Wednesday, October 12, 2016

The Most Frequently Asked Question About My Degree Plan...And Finally An Answer

Back in May I wrote about my degree plan in Homemaking. I shared about the program as well as the instructors.

First of all, I am happy to announce that the program is moving in a different direction. For most 'liberal arts' schools these types of programs are known as Home Economics-Family and Consumer Sciences.

Being under the label of "HE-FCS" opens up the door to papers being published, scholarship opportunities and several other opportunities with the National Honor Society for the Human Sciences. The program here at the Seminary is well on its way to opening up those doors for those opportunities.

Often when I get into conversations about what I am working on in my education the one question I get asked the most is

"What can you do with that degree? What do you plan to do when you finish?"
For a long time I would by pass that question. I would make a comment like, "Well there are a number of things that I can do." Or I would say, "Oh I don't know. I just love that I have the opportunity to learn from a real Titus 2 model."

The truth is the second answer was more along the lines of how I felt. I made the decision to jump into this program so quickly that I hadn't really thought about the plan of what I wanted to do with the degree once I had it. I know I will still be knee deep in homeschooling when I finish my degree so I really had to think about what I might want to do.

And the more I talked with people, watched what was going on around me, and really processed through everything I think I finally figured out what it is I want to do when I finish my degree.

I want to teach others everything I have learned.

I know that I will be teaching my own children the things that she needs to know but I want to be able to share with others as well. I believe that God has given us instructions on how we are to be wives and mothers. I also believe that in today's society our homes are under attack. I want to help to shed light on the Titus 2 model as well as the picture of the Proverbs 31 woman. 

To be honest, sharing this is scary. You see, I have never really thought that I have what it takes to be a teacher of any kind. I know I teach my children every day, and I feel like I am good at that. I am good at teaching children. However, I have never thought I was good at teaching anyone over the age of 8. So to think about teaching anyone older than that is scary.

But that is my dream. That is what I want to be when I grow up. And that is what one of the options for what to do with a degree in Home Economics-Family and Consumer Sciences.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Lessons Learned From the First 14 Chapters of Joshua

At the beginning of this year I made the decision that my "word of the year" was going to be consistency. I wanted to spend this year being consistent in my parenting, my exercising, my education, my writing, and in my daily Bible study and prayer.

While I haven't really managed to be all that consistent with the working out and my writing has been sporadic at best but the one thing that I have managed to stay fairly consistent with is my daily Bible reading and prayer time.

Over the past few months I have been following along with various studies provided by The Good Morning Girls a ministry from Women Living Well

Throughout the month of September and into this month the book that has been studied has been the book of Joshua. 

I just finished reading through chapter 14 and throughout the course of studying and mediating on this book there are 4 things that have really jumped out at me thus far.

We have a bad habit of trying to take matters into our own hands.

Throughout the first half of Joshua the Israelite people are finally being given the land that God promised them all those many years ago. The older generation has all passed away and now God is ready to let them have what He has set aside for them. Time and time again they follow God's instructions, but only part of the way. And then for one reason or another, the get shocked and upset when God doesn't make things easy for them to get what they were promised. 

Isn't that the way it is with us today? Far to often we will follow just the commandments or instructions that happen to fit with what we are doing at the time. We will agree with the things in Scripture that make us feel good or comfortable. The rest we write off as not directed at our current culture. Or that it was just specifically meant for THOSE people, not for us. This is a different time and a different situation. 

Just like the serpent convinced Eve, we convince ourselves that God couldn't possibly mean what He says in the Bible. He would want us to (insert whatever thing goes here), because he is a (loving, hateful, caring, vindictive, whatever goes with your argument at the time) God. When the truth of the matter is, What God says we ought to do. God knows what is going on. He sees the whole picture and He knows the outcome. The more we try to take matters into our own hands the harder things will continue to get down the road. It really is a viscous cycle we live in.

We spend a lot of time being afraid.

