From the diary of Krystal:
Tonight, God revealed something BIG to me. So big that its midnight and He has yet to let me sleep. The revelation weighed so heavy on my mind and in my heart that I felt, I needed to share it with others in hopes of encouraging each of you in the everyday sacrifice and extra effort that we take to raise Godly children.
I realize some of you don’t know me that well, nor do you know my heart, but I can humbly say, that I am in no sort of way taking credit for the things that God has done. My purpose for writing is to first and foremost exalt God and to secondly, help encourage God’s people who share a common passion.
Eleven years ago, God placed a conviction on my heart. A conviction that was so strong, that mentally and physically tormented me at times. A beautiful idea, I thought..for someone else! I liked the sound of it, at times, when I juggled it around in my mind….. I could choose what we learning and how it was to be taught, everything could be centered around God, more time with my kids, more family time, more flexibility..I mean the list went on. With all that being said, the idea of it, was all so emotionally frightening and just down right physically draining….how can I do this? Educate my own kids? Prepare lesson plans? Put up with their attitudes all day? Give up a part of me that longed for a career, hobby, or just ‘me’ time? Again, the list went on. Countless, sleepless nights, I prayed for God to remove the conviction….the conviction of a word that frightened me to the core….HOMESCHOOLING!
And God, he has such a way of making himself known….and yes, the conviction grew stronger…and I, feeling overwhelmed and taken back by the idea…well, did the Godly thing..NOT! I satisfied my flesh, and I enrolled my oldest (Kyra,now 11 ½) in public school. Kindergarten passed, then first grade, and all the while God was faithful in continuing to strengthen the conviction he had years ago placed within me. I know he must have been looking down at me, shaking his head and maybe even pointing and shaking a firm finger at me saying , “Sweet child of mine, why do you run from me when I speak?” Seems I had my own game of hide and seek in motion, only to be reminded that you can’t run nor hide from God!!! Amen, ladies?
After many sleepless nights, chats with other Christian ladies, prayers and scripture readings, a supportive and encouraging husband, and a uprising second grader who was suffering from Mono, with which I was having to homeschool anyway… I stepped out in faith..no, I leaped….blindfolded and scared. But no longer could I stand to meet with God, day after day, knowing that my disobedience grieved Him so. But to be obedient meant I had to let go..and yes, you know it, Let God!
Obedience….it means doing the right thing, even when it’s the hard thing, and trusting God to take care of the rest! I was reading a book called, Jesus, The Lord, and one author put it like this, “The defining mark of being a follower of the Lord is a determination to obey.” ( John, McArthur) I had learned a great lesson, one I still remind myself of daily….If I am what I claim to be, a disciple of God, then I am to be constantly available to the Father and instantly obedient to do what he ask of me. And then trust that He would take care of the rest. There is something to be said about that hymn written so long ago, Trust and Obey, for there’s no other way..you know the rest! I was taking a leap into the most dreaded word….Homeschooling! Can you relate?
Since that leap, I have went on to homeschool all four of our beautiful children…Kyra, now 6th grade, Taylor, 4th grade, Amery 2nd grade and Brayden kindergarten. All with four completely different learning styles and personalities! Challenging, to say the least. I wish I could say it’s been a breeze from the get-go! Not a chance! Our family is a huge fan of Tim Hawkins, a Christian comedian and one who has got us through a lot of stressful days. He said it best when he said, “You sure don’t see many atheists homeschoolers, do you? Cause after your first week of homeschooling, you’ll be crying out to God!!!” So funny but more so, sooo true!
I know ladies, that there’s time when we glance back at the decision we made, and we see God’s hand in it and then other days we question everything about it! What I am about to write is specifically for the days when you question what God has called you to do. This is my own personal testimony and only one revelation that I have witnessed from the gift of homeschooling. There are others, yet this one, the most recent. It was refreshing and I hope you find it refreshing for your soul as well.
I hurried up the stairs tonight, trying to get four busy bodies to throw themselves in bed, so I could clean up the kitchen, see my husband off to work, check my email and facebook ofcourse, then curl up in my bed and read until my eyes could no longer hold up! Taylor and Amery share a room and I was in there trying to help move them along. The whole time I was fussing, “hurry up, get your p.j’s on, pick up your dirty clothes…blah, blah, blah!” And when I get edgy, I clean! So, I went to gather a few straggling papers, books,dolls, and whatever else was there, when I noticed a neatly stacked arrangement of books tucked away near the bookshelf. I began to plunder through, not expecting to see much…and I what I found was so much more….reassurance!
It belonged to my second born..Taylor, age 9. To give you some history about Taylor, here goes…sweet, timid at times, beautiful, honest, perfectionist ,neat, orderly, (hence the perfect stack of belongings) and loyal. All these things, but one attribute that would do her in if she failed to give it over to God…..worrier!!!! And I mean to the point of not sleeping, throwing up at times, hives, over some of the smallest things! Tyler and I would often pray with her and for her over this very thing. We often had conversations about how we all struggle with something and that as she learned to trust God she would learn to worry less. But it grieved her…you could tell. Not only did she worry, but now she worried about worrying!! Geez..poor kid. She knew that sin separated her from God and she could not stand the fact of letting down her Heavenly Father. I knew that. I had often witnessed it and prayed with her. But she knew she needed God to help her. She really knew.
Tears swelled up in my eyes, when I unraveled her stack…scripture scattered everywhere across a loose leaf piece of notebook paper…scriptures that God had given her to keep close as a reminder. Some of them included, 1 Peter 5:6 “ Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about what happens to you.” Scripture about how to live your life..like Micah 6:8 “ He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God,” and numerous references from Proverbs and Hebrews. Also, in the stack, I discovered three different devotional books, marked with torn paper that held the place of these titles, “Why Worry?” and “Real Faith.” In addition, I found notes from a study we did two years ago, as an addition to our homeschooling day ,..“Walking In Faith.” Her glittery hot pink Bible,book marked with highlighted index cards, all contained the Word of God. Lastly, I opened up the journal..skimmed through and on the last page an outline of all the material and references I previously talked about, neatly titled, in all caps, FAITH, DON’T WORRY! And at the very end, she wrote , “Faith-is trust. When we trust in Jesus we receive eternal life in that very moment.” God gives faith to those who ask him! John 11:26, Ephesians, 2:8. Circled and marked with astros, “I don’t have to worry, cause I know God!” I wept.
Often times, we don’t get to see the beauty that comes from being obedient! But tonight, I was reassured. Train them babies up in the ways of the Lord! Isn’t God amazing? He took a nine year old girls heart and inside it placed a passion and desire to please her Maker!
Maybe we don’t always teach some subjects well or pick a curriculum that fits our children perfectly. And maybe we grow overwhelmed from wondering if our kids will fit in socially with their peers, or if they will measure up to others academically. While I believe that God is concerned about all those things, I know that he is more concerned about their little hearts. Homeschooling has given me more of an ability to raise my kids in an environment that is Christ-focused and when I witness times as these, I have joy, that surpasses all understanding. Keep on keeping on, ladies. God is using you to build mighty soldiers for Christ.
God Bless each you on your homeschooling journey!