Saturday, April 19, 2008

3rd Annual Christian Heritage Conference, day 1

Well, the first day of this conference is over now and I was not disappointed. This was fabulous and may take a few days to process, but I wanted to write about it while it was fresh in my mind. First of all, this is a homeschool conference with an emphasis on family discipleship. Doug Phillips, founder of Vision Forum Ministries is the key note speaker and if that was all there was, it would be well worth the price of the conference. He has been speaking on a couple of themes, but with an emphasis on having a multi generational mindset, rather than just trying to get through today. It was exciting as he shared experiences from his family of this walk along, talk along mentorship that is so vital throughout the homeschooling process. It's not just talking at your children, but talking to them, sharing with them the reasons for this or that...why we homeschool, why we have the convctions we have...Fathers, taking their sons and /or daughters with them to work, having special alone time with them and such. (It was sweet as he shared an incident in which a girl was talking to him about having mulit-generational toys...dolls she could pass onto her children or grandchildren...very sweet) At another session, he shared Victories...moments large and small which define our lives...Some of his points were: the nobility of the commonplace- putting a high value on the duties of life, Preciousness of child-like faith, the humor of family idiosyncrases-is it obvious that members of your family are____________ (fill in your last name here), is there a defining attribute that all of your family has..., The Blessing of the Family Table-mealtime is a special way to cement our bonds as families and talk, learn, grow, teach..., Enthusiasm of the Cowboy years...I loved this story...He spoke about how one of his sons reports for duty dressed like a soldier every morning and Daddy gives him special tasks that only he can do and wraps it up in an exciting story so he can conquer...the particular example he gave was that bears had got into the girls' room and spread garbage around. Could he go and clean it up. What a great way to cherish the boyhood enthusiasm. There were many other points made, but I will have to process and claim it as my own before I can articulate on it.
In between the keynote sessions, there were many different seminars you could choose to go to...One talked about the possiblity of peaceful and productive days happening as the NORM rather than frenzied, fruitless, frustrating days, IF we choose to put first things first...I know I was SUPER convicted in this seminar...It is unbelievable how much time I waste and look at as a right rather than a if I practice choosing the better, more valuable things...the putting first things first...We can have so much more in our lives...Some of her other points were: No is absolutely necessary, head for the heart and trust the Lord. This was a great workshop.
Then I heard Jessica Erber-she is such a beautiful and sweet girl...her workshop was encouraging daughters to be purposeful in their support of the family rather than just existing until they got on to real life when married.
The third workshop was Maggie Erber (Jessica's Mom) who spoke on homeschooling a houseful...her main points were to be at peace with your situation, work out a routine and post it, Make a big deal out of work well done and firmly and quietly correct bad attitudes and disobedience. In her family, they have quiet time...EVERYONE, EVERYDAY...she said that the older children need to get comfortable with silence, but they also need time to think, read, listen for God's voice...while Mom needs to rest and recoup...rejuvinate, have peace and quiet...
Another interesting thing she said was that they have one bedtime for all...this again gives the older ones time to read or something, but gives Mom and Dad time to relate as Husband and Wife. Then she said, sometimes you just need a day to get back on track...stay in pj's day, go to the park, deal with a particular issue, spring cleaning, sick's okay if you need to do that.
Well, I am going to hop in the shower now and get ready for day two...wish you all could be here too!

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