Not My Friend Anymore

I've lost a few Facebook friends in the past few weeks.  I guess they were intolerant of my alleged intolerance.  Or maybe they're just tired of my incessant updates about the mundane things in my life that trip me out - like our bacon-3-ways experiment at lunch the other day (fyi - the kids prefer baked bacon to fried or microwaved).  Or perhaps they're weary of the never-ending photo posts of my kids doing cooky things - like making our own Rosetta stone or fashioning a ramp for their razor scooter out of a lawn chair and a bucket or coloring all over themselves or drooling out rice cereal.

Or maybe they just don't like me.  Period.

My problem is that I care.

I have always cared what people think about me.  What a terrible burden to bear.  I spend way too much time guessing what other people think of me.  I mask these feelings in insecurity, which I know now is a deep-rooted form of narcissism, pride, self-indulgence.  The fact is, people don't think about me much at all.  And even if they do, it's probably not as bad as I think it is.  And even if it is as bad as I think it is, it just doesn't matter - provided I'm doing the best I can to live a life pleasing to and indicative of my relationship with Jesus.

I don't particularly care about the number of friends I have on Facebook.  It's not about the bottom line for me.  I do care about offending people, and I go to great lengths to be tactful.  Respect is important to me, if we agree, sure, but especially if we do not.  I take these things personally, and then I dwell.  Then it trickles into other parts of my life - my marriage, my kids.  Trust me, they don't know the answer to nor do they care about the question, "Why did they defriend me?"  I was not built to debate.  I was not constructed by my Creator to seek out and thrive on controversy.  It's not good for my health or my relationships.  (I say that partially in jest, but there's note of sincerity there.)

I have invested too much of my thought life on things that aren't important.  I don't need to wonder what others think about me.  Instead I need to concentrate on what I know God says about me.  I just finished a super cool summer Bible study with some friends where we delved into scripture and listened to how it spoke to us specifically.  (It was great - Can We Talk? by Priscilla Shirer. I recommend it!)  There was an entire week devoted to taking off our old selves and putting on the new. 

At the end of this week, there was a bonus section about our identity in Christ.  It was a breath of fresh air to read and claim God's feelings for me.  Among the many listed, here are a few that spoke to me:

I have access to God's wisdom.  James 1:5
I am tenderly loved by God.  Jeremiah 31:3
I am chosen by God to bear fruit.  John 15:6
I have been rescued from Satan's domain and transferred into the kingdom of Christ.  Colossians 1:13
I have been made complete in Christ.  Colossians 2:10
I cannot be separated from the love of God.  Romans 8:35
I am confident that the good work that God has begun in me will be perfected.  Philippians 1:6
I am God's workmanship.  Ephesians 2:10
I can do all things through Christ, who gives me strength.  Philippians 4:13
If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.  The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.  2 Corinthians 5:17
I pray that as I mature, and as the sanctification process strips me of the "old" I'll stop caring about who defriended me on Facebook and why.  Because, the one that supercedes anyone on Facebook won't defriend me. I cannot be separated from the love of God.  

How do you feel about being defriended on Facebook?  Are you on Facebook?  Perhaps the fact that I'm writing about this at all means I need to cut out that idol?  Tell me your thoughts!  I'd love to hear them.

Still on the Map

I honestly didn't realize it's been so long since I last posted.  And this hardly counts as a proper post, but I wanted to let anyone who might be wondering know that I have not dropped off the face of the planet and that I am still on the map.  At this particular moment, it just so happens to not be in central Georgia.  We're on an off-peak trip to Amelia Island, Florida because we can - just another one of the big perks of homeschooling. 

In my absence I've thought about a few things to write about that include, but aren't limited to:

~Losing Facebook friends and how I feel about that
~How homeschooling is and isn't what I expected it to be
~How lil' Leah is not so lil' anymore
~How I'm turning 29 and no one believes that (no really, it's 29...I'm not actually 30 or 31 or 42 and pretending to be 29).
~Some books I'm reading (including the Left Behind series [2 decades later], a parenting book by Ken & Steve Ham, and a Bible study I just wrapped up for the summer).

