How to Use a Bullet Journal for Your Homeschool

I have not been shy about the fact that the Bullet Journal system has saved my sanity.  I’m not a naturally organized person.  I hate wasted pages that I don’t use.  I have a weird life with my husband’s schedule changing from week to week, homeschooling, writing, and managing food allergies in our home.  There’s a lot of things going on, and this system helps me feel like my balls aren’t being juggled in the air, but rather safely tucked in my bullet journal.

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Many homeschooling friends have asked me how I use it for homeschooling.  I will say that laws vary from state to state on what you need to record for homeschooling.  In my state, I am not required to count school days, or have a portfolio review.  I do not keep grades.  Either a child has mastered a subject, or she hasn’t.  If he or she hasn’t mastered it, we will stay on it until they do.  Are they engaged, and learning every day?  Is their curiosity peaked? Are they stuck in a rut and need to branch out?  Grades don’t tell me those things.  So my uses for the bullet journal are purely for my own needs, and are not legal documents.

One of my favorite things about the bullet journal is that it changes as you change.  As your kids grow and have different needs, your bullet journal just changes with them.  As my organizational needs has evolved, so has the bullet journal.

If you want to see the details on how to do a bullet journal, you can see the basics here.  The beauty of the system is you can use any plain notebook to make it work.  I have really liked using a Leuchtturm notebook with the dotted pages.  Basically, you make up a planner in a blank journal as you go.  There are 2 types of pages.  Calendar pages (6 month spread, monthly pages, weekly pages, daily pages…I don’t use a monthly pages.  I found out I never really used them.) You write to do lists and appointments on your daily list, and things that don’t get done get migrated to an appropriate day in the future, or crossed off altogether.

Every Saturday, I set up my bullet journal for the next week.  I pull items off of the Google calendar that both my husband and I contribute to as we make plans.  Then I migrate anything left undone from the last week onto some place in the new week, or if I’m sure it’s not going to get done for awhile, I’ll migrate it to my 6-month spread. (Like I said, I don’t seem to use or make the monthly spreads.  It’s redundant in my weird brain, and I love how you don’t have to put any pages in there that you realistically won’t use, and customize it to your own weird brain.)

This summer I finished up my 2nd bullet journal, and I started my 3rd.  As I reflected on more ways I would like to grow and prepare for the next season, I added some new things to my daily pages.  First, I added water-drinking tracking and vegetable eating tracking for ME  on my daily page.  Also, I added a weather forecast for my daily pages.  The reason I did this is that my husband will often just show up when we are in the middle of things because it’s raining and he has the rest of the day off.  Or maybe we got some good snow and he declares a PE day for our homeschool and takes the kids cross country skiing.  Such is life being married to a farmer whose work is almost always weather-dominated.  It happens with little warning.  It drives me crazy.  I figured if I have a vague idea of what the weather will be like on each day, I can better predict when my husband will be interrupting making memories with our children.

Here’s another example of a bullet journal evolving as you grow with it.

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This is a basic daily page from my 1st bullet journal.

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This is a basic daily page from my 2nd bullet journal.  I added a kid chore list, as each of my school-aged kids do a family chore after every meal.  I usually just look around and see what needs to be done, but I found it saves time to write something down when I see it or think of it, so when they ask me, I have a whole list to choose from when handing out jobs.

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This is a basic daily page from my current bullet journal.  I’ve added lines to be fancy, and because I’m getting a clearer vision for what I need to see every day.  It was getting so packed that it would be too confusing or cluttered without the lines.

The other type of pages are collection pages.  For my new bullet journal, I’m putting a band of washi tape on the edge of my pages that are collection pages so they are easier to flip to and find in the bulk of the calendar pages, as I don’t use the table of contents as often as I should.  Collection pages don’t all have to be in the same spot or in any order—which I LOVE.  I can just write them in when I think of one that I’ll use.  For instance, I have a menu plan collection page that I wrote about here.  This helps me simplify meal planning.  (In my newest bullet journal, I’ve added a freezer meal inventory page, and I’ve added lunches rotations as well as snack ideas to my meal schedule page.  I also have a page with a running list of blog post ideas.  You can do budget pages, or goal setting pages too.  You can make a page for any list you want to reference, like “Menu brainstorm for Easter Supper”)

Next, it would be helpful to share how our school days look.  We have been homeschooling 7 years, and are about to start our 8th.  I started out very structured, and realized that wasn’t us.  So we went from a strict schedule to a relaxed routine.  I would have the routine of when things happened posted in the kitchen.  We also learned that we need a family quiet time every afternoon.  It’s not just that the little ones need a nap, but the older ones need some quiet too, and I certainly need to just not talk to anyone for just an hour for the sake of my vocal cords and sanity.

