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.
York, Pennsylvania 2011
Katy, Texas 2012
Hi, I’m Penney Douglas. I have been married to my precious husband for 25 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 15 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 7 years ago. Now we live in a big, fancy house, 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.
I’m participating in the Ultimate Blog Party 2012 at 5 Minutes for Mom. The second post on this page tells more about me and why I write this blog. If you’re a homeschooler, please read this first post and do whatever you can to preserve our homeschool freedom in this nation.
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
Dr. Dobson starts this book with a genealogy of his mother’s family. He traces his lineage starting with his great grandfather and goes all the way through his family, including his own children, particularly focusing on their spiritual lives. He specifically highlights his mother’s family because God promised her grandfather that every member of his family for four generations would be Christians. He received this promise after devoting lots of time in the last decades of his life to praying for the spiritual welfare of his children and for those yet to come. What dedication that took! And it has come to pass!
Personally, after reading this, I feel very convicted and challenged to pray not only for our daily needs but also for the spiritual lives of my children and the grandchildren that are yet to come.
Dr. Dobson has a rich spiritual heritage from both sides of his family. Many of them were preachers and wives of preachers. They prayed about their needs and attended church as a family. In general, they lived godly lives of integrity and maintained high moral standards. They did what they could to spread the Gospel. And they prayed for their children. A lot.
Dr. Dobson’s ideas were greatly shaped and influenced by his father during the cultural revolution of the 60′s and 70′s. Even though he attended graduate school at the University of Southern California in the late 60′s when attitudes were moving toward the legalization of abortion, his father strongly warned him against this type of thinking. He was very alarmed when he heard his son express the idea that “inner-city children are raised in such squalid conditions that it would have been better if they had never been born”. He responded so strongly, with tears in his eyes exclaiming, “Please don’t believe it for a moment, Jim. It is wrong, and it is evil.” He said he would never cast a single vote for any politician who would kill one innocent baby. Dr. Dobson always remembered that phrase and has repeated it many times since. His father was his moral compass during that tempestuous time of changing cultural values. He wonders how his value system might have evolved without his godly father who guided him into his adult years.
His father stepped in at pivotal times in his life to help his son stay on the right track and do what was best for his family and children. He admonished Dr. Dobson and Shirley, “devote yourselves wholeheartedly to a deep travail of prayer on behalf of the children God gives to you”. From that moment on, they prayed and fasted for their children. They prayed for the spiritual welfare of their children and that their children and children’s children would spend eternity in heaven with them.
And Dr. Dobson’s father warned him that he needed to be home and spend time with his family even though his career was extremely successful and time-consuming. So Dr. Dobson changed his lifestyle and worked closer to home (starting a radio program), and God used him mightily and blessed his ministry so that he reached more than he would have if he had continued speaking around the country.
In the next part of the book he speaks about how to lead children to the Lord and how parents should raise their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. He presents many scriptures about the responsibility of parents to pass on the teachings of scripture to their children.
One of the most clear scriptures on this subject is Malachi 2:15.
“Has not the Lord made (men and women) one? In flesh and spirit they are His. And why one? Because He was seeking godly offspring.”
God instituted marriage and gave men and women the ability to reproduce so that He could have godly offspring.
Dr. Dobson then addresses how to deal with prodigals and how to reach unsaved parents.
And in the next part of the book, he stresses the importance of parents having a strong emotional bond with their children and a close, loving relationship, since the culture no longer supports good moral values. It puts more responsibility on parents and the homes to teach and enforce good values and character since the support system of the greater society has vanished.
He tells us that if our children know we care about them, they will be more likely to listen to us when we tell them what we believe.
Dr. Dobson then relates the stories of two men who learned to put family values above their careers and how God blessed them.
Then there’s a chapter about the spiritual training of children, which he believes should start as soon as they are born.
In the last chapter, he discusses the value of leaving a monetary inheritance versus the eternal importance of leaving a spiritual inheritance for your children. He makes it clear that the spiritual inheritance is by far the most important legacy we can leave.
Then the book closes with appendices that contain ideas for building our legacy. There are activities and stories to help us teach our children spiritual truths that build a strong foundation for them.
