Monday, November 30, 2015

November Favorites - The Homeschool Edition




The happiest season of my life, so far, was spent homeschooling my children - a season that spanned 11 years.  The Lord surrounded me with seasoned homeschool moms whose insights and wisdom blessed me beyond measure.

These wonderful moms shared excellent book recommendations to encourage me, and to help ensure the success of my own homeschool.

I have compiled a list of my favorites to share with you - books for encouragement, books for teaching, and books for reading together with your children.

The Way They Learn
Cynthia Ulrich Tobias



This was the very first book I bought just before embarking on my homeschooling adventure.   My friend Raquel highly recommended this book to help me discern the learning styles of my children.  Prior to reading this book, I didn't even know there were learning styles!  I would say, except for the grace of God, this book was key to the success of our homeschool.  Knowing my children's learning styles, ESPECIALLY with having a very active learner in one child, allowed me to relax and "go with the flow" as my son assimilated facts through activity.

Amazon shares the following summary of the book:

"Draw out the best in your children―by understanding the way they learn. If you’re frustrated that your child isn’t learning the way you did, chances are they are too! In this practical resource, Cynthia Ulrich Tobias explains that understanding how you both learn can make all the difference.

Using expertise in education and learning styles, Tobias offers practical guidance for teaching to your child’s strengths―both at home and in school―even when his or her learning style is very different from your own. Enlightening and informative, this book will help with these issues:
The different ways children perceive and order information
Four learning styles and how your style and your child’s may differ
How to bring out your child’s greatest strengths
Ways to help your child grasp and remember what’s being taught
Tips for advocating for your child with teachers
How your involvement can increase your child’s success at school

Whether you’re a parent, grandparent, or teacher, this book offers concrete help for guiding the children in your care onto their very best path to learning―now and for a lifetime."

A Charlotte Mason Companion: Personal Reflections on The Gentle Art of Learning
By: Karen Andreola





I absolutely LOVED this style of teaching, the basis of which uses "living books" and children's hands-on experiences for learning.

Amazon shares the following summary of this book...

Today's parents can now see what a Charlotte Mason education looks like in a contemporary setting while gleaning from its many benefits. Charlotte Mason's principles of education are not only a way of learning but also a way of life. A Charlotte Mason Companion gives you powerful tools to create an extraordinary learning experience. At the turn of every page, you will meet a practical idea and the inspiration to carry it out. Topics on using good books, heroes in history, poetry, art and music appreciation, nature study, the atmosphere of home, the discipline of habit, keeping up enthusiasm, (to name a few) are referred to again and again by Karen s readers. It is one of the most trusted and often quoted books in the home school world since 1998. Plenty of encouragement, wisdom and gentle instruction await you in this beautifully written and beautifully illustrated book. You will not want to loan this one out!

The Charlotte Mason Companion not only teaches you how to use the Charlotte Mason approach, but you will find yourself enjoying the book for the sheer pleasure of reading it!

Pocketful of Pinecones: Nature Study With the Gentle Art of Learning(TM) : A Story for Mother Culture
By Karen Andreola



This is another delightful book by Karen Andreola.  In it, she tells the story of a fictional family who uses the Charlotte Mason approach to homeschool.  I crawled into their story, and loved the practical application of the Charlotte Mason approach as told through this family.

Handbook of Nature Study
by Anna Botsford Comstock



This is a great nature handbook that falls in line beautifully with the Charlotte Mason approach.  It is indeed perfect for any style of homeschooling!  I have so many fond memories of going out into our back fields, Handbook of Nature Study in hand, as the kids and I identified bugs and plant life.  I STILL remember lessons I learned during those nature walks using the Handbook of Nature Study.

Amazon shares the following about this book...

"Teachers and children will find the material in this book invaluable in that regard. Details of the most common, but in some ways the most interesting, things are brought out, first by careful, nontechnical descriptions of the things themselves and later by thoughtful questions and study units. Because the most common things are treated in greatest detail, materials for study are easy to find. Whether the reader lives in the inner city or in the rural outback, the handbook is a treasure trove of information. A teacher does not need to know much about nature to use this handbook. The information is there for the novice and the expert alike. All that is needed is an inquiring mind, senses to observe, and a willingness to think about nature on a personal level." 

