It was not a failure, though I thought it was at the time.

It was not a failure.

*This post does contain some affiliate links, which means that if you purchase through my site, I receive a small percentage.*

I’ve been dealing with my own feelings of failure for a while now. Have you ever felt that way? I read this story this week, and I poured tears as I contemplated my own “failure.”

There was this man. He was from out-of-town. He wanted to teach people about Jesus. That landed him in prison, and not just prison. First, he was stripped and beaten, and then they put him in prison.
He got out though.
And then you know what he said about that trip? He said, “It was not a failure.”

Public humiliation. Beaten! Imprisoned!

That was not a failure?? He was basically chased out of town. He can’t go back there.

But that man was Paul, and that town was Philippi. You can read more about that story in Acts 16:16-25 and 1 Thessalonians 2, all of chapter 2.

“You know, brothers, that our visit to you was not a failure. We had previously suffered and been insulted in Philippi, as you know, but with the help of our God we dared to tell you his gospel in spite of strong opposition.”    1 Thessalonians 2:1-2

It was not a failure because they STILL did share the gospel, as they set out to do. When we tell people the good news, that Jesus loves ALL of us and wants to save and be a friend to ALL of us, we aren’t responsible for how people respond to that. That doesn’t mean be a jerk and don’t care. That means don’t be obnoxious. Share it, and let the Holy Spirit do the rest.

Public disgrace does not equal failure.

Things not ending as planned does not mean we failed.

Being physically destroyed is not failure. It’s not.

You are not a failure either. Think of your most recent failure, and then consider. What did you learn? What good came out of that?


I was reading about all of these things in Children of the Day, by Beth Moore. It takes books like these to help me understand things like Acts 16 being tied to 1 Thessalonians. Believe me, I’d never figure that out on my own. Every single Beth Moore Bible study workbook I have ever read has been a massive blessing to me.

This one is no exception. She just HAD to go and ask us what our most recent failure is. She left a little blank space for us to write about it. Ha! I got out my spiral notebook and filled up a whole PAGE.

I wrote, and I thought, and I cried, and I prayed, and in the end I was reminded.

“Though a righteous man falls 7 times, he will get up, but the wicked will stumble into ruin.”  Proverbs 24:16

Failure stings when it’s something that means the world to you. It stings like getting stung by a HIVE OF BEES  or 50 fire ants.

I set out to home school those two years with two objectives:

  1. I wanted to give them that one-on-one boost with their academics.
  2. I wanted to improve their character. No, I can’t improve it myself, but I wanted to promote it. I wanted to provide the right environment and the right tools for the boys and God to work that out.

I was not able to accomplish what I wanted, academically, and to make it worse trying to be a teacher, homemaker, blogger, and mom all at once made me MISERABLE. It was heart-breaking. Even as I write about it again, it’s like my heart is all ripped up and bleeding. I want to pound my fists to the wall and then lay my head against it and cry until there’s no water left because no matter how hard I tried, everything felt like failure.

I love these children with such intensity, I want to fix every single problem that they have, but that’s not possible, is it? The ability to fix everything was so far beyond my control.

So I failed. Or so I thought. But you know what? I did not fail. They didn’t fail either. Nothing failed. There was nothing wasted here.

In those two years, I saw their character bloom. I saw love, humility, honesty, justice, kindness, and goodness in my boys.

Caleb was saved and baptized, of his free choosing during that time at home with me. I even heard him teaching his friends about Jesus.

There was spiritual warfare waged over the souls of my children those two years, and God won.

I grew to understand the boys’ strengths and weaknesses. I came to terms with my own limitations. We emerged a different family than when we went into this.

I failed in some ways in order to learn. Sometimes we have to fall to learn, to grow, to become.

We saw it happen with my children too. We watched them overcome the kind of adversity that would have CRUSHED me at their age. I would not have handled it with the strength, dignity, and courage that I watched my son display.

That’s not actually failure is it? But it sure feels like it when you’re laying in a wad on the ground.

So no, we have not failed. We have only fallen and gotten back up again, and we too shared the gospel in the process.

All of these thoughts led me to this song, and I can’t get it out of my head. Its “fall down and get back up” message resonated with me. Yes, we are trying EVERYTHING. It’s a fun song, and my favorite line is this one:

“Birds don’t just fly. They fall down and get up.”

You’ll have to click the link below to go to YouTube to see the lyrics and hear this song. It’s worth it.

