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
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.
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
Lots of big caterpillars! When will they make “J’s”???
Finally a “J”!!!!!
And now, finally, some chrysalises!!!
Here is a video I did on Periscope.tv in which I actually captured a caterpillar making a chryalis!!! I was so excited!!! Please watch it! I think you’ll enjoy it!
I made several videos about caterpillars, chrysalises and butterflies on Periscope.tv.
If you would like to see them my Periscope channel is at www.Periscope.tv/penneymaried.
And finally a butterfly emerges!!!
Playing with Butterflies!!!
All together we released 22 butterflies!!!
Here are their names:
5. Sabethany Victoria Holbrook
19. Francois Simon (pronounced Simone) – Sidenote: Interesting name in light of the 2 Olympic champions named Simone, Simone Biles and Simone Manuel, from Houston this summer! We live in Houston!
20. Lily Mae
God named the stars.
We named the butterflies.
How much more does He know us by name!
Do you find yourself longing for more in the life of your family? More unity? More warmth? More peace? More of God?
If you build it they will come. Hee hee. Just kidding.
Actually, maybe I’m not.
We Christian mothers have one overriding desire. We want our family to be a godly family. But how can we go about building such a family? It’s more than a dream. We can make this a reality.
We need to lay a foundation for this godly family that we desire with all of our hearts. As for me and my house we will serve the Lord. Is this the declaration that you make in your heart?
If so, start here: Build a close, intimate relationship with God yourself. This involves more than just the spiritual disciplines that you may be familiar with, like reading your Bible and praying so that you can check these off of your to-do list. I’m talking about a relationship with God that is as real, as tangible as your relationship with your husband or your best friend. You need to get to know God. You need to go deep with him. Learn to hear His voice. When you pray, don’t just talk to Him. Listen for what He might be saying to you. This may take some time. And some effort. If you have never done this before and you’re not sure how to go about it, try this. Tell God that you love Him, and then pause and just listen to your spirit. You will probably hear a voice inside of you responding in kind. That is the voice of your Beloved telling you that He loves you, too.
Develop and cultivate a deep awe and reverence for God. Worship Him from the depths of your being. Imagine Him seated on the throne of the whole universe. Picture yourself bowing there before Him. Remind yourself of His goodness to you. WORSHIP Him in spirit and truth. Thank Him for His blessings. Let your heart fall in love with Him. Picture Him in all His majesty and splendor looking on you with eyes full of love, smiling on you as a good father smiles on his little girl that he delights in.
You have to make time for this and really do it. Sometimes you will hear the Lord call you away from something else to spend time with Him. When He does, make sure you do! You need it! You won’t be sorry. On the contrary, you will be very glad that you did. Spending time in His presence builds you up.
The second phase of this building project is to love your husband and honor him. On days when he walks in the door and rushes over to you and gives you a long kiss that melts you and makes you feel like the most loved and beautiful woman, the center of his universe. And on those other days when he doesn’t notice that you’re there. Or worse he complains about everything in the universe and asks what you did all day, why is the house a wreck, and what’s for supper. Even when you feel like screaming at him, telling him what an insensitive brute he is, how hard you’ve worked all day taking care of HIS kids, and how he has ruined the loving welcome you had planned for him by his rotten attitude. Yes, even on those days, honor and love him. I didn’t say this was going to be easy. Pray down blessings on his head. Not, “Lord, get him!”
His biggest need and desire is to be respected. Show your love for him by treating him with respect even when he deserves all the wrath you have stored up from all the times he hurt your feelings, ignored you, took you for granted, overlooked all of your hard work, and broke your heart. By praying blessings on him and treating him lovingly, you are giving God room to deal with him. Do your part with all your heart. Build him up. Treat him better than he deserves. Your relationship with him is the bedrock of this family you’re building. Your relationship with God is the foundation and cornerstone, but your house won’t stand if your relationship with your husband is filled with anger and resentment. Also remember that whatever happens to him happens to you. If you want to live a blessed life, you should desire that he be blessed and then do whatever you can to help make that happen.
