By the Grace of God (YHWH)

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I often get asked how do I do it (homeschooling) with four kids. It is only by THE grace of YHWH/God. I actually really enjoy it…frustrations and all. Prior to this past week, I was frustrated with my second son because it was taking him longer to read his books. It wasn’t because he was struggling or couldn’t do it; rather, it was because he did NOT want to read those books. I told my husband of my frustration. He responded: “He’s just not interested in those books. Let him read what he wants to read.” I said, he only likes to checkout cookbooks from the library. He encouraged me to just let him read them.  He said that kids are eager learners and demonstrators. They only resist when they are uninterested. So, that Sunday evening as I planned the lessons for the week, I had the idea to make index cards with facts about him and the things that he enjoyed. Last Monday when I handed him his work folder and told him that he would be reading the cards instead of the books, he was so delighted! He read and read those cars all week long….forward and backwards; and created new sentences with them, as well as asked for more cards. Wow! What a difference a little God idea makes.

In addition to the reading switch for my six year old, they made their own little creations out of the air drying molding clay; as well as put together a robotic spider. Boy was that a hit! I’m going back to Walmart and buying the other five robotic creatures that they had. Our school is run somewhat like a Montessori School.

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They are free to select whatever they want to work on or play with; and I just rotate between the four of them to teach or explain new concepts or help when there’s a need for it. I work one-on-one with my two year old with her shapes, colors, numbers and abc…..only because she wants to. I’m sure her older siblings serve as an inspiration for this desire. I’m all about letting little kids learn through play and observation. My favorite part of being my kids’ principle educator is the discussions, dialogues and teachable moments that happen all throughout the day. I just love it!

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There are moments when I’ve had about enough of my little people. That’s when it’s time for quiet time. They go into their rooms and have the option of napping or doing a quiet activity for an hour. There have also been moments when I have left my house as soon as my husband stepped foot in the door. There’s no need for an explanation of any kind. My husband just says: “Mommy needs a moment.” So between God’s grace, my husband’s wisdom and my knowing when to take breaks, this homeschooling thing works well for our family. Also, teaching my children how to pray the word of God, biblical principles for marriage, and finances; as well as who God says that they are, is work that I am truly honored to do.

If you are a full-time homeschooling parent, what do you love about teaching your children? If you are a part-time homeschooling parent (your child(ren)) attends private or public school), what do you love about teaching your children?

As always, have an EXCELLENT week and I’ll see you on the blog!

Halloween

Hello All!!

I hope you’re having an excellent week!! Since this is October, and Halloween is just around the corner, I thought I would share my thought on it. I am flabbergasted by the number of Christians who celebrate Halloween or some form of it. It’s an oxymoron to me. Dressing up in bible character costumes does not change what the holiday is about. Everything that we observe or do in this world, has a spiritual root. If I removed all of the apples from an apple tree; and tied oranges around the branches of the tree, would it change the fact that it’s an apple tree? The seed of a tree determines the type of tree it is; as well as the fruit that it will bear; and the season that it will bear the fruit in. If you think that celebrating Halloween is harmless and “just a fun time for the kids,” please check out the following interview with Pastor John Ramirez, a former satanist. He also has a series of books that explain his experience as a satanist, more about Halloween, his testimony; as well as various tactics of the enemy.

I’m all about having fun, especially with and for my kids. I also think that God loves for us to have fun….but this pagan holiday is not what He had in mind. Have an excellent rest of your week and weekend; and please feel free to comment!

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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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?

Excellence – Identifying With What God Says About You.

A couple weeks ago, my family and I had dinner with some friends; who were in town visiting. Their youngest daughter was preparing to enter her freshman year in college. We had a conversation about receiving awards for participation. The issue that I have with that is that it teaches children that minimal effort will bring rewards; when that is the furthest thing from the truth. If you think about marriage, parenting, finances, entrepreneurship/employment, etc., average or minimal behavior does not render rewards. If two people get married and neither spouse put any effort into the marriage, guess what’s likely to happen to that marriage? If a person shows up to work every day; and does the minimum, do you think that (s)he will be looked upon favorably for a promotion? If a person has credit card debt and pays the minimum each month, do you think that they will ever get out of debt? Even if they did eventually pay the card off, how much money will they have wasted paying compounding interest?

