Feb 14, 2007

<3 Happy Valentines Day!<3
I am looking forward to the special dinner I'm preparing for Al tonight, and glad that we planned to stay in for V-Day after seeing all this snow that just keeps coming and coming! Wow, the kids are excited!! So thankful again for Jesus' obedience and God's sacrifice for us~ because of this we can look forward to this special night, and enjoy snow, and our families,life. Without such grace, we wouldn't have one day. Thank You, God!
I'm also thankful that our cabinets and shelves are stocked with all the things we need,and we won't *have to* go to the store in all of this mess... oops, I mean this wonderful, facinating, joy-producing snow ;)At least that's how the kids feel!
Days like today remind me of our wedding, because it was snowing then too and sooo cold. And then, we spent our entire 2-night honeymoon in the Poconos, in even more snow ** Brrr** But, the cheesy Martini glass jucuzzi, heart shaped bed, and the interesting adult-bingo game we had to walk out of, blushing- those were interesting ;) Lol
Ty and I listened to cd 1 from the men's retreat this morning,The Perfect Man by Dave Harvey. Hmmm , more about Jesus' perfect obedience ! Could God be trying to tell me something?? Tyler said that whta most affected him after listening was Jesus' sacrifice in obeying God,event o the point of death. He said thinking about that caused him to wonder if he would have obeyed God to the point of being crucified, and he didn't know that he would. How many of us can say, without hesitation, that we would! Ty and I talked about how God ( most likely) won't ask this of either of us, but that it was good to contemplate. Puts all other acts of obedience into perspective, does'nt it?? I was freshly reminded of how often I forget that I do not have to earn God's love ( by working for Him, legalism ) but that He loves me because of Him and not because of me,though I do still desire to work for Him- that work is not what causes Him to love me. His goodness does :)
I also was reminded that my works can, and do, if I am obedient, please God- in this season of life as well as the seasons to come, whatever God has planned for me.
So refreshing!

Time for more school and then more outside play in the S-N-O-W! Wheee!


Heather said...

Sounds wonderful :)

Free In Christ said...

Great post. Sometimes we forget to be thankful for the day to day things. Hey, just in scanning through some of your old posts, and of course your links, I noticed a few things. ADHD is an issue with which you live?! You are reformed in your theology!? Just curious. I would answer yes to the above question if asked. I'm glad you've visited my blog, I will look forward to getting to know you more.

OH, "Sheperding a Childs Heart", I'm still working on that. I have a hard time reading. I used to say it was lack of time, but I am finally realizing that I just have a hard time sitting down long enough to read, and if I sit that long, I'm usually exhausted. However, What I've read of that book was wonderful, and hey, maybe someday I'll finish it.

staceyhoff said...

Ha ha, yeah I know what you mean about reading. I often fall asleep before I read two paragraphs if I read before bed ( usually my only time to read too!)
But, if I am smart and go to bed when I'm supposed to, then I can get up early and read my daily scriptures and even some book reading before my little one's ever wake up ;) I realize not everyone is so blessed to have those kinds of time available to them!, so I am really appriciative of them.
I personally would not grow or change one bit if I didn't read my bible & good scripturally-sound books often, and of course the gospel-sound teaching I get at church is even more invaluable. Actually, I could add to that, that the advice/support/encouragement I am so blessed to so regularily be on the recieving end of from the church body is just as much of a blessing to me.

But, what I wanted to get to was, yes, my church- the one God has chosen for me and my family- is reformed, I guess you could say, although I am definately no expert on theology or the terms therein. I guess we could say that we are, too.
We belong to a church that is one of many branches of Sovereign Grace Ministries, formerly PDI ministries. Maybe you have heard of them? If you ever feel like it or want to know a way better explanation than I could ever give you, you could visit Sovereign Garce Ministries. org. We have been so blessed to be placed in the church that we are in.

