Welcome to This Journey of Love

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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.

  • Changed By Love and Still Changing

    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 28 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.

    An Open Letter to the New Generation of Homeschoolers

    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

    Be Changed By Love Because You Were Wired for Love


    Did you know that you were Wired for Love?

    What does that mean anyway?

    According to Dr. Caroline Leaf, a cognitive neuroscientist, your brain was wired for love, you were wired for love.

    God made us in His image. And He is love. So, doesn’t it make sense that He wired us for love?

    Well, what does THAT mean?

    There is a “perfect you” that we should be striving to live in. When we step out of our “perfect you”, we get into fear and other negative thoughts, feelings, and emotions. We have to learn to fear, and when we do we put our body and brain out of whack!

    When we learn to live out of fear and give into these negative thoughts, we actually cause brain damage!

    We have learned to fear through living in this fallen world, through thought patterns and ideas that were passed on to us by people around us, the ways that people have treated us, by our own sinful ways, traumatic events in our lives, whispers of the enemy that cause doubt, and other factors that affect us and cause us to expect negative outcomes and to fear the future and dread the unknown.

    But God wants to restore us to our “perfect you”.

    You were made for love. God made you so that He could love you.

    Here’s the truth:

    God delights in you.

    He views you as His little child who is in the process of learning what life is really about, what God is really like, and the reason that He made you, the purpose of your life, the thing that only YOU can do.

    You can get back to the original blueprint that God had for you by changing the way you think. When you know that you are loved unconditionally, that God has wonderful plans for you, you learn how He sees you, that He favors you, He has extraordinary affection for you, He smiles on you, you have His heart, you have His favor, you begin to think differently. You begin to see yourself as a child of God.

    The way that God sees Jesus is the same way He sees us.

    We renew our minds.

    We start to develop the mind of Christ.

    Jesus had a great self-image. He lived in His “perfect you” all the time.

    Jesus was wired for love, and unlike us, He never learned to fear. He never succumbed to the worldly way or the satanic way of viewing Himself. He always knew who He was.

    We can be constantly becoming more like Jesus by thinking the way Jesus thought and the way Jesus thinks.

    As we do this, we will be Changed By Love.

    See what I did there?

    We change the way we think by taking negative and toxic thoughts captive as soon as they come into our minds, casting them out, and substituting positive, loving, true, pure God’s thoughts in their place.

    Simple, but not easy, because we have to overcome years and years of wrong thinking habits.

    But we have to start somewhere, and there’s no time like the present to start working on changing our thoughts.

    Become the best version of you. Change your thoughts.

    And let God Change you By His Love!!!

    If you are interested in brain research, you should listen to Dr. Caroline Leaf, a cognitive neuroscientist, and read her books. She has a website http://drleaf.com that is full of videos, episodes of her TV show, her blog and more.

    The Charlotte Mason Method According to Me

    The purpose of this post is to describe how I have adapted the Charlotte Mason method to my personality style and styles of my children, our family dynamics, my energy level, my priorities, and my Great Expectations!

    The biggest element of our Charlotte Mason education and homeschool method altogether is reading aloud. I discovered this key when I took a closer look at what was working and what wasn’t in our daily homeschooling endeavors. I saw that making my children do workbooks and forcing them to think about what I wanted them to think about was making it feel like a fight every day. It was like I was the evil ogre and they were the poor frightened children who were at my mercy, and making them learn was my weapon against them. That is not exactly what I had in mind when I started homeschooling them, and it’s not how I wanted every day to feel.

    I thought about what I enjoyed and what they enjoyed each day, and it didn’t take long to realize that it was the time we spent reading a good book together. I then thought about the different subjects they were learning about just from the stories I read aloud to them. Most of them were from different periods in history, so they were learning about history. Most of them were about different places on earth, different countries, different parts of our own country, different cultures. You know what subject that is, or subjects those are, don’t you? We were covering geography, social studies, social sciences, cultural anthropology (!), and more social type stuff. Not to mention, the elements of a story, good writing, character development, plot development, setting, descriptive writing, too much to mention, right?

    And they were interacting mind to mind, heart to heart, with ideas and thoughts of some of the best writers the world has known. Not to mention, the stories and biographies of great men and women who have been greatly used by God and the principles of the Kingdom of God from the books I chose. The inspiration to live a great life for God, wholly committed to Him and being a person of strong character, integrity and virtue were also thrown into the mix. Win, win, win!!!

    So that’s my spiel about why reading aloud is such a great thing. And choosing good, living books.

    Now onto some other ways that I have adapted the CM method so that it works for us.

    We have done notebooking and lapbooking in the past. Some of my children have enjoyed it and thrived with it. Others did it because I asked them to. Most of them keep notebooks of their own, even as they have gotten older. It helps them to keep their stuff organized.

    We have done lots of nature study for science. Just look at all of the caterpillar posts on my blog, and you will see how seriously I take the butterfly’s metamorphosis! We have had tadpoles become frogs. We have learned about rocks, minerals, earth science topics, through living books from the library. We watch documentaries. I encourage them and resource them to study whatever science topic they express interest in.