So for the last few years, our school day has looked like this:

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This has worked well for the most part.  It got a little trickier once we added our 3rd student to school.  Last year we added our 4th, with a preschooler and infant in the mix too.  We also joined a homeschool community known as “Classical Conversations.” So we limped along with the old routine and the new needs, but as we are on break and I’ve had time to reflect, we are making yet another change to accommodate our growing needs.

We are going back to a stricter schedule, because students #3 and #4 are getting cut out of the school day when things go awry on a consistent basis.  And things do go awry.  There is no such thing as a perfect homeschool day.  Last year I really focused my attention on getting my student #2 with ADHD and dyslexia to be able to manage more of his work independently so I could work with the younger kids more.  Keeping him on task is a challenge, and he made huge strides in this area.

But student #3 and #4 need my attention even though they are not the squeakiest wheels on this bus.  So with the cheering on of the veteran homeschooling moms I’ve consulted, I’m moving back to a timed schedule, so that these students get better prioritized, and students #1 and #2 can visually see that my time is promised to other people and they will just have to wait until it’s their turn with me to tell me their random factoid they just read.

If you want to know what I do with child #5 and #6 who are too little to “do school” I have written about that here and here.

To do this, I have made a schedule for each of the school-aged children in my home, as well as one for me.  I took out my handy-dandy laminator, and these are now ready to be used on a daily basis with dry-erase markers to cross something off when it is done.

My homeschooling mentor-moms assure me that this type of schedule will work this time because I have grown into this level of organization, when I just wasn’t there before.  More importantly, I have the faces of my kids getting skipped at the front of my mind and I’m doing this for them.  My “why” is different this time.

Stay with me.  The bullet journal is coming back into the conversation soon.

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I previously posted about our Morning Hour.  I have adjusted this a bit to include our Classical Conversations memory work review.  I use a 3-ring binder mostly for holding papers for morning hour, but I work off of my bullet journal page to stay on task.  Basically, I cover many subjects in that hour, when it would be too tedious to itemize them on a schedule.

While it’s rare for me to put homeschooling items on my daily pages, I use collection pages to manage my homeschool, as well as habit trackers, to keep track of what each child is working through in each subject.  

For instance, here is our school bookshelf page (I’m still working on filling this up during the summer, so it will be ready to go this fall):

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Each child (and myself…modeling the whole lifelong learning thing) has books on their school shelf that I’m wanting them to read this year.  We also do a read-aloud during our morning snack or “tea-time” so I have a shelf for that, to remember which books I was hoping to read to the kids while their mouths are busy chewing their snack and drinking tea.  When a book is finished, I take a colored pencil and color it in, so that I know it’s finished.

IMG_6216It’s like a pretty-picture checklist.  I always try to put more books on here than we can read so that 1) we can have options to move on if a book is really not working with a child.  There are so many good books out there that I don’t like wasting time on ones that clearly aren’t working, and 2) I can’t predict how fast we will get through a book.  There are so many interruptions in life.  We just move forward each day with what is in our hands.  As long as we are reading everyday, I’m content.

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Another collection day is a yearly calendar so I can keep track of days that we work hard, and plan in vacations.  Like I said, our state does not require this, but I have learned that I need to plan in vacation for myself, and this calendar just helps me fight the guilt in taking days off, and see how much we are actually working.

I have a homeschooling to-do page, which is basically a teacher-prep page, of seminars I’d like to watch online for training, or posters I’d like to make, field trips I’d like to do, or organizational things I’d like to set up, or pages I need to copy.  I don’t have one for each week, just a running list that I’m constantly adding to and x-ing off.  If its something little or urgent, I put it on my daily page.

Then there is habit tracking pages.  This is what I have done for one child:

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I plan to extend the habit tracker by turning it across 2 pages, and putting one child on top of the other like in this pin.  (I have a whole Pinterest board where it’s fun to store ideas and learn how to make things pretty.)

You can even make up collection pages as needed, and they don’t have to be artistic or anything.  I have a page with just a list of words that one child consistently spells incorrectly in his daily narration.  It helps me brainstorm on working on those and seeing patterns.

