Tuesday, June 25, 2013

What Kids Can Do Each Day & Wednesday's Prayer & Blog Link-up Time!

Many of you know that my daughter, Mary, and I are in the mountains of Virginia at the Virginia Suzuki Institute. It's a wonderful string camp for kids. Each day at 1:30, over a dozen different students give a solo string recital. All the kids are fantastic! Mary's turn is tomorrow. She is playing a piece called, "Humoresque," by Dvorak.

One reason the Suzuki method of teaching music is so successful is that the parents are very involved in the child's music lesson for the first several years. Did you know the Bible says that "he who walks with the wise grows wise, but the companion of fools suffers harm"? Yep! It's right in the Bible at Proverbs 13:20.

Parents are the best companions for children. Don't let the world squeeze you into it's mold thinking your children need to constantly be with their peers! You are your child's best companion!

Here's a tip I once heard that may help you each day. Someone once said that everyday a child should have 3 things:

Something to think about.
     Something to do.
          Something to love.

Something to think about can be reading a verse or passage of scripture or a great, wholesome book.

Something to do can be really simple. It can be taking a walk, riding bikes, doing a chore, giving the dog a bath, creating artwork, or practicing a musical instrument.

Something to love to could be helping with their little sister, playing with the dog, or cuddling their guinea pig.

 Enjoy some pictures and a clip from earlier today from camp!
We are doing a lot of walking to get to class!
Our violin camp is being held at Emory and Henry College. It is beautiful up here. This is the view from the building where Mary has her "Master Class" with her teacher and two other students & her group class. Below is a 15 second clip I took today in her group class.

❧  ❧  ❧  ❧  ❧  ❧  ❧  ❧  ❧  ❧  ❧  ❧  ❧  ❧  ❧  ❧
It's Wednesday! I'd love to pray for your requests from the mountains! Let's pray for each other.


Just type your prayer in the comment section which you'll find under my signature below. Bloggers, please share your beautiful posts in the blog share below as well. May all enjoy browsing and learning from each other.

Walk by Faith,

Monday, June 24, 2013

I'm in the Virginia Mountains with Mary at Suzuki Violin Camp!

Hi everyone! I'm having so much fun with Mary at her Virginia Suzuki Violin Camp in the mountains of Virginia. It is beoooooooooootiful up here! I suddenly thought I might get fired as a blogger, then it occurred to me to write you a letter from "camp!"

I love helping Mary to advance in her violin playing. It's all been so worth it (including the scary bridge to get here), not only for the wonderful instruction she is getting, but we are making new friends who also love to play violin. Tomorrow night is a very informal, fun talent show (you cannot play your string instrument in your regular way) and Mary is going to sing :-)

Some of the young teens are here without their parents with counselors in their dorm, while the little ones are here with their families. Even though Mary is 16, she is not totally independent in an unfamiliar place to spend the night, so I am her camp-mate! I love the beautiful rolling hills and even the sound of the whistle of the train that runs by the college where we are staying (Emory and Henry College).

It took several hours to drive up here. I'm not the best driver and as the road winded up the mountain, I got a little scared (I'm scared of really high bridges). We were listening to the audio book of Corrie ten Boom's "Tramp for the Lord." My heart started pounding as I caught a glimpse of how high up we were as we crossed over a bridge. I remembered how many times Corrie prayed on the spot with a quick "Help me, Lord!" prayer and gained courage.

Maybe you, too, are having to endure something for the blessings that come later. Let's both cling to God's word daily from the lover of our souls! Let's remember Jesus who endured the agonies of the cross for the joy set before Him!

"And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." ~Hebrews 12:1b-2

Walk by Faith,

Friday, June 21, 2013

God in Ordinary Life & at the US Open

I've been reading Prayer: Finding the Heart's True Home by Richard Foster (it has taken me so long to read it that I have renewed it three times, and today will make four as I just got my fourth renewal email reminder!). 

One reason it has taken me so long (other than sometimes I can't get back to it for as much as a week because life keeps happening, although Richard Foster has reminded me that our work can actually be a prayer when offered to God!) is that I will read a paragraph and then want to stop and reread it a couple of times to digest it.

