Snapshots & Snippets

Snapshots and Snippets: Abiding

Welcome to “Snapshots and Snippets” … some musings and practical thoughts along with goodies from around the web to bless and encourage you.


As I shared last week, I’ve been dwelling in John 15 and 1John 11-21 to prepare for my talks this weekend as I share a retreat with some precious women.  Several years ago my scripture for the year was the portion of John 15 I revisited recently.  God still had more for me to receive and comprehend as I studied and prayed through it this time around.  Isn’t that just the best!  We can’t ever get “finished” or “graduate” from our walk with Him.  He always has more for us to know and gain.   

He always has more for us.

I like to think of abiding as “making a home in my heart for Jesus and finding my home in His.  His sweet call to us – to make our home in Him and that He, the Creator of the Universes, wants a home in each of us … It’s too good to fathom.  I’ll be talking about what blocks us from this call as I share this weekend.  Then I’ll share what we can do to abide more fully.

I put together a devotion to help the women draw nearer to Jesus during their own quiet time on Saturday.  If you would like a copy of that for your own use, subscribe to my email list (on the sidebar here on the blog) and I will send you one with my newsletter to all my subscribers when it goes out in May.   I’d love for you to have it!

Cliffs at Sea


{wrapping up and planning}

We only have four more weeks on our school calendar.  Wowzer.  How did that fly by so quickly?!  I woke this morning to the sound of my youngest in the living room reading away on his own.  We faced hurdles in the process, but trudged through the hard spots and this year he’s really reading.   We love the All About Spelling program.  He truly understands how to sound out any word he encounters.  I’m in awe. 

Now I’m looking ahead to second grade.   We’ll be studying Medieval period in history – knights and castles make for great fun for boys.  I’ll use History Odyssey to guide us through literature and spine books for this era.  Then we’ll move into Renaissance.  We’re focusing on learning about sea animals in science using Apologia and One Small Square as our texts.   We’ll continue hosting our cultural days once a month.  God also led me to join a group I’ve been pondering for years – Stockdale Christian PSP.  We’ll have a social network {with a lot of families we already know}, field trips, craft days, holiday parties, etc.  I just love planning a coming year.  My son and I are super excited as we look forward.

boats at dock


{releasing and launching}

Last week I told you about my oldest preparing for high school.  I don’t know what’s going on with all the other teens in the world behind closed doors in their homes.  What I do know is whenever I talk to moms, dads, or even neighbors who are on police or sheriff patrols or who teach in high schools, we all sigh a collective sigh.  Our family isn’t in the kind of deep waters many families are facing {yet} and I pray our son never takes his testing of limits so far off the rails that we are in crisis with him.  Still, the job of any teen is to push out the boundaries and question the limits, morals and lines they have lived within up to this point.  Can you say weary?  Being questioned and pushed against wears parents down.  Hold strong, friends.  Let loving authority be your mantra.  We aren’t here to lord it over them, but we must hold to what we know is good. Keep your eye on the prize.  They have to test limits as they decide to own what you have showed them all along.  This phase of growing up is a necessary part of their eventual launch towards independence.

My husband and I have said to our son, “We aren’t here to force you.  You have a will and choices to make.  What we won’t do is facilitate, resource, bless or fund anything that doesn’t align with our values {and more importantly, God’s.}”  Have you ever been to boot camp for your exercise regimen?  I went to one a few years ago – I’d even occasionally have nightmares the night before from fear of the pain ahead.  Let me tell you.  The rearing of teens trumps any boot camp!  We have to release while simultaneously standing by them with healthy boundaries.  Not for the faint of heart, to be sure. 


{hanging on through the hard}

Abiding life means hanging onto Jesus through the storms – even when things seem unpredictable and no easy answers are coming {it is precisely in the difficult seasons our need for Him becomes more acute than ever}.  Lori Freeland shared about her son’s relapse with leukemia on BraveGirl this past week.  I was moved to tears as I read her courageous retelling of the ordeal she and her son are living through.  One line struck me to the core: I could trust Him to get us through again. Or I could turn my back and face cancer alone.  We always have that choice in the face of trials.  Turn towards God in trust, or turn away and walk alone.  I encourage you to read Lori’s story.


storm at sea

{productivity for a purpose}

On a lighter note, I shared my new planner with you a few weeks ago.  I have been mastering how it works for me even more since then.  I had been forgetting to-dos and even missing some commitments.  Nothing dropped since I got the system that works for me.  Praise God.  I needed it.  Can you believe I had a “play date” with a friend where we exchanged stickers and talked about how we use various layouts and sections of our planners.  Certifiable, I know.  Honestly, though, even though mine is Erin Condren and hers is Plum Planner, we gained a lot from our sharing.

I don’t believe in productivity for its own sake.  I want to be more efficient in life to make the most of my time – so I can be available for what really matters.  This week I signed up for a course by Money Saving Mom, Crystal Paine, called “Make Over Your Evenings.”  I thought this would be a fun jaunt through some webinars about how to organize evening times so that the next day flows more smoothly.  I’m into productivity webinars these days.  I’m learning a lot and putting new habits into place.  I was blown away at the 50+ page download with “projects” and lessons to go through in Crystal’s course!  Wow.  I can’t wait to delve into this – she has Make Over Your Mornings as well.  I’ll share what I glean after I’ve been in this for a bit.  Check her out if you are curious.  The courses are really reasonably priced and worth the expenditure of money and time.

I love hearing from you.  What are you struggling through?  What are you celebrating?  How is God leading you these days?  Share here or on the Hearts Homeward Facebook page.  If you’d like to receive my posts in your inbox, feel free to sign up using the form on the sidebar.  You can choose what posts you like to receive – spiritual growth, parenting or this lovely little gem, “snapshots and snippets” at the end of the week which always contains some of my musings, a bit of what we’re doing around here and some links to goodies around the web.

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