Sunday, August 7, 2011

God's Provision

I haven't been blogging here for awhile, but something happened the other day that I thought anyone still dropping by might be interested in. I had a grocery list on the table and it's a short week and things are really tight. I'd written a dollar amount on the list that I believed I needed to cover the list. Bottom line, we didn't really have it. Then my daughter, now a homeschool grad, picked up a few extra hours babysitting and was willing to put some toward the list. I'd decided to pare down the list. When I opened my purse, I found cash, I'd forgotten I had. This combined with my daughters contribution came to exactly the amount I had written on the paper. But it just gets better! When we got to the store, I picked up the items I needed, keeping a rough, running total in my head. I was "close". The last item I picked up at the check out was "optional", so I knew I could put it back if it put us over. The total came to just change over the amount I had in cash, and my friend who was with us covered the difference, but if she hadn't, I later found that I had enough change in the depths of my purse to have covered it.

These are what we, in our house, call, God Things. They are those things that there is no way in all my controlling and managing that I could ever make happen. It is His way of reminding me, He loves us and is in total control of our situation, even when I don't have the faith I should to trust in the truth of it.

So, can you share any God Things from your life, lately?

Blessings, MaggieRaye

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Apologies

I was thinking this morning about how rarely I post here. There is a reason. I just can't find my soapbox or enthusiasm! I spent several years crying out about how churches and Christians were failing single moms. I spent that time trying to give single mom's resources and encourage them to hang in there!

I still think that single moms being at home and homeschooling is critical. However, with one graduated and just a boy left at home, my focus has had to shift, a lot. The Lord has lead our lives in a new and interesting direction. So, if you'd like to continue to see what is going on with us, I have a new blog, one that shares the direction we're headed in. It's been a little over a year since the Lord shifted our direction and I'm constantly amazed at what He is doing!

www.maggierayesnaturespot.blogspot.com

I will say that He continues to provide for us in amazing ways. This week is a "skinny" week in our house. We have one of those every month. There is food in the house, but just about enough to get by. A friend, who I believe had no idea, called and said they'd been given something and would we like part of it. The food gift that they shared, turned our skinny week into a normal one, by His grace and for His glory. I'm so very grateful that even when I doubt and want to give up, He is faithful.

Blessings, MaggieRaye

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Skin Care

Some of you that know me, know for the last three or four years we've been moving to live closer to the earth. To eat more whole foods, to use less medication and less chemical cleaners. I'd pretty much given up on make up altogether.

Recently on a Yahoo! group that I'm part of, someone shared this link and I think it's a good place to start. How does your skin care product rate?

http://www.cosmeticsdatabase.com/

Something to think about anyway!
Blessings,
MaggieRaye

Monday, April 4, 2011

Please Read - EPA List - Chemicals Dangerous to Children

I know there are folks out there who think I'm weird. I may live out in the woods, under a rock but somethings just don't get by me.

A friend posted this link on her FB page today. I shuddered reading it. Over the last three years I've worked hard to move us back to living as close to the earth as we can, but even that won't solve these problems.

Read through this post and work to eliminate these things from your children's lives. You may think you can't afford to, but I think we can't afford NOT to.

http://mightynest.com/blog/epa-lists-the-chemicals-most-dangerous-to-children

It's not always easy to make these changes, but it is so worth it in the long run.

Blessings, MaggieRaye

Cockroaches and Head Lice and Bedbugs .... Oh, My!

Okay, did you cringe and shudder as you read the title? Did you think that maybe you'd just skip reading this post? Did you think I'd been struck with a horrible run of bad luck? All are possible.

However, this post is about taking "bad" stuff and turning it into life lessons.

When I lived in SC when my daughter was little, we had cockroaches. I was mortified. I was a single mom who already felt very inferior in our nice congregation of married people. But I soon learned that there are place in the south, where even the good, nice, clean people have cockroaches. It's just a fact of life. You bomb your home periodically and life goes on.

