Sunday, August 31, 2008

Sunday Devotional - Meekness

It’s no secret if you’ve “listened” to me online or been in a Bible Study I’ve led: I love Biblical Word Studies. Why? Often when I read a word in the Bible I naturally overlay MY 21st century understanding of the word on to the Scripture.

Years ago I began to realize that many of the English words chosen to define Greek and Hebrew words mean something “different” to me than they did to the translators. Therefore, my first interpretation of the passage may well be different than what the Biblical authors were communicating.

One such word that was an EYE-OPENER for me was “meek” or “gentle”. For years I beat myself up because my personality did not match what various Christian leaders were describing as a “meek woman”.

Enter a Precept study on Sermon on the Mount. I had prayed for years for “God to infuse me with a meek spirit”. I wasn’t quite sure why God hadn’t chosen to answer that prayer. I knew I was going to get hammered the week that we studied “meekness”.

I was in for a huge surprise. You see *I* was meek. I simply didn’t understand what God meant, what the Biblical writers meant. Doing a Biblical study of the word excited me.

I’m currently doing a topical study of the Fruit of the Spirit in my personal trysts. I have to share the definition of “gentleness” or “meekness”, which is a fruit of the spirit.

First, any fruit in my life is produced only as I am in relationship with the Vine (Jesus) and His Holy Spirit. I can’t conjure it up on my own.

“Gentleness” – also translated Meek, Mild -

Greek Word Praotes – Strongs # 4236
Strong’s simply defines the word as “gentleness”.

Vine’s tells us it is “meek”

*Dr. Spiros Zodhiates – fleshes this word out (and Beth Moore agreed with his definition this week LOL). Here are some highlights of this exciting word:

1. Does not denote an OUTWARD expression but an INWARD grace of the soul.
2. Calmness towards God
3. Acceptance of God’s dealings with us, considering them as good in that they enhance the closeness of our relationship with Him.
4. Expressing wrath towards sin
5. In the 3rd Beatitude expresses the blessedness that exists in one’s heart from being actively angry at evil.
6. Meekness is the balance between uncontrolled and unjustified anger and not becoming angry at all no matter what takes place around you.
*Spiros Zodhiates, The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament (Chattanooga, TN, AMG pub. 1992), p 1208.

I spent YEARS trying to cultivate what was being taught as I grew up in the church as a proper “feminine meek” attitude. I discovered that the word meant far different than what I believed it did.

Check it out! It has very little to do with outward expression. Why do so many authors then focus on the external to validate our “meek spirit”? It’s to be a fruit in all believers’ lives – it’s not a singularly feminine requirement. ::snort:: At it’s root is SURRENDER to God’s dealings…..realizing that even bleak circumstances draw me closer to Him in RELATIONSHIP. It’s an INWARD GRACE. Meekness is a BALANCE between doing nothing and uncontrolled anger and rudeness. In its very make up it involves TAKING A STRONG STAND…..but it involves grace and balance. At times I’ve been guilty of uncontrolled anger characterizing my life. At other times I’ve swung to passivity. Neither is to be our godly stance when confronted with sin or an evil society.

God had worked meekness into my life as I prayed for him to root it out and to grace me with what I considered to be “meek”. ::snort::

As we begin a new school year I think of this word again. I want to homeschool with a meek spirit….a calmness, a surrender, a balance between ignoring sin and killing the sinner…..I want to be filled with His spirit which will lead to a life of meekness.

Here are a few other spots in Scripture where this word is used – with the definition above.

I Cor. 4:21 – Paul asks if he should come with a rod or a spirit of meekness

2 Cor 10:1 – Paul beseeches believers by the meekness of Christ

Gal 5:23 – a fruit of the Spirit

Gal 6:1 – Spirit that restoration with which restoration is to take place

Eph 4:2 - Show love for one another with meekness

Col 3:12 – we are to put on meekness

I Tim 6:11 – flee immorality and follow among other things meekness

2 Tim 2:25 – our teaching is to be in meekness

Titus 3:2 – we are to show meekness to all men

©2008 D.R.G.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Photobucket Sneak Peaks Into Friday & Saturday

Produce Co-op


We had a contest to see who could get the dirtiest wipe during our 15 min clean up spree....Mike won.


