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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.

Self-care During Stressful Times

Self-care During Stressful Times

  1. Two-way journaling – you have to make time for it.  📔
  2. Worship – play worship music and sing with it – out loud! 🎶
  3. Make decrees of victory – you have authority by the Name and the Blood of Jesus.  ✝️
  4. Take a soaking bath. At least add baking soda to the water. If you can, add Dr. Teal’s Epsom salts or an essential oil.  🛀
  5. Pray in faith. Pray with your husband if he’s a believer. Pray with a partner.  🙏
  6. Ask others to pray for you. Share whatever details you’re comfortable with.  🤲
  7. Listen to encouraging teaching and preaching from pastors and teachers you trust. Graham Cooke does a great job of this. You can find him on YouTube. Here’s a good message from him: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rHob8vPAGVI
  8. Get a massage or get someone to rub or scratch your back. 💆🏻
  9. Watch a fun feel-good movie or TV show. Or an inspirational movie. 🍿
  10. Make time for a hobby that you love.  🎨🏊🏻‍♀️🏃‍♀️🏋️‍♀️🎭
  11. Stay away from anything or anyone that tears down your faith. Protect your faith at all costs.  🛡️
  12. Take negative, fearful thoughts captive. Replace them with the truth that your all-powerful Father loves you, takes care of you, and has it all in His hands.  ⚔️
  13. Ask the Lord to send you a mentor. An older woman, or at least someone who has been a Christian longer than you and has matured well in the Lord. 👵

Safe Haven News for May

Safe Haven News for May 2022

What a difference a month has made! 

Since I last wrote, we have stayed in 4 more Airbnb’s! We stayed in one in Texas that was more suburban than the first one that was in downtown Houston. From there, I tried to find another place in Texas and even made reservations at three of them, but they all fell through. So we started looking elsewhere. Gary showed me a cabin in Tennessee, and I suddenly knew! We were supposed to go to the state that I really want to live in. That is, Tennessee or North Carolina. So I started checking out Airbnb’s in Tennessee, and I found a beautiful cabin that I just had to have! So a friend helped us, and we were able to rent this amazing, fabulous cabin that was like a dream. The view from the deck was breathtaking. I sat out there every day and did my tutoring and my praying and listening to the Lord. We were living in luxury.

After that, we went to one in North Carolina. We had to drive through the Smokies to get there. What a beautiful drive! I have been getting my love tank filled up with nature. We ended up on a mountain with some real mountain people, many of whom have lived there all their lives and their families have lived there for generations. We had to drive past several shacks and impoverished houses. It was quite a culture shock for our kids. But the house we stayed in was nice. Once again, I had a deck with a fabulous view to do my tutoring and praying, and listening. Our second Airbnb had 2 really nice gazebos. I spent every day out in a gazebo doing my daily tasks. I have become an outside girl! I didn’t realize how much I had missed nature. Now I just can’t get enough of it. As soon as I get up, I head outside. 

Now we’re in a beautiful mountain house and cabin. The kids have the house, and Gary and I have the cabin. And guess what – there’s a deck! This one is built further down the mountain from the house. So I’m getting some exercise walking down the stairs (and back up) to do my tutoring, praying, and listening on a beautiful deck in the middle of the forest!

When we started in March, we didn’t have any money. We couldn’t leave the house, even though the landlord was insisting and we ourselves wanted to get out of that house. We couldn’t afford to move anything or to put it in storage. A series of very fortunate events started happening so that now we have been able to afford to stay in some beautiful houses worth a small fortune! The Lord provided abundantly above all that we could ask or think. We didn’t have any idea that we were going to stay in one Airbnb after another. We couldn’t see how we could do that. We only knew that we would stay in a hotel for a week. After that, we had no plan, no idea. Possibly going to stay with family who didn’t really have room for us. But that didn’t work out. So the Lord said, “Look for an Airbnb.” And the rest is history! And probably an Airbnb record!

We’re still waiting for our time to settle in our own home. We feel like pilgrims wandering from place to place. But good things are being accomplished during this time. I met a couple of friends in person that I have been friends with online for quite a while. We are checking out the area that we think we want to settle in and finding out what we want and what we don’t want in a house. 

