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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

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

    Katy, TX – Heritage Park, 2020

    Hi, I’m Penney Douglas. I have been married to my precious husband for 33 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 25 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 16 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.

    Teens Unleashed: A Book Review

     

    If you have teens and you homeschool, or if you have pre-teens and want to be prepared for the teen years, this book is for you! You don’t even necessarily have to homeschool to glean a lot from this book.

    The author describes how she went from trying to control everything her kids did in their homeschool program to letting go of control and allowing them more autonomy. She realized that her requirements of her children were based on her fears and lack of understanding. She said, “They were all templates that just did not take my kids’ needs, learning styles, interests, and natural talents into account.”

     

    She talks a lot about unschooling, but this book is good for all homeschool parents (actually all parents) because she also talks a lot about parenting and getting to know our kids. She also emphasizes freedom and exposing our kids to all kinds of experiences. She encourages us to discover the passions of our children.

     

    And a great quote from her to describe her role as a facilitator instead of a teacher is,

     

    “Like a band instructor, I don’t play the instrument for my kids. I show them how to play their own instrument.” 

     

    And speaking of quotes, she has included many great quotes from educators and experts on unschooling and on best educational practices. People like Peter Gray, Charlotte Mason, and John Holt. 

    If you are looking for a book to help you motivate your teens to develop their skills and discover their passions, this is the book you’re looking for.

    You can find it here.

    I hope you find this helpful!

    Penney Douglas, B. S. in Ed.

    Safe Haven Homeschooling

    How to Get Your Kids to Do Their Work Without a Fight

     

    HOW TO GET YOUR KIDS TO DO THEIR WORK WITHOUT A FIGHT

    It starts with relationship. We need to build relationship with each of our children. We need to spend time with each one getting to know them. We need to win their hearts, tie heartstrings, through the way we treat them, the things we do for them, the things we do with them, etc. We need to make sure they know how much we love them.

    Then from there, we can lead them to the Lord. If they see us as kind, loving parents, they will be more likely to see God that way. As they grow in maturity and in their personal relationship with God, they will desire to please Him, and that will transfer over to pleasing their parents. We teach them what the Bible says about how children can please God. Children, obey your parents. Honor your father and mother. We teach them the commandments, and their behavior and attitudes start to line up with the Word of God.

    This leads to our children wanting to obey, for this is right. So when we ask them to do their schoolwork, they are more willing to do it, out of obedience.

    Now, we need to do our best to make the work as pleasant as possible and make sure that what we’re requiring of them is truly beneficial to them. We should not give them busywork. We should not load them down with more work than they are really capable of doing. We should think about how we would feel if we had the assignment that we are giving to our child. We should focus on real-life learning.

    We should make sure the skills are taught when they are ready to learn them. We should make learning a lifestyle so that it is natural and not forced.

    Homeschooling shouldn’t be difficult or tedious. Make learning an adventure. Get excited about the topics that your children are exploring. Find out what they’re interested in and provide materials and resources for them to go deep into the topic.

    If they are studying and reporting on a topic that really interests and excites them, they are not going to fight you about doing it.
    So build a strong relationship with your kids and make learning an adventure, and you will not have to fight your kids to get them to do their schoolwork.

    This post was first written for my Facebook Page called Kingdom Homeschool Mom

    https://facebook.com/kingdomhsmom

     

    It’s Pentecost Here at Safe Haven

     

    It’s Pentecost!

    Let’s pray for a fresh baptism of the Holy Spirit during this Pentecost.

    The 120 disciples waited in the Upper Room for the promise of the Father. They didn’t know what they were waiting for. I’m sure they were surprised when they heard a loud wind inside of the room. And can you imagine what they thought when they saw fire on top of each other’s heads? Then I’m sure their minds were blown when they heard others speaking in other languages. And what must they have thought when they started speaking in other languages themselves?

    I heard about the experience of the baptism of the Holy Spirit when I was in my teens. I was afraid of it at first. Gradually, I learned about the benefits of the infilling of the Holy Spirit. I heard of the gifts of the Spirit and the power for evangelism.