Before, whe my son was still in public school ( he atttended public-school until the end of grade 3)we were not only forced to have him evaluated for ADHD ( his Kindergarden teacher made that a requirement before we could put him in 1st grade), but the school put him in their Pre-First program ( which is a year to grow they have come up with, where mostly ADD,ADHD suspected or diagnosed kids and learning disabled diagnosed kids diagnosed end up)while the process went on- making him a year older than the other kids by the time we got him in 1st grade ( not that I think that was so horrible, just musing on the ability/ methods of public education to cope with kids who are not cookie-cutter...BTW, who is??) ... but since we refused the school's reccomended psychologist- gee, I wonder why Lol- we spent over $2,500, between insurance and our co-payment's, getting him evaluated by a neuropsychologist I had interviewed and liked, and plus who took my insurance ( a huge necessity, obviously) -- we ended up paying over $600 out of pocket, and that was a ton of money for us at the time- but, Thank God, I had saved up some money for moving that some of had to be used towards that ( did I mention this all happened in the first year I came to live here in PA with my now-husband? Neither of us knowing what all was about to happen? Yeahhh, God bless my husband!!)
Anyways, this man who assured me that he was not fond of public school's and was not going to give me a diagnosis of ADD unless he was convinced - not just the school- ( Thank You, God!)-ended up, after 6 months of seeing my some once for an hour almost every week, diagnosing my son ADHD AND ODD?? * Sigh*
And we had to submit the diagnosis to the school, by law. It was a blur after that- we had to put him on Ritalin so the school could educate him, the dosages were adjusted upwards of 10 times before 3rd grade was half-way through- yeah- and we all know how stimulation medication affects children- imagine adjusting the dosage over, and over, and over until the individual teacher is satisfied. Some can stand more activity; others want zombies. My son was getting to be a zombie. Instead of the personality he'd always had, there was a shell of my son left with no personality. he hardly spoke at all. He was never hungry for dinner until 9pm when after bedtime he'd suddenly become ravenous. I had had enough!!
The public school system was, for me, a roller coaster ride and No Place for my son.
On my knees in prayer and tears, not knowing how I could help my son- my hands were tied!- God spoke to me about home education, an idea I had never even thought about.
Now at this time, I am fairly newly planted in our church-and it has home schooling mom's in the body; mom's I know and look up to. I even have an aunt that homeschools, with shame I realized that her decision to homeschool had always seemed wierd to me; You see we are raised in public school and we see it as the way it is.
We don't think there is another option.
But God showed me one, and thank God I took that leap of faith and exercized my legal rights to pull him out of school, and thereby out of the hell he was going through.

Ever since that day my son has been free of any stimulants, and it has not been a bed of roses all the time but homeschooling him has been wonderful for both of us. He gets the one on one he needs; I get to keep him safe from what being in public school was doing to him and educate him in a Christian environment. There have been times I have thought, that's it- he needs this medication! myself, even teaching him one on one-but wrestling with God with that, he has yet to tell me to do that, so I haven't. I don't think it's abusive or anything like that, some kids need medication and I'm aware of that, but for what? My son definately has his challenges, but what kid doesn't, he doesn't seem to need to be medicated to learn - I have found other 'treatments' that work for him, and it is growing me to not medicate him. For us, this works.

This is my feeling about the public school system - it is a machine, kids are all different and yet have to be the same to get through, it is Not Christian education, It can only do what it can do with as much kids and regulations as there are, and the teachers don't get paid enough. I know not everyone can/will homeschool; I am not saying all kids who go to public school turn out uneducated; I'm just saying that for my children I want to be in charge of their edcuation. Someone I respect recently told me that the second largest group of people who choose home edcuation, besides those who choose it out of a desire to provide a Christian education, are public school teachers!! My God, I thought, what does that say? They are the one's who know better than us what the machine of public education is all about...
But, I digress. Ty has done well with homeschooling, and I have learned to trust God more. Our church has been a blessing, with experienced homeschooling mom's coming alongside me and teaching me how to make this work. The teaching I have recieved from them and from my pastor have been invaluable! The elders in my church have made it clear that sin is the issue, and parenting that gets to the heart of disobedience or disctontent is biblical parenting. I have used this on myself more times than I could ever count! I can just picture Jesus with his heart-probing questions that cut through the situation at hand, but anyways- no one has told me that some children do not need medication for different issues , but the teaching has been to not make that the go-to - to address the heart, to apply scripture- not Parenting magazine or other cultural material- to the situation, and to pray for an appropriate action to take: A la Shepherding a child's heart, and Gospel -Centered Parenting. Through this discipline I have learned that Ty does need certain supports in learning, and in living, but he does not need to be on Ritalin, or Concerta, or Strattera, or Adderal, or any other substance, to respond to the gospel. And that is what *changes* us! I am so grateful for our church, God has changed our lives and our church has played a huge role in that. So, yeah, this was waaaay too long- hit a spot there- Lol !-- but there's my reply, in a non-nutshell ;) Lol

I'm so glad that I stopped by your blog too, and that you stopped by my blog because of that, and I also look forward to getting to be freinds with you ! ;)

<3 Stacey

PS- Sovereign Grace Ministries.org has an e-store that sells Shepherding a child's heart and Gospel centered parenting on tape, if you have a commute or anything or are just folding clothes and ever have a few minutes? I lived off of teachings on tape when I was working--and still do sometimes! Lol Didn't know if that would serve you, in your season right now?

staceyhoff said...

Ok, I felt guilty about not having a more 'intellectual' explanation of our faith, so, though non one will probably ever read this- Lol- I have to do this!
We are Calvanist, we believe in predestination and the 5 points of Calvinism: TULIP... Total Depravity, Unconditional Election, Limited Atonement, Irresistable Grace, Preserverance of the saints. John Piper explains this much better than I at theopedia.com
As far as I am concerned, I am a believer in God- not in religion- and whatever His word says, I trust in and believe. I believe that the Bible is God inspired and infallible. Our churches mission, is to glorify God by building a church whose purpose and pasion are to know, love, and live for Jesus Christ. " While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8