Homeschooling…..a call

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NEVER in a million years did I EVER think I’d be homeschooling my children. It was just wasn’t anything that I had ever considered. Apparently, God had other plans. As ALWAYS, He knows best! I must say, that I do so enjoy being with my kids nearly all day every day. People always say: “Boy, you’ve got your hands full.” AND you homeschool them too?” I simply reply, my heart is full; and I do homeschool all four of them. Many of them are just looking at four children; but what they don’t see at first glance is the God who guides me and leads me in the instruction of my children. Isaiah 54:17 (MSG) says: All your children will have God for their teacher – what a mentor for your children!  I believe this with all my heart.

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We begin our mornings with prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance. We also read scripture and right now, the kids are learning Psalm 91. They have four more verses to learn, in order to memorize the whole chapter. I love this time; because they are SO inquisitive about God and ask SO many questions. A lady asked my oldest son (7) what he liked most about homeschool; to which he replied: “quiet time.” She then asked him, what’s your favorite thing about quiet time. He said: ” Talking to and listening to my God.” Her mouth dropped open.

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Monday through Friday, the kids work on Reading, Language Arts and Math; with Monday, Wednesday & Friday, being heavier Language Arts days; while Tuesday and Thursdays are heavier Math days. They do History and Science at least once a week. The kids also take art class, swim lessons, piano lessons, drum lessons, gymnastics, ninjanastics, Preschool Storytime, and are part of a Science, Technology, Engineering, Art & Math (STEAM) club. Besides the academic subjects, the kids are learning how to contribute to the household, to be good stewards of money utilizing the biblical money system, their part in taking care of our community; as well as widows and orphans, hearing and obeying God’s voice, how spouses work together in their different roles, how to honor God, parents, each other and others; and so much more.

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I thank God for this opportunity to minister to my children; as well as a front row seat to watch; as they grow and develop in each of their gifts and callings.  Yesterday, while working with my oldest son on his spelling words, I gave him hi-fives; because he got them all right; after only having them for a day! I was so excited and so was he; and he exclaimed: “Mom, I’m so proud of myself!” I said: I am too son! He says he loves working with me on his school work. That is certainly the grace of God! I love discovering ways to engage them in their learning. As a group fitness instructor, I  always had a plan for class; but sometimes, I could see other choreography and exercise in my head as I taught the class. Those were some of my BEST classes. I knew that the grace of God flowed through me as I taught classes; because of the effect on the people. One day, a lady came up to me after class crying; and telling me how taking my classes just lifted the depression off of her. That’s when I knew it was a God thing. It’s the same way with my children. I have lesson plans in place; but I can often see another way to get a concept across to engage them; and we have the best time! I thank God that He is leading my children’s education.

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Declaration & Exercise of the Week

Hello All!!!

I hope you’re having an EXCELLENT week! A friend dropped by today with a birthday cake made of watermelon, blueberries, whipped cream and toasted coconut for me. It was absolutely DELICIOUS! Every year, she brings cupcakes or cake to my home on my birthday. She told me today that she will always show up on my birthday with cake for me. She also told me that even though I was her boss, I came at such a pivotal time in her life; and that she had never met someone so positive, encouraging and smiley.  I hired her as a fitness instructor years ago. I thought she had a fabulous personality and such great potential. She was one of the most loyal and appreciative people that I’ve ever worked with. Even when I left that organization, she always stayed in contact. I praise God for the opportunity for not only being able to see her grow in her career; but also in her walk with Him; and as a wife and mother. She is a wonderful testimony of God’s purpose in our lives….no matter what our careers or ministries might be.

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Ok, onward! This week’s declaration comes from James 1:22: I am a doer of the word. The exercise(s)  of the week is Hip Abduction and bicep curls to strengthen both the outer thighs and upper arm muscles. Give them a go and let me know how your body responds! As always, have an excellent rest of the week and I’ll see you around the blogiverse!

Speak the Word

God’s word is the MOST important thing. The verses below show the significance of saying what God says. In John 14:10, Jesus said: Don’t you believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words I speak are not my own, but my Father who lives in me does His work through me.

Proverbs 138:2 (amp): I will bow down [in worship] toward Your holy temple and give thanks to Your name for Your lovingkindness and Your truth; for You have magnified Your word together with Your name. 

John 1:1 (KJV) says: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

 Isaiah 55:10 & 11 (NIV): As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,  so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.

Proverbs 18:21 (GNT) –What you say can preserve life or destroy it; so you must accept the consequences of your words.

I was thinking about this night before last; and then decided yesterday that I would do a Speak the Word challenge for this month. It’s easy to get caught up in circumstances; especially if they are unfavorable. We must remind ourselves that God’s word is the Most important thing. It is the absolute truth; and of a spiritual nature. The circumstances that we deal with might be a fact; BUT it is not the truth. Only God’s word is truth. Job 22:28 (ESV) states: You will decide on a matter, and it will be established for you, and light will shine on your ways. We MUST make a quality decision to believe the word of God over everything else, if we’re going to possess His promises.

