I like buying a car about as much as having a hole in my head

ImageI do not like to deal with cars.  I want to just have a reliable vehicle that can comfortably transport my family wherever we need to go, whenever we need to go.  I will keep it maintained – good gas, regular oil changes and other maintenance, and washing/cleaning, etc, but otherwise, don’t bother me with such nonsense.  🙂

Buy a new one (even a “new to us” one) – BLECH!!

Well, this week, I am forced to begin that venture…again!  Two years ago, my hubby and decided that we *had* to have a bigger vehicle.  With four children, our Honda CR-V was just not cutting it. Yeah, it’s a little hard to put six people in a five passenger vehicle, especially when four of those bodies must be in car or booster seats.

So we sold the CR-V and made enough money to pay cash for a mini-van.  Of course, we were the third owners, and the van was nine years old, but hey, we could all fit.  PTL!!

We took trips in that van – the first to Tybee Island, GA.  It was highway driving, but it wasn’t too far from home, so we believed it was a good “test drive” trip.  We were right.  The next summer (2012), we traveled to Ohio for my grandmother’s funeral, and it held up just great!

In June of this year, we took it again to Ohio, putting 1800 miles on it as we zigzagged all over the Buckeye state (and even up in Michigan) to visit family and friends.

Then last month, we drove down to Miami for a Barnes family reunion and some much needed and desired time on the beach.  Another 1400 or so miles then – whew!

Then, it began to get overheated, and you guessed it, the radiator is shot!  Not only that, but there is also a leak somewhere in the engine core, but they can’t put enough pressure on it to see how badly that one is because of the radiator.  Needless to say, we are now playing “Taps” for our family’s mode of transportation.

I want to say, “That’s okay,” and it is, but I just don’t like the hassle.  I told my husband, “I wish a new vehicle would just fall from the sky.”  Well, of course, that wouldn’t really be good, but I think you know what I mean.

We are now trying to figure out what to do next, and praying to make a wise decision.  We know that we need a bigger vehicle, but we also know that this could be a stepping stone, as well.

So, what do I need to learn, and what am I learning from this experience.  Here’s what comes to mind, and in no certain order of importance:

  • Car shopping/buying is rarely a quick process.
  • Figuring the exact criteria for whatever vehicle you *think* you want or are going to buy will inevitably change.
  • If you have children, don’t take them with you.  They get bored VERY quickly.
  • If others are willing to help, whether that’s to find the right vehicle or to watch your children so you can do test drives and work out the financials, put those people to work.
  • Pray, seek wise counsel, and then PRAY some more.
  • Tell your friends about your need and being willing to share your fears and frustrations with them, as well.  If they are true and godly friends, they will understand, pray for you, and know that you’ll do the same for them in their turn.
  • Keep going with all the other parts of your everyday life as much as you can.
  • Make a decision.  If you’ve done your homework, taken time to look and test drive, sought wise counsel, and prayed, your decision will be the right one.  Rest in that.

Pray for our family.  I hope it’s not too long before the “new” vehicle comes.  However, whatever it is and whenever it comes, I will praise the Lord for His goodness and faithfulness.  I will praise Him for the outcome, but until He opens that door, I’ll “praise Him in the hallway.”

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Is School Really Starting So Soon?

ImageI love how simple education used to be. Reading, wRiting, and aRithmetic – or the three R’s as they are affectionately known, were so straightforward, the way to learn anything else in life.  Would you have loved to be schooled in this one-room schoolhouse as much as I would?  I just think it would have been so much fun!  🙂

I just turned 40 at the end of July, and I can remember the days of starting school the last week of August, feeling excited that on the second week there was already a day off (Labor Day).

Now it seems that schools are starting earlier and earlier, with teachers returning for in-service as early as July 25 or so.  As a former classroom teacher, I do have an opinion on this – YUCK!!

In all honesty, I’d like to know the reasoning behind the calendar change.  Are we headed to year-round school as the norm?  Isn’t it just trying to reinvent the wheel?  I mean, when you have something that works, why would you want to change it?

We homeschool, and I do not see the need to school year round, although we are always reading books, drilling flashcards, and turning any conversation into a teaching/learning to stay sharp, and sometimes (just being honest here) to pass the time.

We still kept our schedule of going to the library every other Friday so we could keep some sense of a routine throughout the summer.

Ooooo…now there’s an R word that a lot of people tend to shy away from, mainly because it sounds too much like another word – schedule.

Actually, I think scheduling can be a good thing – to a point. Flexibility is very important, but sometimes we can be so flexible that we fail to realize the importance of and benefits to staying a bit “rigid” to the clock and realizing that we must get some things done. Our children will have jobs one day where they will be required to arrive on time, meet deadlines, and go to scheduled meetings.

