Families stick together
We were barely a couple months in to our second homeschool year and I found myself crying on the bathroom floor trying to figure out how I would have the stamina and heart to continue to teach my children when I was only 1 child and 2 years into homeschooling. Giving up was never an option to me, but I did not think I could go on in a battle of the wills with my son. His focus and disdain for school was eating away at my patience and zeal for my idea of what it would look like to homeschool my children.
Jude came upstairs crying after our screaming match and begged me to finish school for the day. I told him I had nothing left in me and we were done. I was done. I am sure the words, "LEAVE ME ALONE!" came out of my mouth as if I were the 5 year old being forced to do something I did not want to do. I needed to call it a day so I could find the strength I desperately needed in a new day and a renewed frame of mind and attitude. But, this strong-willed child of mine was not having it. He insisted on finishing his school work. So I reluctantly followed him downstairs. We calmly and efficiently made it through school work in record time.
That is confirmation in action. That is affirmation in its purest form.
That is beauty in the ashes.
Call it what you will, but this moment was the very moment that I recognized the fact that I am not homeschooling my children on my own, this is a family journey. We are a homeschooling family. Those moments (yes, there have been similar situations since and I do not believe we have seen the last of them) remind me that I have to depend on Christ to lead me so I can refine my character, and hopefully reflect Christ through me so that at the end of the crying and screaming my children see perseverance, love, grace and light.
As I thought about this message on my heart this week and as I prayed over it, the Lord put this scripture on my heart. It is one that I just skim over because it can begin to sound so redundant since it is quoted so often, but as I went back and re-read it, it lit up my heart and my eyes in a whole new light. While reading this scripture picture your family, friends, those you come in contact with, and yes homeschooling Mama, allow these words to meditate on your heart all week long.
"If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails." — 1 Corinthians 13:3-8
When Jude was maybe 3, Josh would tell him that our family motto is "families stick together". So anytime any of us got mad at each other, we would make amends and all say together "families stick together!".
I think it can be so easy to slip into a teacher mode. A lot of days I want to be teacher and I want my student to focus and get the work done like any student in an ideal classroom. But first and foremost we are family, and at the end of the day, what matters most is that we stick together even through the tougher times. We lean on each other. We encourage each other when the other feels as though they have nothing left. We do it all in forgiveness and love. We do it knowing that our diligence, work and training is not in vain. We press on toward the goal.
"For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known; And now these three remain; faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love."
— 1 Corinthians 13:12-13
Do you often find that the bible says exactly what your heart feels at just the right time? Did you get that?!? Right now we only can see a reflection, just part of the goodness of Christ. Until then, let hope, faith and love remain, but the greatest of those should always be love. I could not sum up this post any better in my own words, so I pray we can "reflect" on those words as our children are our very reflections on Earth and even greater than that, they are a reflection of our Creator. What a priceless gift to teach them in love because the greatest gift God left us is the gift of love.
I hope you all have a wonderful week!