141- To Homeschool or Not?

141 –To Homeschool or Not?

There were always issues that I kept before the Lord until I received an answer–praying often and keeping a log of what I felt were Holy Spirit nudges.

February 17, 1985

Dan is concerned about Timmy going to school next year as he watches the maturity level of other boys his age.

Spoiler: At least four of Tim’s friends had to repeat first grade or were put in the special education category. We were SO glad we kept him home to learn at his own pace. Tim graduated from medical school last May 2016 and is interning in family medicine.

February 20

We are scheduled to go to meet a woman who is homeschooling her several children. Praying for discernment. I walk in the Spirit and I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

We went, and it was a good experience. She is planning to teach her kids through high school! Her house was very dreary and they are too isolated, I think. But Jackie and I were inspired.

In hindsight:

From the Holy Spirit, and then later confirmed from Ruth Bell Graham’s book, It’s My Turn. I see how my single’s ministry, done from a whole-hearted surrender to God for 3 years, got me the reward of the fruit of my womb and this wonderful God-fearing husband. Not chance or luck or anything but God’s grace. I could also ‘see’ that He also used the 6 ½ years as a teacher to prepare me for my life now.

Ruth had been born and raised near Shanghai in China, schooled at home through the 5th grade. She felt she was called to be a missionary in Tibet, but in marrying Billy, she laid it down.

She says of her married life, “Mine has been the task of staying home and raising the family. No higher calling could have been given me. At the same time, it has been loads of fun.”

Now wasn’t that interesting. That Ruth’s book would come to my hands at that time of my life. She was an admirable, sold-out-to-Jesus woman of God, providing inspiration for what would be my calling for the next 20 years or so. I homeschooled (often with Dan) our four sons into their until they went to the community college at 16 or 17. AND homeschooled our adopted son until he was in his mid-teens.

140- The Old Birth Control Issue Rises Again

140- The Old Birth Control Issue Rises Again

January 22, 1985

Dear Lord, Do You care if we do something permanent about birth control?  

Dan called to make a vasectomy appointment.

He called back to ask about paying on the installment plan. She told him that $350 was due at the time of the operation. He cancelled the appointment.

I’m not sure if this operation is Your will for us, but it seems to be people’s will for us: we have been given money by Dan’s dad, Danny and Lynn, the Theilmans, and my parents, just not quite enough.

February 17

Because of the nighttime ups and downs it seems sensible to say—no more!

March 7

This is the day that the vasectomy appointment was scheduled to be done. I have been praying in the Spirit about this issue. My old Catholic conscience interferes with my logic and my desire to not go back on our deal with the Lord that He would plan our family.

June 4

Yesterday I asked God to show me my hearts’ desire about our family. The thoughts came today that I would like a dozen children! But the reality is that I have not the years left, the money, the nervous system for it. The thought also came that God gives us CHOICES: I cannot do everything. I am one person with so much time, money and energy. I would like to teach the boys at home, because I feel so led by God. I love teaching, I am experienced and feel gifted. It would give me input into the boys’ lives now at the time I can really relate to them. Then when the time comes to let them go, I would be more ready for it. I feel like I’ve had so little personal one-on-one time with them. I KNOW I could make it up! Is this of You, Father? Please speak to me about it. The vasectomy is in 2 days. Bless You.

Thank You for working out praising in me. Let it be…let it continue. Such peace and contentment have come to me these last few days. I refuse to worry and fear, I look not at the messy house, I do not compare myself with Jenny. I praise You that I’m ME and that You are in my life and leading me. Living daily here—so who’s there to impress? I’m less uptight, more relaxed. Singing…

June 6 Our little platoon trooped into the waiting room, Dan had the operation… more on this in a few years.

134- Back in Step, but Wrestling with Moods

134- Back in Step,

but Wrestling with Moods

December 18, 1984, continued

I was back into my almost-daily time with the Lord, pouring out my heart, talking to Him about everything, and going to the Bible for relevant verses to encourage myself in the truth.

Lord, looking back over the last two weeks:

DISTRESSED: feeling generally nervous and irritable–partly because Mark and the baby had bad colds and that kept us home bound for a solid week (and friends away!); I broke my tooth on a corn nut; I had canker sores plus an added virus on my tongue and in my throat; grieving over an angry outburst; Christmas pressures, including comparing ours with our friends’ plans; back to worrying about birth control.