KONOS Curriculum
www.konos.com

This was my absolute favorite curriculum to use in our homeschool!

KONOS seemed overwhelming at first, but the calming words of a dear homeschool mom, whose wisdom and insights into the use of KONOS, reassured me that it is not necessary to "dot every t or cross every i" when using this curriculum.   I myself can assure you that once you begin to use KONOS, you will not feel overwhelmed, but you will appreciate the freedom you have to tailor the lessons to your children's specific interests and strengths - covering every avenue for learning on a specific subject.  Not only that, but the lessons are designed to teach the same subject across multi grade levels from K-12!  KONOS is the perfect curriculum to use with the Charlotte Mason approach.  Living books are the main tool employed to educate your children.

The lessons my children and I learned through the countless living books we read while using KONOS are locked in our memories forever...

The Light and the Glory 1492-1793 (God's Plan for America)
by Peter Marshall (Author), David Manuel (Author)

I highly recommend this book!  My children and I read this living book together and gained so much insight into American History from the perspective of God's purposes and plans for America.

Amazon shares the following about The Light and the Glory...

"Did Columbus believe that God called him west to undiscovered lands? Does American democracy owe its inception to the handful of Pilgrims that settled at Plymouth? If, indeed, there was a specific, divine call upon this nation, is it still valid today? The Light and the Glory answers these questions and many more for history buffs. As readers look at their nation's history from God's point of view, they will begin to have an idea of how much we owe to a very few--and how much is still at stake. Now revised and expanded for the first time in more than thirty years, The Light and the Glory is poised to show new readers just how special their country is."

The Hiding Place
By Corrie Ten  Boom

The Hiding Place, a living book that will encourage your walk of faith profoundly!  My children and I were riveted as we read the pages of this book!

I have difficulty with subjects involving torture and profound suffering and am unable to watch a movie in that regard, but Corrie Ten Boom tells her story in a way that focuses on the Lord's care without going into too much detail regarding the atrocities of the concentration camp.  Our faith was greatly encouraged after reading Corrie Ten Boom's testimony of the Lord's care of she and her sister, and the forgiveness they extended to their torturers in the midst of that concentration camp.

"I pray that God forgive them...”

Corrie Ten Boom stood naked with her older sister Betsie, watching a concentration camp matron beating a prisoner. “Oh, the poor woman,” Corrie cried. “Yes. May God forgive her,” Betsie replied. And, once again, Corrie realized that it was for the souls of the brutal Nazi guards that her sister prayed.

Both woman had been sent to the camp for helping the Jews. Christ’s Spirit and words were their guide; it was His persecuted people they tried to save—at the risk of their own lives; it was His strength that sustained them through times of profound horror.

Here is a book aglow with the glory of God and the courage of a quiet Christian spinster whose life was transformed by it. A story of Christ’s message and the courage woman who listened and lived to pass it along—with joy and triumph!"

Mrs. Sharp's Traditions: Reviving Victorian Family Celebrations of Comfort & Joy
by Sarah Ban Breathnach

I enjoyed reading this book so much!

If you love family holiday traditions and want to learn more about their origins, I highly recommend this book!  You can't help but to crawl into the scenes described of old Victorian celebrations.   I love the suggestions shared for making our own holiday traditions like those of Victorian times...


I truly hope your homeschool will be blessed by these book suggestions!  I cannot express enough how much I cherish the memories of homeschooling my children and the large part these books played in making treasured moments with my children.

