Sunday, May 27, 2012

Memorial Day...Let Us Not Forget

Image courtesy of

As Memorial Day approaches, it's helping me to reflect on what the active military personnel are currently going through. Some are at home living life as usual and so many others are separated from their family and living in dangerous conditions. My heart goes out to every service member with pride and honor for what they sacrifice to protect the country they love. They are serving our country in so many ways, whether it be local or overseas and that makes me proud!

Memorial Day is a day set aside to remember any serviceman that has gone before us. To those that have served and gave up their lives for our country. So many have fallen in service to our county and we must remember and respect all that has been done for us. We absolutely cannot forget the veterans and all the past servicemen that have served in the Armed Forces.

As a veteran myself, I am proud to have this day of rememberance. It helps me to put my normal, everyday life aside and reflect on what is reality to those serving and to the families that have lost loved one's that served our country. May it be during peacetime or wartime, they still sacrificed their lives.

Let us not forget that God had used these men and women to protect our country and our freedom. Let us be thankful to those who are currently serving and who have served in the past. Let us pray for all the servicemen and their families. Let us set aside time this weekend to pause and reflect how the Lord has blessed our nation through these men and women whose lives were laid down for the country they loved!

Memorial Day in Alden, MN. Was also my Grandfather's (Omer Helland)
Anniversary of his 60th year as a member of the American Legion Post 404.
This is my Mom, Joan Hazle, saluting. She has now advanced to the rank of CMSgt!


Saturday, May 12, 2012

Mothering At His Feet

A mother has great significance over her children. They will either "arise and call her blessed" (Proverbs 31:28) or they will "causeth shame and bringeth reproach" (Proverbs 19:26).  That leaves me a great responsibility of what kind of mother I am to my children and who they become. How can I be a mom whom they will call blessed? How can I prevent them causing me shame and contempt? With anything, I need to understand what it means exactly to be a "mother" and what I can learn from God's Word in regards to what He has to say about being one to these children that He has given me.

After spending some time in the 1828 Dictionary defining "Mother" and key words within the definition, I came up with this to describe who a mother is:

"A female who has borne a son or daughter as her offspring or one who has raised a son or daughter as a parent. She gives parental advice and raises those weak in knowledge, experience and judgment and it is her duty to support, protect and educate them; a child becomes a product of her. This is a name given to a woman who gives concern, kind attention, cautious care to preserve & not to injure with a softness of expression to another.” think! To know that my children will become a product of ME and that I am to give kind attention and express myself softly to them. I will be honest and say that my mothering does not hold true to that as often as it should. I am continually in prayer and asking for the Holy Spirit's help with this. To think that they will become like I really want them to? This is why it's so important to reflect and meditate on the life of Jesus. He is the best parental model we have and I need to always learn from Him. I struggle with my flesh so much that I need His help daily to remind me of my selfishness and allow the Lord to help me reflect Jesus to my children. But, how often am I not...that I'm scared to admit.

Thankfully, I can allow my children to see my faults and I can show humility by asking them for forgiveness. They can have a better understanding of "forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye" (Colossians 3:13).  I am also thankful that I can teach them God's law to "honour thy father and thy mother, as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee" and encourage them that He has given a promise following that command..."that thy days may be prolonged, and that it may go well with thee, in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee" (Deuteronomy 5:16).

I pray that the love of Christ shows through me more than I am aware and that they remember me as "a joyful mother of children" (Psalms 113:9). I also pray that when they are grown, our relationship will be close like that of Naomi and Ruth. The Lord has blessed me with an incredible relationship with my Mom and I desire to have that with my children too. He has healed so much from the past and I give all the praise to Him knowing that He is the healer in all things. That no matter what we go through, He is there to help me be the Mother that He created me to be as I continually sit at His feet. I am so thankful for the blessing of these children that He has given me and am so honored that He has allowed me to be their Mother. Even when I feel guilty and so far from perfect, Jesus encourages me to "be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect" (Matthew 5:48)....because He see's that in me even when I don't! 

Friday, May 11, 2012

Philosophy of Education...For My Children

I am so thankful to be part of a group with like-minded Mom's whose desires are to raise their children up in the Lord. We have been blessed with a local homeschool mentor from A Cherished Keeper who has a passion of helping us Mom's who choose to use an approach for our home education and all of life...the Principle Approach®.

We are currently meeting every week over the summer to develop lesson plans together. Our first assignment was to develop our own Philosophy of Education so that we can have a main goal that will direct our planning.

