To Everything There Is A Season

A Time For Every Purpose Under Heaven

A blog about raising a young family and keeping Christ at the center of it.

The Cyrs

The Cyrs
Photo Credit: Rachel Dewhurst

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

A Time to Pray for Change

'Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.' ~Jos. 1:9

The end of the school year is coming upon us and for most of us it is a welcomed sight! No more packing school lunches, making sure homework is done, activities slow down (theoretically) and we can look forward to the lazy days of summer. I don't know how you feel, but I love having my children home for the summer. It’s with the end of the year approaching that I have been thinking about public school, its students and our teachers a lot.

We hear and read so many articles about 'public school' and these days most of them are not singing it's praises. I've written before about the "why" we put our kids in public school and what some of the misconceptions are with regard to God being in the school. (Link: A Time for Public School.) While I do believe what I wrote in that post is still relevant and needs to be understood, there are so many other things that have people abuzz these days with regard to public school. I am not interested in getting into the issues of public school. The majority of us know what they are. Some people have an accurate understanding of what is going on and others are very misinformed and have a skewed understanding. To this, I will only say that if you are genuinely concerned for public school and the welfare of the student's then please, find articles from unbiased sources. Don't just go looking for articles from sources that support your negative thinking of public school; be willing to hear the other side.

There are innocent victims in this war on public school. The teachers who give of themselves sacrificially to teach our children because they DO care become casualties of this war. A couple news articles about teachers who do harmful things to students or who have off-base ideas about education are not the norm and we need to have sense enough to recognize that. The majority of teachers are teachers for all the right reasons. Every time we make a choice to put down public school we are doing so much more than criticizing our Government and the curriculum they've chosen. We are criticizing every teacher and every student and every family who make up these public schools. We are making a choice to speak negatively about a career that thousands of people have spent their lives devoted to. And when I say devoted I mean DEVOTED. Unless you witness firsthand what a public school teacher has to go through when these changes arise and the tears of frustration they shed over what they know is detrimental to the students learning and yet they stick around because they truly love the kids then you have no idea how hurtful  negative attitudes toward public school are. 

The other victims are the students themselves. Do you think they care about words like 'Common Core'? No they don't. They just want to go to school, make some friends, learn some stuff and have fun. Every time we criticize public school we are putting down these innocent students....who are remarkable children by the way. Christians, I would ask that you stop speaking as though children in the public school are bad kids and will negatively influence your dear innocent children. You do realize your own child has a sin nature just like every other child and could just as easily negatively influence the public school kids, right? And how do you know that a public school child won't POSITIVELY influence your child?  Parents need to understand this and stop instilling the idea that as Christians we should fear the public school and those within its walls.

My heart is burdened for public school; don't misunderstand. I know things are seriously wrong with our education system and I know our Government does not have the best interest of our children in mind. I also know that change does not happen by running away in fear. Many of the people who are speaking out in anger over what is going on in our schools sadly are doing only that; talking. It takes a whole lot more than talking badly about something to turn things around. 

To end I'd like to offer some advice from a family who is in the trenches: PRAY. Instead of criticizing people for keeping their kids in the school use that energy and pray for our public schools, its teachers, the students and their families. Pray for our Government and the leaders implementing these changes. PRAYER most certainly changes things so let’s take that negative energy being directed at the public school and turn it into positive energy by praying for change. Also, if you happen to come across a teacher this summer, THANK them for their willingness to invest in America's future.

***To my fellow Christians who are in the trenches with us, here is a book recommendation for you. I have gleaned valuable information from it!****

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Things Don't Always Go as Planned!

"The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped:therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him." ~Ps. 28:7

When you are a planner, as I am, curve balls can be tough to handle. The past couple of weeks have been challenging as I try to balance life and my new adventure of going back to school. I have had to be more organized and manage my time more wisely than I ever have. And isn't it always the way that as soon as you begin to do something good, that bad things begin to happen. The enemy loves to see us get discouraged and on the verge of giving up and he has certainly tested me lately.

I was sharing with the ladies in my Bible study last week how my very first assignment was not without its glitches. Things I have never struggled being able to do on the computer all of a sudden became obstacles in me getting my work done. As a planner, my game plan has been to be one or two steps ahead throughout this whole class, so that when the unexpected happens I'm not at the last minute freaking out that I still am not done my assignment. I wanted to submit my first essay early so one evening after the younger ones were in bed and my older ones were busy working on motorcycles with their dad I decided to seize the opportunity to get it done. As I was writing the last paragraph the power went out! We were not in the middle of a rain, snow or wind storm. It was perfectly calm outside so it was confusing why it went out. We later learned that an accident had occurred up the road and took out a power line. We did not get it back that evening and by morning when I was able to turn on the computer, I found my work was not recoverable. And it hadn't been saved. So I had to start over.

Another part of my game plan is to get up early, before the kids do, to listen to my lectures uninterrupted. This morning I began listening to my lecture and shortly into it had to stop because Tess came running downstairs (at 5:30 am!). I had to explain to her that it was not wake up time and bring her back to her bed. Well, last night Jena threw up. When I walked into the room I learned she had thrown up again in the night, though in her bucket this time (thank you Lord!). I then proceeded to get the bucket cleaned up, made sure she was alright and then told them both to try and rest some more. I came back to my lecture and not long after had to stop again because the boys (being boys) managed to get into some mischief (have I mentioned my kids don't sleep?) and so I had to stop and deal with that. While I did mange to hear the entire lecture, I missed so much from all the stopping and starting that I am going to have to listen to it again.

