Tuesday, July 15

Sift you like wheat

"...behold Satan would have you,to sift you like wheat but I have prayed for you that your faith would not fail and when you have returned again, strengthen your brothers."  When I'm failing Him by refusing His headship in my marriage, turning from the ca

"behold, Satan would have you to sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that our faith would not fail and when you have returned again, strengthen your brothers."

When I'm failing Him by refusing His headship in my marriage, turning from the call to give up myself for His glory in parenting, denying by my very actions and words toward my children that He is my Lord - I know He is interceding on my behalf. When I shame His name the most and am at my most reprehensible, knowing He is I AM and living as though I am, Jesus prays that my faith would not fail.  What a beautiful, humbling thing to think on today.

Monday, July 14

The Interminable Power of the Cross

"I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised Him from the dead!" We all cry, "yes!" in agreement with Paul, not stopping to realize that resurrection requires death and that the death of anything requires giving up something alive and thriving.
If I want His resurrection power in my marriage and pareting, my selfishness, idealism and expectations will have to be crucified, not by human will-power or my own determination, but under that same interminable power of the cross.

"I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised Him from the dead!"  We all cry "yes!" in agreement with Paul, not stopping to realize that resurrection requires death and that the death of anything requires giving up something alive an
#Blackberries and #raspberries are ripe! My little chefs are busy making blackberry-rhubarb jam and a double batch of blackberry muffins for lunch, a few others are up the hill picking the hedgerows clean. Addie's ready for an #Adirondack #swim.Kitty love. I'm reminded this morning why the friendship of women is so important.  Women get a bad rap as being gossipy and petty but I dont think that's the norm. We heard from someone in our mom's group who had a rough night and is pressing hard to see the goodnes I grew up surrounded by intellectual superiority.  My sisters and my mom had high IQ's I was told and mine was "ok". It didn't matter that I graduated sixth in my class or top of my nursing class, even my high school guidance counselor told me I wasn't co It doesn't matter if we're at church, the library or the grocery store, someone always stops to ask, "How do you do it all?" I think it might surprise them a bit when I tell them, "you don't". God doesn't call us to do it all or do it all perfectly. Our w

Tuesday, July 1

Bookcase Door

Hmmm...the logistics of turning a door into a #bookcase. #weekendproject #DIY

Cleaning the homeschool room while trying to think of something more substantial than that inadequate little bookshelf and this door made me go, "hmmmmm...." and start googling.  I read too many spy novels with secret passages as a child. What I found was a lot of expensive kits and no brilliant ideas.

Addie girl and I went shopping. 
Lowes for some lumber. #doorbookcaseproject

My unprofessional way to determine shelf width and height was to pick one of the kid's largest school books.  It worked perfectly.

Finishing crown moulding. Then paint. #books #doorbookcaseproject

I used the compound saw for cutting the boards and pre-drilled the screw holes since it was just inexpensive pine boards.  Some salvages crowned moulding prettied up the top and bottom and a few coats of paint finished it off.

An immensely satisfying feeling. #books #bookcase #doorbookcaseproject #DIY #woodworking #homeschooling #doorbookcaseproject

Sean helped me re-hang the door and we gave it lots of test swings to see if books would stay on it. (smile) This door is used all day long.  It connects the two sides of the upstairs of our house.   Instead of a hallway between rooms, we have a closet.  Got to love old houses.
It's been a few weeks and the shelves are filling up with homeschool books and nothing has fallen off, which makes me a happy, pleased mama with a little extra valuable wall space and my kids have the secret passage I always dreamed of.

The Log Pile

This is our log pile we ordered three years ago to chunk and split for our firewood. We heat our home with wood and coal with propane and oil as backups during our long northern winters.  These days the thing I fight spiritually the most is resentment. No

This is our log pile we ordered three years ago to chunk and split for firewood.  We heat our home with wood and coal with propane and oil as backups during our long northern winters.

These days the thing I fight spiritually the most is resentment.  Not toward my husband, who can't help that a bacteria carrying tick bit him but toward God who has heaped my plate to past full.  Do you ever feel like this?

