Let me share a part of a note I received, and have permission to use, to encourage you. Marilyn writes,
“Something very fascinating has happened to me. I have discovered the source of my discouragement. My problem is that I was not spending any quiet time with the Lord. I haven’t for years. I wasn’t drawing near to Him, and I had conceded that all of my homeschooling friends had the same problems that I had. We were all just burned out and overburdened. I now have scheduled ‘tea time with the Lord’ in my day, first thing.”
That reminds me of how often moms tell of the excitement they have when they begin using a schedule. Once again they are having daily quiet times, those moments alone with the Lord! This pleasure is real because, sadly, time in the Word is one of the first activities to be set aside when homeschooling days become busy.
Generally, as Christians, we begin homeschooling because the Lord Jesus Christ leads us to this decision. He has first place in our lives, and when we begin to have concerns about other school options, He gently starts putting the homeschooling idea on our hearts. More often than not, we don’t feel “qualified” to homeschool either in the area of patience or as an actual teacher. We know, though, that whom the Lord calls He also enables. So we step out in faith, trusting the Lord to carry out the plans He has set before us.
While this is the way we head into homeschooling, it isn’t long until the demands of school, laundry, meals, cleaning, ministry, and life in general begin to wear on us, and somehow, we give up our personal time with the Lord. We allow the busyness of our days and weeks to drive the way we use our time. Then we wonder why we are discouraged, frustrated, irritable with the children, and short tempered in general.
Consider, for a moment, a few Scriptures with me. Psalms 119:105, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” Don’t we desire to know the way the Lord has prepared for us personally, and for each of our children? Have you heard, or even said yourself, “If the Lord would just send a letter telling me what to do in this situation, I would be so happy to obey!” God has sent us much more than a letter; He has given us a whole book! The more we root and ground ourselves in His Word, the more we will understand His will in choices we must make. “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Romans 12:2).
“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed” (2 Corinthians 4:7-9). Does this describe the way you feel some days? So how is it that we “show that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us,” if we don’t have time in our day to spend with God? Without daily reliance on Jesus Christ, aren’t we working through our day in our own power and strength?
“My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up” (Psalms 5:3). Do you? Do I? Or do we only take the time to shoot up arrow prayers during each crisis that occurs throughout the day? Is this truly laying our requests before God, or is it asking Him to be a firefighter for us? Can you keep a record of God’s answers to prayers in your life, and your family’s lives, if you don’t have a consistent time to spend in prayer alone with Him?
“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Isn’t this another of our hearts’ desires, to be thoroughly equipped for every good work the Lord has for us to do, and especially in the teaching and training of our children? If we don’t spend time daily with the Lord, in His Word, will this be possible?
My heart desperately needs the Word of God every single day! I have a scheduled forty-five minutes early in the morning to have a quiet time. For the most part, this keeps me consistent, but sometimes we are up quite late at night and that impacts my time with the Lord the next morning. I wonder if my family can tell the days I have really met with Him, versus the ones I hurry through my reading, prayer, and memory time, or skip it altogether. They don’t ask me that question, but perhaps on days when my irritation is quick to show through, it would be good accountability for me if they did.
When my youngest child, now three, was a baby, she went through a stage when she wasn’t nursing well at her breakfast time feeding. We decided that I should quit waking her up at 5:30 a.m. to nurse so she would be hungrier at 8:30 a.m. As we began doing this, I found I became very nervous from 6:45 until 7:45, because I would not be available if she happened to wake up and be hungry. I was out of the house walking and someone at home would have to pacify her if she awakened. That time became miserable for me because of my anxiety over the baby. I asked Steve and he agreed that we could go back to me waking the baby up early in the morning. Do you know what happened? Rather than dreading having to get up at 5:30 every morning to nurse the baby, I loved it. I was so happy to again have a peaceful heart during that hour I was out walking, that I didn’t mind in the least the early morning nursing time.
In a similar way, our time feasting on the Word should be so important to us that we don’t care a bit that we are rising earlier than we might otherwise, or that we are taking quiet afternoon time when the children sleep to meet with the Lord.
My husband and I are “best friends,” and we love to talk with each other. Frequently, I gain insight into my own life by discovering what he thinks about various situations that don’t even involve us personally. Recently I found out what he believes a wife who wants to encourage her husband to be the spiritual head of her home should do. Have you ever wondered about this or perhaps discussed it with some of your friends? What did you come up with? Do you know how a man might respond to this?
Steve says the place for a woman to begin helping her husband in his spiritual headship of their home is with her own personal time in the Word with the Lord! Her husband will observe peace, contentment, joy, gratitude, and other fruit of the Spirit that will emanate from her life when she is spending time reading her Bible and praying. He will also be drawn to the Lord and the Word.
Do we want our husbands to be the spiritual leaders of our homes? Could it really be that this begins with our personal time with the Lord in His Word? Remember, this time is for our own personal growth in the Lord. It is not to be used in a “look what I am doing” kind of attitude with our husbands. What fruit will develop in our lives as a result of our investment of this time with the Lord? Am I considering the widespread effect, within my family and ministry circle, that my devotions will have?
How much of what our hearts yearn for in our homes is tied back to this very special time? If you have felt the Lord’s call to homeschool, but have been neglecting to seek Him daily by setting aside a time to spend alone with Him, may I strongly encourage you to not let another day go by before you remedy this situation. May we each follow Marilyn’s example and begin our day with “tea time with the Lord”!