Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Dyslexic by Divine Design

I struggled with school.  I looked around at everyone else making their good grades without trying as hard and here I was trying over and over again and making half the grade.  I was so afraid that people would notice my grades and think what I already knew: I was stupid.

I remember praying that God would make me good at something.  Anything.  Finally one day, when I was 17, I told the Lord I would make it my goal to encourage one person every day.  If that was all I ever did with my life, I would do that. My biggest fear was that I would live my entire life and have accomplished nothing for God throughout it.  (Encouraging ladies was the primary reason I started this blog.)  I prayed and asked God to let me be successful at encouraging someone - even if it was just one person every day.

Today, I'm hoping to encourage someone who may be struggling with dyslexia.  Or, worse, someone who has a child that is dyslexic.  (It's always harder to watch your child struggle than to go through it yourself.) You see, I found out in Bible college, that I am dyslexic.  I had no idea what that meant at the time, but I was glad to hear I wasn't stupid!  There was a reason.  I just had a different learning style.

After that I learned to cope.  In fact, something "clicked" in college and I began to make pretty good grades.  For me, anyway.  After I married and before my children were born, I taught 5th and 6th grades and I realized something: I was pretty good at it!  Did you know teachers that struggled as students make better teachers because they understand where their students are coming from? They also know the importance of not giving up!!

The hard part came when my oldest was in the 2nd grade. All of a sudden signs started to show up.  Orally she was amazing.  Bright as any student in her class!  Artistically she was fantastic.  She won blue ribbons for her drawings.  But, don't ask her to write a book report.  An oral report, yes!  But, writing it on paper?  Not a chance.

What did I do you ask? 
(Understand I am trained to teach school.  I am not trained to handle these types of learning "disabilities".  And, because I am not trained in this area, all I could do was read about it, and try to figure out what seems to help her.)
  1. I panicked!!  She was made by God for a specific reason.  She must be made to understand that He has a reason and a plan for her life and her dyslexic "issues".
  2. We prayed.  She and I prayed together that God would not let her give up, even when it seemed to hard and impossible.  And, believe me, there have been times when I've had to make her get her head back into it. We determined not to let "dyslexia" become an excuse, or a cop out.  We decided to beat it, to come out of it all stronger and more successful because of it!  (Sometimes I have to remind her of this decision.)
  3. We read orally a lot when she was younger.  She is able to read and it sounds great, she just doesn't always understand what it was she read, which doesn't do her any good at all.  Reading orally gave her practice, and it allowed her to hear what she was reading rather than just seeing.  
  4. We did as much hands on work as we could.  If she could see it, if should could act it out, or even if she could sing it, she seemed to learn it so much faster and had fun too! (Pizza and M&Ms are great way to teach fractions, a pan of boiling water helps them to see the steps of the water cycle, and most recently, we let the 6th graders hang the solar system in the class room themselves.)
  5. I asked her to "teach" me what she had just learned.  If she could explain it all back to me, then I knew she understood it.  (The problem is that she still can't get it all on paper correctly.  Her spelling is as bad as her mama's - praise God for spell check! - and her sentence structure is horrible! :) Every heard of dysgraphia??  Yeah....
  6. We backed off on spelling words.  In stead of expecting her to learn 35 spelling words in a week, we backed down to 20.  She was learning about about 12 to 15 of the 35 expected words every week.  We backed down to 20, and memorize about 5 every day.  She is now able to learn 18 to 20 of her expected 20 words and I can see where this has helped in other subjects as well.  She is more confident and willing to try again! I also allow oral spelling rather than written spelling if they are more comfortable with that. 
  7. We also give her a group of answers to chose from in subjects like science where the scientific words are harder to remember, say or spell.  For instance, if she has a quiz with 15 answers to find, we give her a list of 20 possible answers.  Most of the time she has been able to recognize the word she was looking for. 
  8. We have a specialized font to help dyslexics read more easily, and it works!!  Check it out here!!
  9. I have just started looking into essential oils for help in this area.  I will be sure to fill you in on how that goes!! If you already used them, or have other ways to help a dyslexic child, please let us know in the comments below or on my facebook wall!
We always look for ways to help and encourage.  We try to never let dyslexia become an excuse for why we can't but for how we overcame.  We may not do it like everyone else, but we own it...or we're working on that...we know how it is, and we're thankful to God for making us the way He wanted us to be.

After all, life is about God.  Not us.  Dyslexic??  Yes!  That's how God designed us! 

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Christmas Outreach Idea!

