The past few days—Tuesday and Wednesday in particular—I felt some heaviness in my heart. I had been praying about God’s direction, and what He wanted me to do to continue contributing to the homeschool community. The last 6 months of 2018, I was on a roll, with so much momentum. I also began planning for 2019, with goals in place. But then in January, I began to slow down. Since then, I have been praying really hard, to the point of asking God if I should even continue. Thoughts like these began creeping into my head:
Is this really what I should be doing now?
Is this really for me?
Is this really…“me”?
I’m no expert…
Then last week, I saw “heavy-weights” in the homeschooling community on my social media feed, and I blurted out in my mind that I would not continue anymore. Why should I even continue when all these “bigatin” experts are already out there? Then I enumerated in my mind how this person is already doing this, and that person is already doing that, and what else could I contribute? Medyo kaloka…maybe also because I’m at this point called…midlife!
Amid all these weird feelings, I continued to pray for God’s guidance. And then came that sense of heaviness…God began to put a burden on my heart for children. The trigger was this creepy online challenge targeting kids, brainwashing them to do horrifying things. I don’t even want to go into details. This alarmed and disturbed me, and made me angry…it made me angry at all the evil around us. The most vulnerable, the most helpless—the children—the ones who need to be protected the most, they are the ones being attacked!
I realized it was just like it was in the days of Baby Moses, or Baby Jesus, when authorities were out to kill babies. Just like in this day and age, when abortion is legal in several parts of the world, and in one US city, is considered legal up until the day of birth (crazy!!!). Then the abuse, the bullying…and now this creepy online challenge. Many other issues out there put children in harm’s way. It’s a sad and brutal reality.
So yeah, I began to have this sinking feeling. But at the same time, that burden began to brew something else. A stirring of the spirit, if you will. A renewed sense of why we homeschool.
This battle for our children will not be simply won in the same realm of the flesh, in the arena of the world. It has to be constantly fought in the spiritual realm. Let’s consider what the Bible says:
For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 6:12, NLT)
I use God’s mighty weapons, not those made by men, to knock down the devil’s strongholds. (2 Corinthians 10:4, TLB)
Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. (1 Peter 5:8-9a, NLT)
This is called “spiritual warfare.” In the midst of all our efforts in forming our children according to our faith and values, let us be aware that these are strengthened a hundred times more by a higher power—God’s power. Our enemy seems to be of Goliath proportions, but thanks to our hindsight bias, we already know who gets the upper hand:
David replied to the Philistine, “You come to me with sword, spear, and javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies—the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. Today the Lord will conquer you….” (1 Samuel 17:45, NLT)
The evil one is wreaking havoc and will do whatever he can to bring people to his side. One of his strategies is attacking the basic unit of society: the family. Which is why his blows are aimed towards marriages, parents, and children. But in this one passage, Jesus shows us how He is here to topple the works of the enemy:
“A thief comes only to steal and slaughter and destroy; I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10, NABRE)
I sensed the urgency to share this message with you, and for as long as God gives me something to share and contribute to the homeschooling community, as long as He tells me to keep going in this direction, then I will.
(Just saw my word count, and it’s nearing 800 words. This might be too long a read for you already, so I will continue this message in my next post…)
What are your thoughts so far on fighting for our children in the spiritual realm? Feel free to message me or post in the comments.
Allow me to share with you a “secret power” in our homeschool. This secret power does not come from me, or my husband, or my child, or other people, or in processes and systems. But I believe it is this secret power that has sustained us all through the years.
What is this secret power? Or maybe I should change the question to, WHO is this secret power?
This secret power is…(drum roll)…the Holy Spirit!
Yep, tada! That’s how I’ve been operating—through the power of the Holy Spirit. Without Him in our homeschool, I’d be running around like a headless chicken…it would be kalerks everyday! (Yes, there are still crazy days, but thanks to the Holy Spirit, who corrects my course.)
Who is the Holy Spirit, anyway? Well, we probably know Him in our heads as the Third Person of the Trinity. But did you know that He doesn’t have to remain as some distant Being? Truth be told, He is the presence of Jesus in our midst. The Holy Spirit is our guide, our teacher, is the One who can instruct us in all things. So when we don’t know what to do, when we feel stuck in our homeschool, we can ask for His help!
“But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative—that is, the Holy Spirit—he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you.” (John 14:26, NLT)
This gives me so much assurance: He will teach you everything. This means we can rely on Him to help us in teaching our children, He will equip us, He will lead us to the resources that we need at the time we need them, He will guide us to the people who are meant to journey with us at certain seasons…He will even pray for us! Here’s what it says in a Bible passage:
And in the same way—by our faith—the Holy Spirit helps us with our daily problems and in our praying. For we don’t even know what we should pray for nor how to pray as we should, but the Holy Spirit prays for us with such feeling that it cannot be expressed in words. And the Father who knows all hearts knows, of course, what the Spirit is saying as he pleads for us in harmony with God’s own will. (Romans 8:26-27, TLB)
Isn’t that great to know, that the Holy Spirit Himself also prays for us! Sure, we pray for one another…but when the Holy Spirit prays for us, whoa! You can count on it and begin to see awesome things happening.
