Happy Homeschool Tips From a Happy Homeschool Mama

“To teach is to touch a life forever.”

I don’t know who said that, but it was given to me on a beautiful heart plague over twenty years ago from one of my music students. I have it hanging on my wall and I believe it with all my heart!

If you are reading this blog, it is either because you want to become a home school family or, due to the Covid19 Pandemic, you are seeking to home school temporarily or permanently. Whatever the reason, I am very happy to try and offer you any help that you may need.

I am not a home school expert, there are many out there who have done this longer and have gained many more years of experience. I also do not believe that my methods of doing things are the only ways of doing things. Every family is different and so what I recommend is to read this through and see if there are any ideas which might work for you or ideas that you could alter to fit your family’s needs and learning styles.

I hope to make this an enjoyable experience for you! So, let’s begin!

The very first thing that is important to say is… believe in yourself! You can do this!

I know that in the beginning, I was nervous about it because I wondered, “Will I provide my children with a strong, quality education that covers all they need to know? Will I be able to give them the education in this competitive world that will stand strong when put to the test?”

Yes! You can and you will!

I began teaching music and directing choirs when I was a teen and as time went on I taught and directed dozens of kids and adults but only in music. Even though I had years of teaching experience, I was concerned that I would be able to expand my teaching abilities to other subjects. What I learned was, the more I taught the other subjects, the more I learned how to do it.  It was the process of teaching that taught me how to be a teacher! Not only that, I also learned so much and loved every minute of it!

There will be things that you will remember from school, there will be some things that you need some refreshing on and there will be some topics that you never learned at all. It’s all good! Learning together will be one of the bonds that you will form with your children through homeschooling!

I know those paragraphs are not going to build instant confidence in you, but I hope to keep encouraging you as we go along!

Before we go forward, let’s talk about one extremely important element… attitude. If you are choosing to home school your children then this shouldn’t be a problem, but if you are doing it because of necessity or in some cases you have no other option, it is so important that you maintain a healthy, happy attitude when with your precious students. Think back to your school days. Did you have a favorite teacher? If you did, I am quite sure that some of the reasons why they were your favorite was because of the joy they brought to the classroom. Their excitement to teach and for you to learn was contagious! They had a great attitude about teaching and successfully conveyed that to you. They inspired you, motivated you, encouraged you. Let these words be something you add to your daily routine with your children.

It is also very important if you have to home school and it is not something you want to do, please make sure you are careful to guard those emotions from your child. You do not want at any point and time to convey to your child that teaching them is a burden that you do not want so the child never feels like your homeschooling them is their fault or something that you resent. Remember, it is not their choice so keep to kindness and protect the hearts of your young ones.

Having said that, there will be days when the frustration might spill out. Allow yourself room for those mistakes and just be honest with your children let them know that just like they are learning new things in school, you are learning new things in how to school them. I was always completely honest with my children and found that they respected me for my honesty and didn’t look at my shortcomings like I did. They were very forgiving when I would lose it and they it also was so good for them to learn from me how to say, “I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have done that,” or, “I’m sorry, I made a mistake, please forgive me.” Learning how to apologize to your children when you have those moments is going to teach them how to properly apologize to others and how to forgive and  that is a very good thing!

Everyday when you wake up to get ready to teach your children, make sure that you take some time to prepare yourself mentally and emotionally. Teaching will test you—daily, so be sure that you are prepared daily to pass those tests.

Prayer and time in the Word of God are the best ways to prepare yourselves.
I open my morning by reading a chapter of the Bible and spending time in prayer for my day. I ask for help, direction wisdom and that I will handle my children with the same loving kindness that God handles me. I give thanks for my three precious children and I give thanks for the opportunity, no, the privilege to teach them. Home schooling is, in my opinion a blessed privilege. Teaching my children has created a bond with them that I never imagined nor experienced before. I hope that you will find that bond as well through this process.

To have the freedom to teach your own children is such a blessing. You are able to fill them daily with the faith, values and ideals that your family holds dear. You are able to protect them better from bullying and build confidence and strength in them that they cannot receive from anyone else because anyone else is not their mother or father and no other human means more to them than you.

I do want to make note before I get to my tips, that I am in no way against public, charter,  or private schools. I absolutely loved my school days from grade school to college and I really liked my teachers, though, I admit, my high school days had some rougher times. I just want to be clear that I am not against regular schools and I do believe that children can thrive and flourish in them! I just wanted to able to explain to you that there are also so many benefits your children can receive from homeschooling with you.

Now! Let’s get into some tips that can create a happy homeschooling environment.

Affidavit

Before you doing anything, make sure that you file a home school affidavit with your state. All you need to do is Google: Home school Affidavit along with your state’s name and you will find links to direct you to download the affidavit and where to send it.

Understanding State Requirements

I cannot speak about what happens in any other states, I can only say that in the state of Arizona there are no requirements that you need to meet as far as grading or testing during the elementary years. I know that might sound a bit strange, but I have asked that question to dozens of other home school mothers and home school organization Presidents and have been told the same answer.  I have always used the Spectrum test prep series and I also that I found online test preps that I used at the end of the year with my children to make sure they were on track with what the state would be expecting and that they were scoring well. Of course, they will all have to take the SAT’s and there are some excellent online prep classes for this as well which I will discuss later on.

Home School Organizations

During the time of Covid, home school organizations and their activities might look a bit different. However, if you Google for local home school organizations around your area they are still helpful because they offer all kinds of resources for home school families. We are member of AFHE Arizona Families for Homeschool Education and for a $45 a year membership we can receive all kinds of online tutorials, journals, magazines and access to group activities. If you don’t think you will make home schooling a permanent change for your family then you might not want to join an organization, but if you do want to make home-schooling the choice for your family you can really gain a lot of inside and make some beautiful relationships through these groups!

Learning Environment

If it is at all possible, you need to establish an area of your home to be your “classroom”.

If you do not have an entire room to devote to this area do not worry, you just need to be able to have a place where the children can learn, decorate, store their books and supplies that they can call their classroom. Allowing your children to be part of setting up this space will help them not only feel part of creating their “school” but will get them excited about it. Allow them to create a name and perhaps a mascot like the family pet for their new school. Let them choose school colors and come up with an alma mater! This can be great fun for you all to create!

There are, of course, all kinds of classroom posters, wall art, bulletin board decor, etc. to be found on Amazon, or Google, but you can also find local shops in the states online which will be beneficial to you. I was blessed to have a Lakeshore School Supply store up the road from me and that is where we go for many classroom and curriculum needs.

