Weekly Unschool Post 1

So I’m trying my hand at blogging weekly about our unschool school experiences; as opposed to monthly. Last week, we did much of our routine; which includes the following:

  • Reciting the Pledge of Allegiance
  • Singing the Star Spangled Banner
  • Declaring Psalm 91
  • Our School Declaration
  • Reciting The Lord’s Prayer
  • Praying
  • Reading the Bible (we’re wrapping up 2 Samuel)
  • Working on individual assignments
  • Outdoor Play

That is the most formal part of our day. The kids spend most of the day, doing the things that interest them. The boys are still really into building forts, building with their legos, magnatiles, blocks, lincoln logs, megablocks, cardboard and whatever else. When they work in their workbooks, they get to choose what it is that they’d like to work on for the day. They also have a list of sight and vocabulary words that they learn each week. We do this because it tends to help with their reading; which they get to select…kind of. I put the books out that I know that will interest and challenge them; and they get to choose which book(s) from that selection.

So last week, my husband decided to get the boys more involved in business; so he wrote them each $10k promissory notes; so that they could purchase an investment property. The boys have been going online every day, looking for a property. He also took them to meet an attorney, accountant and banker; as well as to a closing on a property that we had just purchased. I’ll link the video of how he prepped them for the meetings; once they are posted on Monday and Tuesday.

Our school is mostly informal; so I’m always paying attention to teachable moments and recording conversations; because so many times, it shows their interest and growth. I caught a moment at the dining room table; when we reviewed etiquette. I’ll link that video as well, as soon as it’s uploaded.

So that was our week. Grandma and Papa Jim came over; as well as bonus Grandpa Lewis. According to the kids, those were the best days ever! How’s your homeschool going?

Yonka

Frustrated with your spouse?

Today I was frustrated with my husband; and then one of my best friends called…..and you know what? She was frustrated with hers too. Lol! As she spoke to me, I heard my voice speaking back to her; but it was counsel and wise instruction for the both of us. Sometimes we may think that we know what is best for our husbands; but it’s just wise to allow God the space to speak to and lead them (and us). I read Mark 10:45 last night; and have been meditating on it today. Yeshua came to SERVE (minister) and GIVE. He is the best example of how life is to be lived. Both serving and giving requires us to give up our own wills; as well as how we think about others and things, if the thought process is out of alignment with YHWH/God’s word and will.

The beautiful thing about marriage is that it is a covenant between the husband, YHWH/God and wife. I always say to other married women (and myself): “You and YHWH/God are the majority.” If you’re frustrated with your spouse, go to YHWH/God and offer a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving. This alone, can shift your entire thought process and atmosphere. Continue to serve and give; and watch how YHWH/God smooth things out. Much of the time, you’ll even find that YHWH/God is working out something in you that you didn’t even realize was there. He’s pretty awesome in that way.

I have come to realize that frustrations and challenges are always opportunities for refinement. Our spouses are simply mirroring back; areas that need improvement in us. There’s such freedom in not getting frustrated or annoyed by someone else’s behavior. When we realize and act in the gift of being a helper to our husbands, it transforms the entire marriage; because we’ve set ourselves in alignment with the word and will of YHWH/God. We experience Yeshua like never before; because like Him, we are servers and givers. YHWH/God bless all of the wives (and people) who are reading this post. Remember that His word and way is the standard for every area of our lives.

Yonka

Wellness Wednesday

A few years ago, I had been in the fitness industry for over 15 years; as a Group Fitness Instructor, Personal Trainer, Wellness Coach, Health & Wellness Director/Manager and National Trainer to fitness professionals. I began having questions and a dissatisfaction for what I was seeing in the industry. I wondered why apparently healthy people (the super-lean ones, who could run forever; and ate super-healthy diets), could have major heart attacks or drop dead in the middle of a workout. I thought about all of the conflicting diet and nutrition information that left people all kinds of confused. I wondered why this industry could have a multi-billion dollar worth; with such a poor track record. I remember reading some statistics a couple years ago that said that 90 percent or so of people in the U.S. make New Year’s resolutions (with the vast majority including weight loss goals); but 80 percent fail to attain their goals. To me, that’s a travesty.

It is such a desire in my heart to shift to YHWH/God culture in the fitness industry. It’s not all about getting a certain look, getting super lean, or looking good in a swimsuit. It’s about being a good steward of this temple that the Father has blessed us with. It’s about being connected with the Most High through our spirits; prospering our souls, by renewing out minds with the word of God; so that we can have good health (Romans 12:2 & 3 John 1:2).

