1 Thessalonians chapter 5 is a favorite resting place for me to camp my heart and just absorb God's truth into my spirit. It is a familiar path that I find myself traveling through the school year. Sometimes my memory tends to fade and I need that gentle reminder from the Holy Spirit, a prompting to return to the Word.
Today I want to encourage you to Pray continually, Hold on tightly, Persevere in Peace, and Have Faith in this journey of home education. Some days it seems that you are flying strong, and maybe you have this thing called, 'school' down. Other days, however, you are being stretched thin... sometimes too thin, and cracks appear. Those cracks, even hair-thin, can trickle forth the boiling contents that may have been simmering beneath the surface for some time. And then.... the crack can't endure the tension and gives way to the pressure from the inside and the out causing more damage, and it can have the potential for irreparable consequences.
That is not the plan that Lord has for us to travel, my friends. This road, I have found, can be a bit lonely because it is one I have chosen to walk alone rather than in faith.
Let's look at 1 Thessalonians 5:16-24~
Pray without ceasing
In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
Quench not the Spirit.
Despise not propheysings.
Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
Abstain from all appearance of evil.
And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Faithful is he that calls you, who will also do it.
I took the liberty to bold 4 of the verses that jump out at me each time I read it.
Pray all the time, hold fast to the good things, let Him preserve you as you persevere, and have Faith.
This journey to home centered education has been a process of refinement and revelation for me. I can say in earnest that it has also been a redeeming time for me as well. My own education has grown exponentially, and while I value that, it is the grace I have known as I have leaned upon the Wisdom of the Ancient of Days to carry and lead me through my days which has become a priceless treasure.
- Some days were more about what I learned rather than marking off the list.
- Some days were consumed with life lessons no curricula could predict or prepare for.
- Some days were illuminated with the potential of eternal consequences which surpass each and every milestone that I could have anticipated.
- Some days were simply days to take one step directly after the other.
- Some days were victorious. A dear reward for earnest efforts and consistent prayer.
- And some days, were days we had to just get through.
But.. as I look back, again, inwardly wishing I could retrace a few of those steps, what I would never give up is the color of this journey. It has been glorious! I can look back and see the fingerprint of heaven lacing the highlight reel with sparkling beauty. Only God could have forseen what was to come, and only He could have brought us through...completely changed!
Here are a few of the most important lessons I have learned in this living lesson of life homeschooling has allowed to transpire.
~ Start your day in prayer!
Make it a habit to start your day at the foot of the Cross. I have to meet with Jesus before I meet with anyone else in my household in order to be the momma He calls me to be. I will be honest with you, dear friends, there are days I have missed this important necessity. And it showed. You can read about my special place where I meet with the Lord in this post.( Status:Transforming)
As you pray, write down your prayer requests so you can see how God has answered them.
~ Hold fast to Truth!
There are many days where as a homeschooling momma or student that we tend to miss the forest for the trees, so-to-speak. To sum it up ( have to throw some math terms in here for good measure).. we are like the blind leading the blind.
It is so easy to get sidetracked. I get it! Believe me I am preaching to the choir, here, but in truth we need to choose to hold on, tightly some days, to the those good things. This makes me think of Matthew 15:27 and the faith of the Canaanite woman, who saw the scraps which fell from the table of the Master as enough. Sometimes I find I want the whole meal and forget to see the portions that have been lovingly placed before me. In the end I have missed even the scraps.
Keep your eyes on the truth, hold fast to those things that are good. Encourage your children, be encouraged yourself.
A few ways I am learning to hold fast:
Take some pictures of the kids while they are working, or maybe learning w/o even realizing it.
Write down those accomplishments
Make a special meal to celebrate on those hard days.
Sit down and snuggle and read a book.
Dance together in the middle of the day, just to hear them laugh.
Find something to praise them for every day.
~ Persevere in being preserved by His grace.
Grace is such a gift. A blessing in rare abundance we hardly know how to measure it. It is not earned, nor deserved, yet still it is routinely handed to us with joy. God is working out the most amazing plan within the heart of our children, and we tend to get in the way more often than not. We are not called to save them, nor should we truly believe we are at all the source of all their accomplishments. We do, however, have the benefit and the blessing of partnering with the Lord to work out for good, all those opportunities of growing and learning. We get a front row seat to the best show around. These children are my mission field and my prayer has been continually that I would not forget that blessing.
Yet, so many times in my own efforts, I lose sight of the blessedness of perseverance. As we willingly trust in Him to lead and guide us, ( Proverbs 3:5-6), we can trust that our path will be laid clearly before us. He is preserving us as we persevere in Truth. He is preserving the hearts of our children as we persevere in the daily task of teaching and guiding, leading and loving.
Reading some encouraging books to gird and equip you have been monumental blessings in my homeschool journey. Here are a few of my favorites:
Books by Sally Clarkson:
Educating the Whole-hearted Child
Seasons of a Mother's Heart
Books by Leigh Bortins:
Echo in Celebration
Teaching the Trivium - Harvey and Laurie Bluedorn
Lies Homeschooling Moms Believe - Todd Wilson
A Charlotte Mason Companion - Karen Andreola
The Well Trained Mind - Susan Bauer - Jessie Wise
100 Devotions for the Homeschooling Mom - Jackie Wellwood
~ Have Faith.
Scripture tells us that the just live by faith. (Hebrews 10:38, Galatians 3:11, Habakkuk 2:4). Faith comes by the Word of God. ( Rom 10:17) Faith has substance and is evidence. ( Hebrews 11:1) Without it, it is impossible to please God. ( Hebrews 11:6)
And let's remember what our key verse says about God.. He is faithful! ( 1 Thes 5:25)
No matter what, dear one, you are kept so securely in the secret place of the Almighty ( Go read Psalm 31!) and He is trustworthy.
I am learning every day a new way to rely upon Him. He is so magnificent and awe-inspiring that I truly believe all of my days will be filled with new levels of knowing his faithfulness. And it brings me back to my knees in humble adoration.
This last simple, but profound act, of having faith, will resound over and over in your heart as you continue to travel the road of home education. Have faith that he will do what He has promised. He can be trusted to fulfill his promises. ( Hebrews 10:23)
Know in the very depth of your heart that He is escorting you all on this journey and He is well-pleased with the effort you are making to pour into the hearts of your kiddos not only a love for Him, but for the Creation He has made for them to explore. Enjoy learning because it brings you closer and closer to better revelation of the Heavenly Father, who longs to have sweet communion with His children.
A precious tip I have learned to use is the use of index cards. (remember from week #2 ) As you sit with your Bible in the mornings, write down those concerns for each child on a note card. Look for a scripture to encourage you and meditate on through out the day. Give your worries, cares, concerns, and hopes to the Lord. They rest safely in His hands. Draw on the truth He has given us in his Word as our supplication and then trust Him to work it out.
Be encouraged as you pray, hold on, persevere and have faith through your home school journeys!
I'd love to pray for you! Please share a prayer request in the comments section or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org