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A New Devotional for a New Year

 

With all the discussion of goals and resolutions that comes with a new year, I try to include spiritual enrichment at the top of my list every year. It is an area I need to re-evaluate often because it seems much too easy to lose sight of my goals. Life is busy. Homeschooling and being a full-time mom to three kids (one with special needs) keeps me going all the time. “Quiet time” is not a concept I’m familiar with most days. If I want to spend quality time in the Word, I’ve got to be intentional. Sometimes I’m just at a loss for where to begin in that process. Kathy Gossen has written a 90-day chronological New Testament devotional called “And the Word Became Flesh” for moms like me to make a meaningful connection between the scriptures and daily life.

 

"And the Word Became Flesh" 90-day devotional

 

A Devotional for Busy Moms

As a wife, mother of two, and entrepreneur, Kathy Gossen knows what it’s like to feel frazzled during her daily quiet time. Prior to the creation of “And the Word Became Flesh,” she became increasingly frustrated by trying to fit it all in before being interrupted by pattering feet. Some days would be filled with great times of prayer. Others would be wonderful times of Bible study. She even memorized scripture on a weekly basis with her children. Yet, one discipline rarely flowed into another and little of what she read or did ever reached her heart where real change could take place. Her daily quiet time had become another item to check off her to-do list, and the inclusion of each of the spiritual disciplines in her weekly, let alone daily life, slowly became a distant memory. She knew it was time for a change. She knew there had to be a better way so out of that frustration blossomed “And the Word Became Flesh.” This 90-day journey guides you to not only read through the New Testament chronologically in 90 days, but be transformed by the Word as you take time for reflection, prayer, and scripture memory based on what you are reading and is intended for repeated use. Use it for your personal quiet time or as a springboard for your New Testament homeschool studies and let the Word become flesh in you!

 

 

Kathy is generously donating one paperback or Kindle copy of “And the Word Became Flesh: A 90-Day Chronological Journey Through the New Testament” to the Best Variety Blog winner in the 2014 Homeschool Blog Awards.

Visit Kathy at Cornerstone Confessions website, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

 

 

 

Sara (47 Posts)

I'm a reader, writer, dreamer, wife, and homeschooling mom of 3 girls. We take a relaxed, eclectic, Charlotte Mason-leaning, Montessori-ish, literature-rich, delight-directed, almost unschooling-at-times approach to learning. Lots of unit studies, field trips, and lapbooks, too. I like to blog about our learning adventures (plus faith and encouragement) at Embracing Destiny.


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I Firmly Resolve…

What a year 2014 was for our homeschool! And when I put that there, with its exclamation point, it doesn’t mean it went wonderfully. It went.

I am not one for New Year’s Resolutions usually. It seems that they are superficial statements that people say to make themselves, or others, feel better. After eating so much at the holidays, the resolution to ditch the junk after the new year, or to begin an exercise program, makes us feel like it’s okay. If it was okay we wouldn’t need to resolve to not do it again.

But I digress. And here I am making a resolution.

This past year was my daughter’s senior year of high school. It started wonderfully. Oh, wait, no it didn’t! That’s how we wanted it to start. Backtracking here: In April of 2014 my daughter got her first real-paid-with-a-paycheck-job. It was to be about three days a week, with plenty of school time. It turned into full time real quick. That was at the tail-end of her junior year.

That was great! She was able to save money towards a car (still looking for “the” one), enough to pay for 8 credits at the local community college (she starts January 10, 2015), buy the exact laptop she wanted, and have so much more freedom that having a full time job affords (was that a pun?).

We school year-round so class started up again in July…but she was still working full time. I tried to adjust and minimize; tried to not stress on what wasn’t important. But really, when they are in school, school is what’s important (or that is what I’ve been told again and again by multiple people). And so I felt like it was a losing battle.

So the year didn’t really start out bad but it just didn’t go quite as I had hoped. And this is where the resolving to make this year better- or perhaps more like I envision- comes in.

My son will be going into his junior year this year (again we school year-round so he’s half-way through his sophomore year). I am seriously stressed out that what happened with my daughter will happen to him. He will get a job and won’t have time for school! But looking back on it, it hasn’t been a bad thing for my daughter.

