Category Archives: Ideas

Not Getting Grabby

 

I’ve debated doing this post for a while.  I’ve been really unsure I could make my thoughts about it understandable on paper.   That and it’s been the first chance I’ve had to sit and write in a while.  School has been starting to wind down and I’m starting to think about summer time and next year… but despite that, I still have school work to do and house work and all the other details that have made it difficult to sit and write.  Nevertheless, here I am, and I’m going to try and make some sense out of this idea that has been floating around in my brain.

Not getting grabby with God.  I have been reading a novel that has sparked some very intriguing ideas.  I don’t want to name the book or quote from it because out here in cyber-space it’s easy for the author to swoop in on what I’m saying about their book, when really my thoughts about it have very little to do with the content of the story I’m reading and more with how ideas in stories echo back onto the over-all picture of I have of life that give me alternate perspectives.

Ok, so on with it.  In this story a student was trying to learn a vast and mysterious subject and would show up to class each day expecting to gain some factual knowledge that would open the doors to understanding.  Only to his great frustration, the teacher would only play silly games with the students or ask them questions that didn’t have anything to do with the subject or simply talk nonsense.  The student gets so irritated that in the end he just considers the class a joke.  Now the interesting thing about this vast and mysterious subject in the book was that it couldn’t actually be taught by facts and that was one of the ideas the student was supposed to understand after a while.  The teacher tried to relate it to him by explaining that when a boy meets a girl he can’t just go up to her and start grabbing at her or try and kiss her.  He has to take time to first talk to her, introduce himself, and interact with her.  And after that he has to get to know her and they have to gain rapport and know each other’s minds and if romance blossoms and they get married, well…  The point is, that romance takes a long time and love is a delicate dance.  Well, that got me to thinking about how in some ways, we try and get grabby with God.  We sit down in Bible class and expect a sudden and full revelation about who and what God is.  Not only that, we want it NOW!  Or we have a problem in our lives and we expect the Pastor to speak on that subject right then, giving us all the answers.  Then, when that doesn’t happen, we get angry and frustrated.   For some, when they realize that knowing God is going to take years and years of daily dedication to God’s word, they become apathetic and quit.  Or how about the believer positive to hearing the word of God, who wants to devour all factual knowledge about the word so they can consider themselves to be a Theologian and therefore misses the entire purpose of Bible class altogether.   I think these are some of the dangers of “getting grabby with God”.

The opposite spectrum of this idea is that God does want us to seek for Him and to sit and learn the factual details about who and what He is.  There is nothing wrong with aggressive forward momentum in the plan of god and learning His word, it’s just that there are aspects of the spiritual life that cannot simply be “taught” into our brains.  So much of it has be lived and experienced, letting layer upon layer of what you have learned, along with the trying and failing of application, bring to you personal revelation in your relationship with God.  I just love that idea, it makes me think about how, sometimes we just need to go out and find a blue butterfly or hear the birds and relax.   Tomorrow is filled with all its own things and they aren’t going anywhere, so stop racing toward them, live today and find out what you are supposed to experience, and learn today.

Stop grabbing pulling and yanking at God, it’s rude.

 

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Coal In My Stocking?

 

Santa says, “You better watch out, don’t be naughty or else!”  A jolly old man who uses guilt and threats against children who know deep down that being good even for a week is an impossible task.  He looks bright and cheerful, magical even, but under it all Santa is kind of a jerk, but we forgive him because he brings presents to all the good little boys and girls.

 

The Savior was born because we were naughty not nice, a gift to be offered for all the bad little boys and girls, because there was none righteous not even one.  We couldn’t have any of the presents, like eternal life, fellowship with God, the true purpose and meaning of life, God’s happiness and real contentment.  God’s plan was always to solve that problem and Jesus the messiah was the answer. “For God so loved the world that He gave His uniquely born Son that whoever believes in Him (trusts in and relies upon for salvation) will not perish (be stuck without God and all the presents for eternity) but have eternal life” The Lord Jesus doesn’t say “Be good or else!”  He is begging mankind to accept the gift of Himself because he wants to give us all the presents.  Jesus took naughty and nice out of the way and offered us Himself as an alternative.  No guilt, no threats, just a free gift for anyone who will accept it.

 

Merry Christmas!