The wood that never got cut is a constant reminder that while I can learn how to do a lot of things, and some of them like using an air nailer are a lot of fun, I draw the line at sixty pound chain saws.  I am sure there are women out there who can wield them but I am a small person and appreciate my limbs too much to try.

I want to throw a grown up hissy fit and say, "Fine.  I'll do it all myself. I'll wrangle eight children and homeschool six of them with a toddler and a newborn and figure out plumbing and cook and clean and fall apart All. On. My. Own."

God hasn't left me alone - this is the truth I preach to my heart daily in the midst of it. I have to speak truth to my sin0weary heart, a daily "cleansing with the washing of the Word" that the book of Ephesians speaks of.  I have gorgeous kids who are God's tangible goodness in my life, who make me laugh, know how to load the dishwasher and rotate laundry and a husband who fears the Lord, prays over us, and works hard at his business. I have mama friends who love he Lord and walk life with me and pray over me, like Aaron ad Hur who held up Moses's arms when he was weak.

The neglected wood pile is not a sign that God has abandoned us but a reminder that I wasn't intended to do everything on my own.  It is a constant reminder to fall back and rest on His all-sufficient, never wavering grace that He heaps upon my days.

Sunday, June 29

Weekly Menu

Enjoying this gorgeous weather with a picnic at the Albany campus.
Tis the season for fresh garden eats and it seems that at least one meal a day comes from the garden.  Right now I am up to my neck in nesting projects.  The oldest boy's room has gotten fresh paint, finished trim, and new d├ęcor.  The guest bath is getting new flooring and I wished a happy adieu to the faux blue marble sink that I've grimaced at for six years. 

Monday am - banana bread oatmeal
Lunch - mango white iced tea, pepperoni and sausage roll, potato salad
Dinner - gnocchi and garlic scape pesto, fresh lettuce salad, strawberries and cream
Make saukraut

Tuesday am - cereal and milk
lunch - cheese quesadillas, fresh lettuce salad
dinner - crispy calamari lettuce wraps with soy ginger sauce, sunshine tapioca, iced tea

Wednesday am - scones, scrambled eggs
lunch - yogurt cups with granola
dinner - Portuguese chicken and potatoes, passionfruit iced tea

Thursday am - blueberry lemon muffins
lunch - salad
dinner - fiesta lime rice, burgers

Friday am - pancakes
lunch - cheese slices, carrot sticks, crackers, tzatziki dip
dinner - spaghetti


Thursday, June 12

Rainbow Swiss chard and spinach from the garden with a orange-yolked fried egg from our hens on top makes breakfast.  After three days of rain the potatoes are up with their purple and green foliage and my children are getting a bit stir crazy.  So are the fifty-five meat chicks at home in the garage.
Afternoon #sewing with #vintage fabric for the 3 yr old who is exclaimednover the big pocket and declared it perfect for hiding food.

Babe in the belly makes his presence known each night with endless rolls, giving me a clue to his personality.  Chase, who turned six in May, snuggles up to my belly and talks about the baby, what he'll look like, how wonderful it is to have another brother, all the while resting his hand or head on his coming brother, feeling for the kicks from within.

Father's Day project in the works. Kiddos are enjoying naps and a movie on this rainy day. Chocolate and pretty colors make my soul breathe in deeply the quiet and peace.

Things around the house are always busy.  Last weekend our oldest two ran their first 5k and I turned a door in our homeschool room into a bookcase, solving the problem of needing space for books and not wanting to use up any more valuable floor space.  I never stop wishing to be able to snap my fingers and see all the house projects complete but it is instead, a slow process.  We have a gutted bathroom upstairs and a roofing project an unscrupulous contractor royally messed up, firewood to be split and odds and ends all over the house to be finished. 

An immensely satisfying feeling. #books #bookcase #doorbookcaseproject #DIY #woodworking #homeschooling

Unfortunately, the lyme disease we dealt with several years ago seems to be flaring up again in Sean and anyone who has had a chronically ill spouse understands the road we're on.  Good days and bad days. Getting a knowledgeable doctor is nigh near impossible, so pray for wisdom for us if you will. Life is a heavy thing to wake up to each day.  There are so many unknowns but praise God for His supernatural grace that covers my days.  I may not know where our income will come from in a year or where we'll live or how my husband's health will be but I know my Provider and Sustainer.

