Live Like a King

Archive for April 2007

I was up at 2:30 am to spend time with the Lord. I’ve finally decided that I need to get up in the middle of the night to have any peace for a quiet time. That’s the way it is when you live with 8 people in a house meant for 4. 🙂

As I was praying, I was talking to the Lord about all the things going on in my home. I’m embarrassed and distressed to say that there seems to be a lot of bickering, lying, stealing, anger, and general discord in my family in recent months. It’s very discouraging and really wears me down. I’ve wanted to sink into depression, but I keep telling myself that doing so would just make it worse. Instead, I’ve been praying and turning to the Lord.

During the night, I had a revelation that I shared with my dh early this morning. My 5 yog has been asking to have devotions every night for the past three weeks. We’re always too busy. We used to pray with our kids and over our kids every Sunday, but we’ve been too busy. I want to have a Bible and prayer time each morning, but somehow we always get started too late and I jump into academics. I’m too busy. When discipline issues come up, I either yell at them to knock it off or ignore it in hopes of getting the math lesson done with the child I’m working with. I’m too busy.

Well the Lord reminded me of His wonderful promise in Matthew 6:33, “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. And all these things will be added to you.”

I am to seek the Lord’s Kingdom first in my children. What good is it if my daughter knows math, but her brother goes to hell?

So dh and I came up with a plan. First, we need to repent and ask the kids’ forgiveness for not training them properly. We decided that after dinner each night, we will read a small portion of Scripture and discuss it together. It may be just a small section or a chapter. But it’s easy to do and we can all discuss it (especially if we use the kids’ Bibles). I’m going to dig out my books (bought when my oldest children were just babies) For Instruction in Righteousness, Polished Cornerstones, and Plants Grown Up and pick out projects to complete with them. I’m also going to be observing my children to decide which character qualities they need work on and do a little Bible study with each of them and give them Scripture to memorize. Most of their character issues are just a reflection of my own so this will be good for me.

I’m so grateful that the Lord answers us when we ask. He is so good!

In His service,

Dawn

A woman on a my state homeschool e-mail list send out a link to this blog. The post is entitled “Does Homeschooling Have Benefits for Parents?”

For those of us slogging through the day to day overwhemingness of homeschooling, it may not seem so. Many days I ask myself, “Why am I torturing myself? There’s a nice school two blocks from my home.” But I know why I do not send them there. I am not called to. God has called me to homeschool. Period. End of discussion.

Do does homeschooling benefit parents? Well any time you obey God, you gain benefits. God is not going to ask you to do something that doesn’t change you. You may feel that homeschooling is just for your children’s benefit, but I’ve never seen God do something one-sided. Each thing He allows or directs into our lives has a purpose for building our character as well as those around us.

For me, homeschooling 5 out of 7 has broken me to the point that I MUST learn how to depend on God to do this. I have no other option because if it were just my idea, I’d have given up years ago. I don’t like my life being so uncomfortable. But God doesn’t care about my comfort, He cares about my character.

And it’s my character that is changing the most. Yes, I’m a little more organized and getting more disciplined in my daily life, but it’s my character that is taking the starring role in the facet of my life. I’m learning to be more patient and forgiving. I’m learning how to deal with difficult people that really push my buttons. I’m learning how to perservere, even when I have doubts. I’m learning how to ignore other things to do my primary calling. I’m learning how to choose a path (curriculum) and stick to it, even when it gets tough. I’m learning how to really love my kids by being more tough on them and follow through with discipline (I have a real problem with this. I’m too much of a softie).

Yes, homeschooling does benefit parents as well. It is used by God, like any life experience, to bring us closer to the image of Christ.

In His service,
Dawn

Ok, I know I promised to critque Karen’s writing today. So I’ll get that out of the way first thing. Here’s my critique: I hope that someday I can write a CSFF novel half as good as she can. Honestly.

Now that’s out of the way, I’d like to highlight some other blogs I’ve enjoyed during the tour. My friend who introduced me to Karen Hancock’s writing (or did I introduce her? I don’t remember!) Shannon McNear has a wonderful interview with Karen on her blog (Tuesday, 4/17’s post). Shannon is also a great writer and I can’t wait to get autographed copies of her books when they are published.

I laughed out loud at Rebecca’s blog post entitled Ten Things that Really Bug Me. Like Rebecca, I do have to admit I feel the ending was rushed. I know that publishers like to keep word counts down, but as a reader, I was BIG word counts! I want as many words as needed to tell the story. It felt like the ending got sacrificed to maintain a certain word count.

The ending hasn’t stopped me from enjoying the book. I read it through really fast (completed within 24 hours of receipt due to a fortuitous stomach virus), but I am doing something I’ve never done before. I am going to read it again slowly now. I started it today only three weeks after I read it again.

This is day two of the CSFF Blog Tour featuring Return of the Guardian King by Karen Hancok.