Read below and you'll see what I mean:

"Become aware of God's presence in the room. Perhaps you will want to picture Jesus sitting in the chair across from you, for he is indeed truly present. If frustrations or distractions arise, simply lift them up into the arms of the Father and let him care for them...

The discovery of God lies in the daily and the ordinary, not in the spectacular and the heroic.  If we cannot find God in the routines of home and shop then we will not find him at all....

Many today see their vocation as a hindrance to prayer. 'If only I had some time free from the distractions of work, then I could pray'...But prayer is not another duty to add onto an already overcommitted schedule... Our vocation is an asset to prayer because our work becomes our prayer. It is prayer in action." (Prayer: Finding the Heart's True Home pgs. 161, 171-172)

Offer your work up to God!

"Whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God." (1 Cor 10:31) 

My son's (John) work this summer is as an intern to the USGA. As a Christian, his work is "as unto the Lord."  He has worked many hours of hard, physical labor and his 21-year-old body has never been pushed so hard as they set up for the US Open in Pennslyvania. Here he is (pictured above, very dark hair, smiling big and looking at the US Open 2013 winner, Justin Rose.) How excited all the interns were to meet Justin minutes after his winner's ceremony. There's something very exciting about being with one who excels in their work.

Think of our opportunity each day as Christians! We can meet with the Creator of the universe through Jesus Christ! As Foster says, picture the King of Kings sitting across from you as you read His word and talk with him, and hand to him your anxieties!

My husband, Terry, and our daughter, Mary, as we head into the US Open. Mary adores music and doesn't care greatly for sporting events. She exemplies patience to me as she attends sporting events with us without a single complaint. She was so happy, like me, to see John!

The train ride leaving the US Open was packed. On the day before this train ride, the train was standing room only and people were hot, tired, and getting irritable. Mary started quitely singing songs from The Sound of Music and soon, the  front of the train (which was all men) began to hush and listen and they all clapped as she finished!
We saw the coleader of the tournament, Billy Horschel, going into round 3 at our hotel (my hubby asked me not to ask him for a picture so as not to disturb his "game face," (a lesson in keeping my mouth shut & honoring my husband's wishes... I had to bite my tongue so hard I'm sure there was blood on my toast, especially since Billy was totally finished eating & just watching the highlights on ESPN!), as well as Sergio Garcia in the parking lot of our hotel. While it was fun to see them knowing they were in the tournament, nothing can compare with seeing your loved ones. My heart leapt inside when I saw my son, John! He was so tired (the day before the tournament opened they worked 36 hours straight to get everything ready) that when he sat with us for a short time in the grandstands on #13 (I think it was 13 or 16) he fell asleep!
"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord...  
It is the Lord Christ you are serving." - Colossians 3:23-24

Walk by Faith , 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

My Favorite Blog Post Recently & Wednesday's Prayer Girls & Link-Up!

Hi friends and fellow bloggers! I pray that you and your family are doing well and pursuing the life hidden with Christ Jesus!

I just returned from being out of town and, boy it is some kind of hard to get back to blogging while getting Mary ready for violin camp, looking for my phone somewhere in the house, washing the clothes, getting groceries, and having extended quiet time with the Lord after being around people for many days (I wouldn't trade it but today was my first day to spend extended time in the Lord's presence!). I was also determined to exercise before I sat at my computer, so I am finally sitting down and it's after 9 P.M.!!!

I also want to share my favorite blog post this Spring. It comes from fellow blogger Jacqueline of Deep Roots at Home. I know you'll love the post, too, on the importance of purity before marriage. You will also want to follow Jacqueline's link to her own personal testimony of God's grace. Enjoy her post called  The Story Behind the Story, of two young Christians who sought to honor God in their physical relationship before marriage.

It's Wednesday and it's time to pray! I love to set Wednesdays aside to pray for anything that's on your heart that is not confidential. Just post it in the comments section. I also welcome Christian bloggers to post a blog link of your wholesome passions! Keep shining for Jesus!

Walk by Faith,

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Thank You, the US Open, & Wednesday's Prayer Girls & Blog Link-Up!

