This is the story of my call to dedicate each of my children to the quest of the kingdom of heaven.
A couple weeks ago I woke up before the sun with a gentle voice whispering to my spirit “Give me Leah, as Hannah gave Samuel to me to be a prophet…”
So I grabbed my journal and started writing down the calling that was revealed to my heart for each of my children. I’m a mom of 15 kids. After having ten beautiful babies, my husband and I were called to adopt five more. So we did.
It was really something special to wake up to the sound of the Spirit within me speaking to me a calling over every one of my children.
This experience happened the day after visiting the Asbury Revival and after watching the movie Jesus Revolution.
I believe that God is on the move in a powerful way, and He is raising up a generation of royalty. I believe we are going to see a revival like never before spread across oceans and nations, and it will bring life, healing, deliverance, reconciliation, empowering, and a longing for truth and purity to millions and billions of souls. This revival will break out all over the world and bring people of every language, tribe, nation, race, religion, culture and creed into the revelation of the truth, hope and way of the Messiah. Light is shining!
If you have it on your heart to dedicate your children to the fulfillment of their heavenly callings this might be an inspiration to you…
My dedications are inspired by the Prayers of Paul the Apostles in his letters to the churches, they are also inspired by the Psalms of David, and the visions of Daniel, John the Apostle and Ezekiel. I especially treasure the dedication of Samuel, by Hannah, and the prayers and declarations of Mary and Zacharias in the New Testament concerning their promised children.
“As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth.” Psalm 127:4
Your mission field may not be a distant city, town or country.
Your calling may not be to far off nations.
You may not need to reach your destination by train or boat or plane. You may already be where you belong, or on the path that leads you to your place of influence. The unreached people group that you are called to serve may speak your language already!
I am a mother, with a mission mindset, raising up children for the Kingdom of Heaven… One by one, or two by two, I send them into their unique mission fields to fulfill the great commission.
But it’s not all about geography anymore…
I send my children as missionaries into the fields of science and medicine.
I send my children as missionaries into the fields of art and music.
I send my children as missionaries into the fields of politics, economics and business.
My children, I send you forth into the fields of education and social justice.
I send you into the harvest by way of theater, film, photography, dance, and cinematography.
I send you out as light into the darkness of prison, war, religion and natural disasters.
I send you now to take up your cross in families, foster care, adoption, elder care, and public service.
I send you, my children, into the marketplaces, the campgrounds, the Main Streets, the homesteads, the coffeehouses, the parks, the libraries, the offices, hospitals and schools.
I send you into your field, into your element, into your passion, with your skill set, whatever that may be. Go forth by the power of the Holy Spirit, by the Blood of the Lamb, by the Word of the Father, for his glory, honor and praise!
I send you out as light into the darkness, until the darkness is no more. I send you out into your field of influence until the glory of the Lord infuses every facet of society upon the Earth.
Josh and Sarah met at 13 & 14. Sarah fell in love instantly, Josh figured out that she was his destiny a few years later.
Sarah was an Unschooler and Josh was an over achiever in a public school, but spent all his spare time studying aviation and technology. He considers himself a weekend “unschooler”. Date nights for Josh and Sarah often included an airplane and a dinner in a neighboring state!
After high school Sarah moved to Hungary, Austria and Russia. Josh went to Embry Riddle Aeronautical University to study his passion.
They had a long distance relationship for most of the seven years before getting married at ages 20 & 21. They spent their first three months of marriage backpacking in Europe. Ten months after the wedding Isaac was born and the parenting experiment began.