Aren't you so curious?  I bet you are.  (Does dripping sarcasm come across in the blog world?  Probably not.)

In the meantime, I'll sign off with a wave hi and bye in one fell swoop. 

And the obligatory picture of my kids - because I truly believe everyone cares about them as much as I do. 

Enjoying a completely spontaneous game of Sorry Sliders on Saturday morning.  
This is my life.  And I love it!

Hope you are all having a blessed end-of-summer!!!  

Until I sign back on...


My Mom Homeschooled Us for a Week and All We Got was a Lousy Blog Post

One week ago, I was surprisingly calm as I anticipated the morning's adventures.  It was as if I were filled with a peace from someone's prayers.  (Thanks!)  On Monday, July 30, we dove headfirst into our first year of homeschooling.  I had no idea what to expect, and thanks to an over-active imagination on my part, I feared "the worst."  What the worst might be, I had no idea, but as is my modus operandi, I like to go into things with low hopes so that they always surpass my expectations.

It worked.

I'm fully aware that we may be in the honeymoon phase right now.  Surely the novelty of being homeschooled will wear off and my kids will hate it as much as any kid dislikes going to school.  We're still working out kinks, ironing out our schedule, and figuring out some house rules...like "No shooting Nerf Guns at your sisters while we're working on reading."

Honestly, though it's been amazing. 

On the first day, we got dressed, sat at the table, and got things going.

This will have to suffice as the year's official Back-to-School photo.  While we did get dressed, I didn't do hair.  They were hardly "picture-worthy"...

If anyone cares, one day I'll go over our curriculum (which, I cannot for the life of me spell correctly), but for now, I'll just recap with pictures and some funnies from the first week.  Goodness knows this blog is in need of some levity after that last post.  (Geez.)

By the second day, we opted to stay in pajamas because that's how I roll.

"Math" for Abby has proven most fun for the whole family.  (I use the term "math" liberally because even though we have a legit curriculum, for the first few days it was mostly free play.)  Even Ben joins in to play with the teddy bear counters.  It's nice to see him being a little boy every once in a while.  Seems most days he's lost that.  'sniff, sniff'

On Wednesday, we made cave paintings which now decoratively adorn the walls in our dining-room-turned-playroom-turned-school-room. 

Sarah took some liberties with the paint.  I tried to tell her we weren't doing interpretative dance/body painting, but she wouldn't listen. 

The best part about homeschooling is you get to be goofy...in your nightgown.

....with your brother...after you ride scooters in the driveway to get some of those jitters out of your system before sitting down to do spelling work...

Abby made Yankee Doodle - see "Macaroni" up there?

Our history lesson today was about the Nile...we made a miniature model and flooded it, just like the real one.  Abby cried.  Apparently her irrational fear of floods applies to miniature models as much as real life.  It didn't help that the side her pyramid was on flooded way worse than the other.  Hahahahaha.  Poor Abby.

You're going to think I prompted this - I promise it was completely spontaneous.  The kids were looking for any excuse to use their dry erase boards, so I just told them to go for it while I cleaned up the Nile project.  I came back and Ben had written a "cinquain" poem about homeschooling.  

 We made some family pictographs.  Abby drew the faces on the bottom one, and Sarah did the top.  Notice, on Sarah's, I didn't even make the list.  I see where I rank.

My favorite part was Abby's interpretation of Ben.  He's frowning and crying.  She smiled so much when she finished his face.  She ran straight over to him and showed him.  You can imagine how well-received that was.

Last picture (finally, I know) - I instructed Ben to write a sentence using the word "evaluate", and he wrote, "Mommy used her nose to evaluate if the sausage was good."  Clearly we've had some questionable sausage here lately.

