Being Rooted in Our Homeschool

Being Rooted in Our Homeschool
In my last post, I was recounting the story of how I nearly quit homeschooling. The trauma our family had undergone just about did me in.

In the time since those moments of absolute, utter desperation, I’ve been asking the Lord not only what He wants me to do, but also who He wants me to be. I’ve taken time for personal growth and deliberately put myself under godly mentors who have helped me see my blind spots–and also my passions and strengths–so I can move forward into the next season of life with bold and godly confidence.

The burning question was this: What exactly should our homeschool look like when I deal with seemingly endless constraints, weaknesses, and limitations?

During this time of seeking God's guidance, I kept coming back to tree imagery. I see it all through Scripture. I see it in my wooded backyard. Nowadays, even my screen saver keeps popping up beautiful photos of trees!

As a visual learner, I’ve matched some phrases to tree parts to help me wrap my brain around what I believe is my calling as a homeschool mama. This helps me see the big picture of what we're doing in our homeschool much more clearly. Perhaps it will help you as well, or maybe it will inspire you to create your own visual based on what God is pressing on your heart.

Deeply Rooted
I, my marriage, our family, and our homeschool are all deeply rooted in Christ. We hold His Word in highest regard, believing it to be the description of His great rescue plan for sinners. We stand strong on His foundation of truth.

Faithfully Focused
In a world of distractions that target our fleshly desires and weaknesses, we choose to pursue purposeful, meaningful activities to help us live out God’s principles in our specific circumstances. This helps us continually grow spiritually.

Intentionally Connected
We believe our relationships with Christ and the people He has put in our lives are our highest priority. We choose, therefore, to live in authentic community, encouraging and being encouraged by others. 

Boldly Courageous
In this cultural moment, where “truth has stumbled in the streets” (Isaiah 59:14), we commit to speaking truth in love. With our priority being to seek first God’s kingdom and His righteousness, we know living for the eternal rather than the temporal is a must.

Mama, I pray this is helpful to you! If you are not feeling rooted...focused...connected...courageous...might I suggest something? I believe it would be so valuable to get some objective input. I know it was for me! Let's set up a chat and see what God will do in our short time together!

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Unexpected Gifts

Unexpected Gifts
Have you ever noticed that sometimes the best things can happen when our plans go awry? An unexpected snow storm cancels appointments, and you're gifted with extra time to be home with your family. The item you placed on special order for Christmas suddenly isn't available, but you somehow find it available at a lower cost (with faster delivery). The fundraiser you worked so hard on didn't reach your total donation goal, but an individual donor out of the blue blessed your nonprofit with a generous year-end gift (which happened to surpass the total that the fundraiser brought in).

All of the above examples are real! Their level of importance in the scheme of eternity varies, of course. Yet they represent a few ways I've seen the little grace notes of God's love song in my life.

As I think about how often we find gifts in unexpected places, I'm reminded of the chapter I contributed to the book collaboration Absolute Vision. "When Your Vision Needs CPR" tells the story of how my dreams completely changed as God worked in my heart and through my circumstances to give me a new vision. This came at a time when I felt as if my own hopes and desires were fading away right in front of me. 

When I was a starry-eyed college graduate (and a new bride), I never could have imagined...
  • Being a mother to 9 children
  • Homeschooling my children through high school
  • Caring for a child with special needs
  • Founding a nonprofit ministry
  • Running a business that allows me to use my God-given skills and passions
All of the above--bullets on my life résumé--are things I am immensely proud of and thankful for. And yet ALL of the above are also UNEXPECTED GIFTS! 

I never set out to have a large family. 
I never thought we'd homeschool beyond 5th grade.
I never would have even thought to ask God for a child with significant health issues and developmental delays.
I never dreamed of starting a nonprofit.

And while I DID dream of running my own business, I never would have imagined the turn my business efforts have taken, all because of these incredible, unexpected gifts.

What unexpected gifts might God be placing in your life?
How might He use those gifts to shift your dreams?

If you're a homeschooling mama who is feeling the ache of wondering whether "this is all there is" or whether you can REALLY "do this," I get it. I hear your heart's cry, because I've felt it myself. Reach out and let's make some time for YOU. Give yourself a gift this season: the gift of finding joy right where God has placed you, knowing it's part of HIS vision for your life. 
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When Homeschooling Is Hard

When Homeschooling Is Hard
Sometimes homeschooling is amazing! 
Listening to a child finally reading out loud by herself; 
seeing your awkward teenage boy jump for joy after mastering an algebra lesson;
hearing exclamations of surprise during a science experiment; 
making memories during a family field trip;
hearing a chorus of "Just one more chapter!" and pretending reluctance as you happily comply.

And then, of course, we all experience the stressful, difficult days of homeschooling:
Struggles with math or reading. 
Tears and tantrums from toddlers (or teens...). 
Trying to power through when you're sick or in pain yourself. (Having thrown out my back earlier this week, this one is definitely true for me today.)
No one can find pencils or paper; everyone is complaining; the kitchen is a disaster; wet laundry is still in the washer from yesterday; and you have no idea what you're going to feed everyone for lunch OR dinner. (Is fasting an option?!)


What keeps you going on those difficult days? What do you do when homeschooling is hard?

And...more than that...what keeps you going on REALLY difficult days? Not that the above scenarios aren't difficult, but I mean when homeschooling is HARD because you're dealing with heartache on top of the daily struggles.

The doctor confirms a terminal diagnosis.
Your husband is being let go from work.
A loved one has lost the battle with cancer.
You miscarried the baby you prayed for.

How do you keep going?

When homeschooling is hard, the only way forward is to remember your mission, your WHY for doing this in the first place. If you don't have a mission, if you haven't established the foundation for why you're home educating your children, it will be all too easy to find an alternative option. But if you're committed to homeschooling for the long haul, you'll remember that the daily activities, schedules, assignments--all of that is there as a TOOL for you to accomplish your mission.

Maybe school goes on hiatus while you regroup as a family. Maybe you shift into survival mode, doing the bare minimum to keep the kids occupied while you and your husband attend to the crisis at hand. 

There are ways to keep going when the going gets tough. But most important of all is keeping an eternal perspective, remembering that ultimately, we are homeschooling so we can teach and disciple our children, growing them into kingdom-minded followers of Jesus.

Is homeschooling hard for you these days? You don't have to do this alone. Hop on a free clarity call with me and let's get you past the difficulty. 

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