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I also have a spread of everyone’s schedules so that I have a quick reference of what everyone should be doing if I’m not in the kitchen.

Finally, what did I do with my oldest Challenge A student last year (going into Challenge B this year!) for her full load of schoolwork?  How do I keep track of her work for high school transcripts, and prepare her to manage college syllabuses?  (Syllabi?) Well, in Classical Conversations, the Challenge years are all about transferring ownership of the school to the student.  She got her own bullet journal partway through the year, and she LOVES IT.  Sometime this next year, I’ll have her make a post on how she uses her own bullet journal for the Challenge program, and even moving into the summer months to keep track of all of the projects and events she wants to do during her time off.

On my side of keeping track of her things, I would schedule a weekly meeting with her on the weekly spread of my bullet journal, so make sure her week is set up properly in her own journal, and that she’s keeping on top of her workload, and discuss her tests and papers.  As she has her own weaknesses, she gets a habit tracker of things that I need to supervise, or verify to keep her accountable on a daily basis.

Seeking the Small

Oh, friends.  I have missed you.  Summer break is finally here.  Life has been so free from writing that I’ve been twitching a bit.  We ended school in May, and I thought I could jump back in, but the kids were in swimming lessons, and the only time I could get for one of my kids was…during my normal sliver of writing time.   Swimming lessons are now over.  Curriculum is back on the shelves.  The garden is planted.  The winter jackets are finally in storage.  It’s time.

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I didn’t do even half of the things I was hoping to do during the break from writing.  That’s how it goes.

Sometimes people come up to me, acting very shy, and say that they promise they are not a stalker, but they read my blog, and they just wanted to say that they love reading my blog.  It’s always funny, because I think that’s how awkward friendships are in this day in age.  You may feel like a stalker.  I sure feel like a stalker to invade your homes like this.  I’ve missed writing you all.  Why must we feel like a stalker to take one step towards being in someone else’s lives?  That must be why we all get lonely.  We are too afraid of being a stalker to be a friend to someone who feels like no one notices.  Anyway…

Here’s some quick highlights of what has been going on.

I finally got to go on a retreat in March.  Since we started homeschooling 7 years ago, we figured out that I need a weekend away to regroup, because it is very taxing.  I usually go in January, which is perfect for the farm, and it’s perfect to help curb the typical February burnout that most homeschooling families face.  I wanted to try a different retreat this year, and it wasn’t until March.  That was a mistake.  I loved the actual retreat, but I had walked through the February burnout, and was so frayed that it was almost too little, too late.

But…I got to meet Ann Voskamp at the retreat.  Twice.  And the second time I saw her, she called me by name, and had a follow up thought to what we had talked about the first time.  She’s pretty much as kind and sweet as you would imagine her to be.  In fact, imagine what she’s like in real life, and the add thoughtfulness and kindness to that a bit more, and you’re a bit closer to her in real life.

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Something significant happened there, between God and me.  About 17 years ago, God humbled me deeply, and I lived in the shock of it for years.  I had my sights set on ministry which appears good on the outside, but it was deeply rooted in my pride and own religious accomplishments.  What followed was about a decade of me slamming into many doors that were not for me, until I gave up, and told God: “alright.  I’ll be still.  I won’t move until you make it clear.”  I knew that he wanted me to focus on my job of raising our kids.  He knew what we would face.  He knew we’d be dealing with some very high maintenance times.  He knew my family would need my full attention.

But sometimes being a wife and mother feels like it’s not enough.  It’s not enough for our ego.  It’s certainly not enough for other people’s expectations.  It’s lowly work, this job of changing diapers, spending so much time making food that at least one person complains about, and refuses to touch.  It involves lots discipline, and character training, which makes you “mean.”  It’s easy to think that these menial tasks are a waste of a life, like we are all meant for greater things than washing feet.

During these last months, I heard Ann Voskamp be interviewed on a writer’s podcast, and she encouraged other writers to seek the small.  Seek the little.  It resonated so much with my struggle to see the value in the grunt work that no one notices, to these little people who are most precious to God.  It made me wonder, in what other ways can the rubber-meet-the-road, so to speak, in areas of my life that are small, but important.

How many things do I skip over because they aren’t “big enough” to be worth my while.

