. (This is where the Lord allowed comic relief, and we both laughed at the craziness of the moment.)
I've had the privilege of witnessing others unravel a mental puzzle before my eyes and find it fascinating ("Aha!" moments), but I have not experienced one so intense in my own mind. It was just as fascinating - and - hard to keep up with!
When I exhausted my words, we discussed an action plan and then it was time to pray.
She looked at me and said, "After that kind of revelation, we need to pray on our knees. This is too big to pray over sitting upright!" So, down we went.
Friends, when the Lord shines a floodlight on your sin and reveals truth about you that needs to be seen, there is no hiding. Especially in prayer. As soon as I uttered the word, "Lord," I was undone. Praying while weeping is a heart-wrenching and soul-cleansing experience, and it was the best thing that has happened to me in a very, very long time.
Thank You, Lord, that You are always at work in the hearts of Your children, and when they willingly bend their knee, You respond as a tender Shepherd - carefully and gently holding them close until the weeping stops and hope shines brightly once again. I had no idea what You had planned for me last night, but YOU did ... and I am thankful.

~~~ Happy Friday, everyone!
May you be given opportunities to show kindness, grace, long-suffering, and love to those around you - and may you feel refreshed and ready to dive into a new week with ZEAL after spending time in the Word, in prayer, and with other believers who make you want to know and love God MORE.

Blessed is the man
who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
but his delight is in the law of the Lord,
and on His law he meditates day and night.
He is like a tree planted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in its season,
and its leaf does not wither.
In all that he does, he prospers. Psalm 1

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