Welcome to This Journey of Love

1980076_10203650397324356_1522164528_o

  • 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

    SONY DSC

    Katy, Texas 2012

    Mary Jo Peckham Park

    1488144_10202879788299612_1190907287_n

    Katy, TX 2013 Mary Jo Peckham Park

    DSC01581[1]

    dsc01681

    Katy, TX Honey Farm, 2014

    DSC02549

    Katy, TX Honey Farm, 2015

    Katy, TX – MKT Railroad Park Caboose and Depot, 2017

    Hi, I’m Penney Douglas. I have been married to my precious husband for 30 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 (married at 25 and first child at 27), 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 21 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 13 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.

    What is the Spirit of Homeschooling?

    Photo by Jelleke Vanooteghem on Unsplash

     

    Why do you homeschool?

    • Do you homeschool your children so that they can have an excellent academic education so they can compete in this world and be successful in the eyes of the world?
    • Or is your reason more along the lines of protecting your children from false teaching and passing on your faith and values to them?
    • Are you most concerned about building a warm, loving, nurturing family?

    Is your answer to the question “all of the above”?

    Parents homeschool for many different reasons. And they homeschool in many different ways.

    And that’s a good thing.

    Because every child is different, and every family is different.

    But I think the spirit of homeschooling in general is freedom.

      • As homeschoolers, we can do what we think is best for our children and for ourselves as moms, and what is the least stressful for all of us.

    Of course, we should pray and find out what God thinks about the way we should homeschool and what we should be sure to cover.

    Photo by Shitota Yuri on Unsplash

    But always remember that you do not have to run your homeschool like a classroom at school. Homeschooling is more of a tutoring situation than a classroom situation. You are there to support and encourage your children in their learning. You are a facilitator of learning.

    Which means you supply the resources, opportunities and framework for the things that they absolutely need to learn – the basics of reading, writing and math – and then support their efforts to learn about the things that interest them.

    This freedom is a privilege that few have in the world. So let’s make the most of it.

    Let’s give our children the best that the Lord has for them, so that they can be prepared for the calling that God has for their lives.

    Photo by Shitota Yuri on Unsplash

     

    And I have one little request.

    Make your routine sustainable, enjoyable, and delightful for the whole family. Because I want to see you continue homeschooling as long as the Lord tells you to do it. And you won’t be able to if it’s drudgery or if there is anger and resentment on both sides of the homeschool coin.

    Find what works best for you. Try different methods and routines. Ask the Lord to help you figure out your style, how your kids learn best, and all the little details like duration of lessons, type of method(s), and whether to keep grades and other records.

    Exercise your freedom, and make your homeschool reflect your values and the way you really want to live your life. Give your kids a stress-free childhood and freedom to learn the things they want to learn.

    The Benefits of Outdoor Time for Boys – Charlotte Mason Had it Right!

    The Benefits of Outdoor Time

    Charlotte Mason said that we should:

    “Never be within doors when you can rightly be without.” (Vol. 1 p.42).

    She even encouraged mothers to get outside more!

    She encouraged us to let children discover and collect specimens of nature. And let them see what happens with them. Nature study is an obvious reason to get our kids outdoors more.

    “Do children keep tadpoles, and silkworms, and caterpillars in these days? Very few have given us the results of their own observations. We have many capital descriptions from books, and that is better than nothing, but the very essence of natural history is that it should, so far as possible, be drawn direct from Nature.”

    For more CM tidbits like this check out this site , Charlotte Mason Help.

    Our family has done lots of collecting and observing caterpillars, tadpoles, and various and sundry creatures, as you will see from the pictures in this post!

    When boys are outside they often feel a sense of freedom and adventure. It gives them the opportunity to move around and encourages them to explore. They discover things about the world around them. They interact with nature. They get grounded. It clears out the cobwebs and helps them to think more clearly. They can exercise their muscles and get stronger and keep their body healthy.

    There are many ways to get our boys outside, even if we live in the city.

    We can go to a park.

