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
Mary Jo Peckham Park
Katy, TX 2013 Mary Jo Peckham Park
Katy, TX Honey Farm, 2014
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 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 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.
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
Are you feeling unloved, unlovable, discouraged, or depressed?
Here are a few things you can do.
Ask the Lord to show you what He thinks of you.
Ask Him to show you how He feels about you.
And then stop and listen for a while. And keep listening and looking for little signs of Him showing you how He thinks and feels about you for the next couple of days. Stay alert for what He is trying to say to you.
Also, do this.
Say out loud: “Jesus, I love You.”
Or say, “Father, I love You.”
Then wait and listen for an answer back inside your spirit.
He will answer you. Just take the time and stay still long enough to listen.
These are simple ways to get your eyes lifted back up to where they belong.
And to get a true picture of who you are to your Creator, thus kicking out those nasty feelings that have been attacking you.
Arthur Burk speaks blessings over our spirit each day.
Here are samples of blessings that he prays.
I bless you with victory over the enemy.
Spirit, I bless you with the joy of regularly seeing Satan’s plan to destroy people turned upside down and God bringing good out of painful circumstances. I bless you with seeing the problems Satan brings into the world used by God to reveal new wisdom, grace, strength, and freedom as God makes a public spectacle of His enemy and yours. I bless you with God’s perspective on pain and suffering. I bless you with partnering with God for His purposes using problems as a platform to see Him work in ways that are unmistakably God. I bless you in the name of the One who triumphed on the cross.
I bless you with a focus on the prize.
Spirit, as much as you are loved you have experienced pain. You are part of a great battle against the enemy of the Most High God. I bless you with the ability to have joy that transcends pain. I bless you with a clear picture of what is before you, the things God has called you to do so you can endure pain to get there. The enemy will magnify the pain and cause you to focus on it but I bless you with being aware of the joy set before you. I bless you with sufficient understanding of that joy so you will not count the cost but will pay the price. I bless you in the name of Jesus who is the prize.
I have needed these blessings lately as I continue to deal with life and health challenges.
I hope these blessings bless you, too!
There has been too much life going on in my life.
I recently read this line in a novel, “I trust God, but I don’t trust life.”
That’s how I feel right now.
I know that God works all things together for my good. But life can and does include warfare. We are in a war. There are two kingdoms. They are at war with each other.
We are caught in the middle.
And sometimes we catch an arrow.
I think I caught a few of them in the last couple of months.
I am fighting a physical battle.
I am taking some products to try to cleanse, heal and replenish what my body needs.
The cleansing process is making me tired.
I’m still praying and believing for healing from the residual effects of vertigo.
It seems that my health has been deteriorating ever since that happened 4 years ago.
I’ve been brought down to zero energy, but I believe the Lord is giving me wisdom and access to products that are bringing me back to life.
Things have been hectic in relationships in my family.
That has been very troubling to me.
Financially, things have still been tight.
That should start changing soon.
Storms, giants, war, trials, strained relationships.
In the middle of this, my dad had a stroke.
I went to help him during his recovery. It was a big trip with 7 of my children, driving about 10 hours a day for 2 days to get to Ohio from Texas.
That was no vacation. Lots of warfare.
Relationships have been a big priority lately.
And not going very well.
How honest are we really supposed to be? What if you discover that things in your family are not as peachy keen as you thought they were? How do you help someone who doesn’t want help? How do you get along with someone who doesn’t try to adjust to what you need them to do so that life with them can be pleasant and enjoyable?
I came face to face with these issues and more.
I didn’t handle some of these things very well.
I didn’t recognize attacks of the enemy.
I gave my mind over to some really negative, destructive thoughts.
I felt overwhelmed.
But through it all, God sustained me.
Now He is rebuilding me.
I keep hearing words like “the Holy Spirit is your helper”, “the same Spirit who raised Christ from the dead lives in you”, “David fought the giant and he won, and we serve the same God that he served”, and “we must praise Him in the storm – believe and not doubt”.
I’m recognizing attacks of the enemy sooner and taking thoughts captive that are totally against God’s will for my life, my marriage and my family.
Now things are getting clearer.
Have you ever been through a time like this?
When everything seemed so negative and impossible to fix.
When you didn’t really even care enough to try.
You feel like throwing in the towel.
Let me encourage you to keep trudging through it.
Let God carry you.
Let Him speak life to you through ministers.
Continue to listen to words of life through ministers of the gospel, at your church and elsewhere – wherever you can get fed.
You might be beyond caring or feel like your situation is impossible.
Everything might feel dark and hopeless, but hold on to the anchor of hope.
God is that anchor.
The Holy Spirit will help you hold on.
I know. He did it for me.
Things are still unsettled, but they’re getting better.
Things and people and circumstances are changing for the better.
God is doing a new thing.
Light is shining and chasing away the darkness.
I’m refusing to dwell on the negative thoughts, and I’m changing for the better.
Life can be hard.
It is a war. There are terrible enemies. Spiritual enemies that we can’t see. There are giants. There are storms.
People are flawed.
They are sinners.
They hurt us, many times unintentionally. Sometimes just because their will is totally against our will, and we see that they are hurting themselves. But they don’t see it that way.
Then the relationship is very strained.
But Jesus has promised us victory over all of those things.
If we hold onto Him, and believe His word and keep saying it, He will bring us through.
Then no matter what life throws at us, we will come out bearing a sweet fragrance before God.
2 Cor. 2:14-16 “But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere. 15 For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, 16 to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things?
Out of the bitter comes the sweet.
Let the bitter things of life that come your way produce a sweet fragrance in you.
“Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” James 1:2-4
If you want to live a life free of undue pressure and guilt, pray about making these declarations to yourself:
I’m not trying to impress anybody.
I’m not trying to live up to anybody else’s expectations.
I’m not going to take on false responsibility.
If it’s not really my responsibility, I’m not going to feel responsible for it.
I’m not going to feel pressured by somebody else to do something that I don’t want to do.
I won’t try to shame or pressure my kids to do something just because I would like for them to do it when they reach the age that they can decide for themselves what they will do. This age is upper teens, when they start driving and are past the age of accountability.
My dad had a stroke at the end of February, right before his 80th birthday.
I needed to go see him and help in any way I could.
So 7 of the kids and I piled into the van and drove for 2 days to go visit the grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins. We stayed for almost 2 weeks.
My brother and sister and their families really made the time special for my kids.
Kelsey kept our traditions even though we were far from home.
She made green eggs and ham – which Patrick enjoyed immensely!
And she also made green lemon squares. Yum!