Which brings me to my next subject…

Curriculum

Depending on what state you live, you may find different requirements for different grades. Still, for elementary grades there will be basic topics that are pretty general in all states: reading/comp, writing, spelling, math, science, social studies, humanities studies (art, music, etc.) and history. When I first began teaching, I would look up the requirements for several different states, my home state, a state on the west coast and a state on the east coast to get an idea of the standards across the country. Once I knew all that was out there and the basics that the children needed to know, I decided how I was going to structure my children’s education. Take note! This is just what I personally decided to do. You might have your own ideas or just want to focus upon what the requirements are for your state are. There is nothing wrong with that!

I did some research on many different curriculum varieties that are out there and have experimented here and there, these are some of my favorites for when the children were in their younger days:

Comprehensive Curriculum

Brain Quest

Spectrum

These books held all my children’s attention well with each subject and gave them a strong foundation to build upon for the higher grades to come.

Some of my other favorite curriculum for higher grades have included:

Classical Conversations – for a variety of subjects, but I loved the writing program!

Saxon Math Curriculum

Mission Generation – for history and Biblical worldview

Those are just a few places you might like to review. There are countless other resources that you can find online and I do suggest you take some time to do the research for what will be the best fit for your family.

I was also very blessed to be surround by women who had home schooled their children and had so many varieties of curriculum donated to me. I got TONS of stuff!!! and had a luxury of experimenting with what worked and what didn’t at little or sometimes no cost to me at all. I know that probably won’t be the case for most of you reading this, so I encourage you, take time to pray about it and do your research. You know your children better than anyone else in this world. You know how they learn, what they gravitate toward, what inspires them. I am sure than when you take a look at the vast varieties of curriculum out there, you will know what will work best for your family. Some of the ones I have listed may not work for you. Every family is different, every child is different and may learn differently and that is okay!

Online Resources

While most parents don’t just want to leave their younger ones to learn with just themselves and a computer, still there are many wonderful resources that can be found online or through YouTube which can be extremely beneficial to home school families.

YouTube is full of instructional videos that are so helpful in all subjects. One of my kids’ favorite channels is “Crash Course”, but there are hundreds videos that can be found for any subject from learning proper table manners to science projects, reading games, history lessons and math tutoring. Of course, parents need to go in and preset their laptops and YouTube channels to prevent any inappropriate material from popping up… I say this from experience! It’s amazing what some completely innocent words can bring up without child guards! But I do recommend utilizing YouTube and also GodTube as an excellent resource for home school kids.

There are also some fantastic computer games that we bought for our children and they couldn’t wait to play everyday and learned so much from. These are software programs that would need to be installed on a laptop or home computer.

Brain Play by Scholastic offers a variety of levels of games for reading, math, science and typing. My kids loved the Clifford reading carnival when they were little and learned to read quickly with the help of this fun filled game. I recommend visiting the scholastic website to see if there would be some software which would be a good fit for your family. www.scholastic.com 

We also loved the Leap Frog software games and DVD’s.
leapfrog.com

We also enjoyed software programs from these companies:

Encyclopedia Britannica Children’s Learning Suite
Innovative Knowledge
iLakeshore
The Learning Company (Reader Rabbit and Blue’s ABC Time were favorites here!)
and Hooked on Spanish software

I also want to highly recommend to you Khan Academy. This is a totally free online schooling program that was created, I believe, by the Disney Corporation. They have all kinds of classes and AP classes for high school and they even provide tutorials for college classes.

I was thrilled that my husband found this site because I was not confident to teach my kids their high school algebra and geometry. With Khan Academy you can track your child’s progress and you receive weekly emails to let you know of their accomplishments, weaknesses and strengths per subject.

They also offer some really incredible classes to teach children algebraic equations through the means of computer animation like in their “Pixar in a Box” class and also “Storytelling” in which the project is for the child to design a theme park attraction as if they were really going to build it. They have to calculate speed, timing, persons that can ride, etc. My kids loved this! It was some serious STEM learning in disguise!

Here is the link if you would like to use it! https://www.khanacademy.org/

Public Libraries

I don’t know if all public libraries are fully functioning in your area, but when they are, they are a fantastic place to inspire your children’s learning. Not only can you enjoy checking out books, but you also can use their online computer learning games and some libraries provide the “reading to dogs” program. Ours even had a reading to miniature horses program which the kids LOVED. They also offer reading challenges where children can earn prizes, which you can also do on your own at home!

We often drew out a “thermometer” for each child and then when they read a book, we colored in the thermometer until they reached the top. When they did, they got a special treat like a happy meal from McDonald’s (bleh) or an ice cream from Dairy Queen (yum!).

Libraries also have a fantastic online resource program that you can ask about and be trained on easily. This system can be used for research, personal reading or even videos. Our library often held events for lego clubs and art classes back in the days before Covid, and I am quite sure they will have those again. Many libraries also offer for children to “check out” seed packets. These don’t have to brought back, of course, but it an excellent way for kids to get excited about growing plants at home. This is something my kids love, I have some natural born farmers!

Another excellent program many local libraries provide are “Culture Passes”. Not all libraries methods of providing these passes are the same, but our library allows us to be able to check out two passes at a time to visit certain museums. This helps home school families get the kids out, when they feel safe to do so, and explore the wonderful museums of your state. I always loved taking my children on “field trips” and some of our favorite home school memories have been made during these trips together. I highly recommend you checking into the cultural passes!

In addition to museums be sure to check and see if your state have cultural gardens that you can visit. In Arizona we had the Chinese Cultural center, which was gorgeous and we also have the Japanese Cultural Garden, the Butterfly and the Botanical Gardens. These locations in additions to any farms you can get them to make for excellent field trips and wonderful memories!

Schedule and Structure

Another one of the lovely elements of homeschooling is that you have total control over your schedule and the structure of how your child’s schooling is done.

I will share with you our family’s schedule which is just to provide an example of how freeing homeschooling can be, but it is just an example. You know what is best for your family. You might even set up a schedule and as you go long see the needs for alterations and you have the freedom to make those adjustments to meet the needs of your family!

I would like to explain also that one of the main reasons I began homeschooling was because my daughter, MaCaedyn, was involved in an accident when she was two months old that left her with a sleeping disorder. Thank God that was all she had! Still, her disorder has it’s direct affects upon her and the rest of us in the home. Without going into all the details of her condition, I will just say that I did not know how she would function in regular school. Nor did I know how my other children would function because so many nights when MaCaedyn was young she would wake up the whole household.

This was how we began home schooling, it made sense to try it and I am so thankful that I have been able to do it ever since!

Schedule

Our family gets up probably a little later than most, we have our breakfast, do our chores and the kids have to practice their piano all before we begin school. Usually we start school at 11:00am. Through experience I learned that my children were not at all as focused early in the morning as they were at 11am. Once I started schooling them at this time, I learned that it was a good fit for us. We break for lunch around 2pm and finish around 4:00pm unless the girls need more time for some of their high school math classes, which now as a senior and sophmore, they always do.