    It took a couple of years of prayer, alone and with others, for me to finally receive the baptism.

    I finally got over my fear of what others would think of me. I had been so self-conscious that I didn’t want to be embarrassed by sounding or acting strange.

    It happened when I was a camp counselor, and I saw young children receiving the baptism and speaking in tongues. An altar worker had me read Isaiah 43, and I suddenly knew that God had called me by name, me – Penney! And that He would be with me through anything and everything for the rest of my life. I was filled with a kind of love I had never felt before. I felt love for everybody, even the people I didn’t like. I went around hugging everyone. That was not like me!

     I finally got over myself and just yielded everything to God, and I received.

    Now I’ve been Spirit-filled for many years.

    And I’m feeling like I need a fresh baptism of the Spirit. I need a boost of the power and love I felt the night that I received the baptism.

    I don’t know if you’re feeling it too, but if you are, let’s pray together for a fresh baptism of the Holy Spirit and fire.

    We need to be people of power and love during these times.

    The world needs God’s power to turn things around and rescue us from the violence and fears on every side. And He fills us with power to save and deliver and to work miracles.

    Pray with me this week for a fresh baptism. I’m going to set a time every day this week to pray specifically for this. I’m going to pray at 7:00 PM every day.

    Let’s receive all that God has for us.

    Hit reply and tell me if this resonates with you and you decide to pray for this, too!

    Praying for power in the waiting,

    Penney

    Safe Haven Homeschooling

    Linktr.ee/penneydouglas

    Https://Penneydouglas.com

    Https://amazon.com/author/Penneydouglas

    Safe Haven News for June

    Safe Haven Newsletter for June

    Dear Friends,

    Well, now we’re in the place that I insisted that we were not going to go. We are in Ohio. Where we came from. Full circle, I guess. We got that word when we were holed up in the hotel a few days after we left our house. And now it has come to pass.

    My brother has been very kind and hospitable. Fortunately, he has a nice big house with 4 extra bedrooms and 13 acres of beautiful land. 

    So I’m still able to spend time out in nature, enjoying God’s Creation.

    This is me and Pete! He thinks we’re bosom buddies. He wants me to go out to play with him, but I’m busy tutoring.


    My brother’s house could easily be an Airbnb. But this stay is nicer than those seven stays in wonderful Airbnb’s because we don’t have to pay an arm and a leg, and we don’t have to leave by 11:00 AM on a certain day. 

    Packing up and driving to the next house, many times in another state, became very wearying. The supply finally ran out, and we prayed about what to do next, and, sure enough, the Lord said to go to Ohio. 

    He had been softening my heart about returning to Ohio throughout our two months on the road, so I wasn’t struggling with the idea. I just thought He would open things up for us to find a house in North Carolina or Tennessee. That was why I was so adamant about not going to Ohio. I also didn’t want our older kids who have planted roots in Texas to think that we were moving so far away.

    I wouldn’t think of complaining about the two months’ worth of vacation-like stays in houses that were decorated and set up for enjoyment and relaxation. God provided over $11,000 for us during that time! 

    So, here we are – where I least expected to end up.

    But I’m not complaining about this, either. Gary and the kids are looking for jobs here. Morgan already got hired at a grocery store. At his interview, they told him he’s a dream come true and asked if they could hug him! The other 3 kids might get jobs, too. Update: Garrett is now working for the same grocery store.

    Gary has had some promising interviews lately for remote jobs. It would be good if he got a remote job. During the waiting. 

     

    We had a nice visit with Anna and Jose! They had already planned to come to Ohio and we just happened to already be here.

    We are still believing for a magnificent turnaround very soon. God is at work behind the scenes. 

    Even though the news is scary, God is using many of these things to expose evil and to cause people to rise up and say enough is enough.

