Speaking of global...

Taking a slight detour on my current series on The ABCs of Compassion to share about another non-profit that has taken things global.

Sometime after we started sponsoring with Compassion, I started reading blog posts from people who had opportunities to travel with Compassion. One blogger that I have continued to follow for the past nine years is Kristen Welch who blogs over at We Are That Family. This post about one day she spent in Kenya is probably one of the most powerfully written posts about how hope can be found in the middle of unspeakable living conditions.

“You may choose to look the other way but you can never say again that you did not know” - William Wilberforce

I believe one of the reasons I have continued to follow Kristen’s journey is that she came home completely changed and did something.

Mercy House Global was started to give hope and provide sustainable jobs to women living in poverty around the world.

Currently, I subscribe to the Fair Trade Friday monthly original box which includes 3-4 Fair Trade items each month. The items in this latest box have to be some of my favorites!

Fair Trade Friday monthly subscription box

I was able to paint this batik print with the colors provided and now have a beautiful piece of art that was created by people in Malaysia.

Over the last nine years, I have read many books and watched many documentaries that have made me really think about how life is so different and challenging outside of our country.

Want to be part of changing lives? Be sure to explore the Mercy House Global web site and learn more about this wonderful ministry.

Summer!

We have almost arrived at my favorite season of the year!

Summer

Those who know me well, know that summer is my favorite time of the year!

Long sunny warm days and nights make me so happy!

Last summer, I learned about this great group of ladies who have a purpose of having 'less chaos + more Jesus' in all things. Sacred Holidays have prepared some wonderful resources to help you have the best summer. 

summer bucket list

I have already downloaded and printed off their summer bucket list for women. They have one for kids too!

The point of the bucket list for me is to be intentional about enjoying the summer and to complete a couple of projects. With big emphasis on 'enjoy!'

There are things you can only do during the summer time. Can you imagine paddle boarding when it is freezing cold outside? That is a big no!

I hope you take a peek at all that the Sacred Holiday group has put together, and be sure to let me know if you plan on joining in on some of their fun summer projects!

Us vs. Them

There are times when I wonder why I even have a blog.

Math was my favorite subject in school.

English was not.

When you write papers about your point of view on something and the teacher marks you down because it doesn't fit with his/her point of view, how can that be fair?

Since this is my blog, I can write things and share things here that are my point of view and never have to worry about what grade I will receive. And honestly, I really never have to worry about what others may think about my point of view either. Because this is my blog.

But one thing I wrote today I feel needs to be shared with a larger audience:

The root problem of all in the world is sin

There is currently an assembly bill being considered in the California Assembly that is attacking the rights of homeschool families in our state.

What concerns me is the 'Us vs. Them' arguments being tossed around when we start to feel attacked.

'They' are not perfect.

'We' are not perfect.

No legislation is going to make anyone perfect.

And verbally attacking anyone on social media is not a solution to any of the major issues we have in our state or in this country.

"By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments." - 1 John 5:2

I love a good list!

Not sure if it is due to my somewhat Type A personality or being the first born, but I certainly love a good list.

And I love summer.

So imagine how excited I was when I found not one, not two, but three lists for this summer!

Today, I discovered a new website called Sacred Holidays.

Their tagline is "Less holiday chaos. A lot more Jesus."

I love the idea of less chaos and more Jesus.

But what really caught my eye was the three lists they are sharing for this summer.

A 90 day plan to read the Bible, a women's summer bucket list, and a summer photography challenge. All three lists are free on their website, you just need to share your email address with them.

Sacred Holidays summer lists

It has been quite a few years since I have read through the whole Bible. This is going to take some dedication on my part. But even if I get up a half an hour earlier each day (and cut out a little social media time), I believe I can make this work. Even if I get to the end of August and still have some reading to do, it will be better than if I had never started the challenge. Plus, spending time reading God's Word is always a good thing.

Speaking of reading, I have been working on my Goodreads challenge to read 30 books this year and I am making good progress. This year I am really trying to focus on reading books that have been living on my Kindle for too long. I printed up a list, but recently I learned about Bullet Journals. Have you heard about them?

You can get lost on the internet reading about Bullet Journals (go ahead, do a 'Google' search for them. Just be sure to come back here to read the rest of the post!). Anyway, I like the idea of having paper to do a 'brain dump'...things that take up space in my brain that I want/need to remember, but they really don't make sense to put on a calendar.

bullet journal book list

So in my simple journal, I have written out the books I hope to read in the upcoming months. Like I said, I love a good list!

Do you have any plans for this summer? What is on your list?

Getting Ready for the Next Chapter

Eighteen years ago, we started on a journey I never expected to be on. In the next couple of weeks, this chapter of my life will be coming to an end.

When we started homeschooling our children back in 1999, we were brand new Christians. I was trying to navigate so many new things. Learning to be a stay-at-home mom, learning basic Bible stories, and learning how to be our children's teacher. There were many days I was in way over my head. There were many days I just wanted to quit. There were even a couple of days that I packed the kids in the car while we were all in tears and I would drive to the parking lot of the local public school. I really didn't think we would ever make it this far.

In the beginning of our homeschool journey, I was really impressed with what some other homeschool students were achieving. I had high expectations of what I thought my children could do. I was determined that they were going to do so much more that I had achieved in my own schooling.

Thankfully, God had another plan.

The longer I homeschooled our children, the more I realized I had the definition of what it means to be a successful homeschool graduate all wrong. And this can go for the graduate of any type of school really.

In the beginning, I believed a successful homeschool graduate would enter prestigious colleges and earn high level degrees, then go on to high paying careers.

But now?

I believe the most successful homeschool graduates are those who have a love for learning and love God.

Since we were new Christians at the beginning of our homeschool journey, I spent a lot of time with our children learning how to study the Bible myself. We worked our way through many Kay Arthur Discover for Yourself children Bible studies. God was teaching me during this time, just as much as I was teaching our kids.

We spent many days learning together. Subjects that I never enjoyed in school became some of my new favorites.

And the more time I spent with my children, the more I realized that He has a better plan for them than I ever could imagine.

In just a few short weeks, my time as a homeschool mom will be ending. Amazing to me since I never, ever wanted to be a stay-at-home, homeschool mom in the first place!

my family

Looking back, there are definitely things I would have done different. But overall, I am so proud of my kids and I am so thankful for the many opportunities and experiences we have had together.

Looking forward, I pray that God gives me many more opportunities to create lasting memories with my children as they follow the path God has set before them.