A friend at church recently chided me for missing a ladies’ retreat. In my defense I said, “I felt I just needed to be home this year and spend some time with my kids.”
“Spend time with your kids!” she replied. “That’s all you do is spend time with your kids.”
Her answer stung a bit, but I did not struggle with my feelings for long. I knew my decision to stay home from the retreat was made carefully and prayerfully and that I had followed my heart. Each time we as parents choose to seek God’s guidance and put our families first, we are making a difference in the lives of our children. It would be nice to think that all home school children are gifted and talented, and a great many of them are, but many also fall into the category of “ordinary;” yet God used ordinary men and women all throughout history. He uses ordinary home school families now to achieve great things, but if your family does not seem to be remarkable, remember, we may never know what great plans God has for the ordinary children harbored safely within our homes.
Sometimes as home school parents, we are our own harshest critics. When school seems to stretch endlessly before us and our endurance wanes, we look at other home school families and wonder why our school days are not as productive as theirs. We may also read about or know of other home school families who are doing great things and making a positive difference in their communities, and we feel discouraged if our own children barely manage to get school work done each day. Many times we have high expectations of ourselves and our children and become discouraged when we feel we are not meeting those expectations, but God’s plan for each family is different, and we may never know how many lives are touched by our simple obedience to that plan. For one family, that might mean getting involved in a community project or a political campaign and donating time toward making a definable difference in the lives of those in the community. For another family, it might mean cutting back on community projects to regroup as a family.
Choosing deliberately and intentionally to live our lives as we feel led is not always an easy decision, but it can be doubly hard if we are trying to do more than that to which we are called. When the burden gets so heavy it causes us to stumble to our knees, that is the point when our eyes should look up and see our source of strength, remember Who called us to the task, and seek His guidance in our daily lives. Sometimes God reminds us that the burden that seems impossible to carry is one we placed on our own backs. We must remember that God created each of us as a unique individual, placed us in unique families, and that He has a different plan for each family. We can be encouraged by the accomplishments of others, but we cannot measure our family against another.
I rejoice in being a part of this great movement in our nation called the home school movement, and I am thankful for all the families out there who are daily making a difference, whether it is a recognizable difference in their community or simply a daily difference in the lives of their children. God has placed them in communities all across this nation for a reason. God is moving in this generation, and I thank Him for men, women, and children who answer His call and obey His voice. Not only are home school families making a difference today, but God has birthed them into this time because He has plans for them tomorrow, so if your family is not called to the forefront today, remember you are still making a daily difference in the lives of your children.
There are seasons in all things, and just as there are seasons in our lives and seasons in nature, there are seasons in our families, and there are seasons in governments. As we look back through history, there were specific times when God raised up a generation of great men to lead His people to victory. I believe we all have a purpose for the time in which we live, and we are so blessed to live in a time in which we can witness the rise of a great generation. As we approach this critical election year, do not let the current state of affairs in our nation discourage you; for as the battle forms on the horizon, the Lord raises an army within our homes—a generation of children whose parents choose to make a difference. May God continue to bless His people as they struggle to make a daily difference in the lives of those who will someday make a profound impact on this nation.
Sheila Campbell – has written 31 posts on this site.
Sheila Campbell began homeschooling in 1991 and graduated the last of her four children in the spring of 2009. In 1994, she and her husband co-founded Integrity Educators, a local home school support group in Plainview. Sheila has continued in leadership for eleven of the last fourteen years.
Sheila has homeschooled as a single mom, her husband having passed away in 2001, and the mother of a special needs child. Justin, her oldest child, passed away at age 17. She and her three children reside in Hale Center.