You might find me on these link-ups:
Grace & Truth Link-upWoman to Woman Ministries,  Growing in Grace Link-up, 3DLessonsLif4eLivefree Thursday,Everyday JesusSDG GatheringInspire Me Monday Titus 2 TuesdayA Wise Women Builds Her HomeA Look at the Book,  Sunday StillnessThe Weekend BrewSpiritual Sundays, Soul Survival,  Give Me GraceA Little R&RTestimony TuesdayWomen with Intention WednesdaysStill SaturdayGood Morning MondaysTell His StoryFaith & Fellowship Blog HopMotivate and Rejuvenate MondaysBe SaltyMonday's MusingsThe Art of Home-Making MondayTuesday TalkWaiting on Wednesday,Dance with Jesus, Reflect His Love and Glory Friend Sharpens Friend Link-UpWords of Comfort Link-upWholehearted WednesdaysTell it to Me TuesdayFaithful at Home Fridays, Faith 'N FriendsTGI SaturdaysSitting Among Friends Literacy Musing Mondays

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Scripture Saturday - November 28, 2015



As I pondered Revelation 14:15-16, I saw Christ's Harvest in a new light...

When the farmer plants fields in the Springtime, he carefully places each seed in the soil, soil he painstakingly prepared, patiently waiting for harvest time when he can gather and enjoy the fruit of his labors.

When reflecting on the Great Harvest, James 5:7 comes to mind...

Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains.
James 5:7

We, the seed, are being asked to wait patiently to be harvested...

But tonight, as I looked at the following portion of James 5:7 - "the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it...", I pondered the words precious fruit...

Our God and Father sees us as His precious fruit.  Fruit that He is patiently waiting to harvest and gather to Himself.  Like the farmer expectantly looking to the day when he can enjoy the fruits of his labor, our Heavenly Father is looking forward to the day that He can enjoy us for all eternity.

We are the joy of the Lord, precious in His sight.


Barnes' Notes on the Bible shares this about Revelation 14:15-16

And he that sat on the cloud - The Saviour, Revelation 14:14.  Thrust in his sickle on the earth - To cut down the harvest - that is, to gather his people to himself.

And the earth was reaped - So far as the righteous were concerned. The end had come; the church was redeemed; the work contemplated was accomplished; and the results of the work of the Saviour were like a glorious harvest.

Oh what a great and glorious day that will be!

He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!
Revelation 22:20



Come, Ye Thankful People, Come is a beautiful hymn whose lyrics speak beautifully about the Great Harvest.  You can read more about the hymn and listen to a beautiful rendition by visiting my Wednesday Worship post here.

You might find me on these link-ups:
Grace & Truth Link-upWoman to Woman Ministries,  Growing in Grace Link-up, 3DLessonsLif4eLivefree Thursday,Everyday JesusSDG GatheringInspire Me Monday Titus 2 TuesdayA Wise Women Builds Her HomeA Look at the Book,  Sunday StillnessThe Weekend BrewSpiritual Sundays, Soul Survival,  Give Me GraceA Little R&RTestimony TuesdayWomen with Intention WednesdaysStill SaturdayGood Morning MondaysTell His StoryFaith & Fellowship Blog HopMotivate and Rejuvenate MondaysBe SaltyMonday's MusingsThe Art of Home-Making MondayTuesday TalkWaiting on Wednesday,Dance with Jesus, Reflect His Love and Glory Friend Sharpens Friend Link-UpWords of Comfort Link-upWholehearted WednesdaysTell it to Me TuesdayFaithful at Home Fridays, Faith 'N FriendsTGI Saturdays




Friday, November 27, 2015

Feature Friday - November 27, 2015



I was recently blessed to visit Crystal Hall's blog, The Good News, where I read, Awaken Your Spiritual Senses.

Crystal shares humbly about her own experience of craving time in the Word after she had spent a busy couple of weeks away traveling which had made it difficult to spend quiet time with the Lord, and how the Lord blessed her in the moment she finally met with Him once again...

Crystal shares encouraging Scripture and Godly wisdom on the blessings of being still before the Lord.

Crystal was born in San Antonio, Texas, raised on a ranch an hour away from the city. She spent six years working as a television journalist in a career that took her from Texas to Connecticut. She says that she will always be a journalist at heart: curious, driven and a truth-seeker.   As a journalist stories captivated or broke her heart.   But there was always one story that pieced it back together. A story that continues to captivate her...


"It gives me hope when I’m hopeless and strength when I’m weak.