Fourteen months later Anna joined the party, and started throwing monkey wrenches into every ordinary occasion. At age 8 her parents found out she had Dyslexia and that’s when Sarah created DyslexiaGames.com – Anna is a “Super Creator” Here’s Anna’s latest project, scroll down for her “Red Chair Interview: HisStoryTheMusical.com
Fourteen months later Estera graced the world with her presence, and has been lighting up the lives around her ever since. Here’s Esther’s instagram account. She’s 21 now, a photographer living in Hawaii: https://instagram.com/estherscanon
Eighteen months passed before the “Negotiator” came on the scene. At first it was assumed she would become a political figure or criminal defense attorney. Nope. Rachel is an artist and figure skater. Check out her art and adventures: https://instagram.com/rach.charity.brown
Almost two years passed before Naomi joined the Girl Gang. Her first word was probably “Horse” her first phrase was probably “I want a puppy”. She now runs a dog hotel, dog accessories shop, and has a few horses.
Another little sister filled the world with wonder, and made her genius status obvious to all by age three. A mastermind, world traveler and deep thinker who hides behind paint and canvas. She recently became the family’s chef. At age 16 she occasionally posts a thing or two on Instagram. Looks like she has a store on Instagram: https://instagram.com/autumns.brush
Lovely Laura arrived with the spring flowers and became a very naughty little instigator as soon as she could walk and talk. She was one of those kids who preferred animals over people until about age 12. She’s the expert on endangered species and tropical birds. Today she has more “best friends” than we can count, suddenly a “people person” with a big heart. She’s not on Instagram yet. Maybe she will be when she’s 16. But here are all her books on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=laura%20janisse%20brown…
Joe came next. A ten pound baby brother who wanted to be a YouTuber at age 3. So he started YouTubing as “The Littlest Blogger” in preschool. If you met Joe at age four he would have been wearing a suit, holding a calculator. He would tell you that he’s a scientist and Math-Man. He’s 13 now. He added many videos to my channel. Here’s one of his early videos about HOW to TEACH MATH to kids: https://youtu.be/xJBLH9aE6-8
Ember was her daddy’s idea. After Joe turned two Josh started wishing for another baby. Little Ember Rose was born in Italy in 2012. She is a lover of the great outdoors, a naturalist, always researching the plants and animals in her environment.
Leah was God’s idea. Surprise! The best gift that could ever be given. She came along two years later. It was during the last couple months of her pregnancy that Sarah decided it would be a good time to take a break from homeschooling. At age 39 Sarah just wanted to take time to treasure her youngest baby. She had a feeling Leah might be her last baby. So Sarah created a collection of Homeschooling Curriculum Journals that would provide six weeks to a full semester of homeschooling prompts, with minimal effort from mom. Fun-Schooling journals have been rolling out ever since. And Leah, now 8, is the family’s storyteller and comedian.
When Leah was six weeks old the whole family moved to Ukraine. It was while volunteering at a local orphanage that the family met a sibling group and felt a calling to adopt. A year and a half later five more kids joined the Brown Tribe, and Isaac, the oldest son, now 19, was married to Rita, his Ukrainian sweetheart.
The adopted children were ages 6 to 16. They didn’t speak English, but quickly learned. The oldest sister moved back to Ukraine the day she turned 18, after assuring us from day one of the adoption that returning to her village was her dream. The four younger children, Lilly, Alex, Abby and Christina bonded beautifully with their new siblings, and have been taking their time adjusting to the idea of having parents.
Eventually Chrissy learned to read English and discovered her passion for books, especially historical fiction and all things Amish, and Hobby #2, volley ball.
Abigail developed a love for crafting, pottery and jewelry making.
Alex picked up a guitar, a skateboard, and a camera and developed a passion for extreme sports.
Lilly is simply everyone’s best friend, engaging in anything and everything her big sisters are doing.
The family loves to free-range around the planet. The world is their classroom. It’s not uncommon for Brown teens to hop on a plane to go after adventure, a mission or a dream overseas- with or without parents or siblings.
The family now lives on 22 acres in Indiana and have turned the property into a homeschooling campus where each member of the family is free to craft a dream, start a business, tap a maple tree, sharpen a skill, plant a garden, raise a critter, spark a romance, toss a ball, or follow a butterfly.
I thought I just chime in and share why I love fun-schooling so much.