These days, I have my kids cook their own lunch and I use that time to read aloud to them from a favorite novel or new novel while they cook and eat. It is very relaxing and helps with their listening skills.

When the children were younger I usually was able to accomplish all their work in a four hour time frame.

In addition to being able to start and end during the days, you also have the freedom to choose when you start and ending your school year.

My family currently lives in Phoenix, Arizona and if you don’t know about the summers in Phoenix they are HOT. Actually, hot doesn’t cut it. How about, sweltering, melting, excruciating, days spent in a/c? You get the picture. Let’s just say it like this, there have been summer Sundays when we were able to cook a tin of brownies on our dashboard while attending the morning church service.

If you are blessed enough to have a pool then you might to elect to keep your kids on the same school schedule that the public schools run on. We don’t have a pool and never have, so I wanted to see what it would be like to home school through the summer while we are stuck inside with the air conditioning where it is cool. We always joked that our kids were vampires during the summer because they only went out to play after sunset!

I start my school year the third week January because our family also has a nonprofit organization for children in need called The Huggabear Children’s Project, Inc. and I have to get all of my Christmas decorations down (which can easily take a week) and close out our contributions reports and send them out to our contributors for their taxes. Once we begin, we go through the summer, taking a little time here and there if we have a trip or special event, but mostly plowing right though until Halloween. The kids know that on October 30th, they are done for a while and we take off November, December and the weeks I need in January.

I can only speak for our family, but I can tell you, this is AMAZING! The weather is fantastic! There are so many things to go and do outside and we can just totally and completely enjoy the entire holiday season without any of the usual stresses of school.

I did learn to change my children’s grades at the end of July, let them have a week off and then come back into their next grade in August so that they would be on the correct grade level for their age. This made it easier when participating in church or sports events etc. where the children are often broken down by their grade.

Again, you will find out what works best for your family. The beauty of homeschooling is that there is no right or wrong way, it is YOUR way! As long as your children are learning what they will need to be able to score well on their SAT’s or other test scores needed for college, you can do what works best for you!

Structure

When setting up your day, try to give the children something they will look forward to. I’m sure you had a certain class that you looked forward to everyday, so try to create something each day that will be exciting for your children.

When my kids were young we had time for our “book work” where we did the reading, writing and arithmetic. But then each day there was something special outside of the usual required book materials like, music, art, science experiments, field trip, building, gardening, or having a video day. Whatever you decide, remember there is no right or wrong way, just allow yourself leeway that if something you try doesn’t work after a while, you can try something new.

This is not something that most teachers in classroom environments can do. If they have a large group, they have to think in mass, but you can think smaller… unless you have a lot of children! Be creative! Think out of the box! You don’t have to conform to what you knew in a classroom at all times. There are times when you need to have some regular classroom structure so that when your child grows up and enters college they are prepared for it, but when they are little, learning should be fun, inspiring and something they are excited to do. You can do that better than anyone else because you know your children better than anyone else!

Another blessing of the structure of how you teach your children is that they can also have the freedom to move at their own pace. All three of my children completely skipped over grades of certain subjects, depending on how quickly they absorbed the material. For example, Samuel is incredible at science and so he is currently doing the high school science curriculum with his sisters. Samuel is in 8th grade, MaCaedyn is currently a sophmore and Aven is a senior. I will keep teaching him other science programs as we go along because he absorbs it so well. You have the freedom to allow your children to do that when homeschooling. They are not structured in the way that they have to move at the same pace as the rest of the class. THEY are the class! So if there is a subject they excel at and want to move passed their age, let them go!

On a side note if, there is some healthy competition in your kids, this might be a benefit to you. My MaCaedyn always wanted to keep up with her sister who was two years older than she was. This was not something I inspired but when I saw how hard she would work like in learning her times tables or in her reading, I let her do it! It inspired both girls to keep working hard and there was no animosity or jealousy that came from it, all was done with good healthy efforts to strive forward!

Physical Education

I know that right now it is a challenging time for kids who want to engage in group sports due to Covid. If your child is unable to participate in a group sport they want to attend, invest in what you can and take them to the park. Buy the baseball bat, ball and glove, or the football or soccer ball and if you don’t know how to play these sports, watch the YouTube videos to learn some of the basic techniques they would learn. This is not just good for the child, it is good for you! You might learn something new and find that you also enjoy it!

There are also excellent YouTube classes for dance, Zumba, martial arts, boxing, or just regular workouts! Take them on bike rides or get some roller blades, buy a corn hole game or Bocce ball! Buy some tennis or racket ball rackets and go to the park! Walmart offers quite a good selection of sporting needs at reasonable prices that will help you.

If you are blessed to have a pool, get on YouTube and study different swim styles and their techniques. We have had volleyball nets and badminton nets along with croquet and golf and enjoyed every minute of it together. When things get better with Covid —and they will get better, you will find that there are so many different activities your children can do which can easily fill the space that they will have while homeschooling. One of our children is a second degree black belt in TKD, another is a first degree black belt in TKD and plays basketball, and the oldest was an Excel level diamond gymnast. Trust me, there are a lot of organized sports that can easily fill the need your children has for physical education outside of being in a school!

Home Skill Learning

Education is not limited to books or online resources. Never underestimate all of the life skills that you can teach your children. Things like, doing the dishes one day, helping you with the laundry one day, sweeping and working outside on the grounds of the home, keeping their room clean are all excellent for home care education. We have always had a chore wheel where the kids would spin to see what chore they would do that day. The chores can increase as the child ages, but it will teach them all how to take care of things in their home presently so they will have a better understanding of how to care for their own home in the future.

Having your children learning how to cook in the kitchen with you is also a wonderful way for them to learn and to develop skills that they will need. For the younger children simple tasks like helping measure ingredients (which teaches fractions) or washing fruits and vegetables, running water in pans, all of these things can be fun for children and will expose them early to the joy of cooking. Who knows? It might reveal any undetected culinary talents they may have!

I also take one child at a time with me when it is grocery shopping day. Well, right now my husband is doing the shopping during the Covid season. Every two weeks I went and we planned it out for the year on the calendar so that we could know whose turn it was. Before we went shopping I had the kids help me take “inventory” of what we had and what we needed and we created a list. I taught them that sometimes there might be a few things here and there that are not on the list but to try and stay disciplined to just the items on the list so they didn’t overspend. I also told them our budget and had them help me keep a tally of the items as we shopped so that we were able to always stay on budget–and I mean always! We do great! These are all important life skills that kids need to know!

Josh also teaches them various skills with car for our cars and other household items so they are learning how to care for the things they will someday own. Speaking of cars, that is a great place for learning! We keep trivia cards of American history in the doors of our vehicles, Brain Quest has some great car trivia games and sometimes on longer trips we would break those out. Listening to audio books, musicals or teaching your children about different genres of music can all be done together in a car and makes your time driving much more fun!

