Saturday, October 24, 2009

Looking back on fourteen years of homeschooling I wish I had...

1. Taken a “School Picture” every year. Don’t get me wrong. I took and take lots and lots of pictures; I just wish I would have taken one around the same time every year. I suppose this is the only thing I missed from not having a “traditional” school experience.

2. Bought a file box for each child and made a folder for each year of their life. That way I could have easily organized important keep sakes and pictures. Instead I either threw things out or have no idea how old the children were when they created those things. Pictures could be slipped into the appropriate folder to be scrap booked later.

3. Read The Gift of Dyslexia by Ronald Davis sooner. Just because a child struggles with learning doesn’t mean they have a learning problem. It just means they see things differently. That’s a good thing! This is a must read for anyone who thinks their child is dyslexic.

4. Been more relaxed in the early years instead of feeling like a failure if I didn’t do everything exactly like the public schools. If I had the opportunity to start over, I would concentrate on the 3 R’s in and not feel guilty. I would also read the books Mommy Teach Me and Mommy Teach Me to Read by Barbara Curtis. She is a certified Montessori instructor who has twelve children. Her ideas and suggestions are awesome, but geared mostly toward children younger than my own. (Check her out at

5. “Thought outside the box” more. My college degree is in Elementary Education and it took too many years to realize I didn’t have to do every thing the way I was taught to. I wish I had built more replicas and done more hands-on activities. (And not fretted over not finished page whatever in the math book.)

6. Not worried so much about what people thought. If you think homeschooling is a radical idea now, think what it was 15 years ago. Lots of people questioned our decision. Most of those have come around and realize what a great thing it is. Those that didn’t come around, well, they aren’t responsible for my obedience to God, and they can never take away the joy this time with my children has brought me.

7. Not allowed my oldest two to go to public high school. I won’t go into the thought processes that sent them to PHS, just know it was their desire, not mine. My son went all four years and graduated. My daughter went a year and a half and decided on her own she didn’t want to be there. I don’t think the experiences they had there were good for them. However, something good did come out of it: it removed any doubt that I would be able to handle their high school education. In four years My son had maybe four teachers I felt were dedicated and really taught him something. There was a lot of time spent doing busy work, watching pointless movies, learning what was on the state competency tests, and sitting in the gym because the teacher didn’t have work for them to do. They never, ever finished a text book. They were doing well if they made it ½ way through. (How can they go on to Biology 2, Chemistry 2, or Algebra 2 if they haven’t completed the first one??) I know there are some great teachers in the public school system, but in my children’s high school experiences they were few and far between. (Disclaimer: I know there are circumstances where public school is a necessary option. I’m not condemning those who send their children there; I’m just discussing my personal observations and experiences.)

8. Discovered Apologia Science and The Mystery of History sooner. These two resources are teacher/kid friendly and just downright interesting! These would be appropriate beginning in the upper elementary grades.

9. Been more patient and kind. It can be so frustrating when kids don’t “get it” or if they’re fidgety. I ashamedly lost my cool more than once, especially with a certain young man during math.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Advice for New Homeschoolers Part 1

As my middle child begins college and empty-nest syndrome goes up a notch, I’m painfully reminded of the four short years I have left of this adventure known as homeschooling. As I look at moms just starting out on this journey it seems like only yesterday my three youngsters were underfoot, and my life was disorganized chaos trying to educate my most precious treasures. I recognize that panicked look in new homeschooling moms’ eyes and I have a few things I want to say to them, things I’ve divided into two lists: “Looking back on 14 years of homeschooling I’m glad I ….” And “I wish I had…..”

Looking back on 14 years of homeschooling I’m glad I….

  • Made a list of reasons why I homeschool. I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt God was calling us to this task when our oldest was about to begin second grade. However, I knew there would be days I’d question the sanity of obedience and would be glad for those reminders that first year. I was right.

  • Read aloud, a lot! I read aloud to all three children from the time they were tiny until….well, I haven’t really stopped. Books are gateways to other places, times, and ideas. Traveling there with your children is one of life’s greatest joys and a way to painlessly learn about all sorts of things. Many of our “adventures” were read by Cassie as I sewed and Candace colored or played with her cat.

