No Peace? Know God.
Whoever said homeschooling was easy was not being honest. It takes a toll on the heartiest of parents. When God calls us to embark upon any journey, He does so with the best of intentions in mind, and the choice to home educate is no exception. Across the world, parents are responding to the calling of taking the education of their children into their own hands. They are sacrificing their careers for lesson-plans, their clean laundry for hands-on science, their orderly home for near chaos. What could possibly persuade anyone to sacrifice time, resources, and a comfortable way of life for the next twelve or more years? Following in the footsteps of Abraham, David, and the Apostles, obedient parents all over the world are answering the call of God.
As we begin this God-called journey, we may have visions of a breakfast table surrounded by smiling, benevolent children as they listen intently to the Bible reading for the day. Engaged and asking deep philosophical questions, well-groomed children look forward to their learning experience. In reality, you may be fortunate to get all of the children around the breakfast table at the same time, and commonly, early mornings are not the time for benevolent feelings. There are other struggles that await you as your journey progresses. Haunting your thoughts will be questions of how to score and keep records, file affidavits, graduate your students, teach hard subjects well as your child begins upper grades, and more. But you must remember one very important thing; God never calls you to a task without fully supporting you.
Looking at how Bible heroes handled the tasks set before them, we can rest assured that God has our backs, too. Moses had the rod of God, Jacob had a dream that inspired his faith, and Peter walked on water! Although it may seem that God does not give you a tangible experience to hang your hat on, He is still there, waiting with wisdom and love. We are assured in Psalm 94:14 that “the LORD will not cast off His people, nor will He forsake His inheritance.”
As this school year winds down and another one looms on the horizon, we may be in a place of weariness, but let us be encouraged by the words of the psalmist, “My soul is weary with sorrow; strengthen me according to your word” (Psalm 119:28). We know that “The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. Those who know your name trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you” (Psalm 9:9-10). With the renewing freshness of spring whispering to us, it is a perfect time for spiritual renewal in your soul. How can we incorporate practical measures to allow the Lord to fill us spiritually?
Ask yourself what activities are necessary for your well-being. Consider Bible reading, exercise, quality time with your spouse, one-on-one time with your children, scrapbooking, gardening, writing, painting, drawing, or perhaps playing an instrument. Decide which activities are the non-negotiables, and begin doing them daily. A very wise friend told me that the activity must be important enough to make time for daily, or it will never become a part of your routine. If you must go to bed earlier, and get up earlier, then you must make it happen. According to a report in the European Journal of Social Psychology, research shows that it may take up to 66 days for a behavior to become a habit (Lally, 2009)¹, so hang in there. It is well worth it. At first, making these changes may seem difficult, but remember, call upon the Lord for the strength to carry on. Find scripture that will inspire you through the difficult moments, and memorize it. Let go of your expectations, and see what God has for you.
Each of us has unique needs, but we need to take time daily to seek the Lord’s love for us. We need to ask for encouragement, and then look for His provision during the day. You will find that He is always ready, willing to support you. If you are feeling restless and wonder what happened to the peace that you had when you first started on this educational journey, rely on the Lord’s leading, and you will discover, embrace, and know that peace.
Lally, Phillipa, Potts, Henry, van Jaarsveld, Cornelia, and Wardle, Jane. (2009). “How Are Habits Formed: Modeling Habit Formation in the Real World.” European Journal of Social Psychology 16 July 2009: 998-1009. Web.