Tuesday, July 14, 2009

On Preparing for Another Homeschool Year

I'm spending time this week cleaning out school shelves, organizing curriculum materials, and preparing for the upcoming school year. As I look at all that needs to be done, it's overwhelming. This is my next-to-least favorite part of homeschooling. Therefore, I have to remind myself of these things:

God is with me, His Holy Spirit indwells me, and He will give me the strength to get it all done.

I have done this for seven years already, even while we lived in India and during Bobby's chemotherapy.

My kids are doing well academically, and enjoy learning.

No, they aren't lacking in socialization.

It is worth all the effort.

Now that I have my shelves all organized, it's time to get started on lesson planning.

Oh, and my least favorite thing about home schooling? The paperwork we have to do for Chatham County Public Schools. We used to joke that they probably just stick it in a file box under somebody's desk....and then we went to get Caroline's attendance/student status certified (in order for her to get a learner's permit for driving.) We found the right office, and told a nice man at a desk what we needed. From where do you think he pulled our file? A plastic file box that was by the man's feet under his desk. I AM NOT KIDDING.

Now back to work......

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Our 18th Anniversary

Today is Eric's and my 18th anniversary. We met about 20 years ago, and I knew within a few weeks that he would be my husband. But that's a story for another time. What I want to write about today is the major events of our marriage. Just for fun.

July 5, 1991--married in Houghton, NY
May 1993--Eric graduates from Houghton College, I finish my Master's Degree from UB
February 17, 1994--Caroline Ruth born
May 1996--Eric completes Master's Degree from Alfred University
July 1996--we move to Springfield, GA
May 15, 1997--Mary Charlotte born
July 1998--we move to Rincon, GA
December 1, 1998--Robert James a.k.a.Bobby born
November 2000--Mary has cerebral aneurysm repaired successfully
July 2001--10th anniversary getaway at Jekyll Island
July 2002---we move to Wake Forest, NC
January 2005--trip to India
May 2006--Eric receives MDiv. from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
October 2006--we move to India
March 2007--we return from India
March-May 2007--Bobby undergoes chemotherapy for Diffuse Large B-cell lymphoma
May 15, 2007--Mary turns 10, and Bobby finishes chemo
June 18, 2008--Eric called to pastor Chevis Oaks Baptist Church
February 20, 2009--Caroline gets learner's driving permit
May 15, 2009--Mary turns 12, Bobby celebrates two years in remission
July 5, 2009---18 years of marriage!

You can surmise the many things I've left off this list, and the details of each story. This list is a bare-bones outline of major events in our lives over the last 18 years. Along the way we have grown in our love for each other and our trust in the Lord. We have learned more (not everything yet!) about patience, suffering, trust, and God's providence than we knew at the beginning of our marriage. I thank God every day for my wonderful husband. I pray that we will continue to grow older together, ministering to each other and to those around us. Deo volente....

Thursday, July 02, 2009

The Blessings of a Christian Heritage

Something I've been ruminating on lately is how much I take for granted having grown up in a Christian home. There are a couple of reasons this is on my mind. One is that we had VBS last week at our church, and we had several children come from our community who had no previous experience with church. None. Some of these kids had never been in a church, never heard the Bible read or taught to them, never sung a song about the Lord. WOW. The other reason is that I have met and talked with several adults lately who, although they are Christians now, are suffering the consequences of their childhood/upbringing without any Christian influence. Their whole world view is different from the world view of someone who has been raised with a Biblical world view. They are struggling to learn what the Bible says about how they should live their lives, and to change how they live accordingly.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying I'm perfect, have the perfect world view, and live a perfect life. Far from it. But I was blessed to grow up in a home in which: we studied God's Word together as a family; I saw my parents serving, worshiping, and praying; I was taught about modesty, sobriety, stewardship, and self-control (among other things); I learned that Christians CAN have a sense of humor, have fun, and have joy; I learned how to think Christian-ly (sorry for the made-up word.) My world view was shaped and molded in an environment that fostered both intellectual and spiritual pursuits.

Throughout my adult life I have been reminded often that not everyone grew up the way I did. Not everyone had parents who advocated lots of reading and musical development, cultural literacy as well as spiritual growth. Not everyone had parents who modeled a good Biblical marriage and parenting. Not everyone has been blessed as I have. Does this make me better? NO. Why did I have this advantage? I don't know. It surely humbles me...drives me to my knees to thank God for my parents, my in-laws, my husband, my children, and makes me appreciate them more.

I'll keep pondering it. And I'll keep it in mind as I counsel, pray for, and talk with others whose life experiences are vastly different from mine.