Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Daily Focus: Encouragement for the homeschooling family

It was a sunny day in Southern California on September 11, 2001. As we were getting breakfast ready while watching the morning news, our then 7-year old eldest child was preparing his backpack before the school bus came. Then came the breaking news that has since changed America. I grabbed our son and 2 infant daughters, held them so tight, and swore that I would never let them go.

The idea of homeschooling had only entered my mind once before this date, and only because I came across a magazine with an article on homeschooling at my OB/GYN office right before giving birth to our 2nd daughter the month prior. In panic mode, I immediately paged my husband (yes, there were pagers used before cell phones) and told him that we were going to home school our children the next year. There was no way I was going to continue allowing our children to be subject to unsafe conditions while in public school, especially after what was unfolding right before our eyes! Therein was the problem: my heart was not in the right place, and I certainly had the wrong impression of why I should even consider homeschooling our family. Instead of listening to what the Lord was leading me to do, I was operating in fear and anxiety.

"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."  ~ Philippians 4:6-7 NKJV

Fast-forward 7 years, another precious little baby boy, and a move across the country from California to Tennessee. Here we were, our children attending public school and me working 40+ hours a week away from my family. The Lord started to plant another homeschooling seed in my heart, but this time was different. I wasn't operating in fear and anxiety, but more like conviction. He was calling us to lay down our own fleshly desires by bringing our children back home to personally disciple them. Wow, what a concept! I'd read so many verses in God's Word that spoke of our responsibility to disciple our families, but didn't get the revelation until that day. God's grace was on us, and we knew that we needed to be in His obedience by doing what He said for us to do. That was 2 years ago, and we have enjoyed every minute since. Yes, we still operate on His grace daily, because we know that we are broken vessels in need of Jesus Christ. Our responsibility does come with it's challenges, but we believe that the Lord uses those challenges to keep us accountable and totally dependent on HIM.

As we look to Him daily for guidance, I am also blessed by the numerous blogs (please visit My Blogging Favorites!) and testimonies I read on a weekly basis that encourage and challenge me to seek Him in all things. One of my favorite daily devotional books is Daily Focus: A Devotional for Homeschoolers by Homeschoolers. After reading God's Word, I take a few minutes to read the encouragement found in this precious book. Just to read the stories of those who have traveled this homeschooling journey before me gives me hope for those times when I want to throw in the towel.

I'd love to hear from you! What have you used that is a daily source of encouragement; homeschooling or otherwise?

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