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I have been studying and writing behind the scenes for quite a long time about the subject of mentoring.  Before I took a break from writing, I had the crazy idea that instead of complaining that there aren’t enough older women stepping up to mentor and support young mothers, I should be mentoring and supporting young woman.  It was hard to admit that I might be considered an older woman in some circles.  I’ve been slowly seeing it, as I see 20 year old, or even 25 year old, young married, or young mothers ask me advice.  It’s usually to the tune of them considering homeschooling, and they want to pick my brain since I’ve been doing it for 7 years.

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Has it really be 7 years already?  Really, that’s not that long.

I didn’t know who I should mentor.  I had no idea where to start.  I felt incredibly inadequate.  I had no time.  I would love to reach thousands of women, but why is it so hard to reach one?  So I went very local, and made a list of women who were roughly 10+ years behind me, either by age or stage of life.  I had a hard time coming up with women, and so those parameters became wiggly.  Every time someone new came to mind, I would just add her name to the list.

Soon, there were 7 young women’s names.  I have no time for a group that large, and I barely knew some of them.  Some of them were name recognition only.  But I started to pray.  I told God that I wanted to be his hands in feet in a small way, and I wanted him to teach me how to do this.

After praying for a good month or so, 2 names rose to the top of the list, mostly during a conversation with my husband when I finally caught him up on what I was hoping to do.  So I did the “stalker thing” and emailed each of these 2 ladies, and asked if we could get together for breakfast, individually, once or twice month, before our husbands went to work, early in the morning, and I would just like to “mentor” them.  Then I explained what I meant by that.  In my case, I would commit to praying for them every day.  I would just sit and listen and encourage them as they just talked about what was going on in their lives.  I would share what I have learned about marriage, as needed, or about parenting, as needed.  My main goal wasn’t to get them to do what I was doing, but to be a voice consistently point them to Christ, in whatever that looked like in their circumstances.

I was terrified.  Who did I think I was thinking I could do this?!?!

The response was pretty much a tear-filled “you have no idea how much I’ve been praying for something exactly like this!!!” from each of the women.

Surprisingly they didn’t call me a stalker. And I had no idea how much I would personally be blessed by this kind of relationship of meeting with someone (I barely knew either of them) who is newly married or has just little-little kids, with the sole intent of encouraging them.  It has ministered to my soul in a way that I could have never expected in my own life.

Then in March at the retreat, as I was spending time in prayer, it became very clear to me, that it’s time.

After 17 years, it’s time for me to step forward in more intentional ministry.  It’s time for my older kids to see me, and their father working in the church, and teaching them to serve others.  Knut already works a lot as an elder in our church, but I haven’t even been able to make it to a Bible study.  I just cover nursery from time to time.  I can’t even manage teaching Sunday School anymore.  It’s time to start stepping forward into the dreams God has laid on my heart.

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How did I know?  It wasn’t really audible.  God doesn’t talk like that.  His vocabulary is the Bible.  That’s his language.  I think that I knew mostly because this fear that was placed on my heart 17 years ago, like a child standing on the edge of a road, and her Father calls out to her to stop and wait for him to cross with her, just dropped.  It dropped and shattered like glass.  God has kept me in such a humbled position that I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that the power and glory and honor is his.  It wasn’t even that I didn’t care about getting honor and glory anymore, it was that I was so incredibly certain that I didn’t want a hint of it.  I wanted to be small, stay small.  I wanted to be so small that people only saw Christ when they saw me.  I couldn’t honestly say that 17 years ago.  Back then, I had dreams of people writing books about me.

It totally doesn’t matter anymore if the work he calls me to is big or small.  I know longer care if I reach thousands or 2.  I want to be faithful in what he has given me.  I don’t even feel the compulsion to charge ahead forward in taking on a lot.  It’s that I don’t have to be afraid to say “yes.”  The fear is gone.

I also gained some clarity as far as what I where I would be focusing my writing time.  I still intend to keep up this blog, though maybe a touch less.  Maybe just once a week.  I want to spend a significant bigger time working on writing Bible studies.  I keep putting it on hold because of how my family seems to get pummeled, spiritually speaking, whenever any one of us steps into ministry work… trampling on territory that Satan feels belongs to him.  I get a chapter written, and then I have to take a month off to tend to the wounds Satan seems to have inflicted on those in my house.  The same thing happened when Knut became an elder.  That first year was rough.

Writing every word of this Bible study thus far can’t be described as anything less than battle.

So I need to be more intentional on raising prayer support during this writing period.  I don’t know what will become of these Bible studies that I’m writing for small groups of women, but it really doesn’t matter to me anymore.  I just feel called to write.  God has completely shattered my fear in moving forward with that.

