Tag Archive | Trace Academy


Today, we went with nearly all our Trace Academy  families to Legoland. We’d never been there before, mostly because the cost is prohibitive. But this was an optional all-school field trip, and so the deal was unbeatable: four of us got in for less than it would normally cost for one child. I love deals like that. So today, instead of writing much, I’ll show you a part of our day.

First of all, we had to wait until all our families arrived before we could go in. Boy, nobody really wanted to be the last family to arrive. But somebody had to be–half an hour after they were supposed to be there. But by the time we entered, I don’t think anyone even cared that we had to wait that long.

My kids tolerated my taking their picture while we were waiting to enter the park.

I spent most of the day with Morgan, as she didn’t want to go on the rollercoasters her friends were riding.

                                                     Here’s my beautiful girl by a waterfall, not made of Legos.

There were all these mini cities, my favorite of which was San Francisco. It was fun to see my favorite sights, made out of Legos, in the  middle of Florida.

Lots of walking, lots of sweating, lots of standing in lines for a couple of minutes of fun. But, we do it for the kids, right? By the time the place closed down, we were tired but happy.

Thankful today for:
132. my daughter’s good attitude all day
133. people I can trust with my kids
134. laughter

Bills, Bills, Bills!

I’ve spent most of the day entering receipts into my finance program and catching up on my budgeting. What a fun way to spend the day.

I say that with some sarcasm, but really, when I look at all we were able to do and buy, I am thankful for the ever present provision of my loving God and Father.

–we never went hungry

–we were able to give gifts to people for special celebrations

–we got to go on an anniversary trip

–we bought new shoes for Nathan

–we sent Morgan to horseback riding lessons every other week

–we sent Nathan to archery and fencing lessons

–we sent Justin to Tae Kwon Do classes

–we had weekly date nights with our kids

–we had our annual physicals

–we bought dog food and cat food and two hermit crabs

–we fixed our sprinkler system and paid for our lawn chemical applications

–we have a roof over our heads

–we have electricity and running water in our house

–we have working vehicles that have gas in them

–we sent our kids to private school every day (albeit the best bargain on the planet–Trace Academy)

Shall I go on?

We are very rich indeed.

Thankful today for:

105. God’s provision

106. technology

107. crockpots

If God is For Us

If God is for us, who can be against us? And conversely, if God is against us, who can be for us?

When a problem comes up, do you pick up the phone first and call the experts, or do you pray?

When you’re making a decision, do you list the pros and cons first, or do you pray?

When you’re having a meeting, do you just have it, or do you pray first and throughout that meeting?

Let me tell you a story of a time when we dramatically saw God work after we prayed.

Our school, Trace Academy, rents space from my church. At the beginning of this school year, our facility underwent a fire inspection. This is a regular occurrence. When I was the one in charge of the facility, I had the same inspector every year and we never had any problems. This year, a different inspector came. And apparently, this inspector thought very highly of her authority. She gave the usual laundry list of things to move, fix or improve for fire safety, but then she fixated on the fact that we had four or five preschoolers being cared for in the nursery while their moms were working on campus.

What she determined could have shut us down.

So after panicking for a few moments, we were called to pray. I specifically prayed that God would either change this woman’s heart, or that He would remove her from her position.

Long story short, several weeks later–we had a 30-day deadline–the person now responsible for the facility for our school tried to call this inspector. Time after time she was unable to get in touch with her. Finally, someone else in the fire inspector’s office told us that she was no longer with the department. (!)

Is that a God story or what? They sent a new inspector who gave us a clean bill of health, and we were able to Imagecontinue business as usual, only with a more clear sense that God is on our side, and that we are doing what He wants us to do. I believe as a direct result of prayer, that fire that could have devastated us was extinguished.

Honestly, no authority on earth could have shut us down if God wanted us to keep going. We believe what we’re doing is from Him, and a power-hungry bureaucrat is not going to be able to shut that down.

David and Goliath

Paul and the Roman guards

Jesus and the grave

What God wants to accomplish and whomever He wants to use can never be defeated.

Thankful today for:

93. glasses

94. the sound of someone else doing the vacuuming

95. date night with my younger boy

On Mission

Several years ago, I helped edit a curriculum called “The Significant Woman.” One of the goals of this curriculum is to have you write a mission statement, so that you have a basis for doing the things you want to do or are asked to do by others. We all know that we can get sucked into a relentless schedule by filling it with everything anyone wants us to do.

Even though I did not actually go through this curriculum in the group the way it’s designed, because I edited it, I was aware of the principles. So I wrote my mission statement. Here it is:

To raise godly children in community with other believers; to enable others to communicate professionally and clearly by using my writing and editing skills; to support my husband in a way that makes him feel empowered and loved; and to glorify God and enjoy Him forever in the process.

It was only supposed to be one sentence, but, through the clever use of semi-colons, I was able to say what I wanted to. So now, I have a way to look at all my activities and see if they meet the goals of my mission statement.