 

Ok. Your turn to answer Beth Moore’s heart-wrenching question. Failure. When did you last feel it?

“Ask yourself: Did we do the will of God as best we perceived it? Were we authentic before God and man?”    —Children of the Day, page 41, Beth Moore

And I would add, what did you learn? Then maybe it’s not such a failure after all, and even if it is, get back up again.

 

Montessori at Home: Brainy Kit Review

Montessori at Home

Montessori at Home

A little while back, I got an email from Viktoria Altman, President of Brainy Kit. She asked if I’d be interested in receiving a complimentary kit of Montessori materials and lesson plans.

YES! Would I ever!!  I’ve only had two blogger offers that I was this excited about: Brainy Kit and Jamberry Nails. (Look for a Jamberry post soon.)

Now I know you’re wondering what in the world I’m talking about. Well, Montessori is a hands on method of preschool that I have always been intrigued by. To learn more about Montessori methods, read this:http://amshq.org/Montessori-Education/Introduction-to-Montessorij

What the Brainy Kit does is bring those Montessori materials into the home. It makes this method more attainable for the average family, for those who may not be able to afford to send their child to a Montessori School.

I received Brainy Kit #1: the Polar Kit. We are LOVING it.

Each item in the kit has provided DAYS of fun, not just one lesson of fun.

Here’s what came in the kit:

Brainy Kit #1: WE LOVED this!!!

1. A book of seven detailed lesson plans: Each lesson plan has tons of activity suggestions.

2. A Bag of miniature animal replicas, Eskimos, and an igloo

3. pretend snow

4. Amazing Arctic Animals book

5. a huge sheet of stickers

6. a glue stick

7. a pre-cut-out walrus craft

8. laminated animal cards

9. laminated Polar Animal learning chart

10. colorful Penguin puzzle

11. jigsaw puzzle

 

Daniel, JD, and Caleb have all enjoyed this penguin puzzle. I left it out on the coffee table after preschool time, and it saw lots of play time for days, and then JD hid all the pieces…..and well, I still haven’t found them all.

Daniel, learning about the North and South Poles.

I would have never thought to stop and teach Daniel about the Poles. Poor third kid….but it was in the lesson plan, so I got out the globe and did some explaining. 🙂

Another idea behind the Brainy Kit is that it will help children transition from the home environment to the school environment.

sorting the deck of laminated arctic animals and North Pole/South Pole cards Such a fun learning tool!

 

You can just see the wheels turning in his little head.

hard at work

It’s blurry, but I love the way this laminated mat details which animals live at which Poles, and which ones inhabit both.

This book of beautiful pictures and info comes in the kit too! Loved it.

This book of beautiful pictures and info comes in the kit too! Loved it.

Everything in the kit is so useful! This is a book we will keep in our library and reference for years. It’s a great read-aloud.

preschool polar lesson

This was by far the most popular item in the kit: tiny animals and fake snow. JD joined Daniel for this one. He just couldn’t resist. The great thing about this activity is that it needs very little help from Mom. They played with this for an hour the first day, an hour the second day, and believe it or not, it took them 3 or 4 days before they finally destroyed all of the snow.

I was able to teach the big boys their grammar lessons while the littles played with this. As you can imagine, I was thrilled!!
montessori learning

It had a walrus, a killer whale,  a beluga whale, Eskimos, an igloo, a wolf, and a polar bear. JD carried that walrus around ALLLLLLL day.

Later on, I whipped out the old Polar Bear documentary, and all four boys watched it, while JD clutched his toy walrus.

polar animal lesson

Adding ice to the polar scene provided even more fun!

The lesson suggested adding a little water or ice to the scene. The boys LOVED dragging ice cubes around in their snow. It made the fake snow a little fluffier too, just like the way real snow changes when it’s wet.

After a while, Daniel asked me, “Me have some juice, Mommy?”

I don’t remember what I said, but Daniel added, “Me thirsty from eating that snow.”

haaaaahahahaha  Well, of course, he ate it, really!

That was all just from last week. I haven’t even gotten to the walrus craft, the stickers, or the jigsaw puzzle yet!

I am giving this brainy kit a billion thumbs up. Huge hit here!

Anyone with a 2-6 year old child should definitely sign up for these kits!

Here’s the link to learn more or sign up. :

http://getbrainykit.com/

 

montessori at home

 

And be sure to follow me on Facebook for more great ideas!

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