I know Christmas is over, but next Christmas is on it's way and the ladies at our church are going to be prepared!!

We've been brainstorming ways to reach our community in the coming year. I wanted them to be fun, easy, and inexpensive so we can reach as many people as possible.

God always provides!

I was at Wall- Mart recently getting some supplies for my classroom, and I saw a whole bin of Christmas ornaments that had been marked down 75%.  These weren't regular, open the box and throw 'em on the tree ornaments.  These were "craft" ornaments.  So, I called the local hospital.  (Yeah, you read that right.) 

They told me how many babies on average are born in that hospital in any given December, and I bought enough ornaments with a few to spare....just in case next December is a busy month!  ;)

The Plan:  Next November we are going to get together and put a little "snow" in each ornament and a pretty paper with spaces for the baby's name, birth date, time of birth, weight, and length.  We will also include instructions that mothers are to attach baby's first photo (the hospital pic) to the back of the paper with all the info and insert it back into the ornament.  We will also recommend that the mother insert the baby's ankle bracelet and any other keep sakes that are small enough to fit inside.  It will make a PERFECT Christmas keepsake for any baby born in December and it will be given in love from our church!  

People tend to stop and consider life during certain times of life, and welcoming a new baby into the family is one of those times.  What is the meaning of life??  So many have no idea!

It is our hope to be there for families in our community at these "pivotal moments" in life.  Now, to figure out what to do for the other months....??  (We already have ladies working on making baby hats and blankets.)  Any ideas would be welcomed!!  Leave them in the comment section below, or on my facebook wall

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Up and Runnin' Again!

A LOT has happened in the past year.  I cannot even begin to tell all here in one blog post, but I can give you some brief details and bring you up to date.

So, let's just jump in:

Earlier this year I was diagnosed with Raynauds Disease, which is something I had never heard of (and also another reason I love Essential Oils!).  I was also diagnosed with Gluten sensitivity and low blood pressure.  While none of these are life threatening conditions, they do give me more to blog about! :)

In September, my husband became the Lead Pastor of a great church in Central Illinois.  We are loving it here and so blessed with what God has given us. We are looking forward to what the future holds for us here.  (This also gives me much to blog about.)

In August we re-started our small Christian School.  I was originally volunteering my time in the business office, but when my husband became the pastor, he had to give up some of his school responsibilities, and so I became the administrator.  The, around the end of October a teaching position was left vacant, and I had to fill that roll too.  So, I'm sure you can see why I haven't had time to blog as much as I would have liked!  (However I plan to be more faithful with it this year, and since it is one of my New Year's Resolutions, I'm sure I'll at least last through January!! ;) 

Happy New Year from our family!!

While much has happened in the lives of my family over this past year, I have not in any way lost my vision to help as many ladies as I can.  In fact, one of my favorite things about being a lead pastor's wife is helping ladies!  I've had a desire and a game plan in mind to start an "Inside-Out Lady's Ministry" and God has finally allowed me to put my plan into action!  I am so overwhelmed and thankful to Him for His goodness to me.  He has given me the perfect church to start such a lady's ministry!  I truly believe He was preparing me for this EXACT ministry all along!  Isn't HE a good God!?! 

Thanks so much for re-joining me on my journey to becoming a Treasure (Proverbs 31) that is Hidden with Christ in God (Colossians 3:3)!  I'm so looking forward to what He has in store for us!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

2015 New Year's Resolutions

New Year's Resolutions - we don't always keep them, but we do always make them!!  After all - it's tradition!  I really do try to set myself up for success in this area, but, well, you may notice a few in this list that were in last year's. 


Here are a few of my REAL Resolutions for 2015: 

