Piano Praise Beauty

 

Something about the piano praise medley on Pandora brought much needed inspiration this morning. There were no words playing from my speakers, but the words played in my heart. The words echoed,

beauty

beauty

beauty

On a dark, dank, wet day, there is beauty.

The melody repeated and the Lord highlighted the beauty all around. Temptation to go looking for His beauty filled me, until He pointed out that I didn’t need to move from the spot where I was perched at our paint stained kitchen table.

The words from Philippians 4 flooded my heart,

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.  Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

My pen began to slide along my journal, pouring out beauty.

Beauty in the sounds.

Beauty in the breath.

Beauty in the light.

Beauty in the soul.

Beauty in the raindrops.

Beauty in the squirrel discovering the feed.

Beauty in the shine off the wind chime.

Beauty in the Easter garden awaiting the sun and warmth to aid the grass in growing.

Beauty in the empty cross and tomb reminding me death has no sting.

Beauty in the mound of soil ready for it’s plants.

Beauty in the Easter egg project my 9-year-old left strewn about the table waiting to bless her cousins.

Beauty in the school posters hung on the wall signifying learning happening within these walls.

Beauty in the stack of books laying horizontally longing to be read.

Beauty in the mud covered boots reminding me of the tromping my 11-year-old did the day before.

Beauty in the signs of life all around.

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What I Learned in March

Psalm 25:4-5, Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long.

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Last month, I decided to begin summarizing my monthly learning. It’s almost like I am testing myself to see what learning took place and how the Lord led me. Maybe something will resonate with you. Or, maybe you will share your learning with me in the comments. In my learning, you may read spiritual lessons, cooking tips, homeschooling tips… you just never know. Feel free to share your learning in any area below.

This month I learned:

The power in setting a timer: I set a timer for Talk Time with my kids. And it works for exercise, keeping track of how long I’m exercising. Why not try it in other areas of my life? This month I began setting a timer for 5 minutes to simply be in the presence of God. Not talking, praying, or reading. But just being with God. It’s such a beautiful, sacred time. The timer helps keep me on track and also keeps me from talking myself out of it with such ridiculousness as, “I don’t have time.”

Juicing lesson: Beets taste earthy and sweet when juiced. And they make my juice a beautiful, vibrant, bright color!

Beet juice

Listening to my children can solve so much: Much of my reading this month has been focused on parenting. The Lord has revealed to me that I have not been listening to my children and it’s time to make it a priority. At first, I thought, “No, no, Lord. You have this all wrong. My children, they talk all the time. I homeschool them. We are together all the time. Lord, I listen to them.” Until I started focusing on verses such as, Proverbs 18:13, To answer before listening— that is folly and shame. And, Proverbs 1:5, let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance.  And, reading books such as The Explosive Child, Parenting Your Spirited Child and Sibling Rivalry, and I realized I wasn’t really listening to them. I was allowing them to talk just long enough and then rushing to a solution that would work for me. In my listening to my children, I have discovered:

They are able to solve problems collaboratively with a little coaching.

When I repeat what I hear them say, they diffuse quite quickly.

When I acknowledge their frustration, even when it’s about their sibling, they don’t become more frustrated and actually act less negative toward their sister.

They notice I smile more now! My oldest daughter had to change my icon on our Wii, “because you smile more now, mom.” Praise God! And, I am so thankful I heard her say that!

Sometimes rather than teaching manners it helps to work on listening to your child. The healing that can come results in greater respect from your child and thus genuine manners. A heartfelt, “thank you”, goes so much further than a taught, “thank you”. 

Riding a bike really is just like a riding bike:

My husband and I had a rare afternoon all to ourselves and it wasn’t raining! On a whim, we decided to get our cobwebbed covered bikes down from their hanging spot in our garage, pump up the old tires, and head out for a 15 mile bike ride. “I hope my bike doesn’t disintegrate underneath me!” I declared as we headed out of our neighborhood. Riding a bike, feeling the wind blow against our faces, and breathing in the fresh air, made us feel like little kids again. I highly recommend going out for a bike ride as soon as possible! And, don’t worry, you haven’t forgotten how to ride a bike!

