Welcome to Twenty Shoes. We are a homeschooling family of 10. We're wearing twenty shoes as we travel the journey that the Lord has put in front of us. Through the grace of God (and lots of coffee for this mama!), we are working, playing, learning, and ministering together daily for God's kingdom. We are not perfect...but forgiven! Come join us as we travel this journey and share life together!


Tuesday, September 3, 2013

School of Grace

First day of school...

The words have been plaguing my brain for weeks now.  The many decisions that need to be made, materials bought, schedules hashed out, lesson plans prepared.  Up until just yesterday I had found myself all caught up in the frazzle that is planning for a new homeschool year.  I realized about half way through the day yesterday that I hadn't arrived!  I wasn't ready for the year to begin.  There was still so much laundry and organizing and planning and preparing.  So many new lists and improvements that I felt needed to be made.  How did I once again manage to go an entire summer, and get to the day before school starts and still not feel like I was ready?  At one point during the day I just plopped down in my chair and quit!  Yep, you read that right...I quit...before the first day of school!  

I was feeling so defeated that I didn't think it was even going to worth it to start.  I felt that there were too many things that were not perfect for us to have, you know...the best school year EVER!  Fortunately, God called me just at that moment back to my bedroom for a little quiet time just me and Him.  Do you know what He said to me during those moments?  

"Give up.."

You're probably thinking to yourself that God would never tell someone to give up.  But He did.  He reminded me of 3 things during those 10 minutes that we were together.  

  • Who asked you to homeschool 8 kids?    "well...you did"
  • Who loves your kids more than you do?   "well...you do"
  • Do you really think you will ever have a perfect school year..or even a perfect day?  "ummmm, no?"
You see, God was tyring to remind me that this job that He has given me to do, comes with something better than a "perfect" schedule, a clean house, a whole years worth of perfect lesson plans, a whole closet full of shiny new art supplies, or even a special insight into everything that my high schoolers will need to know to make it in this world.  There's one word that sums up how I need to start every day that I am home with my children, whether it's day one of a new school year, or day 5 of the summer break.  


Beautiful grace.  Amazing grace!  Grace that will pardon and cleanse within.  Grace is a word that is easy to think about at church on Sundays when we are singing those wonderful old hymns, or talking about the grace of God when He went to the cross for our sins.  But, how can it apply to a worn out, burnt out homeschool mom?  As I sat there pondering the word and how it applied, God took me back to those three questions and my answers.  If God has given me this job to do, and I know that He loves my children way more than I do, then what happens if I never acheive what I perceive to be the perfect school year, or even perfect school day?  Does this mean that I have failed God's entire plan for all time?  The simplest word...grace!  If our entire lives as Christians revolves around God's grace, then shouldn't we feel free to let that grace dwell richly in us daily?  We should spend every year, month, day, hour, even minute being saturated in the grace of Almighty God.  Just like we can only acheive perfection within ourselves through the grace of God, so can each job that He has given us only acheive perfection through the grace of God.  So, although we may never appear to have it all together on the outside, and have all our ducks in a row..if we are eagerly following in His footsteps saturating everything in our wake with His grace...we've done it!  We've reached a perfect school year!  

Today we started our first day of school.  There were missing supplies, missing lesson plans, missing chore systems, hyper and grumpy kids.  But I can say that this homeschool family had the "perfect" first day of school.  How?  Because we're doing the job that God gave us to do...and He loves us more than we can imagine..and through His will...everything can be perfect!!  

Thank you for your Grace Lord!!  May I pass your Grace on to my children and let it saturate our entire school year for your Glory...Amazing Grace!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Exciting Things!

                   It's been awhile since I posted, but there have been some exciting events in the life of our family in the last month.  We have been living in the same house for over 10 years now.  It's a nice house, with almost an acre of land...but our family has begun to outgrow it a bit.  When we first moved in, we had 3 little boys.  We now have 8 kids, and 4 animals!  We have been dreaming since the beginning of our marriage about having land some day.  It's been a desire of our hearts to be at a place where we can live more simply and have enough land to grow things and have animals galore, and really teach our kids something about being more self-sufficient.  Well, we found out that God has decided to honor our desire for this, and we will soon be buying a house that comes with 19 acres and several outbuildings!
               This will be a journey for us, a family with parents who were born and raised in suburbia, to learn how to "homestead".  Our goals are to live more frugally, more healthy, and more self-sustaining!  I hope to blog about our new adventures as we go along.  One of the best things about this adventure is that in addition to being blessed by a new house and land for our family, we are also going to be blessing some homeschooling friends of ours, by leasing our current house to them!  God is good all the time!  Stay tuned for more updates and pictures as we take this new leap!

Here is a sneak peak at our new property!  http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/32489-Middle-Crossing-Rd_Dowagiac_MI_49047_M33912-11051?row=23.  We would covet your continued prayers as we go through the loan and inspection process.  God has continued to open the doors on this venture, but we know that there can be road blocks, and we pray that the doors will continue to open all the way to closing and moving in!!  Thanks and God's Blessings!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Common Core

If you are like me, you have a very busy family life.  This last couple of weeks I have been running around like a chicken with my head cut off (and baseball hasn't even started yet...OY!).  One thing I have been hearing a lot about is the Common Core!  My husband is a public school teacher, and even he feels he does not know that much about the Common Core and how it might affect us as families (and homeschoolers) in our country.  I do know that anything that involves "common" standards, I tend to naturally be against, because I believe that we are all different, and our children should not be held to a standard that compares them to anyone else.  I have just recently come across a couple of good articles that have helped me to understand what dangers the Common Core might really have on anyone who feels like I do about their children's education...I wanted to share them with others, so you can make your own informed decision about Common Core, and find ways to fight it, if you feel so led!
Common Core.  This site includes several articles that will inform you more on the Common Core.
Townhall   This article will also give some insight into the Common Core.  
Both are good places to start, from there I would suggest praying together with your spouse and deciding what you should do with the information as a homeschooling family.  Prayers for all homeschoolers as we face these uncertain times!