Daily Encouragement for Homeschooling Mothers

Taken–and Missed–Opportunities

Our Opportunity #2 last weekend was a campus minister seminar at Lipscomb University in Nashville, which included a reunion of people who previously served in campus ministry. Ray was a campus minister from 1977 to 1983. We loved working with college students, but we didn’t find the schedule conducive to the family life we wanted, so Ray moved into preaching when Mary Evelyn was born. However, as long as Ray served in the ministry, he worked in churches that reached out to students attending nearby universities. When we learned about the reunion, we wanted very much to go and reconnect with people we knew and loved way back when. The reunion actually began on Thursday evening and continued into Sunday. Opportunity #1, the concert, kept us away for the first...

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Sweet Connections

Ideas come to me in the mornings before I get up or a little later when I am putting on my makeup and fixing my hair. As I was standing at my mirror yesterday, I thought back to the concert at the Grand Ole Opry House last week. I realized that the music was special because it connected to my own past. Though the quality of the entertainment was top-notch, the choices of songs made me enjoy it even more. Were I to attend an event like that in Japan or Africa, I would have been blessed and amazed, but I wouldn’t have had the sweet connections that I had in Nashville. When I saw that the theme for the “Little House on the Prairie” television show was on the program, I couldn’t bring back the tune in my memory, but when the orchestra began to...

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A Great-Grandmother’s Inspiration

Ray and I had three opportunities to be with people we love this past weekend. We got home last night happy we had decided to do all three. Opportunity One was “Copland to Cash: An American Rhapsody,” performed by ten- to twenty-year-olds who had just spent ten days at the Fine Arts Summer Academy (FASA) at Lipscomb University in Nashville. My friend Tabitha has told me several times about the wonderful experience her homeschooled daughters have at the camp each July. When she sent me the date for this year’s closing concert, Ray and I got tickets. We were so impressed with the performance that we want to make this an annual event in our lives, even in years when we don’t know any of the performers personally.  On the second day of camp,...

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Childhood–A Time to Get Real

Last Thursday Ray and I left home for a long weekend. I have lots to share about lessons I learned on this trip, but first I want to share some thoughts that began to dawn on me the first morning we were gone. On New Year’s Day, I wrote about one way Ray and I try to stay healthy on the road. For many people, BYOB means “bring your own bottle;” but for us, it’s “bring your own breakfast.” Since we are out of town so much for conventions and to visit our children and grandchildren, we feel we must pass up the hotel fare of Danishes, waffles, and Fruit Loops® most of the time. We pack raisins, real butter, and packets of organic oatmeal. For a special treat, we try to bring a loaf of bakery bread from our freezer, or better yet,...

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Home Work

I started to title this “Helpful Hints from Heloise.” Realizing that title has been taken (though it’s “Hints from Heloise” without the “Helpful,” [though Heloise's hints are helpful]), I did an online search for my proposed title. To my delight, I found some biographical information about the real Heloises. You might have come across one of Heloise II’s columns in a newspaper. In 2013 they were carried by 500 newspapers. I know you probably don’t get your news from a newspaper, but perhaps you have seen a newspaper sometime, maybe at your grandparents’ house. Good Housekeeping magazine also carries her column. You may not get print magazines either, but perhaps you have seen one at a doctor’s...

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Jack–The One Who Went Up the Beanstalk

Ray and I got to the curriculum fair in Chattanooga early last Saturday morning so we could spend some time in the Books Bloom booth. For fifteen years, we have enjoyed Gary and Jan Bloom and their booth full of great old books. We have always liked Gary’s cheerful humor, and Jan and I have had heart-to-heart talks in her booth. This convention season has been extra-special because we have spent time with them “after hours” and have loved getting to know them as a couple. I probably wouldn’t have paid much attention to the copy of Jack and the Beanstalk that I found in their booth, if Clara has not asked me to tell her that story recently. I made a stab at it that day, but it had been so long since I read it that I had forgotten many...

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Missing Larry and Laura

When John was about eight years old, our friend Craig completed his graduate work at the University of Illinois. He and his wife Becky and their children Paul and Katie moved away so Craig could start the career for which he trained. Though Paul was much younger than John, he and Paul were good friends. John expressed his grief like this: “Every time you say something to me, you say one of my friends is moving.” I have been feeling a bit like John lately. Our family has hosted a house church on Sundays for many years. It continues to be an encouragement to us, as does the local congregation which we meet with on Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings. Almost two years ago, our friends Randy, Dena, Ryan, Ethan, and Anna, who had come to our house on...

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