It’s February, Friends. Do you like me sometimes start feeling a bit sluggish this time of year? By now we have been through months of cold and wet weather, but I do know that our Texas winters are mild compared to those of you in colder parts of the country. Hang in there, my Ohio friends!!! In general I think homeschooling mamas often start fizzling out this time of year and putting their sights on planning for the summer and thinking about the next school year. Sometimes it can just be difficult to finish well.
Our family actually schools year around, so I’m not focused on stopping school at a given point, but we are currently finishing up grade levels and preparing to start all new books. Also, to be perfectly honest with you, I’m feeling a bit stir crazy with so many people cooped up inside. I feel like we’re all tripping over one another these days, and we really need to spread out and get outdoors more. The problem is that our farm has been muddy for the longest time due to frequent rains and lack of sunshine. I have noticed that this time of year is just challenging to homeschoolers in that regard.
It is one thing to homeschool on pretty days when the children can run outside and play and I can tend to my garden, plant flowers, etc. Everything seems more nostalgic during those seasons of the year, but I admit that I often start feeling weary in the winter with more days inside, gloomy weather, and sick children. Can you relate? I am hopeful that today’s post will encourage you to press on in this journey; it is worth the hard days and the hard seasons!
I am a homeschool graduate from the pre-historic, vintage, pioneer days of the movement when homeschooling was not the cool thing to be doing. As I look back upon my homeschooling experience I am so thankful that I had good and godly teachers. This is because my parents chose to be my instructors and to disciple me according to Deuteronomy chapter six as we would “rise up, as we would lie down, and as we would walk along the way.”
Looking back I want to share some of the blessings I received through my homeschooling experience. My hope is that hearing these things will encourage you that even when the days are long and dreary it will be worth it in the long run.
First I am thankful that God used homeschooling to disciple my heart to know, love and follow Jesus Christ. My parents were good at basically making our home a 24 hour discipleship center. Whatever we were learning or doing, we were always talking about the ways of the Lord. Through their example I learned to think with a Biblical worldview.
Vision for Ministry
Additionally, my dad was a pastor, and I learned a lot about having a ministry mindset. I learned to live for the kingdom of God and to make choices in light of eternity. I saw the sacrifices my parents were making in ministry, and I became excited to work with them to further the kingdom of God and His righteousness. My dad and mom made me feel like I was an important part of the ministry team, and they brought me up giving me increasing opportunities to use my time to serve the Lord. Because I was at home I was afforded more time and opportunity to pour the years of my youth into ministry.
Time with Family
Because I was homeschooled I spent far more time with my parents and younger brother than I would have if I had attended a traditional school. Looking back I treasure this time. Life is speeding by so quickly, and I am thankful for the years that I was able to spend hours and hours making memories with my family.
Leading in Righteousness
As I mentioned above, my parents encouraged me to serve the Lord in my youth. They challenged me with the vision that Paul gave to Timothy.
Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. – I Timothy 4:12
Growing up in my home, I was always encouraged to be a leader in righteousness. My parents taught me that even if I was the only one standing for what is right that I should stand alone. They encouraged me not to get caught up in foolishness in my youth but to lead others down paths of wisdom. Being challenged in this way really helped me to make wiser choices as a young lady, and I am so grateful now for their wisdom in giving me a vision to mature early and serve the Lord.
You may have noticed that I have not mentioned the education that I received through being homeschooled. That is because I don’t think education is the primary thing of importance here. I could have received an education from any other school experience, but only my parents could have discipled me in the way they did. Only my parents could love me with the dedicated love of a mom and dad who knew me better than anyone else. My parents made many sacrifices to homeschool me back in the vintage days of the movement. They did not have all the resources we homeschoolers have today. There were no huge homeschool conventions, there was no internet, and there was very limited curriculum available. Honestly they were just trying to keep our family safe and out of some kind of court battle. They were part of those trailblazing parents who fought for freedom to homeschool their children. We all stand upon the shoulders of those brave, grass roots, pioneering, homeschooling parents today. I will be forever grateful! The next time you are feeling a twinge of burnout, I hope you will reflect upon what my experience has been. Hopefully one day your children and my children will also rise up and say, “WE ARE SO THANKFUL THAT OUR PARENTS CHOSE TO BE OUR TEACHERS.”