The Blessings of Home Schooling

I know that there are probably many more things I will think of to add this blog after I post it, but I do hope what I have written here will give you some happy tips for creating a happy home school for your children.

I also want to encourage you to Google your state and join whatever home school organization you may like. Even if you don’t attend any of their events, they are always giving out emails and sometimes journal posts that offer excellent ideas and advice.

Just remember that no one knows your children better than you. You know how they learn and what they love to learn. You know their schedules and personalities, their strengths and their weaknesses better than any teacher ever would. You just might find that being your child’s teacher can be a tremendous blessing –not a burden and can develop an even stronger bond with your child than before. I feel that way. I am so thankful for every single day that I have had with my precious babies and I am thankful beyond words that I have had the blessing to educate them. And yes, I still feel that way even though they are all teenagers! TRUE, the teenager is a different creature! But you will find that so much of your child’s innocence will remain longer because it is not being taken away from them by other kids who don’t share the same values as your family.

I will close with this, I have done much research through the years on this topic and have read many different articles about it. Home schooled children grow into adults who will stand strong in their faith. The most recent study I found says that 87% of adults who were home schooled are very strong in their Christian values and beliefs of the Bible.

This is not to cast a shadow upon children who are not home schooled in any way. It is still a very important fact that was significant for me that I wanted to share because of everything that I teach my children every single day, nothing, absolutely nothing is as important as teaching them the Word of God, the power that comes from memorizing and speaking it and also the power of prayer. I get to do that. I get that blessing and I cherish it. That doesn’t mean that my children or home schooled children are better Christians than other children, I don’t make those kinds of comparisons, that is not healthy, just or even true. It is just very important to me that my children have a close personal relationship with Jesus Christ and their Heavenly Father God, Jehovah and that is a responsibility that I want to have. My husband, Josh and I are unified in leading our children down the path of Jesus’s love and it is a blessing that I am able to do every day through homeschooling.

I do hope this blog has brought you a little bit of help and should you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to ask! thehuggabears@gmail.com

May God richly bless, keep and direct you and your family during this time and thank you so much for reading!

 

 

 

 

Covid19 Pandemic – Entry 5 “The Soldiers of World War C”

World War C has begun. It is a war between Covid19 and citizens of the world.

The virus has no racism, prejudices, or preferences. If you are alive, that’s reason enough for it to attack you.

Those who are on “The Front” are not soldiers of the Army or Marines, they are not sailors in the Navy or the Coast Guard, and they are not pilots in the Air Force.

They do not carry rifles, they carry stethoscopes and thermometers.
They do not defend with tanks, but with ventilators.

They cannot order an airstrike before they send in boots on the ground, because they cannot see their foe.

These soldiers do not wear helmets or armor. They wear “P.P.E.”, masks, rubber gloves, and protective robes–and there is not enough of what they need. Still, united together and standing strong, they gather the defenses they have and engage in battle.

They have no refuge, no bunkers, no forts. There is no place they can retreat because their enemy is everywhere all over the world. For these soldiers there is no rest, there is no pause, and at present it seems as if there is no end. The battles rage on every minute, every hour, every day on a global scale.

The attack of the enemy crept in slowly at first. Many didn’t believe it was real… some still don’t. But these soldiers, even though they are afraid and even when they know they are outnumbered, have boldly answered the call for help and have stepped forward in courage to the front as their enemy spreads like wildfire.

Acting while scared displays the greatest form of courage. These soldiers are all the best of us, willingly putting their own lives at risk and displaying through their diligence the very definitions of bravery, compassion, and giving.

Right before our eyes “World War C” against Covid 19 is taking place. It is a new type of war, and a new type of soldier who says, “I am here to help you.” These soldiers don’t stop fighting because our enemy is invisible and constantly attacking, showing no mercy to any it encounters.

Covid 19 has been called “The Great Equalizer” taking old and young, rich and poor,
weak and strong, in people of every nation, of every race, of every faith and gender. All are prey to its destruction.

This enemy does not sleep. It does not stop. It shows no mercy and seeks to devour all that it encounters. But these soldiers will not quit. They know there is no military leave during this war, and they know the troop numbers are limited.

These soldiers are fighting the good fight with what resources of weaponry they have…
but the demand is greater than the supply and the weapons of warfare are scarce.

Though these soldiers are constantly calling for reinforcements for their kind of ammunition, production is gradual and some cannot be rushed.  Every weapon of defense must be created and tested with perfect functionality. There is no margin for error. All weapons must suffice the needs of the soldiers or else the fatalities will continue to increase.

As they days pass by and the numbers of those attacked by the enemy rise, it seems as if these soldiers will never see an end to World War C. I am quite sure they all feel totally overwhelmed, exhausted and scared.

They need our help.

Our doctors, nurses, first-responders, medical workers, care givers, hospital staff, all those who are facing the deadly Covid19 virus have been transformed overnight into soldiers and they are all facing it with courage, compassion, intelligence, creativity and excellence.

Every night after I tuck my kids in bed, yes, I am tucking in my teenagers with hugs and kisses on the head, I think of how blessed we are to be living in a place that is safe and peaceful. Yet, as I lay my head down to rest, all I can think about are these amazing soldiers on the front and what battles of hell they are constantly engaging in while the rest of us sleep.

So what I can I do to help them?

I don’t have funds to send.
I don’t have the medical equipment they need nor can I produce any.
I don’t have any knowledge that I can pass along to anyone trying to find a cure.
I don’t have the ability protect them.
I don’t have the means to give them any professional or sufficient hands on assistance.

So what can I do?

The best that I can do is stay home and pray.

I have a relationship and a direct line to the throne room of an incredible, powerful, loving, giving God who is still on His throne.

I have had dozens of personal miracles from my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ! His power has not changed.

I can go to the Bible, the Word of God, the truth of God, and I can read the scriptures aloud, calling out for help.

I can read them out to Jehovah Jireh, our provider, Philippians 4:19 “And my God will supply every need of yours according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”, to provide all the needs of these soldiers.

Jehovah Shammah, God with us, and know, without doubt that He will fulfill His promises. Genesis 28:15 “I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go.”

There is power in prayer and those of us who understand that, and know how to boldly enter into the throne room of God, need to be calling out day, night and the minutes in between (1 Thessalonians 5:17 “Pray without Ceasing”) for these soldiers, these incredible, amazing, courageous doctors, nurses and care givers. John 15:7 “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.”

We can intercede for them everyday and take their requests to Yahweh, our Mighty God.
We can ask the Holy Spirit to bring them strength, wisdom, and peace that passes all understanding.

Isaiah 41:10 “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

Isaiah 41:10 “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

Philippians 4:7 “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

We can pray and ask the Lord Jesus to pour out His power of healing that He gave us through the stripes He bore upon His back.