As I said yesterday, I was greatly anticipating its release. I read the first three books in the series, The Light of Eidon, The Shadow Within, and Shadow Over Kiriath several times, which is unusual for me. I usually don’t read books more than once or twice and certainly not within the same year (I need time to forget some of story to enjoy it). In fact, I would get so caught up in the books I didn’t want to do other things like homeschool my kids, cook dinner, or fold laundry (I never really WANT to do that anyway)!

I have fond memories of reading the series while soaking in the tub until the water grows cold, then adding more hot water so I can read some more. I would finally get out when I was so pruned up I looked like a little old lady. Or I’d read them while eating lunch and have some more food just so I could have the excuse that “I’m still eating” to read another chapter. I do not recommend that last trick though. It’s not good for your waistline! Sometimes I would even hide in the bathroom to read a couple chapters. Books give me a much needed mental break from the joyful, yet draining (for an introvert like me anyway) task of mothering and homeschooling seven children.

I was thrilled to receive Return of the Guardian King on a Monday. I got to start the book that day, but only got one or two chapters in. That night I was fortunate to get a stomach virus and was up much of the night. Tuesday I was feeling better, but too sick to school the kids and was able to finish the book. YAY! I was never so happy to be sick in my life. I spent the day cuddled in bed reading. It was almost like heaven (except for the noisy kids who would not have let me sleep, even if I could have torn myself away from the book to do so).

Return of the Guardian King continues with the story of Abramm Kalladorne, rightful King of Kiriath. In the last book, Shadow Over Kiriath (which was my favorite of the series), Abramm had lost his kingdom and narrowly avoided execution. He wasn’t sure if his two sons were still alive or how his wife, Madeline was faring. He had sent his wife, his sister, and his close friends to Maddie’s home country of Chesedh (sp?) for safety. His brother, now possessed by evil spirits, ruled the country. Abramm is making his way down through Chesedh to the capital city to rejoin his wife. Abramm wants to get there as quickly as possible, but Eidon has other plans.

Meanwhile, all his subjects, family, and most of his friends believe him dead. Maddie doesn’t quite believe it. Maddie doesn’t receive a good reception from her family in Chesedh, although she is provided for quite well. As the First Daughter, she is pressured to remarry someone who can help her country fight off the invaders trying to take over much of the known world. Will Maddie choose to remarry to save her country?

If you have not read the Guardian King series, you need to get them! Check out Karen’s Blog. She is giving away an autographed set of the entire series.

That’s all for now! Tomorrow, I’ll talk about Karen’s writing style and some writing tips I found on her website. Be sure to check out the other blogs participating in the Tour:

Nissa Annakindt
Wayne Thomas Batson
Jim Black
Jackie Castle
Valerie Comer
Karri Compton
Frank Creed
CSFF Blog Tour
Gene Curtis
D. G. D. Davidson
Chris Deanne
Janey DeMeo
April Erwin
Kameron M. Franklin
Linda Gilmore
Beth Goddard
Marcus Goodyear
Andrea Graham
Katie Hart
Sherrie Hibbs
Sharon Hinck
Christopher Hopper
Heather R. Hunt
Becca Johnson
Jason Joyner
Karen
Tina Kulesa
Lost Genre Guild
Kevin Lucia and The Bookshelf Reviews 2.0 – The Compendium
Rachel Marks
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Shannon McNear
Caleb Newell
Nicole
Eve Nielsen
John W. Otte
Robin Parrish
Rachelle
Cheryl Russel
Hanna Sandvig
Chawna Schroeder
Mirtika Schultz
James Somers
Tsaba House Authors
Steve Trower
Speculative Faith
Daniel I. Weaver
Rebecca Grabill
Jill Hart

 

 

This is the first day of the Christian Science Fiction and Fantasy Blog Tour (CSFF Blog Tour) and runs from today (April 16th to Wedenesday, April 18th). This is my first time participating and I’m excited about taking part. Christian Science Fiction and Fantasy is my favorite fiction genre. In my BC (before Christ) days, I spent hundreds of dollars per year on SF/Fantasy books, but I gave them up completely because most of them had occultic or sexual scenarios that made me feel like I needed a shower afterwards. They definitely did not enhance my relationship with the Lord.

I’m pleased to say that CSFF is growing. All the books I’ve read so far in the genre are decent reads, but a few authors really stand out. Karen Hancock is one. She’s a four-time Christy award winner and her novels go deep into her characters’ spirituality. I always walk away from her novels examining my walk with the Lord. I am still carrying around lessons from the first book I read of hers. Arena is about a woman who agrees to undergo a psychological experiment that ends up changing her life. This book has encouraged me to continually check my “mental link” to God to make sure I am hearing His instructions. Arena is officially out of print (what a sad thing!) but there are plenty of used copies for sale at Amazon for a good price.