I found this a very inspiring, enlightening book. It pulled together all of Dr. Dobson’s teachings and efforts on behalf of preserving and strengthening the family during the course of his ministry. He considers this book the capstone of the dozens of books he has written in the past.
Of this book he says, “this ‘passing on’ of the Christian faith to one’s children first, and then to preserving it for future generations” is what all his other books have pointed to.
Here is a trailer for the book featuring Dr. Dobson talking about “passing the baton” of the Gospel to the next generation:
Passing on our faith to our children is our most important task as parents. And it takes dedicated prayer and living a faithful life in front of them to do this.
I’m really glad that this book came into my life “for such a time as this”. I’m thankful that Family Talk gave me this opportunity to read and review this book because it has made a big impact on my thinking and has given me direction in praying for my children. They sent me a copy to review, and it came at the perfect time in my life and the life of my family.
This is the end of my review of the book, but I have a few more thoughts on the subject of legacy that I would like to share here.
Another scripture that I feel is important for us to take into account when thinking about this subject is one that tells us why God chose Abraham to be the father of His chosen people.
As Genesis 18:19 says in the Darby translation:
“For I know him that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of Jehovah, to do righteousness and justice, in order that Jehovah may bring upon Abraham what he hath spoken of him.”
He knew that Abraham would teach his children the ways of the Lord. He knew how strong his faith and dedication to the Lord were, and how faithful he would be to teach his children and make sure that they walked in the ways of the Lord, too.
And just look at the long-lasting legacy that Abraham has had!
There have been several songs that have spoken to me about this subject through the years. The first was one by Sara Groves called “Generations”. If you would like to listen to a song that illustrates the importance of living a godly life and affecting the generations after you, here is a great song:
I wrote a blog post about this some time ago. It includes two really good songs about legacy, too. Sometimes music can get a point across better than just reading about a subject.
You can find that post here:
If you are thinking about homeschooling but really don’t know what to think about it, I think I can help you!
If you know nothing about homeschooling, it is a legal option for educating your children in the United States. It is legal in all 50 states, but there are different regulations for it from state to state, so you should consult a site such as www.HSLDA.org to find out what the regulations are in your state. Some states have quite a few regulations and others are totally free to homeschool without having to report anything to anybody. Texas is completely free of restrictions or requirements!!!
You can homeschool your child! If you don’t have any children yet, or if you only have a baby so far, it’s never too early to start preparing or at least researching to find out what it is like, what it takes to do it, why it is a good thing to do and if the Lord might be calling you to do it.
There are many books written on the subject, but I would like to recommend some books that I think explain the value and importance of homeschooling in a way that will touch your heart and bring you to a place of understanding why so many are choosing to teach their children at home – not just academics but character, spiritual training, relationship skills, and self-esteem and security from being in a warm, loving environment that is natural and comforting for children, younger and older.
I call homeschooling family schooling because it is so much more than just teaching children the Three R’s.
In my opinion, if we do homeschooling right, it becomes the lifestyle of our whole family. God established marriage and blesses marriages with children so that they can raise godly offspring.
He gives us the responsibility to raise them for Him. They are His children, but He gives us the privilege of loving and guiding them and being loved by them.
I will list some of the books that have guided and influenced my thinking and helped me to formulate my philosophy of education, consolidated my reasons for homeschooling, and given me inspiration and instruction for doing it in a way that gives God the most room to lead us in the way that He would have us to go.
For the Children’s Sake by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay (daughter of the late Francis Schaeffer)
Teaching Children by Diane Lopez
For the Family’s Sake by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay
Beyond Survival: A Guide to Abundant-Life Homeschooling
A Charlotte Mason Companion by Karen Andreola
The Successful Homeschool Family Handbook by Dorothy and Raymond Moore
The Three R’s by Ruth Beechick
Each of these authors has many other great books that will also help you, but these will get you started.
Sally Clarkson also writes some very helpful, encouraging books that will inspire you to be the best mother you can be and give you a balanced perspective of how to raise children through all the different seasons of their lives. She also gives tips for teaching and homeschooling children with great success. Her blog at I Choose Joy is very inspirational and encouraging.
