Monday, December 15, 2014

Homeschool Moms Secret Pals

As homeschool moms we can get burnt out before we realize our flicker became a flame! Sometimes it's hard to stay encouraged especially if you don't have other homeschool moms around you rootin you on. So my sweet friend Kim & I have decided to host a Homeschool Moms Secret Pals group!

All you have to do is fill out the questionnaire below & email it to me. Kim & I will split them up, pray over them, & give each mom her secret pal & the rest is in your hands!

So what's expected of you?

Each month you need to mail your secret pal a note encouraging them, maybe a prayer, inspiring Scripture, & every so often a little happy like a gift card to her favorite fast food place, a coffee cup, her favorite magazine, dry erase markers...it's totally up to you! You don't need to spend a lot of money. As homeschool moms we know that funds can be tight, so don't let this be a burden! 

Pray about whether or not this is something you can be a part of. This session will run from January to May & the last thing you send in May you will reveal your name to your secret pal! If this goes well, we do it again starting in August with new pals! 

When filling out the questionnaire, be sure to be detailed so whomever gets you has a clear picture of who you are & what you like!

Anytime you get a note or a gift, be sure to post it on Instagram with the hashtag #HSmomsSecretPals. 

The last day to enter is Friday, December 19.

***********************
Full name:
IG name:
Mailing address:

Favorites-
Color
Fast food
Restaurant 
Drink
Snack
Shopping store for yourself

Others likes-
Styles: home? Fashion?
Things you collect
Hobbies


How many kids?
Ages/grades
How long have you been homeschooling?
What homeschool style do you use?What curriculum do you like?

When is your birthday?
Anniversary?

Any other random info you want to ad?�� like books or bible studies you like? Do you do ministry work? Are you a vegetarian? Follow THM? Anything else you want your secret pal to know about you add it! 

Bless you all!!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Follow the Star- an alternative to Elf on the Shelf

Now before I even explain what Follow the Star is, if you do Santa & the Elf this post is not meant to make you feel condemned or judged! I simply wanted to share what we do for other families that have the same or similar convictions. I received lots of hate mail the last few years for simply stating we tell our kids the truth, therefore I know what you're about to read could easily offend you & I don't want that! However, if you decide to read on please don't leave a nasty comment or send me private messages :) 
 
Every few days the wisemen & the star make an appearance with a note telling the kids something fun to do. My kids know I'm the one setting it all up, but they love it anyway. The "magic" isn't lost because they know the truth. And honestly, we do many of these things anyway during the Christmas season, adding Follow the Star just adds a little extra fun. They really look forward to finding them when they appear. 

Here are a few of the ideas we did last year:

We read the gingerbread man & made gingerbread cookies.

I hid them on the DVD player announcing we would watch a Christmas movie & eat popcorn & drink hot chocolate.

We made Christmas cards for our grandparents. 

Sometimes it was as simple as having pancakes with red & green M&Ms & watching a movie at breakfast.


And my favorite was when they surprised the boys after church letting them know we were headed to watch Frozen at the movies! 

We don't just tell our kids that Santa isn't real, but we tell them how he came to be & about St. Nicholas. Last year on St. Nicholas Day we left candy canes with Scripture on our neighbors' doors. I don't want my kids to think Santa is bad, I just want them to the truth & to keep our
focus on Christ & serving others. 

We watch all the traditional Christmas movies with Santa & {{{GASP}}}

We even take a picture with Santa!!! :) If we went to Disney we would take pics with the characters there too. We also give Santa & his elves a candy cane with Scripture on it. 

I love Christmas! I love talking about Jesus! I love making others happy! 

This works for us & I think it'll be a fun tradition to carry on each year & possibly something they might do with their kids.

Today is the 1st day of 2014 that the wisemen are making an appearance! 
This year I decided to add John 14:6 to our star as a reminder to my kids that Jesus is the Way, the Truth, & the Life. 


Another fun thing we do is a Jesse Tree using our Jesus Storybook Bible as a guide. I read them the story & read the Scriptures from my Bible, then we work together making an ornament to hang on our Jesse Tree. 

Here's a couple of pics:


I hope you found some ideas you like! If you decide to do Follow the Star with your kids PLEASE come back & tell me about it!! :)

Have a very blessed Christmas!







 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

How do we love those in open sin?

The two greatest commandments Jesus left us with “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:37-40

How do we love God? Again Jesus says in John 14:21 Those who accept My commandments and obey them are the ones who love Me. And because they love Me, my Father will love them. And I will love them and reveal Myself to each of them.” 
1 John 5:3 Loving God means keeping his commandments, and his commandments are not burdensome. 
1 John 2:3-4 And we can be sure that we know Him if we obey His commandments. If someone claims, “I know God,” but doesn’t obey God’s commandments, that person is a liar and is not living in the truth. 