Please, please know that I would love an email, telling me what you have been up to the last 6 months that I’ve been off the blog.  I want to catch up.  You aren’t a stalker.  I’m inviting you in to comment, message, and let me know how you are doing.  I read every one.  I’m so excited to be back.  I would love your prayer support and friendship.  I’m so excited to dig in.

Short Sabbatical

Dear Friends,

I’m going to step back from writing for a few months.  I hope to jump back in around June.  There are some things that I need to do for my family, and some things that God is working on teaching me.

I would love to stay in contact with you, and make sure that we can reconnect when I get back.  If you would like to sign up below for my email updates, you will automatically receive the newsletter that I sent to my regular subscribers, explaining the details of this break.  I hope that this way, we can stay in touch, and when the time is right, I can share with you all the fun things going on.

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Learning Dependence

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We took the month of December off of school, and boy did I need it.  We got through about 5 days of Advent readings.  I really dropped the ball in that area this year.

This year of tight schedules, running around, feeling like my new job was that of air traffic controller to these 6 kids and a husband in my house.  The margin available for error is small these days.  My errors, though, stay the same, and I’m constantly in catch up mode.

So I did what a lot of introverts do when they are over-spent.  I retreated, became introspective, reflective, and pretty much became a horrible friend.  I let commitments that meant a lot to me drop.  Through all that, one of my dearest friends was moving to the other side of the globe, and I could barely make myself return calls to her, because I knew those calls were setting up our “last goodbye” for a few years.  I didn’t want to say goodbye, so I retreated.  (We did eventually say goodbye, and I’m still recovering.)

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As I took the month to pause, and regroup, I found myself terrified by what I saw in me.  Writers block hit with greater force than it has in years.  I started to question God about some big things, and then I stopped showing up to hear his answers, because I figured I already knew what they were, and I didn’t like them.  I went into avoidance mode.

God, in his goodness, still pursued me.  He even still worked through me.  As I timidly walked into obedience in one area of my life, and started ministering to some other women, as well as my own daughter, I started having these amazingly deep conversations and was able to encourage people to seek Jesus’ face, as he is the author and perfecter of our faith.  Through these acts of ministry, God was relentlessly preaching to me, using the words that I was speaking to others.

I don’t think God gets angry when we quietly back up with timidity.  He is patient.  I find that with many of the women I speak with, they are afraid to pray what is really on their hearts.  They want to present their best to God, and appear before him unblemished.  They want to get their act together, and show God that they are listening and obedient.

Everything changed in my spiritual walk with God when I learned to present to God my ugly.  When I tell God the truth about my feelings.  When I show God my hardness.  When I question him out loud.  When I tell him that I’m stuck in this trap of feelings and fear, and I can’t get out.

Because he always gets me out of the trap.  And I never have done so on my own.  Hiding the fact that I get trapped in fear and self-sufficiency is just an act of pretense, and God wants intimacy.  My real father is an alcoholic, and our relationship over the years has it’s bulk in pretense.  He pretends he’s fine, for my sake.  I suppose he feels he is protecting me.  What he never seems to realize is that our relationship would grow if he would just share his struggles, instead of hiding them.  I see no point to a relationship based on lies.  I don’t like to pretend to have a relationship, with pretend information.

But in order to be honest with me, he has to be honest with myself.  I continue to find myself in his shoes, as I face God.  If I want to be honest with God, I must face the truth of the ugliness within myself.  And that is easier said than done.

I think God feels the same way.  I think sometimes when I avoid spending time with God, it’s because I’m weary of pretending that I’m good, or having the right words or the right attitude.  It’s just the lie that I have to be good, and show my good to God.

We don’t go to God to please him, but to be changed by him.  

If we go to God to present this person that we wish we were, then the relationship lacks depth.  It has no intimacy.  We must come out of the darkness, into the light, and share the parts of our heart that we’d rather not.

The ugliness in my heart that I was struggling through, and God wouldn’t let me hide, no matter how much I tried, was on the topic of dependence.  I’ll likely be writing about this a lot in the new year.  It goes back to when I was beginning to have good days after my car accident, and I prayed to God the silly prayer, “I’m getting better.  Pretty soon I won’t need you so much anymore.” Then I heard my pride, and my stupidity, and instantly repented.