I remember talking with an older woman who lead the Women’s Bible Study at our church years ago. We were having a conversation one day; when she told me that she was diagnosed with cancer in her 50s (she was then in her 80s); and had overcome it. She had been cancer-free for over 30 years. I asked her how she overcame it. She took me to Psalm 103:2 &3 (KJV):  Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:  Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases. She said that whenever she felt scared or sick from the treatments, she would read these verses aloud over and over again. They brought her peace. As I think back on that conversation; I could see that she was renewing her mind with the word of God.  She made a decision to believe the word OVER her circumstance. As a result, her circumstance came into alignment with what she was saying.

In James 1:2-8 (NIV) states:2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5 If any of you lack wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. 6 But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7 That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8 Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.

Being indecisive (which is equivalent to double-mindedness) will not bring good results. Had the Women’s Bible Study leader gone back and forth between her diagnosis and the word of God, I’m pretty sure that her situation would’ve turned out quite differently. She overcame that circumstance because she believed and spoke the word of God. When I was in college, I played basketball; and tore two minisci. After surgery, the doctor declared to me that I would have arthritis in that knee by the time I was 40. I BOLDLY declared: No I won’t! Forty has come and gone and my knee is excellent. I declare daily that I am healthy, whole and strong from the crown of my head to soles of my feet; and by His stripes I am healed (Isaiah 53:5).

Make a decision today that you will believe and declare God’s word over your life; and if you feel inclined, join me in my Speak the Word Challenge this month. Whether you’re dealing with an unfavorable circumstance or not, make the quality decision that God’s word is the final authority in your life. Have an excellent rest of the week!

Declaration & Exercise of the Week

Hello All!!

This week’s declaration is based on Proverbs 28:1: I am as bold as a lion. This week’s exercise is actually two: the upper body exercise is a lat pull down using a fitness tube; which strengthens the upper back and lats (side muscles of the back). When you pull the fitness tube down into your chest, squeeze your shoulder blades together. The other exercises is the curtsey lunge; which strengthens your glutes, inner and outer thighs. Go as low as comfortable; and be sure to keep your core engaged by pulling your belly button into your spine. If you have any questions; please feel free to ask! Have an excellent rest of the week!

Do You Trust God?

God is good! I was in the shower yesterday after my workout, just praising and thanking God for how He always provides for me …both my needs and wants. I thought about the many ways that He takes care of me daily. My husband went out of town earlier this week; but he left a stash of cash,just in case the kids and I needed anything. Every week, a friend of mine brings home-baked goods and snacks for my children. My children give me the sweetest compliments daily. My husband makes me laugh like nobody’s business. People give me brand new and very gently used clothes and shoes all the time. I always get close parking spaces everywhere I go. Random people have given me money. A man showed up at my door one morning and handed my an envelope filled with money; as well as five bible verses written on it.

God gave me a brand new car debt-free; and the very next day, gave my husband a brand new debt-free car as well. The beauty of this blessing is that I wanted an escalade. I test drove it and liked it; but I had three kids under the age of four at that time. The thought of having to lift all of them in and out of the car; along with my big stroller, was a bit much. So my wise husband suggested that we go over to the toyota dealership and give the sienna minivan a try. I NEVER EVER thought I would EVER drive a minivan. I was too cool for that!  BUT, I drove it and LOVED it; and my little kids could get in and out themselves. So that’s how I ended up with my minivan. God knew best! The other part of the blessing was that God instructed my husband to go and get the escalade the next day. He had no intention of buying a new car; but He obeyed and God provided (as He always does). God gave me a beautiful situation, because my husband is always there when i’m in the escalade and I never have to load and unload the kids. As much as I like the escalade; I really do appreciate and enjoy the sienna…..and I’m still cool. Thank you Father!

Yesterday, while at the balloon festival, an older gentleman walked up to me and handed me 4 tickets for the bouncy house. It is the one thing that my kids wanted to do. My kids said: “Thank you God! He always gives us favor!” Yes indeed He does. I thought about that. There was a huge crowd of people at the festival; and of all those people, a random man comes up to me with enough tickets for all of my children? God is real people and He’s pretty big on taking care of our wants and needs. God is my shepherd and my Jireh. He is the sole supplier of all of my wants and needs. I am 100 percent convinced that God wants us to live our lives in TOTAL reliance on Him alone. I know beyond all shadows of doubts that He will not and can not fail me. If the birds can trust Him; how much more can we? (Matthew 6:26-33) Do you really trust God? Do you trust Him to meet your desires and needs? Do you trust Him to take care of you regardless of your income? Do you trust Him in the face of an evil report? Do you trust Him with your marriage? Do you trust Him with your children? Do you trust Him with you? Do. You. Trust. God?