While creating an original mnemonic for the planets, I shared with Ben that I used to say, "My Very Eager Mother Just Sent Us Nine Pizzas."  His reply?  "I hope you're that eager someday."  It's the little gems like that I would miss out on otherwise.  Hahaha.

I stole the idea from a friend to write letters back and forth, journal-style, between Ben and me.  I pulled out a spiral notebook and got things going halfway through last week.  It is already my favorite thing - and not even necessarily a "homeschool" thing.  I totally recommend it, if for no other reason than it helps ensure that I am affirming him on things I might otherwise forget to verbalize.  I'm much better at writing my thoughts and feelings than saying them.  Here are some excerpts from his notes back to me:
I enjoyed our first week of homeschooling.  It wasn't what I expected at all.  It was ten times more fun than what I thought.

I enjoyed today's History and Math and can't wait for the next subject.  My absolute favorite is science.  I have learned so much already.
I'm sure the honeymoon will end at some point, but for now I'm enjoying it while it lasts.  The first week went so well - here's hoping it continues! 


Where I Try to Avoid Addressing the Chick-Fil-A Situation - and Fail

Must.  Resist.  The.  Urge.  To.  Write.  About.  Chick-Fil-A. 

I had an entire post composed, and I deleted it. 

My stomach hurts.

As much as I preach the absolutes of the Bible - and I mean it, there is right and wrong - I'm not going to go there today. 

Mr. Cathy made a statement to a Christian press organization that defends his and his family's biblical worldview.  This is shocking to the majority of the population because most Christians don't even have a biblical worldview.  The Barna Group conducted a survey that indicates only 9% of adults and only 19% of born-again Christians fall into that category. 

According to the website stating the findings of the survey:  
A biblical worldview was defined as believing that absolute moral truths exist; that such truth is defined by the Bible; and firm belief in six specific religious views. Those views were that Jesus Christ lived a sinless life; God is the all-powerful and all-knowing Creator of the universe and He stills rules it today; salvation is a gift from God and cannot be earned; Satan is real; a Christian has a responsibility to share their faith in Christ with other people; and the Bible is accurate in all of its teachings.
Postmodernism and secular humanism are the popular worldviews right now.  Why does it matter?  Your worldview determines how you look at things. 
A worldview serves as a person’s decision-making filter, enabling them to make sense of the complex and huge amount of information, experiences, relationships and opportunities they face in life. By helping to clarify what a person believes to be important, true and desirable, a worldview has a dramatic influence on a person’s choices in any given situation.
Consider that Truett Cathy founded his company based on two things - chicken and the Bible.  When you consider that's how he views the world - it's no surprise that his son, Dan, also views the world in the same way. According to Chick-Fil-A's statement of purpose the business exists "To glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us. To have a positive influence on all who come in contact with Chick-fil-A."  I can't speak for Chick-Fil-A across America, but I know that in central Georgia - this holds true.  Their involvement in the community and just their spirit inside the store is exemplary.  I truly believe that God is prospering this company and its founders, and will continue to do so - whether here on earth or eternally.

A final thought to consider from Barna:
If Jesus Christ came to this planet as a model of how we ought to live, then our goal should be to act like Jesus. Sadly, few people consistently demonstrate the love, obedience and priorities of Jesus. The primary reason that people do not act like Jesus is because they do not think like Jesus. Behavior stems from what we think - our attitudes, beliefs, values and opinions. Although most people own a Bible and know some of its content, our research found that most Americans have little idea how to integrate core biblical principles to form a unified and meaningful response to the challenges and opportunities of life. We're often more concerned with survival amidst chaos than with experiencing truth and significance.
 I could go on and on about what it means or doesn't mean to be a "so-called Christian" and I could talk for days about Absolute Truth.  But, today, let's just try to be like Jesus.  And that starts with respect.

Mr. Cathy, I respect your biblical worldview.  Maybe that's because I share it. 
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