It’s inscribed on my heart – weaved in my soul.  It has the power to write new beginnings  and erase wrongdoings.  It’s the story of The Gospel – The Good News.

 Crystal shares that she has been a follower of Christ since she was a little girl, but it wasn’t until the beginning of 2014 when God’s presence became more evident in her life.

"Through tears came truth.

Through heartbreak came healing.

Through trials came transformation.

All of that – led to this little space on the internet you see, my blog...

I pray that through the words God lays on my heart, you feel encouraged, inspired and empowered. 
I pray you come to know Him as a loving Father who’s faithful and worthy of your trust."

Please head on over to the The Good News to read Awaken Your Spiritual Senses.  You will be greatly blessed and encouraged.



You might find me on these link-ups:
Grace & Truth Link-upWoman to Woman Ministries,  Growing in Grace Link-up, 3DLessonsLif4eLivefree Thursday,Everyday JesusSDG GatheringInspire Me Monday Titus 2 TuesdayA Wise Women Builds Her HomeA Look at the Book,  Sunday StillnessThe Weekend BrewSpiritual Sundays, Soul Survival,  Give Me GraceA Little R&RTestimony TuesdayWomen with Intention WednesdaysStill SaturdayGood Morning MondaysTell His StoryFaith & Fellowship Blog HopMotivate and Rejuvenate MondaysBe SaltyMonday's MusingsThe Art of Home-Making MondayTuesday TalkWaiting on Wednesday,Dance with Jesus, Reflect His Love and Glory Friend Sharpens Friend Link-UpWords of Comfort Link-upWholehearted WednesdaysTell it to Me TuesdayFaithful at Home Fridays, Faith 'N FriendsTGI Saturdays



Thursday, November 26, 2015

Thanksgiving Thursday - November 26, 2015



As my Thanksgiving Thursday post goes live, I am at my childhood home with my parents, husband, daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter.  I'm more than likely getting ready for the day ahead, catching up with my parents, enjoying seeing them with their great-granddaughter, and loving being back home...

Our first stop will be to my mother-in-law's home where I know she will be so excited to see her great-granddaughter again.  We will spend a few hours visiting with her and my brother-in-law and will watch the annual televised national dog show - a tradition we have adopted over the years.

Afterwards, we will head down to my brothers home where my sister-in-law will be preparing a sumptuous Thanksgiving menu.  I hear there will be 22 of us for dinner.

When my brother and I were younger, it was just the four of us before my baby brother was born.  We didn't have a lot of extended family which made our holiday get-togethers quite small.  My brother Kevin and I always wished for big family gatherings. Many years later, our wish came true!  Kev, my sister-in-law, nephew and niece host a big Thanksgiving gathering every year. My sister-in-law's family, who I have adopted as my own, are there along with my parents, my baby brother Bryan, sister-in-law and niece, my own children and now this year my grandchild - her very first Thanksgiving!  My sister-in-law is so excited to share in her great-niece's first Thanksgiving.  She even brought her old beautiful wooden high chair out of storage which hasn't been used since my 14 year-old niece was a baby.

Thanksgiving at my brothers is my absolute favorite holiday!  We have so much fun with lots of laughter.  The food is delicious, and the conversation is sweet.

Taking it all in, cherishing the moments, treasuring them in my heart...

So many past Thanksgiving Day blessings... Many more Thanksgiving Day blessings to look forward to...

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

As we all gather around Thanksgiving tables with loved ones today, may our hearts be lifted up to the Lord in gratitude for the blessings He daily bestows upon us, and most especially for the Gift of His Son who died on the cross in payment for our sins...

If you have not accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, I pray that today, Thanksgiving Day, you would reflect on all the mercies and blessings you have received in your life, and recognize that through those very mercies and blessings, Jesus has been seeking to have a personal relationship with you...  May you accept that blessed relationship with Him today...