Declaration & Exercise of the Week

Greetings Everyone!!!

This week’s declaration comes from 2 Corinthians 5:21 – I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. Be sure to think on this and say it often. If you have an image of yourself that is not from God, it must be replaced with what He says about you. I absolutely love this confession and verse; because it always reminds me of God’s absolute goodness! There is nothing that we can do that will change the way that He sees us or His love for us. I thank God that His covenant with us is not based on our  actions; but on His love for us. A great example of this is in Genesis chapter 20; when Abraham lied and said that Sarah was his sister, because he was scared and displayed cowardice behavior. In spite of Abraham’s behavior, God showed up to Abimelech in a dream; which resulted in Abraham not only getting his wife back; but also wealth. His prayer also wasn’t hindered; because he prayed for Abimelech & his nation so that the women wouldn’t be barren. God saw Abraham as righteous; and this was not determined by his behavior. Praise God!

Abraham might have had these character flaws in the beginning; but through God’s love and God seeing Him as righteous, Abraham’s behavior did eventually line up with how God saw him; because He began to see himself as God saw him. (This is a great place to shout Glory Hallelujah)!

Ok, I had not even planned to write that; but I’m sure someone will benefit from it. Now on to the exercise of the week. The plank exercise builds the core muscles (which includes the front & sides of your abs, back and butt muscles). It also strengthens your arm and chest muscles. It’s a great exercise! In the video, I show five variations of the plank, so select that one that works best for your body right now. I just thought about the wall plank. I should’ve added that. It’s great for anyone who has trouble getting down on the floor. If you fall into this category, just put your elbows on the wall, in front of your shoulders. Then walk your feet behind you and lean into your elbows. Be sure to pull your belly button into your spine and hold the exercise as long as you can.

Thank you for reading this post and watching the video! If you find it beneficial, please feel free to share. Have an excellent rest of your week and I’ll see you on the blog again soon!

Spiritual Nutrition

Hi Everyone!!!

I hope you all have had as great of a week as I have! I’ve been being spiritually fed by some great teachers. I’ve been in the Health & Wellness Industry for nearly 20 years; and many of us know that nutrition is an integral part of overall wellness. Eating healthy and organic foods strengthen our muscles, organs, brains, and various systems of the body. On the contrary, eating processed, gmo, chemical and pesticide laden food-like substances depletes our bodies of nutrients, wears down our immune systems and causes disease, among so many other things. It’s the exact same with spiritual food. My first question is: Are you eating? I’m sure you may have heard the adage: Seven days without the word makes one weak. Not communing with God or reading your scriptures is equivalent to spiritual anorexia. You’re starving your spiritual self to death. Matthew 6:11 says: Give us this day our DAILY bread. Notice the verse didn’t say give us our couple times a week; or monthly bread. Ephesians 6:10 states: Finally, be STRONG in the Lord and in His mighty power. Poor spiritual nutrition, does not produce strength.

My second question is: What are you eating? In the natural diet, the average American consumes about 17 grams of sugar a day; adding up to 57 lbs a year. The American Heart Association (AHA) and World Health Organization (WHO) recommend a maximum of 6 tsp of sugar a day for women and 9 for men. The problem with sugar and junkfood is that there is NOTHING nourishing in it. All you get are added calories, an addiction (more-than-likely) and disease. Let’s pause and think about this for a second. I’m consuming a counterfeit food-like substance that TASTES good and gives me an emotional high; while simultaneously adding ABSOLUTELY zero value to my body, and producing (preventable) diseases. Now let’s move this to the spiritual counterpart. What and who are you listening to and reading? Is it nourishing your inner(wo)man by building & strengthening you with spiritual nutrients; or is it just tasting/feeling good; but depleting you of health and adding disease to your inner(wo)man? In the grocery store, non-organic fruits are usually very shiney due to wax and other chemicals. Organic fruit, on the contrary, looks dull; but is more nutritionally dense than the waxy fruit. I heard a pastor say that this is how it is with our spiritual diets. The stuff without substance often looks good; but causes problems; while the stuff that looks dull, actually nourishes you. I couldn’t agree more.

If you’re looking at your life and you’re confused about who you are,  your relationships and environment is messy, you’re in debt up to your eyeballs and never seem to have enough money; or if you don’t know what your God-given purpose is, then this is a pretty good indicator that you’re spiritually malnourished. How do I get nourishment? I’m glad you asked! John 4:34 reads: My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work. As you begin to pursue God and  spend time with Him daily, He’ll begin to show you things that you didn’t even know, you didn’t know. The Holy Spirit will guide you to the right church, relationships, etc. As you consistently spend time in His loving and wonderful presence, it will transform you and your life circumstances. Romans 12:2 says: Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.

In a nutshell, listen and talk to God daily (preferably throughout the day). Read the bible daily. Listen to faith building messages from leaders whose lives produce fruit. God bless you. Thank you for reading and have an excellent week!