Thankful Thursdays

Educating at Home 11/08/12

Today's thankful thing will be short, because the day has been long. I am SO thankful for the opportunity to educate our girls at home. This is a choice we felt God calling us to when Emily was just 5 months old. It is a lifestyle. It is frequently challenging, often tiring, but always the right choice for our family. We have had the opportunity to share our girls' lives with them. Yes, some will call us overprotective or overbearing. I can live with that. God blessed us with two wonderful daughters, and we want to honor His gift by growing them up in the knowledge and love of the LORD.

Perhaps God is callling you to educate your children at home. I'd love to talk with you about it if you have any questions. I'll be honest, I don't have all the answers. But I can share what has (and hasn't) worked for us, and I can pray with and for you.

Be blessed today. Know that God loves you!

A Godly Heritage - 11/01/12

Today would have been my Grandma Regina's 109th birthday. Grandma passed from earth to Heaven the winter I was pregnant with Emily, so she's been gone for 15 years. Although I know my Grandma struggled with many things, including Alzheimer's before she died, her legacy to me was written in my heart when I was a young child.

Grandma Regina was the epitome of a frugal, loving mother. Having raised seven children with her husband, Grandma understood the necessity of making do and stretching resources. My Grandpa passed away long before I was born, so I only know his life through stories, but Grandma, a saw her live a life of service.

My Grandma shared stories with me of her childhood, and my Dad's childhood, showing me that we weren't that different from each other. My Grandma lived her entire life in the Fountain Square neighborhood of Indianapolis. She shared many stories of growing up, how Indianapolis changed, and fond memories of riding the Interurban (electric train) with her mother to go visit relatives. 

Live hard, love hard, play hard. There wasn't a lot of time in Grandma's day for play, but she made the most of it. I remember one day coming home and seeing Grandma's maroon car in our driveway. what a treat! I don't remember it being a special occasion, I think Grandma just missed us and came to visit.

Grandma Regina was born Sarah Regina, but changed her name legally after graduating High School. I'm told she went before the judge and when asked why he should grant her request, she simply stated that there had been a rather mean girl in school named Sarah, and she didn't want anyone confusing the two of them anymore.

Faith in Christ was the center of Grandma's life. She loved to go to church, see her friends, worship together, and celebrate all of life's little moments. Grandma was never pretentious. She was always loving, kind, and firm. She ate green bananas, was allergic to corn, and didn't put butter in her mashed potatoes. She never wore purple. She said it made her look ill. (I know the feeling, same thing happens to me.) I was told Grandma had red hair, strawberry blonde. I wonder if it looked anything like Arlene's does in the summer? By the time I remember, Grandma's hair was all white. Grandma's faith was huge, and steadfast. She knew in Whom she had placed her trust, and she encouraged me to follow Him as well. She reminded me that when ever I was afraid, or unsure, I could pray the Lord's prayer and it would remind me that He was still in control.

Grandma was one of the richest people I've ever known. Her riches were not material things, but lives she invested in. She loved to write to her friends and encourage them. She found a way, through her meager income, to make sure each and every one of us gathered would receive a Christmas present from her. That was always one of my favorite days of the year. We would ALL gather at her little 2 bedroom bungalow on the Sunday before Christmas. After a dinner brought by many hands, we would find a small spot on the floor (the davenport and chairs were for the adults) and anxiously wait for Grandma to call our name, hand us our small present, and hug and kiss us Merry Christmas. My Dad was the youngest of seven children, and all of them had 2 or more children, so you can imagine the crowd. Then, when she was all done spreading her Christmas Joy, our parents (the seven kids) would give Grandma one family present. I remember the year we gave her a microwave. I think it was 1985. When Kurt and I got married in 1994, we had that same microwave. Grandma had just gone into a nursing home a few months before, and we became it's new owners.

After her own children had all grown and moved out, Grandma took other children into her heart. She volunteered for many years with Goodwill industries, helping with sewing projects and piecework. She also spent several years when I was young, sewing simple dresses for orphans overseas. The Biblical character I most associate Grandma Regina with is Dorcas.

When Grandma pased away, she had over 100 living descendants. All of whom loved her fiercly. We stood outside in horrible weather, as her body was lowered into the grave, knowing her soul had been committed to Christ. Knowing that she had heard the words "Well done, good and faithful servant."

As I continue to live my own life, pieces of memories of Grandma often come back to me. they encourage me, and remind me. They tell me that He Whom I have trusted in faithful, just as He was faithful to meet all Grandma's needs.

I always found it appropriate that Grandma Regina was born on "All Saints Day." Grandma's life showed better than anyone's that she was a sinner saved by grace. She showed her thankfulness every day in the way she treated other people, the way she loved them. Jesus' love was passed on to thousands through the loving arms of my Grandma Regina. Today, I'm remembering her legacy, part of my Godly Heritage.

Happy Birthday Grandma, I love you!

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