And here’s my resolution: Regardless of how things go, we will take them as they come, rely on God to direct and guide, and carry on.

Does that seem like a rather vague resolution? Perhaps it is, coming from an anti-resolution type. I can put it better, I think.

My daughter has a job as long as she wants one, she has classes paid for and she’s registered, and she apparently isn’t lacking in the smarts department (time management might be another story *wink*). She placed very high on her placement tests. But what I am mostly concerned with is how will she do in the real-world? And you know what- she will do fine. She has shown that she will. I want to be able to see that for my son as well.

I firmly resolve that I will not demand that my son’s school be so consuming that it deprives him of the helpful opportunities that arise that enable him to be a “well-rounded” family member and citizen, whether through jobs, volunteering or other activities that we’d otherwise say no to because we have school to do.

It’s a long sentence but it’s only one resolution. This will take some shifting of my mindset, that is for sure!

Do you make resolutions? Did you make one or more this year?

 

North Laurel (15 Posts)

Blossom- "North Laurel" to the online world- lives in Ohio with her husband and two teens, homeschooling the Charlotte Mason way with Ambleside Online. She is graciously allowed to be a moderator for the Ambleside Online Forum. North Laurel loves to read, be on the computer, and learn. You can read her blogging about homeschooling, book reviews and life in general at North Laurel Home & School.


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Filled with Gratitude

 

stock-illustration-23609195-mason-jar

A new year is almost upon us. How was your 2014? Victorious? Struggle-Filled? A little of both, or more one than the other?

I admit, the last two haven’t been my best, and on many days I find myself searching for the silver lining. I rarely make New Year’s Resolutions. They always seem rather hollow to me. I mean, if you need to do something differently, why wait until one particular day of the year to decide to make a change? It always seems like the ultimate act of stalling.

I’m making an exception this year. Many of you may have seen the idea of a Gratitude Jar. If not, here is one example. If you Google “Gratitude Jar” you will find many ideas, in some cases free printables are included. The idea is simple. Write down on a slip of paper things that you are grateful for and place them in a special jar. When you get to the end of another year, pull out your “gratitude” and relive the high points. What a great reminder that even in the toughest times we are surrounded by good things, too!

I don’t think it’s necessary to write something each day. Let’s face it, some days we just don’t feel grateful, and there’s no use forcing the issue. But, how about every three days, or every week? Don’t let a week go by without counting at least one blessing.

The end of every year is also an excellent time to reflect on our homeschool journeys. I began mine a longish time ago. My oldest is 15 and has never been to school. His brother is nearly 12, and from the beginning, was difficult to “school.” Working with two completely different personalities and customizing a learning path for each has been exhilarating and exhausting…and the best years of my adult life thus far.

My oldest is almost entirely self-taught (which is different from self-directed in some respects). He still likes me to direct his learning–selecting books and curricula that I know fit his learning style, but otherwise he is in charge of mastering the material and completing his work in accordance with a pre-determined timeline.

The youngest resists schedules and timelines and curricula. He is creative, and visual, and a darn good writer for a 12-year  old. We re-evaluate each year what we want to work on and how we can approach it to make it relevant to his particular learning style.

My own personal evolution as a homeschool parent is on-going. I’m not sure I’ll ever really figure it out entirely. This got me to thinking about some of the articles I’ve written over the years for The Homeschool Post that reflect some of my better “Eureka” moments. I share them with you here:

Your Greatest Work

Lessons From the Library

Teach Me to Play

100 Hours

The Joy of Self-Directed Learning 

What will you reflect on this year? Did you have a “Eureka” moment?

Will you join me in filling a Gratitude Jar for 2015? Commit in the comment section! Let’s hold each other accountable. We’re in this homeschool journey together.
Angela (30 Posts)

Angela is co-founder of Mosaic Freeschool and a homeschooling mom to two never-been-to school kids. Born in Southern California and raised on the East Coast, Angela had a bit of an unconventional education, but did not consider homeschooling seriously until her first child was born. Believing that young children learn best from those that love them most, Angela and her husband John chose homeschooling for their two boys. She is dedicated to the advancement of alternative education choices, creating the web-site Raising Autodidacts in 2011 to further explore the idea of fostering the self-taught individual. In June of 2013, she started an instructional writing service called Gathering Ink .


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