Filed in Changed By Love, Journey | Post by Penney

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  • Welcome to my world!

    I hope you’ll stay.

    Since Father’s love changed me

    I have something to say.

  • The One who loves me,

    See, He also loves you

    The things He’s done for me

    He will do for you, too.

  • So come with me

    As I follow the Lamb

    Wherever He goes.

    My life’s in His hand.

  • I trust Him and follow Him

    No matter the cost.

    Without His great love for me

    I would be lost.

  • The words that you find here

    I hope will breathe life.

    In each day and moment

    You’ll find His delight.

  • For surely His love for you

    Is greater than you know.

    Come with me now

    To His presence we’ll go.

    P.M.D.

  • York, Pennsylvania 2011

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    Katy, Texas 2012

    Mary Jo Peckham Park

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    Katy, TX 2013 Mary Jo Peckham Park

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    Katy, TX Honey Farm, 2014

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    Katy, TX Honey Farm, 2015

    Hi, I’m Penney Douglas. I have been married to my precious husband for 26 years. We have been exceedingly and abundantly blessed with 10 children. They all belong to me and my husband. And to think that I was afraid I would never get married! I got a late start, but I guess late bloomers can blossom profusely once they get started.

    I blog for several reasons. I like to keep a record of what we’re doing in our homeschooling and share ideas for other homeschoolers or moms who like to work and play with their kids. I try to encourage families to keep Christ first in their homes so they can be all that they were made to be. I want to help others to draw closer to God. I hope to glorify God and give Him praise for all that He does for us.

    I am constantly learning, changing and growing. Sometimes I feel like a beginner even though I’ve been a Christian since I was 4 years old and I’ve been homeschooling for about 19 years. And I’ve been living for __ years (long enough!).

    But the Lord has been faithful to keep me and my family on an upward climb drawing nearer to Him in spite of our weaknesses and mistakes.

    He has led us on a crooked path across the United States and back and then some. (From Ohio to Kansas City to Arizona to Colorado, back to Kansas City to Illinois to Pennsylvania and now to Texas!) We are still looking for that place to call home. We hope to find it before the oldest chicks are ready to fly from the nest! But our desire is that they land somewhere near us even when that time comes.

    We are believing God for miracles of provision. We have already seen many. We suffered the loss of our home almost 10 years ago. Now we live in a different state, and my husband is making more money than ever before. But the money is beside the point. What God did in each of our hearts, convincing us of His reality and His love for us, is worth more than all of the houses or money in the world. But now He has enabled us to help others in need, and we are grateful for the opportunity to bless others.

    Our children are truly gifts from God. They learn from us and teach us so much. I would never have known even a fraction of how much God loves me if I had never had the opportunity to be a mother to my precious children. They are teaching me even more as they grow in wisdom and understanding and we share together what the Lord is teaching us.

    Family was God’s idea. Marriage was His idea. God has good ideas. His ideas work.

    He wants our families to be training grounds for children (and adults) to learn His ways and right ways of relating to God and to people. We learn how to die to ourselves when others are dependent on us, and when we have to learn to get along with the people around us in order to experience peace and harmony. The rough edges are rubbed off as we care enough to be honest with each other and humble ourselves to receive correction even from those younger than ourselves.

    God created us because He wanted a family. That’s more than a trite saying. He created us in His image so that He could have sons and daughters that would look like Him, act like Him and love Him. He wanted to be a father.

    He created you so He could love you. Receive His love for you. Let Him be your Daddy.

    The second post on this page tells more about me and why I write this blog. If you’re a homeschooler, please read this post and do whatever you can to preserve our homeschool freedom in this nation.

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    I would like to challenge new homeschoolers to carry the torch of homeschooling without government interference. Please learn the history of homeschooling in the United States. Find out about what happens in other countries when people desire to teach their children at home so that they can impart their values to their children.
    See this story, for example. In most countries, they are persecuted and their children are taken away from them or forcibly taken to public school.

    We have the freedom to homeschool in every state in the United States – now. But it didn’t used to be that way. Chris Klicka and the wonderful people at HSLDA helped the early homeschool pioneers to fight to make it legal. Before that, people in the U.S. who felt that God was calling them to teach their children at home were treated just like those people in other countries are treated now. They were persecuted by truant officers. They were even thrown in jail. They had their children taken away from them. They had Children’s Services called on them. They had to hide in their homes and never go out during school hours, or they would get “caught” homeschooling. This was in the 1980’s and ’90’s. It wasn’t that long ago.