Isaiah 53:5 “But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed.”

Prayer and staying home are the best we can do to help these troops as they battle
World War C.

Intercessors. Prayer warriors. They need us. Let’s not fail them.

 

 

 

 

 

Covid 19 Pandemic – Entry 4 “Covid19 and the Ten Plagues. A Timing Observation.”

As I sit down to write this blog, my first thought, as is every thought right now, is upon all those in the world who are battling the Covid19 virus. Whether that be as patients, doctors, nurses (soldiers), medical or post death care workers, government leaders, whoever you are, our family’s constant thoughts and constant prayers are with you every single day.

Quarantine Life has brought a few changes for our family, but not like most. I home school my three children so we were not affected in the least in that way. I also work from home, so again, I wasn’t affected in that way either.

Right now, we are healthy, strong, and grateful. How we have been affected by Covid19 is in the same way as millions of people all over the globe. We are staying home. Quarantined. No basketball games. No outside lessons. No church or youth events. No Huggabear Children’s Project, Inc. events. No concerts or performances anywhere. No (regular) shopping. No dining out. No libraries. No movies. No parties or social events of any kind… you understand. BUT! We are thankful to be healthy and alive and not suffering like so many hundreds of thousands of people in our world today. May God bless them all.

While I have had this time without any extra running around or activities, I have had more time to read, study, write, sing, and create–which I love doing.

In order for you to get a better understanding of what I am going to write in this post, I need to explain a few things. First, one of my favorite nonfiction authors is Rabbi Jonathan Cahn who is a Christian Rabbi of New Jersey and founder of Hope of the World ministries.  www.HopeOfTheWorld.org

Rabbi Cahn has a church in New Jersey and is a New York Times best selling author. He has written several books and I, ironically, got the last one and am working my way backward to the first! His other works include, The Harbinger, The Mystery of the Shemitah, The Book of Mysteries, The Paradigm, and then most recently, The Oracle.

I highly recommend these books to anyone who is a believer in God and His Holy Word, the Bible. They will enlighten you in ways that I can’t describe well enough in written words. What reading his books has done for me is opened my eyes to see that God is still doing miraculous works of mystery all around us everyday. Prophesies are coming true all around us even though we don’t always see it as it is happening or even understand it. Rabbi Cahn has been given a gift of understanding and his works have inspired me to look deeper into the timings of events that occur in my life. For example, the Pandemic of Covid 19.

I learned from Rabbi Cahn’s books that our calendar, the “Gregorian Calendar” or Christian (western) Calendar, is not the calendar that God uses. While we are recording and tracking our days, weeks, months and years by the sun, God uses the moon to track and calculate time. Upon learning this I bought a calendar that has both the dates of the western world and the dates according to God; the Jewish calendar.

The Jewish calendar differs from ours in many ways. Let’s begin with the days and how a day begins and ends. Genesis 1 says, In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. God called the light “day,” and the darkness He called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.

What is key here is that first, there was darkness. Then God spoke and there was light.
So God doesn’t count days beginning and ending at midnight like we do. He counts the ending of the day when the sun goes down and at sunset that is the start of the next day. Let me explain it this way. Today is Thursday, March 26th and the time is 4:23 pm. When the sun goes down this evening at let’s say 6:45 pm, according to God’s clock, Thursday is over and Friday has begun during the evening of March 26th. I hope that makes sense!

Knowing this helped me understand many key points in the Bible and I hope it will help you too. In addition to how God tracks the timing of days, it is also interesting how He tracks the months.

According to God’s calendar, the beginning of a new year is not January 1st like we recognize and celebrate it. On God’s calendar, the first month of the new year is called Elul and it takes place during the month of September.

With every new moon there comes a new month which makes the Jewish calendar lose about 11.25 days from the western calendar. For the purposes of this blog I am not going to delve further into the understanding of how the days and months are distributed, you can Google that and find all kinds of excellent information on how that part of it works. For this article, I just needed to explain the basic timing of the days and months and how they differ from the calendar that the western world uses.

Our family has daily devotionals and Bible studies with our children, once in the morning at the beginning of school and once at night before we go to bed. Before the new year of 2020 came, I felt led by the Holy Spirit of God to have our nightly Bible reading start from the beginning of the Bible in Genesis. We were entering a new year, a new decade, and it made sense to start it with the beginning of God’s Word.

There have been some nights we missed or some nights we re-read something, so the timing of us reading a chapter of God’s Word since the beginning of the new year has landed us, at present, in the book of Exodus and the ten plagues of Egypt.

One night this week while my husband, Josh, was reading, I started thinking about when the plagues began. I knew that next month, April 12, 2020 would be Easter, Resurrection Sunday, when Jesus rose from the grave after being crucified on the cross and Passover, which is the celebration of God “passing over the Hebrew nation” and protecting them from the angel death, would begin on April 8, 2020. This made me think, we are experiencing the Covid19 Pandemic, which some might call a “plague”, at the same time as the plagues took place during the days of Moses.

Here is the definition of the word plague according to Dictionary.com
Plague: a contagious bacterial disease characterized by fever and delirium, typically with the formation of buboes (bubonic plague ) and sometimes infection of the lungs (pneumonic plague). “an outbreak of plague”

The Biblical definition of a plague is a bit broader and is defined as anything that afflicts or troubles; calamity; scourge. Any contagious epidemic disease that is deadly. 

I began my research and according to AskMoses.com (and other sites) I found “The plague of blood began on the first of Av 2447, and continued at the rate of one plague per month.”

The month of Av is during the end of July and beginning of August.

I then broke out my Christian/Jewish calendar and charted what the time frame looked like when comparing the two calendars and events side by side. If the first plague of blood began in Av and each month there was another plague, this is how it breaks down:

Plague                                     Jewish Month                                      Gregorian Month

1. Blood                                      Av                                                           July/August
2. Frogs                                      Elul                                                         August/September
3. Lice                                         Tishri                                                     September/October
4. Flies                                        Cheshvan                                              October/November
5. Pestilence                              Kislev                                                     November/December
6. Boils                                        Tevet                                                      December/January
7. Hail/Fire                                 Shevat                                                   January/February
8. Locusts                                   Adar                                                       February/March
9. Darkness                                Nisan                                                     March/April
10.Death of 1st Born                 Iyar                                                       April/May

Credible websites such as, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, World Health Organization, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, all list the beginning of Covid19 from Wuhan, China during the month of December 2019. 

When compared with the time frame of when the plague of pestilence (a fatal epidemic, disease) was cast upon the Egyptians as written in the book of Exodus, it would have been during the Jewish month of Kislev, which falls within the same time frame of the Covid19 emergence in December.