    They can walk around the neighborhood if they’re old enough.

    Or we can take them on walks. And sometimes they can be nature walks.

    We can set up a trampoline or swing set for them to play and climb on.

    We can do school outside. I used to take all the kids outside and read a story to them.

    We can have picnics at a park or even in our own yard. Kids love that, and it’s nice for clean up, too!

    They can ride bikes, skateboards, or scooters in a safe place. You may have to find a good place for these activities.

    The Benefits of Outdoor Time According to Some Real Live Boys

    For my research I consulted some “expert boys”, my four sons!

    This is my firstborn son, Shawn! (The taller one.)

    Shawn had some thoughts on the matter:

    “It’s the best environment for building their imagination. Interacting with nature, the trees, the rocks and everything inspires the imagination and creativity. Outdoors and nature – Creation – is inspirational.” He credits a lot of his ability to think well and deeply to the amount of time he spent outside and how much he played in nature. It clears the mind and gets it unclogged.

    He continues: “For boys, it creates a sense of what the real world is. It gives you the sense that life is real. It is a tangible, visceral experience. Things matter, and what’s going on around you matters. It helps you understand the value of life. It helps with the restlessness of boys. And gives them a sense of peace. Boys can feel cagey and gloomy if they’re indoors all the time.

    They feel a sense of freedom, like they’re not trapped. Overall, it’s very important developmentally. It instills a sense of confidence being a part of the wide open world instead of cloistered inside all the time. Like you’re a part of it all. You can breathe and move even though you’re outside of a familiar area.”

    When Shawn and his friend were about 10 years old they built a treehouse. they looked around for resources and figured out what they could do with the things they found. A lot of creativity was inspired by the time they spent together outside.

     

    This is my second son, Patrick! Here’s his contribution to the discussion about outdoor time, from a boy’s perspective (now a man).

    Being outdoors calms ADD symptoms.

    Patrick is 23 now. He says being in the outdoors helps the body-brain connection. It helps boys focus when it comes time to sit down with the books.

    “It helps them center when they’re alone in the wilderness. They become more in touch with their inner being. It helps them focus clearly. It takes away all distractions; no TV, no media, no phone. It stabilizes you. It anchors you to reality. It shows that you are capable of being fatigued. You learn that you can’t be dependent on the system. You learn survival skills. You become free-thinking and independent.  You understand your limits; you can get hungry, thirsty, cold, every mosquito bite is a lesson, and you can get hurt and keep going. You find out how tough you are. You can test your limits.”

    This is Morgan, my third son.

    Morgan is 18 now. He says:

    “Open spaces are good for a boy’s mental state. There are a lot of physiological health benefits, from soaking up the sunlight, and breathing fresh air that is not artificially controlled or produced. The sensations of soft breezes and the sound of a fountain or running water of any kind tends to incline the mind to organize and sort things that don’t generally get sorted out until you sleep; generally promoting a better sense of awareness and well-being.”

    This is my youngest son, Garrett!

     

    These are the thoughts of a real live boy!

    Garrett is 15 now. He gave me his thoughts on the importance of boys having outside time. He said that it makes boys feel strengthened when they’re outside. They can breathe fresh air. When they’re outside, they can run free. They can breathe freer. They can get rid of the stuffy feeling of being cooped up inside. In his own words, “When you want to run you can just run. If you want to jump, you can just jump.” The wide open spaces make them feel free and able to use their energy. He said he enjoys walking through the woods. He likes to explore and walk along a path and see the different things that are there each time.

    He loves to get on the monkey bars. He likes to swing from one bar to the next. It’s a really invigorating feeling to play tag. His favorite part of swinging is going so high that it gives you a tickly feeling in your stomach. He loves swimming, too. He likes to test his breath capacity and see how long it takes him to swim to the other side. He likes to find objects that have been thrown in the water. It strengthens his core, his lungs, his arms and legs, and his heart.

