We Are Works In Progress (Our Creativity Center/Main Homeschool Room)

Welcome to our Homeschool Room for the 8th grade. This room serves as a general Creativity Center. Home Office. Scrapbook Room. Blogging Station. You name it and it probably happens here. All kinds of good stuff happens in this room. FYI, it never stays this neat. I mean really, creativity is a messy process. But, I am aiming to organize our paperwork from child to adult this year so here’s hoping! We are also preparing to paint this room this month and am looking forward to seeing the color transformation. I will post a follow up when it is finished. Here are a few pics of where we are starting. We spend a lot of time reading together on the Living Room Couch as well. We are not rigid, but it is nice to have a place for everything and everything in a place. Trust me, it is the returning everything to the one place we are working on! Meanwhile consider these to be “Before” Pictures. We are works in progress, as is our Homeschooling Journey! Well, we start school this coming week (September 2-6) and look forward to seeing God’s good and perfect will unfold as we walk by faith in Him. One day at a time. 

This is the left side of the closet where most of the formal curriculum is stored (at this time- see us in a month or two). 
I can be a little obsessive with pens, and pencils.
Actually all writing utensils.
At least my Hubby and Daughter say so. Hmf. 

Still organizing and decluttering the craft supplies.  

Teacher’s Desk, Blog Writing Spot and of course Student Computer Lab.
Although my Girl does have her own laptop and we do love the Library. 

This World Map is actually going on the wall once we have painted. 
But glad we have room on the desk as well.

Here are a few of the Post Paint Wall Accessories.  

Happy September and Happy New School Year! 
Linking with iHomeschool  for the School Room Week-a few weeks late, but better late than never.

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Chase – A DVD Based Study by Jennie Allen (Review)

“God is invisible, and yet He is the only thing we can chase that won’t leave us feeling more empty.”
What comes to your mind when you hear the name David? Chase DVD-Based Study
by Jennie Allen is an attempt to draw the lessons of the life of the man whom God called “a man after my own heart.”. I want to be a woman who God would say the same about, how about you?
I have done a number of Bible Study Lessons about the Life of David, and I have to admit, this one life continues to deepen my faith and trust in God like no other. So let me tell you how this DVD-Based Study is unique.
This beautifully boxed DVD study set, comes complete with an Leader’s guide, Student (Study) Guide, 80 minute DVD, and Conversation Cards. Additional Study Guides can be purchased separately. It has all you need to hold a Bible Study group in your home or church, although I am thinking that it lends itself well to comfortable, cozy gatherings of women in  relaxed environments. If you have never led a Bible Study before, Jennie gives enough instruction, coaching and advice to allow for a great start. 
The Leader’s Guide offers a section on preparing to lead a group, tips on leading and things to watch out for. The rest of the guide directs each of the 8 lessons in a concise manner. There is also a section on the different types of learners and how best to encourage them in this study.
The Study Book states clearly instructions and expectations supported by those in the Leader’s Guide. Since this study is highly interactive (more on that in a minute), there is no getting around there has to be some clear guidelines set in place for everyone to adhere and refer to in print. 
The DVD is segmented into 10 minute sessions to use at each of the get togethers. I loved the unique and beautiful way Jennie appears in these video clips. They are sure to draw out and inspire deep sharing among women. I absolutely felt moved to tears a couple of times while listening to her speaking. 
Discussion time comes in various ways for each meeting but one of the unique features offered with this study are the Conversation Cards. These small cards have questions printed on them for each of the weekly themes. The leader spreads the cards out and allows the group to choose the question they are willing to discuss. Here are a couple of examples: “Do you feel pressure from God to obey or measure up? How is that pressure affecting you?” and What do you most fear losing? Is God enough to fill the space of what you might lose?”.  These cards are meant to encourage authentic reflecting and sharing within the safety of the group. I also think they would make great journal prompts! 
 The Chase study follows themed in this way : 
Getting Started: Chase
Lesson 1: Identity- 1 Samuel 16:1-13
Lesson 2: Courage- 1 Samuel 17:1-51
Lesson 3: Obedience- 1 Samuel 15:1-31
Lesson 4: Belief- 2 Samuel 7:1-17
Lesson 5: Repentance-2 Samuel 11; 2 Samuel 12:1-14
Lesson 6: Surrender- 2 Samuel 13; 2 Samuel 18:13-33
Lesson 7: Chased Down- Ephesians 1:3-14
I have listed the specific study scripture to give an idea of the chapters covered on David’s life but additional scripture is used and referenced throughout the study as well, including Psalms. 
I passed the Chase Box along to my Women’s Ministry Leader who kindly shared her input on this study as well. Here are her thoughts: “The videos will make participants feel as though they are having a one on one discussion with Jennie – the material is thought provoking. Chase would be excellent for small group study. The Chase cards would give the women the opportunity to know each other on a deeper level.” 
I am hoping to lead this study in my home this Winter. I think it would definitely rock my world, and those who join in the journey! All the tools you need need to enjoy a small gathering study are available in this one box. 
“This is not a study for people who want to play it safe. This study will mess with you., just as it messed with me, because we are all chasing things other than Go, and when you look into the life of someone chasing God Himself, God alone, you start craving Him too. I want a life like David’s, brave dependent and full of worship. He had a relationship with God unlike any other I’ve ever seen. I want to know God like he did. I want to trust God like he did. “
~ Jennie Allen
Here is a clip of Jennie (click to see video clip if you are viewing through e-mail)
For more, check out Jennie Allen’s Chase  at Thomas Nelson.
I received this Product through Shelton Interactive. All opinions expressed are my own.
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Worshipping in the Throng (5 Minute Friday: Worship)

Sometimes it is hard for me to worship with a roomful of Believers. Maybe it’s my ADHD, maybe it’s my flesh, maybe it’s the enemy (I’m sure) but maybe it’s just harder to hear Him where there is so much commotion. Yet, because I know it is His will, I push back the distraction of the slim hips standing in front of me (how can her hips be so compact?) and the cute baby eyes, staring at me from over the daddy’s shoulder, to the right. And then there is M., I want to go stand with her and hug her, just because she always is there raising her hands and praising Him. And I know she could probably use a hug.

