Category Archives: Trusting God

Living in more…

I’m beginning to feel the urgency to live…

 in “MORE.”

And perhaps my definition of more… looks quite different than what you may be expecting from the concept of living in more.

Living in more…

How many of us live pay check to paycheck?

Go about our days like clock work.

Do the same thing day after day after day?

But what if there is more to this life?

What if we have unfulfilled dreams and callings and desires? 

Why not start living in the more?

You see…

More is where the faith is.

More is where the trust is.

More is in the mundane and the simple.

Yet excites us like no other. 

Let’s stop living mediocre lives.

Let’s stop allowing comparison to be the theif of our joy.

Why not live in the more…

We don’t have to look the part, dress the part, blend in with the crowd…

You see…

More is so much different.

Living in more is going against the flow,

Daring to dream,

Looking different,

Standing out in the crowd,

 Living in more calls us to a life of 

generous giving,

intentional serving,

Being bold, brave and courageous.

Living in more calls us to live with less but to love much more. 

It calls us to give up and sacrifice, but to walk in abundance.

Strip yourself from all that entangles you… walk out on a limb… and step forward in a sold out life of MORE! 

A recent living in more opportunity was spent with my daughter at a tulip garden. This day was an ordinary, drizzly Sunday… she and I actually had a little “disagreement” earlier that day… and instead of allowing the day to be cloudy, rainy and filled with our yucky attitudes… we spontaneously stopped and picked tulips and decided to live in MORE! It changed our gloomy day and gloomy hearts and filled our souls with sunshine and beauty. 

We love finding fun little places to visit during our travels… and love meeting people and taking the time to hear their stories too. 

If you are in the Dallas area near Springtime, I highly recommend visiting Texas Tulips in Pilot Point, TX. Check their website first to make sure the tulips are still in bloom though. The tulips are beautiful and we stopped and chatted a bit with the owner’s wife and heard her story of their family moving to the states several years ago from Holland, as this was her husbands dream since he was a little boy. This family chose to “live in more.” They had a dream and made it a reality! He was a master tulip gardener in Holland and moved to Texas to open one of the few tulip gardens in the U.S. 

Lovely family and fabulous visit. Here’s a little photo of the owner and my daughter. 

https://texas-tulips.com//

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Is our choice to homeschool ruining our kids lives?

“You have HOW many kids?”

“Really, and they are ALL yours?”

“You know what causes this don’t you?”

“And you homeschool?”

“Seriously, they aren’t gonna be socialized if they aren’t in real school.”

“How long do you plan on homeschooling?”

“There’s no way you can continue this when they get to high school.”

“You did what??”

“Are you crazy? You rented out your home and now travel in a home on wheels?”

“What about all of your things? You need your stuff.”

“And what about the kids toys? I just feel so bad for them without all of their toys.”

“So you mean to tell me you roadschool? Like you travel the US while teaching your children?”

“And you chose this life? Like it wasn’t just bad luck that you and your family ended up this way?”

“No way girl. Not me. I wouldn’t want your life. You must be a much better mom and wife than I am because I certainly wouldn’t say yes to what you have said yes to.”

Those are real statements that I have had spoken over me. True story.  

But thankfully, those words have never come from those who mean the most to us; from those who are most important in our lives. Our friends and family have always applauded us, cheered for us, encouraged us and rallied us along during all of our “crazy” choices to have more than the traditional 2 children, homeschool (and now roadschool) our kids, rent out our 4K sq ft home and trade it for a 4 hundred sq ft home on wheels.  Perhaps some of them have thought some of the above comments but have never acted on them or judged us in any way. And for that, we are grateful. 
Those words may have come from acquaintances and complete strangers… But in reality, the enemy speaks those same thoughts (lies. All lies) over me almost every day. 

The enemy wants me to believe that I am crazy…

That I can’t handle having 4 kids… And the idea to foster/adopt a slew of them one day when we stop traveling is even crazier. 

