His Gentle Hands Hold Me

My Redeemer Lives
(by Nicole C. Mullen)

Who taught the sun where to stand in the morning?
And who told the ocean you can only come this far?
And who showed the moon where to hide ’til evening?
Whose words alone can catch a falling star?

Well, I know my Redeemer lives
I know my Redeemer lives
All of creation testifies
This life within me cries
I know my Redeemer lives, yeah

The very same God that spins things in orbit
Runs to the weary, the worn and the weak
And the same gentle hands that hold me when I’m broken
They conquered death to bring the victory

Now I know my Redeemer lives
I know my Redeemer lives
Let all creation testify
Let this life within me cry
I know my Redeemer, He lives

To take away my shame
And He lives forever, I’ll proclaim
That the payment for my sin
Was the precious life He gave
But now He’s alive and there’s an empty grave

And I know my Redeemer, He lives
I know my Redeemer lives
Let all creation testify
Let this life within me cry
I know my Redeemer

I know my Redeemer lives
I know my Redeemer lives

I know that, I know that, I know that, I know that
I know my Redeemer lives
Because He lives I can face tomorrow


I haven’t heard or sung this song in quite some time, but the Lord blessed me with it today, shortly after receiving news of my father’s passing.  All day long, I have felt His gentle nudging and tender whisper to ‘Just focus on Me.’  After listening, singing, and reflecting on the words, I am reminded of God’s sovereignty, His strength when I am weak, and His extravagant love for me in the sacrificing of His Son to pay for my sins.  I am thankful for who He is, what He has done, and how His gentle hands hold me…

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases.
His mercies never come to an end.
They are new every morning.
Great is your faithfulness.
“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“therefore I will hope in him.”

Because I So Often Forget

It is inevitable.  Our sweet six year old asks me if I can print a coloring sheet for her.  Sounds simple enough.  I quickly say ‘Yes, but right after I switch out this load of laundry.’  As I’m removing the towels from the washing machine and placing them in the dryer, our newly turned four year old runs in and says he needs help with the potty. I rush to his aide (making sure he washes his hands) and then dash back to finish loading the towels.  I step out of the laundry room and I immediately hear, ‘Mommy, did you print my sheet yet?’  Oy.  I am slowly learning that for most requests, I also need to add, ‘You’ll need to remind mommy or I might forget.’  This is just the reality of living life in a busy household.

So, it is no surprise, as I go throughout my day, all these short segments of interaction intertwine… and start to obscure the bigger picture.  The vision, the joy, and the original goals for homeschooling our children tend to fade as I am dealing with the urgency packed within each moment of the day.

That is the main reason why I look forward to attending a yearly homeschool convention.  I used to go to pour over the curriculum and to figure out what we would be using the following year.  Don’t get me wrong – I still do that a little bit, but after 9+ years on this journey, my heart and my mind just simply need to be refreshed, renewed, and reminded of the ‘why’ for homeschooling…again and again.

We recently attended the Teach Them Diligently Convention and here are the titles of some of the workshops I attended…

Stop Wrestling and Start Resting
Experiencing Rest and Renewal
C.H.I.L.L. Out
When Less Is More
How To Be a Yes Mom
Say Goodbye to Survival
Running the Homeschool Marathon
Soaring Beyond Survival

Do you notice a pattern?  I was intent on seeking out ways to be reminded and encouraged to persevere!  Yes, because I forget, and when I forget I tend to feel like I am just surviving each day.  I have been praying that I would move beyond surviving and that the Holy Spirit would help me to bear fruit and to thrive.


Some snippets of encouragement from the speakers…

From Carol Barnier:
- Homeschooling is notoriously forgiving and efficient.

From Rachael Carman:
- Give yourself permission to rest and have time with God.  It is not being lazy.  Only worship and God’s Word can nourish your soul.
- When we raise our kids to know Him and make Him known, they will change the world.
- The enemy plants seeds of doubt and feelings of inadequacy…  Do what God calls you to do and do it diligently…Don’t grow weary and lose heart.  Fix your eyes on Jesus.
- Our children need to know that we’re on their team, that we love them, and enjoy them.
- God’s Word is what changes our kids’ hearts through His Holy Spirit.
- Of all the curriculum available, nothing trumps God’s Word.

From Sonya Shafer:
- Being more busy = Less availability for real life
- Keep your children’s love of learning alive so they want to continue learning on their own.
- It is not a question of how much your kids are learning, but who they are becoming.

From Toni Anderson:
- The more you do things together, the greater opportunities you have to get to know your kids and to see how God is shaping them.
- Say yes to those innocent desires of our children’s hearts.
- Don’t miss out on those ‘5 minute moments’.

From Crystal Paine:
- Don’t make an idol out of how much you get done each day.
- Your children are only little once.  Don’t miss the opportunity to slow down, look in their eyes, and invest in them.

From Zan Tyler:
- There is an urgency to this race.  The days are long and often hard, but the years are short.  You can’t reschedule this race for when it is more convenient.  Your kids need you now.


