Holy Spirit Led Learning

We are an unschooling family. Although I grew up traditionally schooled,  I can look back and see that, even when I didn’t know anything about the term or that it even existed, I was always an unschooler at heart. If I had an interest, I explored it until my heart was content.  I have always loved learning, but I did not love school.

Before my oldest was 2 years old, I met a homeschool mom who I know God sent my way to set ablaze the path we were to take concerning my child(ren)’s education. Frankly, at that point, I dreaded the day I would have to officially send my child off to school.  We had so much fun learning together. I didn’t want to miss anything.

Unschooling was and is very natural for us.  After having lived it for almost 20 years now, I am definitely a believer.  A quick definition is that unschooling is simply child led learning.  It is gaining an education for a child that is fully centered around each child’s individual interests. I enjoy following and facilitating activities centered around what each of my children are interested in.  It makes for quite an adventurous life that one would be hard pressed to plan or duplicate.  For us, it is very much Holy Spirit centered and led as I know Holy Spirit is the one who keeps me abreast of what’s next for us.

This way of life is not for the faint of heart. It’s not for everyone, and certainly not for those who feel more comfortable following “the crowd”, doing what most everyone else is doing.  Child led learning can freak out such personality types, “How in the world will they ever learn to ______________!!!” There’s so many things one can insert in that blank, lol.  We are never without options for freaking out, I suppose.

Anyway, something interesting happened to us within the last week.  As I stopped to get water, not thinking of anything in particular, the Lord dropped 2 things in my spirit, my 2nd daughter Jenai (pronounced jen-ay) and a vocational-technical school nearby.

Here’s the thing.  My children have never attended school and I don’t know very much about schools here in Jersey as I grew up in DC.  When I received this download from my Abba, I said, “Ok, I’ll check it out.”  Jenai, like both of her parents, is all over the place with regards to interests and talents.  She sings, she draws, She makes video movies with dolls.  She is very handy around the house and loves to put together whatever comes in the house. She makes doll furniture and accessories and designs the set for her doll videos.  She builds things with cardboard boxes, like atm machines and vending machines that actually work.  She cooks, she does animation, dabbles in contortionism, loves doing nails, writes penpals making them pocket letters… You get the picture.  All over the place.

I talked with her about the school and explained that they offer a wide range of programs including green construction, animation, cosmetology, culinary arts and so much more.  She would be able to go for  2 hours each day, for whatever program she is interested in as a share time student and still be technically homeschooled.  I explained this to her, shared the website with her and let her know that she does not have to go if she isn’t interested.  I just felt led to check it out as I told Abba I would.

What was interesting for us, was that the school was having an orientation for students interested in attending in September and it turns out that Jenai is the exact age that they are ideally searching for.  Of course, Abba knew all this. I hurried and signed up for the orientation which was to be held days later. Interestingly enough, it was held on a day and at a time when we are typically not available, but that week, we were available.  God was up to something.  I told Jenai that we’d go and check it out.  At the very least, I told her that she would get resources to help her further her education outside of the school (impromptu prophesy, lol).  That happened and more.

While there, we did a 30 minute general information session, after which, we were given a folder that included a map of the building.  Each program was listed with classrooms where students and parents could go and get more information about as many programs as they chose.  I told Jenai to lead the way.  I wanted her to check out every area that was of interest to her.  I enjoyed following her lead and was happy that it was just the two of us. After attending 2 of them, we made our way to see the graphic design teacher.  My heart jumped with excitement as the teacher spoke. I knew this particular program would speak to Jenai’s heart more than the others had.

Not only did Jenai get information about the program there, but after telling the teacher a little about Jenai, she told us that industrial design is something that sounds right up Jenai’s alley.  She said that graphic design is a great foundation for industrial design.  She also told us about a nearby college that would accept credits from Jenai’s time at the school and those credits could go towards a degree in industrial design if she chooses to attend college.  She went on to invite Jenai to spend a day at the school next week to see what a day is like.

Between you and me, I am super excited.  My spirit is really excited for Jenai about it all.  I drove home to her that the Lord loves her so much that He would speak to me about her in this way.  She seems to be really excited too but whether she goes in the end or not, I am very happy that she knows God singled her out like this.  I am happy to have taken her somewhere, to look into things solely for her.

