Saturday, September 15, 2012

HIS Gotcha date!

Many things the past few months have led up to this day - the born again date!!  Both our children accepted Christ as their personal Savior with their mommy and daddy by their side!  So precious is today!

A few key things that I can recall...sorry for any typos or lack of excited and typing fast.

In the spring, my uncle Jerry passed away of cancer.  We decided to take both kids to the funeral since they knew him pretty well.  This started the conversations about death and why our body is still on earth - in the coffin - but our spirit and new body leaves the earth and goes to heaven.  This was a very confusing time for them but I knew their wheels were spinning.

A few months ago, a man from the soup kitchen that the kids fed there, was hospitalized for cancer and at the same time Brock's Grandfather, was given a short amount of time to live, also due to cancer.  I remember giving the kids a bath and Reece asked me if they would die.  And I had to say "yes" and that everyone dies.  After I said it, I wanted to grab it and take it back.  Both kids mouths dropped to their chin and they said "I don't want to I going to die too?" I of course had to answer honestly that yes, they would die too.  They both were crying and saying they didn't want to die.  I reminded them of all the things we had been learning at Awana and church...that when we die we can go to heaven if we believe in Jesus...that is why he died on the cross for us.  That still didn't help much and they persisted on asking if they were going to die TOMORROW.  I had to tell them that I didn't know when they would die, that only God knew this.

Then we experienced a tornado in August.  This along with our sick friends (Brian from the soup kitchen and great Grandpa) caused them to pray alot more.  I would shut the doors to the rooms at night and I could hear them praying...praying about people being sick, to have good dreams, and to keep bad weather away from them.  With death around them and upon them, they were asking more questions and more fearful of things.  This was a very anxious time for them and we prayed whenever they asked or wanted.

One day last week during homeschooling, Reece was being stubborn and prideful...she was NOT going to do this one assignment even though I had told her she would be doing it.   This caused me to talk about the sin and pride in her heart and explain what was going on with her.  I could tell she knew that is what it was and she broke down crying over it.  She asked how she could change it and I said she needed to trust Jesus and needed Him in her life to help her with that.  She cried even there was a weight that she needed lifted.  I asked her if she believed in God and she said yes.  So I asked her if she wanted Him to live in her heart and help her to do the right things.  She said yes.  I told her I thought we should wait until daddy got home and that way we could pray as a family.  When he got home, we talked about it, but she said she didn't want to pray the prayer.

It might have been this same day/night, that when we tucked in Brody he said he wanted to pray for Grandpa.  We hadn't told him how bad he was getting but we prayed for Grandpa.  When we were done, I gave him a drink of water because he asked.  He then said "this water is good for us.  I think that if Grandma gave Grandpa some of this water, he wouldn't die".  I had to explain that, that's not the way it worked unfortunately and that Grandpa would probably die very soon.  But I told him we didn't have to be sad because we knew he was going to Heaven.  He said "I don't want Grandpa to die because I still want to see him and I don't want Grandma to be alone...she needs a husband to take care of".  This of course made me cry because he was just so sweet.

A couple of days later, their Great Grandpa Rader did pass.  I waited for Brock to get home and we told them together.  We again talked with them about Grandpa going to Heaven...that his body would be at the funeral like uncle Jerry but that he was actually in Heaven having a grand ol time.  Brock and I were teary eyed over it and Reece said "Don't cry...he's in Heaven".  I told her I knew that but was still sad for family and for grandma too.

During this time was the first week of Awana.  Reece's verse that she had to memorize was John 3:16 "For God's so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have ever lasting life".  We talked about what that verse meant a lot!

For a few days, there were lots of questions and good conversation.  Before the funeral, the pastor took all the kids into a room and explained again what happens when we die and spoke the gospel to them.  His theme or verse during the funeral was John 3:16!!!  Reece heard him say it and whispered "mom, that's my sparks verse for this week".  I think this made her listen even more.  God's plan is perfect so this was all no surprise to me...not a coincidence!!

Last night Reece said she felt sick to her stomach and took a bowl to bed.  I wasn't home so I didn't know much about it.  When she woke up she told me she prayed to God that he would not let her get sick and that He answered her prayer.  She said that she had prayed the longest prayer ever and that she asked Jesus to come into her heart and make her be a better person!  I couldn't believe it!  Brody said "I want Jesus to live in my heart too!".  So we sat down and talked about what it meant to do all that and they all seemed to understand.  So when daddy got home from work, we sat up on Reece's bed before nap time and all prayed the prayer together!  Praise the Lord!  I had been praying that this would happen all as a family because I just thought it would be such a neat memory for us.  I couldn't be happier!  Praying now to see fruit in their little lives.  I know these two are going to do BIG things for God's glory!!

