August 6, 2007

For Me and Anyone Else Who's Weary in the Trenches

When I was 19 I went to a missions meeting in Denver. There I heard about something wonderful called Homeschooling. I knew instantly that that was the mission field God was calling me to. It wasn't deepest, darkest Africa, like I'd been fearing! It was my children God wanted to send me to.

So, a year later, as Mike and I found our relationship deepening and the word "marriage" began to enter our conversations, I talked to Mike. "Mike, God told me to homeschool my kids, and it's something I want to do too. Is that OK with you? Because if you have a problem with it we need to end our relationship right now." (I'm SO thankful he didn't have a problem with it! :-) )

Tomorrow I will start my 17th year of homeschooling. If you add up the individual years I've taught each child it adds up to 37 years!!

I'm more tired, weary, and unmotivated this year than I think I've ever been. I had a fun, relaxing, busy summer and I don't want my free time to end. It's not that I want to quit homeschooling. I just want to postpone starting indefinitely.

This morning I sat down with my bible and some notes taken from homeschool convention workshops I've gone to to refresh my memory on why I do this. Hopefully this will help me face tomorrow!

#1. God told me to do it.

#2. Our children are never dying souls entrusted to our care. (Quote from Chris Klicka) that quote sings to my heart.......

#3. 1Cor. 15:58 says: Therefore my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.

I have the advantage of being half-way done. I can look at our 2 oldest and see the truth of that verse.....

#4. Ps 127:3-4 Behold children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb is His reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior so are the children of one's youth.

This verse presupposes there is a spiritual battle and in my mind goes right along with

2Cor. 3:2-3...you are our letter written in our hearts, known and read by all men; clearly you are a letter of Christ, ministered by us, written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone, but on tablets of flesh, that is on the heart.

My goals for homeschooling have never been primarily academic. That was always secondary to the goals of raising boys who:

*love Jesus most of all

*reflect Jesus' love to those around them

*are bold and courageous in their faith and won't give in to peer pressure

*are wise. I want them to know we have an enemy who wants to share an eternity of hell with them. I want them to not only recognize his lies but know the truth and how to share that truth with others.

*be men like God with "staying power". Not giving in to their feelings but strong in conviction. Men like their dad who love their wives and children and are willing to lay down their lives for their families..

#5. I feel very close to our 2 oldest sons. That came through spending TONS of time with them, not through scrapbooking, making yo yo quilts, or beaded Christmas tree toppers.



These are the verses that really jumped out at me this morning:

Ps. 51:10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

Phil. 4:6-7 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.

3rd John 4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.

2 Cor. 3:4-5 ...And we have such trust through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God...

2 Cor. 12:9 And He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness....

2 Cor. 10:5...casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ......

1 John 3:16 By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.

2 Thess. 3:5 Now may the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and the patience of Christ.

Matt. 11:28-30 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.


My prayer for the boys is Ps. 119:97-101:

Oh how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day. You, through Your commandments, make me wiser than my enemies; For they are ever with me. I have more understanding than all my teachers, for Your testimonies are my meditation. I understand more than the ancients, because I keep Your precepts. I have restrained my feet from every evil way, that I may keep Your word.

These are too long to write out but they also spoke to my heart this morning:

Eph. 4:11-16 (Another prayer for my sons)

Ps. 78:1-11

I also think of Sam and Frodo during times like this-I picture everything they went through to destroy "the" ring. I especially picture their faces and the pain and the weariness and everything they gave up for their friends. Then I remember 2 Timothy 4:6-7:
For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

The battle I'm in is not as hard or terrifying as the battle Frodo and Sam faced. Nor as hard as the things Paul went through for the sake of the gospel...but this is my battle and I do want to fight the good fight. I want to finish the race, not sit down wearily and wait for the finish line to come to me.
Lord, give me your joy! Help me to praise You and have a thankful heart for the boys, the race, and the freedom to spend all day every day with my kids!

4 comments:

  1. Thanks, Judy. I needed that! I am going to refer back to this post many times. Those scriptures were excellent. I am struggling as well for many different reasons. Praise God for His faithful Word to us that gives us hope and joy! BTW, I hope your first day was a lovely surprise.

    Tif

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  2. You never told how you met Mike. I was really looking forward to finding out about that. In fact, you skipped a lot of years there! Anyways, you always encourage me. And I really need those verses right now. I, too, think of LOTR when I think about the battle we're in, especially since I feel so weak and like such a failure. I think it's so neat that Tolkein chose the smallest, weakest person to be the only one who could carry the ring. Anyone more powerful by the world's standards would have been corrupted by it. I can do this homeschooling thing. I'll pray for you. How did your first day go?

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  3. Our first day actually was a lovely surprise! We finished early and I even had time to cut out some yo yos last night!
    You're right, Andrea, about Tolkein choosing the smallest and weakest person to carry the ring. Sometimes when I look at my life, and my baggage and our kids, I think of that verse that talks about God choosing the foolish things of this world to confound the wise. It's only by His Grace that our kids are like they are. I know we've confounded some people who thought we were nuts to homeschool!

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  4. Oh Judy,
    I get so afraid about our kids sometimes. I don't think pubic education is the answer, but sometimes I feel like homeschooling will let them down too. (After all, I am the one teaching them and I am the weakest of them all). But there are glimmers of encouragement. Like the end of the school year "article" William wrote that I just found yesterday. And your encouraging words, etc. It is in God's hands. I'm so glad you had a good first day!!!

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