She’s funny, she said to me, “Man, the only drawback is that this is gonna mean I am no longer an unschooler, because I will technically go to school.”  I laughed and said, “Girl, this will make you an unschooler times two!! You will be going to school 2 hours a day, yes, but, you will be going to do something that is of interest to you, only because you choose to.”  That’s unschooling.

Following Christ and Him Alone

I didn’t post anything last week because I was finding it a bit tough to make a whole lot of sense about what is going on inside of me these days.  Well actually, it makes perfect sense, it’s just, words escaped me and frankly, I was in no position to write coherently as I am almost always in a state of being ever so drunk on His love.

I have been feeling a bit differently  for several months now concerning some ideas and mindsets that I had about my Christian walk.  I couldn’t really put my finger on it initially but I just kept abiding in my Abba and as always, He has brought amazing clarity and revelation. Also, reading the book, The Mystical Union by John Crowder, speaking with a few friends who I consider no holds barred believers in the Word, and attending the Power and Love conference a few weeks ago just sealed the deal for me. I am forever changed.

I love how all I have to do is shift my thoughts to Him and boom, I am overtaken by Love Himself.

I love how I have but to focus on Him and allow Him to pour into me and He brings to light and fixes things I wasn’t even conscious of, let alone, looking to fix.  My focus is ever on Him.

I love the simplicity of His Word. In John 6:29 (NLT) it says, Jesus told them, “This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the one he has sent.” 1 John 2:6 NLT says Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did.

I am finding that now, more than ever before, my focus is zoomed into Christ’s example.  If I am to be following His example, there are mindsets I have found that I need to let go of, mindsets that don’t exactly fit well with how He operated here on Earth.  I’m finding that the falling away of these old mindsets are producing an even greater sense of freedom in my life.  I truly feel like I am more than just a mere human being.  I’m not just here taking up space. I’m not locked into this constant struggle of I’m saved and going to Heaven but I have so many things I need to fix in order to receive all God has for me. I’m not striving or struggling to be who God created me to be, I am simply focused on Him and He is taking care of it all.

I am reading His word, not for information or to prove that I am correct (and someone else is wrong), but to know Him more intimately.  I am living in an ever growing state of revelation and awareness of who I am so that I can walk it out easily. I mean really, how hard is it to simply be who you are?  I am becoming love. I am believing in the One He sent and following Him and I am finding that His yoke is in fact easy, and His burden is light.  I am content to no longer allow my experiences or anything else I see, dictate where I place my trust/faith. My faith is in His finished work alone.  It is non-negotiable. I am choosing to follow Christ alone.

For You Dear Reader, With Love

Last week, before I traveled to spend a few days with family and friends in DC and Maryland, I told the Lord that I wanted my next blog post to be centered around you.  I asked Him to give me ideas and thought naively that I would write this blog post while I was down there visiting.  Of course, that didn’t happen.  Here’s what has happened…  This morning, I looked at my Facebook newsfeed’s, “On This Day” section and saw the memories I made on this day, last year and years before, and I found the perfect thing for you!  It’s a prayer that I wrote.  Instead of just writing word for word though, I’m adding to it and changing it a bit, as I want to make it more of a declaration for you than a mere “wish list”. So, here it is, for you, with lots of love, my dear reader.

I speak peace and joy over you. No matter what is going on in your life and around you, may you always remember that you are never alone, never without options, fully surrounded, and deeply loved.  May every trial you face, push you further into the arms of your Father until the enemy refuses to waste any effort and/or resources targeting you.

I command healing over your body, from top to bottom.  His blood flows through your veins.  You are His family and because healing is the children’s bread, eat up and savor every morsel, dear one.  I decree that not only are you healed, but you are transitioning to walking in divine health because as a child of God, it is your right, your inheritance.  Jesus left no one sick.  His will is always that you be healed, so I declare that over you, in Jesus name.

I speak encounters with the Person of Love over you, knowing that perfect love casts out all fear and I pray that you would give the enemy nothing to agree with in your life, thereby giving him no room to enter in and run rampant.