I think cleaning a printer is akin to cheating...but the excitement was there. ::snort::

A first in our home.......

One of the kids was in an accident. Mike was teaching Jamin to drive a standard and someone tail ended him. It was NOT his fault. We are waiting to hear what the insurance will do with our car. Both are USAA customers. Honestly, we don't want them to total our commuter....we'll not find another for the $ we'll get. We shall see.

The kids and I went to the birthday party of a young friend today. They had a great time. Jared took out his "teen rage" on a stone "wall circle thingy" around a tree in Chad and Sherri's yard....he earned more $. He also has a "new respec for guys who plunder and then tear down castle walls." Umm.....I don't know that THAT is a good thing.

Mike and I went out to dinner. We had a great storm. We walked through the mall and pretended to shop. LOL

©2008 D.R.G.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Photobucket I Eat 'bout you? ::snort::

Beware. I've stayed away from political posts...but HEY, I'M SMILLING BIG THIS A.M. I have been emailing McCain constantly with my thoughts on his VP pick. ::snort:: In fact, my boys were shocked I'd share my thoughts as honestly as I did.....however, that's politics.

Could it be true? Has he really picked a candidate who is STAUNCHLY conservative, pro-life, YOUNG and a female? A social, cultural and fiscal conservative? A governor who cut her own salary? I hope so. I can tell you that Obama was the ONE person who could probably get me to hold my nose and vote for the Republican nominee....but Sarah there's a candidate I can get excited about. We shall see. BTW Pawlenty is also a Christian - I could have been excited about him too....though there is just something about Sarah that I like - a lot. LOL

I'm wondering what happens if McCain gets up after all the hype early this a.m. and says, "My nominee is Good Ole Boy Jim Bob" or something. ::snort::

Update - it's true! Young, PRO-LIFE, Christian, Fiscal Conservative....5 children....
©2008 D.R.G.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Photobucket WHAT DAY IS THIS???

Yes, I still have a migraine...though I think it may be cluster headaches. I couldn't tell you the difference. Both hurt. I'm nauseated. Off and on my vision is blurry and I see spots. I had hoped sleeping on Sunday would kick it...but it keeps coming and going. The going part and then coming again makes me think it may be a cluster thing.....I've not had a moment to really take the migraine meds.....which knock me out. I'll try that this weekend if needed.

Mike has been working late nights all week. It's always like this when you come back from TDY (business trip) or leave (vacation).

Yesterday, I had the PAC (Parish Advisory Committee) annual planning meeting. I was impressed that we accomplished all the work in 3 hours.

We've begun a rolling start on school. We've done a lot of planning this week.

We've been evaluating where we are and where we would like to be in 9 months. Jamin is a senior. He'd like to go to Taylor University. There are two challenges: 1. the PRICE and 2. the requirements for admissions. If he is to make this work he will need to take two sciences this year and Calculus and Trig.... We're also praying and looking at other options. Mike and I have a hard time figuring out why a person should pay $120,000 for a degree that can be earned for $30,000 at a state university. Frankly, once you get into the workforce you are rarely asked WHERE your degree comes from. At least that's been our experience. ::snort:: On the other hand, I would expect at a private university to have less of the "characters" and "issues" that we've seen at a state university. Who knows? We have begun looking at scholarships and Jamin qualifies for a variety of scholarships. He's praying about his options. He may or may not continue to work towards Taylor. We've got emails out to admissions offices around the country. The thought being that it makes common sense to get as many credits as possible to be transferred into Taylor and thus avoid paying the high tuition for four years. There is MUCH to be said for living at home and going to a college nearby for a couple of years. AND he plans to take a lot of CLEP classes and distance credits from Taylor this year.