    There are books that tell some of these stories of the hard-fought battle to make homeschooling legal in America. One of these is Homeschool Heroes by Chris Klicka. There are interviews with early pioneers that tell of the harrowing experiences of being taken to court and threatened with jail time if they continued to educate their children at home. One that I know of is at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/watchtalk/2009/09/01/cultivating-your-childs-potential. This is an interview that Diana Waring did with Zan Tyler, who began homeschooling long before it was cool or accepted. The Lord led her into homeschooling and led her through the fire of legal battles and real threats to her freedom. Her stories are amazing and hard for us to believe in the atmosphere we live in now with the acceptance of homeschooling that we enjoy.

    But there are threats to our freedom to homeschool in the way that we feel led of the Lord. Many times there has been legislation brought up to try to regulate homeschooling. This has happened in state governments and even in the federal government. The homeschoolers of my generation knew that we were the beneficiaries of great sacrifice and work by the generation before us. Our local support groups and state organizations made sure that we knew that homeschooling is a privilege to be cherished. They told us to guard that freedom and not to be fooled by any attempts of the establishment to infringe upon our rights or to curtail them in any way.

    There have been several attempts to force homeschool parents to get a teaching certificate. Education falls under the auspices of state government, so the rules vary from state to state. Each of us needs to watch our state governments and see what legislation they are considering regarding our right to homeschool freely without any government interference. Each homeschool family should join HSLDA and keep track of legislation and threats to our freedom and cases where freedom is already being challenged by public schools and legislators. We all need to stand together.

    Please be vigilant about this precious right that we have and don’t hand anything to your local school district that is not required by the law of your state. Be careful and cherish homeschooling as the gift of God that it is.

    I linked this post at the BIG Family Friday Link Up at Holy Spirit-Led Homeschooling

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    Watercolor by Breezy Brookshire @Breezytulip.com

     

     

    As I look around my world, I see lots of homeschoolers – my Facebook Friends list is filled with homeschoolers! But truthfully, not many of them identify themselves as Charismatic or Spirit-filled.

    As I shared in my last post, my mountain is Family. I feel that my assignment is to share with Spirit-filled people – mothers especially – how important it is to make your family your primary ministry. And I consider homeschooling a very important part of intentionally building a strong, close-knit family.

    By keeping your children at home you protect them from:

     

    • false teaching that fills public schools
    • bullying
    • demonic attacks that occur outside of your home and that you are unaware of unless your child is able to tell you about them
    • worldly influence
    • negative peer pressure
    • scrutiny, criticism, and possession by the school administration

    Benefits of homeschooling your children:

    You have more time with your children when you have them at home with you every day.

    You can:

    • teach them the ways of the Lord
    • train them to have good character
    • pray for them whenever they need it
    • teach them to pray continually
    • teach them to operate in the gifts of the Spirit
    • teach them to do everything out of love for others
    • build a family culture and identity based on putting Jesus first in your lives
    • prophesy over them and help them find God’s will for their lives
    • get to know them better as you spend more time with them
    • help them discover their passions and interests, gifts and talents as you draw them close to your heart
    • moderate the kinds of media they indulge in and the kinds of people they interact with
    • they will learn how to relate to those outside of their own peer group

    When our family left Ohio, we traveled across the country, looking for a place to stop and settle. It took several months before we finally landed in Kansas City, Missouri. When we were settled in and ready to start school again, I asked each child what they wanted to study. Shawn (my oldest) was about 15 years old and said he wanted to study his Bible. I was, naturally, rather surprised.

     

    I asked him to write about what he was reading and to do some math and some science as well. He agreed. He really majored on Bible study for most of the rest of his homeschooling years. He even studied some Hebrew and Hebrew roots to get a better understanding of the context.

     

    He later read Dante’s Inferno and Purgatorio as well as many Christian books by authors like Rick Joyner, Frank Peretti,  John Paul Jackson, Kim Clement, James Goll, Derek Prince, and A. W. Tozer.

     

    For read-alouds, we studied the book of Genesis through several fiction and non-fiction books. We also read a lot of George MacDonald books, which are full of biblical, moral and allegorical teachings that do not shy from major issues that are ever-present in the modern world – such as selfishness, greed and pride. We really enjoyed reading and discussing these stories, both while we were reading them and after we finished for the day.

     

    We read a lot of missionary biographies together such as Lillian Trasher and “The Heavenly Man”.  We got to read lots of really good books together that portrayed loving families that helped cement the idea that family is important and doing things together makes life better. They set a high standard for us of living together and loving each other, rejoicing with each other and being best friends to each other.

    The experience of reading a good story aloud together has been a very bonding exercise for us. We share many memories of characters, events and lines in stories that we really enjoyed, and when someone brings up a memory, it causes a warm feeling in each of our hearts. It gives us a real sense of belonging and having common ground, despite the vast differences in our personalities, dreams, and hobbies.

    We spent a lot of time praying together for my husband at work, because his job was very stressful and there was a lot of spiritual warfare happening there. And we have a policy that states if you mess with one of us, you mess with all of us. Which is very true, especially when whoever is under stress comes home and darkens the atmosphere of the house with their bad mood.