I want to make it very clear I do not believe that God placed the Covid19 virus into the world to punish us. NO. According to the scriptures, when Jesus Christ gave His life for all the sins of humanity upon the cross, He nullified the old covenant that sins must be paid for with other blood. His blood was enough to cover all the sins of all mankind for all time. He paid the price in full. The blood Jesus shed fulfilled the plan of salvation for the new covenant (promise), that mankind, when we humbled ourselves, repented of our sins, asked Jesus to forgive us, and to live in our heart as our Lord and Savior, would not have to die as a punishment, nor would God any longer place punishments upon us. Jesus took all our punishment.

I hope that makes it clear that I do not believe our good and loving God is punishing us with the Covid19 virus. Because of what is written in His Word and knowing His Word is truth, God is truth, I can trust that Jesus paid it all and God no longer send punishments to His children for their sins. God is for us. He wants to bring us to redemption, forgiveness, and healing, He does not want to destroy us.

After getting into the Word of God and reading about the ten plagues during the time of Moses, and confirming they were taking place during the same time as what we are experiencing in this world with the plague of Covid19, I found this verse:

Exodus 9:15-16 “Now if I had stretched out My hand and struck you and your people with pestilence, then you would have been cut off from the earth. But indeed for this purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth.”

While I do not believe that Covid19 is a punishment of God, He is allowing it. Perhaps what He speaks to us in the verse above is why, to show His power in us and so we will declare His name.

My mind travels to John 13:7 “Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”  Again, just to be clear, I do not believe Jesus is placing this virus on people. Not at all. But for whatever reasons that we don’t understand at this time, He is allowing it to happen. I believe it is so that we will turn and cry out to Him.

My mind then goes to 2 Chronicles 7:14 “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

Perhaps this is another reason why it is being allowed. So that people of all nations, especially America whose foundation was built upon God, Jehovah, will turn back to Him, the God who loves them more than they will ever imagine.

Is it too hard to believe that when we push God out of our nations, tell Him we don’t believe in Him, we don’t want to believe or obey His Word and instruction, and literally slap His beloved and mighty hand of protection away from us, that something like this could happen?

I have heard it taught that to fear God doesn’t mean that you are afraid of Who He is. God, Jehovah, Yahweh, calls us His children, His friends. He freely gave His only Son, Jesus Christ, to die for us whether we accepted His gift or not. He loves us more than we can possibly comprehend and wants to have a close relationship with us. There is no need to have fear of Him. The expression “to fear God”, means to revere Him, to respect Him, to trust, and believe what He teaches us in His Word. His Word is truth and to follow His path and direction is the way we can live a wonderful life!

The fear of God is not be afraid of Him, but to be afraid of living in this world without Him and the covering protection of His loving hand.

If ever there was ever a time for prayer–this is it. This is a time to humble ourselves and turn from the ways of the world to the ways of God and welcome His Holy Spirit to dwell in our lands and nations. I believe that God wants to do exactly as He has told us in Exodus 9:16: “But indeed for this purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth.”

I believe that is why God revealed the connection to the timing of the ten plagues and Covid19. What He said to the people then is what He is saying to the people now. He is the same and His Word remains true throughout all time.

Although I am a writer of Christian books, I am not a writer that is gifted for the task of discovering God’s mysteries like Rabbi Jonathan Cahn. That is not my calling. It is his. But I know that I was led to this information and to the verse above for this purpose, for this blog, for this time. Although I don’t know Rabbi Cahn personally, I believe that God is revealing things to him during this pandemic and I’m quite sure we will see it come forth in a future book!

I do want to encourage you to get into your Bibles and if you don’t have one, jump online! You can listen or read God’s Word in several different translations all over the internet. Listen to what it is God is trying to speak to your heart during this time. Heaven knows we have lots of it right now!

I also encourage you to pray. I already wrote a blog about prayer tips which you can find at “Daily Life During a Pandemic – Entry 2 A Call to Prayer.” Our family also created a display for the children of our neighborhood to reach out from our nonprofit children’s organization, The Huggabear Children’s Project, Inc. to let the world know WE ARE PRAYING FOR YOU every single day!

If you would like to see the display we created, you can find it on YouTube here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A_1DZB3h_Gc

There is power in prayer! I say this from many, many years of personal experiences of miracles and answered prayers. Call out to Jesus. He will hear you and He will answer.

I also encourage you to get all of the books by Rabbi Jonathan Cahn! https://www.amazon.com/s?k=rabbi+jonathan+cahn+books&ref=nb_sb_noss_2
They are excellent and will shake you up–in a great way! They are mind blowing and proof that God is still on His throne! He is, was and always will be in control of all things!

Thank you for taking the time to read this post and if you would like any of my books, I am giving away FREE ebooks of all my titles for children, tweens, teens, and adults! Visit mastersmessengers.net for the list of titles. You can message me at that site or any of the other sites listed below to request free ebooks.

May God richly bless and keep you, your family, and your friends! Hold strong to God’s unchanging hand! HE WILL NOT FAIL US!!

huggabears.org
thehuggabears.com
theintercessors.org
mastersmessengers.net

 

 

 

Covid 19 Pandemic – Entry 2 “A Call to Prayer”

Calling all Intercessors: Warriors of God! The world needs YOU!

This is one of the greatest tests of faith that generations collectively have seen in a long time. It is not a war with people, it is a war with a microscopic enemy and one that has no particular requirements. If you’re human that’s good enough.

While we will show wisdom, respect and compassion to follow the recommendations for care that we are being told by the health experts, those of us who pray will place the supernatural power of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit into this situation like no one else can.

For those of you who don’t know me well, I am a Christian author and one of my book series is called The Intercessors, which I describe as Warriors of God. Why? Because there is power in prayer! Power to defeat all enemies, especially unseen ones. When you pray, whether you close yourself off in your room, kneel and bow your head, or drive around the city in your car, no matter where you are, Jesus hears you and He begins to work. Psalm 37:5 “Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him, and he will act.”

There is supernatural power in prayer. Never doubt that. When you pray, sincerely speaking from your heart to God, He will move on your behalf against the forces of darkness that come against you and your family and friends.

In the book of Mark 3:22-30 Jesus teaches about “binding of strongman spirits”. What is a strongman spirit? In this parable Jesus is teaching us that strongman spirits are demons and evil spirits, and He teaches us how to bind them and cast them away so they cannot afflict you. In my second book, The Intercessors – Sword of Miracles, I list every single strongman spirit found in the scriptures and the specific scriptures on how to pray to bind them and also how to release or “loose” help from God. I am giving away free copies of all my books in the ebook format at this time. If you would like one, please email me at: thehuggabears@gmail.com

So how should we be praying right now against the Covid19 virus? By using the verses Jesus gave us in Matthew 16:18-19I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven”, and again He taught us in Matthew 18:18 “Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” I firmly believe if something is taught to us even once in the Bible we need to pay attention to it, so for Jesus to teach this to us twice shows the emphasis on the importance of praying this way and the power that it holds.

