E-journal February 5, 2008

Winter is a Time to Deepen Spiritual Roots

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by Ellyn Davis

(In our e-journal about Papa's Boyhood Winters, I shared stories of my father's childhood on the farm and how winter was a time for reflecting over the past year, thinking through what you did right or could have done better. It was a time of planning, of marshalling resources to be used in the next season of growth. It was a time of sharpening tools and fixing machinery, of undertaking special projects. And…winter was a time of having fun. This is a first in a series of articles about how winter could be a special time for home schoolers.)

For people as well as trees, winter is a time to put down deeper roots—roots that will support spring and summer growth.

In his book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey says that all activities in life can fit into a matrix of four quadrants based on importance and urgency. The quadrant looks something like this:

Quadrant 1: Important, Urgent

These are things like crises, pressing problems, deadlines that have to be met, and so on.
Quadrant 2: Important, but Not Urgent

These are things like relationship building, planning, renewing yourself and your vision, learning new skills, crisis prevention.
Quadrant 3: Not Important, But Urgent

These are things that capture your attention like interruptions, some phone calls and meetings, pressing matters that you need to attend to.

Quadrant 4: Not Important, Not Urgent

These are your typical time-wasters like trivia, busy work, some mail and phone calls, watching TV, etc.

Basically, we spend our time in one of these four ways.

Spending most of our time in Quadrant 1 results in stress, burnout, and a "putting out fires" approach to life.

If we spend most of our time in Quadrants 3 and 4, we lead irresponsible lives. If we habitually live out of Quadrant 3, our focus tends to be short term and we always feel victimized by our circumstances and out of control because most Quadrant 3 activities put us at the mercy of the priorities of others. If our time is spent largely in Quadrant 4, we become irresponsible, lazy, and self-indulgent,

Effective people stay out of Quadrants 3 and 4 because, urgent or not, they are not important. They spend time in Quadrant 1 only when they have to, but try to live most of their lives out of Quadrant 2. Why? Because Quadrant 2 activities can make the most tremendous positive impact in your life. But we tend to put off doing Quadrant 2 activities because they are not urgent, even though they are very, very, important.

Deepening your spiritual roots is a Quadrant 2 activity. It is not urgent, but extremely important because it has the potential to have more of a positive impact on your life than anything you could do in any of the other quadrants.

Getting Out of the Kitchen

Jesus came to a village and a woman named Martha welcomed him to her house. She had a sister by the name of Mary who settled down at the Lord’s feet and was listening to what he said. But Martha was very worried about her elaborate preparations… (See Luke 10:38 – 41.)

For years, every spring we would travel to home school conventions and set up our book display. At every book fair we attended, tearful Moms and Dads would visit our booth and share their frustrating attempts to coordinate and respond to the many demands placed on their lives. They felt overextended and undersupported, concerned about the quality of their lives and the lives of their children. They felt that they, like Martha in the Bible, are spending too much time on the “pots and pans” of life and too little on those things that are truly important.

Our hearts go out to these parents, for we have also experienced this malady—too much to do and too little time, energy, and money to do it. We know the regret of looking back over the years and wondering where the time went; the anguish of seeing a child’s growth outpace our relationship with him or her. As a result, a firm resolve has welled up within us, a commitment to refocusing our lives on Quadrant 2 things like relationships, simplicity, and godliness with contentment—a commitment to come out of the busyness of life’s kitchen and into the room where Jesus sits.

The books on this page reflect different aspects of the quest to be more like Mary and less like Martha. Knowing God explores a relationship with God born out “sitting at the Master’s feet.” Freedom of Simplicity is a practical guide to an unencumbered lifestyle. Margin focuses on increasing our reserves in four key areas—emotional energy, physical energy, time, and finances—and offers an overall picture of a healthy life that employs contentment, simplicity, balance, and rest.

Your Life as Art by Robert Fritz. Robert's work is about recognizing what really matters to you, and then creating your life based on that. So in a way, he teaches you to nourish and equip your deepest desires and highest aspirations so that you live a life centered around those. You are a creator, whether you acknowledge it or not. You create your relationships, your attitudes, your surroundings, your career, and yes, music and paintings and inventions and sculptures and books. So why not create the life you really care about? This book is about looking at your own life as a work of art that you create based on what really matters to you.

