Occupy until He comes…

If you had told me that we would be where we are today in this world even a year ago I would have thought you were crazy. I look around me and barely recognize this world that we have called home for so many years. Pandemic, Quarantine, Riots, Violence and Mask ordinances have just come out of nowhere in such a short amount of time. These words have become a part of our every day vocabulary. I shake my head in slight disbelief that this is what our world has come to but it shouldn’t really be all that shocking. Especially for those of us who call ourselves Christians.

At some point we should know that the world was going to begin to decline. And for those of us who believe in Jesus Christ and what the Bible says it should just be one more sign that it’s almost time to return to our true home. The return of the King is imminent. It will be soon. How soon is up to the Father as only he knows the day and the hour. But we can be prepared and take all those who will listen and heed to our voice with us. Isn’t this the ultimate goal? Spending eternity with the one who created us. The one who desires our love and devotion and who cares enough about us to provide us with hope and protection even in the midst of a world that has gone awry?

That is what I believe. We are literally in the last of the last days. And one day in the future I will rejoice with my family as we worship our Father God in His presence. Not just glimpeses of it but fully in his presence. We will get to reunite with our loved ones that have gone on before us. Those that have planted the seeds of faith into our lives and left us with a heritage of following Jesus.

But until that day comes we are told to occupy (Luke 19:13). But what does occupy really mean? Dictionary.com gives these definitions:

  • to take or fill up (space, time, etc.).
  • to engage or employ the mind, energy, or attention of.
  • to be a resident or tenant of; dwell in.
  • to take possession and control of (a place), as by military invasion.(usually initial capital letter)¬†to participate in a protest about (a social or political issue), as by taking possession or control of buildings or public places that are symbolic of the issue.

So bascially we are to dwell in this earth until Jesus returns. But we are supposed to take possession and control of it as well. Which means we are to do the Father’s business wile we are here on the earth.

Here is the next question: what is the Father’s business?

Good question. The Bible tells us in Matthew 28:19-20 says: “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”

While on this earth we are to preach the gospel and do as Jesus commanded us. Jesus was the ultimate example of what we are supposed to do and he preached in Luke 4:18 that He came to “….preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.” If that is what we he came to do and he is our example then we are supposed to do that as well.

We are called to bring hope to people who may not see or have hope. We are called to help bring healing and freedom to those who are sick and bound. We are called to remind people that Jesus will return and come back for his people. We HAVE to be the light to this world that has been darkened by sin and hate. This world that has accepted as normal those things that God has called immoral and wrong has blinded so many and we MUST speak the truth of God’s Word into this world. That, my friends is what we are supposed to be doing while we occupy this earth. Not just sitting back and waiting for Jesus to return. We still have work to do and we MUST do it.

How about we choose to remember what God has brought us out of so we can be the hope for someone else who may be going through something like we were. Let’s choose today to show God’s love to the people of this world. Let’s choose today to pray for those around us. Let’s choose today to be God’s hands, feet and mouth piece so that this world will know there is hope, there is healing, there is freedom and it comes in the name of Jesus Christ.

What I Have Been Doing During Safer at Home…

I’ve been seeing all these posts about people getting their homes cleaned out during all this because of the extra time that they have. I do have an extra hour a day that I am not driving but I’m still working so I don’t have as much time as those who are stuck home not working. Just a side note. I am not complaining by any means. I am so thankful I still have work when so many people are being laid off and not working right now.

That said I have still found myself getting some side things done…

  1. I finished crocheting Angel’s blanket that I started before Christmas. I was making it for her birthday and was only behind by 1 week so I count that as a success.
  2. I’ve only put together one of my Thomas Kinkade Disney puzzles since the Safer at Home started. I did the Princess and the Frog. Keep in mind that since January 2020 and before the Safer-At-Home order went into effect I had already done 12 of those puzzles. Don’t ask me why I have only done the one. I really don’t know.
  3. I started a new workout routine with an accountability buddy. We are one full week into this routine and lets just say I am sore, I hurt, I want to say things I shouldn’t and yet I still get up and do it all again the next day. I really do have a love hate relationship with working out. I love the results but hate doing it. And seriously to the little miss skinny minnie that I, for some reason, have allowed to torture me and continue to go back to…. I’m not that flexible.
  4. I’m reading more for fun. I’m always reading. I love to read but I’ve put “for fun” reading on the back burner because I was so busy. I picked up my 1st generation iPad (yes its that old), which is basically an over priced Kindle at this point since so few apps will work with it. I mean they aren’t updating it anymore. lol (side note: It was my dads and I got it after he passed just so I could read my kindle books on a bigger screen.) I downloaded some fun Christian historical fiction that I had on my cloud and did this instead of watching t.v.
  5. We’ve been playing more games and watching more movies together as a family. Sierra downloaded a game on steam that we can use our phones/tablets to play on. It’s called Drawful 2. It’s kind of like pictionary. It’s a lot of fun and we laugh a lot while playing it.
  6. We’ve been homeschooling of course. This is our youngest daughters final year in home education. She will be going to a private school in the fall. So been working on the application process for that. Gathering all the information. Preparing her where she feels comfortable with going and getting all our ducks in a row.
  7. I’ve been doing a lot of re-evaluating and praying. Thinking about plans for the future and new things I would like to do. Including my own school journey this fall to go for something I have always wanted to do and that is Graphic and Web Design.
  8. We’ve walked a lot and enjoyed our patio a bunch more. Sitting out in the evenings and walking during the day.
  9. I’ve done some coloring and putting Lego’s together. I enjoy doing that cause its creative and they are like puzzles. Hubby bought me the Lego set cause he wanted to bring a smile to my face.
  10. Most importantly we celebrated a birthday. Angel turned 15 a few weeks ago. But because they were already advising no groups of more than 10 that eliminated our plans for her. But we still had cake and ice cream and gifts.

So what have you been doing during all of this?

Things I’ve learned in quarantine thus far…

Number 1… I have two sides. The introvert side of me enjoys quiet mornings before my kids are up doing their Zoom college classes and homeschool work. I get to spend some time in prayer and in the Word with my cup of coffee which is a vital part of my day because after kids get up side two comes out. That is the extroverted side of me that tries to keep everyone motivated and arguments to a minimal.

Number 2 … As much as I love my home I need to be outside. Outside is good. Outside keeps me sane. Outside loves me… oh wait… is that…. pollen? (*sneezes* runs back inside.) …. Inside is good. I love the inside.

copyright Sierra Auton

Number 3 … I can only read so much. I can only do so many puzzles. I can only color so many coloring books. I can only clean… wait what?

Number 4 … Apparently when you have nothing to do shopping online is additctive. My hubby needs this thing to end ASAP cause I need to STOP shopping. Oh is that FedEx in the neighborhood?

Number 5 … I am like Ariel… I want to be where the people are. I am also like Jasmine…. I need a whole new world. Maybe even like Elsa … I may need to go into the Unknown and hide.

Number 6 …. Ummmm I’m not sure but I’m sure I can think of something for next time. ūüôā

Hope you have a great safe-at-home day and giggle just a little.

Trust God, Do Not Fear

©Dianna Auton
©Dianna Auton Great Smokey Mountains National Park

We are in a time right now that seems like things have just turned upside down. Schools and businesses are closed or running at half capicity and the spirit of fear around our nation and the world is strong. All from a virus. A new virus. One that has a very high percentage of contagion and does not have a “cure” or “vaccine” yet. So its scarey. I totally get it. Things are uncertain right now.

That said, I have to remind the children of God no matter where you are that you do not have to fear. 2 Timothy 1:7 says “God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power, love and a sound mind.” We must remember that we can trust God to protect us from this disease. But we also must be smart. Do what you know to do and then let God handle His part.

Never in my lifetime have we had to be quarantined. It was like overnight we went from the “busyness” of our lives to being forced to slow down and spend more times with those we love. Rather than seeing this as an interruption to our lives, which it is, take it as a time of being together. Spending more time with our families. Enjoying some togetherness and focus on our spiritual fitness. Maybe you can take this time that you have and spend more time in the Word and prayer getting to know the one that created you and that fights for you.

For me I have been meditating a lot on God’s Word. I’ve been listening to worship music and I’ve been refocusing my mind on what is important. I’ve allowed it to help me to put things into perspective and it’s reminded me yet again that we are strangers in a strange land. We are not of this world. We were meant for another place. It’s reminded me yet again that what is spiritual will last not all the activities that we do. What I do for the kingdom of God is so much more important than whether I am a good sales person. Not that there is anything wrong with that because we can represent God no matter where we go or what we do. But are we even doing that? It’s made me really think about that.

This thought process didn’t start for me with this current situation it actually started at the beginning of the year. I started re-evaluating what I was doing and started taking steps towards where I felt the Lord wanted me to go. Even just this week I took a step of faith in an area of ministry that I know I have been called to do but was so afraid to step into. God blessed that and gave me favor and really it’s not even about me. It’s about Him and what He has called us to do for Him. It’s about enlarging the kingdom for His glory not our own.