God’s word is the standard for my life. Psalm 138:2 says: I will worship toward Your holy temple, And praise Your name For Your lovingkindness and Your truth; For You have magnified Your word above all Your name. From what I can see in the scriptures, God is a person of excellence (2 Peter 1:3; 1 Peter 2:9). There is no mediocrity or averageness with Him whatsoever. He finishes what He starts (Philippians 1:6). He is trustworthy (Deuteronomy 32:4; Psalm 100:5). He’s always on time (Ecclesiates 3:1; 2 Peter 3:8 & 9). He is wealthy (Psalm 50:10-12; John 14:2; Revelation 5:12). In today’s culture, it appears that mediocrity is the norm. This should not be the case those of us in Christ (Messiah). Romans 12:2 says: And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

As a believer, or follower of the Most High (I’m talking to those who are in covenant relationship and are communing with God daily…even on a moment-by-moment basis) it’s important that we stick with the certainty of God’s word, OVER the ever-changing thoughts and opinions of worldly systems…..government, school, industries (medical and otherwise), family, entertainment, etc. For EVERY aspect of life, God has provided a way to be excellent in it. Daniel 5:12 says: because an excellent spirit, knowledge, and understanding to interpret dreams, explain riddles, and solve problems were found in this Daniel, whom the king named Belteshazzar. Now let Daniel be called, and he will show the interpretation.” God is no respecter of persons. If Daniel had an excellent spirit, guess who else has one? There is never an excuse for mediocrity. That behavior is based in an image of insignificance and victim mentality. In an environment where I am faced with a choice of mediocrity and excellence every day, I choose the latter, because Greater is He that is in me, than he that is in the world (1 John 4:4). What about you?

If you’ve read any of my previous posts or vlogs, you might conclude that I’m not in the very least given to victimhood mentality. If you know who you are in Christ (Messiah) and are bold about your faith, I encourage you to stop by my Identitee Wear store and pick up a couple of t-shirts.  Order one for  yourself; and bless someone else with another one. Thank you in advance for your patronage and have a great weekend!

The 8 Dimensions of Wellness – Social

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Social Wellness refers to our relationships and how we interact with other people. It involves good communication skills, respect for self and others, meaningful relationships and a good support system. According to a study by Umberson & Montez, relationships influence health through a process of reinforcing or inhibiting health-promoting or health-damaging behaviors over time. The bible is full of verses about all relationships. One of which is Proverbs 17:17, which says that a friend loves at all times; and a brother is born for adversity. Genesis 2:18 says the following: The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” Our relationships are important, even from God’s perspective.

The bible gives some good standards for our various relationships.

  1. Husband & Wife relationship:Ephesians 5:22-33; Colossians 13:18 &19
  2. Children & Parents: Ephesians: 6: 1-3
  3. Fathers & Children: Ephesians 6:4
  4. Church family: Colossians 3:12- 14
  5. Friends: Proverbs 27:5 – 6; John 15:12-15
  6. Employer & employee: Colossians 3:23; Deuteronomy 15:10; Deuteronomy 24:14

Oftentimes our relationships are mirrors that reflect the inner-workings or hidden areas of our souls. The soul is like a magnet that draws our circumstances to us. If you find that your relationships have a common theme of joy and endurance, then I’m 99.999% sure that you have mastered 2 Corinthians 10:5; and Philippians 4:8. However, if you’re like many of us who are still learning to bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ and thinking on love and positive things; then take this opportunity to make a solid decision to begin healing these toxic thoughts, feelings and emotions that have habitually created less-than-desirable circumstances in your relationships. As children, we learned how to relate to others from our family members; as well as from teachers, friends, and other group members that we were associated with. If what we’ve learned was unhealthy or dysfunctional, we can change it. Healthy relationships are ours to enjoy; as well as a component of overall wellness.

If you would like to strategies for improving the social area of wellness in your life, do consider joining me for my next All is Wellness program session beginning on March 18th. Please feel free to email me at theexcellentwoman1@gmail.com. Until next time…..many blessings!