  • Tried different curriculums. There are a plethora of curriculum choices and educational ideas out there. While the choices can be overwhelming, they are also freeing. One child likes textbooks and workbooks. Another likes researching interesting topics. One likes Saxon Math while another despises it. The beauty of home education is finding what fits each child and you. The possibilities are endless.

  • Discovered notebooking and copywork. This will also go under the “I wish I had…” section. I wish I had discovered notebooking and copywork sooner, but Cindy Rushton, the notebook queen, was a young homeschool mom herself at the time I was beginning, so it wasn’t available when I first started. (Actually, I didn’t even have internet that first year!) But I eventually did discover these concepts and found them to be effective and stress relieving. These are especially great techniques for those early years. (Check out

  • Realized all kids don’t have to be able to read by age 5. Everyone has their own gifts, talents, and abilities. Just because they haven’t mastered certain skills by certain ages doesn’t mean they won’t. I figure it’s ok if a 20 year old can only read at an 18 year old level.

  • Found a support group. This was vital to my survival. There were a few years in our life journey when we weren’t involved with other like-minded educators. It was tough! Even after 14 years I need the encouragement, friendship, and new ideas a homeschool support group gives.

  • Let the tadpoles take over our inflatable swimming pool. We had baby frogs everywhere that summer! I just don’t believe a traditional classroom could match the excitement and learning that came from checking on hundreds of tadpoles and watching their development every day for weeks

  • Realized somethings are more important than “Book Learning”. Some of those things include adventures with grandparents, nature walks, taking pictures of butterflies and tadpoles, helping those in need, getting along with siblings, balancing a checkbook, holding down a job, and helping around the house.

  • Let Kyle bounce a ball while spelling words and Candace learn phonics while swinging. In other words, I’m glad I realized that learning doesn’t have to take place in a desk in a school room. A public school teacher can’t allow 25 students to bounce each letter of their words, but you can.

  • Let the kids keep caterpillars of all kinds and watched them hatch out.

  • Let Candace help me in the kitchen. In the very, very beginning she wasn’t much “help”. But she was a good companion and is now great in the kitchen. We have lots of fun and she’s learned a lot about real-life math.

  • Stuck with it and didn’t give up. It has been trying and difficult at times. We’ve had years when we accomplished much and years when we barely scraped by. There have been days I felt desperate for “me” time and now there are days I tear up at the thought of not doing this anymore. But I’ve never, never, never regretted this decision to not only teach, but nurture my children and rediscover the wonders of life and nature with them.

    I'll post "I Wish I Had" soon.

    Be blessed!
  • Sunday, August 2, 2009

    Do we see? Do we believe? Do we really care?

    The truth is either
    …we think the public school system is just fine the way it is.
    …we don’t believe in the power of prayer.
    …we just don’t care.

    Today the Simpson County Baptist Association prayer-walked around the public schools in the county.

    I didn’t want to go. My reasons?

    · I homeschool which means I don’t have kids in the public school system.
    · It might mess up my afternoon nap.
    · I’ve already been at church 2 ½ hours and will go back tonight for another 2 hours. Isn’t that enough?
    · I’ve got things to do.
    · It’s hot and muggy.

    But I did go. Not because I’m super spiritual. Not because God tugged at my heart. Not because “one person can make a difference”. Can I be honest here? I went because I thought it would look bad if the “pastor’s wife” didn’t go.

    I’m glad I went.

    I’m glad I went because God did lay some conviction on my heart:

    • Someone important enough to have a key to the building cared enough to have his/her school prayed over. I should be thankful for that and pray for that person to have continued courage and strength.

    • The spirits of darkness and oppression are already in the building just waiting to pry on young hearts. Can’t I take an hour of my time to ask God to pour His light into that darkness? Can’t I intercede on behalf of children who may not have an intercessor?

    • I may not have children in the public school system, but it’s not about “me and mine”. I have friends with children there, and my community will one day be impacted by the promising doctors, lawyers, politicians, nurses, teachers, civil servants, artists, writers, and business people who are current students. Shouldn’t I pray for them to be godly men and women? And what about the potential prison inmates, drug dealers, addicts, under achievers, drifters, alcoholics, and suicide-attempters who are also there. Shouldn’t I pray for intervention?

