It has been a while since my last entry on here, but I have been writing. Since the last post we visited Rochester, NY for a couple weeks to celebrate my birthday, my husband’s parent’s 50th anniversary, and to take part in a dear friends wedding.
Since my sweetheart (a.k.a. daughter) was born, I have been studying homeschool as much as possible. It was our heart’s desire to homeschool any children the LORD gave us. Through the last four years, I have not grown confidence in my abilities, however I have grown confident of the LORD’s calling for us to homeschool our daughter, and HIS ability to work through me, no matter how flawed I can be, because HE has called me to do it! “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” (Deuteronomy 6:4-9 ESV)
I have continued reading “When You Rise Up: A Covenantal Approach to Homeschooling”by R. C. Sproul Jr. Which has been more of a theological lesson, not about why we homeschool but rather why teach your children. But I have not finished, I have the last chapter to read. Then I’ll write a little about the book. I have also been reading bits and pieces of “Managers of Their Homes: A Practical Guide To Daily Scheduling For Christian Home-School Families” by Steven and Teri Maxwell. This book has been helpful in teaching the great need to schedule the family’s life. Certainly not to be legalistic (things will come up), but rather to give direction. I’ve seen this very helpful in our life. Not just helping me get up every morning at a certain (realistic) time, but rather making sure I’ve planned activities for my sweetheart. Noticing that usually most of the “issues” arise when she is bored or needs direction to do something. Also making sure the activities have an appropriate amount of time scheduled. Also, the book spoke of being sure not to have “idle” time but rather being wise with our time. If there is something that consumes more of our time then it should (ie: internet, tv, etc.), we need to just spend an apporpriate (pre-planned/scheduled) amount of time.
The Maxwell’s book was especially encouraging to me because I had gotten used to “living in the moment.” I’d do what was needed but also lost track of time and didn’t complete some things I could. So as I really thought about when, how long, what to do in my day, I realized how much more I can accomplish. I tend to get overwhelmed with a lot on my plate, but with a schedule (carefully/prayerfully planned), instead of being discouraged at the end of the day with all the things I didn’t do, I can be thankful for the things that did get done!
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. (James 1:2-4 ESV)
“1:2-18The Testing of Faith. Trials test faith inorder to make spiritual pilgrimages complete. They are part of the “good gifts” (v. 17) God gives his people in order to make them whole.” (ESV Study Bible, pg. 2391)
“1:3 Testing of your faith defines the meaning of a trial for the Christian: as Jesus was “tested” in the wilderness (Matt. 4:1-13), so believers are tested. the Greek dokimion (“testing”) denotes a positive test intended to make one’s faith “genuine” (cf. 1 Pet. 1:7). The result is steadfastness, a life of faithful endurance amid troubles and afflictions. (ESV Study Bible, pg. 2391)
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls. (1 Peter 1:3-9 ESV)
~And let steadfastness have its full effect… How often do we find ourselves within a trial? Are we wishing the trial away? Do we recognize the true gift that trials are to us? Are you ready to let the trial…steadfastness have its full effect?
It was my plan to go grocery shopping with our sweet daughter this morning as soon as she woke up. Normally her morning greeting is, “Good Morning Mommy!” Today, even though I never mentioned to her that we would be going shopping right away, she some how knew and greeted me with, “I don’t want to go shopping!” As I thought about how to respond, I reflected on the book I started reading this week, When You Rise Up: A Covenantal Approach to Homeschooling (written by R. C. Sproul Jr.). In this book he challenges the reader to consider what is the purpose of education…ultimately to glorify God. He gave the example of someone studying to become an architect. Not necessarily because of the various reasons one would normally choose a career but because it would bring glory to God. Because according to Genesis, man would have dominion over the earth, therefore the engineer would bring glory to God in his/her occupation. We did get ready and go shopping regardless of how we felt (or looked) because it would bring glory to GOD. We had a list of needs and even though either of us didn’t “feel” like getting out that early before Daddy needed the car for work, we completed our task.
I have been quite ill recently and ever more depending on GOD’s strength, mercy and grace to get me through the days. Today was no exception. Everyday, just before naptime, I always tell my daughter, “okay, a few more minutes.” I don’t have to say anything else, she knows what that means…nap time. Usually her response is, “No mommy, I don’t want to nap.” Although she easily follows me upstairs and goes down for a nap without complaining. However, today was different. When I said those five words, she responded, “YEAAAAAHHHH, I love nap!” That simple answer just blessed my heart and showed a weary mommy, GOD’s love and mercy. That one response just made my day.
In reflection, as I’ve heard so many times, parenting gives us a mere perspective into our relationship with GOD our FATHER. Whether it is when we are training our children and thinking of times that GOD trains us or the sweet adoration children have for their parents because they have loved and provided for them. It’s this response, “YEAAAAHHHH, I love _____,” that I want to come to mind with whatever GOD my FATHER asks of me, with a joyous yes…not a half-hearted compliance. Not with murmurings or complainings, but with all my heart…to the glory of GOD. I love the simple activities we can use to teach our children (and ourselves) to bring glory to GOD.
According to Ecclesiastes 1:9-10, “What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.Is there a thing of which it is said, “See, this is new”? It has been already in the ages before us.” We have been going through a major trial. After just two months of closing on our new home, we found out that the ministry my husband works for will be terminating his position due to financial difficulties. This came as a complete shock to us because we just moved down to the area one year ago to work with this ministry. Nonetheless, this was not a shock to our HEAVENLY FATHER. HE knew what would happen well before we even moved from New York. We are thankful that we have hope in HIM. That HE is our JEHOVAH JIREH. We are blessed that although man may sign the paychecks, GOD our FATHER has always been our provider and always will be. HE will always supply our every need according to the richness of HIS mercy.