I’ve started a new YouTube channel, entitled: Good Thing Fitness to begin a movement in that direction. Every workout will begin with prayer and a declaration; and will be posted twice a week (Tuesdays & Thursdays). I would love to incorporate Christian, Gospel and Worship music; but the rules for this is a bit different from using music in a live in-person class. I know there’s a way; and I’m certain that my vision will come to pass. Please feel free to check out the Good Thing Fitness channel and subscribe. Have an excellent rest of your week and I’ll be “seeing” you!

Yonka

Wellness Wednesday

Wellness Wednesday will be a little bit different. Since I’ve just started a new fitness channel on YouTube, I will be sharing a link to one of the workouts for the week; which also includes a prayer and declaration. This week’s declaration is based on Jeremiah 29:11 and is: God has great plans for my life; to bless and prosper me, and give me a hope and a future. The workout includes kegels to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles; as well as wall squats to strengthen the lower body. God bless you and have an excellent rest of your week!

Yonka

Marriage Restoration

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I am so grateful to God for my loving husband. He is an absolute treasure; and I love and appreciate him so much. I didn’t always feel this way…..but God. There was a time, well actually many times, when I just wanted to walk away from our marriage; but God. I came from a background of divorce, so that was my normal. I had not even considered what the word of God had to say about it; and I definitely was not into the whole submission thing. I might’ve thought that submission came from the pits of hell. In other words; my thinking on marriage was a hot twisted mess. I remember attending a church and striking up a conversation with the pastor’s wife and another lady; while in the bathroom. The pastor’s wife was talking about keeping strife out of the home; and how to handle disagreements with your husband. The thing that stuck with me was when she said that the enemy wants discord in the home, so that he can gain access to your children. As she talked, I came to the realization that I was completely out of order.

I began to look at what the scripture had to say about marriage and strife. James 3:16 (KJV) was a game changer for me. It reads: “For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. Confusion and EVERY evil work? EVERY EVIL WORK? Wow! This verse hit me like a ton of bricks; and I made the quality decision that  I would keep strife out of my heart and home. It was at this same church, that I received a teaching cd on marriage from a very kind woman. When I listened to it, I felt almost something like a rage rising up within me. The wise woman of God was talking about studying and serving your husband; as well as going out of your way for him. Nothing in me liked what I was hearing. I was like: “Nope! This is not for me.” But something deeper in me knew that I desperately needed to learn from and implement what I was hearing.

I  begrudgingly started by serving my husband his meals. I didn’t like doing this for a long time; but I continued it any way. During this time, I had begin praying diligently for my husband. I asked God to make me into the wife that my husband needed. I would pray & speak blessings over him as he slept at night. I would also pray for myself. I wanted so much to be in God’s perfect will and do and be who He designed and purposed me to be. As I continued praying, speaking blessings, and serving my husband more and more; I could hear God saying things to me about my husband that helped me gain such an appreciation for him. I recall hearing God ask me the meaning of my husband’s name; which is God is gracious. Years prior, God told me that His grace was sufficient for me. I also remember God telling me that my husband was very loyal; and that he had the spirit of excellence like Daniel; and boldness like Joshua. God told me to look at my husband’s desires list that was hanging on the wall in our bedroom.  As I read through the list, I saw that most of his desires had to do with God; but the one that just melted my heart completely, was his desire to be a personal friend of God. It was at that moment that our marriage took off. I fell in love with my husband; and I knew that I’d follow him anywhere. I knew beyond ALL shadows of doubt that we will serve God together until we move over to the next realm.

We now enjoy a beautiful relationship with God and each other. He is the kindest, most loving, most generous, most supportive and most excellent person that I’ve ever known. I just love him so much and love spending time with him! It is my pleasure to serve him anytime and all the time! I made it my mission to make sure that our home would be the Garden of Eden for him. I feel that he is such a gift, treasure and blessing from the Most High; and I want both God and him to know that I appreciate him so much.

It is my prayer that this post blesses whoever reads it….especially those wives who might be in a difficult space in their marriage. God has a perfect design for marriage; and if you’ll yield to His way of doing things, you’ll have a beautiful marriage as well. The thing that I’ve learned about God is that He never sees or deals with us as victims. He sees us as gods; and deals with us this way. We were created in His image and likeness.  Psalm 82:6 reads:  “I said, ‘You are “gods” and children of the Most High.” It’s time to take your place as a child of the Most High. Don’t be moved by what you see; but rather, by what the word of God says.  Below are a couple of scriptures to meditate on for the restoration of your marriage:

1 Corinthians 11:3 (niv) – But I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.

Ephesians 5:21 (niv) –  Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

Mark 10:9 (niv) – Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

Hebrews 13:4 (amp)Marriage is to be held in honor among all [that is, regarded as something of great value], and the marriage bed undefiled [by immorality or by any sexual sin]; for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.

1 Peter 3:8 & 9 (amp) – Finally, all of you be like-minded [united in spirit], sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted [courteous and compassionate toward each other as members of one household], and humble in spirit; and never return evil for evil or insult for insult [avoid scolding, berating, and any kind of abuse], but on the contrary, give a blessing [pray for one another’s well-being, contentment, and protection]; for you have been called for this very purpose, that you might inherit a blessing [from God that brings well-being, happiness, and protection].

Isaiah 51:3 (niv) – Indeed, the LORD will comfort Zion; He will comfort all her waste places And her wilderness He will make like Eden, And her desert like the garden of the LORD; Joy and gladness will be found in her, Thanksgiving and sound of a melody.

 

The Excellent Woman Youtube Channel

Hello and welcome to the Excellent Woman blog! I’m Yonka, your sister in Christ/Messiah, fellow wife, mom, friend, etc. Here on this blog, you’ll find encouragement, resources to build your faith, my family’s unschooling experiences/adventures; marriage advice/tips, as well as helpful biblical information on finances. Go ahead and take a look around. Like what you see? Please subscribe. Then…..head on over to the Excellent Woman YouTube channel and check out my videos on the same topics. As you might’ve guessed, I’d greatly appreciate it if you’d like, subscribe to and share my channel. God bless you mightily in Jesus’ name, Amen!

The 8 Dimensions of Wellness – Social

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Social Wellness refers to our relationships and how we interact with other people. It involves good communication skills, respect for self and others, meaningful relationships and a good support system. According to a study by Umberson & Montez, relationships influence health through a process of reinforcing or inhibiting health-promoting or health-damaging behaviors over time. The bible is full of verses about all relationships. One of which is Proverbs 17:17, which says that a friend loves at all times; and a brother is born for adversity. Genesis 2:18 says the following: The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” Our relationships are important, even from God’s perspective.

The bible gives some good standards for our various relationships.

  1. Husband & Wife relationship:Ephesians 5:22-33; Colossians 13:18 &19
  2. Children & Parents: Ephesians: 6: 1-3
  3. Fathers & Children: Ephesians 6:4
  4. Church family: Colossians 3:12- 14
  5. Friends: Proverbs 27:5 – 6; John 15:12-15
  6. Employer & employee: Colossians 3:23; Deuteronomy 15:10; Deuteronomy 24:14

Oftentimes our relationships are mirrors that reflect the inner-workings or hidden areas of our souls. The soul is like a magnet that draws our circumstances to us. If you find that your relationships have a common theme of joy and endurance, then I’m 99.999% sure that you have mastered 2 Corinthians 10:5; and Philippians 4:8. However, if you’re like many of us who are still learning to bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ and thinking on love and positive things; then take this opportunity to make a solid decision to begin healing these toxic thoughts, feelings and emotions that have habitually created less-than-desirable circumstances in your relationships. As children, we learned how to relate to others from our family members; as well as from teachers, friends, and other group members that we were associated with. If what we’ve learned was unhealthy or dysfunctional, we can change it. Healthy relationships are ours to enjoy; as well as a component of overall wellness.

If you would like to strategies for improving the social area of wellness in your life, do consider joining me for my next All is Wellness program session beginning on March 18th. Please feel free to email me at theexcellentwoman1@gmail.com. Until next time…..many blessings!

This Thing Called Love

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Mark 12:30 & 31 (NIV) says: Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.” As I thought on these verses, my mind rested on a vision that I recently had during my morning prayer time. I found myself at the feet of God as He sat on His throne. I then was cradled in His arms. I remember feeling the love radiating throughout my being. After being loved on by God, for what seemed like a little while, I found myself standing before His throne. He placed what seemed like a force-field around me. I immediately thought of my eldest son; and he suddenly appeared cradled in God’s loving arms. My son had bumped his head hard the day before. In this vision, I saw God gently rub my son’s head and a golden substance flowed from His hand to my son’s head. God then kissed him, and placed him within my force-field. One-by-one, each of my children appeared cradled in God’s arms; and he hugged and kissed them; and placed them each within my force-field. Lastly, my husband appeared in God’s arms. He did the same; and then placed my husband and his force-field around all of us. 

