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This Newsletter is produced by LaCelle Family Ministries.  It is a free Homeschool/Family Newsletter with unit study ideas, literature lists and other ideas & encouragement for homeschooling families. We pray you enjoy it. We pray the ideas are beneficial and helpful. Feel free to share this Newsletter with your other online and off-line friends - all we ask is that the Newsletter be given in its entirety so that people will know where they can reach us. ( 

Newsletter FEBRUARY 2006



What’s Up with Us
What I’ve Learned about Boxes
Heart Health


   Last month we didn’t put out a newsletter.  There was too much on my plate to put one together.  In January my mother went in for surgery to have a very large tumor removed from her back.  She is doing very well, recovering much better than expected. Thankfully the tumor was analyzed and is benign.  In a few days from now (Feb. 16th)  my father will go in for surgery to have his shoulder repaired. We aren’t exactly sure what is wrong. However, he could have injured it when he moved a rather large tank.  A few years ago he had surgery for the same shoulder. It was a very painful surgery and he was extremely sick afterwards.  We are praying that God will bring him through as He has my mother with her surgery.  
    Because of some of the extra things added to my life lately, I have had to cut back in other areas of my life.  For now, we are probably going to put out the newsletter once every 6 to 8 weeks or so.  My parents have asked me to help them sell their business property.  For the last 15 years my parents have lay pastured a church about 40 minutes from their home. That work is where their heart is.  Their business has been very successful. Perhaps too much so.  They own and run a mini mall that is home to 100 vendors who sell Antiques, collectibles, etc.  The workload the last few years have really taken a large toll on both of them.  Last year they had their property listed with a realtor who did not show it one time.  Rather than experience that situation again, they have asked Rob & I to try and help them sell their business.  This is no light undertaking.  I am not a realtor.  The closest I have come is my work for a lawyer.  However, even though I have been completely overwhelmed with how to market such a property, I do feel a responsibility to do what I can to help them.  If Rob & I can’t help them sell it ourselves, we are praying that God will lead us to the right realtor who can successfully sell their business.  During the next few months, we would really appreciate your prayers for guidance on how to proceed with this project.  And we’d appreciate prayers for success (God Willing!).
     This month I’ll share with you about “boxes” and spending a day with Steve and Annie Chapman.  I’m going to share some “Heart Health thoughts”.  In the Sale Flyer there will be recommendations may be good tools to build on what has been shared in this newsletter. There will also be other new titles and just good specials. 
    Also, we are running probably one of our best sales on Used Books.  We listed several hundred “new” used titles to our website in the last couple of weeks.  We are also running a sale on particular groups of books on the Used Book site.  The used books are anywhere from 10 to 75% off.  That will be worth checking out!!
     I can’t believe this winter.  I always cringe when winter sets in.  I like the sunshine, the green grass and flowers.  Snow and cold just are not my thing.  However, this year I decided to make peace with winter.  We bought the whole family Cross Country Skis.  And we’ve been able to use them about four times.  We’ve have had hardly any snow.  Perhaps we will still get to use those skis at some point here, but if we don’t I’ll enjoy the warmer winter we’ve had.  I honestly think that God has a sense of humor.  
    For those who asked, the Valentine’s Day Unit Study is up at our website.  You’ll find a link on the front page.  It’s a fun, short unit that will spice up the 14th for your kids.
    I pray that you’re settling into 2006 and able to follow at least one of your new year’s resolutions.  We are one year closer to the Lord’s return.  I keep feeling drawn closer home – to do away with some of the out of home activities that have pulled me from my children either in time or emotional drain.  I’ve felt the Lord really speaking to me that time is so short and what time is left needs to be given in really loving my boys and husband.  I challenge you to do the same. 
    Til next time may God Bless you richly,