So, I close my eyes and try to focus on worshipping in the congregation despite these wild distractions. And I think of the times I feel closest to Him…solitude morning walks along the beach, for instance and I wonder. How is it that I came to this place just a heartbeat from the coast. How I used to steal away early when I felt I needed to really commune with Him, the hour drive, and how He met me and comforted me, and led me here. Both my home and my church currently within walking distance from the beach. How He knows me! How He loves me!

So I push back all those distractions, and thank God for each one of those precious peeps, with their slim hips, drools, and needs- and I stand in the throng praising Him, knowing He loves me, knows me and accepts me. Despite my crazy, wild mind. Yeah, even He loves my wildness. Loves me wildly with all of that wild within. It makes me grin. He’s not mad at me, or you. He just loves us. Knowing it is worship. Believing it is His glory. Maybe all of it is worship, after all.

Five Minute Friday
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Nevertheless (Thoughts on The Will of God)

There is a drum beat in my head as of late, tapping out the words, “The Will of God, The Will of God, The Will of God.” There has been a theme pursuing me, calling after me, causing me to pause and turn my gaze from my  current path. To question my direction, and be sure I travel the way that matters. There is a voice I hear, and it tells me to look up. 
My flesh has been drumming up some of it’s own beats, they sound like this: “What about me?”, That’s not fair!”, “But, they are are wrong.”. My fleshly objections to the will of God always start with “But” and end with me. Actually, capitalize that: Me. To be more precise, and I quote directly, “But, what about me?”
I have a suspicion God’s Will and my will are so diametrically opposed that it will take a miracle for them to merge into the one. Fortunately, I need not be reminded, that has already been provided. That supernatural, flesh killing, miraculous transformation is painfully and joyfully underway. It started the day I said, Yes to Jesus. It started despite my doubts that anything had actually happened. It began even though I did not understand all of the theology behind the belief. It happened with my teeny, tiny, mustard seed wretchedness. Because spiritual birth occurs not through the will of man, but because of the mercy and miraculous power of God. With a teeny tiny, doubting, kicking and screaming seed, sinners are made saints. Some come more willingly, some come more readily, some are just knocked right off their high horses. Some make the journey more smoothly than others, and some are rebellious even in the safety of the Father’s loving eternal arms. 
Most come to this place thinking they know the Will of God. It usually looks a lot like their top three wishes. But in the hands of a God who molds, and forms souls for eternal purposes, these desires must be laid at the feet of the One who knows now and forever. As for some (myself included) some things must be taken from clenched tight hands, like dangerous toys in the hands of a child. Transformation is a painful process. Knowing God is not like finding a Genie in a bottle. He is not here to grant all of our wishes. God is not our Magic Wand. Although, I am convinced, more than ever, some believe that is what He is, exactly. 
When I first became a Christian, my biggest desire was right in front of me. Two “perfect”candidates. I believed that since I was now a Christian, this must mean I have hit the My Way or the Highway Jackpot. I assumed God must want me married to one of these perfect candidates, of course, because I was consumed with the desire to be married and get on with the happily ever after I assumed marriage was going to be. Um, no. Not so much. It would be about ten years later before God revealed who my husband would be, and when He did, it was the least likely person I would have expected. Besides that, I thought I misunderstood Him or (gasp) He had it wrong. But He made it clear. After my first round of Assuming God’s Will for Christians 101, I went on to do the same, again and again with different aspects of my life. 
See the fact is Jesus did not say to the Father, on that fateful night, in the Garden of Gethsemane, “By the way, I have a better idea for this whole eternal salvation thing, hear me out, Dad. Plus, I don’t have to die that brutal death on the cross. I am having some second thoughts about that whole deal, let’s have a little win-win, shall we?” No friends, He said “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” (Matthew 26:39)

Nevertheless. The power of one word to change the direction of humanity. God’s Will is not like a slow curve on the road. It is like a sharp veering off the road. Make that a cliff. It is a radical departure from your cozy, comfy presumptions about how your life should be, and all that you should have, and all of your happily ever after dreams. Beyond that it is more painfully, beautifully, graciously better than anything you can imagine. In ways you cannot fathom-Not because it is perfect. It won’t be. But perfect is coming, down the road anyway. In His time. 
Your kingdom come,
your will be done,
    on earth as it is in heaven.
Matthew 6:10

Linking with Tracy for Winsome Wednesday:

and these fine communities:

Christian Mommy Blogger 

Wholehearted Home (for the first time!)

Blog Post Hop

Reading List: Cozy Reading Spot

Missional Women

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Prayers for a Woman’s Soul Online Study with Julie Gillies

I have some great news just in the nick of time, Ladies- Julie Gillies, author of Prayers for a Woman’s Soul is offering an online study September 9th through October 28! I reviewed this excellent book after winning my very own copy at my sweet friend, Jen’s place ( Finding Heaven ) at the beginning of the year. It is absolutely a great devotional read and prayer help. I have decided to join in with this wonderful online opportunity and wanted to make sure and let my friends know about this wonderful opportunity! Also if you want a chance to win a copy of the book, go on over to this post at Julie’s place:  “I’ve Been Praying for You…{And a Giveaway!}” 
Click link below for all the details about the online study:

Let me know if you will be joining in. Check out my review (linked above).

“Because praying for yourself is not selfish, it’s absolutely vital.”
Hope to see you then and there. 

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