A Homeschool Mom's Weekend Away {Weekend Reflecting}

Weekend Reflecting:
"The elder women likewise, that they be in such behavior as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not subject to much wine, but teachers of honest things.
That they may instruct the young women to be sober minded, that they love their husbands, that they love their children,
That they be temperate, chaste, keeping at home, good and subject unto their husbands, that the word of God be not evil spoken of."
Titus 2:3-5 (Geneva Bible)
Joyful Socks serving at Winter Summit 2014

I cannot even begin to do justice to the amazing refreshment and encouragement that I received this weekend at the Homeschool Moms Winter Summit!  The weekend was full of wonderful gems of encouragement, renewal, and guilt-free conviction.  

I was able to fellowship and get real with other ladies that share the same struggles as I.  There is something just amazing about sharing your heart and confessing your short comings, while receiving no condemnation, but instead gaining a listening ear, a compassionate heart, and a moment in prayer with another homeschool mother with real problems too . . . just like you!  What a special moment when the Holy Spirit takes over and you are able to speak life & promises from God's Word, pouring them out in prayer over another homeschool mom.

What was an especially huge blessing to me were the many nuggets of truth that I gleaned on how to become a more godly wife.  It was amazing to realize that God does not give any commands on being a godly mother, but instead gives many commands on being a godly wife!  I came away with the realization that God still has much to accomplish with me in this area, but I am surrendered and ready for Him to do the shaping.  I think my husband will experience the honor of the respect that he has been long overdue!  I love the reminder over and over from Cheryl Lange (one of many amazing speakers), "Do you want to be right, or do you want to be righteous?!?"

Of course, no Winter Summit would be complete without the ability to laugh at the many unique and quirky situations we experience as homeschoolers.  There is something truly cleansing about the process of breaking through tears and into laughter.  Believe me, there was plenty of that going around. Laughter highlights included the hysterical Laurie as the "Perfet" Homeschool Mom; The M.C. team of Smockity Frocks, Lisa Pennington & The Marathon Mom; & the Girls Night Out Pajama "Beauty Contest" . . . and many other moments that just have to stay at Summit!

From Top Right Clockwise: Lisa Pennington strutting her morning walk, the "Good Morning" Homeschool Moms posing for the paparazzi, and Smockity Frocks with her morning cedar-fever look!

It is difficult to pin point one particular area of Winter Summit that was my favorite, but if I had to choose, it would be this amazing take-away from the founder & president of Winter Summit, the transparent cheer-leading Roxanne Parks . . .

"What if God intended homeschooling to sanctify you and your children, not to train them academically?"

Now there is a thought that is MORE THAN SOBERING TO ME!  I will tell you that, that one statement has brought me to my knees in humble reflection.  This is good stuff ladies . . . Be certain you do not miss Winter Summit next year.  I know you will be as blessed as I, and your husband and children will be thrilled with the new wife & mom that comes home!

Be sure to check out more Winter Summit fun on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook by following the #hsmwsummit hashtag.

Joyfully Learning with You,
The Joyful Socks Mom 

Be sure to keep up with Joyful Socks on PinterestTwitterInstagram & Facebook

Here are some more homeschool resources we recommend: 
  • It is not to early to start planning your weekend at Summit next year . . . Be there!  Homeschool Mom Winter Summer
  • Take a journey through Notebooking Success! Best notebooking resource for home educators. . .and beyond.
  • Wonder Maps is the homeschool geography that is great for using in your notebooks.


5 Gifts to Give Yourself This Year {My Favorite Things}

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The new year is officially here and we are already half of a month away from our resolution lists.  Actually, I am trying to shun the concept of "resolutions" and embrace a Goal List for 2014. Having a list of goals, both long term and short, seems to me a more viable means of consistently meeting my own expectations for the new year and beyond.  Expectations that are realistically based and guilt-free, thank you very much.  In goal setting, I am recognizing that some are attainable within the year, and others are the work of consistent progress, achieved only from lifetime of experience, of which I do not yet have.

