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227 E Edgewood Dr
Friendswood, TX, 77546
United States

Jennifer James Sapaugh is a homeschooling mother of 5, singer/songwriter, and adoption advocate from Houston, Texas. is designed to better share and connect Jenn with other like-minded people in hopes of her crazy life adventures encouraging others in their crazy life adventures.


Long Day Lessons

Jennifer James

So, it's 4:16pm and I am in the middle of doing dishes and making dinner....reflecting on the day and how I repeated myself today nothing short of 100 times- per phrase coming out of my mouth......100x each! (might be a slight exaggeration, but only a slight one) Doubling the role of mom and teacher, makes me like a broken record on steroids. Most days I question my sanity. I know I chose this homeschool path & I'm 100% still glad I did. (that's a different post) But still, today was "Oh God, please" kind of long.

I am standing here in the kitchen thinking as I wash dishes, of things I can change or do to lessen interruptions and to eliminate me having to say the same things over and over and over and over and over and over (...continued for eternity) again. Maybe a reward system instead of a punishment system? Maybe just aim for all around more consistent consequences (well, duh Jenn. that one is always on the list) Or maybe a way to encourage better listening skills? After all, if you don't hear the directions or commands to begin with, than the outcome probably won't be obedience. They can't get it right if they don't hear it.  How can I get them to not tune me out? How can I get them to hang onto my lean in and listen for what I have to say?

By now, this last idea is getting good to me (and the plate I'm scrubbing is getting extra clean) You can't obey if you don't hear....listening has to be at least 50% of the act of obedience (or something like that)

Then, bam. Lightbulb.

I assume God intended that our struggles in loving and teaching our children would point to him. And I assume, when we are plotting our new life strategies to promote obedience in our home - he hopes we see the parallel in how he desires our obedience. It does for me so often.

So, maybe I have a new tactic to try with the kids at Sapaugh Academy this week, but I also have a bit more.

I can't follow and obey what God has for me, if I am not leaning in to hear him. If my following him is lost in the chaos and noise - chances are I prolly won't get it right. But if my ears are tuned in for the sound of His voice, then I will not only hear, but also have the chance to obey.

Pretty basic. Pretty neccessary. Tune Him in, not out.


When a child's book wrecks you (in a good way)

Jennifer James

We LOVE read-a-louds over here. I starting doing read-a-loud books to Tanner when she was like 4 and now it is like a tradition around here; super enriching for them (and me). We have great moments together; we talk, we laugh, we cry - it is definitely a part of homeschooling I have enjoyed more than I thought I would.

Over the summer we decided to start reading through the Chronicles of Narnia together. Now that there are a few Sapaughs old enough to appreciate the books it seemed like a good time, plus we could watch some of the movies as we go and that would make it fun too. I can't remember how many of the books in the series I read as a kid, I know not all of them, and I don't think I understood all the symbolism and stuff then. But over the years, I have come to learn about some of the themes and characters in the series; the parallelism between Aslan and Jesus being one of the biggest themes.

So, trying to be a good mom & not pass on the possible "teachable moment", I prepped the kids on these ideas so they could be listening for different the comparisons as we read.

So then we dive in. And as much as I think I am ready for what is gonna come in this children's book....we come close to the end of book 1 "The Magician's Nephew" and it was like WHOA! Mom can't read anymore because she needs to finish crying like a baby.

