Posts Tagged ‘Encouragement’

Marriage Retreat 2014


March 16th marked our 12th Anniversary!  Lee is a great photographer, don’t you think?  We haven’t always “gotten away” for our Anniversary, but we have for the last few years and it has been a great investment in our family.  Last year we enjoyed Fort Rock so much, we decided to go back.  This year we were joined by our friends the Mashburns.



Fort Rock is an awesome Christian camp!  We can’t say enough about the awesome time we always have there.  We went last year for Family Camp and had a blast then too.  This year we enjoyed sermons from S. M. Davis.  We always enjoy his messages and we came back home with many more dvd’s to watch.  You can check him out at Solve Family Problems’ website .  On the first night he preached “12 Reasons Why I Am For The Permanence of Marriage”.  It was very good!  Its so sad how so many in our culture today start out their marriage with the thoughts that they are going to “try it out” and when they encounter their first problem they are already gone.  Another great sermon was “Are You a Giver or a Taker”.  It was really eye opening and caused me to evaluate everything I do!  I have always considered myself a giver, but I thought of many more ways I can be a giver, and ways that I can take less.  He also preached on the demonic nature of anger.  When you think of how yelling and anger destroys our families and children, and gives place to the devil, it is much easier to keep your cool!  It is much easier to raise children with tenderness and compassion than it is to repair broken adults.


His last sermon was about the two paths a person takes when they go through a trial.  He called them the garbage trail and the golden trail.  God allows and sends trials in a Christians life to refine us like gold.  It is up to us to choose the right path.  So many will take the garbage trail and pick up garbage along the way.  They will pick up a why me attitude, anger, doubt, fear, jealousy and come out defeated carrying all their burdens with them on the other side.  Then God looks down and sees that they have learned nothing and sends another test to see if they can get it right.  Most people will habitually take the garbage trail.  Most will try to walk through life alone and never will experience the blessings that are found on the golden trail.  On the golden trail you pick up things as well like…patience, peace, compassion, understanding, love and joy.  When you take this trail through your trial you learn and grow in the Lord and come out a better person, ready and able to help others when they go through a similar place.  Let us pray now that when the next trial approaches we will choose the right path!  Let us pray that people will remember us for our smile not our frown!  Let us be a giver instead of a taker!


We enjoyed the trail ride!  It brought back memories of our honeymoon in the Smokey’s 12 years ago!




Baby Stella enjoyed “hanging” out with her Mom and Dad


Target shooting with friends


Jake and Jess were kind to babysit Stella while we were shooting





What’s a few tomahawks between friends?

Tomahawk throwing is much harder than it looks!  It is a lot of fun though! I actually got 2 out of 6 this time! Last year I scored a 0.



Bow and Arrow fun!  Between our shooting, tomahawks and bows, Don said he knows why the Indians lost!


Saturday evening we were  also joined by Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar.  They are great speakers and are very encouraging.  Michelle is such a kind hearted lady and has a special heart for young mothers.  It was sweet to watch her taking time with so many women at the retreat, encouraging, offering wisdom from God’s word and praying with them.  She is very petite and has a sweet voice like a whisper, but man can she WHISTLE!  I guess you would need that with 19 children!


The view from our door


Well that’s it!  We missed our babies and were ready to come home, but it was an awesome time of much needed fellowship and re-commitment!  We look forward to Marriage Retreat 2015!

Take Time For Your Children



“Think long and hard about the way you invest your children’s time.   Time is treasure.

And where your time investment is, there you will find the heart of a child.
Invest the majority of his time in entertainment, and his heart will be turned to love of pleasure.
Invest his time in peers rather then family, and his heart will be with the peers more than his family.
There is a time and place for all good things in balance, but wise parents will steward the treasure of time, and in so doing, shepherd their children’s hearts.”
Time passes by so fast.  I’m sure you have heard this from an elderly woman, who was lovingly looking at your children.  I have even been counciled to enjoy these little moments.  Our first baby is now 7, and I have come to realise that time does pass by fast, too fast.  I often find myself stopping just to watch them and record a memory in my head, a memory that I can look back on years from now with fondness.  We have to make it a habit, to stop.  Busy stay at home moms, even busier homeschool moms, sometimes get caught away with cleaning and class time that the time just slips away, their children’s hearts slip away.  We should invest more in our kids life than our own life.  We should invest more in our kids life than we do in their cirriculum.  Take time with your kids today…skip school and skip with them.  Go outside, don’t just watch them play…play with them.  Give them extra hugs and praise, and let them know that you will always be there for them.  Re-tie those strings that have been broken, and give them your best…give them your time.
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. 
Matthew 6:33

Easter Lillies In Bloom


Ecclesiastes 3:1-14


 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

 A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;

 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

 A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

 A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

 A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

 A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

 What profit hath he that worketh in that wherein he laboureth?

 I have seen the travail, which God hath given to the sons of men to be exercised in it.

 He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.

 I know that there is no good in them, but for a man to rejoice, and to do good in his life.

 And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labour, it is the gift of God.

 I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it: and God doeth it, that men should fear before him.


Ways to Affirm Your Mate

1. Compliment on appearance. Who dosen’t like to be complimented? Men and women alike, love to be noticed by their mate.

2. Praise them in front of the others. Especially if you have children at home!!! Kids need to see and hear positive affirmation in their parents.  Don’t just praise your husband/wife in front of the kids, take time to praise them in a croud…at church…in the workplace…EVERYWHERE!