BLESSED: because I received compassion and prayer from my support group: Jackie, Susie, Jan. And super blessed because Dan has been totally non-condemning, accepting, loving, kind, understanding of my moodiness.

ENCOURAGED: at the men’s prayer breakfast that Dan goes to at church every Wednesday morning there was a word from the Lord for the married men from the single guy about loving their wives.

Dan and I are becoming more real-life humans. I’ve backed off from complaining about him being gone so much, realizing we need money to live! The job he has at the church as foreman of the building project requires extremely long hours (50-70 hours a week).

 

REALIZATIONS:

*God will comfort, I need to come to Him.

*Got is cleansing me, refining me.

*There is HOPE in Christ ALWAYS.

*I am really loved– by God, my husband, and my friends.

Ephesians 5:1 Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children, and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us…

        8 for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of the light…trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord.

        15 be careful how you walk, not as unwise but as wise,

        18 be filled with the Spirit,

        19 singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;

        20 always giving thanks for all things…

        22 wives be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord

Father, I see impurity in me from a greedy, competitive, covetous heart. CLEANSE ME. I accept Christ’s work on the cross. The better alternative is imitating God, being a reflection of Him.

Thank You that I can come to the Word and receive the truth from Your perspective–wiser than the world, full of power and direction.

74- An Active Life

74- An Active Life

I remembered today (March 18, 2017) that I had a box of our old calendars in the garage. It appears I have all the years from 1977 to 2016!

Consulting the 1982  wall calendar, I noticed we had a very busy life: we scheduled lunches and dinners with friends 3 or 4 or 5 times a month and caught every special speaker at church. Dan was working part-time in the next town, Carson City, pre-recording his daily program at KNIS, the Christian radio station. We were sick quite a bit with colds and went to the pediatrician’s office for well-baby checks and sick visits a couple or a few times a month. Dan was attending the leadership class at church called the Servant’s Class one night a week, and the boys and I were in a Bible study/mothers’ support group a couple of mornings a month at my friend Michelle’s house.

Subtract the dog, add two speeding boys and another kitten, then color her hair brown!

We hosted a Bible study on Wednesday nights at our house and later attended one at the home of another family.

AND THEN, I was strongly encouraged by a good friend to take a position at the Christian school teaching science to the junior high kids. I was not qualified and not confident and I can’t fake anything. Yet, I succumbed to her enthusiasm that I could do it and that it would be great. It lasted a month and my journal reports that it was encouraging to be with the other solid Christian teachers and school staff and that I did okay with the students. The good that came out of it was that I knew I wanted to raise my kids myself, and not turn them over to a babysitter for a few hours every day and have her raise them. So that was that.

We tried the Natural Family Planning system of birth control through the Catholic Church. I had to do a daily charting which I will not describe, and a nun wearing a gray and white mid-length dress and a headscarf, Sister Julianna, came to see us once a month for consultation. After dinner one night, I remember her good-natured laugh as she watched Timmy and Stephen zipping gleefully around the living room: “They feed off each other, don’t they?”

Best friends, Timmy & Stephen. And their cute baby kittens.

And they did.

The new baby, now four months old, would be be joining their rambunctiousness soon. [And with another new little brother joining the ranks in a year-and-a-half, it was a bustling life we lived, especially as little boys are tireless!]

73- A Plan with Dan and a Plan with God

73- A Plan with Dan and a Plan with God

The Plan with Dan:

This is Mark’s baby dedication. We were once again on the fast-track of God’s plan and it was challenging but it was good, and He was faithful.

July 11, 1982 Father, I know that I need to spend much more time with You. When I shared this with Dan and said I needed his help (which I have asked him for before), he said, “ok, we need to get to bed by 9:15 and be asleep by 10, then we can be up at 5am for our individual devotions.” Praise You, Lord.

We decided that either Thursday or Saturday will be for having friends over for dinner, so Monday and Tuesday can be study nights and bread baking nights. Then whichever night we are not having company can be our family night. Father I have desired this. Please work this out. Then Sunday is church and Wednesday is Bible study here or at a friend’s home. Friday Dan works late at KNIS.

I’m not sure how long this lasted, with long busy days and with kids not sleeping consistently through the night, but we kept spending time daily with God as our goal.