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One on one time with each child during homeschooling is invaluable:

One of my children explained their desire to spend one on one learning time with me, just as I spend time with the students I tutor. This particular child had been struggling emotionally, so I was ready for a change. We loaded our arms with school books, pencils, and notebooks, and headed for the quiet of her room. Again, we set a timer. We would spend one hour just the two of us plugging away at her school work. Sometimes I was just there. Other times, we woud pray together. And, still other times, we had discussions about her work. Still considering myself new to homeschooling (Overcoming School) (this is year 2 for us), I am still relaxing and learning how to teach without creating a classroom feel. It’s tough. But, the fruit came when my daughter, often agitated during school work, was pleasant and engaged all throughout the morning.

Now, it’s your turn. I would love to hear what you are learning. Please take a minute and share with me in the comments below.

Humbling Through Homeschool

We often receive curious looks and questions when people learn that we went from being fully emerged in public school to being fully emerged in our homeschool.  We were in the thick of public school. Not only were our two children in public school from kindergarten on, but I was teaching public school, and loving it. I loved my students.  I loved their families. I loved putting myself into helping my students succeed. I loved forming relationships with my students. I found so much fulfillment in teaching them.

“Why would you leave that?” is the question that follows the skeptical looks.

The Lord made it clear that it was time for a change. Our family followed in obedience. You can read more about that decision here: Overcoming School

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First Day of Ostreim Academy 2016

I mistakenly thought the decision to follow in obedience and begin homeschool was the lesson. I didn’t realize that with each passing week, it was me that was receiving an ongoing lesson.

I am the teacher, right? But, the Holy Spirit is my teacher. What’s on the lesson plan on a weekly basis? Humility.

Again, Lord? Humility again?

Yes. As I read through chapter 6 of Galatians, the lesson plan is clear. The application to me as my child’s instructor, is clear.

Galatians 6:3-4,  For if anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.  But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.

Since beginning homeschooling my children about 18 months ago, the lessons for me have come at a rapidfire pace. Lessons on spending less money due to going down to one income. Lessons on the importance of teaching my children the Word. Lessons on being more flexible on how our day is structured. Lessons on the unique learning styles of my children. But one consistent lesson that has remained from day one until now is humility.

Who knew that homeschooling was going to bring even more growth to me than for my children?

I love Paul’s straightforward approach. My paraphrase, “If you think you are something, you are wrong!”

Sitting down to help my husband with a tax document, these verses came alive for me and my lesson on humility glared at me straight in the face.

“We just need to create a table for these expenses. We will fill in these totals and then total these columns. The total for this row will go there,” my husband rattles off the instructions.

I stare at the document in his hand. Then back at the computer screen. A full minute must have passed before I managed to say, “What?”

Riffling through his papers, he halfway mumbles, “What? What part are you saying what to?”

“The whole thing. What do you want me to do?” my head hurts at the same time as being completely blank.

He continues on with a longer explanation and my brain slowly begins to engage enough to know how to at least begin the task.

Creating the empty columns and rows and titles begins to flow. I am doing okay until it’s time to start entering information.

“Enter this number here,” he requests.

Okay, I can do that.

“Now total this section here,” he continues.

Uh oh. The glazing over is back. What? Where did he say to put the number? What number goes there? I am hesitant to ask my questions. He’s going to groan in frustration, right? At least show a small annoyance that I am not understanding.

I am expecting that reaction because that’s what I do. When the girls are not understanding a direction or a problem on their math. It’s just about impossible to answer without showing at least some sign that I am frustrated. I just gave the direction. They couldn’t possibly need me to say it again.

Now my distraction working with my husband has nothing to do with my lack of understanding but it has everything to do with the Lord showing me my less than humble attitude when teaching my children.

Oh, Lord, you are right. I am waiting on a sharp word from my husband or a sigh of frustration, because those are behaviors I have when teaching my girls. 

This prideful attitude didn’t just appear. It’s been here all along. It didn’t get exercised on a daily basis prior to homeschooling. It also didn’t get refined prior to homeschooling.

My words of disappointment or my groans of frustration are telling my children that I really think I am something.

Further down in Galatians, Paul continues, And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Galatians 6:9.

During morning chores and Bible time, grace-filled words ring from my tongue. Warm greetings and compliments come easy at the beginning of the day.

Hours into the morning, when blood sugars are running low, the to-do list is piling up along with the dishes, and the push and pull of the world is heavy at work, weariness sets in. Where a soft tone once was, now there’s a growing volume to my voice. Where patience was once in abundance, now hastiness is creeping in. Where encouraging words once flowed, now a sharp tongue is heard.