Oh, in just four short years, our family went from this… 
DSC_7684 (2) 
to this…
 DSC_2420 (3)
And in another four years we are now…
 DSC_5275 (2)
to this!

Time truly does go by in the blink of an eye and I need to have strength and vision for each day to fulfill the role God has called me to – the mother and teacher of these precious children.

Do you not know? Have you not heard?
The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. 
He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint. 
(Isaiah 40:28-31)


So, I press on, in the Lord’s strength.  May I continue in prayer, remember to trust Him with everything, be intentional and diligent in pursuing what truly matters, and be determined to persevere.  Lord Jesus, please remind me of these things – because I so often forget.

Let Me Grow

God never ceases to surprise me how He can use our children to draw me closer to Himself and to refine me.   Here is just one example of an area He has been working on…

Let Me Grow

( Oh, why yes – It is set to the tune of Frozen’s ‘Let It Go’.   And, no– You won’t be hearing me actually sing it out loud. Be thankful ;-) )

Let Me Grow
(A Mother’s Prayer)

The harsh words in this household right now
Not a loving thought to be heard
A mother in desperation
With so little time in His Word

The words are flowing like a dam broken wide
Don’t know what to do, heaven knows I’ve tried

Don’t let them in, I need to see
Read his Word and get down on my knee
Reveal and heal, I need to know
We all need to know

Let me grow, let me grow
Can’t wait anymore
Let me grow, Let me grow
I’m running to God’s Word

I don’t care
What they’re going to see
Let the tears flow down
I can’t do this on my own anyway

It’s funny how some verses
Help me see how far I fall
and the rage that once controlled me
Is replaced with love when I call

It’s time to dig deep in the Truth
To test my thoughts and be renewed
No fear, no doubt, just joy to see
I’m free

Let me grow, let me grow
I am safe in the Father’s hand
Let me grow, Let me grow
Trusting Christ is in His plan

Here I stand
and here I’ll pray
May you strengthen me

His Word is living, active, sharper than a spear
I hear His Spirit whispering gently to me in my ear
And one thought -You’re forgiven- comes to me so fast
Speak tenderly to them
Only My Words last

Let me grow, let me grow
And I’ll reach out and embrace
Let me grow, Let me grow
To share His love and grace

Here I stand
in the light of Truth
the battle’s won
May I speak Words of Life to our kids today



Little Bands of Creativity

have been spilling forth into every room of our house since Christmas…

photo 10

You too?

From our newly turned 6 year old up to our 11 year old,
the kids are hooked into creating bracelets, necklaces, charms, and footwear… even our son

photo 2…and they are having a blast!

photo 5 Bracelets galore!

photo 1Necklaces with cross charms

photo 11 
Fancy Footwear

photo 8 Olympic Themed Bracelets


They have been enjoying going step by step, with tutorials, from the following websites…
Rainbow Loom

and are now attempting to create some of their own designs…
photo 6The Trinity (Three in One) Bracelet
Three in One Bracelet Tutorial

photo 9The Buddy Bracelet
(A bracelet created by big sister, inspired by her littlest brother: AKA ‘little buddy’)
Buddy Bracelet Tutorial



His Name



Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth.
Worship the LORD with gladness.
Come before him with joyful songs.
Know that the LORD is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his.
We are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise.
Give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the LORD is good and his love endures forever.
His faithfulness continues through all generations.
(Psalm 100, NIV 1984 ~ emphasis mine.)


Thanksgiving is, by definition, a time to give thanks.  When we give thanks, there has to be an object of our thanks. We can say that we are thankful for our loving family, food on our table each day, machines to assist in shortening the process of washing our laundry, clean water to drink, nature to enjoy, etc., but do we ever pause to ponder and reflect upon the One who has graciously provided all things?

Who is it that we praise and give thanks to?

After leaving a Celebrate the Truth workshop recently, the question of WHO is the object of our praise stuck with me. This Thanksgiving, I desire to intentionally focus mine and our children’s hearts and gratitude of thanks upon the One True God.  Who is He?  What is He like?  How can we know Him?  God reveals His character, who He is, through His name/titles. I’ve had the book God’s Names by Sally Michael from Children Desiring God for a year now, but had not read it with the kids.  I pulled it off the shelf, began to skim through it, and realized it would be a perfect starting point for our Thanksgiving study.  After including additional Scripture references, scouring our worship music for songs related to His name (Oh, how good that was for my soul!), and creating colorful fall leaves with His names/titles, I think we are ready to center our praise and thanksgiving on our Great God through meditation on His Word, prayer, and song!

God'sNames Book

thankful verse

leaf sample


The ‘Thank Him Tree’ list and printables were created to be used in conjunction with Sally Michael’s God’s Names, a Bible, a natural and simply made ‘Thanksgiving Tree,’ and an optional praise song list. Print out the verse card and the leaves, laminate (if you desire), and cut. Then, as you read and study the names and character traits of God, attach the corresponding leaf to your tree and thank God for who He is and what He has done

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