About five or six years ago, when I first started opening my homeschool to other families, I had two young ladies who came to our home. They also were from low income, single parent homes. That fall we had an outbreak of head lice. It went through my home twice. I took it as an opportunity to educate these young ladies, on prevention as well as treatment. I also had the opportunity to see how some people really are about things like this. We were judged pretty severely by those closest to us, folks who would not have taken these girls in to begin with. My son was singled out by his "best" friend, who suddenly wouldn't sit near him in Sunday School, because he didn't want to get "bugs". And they were little.

So, bed bugs...no we haven't yet, and Lord willing won't experience them. However, this weekend, we were blessed with some linens that had been stored for some time. As I was washing them, my son said, "Do you think they have bed bugs?" Where did that come from? Then I remembered another conversation he'd obviously heard recently, when I didn't think he was really listening. I assured him, that the reason I took things onto the porch was NOT because I thought they had bed bugs, but because I thought that there was a possibility mice might have nested in them and I didn't want mice in the house, because his sister is extremely allergic to them. I also reminded him that as I brought things in I was washing them and that none of this was linen we would likely be using ourselves, I had a couple of quilt projects in mind.

What bothered me was his dread of bed bugs. It also bothered me that I was pretty sure if it happened, he would again experience some cruel remarks and treatment and the ignorant hands of others.

They are not pleasant, but gosh, it can happen to anyone, rich or poor, clean or dirty. And for the record, clean people are more likely to get head lice than dirty ones, it's easier for the nits to cling to clean hair shafts. Just sayin'.

So how about you? Any experiences or judgments you'd like to share?

Blessings, MaggieRaye

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Plans for the Day

Maine Maple Sunday! This should be a great homeschool, nature study field trip day. So I have a plan. We will go with my dad to an outer lying town to visit a farm that does sugaring. It shouldn't be too crowded - I hate crowds. My dad comes up with a place a little closer to home, so we decide to check it out. There is nothing going on. Hhmmm....draw back and punt...the place in town. So NOT part of my plan. I'm sure it will be crazy busy. It was, but we had a great time. There was sap being boiled, tomahak throwing, taffy pulling, and a museum.

This was NOT my plan. I had my own plan. Seeing tapped trees, hearing about sap running, being collected, boiled down.

God's plan was, infinitely better. I ran into a family member I haven't seen in awhile. Made two great homeschool connections for the summer. Mattmann had a great time! Better than he would have had if the day had gone according to my plan.

Of course, then there was the matter of the store. I just wanted to stop at the little local market on the way home. Dad needed to go to the big grocery store, which is located in close proximity to our outing. It makes the most sense. So I ended up there...and running into two more homeschool folks we know and love. Again, God's plan not mine.

We plan. God laughs. The thing is that I just don't know how to NOT plan things. It's what I'm good at. Guess someone has to provide the comic relief!

Do you have an recent events where you planned, and God had different ideas? Were His plans infinitely better? Want to share them? Leave me a comment.

Blessings,
MaggieRaye

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Patchwork Cottage Shoppe

Well, I couldn't do it. I was going to close my etsy shop. Nothing has sold in a very, very long time. I just don't have the heart to take it down.

I also got thinking, if you're on FB and want to follow the shop, we have a page there, just type Patchwork Cottage Shoppe into the search bar.

Looks like I'll be going back to doing family child care at least for a season, until I figure some things out.

Blessings, MaggieRaye

Friday, March 18, 2011

Spring Nature Study

We were suppose to start a Homeschool Nature Study group yesterday. Due to illness both in our household and others, we had to cancel. The children and I went out to walk anyway. We discovered some cool things:

The pond that we thought was stagnant in the fall, actually has a continual flow in and out. The property here is VERY wet. We have tons of culverts around the place, creating interesting little wet spots.

Dried Milkweed pods - this is great news as I love following the monarch life cycle in the last summer and where there is milkweed there are bound to be monarchs.

Today we went out again, and discovered a pair of mallards in the pond. This was way too cool.

We also inspected some of the cattails exploded along the edge of the pond. Saw a pair of Chickadees in the trees between our house and the neighbor up the drive.