My reason for sharing this part of the vision, is to illustrate the Mark 12:30 & 31 principle. We can only love God, because of His first loving us. His love fills us and overflows to our neighbors. We can only love God by His strength alone (Philippians 4:13); and only with His love (1 Corinthians 13:4-8). We can’t love ourselves or others without His love. Love begins with Him. It’s His love that gives us our identity and that makes us loveable. He sees us as the apple of His eye (Zechariah 2:8, Proverbs 7:2, Psalm 17:8); and His treasured possession (Deuteronomy 7:6, 14:2, 26:18, Psalm 135:4). When we think about ourselves the way that God does, we automatically love ourselves and bring healing an order to our thoughts, body and circumstances. We automatically love our neighbors because of God’s love.

Neighbors refer to anyone who is not you (at least that’s the way that I define it for my children). In this particular post, I’m referring to spouses as our neighbors. Sometimes, marriage can be challenging when spouses are not on the same page; or if either spouse is distracted. Please take comfort in knowing that God has our backs; and is with us every step of the way. We must renew our minds to know that marriage is honorable, esteemed worthy, precious, of great price, and especially dear – in all things (Hebrews 13:4). The “high thought” of our culture about marriage is to just get out of it; if it’s not working to your satisfaction. Here’s the thing, people seem to understand that businesses, education and success in general, take years to obtain. It’s accepted and expected that there will be highs and lows, good times and not-so-great times; but you don’t give up. Marriage, just like new businesses, is like birthing a baby. You’ll often hear entrepreneurs refer to their businesses as their babies. Marriage is the same. If something’s not working, you evaluate and strategically plan to improve that area. You set goals, put standard operating procedures in place. You do all that you can to ensure the success of the marriage. It amazes me that people go to training and workshops, work long hours and such for the success of their careers; but somehow think that marriage is just going to just be successful. If no has told you before, things don’t work that way. You are supposed to have a successful marriage; but it’s probably going to require you to fight the good fight of faith (1 Timothy 6:12).

Psalm 34:19 (KJV) says: Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all. We are guaranteed victory! The scriptures are filled with encouragement for victory; as well as God’s love and faithfulness. We see it with Joseph in the prison, Daniel in the lion’s den, and the 3 Hebrew boys in the fire pit (just to name a few). They all endured some HARD circumstances, but they all overcame and were elevated.

Marriage was instituted by God, so I’m quite confident that yours will workout when you follow His lead. 1 Peter 3:8-9 (AMP) is a good guideline: Finally, all [of you] should be of one and the same mind (united in spirit), sympathizing [with one another], loving [each the others] as brethren (of one household), compassionate and courteous—tenderhearted and humble-minded. Never return evil for evil or insult for insult—scolding, tongue-lashing, berating; but on the contrary blessing—praying for their welfare, happiness and protection, and truly pitying and loving them. For know that to this you have been called, that you may yourselves inherit a blessing [from God]—obtain a blessing as heirs, bringing welfare and happiness and protection. Invest in yourself and your spouse by spending time with God. You will begin to think like God, concerning your marriage. God is THE  ultimate mastermind; and He knows how to turn around your marriage….. in 24 hours. With Him, EVERYTHING is possible. Do you believe it?!

The 8 Dimensions of Wellness – Physical

img_2611Happy Belated New Year to All who read this post! I sincerely wish you a disciplined year, so that you will accomplish all of your goals. Tonight’s post is about physical wellness; which is defined as recognizing the need for physical activity, healthy food and sleep (SAHMSA). According to a report by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) only 23% of Americans get the recommended amount of exercise. I won’t even bother with the statistics on nutrition, because it’s complete disaster. According to the National Sleep Foundation, Americans sleep an average of 7 hours and 36 minutes; which is within the sleep recommendation range, however, 35 % reported poor or fair sleep quality. In a nutshell, Americans have poor quality exercise, nutrition and sleep habits. It’s no wonder that over half of all Americans take prescription drugs; and they average taking four. That’s a lot of drugs and alot of money. Early last year, the average price for generic prescription drugs was $80 for a month’s supply. (1) $320 is quite a bit to pay for drugs that are only treating symptoms. I just don’t know how this is a viable solution to anyone. In my mind’s eye, if you have a problem, RESOLVE it! Don’t put patches on it or allow it to linger.