It’s at this point in our day when my weariness in doing good has set in and my pride, my thinking I am really something, has heightened.

My futile attempts to do good at this point are just that, futile. I have turned my back on the grace the Lord so lavishly bestows on me and I am walking in my own prideful flesh.

Time for some more restoration. Mending of my brokenness. Filling of the Spirit.

Time for the incredible reminder that God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8.

If that doesn’t bring the necessary humbling, what will?

Dear Lord, thank you for your lessons. Thank you for your refinement. Thank you for never leaving me the same as I was yesterday. And, Lord, my loving Heavenly Father, thank you for your abundance of grace raining over me. 

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Make a Joyful Sound

My classroom door thrusts open as my breathless daughter, 7 years old at the time, comes crashing in. Tears brimming in her eyes, short loud breaths coming from her mouth, body tense. The 5 and 6 year olds I am attempting to teach, all turn and watch the melt down that ensues.

“What is going on? What? Calm down and tell me…” I plead with her, knowing deep down she cannot even process to speak in her agitated state.

Moments later a bewildered music teacher rushes into the room, her eyes searching for Abby.

I look to her for an answer. Certain my precious daughter had been bullied and mistreated.

Mrs. Stevens, the music teacher explains, “I was just explaining the spring musical to Abby’s class. They will sing a song and there will be some speaking parts…”

“I won’t do it! No!” Abby interjects.

Mrs. Stevens continues, “The speaking parts are volunteer only. She doesn’t have to have a speaking part.”

Attempting to understand, I ask, “Is it just her class on stage singing the songs?”

“No, all 3 second grade classes will be singing together.”

I am sad. Watching my daughter overcome with fear at the thought of standing on risers in a school gym, singing with 75 other kids, my heart hurts. Why is she so fearful, panicked, and anxious?

And, how have I failed her?

Have I not complimented her enough? Given her enough opportunities to speak in front of others? Built her up? Have I become frustrated with her too many times, killing her spirit? What did I do to cause this kind of fear in my daughter? 

Flash forward about 1 1/2 years…18 short months later.

Sitting in the beautiful large performing arts center, looking around at all the wired, chatty kids dressed in their white shirts and black bottoms, laughing with their friends, I wonder what my Abby will do on stage. Making no mention of nerves or fear, I wonder will it creep up just before stepping on stage? If she does go up on the stage, will she simply mouth the words? During the recorder song, will she remember which finger plays which note on her recorder?

I make no mention of the questions filling my mind. I hold back even asking, “How are you feeling?” It’s just a normal day, nothing to worry about here.

I think back to two months ago, in the car on the ride home from music class. We begin the 20 minute drive home from Granite Falls. As my mind is mulling over groceries I need to buy, what I will make for dinner, wondering about the weather for the weekend, I half hear Abby say, “Me and a couple other kids are going to say a scripture in the concert. I find out next week what I will be saying.”

Wait? What? Tune in. “What did you say?”

“Oh, Mrs. Hinman will give me the scripture I need to learn next week.”

Wake up brain. Come on. Drive and listen. Focus. Which kid is talking to me?

Trying to make sense of the words I am hearing, “Mikayla, do you have a speaking part in the concert?” I ask.

Mikayla, pulling her head away from her book, “What? Me? No. I am singing and playing the clarinet.”

“No, mom, it’s me. I do. I will have a scripture to say.”

After I ask about 100 questions, I learn that Abby voluneteered to have a speaking part, there are only a few kids that have a part like this, she is excited about it, and I am the one that needs to relax about it.

My girl diligently practices her part every day, until we realize she no longer needs to practice it. She can say it forward and backwards. She can say it at the dinner table, she can say it while on a walk, she can say it in front of her music class. In fact, I am sure she can say it in her sleep. She’s got it.

The announcements and introductions are complete and the show will begin. Mrs. Hinman, the director, explains the order for the evening and we learn Abby’s group will be performing first.

Walking up onto the risers, she sees us in the audience, a quick smile and a wave and she’s back to business. Her eyes on her director, her mouth singing. Is that her voice I hear among the 20 other kids on stage? My step-mom leans over to me, “I can even hear Abby’s voice. It’s beautiful.”

