Monthly Archives: April 2014

How to Keep a Quiet Heart in a Loud World !

 

~ Keeping a Quiet Heart ~

Why is it so hard to keep a quiet heart?
Or is that just something I struggle with?

I watch my youngest pull out of the driveway every single morning.
I pray and fight the swelling urge to worry.
I deny my mind the right to consider the rush of fearful thoughts
that want to come bursting in.
It’s been a year since her accident.

I will keep a quiet heart.

That’s hard work!
Yet harder still is the labor of worry.
Believe me, I know !
I don’t recommend that occupation at all.  🙂

Do any of you worry?
My friend wakes up in the middle of the night filled with incredible anxiety over her ability to homeschool her children.  Another friend is overcome with thoughts of failures in her finances.  Whether it’s fretting over health, or wayward children, or an uncertain future,  or even over all the holiday plans, it’s  exhausting !  Phew!

How do we keep a quiet heart ?
I can’t tell you what will work for you, but this has been my journey in a nutshell.

Things I’ve learned :

Worry is just another word for FEAR.
Fear is an ugly thing.
It will destroy anything it can get ahold of…
relationships, health, happiness,

peace, LIFE !
We tend to feel most fearful when we cannot
CONTROL
or have lost control, of our circumstances.

Prayer works.
Take a deep breath (or 5).
Sometimes, I think I have held my breath all day.

Recognize when fear is creeping in.
You aren’t in control, but that’s OK.
God is good.
He is in control.
Nothing surprises Him.


Choose faith over fear.


Stop.  Pray.

There isn’t a right way to do it.
Just DO it !

And then do it again.
And breathe.

The mind and the heart are connected.
If your heart is beating wildly with worry,
chances are
 your mind is full of loud clutter too!
I chose a short Scripture to pray when my mind wouldn’t allow me to focus.
Almost like a type of fasting, I would pray this verse every single time
I began to feel overwhelmed.
Words to focus my heart & mind on truth.
These are not some “magic words”  that obligate God to answer us.
They are
Simply truth.


I wrote these words & placed them all over my house
until I could pray each part

from memory…slowly with contemplation.

“The Lord is near.

         Do not be anxious about anything,
         but in every situation,
         by prayer and petition,
         with thanksgiving,
         present your requests to God.
        And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding,
        will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

You have to CHOOSE peace.
 
While you can’t control other people, or circumstances,
you can control yourself.


Choose peace over fear.

It IS a choice.
Sometimes worry becomes a habit.
It takes discipline to break a bad habit.

I know when you’re tired and stressed out,
this will take all the energy you’ve got.

It will be worth it though.

When life is REALLY throwing all it’s hard balls at once;
and it’s so very hard to concentrate on anything else…
the rest of that verse tells us what we can fill our mind
with in place of all the worry.

“Finally, brothers and sisters,
          whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right,
whatever is pure,

          whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable
          —if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—
          think about such things.

Make a list.
Something true.  Something noble.
Something right.  Something pure.
Something lovely.  Something admirable.
Something excellent.  Something praiseworthy.
Then think about those things.  
You may have to make several lists a day.
FILL your mind with these things ! 

God really does love us.
God really is GOOD.
You really can trust Him.

I am praying for you today  !
May the perfect love of Christ cast out all the fear in your hearts today.
May He watch over your comings and goings (and those of your families).
May He keep you in perfect peace.

Philippians 4:9

 

Native American Unit Study (American Girl Kaya)Welcome to Kaya’s World!  Native America  Unit Study


