A Chosen Wife

What does it mean to be a chosen wife?

It does not refer to the literal act of being chosen, as generally being married means that you were chosen by your partner to enter into covenant together.

But the chosen wife is the wife who has chosen to take up the mantle of biblical wifehood and has chosen to live out how the Bible has instructed us to as wives, as coheirs in the kingdom. There are many ways we do this from submission, to prayer, and even the practical ways of actually helping our spouses (whether its cleaning up behind them because they are exhausted or super busy with work or its getting out there are working just as hard as they do to provide for your family). The goal is always the same be a helpmeet and we choose this.

But there’s something else we need to choose and that is contentment. In this era of social media, we have these accounts on Facebook. Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, and Pinterest and it is SO easy to fall into the comparison trap. We compare our homes, our marriages, our children to people we know and even people we do not know. We compare our everyday life to their highlight reel. Because while we can see our dirty kitchens or messy living rooms, all we see online is their pristine clean photos that may give the impression that its always clean. But we don’t see what goes on behind closed doors. Perhaps there is heartache due to not being able to conceive OR we don’t see the tons of money they spend on a maid service. We may see the beautiful words of appreciation on a birthday or holiday but we don’t see the arguments behind closed doors. And the entire goal is appreciate and water your own grass. Don’t be so quick to wish for what someone else has because you don’t know what they did to get it or what they do to keep it.

Then, there’s avoiding the legalism trap that comes with being wife. As a wife we hold innumerable influence (generally speaking) with our husbands. We are in a position to advise them on matters that concern not only us and our household but also in areas outside the home that may affect others. And because of that we must be extremely careful as to what we say, how we say it, and what we support or do not support. And the legalist aspect to avoid is the attitude that because we do things a certain then everyone should or because we believe something then everyone should or because we are convicted in an area everyone should be convicted in that area. Some women may feel convicted about only wearing long skirts, while others may not have that same conviction. Some may feel that they should never work outside the home and for others that is not ideal nor do they hold the same convictions . It is very dangerous to push our personal feelings and convictions onto others. We run the risk of becoming the very Pharisees that Jesus denounced in the Bible.

So how to do we avoid the legalism trap? It starts with keeping our eyes focused ahead. Realizing that what the Holy Spirit convicts in us, may not be the same in the next person. And my race is my race, and it will not looks the same as the next person’s race and that is okay. Also, appreciate what you have. Comparison is the thief of joy and appreciation. So even if you need to limit your time on social media, do it. It is always for your good and God’s glory to leave comparison alone and run the race set before you.

So do you have any tips on running your race and being appreciative for what you do have? Leave them below!

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Planning: Morning Time

Morning time is often the most important time of day as it sets the tone for the rest of the day. If the morning is hectic or chaotic usually the rest of the day is the same. So if I can get our mornings to a place of ease and routine then the rest of the day will follow suit.

So as I am planning our 2019-2020 school year, one of the first things I’ve planned is our morning time basket/routine.

We have handwriting workbooks (cursive for the older kids and print for the new writer), we have a nature book that will allow us to learn about the world around us as well as use it for sketching out what we learn about, we have 101 Bible Adventures (we’ll use for devotions and scripture memory), I’ve also found history books that we use for read aloud on the tablet (ebooks).

Cursive handwriting book found on Amazon for about $3-4

Found on Amazon for about $12

Amazon has this one for $13

I’m thinking for now that should round out our morning time although I’m thinking to do an afternoon “tea time” as I’ve been reading up on which is like morning time but for the afternoon and with snacks! Cause I mean who doesn’t love snacks. With that time we’ll work on music appreciation and independent reading.

I’ve also been working on building our learning games inventory for quiet time. My goal is to have more structured play and fun rather than our kids always running to a tablet or tv.

So, what are your plans for this upcoming school year? Are you doing a morning time or routine? Have you started curriculum planning? I’ll cover ours in the next homeschool post.

Motherhood: The Struggle

Oftentimes when people talk about parenting, it’s sunshine and rainbows. We talk about our children who potty trained easily and the ones who listen the first time you give instructions. But what about behind the scenes when your three year old has absolutely zero interest in potty training and literally is not taking to it. Unless we force her on the toilet she doesn’t go and even then she only will tinkle. What about the kids that I have to do the Godzilla voice on to get them to listen. And oftentimes its never the first time I give instructions. Here’s the thing they aren’t like this all the time. With the older kids it’s usually when they’re distracted on a device. And with the littles well they’re aged five and under. And the youngest, literally only likes mama. And because she’s still breastfeeding (13 almost 14 months old) I cannot do much of anything without her. There’s rarely such an account of motherhood that’s honest about the great days and includes the tough ones as well. And as moms we need to see that even the most well put together mom has tough days and no one has got this parenting thing down to perfection. That is how we start to eliminate the comparison trap.

At times this is hugely overwhelming and tough. It’s hard not to be on social media (face palms) and not compare my everyday to someone else’s highlight reel. But that’s exactly what we’re doing when we even remotely try to compare our lives with someone else even with people we see on Sunday at church or the mom at the park. We cannot possibly truly understand what life as a mom is like for her.