It’s her alright. Singing about our Lord’s birth. Singing with joy in her face and her voice. Singing with confidence. Letting her light and her voice shine.

Psalm 96 says, Oh, sing to the Lord a new song!
Sing to the Lord, all the earth.
2 Sing to the Lord, bless His name;
Proclaim the good news of His salvation from day to day.
3 Declare His glory among the nations,
His wonders among all peoples.

The tears catch in my throat. I can’t swallow. Holding my phone, trying to capture this on video, my body shakes and I give in to the tears.

Boldly walking to the microphone, she clearly says her words, the Lord’s words,  about Mary and Joseph coming to Bethlehem to prepare for the birth of Jesus. She speaks with clarity and certainty before returning to her singing.

Okay, I am a mess. This girl. 18 months ago, filled with debilitating fear about singing in front of her school. No evidence of fear today. Boldly proclaiming the Lord’s words. Tears streaming, I am present for the rest of the concert, but my heart is with the Lord.

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Oh, He is good. He gives us a new song. His wonders never cease.

At intermission, the grandparents gush the compliments all over Abby. “Oh, you did so wonderful. We are so proud of you. You spoke so clearly.”

Abby shyly looks away, a behavior she may have learned from me.

I whisper to her, “I am so proud of you, Abby.”

“Mom, I was shivering. Just before I spoke, I was all shivery.”

“But you did it anyway, Abby. That’s true courage.”

Only the Lord can do this kind of work in a person. Only the Lord can give us this New Song. When we allow Him in, give Him permission to take up residence in our heart, our song sounds different. No longer the old fear-filled, crippling song of the past. A new song, filled with Hope, Strength and Certainty. 

See one of the songs along with Abby’s speaking part here:  Manger Song

 

 

 

Back to the Basics

“I am just overwhelmed with how to get it all in…” my homeschooling mom friend and I commiserate about our schedules and determining what to teach. “My son worked on algebra all morning yesterday! He never once picked up his history or literature books!”

“We overslept and then had a cooking project we worked on all morning, ” I fire back.

“What science curriculum do you use?” another friend inquires, “I haven’t even touched on science with my kids,” she continues.

I am hearing a theme lately among my homeschool mom friends. It’s a theme I heard throughout my time as a teacher as well. “There’s just so much to cover and so little time. How do we get it all in?”

Refinement. I have heard it said our greatest refining comes through marriage and parenting. In order to have any peace as a spouse or parent, we have to allow the Lord to refine us, remake us, soften us, mold us into the instrument He can use. But, I have found another area in my life in which the Lord is greatly using to refine, cleanse, and change me: homeschooling.

She came to me, sobbing, rightly confessing her wrong doing. Genuine in spirit, no prompting, no guilt, no pressure from any source. Broken hearted over her sin. Broken. An opportunity for God’s love to better reach into her brokenness…my brokenness. 

Continuing on, my daughter explains the distant feeling she has had lately from God. Hesitantly letting the words slip out about wondering if God will hear her if she does go to Him. Her eyes shyly reach up to mine, fearful of what I may say. Fearful of what she may see in my eyes.

I am quiet. For I know of what she speaks. Small repeated sin, creeping in. Slithering between her and the God she does love. The God she does know. The God she has come to trust in dark hours.

Oh, dear one, I know this distance. I know the guilt and shame. I know the space between you and the Lord growing ever bigger and darker. And, I know that it is not the Lord that moves.

Dear one, I also know the Lord’s voice when He continues to call to you, even when you silence that voice. I know, because I have been doing it for weeks.

My turn to receive His cleansing. Dear one, the Lord has been calling me to refocus our days. He’s been telling me to go back to what He first told me about homeschooling. He’s been prompting me to see that it doesn’t matter my children’s age, they still need teaching from the Word and prayer to focus our hearts each day. He’s been reminding me of what He showed me last school year…a child with a deep knowledge of history, science, and math, without a deeper knowledge of Him and love for His Word, will be lost in this world.

Dear one, I have put math facts above the God-breathed instructional manual.

I see it in your eyes. I hear it in your voice. Your heart is heavy. And, I can no longer ignore the Voice that has been calling to me for weeks.

I am sorry, dear one. Your soul is more important to me than any academic learning.

Dear one, I have been neglecting my part in instructing and preparing you for the spiritual warfare on this Earth.

