Hello, boys and girls. I’m not sure when I became a one-post-per-week blogger instead of a one-post-per-day blogger, but it sure is good to sit down and write for a few minutes to stay in touch with you all. Since I really don’t have any big news to share with you all today, I thought it would be fun to join Shaunna’s 25 Things Linky Party. Remember my 100 Things post? Well, this is the same idea, only one-fourth the work for me!
1. We are on year #4 of homeschooling at The Hill Preparatory Academy for Girls. I never set out to homeschool for that long, but we love it more and more each year. When we one day look back over the course of our lives, the choice to homeschool will definitely be among the best choices we’ve ever made for our little posse. God has directed us into this endeavor, and He has faithfully guided every step.
2. I have almost eliminated my consumption of refined sugar. I feel like a new person. I never imagined how much sugar contributed to my feeling sleepy and lethargic ALL. THE. TIME.
3. Although I don’t watch a lot of TV, The Voice is my new favorite show. We’ve always been an American Idol family, but I like The Voice so much better. We just get to hear good singers sing without all the making fun of bad performers. Love it!
4. My house is a little too quiet right now. Almost silent. Which leads me to wonder… What are my children up to?
5. Speaking of my children, these are my favorite pictures of them.
6. When I was looking for those photos, I came across this one, which always makes me laugh.
The Peanut Gallery at my big girl’s soccer game. We’ve had a few (ahem) “reminders” not to coach from the sidelines, so the dads all stand WAY back so they can comment freely.
7. I adore the music of Indelible Grace, Selah, Travis Cottrell, and Christy Nockels. There are others as well, but these guys and gals lead me in worship every time their songs come up on my playlist. They rock the house when it comes to praising the Lord!
8. I’m currently reading about six books at the same time. I’m a literary ADHD like that. My nightstand holds Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, Rabbit Hill by Robert Lawson, Slow Way Home by Michael Morris, The Gift of Rest by Joe Lieberman, The Lion, The With , and The Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis, and Systematic Theology by Wayne Grudem. At some point, I will finish them all because I can’t stand to start a book and never finish it. It’s like leaving in the middle of a conversation. That would be rude.
9. I know I’ve already stated #3 above, but given the opportunity, I’d really rather watch a documentary or historical film than anything light-hearted. (Case inpoint, I’m watching “Gandhi” as I type this. Just for fun.) I’d rather take a vacation where I’ll learn something than a relaxation trip. And I don’t read a lot of “fluff” books. I read mostly biographies, histories, and classic literature. I own my nerd-ness.
10. Good food makes my heart sing. Cooking is an art form to me. I will pore over cookbooks, Pinterest, or foodie blogs for hours, on the rare occasion that I have hours to do so. I enjoy eating in great restaurants as much as I enjoy cooking. It doesn’t matter to me if it is a fine-dining establishment or a hole-in-the wall burger joint. Food is such a fabulous part of our culture, and each place has its own personality.
11. I have learned more about being Christ’s hands and feet in this world over the last few years than ever before. It is clear to me that if we don’t share the gospel of Jesus with the world, we have not lived up to our purpose for being here. Listen, I love good food, I adore a beautifully decorated home, and I enjoy fun, fabulous places. But if that’s all we’re about, then we have missed our highest calling in life. We HAVE to be about the business of sharing the gospel of Christ.
12. In light of #11, here’s what I know. We sin. And that sin separates us entirely, completely, and eternally from a God who is so holy that He can’t look upon sin. Because He knew when He created us that we’d sin, He instituted a system to pay for that sin so that we could be in relationship with Him. That system dictates that something perfect and without blemish be sacrificed as payment for our sin. For a while, that sacrifice involved the killing of animals, which were sacrificed as a payment for sin before God’s people were “clean” enough to enter the temple for worship. The problem with that was that our sins were never fully and completely covered. So God sent His perfect Son into the world to make a once-and-for-all payment for our sin. Although Jesus was fully God, He became fully man and suffered every temptation that men face, yet He remained without sin so that He could be sacrificed for our sins. When we accept that payment, when we believe that Jesus was the Redeemer for us, and that we cannot be good enough to enter God’s presence based on our own merit, then we are saved from the effects of our sin: death and eternal separation from God. There is not one thing we can do to make ourselves holy enough to be in relationship with God, and therefore we are hopeless. However, in His great mercy, He allowed Jesus to make restitution for us. We come to God under the righteousness that Jesus Christ provides, and THAT is what gives us righteousness and holiness in God’s eyes. The righteousness of Christ is what makes us heirs of God.
13. Although it is ONLY the righteousness of Christ that can save us, and not our own good works, obeying Christ and doing His work is how we show the world His love. Works don’t save us, but they do bear witness to the saving power of Christ in our lives. They identify us with the One who saves. We are the ones given the responsibility to be His hands and feet, His salt and light in the world as long as we’re here.
14. While I love homeschooling my children, I fully realize that I cannot teach them everything they need to know. That’s why we are so purposeful about keeping them involved in other activities. We dance, do gymnastics, play soccer, and are at church every time the doors are open. We constantly have friends over to play and stay on the go with field trips. We love our friends and our fun times with them!
15. I’m not afraid of taking a few calculated risks. I mean, I’m not gonna go blow our 401(k) on a hare-brained idea, but I will occasionally push the envelope in ways that surprise my friends. Sometimes it pays off, sometimes it doesn’t. But you never know until you try.
16. I’m dying to take my girls to DC this spring or summer. We’ve been studying American history this year, and I think they would learn so much on a field trip to Washington. Don’t you? Plus, I’ve never been and I want to see it, too.
17. For the last year I have been working on decluttering our home. I’ve basically thrown away a ton of junk that we’ve accumulated over twelve years of marriage. We just do not need so much stuff. I hate the idea of us being so attached to material things. So out to goes. Well, a lot of it anyway.
18. I don’t know what I’d do without Target. You know, almost anything I need I can find at Target.
19. I have always wanted to renovate an old church and live in it. Did I say that in my last 100 Things post? It’s true. I’d love to find an old white clapboard church with a beautiful stained glass and lovely hardwood floors. Maybe one day.
20. This is harder than it looks.
21. I can overanalyze things.
22. I’m introspective. Sometimes too introspective. Often it’s good to examine your motives and thoughts, but you can take it too far and never get your eyes off yourself. Then it’s just a form of pride, you know?
23. I have a laundry room full of clothes and sheets to wash. But my floors and bathrooms are clean. Hallelujah! I detest cleaning bathrooms.
24. I have spent too much time on the internet today and not enough time on the treadmill. Since this list is almost finished, I’m about to change that.
25. I’m really glad to be done with this list.