Every time a new enemy popped up against the Israelite people Joshua would fall flat on his face before the Lord and cry out for help. And every time God would tell him the same thing.
"Do not be afraid"
I know for a fact that I let fear get to me. I fall into the trap of fearing that there is no way under the sun that God could really handle the mess that I have gotten myself into. It seems like almost every time a new challenge arises my first reaction is to stress and worry about how the situation is going to be resolved.

It was the same way with Joshua and the people. Each time a new king (or group of kings) began the attack the fear set in. The were sure there was no way they could handle all those invading forces. And every time God reminded them they had no reason to fear.

With the fear comes the discouragement.

Fear leads to a lot of other emotions, but most of all it seems that fear leads to the discouragement that we just can't get though this storm. Then comes the defeated attitude and the desire to just quit trying all together.  The Israleites were ready to give up and just settle for the little bit that had already been handed over to them. This would be enough, lets not upset anyone else guys,

But God reminded them that along with letting go of the fear the needed to let go of the discouragement. Every time He said "Do not be afraid" he also said:
"or discouraged."
The definition of discouraged is this: 'having lost confidence or enthusiasm.' When we become discouraged we loose confidence in the Lord. The God who created everything, who makes the world go around and we loose our confidence in Him!  We loose our enthusiasm for the God of all creation. Isn't is great that He doesn't loose those things in us?

No matter what happens, God is always in control.

More often than not, that sentence in the first half of Joshua ends with:

"For today I will hand over to you (insert enemy name here)"
God always had it under control. And God always came through. Each time it looked like the invading forces were just too much for the small nation of Israel to take on God stepped in and the damage was done. There was never a fighting chance for anyone making the mistake of going up against God.

The problem is it is way too easy to forget that God is really in control. In the world we live in today it is easy to look around and think that God has just thrown in the towel and said "forget it, they aren't worth it anymore." When the sad reality is that we are the ones who have done that. We have decided that by taking matters into our own hands, and giving into the fear and discouragement we can handle any situation. The truth of the matter is we just need to hand it all back over to God and let Him do His job. Ultimately, He is going to prevail anyway and us just trying to do it on our own first is just going to prolong the plans He has.

Joshua 1:9 states:
Have I not commanded you: Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid? For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.
We have been given a command to stand strong and to be courageous, not to be afraid and discouraged. The Lord will be with us wherever we go, whatever we do.  It is up to us to trust that..

The first half of Joshua has been the not so gentle reminder that I have needed to let go of my fear and put my faith back on the One who has it all under control.

Have you read through the book of Joshua? What take away have you had?

Friday, October 7, 2016

Introducing: What's Rockin My Socks Off

I recently started following a blogger by the name of Stacy. She blogs at Humorous Homemaking and I have just fallen IN LOVE with her.

She is funny (hence the title "Humorous Homemaking), real, and give WONDERFUL  advice, tips and trick for mastering all things homemaking. She doesn't claim to be an expert she just simply shares what is working for her and how we can try those things out in our own homes.

She is also very active on Periscope (a live video sharing platform provided by the people responsible for Twitter) and she has recently started sharing live videos on Facebook Live.

One of the differences between Periscope and Facebook Live is that it takes a bit more time for people to get the notification that she is sharing on Facebook. So in order to combat that and not have to repeat the purpose of the content over and over again she has started her Facebook Live videos with a little segment she calls "What's Rockin My Face Off"

What is "What's Rockin My Face Off"

This is simply something that she uses in her own personal life that she just really loves. She has shared hair accessories, baby accessories (she is a mamma as well), homemaking resources, and several other things. She takes a few minutes to talk about what is rockin her face off before she jumps into the meat of the topic for the day.

The first time she did this I LOVED it. I love knowing what others are using in their life to make things just a little bit easier, pretty, or functional. So I decided that I am going to be incorporating that here on the blog.