     

    We watched videos by David Barton about God’s hand in American History and prayed together for our nation. We have prayed together as a family over the years; for provision, healing, friends and loved ones, specific needs and desires of members of our family, and a place to call home.

     

    I have done Bible studies with the children, let them watch lots of Bible videos and videos of good stories based on biblical values and strong moral teaching.

    Not to say they’ve never watched, played, or listened to any media other than those with blatant Christian labels. We try to be careful what we allow into our home, but we don’t live in a box. We have fans of Ninja Turtles, Nintendo, and lots of other franchises in our diverse household. The important thing is to stay away from media that glorifies evil or immoral lifestyles.

    Idolatry is something every person struggles with. Humans have a need to worship, and we have to give our kids the best chance they have of finding the One Being it’s okay for them to idolize. The best way I know to do that is to provide a living example of the way we trust God and seek His will – for our lives and theirs. Prophetic parenting is needed.

    I have been able to spend lots of time with my children, answering their questions, pointing out the wonders of God’s creation and loving and supporting them through everything they have faced.

    I want to help homeschoolers do it well so their children become all they’re meant to be. By living a homeschooled life, you can pass on a love for learning that your children will carry with them for the rest of their lives, even after they’ve graduated, as well as priorities that many believe in, but few practice. Spiritual life and character are more important than academics. Relationships are more important than getting work done. You’ll likely find, as you’re teaching, that you’re learning right along with your kids.

    A blessing crafted by a friend of mine named Amy Hansen:

    “May the Spirit-filled families being called into Spirit-led homeschooling and prophetic parenting find the support they need to take brave steps into making their family their ministry and pursuing God’s calling for their family life. Discipling their children. May our children trust and enjoy receiving input from parents about life-altering decisions.”

    An important part of my spiritual growth has always been listening to prophetic, biblical teachers.

    Recently, the Lord has led me to listen to Lance Wallnau.

    He does a Periscope broadcast almost every night and has acquired a big following because he is very prophetic and also very personable and funny. He takes us with him into meetings he attends, and he even lets someone hold his phone and broadcast to us what he is teaching sometimes. It feels like we’re right there with him! We are his bosom friends. That’s how he treats us anyway.

    He is energized by his audience and loves to entertain us as well as give us the word of the Lord and pray for us and make prophetic declarations. I can feel the anointing when he speaks and especially when he prays.

    He did a 3-day conference and let us join him on a livestream.

    During the meeting he made this prophetic declaration and had us write it down:

    “I am just beginning the greatest chapter of my life. I am stepping out of an old season. I have divine appointments set up and scheduled for my life. They are happening now. The dreams and desires and even the disappointments of the past are being woven into the fulfillment of prophecies I’m about to walk into. But there are new dreams, new aspirations, new assignments that will require great COURAGE. And that boldness will come by being filled with the Holy Spirit.”

    I have been feeling the Lord speaking to me personally that I am to do more in this next phase of my life. I still have little ones at home, and they are still my priority, but I feel that my message, my calling, my assignment has become more clear and crystallized into one main message.

    Lance teaches that we are to identify the mountain that God wants us to work in. Mine is Family.

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    Lance teaches that there are 7 major mountains that shape culture. And I see family as the foundation for all the rest. The other mountains are education, government, media, arts and entertainment, religion and business.

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    Most of what I do in life has to do with taking care of my family and trying to encourage others to make family their main priority in life. I believe we can change the culture and build happier, healthier people if we do family right.

    So my main message is to make your family your priority, make sure God is at the center of your family, build strong, healthy relationships within your family, and let the Holy Spirit lead you in the way that your whole family should go.

    You will find that discipling your children and seeing them grow in the Lord is the most rewarding job a mother could ever have.

    This is really not a change in my message.

    But there is a new dimension to what I feel like the Lord is telling me to challenge mothers and fathers to do. There is a specific group that I feel I am to speak to now.

    Spirit-filled parents.

    If you want to learn more about what the Lord’s message is for Spirit-filled parents, read my next post.

     

    And I encourage you to do some soul-searching and praying and find out what the Lord has for you to do in this new season. Which mountain are you called to conquer?

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    Here’s how it starts. You find some caterpillars on a Tropical Milkweed that you make sure has no pesticides on it. I found this out the hard way.

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    If your milkweed has pesticides, the caterpillars will vomit green liquid and act drunk and not be able to hold onto a leaf. They keep falling off of the plant!

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    The caterpillar up above is not acting drunk. He is just trying to find the best place to attach his chrysalis. He went around and around the rim of the container. He stretched up and over and all around. He never did find the place he wanted until we put him back on the milkweed plant.

