Wednesday, March 29, 2017

City on a Hill Studio- A Homeschool Crew Review

With three boys in our home, discipleship and raising godly men is a constant topic of conversation for Daddy T and I. We pray that God will show us ways to better connect with our boys and to lead them to become godly men that are capable of leading a home. Of course this means we are always on the lookout for ways to help us to connect with them and to share more of God with them.  Recently, an opportunity came to us through the Manhood Journey Father's Starter Kit by Manhood Journey & City on a Hill. Daddy T and I were both excited to find a resource that was geared towards a dad and son discipleship. We could not wait to get started!

Father's Starter Kit | Manhood Journey

The Manhood Journey Father's Starter Kit contains a copy of the book "Wise Guys: Unlocking Hidden Wisdom From the Men Around You" by Manhood Journey co-founder Kent Evans, Two different discussion guides: one for a group setting and one for a one-on-one setting, a DVD of the introduction videos for each session, and ten Maprochures.

The discussion guides are broken down into 6 week sessions that meet once per week. These include:
1. Preparing for the Journey.
2. Setting out on the Journey.
3. Relying on the Compass.
4. Seeking guidance along the way.
5. Encountering others along the journey.
6. We have embarked.

The Manhood Journey Father's Starter Kit is designed to allow dads or male role models to come along side boys aged 8 to 17 and disciple them using using five vital principles outlined in the guides.  In the beginning of the one-on-one guide there is an Introduction that helps dads or role models get 'ready' to embark on this journey with their son(s) or boys in their group. It also provides discussion questions to help get they guys talking. This is the first of six 6-week guides to help disciple young guys.

Overall, I thought this was a fantastic product. I loved the conversation starters. I think those really help to open up conversations that wouldn't usually be discussed on a regular basis, but are important to help walk along side and disciple young men. For example, one of the questions, 

" What do you think it takes to go against the crowd?"
This is a hard question even for me. I think it is great to get my boys talking with their dad about these important topics to help them make plans, pray together, and build confidence in Christ to be able to go against the crowd!

My favorite part is the challenge to dads and sons to read the Bible and pray together. I think this is a great resource to help dads gain confidence in leading and discipling their sons. Daddy T has struggled with the fact that he wasn't raised in a home or a church that had discipleship. He has felt at a loss as to how to disciple our boys because of it. The Manhood Journey Father's Starter Kit was a great way for him to start on the path of discipling our boys. 

I think this would be a great discipleship resource for men to use with boys in both a 1-on-1 setting and a group setting. I can see benefits to both. 

You can connect with Manhood Journey on Facebook and Twitter. You can also connect with City on a Hill on Facebook and Twitter.

Other member's of the Crew got the privilege of reviewing Manhood Journey Father's Starter Kit as well. You can read how they used it and their thoughts by clicking the link below:

Manhood Journey Father's Starter Kit {Manhood Journey & City on a Hill Studio Reviews}
Crew Disclaimer

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Better Together

It's been about a year and a half ago now. I finally feel like I can share with you one of the hardest lessons that I have ever learned (continue to learn) as a wife. 
A little background information: there are times when I wake-up in the middle of the night with the urge to pray for something. Sometimes it is a very specific need, sometimes it is a person, other times I don't know what I am praying for, I just know that I am supposed to pray. I have always semi-joked that this is the only time of my day that is quiet enough for God to get my attention and have me really understand the urgency. This is also the only time that I have unlimited availability to pray uninterrupted.  

It was the middle of the night when I woke-up from a very deep sleep. I remember there was this incredible sense of urgency and panic that almost consumed me. I reach over to wake-up Thomas and realized that he wasn't there. He had picked up a paper route to help with holiday expenses that year. I knew that I needed to start praying for my husband. 

I cannot explain to you what my heart felt and where I was mentally in that moment. I just knew that I served an all powerful, all knowing God and that He knew and that was enough! I prayed until exhaustion took over and I fell in to a restless sleep. I woke-up to my husband coming home. I was relieved to see him, but that dreadful feeling wasn't gone. 

After he left for his normal day job, I sent the kiddos outside and I spent more time praying, begging, pleading with my Heavenly Father to protect my husband. At one point during my prayer, I remember saying, "Father, I know that you love Thomas more than I ever could, but Lord, I just don't want to know what it would be like to not get to talk to him everyday, to not share my world with him, to not have him by my side to raise our children." 

In that moment, I remember hearing God, I mean really hearing Him say to me, "That is how you should feel about me!" It was then that it struck me, I had made my husband my idol. I had elevated him to a position above God. I needed to repent. 

Over the next several weeks, I struggled with that sin. I took to Jesus. I know that He forgave me, but I still needed to work on rearranging my priorities. My prayers began to change over those weeks. 

There is one prayer that stood out, one prayer that remains my hearts cry even now almost a year and a half later. I prayed,
"Father, I know now that if You chose to call Thomas home, I could continue. I could lean on You and raise these children to love You and serve You. I would continue to walk with You, trusting you. I know that You are in control. But, Lord, I also know that You gave Thomas to me to be my friend, my companion, to walk this road of life with me side-by-side. I also know Lord, that Thomas and I, though great on our own, are so much better together. We can serve You better, raise our children better, love on people better. Father, please, let us continue to be better together." 

After that prayer, peace flooded my heart in a way that I cannot explain to you. I knew that I would continue to serve along side this wonderful man that God had given me and that we would become better together!

Last week, we were shopping for homeschool supplies in our local Mardel. I rounded the corner and saw this:

I cried. I was being reminded to not put my husband before my Father. This sign now hangs above our bed. It is a testimony of a time when God reminded me that He is to be first in my life. It is also a reminder to never take my husband for granted. Today, I cherish the moments. I know that at any moment God may call my Thomas home, and if He chooses to, then I will be okay. I will lean on my Rock! Until then, Thomas and I strive to be better together!