    Biden tried to give up our national sovereignty, but he wasn’t able to. They still have all of their plans to implement vaccine passports, and they’re trying to start another pandemic – monkeypox of all things! – which they have been planning for a while, but God has solutions for all of this. None of this takes Him by surprise or makes Him worry or wring His hands as He sits on His throne in Heaven.

    Food shortages? I know how God has handled things like that in the past. He raised up Joseph to store food ahead of time. I wouldn’t be surprised if God hasn’t already done something like that again, and we just don’t know about it yet. And this stored food is probably healthy, non-GMO food that will actually be good for us. 

    We should all hold on to hope and believe for the best. God honors our faith. And our faith honors Him. He absolutely loves our faith. It means so much to Him. Our faith is precious to Him. So, I, for one, will never doubt Him.

    He constantly proves His steadfast love and care for us.

    I know He is doing great things for you, too. 

    Please hit reply and share the great things God has done and is doing for you. I love to hear testimonies of God’s goodness.

    ~ Homeschool Corner ~

    Homeschooling has been difficult during all of this moving around, but we are continuing in our Math books and doing some reading and listening to audiobooks. My twins are now 18, and this is the end of a traditional school year, so we’re basically calling them graduated. They have put in applications at a grocery store, so they may get jobs soon. That’s the route many of my kids have taken. They haven’t wanted a graduation ceremony. They just go straight into a job. My older kids already had jobs before they turned 18. I guess, for us, graduation and getting a job are pretty much the same thing. They have all done very well in their jobs, and it seems that they have finalized their education that way. 

    My one son is taking college classes, but the others have not chosen to do that. 

    My oldest son and his wife are in ministry to Generation Z and victims of trafficking. They do a podcast and will soon be speaking at churches and other venues. 

    I’m blessed to be helping my friend, Jessica Anderson, with her homeschool coaching club membership. I love being able to share with other homeschool moms the things that I’ve learned along the way. I try to use my training and experience as a teacher and tutor, along with the new adjustments and adaptations I learned to make when I started homeschooling to help moms who are just beginning and to lend my reassurance to them that they are doing a great job. 

    I was able to meet with 100 homeschool families every year when I lived in Ohio so that I could do their assessments, and I enjoyed it immensely. Now I get to do something like that online, and I’m thankful for the opportunity.

    If you know a new homeschool mom who could use some support, please send her my way. I love to support and encourage homeschool moms and moms in general.

    If she needs a book about the basics of homeschooling, I’ve got one for her!  

    https://amzn.to/3a3iTQi

    And if she needs a book of prayers especially for homeschool moms I’ve got one of those, too!

    https://amzn.to/3wSvfT3

    And this e-course would teach her some great ways to cultivate a love of learning in her children.

    https://intentional-in-life.teachable.com/p/the-5-day-love-of-learning-challenge

    I pray blessings and favor on all of you who read this newsletter. 

    Grace and Peace,

    Penney Douglas, B. S. in Ed

    Safe Haven Homeschooling

    Mom of 10

    linktr.ee/penneydouglas

    https://penneydouglas.com

    Growing Your Relationship with Your Daughter

     

    Growing your relationship with your daughter

    How a shared journal can bring you closer to each other and to God

     

    The tween and teen years can be tumultuous. As our daughters grow into young women, they are also figuring out their place in the world. They’re changing in many ways, which means we have to change the way we connect with them. Figuring out how to best communicate with your daughter requires patience and intentional practices.

    As my daughter, Lexi, continues to grow and change, she and I are working to keep our communication flowing. We don’t always get it right, and we certainly still have years ahead of us still since she is only 12. But we have learned a few things in our journey about how to better communicate with each other. One great way to connect with each other is through a shared journal.

    Lexi and I find that journaling together grows our relationship. While we have always had a good relationship and been close, journaling together strengthens our connection even more.

    Starting to journal together

    A couple of years ago, I learned about mother and daughter journals and thought they’d be a great fit for Lexi and me. I’ve always been able to express myself best through writing. (I’m a professional writer, in fact.) Lexi enjoys writing as well, so it seemed like a good idea for us. I knew writing would allow us to connect in different ways. So, we ordered a mother and daughter journal and tried it out.