Karen has just released the last book in the four novel series, Return of the Guardian King . I could not wait to get that book in my hands. When it came in the mail, I wanted to dance for joy (I didn’t though. My kids think I’m weird enough! LOL) You can find it at Amazon and many other booksellers across the country.

In tomorrow’s post, I’ll let you know what I thought of the book (besides go directly to Amazon and buy this book!). Meanwhile, check out the links to the other Blog Tour participants for interviews with Karen herself, book giveaways, commentary, and a lot of fun!. Also, be sure to read Karen Hancock’s blog, Writing From the Edge. I have been very blessed by Karen’s writing diary. In fact, I have a few posts printed out and stuck in my journal to remind myself of things I needed to hear.

Karen Hancock’s Website

Karen Hancock’s Blog

Nissa Annakindt
Wayne Thomas Batson
Jim Black
Grace Bridges
Jackie Castle
Valerie Comer
Karri Compton
Frank Creed
CSFF Blog Tour
Gene Curtis
D. G. D. Davidson
Chris Deanne
Janey DeMeo
April Erwin
Kameron M. Franklin
Linda Gilmore
Beth Goddard
Marcus Goodyear
Andrea Graham
Katie Hart
Sherrie Hibbs
Sharon Hinck
Christopher Hopper
Heather R. Hunt
Becca Johnson
Jason Joyner
Karen
Tina Kulesa
Lost Genre Guild
Kevin Lucia and The Bookshelf Reviews 2.0 – The Compendium
Rachel Marks
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Shannon McNear
Caleb Newell
Nicole
Eve Nielsen
John W. Otte
Robin Parrish
Rachelle
Cheryl Russel
Hanna Sandvig
Chawna Schroeder
Mirtika Schultz
James Somers
Tsaba House Authors
Steve Trower
Speculative Faith
Daniel I. Weaver
Rebecca Grabill
Jill Hart

I’ve been thinking about the sermon my pastor preached yesterday. It wasn’t your typical “Easter” sermon. Instead, using the life of Moses, Bob talked about what it means to be redeemed. “Redeemed” means that Jesus purchased me, saved me, and delivered me. Psalm 107 tells us that we are redeemed from darkness, bondage, demonic oppression, sickness, and the storms of life. Psalm 103 lists the benefits of redemption: He forgives our iniquities, heals our diseases, crowns us with lovingkindness and tender mercies, and satisfies your mouth with good things.

That was just the intro.

The main part of the sermon was based on Exodus 14-18, which is about Moses’ life. As one whom Jesus has redeemed, I am to live in Deliverance. I should not be bound by anything. (Ex. 12). I should also live in Healing (Ex. 15). This is both spiritual, emotional, and physical healing. The redeemed should also live in Provision. (Ex. 16). My God provides all that I need so that I should not worry about a thing. It’s a waste of time! As one who is redeemed, I should live in Victory. (Ex. 17) As long as my hands are in the air in worship and surrender, God is responsible to fight my battles and my victory. When I take the responsibility from God by trying to figure out everything on my own or fight my own battle, I will lose. Lastly, one who is redeemed should live in Order. (Ex. 18) Godly order and peace in my life will flow from living in the above.

I’ve been thinking a lot about Deliverance and being set free from bondages because I’m in the midst of the struggle of my life to free myself from the bondage of gluttony. I have other bondgages I’m working on as well. It’s such a tought fight sometimes, such that I want to give up. But the Lord spoke to me (after last Sunday’s service and another fine sermon from my pastor), that to continue in these bondages is a slap in the face to Jesus who died to set me free. If I choose to continue in them (and it is a choice. No one is holding me down, forcing M&Ms down my throat.), I am counting His sacrifice as trash, as something that was just not good enough. I can’t do that.

So I vow to continue fighting and trusting God to deliver me from this sin.

If you are also struggling with any time of bondages, let me recommend that studies at http://www.settingcaptivesfree.com. They are free and they are life-changing.

I finally did it. After thinking about it for weeks and mulling it over for years, I fianally cut my long hair. Now it’s considered medium.

It was difficult to make that final decision. I worried that I was displeasing God because aren’t women supposed to have long hair? But I felt peace about doing it. I was afraid that my husband would no longer find me attractive (he would love my hair down to me knees, but I just dont’ have the time to handle it).

I realized that my identity was so wrapped up in having long hair (usually the longest anywhere) that I was afraid I’d lose my identity and my attractiveness if I did. My identity is not wrapped up in hair length or whether I wear skirts or pants ow whether I homeschool or not or am pregnant all the time or not. My identity is a daughter of the King, one of the Father’s beloved children, redeemed by the blood of my precious Saviour. And He said I could do it.

On Sunday, my hair sytlist friend from church spent over an hour cutting and shaping my hair. And I have to say, it looks great and it so easy to take care of, I should have done it years ago! I look younger too. Imagine that. 😉