That I am incapable of homeschooling our children. 

That they are going to grow up dumb and not be able to function in society. 

That I am ruining their lives and future of ever obtaining a college acceptance letter or even a job for that matter.

That I am the worst mom and teacher ever.

That living in a camper is completely insane and that yes, they need their toys and I need more stuff. 

Lies. All lies. 

Because when I scrolled back through my paul6homeschool 2015/16 school year hashtag on IG…

I saw life

I saw love

I saw learning

I saw creativity

I saw smiles

I saw growth

I saw adventure

I saw 4 children creating memories and dreaming dreams that could never be accomplished if we did life any other way. 

These kids have schooled in about 38 States, too many national and State parks to count, numerous museums and aquariums, and tons of libraries.  

Book work? Yes, they did book work. 180 Math lessons to be exact. Yes, they read books and sat through many grammar lessons. Yes, they are up to par in comparison with others in their age group… 

But those things pale in comaparison to the journey and adventures made. Nothing can top going to the top of the Empire State Building, putting their hands on the real Plymouth Rock, studying mammals and wild life at Yellow Stone National Park, being in awe of the Grand Tetons,  doing their copy work down by the river in Colorado, learning all about sea life in Florida, fishing in the Great Lakes or learning all of the US State capitals by actually putting their feet on the ground in those states instead of only staring at a map.

So get behind me Satan. Move over. This mama and her 4 munchkins (along with their hard working daddy) are exactly where God wants us to be. He’s got this! He’s leading the way, guiding our path, and as we lean into Him… We will follow whichever path He has designed for us. We will take the good days with the bad and make lasting memories. 

“You have 4 kids, live in a camper and roadschool by choice?” 

Yes, yes I do. 

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 Here’s a little glimpse into their homeschool journey this past year.   

    
    
   
So if you are a homeschooling, Roadschooling, unschooling whatever you want to call it schooling mom… Stand strong. Hold your head high. March forward. Press on. And trust the plan God has mapped out for you.

You are strong and courageous.

You are more than conquerors.

You are free from keeping up with the Jones’ and living a cookie cutter life. 

You can be different and look different and go against the norm. 

Stop comparing your life to those around you and stare straight at Jesus, keeping your eyes on Him and He will not let you down. He’s got this. And so do YOU! 

If homeschooling is what God has called you to… Then Go FOR IT!

No. You are not ruining your kids lives… And neither am I. 
Psalm 127.3: “children are a heritage from the Lord. “

Proverbs 22.6: “train a child up in the way he should go… “

Philippians 4.13: “i can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” 

Proverbs 3.5-6: “trust in the Lord with all of your heart…”

Romans 8.37: “we are more than conquers through Him who loves us!” 


Ugly cry

My kiddos always look forward to attending Vacation Bible School (VBS) every summer. And this summer was no different. They actually attended two in one week, one in the morning and the other in the evening. The evening one ended up being not so enjoyable for my 6 year old. He didn’t seem overly joyful to attend and it unfortunately took me until day four to figure out why. (I will most definitely NOT be getting the mom of the year award for that one). 😦
You see, he doesn’t usually complain and is my “go with the flow” kid. However, on night 4 of VBS, his teacher offered to walk him to his class while I took the other 2 children to their rooms. He was reluctant to walk with her, but went along with that plan. After taking the other two to their class rooms, I felt the Spirit nudge me to peek in his room and check on him. I looked in the room and saw about 7 rows of chairs and the teacher at the front teaching the bible lesson. The first three rows were filled up with 6 yr olds (all girls)… The next three rows were empty… And there on the very last row with only one chair to that row… sat my sweet little guy all alone with his eyes full of tears. (Insert your own tears here). I took one look at him and my heart sunk. You see, my boy was all alone all week with a room full of girls. Being the only guy with a room full of girls might be the coolest thing on earth for a 16 year old…. But not so much when you are 6. I felt horrible. No wonder he was reluctant to go every night. What was going through his mind as he sat there all alone? Did he feel abandoned? Was he questioning my parenting skills and my love for him by making him go every night? My thoughts raced on and on.
He glanced over and saw me and his tears started flowing. I asked if he wanted to leave and he innocently shook his head “YES!” Poor guy. We got to the car and I just had myself a cry fest. I am not talking about a few tears… I mean that big ol’ ugly cry. I have a newborn, am sleep deprived and my hormones are raging so it was just a matter of time before that ugly cry bomb went off. Seeing my precious little one who never complains or speaks up for himself with tear filled eyes all alone was about all this mama could take.

