The Cow (or dog) Paths

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Springtime is here! And, oh, how I love spring!

Time to get out and work in the yard and garden and just to be in the warm sunshine after the long winter.

I was trying to evaluate what I need to work on outside when I encountered a valuable object lesson. I have a yellow lab named Mosby.

I couldn’t ask for a better dog. He would NEVER hurt one of my many grand kids (unless he whacked them with his giant tail by mistake). He’s a great dog- protects the family, absolutely loves , quiet in temperament, obedient (usually), but there’s just one thing I don’t suppose I’ll ever break him of…..

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My House is Quiet Now

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Rick and I used to joke whenever we’d sing the hymn Blessed Quietnesssaying, “hey, what is that?!” Quietness was not something you often experienced in our home. I remember times when the noise was so overpowering that I’d call a quiet time. That meant everyone had to sit quietly, read or play a quiet game for a specified period of time just to give mom a time to collect her thoughts.  It wasn’t always chaos but when you have 16 people living in the same house, it’s just not quiet. It’s busy. It’s active. There’s always something going on.

Well, things have changed now. I only have 2 kids living at home. Those 2 kids have jobs and interests and commitments and more often than not, my house is REALLY quiet. I’ve had a couple of occasions lately when a friend has stopped by and comments, “Wow, it just seems weird that your house is so quiet now.”  It is weird ,and I’m not sure I like it. It has it’s advantages sometimes,(it’s easier to concentrate when I write for instance)  but I LOVED experiencing life with my growing kiddos. I am proud of every one of them for the people they’ve turned out to be, but I do miss being mommy to little people.

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You Are Not Crazy

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You’re not weird.

Just thought I’d remind you of that, in case you’re like the average homeschooler who hears it said – or at least insinuated – frequently.  I often tell my listeners at conventions that the reason we go to those things is that after having been told we’re crazy all year long, we need to get together once a year to remind each other that we’re not.

In the first place, it’s not crazy to teach your own kids if you’re not a ‘professional’ teacher.  No school can match the individual attention each of your children gets from you. Not to mention the love you put into that relationship.  Nor the freedom you have to individualize the program for the needs and interests of each child.

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Dealing with Discouragement

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I’ve found that there have been seasons in my life that I just wanted to quit! You can’t see God’s hand or feel His presence and it seems like nothing is working. You feel like you’re not doing a good job at being a wife, mother, church member, neighbor- or anything at all.

What should you do? What can you do?  It’s during those times that I’m driven to God’s Word and here I find comfort and hope.

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Josh’s Story – Losing a Child to Leukemia

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I realize the title of this post is not a pleasant one. It’s not something we like to think about. But, for many, it’s a reality. 20 years ago it was our reality.

This month marks the 20th anniversary of the home-going of our 17-year old son, Josh. I thought I would share this post with you in hopes to encourage someone who may be going through a similar situation.

God is ALWAYS good. God sees the big picture. We are so limited in our understanding of life. This I know, with all my heart, that God only allows things to happen that conform us to his image and that work for the ultimate good. Although this was extremely crushing to go through, I KNOW that God views all that happens to us in light of eternity. 

This post is much longer than usual, but I found it difficult to divide the story up into pieces. I pray God continues to use Josh’s story for His good purposes….

It was about 11:15 on a warm, sunny September morning when my telephone rang. It was Gene from the doctor’s office. He asked me if Rick was home, and I said no, he was at work. He told me he had some bad news and perhaps I should sit down. I told him I was sitting, and he proceeded to tell me that Josh’s test results had come back, and although he wasn’t positive, it appeared that Josh had leukemia. At that very moment, my life changed drastically, although I couldn’t comprehend how much just then. I was stunned. I don’t remember too much else that he said, except that I should get in touch with Rick and have him call Gene. He would schedule us with an oncologist that afternoon to confirm the diagnosis.

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A Parent’s Prayer

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I cut this out of a newspaper years ago. The author was unknown.

My copy is old and yellowed with age, but I have loved the prayer for years:

“O Heavenly Father, make me a better parent. Teach me to understand my children, to listen patiently to what they have to say, and to answer all their questions kindly. Keep me from interrupting them or contradicting them. Make me as courteous to them as I would have them be to me. Forbid that I should ever laugh at their mistakes, or resort to shame or ridicule when they displease me. May I never punish them for my own selfish satisfaction or to show my power.

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Thanks, Mom and Dad (a note from our son)

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Moms and Dads- do you ever find yourself wondering if you are doing anything right as a parent?  Have you ever wondered if your kids would ever understand WHY you made certain choices and if they would ever appreciate the sacrifices you have made?

Those are common thoughts and feelings that we experience as parents in our weary times. Life is hard, isn’t it? Parenting is not easy. Relationships are not always want we want them to be.

No, we don’t parent to have our children agree with what we do. And we don’t parent with the expectation of appreciation. But sometimes, we long for that encouraging word, don’t we?

Recently, our sons Tim and Nate wrote two loving, grateful posts on facebook for me and Rick. I’ve posted these not to brag about our sons or to say “look at us, we did it all right!” Because we certainly did not. We relied on God’s help all along the way, and still do! (Guess what? You never quit being a parent, no matter the age of your children! We’re still learning!)

But, I’m sharing these posts with you in hopes that these will offer some encouragement to the mom or dad of young children or teenagers who feel like the journey is just too hard and there is not fruit….yet!