You are a wise woman building your house. Not a foolish woman tearing it down with your own hands. Or your mouth.
Now on to the next phase. Love your kids in such a way that they feel loved. Not like they are an obligation or a burden or a pest. Your children need loving, patient discipline and instruction. They also need to know that they are greatly loved and highly valued. You love them more than anybody else in the whole world. Make sure they feel that. Show them affection and kindness in the middle of the messes and frustration that define toddler. Love those kids that seem like they’re only here to give you more work to do and a bad attitude. Love them as they grow up and start thinking they know more than you do and think they learned it on their own without any help from you. Show them you love them by listening to them, responding to them, treating them with dignity and respect, not like they are your property only here to carry out your wishes. Lead them to Jesus by modeling the same attitude he had toward children. Let the children come unto me for of such is the kingdom of heaven. Keep at the forefront of your mind that childlikeness is good, and maybe you need to take some lessons from them!
Listen to those who inspire you to grow spiritually. If you can find a group of Christians that gathers regularly and love the Lord and their only purpose is to know Jesus and make Him known, then you are truly blessed. If they have good teachers and prophetic teaching and ministry, even better. If they follow the first two commandments – to love God and to love people – then you have found a gold mine.
We find good Spirit-filled teachers and worship leaders online and listen to them together and individually. We read the Bible together as a family and individually. I would encourage couples to pray together. We pray for our kids and just doing that takes us quite a while!
Some of my favorite teachers are Lance Wallnau, Todd White (lots of videos on YouTube), Rick Joyner, and Kim Clement. I have recently started listening to Shawn Bolz, who teaches a lot about giving words of knowledge. One of the best things I do for myself spiritually is worshiping the Lord with good worship music. I love to worship with Bethel Music. They have a lot of great worship leaders. I especially like to listen to Steffany Gretzinger, Amanda Cook, Kim Walker-Smith, and Jenn Johnson. I get touched and ushered into the throne room while worshiping with Cory Asbury, Matt Gilman, and Kari Jobe. I play videos on YouTube and worship along with them.
Love God’s word. Use examples in everyday life. Let it flow naturally in your conversations with your children. In situations that come up, especially relationship challenges, ask yourself and your children, “What does the Bible say about this?”. When the little ones argue about a toy and one snatches it away from the other and then they start chasing and hitting, kicking, and crying, sit with them and talk calmly with them about how Jesus wants them to handle situations like that. Ask them what the Bible says. We are to love each other, be kind to each other and put the other person’s happiness before our own. We are to do everything out of love for the other person. There are so many verses about walking in love and dying to yourself. Read a verse to them and remind them that they want to please Jesus. Live what you read about in the Word of God. Speak the Word all the time. Stay in the Word and ask the Holy Spirit what He wants you to read and meditate on for that day. Keep meditating and thinking about what you’ve read throughout the day. Tell your kids about what the Lord is saying to you right now and what you are reading. Ask them what the Lord is saying to them. Ask them if they have had any dreams or any specific words that the Lord is saying to them.
Look for analogies in nature. You can teach the way Jesus did! He told stories about farming: sowing and reaping, seed time and harvest, and looking for signs in nature of the seasons and what is coming next. He used poetic words like the trees clapping their hands, the seas roaring, the mountains shaking, the animals frolicking with joy and many other similes and metaphors, such as the heavens declare the glory of God, and the earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof. Point out how God made intricate, delicate flowers for us to enjoy and marked many animals and plants with beautiful designs. Remark to your children about how our bodies are so amazing and self-healing because of the way God made them. Notice and call attention to little ordinary things that are marks of a loving Creator who made all things good.
Apply the parables of Jesus to daily life. Make connections between what is happening in your life and the life of your family with the parables that Jesus told. If someone needs help, if you are able to help them, you should, just like the Good Samaritan. If someone doesn’t want to forgive, there are many parables about the power of forgiveness, like The Prodigal Son and The Unmerciful Servant, and Jesus spoke about it in The Lord’s Prayer. I like to let life present the problem and become a teachable moment that you can use to apply the spiritual principle or story from the Bible.
