Posted in Mommy's Bible Time, Spirited Blessings

Family Priorities


I really enjoyed reading the Bible with Dad today.

My son, age nine

It wasn’t planned. My husband and I were discussing the Something in the Bible (as we often do) and he decided to open up the passage and take a closer look. I don’t really remember what exactly we were reading (I think we were somewhere in Isaiah). I don’t think it mattered to my son.

I can remember the room getting quiet as Daddy read the sweet words of God from those beloved pages. I can remember my son’s argumentative demeanor transforming. What began as a simple explanation to me about something in the text had turned into a family study. He listened, asked questions, and absorbed. He was soaking up the Living Word like a sponge.

For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

Hebrews 4:12

And Those Words, Hours Later, Were Proof of Something Profound.

Those words should bring one joy. But him saying that sweet little sentence was sting to my heart. I had let our morning devotions slide. I was still reading with them as we always had, but nothing was planned. I was doing the minimum to check it off the list. We were more and more frequently passing over this “task”. Sometimes I would have them read the Bible for themselves “instead”.

What led me here? How did I stray so seemingly easily from something I know to be truth and have even seen fruit from?

Family Bible Time is So Much More!

As I thought about my son’s words that evening I began to realize I had let my priorities shift. I knew the importance of studying the Bible with my children. To some degree I could even say it was subconscious. I let time and other worries get the better of me.

“God has called you to a more profound task than being a care-provider. You shepherd your child in God’s behalf. The task God has given you is not one that can be conveniently scheduled. It is a pervasive task. Training and shepherding are going on whenever you are with your children. Whether waking, walking, talking, or resting, you must be involved in helping your child understand life, himself, and his needs from a biblical perspective.

Tedd Tripp, author of “Shepherding a Child’s Heart”

But it Was Also Conscious.

I had used my children’s attitudes on harder mornings to justify skipping this time for the sake of ease. What I hadn’t recognized, is that the small amount of grumbling usually goes away once the passages have been read and discussed. If there was no family Bible time however, there was no telling when the end of the “bad day” was. Bickering had increased, selfishness, and lying had increased. I was suddenly able to point it all back to one root cause.

Therefore, putting aside all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander, like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation, if you have tasted [hthe kindness of the Lord.

1 Peter 2:1-3

I had also used my children’s growing reading and comprehension abilities as an excuse to exclude us all from a quality communion with God. Don’t get me wrong, they should be reading on their own, but not at the expense of reading with Mom and Dad. This time teaches them how to have a relationship with God on their own. It also builds our relationship with each other on more than just an intellectual level. When we get to know each other in Christ, we grow to love each other as He would love.

My son has always craved structure. He has always needed something he could hold onto and count on. I hadn’t realized until these words were said that he had gotten most of the foundation he needed from being consistently, regularly, and heavily filled with the passages of scripture.

These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. 7You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.

Deuteronomy 6:6-7

Moving forward, I had a few things to address God with in prayer:

  1. I had to thank Him for showing me in such a low- priced way. Had the light bulb not come on til later, the price tag may have been way higher.
  2. I had to thank Him for my son’s recognition of what was going on. He may fold his arms in a huff every now and then when he’s tempted away, but he knows on some level that it is good for him and that he is feeding his soul.
  3. I had to thank Him that I have such a strong leader for our family. One who challenges me daily to learn new things from the Bible. Things to share with my children, and even things for my children to overhear.
  4. I had to repent. I knew letting this precious time slide was no solution, but I had allowed my justifications of the situation to cloud my knowledge of God’s calling and will for our family.

I want better for my children.

I want them to understand that no matter what gets added to the schedule, no matter what changes in our day to day lives that meditation on God’s word is our first priority. I want them to know that no matter how old they are or how many ups and downs there are, that Mom and Dad are always willing and happy to open the Bible and rejoice increasingly with them in His character, His love, and His life. I long to see their relationship with God blossom into something that spreads through every relationship that they have.

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Posted in Spirited Blessings

Pressure Cooker Vegan Monkey Bread


Family Sailboat

No pics this time. The family loved it that much!

I used the Farberware 7 in 1 pressure cooker for this recipe. It would be the same for an instant pot; just substitute the “soup” setting for a “time cook high heat”.

This recipe is fairly basic, but i could see adding other grains to the dough(maybe wheat berries, chia seeds, or sunflower seeds?)or you could add ingredients to your cinnamon mixture (perhaps some apples, raisins, or pecans?).

Pressure Cooker Vegan Monkey Bread

INGREDIENTS For Dough:

4 cups All Purpose Flour
8 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons white sugar
1 cup+ 4 tablespoons cold water
6 tablespoons cold coconut broken into thinner pieces

INGREDIENTS for Cinnamon Mixture:
3/4 cup melted coconut oil
2 generous teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 Cup white sugar

PREPARATION DIRECTIONS:
Mix dough ingredients in order listed. Then knead the dough until…

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Posted in Home School How-Tos, sight words, Spirited Blessings

Phonics and Spelling Improv


We’ve been in transition mode. This means not that home schooling has stopped, but that it has changed and adapted to the current needs of our life. I’ve improvised in many areas of my children’s education. I plan on sharing more with you, but the following is just one example of such improvising.

We have a variety of flashcards ready to grab whenever we feel the itch. More on how I organize it all on our boat is soon to come.

Raspberry Bug picked the letter tiles up so I gave her the special blend flashcards from A Becka. I believe these go all the way up to a third grade reading level. Though we aren’t doing the full ABecka curriculum for first or third grade, the flashcards are still being used regularly.

We began by sorting the letters so we could find them easier than in a baggy.