So to love God first is to put His commands first. Not just the famous 10, but all of them. We know that it's impossible to keep them all, and we praise Jesus that He offered us His Life that through faith by grace we can be saved (Ephesians 2:8)! However our freedom doesn't mean we are to continue living a life of sin (Romans 6).We are to fight, wage war against our sins, not embrace them. (Romans 7)

The second commandment Jesus gave us was to love others. Scripture tells us love covers a multitude of sins (1 Peter 4:8), but in loving others we are not to condone their sins, we are to go to them in love (Galatians 6:1-2).

So how do we show love to those living in open sin? Live our lives as Christ. He loved them, was kind and yet He called them to repent. To go and sin no more. We cannot truly love those who live in open sin if we do not share the truth of God's Word and lead them to repentance. This is a tricky thing because we are human and we all sin and we get our feelings hurt when someone disagrees with us or criticizes us. 

The Bible is clear that living a life of homosexuality is a sin as is any sexual sin outside the constutes of Biblical marriage which is one man and one woman. 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 

We cannot live in open sin as if it's completely acceptable and be in right standing with God. If we know a person is an alcoholic it would be unloving to buy the person alcohol and not help them see their sin and offer them help and deliverance through Christ. So how is it loving to tell a gay person their lifestyle is is ok and they should be able to marry someone of the same sex? We can't tell them these things and show them the love of Christ because we would be going against the Word and Commands of God. We are to love them by telling the truth of God's Word, share with them the love of Christ that while we were deep in sin He loved us, died for us, He bought our freedom so we don't have to go on sinning, but can be born again! A new creation! (Romans 5)

In John 8 Jesus showed great love for the adulterous woman by saving her from being stoned, but He didn't tell her that her sin of adultery was ok, He told her to go and sin no more. As the Body of Christ we are to love everyone, be compassionate, and kind, but we are never to tolerate sin! We should hunger to see people set free from the sins that bind them, to see them delivered, and sinning no more.

When I confessed my abortion and abuse of alcohol to my pastor he didn't tell me my sins were alright because God loves me. Instead he showed me love by telling me that Jesus loved me and died for my sins and to be forgiven I had to repent. And I did! I gave my life to Christ, but once I moved away and no longer had fellow Christians to hold me accountable I turned right back to alcohol to cope with my pain from abortion instead of turning to God. I knew what I was doing was wrong, but I was deeply entangled in my sins. After many years of wrestling with them I surrendered my life to Christ and began pursuing Him for healing. 

I still struggle with food addiction, but I have accountability partners that I can turn to. Would it be loving of them to offer me cheeseburgers and pizzas when I go to them? Of course not! They would be sinning by feeding my sin! Instead they speak life to me, give me Scripture, encourage me, and pray for me. That is LOVE!

Theres a huge misconception that if you disagree with the gay lifestyle, you hate gay people. That's simply not true. You can love people without condoning their sins. It is possible to stand on the truth of Scripture and not be condemning. 

Romans 8 tells us that IF we are in Christ there is no condemnation in Him because He frees us from our sins. It goes on to say we have an obligation to live by the Spirit not by our flesh. We cannot truly love people if we don't share the Truth of Scripture and Scripture is clear on the sin of homosexuality. We cannot love God first or most if we give into a worldview of marriage instead of a God view. We must look at this as any other sin with our spiritual eyes, not our fleshly eyes. 1 Corinthians 5 gives us clear instructions on how to deal with all sexual immorality in the Church. Paul clearly talks about it in Romans 1.

So what happens if we give our lives to Christ and yet keep on sinning?

Hebrews 10:26-30 says, "Dear friends, if we deliberately continue sinning after we have received knowledge of the truth, there is no longer any sacrifice that will cover these sins. There is only the terrible expectation of God’s judgment and the raging fire that will consume His enemies. For anyone who refused to obey the law of Moses was put to death without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 
Just think how much worse the punishment will be for those who have trampled on the Son of God, and have treated the Blood of the covenant, which made us holy, as if it were common and unholy, and have insulted and disdained the Holy Spirit who brings God’s mercy to us."

Continue in reading all of 1 Corinthians 6 and the book of 1 John. Study the Scriptures, pray, and discern. We cannot love this world to salvation if we don't first love God. We cannot love God if we ignore the commands we don't like. We can't make this world understand their need for Jesus if they first don't understand their sins. 

I plead with you my brothers and sisters in Christ stand firm on the Holy Word of God! Love Him first and He will show us how to love others without caving into the sins of the world.

Much love and many blessings to you all!!




Saturday, September 13, 2014

Home's Cool

Well wehave kicked off a brand new year of homeschooling here at the Sigrest house! 

Brady is in 4th grade & it blows my mind how quickly our homeschooling years are flying by!

Rylan is starting 1st grade & has impressed me at hard he is willing to work on things. I honestly thought he would give me trouble & I envisioned us drudging through work, but not even a lil bit! 

This year I'm trying to be more intentional with preschool activities for Keller once we get into a good routine with his big brothers. Hopefully it will pan out well, but I know the greatest thing for him is free play & exploring so I'm certainly not going to push him into anything he isn't ready for.