    It gives him a new perspective when he walks outside. He observed that “There’s a part of your brain that doesn’t get worked unless you’re outside. It helps you process things. It makes you feel better emotionally when you can sit quietly in nature and see the beauty. It gives you a peaceful feeling.”

    To sum it up, being outside is good for boys in a variety of ways: Mentally, emotionally, physically, psychologically, and educationally. Charlotte Mason said we should let our children spend time outside for 4, 5, or even 6 hours every day. If you can do that, I say do it! If we lived in a place that was accessible to nature, I’m sure we would be outside more often. But we can all make it a goal to get our kids outside as much as possible. As you can see from the thoughts of some “real live boys”, it’s definitely a worthy goal!

    Spontaneous Motivation

    SPONTANEOUS MOTIVATION

     

    Shawn and I talked about what spontaneous motivation means.

    Being motivated now in the present and moving on it, not waiting for a better, or 
     what would seem a more fortuitous, time to get started. The reality is
    now is always the best time to get started. 
    It doesn’t mean you get started right smack in the middle of everything or 
    at the end of everything. You don’t start thinking that you’re already gonna be
    able to do a perfect product or have a perfect day or whatever, but you
    decide that today is going to be a better day than yesterday. You decide
    that you’re setting a foundation, you’re preparing, and you’re putting stuff
    together. You’re structuring stuff together to really go in the direction you’re
    wanting to go with your life. Today is a fresh slate if you want it to
    be, and you can decide, “Do I really like where my life is going?”

     

    The Seasons of a Woman’s Heart

    The Seasons of a Woman’s Heart

    A woman’s heart is toward her husband. But it’s also toward God. How can she balance her desire toward God with her desire toward her husband.

    It seems that the greater heart’s desire is toward her husband when a woman is young and newly married. She struggles with the tendency to put her love for her husband before her love for God. She almost makes an idol of her husband. Her every thought is about him.

    But as time goes on and she experiences the disappointments, unmet expectations, and unexpected changes that happen in life, sometimes the intensity of her feeling for her husband can wane. She realizes with great sorrow that her husband cannot meet all of her needs. She discovers that there are some things about him that she thought she could change because they really bugged her, but – well, he’s still the same. And those things bother her more than ever. She may start to wonder what she ever saw in him!

    In many cases, the woman then turns to God, realizing that only He can meet her needs. She finds in Him the comfort, love, hope, strength, and power to answer her prayers that she was expecting her husband to provide. God is the perfect husband and friend! She now knows that God deserves first place in her heart.

    What about her husband?

    But where does that leave her husband? Is he less loved now? Is he competing with God for his wife’s love?

    It may seem like that to him. He has a great desire to be her knight in shining armor. He wants to take care of her and be her hero. He may feel abandoned and deserted by his wife as she no longer acts like she needs him so much. He may wonder what happened and how he can win her back.

    Now, we know that it’s impossible for a man to compete with God. So women have to make up their minds to accept and appreciate the love their husbands have for them. Women need to acknowledge the blessing of having a lifelong companion to share life with. Now she can love him with a more mature, realistic, selfless love.

    Photo by Christiana Rivers on Unsplash

    The Correct Order in Her Heart

    The order is now correct. God is first in her heart, and her husband is second. She isn’t expecting her husband to meet needs that only God can meet. She can accept his flaws and idiosyncrasies instead of trying to change him. She is hopefully mature and whole enough that she can express how she feels when he says or does insensitive things so that he knows when he hurts her. In a good marriage with two good-hearted people, conflicts, disagreements, and misunderstandings can be worked out.

    The wife can balance her love for her perfect God with her love for her imperfect husband. Knowing that she is imperfect herself, she should be extremely thankful that her husband still wants to go through life with her.

    Women can encourage their husbands to grow spiritually by letting them see and experience their wife’s great love for God. Instead of feeling excluded and left out, they may begin to draw closer to God themselves.

    The seasons of a woman’s heart can take her from over-dependence on her husband to a mature, whole-hearted reliance on God with a deep, self-sacrificing love for her husband.


    Photo by frank mckenna on Unsplash