I gave her a tray to work on ( my fancy broiler pan to be precise).

She drew a card and proceeded to sound out the word. Then she spelled the word in tile form.

Blueberry ball took interest soon after. He was able to make sentences with the words he drew.

This was a great way to review! It was even great for Raspberry Bug to learn some new blends.

What do you do when your children are in transition? I’d love to hear your ideas!

Posted in Spirited Blessings

Give | Mission Fleet – The only Seaborne Frontier Ministry Group


https://missionfleet.org/give

Posted in Spirited Blessings

DIY on a Dime: Cloth Diapers


I feel so blessed to be able to use exclusively cloth diapers with baby number three. It may sound silly to some, but I love the fact that I don’t have to add disposable diapers and wipes to our regular shopping list! We’ve saved so much money already. Not to mention elimination communication goes way smoother with cloth! We keep a mini potty (see it there in the left hand corner?) right by the changing table and I rarely have to change a stinky diaper. I prefer to catch it!

IMAG0367

With Raspberry Bug we used cloth training pants and cheap vinyl covers after she learned to walk, but I love that I actually have a “cloth diaper stash” with my new little guy. Most of the diaper stash I started with was given to me by either my sister in law one of my friends from church. The only exception is the Chinese cheapies I got from Ali Express (Qianqunui). I definitely love the one size pocket diapers. They are easier to customize, wash, and dry. One size means that I don’t have to keep buying them.

I was able to make some of my own using the Rita’s Rump Pocket Diaper Pattern.

There are many different types of diaper patterns you can find for free or cheap online, but I never found a need to try another one. I can customize this one however I need to. I made a couple of flannel ones first, which were surprisingly absorbent.  I also made some out of the prefold diapers I was given at my baby shower:

These work well with the Thirsties covers my sister in law gave me:

Then I took the same pattern and made a waterproof version with this cute sailboat fabric I had in my stash. I made a waterproof pocket diaper and a waterproof cover:

IMAG0348

I made them entirely out of materials I already had. My husband purchased the snap setter for my birthday, and I mimicked the Fuzzi Bunz snaps, because I like them the best. It’s not a separate rise, but a set of three snaps on each size. This way, I can adjust the waist and the leg holes all at the same time.

The waterproof material came from a crib mattress protector that was starting to tear around the edges.

I used the waterproof part for the diaper itself and then I converted the pillow top layer into extra inserts. I also saved the elastic for later projects, so the only thing I didn’t end up using was the thin layer around the sides.

I like that I was able to repurpose something I already had. And I knew it was safe for baby, because it was designed to be used in baby’s bed anyway.

 

Posted in Spirited Blessings

Our New Little One


7 pounds 14 ounces. 21 inches long. Healthy, calm, quiet, and easy all describe our new addition well. He’s growing well, sleeping well, and has hit every milestone that’s come his way with stride.

I can’t wait to see the many beautiful ways he transforms our family and what God has in store for his future.

Posted in Mommy's Bible Time, Spirited Blessings

Expectations for the Near Future


“Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.”

Proverbs 16:3

The Lord has brought our family through very unique circumstances and living situations in the past decade. I would be outright lying to say that it has all been easy sunshine and roses. We have had our fair share of trials. We have struggled in ways that the average middle-class American has not had to deal with. We’ve struggled through difficult living situations, problems with family members and so-called friends, outright poverty, and more. However, I wouldn’t have changed a bit of it given the choice.

 Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.  And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

James 1:2-4

Each trial, each challenge, journey, and chapter in our lives has brought us to where we are today. And, most importantly, they have brought us to who we are in Christ.

herandmompointing

Divine circumstances beyond our control had led us to living on our 29′ sailing vessel in Hawaii. I had a strange contentment about this sudden and drastic change in our lives. From the outside looking in, no one was able to understand. God had led us through enough in our married life together for me to have an assuring certainty of God’s sovereign will over our lives.

photo(13)

As it turned out, He used that time in our lives to yet again draw closer to Him. Furthermore, He used that time to help us to grow closer together as a family and to minister to those in need around us (both physically and spiritually). We were able to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and show the love of Christ through prayer, Bible studies, and fellowship. God used that time in our lives as a way to teach us how to become more powerful disciples for His glory. It seemed that when we didn’t know how we would take care of our own family, the inexplicable answer was to feed His sheep first. The more we poured out to others, the more poured into that tiny vessel.

9.25 upload farm 003

Which brings me to my main point: our plans for the future. My husband and I firmly believe that we were brought through that unique time in our lives to prepare us for what is to come. The idea came to him quite some time ago and has slowly been forming into solid plans as God opens doors and introduces us to friends who love the Lord and even more unique possibilities.

The concept is simple:

The Only Seaborne Frontier Missions Organization in the World

God has given us a passion for the sea. And our passion is His passion.

  • There are many persecuted Christians throughout the world who could benefit from a sailing vessel that could transport them to safety.
  • There are many countries who could benefit from transportation of goods across waters to provide relief from natural disasters.
  • There are various places where Bibles are illegal, but docking a boat would not require a customs search.

This is where Mission Fleet comes in. Our goal is to sell all we have and move on a missionary vessel within the next six months or so and join a small fleet of 1-2 other sail boats in a cause for Christ. Our family desires to live for God and to follow the words of Jesus:

“…go and sell all you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”

Mark 10:21

 

Until then, we will be doing all we can to help those in need where we are.

If you want to keep up with the latest on the Mission Fleet:

http://www.missionfleet.org

If you would like to follow us in this unique journey God is calling us toward, my husband and I will be coauthors on

The Family Sailboat Blog

I cant wait to see what God brings about in the next chapter!