Keep hope, and keep doing the right thing! One day, you will see and reap the fruit.  Galatians 6:9 Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.

(if you missed Nate’s post- here it is)

From Tim (Age: 40)

“Too often we only say nice things about people after they die and we are often the most guilty of this with our own family members.

In a conversation today I was reminded just what fine people my parents are and it made me think to take a moment and just compliment them for the Facebook world to see.

My parents, Rick and Marilyn Boyer, for those of you who do not know, successfully raised 14 children and managed to avoid killing any of us in the process! And all of this while homeschooling, no less!

As I have gotten older and married and have 4 children of my own, I could not have asked for any greater role model than my own parents. Though I am certain I made them angry more than my fair share of the time, I can honestly say I can never remember either of my parents ever once yelling or screaming at any of their kids, and I deserved it more than most!

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Christmas Memories

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This past Christmas, our son Nate posted a lovely tribute to us on Facebook. He shared some of his Christmas memories as a child growing up in a very large family with not much money.

I wanted to share it with you to offer encouragement to the parent who feels like they can’t possibly be doing anything right; to the parent who is struggling financially; to the parent who wonders if their kids will ever realize how much you love them.

Keep doing right. Stay the course. Your kids are watching and observing, even when you don’t realize it!

From Nate: (Age: 39)

Christmas memories: “I’ve been reflecting the past few days on how my parents made Christmas special for us. Our grandparents lived hundreds of miles away and times were very tight when I was little, much tighter than I knew at the time, so Mom and Dad had to make Christmas special for us on their own for the most part.

I was so excited by Christmas as a kid I had very little idea that it was a time of extra financial pressure for them. Or how much Dad felt it and covered it up for our sake. I remember times when he gave us used toys or tools, at least for some of our gifts. I just thought he gave us those things because they were really cool. I had no idea that it was difficult for him to get into the spirit because he was struggling so hard, doing a humble business in the construction trades, doing work that didn’t excite him as a people person, all the while the pressure to feed a growing family weighing upon him.

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Where are the Cheerleaders?

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where-are-the-cheerleaders
In an airport recently I happened to see the final seconds of a televised basketball game. Because our family doesn’t have TV at home, it isn’t often that I see the mass hysteria that accompanies a close athletic contest. This particular game was a cliffhanger and the crowd was frantic as the seconds ticked off the clock and the buzzer sounded the climax. Then the field house erupted with noise as the clock decided the hard-fought contest. The fans were on their feet screaming, and the cheerleaders were leaping and doing handsprings at the edge of the court.
I remarked to Marilyn later what strange creatures we humans are. Two teams of five men each, selected from the best of the best and prepared by thousands of hours of training, throw an air-filled ball around a gym and through a net hanging from a metal hoop. All the while, thousands look on as though the fate of the world was being decided on the polished hardwood floor in front of them. We do love our play.

 

Eternal Importance 

I have no quarrel with those who like to play. I like to play myself, and when work permits I’m always ready for a good time. Nobody denies that there is time in a Christian’s life for rest and recreation. Still, it seems that we’ve overdone it a bit. Isn’t there something wrong with a society in which professional game-players are worshiped while accomplishments of eternal importance go unnoticed?

Woman and baby girl reading on bed

As a parent advocate, I’d like to see more cheering for parents. I think what moms and dads do is worthy of some applause. In fact, a whole lot of applause. After all, which is more important—throwing balls through hoops or forming little souls who will live forever?  Where are the cheerleaders who do handsprings when a frazzled young mom puts her preferred activity on the back burner for the umpteenth time in a day in order to read a story to a three-year-old child?
Who’s waving the pom-poms for the dad who works long hours at a job that’s not all that much fun, in order to provide a home for his wife and little ones?  Not to deny the hard work and sacrifice it takes to excel at sports, but what group is more important and less appreciated than parents?

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Finding Quiet Times with God in a Busy Household

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quiet-times-with-god

(Note: I actually wrote this article 6 years ago. So much has changed in that short time. Kids have grown up, and moved out. More grand babies have been born. Rick’s work schedule has changed. But, I thought it might be more helpful for you to still hear it this way- the way that life was for me when I wrote it-  rather than tell you what it’s like now with only 3 kids still at home, and only 1 still homeschooling.  Seasons change so quickly. If you feel overwhelmed at the season you are in now, hang on. A few years bring with them many changes.)

I dream of a capacious house full of rooms and lots of storage places. Central in that dream is my “quiet room”- a room with thick insulation and a skylight under which is a big comfy recliner just waiting for me to plunk down in it and read my Bible, pray and meditate, uninterrupted. As I look up through the skylight, I view the puffy cumulus clouds drifting by in the midst of a beautiful blue sky- a perfect scenario for meditating on the riches of God’s inexhaustible Word. Nearby is my bookcase, full of study books and concordances and a spacious desk on which I can leave my books spread out when not in use and ready to pick up again where I left off.

That’s my dream, but it’s not a reality-not in this season of my life! I’m a mom of 14 blessings… yes, blessings! I wouldn’t trade any one of them for all the solitude in the world, but I must confess, there are times I would like to experience, as the song goes “Blessed Quietness”! It happens only at very unusual times in my bustling household-like maybe after 11pm or midnight???

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