See you in Heaven Grandpa Rader!!
Taken exactly 2 weeks before he passed and 3 weeks before Reece accepted Christ:

Friday, September 14, 2012

Homeschooling thoughts...

This morning wraps up week 4 of homeschooling.  It has been a really good 4 weeks.  There have been some tears from both mommy and daughter a couple of times, but overall it has gone really well.  We have a very good routine and we are both getting use to it.  We are using mostly Sonlight Curriculum and I must say I can not see using anything else.  Everything I need is all there and I have really like nothing to plan.  We just head down first thing in the morning and follow the schedule right out of the teachers's really a piece of cake.

Although we have had some tears and some tough days, those tough times lead to really good conversations that led to us being closer and building character in us both!  This is what I really wanted out of it.  I still have some very mixed feelings about it...partly because I live partly in the world and partly in the Word.  Not sure I will ever get around that part.  When I hear my friends saying they did such and such by themselves, that makes me want to send her.  I think that has been the hardest part for me - selfishly giving up things I wanted to do with my time.  I have to keep telling myself that I only have them like this for a short time and only once and one day I will have more time to myself.  The end result is building a Godly character in them so that they can go enter the "real" world knowing how to make good decisions, despite what the world around them is doing.  This is something I need to do for my self also!

Just when I feel down about it, I hear words of encouragement from people I didn't really expect to hear them from.  This week I heard from a guy (who was here looking at properties to place trees) and he told me he wished his wife would home school his kids.  He told me the things (burdens) his children bring home with them.  I heard from another lady that said if she could go back and do it again, that she would home school. I read the following things this morning: that so and so was mortified when someone asked her children what the capital of France was, and they didn't know!.  She was told that "kids can look that up anytime. In the total scheme of things, it is not that important for our kids to know what the capital of France is! How much better that they learn how to get along with one another. . . ."

I have thought about this a lot lately.  How much my kids have been fighting lately is driving me batty and how much easier it would be if Reece was at school.  I hear how kids get along better when they are away from each other and then return...but isn't this just a temporary fix?  I realize that kids won't always get along but shouldn't we be teaching them to get along whether they are with someone all the time or not?  Whether they know someone or not?  Whether they heard bad things or good things about them?  What they wear or what they look like?  We have been talking a lot about compromise, listening to one another, and doing to others as we would want done.  I know that if she can get along with her brother, she can get along with anyone else applying those same principles.

Obeying authorities has also been brought up the past couple of weeks.  I have personally witnessed other children who did not obey me as an authority and that really bothered me.  Then I witnessed my own children not obeying someone else.  I feel that if my children learn to obey my authority, they will ultimately obey God and other authority.  They have not mastered this yet.  The more we work at this with them while they are young, the better and easier it will be for them.  I have heard the saying and do believe the saying that children obey better for other people.  While this might be true, I do believe that is also a temporary fix/thing.  They will only obey for as long as they can, but if those skills aren't built into who they are as character, they will eventually not obey others either (teachers, babysitters, etc).

Those are just some things I have been thinking about lately.  I haven't read about them anywhere...just witnessed them and thought about it a lot.

My personal favorite part of our home school curriculum is the Sing the Word A to Z cd.  How easy it has been for us to memorize key verses that they will always have in their hearts.  We have learned so far "All have sinned", "Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved", "Children Obey your Parents in Everything" and "Do to others as you would want them to do".  If they just have those 4, I think they would be pretty great kids.  I constantly find myself singing these back to them when they aren't obeying or aren't treating each other right. My hope is that they will sing these in their head when they are away from home and have decision to make (on how to treat someone, on whether to make a right or wrong choice, etc).

We do most of our school work from 7 to 9 in the morning.  We have even done some on the weekend - for catch up or just because.  One Saturday we did "Science Saturday" where we did 3 science experiments that we didn't get to during the week.  We do our bible story at night.  We have also included our Sparks (Awana) book and cd this week as part of our school day.  She really seems to be enjoying our school time and I am too.  I love watching her learn and ask questions. We had some problems with writing a while back but this week, she finished her writing a day early because she worked so hard!  We have come a long way! She finally realized that if she works ahead, she will have more free time later!

The other evening we were outside, I noticed one of my roses had come back (since the storm).  I remember we need a rose for one of our science experiments for this week so I ran inside and grabbed my book and we did it right there in about 5 minutes or so.  This week we talked about all the parts of the flower, why insects need plants, and why plants need insects...I learned sooo much - ha, ha!!
We also talked about the ground and dirt and discovered that you can find lots of insects hidding under rocks and boards.  We found a whole bunch of ants under a rock and they had hundreds of eggs too.  We inspected an ant hill too.

We have also been talking a lot about sin, (pride mostly), death, and heaven...more on that in another post!