The Plan with God:

God has plans and purposes for His people. Mary had no clue what was in store for her when she said YES to God. She went by faith that He would be trustworthy. And He was faithful.

July 23, 1982

Sometimes I look at my life and am distressed because I am using the comparison of other lives of people who are doing great things for God.

But last night God gave me quick victory.

I felt He said: “Remember you wanted to be a missionary? Well these stresses—your husband’s long working days and lots of hours at church, imperfect living conditions, continual financial crunch—are all the same sorts of things that would be issues on the mission field. So think of yourself as God’s special missionary to the Lemaire’s and the Renoites and trust Him for your life.”

I immediately felt a sense of adventure rather than a heavy burden.

65- Pride is the Problem and Jesus is Calling

65- Pride is the Problem and Jesus is Calling

Nov 2, 1981 – We are still attending The Pursuit of Holiness (A.W. Tozier) Wednesday night classes at church under Gene’s teaching. Last night I felt I heard from the Lord: “Pride is the problem I am dealing with in you. PRIDE is the root of your discontent. I see your trials.” [Specifically: home alone day after day with the boys, pregnancy and its limitations, being a homemaker (not out in the workforce), bronchitis, anemia, having to quit babysitting, being of little use in ministry.]

This morning, weakness was overtaking me. All I could think is, “I cannot cope.” The boys’ whining put me in tears. I thought of all sorts of escapes—leaving them with a friend for the day, staying in bed all day, going for counseling. But a verse came to mind from class last night:

Romans 8:26-27 And in the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groaning too deep for words. And He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.

I prayed this, having not the gift of tongues, but desperately asking the Spirit to pray for my weakness.

And I was IMMEDIATELY strengthened in His might. Amen. I was immediately strengthened in my attitude and my emotions and even physically. Amen. Praise God!

My perspective changed. I was able to meet the boys’ needs, be kinder. I got my eyes off of me me me and experienced the love and joy of the Lord.

Jan 20, 1982  In praying, God revealed the great LOG of PRIDE toward most of humanity! He was pointing out that I have been gravitating toward the COOL people! I am shocked, but it is so true. I have been getting strokes from having friends of a certain status, thinking that associating with them makes me ‘okay.’  At the same time I have been distancing myself from certain other people. WRONG!

I was thinking of a really pious note I could write to Jim and Lissa about being glad I could identify with the drunk, the whore, the drug taker, the liar –since I was once there. And yet here I am now relating to a proud group of people and enjoying it. JUST AS BAD!

So I timidly say, “Lord, change me.”

I no longer say, as I did when I was single: “change me whatever the cost.” Then, it was only me that would suffer. Now I could lose so much—Dan and the boys.

Pull me back, Lord. I hear you calling me!

Jesus is calling!

62- One Sunday in September

62- One Sunday in September

Sept 20, 1981 4:30am

Father, I am so tired, physically and so tired emotionally—Dan’s long work hours, plus his traveling to Carson City to volunteer on KNIS radio, my two kids plus the two I am babysitting, plus one on the way. Plus cooking and cleaning. When my tummy and body get so tired, I get worried about my pregnancy. I know the enemy wants me to be discouraged. And I also know You want to bear this burden, thank You. I’m reading about Jesus, Your Son. I’m Yours, too. I know Jesus bore so much more…but You did give Him Simonthis man they pressed into service to bear His cross. Matt 27:32

I need help. It really humbles me to say this, because maybe you’ll give me help in a way I won’t like or from someone I won’t approve of. I must take the chance because I am so tired and really cannot go on like this. Bowing my head in surrender, and lifting my arms as Timmy and Stephen do, I say: “Daddy, pick me up. Bear me up. I need You.”

At the end of myself and totally surrendered to Jesus. Crying out for His help!
At the end of myself and totally surrendered to Jesus. Crying out for His help!

Thank You for being so available, Lord, for being so humble to take me seriously. Thank You that I got up at 4:30am to pray, thank You for Michelle offering to take the boys while I shopped, and for Auntie Yvonne taking them tomorrow afternoon! Quick answers!