    • Either we as Baptists are blind to the situation of the public school system, don’t believe in the power of prayer to affect change, or we simply just don’t care. There are 44 Southern Baptist churches in Simpson County, yet only about 30 adults showed up to pray around the Magee City Schools. That’s not even one per church! I realize many, like us, chose to pray around the local school, but surely, surely in Magee, MS there are more than 30 church members. More than 30 people who didn’t have to tend to some crisis or another. More than 30 who are able-bodied. More than 30 who really, truly see the battle, believe in the cure, and want to be involved in the fight.
    We say we believe in prayer.
    We say the “effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” (James 5:16)
    We say prayer changes things.
    We say all things are possible with God. (Matthew 19:26)

    But what do we do?

    “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” (James 1:22)

    “As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD by failing to pray for you.” (1 Samuel 12:23)

    So, if the crime, suicide, un-wed pregnancy, drug abuse, and drop-out rates increase in Magee, MS who is to blame?

    Sunday, July 12, 2009

    The Master Artist

    “Just because I work incredible good out of unspeakable tragedies doesn’t mean I orchestrate the tragedies. Don’t ever assume that my using something means I caused it or that I need it to accomplish my purposes. That will only lead you to false notions about me.”

    Marshall Ramsey, editorial cartoonist for The Clarion Ledger and two time Pulitzer Prize finalist, recently made an appearance at our local library. His reading of Harold and the Purple Crayon and display of artistic ability were mesmerizing – well, maybe not for the intended audience of two and three year olds, but certainly for their parents. (And for people like me who no longer have young children but who happened to be at the library at the time.)

    One by one children were invited to draw a random line on Mr. Ramsey’s large pad of blank paper which he then proceeded to incorporate into a magnificent drawing. Not a simple stick figure drawing, but a creative piece of art. One line became a space alien, another a dinosaur, and still another a fisherman catching the “big one”. I was a bit skeptical when one child produced a very curly line that looked like, well, a very curly line. (At least to my untrained eye.) Undaunted, the master artist transformed it into a baby elephant with its mother, the very curly line all but disappeared.

    While it is not my desire to discredit the budding artists who aided Mr. Ramsey, I do know he didn’t need those child-drawn lines to create his artwork. The real skill wasn’t in the child’s contribution, but in the artist’s ability to take a random line he didn’t create or orchestrate and turn it into something captivating and fun to behold. He merely invited the children to participate in his creative endeavor.

    ۞ ۞ ۞ ۞ ۞ ۞ ۞ ۞ ۞ ۞ ۞

    God wants to make something beautiful on the blank pages of our lives, and for some unknown reason He invites His children to participate in this creative endeavor by giving them the crayon of free will. Sometimes that crayon produces clever, imaginative markings, and sometimes it produces down-right brutal ones. However, if we allow Him, God supernaturally incorporates all those lines into an original work of beauty. The fact that He uses the dark lines doesn’t mean He caused them.[2] And it certainly doesn’t mean He needed them.[3] We must remember that redeemed situations, just like redeemed squiggly lines, are a tribute to the Redeemer, not an endorsement for human failures. And when it comes to redemptive art work, God is the Master.

    © Drewe Llyn Jeffcoat 2009
    [1] “Papa”, a god-like figure, to Mack who had indeed experienced an unspeakable tragedy from The Shack.
    [2] “God is light; in Him there is no darkness at all.” 1 John 1:5
    [3] “And He is not served by human hands, as if He needed anything, because He Himself gives all men life and breath and everything else.” Acts 17:25

    Tuesday, June 30, 2009

    New Quote

    I've been reading The Shack...since Christmas when I recieved it as a gift! It's not that I'm a slow reader. It's not that I don't enjoy the book. It's that life has happened, and I just didn't find/make the time to read it. Today these profound words on page 185 found me: ("Papa" is speaking to Mack)
    "'...just because I work incredible good out of unspeakable tragedies doesn't mean I orchestrate the tragedies. Don't ever assume that my using something means I caused it or that I need it to accomplish my purposes. That will only lead you to false notions about me. Grace doesn't depend on suffering to exist, but where there is suffering you will find grace in many facets and colors.'"

    Friday, June 26, 2009

    Just About Unpacked

    Hopefully, prayerfully, our lives will get back to some semblance of normal before too long and I'll be able to collect my thoughts and post them. We're almost finished unpacking. Everyone at church has been very kind and inclusive. But I keep thinking, "Where am I?" Not in a bad way, mind you, just in a confused way. After living 6.5 years some place I feel a bit disoriented. I go to church and see different faces from the ones I'm familiar with. I ask myself, "Where'd they come from?" But I know God is sustaining me through these changes. If He weren't I'm sure I'd have a nervous breakdown. I know this is God's place for us. I still hear Him saying, "Will you do this for me?" And I still answer, "Yes, Lord."
    In other dear hubby is celebrating his 47th birthday today! Happy Birthday, Love!

    Friday, June 12, 2009

    Moved In

    Whew! It's been a very, very busy few weeks. I wish I could post to my blog more, hopefully we'll get settled in and into a routine before too move longer. On June 6th we graduated Cassie. I've never "graduated" a homeschool student before. We had a little ceremony followed by a reception. It was a bit emotional, especially the power point presentation with the music "Find Your Wings". My mom had an attack of Bell's Palsey that very morning. I feel really bad that I didn't even notice she was having trouble until that evening. It isn't a bad case, just very frustrating for her. On Monday, June 8th we began moving our belongings to our new church family in Magee, MS. It has been exhausting! For a people who live not for this world, we really have a lot of worldly possessions! It's all moved in, but not unpacked. The people have been great and I'm especially grateful the church allowed us to pick out the paint for the inside. The kitchen, bathrooms, dining room, and Cassie's room are all yellow. It makes me smile! The rest of the house is a beautiful blue. Wait, not the "rest" of the house! Candace wanted her walls beige and her trim bright orange! It looks great with all her orange shelves and quilt! Cassie left for camp on the 7th. She is a cabin leader at Camp Garaywa which is the state GA campe. (It is a missions organization for preteen girls.) She came home today happy but exhausted. We don't have internet yet. Right now I'm at McAlister's using their wifi and Raymond's lap top. I just wanted to check in and let my bloggy friends know I really am alive and well.
    Blessings to all!

    Sunday, May 24, 2009

    Will you do it? For Me?

    I hear Jesus saying,

    “Will you do something for me?
    Will you make yourself vulnerable and love until it hurts again?
    For Me?
    Will you help My people see Who I really am?
    Will you open the box so My people can at least see out of it?
    Will you seek out, befriend, and disciple the few who genuinely want to grow in relationship with Me?
    I know you wanted something else.
    I know you’re scared of being wounded again, even before your last wounds have healed.
    I know you want something fresh, new, and – safe.
    But, I’m asking you to put yourself out these, take this risk.
    Will you do it?
    For Me?”

    What else can I answer except, “Yes, Lord. For You.”

    Today Siloam Baptist Church in Magee, MS voted unanimously to call Raymond (and our family) as their pastor. And though I'm not sure I'm ready for this I take a deep breath and say, "Here I am Lord. Use me."

    Thursday, April 23, 2009

    Bloom, no Matter the Circumstance

    Roses make me smile. In our current location there are two nice roses bushes growing near the shed. One is pink and the other yellow. They are loaded with blooms, and when the sun bathes them in warmth and light they give off the most wonderful fragrance.

    Hidden between the yellow and pink rose bushes is a very scrawny plant that looks like it was a rose bush once upon a time. I don't know why it was even permited to stay in the flower bed. It's ugly and half dead.

    But today, today I saw this gorgeous flower blooming on that same bush. I don't notice the plant anymore, I just see the beautiful work of Father God.

    I was quick to judge the rose bush as unworthy. It only needed time to show its true colors. Now, I wouldn't dream of uprooting the plant. It should be cultivated, not thrown away.

    How quickly do we judge the people around us as being unworthy of our attention and care? Perhaps they are unkempt, unsophisticated, or unlikeable. Perhaps they've made some serious life mistakes. For whatever reason, we somehow think time invested in them is wasted. But Father God sees what lies dormant within each one. He knows that each can rise above their circumstances and bloom. All they need is a chance and some cultivation.

    Tuesday, April 21, 2009

    Never Forget

    Unfortunately, the joy of Luna Moth Day has been dampened by the fact that today is also Holocaust Remembrance Day. While in Baltimore two summers ago we visited the Baltimore Holocaust Memorial. It was quite sobering. Warning: The last photo is quite disturbing.

    Let's never forget. "On both sides of the track rows of red and white lights appeared as far as the eye could see...
    with the rythm of the wheels, with every human sound now silenced. We awaited what was to happen."

    " an instant, our women, our parents, our children disappeared. We saw them for a short while as an obscure mass at the other end of the platform." ~ Primo Levi Survival in Aushwitz

    In the front center sits the Joseph Sheppard Holocaust Sculpture. The statue depicts the horror of the Holocaust by portraying emaciated bodies of the victims’ bodies contorted in a ball of flame. The base of the sculpture bears the quote from George Santayana:

    Those who do not remember the past are destined to repeat it.

    1st Luna Moth!

    Our family has a strong affection for luna moths. Several summers ago we fed four luna caterpillars, watched them cocoon, and emerge as moths. We don't see that many over the course of a year. They aren't as plentiful as other moths, but they sure are beautiful. I noted in my calendar that I saw the first one in 2008 on April 20th. In 2009 I saw the first one today. Here it is resting on the bricks outside my kitchen window. I've now declared today Luna Moth Day! Here's hoping you see one soon!

    Tuesday, April 14, 2009

    Red Bluff

    Today was the most gorgeous day I've ever seen! The temps were in the upper 60's to low 70's. The sky was clear. And a light breeze whispered spring. I'd been wanting to take my girls to Red Bluff which is sometimes called Mississippi's Grand Canyon. It is located between where we're living now and my parents' house. Today was the day.

    How beautiful is that!

    Can you see the white circle in the center between the tree line and the bluff? That's my dad and Candace.

    These girls surely scared 20 years off my life by getting so near the edge!

    My mom, dad, Cassie, Candace, and started for the bottom. My mom wasn't able to quite make it. I can't believe I didn't get any pictures of her. :-( I'll have to take extra when we go on our next excursion to the Palestine Gardens in Lucedale, MS.

    The girls and I made it to the very bottom and walked the tracks a short way. My dad didn't come down the final incline so he could help us back up.

    We didn't have time to hike to the Pearl River, but we did find this beautiful creek. We want to go back some time and follow the creek for a while.

    My dad and I.

    Candace and Grampy.

    Look at what erosion has done! The roots made a great ladder. There's my dad.
    It was an awesomely beautiful day of making memories.
    (And sore muscles.)

    Sunday, April 12, 2009

    Power to Forgive

    “If you forgive anyone his sins they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them they are not forgiven.” ~ John 20:23

    That only God can forgive sins is clearly stated in Scripture. So what can John 20:23 possibly mean? A theologian I am not, but I’ve been wondering….

    While stones were hurling Stephen to his death he prayed, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” (Acts 7:60)

    In the ultimate act of clemency, Jesus asked God to forgive the crowd for crucifying the Lord of the universe.

    What if God answered those prayers? What if, as those executioners stand before God on the day of judgment, their sin of murdering the Messiah and stoning His servant Stephen is no longer on their rap sheet? Could John 20:23 possibly mean that God won’t bring to account the sins against us we’ve forgiven?

    Think about it:
    The rapist forgiven by his victim won’t face God on her rape charge.
    The forgiven murderer won’t give an account for the lives lost at her hands.
    The lying backstabber won’t be punished for destroying a reputation.

    Hmmm? Let me think on that.

    The point of this pondering is not to determine my ability to keep someone from being judged based on my forgiveness. The point is…do I want to?

    Very often I pacify my anger with the thought, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.” (Romans 12:19) I say I forgive, but secretly I hope ole “So-and-So” gets his/her “just desserts” one day.

    And yet, somehow I know it’s true: if I can’t honestly pray, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them” then I haven’t truly forgiven.

    © Drewe Llyn Jeffcoat 2009

    Monday, April 6, 2009


    In the car with time to spare, each of us was carefully dressed and ready for church. The cloudless sky and bright sunshine were welcomed reprieves from the past week of storms. A sunbeam splashed across my lap as my husband backed out of the drive. It was a gorgeous day.

    While smiling down at my personal sunbeam, I noticed dozens of white cat hairs and fuzz all over my black skirt. My smile faded. Surely they weren’t there earlier. Where did they come from? Well, obviously they weren’t clearly visible in the artificial light of the house, but in the sunlight all was revealed. I brushed them off the best I could learning a valuable lesson: “Be sure to keep a lint roller in the car.”

    Ok, so I learned more than that.

    I was reminded that when I check my attitudes, habits, and spiritual growth in the artificial light of what others do, I’m sure to miss something and feel pretty smug about myself. But when I stand in the Sonlight, I see myself as I really am. All my imperfections are revealed. They cannot be hidden. Jesus doesn’t even attempt to brush my faults away. He gives me a new garment without spot or wrinkle; He clothes me in His perfection. He clothes me with Himself.

    “…for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.” ~ Galatians 3:27

    (c) Drewe Llyn Jeffcoat 2009

    Monday, March 30, 2009

    Being Honest Part 1

    Over the last six months I’ve had a lot of time to think, to think about what I say I believe and what I really believe and the difference between the two. I see things, and hear things, and I know I’m not the only one who experiences a discrepancy between faith and practice. I’m creating an on-going list to help me examine myself and to say with the Apostle Paul:

    “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:12 – 14)

    Like Paul, I want to “know Christ and the power of His resurrection”, but to be honest, I’ll skip “the fellowship of sharing in His sufferings” part. Thank you very much. (Philippians 3:10)

    Praying the Model Prayer (a.k.a. The Lord’s Prayer) makes me feel warm and fuzzy and even holy (especially since I know it by heart), but do I honestly want God to forgive me my debts in the same way I forgive my debtors?

    When I pray, “Thy will be done”, don’t I really mean, “Lord, please conform Your will to mine”?

    Do I really want my daily bread? Honestly, I’d feel much better with several weeks or even months of food in the fridge and pantry.

    When I say, “Your grace is sufficient” what I really mean is “Lord, Your grace is sufficient as long as all is right in my world.”

    I'm just being honest.

    Well, that’s my list so far. If any of you are brave enough to be honest, I welcome your “gaps”. I may even compile a list and post them.

    I’m pressing on toward the goal, I just haven’t arrived yet.

    ~ Drewe Llyn

    Monday, March 16, 2009

    As unto the Lord

    I poured my life into them.
    I worshiped with them.
    I prayed with them.
    I cried and celebrated with them.
    I spent many thoughtful hours preparing gifts for them.
    I genuinely loved them.
    But in the end, I was betrayed by many of them.
    My broken heart was confused and indignant. How could this have happened after all I’d done for them? Pouring my life into these ungrateful people now seemed like wasted time and energy. Is there no reward for effort? If I had only known it would turn out like this….

    You know what I mean. You’ve been there. I don’t need to tell you who “they” are. “They” can be anyone. Family. Students. A spouse. A congregation. “They” can be friends, co-workers, or an organization.

    God’s been there.
    Jesus poured His life into people.
    He worshiped with them.
    He prayed with them.
    He cried and celebrated with them.
    He spent many thoughtful hours preparing a gift for them. *
    He genuinely loved them as no one else could.
    But in the end, the majority betrayed Him and killed Him.

    Christ’s heart was broken, but not because He was confused or indignant. He didn’t whine, “How could this have happened to me?” He did everything good knowing exactly how it would all turn out. And how did it turn out? After the bloodshed, after the pain and suffering, after having His heart broken from the weight of the world’s sin, He sat at His Father’s side victorious. Mission accomplished. His effort received a priceless reward…Us.

    Anything and everything I do for people is wasted time and energy. But anything, everything done for the Lord will be rewarded.

    Our priceless reward? Him.

    “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” ~ Colossians 3:23-24

    * Think Garden of Gethsemane.

    (c) Drewe Llyn Jeffcoat 2009

    Wednesday, February 25, 2009

    The Gift of Water

    When my oldest child was just a baby, those starving children in Africa suddenly became more than a blur of faces. They became someone's beloved child, and I thought, "Why does my child have clean water to drink and some don't? Don't all children deserve clean water?" But I never really knew what I could do (Now especially with our current life situation.) But there is something I can do and so can you. It's called Blood: Water Mission. Here's a quote from their site:

    By giving up what you’d normally drink in exchange for the water from your tap you can save that money to help build clean water projects for African communities in need.So ditch the morning coffee and o.j., leave out the lunchtime soda, and cancel the evening beverage. You won’t need an ark for this 40 Days of Water, but you will need a little self-discipline. But we know you can do it, because you know who you’re doing it for. Make the choice.

    I figure my daily cappuccino (bought from Wal-mart) costs approximately $.50. Every day I skip it, I'll put $.50 in my special cappuccino cup. Can't we all give the gift of clean water? Especially those of us who claim to serve The Living Water?

    Click on the site link for donation information.

    (Having children makes you see things differently. Here's a poem I wrote when Kyle was small.)


    I see faces of the starving children
    Victims of their country’s war.
    Faces of the down and out
    Whose families have a home no more.
    Faces of the frightened children
    Violence lurks outside their home.
    Faces of the orphan children
    who have to meet this world alone.
    Faces of the suffering children
    Bodies wracked by sickness, pain.
    All the children of the world
    Who’ve never heard of Jesus’ name.

    Though once these barely caught my eye;
    Now they make my spirit groan.
    My heart’s been soften by the faces
    Of the children that are my own.
    And though my own are safe and sound,
    There but for God’s grace go we.
    And in the faces of my children
    I see the world much differently.

    (C) Drewe Llyn Jeffcoat 1989

    Sunday, February 22, 2009

    Here I am. Send Me?

    “Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?’ And I said, ‘Here am I. Send me!’”

    Many of us enthusiastically echo the prophet Isaiah’s words. We want to be about The King’s business. We want to make a difference in this world. Our ultimate goal being to hear, “Well done good and faithful servant.” We are inspired by spiritual giants like Billy Graham, Chris Tomlin, Beth Moore, Michael W. Smith, Rick Warren, or Tony Dungy. People extraodinarily gifted by God with high-profile platforms from which to glorify His name. And that’s all we want to do, isn’t it? Bring glory to His name?

    But what if…

    What if the place God sends us isn’t vast stadiums to preach the Gospel to spell-bound crowds responding in droves to “Just as I Am”?

    What if that place isn’t large coliseums leading thousands of youth in singing our Dove Award winning worship songs?

    What if that place doesn’t include Nashville recordings, New York Times Best Sellers, or Super Bowl championships?

    What if our place to bring God glory isn’t in the spotlight at all?

    What if He wants us to shine for Him…

    …living in an inner city, run-down apartment?
    …while taking dialysis or chemo treatments?
    …crying at the bedside of a sick loved one?
    …struggling through unemployment and poverty?
    …learning humility through humiliation?
    …suffering in a concentration camp?
    …walking through the valley of the shadow of death?
    ..."taking one for the team"?

    What if the place He sends us, the place we can bring Him most glory is uncomfortable, unsanitary, or downright painful?

    Would we still be willing to say, “Here am I. Send Me?”

    Do we only want to bring God glory if some of that glory reflects on us?

    It’s time for some soul-searching.

    Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it." ~ Matthew 16:24-25
    (c) Drewe Llyn Jeffcoat 2009

    Monday, January 26, 2009

    Friends and River Walks

    Whew! I thought I'd never get these pictures posted using our dial-up! Here's a glimpse into my life last week and so far this week...

    Dear friends came over bringing yummy home-made Mexican food!
    (Clockwise: Me, Miss Joyce, Debbie B. and Debbie C. I have a lot of friends name Debbie. :-) )

    Last Saturday our community prayer group met. I absolutely love praying with my African American sisters. They bring a fresh new perspective to my life. I think this prayer group is amazing considering we live in Mississippi. ( I want to be like Miss Franklin when I grow up. She is a 77-year old spitfire with tons of spunk!)

    Candace and I walked down to the Pearl River which is one of Mississippi's largest rivers. This spot is about a mile from where we're living.

    Candace and Zeke.

    It was a bit muddier than we anticipated.

    I just love this picture of Candace and Zeke!

    Cassie was at work when Candace and I last went to the river, so on Monday we traipsed down there again. (Notice the puppy? He followed us home! Even though he was a cutie, I had to take him back where we found him. We just can't handle another animal right now.)