I learned several lessons during this little cry fest over my little man.
1. Pay closer attention to my little people when they are hesitant to participate in something. (Hey, give me a little slack though… I had a 2 week old and was pulling “all nighters” at the time) 🙂
2. Although it took me 4 days to realize it… I eventually came to my sons rescue. I love how our Heavenly Father always comes to our rescue. He doesn’t take days to figure it out though. Thank you Jesus for always hearing our cries and rescuing us in our times of need.

3. We are never alone. Although we may at times feel like we are… Like my son felt in this situation… In reality Jesus is always with us. The Word tells us that God will never leave us or forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6).

I wonder if my little man learned a thing or two through this situation as well. The theme for the week was about facing fears and trusting God. That is exactly what he had to do in his room full of girls.
2 Timothy 1:7: For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

Thank you Jesus for always coming to our rescue. You are the true “super hero.” You are always near when we feel all alone or scared. You care for our every need and we can always trust in you. Thank you that we can place our little treasures into your hands and you will care for them.

Do you have a situation that you could share that led you to have that “ugly cry” moment or made you think you are NOT getting the parent of the year award?

Say nothing

I have nothing to say. No words come to mind for me to type. For those of you who know me well, chuckle, because I always have something to say. What can I “say”, talking is fun!

In my opinion, silence (unless you’re praying or sleeping) brings awkwardness. Maybe because growing up, my dad rarely had anything to say. We would sit in his car, just the two of us, for an hour-long drive and there would be complete silence for almost the entire hour. I always felt so awkward. Why weren’t we talking? Why wasn’t there anything to say? How come the silence drive after drive, year after year?

Maybe that is why silence is hard for me. Who knows. All I know right now is that I am silent. It is rather ironic that I am silent because as I type, my family and I are in New York City for the month while my husband works with Hurricane Sandy Disaster Relief. I am certain that silence is a word this city has yet to understand. There is noise everywhere you turn. Here you can’t pay for silence even if you wanted to. I am from Georgia… a southern gal… a long way from home. As much as I like to talk and how noisy our home gets sometimes with three young children, it doesn’t even compare to the noises here. Taxi’s honking, people hustling, city lights, noise..noise…noise.

Why in the world am I so silent? Why in the world do I have nothing to say? My family went through a stressful few days to get to NYC, working out all of the details and making sure everything fell into place in order for my husband to be able to do this job. We really needed this job. We were desperate for it. My mind was racing. I was stressed. Yet now, I am silent.

When I try to pray, I can’t even seem to find the words. The only thing that comes to mind over and over again is God’s word from Psalm 121. I have read it and written it down so many times in the past 2 days that I practically have all 8 verses memorized. It was in MY silence that HE spoke. It was in MY silence that HE moved. It was in my silence that He showed me that He is God and I am not. It was in MY silence that HE showed me to be still and rest in him. I had to let go and let God. I have no control over the situation, the circumstances or the outcome. I must trust Him. He is the ONE who helps me. He is the ONE who has a perfect plan. He is the ONE who holds the future. I learned that in silence. I learned that in being still before my Savior and allowing Him to whisper his sweet words unto me. When I am silent… HE speaks.

Psalm 121

A song of ascents.

I lift up my eyes to the mountains— where does my help come from?