First off, thank you to each of you who read my facebook message about being out sick. You all are the BEST! Your prayers and you thoughts and remedies meant so much to me!

I got a migraine on Monday from a pulled muscle in my neck and it lingered into Tuesday. It's gone now, but the pulled muscle is still there and I'm going to be quick on my laptop this morning, because I'm a little scared that even the angle I use when I'm on my laptop can hurt my neck.

We're leaving in less than 24 hours to go to the US Open. I'm trying to pack without lifting anything heavy that could trigger the pain again! (yesterday my good friend Brenda drove Mary and me home in my car because I got stuck out of town and couldn't get home with the pulled muscle in my neck) One fb friend said to try ice, so while Brenda drove I held ice on my neck (which seemed to help!) Henni, thank you for helping me last week if you're reading!

I'm so excited to go see my son, John, who is an intern for the USGA this summer. He set up for the US Open (worked 21 of 24 hours the couple days leading up to the opening this week!!). The interns are so busy that the USGA set up a trailer on the course this week so that the interns can sleep in there a few hours before they get back out helping with the tournament!

John adores golf, and he's been sending us texts like when Tiger came week before last to test out the course in the rain! Yesterday he spoke briefly with Webb Simpson, who is from our hometown & went to the same high school as our sons a few years ago (& won the Open last year! He is a believer!), & Ted. (his swing coach and the golf pro where my husband and sons play golf).

I'll try to instagram a few pics from the Open. I'm juanamikels on Instagram. My instagrams feed to my fb (Juana Mikels Ministries) and tw (@JuanaMikels) accounts. While everyone will be trying to catch a glimpse of their favorite golfer, I'l be looking for my hero—my son! I can't wait to see our daughter, Blair, who is meeting us there, too:-)  Some of our family is staying in our home and feeding our dog:-)

It's Wednesday, so let's pray!!! Post your prayer in the comments. Share your blogs below! Bless someone below by leaving them a comment on their blog:-)

Update to this blog, June 12, 2:15 EST: So sorry the blogs below are repeated. To post your blog link, just post it on the first "you are next" below! Scroll to end of the blog to find the comments section above my signature to leave your prayer request!
"Make no conditions, let Jesus be everything..." ~Oswald Chambers

Walk by Faith,

You are next... Click here to enter
This list will close in 6 days, 12 hrs, 12 min (6/18/2013 11:59 PM North America - Eastern Standard Time)

You are next... Click here to enter
This list will close in 6 days, 12 hrs, 14 min (6/18/2013 11:59 PM North America - Eastern Standard Time)

You are next... Click here to enter
This list will close in 6 days, 12 hrs, 14 min (6/18/2013 11:59 PM North America - Eastern Standard Time)

Friday, June 7, 2013

Don't Get Weary in Doing Good w' Children! (or anything worthwhile!)

      May my recollection of the memory below with my children from just a few years ago encourage your heart today to not grow weary in doing good. 

