Sunday, March 28, 2010

Sunday's Sentiments: Finding Providence

One of the reasons that I love homeschooling - and especially why I love the curriculum we use (Tapestry of Grace) - is the way God uses what we learn to teach me His precious truths.  This is the book that Hannah read last week for our history studies. . . it's about Roger Williams, the minister who was instrumental in the founding of Rhode Island Colony.

You know, Rhode Island?  Who here knows the capitol. . .  come on y'all, I know it's a tiny New England state, but you can do it. . . . . . .


The capitol of Rhode Island is Providence, named by Roger Williams in honor of God's merciful providence in leading him to that area.  Now, I grew up next door, in Connecticut, visiting Rhode Island beaches, sailing the waters in and around Rhode Island, and never once in all my forty years did I connect the name Providence, Rhode Island with the mighty Providence of God. 

For those of you who are not history buffs, here are a few references to Providence in some of our nation's founding documents:
"And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor."   ~ Declaration of Independence, 1776
"For as much as it hath pleased Almighty God by the wise disposition of his divine providence so to order and dispose of things that we the Inhabitants and Residents of Windsor, Hartford and Wethersfield are now cohabiting and dwelling in and upon the River of Connectecotte . . . . "  ~Fundamental Orders of Connecticut, 1639
 And a definition from John Edwards (Sermon 67) that I especially like:
"The doctrine of divine providence has been received by wise men in all ages. It was believed by many of the eminent Heathens, not only philosophers, but orators and poets. Innumerable are the testimonies concerning it which are scattered up and down in their writings; agreeable to that well-knowing saying in Cicero, Deorum moderamine cuncta geri: 'That all things, all events in this world, are under the management of God.' We might bring a cloud of witnesses to confirm this, were any so hardy as to deny it."
Roger Williams recognized God's providence in his life.

Do I?  In this most peculiar season of my life, when all around me is uncertainty, and Satan tempts me to despair. . . . . . . Do I?

Sometimes it's obvious.  Sometimes it looks like a friend, dropping off "something extra" she added on to her Costco trip.

Or obvious like a phone call from "out of the blue", offering me a job playing my bassoon. . . . . 

But other times it's not so easy.  When God's providence appears to be hidden behind job loss, rejection, terminal illness, troubled relationships, or unanswered questions.  

But it's at those times - those desperate, struggling, wilderness times - the times that I want to fall at the feet of my Savior and say, "WHY. . . . . .?"
That I must learn to rest in Who He is.  And exactly what He accomplished when He walked a life of perfect obedience to His Father, that I may have the blackness of my sin forgiven and find myself alive in Him.  When my eyes are on Jesus, His wonderful love, His matchless grace. . . . . then I can trust.  Then I can quiet my soul in the bosom of the One who will never leave me nor forsake me.  

And it is then that I can, indeed - 

Find Providence.  And rejoice.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Puccini, Menotti, and Opera. . . . . . OH MY!!!

Dorothy Gayle's got nothin' to be afraid of, s'far as I can see. . . . . . . . .

My cell rings Monday morning.  Thinking it *might* be a realtor wanting to show my house, I answer.

"Hello, Heather?  This is xxxxxx, the local music professor.  Our bassoonist just backed out of our opera productions, are your available?"

"Let me check my schedule. . . . . "  {insert noises of me trying to sound professional, and important.  and most of all, not too desperate for a gig}

"Yes, I believe I'm clear. . . .see you THIS Thursday, then."

Opera, I figure.  I'm a bassoonist, not a coloratura.  How hard can this be?

Then, the scores arrive.

Picture a nurse who works in a doctor's office, being thrown into the ER of an inner-city hospital.

Picture a kindergarten teacher, being transferred to a high-school remedial math class for at-risk students.

Picture a casual hiker, scaling Pike's Peak.

Picture me, hyperventilating over opera music.

Get the picture?

There is no real point to this post, other than to say that I may not be online much in the next week, as I practice for the. hardest. music. I've. played. since. college. 

Oh, and if you want to hear the aria from Puccini's opera, Gianni Schicci, click here.  It's beautiful, really.

Just don't listen too closely for the bassoonist!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Wednesday Weirdness that Works

It's weird. . . . . 


but it works!!

I've read about them for a while, but never got up the nerve to do it.

It's. .  . . .a neti pot!

Down with a nasty sinus infection this week, I finally got the moxie to give it a try. 

Wow!  It works!

So. . . if you have a sinus infection, and you don't mind the feeling of "I just jumped in a pool and have water up my nose. . . ."

Give it a try. 

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Now that's MY kind of Easter Egg Hunt!

 For all my homeschooling friends. . . . . . . (ok, if you're not homeschooling, you might like this, too!)

Tonight I was JUST about to head to bed when I stumbled upon a mention of an "Easter Egg Hunt" on a neat curriculum website:  CurrClick.

They're having a spring "contest" - find the mystery Easter Eggs on their website, and when you click on the egg, you are rewarded with a free, downloadable pdf e-book on a whole variety of subjects - one of them is even for Miquon Math's Orange book!  There are e-book of stories, a unit study on the Human Body (Hannah's going to LOVE that one), Easter devotional ideas and crafts, early learning. . . . . .you get the idea.  I think I found 14 of them!

Great, bargain-hunting fun!  Plus, as an added benefit, I've discovered a nifty new website.

Because, you know, I need to spend MORE time on the internet.  Yeah.  That's the ticket.

Go over and check it out!

(If you're lazy, like me, a sweet Mama on The Well-Trained Mind Forum listed out where all the Easter Eggs are. . . . . . . . . but feel free to have fun finding them all yourself!)

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Overheard In My House, Episode 6

It's Saturday morning. . . . . . the family is happily munching away on oatmeal pancakes, when I notice that the usual meal chatter has been replaced by an eerie silence.

I venture a comment:

Me:  "Everyone must be hungry this morning- it sure is quiet right now!"

Nathaniel:  "It's not in my head."

Emily:  "WHAT?"

Nathaniel:  "I'm talking in my head."

(If you know my son, you'd know that out of our five children - including 4 girls - you'd know that he is by far and away the most talkative of the bunch!  Which was why the silence was truly eerie. . . . )

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Overheard In My House, Episode 5

Amy:  "Mom, when I grow up and get a farm, we'll have a cow.  And I'll hold the bucket, while you squeeze the gutters."

Me:  "Gutters?"

Amy:  "YOU know, Mom - gutters are where you get the milk!"

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Listaholics Anonymous

Hello, my name is Heather, and I'm a listaholic.

"Hi, Heather!"

There, I admitted it.  I'm addicted to lists.

In my head, on paper, on my Google home page, on a white board.   Especially on a white board.

I've even been known to do a chore that's NOT on my list, then write it down and cross it off.

Sick, I know.

But see, here's the thing:  as a mom, and a homeschooling mom at that, much of my work is never done.

Wake, dress, feed, school, drive, clean, love, hug, read, sleep.  Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

And my lists?  They take me to that Happy Place.  You know, the "Hey!  I did something!" place.

I even have one dear friend whose husband gave her great advice;  instead of focusing on what you didn't get done in your day, focus on what you did accomplish.  Even if it's along the lines of, "changed 6 stinky diapers" or "trained 5-year old not to talk with mouth full". 

The biggest danger for me, however, is making an idol out of My List.  Putting My List ahead of the people in my life.  The precious souls that God has given to me, to impact for His glory, to love in His name.   I'm constantly tempted to focus on the "things" that need doing and not the people who need loving.

So now, if you'll excuse me. . . . I have a 5-year old who would really like to hear a story.

And besides. . . . . .

(Blogging is not on my list!!!)