Joan   & Rob LaCelle

LaCelle Family Ministries



     Recently, Rob and I were able to attend a marriage retreat & concert with Steve and Annie Chapman.  I’ve always appreciated their strong family, marriage focus.  Their seminar was absolutely wonderful.  I highly recommend to any of you to go to one of their seminars if you ever have the opportunity.   The focus was on the scripture that states: “Unless the Lord build the house, they labor in vain who build it”.  Steve explained how marriage is in many ways like a modular home being built.  A ranch style modular is built in two sections called boxes.   He explained how the two boxes are like two individuals who come together to attach and make a home together.  Yet many times when the modular “boxes” are being transported to their new location they incur “Road Damage”. This “road damage” needs fixing when the home is set on the property. Sometimes shingles need to be repaired, windows replaced or any number other small or large fixes have to occur to make the home complete.  
    As they shared that analogy, it really hit home personally to me.  I could more than relate to everything they said.  In the fall of 1998, Rob and I found a modular for sale that had been vacated due to bankruptcy.  We put in an offer and bought the home.  The home was used.  Yet overall it was in good shape but needed new carpet, some sheetrock repairs, new painting throughout and new patio and front doors.  There was also a small amount of sill replacement needed.  This home was going to be moved to our property. Together we set to work to put in a basement.  This was no small feat.  We live on “solid” rock here.  It took days to dig the hole for the basement because of the large boulders that were in the way.  Finally after much work to us and our paid help, we finished the basement and awaited the arrival of our new home. 
    Absolutely nothing could prepare me for the day that home arrived.  The home arrived as two separate “boxes”.  The crane operator carefully set our home on it’s new foundation, bolted the two “boxes” together and made it one complete home again.  Then the moving company was gone.  When we entered our “new” home and I was more than overwhelmed.  The moving company had taken all the insulation from under the home and wadded it up into our home – it filled floor to ceiling our dining area and most of the livingroom.  The floors were covered with mud from the crew coming in and out during take down, moving and set up.  Somehow the home we saw on it’s original property looked a bit more promising than what was now staring me in the face.  The hot pink paint job in the kitchen, no longer seemed easy to repaint over.  The mud covered floors appeared as if they would need more than anything I could muster up to clean them. The reality was that I was right.  We had to tear up the carpet right away because it was worse than when we first saw it.  Somehow the cluttered mess we were left with didn’t seem all that “romantic” to fix up.  I was sure we had made a huge mistake.  I wanted out of the deal, but there was no way out.  That home was now bolted to our basement and the two halves were bolted to each other.  This was our new home, like it or not.  I think I aged and matured about 20 years in that 1 month period as we quickly repaired, replaced, and painted this place we now call home.  While I would never choose to repeat the process we took, I am thankful for it.  I learned so much more than I ever could have otherwise.  It was a crash course in deep level character building.  Yet because we were obedient to God we were able to have a home debt free in a short period of time.
     As I thought about our home “boxes” modular project and what Steve and Annie shared, it was so clear to me that that is exactly how each of us comes to married life, child bearing/raising life and church life.  Our home “boxes” didn’t come to us empty just waiting to be filled with only positive influences so we’d have the perfect home.  Our home boxes had road damage.  They also had damage from the previous occupants.  That is so much like each of us.  We aren’t empty boxes.  If we were empty boxes, 90% of problems would be easily fixed.  Our boxes are all filled with a variety of  “stuff”.  We have road damage, people damage and character flaws that need either paint touch ups or a complete makeover.  Because we come to life with these damages we need Someone to help us repair ourselves so that we can be the spouses we really long to be and so we can be the mom and dad that will make a difference in our children’s lives. 
    I’ve heard it said that we are all empty boxes and we are what we and others put into ourselves. But you know that isn’t true.  We are what a lifetime and a sinful flesh has done to us.  Unless we realize our need and where to get the help we need, we will expect the “box” attached to ours to help fill our need, fix our hurts, make us happy and be the perfect mate.  
     Each of us individually need to recognize we need a Savior and a Great Physician to do major heart surgery on us.  Like our modular we don’t need a small paint job – we need a complete makeover.  However, I think we don’t know how to go about it.  We are embarrassed at times by our lack.  Or maybe we feel guilty because we shouldn’t “feel” or “act” the way we do.  If only we could go into a closet and twirl around and be fixed it would be wonderful.  For many us the hurts that keep us hurting our spouses or children are things we desperately want fixed.  We don’t want to continue in the same path we have, but “good” Christians  don’t have problems like “I” have.  “Good Christians” know how to get it together.  “I” must be the only one who feels like this, so I must be a failure.  These are the lies the devil repeats to us. And in moments of despair we pick up his mantra and believe it. 
     Michael Card has a song with one line that says “to be so completely guilty and given over to despair . . . to look into my Judge’s face and find my Savior there”.   I believe that that is the very first step to having a great marriage and being a good parent.  When we look into our Judge’s face and realize we have failed, but then we see that face is the face of our Savior filled not only with Grace but with healing, we can then allow Him to transform us.  While He immediately redeems us, His restoration can take days or weeks or years. He could do it in a moment, I suppose.  But His restoration is thorough; it isn’t overwhelming if we go at His pace. 
    I think of a story Nancy Leigh DeMoss tells in her book “Lies Women Believe” about a woman who was married to a very wicked husband.  This husband was so wicked that even her family felt she should divorce. Her church family encouraged it.  Somehow, this woman couldn’t do it. She had made a vow to the Lord on her wedding day, and while her life was the most unpleasant, she decided to make the best of it and pray for her husband.  Forty years long years into their marriage this wicked man finally gave his heart to the Lord. Forty years!!!  I think on that every now and then.  Because so many times we want instant answers and instant healing.  We want everything better so “I can feel good” not to mention “look good”.  Yet in the process of our restoration God is fitting us to be the very Spouses and parents we truly do want to be at a deep heart level, not just pasted on smiles.  
     God is in the business of restoring us however long it takes to pry our lives out of our grasp.  He is longing for us to let go and allow Him to do the work only He can do.  He is longing to fill us so we don’t expect our Spouses to be God.  
    I share this because, I know I am not alone in my desire to be a better spouse and mother.  I know that some of the road damage I’ve incurred has kept me from being the best person I could be.  When I talk with other couples and parents, we all want to be transformed we just don’t always know how to go about it.  I don’t have all the answers for you.  However, whatever your needs are, give them over to the Lord and ask Him to lead you in how to heal from your particular “road damage”.  It may be that someone who is suffering from years of depression needs to stop berating themselves and get true help to overcome it.  It may be that the married couple that is at odds constantly needs to take time to make their marriage a priority.  Somehow Christians have the idea that “if we don’t talk about and just go on and put on a happy smile everything will turn out okay”.  However, the problems in our lives can lead us to the Source of all answers and we will find true inner peace and healing, instead of pretending to “feel okay”.   
    One thing we each should consider is finding information that will help us.  Sometimes we don’t know where to find the information, but I know if we honestly seek God’s guidance He will open doors.  For me, I enjoy finding good, solid Christian books on living the Christian life as a mom, a wife, daughter etc.  Oh, I’ve bought some dud books that just aren’t the best. But over the years, I’ve found some real gems.  The price of a book or tapes is a small thing compared to paying for a divorce or split childcare.
     Today when you walk through my home, you would never think that once there was an overwhelming mess everywhere.  However, if you look closely you’ll see we still haven’t finished fixing all the sheetrock problems in the living room.  It’ll probably take another several months to finish the things we have wanted to accomplish.  We’ve been working on our home in bits and pieces over the last seven years.  This is a just a home, a worldly dwelling.  If it has taken seven years to get to this point, it really isn’t so hard to understand why God takes His time with us.  He wants our body, soul and spirit to be His dwelling place. Allowing God permission to work on our lives will free us to become fully all He longs for us to be. 


     In February we think of two basic things Love and Health.  In the last Six months two of Rob’s uncles have had heart attacks.  One has passed away.  It’s amazing that even with all the technology we have today, there are still limitations.  There are also unwanted side affects from medicines, hospital stays and procedures.  Once you are in the situation and need medical care, you are more or less at the mercy of the medical system and have little say in many areas.  Especially, if you are not conscious to state your choices. 
    This month is a month to take a health inventory of yourself.  How do you feel?  Are you overweight?  Are you overtired? Is your cholesterol or blood sugar high?  Do you even know what is considered high?    Here in America we keep raising what the acceptable norms are.  We consider it normal that one in every two people will die of heart disease, that nearly 1 in 3 people will die of cancer, that more and more children are obese.   So this month my challenge to you is to take your Heart and total  health seriously.  Take time this month to make some important changes.  A Dr. Belloc and Dr. Breslow did a study and found seven health factors for longevity. They found that if the participants practiced all seven health they had a tremendous rate of longevity.  Here are the seven factors:
1. Sleep 7 to 8 hours a nigh

2. No eating between meals (stop that snacking)
3. Eat breakfast regularly
4. Maintain proper weight
5. Regular exercise
6. Moderate or no use of alcohol
7. No Smoking
     What is amazing is just these seven factors make a huge difference on longevity. Imagine if we upgraded our diets to more whole foods, foods as grown and leave off the high fat and junk foods. Imagine if we drank more pure water and got fresh air every day.  Imagine if we drew near to God and grew deeper spiritually.  All these things affect our health.    So this month, take some time to invest into some good books on health and lifestyle.  It’s important because you are important.  Losing Rob’s uncle was very hard for me.  Not because I was overly close to the man, though, he was a very good man.  What bothered me most was that he was too young to die.  It didn’t have to be.  His choices put his health at jeopardy.  Please don’t do that.  America has the poorest health.  Not because we don’t have access to good, wholesome foods or because we don’t have enough exercise options.  It’s because we live in the fast lane, live fast, live frenzied and eat like we are at Christmas Party 2 or 3 times a day.  We don’t take care of ourselves.  The Bible says that what we sow, we will reap.  That is so true with our health.  There are always those exceptions, however, the better we take care of ourselves, the better chance we have to be healthy and active in our 50s, 60s and beyond.  I had a friend who died at the age of 95.  She took up painting at the age of 92 and painted beautifully.  We can’t control everything in our lives, but it is amazing how much we can control with just our choices and our forks!!!




PS:  If you don’t want to or can’t order online for whatever reason, please contact us via email with your phone number and we’ll call you for your order.  Some people can’t order online for some reason.  If you let us know, we’ll call you. 


LaCelle Family Ministries
9199 Howd Road
Camden, Ny 13316


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