Thursday, September 23, 2010

It's All About The Process

I had a light bulb moment the other day! It's very exciting to me, although to some of you, it may be, "DUH!!!"

It's all about the process!!! This parenting thing...

It doesn't work too well when I'm trying to train a little one to go potty on the potty & I get upset because she hasn't got it down yet. I want to cross it off my to do list.

It doesn't work too well when I am sitting down to teach Gabriel phonics or math & I get upset because he's not doing it right.

It doesn't work real well when I'm busy typing a blog post & I get irritated because I'm being interrupted by the girls to check their narration projects.

I realized that I can apply the "reap what you sow" principle to training & teaching my children. Little by little, precept upon precept, I will teach Gabriel to "blend" two letters together. Then, someday in the future, he will be able to read words. Then, a little later, he will be able to read a book. I don't have to treat it like a "to do" list with a "get 'er done" attitude. I can enjoy the journey & leave the results of my diligent effort in the Lord's hands.

My "get 'er done" attitude is great for finishing chores, accomplishing a task, or organizing... But it doesn't work real well on the most important people in my life, my husband & children. I'm ashamed to admit that so much of the time, I've not taken those moments that God gave me to look at that bug or listen to a story... to look into their eyes & show them I care.

My prayer is that God will transform my heart & help me to be much more relaxed with my family, enjoying the moments that make up our journey. This process of parenting will be going on for many more years to come.

Lord, redeem the time. Thank you for convicting my heart.
Help me to enjoy the journey & trust You with the outcome.

Monday, September 13, 2010

He Is Called

As we've "officially" started our school year, I've been reflecting on the beginning of our home school journey. I was very excited to home school! I had various motives, from wanting to be "just like them" to wanting to save my children from the world. Daniel, on the other hand, didn't want anything to do with it. My emotions were very strong. I was angry. I pouted. I called friends. I called a friend of mine, an older, Godly man, a father figure for me. I told him how I was feeling. "Laura, if you are meant to home school, God will call Daniel." "Fathers are called to home school." Talk about taking the wind out of my sails. Here I was, wanting to do the "right" thing, and God was saying, "Trust me & wait."

Maybe a year later, school was getting ready to start. I still wanted to home school badly. We didn't have any money for curriculum. But Daniel said that if God wanted us to home school, He would provide the curriculum. I called friends again, women who had been homeschooling for years. "What curriculum did you use for...?" A Godly friend said, "Ask the One who called you?" Talk about taking the wind out of my sails. Here I was, trying to find the "perfect" curriculum, and God was saying, "Trust me & prepare."

So I prayed. I researched. I decided on a curriculum that would give Rose & I time together. More intimate, less structured. I called Nancy, the local home school group coordinator. She was giving me ideas. I said, "What I really want to do is Five In A Row." "Oh my gosh, I am the Five In A Row queen. I have all the books you need & you can borrow them all!" "WHAT!?! Did I just hear that correctly? No way! Oh yeah... God is good!"

The next year came. I really wanted to home school Kathryn, too. Daniel was not interested. He was concerned with the amount of time it would take to home school both girls. Would I have enough time to take care of the little ones? I didn't pout so much this time. I prayed. I prepared. I ordered a curriculum that both the girls could do if God changed Daniel's heart on the matter. Daniel started working with this guy. He didn't have any kids. But, as they talked, Kit convinced Daniel that Kathryn really didn't know what was best for her, that the public schools were not what was best... Within a couple of months, Daniel told me to pull Kathryn from school.

Ryan told us 2 weeks later that he wanted to be home schooled, too. He couldn't see the benefit in spending 9 hours a day away from home when his sisters "had it sooo much easier." I will elaborate on his story in a later post.

That was 2 years ago. It has been a struggle at times. It has been a process, a journey. Our home is constantly changing & growing.

This year, we have a fresh vision & focus. We have Gabriel, Lukasz & Anya who have their own special "class" now. Gabriel, because he loves it from last year. Lukasz, because I want him to get lots of practice speaking (there is a lot of rhyming in this program). Anya, because she wants to be apart of the group (she's not a baby, you know). We have a curriculum that helps to teach all of them in a one room school house type setting with the Bible as the main history book. We will learn how the Ancient Egyptian culture relates to the men in the Bible. Kathryn is focusing on Algebra & writing. Rosalie & Mama will be spending some focused time on math & math & more math. Ryan is gaining more & more skill as a carpenter. He's working through his Stewardship math class that I probably need to take right along with him & his world history that he's realizing he MUST complete if he wants to read the next book on his list, "What He Must Be To Marry My Daughter" by Voddie Baucham. We'll do one or two scrap book pages a week to put into our notebooks, to keep track of what we're learning & to give them an outlet for their natural creative abilities. We'll continue to take care of our garden, put up the veggies & prepare for winter. We'll go to the Sprinkler Lake Nature Fest, the planetarium for Christmas, the Saginaw Children's Museum & possibly the Creation Museum. Most importantly, we'll build another year's worth of memories, learn a lot of lessons, learn a lot about the grace & mercy of our Saviour, that He would chose us for this journey.

I am so thankful that God granted me the grace to listen to those hard words that Gary told me years ago. I am positive that our home school journey would be very different today, if I had continued in rebellion against my husband & not honored him even when he told me "no." I am also positive that God has poured His blessings down on us because we allowed Him to work in our home.

Jesus has changed my heart so much since the "beginning". Now, instead of trying to fit in or impress others... instead of trying to shield them from the world out of fear... Now, we just want to be obedient to what God has called us to do, to shut out the "noise" of the world, so we can look them in the eye & instruct them & train them in the way they should go.

In His Grip,

Thursday, September 2, 2010

I Just Wanted To Hear Your Voice, Honey

Our family went over to a sweet, older couple's house last Sunday. It was totally last minute. Both hubbies forgot to mention that we were stopping by after church. :) But it was so nice. We sat outside. The kids got to play & run & catch frogs. The women chatted & the men "discussed" the business at hand.

But one things sticks out in my mind & in my heart. We were talking about fathers & daughters. He said that he still calls his 1st born once a week, "just to hear your voice, honey." My first reaction was a little envious twinge. But my second & strongest was that sweet reminder that my Father in heaven just wants to hear my voice. Prayer, to me, is not a set of ritualistic words that I must say so that "God will hear me properly" and then He'll do what I say. What if I had the audacity to believe that I am the "one that Jesus loves."... He just wants to hear my voice??? I please Him??? Just like a Daddy I know, rushing in as soon as he hears his little girl fuss & saying, "Daddy's home. I've gotcha. Hi Izabella." That's how God feels about me, his daughter.

I used to have a bumper sticker that read, "I'm a princess because my Daddy is the King of Kings!"

I John 3-1 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God:

Zephaniah 3: 14-17 Sing, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel; be glad and rejoice with all the heart, O daughter of Jerusalem. The LORD hath taken away thy judgments, he hath cast out thine enemy: the king of Israel, even the LORD, is in the midst of thee: thou shalt not see evil any more. In that day it shall be said to Jerusalem, Fear thou not: and to Zion, Let not thine hands be slack. The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.

Hosea 3-14 Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfortably unto her.

John 21-7 Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, "It is the Lord!"

In His Grip,