Thursday, October 3, 2013

A Nation Without Daddies

While reading history with my middle man this morning an idea came to me that I have never thought of before.

We are reading about ancient times during the lives of Moses, Joshua and Caleb.  This is one of our favorite times in history!  If you know my boys, you know why!

(If you do not know my boys, search this site for their names and you will know why this is!)

We were reading about the time period after the exodus when Moses was leading the Israelites through the wilderness.  As you may remember, it was at this time when God gave Moses the Ten Commandments.  Josh's book (Abeka) mentioned that the nation-state of Israel at this time was the first "Nation Under God."  

There were believers in and followers of God before this time but never a nation that followed after God as a whole.  I have just never thought of that before.

This new nation was admonished by Joshua that as long as they obeyed God, they would be blessed and if they disobeyed, they would be punished. Throughout the Old Testament as well as throughout history, there have been many successions of blessings and curses.

The same is true today, of course.

Whether a nation chooses to acknowledge God or not, he did institute government.  The nations prior to the Israelites had leaders as well as government, however, they choose their leaders and rules themselves and rarely included God in on their decision making.  In most cases they eventually came to recognize their rulers as gods.  

When God gave the Ten Commandments it was the first time in human history that God directly involved himself in human government and laid down the parameters for how he wanted his people to govern themselves.  He gave them directions on how o relate to himself and how to relate to each other.  

God also established himself as the ruler.  If the Israelites obeyed his commands, they would have no need of an earthly king.  If you have read much of the Old Testament, then you know how long that lasted!

Ok, so here is where I really got to thinking!

Our nation, like the Israelites, tried to put God at the helm of its leadership when our country was being established.  We tried making him, his morals and his Word the ultimate authority in our lawmaking.  

Like the Israelites, who moved into Canaan after the Exodus, however, and who were more influenced by the Canaanite culture than they were the influencers,  Americans have been more influenced by the world than influencers on the world over the past century.

Just like the Israelites adopted the ways of the Canaanites, Americans have adopted the "ways of the world" that our founding fathers were trying to escape.  We no longer look to God and his Word for wisdom, we look to the world and to ourselves.  Where did that bit of logic get the Israelites...?  

The first and ultimate Father, ie "Daddy" has been eliminated from our government and culture.

Speaking of those Founding Fathers, they have been essentially eliminated from our culture too.  I'm not saying that the world will ever forget George Washington or Benjamin Franklin. I don't think that will ever happen.  We are just raising a generation (maybe even the second or third generation) of children who have heard of these men but have no idea what they stood for.  

The masses of our children are not being taught that George Washington wrote to his brother after almost loosing his life during a battle in the French and Indian war to tell him that God surely spared his life for a reason!  

The second set of Fathers "Daddies" (what they believed in and fought for) are being erased from our culture's memories.

I just happen to be reading a book right now that I picked up from the "free" pile outside of our church's library.  It's a 1990 copyright called, "Children At Risk: The Battle for the Hearts and Minds of Our Kids." 

I honestly thought it was going to be a parenting book with advice on rearing stubborn kids!  It is, in fact, more about what our culture is doing and has done to claim the hearts and minds of our kids.  It is amazing to read all of the stats from the 80's in the book and think that things are even worse today!  It's a GREAT read!

The section that I just happened to read last night was about families without fathers. With so many families ending in divorce and so many families starting off without two parents to begin with there are LOTS of "daddy-less" families in our nation!

As a woman, I know I am perfectly capable of raising my boys if their daddy ever leaves or dies.

BUT, As an adult child of divorced parents, I also know that it is NOT the best way.

There are many holes in my life today that are still empty simply because my daddy lived across town and not under my same roof. Except for the Grace of God, I could have easily been a statistic like many girls who go looking for love in all the wrong places simply because they lacked a father to show them daily love.

Alas, our nation also lacks fathers daddies in so many homes to nurture and train the next generation(s) as God intended.

We truly are living in a fatherless nation in so many ways.  

That thought was profound to me today.  It also deeply saddened me.  

We have forgone God's design for family.

We have forgone God's design for government.

We have also forgone God's design for godly leadership.

I know what God did to teach the Israelites that they needed to return to him.

I fear for what it will be like for our generation if God decides it's time for us to return to him.

We live in a Nation - State where our leaders think that the role that our fathers once filled should now be filled by the government.

I don't like it.  

I want my "daddy" back.

A New Perspective!

It has been a while since I have posted to my blog.  I keep searching for inspiration in life and in my head.  Nothing has come to my mind to write about for quite a while.  No jokes please!  Some of you know me well enough to make them!

As I have searched for ideas to write about I have come to realize that the whole focus of my blog needs a change.  

Over the past two years I have needed to say much about homeschooling my three kiddos who are just loaded with academic, social and emotional labels.  

There has been much for me to say about kiddos with lots acronyms that can be attached to their personalities and learning styles. ADHD, ASD, and OCD are just a few!

I really benefited from this season of writing about the kids from the "labels" perspective. There was much I felt I needed to share and equally as much that I just wanted to get off my chest. 

I think that season of focus is over, however.

Each time I try to think of something to write from that perspective I just come up blank. The longer we homeschool, the longer the labels just seem so unimportant.  The longer we homeschool the more I have been able to recognize my children as a whole and not as a set of "can do" and "can't do" labels.  

I am desperately trying to see them as God sees them.  

I want to know them as God knows them.  

I want to teach them with the end in mind, not from the perspective of what they can't do but rather from the perspective of what God has for them to do. 

With that being said, its time to change my perspective as a mom and teacher...

And it's time to change the perspective of my blog.

From today forward, my focus is on abilities rather than disabilities.

