Don’t you cherish listening to people who share awe-inspiring stories about the beginnings of home schooling their children? I do! Each account reveals the precise guiding hand of God on each family’s decision to home school. Each tells of joy that has come because of the benefits.
The opposite story is true, for some, though, right?
Some home-educating moms have been living all their previous lives on the go. They may know God has put His finger on this aspect of their existence, but find themselves at home for the first time in their lives. It leaves them at such a loss.
At a loss; on the run…
Think about it: Some of us in this country have, since infancy, been daily carted to somewhere else besides home. Everything in our lives, until this point, has taught us home is a place we come, not to work, but to stop working.
Some of us have learned the normal womanly homemaking arts are a nuisance, a necessary evil to tick off a list as quickly as possible, to finagle the husband into doing, or to hire out as cheaply as possible.
We have learned we should be always rushing to somewhere else. “Somewhere else” was always our reality, the reason for all the rest of it.
We studied hard—out there, somewhere—in order to obtain a good job.
We left for work—out there, somewhere—in order to obtain money and bring it home.
We rushed home to enjoy it, supposedly, but were too tired, too stressed, or too ignorant about what is true enjoyment.
Often we would boomerang to out-there-somewhere, again, this time to spend our hard-won gains on our enjoyment: eating out, shopping, or public amusements.
Out, out, out, we were always out, seldom home.
We even entertained others “out”, sometimes. You know, “The house is trashed; let’s meet them somewhere for a nice dinner out . . . ”
It does not take very much of this to make us see, easily, how wearying it can be. That is, unless it is our normal life. In that case, we might fail to see how much we have lost, how much we have paid for this great loss, in spirit, soul, and body.
It is easy to grasp from Scripture that God’s intention for wives and mothers was for them to be at home.
Enter home school.
Oh, no . . .
Immediately we are constantly home.
Home school has become a new motivator for Titus 2:5, God’s home-keeping clause, where, perhaps older Godly women failed to motivate us, or were missing.
The problem we face is not of knowing we should, but, of knowing how. From Grandmother through aunts, to Mom and sisters, if no one is modeling for us the right behavior, we have to re-invent it, right?
Most life experiences that are of consequence affect people deeply, in the spirit. Does being at home affect us that way? Let’s begin with that deep, spiritual side of us, and try to hear what God is saying to us.
First, it is no good unless we pray.
Believing in prayer is wildly popular in Christian circles, but actually praying is another matter.
God loves our trust when we flash a panicked “S.O.S.” heavenward. Really.
Learning to hear Him and to obey Him will take a better relationship with Him than quickie prayers will provide, though. We must set aside time for prayer.
Of course, that is worn-out advice, but until we do it, we continue needing to hear it.
The best way a mother can latch onto private time with God is by being the first one up, mornings. (Psalm 57:8) You can do this and the rewards are awe-inspiring. Nothing compares to being alone, being first, being early in the morning.
Some of us already are first up, mornings, but we have been using this time for good things, such as quiet, coffee, or watching sunrises. When we learn that One Other Thing (Luke 10:42) is more important, and seek Him and His righteousness first, He will add every good thing to us. (Matthew 6:33) When we dedicate to Him our first hour, which often is really the only time that is truly ours, we are humbling ourselves before Him (Daniel 10:12), giving Him the first fruits (Proverbs 3:9) of our time.
When I spend this time with Him in reading His Word to me, I can feel the goodness of it. Often I am comforted with something He says. (John 14:16)
It goes both ways, though. He wants to hear from me. (2 Chronicles 7:14) When we converse with our earthly friends, normal give-and-take is the way, and that way applies to our heavenly conversations, too. When we tell Him of our sorrows, troubles, needs, and fears, He listens, really. (Psalm 91:15) When we lift our children and our homes up to Him, He takes that offering up and blesses it. (Mark 10:16)
God also directs our desires.
(Psalm 37:4) He knows that we would love to balance frugality with generosity, but that we feel inadequate to know how. We have so many glorious goals for our school, and find patience very difficult. Through home school, He teaches us to practice self-control (Galatians 5:22-23) and to plan in ways that we never dreamed of in the corporate world.
Many women have literally received a “to-do” list from Him, at these times.
We learn, eventually. As we learn, we also teach our children where to draw these lines, how to be all they need to be, and what it means to be at home with life under God’s control.
We learn something else, too, that the world out there, somewhere, often causes us to miss.
We learn to take care of our temple.
(1 Corinthians 6:19-20)
All the admonitions and examples that we find in the Bible about working, resting, eating, and other bodily care facts, along with all the advertisements for medicines, creams, or exercise equipment, can get in the way of corporate progress. For a big company, buying you some health insurance seems much easier than letting you rest or eat right.
Of course, there are times when you must lay aside rest to care for your home, but when we are up all night with a sick little one, we can nap during the day. Before we came home, if we were up nights, we also had to go on to work the next day.
It was killing us and was not glorifying to God.
We can be set free to redefine work. Hanging out clothes, hoeing, and vacuuming are lovely replacements for the weight-training room on the job that no one had the time to use.
Running upstairs to put away towels is much more sensible and rewarding than running up and down a couple of steps only for the exercise.
Sweeping up leaves can produce both a sense of health and a sense of progress toward tidiness.
As our hearts fill with the simple joys of life, we forget to check our blood pressure, and little guess that it is lower.
We have time to cook, too.
Although we might have eaten something on the job that was full of plastic and other health-robbing chemicals, we would feel silly, indeed, adding plastic and chemicals to our soup pot. We are free to add some fresh health-inducing ingredients if we want.
We hardly ever catch viruses because staying away from them is so easy for us.
We look around, smile at several sets of rosy cheeks, and realize that the view in the mirror is improving, too.
We never remembered the last out-there-somewhere beauty appointment. Rest, reality, fresh food, and simplicity are doing their own beautifying job, and the love of it is creating more smiles, daily.
All that beauty pours over onto husband and even friends. As the one you married enjoys coming home more each night, you rejoice as you notice your visitors are beginning to comment about the peace they perceive in your home. Could it be the peace that passes all understanding? Could it be in you and keep your heart and mind safe through Christ Jesus?
“Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice. Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.” Philippians 4:4-9 (KJV)