Invicta Challenge
June 15, 2016 Edition 
Stories: Make Me a Believer Again
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Hey Mama,
Homeschooling is hard at times. Motherhood is like spitting nails some days. No one ever said what we do would be a cakewalk, but you can't give up and send your kids to public school, unless you want them to be raised by wolves, like I was. I got quite the education while being raised by my wolves. And statistically, I should have ended up a wolf myself, wholly poised to carry on the tradition, and raise my own. But God convinced my husband and me to keep our kids at home.
This week, my eBook, I Was Raised by Wolves, is free using the code WOLVES16. Check it out, and be reminded why you're homeschooling in the first place!
  • Many folks believe that their local government schools are safe. Are they?
  • What are your children soaking up in their sponges?
  • What can you do to make a difference?
  • Why "home where they belong" is the best choice!
  • What does God's Word say about raising children?
  • Don't believe the lie--live the truth instead!
  • Becoming a new creation!
Influence your children the best way--and keep them from the wolves!

~ gena


Relational Homeschooling    
Diana Waring
Dear Friends,
If you and I could sit across my kitchen table from each other, and you were to say, "I'm just not sure I can keep homeschooling . . . I feel like such a failure . . ."--I would tell you, with great empathy, that I had felt the exact same way and that I, too, had been ready to quit.
For three successive years, I would start our homeschool in September with great enthusiasm and the best products I could find . . . but after about a month, the chore of doing school--with its approach of "Now we are going to learn this fact"--was so unpleasant that I would quietly put the textbooks away. We would go back to the things I enjoyed doing with my kids, like playing with play dough and taking walks and singing songs and reading stories aloud to them.
But, by the third year of failing to make it past the first month, I felt so guilty that I was ready to quit. When I told my husband, the professional teacher, that I just couldn't keep going, he said to me what I want to say to you.
"Why don't we pray, and ask God how to homeschool these kids?"
It was such a simple suggestion, and, yet, it changed everything. Not at first, of course. You have to give God time to work--time to set up answers and solutions and opportunities.
As the next few weeks progressed, several things happened that helped me discover there were other ways to homeschool beyond the model I had been following, the one with set schedules, specific classes, sitting down at a desk, and filling out workbooks. I met families who created an environment for learning that made it enjoyable and interesting, even fun! Their kids loved learning! I learned from them what I had not known before, that homeschooling our own kids allows a freedom to explore topics, freedom to approach learning from a hands-on and out loud experience, freedom to do science outside among falling leaves, freedom to sit and listen to their ideas and dreams without saying, "No, we don't have time for that. Get back to work!"
That was more than twenty-five years ago, dear friends. The stories that came after are so much better, so much different . . . If we had the time, I would tell you about when my daughter won the VFW National Youth Essay Contest (and the great time we had in Kansas City when she read her essay to over 8,000 VFW members), or the time we had the chance to sing for Marie von Trapp, one of the daughters of Captain and Maria von Trapp. I'd love to describe the emotions we experienced when Maori men (in New Zealand) told us that our family had reminded them of what "family" was supposed to be . . . And so many more.
All of these later stories were possible because I came to the point of desperate need, and then sought God in that moment.
Your story is as real as mine. This is not a "Don't give up" lecture, this is a "Seek Him with all your heart and watch what happens" story.
Remember, stay relational.

P.S. Be sure to check out today's video on FB, "Brain Breaks." This one tip could make a HUGE difference in your kids' learning experience!
Dr. James Dobson    
Dr. James Dobson
The Family That Laughs Together . . .
By Dr. James C. Dobson
It's been said that the average child laughs two hundred times a day, while the typical adult laughs only four times every twenty-four hours. What has happened to us grown-ups?
Of course, life can be difficult, and some people face serious hardships. But many of us frown or complain over relatively minor inconveniences. Too many irritations come from an inability to appreciate the humor and blessings that exist around us.
When your husband forgets to take the kids to their dentist appointment, or your wife accidentally gives away your favorite sweatshirt, or your toddler draws his version of the Mona Lisa on the living room wall--wouldn't it be easier on everyone if you looked on the funny side of the situation?
Kevin Jones, dealing with increasing paralysis from Lou Gehrig's disease, was asked to describe the worst thing about his condition. He replied, "My wife's driving! She has to take me everywhere."
No matter what you're facing, a smile can only make it better.
Levity and lightheartedness are glue that holds family members together. Families willing to laugh are sure to forge a strong bond for the tough times.
God created us with a sense of humor for a reason. He wants us to use it.
When you're in need of a laugh, you might start a humor file. Here are a few to get you started, all reported to be genuine entries from church bulletins:--Tonight's sermon: "What Is Hell?" Come early and listen to our choir practice. --Barbara remains in the hospital. She is having trouble sleeping and requests tapes of Pastor Jack's sermons. --The choir will meet at the Larsen house for fun and sinning. --Next Thursday will be tryouts for the choir. They need all the help they can get. --Ladies, don't forget the rummage sale. It is a good chance to get rid of things not worth keeping around the house. Bring your husbands!
Laughter is healthy for families. We ought to be able to joke with each other without having to worry about getting an angry overreaction in response. But some humor can be destructive. If your partner is sensitive in a certain area--weight, appearance, a specific skill--avoid poking fun at that. If your child has an embarrassing characteristic, such as thumb sucking or stuttering, tread softly. Never ridicule.
It's great to laugh--but it's also wise and loving to occasionally check what motivates your humor, where it's aimed, and how it's received. If the person you're having fun with isn't having fun, then it's not real fun at all.
"A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones" (Proverbs 17:22).
From Dr. Dobson's book, Night Light For Couples
For over 30 years, Dr. James Dobson has been America's trusted source for psychologically sound, biblically based advice to help strengthen marriages, parents, and families. For more practical help and encouragement, visit:

