This homeschooling journey is a gift. It truly is.
Despite the days I've felt like I've literally lost my mind through the years. The days that frustration shot through every vein like a poison. The days that I've found myself LITERALLY on my face before God or the days my husband has come home to a woman that is a shell of the one he fell in love with because she's just SPENT. The days that I've had more questions than answers. More doubts than faith.
Those are the bad days.
They are VERY real. VERY much reality.
There are the days...
That you feel like heaven has come down and kissed you with just a glimpse of what joy awaits.
The days THEY get it. The days you see something click. The days you just are wrapped up in the family togetherness, the love of learning, and countless other joys. Even just the ordinary days that are neither grand nor awful.
The days you get to be and do as God designed you.
ARE a gift.
When they come, you hold them close to heart and soak them in!
As our days are RAPIDLY coming to a close with our oldest, I can't help but reflect on where we've been together over the last 13 years of education. It's definitely enough to get this mom VERY emotional. But that will wait for another day....another post....
Today, I'm thankful for what we hold as the most valuable gift to us in our choice to home educate: the ability to openly share our faith (closely followed by the flexibility to tailor each child's education to fit their learning styles and needs).
Last week, there was a moment that I was just overwhelmed with gratitude. Not only gratitude, but gravity and responsibility.
Leading our children to Christ.
Our science curriculum choice the last two years is very thorough in regards to education (top notch), but completely and unashamedly professes faith throughout the pages. As we were beginning a lesson on the intricacies and power-house of blood, the gospel was presented and the blood of Christ was discussed. In those moments, it was very overwhelming to me to share in those moments, around my kitchen table with my children. No compromise. No hiding our faith or having to be politically correct.
Though we always have our children's spiritual growth at the forefront of our minds and daily try to live out life in such a way that we are pointing them to Christ, it was in those moments that I was reminded of what a GIFT it is to be a parent and shepherd a child's heart. To see them come to faith as their own.
Neither of our boys have made that personal profession of faith at this point. Though we constantly pray for that moment and make sure there are multiple opportunities to see their faith grow, the seeds have only been planted. We can do ALL we can to plant seeds, cultivate the soil, and provide the proper nutrients...BUT only HE can make them grow. Only He can officially change the heart. We want nothing more to know that our children walk in the truth (3 John 1:4). However, we can't rush that day. We can't force that moment.
I've often felt the "sting" of judgment from well meaning others in the church, in our circle of friends, and especially throughout the "internet" world of christian moms with similar values we hold dear because our kids haven't yet professed their own personal faith in Christ. Being honest, many times in the past, I've wondered where we are failing as parents, where we aren't doing enough or where we are failing them.
Again. WE plant the seeds. HE makes them grow. We can bring them to the foot of the cross, but that's as far as we can take them.
We want nothing more than to see our children love God with their entire beings. To embrace their faith as their own, not just to mimic ours. Otherwise, it's a faith that won't last when storms hit. It won't withstand the "real" world. We want their hearts to be sold out to HIM because they have embraced salvation on their own out of recognition of their own sinfulness and need of a savior.
For now, we will pray for them and with them. For now, we will give plenty of opportunities to grow and mature at THEIR pace. For now, we will do our best to show the grace and mercy of the cross and show our own personal needs of a Savior. For now, we will continue to rejoice in the moments that we can openly share our faith with them. For now, we will continue to be THANKFUL for moments around the table that education and faith can intersect. For now, we will worship together and let them see how much we value living out a Christian life.
Because some day...
Maybe next year.
Maybe not for awhile.
Those seeds that have been planted will be harvested.
Their parent's faith will be their own.
They will change the world for Him because THEY WILL understand first hand how GREAT He is and how much in need of Him they are.
They won't just repeat the memory verses back just by word, but by heart. By a heart that has been changed.
They won't just sing the words of a song, but they will be humbly bowing down in worship.
They won't just be giving the "right" answers to the questions because it's what they've been taught from birth, but they'll have the answers because they've experienced the change in their own hearts.
Oh that day!