While considering and contemplating my Goal List for 2014, I have now determined that there are certain gifts that I need to give to myself, in order to better attain my goals for the year.  Yep, that's right . . . GIFTS.

Here are 5 gifts I will be giving myself this year . . . Why not join me?

Self-Care:  Yes, yes, I know . . . physician heal thy self.  I will be the first to admit this is not one of my stronger points.  My kids actually dubbed Monday last week official "Thank you mom for working so hard day!".  While it is sweet and considerate for my children to express appreciation this way, it is also a not-too-subtle sign that I spend more time working than most other activities in life.  Self-care is most certainly on my Goal List for 2014, maybe it should be on your's too.

Here is my self-care plan:

  • Eat clean
  • Get exercise . . . .ha, ha!
  • Get more sleep . . . Double ha, ha!
  • Be consistent in using my essential oils for prevention, NOT therapeutic measures

Hobbies:  Crochet. Herb gardening. Miniature gardens. Writing. I'm considering Stamp collecting & Coin collecting (yes, I am aware of how nerdy I am). Watching the Dallas Cowboys in agony . . . okay, maybe the last one does not officially count as a hobby.  

Working with the sole purpose of enjoyment, and unwinding yourself from a day of "real life" work that was stressful or less-than enjoyable, this is what a hobby is to me.

Reading Time: Leaders are Readers & Readers are Leaders.  

You are leading your children as God grows them in wisdom, stature and favor.  Be equipped with the work of great ideas.  Read the Bible, daily, that's a given. Read books that inspire you in your daily duties as wife, mother and educator. Get eclectic with your reading and try a new genre . . . expand your interests.  Reading is essential in any education, including your own.  If we wish to teach our children to be life long learners, then we best practice what we preach.
Here are a few of my favorites for the new year -
Refreshment & Renewal: After seven years of home educating, I have a good working knowledge of the areas that I struggle with the most as a wife, mother and educator.  The top of the list?  Mommy grumpiness, coupled with mid-year burn-out!  This makes for a quite unsavory combination of "unwanted end results" in my "should-be-serene" home.  

The biggest difference in me between being a beginner homeschool mommy, and where God has me now is this . . . 

I no longer ignore, nor pretend that burn-out isn't coming.  I know it will and I know that I must find a source of refreshment and renewal in order to avoid the unwanted end results!  

How do I get Refreshed and Renewed? Homeschool Mom Winter Summit is one of the best places for me to contend with this issue and helps me to refresh, renew, avoid comparison-itis, and the overall mommy guilt that follows my general weaknesses.

I know I "gush" over the Homeschool Mom Winter Summit a lot on this blog, in person, on Facebook, annoyingly when you're trying to talk about something else . . . but I cannot say enough good about the fellowship, the experience, the nurturing, the worship, the prayer and refreshing that comes to a homeschool mom after attending this event.  

Go!  You won't regret a minute spent seeking and searching the mysteries of God, in order to continue walking in His vision for your family and homeschool.

And, how about you don't just take my word for it?  Check out the testimonial page online to see what other homeschool moms have to say about Summit.

Grace:  One other item on my 2014 Goal List is to "grow in grace".  This does not just mean asking God for more grace, nor just in the giving of grace to others.  For me, it is recognizing that I too need grace for myself.  

I cannot do it all.  Why would I even want to?
I cannot have it all. Simplify.
I cannot be perfect.  Christ came to give His grace freely to me.  I should give every effort toward honoring that sacrifice by how I live.  I should reflect that openly, even in the way I treat myself.  Not selfishness, but selflessness that truly knows and recognizes the fact that without Christ's grace, I would be sufficient in nothing.

Be patient in waiting for Christ to work together all things for your good.  
He is.  He does. He will.
    Romans 8:28 (1599 Geneva Bible)
    "Also we know that all things work together for the best unto them that love God, even to them that are called of his purpose."
Joyfully Learning with You,
The Joyful Socks Mom 

Be sure to keep up with Joyful Socks on PinterestTwitterInstagram & Facebook

Here are some more homeschool resources we recommend: