Sunday, February 18, 2018

I am, I can, I ought, I will.

I am, I can, I ought, I will.

1989 - Tennessee. Sophia and Yolanda are still close today. 
The Motto
The motto of the P.N.E.U is for persons of any age and position.

In the middle of the school year it is good to be reminded of our motivations.

One of the benefits of home learning is that children look up to adults.

In an age-integrated environment, spiritual and intellectual meals are served family-style with discussion and narration part of the menu plan.

Students work independently with lovely focus too, keeping a record of their learning in notebooks and through projects.

The smallest segment of their learning is experienced within a group of  peers in a co-op, perhaps, within meaningful activities, these can include opportunities for ministering to others.

In his pamphlet, A Generation Which Knew Not the Lord, addressing why an alarming number of children raised in Christian homes are leaving the church, pastor Joseph P. Cammilleri says,

"The godliest young people that I have observed are those who spent the most time with their families; family dependence, so to speak, in contrast to peer dependence."

Yolanda and I made tea cozies for gifts one year. We made some in blue pots, too.
With family-style learning, even grandparents may get into-the-act. This year a mother shared with me how her retired father studied WWII with her son (for high-school credit). History was a favorite subject of Grandpa's. He is gone now but during those influential years he was esteemed for his teaching-love. What Grandpa left behind him, in the heart and mind of his grandson, is special and immeasurable.

In the philosophy of secular humanism (and hedonism) there exists no higher authority than man (or self). Yikes. We see what a mess this philosophy makes of a civil society and the lives of individuals. Yet, this is the religion of the government schools and Universities. It is also the religion of Hollywood.

Being brought-up in a Christian household a student is blessed by living with higher and purer ideals than what is presented in the government schools. His ideals steam from the Word of God. Let's look at a few ideals today, within the motto.

The first draft of my book is finished. I am contemplating pictures for it.
Ideals are way up high. We have to reach for them. Carl Shultz said,

"Ideals are like stars; you will not succeed in touching them with your hands. But like the seafaring man on the desert of waters, you [use] them as your guides, and following them you will reach your destiny."

It stretches our personality while it develops our character, to reach for an ideal - although what we actually achieve will be somewhere lower. I am reminded of a song I used to sing in Sunday school - "We Are Climbing Jacob's Ladder." We reach-up to climb. The song had hand motions to go with it. When I think of Charlotte Mason's motto I think of climbing Jacob's Ladder. The first step of the ladder is:

This is the cover of one of my Victorian books. Isn't she sweet?
I am. 

If I am a Christian who am I? I am an ordinary person and have sin-nature, but if my faith is in Christ I am a new creation.*1 Through His Holy Spirit I am a partaker of the divine nature.*2 I am a person redeemed,*3 ransomed,*4 reconciled,*5 adopted.*6 I am of the elect*7 and accepted in the beloved.*8 etc.

Many beautiful old hymns were written in praise of who we are in Christ. Please feel free to share any favorites in the comments.

I can.

I can reach for an ideal. A series of failures may result in setbacks because I am an ordinary person. But each effort should bring me a little nearer to the goal. Christ chose ordinary men to be his disciples. To these ordinary men were left the important work of continuing what Christ began.

"But He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.'"*9

A found a beautiful mother and child for a page in my new book. I have 40 chapters and hope to find 40 pictures.
I ought.

The word "ought" comes from the word "owe." What we ought to do is what we owe to our God, parents, and one another. We are to outdo one another with showing love and honor.*10 "I ought" is a twin with "I can" for what we ought to do we can do. "Duty" is old fashioned word. We rarely hear or use it today, which suggests there could be a cold association with it. But we can think of this step surrounded by a glowing halo. We would do better if we loved warmly what we ought to do.*11

We used zig-zag stitch to applique our cut-out pieces.  Piping in top seam.
I will. 

The last step involves our will. It should be prefaced with "by the grace of God."*12 We are often too inclined to depend on our own resources. "It is God who works in you, both to will and to do for His good pleasure."*13 I thought hardly anything about the will until I read Charlotte Mason's writings. The function of the will is to choose moment by moment. The more we consciously perform an act of will, the stronger that willpower becomes.

Here I am. Send me. 

With this motto each person can say, "I am only one, but I am one; I can't do everything, but I can do something. That which I do, I ought to do, and that which I ought to do, with God's help so I will do it."*14

May this motto greatly encourage my Christian friends mid-year.

Post Script
For those who asked, Sophia and Yolanda are doing well. I hope to share more soon.

Sophia needle-felted me this corgi. Compare it in size to the postage stamp.
I connected the points made (above) presented concisely, to truths in the Word of God as I understand them.

Comments are Welcome.
Karen Andreola

End Notes
*1 2nd Corinthians 5:17
*2 2nd Peter 1:4, 2nd Corinthians 5:21, Philippians 3:9
*3 Ephesians 1:7
*4 1st Peter 1:18
*5 2nd Corinthians 5:18
*6 Ephesians 1:5
*7 1st Peter 1:2
*8 Ephesians 1:6
I CAN *9 2nd Corinthians 12:9
I OUGHT *10 Romans 12:10, *11 Romans 12:1
I WILL *12 James 4:15, *13 Philippians 2:13, Hebrews 13:21
SUMMARY *14 Isaiah 6:8


  1. Oh, it is encouraging! Thank you.
    I think it is a respectful motto. It indirectly respects the limitations of the person, as well as his abilities. For example, a child with a learning disability can say this motto without imagining his challenges away. A week or two ago our pastor wrote in his bulletin article not to burden our young people with "You can do anything if you want it badly enough" and the like. He gave as an example the fact that he might want badly to run for president, but he was born outside the U.S. It is a limitation. I have been thinking a lot lately about the pressure my older children's friends are under to "succeed." There is no place for "I OUGHT to do my best" when the only thing anyone cares about is a gradepoint average. It is hard to see even homeschooled children bearing the burden of such pressure. Moms need to take up this motto for themselves. Our "I AMs" contain limitations, too. And it's okay.
    I'm glad to hear your daughters are well. I am anticipating your book, and SCM calendar, too. New books on the horizon make me happy and hopeful.
    God bless you with health and peace, dear Karen.

    1. Dear Kristyn,
      I agree with you about I AM. We are faced with our limitations and shortcomings. Apostle Paul told us he doesn't do the good he wants to do.(Galatians 5:17, Romans 7:19) I also like your focus of doing well for the sake of knowledge and the sake of doing well, not for a grade-point-average. Yes, I hope mothers will be encouraged by keeping this motto in mind for themselves. There is no perfect mother. But a perfect God has appointed us to be the mother of our child. We call on Him for help. "I Need Thee Every Hour." Thank you for your anticipation for my book. It will have some topics in it that my blog friends have seen here over the years, but other encouragement as well. Take Care. Karen A.

  2. Dear Karen. Your post is so encouraging to me, and I will be sharing with my loved ones. Faithfulness brings so many rewards, many unseen. Thank you for this!

  3. Thank You for this inspirational post. Happy to hear that Sophia and Yolanda are doing well. Looking forward to your new book. I know it will be a good one.

  4. Thank you for sharing so much truth in this post. It's given me refreshed insight to finish strong with my daughter as I near the end of this homeschooling journey.

  5. What an adorable picture of Sophia and Yolanda. Looking forward to your new book. Always happy to see updates on your children and grandchildren. God Bless you and yours.

  6. Dear Karen,

    I always love reading your posts! You seem to write about something that I had been pondering or trying to remember!
    Blessings to you and yours,


  7. I am looking so forward to your new book. I have read, re-read, bookmarked, and highlighted all of your others and I continually reach for them when I am in need of encouragement. Blessed Assurance is my 12 year old's favorite hymn while I, like my grandmother, find so much solace with In The Garden.

  8. Hello Karen!

    I am so excited that you are writing a new book! I can hardly wait!

    I love the tea cosy too :)


  9. As usual a very lovely uplifting post, at a time when I needed encouragement. Your girls are beautiful, and I am inspired to create the tea cozy with my girls. I am waiting with great anticipation for your new book. I love the way you write and your books place a morsel of beauty into my daily life.

  10. Dear Karen I am so happy for the update and that your girls are doing well. I am so excited for your new book. Your books have encouraged me so over the years. I am now reading The Parents Rebiew and loving it. Some parts are so meaty that I have to reread them but enjoy them so much. Prayers to you and your family. Your friend, Debbie.

  11. I love all your posts, you truly inspire. All of your writings remind me of the scripture Philippians 4:8, which encourages us to dwell on those things that are most beautiful, pure and lovely. I named our school "Higher Ground Christian School," because my aim was to inspire my children to always be striving for God's vision for their lives. I have failed my children many times, but my God will never fail them. Thank you so much for inspiring and reminding us what is really important.

  12. I have the unusual experience of having one child go through the public schools and the second child start in public schools and then be homeschooled for nine years. (My kids were born twelve years apart!) One thing I noticed the most was the closer relationships homeschool brings. Even though my daughter and I were close, I still missed most of her growing up since she was at school. It wasn't always easy with my ADHD son when he was first homeschooled but as he grew older, it became lots of fun and we both learned so much as I taught him.

  13. My husband and I were discussing the concept of aught the other day. It does not allow for tyrannical leadership or led by whim leadership. It is truly a beautiful way to live life.


  14. Oops, Ought, not aught. Now that's funny!


  15. Thank you Karen! I am anxiously awaiting your new book!

  16. I want that sweet little corgi!!! It is too sweet.