Jesus’ words in Matthew 6 ring in my heart:

Matthew 18:6 “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea.

Although I didn’t model the sin, I didn’t encourage it, and I didn’t endorse it, I wasn’t doing the last thing the Lord told me to do in order to equip my children against the evil in this world. I must take responsibility for my part in my daughter’s broken heart over her sin and separation from the God she loves.

I  remember our times of closeness with the Father. The times my daughters uttered beautiful heart-felt words in prayer. The times when their Bible journals overflowed with art capturing the glory of the Word we read.

I cannot change their hearts. Only the Holy Spirit can do that. But, I will be obedient in teaching the Word and allowing time for my dear ones to hear from the Lord.

Math can wait. Instruction from the Almighty can not. 

I will return to the Lord I love.

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Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.

Deuteronomy 6:6-7 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.

Walking in Unity

Admittedly, I am not a history buff. In fact, in college, I had the pleasure of repeating World History, due to failing it the first time. One quarter into college, and I received a letter threatening academic probation.

The professor was like character in a movie, passionately lecturing for 2 hours at rapid speed. Sweat would pour off his brow. One day, as I was madly scribbling notes, trying to capture every word he said in hopes that I may just pass the next test, there was a loud thud as the podium that rested before the teacher came crashing down. In all of his enthusiasm and energy, he had pushed the podium right over. At 18 years old, I couldn’t even fathom being that excited about history. In fact, I wasn’t passionate about anything at that point in my life.

When God began leading our family toward homeschooling, one of the doubts the enemy enjoyed holding over me was the reminder of my failure in history. How can you teach history, when you don’t know history? Good question.

Spreading out the curriculum in front of my daughters during our very first week of homeschool, one daughter shrieked with excitement, “Oh, the American Revolution! I would just love to learn about the American Revolution!”

Okay, here we go, God. Let the growing begin.

One of my daughters devoured the books and videos we checked out. As per her style, she was all about the American Revolution for a few weeks, learning all that interested her, before moving on to the next passing passion, chemistry.

During that time, the Lord used our learning to reassure me that it was okay that I had floundered through history class. My girls and I were now a team in our learning, spending our time together, studying, growing.

Fast forward to year 2 of Ostreim Academy, our homeschool. Our family purchased Story of the World, Volume 3. The curriculum came with a copy of the book, which is basically a textbook, well written as a flowing story, capturing our attention. It also contained a teacher’s guide, as well as activity sheets. I had every intention of using each piece of this curriculum. But, in reality, what is happening, is that we listen to the audio version of the book in the car two days a week, when we do school away from home. The reader, Jim Weiss, does a beautiful job, telling the story of our world. We listen and we pause and discuss. We relate what we hear to our life.

This morning, our learning was about the beginning of our great country and our government, and especially about George Washington.

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Jim Weiss, expertly told about George Washington’s past experience, his character and the way the American people embraced him. Suddenly, he spouted off a phrase that left me speechless. The words rang through the car into my mind, but the words that followed went unnoticed because my mind was mulling over what I just heard. “The American people voted, and it was unanimous, George Washington would be the first President of the United States.”

Unanimous?

Pausing the CD, I ask my daughters, “Do you know what that means?”

“Yes, it means, most of the people voted for him,” one daughter said.

“No, not MOST, but ALL. ALL of the people agreed, George Washington would be the best person to lead the country.”

Unanimous, of one mind, in complete agreement. 

When I look at the word, unanimous, I think of the word unity. A quick study of the two words reveals their origin, unus, meaning “one”.

Oh, Lord, how far we have strayed. Please forgive us. 

Our last several elections, have brought about many things, but unity was not one of them. Anger, division, resentment, fear, hopelessness, but, no, not unity.

The Spirit reminds me of the the apostle Paul’s words regarding unity:

I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love,  endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.  There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling;  one Lord, one faith, one baptism;  one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. Ephesians 4: 1-5.

Listening further, we learn about George Washington’s character, not seeking power, fame or attention. When his first term was up, he was ready to move on, but, again, the American people voted for Washington as president despite the fact that he was not desiring to be president. You mean to say, he didn’t slander his opponents, boast about himself, and post signs up and down the highway saying, Vote for Washington?

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Again, Lord, we have strayed so far. I am sorry. 

