Category Archives: Homeschooling

Mother of Millions

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This is a post I wrote many years ago… May it encourage you today.

I have been very blessed by the church family that the Lord has given me. Last night, a friend of mine gave me a “Mother of Millions” plant. As an encouragement to me after my miscarriage she had planted 6 little tiny plants in the pot to represent each of the children the Lord has given to me here on this earth. It meant so much to me for her to think of me in this way.

I noticed to my dismay this morning that in the transport home my pot had been quite disturbed and my little shoots had been uprooted from the dirt surrounding them. I quickly began to tenderly take each little shoot and replant them into the dirt, adding a little water to gently place them in their spots. I had to be very tender as I replanted them, being careful not to crush, tear or damage their little roots or leaves. I could not deal roughly or harshly in working with these tiny seedlings.

As I was in the process of doing this it came to my mind…

Am I as careful and eager to do this with my children?

It is food for thought.

Am I solicitous and careful over where my little children’s souls are at?  Am I attentive if they are going astray or needing to be “re-rooted” somewhere?

Am I careful as I am seeking to transplant them from wrong behaviors or thinking to not crush or break them? Do I hover over them with concern as I did these little plants?

It’s definitely a challenge for me and maybe it will be for you today as well. Press on in caring for your little ones remembering that our homes are gospel nurseries!

 

What is Adrenal Fatigue? (In Layman’s Terms)

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Many of you have read about the day I stopped functioning and the years of my health struggles.  You remember the depression, the fatigue, and my inability to handle stress or make decisions that built over many years.  It was my midwife who was the first one to mention that I needed to check out my adrenals at some point.  That was the beginning of much research and learning about this little understood hidden illness.  I am not a doctor, nor do I pretend to be any type of professional.  I also am not going to give deep medical explanations about what adrenal fatigue is.  There are other sites for that.  I am going to give you in simple, layman terms some description of this misunderstood silent illness.

First, what do our adrenals do?  In short, our adrenals sit on top of our kidneys and are responsible for our “fight or fight response.”  When your body reacts to stress it is our adrenals that give the signal to our bodies to release cortisol to enable us to rise to the occasion of the stressful situation.  We have all heard of the superhuman moments people can have in an emergency.  A mother lifting a car to get her child out from under it.  A person ignoring searing pain to rescue someone.  This is all stemming from our adrenals.  Think of it like the gas petal on your car.  Our adrenals rev our engines and enable us to go.

The problem is that this adrenaline response is supposed to kick in and then relax again.  But, in our high stress society we don’t sit on the front porch anymore and kick our feet up and watch the sunset.  We move from busyness to busyness and before we know it we are entering a state of exhaustion.

If our adrenals begin to be in a constant state of stress then they can get stuck “on”. At that point you see things like insomnia kick in.  Panic attacks, anxiety, a feeling of not being able to relax. Our body begins to be a continual cortisol factory.  And guess what?  Cortisol steals progesterone.  Now as women we begin to experience hormone issues as all our hormones get out of kilter. Our monthlys may become abnormal.  We may develop a cortisol belly and cannot lose weight. Our adrenals control our blood sugar so we may begin to see pre-diabetic symptoms beginning.  All from these two tiny organs on top of our kidneys.

I have an especial burden for mamas like me who have had baby after baby for so many years.  We have been bearing babies and breastfeeding, giving to our children but not caring for ourselves.  Many of us homeschool and we are seeking to follow the Lord in the diligent raising of our families.  But, we are breaking down physically and finding it harder to function day by day.  As the fatigue increases, the inability to make decisions gets harder.  Now, small stressors begin to loom mountain like.  Non-stressful situations now become like blaring alarms in our system and we are on a continual loop of “emergency mode”.

Adrenal fatigue and all the ailments that go along with it can be very lonely.  We look fine to people around us.  And for a long time we can put a front on so that everything looks ok.  We smile outwardly but inwardly we are spiraling downhill.  The ability to get out of bed every morning gets harder and harder and making it through the day becomes a matter of survival.

At this point, we may begin to feel the guilt of the lack of joy we are feeling.  We may feel distant from God.  We chide ourselves, knowing we are so blessed how can we possibly feel depressed?  (Ask me how I know).  Our spiritual lives suffer.  We pray, cry out to God, we may even be memorizing scripture but our bodies are crying out for rest and help.

THIS is part of why I now have this strong burden to help other moms who have been struggling like I was.  Because the battle is real.  Satan would love to discourage us in our most important job of raising this next generation for Jesus.

But, I am here to tell you the health of our bodies distinctly can affect the health of our souls.

When Elijah was discouraged and asked the Lord to die.  Did the Lord chasten him for his lack of faith?  No, the Lord addressed his physical needs. God gave him sleep and food. Sleep and food.  Then after his body was refreshed the Lord encouraged his soul. So my sisters, in caring for our bodies we are following the example of the Lord Jesus.

There are different stages of adrenal fatigue ranging from mild to severe.  I was pretty severe before I began my journey of healing.  It is my hope that many will recognize the symptoms earlier on and begin to care for their bodies before they crash as low as I did.