Another source of help and guidance for living life together as a family in the fragmented society that we live in today is Lifestyle of Learning with Marilyn Howshall. Her website at LifestyleofLearning.org is full of articles and videos and some free materials to help you get started with a lifestyle that emphasizes the importance and value of relationships within a family and teaches the mother how to do the heart work that she needs to do so that she can properly raise her children in a warm, loving environment that encourages them to explore their interests and become the people that God intended them to be.
I would be remiss in my duty to inform you of great homeschool authors and speakers if I left out Cindy Rushton. She has lots and lots of good information and audios, books, articles, etc. at her website at CindyRushton.com. Her support and encouragement helped me to hang in there and inspired me to center our homeschooling around our family life and my husband’s schedule and make memories together with my children at a time when things were really rough and unstable for our family. She and her audios and online seminars probably helped save our family at a very perilous time.
One more very encouraging ministry that encourages mothers to stay at home with their children and see the calling of motherhood as an important, vital ministry is Above Rubies with Nancy Campbell. Her website AboveRubies.org is very helpful, too. She is an amazing woman who has raised unbelievable children, and I think you will find lots of encouragement for your homeschool journey there.
Thanks to Dennis Arima at New Life Church, I have these beautiful pictures of Abby’s dedication to the Lord.
We celebrated this day on July 20, 2014. She is 5 years old, almost 6. I have dedicated every one of our babies to the Lord when they are a year old or younger. But we have moved 4 times in Abby’s short lifetime! We never got settled in anywhere long enough for me to feel at home or find someone that I felt comfortable asking to do this ceremony for us. We have been in Texas for two years now, and we’ve been attending New Life Church for almost a year, so I decided it was time to make this public commitment to raise Abby in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
Pastor Dusty Kemp and his wife Mary graciously conducted the ceremony for us. Mom and Dad were here visiting. They just happened to choose this weekend to come. Coincidence, I think not! Our church does the baby dedications the third Sundays of the month. Kelsey’s birthday just happens to be on July 20th. So we combined all of these wonderful occasions in one big full day.
The main thing that Pastor Dusty stressed during the ceremony is that we are committing to raise Abby so that we are helping her to become the person that God made her to be. This resonates with what I have always prayed for my children. He was very good with Abby, and it was a very blessed time.
Here are the pictures that Dennis took during the ceremony and of the whole family afterwards.
I’m so excited about this! Shawn did what I’ve been wanting him to do for a long time. He took our semi-exciting video of our very exciting birthday party for Kelsey and turned it into a totally entertaining, creative and ultra-exciting fun video for all to watch.
Thank you, Shawn!
Please leave comments to tell Shawn what a great job he did.
Abby and Emma are excited about Abby’s dedication. We dedicate all of our babies to the Lord. But with all of the moving around we did during the last 5 years (her whole life), we never got settled at any church long enough to do it with Abby. So I decided to have her dedicated at our church that we’ve found that we really like, New Life Church in Houston, even though she is already 5 years old, almost 6.
I found this dress at Goodwill. I got accessories to go with it at Walmart.
After church, we went home and Kelsey continued to prepare the treats for her birthday party.
She made all of the treats based on video games that the kids have all played. These cupcakes are based on Starcraft. They have minerals on top of them, like the ones they mine in the game.
These are gas geysers from Starcraft.
These are Piranha Plants from Mario Brothers.
This is the kind of cake that the friends in Animal Crossing give to each other for their birthdays.
These stars are from Mario Brothers.
We had quite a spread!
Protoman is ready to party!
Yum, can we eat yet?
It’s finally time to start the party. And she’s on the phone.
Any day now…
Morgan is cool.
Grandma and Grandpa are ready for this party to start.
Abby is on a sugar high.
We were all amazed at all of the things that Kelsey made. We all took pictures of them.
We surprised Kelsey with the thing she wanted most of all. The Limited Edition Legend of Zelda Wii U. She was very excited. She screamed!!! You can watch her reaction here: