Family Rules

I love all of the family rules signs. I mean just type in "family rules" on Pinterest and prepare for overload!

Last fall, on our annual family Spoon River trip of antiquing and eating too much junk food and spending too much money and mostly spending too much time laughing at ourselves and each other -I found this sign. 

Let's just say while it wasn't the best deal of the day ---- 

I imagined it at the end of our hallway, but I like it here on the stairs too. Paired with a vintage old screen door I found in the falling down barn of the 1800's house we remodeled, it makes a big statement.

I could become obsessed with"Family Rules" kinds of signs, but I try to avoid the house looking like a book because all of the decor has to be read. Ha! That would be too teacher-ish for Cowboy for sure!

You know these "Family Rules" in all of their gushing cuteness are nothing new. In the second chapter of Philippians it says if we are to have any encouragement, any comfort, any fellowship, any tenderness and compassion that we have to be like minded with the same kind of love and purpose. That's really what the family rules are all about. Rules to live by so we are all on the same page.

Now I'm sure everything is peaceable at your house all the time, but around here the folks at R7 rarely agree on anything! So what's the key? To all want to be like Jesus...

v. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit,
but in humility consider others better than yourselves.

v. 4 Each of you should look not only to your own interests 
but also to the interests of others.

v. 5 Your attitude should be like Jesus....(who) made himself nothing,
taking the very nature of a servant...

v. 8 He humbled himself and became obedient...

Get's about to get real

v. 14 Do everything without complaining or arguing
v. 15 Be blameless and pure

and finally...

v. 18  ...Be glad and rejoice with me!

If this was encouraging to you -- please share and pass the encouragement on...

From R7 to you --
Be a blessing.

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Growing Pains

Growing pains. Ahhh...Kirk Cameron.
Anyone under 30 is officially lost before they even start reading.
But, others of us more...ahem...mature readers are remembering that dimple faced rabble-rouser who always came out smooth from his rebel like gimmicks in his teenage years.

Alright -- reminiscing is over.

Back to real life. Sigh.

I was out walking just a few short weeks ago, and I took this pic of the corn sprouting up in the field.
As an Iowa girl, I knew just how fast that would change, so I snapped a pic.

Sure enough. Last week while I was out on the mower (a full time job so far this summer) it was over my head. So what else would you do besides snap a selfie right?

Keeping it real here at R7.
No makeup on that sweaty face. Let's face it -- it would melt right off anyway.

So anyway back to Kirk --- I mean back to growing pains.

Lately I've been in what you could call a growth spurt. Now I'm not growing up -- and I'm fighting like crazy to not grow out. So, this growth spurt is more inward. A spiritual growth spurt if you will.

In just a few short months I've seen evidence of God's love and His guidance in so many ways. The days are still long and busy, but I'm seeing things through eyes of grace more often than not. I'm feeling renewed each day and there's a melody of laughter and a harmony of peace running through our house. Now granted, some of that is because it's summer and I'm a teacher --

But, there's something deeper. Over the last year there has been so much painful change in our life and at times God has felt so far away and our lives sort of empty.

What about those little sprouts? In a short time they have grown so tall, but not until after the field set empty through a long, cold, dark winter. Then there was a painful turning over of the field and then of all things  -- having manure piled on it! Why does it seem that manure always comes up in my writing??

So I'm thinking this is how it works with God. In painful times or times of feeling alone or torn up or dumped on....God is just getting us ready to GROW!

"The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in a field" Matthew 13:44

And here's the thing about that corn and this stage I'm feeling right now. God's going to use the growth for a harvest, but then it's going to be tilled up and started all over again.

That's this thing we call life...

P.S...aren't they 10 times cuter in their Iowa gear?? Just saying...

From R7 to you --
Be a blessing.

Stop and Do It Today

Just a little message from my heart while driving to ladies camp for a weekend of refreshment and rejuvenation. Hope it encourages you!

What's in your heart to do that you keep pushing to the back burner?
Share with me and we will encourage each other!!

Horses running wild

You never know what kind of excitement or frustration will face you each day around here. As we chased them down and rounded up loose horses. I stopped. No makeup and all to tell you what's on my mind. Enjoy.

Now that you're totally inspired, if you want some entertainment....

Back to green pastures...

From R7 to you --
Be a blessing.

Brunch with Teachers

According to "Teachers Who Pray" there are over 600,000 school teachers in America who believe in Jesus and his power to save! 

I wish I had a way to reach all of those teachers, but um...well let's just say I'm glad for the 60-ish people reading this blog post right now. So, I had it in my heart to want to bring some of these teachers together to encourage one another. With some eager help of ladies ready to say "thank you" to some of our local teachers, an idea was born for a "Teachers Encouragement Brunch."

Each table was decorated with book pages and a "subject." To keep it from being too "teacher-y" I added some trend with burlap and floating spider mums.

Teachers give so much to students that sometimes we too often bring home leftovers to our own sweet children. It takes effort to not look like this bear at the end of some days....

Summer is our chance to sort of "make-up" for that and so this brunch was a chance to re-charge before pouring ourselves into our homes.

Glassware added a touch of elegance but bright colors reminded us of the kick off of summer and the fun that awaits us with our own children and families!!

Ah...Dick and Jane and the school bus...

So how do teachers recharge??

At the feet of Jesus ---

That's right -- we saw how the Master Teacher taught us more than the Two Sisters, DeFour, Hattie, Mattos, Knight and any other educator combined! 

In Romans 12 we read...
"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."

Jesus knew that the mind is required for transformation. 

In verse one he calls us to present ourselves as living sacrifices. (Ha -- Teachers obviously took that literally). When we present ourselves we are surrendering our heart. But, we also have to put our minds to it; and then we can test it. That's right! The Master Teacher knew about assessment from the beginning. He knows that it's ongoing. He knows about re-testing. He knows that the test is the evidence of a transformation of the mind.

Then we go on...
For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.  

Imagine your collaboration time if we used these principles to guide us. Too often in our distraught education system we look for all the right strategies and it's too easy to forget WHO the strategist is we should be turning to. 

In the gospels Jesus is referred to 90 times by different titles. Of those, 60 times he is called Teacher.

Look for more lessons for teachers from The Teacher coming soon at R7 Teaching

From R7 to you --
Be a blessing.

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