We don't test. Jamin's first test was the ACT last spring. He was 2 points away from some benchmarks which would open quite a few doors. I've tried to tell the kids to study for the test - but as a matter of principle they think it's cheating to study for a test that is supposed to see what you "know" and not what you "cram". ::snort:: Jamin has agreed to CRAM FOR THE TEST. I think he can take it now and again in the spring and bring it up at least 2 points.

We're really having fun with this and not stressing. We are relaxed homeschoolers. We've always said that we'd follow our path and the children's interests and when/if they need something we haven't done - we'll do it. YES WE CAN!!!!

Jamin didn't work today and so we spent a lot of the day researching various programs, options, et al.

I was heading to the gym when I was informed that I was supposed to be at a meeting in 25 minutes. I headed for the base. This was a "financial workgroup" meeting.

Jamin watched the littles so I could finally make it to the gym this evening. Jared was at CAP and Mike was working. I had hoped to catch some of Obama's speech but would you believe not ONE of the televisions were on a news channel? Everyone was fascinated by football and the World Championionship Poker tournament on ESPN....POKER?????

Ah well - I got a workout in.

©2008 D.R.G.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Photobucket Glimpses

Zander finally found a use for "church pants"

Nolan had to redo the yard as it rained so much that he never finished
We're still doing a lot of in-house planning for the upcoming school year. I'm getting a "final" sense of what Jamin (Sr) and Jared (Fr) would like to do as far as electives etc this year.

In the midst of the planning Stacia (who you may notice is wearing TRAINING PANTS) came in and began to liberally grace us all with kisses.

There is really nothing quite as sweet as the innocent expression of affection from a toddler. Jamin is our stoic. She CRACKED us all up when she touched his shoulder and said, "Jamin, I know you love me!" and then bestowed a sisterly peck on his cheek as well.
We had dogs show up at our house. It took a bit of time to find their owners....but Jared did. Thanks to Rosie who knew just who we needed to call.
I'll share this because I'm still laughing about it - the dogs names are....::snort:: are you read? Blaze and Viagra. ::snort:: There goes whatever family rating I had left.

Heather is a local friend who I don't see often. Our children are not the same ages. She helps me with the United food co-op. Today she and I went out to lunch and to chat without any co-op business to worry about. It was a treat.

©2008 D.R.G.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Photobucket Arielle's Excitement....

Observant blog readers will have noticed that Arielle took to wearing Mike's glasses a lot on our vacation.

I took her to the optometrist today.

"What makes you think your daughter has a vision problem?"

"She keeps wearing her father's glasses when she wants to see things."


Arielle is a classic case of near-sightedness....guess that often develops between 11 - 12 years of age. Both her older sisters have glasses/contacts....none of the boys....and I need READING glasses. LOL

The doc said she could use them as often as she liked.....and so far Arielle hasn't taken them off. She's enjoyed games, reading signs, watching a movie.

Umm....not quite right... ::snort::
Much Better

Stacia said, "Arielle, your glasses BEUUUUUUUTIFUL! Did Mom buy them?"
That little stinker is eating a Yummy Earth, all fruit lolipop on my BED....busted.

©2008 D.R.G.

Photobucket Giveaway Winners

The following 3 women will each receive a children's book (detailed on 8-18). Lisa B., Diann and Sheri. (Florabelle - Zander said that's the name he drew.) I'll be emailing you today.

The Healing Choice will be mailed today, ladies.

Choosing Joy's 3rd anniversary is coming up - look for some fun the week of Labor Day......and beyond.

©2008 D.R.G.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Photobucket Prayer Requests for our Big Uns...

Josiah begins his second year of college tomorrow. One teacher has already assigned an R rated movie....for Brittish Lit. Go figure.

