Thursday, September 3, 2015

Dare to be Different and Enjoy it!

If you are a Christian homeschooler, I would like to encourage you to believe two things ..1) God has called me to do this and 2) God has equipped me to do this.   (Note.. that doesn't mean that you won't ever put your kids back in school. It may only be for a season. )

In your homeschooling journey, I would also say that you will be judged by the choices you make.. either openly (usually family members) or passively aggressively (anyone) or gossiply or just in people's heads.  It does not matter which path you choose. You will be judged. You can be judged because you unschool and don't believe that school should be in a classroom. You can be judged because you are trying to emulate public school at home. You can be judged because you do an online public school. You can be judged because you do school for 8 hours a day. You can be judged because you don't do a co-op. You can be judged because you do more than one co-op. You get my point..

Here's my next point... You do NOT need to worry about people judging you (see my first paragraph).  Judging other people is between the person who is judging and God. Yes, it can be hurtful and yes, it can hurt your pride but earnestly pray and let God be the center of your homeschool and your judge.  There may be sinful areas in your homeschool.. let God convict you of those areas.. not other people who are judging you.

Do allow others to encourage you if they are trying to encourage you in a manner that is uplifting. They may see a fault in you that you may have too much pride to see but boy that's a fine line and that better be a good friend and even when their intentions and their heart may seem pure, it may not be from God.

Words from my friend who read my blog post that are worth repeating and she said it so beautifully that I am cutting and pasting.
We shouldn't be too quick to label all criticism (constructive or otherwise) as judgment and dismiss it outright without evaluating it, even if briefly. For instance, Person A, B, and C, who don't know each other, all make the same observation .(about my homeschooling or something else). I should probably take time to consider what they are saying, pray, run it by my husband or a very close friend, even if ultimately I determine that the Lord is leading me in a different way. One person's random statement probably wouldn't deserve such consideration, but if I'm hearing something over and over again, I feel that I should probably give it a closer look. 

So here's the thing..   YOU know your children.  YOU know your children's struggles. YOU know your own struggles. YOU know your own abilities and talents.  God has created us all uniquely and our ways are going to be different.  The world might see glimpses of you but there is no way that they could know the whole story.  They may not know the hours and tears  that have been spent before they say something careless like "She's 10 and still can't read".   They may not know what it's like to have cancer and homeschool kids at the same time.  They may not know what it's like to have a mental illness and homeschool.  They may not know all the things you have in your life to juggle and still homeschool.  They may not know the trauma your child has experienced and now just needs a year of mental rest.  But you know and you need not be afraid of them. Stand tall in your decisions because you know!

But here's the other thing..  You got to fight the good fight.. Yes, homeschooling can be a fight. You have to earnestly seek God.  You have to stay right in the middle of His strength.  You have to rest in His peace.  Ask for His guidance.  Let Him convict you. Let Him encourage you.  If you don't know what this looks like in a practical sense, seek counsel from a good Christian friend. They may not have all the answers but they can share what their journey in the Lord and homeschooling looks like and give you practical advice on how to implement more of God in your homeschool.  If your homeschool is a mess and you are at your wit's end,  it's okay to ASK FOR HELP.. Don't let yourself believe that veteran moms have it all put together and have the perfect homeschool and have from the very beginning. Remember you only see glimpses of their life.  And take their advice for what it is.. advice.. not a dictation on how you should do your homeschool.

I am realizing that my blog post has more of a negative tone than I intended and I want you to know it is because I have had 4 years of dealing with hurt and disappointment of  friends and strangers judging me and the way that I do homeschool.  And years of comparing myself to other homeschools and not trusting my own decisions and my own intuition on things.  I am finally at a place of peace with where I am with my homeschool.  My ways are not your ways. And that's okay!

Here are some Bible verses that I hope can encourage you in your journey

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

Colossians 3:17  And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Psalm 121:1-2  I lift my eyes to the mountains - where does my help come from?  My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of Heaven and earth

Philipians 4:13 - I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength

A good friend shared this amazing song with me. May it encourage you in your homeschooling journey. (Thanks, M :))

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