Moving Day

You probably didn’t even notice, but today was a big deal around here. My tech guy migrated this site and it’s now a self-hosted site. I would love to take you with me in this move.

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If you want to make sure you don’t miss anything, update your bookmark and subscriptions. The new address is simply: http://amyfritzwrites.com/

We just dropped the pesky wordpress part of the address.

Thanks for moving with me!

Story Saturday: Why Our Family Homeschools

4 years ago, my husband, our  almost kindergarten aged son and I excitedly walked the two blocks from our house to the local Elementary School for the kindergarten open house. We dropped Ethan off with the other kids so they could do their little craft and my husband and I went and sat in the little tiny chairs getting our paperwork to register our son.

We walked home that night with a cute little butterfly craft and a folder full of paperwork to complete. We were fully intending to enroll Ethan in the local public school.

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There were a couple of things that hung me up though. The first was that we were too close to use the bus and I was going to have to walk or drive my son to and from school (I wasn’t ready for my boy to walk by himself) and that meant I would need to haul along our 4 year old and our baby as well. The second thing was that it was a half day and when I say “half day”, I mean the school day really only lasted a couple of hours. I think I did the math and realized that he was only going to be “doing school” for a little over 2 hours a day. The third, and most important thing that was holding me back was that I had always, in the back of my mind, wanted to homeschool.

So, what was holding me back from homeschooling? Fear.

I wasn’t afraid that I couldn’t teach Ethan well. I wasn’t afraid that it would be a bad decision for Ethan. I was afraid of what my family would think. I was afraid they would think I was not doing the best thing for him.

About a month later, as I sat having lunch with a friend, I told her about my “secret desire” to homeschool and I told her how I was afraid of what family and friends might think. She was so encouraging to me. She shared her story of homeschooling her children from kindergarten through high school. And then she said something that has rang in my ears and heart ever since:

“One of the best gifts of homeschooling in the early years is that your son will not have a bunch of kindergartners telling him who he is in life.”

As I thought through the process, there were two really big things that swayed us toward homeschooling: 1) Being able to separate  academics from the social, developmental and and relational angst, and 2) Being able to focus on mastery and not worry about a particular timeline. So, we made the leap. We’ve questioned it at times. The way homeschooling looks in our family has changed throughout the last 4 years. We’re still figuring out what works and what doesn’t. I still get questioned by friends and family sometimes, but Nathan and I are in agreement that this is what is best for this season for our family.

I think there is a misperception that the decision to homeschool is usually one that is based on a desire to “protect” kids from the public school. In our case, the decision was based on the fact that we really believed we could create a better learning environment at home.

 

The Best of The Web: Thanksgiving

Most Likely to Make you Laugh:

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(Something’s Up. Turkey Unfriended. Above Promotions Company. Tampa, FL)

 

Most Likely to Make you Cry (man finds himself in a room full of people he saved from the Holocaust):

 

 

Most Likely to Make my 8 Year Old Laugh:

Why do Pilgrim’s pants keep falling down?

Because their belt buckles are on their hat.

 

Your Church Has A Problem

“Nearly every table set for the family gathering at Thanksgiving this year will have a missing place, if not two or more, since one in three women in America now has an abortion by age 45”

When Abortion Hits Home, Christianity Today

Do you get the enormity of that number? That number is 1 out of every 3 women. This includes the women in your small group, your neighborhood, and your Bible study. If there are 200 women in your church,  66 of them have experienced the tragedy personally.

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Churches have voiced their opinion about abortion. These are babies whose lives have been taken from them. We call them innocent victims. But there is another victim in every abortion story. She knows that she wasn’t innocent and she knows that her church calls abortionists “baby killers”. She is ashamed and her husband of 20 years doesn’t even know. She is desperate to find healing and forgiveness and the place she is most afraid to look for it might be her very own church.

I can’t say it any better than this (also from the article referenced above):

“We who are pro-life must realize and remember that “I told you so” is not the loving response to those in mourning over their abortions. Even more important than mourning for the lost lives of those missing from the table is mourning with those in mourning who are seated there with us: our sisters, our daughters, our cousins, friends.”

We can do better. We need to do better.

To my dear friends and family who are hurting, I am so sorry. I love you.

**If you are hurting because of a past abortion and live in the area, our church will be offering a confidential Bible study in early 2014 called Surrendering the Secret. If you are interested, I will be posting a link with contact information on my facebook page. All communication is completely confidential. **

The Most Effective Way To Get Someone To Join Your Cause

One of the easiest ways to lose your passion about your calling is to spend all your energy arguing with people who are skeptics.

I’ve been giving this a lot of thought because I’ve seen it played out many times. I’ve done it myself.

I think Satan instigates it on purpose. He would rather see Christ-followers arguing about what someone else should spend their time and resources and life on instead of actually directing their energy toward actually living it themselves.

When God is moving in a particular area in my life, it’s hard to see anything else. It can create tension when I want it to be equally important in the lives of my friends and family. I’ve come to realize that just because my passion might be something I believe strongly is a mandate for everyone, it doesn’t mean I have to do the work of the Holy Spirit in someone else’s life.

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The most effective way to get someone to join your cause? Live it yourself with crazy abandon. The least effective way is to shame people who don’t share your convictions.