March of last year, I posted about how a Philosophy of Education is simple, but not easy. From our recent assignment, I have now expanded this as I went through the step of 4-R'ing the word "education" for myself. This is something that I have already done in the past, but it is actually very enlightening to develop my own Philosophy of Education every year to allow the Lord to continue to teach and guide me as life changes and as I gain more knowledge of this approach.


To develop my Philosophy of Education, I first defined the word "education" in the 1828 Noah Webster Dictionary and defined the key words in that definition as well:

EDUCA'TION, n. [L. educatio.]
The bringing up, as of a child, instruction; formation of manners. Education comprehends all that series of instruction and discipline which is intended to enlighten the understanding, correct the temper, and form the manners and habits of youth, and fit them for usefulness in their future stations. To give children a good education in manners, arts and science, is important; to give them a religious education is indispensable; and an immense responsibility rests on parents and guardians who neglect these duties.

  • Bring = to produce; to draw to; to attract; to cause to come to a point.
  • Instruction = the act of teaching or informing understanding which was before ignorant; conveying knowledge; direction.
  • Formation = the act of forming or making; creating or causing to exist; production.
  • Discipline = education; instruction; subjection; correction; to inform the mind.
  • Enlighten = to give light to; to give clearer views; to instruct; to illuminate with divine knowledge, or a knowledge of truth.
  • Understanding = comprehending; learning or being informed; knowing.
  • Correct = to make right; to rectify; to bring back.
  • Habits = temperament; condition of the mind or body acquired by custom or a frequent repetition of the same act.
  • Religious = pertaining to religion; pious; godly; loving and reverencing the Supreme Being and obeying his precepts; devoted to the practice of religion; teaching religion.
  • Duty = that which a person owes to another; that which a person is bound, by any natural, moral or legal obligation, to pay, do or perform; obedience; submission.

Based on these key words, I developed a definition of "education" in my own words:

Directing a child to be drawn to understanding that which was unknown before and forming appropriate manners that produce piety and devotion to the Lord with love and reverence for Him. In doing so, it's the parents responsibility to instruct him clearly with divine knowledge as we correct his temper and bring him back to the temperament that is pleasing to God out of willful obedience and submission to Him so that he acquires godly character in whatever he does as he carries out God's plan for him.”


I then referenced some of those key words in the Bible using the Concordance from the Blue Letter Bible to find Scripture relating to what I want to know about education...Biblically. This is where I prayerfully allowed the Holy Spirit to guide me in what He desires for me in terms of educating my children.

Proverbs 1 (whole chapter)

2 Timothy 3:16
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness”.

Proverbs 2:5-6
Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God. For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.”

Proverbs 29:17
Correct thy son, and he shall give thee rest; yea, he shall give delight unto thy soul.”

Psalm 18:28
For thou wilt light my candle: the LORD my God will enlighten my darkness.”

Romans 2:18-20
And knowest his will, and approvest the things that are more excellent, being instructed out of the law; And art confident that thou thyself art a guide of the blind, a light of them which are in darkness, An instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, which hast the form of knowledge and of the truth in the law.”

2 Timothy 2:21-22
If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work. Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.”  


Finally, I was able to put it all together and develop my own Philosophy of Education for my children. This is an exciting step to take and encourages me to have this as a direction to plan my lessons for next year!

To bring my children up to honor and glorify our Lord Jesus Christ in all that they say and do. That I will produce a reverent love for Him as I instill Biblical knowledge and understanding in their lives as their Mother and teacher whose duty is to instruct them in God's Word (Proverbs 2:5-6). For them to take all instruction given to them and receive a pure heart that desires to be a vessel useful to our Master (2 Timothy 2:21-22).

That through correction from foolishness and guiding them to divine wisdom, they will be made perfect in His sight so that they are inspired from God's Word in all that they do (2 Timothy 3:16). I want to be a light to them to lead them out of darkness as I know His excellent will for me to form in them His knowledge and truth of the law of His living Word (Psalm 18:28, Romans 2:18-20). I trust that with this correction, my soul will be at restful delight as I watch them grow in the Lord (Proverbs 29:17).

It is my prayer that my children will grow up to be devoted and obedient to Christ as they love and serve Him with all their heart, and with all their soul and with all their might (Deuteronomy 6:5). I pray that for myself as well so that I will be devoted and obedient in having an intimate relationship with Him. That I will continually allow His Holy Spirit to guide and direct me as I have an awesome responsibility to bring up His children to serve and love Him for all eternity.