It’s also about how quickly life can change and whether we are doing what He has called us to do.

This post has not gone the way I was expecting it to go. But God leads and I guess that other thing is for another day. But God is awesome and His ways are perfect.

Regardless of whether or not I am babbling just remember that God is with us through this outbreak. Be smart but trust God most of all.

Praying Blessings, health and favor over each person that reads this today.

Week 6 in Review

Well after Day 10 of our Eco-system experiment we had a couple losses. Our two original fish have died but the 3 babies are still living and the snail is still living. We studied a bit more on Ancient China and We are reading about Persia.

In art Angel has been working on still lifes and she seems to really be good at it. We are working on Algebra more, and the week after Fall break we will be adding in some craft type of stuff. So we can both have the opportunity to be creative.

In my personal life I have returned to the gym. I’m sore but it’s all good. I have also picked up some more sales through my Paparazzi business and praying about my other job. I feel like I’m working hard and I’m wearing myself thin with not much to show.

But I keep plugging away. My hubby has been so helpful and supportive and God has given him favor with those he works with. We try to squeeze in as much family time as possible anymore. Which I love. I enjoy being with my kids and my hubby. I know some people can’t say that but God has blessed me so much in the area of family.

My creative side is burning to be set free and I’ve not had much opportunity to do it. But I’m going to make some time. I think Angel will enjoy it just as much as I will.

This week is fall break for us so no official “school” stuff will be going on but I’m looking forward to some creative fun time.

Have a great week.

Weeks 3 – 5 And Boy I’m Behind…

So I started blogging about our school weeks and got behind. I’m in a wedding this month and planning some other events both for church and our co-op so I got a little thrown off. Not to mention I still have to work and do school with my girl here at home.

We’ve kept pretty busy during weeks 3 through 5. Studying Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia as well as China. We’ve been working on a closed bottle Science experiment for Biology which has been thriving. When we left our co-op we had 2 fish and 1 snail. By that evening we had 6 fish and 1 snail. The following morning we could only find 5 fish and 1 snail. Apparently one of our fish was pregnant. However, My mini me did an awesome job picking out the perfect environment or her creatures. Each student got to pick their environments and thus the point of the experiment. We needed to be able to keep the creatures alive without having to feed them ourselves.

Mini Me chose the following ingredients to make a suitable home for her environment: Lake water, dirt, rock with algae, plants and set it in a place where it gets partial natural sunlight. I guess those ingredients were the perfect fit for her tiny fish and snail. She named the fish but as she chose Japanese names for each of them I can not tell you what they are.

We are working on Algebra 1 in math and it makes my brain hurt a bit. But we are pushing through. We’ve been walking and exercising daily so she gets her PE time in. We’ve also been reading quite a bit about early American history on the side.

I borrowed a book from the library about the Lost State of Franklin. It’s been interesting but because it is set up as a “text book” it can get a bit boring. So I read it as much as I can at night until I fall asleep. Of course the book was written in the 1920’s so it can be monotonous.

Like I mentioned early we have a wedding this month that we will be in so we’ve got lots going on, so, if I forget to post on Monday about week 6 you will know why.

Also I want to share with you a picture I took this past week. I was kind of proud.

Sky, Sun and Church

And on September 14th (2 days after our 21st wedding anniversary), Hubby and I renewed our vows. It was a surprise to me and the first time in the 22 years that we have been together that he was able to pull off a surprise.

Sunflowers

Two posts in one week. Wow. Crazy. I know. But I wanted to share some pictures I took of the Sunflower fields while we were at Ijams. They are blooming and there are 70 acres of them. So enjoy the pictures.

© 2019 Dianna Auton
© 2019 Dianna Auton
© 2019 Dianna Auton
© 2019 Dianna Auton
© 2019 Dianna Auton
© 2019 Dianna Auton
© 2019 Dianna Auton
© 2019 Dianna Auton
© 2019 Dianna Auton
© 2019 Dianna Auton
© 2019 Dianna Auton

Another Year and Another Graduate

So another school year has gone by and we are technically half way through our summer. It’s hard to believe. My second daughter has graduated high school and now I only have one left to educate. Phew!!! It’s exciting and yet seems hard to believe that I have two college kids.

Hope will continue her education in the fall heading to college and working on a degree in Media Technology for Photography. She will be attending the same college as her older sister so again both will remain home while spreading their wings a bit more.

My youngest will begin her high school years this fall and it seems so hard to believe that in only 4 short years we will be attending her high school graduation. I’m just so glad its not back to back like my older two. We are continuing to attend our co-op this fall where I have somehow been wrangled in to teaching middle school Life Science. ūüėČ Not quite sure how that happened but I’m kind of excited about it.