Whether your child (or children) is in a classroom school or is homeschooled, here’s a few good pointers to remember:

  • Be sure he has a regular rising time.
  • Be sure he is eating a protein-based breakfast so he can jumpstart his metabolism and burn calories.
  • Be sure he is equipped with all the necessary classroom supplies – many places like Walmart, Target, Rite Aid, and Walgreens have “Back to School” items all ready and waiting to be purchased and put to good use in the classroom.
  • Be sure to keep open communication with your child’s teacher or teachers, giving and asking for all convenient forms of contact (phone numbers, text messages, email, Facebook, etc.).  There are so many ways to keep in touch nowadays, it borders on sinful to say you can’t get a hold of the teacher at one time or another.
  • Be sure to check your child’s work each day, whether actually looking at some work (if some has been sent home) or by just asking how it’s going.  Keep the lines of communication open with your child, as well.  His perspective is important, too.
  • Finally, get your child in bed early.  He needs a good night’s sleep before each day of school.  That will be more for some and less for others, so be aware of the individual needs of each child.

If you ever have any questions about schooling, please feel free to comment those questions here.Student Giving Apple to the Teacher  If you would like a “private reply,” just let me know in your inquiry, and I’ll be sure to contact you privately about your questions.

Have a wonderful school year!

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Words and Ephesians 4:29

Words, spoken and written, really do have an impact.  We probably all know the saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”  HA!!  That’s an utter LIE!!  You may be pretty tough-skinned, but at some point in time or another, someone’s words did hurt.

And you still remember them!

That is why I want to share with you what is currently on my heart.  The Lord has been speaking to me lately through the passage in Ephesians 4:29-32 (KJV).

“Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.

And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.

Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:

And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”

So many thoughts, so much God is teaching me.  Many times I’ve failed to obey this passage – yes, it’s a command, actually several commands.  Yes, God expects obedience, giving more grace when we stumble and fall.  That could be a very lengthy discussion, eh?

In this introductory blog on this passage, I really want to focus on verse 29, and give what I believe (after much prayer and careful study) is the simple explanation about this verse.

First of all, through the writer, the Apostle Paul, God gives the command to keep “corrupt communication from proceed[ing] out of your mouth.”  What is corrupt?  Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines it in several terms, “putrid, dead, dying, rotten, spoiled” (more can be found here).  Hmmm…not what I want to think of as coming out of my mouth.

Jesus said in Matthew 15:17-20, it’s what comes out of a man’s mouth that defiles him.  WOW!!  That’s convicting for me.  Oh, how I’ve failed in this soooooooo many times.

Second, I’d like to use the second part of the verse to define the first.  As I read this verse, there are two qualifiers that help us to know what should come out of our mouths.

  1. That which is good to the use of edifying
  2. That is may minister grace unto the hearers 

Anything that does not fall under those two categories, then, would be considered corrupt.  That narrows the things we can talk about, wouldn’t you say?  There goes my conviction siren again.

Some here may say that it means we can never say anything that would be difficult for another to hear (i.e. confrontation – Matthew 18; restoration – Gal. 6:1), and I think Scripture also speaks on this to us.  I think it means we speak the truth in love (Eph. 4:15) after we have “put off the old man” and “put on the new.”

Finally, this is a choice.  You can choose to edify and minister grace, or you can choose to do otherwise.  God does hold us accountable, and our words will either justify or condemn (Matt. 12:37).

Scripture is loaded with so much about the words I speak, my tongue, and the impact it has on my life and the lives of others.  I am learning that sometimes it’s best to just keep my mouth shut (Proverbs 10:19).

For further reading, I highly recommend a small book by a Yugoslavian pastor, Simo Relavic, The Tongue, Our Measure.  It is encouraging and convicting, but easy to read and simple to divide into morning devotional excerpts.The Tongue, Our Measure

Until next time, consider your words.  I know I will be.  🙂

 

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I’m at it again! :)

ImageI’m at it again.  I love to write, so I’m sitting here with my cup of tea and tapping away at the keys.  I don’t know that I’m really much good at writing, but I guess in a blogging style I can be a little more relaxed.  Grammar and information accuracy are important to me, so I will do my best to research and proofread very carefully.

I have a lot of interests.  I love to talk/write about:

  • Natural health and wellness
  • Education
  • Parenting and child-rearing issues
  • Learning new things – such as crocheting (something I’ve been attempting for some time but haven’t been able to be consistent), playing the piano and violin, learning more about nutrition and becoming a better cook, and that’s just a start.

I also have burden to be a blessing to those around me, whether my family that live in the same four walls with me or those that I may come in contact with in the virtual world through this blog or other social media.

I hope on this blog to share about books I’m reading, things I’m praying for, ideas I have, and get feedback from those who would wish to share their thoughts with me.

I’m starting this as a weekly blog (just to keep from over-extending myself), but I would like to be on three to four times per week.

I love feedback, so please feel free to comment away.  If you don’t like something or if you’re just absolutely offended by something I’ve said, please private message (PM) me on www.facebook.com/heather.killbarnes.  All other inquiries can be open or if you prefer a PM, that’s okay, as well.

It may seem a little bland at the moment, but I promise I’ll be customizing as time allows.  Hope to see you here!  Have a GREAT rest of the week and weekend!

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