Saturday, August 25, 2012

Homeschooling...Another Adventure

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I must admit, I'm not at ALL a disciplined blogger. I sometimes have these moments where I dream of doing something great for the world; share some insight...some revelation I've been graced with...some struggle I'm sure others are not a stranger to...and then I think, "hey, maybe I'll blog about this." Other times I desperately need an outlet; some place to vent my joys, fears and frustrations. Sometimes I just want a place to come back to when the memories fade. Alas, here I am. Fashionably (or terribly) late with yet another tale on my tongue. True story.

I should have titled this "Home-schooling...Another Blog?!". God knows I've researched a MILLION of them. Honestly, I've spent the last two to three years researching and collecting homeschooling resources without actually preparing! At least, that's what it feels like. Of course, I don't think I'd have even known how to prepare. Do I even need to prepare? (I'm sure I'm making this out to be way more complicated than it needs to be.)

Bible, Phonics, Handwriting and Math; I can handle this right?  I mean, its only Kindergarten.  But there's a whole world of things to learn out there.  Science, History, Music, Art, Foreign Language.  Where do I start? Do they really need to know all of this right now?  What should I teach?  HOW do I teach? What should my day look like? Am I doing enough? Am I doing too much?! WHY WON'T MY KIDS SIT STILL?!

Remind me again, WHY do I want to home-school?!

Sure I was gung-ho the first week. "I got this."  I was determined; reluctant, but determined. The second week I was frustrated, afraid and short-tempered. By the third week I was in tears and too afraid to let anyone know about it. (Thank God for the goofy YouTube video that someone posted on a local homeschooler group's Facebook page. (Watch it here.  One day, I will "hold my head up high.")

What I was NOT prepared for was the character lessons "Yours truly" was going to learn. Of course I assumed my flaws would come to light, and I expected it and even hoped for it, knowing that:

"...tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope." (Romans 5:3-4 NKJV)

More of Jesus and MUCH less of me was and is the anticipated goal, and even now I am grateful for the struggle. Having this sense of failure and hopelessness however, I am not.

Ah tribulation...The word tribulation literally means “pressure.” In that day, it was the word used to describe the crushing of grapes or olives. In order to produce wine or oil, the grapes or the olives had to go through tribulation. I think it's safe to say that I've been under pressure.

My thoughts have gone in a million different directions. Some of them have been trying to understand why I am the way I am, some of them are hanging on to hope that God will finish the work He started in me ("being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ; "(Philippians 1:6 NKJV), and still others are blaring that I'm a failure of a wife and mother because I can't keep up with cooking and housework, and I've yelled at the kids a bazillion times.

I know I'm not alone.  I've read countless blogs, books and articles on home-school moms who've walked the same road.  I know I'm no different.  Honestly, I welcome it, knowing that when I'm pressed enough I have no other direction to look but up.  I will take being pressed over being stagnant ANY day.  Which has been the theme of my spiritual life these past few years.

I made the decision to home-school for the sake of my children's future and their spiritual maturity (I'm reminding myself).  I want them to know that they are loved beyond measure, and not only if we have a good school day.  I want them to grow up to be strong, passionate, devoted, spirit-filled men of God.  If this is God's plan for our family, and I believe it is, I know He will see me through it.

"And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me."  (2 Corinthians 12:9 NKJV) 

So, this is me boasting in my infirmities.  Let me shout it from the rooftops, I AM WEAK.  I don't just need God's grace and His strength, I need His Spirit to change me.  Then, at the end of our home-school journey, there will hopefully be more fruit of the Spirit being pressed out of me than the junk that's coming out now.

And hey, maybe I won't be a stranger to this blog anymore.  ;)

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law."  Galatians 5:22-23 NKJV)

"Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.
Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whetherthere is knowledge, it will vanish away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.
When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.
And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love."  1 Corinthians 13:1-13 NKJV)

P.S.  I am currently reading "Boundaries with Kids: How Healthy Choices Grow Healthy Children" by Henry Cloud and John Townsend.  

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