I’m trying to enjoy every single day that goes by with my family because I am not sure when one of my girls will end up married with their own families. As I have two that are old enough to begin a serious relationship. So you never know when they decide to bring home a young man. But they better be a good God fearing young man or else mama will be doing a lot of praying. Not that I already haven’t been praying for their future husbands.

Okay so lets change the subject now. I think I will be stopping here and I will update again when I am able.

A Bit of Catching Up

What can I say. It’s been a very busy and sporadic fall. Now we are into Winter, officially anyway. I started teaching at our Co-Op again. I got to teach Ancient World History to 3rd – 5th graders and 6th – 8th graders. I had two amazing classes for this first semester. Great students and awesome helpers.

Next semester I will be teaching History of the World Wars to the 6th-8th Grade Class and Tennessee History to our 3rd-5th grade class. My classes have increased in size yet again. I’m hoping that is a sign that the kids like me. lol

We did Senior photos for my Hope. She is all grown up and so beautiful. Here is a few from her shoot.

This was a fun shoot. The pictures really shows her personality.

Then after all of this I started another new business. I started selling Paparazzi Jewelry. The reason was because I wear so much of it and I love it and its a great price. So its definitely something I can get behind. I started this endeavor in October. So I’m still pretty new to it. But if you want to check it out you can find my online shop here.

Here is just a sample of some of our gorgeous products:

Also before all of this happened the girls and I from Aspiring to be Magazine did a photo shoot. Here are a couple photos from it:

Just a side note the necklace I’m wearing in the photo is from Paparazzi. So I was wearing it long before I started selling it.

It’s amazing to me how God opens up opportunities as well as gives you ideas of things to do. God is just so good and although life is changing constantly as we grow. God puts people in our lives that encourage and support us in all we do. As I pray about new ideas and directions I am learning not to try to push to fast or else we can get derailed. It will all come together in God’s timing.

I’ve also decided that it is therapeutic for me to pick up blogging again. I believe God gives me things and that there are times I need to share it. So I really am going to try to blog more often to keep you updated and to share whatever the Lord has put on my heart. Plus I will throw in a little bling for you to see as well.

I’m going to leave you now with photos of my kids. Can’t believe how old they are now. My youngest were 7, 5, and 2 when I first started blogging. Now they are 18, 17 and 13. Crazy how fast the years have gone. Don’t blink mamma’s or else you might miss it.

From Left to Right – Angel (8th grade), Sierra (College Freshman), and Hope (High School Senior).

I’m so proud of these girls and who they have become. I just can’t believe I’m old enough to have a college age kid.

Well I think I have caught you up to were we are now. But hopefully it won’t be so long before I blog again. I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!

Graduation, New School Year and What??

And so I posted in January and that was the last time I blogged. Boy I have become a really bad homeschool blogging mom. But a lot has happened. My work hours have increased. Co-Op kept me pretty busy as well. Along with getting my senior going.

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So needless to say my oldest has now graduated highschool. Crazy how¬† quick the time has flown by. When you start them in Kindergarten, graduation day just seems so far away. Guess what? It’s not. You blink and they go from cuddle bug to adult. My grown girl has now been enrolled in college (classes start soon). She has a job on campus so between college classes and her job she won’t have much more time for anything but homework and church. I think we will squeeze in some family time here and there.

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So this summer we celebrated her accomplishment.

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You should see the most adorable cake ever that we had for her party. A friend of ours makes cakes and can pretty much do anything.

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We also had some fun adventures. We got to tour the B-17G Flying Fortress “Aluminum Overcast” while it was in town.

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And for the 4th watched the Fireworks with the city skyline in the distance.

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But now I am about to start a new homeschool year with just two students. Another senior and an 8th grader. But that is for another post and another  day.

 

So I’ve been planning for our co-op year as well as our regular homeschool year as I am again teaching history to elementary and middle school students. my class sizes have doubled and I’m really excited. Last year I learned a whole lot from teaching that I will be changing this year. This is something you learn as you go.

Plus¬† we are currently working on buying a house. We haven’t quite found the right one yet but it’s coming. So you could say a lot has been going on around here and will be as we begin senior year stuff for my next kid. We have to pick a location for senior pictures for our middle daughter who just celebrated her 17th birthday this past weekend.

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Life has been so crazy but you know what? I can not complain. I love my family and I love my life. I am so excited about what God has planned for us this school year.

However, if you do want to know what I have been doing online you should definitely check out Aspiring to Be Magazine’s blog, Facebook page, Facebook group and Instagram pages.