 

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Another School Year

This last year has gone by so fast.  With doing school and going to Bible conference in Tucson, moving, and getting settled in TX it’s been a crazy year and it’s not over yet.  We move again to our permanent duty station in CA at the beginning of Oct.  I just found out yesterday when we would be able to move.  We are looking forward to CA since I have some family there and of course all the great things to do in CA, especially seeing the ocean. 

School has started again and my Workboxes are working wonderfully and making a big difference.  The kids plow through all the drawers they can do on their own and it leaves me lots of time to do the “teaching” when necessary.  I still haven’t figured out how to keep up with all the housework too but I think a perfect house is a lost cause during the school year.  I’ll take going to the park over cleaning the toilets anyday!  This year we are still using Prof. B math along with Saxon + the Dive Teacher, Noeo Science, The Phonics Road, Homeschool in the woods O.T. lapbook, Typing Instructor (which my son commented was fun because he likes the games and collecting things),  Student Writing Intensive (IEW), and also the spelling program from The Institute for Excellence in Writing and an American History series I’ve thrown together myself.  We don’t do all of this every day but when I split it up over the week it works just fine. 

It will be interesting to see how things go with moving.

Keep Sailing,
Mary

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Perseverance In The Moment

   The disaster, the betrayal, the bad driver, the late app, the minor inconvenience, they all send me right over the edge, trying desperately to control and fix and manipulate or worry things back to the way I want them and when that doesn’t work, maybe some cursing and yelling and throwing a grown-up fit will help, or at least make me feel better.  When I sit in Bible class and learn about the sure confidence I can have in the plan of God, in His promise to work all things together for my good, Rom 8:28, I nod my head in agreement.  I am sure in that moment  that the next time I face an unexpected difficulty I will easily recall to mind that God has everything under control, everything is for my benefit and just relax.  Only, that pretty much never happens, the very next time things go wrong, I freak out.  I’ve been thinking a little about why that is, and I’ve come up with a couple of reasons.  First, I react and get out of fellowship with God.  Secondly, I think I’m going to lose out on something.  All the available data from the unhappy circumstance says that I’m going to be worse off because of whatever is going wrong.  Either I’m going to suffer, (Noooooooo!) or my living circumstances will go down in some way (ensuing pity party).  Thirdly, the appearance of the circumstance usually looks like it has no end in sight, so as far as I can see, everything will be bad forever-more.  Once I start thinking like that it’s hard to remember any doctrine.  Many times I have faced a sudden difficulty, thought that it would last forever, or that there was no way out and sure enough God fixed the problem and I felt foolish later.  Then again sometimes there has been a prolonged period of suffering, God chose not to “fix” everything and in the end I learned things about God and grew in my relationship with Him in ways I never could have otherwise.  What I want to get at is, that sometimes things are meant to look bad, hopeless, or endless so that I can learn not to look at the things that are seen but the things that are unseen and see things from God’s perspective or at least remember that He has a perspective I can’t see, which glorifies Him and benefits me.  He promised that nothing can happen in my life that He didn’t first approve and that includes other people’s evil decisions, which affect me.  It also includes my own bad decisions that hurt me too, and circumstances simply designed to challenge the mental attitude.  Just a little perseverance when things look bad could go a long way.

Keep Sailing,

Mary

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Best Cross Stitch Patterns

Check out www.goldenkite.comfor the prettiest cross stitch patterns I’ve ever seen.  I have been working on their free example for a while now and it is absolutely beautiful!

Mary

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Homeschool Mom Health Moment – Xylitol

I’ve recently taken stock of what I buy for my family and what we eat regularly.  One small change we’ve made that’s completely painless is to replace the sugar in the sugar bowl with Xylitol.  Xylitol is a naturally occurring sweetener that is found in many fruits and is even produced naturally by our bodies.  Xylitol is absorbed differently than sugar and is safe for diabetics.  I found Xylitol at the local health food store and bought a small bag.  Xylitol looks exactly like sugar and can be used in baking as a sugar substitute.  It wasn’t cheap but I found that if I went into the bulk section of the store it was two dollars less expensive per pound. 

The sugar bowl in our house was getting a lot of use and so I simply replaced what I put in the bowl.  Now I know that when the kids need some sugar for their oatmeal, they are getting a spoonful of something that might actually be healthy for them.  I didn’t want to replace all my sugar with Xylitol because on our budget I didn’t see how I could.  Instead it was so easy to replace the sugar that got the most use first.  I’m still experimenting with the Xylitol in recipes and so far it’s been great! 

Small, effectual changes are very rewarding.

Keep Sailing,

Mary Hugill

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