Sunday, April 19, 2015

Learning to Walk

I haven't blogged in a while. Let me tell you in case you ever doubted---Satan is alive and well, my friends. My family has been bombarded with his stupid antics lately, and it is has drained us, physically and emotionally.   

I have been searching His word for encouragement on how to keep going, one step at a time. One minute, one hour, one day at a time. Beautiful verses have really helped me: 

Psalm 27:14  Don’t be impatient. Wait for the Lord, and he will come and save you! Be brave, stouthearted, and courageous. Yes, wait and he will help you.

Daniel 3:28  Then Nebuchadnezzar said, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, for he sent his angel to deliver his trusting servants when they defied the king’s commandment and were willing to die rather than serve or worship any god except their own.  

Hebrews 11: 33 These people all trusted God and as a result won battles, overthrew kingdoms, ruled their people well, and received what God had promised them; they were kept from harm in a den of lions and in a fiery furnace. 

But God has also provided real-time "love moments" from which I am learning.  Our sweet little granddaughter (11 months) is starting to walk and it is the sweetest thing ever to watch! She teeters and totters and giggles and wobbles and we all love cheering her on. 

video


This week when Abbey (11 years) was helping her motor forward by holding Swayze's little hands while she walked, she would get faster and faster and she clearly felt so much more confident in her walking skills.  But as soon as Abbey would let go of her hands, Swayze would lock her knees, put her arms up like she was riding a roller coaster, and fall straight back into Abbey's waiting arms, completely trusting she would be caught. Abbey would lift her up, get her started back in the right direction, and then quickly move in front of Swazye with a colorful ball as bait to help her power on to her goal.  Some attempts were more successful than others, but Abbey kept patiently working with her. 





Isn't that how we operate as well? Don't we run faster and stronger and more courageously when we know without a doubt God is holding our hands and we can feel it, and we can see the signs and miracles in tangible ways?  And don't we, as faltering Christians, lose faith when we can't quite feel His touch any longer?  Ugh, yes! We throw our hands up, poke out our lips, cross our arms over our chests, and say, "Forget it, Lord, I'm not taking another step because clearly You've let me go, forcing me to walk this vast journey all by myself! Where ARE You? Waaa, Waaa, Waaaaaaa!"   People!!! Why do we do this? Why are we so muddle-headed? Why do we lose faith so quickly? Our short-term memory is oftentimes ridiculous and downright embarrassing. 



Ah, but our Lord and Savior is as patient with us as Abbey is with Swayze.  As we learn and grow and change, we can spiritually see and feel and realize deep down that our God has not left us. Not for one second.  He just knows that in order for our muscles to get stronger, we MUST be able to walk confidently out of the comfort zone and reach the hurting and the lost.  We don't have to look back over our shoulder; we know without a doubt He will be there to catch us and love us and give us courage to get up and try again, no matter how many times we fail---no matter how many times we stumble, no matter what life throws at us. Glory be to God. 


So keep on wobblin', my Friends! It's all going to be okay in the end.  (The Bible tells me so).  



©2014-2016 Coffee, Cobwebs, and Curriculum. All rights reserved. All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author. www.coffeecobwebsandcurriculum.blogspot.com Follow me on Facebook or Twitter! Links can be found in the right sidebar on this blog!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Scripture and a Snapshot 3/1/2015



Joining others in giving God glory through our photography: 




©2014-2016 Coffee, Cobwebs, and Curriculum. All rights reserved. All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author. www.coffeecobwebsandcurriculum.blogspot.com Follow me on Facebook or Twitter! Links can be found in the right sidebar on this blog!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Thick as Thieves by Susan K. Marlow {A Review}


To say my daughter Abbey is a reluctant reader would be a major understatement.  She didn't start reading fluently until she was seven years old, and then it was only when I forced her to do so for school.  But many years ago, we discovered Susan K. Marlow's Circle C Beginnings series, and the delightful Andi (short for "Andrea") Carter character, and Abbey fell in love with reading. It was so exciting for this mama to see!  Abbey has now read every book in both the Circle C Beginnings and the subsequent Circle C Adventures series. 



When we heard Kregel Publications was publishing a new series of Susan K. Marlow books about Andrea Carter and her new set of adventures called Circle C Milestones, we were seriously thrilled to be chosen to review the first offering of the new series, Thick as Thieves



I am not exaggerating even one little bit when I say Abbey literally squealed with delight when the package arrived, and grabbed the book out of my hands and ran off to start reading it.  We are homeschoolers, so once it arrived, I allowed this to count as her literature for the next few weeks.  