For me, I want you to see the hard days so that you understand that it is still possible to have them and persevere. There are days when I am irritable and I could not even tell you why. I’m sure my sleep being interrupted several times a night plays into the irritability. But as a Christian mom, you’d think I’d know how to put a cap on my emotions, right? Nope, not all the time. I struggle in this area. But I am committed to doing better. I am committed to showing grace to everyone around me, husband included. I don’t have to have it all together, but I do need to surrender it all to Jesus and lean on Him rather than trying to do it without Him. I am committed to showing the hard days so no one sees my highlight reel and compare.

A nugget I’m learning: Just as I want my children to use their words to express themselves, I have to do the same. Yelling and having an attitude does not express anything except anger and it does not help any situation. And I’m just as guilty as my kids of doing this. Of yelling and hitting in my anger; of having an attitude when I don’t get my way. And to teach them better I have to BE better.

So dear mama, if you’re ever in or near this boat. I am with you and I am rooting for you. If you have any tips on how you show grace to your family and how you take your attitude. Comment below. 👇🏽👇🏽

Summer Learning

So the school year is over but the learning never really stops for homeschoolers, especially for a family that’s spent a lot of time traveling in the last few months. For instance we aren’t even at home in North Dakota and haven’t been for two weeks. We’re currently in Chicago! And our summer learning has taken us to the Museum of Science and Industry as well as the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum.

So this first group of photos are from the Museum of Science and Industry. We particularly enjoyed the weather exhibit where the kids got to play with a man made tornado and learn about the way they are made. Also note we did not have to pay to enter the Museum of Science and Industry as a homeschooling family.

This second group of photos are from the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum which was awesome. We got to enter a butterfly haven and even see butterflies as they were inside their chrysalis, some we hatching out of them as well. Also we were able to enter the nature museum for only $5 (during furlough we’re able to receive EBT benefits).

We hope you enjoyed our first couple field trips of the summer.

Frugal Homeschooling

Homeschooling when you only have one kid often looks different from homeschooling multiple kids. Then throw in only have one income to live on and you will quickly come to the conclusion that you have to be very strategic in your purchases and if possible find the free curriculum.

So that’s what I’ve done. I’ve spent many hours searching for the free unit studies, textbooks and workbooks. And I can tell you that alone is hard work. It takes a lot of patience to scour the internet for free curriculum. Most often people get stuck purchasing the big brand curriculum only to realize it doesn’t work for their kids or they go to purchase it only to realize that one set takes up the whole budget. And that is heartbreaking (it’s what set me off on searching for free or nearly free curriculum).

One place I absolutely love and highly recommend is The Good and the Beautiful. They have created very well priced curriculum. Even for the printed, it’s often much cheaper than brands like Abeka or Sonlight. But if you’re willing to take PDF and print what you need? Language Arts for Grades 1-5 are FREE. And the others are less than $20. Mind you their language arts curriculum includes art and geography. So it’s a great curriculum.

I’ve found Math Makes Sense completely free (Textbooks & Workbooks), PDF of course. As well as Saxon Math. I’ve also found Treasures (ELA) and Science by Macmillan-McGraw Hill absolutely free as well.

I’m still working on social studies curriculum that I actually like so we’ve been doing our own thing using unit studies and books from the library to learn about Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome, Ancient Egypt, and Ancient Israel.

Netflix has also been a great resource with us being able to watch Science documentaries (Planet Earth, Blue Planet, Africa, The Hunt, Frozen Planet all by BBC) and History documentaries. I have them take notes and then we back it up with further research projects.

One thing I will do is provide links to much of what I’ve found here. My advice on finding more: GOOGLE what you’re looking for with “PDF” behind it.

I also highly recommend utilizing your local library. Ours here in Mandan, ND put together room boxes for homeschooling families with books for each child and tailored to their age and interests.

This is Us

So this is us! Mama plus all five kiddos. And thankfully Dad is our amazing cameraman.

From the left

    Kaylee (11, soon to be 12 preteen)
    Christian (newly minted 5 year old)
    Coral (freshly walking 1 year old)
    Cali (sassy 3 year old), and
    the only boy Caleb (7 soon to be 8 year old bundle of fun).

We’re currently homeschooling the elder three with Christian doing half days of Pre Kindergarten before full days of Kindergarten in the fall.

This is us! Doing life on one income and homeschooling on a budget. Yes it is possible even with a seven person household. Even with two people in diapers. I thank God every day that He equips my husband to provide abundantly for us so that I can have the opportunity and privilege to be home with our children and educate them.

I hope you stick around to learn more about us and the life lessons we’re learning together. Monday I’ll share how we do homeschooling on a budget. This is huge!

Like, share, comment & comeback! 🤗🤗🤗

The Journey Begins

Thanks for joining me! My goal is to document my journey in marriage, in motherhood, in homeschooling….life. If you know me then you know these three spheres of life make up the vast majority of my time and energy. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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