 Every other Friday I will be sharing "What is Rockin MY Socks Off" with all of you and I hope you find it to be enjoyable just as much as I do. Or maybe not. I say that rocks my socks off often so I thought I would go with that instead of "face".

What is Rockin My Socks Off This Week

This week what is rockin my socks off is Periscope. I have not ever really gotten into the whole Twitter thing but I am really enjoying Periscope. 

What is Periscope?

Periscope is a social media platform that allows the user to "go live" and broadcast whatever they would like to the world. Broadcasters can also interact with viewers through comments and likes.

How Periscope Works

The first thing you have to do to use Periscope is download the app. It is available for both iOS and Android devices and can be found in the app store for your respective device. And its free, so that's a bonus.

Once the app is downloaded you will be asked to sign in. If you don't have a twitter handle that's fine you can use a phone number but it is recommended to use a twitter handle for optimum social interaction.

Once you are logged in you will a home screen which shows you a list of the people you "follow" who are currently live as well as a list of recently live posts that you can replay.

You can then see who else is live all around the world, or broadcast your own video. There is also an option to search for and follow other broadcasters.

When you decided to view a broadcast there are 2 ways you can interact with the broadcaster. One way is to type in a comment. These comments then pop up on the screen where everyone can read them. Often times the person broadcasting will be following those comments and will respond. I really like this part because it is like you can almost have a conversation with the broadcaster.  Viewers can also show their approval of the broadcast by tapping on the right side of the screen. Little hearts will appear. The more hearts the more people like the broadcast. There is also a little counter that displays how many people are viewing the broadcast.

I haven't crossed over into the realm of broadcasting my own shows yet but I have considered trying it out. 

So that is what is rocking my socks off this week.

Have you tried Periscope? Who do you like to follow if you have?

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Preparing for the Holiday Season


How did we get to October so quickly. It truly feels like just yesterday I was sitting down to write out my goals, plans, hopes and dreams for 2016 and her we are just a few short months away from 2017.

October marks the beginning of one of my favorite times of the year. I just love the fall season. I grew up in a place where the changing of the seasons was always clearly visible in the changing of the leaves, the cooler temperatures, and the festivities in my small home town starting up.

It was always a time for friends, family, and lots of fun.  A time where, while there was busyness happening, it was a different kind of activity.

Now that I am grown and have a family of my own the fall is still one of my favorite times because it marks the beginning of the holiday season. Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year are all times that hold a special place in my heart, and while we don't do things the way we used to when I was a kid there are still plenty of reasons to look forward to the holiday times.

Over the last 4 years of living here in Fort Worth how we handle our holiday season has changed in a pretty big way. When I first got here I was so set on making the holiday time feel just like it did back home that I really stressed myself out more than was necessary. Add on top of that homework assignments, a crazy work schedule, and a baby and toddler adjusting to life in a new place. I very quickly managed to make the holidays into somewhat of an idol for myself and I caused a lot of heartache for me and my husband along the way.

Here we are 4 years later and I can say that we do things much differently now. But the biggest thing I have changed up is in the way that I begin to prepare for the holiday season. Here are a few ways I prepare for the upcoming busy season of life to ensure the smoothest holiday season possible:

The first thing I do, starting at the end of September, is to begin to wrap my holiday season in prayer. Dr. Pat Ennis, Distinguished Professor at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary shared on her blog The Everyday Homemaker a list of reasons why we should consider wrapping our holidays in prayer.

I wrap the holidays in prayer because I
  • should have a sincere heart when I begin to make holiday plans (Phil. 1:10).
  • know that for the holiday to bring glory to my heavenly Father, I must have his strength (Phil. 4:13).
  • want to have a heart that submits to my heavenly Father’s instructions (Rom. 12:13b).
  • need to approach any opportunity to minister with a "hearty attitude" (Col. 3:23).
  • have a desire to wear "the garment of humility" during the season (1 Pet. 5:5).
  • desire to have a gracious spirit in the midst of unforeseeable circumstances (Prov. 11:16).
  • long for my extension of hospitality endeavors to have far-reaching implications (Heb.13:2)
  • need to be excited about allowing others to catch a glimpse of my character where it is most graphically displayed—in my home—especially if I am in a position of leadership (1 Tim. 3:1–2; Titus 1:7–8);
  • desire to stimulate conversations that are edifying (Rom. 15:1–2) and encouraging (1 Thess. 5:11) to my guests.