For He says, “In a favorable time I listened to you, and in a day of salvation I have helped you.” Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation.
2 Corinthians 6:2

If you confess your sins, recognizing that there is nothing you can do to work your way into Heaven, believing in your heart that Jesus died for your sins, making the only way for you to have eternal life in Heaven with Him, accepting Him as your Lord and Savior, you will one day be joining all the Saints in Heaven...  where Day and night {we} never stop saying: "'Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty,' who was, and is, and is to come.  Revelation 4:8

 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you.
1 Peter 1:3-4



HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!


You might find me on these link-ups:
Grace & Truth Link-upWoman to Woman Ministries,  Growing in Grace Link-up, 3DLessonsLif4eLivefree Thursday,Everyday JesusSDG GatheringInspire Me Monday Titus 2 TuesdayA Wise Women Builds Her HomeA Look at the Book,  Sunday StillnessThe Weekend BrewSpiritual Sundays, Soul Survival,  Give Me GraceA Little R&RTestimony TuesdayWomen with Intention WednesdaysStill SaturdayGood Morning MondaysTell His StoryFaith & Fellowship Blog HopMotivate and Rejuvenate MondaysBe SaltyMonday's MusingsThe Art of Home-Making MondayTuesday TalkWaiting on Wednesday,Dance with Jesus, Reflect His Love and Glory Friend Sharpens Friend Link-UpWords of Comfort Link-upWholehearted WednesdaysTell it to Me TuesdayFaithful at Home Fridays, Faith 'N FriendsTGI Saturdays

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Wednesday Worship - November 25, 2015



I have many fond memories of spending Thanksgiving Eve services at a 1700's country church.  My favorite hymn to sing at Thanksgiving is Come, Ye Thankful People, Come, especially when attending that 1700s country church...   Looking around the church, I would imagine scenes from 200 years ago, sisters in the Lord clothed in their long dresses, bonnets perfectly placed atop their heads; the men in their finest, gathered together to worship in the very same pews where I was sitting, kindred though we have not yet met...

Come, Ye Thankful People, Come
Henry Alford, 1810-1871

1. Come, ye thankful people, come, 
raise the song of harvest home; 
all is safely gathered in, 
ere the winter storms begin. 
God our Maker doth provide 
for our wants to be supplied; 
come to God's own temple, come, 
raise the song of harvest home. 

2. All the world is God's own field, 
fruit as praise to God we yield; 
wheat and tares together sown 
are to joy or sorrow grown; 
first the blade and then the ear, 
then the full corn shall appear; 
Lord of harvest, grant that we 
wholesome grain and pure may be. 

3. For the Lord our God shall come, 
and shall take the harvest home; 
from the field shall in that day 
all offenses purge away, 
giving angels charge at last 
in the fire the tares to cast; 
but the fruitful ears to store 
in the garner evermore. 

4. Even so, Lord, quickly come, 
bring thy final harvest home; 
gather thou thy people in, 
free from sorrow, free from sin, 
there, forever purified, 
in thy presence to abide; 
come, with all thine angels, come, 
raise the glorious harvest home. 

"Henry Alford (b. London, England, 1810; d. Canterbury, England, 1871) wrote this text and published it in seven stanzas in his Psalms and Hymns (1844). He revised and shortened it for publication in his Poetical Works (1865) and made final changes for his Year of Praise (1867). The latter version is the source of the further revised Psalter Hymnal text.

Written for village harvest festivals in England, the text uses imagery found in two gospel parables: the growing seed (Mark 4:26-29) and the wheat and the weeds (Matt. 13:24-30, 36-43). However, the initial agricultural harvest theme becomes an eschatological metaphor for the final judgment when the angels will gather God's chosen people into the "glorious harvest home" and cast the evil "weeds" into the "fire." Thus the text provocatively combines language and imagery that represent annual harvests as well as the ultimate consummation of history.

Alford was born into a family of clergy. He received his education at Trinity College, Cambridge, England, and was ordained in the Church of England in 1833. He became dean of Canterbury Cathedral in 1857, a position he held until his death. A renowned scholar, Alford wrote a four-volume commentary on the Greek New Testament, which became a standard work in its field. He was also a voluminous poet and hymn writer and published Poetical Works (2 vols, 1845) and Hymns for the Sundays and Festivals Throughout the Year (1836)."