So the question I’ve been asking for the last several months is “What does dependence on God look like when there is no crisis?” When I’m in crisis, I’m on my knees.  I’m asking God for the practical.  I can only handle the present.

But when the crisis is past, we take joy and pride in “getting our life back in order.” We work hard to make sure we aren’t put in a position of dependence again.

And it felt like God was asking me to step out in faith.  He wanted to use me for his purposes, and I knew, I knew that would mean trouble.  I know that would require dependence.  I was thoroughly enjoying “handling stuff” myself.  I was in a pattern of self improvement and taking steps towards independence.  I was failing, but not failing bad enough to really reach out for God as much.

Praying “Whatever you want, Thy will be done” when I was a preteen was fine and dandy.  It changed my life and God brought me into a world I had never even imagined.  As a teen, young adult, and even a married woman, I have learned to pray “Thy will be done” and open my arms to whatever God wanted to do through me.

But now I have 6 children.  They depend on me.  They hold such extreme value.  They are more precious to me than I could have imagined.  Must I also hold them up to the Lord and say “Thy will be done?” God turned my life upside down every time I have prayed that.  He turned it upside down in such a extreme, but life-giving way.  He changes everything.

But these are my children.

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And if I pray “Thy will be done” now, will he catch me?

I no longer wanted to be a writer.  I no longer wanted to reach many for the gospel.  I started turning inward, and it scared me.  I just wanted my quiet family to be safe and secure.  I didn’t want to become big, and live under the criticism of others.  I didn’t want my words overanalyzed, and mis-taken.  Being misunderstood through my writing has happened before, and it’s one of the most painful things I’ve lived through.  I’m not a good enough writer to avoid it.

I began to believe that if I were to hold my family, my writing, my all to the Lord, and say “Thy will be done” that one of my children would die.  I know that sounds crazy, but let’s be honest and let the crazy all hang out.  I saw so many people telling stories of God’s faithfulness during the hardest of trials, and if I wanted a big ministry, it would mean God would show up big, and the biggest way he could possibly do that is through the deepest hurts.  And that’s the greatest hurt that I could imagine.  Stories of mothers losing their children, and how God showed up started flooding my ears on a daily basis, taunting me.

So I stepped back.  I asked God for promises that if I gave him just me, he wouldn’t touch my children, and he gave me none.  He reminded me that my children are already his to do with as he wills.  He just asked me to trust Him, and his goodness.  My imagination paralyzed me.

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I know God is good.  I know he loves me.  I know he is present with me always, because his presence is so thick and gentle in the midst of my home that he cannot be avoided.  He continued to let me speak to others.  He continued to let me speak truth to my friends and women around me.  Every time I encouraged one of them, I was preaching the gospel to myself.  Every time I shared with them a verse, it was one that God was giving to me.

Faith is sometimes declared as a resolution. I have only experienced that in an emotional state, but from a spiritual-real-life-gritty perspective, I have learned that faith is never something that I can conjure up within me.  It is a gift that God places within me, and I slowly yield to it’s goodness.  Sometimes I feel like a hardened child, who slowly relaxes within the strong embrace of her Father, and when I take that shaky deep breath is the moment of faith.

My word for 2016 was Abide.

I think I could easily use that same one this year.  Though from a slightly different angle, the word I cannot escape for 2017 is it’s synonym: Dependence.

The last few months, I’ve joined a writing group called Hope*Writers.  It has become a huge new source of encouragement and iron sharpening iron.  I haven’t felt so supported in my writing and crafting well since I was in college.  One of the dear friends I have met there, Heather, who is also a writer, encouraged me with these words over our Voxer group.  I replayed them over and over, and wrote them down: “God gives us the grace to walk through hard things, but he does not give us the grace for our imaginations.”

We can live in the “what if.” But truly, living there is not living at all.  God gives grace for hard and concrete situations.  He will be with us in the dark, and in the pain.  But God will not give us a pretend-relationship. He will not give us the answers to all the “what-ifs.”  He simply says “follow me.” It’s faith.  Faith not that everything will be perfect, but that God’s grace will be greater, sweeter, and more sustaining than anything Satan can throw at us.

I’m going to be learning this year what dependence looks like in all circumstances.  It will be the focus of my personal study this year.

As you, dear friends, walk into the New Year as well, and examine resolutions, goals, and this past year, I’ll leave you with this quote shared I happened across yesterday:

“God is looking for people through whom He can do the impossible.  What a pity we plan only things we can do by ourselves.” -A.W. Tozer.