When I read the scripture, I see God’s desire for unity. When I live out verses teaching the character of Christ, I am living in peace. When I am seeking after Jesus’ heart, I am not easily offended. When I ask the Lord to search me, I am looking for a renewed heart.

Lord, help us to walk in unity. Humbling us so we put others before ourselves. Help us to walk with you, One Lord, One Faith, One Hope. Amen. 

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Overcoming School

2015 brought a radical change for us.

I entered my first public school as a student in 1980. I am old. My education began at Hilltop Elementary School. From Hilltop Elementary, I went on to Alderwood Middle School, to Lynnwood High School, to Western Washington University, to eventually receiving my teaching degree so that I could continue my time at school.

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The September to June cycle was how my life was organized. It’s all I had ever known. Spend August getting ready for school to start, the excitement of school starting in September, school pictures in the fall, celebrating holidays at school, field trips with classrooms, collecting box tops, school fundraisers, the anticipation of school ending for the year in June, and finally summer break. This was my life for 35 years.

This trend of leaving home to attend school continued all the way through until 2015, when God said, “STOP, there is a different way”.

I had never considered homeschooling. In all honesty, I didn’t understand homeschooling.  There are perfectly good schools designed to teach my children. I learned at those perfectly good schools.

It began when I met my friend, Stephanie and her daughter, Katie. I was in my 15th year of teaching; my own children were in the thick of public school: common core, fundraisers, school drama, stress. Stephanie had been a teacher in California and had left the classroom to teach her daughter in their home.

At first, Stephanie simply told me about her experience homeschooling. No judgment. No pressure.

As the Lord began opening up my mind and heart to the idea of homeschool, Stephanie began sharing statements such as:

“No one else will teach your kids like you. No one else loves your kids like you do.”

“God gave you your kids. He will show you how to teach them.”

“It’s a lie from the enemy that your kids need to be away from home all day, 5 days a week..that each family member needs to be doing their separate thing.”

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Is this you, Lord? Could I do this? Should I leave the familiarity of the school setting? Could I handle all day every day with my children? Do I have the patience? Do I have the energy? Will we be able to pay the bills on one income? Will my kids miss their peers at school? Will my strong-willed child do what I ask her?

Each of these questions is giving me an opportunity to trust the Lord and deepen my dependency on Him.

God keeps sending me the message that if my life is comfortable, something is wrong.

Homeschooling has been an opportunity for my weakness to shine and His strength to reign, my need to grow and His power to be utilized.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 2 Corinthians 12:9

Over the last several months, so many moms have said to me, I could never homeschool my kids. Reasons include: “my child is too strong-willed”, “we can’t even do homework together”, “I have to work”, “my child is too social”, and “I always struggled in math”.

I am here to tell you that I can honestly say that each of those statements fit for me and my family, too. If God is calling you to homeschool, if you even feel He may be gently telling you to homeschool, calling your attention to the possibility, He will equip you. In fact, He already has. If you are a child of God, with the Holy Spirit residing in you, then you have, “love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”

It’s not always easy. It’s not always fun. It’s not always what I feel like doing each day. But, it is most definitely what God has called me to. And, He has most definitely been faithful in giving us what we need each day.

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When I was too strict with our schedule and routine, He was faithful to reveal a new way to structure our day. When I was trying to recreate “school” at home, He showed me my children’s unique styles and what would work best for them. In fact, here’s a run down of what the Lord has shown me during quiet time with Him: 

  1. Setting alarm clocks, starting early, finishing early, allowing for a lot of creative learning time in the afternoons. 
  2. Beginning the day with exercise.
  3. Checklists for completing tasks.
  4. Doing most tasks in the order each child chooses.
  5. Working at their level in each academic area.
  6. Having two days a week of learning outside of the home.
  7. Having a “no screen time” rule during the school week.
  8. Audio books in the car.
  9. Weekly trips to the library.
  10. Playing instrumental music in the background all day.
  11. Above all else, having a goal of learning to love the Lord with our whole hearts and loving our neighbors as ourselves. Academic learning is a side benefit. 

Is God calling you away from the traditional school setting? Are you scared like I was? Are you willing to get uncomfortable and follow where the Lord leads?

One thing to be sure of, keeping your eyes on Him, you and your kids will learn and grow as He desires. 

You shall teach them to your children, speaking of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. Deuteronomy 11:19.