Krista has resigned from Master's Commission and is beginning a new job tomorrow. She has opted to remain in Spokane, but I know this is a season of transition for her as all her friends are part of MC. Krista will be saving and praying about her next step.

BreAnne is stepping into a new role at Master's. She's the SMC (Spokane Master's Commision) Administrator. This will challenge her. She's sure to be missing Krista as well.

Just "yesterday" these 3 were doing things like this:


©2008 D.R.G.
Photobucket Happy Birthday to Stacia - AGAIN! ::snort::

Josiah missed Stacia's birthday celebration. Mike picked up an ice cream cake from Coldstone (I was slated to make it but the migraine won) and Josiah came over this evening.

She was so excited. She had a cake, candles, got to wear the pig hat, and received two more presents. I'm glad this worked out this way.

Chanting PIG PIG....


We sang
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My timing is off with the migraine ::snort::
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Having trouble getting a BITE!
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She said, "Thank you, Arielle, you are my BIG HELPER." Then she stopped and said, "You are my sister!" Ah, what a great definition for sister. I pray they are always close.Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Mom and Dad sent a package

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She received this Ladybug game - which will be fun to break open
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She had to show Jamin
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This chair is DARLING! Thanks, Mom and Dad
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Cy gave her a doll. Here she is saying, "I love you."
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Here she tells us the baby's name is "baby G....."
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©2008 D.R.G.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Photobucket Saturday, Really?

I have a list of 17 things to accomplish today. I have finished 6 things. I hope to finish 1 or 2 more before giving in and going to bed. I have a migraine....but simply had to get a few things done. I've not had a migraine for months. Chris would say it's the weather as we've gotten a lot of rain today...could be. I'm not sure what else it could be as I've not been indulging in my triggers....hmmm....I DID have some m/ms a couple of days ago - it couldn't be. It just can't be.

Mike is at the office....studying. I have been puttering, crossing things off my list and moaning and groaning. ::snort::

Here are a few glimpses of our day:

Nolan went solo for the first time. He wasn't able to finish as it began to RAIN.
Arielle helped the younger ones put together this model
Jared felt he needed to pay us back for the $100 deposit we put on Worldview. He wouldn't let us pay him to mow or do our windows. Mike needs help cleaning out the mess above. I didn't feel right having Jared tackle this job alone. Ah HA - I'll pay him the $100 deposit to clean and level the pool.....we all feel good about it now. ::snort:: Can you see the GRASS growing through the tarp and pool liner?????

Stacia seems to think embracing mom's decreptitude (reading glasses) is the thing to do, I wonder if she'll still think so when she's 18 and I'm 60?

Now, I'm taking my sick head and calling it a day. Tomorrow is a Unity Service and potluck. I've not been able to make what I planned on. I couldn't drive with blurry eyes and double I'm going to sleep this off and worry about it in the a.m.

©2008 D.R.G.

Of Chores and CHECKLISTS!

The next few days are our "in-service" days. I've spent a lot of time evaluating what worked last year for our homeschool, what didn't work, and what would work better with a bit of tweaking. In the next few days I will begin to implement changes.

The first area I plan to attack happens to be an area that I've been asked to write about for SSS: CHORES or, "how do you keep a clean house"? ::snort:: ::gurgle:: ::sniff::

I've been trying to come up with a chore system I would like for a LONG time. Twenty years ago our family used
Sidetracked Home Executives. I had an index box of cards for EACH person in the house. I even went so far as to assign a monetary value to each little chore and the children were given allowances based on their contributions to the functioning of the house. This worked well for us for years. It takes more time and record keeping than I want to invest these days. It became cumbersome when we entered the military and I had to keep updating cards every 1 - 3 years. HOWEVER, it did train the children WELL how to clean various areas of our home. I loved how this trained us all on the PARTS of a big job.

We've used charts galore. We've had each child assigned to a different room on a rotating basis. These also worked well...but I don't WANT 6 chore charts on my fridge.

