Encourage THINKING–Not the Thought!

Practice Parenting

“Children must be taught how to think, not what to think.”

We think that when our children are small we want to encourage them TO THINK.

We delight in all their funny thoughts and repeat every witty comment every said over a meal or to a grandparent!

When Scott said to my sister, “Why doesn’t God just kill the devil? Oh I know! He has that pitch forky thing!” I thought we would double over laughing. The theology did not worry us! The four-year-old was  THINKING!!!!

They make home runs and we CHEER! They strike out and we say, “You’ll get ‘em next time!” Most of all, when they are young we are the BIGGEST cheerleaders. They make a 100 on their spelling test and we see visions of ‘writer’ in their future. They flunk a math test and we cross ‘engineer’ off the list of…

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A New Year: Thrive 2018 (Day One)

Sara Burt

a-new-year-thriveWe all have a story and your story matters. Your story tells the history of your journey with Christ and speaks to the beauty of humanity. We engage in sharing our stories because our stories connect us. As the New Year begins, we want to be women who embrace new beginnings. We serve a God of second chances, and what better opportunity than the New Year to encourage one another to risk hoping for a new beginning!

Through the years, God has taught the women at Taylor’s Valley Baptist Church immeasurable truths about Himself and how our connections matter. Our connections often provide the fuel for vulnerability, a trait necessary for new starts. Over the next 31 days you will meet 31 different women sharing 31 different stories. Our hope is that by sharing our stories, we will show God’s faithfulness in our everyday lives and encourage you to look for God in…

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Why I choose PACES PAideia

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Why I choose PACES PAideia to educate my kids.

I’ve been home educating since 1997, coming up on 20 years. We have 8 kids, and have graduated three from homeschooling with PACES, each of which have gone on to higher education. We started our PACES journey in January of 2004. Right in the middle of Year 3…the Pilgrims.

Every summer, usually right about this time, I look at my husband and say, “Why can’t we just do this at home and stop doing PACES? I’m exhausted and the thought of gearing up for another school year just leaves me wanting to hide in bed”

To which he wisely replies, “Erin, you say this every July. Whether you realize it or not, PACES is for you too.” He has taught me to see the joy is in the struggle, and that the learning is not the only end game, it’s about so much more than books and papers. It’s about community, accountability, fellowship, growth, working collectively to solve problems and answer questions. Helping others and encouraging others in their journey. We are made for community. PACES provides that for both our kids AND the parents.

Due to a bad car accident, I missed the last day of school in May and haven’t been able to get my head around what the fall will look like. Today, my mentor, founder and director of PACES PAideia, Dr. Johnnie K. Seago, answered my request when I asked her to send me a calendar for the school year. She followed up by sending me all the reading lists and project requirements for our Year FOUR term. More than 50 pages to print off. When I first saw all the attachments, I wanted to hide, to quit. Then, as the printer in my husband’s office started printing them out….something happened.

Not only did I see thousands of words on those pages, I saw thousands of collective hours that the mommas I LOVE have poured into this program. This program is not a franchise (at least not yet), it’s a GOLD MINE and the Best Kept Secret in Houston because of the countless hours so many brilliant and hard working moms, who LOVE their kids and BELIEVE in the Classical Education Model, have devoted to these charts and our events.

Teachers like me are blessed because of champion warrior moms like Rachelle Davis, who is walking through one the biggest trials of her large family’s life after having lost everything in a massive flood in Simonton. Rachelle WON’T QUIT. Her hard work behind the scenes has set so many of us up for success this year. If Rachelle doesn’t quit, neither can I.

I don’t quit because of another champion warrior momma, Melana Monroe, who also has walked through the biggest trial of her family’s life this year when four of her six adult kids were diagnosed with cancer and all had to had their stomachs removed. Melana didn’t quit. I can’t quit either.

I don’t quit because of Warrior Momma, JoAnn Harmon, whose husband mysteriously just lost all feeling in his legs from the waist down and is now hospitalized while the doctors try to figure out what’s going on. JoAnn doesn’t quit. I can’t quit either.

I NEED to be around THESE type of women. They are ROCKS.

You see, I am around lots of homeschooling moms, I have been in these circles now for 2 decades. I see a lot of people come and go from group to group, co-op to co-op, over differences of opinions, or tastes, or how their kids were or were not getting along with others. I am here to tell you, that there is a VALUE in planting your flag and STAYING. Building a root system that will sustain you when the storms of life hit you. Struggling WITH others to figure out how to teach your 11 year old how to read, or your 5 year old how to sit still, or your 16 year old how to convert fractions to decimals. We stay together, not judging one another, but helping and serving alongside each other.

