So, we use an amazing curriculum called Five In A Row. Not only is the program super-cool, but the creators are EQUALLY as cool.
I am a part of the FIAR message board where other moms, similar to myself, can hang out and discuss... well... EVERYTHING!
One thing that most of us unanimously agree on is that this mom/wife/friend/teacher "thing" is down-right DIFFICULT! Sometimes is challenging to find the support you need amongst peers - those going through the exact same thing.
Then, this evening, I log on to find this amazingly beautiful letter of support and encouragement from the publisher of FIAR, Steve Lambert.
He really does know WHAT we need and WHO we need in our lives.
I needed this in my season...
I've seen the posts this week, both signed, and anonymous, about the disappointments, frustrations, heartbreak and disillusionment of homeschooling.
"Dis-illusionment" is good. That means you no longer have any false "illusions" about the job that you've undertaken.
It's easy to to have all kinds of false illusions about what it means to be a parent, to homeschool our children, to make a marriage work, to survive financially in a world that's determined to have "more" every day.
Anything worth doing is generally a challenge. If it were EASY to have a great marriage- everyone would have one.
If it were EASY to raise great kids- everyone would have them.
If it were EASY to homeschool- everyone would do it.
But it isn't. It's hard. All of it.
But Jesus never invited us to take a path without opposition. The scriptures are filled with admonitions and warnings about the challenges we'll face, the opposition that will stand in our way, the cost of discipleship and the price of servanthood.
Homeschooling is no more a panacea for bad kids than a church wedding is a panacea for bad marriages.
It's work... hard work... all of it.
The "formula" for raising great kids isn't homeschooling. If there's any "formula" it's to daily throw yourself on the mercy of the One who created your children, who knows them and to invest your lives in your kids- spending time with them, sacrificing some of the alternative ways you could be spending your time and money, etc. Homeschooling HAPPENS to be a fairly convenient way to do those things- but it's no guarantee!!
The "formula" for having a great marriage is the same. It's to cry out to the One who created your spouse and by working hard and self-sacrificially toward building a better relationship with your mate. Like parenting, it's about both quality AND quantity of time spent together. There are no shortcuts.
And yes... there will be opposition. There will be challenges. There will be setbacks. There will be disappointments.
What does Paul say: "We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed."
That sounds a lot like some of the posts around here lately.
Some of the posts have been more like: "We are hard pressed on every side; perplexed; persecuted; struck down."
But Paul adds the other portion, reminding us: "We are not crushed; not in despair; not abandoned; not destroyed."
So I'm not worried when I read that you are hard pressed, perplexed persecuted and struck down in your homeschooling journey or marriage or finances.
That's NORMAL!! That's PREDICTED!! That's what we're told to EXPECT!!
But I want to remind you that the end of the story hasn't been written yet. There are parts and players in this play that you don't even know about yet. There are scenes yet unwritten in this movie which is your life.
And we may be lots of things- but we are NOT crushed, despairing, abandoned nor destroyed.
My grandmother used to say that her favorite verse in the Bible was, "And it came to pass..." She'd say "It didn't come to stay- it came to pass!"
There is a reward for those who persevere- for those who do the mundane drudgery of planting, hoeing and watering there WILL come a harvest!
Great children don't just happen.
Great families don't just happen.
Great marriages don't just happen.
Great character doesn't just pop forth.
I'm not telling ANY of you ANYTHING that you don't already know. I'm just reminding ALL OF US of the eternal truths.
It's the beginning of the new year. Bad habits have been formed over the summer perhaps. Routines and patterns have been disrupted. And the enemy wants to convince you that your efforts are pointless and your future is hopeless.
But don't give up. Don't quit. Don't waver.
Purpose to do a little better tomorrow than you did today.
I PROMISE YOU there will come a time in the not too distant future when you will look back on this season in amazement as you realize how that cloud has lifted and those insurmountable battles have disappeared as surely as the morning fog evaporates by mid-morning.
Bless you as you walk by faith,