    The other branches of science come up according to their interest and through life in general, and we research whatever we want to know more about.

    History is sometimes a discussion topic when we are talking about current events. I also have many DVD’s and CD’s that cover history topics.

    We have studied History chronologically, biblically, by countries and regions, etc.

    We have acted out scenes from different time periods occasionally, too.

    I see these activities as whetting their appetite, and giving them a foundation that they can build on and develop according to their interests and needs later on.

    Math is always a challenge. I keep trying different things looking for the best method for each child. I make sure they have the basic skills and basic facts memorized, then supplement as they show me more of what they want to do with their lives.

    We have used Teaching Textbooks, Life of Fred, CTC math, and Living math activities in the kitchen. My youngest is currently using Master Books Math Lessons for a Living Education, and seems to enjoy that.

    We do some picture study, some composer and music appreciation (just identifying a song and its composer) and some study of composers and artists through living books from the library.

    We do copywork from Queen Homeschool Supplies and some from Character Italic published by Shaw Family Media since I like to use Italic handwriting with my children.

    Copywork can be used to help with handwriting and such skills, but it can also be used to inspire and teach moral lessons. It can be used to help with scripture memorization and study, too.

    Narration is an important part of reading aloud. I mostly use it to review what happened the last time we read the story, but it’s a good way of helping them to take the learning and memory to a deeper level than it would have gone without the act of narration. I find that my kids remember a lot better than I do when I ask them to catch us up on what happened last.

    I am an educator. I love teaching and learning. But I am not a drill sergeant. I am not the fount of all knowledge. I am a person, and I recognize that each of my children is a person with his own interests, moods, needs, abilities, strengths, weaknesses, callings, struggles, rhythms, routines, and minds that are known only to them and God. I see myself as a facilitator of education, learning, and attaining their dreams and desires. I do not want to be a stumbling block or an obstacle to their gaining skills and knowledge and reaching their own goals, dreams, desires and hopes because of something that a book decided or I decided they needed to devote lots of time and brain space and thinking time to because someone else arbitrarily decided they needed to know it.

    So there you go! Take from it what you will. I hope something in all of this may help someone to relax a little more and enjoy the learning experience and lifestyle that we call homeschooling.

    Ask the Lord how your philosophy, curriculum (or lack thereof) and routines and habits, patterns and rhythms should flow in your family to bring honor to Him and establish His purposes for each of your children. And may peace and contentment reign in the atmosphere of your home to minimize stress and relationship problems while each of you strives to become all that God meant for you to be.

    What it Means to Be Changed By Love

    I am Penney Douglas. I have been Changed By Love.

    I am still in the process of being Changed By Love.

    What does it mean to be Changed By Love?

    One way to be Changed By Love is to overcome fear.

    I started out with lots of fear: Fear of man, fear of failure, fear of rejection, fear of embarrassment, fear of making a fool of myself, fear of not measuring up, being insignificant, not being good enough, etc.

    Can you relate to any of these fears? Maybe you have been plagued by other fears than these, but nonetheless, most of us start out with certain fears that we struggle to get over throughout our lifetimes.

    But we need to do what it takes to overcome all types of fear.

    Why try so hard to conquer fear in our lives?

    Because there is no fear in love.

    And perfect love casts out fear.

    It’s not God’s will that we live in fear.

    Fear is the enemy’s will for our lives.

    Fear is faith in the enemy’s power over us.

    God wants us to put our faith in His power over the enemy.

    So who do you trust – God or the enemy?

    God is love. Perfect love casts out fear.

    So trust in God, and cast out fear.

    The new person that you become – the new mindset you will carry – will be based on Love.

    This is one way that Love changes us.

    There are more ways.

    Stay tuned.

    There is more to come!

    When You Pray – Believe!

    When you pray, believe that you will receive what you ask for. You are praying His will, right?

    “Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.” Mark 11:24

    Every time we pray, we can know that our prayer will be answered.

    “How?”, you ask. Pray for what God wants to happen! We are releasing God’s will in the earth when we pray. But prayer demands relationship with Him so that we know what His will is. We have to be in right standing with Him. Prayer is God training me to be like Him.

    He wants us to rule and reign. He wants us to make decrees and declarations of His will. As in heaven so on earth. We are His agents here on earth.

    There is strategy involved. We check in with Him. He tells us what He wants done, and we speak it into existence in this realm. Sometimes it takes a little time to hear Him clearly. We are learning faith and patience. But when we know His will, we should pray and know that it will come to pass. And we should expect measurable results.

    As hurricane Harvey has hit the Texas coast I have prayed over my neighborhood and surrounding neighborhoods and all of Katy. I actually took a prayer walk and prayed that God would protect us and cause the storm to dissipate and not do as much damage as they predicted it would. I suggested to my neighbors on our neighborhood website that they do the same thing. Many said that they were praying, too. Today, there was a tornado warning in our region. I went out and spoke to the storm clouds, “Peace, be still”. Jesus did it. He expects us to do what He did. And He gave us His authority to do it.

    So just do it! And believe you will receive. Expect measurable results.

    And watch this video for more encouragement:

    https://youtu.be/dIGuYseMQxM