Trials teach us what we are; they dig up the soil, and let us see what we are made of. ~Charles Spurgeon

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

I am so grateful for the ones who have gone before me.

As I prayed over the decision to homeschool God brought much encouragement.  One of the many ways God has encouraged my heart was through a special friend.   I see her walking in shoes I hope to fill one day.  To know her is a great pleasure, to watch her walk is life changing, and to see her fall publicly on her knees in humbleness slices me to the core.

Here is a piece of her heart that has encouraged me and still does to this day.  This is posted on her blog and I have read it before but as I read it again today I am remembered why I love her so much.

Enjoy and be encouraged........

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People ask us all the time why we home-educate. The second question is usually.... "Is it hard?" And then......"Are you monitored by the state? And...."Do you need any special credentials?"

Once, I met a lady in the pool who was besides herself beyond horrified because our kids would never be exposed to people from different cultures. I eased her fears as best I could...reassuring her that our kids are not lacking in that department...having relationships with friends from various back rounds including the Philippines, Hollywood, Haiti, China, and the Salt River Indian Reservation...to name a few. I informed her that they themselves...my kids...were living with siblings from Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Her concerns turned to spiritual matters. How would they have contact w/people of other faiths? Again, I assured her that our kids are surrounded by all sorts of different people from different persuasions. We have non-believers under our roof and in our co-op right alongside the believers. We have our whole Jewish side of the family and all our Jewish friends. We've got Catholic family & friends and LDS family & friends. We've got new-agers agnostics, atheists, and more....all within our circle. Sadly, I'm pretty sure this lady in the swimming pool was still besides herself.... beyond horrified that our kids were not in "school" as we parted.

In the beginning we got our share of "Wait! What about
socialization?" Seriously, that one just makes me chuckle. Enough socialization has NEVER EVER been a problem.

Years ago...our boys attended a private school here in town. It was a lovely school...run by lovely people. They were learning and doing well. But the Lord began tugging at my heart. This was not His BEST for our family. I processed the tugs for more than a year...ignoring, turning a blind eye, justifying why it was alright to stay...etc. But, these were the bottom line thoughts that would follow me around after I dropped the boys off early every morning... Someone other than me is with my kids all day long....Bradley and I are responsible for them....not Mr. or Mrs. So and So...and....... the mighty god of education is an idol.

That summer...during a six week long missions trip...the chains were broken. I compiled research, read, read, and read, compiled more and more research....highlighted...filled notebooks with articles...read, read, and read some more.

Bria was in third grade and Mcabe was in first when they came home. I knew what I had to do and I was confident I could do it. We had curriculums, we had, a schedule and we even had a principal! The boys and I stood in the kitchen on our first day and pledged allegiance to the flag by the t.v. These were the days when they still wore matching sweater vests to church and gladly sat for Sears portraits :)

Well, it's been over 9 years now and #1 Son has graduated out of "High-School." We have not accomplished everything we would have hoped as overseers of his education...but we have accomplished more than we could have ever dreamed of. That is my desire for all of our children....that they would not be hindered by our weaknesses and that they would surpass our dreams for them. Spiritually, relationally, artistically, and academically. Did you notice that I put academically last? I am such a bad home-educating mother. Academics come last on my list. It's not that I do not think that academics are important. I do. It's just that I think other things are more important. I tend to align myself with the Hebrew Worldview (do) rather than the Greek Worldview (know.) Assumptions That Affect Our Lives. I know...and I bet you do too.... a bunch of highly intelligent fools.

We (I especially) started out being VERY concerned about academics. I overbought everything I did not need and would never wind up using at the local Curriculum Convention. I attempted to recreate classroom settings with which I was familiar. It didn't take long for my misery to kick in. The kids were miserable too. I had us on a treadmill. Utter waste of time and energy...getting us nowhere fast.

Gradually, I realized that it was insecurity and fear which was motivating me and I relaxed big time. Then, I discovered Marilyn Howshall's Wisdom's Way of Learning.

She reiterated everything I was feeling and thinking.
I realized that the Lord gave these specific children to Bradley and I because He knew that we had specific ideas, abilities, and talents that He wanted us to impart to our kids. He trusted us with their stewardship. I remember that Bradley and I are creative individuals w/artistic bents and I began to see the big picture.

Some people think it's weird that I don't really consider (or know) what grades my kids are in...especially the younger ones. I mean...I have a "general" idea. Lower Elementary...Elementary...Middle School...etc. As they grow and mature....and gather experience...we ponder if and when they are ready to move ahead. Eventually, they will graduate High School when they show they are ready to move on to some form of "Higher Education."

We feel that if we can raise God fearing, God loving, God honoring individuals who know their purpose and desire to walk in His ways...individuals who are able to put coherent thoughts together and articulate them well....then we stewarded and shepherded as we were instructed to do so.

We live transparently and authentically in front of our kids. It's the only way we know how... and we are hoping for Godly results when this home-education journey of ours draws to a close.

One thing I've learned over the years is that there is nothing like being home with family members all day long everyday....to expose the sinfulness of our own hearts. Fertile ground for daily life lessons.

Something I must be honest about...

When the going got tough...I was personally tempted to give up on a number of occasions. A friend lovingly confronted me with a few questions. "Is this a calling from the Lord...this home-educating thing? Or are you operating on your own...in your own strength?" You see...I've discovered that even amongst home-educating circles there is a prevalent idea floating around out there...that "we take things year by year"...we "see what comes from each season to the next." I fell into that mindset for a short while....specifically at the "entering high school / panic stricken crossroad." The Lord exposed my distrust and firmly planted a commitment to home-education in my heart. I home-educate as an act of obedience.

He does not always call the equipped but He does always equip the called.



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Her facebook status reads: 

Given the fact that I am a beast...I need a verse that stops me from dwelling on the fact that I am a beast.... because that limits the finished work of Christ and stinks like pride.

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Dawn,

If you were not a beast how would God use you as the beautiful example you are?  You are a godly, transparent example and one beautiful beast, inside and out.

Love you 



 

 

 

 

 





1 comment:

  1. I love you too. You made me cry and encouraged me today.

    ReplyDelete