Monday, August 30, 2010

Where He Leads, I Will Follow

After my last post, I was SO encouraged by your many comments spurring me on and telling me I'm not alone!  Thank you so much for blessing me with all your wisdom and encouragements as I talked about my recent doubts in my ability to home-school while I battle morning sickness and as I figure out our homeschooling "style" in general. 

The Lord used you all to bring me back to some basic Truths that He's been walking me towards for a while now, but I keep straying because of the distractions that are brought on by my fears and worries.

I am SO thankful for His faithfulness and steadfastness in reassuring me and showing me the way even when I get myself lost time after time!

What He's been speaking to me, actually started this summer while I was home alone, vacuuming the house.  The Lord brought me specific direction for this school year... to study the 9 fruits of the Spirit found in Galatians 5 by focusing on one "fruit" each month.

At that time, I took some mental notes and thought of some ways to incorporate that into my already planned out schedule...

But a few weeks later, when we found out we were pregnant, the doubts and worries, about homeschooling at all, started.  How can I home-school with so many distractions (the little kids, the morning sickness, etc)?  Will anything get accomplished this year?

The Lord spoke to me again by encouraging me to daily do what "school" I can, but focus mainly on the fruits of His  Spirit.  I was freshly excited about having my kids with me all day so that we can discuss minute by minute how to practice and live out each fruit we learn about--even if it's being taught from the living room couch!

So I did some specicif planning and decided to make the Fruits of the Spirit our main focus...

But as my morning sickness got worse and worse, the uncertainties crept back in yet again (thus, my last post).  I could hardly keep up with anything around the house and I was loosing my vision in all my doubting.  This was just not how I pictured it...I was so disappointed in myself and in my inability to "push through" and accomplish "by the books" education each day, let alone the extra effort I wanted to put into creatively presenting the Fruits of the Spirit to my kiddos.

But this weekend, He reeled me in once more and spoke to me about centering our home on the fruits of His Spirit(I'm SO thankful He hadn't given up on my by this point!)  I have now seen more than just His desire for my days, I have seen His vision for my days!  I am still feeling sick and tired, but I'm now full of joy and thankfulness that He was faithful to teach me and re-teach me about HIS will for this school year!

It will probably be lacking cute activities and colorful handouts for a while, but it will be rich with scripture and Truth from our own experiences in our home.

So as I look again into the first fruit of the Spirit (love) I am reminded that if I'm loving my kids in the Spirit, none of my efforts will fall short. (see more HERE).

BUT if I push a curriculum on us all, even when I'm sick and even when their hearts are needing something else, and we complete my perfectly planned school year, but I do it without Sprit-filled love, I am nothing but a "clanging symbol" and we "gain nothing" (1 Cor 13).

The Lord has now added to this vision by directing me to teach the boys a hymn each month that corresponds with the fruit we're learning. (Love-"O How I Love Jesus"; Joy-"Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee"; Peace-"Peace Like a River", etc).

As I was finding each "fruit's" hymn in my "Amazing Grace" book, the Lord brought it to mind to take it beyond just the hymn, and talk about the author of the hymn, the story behind the hymn and anything else I can find!

So suddenly, my mission to teach about the fruit of the Spirit turned from "just" a spiritual lesson to now include, music and history!

Then yesterday a friend who is getting rid of some books, had set aside a stack for me to look through...and there in the midst of the books was this one:

I was so blessed by the Lord's purposeful ways to get my attention and say, "You're doing well...keep it up...and here's a little extra help..."

Now, on days I feel well, we are still following the plan to complete the original plan ("My Fathers World Kindergarten" for Trusten and "Handwriting Without Tears" for Brahm).  Thankfully though, they already know beyond what is being expected of their ages, so skipping a day here and there in our week hasn't slowed down our pace yet!

My goal right now in our homeschooling isn't my daily planner anymore (Praise God!) it's in teaching and practicing loving my boys in and by the Spirit...

And when I begin to doubt myself, I'm disciplining myself to give thanks for realizing how I was making it about me, and freshly turn my eyes to the Lord for help!

God is so faithful to quiet our storms (even the storms WE create), quiet our doubts and come to our aide...He loves to help His children!


Gwen Toliver said...

We've studied the Fruits of the Spirit several times as a family and every time we do I learn more (i.e. I'm convicted deeply on something!!).

The Lord always has something new to teach us and encourages us when we need it!

Cheri Bunch said...

Awesome post,Grace! Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving a comment!

You go, girl! I am very proud of you!

Kara said...

Thanks for the update!

Yesterday during services we sang "Jesus, What a Friend for Sinners" and in verse two I thought of and prayed for you hope it blesses you as I was blessed yesterday!

Jesus! What a strength in weakness!
Let me hide myself in Him.
Tempted, tried, and sometimes failing,
He, my strength, my victory wins.

Hallelujah! What a Savior!
Hallelujah! What a friend!
Saving, helping, keeping, loving,
He is with me to the end.

here is the whole song if you are not familiar with it:


Liz @ Sugarplum Creations said...

Grace, this is wonderful! I am sorry that you have felt overwhelmed, but please no that it is totally normal. I, too, feel this way from time to time, even though I know without doubt that the Lord's will is for me to homeschool my children. It is the enemy trying to cast doubt.

I love that God is leading you toward teaching the Fruits of the Spirit. A couple of years ago I taught our 2-4 year old Sunday School Class, and we focused a lot on the Fruits of the Spirit. I didn't make a HUGE tree, as you have, but we did make smaller trees out of construction paper, and I found stickers representing each fruit ;) We learned a new one each week, and the kids had

Sorry about my ramblings, I just had to throw that in there. I'm so excited for you!!!

Liz @ Sugarplum Creations said...

Oh dear, must proofread next time! No = know, of course! :)

Julie said...

Grace...I totally hear you on the morning sickness while homeschooling! Been there, done that!! Thankfully God knows your need and will supply you fully!! It sounds to me like he has already given you the answers. Isn't He good!! Blessings on you as you continue on in what God has called you to!!

Sara S. said...

I just wanted to say that I miss you! Thanks for your comment on my blog. I love you, I love your blog, I love your friendship, and well I just miss you! Hugs my dear kindred spirit. Did you get my email a couple of weeks ago? Love you! I hope you start feeling better soon. Praying for you!

Stacie, A Firefighter's Wife said...

Character is more important than academics. I can't homeschool right now because of my voice rest. It is hard, but knowing that we homeschool all year around gives me freedom to take a few weeks here and there when I need it.

...they call me mommy... said...

Hi Grace! Thanks for stopping by my blog via Angie's! :) I am excited to see YOUR blog too! It's so lovely!
I don't know if you are familiar with The Homespun Heart blog, but just FYI, she did a Fruits of the Spirit study with her littles and she offered her lesson plans, color sheets etc on her blog. Just a thought if you are looking for any ideas! :)

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