If you continue to read though the blog post on wrapping your holidays in prayer there is a weekly challenge added in to help begin to be intentional with our prayer for the upcoming holiday season.

The second thing I do when it comes to preparing myself early for the holidays is to begin planning. I take the time to sit down with my calendar open and I write down all the things that I know for a fact along with the dates that I need to be prepared for in the coming months. This means church functions, family gatherings, and any other outside engagements that might be coming up. I get it all written down in my planner so that as new things begin to pop up I can easily go to my calendar and know where we are free to join in, where we are already engaged, and what things we can take off our plate because it just doesn't fit with the season of life we are in. When I know what is going on ahead of time I don't have to feel guilty for saying no to someone or overwhelmed for saying yes too many times. I am also able to know if I need to bring anything along with me, a gift, food, or anything along that line and I can prepare adequately.

By taking the time before hand to do those 2 simple things I can set myself and my family up for a fun, enjoyable, and somewhat relaxing holiday season.

What do you do to prepare for the holiday season? Do you get a head of things or just let them happen as they go?

Monday, October 3, 2016

25 Random Facts About Me!

Hi! It has been a few weeks since I had the time to sit down and write and MAN I have missed it! School is in full swing so that means that homework assignments and LOTS of reading have been taking up more time than I would like for them to. 
However, my heart and mind is never too far away from this blog and what I can be sharing next. 
This week is Fall Break here at the Seminary and that means that I don't have to rush around getting to and from classes or worry about getting an assignment done by Wednesday and because of that I decided to share 25 Random Facts About Me that you may know or may not know. But either way we are gonna have some fun!
So here we go:

25 Random Facts About ME!

What is your middle name?: Diane
What was favorite subject at school?: English, Home Economics, and Band
What is your favorite drink?: Vanilla Chai Hot Tea! YUM!
What is your favorite song at the moment?: "Fix My Eyes" by For King and Country
What is your favorite food?: Cake always cake
What is the last thing you bought?: Groceries (Family has to eat!)
Favorite book of all time?: Little Women (I really need to read this one again! It has been far too long)
Favorite Color?: Yellow
Do you have any pets?: Nope (Not anymore. We used to but had to give them up to move to Ft. Worth.)
Favorite Perfume?: The perfume that my mom had created just for her at Disney Land when I was a kid (We can't get it any more sadly.)
Favorite Holiday?: Christmas. I love everything about the Christmas Season.
 Married?: Absolutely!
Have you ever been out of the country, if so how many times?: Yes, once
Do you speak any other language?: Nope. I hope to be able to one day.
How many siblings do you have?: 1 Sister, Abby and 2 Brothers, Sam and Malachi
What is your favorite shop?:  Target. Love me some target
Favorite restaurant?: Olive Garden 
When was the last time you cried?: Some time last week when I was sick and I just wanted to sleep but had too much to do.
Favorite Movie?: The entire Harry Potter Series and 10 Things I Hate About You
Favorite TV show?:  I don't watch much in the way of TV lately because of school but if I need background noise I will turn on Veronica Mars on Amazon.
PC or Mac?: PC
What phone do you have?: White Android Galaxy s5
How tall are you?: 5ft 5ish 
Can you cook?: Yes! My happy place is in the kitchen. I love cooking for anyone and everyone!

Ok! There you have it. Just a few fun things about me to get your week going. I will be back on Wednesday sharing how to begin to prepare now for the busy holiday season now. 

What are some fun facts about you? I'd love to know.