Later after church: There was prophecy this morning by our visiting speaker, Claire Lasher: God is breaking the shackles: He is healing and releasing, so that we may be instruments of healing for others. After that, Cynthia  said she wanted to get to know me better; Lynn encouraged me to come to the morning Bible study; Erin invited several of us over after church. Also Diane H, Carla L, and Ann Harris SOUGHT ME OUT in church! The effect of all this was: “I am loved, so I can love.” I felt lovely and lovable to myself and to Dan. We do so need expressions of love and attention from people we admire. It helps us to know God’s love, and to really believe in God’s love.

Thank You for such a rich and blessed day. My heart feels like shackles have really fallen off. I feel a new intimacy with Dan—I feel respect from him, and being cherished. Thank You.

In the day of my trouble I will call upon You, for You will answer me. Psalm 86:7

56- Normal Mom Experiences, Normal Christian Life

56-Normal Mom Experiences,

Normal Christian Life

 

Leaving the story of the third pregnancy, going back a few months to my slender green journal, this was the normal Christian life: my daily experiences taken to Jesus.

 

Feb 21 1981 Possibility of Stephen going to hospital, sick with bronchitis, cough, diarrhea.

From my devotional, Springs in the Valley: The things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel. Phil 1:12 We cannot learn much of the life of trust without passing through hard places. When they come let us not say as Jacob did, “All these things are against me.” Gen 42:36 Let us rather climb our hills of difficulty and say, “these are faith’s opportunities.”

For to you it has been granted for Christ’s sake, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake. Phil 1:29

Do all things without grumbling or disputing. Phil 2: 12

Rejoice. Phil 2:18

We saw Stephen through this illness at home and saw the hand of the Lord move as he accepted the bottle of mineral water time and time again. Praise You Jesus.

Feb 23, 1981 Dearest Lord, I would love to write and write all of my thoughts and blessings, all of Your encouragements to me, all of my victories, all of the times I see You move in my little world. It brings me to great emotion to think how real You are to me as I stay in close communion with You moment by moment. But, no time– there’s the house work and making tonight’s dinner while babies are sleeping and before that Bible reading and some prayers.

Feb 24 Silence can be so welcomed when it is mixed about in the day with the children’s squeals and squabbles. I would miss them too much to want a silent house.

 

Ruth, bringing in the sheaves
Ruth, bringing in the sheaves

March 12 What a wonderful blessing: Ruth 2:12 May the Lord reward your work, and your wages be full from the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to seek refuge.

March 13 Dearest Lord, today I begin Samuel. What a thrill to read steadily like this, day after day.

40- Leery of Reading the Word

40- Leery of Reading the Word

February 8, 1979

Problem: Fear about reading the Word, in studying, and in doing devotions—that I will be led astray. Lack of full trust and dependence on the Holy Spirit—my heart says: remember what happened before and how far you got into a lie (when I believed as a new Christian that God was telling me that I was going to marry a particular person and I was derailed….)

Lord, I just want to hear from you...
Lord, I just want to hear from you…

Realization: I did not have awareness then in my first few months of being a new believer of my deceitful heart. I was immature. I did not know the difference between my voice building me up and the spirit of the evil one (I will be God, I will be lifted up) and the spirit of submission to the almighty Lord, the spirit of humility.

Application: Joshua 6:1-20 God gave a promise. God gave instructions. God expected obedience and God would give victory. OBEDIENCE isn’t an OPTION. Trust and obey. For me: the promise of a child who is a reward [The fruit of the womb is His reward. Ps 127:3]  –and is who is blessed. Walk by faith. Trust Him. Obey Him. ‘Don’t shout’ means to me: don’t complain, murmur, worry aloud, doubt aloud. Take your woes to Daddy and your heart should be abundant with faith in Him.

29- Our Family Planning

29- Our Family Planning

 We needed to consider birth control.

I mean, that’s what responsible people do, right?

Dan would be turning 30 four days before the wedding, and I had just turned 33. I had been on birth control pills starting in my fourth year of college, and afterward. We were not sure if I would have trouble getting pregnant.

Once again, I am not a dreamer or much of a planner. I had not thought about how many children I wanted or how many boys and how many girls. I hadn’t thought of boys’ names and girls’ names. In fact, eight years of teaching school had filled my maternal need very nicely. I wasn’t not wanting children, I just didn’t have any thoughts on it. Dan did not have a strong opinion either.

            What we realized was that we both wanted to trust God with our family planning and that is what we did.

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