My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot slip—he who watches over you will not slumber;

indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord watches over you— the Lord is your shade at your right hand;

the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night.

The Lord will keep you from all harm— he will watch over your life;

the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.

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John 21: unable to haul the net

Our pastor has been bringing us God’s word from the book of John.  It has been an incredible journey to learn from.  I have been reading John 21 all week as I have been preparing my heart to sit and hear his word from the last chapter as our church closes out the book of John today.

I love how alive God’s word becomes the longer you sit in it and dissect each little particle.  Alive is exactly the word that I would use to describe what John 21 verses 1-14 did this week as I read over and pondered the amazing truth’s of God’s word.

Read the text from John below: as you read, understand that you are reading about Jesus’ encounter with some of the disciples just a few days after His miraculous death and resurrection.

John 21:1-14: Afterward Jesus appeared again to his disciples, by the Sea of Galilee. It happened this way: Simon Peter, Thomas (also known as Didymus), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together. “I’m going out to fish,” Simon Peter told them, and they said, “We’ll go with you.” So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus.He called out to them, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?”  “No,” they answered.  6 He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish. Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, “It is the Lord,” he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water. The other disciples followed in the boat, towing the net full of fish, for they were not far from shore, about a hundred yards. When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread.  10 Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you have just caught.” 11 So Simon Peter climbed back into the boat and dragged the net ashore. It was full of large fish, 153, but even with so many the net was not torn. 12 Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” None of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. 13 Jesus came, took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. 14 This was now the third time Jesus appeared to his disciples after he was raised from the dead.  (bold added for reference)

Wow! There is so much to learn from those 14 verses that I can barely compartmentalize all of the truths flowing from the Holy Spirit as I read this.  Over the next few days, I would love to share with you 3 amazing truths the Lord used to speak to my heart as I read these words.  I will write about the first truth today:

The disciples were out in the boat fishing all night long and caught nothing. Not a single fish took a bite and hooked onto their poles.  I am sure this was not a pleasure fishing trip for them.  Perhaps this trip was “work” for some of them as fishing was their livelihood.  On a very small-scale for comparison, I can relate to what it feels like to not catch a single fish.  We took our kids fishing yesterday and after a few hours of throwing out the pole and reeling in the line… not a single bite.  The only thing my kids caught was their daddy (twice) and an enormous tree limb.  We were only out fishing for a few hours and fishing is not our means of supporting our family, so it wasn’t that big of a deal to us, but I can’t imagine the frustration of the disciples as they fished all night long and caught NOTHING.  I can assume they were tired, weary, desperate and full of despair.

BUT THEN, the scene drastically takes a turn.  In walks Jesus and everything changes for the better.  He appeared to His friends and simply tells them to put their nets to the RIGHT side of the boat and we all clap and give hooray’s over what event occurred next.  THEY WERE UNABLE TO HAUL IN THEIR NET BECAUSE OF THE LARGE NUMBER OF FISH!!! Can you even stand it?  What an amazing miracle.  I love that Jesus was already a step ahead of them preparing the way.  I also love that He tells them to put their net on the right side of the boat.  Do you ever feel like you are fishing on the wrong side of the boat?  You may not be far off from the treasure, but just enough to not even be able to see or feel it.

Jesus called out to them and asked “Friends, haven’t you any fish?” He already knew the answer.  He already knew what miracle He would next perform.  He already had everything under control and a perfect plan to bring them more treasure than they could even carry in.  However, He wanted to hear from his friends.  He wanted them to trust Him, to obey and follow His commands.  Following His command at times requires a lot from us and more sacrifice on our part than we think we can muster up.  Other times, all He needs us to do is move over to the right side of the boat just a smidgen.  Either way, the end result will always lead us to victory.  I am so thankful that Jesus is always a step ahead and prepares the way to great and amazing treasure!  Is that Him calling out to you now?  Are you ready to haul in that net full of fish?