What does it mean to “bind” something and “loose” something? When we are in prayer, and are asking, for this case specifically, to bring healing to our world, we say, “Jesus, I ask You to bind with Your power and the promises in God’s Word that this virus which has come to us in the form of the “spirit of infirmity” is bound in Jesus Name and sent back to the pits of hell where it came from.”

Once the spirit is bound, then we pray, “Jesus, I ask You to set forth loose the power of healing that You so willing gave us when You bore the stripes on Your back, in the name of Jesus.

When you are praying and asking for God to do something specific, praying in the “Name of Jesus” is very important. Jesus tells us in John 16:23  “Amen Amen I say to youwhatever you ask from the Father, He will give it to you in My name”. This is why we end all prayers of request “In Jesus’ Name I pray. Amen.” Or however you wish to speak to the Lord, just remember to ask your Heavenly Father in the name of Jesus and believe it will be done.

After we have bound the strongman spirit of infirmity, or whatever spirit you may be binding (there are many of them and I have them all listed in the book mentioned above), the next step is to set forth “loose” the power of God, and we can request that power to be specific. In the case of this pandemic, we are asking to set forth loose the power of healing, the power of protection, the power of God’s wisdom and guidance, the power of peace, the power of strength, and the oil of joy. The joy of the Lord is our strength! Neh. 8:10.

I hope that gives you a better understanding of how you can pray directly for requests during this time. It is also important that we remember to not just focus our prayers on ourselves. God loves a heart that seeks blessings for others first. So here is a list of needs that my family is praying daily during this time. I encourage you to speak your prayers out loud. Go boldly into the throne-room of God and lift up His children and their needs, then keep your faith in Jesus Christ that He has heard you and will act. 

  1. Pray for the healing power of Jesus to cover all those who are infected and battling the virus in every nation of the world.
  2. Pray for the families around the world who are grieving the loss of their loved ones from the virus.
  3. Pray for all medical personnel around the world who are working so hard to care for those who are ill and working to keep others healthy who do not have the virus.
  4. Pray for hospital staff/public safety workers in every nation who are not direct caregivers, that they are given wisdom during times of crisis.
  5. Pray for all those administering tests to be kept safe and testing to be provided and producing accurate results.
  6. Pray for all those who are working so hard to create the vaccine for Covid19 that God gives them His divine wisdom and victory.
  7. Pray for our President, Senators, Congressmen/women, Governors, all state government officials, etc. Whether you like or voted for them or not, they are the people who are in charge in this moment of time and they need strength, wisdom and direction from God.
  8. Pray for all the children who are in need of meals and cannot get them at school that all their needs are met and their care and shelter is provided.
  9. Pray for all those who are homeless and battling this on their own while living on the streets.
  10. Pray for all those who are out of work or are trying to keep their businesses alive that God meets their financial means, and provides all their needs, and removes from them anxiety and panic.

Of course, I could list more, but this gives you a good place to start. Something else that I encourage you to do, if when and if you go outside or even if you don’t, pray for your neighborhood directly. If you walk it, pray for every home you pass. If you drive, pray on every street. While you are home, pray for your city and state. Saturate your community with prayer. I can promise you this, you will feel so much peace while you pray for others that through your prayers you will gain strength and God promises you through His Word that He will hear you. He loves every single one of us and He will help us as His Word declares.

Psalm 34:17 “When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears, and rescues them from all their troubles.”

2 Peter 3:9 “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”

Jesus gave us POWER through PRAYER people! Now it is a great time to use it!
God bless you, stay safe and healthy, you are in MY prayers and again, if you would like any of my books in ebook form, I am happy to send them out to anyone all over the world for FREE! We’re all in this together, let’s love our way through it!
thehuggabears@gmail.com

 

Covid 19 Pandemic – Entry 1 “The Beauty of Human Hearts”

I guess using the phrase “It’s the talk of all the land” would not be an exaggeration when it comes to the constant discussions swarming the globe right now about the Coronavirus aka Covid19 Pandemic. Although this blog which might be a series of posts yet to come are going to be completely about life while dealing with the virus, the blog is not exactly what you might think. I urge you, read on, this is meant to uplift you!

I was thinking yesterday that this is my first experience with a pandemic. It is the first pandemic for most of us, and since it is all so new and we are experiencing things we haven’t ever seen before, I wanted to document my personal perspectives so that in the years to come I can look back to remember and see all that I have learned.

Today is March 15, 2020.

As of today, my family, friends, myself and my relatives are all in good health–and I pray it stays that way!

I live in Phoenix, Arizona in the northern part of the city close to the Paradise Valley boundaries. (Unfortunately I live too close to PV because the PV courts for people like me, who sometimes get speeding tickets, are higher than anywhere else in the state! bleh)

I am pretty much a news junkie. I watch all the stations I can that will give me fresh stories, briefings on current events, and updates on world issues. I also like to read articles, though to be honest, I don’t have as much time for that as I would like, so I often catch up on topics from my husband, Josh, who loves to read breaking news articles off the little rectangle clutched in his hand known as a cell phone. We have been following the Covid19 story for months now while it was storming through China.

We have stayed current on the locations of the virus, the symptoms, how it is spread, how to prevent it and although we are not living in fear of it, we are living sensibly and responsibly to avoid it.

Last week, our refrigerator broke down and we had to throw out all our frozen foods and a great deal of our perishables. Although we are hoping to get that taken care of week, for the time being we have to go out to stores daily to get just enough things that our family needs but not too much so that it would spoil. Fun, right? Seriously though, if that is the worst thing we have going on, we are MORE than blessed.

Yesterday I visited a few stores to get some supplies for my family and a couple items for my new Huggabear book for Easter. I went to the 99 Cent Only store (which is NOT 99 Cents only!), Sprouts, Walmart and Hobby Lobby.

As I went from place to place I saw such beautiful examples of human hearts living at their best and I thought, “I want to go home and write about all that I am seeing.”

I think when the world has moments of darkness there are those whom God uses to shine His light the brightest. I always hope to be one of those lights of the world and I certainly did see many of them yesterday.

Just so that you have a better understanding of why I was so deeply impacted by what I saw in my community, I need to explain that I do a LOT of shopping.  For those of you who don’t know me, my family has a nonprofit organization for children in need and we also do projects to serve our amazing Veterans. There are months, like November and December, where I am out shopping daily for weeks at a time. I enjoy using Amazon and online stores here and there, but I was raised with my grandfather, Samuel Boone, who was a man that loved to shop and taught me well how to do it!