Pray together. Our family tries to do this on a regular basis. We make sure that we all gather at least once a week. The goal is to do it every evening, but it doesn’t happen when life gets too busy. Sometimes we have to just go ahead and pray with whoever happens to be home. Try to find out what works best for your family as far as time and method. We have a pattern now of saying a blessing over the new day, putting our spiritual armor on and saying The Lord’s Prayer in unison. Then we take turns praying. We have at least 4 people pray each time. You can experiment with different methods and times and see what works best for your family.
Worship together. When children are younger, listen to worship songs for children. Or let them hear what you are listening to, and they might like some of those songs, too. Then play often the songs they like throughout the day.
Minister to others in your home. Demonstrate to your children hospitality and helping others in need. Invite people to eat with you. Teach them how to be good hosts when someone comes to visit. Pray for friends when they come over. Lay hands on them and pray if the situation warrants it.
Give to those in need. Model generosity to your children. And don’t forget to tie it to the Word of God: Give and it shall be given unto you. Let the Holy Spirit lead you to give to the poor and to orphans and widows and ministries that you feel are really doing a great work in the earth. Make sure your kids know that you are giving in obedience to what God has told us to do and because you have compassion in your heart. Let them experience the joy of giving themselves. Don’t hinder them when they want to give of their own money or possessions. Encourage a giving heart. I believe that is extremely precious to God and blesses His heart. Help others all around you and give any time you feel prompted by the Holy Spirit. Don’t hold back. God will bless you when you bless others.
I felt like I was slowly dying. I had no energy. I had lots of brain fog. It was hard for me to plan or think ahead to what I needed to do. I couldn’t be this way. I had 10 kids to take care of all by myself.
Then I got vertigo. I was so sick for three days, I really did think I was dying, and I wanted to. I was the only one who could drive because Gary was working in another state. I almost called 911. But I eventually recovered enough to get out of bed. The Lord sustained me. I couldn’t keep any food down for those 3 days. I laid in bed and watched Sid Roth videos of testimonies of healing for the next week. I finally tried to get up. The thought of trying to walk downstairs terrified me. I was so afraid of falling. When I did finally start walking around I looked like I was drunk.
I went to South Carolina to visit Gary in that condition. I slept most of the time that we were there. I couldn’t enjoy anything because I could hardly hold myself up or walk straight.
I tried different things to help get my balance back. Eventually things got better, like the ringing in my ears got quieter, I could walk very slowly and carefully, and the room stopped spinning.
I thought that things would improve a lot when we moved to Texas. But they didn’t. In certain places even now, when I get out of the car I feel light-headed and almost faint. I have to walk very carefully.
My digestion basically stopped. I felt like my whole body was just quitting. My tummy kept sticking out further. I wasn’t eating much of anything. Just walnuts. My stomach hurt every night when I laid down in bed. I couldn’t sleep because of the pain and discomfort. I couldn’t breathe through my nose at night, so I would stop breathing and wake up. Sleep was not working for me.
I started taking Plexus in January of 2015. My digestion improved right away. I started to feel more normal. I still wasn’t hungry like I should be, but at least I had times when I felt a twinge of hunger. I started to have some days where I had a little bit of energy, and I even got some ideas of things we could do. I was able to think a little bit more clearly.
I was able to get a little more active. I lost 10 pounds.
The support of my digestion is the biggest benefit I have experienced. I feel hunger more often now. My tummy has flattened. I don’t feel pain when I lay down at night. My clothes are looser and feel more comfortable now.
I no longer feel like I am dying. Instead of feeling like my body is shutting down, it feels like it is coming back to life.
It took years for me to get in that sorry condition, and now it is taking some time for me to recover.
I feel so much better now than I did right after I was struck by vertigo. I feel a lot better than I did when we first moved to Texas four years ago.
I am so thankful that I found Plexus. This is one of the best things about our move here.
I found Plexus in Texas. And I’m so glad I did!
If you want to know more about Plexus or how you can try the products, or join the business like I have, you can go to my website at www.shopmyplexus.com/penneydouglas.
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
- 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.
- 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.”