Here’s one example. I was super swamped with responsibilities at work (I was still a full-time employee then, and could hardly keep homeschooling consistent. We were also homeschooling independently and would choose our own curriculum). So I prayed and asked the Holy Spirit’s guidance on how to homeschool during this very busy, crazy season. Then during a time of prayer and reflection, He reminded me that we lived just a few minutes away from the library. My son loves to read, so off we walked to the library to borrow some books. He devoured the books and enjoyed them.
It sounds so simple, but my mental bandwidth was so full of things I needed to accomplish at work, I was in dire need of the Holy Spirit’s guidance. And as I gave time to listen to His voice in prayer, He gave me a simple solution: go to the library!
So let me encourage you to begin to tap into this secret power—the Holy Spirit! He will gladly instruct you in your homeschool journey!
ANNOUNCEMENT: Registration for The Courageous Homeschooler group coaching program is now EXTENDED to November 14, 2018. First session begins on November 15, Thursday. For details, click here: http://citygirlcountryhome.com/the-courageous-homeschooler/ You may also send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are experiencing these feelings, know that you are not alone. We’re all human. It’s normal. The good news is you don’t need to be stuck there.
Fear comes from a place of not knowing, and because we don’t know, our minds start to default towards the negatives, and start to be filled with scenarios of what ifs?
In this context, fear has a way of paralyzing us. Because we don’t know, we’d rather not. We’d rather stay where it’s familiar and avoid what we feel might be too risky. But I know you want to break through these barriers. And in video 2 of this training series, I share some tips on how to address these fears. I also share my best tip ever when it comes to homeschooling. And I also share how one mommy got through these anxieties and was able to homeschool her son with much joy.
If you’d like to check out a video excerpt, click here.
And if you want access to the free training series, click here.
Hope you join me!
Which of these fears have you experienced or are experiencing? What other fear might be holding you back? If you’re already homeschooling, what might be the “What ifs?” in your head? Let me know in the comments. 🙂
One morning, while I was praying in the living room, tears suddenly welled up in my eyes. It wasn’t because I had a personal struggle; it was because I felt God had given me a little insight into what homeschool mommies (and aspiring homeschoolers) could be feeling—an overly sense of fear, the fear of homeschooling because they didn’t feel good enough, or adequate enough, or that they wouldn’t get it right, etc.
It gripped me because I knew it was a lie. It was a lie that the evil one was trying to subtly weave into the minds of these mommies—the very ones who carried these children in their wombs, the ones who nurture them like no other!
In the Bible, Jesus said, “When you continue to embrace all that I teach, you prove that you are my true followers. For if you embrace the truth, it will release more freedom into your lives” (John 8:31-32, TPT)
At that moment, during that time of prayer, I strongly felt compelled to share the truth. The truth that you, dear mommy, have what it takes to homeschool. That since God has chosen you to be the parent of your child, then He has equipped you (and will continue to equip you) with what you need to teach and educate the ones entrusted to your care.
With this in mind, I was inspired to come out with a free online training series entitled “Break through Fear & Self-doubt so you can finally Start Homeschooling with Confidence.” And even if you’re already homeschooling but still have to hurdle these feelings, then I invite you to sign up here.
Here’s a short video to give you an overview of what the training is about.
Let’s not believe the lies. The fear may be real, but more real and powerful is the truth from God’s love, the truth that sets us free.
Last Friday, we ate dinner in a Filipino restaurant with two Japanese guests. They were heading a group of high school students who were in the country for a two-week English camp. They tied up with the university my husband works in. As with usual conversations when kids are around, Mr Koda asked my son, “What grade are you in?” And my son cautiously yet matter-of-factly said, “Grade 5-ish…mostly.” So my husband explained: “Different levels…in English, advanced; in Math, same level; in Filipino…Grade 2.” And we laughed, because of the irony of how a Filipino kid wasn’t adept at Filipino just yet (though I know many of us homeschoolers are in the same boat when it comes to Filipino, am I right?)
Prior to the “What grade are you in?” question was the usual precedent: “Where does he go to school?” And of course I answered that we homeschool. Then Mr Koda said, “Ah…when you home educate, you also learn.” “Yes!” I beamed.
There were exchanges of stories about Filipino and Japanese culture throughout our meal. Then I also mentioned how my son learned to write some Japanese characters sometime ago. So Mr Koda started writing Japanese characters on the paper placemat, and asked us to guess what they meant. It was a fun discussion, and my son gamely chimed in. 🙂
Thinking about it now, here are some takeaways:
It’s OK if your kid is in “Grade __-ish.” Many homeschoolers can relate to this. Ways of learning differ, interests in certain subjects differ, some lessons and concepts are understood faster than others. That’s OK. Because the key is learning. So if something isn’t quite understood yet, it’s OK to take longer. And if something is already understood, then no need to linger.
In homeschooling, it’s not only the kid who learns, but the parents as well. Oh yes…and I’ll add that many times, we learn together. Because obviously I don’t know all the answers. So when a question is posed, and I have no idea, I’ll say something like, “Hmm…I don’t know…let’s research….”
Learning happens all the time. It’s always an enriching experience when you meet someone from a different place. And that knowledge widens your view of the world.
I encourage you to notice the many “homeschool moments” you have in your family; you may just be surprised!
Have you had a homeschool moment that was a fun experience? Share in the comments. Would love to hear your story!
Hi, I’m Mich! I’m a wife and homeschooling mom. In this online space, I hope to encourage and inspire you with the lessons of faith, hope and trust that I’ve learned on my journey thus far. Blessings! :)