I love to get out, find items I need, support my local businesses, and interact with people. It’s how I’m made and when I go out, I like to watch people. I’m not a person who loves my cell phone, I do not regularly keep a small rectangle clutched in my hand. I only use my phone to make calls and take and post photos. I try to text but get too frustrated with the time it takes me. I keep thinking, “I could have sent 10 messages on my laptop in the time that it is taking me to peck out this message on a tiny keyboard!” Now don’t get me wrong, for those of you who love your phones, I am not against them and it doesn’t bother me at all if you love your phone. I actually have stronger feelings in my life toward a larger technical rectangle that is often found upon my lap. So please do not think that I am judging you because you love your phone. I believe phones and laptops have their time and place… I just don’t think that time is all of the time or in every single place. Right now, at this very moment, I honestly have no idea where my cell phone is. Jimmy cracked corn and I don’t care.

I tell you all of this because I want you to understand human interaction is important to me. When I stand in line at at store, or walk through a store or a store parking lot, I am usually looking around at people and sometimes I talk to them, say perhaps if we are in the same line and there was a great sale on honey-crisp apples that we are happy to have discovered, casual things like that. I like this kind of interaction with people because I love people.

Yesterday, I set out on my quest and knowing that there is a strong urgency in our nation to keep safe social distancing I didn’t know what to expect. I thought I would probably see the small rectangles clutched in people’s hands that hold their attention captive, but I didn’t know how other people were going to interpret what social distancing was.

I also didn’t know what items I would find to purchase due to people stocking up on supplies for the next few weeks. This honestly did not bother me at all. If I had a working fridge, I would be totally stocked up too. And the toilet people crisis makes sense to me! After all, if people who are used to being in offices or places of employment, and children who are usually at school all day suddenly have to stay at home for two weeks, those tushies must be cleaned! So none of those things bothered me or my family. It became like a quest.

“What? No toilet paper at Walmart? Let’s try Frys! None there? Try Home Depot!
What? None THERE? How about Office Max? No wait! I know! Let’s try the mini mart on the corner that no one ever goes to unless they are buying cigarettes and beer.
YES! Victory is ours!” (
That, by the way, is a true story!)

Our toilet paper stashing experience was actually quite comical and fun. We laughed the whole time and invested in packages of napkins too–just in case. 😉

When I went into the first store yesterday, I saw some shelves and normal stacks of products cleared, but it overall it wasn’t bad. But what struck me the most were the people. In every store I visited, people had their heads up, smiling and were being so kind to one another. I didn’t see anyone clutching a little rectangle in their hand. I didn’t hear anything but kind words, people being patient and tolerant with one another. In fact, in two stores, the 99 Cent Store and Walmart, there were times when I was surrounded by the sound of laughter. Healthy, hearty laughter.

I kid you not, even as I sit writing this blog outside on my Huggabear porch, I am hearing the sounds of laughter coming from children in the neighborhood who are tickled pink that our Gov. Doug Duecy has cancelled school next week. To me, one of the greatest sounds that can be found in this world is the sound of giggling children.

I didn’t hear anyone making jokes about the seriousness of the pandemic, no. But they were making light of the shopping situations of there being no toilet paper… or paper towels… or Lysol… or bleach… or–you get the picture.

There was no fighting. There was no frustration. If it was there, I didn’t see it. I didn’t hear it. I only saw goodness, kindness, patience and respect for one another, even with keeping their distances. They weren’t touching each other’s skin, but they were touching each others hearts. They touched my heart. I was so proud that I lived in such a community. It was a beautiful thing.

Again, for those of you who don’t know me, I have the blessing and privilege of home schooling my kids… which you also might be doing for the next few weeks! When we first started studying Covid19, I told them I just knew that through this terrible virus, God was going to do something great. That God could take anything horrible and use it to do something beautiful. So far, that is what I have experienced personally in the various places of town that I have gone. The demonstration of beautiful human hearts. People telling each other, “Stay safe!” “Stay healthy!” and showing kindness is a remarkable thing! The people that I encountered understood that we are all in this together (Cue Zac Efron). Because this is affecting every nation it is bringing us closer together, even though we have to stay a safe distance apart for now. The closeness is coming from our compassion.

I told my children that we would see the beauty of humanity during this time and I was blessed enough to see a glimpse of it yesterday.

I have loved watching the videos from Italy of people stepping out onto their balconies to sing to one another or play their national anthem to keep their spirits boosted. We need to lift one another up during this time. This virus has no politics. It has no racism and it has no prejudices. It will take hold anyone it can get. It is real and it is serious, but we don’t have to be afraid. We have to be wise.

If you don’t know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, I can tell you, He has never failed me yet. He has healed me time and time again. He has protected me and my family over and over and we are putting all our hope and trust in Him. God’s Word is truth and  Jesus told us that this would happen in Luke 21:11 “There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven.” and He also teaches us in John 16:33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

I love that verse so much! It brings me peace because I know Jesus loves me and my family. I also know, without any doubt whatsoever that Jesus loves YOU.

2 Chronicles 20:9 says ‘Should evil come upon us, the sword, or judgment, or pestilence, or famine, we will stand before this house and before You (for Your name is in this house) and cry to You in our distress, and You will hear and deliver us.’

As I traveled from place to place yesterday I turned my radio off and everywhere I went I prayed for the people of my community. Every street full of cars, every store, every person on the street, every home I passed by. People probably thought I was a crazy lady walking around mumbling. MUMBLER! But that’s okay. I’m not ashamed. I love to pray because I know there is power in it!

This is what Christians need to be doing to battle this virus. If you haven’t already, I encourage to turn to Jesus. Please don’t let past experiences with people who may not have represented Him well stop you from knowing the greatest love you will ever find. He is with you even now as you read this, quietly waiting for you to turn to Him. I encourage you to do that. Because when you walk with Jesus, He gives you strength beyond measure, wisdom beyond knowledge, and peace that passes all understanding. And then there is His love, never-ending, unconditional, powerful, merciful, forgiving love.

If you ever would like to talk with me more about Jesus, message me and we will definitely make that happen! Email me at thehuggabears@gmail.com
I can’t promise you that a life with Jesus is nothing but a bed of roses, but it is greater than anything this world has to offer. In times like these it gives you the confidence and courage you need to stand strong in the darkness and know that He is with you.

There are people out there who might not take Covid 19 seriously, but for those who do, I thank you. Your respect for not just your health but the health of others shows that you are a person of compassion and have regard overall for the betterment of humankind.

I don’t know that all my blog posts about Covid 19 will be this long. I just wanted to share with you tonight what was in my heart and encourage you not to be afraid.

Joshua 1:9 “Be strong and courageous, do not be terrified to not be discouraged for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go!”

Thank you for reading! If you would like any of my book s as a FREE ebook, please email me at thehuggabears@gmail.com

I am giving ALL my book away for free during this time! mastersmessengers.net

May the Lord God bless you and keep you and your family safe!