Our hearts are set on pilgrimage. We must be some kind of pioneers.

Psalm 84:5-7 says, “Blessed is the man whose strength is in you, whose heart is set on pilgrimage. As they pass through the valley of Baca, they make it a spring; the rain also covers it with pools. They go from strength to strength; each one appears before God in Zion.”  

Or, as The Passion Translation puts it:

“How enriched are they who find their strength in the Lord; within their hearts are the highways of holiness!”

Psalm 84:5 TPT

“Even when their paths wind through the dark valley of tears…”

Psalm 84:6 TPT

“They grow stronger and stronger with every step forward, and the God of all gods will appear before them in Zion.”

Psalm 84:7 TPT

Doug Addison wrote a very good post about 3 Keys from Psalm 84 here

that gives us great encouragement and outlines a blueprint for how to walk through the dark days that we are in. 

I want to encourage you to keep your eyes on Jesus as you hear about food shortages, wars, rumors of wars, and economic meltdown. Keep trusting Jesus to take care of you and your family.

As the song goes, “I put my faith in Jesus, my anchor, to the ground. My hope and firm foundation. He’ll never let me down.”

Promises (feat. Joe L Barnes & Naomi Raine) | Maverick City Music | TRIBL

“Great is Your faithfulness to me. From the rising sun to the setting same, I will praise Your name.”

And I’ll end this newsletter with another song from Maverick City.

A “Million Little Miracles” is what we have seen, especially during the month of April. I wrote a caption on one of the pictures I posted on Facebook of me and Gary standing on the deck of the house in Tennessee that said, “Pinch us, we must be dreaming.” That’s how I feel. God has been doing miracle after miracle for us. We are so grateful.

You can find “Million Little Miracles” here:

Million Little Miracles | Elevation Worship & Maverick City

I pray that this little letter encourages you all.

 

 

~ Homeschool Corner ~

If you are a homeschooler, I hope that you can see that homeschooling does not have to be perfectly planned and executed. We are amazed to see the plan that God had for us, but we sure didn’t plan any of this. My husband always says we’re strapped into the seat of a roller coaster and we can’t control where it goes or how fast or what curves are coming up or anything else. Our faith is in Jesus as far as taking care of our family, but also in our homeschooling. I could be worried and fearful about the lack of consistent “schooling” I’m able to do right now, but I’m not. I know that the kids are learning important life skills through all of this, including trusting God for everything. And that’s really the most important life skill of all!

The kids are a little tired of having to move so often, but they are real troopers. Morgan has become our chef. He fixes delicious, nutritious dinners for us every night, and sometimes makes crepes for us in the morning. He is constantly searching out inexpensive recipes that stretch really far and taste good. He makes the grocery list and tries to keep the bill as low as possible. The girls pitch in and help him cook, and they are learning some new recipes too. Gary fixed pancakes for everybody the last couple of mornings. We’re so thankful to be in Airbnb’s instead of hotels.

It almost feels like we’re camping. We had a bonfire last night and roasted hot dogs and marshmallows. Fiona made smores for us. 

And we pray together, asking the Lord, “Where to next?” And we pray for God’s will to be done in our lives and in our nation.

We’ve seen parts of the country we’ve never seen before. It’s a great geography lesson for all of us!

So I’m not concerned about book learning that isn’t happening. We’ll do some more of that when we get settled. Right now it’s all about finding God’s will for our lives and learning how to live by faith.  

The theme for this season is Trust and Obey. With a lot of waiting, endurance, and perseverance thrown in for good measure.

What is your theme for this season?

If you need some new curriculum to change things up a little here at the end of the year, check out my Charlotte Mason-style journals here.

Oh yeah! Happy Mother’s Day! 

I have a great idea! Tell your husband and your kids that you NEED  Short, Powerful Prayers for Busy Homeschool Moms for Mother’s Day. You can get it and my other books here. 🙂

Have a blessed Mother’s Day and a blessed May!

Penney Douglas, B. S. in Ed.

Safe Haven Homeschooling

Linktr.ee/penneydouglas

Changed By Love blog – my homeschool and personal blog

Safe Haven Homeschooling Curriculum