So what does the bible say about physical health and wellness? Concerning exercise, 1 Timothy 4:8 says that physical training is of some value. There are quite a few verses regarding nutrition. Genesis 1:29 talks about fruit and vegetables. Genesis 9:3 states that everything that moves, would be food for them. Nehemiah 8:10 talks about eating fat. Of course there’s the vegetables and water diet in Daniel 1:12. Here’s the thing to consider…..their diets were related to where they were and where they were going. When Adam and Eve were in the garden (a stress-free place), fruits and vegetables was the diet. When Noah and his sons came out of the ark to a post-flood earth, every living thing was the diet. When the children of Israel were in the desert, they ate manna, but when they entered the Canaan, the manna stopped and they ate corn and fruit from the land (Joshua 5:12). So, you have to know where you are on your journey; and how to eat optimally for it. As for sleep, there is one verse that I think is God’s intention for His people. It is Psalm 127:2 (CEB): It is pointless that you get up early and stay up late, eating the bread of hard labor because God gives sleep to those he loves.

When Jesus prayed in Matthew 6:10 – your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. When I think of heaven, I’m hard-pressed to believe that sickness or disease is there. Our bodies are God’s temple; and we are to honor God with our bodies (1 Corinthians 16:19-20). How do you do this? Is your temple reflective of heaven….fit for the King of kings to live in; or does it need some work?

Reference

1. https://www.goodrx.com/blog/are-drugs-getting-more-expensive/

 

The Soul…..the key to health

For as long as I can remember, I have always wanted people to be healthy and well. I suspected that disease and sickness were not normal. Later on, I read “Of Monkeys and Dragons” by Michele Longo O’Donnell. She confirmed my idea and introduced me to the concept that sickness and disease was intruders in our lives. We did not have to accept them. She further gave an example of how her daughter was born mentally retarded; but overcame it and became a lawyer, wife and mother in her adult life. Was this a miracle? Back then, I thought so…..until I discovered the work and research of neuroscientist Dr. Caroline Leaf, cell biologist, Bruce Lipton & medical doctor, Dr. Don Colbert. I’ve learned that EVERY thing that affects our bodies (& lives) first started as a thought. Many of us are not even aware of our thoughts or the fact that they essentially produce our lives. As Dr. Leaf says, Thoughts hold mental real estate in our brains. Toxic and negative thinking produces toxic and negative bodies and lives; just as healthy and positive thinking, produces healthy and positive bodies and lives. Proverbs 23:7 says it like this: As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.

Thinking is a law…..just like gravity, lift, disease, etc. are all laws. The good thing about laws is that they are consistent; and even better is that higher laws can help us transcend lower laws.  For example, as mentioned earlier, the law of gravity is a natural law. We know that if someone decides to jump off a building, they’re going to hit the ground. On the contrary, the law of lift transcends the law of gravity and allows for many people to fly in airplanes. Philippians 4:8 is a law. It says to think on things that are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of a good report, virtuous and praiseworthy. In neuroscience, we see that our thoughts become actual things in our brains. They produce tree-like structures in our brains that communicate with the rest of our bodies. Positive thoughts look like flourishing trees; while negative thoughts look like dried up trees. It reminds me of the famous experiment lead by Dr. Masaru Emoto years ago, that showed how water crystals responded to positive and negative speech. As you might have guessed, perfect water crystals were formed when spoken to positively; while distorted water crystals were formed when spoken to negatively. This is exact effect on the “trees” in our brain when we think positively or negatively.

I said all of that to say, that our health is 20% exercise and nutrition, and 80% your thoughts or mental attitude. This is great, because we have the ability to choose the life we desire……disease-free and healthy; or disease-ridden and sickly. Deuteronomy 30:19 (CEB) puts it this way: I call heaven and earth as my witnesses against you right now: I have set life and death, blessing and curse before you. Now choose life—so that you and your descendants will live. This verse explains principles of neuroscience and epigenetics.

I discovered that my desire for people to be well, lied in 3 John 1:2: Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth. The key to health & wellness lies in a prosperous (flourishing, healthy, vigorous) soul (mind, will & emotions). We have been taught that the use of affirmations can change our lives. This is a partial truth. Affirmations can actually be damaging to our brains, if there is a conflict with our actual beliefs. I offer the ALL IS WELLness program that teaches you how to properly use affirmations; as well as other tools to improve the 8 Dimensions of wellness in your life. For more information on the next session of the program beginning on 1/7/19, please feel free to email me at theexcellentwoman1@gmail.com. Until next time, be excellent!