  1. Read my Bible every day.  Yes, this is one I make every year and always mess up on somewhere along the way...several somewhere's along the way to be perfectly honest.  So, here we go again...lets try this thing again.  
  2. Fast and pray for my family, my church and my community.  When my children were very young, and before they all made professions of faith, I fasted one day out of every week for them, for their salvation, and for any situations that arose to which I had no answers or idea how to handle.  Somewhere along the line I seem to have gotten caught up in this game of life and got too busy for it.  Sad.  Too busy to pray to the One for whom we live?  To busy to ask for His leadership and blessing in the lives of the people I love the most?  Sad.  My sisters, these things ought not so to be!! 
  3. Equip my children with the things they need to serve the Lord.  Things like Bible knowledge.  Why we do what we do.  Where we find "Scriptural backup" for it.  How to deal with people and/or not deal with things that are simply not worth the time and offense.  Again, this is where prayer and fasting comes in....  Only God knows what is in store for each of my (your) children, and only He can let us know what they each need to be equipped with for the life He has chosen for them.
  4. Essential Oils!!  Ok, in all honesty, this was one of last year's resolutions too.  I did learn about them and get familiar with them last year, but I finally took the plunge and jumped in!!  So excited to learn more about them in 2015!!  (And, yes!  You know it!  I'm planning to share it all with you right here at Hidden Treasures!!)
  5. Fermenting Foods - we started a bit of this last year, but as I said, things got busy and I fell off the bandwagon here too.  Things are still pretty busy, so I might take a while getting into this one, but stay tuned.  Come May or June I'll be fermenting anything and everything I can get my hands on. 
I would love to have you share your New Year's Resolutions in the comments below, or you can go to my Facebook Page and leave a comment!  

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

A Reason for Me (and you!!)

Have you ever wondered why you even exist?  Why on earth we’re all here on earth?  This is a question most of us will ponder at least once in our lives.   We live, we eat, we grow, we learn, we get, we die, and it starts all over with the next generation.  What since does it all make?
There really is a reason....
Genesis 1:1 - In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. 
Genesis 2:7-8; 15 - And the
Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. And the Lord
God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. 
Genesis 3:8 - And they heard the voice of the
God walking in the garden in the cool of the day:

God made everything for His glory.  He simply spoke and things came into being.  When He was finished speaking He looked at all of it, and declared it good.  According to these verses man was created to walk with God.  Adam and Eve had a job to do in the garden.  They had a life together, but the real reason they were made was to honor and glorify God; to make Him happy. 

Man, however was not forced to be only good.  He was given a choice.  He could love God and do right out of that love, or he could do his own thing and bring sin to the perfect world.  (who wants forced love?  Wouldn't you rather someone love because they want to love you?)  Adam and Eve chose to eat the one fruit in the garden God told them not to eat.

Their punishment was banishment from the garden, hard work, and eventually physically death.  They would still be able to walk with God, but not as before.  They would still enjoy the presence of God, but not in the perfection of the garden.  Their relationship was forever changed. 

Later, we find Abraham who was declared to be “the Friend of God”!!
James 2:23,
And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.

Think of that!  Abraham was God’s friend!  We can be God’s friend too!

We know that God is our Friend.  He gave His only Son to die for us.  He provides for us.  He loves us and takes care of us. We know all these things about God.  To have a relationship with someone you must get to know THEM not just ABOUT them!
The Question is: Are you God's Friend?Sometimes we think we know God because we’ve grown up in church and/or we know all the Bible stories.  We’ve memorized verses we know the books of the Bible in order, and we know all kinds of fun facts about the Bible.  But none of that proves a relationship WITH Him.  Do we truly KNOW Him??
Acts 4:13 – Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marveled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus. 

People can tell when we’ve been with Jesus – when we’ve TRULY been with Jesus!  Friendship goes both ways.  A friendship with God is not different.  What do we do for Him?  Are you HIS friend?  Do you walk with Him daily?  Do you talk with Him?  Do you trust Him with more than your salvation?  Do you discuss everyday activities and decisions with Him? 

To be God's friend we must simply...
Put our faith into action!

Hebrews 11:33 – Who through faith...obtained promises…

We can be included in the “Hall of Faith” by simply having our prayers answered (obtaining promises)!! 
Our prayers are not answered because we are good at praying.  They are answered because we have a Faithful God who wants to answer our prayers! 

Why do we doubt that He will answer when He promised He would?  We read the stories in the Bible and marvel because God did such wonderful things, but the truth of the matter is that God is still God.  We serve the same God Abraham, Esther, and Moses served.  We serve the same God that walked on water and died on the cross.  He’s the same yesterday, today and forever, so why do we think those wonderful works are a thing of the past?  He can do the same things in and through us! 

Just as Adam and Eve, we can walk with God.  We can spend time sharing every part of our lives with Him.  We can talk to and tell Him every detail of our lives.  We can put our faith into action by praying and seeing results!  We can be God's friend!

Photo Credit

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Developing a Friendship With God

The Bible refers to Abraham as "the friend of God", in James 2:23.  And, what did he do to deserve this title?  The whole verse says, "And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God." 

Plain and simply, Abraham believed God.  That's all!   (I can do that!)