There is a tension there, to be sure. I don’t know how it should play out in every circumstance, but I do know the people who have had the biggest positive impression on my life are the ones who answered their call and dove in. They shared their stories openly and their lives made the case to join them. They directed their energy toward doing instead of convincing the unimpressed.

My friend, Shelley, committed her own money to cover any fundraising shortage in order to  bring a Feed My Starving Children mobile pack to Franklin, TN . We watched God miraculously provide the funds to cover the mobile pack. That made a huge impact in how our family looked at our finances. We weren’t shamed into it. We saw what God was doing and wanted to be a part of it.

Have you experienced this? Good or bad? I would love to hear from you.

The Wart Zapper 20,000

We have a magic age in our house when our kids fingers start to get warts. I think it starts at about age 3. With our oldest, I held  out hope that they would go away easily, but now that we’re on kid #3 going through the same cycle, it doesn’t seem like we’re getting off easy.

Last winter, our daughter had warts on fingers on both hands, she also had one that seemed to be growing under a fingernail, and she had toe fungus as well. The final straw was that I saw what looked like a wart growing on the inside corner of her mouth. I was sure my poor baby was going to be taken over by warts. After googling “What do I do if warts seem to be taking over my beautiful daughter,”I made an appointment with our pediatrician to make sure that nothing out of the ordinary was happening and he confirmed that it was just your standard fungus. They usually run their course and go away after a while, but they can spread too. So, it seems like they last forever.

Between his advice, a couple prescriptions that he said could possibly help (no guarantee) and some random items we had around the house, we came up with a plan. Here’s what we used:

  • Prescription strength salicylic acid (think Compound W on steroids)
  • Cimetedine (commonly known under the brand name Tagament and used for heartburn)
  • Duct tape
  • A file
  • This box-

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  • Prayer

We used the  prescriptions as directed by our doctor. In the case of the acid, we carefully painted the tops of the warts avoiding skin around the warts. Then we got some duct tape and covered all the warts on her fingers. I think the idea is that you cut off the oxygen to the warts. After a couple of days, we would take off the tape, carefully file away the dead skin, roughing up the warts a little. Then we would reapply the acid and tape the fingers again. I also asked God to take the warts away. I talked to Him quite a bit about it, in fact. We repeated the process for several months until the warts finally went away. Hooray!

Why did we need the box? That was my husband’s genius plan. Our daughter didn’t like seeing us filing her fingers and she didn’t like seeing the dead skin. Before working on her fingers, Nathan would have her stick her hand inside the opening where it says “Insert Wart Here” and he would be able to do all his work without her seeing it. It was brilliant. I should probably sell them on Etsy. Nathan has assured me that we can take orders if anyone wants one.

How SOAP Changed My Life

If you’re looking for a simple and powerful way to make the most of your Bible study/Bible reading time, the S.O.A.P method is a great tool!

First of all, I need to give the disclaimer that this system is all from the book The Divine Mentor by Wayne Cordiero (I need to check and make sure I spelled that correctly!). Here’s what you need:

  1. Your Bible (you can use an actual physical Bible or sit at your computer and read it online)
  2. A Journal to write in
  3. Some sort of Bible Reading plan
  4. Your daily planner/calendar
  5. Something to write with

Sounds easy already, doesn’t it?

Why a Bible? Because it’s God’s Word directly to you. He has something to say to YOU! “Our Daily Bread” and “My Utmost For God’s Highest” are great and so are other devotional books and you can learn from them, but it’s good to go directly to the Source.

Why a Journal? You’re going to be writing things down as you’re doing your Bible reading (more on that later).

Why a Bible Reading plan? If you’re like me, it’s easy to get distracted and spend half your time flipping through the Bible and wondering what to read next. Or maybe you read the same passage over and over again and end up missing out on all the other awesome gems in the Bible. If you use a plan, you don’t have to spend time figuring out what to read every day. There are tons of reading plans that you can google and find online.

Why a daily planner/calendar? This is for the times when you go and start your devotions time and you think of something you’re going to have to do or remember for later. Instead of getting up and doing it right then and forgetting to come back, you can write it on your calendar and free that space up in your brain.

Why something to write with? You’re going to be writing. 🙂 If you were going to a meeting with someone who knew everything that you needed to know about your job, you would probably take something to take notes with. It’s the same idea here.

So, what exactly is S.O.A.P.? I’m so glad you asked!

Now that you have all the things you need, open up your journal and write S O A P down the page.*

soap

For “S” write down one particular scripture verse or section that stood out to you. Just one. If you do this every day, you’re going to have A LOT of truths to look back on and see what God was showing you. More than one thing and it becomes more difficult to manage.

For “O” write down your observations.

For “A” write out an application to your own life.

For “P” write out a prayer of response.

Do you know why I like it so much? I love that it’s interactive! As I open my Bible (or web browser)I’m asking that the Lord would speak and show me the things that He wants to show me. Then I listen, take notes and respond. It makes my time spent in the Word more meaningful and focused. If you have something that works well for you, I’m not saying you should change. But, if you’re like me and struggling sometimes with direction or motivation, maybe this will help!

*I actually write the “S” and then write out my scripture and then write the “O” on the next available line and write out my observations. . . etc.,

 Note: I originally posted this on our family site a few years ago and thought I would repost it here. Since the original posting, it has received over 18,000 page views (that’s a lot in my little corner of the web!)