Thick as Thieves by Susan K. Marlow takes place in 1880s California. Andrea Carter, her mother, and Andi's older siblings help run Circle C Ranch.  In this new series, Andi is fourteen years old and is forced to meet a new schoolmate who is rough around the edges. When this new stranger Macy and her older brothers start causing trouble for the ranch, Andi reluctantly befriends Macy in order to get to the bottom of a series of thefts of cattle and horses from Circle C Ranch. What surprises both Macy and Andi, is how close they become as they learn to trust each other.  When Andi takes it upon herself to go find the missing colts of her prized mare Taffy, she must rely upon God and her brothers for rescuing. 


Susan K. Marlow weaves a ton of mystery, suspense, humor, and adventure into each chapter, holding the reader captive. Abbey and I still have read-aloud time together, and when I read selected chapters to her, they left even me wanting more.  After she finished a chapter of reading on her own, I would ask her to tell me what happened, simply because I wanted to know where the story was going.


Best of all, the FREE study guide for Thick as Thieves, also written by Susan K. Marlow, has been an absolutely wonderful way to review the material, learn vocabulary, study history, learn more about horses, do math, engage in critical thinking, and more! We chose to do the study guide after Abbey completed reading the entire book, but it is set up in a way which will allow you to review every 3 -4 chapters if you prefer.  I printed out the 42-pp PDF, used my 3-hole punch, and placed all the sheets in a binder.   Here's a few excerpts to give you an idea:











Parents, I wholeheartedly recommend this and any of Mrs. Marlow's books for your child.  BOTH boys and girls will enjoy it, because there is plenty of action for both. Thick as Thieves is recommended for ages 12 and up, but younger, advanced readers can enjoy this as well, or as I mentioned, it can work well as a read-aloud.

Thick as Thieves, in softcover format, retails for $9.99 + $2.50 s/h and can be autographed by Susan K. Marlow herself.  We had the entire set of the Circle C Adventures (the previous series) autographed and personalized to Abbey, and she  just treasures them, so this is a fun option for your young reader.  Click HERE for that option!  Or you can purchase from Kregel PublicationsCBD, or Amazon.  

Just go buy it, and do it NOW!!! 




FCC Disclaimer: Kregel Publications provided me with a free copy of Thick as Thieves in exchange for my honest and thorough review. They did not tell me what to say or how to say it. No other compensation was given.


©2014-2016 Coffee, Cobwebs, and Curriculum. All rights reserved. All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author. www.coffeecobwebsandcurriculum.blogspot.com Follow me on Facebook or Twitter! Links can be found in the right sidebar on this blog!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Scripture and a Snapshot:02/15/15



Joining my friend Jennifer and a lot of other pretty cool bloggers over at Scripture and a Snapshot Sunday as we give God glory through our photos: 

http://www.glimpseofourlife.com/2015/02/scripture-and-snapshot_14.html






©2014-2016 Coffee, Cobwebs, and Curriculum. All rights reserved. All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author. www.coffeecobwebsandcurriculum.blogspot.com Follow me on Facebook or Twitter! Links can be found in the right sidebar on this blog!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Heroines of the Past Bible Study by Amy Puetz {A Review}



     My daughter and I were excited to 

see this Bible study from Amy Puetz. Having 

previously reviewed Amy's history program  

Costumes with Character, we knew we were in 

for a treat!  Heroines of the Past did  not 

disappoint.  This Bible study is completely FREE 

and is full of adventurous stories of brave 

young women of the past, many of whom you  

and your student may recognize. You can 

get started by signing up HERE!


     Three weeks, five days a week, Amy Puetz 

emailed us our Bible study for the day.  We would 

read  the story of the day's heroine out loud, and 

then Abbey would answer the discussion 

questions in her notebook.  As suggested by Amy, 

we purchased a special notebook for her to use for 

this study,  and she decorated a small basket in 

which to place items which related to the day's 

story. 

     Each day's lesson took about 30 minutes to 

complete, and we loved having this meatier study 

for her.   The unique format of this study, with its 

living book format and related Bible study was 

perfect my  visual learner. She especially enjoyed 

having a new reason to look up Bible verses (she 

tries to beat me to the verse).  Some of the stories 

of the courageous heroines of the past were 

presented in more than one part.  On those days 

when we had to wait for the next part of the story 

to come in our inbox, Abbey was anxiously 

waiting to hear what happened to our heroine.  

     Amy Puetz is a homeschool graduate with a 

great love for history, and her passion for the 

heroines of the past comes through in her writing 

in this Heroines of the Past Bible Study. I highly 

recommend it as a sweet time with your daughter, 

or even as a standalone Bible study for yourself.  

