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Godly Friendships

Friendships are one of the most precious blessings you can have in your life.  There are many types of friendships found in the Bible.  These are two of my favorites.  

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David and Jonathan

Probably one of the most famous friendships is that of David and Jonathan.  This is an example of instant friendship.  Have you ever met someone and just knew in your heart that you were going to be the best of friends?  The Bible says:

“And it came to pass, when he had made an end of speaking unto Saul, that the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.  And Saul took him that day, and would let him go no more home to his father’s house.  Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul.”  (1Sam. 18:1-3KJV).  

Jonathan was Saul’s son and Saul was the first king of Israel.  God took the kingdom from Saul because of his disobedience.  David was anointed to be the next king of Israel.  Because of his jealousy, Saul tried to kill David.  Jonathan helped David escape, putting his own life in danger because of his love for him.  “And Jonathan caused David to swear again, because he loved him: for he loved him as he loved his own soul.” (1Sam20:17KJV)

It has been said that their friendship is one of the deepest and closest recorded in the Bible.  They drew closer together when their friendship was tested, and they remained friends to the end.

Ruth and Naomi

Ruth and Naomi’s relationship was bound by their faith in God.  Naomi’s son was Ruth’s husband.  So they were connected by marriage and friendship.  After Naomi’s sons died, she felt like she didn’t have anything left to offer her daughters-in-law.  As a result of this, Naomi tried to send them away.

The Bible states in verse nine of chapter one, “…Then she kissed them; and they lifted up their voice and wept.”, demonstrating their close relationship.  Naomi again told them to go their way and while Naomi’s other daughter-in-law, Orpah, returned to her people, Ruth stayed out of loyalty and devotion to Naomi.  Ruth 1:14 says “but Ruth clave unto her”.  The 1828 Webster’s Dictionary defines clave as “to be united closely in interest or affection”.  When Naomi told Ruth, the third time, to return this was Ruth’s heartfelt response :

And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the Lord do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me.” Ruth 1:16-17

Ruth and Naomi shared deep sorrow, great affection for each other, and an overriding commitment to the God of Israel.

As I have told my children on many occasions, you only need one true friend.  If you have one true friend then you are truly blessed.

Friendship is something that requires selflessness, honestly, loyalty, trust, accountability, faithfulness, and forgiveness.

For a long time I didn’t have a true friend (other than my husband of course).  I prayed for the Lord to give me a friend, someone who had similar life circumstances, such as age, children of the same age, homeschooler, and of like mind, “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” Amos 3:3.  I asked for someone I could talk with and know she would be honest with me and hold me accountable in my walk with the Lord.

God is so good and faithful!   He gave me two such friends.  I love and cherish these two sweet ladies.  I can be myself with them and never fear being judged.  I can confide in them, never doubting their trustworthiness.  I have the utmost respect for them.

I pray every person reading this has such a friend.

While I thank God for these two ladies, there is one friendship that is even more important.  John 15:13 states, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”  And Romans 5:8 says, “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

I can’t even imagine my life without Him!

 

 

 

 

 

A Long Time Coming

This year is turning into how I always pictured homeschooling (and it only took 11 years lol).  It has been a long time coming and I praise God for giving me the peace I so needed to do the job which He has given me, educating my(His) children!

I have to thank Sara Mackenzie and Pam Barnhill for part of this transformation.  I always pictured homeschooling as a time of relationship building and time spent together.  It didn’t matter if we were reading aloud, doing Sword drills, painting, spending time in God’s Word, or at the park, as long as we were together and building relationships.

I recently discovered Sara Mackenzie’s book, Teaching From Rest: A Homeschooler’s Guide to Unshakable Peaceand her blog, amongstlovelythings.  These have been a tremendous help in accomplishing my vision for our homeschool.  Sara focuses on “living from a place of rest, to teach and mother from peace rather than anxiety”.  Sara is referring to the unshakable peace that God promises for those who follow Him.  Don’t we all want that!!

I also discovered Your Morning Basket by Pam Barnhill.  Pam’s blog is edsnapshots.  You will find lots of treasures on her blog, including some pretty awesome podcasts for free! Pam focuses on “bringing truth, goodness, and beauty to your homeschool days”.

I’m not an affiliate of either of these products.  I have been encouraged by the help they have brought me so I wanted to share them with you ❤  I have found many wonderful ideas and encouragement from both of these sweet women.

We are also taking a vacation this year.  The second vacation we have had in 15 years, so you can imagine how excited we are about this!  We will be going to Virginia, every homeschooler’s dream vacation.  I am so excited for my children to experience the rich history there.  We will also be making a side trip to D.C. and Gettysburg.

Before we start this adventure, the kids and I are taking the time to study the geography and history of these places and the states through which we will be traveling.  We are using a wonderful free resource, U.S. State Study, created by Paige Hudson over at elementalblogging.

As if things couldn’t get any better, a sweet friend of mine invited us to visit her co-op. Everyone made us feel so welcome!  I believe this is going to be a good fit for our family. And if all this wasn’t enough we ran into some friends that are involved in this co-op.  It was like God putting the icing on the cake!!

Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.” Ephesians 3:20-21

I have to admit I haven’t been real patient during these last eleven years, but it was definitely worth the wait!  All this time I thought God was telling me no on things like co-op and vacations which included visiting historical places.  I will be perfectly honest, at times I felt sorry for us missing out on these opportunities.  But God was only saying “wait, all in MY time”!  After all we have been through these past eleven years, I feel our family will benefit and appreciate what God has given us much more now than we would have then.  God’s timing is ALWAYS perfect!!