I decree that all chains and strongholds over your life are broken and destroyed.  You are free.  You are free to be you without apology, fully being who you were called to be before the foundations of the earth.

I decree that your mind is being daily renewed in such a way that you don’t suffer from that old, ugly orphan spirit.  I decree that you walk in an ever increasing measure of revelation regarding who you are and Whose you are, so that you are free from being critical, bitter, depressed, worn down and out and lonely.  The truth is, you are loved with an everlasting love, fully surrounded and cherished, just for being.  There is nothing you can do to make God love or value you any more or less, so I declare that the religious spirit is not a part of your life, making you think you must do something in order to get something from the Lord.  Before you knew Him, He loved you, chose you, appointed and called you.  Before you were born, He died for you and gave you His all.  You did nothing to deserve or earn it, He did it because He loves you.

I declare that you are wise as a serpent but harmless as a dove.  You don’t easily fall for the enemy’s tricks to get your focus off God and onto yourself and your faults.  If your focus shifts to your faults and makes you feel like you are back to square one, “Just a sinner, saved by grace”,  I ask that Holy Spirit would pull you back from that religious way of thinking.  You are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus now, no longer a sinner, no longer a slave to sin.  Your focus is ever on your Father and His immense love for you.  No distractions.  When you focus on you in this way, you’re missing out on what God has for you and what you are to give others around you. This is self-centered, not at all as holy as it seems.  The Father does not want us beating each other or ourselves up over sin.  He doesn’t do this to us.  He paid for every single one of our sins long before we were born.  Focusing on your shortcomings does not help you to get better, as what you focus on is what will grow in your life.  Focus on the Father, confess all to Him and allow Him to change your focus. Be filled and stay filled with all that He has for you.

I declare that wisdom and understanding be your closest companions.  I ask that you become adept in stepping back, outside of yourself, when things happen.  That you would climb into your Heavenly Father’s lap and see from a higher perspective, what is truly going on and behind every situation you face.  I pray that you take to heart the fact that we wrestle not against flesh and blood.  I declare that you see with greater clarity than ever before and can have compassion and wisdom in every circumstance.  May your eyes be opened to the enemy at work so that you don’t fall for his tactics.  I speak a constant flow of Holy Intel over you, straight from Holy Spirit.  You won’t miss a thing.  You have the mind of Christ.

I declare that you are filled to overflowing with every good thing- so much that you can’t help but affect and infect others with the goodness of God.

I declare that you live, truly live, not just exist. You will not just reach your destiny, but you will enjoy the journey and help others do the same.

I declare a holy unrest over you that causes you to refuse to stay where you are forever, that you would be both content but also rise ever higher in life.

I declare all the best for you, as I want for myself. Let’s rise together. There’s no ceiling. There are no walls. If you have built any for yourself, my prayer is that you would break through them and be free.  I love you, dear reader.

Chasing The Wild Goose

I am finishing up a book called Wild Goose Chase.  The “Wild Goose” in the book is Holy Spirit, and the author, Mark Batterson, is talking about how we should live a life in which we are chasing after the Wild Goose. Basically, instead of leaning unto our own understanding of things and how they should be and go, we should follow Holy Spirit’s leading.  The idea alone means everything to me because I can say without hesitation that I have lived my life chasing “The Wild Goose”.  I have done so many things and still am, that seem stupid, dangerous and defiant, and more, to both the world, and other Christians, but I was without a doubt led by Holy Spirit to go in those seemingly stupid, dangerous or defiant directions and I know that my life has been all the richer for it.

