Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Tribe Life Tuesday: Let's Go on a Soul Treasure Hunt

A weekly post from my childhood to grown-up friend Carrie ~ 
sharing her awesome life and her desire to have community while doing it!

Happy Tribelife Tuesday!
I am sitting here at my desk, my diffuser going with an amazing essential oil blend and the house is quiet. This is the first time it’s been quiet all day. We have a number of guests with us right now, and every day is a bit hectic so the P & Q is so sweet right now. But with the stillness comes the clarity to think, to dive down deep and search my soul. I’m excited that you’re joining me today as we go on a soul treasure hunt.
For the past three weeks I have written about people who have inspired me. And I can’t help but ask, how does one become an influencer? There’s a seemingly endless number of questions running through my mind about inspiration, influence, and the type of influence I want. But I pause and quiet my racing mind, I tell myself let’s focus; I remind myself to keep the main thing the main thing.
First things first: What is influence? According to the dictionary it is the capacity or power of persons or things to be a compelling force on or produce effects on the actions, behavior, opinions, etc., of others.
Take it in.
Two things that strike me: capacity and force. I feel like the word "capacity" is thrown around quite a bit these days, causing me to recently take the time to evaluate my own space. How much capacity do you have and what for? How much space is there for you? For your family? Your job? Your beliefs? I have a tendency to crowd my capacity with comfortable” things or habits, leaving less room for the things I truly value. These are things I am seeing within myself during my soul treasure hunt.
Now, on to force! Influencers are a force, a compelling force. They attract. Ask yourself, what do I attract?
Did you answer?
I picture influencers as the ones who walk in the room and you know they’re there. They have boisterous personalities and everyone loves them. When they enter the room it’s like gravity’s pull just shifted, drawing everyone in their direction. Do you personally know anyone like that? Me too. But the truth is being an influencer is much deeper than that and far more profound.
Let’s talk about the traits” of an influencer. I didn’t google this one; this is all ME! I think the influencers worth following are disciplined, constant learners, not motivated by fear, purpose-driven, and risk takers, to name a few. An influencer is someone who is working toward their truest self. They’re someone who grapples with themselves honestly, they ask the hard questions, and accept the genuine truths. They embrace their wins and trample over their failure. As I write this, I can’t help but think of two people who have enormous influence and are, in my opinion, on both sides of the influence spectrum: Mother Teresa and Kanye West. Strange, I know, but if I am being completely impartial, they both have/had gigantic platforms. Their use of their unique platform was vastly different, but that doesn’t diminish their place as an influencer. And that is beauty of it all: you get choose how you will use the platform of your life.
So I ask you, who is it that inspires you? What is it about that person that draws you in?
You don’t need to be famous or on a stage to inspire; to be an influencer you don’t need a cause to champion, all you need is to come with your truest self. (It helps to have a tribe too, for moral support.) So what are you doing with your influence? Whether you want it or not, you have a level of influence -- it’s how you use it that shows the truth of who you are to those around you. The extent of your influence may be your family, your job, your blog, or your social media accounts, but you get the point. YOU HAVE INFLUENCE! You also have the power to inspire others, so my advice is: use it wisely and be strategic. I encourage you to go on your own soul treasure hunt, dig down into who you are, and examine yourself. Get rid of those unattractive things and let the substantive, amazing, true you pull others in. Because, trust me, people are waiting for you, the real you, to show up!
See you next Tuesday!
*Please note that content in guest blogs is not necessarily shared by the station manager (i.e. Wendi!)

Review: By the Way Book Series

Nature Books With A Biblical Worldview {By the Way Book Series Reviews}
How excited we were to get the opportunity to review Smoky Mountains ~ Here We Come! from the By the Way Book Series

When the opportunity to review a book on the mountains surrounding the farm we now live on, I jumped at the chance. Written by Joy Budensiek and backed up by an incredible team of designers, coordinators, and artists, By the Way was born from the shock of a simple statement by Dr. Jeff Myers of Summit Ministries:

"19 out of 20 Christian parents and grandparents do not talk to their children about God and spiritual truths in their daily lives."

 Joy and her team wanted to change that number. They wanted to create positive conversations within Christian homes. And that is exactly what they did. This book was 48-pages of actual photography mixed with artistic illustrations, as illustrated on the cover to the book shown below:
Nature Books With A Biblical Worldview {By the Way Book Series Reviews}

On the inside cover of the book, the scripture from Psalm 32:8 is included: 

I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye. 

There is then a letter from the By the Way team which includes a note about Deuteronomy 6:7 and the directive to diligently talk about God and share with future generations as we sit in our homes. The purpose behind these books is to present one gigantic teaching classroom where faith is passed from one generation to another. 

The By the Way series strives to do this by providing: (1) Information (2) Integrated (3) Intentional and (4) Inspirational educational materials for children. 

Smoky Mountains ~ Here We Come! follows the story of Lexi and Alex -- brother and sister spending three days with their Uncle Ted -- a forrest ranger in the beautiful Smoky Mountains. Throughout the pages of the book, they travel from place to place throughout the mountains. They meet people and animals that live in the woods. However, aside from the story, each page incorporates fun facts about animals or weather for instance. There are also Bible verses and lyrics to hymns as well. There is history and facts and "Did you Know?" sections. 

Take a look of my five-year-old daughter sharing two of her favorite pages with her three-year-old sister. While my girls enjoyed the book, it was my second grade boys that really got into it!


While we are obviously a huge fan of the Smoky Mountains ~ Here We Come! book from the By the Way Book Series because of where it is located, we definitely want to remind you that it is one of a series. Take the time to check out some of the other books like:
  • Florida's Treasure Coast (This would be my second choice since this is the state I grew up in!)
  • Pennsylvania
  • Ohio
  • Washington
  • Colorado
They are also currently working on books on Ireland, New York, Idaho, and Indiana!

I love supporting people who are trying to help me become a better mom and educator. This is not just for homeschooled kids -- everyone would benefit from having these types of books in their library. And, as always, feel free to email me at flakymn@hotmail.com for more information or to ask additional questions.

Nature Books With A Biblical Worldview {By the Way Book Series Reviews}

Crew Disclaimer

Monday, February 27, 2017

Tuesday Truth


 While Isaac was out-of--town with JB, we got to attend a Valentine's Day party for our homeschool co-op. Truly this co-op "has my back." When I am home and feel lonely or feel that I can't homeschool or that I'm the only one doing this, I think of all my wonderful Heritage Home Scholars peeps, and I just feel that I have an army behind me.

I especially love that my kids don't miss out on anything with this group in our corner. Anything a "real" school does, we do too -- like a Valentine's Party. So fun! Thank you to my friend Kristin for sharing these pictures with me. 

I love that older siblings will help out with younger kids without blinking an eye. The co-op goes all the way up to high school, and these are some of the nicest kids you can meet. You very rarely see one stuck in their phone. They are instead out and participating with the group.

Love this picture of my blondie.

Playing on the playground.

Taking turns dropping candy in each of our friends boxes.

Decorating their Valentine's boxes. I misunderstood the directions and thought we were supposed to decorate our boxes at home so we came with boxes already done -- actually made it a lot more peaceful for me.

Sidge loving the playground.

Hannah preparing to tackle the slide.

This kid really missed his brother! But he had a great time at the party.