The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey. Covey’s ideas are so widely circulated that if you don’t read his book, you’ll be at a disadvantage when people start talking about concepts from the book like “win-win” and “synergy.” But that’s not the real reason to read his book. The real reason is that it is one of the absolute greatest distillations of the concepts that it takes to move toward success and effectiveness in every area of life.

Margin by Dr. Richard Swenson. Picture living a life where you didn’t feel overextended. You had the time you needed to spend on things that were important to you; the emotional reserves to develop deep, meaningful relationships; the financial reserves to spend on what would enhance your life and your relationships; and the physical health to be able to do what you love to do. Defining margin as the space that exists between people and their personal limits, Swenson tells us how we’ve squeezed that space out of our lives so that most of us live chronically overextended lives wishing for more time, more energy, more money, and deeper relationships. This book is one of the best books we’ve ever read and it clearly explains how we let margin slip out of our lives, what it does to us as people to live without it, and how we can regain it.

The Overload Syndrome by Dr. Richard Swenson. This book is written like a “prescription” for overloaded lives. Through humor and a great deal of common sense, Swenson shows how you can carve out margin in four key areas of your life: emotional, physical, time and financial. By becoming Goal-Focused and God-Focused, you can unplug and eliminate a large portion of the stress in your life. This book can truly change your life if you follow its “prescriptions” for moving from a life of overload to a life like God intended it to be.

Knowing God. J. I. Packer's Knowing God has become a classic of the Christian faith. Why? While it gives us information about God with clarity and grace, it does much more---it aids us in actually knowing him, in building our relationship with him, and helps draw us closer to him in love and worship.

The Knowledge of the Holy. What is the nature of God? How can we recapture a real sense of God's majesty and truly live in the Spirit. Tozer's The Knowledge of the Holy, a modern classic of Christian testimony and devotion, addresses these and other vital questions, showing us how we can rejuvenate our prayer life, meditate more reverently, understand God more deeply, and experience God's presence in our daily lives.

Freedom of Simplicity. In this book, Richard Foster shows how simplicity is not merely having less stress and more leisure but an essential spiritual discipline for the health of our soul. He provides a way to rethink our priorities and to “seek first God’s kingdom and his righteousness.” He shows us how to live in harmony with the rich complexity of life while stressing the relation of simplicity to prayer, solitude, and all the Christian disciplines.

The Shack. This book is absolutely amazing! My son Seth gave it to me for Christmas and reading it has touched a deep place in my soul and spirit. This book has been a real lamp-post in my journey of searching for truth about why God allows things that are unbearably painful. Not only does Young ask the hard questions about pain that we all have to face at some point in our lives, but he addresses them head-on from a no-nonsense “God is love and that settles it” perspective.

Hailed by Eugene Peterson (author of The Message Bible) as “the Pilgrim’s Progress of our generation,” it will both expand and challenge your pre-conceived ideas of The Trinity, God’s love, and His role in relationship to human suffering. It’s a fantastical journey into the Heart of a Wonderful and Caring Creator who loves to see His children free of pain and unforgiveness so that all hindrances to an intimate relationship can be eliminated. One of my new favorites, I can’t help but call it a must read. This book will change your life!

Juice Plus

I want to spotlight a product I've found that has made a real difference in my health. It's called Juice Plus+ and it is an easy, affordable way to make sure you and your children get all the fruits and vegetables they need.

Juice Plus+ even has a children's health program that lets you get the capsules free for children between the ages of six and fifteen. Plus, there is a family plan to make Juice Plus+ even more affordable. Another bonus is that Juice Plus+ makes a great home business that Moms can run to make money while they're home schooling.

So, check it out by going HERE>>

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Webpages about the importance of reading great books and booklists for children of all ages

Webpages about choosing teaching materials

Webpages about charting a course through high school

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Be a part of our Home Business Incubator!

At Home School Marketplace we are not just about home schooling. We also want to encourage and support you in developing home centered income.

One of the ways we want to do this is by providing you with the opportunity for involvement in businesses that we and other home schooling families develop.

So for years we have thought about creating a home business incubator that home schooling families can participate in.

What is a Business Incubator?

What is a business incubator? A business incubator is a collection of resources designed to help businesses become established and sustainable.