So, if you are feeling the winter blues, feeling beyond done with this school year, or just feeling blah today. I hope this long term vision encourages your heart. We don’t want to limit ourselves to a short term perspective on homeschooling. If we merely look at the here and now we will be tempted to throw in the towel on the hard days. However, if we think about where we want our children to be ten, fifteen, and twenty years down the road we will be able to pray for a generational and eternal perspective. May this verse be said of our families.
Be encouraged! Spring is coming, winter days will be gone. The Lord is faithful, and by His enabling power we can press on in the journey of home education and most importantly family discipleship. Blessings to you all!
Would you consider rating this podcast on iTunes? Each star rating or review helps other mamas to be able to see and learn about the podcast.
May the Lord be with you as we start another week and seek to proclaim His praises in all that we do. I appreciate you listening and would love it if you would share with your friends about the podcast. Have a wonderful week!
Hello Friends! I am really excited over this week’s episode of the podcast. I had such a great time interviewing Katie LaPierre about her brand new 31 Day Devotional and Journal. This resource is meant to encourage women towards an eternal perspective in their roles as wives and mothers.
Have you ever had something not quite turn out as you had planned? This is my story of the canned grapes. Months back I read about how you can preserve grapes in a water bath canner. I found both green and red grapes on sale at Kroger’s, purchased a large quantity, and had a canning session. All turned out beautiful; the grapes looked lovely in the Ball Mason jars, but there is just one problem; we didn’t like the taste of them! So for months I have been looking at pretty grapes in jars taking up space in my pantry.
We’ve all heard the expression, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” I ended up applying this sentiment to my canned grapes, and my girls helped me turn all those soggy grapes into grape jam.
It wasn’t the easiest thing to mash all these grapes, but my girls and I took turns standing over the stove and mashing them down so that we could get the juice out of them. There are many tasks in life that are not necessarily fun, but we have to just put our hand to the plow and do the work if we want the desired fruit. Raising children is like that. There are many aspects of the daily grind that are not always fun, but if we want to see good fruit in our children, we must be committed to faithfulness in the tasks the Lord has called us to. Ultimately it is He that bears the good fruit in our childrens’ lives, but we have the privilege of being parents and stewarding these young people the Lord has blessed us with.
I love working with my girls and preparing them to be able to manage their own homes one day. This little mishap with the distasteful grapes just gave us another reason to spend time together in the kitchen. That is the silver lining in this story.
There are so many areas in life where we can take what seems like a failure or disappointment and turn it into something good. We serve a God Who is in the business of redeeming things for His own glory.
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.” – Romans 8:28
This little story about turning canned grapes into jam is all to make us think about the bigger areas in our lives where we can trust the Lord to redeem our brokenness and bring beauty out of ashes. What are the broken and distasteful parts of your story? I know we’re all dealing with much bigger issues than distasteful canned grapes, but our Lord cares about the hurt places in our hearts, the disappointments, the struggles, and the disillusionments. He is a God of restoration and redemption and we can trust Him to carry us through and bring hope to our hopelessness.
“Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.” – Corrie Ten Boom
May the God of all eternal hope encourage your heart today. He is your Creator and Sustainer. He loves you, and He has a plan to work all things together for good to those who love God. Isn’t it comforting to know that His good plan is to work all things for our good and His glory. We may not always see how suffering is for our good, but one day we will see clearly the things that don’t make sense on this side of eternity. Let’s keep trusting and obeying and delight in His faithfulness.
Thanks for stopping by, and you can click on the resources tab to see other blogs where I am linking up this week.