Finding what you’re looking for

Christianity

We sat at the kitchen table sipping coffee and eating breakfast. Our daughter has been homeschooled through junior high, and our visiting friends were talking to her about starting 9th grade this fall at our public high school.

Our friend, Mark, told us the story of when he was in college. He said that his college was ranked the number three party school in the U.S. by Playboy magazine. He continued on, explaining that one night at this very school, he had a life-changing experience: He went to an outing with a friend and came to know Jesus Christ. He learned that he was in need of a Savior, and Mark has never been the same since. He later married Pam, had children, and has served as a missionary Bible translator in Nigeria for about two decades.

Mark explained to our daughter, “You will find whatever you are looking for as you enter public school. I was at a school with a nationwide reputation for partying, and I found Jesus. If you’re looking for Him and like-minded people who love Him, you’ll find it. If you’re looking for the party scene, you’ll find it. Decide ahead of time what you will look for.”

Great words of wisdom for all of us. What are you looking for?

Are you tired?

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My schedule is better when I realize I can't be Supergirl

Today I am thinking about excellence. I am often doing many things, but not so well. Few things are done with excellence. In fact, I am usually SUPER busy with very little margin built into my schedule.  The things that fill our days are almost always good things, or at least necessary.  I can’t skip ortho appointments, can I?

Bondage of business and captivity of activity. These are phrases that I’ve heard churchy people say a few times throughout the years. But yesterday I really saw that I frequently exhaust myself with MANY activities. Few of them are excellent. Few of them are done to fullest potential.  If you ask me, that’s really lame, because here’s how it plays out:  Always busy running doing stuff, then things get put off till later or not done, other things are done poorly, and then comes guilt.  Ah, guilt.  The great UN-motivator.  It weighs me down until I feel utterly useless and unmotivated.  Then lack of activity spirals downward to more guilt, and it goes on.

It's time to reevaluate when my to do list looks like this!

Many people make resolutions at the beginning of the calendar year.  Homeschool moms tend to make beginning of school year resolutions.  So here’s mine:  Instead of committing to 5 or 10 good activities this year, and feeling bad about doing them all poorly, I’d like to keep first things first.  That might mean only doing 2 outside things this school year.  And that’s a good thing.

 

 

 

 

Why we homeschool

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Because it’s what all the cool people do.  Not really.  I feel like education is a personal choice for each family.  We have done it all with academics: public school, home school, private and international school.  Did I leave any out?  With our oldest starting his sophomore year in college, and youngest going into 8th grade, we’re learning a lot but there’s still several years to go.

Back to answer, “Why we home school”, there are several reasons.  The most important one is because we feel it’s what God wants us to do this year.  I’m not a hard-core “If you’re a real woman, you home school the whole way through” kind of chic.  I prefer to think about the following things as we look at our education choices:  What does this child need right now: in their academics, character, confidence, people skills, and spiritual life?  The other big question is this:  What’s going on in my life as a mom?  Can I commit to homeschooling, or do we need to look at other options right now because of our family situation, finances, or other personal matters?  And of course, we pray.  A lot.  And wait to hear what direction we feel God is taking us.

When people discover that we home school, they’ll often ask me, “Did you home school Christian, your oldest, all the way through?”   It makes me smile when they ask that, because I feel like they’re asking me, “Do you have x-ray vision?” or “Did you make that entire quilt by hand?”  (By the way, the answer is definitely no)  Because I know that many, many days, I feel completely inadequate as a home educator.  I know that in my own self, I could not do it.  But this is where God has us right now.  It’s really fun and really challenging.

A couple of years ago, I really struggled with the question of whether or not we should home school that year.  As I prayed about it often, God spoke to me clearly through a song.  The lyrics repeat over and over again “I don’t wanna gain the whole world and lose my soul”, reminding me of the verse in Mark 8:36- What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?  I remembered that years ago I had planned what I would do when my kids reached school age.  I would take tennis lessons, have a lot of cute tennis outfits, and lunch with my girlfriends.  Wow, has it turned out different from what I planned!  I felt like God was asking me if I wanted to “gain the whole world” with those things that I had planned, or give up that for a while and pour life into my child’s soul.  I still think about how fun the tennis thing would be one day…Maybe later!