Homeschooling with All Your HEART
Since today is Valentine's Day, I thought it would be a perfect time to share a bit from a workshop I'll be teaching in Reno at the end of the month. The theme the leadership has chosen is "With All Your Heart," and after much prayer and consideration, I'll be teaching about three "heartfelt" principles from Scripture to keep us on track and homeschooling with all our hearts.

As you likely already know, this calling is not for the faint of heart! Thankfully, we have the Word of God to exhort and encourage us, so let's dig in and see what Scripture has for us!

Proverbs 4:23 Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. 

CHECK YOUR HEART - It's important to schedule spiritual "cardiology" appointments!
First, have our hearts been deceiving us? Jeremiah 17:9 tells us that our hearts are deceitful and desperately wicked. Friends, we should NOT follow our hearts! However, Ezekiel 36:26 gives a great promise. God will give us a NEW heart and a NEW spirit! Once we have accepted His gift of salvation, we are no longer under condemnation (Romans 8:1); we are set free from the law of sin and death. Therefore, we can have confidence in our calling! Check out these words from 1 John 3:20-22:

If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from him anything we ask, because we keep his commands and do what pleases him.

When we walk in confidence instead of condemnation, we can courageously live out our God-given purpose. If we follow the world’s advice–follow your heart–we will end up pursuing our own agenda, our own purposes. But when we align our hearts with God’s, we find that by themselves, our purposes are far too small. God’s eternal purposes are far more glorious! And when we are living on purpose–for HIS purposes–we can persevere even when things get difficult (Rom. 5:3-4). And that leads to our next encouraging principle…

DON’T LOSE HEART - What do you do when you are downhearted?
2 Corinthians 4:16-18 begins with these wonderful words: "Therefore we do not lose heart." The passage goes on to say that "our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." Perhaps our earthly struggles don't feel light. In fact, they can feel downright heavy. Praise God, though we have a High Priest who understands our weaknesses. Hebrews 12:2-3 invites us to consider Jesus, "who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart."

And I can't help but refer to one of my favorite "Momming" verses, Galatians 6:9, "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up."

When we refuse to lose heart–when we consider what Jesus has done for us–when we think about how superior eternity is to our temporary circumstances–when we remember a harvest is coming!–we can dream God-sized dreams; we can envision and pray about possibilities far beyond the day-to-day tasks. I don’t know about you, but when God lays dreams on my heart, I get pretty fired up! Praying about the possibilities actually spurs us to be more productive, to be good stewards of the time, energy, and resources he has given us. 

SET YOUR HEART - What are the greatest desires of your heart?
We don’t usually get to choose our circumstances–but we CAN choose our response to our circumstances. When we have new hearts and the Holy Spirit guiding us, we get to direct our hearts to align with God's.

Psalm 119:30 I have chosen the way of truth; I have set my heart on your laws.
Colossians 3:1-2 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.

When we align our hearts with God’s, we find more and more our hearts are longing for eternity. We find a growing passion for the things that glorify Him. And guess what? God doesn’t call us to lay down who we are! He created us for His own good purposes, yes, but also to blossom and grow into WHO He made us uniquely to be! So when we walk in these God-given passions, living out the desires of our heart (which He has given us, Psalm 37:4), we actually end up fulfilling our God-given purpose. 

Dear Mama, take heart! Jesus knew we would have troubles in this world, but He promised that He has already overcome the world. We can trust Him with our hearts!

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