*Core Reading-

*Week 1: “Welcome to Kaya’s World 1764”  
Introduction to Kaya & The Nez Perce
  1. You Tube Video intro to Kaya                                  (Meet Kaya)
  2. “Welcome to Kaya’s World 1764”- p. 2-5           (Kaya’s World)
  3. “Welcome to Kaya’s World 1764”- p. 6-7           (Horse People)
  4. “Welcome to Kaya’s World 1764”- p. 44-45     (Friends & Enemies)
  5. “Welcome to Kaya’s World 1764”- p. 20-21      (A Dangerous World)
* Week 2: “Welcome to Kaya’s World 1764”
A Day With Kaya
  1. “Welcome to Kaya’s World 1764”- p. 12-13, p.24-25         (Family)
  2. “Welcome to Kaya’s World 1764”- p. 26-31                          (Dress)
  3. “Welcome to Kaya’s World 1764”- p. 8-11, p. 40-41         (Houses & Food)
  4. “Welcome to Kaya’s World 1764”- p. 14-17, p. 34-35       (Work & Play)
  5. “Welcome to Kaya’s World 1764”- p. 18-19, p. 32-33       (Art & Music)
* Week 3: “Welcome to Kaya’s World 1764”
People & Places
  1. “Welcome to Kaya’s World 1764”- p. 47                          (Lewis & Clark)
  2. “Welcome to Kaya’s World 1764”- p. 48-49                  (Henry & Eliza Spalding)
  3. “Welcome to Kaya’s World 1764”- p. 50-51                  (The Nez Perce War)
  4. “Welcome to Kaya’s World 1764”- p. 51 (inset)          (Chief Joseph)
  5. “Welcome to Kaya’s World 1764”- p. 52-55, p.58      (The Nez Perce Today)

Continue reading American Girl Kaya Unit Study

 

Child swinging
photo by Jason Paluck

~American Girl Unit Studies ~

Here we go!
The first unit study coming up!
Need a fun and fresh way to study American history?
Or, just a break from the daily grind?
Do you love the idea of doing unit studies with your family, but find the cost to purchase one, or the time it takes to put a unit together overwhelming?
I hope these units will save you some time, give you some inspiration, help your family learn a ton, and make some super fun memories !!

Please comment!
I’d love to hear your suggestions & see what you’ve been working on!

Other than the six books listed below (available at most local libraries & of course for purchase), all other ideas & activities can be found online. I also have included a list of
resources you may like to purchase including the historical fiction series of American Girl Books, but these are not needed for the unit.

The units are organized by subject area and broken up into weekly lessons that correlate with the reading.   This is just my idea of organized. 🙂
Each unit is designed to last between 3-6 weeks, but of course, you may choose to skip some activities to shorten it up, or add lots of your own to study the topic more in depth. These units could serve as a fun mini study, or a complete year long history plan.
The sky is the limit!

Native America– “Welcome to Kaya’s World 1764”
Colonial America– “Welcome to Felicity’s World 1774”
Frontier America– “Welcome to Josefina’s World 1824”
Pioneer America– “Welcome to Kirsten’s World 1854”
Civil War America– “Welcome to Addy’s World 1864”
Turn of the Century America– “Welcome to Samantha’s World 1904”

This is just a simple framework to get you started. However you may use this hodge podge of ideas, I hope you (oh yeah, and the kiddos too, of course) have FUN!!

Wishing you all the freeing joys of a good high swing on a lovely spring day!


 

It’s a fields of daisies kind of day. . .

 

daisy
photo by Rachel Kramer

It’s a fields of daisies kind of day!
It’s a fields of daisies kind of day.

Years ago, when I first started homeschooling my 3 children, my sister-in-law and I coined this term to describe one of those magnificent, living, learning, loving kind of days spent with our kiddos.  You know the kind of day.  The trip to the beach to collect & classify seashells… the afternoon hike in the fall to collect leaves…everyone sprawled out under a big shady tree “doing school”… strolling through an art museum on a Monday morning while the rest of the world is back to the grind.
And then all of a sudden you look up and you are struck with what a great blessing  it is to be right where you are in that moment.

And the days fly by!
My oldest children have moved out on their own, and my youngest child will graduate next year is a freshman in college ! These kind of days have morphed into new kinds of happy, but I always want to remember the beauty and simplicity of the daisy days.
As I went through the stacks & stacks of curriculum and unit studies our family has collected, they brought back memories of so many great times spent together.  I couldn’t bear to toss them all out.
And so I thought I’d share them with you!

As a very, very newbie blogger, I am learning as I go.
I will be posting a series of American Girl unit studies first, then adding other themes & topics and some random thoughts as I go.  I hope you’ll come back often to see what’s new!

Have you had a fields of daisies moment lately?
I’d love to hear about it!

Wishing you a lovely day!