When my kids were little, I was trying to do a lot of Charlotte Mason learning, some Montessori schooling at home, classical learning and a lot of Unschooling. It was exhausting! Our whole life style revolved around me being a worn out teacher-mom.
I have so many children with such diverse needs and passions, I wanted to give each one their own path. I gathered tons of different curriculum from conventions and it was overwhelming to create all these custom plans for each child!
And so I had the idea to make the Fun-Schooling journals when my oldest child was 16. I created ONE do-it-yourself homeschooling journal that guides each unique child through the experience of studying their passion, their hobby or their career goals – while still focusing on all the required subjects!
The first DIY journal could be adapted to any child age 7-17. I created a different cover for each child and put the first Journal on Amazon with a bunch of different covers, and bought them from Amazon for my own kids. I was just using Amazon for print-on-demand book making for my own kids. But I had the books up for sale just in case other families wanted a copy.
So when I created the first DIY homeschool journal I was expecting my 10th child and I really just wanted to take a break for six weeks so I could focus on the new baby.
So I thought I’d make a six week curriculum where the kids use 10 pages a day, without much help from me. I would build myself into the book!
The idea is that they would get a stack of library books and a bunch of documentaries about anything they were interested in, and they were to use those resources along with the journal while getting in all those academics.
My idea was that they could do everything independently with one journal and I would just have to add a math curriculum.
It worked great! After the kids finish their first DIY journal they asked for themed journals. One wanted to study horses. One wanted to focus on travel and fashion. One wanted Minecraft theme. One wanted to focus on dogs. Another was really into nature. My son Joe was crazy about space. I said yes to my kids and we started collaborating on making Fun-Schooling journals together- based on each of my kids’ passions.
The whole idea was an amazing success. My kids started earning royalties and were doing their homeschooling independently!
One thing I really love about Fun-Schooling is that it frees me up to be mom, and it gave me time to enjoy my preschooler and baby.
So instead of spending my day struggling over their schoolwork and trying to make sure that everything is organized in a really boring way… I started focusing more on pursuing my passions and reading to my kids more.
I thought it would be great to be an example to my kids of the learning I want to see in them. Down the rabbit trail I go… I started making Mom-School journals that look a lot like their DIY Fun-Schooling journals!
Not only did the kids love Fun-Schooling – I do too.
When we first started Fun-Schooling, I had 10 kids. Before Fun-Schooling, our homeschooling days were really stressful and I always felt like I wasn’t doing enough, yet I was going non-stop.
Our home just became so much more peaceful, full of wonder, and just more harmonious with Fun-Schooling. Best of all – lots of other families started discovering Fun-Schooling too!
Within two years of making the first DIY journal we sold so many Fun-Schooling books that we were able to do things we never thought possible.
We were able to support ourselves as volunteers in Ukraine, and eventually we were able to adopt five more kids because we had the extra income and I didn’t feel like I was overwhelmed by the ten kids I already had.
As more of my kids became teenagers, we helped them to focus on pursuing their careers, instead of focusing on high school credits, and now five of our kids are adults and have started their own successful businesses and are able to be independent.
Fun-Schooling made such a huge difference in our every day life and empowered us to really become who we were meant to be!
Recently, I discovered a treasure trove of great content for the blog in a journal I filled when Anna was 7-8 and Laura was on the way, and Susie was still a baby. I wrote up six interesting pages where I was trying to express who I am and what motivates me. This kind of journaling can be very therapeutic for us as moms. I thought it might bless others to be able to share in my thoughts from these early years…the growing list of posts can be found here.
Here I am
Waiting for the warmth of spring
Colors soft yellow and green
bright skies and warm dark earth.
Plant me-I’ll take root
Water me-I’ll bear fruit
Shine on me-I’ll shine for you
Speak to me-I’ll sing to you.
I want to be your delight
I want to be like a baby in your arms
I want to see you smile at my song
I just long to draw closer to you.
I feel a baby move inside of me
I wonder who this little one will be
On the day that I give birth
May your glory come to earth
As the beauty of your power is displayed
In the face of a child you have made.
When the flowers of spring appear
I will wait to whisper in your ear
And praise you for the greatness of your plan
I will praise and worship you and pray
For your glory to fill our house that day.
Laura’s Peaceful Home Birth
Laura’s home birth was so precious. She was actually born at a moment when no one was paying attention except Anna who was in the birth pool with me. Here are some sweet photos and video from the hour Laura was born and a few pictures from her first week of life.
Recently, I discovered a treasure trove of great content for the blog in a journal I filled when Anna was 7-8 and Laura was on the way, and Susie was still a baby. I wrote up six interesting pages where I was trying to express who I am and what motivates me. This kind of journaling can be very therapeutic for us as moms. I thought it might bless others to be able to share in my thoughts from these early years…
We begin with a poem…because writing poetry is therapeutic for me.
Here’s an idea that you might like to add to your life.
I made a “Passport of Blessing” for each member of my family where I add quotes, songs, prayers, encouragement, doodles, memories, and dreams for each of my children and my husband.
The books are little and I add something to a few of the books on most days. I keep the books in my room and the kids are able to pick them up and read what is written in any of them whenever they want to. When the book is full they can have it, and I will start a new one.
This is the type of notebook I used, but most of you don’t need to buy to bulk packages like I did! I love the size of these, the same size as a passport.
I believe it is so important to understand how to nurture a child’s growing mind. I have a passion to teach them to be curious, to love learning, to research wisely and to grow in wisdom, understanding and knowledge. It’s been my lifework to understand why some children struggle to learn, read and focus, and I dig deep into these matters sorting through vast amounts of research of the human mind to understand how to unlock the potential of each child. I work hard to find the answers and tap into the child’s gifts, no matter what their natural strengths and weaknesses may be. And I test these ideas and solutions and share them with the world, and many thousands of children have been able to overcome struggles related to ADHD, Autism and Dyslexia.
I also believe that it’s vastly important to nurture the child’s growing body, to give the child the best foods, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, the right balance of proteins, fats and carbs. I research and learn what is good and what is poison and ensure the child has sunshine and exercise. Because what good is a strong mind inside a weak and sick body? You can not care for one and neglect the other. Mothers and fathers everywhere make it a priority to care for the mind and body of the child, hoping that the child will grow, thrive and be strong and wise.
But this is not enough. We must also nourish the soul and spirit and character of the child as well, and even more so. How often is the care of the spirit the last thing we even consider at the end of the day. To nourish the spirit of the child is of greater value than all the efforts we could ever make to feed the mind and the body. How many of us have children who are starving spiritually?
Parent, you reap what you sow. If you plant in your child the seeds of the spirit your child will grow in the spirit. If you build him up in character, he will become a man of honor. If your daughter is nurtured in the things of the spirit she will grow in grace, glory and faith. But if a parent neglects the nourishment of the spirit, the soul and the character of the child, the impact in the life of the child will be more devastating than if you failed to nourish the body and the mind.
So I ask you, loving mother, how will you tend to the garden of your child’s soul today?
Do you have a life verse or verse of the year from 2022? Maybe something that spoke to you deeply at an important time in your life? Here are some of mine.
Josh & I have claimed this one since we got engaged on December 19, 1995: “The Lord hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad.” Psalm 126:3
On my 18th birthday, I embraced this one, kind of as a mandate for my life:
“Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean;
Put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes.
Cease to do evil,
Learn to do good;
Rebuke the oppressor;
Defend the fatherless,
Plead for the widow.
“Come now, and let us reason together,”
Says the Lord,
“Though your sins are like scarlet,
They shall be as white as snow;
Though they are red like crimson,
They shall be as wool. If you are willing and obedient,
You shall eat the good of the land; But if you refuse and rebel,
You shall be devoured by the sword”;
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.
When I was called to missions, instead of college, after finishing high school, this was my verse:
“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.”
When I first opened my heart and life to God at age 15 this verse stirred my soul:
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4:7-8
What verses will you take into the New Year with you?
