Good morning Lee,
A couple of weeks ago, I had to leave the kitchen in our home and go to my room. I literally hit the floor weeping and lay there crying out to the Lord asking why did He think I could do this homeschooling thing.
It had been a rough morning and afternoon with my teenagers. We are not "enjoying" this journey at all! It's been one of the most difficult things I've ever had to do. The kids have expressed that they want to go back to their Christian school. Friends ask "how's it going?" and my response lately has been, "we hate it!" I am caught in this struggle of knowing that sending them back to the Christian school would be easy and in these tough days, I find myself saying it would be better for them than what I'm doing here, and yet knowing that this is what God has called our family to do for this time. This might sound a bit dramatic, but I fight feeling oppressed and overwhelmed daily and even deal with lethargy-like my feet have concrete weights on them throughout our days. So I lay there begging God to speak to me, meet with me, and help me. I cried out, "I need something from You, because I can't do this and quite frankly, I don't want to do it either!"
While on my knees my eye caught a devotional - Streams in the Desert that I hadn't looked at for some time. My great grandmother had given it to me back in 1984 when I was in high school. I hadn't used it in a while, but it had ministered to me in times past and this moment did not disappoint. I realize it's a bit lengthy, but I wanted to share with you what my Father gave to me.
February 1: I Kings 12:24 This thing is from me.
My child, I have a message for you today; let me whisper it in your ear, that it may gild with glory any storm clouds which may arise, and smooth the rough places upon which you may have to tread. It is short, only five words, but let them sink into your inmost soul; use them as a pillow upon which to rest your weary head. This thing is from me.
Have you ever thought of it, that all that concerns you concerns Me too? For "he that toucheth you, toucheth the apple of mine eye" (Zech 2:8) You are very precious in My sight (Isa. 43:4). Therefore, it is my special delight to educate you. I would have you learn when temptations assail you, and the enemy comes in like a flood, that this thing is from Me, that your weakness needs My might, and your safety lies in letting me fight for you.
Are you in difficult circumstances, surrounded by people who do not understand you, who never consult your taste, who put you in the background? This thing is from Me. I am the God of circumstances. Thou camest not to thy place by accident, it is the very place God meant for thee. (Get this) Have you not asked to be made humble? See then, I have placed you in the very school where this lesson is taught; your surroundings and companions (my children) are only working out My will!
This day I place in your hand this pot of holy oil. Make use of it free, my child. Let every circumstance that arises, every word that pains you, every interruption that would make you impatient, every revelation of your weakness be anointed with it. The sting will go as you learn to see Me in all things.
-Laura A. Barter Snow.
(Read more in Streams in the Desert: 366 Daily Devotional Readings)
I just thought I would share with you to bolster my witness and remind myself how this calling was not given to me because He knew I could handle it. I'm thinking He wanted me to learn how to trust and rely on Him more, because Wendy can't do this on her own. I've felt chastised about saying "we hate it". I'm still not sure what to say the next time someone asks, because reality is we're struggling each day to be motivated to press on. But I want to come up with something that doesn't offend my Savior because He is with me and has called me to teach my children for this time. I still need to learn how to receive and use His help each day. I guess I'm just not sure how to do that or what that really looks like? Of course when I cried out, He answered my prayer ... hmmmm.
Crying out to the Lord,
Oh Lee, Thank you for taking the time to read about my experience and to hear my heart! The ideas on how to respond are awesome and something I can actually hear myself saying out loud that express an honest reflection without offending the Lord or even my children. The morning meetings are big here especially with my daughter. I do need to make it more intentional and regular with her since she's pretty much learning on her own with the curriculum we've chosen for her. Loved the blog and all the other resources it opened to me. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Thank you for asking to share my letter. I know I have found encouragement and inspiration from others' journeys in many different areas of my life. In fact, I shared my break down and the devotional with a friend and she shared how it was meaningful to her with something she was going through and she doesn't even homeschool. Today was a much better day-more productive for everyone. Thank goodness for new and warmer days! Taking one new day at a time here in Ohio,
Thanks to you Lee, and to Wendy for sharing this. I can so relate. It's encouraging to be reminded that others understand and God is faithful.
I feel very blessed to read this today. I know I'm not the only one who despairs in this hs journey sometimes, but sometimes it feels that way. Thanks Wendy & Lee for sharing!
There can be some difficult, difficult times. Remember that joy comes in the morning - and it WILL get better, even though it's so hard right now.
Please pass on to Wendy my thanks. Just this morning I was overcome with such a crushing, oppressive sense of weakness and despair in the midst of homeschooling. her description: "but I fight feeling oppressed and overwhelmed daily and even deal with lethargy-like my feet have concrete weights on them" could have (and has!) come out of my mouth so often. Today the sense was so heavy I literally lay face down on the floor, begging God for his help and for the lifting of my head. Satan would like us to drown in our own weakness, but Christ calls us to walk toward him. I appreciated this so much today - sometimes the lethargy and the lack of vision is so debilitating. But God is faithful, and apparently, I am not alone.
Thanks for being so real, Wendy! We've all been there... but your investment of time, energy, tears, and heart won't come back empty! I don't know how long your kids have been out of their past school situation but I've often heard it takes at least a month (& up to to 3) for every year they were in, to adjust to their new situation...the academics will come. Wow, God really spoke through the scriptures in that devo...how reassuring! Thanks for sharing this both of you, Wendy and Lee. It does help to be reminded its not just me that goes through the hard times!
Streams in the Desert was my grandmother's devotional, then my mother's and now mine. I have not rotated back to it in some time. Perhaps now is the time. Bless her heart for sharing, I have so been where she was that day. Morning meeting sounds like a doable idea Lee, thank you.
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