Category Archives: Mothering

Why I Wasn’t Going to Work from Home

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I’m a mama.  I love pregnancy, having babies, breastfeeding and snuggles and kisses.  That’s my calling and my first and foremost priority! Ever since I was courting Steven it was our goal that I would be a stay-at-home-mom.  He was blessed to always have his mom there  growing up and so was I—it was important to us that while he was the breadwinner I was his help meet for him at home.

I am so thankful after all these years the Lord has enabled us to keep that vision and kept me able to be at home with my babies! But, there is a problem, this is a two-income world.  The percentage of SAHM’s is so small and our economy definitely assumes there are two incomes in the household. So we have become masters at thrift shopping, finding the best deals and sales and adjusting our lifestyle to cutting costs where we can.  My dear husband has been the best provider and we have truly been very blessed!

I have seen other moms have tremendous home businesses and have admired their creativity and skill.  But, I am not gifted in sewing, crafting, baking, and creating for websites like Etsy and so on. God has given me a love for helping and serving people in different ways.

At one point I was seeking to make money through this blog, but the family suffered.  It became all consuming and the deadlines and competition took the joy away from my writing.  Because the children were the priority and my health was really struggling I took a sabbatical from this blog. My giftings and talents are to be used for the glory of God first and foremost with my family in this home, and anything that tears me away from them in an inordinate way has to be curtailed.

And then, God laid it in my lap and called me to work from home.

I wasn’t looking for it, but it was the perfect fit for me.

I was so sick with adrenal fatigue, depression and all the other things that go along with that  I have blogged about before.  When I was so helped by the plant-based products that a friend shared with me it was SUCH a gift from God.  So yes, I joined but only for the wholesale prices. In fact I told Jen, “I am not doing the home business, I have been sick, I am a homeschool mommy of 8 and I don’t have the time and energy.” She said that was perfectly fine. :)

And then it happened.  I couldn’t help sharing, as I researched the WHY of how it was helping me and saw the gold mine — a burden began to grow.

There were SO MANY other mothers like me!!! Exhausted, worn out, mind blowing fatigue, mental fog and feeling like they couldn’t go on! And I HAD to SHARE! It would have been selfish not to.

And so I went back to dear husband and asked him about giving this a go. Unlike some other companies this fit right into the nooks and crannies of my life and it revolves around my family not my family around it. I didn’t have to have inventory, I didn’t have to put out a huge outlay of money, and didn’t have to do ANY home parties!  I had his blessing.  And from then on we have only been more and more excited about this opportunity!  We are even dreaming of the day when my husband could come home (or only work when he wants to) and this will be our family business.

And guess what?  Now my focus has shifted to not only helping people with their health, but with their finances.  You see, far from being like many other companies…it’s real homeschooling, large family, Christian families that are seeing HUGE provisions from the Lord. It’s students and single mamas.  And yes, it’s dad’s that see the amazing wisdom of this comp plan.  Families are getting out of debt, bringing Daddy home, financial freedom!  And what better way than serving others.

So if you have been praying for a way to earn extra income, I would love to share more with you about this company and how it has been a gift from the Lord for us!  email me at sandjervin@gmail.com :)

 

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

 

Working for the King

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“These were potters, and those that dwelt among plants and hedges: there they dwelt with the king for his work.”
1 Chronicles 4:23

“Potters were not the very highest grade of workers, but “the king” needed potters, and therefore they were in royal service, although the material upon which they worked was nothing but clay. We, too, may be engaged in the most menial part of the Lord’s work, but it is a great privilege to do anything for “the king”; and therefore we will abide in our calling, hoping that, “although we have lien among the pots, yet shall we be as the wings of a dove covered with silver, and her feathers with yellow gold.” The text tells us of those who dwelt among plants and hedges, having rough, rustic, hedging and ditching work to do. They may have desired to live in the city, amid its life, society, and refinement, but they kept their appointed places, for they also were doing the king’s work. The place of our habitation is fixed, and we are not to remove from it out of whim and caprice, but seek to serve the Lord in it, by being a blessing to those among whom we reside. These potters and gardeners had royal company, for they dwelt “with the king” and although among hedges and plants, they dwelt with the king there. No lawful place, or gracious occupation, however mean, can debar us from communion with our divine Lord. In visiting hovels, swarming lodging-houses, workhouses, or jails, we may go with the king. In all works of faith we may count upon Jesus’ fellowship. It is when we are in his work that we may reckon upon his smile. Ye unknown workers who are occupied for your Lord amid the dirt and wretchedness of the lowest of the low, be of good cheer, for jewels have been found upon dunghills ere now, earthen pots have been filled with heavenly treasure, and ill weeds have been transformed into precious flowers. Dwell ye with the King for his work, and when he writes his chronicles your name shall be recorded.”  Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Are we loving our children?