“Let us not become weary in doing good...”  Galatians 6:9a
       Today was the day we were to start reading aloud Caddie Woodlawn and no one was more excited than Mary. She loves stories about twelve-year-old girls and she longed to know how old Caddie would be in the story, hoping that she would be twelve, or maybe close.  I opened the cover for the first time as John, Alex, and Mary all sat in a row on the sofa in the living room with the fresh morning sun shining in on us all, a welcome warmth on this February day, especially after the gray, rainy day we had the day before.
          I expected to start on the first chapter when my eyes suddenly caught a short note from the author. I skimmed it quickly knowing I was about to read it in its entirety to everyone in just a minute.  The author had written this last note after completing Caddie Woodlawn on February 22, 1935. Today was February 22, 2005!  I quickly skimmed a little more, enough to discover that Caddie was a real person.  I shared with everyone that the author had finished the book on this very day in 1935 and that it was written about her grandmother. John quickly did the math for us to discover that it was exactly seventy years ago. Mary exclaimed, “She’s real!” If there is something else that Mary loves in a book, it is for the characters to be real.  In fact, she assures me that I must be wrong about Anne of Green Gables; she is convinced that Anne was a real person.
         After we got the dog-who-didn’t-know-where-to-sit settled, after we got it straight that Alex didn’t want John playing with his toy gun, and whether or not they could eat a bag of marsh mellows while I read, we were ready to begin. Well, almost. 
         It seems there were some finches outside the window that caught my eye and I couldn’t resist telling everyone that they could watch them while I read if they wanted to. John and Alex ran to the window, but the finches had flown away, so everyone settled back on the couch.  Now we were ready.
         I looked up and my heart was overflowing with joy. There were three of my four children all sitting in stair-step fashion, waiting for the story to begin. We were about to read a part of American history and go back in time to a day that had long since passed, and together we were all about to take a trip to that distant place.  But it wasn’t the study of history that was causing my heart to overflow with God’s goodness.  It was that we were living this memory that we were sharing together, this memory that would be filed in all our minds forever that no on could ever take away.  It would go into a file that was so full of so many others like it that we had all shared together. Here we go. Now we were ready. Well, almost ready. 
        Alex decided there were too many people on the couch and he started pushing John off.  I said, “Alex, don’t push him off.”  “I’m not pushing him off, I’m just moving him, there’s not enough room ‘cause there’s too many people on the couch,” said Alex.  “Just ask him to sit on the chair,” I said.  Then, as I was about to ask John to please move over to the chair, he had already moved to the chair.  I think after one more dog incident, I said, “Let’s just put the dog out,” and we began.  Believe it or not, my heart was still glad and we began reading Caddie Woodlawn.
        No sooner did we read the first sentence that Mary’s burning question was answered.  Caddie is eleven when the book opens.  “Eleven!” exclaimed Mary thankfully.  Immediately, we learned several of the names of her siblings: Clara, Tom, and Warren.  Tom, Caddie, and Warren were about to embark on an adventure and the story began moving quickly. Mary interrupted and asked, “But where’s Clara?”  I said that I didn’t know. I suggested that maybe just the younger ones played together.  Since Clara was the oldest, she was probably helping her mother in the kitchen. “Oh, I hate Clara helping her mother in the kitchen!” said Mary, most decidedly.  We continued reading to soon discover that there was another child in Caddie’s family: Hetty. “Oh!” Mary was glad.  I thought, “Mary is so much fun to read to.” I am so glad that I am home with my children.
         Footnote to the story: We said goodbye to Caddie three weeks later, as we had completed the reading of her story. Upon hearing the last word, Alex and Mary held hands and shuffled their feet in a festive dance that even rattled the stuffed bird’s feet on top of our bookshelf. Our adventure with Caddie was over, but our memories of gathering together and enjoying the simple adventures of one red-headed American pioneer girl of the past will be forever in our hearts and minds.
         I began a new habit from page one of Caddie Woodlawn.  I began taking notes in the margins of the book of what my children said---and in some cases, did---in reaction to what we were reading.  My hope is that it will help me remember the sweetness of our time for years to come. 

"Don't Give Up on Reading Aloud," by Juana Mikels was originally published in Homeschooling Today magazine, November/December 2007. www.homeschooltoday.com. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Walk by Faith,

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Wednesday's Prayer Girls & Blog Link-Up!

Happy Wednesday, everyone! I hope you are doing well as summer is about to get underway! I've been under the weather for a couple days with an awful migraine that fades and returns. I almost wasn't going host the prayer day and the blog link-up, but we need to keep praying for one another. Your blogs inspire so many; I don't want to hold them up!

I'd love you to enter your prayer in the comments, or you blog link below.

Walk by faith,

Monday, June 3, 2013

Mary on Today's Morning News Broadcast! (YouTube Clip)

My daughter, Mary, says that being blind is a "blessing," for she believes what the Bible says: that it's the inside of the person that counts most.

“Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. 
The Lord does not look at the things people look at. 
People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 
-1 Samuel 16:7

About a week ago, we received a call from our local NBC affiliate who saw Mary on a clip and wanted to feature a story about her on the morning news.  Enjoy this clip from this morning's broadcast.

(To hear the whole song, "On My Own," that appeared in snippet form in the above news clip,
click http://youtu.be/7r87-MbDH2k.)

"For we walk by faith, not by sight." (2 Cor 5:7),