More about Abraham's friendship with God - Hebrews 11:8-13 & 17-19

Developing a Friendship with God

I can tell you my name and my favorite color.  I can tell you the title of my favorite book, and the chores I dread.  I can tell you my favorite food, and my birth date.  I can tell you all kinds of things about myself, but until you spend time with me, you will never truly know me!

You can even do things for me.  You can get my groceries, walk my dog, wash my dishes or clean my house, but you still won't KNOW me! 

It's the same with God!  We can DO (or not do!) things for Him all day long.  We can follow rules and obey laws.  We can know that He will save us and protect us.  We can know that He created the world in 7 days and that He will provide all our needs.  We can know that He is in control.  We can know that the Bible is His Love Letter to us.  We can know that He died on the cross to forgive sins.  But, until we truly KNOW Him, we will never have a relationship, or a FRIENDSHIP with Him!

Did you know it is possible to be a Christian and yet not have a "friendship" with God?

How do I get to KNOW God?  Here are a few ways:

  1. Read His word!  Schedule time out of every day to meet in your "secret place".  (It doesn't really have to be a secret place - just a special place!)  Forget about reading 7 chapters every day so you can say you read the whole Bible through in a year.  Just read the Bible until you "hear from Him".  Read until you have something to meditate on for that day.  Read until you run out of time.  Read until you love reading and can't wait till it's time to read again! 
  2. Find God's promises and claim them for yourself!! 
  3. Find a "life verse" and refer to it every time you need to be encouraged! 
  4. PRAY about everything!  It has been said that "every failure in life is a prayer failure."
  5. Keep a prayer journal - keep a running list of all the prayer requests that God answers for you.
  6. Keep a list of all the things God provides for you and your family, and refer back to it every time you need to be encouraged!  You'll be amazed at the things God has done for you and you'll be reminded that He "came through before" and He can do it again.
  7. Tell your children and your friends when He provides or blesses you.
  8. Sit quietly after you've finished your Bible reading and wait on God.  You'll be surprised what He has to say in those few moments of peace and solitude. 
  9. Give God all the honor and glory for anything good that happens in your life.  Don't forget to look for God's blessing in the dark times, too!  
  10. Put your faith into action!!  Act on what you know!  Don't just KNOW God's promises!  Claim them!  Obtain them!!  Live every moment of the day conscious of His presence with you.
What an awesome thought to think that the Creator of everything would want to be YOUR Friend!!  

Photo Credit

Friday, February 7, 2014

God's Gift of Water

Water is absolutely necessary to sustaining life.  It keeps us hydrated, helps maintain body temperature, transports nutrients throughout the body, and eliminates waste.

Is it any wonder that Jesus refers to Himself as the Water of Life?  John 4:14

My Christmas gift from my husband:  A Berkey Water Filter!
Water- Essential to life

We drink water to cleanse ourselves of toxins.  But, how can we cleanse ourselves of toxins with water that is itself contaminated?

Most people don't worry...

Water is treated  to remove impurities such as e coli, germs, viruses, parasites, and harmful bacteria.  Then, minerals are added.  Fluoride is also added in most cases.

Water companies have used Chlorine for decades to purify our water because it kills harmful bacteria, viruses, parasites, and other unwanted impurities.  They say it's the lesser of two evils.  They say it's better to have small amounts of chlorine in our water than all those unwanted impurities.

But, do we really want to feed chlorine to our children?  Even if it is the lesser of two evils?  Is it not possible to have water that is truly pure?  I would love to have water that is free of impurities and chemicals and heavy metals.

Are you worried...???

What's in your tap water?  Do you know?

How is your tap water purified?  What is added back into your water?

Fluoride?  Arsenic?  Lead?  Mercury?  Pesticides?  Chlorine?  Heavy Metals?  Calcium?

(Some of these are added back in.  Other impurities are leched into our water.  Harmful pesticides get into our water through the soil and air.) 
I know some of what's in my tap water:  ALL of the above!!  Including more than our share of arsenic!  

For Christmas this year my husband gave me a Berkey Water Filter.  

Berkey water filters use carbon filters to clean impurities out of the water.  They make different types of filters.  Some are specifically made to remove certain types of metals and chemicals.  As I said, the water in our area has pretty high levels of arsenic, so I have filters that can filter all the arsenic out of the water.

I use my filtered water for everything from drinking (obviously!) to cooking/baking and making coffee to cleaning my house!  (We have very hard water here and the calcium can ruin things like my Rainbow Vacuum or my steam mop.) 

If you're still not sure about all this and want to know more about the water in your area, you can buy a professional lab test to test your water here.