And I'm just hoping & praying Chapel doesn't destroy the house while we work! I always have things set for her to play with, but like any lil one you just can't predict what they'll do!

For our core curriculum we are using My Father's World Exploring Countries & Cultures. This will cover Bible, geography, & science. Rylan is also doing MFW 1st grade so once he gets into the Bible reader we will do that as a family as well. It's important to me to do as much together as we can. Both big boys are doing Life With Fred math together & they each get a separate review sheet of other math skills they learned last year. LOF is so different than any math out there & we are loving it!

For Brady I've added Switched On Schoolhouse Language that he'll do on the computer. He can do this with very little instruction from me & I can check his progress as needed. I can't even tell you how thankful I am for this! Helps this busy momma BIG time!

I like to follow a Charlotte Mason approach to learning. I want my children to love to learn, to enjoy every aspect, to be curious & inquisitive. I want them reading good, rich, living books & exploring the world around them. I want them to be life long, natural learners. I certainly don't want them thinking learning is only when you're sitting at a table or desk & memorizing things for a test. My hope is that we can cultivate a life of natural learning & seeing the gifts that God has given us in all things.

Our focus as a family is to be mission minded. We want our lives to reflect The Lord & to share His love & His Word with others. This year we will be studying about various Christians who helped change the world for Christ like Harriet Tubman, George Mueller, the Wesley brothers, & many others. Their lives were centered on God & helping others. We are also connecting with many missionaries from our church who live in foreign countries & learning about what they're doing there & how we can pray & help them.

Be sure to come back & check in to see all the new things we are learning!

Blessings!








Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Interview on Teleios

Last week, the awesome Matt Friedeman had the kids & I over for lunch & during that time he also interviewed me for his Teleios podcast. It's about 40 minutes long, but you can listen while you clean ;P 

Hope you are blessed by it!


Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Mommy Had An Abortion


I knew this day would come & I've dreaded it. How do you look at your children & tell them you killed their big brother? 


Once The Lord began pressing on my heart to have our kids involved with our prolife ministry, I knew it was a matter of time before I had to confess my deepest, darkest secret to them. It was hard telling family & friends because deep inside you still fear their judgement & disappointment. I know Christ has forgiven me, healed me, & made me new, & I don't worry any longer about what others think of my past, but I have feared looking into my children's eyes & seeing the hurt & confusion of why their mommy killed her baby.

For the last few years we've taken them to the abortion clinic to pray & told them what abortion was. Very simply we stated that it's when a mommy chooses to have her baby taken from her tummy before it's time & the baby dies. This has always hurt their sweet, sensitive hearts, but it's driven them to pray for an end to abortion even at such tender age. Any time they've had questions we've answered them in the simplest, most appropriate way for their maturity. 

God has told me I need to stand outside our local abortion clinic with sign that says, "I regret my abortion." I haven't been able to do that with them around because Brady can read. So yesterday I sat them down & confessed to them. I told them something very bad happened to mommy & I got pregnant & at 18, I was scared, confused, & even though I knew it was wrong, I had an abortion.

Brady told me he was surprised, but he wasn't mad at me. Rylan was excited to learn that he was named after his big brother Joshua. They asked a few questions, "Where would Joshua sleep if be were alive?" "Would you homeschool him or would he go to high school?" It made me giggle & brought me comfort, but I told them we can't focus on the "what ifs" because they can end up making us depressed or angry & doesn't change the past.

Instead we will focus on Christ. He's redeemed mommy & He's called us to speak the truth about abortion & to help others come to know the saving grace of Jesus.

Then Rylan looked right at me & exclaimed, "We will see Joshua in Heaven!" To which Brady responded, "Yes! Because he's safe with God!" I asked them if they forgave me & Brady so gently answered, "I'll always forgive you for anything." And my heart beamed as my tears flowed.

It wasn't nearly as hard as I imagined it would be. I'm glad I told them now rather than waiting til they were teenagers. They know they can always ask me questions & we don't have to keep Joshua a secret. He is real. He exists. He is loved!

Sunday is the 16 year anniversary of my abortion & it's sad & weird to think I would be getting ready to take him to get his driver's license! I will always miss & grieve him. Joshua is as much a part of my life as his 4 siblings are. I don't have to let depression & self hate eat me up, I can cry out to Jesus when missing Joshua hurts too bad & I can hold my head up high & talk about my son & give his life honor. I can do this only because of Jesus & the redeeming Blood He shed for my sins.

If you are struggling from a past abortion, please contact me! I would love to help you! 

Ashleysigrest at hotmail dot com

Blessings!


Monday, August 4, 2014

Share Sips & Socks Giveaway!

If you've joined the Sips & Socks swap on IG you can also enter the giveaway!

Share this pic & tag #sharesipsandsocks to enter. You can enter once a day til Wednesday, August 6. 

Prize includes the 14x11 painting pictured, a $10 Target gift card, cute socks, & other goodies!!

Now go share & invite your friends to join the swap!

Blessings!!

Ash