    Be sure and check out all of her wonderful 

products for your homeschool!  




©2014-2016 Coffee, Cobwebs, and Curriculum. All rights reserved. All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author. www.coffeecobwebsandcurriculum.blogspot.com Follow me on Facebook or Twitter! Links can be found in the right sidebar on this blog!

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Goody Two Shoes

 In a recent conversation with a friend of mine, she was telling me about a Christmas letter she had received from someone. The card had inside of it one of those year-in-review letters which described everything the family had done in excruciating detail.  The reason she brought it up was because she felt her friend was going beyond sharing, and was instead overtly bragging about all the things their family had accomplished in the past year.  The letter writer was especially pointing out  all the good things they had done for others, and how others should be just like them and do the same things they were doing.  My friend said reading it made her feel uncomfortable, like the person writing it wanted all the attention on her and her actions.  Instead of pointing out how God was working in their lives, they were pointing out how great THEY were, and how unrighteous all others were.


Late last year, I had someone tell my daughter they think I am a nothing more than "Little Miss Goody Two Shoes," trying to draw attention to myself by sharing my life, and that I was nothing more than a sinner.  Anything I was sharing about fostering, donating a kidney, daily Bible verses, adopting--all of it, according to them, did nothing  except make them roll their eyes. In this scathing text message, they went on to say that anyone who would draw attention to themselves that way should be ashamed.  

Okay, while this person clearly has her own insecurity issues---whew---talk about knocking the breath out of me!! My first reaction was to be extremely vexed, and so, so hurt.  And yet, y'all, it really made me look inward as well and thoroughly examine why I choose to share my life with anyone other than those closest to me.  After many months of analyzing (because that's what I do) and lots of prayer (because I also do a lot of that), this is what I have discovered about why I do what I do:
  • I am a sinful, selfish person, with selfish desires. 
  • I made a lot of huge mistakes from the ages of 18 to 28 years old. Mistakes which affected so many innocent people, and I am ashamed. 
  • I still make mistakes daily, just not as negatively life-altering as I did during that what-was-I-thinking period of my life. 
  • Because of those mistakes, once I gave my life back to Jesus, I went all in.  I wanted all of Him, and vowed to make as many good and righteous choices as I am capable of.  I vowed to listen for His voice, and obey as much as I know how in this life. 
  • If I can turn my life around and live for Him, I feel like anyone can, and THAT, more than anything, is what I want others to "get." 

It is sad that it took me so many years to learn to truly listen and trust God, and once I did, I was honestly surprised and startled by the things He was leading me to do.  There is a HUGE part of me that wants to make up for all the years I wasted.  And no, I don't believe in being saved via works, only the blood of Jesus Christ can save me (Isaiah 57:12).  But I do feel as if I owe Him my life because He saved me from eternal death and from my own stupid, young self who just kept sinning and not considering anyone else's feelings.  Good works are just an extension of my renewed faith (James 2:17).

Do I think God loves me more now than He did when I first accept Him? No, not at all. I know if I never put forth effort for one more kind deed between now and the time I die, He would still love me.  Am I motivated to work harder because of my past and daily sins? That would be a big, fat resounding YES

I share our lives with you all because I am excited and can't wait to tell you about the good things happening to us. I love interacting with you all, especially online, because I am painfully shy.  If it feels to you like there is too much of me and not enough of the Holy Spirit living within me, I pray it is met with as much grace as God has shown me (and you). 

I am drawn to Him daily, and I don't want to turn anyone off by being myself, so all I know to do is the next, RIGHT thing, even if that means being seen as a Goody Two Shoes. 

 

Ephesians 2:10 "It is God himself who has made us what we are and given us new lives from Christ Jesus; and long ages ago he planned that we should spend these lives in helping others."



©2014-2016 Coffee, Cobwebs, and Curriculum. All rights reserved. All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author. www.coffeecobwebsandcurriculum.blogspot.com Follow me on Facebook or Twitter! Links can be found in the right sidebar on this blog!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Scripture and a Snapshot ~~1/25/2015


  
He shall live within God’s circle of blessing, and his children shall inherit the earth.  
Psalm 25:13

~*~


Linking up with Jennifer and a ton of other great bloggers for inspirational scriptures and beautiful snapshots (click below): 

http://www.glimpseofourlife.com/


©2014-2016 Coffee, Cobwebs, and Curriculum. All rights reserved. All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author. www.coffeecobwebsandcurriculum.blogspot.com Follow me on Facebook or Twitter! Links can be found in the right sidebar on this blog!

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