Back to home life, our school year officially wraps up with just the older kids needing to complete their math. Final reports are typed and ready to send in to the district, per NYS educational law.  In reality, we consider all of life year-round as learning and embrace it as such.  I've been giving our homeschool room where we hang out a lot a deep clean and organization and scouting half.com for books I think the kids will enjoy.  Next year we have a 9th grader, 7th grader, 5th grader, 3rd grader and 1st grader to register with our school district.  A lump comes into my throat here, at how big and grown up everyone is getting.  There is intense pressure to get it just right with education and parenting but then I remember the working of the Holy Spirit and breathe deeply a huge sigh of relief.  It is not all up to me.

I hope life is well full of His graces where you are too,

(You can find me oftener on instagram or flickr, user name Hannah Hagarty.)

Friday, June 6

9 Ways to Encourage Your Children in their Walk with Christ

Sunset last night. Mom's Support Group, as we jokingly call ourselves (but it is really oh-so-true) met tonight and one of the things we talked about was encouraging our children to develop their own walk with Christ.  The ideas shared, which I jotted down, were too good to keep to myself so here they are in note form.

1)When your child is scared, hurt, or sick - remind them that God is bigger than this
Pray together, thanking Him for being bigger than the fear, strong enough to heal the hurt, powerful enough to heal.

2) Remind your children of God's promise to always be with them, never forget about them, and His promise to be a ready help whenever we need Him. 
For a child that struggles with fear or rejection this is huge.

3) Allow the Holy Spirit to work in the hearts of your children.
You can't force good moods on your kids. 
Just as we need the Holy Spirit to deal with our hearts, so do our kids.  Telling them to "just stop it" isn't going to work.  Would that work for you when you're hurting or having a rotten day?
Each of my kids is different in how they heal/recover from a bad attitude.  It may take some cuddling with one child or quiet time in their bedroom with some toys for an introverted child. A reminder and prayer that God wants to fill our hearts with peace and His love for each other and then giving the child alone time to calm down and process has worked for each us moms.

4) Don't make yourself our to be, or take on the responsibility, of being your child's savior. 
Let them own their own relationship with Christ.  If you solve all their problems (or try to) you are doing them a disservice Instead, ask them, "Have you prayed about this?" when they come complaining to you or tattling over an offense with a sibling or friend. Offer to pray with them if they'd like but do remind them that God knows the situation better than you do and He is willing and ready to help.

5) As soon as they are able to read, buy them their own Bible or storybook Bible.
Several of us have used and love The Jesus Storybook Bible.  If you have a daily quiet time in your home, offer them their Bibles first to read. The Word of God is living and active!  One of the mamas in our group shared how her small son is already drawing his own parallels in life to things he's been reading in his little Bible.

6) Point out God's goodness and graces in everyday life - in the good and bad situations your children encounter.

7) Always remind them that whatever happened/happens in life - God was there with them every single moment of that and it was He who brought you out of it.
There are quite a few adoptive families represented in our group and this is a particularly sweet and powerful reminder for the kids who have spent time in foster care or orphanages. Even in my naturally-born child who came to earth with kidney problems, I always remind him that it is Christ who has preserved his life and given him a life to live on purpose.

8) Perhaps a natural habit for homeschooling mamas, but be purposeful about pointing out God being revealed in the natural world. 
You don't have to be a botanist to notice the array of colors this time of year and marvel out loud at God's creativity and you can thank him in the car when you notice a beautiful sunset to point out to your kids.

9) Do let your kids know that they are responsible for their own relationship with Jesus.
I've told my kiddos that my responsibility as a parent is to teach them about the Lord's ways, His love and sacrifice for them but that is all I can do (and pray!) and someday that is what I'll be held accountable for. What they do with the example I give them and lessons I teach is their responsibility.

Any ideas to add to ours?  Leave them in the comments; we'd love to hear them.