... on what we can do, not what we can't do.

...on how God sees my kids not how the world of academia sees them.

Even though no life is perfect with no regrets,

Even though there are moments when I wonder if I can do this one more day moment,

Even though I am not a perfect mom or teacher,

Even though I do have some regrets in the past,

When it comes to deciding to homeschool the kids for the long run, I have no regrets!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Conner Prairie Field Trip

Spending the day at Conner Prairie was one of our all time FAVORITE fieldtrips!  We enjoyed all of the exhibits despite the fact that the van thermometer read 102 degrees when we left!

Josh could have spent all day creating his Rube Goldberg Contraption!

The 1880's hot air balloon was just like watching the Wizard from Oz take flight! 

Carolyn learned that the American Indiana allow themselves to make mistakes in their bead work to teach themselves that life isn't perfect!

I think Josh wishes he could have made a dug-out canoe from our dead trees!

It was HOT in that wigwam!

...And almost just as hot in this log cabin! 

We enjoyed hearing and speaking with with all of the live time period characters!

The Conner House was air conditioned to preserve the artifacts glad it preserved us for a short time!

This barn had the most impressive beam I have ever seen!  That must have been one HUGE tree!

My kids were so fascinated to watch the blacksmith work that I eventually had to make them get up and give their seats to someone else!

I just love how the characters will stay "in their time period" no matter what type of conversation you start up!

Josh thought this ford was "So Awesome!"

The Civil War area was our favorite! It was Disney Quality!  We didn't know these windows weren't real 'till the screens lit up with rebel horses riding up to the general store to raid us!

To learn more about Conner Prairie, click the pic below to go to their web site.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Weekly Wrap Up 9/6/13

Fall is certainly in the air in Indiana!  I LOVE this time of the year! The clear September skies are my favorite!  The sunsets have been spectacular recently! Aren't you glad that our creator never finishes creating?!

We officially have three weeks of school under our belts so far.  Three 4 day weeks!  What more could you ask for at the beginning of the school year!  I would make this our every week routine, except that I would regret it in May when we would rather be outdoors again!

In My Life This Week:
I feel like I am getting behind on my own to do lists.  Such is the life of a homeschool mom when the kids don't GO back to school!  I wouldn't have it any other way.  Laundry can wait!

In Our Homeschool This Week:
Caleb (9th grade) didn't want to tempt himself to cheat on his Geography test so he wasted borrowed a bunch of my purple post it notes!  He did put them back on the pad when he finished!
So far, high school has been some what of a a big  challenge for Caleb.  Transitioning to anything new or more challenging/time consuming has always been rough for him. When he's feeling challenged, we all feel challenged!  I'm proud of myself though; I have only had 2 cans of Pepsi in the last 3 weeks!

Josh (7th grade)is off to a great start this year.  Although he HATES to write he is actually doing quite well in his new writing curriculum.  Everything he writes about comes from one of the Narnia Books!  How could you not love that!

Carolyn (5th Grade) is enjoying her study of invertebrates by playing "Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader?" with her dad over all of the insect facts she is tucking away!

Our Current Read - Aloud:
The Leopard Tree
The kids and I are all loving this book! I started reading it this past summer on my way to Kenya, but I left my son's tablet on the plane, so we are just now finishing it together. (Long Story!) I would highly recommend it! Click the pic for an Amazon's only $2.99 on Kindle! In a nutshell, it is about 3 Kenyan orphans who LOVE the book, "The Wizard of Oz."  They think the book is real, so they steal away on a plane for America bound and determined to find Kansas as well as a wizard who can supply them with much needed medicine for Doudi's HIV.

What we have been up to outside of school:
Celebrated a 10th Birthday!

Went to a Colts preseason game.  My cousin is #5!

Jason Castro sang the Star Spangled Banner before the game!  

A Back to School Tradition:
We typically visit a local County Park in Fort Wayne before hitting the books.  Here are shots of the kids from this year's picnic.
Caleb ...aka Mr. Freshman!  Am I old enough to have a kid that old?!

Joshua, Mr. Jr. High!

Carolyn...the prettiest 5th Grader in the world!  I was shocked when she told me that some of the 2nd graders in her class from when she was still in pub school told her that she would never be popular because she didn't have the right hair!  Seriously!  Women pay a lot of money to get that shade of red!

A Recent Field Trip:
No one is ever too old to look at antique fire trucks in an actual station that still has the horse stalls!  Click on the pic to read more about this fun afternoon!

Area Homeschool News:
We held our first annual WACHE at Ouabache Camp out!  (WACHE is Wells Association of Christian Home Educators.  That's our local homeschool group. And we pronounce it Wach - ee. Ouabache is a local state park.  If you pronounce it correctly it is "Wabash."  Lots of people call O-bach-ee, though. We thought the play on words was fantastic.  I guess you probably need to be a local to appreciate it though! :O))

Anyway, nearly 50 people camped all weekend together and nearly 90 came to our cook out that Saturday night!  We never knew whose kids were at whose camp site all weekend!  This will definitely be a tradition that continues!

...just some of the almost 90 of us praying over dinner and our upcoming school year!

I think the kids will always remember hanging out by the fire together that weekend!  And being silly together!

A Recent Lesson Learned:
Not too long ago I was complaining about my 100+ year old house and the fun that goes along with not being able to afford doing with it what I would like if money was no object. My husband simply said, "Honey, you need to go back to Africa!"

He was so right!  How could I be back for only 2 months and no longer be in my "Africa frame of mind!"

These pics of homes we visited helped me get my perspective back:

One last pic to share...An African Smile to brighten your day!  Great Pic, Andrew!

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