Many Blessings!!

Tracey

 

 

Blogging without Facebook

You may have noticed I have not been posting like I said I would.  I have an explanation for this.  Shortly after my last post there was an incident.  I will not go into the ugly details. This incident has led me to believe avoiding Facebook at all costs is the right thing to do “in this season”.

As everyone knows, blogging and Facebook go hand in hand for most bloggers, for promoting purposes mostly.  While I have missed blogging, even though it is still quite new to me, I figured the two went together and when I gave up one I had to give up the other.

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WRONG!  One morning I was thinking about how much I missed blogging and the potential opportunities that could come with it.  Then the proverbial lightbulb came on….GOOGLE. Yes, I googled “blogging without Facebook”.  And guess what friends, there were  6,080,000 results!!!  I kid you not.  Here is just a sampling of the suggestions I came across:

  • Microblogging –  Twitter being the most obvious example.  You make a statement or a comment in 160 characters or less, and the people on Twitter who “follow” you will be able to see it.  You can also reply to other people on Twitter.
  • Social bookmarking – A few popular social bookmarking sites include Digg, Stumbleupon, Reddit, and Del.icio.us.  It works pretty much like a regular bookmark in your browser, except it is public and people can “vote” on your submission.  The great links that get shared and voted on by the most people end up on the first page of the social bookmarking site, this can potentially bring your blog a lot of traffic!
  • Video sites –  Video is incorporated into almost every site that you visit these days.  It is said that YouTube is now the #2 search engine after Google.  I know I use it a lot with homeschooling.  With YouTube and other video sites, you can add “subscribers” to your video channel, which are similar to friends on Facebook.  This is a great feature for bloggers, especially ones that plan to upload videos regularly.  Subscribers to your channel will receive a notification when you upload a new video, so you can get regular visits to your blog just by uploading good videos regularly.  Besides YouTube, you might look into Vimeo or Dailymotion.
  • LinkedIn
  • Guest posting on blogs, especially within your niche
  • Participate in Blog Carnivals
  • Buy Advertising
  • Email your friends who would be interested in your particular niche
  • Commenting on other blogs, leaving a link to your blog
  • Host Webinars

So you see there are MANY alternatives to promoting on Facebook.  I am one happy girl to learn that I can be free from Facebook and Blog on 🙂

I hope this has been a help and a blessing to you.

Please feel free to comment, make suggestions, even criticize (in love) it is all helpful ❤

Much Love!

Tracey

 

 

Choices

Since my husband and I have come back together and have vowed that NOTHING will tear us apart again I have started a study on the family and what the Bible says about each role.

I’m not far into it, just a few days, but I have discovered an important fact:  choices affect every area of our lives! 

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Honestly, when I started this study I was more focused on the children.  One day I got really upset over the way they treat each other.  I pointed out to them that some of the stuff they say, the way they respond to each other, and the way they treat each other, they would NEVER do to their friends.

I tried to explain to them the importance of family and the fact that God has hand-picked each of us ,”Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee” Jeremiah. 1:5, and put us together to be a help and support to each other, not to tear each other down.  While trying to explain this to them I was struggling with HOW to explain the importance of family and the way God would have us to treat each other.  So I began my study.

The choices that we make may not seem real significant at the time.  But these choices, sometimes made at the spur of the moment such as going to a party, drinking, or smoking and sometimes they’re given more thought such as marriage and salvation, can have lasting affects not only on our lives but on the lives of our children and even our grandchildren.

Choices need to be made with God’s will in mind, according to God’s Word.  I don’t know about you but I am not a patient person.  I will be the first to admit it.  As a result of this I have made choices/decisions quickly.  I can look back and see the consequences of these choices made without first going to God, and sadly a lot of them are not good!

I want my children to learn this lesson a lot sooner than I did.  So I will be sharing what I am learning through my study with my children and the first memory verse we will be working on is Genesis 13:8 “And Abram said unto Lot, Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen; for we be brethren.”

A lot of the time the strife which my children get into has pride at the root.  They are thinking of self.  When this occurs I point out to them that what they are arguing and getting upset over is not as important as their relationship to each other.  In the end all will be burnt up, “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.” 2 Peter 3:10, but their relationship will still be there.  Choose what is the best!

Along with our memory verse we will be going through these two books together:

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I will have more to share as my study comes along.  In the mean time enjoy this free printable I created, printed, and framed today to remind all of us of the importance of the choices we make.

Our Choices Make A Difference

Click here for printable:  Our Choices Make A Difference

A New Beginning

 

This Blog is is born out of the work of my miracle-performing God.  I created another blog Single Parent Homeschooling Adventures after my husband and I had been separated for more than a year.  Without going into all the details, after more than two years of separation, God brought my husband and myself back together.  Praise God!!  This could have only been done by the mighty hand of the Lord.  

Now that things have settled down a little bit and we are falling into somewhat of a routine I am attempting to get this new blog up and running.  I hope to be a help and encouragement to all who happen by while giving God all the glory .  

I plan on writing about home & family, homeschooling, faith, and recipes.  If there are any topics that you would like me to research and write about just leave a comment below.  I will be more than happy to oblige

Please bear with me through this time of growth 😀   I am so excited to see what the Lord does through this blog!