The Familyman 
I'm writing this article during a brief pit stop between Chicago and Jacksonville, FL. We've been running like crazy and have piled on the miles. We're only home for two full days, and my wife and I have a ton of things to do before we pull out again tomorrow morning.
My little kids always seem oblivious that we're on a time crunch, and ask if we can do all kinds of fun things while we're home.
I have to remind them we have a gob to do before we leave, and find myself a little miffed by all their requests.
So last night, I had just finished fixing the lawn mower, and was off to another project, when I heard laughter over by the basketball court. I looked over and there was my son Sam (21), daughter Katherine (19), & sons Cal (10) and Jed (8) playing four-square on one end of the concrete pad. "How cool is that?" I thought, watching them laugh and play.
I'm telling you, Mom, that's why we homeschool. My children are all best friends. When I was in "real" school, I had my "real" friends, and I didn't want my brothers and sisters hanging around. My kids ARE REAL friends, and I attribute it to homeschooling.
In fact, while they were playing, my oldest son, Ben, and his wife, Rissa, pulled up in their car. It was their one-year anniversary, and they stopped in on their way home (they bought the house right next door).
"Hi Benner-Bob," Jed said cheerfully. Then, we all walked out to the big willow tree in our yard, where they were married, for an anniversary picture. God has been so good to this mom and dad . . . and we are so grateful that we have homeschooled our children.

Be real,

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Contest Corner 
For the month of June 2016  
Who was Martin Luther? Most of us know him as the German father of the Reformation movement in Europe. If pressed, we might recall that he nailed ninety-five theses, or statements of Christian faith, to the door of the Wittenberg church. Yet there is so much more to this controversial man's life that will come as a surprise to many. Author Danika Cooley, in her historical novel for teens, has brought the story of Luther the man, as well as the reformer and theologian, to vivid and striking life. My family and I received WHEN LIGHTNING STRUCK! in hardback form for the purposes of review.
It's difficult to imagine the brutal world in which Luther was born, lived, and died. Picture a world where sanitation is irregular or nonexistent; where many babies struggle to survive; where superstition is rampant; where ignorance and illiteracy are the norm. In 1483 Europe, most lived under these conditions, where life was a struggle each and every day.
Now, add to these arduous living conditions an absolute terror of God; and utter hopelessness and confusion regarding an individual's chance for salvation. If you've got all of this in your mind, you'll have a sense of what Luther's world was like.
Martin Luther's parents planned for him to become a lawyer and marry a wealthy woman from their town. Yet as he walked the fifty miles one day from his parents' home to the University of Erfurt, a torrential storm blew upon him, complete with terrifying thunder and lightning. Martin wondered if the storm was God's way of communicating His displeasure with Martin's choice of profession. Could he possibly receive salvation in the worldly profession of a lawyer? When lightning seemed to chase him down the road and then struck the tree he was hiding under, tossing Martin to the ground, he cried out, "Saint Anna, help me! I will become a monk!"
And so began his years as a monk. Brilliant and sharp-tongued, he brought to the priesthood a trained mind that caused him to examine and question the doctrines of the Catholic Church. Yet the more he learned, the more uncertain he was that he'd ever be able to work hard enough to earn his own salvation. For this was the doctrine of the era: the purchase of indulgences to shorten one's time in purgatory; confessing sins over and over; never knowing if one was really saved; and for Martin and other monks, fasting and poverty. Regardless of how much Martin did, he was ever burdened with the deep knowledge of his own sinfulness and his own unworthiness. So he worked harder and harder.
One day, his prior offered him a Bible. Martin was overjoyed. Ever since he'd seen one chained to a desk in a school library, and had read the story of Hannah and Samuel, he had longed for this precious book, rare and difficult to find. Yet, this Bible did not become part of his priestly studies, which focused on the writings of theologians. Rather, he pored over it for hours in the time he had alone. The more he read, though, the more his dissatisfaction with himself grew. (. . .)

Read the rest of the review to find out more!
YOU can WIN this awesome historical fiction book!
TO ENTER: Email Heather ( with your name, mailing address, and phone number for contact purposes, with the subject line, "Martin Luther" for a chance to win* it for your family! 

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