U.S. statistics show that business incubators increase the survival rate of start-ups from 35 percent to 87 percent. This is very, very good news, considering 90% of small businesses fail within their first five years.

We want to create businesses that allow home schooling families to participate in their development and share in their future profits.

Let me assure you that we are not talking about multi-level marketing and we’re not trying to recruit you into becoming some sort of sales force for an existing business.

We are talking about you helping build a traditional business from the ground up. Not only do we have several really good business ideas that we’d like to build a team around, but there are many of you who have some great business ideas who could really use a business incubator.

If you would like to participate in one of our Business Incubators, please GO HERE NOW>>>

CLICK HERE to listen to a teleconference explaining the concept and our vision for a Home School Business Incubator.

Home Business Resources

For years, I have encouraged anyone who wants to create a home business to consider starting a business on the internet. Why? Because an internet business is eas
y to start, doesn't require any special skills, has a very low start-up cost, and takes only a short amount of time to find out if the business is going to be worth pursuing

Any time I've found a product I thought was really helpful, I've recommended it to everyone I know. Here is one of those products.

I studied under Armand Morin for years and he is primarily responsible for my success on the internet. He just released Internet Marketing Explained - the most comprehensive, easy-to-understand course I've ever found about how to start and build any kind of internet business from building an e-Bay store to selling your own products.

Armand's internet companies generate over $15 million dollars a year, so he knows his stuff when it comes to building successful businesses on the internet. In this course he has crammed all the best-of-the-best of all he knows about success on the internet.

So, this is the one and only internet marketing course I recommend right now. It has all you need.

To find out more, go HERE>>

Let Your Mortgage Make You Rich.
A friend in my internet marketing group discovered this technique for paying down your mortgage incredibly quickly without making an extra payment or refinancing. Using her method, people are cutting a 30 year mortgage down to eight or nine years. It’s true; without extra payments or refinancing – you could save tens of thousands of dollars - even hundreds of thousands - on what you pay for your home. And the best part is that the book comes with a money-back guarantee. If you don't save more on your mortgage than the book costs in the first 18 months of using the techniques, you'll get your money back.
Find out more about this money-saving book NOW!

Building the Business of Your Dreams
(8 CD Set)
I've had requests for just the business portion of the From Home School to Home Business Seminar, so have developed a set of the business CDs from that set. It contains 8 CDs and includes sessions on The Entrepreneurial Mind, Multiple Streams of Home Income, Discovering Your Ideal Life and Ideal Business (2 CDs) , Developing a Business Plan (2 CDs), and The Importance of Business Relationships. Plus, there is a very important and insightful interview on Redeeming the Marketplace. Find out about this life-changing set of CDs HERE>>

SALE PRODUCTS! Limited Quantities
30% Off! We only have a few of each of these left.

We have the following WIN books available: The Reluctant Writer, Comprehensive Story Writing, Writing Man 1 & 2, and WIN Twin.

For more information and to place an order,

Home School Resources

I Saw the Angel in the Marble

With over 4,000 copies sold in just a few months, I Saw the Angel in the Marble is becoming a home schooling best seller!

This book represents the best of 15 years of Elijah Company articles. Find our more HERE>>

Turning Hearts: Davis Seminar Set (8 CDs)

The Best of Chris and Ellyn Davis, this set contains seminars given by Chris and Ellyn Davis of The Elijah Company at home schooling conventions. The set contains all of the favorites that home schoolers ask for over and over. People have told us this set of CDs changed their lives. Find out more about them HERE>>

Angel in the Marble/Davis Seminars Set
Order a combination of I Saw the Angel in the Marble and the Davis Seminars CDs HERE>>

From Home School to Home Business
(14 CD Set)

If you missed one of our From Home School to Home Business Conferences, you missed a great time.People who have attended tell us that it changed their lives—not only in the area of home schooling, but also in the area of creating their own sources of home income.This set is huge and filled with useful and encouraging information about how to be successful at home schooling and at home business! Find out more about this life-changing set of CDs HERE>>

Building the Home School of Your Dreams

Building the Home School of Your Dreams is a 6 CD set taken from the From Home School To Home Business Seminar and features sessions by Chris Davis and Mary Hood. Find out more HERE>>

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