Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Purpose in Homeschooling (and no...it's not to go crazy!)


What do you think when you read that word? 

Do you picture girls in matching dresses and boys in jean overalls? 

Do you think the words “weird and awkward” in your head? 

Or maybe you actually know some families that homeschool and they look normal and the only “weird and awkward” coming from them is the same “weird and awkward” you experience in your own home as your kids grow from babes to adulthood. But, when you think about homeschooling, you’re quick to think, “I could never do that!”

That was me....to all of the above. And, if I’m totally honest, it’s still me some days! 

The stereotypes still die hard. There is always that niggle of concern that I’m making my kids weird and, almost daily, I have to take my thoughts of “I can’t do this!” captive to the truths of God’s Word that His grace is sufficient! 

We are getting ready to embark on our second year of homeschooling since being in Canada ( I had homeschooled several years ago before the kids went to Christian school). Bryan and I believe this is the road God has marked out for us in this season of life. That is not to say that it’s the road for everybody else or anybody else. It’s our road. Yours might be public school or private school. For us, we don’t see homeschooling as they only way or the right way...just the best way for us for now. So, whatever you do, just be convinced it’s what God has called your family to...and then walk that road faithfully and humbly before the Lord. 

And as we seek to walk faithfully and humbly before the Lord, it’s helpful to remind ourselves of our purpose in all of life, whatever road we are walking: to glorify God. I love how Tim Challies puts it in his book Do More Better, “You need to structure and organize your life so that you can do the maximum good for others and thus bring the maximum glory to God.”

I was also encouraged last year to write down our specific purpose in homeschooling. A goal that I could be reminded of when the going gets tough and I want to run out of the house :) . After thought and prayerful consideration, we have a written goal along with some verses I want to memorize to encourage my heart in moments of weariness. While our specific goal might not fit your home life...the verses apply to all of us moms...so, I figured I’d share...and maybe it just might encourage you to write down some of your own (I’d love to hear your own goals and verses in the comments!).

Pichura Purpose in Homeschooling:

“To create flexibility in our daily schedule to minister to those around us, treasuring the fleeting years we have as a family of 8, as we seek to instill a Biblical worldview lens and a strong work ethic while building camaraderie, unity, and sweet memories as a family.” 

(Note to you all....this is the goal. Given that all 8 of us are sinners living under the same roof, please do not be shocked if you show up to our house and see the opposite taking place at any given moment...just pray for us!;) )

Prayers of this mama’s heart: 

“Let my teaching fall like rain and my words settle like dew, like gentle rain on new grass and showers on tender plants. For I will proclaim the Lord’s name. Declare the greatness of our God.”  Deut. 32:2-3

“And we exhort you brothers (that includes mothers!): warn those who are lazy, comfort the discouraged, help the weak, be patient with everyone...Rejoice always! Pray constantly. Give thanks in everything for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 
I Thessalonians 5:14,16-17

“She opens her mouth with wisdom, and loving instruction is on her tongue.” Proverbs 31:26

“A house is built by wisdom, and it is established by understanding; by knowledge the rooms are filled with every precious and beautiful treasure.” Proverbs 24:3-4

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Who Do I Think I Am?

I am reading a new book by Jen Wilkin entitled " None Like Him: 10 Ways God is Different From Us (and why that's a good thing)". (If you have not read her first book "Women of the Word", I highly recommend that one, as well!)

I love books that highlight the character of God! As I read, I truly find myself standing in awe of our great God and find myself falling deeper in love with Him. In a world that says there is no God and in a church-age that seems to often minimize the holiness and awesomeness of God and, instead, exalt man....we need to be constantly reminded about who God really is as He has revealed Himself in His Word, the Bible.

One of the attributes Jen highlights is God's omniscience. She defines it as "....limitless in his knowledge. He knows all things, not because he has learned them, but because he is their origin. God does not learn. Learning implies change, and as we've already considered, he is unchanging."

I've known that to be true and have greatly rejoiced in the fact that God knows all things. What I didn't take time to consider until reading this chapter was just how much I often live seeking to be omniscient myself. If you had asked me a month ago if I thought I could be omniscient I would have laughed at you and said, "No way! That's an attribute for God alone and it would be blasphemy to think I could have a part in that!" And yet, here I sit, convicted by my own pursuit to control, to know more and more, to figure out the future,  and to stretch beyond the here and now.

Jen says it this way throughout the pages of chapter 8:

"Whatever tomorrow holds, we can be certain that its contents will raise as many questions as they will answers. We can trust God to manage the future without our help. It is none of our business."

"Rather than obsessing over the future, learn contentment in your God-ordained innocence of what is to come....This will mean less time chasing curiosities online and more time mining the treasure in Scripture. It will mean leaving the knowledge of the future into the hands of the God who is already there. It will mean minding our own business instead of meddling. Our comfort lies not in holding all knowledge, but in trusting the One who does." 

"The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law." (Deut. 29:29)

"Because God holds all knowledge, we don't have to. Our lives are filled with questions awaiting answers, but not so our omniscient God. He does not suffer the anxiety of not-knowing that plagues our days. He has no cause for worry, for all is certainty to him. We live in the darkness of partial and incomplete knowledge, but to him the darkness is as light. No fact conceals itself from his eyes or buries itself in the shifting shadows of time. We are free to spend our years learning in healthy ways, seeking to expand our understanding humbly, in such a way that we are transformed not into smarty-pants but into servants." 

Psalm 139:16 says, "Your eyes saw me when I was formless; all my days were written in Your book and planned before a single one of them began." Verse 5 says that we are "encircled" by God and His hand is on us. His grace is sufficient for TODAY. His comfort brings us the joy we need for TODAY. His mercies are new TODAY. The Lord has made and called us to rejoice in TODAY.

TOMORROW is none of my business. And that is a very good thing!