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For many years I was the “younger woman”.  Marrying a man ten years older made me very comfortable with the 30’s crowd when I was still in my 20’s.  Often in a group I was the younger one, the less experienced, the newlywed, the young mother.  How quickly those years pass!

I now am rapidly reaching the stage of the “older woman”.  In fact, in many ways I already am one.  My oldest will soon be nineteen, I have several teens in the house and even though my youngest is three there are many things that appear to be changing.  No more diapers, breastfeeding, potty training, baby food.  No more middle of the night feedings and diaper bags.  It’s sad in a way.  But in another way, there is an exciting adventure ahead as I raise older children and watch them learn to fly.

I find myself surrounded by younger women still enjoying their pregnancies, caring for their little ones and in the thick of all things baby. And I realize with mixed emotions that those things are getting further and further away for me.  As I sit and try to rock my three year old with his legs hanging over the chair I cling to those baby moments that peak through still now and again.

But, there is no doubt…I am entering the stage of the older woman and with that comes a new responsibility. And I ponder as I think about my role as an older woman. The scriptures say I am to teach the younger woman to love their children.  This makes me consider…what does it mean to love our children?  In pondering this I am so convicted within.  So this post is for me as well.

What is loving our children?  For many of us the definition could encompass many different things.

  • Is loving my children having natural childbirth instead of getting an epidural?
  • Is loving my children breastfeeding over bottle-feeding?
  • Is loving my children scheduling vs. demand feeding?
  • Is loving my children feeding them all organic and fresh baked bread everyday, or maybe it grain free- or is it heating up a frozen pizza at the end of the day?
  • Is loving my children homeschooling them or letting them go to school?
  • Is loving my children living on a farm and having animals and chores or being in the city with a small plot for my child to play?
  • Is loving my children allowing them to watch netflix and have a cell phone or is loving my children banning them from the internet?
  • Is loving my children making sure they are in all sorts of extra curricular activities or fostering creativity and study at home?
  • Is loving my children running in the park with them and playing tirelessly with them or is loving my children caressing their hair and speaking tender words to them while I am on my sickbed.
  • Is loving my children having a well ordered clean and tidy home or a well lived in home with messes from loving activity?

Do you see a pattern here?  All these things there can be many debates about, many different opinions and feelings on how we should raise our children.  But, you know what?  We can major on all these things above and make those things our hill to die on…and forget what is really loving our children.

  • Loving my children is pointing them to Christ each day
  • Loving my children is training them in the ways of the Lord
  • Loving my children is leading them in family worship each day
  • Loving my children is looking into their eyes, listening to their tiny hearts, holding them and just being there.
  • Loving my children is wrestling with the Lord in prayer for them everyday.
  • Loving my children is sacrificing my needs for theirs.
  • Loving my children is providing for their physical needs as well as their spiritual needs.
  • Loving my children is nurturing them, protecting them, giving ourselves for them, guiding them and supporting them.
  • Loving my children is displaying 1 Corinthians 13 to them and the fruits of the Spirit.

So do we love our children in these ways by feeding them organic or making them a sugary dessert?  Am I doing that by scheduling my baby’s feedings or using more of an attachment parenting approach? Here lies the question?  And the answer is, I think we can love our children in all of the above.

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I believe the Lord has given us liberty to raise our children, care for our families in these many different ways.  Many times we want to put God in a box and create labels and make judgments on how our family has to look if we are true servants of the Most High.  But, He guides His people on different paths, directs them sometimes in ways they never thought they would go. When I was training to be a midwife I never would have thought one day I would have a voluntary epidural for my 8th baby.  Our life decisions change as we grow and learn to listen to the Lord’s guidance.

So ask yourself today, are you putting expectations on yourself that might be from others rather than the Lord?  

As a Titus 2 older woman it is my desire to encourage you in the second biblical list above, rather than the first man-made list. Pray and ask the Lord to direct you in all those practical things from list A that take second place to list B.  And He will give each family different dynamics, different practical applications, different lifestyles….And that’s ok.  

I pray the Lord will give each of us grace to TRULY love our children!

“Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.” Mark 10:14

~~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 and extreme fatigue!
A Wise Woman Builds Her Home