Showing posts from March, 2020

A Mighty Fortress

Grateful for our hymn this month focusing our hearts on God being our mighty fortress. Martin Luther's words ring just as true for us as they did in 1529 in the midst of the great reformation. 
This hymn is a paraphrase of Psalm 46, an oft quoted psalm with portions frequently emblazoned on tote bags and travel mugs and inspirational posters. 
You know what always strikes me about it? In the midst of the "earth giving way," "mountains being moved into the heart of the sea," "the nations raging," the Psalmist THEN reminds us that the Lord of Hosts is with us. What should we do? Be still. Know He is God. 
Being still and knowing isn't just something we do looking over a peaceful landscape or a seashore. We are commanded to be still when the whole earth and the nations seem to be crumbling apart and "threatening to undo us," as Luther stated. 
Now. Right now. We need to be still and know. He is our refuge and strength, a very present help …

Tell them the truer truth: passing on a sturdy faith

I remember the feeling of being huddled in our basement during a tornado warning when my big kids were preschoolers. My husband was at work, they were afraid, I was nervous - tornadoes and lightning (along with spiders...) are high up on my list of biggest fears.

Everything in me wanted to look into their wide eyes and confidently assure them, "Nothing bad will happen! We are safe! God will protect us!" The words were on the tip of my tongue. I wanted to say them. I wanted to believe them. I wanted to see them relax in the reassurance that we were invincible.

Except that it's not true, and I couldn't say it. I've seen too many people wrestle with ramifications of this bad childhood theology that was drilled deeply into their view of the world from a young age.

Because the truth is that this world is utterly broken. Creation groans. People sin. Tornadoes strike. Diseases rage. People die. Bad things do happen - all the time. I don't want them to face these re…

Seek first.

Seek first.
These are strange times we are living in. I find myself reaching for my phone to check headlines much more frequently. I scan Facebook looking for reports from friends about the state of the grocery stores. Sometimes in this digital age, information feels like protection, like control. If I know more of what's going on I will know what to do, I will have control.
It's a mirage.
In our thirst for control and stability we grasp for it, but it was never there to begin with. No matter how much toilet paper we have stockpiled or the amount of hand sanitizer and Lysol we use, we do not have control. Everything earthly we put our trust in can be gone in a moment. Our lives are finite and we find ourselves numbering our days.
Anxiety creeps in. Fear creeps in.
"Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?"

What I wish people knew about our homeschool

Many times when people comment to me that they could never do homeschooling, the comment is being made on the heels of an unexpected break from school (extreme cold snap, multiple snow days... a pandemic) when the students are sent home with packets of work to complete at home. I don't know how to fully explain how much not like homeschooling that is.

I think there is a general misunderstanding of our homeschool life that I would love to clarify. And when I say "homeschool," I'm going to limit my comments to our experience of homeschooling here at Stephens Academy. Every single family is different, kids are different, there are about a million different curriculum options and methods and variables. But here are some things I wish people knew about us.

Homeschooling is not doing "school at home."
We don't do worksheets. Ever. Math is the closest you will get to finding my kids working out of a textbook. If you had a live feed into our home, on any given …

Grappling with mysteries

This morning I started the day pouring my coffee and packing my husband's lunch while listening to Leviticus on audio. There is so much 🤷‍♀️ in Leviticus - and actually in so many things we read in Scripture. And you know what? It is GOOD- because our God is bigger than we can comprehend, devastatingly holy, a consuming fire, perfectly righteous. 
I sat down and dug into Romans 11 and this struck me so much this morning. In Romans 11 Paul is wading into deep and confusing waters about God's plan for Israel and the Gentiles. He calls it a "mystery." And verse 32 is a doozy- "God consigned all to disobedience, that He may have mercy on all." What does that MEAN?? 
Then in the very next verse he writes this stunningly beautiful hymn of praise - this confusing, bigger-than-our-comprehension truth should drive us to worship our God who is beyond our understanding.
"Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God!  How unsearchable are His judg…