Finally, we stay with PACES because our adult children are the fruit. They each grew up in PACES and were home educated from pre-K on. Each went off to college and are pursuing more higher learning. They are solid, strong, and wise young adults who are each charting their own future course while also teaching or tutoring others in some capacity.

We have five more at home, with grandchildren now coming up through the ranks. We are excited about another year in PACES with NEW faces to Love on, and NEW books to explore together. If you are thinking about PACES PAideia, are currently on the fence, or have ANY questions at all about the program specifics, please message me. I would love to help CHEER you ON this year!!!

We are stronger together!!!

Visit http://www.pacesinfo.org  for more information on this program if you live in the Greater Houston area.

The Unexpected Journey

I was at this wedding 26 years ago. Stacey was my role model. My neighbor growing up, my “big sister”. She is a model of grace and dignity and I am so blessed to call her friend. Take a moment to read this beautifully transparent post and be blessed TODAY. Thank you Lord that you hold tomorrow in the palm of your hands.

The Rusty Coop


Right now, exactly 26 years ago, I was sitting in the bridal room at Sagemont Church waiting to be wed to my best friend whom I had dated for over ten years. We had done everything “right”. We had followed all of “the rules” of dating in a Baptist church and upbringing. We had planned an amazing future together that would be made easier by our amazing families, friends, college degrees from Texas A&M University, and lifelong planning for our futures.
There was literally nothing I would have changed about that moment in time. We celebrated our wedding day with 450 guests, family members, and friends. We had been extremely blessed for our entire lives leading up to that moment.  I am thankful that I did not know what the future held for me on that day. I was able to bask in God’s abundant blessings on that day. There…

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Sowing Seeds


You-See-Seeds-but-I-See-the-Trees“He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness.” 2 Corinthians 9:10

What seeds have you been given?

In late December of 2015 I was blessed to cross paths with the Patriot Journalist Network, where I met the founder, Mark Prasek.  As a former coach, I quickly learned that his passion is to add value to others, and whether he realizes it or not,

he is influencing the influencers.

By providing a 24/7 forum online, like-minded people who are burdened for our nation, can come together and make a difference collectively online.  During several chat room discussions with the other members, Mark set an important example.  He encouraged others to use what you have already been given.


As I was praying for my family, church, community, and nation, the Lord pricked my…

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There is nothing like a good coach to teach you to live a life with no excuses! Excellent post!


People who are good at making excuses are seldom good at anything else.

If a coach is to build a winning team, excuses must be eliminated – PERIOD. It’s the first and foundational step to building personal accountability. Excuses are born of FAILURE. Failure is the opposite of success. If we’re going to move toward success, there can be no excuse for excuses.

Let’s look at the anatomy of excuses.

We’ve established that failure is the incubator of excuses. Failure is undesirable, so we must rationalize – that is, tell ourselves rational lies – it away. Otherwise the failure is attributed to us and our self esteem is diminished. Excuses are more than a method of avoiding the consequences of our choices, they are a defense mechanism to preserve our self esteem.

Excuses form a bridge between the practical and the hypothetical. They obfuscate the observed factual evidence and introduce…

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The Heartbeat


6:00 am.

The alarm and the toddler both wake me up.  I stumble to the coffee maker and reach for my cell phone to listen to the daily audible Bible, while loading a full dishwasher.

The morning was harried and stressful.  It was the first day back to our weekly homeschool program after a long Christmas break.  Each of my kids arise and are dressing for the day.  Still dark outside, the air was piercingly frigid.  We busily hunted for shoes, jackets, and backpacks while we frantically rushed to pack seven lunches.

7:30 am.

We arrive at our destination and start unloading the van.

As the kids make their way to chapel, I visit with other moms. So far, a normal day for us.  My reluctant toddler decides school isn’t for her today, so I’m dealing with clinging hands, trying to coax her into her room.

My class starts in…

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To You Alone




Words and music by Joseph P. Lichnovsky © 2016

To you alone

Jesus I surrender all

Answer to the call

Though my feet may fall

A thousand times

Your love has rescued me again

Cleansed me from all sin

My heart belongs to you

And you alone

Forever the blood of suffering adorned the tree


The broken flesh

Forgiveness manifest eternally


Who could comprehend such selfless love?

Across the great expanse of time

Pure compassion drank this bitter cup

For a sinner such as I



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