To give you a little back story. (trying to be brief here) A boy and girl, Digory and Polly, end up in a different world; a world just being created, a world overflowing with beauty and life and every good thing. This is Narnia. They meet the leader of Narnia in all his glory, a lion named Aslan. As little as Digory knows of Aslan at this point in the story, he still feels confident that if anyone can help his sick mother whom he left back in his human world, it is in fact, this majestic lion.  As Aslan is busy creating and commencing and directing his new world into motion, Digory himself is being summoned for a task. But all he can think of is his mother and he is discouraged with the thought that he will never have the chance to be heard and plead his case for his mother. That is kinda where this section picks up... (minus the 11 chapters worth of other details leading up to this point)

"I asked, are you ready?" said the Lion.
"Yes," said Digory. He had had for a second some wild idea of saying "I'll try to help you if you'll promise to help my Mother," but he realized in time that the Lion was not at all the sort of person one could try to make bargains with. But when he had said "Yes," he thought of his Mother and he thought of the great hopes he had had, and how they were all dying away, and a lump camp in his throat and tears in his eyes, and he blurted out: "But please, please -- won't you -- can't you give me something that will cure Mother?"
Up til then he had been looking at the Lion's great feet and the huge claws on them; now, in his despair, he looked up at his face. What he saw surprised him as much as anything in his whole life. For the tawny face was bent down near his own and (wonder of wonders) great shining tears stood in the Lion's eyes. They were such big, bright tears compared with Digory's own that for a moment he felt as if the Lion must really be sorrier about his Mother than he was himself."

WHOA. Hello God. Hello loving kindness that I don't deserve. I mean, don't miss this imagery here and the character of this Lion displayed, which is based on the character of OUR God. He is big, strong, intimidating, busy, yet - HE CARES. In all the big things, in all the small things; when we feel like He is too busy doing other things to worry about the details in our life; when we are too scared to look him in the face and wait til a moment of despair to cry out - IN ALL THAT - He Cares. In fact, He cares as much or more than we do.

In our struggles, our fears, our marriages, our disappointments, our loved one's health, our finances, our losses, our failures, our children's everything (the list can go on and on) He see us. He sees us when we ache to be seen and we feel like no one does. He hears us; not just when we cry out in despair, but all along.

I know it is just a fictional kid's book, but be encouraged friend wherever this day finds you. Whatever your hard is this day, this season - He sees you and He cares. Rest in that, and let Him meet you there.

And also read the Narnia series. Gah.



Voice Memos & God For The Win

Jennifer James

SO, I was making a set list for an upcoming worship gig next week. (Sidenote. Have I mentioined how much I love that I get the chance to do what I love with music and connecting with people? Even with all the crazy kids and home life, the fact that churches or music venues contact me to come sing is like a dream come true - so, keep it coming! You guys make me so lucky!) 

Anyways, I was scrolling through my voice memos & looking for an original song I could add in as a part of my set for next week. If you are familiar with my music, you know that for the most part, I write about life and love and struggle and whatnot, but not necessarily God songs that fit in worship sets. But when I do, I try to play them when I have the chance, because...well, because I can. So, why not. Ha. 

I finally found one that I had remembered I wrote early last year. As I hit play on my voice memo of this plain acoustic recording taken on my iPhone.... I was overwhelmed.

I just love writing a song in a certain season of life, that a year or ten later STILL APPLIES!!! And this was the story in this case. I was reminded that I can ask God all the hard questions, but that the bottom line is that I need Him. Now and forever. 

I am not one to post a non "professional" recording of myself.....bc honestly, everything sounds so much better when I get to hire the fancy guitar guys and producers; but today - I am feeling a little crazy! And in hopes that the lyrics of this song can encourage you like that did me, I'm gonna share the unpolished, rough, DIY, iphone recording of this song with you. Below are lyrics; feel free to download and share. Thank God for His faithfulness...and old voice memos. 


If I lift my eyes, will you lift my spirit?

If I bow my knees, will you hear it?

If I give my heart, can you mend it?

Can you mend it?

If I lay it down, can you build it up?

If I give my all, would that be enough?

I know that I can’t make it on my own

I know that I need you

When I doubt, are you still faithful?

If I get scared are you able?

If I lose it all, will you remain?

Are you enough? My everything?

I know that I can’t make it on my own

I know that I need you

Be Near, Be near

Be Near to me

If I lift my eyes, will you lift my spirit?

If I bow my knees, will you hear it?