Yesterday, my oldest daughter and I attended an arts workshop at our favorite church in the Bronx.  The workshops included various creative art forms like fashion, dance, music, painting, poetry, drama and photography. My daughter led the workshop on prophetic photography and made me stay in her workshop with her as she led it.  It was fantastic!! I learned a lot and took notes.  By the 3rd workshop, she wanted to attend one herself and so did I, so we separated and I went to the drama workshop.  I walked into it just in time to join in the assignment they were doing- writing a monologue.  After we finished, we each shared what we wrote and it was wonderful.  Because I am finishing up the book and the whole following Holy Spirit is very much in the forefront for me right now, that was the subject of my short monologue. After reading it, my oldest said it sounds like a trailer to a movie. 🙂

Chasing the Wild Goose

I hide in You.  In the shadow of Your mighty wings, I abide.  I ebb and flow with You.  You lead me to do the impossible.  You lead me to do the unthinkable, unfathomable, the scary, and in them all, I find peace.  I find strength.  I find joy.  I find You.  Find You?  Not really, because You were never hiding.  It is in plain sight that You just, are.  Everywhere I look, I see You, I hear You, I touch You, taste You, smell You.  I would be lying if I said I feel alone because all I feel is, You.  You are the Wild Goose that I live to chase.  To the world, I look like a fool.  To some Christians, I look ignorant at best, but for You, I will gladly look like a fool.  I will be the biggest fool there is because life without You, living a life where I am not chasing You, is no life at all.


Changed Pain

Grieving can be a bit of a frightful ordeal, especially when you are in a position where almost you alone grieve loss of the person.

I was so afraid to face my loss that I opted to keep myself super busy so I had virtually no time to think about it, but of course, that’s easier said than done.

When an event I would normally be excited about came up, I did not want to go, not even a little bit, but I am now in the habit of telling myself that things are very different for me now. I have a new family who truly loves the Lord and really knows Him and I don’t have to feel the need to isolate myself and deal with things alone.  So, I went, and I am so glad I did.

At the event, two of my new family members prayed over me in a way that I couldn’t pray for myself.  It amazes me how, in the midst of my own stuff, I can come out of it to passionately pray for others but I cannot seem to do the same for myself.  Anyway, I told them how I really was, when they asked.  They held me in a way I had not been held before by anyone outside of my husband and prayed over me.  That was when the first change took place.  I realized in that moment that for the second time, I was experiencing something previously foreign to me, something that I’d never think to pray for.  I remembered in that moment, another loved one’s prophecy over me, “God is answering prayers you’ve not uttered.”, as she herself held me in a way that I’d not been held before.  To my surprise, I loved it and held on to her for dear life.  They prayed exactly what I would have prayed if I could have, I wanted God to help me to not fall apart that day.  I wanted to wait until it was just the two of us and I would pour out my heart to Him.  He answered that prayer.

I later joked about it saying that God “put a cork in my cry spout”, but as my spiritual father, Russ said, God doesn’t operate like that.  What He really did, was change my pain-again.  The sense around the loss is one of hope and peace, as with my beautiful sister Kerri, who left me with the gift of knowing exactly where she is and that I will never part from her again when we next meet.

The next day, Sunday, at a special service, I went up and led worship with the worship team.  I knew prophetically that things had changed and would change even more by the end of that service and it did.  See, I have been a bit shy about singing the song of the Lord (singing prophetically).  I thought I would have to be perfect and not get in the way and all these other religious ideas and wrong notions.  Anyway, at some point, Russ broke out, singing the song of the Lord.  He sang a line that came to him and I found myself at first echoing the line, supporting him. Then, the next thing I knew, everyone was following me as I floated up, up, up, singing whatever I was singing in my coloratura range.  I don’t recall what I was doing, I felt like I wasn’t even there, I was somewhere alone with my Abba.  I saw nothing, but I could faintly hear the worship team fully supporting me and I heard Russ laugh out loud, happy that I had finally done it.

Russ, had to later help me with this because something happened in that moment for me and I have trouble explaining it.  It was, as he helped make sense of it, as if something out of joint, was clicked into gear. Something was set aright, properly aligned- a big, heavy (though not burdensome) something.  I have been different ever since. How?  I don’t know but different, all the same, and I don’t take lightly, the growing numbers of mourning doves I am seeing, even as I type this, one is just outside my window.  Far from what their name suggests, they are a symbol of the Holy Spirit, hope and peace.  Because there are no coincidences in Christ, I latch on to the meaning of what they represent.

This week, after discovering that my oldest daughter was experiencing symptoms of grief, I decided to take off for the week.  We did no activities; and while I hate missing opportunities to pray for and prophecy over people, I know the Lord honors our taking time to just be and honor our sweet little one.  It was a good week.