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Choices: Intentional Living vs Let’s Just See What Happens

2018 Homeschool Moms Conference

Choices: Intentional Living vs Let’s Just See What Happens


Prayer:  May the words of my mouth be acceptable to you Lord. May you use them to bless many of these ladies who are listening today. Your Word says that “Unless the Lord builds the house those who build it labor in vain.” Psalm 127:1 Lord; show us how to let you build our homes.


I’m so glad I have this opportunity to share with you all.

If you’ve read my bio you know that I’m no longer homeschooling because our children are grown.  By way of introduction, I want to introduce you to them. They were all homeschooled from preschool through high school. I’ve tried to take the Titus 2 mandate seriously.  I hope I can be an older woman teaching you younger women.  I will share some of what the Lord has done in our family and you can decide if it is something the Lord wants to use in your family.

Our goal was to raise our children to love the Lord with all their heart, soul, and strength. For our son to be a good protector and provider and for our daughters to be Godly wives and mothers. For academics we wanted them to love learning and be lifelong learners.

That may be brief, but it’s quite a tall order knowing that we are all sinners. Just homeschooling is a tall order, but raising Godly men and women takes even more commitment.

All three of them love the Lord and seek to follow Him.

Emily our oldest always wanted to be a vet.  Instead, the Lord has led her to be a published author, editor, court reporter proofreader, and closed caption typist. She is self-trained.

Rebekah is a freelance graphic designer and writer. She has sold over 700 e-book covers and made top salesman for the online company where she freelances. She also has her own business and does a lot of custom work. She is also self-trained.

Eric works for a local granite company in their IT department. He studied at home to pass several certifications so he could save time and money in college. He graduated with honors and a 4.0 average.

Notice how the Lord put this all together so their writer mother would have all her bases covered! We actually did not plan it this way. I have an editor to correct me (I used to call her edited copy the red letter edition), a graphic designer to make things attractive, and an IT person to keep my computer running. Isn’t the Lord good?

We don’t take credit for the above results. We did our best and trusted the Lord to guide us and do what we couldn’t.

Neither we nor our children are perfect! I repeat – none of us are perfect. But, we have worked hard to do the best we could to be and do what the Lord has called us to.


So how did we get where we are today?

I think our planning weekends have been one of the biggest ways that we have seen our hopes and dreams come true.

1 – In 1995 my husband Dan wanted me to go away with him to set some goals. I didn’t want to go for 2 reasons.

I felt I was already failing in every area of my life I really didn’t want to set any more goals so I could fail them too.

In our 11 years of marriage we had been through more years of school than I care to remember, a residency that required Dan to work even more hours, and a new job that now claimed even more of his time.

We also had 3 children in 5 years. The youngest was born 7 weeks early after three months of bedrest. Then he was diagnosed with leukemia when he was 16 months old.

2 -I also didn’t want to leave my “babies” who were 8, 6, and 4. Eric was still having chemotherapy. I couldn’t think of anyone who would be able to care for him correctly.

But Dan insisted, for which I’m really grateful.  Us strong-willed women are very difficult to lead.

Setting goals was a poor choice of words. What he really wanted was to encourage me and for me to encourage him.

We came home with a new sense of vision and purpose for our family. We knew there would be “life after leukemia” and could see beyond our temporary survival mode lifestyle.

We decided to get away every year, but if possible we would take our children because we missed them so much. We saw many things that they would have loved to do and even joked about having the person staying with them bring them to us.

We’re funny like that – we just love being with our children. Having my whole family with me is still my favorite thing to do.

We decided that in order to take control of our lives again we just had to take time to seek the Lord and plan for the things that were important to us.

We had no role model for this new venture, so we said a prayer and stepped out in faith.

Let me say upfront; this is not for the faint of heart. It’s much easier to just drift along and see what happens. But our enemy wants nothing less that to destroy our families. . John 10:10 the thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly

With the thought of the abundant life our Lord wanted us to have in our minds and hearts we decided we had to begin to live more intentionally if we wanted to be faithful to attempt to live out our vision.

Families have followed our plan many different ways. There is no wrong way to seek the Lord’s vision for you and your family.  Please do what works best for your family.

You do not have to plan to take your young children along with you but we found the benefits have far outweighed the difficulties.