Adrenal fatigue IS real.  While you did not hear of the term as often 50 years ago, Adrenal fatigue has always been and still is a very real condition.  In fact, our modern steroids that are commonly prescribed were origianally made from natural adrenal glandulars.  With the introduction of synthetic drugs the steroidal prescriptions like prednisone took it’s place. Many allopathic doctors do not recognize it unless you have reached complete adrenal failure (called Addisons’s disease). Your doctor might even tell you your physical weaknesses are simply because you have a large family. But more and more people are beginning to take seriously the reality and natural doctors have long seen the importance of paying attention to these little organs in our body.

If you can relate to what I have described, I would love to talk with you and share more about what my protocol is that has helped me so much. Email me sandjervin@gmail.com or find me on Facebook. I also have an adrenal fatigue support group that can be an immense source of encouragement.

Take heart!  There is hope!

 

Why I stopped homeschooling…

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My parents were pioneers.  Back in the days of having to stay inside during school hours, limited curriculum available, having a backup plan in case the school system showed up at your your door.  It was back in those days that my parents began homeschooling my sister and me.  We were worried my grandfather would have a heart attack because you just. don’t. do. that.  No one taught their children at home. I remember when we lived in Texas being a part of the “Austin T.E.A Party” where the homeschoolers rallied to make this way of education legal in the state.  I loved being taught at home.  And I was always going to teach my children at home.

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And I did.

Fast forward many, many years (I won’t say how many) and I taught one, two, three, four, five, six children how to read.  We did A Beka, Bob Jones, Christian Liberty, Mystery of History, Math U See, Saxon and Teaching Textbooks.  We did my own rendition of the Robinson Curriculum, Satellite school, online classes and we did Alpha and Omega PACES. We did the years of just staying close to home and we did the coops, as well as the extra curricular activities. And we loved it.

We schooled our oldest son all the way through. When he graduated he had over 20 college credits already under his belt.  He is now doing college online at home. My second son will graduate from homeschool this spring, Lord willing.

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Homeschoolers are my people.  When I walk into a homeschooling convention it is like coming home.  It’s where I thrive.

So if you had told me years ago that I would be putting 5 of my children in a little Christian school nearby I would have dropped my mouth in unbelief.  At first the thought of it made me quake with fear.  I was a homeschooler. But, the more we prayed and pondered the more apparent it was that God wanted us to be considering this option. Oh, I battled.  I battled that swinging between excitement and guilt, relief and fear.  This isn’t what I had planned, it isn’t what I had envisioned.

But, then the Lord gave peace.

It was time.

It was right.

It was a new season He wanted us in.

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And so this year we did the back to school shopping, we got the backpacks, lunch sacks and water bottles.  We had the list of supplies like we had seen other kids have.  Now my job consists in checking school papers when they get home, overseeing the packing of the lunches, homework, asking about the highlights of their day and remembering school functions.  During the day I am home with my 3 year old and get special one on one time with him. He is my helper while I do the laundry, clean and cook.  It’s a huge shift…a big change.  But, for our family at this time, a good one.

But, guess what?  I am not ready to give us the title of being a “Homeschool Mom” quite yet.  Because remember my two big boys are upstair studying–even though I don’t see them much through the day, they are still there.  And you know what else?  I loved the description a friend gave to me the other day…it was something like this.

“The heart of home educating your children is having the freedom to chose the kind of education you think is best for your child.” 

It’s really true.  I may not be teaching Matthew his phonics rules, instead I have a helper (and what a sweet teacher she is!) teaching him.  But, I am confident he is being taught a Christian worldview and has a God-centered education daily.  I am still taking responsibility for his heart.

And so I am content and thankful to have this tremendous help in the educating of my children. With 8 children the needs are many, the duties are very diverse and this is good.

We don’t know what the future holds.  I could be back educating my children at home one day again.  But, for now this is the season God has for us.  And if He is in it…then it is good.

~~Feeling weary and worn down physically or mentally? Make sure to read my health testimony and my journey with adrenal fatigue and depression.  Connect with me on facebook or email me at sandjervin@gmail.com

 

How to make your children enjoy cleaning

As some of you know I am a bit strange…I love to clean. Yup, I have always been a cleaner. But, with a houseful of 10 and having years worth of sickness I need help! Teaching our children to work and help around the house is an important thing, especially in a large homeschooling family home.  With ten of us things get messy fast and the chaos that can ensure quickly becomes monumental.  But, having ten of us cleaning also gets things in ship shape as well.  I have done many things over the years to make clean-up fun and enjoyable.

When my 4 oldest were little we created a game called “Soldier House Alert”. My little guys would all line up in front of me raising their hands in salute.  I would in a deep voice say, “Captain Gray” please go over and pick up the legos in that corner.”  They then with their serious voice would say, “Yes, Ma’am” and march over to do the instructions I had given them and then returning with a salute for their next job.  I would get the room clean step by step by giving out these orders. They LOVED it!  And I was teaching them how to follow instructions and clean up a room.

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Well, my two bookend little boys have never been introduced to Soldier House Alert. So today was the big day.  They went from frowns to smiles over cleanup when the game started.  And when I told them we were finished M said “I want to play some more!”

What are some of your ways of making clean-up enjoyable at your house?

~~Feeling weary and worn down physically or mentally? Make sure to read my health testimony and some of the things that are helping me on my journey of healing from chronic illness
A Wise Woman Builds Her Home