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    The caterpillar will make a chrysalis, and he may choose a very strange, inconvenient place to attach it.
    This one didn’t mind his unusual habitat. He went ahead and attached to the smooth side of the glass Mason jar we had been keeping him in so he couldn’t wander off and make his home somewhere that we couldn’t find him.

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    Crazy caterpillars might choose the inside or the outside of a glass Mason jar!

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    I asked Abby to get closer to the caterpillar, and she got so close it looked like the caterpillar was going to crawl right up her nose!

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    Get your adorable daughter to pose for a picture with a caterpillar on milkweed and see her cute little wave.

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    You may find yourself with a small herd of caterpillars at all stages of babyhood. Here we have a big guy chomping down on every leaf and flower he can find and another one hanging in a “J” as he starts to form his chrysalis. Meanwhile there are other caterpillars all over the plant doing assorted things, like resting, growing, molting or munching leaves. Right before they form the chrysalis, they have voracious appetites and will probably strip your plant clean of all leaves. Don’t panic! Just go to your local garden center and buy a new milkweed. But be sure to ask if it has been sprayed with pesticides. Don’t forget! It’s very important.

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    Your daughters just might fall in love with Monarch caterpillars.

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    When the caterpillar has eaten enough and reaches a length of about 2.5 – 3 inches, he will create a handy dandy chrysalis, a little house to wrap himself in so that he can undergo a transition that defies comprehension.

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    After two weeks, the chrysalis becomes transparent and you can begin to see the beautiful wings of a Monarch butterfly inside of it.

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    The process that God uses to transform the lowly caterpillar into a beautiful butterfly is a total meltdown and re-making of the cells to form a whole new creature. The cells of the caterpillar are called imaginal cells. They can change into something entirely new. They have to! The cells that used to be caterpillar parts now have to become butterfly parts. A cell that used to be part of a worm-like body becomes part of a wing or antenna or an eye or a slimmer body of a butterfly. It confounds even the most intelligent scientists. But God is able to make all things new!

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    And then one day, this happens!

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    And then your little girls may fall in love with Monarch butterflies!

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    And the cycle continues as you find other tiny caterpillars on your Tropical Milkweed and start all over again.

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    Kelsey and butterfly

     

    A beautiful, technically-correct, extremely informative and in-depth book about Monarch butterflies is a poetry book called “The Monarch’s Progress: Poems with Wings” by Avis Harley. I love this book!!! It is clever, witty and so well put together. You should really check it out!

     

     

    You might like to read about our earlier adventures with caterpillars and butterflies in the posts under the category Caterpillar Chronicles in the sidebar.

    Filed in Homeschooling, Poetry Teatime | Post by Penney

    We had an unusual and varied Poetry Teatime. There was flooding in Houston, so my husband, Gary, stayed home from work. The gym was closed, so the big boys were home. With everybody home, I declared a special edition of the Poetry Teatime.

    Poetry Teatime: Flood Edition

    The creeks were flooded, the streets were rivers and our home was filled with soul-filling poetry and tummy-filling yummy treats. And lots of boys.

    No-bake cookies flooded our table.

    The boys dominated Teatime this day.

    Gary read a poem about bats while drinking Peace Tea and petting the family guinea pig. All while working on a technical manual!

    Morgan read his usual pleasantly morbid selections from his favorite book of poems.

    Shawn read entertaining epitaphs and limericks that made us laugh.

    Patrick read an original poem he had written during our Teatime.

    Christian, our friend, braved the flood waters and arrived just in time to join our Poetry Teatime. And to eat some no-bake cookies.

    I read Winnie-the-Pooh poems to bring some dignity to the occasion.

    Fiona Grace graced us with a poem from her favorite poem book all her own.

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    Our family has come through some rough waters recently. Our vessel was in danger of cracking up. We were splintered into cliques and enemy camps.

    We needed something to unify us. Especially something with my husband involved. Who would have thought a flood and a Poetry Teatime would help us make strides toward the unity we have been trying to recapture?

    I guess you could say this Poetry Teatime helped us get back on course. My husband commented later that it helped him to see the importance of gathering together around the table. He is now trying to make it a priority over other activities to call everyone together for meals, Bible Study, and prayer time.

    My cup overflows!

    This poem came together as I was writing this letter.

    The Poetry Pirates

    Despite pouring rain
    And tumultuous weather
    We gathered for tea
    And read poems together.

    A band of pirates
    just come through a storm
    Sailing through poetry books
    Safe, dry and warm.

    Poring over poems
    Searching for treasure
    To share with our crew
    Who cares about the weather!

    This is from my Shakespeare, my son Shawn Cameron Douglas.

    Shawn has been participating in our Poetry Teatimes lately. I can’t help but think that his poetry has gotten even better since we started doing them.