Friday, May 23, 2008

Why I do what I do

Deuteronomy 6:5-9

"5 Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates."

I find myself often worrying about what we "should" do regarding many different areas in our lives. How many children, what kind of home, what kind of clothing, what kind of food, what kind of cars... the list could go on and on and on. As I shared my fears and worries with my DH (the awesome and wonderful Nate) he reminded me that I don't need to worry about the "shoulds" or what other people thought. That we as a family and as followers of Christ just need to keep doing the RIGHT thing.

From the time I got a small taste of what home-schooling was, I knew that is what I wanted for my own children. I was blessed to marry a man who had the same feelings. He was also raised in a home where his mom was home with them from the time his younger brothers were born (they are 9 and 11 years younger than him). I've seen the fruit of so many families where mom can be home and mom can teach and that is what Nathaniel and I wanted for our family. We also were discipled, for the first few years of our marriage, in a church where large home-schooling families abounded! This further reinforced our desires.

Now that we're a few years into home-schooling, there have been times when I have wanted to give up. I mean REALLY give up. Not just "I don't feel like doing this today" but I really have felt that I'm not "cut out" to do this! Thank God for Nathaniel and his tenacity to do the right thing. No matter what, it was going to be he and I who would raise our children. NOT another teacher, not the kids they went to school with (because really kids learn the most from other kids when they're in the school setting), not cable television or popular movies.

We were going to be the primary teachers of our children and this kind of teaching is primarily NOT about academics! The thing our children need to learn more than anything else in this world is about Jesus! They need to see what it is to have a relationship with Jesus. See what it means to love Him. See what it is to do the right thing because it's the RIGHT thing. Our world is so full of GREY but the bible, the word of God is full of black and white (and grace and mercy). Our children need to see us mess up and ask for forgiveness. They need to see our mistakes, not just our strengths. They need to see that mom and dad have integrity, that when they walk out the door of the house, they don't transform into someone else.

I desire that my children will grow up in age and in maturity. Our school systems have failed miserably in this area. We're told that we can send our children to school (public or private) and tada! you'll have adults when they reach 18! We ALL know that the majority of the time this doesn't happen. Many times, these grown kids are graduating college and still have no clue how to even keep a budget to manage their finances. So much of the "stuff life is made up of" isn't taught in school and what is taught is not biblical.

Nate and I endeavor to raise our children in such a way that they will leave our home prepared to face the responsibilities of being an adult and knowing what the truth is (whether they choose to follow that truth or not is up to them). We will do what's right and I will leave the rest in the hands of my heavenly Father.

Nathaniel and I were married very young (17 & 19) and both felt (particularly me) unprepared to be an adult. My personality is such that I HATE responsibility and structure as it is and I really needed someone behind me with a whip (and still do....) directing my each and every step. About two years ago I really felt really depressed over the fact that NO ONE told me how HARD it was to be and adult!! I felt as if (due to many different circumstances) that the wold had just thrown me out in the ocean and never bothered telling me how to swim!

I feel like I'm just now beginning to "grow up" in maturity. Making hard decisions, but right decisions, BIBLICAL decisions. Making intense sacrifices to do what we know is the right thing to do. No amount of money in this world could replace the chance to do what I get to do each day. No amount of career status could equal the meaning of what the word MOM means to me. I may not be able to send my children to college with fully funded tuitions, but I pray for and work towards having children who will be willing to sacrifice to do what they know is right. I may not be able to buy them cars when they turn sixteen, but I will encourage them to work and save for that car so they know the value and responsibility of owning (100% no financing!!) that car.

I could say more, but my emotions are spent on this subject for the day, but I hope I have left you with a clearer understanding of WHY I do WHAT I do.

2 Timothy 4:1-8

"1 In the presence of God and the Messiah Jesus, who is going to judge those who are living and those who are dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I solemnly appeal to you 2to proclaim the message. Be ready to do this[a] whether or not the time is convenient. Refute, warn, and encourage with the utmost patience when you teach. 3For the time will come when people will not tolerate healthy doctrine, but with itching ears will surround themselves with teachers who cater to their people’s own desires. 4They will refuse to listen to the truth and will turn to myths. 5But you must be clear-headed about everything. Endure suffering. Do the work of an evangelist. Devote yourself com­pletely to your ministry.

6I am already being poured out as an offering, and the time for my departure has come. 7I have fought the good fight. I have completed the race. I have kept the faith. 8The victor's crown of righteousness is now waiting for me, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on the day that he comes,[b] and not only to me but also to all who eagerly wait for his appearing.


MCC said...

Great post. Being a Mom is so hard. I can't imagine the responsiblity of teaching your kids..or not allowing them certain access to cable. =)

Keep it up.

kbs said...

Beautifully said. I told myself I'd never "preach" homeschooling to you and never make comments about you having to stay home with the babies. I'm so glad though, that you've come to that belief on your own with much help for God. I know the feeling of wanting to give up and of saying, "Why am I making it so hard on myself?" But always remember the beauty of homeschooling is that your children are learning all the time and so when you have morning sickness and can't get out of bed they learn about mommy having a baby, they learn how to help out and look after the little guys, they learn how to play quietly so mommy can rest and of course many more life lessons. Never beat yourself up for not teaching "the right curriculum" at "the right time". I have seen some absolutely amazing homeschooled students this year who have the desire to learn and and the ability to do so because their moms took the time to teach responsibility, discipline, respect for authority, and a love for God's wonderful world that he has created when they were young. The book learning comes naturally after that and the rewards are great!
I'm so proud of you guys and of course I brag about my (almost) perfect grandchildren whenever I can! LUV YOU SO MUCH!