When we started we would have short discussion sessions while they swam or entertained themselves. Then we would do something fun as a family, then another session for talking. Soon they wanted to know what we were talking about so we had what we called “wrap-ups” where we told them things that involved them or were appropriate for them to know.

After we talked and prayed about each one we would meet with them and tell them where we thought they were doing well. We would ask them to work on one character quality for the year after telling them about it, giving them a Scripture to memorize, and discussing why we thought it was important for them to be working on it. Overall we kept these talks positive.

Our children are in their 20’s and still look forward to having time with us during our planning time. Since they were about 12 we’ve spent a day on each one. In the morning we talk and pray for them. In the afternoon we talk and pray with them. It’s been so rewarding! I think there are many times issues would have slipped by unnoticed in the business of life had they not known that they would have a day with us during the planning time.

Of course, they came to us during the rest of the year, but having our undivided attention for an afternoon or as long as they needed was great!

I once asked a woman when was the last time she had six hours of her husband’s undivided attention. She asked if her honeymoon counted.

Even in the beginning when our children were quite young we would manage to get 6+ hours to talk over a weekend. When you are used to almost no time to talk about serious things 6 hours seems like an eternity.

Purposeful Planning goes into great detail about how we facilitated having our young children along so I won’t go into that here today. Just know that it is possible.

You will need to prepare ahead of time to arrange to have time to talk.

  • Pray – this is the most important thing you can do to prepare for this time.
  • Will you take your children?
  • Choose your dates.
  • Where will you meet?
  • Plan to take notes – we tend to forget, rather quickly sometimes.
  • Dan always brings along our family finances. This is the one time a year I get an overall look at them. It’s all I need.
  • Keep a list as you think of things you want to discuss or pray about together.


There is a list of topics in Purposeful Planning of things you should discuss. Most couples find this helpful since it eliminates the need to bring up a touchy topic. We’ll do it for you!



This verse has inspired me and encouraged me to seek Him first – in all things.


“He is before all things, and in Him, all things hold together.”

Colossians 1:17, NIV

If it is true that in Him all things hold together, do you suppose that the opposite is also true? Without Him, all things fall apart.

Have a plan


Don’t be afraid of the quiet times


Proverbs 10:19 says: “In the multitude of words sin is not lacking, But he who restrains his lips is wise.”

Admit it, ladies – we often talk too much.


My husband is a very quiet man. He doesn’t lead unless there is a void and he doesn’t talk unless there is quiet. He thinks things through very carefully before he speaks – and so he should since the responsibility of the leadership of our family rests on his shoulders. With our busy schedules, how often do our husbands, or we for that matter, have time to really think – meditate – process our thoughts?


Sitting in companionable silence is good! Don’t rush to fill every quiet moment with chatter. You will be amazed at what is going on in your quiet husband’s heart if you will give him time to process his thoughts.


Our purpose here is to create an atmosphere where it is safe to share. Be sure to listen – Don’t try to fix.


“True friendship comes when silence between two people is comfortable.”  Dave Tyson Gentry


“Many attempts to communicate are nullified by saying too much.” Robert Greenleaf


The first thing we talk about is what we accomplished off last year’s list.  The first time you meet you won’t have a list, but take some thoughtful time to list all the things you accomplished in your lives, churches, homes, family, over the last year. Don’t rush – give yourselves time to unwind. This is not the time to remind your husband, or wife; of all the things they didn’t get done. We found it was good to start on a positive note.



I recently heard this quote:


“Most people spend more time planning their family vacation than they do their life.” Anthony Robbins


Is this true of you? Do you really want to get to the end of your days and not have accomplished all that the Lord has for your family to do?


We want to help you grasp a concept that will prompt you to have a new lifestyle, a new way of life: a life that involves looking to the Lord first for His plans for your family, then set in motion the steps to make His plans come true.

As Stormie Omartian discusses in her book, The Power of Praying for your Adult Children, “the Lord is very willing to reveal His vision to us. He desires for all of us to have His vision for our lives, to have our eyes opened to understand our purpose and calling so we can respond correctly to the things He wants us to do, and so that we can know who He is.”


He is ready. Are you?


Williamsburg, China, UK

Our Planning Weekends

were the compass that helped us stay on course.

Planning weekends give you time to dream, to talk together about what you wish, or want, at a time when the other person is really listening.


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