This Thing Called Love

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Mark 12:30 & 31 (NIV) says: Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.” As I thought on these verses, my mind rested on a vision that I recently had during my morning prayer time. I found myself at the feet of God as He sat on His throne. I then was cradled in His arms. I remember feeling the love radiating throughout my being. After being loved on by God, for what seemed like a little while, I found myself standing before His throne. He placed what seemed like a force-field around me. I immediately thought of my eldest son; and he suddenly appeared cradled in God’s loving arms. My son had bumped his head hard the day before. In this vision, I saw God gently rub my son’s head and a golden substance flowed from His hand to my son’s head. God then kissed him, and placed him within my force-field. One-by-one, each of my children appeared cradled in God’s arms; and he hugged and kissed them; and placed them each within my force-field. Lastly, my husband appeared in God’s arms. He did the same; and then placed my husband and his force-field around all of us. 

My reason for sharing this part of the vision, is to illustrate the Mark 12:30 & 31 principle. We can only love God, because of His first loving us. His love fills us and overflows to our neighbors. We can only love God by His strength alone (Philippians 4:13); and only with His love (1 Corinthians 13:4-8). We can’t love ourselves or others without His love. Love begins with Him. It’s His love that gives us our identity and that makes us loveable. He sees us as the apple of His eye (Zechariah 2:8, Proverbs 7:2, Psalm 17:8); and His treasured possession (Deuteronomy 7:6, 14:2, 26:18, Psalm 135:4). When we think about ourselves the way that God does, we automatically love ourselves and bring healing an order to our thoughts, body and circumstances. We automatically love our neighbors because of God’s love.

Neighbors refer to anyone who is not you (at least that’s the way that I define it for my children). In this particular post, I’m referring to spouses as our neighbors. Sometimes, marriage can be challenging when spouses are not on the same page; or if either spouse is distracted. Please take comfort in knowing that God has our backs; and is with us every step of the way. We must renew our minds to know that marriage is honorable, esteemed worthy, precious, of great price, and especially dear – in all things (Hebrews 13:4). The “high thought” of our culture about marriage is to just get out of it; if it’s not working to your satisfaction. Here’s the thing, people seem to understand that businesses, education and success in general, take years to obtain. It’s accepted and expected that there will be highs and lows, good times and not-so-great times; but you don’t give up. Marriage, just like new businesses, is like birthing a baby. You’ll often hear entrepreneurs refer to their businesses as their babies. Marriage is the same. If something’s not working, you evaluate and strategically plan to improve that area. You set goals, put standard operating procedures in place. You do all that you can to ensure the success of the marriage. It amazes me that people go to training and workshops, work long hours and such for the success of their careers; but somehow think that marriage is just going to just be successful. If no has told you before, things don’t work that way. You are supposed to have a successful marriage; but it’s probably going to require you to fight the good fight of faith (1 Timothy 6:12).

Psalm 34:19 (KJV) says: Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all. We are guaranteed victory! The scriptures are filled with encouragement for victory; as well as God’s love and faithfulness. We see it with Joseph in the prison, Daniel in the lion’s den, and the 3 Hebrew boys in the fire pit (just to name a few). They all endured some HARD circumstances, but they all overcame and were elevated.

Marriage was instituted by God, so I’m quite confident that yours will workout when you follow His lead. 1 Peter 3:8-9 (AMP) is a good guideline: Finally, all [of you] should be of one and the same mind (united in spirit), sympathizing [with one another], loving [each the others] as brethren (of one household), compassionate and courteous—tenderhearted and humble-minded. Never return evil for evil or insult for insult—scolding, tongue-lashing, berating; but on the contrary blessing—praying for their welfare, happiness and protection, and truly pitying and loving them. For know that to this you have been called, that you may yourselves inherit a blessing [from God]—obtain a blessing as heirs, bringing welfare and happiness and protection. Invest in yourself and your spouse by spending time with God. You will begin to think like God, concerning your marriage. God is THE  ultimate mastermind; and He knows how to turn around your marriage….. in 24 hours. With Him, EVERYTHING is possible. Do you believe it?!