    Lots of raccoon tracks!

    Yesterday Candace and I went to a friend's house (her name is Debbie too!) and played in her ceramic clay. I made some Christmas ornaments. (Am I good, or what?) Candace made a frog. I'd post some pictures, but I'm getting too frustrated. :-) God bless!

    Wednesday, January 14, 2009

    God's Word to Me

    I am so blessed by those who leave words of encouragement to help me and my family through a difficult season of life. Thank you so much!

    On Sunday the preacher spoke of Moses and the Burning Bush. A story I've known since childhood. A story that is so familiar it has lost its "punch" (so to speak). Oh, but if God can speak through a burning bush, He can certainly speak through a "punchless" story, now can't He? You can read the entire story in Exodus Chapter 3, but here are the phrases that jumped out at me:

    1. The Lord said, "I have seen the misery of my people."

    2. "I have heard them crying out."

    3. "I am concerned about their suffering."

    4. "So I have come down to rescue them."

    Before I hopped here this morning to write this post, read this comment from Tammie:

    "...but I know this ... you are not beyond God's reach, you are not beyond His hearing, your tears have not escaped His attention, your hurt is not beyond His understanding, and your needs are not beyond His ability to meet."

    How's that for confirmation?

    God sees.

    God hears.

    God is concerned.

    God will rescue.

    End of Story...with a lot of "punch"!

    Thursday, January 8, 2009

    The End is the Beginning

    Well, tonight is our last night in the place we've called home for 6 1/2 years. All week we've been packing, sorting, moving things, and making Waste Management earn their money this week. If I weren't so tired and so busy I'd be sad.

    We've lived here longer than any other place in our married life. My kids were 14, 11, and 8 when we arrived. Now they are 20, 17, and almost 14. The oldest is in college. The middle child will go to college next year. It is a severe time of change.

    A large number of the happy memories I have here involve activities and people from our church. Now those recollections have a bitter twinge to them as people and circumstances didn't turn out as I hoped. I've been disappointed. Wounded. Disoriented. Angry. Discouraged. Devastated. Worried. Heart-broken. All from people I loved and trusted. Sometimes I wonder if this 6 1/2 year section of our life journey was a failure. What did all the energy and love we poured into this ministry amount to? Yet I am reminded once again, because I need to be reminded quite frequently, that it's not about people's love for me or people's devotion to me. It's about my love for them. And I did genuinely love them. I still do, which is why it hurts so much. Perhaps that, above all things, shows I did what God intended me to do. If love betrayed doesn't hurt, it wasn't really love in the first place. Love hurts. Just ask Jesus.

    I don't know what the next stage of our journey is, though I feel it has to do with refocusing on Christ, resting, and renewing my strength in Him. We're moving to a temporary location that is in the proverbial "middle of no-where". (I know this is true because there is no high-speed internet there, only dial-up. I'll be forced to come to grips with my internet addiction. *grin*)
    Lessons learned:

    1. People will fail you.

    2. God won't.

    3. What is seen is temporary.

    4. What is unseen is eternal.

    5. Life isn't about what others can or cannot do for me.

    6. Life is about having God's love for people, even when it hurts.

    7. My world can be shaken, but not destroyed when my hope is in Christ.

    I'll be around the internet some, but won't be posting a picture a day like I wanted to.

    I pray God's richest blessings on you all. Happy New Year!

    ~ Drewe Llyn
    (P.S. For those who have no clue what I'm talking about you can find out here.)

    Monday, January 5, 2009

    A Photo A Day...except when...

    My friend Lori over at Just Pure Lovely has joined Project 365 which is simply to take one photo a day for a year. It sounds like a great idea; literal snapshots (or digital shots) of 2009. I can't do Project 365 since it is day five and this is my first photo. Also, I have serious doubts I'll actually remember to take a photo every day. However, I will attempt to post daily except when I forget, when I don't have time, and when the internet is not working.

    Here is today's picture:

    Here Cassie and Candace are carrying "treasures" from their old rooms into our new (temporary) residence. The forecast was for 70% chance of rain, but we managed to get two loads transferred today.

    Bonus shot:

    My precious Trio on Christmas Eve.