Friday, June 24, 2016

Homeschooling: A Challenge



~Written several years ago when the children were small.~

Do you know how tired I am of hearing people declare that we are “so lucky to have gotten such good kids”? As if we haven’t spent the better part of our adult life pouring our entire being into our children. As if the countless hours we’ve spent praying over them and monitoring the details of their life; reading them Scripture and helping them to apply it to their lives, having had them hear it, read it, memorize it, see the need of it and teaching them to love it. As if the difficult times of disciplining them in love and with concern for their present, as well as their future well being, meant nothing in the development of these children. As if the choice to be their tutor and to make the sacrifices necessary for this arrangement had nothing to do with their emotional, physical, spiritual, as well as their social vitality!
The reason you see the results in our children that you do is because we have not delegated the privilege of raising these children to anyone else. God has given these children to us. We conceived them, we gave birth to them, and we are the ideal candidates to love and nurture them in the way that is the best for them. God is not mocked; what you sow you will reap. The reason the fruit of our labors is beginning to show itself so sweet is because God’s commandments have been our constant guide; His standard is what we have tried to uphold in our home; and His mercy is what we have sought after and begged for daily as we have consulted Him and asked for His wisdom in dealing with our children.
Homeschooling mother, you’ve signed up for the long haul. Your days are full of work, both physical and mental, even though you are classed among the “non-working”. The stakes are high: those little eyes are watching you all the time and those little ears are taking in all that is said to them and all that is within their ear-reach. Souls are being shaped and molded under your care, conforming to your design.
Never in your own strength can you accomplish anything of eternal value in this costly arena. It will not be to your glory as you stand one day with your “trophies” around you…you will know it was, and is, all Him; it is and always has been all to His glory. For without Him you can do nothing. Your ship has safely crossed the wild, stormy seas because its anchor is Christ. You labored in your home, with your children, out of your love for Him, for the One who saved your soul and set your path aright. But for the grace of God, there would you go, racing on towards Hell, losing your children as you went.
Yours is a labor of love in the deepest sense of the word. Giving and expecting nothing in return. Choosing to care for, respect, and sacrifice for, with no consideration of your own flighty emotions or feelings. Yours must be seen as a ministry, a special calling from God on High. For that is what it is. He has called you and He has given all necessary power to accomplish His plan for you.
He who is called Faithful and True is ever-present and is ever-willing to enable you to face long-division, prepositional phrases and world geography. He who called you will never leave you wanting the resources necessary to accomplish your task. Doubting your ability to do this job is to doubt your God and His abilities and His chosen path for you. He has promised to never leave you nor forsake you. Have you no faith, dear one? Faith involves trusting what God has said and moving forward even when the next step seems to be into the dark. Troubles, trials and difficulties are part of the journey. Had we not these obstacles we would not need God to guide us through, and we would not need faith to traverse a clear, well-lit path.
The hard times that will come are meant to draw us closer to Him, to cause us to mount up with Him in His chariot, to mount up with wings as eagles and get a heavenly view of our situation. This view changes everything. Above the storm the sun is always shining. With God in prayer, rise above the circumstances and seek to see this old world through the eyes of Him who loves you so; through the eyes of Him who has promised to work all things together for good to them that love Him and who are the called according to His purpose.
You, your spouse and God; what a powerful combination for changing the world one soul at a time.




Beauty

Beautiful for beauty's sake. Arrayed in pink petal splendor with perhaps no one to see but God. A brief show of perfection for an audience of One. A Peony explosion on a Spring day. How much of beauty do I miss? What gems of perfection are quietly dwelling nearby? This I happened upon; how much is there that I fail to see?

Fleeting


I am cultivating a garden fair;
With blooms so lovely and so rare.
Faithfully I tend to the daily needs;
In this unremitting fight in the Battle of the Weeds.
Though in this journey I grow weary, for the end seems always off afar;

Yet this truth I must believe: that this all, too soon, shall pass.

At present, the journey seems without end.
Yet faintly, I hear the truth that they are here, with me, merely on lend.
Yes, soon she'll be walking an aisle
Where just yesterday I kissed her little face and held her little hand.
Yes, his boots will soon outgrow my feet
And he'll be rummaging relentlessly for something more to eat.
Oh, little one with hopeful, smiling eyes and soft, needy hands;
Let me hold your gaze a little longer and hold your hand a little tighter,

For I am painfully aware that this all too soon shall pass.

They are but visitors stopping by my home
For a short repose before moving on to lands they'll call their own.
They are precious blossoms in my garden that soon will fade away;
For can the lilac bloom past the early spring? And can the lily linger longer than the day?
Precious blooms of magnificent artistry and design;
A season short with possibilities divine!
I relish in their company, their beauty, and the wonder of it all,
As I cry to know

That this all, too soon, shall pass...
Oh, I say, this all, too soon, has passed.


     This poem was begun when my four little lambs were the ages of 10-17. Precious, precious are the times that are no more. Weary mother, breathe deeply the air of memories being cast, of days made alive with noise and clutter and questions and battles of the wills.
     This season of home-life, of the formation of your family circle, is a turbulent time; wild, full of emotional highs and lows. In it you see the best of you and the worst of you, while your children are assimilating this whole atmosphere of you. Daily they imbibe the ideas of love, of fidelity, of mastery and of God by observing you. Your tones, your attitudes, your actions, your reactions speak to them in volumes recorded on their soul.
     Tread carefully, tread mindfully through this land of young motherhood. Treasure this fleeting season where your influence is most profound.

Signed,
One who is seeing where the road ends

Thursday, June 23, 2016

In Christ alone my hope is found,
He is my light, my strength, my song;
this Cornerstone, this solid Ground,
firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace,
when fears are stilled, when strivings cease!
My Comforter, my All in All,
here in the love of Christ I stand.

In Christ alone! who took on flesh
Fulness of God in helpless babe!
This gift of love and righteousness
Scorned by the ones he came to save:
Till on that cross as Jesus died,
The wrath of God was satisfied -
For every sin on Him was laid;
Here in the death of Christ I live.

There in the ground His body lay
Light of the world by darkness slain:
Then bursting forth in glorious Day
Up from the grave he rose again!
And as He stands in victory
Sin's curse has lost its grip on me,
For I am His and He is mine -
Bought with the precious blood of Christ.

No guilt in life, no fear in death,
This is the power of Christ in me;
From life's first cry to final breath.
Jesus commands my destiny.
No power of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand;
Till He returns or calls me home,
Here in the power of Christ I'll stand.

"In Christ Alone"
~Keith Getty and Stuart Townsend~

Content in Him, May 2016