{Above history found on www.hymnary.org}


Please enjoy this absolutely beautiful rendition by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir



You might find me on these link-ups:
Grace & Truth Link-upWoman to Woman Ministries,  Growing in Grace Link-up, 3DLessonsLif4eLivefree Thursday,Everyday JesusSDG GatheringInspire Me Monday Titus 2 TuesdayA Wise Women Builds Her HomeA Look at the Book,  Sunday StillnessThe Weekend BrewSpiritual Sundays, Soul Survival,  Give Me GraceA Little R&RTestimony TuesdayWomen with Intention WednesdaysStill SaturdayGood Morning MondaysTell His StoryFaith & Fellowship Blog HopMotivate and Rejuvenate MondaysBe SaltyMonday's MusingsThe Art of Home-Making MondayTuesday TalkWaiting on Wednesday,Dance with Jesus, Reflect His Love and Glory Friend Sharpens Friend Link-UpWords of Comfort Link-upWholehearted WednesdaysTell it to Me TuesdayFaithful at Home Fridays, Faith 'N FriendsTGI Saturdays

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Tuesday Thoughts - November 24, 2015

Welcome back to Tuesday Thoughts!  I am so glad you are here!

This past week my husband and I enjoyed not one but two fun outing days!

The first was a visit to our favorite country store; one we hadn't been to in quite a while.  Around the holidays is the perfect time to visit there.  If you like candy, they have the old time penny candy which I suspect isn't a penny anymore, lol.  And lots of delectable looking fudge!  Each of the rooms you wander through have all manner of country merchandise, from kitchenware, to trinkets, furniture, paintings, home and holiday decor.  I especially enjoyed sitting in a chair that was perfectly country looking and perfectly prone.  The best kind of chair for my tailbone!  lol.

Afterwards my husband and I headed over to LLBean to look around...

Yesterday, we headed out to Plymouth Massachusetts, another favorite place to visit around Thanksgiving.  My husband and I love to walk  around the graveyard, reading the inscriptions on the headstones, clearly written for our brothers and sisters in the Lord from so long ago.



{I share more about my Plymouth trip here.}

In granddaughter news, Lexi stood herself up in her crib for the first time!  She was quite pleased with herself!


What have I lingered over this week?
  • The sound of a player piano at the old country store, childhood memories flooding back of my best friend's house where I would sit on their piano bench, pressing the player piano foot pedals back and forth, watching the piano keys move, feeling so satisfied listening to the piano play majestically, powered by my little feet...
  • Standing at the copier at work, making numerous copies, the distinct copier smell rising up, bringing back memories of my very first job my senior year in high school working in the high school office, using copiers that weren't equipped to collate, instead a metal contraption to divide out stacks of copies,  manual collation...
  • Driving home from work seeing an elderly woman walking up the street, her manner of walking and her coat reminding me of my own nana, memories of her voice and laughter echoing in my mind, recalling the sweet relationship I had with her, missing her in that moment...
  • Red tail hawks, re-claiming their winter perch in the back fields


  • Driving to work hearing a song on the oldies station bringing back such fun memories of hanging out with my high school friends and being silly...
  • The brightness of the moon, peaking through the bare limbs on a cold November night...

  • Delicious tomato soup and zucchini chips....

What have I pondered this week?

I'm always in awe in how God wires the animal kingdom to be able to walk right after they are born! Instinctively, it's like they walk right out of the womb!  

Yet human babies are so helpless when they are born...

In pondering this, it's so interesting to me that humans, the most intelligent of God's created beings, made in His image, are so needy, helpless and dependent months after birth...

Could it be that God made us to be dependent...  Dependent all of our days on our Heavenly Father who provides ALL our needs...