1. Teaching 2nd grade at Trace Academy: This was a little hard to put into my mission statement, because I couldn’t exactly see how it fit. I just knew that it was what God wanted me to do. But then, as I looked again, I realized that my first clause says “to raise godly children.” It doesn’t say they have to be my children. I am so fulfilling that goal by helping to raise these 2nd graders in community with their parents and other believers. And everything I do in regards to that occupation is very fulfilling.

2. Copyediting Worldwide Challenge magazine: I have been involved with the magazine in one capacity or another for 26 years. Whereas my first love is writing, I am also detail oriented and qualified to answer most questions that come up regarding grammar and style in the articles we publish. What I do there definitely fulfills my mission statement as I use my writing and editing skills to help others communicate better.

3. Ferrying my children to their various activities: This is not just something I do because I’m a mom. We evaluate each activity our children are a part of and weigh it against our priority of having dinner together each night and having quality family time. We are teaching them the value of perseverance, health, exercise, sportsmanship, and everything else that goes along with being a part of tae kwon do, fencing, archery, horseback riding and the like. But it is still my responsibility to make sure that we, as a family, are not over stretching.

4. Running my household: This, of course, fits into my goal of loving and caring for my husband so that he feels empowered to do what he’s called to do. If I’m constantly gone or neglecting him and the household, then he is severely handicapped from doing his job. That’s not good.

5. Participating in spiritual activities: This category is probably the most nebulous, but if I am going to enjoy my relationship with God, I actually need to spend time with Him. Whether it’s going on retreats, participating in a home group through my church, reading, whatever, if it builds my relationship with God and allows me to love and serve Him better, then it is on mission.

Having a mission statement might seem like it puts a box around your life and constrains you, but it is actually very freeing. I know that each and every thing that I do fulfills what I see as my mission. I listen to the Holy Spirit, go where He wants me to go, and if something comes up that doesn’t seem to fit in with my purpose, then my agreeing to do it has to be a very clear directive from God.

I want to make a difference. I want my life to count. I want to be a significant woman. Weighing every opportunity against my God-ordained mission increases my chances of that being the case. I’m not just randomly doing whatever comes along.

Proverbs 16:3 says: “Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and He will establish your plans.”

Philippians 1:6 says, “Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”

He calls me, He won’t let me fail. He always follows through.

Thankful today for:

78. hard decisions

79. lesson plans

80. a less stormy day than was predicted

It’s Too Hard!

My younger two kids attend a private school (Trace Academy) that is unique in its operation: the entire school is run by parents. Every family is required to volunteer at least one and a half days on campus. If you do more than that, if the school’s budget can handle it, you get a break in your tuition.

I teach 2nd grade. I have 10 little yard apes: 8 boys and 2 girls. I never before saw myself as a teacher. One of the reasons we chose this school is that I knew I wasn’t cut out to homeschool. For my first 8 years at the school, I worked in the office and then as part of the team that helped manage the school. I am an administrator.

And then, through unforeseen circumstances, God put me in this position. He made it very obvious, or I definitely wouldn’t be here.

Due to the circumstances, if I I hadn’t been walking in the Spirit, bitterness would have been my response. I would not have been able to see what He wanted me to do. I would have said, like I hear so many times in my classroom, “I don’t get it! It’s too hard! I don’t understand!” But because I saw the situation through God’s eyes, I responded in the Spirit and so find myself leading this precious though precocious group of kids with joy. And some have even said I’m good at it. Imagine that.

First Corinthians 2:14-16 in the Message says, “The unspiritual self, just as it is by nature, can’t receive the gifts of God’s Spirit. There’s no capacity for them. They seem like so much silliness. Spirit can be known only by spirit—God’s Spirit and our spirits in open communion. Spiritually alive, we have access to everything God’s Spirit is doing, and can’t be judged by unspiritual critics. Isaiah’s question, “Is there anyone around who knows God’s Spirit, anyone who knows what He is doing?” has been answered: Christ knows, and we have Christ’s Spirit.”

Serve those who have wronged me? Ridiculous! (“If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head” Romans 12:20.)

Don’t hit my brother back? But he HIT me! (“Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord” Romans 12:19).

We see a child who would otherwise, or so we think, have no home, being adopted and loved by a gay couple. How can we say that is wrong?

We see medical “advances” being made using fetal tissue. How can we deny someone a cure for their disease by not allowing experimentation with fetal tissue? How intolerant and rigid.

“The unspiritual self, just as it is by nature, can’t receive the gifts of God’s Spirit. There’s no capacity for them. They seem like so much silliness.”

I don’t get it! It’s too hard!

“Spiritually alive, we have access to everything God’s Spirit is doing,”

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will” (Romans 12:2).

Thankful today for:
28. a mild winter
28. my Vista Church family
29. a group of moms with whom I can pray