We utilize the "
power of 15 minutes". This helps a LOT....

We've had success with
Zone Cleaning for bedrooms. I simply need a system for the rest of the house.

My training philosophy for chores involves pairing young workers with older workers (or myself) on every job. I also make a conscious effort to give the job to the YOUNGEST person who can possibly do it. In this way I don't neglect training the younger helpers because the older helpers are ready and willing.

I want a program that is simple. I want the children to clearly know what I expect of them. I don't want to keep detailed charts, or have zillions of index boxes around the home.
Kelly, shared with me that she made lists "The bathroom is clean when" and posted them. I liked the idea....but then thought the little ones couldn't read the charts.

I've continued to wrestle with how to consistently make sure work is getting done and how to be sure the younger ones know what I want when I tell them "clean your room" or "clean the kitchen". Mike's a military man and he loves his checklists. He's been encouraging me for months (OK lots of months) to "make checklists". I was SURE lists wouldn't HELP with YOUNGER children. I love lists. For some reason the idea of posted checklists seemed too military for my nature. I'm finally getting with the program. I'm doing it with a smile....because I used a big font, bullet icons and bright colors and made it fun! I also used some of my favorite tools to create our checklists: sheet protectors, notebook rings and colored paper. ::snort:: Seriously, Mike often has solutions that will work well for me, and I have to remember to "get under his mission" (submit). He ALWAYS tells me that I'm the "home dictator" and that I should run things the way that I want to - but he has GREAT ideas and the least I can do is try some of them.

I began to make my checklists. I found many lists but none were just right. I liked
Kelly's list of supplies at the top of her list and her DETAILED instructions (see my bathroom weekly list - it's Kelly's). I found some lists at A Virtuous Woman, but thought Proverb 31 verses wouldn't be likely to motivate my sons. I liked the format of their lists, but knew the print would be far to small for my children to read.I thought about how I DID want various rooms cleaned. I realized that this checklist thing was going to be fun.

I made up 3 lists for each room: daily, weekly and monthly. I used Col 3:23 at the top of each list. I listed the supplies needed to clean the room. I used differently colored papers for daily, weekly and monthly. I also printed up the "Family Ways" that pertain to work.


I then assembled "the checklist" for each room. Each has 3 lists and the Work Ways. The ways will remind the kids of the attitude we strive for. I even did this for my room and bathroom - I can use the reminders too! I POSTED them in noticeable spots in each room.

I believe this will work for us in several areas. It's simple. I've shared before my propensity to
color-coded complicated charts and how neurotic it makes my family. I think this will give us form without making us slaves to the "structure". All are accountable to the written expectations. The kids may chose WHEN to do their weekly jobs. The rooms will rotate so no child is stuck with the same weekly jobs "forever". My plan is for us to spend a certain time each week working on monthly jobs. We'll tackle those a room at a time as a group.

We'll still use the 15 minute cleaning sessions - but each child will know what weekly chores need done and will work on those, instead of asking me, "what should I do next," and getting off "free" when I can't think of something. LOL

Eventually I will have a "bonus checklist". This list will have extra jobs that children can do for extra tickets or such. These jobs will be things that don't readily fit on one list or another.

I realized months ago that I needed checklists for each room. It took me months to find the TIME to create the lists. I offer links to my checklists below. They are hosted on google and sometimes google is freaky. If you find that the links won't work and you really want the jump start of a prepared list to adapt, leave your contact info in the comments section and I'll email them to you as attachments. These lists will always be a work in progress.....I forgot to put "wash sheets" on the bedroom checklist and such. These are not perfect or special - but they may save you time in creating lists of your own, should you so choose.

BTW, if your children are too young to read checklists, you can still create lists, keep them in a
household notebook and use them for yourself and as a training tool for children. This is how I used the index cards of old. ::snort::

Bathroom Checklist (Daily)
"Work Ways"

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©2008 D.R.G.