In the coming days and weeks, look for posts here on the blog entitled, “Understanding Sarah” which will include diary and journal excerpts from these precious, early days.
Oh Lord I come to you and pray that Anna’s heart would be so fervent for you. Open her eyes to see you, give her ears to hear. Let her be hungry for your word and thirsty for more of your presence.
Help me to be full of wisdom to show her your path. Help me to teach her what YOU want her to know.
Help her to read very well soon.
I will trust you to show me how to help her. Give her a strong desire to learn. Let her mind be strong to grasp the things that will help her to be fluent in her reading. Let her develop a great love for reading even now.
Help me to devote myself to prepare her to serve and follow you in the calling that you have for her.
In Jesus name, Amen.
As I read my prayer from 15 years ago I remember feeling God impressing upon me to NOT raise her to reflect the teaching of the current culture or the standardized path that so many were pressuring me to take. I saw an anointing upon her, and I felt so strongly not to try to conform to the ways of the world in raising her, to block out the well-meaning voices of concerned relatives and friends because this child was chosen to do things in this world that a person with a standardized education could never have the time or creativity to do. “Let her be an artist,” God spoke to my heart. “Let her major in the Arts now”, my heart demanded.
If there were two things I knew about my call to raise Anna, they were: Empower her in creativity and plant the most beautiful seeds of Art and God’s word into the garden of her heart. It was obvious that she was an artist and a storyteller and she assured me that she didn’t need to learn to read to become an artist. I assured her that God would not have put the Bible in written form if He wasn’t going to give her the power to read it.
The Arts, Travel, History of Fashion, and the Bible became her entire curriculum throughout her homeschooling years from age 6 to 15. At 15 she wanted to add singing and songwriting to the plan and I hired Christine Dente to be her coach. At age 17 she completed the writing of an audio musical about the life of Jesus. It was her senior project, bringing forth all of her learning from her childhood. That year I didn’t require any other schoolwork — “Just write your musical” — and she did!
Learn what has become of her talents, her hunger for God’s word, her thirst for His presence and her devotion to serve Jesus and follow His calling to reveal His heart to this world… see how He answered the prayers of a discouraged mother who sought God’s will and not the world’s for one little girl. Anna’s faith is beautiful, free, passionate, and alive. She is a bright light in the darkness and brings me so much joy.
Let’s talk. What is holding you back from fully embracing your calling?
And FEAR doesn’t count.
If fear was your answer, in any way, shape, or form, give me a better reason why you are not totally living what you believe. You were put on this earth for a specific purpose and anything less is not acceptable. If you were called by God to accomplish something you will need to answer to Him alone for not doing it.
I promise, answering me is easier, and may be a first step toward living out your calling, because I’m going to pray for you to have everything it takes, especially the courage, to move forward!
If nothing else, get a book about someone with a similar calling who overcame all the odds and did it. Also, some dreams are not “realistic” and you gotta know when to let go and accept your limitations. But a calling is different from dream because when you take a step out into obedience to God, and start to take risks of faith HE WILL do everything within HIS power to provide, equip and protect you in this calling.
Maybe you are not a leader. Then get behind someone who is already carrying out a similar calling. What do you have to lose?
Is the problem “no support from your family”? Get down to the root of this issue. If you are married you should develop one vision for your purpose, and do the thing you both agree on! Don’t stay focused on the parts you don’t agree on. Build on common ground.
Are your parents holding you back because of their personal fears and failures? Are they trying to keep you SAFE in THEIR comfort zone for their “peace of mind”? Are they keeping you from fulfilling YOUR calling because it’s not quite what they had in mind, because you are all they have and they don’t want you to take any risks???? Honor them by fulfilling God’s calling. Go in faith.
After the event in 2019 in the photo at the top of this post, I heard many many stories about how hope was given, lives were changed, families were empowered to make brave choices… I stepped out of my comfort zone, and God blessed. And by faith, I’ve done it again since.