3. Have an Attitude of Thanksgiving.  Husbands and dads need to know we see how hard they’re working for us and that we’re grateful for it. Wives and Mothers only motivation (sometimes) to keep on going is a grateful child or Husband. Gratitude is a great motivator it makes women want to serve our husband and children more and it  makes a husband who will enjoy providing for his family.

4. Pray for them. God entrusts our husbands with a great responsibility as heads of the household.  As their helpmates, we can and should pray for wisdom for our man to be the leaders that God would have them be. Husbands should pray for their wifes to be encouraged in their sometimes monotonous daily tasks, and also for the children in her daily care.

5. Keep a record of wrongs rights. It is so often easier to keep ”records of wrongs.”  We should remember God’s grace towards us ” while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us”  and  “As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us” and we should “go and do likewise.”  After we have thrown our that old list…replace it with a “Record of Rights” and pull it our often!

A Little More Advice:

 Tone is key when speaking words of affirmation. If you speak in a condescending way, your spouse will feel dejected.  If you only affirm to get what you want out of a situation, your mate will know you are just playing games. People are often more influenced by the way in which you speak than the words you say.  Don’t just say nice things to mark them off your list.  It has to come from the heart.  Be sincere. No Nagging…No Pessimism, ALWAYS greet your mate with good news and a smile!  Your glass should always be HALF-FULL! Be Positive! Lastly, remember to always KISS GOODNIGHT!

Scripture Memory


Psalm 119:11

Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.


It has always been important to us for our children to memorise scripture and praise the Lord we have found an easy, effective way to do this with even our little ones!  Our kids are ages 7 and under and so far this year they have already memorised 5 verses.  Even Jo Anna who is three is able to remember them when we call out the reference. I can’t take the credit for this one! I found this scripture memory system at Simply Charlotte Mason.  You can watch the How To video there or just follow the directions below.

By spending just five or ten minutes a day, you and your children can learn and retain hundreds of verses. We like to start off a new verse by creating the motions for it together.  Making motions for the words helps our little ones memorise the verse quicker.  If they stumble on a word, we can just show them the motion and they instantly remember the words that go with it.  We have to chosen to do our scripture memory before bed during our Family Bible Time, but you can just as easily include this system in any homeschool program.  We don’t assign a certain amount of time with each verse, we just move on after each child can say the verse by themselves for the family. Don’t worry about how many days it takes for everyone to memorize the selected verse or passage. Scripture memory is not a race, it’s a lifelong habit. We really like this method, because as you are learning a new verse, you are reviewing several along the way.

Step One: Get an index card box and forty-one tabbed dividers that fit inside it. It doesn’t matter if the dividers have letters on them; you can flip them over and use the other side for labeling. We paid a little more for our box because we wanted a sturdy one.  We also liked the fact that it looked like a treasure box!  We also picked brightly colored dividers.

Step Two: Label the dividers as follows and place them in the box in this order:

  • 1 divider — Daily
  • 1 divider — Odd
  • 1 divider — Even
  • 7 dividers — Days of the Week (Sunday, Monday, etc.)
  • 31 dividers — Numbered 1-31

Step Three: Copy onto index cards (or slips of paper) any verses your family already knows. Record both the reference and the text of the passage. If you don’t know any yet, don’t worry — you will very soon. Place the verses you already know behind the numbered dividers, distributing them evenly.

Next write cards or papers for verses you want to memorize. Put one verse card or paper behind the Daily divider; this will be the passage you’ll work on memorizing first. Then stack the rest of the verses to be learned in front of the Daily divider to learn at a later time. At the beginning, you won’t have any verses in the Odd and Even or Days of the Week slots. Don’t worry, they’ll fill in; see the next two steps.

Step Four: Each day you will say together the verses behind four dividers:

  • Daily
  • Odd or Even
  • Day of the Week
  • Date of the Month

So if today is Tuesday, the 3rd, you will say the verses behind Daily, Odd (because 3 is an odd number), Tuesday, and 3. The next day (Wednesday, the 4th), you will say the verses behind Daily, Even, Wednesday, and 4. Keep in mind that only the verse behind Daily is a new one that you are memorizing; all the others are just review.

Step Five: As you master the verses behind the Daily divider, advance that card and move the replaced verses farther back in the box. So when you have memorized a Daily, move it behind either the Odd or Even divider. Move the verse that was in that Odd or Even slot back to a Day of the Week slot. And move the verse it replaces in the Day of the Week slot back behind a numbered divider. You can then put a new verse or passage to memorize behind the Daily divider and you’re ready to go again.

In this way, you will review a new verse every day, then graduate to every other day, once a week, and finally, once a month. Use the system every day of the month and you will review all the verses you know every month of the year! Of course, not all months have thirty-one days; the verses behind 31 will be reviewed seven months out of the year. We recommend putting verses that you know quite well behind that number since it gets reviewed less frequently.

When you have advanced enough verse cards that you have one placed behind each numbered divider, start at 1 again and add another card to each. Soon you’ll have several cards behind each numbered divider. And eventually, you’ll have memorized so many verses that you’ll have enough cards to expand to two boxes! What a wonderful milestone that will be!

Verse of the Day
“And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.” — 1 John 5:14-15 Listen to chapter Public Domain. Powered by
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