First, I must say, the interaction I've had with so many of you mama hearts this week has blessed me beyond measure!
We've talked about why I homeschool, what curricula I'm using and how it is that I think we are able to reap so much from this journey... by connecting to my little men at the heart level. As we wrap up the week, I just want to take the how, the heart piece of this, a little further and broaden our attention to not only tending to the heart of your child, but the heart of your family. A loving, Christ-centered home will be successful on any journey He lays on your heart.
So many of you write to me with aching hearts. You visit me here and idealize my family and my life... and I will be the first one to tell you that I am indeed drinking from my saucer because my cup overflows. I am blessed beyond all anticipation and expectation! However, no life, no person, no family is perfect.
What you may not have known is that I am now a single, work-at-home, homeschooling mom. There aren't very many of us. Life throws curve balls. God's got the catcher's mit. And I'm learning when to back off a pitch and just let Him snag it. He clearly laid homeschooling on my heart from the beginning. What He has challenged me to do, He will equip me to complete... victoriously! The game's not over... not by a long shot!
Homeschooling families are challenged in a variety of ways. Time stretches thin. We plan. We teach. We referee. We grade. We cook. We clean. We referee. We chauffeur. We counsel. We referee. Drop in a few challenges to field from those who have yet to understand, and there are days when the yellow bus has its allure. Can I get an "Amen"!? BUT. God is all-sufficient. El Shaddai. We are given the gift of spending our entire days with the very people we treasure most! No matter what the shape or size of your family, if He brought you into this journey, it is He who will see it through with these heart gems you train up and offer up! Are your eyes on Him? Your whole family? Are they on Him? This, my friends, is the one question/answer which will determine the success of your homeschool. Where? Is? Your? Focus?
I've been enjoying a series of sermons from Andy Stanley, Senior Pastor of Northpoint Community Church. Recently he invited his wife, Sandra, to join him as they discussed family issues including their homeschooling experience. One routine they mentioned is being set in place in our home as well. At mealtime we have all gathered at the table, shared thoughts and dreams (and, ok, I have boys... so jokes) with one another. For those of you with a parent outside of the home during the day, you've now been able to welcome them and share the day's events... enfolding them. This is the perfect time to tend to the heart of your family... to reset your sights by sharing some time with God as a family.
Our way of doing that this entire summer, leading into our new school year, will be with Our 24 Family Ways by Clay Clarkson. This family devotional guide contains 24 family guidelines... expectations... standards for living... for your family as a whole. These guidelines are divided into life areas including: authorities, relationships, possessions, work, attitudes and choices. Each guideline has five days of focus, and each day Clay has provided a question to be considered, a supporting Scripture reference, a conversation starter and a time of prayer and reflection. For example in the area of relationships, Family Way#7 is, "We encourage one another, using only words that build up and bless others." I know my boys and I will be blessed for spending this time together around the table reading the Bible and discussing, jointly, how we can be the family God calls us to be.
Whatever resource you might choose, or simply the key resource of Scripture, I hope your family will join mine this summer in gathering at the kitchen table for nourishment... of the body... mind... heart and soul. Ask the Lord to join you there. He is waiting to be your Honored Guest. And you will find, not only your homeschooling, but all of your family endeavors will thrive when your eyes are on Him.
From our hearth and hearts to yours,
"For he chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love He predestined us to be adopted as His sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will." Ephesians 1:4-5