What am I waiting on God for?
  • Answers to prayer in loved ones lives...
  • Healing for reflux situation...
  • New friendships...
What am I relying on God for?
  • Integrity of tooth prior to extraction
  • Courage for the tooth extraction and subsequent bone build-up...
  • An easy tooth extraction, not requiring surgical removal...
  • Direction in loved one's lives
  • My walk of obedience
  • Writing blog posts
You might find me on these link-ups:
Grace & Truth Link-upWoman to Woman Ministries,  Growing in Grace Link-up, 3DLessonsLif4eLivefree Thursday,Everyday JesusSDG GatheringInspire Me Monday Titus 2 TuesdayA Wise Women Builds Her HomeA Look at the Book,  Sunday StillnessThe Weekend BrewSpiritual Sundays, Soul Survival,  Give Me GraceA Little R&RTestimony TuesdayWomen with Intention WednesdaysStill SaturdayGood Morning MondaysTell His StoryFaith & Fellowship Blog HopMotivate and Rejuvenate MondaysBe SaltyMonday's MusingsThe Art of Home-Making MondayTuesday TalkWaiting on Wednesday,Dance with Jesus, Reflect His Love and Glory Friend Sharpens Friend Link-UpWords of Comfort Link-upWholehearted WednesdaysTell it to Me TuesdayFaithful at Home Fridays, Faith 'N FriendsTGI Saturdays

Monday, November 23, 2015

Legacy of the Pilgrims...

Growing up, I loved American History.  I still do!

When I was a little girl, my family and I headed up to New England for a summer vacation.  One of our stops was Plymouth Rock, the Mayflower and Plimouth Plantation.  The story of the Pilgrims was always my favorite.

And much to my delight, my mom recently discovered, while researching our family's geneology, that our ancestors have a connection to the Pilgrims!  

I am now blessed to live just 45 minutes away from Plymouth.  It is still one of  my favorite places to visit, especially around Thanksgiving.  We used to love to take our children to the annual Thanksgiving Parade held there the weekend before Thanksgiving.   One year they passed out orange foam turkeys to wear on your head.  My husband took great delight in doing so!  lol.

It had been quite a while since my husband and I had visited Plymouth around Thanksgiving, but yesterday that changed...

We enjoyed a beautiful, sunny afternoon in Plymouth.  One of my favorite places to go is Burial Hill which overlooks the water and downtown Plymouth.  







One cannot help but become reflective standing on the ground where some of the Pilgrims once stood, burying their loved ones...

Old historic grave stones, neatly scripted words etched in stone, glimpses into the life of the person buried beneath.   Inscriptions describing who they belonged to on earth and Whose they were in Heaven.     

Epitaphs that left a record, set in stone, of personal character and the hope of eternal life...




In belief of Christianity I lived.
In the hope of a glorious resurrection I died.




Epitaphs that described the service of the Saints buried beneath...



"Here lyeth buried ye body 
of that precious servant of God, 
MR. THOMAS CUSHMAN, 
who, after he had served his 
generation according to the 
will of God and particularly 
the Church of Plymouth
for many years in the office of 
ruling elder, fell asleep in Jesus
December 10th 1691"

Epitaphs describing virtuous and devoted wives and mothers...


Gazing over the gravestones, I imagine that great day, when all the saints buried beneath will rise from the ground to meet Jesus in the air...

For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 
1 Thessalonians 4:17

 These great saints, their love for Christ so evident in the legacy of the stone left behind...



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Plymouth is also home to the magnificent National Monument to the Forefathers.

On the occasion of its dedication in 1889, the following poem was read...

“This Monument, where Virtue, Courage, Law and Learning sit, 
Calm Faith, above them, grasping Holy Writ; 
Whitehand upraised o’er beauteous trusting eyes,
 and pleading fingerpointing to the skies.
– John Boyle O’Reilley.”








My  husband and I visited here as the sun was setting.  Although the lighting didn't make for as clear a picture as I would have liked,  it made for a beautiful special effect, the rays of sun shining behind the monument, clouds streaking across blue skies.


The following excerpts are from The Rewriting of America’s History © 1991, 2011 by Catherine Millard.

The central figure of the monument represents Faith; her one foot rests on a replica of Plymouth Rock and holds an open Bible in her left hand.  Her right hand points heavenward.  The symbolism represents trust in God and His unfailing words, those written in the Bible.

