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!
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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.
Welcome to my new website, Legacy Homeschool Reflections! I am so thrilled that you have stopped by, and I want to share with you a little bit of what I desire this little corner of the web to be about. My heart’s prayer for this site is that it will be a place of grace balanced with truth, of love and hope, of practical encouragement and wisdom, and of always pointing our hearts and minds to the truths of God’s inspired Word. Regardless of the topic I write on, I want to come from the angle of, “What does God’s Word say about this particular issue.” I hope that each time you visit this site that you will leave with renewed trust in the faithfulness of the Lord Jesus Christ. So welcome to Legacy Homeschool Reflections, and I look forward to getting to know you better! Please leave comments so that I can get to know you, my readers.
Thinking About Legacy
Legacy. I think it is a beautiful word when referring to something of eternal value passed down from one generation to another. Gratefully I can say that I am living the legacy of faithful, purposeful, first-generation Christian homeschooling parents. My parents came to know the Lord a few years before my birth and determined by God’s grace to raise me in His ways. With the Lord’s help they did their best to establish a Christian home and to teach me about being a follower of Christ. Neither of my parents entered parenting knowing how to disciple children as neither of them grew up in strong Christian homes. When I was born they were young, new believers setting up a first-generation Christian home without having had an example of how to do so. The Lord was their faithful guide, and by His grace He led them. I reaped the blessing of their efforts to walk in obedience to Him. Now I am raising my children and am privileged to be able to carry this legacy of faith into the next generation through family discipleship and home education.
What Will My Legacy Be?
We all just get one go-around at
this earthly life. There can be so many
pursuits that we might want to run after, but since life is fleeting and we
will never have time to do it all, it is vitally important to choose our
priorities wisely. This world has many
allurements and distractions, but what will matter in light of eternity? What do we want to leave behind us when our
time on earth is over? Will we live for
money, popularity, a platform, entertainment, power, achievement, or will we
live for the kingdom of God and His righteousness? The older I get the more I see clearly what really
matters in life. I want to be remembered
as a lady who loved her Savior, who loved her husband and children, and who
poured herself into kingdom pursuits.
Right now the biggest kingdom pursuit that I have is doing all that I
can to raise my seven children to know, love, and serve the Lord Jesus
Christ. Ultimately, I cannot make them
follow Christ, but I can lead them in the way they should go and pray that the
Lord will do what only He can do in their hearts.
Today’s Christian parents are facing monumental challenges due to the rapidly declining culture we live in. We do not live in a primarily Christian nation anymore. Sadly, we live in an increasingly postmodern Christian culture where kids are apostatizing from the faith in droves. Our children are exposed to immorality at every turn: to humanism, feminism, evolution, pluralism, materialism, existentialism, atheism, deism, and views that are overtly opposed to Scripture. The tides of evil in our day are strong, but we can take heart in knowing that, “He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world” (I John 4:4).
What a privilege it is to be entrusted by God to help shape and mold the lives of our little children, that they may grow up to be sharp arrows which will pierce the darkness. We need very sharp arrows now more than ever! Let’s pray that by God’s grace we may raise warriors for the Kingdom of God. May our sons and daughters advance the Kingdom of God. May they stand upon our shoulders and go on to do bigger and greater things for the Lord as they carry the light of truth into the next generation.
Purpose of This Site
The essential purpose of this
website will be to bring glory to God.
Specifically, I hope to encourage ladies to be rooted and grounded in
the Word of God and to live with discernment and intentionality. I desire to communicate those things that will
inspire us all to choose not just the good but the best and to “redeem the time,
because the days are evil.” Ephesians 6:16 KJV
Dear reader, when I look around me
at the social, political, spiritual, and cultural mess our world is in my heart
is heavy. My heart is broken over the
breakdown of the nuclear family and by the droves of children not being raised
in stable, God fearing homes and certainly not being raised with the hope of
the gospel. I believe we are living in
perilous times when many do not want to hear truth.
“For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.”
II Timothy 4:3 ESV
Even though my heart often gives way within me, when I see the upheaval our world is in, I know my Savior does not want me to live in despondency. We ALWAYS, ALWAYS. ALWAYS have hope when we know the Lord Jesus Christ and keep our eyes focused on eternity. This world, after all, is not our home; we’re just a passing through. I LOVE a quote by Corrie Ten Boom that goes like this:
If you look at the world, you’ll be distressed. If you look within, you’ll be depressed. If you look at God you’ll be at rest.
Corrie Ten Boom
I pray that at the Legacy Homeschool Reflections website you will find encouragement to look to Christ and to let Him build a godly legacy through your life. I will seek to offer resources, writings, and encouragement that will help us along in this journey. This website will have a lot to do with parenting and homeschooling, but I hope that every visitor will find refreshment here whether a mother or not. As believers in the Lord Jesus Christ we have much to encourage each other in regardless of our season of life or marital/maternal status. This poem by C.T. Studd so beautifully sums up what this website is about. We each only have one life to live; let’s live it for our Savior and leave a God honoring legacy for those who come behind us.
Two little lines I heard one day, Traveling along life’s busy way; Bringing conviction to my heart, And from my mind would not depart; Only one life, twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last. Only one life, yes only one, Soon will its fleeting hours be done; Then, in ‘that day’ my Lord to meet, And stand before His Judgement seat; Only one life,’twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last.
Only one life, the still small voice, Gently pleads for a better choice Bidding me selfish aims to leave, And to God’s holy will to cleave; Only one life, ’twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last.
Only one life, a few brief years, Each with its burdens, hopes, and fears; Each with its clays I must fulfill, living for self or in His will; Only one life, ’twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last.
When this bright world would tempt me sore, When Satan would a victory score; When self would seek to have its way, Then help me Lord with joy to say; Only one life, ’twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last.
Give me Father, a purpose deep, In joy or sorrow Thy word to keep; Faithful and true what e’er the strife, Pleasing Thee in my daily life; Only one life, ’twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last.
Oh let my love with fervor burn, And from the world now let me turn; Living for Thee, and Thee alone, Bringing Thee pleasure on Thy throne; Only one life, “twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last.
Only one life, yes only one, Now let me say, “Thy will be done”; And when at last I’ll hear the call, I know I’ll say, “twas worth it all”; Only one life,’twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last.”
Only one life, ’twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last. And when I am dying, how happy I’ll be, If the lamp of my life has been burned out for Thee.