Those are just a few things that have gotten in the way of "my plan".

I could choose to complain, whine, get angry or give up. I could make a choice to decide God is wrong and doesn't know what He is doing by sending these obstacles my way. I have decided however, to trust God. I'm not saying I do this easily though. It is something I have to purpose to do because my flesh instinctively wants to worry about the fact that all 7 of my kids could end up throwing up by the end of the week or get angry with fact that I am not as ahead as I would like to be despite all my planning. Instead I am purposing to look at all of this as "for my good" (Rom.8:28) and rely on His strength. I cannot do any of this without God's help. I need Him every hour and it is only when I make a choice to trust God rather than give into my flesh that I overcome the obstacles successfully.

God has been so good to me these past few weeks. When I lay down at night I can only think to praise Him and thank Him for what he allowed me to accomplish that day. He has been teaching me now more than ever, how to rely on His strength and it's been a precious gift amid some not so precious moments!

*I NEED THEE EVERY HOUR by Fernando Ortega

Friday, May 1, 2015

A Time for Changes, New Chapters and Much Prayer!

"The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man 

availeth much."  ~James 5:16b

Our lives get so busy don't they? At the beginning of each month I start making out my calendar and usually it's not filled in too much and I think it's possible to have a quiet month. It doesn't take long before those days slowly fill up with stuff though and before I know it the days get fuller and fuller. I've written before about the importance of having wisdom when it comes to commitments and not becoming so busy that you no longer have family time. This is not what I am talking about. I'm talking about the things that can't be avoided...a visit from family, appointments at the doctor, meetings, a birthday here and there, dump runs, yard work, date night! All things that are good and some necessary to do and all things that slowly fill up the calendar.

Over the years I have found myself daily praying for wisdom. Not just wisdom in raising my children (which is SO important and something we all need to be doing) but wisdom for the day to day. I'm so thankful for the verse in James that says, " If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him." I don't know about you but Ben and I need a LOT of wisdom when it comes to raising this family and navigating life and it brings us so much comfort to know that God wants to give it to us in abundance if we just ask!

One bit of wisdom that God gives and is so helpful in navigating life is the verse in Proverbs that says, "Without counsel purposes are disappointed: but in the multitude of counsellors they are established (15:22)." There are so many times in life when we have decisions to make; big decisions or small they all require thought, wisdom and time to seek out God's will in the matter. One way that God helps us is by the people he puts into our lives who maybe have had to make a similar decision and can help us by offering insight that we haven't thought of. Sometimes they have just been around long enough and have seen people in similar situations make a mistake that had big consequences and they can warn us or they can be a prayer warrior for us as we are making the decision. It is so foolish of us when we let pride get in the way instead of using the wisdom God has put right in front of us: His Word and His people!

It is because of this that I turn to you, my readers (thanks have no idea what a blessing you are!) and ask for prayer. Life has been and is getting very busy. It is a good kind of busy as we see the Lord working but I have never felt more inadequate as I have recently. I am thankful that God chooses to use our family when He does but it is such a humbling feeling when He does. Who am I? God certainly does not need me to accomplish His will and yet, thankfully, He sets aside a small part for me to fulfill. I'm excited and impatient at the same time, to see what the future has for our family but we certainly need all the wisdom God has to offer us as well as the "multitude of counsellors". We also need prayer warriors and while I know we have several I also know we can't have too many! If you would take the time, when the Lord puts our family on your hearts, to pray for some of the specific needs below we would appreciate it so much! Don't forget to scroll down and learn about a HUGE prayer God answered for us!

Please Pray!
Photo Credit: Kristina O'Brien

* I begin taking classes on Monday as I work toward a diploma in Biblical Counseling. I need prayer for good retention of information, time management ability and direction as I choose my next classes.

* We need wisdom for a decision that we are in the process of making. I'm not able to give details at this time but know that your prayers would be so much appreciated. We want the Lord to be clear and close the door if it's not His will. We do not want to force God into any decision for our family and want to be sure of His will in this matter.

* I was recently asked to speak at a ladies banquet in June. Please pray the Lord would give me wisdom to know what He wants me to touch upon. This is one of those "who am I?" moments. I'm humbled by the request and want to make sure that any words I speak that day are of the Lord and not of me.

* Ben's position at work changed recently and while it is going very well for him it still has a bit of a learning curve. Pray for him that he would have wisdom and a good testimony before his peers and that God would continue to teach him what He needs to do this job well.

* That as a family we would purpose to "Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil." (Eph.6:11)


With the changes for Ben at work came new hours, meaning he gets home a bit later than he did before. We, along with two other ladies, hold a Good News Club in our kid’s school on Friday afternoons; we just finished up our 6th year. In all those years, Ben has been the Bible story teacher but with the changes it looked like he would no longer be able to do that. When he first took the position he went to his new supervisor and explained the situation and was told that he could leave early on Friday's to finish out this year. We were still unsure about next year. We took to our faithful prayer warriors and asked that they pray for Ben to be able to continue leaving early on Friday's to teach, but if that would not be allowed, for God to provide someone different and make it clear who that someone should be. Two weeks ago, Ben went to his supervisor again and they discussed it. Without hesitation his boss told him he could leave early every Friday next year to continue teaching Good News Club! This is such a huge praise and we could not be happier with the way God answered. We are grateful to those who committed to praying about this with us. Your prayers were answered!