    The journal was OK. It had some great questions, but it also had some obvious questions we already knew the answers to for each other. And it didn’t include faith at all. Faith is a big part of our life. Not including it just felt like something was missing.

    We talked about what we’d do differently to make a journal we liked more. That’s how the idea for “Connecting with Grace” was born. We decided to just do it! “Connecting with Grace” is a mix of silly and serious. We are both serious and silly. And sometimes we are seriously silly! Our journal gives writing prompts or questions to talk about everything from God to boys to funny stories to family relationships to school and more.

    How shared journaling works

    In a shared journal, moms and daughters each have a page to complete on her own before giving it to the other one. Each of the mom and daughter pages in “Connecting with Grace” connect about a similar topic. And each page also includes a Bible verse or inspirational quote.

    For us, I start by answering the first writing prompt for moms. Then I leave the journal and an ink pen on Lexi’s bed. She reads through my answer and then answers the question on her own page. She places it back on my bed. It’s as easy as that! Sometimes we do this every night and sometimes it can be a couple of weeks in between as we get busy with life.

    Every we so often, we comment on what each other has written. But even when we don’t, writing and reading the responses gives us time to really think about what we want to say and focus on what the other one is saying. We get to know each other and each other’s hearts even more. Writing allows us to be more transparent and honest with each other than when we talk.

    But that’s not to say having one-on-one time isn’t important as well. We decided to include 10 “Face-to-Face with Grace” ideas for moms and daughters throughout “Connecting with Grace,” something we haven’t found in any other shared journals. They’re easy ways moms and daughters can connect in person like going for an ice cream date or taking a trip to the dollar store together just for fun.

    The benefits of shared journaling

    Shared journaling helps you communicate on a deeper level with your child. I have gotten to know Lexi in ways I hadn’t before through reading her answers to questions. She has gotten to know me in different ways as well.

    Like most moms and daughters, we often see each other in our roles more than as individuals. To her, I am “mom” more than “Stacey.” To me, she is a child dependent on me who I can assume feels and thinks exactly like I do. (She doesn’t!) Journaling together allows us to really see each other for who we are. I am often blown away by Lexi’s insights and thoughts. I get to see more of who she really is as a person.

    Another benefit of using a faith-based journal like “Connecting with Grace” is growing in faith. My husband and I strive to show our kids how faith in daily life looks. Journaling with my daughter allows me to share some parts of my faith walk with her that don’t usually come up in everyday conversation. In turn, she shares what’s on her heart and asks any questions she has. Plus, we both dig deeper and think more about the topics we’re writing about, including our faith.

    “Connecting with Grace” also includes some journal pages without writing prompts throughout so you can take those questions or topics you want to go deeper on and write about them. You can use the pages as a joint prayer journal or whatever comes up for you and your daughter!

    Finally, a shared journal is not only a great way for moms and daughters to connect, but the writing prompts make sure we have something to talk about each time we write so we don’t get repetitive or somehow run out of things to say.

    Find “Connecting with Grace” on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/Connecting-Grace-Mother-Daughter-Journal/dp/B09KF2F9CR or via the Families with Grace product page at https://familieswithgrace.com/products.

    About the authors:

    Stacey A. Shannon is a freelance journalist, editor and blogger who has been published internationally. She encourages parents on their journey to create homes full of grace, faith and love on her blog, FamiliesWithGrace.com. She lives in the Midwest with her husband, two children and dog. When she’s not writing, you can find her hanging out with her family, reading books, playing games or baking up treats. She loves Jesus and encouraging others through writing.

    Lexi Shannon is a middle school student who loves to read and write. She has her own blog, Girls with Grace, which is a section of FamiliesWithGrace.com. She enjoys encouraging other tween girls to be true to themselves as they grow in their relationship with God. She lives in the Midwest with her parents, brother and dog.