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.

    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
     

     

     

    You Can Mother Well Even if You Weren’t Mothered Well

     

    What kind of relationship did you have with your mother growing up?

    If you didn’t get along with her or feel very close to her, don’t feel like you’re doomed to have the same kind of relationship with your kids.

    You are not your mother. Try to step outside of the situation and identify the things that impaired your relationship with your mom. There could be many causes of the breakdown, such as lack of affection, poor communication, feelings of condescension, feelings of not being understood, or even feelings of being used as slave labor. Many times  children misinterpret things that happen to them when their understanding is not as well developed.

    Go back in your memories. Try to remember specific situations that made you feel put down, ignored, or unloved. See if there’s anything that you may have misinterpreted or taken too seriously because of immaturity.

    But it could be that your mother did treat you badly. Maybe she was too busy with other things to pay enough attention to you. Maybe your personalities clashed. Maybe she was under lots of stress that you weren’t even aware of. There could be any number of reasons for the disconnect.

    But this does not have to happen to you with your children. I’m thinking especially of mothers and daughters. That seems to be a difficult relationship in many families. There are many reasons for that, too.

    If you are finding things more difficult between you and your mother now that you are grown and a mother yourself, there may be some jealousy or a desire to keep you little instead of giving you the freedom to be your own person.

    These are some common areas I’ve noticed that make things difficult in relationships between mothers and daughters. I would like to suggest that you take lessons from the hurtful things that happened in your relationship with your mother, and be intentional about doing things differently with your children. Take this opportunity to break that cycle that may have been going on in your family for generations.

    Do things differently. Keep your attitude positive with your children. Give them the attention they need, and enjoy your time with them. Do lots of fun things with them. Listen to them, even when their stories are silly or tiresome. See them as blessings instead of drudgery or just another responsibility to take care of. Let them know how much you love them by your actions and attitude, not just by saying it or taking care of their physical needs. That is not enough. They need to know that you really like them.

    I spoke at my mom’s funeral last year. It was a year ago. On my daughter’s birthday. Talk about an emotional time. I missed my daughter’s birthday to fly to Ohio for my mom’s funeral.

    My mom was a very strong-minded, outspoken, sociable woman. I was not. I did have strong opinions, but I didn’t dare go up against her about anything. Until I got older. When I was younger most of my opinions mirrored hers. But as I got older and experienced new things, she was not very happy that I was developing a mind of my own. So we had some clashes.

    But she loved me and would do anything for me. She babysat my children. She really cared about me and always wanted the best for me. There were some things that I felt slighted in when it came to the way she treated my siblings. And her temper put me on edge and made me stay away from her.

    But the last several years, I lived far away. When I called her, I knew she missed me and needed me to show love to her. I prayed with her. I warmed back up to her. Then she got dementia. The mom I knew was mostly gone. The only time she seemed like her old self was when I would ask if she wanted me to pray with her.

    I’m crying as I write this. Our relationship was not always perfect.

    But when it came time to speak at her funeral, I knew that I needed to honor her. She was a wonderful, loving mother. And the thing that stood out most in my mind was that she was a fun mom. She took us to the swimming pool every day in the summer. She planned camping trips for us back in our woods. She planned fun birthday parties for us. She took us shopping for new clothes every school year. She always tried to make sure we were having fun.

    She always sang around the house. And when we were in the car she got us to all sing together. I still love singing to this day. She was a fun person and a fun mom.

    She told people about Jesus everywhere she went. Everyone who knew my mom knew that she was a Christian. There was never a doubt in anyone’s mind. People always remembered her, even if she didn’t remember them. These were the things I shared at her funeral. In spite of the difficulties we had, the most impactful memories I had were of the good things about our relationship and her life.

    There are some things that I have done deliberately with my children, because I felt that I lacked them in my childhood. I have been very careful to listen to my kids. I have tried to make them feel respected and important. I have tried to make them feel noticed. I may have fallen short of some of these ideals, but I have definitely made great efforts to treat my children this way.

    So I tried to do things differently than the ways that made me feel separated and disrespected.

    I believe that it made me a better mother than I would have been had I not dealt with my own hurts and feelings of rejection. I had to overcome feelings of inferiority that came from preferential treatment, and other deep-seated wounds.

    My mother never meant to hurt me in any way. But some things just end up hurting.

    But I made up my mind to do the best I could to avoid those things that were hurtful to me.

    So when I became a mother, I did it my way.

    Charlotte Mason Lite

    Hi, fellow homeschool moms!

    Veterans and newbies alike: come one, come all. If you have been hearing things about the Charlotte Mason Approach that have made you wonder if it’s right for your family, check out this article.

    Learn some of the basics of the Charlotte Mason Approach and how to apply them to your homeschool plans. Find out how to take baby steps and just try one thing at a time. Check out the simple ways that I did things in a Charlotte Mason way but didn’t follow a rigid plan or schedule. I just applied the elements of it that I considered the most important and effective.

    Find the article here at https://mailchi.mp/5e537925696f/charlottemasonlite?fbclid=IwAR3lhmxxQj91orNDXxkPhTGJcSVjm_iQ7reTWy4Rh9ioCZvISrF7FRlOgDc