There are four seated figures that represent Christian values and principles modeled by the Pilgrims themselves.

Morality holds the Ten Commandments in her left hand and the scroll of Revelation – the
last book of the Bible, in the right. She is flanked by an Old Testament Prophet on one side, and the
Evangelists on the other.

Law is tempered with Justice on the one hand, and Mercy on the other.

Education is represented with the Wisdom of maturity on one side and Youth following Experience on the other.

Liberty is accompanied by Peace on the one side and the Overthrow of Tyranny on the opposite side.

The main pedestal has four polished facades. Two of these bear the names of the Mayflower Pilgrims, while another bears the following inscription...



I could not adequately describe the symbolic details of the National Monument to the Forefathers.  It is truly a sight to behold.  The atmosphere around the monument feels like that of silent worship prior to a church service... tourists quietly taking in the significance of every facade...

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I left Plymouth that day feeling sadness...

Sadness of how far we as a nation have come from the Word-saturated, Gospel-centered, prayerful and Christ-like lives of the Pilgrims and our forefathers...

Indeed, their lives were extremely difficult experiencing unbearable grief burying infant after infant, husbands burying wife after wife, wives burying husbands lost at sea, kin burying kin who had succumbed to illness, yet I would venture to say these Pilgrims had the underlying Peace and Joy that only Christ can bring in the midst of the fiery trials.  They stayed true to their calling as servants of the Lord...  A true testament to living a life in the Word, hour after hour, day in and day out...

When I first set out to write this post, I had one thought in mind in which I was going to build the whole post off of, but as it came time to write that thought, the Holy Spirit convicted me and what I had planned to say was not quite accurate...

Originally, I was going to state that 21st Century Pilgrims have many more distractions than the Pilgrims of  long ago.  Distractions of social media, work, school, children's activities, social engagements, and even ministry activities that have taken the place of being in the Word.

But the reality is, the 17th century Pilgrims had more distractions than the 21st century Pilgrims.  Distractions that were actually all consuming!  Caring for those who were sick time and time again; suffering through and subsequent grief from the death of one child after the other; and extremely hard physical labor all day every day...  Yet the 17th Century Pilgrims, whose days didn't seem to have enough hours to complete all the work of their hands, still made abundant time to study the Word of God and assimilate into their daily lives as evidenced in the record of their deaths on that hill top burial ground in Plymouth...  And in the immortalized legacy of the Christian values depicted on the Monument to Our Forefathers.

Oh that we would have a hunger for the Scriptures like the Pilgrims did who clung to every Word that proceeded from the mouth of God to bring Him Glory and to receive the blessing of joy and peace in the midst of trials...

We may not be able to change the course of America which seems to have taken God out of almost everything, but we can change the course of the way that we as 21st Century Pilgrims conduct our lives...  Let us allow the example of the Plymouth Pilgrims to push away any excuse that we are too busy to be in the Word of God so that our light may shine before men in life as their's has in death...

I didn't leave Plymouth with just feelings of sadness, but also felt profound joy...

Joy in looking to Heaven, to my final home, where ALL the saints will be gathered around the throne room of God...   With kindred that have gone on before, all of us in the light and presence of Christ Jesus.  Oh what amazing Heavenly fellowship that will be!

...and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus
Ephesians 2:6

I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. And the city has no need of the sun or of the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God has illumined it, and its lamp is the Lamb. The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it.…
Revelation 21:23

No longer will there be in it an infant who lives but a few days, Or an old man who does not live out his days; For the youth will die at the age of one hundred And the one who does not reach the age of one hundred Will be thought accursed. They will build houses and inhabit them; They will also plant vineyards and eat their fruit.  They will not build and another inhabit, They will not plant and another eat; For as the lifetime of a tree, so will be the days of My people, And My chosen ones will wear out the work of their hands.…
Isaiah 65:21

My people will abide in a peaceful habitation,
    in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places.
Isaiah 32:18


 Our earthly Pilgrimage will one day reap Heavenly joys.   Let us live to that end...




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