Wintergreen is up and smells wonderful when broken between your fingers.

I'm doing a free eCourse at Natureskills.com called Nature Walk. It's great if you don't know where to start. I think I'll be using some of their ideas (and giving them credit, naturally) with our Nature Study Group. There is also a home study course offered through Wilderness Awareness School, that I'm praying for the funds to be able to do over the course of the next year or two.

I'm pretty sure y'all thought I was crazy, that this would pass, but it hasn't, if anything the desire to be immersed in God's creation, learning, sharing, exploring, discovering has only gotten more intense as the winter has lingered far too long.
So has spring sprung where you are? And so it seems that over time the girly,
bookworm has morphed into a budding naturalist....who'da thunk it?!

So, has spring sprung where you are?

Blessings, MaggieRaye

Catching Up

Quilt Projects - I have two that need to be finished. One for my brother and sister-in-law, that I started at their wedding in September and had hoped to finish for Christmas. And one for a friends business. After that, I think quilting will be on the back burner for awhile. My enthusiasm seems to have dwindled. There is just no creative spark or drive.

Nature Study - This is a totally different story. We took a walk yesterday. It was a perfect spring day. We made discoveries without leaving the general area around the house. There's so much to see in the immediate surroundings, without even venturing into the multitude of acreage that surrounds us. I found a course I want to take, but we'll have to seriously pray in the funds for it. This has become my passion. I suspect that one day again, I will pick up my quilting tools, and you'll find splashes of nature captured in fabric. Right now I feel like I just need to focus on total immersion for my self and my children.

Single Mom's Homeschooling - There seems to be a new generation taking up the torch on this. I think I've retired my soap box. I am here to support and encourage anyone who thinks they can't do it but has a God given desire/leading/calling. I'm just tired of trying to convince the body that they aren't doing their part.

So catch me up, what's new with you?
Blessings, MaggieRaye

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Cabin Fever

I can't believe it's snowing again, still....this is one of those winters that seems as if it is just never going to end.

I see that the movement of single parent homeschoolers continues to grow. I just read an article this morning. Somehow I feel out of the loop. My life is shifting gears. Instead of reading books on homeschooling, I've been reading books about the woods. They just keep coming. Currently, I'm reading the classic Freckles by Gene Stratton Porter and A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson.

It seems like I barely have enough energy and enthusiasm to do the things we need and want to do on a daily basis, without being out there advocating for all you single momma's who are or would like to homeschool. I can't seem to muster up much in the way of encouraging words either.

What I really want to do is just get out and walk, without five layers of clothes, clunky boots and dread of slipping on ice covered with the newest layer of snow.

I think I might officially have a case of Cabin Fever....not a pretty sight....slugging around in yesterdays sweatpants and sweatshirt....wondering if the sun is ever going to shine again, if the temperature will rise above 20 and how long it will take the 10 foot tall pile of snow to melt...will it still be there in June?!?!?!

Fortunately, I know that God is in control, and spring does come ever year, and it will come this year, eventually.

How are things where you are? What are you doing to combat the spring fever?

Blessings, MaggieRaye

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Brilliant (or maybe not so) Idea

I've tried a bunch of different work from home ideas over the years...the most successful was doing family child care. I find being in a new area while my neighbors are quick to leave their children with me, a virtual stranger, the community at large is not so willing to pay me to leave their children here. It's okay, because I'm really sorta feeling "past" that whole stage in life. And maybe it will change this summer, when folks can't fall back on our illustrious public education programs to tend their children.

So I have an idea. I volunteer for our state homeschool organization. I do alot of admin. asst. work from home, which is really cool. Between the phone, email, twitter, and Facebook, there is almost nothing I can't do. I update, do data entry, process registrations, talk to folks about homeschooling, meet with folks. So that got me thinking...surely there must be someone out there who needs admin. asst. in their business....so why not be a virtual assistant to a business.

Anyone have any ideas or know anything about this kind of work? I'd be interested in hearing more.

And if any of you are looking for a work from home idea, I'm happy to share this one or others from other single momma's I know that are staying home and homeschooling.

