I love new beginnings. Fresh starts. I love starting a new book. I love mornings and the smell of a fresh, new pot of coffee. I love sunrises. I love opening my journal to a new, blank page as I begin to read my Bible. Most of all, I love my Lord and Savior and I am incredibly thankful and humbled that His grace and mercy are new everyday.
It’s hard to believe that we have started our fourth year of homeschooling this year. One of the biggest questions we get asked, since moving to Swaziland, is: “What does a typical day look like for you?” Well, one thing you learn very quickly while living on the mission field is, no two days are exactly the same. You learn to be flexible.
With that being said…the season of life that we are in right now…homeschooling is a huge part of my day. My ministry. Now, whether that school is being done in our house, outside in the hammocks, in the car on the road, or at a care point is a different story.
I didn’t homeschool while we lived in the States. Hannah loved going to school and Luke couldn’t wait to join his sister. So when God confirmed our call to move to Swaziland, He was simultaneously calling me to homeschool. Hannah was in 3rd grade and Luke was in Kindergarten when we moved to Swaziland. I’m not going to lie, even the thought of homeschooling was extremely overwhelming to me. I felt unprepared. Lacking. I wasn’t organized enough. Wasn’t creative enough. I wasn’t a planner. It was so far out of my comfort zone, I didn’t even know where to begin. There was so much unknown. I was scared I would fail.
So I began to pray. Everyday.
I didn’t want to just accept homeschooling as something that I HAD to do but I wanted a passion for it. One…because my attitude would be reflected in our children. And two…the Lord had, without question, called me to do it.
So fast forward to one big move over the ocean and my first year of homeschooling done. I was feeling pretty proud of myself. There had been hard days, sure, but now as we headed into school year number two. I was feeling pretty confident in myself. I got this!
Well, let me tell you…I…didn’t have anything.
You see, along the way somewhere, I had began to rely on my own strength, not His. As I grew more comfortable and confident in my role as, teacher, my once very obvious need for Him began to diminish. Now, I didn’t wake up one morning and consciously think, “I got this, God, I don’t need you anymore.” It’s very rarely that obvious. But over time, that’s what I said, with my actions and lack of intentional, specific prayers.
So, no surprise, when God calls me to do something that I can truly only do in and through Him and I stupidly try and do it in my own strength, I will fail. Everytime.
Now when I say, fail, in this specific case, I don’t mean our children would never learn anything. No. If the end goal was soley to teach them book knowledge then I could do it in my own strenghth. Now, the road to get there would be hard and ugly…lacking in patience and love, self-control, joy and grace. (To just name a few.) My purpose as a believer, is to make His name known and to bring Him honor and glory In.Everything.That.I.Do. To become more like Him. To love like Him. And that is where I fail, when I try to do something in my own strength.
But Oh, His Grace! His Mercy! His Love!
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23
One of the biggest things that God continues to teach me through homeschooling is grace. Grace for my children, grace for myself and His grace covering us all.
I’ve come to realize that as uncomfortable as it may be, to be walking on a path where you feel unprepared…lacking…called outside your comfort zone. Where the path not only looks harder but it is harder. There is truly no better place to be, because that is where you press into the Lord knowing that when you are weak than you are strong. His power is made perfect in weakness.
My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness. 2Corinthians 12:9
So I go into this fourth year of homeschooling knowing we will have great and fun days and hard and challenging days. But not shying away from either because each new day brings a promise of a fresh start. Where His mercies are new and never come to an end. Where I am given another opportunity to bring Him honor and glory. Knowing it’s only possible, when I live my life In, Through, and Because of Christ.
But grow in grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be glory both now and to the day of eternity. 2Peter 3:18