Blessings,
MaggieRaye

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Sled Dogs & The Iditarod

The Iditarod is something that has always fascinated me. So I'm psyched that MattMann is interested enough for us to do a lapbook (Hands of a Child) on Sled Dogs. I'm incorporating Alaska, and the Iditarod into it.

I just found this fantastic website, with FREE one page study guides to go along with it. It was too good not to share!

Check out: http://www.mushhusky.com/subject_guides.htm

Blessings, MaggieRaye

Monday, January 31, 2011

Motherhood and Keepers at Home

I read the following quote this morning, on a friends status message:


“[After twenty-seven years] of learning the truth of living sacrificially, I have found that embracing God’s call to motherhood once and for all has brought me great peace. Instead of seeing fusses and messes as irritations in my day, for instance, I am more likely to see them as opportunities to train my children to be peacemakers and to learn to be responsible for their own messes. Instead of resenting the interruptions in my schedule, I am more likely to accept them as divine appointments. More and more, I have learned to see my children through the eyes of God and to accept the stages of growth through which he has designed them to grow.”

--Sally Clarkson, The Mission of Motherhood


I only wish more people took Motherhood as a serious mission field as they do Haiti or Africa....how much different might America, or the world be, if they did?

Then the same friend sent me a link to this blog post. God's timing is always so perfect:



It's good to know that there are still a few women out there clinging to God's highest calling, when the world seems to be against them.

Blessings, MaggieRaye

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Update from Patchwork Cottage

I think it's time for some updates.

My quote for the week (or the rest of my life) is:

Pride, at it's core, is the cravings for the approval of other people. Faith, at it's core, is a humble gladness in the God of grace.

Needless to say, Pride is a HUGE issue for me that I will be working on in days to come!


Read the words to the hymn Lily of the Valley. That has become my theme song!

I love it when God answer the prayers of our children for practical things. MattMann needed pull on winter boots. The kind that Mommy doesn't have to stop and help tie up every time we come in and go out. He prayed that a local department store would have them for $30 or maybe even $20. Not likely! We went yesterday and ended up buying mud boots (good for two seasons instead of just one - and we will be needing them this year) and a pair of 40 Below socks for just under $30. Praising God for His provision, for the lesson MattMann is learning. And for helping me see that even when it doesn't feel like it He is really there, taking care of us.

Saving THE BEST FOR LAST - I just ordered 40 copies of God, I Need Help to give away. Thirteen of those copies are spoken for so if you or someone you know would like one...email me (don't leave it in a comment) your mailing address. It may take a few weeks for me to get it to you, as I need to pray in the shipping for each copy going out....but I'd love for you to be encouraged by Linda Heaner's story the way I have been through the years!

Blessings, MaggieRaye

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Single Mother

Dear Single Mother,



You are a single mother,

and I know it is not what you expected or planned for,

but it is something I understand. I have walked through this

with you from the very beginning, and I am with you now.

I know there are times when you are lonely, but remember

that you are never alone. I know there are things

that cause you worry and anxiety, but I want you to know that

I have promised to provide for you and meet your needs.



I want you to trust Me with your children ~ I will be a Father to them,

and they will never go anywhere that is outside the coverings of My love.

I want you to trust Me with your future.

I will do what is good and what is best.



When things are shaking I will keep you steady...

When things are hurting I will heal the pain...

when things are uncertain I will be your guide...

when things are unclear I will be your Wisdom...

when things are overwhelming I will be your strength...

when things are dark I will be your light...

when things are hectic I will be your rest.



It brings Me great pleasure to know

your heart is trusting in Me.

KEEP ON in My strength, KEEP ON in My joy,

KEEP ON in my peace, KEEP ON in My love.



Love,

Jesus



Written by Roy Lessin

Single [Not Alone] - Court Report

I just found out this is the cover story on the most recent issue of Court Report from HSLDA.

I hope you find the article encouraging and will pass it on to others.

http://www.hslda.org/courtreport/V27N1/V27N101.asp

Blessings,
MaggieRaye